What's A Worldbuilding Element You Never See People Include In Their World?
By - starvingthearies
"For want of a nail" situations. Where tiny events either directly or cascade into causing major changes to history. The Russian nuclear command officer who decided not to launch when his early warning system detected the flare of an ICBM that turned out to be sunlight reflected off of clouds literally saved the world. And tiny action that may have either distracted or inspired someone that caused or prevented some huge event. Also events based on many of the ridiculous things that have actually happened in history. Here is my favorite example (this actually happened I think it is in the orkney saga): a viking chef was hired to help a lord/king/whatever in one of his battles, or to defend some land. I forgot what the original dispute was about. Since the man who hired him wanted more help than he could pay for he offered him land in exchange. And place the chief could steer his boat around without scraping the hull he could have as part of his new hold. So the warriors all picked up his boat, then with the chief sitting at the prow walked around some.of the choicest land on the shore while the chief sat at the prow giving commands. Stuff this ridiculous happened all the time historically. History is ridiculous because humans are crazy, but many world builders don't apply this.
Gavrilo Princip tried to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand like half a dozen times that day but wasn't able to get anywhere near him during his official duties, parade, etc.
After all was said and done, the Archduke was hungry and insisted at stopping at a restaurant on his way home... where Princip and his fellow assassins were eating dejectedly.
I don't know for the first paragraph but I'm pretty sure that the usual path of the Archduke was changed at the last moment but the driver forgot about it until he remember it and tried to go back to the new planned route. This turn was made in front of the restaurant/bar the assassin was eating at (alone because his teammates were arrested elsewhere) and right at the time he got out of it. Not believing his luck and immediatly taking the chance, he went for it and killed the Archduke. It was cheer dumb luck.
You're right; I forgot Princip was the last man standing. His wasn't the only group trying to do in the Archduke that day, either, IIRC. You may have it more correct than I did.
So someone went deep researching this story and it actually originates in a burlesque called Twelve Fingers. What actually happened was that the assassins had been positioned along their planned route back from the official events, but it was changed when the Duke wanted to visit the hospital to see the men injured in the earlier attempts. So the driver missed the turn they supposed to take and had slowed down because the mayor was yelling at them.that they should have gone down a different street. They were still on the original planned route where the assassin was waiting outside the delicatessen. There is no mention of them eating a sandwich or anything else in and of the contemporary accounts. But this still counts because if the driver hadn't slowed down for the mayor's backseat driving there is a good chance the assassin would have missed his shots.
It's incredible how close the mission was from failure. They missed all their chances excepted for one and only succeded thanks to a mistake from the driver part.
Not that it would matter in the grand scheme of things in the end : historians in majority thinks that WW1 would still have occured if the duke was not shot, just delayed for a bit.
Edit : thanks for the information about the hospital visit ! I forgot about that.
I wonder if that place is still open.
It is now a small museum
Age. I see and read 3000 year old elves, vampires, etc. act like 12-16 year old brats.
Does maturity come with physical development? Or does it come with time?
If elven children take 100 years to mature into preteens and another 100 to teens and another 100 into adulthood, that's 300 years worth of life experiences. How does that time affect their psychology?
Have worldbuilders ever considered 300 year old men actually act like 300 year old wizened sages despite their youthful look?
This reminds me of Eli from Let the Right one in. Despite having been a vampire for hundreds of years, Eli is still very much a child. I think he describes it as having 'been 12 for a very long time'
I guess if your brain stops developing, you're stuck in a certain point at your development no matter how many years you experience.
So to bring it back to your Elves, if the brain develops slowly, they will process events like a child until such a time as the brain matures, however I'd argue the evolutionary sense in that. Most animals in the wild are considered adult within a year. Wouldn't a superior immortal race make better use of their time if they reached adulthood quicker. Or even within the human 18 year period?
God imagine raising a stroppy teen for 100 years!
Well consider humans, 18 years is an awfully long time to develop. With that extended development we've become what we are today not in spite of our long development but in large parts because of it. If elves lived fo 1000 years and spent 300 to reach adulthood would their longevity be created by the long development period would elves develop a higher rate of magical abilities because those abilities maybe take time to develop. Whereas dwarves are only able to perfect their crafts by living so long. So if you have a long lived species how does its society develop, if your brain isn't dense enough how could it store the memories of a life time. Here's a species idea, human like growth period with elf like longevity, but the mental capacity of a human that degrades all memories beyond a century ago, make them rare and have a few impressive individuals who appear every few centuries with a new invention and that same individual a century later paints a masterpiece but forgot most siwnce related things they'd accomplished... etc etc
This reminds me of a recent ask science post about domestication that had a cool idea on maturity. [Linked here](https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/ppbwvl/_/hd4v6eo)
Memories can affect many things, but maturity manipulates how we make our choices off the present. You could take your idea further and have that species have a very dependent maturity early on. They'd be more social, curious, and service oriented at that stage, and while things may die around them they are almost enslaved by their maturity to keep moving forward. If you could domesticate one in this state, maybe they'd remain in that state for life, a slave.
The horrible truth would be the revelation that older members of the species are vehemently independent and rebellious - perhaps even the monsters of the world because of the physical changes maturity brings. A select few might have better control and hide amongst the younger populace as something of a serial killer or spy.
I think that the maturity process could also make it overwhelmingly unlikely for a normally developing species member to be able to perfect their craft because their behavior doesn't remain so static even over such a long period of time. They'd be chasing a itch they can't complete. A domesticated member (almost its own species) wouldn't be able to form its own interest, and thus they are unable to master anything but servitude.
Yeah this one really bothers me. In fantasy books age ends up literally being just a number and everyone acts like they’re in their mid twenties or later. 100+ year old vampires going out with 16 year old girls just because they also look 16. Millennia old beings somehow being surprised by the action of a child. If time hasn’t taught these people anything after the eons that have gone by then they must be idiots.
I agree. The Elven sense of time should be seen as a really alien concept. They should be very patient, never in any hurry, and likely not pay much attention to the passage of time. They will likely also have a problem with having friendships with the more ephemeral races, as an Elf might not visit a friend for decades, only to find out that the friend died years ago.
That's a great addition to elvish lore. I'll probably implement the interpretation in my own worldbuilding.
If you would like more details about the Elves in my world, you can find them [here](https://www.worldanvil.com/w/scourge-of-shards-schpdx/a/elf-article). I go into a bit more detail on how the Elves see the world from their millennial based time frames.
I haven't thought so much about maturity in the sense that my elves (who live around 500 years, not immortal but still quite long) don't act like old sages, but still like wise adults from 30-40 yo.
However I have tried to reflect to how this can affect their attitude, and I have come up with a few things that I thought as a logical consequence:
\- Because they live very long, they have different way to see time. It will pass as slow for them as for others, but let's say, A 1 year duration will not be such a big deal for them. So they take their time for everything, they're never in a rush, they can spend a lot of time doing the same task, Diplomacy with elven kingdom is irritating because they can have huge delays of response. The very concept of "wasting time" is something very foreign to them. You get the point.
\- While I don't believe that the mastery of a field is something that grow linearly even if you have hundreds of year, they are all masters of their craft, simply because of the time they have spent mastering it.
\- But this has the downside of making them very stubborn and hard to adopt any change in their ways and mentality. After, if your view of something has been shaped by 200 years of existence, you wouldn't be so keen to reconsider everything just because one thing happened. So overall, it makes Elves struggles with quick changes in the world and changing their opinion about something.
\- Because they have such a long life experience and have mastered many things, they value their own life a lot, and will prioritize it over their material goods or a community, even their family, since the main source of their knowledge is not even transmission from others.
The 7 wonders of the world equivalent
Someone actually posted this question not too long ago and I gave it an answer, [thread in question](https://www.reddit.com/r/worldbuilding/comments/pricvv/whats_your_worlds_equivalent_of_the_seven_wonders/)
I have this in my world! It was so fun to make them!! They’re more like the 7 wonders of the ancient world tho. I have the equivalent of the library of Alexandria and the Pharos lighthouse
I have a "7 natural wonders" of my world and have been working on some unnatural wonders, such as Aurum Heights, the floating gold-plated city. One of the natural wonders is the Great Titan Reef, where Polibus of the Deep (deity of the sea and storms) was thwarted by the mortal Kymm eons ago. His skeleton provided the perfect smorgasbord for the wildlife in the area and the coral reef that the battle took place on overtook the skeleton. The vivid colours and massive celestial-touched fish attract many to see this wonder.
I heard about this one in a podcast. 7 wonders that is.
EDIT: The podcast is Worldbuilder's Anvil if you're curious. It gives good content and has really enriched my world building.
It’s in r/asoiaf
I have something like that in a world of mine. Though it is more like the 11 wonders of the continent. Still a fun thing to add.
I know one series that have one and I found it awesome, though it's basically a side note and just a little more elaborated in side materials.
Childcare is extremely important. I'd say it is central to human society and to sapient society of any kind, yet if very seldom appears in worldbuilding. I understand that in order to be sapient a species needs to rely more on learning than on instinct, this requires a prolonged childhood. Human infants are particularly helpless and require full-time care. A person giving this care can't simultaneously hunt, something that many felines can do. The mother leaves the cubs/kittens behind while she hunts for food and they are okay. Not so with human infants. So humans like wolves are social. Some of the pack members care for the young while others hunt. Thus we specialization and a society.
I see far too many worlds where the focus is entirely on warriors and fighting, often on who has the biggest and badest weapon. This does come off as good worldbuilding. I don't see the point if the warriors have no obligation to furthering their society, i.e. supporting childcare. And if the people of the world are like mountain lions I'd like to see it. Where are they leaving their cubs? Or maybe they are like cuckoo birds leaving their young in the nests of others.
My world handles this in an interesting way since the people who live there not only live on a dangerous primeval land, but are also in a tribal stone-age.
Different tribes have different ways they look after each other, but the one thing they have in common is that children are rarely left unattended. The people of the jungle for example are nomadic, never settling in one place, meaning wherever they go so do their children.
That is definitely an advantage of "tribal stone-age" societies. It's a reason that I think we should dismiss them as primitive.
Well, they are primitive only visually. They certainly do not look or act like a modern man, that's for sure.
How are they different from modern humans?
For one, Xamoyan man tend to be stockier than your average human. In addition, they have curious biological reactions toward things that have no effect on us. Chocolate for example reacts in a volatile manner, causing extreme hyperactivity (and no, that's not the sugar. I mean the cocoa beans chocolate is made of.)
Interesting. I take it that Xamoyans are a different species of humans--*Homo xamoyus* or something like that.
Well here's the interesting part, there are actually two variants of Xamoyan man. You see, Xamoyos is composed of two landmasses. Kiklolaura to the north, Kitogwonda to the south.
The humans of the north are bulky and have a lighter skin tone, the ones to the south are slimmer but have a darker skin tone.
I think I may have misunderstood. I thought you meant that only the men were bulkier.
How different are the two groups of people? Are they different species or simply different ethnic groups?
They're closely related, if that makes sense. They evolved under different circumstances over a course of a few million years.
Edit: Also, I was using man in the general sense, like mankind.
Oddly enough, I recall that the original Orc culture of the *Warcraft* games actually used magic to artificially age up a generation of toddlers to physical maturity in order to replenish losses from a war at one point. And boy, oh boy did they regret it when all was said and done. The few remaining adults that had actually lived through childhood normally became very wise & important characters in their extreme rarity.
Warhammer 40k Orks definitely have a "buff 5 year old" feel to them. But they are also sentient mushrooms, so I don't think mammal logic applies.
War**craft**, not War**hammer**. Though they are unexpectedly connected. The original Warcraft game was made from the partially built assets of a Warhammer fantasy game which failed to obtain or otherwise lost the license to use Warhammer IP.
I’m my realm Elven children take 200years to reach full maturity. The parents are actively involved in their care and showing them about life. By the age of around 80 a child is similar in capacity to a ten year old human, but they lose their baby teeth later at around 100-110 years old.
This is part of why Elves tend to have fewer children. It just takes so long for them to grow up and they’re vulnerable for so long.
I foresee several problems with such slow maturation. One is that the population will evolve slowly. Organisms that mature faster with a higher number of both offspring and death of those offspring can evolve faster. Think of salmon. Slow maturation makes the population more vulnerable to extinction. Think of whales.
But I'm not sure about the origins of species in your realm, it might not be evolution.
Who is responsible for raising the children? That is who are considered to the parents of the children? If fathers/inseminating parents are responsible, how do their know the children are there's? What happens with single mothers/gestating parents?
So, the race were originally humans that were transported to the planet during an accidental magical teleportation event. It was just magic firing off randomly due to not having a wielder of sorts. They slowly got longer lived over a few thousand years/multiple generations. The magic in their blood heals them. The event was many thousands of years ago, but in present time an Elf could expect to live to about 3-4thousand years.
The magic is no longer free flowing as a city has been built over the source. The city was built about 10-15 thousand years ago. None of the original inhabitants are still alive. Elves are no longer becoming more longer lived as a result of the magic source being “capped” so to speak. None of them remember that it’s there.
The big bad of the realm wants the source of magic. It is trying to kill all of the Elves that inhabit the city above it so that it can dig it up (magic source) and become super powerful. The Elves just think that the big bad dislikes them and wants to kill them. Which is kinda true. In so far as the big bad considers any life form that isn’t it, to be superfluous and merely a source of food/entertainment.
Evolution on the planet is happening slowly, but not all creatures are magical and therefore slowed down in aging etc. there’s plenty of absolutely ordinary non-magical critters tuning around.
>So, the race were originally humans that were transported to the planet during an accidental magical teleportation event. It was just magic firing off randomly due to not having a wielder of sorts. They slowly got longer lived over a few thousand years/multiple generations. The magic in their blood heals them. The event was many thousands of years ago, but in present time an Elf could expect to live to about 3-4thousand years.
From what you are saying here, I judge that they are still human--genus homo.
The magic, not evolution made them long-lived and probably still maintains the population, protecting the long-lived species from extinction.
Evolution will be happening very slowly if at all. I take it that a generation represents 500 years, assuming that they don't produce children immediately after reaching sexual maturity. So there have been maybe 20 generations. This might be enough generations to have some evolution, but it depends on the number of offspring and if all of those offspring survive or not.
Btw, thanks for asking me questions that get me thinking harder about the lore and history of my realm!
Yes, the race is still genetically human. They can reproduce with humans. There’s some slight genetic alterations due to the magic. Originally they couldn’t use magic, but the constant exposure to the free magic changed them to be able to wield it.
I would say it’s more like 100 generations. As they only slowly got long lived. So the first set of generations were the usual human length. Maybe the first 10-15 generations.
Then as they learnt to wield magic they started living for a few hundred years, then eventually to modern day living as long as they do. No Elves don’t typically have children as soon as they can. I would say 500-700 years old is considered young to parent. Though they wouldn’t be judged.
When their ancestors built the city over the source of magic it was in part by accident (it’s a fantastic place for defending a population due to natural features of the land). But also in part because they had an inkling that the raw power of the area was changing them and they liked the way they were.
With regards to parenting. Any Elf will care for and look after a child/infant Elf. Children are sacred and to be protected at all costs. The gestation period is two years, a female Elf can choose to suspend her cycle and will only ovulate when they want a child. A male Elf could be unaware that a child isn’t theirs, but as they can sense when the female is ovulating they would know that a pregnancy was desired. Elves are telepathic and a mated pair would tend to be conscious of each other’s thoughts. A mental shield is possible but rarely wanted.
Both parents engage heavily in the rearing of children. It’s considered a sacred and joyous duty.
An orphan would always be taken in by relatives or friends of their parents. It’s very rare for an Elf to become an orphan but in the case it happens, there’s no grudgingly engaging with the child. Elven children are treasured by the entire community. (It takes a village to raise a child, is very much accepted in this culture).
It sounds quite utopian.
Do the elves have job specialization? If so how do they determine who will provide childcare and how those people will be supported/compensated? If parents are specialists, they can't care for the children while working. I understand that in real-life human society, childcare is often provided by girls and young women who are poorly compensated or not compensated at all.
Yeah, only about 10% of the population are taught formal magic. Everyone else does various things that a society needs. There’s a monarch but the population love him because he and the Queen are fair and reasonable. They put the welfare of the whole community as a high priority.
When you first meet the Elves they’re in a siege. The whole community is given rations and no one is left to starve if at all possible. Even the king and queen ration their food.
It is a utopian society, the disaster is the big bad and it’s enslavement of the human population (which were teleported about 500years before the story. The free magic isn’t around to change them into Elves atm). The big bad is using humans as canon fodder to eradicate the Elves. The Elves could easily destroy it, so it’s operating in secret where they can’t find it.
There’s a really big war going on, but the Elves don’t particularly want to hurt the humans, if they can avoid it. The problem is that humans are under a spell that destroys their free will and turns them into automatons/zombies-esque. They’re not undead though, just, magically controlled.
The hero of the story will eventually kill the big bad. But things are going to get very rough beforehand…
There's lots of interesting stuff here. In the original Utopia, Thomas More's *Utopia,* there was no private property. Everyone worked for the good of the community. He was engaged in social speculation and seemed to have been particularly concerned about how to deal with the criminal poor. At the time he wrote, poor people were executed for minor crimes.
Thomas More, in *Utopia*, was the first to suggest communism with community ownership of property. It didn't work out well in real life. This might be why "utopia" now means an unrealistically perfect society.
How does your story relate to Thomas More's Utopia? To what extent are you engaged in social speculation?
I've seen enough hentai to know that elves are never extinct because of human intervention.
When I started building family dynamics for draknir noble houses I quickly found my notes on childcare blowing up. It started with the idea that each dynasty would have a select few 'brood-mothers' to raise the children in infancy, then that responsibility is passed to the entire family around the child/teenager stage. Draknir also regard bloodlines as matrilineal so it is very important what lines individuals are connected to through who their brood-mother is.
That concept evolved into dynasties having whole branches in their compositions devoted to the raising and education of children; good social bonds, education, values and all that. And the most senior of this branch, the matriarch (working title), has power on the level to the head of the family because she is the one with control over the development of the dynasty's various lineages. What values are imparted, what gets taught to the next generation, and has final say with who gets to be partners with who.
A very potent matriarch is probably like that grandparent who is nice and formal on the outside but everyone is quietly terrified of them because they had a hand in the upbringing of pretty much everyone in the community. They know you, they've sussed you and if they are slighted in any way then you are absolutely going into the ground.
I'm doing something similar in my worldbuilding with childcare forming the basis of government. I think that how childcare is handled forms the basis of any society.
When we talk about a noble house we usually mean a clan(formally recognized extended familly) that has other people raise their children. Nobility has high social status and so historically has made use of wetnurses and nannies.
How does this fit with entire clans specializing in childcare?
How do your clans/house/bloodlines maintain cohesion? Is their biology like human biology or more like that of ants? With ants, males are haploid and females diploid. Males have only half a set of genes. The hive has only one queen who produces all of eggs. Most of the offspring develop into sterile females. These females care for the offspring, their sisters. The social structure rests on the biology.
I'm trying to get a grasp of how your system works.
I'm dealing with this myself in that my MC is kidnapped at age nine and then raised in an alternate society which she comes to identify with and which has some key differences.
Orcs in my world have no “parents.” Yes, biologically, but the whole tribe works equally to raise the children.
That seems unlikely to happen without some sort of biological or social mechanism. I'm considering this from an evolutionary perspective. Giving preferential treatment to your own children advances your genetics, leading to evolutionary pressure in that direction. So to have the whole tribe rasing the children equally requires that either there's a genetic advantage to do so, or that there is community enforcement.
Which way are you going with this?
Entertainment. The real world revolves about what we do to entertain ourselves, and yet in any secondary world settings, few people have hobbies or interests that aren't directly plot-adjacent or just for fun.
This is a big one for me. What are THEIR stories and shows they tell each other? What games can you make with magic?
This is why I appreciated the worldbuilding of Bards in the elder scrolls. I like the whole idea of that culture surrounding that,
Especially in sci fi settings where it seems like their only entertainment is stuff from centuries ago. I get the value of using stuff that audience can recognise but surely they should have their own music and films as well
Star trek is often criticised for this, but there were episodes exploring the development of brand-new holodeck adventures that were relevant to their current time era. Voyager in particular had several involving the hologram Doctor.
I recently red a book about the peasant life during middle age (a summary of it, as middle age span for a very long periode) and I discovered that they were actually working less than us (even though it was hard work) and had tones of celebrations and holidays during the year.
Entertainment and communal events were very important and numerous to maintain a cohesive society.
I try to write pop-culture-savvy individuals, referencing plays or books. Or in a pre-moderns setting, folk tales and songs.
Better yet is it when someone's hobby becomes the source of a plot point or character development. Like a penchant for preserving the macabre in jars, leads to preserving the severed arm of an enemy, which is later used for magic purposes.
That's a great idea--having a pop-culutre savvy character, I mean. Lets you characterize and worldbuild at the same time!
Final Fantasy 10 does a good job of addressing this
If there's magic, there is never much new infrastructure to accommodate for it, or there is no infrastructure based on the magic. Somehow these people can control fire, water, meteors, dimensional rifts and black magic, but they still live in the mideival era with no special technology.
Especially if magic is common enough. If 1/1000 people have some ability, that could inspire so much development.
Imagine what Leonardo da Vinci would get up to if he could make fire with his hands. Maybe he could get his steam cannon and fighting vehicle to work. He could have built a tank before 1500.
Jeez, DaVinci himself wouldn't even need the fire himself. He was given quite a lot of money by wealthy sponsors, he could've hired people to do whatever he wanted.
Yeah! I hate it when there's worlds (seems to be mostly anime) where just about anybody can learn magic, and yet they just live with bows and arrows, carriages, and mideival tech. Im going to try and avoid that in my world
I love that in Avatar bending is used to enable technology, like flying instruments for the Air Nomads and Steam Engines in the Fire Nation.
I immediately thought of ATLA. In Legend of Korra we see the very real result of the end of a century long war: rapid technological advancement. The ending of the war not only saw the application of war technology into civilian use, but also the cross-cultural sharing of technology/bending techniques. Earthbending-powered trains are used all over the continent instead of just Ba-Sing-Se, lightning bending becomes common knowledge and thus electricity is easily accessible, steam power is utilized by firebenders and waterbenders alike, and the advent metalbending opens up a whole new world of metallurgy and construction. A lot of people criticized Korra for having too big of a technological leap for only 70 years but in my opinion it is completely believable.
> A lot of people criticized Korra for having too big of a technological leap for only 70 years but in my opinion it is completely believable.
And these people have no idea of what they are talking about. Look at real life history. 1800-1900. Massive and rapid technological change.
>Lightning bending becomes common knowledge and thus electricity is easily accessible
I hate when i see people acting like puritans when they dunk on this idea. It’s not so much of a far off idea. Hell, in the original ATLA, Toph was the only one metal bending and ALOK, almost every earth bender is also a metal bender, why aren’t they dunking on that
Yesssss! Came here to say this, knew it'd probably already been said. This is always my favourite detail in magical worlds, integrating of magic into everyday life through infrastructure.
It woupd be interesting to see how the world will develop after the age of Korra. The next Avatar coupd live in a digital age or even a space age
The route I'm considering is that (at least for a large part of history) the mundane governments/royalty in my world would want to rein in the use of magic to a manageable degree, in case magic became a completely necessary part of life and mages thus became indispensable and gained more political power than said governing bodies as a result.
What powers mages have in your world?
It's broken into five subsets:
- **Rune magic** - People who can inscribe magical runes into objects to produce spell-like effects (they themselves do not directly produce magic, but can wield the items they create).
- **Imperial magic** - Your "standard" mages, broken into eight schools: Pyromancy, Aquamancy, Geomancy, Aeromancy, Pathomancy, Necromancy, Divination, and Illusions.
- **Divine magic** - Powers given by gods, generally fairly subtle but requires little study on the user's part. The type depends on the god - for example, blessed followers of Taliesa the healing goddess can receive the ability to heal illnesses and injury.
- **Wyldemagick** - The magic of nature, change, and transmutation. Wyldemages specialise in influencing the wild and in mutating plants and creatures for various purposes.
- **Daemonic magic** - With the right rituals and ingredients, one can summon a daemon from the Void and harness its essence to gain magical powers temporarily. This is very dangerous, as if the wards fail or the summoner's concentration lapses, they can be killed or become possessed by the daemon.
It's worth pointing out that mages haven't taken over the world by force in my setting because of the magical equivalent of MAD. If a mage tries to take over, his/her peers will usually band together to stop him; every mage knows this, so it's only the stupid or the overconfident that attempt it.
And if that fails, it's in the interest of the gods to keep their followers alive (without whom they cease to exist), so a budding magical overlord may simply be blasted apart by divine intervention if his colleagues fail to stop him.
Couldn't it also be said that magic would limit development?
What need is there for cars if you can teleport? Why have toilets if you can make stuff disappear. Why invent ovens when you can produce fire?
Possibly, but it wouldn't necessarily limit development, just push it in a different direction. You may not need cars if you could teleport, but if you have levitation magic, trains could become much more efficient with very little effort, which would be incredibly useful if teleportation only worked on single people or small groups at a time, and not on freight. You may not need generators if you have people who can throw lightning, but you would need efficient ways to store that electricity.
I think the "Shades of Magic" trilogy has some nice examples of this. One thing I loved was that people from the magic world loved things like music boxes, because there was so much work put into making them all without magic, to create an incredibly complex device for a single tune, all without magic, something people from a world with abundant magic wouldn't even consider, or may even think is impossible.
"How can you store sound in a bunch of metal circles with teeth? It can't be done, that's ludicrous!"
But I'm the magic world, architecture is much more whimsical. Building structures takes hours, and once a thing is built it isn't a challenge at all to take it down piece by piece without running the components, then reassemble it to look different. The types of materials you build with are also more fantastical, as enchantments can make weaker materials strong.
Well, in the traditional sense, then maybe it would. However it really depends on your system. For example, in my world magic spells can be stored in special crystals and used in special machines as a single use item or as fuel. It also depends on what % of people have access to their own magic powers. I think that in the future, my world *might* be able to have their own cars, but rather than using gasoline and electricity like ours do, they would use new crystals and runes that have grown ever increasingly complex. Im not thinking that far ahead though, because the story would probably not get that far though.
But it totally does depend. If everybody can teleport? Well yeah they wouldn't need cars. If everybody can use fire, they might not need access to ovens. But I think in most worlds, not everybody has the same power. That would mean there's still room for technology that a small amount of people don't need, but the majority of people do. Or there could be alternatives to modern inventions. Or even special services they can provide
The D&D setting Eberron handles this quite well, with magic being an integral part of life and technology. It also shows how magic would be commodified, monetised and cartelled
This is what I think makes the Empire from Warhammer Fantasy stand out. They were perhaps one of the early examples in fiction of there being institutions to not just teaching magic and creating new mages. But studying magic itself like it's another science. They're part of Altdorf's skyline, they get students from all over the world, and while they do have secretive societies they're more like the exclusive clubs you hear about Harvard or Oxford having than anything underground.
There's multiple colleges, not hidden from the public at all, and they have have political sway through these secret societies. The whole setup is less Hogwarts, more Oxford/Harvard/Exeter/Imperial.
My setting actually does have infrastructure for it! Namely among them is using the magical equivalent of railguns to power a metro, pulling magic accelerates it forward and then pushing magic launches it. At the next station, pushing magic slows it to a stop, people board or depart, then pulling magic accelerates it again.
Non race-specific languages. Seriously, the amount of worlds that are supposedly have the same size as ours, yet everyone seems to speak "common human" is baffling. Compare this to Europe alone for example. Even with the language standardisations and extinctions of the modern era, there are still dozens of major languages spread out all across the continent! And then there are the minor languages, but also dialects to be considered as well!
Yeah my DND group was really confused when I added hundreds of languages to the game that are setting specific. No common really made learning languages and having spells ready to interpret really important and immersive.
Exactly, I think a world with magic is far less likely to have a common language, since if every culture has magic users, there's always an insta translator around. I imagine magic assisted language learning would also be much faster. Maybe depending on your int modifier ;)
How do people conduct business? Is it a strict money for goods/goods for goods, is there haggling involved, are all deals made via proxies, are there laws or cultural morays that must be followed, ect.
Like when I ran dnd I had a dwarvish city have a tradition/style of barter where you would haggle prices over a flaggon of beer. Not too crazy but something to give making transactions have some more flavor other than I give money and recieve x.
It's a minor thing, but one that really impacts the immersion in the world for me - seasonality of fruits (and other products) in medieval-esque settings.
I remember reading an old article about some transatlantic ship, probably in 1920s or sth, and how the passengers were all amazed when the crew started handing out fresh flowers in the middle of an ocean. I was not sure what's so amazing about it at first, until I realised - to us the idea that you can import fruit from the other hemisphere or keep it in a freezer for a few month is very obvious, but for medieval people flowers and fruits are something that only happens at select few months of a year. (Well, some fruits. There are of course kinds that you can store for a long time, like apples.)
Very relevant at the moment, and if one looks into history disease, plague, and illness are common place. I would have liked to a see pandemic in GoT. Allied with is the horrific infant mortality that was common place until very recently. Demographics is interesting imho
I remember a high school history teacher of mine telling us that the primary reason that life expectancy was so low pre-modern age wasn’t because people died 30 years younger, but because infant mortality and childbirth mortality rates were just that high. If you made it through childbirth or past the age of 5, you would probably have lived a modern-day length life.
On a side note, the constant state of war and colonization meant that there was a pretty large imbalance between males and females in continental Europe for quite a while. Something else that would be interesting to see in worlds based around that time period.
> I would have liked to a see pandemic in GoT.
There are actually several in the lore!
* The [Shivers](https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Shivers) happened 60 years after Aegon's conquest in the midst of a harsh winter and famine, which killed a quarter of Oldtown's population and even more in King's Landing.
* The [Winter Fever](https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Winter_Fever) killed about a fifth of King's Landing shortly after the Dance of Dragons.
* The [Great Spring Sickness](https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Great_Spring_Sickness) killed two-fifth King's Landing's population, including King Daeron II and two of his sons, 90 years before the events of the series.
Westeros, specifically, is highly Medieval, in that most people likely didn't travel very far or often. The overwhelming majority of the continent's population are peasants living fully rural existences or in small market towns or hamlets. IIRC there were precisely 3 cities on the entire continent, with castles being the next biggest population centers and everything else being villages, hamlets, thorps or just individual farms.
Obviously, those cities (King's Landing, Lannisport, & Oldtown), dense as they are, would suffer horribly in an epidemic as any medieval city would do. Everybody else would just hunker down and wait it out. I mean, they're provisioned for decade-long winters already, so...
You see a little bit of this in Bronn's discussion of the horrors of besieged cities. The wealthy lock their keeps, and the poor eat each other (or, in the case of epidemics, pile up like cordwood in the streets...)
Slight correction - White Harbor (in the North) and Gulltown (in the Vale of Arryn) are also cities, so there's five true cities in Westeros
I'm writing a city that's in an enclosed dome that people don't leave, and I'm thinking that pandemics would be a regular occurrence there. More crowded living conditions without much ability to space out. Mask wearing is the norm during outbreaks.
Keep in mind that the germs have to come from somewhere. At least, if we're talking about human occupants with conventional metabolisms & immune systems.
Things like cholera, dysentery, and the like come from common environmental bacteria. You can't ever get fully rid of them, but hygeine and sanitation usually relegate them to edge cases because they don't transmit via inhalation, but rather bodily fluids, water, or parasites (fleas, mosquitoes, etc.).
Endemic respiratory viruses, however, still have to either maintain an infected population or come from a reservoir. In our world, there are dozens of animals who are reservoirs for Influenza strains. New ones jump to humans every year, refreshing the pandemic to the point that we've gotten used to it.
My point is that overcrowding does not automatically equal recurring disease outbreaks, especially with good public sanitation. Animal husbandry, however, could regularly produce the kind of plagues you're talking about, assuming one isn't always just percolating in human hosts and flaring up once in a while. Deadly airborne diseases by definition always burn themselves out eventually, so new ones would need to be introduced from carriers who don't die (the animals, in our case).
Pretty much everything that define realistic social interactions & economic forces at play, outside of gaming stereotypes and tropes. Somebody mentioned childcare, which is a very relevant example. In any given world (that is not a disneyland type of world that exists only for the player to go from one attraction to another) there's bound to be economic classes pitted against each others, power struggles, poverty...Over-used stereotypes is really what I think make imaginary worlds so boring. I don't want to hear another "ALL elves are gracious, soft spoken and superior to the average being" story.I want to hear a story about how that elven girl was abused by her seemingly beyond reproach wealthy father and became a prostitute after that, only to become acquainted with despoiled dwarven miners whose mine ownership was taken from them by said father, and lead them into rebellion.
There's a reason why Game of Thrones was so succesful, especially those episodes based upon the books : they told stories of realistic human and familiy webs and tragedies, and since they were so intelligently written, they spoke to everyone. Tyrion and his hopeless quest for his father's approval is one of the best written stories in recent fantasy at least of my knowing, imo. (Please let me know of anything else that good !)
Agriculture isn’t as talked about, that and economics, I stg when a writer gives me an I depth look into the inner mechanisms of their kingdoms it’s just as fun as the action and violence
Hah! The plot line of my first SF book relied heavily on the economics surrounding the growth, harvesting and industrial use of a highly prized natural dye. Maybe if I had added more elves and dragons and magic stuff it would've sold.
I agree about agriculture. This particularly applies to fantasy races who inhabit unusual habitats. For example, you might have a great kingdom of the dwarves living in a vast underground city in the middle of the mountains. Great, so what do they eat? Who grows it, and where? Same for elves in a forest city. Do they all eat fruit and leaves? Maybe they have to import their food from outside, which raises questions of how that trade works, what happens in times of war, and how these exotically located settlements got started in the first place (where did stone-age elves and dwarves live?).
In the book Six of Crows hearing the main cast's leaders plan to undermine an opponent economically was really interesting
My favorite is when they COMPLETELY ignore agriculture. Like vast cities surrounded by complete wilderness is a trope I hope goes away.
Ikr, like tell me about your cultures delicacies and how you made them and got the ingredients
In fantasy: magic as a part of different cultures first, supernatural power second. In the real world, magic, witchcraft, and religion are practices rooted in cultural beliefs and history. They aren't just mystical superpowers, they have real places in a people's culture. I want to see this more often.
Like, it's okay to have standardized, more genre traditional flashy magic, but at the same time I'd like to see what fantasy worlds' more subtle, cultural forms of ritual and witchcraft are.
This is part of why I actively have issues with systems that boil their magic down to just being straight-up super powers. Regardless of whether you believe magic does or does not work, real world practices exist, and I feel like people get so caught up in the sparkles or "originality" of it that they forget that.
I do like the idea of there being both generic-fantasy-pseudoscientific Magic- where you shoot lightning out of your hands and throw fireballs and summon windstorms and there’s a chart detailing how it all works- but if you asked a common peasant, that’s not what they’d mean when they say Magic- they’d be talking about the village medicine-man, or the local witch who can brew any potion, or the knot of iron kept above the door to keep Fay spirits away.
Personally, I’d rather write a world where *both* of those Magics are real, rather than just the flashy stuff.
This. In my setting theres both the usual standard forms of magic and nore traditional superstitious ones. But the more standardized form is usually for the more secular nations and empires that have heldover traditions and practices from ancient times into a more "modern" form. Sorta like a magical version MMA but the traditional forms are still valid in their own right in many different situations.
But there are many other ways to manifest magic, that could be dictated as a different system altogether. I feel it's kinda limiting to have this worldspanning setting but magic is only seen and practiced in just one way rather then having different cultural backgrounds.
Or you could have it like Final Fantasy where they just straight up have different types of mages that wield magic in different forms/ways. Where they still have that standardized form but some people just work it differently.
More than 2 political parties. People seem blind to the fact that most places in the world… don’t… follow… a two party system
In their defense, it certainly lends itself to conflict in a story.
On the downside, it certainly lends itself to conflict everywhere that _isn't_ a story, too...
Well, writing-wise, I feel like some stories would be *more* effective with a many-party system. For example;
Iestria is a constitutional monarchy. The Iestrian Isles are ruled by a queen from the royal family(House Lighthouse) and a parliament made up of nearly a 1000 representatives from the various Iestrian Vassal States. While Iestria’s monarch has executive power, only the parliament can pass laws. Most representatives are aligned with a party, but no party is large enough to pass laws itself, since a majority is required. This means that coalitions must be made.
So, say our villain’s party; thr crownbreakers, an anti-monarchy party from the democratic province of Arli, wish to abolish the monarchy and place their leader in power. Well they can’t do that without slowly getting several other parties to ally with them. This means a villain actually has to be smart. It also shows that the villain isn’t supported by a buncha clones; that there’s several groups that supported them. Your not fighting a single evil monolith.
Is he really the villain if he wants to abolish the monarchy though?
Maybe not. But what if the protagonist is the princess of Iestria? It’s all about perspective.
Anti monarchy. Hell yeah. Have a random free award.
Also, having some of your "people" not wanting to play the politics game, for a multitude of reasons
Even in multiparty systems like the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Georgia, etc…there tend to be two to three primary parties with others getting a fairly small percentage of the vote, or coalitions which still cause the same effect.
Any political system which requires a majority in a legislature to pass laws is going to have a 2-3 party/faction system naturally form due to the inherent need that X-% is the bare minimum to even function.
One can create a world with a two party system where the system of Government (first past the post, more winner take all) or the society where for whatever reason the politics have aligned themselves because of a given important issue along two sides. (Say France at the time of the Catholics vs Huguenots, which still had people in the middle but arrayed largely on that issue. Or say Cavaliers vs Roundheads in England. )
Most of the time though, I like where there are multiple interests and power bases both within the system of government and outside it (business interests, a mob, religious interests, racial minorities etc.). Preferably with intersecting issues.
Alliances of interest should make sense. In the US two main political parties does, but I really do wish people considered their own worlds and why the divisions more.
courting, realistic recipes, those little patches of day to day worldbuilding that makes it more organic
You should be higher up, both of these things that you can include in a regular story to add more flavour (in case of recepies literally), and not take a weird side angle like describing somebody taking a shit and how they deal with their poopwater.
Man there are so many people here interested in where poop go.
I think something you rarely see in worldbuilding are competing religions or differing sects/denominations of "THE religion".
Admittedly, if it were to be a large part of the story, that may turn people off, but it's never mentioned that "those people are heretics because.." or there simply being more than one temple in a city devoted to different deities.
I think it's something that is expressly felt in the typical medieval fantasy setting where you might expect at least lip service to religion to be a very large part of people's lives.
People's religions give them interesting curses, too.
By Grabthar's hammer, by Crom. "I swear by the silk dress of the Lady of Life, and the belt she ties it with."
Having people need to time events to the phases of the moon, or finish a quest before the feast of the virtuous Devout Dismestørr, adds interest in a fairly easy manner.
It makes sense that a large town would have the fantasy equivalent of a church, a cathedral, a synagogue, a temple, and a mosque, especially if the population is diverse.
Having a traveler mistake one for another could be fun.
There's no reason you can't have both humor and respect fro religion in your fantasy.
A note to remember: polytheism, like ancient Greek religion, wasn't about picking a god like a football team. Everyone prayed to all the gods, depending on their needs.
Demeter for a good harvest, Hestia for a prosperous household, Artemis for favor in hunting, etc.
Henotheism, the practice of adhering to one god above others, was generally only for the priesthoods.
This is another great point, in a polytheist society, the different temples compete for worshippers, but not ideologies so much.
But even where henotheism is practiced, not everyone will worship the *same* "one true religion", unless it's a state religion that only gets lip service while people worship as they will in secret.
There isn't really that much Nerodiversity in fantasy or si-fi.
In fantasy some would say "well most fantasy is set in worlds that resemble our past."
So what? You could still have nerotypical characters, nerotypical people have exsisted for a very long time. It's just recently it's become more normalised, and you could still have it be a normalised thing in a world that resembles the past.
How does different cutures in your world react to nerodiversity?
Is it normal? Is it seen as a curse? How does it affect the day to day lives of your characters?
There is neurodiversity in sci-fi but it's usually in a quite offensive "All aliens are autistic" way or "This alien species is autistic".
More writers do need to think about neurodiversity because it has always existed and has often times been quite important.
Yep. That's such bullshit reperensentation.
The only Si-fi franchise I can think of with proper nerodiverse reperensentation is Star Trek with characters like Tilly and Barcley, but they're also a bit guilty of the nerodiverse alien one.
Toilets. What is the current toilet situation? Where’s it dumped? What’s the sewage system? Who deals with it?
I'd say that you can't just handwave that for big population centers... but London basically did just that for thousands of years as one of the largest cities on the planet. It did not go anything like well, and retrofitting modern sewers, running water and public sanitation was costly and difficult... and not nearly as far in the past as you might think.
For most of the city's history, what toilets there were emptied directly into the Thames, people commonly relieved themselves directly onto the streets when away from home (as did millions of horses) with little to no organization to clean it (or any of the more mundane litter - tobacco ashes & ends became a serious problem at one point all by themselves). Upscale Victorian homes had a "Night Soil" room in the basement that was a sort of primitive septic tank with a dirt floor to allow fluid to drain from empty chamber pots. A couple times a year you could hire men to literally shovel out the dried waste and go (presumably) bury it somewhere or compost it into fertilizer or the like. From the room full of dried poo in your basement. \[shudder\]
The *Guardians of the Flame* fantasy series had one city which dealt with all this by running their sewer system into a central pit... which held a chained dragon. Doomed to wallow in an entire city's worth of human waste, it used its fire breath to cremate the material regularly lest it be buried by foulness. Workers would then periodically shovel out and cart away the much-reduced ashes. IRL nothing like this was usually necessary until cities got truly large (i.e. Victorian London), since large population centers are almost always adjacent to running water or a coastline. But these guys had the bright idea of keeping their river cleaner...
My whole world felt apart when I was writing a story with many races when I realize that the infrastructure for bathroom that accomodate them all would be impossible, though later I came around and decided it was realistic that some places would simply not have bathroom for some species because of geography or prejudice.
I did made a sewage system that I was particularly happy with, which was a certain magic plant that quickly dealt with in "open swamps" - as I call it - but were a bit problematic because they would grow indiscriminately if you left it without regular care.
I reference the lack of sanitation a lot in my technological/industrailization uplift stories.
Lol, people recently invented flushable toilets in my world, so it's a bit of a joke in my book that my characters are so amazed by it despite all the actual magic stuff that happens.
Saints. Lots of worldbuilders could tell you all about the current heroes of the world and they might even have a few martyrs that people talk about - heroes of a certain cause, usually a martial one.
But who are the champions of virtue in the world? Who do the common folk look up to, and what do they tell about them? Is it accurate? Most hagiography isn't, but there's often an urge to make every character we write understand the exact metaphysics of our world and only speak accordingly (almost as if they were written by someone who does know it, who knew?) Who are the contemplatives, healers, hermits, sages, innovators, or exemplars? Who is responsible for the latest medical breakthrough in the world? Who were great philanthropists? Who was the most virtuous leader?
"Saint" is a bit of a loaded word, depending on where you're from culturally, but I agree with the sentiment that past and current heroes are often non-existent unless they're major characters.
Slang. The way people speak is an important part of any culture, and slang is a way to show how a culture/region has changed their own language over the years.
It gets on my nerves when two people on completely different sides of someone’s world both speak the exact same.
Astronomy / Constellations
They’re a big part of many mythologies but we tend to forget they exist…
How healing magic would impact Medicine and Surgery in European Inspired fantasy.
The existence of healing magic would significantly impact both the fields of Internal Medicine and Surgery. Traditionally surgery was considered blue collar work beneath physicians. But depending on how healing magic works it may render surgery entirely obsolete.
Alternatively if Magic requires a great deal of education and wealth than Physicians and Surgeon may act as lower class equivalents to the former. Though the healing they provide is less effective it is far more affordable than magic.
In my world healing magic is very rudimentary and only a handful of magic users have the mana necessary to heal life threatening wounds, alchemy and medicine are very much the easier alternatives.
Like the How it's made show perspective. This sometimes is included for the strong important stuff like critical product (Zydrate, Plumbus, Soylent), but we will never see the process of making a brick. No description of a sewing. Nothing about gathering forest food and cooking it properly.
Some of this stuff is guaranteed just by the setting (I don't need to be told how or where ferrocrete is made in Star Wars. Coruscant probably devotes some of its factory-continent to that). But others you get the sense that only the city-of-focus exists so where are people getting everything to live their comfortable lifestyles?
Factories are *biiig* places that demand a lot of hands to work at 100%. And when you have entire sectors devoted to production they can be as big as towns. In more medieval societies people worked where they lived. A lot of people would have a workshop at the same place where they lived. It's what made cities so noisy and busy before cars because street-level shops and workshops would be just about everywhere.
>some stuff is guaranteed
Okay, I can live with that. Though having a bit more details invested in describing manufacturing stuff may add some engagement. Like, ferrocrete could have just a mere process described by a droid, while the main characters pass by. It is not needed for every setting, but it may add some deepness in my opinion.
I feel like it’s rare to see thought put into logistics. Stuff has to get places, and historically how stuff got to places has a huge effect on shaping culture.
Are you shipping things? Or bringing them over land? What difficulties might a supply voyage face? What are the most common types of pack animals and when might someone opt for a different option? If it’s hard to get stuff to a place, what else keeps it inhabited and how do they compensate for infrequent or dangerous deliveries?
Idk, I just think irl logistics are fascinating and there’s a lot you could do with it in world building.
A codpiece (dick armour/accessory) in a medieval fantasy.
Supply chains and trade routes: where do all those products come from? A lot of fantasy worlds seem to have a product-based commerce, despite the fact that most common items would be manufactured locally historically. But it's not the case that people didn't leave their village, or wouldn't own anything from far away. Some of the earliest writings we have is a king returning his sandals that he ordered from hundreds of miles away. Look up bronze age trade routes: the creation of bronze required materials being gathered from vast distances. Personally, I'd love to see a story about this. What happens when the kingdom that mines all the tin gets invaded by demons? How long will the other factions be able to survive without the precious metal?
I determine what their staple crops are since this affects so much culture.
In fantasy, I think Tolkien really skewed us to consider only two primary movers in history: war and magic. I'd like to see a more complex world where other factors come into play.
Also, more chips and queso. You can never have enough.
What factors do you think or would you like to see more of? it seems quite interesting to me!
Philippines who never learn to swim because they believe the god of the sea will either take you or not. That's fascinating to me and such concepts are delightful in fictional worlds.
I think others has said this already, but I think that how magic is embedded within the culture is very important
Cleaning and sanitation. I'm playing around with the concept of an industry that use tamed gelatinous cubes to clean
Sports and every day/recreational uses for magic
Usually the most basic foundations of world development. People fail to account for geology, tectonics, rainfall patterns, wind and water currents, and regional temperature.
I always see these examples of maps that people have built but they have bizzare shapes and badly-planned climates. It’s surprising how many storytellers trip up on this and make completely unbelievable worlds.
Are you a fan of the youtuber artefexian? He has a ton of videos on these topics.
For some reason, I’ve seen most still cling to the humanocentric definition of suitable conditions for life on other planets. Give me an alien civilization that has never seen water before! Give me plants that have never seen the light of day yet continue to thrive! Give me animals with no diet! If you’re offering me exotic, make the shit exotic!
Most of these things aren't humanocentric, they are dictated by phisics and chemistry. For example, for for a lot of biolchemical reactions to occur, their reagents need to be dissolved in something, and water is an extremely good solvent. Carbon-oxygen-water combination is believed to be the most optimal for development of life.
Yet, it’s fantasy. Magic isn’t bound to physics in many fantasy worlds, so why would plants and biochemical reactions be bound to physics? I mean, then we should just exclude alchemy from all fantasy book bcs it does not conform to physics.
Nobody said you shouldn't stray from these principles, but if you are straying you gotta be aware of what you are doing. Just calling them 'humanocentric' already shows a major lack of understanding as to why they are written the way they are.
Ya gotta know the rules before you can break them in a clean and interesting way.
Read Adrian Tchaikovsky, spider cities and octopus space stations(Children of Time/Children of Ruin), trilobite space travelers and Neanderthal researchers (Doors of Eden).
Ministries, like ministry of education, ministry of finance, ministry of agriculture, ministry of welfare, ministry of health, etc.
Ministry of Love disagrees with you.
[Removed by the Ministry of Truth]
Not exactly what you mean probably, but the government of one of the nations in my world is a supreme council made up of six specialists that manage a different aspect of the country: Economy, Health, Education, Armed forces and Public relations (still thinking of the sixth one, but I chose Religion as a placeholder).
How do you want to see them used?
Something that I feel like a weirdo for always bringing up, is "what kind of toilets/bathrooms does the world have?" It's ridiculous, feels kind of wrong to bring up, but it is in my opinion one of the most crucial forms of worldbuilding available. Because it says _so much_ about your world; how advanced their understanding of germs is, how advanced their technology for plumbing/waste management is, how they culturally view "private" matters, do they have specific physical requirements for special facilities, do certain groups have better toilets than others, do they even need to go to the bathroom, the list goes on. It's a weird, awkward question that reveals way more about a world than it has any right to.
Just like the ‘absence of conflict’? almost every single thing here I see revolves around war and battles
Bridges. Always thought you could have a lot of fun with bridges but everyone always seems to go quite functional with them. Only example I can think of is ASOIAF which has both the Long Bridge of Volantis and the Twins.
how they shit
Food, transportation, agriculture, husbandry, local legends, cryptids, art, minor holidays, vexilology, mathematical concepts. All fun, very rarely used.
A Races Family beliefs (how Familes act think of how 1 race to has to have their kids be part of the military or they wont be accepted) I dont think its a common thing
Yeah most of the time main heroes either have no family or lost them to main evil guy
And it feels like most of fantasy worlds are atheistic
And let's not forget that all the good races are just the same people no cultural difference no racism either
Didnt consider how it's actually common for Race descriptions Have this sooo maybe nvm
Probably don't use "race" outside of a specific fantasy game context like this. I did a massive double take thinking your were talking about real life people there.
I would say something that I would like to see is different languages, or even dialects in use. In a lot of books/series the main character(s) travels hundreds or thousands of miles, yet everyone seems to speak the same language, which isn't unheard of but they all seem to speak the same variety of their language. No differences like the ones seen between North American/European/Oceanic English, or the abundance of varieties in the Middle East or the German peoples.
I think that's less of a 'it doesn't exist' and more of a 'it'd be a bother to write about compared to the amount of flavor added'
Although it wouldn't be that much of a bother to add a single line saying that a character is speaking in a unique dialect or something along the lines.
Politics? Most worlds have a really underdeveloped political systems that are superficial understandings of feudalism, the Roman Empire, or US Republicanism.
Bureaucracy is never addressed within most sci fi worlds. Administrating a few planets is one thing but handling the administration over several star systems is a near impossible task without some sort of self governance.
Like, taps and stuff?
Like toilet paper and stuff!
Nobel prizes or other equivalents. Who are the famous inventors and scientists (could be magicians) who revolutionised society somehow
It always baffles me that not many people experiment with what's above them.
Why is it always a sky? Or sometimes you get two sun's or a few Moons when they are feeling courageous.
I was struggling with structuring my society and the power balance between the classes and someone I know gave me great advice in making sure you have proper middle-class/merchant guilds and families that control the means of production of vital things to keep the upper class partially in check otherwise you have no reason to not make them tinpot dictators unless they’re unrealistically benevolent. I realised that I didn’t often see the actual power aspect of these relationships in some worlds - it was just those with power and the plebs.
For example in ASOIAF while you have say the Starks, they’re reliant on all the minor houses or the goods merchants to actually keep them at the top of the pyramid. The respect has to go both ways.
The fact that other people's worlds and their's are all connected as they were all made by us humans meaning they all exist in the same multiverse/multiverses
Port cities with no fishing industry. You'd think whatever reason there's not any fishing, oystering, crabbing, etc would be significant enough to mention. Even shione of the most disgusting, polluted, and ravaged harbors has crabs in it.
Development in values, as well as differences in values, and the conflicts around that. In the ancient world child killing was acceptable, as well as in Viking society. This was changed with the arrival of Christianity - and was a major social issue.
To this day, honour killings are more accepted within large part of the Arab world, than homosexuality:
This is a major source of tension between Arab refugees and the native population, when they arrive in European countries - seeing as Europe is arguably the most HBTQ-friendly place in the world.
Yet I rarely see similar developments or conflicts in fantasy. Gondor doesn't seem to have significant value oriented conflict with Rohan, nor can I think of any other example. The exception to this comes on the issue of conquest and slavery, where evil societies in fantasy are usually pro imperialism and slavery and the good societies are against.
Where's all the mental illness huh????. Where is it????????
Considering how often "autistic" people in fiction end up looking like upscale'd children, or like something from /r/fakedisordercringe, I think we can do without.
Most people simply don't know anywhere near enough about non-neurotypical people to accurately portray them. Fuck most of the time I see an adhd character i get a little offended.... let alone some of the harder to understand and portray like autism.
I simply don't expect most authors to be able to understand let alone write them with respect.
An element many forget to includ is where they leave and what the fictional peopel do with there poop
I always found it weird how in sci-fi stories, both people and aliens alike still use 'years' as a way of measuring time. Sure, works for us specifically. But a year is based on the time it takes for OUR planet to revolve around OUR sun. Hardly fitting for the Yorgs of Zartog.
There should be a Universal way of dating, but I've never read/seen anything that uses one...
A lot of SF has "standard time", which generally equates to the human civilisation using Earth time. There's a reason for it: if the author starts talking about Zartogian Cycles, I'm going to have to consult the appendix to translate it into Earth years. Same reason why I don't really enjoy it when worlds use completely different days of the week. It's a faff to work out what they're talking about!
Originality when it comes to races and species. Elves, dwarves, orcs, gnomes, lizardfolk, etc. etc. have been done done done done done done, then done again, done done, then done some more. Come up with your own stuff! I really don't get how more people are not accused of plagiarism, when they have 5 flavors of elves straight out of WoW with a few TES style anthropomorphic animal races. It's lazy and uninspired.
Hey, if it works, it works!
That's not how plagiarization works.
Yeah I see a lot of times that word being thrown around when someone is strongly inspired from X work.
As long as the author doesn't copy everything, gives his own spin and changes some stuff it can be counted as a reinterpretation.
Which is why people can use Tolkien elves as archetypes in the first place.
But, I like elves... Pointy ears are cool.
Female Orgasms being socially accepted
Podcasts, nobody ever talks about the podcasts of their world. I wanna know what your space truckers are listening to on their long journeys
how elves get enough protein even though they're usually vegan.