Start world building the right way!

An image from the Agile Worldbuilding Method lecture showing co-writers Dimitris Havlidis and Janet Forbes

Worldbuilding Meta - part of the Agile Worldbuilding Methology

The Worldbuilding Meta tools on World Anvil are a key component of the Agile Worldbuilding method, and are a great way to start worldbuilding, keep your project on track, and grow your setting seamlessly! The Agile Worldbuilding Method is a worldbuilding methodology created by Janet Forbes and Dimitris Havlidis, the co-founders of World Anvil. The Agile Worldbuilding method is designed to guard against both over-worldbuilding and under-worldbuilding, and also helps keep a project on track, making sense, and future-proofed! To learn more about Agile Worldbuilding, check out this video, or follow @worldanvil on social media to get notified when our up-coming book, “ Agile Worldbuilding for Game Masters”, is released.

How do you start world building? The World Meta.

How to start world building? It’s our number 1 asked question, and that’s why we created the World Meta section! If you’re getting started world building on a novel or campaign setting, then kicking off with the overview - why you’re creating, your hook and the basic details - is a really good idea. World Anvil’s worldbuilding meta tool allows you to create the overview of your world quickly, guiding you with expert questions to create a complete picture of the world setting you’re beginning. You’ll never wonder “how do you start world building” again!

An image of a map showing the text “how do you start world building”
An image showcasing how to write Worldbuilding meta in short sentences

How to write Worldbuilding Meta

World Anvil’s Worldbuilding Meta takes you through a few different areas. Scope helps you make sure what you’re creating is going to serve your purposes, while Theme deals more with your genres, mood and world feel. The Drama, Scene and People sections of the worldbuilding meta are focussed on how your world was, and is now, as well as your “active world-building area”. Wondering how to write worldbuilding meta information? Stick to short, clean sentences: it’ll be easier to reference your worldbuilding meta later!

Looking for world building ideas?

If you’re having trouble coming up with world building ideas, then turn back to your worldbuilding meta. Reading through your core ideas of the world will spawn new ideas easily! You can also use tools like “if-then”. As is, “if this is true in my worldbuilding, then how does this affect people who live there? How can different people use it to their advantage, or how might it harm them?” New worldbuilding ideas drawn from your original concept will make your world feel more authentic, cohesive and deep. Whether it’s D&D worldbuilding ideas or novel writing, building on your world meta is better than introducing completely new concepts, which might make your world feel scattered, confusing and disjunct.

an image of a worldbuilding meta page showing how world building ideas can be derived from the worldbuilding meta section
an image of a worldbuilding meta page showing the world building motivation and world building inspiration sections filled in for easy reference

The perfect place to return for world building Motivation and inspiration!

“Why can’t I finish worldbuilding?!” World building motivation is key. After all, Worldbuilding takes guts and hard work, but the rewards of creating a setting your readers and players love are incredible! Making sure you stay motivated during your worldbuilding can be tough though, and the world building motivation section in the meta can help. It’s not just to help you make sure your worldbuilding project is serving your motivations. Reading back through it will refresh you when you’re feeling unmotivated! You can also check out the world building inspiration section, which you can fill with images, movies, music and quotes which are part of your original concept and tie in to your world building inspiration!

World Anvil’s worldbuilding meta is part of the ever-expanding World Anvil toolset...

Whether you’re worldbuilding in private, or trying to launch and market your novel, your DnD campaign setting or your game to the world, World Anvil has your back. Once you’ve created your world meta, get started with a world wiki to expand your ideas in more detail! From there you can write novels in our novel-writing software, run games using our Gamemastering features, or even publish your world to the world and monetize it your way!


World Anvil is the ULTIMATE RPG Campaign
Manager and Homebrew world building toolset

... and with it you can...


Build the complete, living world behind your tabletop RPG games. Create your lore, NPCs, locations, monsters and adventures.


Showcase your world in all its glory and let your players explore and discover the hidden wonders you choose to share.


Keep your notes and ideas safe - in years to come you'll be able to search through and remember them like you wrote them yesterday.


Work by yourself or get your players to help you, expand your lore and their backstories.


Create your campaign, invite your players, manage your sessions and have everything you've created in front of you in a single screen.


Join a community of over 750,000 worldbuilders and Dungeon Masters happy and willing to help you become the best tormentor Dungeon Master you can be!