Questions tagged [worldbuilding-resources]

For questions seeking resources intended to help people with building a fictional world, such as books and software relating to worldbuilding itself (rather than the world that is being built). Consider also [software-recommendations]. Not for use for questions on natural resources within a fictional world; use [natural-resources] instead.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
89
votes
1answer
15k views

A list of worldbuilding resources

We are occasionally asked for advice about the worldbuilding process. By its creative and imaginative nature, the process of worldbuilding doesn't have a single obvious starting point or a step-by-...
88
votes
15answers
13k views

For fiction purposes, are there any reserved or non-existent top-level-domains writers can use in stories?

I understand that it's long been a tradition in American fictional works, especially movies and TV, to use a '555' phone code for any numbers that needed to be displayed on-screen, as that prefix ...
78
votes
7answers
13k views

Is there something like "Open Source Elvish"?

I am preparing world for my novel. One of the races in my world is elves. To make my world believable I would like to incorporate the Elvish language. I am big fan of Tolkien or Sapkowski's Elvish ...
57
votes
9answers
15k views

What software is available for keeping and organising notes about your world?

I'm currently writing a story based in another world. I try to keep the story outline and the world in fairly separate notes obviously dipping into the world notes when I need to remember names, ...
57
votes
3answers
26k views

Creating a realistic world map - Currents, Precipitation and Climate

This Query is part of the Worldbuilding Resources Article. Once geological processes and erosion have created a landscape this landscape will in turn alter the planet. Ocean currents and trade winds ...
52
votes
8answers
13k views

Creating a realistic world map - Coastlines

This Query is part of the Worldbuilding Resources Article. Whenever I draw coastlines for a map, I find myself simply drawing large curves and adding in small squiggles in between, occasionally ...
39
votes
6answers
4k views

Searching for a database of real historical names

I'm building a world builder out of a SQL database. I'm going to use an implementation of Markov chains to build up lists of 1,000's of names. I'd like those names to have some consistency, so I plan ...
38
votes
12answers
11k views

Creating a realistic world map - Countries Borders

This Query is part of the Worldbuilding Resources Article. From previous questions, I made a nice mass of land, which was enriched up until the drawing of precise coastlines. But all that nice lands ...
36
votes
6answers
3k views

Are there any free science fiction world settings?

Worldbuilding is hard work, as we all know. When you want to write a story, or use a setting for a game, or just as inspiration for some creation (art, music), there is a strong incentive to reuse an ...
35
votes
6answers
5k views

Creating a realistic world map - Mineralogy

This Query is part of the Worldbuilding Resources Article. I know how continents are formed and how they evolve over time but what does it look like under the surface? The crust of the planet is ...
31
votes
5answers
5k views

How would one go about making a star map for a planet that is within 50 ly of Earth?

I have a planetary system orbiting the star 18 Scorpii, 45.3 ly from Earth, and I would like to create a stellar map for it. My search for software showing the constellations from other stars has come ...
31
votes
7answers
2k views

What computational resources would work for a 550-year climate forecast of our earth?

Folks, I'm in a bit of a jam. I am writing a fictional future history to support a series of post-collapse science fiction stories set ca. 2560 Gregorian. The first story, The Borax Road Affair, has ...
26
votes
7answers
5k views

Creating a realistic world - Governments

This Query is part of the Worldbuilding Resources Article. One problem facing worldbuilders is the wide range of possible, hypothetical governments: robot-overlord, zealous AI, mages, vampires, an so ...
26
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I make the cultural evolution of my world believable?

Designing a single isolated culture isn't too difficult. There appear to be 12 aspects of culture that need to be described or accounted for, which isn't too hard without a history. Some of these ...
25
votes
4answers
23k views

How can I develop scientific names for my species'?

I'm building a fantasy world and I am building the animals that inhabit it. Now I am working on the animals that live in this world, and after building their anatomy, I wonder about their names. I'm ...
24
votes
1answer
7k views

Creating a realistic world map - Vegetation/Biomes

This Query is part of the Worldbuilding Resources Article. My world is progressing. I still have a couple of days before my deadline to finish it. If I can make it in less that 7 days, the other gods ...
19
votes
6answers
4k views

How to manage world building information?

You've gone through the process of world building and generated scads of information from important Universal Forces to interesting tidbits of local history. What methods of storing world building ...
19
votes
3answers
540 views

Is there software to help me model tides?

I have a planet orbiting a roughly Sun-like star, accompanied by a moon that's a bit more massive than our own Moon. The surface is about two-thirds water and one-third land, with most of the land in ...
19
votes
2answers
3k views

Climate or weather simulation - free tools

Are there any free living or discontinued tools that can simulate climate or weather? BYOE and Monash are only online web climate simulation tools. Some tools I tried: ClimaSim is only free climate ...
18
votes
4answers
20k views

How big were medieval cities?

My world includes a medieval city which contained a castle, a cathedral, university developed from a former monastery, a guild hall, a market place and number of houses and small farming families - ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there any software tools available to map the solar system hundreds of years from now?

I am writing a scifi novel based roughly four hundred years from now, and it occurred to me that the planets and other objects might not be quite where I need them to be for certain travel details to ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Creating a realistic world - Spreading languages

This Query is part of the Worldbuilding Resources Article. Many languages exist on Earth and many languages will also exist in a detailed fantasy world. The influence of some languages will spread ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I figure out the territorial needs for my Werewolves?

There are lots of different creatures that are loosely based on wolves. The most prominent one is probably the Werewolf, a mix of a human and a wolf. But there are also others, such as Dire Wolves or ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Creating a realistic world map - Underwater geography

This Query is part of the Worldbuilding Resources Article. Creating a realistic world map - Erosion covered the various factors that govern the topography of a world. Rivers, wind, heat, and plants ...
16
votes
5answers
466 views

Online character generation resources: types of occupation throughout history

I need to generate some characters for my world, and at the moment, inspiration fails me. Now, before you reach for the 'Close' link, I'm not asking for the WB community to help me with character ...
15
votes
10answers
7k views

What are some of the most powerful theoretical sources of energy?

So, in most sci-fi worldbuilding, there inevitably is a need for powerful energy sources to do all the magic, which simple energy sources such as burning coals, energy from the earth and possibly even ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Culturally Correct Naming Conventions

Names are important, in fact one could argue that they are as important as the people behind them. They help add feeling to the characters and likely come from a specific cultural or subcultural group....
15
votes
1answer
3k views

Creating a realistic world map - Waterways

This Query is part of the Worldbuilding Resources Article. My rivers and streams are just about as good as my waterways - that is, not too good. I do know that their paths are impacted by elevation, ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Creating a realistic world - Thermohaline circulation

This Query is part of the Worldbuilding Resources Article. One crucial aspect of the climates have been left out so far, deep water circulation. It's the major force driving the heat transfer form ...
14
votes
2answers
951 views

How do I make the grammatical evolution of my language realistic?

We've had questions on constructed languages (conlangs) before--their inventories, sound changes and phonotactics--but we rarely if ever talk about the grammar change. When designing a naturalistic ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

How could I maintain unofficial diplomatic relations?

There's a pariah country in your neighborhood that is in war with one of your enemies. Officially you condemn the war and support the UN resolution for peaceful settlement, which presents yourself as ...
13
votes
1answer
488 views

Where can I find data on real world extrasolar planets, to use as inspiration for my imaginary world?

What are the best scientific resources and/or public databases to be taken into consideration when designing real alien worlds? So far, there are thousands of newly discovered alien worlds. Let's say ...
13
votes
7answers
13k views

Spaceship design and modelling tools

I'm not quite sure if this question fits in with worldbuilding but I have honestly no idea where else I would ask it. I've recently stumbled upon a 'ship designer' tool that allows you to build and ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Creating a realistic world map - Fuel

This Query is part of the Worldbuilding Resources Article. Following the question Creating a realistic world map - Mineralogy , I realized that it was a very large topic to cover all the possible ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

Where can I look up information for creating a magic system based on Tarot?

I am currently trying to find information about different magic systems for an RPG. There are a lot of possibilities as to what could be a potential starting point for a magic system and I recently ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Worldbuilding forum or other conversational place?

This Query is part of the Worldbuilding Resources Article. I recently posted a worldbuilding question on this stackexchange about a magic system I am trying to develop, and realize now that it would ...
12
votes
3answers
197 views

Where can I learn more about 1700 era boating?

I want to write about men out doing whaling and fishing with the type of technology similar to that of early 1700s boating. They are going to have a blunderbuss, use old harpoon fishing, sail boats ...
11
votes
7answers
4k views

Roots When Creating A Language

This questions was inspired by this one. I'm also in the process of making a language, to pair with a writing system I created. I'm a stickler for consistency (language and consistency don't go ...
11
votes
8answers
3k views

What tools can I use to draw a battle map?

I want to draw a battle map for the cover of my book. By battle map I mean an image like this: What tools can I use in order to draw such map easily?
11
votes
1answer
416 views

What sets of stellar models are freely available for reference when worldbuilding?

Often, when I'm building a world, I want to start out by determining some of its key properties. Maybe I'm trying to calculate a habitable zone, or figure out how long a year would be on a particular ...
11
votes
4answers
899 views

How can I tell what my ringed planet will look like from the surface?

I'm considering writing a fantasy novel which takes place on a world with a ring. This ring is a very important part of the story, and I therefore want to be as accurate as possible in describing what ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Resources for Climate World building

I'm trying to create a continent where desert areas are as maximal and fertile coastal areas as minimal as possible. I've been trying to find some tools to help me with this, but I've only been able ...
11
votes
1answer
301 views

Simulating Cave Formations

Having recently been to Mammoth Cave National Park, I've been considering the caves of my own worlds, and more specifically their formation. Now while not all caves are formed from limestone, it is ...
11
votes
0answers
256 views

Collaborative Worldbuilding sites or tools? [duplicate]

Are there existing collaborative websites (or tools) for world building ? Examples of result could be very developed creations like http://www.orionsarm.com, or roleplay universes. I do not need/want ...
10
votes
5answers
16k views

Anyone know of a good software for making a galaxy map?

This Query is part of the Worldbuilding Resources Article. Pretty straightforward one here, I’m just looking for something to design a galactic map with. I would like to not only name and mark planet/...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Private wiki for keeping track of my world, editable from Windows and Android [closed]

I found that creating a wiki may be the best way to keep track of everything. It shouldn't be too complicated for me to get into. But most importantly I want to be able to edit it on my computer and ...
10
votes
5answers
712 views

Recommended resources to describe an environment you have never been to?

When you write about the world you built, you have to immerse the audience on it by describing the environment. I'm on the process of worldbuilding a world with lots of deserts in it. Problem is: I'...
10
votes
4answers
414 views

Is the human bias in fictional universes a best-practice or a lack of imagination?

In most sci-fi literature, the 'human bias' is very visible in every aspect of fictional universes. Here are some examples. Future technology is just a modified version of today's items. In 2001, a ...
10
votes
3answers
542 views

What's a Good Sphere-Mapping Resource?

After reading the help sections for asking questions, I am now confident that my question does in fact appear to be on-topic and in scope for this website. I currently use a page called PlanetMaker ...
10
votes
2answers
353 views

Is there a software (preferrably free) that can help me make a map from a preset land mask?

I already have a land mask (view below) from a basic world map generator, but I need anyway that will help me place mountains, deserts, rivers, cities, etc on it. And, if possible, a height map from ...