All Questions

27
votes
7answers
3k views

Explaining “Half-Breeds” in a world with multiple races

In a hypothetical world where multiple humanoid races develop independently of each other (such as a world that contains Elves, Dwarves, and Humans for instance) what are the conditions for half-...
3
votes
1answer
509 views

What and how main technological breakthrough we have today could be replaced with magic? [closed]

In my opinion, magic can lead to its very own kind of technology, possibly very similar to ours. If it is a kind of magic where you use one energy source to trigger one other event (like in The ...
23
votes
7answers
631 views

What are some ways mass changing of terrain in a short period of time could occur?

By "short period of time", I'm referring to the timeframe of weeks to months (not days or hours). For example: at the start of one day the land is flat, but after a few weeks or months there is a ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

What would be the next technological step for a civilization after it has depleted all resources that allow for conventional technologies?

Imagine a world that reaches the end of its resources in silicon, petrol, coal, metals... everything that allows for conventional technology — even before it has found a way over it (renewable energy ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

What effect would elemental magic have on the work force

Imagine a society where everyone controls a variation of one of the four elements: earth, fire, water, and air. What I mean by variation is some might control metal, but not rocks. Others control ice, ...
41
votes
6answers
8k views

What software is available for map creation?

I'm looking for recommendations for software to build my world, physically. I want to be able to create maps of the entire world and then drill down to individual areas and define the towns and ...
24
votes
8answers
2k views

What could cause rock formations (small stones, boulders, islands…) to levitate?

You see this in quite a bunch of movies / books (think avatar). What could be a reasoned physical explanation of such phenomenon? Would this explanation impact other things on a planet? Like most ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

If technology allowed for instant brain to brain transmission of knowledge, how would society change? [closed]

The things I'm thinking of are for example relationships between people, military communications, and other technologies deriving from this one... Would that be very different from what we know now ...
-2
votes
2answers
304 views

Is it reasonable/realistic for a 6 year old to not be very different in 6 years? [closed]

above in a image of Vivio Takamachi with her Godmother Fate on the left and Adoptive Mother Nanoha to the right. Given how Einhald is not in the image it would be set during Magical Girl Lyrical ...
26
votes
5answers
1k views

What physical and social effects could two stars cause?

Suppose a planetary system works in such a way that there is a rotating planet in the direct centre of a binary star (the star system's centre of gravity, also known as barycenter), such that the two ...
14
votes
5answers
415 views

What are some possible reasons for people not taking long journeys to “other lands”?

If you've read Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, you might get the reference. In that story, the protagonists, after fulfilling their duty, decide to journey over a large mountain chain to explore the ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

How far apart can two cities/towns/etc be, given that order must be (effectively) maintained?

Given a monarchy, how far apart can two cities/towns/etc be situated, while still maintaining order and power? Alternatively, think about it this way: given any random settlement area, what is the ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

In a world of science AND magic, how is magic explained scientifcally? [closed]

Obviously there are multiple ways to explain this, so the correct answer in this case would be the most reasonable and detailed answer with as many explanations as possible.
22
votes
7answers
2k views

How could a generation ship maintain a source of potable water?

A generation spaceship (a spaceship designed for multiple generations of humans to live in) could sail through the galaxy for hundreds of years before finding another planet, let alone a planet with ...
45
votes
13answers
2k views

What are the necessary conditions for a worldwide government?

Fictional worlds, usually ones set in the future, often depict planets with a single worldwide government. (In fact, it's such a common trope that one Babylon 5 episode made a point of saying "hey, ...
26
votes
5answers
2k views

Are “planet of hats” realistic?

Planet of hats is the name of a trope where all inhabitants of a planet share a defining characteristic, of which there are many sub-tropes like environment or economy. I'd like to focus on the ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

What considerations does a city built on an oceanic platform have to make?

In a world without enough land for a massive (and growing) population, but plenty of water surface, experimental cities have started to spring up along the edges of various continents. The first is a ...
44
votes
17answers
3k views

What would be the most effective way of keeping a psychopath with a spaceship from wreaking severe havoc in a suicide crash?

Any spaceship over several hundred tons is an extremely dangerous weapon in the wrong hands, particularly if it's intended for reentry. Made mostly of metal and possibly shaped to be able to breach ...
38
votes
10answers
2k views

Would instantaneous teleportation encourage or discourage warfare?

Imagine that there are two nations at war, but fighting is limited to a small section where their nations border each other. Travel is "conventional", forces from one nation can block the other from ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

How would technological progress occur in a society that outlawed computerized technology?

Most technological progress today seems to be founded on the innovation that is happening in the realm of computers. If a society were to outlaw the use of computers, but the drive for scientific ...
98
votes
6answers
25k views

How would having multiple moons affect tides?

We know that planets can have multiple moons, sometimes quite a few (like Jupiter). Assuming that a planet with several moons were habitable in the first place and has significant oceans (greater ...
19
votes
1answer
833 views

Ship design that could navigate on the edge of an incredibly strong vortex

I'm developing a game set in a colossal landmass at the center of a vortex, with water walls dozens of kilometers high. The continent is somewhat circular, and no civilization has yet developed ...
35
votes
3answers
1k views

For designing a vocal language for an intelligent species, how to decide on phonemes?

When you are designing a language for a species that uses vocal communication, one of the early decisions you need to make is that of which phonemes can be used. How does one determine what phonemes ...
26
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the smallest planet that a civilisation could develop on?

The size of a planet affects its gravity, its climate, and its likelihood of developing life. Earth is large enough for an advanced civilization to develop. A smaller body such as Europa, while able ...
40
votes
10answers
3k views

How would societal development be impacted if humans were not an apex predator?

We are used to a world where humans are basically an apex predator; we don't really need to worry much about becoming some other animal's next meal. If that wasn't the case, and humans had to be wary ...
23
votes
2answers
42k views

Are ravens a genuinely realistic way of carrying messages?

In many fantasy worlds people send messages using ravens, they're often portrayed as being intelligent birds. To the best of my knowledge, on earth only homing pigeons have been used to carry ...
62
votes
5answers
3k views

Are geographically typed planets realistic?

In many science fictions we see planets which are designated by a particular terrain type. For example, Dagobah is a swamp planet, Tatooine is a desert planet, and Kamino is an ocean world. However, ...
7
votes
1answer
621 views

How would priests having access to real miracles influence the development and spread of religion? [closed]

In a world where priests can cast actual miracles, how would that affect the world's development? In particular, how would it alter the interactions between different religions? And how would these ...
29
votes
4answers
694 views

What factors could cause a world to see “northern” lights much further down the globe?

I'm currently designing a world where the inhabitants see the Aurora Borealis on an almost nightly basis almost all the way to the equator. The lights are so strong they rarely see the stars beyond. ...
26
votes
2answers
444 views

Physical speed of insectoid lifeforms

Would humanoid sized insectoid lifeforms be relatively slow considering that their exoskeleton would have to be rather heavy since it takes more 'armor' to get the same relative protection? Generally ...
7
votes
1answer
472 views

How does one go about developing the sound of a language for a particular culture in a world? [closed]

In Worldbuilding, linguistica communication within and between cultures can greatly affect how the world is shaped. How does one make an invented language's aesthetic qualities sound authentic as ...
38
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you simulate the organic growth of a city when designing it?

Most cities don't just spring into existence, they aren't planned to be the way they are (there are a few exceptions, see Milton Keynes in England for example) but grow organically over time. However ...
17
votes
4answers
560 views

Can a world sustain constant low-pressure and high-pressure areas?

Would a world be able to sustain a constant low pressure area such that there would be a constant wind from one side to the other? Imagine that on one side of the world is a desert with some rocky ...
110
votes
17answers
8k views

In space, do “shipping lanes” make sense?

In settings with space travel we often see stories that rely on ships encountering each other, such as space piracy (which means you need to know where to wait in ambush), or distress signals that ...
72
votes
5answers
6k views

How quickly and accurately should news travel in a rural medieval setting?

I'd like to have a realistic idea of how, and how accurately, ordinary people in a rural low-tech (medieval-equivalent) setting should expect to hear news from outside their own communities. If you ...
21
votes
5answers
1k views

Regulating the usage of magic in the modern era

If magic were to manifest in the modern (present) age, how would first world governments attempt to classify and regulate its usage? To be more specific (and an example), if the USA created a ...
69
votes
14answers
6k views

Must magic be tied to medieval tech?

Most settings with a magical component, whether this means wizards, magical races, or something similar, seem to be parked at a medieval level of development in terms of technology and society. Is ...
4
votes
5answers
168 views

Creating order in a settlement [closed]

What one concept/ideology is most important in a group of people to encourage them to stop acting as individuals and begin acting in the interest of the whole settlement?
111
votes
17answers
69k views

What is the minimum human population necessary for a sustainable colony?

How many humans are needed in order to sustain and grow a steady population in a habitable area? Assume resources are adequate and the environment is favorable. To further refine this question, lets ...
124
votes
11answers
5k views

How can I break down the task of creating a world into manageable chunks?

Creating an entire world is a daunting prospect, though something I've thought about often. Ideas about different regions, religions, people, history and relationships all blending into a cohesive ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

How to survive mountain environments with a tribal culture?

Assume we have an Earth-like environment. If a tribe with only early medieval technology were to settle in a mountain environment: What resources would be needed to deal with the elevation, cold, ...

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