Crafting a Complete Ecosystem with Getz’ Model

Ecology and biology are areas that I often overlook. This is a shame; they can lead to some very interesting worlds, such as Roshar's crabs-are-everywhere approach in Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archives series. The field of speculative evolution/biology is concerned with how things might realistically look in other environments, and every worldbuilder can benefit from studying... Continue Reading →

For Your Enlightenment: Early modern absolutism for powerful monarchies

A common trope in both fantasy and science fiction is the autocrat with unlimited power. It should be obvious that in real life, no one wields that kind of authority. One source of inspiration for these despots is the legacy of European monarchs. The proper term for the philosophy that kings and queens should have... Continue Reading →

Trade Routes

A trade route is simply a passage traversed by merchants and caravans from settlement to settlement for economic purposes. A trade route can pass over land or sea and link multiple locations over great distances. While many goods can flow along each route, some can become famous for certain materials eg the Silk Road and... Continue Reading →

Scandinavia and Linguistic Distance

This week, I'd like to take a brief look at something different. I recently read through the amazing webcomic, Stand Still, Stay Silent (here's page one), set in a unique post-apocalyptic Scandinavian setting. There are a billion good things about SSSS---fascinating usage of Nordic folklore, detailed worldbuilding, delightful character interactions, and an engaging storyline among... Continue Reading →

Climates and Biomes

In this post I will be talking about all the different climates you might want to include in your world and how they all fit together, some info on each and the kinds of animals and challenges faced to live there. Many people are happy to place climates as they like, but you might want... Continue Reading →

Drawing Realistic Coastlines

Credited to u/darkblade273. The most common map guides I've found glance over coastlines as just "use a fractal generator" or "just make it really jagged and never use straight/curved lines", which are only really suitable for some regions of the world. Coastlines are affected by elevation, underlying tectonic plates, and climate, which are never really... Continue Reading →

Culture Maps

Today I'm going to be talking about a technique you can use to inject your world with conflicts, situations and drama, by drawing a new overlay for your map. This technique is inspired by the Paradox Games such as Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis 4. (I imagine many worldbuilders have already played these games,... Continue Reading →

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