Worldbuilding

Costuming Your Characters

Costumes reflect both a character’s culture and personality. Everything in their environment shapes the way they dress. Unless you have a professional costumer to defer to, costuming is left to the worldbuilder. When done right, a costume tells a story all on its own. Read more »

Creating Rites of Passage

Depicting rites of passage is a fantastic way to show off your fictional culture. That’s because these rituals combine the most important elements of a culture into a memorable event. Chances are very good that social roles, moral values, lifestyle, and religion will all make an appearance. Read more »

Using Animals for Transport and Labor

Whatever your setting, you’ll probably need animal transportation and labor. Only in the past 100 years has overland transportation been dominated by machines; throughout history, most humans have relied on some manner of large beastie to haul around their stuff or themselves. Read more »

Poisons: How to Use Them

Your characters have to face death at some point. Why not let chemistry help? Ah, but not all poisons are created equal, and not all poisons will be available in all settings for your murderous plot devices. Read more »

Creating Matriarchies

Human societies are overwhelmingly patriarchal. That means it’ll be a long time before matriarchal societies get boring. Unfortunately, many depictions of these cultures feature a simple role reversal. A matriarchy isn’t just a patriarchy with women in place of men. Read more »

Four Ways to Limit Magic & Technology

While powerful spells and gadgets are fun to imagine, they can do serious harm to a story. Once you add a transporter or summon giant eagles, it becomes too easy for the protagonists to overcome challenges. Luckily, there are many ways to reduce the impact of … read more »

How to Color Your Map Using SCIENCE!

Forests, tundras, deserts and plains don’t appear arbitrarily. These biomes are located where they are on Earth due to the way air and water circulate in the atmosphere – and any Earth-like world should follow the same basic rules for its atmosphere that Earth does. Read more »

Creating Religions & Belief Systems

The culture of your kingdom, moon, or giant soap bucket isn’t fully developed until you’ve given it one or more belief systems. But that doesn’t mean you should rename the Catholic Church and stick it in there. Religions and other belief systems come in a huge variety of flavors. Read more »