Questions to ask when starting a new society

Eventually people will be allowed to start new cultures in the game. Each culture has to be unique, and the founders need to figure out the answers to these questions.

Technology level

What is the technology level? Generally everybody starts from stone age, so if you want to start from a higher tech level, you will need starting equipment and knowledge of resource deposits nearby. Only if existing characters decide to establish a new community, they might have equipment they have developed or traded for in-game. If somebody wants to start a new society with starter equipment, it might be required that they make a donation.

Societal structure

Is the community homogeneous or does it consist of different factions? Are there layers/castes? How does the society treat the poor, the old and the disabled? Is there slavery? Is everybody considered equal or are some people worth more than others? Are there some people who disagree with the prevalent notion? How does the society react to dissidents?

Economy

Does the society recognize individual possessions or is everything shared? Do certain individuals get a right to a share of the earnings of someone else? Are there taxes? Is there money or do people barter?

Leadership

Is leadership defined by bloodlines, strength or popular vote? Are there factions who want to change this? If there is voting, who is allowed to vote?

Law and order

How does the society treat criminals? Which things are considered illegal? Does the society have laws that seem silly from a modern perspective? Are there things that are technically illegal but most people do it anyway? Are there criminal organizations? Does the government fund things like piracy?

Dressing conventions

Is there a reigning fashion or do people express individuality? Do different social classes dress in a specific way? Does clothing reflect status? Are there certain materials, styles or colors that are forbidden from certain social classes or genders?

Naming conventions

Do people have last names and middle names or just first names? Do they have patronymics or names that are based on occupations? Are first names based on traits of the owner or features that the parents wish the child to have when they grow older? Are children named by the day of the week, month, season or weather at the moment of birth, or perhaps how many siblings of the same gender exist in advance? Is it considered good or bad to have namesakes? Are young people allowed to pick out a new name when they reach maturity?

 

Ilona Ward

 

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