/r/worldbuilding

Photograph via snooOG

For artists, writers, gamemasters, musicians, programmers, philosophers and scientists alike! The creation of new worlds and new universes has long been a key element of speculative fiction, from the fantasy works of Tolkien and Le Guin, to the science-fiction universes of Delany and Asimov, to the tabletop realm of Gygax and Barker, and beyond.

This subreddit is about sharing your worlds, discovering the creations of others, and discussing the many aspects of creating new universes.

Info

For artists, writers, gamemasters, musicians, programmers, philosophers and scientists alike! The creation of new worlds and new universes has long been a key element of speculative fiction, from the fantasy works of Tolkien, Le Guin and Howard, to the science-fiction universes of Burroughs, Delany and Asimov, and to the tabletop realm of Gygax, Barker and Greenwood, and beyond.

This subreddit is about sharing your worlds, discovering the creations of others, and discussing the many aspects of creating new universes.

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Please read our full rules. We have high standards for on-topicness, respect of other people and respect for creative effort.

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/r/worldbuilding

1,405,498 Subscribers

1

Hi guys! I've just made this map, and I was wondering if y'all had any tips on how to make it look better? I think it's pretty good so far, but I'm not sure about the compass and text (forest at the top might be a bit squicky too). Context in comments xoxo

2 Comments
2024/04/16
16:39 UTC

1

Embracing Weirdness

So I am watching a bunch of Japanese and Chinese movies and find that there is a common theme about most of them. They are super weird, various not realistic things happen and it becomes much easier to digest when you realize it’s fiction and just enjoy it because it’s fiction.

Now, if I am not mistaken, worldbuilding is the art of making sense of the world you have and expanding it. However then comes the realism vs fictional scale. How far can I push the nonsensical, fictional and unrealistic parts of the story before it becomes unenjoyable?

0 Comments
2024/04/16
15:28 UTC

1

Need Power System Advice

So I am making a power system that I kind of want to feel like a combination of HxH nen and Undead Unlucks negators but I've hit a roadblock and need some advice. I currently dislike the definitions of the Projections (the unique abilities of individuals) and would like advice on how to make better definitions for overall systems and unique abilities. This is my first time posting so I hope I am doing this right.

Races: Many years ago the world split into two. One side of the world was full and lush while the other was left broken and full of empty space. The side with a full world believed the other to be a mistake and dubbed the other siders “Anomalies”. War was declared but due to the obscurely barren space of the Anomalies side they lacked resources and were almost left extinct with the survivors being enslaved. After years of fighting for civil rights, Anomalies are still receiving prejudice but have equal rights. Currently the full side is a few years more futuristic than modern society while the empty side has been artificially filled with factories and waste, leaving the ground either grinding cogs and gears or a sea of oil. Actual empty side towns and cities seem more steampunk or medieval.

Shimen (Shy-Min)< Native to the full side. Shimen possess a natural glow and energy.

Anomalies< Native to the empty side. Anomalies possess abnormal attributes that are commonly rough skin, rigid protrusions, discolored skin, facial markings, emission of smoke, or distortions of space around them.

Z (Chemical Z): Z acts as a chemical found in the brain that allows the comprehension of Spectra and Pressure on a visual level. Those with Z can quicker develop Spectra and Pressure but cannot functionally apply Projection. Rarest aspect to be born with. (Pawn, is a good support but can quickly develop into other forms)

Spectra: Spectra acts as the soul and emission of Projection. Without Spectra a person’s Projection cannot affect themself. Those without Spectra lack a soul. Spectra alone requires vision and is difficult to control but if one possesses Z and Spectra it can be utilized without line of sight and if one possesses Pressure and Spectra it can be deftly manipulated from a distance. (Knight, has reach and works with planning and positioning but not when directly confronted)

Pressure: Pressure acts as the life force and concentration of Projection. Without Pressure a person’s Projection cannot leave themself. Those without Pressure cannot live past 80 years old. Pressure alone requires time to concentrate and cannot be expelled but if one possesses Z and Pressure it can be manifested almost instantaneously and if one possesses Spectra and Pressure it can be distanced from the body. (Rook or Bishop, very straightforward and work best when directly approaching but cannot do much else)

Projection: A Projection is the innate ability and encompassing term for the power system. Without one of the 3 attributes one cannot utilize Projection in any way. -Aura (You can emit a force of will. With only Pressure would increase the force of strikes or exude a fearful look, with only Spectra would be able to do things like Bang where they shoot invisible bullets or just decimate something in front of them with an invisible force, with Z would be able to sense a person’s mental strength and fear and at higher levels sense thoughts and desires) -Puppetry (Can perform acts of puppetry. With only Pressure would be able to mimic movements, with only Spectra would be used to throw objects from a distance and control other people's movements, with Z would be able to perfectly sense all movements) -Friction (With only Pressure would be used to only set their body on fire and gets stronger the more they are hit [controls the friction force and uses the heat generated like a special for barbarians], with only Spectra would be used to cause minor explosions from a distance but would be hard to detect without Z, with Z would be used to sense friction between objects and heat so they could follow tracks of residual heat)

0 Comments
2024/04/16
06:06 UTC

3

Map of Helia, my Greek mythology/history inspired setting! Please give me all your questions, comments, and critiques

0 Comments
2024/04/17
01:45 UTC

2

Moon as an enemy

Hello, I would like to ask a question that might be very stupid. I’m making a world for a videogame, a metroidvania where you fight with guns and blades. And I wanted to have a bombastic secret final boss be the literal moon, uncurling as a leviathan that flies down to earth and fights you. Is it possible to have a being that looks like the moon but also fits on the screen without making it too stupidly unrealistic?

8 Comments
2024/04/17
01:42 UTC

2

Reason for a race to have 4 ears

I'm currently finalizing designs for each of my world's races and I like the ide for Lithemmoter, the cat-like Stone people, to have two sets if ears making four total. These races haven't really undergone evolution because they were created late by the gods. My current reasoning is that since they tend to live in mountains, it would be beneficial for them to have extra ears to help them hear the sounds of each other, faraway movement, humans, prey, etc. Are there any other good reasons and is my current reasoning correct?

7 Comments
2024/04/17
00:52 UTC

9

Builders of the worlds, what shines bright upon the night of your people?

For self-answering my own question: As a symbol of progress in technology, the republic's new city is going to be one of the first places in the world to have streetlights. But how to make this work became a problem. I've been searching for how gas lights work, and I got pretty close except for the pipeworks and other possible required infrastructure. Could there be a reliable source for it?

9 Comments
2024/04/17
00:22 UTC

5

The Celestial Tear - Map of the planet Hasphal

1 Comment
2024/04/17
00:07 UTC

3

Elemental Power armor

I’m trying to come up with an idea for a power armor type of troop for two nations that are soon to go to war the armor I’m thinking would be similar to the design / bulkiness of the ones from the Fallout series. In the comic the people of the two nations can manipulate either gravity or fire and I’m trying to come up with a unique way to implement their unique power as well as a cool design for the armor.

1 Comment
2024/04/16
23:53 UTC

51

NINE REALMS : Ornithorids, the dog-like Platypuses of the Rainbow Realm

6 Comments
2024/04/16
23:43 UTC

7

Can clothing be made out of... woven muscle fiber? From a draconoid, but still

In my world, "mage robes" are actually clothing where the fabric's threads (always threads of a material derived from life, like cotton, preferably sentient life, like silk) intertwine at weird angles that, when looked up close, reveal a fabric that has a texture that looks vaguely like an electronic circuit in a printed circuit board. These clothes serve as an extension of the paranormal's astral circuit, helping channel and direct their aether (spiritual energy).

One friend is trying to make a robe-armor set for his OC which is fully made from a draconoid, more specifically a Chinese Qilin. The item has qilin scales woven into the fabric like a brigandine, while nonetheless connecting the layers of fabric and having the innermost layer in contact with the body and the outermost exposed to the environment so as to maintain full robe effects.

I was going to suggest using the creature's fur, but he randomly suggested that the armor be woven out of qilin muscle fibers.

Is that... a thing at all? Can muscle fibers be woven into something resembling a fabric, or would it require abnormal properties to these muscle fibers, which my setting might not have a reason to grant? How would muscle armor look and feel?

Depending on how much of a stretch it is, we might just stick to fur. But if it isn't and doesn't necessarily look too weird... we might not only roll with it, but have it boost his physical strength and dexterity.

7 Comments
2024/04/16
23:30 UTC

2

How should i go about deciding what era of technology my factions in especially with it grimdark/dystopian?

Ive been a bit unsure as to what era tools and technology i should allow for my factions as i want it to be a struggle in a very cruel grimdark world but at the same time i want them to be able to survive and not it not making sense why they not destroyed quickly in the world with such little fight to put up

3 Comments
2024/04/16
23:16 UTC

3

Which worldbuilding program should I go with?

I've never used one. And I'm thinking of creating my next setting (I'm a novelist, not an RPG storyteller), in more detail and with more patience than I'm used to. Just sort of work on it as a hobby, in addition to writing other stuff. I've never really created maps, in part because I just suck at it

I found out about World Anvil through a Youtube channel I watch, but I've seen some discouraging opinions on it on this very subreddit. I don't intend to create wikis for other people to read; I just want some way to create maps without first getting a degree in both geography and art, and build up locations and historical events around it.

2 Comments
2024/04/16
22:44 UTC

4

What would be an interesting or practical design for a noble's clothes in a Dinosaur society?

I'm trying to build lore for a game I want to make featuring an alternate world where the Dinosaurs didn't go completely extinct. Here's the basic idea:

Rasaria is a version of Earth in which the meteor strike didn't kill most life on Earth but a minor mass extinction with only killed off a few species and allowed for others to survive.

This led to therapod dinosaurs as well as many other dinosaurs to evolve. This would lead to the creation of the Ragnori. The Ragnori are a sapient race of reptiles and they come in three groups:

The Laceria

The Rapetar (Rap-Eh-Tear)

The Tyranids

Right now, we can focus on the Laceria, the Laceria are divided into Houses, and each House worships a God and bases their culture on whatever that God represents. All these Gods were based on actual existing dinosaurs. For example: House Levintina worships Leviathan, God of the Seas, which is a Mosasaurus.

I've been thinking about what type of design the Baron of a Laceria house would wear, since these are dinosaur-based creatures, I did think of the idea that the Baron's uniforms would have feathers all over them, but I did also have the idea of the Barons dressing similarly to their Gods or what they represent.

So the Baron of House Terradon (the first Laceria house the player would come across) would dress like a Pterandon or Quetzalcoatlus since their God is Terrador, God of the Skies.

But I can't fully visualize his looks without it seeming ridiculous, do you guys think you can help me with that?

I want his looks to be something that is both badass-looking and practical for the type of society they live in.

0 Comments
2024/04/16
22:19 UTC

3

First timer questions

I have an idea for a world and a story that I’d like to try writing. I have the bare bones but the world and characters will require quite a bit of reading and research. But I do have an outline (which depending on how much detail I put in looks like it could span multiple books).

What I’m wondering is - should I start writing (at the very least for practice) before I get all the world/ charcter details or wait to have all the research done?

Also for context, I did take a creative writing course in uni and loved it, English/creative writing/ literature were always my fav classes in school but I ended up majoring in art history. I’m also doing research about how to write a novel because it’s been a long time since I was uni and I never wrote one. So far I’ve got Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird and Save the Cat! Write the novel. But open to any other suggestions.

I do have a daily writing practice since I was 13, but it’s mostly stream of consciousness journaling or poetry.

Please let me know your thoughts 🙏🏻

2 Comments
2024/04/16
22:14 UTC

3

how would you seperate two realms in one world

this isn't a rare trope in any way , but let's say you have a demonic realm where any none human sapien specie lives and the human realm , self explanatory , how would i seperate them ?

I read a novel where they said something about an endless abyss that was a pass between them in some unused lands (svsss) and another where it was in another planet all together (orv) and one where it was a hole in the universe so that realm was a parallel universe where even the gravity was different (the secret of lord seymour) and one where on a time of the year , some roads would randomly appear and if you take the wrong turn you will get there (tgcf) ect ... but let's say they will have a common ground , and that it is possible to walk from one realm to another , how would you go about it ?

2 Comments
2024/04/16
22:02 UTC

3

How many realms, is too many??

I have just started my world building and currently have three realms, existing vertically on top of each other.

I am very new to my creative writing process and don't want to get lost in the sauce (so to speak).

Ant recommendations on keeping things organized? Shoot..any advice is welcome!

9 Comments
2024/04/16
21:42 UTC

4

"The Borderland" (My Selfmade Map for my Custom Setting for my DND campaign)

1 Comment
2024/04/16
21:02 UTC

2

Vote for my new monster

For my world building project I need everyone to vote for what type of creature my first monster should be

View Poll

3 Comments
2024/04/16
21:00 UTC

183

Dwarves as a culture instead of a single race?

All across various media, there have been many definitions as to what constitutes as a "dwarf". In various works taking cues from Tolkien, dwarves have been defined as short, yet fairly muscular humanoids. Meanwhile, some other media such as the Elder Scrolls, dwarves are a subspecies of elves (or mer, as elves are referred to as in-universe). The one thing many dwarves across media share in common: their expertise and love of craftsmanship.

This brings us to today's topic of discussion: instead of just being a single race, could dwarves work as a culture containing many different races (or even a subculture of races like humans for example)? I'm curious if anyone has done this sort of thing.

Edit: I meant to say "species" instead of "race".

69 Comments
2024/04/16
20:34 UTC

3

Need assistance coming up with formal titles for two of five ruling autocrats

The other three I've got. The name theme is a relatively grandiose or otherwise singular job title. The ones I have are Sheriff, Knight, and Architect.

The last two are one who's in charge of most of the shipping and monetary systems, and one who's in charge of tech development and intelligence-gathering. For the latter, the closest I've come is Cryptographer, since they make and decipher "code" (double entendres ftw) but it still doesn't feel quite right. No idea what to do with the former.

Anyone have any suggestions?

17 Comments
2024/04/16
20:27 UTC

4

What are some obscene displays of wealth in your world?

#GUIDELINES AND ETIQUETTE

  • Please limit each item's description to three or five sentences. Do not be vague with your description.

  • If someone leaves a reply on your comment, please try to read what they post and reply to them.

14 Comments
2024/04/16
20:20 UTC

3

Advice for making a space map?

Hello,

So I'm currently working on a soft sci-fi/space opera, with FTL travel, that places a lot of focus on interstellar politics. The setting is in a star cluster(maybe multiple clusters, I'm not sure yet.), with a myriad of different governments fighting over resources and planets.

One thing I wanted to have is a map of the setting showing all of the planets/stars and the factions that control them. However, while I think I'm pretty good at making traditional maps with landmasses and the like, I'm not super well versed in making a space map.

The best I can do right now is like, a back canvas with a bunch of white dots on it. Which feels really boring to me. Especially since this is a map that I think should have some artistic flare.

I would really appreciate any advice this sub could give regarding creating a space map.

6 Comments
2024/04/16
20:17 UTC

3

Could a terraformed planet that’s mostly steppe/tundra be possible?

I’m writing a seed world and wondering if a planet dominated by steppe/tundra is possible. As of now I’m imagining a mostly northern hemisphere, thin super continent but would like to know how possible this is.

5 Comments
2024/04/16
20:09 UTC

34

In you're world, do the inhabitants exercise?

Is there a need for exercise in your world? Is it something only the rich can afford? What qualifies, in your world, as exercise or "getting a workout in"?

32 Comments
2024/04/16
19:46 UTC

3

An early engineering sketch of the first Specialised Thermal Protection Unit. (Context: this is part of my world building project, about a company opening a portal to a hell like dimension, and then mining its exotic resources)

This suit was one of the first examples of specialised tech for D-A1 (D-A1 stands for Dimension-Alpha1, the hell like dimension opened by the company qualata).

One might note the lack of gloves for this suit, this is not a mistake. The STPU is specifically designed so that it's manipulation systems can be swapped out for mounted specialised tools, making it virtually impossible to drop any apparatus one may be using.

0 Comments
2024/04/16
19:45 UTC

27

Whats the name of this type of "author"?

A while ago I was talking to a friend that had many good ideas about his comic and worldbuilding project but never really brought them to life or at the very least write them down or catalogue them.

He is smart but he has that sort of fault where he cant really get past getting excited about his own imagination, what is worse is that when I tell that his ideas are actually good he never goes beyond the point of saying "thank you" like he is only trying to get flattered by getting praise but never doing nothing. He is the sort of person that thinks of himself as a "misunerstood genius" because he as made over a hundred different systems and structures for his world project but he has them and I quote "all in his head".

Is this a common thing? is there a name for this?

14 Comments
2024/04/16
19:31 UTC

69

Map of Arettia 196 O.A.

8 Comments
2024/04/16
19:29 UTC

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