Worldbuilding Questions: Post #9 – People and Customs, Part Three
Alright guys, last worldbuilding post for a little bit! I wanted to finish rounding out the people and customs segment before I moved on to talking about something else. Today, we are going to address ethics and values as well as religion. Side note, there is one last subsection of this part of the questionnaire, population. I feel like these questions can be addressed without much explanation on my part. Therefore, I’m going to focus on the other two which frankly, are much larger and more instrumental.
Join me at this link one last time!
Ethics and Values
This is a piece of worldbuilding that is controversial within itself. I’ll try to keep all politically loaded opinions to myself. When building a community’s ethics and value system, one must take care. Know that someone will always disagree with what you are putting in place. If you are respectful about the choices you make and you keep them consistent, your world and your story can only benefit. Good story = happy readers.
Let’s start with something easy. What does your society value most in material goods? Is it gold and jewels or animals and furs? Do different cultures value different things? What about non-material things? Is that more highly valued in your world than material goods?
What kind of events are considered normal and acceptable in society that may not be acceptable in today’s world? What might be considered shocking that would not in today’s world? For example, is being left-handed a sign of greatness or a mark of the Demon king? Think big issues in today’s world. Decide where they fall in your own world.
How much does your society value honor and honesty? What are the limits of that? Is any lie reprehensible, or do you tolerate white lies? Can binding oaths be broken or must they be honored no matter what? Is there a penalty, physical or magical, attached to that?
Who is considered a citizen in your world? What kind of rights and privileges do they have? Think about your social classes. Some may have more rights and privileges than others.
What is the ideal life that people aspire to? What are the ideal traits that people strive to embody?
Religion and the Gods
The first and arguably the most important thing to consider is how religion views magic. Do any of them forbid the use of magic? Do any require the use of magic in order to be practiced? Is there a difference between miracles and magic? How are they distinguished?
How many religions exist in your world? Break them down and figure out what kind of characteristics they take on. What kind of gods or spiritual beings exist? How active of a role do they take in the buildings or structures in which they are worshipped? Do they have a heavy influence on people’s everyday lives? Define good and evil and what that means to each religion.
Do religions view non-believers neutrally or negatively? This is important to note as this can create tension between peoples. Is there a religion or religions that are heavily intertwined with the state? How present is religion in everyday life? How do people worship?
I hope these give you a lot to think about. Let me know what kind of ideas you come up with! I’d love to hear them!