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Worldbuilding Links

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Perhaps my favorite part of gaming is worldbuilding, that is, creating a plausible and vivid setting for characters to interact with.  

For fantasy writers: Patricia C. Wrede's Worldbuilder Questions Once you have the basic ideas for your world, this site offers questions to get you thinking about details.

A long list of World Building Questions.
Checklist for World Building.

Empireans is an excellent collection of resources for worldbuilding.  Impressive Links Page.

Collection of worldbuilding links.
Links to sites which aid in building worlds for fiction projects.

This site links to pages that deal with building worlds in fantasy and science fiction.  Included are links to software that can aid gamemasters in creating the realm of their dreams. (Compiled on AdventureGamer.Net). DEAD LINK

Orion's Arm Worldbuilding Group uses plausible technology and good science to develop a fictional realm set in future space.  Includes a useful list of links

The World Building Homepage More for sci-fi than fantasy.  Many links.

Campaign-Builders Guild Wiki

World-Building Email List, which includes a page of links.

Worlds in the Net : "This page is dedicated to imaginary worlds - all those marvels of imagination that enthusiastic game masters and players have imported to the Net. " Includes a number of World Building Links.

Planetary Classification List also useful for sci-fi worldbuilding.

A page on Star Classification (and for fun, Star Trek's Planet Classification)
Planet Designer
Flowchart for determining if a planet is capable of supporting life as we know it.
World Builder's Cookbook

Links to star-map design

The Atomic Rockets site was mainly intended for science fiction authors who wanted a little scientific accuracy.
Lots of fodder for star system design can be found at the Air and Space section of the Science page.

World Builders: This is a site for a class on world building taught in Los Angeles.  Very intensive from what I saw, from microbiology to astronomy and everything in between.

Planetcopia: Tweaking the geography of the world we have and seeing what could happen.
Climatology for Worldbuilding.
Tips on making good maps.
Guide to RPG mapmaking.
Random Cave Generator

The Mythopoet's Manual: "Writing Multi-Cultural Fictional Settings 1st Draft, including many author's notes to self" by Loren J. Miller

Timeline Generator

J. Vesanto's World Building Page has some good links to sources all over the Net, from articles about worldbuilding and how terrain goes together, to links for ancient languages and swordplay.  Check out his guide to developing magic systems.

Science, Science Fiction and Roleplaying: Tons o' links.

It's my opinion that J.R.R. Tolkien was perhaps the greatest fantasy world builder.  He gets a page of his own.

    Weather Generators
I haven't used many of these, I've just come across them.  
Openroleplaying's Weather Generator
Blue Mind Weather Generator
Weather Generator based on TSR's Wilderness Survival Guide.
Weather Generator 
Weather Master is a fancy generator you can purchase online.

Medieval Worldbuilding

Here are a number of sites of particular interest for building a setting based on the European Middle Ages.

Medieval Demographics Made Easy A fine site for population numbers, including members of different professions. The article includes links to population calculators.

The Domesday Book: Based on the above site info.
Population/Demographics Calculators.

An article on Cities, Population, Subsistence and Land Area,  from the MetaMythos project.

Andrew's Harnic Manor Generator.  It's geared towards Harn (which is one of the richest FRPG worlds in my opinion), but has applications for quick and dirty estate creation.  Also, some websites with Harnic resourcesDEAD LINKS

If you're interested in authentic names for characters from various countries in a medieval setting, the Medieval Names Archive is a good place to look.  It's also useful for heraldry information.

Serendipity: Generator for places and people.
Alternate History
Alternate History Webring
Essays in Alternative History
Alternate History Travel Guide
Directory of Alternate History Scenarios
Wiki entry for counterfactual history.  Includes links.

Other Resources

The Web is full of resources a gamemaster can use to flesh out a world.  This site is full of "real-world" links that may prove useful.  I've used most of these in the course of fiction writing or game development.

Here's a fine list of links about time and calendars.  It's an important point, really, and often neglected, but why should every culture measure time the same way?  Why should every world have identical solar years, lunar cycles, and whatnot?  Oh, and while we're on the subject, here's a page on the history of timekeeping and telling time by the sun and stars.
Calendar Maker 2.0 
Google Earth: free satellite imaging. 
Earth Change Maps and Map Database: Links to a blue million maps and map sites.
Old Maps Online: sort of a Google for historical maps.
Instant maps, from houses to star systems, from irony Games.
A directory of research sites for writers and roleplayers, from the Burning Void website.

A gamemaster is the eyes and ears of the characters.  Players will ask you what things look like.  Don't know how a house is laid out?  There are house plans galore at Cool House Plans.  For plans of all kinds, from mansions to galleons to strip clubs, try  Deckplans, Floorplans And Assorted Diagrams and More Deckplans, Floorplans And AssortedDiagrams .

Want to know about the GNP of Switzerland, the government system of New Zealand, or the size of the standing army of Ukraine?  Check out the CIA's World Fact Book and  World Fact Book for 1999.  And here's a trick: if you want to know the facts from previous years, change the URL from "wofac99" to "wofac97" or whatever year (it goes back at least to 96).

Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Department of Labor.  Need to know what your character needs to know for a job?
Seventh Sanctum: Name generators -- names for ships, names for government posts, all kinda names.
Encyclopedia of the Nations, and a related site about Countries and their Cultures
Demographics and Census Data: a collection of links.
City-Data.com: "If you ever need to research any city for any reason, from considering a move there to just checking where somebody you know is staying, this is the site for you."
A Directory to Chambers of Commerce can be very useful to a gamemaster.  If you are setting an adventure in a town, you have at your fingertips the major businesses, restaurants, motels, attractions, demographics, current weather and newspaper name.  And if you are creating a fictional town, you can use a comparable community as a guide.  From USChamber.com
Another  Directory to Chambers of Commerce link.  Don't forget that other countries have these things too, such as British Chambers of Commerce.
Architecture links from About.com.
Federal Bureau of Investigation 

INTERPOL doesn't have field agents like the CIA, FBI, or Scotland Yard.  Rather, it is an international agency that coordinates information among law enforcement agencies.  Still, the organization has proven useful in my games.  

College campuses are useful for many kinds of stories and settings.

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