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World Building How to Build a Country!

BakaTheIdiot

A Lost Undead

  • I've found that a lot of people struggle when it comes to world building. You know what? That's OK! That's why I'm here!
    If you're in a group, and you're building the RP as you go, making new locations can be a challenge. Lucky for you, I've developed a 4 part thread you can use to craft a country! I've broken down a normally complex idea into its basic parts, thereby making it more user friendly. Just navigate the tabs and follow the instructions!
 

Arion

felt cute, wont delete later
I would like to add for those who are not in a fantasy style RP for this that you can generally add 'The Federated States Of' or 'The Republic Of' to the name of a fantasy country to create something modern.
 

BakaTheIdiot

A Lost Undead
I would like to add for those who are not in a fantasy style RP for this that you can generally add 'The Federated States Of' or 'The Republic Of' to the name of a fantasy country to create something modern.
Hmm, that's probably a pretty good idea. Thanks mate!
 

Swarx

The Freechoicer
Democracy/Theocracy probably isn't the best scale.

Communist countries are typically atheist, but still very anti-democratic.

Secular/Theocratic might be better.
 

Idea

The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra
Honestly, there is a lot I have to criticize here, however I want to state that it is nice of you to try to offer a way to help people get started. I don't think the approach you have provided is by any means ideal, but it is simple enough for people who don't want to go through the more thorough process to follow.

Government
The problem with your system is that you are reducing the country to binaries. This is far from how real countries work, and not only does it paint the picture that the country is somehow a monolyth- something which is problematic for reasons I will go into in the next segment- but flat out ignores major existing alternatives which the country could support, leading to the country becoming similarly two dimensional.

Religious Matters
3 2 1 0 -1 -2 -3
Democracy / Theocracy
As @Swarx already pointed out, these two aren't the best scale. I'd like to say though, it isn't any scale at all. Democracy and theocracy aren't even necessarily opposing things.

Borders
3 2 1 0 -1 -2 -3
Open to all / Closed to all
Already in economy "socialism" and "capitalism" are hardly the only extremes one can find, economy isn't a binary like that. But at least that one can be forgiven for they are generally opposing ends of the spectrum, talking about the same thing. Borders on the other hand, it's either unclear here or you are mixing at least three MAJOR issues as if they were just one.

There are economic borders, regarding imports and exports.

There's immigration.

There's borders regarding information.

And this is ignoring the entirely separate issue of changing borders.

Funding
3 2 1 0 -1 -2 -3
The People / The Military
Again, these two really aren't the only options. Though in this case, I'd say it's more of a case that maybe you're just stuffing WAY too much into "the people" category, menaing basically any country will have the 3 there just on account of basically everything fitting there.

Political Stance
3 2 1 0 -1 -2 -3
Liberal / Conservative
America is the only country, to my knowledge, that has that. Yes, there is a political right and political left, but for the majority of the world not only is it a spectrum, but the idea of dividing things into "liberal" and "conservative" is baffingly reductive.


Culture

Finally, there's the culture of your country! What is your country known for? Good food? Historical Art Pieces? Failing to keep itself together? Romance novels? Get creative! If you need help, use the country you used as a reference in part 2. Culture is vital to any civilization. It's the backbone of society! So what will your society be known for?
And here we get to the thing I was talking about, regarding making the country a monolyth. Forgive my harshness, but this "what will your society be known for" is terrible advise, not because the country's shouldn't have a specialty, main trade, fame outside, but because for the people who would use the guide you're providing, mostly people without much confidence or begginers, it may seem like that's enough, but isn't. Making the country a monolyth is right on the edge of the cliff to making everything about it one-dimensional and borderline ridiculous. Real countries, real people are diverse everywhere, their tastes and interests, skills, etc... if you fail to have that, you might as well not worldbuild, if the world is going to be cardboard, you might as well not worldbuild.

Yes, culture is vital, but you have to be careful not to fall into the "planet of the hats" trope.




I feel like it wouldn't be fair of me to throw this criticism without throwing my own advice into the mix. My advise isn't as simple to follow, though it is simpler to describe. My worldbuilding follows a single path: Consistency.

Consistency here means both consistency of consequence and consistency of internal logic. Simply put, your world needs to follow it's own internal logic, and better worldbuild worlds are made by instead of picking things arbitrarily, trying to think of what would happen given the circumstances you put the world in, given the world's rules etc...
 

BakaTheIdiot

A Lost Undead
Yeah, I gotta agree with the whole "Theocracy or Democracy" thing. Going off of the advice being given, I would like to further emphasize that this is a very rough and ready model. By no means is this perfect. Yes, perhaps I should specify a bit, but this is purely for the beginners. I added the culture thing as an afterthought, and I'm honestly working on improvements for this. That being said, these comments are exactly what I was hoping for by opening the question at the end of "how to make this better." A good writer can take criticism. A better one can appreciate it.

This is a thread for beginners, picked apart by experts. EVERYTHING is open to change. That's the beauty of this format. If you can create a better version of this kind of thing, using a similar scale/format, please DM it to me. Many beginners would thank you, as would I.
 

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