Ever wonder what your world building style is? Are you a simple world builder who prefers story to setting? Are you an in depth world builder who wants your world to run on its own and be as big a character as any of the actual characters? Or do you fall somewhere in the middle? All are good! Take this simple ten question quiz to get an idea of where you stand. 1) I prefer media with worlds that are a) very detailed. I like to see the world around me as I read about it. b) moderately detailed. Too much detail interferes with plot, but I want to know where I am c) simple. I don’t really want a lot of lore and description weighing down my adventure. 2) When it comes to linguistics a) I want a detailed glossary for all the other languages I will be encountering and a few new grammar rules b) I like a few important terms in other languages, but the majority in my native tongue c) Please don’t try to include fancy new terms other than places and titles. 3) When it comes to cultures a) The worlds I build or wish to build are varied with many highly distinct cultures and a cosmopolitan melting pot or two. b) My world has a few distinct cultures, perhaps drawn by species line. c) My world has one culture. That’s plenty. 4) Politics in a world should be a) integral and constantly moving in the background, even when the characters aren’t there to see them. b) Important as they relate to the characters and major world events. c) Not important. Only the plot related politics should be mentioned. 5) Creatures in a new world should be a) Built from the ground up, part by part and suited to their own ecosystem b) Built to fit an ecosystem, but based loosely on existing species c) Based heavily on existing species with loose regard to ecosystem 6) Pseudo sciences should figure into your world a) heavily among those prone to mysticism or superstition. b) only when the story calls for it. c) I don’t have time to get into palm reading and astrology. There’s either magic or there isn’t. 7) You like to write a) heavily detailed and in depth stories. b) stories that rely on description of what is happening to the main characters as it happens c) lightly detailed stories that rely more on emotion than anything. 8) Religion and/or skepticism in a new world should be a) psychologically realistic. People believe and behave certain ways for certain reasons and a species should have consistent psychology for the most part, even when beliefs vary from region to region and person to person. b) varied from place to place and person to person, but not rely too heavy on psychology or sociology. That part should be unspoken. c) Just there for a plot device. We don’t have to explain it, people know how it works. 9) Description of places should be limited to a) Individual regions with important towns, cities, landmarks, buildings, and historical areas detailed. b) Larger regions with important cities and plot relevant places detailed. c) Plot relevant places and major cities only, the rest can be made up as needed. 10) Science or magic should be a) a structured thing with societies based around it, possibly schools, but definitely a certain way that it works and a history to it. b) important to the culture beyond just the surface, but not so consuming that the character’s stories are lost c) There. Why explain why the sword is on fire beyond a basic legend, if even that? It takes away from the pacing. If you answered mostly A: You love detailed worlds, but that’s okay, because you probably write detailed stories, too. You love words, you love psychology, and you like to not only know how something ticks but why, when, and where the sun was when it ticked. Embrace your detail oriented creation, but be careful not to be bogged down by too many details lest your story become dry and technical rather than vibrant and alive. If you answered mostly B: You like moderation. You want just enough world story that the world seems alive without bogging down the narrative. You also like to leave a few loose ends just in case your players do something incredible and you want to make it a part of the world. Enjoy the flexibility you have but don’t get lazy. It’s very easy to put heavy detail into areas you love and neglect those you have trouble with. If you answered mostly C You like to build simple worlds. You pride yourself and your players on being spontaneous, inventive, and moving the story along without there having to be a whole world to memorize. You have a lot of wiggle room in your world for it to go anywhere the story takes it! Have fun with your world, but keep notes on what definitely does exist in it, just so it doesn’t run off without you in a direction you don’t like. If you answered a mix of A, B, and C You are either a flexible world builder who takes audience into account or you don’t know quite what you want to do. If you are the former, congratulate yourself. You’ve learned a hard lesson and can provide what is necessary to keep people interested no matter their attention span. If you’re the latter, then take a look around the Guild, read some workshops, do a few exercises and find your niche. It’s an exciting journey on the road to your own world!