Worldbuilding Power: Dragons

Worldbuilding Power: Dragons Use iconic monsters in character development, worldbuilding, and adventures! Dragons exist in folklore as far back as ancient Mesopotamia. Massive, serpent-like creatures can be found in the legends and mythologies of Egypt, Greece, and Northern Europe. In Western cultures, the image of the fearsome, fire-breathing dragon first appeared in the Middle Ages,…

Worldbuilding Power: Conjuration

Use the ability to call forth and command forces in character development, worldbuilding, and adventures! The word conjure stems from the Latin coniurare, to swear together or conspire. It means to command an oath, as in a pledge of duty or loyalty. Around the 14th century it took on the magical connotation of constraining a demon or…

Worldbuilding Power: Aberrations

Use strange beings and alien creatures in character development, worldbuilding, and adventures! People frequently want to add Lovecraftian horrors to their fantasy games, but they’ve been there since the beginning. Thing that are beyond the day-to-day existence of a standard high fantasy setting. Creatures so strange that their aims and desires are unfathomable. Beings that…

Worldbuilding Power: Illusion

Use arcane deception in character development, worldbuilding, and adventures! Illusion is the tricking of the mind, and the distorting of the senses. As a category of magic, its purpose is to alter the target’s perception of reality. The definition of illusion magic has expanded over time to include spells that act as disguises, defenses, and…

Worldbuilding Power: Designer’s Notes

Worldbuilding Power: Designer’s Notes One of my favorite things back in the day were the “ecology” articles in Dragon Magazine. They would pick a monster and go into detail about how it lived, what it ate, the impact it had on the surrounding environment, and so on. It was all worldbuilding. There were no new…

Worldbuilding Power: Mountains

Use perilous peaks in character development, worldbuilding, and adventures! Mountains are places of mystery. Rising above the surrounding landscape, they are seen by all but only known to few. Myth and legend names them as the home of the gods. Rivers and streams originate there. Dangerous creatures dwell there. The terrain is often steep, and…

Worldbuilding Power: Celestials

Use the highest order of good beings in character development, worldbuilding, and adventures! Divine beings don’t get the attention they deserve in fantasy roleplaying games. They should somehow play a larger role than they do in the cosmology of our favorite fictional universes, given that they are the extraplanar exemplars of all that is right…

Worldbuilding Power: Abjuration

Use Protective Magic in Character Development, Adventure Design, and Worldbuilding Abjuration comes from the Latin word abjurare, which translates as “to forswear”. As a category of magic, its purpose is protection and defense. The definition of abjuration magic has expanded over time to include spells that act as armor, prevent magical intrusion, and banish demons.…

Worldbuilding Power: Underground

Use Underground Realms in Character Development, Adventure Design, and Worldbuilding The concept of an underground world comes straight out of the classic hero’s journey. The hero leaves home, descends into the underworld to be tested, and returns a changed person. It’s the part of the story where the challenges are faced, the glory is earned,…