Tag Archives: Pen & Paper

World Building

One of my many hobbies is playing pen and paper role playing games, but even more than that, I like to run them. Periodically I wind up filling in for one of our groups regular GM’s (DM if you prefer).

Now for those of you who have never run a game, let me tell you a little secret. It’s a lot of work. First you have to come up with a plot and various hooks to entice the characters. Then you need to flesh out the story, build NPC’s and equip them, and of course, build the world. This is by far the hardest part. Of course, you can always use a preset campaign setting, such as the Forgotten Realms, or Dragonlance, but I find those to be way too limiting. Besides, every player you have has probably read at least some of the tied in novels, giving them a rather unseemly advantage.

I’ll admit that world building is always the part I have the most difficulty with. Specifically, the map making. My first campaign was an unmitigated disaster when I wound up creating much of the world as I went along, making a completely nonsensical mind boggling confusing planet. Granted I was 8, but that lesson stuck with me for most of my GMing career. Of my more current campaigns, 3 of the 4 currently have used preset maps and to some extent worlds.
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