Quick Worldbuilding is a one page guide on how to create a world and scenario for you to set your story for a one-shot or small campaign in Tabletops Roleplaying Games (TTRPG). This file contains one page filled with specific questions which answers will be the details of your world, and a second page which is a fillable sheet for you to take proper note of these questions.
To use this guide it is recommended for you to ask these questions and answer them in collaboration with your playing group, so everyone together will be updated on how the world in hands work, making it much easier for the players to create their Playable Characters (PC) and to related them to the Non Playable Characters (NPC).
The Whole File Text:
The first thing you might want to do is to define the setting and genre of your story, like Medieval Fantasy, Cyberpunk, Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia, and etc. If you have a specific setting in mind you may skip this part, but if you don’t, just answer the following questions to create your world setting:
- How much technology is there in this world? Is any type of technology more important? Did the world have more technology before? Is technology accessible to everyone?
- Is there magic? How common is magic? Is magic hard to master? Is magic related to a theme or is it a broad variety?
- Are there fantastical creatures? Are they deadly? How often are they seen? Are there rational species other than humans? Which species?
Now to make things simple, we’re not going to create a very complex world, we’ll limit ourselves to 4 key locations (although you can choose to create more using the same process) where the main characters of the story will be constantly going and coming from. To create these places:
- Choose 4 key locations, choose their names, mark their localisation on a piece of paper that will be the map and trace paths that will link every two of these.
- How big and important are these locations? Small, Huge? Neighborhood, Village, City, Kingdom, Country, Continent, World or Dimension?
- What are each of these places known for? A Market, craftsmanship, culture, economy, creatures, magic, technology, criminality? What specifically?
- Tell the name of one important NPC for each of these locations. What are each of them famous for? What's the relationship between these important NPCs?
- How are the 6 paths that link these important locations? Forest, mountains, desert, snow, street, road, avenue, river, lake, swamp, space, limbo? How long does it take to travel through each of these paths?
Now that we have four important locations for the story, let’s define what’s region that includes these locations:
- Is it a city? A Kingdom?A Territorial Influence? A Continent? A Galaxy?
- Are the minor locations freely connected or do they have border restrictions?
- Are there more than one Macro-Location in this region? Which minor locations each of these macro ones include?
- Are there territorial disputes between these locations? Which of the minor locations are involved in these disputes?
This part is to help having something to create a story upon this world, you don’t need to answer all the questions this time, just choose one or two that better suit your world:
- Has something big happened recently in one of the locations?
- Is there a big event that is about to happen in one of the locations?
- Has someone important been murdered lately? Or perhaps just a mysterious death? Or a common death that leaves doubts for the future?
- Has the control of one of the locations recently changed hands? Or perhaps a change in the law?
- Has a specific kind of crime been happening a lot recently? In one location or all of them?