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miércoles, 24 de abril de 2013

How to Create a Believable Role Playing Game World




Edited by Luke Waltman, Sondra C, Flickety, Peter and 12 others
With the rise in popularity of role-playing games across multiple and very distinct genres, there are significant challenges in creating a believable world for player characters to interact in. Time periods, religions, history, and other minutiae may be different. However, creating a world that is believable is very important for players to get into the game, especially in an age where people have come to expect the gritty realism of the post 9/11 world.


Sample Campaigns

Creating Your Own Role-Playing Game World

  1. 1
    Start by deciding whether your world will share history with the real one. If it does share history, decide where it will diverge and why. If it is a new world of your imagination, tell who lives there and what the history is. Ex: Wars, drastic changes, deadly wildlife.

  2. 2
    Map out your world. Geography doesn't seem important at first, but it tends to shape long periods of history. It will define your world's boundaries and shape the psychologies of its people. Which cities are seafaring? Which cities are landlocked? Which people were the first to receive foreigners?

  3. 3
    Create a naming style for you world. Will everyone have names like Ulfgar and Heimdall? Or will they be named Smith and Thatcher?

  4. 4
    Create a "Bible" of your world with all of the important historical characters and events. Who were the big players when your world was created? A farmer who was martyred? An alien race that died out?

  5. 5
    Decide who the characters that enter the world as players will be. Are they natives or travelers to a distant land? Decide who the characters they meet are, and how those characters' actions are shaped by their history and culture.

  6. 6
    Decide on what the factions will be in your world. Decide why each faction exists, what they believe in, and who the members are.

  7. 7
    Create a flow of events. Decide what big events will intervene in your world and when. When will the meteor strike Earth? At what time will Mt. Righteous finally unleash it fatal power?


  • Provide distinguishing features in your world at the various locations. For instance, an abandoned tower in one area and a bustling fish market in another.
  • Imply that more is going on under the surface in your world than meets the eye. This will keep people interested.
  • Create a few sample biographies of people who lived and died under the sun of your world. Who was successful? Who lived only a short life and why?
  • Above all, applicability. Applicability is the concept that, though your world is not necessarily allegorical, it has enough depth to mean different things to different people. In other words, everyone finds something that is important to them.


  • Watch out for "that one town" phenomena where players are unable to remember the differences between one place and another.
  • Watch out for multiple characters that act exactly the same.
  • Be sure to check that your cities don't have commons with another game.

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Article Info

Categories: Role Playing Games
Recent edits by: Carl Belken, Primus, Monica

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