World building poll

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AuthorTopic: World building poll
Infiltrator
Member # 4248
Profile #0
I have for a while now wanted to create a new fantasy world... the problem with my projects just tends to be that when all responsibility lies on me, nothing gets done. Either I can't come up with good ideas or, worse, I come up with too many of them and when faced with the task of actually writing them down, my brains just freeze, not being able to decide where to start.

Thus, I figured that shared effort is half the effort, or at least I hope so. Here's a short summary what I'm thinking: first, I'll filter my ideas through these boards via this poll, based on the results I'll create a background frame for further work, and then I'll post the background here so we can engage in nice, collaborative world building. This thread can work as preliminary chit-chat considering our future efforts; all sorts of ideas about whether this sort of a project can work and how should we do it are welcome. Also, feel free to elaborate your wishes about what the world should become if the poll doesn't feel sufficient.

The poll locks at 21st of January.

Poll Information
This poll contains 10 question(s). 0 user(s) have voted.
Voting stops at January 21, 2008 01:00 AM board time.
You may not view the results of this poll without voting.

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Life is a neverending carneval where everyone has multiple costumes. I just hope mine are pleasing to the eye.
Posts: 617 | Registered: Tuesday, April 13 2004 07:00
Warrior
Member # 12481
Profile #1
This sounds very interesting - I've just cast my vote. I'd definitely like to be involved in this, if you'll have me - let me know and I can send you some examples of previous work with world-building and game-building.

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Third generation geek and heathen!
Posts: 93 | Registered: Tuesday, December 11 2007 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #2
Have you thought of visiting the Santharian Dream?

I haven't been there in a year and don't know what it's like these days. Last I saw, there's a lot of pressure, occasional quibbles between the veterans, and newbies get scared off easily (so it's kind of like an Open-Source software project). But as far as world-building goes, they're the pros.

If you want to start from the ground up or have radical new ideas, you won't find it at Santharia, but even so it would help you to see how established groups assemble fiction together.
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #3
A cylinder-shaped world is the easiest to make a map of while still being reasonably "round", if that influences your decision at all.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7252
Profile #4
No muffin-shaped world? :P

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Humans fight to enter insanity.
You ain't evil until you hear this!
Posts: 732 | Registered: Saturday, June 24 2006 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 4248
Profile #5
Worth of consideration. As polls can't be edited, those in favor of cylinders should voice their opinion here. (Applies for muffins also)

Thanks to Aran for the link. I'll take a look at it in my spare time.

[ Thursday, December 20, 2007 03:03: Message edited by: Frozen Feet ]

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Life is a neverending carneval where everyone has multiple costumes. I just hope mine are pleasing to the eye.
Posts: 617 | Registered: Tuesday, April 13 2004 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 7298
Profile #6
I was thinking more of Dyson Sphere. Its a sphere that surrounds a star at its goldie locks zone. With the inhabitable part on the inside of the of the Sphere

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A rock has weight whether you admit it or not
Posts: 479 | Registered: Wednesday, July 12 2006 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #7
I cannot currently access the poll (or the forum, in fact; I'm not really here). But I'd just like to ask what mystical force of gravity would make life work reasonably on any world that is neither spherical (standard gravity pulls inward) nor disk-shaped (magic gravity pulls us "down"). If you went to the edge of a cylinder, at what point would you experience the awful vertigo of "Up is Sideways"?
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 4248
Profile #8
Answer to Aran's question is, of coure, "very strange gravity". Don't let it bug you too much; it's fantasy world I'm proposing, after all.

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Life is a neverending carneval where everyone has multiple costumes. I just hope mine are pleasing to the eye.
Posts: 617 | Registered: Tuesday, April 13 2004 07:00
Cartographer
Member # 1851
Profile Homepage #9
Maybe everyone just has their own personal gravity force which sticks them to the ground and keeps them in a way 'level'. But it would be an automated force within you, something that happens unconsciously, so you couldn't just go about exploiting it.

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So many strange ones around. Don't you think?
Posts: 1308 | Registered: Sunday, September 8 2002 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #10
How about a world that is flat but inexplicably wraps at its edges?

—Alorael, who suggests as an alternative a sphere of infinite diameter so that it's effectively an endless plane. Or a giant Klein bottle!
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #11
I can't believe no one has suggested the donut-shaped world yet.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
"Slartucker is going to have a cow when he hears about this," Synergy said.
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Shaper
Member # 32
Profile #12
Technically, that is what Alorael just suggested...

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Lt. Sullust
Quaere verum
Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Councilor
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #13
I voted "something else" for conflict, but only because I'd like to see the world before I decide what should happen in it.

Dikiyoba.

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Episode 4: Spiderweb Reloaded
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Guardian
Member # 6670
Profile Homepage #14
One crucial question you have to ask before even defining the world is how it's going to be used. Are you aiming for a setting that can be used for any number of storylines, or will there be an overarcing plotline accompanying the world? That is, will the world's action be environment-driven or plot-driven? I'm guessing from your post that it will be the former, but if it's the latter, it might be better to get a general feel for the storyline before defining the world.

I'd like to make a vote against weirdness for the sake of weirdness. I don't mind if there's things like oddly-shaped worlds or flying cities or such, so long as they significantly affect how the world works or how the storyline flows. If the only reason your world has two moons is so it doesn't have just one, you may want to rethink that.

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Beware of thinkers whose minds function only when they are fueled by a quotation.
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Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
Warrior
Member # 12481
Profile #15
The only thing I'd be insisting on is that we don't only have one pole on the map! There has to be a north AND a south pole lol!!

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Third generation geek and heathen!
Posts: 93 | Registered: Tuesday, December 11 2007 08:00
Guardian
Member # 5360
Profile #16
Magic-wise, Nalyd was thinking along the lines of very rare, but very powerful magic-users. Magic would require great sacrifice, and the devotion of your entire lifespan to it- no "spellblades". Magical items are fairly common, and alchemy isn't "magic" per se. There would be a huge demand for wizards in warfare and peace, but there are too few who have the talent (NOT and inborn or hereditary talent- those suck, but more of the will to master it and the mental strength to deal with it). Wizards would serve mostly as mercenaries on long-term contracts, doing magic exclusively for one person or group until a specified date. Anyone have other ideas?

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Fear us, mortals, but never envy, for though we burn with power, our fuel is our sorrows.
Posts: 1636 | Registered: Wednesday, January 5 2005 08:00
Canned
Member # 8014
Profile #17
It sounds interesting, though I suggest a sphere. And all the land on one side so that it is easily mapped.

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I can transform into almost anything, but not sanity -Iffy
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I will sometimes change my shown name because of my change in post rank. It only it would show. But I have my lovely Canned title.
Posts: 1799 | Registered: Sunday, February 4 2007 08:00
Agent
Member # 4574
Profile #18
Magic is... meh. Strong but not too strong.

Humans, also meh. The only wide spread race in fantasy I'm okay with. Which means, be unique with non-humans. Elves, dwarves, and what not are overdone, in my mind.

The world itself, however, I have definite ideas for. The world is relatively flat, with towering mountains at the edge and a large hole in the centre. The land is all islands, varying from Australia to tiny stubs in size, and terrain that ranges from driest deserts to freshest forests, and one side, where most of the civilisation is, always faces the Sun. The Sea falls eternally down the hole in the center of the planet, and is eternally renewed by neverending rain on the peripherary. We'll call this side Terra, for demonstration purposes.

On the other side of the disc-world, the water goes through the center of the world, and rises up in a massive water spout. This side is always facing away from the Sun, and the sky alternates between the skies and the water skating across the sky on the edge of gravity. The water, pushed away from the spout in a gravity torus, gathers at the Edge, where it is gathered in clouds that replinish the Sea above. Magic is stronger here, but life is rare. Occasionally, the dominant empire sends explorer's into the spout, making a sort of shadow race on this, the Netherworld side of the planet.

The planet spins on it's axis, but that axis is at the center of the world, so once again, there's Terra and Netherworld side. Floating rocks, no serious tunnels known, (that way one could reach either Terra or the Netherworld side to easily), and some of everything else, except glaciers, on the Terra side. The Netherworld would be dark sands and glaciers, and is relatively uninhabitable.

A passive God inhabits this realm. As for the conflict of such a world... perhaps you're the most recent colonization force sent to the Netherworld, trying to survive in a hostile environment. The name, I could care less about, and you should give it a skeletal ecosystem, noting outstanding animals. Now, based on how this goes, I may or may not participate.

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"I'm happy I'm the mentally disturbed person I am." -Nioca
"Yes, Iffy is a demon." -Iffy
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Posts: 1186 | Registered: Friday, June 18 2004 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #19
quote:
The Sea falls eternally down the hole in the center of the planet, and is eternally renewed by neverending rain on the peripherary.
Been done, but nonetheless awesome.

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The Noble and Ancient Order of Polaris - We're Not Yet Dead.
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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 4248
Profile #20
quote:
Originally written by Dintiradan:

One crucial question you have to ask before even defining the world is how it's going to be used. Are you aiming for a setting that can be used for any number of storylines, or will there be an overarcing plotline accompanying the world? That is, will the world's action be environment-driven or plot-driven? I'm guessing from your post that it will be the former, but if it's the latter, it might be better to get a general feel for the storyline before defining the world.
Initially, it will both. I'll make a plot based on the basic theme that gets the most votes (to give us a goal and motivation of sorts), but a good chunk of the world will likely be created as a reactionary to it's initial conditions.

quote:
Originally written by Dintiradan:

I'd like to make a vote against weirdness for the sake of weirdness. I don't mind if there's things like oddly-shaped worlds or flying cities or such, so long as they significantly affect how the world works or how the storyline flows. If the only reason your world has two moons is so it doesn't have just one, you may want to rethink that.

To me, weirdness is never weirdness for it's own sake. My motto is pretty much "everything affects everything", and this carries on to my way of designing stories. So if the world is indeed a mobius strip or a dodecahedron, you can be sure it won't just be an oddly-shaped earth.

As to answer why I didn't ask for a tech-level: the idea is that it won't stay fixed. The initial level will be zero, and the cultures should be build from ground-up; it will be a matter of general consensus and participants' imagination how high it will eventually rise. Idea is to still aim for fantasy, though, not sci-fi.

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Life is a neverending carneval where everyone has multiple costumes. I just hope mine are pleasing to the eye.
Posts: 617 | Registered: Tuesday, April 13 2004 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 8016
Profile #21
I like Goldenking's post
Elves and Dwarves are getting old... but I like Orcs and Trolls
Other good ones are something like avians, or demons or something, elementals, maybe? Or bug people :P

And the thing about surviving in the Netherworld.. maybe it would be an icy wasteland or something. If not, then maybe some plants are huge and carnivorous or something.. Like I read in a book one time about trees that lure you in with a sweet fragrance, or an illusion, and then grab you with tentacle vines I think. And the tree slowly drags you to the vines, and disintegrates you with it's roots.
Posts: 29 | Registered: Sunday, February 4 2007 08:00
Warrior
Member # 12481
Profile #22
Goo Goo: That might be the Sirens from the Shannara series by Terry Brooks - they're NASTY pieces of work!!

I quite like the idea of a world that has a geosynchronous orbit with its sun, so only one side of the planet gets sunlight, ever. It would make for serious population density problems, because you could only live on half the planet...

Ooh, here's another cool idea:

You have a sphere, right, and the top and bottom thirds of this sphere are covered by inhabitable land. The middle third is open air. One "half" of this world is a plane of open ocean, littered with thousands and thousands of islands, ranging from tiny little rocky islets barely capable of supporting a clump of grass, to massive islands the size of Australia (so, 70% water, 30% land). The other "half" is predominantly land, dominated by a large continent a la Pern's southern continent, with a little water surrounding the continent on all sides. The "top" and "bottom" of the sphere are polar caps, moisture seeps "down" through the "crust" of the land at the top and bottom thirds of the sphere to nourish the land... etc etc

It's kind of like Bytopia from the D&D 3rd ed cosmology...

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Third generation geek and heathen!
Posts: 93 | Registered: Tuesday, December 11 2007 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 4248
Profile #23
A very important issue I thought should be brought up: just where are we going to put all of our material? I doubt it's feasible to keep it all here on spidweb. Would it be possible to create a subforum on Polaris?

As far as fantasy creatures go, I'll most likely make rule out of "Our monsters are officially different". If one wants to play with fair elves, stubborn dwarves and mighty dragons... why not just go and play with original Middle-Earth instead of making yet another half-baked clone? Besides, it seems our world is becoming a flat disk with the other side always facing the sun and the other one being in the dark... I don't think traditional critters fit to such place anyway.

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Life is a neverending carneval where everyone has multiple costumes. I just hope mine are pleasing to the eye.
Posts: 617 | Registered: Tuesday, April 13 2004 07:00
Warrior
Member # 12481
Profile #24
Hmm, yeah, I agree - "normal" mythical creatures probably wouldn't cope well with this kind of world.

Ooh, how about, because one side of the world is always in darkness (if we go with the geosynchronous orbit thing, or the disc with one side always pointed at the sun idea) all manner of "dark" versions of beasties have developed that are VERY well suited to life in the cold and dark - higher body temperatures to ward off extreme cold; night vision; echolocation; so on like that.

On the other hand, creatures that live on the "light" side of the world are a bit more... uber, than "real world" beasties. Dire wolves instead of normal wolves, and so on. Bigger, tougher, more intelligent, on accounts of overexposure to solar radiation and vitamin D or something.

There are also some really weird genetic mutations - anyone who has seen Allegro Non Troppo, the coke bottle scene is what springs to mind. I can't find pictures U_U

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Third generation geek and heathen!
Posts: 93 | Registered: Tuesday, December 11 2007 08:00

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