Homebrew Campaign Setting resources?

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xredjasonx
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Homebrew Campaign Setting resources?

Post by xredjasonx » Fri Mar 06, 2009 6:13 pm

Does anyone have any suggestions as to where I could find some online resources and advice for fleshing out a hombrew campaign setting? I've had the beginnings of a campaign setting swirling around in the back of my mind since 4E first came out and I'd like to work on it during my off-time and whatnot. Thanks in advance.........

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Re: Homebrew Campaign Setting resources?

Post by Harley Stroh » Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:06 am

Troll Lord did a Gygaxian world series a while back. I don't think are still in print after the split from Gygax Games, but they are probably the closest resource I've seen to what you are talking about.

http://www.amazon.com/Gary-Gygaxs-World ... 193127522X

Edit: Yikes! Didn't realize they had gotten so expensive. Sure seems like you should be able to find a couple for @$6.00 in some d20 bargain bin someplace.

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Re: Homebrew Campaign Setting resources?

Post by dulsi » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:05 am

I've just started running a 4E game. My suggestion is create an overview of the world and fill in areas important to the campaign. As the PCs move to other areas or decide they want to play a character from a different area fill in the information. I used DragonMech, Aztecs: Empire Of The Dying Sun and other d20 settings as a basis for my outline and organization. Also I generally suggest to borrowing ideas from everywhere. Some older TSR products had some good worldbuilding information. Unfortunately with the removal of the old pdfs they aren't easily to find.
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Re: Homebrew Campaign Setting resources?

Post by mythfish » Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:50 pm

One of my favorite ways to build a world is to just come up with a very brief overview of different cities/countries (with more attention paid to the area the players will be starting in) and letting my players do most of the work for me with detailed character histories. :) I tell them "feel free to make up any cities, people, guilds, religions, organizations, countries, etc you may need for your character's background". Once I have all that, I'll fill in any holes as we play.

It works really well if you have creative players who like detailed histories. It gets the players more invested in the setting (even outside of their characters) and gives you plot hooks you can use that tie directly into the setting and characters.
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Re: Homebrew Campaign Setting resources?

Post by GnomeBoy » Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:29 am

And if you don't have players that enjoy all that background, and it's just you wanting a detailed campaign background, it's less stress to get it all done. Just do with it what you like, as you go along.

I'm kinda there at the moment myself. We've been using the Forgotten Realms as our default setting for nearly two decades. I started running a series of adventures in October, and somewhere along the way, one player made a comment about how the supposed ruler of Aglarond could not be who I was saying it was... However, the game rolled on and no one paid much heed or had their fun diminished.

When I eventually pointed out we were playing 150 years earlier than we usually do, it was cool with everyone. But I hadn't started out with the idea that we were playing in the 'past'. But it fit, worked for me, worked for them, and we're keeping on with it... No big whoop.

They like having a story, and having things tie together, but tight continuity is not job one....
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Re: Homebrew Campaign Setting resources?

Post by xredjasonx » Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:07 pm

Thanks for all the advice!

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Re: Homebrew Campaign Setting resources?

Post by gamerprinter » Mon May 04, 2009 8:34 pm

xredjasonx wrote:Does anyone have any suggestions as to where I could find some online resources and advice for fleshing out a hombrew campaign setting? I've had the beginnings of a campaign setting swirling around in the back of my mind since 4E first came out and I'd like to work on it during my off-time and whatnot. Thanks in advance.........
I'd go find a good Wiki site, that will let you create your campaign world piece by piece and link it all together. One site that's good for this, plus has an active forum bouncing ideas off other game setting designers - though many are home-brew designers vs. specifically D&D. That site is called the Campaign Builder's Guild http://www.thecbg.org

There are many other sites like that one, above.

Another place you should go, because your setting will need it is the Cartographers' Guild, because you're going to need a map of your world. Many designers I know almost have to start with a map first then its much easier to develop the rest of your world. I am a regular there. http://www.cartographersguild.com

That should get you on the right path!

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Re: Homebrew Campaign Setting resources?

Post by finarvyn » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:50 pm

Building a campaign is going to be guided somewhat by the experience of your players. If you have an experienced party then look at the big picture -- what makes this campaign different from any other you've run -- start with a few key locations that fit the style of the game and fill in details after that.

My thought to building a campaign world for inexperienced players is to retrace the steps that I went though in the 1970's, which is to start local and work outward to the more global. My first step involved the creation of a mega-dungeon. I built one which was a dozen or so levels deep with lots of sub-levels and whatnot. This kept the group busy for a while. The second step was to create a local map with a village/city and the dungeon and some wilderness space between the two. This kept the group busy for a while as they hauled loot back to the village to resupply, then returned to the dungeon for further delving. Eventually I expanded to the nation scale as my characters rose high enough in levels to take on a big but faraway baddun.

In either case, don't hesitate to "borrow" locations from books, movies, or other game worlds you've seen. If someone told me to go to Paris, France, I would have an idea what's there even though I've never been there. Using Lankhmar or Rohan or CSIO or other places from books has the same effect on the campaign, where players have the general feeling they know what things are even if they don't have exact details. And you can tweak things to change some of the details to surprise them becasue not everything they "know" is 100% accurate.

Worked for me, anyway.
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Re: Homebrew Campaign Setting resources?

Post by Jengenritz » Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:32 am

This is advice I've given before, but I think it still holds true.

In my opinion, the most important resources you can have when writing for publication or writing for homebrew are:
- an inquisitive mind that asks "How can I use this?"
- a notepad

If you're at a zoo and learn about the ecology of desert, make a note.
If you're watching Mythbusters and Jaime and Adam fail to blow something up because of some scientific reason, make a note.
If you're at a museum and wandering through the ancient jewelry section, read the little placards. Then make a note.
If you're reading about some territorial dispute in a far corner of the world and there's a hyperlink on the history of the conflict, click it. Then make a note.

The importance of actual experience cannot be understated.
If you've never been in a real cave and you have the ability, go. Then make a note.
If you're never been in an actual forest and you have the ability, go. Then make a note.
If you've never been in a walled city or castle and you have the ability, go. Then make a note.
If you've never ridden a horse and have the ability, do. Then make a note.

If you can't do any of those things, or if you have questions about anything, the Internet is your friend.
I'm partial to several sites, like:

"Just what does the inside of a volcano actually look like?"
http://www.goodearthgraphics.com/virtua ... rtube.html

"What is the word for 'chief' in Swahili?"
http://www.freedict.com/

"What the Hell is a tourmaline, anyway?"
http://blueceylon.com/gemstones.asp
http://webmineral.com/

"What job does City Guard Gustav's father have?"
http://www.castles-of-britain.com/castle32.htm

"How can I play the sound of a zombie groaning in-game?"
http://www.mysoundfx.com/home/sound-effects.html

I bookmark any interesting sites I come across, and throw them into a big ol' folder (sorted into Language, Historical, and Utilities) that I call RPG Resources.

Anyway, I hope all this helps.
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