37 minutes ago
Monday, May 9, 2016
The Hidden Country Setting
A significant number of works of fantasy take place in some sort of lost or hidden realm within the real world: Oz (at times), Neverwhere, Pellucidar, the Savage Land, Fraggle Rock, Hogwarts, and some versions of fairyland are all around here somewhere. This sort of setting doesn't seem to have been often used in fantasy rpgs, at least outside of modern/urban fantasy.
I suppose their are reasons for this. The Medieval(ish) nature of most fantasy gaming suggests a historical(ish) setting. The scales many settings inhabit would preclude them being tucked away in some corner. Perhaps there's also a fear with the modern world close by it would be too easy for it to intrude.
These seem to me to be only relative contraindications. Most gamers (at least of the old school variety) are comfortable with plenty of science fictional or science fantasy elements that violate the pseudohistorical milieu The scale may be sort of a problem (though Burroughs never set that stop him in Tarzan's Africa and a Hollow Earth could have plenty of space) and a smaller scale setting isn't necessarily a bad thing.
This sort of setting opens up some new elements: Lost-like underground bases complete with enigmatic video instructions, modern world epherma as treasure, secret societies working in both "worlds." Pretty interesting stuff, I think, with a lot of potential.