One of my favorite parts of gaming is world building. It’s kind of ironic considering I’m a middling GM, or DM, or ST, etc. It’s the act of creation that draws me in. Whether it’s building a small town, a gambling den, or a nation on the brink of war, I enjoy making it work, and making it make sense. When I’ve gotten into a new tabletop system, making characters and settings is an integral part of that learning.
I’ll generate reams of characters. Some are intended for play, some are NPCs, but most are meant to better familiarize myself with a game’s mechanics, and then seek to subvert and distort said mechanics for my own nefarious purposes. I like to find odd combinations, but more accurately, I like to find ways to make them legitimately anchored in the game’s world. Why not have a gnomish Sage Barbarian? Nerd rage, get it?
And I believe that it does need to make sense for it to be viable. It’s not to say that everything needs to have hours upon hours of thought behind it. Sometimes, a bale of hay is just a bale of hay. Other times, it’s a goblin with proficiency in Disguise.
What I propose to do is put it all out there. Using DND 5th Edition, I’m going to be building out the world of X, one messy chunk at a time. While the end goal is to have a polished, ready-to-live-in setting, I also plan on documenting what I’m looking to create and why. For example, I don’t even know if it will continue to be named X. That’s authentic, that.
So, yeah, I’m going to make a fictional world, full of terribly conceived people, doing horribly conceived things. Locations, regional governments, deep seated hatred, the whole deal.
I fully expect this to be embarrassing on a long enough time line. But why be embarrassed all by myself? Come along for the ride!
While I’m starting with DND, I’m not beholden to any given system. If it’s fun, and all that.
Now, it’s well worth mentioning that another big drive behind this is I need to get this stuff out of my head. I love the idea of being able to document the development of a setting, and the world it’s in. I want any and all constructive criticism you may have. If I want this world to feel real, to feel lived in, I’ll need all the help I can get.
I hope it becomes clear that I’m not a student of the traditional, Tolkienesque kind of fantasy world. I like to play with tropes, tweak them, and maybe find a new way to see a character. For example, I love me some Halfling front line fighters. Love ‘em. A Halfling monk? Yes please. But I’m not a fan of ridiculous exaggerations that add nothing at all. Chaotic Stupid, as it were.
I’d sooner play to strengths than tropes. That Halfling monk I just mentioned? I’d build for speed, to play up the Dex bonus.
But I digress. You’ll find more stuff like this here, in that apparently-not-completely theoretical developer’s blog. Anyway, back to the creation stuff.
I reckon it’s also worth mentioning that I will be blatantly ripping things off. There is, for example, Phoenix University, because bwahahahaha. Hopefully, I won’t run afoul of any lawyers. If it is something that I borrow, I plan on giving full credit to the given source. If, for any reason, I miss or mess up, let me know, please.
So, yeah. Let’s get to it.