Thursday, December 8, 2011

Unexpected Present

This recommendation in a comment from Astronut lead me to a fun little excercise wherein I tried to describe my primary D&D-But-Not setting in the form of the movie pitch first suggested by good ol' Uncle Bear. *

This turned out to be a much needed and unexpected present. Thanks Astronut.
While I believe I have succeeded for the most part, the main reason for requesting the recommendation was to help me think of ways to create a new campaign setting. I should have focused my efforts in that direction instead of defaulting to my tried and true setting of choice. Bad. Bad me.

I also notice that written in this format, while the game sounds pretty cool if I do say so myself, the text barely scratches the surface of all the crazy stuff in the campaign milieu it describes. Of course that's to be expected but still...

Anyway, here is 'The Movie Pitch' for...

Chronicles of Aerth

Traditional Dungeons & Dragons meets Justice League Unlimited by way of Final Fantasy XI (aka Final Fantasy Online).The Elevator SpeechSuperheroic adventurers travel the known realms and beyond battling evil threats to truth, justice and the peace and safety of the citizens of a fantasy parallel Earth.


Over-the-top 'Marvel Age' comic book action adventure with moments both darker and lighter mixed in.


Homebrewed variant of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 1E crossed with D&D 3E/D20 basically.

Player Character Roles

PCs are members of an order of heroes chosen by a higher power. Anyone, and in some cases anything, can be a member. Traditional D&D race and class combos fight side by side with fully sentient golem monks, cat people shamans, barbarian homunculi, centaur paladins, drake rangers and many other strange and wondrous beings. **


Various petty criminals, thieves guilds and murderous types.
The last surviving member of a now extinct subculture/race of Elves.
A secret enclave of Dragons out to conquer or destroy the world.
Various liches, evil wizards and warlords styled to resemble comic book supervillains.
Natural disasters, plagues and the like are also handled by the PCs.


A variety of places emulating ancient and or mythic locations from Earth history/legend.
The past, present and future of this world.

Alternate worlds, other dimensions and the Moon.

Appendix N ***

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1E
Dungeons & Dragons 3EJustice League Unlimited, Animated Series
Legion of Superheroes, Comic Book Series
Various books on the folklore and mythology of Africa, England, Ireland, Greece, Scandinavia Rome, Scotland and others and the Moon
Various Japanese Anime/Manga Series
Various Japanese MMORPGs and Computer RPGs
Various Japanese TRPGs

Barking Alien

*Though sadly, it seems the original post is no more. Bummer.

**I've run campaigns where PCs were not members of the order but rather independant adventurers like a traditional D&D game.

***This is woefully incomplete. It would take weeks to list all the inspirations for Aerth.


  1. (Tips hat)

    I'm glad you like it! As I recall, in the original post (I couldn't track it down either), this was intended as the summary page to that players knew what to generate and what to expect. I've found it's a great way of pinning down exactly what you want out of a setting (especially since so much of my games sits only in my head) - obviously, you then need to flesh it out to the extent you want for your own notes!

    I don't think Appendix N needs to be exhaustive - the references should convey the feel of the key elements of the setting, including those bits that are different. Comprehensive lists have a place, but aren't part of the pitch.

    For reference, the pitch for my Ministry of Blades campaign (a Victorian steampunk monster-hunting setting) is at

  2. the text barely scratches the surface of all the crazy stuff in the campaign milieu it describes

    This is just fine, because you've got to leave something for your players to discover through playing the game itself. Don't give away all the cool stuff at the beginning, like one of those film trailers that includes all the best bits of the film.

  3. @kelvingreen - Of course I don't want to give it all away up front and in fact, this particular 'pitch' is written for a past campaign but done in such a way so if I had given it to the players at the start.

    Actually, if I were really to do that I probably would've left out the specifics on the main villain (last surviving member of a lost race of Elves).

    I was simply commenting that from the GM perspective it's sometimes difficult to not say certain things that you know will hook a group into playing your game so you can wow them with it later during the campaign.

  4. Oh, incidentally, good to hear from you kelvin. Been a while and I always enjoy your input.


    Found Uncle Bear's original post.

  6. Amazing! Thanks DW. Your Google-fu is most impressive.