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help me think of cultures for my world

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I need some ideas for more cultures/nations in my world, even just basic outlines. Here is a overview of the

continents I have:

 

 
Antikos
---------------------
Antikos is a large continent of mostly desert, jungle, and plains. It has
a large area of volcanic wasteland to the far west of the continent.
 
 
 
Daishan
----------------------
Daishan is tropical to the south and in the central areas of the continent
there is mostly plains with a few small desert areas. The north gets
gradually cooler until it becomes snowy in the far north.
 
 
 
Aegir
---------------------
Aegir is a northern continent, cold but still usually green in the
south but freezing and snowy in most of the rest of the
continent. It has large mountains in the far north seperating
the continent from the north pole.
 
 
 
 
Norharr
------------------------
Norharr is a continent neighboring Aegir. It has a smaller area of temperate
land than Aegir, with most of the continent being icy cold. The north pole
can be reached through this continent. The continent is largely more
wild than it's neighbour.
 
 
 
Gorash
-------------------------
A huge continent of mixed environments from snow and then temperate in the north, to
plains and desert in the centre, to the jungle in the south. More nonhumans
live here.
 
 
 
The Northern Kingdoms
-----------------------------
This is a small continent as it is one of the small continents making up 'the ring'
in the centre of the world. It is mostly temperate with one cold snowy
area to the far north.
 
 
 
Aranar
-------------------------
Another of the ring continents, mostly temperate with a dry plains
area to the south and a snowy area up in the mountains.
 
 
 
Kydar
-------------------------
A largely uncharted continent to the east of Gorash. The areas that are charted
are made up of jungle and plains and then further than that is hue volcanic wasteland
that nobody travels through too far to see what's on the other side.
 
 
 
 
The races/species I have at the moment are:
 
Human
Orc
Elf
Dark Elf
Dwarf
Gnome
Goblin
Lizardfolk
Catfolk
Bullfolk
Ogre
 
 
There are more minor races and other races I'm still thinking of but those are the basic ones at the moment.
 
And the time setting of my world is roughly 1700s but some nations might have higher technology (steampunk/magitech)
Edited by Bumblefish2

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I think I would probably base the different cultures upon similar real cultures for a given location.  Cold frozen north?  Go with Vikings or Eskimos, but be really careful when choosing a race, maybe try doing the unexpected, and go with Gnome Vikings or Elf vikings instead of dwarf or human or orc.  I think it would be interesting to see the 'civilized' race of colonial expansionists actually being some of the races that are normally portrayed as 'primitive'.  Have your British Empire equivalent actually be made up of Orcs and Ogres (or lizardfolk), with monocles and fancy wigs, and upper crust accents, while your primitive tribes are humans or elves.

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I think I would probably base the different cultures upon similar real cultures for a given location.  Cold frozen north?  Go with Vikings or Eskimos, but be really careful when choosing a race, maybe try doing the unexpected, and go with Gnome Vikings or Elf vikings instead of dwarf or human or orc.  I think it would be interesting to see the 'civilized' race of colonial expansionists actually being some of the races that are normally portrayed as 'primitive'.  Have your British Empire equivalent actually be made up of Orcs and Ogres (or lizardfolk), with monocles and fancy wigs, and upper crust accents, while your primitive tribes are humans or elves.

There's different cultures of dwarves like rather than them all being vikings and miners theres one group of dwarves that like live in a underwater kingdom and use geothermal energy

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Sure, I didn't mean to imply that whatever race you choose for your viking race would then only be a viking race, you could have some elf vikings, and in another continent you could have elves that are modeled after african tribes, or some elves running a version of the Dutch East India Trading Company.  The main point was to not shackle yourself to the more straightforward tropes of using the traditional definition of the fantasy race determining what it should be like for all it's societies in your game.  (Ie orcs being tribesmen/barbarians, elves being nature lovers, dwarves being technological) -- break some molds and mix things up.

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Sure, I didn't mean to imply that whatever race you choose for your viking race would then only be a viking race, you could have some elf vikings, and in another continent you could have elves that are modeled after african tribes, or some elves running a version of the Dutch East India Trading Company.  The main point was to not shackle yourself to the more straightforward tropes of using the traditional definition of the fantasy race determining what it should be like for all it's societies in your game.  (Ie orcs being tribesmen/barbarians, elves being nature lovers, dwarves being technological) -- break some molds and mix things up.

yeah tropes are what i'm trying to avoid for the most part like for example rather than elves being the typical good nature lovers, a lot of aspects of them are similar to behaviours of folklore and they originally enslaved humans when they first entered the world

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Sure, I didn't mean to imply that whatever race you choose for your viking race would then only be a viking race, you could have some elf vikings, and in another continent you could have elves that are modeled after african tribes, or some elves running a version of the Dutch East India Trading Company.  The main point was to not shackle yourself to the more straightforward tropes of using the traditional definition of the fantasy race determining what it should be like for all it's societies in your game.  (Ie orcs being tribesmen/barbarians, elves being nature lovers, dwarves being technological) -- break some molds and mix things up.

yeah tropes are what i'm trying to avoid for the most part like for example rather than elves being the typical good nature lovers, a lot of aspects of them are similar to behaviours of folklore and they originally enslaved humans when they first entered the world

Why? It gives the player something familiar, which generally it's a good thing. It's especially useful when there are many cultures, if you have one or two, sure, go for pure uniqueness, but if you have like a dozen it would be overwhelmed to the player, it's easier then for the player to relate to them like "viking elves" :)

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I dunno, you ask for cultures and you list biomes and races as examples.

 

I would think 'cultures' would go more along the lines of these, each as a distribution on a range, some with examples from history.

 

patrilineal/matrilineal

 

patriarchal/matriarchal

 

centralized/distributed (think 17th C. France vs. Roma or Diaspora Jews)

 

closed/open (think Amish vs. late 19th C. America)

 

monotheistic/polytheistic (1st C. Jews vs. Romans)

 

militaristic/peaceful (7th C. Arabs and the spread of Islam vs. the Tang Dynasty under Xuanzong in China)

 

sedentary/nomadic (Han vs. Mongol)

 

pastoral/urban

 

subsistence/abundance (18th C. !Kung vs. Salish)

 

maritime/agricultural

 

evangelistic/absorptive

 

Then there are subcultures.  Think of Caribbean pirates of the 18th century or the Church and Thieves subcultures in Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame.

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I dunno, you ask for cultures and you list biomes and races as examples.

 

I would think 'cultures' would go more along the lines of these, each as a distribution on a range, some with examples from history.

 

patrilineal/matrilineal

 

patriarchal/matriarchal

 

centralized/distributed (think 17th C. France vs. Roma or Diaspora Jews)

 

closed/open (think Amish vs. late 19th C. America)

 

monotheistic/polytheistic (1st C. Jews vs. Romans)

 

militaristic/peaceful (7th C. Arabs and the spread of Islam vs. the Tang Dynasty under Xuanzong in China)

 

sedentary/nomadic (Han vs. Mongol)

 

pastoral/urban

 

subsistence/abundance (18th C. !Kung vs. Salish)

 

maritime/agricultural

 

evangelistic/absorptive

 

Then there are subcultures.  Think of Caribbean pirates of the 18th century or the Church and Thieves subcultures in Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame.

yeah there's alot of inspiration from the golden age of piracy like the first game is planned to be pirate themed

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Sure, I didn't mean to imply that whatever race you choose for your viking race would then only be a viking race, you could have some elf vikings, and in another continent you could have elves that are modeled after african tribes, or some elves running a version of the Dutch East India Trading Company.  The main point was to not shackle yourself to the more straightforward tropes of using the traditional definition of the fantasy race determining what it should be like for all it's societies in your game.  (Ie orcs being tribesmen/barbarians, elves being nature lovers, dwarves being technological) -- break some molds and mix things up.

yeah tropes are what i'm trying to avoid for the most part like for example rather than elves being the typical good nature lovers, a lot of aspects of them are similar to behaviours of folklore and they originally enslaved humans when they first entered the world

Why? It gives the player something familiar, which generally it's a good thing. It's especially useful when there are many cultures, if you have one or two, sure, go for pure uniqueness, but if you have like a dozen it would be overwhelmed to the player, it's easier then for the player to relate to them like "viking elves" :)

 

Overused tropes are boring.  And in this case, if they already base their cultures on existing cultures, they don't need the racial tropes to coincide.  IE, the part that will be familiar to players is the culture, the "Viking" part, or "British Empire", the racial component doesn't matter as much, other than to show it's not quite the same as the British Empire, or Vikings.  And one can even put a spin on the viking component.  IE, Viking Elves who use longships and sport braided beards, but also excel at water magic.  (or maybe lightning magic, very Thor-like)

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Sure, I didn't mean to imply that whatever race you choose for your viking race would then only be a viking race, you could have some elf vikings, and in another continent you could have elves that are modeled after african tribes, or some elves running a version of the Dutch East India Trading Company.  The main point was to not shackle yourself to the more straightforward tropes of using the traditional definition of the fantasy race determining what it should be like for all it's societies in your game.  (Ie orcs being tribesmen/barbarians, elves being nature lovers, dwarves being technological) -- break some molds and mix things up.

yeah tropes are what i'm trying to avoid for the most part like for example rather than elves being the typical good nature lovers, a lot of aspects of them are similar to behaviours of folklore and they originally enslaved humans when they first entered the world

Why? It gives the player something familiar, which generally it's a good thing. It's especially useful when there are many cultures, if you have one or two, sure, go for pure uniqueness, but if you have like a dozen it would be overwhelmed to the player, it's easier then for the player to relate to them like "viking elves" :)

 

Overused tropes are boring.  And in this case, if they already base their cultures on existing cultures, they don't need the racial tropes to coincide.  IE, the part that will be familiar to players is the culture, the "Viking" part, or "British Empire", the racial component doesn't matter as much, other than to show it's not quite the same as the British Empire, or Vikings.  And one can even put a spin on the viking component.  IE, Viking Elves who use longships and sport braided beards, but also excel at water magic.  (or maybe lightning magic, very Thor-like)

 

tbh also looking for cultures that could be mixed to make new cultures and would actually go together well

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