Social Organization

  • What are the easiest and most common ways to advance in status? Can one attain higher status by amassing more money, marrying well, getting the king’s favor? How much resistance is there to someone advancing in social status?
  • What are the various ranks and titles and proper forms of address for the aristocracy and nobility? For addressing peers, social betters, or social inferiors?
  • Which occupations are most respected? Which are most looked down upon? Why?
  • How many levels are there in this society? How firm are the divisions between these levels? Is it possible to move between them?
  • How difficult is it to rise or fall from one social level to another? How much social mobility is there? How much do people think there is?
  • Specific Countries
  • What is the basic form of government in this country? Feudal aristocracy, oligarcy, absolute rulership, democracy, theocracy? What forms of government are used in neighboring countries, and why are they the same or different?
  • Who are the rivals or enemies of this country? How close are they physically? How powerful?
  • Who are the heroes and villains of each country’s history? Why are they heroes, and what does this say about the country and people?
  • How accessible is this area? What natural features mark the borders? Who are the neighboring countries and peoples and what are they like?
  • Why did people settle in this area in the first place? Is it a strategic location, a trade route, a good place for a harbor, rich in minerals, good for farming? Have things changed much since people entered the area, or do people still depend on whatever brought them here in the first place?
  • How do the weapons of this country compare with those of surrounding cities and countries? Have there been recent innovations that may upset the balance of power, or is everyone more or less equal?
  • How diverse is the population of this country? How many different races (human or non-human), creeds, and ethnicities normally live in various cities and towns in this country? In what percentages?
  • Are people immigrating to or emmigrating from the country? Why?
  • Is magic legal there? All magic, or only some types? Do laws governing magic vary widely from city to city, or are attitudes generally similar?
  • What does this country import? Export? How important is trade to the economy? How is currency exchange handled, and by whom?
  • What is monetary system used, and who mints it?
  • How much of this country is farmland? Forest? Desert? Mountains? Plains? How much of it is arable?
  • What are the primary crops? Are any grown mainly for export or for trade?
  • What crops can not be grown here because of the soil or climate?
  • What water resources are available here, and for what uses?
  • What wild animals live in this area? Are any of them potentially useful (for fur, oil, hides, magical ingredient, feathers) or dangerous to the population?
  • Which animals are commonly domesticated in this area? Which aren’t there, but are elsewhere?

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Social Organization

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