World Knowledge - Player vs. GM

I'm about to begin a campaign, and I was wondering how much of the Setting portion of the world it was reasonable to assume the players knew.  More specifically, if I was using an online tool like Obsidian Portal or Realm Works for campaign tools, how much of a given location's entry would be valid to include on the site?

I know some of this varies by GM, but is it unreasonable to post everything, or nearly everything, and assume that ninth-worlders, like modern humans, probably know where and what Country X is, and probably know at least a story or two, (like I live in the US but I know who's President in Russia and who the PM of England is)?  Or is the best bet to post as little as possible, say, one or even zero sentences and assume that the players know nothing about their own world (excluding their home clave and kingdom?)?

Thanks in Advance!


  • I'm starting one up soon and plan to start out near Uxphon in a farming community outside the city boundaries. I was going to give the players a quick rundown on the steadfast, really not much more than the basic geography (western sea, lots of greenery) and make mention of the major countries but leave most of the details out. I'll make mention of the Beyond and some of the more noteworthy items out there but that it's hard to discern fact from the stories travelers tell. No one leaves the village often so even going to the big city to trade seems like an exotic journey that few have been able to take. The data-sphere isn't the same as the internet for us, I imagine the occasional traveler is the majority of the news people get.

    Filling people in on the world as it becomes important and they pass through it gives far more context and makes the details more real. If they pick up an almanac in the city they can get more detailed info without NPC interaction but I'd let them stay in the dark unless they start asking things. I play in a game that takes this approach (different system though) and it's worked out well. I know enough but never feel overwhelmed or get bored by exposition.
  • The players in my game are allowed to read the information on their hometowns out of the book. Other than that, playing along with the theme of discovery, they know very little about where they are going. And because the game awards players XP for discoveries, it makes it that much more exciting for them, and myself. 

    A few exceptions are:

    They know the nations, and capitols of those nations, that are part of the Steadfast.

    When they hear rumors about strange/wondrous places in the Beyond.

  • I've decided to give them about a paragraph about all the places adjacent to "home", and a sentence or two only about anything farther out than that - sometimes including no data.  This should represent travelers telling of nearby places, and some storytellers telling of exotic far off lands.  I will also be injecting some untrue facts about the farther places, assuming again that the storytellers have lied or at best simply embellished.
  • I'm running a campaign out of the beyond.  I started in the cold desert.  My characters that came from the Steadfast have general information on the nations, and specific information about the area and city they came from.  The characters that originated in the beyond usually have information about the general area surrounding where they live.  They are allowed to have general information about any region they've travelled thru.  I do, however, allow my players a pool of "area rumors".  This allows a player to make an intellect check to see if he's heard any rumors about the surrounding area.  This gives my players access to area knowledge they might not otherwise have, but it's often vague or unreliable.  I have real fun when they botch this roll.
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