Creating some interesting, immersive details for your fictional culture is the easiest thing in roleplay – just fish* something out of the obscure parts of the real world.

  1. Lily is in charge of embellishing Bogovian culture (why? More on that, on this Thursday’s RPG post). She asks Nadav which real-world culture is closest to the Bogovian people’s. He says, anything eastern European, something with dark forests and long nights.
  2. Lily searches Google for Hungarian Folklore. She has Hungarian heritage, it’s where her mind went automatically.
  3. Lily finds a very relevant Wikipedia article.
  4. Lily doesn’t have all day, so she skims the text for something that catches her eye. “Heroes, legendary beasts and gods” – promising.
  5. Lily takes something out of that list: Bába (creature) Meaning “old woman”, that was once a good water spirit. Well, spirits aren’t really a thing in the world of Crystal Heart. And anyway, she wants something cultural.
  6. Lily keeps that in mind and goes on with her life. A few days later she watches Moana; the heroine’s grandmother says something that catches her attention, “I’m the crazy old lady, I’m allowed to say whatever I want”. She almost says it as if it’s a position in the village. Well well.
  7. Lily adds the two things together, searches Google Images for Hungarian Shaman to get an aesthetic direction, and creates the baba. Bogovians are so superstitious and strict, they need a special person in charge of letting the crazy out, releasing the pressure valve for all of their sakes.
  8. The end. Credits. After credits scene.

Actually, in making this page, it was a bit of back and forth – first I skimmed the wiki page, then I saw Moana, then I went back to the mythology page in search of something to fit the crazy lady idea.

*”fish” is the neutral-connotation form of “steal”. You don’t actually steal your gaming ideas out of Wikipedia, and furthermore, there’s nothing wrong about it, quite the opposite. So you fish, instead: looking around in a large pool, and grabbing something you want.

For some further thoughts about how this page wasn’t originally supposed to happen, check out our subreddit.

Related RPG article: Creating Cultures Collectively

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