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

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20
votes
7answers
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-...
4
votes
0answers
39 views

Is There a World Creation Tool for Rolemaster [closed]

Is there a tool for world creation that follows the guidelines in Rolemaster Campaign Law, or even in general?
68
votes
11answers
8k views

Given powerful low-level Clerical healing, how can sick, crippled or otherwise unhealthy people exist?

In my attempt to make a more harsh, uncaring setting, I’ve hit a stumbling block in terms of the ease with which even low level Clerics can treat the poor and the sick: A 1st-level Cleric can bring ...
12
votes
5answers
468 views

DFRPG city creation via telepresence

I'm planning a DFRPG campaign for the first time since my group began gathering via telepresence. How can we best approximate sitting around the table to collaborate, talk, and work on city creation1 ...
41
votes
10answers
7k 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
84 views

Wanting to start a Star Wars D&D campaign, but I want to really have deep political depth [closed]

I feel good as far as the star wars base setting, however I am struggling with how to add political depth to it. I would like to add some tough decisions that could change the way the game plays ...
21
votes
6answers
736 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 ...
18
votes
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 ...
9
votes
4answers
416 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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
598 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
749 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
132 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, ...
8
votes
4answers
379 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
48 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
144 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
106 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
29
votes
4answers
756 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
346 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
4answers
714 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
848 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 ...
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) ...
6
votes
1answer
894 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 3.5/...
1
vote
1answer
247 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
859 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
285 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 ...
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, ...
3
votes
1answer
710 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
171 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
867 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
700 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
113 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 ...
19
votes
7answers
739 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
230 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?
10
votes
2answers
313 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
376 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) ...
74
votes
20answers
36k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
415 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
2answers
459 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?
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
321 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 ...
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 ...