Why do I bring this up? Because my oldest son doesn't like playing in adventures I didn't create. So I created a setting for Basic D&D for him to play in. I can drop my own adventures into it (borrowing heavily from published adventures when my creativity fails.) There is a problem though. It is one giant cliche. Did I say giant? Pardon me for my imprecision. It is one GINORMOUS cliche. Seriously. It hits many of the cliches mentioned in Tough Guide.
So, we have:
- Fallen empire based on Ancient Rome.
- Ruined cities, temples and forts.
- Barbarian kingdoms founded by Northern (and Western) barbarians.
- Rump empire consisting of the last remaining imperial city.
- Invading Orcs (coming from the East.) The humans call the area that the orcs have conquered "Orkland." Original, huh?
- Southern desert.
- Elves, dwarves, halflings and other demi-humans. (Actually, I do deviate from the cliches a bit here. The playable races don't mingle much. The halflings live in a secluded valley and are suspicious of outsiders. The elves live in a deep forest and are suspicious of outsiders, etc. This is a concession to the boys. I like human-centric settings but the boys want demi-humans. In fact my youngest chose a halfling as his character.)
So, you get the idea. Thing is I'm happy with this setting. It's comfortable for me and the boys like the idea. Now we just need to find time to actually play.
I'm working up a map for the campaign but I'm still trying to find the best way to get it out of my head. When I do, I'll post it.