Creating A Game Setting

I saw this article and it connects nicely with my long term plans for The Taleweaver’s Song.

Students at Winthrop University got to create a game module for the Pathfinder game setting as a class assignment.

This is very cool as it opens up the world of tabletop gaming to the larger world of literature.  There have been dozens (maybe hundreds) of books written that are based in tabletop gaming worlds (Ravensloft, Pathfinder, Dungeons & Dragons, Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance) as well as video games (Warcraft, Dragon Age, Elfquest), which highlights how rich some of these game worlds are.  So it’s about time that they get the recognition they deserve.

Game worlds are every bit as deep, nuanced and crafted as Middle-Earth, Midkemia, the Four Lands of Brooks’ Shannara, Westeros and any of the other dozens of fantasy worlds.

I’ve said before what a huge fan of the Forgotten Realms I am, as well as the early Dragonlance (Chronicles has a special place in my heart).  Those were game settings that became book series.  With Taleweaver’s Song, I want to develop the game setting at the same time as the books.

The books, like The Skeleton Stone does, will have codex sections at the back that detail more of the history and lands of Atair and those codex sections will get added to the growing manual that will be the game setting.

The class at Winthrop didn’t come up with an entire world, they came up with an add-on module for the existing Pathfinder world, but it is still an impressive achievement.  Game modules require more then just fleshing out the overall world, there is a depth that books don’t really get into.

For the game module, you need to craft the encounters and direction for players to go well at the same time allowing them freedom of movement.  You need to map out locations that would otherwise be glossed over in books.  That castle that the adventure takes place in?  Every room needs to be mapped out, plotted out and sized.  How does the flow work though the castle?  Does it make sense for the characters to go from one space to another?  What about traps, doors, decorations?  All that needs to be developed for spaces that characters in a book would never touch.

It’s a daunting task.  But a worthwhile one.  And a fun one.  It can be a challenge.

Gaming, the handbooks and manuals, is just another form of literature that should get more recognition.

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