This is another tough one, after 20+ years of gaming I’ve gained huge amount of love and respect for a number of settings, for different reasons and what my favourite varies based on my mood and whatever I’m running/planning at the time. I can narrow it down to 3 and that’s where I get stuck-
Looking at Planescape, that was the first setting I collected to any great degree and remains a firm favourite to this day. I think Sigil is a fascinating place and is literally full of possibilities, absolutely endless possibilities. I like the fact that you can do anything in Planescape, send PC’s to any setting, use any enemy and we’ve stories on a scale that can’t be managed on the Prime Material Plane. Additionally I love the art work and style of Planescape with it’s almost Victorian London feel and it’s rough, jagged lines.
Shadowrun is different, where Planescape is vast and endless, Shadowrun is immensely detailed on a very small scale. As I’ve mentioned before, Shadowrun is probably the single most detailed setting I’ve ever read or played, with fans of the world being able to follow and debate political careers and campaigns and chart the rise and fall of Megacorporations. Shadowrun presents itself as a living world, evidenced by the way the sourcebooks are written in game, with commentary from Shadowland (and later Jackpoint) members who provide detail, rumours and background. Shadowrun works as a logical progression from the real world and evolves as a result of our own technological advancement and I appreciate that as it always feels futuristic.
However, at the end of it all, I’s probably say my favourite is Dragonlance, but it’s a close call. Dragonlance wins it out because it’s a setting I’ve loved and lived in since I was 9 years old. For the longest time I refused to even consider running it as an rpg setting, fearing that I couldn’t do it justice, but when I finally did run a party on Krynn I found that my love for the world helped me craft a deeper, more involved story. Dragonlance works because it doesn’t run like normal D&D, the lack of magic items, the absence of the cleric (in the War of the Lance era anyway), and the requirement that all mages take the Test means players need to think more about how to approach encounters.
Dragonlance is fantasy at it’s best and the fantasy that people want to play, it’s swords and sorcery, it’s romance and love, tragedy, elation, comradeship and more all rolled into a deep and interesting world.