Furry Writers' Guild Forum

World Building - DnD / Tabletop RPG Style

Hello all!

I was hoping to start up a conversation about how using Dnd >insert favorite Tabletop RPG here< could facilitate world building skills.

Or on the other hand, how you think that could hamper writing.

Myself, I find that using a structured base model like a gaming world is really helpful when making a world for my characters to inhabit in a story, even if the world-building never sees time in the story itself.

Your thoughts? :slight_smile:

When world-building, RPGs can help you get an idea of solid world-building tropes. Tropes aren’t a bad thing, they’re a tool. How you use them is just as important as whether you use them. Reinventing the wheel isn’t necessary for most projects.

But, you do need to be aware of the tropes you’re using, so that you can build your world effectively.

I find that most RPGs fall very short on world-building from a logical-conclusion perspective. Most fantasy worlds fall apart by failing to understand even very basic, simple economic consequences of things like magic, monsters, dragons, etc. (One of the best sit-ins I ever had was an economist student who explained, in loving detail, why he’d want a few dragons in his kingdom to stimulate the economy and break the kingdom away from the gold standard. And posited that dragons were long-term investors driving up the price of gold, carefully keeping each other in check economically to avoid flooding the market.)

One good way tabletop RPGs can facilitate world building skill is by encouraging variety. Whoever is leading the group, whether they are referred to as a GM, DM, storyteller, or whatever, has to keep the other player’s interests piqued. They can’t sling them against the same dragon week after week or they’ll get bored. A lot of the good guidebooks will include a plethora of different abilities, classes, enemies, and settings, but also different ways in which the leader can combine them together to greatest effect. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering “Well, what else could my world have?” a tabletop RPG is a good place to look for inspiration.