In every episode of The Art of World Building podcast, host Randy Ellefson discusses how authors, screenwriters, game designers, gamers, and hobbyists can do world building better, faster, and have more fun doing it. Popular topics include creating gods, species, animals, plants, races, monsters, undead, continents, settlements, kingdoms, star systems, time, history, cultures, magic systems, religions, the supernatural, naming everything, and travel estimates for land, sea, and space.
Explore how to create places of interest, including catacombs, interstellar sites, ruins, monuments, and more. Learn how easy these are to create and how they can improve interest in your setting and story.
Learn how population, location, climate, symbols, and tensions between a sovereign power and others can all enrich your kingdom, republic, dictatorship, and more. Why have them all be the same when little details can bring out the vividness.
Explore how to create sovereign powers by understanding government types like federations, unitary states, kingdoms, dictatorships, authoritarian states, oligarchies, republics, and more, including how they rise and fall.
Explore how to create sovereign powers like kingdoms, dictatorships, republics, and more. This includes what sovereignty is, how it is gained and lost, the divine right of kings, some roles like head of state and what each means, and branches of government.
Continue exploring how to create a planet, focusing on climates. This includes understanding the role of the equator and oceans, climate zones, prevailing winds, rain shadows, and of course the climates themselves
Explore how and when to create a planet. This includes talking about its rotation, other planets in the solar system, asteroids, comets, constellations, and the impact of the Sun and moon on tides, hours in the days, and seasons.
Explore how and when to create undead. Decide whether you should create undead at all, what their minds are like and how this will affect them, their origins and how that influences their behavior, and learn to classify them.
Explore how and when to create animals. Consider the purpose your animals will serve for you as a creator or for your characters in their lives, including products, food, decoration, symbols, and medicinal uses. Learn how animals are classified to better organize your inventions, determine what to create, and have a balanced portfolio. Finally, learn how to get started.
Explore how and when to create plants. Consider the purpose your plants will serve for you as a creator or for your characters in their lives, including products, food, decoration, symbols, and medicinal uses. Learn how plants are classified to better organize your inventions, determine what to create, and have a balanced portfolio. Finally, learn how to get started.
Explore how and when to create monsters. Learn the differences between monsters and animals, and monsters and species. Use habitat to make them more compelling. Figure out how their origins can make them memorable, whether they were created by accident, on purpose, or by evolution. Finally, determine their motivation because even monsters want something, and knowing this will determine everything they do.
Explore how to create world heroes, villains, martyrs, and more. This includes determining why they're famous, what kinds of weapons, armors, ships, steeds, or other items they have, considerations for when they're dead OR alive, what made them famous, their relationships with family, and how all of this can make them more memorable if done right
Continue learning how to create species and races, including how gods can influence them, how characteristics like morale, charisma, intelligence, wisdom, dexterity, agility, and more can create more depth, and their relationship with other species and world view. Conclude with where to start!
Continue learning how to create species and races, including overall attitude and disposition, what some call "alignment." Is good vs. evil a viable approach or too restrictive? How else can get this across? With their appearance, do we want them able to masquerade as each other or not? What do their physical features say about them? Learn the pros and cons of multiple races of a species and how this can improve depth and our options.
Explore how to create species and races, when to use which term, and how to structure your species and races intelligently. We also look at whether world builders need to invent them at all; the answer may be different for science fiction vs. fantasy. Finally, we look at the minimum and maximum that can be done when inventing one and how to balance the work.
Explore how to create gods, including whether they are good, evil, or neutral, and different ways to identify them, from symbols to nicknames and patronage. Do your gods interact with the world and under what restrictions? What have they created and has anything unexpected happened with? Finally, we discuss how to get started inventing deities.
Explore how to create gods, including whether they are good, evil, or neutral, and different ways to identify them, from symbols to nicknames and patronage. Do your gods interact with the world and under what restrictions? What have they created and has anything unexpected happened with? Finally, we discuss how to get started inventing deities
Explore how many worlds you should create over the course of your career. Is it better to build a world for each project or one world for all stories? You could end up building 20 worlds, which is a lot of work. When is it better to just create one world and keep reusing it? What are the pros and cons of each approach?
Learn whether you need to build a world or not, and how and when to use Earth analogues as a springboard for your imagination. The Rule of Three will help you avoid getting caught, too! Analogues are a fundamental concept that no listener should skip.
Learn the vision for The Art of World Building Podcast and what you can expect from the series and each episode. Host Randy Ellefson will also be introducing himself and briefly talking about his thirty years of world building experience. Some caveats and definitions are also covered. This is a good primer that no listener should skip.