Struggling with designing my own world since 2nd edition

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I started designing this world back in 1993 for 2nd ed. and had put it away a few years later due to falling out with friends, i have since decided to start work on this again earlier this year for 3.5 since my current friends only play 3.5 but i want to be able to easily convert things for 4th ed. but i am currently getting frustrated with the amount of stuff i want to do for it and have no clue on how to do what i want to do.  So here is a generalization of what the world is:

Every 5000yrs magic starts to die out and psionics start to emerge and vice versa, also a new form of magic is starting to appear called Incarnum.  The world is called Telluria and it has 3 moons, 1red, 1 white and 1 blue.  The blue moon is called Lazarus and it is actually the mirror version of Telluria, at character creation there is a 50% chance that the mirror version of themselves is of the opposite gender.

Combat is going to be just like in Palladium if people know what i am referring to but i still need to modify it for D&D

It has been 150yrs since the god wars ended and the majority of the gods have either died in the war or have disappeared without a trace( only 1 evil god, 6 good gods and 5 neutral gods remain).  The god of the dead"insert name here" has been missing for 170yrs and since he/she controls whether or not characters return from the dead, all spells that bring people back to life do not work.

All characters start off as 1st lvl human commoner and their alignment is neutral, the character's actions dictate what alignment and classes open up for them and characters must find a master in order to take a class when they reach 10th lvl commoner they gain the apprentice feat.  Since i am allowing players to play their characters how they want to play them, if the group goes one alignment ie.good while the others go evil, i will switch out the good or evil character with their mirror version which is the opposite of their current character.  So if you are lets say a male good aligned character your opposite self could be a male or female evil version

No craft item feats exist since the knowledge has been lost for 300yrs, elmental spellcasters who make pacts with elementals have full access to all the spell levels of their chosen element but as spell-like abilities usable # of times/day as spells/day/level.  Some mortals are turning to demons/devil and angels/archons for worship.  Elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings etc are going through an evolutionary change and the elves have abandoned their cities to go back to their ancestral lands for this change while dwarves seal off their cities, i haven't decided what to do for the gnomes, halflings etc.  Lastly something that people might not like, Paladins at 1st lvl gain a special attack called Heaven's Light.  Heaven's Light is an auto kill shot vs evil but at the cost of the paladin's life, a friend of mine played a paladin in a play test to see if it was too powerful and he killed a vampire lord with this attack and he was all excited about killing a vampire lord and when i mentioned that he had sacrificed himself to kill the vampire lord he was all like "no worries we can just bring me back to life" and that it was too powerfull of an attack until i informed him that since the god that allows rez magic to be used is missing he cannot be brought back from dead he was stunned and then told me that "really brings the overpowered feel to that attack back down to earth, since you have to be very careful on when you want to use it".

The parts i am getting frustrated with is the maps since i lost the ones i had originally made and i have no artistic abilities whatsoever, designing city layouts and city stats, dungeon layouts, stats on the gods that i have in the game, new races(one example of a race i want to make is a centaur/nightmare mix), the demi-human races evolutionary changes( i know what the elves and dwarves evolve to but not the others), legendary weapons and armour, guilds, organizations and factions, myths and legends, celestial stars etc, not to mention to do the mirror world of Lazarus.

I know it is alot to read through so any thoughts or suggestions on how to help me speed up designing this world would be helpfull
Two pieces of advice: one positive and one negative.

First, though, let me ask this: why are you designing a game world and a game system when the first time around you fell out with your friends over it? Also, your design choices seem tailor-made to piss players off. Are you sure you want to do this? Do your friends want to play the game you plan to design?

OK, the positive advice: Grab a copy of the 2E supplement World Builder's Guidebook. It's one of the best step-by-step guides to creating your own D&D/fantasy world that I have read.

OK, the negative advice: You're all over the place. Either abandon the idea or focus on a reasonably sized area and get it finished, more or less, before you do anything else.

Honestly, I think you have a fantasy heartbreaker here that will never be finished. Many of us have been there and done that... and will never do it again.
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
My Primary Piece of Advise is to Draw the World Map - basically draw out a Flattened D20 so you can see all the twenty triangles like it was a world map and draw it. You either have an idea of what the world looks like - our you can just make a list of geographical types to dominate each region and roll a D20 for each triangle so you can draw a map based on land types or water being the dominant regional feature - it will calm you down (most DMs are distressed that the yare not developing their world with any consistency. 

You can then go on and develop those square miles of valley that your PCs wont live long enough to leave - but as Dm you have a big overview that will calm your brain.

The World Builders Guide from then on looks like an awesome idea - I never had a copy so I simply took down what was in the D&D Gazeteer line - and broke down everything i knew about the region we were gaming in into the various chapters that could be found - and started a D&D Style gazetteer covering the DM Guide.Religion, History as the PCs know it, The Real History as the DM knows it, character types, laws of the kingdom, Guilds, Geography (with a Regional Map)...And Most importantly a players guide - for what Guilds the Thieves can Join, What Churches the Clerics can represent, What Fight clubs and Millitary groups the PCs might get training from, Magic and Wizards, and so forth.

All the while you can write fiction and share ownership of this with your players because more the better.  
The Citadel Megadungeon: http://yellowdingosappendix.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/the-citadel-mega-dungeon-now-with-room.html
Two pieces of advice: one positive and one negative.

First, though, let me ask this: why are you designing a game world and a game system when the first time around you fell out with your friends over it? Also, your design choices seem tailor-made to piss players off. Are you sure you want to do this? Do your friends want to play the game you plan to design?

OK, the positive advice: Grab a copy of the 2E supplement World Builder's Guidebook. It's one of the best step-by-step guides to creating your own D&D/fantasy world that I have read.

OK, the negative advice: You're all over the place. Either abandon the idea or focus on a reasonably sized area and get it finished, more or less, before you do anything else.

Honestly, I think you have a fantasy heartbreaker here that will never be finished. Many of us have been there and done that... and will never do it again.

my falling out with my friends was over personal reasons not because of the world i was building.  As for being all over the place, perhaps it is how i chose to present it, i was just giving a generalization of what the world is about, had i put down everything i have written about the world it would take a several hours to write everything down. 

I have been going over my old notes of all the cities, rivers, lakes etc that i had written down and slowly assigning them to each of the 7 islands that make up the world(currently working on the main land where the PC's will start).  I think i might still have the World Builder's Guide from AD&D 2nd edition along with the stronghold builder's guide from 3rd edition.
Sorry, I misunderstood the thing about your friends.

Also, on re-reading I realise my "you're all over the place comment" may come across as too harsh. My apologies if that caused any offence.

What Yellowdingo suggests is a lot like what the World Builder's Guide suggests. It even has templates for those sorts of maps. I cannot recommend it enough... and I think Yellowdingo would be amazed at how much his advice is consistent with what is in the World Builder's Guide. ;)

I really like the World Builder's Guide because of how it also helps you design a history for your world with a few tables. Filling in the backstory like that can really help your world feel "alive" (especially if you can tie historical events into any of the restrictions you place on PCs). Anyway, enough pimping of the book. Glad you have a copy because otherwise your only other option - besides eBay - is a pirated copy.

One last suggestion - go to the Cartographer's Guild (cartographersguild.com) and see if you can "steal" someone else's world map (and dungeon maps... and village maps... and I think you get the idea). Even if you use it for inspiration, it could save you a bit a work.

Good luck with it all.

Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
I do have a map I did recently - you can rip it off: yellowdingosappendix.blogspot.com.au/201...


NewolendH
The Citadel Megadungeon: http://yellowdingosappendix.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/the-citadel-mega-dungeon-now-with-room.html
As a graphic designer by trade, I always had an eye for really cool maps, and would often spend hours in photoshop, illustrator, or even hand-painting my world maps. I made some really nice maps, which I am proud of... BUT... since I created my latest world I was only concerned that the players and myself would be able to quickly grasp what is where. So when I made my latest world map for a new campaign I restricted all of my lines vertical, horizontal or diagonal. Then I divided the continents by kingdom (using the same vert/hor/diagonal lines and indicated the mountains, capital cities and a few major landmarks. By using the 100 mile per square and simplistic vertical, horizontal, diagonal lines, it is really easy "blow up" certain areas to a larger scale and use the smaller scale maps adding details as you go.

 The World-Builder's Guidebook is indeed a good source in general (even if several of the tables and suggestions in the supplement seem focused on making a world shaped like a d8).


Remember, the players are not likely to be cartographers and in a quasi-medieval fantasy setting, chances are most level 1 characters don't know the world at large. Have an idea in your head where stuff is and mark it on the map as it becomes relevant. Right now you probably only need a dot in the middle of a blank sheet of graph paper with an arrow pointing north and be good to go. Good luck!
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.

 
It represents as much as you really need to adventure in without straying too far. - here we have a barrow with undead, an abandoned keep full of orcs, eastwood filled with bandits raiding riverboats, a loging camp near mistwood, a farming district, and the village base itself filled with dirty politics and numerous factions looking to take control from the merchant who owns it all.

The Citadel Megadungeon: http://yellowdingosappendix.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/the-citadel-mega-dungeon-now-with-room.html
wow you have your work cut out for you  i have been dming for about 20 years so here is my 2 cents. those that suggested getting the world builder are completly right it is a pretty decent guide. now one to the big stuff starting with the actual map now iam not a graphics designer but i have used some excellent cartography programs look in to those. my main suggestion would be to start with the common area (start small and then go large)  keep in mind the players only know what they have seen or actually been too.  so start with their local first and then start north and go clockwise a good rule is  how much ground they can cover walking /mounted  using a hex grid, i never really liked the triangle thing. expand the immediate surroundings a equal distance in all directions then expand north east south and west. now terrain type use our own planet as an example for that matter the states take  a look at a geographical map, cool stuff but don't limit yourself it is fantasy you want to put a swamp in area that it shouldn't be  do so, go for it just come up with the fluff as to why. now the actual dungeons including towns and city this is an easy one there are hundreds of them on the web that's perfectly legal to download and then in a paint/photo program it is very simple to edit to a specific game take about 20 min there are some free ones out there but they are limited if its in your means drop about 50 bucks and splurge it will save you head aches in the long run. as far as celestial stars go check the nasa site or use spelljammers rules ( i know not our finest ) and factions/ guilds you have the seeds right in your post for these including myths and relics lore ect.. the mirror world (very Trekkie) just assign random roles for opposite characteristics and look at manual of the planes for insporation including 4th edition and some of the unique properties.  god stats there is no reason why you can not use existing ones and tweak them as far as fluff goes. the evolutional changes to a race i have actually done something like this before and i used gamma worlds mutation chart  it was some good stuff and i rolled random and stuck with it withing reason. ok hope this helps 
So i was going through my old notes and came across some items that i created in AD&D 2nd ed and am not sure if it is worth converting them to 3.5 or start from scratch.

Scepter of Eltrigram

Dragon Claw w/ruby:  This is a small petrified dragon's claw clenching a ruby worth 50,000gp
Effect:  Locate Object( other pieces of the scepter)

Emerald Piece:  A piece of adamantite engraved with runes made of emeralds
Effect:  Detect Magic (50ft radius)

Silver Piece:  A single molded piece of silver
Effect:  Detect Lie (50ft radius)

Diamond Piece:  A piece of adamantite engraved with runes made of diamonds
Effect:  Detect Scrying

Blue Sapphire Piece:  A piece of adamantite engraved with runes made of blue sapphires
Effect:  Identify (1/day)

2 attached pieces:  Invisibility (2/day)

3 attached pieces:  Haste (3/day)

4 attached pieces:  teleport without error (2/day)

5 attached pieces:  All spells  cast ignore spell resistance

When all pieces of the scepter are put together, the sky will darken and fire shall rain from the heavens, water shall turn to blood and Balcifer Lord of all demons shall be set free from his ethereal prison to cause death and destruction once more.
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