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LakethePondling

DM thoughts- It takes a Village

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Hello again.
Welcome back to more ramblings of a DM. Last post, I talked about starting with a seed for a campaign. Once you have that seed, the next step is to select your setting. You can do this one of three ways. Either you can select a predone campaign setting from a book, base it on another source or create your own from scratch.
A predone setting is usually the easiest, since all you have to do is read out the descriptions of people places and things from the book, with flair of course.
Borrowing someone else's setting is fairly easy as well. Since many authors include descriptions of people and places, it's a simple matter of adapting them into the system. Or not so simple, depending on how accurate you want to be.
And then there's what me and a lot of people like me do. Build an entire world from scratch. You may be thinking to yourself. “Yikes! An entire world! I could never do that.” IF you try to build out the whole world at once, I agree. It can be very difficult and overwhelming. Which is why you don't start with the whole world. You start small, with a town. (Credit to Matthew Mercer, Critical Roll's DM for this idea. I'm just relaying it to you.)
You start by thinking of the town you want your adventurers to start in. How many people does it have? What dominates the area? Is it a fishing town, or a brewery town or what? What does the racial profile look like? Are there a lot more halfings than dwarves in this town? If so, why? Here's my notes for Brewerton, the starting town in my Rookie Card campaign.

“Brewerton
Pop. 5K or so
major industry: Brewery, Agriculture
Also some Adventuring supplies. Like swords and armor. Import most of it.
Quite a few dwarves there, both as tradesmen ambassadors and master brewers.
Mostly humans.
Minority of Elves, Halflings, and Gnomes
Has Adventurers Guild office- Run by severe Dwarven Ex-Adventurer Woman
Hulda Rockfist
Assitant/ artist. Halfling Male Joto Quickfinger”


I also find it useful to create a map of your town, so you know where everything is. That way if a player goes. “I want to go to the tavern”, you can say “Oh. The Red Barrell tavern is just down the street.” By drawing a rough map, it helps you know where to send players. You also always want to keep in mind what makes your town unique and different, too, and what makes it the same. Every town will mos likely have a tavern, a blacksmith, and some form of inn. In Brewrton, the unique element is the brewery the town is named for.


Next step is building the nation. Draw a loose map of the nation, with where your town fits in. then add more towns. It's enough if you just have a dot with a name on it to start, you can always flesh it later. You also need to flesh out how the nation runs. Is it a normal kingdom, or is it something different. Here again, some notes will prove of service. Here's my notes on the Remnant Territories, a small kingdom, and the setting for the beginning of my Phoenix Sqaudron campaign.


Remnant Territories

    • Ruled by monarchy

      • King is Fedis III



    • Distrustful of other nationalities
    • Isolationist
    • Fiercely proud people

      • Capitol is Firmholt- 50k


There are a lot of different ways to run your nation, so have fun with it!
Lastly, is building the world itself. Again. Maps. Draw the shape of your nation, then fit other nations around. Then make up a thought that describes that land. You can always make your map later For instance, I made up a desert nation called Oasia, where the people mostly live in underground cities. That's all I need for starters. I can add in their government, their people and stuff later.
Okay. That's enough for now. I'll either talk about homebrewing deities or making NPCs next.
Until then
Lake

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