Some thoughts on world-building

Creating portions of worlds that don’t exist until I conceive of them is something I spend a fair amount of time doing. This is the fine art of world-building. Also, it is something that pretty much every gamer will engage in at some point.

Why? Well, even for people who don’t run games there is the need to invent background and story. So on some level, no matter if you’re player or GM, you’ll be contributing to the lore of the world the game is set in.

The world’s in the TTRPGs are generally radically different from the world we inhabit, and typically that is a necessity for what the games allow. I can only think of one game that really insists on making the world we inhabit the world we live in. (Fantasy Flight’s End of the World series of games would be the noteworthy exception here, but I’m sure there are others.)

Basically, you cannot avoid world-building. The game world must be constructed bit by bit. Towns need heroes. They need history. They need villains. The need geology. They need climate. They need…the list could go on and on. Yet, everything they need is what you provide as gamers.

In a recent quest, I had the characters seeking out magnetic ore. However, they weren’t just seeking out magnetic ore. I made it clear that the ore, if discovered, would have implications ranging from war to economics, and back again and everything in-between. The idea was not just to present a cool feature in the world, but to present context for its significance.

World-building is not only fun, but an essential part of gaming. Embrace it, and see where it takes you. This is permission to let your creative juices flow in any direction you can imagine. Go with it.






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