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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    d20 Populated Open Game World

    I'm a rookie DM and recently completed my first own story arc (as well as a premade campaign before) - which was a success! - but my players want a more "sandbox" like world for our next adventures.

    Is there anything I can use for this?

    Obviously I could just improvise the whole thing but I'd like to have something that's been thought through to some extent and coming up with a whole world is simply too time consuming.

    I'm sure there are ressources for this - I just can't find anything that fits my needs.
    Here's what I'd like to have:

    - fantasy setting
    - either not game-system-specific or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder based
    - lots of maps (including cities)
    - detailed history (including kingdoms,religions and so on)
    - lots of NPCs with brief backstories
    - dungeons and other things to do with plot outlines
    - (optional) wiki-like online format

    I could, of course, simply put my players into a world out of a video game or book - but that's not really what I'm after.

    Is there anything like this?
    If not - how do you guys do this?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    In a building.
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Populated Open Game World

    Gnome Stew has an excellent page of Hexcrawl resources which I think you might like.

    My favorite for low-prep games is drop maps. I also like to just fire up Dwarf Fortress and let it generate a world for me, export the map as an image file, and then go digging in the save file for population statistics and such

    But, if I have a lot of time, I use this method to generate a regional map and then go from there. If your player's aren't too picky about realistic geography, you can place land features wherever you think looks nice. If you do want a realistic map, I think this guide is good, but not for the faint of heart.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Populated Open Game World

    Right.

    No hexcrawl is complete. Ever.

    To run one, start with something like Hexenbracken or the Krall. Grab a copy of Vornheim.

    And remember that you'll improvise most of it - keep notes, give each person two conflicting characteristics, and don't sweat the small stuff.
    Currently in playtesting, now with optional rules for a cover based sci-fi shooter.
    Games for Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, and Silver Age Marvel. Skins for The Gorgon, the Deep One, the Kitsune, the Banshee, and the Mad Scientist

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Populated Open Game World

    Quote Originally Posted by Orni View Post
    I'm a rookie DM and recently completed my first own story arc (as well as a premade campaign before) - which was a success! - but my players want a more "sandbox" like world for our next adventures.
    Is there any reason why you cannot use the same setting for your sandbox? Both you and the players are already familiar with it, all you have to do is to stay flexible and improvise. Playing the next chapter of the setting supports the atmoshpere and has the advantage of having a "real" history already.
    What can change the nature of a man?

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Populated Open Game World

    Quote Originally Posted by Orni View Post
    I'm a rookie DM and recently completed my first own story arc (as well as a premade campaign before) - which was a success! - but my players want a more "sandbox" like world for our next adventures.

    Is there anything I can use for this?

    Obviously I could just improvise the whole thing but I'd like to have something that's been thought through to some extent and coming up with a whole world is simply too time consuming.

    I'm sure there are ressources for this - I just can't find anything that fits my needs.
    Here's what I'd like to have:

    - fantasy setting
    - either not game-system-specific or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder based
    - lots of maps (including cities)
    - detailed history (including kingdoms,religions and so on)
    - lots of NPCs with brief backstories
    - dungeons and other things to do with plot outlines
    - (optional) wiki-like online format

    I could, of course, simply put my players into a world out of a video game or book - but that's not really what I'm after.

    Is there anything like this?
    If not - how do you guys do this?
    Doesn't Pathfinder already have a very detailed setting? 3.5 has a few different campaign setting books, like Eberron and Forgotten Realms. Any of those have maps, histories, countries, NPCs, all that.

    The most important thing for a sandbox game, apart from the setting, is that the characters have clear built-in motives to seek out adventure. Make sure the players are all on the same page about what they're looking for.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Populated Open Game World

    Quote Originally Posted by Orni View Post
    I'm a rookie DM and recently completed my first own story arc (as well as a premade campaign before) - which was a success! - but my players want a more "sandbox" like world for our next adventures.

    Is there anything I can use for this?

    Obviously I could just improvise the whole thing but I'd like to have something that's been thought through to some extent and coming up with a whole world is simply too time consuming.

    I'm sure there are ressources for this - I just can't find anything that fits my needs.
    Here's what I'd like to have:

    - fantasy setting
    - either not game-system-specific or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder based
    - lots of maps (including cities)
    - detailed history (including kingdoms,religions and so on)
    - lots of NPCs with brief backstories
    - dungeons and other things to do with plot outlines
    - (optional) wiki-like online format

    I could, of course, simply put my players into a world out of a video game or book - but that's not really what I'm after.

    Is there anything like this?
    If not - how do you guys do this?
    For fantasy settings not D&D/Pathfinder base, proceed to your local book store or area of business that sells table top games. Read one that strikes your fancy and take notes.
    For lots of maps, google image of the specific terrain or setting you are looking for. If you have a hobby shop or store that sales table top game materials, look at those to see if they have what you are needing.
    For detailed history, NPC's and dungeons consider real life influences of historical people and places. A blue print of the New York subway system could be turned into an interesting dungeon for instance.

    As to how to do a sandbox like world, consider the following points:

    1. What type of world do you and the players want to adventure in? Medieval based Europe? Oriental inspired? Mix of many cultures?
    2. What specifically do you and the players want to do? Mass dungeon crawls? Political intrigue?
    3. What would be the connecting factors to everything (how to get to the places of the world and reason for going out into it)?

    these things I would discuss with your players first to get a better idea of what to design.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    Default Re: Populated Open Game World

    thanks a lot

    I've stumbled upon a few interesting things that I'm going to mix&match
    However, it seems that what I searched for doesn't exist.

    I'm a bit puzzled by that - to be honest. Considering the amount of rpg systems and fantasy books that exist.

    Why has nobody started a collaborative effort to construct a detailed fantasy world using the wiki toolkit?
    People could contribute their own little things - like NPCs with backstories or dungeons and so on.
    The creator (or a team of curators) would periodically check all new additions and approve or reject them (depending on quality and world-comparability)

    One could even stat out all the characters and monsters/bosses for different systems, although the idea would be to make the whole thing system-independent.
    I'm sure a lot of people would appreciate that and a lot of 'fanfiction' could happen (which in turn makes its way into the wiki and expands the world)

    Am I making sense here?
    It seems so obvious to me that I'm really puzzled nobody started such a project yet.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Lvl 2 Expert's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Tulips Cheese & Rock&Roll
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Populated Open Game World

    I think I've heard of projects like that, although I can't name any examples of the top of my hat. They're usually aimed at a broader category of fiction rather than a single RPG system, and as such they probably mostly focus on a slightly bigger picture. The people in those projects generally like making up their own characters, but sometimes they want to have a city in a country on a continent in a universe with a tech level etc etc handy to place them in.
    The Hindsight Awards, results: See the best movies of 1999!

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    In eternity.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Populated Open Game World

    If you want a bunch of help, just read others' campaign journals. Their characters and adventures can provide interesting stories, as well as locales and adventures of your own!
    Quote Originally Posted by GPuzzle View Post
    And I do agree that the right answer to the magic/mundane problem is to make everyone badass.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    If you're of a philosophical bent, the powergamer is a great example of Heidegger's modern technological man, who treats a game's mechanics as a standing reserve of undifferentiated resources that are to be used for his goals.
    My Complete Tome of Battle Maneuver/Stance/Class Overhaul

    Arseplomancy = Fanatic Tarrasque!

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