I already have honor written down; here are some other questions.

Does religion tend to be a big role?

Is improvement of self a main value, or improvement to your feudal lord or society as a whole?

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    $\begingroup$ This is very vague. Just about anything could go one way or another. Perhaps framing your question could help clarify your circumstances $\endgroup$ – Isaac Kotlicky Mar 19 '15 at 2:09
  • $\begingroup$ Be careful about honor. It is most commonly used in the sense of "reputation", and has little to do with internal judgement. $\endgroup$ – WhatRoughBeast Mar 19 '15 at 2:18
  • $\begingroup$ This is really broad. Spartans, Vikings, Samurai, and Maori are all commonly considered warrior cultures, but they each seem to approach it with different values, religions, and cultural norms. $\endgroup$ – apaul Mar 19 '15 at 3:31
  • $\begingroup$ A good read on Japan: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushido:_The_Soul_of_Japan $\endgroup$ – Vincent Mar 19 '15 at 3:45
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    $\begingroup$ I'd just agree with WhatRoughBeast: just saying they value "honor" is as vague as to be almost meaningless. What human society doesn't? You should think about what in particular they see as honorable or shameful, and how it affects social interactions. More detail on your society would also be good; not all "warrior societies" are feudal. Is everyone in the culture warriors? (this requires specific circumstances, as with the Huns) or are they a subset of a larger culture, or are the warriors just the most respected members of society? (If it's the last, how do you quantify levels of respect?) $\endgroup$ – sumelic Mar 19 '15 at 4:06

There are lots,if you think about them for a while. Here's a few a thought of:

Respect - This plays into listening to higher ranking warriors, leaders, generals, etc. It probably plays a big part in everyday life as well, with older and wiser brethren.

Improvement to Self - This is definitely important. If war is a big part of life, there must be consequences to failure. Thus, self-improvement is a big goal to avoid loss of honor.

Sacrifice - This depends on how advanced the civilization is. It could be moral sacrifice, like sacrificing a close friend to battle. Or it could be actual sacrifice to appease whatever war deity there is.

That's what I can think of, but you might want to narrow the question a bit.


Consider the difference between trained soldiers and irregular/tribal warriors.

Soldiers fight with discipline, teamwork, and obedience to orders. These days only one in ten is actually on the front line, but the support of the other nine makes the frontline soldier more effective.

Warriors fight with personal bravery and individual combat skills. They might not find it dishonorable to break ranks as long as they run screaming towards the enemy.

One maniac with a sword will slaughter one pikeman. A thousand pikemen will slaughter a thousand sword-wielding maniacs.

TVTropes: Klingon Scientists Get No Respect


Revenge is a dish best served cold. - Klingon Proverb

Just take a look at the Klingons. They do indeed have a religion. Although, one could argue, based on the following quote, that they are actually atheists:

Klingons are depicted as a spiritual people. According to their legends, Klingons slew their own gods.

Klingons made Nietzsche right, how badass is that? Klingons will stab each other in the back to improve their own standing, that's a kind of self-improvement. However, if another species is there, Klingons are all about race before rise. They have species pride and care about the glory for the empire.

  • $\begingroup$ This is interesting info about Klingons, but they are only one (albeit famous) fictional warrior society. $\endgroup$ – sumelic Mar 19 '15 at 4:10
  • $\begingroup$ @sumelic Hm, ok, that's clearly obvious. The only commonality between warrior societies is that they are warrior societies. So, yeah, the Klingons are a single example and a valid answer for this vague question. $\endgroup$ – Samuel Mar 19 '15 at 4:16
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think stabbing someone in the back will improve your standing in Klingon society. Stabbing them in the front, on the other hand... $\endgroup$ – KSmarts Mar 20 '15 at 14:52

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