Between spending some time at the Flying Stag earlier in the week and recovering from the trials and tribulations of Thanksgiving, I’ve got food and drink on the mind with a side of tabletop worldbuilding. So your party of characters wander into the tavern and order… what? An ale? Your freighter crew has two weeks of… consumables? That’s it? We can do better than that; both people running games and playing them can get some extra detail out of their setting and characters by keeping one fact in mind: even most protagonists have to eat.
In theory we all know what worldbuilding is. The process of creating a fictional world isn’t technically related to role-playing games, but it has become inextricably intertwined with the hobby, given the preponderance of science fiction and fantasy settings in the most popular games. In considering and examining worldbuilding, I’m not going to spend a lot of word count talking about what it is, or even how to do it well. Instead, I’m going to talk about how worldbuilding affects RPGs specifically, which boils down to a lot of mistakes, missed opportunities, and general poor form.