View Full Version : Help with creating campaign settings

2007-09-03, 03:01 PM
I'm very new to this, but I want to know from people that have experience, what I need to cover when creating campaign settings.

What things to I have to think up before it becomes an issue when I start playing? How should I go about the whole process? Basically someone needs to create a primmer on the creation of worlds.

Kevka Palazzo
2007-09-03, 03:07 PM
Actually, The Giant has written a great deal on the early stages of World Creation on this site.

Go to the Gaming (http://www.giantitp.com/Gaming.html) section and check out "The World".

That should get you well on your way.

Also, if that doesn't get you what you want, a better place for this thread is probably Homebrew. Not that a lot of people from Homebrew don't post here, but you'll still get more help.

2007-09-03, 03:09 PM
Actually, I find it quite daunting to create a whole world from scratch. I like to first create the things/people/places that I KNOW that the PCs will encounter, then work outward, staying a step or two ahead of the players. Then if in the course of a game session, a faraway place or somesuch comes up, i just name it, describe it, then write that stuff down right away. So far as I know, no one has ever caught me. That having been said, there is already a primer: look to your left under GAMING>The New World. The Giant does a really good job of it.

2007-09-03, 03:10 PM
Personally, I find the best way is just to decide where all the magic comes from.

That means
Divine - Determining Deities and the like for divine casters (Such as deciding if the gods are distant like in the Ebberon setting or if they're very active, such as in the Fearun setting. If it's the latter, you may want to decidee which gods are well known in case any of your players wish to play a cleric or the like).

Arcane - Asking where does arcane magic come from orrigonally. In my current setting, I've decided to have arcane magic origonate from dragons, with casters such as wizards, studying their ways in order to be able to use it themselves (whilst sorcerors being born with it and the like).

After that, it mostly comes down to creating the biggest orginasations, then work your way down to things like cities, towns, cultures.

2007-09-03, 03:24 PM
You can find a great article on this site under the Gaming menu where Rich tells us everything he knows about campaign setting creation. I derived many ideas from those articles, they are truly great. I like to create a new setting for my every game, new things fascinate me all the time :)

For myself, first I envision the setting I'd like to have. It is low or high-magic, western or oriental, and the whole atmosphere i'd like to create. When it's done, I usually create some kingdoms and draw a basic map. I found that drawing a map can be really helpful at the early stage, it gives you a lot of ideas, and serves you as a guideline.

Also, it's important to decide which pantheon you're going to use. I usually go with the PHB standard or greco-roman, altough many like to use nordic mythology. There's no bad choice. The deities have an effect on the whole setting, so be careful about that.

Then I like to decide the roles of races and classes avaible in your world. Saying that most of the warriors are duskblades or barbarians, or there are no elves in your world defines a lot.

Around this time you can make a basic history guideline, marking important events of the past. A great orc-dwarf war, or the time a new deity emerged...

That covers mostly everything, only the details are left. It's often enough to create a detailed map/history of a single region where the campaign takes place. Creating 100+ villages, the road network between them, naming their leaders (and statting them of course) is a real pain. I've tried it :) I usually modify some minor racial bonuses or classes a bit to fit this setting at the end of the whole thing. Such as +1 bonuses against orcs or goblinoids.

Altough the hardest part only now comes: Enforcing all your ignorant players to at least read the half of what you wrote down, and drop the idea of the hobgoblin dragon disciple/psion who worships Cthulhu already, since none of these things exist in your setting.