Photograph via snooOG

A subreddit for prompts about worldbuilding. A vague question or statement is posed, and people respond with what it might be in their mind.

A subreddit for prompts related to worldbuilding.

A vague word, phrase, question, or statement is posed, and it's your job to respond with what you feel is appropriate.

You can respond with something as simple as a definition; or a selection of dialog, or a short story.

Perhaps even the beginnings of an entire novel will be inspired by an innocuous phrase.

This is an exercise in building concrete ideas within your world from abstract concepts with no context.

/r/WorldPrompts is not genre specific.

Discussion of responses is greatly encouraged. However, please keep any criticism constructive.

Image prompts are allowed, but please consider posting them here first.

Keep your submissions vague, if it is too specific it will be removed. There is no definition for "too specific" at this point. We just know it when we see it.

Downvote sparingly. The function is for off-topic or negative posts, not ideas that you don't find interesting.

This isn't a rule, but please try to post at least 3 responses to other prompts for each submission you make. The community will not be able to sustain on submissions alone.

Related Subreddits:











10,035 Subscribers


A city lost in time....

It is the capital of what was once a great empire. But the empire has fallen into decline due to a strange circumstance throwing its governance into chaos....

It all began one day after a sandstorm blew in the night before. The citizens did not remember the day before. They acted as if the previous day had never happened, and simply re-enacted that day to the best ability they could - of course, things would be altered if someone called them on the strange repetition, confusing them with the absurdity of living the same day twice. Until, someone noticed....

There was a man slain in a mugging yesterday. But here he was today, alive and well. Until the mugging repeated itself, and he died again. Tomorrow he will also die. Again and again, except where someone intervenes.

The city is caught in a time-loop. Every night, a sandstorm blows in and wipes away the last twenty-four hours. For over two hundred years, the capital has re-lived the same day. But the rest of the world moves on. The empire fell into chaos with the emperor unable to effectively govern, trapped in time as he is. Over the ages, different approaches have been tried - looping the court in has proven inefficient, just re-teaching two hundred years of history every single day. And answering so many questions with just "we don't know." Cutting them out is... messy. Trying to establish a new capital can be misunderstood as rebellion, and the emperor mobilizes forces to put it down. It's just one city and just one day. But their resources always reset, so it would be a fight without end.

The Great Charade is the current solution. A new capital exists, but a phony court is still held. Delude the emperor and his court into thinking he still wields power. Appease him with false platitudes and enough red tape that nothing he demands is accomplished before the nightly reset.

12:20 UTC


You live with your commoner husband and daughter. What you didn't know you were the long lost daughter of a power duke who has know found you.

21:22 UTC


Why are there so many sapient species going around?

Assuming fantasy races were not created by gods, why are there so many sapient species around that share so many attributes, i.e. humanoid?

16:30 UTC


So what if Avatar the Last Airbender but they coontrol the elements of real life and the laws of physics

This is somewhat of a joke but I actually think it's an interesting concept. Side note, imagine ATLA's intro but Katara goes through the entire periodic table

21:37 UTC


New Age 2023

We're at a new age- the age of the influencer/social media is wrapping up and coming to an end. Now it's all about AI. :x

18:15 UTC


And so, the Age of Starlight comes to an end

1 Comment
03:30 UTC


Everyone is immortal.

Every-living-one is immortal.

Suffer a stroke? Immortal.
Attacked with a knife? Immortal.
Victim of a nuclear explosion? Immortal.
Does not know if there will be a day after today? Immortal.
It has arrived the time for the Sun to eat the whole Earth? Immortal.
Your ship's superluminal drive was defective, and you felt at a black hole? Immortal.
Dog? Immortal.

01:33 UTC


A FBI-NSA taskforce investigates claims that random criminals are "routinely disguising themselves as other people's family members" and "regularly getting away with crimes and genocide"

09:18 UTC


In 2023, an extraterrestrial alien lands on a lawless and chaotic Earth populated by shapeshifting people constantly disguised as other people. The ET alien makes his way from the North Pole down to a postapocalyptic and lawless Britain populated by "shapeshifting criminals wearing disguises".

00:22 UTC


ask me some questions about my power system,please

i have built a world in which people get their powers from a special serum which has to be injected into the bloodstream and then the person gets his power known simply as "buffs", the serum is actually the blood of the gods of the said world and the plot slowly reveals how and when that serum got into existence, other minor details:

the serum cannot get finished as it can be diluted infinitely by adding fresh blood of any organism smarter than a dog

only a select group of individuals are aware of the existence of this serum

the serum is not homogeneous, as it is made of the blood of gods, the type and level of buff you will get will depend directly on which god's blood has been injected.

the liquid is completely inert and cannot be altered with in any manner and can only be diluted by blood, if mixed with any other liquid, it will stay separate from said liquid, but can be heated in order to make it more concentrated

yes, in case of too much injection of the blood, the user will awaken a buff that can and will kill the user.

those are some details about my power system, apart from the discussed topics, ask any other burning and unanswered questions related to my power system

18:46 UTC


You and your commoner husband had prepared a good meal for your children, when suddenly knight bust through the door and grabe you and take you to a old nobleman who says 'finally i have found my long lost daughter. Now its time to get you a properly married to a duke'

1 Comment
01:25 UTC


I need to expand my world, I don't have ideas. Prompt me! Starting worldbuilding on a world surrounding magic trains.

I don't know if I'll get any prompts, but I thought I might as well try, I need some questions to answer.

My world revolves around a magic system centered on trains. Enchanted Trains that magically shift between our world and a dimension very different than our own, the Black Railway. They exit in flashes of lightning and on tracks that quickly appear beneath them, starting and ending wherever they need to be (not controlled by the conductor or anyone for that matter, seems to have a mind of its own.) Train robberies, train fights, and other such activities ensue, you get the gist.

I've some stuff built out (the names of the countries that sort of kind of replace the US, some minor history details, a few characters, some ideas about how the magic works,) but what questions are still begging to be answered about it?

09:43 UTC


Due to the power anyone can have for the price of a hefty coin, the law prohibits the deadly force of a combination of magic and technolgical based weaponary, but there are loop holes to this, being a extender to a pistol that helps aim your shot being an example. what other loop holes can be used?

For extra points we are working with early modern weapons, swords, daggers, spears, muskets , mace, and so on.

23:22 UTC


we discover a black hole heading towards the solar system, but luckily, we invented every sci fi technology just before we discovered it. Every country on earth was given their own solar system to start with, but eventually so did every group desiring a state that had more than 1000 adherents

when I say "sci fi technology" I mean stuff like casual FTL (ala Star Wars) as well as gravity generation, inertial dampening, extremely fast sublight travel and fast terraforming. That sort of thing

and when I say "group" I mean everything from unrecognized nations (like Kurdistan and Palestine) to separatist movements (Texas secessionists, Scottish Nationalists, you get the idea) to purely ideological groups (like Communist movements that want a place to start, or ethnic and/or racial nationalists) so long as it has more than 1000 people desiring it and proposing it, they get their own system

1 Comment
17:49 UTC


Prompt me on just about anything!

I am working on worldbuilding, and I have come up with the main stuff, but I need to make a WORLD, so I need a lot more stuff. Spit out any ideas you have! no bad ideas in brainstorming and spitballing. If you want, I can even credit you for any ideas I end up using! :) I'm looking for stuff like:

  • Political figures (royalty, politicians, gods, etc.)
  • mythical creatures (hybrids, shrunk/enlarged animals, completely imagined species, etc.)
  • artifacts
  • armor & weaponry
  • legends/myths
  • traditions & historical events
  • other creative fantasy stuff :>
03:00 UTC


Vampires reveal themselves to the world, and demand a homeland in Antarctica to The UN, and in exchange they'll take the worst of humanity as a food source

what do you think?

00:11 UTC


When I Say "Street Racing, A Group Of Socialites and Discs that Unlock Tollbooths to a Greece-like Island in the year 2040"... What Do You Think?

What do you think

05:35 UTC


Criminals spying on people's web histories wrongly think a person has won the lottery and inadvertently stumble upon the disclosure of a lifetime: the existence of extraterrestrial life beyond Earth and a pending impact event due to take place on Earth in 2026.

04:12 UTC


I need more gods.

In my world, there are a number of godlike beings, called Devourers, that utilize psychic power to exert their will. This psychic power is provided by the psyweave, aka the sixth dimension, which acts as the hub between different universes that holds them together. The Devourers have created this universe, and all others, and power physics with their will. Most also create special "deific elements" not possible through regular chemistry, either for personal use or for use by panhumanity, that have special effects that may bend physical properties around them under certain stimuli. Devourers are also biological creatures, meaning they reproduce, and while they may bend their physical form to their preference, almost all take the form of their natural biological state present from birth, namely, an armored worm-eel thingy. They do vary wildly in size, color, pattern, and design of armor, however, usually made of a deific element.

So, what is all of this for?

Well, they are biological creatures that reproduce, and yet I have a disappointingly small amount despite that fact. So, I turn to you, dear redditor, to help me create more Devourers. Go wild!

Link to this world's AMA, which should provide some needed information about the world in general: https://www.reddit.com/r/worldbuilding/comments/10mvico/journey_to_the_end_of_time_an_ama/

Here's a comment from another post that should give you a good idea of what most Devourers are like: https://www.reddit.com/r/worldbuilding/comments/10s95xl/what_are_your_gods_names_and_what_are_their/j70x26m/?context=3

Is this exploitative? Yes.

Do I care? No.

23:47 UTC


Toto drove the vampires out of Africa

After the release and subsequent popularity of the song "Africa" by Toto in 1982, there have been no vampires in Africa. It turns out through a divine loophole that millions fervently crying out "I bless the rains down in Africa" or worse "God bless the rains down in Africa" is enough to make the entirety of Africa inhospitable to vampires, due the the rainwater spontaneously turning into holy water.

Story prompts:

What happens as the vampires first realize the rain is turning holy?

What about when they evacuate Africa and encroach on other territories?

How are these vampires and by extension the song "Africa" responsible for notable events since 1982?

God, I laughed so hard when I thought of this.

1 Comment
17:46 UTC


Dragons reproduce like frogs or other amphibians

03:10 UTC


We've got 4 rules around here: Tell your own jokes, don't touch the strippers no matter how much they beg you to, there are only 3 Star Wars movies, and don't fear the reaper.

1 Comment
01:23 UTC


The Three Faerie Courts

(reposted from r/worldbuilding because I didn't know about this subreddit when I posted):

There are three Faerie Courts. You've probably heard of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. For a time, that's all there was. But as humanity reached for the stars, some fey took interest in their interest. With the advent of a few satellite colonies and a moon base (and later, even Mars!), there came a demand for smuggling operations so that pixies, sprites, gremlins, and more could see these same sights. It was a demand that changelings and other human-passing fey were quite equipped to meet.

And among those clever fey was none other than Robin Goodfellow. Yes, Puck himself. And one day, on a whim, Puck departed for Mars, telling Oberon off and declaring those who live beyond the earth are no longer part of Oberon's domain. Nay, they are now a part of Robin Goodfellow's court - the Astroseelie Court!

14:08 UTC


Scientists announce that after gathering all available evidence, it's almost universally agreed that arthropods originate from space.

01:01 UTC


[FICTION] In November 2023, a black tourist on holiday in Thessaly in Europe goes to sleep one night and wakes up from a nightmare about an asteroid strike devastating Galway, √Čire to find himself...in Seisreim...in Namibia! He begins to realize that he, too, may be...a "Jumper".

18:12 UTC


A dumb criminal gang which doesn't think far ahead and has its members put on "life-like disguises" inadvertently catches the eye of a malevolent shadow government which decides to completely wipe out the dumb gang...and use their disguises for its own malevolent ends: genocide.

1 Comment
23:10 UTC


Feathered Dragons

Like how people thought dinosaurs were purely scaley, but now know they were probably more feathered than scaled

12:33 UTC


In a solar system where oxygen is everywhere, a steampunk society builds a city in the surface of the sun. How would that look like?

Magic is allowed. Ignore gravity.

05:17 UTC


The African Empire, a small nation on the African continent, encompassing a surface area the size of Iceland and with a population of just 14 million, is accused by the world in 2012 of "receiving funding from Arab nations and Britain" after it suddenly builds "the world's tallest skyscraper".

The building site which the "world's tallest skyscraper" was built on was previously the site for the two-storey "Imperial Cultural Museum" and most cities and towns in the African Empire did not have any buildings taller than a few stories, with the tallest building in the imperial capital being "just 75 meters high".

18:31 UTC


August 2311 - Following a rebellion on the mining colony Jorvik 231 on the exomoon Celeste, Hwendor CEO Howard Galton orders his military to "starve out" the rebellious colonists and "starve them into submission". Communications with the rest of the system are blocked and supplies are stopped.

1 Comment
09:49 UTC

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