Worldbuilding Respond Answer Ask (July Edition)


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    As started by @typical_demigod

    What is the Worldbuilding Answer 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!

    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.

    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.

    Question to get you all started: How do people react whenever someone sneezes in your world? Is it even socially acceptable to sneeze?



  • Quick reminder: I've noticed in the last thread that sometimes people aren't responding to the post(s) above theirs unless they're specifically asked a question by someone, and then it's only to answer the question. I'd like to remind everyone to please try to respond to at least the last post in the thread when you're typing your answers!

    The goal with the Respond portion of the thread is to interact with the person's world, because there might be something you're interested in, confused on, or just plain enjoy. You responding can also help the person see their world from a new light or see where a piece of their worldbuilding might be confusing. Even if all you have to say is "X element is weird but okay then", that still counts as a response! :)

    (And again, if there are 2+ posts above yours, DO NOT feel obligated to respond to them all or answer all the questions. DO try to respond to the last post on the thread, though.)

    Thank you!



  • I never actually wanted to answer this question. I just wanted to see the answers. So.

    Q: How do people react whenever someone sneezes in your world? Is it even socially acceptable to sneeze?

    I ended up deciding that the farther south you go, the greater that sneezing is frowned upon. It's associated with illness, especially in the spring (you know... when there's a lot of allergies?) If you can't contain your sneeze, then you should at least have a handkerchief or something to cover your mouth. If you sneeze more than once, everyone will assume you're sick and send you home. (Remember, though, these ideas become more prominent the farther south you go.)

    As a side note, everyone should be carrying a handkerchief. If you somehow forgot yours at home, then you can just borrow someone else's. And probably keep it.

    Q: Are there mail systems in your world? If so, how reliable are they? If not, how do people tend to get messages around?



  • Q: Are there mail systems in your world? If so, how reliable are they? If not, how do people tend to get messages around?

    There isn't paper mail anymore. Or even email really. People use their imbedded chips to communicate. Even the government, who doesn't want people to have chips, still uses this as a form of communication. However, they pipe in what they want chipped people to see and hear. The rest of the world has gone back to handheld devices, like phones, but their communications are instant via Beam technology.

    Q: What does the fauna of your world look like?



  • @toasha So the government has the ability to censor what chipped people receive in their messages?

    Q: Are there mail systems in your world? If so, how reliable are they? If not, how do people tend to get messages around?

    unreliable.

    that’s… really all there is to say about it.

    Monarchs still use messengers to take messages across long distances. When Princess Edda Tydina (sister of the Provabian queen) died, a messenger with a letter from her husband was across the Channel and in the Provabian capital within 10 days.
    Most of that travel time was getting into the Province and then crossing the Channel.

    Nobles and the wealthy are also in better luck to hire a messenger to deliver the message than count on the mail system.

    Now, this doesn’t mean that there is no mail system. It’s just very chaotic and not very widespread. Like, maybe some major cities have a postal service, but outside of those cities, you’re outta luck. One reason for this is mass illiteracy. Finding a temple that doubles as a school for your children is fairly difficult, especially in the rural areas. That’s… really the only reason? Classism (unsurprisingly) runs rampant. Nobody cares about poor people.

    Well, in Provabia. There’s a decent chance that there’s some remediation at this mass illiteracy issue in Othornia, or at least Sabia (a fairly autonomous territory in Othornia). Whenever Craestan figures out how to solve its revolution, then I can definitely see them making attempts at enforcing schooling.

    Once the generalized lack of schooling stops being an issue, it’s more likely that a postal system will begin to be developed.

    I would be willing to bet that the clergy is a good place to get letters delivered, at the very least in large cities.

    Q: What does the fauna of your world look like?

    North the Channel is still fairly underdeveloped, but it probably has similar to what we’ve got in Europe- so cattle, wolves, deer. In the mountains, maybe some bears. In the desert, desert animals.

    South the Channel is an… mix? In most of Provabia and Craestan, we’ve got a taiga. So bears, foxes, bunnies, etc. Some birds. A lot of these animals migrate to the northern part of the countries, or else hibernate. The further south you go, the less biodiversity there is, simply because it gets colder and colder. (The very tips of the southern edge of the continent are probably borderline tundra.)

    Ahhh the lynx! There’s lynxes running around. I'm thinking they might be used as pets but I haven't actually done much research on them yet.

    Q: What kinds of pets do people have?



  • @typical_demigod said in Worldbuilding Respond Answer Ask (July Edition):

    @toasha So the government has the ability to censor what chipped people receive in their messages

    @typical_demigod Yep, and after the glitch, they used that power over chips to force horrible images of the carnage left behind by the glitch into every chipped person's mind.

    Q: What kinds of pets do people have?
    Pets are still normal. Synta has a cat named Tangie, but they haven't seen him since the glitch. Which is confusing to her and her little brother, because cats don't have chips.

    Q: Does your world have TV/Movie stars or other types of celebrities? If so, what's your MC's favorite?



  • @toasha Is there any way for rebels to take out their chips, or are they stuck there?

    Q: Does your world have TV/Movie stars or other types of celebrities? If so, what's your MC's favorite?

    If you count monarchs as celebrities, then there’s four.

    Well… Trusia doesn’t really count. So, three.

    North the Channel, cooking is really popular. There are celebrity chefs and it’s not unusual for there to be local cooking competitions, especially during major holidays… or any holidays. I don’t know any by name, though, because the only MC from North the Channel (he’s actually Provincial) I know fairly well had no interest in cooking.

    Art-wise, there are several… well, famous people. Not sure if they’re celebrities. The only one I can think of by name is Bager, who is well known as the guy who does royal portraits and painted Queen Emeliana’s coronation. (I could bring up several more, but that requires opening a massive document that takes forever to load, so… nah.)

    There’s Pendragon. I think that was the name. He’s an engineer? Aforementioned Provincial MC was awestruck by him until they actually met and he turned out to be a jerk. Pendragon’s brother is an architect in Othornia and has constructed things like major bridges and whatnot. Which… might make him an engineer? I might have these two mixed up, but they’re barely talked about in-text.

    Hahahahaha If your name ends in “Macbeth”, you’re a celebrity. There’s Macbeth Senior, the Sabe general who beat the Othorns in the War of Leaves; there’s Gideon Macbeth, his eldest son and the military advisor to the Othorn king; there’s a couple kids, then Macbeth Junior, who is a Minister of War in Provabia; one kid is a musician of great repute; one kid married a duchess who he really had no business marrying…

    I’m certain that there is a whaler somewhere that has celebrity status, but I don’t know enough about whaling yet to say anything about that.

    In the Provabian capital (which tbh I forgot the name of), there are some infamous people, at least among the wealthy. There’s Minister Origen, who is regarded as the de facto ruler of Provabia and known for running around assassinating people via his lackeys. There’s also Kizzy Faulkner, who is basically the world’s first notable feminist and who is very headstrong and open about her opinions on society.

    Do the MCs have favorites? Well, if monarchs count, then Ana’s favorite is herself. Fisk would say one of the Macbeths, simply because he’s related and he doesn’t want to be disowned. Magnus works for Origen, but he’ll be the first to tell you that he hates the guy. Etta would probably have no opinion because she’s just a poor farm girl. Adrinne would probably say Gideon Macbeth, just because the guy’s been around for the majority of his life and has an uncle-role in his life. Runa… actually, if Kizzy were known outside of the Provabian capital, she would probably take cues from her, but she’s not known well enough. Damon would say Ana just because she’s his queen. He’s just a poor farm boy and he really doesn’t know anything about anyone else.

    Q: If a person in your world is a celebrity, how likely is it that a common person knows what that celebrity looks like?



  • @typical_demigod Pendragon... Macbeth... All of this sounds extremely familiar for some reason. taps chins Hmmm... :P

    I missed quite a bit in this thread so... Bear with me.

    Q: How do people react whenever someone sneezes in your world? Is it even socially acceptable to sneeze?

    People usually don't care if you sneeze for the most part. I mean, if you're in a super formal situation, maybe they'll frown at you, or if you sneeze in someone's face or right into your hand prior to a handshake, but... Otherwise, no one cares either way.

    Q: Are there mail systems in your world? If so, how reliable are they? If not, how do people tend to get messages around?

    There are couriers you can hire that will either deliver your messages by hand or through birds and those are used by your run-of-the-mill civilians. Most factions have their own birds or courier systems they consider far more reliable and the only two factions who actually receive outside couriers the Crimson and the White Shadows.

    And now that I think about it... Being a courier has to be the most ungrateful job in all of Valcrest. :/

    Q: What does the fauna of your world look like?

    Pretty average as far as Valcrest goes, however, it's worth noting that Valcrest is the only place in the continent that houses a population of wolves and Valcrest wolves are officially average wolves, but they are written a bit special. Really, the best way I can explain it. We currently have in the main story a small pack of wolf hybrids that are pretty much a next gen kind of thing. Think Game of Thrones dire wolves, but, like, 20% cooler.

    The forest is the most dangerous place there is; animal wise. You've got wild boars who are mean little fuckers, brown bears, poisonous snakes, wolves (although you're unlikely to actually see them). There are also a lot of birds. Most people who grew up in or near the forest can tell the time of day by which birds are singing (Crys would definitely be one of those people). You also have deer and bunnies enough to feed the population and more. If you can learn to make a decent trap and aren't squeamish about killing adorable fluffy things, you'll never go hungry. Foxes, squirrels, skunks, racoons... Let's not forget the crickets. Everywhere crickets. :P

    The desert has several types of reptiles, scorpions, spiders... If you wear boots you'd do well to always check them thoroughly before putting them on. If you sleep out in the open (as a lot of the Crimson often do) you may end up with something crawly hidden in your hair as well.

    I know there is an abundance of butterflies and birds in the plains.

    These are just the animals actually mentioned in the story so far. So I'm probably leaving out a bunch.

    Q: What kinds of pets do people have?

    I think that depends on what you'd consider a pet. Our characters won't use 'pet' to refer to their wolf buddies for instance because to them having a pet is different than bonding with a wild animal. But for the sake of this I'll consider any animal bonded with a human in this story a pet. In which case... Mostly anything?

    I mean, officially there are the wolf pups and one of them; Sora, likes to 'rescue' baby animals sometimes. And that's how Annie ended up taking care of a red fox kit. And we don't rule out any other characters earning a 'pet' that way.

    Normally, though, people have dogs, cats or birds.

    Dastan has a pet rock named Steve, but... That's a secret. >.>

    Q: Does your world have TV/Movie stars or other types of celebrities? If so, what's your MC's favorite?

    Uhm, not really? I mean, some people earn a bit of a reputation due to stories about them spreading farther than usual. Crys ended up becoming one of those people, but still... It's not something on the same level of what we would call a celebrity. It's more like being notorious in a game like Assassin's Creed where people are generally more aware of the fact you're probably dangerous. ^^'

    When Jake and Crys have children there'll actually be a bit of an argument on whose last name to give them seeing as both of them will have earned quite the rep by then and they don't want the attention on them. Kind of unavoidable though. :/

    Q: If a person in your world is a celebrity, how likely is it that a common person knows what that celebrity looks like?

    That depends on how they look like. Someone like Crys, for instance.... Red hair is a rare trait. So there aren't many blind redheads walking around in Valcrest, even less accompanied by a white wolf hybrid with mismatched eyes. She walks into Newhaven and anyone's who's heard of her will know she's Crystal Rivers.

    If you're less of an unusual sight, though, no one's gonna know you're you unless you're royalty or someone of equal status.

    As for my characters' favorites... As far as the main cast goes... I think Ella Page (current, soon-to-be-former, Queen of Newhaven) would be their favorite. Seeing as they actually knew her in person and she was basically the only royal they knew who wasn't homicidal and out to get them (yes, there was more than one of those >.>).

    Q: What would you consider your world's most tragic event?



  • @typical_demigod The rebels don't want their chips out. Even after the glitch. Some remove their kids' chips for safety, but the kids hate it.

    Q: What would you consider your world's most tragic event?
    The Great Glitch killed millions all over the earth in one instant. Synta's father was one. Her best friend's big sister is missing. The world turns into a Life Without People situation within the first 2 years. Those who are left can't handle the needs of the infrastructure. Systems break down. More waves of The Wasting takes millions more people who never recovered from the glitch.

    Q: What's a normal meal in your world?



  • @Blackbird For the idea I had that got me back into this world initially, I named a bunch of characters after Shakespeare tragic heroes, just because I could. Then I decided to set the story in this world, and I didn't want to rename everyone, so I just went with it. Pendragon I randomly generated because I was like, "I might as well carry on the trend of characters named from English stories." I never got around to changing his name, either. He's so minor that I probably won't.

    Because I moved the story to this world, though, the Macbeths are the only ones who purposely have Shakespeare tragic names (because their family is still a freaking mess and because I could actually see Fisk's mother in Mrs. Macbeth's role) and the Pendragon guy is around but you don't even meet him :P

    And now that I think about it... Being a courier has to be the most ungrateful job in all of Valcrest. :/

    This makes me think of the Evil Overlord list. One of the items on it was something along the lines of "When a messenger brings me bad news, I won't kill the messenger in rage. Good messengers are hard to come by."

    Think Game of Thrones dire wolves, but, like, 20% cooler.

    I've never seen/read anything GoT, but I get the vibe that you're gonna pitch your story with the line "Think GoT, but 20% cooler".

    Crys and Jake should either give them a new last name that isn't hers or his, OR they should give them a hyphenated name.

    @toasha But why????? Why don't they at least invent their own chip that the government can't reach?

    Q: What would you consider your world's most tragic event?

    This requires me to have a deeper knowledge of the world than I actually have. I know what happens in the ~20 years before/after OttQ (after only because I have a story that starts about a year after OttQ ends), random historical events in the past ~100 years (that are directly relevant to current relations within Provabia and between Provabia/Othornia), and that Martha existed and openly ruled Othornia (with an iron fist) ~500 years ago.

    So speaking within the frame of the last ~100 years...

    Slavery still exists, to varying degrees of severity, and though several nations have abolished slavery (along with serfdom), those nations that haven't are either in denial that it might be... bad... or grab Douyrualai (who is basically the patron of slavery) and explain why it's actually somehow okay. (To hit this point home, OttQ literally opens with a scene where a very minor character that goes on to become a slave trader is using this defense for why it's okay to be a slave trader.)

    Othornia made slavery (and slave trading) illegal ~30 years ago on a bet that it wouldn't cripple their economy, but it's well known that Othorns (and Provincials) have still monopolized the slave trade. The most targeted spots are the borders of Craestan and eastern Provabia and Trusia, which is basically a third-world country on the northern tip of the continent.

    Yeah. I'd have to say that the landscape surrounding slavery is... tragic at best, but actually, really, honestly, very horrific.

    Q: What's a normal meal in your world?

    This would have to depend on where you live. What they're eating in Trusia is different from what they're eating in southern Provabia, simply because the landscapes are so vastly different.

    This would also have to depend on me switching gears on what I'm researching towards the food aspect, which I haven't done yet.

    I do know that soups and porridges are common across the continent. They're easy and you can put pretty much anything in them. Different ingredients go into a soup or porridge regionally.

    I know that in Othornia, it's illegal for anyone that is not the reigning monarch to eat either doves or pigeons (I don't remember which). On that note, though, I'm considering that eating birds is illegal (or at least frowned upon) in general, just because the two highest deities in-world are a bird and a bird-inspired mystical creature.

    In the south, during the winter, your normal meal is whatever you preserved during the summer, because a decent amount of wildlife either migrate or hibernate for winter.

    I don't really have anything else to say here because I haven't worked on cuisine in my world yet, but it's something definitely on my list.

    Q: What kind of roofs do most buildings have? Peaked roofs? Flat roofs? Something else?



  • @typical_demigod said in Worldbuilding Respond Answer Ask (July Edition):

    I've never seen/read anything GoT, but I get the vibe that you're gonna pitch your story with the line "Think GoT, but 20% cooler".

    Not a bad idea, actually. :P

    Crys and Jake should either give them a new last name that isn't hers or his, OR they should give them a hyphenated name.

    Nah. Unless you're actually ashamed or resentful of your family (like Gabrielle and Luckas are) you don't change your last name. Crys won't even take Jake's name after they marry because if she does, her father's name dies with her and that's unacceptable. >.>

    They are going to just give them both names and later on they'll choose which one to use for themselves. But either way they decide it's gonna draw attention.

    You know, I can't imagine a scenario where slavery isn't a horrible situation. It's, funny enough, not something I planned on writing into Valcrest until Ess became a character. And then I looked around and it was just freaking everywhere. -.-

    Q: What would you consider your world's most tragic event?

    To put it simply; the War. To be more specific, the destruction of Brightvale and Effort seeing as the two cities were in more than friendly terms until they were sucked into the conflict and turned on each other. It's a long sad story that I need to write someday. >.>

    Q: What's a normal meal in your world?

    Venison, rabbit, and boar are commonly used in Valcrest cuisine as they are the most abundant as far as hunting goes. Fish, chicken, and pheasant are considered fancy and most commonly served in the homes of wealthier families. Cattle aren't actually that abundant and are kept more for labor and milk than for meat.

    The White Shadows eat mostly vegetables since they're opposed to killing, but once in a while they get supply donations from other clans and if that includes meat, they will make use of it. They also produce honey, which they trade for supplies with other clans. It is also widely known that the food in the White Shadows camps is bland as heck. Because; hospital food. :P

    Forest folk will eat a lot of wild berries and other fruit you can most commonly find in the forest.

    The Crimson will eat a lot more dried fruit, jerky, flatbreads. They'll also eat things like scorpions and lizards if other sources of protein aren't available to them. They are an open clan, though, and friendly with most other factions, so trading is easy for them. Still, things like fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, and fresh meat aren't a day-to-day part of their diet.

    Q: What kind of roofs do most buildings have? Peaked roofs? Flat roofs? Something else?

    I first read this thinking of roofing materials. And then I actually went to research types of roofing materials... And then I came back and reread it like "oh, wait, is it asking for styles of roofs?" and now I have to look THAT up. -.-

    The simplest way to answer this is saying that this is the image I've been using as a reference for Newhaven. Those are the style of building in the cities for the most part.

    Q: What sort of natural disasters may commonly occur in your world?



  • @Blackbird said in Worldbuilding Respond Answer Ask (July Edition):

    I first read this thinking of roofing materials. And then I actually went to research types of roofing materials... And then I came back and reread it like "oh, wait, is it asking for styles of roofs?" and now I have to look THAT up. -.-

    Just encouraging useless learning over here ^_^

    Q: What sort of natural disasters may commonly occur in your world?

    Forest fires are especially common South the Channel, but rather sporadic. It can be decades before a section of forest experiences a forest fire.

    In Craestan, which lies under a couple of fault lines, earthquakes are fairly common.

    Between the Province and Othornia is a mountain range. Some of these mountains are actually volcanoes. They have various rates of activity; there is at least one that erupts rarely enough that when it does, it’s considered an auspicious event. What it means varies from what Othorn society is like at the time. People might consider it to mean the decline of Othorn power, the fall of the reigning dynasty, or some other bad event. I’m thinking about having this volcano erupt during OttP, just because it would fit perfectly with the themes.

    I’m thinking about making the northern edge of the continent more prone to water issues like flooding, but I don’t know yet :P

    Q: How do people recover from a natural disaster?



  • I also recreated this. Maybe I won't ask questions that kill the thread lol

    Link


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