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?