01. What is the sentient race in your world? 02. How many sentient races are there? 03. Does your world have any taboos? 04. Does your world have magic or science? 05. What are the cultural views on sex, marriage, same sex partners? 06. Are marriages arranged or do they happen naturally? 07. Does either gender have cultural supremacy over the other? 08. What are the cultural views regarding children? 09. Are there defined gender roles? 10. Is there a class system? A caste system? 11. How are non-dominant races or species viewed and treated? 12. Is there a predominant religion? 13. Does religion play a large or small role in the daily lives of the inhabitants? 14. What are some of the customs of the people? 15. Do the people practice circumcision? Slavery? Tattooing? 16. What other body altering do they perform?
Cultures, Races and Species
01. Are any of your cultures, races or species based from real world models (ie. Japanese, American Indian, etc.)? If yes, how are you making them different and unique to your world?
02. Do you have naming conventions? Do your names sound like they all belong to the same culture, race or species (ie no Cleopatra's slipped in with your Mariko's, Ichiro's and Hikaru's?)?
03. Do your cultures, races or species have their own styles of art, music and dance?
04. Do your cultures, races or species have a particular fighting style? Or unique weapons they use?
05. Do your cultures, races or species have a particular style of dress or decoration? For males? For females?
06. Is there any conflict between the different cultures, races and or species?
07. Do your cultures, races or species have any restrictions or limitations?
01. What style of government does your key country have? (monarchy, matriarchy, democracy...) 02. Is the government stable? 03. Does religion have a major presence in this country? 04. What style of religion is it? 05. Are there guilds that have great presence in this country? 06. Are the nobles, merchants and wealthy sorts content with the current government? 07. Are there any other factions in competition or in power struggles with the government? 08. If there are factions, how many factions are there? Who is allied with whom? 09. Do the power struggles reach beyond the country's borders? 10. Do the power struggles weaken the government? Enough to tempt other nations to invade? 11. What would happen if the other factions took power? What would the country be like afterward? 12. What would happen if another nation invaded? What would the country be like afterward?
01. Are your villages, towns, cities, etc. located in realistic places? Like near a water source, a crossroads, a port, a day's walk from the next village or town?
02. Yes, farmers have to exist even in a fantasy world. Is there enough farmland and or other food resources to feed your population?
03. If wood is a resource in your world, are there enough woodlands to sustain a population using it for heating, building, etc.?
04. Are the physical features on your map sensible? Is there a water source like permanently snow capped mountains to feed rivers and lakes or springs for creeks? Do your rivers flow downhill?
05. Does your climate actually support your terrain? Is there enough rainfall to support life or a forest?
06. Does your flora and fauna work in the climate? Is the climate appropriate for growing fruit and veggies? You're not trying to grow oranges in the rain forest or tomatoes in the desert?
01. Have you created a whole solar system? Is it similar to Earth or very different? 02. How many of the planets in your solar system can support life? 03. Is there more than one: Sun, moon or other heavenly body that is visible to the naked eye? Requires a telescope or more to see? 04. How have you made the science work for any of the situations in #3? 05. How have any of the situations in #3 affected life on the planet? How have things developed or adapted? 06. Is your main planet Earth sized or different? 07. If you have a different sized planet how has that affected the planet and the life on the planet? 08. Is the terrain different from Earth? 09. Is the geology stable? Are there any peculiar geological events? 10. Are there any peculiar weather events? How does it affect the living things? 11. How long are the years, months, days? Do you have a calendar? 12. Is the flora on the planet different from Earth? Other varieties? How do they grow and thrive? 13. Is the fauna different from Earth? Other species? How do they live and thrive? 14. Who are your main 'peoples'? Are they humanoid or based on animals, birds, reptiles, insects or something else? 15. Does magic work in the this world? How does it work? What kind of magic is it? How does it affect the natural world and its peoples?
So have you got your world all nicely created now? Awesome! Then make sure you don't sabotage all your hard work with these common world building traps. Doh!