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Summary

The essential elements for building a world.

Roleplaying games and fantasy fiction are filled with rich and fascinating worlds: the Forgotten Realms, Glorantha, Narnia, R'lyeh, Middle-earth, Barsoom, and so many more. It took startling leaps of imagination as well as careful thought and planning to create places like these: places that readers and players want to come back to again and again.

Now, 11 of adventure gaming's top designers come together to share their insights into building worlds that gamers will never forget. Learn the secrets of designing a pantheon, creating a setting that provokes conflict, determining which historical details are necessary, and so much more.

Take that creative leap, and create dazzling worlds of your own!

Essays by Wolfgang Baur, Keith Baker, Monte Cook, Jeff Grubb, Scott Hungerford, David "Zeb" Cook, Chris Pramas, Jonathan Roberts, Michael A. Stackpole, Steve Winter, with an introduction by Ken Scholes.

Nominated for two Ennie Awards: Best Writing and Best RPG-Related Book.

©2012 Open Design LLC (P)2017 Open Design LLC

What listeners say about Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Only the second half is good

I nearly abansoned the book during the first half because it didn't say anything useful, only filler and stories. After 1 and a half hours or so it started saying more useful things, and altogether, I felt like most of the relevant information was crammed into the second half of the book.

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geared towards D&D campaigns.

I was expecting it to focus on worldbuilding in a general sense, but instead every chapter seems to have the players and how your world relates to them as the focus. Not good for writers or authors looking to get some tips on how to deepen their world. GMs might find it quite useful though.

1 person found this helpful

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  • John Koehler
  • 26-10-18

A must read for World Builders

The essays here are fantastic and well worth the time. many game concepts are discussed in detail, putting voice to some things that I had already been thinking.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kyle
  • 18-11-17

Awesome world building tool.

This is a great tool for any word builder. I make home brew worlds for RPGs and while listening to this it just filled me with more and more ideas. I will continue to come back to this book whenever I am preparing to create a new world. The narrator was very engaging. The way he read kept my attention which, I'm my opinion, is what you need in a compilation of essays.

2 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 06-04-19

A must read for Game Masters

This is a great set of reports that can help any GM grow their games and worlds. They cover everything from drawing maps, to building societies and factions, to licensee work. 10/10 I’ll read again and again.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nitoro Hakubo
  • 01-01-19

Insightful for writers, Gms, and designers

A short but sweet info packed book full of knowledge and experience from some of the game industry's finest. This book is handy for anyone looking to build and manage worlds- nor just gamers.

1 person found this helpful

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  • S. Hanson
  • 11-10-20

This is a series of short essays

There is no logical order to this book, and most of the advice is extremely generic. The chapter on cults and secret societies was by far the most useful.

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  • Cody Chase
  • 28-09-20

A must read for any content creator or DM/GM!

A great read that I was lucky to have. These folks did a great job explaining things in a way I can understand and in an easy to follow way. Thank you so much, it's changed how I look at world building and made my games I run 100% better

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-06-20

Good source of information!

this give a whole lot of great ideas when it comes to building an rpg world. I will definitely be referring back to this in the future!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-04-20

Much to be desired

I got this book hoping to get some help on how to construct a world of fantasy. and although there is some good advice to be found in here, I feel most of the listening is a drudge through a swath of unknown worlds and fantasy RPG projects these authors have worked on, and assume the reader knows which worlds they're referring to. The narration feels like I'm being read a night time story by my babysitter, make it harder to take seriously and get through.

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  • Chad
  • 25-02-20

Not bad

This is a random collection of essays that's kind of targeted towards D&D dungeon masters, kind of targeted towards fantasy authors and kind of targets towards other types of creatives. There seems to be no single target audience or unifying purpose, an no single essay will apply well for everyone. It's mainly to satisfy intellectual curiosity. It's kind of interesting to learn some tips on creating a world map for a fantasy world, or about trying to get hired to create a work for a licensed property. But don't expect this to be a useful, thorough, how-to guide for any given creative endeavor. I wanted to get some ideas that could help me as a beginning DM. A few of the essays were somewhat relevant, but only a few. It wasn't terribly helpful for that purpose overall. This would seem better as random blog posts on a website.

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  • Jon
  • 04-09-19

Great for a dm, player, or writer

World and character building tips from someone who has done it for years. You can always learn more.