It’s good to be back! The first week of August saw us at GenCon and very happily winning a Gold ENnie award, and then in the weeks after I’ve been catching up on things post-convention and getting back into the swing of things. Lately I’ve been discussing and toying with the concept that the best world building happens through playing a campaign, and so I suggest the world building DMs out there spend less time before play and just jump into things with a published or a bare bones adventure and then let the world build from there. This also opens your game up to the possibilities for players to contribute to the world building which for me has always turned out better than I could imagine.
Today I’m going to focus on what could be considered the biggest and most important architectural element that anyone could use. As things go, this element may also be one of the most overlooked when it comes to dungeon design for home games or even in published adventures. I’m talking about structure, and not the kind that makes sure your adventure has a beginning, middle, and end (though it can help with that with surprising ways) but the kind that if it were simplified to its most common element: you could just call it columns and walls.
When it comes to designing locations and buildings, the DM/GM has a much more daunting task ahead of them than most players or even the DMs themselves realize. Thankfully in most of the RPGs we play and run it is far from crucial that the design of the world is 100% accurate and entirely believable. Most players are willing to suspend their disbelief to an incredible level and almost all DMs don’t really have the time to make sure every location they put into their game is believable. However, creating an environment that is believable can actually make your players lives easier because they will buy into the game on a more unconscious level. This added level of believability just might turn out to be the whole new layer of depth that your game needs.