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The Gamemaster's Worldbuilding Journal $6.95
Average Rating:4.6 / 5
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The Gamemaster\'s Worldbuilding Journal
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The Gamemaster's Worldbuilding Journal
Publisher: Fat Goblin Games
by Michael F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/13/2021 20:37:48

When I originally purchased the book, it arrived with minor cosmetic damage, but also with the far more serious issue of the mapping portions being misprinted where entire lines of the grids were missing entirely. I contacted DriveThru regarding this (with photos), and they were gratious enough to send out a replacement. However, the replacement arrived with the same printing errors. Errors I do not recall seeing in the creator's youtube video where he presented the book. Yet, at this point, I did not feel like pressing the matter further would result in any actual changes to the quality of the printed copy.

I would say, if you can get it somewhere else, do so, but do not purchase the hard cover from DriveThru.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Gamemaster's Worldbuilding Journal
Publisher: Fat Goblin Games
by Aaron T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/28/2016 20:45:48

This product comes with four separate files: a 57-page World-building Journal, an 840 page world-building journal, a zip file containing extra copies of all the pages in the journals and a form fillable version of the individual pages. The purpose of this product is to provide a framework for the homebrew GM to create all the various little pieces of their game world. If you are a GM playing in an established setting such as Paizo’s Golarion, Frog God Games’ Lost Lands or Adventure-a-Week’s Aventyr, this product will be of little use to you. However, if you have a hankering to build a world whether for running a game or writing a story, this product gives you a framework to work in.

Since this is not an adventure, there’s no need for a spoiler warning, however, I will offer the disclaimer that I was given a copy of the product for the purpose of writing an honest review, however I receive no compensation for my review.

I’ll start with the 57 page world-building guide. This product is 57 pages long with four pages dedicated to front cover, credits page, an advertisement and a back cover, leaving 53 pages for world building goodness. These pages are printer-friendly and include things like a place to draw your world map and name your continents, a page for seasons and festivals, climate overview, languages, major events of history, major regions/ countries, deities, religions, kingdom maps and information, life and society, history, major geographical features, plants, animals, family life, agriculture/industry, in short all the bits and bobs that you might want to include in a comprehensive world. There are places to draw maps of countries, cities, towns and dungeons. You have places to write up major NPC’s, minor NPC’s, guilds or organizations, and places to outline major events you want to cover in your campaign. There is even a page to jot down what books you used in your world building. The book ends with a couple pages of printable graph paper and hex paper.

The 850 page document contains all the same pages as the shorter 57 page one. However, it is not printer friendly, it has a pretty parchment background. I am fairly certain that THIS is the book you get if you order a print copy of the book. Each chapter of the book is essentially the 57 page document duplicated (but prettier). It’s not EXACTLY that, though. The first chapter is the major world overview stuff (world map, continents, etc), chapters two through nine have everything you need to make a country or nation (cities, towns, society, fauna, flora, NPC’s, adventures and plots, etc) and chapter 10 has pages for books used, a campaign outline, site based encounters, Taverns and Inns, Shops and Markets, build your own random encounter tables, Caves/Dungeon Maps, Geographic Features, Strongholds/Castles and Tribes/Clans. The nice thing about this full color version is if you have the printed book, each chapter has a different color marked near the top-right edge of the page. This means that if you are flipping through the book to quickly find the country of Red, you can flip until you see the red edges and quickly narrow down your search. It seems like it would be pretty handy!

The form-fillable document is the 57 page document, but all the spaces are form-fillable in the pdf for those of us who are handwriting-challenged.

The Zip file contains each of the form-fillable pages, but individually, so you could have a digitally created world-building guide using folders to hold your chapters or renaming pages to suit your needs.

Overall, I think this is a GREAT product for GM’s or authors who want to try their hand at building a world. For GM’s who are running a published setting, this is not a product they would get a lot of use out of. I would love to see a copy of the printed book, even though it is not something that I would personally get a lot of use out of. Overall, I’m giving this product 5 of 5 stars because it is a comprehensive document to do what it sets out to do: give a framework for designing a fictional world. For $5.00, you are getting an exceptionally useful set of files.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Gamemaster's Worldbuilding Journal
Publisher: Fat Goblin Games
by Dark N. K. W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/23/2016 17:41:04

This is a very impressive product. The PDF options, which is what I bought for now, are great for documenting your world in the appropriate level of detail. I prefer the loose pages the most. They allow me to complete them, collect them into a single pdf (player and DM editions) and potentially upload the master PDF to Lulu to print a copy for each of my players.

The physical book is very impressive. If you are on the fence, invest $5 and get the PDF set, then decide if the print book is for you.

Fat Goblin consistently publishes material that make your games more fun, enriched, and with products like this, more ogranized.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Gamemaster's Worldbuilding Journal
Publisher: Fat Goblin Games
by James E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/22/2016 09:49:26

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of this product for the purpose of this review. I did not receive any of the physical versions.

All right, let's dive right into this, shall we? This product is Fat Goblin Games' worldbuilding set, most valuable for Game Masters and anyone else who wants to create their own place for adventures. As a secondary function, it's also good for novelists, scriptwriters, and other people who need to create a fictional land for any reason.

Now, this product contains several files. The first file I opened was the "Form Fill" version, which is basically a shorter version of the main content that can be edited on your computer. (You'll probably want to create a duplicate of the file first, of course.) This is essentially a 57-page notebook that you can fill out and reference as-needed, even going as far as to print it out and reference it at a table or give to your players so they can know more about the world. A do-it-yourself campaign setting book, as it were. The content covers everything from how many hours in a day to seasonal festivals, world history, deities, major geographical features, and more. Basically, it's all of the nitty-gritty details that help bring a world to life.

There's also a blank, non-fillable version if you want to print it out and then write details in.

The other main file is... big. It's an 840-page(!) tome, and so massive as a journal that it actually has its own table of contents. It's broken down into ten chapters. The first is an overview of the world, and is followed by eight blank copies of regions and kingdoms (comprising the huge bulk of the content) before wrapping up with a make-your-own-appendix section, allowing for things like custom maps and random encounter tables. I repeat - this is basically a blank campaign setting book, and you are totally expected to write things into it. The sheer bulk of this is why the non-PDF versions are so expensive - I have other RPG books of comparable size to the physical version of this, and seriously, it's probably going to shake any table you drop it on.

Did you think we were done? Nope! There's one more part to all of this file. In addition to all of the above, the digital version includes single sheets (which are fillable on the computer) for when you only want to discuss certain things. For example, maybe you want to print and bind a journal for your players but take out things like legendary items, adventures and plots, and random encounter tables. These help with that, and they're a very nice touch.

Now, clearly, this product isn't for everyone. Worldbuilding is one of the most challenging parts of creativity, and people have different preferences for how they do it. This is a version for people who like writing things down - or at least typing things into forms and printing it off. Now, I'm going to be frank with you - you probably shouldn't get any of the versions that don't include the PDFs. At the moment, it's a $2 difference (this may or may not change - I don't control the pricing!), and having extra copies of things you can print out is well worth the cost. Even if you don't think you'll need it, it's good as a backup.

For those who are looking to dip their toes into worldbuilding, the digital version of this is an outstanding value. You're getting literally over a thousand pages in PDF form, although in practice, you're probably going to focus on the form-fillable versions so you can write out your ideas, delete them, write them out again, edit them, and come back to totally change them again at a later point when you have a flash of inspiration. It's also a good way to make sure your ideas will actually fit if you ever decide to get the full tome and write them in.

Ultimately, I feel this product is very solid at what it sets out to do, and it's particularly good for GMs who want to pass out information to players or have a hefty sheaf of notes for themselves. It's not the method I personally use - I prefer Realm Works - but I recognize a useful product when I see it. If you want to have stuff printed at your table, this is a good way of doing it. I'm giving it 5 stars because I feel like it does exactly what it sets out to do, but this is fundamentally a creative aid - it does some of the work for you by separating things into sections and encouraging you to think about them, but ultimately, you'll have to invest the time in filling things out if you want to get the full value from this product. Of course, if you're like me and you enjoy worldbuilding, a lot of that time is going to be fun. Basically, it's what you make of it, and you should know that going in.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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