While it may be adventure design in dependent on world building -- I think some people in this thread would disagree with that statement -- I don't think the opposite is necessarily true. Good worldbuilding is not dependent upon good adventure design. Good world building makes the world worth investing time, attention and play energy into for the players, but that doesn't necessarily translate into "go on an adventure." Sometimes the goal is immersion or verisimilitude or just good old fashioned "that's cool!"Well, the worldbuilding is really the foundation for much of a good adventure's design.
What is this place? Who are these people?
Those are worldbuilding elements.
My point was that sometimes I do worldbuilding without having an actual group to run it for, as the mood takes me. Maybe I'll end up running it with a group and maybe I won't, but until that happens 1) is not possible as I don't consider there to be any "play" in this context.
However, I still consider that activity to be RPGing.
I'm not a huge fan of self-play anymore, though, so I tend to ease way off the 'things happen regardless of the characters' thing, and just stick to what's going on around the characters. Still plenty deep -- I haven't notice a distinct difference in immersion of my players since I stopped doing solo-play in my settings. So, even there, in the built world concept space, the need for completely disconnected setting that the characters have to find their own connections to is not necessary..
Ovinomancer characterises worldbuilding in the form of a completely disconnected setting that the characters [and players, I think] have to find their own connections to as "self-play" and "solo-play".I've come up with the most succint view on world-building that I can, which is this:
World-building is the appeal to authority of RPGing - a circular process by which a GM both invents the need for such authority and then invokes it to justify their ongoing position as the controller of play.
This seems to assume a GM-centric approach. Immersion, verisimilitude and "that's cool!" seem here to be passive responses of the players to the fiction. It seems very close to reading a book or watching a film - ie enjoying the experience of someone else's fiction.Good world building makes the world worth investing time, attention and play energy into for the players, but that doesn't necessarily translate into "go on an adventure." Sometimes the goal is immersion or verisimilitude or just good old fashioned "that's cool!"
Dungeon play, in its traditional form at least, relies on the GM/referee, during the actual course of play, to be an impartial presenter and adjudicator of the material s/he has already prepared. No dungeon key can be literally complete, but it should include everything obviously salient given the established conventions (eg basic architecture, doors, furnishings are fundamental; whereas the texture of surfaces typically is not). And the GM's extrapolations from the key, when play calls for them, should be as neutral and matter-of-fact as possible.Entering a chamber full of goodies with various possible PC interactions I find is similar to entering a bustling tavern.
I don't follow this, or what the incongruence is.I do find it incongruent that you're establishing such a specific divide especially with the "too much going on" particularly because your AD&D argument for shared fiction relies on the paladin questing for his horse solely compared to everything else that needs to be included in the setting for material and social terms.
My experience is players love to come up with the towns, cities and even nations where their characters come from rather than having to ask the DM, so before the campaign begins I, as the DM, actually do very little world building. I usually just create the starting town and the starting quest.
Then after session 0, I take all of the world building my players have done and start fitting it into the larger world while I add in more details around it.
I also like to world build as I go, using the "leaving doors open" method. What this means is I drop loads of tidbits, hooks and little details here and there, not only to see which my players pick up on, but which ones take my interest later on too. In the first session I added a silver brooch in the shape of a Kraken clasped onto the cloak of a dead Dwarf. Now, 21 sessions later, Kragomandir, the sleeping Kraken worshipped by the Dwarves has become a major part of the plot. I had no idea that would be so when I first put that brooch onto that fallen Dwarf. For me this is one of the spices of DM'ing, I love not knowing where even my own world building will go.
Both of these. As someone who has spent lots of time writing fiction, I'm tempted to lay out something gloriously detailed for players to traipse around in and do heroic things. However, I've come to learn that world building isn't a "build it and they will come" – rather, it's "they come and you will build it". Imagine a film written specifically for the interests of the seated audience present in the theater for that day. All my fingers are wet and in the wind.While I generally agree that broad strokes and empty spaces work well for many elements of RPG world building, the place where I have trouble is remembering to write down and then go back and shore up whatever nonsense I come up with off the cuff.