Elevator pitches—a concise description of a complete world in about 30 seconds. That’s the time it takes to get from the bottom ground to the… say the fifth—ding! However elevator pitches for world settings want particular care. In any case, a world setting is a BIG factor to convey in such a small timeframe! So, from the opening sentence to the aspirational second, I’ll take you thru placing collectively probably the most kick-ass elevator pitch in your RPG marketing campaign setting, novel sequence world, or your World Anvil web page!
What’s an elevator pitch for a world setting (and why do I want one?)
Your world is superior! I do know it. However whether or not in your D&D gamers, your RPG Kickstarter, or potential readers and publishers in your novel sequence, an elevator pitch in your world setting is totally essential for sharing your world with others. It’s the taster, the factor that helps individuals perceive if this world setting is an efficient match for them, and in the event that they need to discover it additional. It additionally units up expectations for after they get there!
However elevator pitches aren’t simply nice for sharing your work with others. From a inventive perspective, your elevator pitch also can function a sort of concentrated world meta—a reminder of probably the most important items of your world setting. This could cease you from getting misplaced within the weeds of worldbuilding and maintain you on monitor. Reference it usually to sense test what you’re constructing and see if it’s on message in your world!
Since elevator pitches are so important in your setting, they seem by default on the highest of your world dwelling web page on World Anvil! Prime actual property in your wonderful world!
What to incorporate in an elevator pitch in your world setting?
To get began, you’re going to want an inventory of elements—key details about your world setting. Don’t fear, I’ll clarify all of it in additional element beneath!
- Your style bundle and your setting’s temper and themes
- One or two of the core conflicts of the setting
- How does the viewers slot in? And what sort of enjoyable are we having?
The insightful amongst you, or these acquainted with the Agile Worldbuilding Methodology, will acknowledge these are questions from World Anvil’s World Meta part, the DNA of your world setting! Let’s dive into these in additional element.
Your world’s style bundle…
Positive, some worlds have only one style, however most of the world settings we all know and love probably the most have multiple style. For instance, Star Trek has features of Army Scifi, but in addition touches on Delicate Scifi and even Area Opera. The Expanse is scifi with components of noir. And Dungeons and Dragons takes an “the whole lot and the kitchen sink” method to style, together with many subgenres beneath its high-fantasy banner. Attempt to work out the style bundle that is smart in your world. It’s step one in speaking it to others.
…and your setting’s temper and themes
That is the extra thematic aspect of your style bundle, the factor that separates Recreation of Thrones and Battlestar Galactica (darkish, gritty, low character company) from the Princess Bride and Star Trek (vivid, utopian, excessive character company). Is your world gritty and darkish, or is it brighter, pleasanter, extra stunning—and the way is that expressed? Maybe there’s a sense of optimism, or of pessimism in your world, which could rely in your character company—how in a position your primary characters are to alter the established order. Once more, when you’re nonetheless studying about your world, you possibly can see the complete record of inquiries to unpack these ideas right here, on the earth meta. If there are literary themes you need to discover along with your setting, for instance “discovered household”, “good conquers evil”, or “all flesh is grass”, it is a good second to start out together with these. For example, one of many primary themes of the Chronicles of Narnia is Christian values and allegory, as C.S. Lewis was a faithful Christian himself. That is baked into a number of features of his world, from backside to high!
Your core battle(s)
Battle and present affairs put your world in movement, and make it really feel dynamic and alive. So what are the massive issues occurring in your world? Is there an everlasting conflict happening between two nations? Have denizens of an historical empire not too long ago began to reappear, unaware of misplaced time? Is a plague sweeping your world? We all the time suggest having between three and 5 key world conflicts (which must be acceptable in your setting style and really feel!) For the elevator pitch you would possibly want one core one, and some secondary ones to trace at.
How does the viewers slot in?
That is actually two questions!
- What sort of media is it?
- What sort of “enjoyable” are we having?
For the primary query, are your viewers taking part in a recreation, studying a novel, or one thing else? If you happen to plan to have numerous totally different media in your world, begin with the primary one you’ll be engaged on in your elevator pitch, and increase it as you create extra media.
The second is extra geared round what sort of story it’s, what sort of “enjoyable” they’re having. (That is my new favourite worldbuilding query, since interviewing Lawrence Schick, Lore-master of ESO, Baldur’s Gate and extra!) That’s, are we taking part in a noir homicide thriller or an expansive journey exploration? Is it typically political intrigue, or hacking and slashing? And who’re the most important factions concerned on this? That doesn’t imply your characters received’t be doing quite a lot of various things in your setting—however serving to individuals perceive what totally different sorts of tales you’ll be telling in your setting is useful to set expectations.
How do I make an elevator pitch for my world?
After getting the above questions, you have to begin interested by the right way to mix this in an evocative approach. Your elevator pitch will change into three elements:
- The place are we? (Style bundle, temper, themes)
- What’s happening? (One or two conflicts both said or hinted at)
- Who’re we? (or who’re we following?)
Instance from the Waystar RPG
Right here’s an instance written particularly with this formulation, from the Waystar RPG:
We aren’t the primary to enterprise amongst these stars, this galaxy of species. The traditional Golems—builders of the Waystar Gates—are lengthy gone, pushed off by some damaging drive. However a lot of their tech stays; hidden, forgotten, and probably world-ending within the incorrect palms. Now, firms maintain sway, huge Empires rise and fall, and gangs of pirates decide on the stays, all in quest of alternative. Will you fall in with harmful criminals, or galactic giants? Recuperate the megalithic tech of the traditional ones, or forge new paths by way of the celebs?
Phew! OK! Let’s break that down extra:
- We aren’t the primary to enterprise amongst these stars, this galaxy of species:
OK, cool. We’re in house, and there are various alien species. I can image that. Mix this with a spaceship visible or two, and we’ve a transparent picture of what sort of setting to anticipate right here.
- The traditional Golems—builders of the Waystar Gates—are lengthy gone, pushed off by some damaging drive. However a lot of their tech stays; hidden, forgotten, and probably world-ending within the incorrect palms. Now, firms maintain sway, huge Empires rise and fall, and gangs of pirates decide on the stays, all in quest of alternative.
That is the Battle/Drama part – mainly, the “what’s happening?” part, which I’ve cut up into two primary conflicts. The primary hints at historical tech, highly effective and probably world-ending. The second units the scene for the jostling powers, all on the lookout for alternative and benefit over each other. Oh, and I dropped within the time period Waystar Gates as a result of it’s the titular idea!
- Will you fall in with harmful criminals, or galactic giants? Recuperate the megalithic tech of the traditional ones, or forge new paths by way of the celebs?
This gives some sorts of video games that the gamers can have interaction with—gang warfare, missions for main powers, exploration and house archaeology, or analysis and discovery.
Instance from Avatar: The Final Airbender
After all, you possibly can combine issues up a bit. The template is simply to assist get you began. Right here’s an important elevator pitch for a setting you is perhaps acquainted with…
“Water. Earth. Hearth. Air. Way back, the 4 nations lived collectively in concord. Then the whole lot modified when the Hearth Nation attacked. Solely the Avatar, grasp of all 4 components, might cease them. However when the world wanted him most, he vanished. A hundred years handed and my brother and I found the brand new Avatar, an airbender named Aang, and though his airbending abilities are nice, he nonetheless has lots to study earlier than he’s prepared to avoid wasting anybody. However I imagine Aang can save the world.”
That is the opening sequence from Avatar the Final Airbender… but it surely’s additionally an elevator pitch! To interrupt this down extra (and bear in mind, this has visuals too, as a result of it’s an animated sequence):
- Water. Earth. Hearth. Air.
This, mixed with the visuals and mysterious music, introduces the world temper/really feel and the magic system in a single swoop! It’s one of the core ideas of the setting (and one other nice instance of how an image is value a thousand phrases, dammit!)
- Way back, the 4 nations lived collectively in concord. Then the whole lot modified when the Hearth Nation attacked. Solely the Avatar, grasp of all 4 components, might cease them. However when the world wanted him most, he vanished. A hundred years handed and my brother and I found the brand new Avatar, an airbender named Aang,
These are the 2 huge conflicts of the sequence—the hearth nation attacked, and the Avatar disappeared. That is the drama of the world, which supplies extra taste.
- Though his airbending abilities are nice, he nonetheless has lots to study earlier than he’s prepared to avoid wasting anybody. However I imagine Aang can save the world.”
This tells us that it is a coming-of-age story, and we’re going to be having some “power-up” model enjoyable too. Can Aang save the world (and by inference, can we – or on this case, the primary characters who’re the viewers surrogate – assist him)? They’ve included stakes right here too, which is usually a good factor so as to add extra drama to the Who Are We? part!
How do I write my elevator pitch?
Only a fast phrase about language, and the right way to write elevator pitches for worlds!
- Preserve it snappy! Attempt to keep away from lengthy or run-on sentences which might be arduous to learn.
- Match your language to your tone! In case your setting is whimsical or poetic, use poetic turns of phrase! Excessive octane motion settings ought to use dynamic and interesting vocabulary. Try the Dungeons and Dragons elevator pitch in comparison with the Warhammer Fantasy one!
- Embrace helpful tropes. If there are buzzwords or main tropes related along with your setting (for instance, house/star/galaxy/megacorporation) ensure you embody these—it’s a shortcut to comprehension, and a fast option to inject taste.
- Use highly effective verbs! These little phrases have an entire lot of lifting energy, so seek for robust alternate options to convey extra that means
What about testing my elevator pitch?
This one is simple—write it, after which share it round! Learn it to your folks. Share it in boards! Then ask individuals to summarise what they assume your setting relies in your pitch. The nearer they’re, the extra particular and evocative the pitch is.
And most significantly, are they excited by it? Whereas not each reader of your elevator pitch would be the preferrred candidate in your world, if individuals are typically excited by your pitch, and it’s largely clear what your world is about, then you definitely’ve received an important pitch!
What NOT to incorporate in an elevator pitch in your world setting?
I’m not right here to let you know what to not do… however attempt to keep away from these frequent errors in elevator pitches!
- Don’t over-stuff it! Keep in mind it shouldn’t be too lengthy, or too dense! You’re introducing your world to somebody new, in any case!
- Skip the jargon! Omit complicated technical phrases out of your world except you possibly can clarify them in 2-3 phrases, and simply maintain the flavour.
- Over-explaining: You don’t want to incorporate the entire plot line! You solely must trace on the main conflicts
- No spoilers! Don’t reveal important secrets and techniques that can make participating along with your world much less enjoyable in the long term. Err on the aspect of hints and rhetorical inquiries to tantalize your reader.
Nice examples of elevator pitches for fantasy worlds & scifi settings
Nonetheless on the lookout for examples to encourage you? Try these nice ones!
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