Fictonal worlds world building experiment

#1
Hello, I had mentioned in the introductory thread that I enjoy building fictional worlds that follow by their own set of rules turning concepts into a universal set of laws. 

I originally meant to post this for my older more fleshed out fictions but when writing them all out I realized how complex these  works are and thus would be a bit difficult for a starting story as I put in a lot of complex interactions.
So I started a new world using a conceptual base directly inspired by some of the fictions on the site and its novel origins.

I hope for input to improve this and ideally to be able to develop a story here it looks like a lot but is really a skeleton not all of this info is probably needed for a particular story but it should serve to keep things in balance and avoid ridiculousness. (And also make it neater and prettier in format!!!!)

Please comment and offer advice, I have other worlds I've developed ranging from fantasy to science fiction that are more difficult to work on.

The concept involves taking the monster evolution aspect seen prominently in series such as Re:monster and derived fan fictions and expanding it in scope. Every species in this fiction will evolve by this method with new branches being developed by variations that develop.

next I take various organisms and fit them into tiers creatures can evolve when conditions are met varying from adaptation to climbing to the next tier. Each evolution can be classified as follows

New Variant:First divergent branch off should enough organisms replicate this path and develop this way to begin reproducing a new species will be able to develop.

Side grade/in tier evo-an evolution that better adapts a niche these ones do not necessarily lead anywhere and many will dead end but others will be more successful. This is what drives what in the real world would be considered evolution.

tiers
tiers are organized by an organisms overall spirit capacity which included soul strength and overall magical ability-magical ability may or may not be fully enforced into spell casting abilities as a creature will need adaptation necessary to cast "magic"
Thus tiers do not equal superiority a higher tier creature can be weaker than a lower tier creature in strength and speed  by trading off for versatility.

tier 0:
-very basal lifeforms typically unicellular and basal they have little to no magical ability and lack a spirit or soul but in exchange are extremely adaptable. compose 99.99% of life 
-examples: bacteria,  archaea, viruses and very simple eukaryotes. These organisms are for the most part microscopic.

tier 1:
-The first tier of creature to have a soul  thus some mana or spiritual energy. This tier primarily consists of small primarily generalist organisms that are easy to adapt to most environments. They primarily dominate the lower rungs of the food chain, relying on out reproducing their competition to survive and thus have had little need to evolve magical capabilities in order to survive which the main criteria for advancement.They rely on biological traits to survive.
-examples: many insects,worms, ,small mammals, ,small lizards, small amphibians,small fish(minnows anchovy)  most plants, most fungi, plankton(excluding larvae of higher tier creatures), cnidarians,, slimes etc.

tier 2:
-organisms in this tier have larger souls allowing them to develop magical sensing abilities or posses a very limited  ability to use mana. Like tier 1 organisms They rely primarily on biological traits to survive but can use mana sensing to avoid predators or locate prey. Some might be able to muster a brief pulse of mana etc however any such ability is localized and to basic for much more than sensory purposes.
-examples: specialized plants, specialized fungi including mana eating varieties, most animals(cats, wolves, song birds, hawks, sharks, snakes, cephlopods, specialized  invertebrates, etc.)

tier 3:
-organisms that have reached this tier are quite potent having fully evolved magical abilities unique to their species due to developing an organ known as a magic core that allows them to store and better manipulate mana. Creatures of this tier are often classified as magical beasts, or monsters depending on the culture making the judgment and or aggressiveness. Most creatures in this tier are difficult to fight based on their abilities and many are hunted for their cores as they are a lazy cheap way to gather mana.
-examples: drakes, wyverns and other lesser dragons,treants and other magical plant-forms , hellhounds, lesser hominids (goblins, trolls are hominids in my fiction just like gorillas etc) and any other ability using life form.

tier 4:
-This tier is home to highly advanced sentient species as well as evolved monsters. Organisms in this tier with have evolved the ability to manipulate mana to produce magic and or martial techniques. These abilities make them quiet potent and versatile if they train, but unlike innate abilities they usually require specialized learning to develop, Though some tier 4 creatures such as dragons possess both innate abilities and magic.
-examples:Humans, Dragons, Elves, Dwarfs, fey, "lizardfolk",mer etc basically any sentient race that trains magic and or martial arts ki techniques.

tier 5:
This tier is the first tier only reachable through training and ability as most become either sterile or produce offspring of their tier 4 species. Individuals that have reached this tier depending on their actions may be known as heroes,  demon kings, and the like.  

tier 6:
-This is the tier of those known as Demigods, beings that have obtained near immortality and incomprehensible power. Few are stupid or brave enough to challenge these beings, and calamity is sure to come should one be angered,  luckily they tend to keep to themselves having lost interest in worldly affairs and dedicate themselves to reaching true godhood and breaking free of the material plain. 
-In addition to demigods physical vessels used by gods to interact with mortals or hold a foothold on the mortal plain of gods remain at this potency should their spirit be absent from the plain however they serve as a god tether to a physical plane and can immediately return to their body if attacked making challenging them incredibly stupid even for a demigod... In short don't attack a sleeping demigod especially if you found it in a isolated remote area

tier 7+
-those who have reached this tier are called gods and are no longer bound to a physical body meaning they can't actually die. Generally once they become strong enough they move to the sea of souls which the multiverse resides in thus rarely interacting with physical worlds. They are however known to seed new universes ans well as seed suitable planets and moons with life to obtain new grounds to reincarnate souls.

-Deities reproduce by  taking recently departed spirits from the sea of souls and preserving and enhancing them before reincarnating them into a lesser organism. This is very difficult for a deity so it is usually only attempted by relatively powerful gods.

Weaker deities can only reincarnate creatures to lower tiers but powerful deities can even reincarnate up to tier 3 and 4. These reincarnated organisms receive a bit of the deities powers and by maintaining parts of their memories are generally more able to evolve to godhood.

Sea of souls-a extra dimensional plane home to spirits and many deities, and the native plane for souls.  It is extremely difficult to visit for most material creatures as physical bodies are worthless there. The ecosystem of the realm is basically an infinite expanse of mana scattered with spirits. Souls tend to concentrate near particular universes where they breed before seeking a new host organism making them unlikely to venture far from their realm of origin as they are a prey entity for strong spirits. Souls memories tend to drift out into the sea of souls and are generally eaten by various spirits. Thus most spirits reside in the sanctuary of a god and its followers who can protect them from more dangerous souls.
-message of importance spirits can equal bad news be wary of those that seek to get into a physical realm or souls that linger after death due to vengeful grudges these usually feed on other spirits!

-inanimate constructs with spirits can not advance naturally and must rely on external means to advance to higher triers. They are tier 3 by default (includes all soul bound automatons and undead)-they need either lots of mana or souls to do this. 

yes this is a new fictional concept, yes this is very simple compared to my normal ones. World building comes very very naturally to me on the large scale. Characters/events... not so much.

I hope for any input that can improve this and eventually lead to a story in this world.

RE: Fictonal worlds world building experiment

#2
I wouldn't really call that world building. World building is more about putting your reader in the fantasy world and making them feel like its real. You can say that there's elves in the world, but the reader doesn't feel it until they're shown some proof that they're dealing with elves. So descriptions, history, and lore all have to be introduced at regular intervals making the reader feel like they're dealing with elves. Remember not to smother the reader in info dumps, but rather introduce them through the storyline. Make learning elven lore part of the fictions plot.

What you're talking about sounds more like planning a fiction and getting everyones input. To be honest, I'd rather not help on this because when I come up with something I'm impressed with, I write it down in my ideas doc and keep it for my own use. Doing it this way has made the process of writing take months for just a couple of chapters, but I feel like I'm making something good.

RE: Fictonal worlds world building experiment

#3
09/03/2015 07:20:42DarkD Wrote: [ -> ]I wouldn't really call that world building.  World building is more about putting your reader in the fantasy world and making them feel like its real.  You can say that there's elves in the world, but the reader doesn't feel it until they're shown some proof that they're dealing with elves.  So descriptions, history, and lore all have to be introduced at regular intervals making the reader feel like they're dealing with elves.  Remember not to smother the reader in info dumps, but rather introduce them through the storyline.  Make learning elven lore part of the fictions plot.  

What you're talking about sounds more like planning a fiction and getting everyones input.  To be honest, I'd rather not help on this because when I come up with something I'm impressed with, I write it down in my ideas doc and keep it for my own use.  Doing it this way has made the process of writing take months for just a couple of chapters, but I feel like I'm making something good.

I am well aware that you don't dump everything at once as I've seen stories there but at the same time I despise fictions that are inconsistent. If an inconsistency is found after I make a story related to it it would devastate me meaning they need to be caught as soon as possible.

And how is establishing the rules a world is governed by not part of world building? yes it would only be part of the process but I have difficulties in trying to develop a story so its more of a skeleton as I said.

As for secondary goals I actually want people to take inspiration from any ideas I come up with as that will help make more coherent works I despise works where people can't keep their fictions facts straight or break already established rules.

I will be honest part of my reasoning for this is I hate how in Re:monster humans don't follow the same rules as other creatures as it forms an inconsistency. Its effectively the same as all objects with mass obeying gravity except cats.

ideally I'll develop this out and build a frame work for which stories can be developed from. To be honest the goal here is a more believable framework for reincarnations which seem scattered all over the place on this site. I am trying to set a reason and go from there.

RE: Fictonal worlds world building experiment

#5
09/03/2015 16:05:27Chiisutofupuru Wrote: [ -> ]I wouldn't necessarily call this "world building" either as it touches only one thing pretty much.
Could be a little more specific I think... for now.

Either than that, it is definitely interesting. Something I've never really thought about...


hmm then how should I go from here? The intent is to provide a frame work for the story first while leaving multiple options. I'm good at putting down the framework but the steps after that are more difficult. I have several possibilities in mind thanks to the frame work but the lower tiers are more or less split arbitrarily and at least one of the ideas needs that to be sorted out.

In short I have several settings in this framework but I don't have a gauge of how difficult they would be
1)-wandering soul taken and reborn, as aforementioned souls loose memories while wandering in the sea of souls so it wouldn't be a remember everything type of rebirth. stingy god=stingy reincarnation in this case they "invested" for a whopping... tier 1 dragonfly nymph. Can they evolve in time before their life span runs out?

2-a darker take taking some of this hinted aspects related to the human tendency to exploit other species in this case the illegal magic core poaching of tier 4 creatures.

3)-mc reborn as a scorpion to an evolved scorpion mother(FYI scorpions are one of the few arthropods that actually raise their young) other details pending

4)-main character that's unfortunate physically but gifted magically (as there are far to many master of everything reincarnate MC)

5)-variation on 1 with the dragonfly replaced with a antlion, throw in a reincarnate who had all the hallmarks of ADHD and the lonely isolation with only a smart a** deity to talk to for a MC destined to degenerate to madness

I'm keen to improve them but I had figured the setting was more important. Any suggestions on these story ideas? In particular, does any of them stand out as a starting project? I had other ideas but I figure their too complicated to start so I'll wait till I have experience.

RE: Fictonal worlds world building experiment

#6
09/03/2015 22:15:55Dragrath Wrote: [ -> ]
09/03/2015 16:05:27Chiisutofupuru Wrote: [ -> ]I wouldn't necessarily call this "world building" either as it touches only one thing pretty much.
Could be a little more specific I think... for now.

Either than that, it is definitely interesting. Something I've never really thought about...


hmm then how should I go from here? The intent is to provide a frame work for the story first while leaving multiple options. I'm good at putting down the framework but the steps after that are more difficult. I have several possibilities in mind thanks to the frame work but the lower tiers are more or less split arbitrarily and at least one of the ideas needs that to be sorted out.

In short I have several settings in this framework but I don't have a gauge of how difficult they would be


You seem focused on world building as a basis for a story, but I'm thinking you aren't quite clear on what world building actually includes. Another way to describe world building is how an author answers the following question:

"What is your world or setting like if your story  were not happening?"

If you split hairs, there are an infinite number of things this could include. (This is about building an entire world after all..) To generalize, there are a few aspects I think you can consider:

1) Natural/Physical Laws - How does magic work? What are the rules of the universe that characters can't break no matter how hard they try? What you've described I'd think of as a law of evolution, which falls under this category. Clearly defining these is the key to consistency, as you mentioned earlier.

2) Geography - Basically what your locations look like and where are relative to each other. Fairly self explanatory.

3) History and Culture - Unless your characters are fighting against nature itself, this is the biggest aspect of world building, which I believe the others are referring to. What happened in the world before the story starts? What are the rules that people live by? How do characters in the background behave and why do they behave that way?  In essence, what is 'normal' in the world and how does that affect or define your characters?

Ignoring how its presented, answering these questions properly in your story will draw readers into the world you've created. It will also enhance how your characters appear in contrast to the world around them.

The problem I see right now isn't about the ideas you have right now, but the other details you're still missing. (What you have so far here is actually fine I think.)

Just some food for thought ;)

RE: Fictonal worlds world building experiment

#7
09/04/2015 02:34:25ResonantIce Wrote: [ -> ]
09/03/2015 22:15:55Dragrath Wrote: [ -> ]
09/03/2015 16:05:27Chiisutofupuru Wrote: [ -> ]I wouldn't necessarily call this "world building" either as it touches only one thing pretty much.
Could be a little more specific I think... for now.

Either than that, it is definitely interesting. Something I've never really thought about...


hmm then how should I go from here? The intent is to provide a frame work for the story first while leaving multiple options. I'm good at putting down the framework but the steps after that are more difficult. I have several possibilities in mind thanks to the frame work but the lower tiers are more or less split arbitrarily and at least one of the ideas needs that to be sorted out.

In short I have several settings in this framework but I don't have a gauge of how difficult they would be


You seem focused on world building as a basis for a story, but I'm thinking you aren't quite clear on what world building actually includes. Another way to describe world building is how an author answers the following question:

"What is your world or setting like if your story  were not happening?"

If you split hairs, there are an infinite number of things this could include. (This is about building an entire world after all..) To generalize, there are a few aspects I think you can consider:

1) Natural/Physical Laws - How does magic work? What are the rules of the universe that characters can't break no matter how hard they try? What you've described I'd think of as a law of evolution, which falls under this category. Clearly defining these is the key to consistency, as you mentioned earlier.

2) Geography - Basically what your locations look like and where are relative to each other. Fairly self explanatory.

3) History and Culture - Unless your characters are fighting against nature itself, this is the biggest aspect of world building, which I believe the others are referring to. What happened in the world before the story starts? What are the rules that people live by? How do characters in the background behave and why do they behave that way?  In essence, what is 'normal' in the world and how does that affect or define your characters?

Ignoring how its presented, answering these questions properly in your story will draw readers into the world you've created. It will also enhance how your characters appear in contrast to the world around them.

The problem I see right now isn't about the ideas you have right now, but the other details you're still missing. (What you have so far here is actually fine I think.)

Just some food for thought ;)


Thanks this is more of the input I have been looking for. 

For magic systems I'm leaning away from the 4 elements concept that's so overused. My thoughts are that elements are an arbitrary restriction groups have placed on themselves. The lines are very blurry on the differences between fire water earth and wind that are so commonly seen these days. After all chemical reactions pressure variation and state changes govern most of these with only the inexplicable manipulation of water left out.

For realism sake I'm thinking that it would be better to lack a unified classification system and focus on what magic can or can't do. I mean in the real world we haven't been able to agree on classifications for thousands of years so why would primitive cultures have solved that out?

-Naturally magic can't violate  conservation laws of nature as these corespond to symetries in the laws.
So naturally that means magic can't create something from nothing, magic will instead use energy(generally taken from the caster or their suroundings using mana as the catalyst. 

I  also intend to link magic based on the type of understanding one would need to use and develop it rather than the effects for example magic healing magic, "biomancy" and "true" necromancy are all part the same research path (though the latter would also require some understanding of spirits) as they require an understanding of the body.
For example a dedicated healer might be proficient at healing the body even restoring lost body parts but be compleatly hopeless at curing diseases  as they don't understand that illnesses are actually caused by organisms and that removing them via  magic  would require precise destruction use or fall into  destructive arts_  

-This is for spells however   magic and mana manipulating martial techniques are restricted to tier 4 organisms.
Lower tier creatures rely on abilities that have evolved to use mana in a particular way similar to  how muscles have a specific use their is some leyway and one can get more proficient at it but there is a limit. tecnacly the tier 4 manipulation is actually a really advanced ability linked to the organisms understanding, the physical limitations of the brain and energy expenditures and the difficulty of use.


-chanting as well as tools like staves are actually aides used to make casting easier either as mnemonics or an amplifying device. 
-Sufficiently advanced casters abilities begin to resemble psychic abilities in activation requiring only the understanding technique and energy necessary.

As of attributes that can serve as weaknesses and strengths my thoughts are piercing, blunt, slashing, cold, hot, water(as in organisms heavily depending on it) poison, electricity.

-For the Geography I haven't heavily developed it for this fictional world due to its youth however I do have some experience here, one of my older more fleshed out fictions has established plate boundaries geologic strata by regions and weather patterns. I also like to make use of seasons and terrain effects, such as waters temperature moderation and the rain shadow effect mountains produce.

-The overall specifics for both geography and culture haven't been decided however as I figure that those will depend on the story in question or which ever plotline idea I do. Regardless should humans be present in a location expect heavy environmental effects as hunting logging and farming can dramatically alter the environment, the extent varying on technological development. The main  difference here is that here organisms can counter adapt to fight back against human expansion, and that humans are not the only tier 4 species (though they are the dominate one). As such humans dominate the more temperate latitudes of the northern hemisphere with naturally divergent cultures and powers, but have lacked a strong foothold into more inhospitable regions that are either heavily disease prone such as the tropics, or populated with very strong creatures(backed by tier 5+ individuals). Thus these areas tend to be inhabited by smaller groups such as independent tribes, explorers or experts in isolation rather than large kingdoms.

I could definitely use some help narrowing down the specifics as I haven't developed much of politics for this world.

As for culture that varies when and where and which realm the story takes place in. The concept of holding nations and empires with established boundaries is more or less unique to humans.
For example species such as dragons live tribes or clans tend to dominate a particular region as hunting grounds but they don't really car about other races boundaries or pay much mind to other races should they leave them alone(they might try them as a snack though) Sea dwelling races keep to themselves and generally only engage in conflict with land dwellers if they try and take things from the sea in significant quantities so sea food is one of the most expensive meals.

Any other advice could help out here as any more and I'll have to borrow from my other concepts in ways that might be detrimental to this. (do note that all no hominid tier 4 creatures will exhibit very different norms and cultural structure other than that I haven't decided a lot of that.

Most of the story ideas I have in mind would be MC vs nature fighting against the environment and predators etc.they wouldn't be able to interact with people till later...