Building Adara

(C) 2000, JJ Shaun
The Adaran continent.

I spent this week combing the Internet looking for information on how to build a better fantasy world.

I created an account with the Dungeon Master’s Guild and went trolling for information. The DM’s Guild is a site on which a bunch of DM-created guides and play modules are available—some for free, some at a modest charge, and some for the price you’d pay at your local gaming shop. I picked up and printed out a few conversion tables and charts that were available for no cost and added a bunch of files to my wishlist. I searched for free stuff and discovered a plethora of information that I can now add to my DM’s toolkit.

I’ve been poking around on YouTube and searching for podcasts. I still need to organize all this information into something that makes sense. I’ve been like a kid in a candy store the last few days, not sure what to grab first. Now that I’ve downloaded the files, I need to figure out precisely what I have.

What files I’ve looked at have just enough information to get me started and let me “plug and play” a scenario in my world without having to make a lot of changes to the text. Because I’m creating a “homebrew” campaign, that cuts down on some of the work I have to do to get the first set of adventures up and running. In the past, I’ve used pre-written modules and stitched them together into a campaign. Remembering to change the place and character names to fit my world was tedious, and I didn’t always remember to make the changes.

Now that I have time to create a campaign of my creation, I don’t want to have to make do with someone else’s modules that I’m bastardizing to shoehorn into my world. I have an overall idea of who the antagonists are. When to introduce the clues the protagonists will need to follow to complete their task. What happens between the time they meet and the time they confront the antagonists will be up to them—and the dice.

I’m still waiting to get background stories from my players. I wanted to give them time to come up with a good party and decent background stories. I will need to weave their backgrounds into the overall campaign, so the players have a stake in the story. I don’t just want to take them on an adventure of my choosing, I want them to feel like they belong in the world so they’ll want to play there again and again.

Even better would be if my family continues to use my playground when they are ready to create their own campaigns. Time will tell. For now, though, I’ll keep building my little corner of the Astral Plane and hope that someday it finds its way into the greater multiverse.

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