System Informs Setting

June 29, 2016 at 9:19 pm

“A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.”

― Sidney Sheldon

 

blankscrollOur readers are looking for a game that is easy-to-run, but we don’t want to throw away good crunch just for simplicity.

So now we start moving from theory into practice. We’ve chosen a game system (Metagaming’s The Fantasy Trip), but what does that tell us about the world? TFT is a very simple system with only three character attributes and only two classes. It grew out of a pocket game of gladiator combat, so it has a fairly detailed combat system, and the magic system is pretty direct.

Getting to the Nuts and Bolts

June 24, 2016 at 11:08 pm

“The medium is the message”

— Marshal MacLuhan

28528-nav_backstaffOur polling samples show that most of us like to build from scratch, so lets do that. There is a world of inspirations, so why be limited to a specific backdrop borrowed from somewhere else.

One other major determination that needs to be made before you sit down to create an RPG world is the system you will be using.  Some systems nearly require a set world, while others claim to be universal — allowing you to play in an any and all environments with the same rules.

Preparing for Launch

June 21, 2016 at 3:56 pm

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

― Abraham Lincoln

booksIts been widely reported that a world can be created in less than a week, but my experience has always been that it takes much longer. I might even go as far as to say that it doesn’t end until the last player leaves the table, and the last Cheet-oh is swept off the floor.

As the “world” includes everything that is not a player character, its a hefty load to bear. Luckily for us, at any moment all a PC needs to know what is in their immediate vicinity. The rest can be filled in when needed.

In the Beginning

May 19, 2016 at 8:11 pm

“If we don’t play God, who will?”

— James Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA

planet182I suppose it only makes sense to start this out with a statement of purpose: I intend (with the help of collaborators and blog readers) to explore the process of RPG world creation and development in an effort to share inspiration and collectively gain a better understanding of how it works. And hopefully end up with a game work that can be used and across the digital void.

But why would anyone want to do that?

A quick internet search will reveal a huge number of fully fleshed out settings for a wide array of genres and systems. Why not choose one of those, and get the advantage of the work of team of developers, or respected novelists, or squads of movie and TV writers? That’s a darn good question, but who wants to read about how I bought the ‘Forgotten Realms’ box set and sat down to play.