Questions to Consider When World Building: Part IV (Arts, Culture, and Social Relations)


  • What forms of art exist in this world? (e.g. music, story, painting, sculpture, weaving, carving, dance etc)
  • Are their formal venues for the exhibition of art or art forms?
  • Is there a system of training for artists?
  • How is art perceived by inhabitants of this world?
  • How is art practiced in this world? Is it valued? By whom? To what end?
  • Is art regulated?
  • How has culture, politics, war, history, climate, etc. influenced the type of art created?
  • How have these same elements influenced the ability to create/accessibility of art?
  • How has climate, topography, and geography influenced architecture?
  • How has spiritual or cultural belief influenced architecture?
  • What building materials are available? How has this influenced architecture?
  • How has the necessity of a particular type of architecture affected daily living?

Social Structure/Culture/Spirituality

  • Is there a class system? How are they delivered?
  • Are there different cultures?
  • Is there are different cultures, how do they interact?
  • If there a dominant culture?
  • How are smaller/fringe cultures viewed?
  • What types of conflicts exist between classes? How are they expressed?
  • What types of conflict exist between cultures? How are they expressed?
  • What types of social/cultural norms exist around gender?
  • What types of social/cultural norms exist around sexuality?
  • What is the dominant spiritual belief?
  • Does this world believe in deity? If so, how many?
  • What is the relationship between spirituality and nature?
  • What form does religion take? Is it organized? Ritualized?
  • What rituals are used and why?
  • What form do these rituals take?
  • Who participates in what system of belief? Are there differences?
  • Who does not believe in spirituality of this world and why?
  • What are the consequences of choosing or not choosing to participate in the dominant spiritual belief/religion?
  • Is there religious persecution?

Relating/Relationships/Personal Expression

  • How do inhabitants of this world organize themselves in groupings? (e.g. familial, skill-based, intellectual, etc)
  • To what degree do inhabitants of this world form bonds with one another?
  • How are bonds expressed?
  • What types of relationships exist in this world? (e.g. only co-workers, friendships, romantic, etc)
  • Are all relationships permitted equally across social strata? (e.g. can only one group form romantic attachments, etc)
  • Are relationships permitted between different classes/races/groupings?
  • How do inhabitants of this world express different types of attachment?
  • How freely can inhabitants express their feelings/thoughts/opinions?
  • How freely can inhabitants choose their groupings/pairings/partnerships?
  • How do these inhabitants treat offspring?

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