Campaign Setting Design: Definitions

This article is a follow-up to my earlier Campaign Setting Design article. It expands somewhat on the idea of entities (there called ‘features'; I have formalized the structures somewhat).

I will be providing some greater description of the techniques I use to develop settings and scenarios. In order to do that clearly, I need to provide some definitions. There are other terms that will come up later, but these ones will be common to all articles in this series.

  • Entities are any story elements significant enough to document, but not purely mechanical elements.
  • Scope Levels define and limit how ‘big’ an entity is. An entity with encounter scope (the bandits mentioned below) is unlikely to have impact on the setting as a whole, while an entity with setting scope (such as a god) clearly can.

Edit 2014/04/05: The definitions previously posted below have been updated and expanded in new posts. Normally I might simply update the definitions, or redirect this page to the new definitions, but because I have split the content of this page into two that obviously won’t work.

Campaign Setting Design

After reading most of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, I stumbled on The Dresden Files RPG, and clearly it had to be mine. I’m only about fifty pages in, and I’ve read a campaign design technique hadn’t really thought about. I’ve been doing something similar for a while, but hadn’t really formalized it in my own mind. This post describes how I develop these things. I’m going to borrow some of the formalization presented in the Dresden Files RPG, but I abstract things a little more. A campaign setting can be described as a collection of setting entities and the relationships between them. These relationships are fluid and can change (or can be changed) over time, as can the entities themselves.

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