1. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Fantasy Cultures

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Protar, Oct 25, 2011.

    So I don't know if anyone plays World Of Warcraft but recently the 4th expansion: Mists Of Pandaria was announced. That has very little to do with this thread but watching some of the videos about all the backstory for the Pandaren ( A Chinese themed race.) got me thinking about my own Chinese themed nation for my book. By extension I then began musing over making fantasy cultures in general. For example I've been fleshing out my Dwarves which currently appear to be a mishmash of Norse culture (Architecture, language and mythology.), Jewish culture (Parts of the history like being pushed out of their homeland and some religious ceremonies.), and Chinese culture (Religion, which is based on Buddhism and technology.). So I was just wondering how you guys like to design fantasy cultures. Do you make up entirely original cultures? Base them on one from the real world or maybe mix several real cultures together?
     
  2. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I fly by the seat of my pants, I make it up as I go. And honestly, I try not base anything off real cultures, if there happens to be some similarity of a real culture, than it was accidental.

    I am not saying there is anything wrong with basing it off real cultures, I just have fun making things up from scratch.
     
  3. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    I think there are benefits to either path. Obviously an entirely new culture is more original but it's hard to do and can seem strange and wacky. Do you have any examples of cultures you've made in that way just out of interest.
     
  4. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Sorry, I mean no offense by this at all. But I do not want to reveal my ideas to the internet, or someone I do not know in person, or at least well.

    But you do not have to look far to see a nicely crafted original culture, The Undead in World of Warcraft is a good example, in every aspect. In fact, even the lesser original cultures in World of Warcraft are great examples. Which is awesome, since you can run around their world virtually.
     
  5. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Understandable of course, no offense meant by asking. I wasn't looking for a detailed account. But yeah I agree a lot of warcraft races are very original. However they're also quite wacky in many respects. It was actually one of reasons I quit recently because I thought things were getting a tad silly with all the ridiculous magitech especially with the goblins. My books are planned to be a bit more down to earth than that (though still very magical.).
     
  6. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Although for other reasons, I have not played in over a year myself. But I can see what you are saying about the game getting a little wonky in its old age.
     
  7. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    I find it easier to look at history. What cultures have existed in similar economic political situations, and how did they react/evolve.
     
  8. Timothy Giant
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    Timothy Giant Member

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    I often make things up from scratch, but I sometimes get influenced by real-world cultures. For example (I'm not planning on using this anyway, so feel free...), I once made a world where three different cultures resided. They were all, to very minimal degree, based on Amerindian, Japanese, and Chinese culture, but most of it I made up. It also helped that I had figured out their habitats and physique before I made their cultures. I had one race that could teleport, and used that for mining. Apart from that, they were a proud race of warriors and lived in tree-huts in their forests. The warrior-shamans are the most worshiped among them. Another race had colossal cities of stone and wood, and was centered around poison and nature magic. Due to their religion, they travelled and explored a lot. The last consisted only of small groups of pilgrims, travelling around to worship their deity.

    Japanese culture is strong in the first; Amerindian in the last two. Chinese was mainly visible in how their buildings and stuff looked. But still, I tried to make the influence as obscure as possible. :p
     

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