DnD Adventures Dev Blog – Building a New World – Part 1

DnD Adventures Development Blog

Welcome to the first ever DnD Adventures development blog post. In this blog series, we will be creating an entirely new fantasy world from the ground up in an effort to make it usable for Dungeons and Dragons or even a fantasy novel one day. 

Please feel free to contribute your own ideas to the development of this new world and share with your friends as we work on something truly awesome!

What’s the premise of this new world?

In this development blog, we will be focusing on creating a new continent called Eothil on the planet of Eothanlia. Eothanlia is a planet several times the size of Earth. It is similar in many ways. There are trees, animals, bugs, humans, etc. The main difference is the scale of these things. Humanoids (humans, elves, dwarves, etc) are only 2 inches or so tall. 

What does that mean? Well, in comparison, trees are going to stand several thousand feet. A pebble could be as large as a boulder.

The thing that excites me the most are the endless possibilities for new conflicts. Contention with the weather like rain or snow, dealing with animals that are now massive in size compared to you, and dealing with the massive size insects. Oh, did I mention that the insects in this world are sentient and have their own civilizations? Yea, this is going to be a fun one to create. 

Now that we know a short summary of what we’re trying to build, let’s create the outline of a Dungeons and Dragons supplement book and start to fill it in as we write more blog posts.

The First Steps – Creating the Outline

I always like to start with an outline. An outline helps me keep everything organized and it also gives me a visual representation of my progress as I complete the tasks ahead of me. Our outline will be simple for now, but will expand as we develop different parts of the book. Each topic will have a page number next to it. This is how many pages I expect each section to be after the final draft. It will be a while before getting to that point. Nonetheless, let’s look at the outline below.

  1. World Map (1 Page)
  2. 5 Major Powers (1 Page Each) (5 Pages)
  3. 5 Major Gods and their religions. Practical benefits of worship. (1 Page Each) (5 Pages)
  4. History of the World Timeline (2 Pages)
  5. Section on how the land is magical. How can Humanoids tap into that magic. Has it affected the power of Druids? What positions of power does this mean for Druids?
  6. Explanation of physics and how rules will work carrying over to this world. (2 Pages)
  7. Details on locations. Fifteen locations in total. (1 Page Each) (15 Pages)
  8. Create a place like the city of light (The 100) in a barren wasteland area. A place that is super hard to find and supposedly an oasis. 
  9. Details of environmental regions of the map.
  10. Bestiary of Creatures (20 Creatures) (1 Page Each) (20 Pages)
  11. Main Factions and Persons of Interest in those factions. Their militaries. Unique laws. (x5) (2 Pages Each) (5 Pages)
  12. 10 Examples of Technology. Travel Methods. Trading Methods. Communication Methods. (5 Pages)
  13. Explanation of the Magic System (2 Pages)
  14. Goliaths. Their impact on the world. How they’re viewed in culture. Their applications. Myths and legends. (2 Pages)
  15. Magical Items (10 Items) (½ Page Each) (5 Pages)
  16. Difference between Insectoids and Humanoids and their relationship (2 Pages)
  17. Communication methods between Humanoids, Insectoids, and Goliaths. (2 Pages)
  18. Types of Life on Eothil and their Relationships. (2 Pages)
  19. Level 5-10 Adventure (10 Pages Per level) (50 Pages)
  20. Hooks for the party arriving in Eothil (1 Page)
  21. 3 New Races (2 Pages Each) (6 pages)
  22. How can traditional monsters fit into the world? (1 Page)
  23. Attitudes of races and conflicts between nations (2 Pages)
  24. Legends of pre-humanoid magic (1 Page)
  25. The Crystal Gates (Teleportation gates with combinations to access various locations across Eothil)
  26. Effects of weather and how it affects the livelihoods of people and how they adjust to it. Technologies that are developed because of the weather. How cities are built to combat the weather and Goliaths moving through the world. (2 pages)
  27. Obelisk Configurations and their history. How they were used for conflict. How they are used in today’s society. List of known and used Obelisk Spells and their applications. (4 Pages)
  28. 10 Background occupations. Their descriptions and practical benefits. (½ Page Each) (5 Pages)
  29. 10 Characters of Influence and Importance outside of Factions. (½ Page Each) (5 Pages)
  30. Base these on people from history but slightly modify their background and personality. 
  31. Unique Cultural Quirks. Unique foods. Hobbies. Jobs. Customs. Lifestyles of people of different wealth status. (2 Pages)
  32. 5 Public and Secret Organizations. Some having ranking tiers. Benefits of being in the organization. (1 Page Each) (5 Pages)
  33. Quest Ideas List (1 Page)

Now we simply have to fill out details for each section of the book. I like to jump around when creating, so I likely won’t fill out this outline in this exact order, but I’ll try to stay as close as possible. Then we’ll mark off items on the list as we go along. 

Section 1 – World Map

I made a simple map about a year ago. I started by hand drawing on a large sketch pad then did some minor tweaks using the editing software Gimp. Great software, I highly recommend. It’s free too.

This is the continent of Eothil. Everything about this map is subject to change, but for now, we’ll work with what we have.

Each black and white block represents a distance of 100 miles. So, this is a very large continent. Eothil has a variety of geographical features like mountain ranges, different types of forests, islands, plains, rivers, lakes, you name it.

If you’re wondering what the circle is towards the top where Fir is, I had something planned for that but I changed my mind. We’ll ignore that for now unless someone comes up with an interesting idea of what that could be. My original idea was a piece of land was ripped out of the earth and now floats a mile above the surface. We’ll explore that later.

So this is the map. It’s easy to create one of your own. You just need a pencil, some paper, and a little imagination. Use a ruler for any straight lines. Trace the continent and add any islands you want. Then go in and start with your mountains and forests. Then the rivers and lakes. Eventually you’ll have your own fantasy continent.

Section 18 – Types of Life on Eothil and their Relationships

There are three main categories of life on Eothil. Those include the humanoids, insectoids, and goliaths. This world could have creatures like a Purple Worm or Unicorns, but I’ve decided not to focus on that right now. I may go back and include a small section talking about it, but I don’t really want to focus on the old. I want to focus on new crazy creature possibilities. 

Humanoids. This includes all of the normal humanoids races in Dungeons and Dragons. There are elves, humans, dwarves, orcs, tieflings, etc. 

Humanoid Life and Customs. Humanoids primarily co-exist and live among Insectoids. Most humans live in cities that are built among the trees or live underground in order to avoid the threats lurking on the forest floor. They behave largely the same as you would expect, raising families and working jobs. 

Humanoids View on Insectoids. Humanoids have lived among Insectoids since their creation. This comes with it’s own slew of problems, but the two groups largely work together. There is some animosity towards spiders because of the ongoing war, but other than that most Insectoids are welcome in the eyes of Humanoids. In fact, many Insectoids and Humanoids share mutually beneficial work agreements. For instance, it is common for beetles to fly Humanoids long distances or transport cargo, as beetles can sometimes carry hundreds of times their own weight.

Insectoids. This includes all bug or insectoid like creatures. This means bees, spiders, worms, flies, or any other creepy crawly considered a bug. Insectoids are just as smart as Humanoids and have their own shared spoken language. 

Insectoid Life and Customs. The Insectoids that choose to live and work among the Humanoids in large cities operate differently from those who decide to live out on their own. For instance, a hive of colony bees is going to act differently than the solo bee that works in the city. Many Insectoids have picked up traditionally Humanoid customs like music, art, and literature. 

Humanoids View on Insectoids. Insectoids have some animosity towards Humanoids, but it’s mostly because of their life span. Insectoids just don’t live as long as Humanoids. That is a slight bump in their relationship. Overall it’s fairly decent. Humanoids often fight side by side in battle with Insectoids so at least the soldiers share some respect for their Insectoid counterparts. Largely though, Insectoids are treated the same as Humanoids in most respects.

Goliaths. This is just another name for the animals that inhabit the land. This could include deer, fish, birds, or whatever else. They are only called Goliaths because they are massive in size compared to Humanoids and Insectoids. If a Humanoid was the size of a Dungeons and Dragons miniature, imagine how large a deer would be in comparison. That’s what we’re working with.

Goliaths in general are mystical and unknown creatures because there is no current way to communicate with them. There are rumors of some powerful ancient Druids communicating with the creatures, but those are just rumors. Goliaths are massive in size but don’t usually intentionally seek out to harm Insectoids and Humanoids. Although, some Goliaths have accidentally demolished entire cities out of pure curiosity. Bears are some of the most worrisome.

Goliath Life and Customs. Goliaths are animals, so they live like animals do. 

Goliath’s View on Humanoids and Insectoids. Since Goliaths are unable to communicate with Insectoids or Humanoids on any deep way, it’s hard to say. Goliaths like dogs have better relationships with Humanoids than, say, an alligator. 

Want to learn about world building?

I have to recommend one of my favorite lecture series of all time by Brandon Sanderson. His lecture series offers an in depth explanation on how to build a fantasy world. This specific video is his advice on world building. Check it out!

I also recommend checking out one of his most well-known books Skyward. There is a lot you can learn about world building from this book.

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