Tag: Worldbuilding

50 Worldbuilding Prompts

50 Worldbuilding Prompts

Welcome to another worldbuilding post! Today, I wanted to share with you a list of worldbuilding prompts (in no particular order) that I’ve used when developing Deseran, specifically, that have helped me delve into some of the beliefs and the details of various cultures I’ve built, beyond the basics. Many of these I came up with myself; others I got from other lists and found helpful.

  1. Who does this culture believe shapes time? (A sovereign god, a specific god from their pantheon, mankind, magic?)
  2. What are this culture’s rainy day activities?
  3. Snowy day activities?
  4. Do any of your cultures believe in reincarnation?
  5. What do various cultures believe about intermarriage between species?
  6. When and how does this culture celebrate the new year? Or do they?
  7. Are birthdays observed? If so, how?
  8. Are streets kept lit?
  9. Are there curfews?
  10. Is there street crime?
  11. How do citizens influence their culture/government?
  12. Who has the most cultural influence?
  13. What are the bedtime stories told to children?
  14. How is knowledge maintained in this culture? (Books, scrolls, oral tradition, people with magical memories?)
  15. Does this culture have libraries? How is knowledge shared?
  16. Are there museums in this culture? What items are preserved?
  17. What are this culture’s taboos?
  18. Where would visitors to this culture find lodging?
  19. Where would someone in this culture go if they were seeking guidance on a tough issue?
  20. How are mental illnesses handled in this culture?
  21. How are disabilities and handicaps handled? What is or isn’t accessible to those with disabilities or handicaps?
  22. What groups or individuals in this culture are considered “weird”?
  23. What does this culture’s wedding attire look like?
  24. What groups or individuals in this culture are considered dangerous? Are they really?
  25. What is entertainment like for different sub-cultures/social classes in this culture?
  26. How are the arts viewed in this culture?
  27. How is insanity handled in this culture?
  28. Does this culture have any public gardens or greenhouses?
  29. How does this culture keep time?
  30. Does this culture have tattoos or anything similar?
  31. What methods of transportation are common in this culture?
  32. What sports are common in this culture? Are they for recreation, competitive, or both?
  33. Is there any slavery in this culture? If so, where do the slaves come from? How are they treated?
  34. What is the highest place of education in this culture?
  35. What are some common desserts in this culture?
  36. How are homes decorated in this culture? How does it differ by class or sub-culture?
  37. What are the most common weapons in this culture?
  38. What are this culture’s naming conventions? How many names does each individual have by the time they’re an adult? How are they structured? Do different people use different names for the same person?
  39. What are this culture’s beauty ideals?
  40. What are this culture’s standards for modesty?
  41. What would someone in this culture wear to a formal event?
  42. Is this culture’s history recorded? How so?
  43. How does this culture treat the poor?
  44. How does the general population feel about the government?
  45. How does this culture handle foreign relations?
  46. What are common communication methods in this culture?
  47. Is jewelry common in this culture? Is it purely decorative, or does it have meaning?
  48. What are the most important words in this culture’s vocabulary?
  49. What are some common idioms or phrases in this culture?
  50. Who is or is not literate in this culture?

There you go! 50 worldbuilding prompts to help you go beyond the basics and delve into the details of your fictional cultures. For more worldbuilding prompts, I recommend the list linked at the beginning of this post. If you want some ideas of different ways you might answer some of these (e.g. different ways cultures have communicated throughout history, how common phrases come to be, etc.), I recommend Marie Brennan’s New Worlds: Year One (this link includes multiple links to add/order the book, depending on your preference).

Which of these prompts are most interesting to you? Do you have any other prompts you’d add? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

World Anvil Review – My 5 Favorite Features

World Anvil Review – My 5 Favorite Features

I mention World Anvil a lot. World Anvil is one of my favorite worldbuilding tools, and I think there’s a lot to love about it, but today I want to specifically review five of my favorite World Anvil features. (I wasn’t compensated in any way to write this article. I just really love this tool.) Continue reading “World Anvil Review – My 5 Favorite Features”

My Top 5 Worldbuilding Tools

My Top 5 Worldbuilding Tools

I talk a lot about worldbuilding, and today I want to share with you five tools that I’ve found helpful for organizing and inspiring my worldbuilding and that hopefully will be a help to you, too!

*Links with asterisks are affiliate links, which means I get a portion of the earnings at no extra cost to you

WorldAnvil

Yes, I’m talking about WorldAnvil again, because it’s an amazing tool and the developers are awesome and Continue reading “My Top 5 Worldbuilding Tools”

Myth and Legend in Fantasy Worlds

Myth and Legend in Fantasy Worlds

Cultures are shaped by their stories. These stories might reinforce cultural ideals, religious ideals, general morals… or, on the flip side, they might subvert or reject these ideals. Myths and legends are a prime example of this, as they often reflect the mindset and values of the cultures that created them. So today I want to talk about how to build and use myth and legend in your fantasy world. Continue reading “Myth and Legend in Fantasy Worlds”

Worldbuilding Checklist – The Basics

Worldbuilding Checklist – The Basics

Last week, I talked about the core elements a fictional culture needs, and over time I’ve written posts on many different worldbuilding concepts and how to build them well. Today, I want to share with you a worldbuilding checklist that includes all of the elements (both general to a world and specific to various cultures) that I see as integral to a functioning world. And I’ll include a printable version, too, so stick around to the end for that. Continue reading “Worldbuilding Checklist – The Basics”