History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

World-Building Recommendation: World Roulette

My deck in a custom-made box.

One of my recent Kickstarter rewards was the World Roulette Deck from Light Grey Art Lab. It’s a deck meant to assist in world building for creative projects, with a really interesting setup on the individual cards, which are meant to be stacked and layered in interesting combinations as you’re creating a world.

As the Light Grey Art Labs website explains: “Combine light (prompt cards) with dark (dynamic cards) for rich combinations of worldbuilding challenges. Twist the cards to continue to explore the world or alter the meaning.”

The cards can also be used as writing prompts, if you think about them a little differently. For example, the dark side of card at the top of my deck when I took the photo in my custom-made case reads “Discovery in Nature” and “Wilderness versus Development.” Either of those could be great themes to use as the basis for a story. The light sides of this card starts with a central word of “geography,” with the additional words prompting you to consider ecosystems/climates, landmarks, maps/boundaries, and topography, any of which could go with those themes to inspire a story further. Or, you could grab a second card and flip it to the light side for a different word and related concepts, and tie that to the theme you’ve chosen instead.

The possibilities really are amazingly extensive, and while I’ll probably use my world-building deck more to inspire short fiction than to build a world, I’m sure I’ll use it for its intended purpose at some point!


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