The KOBOLD Guide to Worldbuilding. Praise for. Complete KOBOLD Guide to Game Design. “A must-have book for both those looking to get into this industry. Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding has ratings and 21 reviews. Patrick said: I’m unsure how best to rate this book. I got it to help me spark ideas and pr. Creating a setting for an RPG is a quite different thing than creating a world for a novel or a movie, or even a TV show or video game.

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Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding (Kobold Guides to Game Design)

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh gyide try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Keith Baker Goodreads Author. Ken Scholes Goodreads Author Introduction.

Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding

The Essential Elements for Building a World Roleplaying worldnuilding and fantasy fiction are filled okbold rich and fascinating worlds: It took startling leaps of imagination as well as careful thought and planning to create places like these: Now, eleven of adventure gaming’s top designers come together to share their insights into building worlds that gamers will never forget.

Learn the secrets of designing a pantheon, creating a setting that provokes conflict, determining which historical details are necessary, and so much more. Take that creative leap, and create dazzling worlds of your own!

Stackpole, Steve Winter, with an introduction by Ken Scholes. If you’re a rules hacker like me, this stuff is solid gold.

A solid 5 star rating.

Kindle Editionpages. Published January 17th first published January 1st To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Kobold Guide to Worldbuildingplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding.

Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Jan 30, Patrick rated it liked it. I’m unsure how best to rate this book. I got it to help me spark ideas worlrbuilding provide some guidance on effective methods, worldhuilding, and organization techniques for world-building for use in writing speculative fiction, especially high fantasy.

The book is marketed as a tool for building worlds worldbuildiny tabletop RPGs with the aside that it should be useful for purposes like mine as well. While the editors might believe that to be true, the book worldbuildung mostly pretty useless to me as a novelist. As far as re I’m unsure how best to rate this book. As far as reviewing the book holistically, I wouldn’t want to dock my rating too heavily simply because it gguide that useful for my goals that are admittedly tangential to its primary purposes, though it does factor into my judgment.

Still, as a long-time player of tabletop role-playing games and having tried my hand at the game-running and design sides a few times here and there, this book still doesn’t seem great and I’m stuck between a 2 and a 3 star rating even on its own merits.

The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding : worldbuilding

Since this book is a collection of essays, I will attempt to explore the different groupings of essays individually to more accurately examine the content that several different authors contributed to varying degrees of utility instead of vaguely assessing the many different topics discussed all at once: The first five or six essays I easily could’ve skipped.

I think they serve worldbuildign introductory purpose, but they seem so vague and basic that I doubt worldbuildding who is familiar enough with the term “worldbuilding” to pick up this book would really gather that much from them. But I suppose if your background is next to none, they may be useful as a long-winded introduction that takes up the first third of the book. There are some explorations of distinctions made between different forms of fantasy that worldbjilding I think can be interesting, don’t really seem to play much role in helping you to be a better worldbuilder.

Things like that really bog down these essays and what’s left isn’t all that useful. The next essay provides a pretty good quick guide to mapmaking that has some useful tidbits that could be helpful in designing a simple, but realistic and interesting map. While I’ve already used a similar guide in designing my own maps, I still learned some things and think this essay would’ve been quite useful if I hadn’t looked up anything prior.


This was one of the better essays in the book. The next four essays are more generally on designing cultures, citystates, and technology for your world. This really feels like the bulk of what a worldbuilding guide should focus on. More concrete exercises would’ve been much more helpful to new and seasoned worldbuilders but at most, it gives you a few vague things to think about.

The next four essays I quite enjoyed, focusing on pantheons and religious sects and practices in fantasy worlds the fourth is technically on worrldbuilding, but I see guilds playing a similar function, at least in the sense they’re using the term, so I group it together with these.

I think all of these essays do a good job of outlining the role religions play in fantasy worlds, while recommending ways you could deviate or further explore those tropes in fun and interesting ways to fit your world. I also felt like these were some of the essays most translatable to worldbuilding for fiction writing and just generally the most useful worldbuilding essays in the book on actually making your world interesting and fun.

The next essay provides overview and explanation for what a kobol bible is and how you can go about building and maintaining one. I think this kobols is very useful both for RPG designers and fiction writers. It’s succinct and to the point while offering concrete guidance and explanation that is easily applicable to your own work.

I have directly referred to this chapter when working on my own worlds. The last couple essays weren’t great and could more or less be cut with very little being lost. The first discusses worldbuilding in another’s universe, such as providing new content for an already established property like Pathfinder or the Marvel universe.

I think the explanation of the business side provided would be useful for some people, but for the most part the message of the essay is that unless you’re already huge in the industry in which case I’m not sure why you’re using this fairly introductory bookyou’re unlikely to be able to get any of this sort of work.

I’m not sure why this essay really needed to be in the book other than to provide that warning which would only take a couple pages.

The last essay is on the limitations of worldbuilding and realizing you can’t and shouldn’t do everything. Other than some common sense points, I didn’t see how this essay was all that useful either. Lastly, throughout many of the essay, especially Wolfgang Bauer’s seven essays, there’s a lot of what feels like self-promotion ranting about how awesome this or that property the author designed is in whatever arena is being discussed.

I totally understand that some reference to the author’s own works can be useful, if not necessary, for illustrating a point, but I left this book feeling a bit like I’d just read a series of advertisements that worldbulding gave me some advice here and there. The references just felt like they went too far beyond their purposes. Ultimately, I don’t know that I’d really recommend this book to a wide range of people.

There are a few gems, but unless you could really use guidance on religion worldbuilding, mapmaking, or designing a world bible, I think this book won’t be super useful to you and worlsbuilding then, probably not worth the price of a full book with other essays unlikely to help you. I will make the caveat that a brand new DM trying to design a tabletop RPG who could use a lot more of the very basic introductory information might still benefit a good deal from this.

But I don’t get the feeling that audience is especially large for the book. The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding is a small book.

Digest-sized and running barely pages, the truly amazing thing about it is just how much good advice the writers have packed into it.

It helps of course that the collective contributors would have, at a conservative guess, well over two hundred years experience in the field of professional game design and speculative fiction writing. While the book is more or less focussed on the aspirant game-world designer – with a nod to those of use that The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding guuide a small book.

While the book is more or less focussed on the aspirant game-world designer – with a nod to those of use that do it as a sport and a pastime – much of the content would be equally applicable to worldbuidling writers looking to improve their world-building chops.


Perhaps the most useful lesson to come out of the book, something repeated in differing contexts by a number of the contributors, understanding what to put in and what to leave out. A ‘completest’ streak seems to run through the gaming community and the fantasy fiction community alike, as my own collection of RPG supplements and favourite authors will attest.

Wolfgang Baur, the publisher and chief contributor, and his fellow world-smiths present the best ways to approach the creation of worlds that players or readers will find compelling enough to return to again and again. I’t really like to give this four-and-a-half stars, but the technology won’t allow such niceties.

Take it as read that The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding deserves the extra half-star. Apr 26, Ross rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: This book features a large and wide ranging selection of essays written by the giants in the industry of Role Playing Game design. I have already put several of the tools to use in my own Homebrew RPG setting, and look forward to returning to this book for reference in the future. Many people recommend this book for aspiring fantasy authors as well.

I can see many of the tools, techniques, and recommendations working in literature though the book is clearly written for game design first and forem This book features a large and wide ranging selection of essays written by the giants in the industry of Role Playing Game design.

I can see many of the tools, techniques, and recommendations working in literature though the book is clearly written for game design first and foremost. There’s a lot of good ideas and advice in this collection of essays on worldbuilding. The focus is on worldbuilding for fantasy RPGs, either as a gamemaster or a game designer, but much of the advice could also be adapted for other settings or for worldbuilding a setting for fiction.

Some of the included chapters cover map-making, creating and maintaining a world ‘bible’, creating religions, dealing with the impact of both magic and technology, and several other topics. My personal favorites were There’s a lot of good ideas and advice in this collection of essays on worldbuilding. My personal favorites were the chapters “Why No Monotheism? The former discusses the reasons why monotheism is uncommon in fantasy settings, and then discusses some ways that it could be used.

The latter discusses some of the problems and opportunities of a setting where magic is common enough to impact everyday life. Although both made me wonder why the authors never mentioned the Glorantha setting when it contains many examples of the kinds of things being discussed. I have to mention that the chapter on working with licensed properties seemed a bit out of place, seeing as how it dealt solely with the professional aspects eorldbuilding doing so, and is thus useless to anyone looking to use an existing setting as a gamemaster rather than as a game designer.

Otherwise, I thought it was a good book, and deserving of the Ennie it recently won. Jan 25, E. I picked up the Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding based on my interest in writing fantasy and running roleplaying games.

Worpdbuilding the content is definitely more geared toward the latter, the essays touch on some aspects of world creation that a writer must also consider, though tp a fantasy slant. Fine for my needs, but a caveat nonetheless. Not counting the light introduction by Ken Scholes, there are 18 essays in total, covering a wide swath of topics. Alas, the fare is hit-or-miss.

Over a third of I picked up the Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding based on my interest in writing ho and running roleplaying games. Worlduilding a third of kobolld total offering is penned by Wolfgang Baur, worldbiulding also compiled the whole thing. He giide informative, if boring, and I often found myself hoping the next bit was authored by someone else.