Dwarven runes are (mostly) an alphabetic substitution cipher on the Futhark runes. An oldie but goodie from Tolkien!
Someone complained that orcs, in the campaigns he knew, were just cannon fodder -- there was nothing horrible, or terrifying, about them. This was the answer I gave. It proved a controversial one, and some may think it takes a stronger stomach to contemplate than they appreciate. This is your content warning: if you're easily revolted, I won't mind if you give this one a miss.
I had someone ask me, recently, why I not only allowed such characters in my campaign, but didn't seem to care that anyone wanted to do so. Parts of my response seemed worth sharing.
From sticks and stones to the modern faith. (May be offensive to some readers, read with caution)
The most influential event in Atheus is the Year of the Exile. It set up the division of the world into east and west, the human's side and the barbarian's side, respectively. But how did it actually happen? How did one race manage the incredible feat of the exile of four other races?
A basic history of the continent of Atheus.
The skies tell the tale of the living and the dead. The honored and the worshiped. What do the stars tell in your setting?
Creating a specific Web of Intrigue for a social situation players will encounter can be a very strong aid towards immersing players in a social quagmire they will have to navigate. In this article I will articulate how I have created a web of intrigue for my current campaign, and how I plan to continue the trend.
A boring factual retelling of the complete history of the world
Tips on how to create five room dungeons that can be used for any location, are short, are quick to plan, easy to polish and plan, flexible in size and easy to integrate into your campaign.
One of the most powerful tools found in the World Building 102b article is the Worksheet. Here is a place to put the settings you might make with them.
Four maxims to remember at all times when creating a fantasy world.
This article is also know as World Building 1A.
I personally always recomend creating your own game worlds for your campaigns. It makes the game your own, rather than something you are just using. Most people will not run characters that other people create. why should game worlds be any different.
While we’re talking about the subject of constructing religions, I’d like to bring up the concept of the Creed. The creed is nothing more than a simple statement of the religion’s beliefs, meant to be recited. If you cannot write a creed for your monotheistic religion, it probably needs work on internal consistency. Creed examples:
Do you ever give ice ages a thought?
Game environments are not built with a ruler and some tape, they are built with imagination and an understanding of what is needed to make the game environment. If you take the time to learn about what you will need to do before you being the process, it will make for better results in less time with less work.
One of the camels in the caravan trips over a dark rock protruding from the sandy dunes. The poor animal has broken its leg and cannot continue. A cacaphony ensues as the animal suffers and the caravan train overseers complain passionately as they redistribute the animal's load across the caravan. (Let's just hope none of the PC's was riding this camel, shall we?)
As the camel is put out of its misery and the camel is skewered over a campfire - waste nothing! - someone takes a minute to inspect the root cause of all the trouble. To their surprise, the upturned rock is worked stone. Some frantic digging may excavate the bottom half of a gorgeously worked1 obelisk, and maybe even the small square forum below; but a more rigorous exploration of the surrounding dunes reveals a buried tomb doorway on each side of the forum.