Demiurge, a somewhat obscure Platonic term, refers to the artisan or craftsman deity who constructed the physical world but is separate and distinct from the primary, all powerful deity. Though somewhat esoteric, the word has long associations with the D&D game in particular, featuring particularly in the Greyhawk setting.
This column is about our own demiurge process–that is, it’s about game world design, both in terms of fundamental principles and actual practice. It will contain discussions about how effective game worlds are constructed and then attempt to put those ideas in practice through the development of a setting informed by conscious and collaborative design philosophy. The specific setting we’ll be modeling is The Vault, a truly massive world designed to reflect the D&D system, and one which is flexible and customizable yet fully developed and realized in its own right. You’re welcome to play with our ideas at your own table. Our articles about the Vault, however, are primarily meant to provide a transparent window on how some people approach world design.