As the title states, I've basically had two sort of competing ideas jostling around in my head, trying to escape and get put down on paper. Both seem interesting in their own ways, but neither is really winning. To explain, a few weeks ago I got bit by the worldbuilding bug pretty bad, and I tend to like to know what sort of thematic elements are present in the setting before I begin. Trouble is, I'm having a hard time deciding between the sort of inspirational background and overall aesthetic that the world should possess. The dilemma stems from choosing between a European-style aesthetic (which everyone even remotely familiar with fantasy knows is pretty much the standard most of the time) or an Asiatic-style one (similar perhaps to Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moribito). Part of the ongoing internal debate is that, while each 'style' is interesting in its own way, European-styled settings tend to be more open and 'freer' than ones that are inspired by Asiatic styles and themes. I have a hard time imagining a 'Lord of the Rings' style narrative happening in a world inspired by a melange of East Asian cultures. Obviously this is up to personal interpretation. In conclusion, this thread isn't simply about trying to help me pick one over the other (though any thoughts on the matter are greatly appreciated), it's about having a discussion on the topic as well. Do you feel that a fantasy world based on European aesthetics/elements is more open-ended to work with than an Asian one? If not, why not? Thanks for reading, and I look forward to seeing the responses.