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Month Index: November, 1996


From:     Toby Mekelburg <toby@????.net>
Date:     Sat, 02 Nov 1996 12:37:29 -1000
Subject:  Re: Review of World-Builder's Guidebook (fwd)
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Fri, 1 Nov 1996 09:10:33 -1000
>From: WhtKnt@???.com
>To: ADND-L@????????.???.edu
>Subject: Review of World-Builder's Guidebook
>
>WORLD-BUILDER'S GUIDEBOOK
>
>WHAT YOU GET: _The World Builder's Guidebook_, a 96-page softcover book.
>                           A "pad" (actually a stack) of 32 sheet (several
>copies of nine
>                           different forms) that will aid you in designing
>your world.
>
>THE GOOD: What can I say? This needed to be done! The book is done in a
>free-form design that allows you to create a world entirely from random die
>rolls, or to assist you in putting your own ideas to paper. You can follow
>the chapters in order, or jump around to design as you wish. The forms
>include a polyhedral world display, a polar display, kingdom forms, area
>forms, site forms, and more! Brief overviews of plate placement and movement,
>prevailing wind flow, and other real-world data are included, so that you can
>make your world as realistic as you desire! Do you use Spelljammer? No
>problem! The WBG covers both real-world and fantasy aspects of world-design.
>
>THE BAD: The only bad points that I can find about this product are: 1) it is
>too small. Even with all the information they've packed into it, I could
>still see room for more detail; and 2) unless you design worlds on a regular
>basis, you may use the book only once and then never crack it again.
>
>THE UGLY: Nada.
>
>SUMMARY: With the WBG, you can sit down and, within a few hours, sculpt a
>beautiful, fantastic (or realistic) campaign world in which to set your
>adventures. The free-form approach allows you to build from a single village
>outward or from a global view inward. Random tables are provided as aides,
>but the overriding rule is, "If you don't like it, don't use it!"
>   And this book has applications beyond AD&D, too. Even though the focus is
>on AD&D, I could see uses for it in space games, time/dimension-travel games,
>and world-spanning games, to name a few. The system is flexible enough to
>allow you to create anything from the fantastic to the starkly realistic.
>   If you're stuck for ideas, drop a handful of dice and consult the random
>tables. You'll be surprised at what you get! And if you know what you want,
>but need to fill in some unfinished areas, this book will help you! And the
>use of the forms are fully explained with (in most cases) illustrations and
>highlighted text.
>   No matter how you choose to go about it, the book uses the consistent
>example of a designer utilizing the forms and the WBG to build her campaign
>world. Everything is explained in detail and gives you a good idea of how
>things should be done. But the book also stresses that in a fantasy
>environment, you should never let yourself be led by real-world physics!
>
>CONCLUSION: Even in the short time that I've had to work with this piece
>(three days), I've found it invaluable. Of course, it also happens to have
>hit the shelves two weeks after I began work on a new campaign world! But by
>thumbing through the tables and charts, I found myself wanting to create a
>completely random world as well! I give this product a very good 7 out of 10.
>My major complaints are the fact that it could have been bigger, and it's
>relatively limited use for DMs who do not enjoy creating multiple worlds. But
>for a Spelljammer DM, it gets a 9 out of 10.
>
>



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