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Lea Fealith's avatar

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News
4/22/14: Thanks to a generous gift of some gold, I have enough to run another sprint month! Sprint will start May 1 and end June 1.
2/22/14: Whimsical Dreamer is the second person to complete the challenge. Grats!
4/1/13: Whimsical Dreamer is the winner of the March Sprint.
3/1/13: March is going to be a sprint month! Fill the most prompts this month and win 200k! Details here.
10/01/12The participant list has been pruned.
3/27/12: Ysavvryl is the first winner of our challenge!
1/2/12: I've started a little mini contest that anyone can enter. Details below.
12/6/11: The prize has been doubled to 400k gold.
7/4/11: The rules for entering the contest have changed. Please be sure to read them!
6/16/11: I clarified the word count requirement in the rules.
6/4/11: The contestants list has been streamlined to make it less bulky. Expect a culling soon. If you have not completed the first section and have been on the list for a month or more, your entry will be deleted from the list. You can resubmit at any time.
01/16/11Prompt 8.2.2 has been altered to better express what's required for it.
01/05/11: The thread has gotten a facelift thanks to Katarra Bloodstone.
12/14/10: The contest is now officially open to applicants, and all the prompts have been posted. Good luck!



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The mini-contest is over, but here are the old prompts if anyone is interested.

November's Prompt - Literature!
July's Prompt - Gardens
June's Prompt - Dance
April's Prompt - Catechisms
March's Prompt - The Hidden Meaning of Gifts
February's Prompt - Macro Geography
January's Prompt - Extinction

Last Year's Prompts
January's Prompt - New Years Celebrations
February's Prompt - Famous Couples
April's Prompt - Smells!
July's Prompt - Books!
August's Prompt - Drugs!
September's Prompt - Labor Groups
October's Prompt - The Undead!
November's Prompt - Debates!


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QuickPrompt Nav:
Setup | Culture | Culture 2 | Geography | Habitation | History | Magic | Menagerie | Language | People | Politics | Philosophy


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    Some of you might remember a challenge I posed a few years back to fantasy writers. It involved multiple prompts spanning many categories, and its purpose was to help fantasy writers create a rounded setting for whatever stories they were planning to write. Well, I've decided to create a bigger, better challenge, and here it is.


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    The premise is very simple. I challenge you with a series of prompts, and you must respond to all of them, with adequate depth, to be registered as having met said challenge. The questions will be different from the previous challenge, as will the general format, but the overall intent to get Gaians writing is the same.

    To start playing, create your own thread in the test subforum. Then get started working on the setup prompts. Once you have finished the initial 7 prompts, you can notify me by filling out this form and either PMing it to me or posting it here.


          Name:
          World Name:
          Thread Link:


    I will check your prompts, note you as a participant, and you will then be officially entered. You can also choose to PM a mod and have your thread moved to the Original Stories/Prose subforum, but that isn't necessary for the challenge.


      Suggested Thread Setup


    There are currently ~481 prompts divided into multiple sub categories. I highly suggest that you reserve the first two pages of your thread, and then edit the prompts into them. You might want to go for three pages...

    Here are the general rules of the challenge.

    User Image Post your entries in your own thread.
    User Image Start completing prompts. When you have completed an entire subsection (People/Families Geography/Landmarks) post in this thread with a link, and I will check that section and give you credit.
    User Image You can do prompts in any order, with the exception of the very first section.

    User Image In order to complete the challenge, -every- prompt must be completed.
    User Image The only exception to this requirement is when you explain to me why the prompt would make no sense in your world, and I will create for you an alternative prompt. You can only do this five times. I suggest you look through the prompts and consider whether or not they are relevant before you take the challenge if you are doing it for the reward, or better yet, stretch yourself a little and see what you can do to make all the prompts fit anyway.

    User Image Every prompt must be answered adequately. Some prompts have word minimums, and those must be met. Some prompts ask for only a few sentences, and they can be answered quickly. A prompt with no stated minimum must be at least 200 words long. If 50% of the prompts in any subsection do not meed this requirement I'll ask you to add more before giving you credit.

    User Image Most prompts include multiple questions. Not every question needs to be directly answered for the prompt to be filled. The questions are meant to be springboards for your own imagination. A prompt is considered complete if the general inquiry underlying the specific questions is answered in detail.
    User Image Most prompts will ask very general questions. You may choose to be as specific or general as you feel will create the most useful response.

    User ImageThe point of this is to get you writing new stuff. Please do not copy and paste things that you have already written to complete prompts. If I find out somehow that a participant is doing this they are disqualified from the prize.

    User Image The challenge may continue to expand over time or change in some details of structure. You will only be obliged to complete the number of prompts that existed when you started in order to win the prize. If you want to do more you are, of course, welcome to do so.

    User Image Don't hesitate to ask questions or request clarification.

    User Image BACK UP YOUR WORK. I cannot stress this enough. DO NOT rely on gaia to keep your writing safe.


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    Unlike the previous challenge there is no betting. Instead anyone who completes this challenge will receive a flat sum of 400k gold. I offer this large sum because I am not going to make this challenge easy, and those who complete it deserve to be rewarded. There is no buy in to take the challenge but donations are accepted. If there's a rash of winners, people may have to wait for the gold to come to them, but it -will- come. Please be patient.

    EVERYONE who completes the challenge will win the prize. You cannot lose the challenge, although if you are inactive for more than a month your listing may disappear from the front page. (I will have it saved elsewhere)

    If, for some strange reason, I get very generous donations, the prize money will increase.
Lea Fealith's avatar

Amateur Capitalist

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    Participants and their progress will be tracked here. Sign up officially to join the list.

    Name: Abrev
    World Name: Niv
    Completed: 45 / 481

    Name:Andirigible
    World Name: Dendris
    Completed: 56 / 481

    Name:Animegirlfreak
    World Name:Deatheroy
    Completed: 7 / 481

    Name: Avalonian Fortunata
    World Name:Verloria
    Completed: 25 / 474

    Name:craziiloop
    World Name: Talpen
    Completed: 7 / 481

    Name:Deadbride9
    World Name: Imanadara
    Completed: 17 / 481

    Name: Dermoi
    World Name: Moora
    Completed: 17 / 474

    Name: Eripsa
    World Name: Oneira
    Completed: 25 / 481

    Name:fcking a
    World Name: Nix
    ]Complete: 7 / 481

    Name:House Rat
    World Name: Atlaia
    ]Complete: 11 / 481

    Name: Ici Chiot
    World Name: Lomeelas
    Completed: 21 / 474

    Name: Immortal Muze
    World Name:Steryia
    Completed: 11 / 474

    Name:jayhearts
    World Name: Aulentcha
    ]Complete: 7 / 481

    Name: Julietx2
    World Name: Luca
    Complete: 17 / 474

    Name:JustAnotherRandomPoultry
    World Name: Kolnaer
    ]Complete: 7 / 481

    Name:Lady Zyzzyva
    World Name: Krin
    ]Complete: 7 / 481

    Name: Lang Noi
    World Name:Terramir
    Completed: 7 / 481

    Name: Last Trickster Prince
    World Name: VEBNA Alliance
    Completed: 7 / 481

    Name: Lea Fealith
    World Name: Solet Atunia
    Complete: 83 / 474

    Name: Peaceful Revolution
    World Name: Terrus
    Completed: 7 / 481

    Name: Psychotic Maniacal Sanity
    World Name: Eden
    Completed: 16 /474

    Name: radioactive alchemist
    World Name: Kei'aani
    Completed: 28 / 474

    Name: Sharassein
    World Name: The World
    Completed: 7 / 481

    Name: Starving_Artist
    World Name: Gordono
    Completed: 40 / 474

    Name: SucculentAmbush
    World: Borderland
    Completed: 22 / 474

    Name: Synria Frahy
    World Name:Daema
    Completed: 7 / 481

    Name: TheLoveMutt
    World Name: Eouhgban
    Completed: 19 / 474

    Name: Toyomo16
    World Name: Latrisia
    Completed: 135 / 474

    Name: Woolie_Wool
    World Name: Forlath
    Completed: 7 / 481

    Name: xx______mistarr f u z z
    World Name: Euphé
    Completed: 17 / 481

    Name: Yonder-chan
    World Name: Tyuid
    Completed: 67 / 474


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    1. Name: Ysavvryl
    World Name: Radia-17

    2. Name: Whimsicaldreamer
    World Name: Maldia

    Think you can make it here?

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    Special thanks to those who sent in prompt ideas:

          troldtog
          Ici Chiot
          Reina de Chai

    (I feel like I'm missing someone here... If it's you, speak up and I will rectify the problem.)

    And donors:

          Radioactive Alchemist
          Rennire
          DJ Princess Z
          theoXdore
          [Amestris]
          Starving_Artist
          C e r u l e a n
          Maeve Faylenn


    Huge thanks to Katarra Bloodstone, who provided all of the graphics and formatting for the thread.

    Some prompts have been adapted from the Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions list provided here. Another great world building resource is the Mythopoet's Manual.

    If you want to see what the first version of the Bigass Fantasyland Contest looked like, here it is!
Lea Fealith's avatar

Amateur Capitalist

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QuickPrompt Nav:
Setup | Culture | Culture 2 | Geography | Habitation | History | Magic | Menagerie | Language | People | Politics | Philosophy


The prompts in this section must be complete before any other sections can begin. The answers you provide here will set up the rest of the challenge. These prompts will tell you if you will be able to complete the majority of challenges to come. Your answers here can be very general, as we will be fleshing everything out in the sections to come.

1.1 BANG. FIZZ. POP. Your world has come into being! What just happened? Describe the creation of your world. You can take this literally, refer to superstition, or anything else you can think of. If your world does not have a 'beginning', tell me how its denizens answer the question, 'how did it all start?'

* 1.2 How big is this world? You may give an exact square mileage, compare it to extant bodies of land or planets, or, if the world cannot be measured by standard methods, explain why and how it can be measured.

1.3 Give a brief overview of the sentient races that populate your world. Come up with 5 races and describe them to me. If you only have a single race in terms of genetics, you can divide populations on the fuzzier line of intra-species race (like Asian, African, etc for earth). If it is more suitable, you may also separate people by civilizations instead of race. (Though they must be capable of interacting, so no dead civilizations). You can also mix these categories up, as long as you come out with at least 5 in the end. Tell me what differentiates each race, what they look like, and a few sentences about them.

If you can't come up with 5 distinct populations or don't think your world has 5 distinct populations you will probably not be able to complete this challenge.

For the rest of the challenge I will be referring to these groups as "populations" or "population groups."

1.4 Come up with five distinct regions of your world. Briefly describe their geography and climate, as well as who lives there, if anyone.

1.5 Pick a single population group and tell me what they think about their world. Are their lives easy? Hard? Are they on the world for a purpose?

How do your people address the philosophical questions of 'where do we fit in the grand scheme of things?'

This challenge is not just to help you put cool monsters in your abandoned cities (though it will do that too). It's going to ask you a lot of philosophical questions. Try to think from the standpoint of one of your characters as you answer these.

1.6 Map time! Draw a map of your world. It does not have to be complete or good, but I suggest that you make a big one to save and then shrink it to post, because we will be going back to it. You don't need to make it too complex, as we will be filling it out through the course of the challenge. Just show me general land and water masses. Also include the regions mentioned in prompt 1.4.

If you don't already have a photobucket account, now is a good time to get it, because I will be asking for pictures now and then. I don't care if they are terrible and drawn in paint with a mouse, but I want to see them. If you cannot make or upload any pictures, you will probably not complete this challenge.

* 1.7 In 3 sentences or less, tell me about your world and what makes it special.

Once you have answered these prompts, you can finish the rest of the challenge in any order you like. Good luck!
Lea Fealith's avatar

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QuickPrompt Nav:
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2.1.1 Name a great artist of your world. Where were they born? How did they get into art? What sort of art do they make?

2.1.2 Name a piece of work by the above artist. Describe the art. What's so great about it? What do people think about it? What was it made for? What do critics complain about it?

2.1.3 List five regions in your world and give me an example of an art form that is either unique or particularly connected to that region.

2.1.4 What is the most expensive piece of art in your world? Why is it so valuable?

2.1.5 What sort of musical instruments are played in this world? Who plays them? Peasants? Monks? Professionals?

2.1.6 Where do you go to listen to music? The street? Someone's home? A Theater? How accessible is music to the people in your world?

2.1.7 Tell me a story about an art thief. (500 words or more)

2.1.8 What are the social statuses of various kinds of artistic performers? Are certain kinds of artistic expression more respectable than others (corollary question: which, if any, pay well?)

2.1.9 What is the purpose of art in your world? Devotion? Pleasure? Understanding? Displays of wealth? Explain multiple types of art and how they fit into some of the above categories.

2.1.10 Explain the evolution of one particular art medium. For example, sculpture may become more realistic or start to refer to literary themes. Or jewelry may become more ornate with the discovery of a new metal.

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2.2.1 You come across someone who is obviously quite rich. How can you tell by the clothes they are wearing?

2.2.2 You come across someone who is quite poor. What are they wearing?

2.2.3 You come across a craftsman. What are they wearing?

2.2.4 You come across a traveler. What are they wearing?

2.2.5 You come across a warrior/soldier. How can you tell?

2.2.6 Someone is extremely fashion forward and wearing something that is in vogue but will probably be out of style within a year or so. What is it?

2.2.7 You come across someone from a marginalized group (by religion, race, whatever). Can you tell by their clothing? And if so, how?

2.2.8 Two people are complaining about another group (by race, class, whatever). They say something disparaging about the way that group dresses themselves. What do they say? Who's saying it and who are they talking about?

2.2.9 Pick a style of dress. What sort of environment does it protect against and how does it protect?

2.2.10 What sort of hats are worn in your world?

2.2.11 What are clothes in your world made of? Cloth? Bark? Skin? Metal? All of the above? Is there any sort of textile that is considered highly valued?

2.2.12 Someone has to go to an important function involving a much greater level of formality and dress they are used to. What does this person have to do? What sort of clothing will they wear?

2.2.13 What sort of colors are common in the clothes people wear? Are there any particular colors that symbolize a particular group, or are restricted to the clothes of a particular group? Are there any dyes that are particularly prized or rare?

2.2.14 Pick a group of people who dress similarly. Do they have buttons on their clothes? If so, what are the buttons usually made of? Do their clothes have ropes? Ties? Clasps?

2.2.15 What do people use to fancy themselves up? Is there makeup? Pins? Perfume? Who wears this stuff? Men? Women? both? What beautification process do they undergo that we'd find strange? What do we do that they wouldn't care for?

2.2.16 Draw me a picture of a man and a woman with emphasis on what they're wearing.

2.2.17 What are some attributes of appearance that are considered very beautiful? Ugly? Smart?

2.2.18 How much clothing would an average person have in his/her possession in this world?

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2.3.1 How do people greet each other in your world. Do they bow? Touch elbows? Lick each other's noses? What different sort of greetings are there throughout different cultures? Do you do something else to day goodbye?

2.3.2 How does someone behave towards a priest/professor/wizard/royal/slave/mother/etc? Come up with 5 different people where you would behave differently towards them and explain the differences. Include particular gestures/phrases/etc that might be important.

2.3.3 What sort of behavior does one group participate in that another finds funny/nasty/scary?

2.3.4 If you wanted to -really- insult someone using only body language, what would you do?

2.3.5 Someone has just insulted you terribly. What are you expected to do? Fight? Laugh? Challenge them to a poetry battle? Magic their fingers off?

2.3.6 Imagine you are in love. How do you go about courting the object of your affection?

2.3.7 How do men treat women in your world and vice-versa? How do the young treat the old and the old the young?

2.3.8 Someone is visiting a friend and has to poop. Where do they go? (Min 100 words)

2.3.9 Someone has done you a huge favor and you want to give them a gift to show your gratitude. What sort of things are considered great gifts in your world?

2.3.10 Tell me a story where a misunderstanding in manners causes trouble. (Min 500 words)

2.3.11 How does one go about visiting another person? Do they just show up? Do they have to send a letter first? Do men have to visit in pairs if they are visiting women? Try to pick a group in which something specific is often done for visitation and explain the process.
Lea Fealith's avatar

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2.4.1 A denizen of your world is hungry. What does he feel like eating?

2.4.2 Who does the cooking in this world? Women? Men? The children?

2.4.3 What sort of foods do people eat? If you had to choose one thing that was the staple of their diet, what would it be?

2.4.4 What sort of thing would people never think of eating, even though it is edible? (For example in the US no one eats cat!) Why won't they eat it?

2.4.5 What sort of food is considered a delicacy? What is considered poor fare?

2.4.6 Where do people eat when at home? What utensils do they use? Do they sit in chairs? On pillows? Cots?

2.4.7 When do people leave their homes to eat? Is there such thing as 'dining out'?

2.4.8 Where is the cooking done? Describe your average kitchen.

2.4.9 What sort of food is considered comfort food?

2.4.10 What sort of spices do people use? What do they taste like?

2.4.11 Someone who fails at cooking makes an attempt and screws it up. Who is it, how do they fail, and what did they try to cook?

2.4.12 Are there any rituals involved with cooking and eating? Is something said/done before or after a meal?

2.4.13 Are there any rituals involved with hunting, fishing, or farming? If so, what are they and why are they performed?

2.4.14 How are meals served? One big family platter? Multiple courses?

2.4.15 Is seating at a table important? Is it possible to make a social snafu by sitting in the wrong chair? How is seating arranged among family/in mixed company/in a household with servants/amongst the royalty or the equivalent?

2.4.16 Create a map showing the availability of food. Availability might depend on natural or social causes. Indicate on your map what areas enjoy plenty, which are just doing ok, and which areas where food is a major issue. You can have more than 3 degrees, but three is the minimum.

2.4.17 List five regions and describe the typical dishes of each.

2.4.18 Is there are large difference in what is eaten between population groups in your world? If so, what are the differences and why do they exist? Are there food items that one group enjoys and another cannot stomach?


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2.5.1 How is time divided in your world? Start with the equivalent of a year. What starts and ends the year? Is it further sub-divided, and how?

2.5.2 What holidays are celebrated in your world and when? Name five holidays that a single population will celebrate over the course of a year. Describe what they are about, and what people do for them. Which of those holidays are also celebrated (perhaps in a different way) by other population groups? Which are more specific to that culture?

*2.5.3 Choose two different cultures or populations and create calendars for each. Indicate the beginning and end of the year, major holidays or important dates that occur every year, and how the years are subdivided. The calendar for one might be completely different from another (lunar vs solar). You should have a minimum of 20 dates total.

*2.5.4 How long is a day in your world?


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2.6.1 What do people do for sport? What sort of games are popular amongst children? Adults?

2.6.2 What sort of games are considered spectator sports? Who plays in these games? Professionals (get paid, the sport is their priority) or amateurs (had a job outside of the sport)? What is society's attitude towards people who play these sports? Are they revered? Reviled?

2.6.3 What sort of risks do people take in sport? Is it common for people to die?

2.6.4 What sort of sport is considered something done by commoners? What sort of sport does the aristocracy partake in?

2.6.5 What sort of gambling exists in your world? What is society's attitude towards gambling?

2.6.6 A couple has a free day to go out an entertain themselves. What is something that they are likely to do? Promenade? Go hunting? See a play? A (real) magic show? A beheading?

2.6.7 A man is known as one of the most wealthy and extravagant people in the country, what sort of pleasures does he enjoy?

2.6.8 What sort of entertainment does a poor town get? Is there traveling entertainment? Festivals?

2.6.9 A young man/woman wants to become an entertainer. What sort of options are available to them?

2.6.10 Are there particular places in your world that are well known for being destinations of pleasure? Where are they, and what sort of recreation are they known for? (Think Vegas)

2.6.11 What sort of attitude do people have towards sex? What do people think about prostitution?

2.6.12 What sort of drugs exist in your world? What are their effects? Are they used purely for recreation or do they have other purposes?

2.6.13 who uses these drugs and what is society's opinion of them? If this depends on the drug, provide 2 or 3 answers, one for each drug.

2.6.14 What would an adrenaline junky do to get their fix in your world?

2.6.15 What is society's overall opinion on the concept of leisure? Does it lead to sin? Should it be obtained at every opportunity? Is it a form of preparing for war?


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Imagine for yourself a single person from your world. That person is about to go from birth to death, and we will follow some of his/her/its most important moments in his life by way of the ceremonies that mark them.

2.7.1 First give your person a name.

2.7.2 Where was your person born, and into what situation? Is their family rich/poor, common/famous, etc... (*100 words)

2.7.3 When was your person born, in the grand historical scheme of things? (*100 words)

2.7.4 Your person - from here on out I'll call them X - is being born! What has the family done to prepare? Are there any ceremonies involved before birth?

2.7.5 Congratulations it's a... what? Who's celebrating the birth and how are they doing it? How do they feel about the baby being born a boy/girl/whatever. Would they have felt differently if the baby had been born something other than what it was? It doesn't have to be just gender. Maybe the kid is born with red hair, which is a sign of good luck?

2.7.6 How concerned is the family about the child surviving to adulthood? Is there a particular age during childhood that's a milestone just because the child survived that long?

2.7.7 What ceremonies are there that mark this child's steady progression towards adulthood? List the major events in X's life up until they reach adulthood that would be shared by the other children in X's population group.

2.7.8 What, if anything, tells X and the rest of the world that they are an adult? Do they have to do something? Reach a certain age? What privileges do they receive for being an adult, and what can they no longer do now that they are a child?

2.7.9 X is getting married. Congratulations! Who is X getting married to? How did they meet? When did they get married? What was the ceremony like?

2.7.10 Are there any other milestones that result in ceremonies of any sort? Education? Job? Age milestones? Write a sentence or two for each ceremony a person undergoes during adulthood.

2.7.11 X has just gone 'over the hill'. How old is X and what does he have to look forward too now that he's 'getting old'?

2.7.12 X has led a nice life, but now they've died at a ripe old age. At what age did they die? What rituals are performed at their death?
Lea Fealith's avatar

Amateur Capitalist

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QuickPrompt Nav:
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3.1.1 Look at your map. Is there a center? Even if the world is a globe, it was drawn on a flat surface. Pretend that this map was created by a person in your world. Why was it positioned the way it was?

3.1.2 Create a climate map. What areas are temperate, tropical, tundra, desert, etc? If your world includes climates not found on Earth, explain them.

3.1.3 Create a topography map. Mark major forests, mountains, jungles, ravines, or other natural landmarks. You may zoom into a subregion to create this map to provide for more focused detail.

3.1.4 How do ideas of nature and wilderness fit into society? (Are there any uncolonized areas in your world?) Do any societies make efforts to explore uncharted areas? Why do they value exploration (or why don't they)?

3.1.5 What is the highest point on your world? What is the lowest point?

3.1.6 What area is particularly difficult to traverse and why?

3.1.7 What area is very harsh but still supports civilization? What area is prime real estate for civilization?

3.1.8 Are there other places besides the surface of the world that are explorable or habitable/inhabited? Caves? Floating islands? Oceans?

3.1.9 Are there any quirks of geography in this world that could not possibly exist in our own?

3.1.10 What might be considered one of the most remote locations, civilization wise, in your world?

3.1.11 Where are the ends of your world? If the world is round, say so. If it is not, what's at the end and what is beyond?

We are going to add two levels of regional detail to your initial
map.


3.1.12 First, create the biggest subdivision of regions that you can in your world. On earth we have continents. What continents exist in your world, and how are they divided? Show a map with these continents outlined and labeled. If there are parts of the world that remain 'unknown', you can label them as such.

3.1.13 How much interaction does each continent have with the others?

3.1.14 Further subdivide the contents by region. Regions can be divided by any metric, and do not have to be absolute. (For example, people debate whether Pakistan is part of the middle east or south asia) Each continent should be divided into at least 2 regions. List the regions and write a sentence or two about what makes them distinct.

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3.2.1 How do people get around in your world? What animals are employed in transportation, if any? What challenges/advantages does the terrain provide?

3.2.2 How much traveling does a typical person do? How many miles away from home might they expect to travel in their lifetime?

3.2.3 How long would it take for someone to traverse the entire world, either by circling it, or hitting an end, or what have you? What would be their quickest path and mode of transportation?

3.2.4 What areas of the world, if any, can be considered frontier? Are there any areas that are uncharted by civilization?

3.2.5 How much does the average person know about the shape of their world? To what extent has it been explored?

3.2.6 Are there any civilizations that are unaware of each other's presence?

3.2.7 Was there ever a situation in which two civilizations discovered each other? Describe the circumstances around the discovery and the relationship between the people that resulted.

3.2.8 Are there parts of the world that are extremely hostile to human (or other) life yet still attract people? Why do people go to these places, how likely are they to die, and what will they probably die from?

3.2.9 How does a person navigate his way in the world? Can he depend on the sun/stars? How advanced is navigation and map making in your world?

3.2.10 Name a famous explorer. What did they explore? How successful were they? What did they discover? When did they live?

3.2.11 What are the three most used routes in the world? Describe the path they take and any major populations centers that they pass.

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3.3.1 What sort of seasons are there in your world? How are those seasons created? Rotation of a planet? Predictable weather patterns? The gods?

3.3.2 Are there ways of predicting the weather?

3.3.3 What sort of natural disasters do people have to deal with? Are there any historical natural events that people still talk about? Do they have any influence or connection to historical events? For example, the Japanese concept of Kamikaze is rooted in a terrible storm that protected Japan from the Mongols and Koreans. what causes these disasters?

3.3.4 Was there any aspect of the world that was drastically different at some point in the past in terms of climate, position of landmasses, or the like? Draw a map showing the world as it had been in the past. Indicate the time that world existed as shown on this map. What caused the change? If there was no great worldwide shift, narrow your focus down to a region that has seen some sort of drastic geographical change and explain that instead.

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3.4.1 Mark and name ten major landmarks on your map. They can be natural or unnatural, but do not include cities or towns (you may include ruins).


3.4.2 Describe each landmark. How old are they? Why are they famous(or completely forgotten)? Who are they important to? Who built/created them?


3.4.3 Do people visit these landmarks? If so, who visits and why? Is everyone admitted to them or is access restricted?


3.4.4 Are there any landmarks in your world that used to exist but were destroyed? What happened?


3.4.5 What sorts of natural objects do people have a tendency to respect? Are there things in your world that people will not alter or disturb? Are there elements in your world that people are afraid of (with reason or superstitiously?)
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Take two regions of your world. We are going to use them through this section to build up two separate modes of architecture. For each of the following questions, answer twice, once for each region.

*4.1.1 First off, which regions will you be using?

*4.1.2 Describe the effect these regions have on buildings in a few sentences each. Consider climate, available building materials, and any other elements that might have an affection on how a building must be built. These regions should have enough different about them that they demand or provide different things in terms of housing.

4.1.3 Based on the above question, what are the housing needs of the people who live in these regions? Do their homes have to be fortified due to the lawlessness of the area? Do they need to be heavily insulated? Do they need to be very large to accommodate an extended family? How are these needs met in the construction of the building?

4.1.4 What materials are used to build the most basic home in these regions? (*100 words)

4.1.5 Describe the windows of houses. What covers them, where are they, etc.

4.1.6 How many doors are there in a typical house? Are there different entrances for different purposes? What are the doors made of?

4.1.7 What aspects of the homes in these regions set them apart from homes in neighboring regions?

4.1.8 Draw a picture of a typical home in each region. You can just draw the front facade or try for a more 3d representation.

4.1.9 Draw a floor plan of a very basic home such as one you would find the majority of the population living in. Are there particular rooms that are considered essential or serve a particular purpose? Is there more than one room at all?

4.1.10 What sort of furniture can be found in a typical home in these regions? What do people sleep on, eat on, and hang around on?

4.1.11 What is the typical color of a building in these regions?

4.1.12 What differences are there between the average person and someone who is substantially more well off in terms of their housing arrangements? Consider the above questions in your answer. What part of a rich man's home still is influenced by historic/humble roots?

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4.2.1 We're now going to expand into the town level. How do towns or their equivalent organize themselves? What buildings can you find in almost every town? Church? Armory? Walls?

4.2.2 Draw a map of a typical town in each of your two regions. Note population size. Take into consideration defense, transport, and food creation. Label the buildings as best you can.

4.2.3 Name the above towns. How long have they been in existence? Why were the towns established where they were? Was there anything in their location before they were established? Try to pinpoint the location of these towns on your map.

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We're now going to move into the city level. If there are no cities in the regions you chose, you can choose a new region. If there are no cities in your world period, skip 4.3.1 - 4.3.2 and answer the following questions in the section for your towns instead.

4.3.1 Chose one of the two regions that you have been working on and select a city in it. What is the name of the city? Where is it located?

4.3.2 When was the city founded and why was it established? Are the people who first settled the area the same people who are occupying it now?

4.3.3 Draw a map of the city in its most current form, or, if it was destroyed, in the form it took right before it's destruction. Try to keep detail to the level of zones and landmarks. (example)

Divide the city into at least three distinct districts.

4.3.4 Why are the districts divided the way they are? Are they informal divisions based on who lives there or what commerce is there? Are they jurisdictional divisions applied by the city government?

4.3.5 What is each district known for?

4.3.6 Where is the oldest part of the city?

4.3.7 Where is the newest part of the city?

4.3.8 What is the most dangerous part of the city?

4.3.9 Where is the richest part of the city?

4.3.10 What sort of defenses does the city employ and what does it have to defend against? What elements outside of its structure (location, political standing) protect it from attack?

4.3.11 How tall do the buildings in your city get?

4.3.12 Describe the roads of your city. Are they paved? Extremely narrow? Mazelike or grid shaped? Underground? Try to explain why they are the way they are.

4.3.13 Where does the waste produced by households go in your city? How good are the public works (water/waste/etc)?

4.3.14 List five landmarks in this city. Explain their construction, purpose, and location in the city.

4.3.15 Describe the population makeup of the city. What races/classes/etc live here, and in what general proportion?

4.3.16 Name 3 notable people who come from this city. Who are they and why are they notable?

4.3.17 How affluent is this city in relation to others? How is that level of affluence made evident?

4.3.18 How densely packed is the city? How much living space does an average person have in this city?

4.3.19 How planned out is the city?

4.3.20 What does a store sign look like? Are there particular symbols that represent particular types of establishments? What are they?

4.3.21 A person from the country is entering the city for the first time. Describe in their own words their impressions.

4.3.22 what does the city do with its homeless? What does it do with it's criminals? It's orphans?

4.3.23 What are the three major threats to the city's welfare? Are these threats external or internal? Environmental? Political?

4.3.24 How easy is it to get into this city? How about leaving?


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4.4.1 Choose a population center (town/city/other) and write a small tour guide for it. Imagine an author and an audience. What should be seen/avoided? What sort of information would someone making a tour guide consider important for their audience to know? What might they not want to divulge or emphasize, based on what they personally feel to be important? Include at least three locations and three travel tips.

4.4.2 Someone has just moved from one location to another on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. Where did they move to/from? Why did they move? How do they feel about the move? What sort of culture shock or homesickness is manifesting?

4.4.3 Create a map that indicates as many major towns or cities as you can, along with routes that might exist between them. Mark at least 10 population centers. They can be anything from three family outposts to capitol cities.

4.4.4 Where do people stay when they cannot stay at home? What sort of taverns/hotels/hostels/etc exist in this world, what service do they provide, and what are they like, in general?
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5.1.1 How long have sentient people existed on your world?

5.1.2 Create a general timeline of your world. Include at least ten major events that had an effect on the course of history. Explain each in a few sentences.

5.1.2.1 Create a timeline of politics. Include at least 10 major events. This can include wars, the advent of war changing technology, treaties, assassinations, etc...

5.1.2.2 Create a timeline of religion/philosophy. Include at least 10 major events. This can include the birth of philosophers/saints/etc... the founding of religions, major religious upheavals, religious wars, etc...

5.1.2.3 Create a timeline of geography. Include at least 10 major events. This can include major weather or geologic events, discovery of new landmasses, founding of cities or nations, etc...

5.1.2.4 Create a timeline of culture. Include at least 10 major events. This can include the creation of major works of art, particular artistic eras, the invention of new forms or methods, birth of famous artists, etc...

5.1.3 What is considered year 0 in your world? What marks it as such? Is this different between different population groups? Explain the difference.

5.1.4 How much of this history is known to the general population? How much of it has fallen into myth? How much of it has been completely forgotten?

5.1.5 How far back does recorded history go? How much can early records be trusted? What are the oldest records that can generally be considered very reliable, and why are they so?

5.1.6 Take two groups of people who have differing perspectives on history. How do they perceive the timeline that you provided differently?

5.1.7 Take a single landmark in your world. Describe its history in detail from its creation to the present. What major events of history has it seen? You can use a landmark mentioned in a previous prompt.

5.1.8 In what ways has magic had an effect on the course of history in your world?

5.1.9 Name an event that was generally considered a great tragedy by everyone. What happened? How did it affect the course of history?

5.1.10 How important is historical record to the people in your world? Do they tend to be meticulous record keepers, or do they have very short and selective recorded memories?

5.1.11 Name a historical event or series of events that has resulted in a long and deep rooted animosity or camaraderie between two distinct groups.

5.1.12 Name a time when someone attempted to distort, or hide a historical event. What was this person/group's motive? Did the deception succeed? You may make the event as big or as small as you want.

5.1.13 List 10 famous quotes from people in your world and provide a little context.

5.1.14 Is there any knowledge that has been lost to time? What is it and how was it lost?

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5.2.1 What can be considered the birth of civilization? Where did this happen? Did it happen in multiple places independently?

5.2.2 How did civilization begin? Was it due to a discovery, like fire? Was there divine intervention (Prometheus)? How does the reality of what happened relate to people's opinions of how things
happened?

5.2.3 The progress of civilizations tend to be tracked in terms of ages. Describe at least three ages of a civilization in your world. Explain what marked the transition from one age to another. What typified each age?

5.2.4 Describe a civilization that did not manage to survive. How and when did it meet its demise? When was its golden age?

5.2.5 Describe a civilization that stagnated while the rest of the world has advanced. In what ways has it stagnated and why?

5.2.6 What civilizations have developed very specialized coping systems for the environment they find themselves in. Consider extremely hostile natural environments (Eskimos) or extremely hostile political environments (Spartans) that require specialty at the expense of adaptability.

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5.3.1 Where on the map did each population group begin? Mark a point for each origination of a separate population. If populations have a shared ancestor, mark the point of that ancestor.

5.3.2 How were these populations created? You can answer by citing fact, myth, or both.

With the following prompts, you can narrow populations to certain subgroups if necessary.

5.3.3 Now, using arrows and lines, show the direction of migration through your world. You can use different colors for different races. If there is a place where an important split or event took place that
changed to direction or nature of migration, mark it, and show the split or change. Have at least two major points of migrations or splits for each initial race line.

5.3.4 Number the points that you have on the map and explain the significance of each one. Consider war, famine, overpopulation, political disputes, religious pilgrimage, pursuit of resources etc...

5.3.5 If there were any points where there is a distinct split that results in two or more races, explain the circumstances of that split. If there is no split, explain how the population managed to remain homogeneous over time.

5.3.6 Are there any places where population groups converged? What was the result of those convergences?

5.3.7 Take one line of population movement. Does this line indicate the movement of an entire population, so that no one is left behind, or does it indicate a spread of people where some move on and others remain? If there are cases where no one remains, is there any indication in the world now that that area was inhabited? Why did no one stick around? If people did stick around, why did they stay? And how different are they now from those who moved on?

5.3.8 Using the prompt above, take an archaeological trip along one of your lines of population. Explain what the world looks like along that route today, and what, if any, vestiges of the past can be found there. What sort of people live there (with focus on the similarities and differences between populations along the line of migration)? What cultural connections can you see between those who remained close to the population's origin and those who may be on the tip of the migratory path?

5.3.9 Can this path be traveled now in the same way it was when it was traveled by the first people? What changes might make such a move more difficult now? (changes in climate/new oceans/political strife)

5.3.10 Has there been any mass migration in more modern times? What cause the migration? If the migration moved towards an already populated area, what was the reaction of those who were already
inhabiting the area? Consider war refugees, famine, rushes to resources, etc...

5.3.11 Is there a place that any of your population groups consider a homeland even though the majority of that population does not live there? If so, why does it hold such an important place in their psyches?

5.3.12 Was there any change in the population itself (physically, psychologically, etc...) due to its migration?

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5.4.1 Do people have any concern for the preservation of resources in your world? Are any resources considered in more need of preservation than others?

5.4.2 Do people view time as linear? Cyclical? something else?

5.4.3 How do people feel about the future? Do they think that it can be predicted? Do they think that it has already been decided? Do they believe in a doomsday?

5.4.4 Are people generally optimistic or pessimistic about their future?

5.4.5 A typical trope in society is the idea of a long past golden age and the current age as being one of degeneration. Does this trope hold in your world in any form? If not, what general philosophy about
the passage of history is most common in your world?

5.4.6 What are some predictions that people are making about what will happen to their world in the next 10 years? 25? 100? 1000?

5.4.7 Are there any immediate threats to this world looming? Are there more subtle dangers that will cause problems if not addressed?

5.4.8 Will the world end? Do people believe it will end? Describe some end of days prophesies. Who is making these predictions, what are they basing them on, and how accurate are they? Are these prophesies considered crackpot theories or do people take them seriously?
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6.1.1 How is magic and science separated in your world? Is it separated at all? Do the laws conflict? Is one subordinate to the other?

6.1.2 How much do people know about science?

6.1.3 How much do people know about magic?

6.1.4 What is magic's source?

6.1.5 What questions do people still have about how their world works? What explanations have they tried to provide to answer them? Provide at least 3 questions.

6.1.6 Are there any scientific laws that we have that don't exist in your world or can't apply?

6.1.7 What sort of magical laws (like scientific laws, not social laws) are there? Which of these laws do people know about, and which remain a mystery?

6.1.8 What are some false ideas that people have about magic or those who use it? Do they think it works one way when it doesn't?

6.1.9 How much value do societies within your world place on scientific progress? Magical progress? Why are these things valued? For its own sake? For instrumental uses? For something else?

6.1.10 How has magic/technology affected the people of your world? Has it made things easier? More dangerous? How?

6.1.11 How does science and magic interact? Do they interfere with each other? Does one trump the other?

6.1.12 What is the extent of the power of magic in your world? Can it create small changes with a great deal of time and effort? Remake the world within an instant? Can magic:

-Create something out of nothing?
-Affect time?
-Move something from one place to another?
-Teleport something from one place to another?
-Affect the mind?
-Create energy, and if so, what sort?
-Change the appearance or constitution of things?
-Communicate ac cross long distances?
-Create life?

6.1.13 What is generally required in order for magic to cause the above effects? What else can magic do?

6.1.14 What sort of problems are typically solved through magic (either real or superstitious)?

6.1.15 Are there subsets, or disciplines of magic? What are they and how are they distinguished from each other? Are they different in terms of procedure? Purpose? Type of power drawn?

6.1.16 How advanced is medicine in your world? What sort of medical solutions are common, and from what are they derived? (magic or science or both?)

6.1.17 What sort of ailments are still incurable? What ailments, if any, have been almost eradicated due to advances in medicine?

6.1.18 Is there such thing as a miracle in your world? How is it distinguished from magic, if so?

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6.2.1 Is magic regulated in any way? Is there any sort of magic that is considered taboo to employ, no matter what the situation? Are there levels of acceptable magic? Is it a free for all?

6.2.2 Can magic, or its effects, be mass produced?

6.2.3 Who is able to use magic? Who is allowed to use magic?

6.2.4 Is it possible to lose the ability to perform magic? If so, how?

6.2.5 Are there any races/civilizations considered more technically/magically advanced than others?

6.2.6 Are there any groups that are incapable of using/refuse to use technology or magic? If so, why?

6.2.7 What is the general social attitude towards magic? Are there any subgroups that take a very different stance? Do they distinguish between being capable of using magic and actively using magic?

6.2.8 Can magical power be acquired, or is it innate? If it is acquired, how?

6.2.9 How does one express magic in written terms? Create three symbols and indicate their magical equivalent. Do the symbols themselves carry power or not? What would a spell look like when written down? A recipe? A complex mathematical formula? Can magic be expressed in written form at all?

6.2.10 How does one perform magic? Are there items required? Pacts with spirits? Particular words or gestures? How easy is it to obtain what is necessary for magic?

6.2.11 Is magic considered an individual process, a group effort, both, or something else?

6.2.12 What are the risks involved with using magic?

6.2.13 How closely do magic users associate? Are they solitary? Do they belong to organizations? Must they belong to organizations?

6.2.14 Name someone who was extremely proficient in the use of magic. What did they do with this power? What was their reputation like? How did they become as powerful as they were? Did they have rivals? Enemies? What was their attitude towards their own power?

6.2.15Are there any objects in your world that are considered extremely powerful? What are they, and do they have the power that it is believed they have? These can be one of a kind objects, like the sphynx, or an entire class of objects, like a monkey's paw.
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7.1.1 Take 5 of your civilizations. Name three animals in each civilization that fit in to one of the following categories:pet, pest, food, dangerous, work. (15 answers total, though animal overlap is ok)

7.1.2 Choose three different environments (cave, city, etc...) Choose three animals that are likely to be found in each of these environments and describe them.

7.1.3 What sort of animals exist in your world that do not exist on earth? What sort of animals exist in a slightly different form in your world than they do on earth?

7.1.4 Are there any particular abilities (speech, magical powers) that certain animals are capable of?

7.1.5 What would be considered the most dangerous animal in your world? Describe it in detail. What does it eat? Where does it live? How do people deal with it?

7.1.6 What would be considered the most useful animal in your world?

7.1.7 Are there any animals capable of doing something in a way that people cannot explain?

7.1.8 What animals have been domesticated?

7.1.9 Are there any animals with large migratory patterns? Describe their migration either by map or text.

7.1.10 Are there any animal byproducts that are highly prized? What are they prized for? How easy are they to obtain?

7.1.11 Are there any legendary animals that do not really exist? Describe the animal. Where did the legend come from?

7.1.12 What sort of relationship do people have with animals? Are they considered related? The enemy? Stupid? Dangerous? Does the reaction depend on the animal?

7.1.13 What constitutes a living thing in your world? Are there things in your world that would be considered alive but do not bear any resemblance to an organism that someone on Earth would recognize? How are they different? Are the building blocks of life for your world or different?

7.1.14 How did life begin? How do people think that it began? Does evolution exist as it does on Earth? If not, is there another process that results in the change of organisms over time?

7.1.15 Explain the origin of a particular species. Does it have a mythical origion separate from this? If so, explain it. If it exists as the descendant of a separate species, describe its lineage and the circumstances behind its change. Does the species it came from still exist?

7.1.16 Are Gods considered living organisms or something else? What about spirits and other supernatural entities?

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We're now going to make a taxonomy for your world. There are two ways you can go about this. You can create a large list of as many living things that you can think up that inhabit your world (don't forget plants!) and then apply them to the prompts. Or you can take a top down approach and follow the prompts without having a pool of organisms, instead narrowing down the classes and discovering organisms as you do so. Or you mix theses approaches up. Whatever works. What is important is the taxonomy at the end.

If your world is almost identical to Earth in terms of the organisms on it, create the taxonomy based on mythological creatures. These creatures should be somewhat different from the mythological creatures that we have on earth, as they are products of culture and not biology.

Try to employ as many animals that do not exist on earth as possible. You also do not have to be completely "true" with your answers. If people in your world have created a taxonomy that does not accurately reflect the system of life on your world, you may want to consider using that anyway to explore what that taxonomy says about how your people view their world.

The following prompts should be done as setup. There is a format at the end of this section for how the final product should look.


On earth almost all known living organisms are built of the same essential elements. If this is the same in your world the root of your taxonomy tree will be single. If your living organisms can come from more than one basic source (say, carbon and completely magic based, or sentient rock, or anything else), then divide your first level based on this.

We are going to collapse the biological taxonomy for the sake of brevity into three sub levels. The first is Kingdom. On Earth this is where the categories of animal and vegetable sit. What are the kingdoms in your world? (It's fine if they're the same.) Every living thing should be able to fit into one of these kingdoms. If you have kingdoms besides those found on earth, explain what sets them apart.

Next create classes and families. Create at least 6 total classes across the whole of the taxonomy and 12 total families. If you want to ignore sub levels for a particular level (say you included fungi and really don't want to bother making that kingdom more specific) that's fine. You can concentrate all of your classes into a single kingdom (like animal) if you want, and the same goes for families. Don't worry if you use a lot of classes that are similar to earth, but by the family level you should have at least a few unique entries.

Put 24 species at the end of the hierarchy. They can be distributed in any way. At the absolute minimum 6 must not exit in any form (real or imagined) on earth. They can have very close earthly equivalents but there must be something that sets them apart.

You should now have 42 terms representing categories across the four bottom most layers of your taxonomy.

7.2.1 Display your taxonomy. You can do this graphically, or you can post the hierarchy textually using the following format:

kingdom
-class
--family
--family
-class
kingdom

etc..

7.2.2 List each term and provide its scope. An example of scope would be something like this:
Mammal: A warmblooded animal that nurses its young through mammary glands and has fur or hair.
The scope only needs to be a single sentence. All organisms in a term's subcategories must carry all of the attributes you define in your scope. List all 42 terms in this way.

7.2.3 Take three of the species that you listed and describe them in more detail. Are they nocturnal? What do they eat? Where do they sleep? What do they look like? How intelligent are they? What are their predators/prey? What defense mechanisms do they have? What offensive abilities do they have? How common are they/how many exist? What are their life spans and life cycles?

7.2.4 Are all of your sentient races in the same species category? If not, just how far apart are they in your taxonomy?
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This section is more structured than the others. I highly suggest taking the prompts in order.

In this section you will be a language from the ground up.

8.1.1 First, choose which language you'd like to build. Try to pick one that you don't want to sound like English too much. Also, pick one that is spoken every day. No secret or special language(like demonic or something). We'll get to those later =D.

8.1.2 Where is this language spoken, and by whom?

8.1.3 Is this a dominant language? In other words, do people learn it as a second language in order to function in certain situations? Or is it a weak language, where those who speak it also have to learn another language to function?

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8.2.1 Write about 200 words worth of pure gibberish. Think about the way you want your language to sound, sound it out, and try to represent the sounds as best you can. If you want to get really accurate, you can acquaint yourself with the international phonetic alphabet. If you have a mic and the willingness, you can upload a stream of gibberish to http://www.vocaroo.com/ . You can apply meaning to your gibberish if you like, but chances are very good that you will have to change what you have written by the end of the prompt.

8.2.2 The smallest part of any language are the individual sounds that make up that language, such as "A", K", and "H". These sounds are called phonemes.

Look closely at the words that you have just written. Try to find phonemes in those words that are not in English. Try to come up with some sounds in English that would never show up in this language. Don't be afraid to change the way your language works as you go. Make a list of a bunch of individual sounds that show up in the language(at least ten). Also list 5 or so sounds that do not exist in this language. The phonographic alphabet above will show you all the sounds the human tongue is capable of.

Phonemes are always a single sound, not a sound combination like ka or nd. Those sounds will be covered in a different prompt.


8.2.3 Take the following sounds and cross out or add sounds until you have made at least 5 changes. You can make more changes than this, but 5 is the minimum. There may be some overlap here with the previous question.

W F V T TH(soft as in the) TH('smooth') S R SH J(as in jug) CH K NG(as in king) G H P K F L D B M N Y(as in yawn) Z

Here are some sounds from other languages that you might want to consider:

ZH(voiced SH), '(glottal stop, like the British bu'un for button), the Japanese F(don't touch your teeth to your bottom lip when you make the F sound), the German CH(Like Bach and Achtung!)


8.2.4 Does the length of a sound matter in your language? Does an O that lasts longer than another O change the meaning of a word? Does a consonant that creates a pause change the meaning? (Chatter vs Chat(pause)er) How about the volume at which a sound is made? How about the tone of the sound? (Like in Chinese) Is there any element of the language like these that is important to the language?

8.2.5 What sort of sound combinations exist in this language that English doesn't have? For example, can you say something like dlam? Hro? Uauao? What sound combinations absolutely cannot happen in your language? Come up with three combinations that are rather common, and three that cannot happen. For example, in Japanese you cannot end a word with any consonant except N, and you cannot have two consonants touching. In English you cannot have the sounds K and M begin a word, like Kmost, but you can have K and L begin a word, like Klost.

8.2.6 Create a phonological rule. This is a rule that depends on pronunciation of sounds in relation to each other.

8.2.7 Try writing about ten or twenty words in your language again. Has anything changed? How much like English does it sound?

8.2.8 Pretend a speaker of this language has somehow found himself on Earth and is speaking English with a terrible accent! Try to write the the following in a thick accent of the language you are making: "Where am I? What am I doing here? Why is it so bright in the middle of the night? I think I must be going crazy!"

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Morphemes are the smallest meaning carrying part of speech. For example, the word UNAVAILABLE has three morphemes, un, avail, and able. Each one carries a meaning that creates a whole word. We're going to make ourselves a few morphemes! By repeating these morphemes often in your language, you give it consistency and make it feel less like gibberish and more structured.

8.3.1 Come up with morphemes that mean the following. Morphemes can be complete words too, but they can also be dependent on other morphemes to create a word, such as the English "un".

Not
Very
Good
Far
Before
After
Hot
Big

If you want your language to not have a morpheme for one of these, that's fine. Just come up with a different basic idea and make a morpheme for that.

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8.4.1 Use the morphemes you created above to create five new words. Provide their definitions. You can combine the morphemes in the list or create new ones to add in. You can also use more than two morphemes to create a single word.

8.4.2 How much information can fit into a single word through the combination of morphemes? For example, Japanese uses a single word to say something as complex as "I was made to go (formal case)" Ikesaseraremashita. English separates almost all of its grammar functions in to individual words.

8.4.3 Translate these words into your language:
Yes
No
Day
Born/Birth
Me
Person
Eat
Hot
House
Mother

8.4.4 Count from 1 to 10 in your language. Does your language count in a base ten system? Does it have quirks, like the english teens? How do you say 48? 100?

New words can be created by a number of morphological processes. Here is a list of them.

Linguistic Case is when a word changes to indicate a change in its grammatical function. Cases can represent almost any change, but the most common ones are things like gender, time, subject/object, and so on.


8.4.5 What cases does your language have? You must have at least one.

8.4.6 How is case expressed in language? Consider the many available morphological processes that exist, or you can create an entirely new one. What words are effected by case and when? It is possible for your language to not have any situations where words themselves are altered and all information is provided by the simple addition of more words (like in Chinese).

8.4.7 Create a simple conjugation chart showing at least two words and two cases (in other words, a 2x2 table). Here is an example of conjugation charts for English: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_conjugation_tables

8.4.8 List three words that English has and your language doesn't (Don't choose words for objects that don't exist, like cars) For example, your language may not have a word for 'starving'. It may only have a phrase that expresses the idea.

8.4.9 List three words your language has that English does not (Again, don't choose a word for something that doesn't exist on earth.) For example, Schadenfreude means pleasure derived from the pain of others, and doesn't have an English equivilant.

8.4.10 Give me three words that one would -not- say in polite society and tell me what they mean.

8.4.11 Give me three words that you would expect to hear between lovers.

8.4.12 Give me three words that a mother would say to her child, or vice versa.

8.4.13 What are the naming conventions of this language? What are common names?

8.4.14 How are places named in your world? Is there a particular morpheme that indicates a type of place? (ton, shire, burrough, etc)

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8.5.1 There are three major parts of a sentence, the subject, the verb, and the object. How does one indicate that a word is a particular part of a sentence? Does the language use case? Word Order (English)? Grammatical Markers (Japanese)? Something else?

8.5.2 How are adjectives applied in sentences? Do they exist as morphemes and are affixed words? Do they go before the words they modify? After? Must there be a marker to indicate that a word is an adjective? How about adverbs?

8.5.3 How do you make a sentence negative? How do you say, "That is a person," and "That is not a person?"

8.5.4 How do you make a question in your language?

8.5.5 How grammatically attached is the notion of politeness in your language? In other words, will levels of politeness have an effect on language in a formalized sense?

8.5.6 Provide a short dialog and its translation. Try to use some of the words and grammar that you have specified above. There should be at least four lines.

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8.6.1 Give me a quick history of the language you just fleshed out. What languages came before it? What languages have had an effect on it and what sort of effect? What languages has it had an effect on?

8.6.2 What differences in the way your language sounds would be noticeable if you were to jump into the past 100 years? 500? 1000?

8.6.3 What sort of dialects have developed for this language? Who speaks them? What do they sound like? Show at least two linguistic differences between any number of dialects. Linguistic change is usually very consistent throughout the language. For example, all instances of a long A sound might become a short A sound.

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8.7.1 Is there any written form of that language? If so, what does it look like? Is it pictographic, alphabetical? Syllabic? Are sounds represented in a one to one relationship or do many letters have the same sound and many sounds use the same letter? Provide an example of the writing.

8.7.2 Is there more than one type of writing for this language? For example, print, cursive, capital letters, etc... What purpose does each have?

8.7.3 How is writing arranged? Left to right? Down to up?

8.7.4 What sort of writing utensils/materials are used?

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8.8.1 List ten proverbs metaphors, or figures of speech in your world. . These phrases do not need to come from the language we just created. Explain their etymology and meaning.

8.8.2 Is there a lingua franca, or trade language in your world? What is it, and why did it become most prevalent?

8.8.3 List three words that are used as euphemisms or allusions to something else. These tend to be dirty words, or words that refer to sensitive subjects, but they can be anything. ("cookie\" for girlfriend)

8.8.4 What does poetry look like in your language? What are some examples of poetic forms? Provide at least three 'rules' that people in your would would recognize as poetry. (For example, a set syllabic structure, rhyming, alliteration, repetition, etc)

8.8.5 What other languages are there? List at least three. If you have less than 4 languages, explain how language has remained so cohesive in your world, and then answer the questions for dialect or accent instead.

8.8.6 Draw me a linguistic map. Show me where the major languages are spoken, if there are places that speak multiple languages, if there are places with official languages or not, etc...

8.8.7 Are there any languages that exist outside of the realm of standard conversation? For example, Latin is a dead language but still used in religious rites and such. Or are there magical language? Languages from secret societies, etc?
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9.1.1 Take one population group. What sort of classes exist within that population. How is class decided and divided? Money? Blood? Magic? Some combination?

9.1.2 How strict is social status? Can people move up and down? How? Are there any major differences in class structure between cultures?

9.1.3 Is there any group that is considered lowly in one location/culture and is considered high class in another?

9.1.4 Is there any group that has seen a great rise or fall in class status due to historical events or the change of time?

9.1.5 Are there any groups that, though having a large amount of influence on the political process, still feel alienated? Describe their world view and what makes them continue feeling alienated.

9.1.6 Take the five population groups that you created in the introductory prompts. Can you tell them all apart just by looking at them? What physical features give them away, if any?

9.1.7 Create a population map that shows the dispersal of your population groups. In what areas are these groups the majority? Are there any areas where there is a large minority of expats of a particular group?

9.1.8 Is there a group in your world that is universally reviled? Why are they disliked? Do they deserve their bad reputation?

9.1.9 Is there a group in your world that people believe can do no wrong? Why? Do they deserve that reputation?

9.1.10 Are there any groups that exist in secret? Why are they secret? What is their purpose? Who are their members?

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9.2.1 What is the range of accomplishment possible to an individual in this world? Just how powerful can someone become? What are the checks that exist on individual power?

9.2.2 What is a normal person capable of in your world? What makes an exceptional person exceptional?

9.2.3 Consider someone who is exceptional, unique, or at the very least in possession of rare ability. What makes them so different? What are the reactions of those around them towards these differences? Is it likely for this person to move closer to others like them or otherwise change their lives based on their ability, or are they likely to remain in the same position in life as they would have had without the ability?

9.2.4 What sort of personal behavior would cause a lot of gossip?

9.2.5 How do people communicate across long distances? Do they have a way to send messages faster than it would take for someone to physically go from one place to another and transmit the information that way? What are the limitations of communication in your world? Describe a time when these limits had a direct effect on the outcome of a situation.

9.2.6 Name three famous people that you have not yet mentioned. What are they famous for and two whom are they famous? Who wouldn't know who they were even though they are famous (hermits and dunces is an acceptable answer)? Are they still alive? If not, when did they live? Where did they live?

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With the following prompts, answer with particular cultures in mind, and try to compare and contrast along geographic and historic lines as much as you can.

9.3.1 What does a 'household' consist of? Are families just a husband and wife and kids? Are they multi-generational? Are there people who are considered family that are not related by blood?

9.3.2 What is expected of different members of the family? Are men the bread winners? Are the eldest children expected to pursue the family business? Is it the sister's job to find the brother a wife? What are their responsibilities to each other and to the family as a whole?

9.3.3 How close are family ties? If someone is estranged, or leaves, or is disowned, is this considered a huge thing from a societal perspective or is it not too big of an issue?

9.3.4 What would a family hierarchy look like? Make a list of the three people in a family who traditionally have the most control.

9.3.5 Are family norms (hierarchy, marriage, inheritance, etc) very strict, or are there many variations, or even a large number of families that do things completely different from what would be considered normal? Are family norms enforced by law?

9.3.6 How does adoption work in your society? Who adopts and why? Or is adoption taboo for some reason?

9.3.7 To what extent is parenting conceived of as the transmission of past knowledge and custom to a child? To what extent does it purport to be without specific goals, but instead encouraging certain kinds of growth?

9.3.8 Who gets married and when? Do they marry as children? As soon as they are adults? After they have established themselves? Is there a difference in average marriage age between men and women? If marriage doesn't exist in -any- form, what social construct is there that allows for the perpetuation of "family?"

9.3.9 Who stays single and why? What is society's opinion of someone who has never married?

9.3.10 How does a couple separate, if this is possible? Who can initiate a separation? Is something required before separation can happen, such as mutual consent, proof of abuse, etc? What does a separation do to the family dynamic, and what happens to any children involved?

9.3.11 How many people can one person marry? If a person is widowed can they marry again, and are there any restrictions on a second marriage? How about someone who has separated from someone else?

9.3.12 Is your culture patrilinial or matrilinial. In other words, is family traced down the mother's line or the father's line? Or does something else decide a person's line of descent?

9.3.13 Is your culture patriarchal or matriarchal, or something else? Give an example that shows a clear structure of power within a family. (father has the last say, mother chooses all marriage prospects)

9.3.14 How are marriage partners chosen? Does love have anything to do with it? Who does the choosing? The people to be married, their parents? Siblings? The state?

9.3.15 Who can get married to who? Can men marry men? Can people from different classes marry without problem? How about separate races?

9.3.16 How many children does a typical couple (or trio, or whatever) have? Who is responsible for raising the children?

9.3.17 Who takes care of aging parents?

9.3.18 Describe a family situation that caused a intense argument or schism. What was the argument about? What sides were taken and who took them? How was problem resolved, if it was resolved at all? Do not use a family that is any higher than middle class for this prompt.

9.3.19 Describe a dynasty in your world. This dynasty can be political, financial, thieves, or anything else. Who is the 'founder' of this dynasty? How are family members brought into the dynasty and do they grow up in a situation different from that of their peers? How do they behave towards outsiders? What do they do with family members who are problems (incompetent, rebellious, etc)


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9.4.1 Someone has just stolen from you! Who do you turn to? Guards? Police? Militia? Are you s**t outta luck?

9.4.2 What are common occupations in your world? What sort of occupation can you find in every town? What sort of occupations do we have that your world would not and vice versa? What do these professions entail (if they aren't completely obvious.)

9.4.3 What sort of profession will make you a whole lot of money? What sort of job might you not expect to be dangerous but is? What job do you take if you want everyone to envy you? What sort of job would you take if you wanted power?

9.4.4 Are the above jobs obtainable by just anyone, or are there particular restrictions by class/race/gender etc? If there are jobs that you haven't yet noted that have very particular restrictions on who can perform them, what are those restrictions and why are they in place?

9.4.5 Someone is always scheming to get rich with a minimum of effort. What is his best bet job wise?

9.4.6 What jobs do people look down on? How are those who work those jobs treated by others?

9.4.7 When is a person expected to start working? Is it possible for them to retire or can they expect to work until they die?

9.4.8 To what extent are people self employed or working under the authority of someone else?

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9.5.1 Create a racial/social group map. Divide each portion by majority. If there are cases where there is no certain majority, color it something else and mark that on the key.

9.5.2 Choose a society. Make a list of the five most essential public works valued in that society (schools, prisons, roads, etc) Make a list of the five most important personal values in the society (generosity, greed, intelligence, strength). What are the least important public works and personal values in this society? How do these things compare with other societies?

9.5.3 What do different citizens think the ideal citizen is like? The ideal person? When, if ever, are the two notions in conflict? Provide examples from 3 very different places in your world.

9.5.4 What sort of wishes are respected even after a person has died? Do they have something similar to a will, and does it carry weight? Do people have to rely on the will of those who survive them to carry out their wishes, or does the church/government/ something else/ have to enforce these?


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9.6.1 What is the average education level of a person in your world? What sort of things would an educated person be expected to know/know how to do?

9.6.2 Describe in general terms how education works in your world? Where do people go to learn, and who is responsible for their education. Is there an institutionalized education system from the state? If there are many different methods, provide a range of what is possible and common.

9.6.3 What sort of knowledge is considered specific to a particular demographic. For example, would it be strange for one race to know how to use magic but perfectly normal for another races to be proficient in it? List two or there forms of knowledge that are associated with a particular demographic, and two or three forms of knowledge that a particular demographic is supposed to be lacking in. Are these restrictions based on actual proficiency, or are they formed from social constructs?

9.6.4 Are there any 'trade secrets' or forbidden knowledge in your world? For example, tradesmen often would not let others know the process of their work in order to protect their employment. What knowledge do people protect, and why?
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10.1.1 Take one of your civilizations. How large is it? How are its borders defined? Politically? Geographically? Magically?

10.1.2 Take your five civs and order them by population.

10.1.3 Now order them by geographical size.

10.1.4 Now technological/magical advancement.

10.1.5 Now military power.

10.1.6 Now wealth.

10.1.7 Now cultural achievement.

10.1.8 Take two of your civilizations that border each other. Can one cross this border without hassle? How do these countries protect their borders, if they do at all?

10.1.9 Why would someone want to travel between these countries? Trade? Study? Exploration?

10.1.10 Take a single country. What is the easiest way into the country from the East, South, North, and West? If you are using a different directional scheme, adjust accordingly.

10.1.11 You are a citizen of one civilization. Explain your impressions as you enter a neighbooring territory. Try to chose a sort of person for which the change will be different.

10.1.12 Take your map and outline the political boundaries. Are there huge tracks of lawlessness? Are there many sub-divisions within states? Are the states small? Large? Are there chunks of contested territory?

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10.2.1 How populous is your world? How is the population divided? How densely is the world populated and how is the population dispersed? Many close cities? One big city surrounded by farmland? Nomadic camps?

10.2.2 What defines citizenship in the nations of your world? How much is it ancestral? How much is it creedal? Is it something else? Are certain people excluded from citizenship in certain nations?

10.2.3 What sort of rights can people expect to enjoy in your world and how formal are these rights? Provide three demographics separated by time, location, or class, and explain the difference between them in terms of the rights they have.

10.2.4 If your civilizations have large differences of population in certain regions (for example cities vs country, coastal vs forest), what sort of stereotypes to people hold against the other population? Make two or three different comparisons.

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10.3.1 On what basis do rulers derive their authority? God? Military might? Lineage? Provide information on 3 separate civilizations.

10.3.2 Take one of these civilizations. Explain how the structure of power was created. Go back as far as you need to establish historical precedent for the current system.

10.3.3 What relationship do nations have with their rulers? Are they custodians of the common good? Do citizens expect to serve/be served? Do they love their rulers? Hate them? Something in between?

10.3.4 What obligations (moral/legal/or otherwise) do powerful people have towards the powerless? Consider rich to poor, high class to low, etc...

10.3.5 How much control does the government have over the everyman in your world? Provide examples and explanations from three different regions.

10.3.6 What is the most common form of governance in your world? Military totalitarianism? Total democracy? Monarchy with an appointed bureaucracy?

10.3.7 Explain the structure of power in two groups. They don't need to be nations or any sort of territory. Any group with a leadership structure will do.

10.3.8 How much control does the state have over the economy? (leftist vs rightist?) How much control does the state have over social behavior? (facist vs anarchist?)

10.3.9 What limits a state's control over the people in its jurisdiction? Not enough loyalty among those who are supposed to support it? Too much land to control and not enough resources to control it? Name a state/country/government that is struggling to maintain power and explain why it is struggling.

10.3.10 How is power transfered in your world? Name three states and explain how power is transfered in each.

10.3.11 Name a time when transfer of power did not go so well. Maybe ascension was disputed, or a coup was attempted. What happened, and how was the problem resolved? (war? mediation by the church? marriage?)

10.3.12 When, if ever, is tyrannicide(the killing of a ruler) acceptable? Who determines its acceptability?

10.3.13 Who protects rulers? Name two groups who's primary duty is the protection of their rulers. What is expected of them? How does one become part of that group?

10.3.14 A man in your world is publicly insulting a leader. What is the reaction of the population? Of the leader? Is public criticism accepted? Legal? Highly dangerous for the one doing the criticizing? Is this different in different parts of the world?

10.3.15 On what questions, and to what extent, is a person's authority (i.e. the weight given to their opinions) determined by their status as a member/outsider of some particular group? For example, does a holy man's word hold more authority over a king? Does a member of a certain ethnic group seem more trustworthy than someone from another ethnic group? Name three instances where a certain type of person would be seen to have more authority over a specific issue.

10.3.16 Besides those in the government itself, what groups have power over how the state is run? Consider churches, aristocratic classes, secret societies, etc... How do they wield their power, and how openly do they wield it?

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10.4.1 How is law created? (Edict? Council? Vote? God's inspiration?)

10.4.2 How is law enforced? Who enforces it?

10.4.3 A man has stolen something. Does who he is, who he steals from, or what he stole matter in the letter of the law? Does it matter in the way the law is enforced? (in other words, the law says one thing, but the outcome is something else)

10.4.4 Someone wants to bring a grievance against another person. Who do they bring their grievance to? What procedure is followed to resolve the conflict?

10.4.5 Are there crimes that are punishable by death? What are they? How about exile? Disfigurement (loss of limbs/tattoos/branding)?

10.4.6 Name a crime that is considered severe in one place and minor (maybe not a crime at all) somewhere else.

10.4.7 Name three crimes and their punishments that have not been mentioned so far.

10.4.8 Are there laws or jurisdiction that overlap? (church and state, national and local) How do these systems of law interact?

10.4.9 Who has the power to interpret law or apply law? Is there a hierarchy?

10.4.10 How does criminal law treat children? The relationship between parents and child? Are certain crimes punished more heavily when done by a child than an adult (or when done to a child than when done to one's parent?)

10.4.12 What rights does a parent have in relationship with the child and vice versa? Can a parent sell a child? Can a child run away from a parent?

10.4.13 What rights do animals have under law, if any?

10.4.14 How is slavery approached in your world? Is the ownership of another person allowed, and if so, in what circumstances?

10.4.15 How does land control work? Is all land the property of the state? Do you own it if you work it? Is there a serfdom structure? Do landowners have any special legal standing?

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10.5.1 Take a piece of paper or create an spreadsheet. List all of your major governmental bodies across the top and down the side, like a 1v1 scorecard. At each state intersection, note if they are friendly, hostile, lukewarm, non-existent(only if states are not aware of each other) or if one is the thrall of the other. If you make a spreadsheet, you can upload it to google and show me that way. If you draw it on paper, you can scan/photograph a copy or write everything out in list form.

10.5.2 Take a relationship that out of each of the categories (except non-existant) that you have used. For each relationship explain it in more detail. Describe how the relationship between states came to be and what people have their hands in that relationship.

10.5.3 How does the economy work in your world? Is there currency? If so what is it, and who recognizes it? Is there a system of trade throughout the world or is trade more decentralized and unregulated?

10.5.4 Create a trade map for your world. Note 5 resources that are commonly traded and label them each a particular color. (or pattern or what have you). Show how those resources travel by creating lives of travel through your map. You can simply make colored arrows pointing from one state/region to another to indicate trade, or you can get a little more complex and map out the exact route of trade for each resource. Make at least 2 lines of import for each resource.

10.5.5 How do leaders of individual states feel about each other personally? Do they have any relations to each other? Are their personal relationships directly related to the relationships of their states and subjects or is there some conflict? Is there perhaps little personal interaction between leaders at all?

10.5.6 How do states spy on each other? Take one state and explain the covert operations that it has employed against another state.

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10.6.1 How does a state build military power? How do they find the personnel? (Conscription? Mercenaries? Hereditary knighthood? Slaves?) What sort of weapons do they employ?

10.6.2 How prevalent is war in your world? Why is this the case?

10.6.3 Take a war from any period of time. Explain the events that cause the war. Describe three major events that happened during the war that are of particular historical significance. These don't have to be battles. Explain the outcome of the war. Were there changes in borders? In relations? Was new magic or technology discovered?

10.6.4 What benefits are there to joining the military? Is military service considered a career choice, a temporary obligation, or something else?

10.6.5 What does the military do when there is no war?

10.6.6 Who owns weapons? Are there any particular weapons associated with a certain country? A certain population group? Are there certain weapons that a certain population group is forbidden to use/own (for example, peasants being barred from owning swords)? Do any weapons have a symbolic position in society?

10.6.7 Two groups are at war. What sort of propaganda do they employ against each other or towards their own people? How do they keep up morale among the civilian population?

10.6.8 What is the most recent war fought in your world? Who won? What was its global effect?
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11.1.1 Provide a quick overview of the philosophical modes of thought found in your world. Do people operate under a philosophy of monism, where everything is believed to be a part of a single whole? Are they Dualist and believe in a concrete separation of two opposing elements in the world? Are they pluralists and believe in multiple truths? Come up with three major schools of thought (they can be religions or just philosophies) and give a brief overview of them, along with any possible relationship they might have with each other.

11.1.2 For the three theories above, what are their main aims? To appease gods? To produce truth? To guide morality? Why were these theories created and what are people expected to use them for? (Religious ceremonies? Frames of thought? etc)

11.1.3 Do these theories contradict themselves in any way, and if so, how do people deal with the contradictions?

11.1.4 Name three to five people well respected for their philosophical or religious thought. Give a short biography of each and provide their major contributions to thought in your world.

11.1.5 Describe different limitations that exist on how much people in your world can know. What is fundamentally unknowable? How much that is commonly held to be known is, in fact, not? In other words, are there any glaring misconceptions about some fundamental fact on how the world works?

11.1.6 Do any of your nations offer public education? To whom? What are the primary goals of the educational system? Do schools teach a particular version of civic virtue or patriotism? Take five regions and elaborate on the sort of education one should expect to have growing up there. Include how long one is educated and in what way.

11.1.7 Do universities try to teach a particular cultural canon? If they do, elaborate on a few particular themes in this canon. If they don't, why don't they?

11.1.8 What aspects of behavior do your societies believe are innate? What aspects are learned? Which category does moral behavior fall into (if both, how is it divided)? Is there something else that people believe affects their behavior? (Possession? Curses? Disease?)

11.1.9 What do people believe about death and life? How much of what they believe is true and how much is false?

11.1.10 How much free will exists in your world? What is people's general concepts of free will, fate, destiny and the like?

11.1.12 Propose an answer to the mind/body problem your society might find plausible (i.e., so far as we can tell consciousness is not a physical thing, while our body is. Yet we can, apparently, choose to lift our arms and when we're tired we think less clearly. How is it that mental states can influence physical objects (e.g., we can choose to lift our hand) or physical states (tiredness) can influence mental ones (clarity of thinking). Modern science mostly answers that the mind is no less physically determined than the body, but the problem was a major topic of debate in the 17th and 18th centuries, and discussion still continues). If your society doesn't really see the mind/body problem as a problem that needs explanation, why doesn't it?

11.1.13 What models of morality exist? What do people refer to when they are looking for moral guidance (think bibles, important people, superiors). Be as specific as possible.

11.1.14 What makes a person a good person in your world? How do they behave? What do they value?

11.1.15 What is considered moral behavior towards animals in your world? What value is attributed to animals, and what can and cannot be done to/with them?

11.1.16 Imagine that someone in your world is suffering from a severe moral dilemma that is associated with social norms of morality. They go to a friend for advice. What advice do they get? Is the 'right thing' for them the same as what we would consider to be the 'right thing'?

11.1.17 Which of the attitudes and world views you have described above are most resistant to change? In new situations, which opinions, perspectives and beliefs are shed first? Which are shed last? Does it depend on the new situation? If so, how?


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This section will be using the term religion very loosely to embody any philosophy that dictates behavior and shapes world view.

11.2.1 What religions exist in your world? Name at least two. They can be closely related (Baptist/protestant) or extremely different (Confucianism/satanism).

11.2.2 What symbols are associated with these religions and why?

11.2.3 For the above religions, what are the five core beliefs of each?

11.2.4 How was each religion founded?

11.2.5 From what do these religions derive their authority? Do they have holy texts? Are they supported by Gods?

11.2.6 Who belongs to these religions? Are the religions concerned with conversion? Are they secretive? Selective?

11.2.7 Create a map outlining the influence of religion. What areas follow what religions/practices? What areas are the domains of which gods? You don't simply have to mark religious territory. You could also mark religious landmarks, or pilgrimages. Be creative!

11.2.8 What sort of influence does religion have over people in your world? Are there places where religion is more powerful than others? Are there places where religion is neglected? How much power do religious representatives have over other people? What relationship do religious institutions have with other power wielding establishments, such as governments?

11.2.9 What sort of religious obligations to self exist? Obligation to one's health? Obligation to one's happiness? Obligation to preservation of one's life? Is there a moral obligation under any religion or ethical system to improve one's talents or make oneself useful to society?

11.2.10 What sort of religious obligations to one's peers exist? Must people be generous? Open their homes as sanctuary? Pass judgment on their neighbor?

11.2.11 What religious obligations to The Other exist? For example, gods, spirits, the state, and so on and so forth.

11.2.12 Name a denomination within one of your religions. How does it differ from the parent religion? How does the parent religion react to the divergence of some worshipers into this denomination?

11.2.13 Where does one worship in these religions? Are there places in homes for worship? Churches? Sacred fields? Give a general rundown of sacred spaces in your world.

11.2.14 Choose a religion and explain a particular religious ritual, including its meaning and purpose.


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The following are the -only- optional prompts in the challenge. If your world has a pantheon in any sense (either the standard concept like the Greeks and Egyptians, or more complex relationships like the trinity and saints of Catholicism) you can use the following prompts to flesh out that pantheon. If your world does not have a pantheon in any culture for whatever reason, some of these questions can be skipped.

Choose one religion to answer these questions for. You may approach the term godhood as loosely as you need for the purposes of your world.


Think back to question 11.1.1. Whether your religion is monoist, dualist, or pluralist will have an effect on how a pantheon is structured.

11.3.1 Are the gods in your world all at the same level of divinity/power or are there levels of divinity? For example, The Buddha and Bodhisattvas can be thought of as existing on two levels importance.

11.3.2 What is the source of godhood? Is there a single source of godhood or multiple sources? Track the creation of 3 gods or beings associated with the gods (consider the multiple races created by Gods in Greek myth). Can godhood be taken away?

11.3.3 How 'immanent' are your gods? In other words, do they interact directly with the world and its inhabitants? Or are they more 'transcendental' and only exist as a power, or idea?

11.3.4 How do your gods manifest? Do they exist as elements? As the earth around us? As animals? Are they the ancestors of the denizens of your world? If your gods are entirely transcendental, they might only exist as feelings within people or signs through mediums.

11.3.5 How are your gods related to each other? Are they considered family? Were a group of gods created to be rivals for another group of gods? How do they interact with each other? Do they war? Are they all good friends? Do they not care about each other at all?

11.3.6 How does this relationship translate in terms of how the gods' followers interact with each other? Can one worship all gods equally or does one have to pick sides?

11.3.7 Tell a story about a god interacting with a mortal.

11.3.8 Tell a story about a god interacting with another god.

11.3.9 Can one consider the pantheon to be finite (as in, are there no more gods on the way or do more keep cropping up)?

11.3.10 How is the domain of gods divided? List your gods (or divine groupings if that is more appropriate) and briefly list their roles, domains of power, and archetypes. Also note who would be most likely to pray to, or commit themselves to, that particular god. (god of thieves, god of bankers, etc...)


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Explain the symbolism connected with the following concepts. If they represent very different things to different cultures, expand on that a little.

11.4.1 3 different colors.

11.4.2 3 different parts of the body.

11.4.3 3 different animals.

11.4.4 Water

11.4.5 The sun or its equivalent.

Explain what symbols are associated with the following concepts. These can be animals, plants, pictures, etc:

11.4.6 Bravery and cowardice

11.4.7 Money

11.4.8 Love

11.4.9 Authority

11.4.10 Wisdom

11.4.11 Death

11.4.12 Peace


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11.5.1 Tell a folktale from your world.

11.5.2 Tell a very similar tale from a very different part of your world.

11.5.3 Name a hero. What are they known for? What did they actually do? Does anyone contest their fame, and why?

11.5.4 Name a villain. What are they known for? What did they actually do? Does anyone contest their infamy, and why?

11.5.5 Name a significant event that actually happened in the far past. How has people's understanding of that event changed through the years? Has it been re-interpreted to support some position later on? And if so, how?

11.5.6 Sketch out a conflict over a symbolic practice. Explain how the practice ties in to community norms, values, and traditions, why a subset of the community finds it objectionable or alienating, how tensions between the majority and alienated minority manifest themselves and the outcome of the conflict.

11.5.7 How are stories handed down throughout generations? Do people have access to writing, or other forms of recording? Besides writing, if it exists, what is the preferred method of storytelling? Do places of worship have pictures of important stories on their walls? Do bards memorize epics?

11.5.8 What natural phenomenon has been described by myth in your world? Is there a myth for how children are born? How we die? Why there is night? The seasons? etc... Pick three natural phenomena and explain a myth associated with each.
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