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Campaign/World building advice

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I'm hoping to generate a discussion about building a campaign, and possibly a world around it. I'm going to be running a group of players through the Shackled City adventure path, and then hoping to ease them into a modified Blue Rose campaign, but eventually I'd like to build my own homebrew campaign. I'll probably want to use True20 for the ruleset, but that's not really important for this thread I suppose. My question is what method do ya'all use for starting/building a campaign/world? Do ya start by fleshing out only a locale and it's immediate vicinity, then build up from there ala Shackled City? Do ya design an entire world first, including weather patterns, trade routes, etc? I can see the merits of both but I'm kinda torn about which I might prefer. I have plenty of time before I'd start running players through it, so either method would be acceptable, I'm just curious to read about ya'all's experiences and what rticks/tips/advice ya might have. Thanks in advance :)

Phantom Stranger:
There is the start big and start small method, I suggest the start small method.  With the adventure selection you have chosen, you will find that you will not need that much in "campaign world," concepts beyond a reasonable locale, gods and such.  As you start small you can branch out and as you run more campaigns you can flesh it out and combine the various lands and concepts into the campaign world you want.  I suggest you start with the stuff that really matters and work from there, and work on the other stuff in your spare time for yourself.

Name Lips:
I like developing a whole contenent first, and going from there.

I consider my Physical Geography class in college to be nothing other than a "campaign world map generating" class. It's amazingly applicable stuff.

If you don't mind a lot of fairly dense information, here's an online Physical Geography textbook:

Thanks PS. I really am leaning that way. It seems to me that it would be better because it allows my players to actually help develop the world with their IC actions and input, but I can understand the start big style too, so I'm hoping someone will relate their experience with it.

Very cool link NL. I have a basic continent map, but I was thinking of looking for some info to use in making it geographically logical...your site will help lots. My thinking is, whether I only flesh out a little piece...starting small as PS says, or detail the whole damn thing at once, a good continent map is always a Good Thing.


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