Oct 122017
 
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What kinds of government does the species typically have? Monarchies, dictatorships, or republics? These are discussed more in Creating Places (The Art of World Building, #2), but those are three of the big ones that can imply levels of sophistication and concern with what we’d call human rights. A society where people can vote government officials in and out of office is markedly different from one where people are executed for dissension. Get a feel for this now and flesh it out later; each of those sovereign power types has varieties we’ll examine in Volume 2.

Do your species marry? Do they ever divorce? Their religion might forbid or allow this. There was a time on Earth when the former was expected quite young and the latter almost never happened; we can assign one pair of viewpoints to one species and the reverse to another (having a reason is always a plus, and in a world where armed conflict is common, war can be that justification for either). Are big families the norm or does no one care much about their family? Perhaps they’re more like animals in that young are born, raised a few years, and then go on their way, never reuniting. Maybe a child is reared by the whole community and they honor their parents but don’t live with them for long. Or maybe they never move out and a home and business is passed down generation after generation.

In modern times, some parts of the world allow some gay marriage, but what about our species’ typical society? Is it okay, a crime, or somewhere in between? Do they have abortion? Is abortion government sanctioned and paid for by health care? Are weapons allowed or forbidden? How sophisticated are laws and criminals? This list could go on for forever and we needn’t invent everything or we’ll never have a life, so choose what you might want to comment on. You can always add to it later.

Our species’ habitat will affect their society. A forest-preferring species will likely love plants and woodland animals. A sea-dwelling species is the same for sea life. They might have less contact with other species, being more innocent, ignorant of their evils, and trusting; this might be true of an underground species. A flying species likely has more contact with everyone and is very social, maybe acting as messengers or scouts in human society. These will affect society and the overall outlook of a species.

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