Monday, March 28, 2011

World Building Resources

Last Updated March 2011
Please let us know if we've missed an especially good Worldbuilding Resource!

Atomic Rocket
Just what the name says: ATOMIC ROCKETS. How cool is that?

Basilicus is a world-building project focused in the Basilicus Prime Galaxy, a fictional galaxy home to both advanced and feudal societies. Although several civilizations have ventured off into neighboring star systems; several others have not reached the technological knowledge to traverse the four corners of their own planet.
Step By Step and Building Worlds are suggested as beginning articles to get you started if this project appeals to you.

Celestial Architect Spreadsheet
A really handy spreadsheet for building planets, comes in Open Office format.

Color of Plants on Alien Worlds: NASA
It's NASA, so they ought to know what they're talking about...

The Division of Territory in Society
Very interesting work rooted in sociology that helps plot out who got what land and how/why.

Earth Impact Effects Program
The Earth Impact Effects Program is an easy-to-use, interactive web site for estimating the regional environmental consequences of an impact on Earth. This program will estimate the ejecta distribution, ground shaking, atmospheric blast wave, and thermal effects of an impact as well as the size of the crater produced. This program needs to be seen to be believed.

Fantasy Worldbuilder's Forum
A forum devoted to people who build imaginary worlds and can't keep their mouths shut about it, like most of us...

Jacmus-Prime Worldbuilding
They have a nice article on What is Worldbuilding?

The Language Construction Kit
DIY pseudo-gibberish. It doesn't get more nerdy than this, does it? But at the same time, it is handy to cuss people out without anyone knowing exactly what you're saying, some times...

Magical World Builder
A fairly basic intro to building a fantasy world.

The Metaverse
A tremendous resource for Constructed Languages, Synthetic Cultures, Worldbuilding and all manner of other creative crimes against normalcy.

The Planet Construction Kit
371 pages for about $15 -- a bargain, really. Check out Yonagu Books.

Planet Designer
A really handy online resource to help with the math involved in designing worlds.

A Fantasy-oriented Worldbuilding site. Qaiyore is a game in which the players take the roles of societies, rather than playing individual characters. The players invent a society with its culture, and guide its development and interaction with the world. Emphasis is placed on developing a detailed history and cultures for Qaiyore, along with myths and legends. Too bad it hasn't been updated since 2004...

One Guy's efforts at SciFi worldbuilding. He's also writing a novel and doing other stuff.

Ray Winniger's Dungeoncrafting Articles
This is a 29-part series of articles that originally appeared in Dragon magazine from 1997 to 1999. It was (and still is) a comprehensive look at the process of traditional dungeon-based game-mastering, which is a form of Worldbuilding in and of itself.

Rish Staat's RPG/Worldbuilding Articles
Some interesting stuff to look over here. The piece on Structure in Gaming is well worth a look.

Roleplaying Tips: Worldbuilding Articles
Quite a selection of articles on worldbuilding--and a lot more--at this site.

Stars and Habitable Planets
An excellent site for getting deeper into the nitty-gritty of planet formation, types of stars, and all that fun science stuff. The Earth-like Planet section is handy, as are the sections on Water Worlds and Super Earths.

Star Types at Enchanted Learning
A nice primer on the various types of stars that are out there.

This Orb
A Worldbuilder's blog. Home of the Celestial Architect spreadsheet.

Virtual Verduria

Wikipedia: Solar System

Wikipedia: Stellar Classification

Wikipedia: Worldbuilding

World Builder Projects
A bunch of links to all sorts of worldbuilding across the WWWeb.

Some nice resources at the Fantasist.net site.

Worldbuilding Links


  1. I am always a sucker for a links farm or a reading list. Great stuff.

  2. Great list of resources. Thanks!

  3. I've spent a good bit of time reading Atomic Rocket, a very interesting site. I'll have to check these out. Thanks.

  4. Ray Winninger's "Dungeoncraft" Essays

  5. @ckutalik: Then you are in luck sir--we're assembling a set of Reading List/Bibliographies around some of oour house specialties based upon a conversation-via-comment-panel we had with Trey. These Reading Lists/Bibliographies will help break some of the big aticles we've been compiling down a bit more, make them a bit easier to digest, and easier to exploit/apply, or so we hope...

  6. @Trey: Thanks! We should have a few more to add before too long. Just need to dig through the backlog all over the desk, chair next to the desk, notebooks from the recuperation-recliner, and all those dangling pieces in the electronic aethyr of the terabyte drive...and no, I'm not kidding.

    @Drune: Atomic Rocket is fantastic, scary, and incredibly in-depth. It is a potentially wonderful resource for the Humanspace Empires no doubt. We should talk sometime about a few other such resourtces...

    @austrodavicus: I'll add that link, and it will also go over to the Megadungeon Links that we're compiling (again). Thanks for pointing that out! Some really good stuff there!

  7. @NetherWerks - I realise the poorly chosen "Dungeoncraft" title is misleading, but the series isn't about dungeons, it's about DM's creating "the basic framework of a fantasy world". You might want to reconsider putting it with megadungeon links as this is actually a series all about World Building and not dungeon design.

  8. @austrodavicus: Those articles by Ray Winniger are really good stuff, and of course you are right--they definitely belong to the Worldbuilding Links where I'm placed them, though I think that they could be squeazed into the Megadungeon Links page in a bit of double-duty. The piece on Creating an Adventure Concept is particularly good. Thanks again for pointing those articles out; they are a wonderful resource!


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