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Cow: Foundation and Setting


Scope (write a sentence on each):

What is your motivation for building this world?   What are you hoping to get out of it?   What is the Hook or Unique Selling Point of your world? What makes it unique or different?  


What’s the Genre of your World?   How does the world feel (player experience)?   What is the tone of your world   What is the character agency level like?  
Anvil Advice
Character agency describes how much power the PCs have to change the world, and how long-lasting that change might be. In a Noble campaign (think Starwars) one person can change the whole universe, and effect lasting change. In a Grim campaign (think 40K) one person can have only a very limited impact on the fate of the world, and that change often doesn't last long.
  What are the recurring themes which reinforce the genre, tone and feel of your world? (Give three examples)
Anvil Advice
These three things should cover the overarching campaign, but do not need to feature in every single session. They are a great way to help underpin that this is the same genre, tone, narrative and campaign, despite the different flavour of adventures within it.


Gender Relations:
Anvil Advice
Choose three to five focal points of your world from the list below to focus your worldbuilding on:
  • Government Presence
  • Rule Of Law
  • Social Services
  • Economic Strength
  • Wealth Distribution
  • Agriculture And Trade
  • Race Relations
  • Class Relations
  • Gender Relations
  • Sexual Orientation Relations
  • Military Influence
  • Religious Influence
  • Technology Influence
  • Arts And Culture Influence


1.   2.   3.   4.   5.  
Anvil Advice
Add 5 points of drama to your world - you can use one or two of them for your main plot line, but the rest are just there to create the impression of a larger world in motion.


Rules of the World

What are the fundamental differences in the natural laws of your world compared to Earth?
Anvil Advice:
Does your world have magic or altered gravity, midichlorians or psionics? Starting with your world’s natural laws is very important, as they can have fundamental repercussions on everything in your world! Get them sorted now and they’ll create fascinating interactions! Forget, and they’ll create holes in your worldbuilding! And make sure you sense-check with your previous answers - if your genre is hard sci-fi, you might not want to introduce magic, for example.


How did this world come to be?  
Just one paragraph on this - don't go full Silmarillion!


What does the geography of your world look like?  
This should be a generic vision of the geography to set the feel.
  Does your Geography have any special properties or features?  

Initial size of building (you can always expand later!)

What is the initial size of your active campaign setting?  

People and their History

Who used to live in your active campaign space, and what’s their history?   Which species/cultures live here now and what’s their history?   What do they need, and what do they need from each other?  
For each group (culture or race) in your active campaign area, limit your answer to one paragraph, and remember to include one sentence on their opinion of "others". For each group not in your active campiagn area, limit your answer to one sentnce.

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Cover image: by Stefan Keller


Author's Notes

Find the video where these questions were explained, here and reviewed here.

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