The Value of a Setting Bible and Its Contents

A book of arcane knowledge, open on an old, wooden, desktop reading easel. The pages are covered in symbols. A drawer is open. A key next to the book.
A book of arcane knowledge. By Belissa Minomi.
Do you have a Setting Bible? What’s in it? Do you even know what I’m talking about?

Regardless of how you take notes, I’d love to sell you on the value of creating a Setting Bible for your group’s campaign.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, a Setting Bible is used by novelists, screenwriters, RPG designers, world-builders and creative collaborators to record the various “truths” about a shared setting, or world, they are building.

It can…

  • Describe the people, places, organizations and things that populate the setting.
  • List facts and ideas about how the world operates.
  • Provide consistency and, by doing so, supports a greater sense of realism throughout the stories that are told.

A Setting Bible is not a play log – though it may at first seem like one.  It is also not a GM Notebook filled with spoilery notes and ideas to explore during prep. A Setting Bible is a great place to lay out the group’s expectations about the fiction of the setting, the mechanics that will be used and the social contract everyone agrees to enforce at the table. Hand it out to new players to bring them up to speed on the setting.

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Collaborative World-Building with Spark

Whoa. First experience with A Spark in Fate Core and serious collaborative world-building.

For the past few years, I’ve been very interested in getting a consistent, face-to-face Fate Core game going with adults who were willing to meet about twice per month in my suburban home. It took awhile, but I finally managed to find a great group of people, we managed to get our schedules coordinated and, with beer, wine, some awesome Chinese food (and some finishing touches around my firepit later that evening) we managed to pull together what I hope is a great foundation to a lasting campaign.

This is the story of how we did it.

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“World-Building Resources” page is up!

The City of Dawn Harbor, a Fantasy Map by Dyson Logos.
The City of Dawn Harbor. A Map by Dyson Logos.

UPDATE October 3, 2017.  With the move to a new theme, I’ve got more options for how I organize the site so the “World-Building Resources” page has been replaced by better categorized “Resources” at the top.  Let me know what you’re looking for; I might have something squirreled away in my Google Drive.

In case you missed the addition of the “World-Building Resources” link at the top of the page, just wanted to let you know it was there. The World-Building Resources page provides a curated list of online resources I find myself recommending to others.  I’ve found these resources to be useful, inspiring or interesting.

We’re starting out small. In general, the rule I’ll follow is that nothing goes on this list until I’ve had some time to check it out myself first.  If that varies, I’ll call it out in the description. I want to feel confident about recommending it to you.

What kind of resources are you looking for?  Let me know in the comments and I’ll keep my eye out.