Summer Blogging approaches!

It’s the summer coming up, and that means there are two seasons of blogging inspiration on the way, both of which I have found very useful for my worldbuilding and thinking over the past few years, and also very interesting to read. Follow along, join in – you may as well.

Yes, I publicised it last year. I’m publicising it again.

July: WorldAnvil Summer Camp

July is WorldAnvil Summer Camp. This is a month-long spree of inspiring prompts to help you explore, define, and expand your world. Last year I found out more about my version of Lake Amsorak, on the eastern shore of which Akorros lies. In previous years I have found out about Akorros itself, its customs, its inhabitants, and also about lands round about.

But first things first: what is WorldAnvil?

WorldAnvil is an online worldbuilding tool, where you can describe your world with maps, timelines and assorted wiki-style articles, with easy cross-referencing. It was started as a present from Dimitris, the lead developer, to his wife Janet, to keep track of her characters and locations for her writing, and it proved so successful that it has become a major community.

You can write articles, and they have 25 different templates which prompt you for details appropriate to different types of article (buildings, languages, characters, organizations, settlements and professions being a few of these), and of course you can crosslink. They also have maps, and you can link the articles to their locations on the map. They’ve also now added Chronicles – a timeline view which can have multiple distinct timelines, and Ancestry – who’s related to who.

I have a WorldAnvil site for my interpretation of Mystara. One of these years I really must get around to curating it and organising it properly… However, it does have a fair amount of worldbuilding in it, some of which has made its way into my campaign sessions.

But if you want a better idea of what can be done with WorldAnvil, look at some of their featured worlds. Examples:

And what is Summer Camp?

Summer Camp is a month of prompts – just over one per day – which are revealed in four waves of eight. Each wave is themed, and is revealed on their weekly Twitch call – conveniently this year the 1st July is a Saturday so it fits with their normal Twitch schedule. They are currently previewing the weekly themes. Copper will be “Power” and Silver will be “Frontier”. They have just revealed the Gold theme (literally while I type): “Relics” – the past in the present. Things from the past which have been saved and are still around now.

When taking part, you get a participation badge, depending on how many articles you manage to complete. 8 articles earns a copper badge, 16 earns silver, 24 earns gold, and if you complete the full 32 you earn a platinum badge. Although the reveals are titled “copper”, “silver” and so on, it doesn’t matter which prompts you respond to – any eight articles is enough to earn copper, any sixteen is enough for silver.

Your article needs to be at least 300 words long, and in response to the appropriate prompt using the appropriate article type, and it must be written during the Summer Camp period (July).

If you want to keep track of your progress, GrayLion has created a starting point and article which you can copy for yourself.

I have developed a lot of my world through the past few Summer Camps, and looking at these themes, I’m already excited for the expansion from this year.

I’m looking forward to discovering frontiers within the city – I have the Spice quarter which I see as being rather different and separate from the rest of the city while still within the city. Also we have all the frontiers between the different gangs. Hmmm.

And relics… Well, the campaign is about someone trying to create portals to break through into the main world. I’m excited to think what relics could be involved in both opening the portals and closing opened portals. And I’m sure there are plenty of other ideas which will come.

Quite a few of my world-building articles were originally developed as one or more of my Summer Camp responses: check out the WA Summer Camp tag.

August: RPGaDay – a month of posts

This will be the tenth year of RPGaDay, a combined idea of Autokratik (David F Chapman) and RuneSlinger (Anthony Boyd). I’ve been taking part to a greater and lesser extent since 2018.

The idea is there is a prompt for every day of August, and participants create a blog, vlog, poem, picture – whatever takes their fancy – in response. The FaceBook page is the central point where people post up links to their work, and they also use the social media hashtag #RPGaDay .

The approach to the prompts has varied over the years. They have had specific questions about gaming and your experience. They have had single-word/phrase prompts which you can interpret how you would like. Last year it was “Who/What/Where/Why/How” which I found less inspiring, so I’m hoping for a return to the word-prompts, but we’ll see.

You can see my posts in response to RPGaDay with the RPGaDay tag.

The prompts are usually released some time in July, so they are probably working on them now. Watch the Facebook page to know when they come out. And watch #RPGaDay in August on Facebook and Twitter, and maybe on, the Mastodon instance where RPG people seem to have chosen as theirs (that’s my Mastodon, certainly).

One thought on “Summer Blogging approaches!

Leave a Reply