Would you like to know where the world I’m using for Game Night came from? Heh… Yeah, me, too. All I can say is as a gamer and/or writer, DON’T throw anything away that “speaks” to you in any way. It might just be worth something to you later…
About 25 years ago, I had an idea to create my own Dungeons & Dragons game world…
By that point I had been gaming for about a decade. My favorite world to run, regardless of D&D edition, was Mystara. It was the game world that the OD&D (the original boxed sets) game used. There was so much great information about the world that had come in the form of a series of books called, “Gazeteers”. They were published by TSR (the company that put D&D on the map) to support the OD&D game.
I had a great time using and re-using that game world for quite a few different campaigns and gaming groups. While I was a fan of Forgotten Realms and I had played in a couple of Dragon Lance campaigns, I always circled back to Mystara. I would work very hard to adapt the game world to whatever edition of D&D I was playing at the time. From what I could tell, a good time was had by all.
Then I got a bug in my brain. I wanted to have my own game world. I wanted to write stories and create adventures in a world created the way I wanted it. Though I lacked any real skill at doing so, I was motivated and began scribbling out ideas about a whole new fantasy world.
My world was a shotgun blast of different thoughts and notions about a world where magic existed. Since I’m a “traditionalist”, the basic theme was classic fantasy “swords and sorcery” type stuff. There were supposed to be dwarves, elves, orcs… the whole gambit of fantasy races. And that’s how it began and started to evolve.
My progress was very slow. I would make notes in a notebook whenever an idea popped up. But I never pushed on it. I let it remain a back burner thing.
Then I lost my notes. I have no idea how I lost them. I had moved a couple of times, so maybe they got lost or thrown away during all the activities involved in moving. Nonetheless, I had lost my notes. I don’t know if it was a big loss considering that I never got real sad or angry about it. In fact, I just didn’t really care. My ideas for it were just not something to which I had gotten attached. I have no idea why.
I had not lost everything, though.
At some point during my pursuit of a custom world I bought a sketch pad. At some point after buying that sketch pad, I decided to try my hand at making a map of my world. I got a hold of some colored pencils and a coffee can lid to use as a stencil for my world map. I traced around the lid twice to create the two hemispheres. I then lightly and carefully started drawing land masses. Then came the colored pencils to add basic biomes to the land masses and color the oceans.
As I did this, the names of the continents came to me… Welandaria, Arcandara, Lucianius and Cantalus. The world now had some color and terrain and a couple of names.
Then that map sat. I did not get rid of it despite several “opportunities” while cleaning things out. Without the notes, I wasn’t sure if the map was worth anything to me, but for some reason, I held on to it.
A couple of years ago, I “found” the sketch pad in the back of a shelf underneath a stack of binders and notebooks containing years of accumulated gaming notes. As soon as I opened the pad and saw that map, my brain sparked.
Again, I have not pushed to build a lot of detail… until recently. I just would look at that map and then start writing down ideas for stories and characters. It really didn’t get anywhere… until recently.
Now it’s the world in which my current D&D group plays. I finally got that home brew game world I wanted.
The color and the depth of the world is certainly growing now. I’ve created a couple of good maps using a piece of software called Campaign Cartographer. I have a “few” notes again. And the best thing I have is a few friends enjoying some adventures there. I guess it’s my world, but it’s also theirs. That’s what tabletop RPGs are all about.
Thanks for giving this a read. Remember. Inspiration is not something that always comes easily. So, hang on to it when you find it.
As always, if you like what you’ve read here, click the like button. If you have a question or something you want to say to me or about what you’ve read, please, do so. I welcome conversation and feedback.
Type to you later 😉