Why your fantasy world needs subcultures

Creating subcultures help make your fantasy world seem more real

 Episode 170 Subculture Why

Today's Topic First look into types of subcultures in fantasy worldbuilding

If you have followed the show you would not that Jeffery is a huge geek about studying cultures. We have talked about cultures and how they evolve in many ways.

We have even spent time talking about how cultures can form into states in your world.  We really just love looking at naturalist ways to fake a world.

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Sometimes culture is just too superficial

As you drill into a fantasy world, you might find that a fictional setting my not seem richly developed.  It probably because as cultures even very small cultures usually start coming up with their own inner divisions.

In the world, we live in we often think of subcultures in our own culture. If you are my age you could never forget the jocks versus geek divide in high school.   However, we usually do not consider those to be subcultures of the subculture of high school students.

There is a very good reason

If you get my example above, it might seem apparent why so many only add in the classic fantasy subcultures:

  • Thieves guild
  • Fighters guild
  • Mage Guild
  • Temples of various religions
  • Evil cult

Now, I have nothing against fiction that relies on these tropes.  However, the goal of the Worldbuilder’s Anvil is to build more natural looking BS.


So, what the heck it a subculture?

A subculture as I define it is a part of a larger culture where enough people share a different set of cultural norms derived from the greater culture. A subculture is larger than a group of people, so large that no individual can completely control the direction it moves and people. People outside of the group who know of would know of it should have heuristic beliefs about the group.

Or more simply, subcultures grow out a culture's population as it food surplus allows for the sophistication grows.

Join Michael and Jeffery in this episode as a look into the basic patterns of subcultures.

Podcast Show Flow

2 Main types of +subcultures

  • Normative
    • Job
    • Location
    • Religion
    • Commonalities
  • Counter Cultures
    • Legal (Grow out in times of unrest)
      • Persecuted or Against the state
    • Illegal
    • Criminal or Persecuted


The Worldbuilding Task for the Day

Want to get more creative and more productive. Sleep 7 – 9 hours a night

And increase of 50 minutes of sleep with increase your productivity ~ 20%


The Real-world Task for the Day

Pick a small town or city neighborhood. Walk around, look at life happening.

Michael's Resources

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For complete Fantasy Worldbuilding, show notes go to Gardul.com

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