Established settings save prep time. Or at least that was my idea before I got lost in Eberron minutiae. As much as I admire (and steal from) geniuses like Goblin Punch or Against the Wicked City or Yoon-Suin, building up a complete world like they do is not for me. I'm more of a "steal from the greats" kind of guy, taking an existing setting and fitting in my own little ideas. You don't have to figure out how law enforcement will respond to a bank robbery in a world of darkness game (load up on dragonsbreath rounds). Or think up a nefarious Dark Sun organization from scratch when the Veiled Alliance will do (fucking hippies).
|All 250 Forgotten Realms|
novels. Jesus Christ.
For my upcoming Eberron campaign, I got that sinking feeling. The Dragonmarked Houses, the benevolent Inspired, Daelkyr* cults, warforged, talenta Halflings, the Draconic Prophecy, the Royal Eyes of Aundair - there's just too much in there to all cram into a campaign.
* Scratch the Daelkyr, I'm still on tentacle probation after a highly successful CoC session that cost characters and players some sanity points. You trick them into eating their informants ONE TIME...)
Solution: take the players sightseeing and dip my toes in different parts of the setting. Each couple of sessions will focus on just one or two elements, and then we take the ones that resonate most and expand on those. (I realize that this "solution" is DMing 101. It's been years since I rolled dice, ok? Give me a break.)
To avoid spoiling things for my players, let's just say that I'll be cutting up Eberron with some Around the World in 80 Days and seasoning with Heart of Darkness. Happy exploring.