By Hellmaw Lore Guardian Samantha Murphy. Reposted from TEGG, Hellmaw.
When I was first brought on with TEGG, I was surprised at how in depth creating a world from scratch really was. You really have no idea how intertwined some things are, until you start trying to imagine a world where they are different or don’t exist at all. Take, for example, the daemons ability to shape-shift; what is that going to change for their society?
First, take something simple. Clothes. At their most basic level, humans wear clothing to adapt to their surroundings and to keep some level of modesty. Once those requirements are met, clothing can become a statement about who a person is, what causes they support, their status, their religious affiliations… a whole host of things are represented by clothing. And beyond that level, clothing can become a work of art in and of their selves.
So, how does that change for a society that perhaps doesn’t always need clothing? Shape-shifting would probably be a skill like any other, which means that some would be more or less skilled at it that others. So, those who are far less skilled would be force to wear clothing where others might simply grow a thicker hide or a nice warm coat of fur when necessary. So would the use of clothing in that situation be a mark of shame? Or would it simply be used to conserve energy?
After that comes the display of status and affiliation? As in human society, doing something unnecessary to show off is common, so it’s not a stretch to imagine that another society would do the same. Then it would become clothing made of especially rare materials, crafted by artisans, or display affiliation in some way. Armor would of course still be needed; even when it’s possible to create reinforced plating of your own, extra protection could always be needed.
Once you consider this, you need to take it a step further. How might the different uses of clothing effect the society it is part of? Humans after all, have entire industries centered around the creation and design of clothing; wars have even been fought over some of the resources needed! How would that change in a world where the needs of society differ so greatly? Changes to one facet of society can change a great deal, once you stop to think about the implications.
Born in Illinois, the land of corn and soybeans, Samantha came to the publishing world through a rather circular route. Starting out as an Irish Dancer at the age of 15, she also became a die-hard fan of D&D and Whitewolf. After years of helping world build (and occasionally destroy) she found text roleplay forums and got interested in editing. A series of lucky coincidences later, she found herself part of TEGG and hung around until they gave her something to do to keep her out of trouble. Now she’s a desk jockey by day and Lore Guardian by night.