forum help plz, how do i make my fantasy continent realistic?
Started by RED_DEMON772

people_alt 61 followers


The things thats helped me the most is to remember that diversity exists! Culture isn't the same from place to place so even if thats having different tweak from food, to religion, to the way people speak, look etc. I mean even take North America as an example, not everyone is the same but live on the same continent. From Canadians to Americans to Mexicans its all diverse and different! So trying to play around with the diversity of your continent adds a whole bunch of realism from the start, doesn't have to be super complicated from the start either but if you want more in depth differences then thats easy enough to do!


Thank you so much Rover! your advice has been super helpful! it feels so much more realistic now

Its no problem! if you need more advice on anything feel free at ask anytime!

@aspiring group

Culture is often based off of geography. For example, a small, secluded fishing town may have a fish or water deity. Fishermen/women, sailors, and ship captains may be highly valued or powerful. A city built on an ancient battleground may be war-centered, or may be the settlement of a people that were once peace-preaching wanderers. And if you want to know how to make it LOOK real on a map, a youtuber called wasd20 has a map making series I found to be very helpful.


Some stuff that helped me:
1) Remember that it's a world with people doing their own thing and living at the center of their own stories, you're just getting to describe a really tiny part of it from limited perspective(s). The guy who got stabbed to death in the background of that one fight scene is as much of a person in the story doing their thing as your main characters.
2) Base minor characters/places off of actual places you've been/people you've met a little, when you can. Bit of a controversial take, but it helps me sometimes
3) Every character will see the place they're in differently and notice different things about it. Start with communicating the bare bones of what's important to the story, then move to what's important about that place to your characters
4) Sights get described a lot. I don't see smells or textures described often, and it really adds something
5) Everyone in this place needs to eat, sleep, make income, and live somewhere. Finding out how and where they do those things as well as regional challenges to the bare essentials of life in your world is going to do a lot of the heavy lifting with making a new culture.


Idk if anyone has already said this but try and add rivers and mountain natural barriers are good for a civilization to thrive without constantly being conquered. Do not forget river or bodies of fresh water for farming. Different cultures also see rivers differently take the ganges river in India they see is as holy and it serves religious purposes but other rivers are not religious.


I'm just coming back to after four years of not being on here, so even though this thread is old, I'd like to throw in my two cents for the comment above about geography. I would say that geography is probably the main shaper of a culture and even the history of that world itself. Whether one country was successfully invaded or not depends on if they were well protected by mountains. Whether a territory is cultivated or abandoned depends on if there is fresh water and a valuable resource there. Etc etc. In the modern world we often forget that geography still determines a lot about politics to this day because we're so distracted by how easy it is to communicate and travel from one corner of the earth to the other. But it's still a big deal and very strategic! Just wanted to emphasize what Smurf said! If you have more specific questions about making a continent realistic then I'd be happy to try to help.