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D&D 3E
15th-Feb-2009 09:01 pm
To those of you that have created your own worlds for campaigns, where do your inspirations come from?
16th-Feb-2009 04:17 am (UTC)
Actually, it's a lot of work. It usually starts in a town. I make a town that I fall in love with, and throughout the game the pc's go from one town to the next. Dungeons pop up when I need them. Then I run another game but advance time 50-100 years, and expand the scope. After the third of fourth game I have a functional world that the players past characters might have been influential in building. The hard part is actually remembering the enormous cast of characters you are building, following family trees etc. I have one decent family tree builder website, but it's still hard to not only keep track of but create. The history goes with the theme of the game, so that usually falls into place pretty easily. As far as inspiration, it's just stuff I like, or stuff that seems real to me. I no longer rip a town out of whatever book I'm reading. I think about how the town started and bring it forward. Usually it's based around an Inn, or a church, or some other popular building, then other people build houses near it. Pretty soon it's a town. Someone is respected/feared enough to be in charge and a government starts. If it's feudalistic, the knight begins construction of his keep, and meanwhile the workers build houses and shops and it grows from there. So I began my towns with a single building so that they could grow pseudo-naturally. The world is simply a collection of towns.

I would check out the 3.5 book cityscape. Also, this website is one that I follow damn near religiously for world building. You'll recognize the author's name, I think.

16th-Feb-2009 04:34 am (UTC)
On separate occasions:
Arthurian Legend
Scandanavian History
16th-Feb-2009 04:34 am (UTC)
My inspirations, I have to think what kind of game would I want to play in if I was the Player
16th-Feb-2009 04:41 am (UTC)
Oh...I forgot.

Biblical Apocrypha
16th-Feb-2009 06:04 am (UTC)
My last world had two main inspirations:

1.) What happens if the Roman Empire survives into the middle ages, but with magic?
2.) What happens if the islamic states of the crusades have "steampunk"-technology, but with magic?
16th-Feb-2009 07:18 am (UTC)
Our current world takes a lot of cues from books I've read:

McCaffrey's Pern - future earth agrarians colonize new planet
Bradley's Darkover - colonists encounter mysterious "magic" force
Shinn's Samaria - technological mandates on population, roving gypsy-like tribes, other stuff
16th-Feb-2009 01:18 pm (UTC)
I generally think of some big, defining thing that makes this world different (generally involving the gods). In one of my campaigns, all of the gods were destroyed, and so I had a world largely without divine magic, and even introduced a new class that travelled and collected remnants of deific essence as they did so, utilizing this for their power.
In another, a devil exploits a loophole in divine law that no divine being may destroy the sentient race of another, so he creates a sentient plague. Because the gods are mostly helpless in interjecting and saving the mortals afflicted, they all turn to the devil that created the plague for help in controlling it. With the divine power granted to him by the mortals who worship him, he ascends to godhood and supplants the old pantheon with an all-evil roster of gods. Thus, the world is heartless and cruel and anarchic.
16th-Feb-2009 01:21 pm (UTC)
no divine being may destroy the sentient race of another

Should have read: no divine being may destroy a sentient race that they did not create
16th-Feb-2009 01:44 pm (UTC)
i make my world up randomly as the characters go along a lot of the time, and then write down important place/names as I go.

The world is entirely random during the session, but then between sessions I sit down and fit all the pieces together to form a coherent world. Then come next game more shit gets added that needs to make sense somehow by the beginning of the next adventure...etc
16th-Feb-2009 04:01 pm (UTC)

My current game is a homebrew variant of the system, with my own races and stuff. So a lot of the world creation came from figuring out how my custom races would interact in the world, based on the particular style of game I wanted to run (a nautical campaign). I'm not sure I can identity where different pieces of the inspiration came from. I know I based some things on books (either fantasy literature, or game books--namely Stormwrack in this case). Other elements are pulled out of TV shows, movies, or just other tropes/archetypes that I like.

Inspiration comes from everywhere.
17th-Feb-2009 12:50 am (UTC)
The world I am running now is based on pseudohistorical Britain and Europe. It is the Dark Ages, after the fall of the Roman Empire and just before the birth of Arthur. My players are tromping around Eburacum (Roman York). Because I am swamped with numerous duties at work and raising two little ones, I find I don't have the time to develop story lines myself, so I rip them off from old 1st Edition AD&D adventures, since most of my players wouldn't recognize them. Right now, they are on their way to the eastern coast of Britain to find the hidden island city of Suderham, lifted from module A3 Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords. I made some changes to some of the encounters since several creatures in the module don't exist in this setting, and I made some slight alterations to the plot hooks and story turns. Otherwise, the adventure will be presented pretty much intact - except that it is 3.5/Pathfinder.
18th-Feb-2009 09:19 pm (UTC)
I got the idea for my world when I mispronounced the randomly generated name for my fist town as Gryffindor. One player asked if Godric was there and I got the inspiration from that.
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