The process of creating a complete, coherent and convincing world to use as a setting for RPG adventures.

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15
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5answers
2k views

How do I make a PC's religion help drive the story?

As a GM, how can I make a player-character's religion help drive the story? I'm going to be making up a local religion for the region that most of the party is from, and I'd like it to really matter ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Do different monsters cooperate? Do I need to justify it when they do?

I'm new to GMing, and am having difficulty with understanding how often different types of monsters interact cooperatively (so to speak). In keeping with trying to give my PC's variety, and to also ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Have classes and levels ever been recognized officially in-game?

Has there ever been an official (A)D&D product in which character levels (as per the rules governing the game) were recognized and utilized to some degree in-game, within the game world, by the ...
17
votes
4answers
655 views

How to introduce the levelless, cost-based spells of Cthulhu d20 into D&D 5e

Cthulhu d20 has a magic system in which spells aren't tied to classes nor to levels. Anyone can learn and use a spell, if they're willing to pay the price, which usually comes in the form of a ...
8
votes
2answers
581 views

What stops practitioners of Enchantment and Illusion magics from taking over societies? [closed]

What stops practitioners of Enchantment and Illusion magics from taking over humanoid societies in your average D&D 5e world? See, given enough time and resources, they could impersonate ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Building a History in a Homebrew World [closed]

So I'm creating a homebrew campaign setting for a group I will be DMing. I've used the outside-in approach, so I've created 4 continents, countries within each continent, cities, towns, villages, ...
40
votes
10answers
6k views

Is it appropriate to disallow the players building the world?

I finally made it to host my first session of DnD. We had a lot of fun and no one appeared to be one of all these kinds of problem players I read here about every now and then. All had fun and told me ...
8
votes
4answers
322 views

How do I create appealing cursed magical items?

I'm thinking about creating a world where anything with magical powers are known to make their wielder both blessed and cursed in some way, some more severe than others, sometimes in equal measure. ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

Ideas for a new scenario (mutant style) [closed]

My first question here, let me know if I can improve my question. Or if I'm asking in the wrong place. :) I'm planning start a modern campaign with my friends and I would like to create a "mutant" ...
3
votes
0answers
134 views

How to test a Campaign Setting's Content? [closed]

I'm working on a pretty expansive campaign setting of my own right now, and I'd like to test it. The question is: How do I do it? Notes & Details This setting is generic, intended to be adapted ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

How to make large number of NPCs manageable to players? [closed]

I'm planning a game where there is about a dozen important NPC actors, with some more less important ones. "Important" means that even if they are not directly involved in current events, they play a ...
11
votes
7answers
769 views

How can I prevent my Good-aligned spider deity from being confused with Lolth?

I have been working on a custom campaign setting for D&D 5e for a while now, and one of the key themes of the setting is "the races aren't what you think they are at first glance". The drow in ...
6
votes
1answer
834 views

Ley Lines in D&D

Are there any DMGs or other source books from Dungeons and Dragons that discuss Ley Lines and how a DM should design them in their campaign, or the underlying rules they follow? I would prefer ...
1
vote
1answer
246 views

How much time should travelling through a country take? [closed]

Im creating my world right now, and i have the basic layout What i've been thinking about, is how large it should be, and im not sure how to do it to maximize the fun in the game. At the moment i ...
3
votes
1answer
637 views

Is there a template to create a Savage Worlds world

I just saw Mad Max Fury road and I figured that it would make an excellent 'world' to game in. I was thinking, what does it take to build enough material to make a convincing world? And how do you ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I determine an NPC's skill levels?

When developing a new NPC, how do I ensure that they have close to the skill rankings that I would expect them to have, yet not make them more powerful than the PCs? As an example, I want a noble ...
6
votes
7answers
3k views

How can I make weapons of differing quality?

I'm building a fantasy world for D&D 5th edition, in which different races have different crafting abilities - the human kingdom has a monopoly on the creation of magic items, but they're trading ...
3
votes
1answer
587 views

Adding Magi-Tech to 5E

I am going to be running a 5th Edition campaign set in a future of a previous campaign. I want to add "magi-tech", but very sparingly. My question is: Are there any official sources for this type of ...
-3
votes
2answers
112 views

Building a complete blind-flying system for 3.5e flying mounts [closed]

What ways are there to go about building a safe, reliable system to allow the flying mounts in D&D 3.5e to "fly blind" (i.e. in clouds, fog, rain, and snow, day and night) between preset ...
4
votes
2answers
165 views

Civilians gaining karma?

So, i was thinking about magic, and it hit me that you can only cast spells you learnt. And you can only learn spells that you've spent 5 karma on (p.299 of the core book). I found that you gain ...
2
votes
3answers
225 views

How can I make a better ruined culture? [closed]

I don't want to make a cliche magic-heavy ancient empire destroyed by hubris. How can I make a more interesting one?
1
vote
2answers
353 views

How do I create fantasy cities? [closed]

What do I need? How do I start? etc. I want to create city states up to 1,000 years old with probably (but not necessarily) aristocratic, oligarchinc, or tyrannical (in the ancient Greece sense) ...
9
votes
4answers
407 views

How can I break world building down into something manageable? [closed]

I find building an "off the rails" world to be a daunting task. I'm trying to find a process to make it more manageable for my NWOD games, kind of like "Agile" process does for developing software. I ...
4
votes
2answers
444 views

Are there any sources for a rural modern fantasy setting? (Redneck D&D)

I stumbled across an amazing quest generator called Fantasy Redneck Adventure. It implies an amazing setting with standard fantasy tropes like knights, wizards, golems, quests, etc but in a modern, ...
1
vote
0answers
153 views

What materials/information would I need to construct a gameworld? [closed]

I'm planning on creating my own game world and I was wondering what specifics should I be looking at to help with its accuracy, detail and playability?
1
vote
0answers
317 views

What alignment would the Ancient Roman civilisation have been? [closed]

In our Pathfinder homebrew setting, I'm looking at making a region that borrows parts of the culture of Ancient Rome, including their system of slavery. What alignment would the Ancient Roman nation ...
6
votes
2answers
426 views

Size of a campaign world?

At this moment I am creating a world for my pathfinder game and I have no idea what the world's size should be. I know it ultimately depends on each GM and their group, but some information on the ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

Where can I find resources to create a realistic castle dungeon?

Shortly, I will send my PCs into a castle ruin, and I plan on them spending some time there, possibly to refurbish the castle and claim it as their own. I want to make this castle a realistic place, ...
22
votes
4answers
861 views

Location generation system?

I tend to GM campaigns where players travel a lot. Whether it is through D&D planes or in a space-opera setting, they are bound to visit a lot of very different and varied places. And I have to ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Are the orcs of the D&D core canon not above eating sentient humanoids?

Are the orcs of the D&D core canon cannibals, i.e. not above eating sentient humanoids? As far as I can remember, Tolkien's orcs seem to have no qualms about doing so (thanks for the link, ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Investigating suspects and evidence in a D&D3.x based world

First of all, I know there's been a question titled Crime Investigation in a fantasy world. My question is only partially similar to that, though. The problem: In a DnD3.x based world (including ...
5
votes
4answers
915 views

Is it possible to run a simulationist sandbox game? [closed]

Context I grew up playing video games like Morrowind or Baldur's Gate where all the content is already there and all you do is go out there and interact with it, with all the limitations of having a ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

What's the up side of aquatic campaigns in Pathfinder?

Everything I've found about aquatic campaigns would suggest that they are inherently more difficult than traditional campaigns, for the GM and player both. The Rules Difficulties For one thing, ...
9
votes
4answers
707 views

How do I safely break stereotypes in my games?

In the LARP system I play, there are some stereotypes heavily in-grained into the player base. For instance, goblins are squeaky-voiced, hyperactive, and (often) violent humanoids. These sorts of ...
27
votes
6answers
3k views

Fortifying & Defending a shop in a city

When they're not adventuring, the PCs in my campaign own a magic item shop in a very large city. They have a staff, inventory, marketing, and in general it operates like you'd expect an item shop to ...
13
votes
4answers
362 views

How do I make Locations important?

This is a two-part question about Locations in Fiasco: How do I make Locations important to the story? In every Fiasco game that I have played so far, the story has been driven by the Needs of the ...
7
votes
3answers
344 views

Incorporating smell, taste, and weather underwater

Related to this question and this question. I am interested in building up the atmosphere of my aquatic campaign, and to do so, I would like to incorporate all the players' senses. But I am at a loss ...
7
votes
4answers
293 views

Resources for designing aquatic campaigns

General world building information is easy to come by, but I have trouble finding information about underwater environments in AD&D 2e. While I am open to non-AD&D resources, I would prefer ...
2
votes
3answers
336 views

Underground as an engaging environment? [closed]

The fantasy underground, the underworld, the caves, the depths ... that's a whole new world below the surface ... ... or, at least, it should be the new, exciting world below surface. I'm mentioning ...
14
votes
3answers
698 views

How should a GM best handle a lack of canonical lore in a pre-existing world?

Occasionally, players may want to play in a setting which does not have a detailed canonical lore. Consider, for instance, many computer RPG worlds; their lore tends to be very localized, however, ...
5
votes
1answer
326 views

How can established settings contact each other, and are there rules about it?

I've actually had some of my questions answered browsing through the forums; however, I wanted to address some issues that may come of my conclusions! First off, I haven't DM'd since the first ...
14
votes
10answers
2k views

A game where death is permanent?

I'm running a D&D 4e campaign where the underlying story arc features Orcus and his followers. It starts with a run-in with a Cult of Orcus, and gradually escalates with the party finding that the ...
2
votes
3answers
769 views

What are the best RPG bestiary books containing monsters inspired by East Asian cultures? [closed]

The setting for my current game has a mix of cultures and influences from the Far East, and I am looking for sources for monsters inspired by Chinese/East-Asian cultures, such as China, Japan, ...
12
votes
5answers
926 views

In a high magic setting, how should I introduce “unnatural” magic?

I am going to run a game of 13th Age, which is pretty high magic - the industry of the world is primarily enhanced by ritual magic (wind elemental bind to sailing ships, rituals ensuring good weather ...
10
votes
2answers
306 views

Mutant Chronicles: Luna City and Moon physics

Okay, this is in fact a bunch of related sub-questions, but I'll try and sum them up in one: How has the physical workings of the Moon -- home to the new central hub of humanity: Luna -- changed in ...
14
votes
9answers
876 views

How do you make a new NPC likable?

The players in my campaign will soon rescue a woman who's been trapped in an awful dimension (think Jumanji, if that helps) for ten years, and bring her home. After 2 sessions, they'll realize that ...
3
votes
0answers
128 views

Effect of natural environment on the development of cultures [closed]

Let there be this quantitative question: how do the specifics of a natural environment influence the development of a newborn culture? Please note: I'm not looking for any deus ex machinas, divine ...
2
votes
2answers
169 views

What resources should I use to create a mod for d20 Modern?

This is a tangent off of my question about Looking for a Space marine RPG similar to Starship Troopers (the Novel) where there were some good suggestions about systems to use or modify to meet my ...
21
votes
6answers
676 views

How to make players care about a community

I've built a lot of villages, some towns and a city or two but I've failed to bring them to life and make the PCs feel like they belong there (maybe not much belong but to just make them care about ...
4
votes
2answers
283 views

Evolving a region from war torn to merchant hub

Currently in my planning for my campaign I have a desert region that would make for a great way to travel, except tribes of Monkeys are at war. One side quest I have planned out has the players end ...