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Blackmoor as its own setting

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:19 am
by Hunter_Maddox
In the next arch of my current campaign I am porting my group to a fused Greyhawk/Blackmoor setting. I had intended to redraw maps to move Blackmoor to the east in Flaneasss but decided to leave it where it was & just use official black moor maps. But looking forward I've decided to run my next campaign in Blackmoor as its own setting & develop the Thonian Empire to fit my own needs.

What I'd like to know from the GMs who run Blackmoor as its own setting separate from Mystara, Greyhawk & the Wilderlands setting; how did you develop the Thonion Empire & those regions n' peoples outside Blackmoor proper? What changes to the Zeitgeist or previous BM editions did you make to the core setting to make it your own? If you go with the Folio, Dave really played up the sci-fantasy aspect of it though he seemed to relegate it to the Temple of the Frog God, the City of the Gods & time portal in the Ye Comeback Inn in both the DA & Zeitgeist adventures, as well as playing up more mundane clockwork, steam power - almost Steampunk aspects in the Clockwork & Steam book. How did you work with the sci-fi elements & Steampunk like elements tied to the setting?

Re: Blackmoor as its own setting

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:51 pm
by Big Mac
I don't have an answer for you, but I'm definitely most interested in learning how to get Blackmoor to work as a standalone world.

Re: Blackmoor as its own setting

Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:23 am
by Hunter_Maddox
I've been working on developing my own take on the world beyond Blackmoor - it'll definitely not part of Greyhawk, Mystara & the Wilderlands; though I might use Greyhawk based deities for Thonian pantheon. One item of import is the map of the continent home to both Blackmoor & the Thonian Empire; I've been considering using the Great Kingdom Map as the basis & then make changes to it.

Re: Blackmoor as its own setting

Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:16 pm
by Havard
The D20 Blackmoor Sourcebook is a decent presentation of Blackmoor as its own setting. It has the races, gods, cosmology and historical context you need for a complete setting.

The only thing missing I suppose, is a map of the lands beyond Blackmoor's immediate neigbours. This might be fun for each DM to map out for himself.

The Great Kingdom map is what Dave Arneson would have used in his early campaign so that would make sense.

I made a map here. Although the western coast is accomodated to the Wilderlands setting, but those realms can be removed.

On my map I also incorporated various realms mentioned in DA1, the FFC and other Arneson writings.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with! :)


Re: Blackmoor as its own setting

Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:30 pm
by Zeromaru X
I use the Blackmoor 4e book, that, like the D20 book, has Blackmoor as its own setting. They have the same problem, though. The book focus only in Blackmoor and the more close neighboring lands (the Duchy of Ten, the Hak, Valley of the Ancients, etc.)

I recommend you the book, though, as is very complete, even if you don't use 4e or related stuff (such as races).

Re: Blackmoor as its own setting

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:53 pm
by finarvyn
I've run Blackmoor as its own setting more often that I have used it as an extension of the Wilderlands or Greyhawk or Mystara or wherever. I think that the secret is to focus the action on Castle Blackmoor and the surrounding area, and let the "off map" stuff mostly stay off map. When I watch Star Wars I know that there is this vast thing called "the Empire" but when I run a SW campaign I feel no impetus to detail out the whole thing. The same thing applies for Blackmoor -- you have barons or diplomats or mercenary captains coming in from the off-map nation, but the characters have little real reason to go there. Those NPCs are simply a means to help drive the action in the Blackmoor regional map.

Re: Blackmoor as its own setting

Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:30 pm
by Raymond
What if you used a real-world map and put it nearer to Arneson's home just across the border into Canada? The coastline of Saint Ignace Island looks close and the real-world Black Bay is next door. I don't know how the scale compares but maybe you don't care too much about scale.