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MoonHunter Sayeth 20170517


Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Every GM has to build game environemnts, from whole worlds to single businesses. When I was running a Fringeworthy campaign, I was creating a new game world every two weeks. (And things inside the world for characters to interact with.) After I built so many things, I started finding basic patterns. As I reviewed my process, there were seven main ideas that needed to be considered when creating something.. which luckily had common linguistic elements.

The Seven Cs

The Seven Cs are the seven key points that you must keep in mind when designing a game environment. They form a way of looking at things, generating specific questions in the builder’s mind. Those questions will lead to better results. These ideas are key to making the process work.

Primary Cs
Key - The three main things to consider at any time.

Key-Consistency makes the game more real.

Each environment is defined by some core ideas. Every part of the environment must be in line with the key bits- what the GM is trying to do with the environment. These ideas do not have to be totally consistent with reality (though it helps), but they have to be consistent within themselves.

Key- to every action this is a reaction or response

Nothing happens in a vacuum. All elements of an environment are interconnected. This web of interconnection helps simulate the real world… granting versimilitude. While sometimes the connections are vague, they do exist. An idea or technology that is useful in one discipline is often usable in another. If you are building a smaller environment, make sure that there are connections to things outside itself.

Key- A touch of detail goes a long way

Little things can make an environment seem real to the players. Slang, weird names, outstanding figures, unique complications, twists of fate, and things out of place (but still consistent within the environment), and other quirks make the environment more memorable. The more things stand out, the more real they seem.

Secondary Cs

Key- All things have a cycle of some sort

Food chains, water cycles, weather patterns, tides, moons, seasons, are all cycle examples. The physical cycles and people’s actions in relationship to them (the build up towards something, the doing, and the afterwards) are key to life. Keep in mind the ebb and flow of human history is a cycle. Those who don’t learn from the past will be doomed to repeat it.

Key- No conflict, no adventure

Without risk, danger, need, or conflict, there is no purpose to adventure. Make sure there are things for the players to be opposed by. A paradise makes a crummy place to adventure.

Key- All things have limits

Games that have few limits become boring once the novelty wears off. Limits make things interesting and more challanging, as there are things that need to be overcome. Without limits on power items or power itself, the characters become draft beasts for their equipment. Control applied maintains consistency.

Key- Building is a never ending process

This is fairly self explanatory. You will never finish creating your game's setting.

During play many things will pop up about the game environment that were not fully considered during the initial construction. Keep in mind the other Cs, the key bits, and fill in the details to make the situation work. Every now and again, do a revamp of the environment, using the original bits and the new bits you have developed during play. Only a bad game environment admits no modification, so don’t have a bad one.
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