It took me some time to figure out what I was going to do this week for the Resources article. I have had a number of ideas recently, but as you know I group them in 3s. Why is this a problem? I have a number of pairs of books that “fit” together and I want to add similar resources to those lists instead of just throwing a random third book at you. Nevertheless, I figured out exactly which resources I was going to use! Today I have three websites that could be useful for everyone. I would classify them all as wiki(ish). The first two are certainly wikis, but the third isn’t really laid out that way. Regardless, all of these are fantastic sources of information with which to help run your game or build you world.
In the last part of the internet based resources, I included the Forgotten Realms wiki. The reason for this was the sheer presence of the Forgotten Realms in Dungeons & Dragons. It has been around, developed, and played in for decades. When we moved into the era of 4th Edition, Paizo went out and decided to move on with 3.5 and developed Pathfinder. Before the change even occurred, Golarian was in development as a setting. When Pathfinder used it as its base setting, every book and supplement built upon it. Now, years in, Golarian has become an incredibly developed world, deep with lore and history. For such a young setting, it is one of the most developed. Part of this is, of course, the range of supplements, rules, companion books, and adventures that use it. The wiki for Pathfinder is fantastic and robust. If you are looking for the perfect example of how a world can be built from the foundation of D&D without infringing on the Forgotten Realms, this is it. All of the classic things, like genies, have their place and style in the Pathfinder setting. These are familiar but different. Even better, is that each monster manual establishes whole new classes of entities rather than just expanding on things like angel or demon. From this are whole new portions of mythos that work into the cosmology and pantheon. I would say that Pathfinder (and as a resource its wiki) is one of the best models for modern high fantasy setting development.
List of Legendary Creatures By Type(Wikipedia)
So this isn’t a wiki, as such. It is actually just part of Wikipedia. There are a lot of ways in which to access Wikipedia, and lot of way in which it is organized. With careful searches you can find pages like this. What this is, is a gigantic list of mythological creatures categorized in a number of ways. From animal associations and habitats to the strange body parts and cosmic representations. I have found an number of mythological creature wikis on the internet and some of them even have a lot of good information. However, many of them are not well laid out or can be hard to navigate. This wiki list is an absolutely fantastic starting place. It absolutely does not include all of the mythological creatures that exist, or all of the ones you can find an abundance of information about on Wikipedia. However, this will lead you from one thing to another and may even lead you to additional lists break downs. The result is a wide spread of real world, well laid out knowledge, that is easily accessible. Here is where all the monsters of D&D and beyond find there origins.
This is not a wiki, as such. It is basically the same thing. There is a database of knowledge, organized for people to be able to find what they need. If you haven’t ever been to this site, you need to visit it. It takes all the patterns and cliches that you can find, that you KNOW you see in tv, movies, books, etc and gives them names and definitions. It describes them, defines them, and gives you the origins of their names. What makes a western? What makes an apocalypse? What are the different special categories? You can learn a lot you didn’t realize was out there. Little things that define the cliches and niches you love. For me, this has really hit home in trying to develop a world for Cowboys & Dragons style play. What types of western tropes do I want to use? What is appropriate for the setting and what needs to be removed? TV Tropes is a site that can really help you define a world and realize the things that will help players recognize what you are trying to do with it. It may be funny to think about how cliche or trope-y these things are but they are the things we end up looking for and latching onto when we find something we love, before we ever realize the other reasons we love them.