Questions tagged [world-building]

For questions about world-building, the process of creating a complete, coherent and convincing world to use as a setting for RPG adventures.

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4
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3answers
1k views

What are the rules for mixing races?

As a DM I want to build an immersive and memorable, but also logically coherent world. I have a question about races. What are the rules for mixing races? For example, is it possible to be half elf ...
6
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4answers
340 views

Can characters travel between permanent teleportation circles? [duplicate]

The Teleportation Circle spell (PHB pg. 282) states that in order for the spellcaster to "target" a remote teleportation circle he or she must know that remote circle's unique sigil sequence....
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2answers
380 views

How could you maximize food production with magic items and spells over a long period of time?

As a player over a period of in-game years, what magic items and spells would allow me to create as much food as possible for a large town (~1000 people) assuming most of them are farmers/could help, ...
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5answers
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Can only Wizards become Liches?

I am in the process of world building for a new game. My ultimate antagonist is going to be a lich, but the bit of research I have done so far all refers to liches having to be wizards, due to the ...
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6answers
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Sustainable farming of humanoid brains for illithid?

I'm worldbuilding an illithid empire. The Lords of Madness book states the dietary needs of an illithid. A mind flayer must have a minimum of one fresh brain per month. Any less than that and it ...
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8answers
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Is there need for messengers in DnD 5e, if spell Sending exists?

In my campaign (DnD 5e) I would like to send players on a quest to save a kidnapped person. The person has high value information. He/she was ambushed and taken prisoner. My question is: is there a ...
1
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0answers
73 views

Feasible engine for a world like Earthsea? [closed]

I am building a world emphasising on balance and chaos (where pretty much two sides of one coin), kind of like Earthsea. As a consequence, the magic in D&D doesn't work quite well with it. (...
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7answers
9k views

How do I get a new player to stop rewriting my game to match his favorite fiction?

I have a D&D 5e game that I've been running for a year that is on pause because some players don't want to play online or go outside (stupid plague ruining my tabletop). So I offered my son and ...
16
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3answers
2k views

Mechanics of a town where magic doesn't work

I'm planning a campaign and I want to have a village where magic doesn't work. You can't cast spells, magical items lose their ability, things like that. I am fairly new to the lore and mechanics of ...
10
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4answers
541 views

How can I drop hints that a seemingly innocuous gnome village is secretly evil?

In the D&D 4e game I run, I am planning on soon having my players go to the Feywild on an adventure. Something I'd like to try to pull off during this is to have a subversion of expectations. ...
9
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2answers
184 views

How can I write a historical timeline for my campaign's magical world?

I'm writing a campaign and I'm a big fan of history and I want to write a history of my campaign's world. The problem is, I have no idea how to do this. I am aware that I should bullet point wars ...
3
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0answers
113 views

What makes a convincing mafia? [closed]

I am currently in the process of creating my own world, in a Victorian Era/Industrial Revolution/Steam Age setting. It's not overly steampunk but light elements of it are acceptable, as well as some ...
2
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0answers
94 views

Cities and Players, what to prepare? [closed]

So this is going to be a very open-ended question about city design(/description) and what players tend to ask about their surroundings. In my experience, players tend to be extremely curious about ...
6
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2answers
228 views

Is it ok to tell players how their character feels in this situation?

I know it's generally considered poor form to tell a player how their character feels. I should show, not tell. Show them the orphans and widows, not tell them they feel bad for murdering those guys,...
8
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3answers
956 views

As a new DM, should my focus when creating a campaign be on developing locations or NPCs?

A group of friends and I have decided to play D&D. Since I was the one gathering everyone and the one with the most previous knowledge, I became the DM for the group. I had never actually played ...
6
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0answers
153 views

What could prevent players from leaving an island? [closed]

I am currently building a campaign for DnD. The main plot plays out on an island the heroes are stranded after their ship goes off course and sinks. They discover that this island is ruled by ...
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0answers
73 views

What events, tests, and troubles could a party trying to establish a nation expect to face [closed]

My players have decided to establish a new nation which consists of Phandalin, Triboar, Red Larch, and all lands in between (per their own highly unofficial declaration). I'm trying to come up with ...
8
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1answer
307 views

Best practices in portraying racism and its effects in a game [closed]

This question and its fantastic answers help answer NPC interactions with PCs. However, the question doesn't really touch on a immersion level involving NPCs. I don't anticipate my players playing a ...
1
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0answers
257 views

Fixing/Improving My Model of Reciprocal Economies [closed]

I’m unsatisfied with how things like reciprocal economies are usually handled in RPGs. I've come up with a homebrew mechanic of my own, but it's also far from perfect and I’m trying to improve it. In ...
18
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3answers
5k views

What are the ramifications of creating a homebrew world without an Astral Plane?

I'm currently working on a homebrew world for a campaign of mine, which is currently on hold indefinitely, so there's no time pressure. Overall design intent: I don't want my world to be a clone of ...
23
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5answers
4k views

How can I deliver in-universe written lore to players without it being dry exposition?

I DM for a D&D (5e) group in a custom campaign setting which I worldbuild as we go. One of my players is very much interested in the history and lore of the world and often tries to find out bits ...
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0answers
93 views

Can a kingdom be destabilized by an influx of enemy gold? [closed]

A few years ago I read a role-playing game supplement that described a cold war between kingdom Good and kingdom Bad. Both kingdoms used metal coins with silver as the most common followed by gold. ...
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5answers
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How do I make it difficult to dispel a teleportation circle?

Based on the question How hard is to dispel spell that was made permanent by casting it every day for a year with different spell slots?, it follows that a simple casting of dispel magic could ruin a ...
8
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3answers
1k views

How to handle anti-magic fortifications? [closed]

Suppose players get to refurbish, repair or straight up build their own fortress. Since it is supposed to be a safe place, a sanctuary, how do I let them protect themselves against magical threats? ...
0
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1answer
397 views

Are all Eladrin CR 10?

With the release of Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes we get more information about the Eladrin and race options. The Eladrin listed are CR 10. For someone who knows very little about Feywild lore, are ...
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4answers
969 views

How can I handle the concept of evil temples in the larger world? [closed]

In an evil region or country, what is the motivation for people to follow evil gods? I get the whole worshiping-out-of-fear thing and the idea of appeasement, but are there any other models of society ...
5
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4answers
428 views

Simulating a “Living” world [closed]

One of the classic things a GM wants to do is have his game world react convincingly to the actions of his players, as it adds a sense of consequence and verisimilitude to the world. If, for example, ...
10
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1answer
2k views

What do lizardfolk villages look like?

I'm working on a D&D 5e campaign's setting that includes a lizardfolk village in a relatively central location, in or near a deep jungle city ruled by dragonborn. Based on previous D&D ...
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4answers
5k views

How can player characters get by with daily necessities during a delve into Hell?

Recently, one of my players (a barbarian) had to make a pact with Lady Fierna of the 4th to avoid losing one of his friends. He agreed to offer his soul to the disposal of Lady Fierna after he dies in ...
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8answers
4k views

How can I involve a PC's backstory in a campaign that's set exclusively in a distant or foreign location?

I like my players to have a firm idea of their characters' backstories, and I like the idea of being able to draw on these (NPCs from the past showing up unexpectedly, etc.). However, in our next ...
3
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1answer
90 views

Political house ready cash (cityscape)

Basically, we are trying to find out how much "ready cash" in the political house entry in Cityscape refers to. I have a guess, but I want to be sure. Is it the "normal amount owned by a 6th-level ...
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2answers
275 views

What is a “House” in politics? [closed]

I'm making the politics of my world and I've seen the word “House” being use in politics (like the House of Representatives) and in other fantasy media (Harry Potter and its four houses). I wanted to ...
2
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2answers
805 views

Does supplemental Crucian information exist, and if so, where is it?

As part of a new campaign, the table has decided to challenge itself by having a world populated with somewhat more non-traditional races. To that end, I am trying to find and use races which have ...
20
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1answer
2k views

What is the general education level of people in the Forgotten Realms?

Do people in the Forgotten Realms have any standardized education? Do children go to school? How much education would people have in general? I can't say I know or understand how schooling in our ...
1
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1answer
137 views

What mundane process or spell effect is required to artificially create or modify gemstones?

In real life, we have the technology to grow crystals through several methods such that anything from alexandrite to zirconia, including diamonds and emeralds that are of higher quality than their ...
19
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1answer
914 views

Is there any rule preventing the ghost of a slain creature from existing while its animated skeleton exists?

I'm aware I can just GM fiat it if I like, but I'm curious to know if in the rules-as-written there exists language that prevents Tom's ghost from existing at the same time as Tom's animated skeleton ...
3
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1answer
761 views

What is the fineness (purity) of gold coins in D&D? [closed]

Preface: I am not tagging this for a specific edition, because the subject is very narrow. I believe it has not changed much through the editions. If the reviewers find that an edition is required, ...
5
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1answer
137 views

GM seeking good reference material on magical fungi, spells that cause plants to grow explosively

I'm crafting an eco-terrorist cult. This cult has recently swelled in followers due to the senseless destruction of the forest and disruption of the natural order by an upstart kingdom. Their goal is ...
4
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1answer
356 views

Why would Shadowrun's cities be as cyberpunk as those of other, non-revitalized CP worlds? [closed]

If the world of Shadowrun is (partially) re-emerged and its nature is re-vitalized -- vast forests regrown, magic returned, etc --, why would the setting's megaplexes be as super-polluted, over-...
2
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0answers
153 views

How can I turn a game idea into an actual game? [closed]

I've been wanting to create a role-playing game for a long time. I've had tons of ideas but I haven't been able to turn those ideas into something real. I've even thought of different kinds of ...
21
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6answers
5k views

Could a lone wizard act as a city's law enforcement?

A sufficiently powerful wizard could singlehandedly wipe a city off the map, but what if they wanted to settle down and maintain the public order instead? Could a single high-level wizard feasibly ...
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10answers
13k views

How can I use powerful NPCs without overshadowing the player characters?

I’ve been playing P&P for years and have taken my first tentative steps into DM’ing over the last year, mostly leading One-Shots. I am also a passionate world-builder and so I jumped at the chance ...
0
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1answer
214 views

Is there a logical language that could be used for a machine that can answer yes/no questions, to answer more complex questions?, [closed]

Is there a logical language that could be used for a machine that can answer yes/no questions only to answer more complex questions? (Or can we create one?) Note: I'm starting to realize the question ...
2
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0answers
186 views

Necessities for a D&D map [closed]

I am fairly new to D&D but I have always been interested in making maps! I was wondering if there are specific elements that must be included on a map for it to be usable. Thank you in advance!
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4answers
5k views

If my world-building makes undead not intrinsically evil, what rules changes would I need to make?

Undead are generally evil because the cosmology says they are. I want to build a cosmology where undead are not intrinsically evil (but can be if, say, animated by demons). Most undead encountered by ...
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0answers
1k views

I'm looking for information on ancient civilisations in D&D 5e [closed]

My party are engaged in the exploration of ancient ruins and underways in support of a party of elven archeologists. My character is a mountain dwarf with a special proficiency in identifying the ...
13
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6answers
532 views

How can I have a bar with mixed supernatural creatures without it being a total disaster?

In my story, there's this club in Tel Aviv. It's a pretty chill place. Owned by an introverted Death Changeling. Bartender's a mustachioed Caitiff with just enough Auspex to tell if you're carrying a ...
14
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2answers
600 views

How does Fate handle wildly out-of-scope attempts to declare story details?

The way I see, Fate lets anyone declare details and describe parts of the world more or less as the player sees fit. Unless the setting is based on a certain fixed universe known by all players, ...
12
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3answers
358 views

How to introduce a new setting to existing characters?

The PCs are playing in a "normal" campaign and it slips into the domain of another campaign world. For instance playing in Toril, and suddenly the mists of Ravenloft envelop them or they find ...
4
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0answers
167 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?