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What books do you use to build your world?


I've got a whole lotta ideas rolling around in my head on what I want my next (it would also be my first) homebrew world to look like. I don't have the time, nor abundance of creative energy to come up with most of it from the nether regions of my confused brain, so I am going to pull bits and pieces from alot of the books I own to through it together. Here is what I have so far:

Gods and Cosmology - Legions of Hell, Armies of the Abyss, Book of Righteousness, although I am going to throw in an extra Goddess of Dreams, and put a plane of dreams in the cosmology. It'll probably be a cross from the dreamscape type plane and the faerie plane presented in the Manual of the Planes. A mirror of the world, fey style, with the dreamscapes in the sky. You can pass from dreamscapes to faerie, and Fey can go the opposite. I'll be using the Oneiromancer (I think that's how you spell it) from Occult Lore for this purpose. (again I think this is the name of the book).

Magic - If I ever get around to getting Elements of Magic, that will probably be used. I'm probably going to have a dragonlance style organization that all mages belong to, based around the Scriptoriums of Tinel, from TBoR. Druids will be along the lines of the old world spanning organization with circles etc from 2nd edition.

Psionics - I'll be using several of the ideas from The Quint PsyWar, along with Quint Psion, when it comes out. Also, the extra rules from If Thoughts Could Kill, without the entire arcane list converted to powers.

Other Classes - I'll throw in several more of the classes from Occult Lore, like the astrologer, alchemist, and gleaner. Paladins are replaced with the Holy Warrior from TBoR. Monks are OA style. I may use the Samurai in some form or fasion. Bards are from BoEM2, no sorcerors.

Other books that will play promenently: Most of the other Green Ronin books, except the assassin one. Definetly the Secret College of Necromancy, Arcane Societies, and the Freeport Stuff. The Necropolis, Bluffside, and probably the map from Kalamar (cause I really really can't draw at all, much less any decent maps).

So, that's what I'll be using. My question is, what books have everyone out there used to generate significant portions of their homebrews? Do most people approach world building this way, or do you generally start from scratch, with ideas from books playing only a minor role in your setting?
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First Post
At this stage in my dm career I´m happy to use Greyhawk as the world to plant wotc:s own adventure-path serie in :)



First Post
I make settings from whole cloth. With that said, there are always a ton of inspirations that I draw on. My muse is a wide reader, and while she doesn't always tell me where she gets this or that, I know that she's pulling from all sorts of places.

My Story Hour (linked in sig) is known to have these inspirational sources:
- Aria Worlds.
- Six randomly selected ingredients in the October IronDM.
- A book I got recently on world mythology.
- Dieties & Demigods.
- Monster Manual I.
- The early history of Sparta (when it was known as Therapne).
- Eye of Gruumsh (Thanks PirateCat!).


First Post
Well I dropped Freeport and Bluffside into my homebrew world as is. One of the things that I love about 3e is the city books.

My gnomish empire is based on the shire. My elvin empire is based on Rivendale. I from scratch am creating the dwraven empire, the halfling empire, the orc empire, the kobold (reptilian) empire, the goblinoid empire and the desert humans. I expect to be finished around 2030.


WotC's bitch
I use a lot of stuff from OA, and bits and pieces (mostly selected prestige classes) from each of the class splatbooks.

If this is your first homebrew, I'd keep things simple. Stick mostly to the PHB, DMG and MM, and you can be fairly confident that things won't get out of control. The quality of anything outside the core three can be hit-and-miss at times. Also, sticking to the core means your players don't have to buy other books to become familiar with your world.

If you're going to use other material, I'd scan it carefully to ensure that unexpected consequences don't turn up. A feat in book A might look okay, as might a spell in book B, but put them together and the result might be completely wild. This probably won't happen, but it's still a good idea to do your homework.

Sir Edgar

First Post
There are two basic approaches: build up or build down.

In building up, you start from a village or town, for example, and expand your world. This has its advantages because it is less work required immediately and the world tends to focus on details rather than general ideas. You'll spend more time on developing NPCs, locales, story plots, etc. Most of the material you make will be used immediately in your game. The disadvantage here is that if players ask you about things like the universe's cosmos, general geography, overall history, etc., you may have difficulty answering because you focused on the smaller details.

In building down, you create an entire planet, for example, and work your way down. The primary advantage here is that you have a big picture of what your world looks like and how it was formed. You'll spend more time on general ideas such as deities, philosophies, historical struggles, political relationships, etc. The disadvantage will be that you may have spent too much time on general and big ideas that the players will not be interested until they reach higher levels.

For the former approach, you can use adventures, such as "The Crucible of Freya" by Necromancer Games (that includes a small village), and setting supplements, such as "Bluffside: City by the Edge" by Mystic Eye Games (that includes a detailed city). These provide a detailed, but smaller scale of a campaign setting.

For the latter approach, you will have to rely on comprehensive books such as "FRCS" by WoTC or "World of Erde" by Troll Lord Games. These provide a grander scale of a world setting.

Personally, I recommend the first approach over the second, but it really depends on your thinking style and how you like to create things.


Sir Edgar


First Post
I still use the world builders guide book for 2e ....it isnt a big deal since there isnt really any rules in there that have to be converted

When I created my Space Experiences Universe, I used as primary material the Dragonstarbooks (primary for the new rules and modern tech) and the Core Rulebooks.

I did not use any special supplements for world-creating.

Other sources where basically science fiction literature, movies, series and books, but I didn`t dig especially deep in it.

But I must admit, the basic ideas for the universe I have since approximately 6-10 years, I only modified it to fit into a D&D/Dragonstarstyle setting...
(The orginal would have worked without aliens)

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