The divides between nations, as well as within nations, can offer opportunities for wonderful drama in a campaign world. Political machinations open up opportunities for the party to adventure when events come crashing down on them–forcing them to flee, take up arms in defense, or right some travesty of justice. The ebb and flow of nations also ripples down to the “ordinary folk” even if the party is no where near what’s happening on the world stage. World events can affect things like food and lodging prices, or trigger a people’s latent xenophobia 1.
Because it can trigger so many paths for adventures, world builders should spend a bit of time pondering the political divisions which exist in their setting. Everything doesn’t need to be set in stone at the start, in a lot of ways that’s what role-playing is for, but it’s good to have a framework before play begins. That way there will be something on which you and your party can hang all the tidbits you come up with during play.
I spent a bit of time pondering the politics in The World of Frosden before I began running campaigns in it, and this week’s episode of DM Tales breaks a bit of that down. Enjoy!
- Not like we’ve seen anything like that in my home country. At all, we’ve got a perfectly healthy psychology, thank you very much, and don’t have any problems with this. Oh shoot, I forgot to hit the sarcasm button. ↩