• Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us!

Re-using Homebrew DND Settings

OberonLordofSylva

Troubadour
So a long time ago I had a dream. To run my own 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons campaign complete with a world of my own invention. Time and Time again my dream has been obstructed so I've been thinking. Why not convert it into an original setting? Here it is, roughly paraphrased: The world of Cynra is a bridge between the realm of mortals and the realm of the fairies. In the northern continent of Aluth, The city of Milk Beach shines as a beacon of civilization and is contrasted by Frostpool Forest, which contains the main portal to the Fey Realm. K'Henna to the west is a gorgeous grassland populated by a wide variety of fantasy races, from halflings to orcs to elephant-people. Mylim to the east is a vast desert ruled by blue dragons who swim in the sands hunting and terrorizing the villages that dot the landscape. Further east of Mylim are the Copper Isles, also ruled by dragons. The Lord or the Copper Isles, Cor'Tyr is a benevolent beast with an ancient memory and a just heart. It is he who leads the finest paladin order in all Cynra, The Brotherhood of the Copper Shield. The last continent, Rocshambul is known for its mountains and the dwarves that seek the Mithralcitewithin the mountains. The second great city, Blackstone Pass is renowned for its College of Magic and unique cuisine. I haven't decided on a magic system, I'll probably reuse one from one of my other works. I'd love to try and see if I could make an original series with this setting, and I already have some ideas, but I'm worried that the baggage from DND will bog down whatever story I try to tell. Any and all advice is appreciated!
 
That sounds so awesome, I bet it will end up an amazing story! Personally, I would just start writing (or outlining if you prefer). In your writing, don't refer to specific rules from D&D and you should be good- which is pretty obvious advice (lol).And don't stress because in some ways every fantasy novel that involves adventuring is going to have some sort of parallel to D&D because that's what D&D is all about. So I would say just let your imagination run wild and go for it! I wish you luck! ;)
 

Steerpike

Felis amatus
Moderator
If you haven’t read the Malazan books, by Steven Erickson, check out the first—Gardens of the Moon. They sprang from what was initially an AD&D and later GURPs campaign.
 

ThinkerX

Myth Weaver
Getting close to 'lit-rpg' tales there.

Generally, game mechanics do not translate well to writing, though the settings and a great deal else can be inspirational or transferred straight across. Like Steerpike, I've read the Malazan series; got to the point where I could identify the various 'game sections.'

Both of my principle worlds began as AD&D settings; my older notes are flush with game stats and spells lifted straight from the Player's Handbook. Took quite a bit of writing before the characters seemed more human and less like character sheets.
 

OberonLordofSylva

Troubadour
I appreciate you guys so much! I honestly thought that nobody responded to this post. I don't have very many characters written up yet and I just laid the foundation for setting notes yesterday so I think I'm early enough to not have issues judging by your guy's advice. I also appreciate the fact that the prevailing message here is "Just Write"! It's what I planned on doing anyways and I'm glad I'm on the right path. It makes going on the long haul easier somehow. Hopefully another setting idea doesn't pop up in my head, I want OUT of pre-writing purgatory already!
 

Queshire

Auror
My biggest piece of advice is to make sure that you research what terms you're legally allowed to use and which the D&D guys can sue you over.
 

Saigonnus

Auror
My biggest piece of advice is to make sure that you research what terms you're legally allowed to use and which the D&D guys can sue you over.

I concur with this, having had that thought before too.

I have tried my hand at writing stories originally based off of D&D campaigns I ran with my friends. Instead of using the "stock" D&D races and trappings, I renamed the races that I used originally in the campaign and changed them enough that they only somewhat resemble the stock races. Though I seriously doubt the terms "fireball" or "cone of cold" would cause issues (i.e. lawsuits), I actually went as far as to create my own magic systems and naming conventions for magic "spells".
 

ThinkerX

Myth Weaver
My biggest piece of advice is to make sure that you research what terms you're legally allowed to use and which the D&D guys can sue you over.
Rough rule of thumb: races derived from mythology or common cultural traditions are likely 'safe' - goblins, elves, dwarfs, trolls, ogres, and giants all have mythological antecedents (though the mythological versions often differ from the current stereotypes). Likewise, centaurs, satyrs, ghosts, zombies, and vampires, and most 'fairy creatures.'

Orcs are a bit more problematic: they originated with Tolkien.
 
Top