Feb 052010
 

1. Shouting “This is MY world bitches!” at your players is not acceptable.  Particularly  when one of your players is also your wife.
2. If you challenge your PCs to break your world, you will have a broken world.
3. In a world populated only by Gnomes, tall grass is a real problem.
4. Substituting sound effects for descriptive text just isn’t going to work, no matter how  much I think I sound like a Yeti crashing through a forest.
5. Giving key NPCs unpronounceable names is only making life harder on yourself.
6. All barkeeps speak with a Scottish accent.
7. Even one carefully hidden Monty Python reference built into the myths or politics of your world will be discovered by your players and cause your entire campaign to dissolve into awful British accents for a half hour, at least.
8. Handing out 127 pages of background material on the first night of a new campaign is the equivalent of handing each of your players a dead rat.
9. Pages of carefully prepared dialog to be delivered by a fully developed NPC can be invalidated by one fireball.
10. Give the party a map and they are good for the night.  Teach the party to map and you never have to futz about with grid paper again.

[tags]role playing games, rpg, world building[/tags]

About Ben

I'm a geek. A nerd, a dweeb, whatever. Yes I owned garb, yes I still own medieval weaponry. And yeah, I could kick your butt in Mechwarrior the CCG. I love video games, role playing games, tactical board games and all forms of speculative fiction. I will never berate someone for wanting to be a Jedi and take everything Gary Gygax ever wrote as gospel. Well, all of this but that last bit.

  3 Responses to “10 things I’ve learned about world building in role playing games”

  1. 10. Give the party a map and they are good for the night. Teach the party to map and you never have to futz about with grid paper again.

    Very true…

  2. I disagree with number 10. There is nothing that can break the flow of a game like constantly stating the dimensions of rooms.

  3. Who said anything about stating dimensions? I usually just say “You’re in a room. It’s kind of squarish. You could probably throw a baseball to the other side. If you knew what a baseball was, which you don’t because we’re in medieval times here.”

    Then my players scribble for a bit while I make sound effects and surprise them mid-scribble with a bunch of Orcs looking for a good time.

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