105 votes

How do I create a religion unlike greek pantheon?

Mythology is not religion. Mythology and religion are two very different things. Funny thing is, the ancient Greek mythology we all know and love was not the actual ancient Greek religion. For an ...
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87 votes
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What questions should I ask myself when designing a legal system for a fantasy world?

Assuming you have a basic list of things not to do and penalties set up you may wish to start asking about the bureaucratic process: Who can accuse people? Everyone, or only the elite? Who can catch ...
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  • 17.6k
85 votes
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A list of worldbuilding resources

A Word about Copyright How does using Worldbuilding.SE affect my copyright? When is a person a co-author of a joint work? General Guides Universe Factory: Some theoretical considerations to world ...
81 votes
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Are there techniques for creating alien or foreign sounding names?

To not have anything in mind about a particular language is asking a bit much. If the names are to be spoken, and thus based on the sound of the language, you need to know something about that. ...
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  • 2,212
77 votes
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How can I develop names for my fantasy land?

I would recommend google translate for this little effort. Pick a language that fits the style of your world/or a particular nation depending on your scale. This mainly means find a language where ...
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  • 32.5k
76 votes

Is there a more effective way to build a language than a word frequency list?

I don't have a reference but some philologists and linguists have speculated that you could survive (explain who you are, ask for employment and food, etc.) in a foreign land with as few as 500 words. ...
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67 votes
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Is my world map unrealistic?

Some advice here, before I dissect your map in my giant answer: it would be really, really helpful to anybody trying to evaluate the map if you had at least the latitude lines on it (longitude would ...
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  • 6,902
62 votes
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How do I justify spending time to create a world in the first place?

World building tends to attract certain types of people People who like the process of world building People who go the extra mile in making sure their story is accurate People who want a single ...
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  • 4,262
58 votes
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How can I break down the task of creating a world into manageable chunks?

Determine What is Important for You You need to figure out what parts of a world are needed for whatever you're making this world for. Do you only care about the social interactions? What about the ...
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  • 28.1k
56 votes
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Do I have to rename all creatures in a new world?

"Kalgash is an alien world and it is not our intention to have you think that it is identical to Earth, even though we depict its people as speaking a language that you can understand, and using ...
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54 votes
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How can demon technology be prevented from surpassing humans?

Message from Dea My Dear Tasty Morsels, You misunderstand the origin and nature of the recipe-ingredient that you call "demons". They are not creatures from beyond my domain. I am all powerful! ...
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  • 68.4k
54 votes

How do I resolve science-based problems in my worldbuilding?

Step 1: Decide how scientific you want to be There are three general levels of science fiction. 'Soft', 'medium', and 'hard'. Soft science fiction is science fictiong that doesn't even want to try ...
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  • 39.4k
54 votes

How can I make the food of my (fantastical) culture believable?

Food in war-oriented organizations tends to be nutritious, reheatable but can be eaten hot or cold, is neither too bland, too spicy, nor too pungent, is portable, and can be transported and eaten one-...
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53 votes
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How far is too far when worldbuilding?

Building a world and writing a story are two entirely separate things. In practice there will be a feedback between the two where you fudge the story to match the setting and the setting to better ...
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  • 42.9k
48 votes
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How can I make my languages structurally less like English?

Get to know other languages as that will give you a good feel for how languages can be constructed. The Frankfurt International School has a set of pages that describe the differences between English ...
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46 votes
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How can asymmetrically powerful states be balanced? (AKA why don't legendary heroes rule the world)

Dune provides a pretty good model here, and so does the Cold War - balance your heroes against one another. In Dune you had several powerful groups, each with their own type of power, balancing one ...
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  • 14.8k
44 votes

What would be a good explanation for why Trolls eat Elves?

Because it's the right thing to do: Your trolls may think that the rationale for their behavior is perfectly justified. It's not cannibalism - right? Your trolls are doing it because they really DON'...
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  • 54.5k
43 votes

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

World-building is (in theory) an infinite task. By typing that question you were building this world, and by writing this answer I'm doing that too. I think it's important to first realize that we are ...
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  • 1,265
42 votes
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Realistic way a character that born with 999/1000 luck stats die?

Going with your explanation that 999 is at the high end even for gods, and that it's not something like 99.9% but more something like 99.999999999999% (and then some) of luck: Congratulations, you ...
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  • 8,219
41 votes

How can a new country break out from a developed country without war?

In 1991, the Soviet Union ceased to exist as a country and the land was divided up into 15 countries, generally along boundaries of countries that existed when the Soviet Union formed in 1917, ...
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41 votes

Is it possible for a planet to have the same seasons in both hemispheres?

Yes it is possible, if the planet has little axial tilt but an eccentric orbit. Then summer will be when it is closest to its sun, and winter will be when it is furthest away, which will be the same ...
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  • 19.5k
40 votes
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How to prevent the evolution of human flight?

Magic is a dense material. Magic is quite dense. It tends to fall down with gravity, and tends to cling to the earth. As such, if you get too far above the ground, there tends to be little magic left. ...
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  • 23.6k
39 votes

Is it bad Worldbuilding to use the real world and history as a template for your own setting?

Alternate history is a well-established genre. Full disclosure: I'm a fan. You can base your alternate history: On a point of divergence from real history. For example, S. M. Stirling's Draka, which ...
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  • 74.4k
39 votes

What would be a good explanation for why Trolls eat Elves?

You don't need a reason, you need a frame challenge! If trolls are about smart as humans, then why would so many practice this inhumane tradition? This assumption is - not to be rude - somewhat ...
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  • 3,595
38 votes
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How can I develop scientific names for my species'?

Use Binomial Nomenclature Part of what makes scientific names sound consistent is that they're part of a formal system called binomial nomenclature. If you apply the same system to the names of your ...
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  • 45.6k
38 votes
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Destruction by design - how best to go about crafting a ruined landscape?

Start with the people then the city then the ruins Cities always arise from the culture and situation of the people who built it. Their priorities will be expressed in what buildings are where and ...
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  • 52.2k
37 votes
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How to create accurate map with white spaces?

I think your headaches come from misunderstanding why the blank spaces exist. The Terra Incognita is simply an area the cartographer has no good information on. Most such areas had people living on ...
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  • 42.9k
37 votes

How can asymmetrically powerful states be balanced? (AKA why don't legendary heroes rule the world)

Well, why does the US with their massive military not conquer the entire world or at least the Western Nations they have a cultural affinity with? I mean there are several reasons, mainly their ...
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  • 8,749
37 votes

Realistic way a character that born with 999/1000 luck stats die?

Just keep trying to kill him. A 0.1% chance of dying to any given event is good, but not that good. If the stat and it’s effects are linear (IE any given attempt on this guys life has a 99.9% chance ...
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  • 65.4k
37 votes

How do you make your worldbuilding less utopian?

New advantages make new problems Make your Utopia, and don't be bashful. But remember that as people develop new levels of decadence, or shall we say sophistication, they come up with new problems ...
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