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Worldbuilding Power: Aberrations

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 are so unlike...   [click here for more]
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Worldbuilding Power: Abjuration

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...   [click here for more]
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Worldbuilding Power: Beasts

Worldbuilding Power: Beasts


Use Ordinary Animals in Character Development, Adventure Design, and Worldbuilding Let’s be honest and admit that ordinary animals don’t get the love they deserve in fantasy roleplaying games. In fiction, as in real life, we love a cute cat or a precocious dog. They’ve got personality. Other beasts, like horses, rabbits, and monkeys, get a lot of affection. At the table,...   [click here for more]
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Worldbuilding Power: Celestials

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 and good in the multiverse....   [click here for more]
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Worldbuilding Power: Cities

Worldbuilding Power: Cities


Use centers of trade and culture in character development, worldbuilding, and adventures! A city can be a lot of things. It might be a crossroads, the place where trade routes converge and merchants ply their trade. Some see it as a place of opportunity, to gain wealth and power, politically and otherwise. Others find it to be center of culture and the arts. It can be a refuge, where those...   [click here for more]
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Worldbuilding Power: Conjuration

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 spirit, forcing it to do that caster’s bidding....   [click here for more]
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Worldbuilding Power: Constructs

Worldbuilding Power: Constructs


Use artificial creatures in character development, worldbuilding, and adventures! Constructs are artificially created creatures. Typically mindless, they are programmed to obey their creator. Because they are technically not living, they lack the weaknesses of hired henchmen and mortal monsters. They are unfeeling, relentless, and can be virtually unstoppable. That’s what makes constructs...   [click here for more]
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Worldbuilding Power: Divination

Worldbuilding Power: Divination


Use Magical Insight in Character Development, Adventure Design, and Worldbuilding Divination comes from the Latin word divinare, which translates as “to be inspired by God”. As a category of magic, its purpose is to help the caster gain insight, if not direct answers, to a wide variety of situations. The definition of divination magic has expanded over time to include...   [click here for more]
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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, an amalgam of the various traditions...   [click here for more]
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Worldbuilding Power: Forests

Worldbuilding Power: Forests


Use the woodlands in character development, worldbuilding, and adventures! In the real world forests are the dominant ecosystem, covering around 30% of the Earth’s landmass. They hold most of the species of plant life, and can exist across a broad range of climates and habitats. There are boreal forests, or “snow forests”, near the poles comprised mainly of conifers like...   [click here for more]
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Worldbuilding Power: Illusion

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 forms of attack. Illusion allows casters...   [click here for more]
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Worldbuilding Power: Mountains

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 cold, and sometimes even volcanic. The perfect...   [click here for more]
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Worldbuilding Power: Necromancy

Worldbuilding Power: Necromancy


Use black magic in character development, worldbuilding, and adventures! Necromancy is magic that deals with the dead. That covers a lot of ground. It includes communicating with spirits as a form of divination. The unliving can be summoned, and usually commanded, by the caster. Raising the dead, as skeletons, zombies, or fully resurrected living beings is included in this category as well....   [click here for more]
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Worldbuilding Power: Underground

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, and the treasures are acquired. Other...   [click here for more]
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Adventure Theory

Adventure Theory


Adventure is the Third Pillar of Fantasy Storytelling Any System! Any Setting! This book is about story. I named it Adventure Theory because it’s a more compelling title for tabletop roleplaying gamers, but it’s only one component of a great fantasy adventure. To have a compelling adventure, you need solid characters and an interesting setting as well as a moderately...   [click here for more]
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Arcane Theory

Arcane Theory


Using Arcane Magic to develop Characters, Worldbuilding, and Adventures Arcane magic is a foundational element of tabletop fantasy. Whether you’re drawing upon the concepts of Vancian magic as interpreted by Gygax and Arneson, or embracing pseudo-historical tradition of Hermeticism, the ability to manipulate supernatural energy and cast spells is an important part of the genre. With no arcane...   [click here for more]
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Character Theory

Character Theory


Characters are the First Pillar of Fantasy Adventure! Any System! Any Setting! You’ve created fantasy roleplaying characters before. Odds are that the focus of the system you used was on the crunchy bits. The process tacked background details on at the end that may not have been relevant to the adventures you played. Most of the time, your character’s back story...   [click here for more]
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Cleric Theory

Cleric Theory


Using Clerics in Worldbuilding and Adventure Design Any System! Any Setting! Clerics bring a sense of mythology to a fantasy world. They validate the existence of deities. Their beliefs reflect the morals and ethics of their religion, if not the broader cultures of the setting. The magic they utilize is different because it is divinely bestowed for faithfulness...   [click here for more]
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Culture Theory

Culture Theory


Using Fantasy Cultures and Races to develop Characters, Worldbuilding, and Adventures In the context of a fantasy world, culture can mean a lot of things. Often people reduce it to what tabletop games traditionally call race. Elves are magical, learned, and like nature. Dwarves are sassy, temperamental, and like to party. It’s not so much a collection of cultural markers, or even ethnic markers,...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $10.00

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Divine Theory

Divine Theory


Using Divine Magic to develop Characters, Worldbuilding, and Adventures Divine magic is an element of tabletop fantasy with that’s seen a lot of changes. Originally intended to help emulate vampire hunters in Hammer Horror films (seriously) by allowing characters to turn and disrupt the undead, it’s grown to encompass a whole spectrum of real-world religious influences, mythology, and...   [click here for more]
Dancing Lights Press  $8.70

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Fighter Theory

Fighter Theory


Using Fighters in Worldbuilding and Adventure Design Any System! Any Setting! The appeal of the fighter is that it’s the most generic of character classes. It plays to the most basic rules, regardless of what system you’re using. There are no complicated and esoteric exceptions to be learned, making it perfect for new players. For those interested...   [click here for more]
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Party Theory

Party Theory


Teams of Characters in Fantasy Adventure Any System! Any Setting! In the past four decades there have been millions of words written about character creation. There are scores of books on worldbuilding, and notable volumes on fantasy adventure design. For some reason, though, little has been written about the nature of parties. To be sure, we do talk about “party...   [click here for more]
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Rogue Theory

Rogue Theory


Using Rogues in Worldbuilding and Adventure Design Any System! Any Setting! The appeal of the rogue is their reputation as the non-conformists of character classes. Even if they’re not outright thieves, they have a reputation for being a bit freewheeling, morally flexible, and willing to do things other characters aren’t. They’re skill-oriented...   [click here for more]
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Wizard Theory

Wizard Theory


Using Wizards in Worldbuilding and Adventure Design Any System! Any Setting! The appeal of the wizard is that in many way it’s the most iconic of character classes. Nothing screams fantasy like an arcane spellcaster, able to manipulate the forces of magic that set your fictional realm apart from the real world. While this means, in most systems,...   [click here for more]
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Worldbuilding Prompts

Worldbuilding Prompts


Develop Settings, Character Backgrounds, and Adventures Worldbuilding is essential to good fiction, regardless of the genre or medium. It creates the context for the characters and the stories that they’re involved in. The information necessary to understand the motivations of the villains, the goals of the story, and what’s at stake if the protagonists fail, are all tied up on the setting...   [click here for more]
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Worldbuilding Theory

Worldbuilding Theory


Worldbuilding is the Second Pillar of Fantasy Storytelling Any System! Any Setting! Worldbuilding is essential to a good fantasy adventure. It creates the context for the characters and the stories that they’re involved in. The information necessary to understand the motivations of the villains, the goals of the story, and what’s at stake if the protagonists fail,...   [click here for more]
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