Weekend Writing Prompts: MAKING A WORLD

By Adeline Piercy & Mack Dechaine

In theme with the Dungeons & Dragons series, this week’s prompts provides you with resources to bust through writers block and create a new world using charts and resources designed for worldbuilding in D&D! If you haven’t read the previous posts on building maps and a world, you can check them out here: Maps & World.

Some of aspects of this prompt require fancy dice to roll. If you don’t have a D&D dice set, never fear! You can use this site for all your dice rolling. The number of sides on a die is indicated with the notation d#. For example, a standard six-sided die is a d6, and a twenty-sided die is a d20.

In the map building post from a few weeks ago, there are websites and resources available to make maps in great detail. But when it comes to writing quickly or coming up with the spark, sometimes a quick option is best! Check out this site to see how you can use a random toss of dice (or other various small objects!) to come up with an outline for a map and give you a foundation to build upon.

The first place you can start to build your world is choosing a theme. Roll a d10 and see what theme you get. Alternatively, if you see something on the chart that really sparks your interest, go with that one!

Now that you’ve got your theme, check out this video on fantasy sub-genres by Daniel Greene to really build out the concept.

Next, figure out who the movers and shakers are in your world. Roll a d8 to see who has the power in this world.

Now that you have a rough idea of what your world looks like, add a little bit of ~spice~. Roll a d10 to see what world shaking event is occurring in this world!

Another resource you can use to add details and nuance to the world is Auto Roll Tables, which lets you select from a number of categories of world building. Click on the tab of the category you’d like, choose your sub-category or theme, then scroll through the roll to see what you could include in your world. Remember, there is no wrong answer and you don’t have to use what’s rolled. If a roll sparks another idea you like better, run with it!

As an example, I rolled some dice and am going to create a world with a sword and sorcery theme (rolled a 2) that focuses on a world where magic is odd and rare, but where a magical leader(1) starts a new organization (9). From here, I’m thinking of writing about a world that hasn’t seen magic for centuries, but then a magical being shows up and re-introduces it. Try it out for yourself!

Stay tuned for the last part of this series which explores character building. Happy writing!

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