Now is a good time to create an index for the "campaign forge" series I've been working on.
1a: Design: a project requires that everything be done in an practical, effective method; we cannot simply willy nilly approach worldbuilding by deciding to do "what's fun." Before we can design, we need to now the order in which it's done.
1b: Systems: first, decide if the world is a sphere or a flat plane — recognizing that as humans we live on a sphere; we know how the mechanics of a sphere work. Making the world flat may seem easy, but in the long run, it's sure to create more work than its worth, while it throws away stores of knowledge that might have proved useful.
1c: Climate: the way that air moves over the surface of the world is much more important than we realize; climate defines what we can grow and eat, what we wear, what shelters we live in and the rhyme and reason that makes culture.
2a: People: where do people come from; how did they get here? How did this culture progress technologically compared to that culture — and what sort of culture do we want to exist in our game world? One that evolved for the place they live, or one that's transplanted? Or a bit of each?
2b: Land & Sea: what sort of physical world do we want the players to experience? The post reflects on four fundamental structures for continents and oceans, discussing in overview what each type provides and directions that might be taken in designing those types.
2c: Continent: thinking about the cultural personalities we want to emplace in the world, even though we haven't made any sort of map yet. What motivates and drives a region's foreign policy with regards to other nations; what do regions want, and how do we depict that? Starting to create a physical continental ideal.
2d: Rivers: starting with a discussion of why the relationship of trade to the movement of people is most important when deciding what rivers to include in our continent — and, in turn, how rivers create cities and towns, while defining other topographic features which rivers must obey.
3a: Frontiers: discussing how the headwaters of rivers form boundaries along mountains and open plains, creating natural divides between peoples and nations ... with some comment on how very large river basins are a source for great wealth and balkanisation.
3b: Flora: drawing together numerous elements discussed thus far, to explain further the manner in which climate affects the spread of vegetation and thus biomes, depending on how air masses create spaces of moisture and dryness.
3c: Control: time to start assigning political control to the various parts of our first continent. Set out major states, buffer states, tertiary states ... and recognize the violent dynamic that underlies the desire for each state to overpower and seize wealth from its neighbour.
I'll be adding to this as I write posts.