“If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” – Carl Sagan
Hello, welcome to Scratch Made Pies, a blog that covers my trek through fashioning a fictional universe that I use for a bi-weekly Pathfinder game. I will be using this blog to work through my ideas and thoughts as well as the process that I am using to spin my own little slice of a fictional reality.
But first, a little about me. I have been playing Pen and Paper RPGs since 1990 when I first played the old Marvel Super Heroes published by TSR. After that I played in various games of AD&D when I was able to check the books out of the library (I’m from a small town. Comic book and game shops are nowhere near my home.) I really hit my stride when I moved to a town WITH a game shop and delved deep into the White Wolf and AEG offerings of Vampire, Legend of the Five Rings and 7th Sea. And then 3.0 hit like a lightning bolt and it was EVERYWHERE. This is where I got my first taste of running games and was fortunate enough to have a regular group where all of the other players were seasoned Dungeon Masters. This gave me some very harsh lessons in how to and not to run a session. Fast forward to a good deal of time later and I’ve been a player and DM for The Redacted Files.
But one thing that I had wanted to do for the last few years was to develop a game world for my Pathfinder/D&D games that I really could call my own.
This is a common thing for a lot of DMs that play, and they are successful to some extent. Making little snippets of worlds, tiny fiefdoms where they spin a tale and then they let the world fizzle when they complete the story they wanted to tell or the group splits up. What I wanted was something a little more permanent. Something that would last.
So I did. Or rather, have been.
I had attempted to create campaign settings before, with varying amount of success. I had one setting, that I called “Waveless” that I had worked on for a couple of years in the early ‘00s. It had a map and some basic write ups for some background pantheon lore and race definitions. I had even ran a couple of campaigns in the setting but it was far from complete. To sum it up I went a “High Concept” route when writing my last campaign setting, and it failed. It failed hard.
It took a good long while for me to want to try and create a world again. Really it took a two year long run through Rise of the Runelords and a really good group of people to play with that made me want to serve them a world that they could explore and find new things in. And I am. But with a drastically different approach compared to what I had done previously. Rather than go for high concept and have all of the world mapped out ahead of time with a number of pantheons I did the opposite. I went granular. I started with naming a town, Joonsvyk (YOUns-vick), and describing what the surrounding environment was like. Things like the local council and a short back story for the town.
What it ended up as was the hamlet of Joonsvyk , led by the local jarl Ulna Bearkiller, wherein dwelled the mead hall of Brennig. And for the first adventure, I had planned a twist on the old trope, Rats in the Cellar. I will expand on this and how it affected the world that my friends and I are creating next time.
Thank you for reading.