The Art of World Building is a multi-volume guide for authors, screenwriters, game designers, gamers, and hobbyists to build more immersive, believable worlds fans will love. The author, Randy Ellefson, has been world building for three decades. The books are now a popular podcast and a growing series of courses at World Building University.

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Endorsement from Ed Greenwood, creator of The Forgotten Realms® and dozens of imaginary worlds

All three books are essential reference works for storytellers working in all fields; more than any other approach to these topics, Cultures and Beyond and its prequels ensure that nothing is overlooked or missed. Ellefson is a master of this craft, and it shows. Highly recommended!

Endorsement from bestselling author Piers Anthony

After reading Volume 1, Creating Life, Piers had this to say:

It is exhaustive, well written, and knowledgeable…I, as a successful science fiction and fantasy writer, have generated many worlds, so this material is familiar, but it would have been easier and probably better had I had a reference like this. It is realistic, recognizing that the average writer may not have the patience to work out all the details before getting into the action.

As each book is published, newsletter subscribers will receive FREE templates to use when creating worlds.

The Books
Vol 1

Volume 1 – Creating Life

  • Gods
  • Species and races
  • Plants
  • Animals
  • Monsters
  • Heroes and villains
  • Undead
  • And more…
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Vol 2

Volume 2 – Creating Places

  • Continents
  • Land features (forests, mountains)
  • Sovereign powers (kingdoms)
  • Settlements
  • Travel estimates
  • Time and history
  • Maps
  • And more…
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Vol 3

Volume 3 – Cultures and Beyond

  • Culture
  • Organizations
  • Religions
  • Armed forces
  • Magic systems
  • Items
  • Naming everything
  • And more…
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The World Building Workbooks

From the templates in all three books comes two workbooks you can carry with you and fill out as you need.

Fiction Edition

Buy Fantasy Edition


Sci-fi Edition

Buy Sci-Fi Edition


The Podcast Transcripts

The popular podcast has transcripts that are now (or soon!) available in book and audio book format! Each episode is based on a book chapter and the transcripts are grouped that way, too.

Volume 4: Creating Life – The Podcast Transcripts

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Volume 5: Creating Places – The Podcast Transcripts

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Volume 6: Cultures and Beyond – The Podcast Transcripts

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