Author Topic: Is anyone into worldbuilding?  (Read 3424 times)

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Offline FirsthandTuna

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Is anyone into worldbuilding?
« on: November 12, 2012, 02:15:45 am »
I was wondering if anyone else is into worldbuilding and would like to share things that have inspired them, helpful books and websites, and tips and programs for staying organized. Whether it's for a pen & paper campaign, a book, or just for shits and giggles.

I've been working on a completely aimless worldbuilding project since about middle school. By now it's so far detached from the original concepts that the only throwbacks to it are names.

So, does anyone else share this hobby and how do you approach it?
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Offline Cerim Treascair

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Re: Is anyone into worldbuilding?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2012, 04:48:40 am »
I world-build... but it's mostly in my head.  I write down the concrete stuff, everything else is fluid and subject to change.
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Offline Veras

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Re: Is anyone into worldbuilding?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 11:00:09 am »
I like to use real events.  The D&D game that I'm running now is based roughly on the Cuban Revolution, and the world draws heavily on influences from the history of the mid to late 20th Century.  Race relations are based on the Civil Rights Movement.  International relations are based on the imperialistic tendencies of the Cold War era United States.  I used an immigration law very similar to Arizona's when the party entered the country that is equivalent to the United States.
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Offline JohnE

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Re: Is anyone into worldbuilding?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2012, 01:32:49 pm »
World building is one of my favorite things, always has been. More recently I've gotten into conlanging, which can be an integral aspect of world building.

I usually find inspiration in history and mythology, taking elements I like from each and trying to weave them into something cohesive. The fantasy world I've been working on for (many) years now takes inspiration for its creation and ancient history from gnostic mythology, although it's developing into its own thing.

Offline Material Defender

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Re: Is anyone into worldbuilding?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2012, 01:52:18 pm »
I've been world building since a dream when I was 12. A great happy habit of mine when I'm just out walking and thinking to myself.

I've recently been writing down my sci-fi universe in the form of a homebrew pen and paper situation so I can really pack the information in there in an accessible package. If anyone's interests, I can toss a rulebook at you. Just at this moment it's not very well edited and... hrm. Definitely made for adult audiences. Nothing too overt, but there's a great deal of biological importance to sexual conduct when describing species and their differences. And... I do need to adjust some dates!

My fantasy one I'm still just working on in my head, but I've really started using relative earth cultures as a basis for the different species, but not entirely.

I've never worked too much on conlonging, just how the individual languages of different species relate to the 'standard' language. Not because language isn't important, but because there's so much to do language is one of those things that slip through the cracks of what I need to do.
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Offline JohnE

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Re: Is anyone into worldbuilding?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2012, 12:20:25 am »
I'd be interested in hearing what kinds of worlds everyone's making.

Mine is a medieval fantasy world populated by several species of humanoid animals, plus elves and dragons (although the dragons haven't been seen in 1,000 years). In most of the known world, the religious orthodoxy suppresses both magical and scientific learning. People who study either in any depth are looked on with suspicion.

The main characters are a feline species call the leoren. Their rivals are the nwaren, who are hyenas. There are also wolves, bears, pigs, buffalo, and lemurs. (maybe others, I haven't decided)

Offline Material Defender

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Re: Is anyone into worldbuilding?
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2012, 01:33:36 am »
Fantasy world is set in the 1600s-1800s period.

The largest and most well known species are the Retikivolk who are under the Guardianship of the Gods of Life and Death. Life is married to Death and they tend to equally praise both. Retikivolk are anthromorphs of different mammalian species by our reckoning, but the lack of things like horses and tigers would make them confused by the concept. They are currently trying to reform the grand empire they once had and lost under a number of ill advised and not God sanctioned crusades against humans when Humans decided to break from the Empire and form their own monarchy.

Humans, under the Goddess of Knowledge, primarily rely on superior technology and diplomacy, but their industrial revolution has made their economy dominant. Muskets and rifles have also rendered the old superiority of Dragons absolute, who have challenged their God and Leaders, toppling them. Left without nobles they have gone to work tryin gto form a society without them and forcused on interaction with other species rather than intimidation. Elves and their Sky Borne Cousins are generally separated from the world, focusing on perfection of body (Elves) or techno-magery (Sky Elves). There are also the Karzacs, which are large reptilian creatures that guard the "Gate", but they are on a large island far from the primary continents. Ikorns are somewhat small, salamander like humanoid creatures that guard their jungles jealously and are guarded over by the God of Chaos and Time. Wyrms and Orcs are minor races, but Orcs are becoming more important after joining the Human nation and are starting to become more civilized.

Sci-Fi one is much more complicated.

There consists the ten incorporated Species. Humans, Issidores (Human Aliens!), Sectians (Grays+Slenderman?), Kittersua (Bodyshapers), Ikalyions (Goos in suits), Casroon (Dwarf REptiles in space), Furlugs (Cowardly furry things), Dennertt (Feline-like with unique reproduction), Valeen (Immortal amphibious shark... dolphin... things.), Jeran (Family Value Beetles), Rohktan (Spiders), and Sprawlites (AIs). These represent species that share the Standard Language as their primary tongue, are well enough incorporated into each others cultures they can function as a multi-special bloc without needing too much special interfacing. They are relatively benign to one another and mostly work along ideological, cultural, and government lines as opposed to those defined by species. A complicated government-socio-economic situation motivates them much like today's human, which might not feel too out of place with them.

There is the Aktain Empire, which consists of amphibious creatures who suffer from extreme xenophobia and have the ability to put down the incorporated species if not for the fact they are unwilling to make that push due to internal strife.

There are the corrupted Species. The Ichtor, Progenitors of Humans, Kittersua, and Issidores that take body shaping and genetic manipulation to an insane extreme due to their motivations by the 'nightmare.' Tessilo, descendants of the Zettertax and progenitors of the Rohktan, Jeran, and Casroon that took cyber modification to such an extreme that only their brains remain in their vast cybernetic suits. Zettertax, who worship the Nightmare and seek to make its will manifest in reality are not as physically corrupted, but their emotional and spiritual states that they are twisted beyond most any recognition.

There are a number of Unknown species as well.

As for Gods? There are two higher powers. The Dream and The Nightmare. The Dream respects the will, the desires of free thinking individuals and support their pursuits by diverting and warning about the nightmares plots, as well as providing emotional encouragement to those struggling. The Nightmare is not quite the opposite, instead wanting to control all reality. It does not want destruction. Occasionally an amusing interlude here and there of destruction... but it wants control of the wills.

As for the soul? Very important for psychic powers, and intense corruption of such can lead to mental instability and physically morphed children.
The material needs a defender more than the spiritual. If there is a higher power, it can defend itself from the material. Thus denotes 'higher power'.

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Offline chad sexington

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Re: Is anyone into worldbuilding?
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2012, 01:59:14 am »
Mine's a low-fantasy world.  No magic, no non-human races, except for traditional "otherworldly" types.  Technologically, it varies from early-medieval to dieselpunk, depending on what I feel like writing at the time.

Offline Osama bin Bambi

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Re: Is anyone into worldbuilding?
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2012, 02:17:40 am »
I love worldbuilding, but it's mostly in my head. It's high-fantasy, but includes alien technologies as well.

Fun fact: I actually came up with the idea of Dragons colonizing the continent before I ever heard about it in some video games. (I'm just basing it off of what I've heard)
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Offline DrFishcake

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Re: Is anyone into worldbuilding?
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2012, 03:27:57 pm »
I suppose in a sense I do some of this with what I do to flesh out my SimCity 4 cities and regions (yep, still playing it nearly 10 years after release) though I can't really claim to have many resources to help me - usually I just come up with location names by messing around with my friends' names/online pseudonyms to see what works. Also, I've found that I can build up a concept for a nation much faster if I start with designing the flag first, sometimes even before the name.

Offline Agni

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Re: Is anyone into worldbuilding?
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2012, 02:34:13 pm »
I'm into it, but I call it conworlding.

If you really want to get super deep into it, I suggest these two places:

aveneca.com/cbb
incatena.org

The first is more for conlanging however.

As for me, I have Techaria, a fantasy/sci-fi world with a slight dieselpunk bent. It's run by several empires: Pazmat (the largest and most powerful), Cryset (a frozen iand empire in the southern pole), Föro (a fire empire right next to Cryset on extremely active volcanic hotlands), Kron (a desert nation focused on technology), Adari (a nation sea-faring people who live their entire lives on massive ships), Qeung Wo (a China-esque nation located deep in the tropical equator), Ngith (a nation on a massive jungle island the size of South America), and finally Sunago (Japan-esque island nation woth a heavy focus on electronics and metal industry).

I plan to make full-on conlangs for all of them, but right now only Pazmat has one thay's actuly somewhat complex.

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Offline Cataclysm

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Re: Is anyone into worldbuilding?
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2012, 11:31:42 am »
Several. I've thought of one sci-fi setting, three high fantasy setting, one urban fantasy setting, and at least three furry ones.

I think of characters first and then the setting.
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Offline Fpqxz

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Re: Is anyone into worldbuilding?
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2012, 05:36:18 pm »
Kindly forgive my ignorance, but is "world-building" purely a sci-fi/fantasy thing, or an alternate history type of activity?

I like the latter more than the former but that's strictly a matter of personal preference.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 05:37:51 pm by Fpqxz »
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Offline RinellaWasHere

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Re: Is anyone into worldbuilding?
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2012, 05:54:31 pm »
It's both, really! It's about creating a setting, no matter what the basis or genre of that setting is. Alternate history world building, especially when done by people who do a huge amount of research, is absolutely fascinating.
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Offline Material Defender

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Re: Is anyone into worldbuilding?
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2012, 10:07:09 pm »
I'd do more alternative history stuff, but I prefer to research science when building a plausible sci-fi universe.

That said, I was contemplating working on an alternative history, sort of like Erik the Red, where belief makes the things believed in real. So all the Christians who believe in god, especially fiercely, can gain his aid, same with Muslims, and set it during the Low to High medieval periods. Maybe if that works out, I'd set one during the reformation. Though would mean the Pope would have magic powers probably, as long as he was a legit Pope instead of a greedy bastard.

Actually, if someone wanted to help me work on something like that I'd probably give this whole idea more credence instead of just an idle thought experiment.
The material needs a defender more than the spiritual. If there is a higher power, it can defend itself from the material. Thus denotes 'higher power'.

"Not to know is bad. Not to want to know is worse. Not to hope is unthinkable. Not to care is unforgivable." -Nigerian Saying