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Duane Sibilly

Written by Duane Sibilly, software developer, podcaster, tabletop GM and writer. Learn more.

I'm A Campaign Setting. AMA!

10 May 2019

Back in February of 2019, I started a Twitter account for my homebrew campaign setting, Yewdar. It serves a number of purposes. I get to post public updates about the multiple campaigns running in the setting, and drop lore nuggets on both my players and curious folks in public at the same time without the Sisyphean effort of writing a whole book. It’s been a fun experiment, and one I consider a success.

Each weekday, the Yewdar account is supposed to make themed posts. I’ve been pretty bad about keeping up with this, mainly because it requires me to take time out of my busy day job to post about fantasy stuff. This isn’t always plausible, but I do the best I can when I have the time. The themes of the day are:

  • Monday: Magic.
    The arcane and divine powers of Yewdar, and how living in a world with paracausal energies and effects changes how every day life.
  • Tuesday: Tradition.
    The cultures of the various peoples of Yewdar.
  • Wednesday: Geography.
    Yewdar’s unique terrain, ecology and weather.
  • Thursday: History.
    A throwback to the events that have shaped Yewdar and the actions that have wrought the perilous present.
  • Friday: AMA.
    Ask Yewdar about itself, and it will answer as best it can!

I have the most fun with the Friday AMAs. They’re an opportunity to interact with people who care about, or even just have an passing interest in, the setting. I get great questions like:

…and:

The questions from Twitter have been one of the most fun drivers of my own creativity I’ve experienced in a long time. Sometimes these questions land on topics that I’ve already created answers for, and that lets me relate those things aloud. This forces me to consider things like tone and word choice, and helps me refine my internal concepts of what Yewdar is about and how I want it to feel for readers and players. The best times are when the questions force me to create something on the spot. Take @infectedFlux’s question above as an example. When they asked, I had some vague ideas about what current events in Yewdar were, mostly based on the activities of the three games taking place there in a concurrent in-world timeframe. I did not, however, have any of them written down outside a few sloppy notes in Scrivener and MindNode. I took the question as an opportunity to make something that not only answered Flux’s question, but could serve as a fun prop in-game:

The Apex City SPECTRUM, 14 Blossomtide, 35 Broken. Spoilerific story redacted for the benefit of players who also read this blog!

The SPECTRUM is the largest newspaper in Apex City, which itself is a bustling metropolis that serves as capital of a wealthy corporatist oligarchy. The paper is essentially a propaganda rag, the Fox News of the nation of Laurentia. As is usually the case with such nation-states, Laurentia finds itself currently in a war of dubious cause against the orc nation of Hol Khozet to the south. The orcs have been peaceful and non-belligerent along their border for decades, but suddenly struck at and razed a large town some 50 miles within Laurentian territory. The response has been swift and massive, and this front page of the SPECTRUM illustrates the goings-on of the first week of the war.

I had a ton of fun making this, and it’s a thing I might have put off or skipped altogether if I didn’t have these AMA Fridays to push me. If you’re curious about the goings-on in this made-up place of my imagination, consider giving the account a follow and asking some questions every Friday! If you have thoughts about this practice, or questions about how I’m handling certain aspects of “creating in public,” you can find me on Twitter as well.

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