Your RPG campaign and world space needs to be a living and breathing space, with events happening and reactions to those events. But sometimes, keeping a handle on everything that is going on within that world can be a little overwhelming! In today’s video, I talk about how to build worlds that are dynamic, living and reactive, but without the pressure and the hard work. Planning your campaign for your next DnD, Pathfinder, Cthulhu or Bounty Hunter roleplaying game and building a living world for that campaign has never been easier with these tips.
Your RPG campaign and world needs to be a living and breathing space, but how do you keep a handle on everything that is going on within that world? It can all just get a little too much.
We’re looking at the topic of you world and how to build better worlds. All RPG worlds need to have the same characteristics: they need to be dynamic, living and reactive.
However, this is rather complicated and can feel like a mammoth task.
• If your world is for you, then you lose. You make this for yourself AND your players, otherwise you are an author writing a book.
• Planning without exposing is a waste of time. If it isn’t useful in this adventure now, is it really useful?
• Dynamic worlds
o Dynamic worlds are chaotic.
o Random events give it life, planned events give us railroads.
o Dynamic events are not caused by PCs – they are random and will affect the PCs.
o The game is the story, not the his-story – you flavour your game with the world.
o Two types of world events that are dynamic – major and minor events. ▪ Major events: volcanoes, invasions, tsunamis.
▪ Minor events: a new tax, a new colony.
o Having just the basics planned out is enough – it gives you your constraints, your starting point and the rest is OGAS.
o You must record what you add into the game, especially if you do so on the fly. If you add it to the game, you must record it as part of the game for the future.
o Use your imagination when adding in events – and then work out the logical outcome.
o Engage the PCs for help – their own efforts are based on OGAS, but they will seek to include the PCs, otherwise the event is meaningless.
• Living worlds
o How the world operates on a day to day basis.
o Living worlds are a step up from dynamic worlds. This is where everything in your world is reacting to the events happening in the world.
o Living worlds adjust – we as societies adjust to things, adapt to them and move on, but we change!
o Acknowledge and add – e.g. how would a town react to being saved?
• Reactive worlds
o The inhabitants (NPCs) have to react.
o What would you do? Consider what has happened and figure out what impact it has.
o What creates interest? By being flexible and only answering PCs questions and thoughts, you haven’t wasted time, and have found new ways of engaging your PCs.
• The more you create before you start, the less you want to destroy. Save yourself all that time and open your mind to new stories.