I've been revising my fantasy story's world severely, and now it features the following five cultures, all of which have real world inspirations: 1. A Northern European "barbarian" tribe with longships. The heroine's male love interest, a warrior with a score to settle, comes from this culture. 2. A maritime civilization of olive-skinned people similar to ancient Greeks and Romans. They function as minor antagonists. 3. A matriarchal Black African civilization with an Egyptian/Nubian flavor. The heroine is the Queen of this culture. 4. A desert-dwelling Middle Eastern culture ruled by a tyrannical sheikh/prophet who is the story's major antagonist. 5. A technologically advanced but war-torn Chinese/Japanese civilization that is the only culture in the world to have gunpowder. I used to be a big fan of what TVTropes calls Fantasy Counterpart Cultures, but I've heard people complain that they're unimaginative. I don't plan to have each of my cultures match their real-world analogs in every single way, and of course some of these cultures are combinations of more than one real culture, but still I wonder if I should make my cultures more unique. What do you think about Fantasy Counterpart Cultures?