How to Know When You’re Done Worldbuilding
Fantasy worldbuilding, or worldbuilding of any kind, can take a long time. Depending on how extensive your lore is, you could easily spend months just developing it. There is a point, however, where you may be reaching further than you need to. Here’s how you can tell if you’re done worldbuilding.
1. You’re Stretching for Ideas
One of the easiest signs that indicate you’ve finished worldbuilding is that you’re out of fresh ideas. Whether it’s laying out a history of the world, country, or city, or if you’re unable to come up with any more ideas about a religious order, it’s time to put down the pen or save the document.
If the history is written and you can’t think of anything, then you’re done.
If you’re worldbuilding for DND or another tabletop RPG, it’s important that you know when to stop building your world. At some point, you need to let the players build the rest of the world with their actions. Which leads to the next sign.
2. Your Players Want to Help
In the case of tabletop RPGS, you may find that your players want to help worldbuild. In this case, all of your independent worldbuilding should come to an end. Allowing your players to take part in the worldbuilding can help them feel invested in your campaign and immersed in the world. If you don’t like giving your players complete reign over your worldbuilding, then you can always have them worldbuild events, towns, or characters that interact directly with their characters in regards to their background.
Your players may have specific ideas about what their neighborhood is like or about their specific deity that they worship. It’s time to put your own ideas aside and let them shine.
3. Your Players Don’t Care
It’s one thing to worldbuild for yourself. It’s another to worldbuild for your players. If you’re worldbuilding for a tabletop RPG, then you likely require a good deal of lore to flesh out the world that your players inhabit. However, there may come a point where you’re created more lore than you need to.
If your players don’t respond to the lore or don’t seem to care who the fourth king of the dynasty was, then it may be time to put the pen down. While there are ways you can make your players care about the lore you’re creating, you shouldn’t force it on them. It can detract from the story that they’re creating, themselves.
It also saves you from having to do a ton of work that no one will know or remember but yourself. That being said, if you get a kick out of creating extensive family lines and deep history, then go for it.
You may find that having compact lore, rather than extensive lore, allows you to create in-depth histories that are easier to recall and can have a greater impact on your players.
Know When To Stop Worldbuilding/h3>
It’s important to know when to stop worldbuilding. Pushing yourself too hard can quickly lead to burnout that can impact your storytelling, game design, and how you perform for your players. Recognizing the signs above are a good indication that you have finally finished worldbuilding.