December 30, 2019

Taking a Tour of Your Tabletop RPG Story World

Today’s #worldbuildingMonday post is all about the synergy between meditation and tabletop role playing game worldbuilding. Specifically, how taking a tour of your story world in your mind is both an excellent form of mediation as well as worldbuilding.

Meditation is one of those concepts that means different things to different people. In this case, meditation is the practice of clearing one’s mind to be a platform for creative thought, in this case, building your story world. As any worldbuilder knows, there are ebbs and flows to inspiration and new ideas/concepts/characters for your story world. A common frustration from creative folks is that there seemingly isn’t a consistent method for controlling the volume and timing of these creative forces.

Meditation, while not a “cure-all” in this case, is a wonderful avenue for allowing inspiration to seek you out rather than the other way around. For the tabletop role playing game worldbuilder, especially for people new to meditating in general, I’ve found there’s a super accessible way for folks to get started and get that inspiration flowing: taking a tour of your story world in your mind’s eye.

Do what you can to clear your mind of its many thoughts, feelings, wants, and needs. There is no perfect here, just a good faith effort no matter what the result. Then, think of a place in your story world that’s special to you. For me, that could be the aft deck of the Hawk, a magnificent ship sailing the Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy. I’m standing near the helm, the magnificent breeze swirling all around me, the flapping of the sails in the wind a pleasant white noise in the background. I look around and spot my friend’s player characters – seeing their faces make me smile as I walk down to the main deck where I see the crew living out their daily chores and routine. But then, a voice on the wind: pleasant humming at first but, as the moments pass, the sounds get more sinister to where I can make out the words, whose echoes bounce off the walls of the fog that’s rolling in: “You’re dead, John Richards.”

In real life, I open my eyes. I’ve been meditating, allowing myself to walk free in my story world. At first, relatively benign and pleasant imagery, followed by the serious and threatening. But either way, I got inspiration and either way, I got to expand upon my story world by living in it for myself.

So next time you’re looking for some inspiration and/or perhaps to see where your story is headed next, try and take a tour of your world and seeing where it goes…

You won’t regret it!