When I asked Ronn if I would mind if I ran Baenrahl, he was agreeable. "I think it'd be interesting to get your take on it," he said. He also said that he'd locate his writings and forward them to me, but I haven't heard back yet.
Consequently, I've had to go by the info left on the internet archive, with a healthy dose of whatever I can remember from our many game sessions. With my flawed memory, this leads to a lot of general impressions rather than actual real setting info. So i've been forced to improvise. But then, that's what the creative process is all about.
The problem, as my wife pointed out, is that I don't want to re-do Ronn's setting. He's put a lot of creative effort into it, and I wouldn't want to discount that or damage it. On the other hand, I've got a lot of creative juices flowing, and there's really nothing that's going to stem the flood of my flights of fancy.
Some changes to the setting will likely ensue, but hopefully these will be to the better. I don't want to re-write the setting, but rather enhance the aspects of it that make it unique.
As an example of what I'm talking about, let me review something I saw in a different setting, with a different author and game system. A few years ago I worked with a fella on the Fudge mail list that was creating his own world. He stressed the importance of religion in his setting, but it's treatment was pretty much traditional: here's the gods, here's what they stand for: pick one.
My suggestion to him was to make the religion more integral to the setting by supporting it mechanically -- make an Attribute or Gift directly related to it. The level you had in it would affect your success or failure in the world or otherwise influence the events that surrounded your character.
Likewise with Baenrahl, I want to take the coolest elements of the world Ronn created and work to make them more integral to the setting -- make them essential to the game, and a focus of it, either mechanically or by making them obvious as central themes and seeds of adventure.
Baenrahl has too many cool things to allow them to be lost in the milieu of general fantasy that is it's foundation, but may in fact permeate it jut a wee bit too much.
So, to begin with, I'm removing the fantasy races of dwarves and elves and replacing them with more interesting races, such as Wookiees, Andorians, and Daleks.
Just kidding. ;-)
I'll start discussing real stuff in the next post.