Make Your World Unique (Realism Is Overrated)

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0910

RPT GM Tara sent me some cool world details. I thought her ideas were very creative and might make tiny examples of how you can make things unique and interesting for your setting.

Hello Johnn,

I emailed you last year about running my first 5E D&D campaign. I was very stuck for ideas then, and I continued to be stuck for a while, but your recent Musing on creating more ideas than needed has really helped me get through that!

I’ve been practising generating ideas, and now — after talking more with one of my players about what she wants out of the game — I have the beginning of a campaign setting in one of my notebooks!

My player said she’d like to see things that work differently in the game world to how they do in ours. So I created d4 ideas…and all of them inspired me.

Here they are:

  1. Most humanoid species in this world actually lose weight the more they eat. If everyone in the orc camp is on the chubby side, you know food’s been scarce.
  2. There’s a type of intelligent predatory tree that drains the air and life from its surroundings, creating desert and wasteland areas where it’s difficult to breathe.
  3. Dragons age backwards…so you need to watch out for both the enormous young and the more intelligent and magically powerful, but much smaller, ancient dragons.
  4. This world’s sun is a glowy ball of ice. Days are brighter, but nights are warmer. It’s a bit of an ice age world…however, it does snow tiny little fireballs in the winter months.

Next time my group meets up, I’ll ask both my players to add a few ideas of their own.

Thanks for the tips, Johnn!

– Tara

I love reading ideas like this. I often get caught trying to make things realistic.

Realistic — what an imagination-killing word. Bleh.

So thanks for the inspiration, Tara!