The Best RPG Campaign Settings

Campaign Settings let you focus on building adventures. Let’s dive into some of the best so that you can maximize the value of your time.

Unusual RPG City Settings

  • Dark Sun: This is many people’s number one pick, and it’s for a good reason: It excels. It’s incredibly visual. It’s written with the reader in mind, and very well-organized. It doesn’t lore drop too heavy at the beginning, and its class descriptions are extraordinary. It’s hard to read this book and not imagine life as a magic-user.
  • A Visitors’ Guide to the Rainy City: This setting is weird. Incredibly weird, and incredibly visual. There’s a lot of competition in the weird category, and it’s still a stand-out. This earns it a top slot.
  • Salt in Wounds: This book is excellent from start to finish. It’s distinctive, for starters: A city built on the perpetual harm of an immortal tarrasque. It carries this thought all the way through to its conclusion–what would people who choose to live in a city like that be like? They would be evil. It’s readable, and it’s well organized. It’s very good.

  • Belly of the Beast. The setting takes place inside a worm big enough to eat mountains and cities. The writing is stellar. The idea is top-notch. It’s incredibly focused on its core idea: Exploring what life inside the belly of a giant worm would be like. The tone, the players’ role, the writing–everything aligns.

Exceptionally Well-Organized RPG Campaign Settings

  • Rock of Bral: This Spelljammer book is crafted with tremendous care and thought to the reader. It’s easy to pick up and start referencing right away.
  • Pirate’s Guide to Freeport: Really clean organization. This inspired the Heartwizard City Reference. They built an entire franchise around this city, if I’m not mistaken.
  • Vornheim: The strength of Vornheim is its art and its tables and its consideration of the reader. It aims to make it easy to create a city, and the tables are really top-notch. This is a fun one.
  • Off the Beaten Path: Excellent. This is the perfect example of a city setting that gets organization absolutely right. Everything is as easy as possible for the reader. You could take one of these scenarios and get started right away.

DrivethruRPG as it has the largest range of city settings out there. Also, here’s a shameless plug: Check out the Heartwizard City Reference!

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