Tuesday, October 22, 2013

World Building

Hey everyone! It's been a bit of the slow week here at Black Hat Writing. We're still working on revisions. So, I thought we'd discuss world building this week.

What is world building? World building the process of constructing an imaginary world. In tabletop RPG, this means everything from creating the types of creatures that live in the environment, to how ecology works, to how magic functions, to how the government operates. Some systems come with essential world building already in the backstory, with areas where the GM has freedom to add products of their own imagination. However, Theatre Noir does not come with much backstory yet. We have rules for how certain laws of physics and how humans work, but, other than that, it is pretty much an open sandbox for the Director (our world for the GM) to add their own world. A lot of Theatre Noir games start with humans, in what the players think is our world, and then the Director slowly adds supernatural elements if they wish. (Theatre Noir does not require the supernatural.)

What are examples of worlds? Within Theatre Noir, I've been in games with Wiccan magic and fairies, and zombies with a government based on the current American one. In other systems, I've played in space, in fairyland, in magical cities and markets, fairs and circuses (I've had requests to run a game purely in a circus), a fictional Southwestern town and a slightly modified San Francisco. Often, when I'm GMing, a session or a game starts with an idea for a world or a location and goes from there.

We hope in the future to add possible game books with certain types of creatures for example, but this is still in the brainstorming stages. Anyone have any comments as to what they'd like to see in the future. Anybody have any stories of world building they'd like to share? We'd love to hear about it! Comment or send us an email at support@blackhatwriting.com!

Interested in GMing within Theatre Noir? Rules updates should be available in a couple of weeks.

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