Populating Your World: Sapient Species, Cultures & Commerce
World Anvil Blog » Mapmaking
by Kat French
4d ago
You may have crafted an amazing landscape for your tabletop RPG or novel setting. You may have drawn elaborate maps, and created entire cosmologies. But until it has people – not just humans, but any sapient species – it’s a dead world. Stories can’t happen there. Worldbuilding cultures, establishing governments (and pitting them against each other), and creating a fantasy economy are the elements that start to bring your world to life, and set the stage for adventure! In this guide, we’ll touch on how to populate your world with sapient species, develop cultures and ethnicities, establish the ..read more
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How to Write a Short Story
World Anvil Blog » Mapmaking
by Kat French
6d ago
So, you’re thinking of dipping your toes into short story writing for Adventure April? Awesome choice! When you write a short story, it’s like crafting a gourmet appetizer, packed with all the flavor and impact of a novel, but condensed into a single perfect bite. Or if you’re a caffeine junkie, it’s like an espresso shot instead of a full pot of coffee – intense, concentrated, but satisfying. Writing a short story is different from writing a novel, in more ways than simply word count. You still need engaging characters, a gripping plot, and evocative worldbuilding – but you must fit it all in ..read more
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More UI updates for a faster and more integrated World Anvil
World Anvil Blog » Mapmaking
by Janet Forbes
6d ago
Many of you will remember our UI Refresh from earlier this year, which received RAVE reviews from the World Anvil community. But that was only the beginning. We’ve continued working to improve World Anvil these last months, resulting in an even more modern, sleek and easy-to-use design! So what’s been updated? This is an update on the new interface, based on your initial feedback. It includes a lot of UX updates and refinements of features that existed already, like the menus pages for your maps and timelines etc., to do list, notifications and more. This update is the preparation for “Prodrom ..read more
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Update: Free Account Changes
World Anvil Blog » Mapmaking
by worldanvil
1w ago
From April 2024, the World Anvil free accounts are changing. Going forward, new and existing free users will have access to features they didn’t have before, and will see restrictions to limits on others. These limits refer to the number of articles and other content a user can have in their account at one time. What’s changing for free accounts on World Anvil? Free users will now have access to the following features: Larger image uploads: Freemen now have access to 10MB image uploads, just like the guild! The Autolinker, letting you automatically link your articles together, and saving you ..read more
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Laying the Groundwork: Worldbuilding Terrain, Climate & Maps
World Anvil Blog » Mapmaking
by Kat French
1w ago
Let’s take a deeper look at worldbuilding terrain, climate and maps! Storytellers often ask “where do I start worldbuilding?” We’ve covered abstract ideas like purpose, inspiration and themes. But often, writers and game masters are searching for something more practical. Now, it’s time to get concrete – and it doesn’t get any more concrete than the ground beneath your feet! Of course, those mountains, hills and valleys will be shaped by other natural forces over time, so it also makes sense to look up to the sky – and consider climate, weather, and waterways. Lastly, while you can write beaut ..read more
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World Anvil News: April 2024
World Anvil Blog » Mapmaking
by Roc Humet
2w ago
It’s April! Or as we call it here on World Anvil, Adventure April! Here’s everything to know about what going on in World Anvil this month. Colors for everyone! Changing text color used to be a Guild feature—not anymore! You can now use the [color] tag to change the text color AND background for specific sections of your article! For more information about this, check this quick how-to. Alphabetical ordering The “Order A-Z” button in a category will now simply reset the article order (the default order is alphabetical) instead of creating a custom alphabetical order. This means that new art ..read more
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Writing Lore: Create Depth with Focus Areas
World Anvil Blog » Mapmaking
by Kat French
2w ago
New worldbuilders often struggle with overwhelm. There are too many choices when writing lore for a game or novel setting! You can’t do everything. Focus is the name of the game, especially early on. Be deliberate about which areas of your world you flesh out with deep lore, after getting the basics down. These few expanded topics give your setting the illusion of more depth, realism and authenticity. In this article, we’re going to cover (in broad strokes) some of the common focal points for writing lore in a fictional world. We’ll also look at examples from books, games and pop culture, and ..read more
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Worldbuilding Awards 2024 entries list
World Anvil Blog » Mapmaking
by Roc Humet
1M ago
Congratulations to EVERYONE who submitted an entry to the Worldbuilding Awards 2024! From March 4th to 17th, many Anvilites have submitted their best work to one of the Awards’ categories, and now is time to vote. Use this post to access all submissions by category. How to vote Voting will begin on March 20th; here’s how to cast your votes: Choose your favorite entry from a category. Find the voting widget in the entry. Use the widget to cast your vote! You don’t need a World Anvil account to vote (although you will need to use your email address), and you can only vote for one entry per cat ..read more
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Your First 10 Worldbuilding Articles
World Anvil Blog » Mapmaking
by Kat French
1M ago
Worldbuilding can be intimidating! After all, it’s creating an entire world and everything in it. But every game or book setting always starts with a single big idea – that’s your premise. But where do you go from there? A worldbuilding checklist can help you create a basic setting for your homebrew adventures or novel series, so you can start playing (or writing) faster. At World Anvil, we’ve seen many storytellers get excited about their big idea, open a fresh notebook or document, and start writing all their ideas down. Which is a great starting place! But we’ve also seen countless worldbui ..read more
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Running an Unofficial Challenge: How and Why!
World Anvil Blog » Mapmaking
by worldanvil
1M ago
It’s Unofficial Challenge Month, and it’s time to talk Unofficial Challenges. I’m Annie Stein, the author and artist behind Solaris. I’m a frequent competitor in the awesome challenges run by World Anvil, and I ran the first Unofficial Challenge back in 2021 with two amazing co-judges. This is my Unofficial Guide to Unofficial Challenges, where I teach you all the stuff I’ve learned both as a competitor and organizer! As an example to help illustrate this article, I’ll be sharing some of the work I did for the last challenge I ran: the Unofficial Under the Sea Flash Challenge  in May of 2 ..read more
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