Art by Jonone.
How I have written this extensively on the depth of world building, is a bit confusing to me. On the other hand, I have literally spent this last week spending work on how arrange the actual language trees of my world. I’ve don this exactly maybe four times in my work as a world builder, and never before have I placed so much random emphasis on tracking which languages are related to which group. That is likely because most of my work up until now has been the proto-typical fantasy trope of each race have its own unique, but racially specific culture. Land in the Stars on the other hand has been once again an utter learning experience.
It is kind of ridiculous to to consider how complex this world is. I mean its not like other shave not undertaken such challenges, it is just for me beyond my Amazon works I have never really done something with so many varying attributes. It is for this reason alone I describe my work on this as a “Deep World Build”, as I am going beyond the typical rules of designing and ecology. That’s not even on the table just yet. When I finally get to designing work I’ll likely find myself contemplating how each planetary ecosystem interacts with their independent biomes. For the moment however I am dealing with something that is perhaps just hard to track. I’ll likely have to break out my whiteboard and draw a massive web of all the various factors I’m keeping track of.
This is perhaps the one area I have yet to tackle, that I am silently doing the most research on. I don’t want to just have errant disagreeing religions, I want to have the politics of religion in this game. Often time people use the typical duality of religions to create a competition of belief. In this case, I want characters to openly questiont he sect, the doctrine, and the interpretation of their faith. Faiths should be related, and yet at the same time cause people to scream heresy. Much of the turmoil inherent in the Reformation, and the early days of Islam were the response to divisions within the clergy, the scripture, and moments to decide who would lead the faith.
Combine that with the cultural differences of each people found within the Triad, and yes there will be a lot of story options. Likely too many for newcomers (one reason this game is private), but enough that people will be brimming with ideas just by glancing at the lore.
The story of ethnicity in this game is going to take a while to cover. The truth behind all this work on etnicity, and racial identity goes back to one of the grounding factors in Land in the Stars, and that is history. Throughout much of human history our means of identification. Nations in the modern day are starting to see much, much more of how entinicity can divide a country. Considering the unification of the Triad under the Star Emprerors, the noble Houses each have their own unique histories, and cultures to design. This means that a story between two warring Houses will not always include the simplicity of feud.
In the cases of religious difference it will play into how two Houses might see the rightness of spirituality. Or in the case of ethnicity it might be one family trying to gaining independence, or increased rights for their people. That or it will also allow people to take advantage of dredging up ethnic hatreds to manipulate others. To this degree each family that plays the Sovereign Game, is influenced by their background, and the culture they come from.
Ethnic groups should have just enough lore that every time a character is born from them there is a color or a flavor of that group in that cover. How they hold to tradition; how they rebel; how they were raised; or the reasons they were not raised etc; all of it needs to have some hand from the ethnic background of the character. Even if that is a -lack- of ethnic identity, that needs so affect the character in some way.
Planets should not breath with stereotypes, but diverse peoples with related, or irrelated differences and connections.