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/wbg/ - Worldbuilding General - Sweatshop edition

Worldbuilding General is a thread to discuss everything about designing and crafting a world; from cartography, lore, and geography to theology, economics, and much more.

Previous Thread: >>60713144

/wbg/ discord:
• https://discord.gg/5wJ9ZBm

Thread information:
• Check out the PDF for useful links regarding cultures, inspiration, constructed languages (conlang), cartography and more.
• Don't loredump your setting and expect critique; please compile your information into a pdf and upload it instead, while giving a summary of your setting in the post.
• If you have suggestion for PDF links, please link your source and explain why it may be useful.
• This PDF is made possible by some anon who complied the initial resource links years ago for /wbg/

>prompts:

What commodity is mass produced in your setting? Who produces it? what is it used for? Does it have a bootleg market?

Is anybody in your setting planning a revolution? If so, tell us about it.

What rumors are spreading around your port cities? What currently has the interest of sailors? Mermiads? Treasure? A white whale with a bounty on it?
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PDF HERE
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>>60777397
>What commodity is mass produced in your setting? Who produces it? what is it used for? Does it have a bootleg market?
Mana crystals. Basically the solid state of magic. Wherever leylines meet and wherever the natural currents of magic slow down or sag, there you'll find mana crystals growing. A lot of powerful mystics and wizards set up shop on top of these deposits, creating the first monopolies. The market is highly regulated now, with black market crystals being both a booming business and a quick way to get on some corporation's shit list.

Mana crystals basically run technology in my setting, and they've replaced material components and focuses for mages.

Another big reason they're illegal to smuggle is that when a formation grows large and dense enough, it becomes sapient. These living crystals use their mighty psionic powers to create physical host bodies they can inhabit, but only a few such beings (Elohim, Shards, Gemhearts, etc) are produced by each colony, with the bulk of the crystal's mass and personality remaining in crystal form. Breaking off pieces of the colony would be tantamount to murder, torture, and slavery, so most civilized governments make an effort to punish smugglers very harshly.
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>What commodity is mass produced in your setting? Who produces it? what is it used for? Does it have a bootleg market?

Sugar,coffee, narcotics, halfling slaves and more narcotics.
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>tfw you've designed three areas that are supposed to be chock full of various kingdoms and stuff but are frankly overwhelmed by the detail you've realized you'd have to put in
Don't like it
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Anyone have any experience mapping a world with a truncated icosahedron? I like the shape more than the normal icosahedrons I’ve seen posted, but I’ve never seen anyone make them attempt for something like pic related (ignoring the black spots because it’s a soccer ball template.)
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>>60777397
>What commodity is mass produced in your setting? Who produces it? what is it used for? Does it have a bootleg market?
A ton of things since they're a fantasy 1920's. The biggest at the moment are bits of tech that previously were largely considered things that only rich people could afford like cars or most appliances. Other than that there are a number of weapons, magical devices, and mana batteries which are on bootleg markets as well as legit ones. The big one is mana batteries which are produced largely from peoples' mana, legit ones are produced by power plants from excess which is slowly harvested from donors with high mana regeneration rates while bootleg ones are filled from whoever the makers can get (generally people in debt, especially those with a lot of mana they can drain quick).
>Is anybody in your setting planning a revolution? If so, tell us about it.
A few, most are slaves trying to revolt against an entire country and they're put down harshly (think a cross between slavery in the American south and concentration camps, you aren't getting out easy if at all let alone overthrowing a nation). There is a recent one that actually succeeded but I doubt it'll be relevant let alone that my players will know about it unless somebody decides to play a very specific character type. There's a nation of insectoids where one of the queens was just ousted after she took too much of an interest in other lifeforms which not only made the rest of her species more hostile to her but also gave her potential that they don't and a chance at saving the world in the long run.
>What rumors are spreading around your port cities? What currently has the interest of sailors? Mermiads? Treasure? A white whale with a bounty on it?
Mostly just rumors about the slave taking nation as they're the equivalent sahuagin and the nation the PCs are in just recently got out of a war with them. I am considering making one of my gods a harbor master in a major port.
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File: Races WIP.pdf (56 KB, PDF)
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I'm working on my races and stuff and I'm pretty happy with this being their extent for what I'm trying to do (mostly because they're mechanical descriptors for a part of my game rather than full-blown fluff), and it got me thinking about the creative process for other people regarding races.

What's your stance on non-human races?
What do you aim for when deaing with races as a whole?
Is there such a thing as "too many" or "too few" races?
Do you prefer a fresh approach to traditional races, completely new ones, or a mostly conservative approach to the traditional array?
What's your favorite approach for representing humans in general?
What makes races interesting? What makes them uninteresting or mary sue-ish?
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>>60779449
Not really,
Traveller 5 uses different sized hex maps for different sized planets.
This one is for a 1,000 mile diameter object.
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>>60779996
>What's your stance on non-human races?
Perfectly fine, but a little creativity and flair is needed. Warhammer's Beastmen are a favourite of mine, there's just enough thought put into their whole aspect that makes them great, but I lament that they're forever cannon fodder. That's a trap you can fall into easily. Another is goatmen, diversify your animals, there seems to be a general idea that beastmen means goat/ram, but lion-headed, bull-horned, serpent-scaled, have fun. But other things like dragonborn, snakemen, manlizards, apemen, etc. you just need to put your own spin on them, how they fit into your world. The other obvious trap is making them fap bait, please stop.

>What do you aim for when deaing with races as a whole?
I think you need variety and if you have a monoculture, you need an in-universe why they're like that.

>Is there such a thing as "too many" or "too few" races?
Really, everyone would need to be different enough to each other, but not so much that you're cramming alien cultures together with no explanation.

>Do you prefer a fresh approach to traditional races, completely new ones, or a mostly conservative approach to the traditional array?
Depends on the intention of your setting. Different for the sake of it is stupid, but just having generic high elves needs an in-universe fleshing out.

>What's your favorite approach for representing humans in general?
My setting is human-centric, so they have some core traits that can be tweaked depending where they live. In settings with lots of other races, if elves are the smart magic race, dwarves the hardy survivor race, orcs the warrior race, humans are the mimic race. We have the boundless ability to copy things we want that others have.

>What makes races interesting? What makes them uninteresting or mary sue-ish?
HFY is boring. Personally, I like it when you take a race that's recognizable, but deeper down has something going on.
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My entire RPG group is really into warframe so I figured I would run a campaign that would be basically a grittier Warframe, using Savage Worlds which has (1) passable superhero rules and (2) no hit points to track so large mob battles are possible. It's actually going to be quite a bit different than Warframe: there will be no transference thing, nor is it going to use the same factions or have the same level of high fantasy. It's going to be a relatively hard sci-fi but with some characters having psychic abilities. Still working out the rules on that, the idea is that the PCs will be fighting this faction called the Telmast a lot. Like Warframe, I wanted to give them plenty of classes of enemy to fight. I've come up with a few: Hoplites, for the basic standard infantry; Salamanders, for flamethrower troops; Spectres, for the elite special forces that can cloak and have sniper rifles; and Valkyries, which are the heavily-armored females that were deemed unfit for childbearing and are hugely jacked-up on steroids in addition to being modified to be larger to be able to have more kids. I don't have an amazon fetish or anything I just liked the idea of Valkyrie as a class of soldier. Anyway, if anyone has anymore ideas for weird types of soldiers (I might bring in some biopunk monsters later on) I'd love to hear them. Also what kind of feelings you get about these guys just from what I've said / posted. I've got a few other factions, including a sentient "gray goo" who rules an entire planet and has plenty of servants s/he has infested, was created a long time ago by an ancient civilization and is very curious, likes to take people apart to see how they work. But being made of nanites and self-replicating, s/he would be very hard to defeat (a female personality to this thing seems more appealing because I want it to be childlike almost, despite being very ancient).

Lot of text-dump here but if anyone could give me thoughts I'd appreciate it.
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Also as for my squad organization: do you think it will be any good or will it just end up holding me back in the long-run for encounter building? Especially since I want a lot of the encounters to have mixed types of units.

pic related is a valkyrie & a hoplite
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>>60781299
>>60781349
Anon, before you go any further, please just compile it into a PDF
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>>60781040
This is a bigger one.
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>>60781365
That's it for now, just info-dumping and paragraphs I've written on index cards as just blurbs about various faction ideas, but I only want a few. I'm thinking the first adventure will be the characters as these "special" teenagers on a monastery ship when it is attacked by telmast and their master captured, so they try to rescue him (or explore more of the sandbox solar system if they want).
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>>60779996
>What's your stance on non-human races?
I find that almost whenever people include non-human races, it turns out poorly. Particularly if they can be player races. It almost always ends up in "Well, here is the human nation, over here is the elf nation, over there is the dwarf nation, and oh, don't go over there, orcs live there." It reduces what could be complex worldbuilding to boring speciesist politics.

That's not to say it can't be done, however. If there's a distinct reason why things are, that is.

For example, elves. If they're humans with pointy ears who live in forests and are good at magic, then you often end up with this issue. If, on the other hand, they're incomprehensible fae, that players absolutely cannot play, then sure, it makes sense that they're not part of normal society.

Another example: Sci-fi. There's a good reason why you don't have joined societies, and that's because the species probably only just met. Still, you do often get species-wide governments, which I find incredibly unlikely.

It's usually easiest to just do all humans as player races.

>Is there such a thing as "too many" or "too few" races?
No such thing as "too few" races, unless you have 0. Easily a thing as "too many". Once you get to the point where you have enough that people are choosing an obscure race purely for the purpose of min-maxing, it's a problem. It's also a problem when you (or more properly, a new player, since over time you'll eventually learn more and more) can't really remember what all of the races are.
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>>60779996
>>60781986
>Do you prefer a fresh approach to traditional races
I like this, depending on the approach.
>completely new ones
Unlikely. First of all, that means I have to remember all of them, and then on top of that I may or may not like them.
>or a mostly conservative approach to the traditional array?
This is the safe answer. I like this, and very few people dislike it. It does get kind of boring after a while, though.

>What's your favorite approach for representing humans in general?
Things are from our perspective, so humans should be what we expect. Humans should be the baseline for thinking about other races.

>What makes races interesting? What makes them uninteresting or mary sue-ish?
Don't have too many of them. Counter-example: Arcana Unearthed.
Have some sort of baseline.
Play into tropes that we recognize, even if they are used slightly differently. Example: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.
Don't make one race strictly stronger than any other, unless you have strict requirements to be that race and go through characters quickly enough that it doesn't matter that much. You can have races that are strictly weaker than any other, though. People like underdogs.
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>>60779354
This is me right now. Want to do things that videogames won't allow like large empires filled with many large cities with huge complex conflicts with a true sense of scale but with my peabrain I seem to be limited to village with nearby goblin cave-scenarios.
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Who else here /fears expanding the geography of their map and adding definite details because they know they're just gonna end up changing stuff in the future anyway so anything they create is just a waste of time and they want to just forget this pointless exercise and cry/?
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>>60783272
I have solved this problem by just making everything outside my map either a extreme terrain nightmare or a thick frontier land with no civilisation.
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>>60782589
That sounds like you are running a game. Build a mid-sized city they have to go to. If the game lasts 6 -9 months , you will have kingdoms and tons of detail. Run your game. the World will happen.
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>>60783368
I did that, too, I've got a continent, for all intents and purposes, unexplored, the setting is based on the western edge of it but I kind of fear setting things in stone. I dunno, it's ridiculous, but it feels like I'll just never get this to a satisfactory point. I've got mythology, religion, magic, all the cosmology, even a bunch of cultures and stuff all figured out, but the actual world it all takes place in? I just can't bring myself to do anything.
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>>60783596
thanks for believing in me anon
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>>60783597
Just remember that Middle Earth basically did the same thing as us and to not worry about it that much. In fact, I think it makes it a bit more interesting.
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>>60783662
WeIl, I'm no Tolkien, but thanks for the encouragement.
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Was working a medieval tannery an especially bad job or the lowest people of the castes or was it more midlevel? Owning a tannery was supposed to be good business.
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>>60785107
Tanning is extremely smelly business and requires a lot of work. Owning a tannery might be good business, but the workers smell like shit all the time That is why the tanneries always were in the outskirts of the cities, no one wanted to live nearby.
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Question for weather patterns: If there was a large sea with a volcanic vent in the bottom which constantly boiled the water and sent plumes of steam into the air, what would be the effect on the surrounding weather patterns? Would it be perpetually cloudy, rainy, what?
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>>60786128
It would have to be a very big fucking volcanic vent to actual effect weather patterns.
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>>60786252
Okay, so what would happen if it was sufficiently big enough?
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>>60786327
Mae it much easier for Hurricanes to develop and almost constant storm I would expect.
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>>60786711
Is there anything that could happen to a sea that would make clouds rise up and out of it and just kind of spread across the surrounding landscape?
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>>60786766
Magic
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>>60786776
Ideally I'm looking for "magic that makes sense." Like not just "cloud rising spell," but "spell that makes X geographical phenomenon that results in clouds rising."
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>>60777397
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmsjyVpPOOI

Mandatory for all in this thread.
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>>60785107
The job itself is dogshit.
(Literally)
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File: 1531280499379.pdf (2.06 MB, PDF)
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I posted about my plant apocalypse setting a while back, but I've revised it a ton, including rewriting it so it doesn't read like a 5th grader telling his friend about his cool homebrew D&D setting

The setting is intended to be played with GURPS, as such there's a section at the end dealing with GURPS crunch. However you can entirely ignore it and miss nothing, and there are no references to GURPS in the main text.

Please give me some feedback, and point out any remaining spelling errors. I have a really weird penchant for capitalizing random words, so forgive me if that slips up now and then in the PDF
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>>60788149
That world map is completely unrealistic, look at all those jagged coastlines
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How do you fight procrastination, /wbg/?

I have a great number of ideas in my head, but when it comes to putting those on paper I just can't concentrate for more than 10 minutes.

How long do you take to write a page or draw a map? It takes me the best part of day to do any kind of progress.
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>>60789131
>How long do you take to write a page or draw a map?

Depends if I'm drawing the fancy first letter in a box with designs or any other pictures that make it easier to see than explain, I can write a rough page in about 5-10 mins, 30mins if there's art.
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>>60789131
Don't bother trying to make the first thing you write down perfect. Accept it as a "rough draft" for now if you must. Write down whatever was on your mind whether it just be a constructive question or "stupid sounding" statement and build from that. If you head is full of ideas you should have a page full of scribbles pretty quickly.
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>>60786128
>>60786252
>>60786766
Cold water , Warm air.

Fog, like its elevated cousin stratus, is a stable cloud deck which tends to form when a cool, stable air mass is trapped underneath a warm air mass.
Advection fog occurs when moist air passes over a cool surface by advection (wind) and is cooled. It is most common at sea when moist air encounters cooler waters, including areas of cold water upwelling, such as along the California coast.
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>>60789131
A good map can take 40 hours.
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I'm creating a kitchen-sink standard fantasy setting for a D&D game. I want to include all the most famous fantasy tropes. Originality is not an issue and humorous self-awareness is fine too. The point is to be fun. What are some of your favorite fantasy tropes that you think such a setting just wouldn't be complete without?
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>What event started it? No one knows.

The author needs to know.
Especially when it only happened 100 years ago.
No one listened to their grandpa? (things never change)

Post Apocalyptic settings take more work than most.
First build the old world. That can be as easy as choosing last Tuesday.
Pick a date when Doomsday happened.
Decide the damage.
Build a timeline up to the present.

I generally like your end result, the landscape and critters look like fun.
I love the clepto-bees.

Total Global war with two alien invasions is throwing a lot of gunk into the mix.

Kingdoms and wooden guns are better suited for 500 - 1,000 years after Boomday.

Metals would be easier to salvage than to mine.
Mutant ironwood bamboo might make ok barrels, but there are millions of miles of metal pipe to scrounge up.

Steady supply of herbicide? Seems unlikely.
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>>60790654
>90%of the settingnis played straight
>wizards are madcap, slapstick humor
>nothing permanently bad ever happens to them because lolmagic
>the rest of the world has realistic consequences for actions
>wizards are routinely exploded, dropped from parapets, lit on fire, turned inside out, or gender swapped and impregnared
>played for laughs because magic will just make them better
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>>60790981
>Post Apocalyptic settings take more work than most.
Not if the cause of the apocalypse has been all but forgotten except in vague terms.
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>>60790981
>the author needs to know
I mean it's basically explained right after, I just wanted to be dramatic
>no one listened to their grandpa
Many people did. The problem is they don't know who to blame for it
>Total Global war with two alien invasions is throwing a lot of gunk into the mix.
Yeah, it is. That's the point
>Kingdoms and wooden guns are better suited for 500 - 1,000 years after Boomday.
I should probably set it a bit farther in the furure, especially considering your next point.
>Steady supply of herbicide? Seems unlikely.
A:Every nation made copius supplies to send to everyone. Most bunkers are stocked for more than 50 years
B: I should've expanded on this, but manufacturing this specific herbicide is not too tough to do, most large kingdoms are manufacturing their own (though it won't be as potent as the pre-end stuff)
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Thoughts on an enemy NPC who has only one ability, the nullification of all magic but their own (pretty much all abilities the PCs have are magic including any stats above a certain value)? The idea would be that the PCs would have to fight them pretty much on raw stats unless their abilities don't get cancelled and the NPC would largely be alone as most tech is based on magic. Problem is that I'm not totally sure what race to make them?

Unrelated note what are your thoughts on a female monster race which can be impregnated by other races but the result is almost always female (a combination of magical bullshit and genetics trying to kill off Y chromosomes) and more or less serves as a juvenile version of the race. More or less the same concept as changelings from PF but applied to other races than just hags. I'd also have the potential for males but that's largely due to magic (e.g. hags needing enforcers with a bit more punch) but those wouldn't really be player options.
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>>60792324
Why would the WORLD BUILDER forget?

Zombies, angels, Martians, mutants, cyborgs, talking horses, nanoswarm hookers, and Kryptonians all walk into a Fallout bar and ask; "Why are we here?"

No internal consistency.

Short Version counterpoint;
If your players have fun, it doesn't matter.
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>>60791020
This is so awesome I started building a character for it.
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>>60792784
First idea seems a little like artificial difficulty, your players would need a variety of alternative methods to beat them. Is their cancelling passive or conscious?

Second idea, not gonna lie my dude, sounds like the worst type of fetish bait. If that was your intention, then you succeeded.
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>>60792823
>Zombies, angels, Martians, mutants, cyborgs, talking horses, nanoswarm hookers, and Kryptonians all walk into a Fallout bar and ask; "Why are we here?"
Just another day in the Cursed Earth.

Internal consistency is good though, and you can summarize a backstory for the kitchensink wasteland in a sentence of two: psychic aliens invade and the nuclear and bioweapons from both sides have created the blasted hellscape filled with all kinds of weirdness the players must explore. Or whatever.
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I'm gonna do it

I'm gonna redraw my 4 year old continent because it's too blobby
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>>60792912
Passive and uncontrollable within the radius though every ability affected gets a save. I'm planning on running it as forcing a save if an effect enters or starts there, meaning enhancements would save each turn and could be reactivated if they pass the roll on the attempt and other things would need a roll on each attempt.

I felt it was but I was trying to figure out how the fuck things like hags wouldn't die out and at the time my only thought was to pull what PF did. I asked because I was considering totally removing the idea from the race list for that exact reason but I keep drawing a blank on how to make it work without going into fetish-bait territory. Any ideas beyond just handwaving it?
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>>60789131
I switch between two or three settings. When my fantasy stuff starts to slow down, I switch to my scifi stuff before the writers block hits me.
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>>60792942
Cursed Earth?
Sign me up! I want to be a rouge AI inhabiting a Lawmaster and towing a travel camper full of cute female mechanics to polish my chrome.
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>>60792784
>>60792912
The Greeks called them Dryads.
Randy Buggers.
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>>60792984
Good for you, That is not always an easy decision.
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>>60793292
I already had them if I go with what I mentioned but I'm not sure I even need to offer the race to players.
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>>60793088
Ah, that's okay, then. I thought it was just a total no-zone. What other options would the players have to defeat the guy?

Allow me to get a little conceptual: what you might be dealing with is a genetic symbiote. It can appear in a number of races and shows only minute, subtle 'symptoms'. Essentially it's some kind of sentient trait that's trying to (re)combine itself by piggybacking along the reproductive habits of other creatures. That's why you sometimes get males but they're sterile. It hasn't quite jumped forward enough to get two creatures with the trait in them to mate, but that's its plan. Whether this is some freak of nature, a malevolent entity, totally alien intelligence, ancient experiment long forgotten, is up to the world you're playing in. If you mixed two 'hags' together, what would you get? And if you kept doing it with more and more haggish offspring, would you eventually get a pure-bred thing?
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>>60786941
Perfect, I'm looking for actual jobs that were shitty jobs so my caste based civilization can have non-slave jobs for the lowest people of the system.
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>>60794295
The players would have whatever means they would otherwise without the benefit of magic unless they make the save (highly unlikely, at best they'll need to roll a 14 or 15 to pass). If they build properly then it'll just be a tough fight that they'll need to be smart about like jumping out of range to heal and trying to cause environmental effects more than be direct.

I actually kind of had the original being like that, the offspring carrying a genetic parasite which pushes them to go down a path that would turn them into the parent species. The parasite would be both a magical connection to their line and a sort of genetic memory. If they find a way to reject that parasite then the genes more or less erase themselves but nobody really knows how to do that so it serves more as a ticking clock. The issue with what you suggested is that the genes would be actively negative (as they become more prominent then reproduction becomes harder let alone survival) so you'd never get far beyond some noticeable traits. The only other alternatives I have for hags is that either they just sort of pop up (hand wave) or there's a way for people to become them (both hand wave and potential fetish bait plus not as good of a hook as trying to avoid turning).
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>>60795220
Hags could be a recessive kind of thing, there are various races some old weird gene that crops up from time to time. You could say the gene is damaged or defective, there's something wrong with it, that's why you always get hags and sterile males. Something's trying to come back up but never can properly. This allows them to pop up from a variety of sources and anyone could be this ticking time bomb.
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In my space opera, humanity’s colonies are divided by race and culture. The Japanese faction is basically a miso-flavored Wakanda at this point; an isolationist ethnostate that has advanced technology yet still uses melee weapons and wears traditional clothing. They exist because I wanted cyber ninjas somewhere, but I felt like I had to justify their existence so excessively (because of weeaboo stigma) that they have now become the most developed faction in the entire setting. Is this bad?

I didn’t intend for them to be the central faction, but they kind of ended up becoming that because I kept getting ideas. Also they are ridiculously smug and ridiculously racist and that’s fun to write.
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>>60794977
India's Untouchables

Just like the "eta" outcasts in Japan, India's untouchables performed spiritually contaminating work that nobody else wanted to do — tasks like preparing bodies for funerals, tanning hides, and killing rats or other pests.

Anything to do with dead cattle or cow hides was particularly unclean in Hinduism and under both Hindu and Buddhist beliefs, jobs that involved death corrupted the workers' souls, making them unfit to mingle with other kinds of people.
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>>60795797
Yeah, not full untouchables but more like born low, and very little social mobility to escape the shit jobs and treatment they get.
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>>60795480
That could work.
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Lurking and occasionally posting in these threads has made me aware of just how ignorant I am and of how little a passion for learning I actually have. I've hit a complete roadblock in my shitty little worldbuilding exercise and just browsing the PDF overwhelms me to the point of inaction and frustration.

You guys are cool here, and smarter than I'll ever be. I need to go think some things out.
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Elves wear tough leaves and hard bark to battle so obviously an axe would be their go-to choice for fighting each other. The problem is that Elves can't be near hard metals.
Of the available materials, how do you make an axe sturdy enough for battle? It can be very creative because I could just add a material with the necessary physical properties to my setting.
>Silver
>Stone
>Bone
>Very hard wood.
>Hardened Amber/Resin
I'm thinking that there would be a type of wood that's harder than the wood used for armor but too heavy to wear.
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>>60798633
Obsidian axes
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>>60798633
Magic resin, they gather the resin from the same trees that make their armor and magically treat and shape it to create weapons which naturally creates spines that burrow into the body as a result of the resin interacting with blood. They don't use it for armor as their normal armor is still alive and can repair itself over time and the resin is somewhat brittle so armor made of it would kill the wearer if they so much as stepped too hard. Their training weapons would be made of a specially treated wood pulp which is as light as the resin but isn't dangerous.
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Thoughts on having playable races that you aren't going to tell your players about? I'm planning on giving my players information on a number of the major races and then telling them that pretty much anything that's available in other games is here and if they can think something up we can try to make it work.
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>>60798986
As long as you have space in your world, it sounds like it'd work.
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>>60798414
If you're not interested in learning about it then it's not worth putting in YOUR world.
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Gwumpf.
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>>60798414
I'll tell you the biggest motivational thing:
Start a beginning game in a small area, like a village with a goblin problem. If your game keeps going you will have motivation and data from the players and their characters to use.
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>>60801088
No you need to work top-down or you won't have cohesion reeeeeeeeeeeee
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>>60801633
I can't work top down because the minute I go top I lose interest in the setting because it feels solved.
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>>60799217
Then I'll have no cultures. That's the wall I've hit, a basically uninhabited world.

>>60801088
That's the problem, chief: this isn't made for games because no frens, it's just for me to write stories in. Then what's the problem, you ask, if there's no imperative to actually flesh this out beyond my own interest in the exercise? That's kind of the problem, I suppose. It all ends up feeling utterly pointless. Maybe it's just my self esteem problems talking, but I know I'll never use this for anything. I wrote two stories in it, that's all it's been good for. Fuck, man, I used to be really into this and suddenly it just stopped working for me.
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>>60804141
Think of a story you want to tell, and imagine what that world is like.

Now try and build the story the other way, by making a world and dropping actors in that world who'll realistically move in such a way that your story unfolds.

It's easier to get to a goal when you know where you're starting and where you're ending.
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>>60804417
That's what I've been doing, trying to craft an interesting world for these stories I want to tell, and I have half of something I like, I have the mythology/magic/cosmology stuff, but when it comes to the nitty gritty building of histories and cultures I haven't a base in anything. Wouldn't know where to begin. Don't know if I want to anymore.

Thanks for the kind reply, you guys are nice here. I'll end the pity party.
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>>60804141
>a basically uninhabited world
What's wrong with that? You could make a pretty decent game with no people whatsoever beyond the PCs. A couple of the ideas I've had percolating for a while revolve around that. Figure out what your strengths are and play to them.

>>60804736
>nitty gritty building of histories and cultures I haven't a base in anything. Wouldn't know where to begin
Try Microscope, if you've got a group. Or at least one other person.
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>>60804141
Find a pdf of pic related. The chapter is about 20 pages, might offer a frame work to go with.
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data for Hexographer and 2 others, maybe good for the pdf.
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Any advice on world building urban fantasy? I'm creating a setting inspired by house of leaves about exploring an infinite labyrinth of rooms and hallways and I don't know what to fill in now that I've figured out the rules of the setting since I can't have specific locations or factions to to the nature of the labyrinth
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>>60777397
>What commodity is mass produced in your setting? Who produces it? what is it used for? Does it have a bootleg market?
This is an interesting question, I haven't really put too much thought on it. The setting I'm building has more industry during a feudal age, I deliberately decided it can have potato-like food, i.e. it doesn't give a fuck where it grows and when it grows, as well as seed drills in order to increase food production. This makes it require less people to work on farms, allowing people to shift into other professions. I guess there's just all sorts of industry now like fashion lines and touring bards with a brand name and reputation, making them expensive to book. I guess I'll just have fucking Idols now.
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>What commodity is mass produced in your setting? Who produces it? what is it used for? Does it have a bootleg market?
Everything is mass produced; the setting is feudalism meets cyberpunk in near-future Greater Siliconia, a nation-state that grew out of Silicon Valley. Production is owned exclusively by Senators, who act as both heads-of-state and heads-of-industry in this cutthroat republic of guilds. As such, they may export or sell domestically as they desire. Bootleg markets are only common among the underclass sprawls of nationals -- men and women without the rights of citizenry.

>Is anybody in your setting planning a revolution? If so, tell us about it.
The Senate has been deadlocked for months. Senator Santiago Barrera, nicknamed "black caesar" for his coal black hair and eyes, was previously buying out entire industries wholesale, not only snowballing his wealth and influence, but likewise assuming the vote of every Senator he bought out. A fragile coalition led by Senator Keven Croyle has temporarily halted his expansion, but it's no secret that both parties are ready to turn to clandestine warfare to advance their agendas.

>What rumors are spreading around your port cities? What currently has the interest of sailors? Mermiads? Treasure? A white whale with a bounty on it?
The sinos across the ocean have been pushing more bootlegs from across the than usual. Not only that, but well-dressed expats are starting to ask about land for sale in the area.
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>>60805361
Does it take place completely within the Labyrinth? If you can't have specifics then define a few places outside the Labyrinth from which factions can start exploring. Government or corporate or independent scientific agencies, societies of adventurers/extreme urban ex people, paramilitary.
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>>60805001
No group, I'm afraid. It's for personal use, really, storytelling. I'll check that thi g out though.

>>60805173
I'll give it a shot, thanks man.
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>>60777397
Anyone here ever try making planet art for their scifi settings? Pic related, from...5 years ago?
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Alright I've decided on a Sword and Planet style setting for D&D 5e.
The problem is I can't decide on how big the planets should me. I already know they are going to be "planet of [thing], the [thing] planet", to make things easier. Each planet represents a plane (i.e. feywild is a planet, shadowfell is a planet, etc).
Should I just be purposely vague on exactly how big each planet is so I can fit any number of things on each planet?
Though I don't really have to worry about there being no mysterious ruins to find, they will all be underground in the underworld because every planet is hollow. Maybe just big enough every major biome is known (i.e. Fire planet has "here be volcanoes", "here be lava sea","here be sulfurous hot springs")

How should I handle this?
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>>60807752
I just use Space Engine
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>>60807885
Unless you need it to be specific id remain vague. You could take inspiration from the real planets for the elemetal planes, i think jupiter works quite nucley as the Air element plane.
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>>60807885

if you're not traveling entire planets, which you probably won't don't worry about size
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>>60807885
Use the Moon and the other large moons of the solar system. You can even use the pic with some of them.
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How would civilizations on a full-sized ringworld (surface area of millions of Earths) evolve?
Assuming either standard fantasy rules of magic, gods, creation myth, etc. or it being a sci-fi setting but tech left behind on the ringworld is basically indistinguishable from magic ("mana" is just electrical energy converted from sunlight and stored by the ring, spellcasters can only cast "spells" because they have nanomachines in their bodies that can channel energy from the ring and use it, etc.), I'm indecisive about which one to go with.
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>>60810362
>or it being a sci-fi setting but tech left behind on the ringworld is basically indistinguishable from magic ("mana" is just electrical energy converted from sunlight and stored by the ring, spellcasters can only cast "spells" because they have nanomachines in their bodies that can channel energy from the ring and use it, etc.)
fucking hate this meme

Honestly mixing real magic with the sci-fi conceit of a ringworld would be way more interesting, especially if you mixed that sci-fi conceit with myth (e.g. it's literally one of the signet rings of God).
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>>60807885
>Sword and Planet
Fuck yeah bump
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>>60810468
I had the idea to do something similar once. Imagine a Dyson sphere. Like, a literal shellworld. The surface is an endless Coruscant or Sigil style metropolis. The inside is a vast wilderness interspersed by smaller, Italian villa-style city-towns and their agriculture fed by the Central Sun. I hadn't 100% decided how the sun didn't kill everyone, but I sort of went with "It's magic", or more precisely it was pure Positive Energy so it didn't kill you unless you bathed in it.

Now, the "shell" wasn't actually solid. It was made up of millions of irregular plates held together by magic/super-science. But that meant there were seams in the planet hundreds of kilometers wide and possibly light-seconds long. So the sunlight would beam up through those holes and generate Daytime. So Time was a matter of Space more than anything else. It also provided a neat visual aesthetic. And one of my players suggested criminal groups used them for body disposal. "Throw them into the sun" was crime euphemism for "toss them over the lip of the plate and wait til either gravity or the sun kills them".

Pic is early, discarded visual for the inner sphere laid out.
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Does this government make sense? I'm working off my limited knowledge of feudalism and having fun with it because fantasy.

Monarch sits at the top with a royal court out of which a successor is chosen, from the monarch's own line or from one of the Duchies.

Under the monarch sits three grand duchies which have their own major towns, villages and farms.

Each town and village is land leased for self-governance by the duke, and each town/village has a representative Burgomaster which answers to the duke in matters of tributes and other admin. Otherwise, it's home rule.

The duke and their council, in exchange for labour, produce and other services from the towns and villages, provides wider administrative duties (such as aid where it's needed or certain major legal actions) and military/security, each town and village will have some force of the Duke's Vanguard patrolling roads or even the streets.
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>>60813578
Seems like bog-standard feudal society with a stronger-than-average monarch. Don't see how it couldn't work.
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>>60813649
Cool, thanks anon.
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>>60813578
feudalism doesn't exist
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>>60813793
Um...
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>>60813793
Well it does now
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>>60813839
>>60813842
No, legit, it's not supported by modern academia. It was a term created to lump many different forms of government together which don't really share the similarities "feudalism" says they should. It's sort of like how natural philosophers used to lump "sea-dwelling creatures" under one family, when nowadays we know that dolphins don't have shit to do with tuna.
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>>60814144
Oh, no. I know it wasn't a term used back when people think it was used. No one sat around and went "say, let's make a hierarchical societal structure based on landownership and oathswearing" or anything. But it's a useful term for defining the general societal structure of Western Europe during the 9th thru 15th centuries or so.

Thus, arguing about whether or not it existed is pure pedantics. It existed, just not as a deliberate action during the time period.
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>>60814339
>But it's a useful term for defining the general societal structure of Western Europe during the 9th thru 15th centuries or so
No it isn't. That's my point. It does not accurately describe anything except maybe English and arguably French politics in the high-late middle ages.
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>>60814372
Okay. Then what word would you use to describe a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs?
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So what have you guys been working on? I'm having fun coming up with origins for the various fantasy creatures for my D&D setting. I just finished vampires. They're the product of a famously handsome nobleman and secret necromancer attempting to preserve his youth eternally by studying the life-sustaining properties of blood. As an ironic punishment for his vanity he was cursed to never again cast a reflection or appear in daylight. There's more to the story than that, but that's the gist of it.
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>>60815392
Slowly trying to come up with a few basic cultures to play with in my setting, tweak them as needs be, but it's hard coming up with a base.

I like when vampires aren't the result of a virus or disease. How do people become vampires in your setting? How do they propagate? Are they rare and powerful or are there shit tier vampires? Mine are rare and are one of the worst things you can encounter, created when a particularly sinful corpse gets entombed in some lightless place and the darkness changes them.
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Hey, I made a thread about this very neat world generator game I looked into the other day:
>>60815819

I dunno if you guys already know it because I don't read this general normally, but it should probably fit into your interests.
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>>60815392
>I'm having fun coming up with origins for the various fantasy creatures for my D&D setting
I'm familiar with that feel. I went with a more gut-wrenching insectoid style origin for my vampires.

The big theme I try to work into my monsters is Bio-Psionics. My creatures are either native lifeforms to the world's ecosystem (Bio) with explainable organic qualities and abilities, or they are partly or wholly derived from the Psychic energies suffusing the world (Psionic). So now I have highly biological vampires, wholly psychological Demons, devils that exist on another plane but can influence biology, and... I keep drawing a blank on dragons. Been considering using inorganic materials and compounds as the base for their makeup, like Salt Dragons and Iron Dragons, but I'm still tinkering.

Any thoughts /wbg/?
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>>60817073
They could be formed out of sand particles, snow, salt, like you said. Dunno how they'd fly, though. Psionic power?
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>>60817981
They aren't Elementals, just elementally based. Like how Gold dragons aren't ACTUALLY made of gold.
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>>60816529
I've heard a lot about URR. Gonna wait until it's at least semi-out before I dive in, though.
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>>60818621
It's worth checking out if you're into generated maps and history. Who knows how long it takes for the actual gamplay to be implemented. Version 0.8 has been "almost finished" for a long time.
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>>60818739
He had illness or some shit though.
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>>60818201
To elaborate; Salt Dragons (if I were to wing it here) are of the Draconis family, having characteristic wings, tails, claws, shape/size, and horns of a typical Dragon. Like all Dragons, they are monstrously powerful psychics. Unlike other dragons, their breath weapon appears to be a red-pink mist that causes instant dehydration to any materials it comes in contact with. This has been seen to mummify humans instantly, even reducing potions and waterskins on their person to powder. They typically are found inland, only coming out to sea to breed. Ironically, Salt Dragons are harnessed for several parts of their body known to have alchemical properties necessary for the creation of various healing potions and salves, as well as being the key ingredient to various "Hallowing" crafts the clergy use to ward against the undead.
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>>60818765
I think I know where I'm getting caught up here - these dragons aren't actually composed of these materials, but have properties or abilities relating to them? The Salt Dragon idea is good, but you also said you were toying with the idea of them being composed of nonorganic materials, which is where I thought maybe particles of something could be what they take shape from. The Salt Dragon, as you described it, is a powerful psychic, but is it an organic being? Or some psychic entity or force that manifests(?) as a dragon? How do your psionic demons work in that manner?
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>>60819126
Demons are basically evil ghosts that manifest when people have or experience bad or evil emotions. They are literally born from us and our own personal traumas. From there they can build psychic energy until they possess a host, and eventually infest others with themselves. They're kinda memetic like that. Eventually they can become independent beings once they've reached a level of gestalt existence whereby they collectively have enough energy to directly manifest a body and become a Demonic Prince, able to self-perpetuate themselves indefinitely until someone smites them back into oblivion.

Devils, as a point of contrast, are beings from beyond this world. This particular world lacks the same sort of ambient magic that they require to manifest, so Devils have to make due with reaching out and using their power to mutate those who make a pact with them. This mutation is a small portion of the Devil's own self, made into a cancerous lump in their servant's body, granting them actual magical power (as opposed to Psionic, which is the norm for the setting). More and more powerful servants cause their cancer to grow more and more until it basically converts them wholesale into a hybrid Devil-Human thing, though their Devil half is still tied to the originator, so Devils still maintain their control. In this way are Devils the Lawful Evil horrors they should be. Why break the world when you can abuse the systems in place by proxy?

Dragons are...I guess half biological and half psionic in theme. The inorganic thing is more a theme based on their traits. Though, they could take in traits from these materials, like hermit crab that used soup cans as a shell. In this case, the Salt Dragon's armor is a type of salt or salt-related mineral they've learned to incorporate into their biology.

Hmmm. Not so happy with it at the moment. Thoughts?
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>>60805267
I'm sure I added that to the PDF, however to make things more clear we're gonna add a change log to the PDF and highlight new entries for more visibility
>>60805173
if you find a pdf of that image you linked, i'm sure that would fit well in the /wbg/ pdf.
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>>60790654
Dark Lord needs to be defeated via some magical plot device that only the PCs can use.
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>>60819444
Demons sound cool, I like that.

Devils are also interesting. When the host goes full devil cancer, does the devil take over and get to half-live in the body but technically reside somewhere else? Or does the original person still exist? And how does the magic work in contrast to the psionic energy?

Allow me to run with a thought or two for a moment? So, half-bio, half-psionic, using the hermit crab idea, could dragons be psychically devastating but physically terribly weak beings (I imagine, stringy, wretched worm-like things) that build up a powerful 'shell' via whatever element it is they have an affinity for. So you get shining, crunching, crystalline Salt Dragons with that cool dehydrating breath, or dull, clanking, segmented Iron Dragons that could have ability cancelling breath/roar (like how iron is traditionally used to ward things off maybe?) or even flowing, semi-amorphpus Mercury Dragons with toxic vomit.
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>>60819845
Goddamn that idea for dragons is cool as hell. I think I'll take it!

And for Devils, I'm working from the premise that the original person is still in there, just fundamentally merged with the Devil's own personality into a new-ish person. Like a half-possession. The Devil can't split his/her attention infinitely between servants, so they get some independence in day-to-day life, even if they're under the Devil's influence.
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>>60819845
>And how does the magic work in contrast to the psionic energy?
Will have to get back to you on that, running off to dinner with folks.
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>>60819735
You probably did, I didn't look first. I was both purging and putting stuff on the board. Thanks for the nice work on the pdf.
I believe I can find a link.
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$n!p<dot>li /IronCrown

under Rolemaster 2Ed.

I'm sorry if the link is confusing, it is probably for the best, go get copies of Da Archives from the pdf thread.
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>>60820103
>>60820396
The Archimedes seems to make a better thumbnail.
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How do you guys approach the idea of designing an "original" fantasy setting?

I have a terrible time imagining fantasy cultures that aren't the typical elves, dwarves etc. It just feels strange to attempt building lore around other, more magical realm races like (to give a random, loose example) the Argonians.

Maybe this is just because I'm so conditioned. There are a lot of really good fantasy settings out there, but I personally have a hard time escaping the idea that I'm just another Tolkien derivative. I dunno.
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>>60821488
The way I see it, there's two approaches to races in fantasy:

1. Weird af races. These obey straight-up fucking retarded anatomy from the start, and then involve you figuring out the ramifications. Combining them with some form of fantastical element in your world is advised. Think barrel-shaped creatures with four legs and four arms and eyes all around. This is not what I do.

2. Mythologically-derived races. To do this, you essentially do what Tolkien did with Anglo-Saxon mythology: you find a piece of myth and use that as inspo for your own races. I dunno, maybe you read Gilgamesh and come up with a race of bronze scorpion men who worship the setting of the sun. That actually sounds boring as shit but you get the idea.
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>>60821488
I'll preface this by saying that I almost never make up new races.

Cultures are easy, though. Take some universal of human cultures and break it. Or, take an existing species and try to think about how an intelligent being would work with that sort of basis. Elves evolved from deer and dwarves evolved from moles in the same way humans evolved from primates, for example. Or take a particular concept and make your race somehow represent that concept in some way. Or some combination of the above.

Appearance-wise, take at least two creatures (if neither are human) or at least three (if one is human). Don't just do the "(animal)-person" thing. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance did this. Except for the viera, the other three nonhuman races are all pretty complex.

That all said? Don't go overboard with how many races you make or people won't be able to remember, at least in a tabletop setting.
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>>60821488
In my opinion, being "original" for the sake of it, by trying to consciously go against the grain instead of crafting something because you have a good idea is creatively bankrupt. What matters in presentation.You can the traditional gamut of elves, dwarves and orcs but it's the spin you put on it that makes something interesting. You can have the craziest fish-marsupial psychic magitek cyborgs, but if all they are is window dressing for 'LOOK HOW DIFFERENT' then you've fucked up. Use wise old elves, use stubborn dwarves, use violent orcs, just have fun with them.
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>>60822060
>What matters is presentation
>the spin you put on it
I disagree. It's neither this nor "uniqueness" which matters. What matters is making what you want to make without regarding tropes/cliches at all. For example, you don't need to use dwarfs at all. If you do use dwarfs, really think about why you want to use them, and see what else you want to do with them.

Look at life and mythology rather than previously-made works of fantasy.
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>>60821859

This sounds a little gimmicky to me, is the problem. The appeal of elves and dwarves is that it's easy to communicate ideas through them, because people recognize them from pop culture and (in my opinion) find it easier to suspend their disbelief and interact with them more.

I'm the guy who originally asked the question. In my setting I want the elves to represent ancient knowledge and wisdom, but in a far more alien way. What few remain are totally isolated from mannish culture, save the Few, whose faces are masks.

Two driving ideas behind the setting are: one, belief begets power and affects changes upon the Outside, and two, that the elves in the distant past made contact with another species who basically brought Hell to my world and began a long war which has ended in the gradual extinction of the elves and [plot bullshit].

It's fairly derivative, but it's enough to keep my interest going. Nonetheless, I just can't escape the impression that, for the simple virtue of being populated by elves and dwarves and men, it will never be more than "just another Middle-earth." Tolkien was just too good at this shit.
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>>60822149
>and (in my opinion) find it easier to suspend their disbelief and interact with them more
I have always had the opposite problem. I know what elves are. Elves are a tabletop and videogame race. So when I see them, I can only think of them as a tabletop and videogame race. It's harder for me to immerse in them than, say, a race of dromedary desert merchants, or of pseudo-hobbit Burgomeisters.
>The appeal of elves and dwarves is that it's easy to communicate ideas through them
This is laziness. Use 'em because they're the best or even only way to communicate your ideas, not because they're the easiest.

If you don't like your elves, why do you have them? It's only one post on a Timbuktu gold-spreading forum, but it seems like you're trying to hammer elves into BEING your old alien sources of knowledge and wisdom, rather than finding something which automatically just...clicks with that feeling.
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>>60822137
I'd argue that not using a staple race like dwarves would be putting your own spin on the archetypal fantasy world. If you're going to be creating a commercial setting, in any respect, either for something you're trying to create for an audience or for a group of players, the touch you bring to something matters.
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>>60822149
I think your problem is you don't like the names. Frankly, your ideas already sound interesting enough, but I think the traditional nomenclature bothers you. Find different, or similar names that don't hold certain connotations.
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>>60822337
Shockingly, I'm going to play with this because it actually might work for me, lol.
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>>60819845
>>60819975
Okay, so the primary difference between Magic and Psionics (as it stands in-setting) is that Psionics is an entirely internal power, whereas Magic is external. Psionics is just weaponizing ones internal life-energy (chakra, odic force, vita, animus, ki, etc) through the power of "I reject your reality and substitute my own" mentality. Rituals and focuses are only necessary as a mantra, something to keep your willpower focused while you bend reality to your whim. Magic, on the other hand, IS its arcane rituals and focuses. It's taking a mathematical formula and convincing reality through pantomime that 1+1 = fish.

Better example: Psionics is the manipulation of raw Life energy through willpower and memetics to alter reality. Magic is the ritualistic bending of natural laws to alter reality.

It's honestly more of a sliding scale, but I definitely think that's the difference. Internal Energy made manifest vs External energy harnessed through ritual. Most spellcasters are just assumed to be really using psionics, with the odd exception.

Pic unrelated. Lost all setting pics with the harddrive.
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>>60822833
Shit that sounds really cool, man. I like the idea of ritual and focuses as mantras So, really, it just depends what you're trying to access? Is there any benefit to using arcane stuff over psionics? Or psionics over magic?
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The elves arrived to this strange arid land that they claimed to be their ancestral homeland some hundred years ago. They landed on the eastern coast where the few rivers that had the potential to bring about civilization existed. Yet what they found there did not impress them. Primitive human barbarians, orcs and other savage races, having built little more than small fishing villages and wooden forts. The various tribes locked in constant tribal warfare against each other. The elves deemed themselves superior to the tribes in every way, especially in the arts of magic, which the natives of this land displayed little talent for. Once a particularly savage tribe attacked a party of elves hoping to take their things, killing one in the process, this was all the elves needed as an excuse to conquer them. Allying themselves with the meeker humans and half-breeds they used their destructive magic to push the barbarians to the north, passed the mountains into the desolate steppes. They erected a mighty fortress to stand guard over the border pass. As trade was established between their mainland and their new overseas possessions and after civilization and control over the natives had been secured and deeply rooted, they looked west, west into the vast deserts that made up most of the continent. The desert which contained the ancient ruins of their once mighty civilization. Though superior to other humanoid races in almost every way, they were a pale imitation of their former selves and the hope of regaining their past greatness had kept many of the oldest of their kin from falling into apathy and withering away, a fate many of their oldest kind who in their eyes had seen all there was to see often were struck by. But what were they hoping to find in that desert? What lost secrets did they hope to rediscover? What did they hope would bring meaning to their lives again?

(Need some inspiration for what they are hoping to find, could use some ideas. It's a 5e campaign)
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>>60823751
You gotta answer why they left their ancestral homeland in the first place. Did they do something, in ages past, that they've now forgotten? Did something terrible outside of even their control force them out? Maybe they know what's back there, an artifact of godly power, their origins or histories, something to restore them to that former greatness. Maybe they don't know, but they dream.
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>>60823619
>Is there any benefit to using arcane stuff over psionics? Or psionics over magic?
Mechanically, no. I've made things easy on myself by not looking to rewrite the system I'm using. I ask my players to conform to some fluff concepts, but I don't outright forbid builds because my job is still primarily to help them have fun.

But in pure fluff terms, Psionics is supposed to better at healing, transmutation, and enchantment type abilities. This is because of its origin in living things and in its manipulation through mental discipline. Arcane magic can do shit like bend space or open up other dimensions (conjuration) because Rituals/Spells are like self-contained Laws the universe has to listen to. Same reason why mages can just say NO to things (abjuration), raise the Dead (necromancy, duh), or do freaky shit like make shadows heavy or create matter (illusion).

Druids and Bards are funny though. Druids directly sync with the life energy of the natural world, ala Psionics, but they do it using shamanic rituals. It's like a fusion of the two. Psionic energy made to work like it was magic. I'm tempted to rebrand Bards as a sort of hedgemage or seawitch archetype, being would-be wizards who pick up Magical rituals through lore, but who can still fall back on psionic training. So the opposite of a Druid, someone who uses both without mixing the two.

Warlocks and Clerics are just Magic, since their power comes from other dimensions and beings. Paladins are pure, unadulterated WILLPOWER, where their oaths ARE their mantras. And Rangers are likely just highly attuned Psychics, something like a basic Jedi.
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>>60823868
If Bards work their power through song and music, you could also go a shamanic route with them, drums, flutes, that sort of thing, allowing them to do stuff not only to their psionic energy, but other's energy, too. I get the sense that affecting other people's/being's psionic energy isn't something you normally, but via the medium of sound, you could do so, since it affects anyone who hears it. I'm actually really ignorant of the actual specifics of the class, I'm just going off the little I know. So Druids and Bards have a common ancestry, almost. The shamanistic ritual of the Druid and the pseudo-trance song and music of Bards.
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>>60823994
That's actually a pretty neat concept. I could see Bards essentially being Druids that went for civilization instead of the wilderness.
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>>60824271
It's 6am here, anon, but I'm glad we got to discuss this, your setting is neat and I'm glad I could help. I've never really liked belief = power as a magic system, but you made it cool. Rock on, my lad.
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>>60824555
Rock on my dude. Get some fucking sleep.
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Late night bump. Have you added enough skeletons to your setting /wbg/?
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>>60826528
I have none in it.
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>>60826583
Well, pleb? What should you be doing right now then?
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>>60826609
Continuing to not put skeletons in it? They don't fit the setting.
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>>60826696
>They don't fit the setting.
Clearly you're working on the wrong setting.
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What threats could a locked dwarven citadel be facing? At the moment I have:
Hivemind mycelium(they dug too deep-type threat)
Blood rage disease sweeping through the ranks of the military(actually lycanthropy)
Food shortage
I need one more, preferably connected to the arcane/craftsmen/reformators faction. I was toying with an idea of Golems, but I've got nothing.
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Has anyone here ever created a WHOLE world? By that, I mean created more than just a dozen nations, races, history, cities, towns, etc?

I am doing something like that and it's also my first project but it's really a lot and the realization that this will take lots of time and effort hit me, but I am not feeling like giving up desu.
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A spirit of a Dwarven child singing 'How Much is that Balrog in the Basement."

Haunted forge of flying sentient weapons and overly protective animated armor forge assistants. The weapons contain the souls of the dwarves that died horribly when the Greeblings invaded.

Purple Worms love to eat metal.

Undead that can move through solid objects.
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>>60828836
>Haunted forge of flying sentient weapons and overly protective animated armor forge assistants.
Fuck yes, that's the one. I was thinking of having those faction be overly fond of runic magic, and this ties perfectly to it. Thanks!
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>>60828836
This sounds very boring.
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>>60828836
>Undead that can move through solid objects.
Fucking Final Fantasy Spirits Within
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What's the first step that you personally take when world building?
A pantheon? The shape of the world? The magic system? Some vague concept that you want to somehow express?
I'm having trouble starting personally, I've got ideas for two different settings but while I really want to work on them, something isn't clicking.
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>>60829875
>The magic system?
For me it was kinda this, I wanted to make a setting knights, armor, foot soldiers and that nifty system lived till the modern age and beyond.
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>>60829893
Been reading Mistborn and thought about this a bit, how many people end up developing their fantasy settings into more modern/futuristic setting just with more magic?
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>>60830282
Frankly I don't know, but I know it worked for me because thats kinda was what I was aiming for, hopefully it answers your question
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>>60829875
Magic is what I'm always interested in, so it tends to come first, then cosmology, sometimes they're related. To me, it's the fantastic element that gets defined first.
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>>60828754
I would not count Middle Earth or Dune as a WHOLE world. Certainly more than complete enough for most people.
Forgotten Realms might be closer to complete, and it was written by scores of people getting paid to do it (at varying levels of skill.)

I am assuming you mean a planet, if not most of this will still apply.

>>60805173
Use this framework and do step #1.

Keep your first world map basic, you will probably rework it a couple of times.

Do a general overview of Step #2 for the world.
Use your origin story to place the starting points for major races/cultures. Make a map with arrows showing where they moved around to and bumped into each other. Decide if they killed or kissed each other when they met.

For Step 3;
Make another map showing where the races/cultures live after 1000 years of killing and kissing. Add some more basic details about the races/cultures but don't get bogged down.

You now should now have some basic overview maps with biomes and populated by groups who have some background and a little history.

Now you focus in on a tiny piece of your world that you like and flesh it out with detail. Making it a peninsula or biggish island is a good choice. It helps isolate it from those other cultures that are still vague.

Run a game in that area, or write a chapter set in it.

Pick another region nearby and detail that.

Eventually you redraw the world map as needed.

The Atlas of Middle-Earth By: Karen Wynn Fonstad has good examples to illustrate some of these processes.

Go for it! If and when you get discouraged, find someone to bounce ideas off of and give you feedback.
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>>60829875
Origin Story and Cosmology/Magic.

If Zeus gets to create the World, it will be very different than Steven Hawking's.
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>>60829875
Concept/theme/atmosphere. What kind of world do I want, and that sort of thing.
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>>60777409
While someone should probably change the inside fonts and spacing, I REALLY REALLY like the cover of this pdf. Something about the simplicity of it I guess.
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Do you guys think a planet-based 5e cosmology would work?
E.g. Material plane is one planet, Acheron is another, and the Nine Hells are a moon?
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What would be good sheltered places for large towns and farms in a world full of monsters i.e. your standard points of light setting? On tops of hills? Inside of clusters of hills that keep out a lot of the monsters? Walls around the farms aren't going to work, the idea of elite riders that patrol and are highly paid is tempting but seems kinda hacky.
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>>60834090
It could work. Atropus the World Born Dead is a giant moon that sucks the life off of earth. The only problem is that some planes are infinite, and also brings up the issue of teleport.
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Hi all,

I am going to make the map for our party's town and I feel like I don't know where to start. Can anyone point me to some good images of medieval towns/forts and guides on what should be present in a town (services etc...)?

>Pic related is a river in scotland that will be the template for my town.
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>>60832565
It is iconic and has visual impact. It is easy to identify when it is a thumbnail. The only thing I might change on a bold text B&W cover like this is to make the text as big as I could. Advertising, pretty sweet.
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>>60832565
I hate it. It's generic.
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>>60835733
This is the go-to guide that works for most gaming purposes.
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>>60834090
Awesome, go for it.
>>60834367
Ancient Greeks used a hill next to a river mouth for their acropolises. Works pretty well.

pic is a map of Australia carved from wood.
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>>60835733
>>60836297
https://donjon.bin.sh/fantasy/demographics/
This online generator and the pdf guide can also be helpful for what services and buildings might be in a settlement. Not the most historically accurate and the generator produces some bizzare results but again it works for quick and dirty RPG inspiration.
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>>60835733
This is the gold standard for free stuff, I think.
http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/blueroom/demog.htm

>>60836297 is published on that guy's website and >>60836364 uses that guy's guide as a basis, I think.
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>>60834090
Of course it could work. I made the Elemental Planes planets within my world's solar system.
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>>60836297
>>60836364
>>60837081

Thanks, gonna look through all of those.
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Is Hiroshima trying to force people into buying 4chan passes with all these multi-page and slow fading image captchas?
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>>60839027
Dunno
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I'm trying to come up with names for the three different denominations of a dominant religion in my setting and I could use some help.

The religion is monotheistic and revolves around a god named the World Serpent. The three denominations are one strain that believes in a distinct, powerful deity, the second has a more pantheistic approach in that the world itself is the living god and a third more philosophical approach that believes the World Serpent as a Dharma-esque eternal law. The first two denominations revere saints that have glimpsed either the god itself or the world in its totality, the third venerates teachers who have a deep understanding of the eternal law.

They also believe in a figure named Moleg who is at once a trickster, a tempter and a sower of suffering. To the first two denominations, it's some ancient man or being that turned from the divinity of the World Serpent and practiced dark sorceries and tries to turn people from the Serpent. The third denomination holds that it's either an actual figure or a symbol representing those who turn from the eternal law.

The distinct deity worshippers and followers of the eternal law are the largest denominations, the pantheistic-style ones are a minority.
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>>60839325
The Pantheistic one could have something to do with "hydra" in the name, seeing as it's essentially a many headed snake.
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I don't know whether to take my own spin on the usual fantasy races, human/elf/dwarf/orc, or whether to be wholly original and create my own playable races.
I can see so many upsides and downsides to both, it's tricky.
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>>60840303
Do both!
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So a group of peoples that do not have their own nation, or cities, or even villages. They live in communities in the nations, cities and villages of others. They don't travel, generally abide by the laws of their host nations, but also have their own internal laws. Are they nomads, or something else?
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>>60840303
Be wholly original, but not for originality's sake. Put actual effort into it.
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>>60840327
How so? I don't want to fall into the trap of creating something completely different so as to be its own thing and then call it an Elf.
>>60840364
That's the plan, it less for originality's sake and more so the sense that this thing I created is mine as much as it can be.
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>>60840381
There's two major conceptions of what an Elf is: the wise, ancient, magical being and the capricious, alien dweller in the hills and forests. Is there a way to combine these two broad but relatable conceptions into something interesting? Forget 'originality' for a second and just try to make something interesting. Influence and inspiration exist in everything, nothing is 'original', you're influenced and inspired by something, use your specific sets of those to your advantage, media you've consumed and enjoyed or had ideas of how to improve upon. Don't get hung up on the idea of 'originality'. Tolkien wasn't 'original', he was influenced by number of sources and ideas and those ended up as something groundbreakingly different because the way he presented those things was novel and interesting. It was a mode of fantasy based more in myth than most other things before him were with an especial attention to verisimilitude.
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>>60840381
I meant more: don't rely on the tropes which have been made before you. Make your own world, with your own races which you yourself were inspired (in your life) to make. Like it can be because you saw a weird thing drawn in the margins of a medieval book in a museum and thought you wanted a whole race of that or whatever, just so long as it's your own thing.

Equally, of course, it can be elves and dwarfs and orcs. But you must come to that conclusion by yourself, ungoverned by whether those races are mandatory for fantasy settings, or whether they're too widespread for them.
>>60840580
Interesting is, in practice, the same as original ("original" here meaning "originated from the speaker").
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>>60840580
Right, I'll think about it.
I've been thinking of basing some aspect of my setting off of Indigenous Aboriginal, Maori, and Pacific Islander stories and history (because Australians haven't taken enough from them already). Maybe I could try create some interesting races from that.
>>60840616
Right, I'll think about that, the weird drawn thingies in books were (I think) where Miyazaki got inspiration for Dark Souls, because he couldn't read English and had to make up his own stories.
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>>60840616
I generally take original, in these types of threads, to be 'what hasn't been done before, ever?', which is of course practically impossible. When you try something like that, you tend to end up with something bizarre and unrelatable. By interesting I mean, for instance, a different angle on why elves are magical, wise, ancient beings. They're still the elves people are familiar with, but in your universe, they're like that for your own reason, which was inspired by something else. It's a unique pairing of two pre-existing things that together, much like a human being. I try to differentiate between 'original' and 'interesting'.
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Can anyone name me some interesting jungle cultures to research? The elves of my setting live in an equivalent of the tropical rainforest in our world but I didn't really wanna go with something too easy like mayans/aztecs and I can't seem to find anything else. I tried looking up stuff about india but they're fairly tame.
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>>60840353
Nomads travel, so no. They're some sort of a diaspora if they're spread out, but I feel like there's also a term for a group that has their own rules.

>>60840915
Kongo and the surrounding cultures are rainforest, as is Madagascar. Also, pretty much all of the Pacific Islands. There's also the various tribes of the Amazon. Piraha for example. I don't know anything about any of their cultures really, though, aside from random things like that one Islander culture that used gigantic stone discs as currency, or that the Piraha have a language without numbers or dependent clauses.
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>>60840353
They remind me a little of settled Travellers in Ireland, who are, as the name implies, nomads who have settled into regular society. They still retain their 'travellerness', their habits and customs and gatherings, but live in houses and attend local schools. They're not particularly colourful (unless count uploading threats to each other on YouTube and distributing the following fights on DVD colourful) but there's a real world precedent for them. Same thing can be found in England, too, I believe.
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Do you have sun worshipper cults in your setting /wbg/? Love me a good spooky sun worshipper cult.
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>>60842524
Not strictly a cult, but the key deity for the Sobki is sun-related worship; they worship a giant crocodile that lives on the sun, whose mouth is the gate to the afterlife.
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How weird can you get with your Dragons before people start calling bullshit?
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>>60844320
Dragons are probably the stock creature people tolerate the most wierdness and variation from. It helps that there are a million and one types of dragon from myth and folklore around the world that establish precedence for things other than the generic fantasy dragon. Make them intrinsically supernatural beings of the same order as angels and demons rather than a mundane monster, and you have clearance for turbo-weird.
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>>60839027
Use 4chanX to get rid of that faggotry.
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>>60844320
I like uber traditional dragons. Like we've moved so far from mythology that mythology is more interesting than super quirky spins on dragons.
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>>60846270
I agree with this, ever see dragons in actual medieval paintings? Wings with eye spots, whole bunches of legs, small, big, there's a lot to draw from just there.

Alien dragon angels from another dimension are only so novel for so long.
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>>60848736
It got a bit weird, the "classic" dragon with 4 legs, 2 seperate wings and a lizard-like quality did exist but it was in the minority of medieval depictions. Although to most people what's the difference between historical dragons in all their bizzare glory, and quirky OC donut steel alien dragon angels?
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>>60849029
Traditional origins with funky descriptions instead funky origin and funky description. Supernatural monsters, even deminic, instead of 'they come from the moon'.
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>>60845921
Nice cheers




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