A downloadable Workbook

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This workbook is based on an article written by Gary Gygax in 1975, less than 12 months after D&D was released. It encapsulates his thinking at the time about how to get your own D&D campaign world started. I have taken his general advice and parsed it out into achievable, bite-sized prompts & goals for a week-by-week program. 

Booklet Instructions:

Make sure your printer is set to no-scaling for US Letter, 2-sided, binding on short edge. If you don't have a long-arm or booklet stapler, square up the pages and fold them in half to get your crease. Open the booklet back up and place it face down on a few sheets of cardboard. (Anything flat and firm, but not impenetrable, will work. Like an ironing board.) Place two staples along the crease, then pull the booklet away from your surface, turn it over, and bend the prongs of the staples in carefully with your thumb (or use a pencil eraser to save your fingers). Voila!

CategoryPhysical game
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(69 total ratings)
AuthorRay Otus
GenreRole Playing
Tagsdiy, worldbuilding, writing


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Click download now to get access to the following files:

gygax75v3.2 Booklet.pdf 12 MB
gygax75v3.2.pdf 13 MB

Development log


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I love the work you put into this. It is one of my favorite guide books for starting campaign or mini-campaign.

Thanks for this, Ray! I'm about to use it to make my own campaign setting.

I made a notion template to aid myself in this process, is it alright if I share it here for people to use themselves?


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Here's the Notion template I made, feel free to dulpicate it for your own use:


Hey there - it looks like this isn’t public so it can’t be viewed via the link. Would you be willing to update it?

Just updated it. Should work now!


Bob sent me here. What a great little resource!  Makes sandbox world building fun and easy.

Me too bob seems so nice


Just letting you know I sent my viewers here from this video. Cheers!



Just came here from said video. Cheers!




Thanks for the update, Ray! This is a fantastic doc, and I had a blast creating a campaign using it. Now I just want to keep using the process in it for other worlds!


Awesome. Thank you. 


Hey there Ray! I just wanted drop in to say thank you for this, as well as for periodically bringing it up on the podcast. The latest episode where you talk about  your Yellow Planet idea got me ruminating on it again and have it back-burnered as a future project. I tinker at a Cyberpunk/Shadowrun booklet for BX/OSE and want to use the Gygax75 method to hash out the kernel of a setting for that. We'll see!

Thanks Reese! Always cool to hear that it's doing someone some good or at least getting their creative juices flowing.


Pages are out of order. Week 5 comes before Week 1?


Try the "gygax75-screen.pdf" version instead of the booklet version, which is laid out for printing.

Hi Ray. 

Could I translate this wonderful material into Brazilian Portuguese? The Brazilian OSR community will love this!

Did I never reply to this? Certainly you can.


Can someone tell me how to download this I have tried everything I can think of and NOTHING.


There should be a big red Download button right above your comment. If not, make sure you are logged in. If not, all hope is lost.


Now available in Italian!

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Hi Ray, since you released this under a CC BY-SA is it OK with you if I am going to translate it in Italian?


100% ok. Feel free to link the result here.


Here it is! Thank you for your kind support and this amazing workbook


Anyone interested in a world-builder jam? I'm thinking of picking a month and seeing what people can come up with using this toolset. Winners would be shared through itch.io obviously.

that would be fantastic


What would you think about converting this to a 4 week approach, and then doing it in November as an alternative to NaNoWriMo?  I like the idea of doing something in a month but I don't always want to write a novel.

sounds like fun


Did this happen?

Piping up two years after the original post to express my interest!

Got it printed and excited to try it out. Thank you!

Awesome. Let me know how it goes


My friend and I recorded our week by week conversations as we playtested the first version of this workbook (link below). 


Now that the book is revised, I'm releasing the week 4 and 5 discussions over the next week.

Any development on week 4 and week 5?

The screen doc has all 5 weeks, the booklet has up to week 3.

The booklet has everything. Not sure what you mean. I just downloaded it and checked ... 22 pages of 2-page spreads compared to the screen's 44 pages of 1-ups. Also all the page numbers are there. I think you are confused by the fact that the  booklet is made for printing/stapling, so the page order in the PDF is all 'jumbled.' The last page of the booklet PDF would be the center. 

Yes, I was mistaken, I scrolled to the end and got chapter three, no worries!


I am reminded of a blog post I liked that said that on a 2d6 encounter table, 12 is ALWAYS a dragon.

Good rule!


I think I read that one too... 2 is ALWAYS a wizard?

That rings a bell. 


http://www.paperspencils.com/structuring-encounter-tables/  This would be the one your thinking about.