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

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71
votes
20answers
12k 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 ...
27
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
23
votes
6answers
851 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) ...
4
votes
1answer
308 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
397 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 ...
43
votes
6answers
960 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 ...
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 ...
20
votes
16answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
267 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, ...
17
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 ...
11
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
24
votes
4answers
486 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
442 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. ...
7
votes
4answers
206 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 ...
3
votes
9answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
433 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
231 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
2k 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, ...
5
votes
2answers
341 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" ...
4
votes
1answer
186 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 ...