I’ve sat through more hours of architectural history classes than seems reasonable for a human being, everything from the crude Dolmen tombs of early Europe to weeks of studying the various gothic cathedrals that all look pretty much the same. I never got the chance to take an asian architecture course, but one of the most memorable asian structures that I learned about was the Ise Grand Shrine.
Last week in my first post tackling the subject of creating histories for an RPG world I discussed relatively “meta” and experimental concepts. This week I’d like to get down to some specifics and hopefully address the concept a bit more directly. The exact question/suggestion that inspired this topic was worded as, “In my homebrew, creating histories in specific territories is a challenge – particularly linking them to the whole world.”
Once again I solicited on my twitter account (@Bartoneus) asking what aspects of location design in RPGs people have problems with, and I’d like to thank everyone that responded this afternoon. I will be addressing many of the topics you guys asked about in the future, but for today’s post I chose DigitalDraco’s comment: “I always want to include more interesting terrain effects, hazards & the like but they tend to seem added-on.” This topic immediately struck me as one that I’ve struggled with in the past and one that I believe many other people have had issues with as well.
As I introduced in my last post about improvisation, I believe that the key to being able to design a location (whether beforehand or on the fly) is grounded in what I’m calling your toolbox for design. The key is that once you have a well developed toolbox to pull ideas from, you can more readily and quickly design a location for your tabletop Roleplaying Games on the spot or adapt your planned locations to fit the developing needs of the game table. An underlying goal of this series of posts is to help you develop the toolbox required so that you will be able to accomplish this task with relative ease and a good amount of confidence.
Welcome to the second installment of my series about applying real world design concepts to your own personal D&D or tabletop RPG world. Last week’s post was a relatively broad overview of the basic aspects to consider while designing a location. Today I would like to look at a different approach to designing locations, which involves thinking more about how the game will actually play out and how your players (and you as the DM/GM) will use and interact with the environment you’re creating.
About two months ago Dave decided to tell you about his campaign – the setting, world, how it all began, characters, planning, and some of his house rules. He set me up to share about my campaign also, as a large part of planning for both of our games was done together. In fact his game is being run in a world that I designed and handed over for him to take and expand upon as he saw fit.
I still consider myself an inexperienced DM. the 4th Edition campaign that I’m currently running has just passed twenty adventures and is the longest campaign I’ve ever run. Hell, it was the longest game I’ve ever run when it hit ten adventures back in May.