Tag Archives: Worlds

(Defunct) World Building College Course

If you’re serious about world building, this one might be something for you: The California State University is/was offering a course in World Building. The course is offered both on-campus and as a distance learning course. It focuses on realistic, scientific world-building. I am not sure if the course is still actively offered; the Open University does not seem to list it. I’m actually interested in this course, but unfortunately the professor who taught it does not reply to email at the moment. A pity.

Update: Also seems the Cal State site doesn’t respond anymore. Too bad. Does anybdoy know of a similar offer?

Worldbuilding and me

I’ve been world building for as long as I can remember. As a child I owned many Lego bricks, and built many imaginary worlds from them – often space-themed, but there were more “mundane” worlds. Later, in the 1980s, my mother got me my first role-playing game, and I was instantly hooked. I used the prefab settings for a long time, but built my own modules and campaigns. At the same time, I began to fiddle with writing fiction.

In October 1993 some friends and I wanted to start a fantasy campaign. The system was GURPS, and the setting… well. GURPS comes with a strange fantasy setting based on real-world religions. We didn’t own the world-book, and to be honest it would not have been to our taste. After a friend failed to come up with a campaign, I took on the job of Game Master. I told the guys I’d have something ready in two weeks. In these two weeks I built a fantasy world I called “Enderra“. The first game session was, as best as I can reconstruct it 18 years later, on October 23rd, 1993.

Map of Old Enderra (pre-Demon War), circa 1992
Map of Old Enderra (pre-Demon War), circa 1992

The Enderra campaign ran at a very irregular schedule for several years and eventually died. In the late 90s, we decided to start playing again. I was again the GM. When I started to prepare for the game I quickly decided that I did not want to use any of the prefabricated worlds. But I also thought that building a new world from scratch would be wasteful. After all, I already had Enderra – there were many things about Enderra that I did not like anymore. So I fast-forwarded Enderra by a thousand years, and built on top of what already existed. The following D&D campaign ran for years, and a friend of mine actually ran his campaign using the same world.

The creation of “Enderra II” marked the point where I became interested in world building for its own sake. I drew immense enjoyment out of the creative act of designing a world, a whole universe, and over the years I built several settings of all kinds of flavors. Most of them never got used for anything.

Recently (late 2007, early 2008) I started to look for other world builders… to share experiences, to learn, and above all to have people to bounce ideas off of. This blog is part of that effort.