martedì 2 febbraio 2016

How to build a fantasy world - Chapter I

A homebrew world is a challenge which any DM soon or later wants to try.

It's the highest reach of the DM's creativity and gives a lot of satisfaction if you can successfully face it.


Let's see how to do.
Find a hook

What makes unique your world?
What will make your players realize they're exactly in that world?
Or,more generic, what are its main themes and features?

Every official setting has got it:
  • Darksun is a world made a desert by intense abuse of Magic.
  • Ravenloft is a demiplane where undead reigns and make life extremely difficult for the livings.
  • Dragonlance is a world abandoned by gods where dragon rules
Do the same for your world.

Find an idea you like and make it yours.

If you're in trobule take a hook from the many DM's Guides published in the last 35 years.

If you're still in trouble take a hook from books or TV series.

If you're still in trouble then drop the idea of building a fantasy world. You cannot do it.

Do it for fun, not for fame

I've already told you in previous posts and I'm telling you again.

You're not the new Gary Gygax or Bruce Heard or Ed Greenwood or George Martin.

Nobody will ever play in your world except for you and your small group of players.

At best you will sell a handful pdf copies of your work through the dmguild's website and the earnings won't repay you or your hard work.

Then if you find a good idea, grab it, follow it and develop it.

Don't care if it's not an original hook.

Nobody will complain or blame you, until they'll have fun to play in your world.


On paper, on a tablet, on a word doc, on your smartphone, write every hook you find.

At the beginning the most important thing is to stop the flow of your thoughts.

In the following days take a look of what you have written and add new ideas tied to the starting hook.

For every hook you have, devise also a secret related to it 

Why do readers read?
Why do people watch TV series?

Because they want to discover.

They want to discover the story's development and what it's behind it. 

They want to watch mysteries finally solved and coups de theatre.

Your players are of the same kin.

They want to explore and discover your world and the stories you have prepared for them.

Work on these themes in the next few days, until the new post.

Meanwhile, if you need a starting hook, take this:

Gaya is a planet with many portals on its surface. They were created by a past abuse of Magic. Those portals link the planet with other planes or other point of the space-time of the prime material plane. From them in the previous centuries ,many races came to Gaya and many demons and devils have created their own domains on the world, from where they inflict pain to the world's inhabitants.


The DM.

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