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Encyclopdedia Eternica



last updated: Sunday, November 25, 2001

Note: this is just one possible way of getting a start on building a Kingdom/Culture, and you need not fill in every detail (especially at first). Also, game players may or may not ever need to know a lot of these details, but the more YOU know, the more you can round out your story/game/environment....
Information is red is what is specifically required for the Runesword (I) system
Information in blue is also particularly useful

I. Basic Kingdom Infomation
Kingdom Name:Zur
Kingdom Quote: The Zurish are fishermen, merchant sailors, and master ship builders. Physically, they are stocky, short, and muscular. They are critical to the transport of goods all over the realm.
[*Sub-Culture: (specific clan, sect, etc.)][*note if this is the particular group this info sheet applies to]
[What the Native Peoples Call Themselves (if different than Kingdom name):]
Size of Territory:
[Time Period: (if applicable)]

Inter-Kingdom Relations:
[Border Countries/relations:]
[Relation with Jafra/emperor: in favor, dis-favor, etc.]
At War/Conflict with: (include details if applicable)
Treaties/Positive Relations with: (include details if applicable)
Reputation/Stereotype: (how other kingdoms view this people)

Physical Environment:
General Terrain:
    [Coastal? (if so, is it a navigable coast?)]
"Common" Natural Disasters: (e.g. active volcano, tornado zone, monsoon season, etc.)
Other Notable Features/Concerns: (e.g. highest mt on continent, barrier reef on coast)

II. Individual Citizens (Characters)
Physical/Racial Characteristics
Standard Game Stats:
     Health:                 Strength:
     Agility:                 Action Points (AP):
     Will:                     Body (size):
Special Resistances: (cold/fire/sharp,etc., with % resisted)
Life Expectancy:
 % mortality at:
       infancy     childhood     adolescence     young adult      middle age     old age
       (*should equal 100% for total population)

Notable Skills/Occupations:
Typical (Stereotypic) Occupations:
Available Skills for Characters (at Creation):

III. Social Issues
Standard (Character) Vice Scores:
        Luna                Pride
        Revel               Greed
        Wrath              Lust
(higher number = worse weakness, average is 18)

Family Relations
Family unit: (nuclear, extended, multi-generational, etc.)
    courtship and marriage: (individual choice, arranged by family/other)
    living arrangements: (move in with/near groom's family? bride's family? on own? variable?)
        traditional responsibilities:
        effect(s) on social status: (does having more kids/sons/daughters give you a social advantage?)
        traditional responsibilities:
        effect(s) on social status: (does having more kids/sons/daughters give you a social advantage?)
            traditional responsibilities:
            education: (formal, informal, and vocational)
            birth order issues: (social value, birthright/inheritance, responsibility to family members)
            traditional responsibilities:
            education: (formal, informal, and vocational)
            birth order issues: (social value, birthright/inheritance, responsibility to family members)
            what defines "old age": (actual age? generation?)
            traditional responsibilities:
            care of the infirm/senile: (responsibility of family? community? individual?)
                widows: (revered and cared for? cast out? pitied? other?)

Social Castes / Groups:
        types / basis (birthright, wealth, education, religion, occupation, etc.)
            For each Caste: social status
                                     social responsibilities
        possibilities/consequences of crossing caste lines:
            how rigid/formal are caste definitions?
            can someone's caste change? how?
            are mixed marriages permitted? probable?

Major Religion / Religions:
    Diety / dieties:
    Other super-natural beings: (angels, demons, spirits, ghosts, Saints, ancestors, etc.)
    Role of magic in this society: (namely, which schools/branches are available to characters)
    Answers to the Big Questions:
        where did we come from?
        why are we here?
        what happens after we die?
        how much control do we have of our own destiny? as individuals? as a people?
    priorities: (is the emphasis on rites/rituals? proselyting/conversion? service? tithes/offerings?)
    value system: (what is most important: honor, faith, service, courage, honesty, cunning, wisdom, etc.)
    taboos: (what is forbidden? how strong are the taboos and what are perceived/actual consequences for violation of such?)
        (others: include frequency as well as nature of ceremony)
    holidays/holy days

Community Life
    General Community Style: (towns/cities, small villages, nomadic, etc.)
    Types of dwellings and buildings: (individual homes; communal living - by gender, family group, or whatever; apartment-like; family compounds; etc.)
    Most Common Means of  Economic Support: (farm, fish/hunt, forage, skilled labor, trade, military/religious service)(adding a % of people/families supported by each general category might be handy)
            Other (less common) Occupations:
    Local Money/Barter System:

Domestic Government:
Kingdom-Level Government system: (who holds ultimate authority?)
[Any figurehead/traditional but non-functional government positions?]
Local Government System: (who actually runs a town/village/clan/etc.?)
[Religious Influence on Government:]
Law Enforcement/Judicial:
    Kingdom vs. Local:
    [Religious Influence on Judicial:]
    Definition and Consequences of Serious Crime:
         (murder, sexual crimes, battery, larceny, lying/fraud)
    If detention is a possible punishment, how is this handled?
    Rights of Accuser and Accused? (and who has burden of proof?)
    How are "outsider" (non-resident) criminals handled?
        If fugitive from another Kingdom? (extradition?)

Miscellaneous "Color"
        What place does formal "art for art's sake" have in this society?
        What folk-arts exist? (folk art = a practical item made beautiful - like a quilt, furniture, clothes, pottery, or whatever)
        (Note: this definition of folk art is my own arbitrary decision for the purposes of this document only. I have taken various college courses on the topic, and the debate over what defines "folk art" versus "fine art" and so on is complicated and seemingly endless....)
        Are art objects a trade item?

        Is this region known for a particular culinary style? (describe it)
                If so, how famous?
        Is this region a supplier of any rare foods/delicacies? (could be anything from truffles to opium)

        Standard Costume: (list any difference in male/femal garb, etc.)
        Any religious significance/relationship?
        Function vs. Fashion: (likely to be related to wealth)
        Is the region known for a particular clothing style?
        Is Cloth or Clothing a significant trade item?

    Other Possible Considerations:
        Animal Husbandry: