EXERCISE General World Building: Nomadic Civilization

Discussion in 'DEVELOPING CHARACTERS & CULTURES' started by Lstorm, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. People tend to forget that during the early periods of history, many civilizations lived nomadic lifestyles, wandering from one place to another. Whether they did this because resources were always scarce or because it was their way of life varies from civilization to civilization. However, all nomadic cultures were built around being mobile and as such, they often carried their houses with themselves and they placed great emphasis on the warriors of their culture. In a nomadic culture, nearly every man was a trained warrior who could hold his own against enemies.

    Your exercise is to create a nomadic civilization. You can either invent one completely on your own, or you can use the follow questions as help.

    Why is the nomadic civilization always travelling?

    What kind of homes do the nomads have?

    Do the nomads have a religion? If so, what is it like?

    Do the nomads have animals with them? If so, what kind of animals do they have?

    What do the nomads do? Are they primarily warriors, animal herders or maybe even some sort of mercenaries?

    How are these nomads viewed by other civilizations? Is their way of life considered normal?

    Is there anything in particular this civilization is very famous for?

    What does their society look like? Do they place warriors above everything else? Are they only composed of warriors who happen to do other things as well, or do they assign roles amongst themselves?

    Do these nomads have a leader or are they tribes who just happened to band together?

    How long do these nomads stay in one place? Is there a specific time limit or do they just move on when they have exhausted the resources of the territory?

    How do the people live their everyday lives when the nomads are settled down? How do they live it when they are travelling?

    What would it take for these nomads to settle down?
     
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  2. This is perfect for a world I've been trying to build!
    Keep in mind that the planet, Ignius, is a volcanic desert world, constantly being changed by eruptions and lava flows, as well as tectonic shifts.

    Why is the nomadic civilization always traveling?
    A lack of resources and a volatile landscape forces the various Ignian clans to be all but constantly on the move.
    What kind of homes do the nomads have?

    Their homes are similar to the Native American Teepees.
    Do the nomads have a religion? If so, what is it like?

    The Ingnian religion revolves around the Kingdoms of Night and Day, and the gods who watch over them. Foragers, who require on daylight to help them find plant based food sources and scout out new temporary homes, worship the god and goddess of the Day, who are represented by the planets two suns. The foragers burn small portions of food in honor of them during the day. The hunters, who require little light, the cover of darkness, silence and trickery to help them hunt the deadly and powerful animals of the world, as well as raid enemy clans' camps. They worship the god of darkness, the King of Night and patron of predators and the predatory arts of hunting, who is represented by a constellation that works in tandem with the moon to appear as a giant, luminous eye in the night sky. The hunters sacrifice bits of meat to him as tribute for keeping them hidden and safe during the night hours.
    Do the nomads have animals with them? If so, what kind of animals do they have?

    They occasionally have some type of herd animals, similar to goats, and near silent lupine hunting companions.
    What do the nomads do? Are they primarily warriors, animal herders or maybe even some sort of mercenaries?
    The male population is primarily made of hunter-warriors and warrior mages, while the women are gatherers, tend the herd, and act as healers and backup mages in times of war, though men and women switch through the roles of caring for livestock and children fluidly.
    How are these nomads viewed by other civilizations? Is their way of life considered normal?

    On the planet of Ignius, nomadic life is all but universal, aside from a few of the other desert-dwelling tribal races.
    Is there anything in particular this civilization is very famous for?

    The Ignians, collectively, are known for ability to manipulate heat within an area around them. As a civilization, the Ignian Clans are recognizable for outcasting clanmen who break the clans law, and their outcasts' tendency to form clans of their own, called gaaraclans, that are often short-lived and never seen as a true clan.
    What does their society look like? Do they place warriors above everything else? Are they only composed of warriors who happen to do other things as well, or do they assign roles amongst themselves?

    In Ignian society, all are equal but the chief and the outcasts, and the only reason the clan chief is above everyone else is because he demands respect and obedience in exchange for being able to lead the clan safely to and fro.
    Do these nomads have a leader or are they tribes who just happened to band together?

    The clans have a chief, who guides them through the wastes, distributes supplies, and strategizes during times of war.
    How long do these nomads stay in one place? Is there a specific time limit or do they just move on when they have exhausted the resources of the territory?

    They often stay "as long as the land will let [them]," and move only when resources are exhausted, there's a shift in the local geography, or a volcano erupts and forces them to move or die.
    How do the people live their everyday lives when the nomads are settled down? How do they live it when they are traveling?

    When settled, much of the time during the day the women spend gathering fruits, vegetables, herbs, and roots, while the men care for the children. During the night hours, the men go out and hunt while the women care for the herd and the children. During travel, everyone has individually assigned jobs to do to help get the clan to the next location safely.
    What would it take for these nomads to settle down?

    Abundant resources, land that won't shift, and no nearby active volcanoes.
     
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  3. Why is the nomadic civilization always travelling?
    The Pirez travel with the currents and sea winds. They go where the wind guides their ships, and where they've been hired to go. Each tribe tends to stick to loosely made borders, that aren't really there.

    What kind of homes do the nomads have?
    They tend to live on their ships, with one ship per family, and about 10 to 30 ships depending on the size if the tribe. Because of this, the tribe is referred to as a fleet, and each family is a vessel. Each fleet has an island upon which every vessel reconvenes together at about once each season.

    Do the nomads have a religion? If so, what is it like?
    They, like all other people of Twaflo, worship the Light and their patron god/goddess. Their patron is Sachaea, the God of travel and wanderers. However, they do make tributes and prayers to Vaerui, the Goddess of the sea, rivers, lakes, and water.

    Do the nomads have animals with them? If so, what kind of animals do they have?
    Yes, they usually have livestock, messenger birds, cats (to keep the rat population down), and personal animals.

    What do the nomads do? Are they primarily warriors, animal herders or maybe even some sort of mercenaries?

    The Pirez are basically mercenaries and warriors, but follow a strict set of rules. They do not kill unless needed, and only steal from those who can afford to be stolen from. They do not want to descend to the Dark, but some fleets do not adhere to these rules.

    How are these nomads viewed by other civilizations? Is their way of life considered normal?
    The Pirez are often regarded as uncultured, lazy, greedy, and savage by other civilizations, due to the bad rep some of the tribes have gained. Their way of life isn't really thought about much, as many of the other civilizations don't know about it.

    Is there anything in particular this civilization is very famous for?

    The Pirez are famous for their bright, colorful, and beautiful ships, with patterned cloth as their sails. The people themselves are famous in the small island of Curacia for being kissed and embraced by the sun, with gracefull movements that would make dancers jealous. However, they're also famous for being uncultured savages, who kill for pay.

    What does their society look like? Do they place warriors above everything else? Are they only composed of warriors who happen to do other things as well, or do they assign roles amongst themselves?
    Every single child is taught to fight, defend themself, sail, navigate, fish, and hunt. Everyone knows these basic skills, as they're considered necessary skills in order to survive. Many pick up other skills as well.

    Do these nomads have a leader or are they tribes who just happened to band together?

    The Pirez are comprised of four smaller fleets, which meet every four years for discussions. There are three fleets that have gone rogue, and do not adhere to the rules set forth by these meetings. They are not considered Pirez by the other four fleets, but they themselves still see themselves as Pirez, which has caused many problems for the four fleets.

    How long do these nomads stay in one place? Is there a specific time limit or do they just move on when they have exhausted the resources of the territory?
    The Pirez move on when they feel like it, if the currents change, depending on the seasons, or to meet with other fleets for discussions. Every fleet is a little different depending on their general area for travel.

    How do the people live their everyday lives when the nomads are settled down? How do they live it when they are travelling?

    When they're travelling, there is a lot of work to be done, and it's important to stay out of the other's way. Once they dock, there is a lot of dancing, training, and relaxing a little more.

    What would it take for these nomads to settle down?

    As long as the seas and oceans exist, the Pirez will most likely never truly settle down. Their ships would have to be rendered useless first.
     
    #3 thatswedishfish, Sep 23, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2014
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  4. So I read the instruction and thought of something a bit larger. I give you the Assecula



    Why is the nomadic civilization always travelling?

    Because they've exhausted all the resources on the planet. They're intergalactic parasites moving from planet to planet, using it's resources to fuel their hunger and need for things.


    What kind of homes do the nomads have?

    Their homes are made of the resources most abundant on the planet. Example if they came to earth they'd use their advanced technology to make homes made of lumber and steel.


    Do the nomads have a religion? If so, what is it like?

    They don't have a religion per say. Their culture revolves around absorbing the things that are around them imitating their environment and a creature of their race that doesn't do this is considered strange


    Do the nomads have animals with them? If so, what kind of animals do they have?

    Usually they'll just find an animal they like from the planet and take it as a pet, killing it once they leave. Very rarely if one really likes the animal he will take it with him to the next world.



    What do the nomads do? Are they primarily warriors, animal herders or maybe even some sort of mercenaries?

    Well most are hedonistic. Taking all the pleasures they desire from a place and not caring about anything else. The few that break the laws of the society are put to work manning the machinery which sucks the resources from the host planet.


    How are these nomads viewed by other civilizations? Is their way of life considered normal?

    Almost every civilization looks down on the assecula. Their way of life is scorned and considered evil.


    Is there anything in particular this civilization is very famous for?

    Nothing in particular. They're a famous species given their lifestyle and are known throughout the known galaxies. "Assecula" being a common insult for a freeloader living off someone else.


    What does their society look like? Do they place warriors above everything else? Are they only composed of warriors who happen to do other things as well, or do they assign roles amongst themselves?

    Most have a little experience on how to fight since imitating a planet's atmosphere also involves learning the various ways of combat the planet has but none are actual warriors. There are very few roles in the society and since most don't care for anything besides themselves the few that do sort of inherit the job. Mostly it's just overseeing resource collection and giving the resources, refined in the way they want to the citizens.


    Do these nomads have a leader or are they tribes who just happened to band together?

    There is no real leader. When the general consensus is they've taken everything from the planet there is to take they all board a ship and head off to the next world.


    How long do these nomads stay in one place? Is there a specific time limit or do they just move on when they have exhausted the resources of the territory?

    They simply move on once everything has been taken. How long that is depends on the size of the planet and how much it has to offer. Generally it takes about half a year to consume everything and then it's off to the next world.


    How do the people live their everyday lives when the nomads are settled down? How do they live it when they are travelling?

    When they're settled they spend the days and nights feasting and entertaining themselves however they like. It's very dangerous but some start to take drugs and alcohol that's in plentiful supply on the planet. However if they become addicted they're sorta screwed since it'll be gone in half a year. When they decide as a society to leave, all of them are placed in cryogenic storage on board a ship and they fly out on autopilot as a fleet until they reach the next world.





    What would it take for these nomads to settle down?

    It would take a place where every resource on the planet is renewable enough to keep up with their demand. Since this is almost impossible it'll most likely never happen
     
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  5. Hah, this is a perfect excersize for a book I'm working on eUe This is why I love Iwaku.

    Note: The book is about horses. xD Wild Horses taking the place of Humans after an apocalypse that killed off Mankind.

    Why is the nomadic civilization always travelling?

    They need to migrate so they always have grazing pastures.

    What kind of homes do the nomads have?

    They usually live in large caves or under overhangs.

    Do the nomads have a religion? If so, what is it like?

    They have an almost-religion. It's very early in their civilization.

    Do the nomads have animals with them? If so, what kind of animals do they have?

    Later in the story they'll accidentally adopt dogs.

    What do the nomads do? Are they primarily warriors, animal herders or maybe even some sort of mercenaries?

    They mainly just battle for survival. They aren't far enough in to decide on a difference in classes minus "Leader" and "Heir To The Leader."

    How are these nomads viewed by other civilizations? Is their way of life considered normal?

    For the most part, yes, it is. However, the Herds living in warmer climates (where Winter doesn't affect crap), they may see it as "barbaric" or "Uncivilized".

    Is there anything in particular this civilization is very famous for?

    Not really.

    What does their society look like? Do they place warriors above everything else? Are they only composed of warriors who happen to do other things as well, or do they assign roles amongst themselves?

    Again, there's little difference other than Leader and Heir. However, some Stallions have started making a "proto-army," that is, they believe that the strongest Stallions should defend the herd while the younger colts and Mares stay in the center of the herd. The groups aren't really used to this, and grow uneasy when it's enacted.

    Do these nomads have a leader or are they tribes who just happened to band together?

    They have two leaders. The Lead Mare tells the herd where to go, when to rest and when to eat. The Lead Stallion is the male she mates with the most, and he provides the most protection.

    How long do these nomads stay in one place? Is there a specific time limit or do they just move on when they have exhausted the resources of the territory?

    They usually have two unique places: the Warm Grazing and the Cold Grazing. When the Summer comes around, they go to Warm Grazing, which is the Summer grazing grounds and also where they give birth. They go to Cold Grazing when winter hits.

    How do the people live their everyday lives when the nomads are settled down? How do they live it when they are travelling?

    They live similarly to today's Wild Horses, with a little more structure.

    What would it take for these nomads to settle down?

    Good grazing, or being forcefully trapped somewhere. They've lost their natural Predator Detection, thus it makes it harder for them to see danger before it surrounds them.
     
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  6. Yays for nomads (I don't know...)

    Why is the nomadic civilization always travelling?
    They continuously travelling avoid the 'Earth Killer', a disturbed area in the middle of a vast desert which because of the area constantly sends out slow moving cracks in the ground releasing a acidic gas which is produced by the disturbed area.
    What kind of homes do the nomads have?
    They have spring up homes, which are winded down into a 30cmx30x10 box. From it explodes a square like shelter which slowly self-inflate and are easily packed away into their backpacks
    Do the nomads have a religion? If so, what is it like?
    The nomads past was turned into legend. Basically this is the backstory. The people once had a mighty civilisation with a huge city in the middle of a plentiful land. They were ruled over by fair and kind gods. But then, born deep underground was the Earth Killer, born from the centre of the earth. Some of the gods used their magic to imprison him. But then a envious miner, Haslaka dug they're way to the Earth Killer to release him. The Earth Killer possessed Haslaka and used him to destroy the city. A few survivors ran away. The Earth Killer wanted to plunge the world into lifeless desert, but the nomads are the Last People. They go around tending and reviving the environment as much as they can. Procephies say that eventually they will have a strong area to keep the Earth Killer out. Then the Saviour will destroy the Earth Killer, and the Tree Of Life will grow from the earth killers dead body.
    Do the nomads have animals with them? If so, what kind of animals do they have?
    The nomads have many different animals with them, but their primary animal is a Shaf, a goat like creature the size of a fawn and quite fast. From tens of thousands of years of taming, the Shaf are extremely tame and will hop into their backpacks when they are moving. The Shaf breed very quickly and use up little food and water. They have short life spans (6 months) and they're bodies are very nutritious and fertilising. They also carry around many specimens that they find, for example they will pick up eggs and tend to them bringing them to a safer area.
    What do the nomads do? Are they primarily warriors, animal herders or maybe even some sort of mercenaries?
    They are entirely devoted to the growth of their environment and very friendly. They all share tasks such as scouting for the Earth's Killers tendrils, carrying and tending to Shay or other animals, planting and caring for seeds and saplings. All of them have a back pack to
    How are these nomads viewed by other civilizations? Is their way of life considered normal?
    The nomads are far away from the major group of Southern civilisation so they have a very different culture and language. Most Southerners think the nomads are just child tales, the Earth Killer not actually existing
    Is there anything in particular this civilization is very famous for?
    This civilisation is famous for their ability to settle down and build up what looks like permanent bases, revive the wildlife in weeks or months, and then quickly move on in a few hours.
    What does their society look like? Do they place warriors above everything else? Are they only composed of warriors who happen to do other things as well, or do they assign roles amongst themselves?
    I've kind of accidentally explained this above. I'll just explain the tribe system. When a tribe starts becoming to large, and the tribe starts to drain the resources more than they grow them, a few adventurous young men and women break off from the tribe. Sometimes they take orphans or their own children with them. They make sure they have people agile enough to move. Sometimes a couple decides they want to start a clan and they will break off from the main clan with a few resources and continue the nomads quest. Elders are respected and they give as much knowledge as they can to the younger people, because eventually the old people of the tribe won't be able to walk fast enough
    Do these nomads have a leader or are they tribes who just happened to band together?
    The nomads do not have a leader, they all have a say in their large clan-wide government. People breaking the rules are sometimes ignored, and if too much will be thrown out as outcasts. This is rare though
    How long do these nomads stay in one place? Is there a specific time limit or do they just move on when they have exhausted the resources of the territory?
    They limit their selves to a few months so they can regrow more, or when the Earth Killers tendrils reach them. When the cracks slowly are seen in the distance, as much as possible is evacuated and they move to a new area.
    How do the people live their everyday lives when the nomads are settled down? How do they live it when they are travelling?
    When nomads arrive at a sufficient area, they will set out their inflatable houses, and then instantly get to work of unpacking, upturning soil, watering, etc. Each day is quite busy, the people will constantly make the soil growable, expanding their territory. So the average day of a nomad would be wake up, have breakfast, usually some vegetables or a bit of meat and water, then get to either expanding the growable soil, planting grass or feeding the Shay. You might be given the special job of incubating eggs to release them into the wild. You tend to the grass and plant food crops, flowers etc. Before midday, everything is given a good water and the people go inside to retreat from the heat. When the heats suppressed a bit, they eat a little. Outside people make fertilizer and plant etc. Every few days they have a large breakfast. When they have successfully re established a part of the wild that will safely continue to grow out, a large feast is held outside with fire. They stay up late into the night and have a day with only a small amount of work the next day. Then they will spend a few days sorting through their things to pack up and move on.
    Travelling can be hard in the rocky like desert. They continue walking for a long time with a heavy backpack. They stop and open up small portable shade umbrellas on their backpack and stop for a rest, drinking a little water. They only eat every two days. If they pass through another green area, they will stop for supplies. Usually they travel for 8 days away from their newly established environment, 24 if the Earth Killer is nearby (with occasional stops for a few days). They start walking early in the morning when its cool, a bit before sunrise. They continue to nightfall then sleep in warming blankets. When they find an area, they will rise their houses and sleep inside for a day as well as a small feast. The next day they continue work
    What would it take for these nomads to settle down?
    Only when each environment is safe from the Earth Killer, and the Earth Killer preferably dead.
     
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