Starting the journey: worldbuilding

Yesterday I started the process of playing a campaign with the Ironsworn RPG using isscrolls. The challenge for me was allowing myself to take the time to actually start the process. I set a timer of 30 minutes and dove in.

The first part was building the world that I wanted to play in. I didn't give this a whole lot of thought. I figure the outlying world would form itself. What I wanted to focus on was the character and the underlying issue they were trying to resolve.

Here are my notes from that session:

This is a solo campaign for me to just get back to familiarity with Ironsworn and also to give myself permission to just play and break the programming of 30 years that I need to always be "on" and be productive every moment of the day.

I rolled two theme rolls of "Family" and "Memory". That gets me thinking about a dream that members of my family have had for generations about a mysterious face and voice that they can't quite make out. Several members of my family have driven themselves to madness trying to understand what the face and voice are asking them. All have failed. Recently those dreams have appeared to me. The face is somewhat twisted and obscured in what appears to be snow. The voice drowned out by the sound of wind and a low rumbling noise that is indistinct but ever-present.

Nobody in our settlement has ever believed our family's tales about these dreams. Some have even shunned us as the ones that are cursed with these ever-present dreams. We still make our living but our settlement has long been anything but home.

Recently a traveler came through our settlement. He spoke of rumors that he had recently heard. My family sat and listened to his tales. When he mentioned a rumor of a face saying indistinct things in people's dreams my father and perked our ears. The stranger told of others who had heard this call and mentioned that some believed it was an old magic user named Kanno that sent out a message using his sorcery to call them to him. For what purpose the stranger did not know, only that the closer folks were to The Shattered Wastes the clearer they could hear the voice. Some believe the magic user was trapped in these wastes and that he was asking folks to free him. Some believe it is the last wish of a dying wizard to transfer his consciousness to an unwitting heir. Whatever the reason none have managed to succeed.

My father and I share knowing glances. He is too old to make the journey but there is nothing left for you here in the settlement. It seems you're the only one in your family that can help break this torment and figure out the truth.

The settlement name I rolled is Grayfalls in The Havens. In order to make it to my destination of The Shattered Wastes I'll need to travel through The Havens, The Tempest Hills, The Veiled Mountains, and finally through The Shattered Wastes to find answers.

My character's name is Jagger. I decided to go for Challenging difficulty rather than Perilous or Grim because I want him to have a fighting chance.

I gave Jagger. I gave him Edge 4, Heart 3, Iron 3, Wits 2, and Shadow 2. I imagine him to be someone that has learned from his father how to hunt with a bow.

I need to find three assets for Jagger.

Is it perfect? Is it going to win me an Oscar for best worldbuilding? Hardly. But what it represents is me spending 30 minutes getting out of my own way and creating. Even if nothing comes from this worldbuilding I can honestly say that I spent the time unburdened by any other pressing issues to create Jagger's world.

I'm content in knowing that I can take the time to draw upon my creativity with no discernible consequences. The world did not stop spinning, my email was still there, and the world could slip away while I breathed life into this character and his world. We'll see how this progresses.