So I recently began working on the actual world that our game will take place in. I’m demanding a lot out of a little area, so I decided to just create the blasted thing from scratch. I figured an entire continent of floating “islands” would be cool, so I created five distinct islands and had them floating over the water. I had already named them and created a small history when I saw that one of my players had actually written a back story for their character. I read it and was thrilled that he took my “not canon = free game” policy and ran with it! He stated he was from the area, from a small kingdom called Zi, that it had been attacked by both Raksus and Sardenala, and he even stated that he was royalty from his homeland! He gave lots of detail about his homeland, but I had a problem. I DIDN’T HAVE A KINGDOM NAMED ZI!!! So, I happily set to work accommodating his vision of Felwyr.
His small back story set into motion many other things, as well. I was still missing a solid “theme” for the game (other than I wanted some plane shifting involved). Reading his story sparked an idea. What if I incorporated themes from Magic: the Gathering?
So, I came up with an excellent idea to explain the colored mana phenomenon (big reveal at the end, shhhhhhh) and started working on a couple of cool encounters for our next game (i didn’t want to get too far ahead of myself. The players would not see the other islands for a while). The idea was to get the players to the Kingdom of Zi so I could engage that player’s back story quickly. That’s when I got an email from another player.
This player had a character concept revolving around the idea that she “protects the forest and guides travelers through it”. Pretty cool, except I rapidly realized that I had planned on them LEAVING the forest in the next game! After speaking with the player, I found that they were interested in bringing back a character from an old game of 3.5 at around level 7. At first, my instinct was to tell the player to tweak his story, but then I reminded myself of the Canon Rule and let it ride. In order to accommodate THAT player, I decided that there would only be 4 floating islands and the final piece of Felwyr would still be bound to the earth, conveniently adjacent to the land that the PCs are in now. That allows me to extend the forest into Felwyr and loose none of the benefits! Not only that, but that player incidentally provided me a great place to represent the color green! So it turned out that letting that player run with his idea made the world more organic and more awesome then what I had laid out before! Words to the wise: if you players want to build the world, let them!
I have lots of other ideas I’m sorting out, but they are too many and too varied to list now. I’ll wait till they coalesce before posting another rambling blog. Thanks again!