September 17, 2018 0 comments

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Which campaign settings to begin with?



I would like to launch a campaign running with VsD. I'd like to know which campaign settings are the more appropriate.

I know that we can adapt anything to any game but here I'd like something that can fit with acceptable level of modifications.

The only two settings I would consider are:

- Midnight (FFG)

- Middle Earth RPG


Have a look at Midnight. Despite the fact that FFG has stopped developing the game, it’s still a perfect match with VsDM

Bertrand LAFOUGERE has reacted to this post.
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Midnight is fantastic and definitely fits Against the Darkmaster perfectly! Truly a pity they stopped supporting it, but I think the PDFs are still available on DTRPG.

Middle Earth is obviously another perfect match.

I'll add Dragonlance to the list, and possibly also Lodoss.

In general, epic fantasy settings work fine, particularly if magic is somewhat uncommon. You'll have to work harder to adapt settings where magic is commonplace (like Eberron or Forgotten Realms), and other fantasy sub-genres.

Bertrand LAFOUGERE has reacted to this post.
Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.

Thanks for the responses.

I'm looking into Midnight but look like there is a lot of specificities in this world.

I've also looking into Red Tide and World of Xoth (from the KS level of VsD).

Love Red Tide, or anything by Kevin Crawford TBH, and his recent Wolves of God could be even easier to adapt to Against the Darkmaster.

We'll have some guidelines for adapting World of Xoth to VsD in our conversion of the Citadel beyond the North Wind adventure.


Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.

Hello, thanks for the suggestion.

I took the Humbe Bundle of Adventures in Middle Earth, this is opening me Middle-Earth world.

I will study your suggestion of Dragonlance, Lodoss. I cannot go again for a not yet release book so I'll put aside Wolves of God .

I've discovered Hârnworld, I'll have a look at it also.

I personally feel the number and fit of Vocations is the challenge, more than the magical level of the world (but I might be wrong here lacking a real experience on that).

World of Xoth impress me but I feel it is a bit too ambitious to get back in it as junior GM (and junior players). I'll work on it waiting to use it when I'll get more experience.

Red Tide is interesting and a real candidate. I was just surprised by the use of Asiatic names which I feel inappropriate (but that's no hard to adapt).

The adventures in Middle-Earth stuff is awesome, lots of great infos on the world and adventures ideas.

As a beginner GM, however, I'd suggest you to take it easy. You don't have to start with a huge campaign or with a hyper-detailed world setting. Start small, get acquainted with the game. Play the introductory scenario using the pregenerated characters. Or come up with your own short introductory adventure and characters, if you prefer. This will give you a better idea of what kind of adventures you can have with Against the Darkmaster and what to expect from a typical epic fantasy setting.

Also, about the Vocation, keep in mind that they're just a part of what constitute a character. Try not to think about the characters in terms of Vocation, start with a concept, a short background, and work from there. If you prefer, limit the Vocations to the 4 found in the Quickstart for your first adventure: Warrior, Rogue, Wizard and Animist. Each focuses on a specific area (combat, stealth, magic, healing), so it's easier to get an idea of what your character'll be doing during the adventures.

Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.

Whatever setting is chosen, I think part of the fun of the stories is discovering that there is a Darkmaster, its identity, agenda etc.  Not knowing right away that it has spies or their nature - ravens, spiders, dark fae hiding in the corners of mirrors etc.

This is hard if using an established setting, unless not revealing it (e.g., don't tell players at first that really this is Middle Earth but with the Nine Kindgoms instead of Gondor and with Firbolgs added).

It's easiest if using a homebrew setting or "darkmasterizing" an established one that just didn't have a Darkmaster in it.


Indeed, discovering the rising threat of the Darkmaster and figuring out how to fight Him is really fun, and I think it also makes the setting feel more "personal" to the players.

Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.

It is always fun to adapt ones game world to new gaming systems.  I created my world of Kelleemah way back in Junior High (I am 51 now..Lol!).  It was originally for AD&D 1e, then was updated to AD&D 2e, and now I am updating it for Pathfinder 1e and Against the Dark Master.  With each adaption, the world changes based on the creatures and player races available and therefore takes on a whole new look and feel.  It is as much fun and playing the game.  🙂