World Building Part One; Let there Be Light!

This is the general way my updates will come, most likely two a fortnight and on a Saturday/Sunday night following each other when I’ve got the time to just sit and just type.

So, you’ve decided you want to create your own world and you’re going to be looking at a long check list of things you’ll need to do, so where do you start.

The first thing I’d suggest anyone to do is get a really good notebook – I’ve personally elected for a Large binder folder so I can add things to it as I need or make them, because honestly you’re not going to sit down and design an entire civilization in a single sitting. That way you can buy dividers, plastic sleeves and loose paper, split it up and just slot stuff in as you need and it ill be in good order for you still!

Next pick your game system, have a look through the box at its races, classes and go through and look at additional books with races and classes. Briefly go over each of these and decide how you want them to interact with your world. The biggest things I find you’re looking at here are Arcane Magic Users and Divine Magic Users. How are they looked on, do they even exist, is there Wizards and Sorcerers for example? Are you going to allow all the races there – are they any different to how they are presented, are your Elves megalomaniacs bent on reclaiming the world from primitive races? These are important things you need to decide.

While you’re working in this you’ll be developing the entire world more in the back of your mind WRITE NOTES! I cannot stress that enough NOTES, NOTES, and NOTES on EVERYTHING you think of.

It then comes down to developing the “back drop” of your campaign – being the world itself, remember the a brief idea of this is fine, Think of Earth as your campaign setting, you’ve chosen to run a game in Russia. What’s happening in the rest of the entire world isn’t really going to influence what’s happening in that small section, so you’re just casting the backdrop on anything that is Global. The Worlds name and Its Pantheon are usually all you need here unless there is some kind of global war occurring.

Don’t expect that all this will happen at once, sit down and plan – the next day look back over what you have decided and show someone else – ask them what they think, some things you’ll want to keep a secret though.

From here you want to create a continent or a decent sized section of land – this is the basic of what your game will be set around – Just like you might start a Forgotten Realms game set around the Sword Coast – you’re doing pretty much the exact same thing. This is the area you want to initially poor most of your efforts into – Also allow for basic details on the player character races, where they are from and those details. Its not a bad idea that once you have in your mind’s eye what the races rolls are and classes etc to sit your players down and ask them to generate character. It would be horrid to spend hours integrating the dwarfs into your game (unless its dreadfully important in your storyline from the world go) to have no one in your group play one and be unprepared for the Halfling (This has happened to me recently and I feel slack because I have failed to properly incorporate a players race into my game – if you do this – don’t get disheartened – just fix it asap!).

The only other thing that is REALLY important in a Fantasy setting is a Pantheon (obviously only if you’re using divine powers and characters). Creating a Pantheon from scratch is a really daunting task, one that I personally didn’t undertake to start with, and I really regret it (especially with how incorporated the Pantheon is in my campaign). There are massive ranges of resources around on gods – DO NOT be afraid to use them, nor even take a god, changes its name and its story a little but use its basic domains etc. If you’re planning on using a Tyrant God – Bane is right there, take advantage of this.

So that’s it for this time; Next time I’ll talk a little about Map building and placing locations and civilization building.

Till next time folks.


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An Introduction: Homebrewing

Hiya all.

After reading and enjoying Tom’s posts – I spoke to him about doing abit of an ongoing piece about making your own homebrew campaign setting. I want to talk about the pros and cons of it, things like cliches (how to deal with them), the challenges it presents and of cause the rewarding feeling of it all.

Firstly i’ll start off with a quick Introduction about myself. Hi, I’m Matthew. I’ve been roleplaying for around thirteen years now – but I’d say truly roleplaying for about five and i’ve been DMing for about four years now. I’ve played in many systems and editions of (A)D&D, Star Wars, L5R, Pathfinder, Warhammer, Dark Heresy, World of Darkness to mention a few. I’ve ran games in *most* of these but I truly find myself at home in Fantasy settings, I like the over the top fantastic style fantasy – I like my players to be heroes selected by fate, for them to be faced with a grueling process of “how do we deal with this” from very early on – so much further down the track when everything falls into place and they finally do manage it its a true feeling of an ending.

As I go i’ll be talking about a few GM issues also – but i’ll try not to offtrack *too much* when I do discuss GM issues – i’ll try to post them seperately.

I’m going to briefly discuss why do a homemade setting over a pre-generated setting.

Let me get this out really early: There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with using a pre-generated setting, these days most setting books are like a skeletal frame anyway. I elected to make my own setting because I wanted to combine a range of ideas from a range of different settings. I had specific ideas of what kind of races I wanted and how I wanted them to be, what “bad guys” I wanted, what big changes I wanted to make to the “normal” – It was just a matter of I wanted something alittle “different” something new to introduce to my players.

In the end it was a matter of to get *exactly* what I wanted out of a campaign setting - the best way about it was to do it myself and learn as I went along.

The lessons that I’ve learnt as I’ve done alone is what i’d like to share with everyone.

So alot of words and not really alot discussed!

Next time i’ll be talking about Preperation for getting ready to create your own world and where to start with it all.

Till Then Folks.


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