Worldbuilding--what's your process?Truth be told, when I sit down to game, I very rarely worry about world-building. I'm not the sort of GM who tends to create a massive world on my own, instead focusing on specific regions or cities where the action itself takes place. However, even in doing that much, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve.
|Remember: One Unique Thing!|
Also, work in threes, especially in terms of factions. When writing Cold Steel Wardens, I deliberately included trios in almost every aspect of the world. There are three primary crime families--the Genoveses, the White Russians, and the Warren Group. There are three major conflicting gangs--the Numbers, the Rebel Yell, and the Rojo Bastardes. See where I'm going with this? It's easy to imply conflict between two rival organizations, but when you introduce a third faction, that faction becomes a wild card. The more wild cards in your setting, the more conflict (and drama) you can introduce!
Lastly, remember that your NPCs do not exist in a vacuum. Even when the PCs are elsewhere, the NPCs don't just stand around, vacant-eyed. Rather, they have their own motives, their own actions, and their own contacts. The key to making a world feel dynamic is to have those NPCs change the world just as much--okay, maybe not quite as much--as the PCs themselves. When those NPCs start pursuing their goals while the PCs are absent, the game changes for the better.