Mon 19.06.2023

Where NOT to start worldbuilding

A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked me for an elevator pitch for YARPS. He’s a very creative mind, currently working on the third edition of his own SciFi rpg. I always enjoy talking about our software and the opportunities it holds. So I had a little presentation prepared. When I finished he didn’t want to waste any time. “How do I start digitalizing my rulebooks?” he asked. But I replied: “You don’t!”

Let your world grow with YARPS

It was not because we aren’t yet onboarding content creators (which we aren’t… yet). But because of a misconception. Because I wasn’t able to explain the perks of YARPS to its full potential. Which – I must admit – is a pretty big flaw for a shady merchant like myself. And it wasn’t the first time this happened either. When talking to publishers about selling their content online (which we do on a regular basis), they tend to wonder the same thing: “Where do I upload that PDF of my book?” And our answer would always be the same: “You don’t!”

Of course this “You don’t!” is followed by an explanation. I mean you could use PDFs (and other file types) to integrate your worlds data into YARPS. No problem. It’s just not the optimal way. So what’s the alternative to start uploading rulebooks? How do we want to digitalize contents? The YARPS data model relies on Structured Information. Everything you describe will most likely appear more than once in your world. A character for example will be part of different adventures, a member of a faction, one or two guilds and the mention in one of the players personal notes. Instead of describing him every time he appears in a text YARPS will create an own entry for this character.

… and YARPS will grow your world.

By mentioning his name or an alias you will now automatically link to the character’s entry (for everyone who’s allowed to see the entry that is). A timeline will allow you to display the character in different stages of his life, so you can change his appearance from one campaign to another. So instead of copying your existing rulebooks, we’d encourage you to start creating your TTRPG world. Piece by piece. YARPS will help you to complete the puzzle by automatically building relations, links and synergies between entries. That way every piece you create in YARPS will connect to and complete all the pieces already existing. Creating a new character? Select his parents and the complete family tree is already there.

And of course you can bundle these entries together, so they act like books without losing the advantages YARPS offers. We love to see ttrpg books created within YARPS – we just don’t encourage you to use them as a starting point for world creation.


All the best,
on behalf of the YARPS team,

shady merchant