Worldbuilding Respond Answer Ask (February Edition)


  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    As started by @typical_demigod

    It works pretty similarly to the CRAA, except you're talking about your world, and you probably don't want to do it through the POV of your characters, because that would probably just cause a fight amongst your characters and provide a lot of differing views.

    The idea is that it'll help you develop your world. Even if you think you know everything about it, someone will eventually pose a question for an element you hadn't thought of. (Think it's not so? I just saw it happen to one of the most detailed worldbuilders I think I know of on the Nano edition.)

    Scared to participate because you don't know a lot about your world? Don't panic! Half the time I'm making up my posts as I go along based on what I know about a few other random things in my world and hoping it makes sense. (I never said I was a good role model.) It'll still be great for helping you develop your world!

    So, I'll leave a question at the end of the thread. Person 1 comes up and decides to answer the question the best they can. Then, they leave their own question about some element of your world. You come up, see it, and think, "Okay, I can answer this!" But before you can answer it, you have to post a response about Person 1's post. After that's done, then you can answer the question, and then you can ask your own question!

    For example:

    Person 1:

    Answers the question at the bottom of the thread
    Leaves their own question
    Person 2:

    Responds to Person 1 (I.e., Wow, I didn't think about that when I was developing my education system. Still, X's relationship with Y is kind of weird because Z reason.)
    Answers the question left by Person 1
    Leaves their own question
    And then repeat.

    Some pointers-

    Even if your world isn't technically a secondary world (maybe it's based on London in 1815 or China in 1009), don't be afraid to answer! I'm sure you'll share information that we didn't know before. And if it's urban fantasy in AU 2017, then, again, don't think you can't answer! The idea is that these question will apply to all, or most, worlds.

    Sometimes a post might get long, however hard you try to keep it short. This is okay. Whatever it takes for you to explain whatever you're talking about in a way that you think makes sense :)

    If you're new, and there's previous posts, then don't feel obligated to read them all and/or respond to all the questions that were asked. If there's some that you really like, then go ahead and answer them! But don't feel like you have to.

    Topics can be about anything and everything! From, "What's life like for the average individual?" to "What is your favorite part about your magic system?" to "Talk about the fashion because we all love a well-designed outfit!" to "What are considered virtuous traits in a person? What are considered bad traits in a person?" to anything else you think of.

    I think that's everything. If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask.

    **It works pretty similarly to the CRAA, except you're talking about your world, and you probably don't want to do it through the POV of your characters, because that would probably just cause a fight amongst your characters and provide a lot of differing views.

    The idea is that it'll help you develop your world. Even if you think you know everything about it, someone will eventually pose a question for an element you hadn't thought of. (Think it's not so? I just saw it happen to one of the most detailed worldbuilders I think I know of on the Nano edition.)

    Scared to participate because you don't know a lot about your world? Don't panic! Half the time I'm making up my posts as I go along based on what I know about a few other random things in my world and hoping it makes sense. (I never said I was a good role model.) It'll still be great for helping you develop your world!

    So, I'll leave a question at the end of the thread. Person 1 comes up and decides to answer the question the best they can. Then, they leave their own question about some element of your world. You come up, see it, and think, "Okay, I can answer this!" But before you can answer it, you have to post a response about Person 1's post. After that's done, then you can answer the question, and then you can ask your own question!

    For example:

    Person 1:

    Answers the question at the bottom of the thread
    Leaves their own question
    Person 2:

    Responds to Person 1 (I.e., Wow, I didn't think about that when I was developing my education system. Still, X's relationship with Y is kind of weird because Z reason.)
    Answers the question left by Person 1
    Leaves their own question
    And then repeat.

    Some pointers-

    Even if your world isn't technically a secondary world (maybe it's based on London in 1815 or China in 1009), don't be afraid to answer! I'm sure you'll share information that we didn't know before. And if it's urban fantasy in AU 2017, then, again, don't think you can't answer! The idea is that these question will apply to all, or most, worlds.

    Sometimes a post might get long, however hard you try to keep it short. This is okay. Whatever it takes for you to explain whatever you're talking about in a way that you think makes sense :)

    If you're new, and there's previous posts, then don't feel obligated to read them all and/or respond to all the questions that were asked. If there's some that you really like, then go ahead and answer them! But don't feel like you have to.

    Topics can be about anything and everything! From, "What's life like for the average individual?" to "What is your favorite part about your magic system?" to "Talk about the fashion because we all love a well-designed outfit!" to "What are considered virtuous traits in a person? What are considered bad traits in a person?" to anything else you think of.

    I think that's everything. If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask.

    Previous Question: How is time handled? That is, is it normal for people to be early, or to be ridiculously late (to anything)?



  • Q: How is time handled? That is, is it normal for people to be early, or to be ridiculously late (to anything)?

    This (obviously) will vary a lot by region. For la humans, I haven't actually done anything with this. That's actually a common theme for me-- I've done very little worldbuilding on non-Martian humans. It's an issue but not one that's at the forefront of my worries.

    For the Fregemepai, being early to everything is expected. If you say, "Let's meet up at 2:00", you can probably expect them to be there as early as 1:30-1:45. Odds are, they will also be expecting you at the same-ish time. A larger problem than extreme earliness is the fact that if they are genuinely enjoying your company, they may decide not to leave. You'll want to hang out for a dinner at 6, maybe chat for a couple hours afterwards, but you're still trying to convince them to leave at 10. And you have work in the morning. In fact, so do they. But for some reason, they're. Not. Leaving.

    (To be fair, quecheen sleeping patterns are different than human sleeping patterns.)

    On the positive side, you'll know if they dislike you because they'd be more than willing to leave as soon as that dinner is over. (Positive? Negative? I mean, this one is kind of a 50/50.)

    Random point that is entirely irrelevant to this post: don't invite any Fregemepai to your home unless 1) they were earthborn; 2) you are an extremely clean, organized person in EVERY faucet of your life.

    And that's the only one I can talk about with a reasonable amount of knowledge because in the earliest version of my story, actual delsiaborn Fregemepai came visiting.

    Because I can see this going any which way, where it's either super fantastic or worse than the Dark Ages: Q: How good or bad is hygiene in your world?



  • @typical_demigod I think the whole 'never wanting to leave' thing is pretty hilarious. I mean, I see where it may definitely be a problem, but still.

    Also I could never invite a Fregemepai to my home. Heck, I can barely invite most people. I'm considerably clean (not extremely, but acceptably clean), but I thrive in 'organized chaos'. There will always be at least one pair of socks in my bedroom floor at all times. I will clear junk from the floor, clean it spotless, and then just toss my shoes and socks right back down because that's where I leave them damn it. >.>

    Anyway, moving on. ^^'

    Q: How is time handled? That is, is it normal for people to be early, or to be ridiculously late (to anything)?

    When this question first popped up I was going to answer it, but then I realized I had no idea how exactly time is measured in Valcrest. I mean, I know we have hourglasses, but hourglasses are actually more of a symbolic item as they are associated to Death and the concept that time is limited. Death in the myths has a magical hourglass filled with golden sand, and the drop of each grain of sand in Death's Hourglass represents someone's whose time in the mortal realm has ended. For that reason, while every household (or almost) will usually have an hourglass, they're aren't used as time measurement instruments as much as they are kept as a religious item.

    From then I went into research mode to determine what old-timey (no pun intended) clocks could be available at our technological level and what would fit our setting the most. After a brief discussion with my peers, we decided that the most commonly used time-keeping device would be the candle clock. So yeah, this led to some extra amount of worldbuilding for us. Thought I'd mention.

    That said, seeing as there aren't any portable clocks in Valcrest it's really hard to keep track of time. You can go by the sun's positioning, but it's not easy being perfectly accurate down to the exact minute. So people will usually make appointments like "let's meet up in this place this many hours past midday" and just hope everyone makes it without getting robbed on the road or something.

    In Arcadia; Terra's Capital, they already have mechanical clocks; pocket watches, and over there if someone asks to meet at a certain time and you agree, it is considered extremely rude to be late. If there is even a slight chance that you won't make it by that time, you should express those concerns beforehand. Otherwise, you're breaking your word and that makes you unreliable.

    Q: How good or bad is hygiene in your world?

    It's eeeh... lol

    It's not as bad as it could be. Valcrest is medically advanced enough that the population understands the concept of infections and bacteria, so things like washing utensils, washing their hands before eating, properly dressing even minor wounds, and even brushing your teeth every day, are pretty much common practice, but... Depending on where you live and the time of year, bathing can be problematic. Unless you live in the city, hot bathwater isn't easy to come by and cold baths in the winter are simply out of the question. The Crimson Shadows, who live in the desert, tend to bathe on a monthly or bi-monthly, basis in order to conserve water, but are otherwise ver neat people. ^^

    Q: How does language work in your Universe? How well do countries/races/communities that speak different languages communicate with one another? Is there a universal language of some kind?



  • @Blackbird Ahhh I forgot to mention (even though I remember specifically thinking to myself, "Don't forget this part!") that it's easier for them to never leave because Fregemepai communities are usually pretty tightly-knit. Even in cities where its not feasible for everyone to be best friends with everyone, there will be tightly-knit neighborhoods or the like to fill the niche. Obviously it can still be an issue when everyone has work or school or whatever in the morning, but it's less of an issue when everyone is already like family and it's essentially a big sleepover.

    Unfortunately, many earthlings neither understand nor like that habit. Which is why if you invite an earthborn Fregemepai, they're less likely to 1. Snoop through your things, or 2. Stay the night. (And I have no idea why I keep using lists :/ )

    Also, same. My room is never spotless. But it's not so much that it has to be spotless all the time as, "If you can't even attempt to keep your room (or X location) clean and organized, then what does that say about you in other, possibly more important parts of your life?"

    So yeah, this led to some extra amount of worldbuilding for us.

    Pleased to be of assistance. Ya know, I'm a horrible person; half the time I ask questions that I haven't even worked on. It's good to see that it's doing someone some good, though.

    And now I'm excited because I've actually worked a bit on this element. Be prepared for more chaos than you expected...

    How does language work in your Universe? How well do countries/races/communities that speak different languages communicate with one another? Is there a universal language of some kind?

    So, you would think, ~300 years in the future, that at least we humans were able to establish some sort of universal language.

    lol NO.

    So instead (even though in 300 years I'm not sure these would be the dominant languages, but it works for my rough draft), most people are expected to know their native tongue and English and/or Chinese. If they already speak one of those, then it would be appropriate to learn the other one. At the very least, most people are expected to be bilingual. (You certainly don't have to be fluent in both languages, but it's expected that you can at least say "i can't speak X" in that language.)

    Now, there are computer translators, which takes out half the problem. But computers aren't known to be 100% flawless, today or any day, and sometimes the computers are about as useful at translating as Google Translate is today. (I'm talking specifically about those quecheen languages that are not the official languages of the Klyxzon Alliance and the handful of new languages that branched off and developed on Mars between cultural isolation and cultural meshing.)

    So, that's the human end of it. You can get around without being bilingual, but it's definitely expected of you to at least attempt to be bilingual.

    For the quecheen, there are several more languages that are considered "universal" in that probably someone knows them. These mostly depend on nationality, but can also depend on ethnicity. There are ...three? that are considered the official languages of the Klyxzon Alliance: Nisurgi, Trixzon... and I think there's a third one, but it escapes me currently, and I don't know where it might be written down at. That's just the official languages of the Klyxzon Alliance. There's also the Sheqwuan, and their language is one of the dominant languages among quecheen, as well as their ally, who I actually haven't developed and know nothing about, but I know they exist (and are uninvolved in the war).

    Yeah. They're a mess of dominant languages because they've been expanding into space for much, much longer than humans have been with even less effort in terms of cooperation.

    Also, you can expect that their computer translators have about the same quality as earth computer translators. It's 50/50 as to whether they're better or worse. If you weren't part of a pushover civilization (e.g., the Fregemepai), then you were probably part of a proud, A-type civilization (e.g., the Nisurgi or Sheqwuan), and you probably consider most other languages far below yours.

    Whichhh leads to inter-special/inter-planetary communication. As a human in deep space, you have a 25% chance of meeting a delsiaborn quecheen that speaks any earth language at all. In this scenario, you have to have someone that speaks one or (preferably) more quecheen-dominant languages.

    So basically, their communications officers don't get paid enough, because they know at least three languages (their native language, English/Chinese, a quecheen language) fluently. AND they're the key to coordinating the movement of a Fleet across space. They also are, obviously, influential in continually innovating the computer translation technology.

    Over-complicated? Check. Probably going to be fixed later into something more simple? Check. Able to predict what languages my characters speak, even if they only use one for the duration of the novel? Check.

    Q: What's up with astronomy in your world? How much do they know about their place in the universe?



  • The month is almost over at this point, but screw it. I'm gonna reply to some threads before I bury myself in writing for the day. :P

    @typical_demigod You know, I tend to pick on languages pretty easily. I learned English entirely on my own and I can read a little bit of Spanish, Italian and French (because I've only actually been exposed to those languages in writing for the most part), but I don't think I'd be able to keep up with all that. o.O

    Q: How does language work in your Universe? How well do countries/races/communities that speak different languages communicate with one another? Is there a universal language of some kind?

    We do that thing where there is a 'common language' that is actually English, but we don't call it that because fictional world. So communication is fluid between countries, but Terra has older dialects that are still taught and used in their culture especially for documents. It's mostly written. But when spoken it's... basically just Latin. :P

    When we go into Terran territory a bit more, maybe we'll develop something more specific, but for now that's what it is.

    Q: What's up with astronomy in your world? How much do they know about their place in the universe?

    Eeeeeh... Everything Valcrest doesn't understand is explained through Mythology. So they have no clue what stars even are in actuality, but a lot of people believe they are every single tear Moon has cried since she was forced to leave the mortal realm.

    ...Science! >.>

    Q: How is money handled in your Universe? What kind of currency is there in this world?



  • @Blackbird Good luck on the writing! ^_^ I've been hitting brick walls lately D:

    Yea, I've been brainstorming ideas on translators. I know for sure that the quecheen languages probably wouldn't be translated that well (unless it was Nisurgi maybe >.>).

    Aw :( That's sad. Moon was the one who had a mortal lover, right? And that's why she had to leave? In any case, who needs science?

    Common language is the easiest. Tbh, I have an issue where there aren't a lot of common languages and... it's a problematic issue. My main fantasy world, on one continent, has at least 5-7 major languages (not counting dialects, but everyone involved speaks a common language, so it's not actually an issue), and the other continent has at least two major languages (but one of them becomes a common language after that culture starts a-conquering).

    TL;DR: Keep things simple. You will have less headaches in the future.

    Q: How is money handled in your Universe? What kind of currency is there in this world?

    I think this might be something else that you would expect to be universal, but there are A LOT of polities in the world, and... no.

    Okay, so the issue (imo) with having a universal currency is that everyone has to be on the same page. And... tbh, my worlds are known for everyone NOT being on the same page. People go to war over stupid rumors like, "yeah, we heard the Provabians might've stolen from our tree" and they're like "let's get the army rounded up then and NOT check for accuracy" and if you have a common currency, then you really can't have that kind of antagonism for anyone else that shares the currency.

    I feel like it's appropriate to point out at this time that economics gives me a headache and I therefore do not know very much about it.

    IN ANY CASE. There's also the issue of SPACE. So even if all the earthlings decide to get together under one common currency and hope that no one's economy crashes or something, there's the issue of EVERYONE ELSE. Yeah, the Dependent Martians would probably adopt that currency. Would the Independents? Possibly not! Would the people that are isolated in colonies in deep space? Possibly not!

    If they can all agree to be united under the same currency, then comes delsia. Delsia is a slightly larger plant than earth with as many ethnic and national entites, and the quecheen have expanded relatively far across the galaxy. So now you have to unite all of delsia and the colonial offspring of delsia. Then you have to think, "Well, if there are independent earth-born nations in space, then there must be delsia-born nations in space", which means you now have to convince all these additional quecheen nations.

    TL;DR: Currency trading is probably fairly simple because it would all (or mostly) be electronic, but still a lot of trouble. A lot of trouble that I do not touch in my world because 1. I have enough headaches to deal with to build a semi-plausible world, like math, and 2. It's really just not ever going to be relevant to the plot.

    Q: What's that one thing that you need to work on, but you keep procrastinating on it anyway?


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