|Some Charr even learned how to use computers.|
|Go on little buddy, log in to Tyria and burn all that is beautiful.|
The outside canon pay offs are harder to see. For example, Tolkien gets a lot of payoff in his family trees. Granted, you eventually got to see them, but his unfinished tales (and the eventual publication of said tales) also helped him to visualize his world. You may not need as much detail as Tolkien, but try and imagine the things you know, inherently, about your world.
In your dungeon, try going back a few centuries. What else lived here? Did it always house evil creatures? Do the current residents know its secrets? Even if the players never find out that a group of elves once camped here, and that's where all the masterwork arrows came from, it helps you give your world logical consistencies.
Give the town a brief history; think of your home neighborhood. For example, back in Delaware, there's a story about a man who barricaded himself in his house with booby traps to keep the police from arresting him. Having just two or three of those stories for a small town will bring it to life.
Like real life, what counts as history in your world is fluid. If a background detail that was meant to add color suddenly matters, use it to provide a plot hook. Everything can be a plot hook, and that is OK. If you decide that a historical figure is important enough to fit into a narrative, go ahead and bring him into the story. The history is a tool, and like every literary tool, is subservient to plot and character. So, you almost can ignore everything I've said in trying to describe history in fiction.
Which makes for a very pathetic blog post, I suppose.
|The Charr is tired of my disingenuous assertions about their jerkiness.|
Tomorrow I may have something to say about Dragon Dice. Or maybe not. This weekend, I'll also get around to taking an actual story and showing how the pre-writing of the world's history helped me flesh out characters and plot, getting us back to the question of how much history our fiction needed.