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

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21
votes
6answers
729 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
284 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 ...
3
votes
9answers
2k views

Can we add trains in D&D without breaking the world

Question upfront: Is there a way I can add trains to the core world of D&D 3.5 (Greyhawk/Oerth) without “messing up” the world or its economies? Reason: 1st: Mainly, it makes no sense to me ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What setting changes need to be addressed in order to convert Golarion to the E6 variant system?

For those who are confused what E6 is, please go here: E6: The Game Inside D&D I will be running an E6 game in Golarion in a few weeks. Two main assumptions I have made in the E6 version I am ...
49
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the key considerations to creating compelling environments?

An area I am close to revealing to my players was barren rock, until I realised adding a few kinds of plants and some crystal spires (which have very good reason to be there) took the location from ...
23
votes
4answers
850 views

How do you customise swearing to a setting?

Good fantasy books often have 'custom' swearing, and they help provide a more realistic view of the world the campaign takes place in. For instance, in a book where metals are key to magic, a common ...
9
votes
1answer
720 views

Fantasy accent and dialect, or how do I speak like Tom Hanks in Cloud Atlas?

For example, inhabitants of Planescape setting say things like "chant" for news or gossip, "berk" or "cutter" for a kind of adventurer, "barmy" for crazy, etc. I want to portray a guy from a far away ...
5
votes
5answers
937 views

In depth world building. Making connections [closed]

I was reading an article (I lost the page due to Internet failure and don't have the link) on world building and it was talking about in depth world building, the article begins by talking about ...
29
votes
4answers
744 views

Giving a setting a feeling of ancientness

I'm creating a world for my next game and I want it to feel like a very ancient world with multiple fallen empires and wars in it's history. I want to build a very detailed setting and have my players ...
19
votes
7answers
736 views

How do significantly differing male and female lifespans change my setting?

I am currently creating a dryad-themed fantasy setting and want it to feature a matriarchal society. My patriarchal-raised brain (needlessly) needs a reason for why this is so, and so I have created ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Looking for a nice magic system to convert to FATE [closed]

I'm playing around a lot with the FATE system at the moment (particularly with Diaspora) and I'm now looking at how I might apply it to a fantasy setting. What I'm looking for is a nice magic system ...
21
votes
10answers
2k views

How to have a realistic set of languages without making adventuring prohibitively difficult?

"Do you speak Common?" "Of course I do! Everyone speaks Common..." My group is starting a somewhat experimental campaign. We're using a setting that is neither canon (e.g. described in a book) nor ...
18
votes
11answers
1k views

How do you keep the party on the map?

I'm running a fairly sandbox game, where the party can wander around easily from place to place. When the party visits areas I've prepared something for, they generally have a good time. When they ...
15
votes
2answers
848 views

City Services Generation

I'm looking for a way to determine typical numbers of services that would be available for a medieval city/town/village based on population which I can then project into a fantasy setting. (System is ...
12
votes
10answers
736 views

Flat or flattish earth issues

What major effects would having a flat or rather flattish earth instead of a planet on a game world? (Technological, social, physical etc.) Mind you, I'm not looking for fully detailed scientific ...
3
votes
4answers
413 views

How would society adjust if use of fire is reserved for the elite? [closed]

This is an extraction of one of the central questions arising from my original (overly broad) question. In a society where the use of fire has been restricted, due to religious indoctrination, to the ...
4
votes
1answer
393 views

How can I represent the use of fire being misrepresented in a campaign?

This is an extraction of one of the central questions arising from my original (overly broad) question. I would like to know how to best represent the concept that there is a god who is, through a ...
8
votes
2answers
325 views

How to make rituals a part of everyday life

I would like to know how to make it clear that little, non-magical rituals such as a blessing before eating, drawing water, harvesting grain, starting a fire and the like are a part of everyday life, ...
5
votes
2answers
511 views

Looking for help on expanding my campaign concept while avoiding railroading

I have split this into two more specific questions: How can I represent the use of fire being misrepresented in a campaign? and How to make rituals a part of everyday life. Below is the broad-strokes ...
18
votes
6answers
6k views

Fantasy economy: how to design a deep, sophisticated crafting system?

I want to construct an immersive, complex and functional fantasy economy in order to inform my world-building process. I'm interested in finding a working economic model and applying that into low-...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Dark Ages/Middle Ages marriage age?

I am trying to keep a fair degree of verisimilitude in my fantasy games (outside the obviously fantastical elements like magic and dragons). As part of that, the normal/average marriage age for ...
5
votes
4answers
396 views

World Development - A Fresh Start

If this is not the place for this type of question, redirect me - I am new here, and apologize in advance. So. My group is looking for something new. Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 in my own setting is our ...
5
votes
1answer
219 views

How to adapt a 3e community-building system for a larger-scale use in a 4e game?

This question is a follow up to Point buy/structured system for cooperative 4e campaign building?. I've found a system that is quite close to what we want/need, but there's a catch: it's for 3e and ...
5
votes
2answers
379 views

Point buy/structured system for cooperative 4e campaign building?

Our group is currently building a campaign world (one nation per player) for the Pillars of the State campaign (as suggested in the DMG2 somewhere around page 170). Today we encountered the "problem" ...
11
votes
4answers
506 views

Is there a game that places a similar amount of emphasis on the creation of worlds by player characters as the Myst series?

A major part of the premise of the Myst series is that a number of characters in the setting can 'write' worlds (mostly ones you could walk across in a few minutes). The gameplay of the series is ...
7
votes
4answers
518 views

How do I get my dresden files players involved in city creation?

I've tried to involve my players in city creation a few times through the course of the game, usually whenever they are about to finish up a story arc, but I usually all I get are just get a few ...
38
votes
7answers
4k views

Pre-modern farming: What percent of the population is in agriculture? [closed]

I'm running a premodern setting where the characters will be involved in local administration. Assuming no magic, how many farmers does it take to support one non-farmer? Any statistics/estimates ...
6
votes
1answer
712 views

Stats for a Sorcerer King in 4E's Dark Sun?

I am in the middle of building a campaign and part of it takes place in the Athas. I am wanting to present the party with an actual threat towards the end of their stay in the hellacious world of Dark ...
33
votes
7answers
3k views

Has anyone produced a drop-in well-reasoned economy for a fantasy game?

I've seen so many attempts to justify this or that crazy thing in various fantasy RPG economies, but they don't tend to hold water as far as I've seen. I realize that suspension of disbelief is ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

List of (small northern US town) occupations?

Let's say I'd like to run a campaign inspired by David Lynch's Twin Peaks, and would like to learn a bit about the everyday life of such towns outside what's been presented on the show - as a first ...
13
votes
6answers
849 views

Regional Resource Management and Trade Rules

I've been looking at TSR's old Birthright setting lately, searching for an easy way to quantify trade between political entities. I'm thinking about ways for a city or region or planet to develop ...
13
votes
7answers
567 views

Looking for resource material for a dream world

I have started working on a world that is set in a dream realm. I am using it to create one-off gaming sessions that I can do in a single day and pull in any characters that are currently being used. ...
15
votes
3answers
4k views

Does anyone have any templates for Scrivener?

I want to start using Scrivener to plan a game and am looking for some templates for characters, locations, encounters, etc.
9
votes
2answers
626 views

Resources containing practical, yet non-combat, non-adventuring D&D spells

Continuing the train of thoughts emerging from the discussion of this previous question (about magocracies and theocracies in DnD), I'd like to know if there are any good official or unofficial ...
26
votes
17answers
2k views

Why aren't magocracies and theocracies dominant in D&D settings?

Anyone has (or has links to) well thought-out, logical explanations for why magocracies and theocracies are not the dominant forms of government of D&D worlds? I'd also be really interested in ...
12
votes
5answers
481 views

I want to design and write a setting book. Where do I start?

I want to design and write a professional quality setting book for FATE 3.0, with the possibility of adding custom mechanics later and turning it into a full on game of it's own. I have the outline of ...
37
votes
14answers
2k views

How can GMs make their game worlds more inclusive?

Many published roleplaying settings reflect our own cultural biases, for example, by putting white people in the "core" of the setting with "exotic" (i.e., not white) cultures around the less-detailed ...
26
votes
7answers
1k views

Am I designing my campaign setting to be too specific?

I'm a first time DM (3.5e), and, being a passionate writer, I decided to create the entire campaign and campaign setting myself. It's been good fun, and I have about 12 pages of (elaborated upon) ...
74
votes
20answers
35k views

I'm creating an original setting for D&D—where do I start? [closed]

Creating a new fantasy setting for D&D is daunting but I don't want to use one of the published settings. I have a blank piece of paper in front of me and a whole world to create. My friends want ...