1. Cola Pie by Cpl.Corgi
: First of all, it's such a simple little food, and I love that. Possibly my favorite worldbuilding isn't making huge changes to the laws of physics or long histories about kings, but little stuff about how everyday people live their normal lives. And they went the extra mile and added a recipe! How cool is that?
2. Tanuki by Endrise
: I have tanuki and kitsune in my own world, so I love seeing someone else's take on them. I like that there are sections on tanuki and kitsune reproducing with different species, and the idea that that species would then have some of their powers-- I might use something similar in my world. I think it would make a really fascinating sorcerer origin... oooh, I might even write that up as an official game rule. Fey bloodline sorcerer? That would be sick.
3. Mushroom Farming by Frogdrake
: Obviously, gotta include a mushroom article from the big mushroom list. I love when worldbuilding really thinks about the logical consequences of something that we take for granted in fantasy worlds, like subterranean dwarves, and asks: "How would this make society look? How would people live their lives?" Mushroom farming is a really smart little detail to add.
4. Heavy Heads by Angantyr
: Wow. Holy cow. I love that they're not afraid to just go absolutely ham on the effects these things have. This is the kind of thing you could build an entire adventure hook around. I'd love to do something like that-- just introduce an innocuous little thing that can totally break everything.
5. Ghazali by Sovereign Winger
: Okay, I'm on a mushroom kick now, I guess. My favorite part of this article was how cool and evocative the quote text is-- it really put the magic and mystery of the world into it. I should absolutely use more quotes, especially because my games tend to be very character-focused and have a lot of unique voices to play with already.
6. Muscánsa by kveldulfr83
: I'd love to do more work like this on weird little species that fill niches in the ecosystem people don't often think about. It's so easy to do monsters and charismatic megafauna and so hard to think about stuff like slime molds, but it really makes a world and its biology feel inventive and fleshed-out. It's also just fun to have goop. More worlds should have goop!
7. Everything Ever Produced by E. Christopher Clark
: First of all, not the point, but loving this gorgeous custom theme they've got going on. More to the point, I tend towards a more encyclopedic tone in my articles out of personal taste, but this is one example that doesn't use that that I really, really like. It hooked me in immediately. The concept is such a massive fantasy of mine that by the time I got to the last bit about ad-supported brain implants, I somehow still saw the appeal.
8. Dagger's Delve by kereminde
: To me this is perfect location-based worldbuilding for a TTRPG. A small town with an obvious hook based in history, well thought-out consequences of that hook (love the three rules), and plenty of weird mysteries and room for adventures without needing to be a massive political player in and of itself. I have got
to make some towns like this in my setting-- I tend to go towards big, complex cities a little too quickly and then I'm shocked when the players travel and I have to make more places for them to be.
9. Reflection Ball by Kathrin Janowski
: The level of detail on this article is aspirational. The little tab translating the idiom into different languages of the world! Absolutely incredible! It's a pretty simple concept of "billiards but make it sci-fi" but the level of thought and execution skill that clearly went into this is what makes it shine. (Also, shoutout to Kathrin for having some really insightful critiques of my articles in their comments... they've given me a lot of great ideas for next steps!)
10. Tribal Markings by Riverfang
: This is such a neat cultural detail that they've gone into so lovingly. It's not something I can see being ultra-important in a game (I don't know if Isekai is a TTRPG world or not but this is how I think for my own worlds), but I think that's what I love about it. Sometimes I'll want to go deep into a bit of lore but stop myself because I "should" be working on something my players actually need to know about, and that ends up stopping me from writing much at all. This is not only beautiful, but reassuring to me that it's okay to just make a neat, lived-in world without having every aspect of it necessarily as "game" material.
I don't know if I believe in resolutions for 2022, honestly. I don't think we should bring that kind of hubris into the year. I entered 2020 with a lot of hubris and now look at us all. But, because I want that badge, here are a few vague upcoming plans.
- I will possibly permakill a player character (for the first time EVER!) in the next few weeks.
- My two longest-running campaigns might end this year. Both are level 16 and well on track to reach level 20. I have loose storylines and some really gorgeous cinematic moments planned out for the end, but obviously I gotta flesh those out as the campaigns go along.
- Obviously, if I finish campaigns, I need to start new ones! Still unsure what the prompt/vibe will be, but of course it'll be in the same world. Maybe I'll add some new subclasses and tweak some race/ancestry options. Still thinking about that feyblood sorcerer...
- Finally, I think I'd like to play around more with the things that didn't count towards my Worldember wordcount-- statblocks, maps, timelines, dictionary. The one language I really worked on for Worldember was a huge highlight... even though it didn't count for words, I hyperfocused on it anyway and I'm so excited to have a big, searchable database of an element of worldbuilding I already love using, so I can use it more! I told myself I'd take a break, but maybe I'll take juuuuuust a second to input my gem lore as a language...