A Long Time In Politics

A Long Time In Politics

If a week is a long time in politics, creating a political back-story for your world going back centuries can appear a daunting task.  There are some key things you can think about to make this process both believable and organic.

  1. Geography.  Politics starts with your map!  What countries are neighbors, and what natural resources do they have?  Are they likely to be complimentary (trade partners) or rivals for resources that only one can control? Borders and their location tend to be fertile ground for all manner of quest opportunities.

  2. Races or Species.  Locating your races or species within the world setting allows you to create a geopolitical setting.  Where are the alliances?  Cultural rivalries? Trade routes between them?

  3. Political Lifecycle.  Empires rise and fall.  Which territories within your world are in the ascendancy and which have seen a decline?  What effect are these changes having on people and population centers?  Is the process natural evolution or driven by deliberate intent?

  4. Religion. Religion and politics tend to intermix as they both exert influence and power.  Locating religious centers or sites within your world may have a profound effect on the influence of one territory above another.  It can be a unifying force or a matter of contention.

  5. Political Systems. Mixing types of political system can create depth and color to your world. Monarchy, Autocracy, Theocracy, Democracy and even Meritocracy each have their advantages and disadvantages.  How such systems interact with each other can create a dynamic and colorful world in which to venture forth.


Happy Gaming!

-Stolph


P.S.: Here are some further tips on world building.


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