Worldbuilding the Beginning

May 13, 2020

World building so the idea of world building can be a bit daunting in its scope and grandness. Thou what are the things you need to have to start sharing your world in games? Well there are a few big questions that you need to ask and then work on. It can be tough if you haven’t really thought about this much. So let’s look at the first batch of questions. 

  • Is the world Earth-like or Alien?
  • Is the technology old, current and advanced? 
  • What do the players need vs. what you want to have ready?
  • Do you want to have players add things in the beginning or wait? 

So let us now take a bit of a look at each of these and see what they bring to the table. Some questions are going to be tied to the game you are running. If you are running a D&D type game then a few of these are already answered for you. But if you are running a game that is a bit more story driven then you might have a whole new set of questions that you will have to ask. 

Ok so the first question is an Earth-like or alien world. If it is Earth-like then that is a bit easy to work with. This comes with a few assumptions like the air is breathable by the players. Gravity is the same as what they are used to. This is a very easy world to start with. Now if you are dealing with an Alien world then all bets are off the water could be liquid methane and the air is just carbon dioxide. These are just a few of the things you can do with an alien world. Gravity might be twice earth’s. You can go a bit bananas with it. 

Now let’s tackle the technology issue. This is really going to be defined by the type of game you are running. If you are running a historic or fantasy game you are going to be sticking to technology levels that fit the time from. If you are running a science fiction game the world could have folks that are not very technologically advanced but the players have ray guns. Or the world and the players are on the same or close technology levels. 

Next is a question that can direct the way that you world build maybe more than any other in the short list. What do the players need versus what you want. This answer can define the way that you design. If you need to have big things done before you are ready to run the game then you are most likely a top down designer. Whereas when the focus is on just what the players need to get in then we are dealing with Bottom up Design. Though I have seen these get flipped by the GM. And that is really a breath of fresh air. And usually that is because of the answer to the last question. 

And now we tackle the last question. How much and when do you want to have players getting to muck around in your creation. Or in simple terms Do you want to let players have a shot at designing things for the world? A lot of GM’s have the world designed, maybe not all on paper but they have the basics that they need to run. And they don’t want to let players muck around. Or maybe they have the roughest of outlines and the players help to breath life into the world. 

While I have laid out a few options for answers to just a few basic questions you will need to think about. Now always have a way to take notes because you will never know when or where the muse will strike you and ideas will come pouring out. This is going to be a Short series or some basics of world building because I would like to go through the process to create a world that anyone can use for a game. So until next time 

Have fun and play some games. 

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