As you can see from my previous posts, my friends and I enjoy creating worlds. Most of the time it’s not really collaborative in the broader sense; that is, the gamemaster creates the world and the players create characters that imply certain things about the world and expand its borders.
An interesting approach is that of Evil Hat’s The Dresden Files game. In it, the players collaborate with the gamemaster to create the city that’s the setting for the game. We tried it once, but most of the players were not inclined to participate, or didn’t have the time. So it ended up that the GM and I did most of the creation. Each player has the opportunity to contribute locations, people, myths and monsters to the city. Character creation in DFRPG also relies on cross-pollination. Players include previous adventures with other characters in the group, so there’s a natural reason for them to associate with one another.
Borders of Despair was another collaborative world. Scott and I worked on it together. The intention, I believe, was for us to trade off running the game and playing in the world, creating a truly shared world.
I like the idea Dave commented back on my Borders of Despair post, that of modular world planning, and CD Gallant-King’s idea of starting small and only building out immediate surroundings as the players proceed.
These days I do my world-building in my novels, but it’s always fun to see it in action in our games.
Tell me about your world-building in the comments!