November is done and with it, Nuketown’s first-ever turn at hosting the RPG Blog Carnival. Inspired by the “All These Worlds” line from 2010: A Space Odyssey Two, the carnival explored all manners of world-building, from new planets to undersea realms to stellar frontiers.
In total eight blogs contributed 15 entries to the carnival. The Expanding Frontier kicked things off “Expanded Frontier Map” for Star Frontiers. It offered a nicely rendered expanded view of the Star Frontiers stellar map. As a Star Frontiers fan who loved the game but never got to play it, it brought back lots of memories of building out my own stellar empire of Starrior and the corporation who dominated it, Astro Mining and Freighting. The map was rendered using Inkscape, a free and open source vector graphics editor for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The map looks great, and Inkscape is definitely something I want to check out.
The Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica (Amazon) is the latest Dungeons & Dragons campaign book and the first time the game crossed over with Magic: The Gathering in a print book. Codex Anathema contributed two entries related to the guild world: “Glittering Guilds” and “Ten Guilds, One City”. I’m only vaguely familiar with Ravnica from my time playing Magic and these were great for getting caught up on the plane and the city that dominates it. Both posts were part of the blog’s “10 Weeks of Ravnica” ramp up to the release of the official campaign book. Check out its “Ravinca” tag for more posts in the series.
Brian Rubinfeld at Daemons & Deathrays submitted two entries offering different approaches to the topic. “Bizarre Bazaar: Legend of Zelda” is part of the blog’s Zelda month and offers Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition write-ups of four Legend of Zelda items: the “Mystic Boomerang”, “Hover Boots”, “Savage Lynel Crusher”, and “Magic Cape”. The post “All of these Worlds” details Brian’s world-building efforts with Arothe, a gonzo homegrown world that mashes together fantasy and science fiction. Brian started building it as a kid and continues to work on it to this day.
The Other Side‘s “At the Planets of Madness OR Boldly Going Where No One Can Hear You Scream” adapts the Cthulhu Mythos for science fiction adventures. Inspired in part by Battlefield Press’ Eldritch Skies, the post imagines several different scenarios including “At the Planets of Madness”, “The Color out of Hyperspace”, and “Starcrash on Hyperborea”.
I’ve run a few underwater adventures for Dungeons & Dragons in my day, though none for 5th Edition. The adventures can be fun, but there’s also a hell of a challenge because it literally adds another dimension to play. Combats become three dimensional, causing challenges for tabletop mapping, while simultaneously adding a hostile element that not all characters are proficient fighting in. Rising Phoenix Games explored 5e’s take on underwater adventuring by looking at the aquatic options presented in Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual. They are good reads and got me thinking about how I might layout an underwater adventure for my own campaign.
Roll4Network wrote about “The Process of Worldbuilding” for its Mitica campaign setting. It discusses different approaches to world building, such as the bottom-up approach of starting with the adventurers’ hometown and the god-like architect approach of designing the metaverse first. The post includes links to a bunch of other world-building resources, so be sure to check it out.
For a more random take on world-building, check out Space·Time Will Tell’s “The Plotonomicon: Creating Worlds”. It uses the Space-Time Deck (a Tarot-inspired set of plot-generating cards) to jumpstart your creative brain.
Here at Nuketown, I contributed five posts. “All These Worlds…” kicked things off. “Random Planet Generators” looked at nine different tools for creating planets, complete with examples. The “Ghost Walk Star Cluster” captured a stellar neighborhood on the fringes of known space. “The Refuge of Durak” provided a planar hiding place for your fantasy campaign while “Walkabout” introduced an ever-moving town to serve as your group’s base of operations in Numenera.
I’d like to thank everyone who participated in this month’s RPG Blog Carnival. I had a blast reading your entries and I look forward to hosting another carnival in 2019.
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Jupiter’s bands of clouds. Credit: Jet Propulsion Laboratory.