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Have you ever wondered what life would be like on a planet different from our own, or how writers create your favorite fictional worlds? Well, wonder no more because we have the facts for you! Every other week, astrophysicist/folklorist Moiya McTier explores fictional worlds by building them with a panel of expert guests, interviewing professional worldbuilders, or reviewing the merits of worlds that have already been built. You'll learn, you'll laugh, and you'll gain an appreciation for how ...
 
We are creating a fantasy world from the ground up - literally! Join our adventure, from the origins of the universe to a new world full of magic. Cohosts (and boyfriends) Alan and Lee will be your guides as we explore different facets of the world and the people who inhabit it with each episode. Podcast airs every other Wednesday with some videos in-between and Bonus content for Patrons. This, is StarStuff Worldbuilding!
 
Each episode, long-time worldbuilding duo Lauren Harris and Adryn Erickson pair with Farm to Taber's plant medicine PhD, Dr. Sarah Taber to interview experts on topics like Ancient Trade Routes or 3D Printing in Space, then use what they learned to brainstorm a sci-fi or fantasy world listeners can use and make their own.
 
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World Anvil Worldbuilding Podcast

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World Anvil Worldbuilding Podcast

World Anvil founders Janet (writer, worldbuilder, nutcase) and Dimitris (GM, worldbuilding wizard, techmonkey)

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Are you worldbuilding for homebrew RPG campaigns, novels, game development, films or anything else? Then you're in the right place! Designed to educate, inspire and entertain, World Anvil's founders Janet (an entertaining nutcase) and Dimitris (relatively sane) chat with creators and academics about the brass tacks of worldbuilding, exploring a new theme each month. Expect topics like Cultures and Societies, Settlements and their needs, Myths and Legends and how to avoid worldbuilding plotho ...
 
I want to write short stories or video games or movies or tv shows or all of the above. I want to make world settings for these works to live in that are insanely fleshed out. I want to make characters with so much depth its heartbreaking. I want to make the world laugh and cry. And I want to inspire others to do the same. As the title suggests my name is Karl Cutler and I want to do these things and I'm starting from zero. I don't have a book in my name, I have no experience or reputation. ...
 
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show series
 
This is an interesting one: how do you do an episode about literally nothing? Less than nothing? In this episode we explore the World that Never Was, a place not quite a part of the Howling Void, but not truly in reality either... ——— Curious about something you heard in this episode? Chances are you can find out more about it in the Record of the …
 
How might life be different on a planet without a magnetic field? I'm joined by an evolutionary biologist and a natural navigator to find out! Buy tickets to the live Exolore recording here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/exolore-live-worldbuilding-of-stargate-tickets-172936366327 HOSTED by Dr. Moiya McTier (@GoAstroMo), astrophysicist and folklorist…
 
From aliens to AI, from dragons to dwarves, from to nebulous clouds to sapient mushrooms, how do we conceive of non-human intelligence in our speculative worlds? Martha Wells joins us to discuss the various considerations in building a culture from a perspective entirely unlike our own, perhaps operating on different levels of consciousness, or thr…
 
It's October! This week, boyfriends Alan and Lee discuss the goriest of the five major civilizations in the StarStuff world. Learn more about the Democratic, Communist, Theocratic Councilship of the Float-Fall civilization! At the end we create the second character of our world. A rebellious woman who chose the lowest path in society and is sure to…
 
Carrying on from where we were last week, the Lorekeepers return again to the timeline and seek to clear up the events of the end of Aevum Tertius through the beginnings of Aevum Pentus. ——— Curious about something you heard in this episode? Chances are you can find out more about it in the Record of the Lorekeeper! ——— Want to learn more about Hal…
 
We've made a mess of things, but now we're going to clean it up! This week, the Lorekeepers take the significant events of Aevum Tertius all the way through Aevum Pentus and tune them, weave them together, and do that good Interim content of rediscovering the truth behind the confusion! ——— Curious about something you heard in this episode? Chances…
 
What does it take to build a fictional culture from scratch? How can you respectfully draw inspiration from real-world cultures? Two anthropologists join me to share their tips! Buy your tickets for the live show on November 2 here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/exolore-live-worldbuilding-of-stargate-tickets-172936366327 HOSTED by Dr. Moiya McTier (…
 
One of the most consequential ideas in Halûme is the Aspects. Throughout the Aevums, their presence has marked the most significant events to occur. But how do the implications of them affect the cosmos as a whole? Are there ways their current representation could be enhanced? ——— Curious about something you heard in this episode? Chances are you c…
 
Worldbuilding is often considered part of the pre-writing process -- but sometimes, more worldbuilding happens mid-manuscript or even mid-series. What do you do with those interjections? Can you graft them in, or do some of them need to be deferred? What happens when answering one worldbuilding need knocks something else askew? How much can you ret…
 
In which Lauren, Adryn, Sarah, and special guest Susan Martinez of NASA create a science-fantasy world involving questionable solar mining practices, wizard cloning, a sidebar into Adryn's brain boner for Dyson spheres, and a potential foray into space piracy.Lauren Harris, Adryn Erickson, Sarah Taber, Susie Martinez
 
It's rare that we explore things during Aevum Pentus. Let's change that. You can find the Lorekeeper's album art tattoo here! ——— Curious about something you heard in this episode? Chances are you can find out more about it in the Record of the Lorekeeper! ——— Want to learn more about Halûme? Got some ideas of your own? Join the conversation at www…
 
Comic artist and game developer, Lindsay Ishihiro, joins me to talk about the thoughtful worldbuilding that went into the simulator game, I Was a Teenage Exocolonist. There are mushroom trees, inclusive romances, and five fascinating seasons. We also talk about the importance of hiring sensitivity readers, so here's a directory (just one of many) w…
 
In which Lauren, Adryn, and Sarah thinly conceal their excitement at having a NASA Additive Manufacturing Engineer on the show, space radishes make a comeback, and the story of Food Safety's advent has its gut-rumbling beginnings in a shitty little story that put Pilsbury on the....F.O.D. map.Lauren Harris, Adryn Erickson, Sarah Taber, Susie Martinez
 
The end of one world is the beginning of another. But it's still an end. This week we focus the lens on a very tight view of a mere couple centuries and imagine what magic akin to Mistborn or Avatar would be like in the Halûmian world, a magic that is exclusive and cancels out the magic of previous Aevum. During the transition from Aevum Tertius to…
 
Let’s talk people! This week, boyfriends Alan and Lee discuss the first of the five major civilizations in the StarStuff world. Learn more about the polyamorous, islander society that worships a divine sky whale - and how they use music to guide their everyday lives. Stay tuned to the end to meet the first character we’ve created and how they inspi…
 
Worldbuilding can lead an author to generate a lot of fun ideas. But how do you figure out which of those ideas can actually be integrated into your story? Is there an upper limit on how many shiny notions the weight of the narrative will bear? In this episode, we discuss the balance in worldbuilding, as well as discussing how that balance is diffe…
 
It's something we've mentioned many times, but never truly explored. What is the Curse of Worship? And why can we not truly compare the religions of real life to Halûme? Thanks to Martha for guesting on the podcast! And if you're curious, you can find the Lorekeeper's art tattoo here :] ——— Curious about something you heard in this episode? Chances…
 
Professional linguist and language creator, Dr. Jessie Sams, joins me this week to talk about how fictional languages are built. We talk phonetics, word order, bear languages, and so much more! HOSTED by Dr. Moiya McTier (@GoAstroMo), astrophysicist and folklorist GUEST Dr. Jessie Sams is a language inventor and professor of linguistics at Stephen …
 
It must have been really confusing. From nowhere, hundreds of thousands have new access to abilities barely understood, and with even less control. At the end of Aevum Secunda, many are discovering their affinity for magic. What do they do with it? Also, this squirrel gutter. ——— Curious about something you heard in this episode? Chances are you ca…
 
This week we continue our journey through the floating islands. We talk about the remaining three island clusters that fill our skies and take a look into the biomes that populate these areas. Episodes will be moving to a biweekly Sunday schedule. Support us on Patreon! Find us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook Email us at starstuffworldbuilding@…
 
Most speculative fiction takes place in a society that has a government of some kind. But what, exactly is a state? And how does it come to be? C.L. Polk joins us to discuss the making and breaking of nations within your fantasy worlds. From farmboy kings to scheming dukes with surprisingly benevolent control of their printing presses, from the tri…
 
Between spellbooks, copying magic down, and gathering magical power, wizards had to start somewhere. Carter has a great idea for that. Let's find out how the wizarding tradition began, shall we? ——— Curious about something you heard in this episode? Chances are you can find out more about it in the Record of the Lorekeeper! ——— Want to learn more a…
 
This week, we're focusing on the physical biology of creatures living on a planet orbiting an M dwarf star. We talk electric senses, lego crabs, and flying turtle jellyfish! HOSTED by Dr. Moiya McTier (@GoAstroMo), astrophysicist and folklorist GUESTS Robert Ulrich is a PhD candidate at UCLA studying biomineralogy. You can follow Rob and all of the…
 
In a vacation to the faerie forests of the Illuvium, we reexamine some of their history and namely, how they are related to the One Who Was. Who is the Monkey, and why is he possibly one of the most historically important figures in the cosmos? ——— Curious about something you heard in this episode? Chances are you can find out more about it in the …
 
How do people in your world handle death? Spiritually, financially, emotionally -- and, as may be relevant to your plot, how do they deal with actual dead bodies? Amanda Downum joins us to discuss the details of the deceased -- and she's both a writer and a licensed mortician, so she can answer some of the questions you've been afraid to Google, le…
 
This week we get into geography! We’ll focus on two of the five island clusters that dominate the skies of our world and take a peek at some of the biomes that populate these areas. Support us as a Patron! Find us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook Email us at starstuffworldbuilding@gmail.com Co-hosts are Alan Harvey and Lee Townsend Music by Tyle…
 
A change in the cosmic model necessitates other changes. If the Fundament is indeed real, how might other models of consciousness arise? Perhaps the Riven are not as doomed as the Knowing believe... ——— Curious about something you heard in this episode? Chances are you can find out more about it in the Record of the Lorekeeper! ——— Want to learn mo…
 
In which Lauren, Adryn, and Sarah waffle over genre, diss colonialism (again), and create a culture of displaced lightning mages living on the ocean. The writers consider writing in this world themselves...Lauren Harris, Adryn Erickson, Sarah Taber
 
We interrupt your regularly scheduled podcast feed to swing wide the doors on a new venture: in the backdrop, for the past several months Frank has been working on a new tabletop rpg system he's calling "Work to Eat" (yeah, the name is pending). It's not a proper episode but we figured, hey, why not share it with you fine folks? If y'all are curiou…
 
Let's get granular! How much can your literal language -- the individual words you use, the cadence of your sentences, a conlang, a poetic tradition -- help convey your worldbuilding? Sarah Beth Durst joins us to talk about the fine tool of wordcraft in your prose and dialogue, as well as the importance of white space on the page. She also reminds …
 
Of all the things to readress in Halûme, is any more significant than the Nineflow itself? We think not. In this episode, we crack open the previously-confident model of reality that the Knowing have been using for countless eons and examine what exactly an Abstract is. Enter the Fundament. ——— Curious about something you heard in this episode? Cha…
 
We discuss our vision for the podcast and the namesake of the project - the magic of StarStuff. Support us as a Patron! Find us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook Email us at starstuffworldbuilding@gmail.com Co-hosts are Alan Harvey and Lee Townsend Music by Tyler Townsend Discord admin is Oni Hadwin…
 
Let's talk about Whims. What are they? Who has them? What do they do? What role do they play in the Halûmian cosmos? And why is the episode called the Great Dance? We'll explore all of that this week. Enjoy! ——— Curious about something you heard in this episode? Chances are you can find out more about it in the Record of the Lorekeeper! ——— Want to…
 
This week, we're focusing on the physical environment of a planet orbiting an M dwarf star. We talk plate tectonics, atmospheric loss, compact multi-planet systems, and how uranium makes things HOT! HOSTED by Dr. Moiya McTier (@GoAstroMo), astrophysicist and folklorist GUESTS Dr. Wendy Bohon is an earthquake geologist, science communicator, and AAA…
 
In which Adryn finds a new way to annoy Lauren, and Sarah describes the advent of electric reefs (spoilers: it has to do with oil rigs), what makes current breakwater construction ineffective, and why municipalities are so hesitant to adopt electric reefs as protection for their coastlines. It's like no one told them electric reefs are the tits!…
 
The fantasy genre comes in many flavors -- but how do we tease those apart? How important are they when worldbuilding, and how much are they inventions of the demands of marketing? In this episode, we explore the structural conventions, aesthetic flourishes, and reader expectations the define the many glorious subgenres of speculative fiction. Tran…
 
This week, we respond to a listener question, and in doing so, clarify some of the strange and curious things occurring near the end of Aevum Secunda. Much thanks to gonzoblackpanda for their great question! ——— Curious about something you heard in this episode? Chances are you can find out more about it in the Record of the Lorekeeper! ——— Want to…
 
C.R. Rowenson is back to finish the magic system we started. We talk about runic magic systems, the recent supernova shortage in the Milky Way, and how Sky High is an underrated superhero movie. HOSTED by Dr. Moiya McTier (@GoAstroMo), astrophysicist and folklorist GUEST C.R. Rowenson is a trained chemical engineer who's passionate about writing an…
 
The Story Soil Crew and guest Dave Robison chat about Dave's awesome collaborative worldbuilding app, ARCHIVOS, then brainstorm several cities along a fictional trade route, including one with an AnCieNT cUrsE~Lauren Harris
 
It's a new season! Well, not really. In our first interim episode we re-open that aged folder wherein lie the planes of the Halûmic Cosmos. And in so doing, new light is shed on the border planes... Don't forget to submit your own questions and ideas! If you have a cool idea or a question to ask, now is the time! ——— Curious about something you hea…
 
Sarah regales Lauren, Adryn, and Dave with her favorite trade routes that nobody talks about, plus some juicy worldbuilding tidbits like celery's slutty cousin, cocaine mummies, and why you should always bring a bird with you on long trips.Lauren Harris
 
When you're building for the near future, how far can you go? Is technology going to doom us, save us, or a bit of both? How does a society make that determination -- and how can your worldbuilding show those choices in action? In this episode with guest PJ Manney, we explore cyberpunk, technothrillers, and other alternate-near-future fiction. We a…
 
It may be the end for Parresari, but the world of Sudar will continue to spin (partially because of Parresari's sacrifice). What's next for the island of Tensitung? The people? Thanks so much to listening to Season 3 of Lorekeepers! Stick around next week as we begin our inter-season explorations. Until then, there will always be more stories to te…
 
Julia Schifini joins me to talk about the worldbuilding in Netflix's adaptation series, Shadow and Bone. We talk about catholic sainthood, mythical deer, explaining your magic system, and much more! HOSTED by Dr. Moiya McTier (@GoAstroMo), astrophysicist and folklorist GUEST Julia Schifini is a podcaster, voice actor, mythology buff, and fellow fan…
 
Our third season begins! We go back to the basics of worldbuilding -- and then we think about how to level up! When we're digging deep on our motto of "Choose, don't presume," what does that mean as we do more and more of it? How much work do you make for yourself as a writer? How does your worldbuilding serve your story and your characters? And, a…
 
The end is near! We take a short jaunt afield from Parresari proper to fully understand what's occuring during Aevum Quartus and how the destruction of our fair city plays into that. ——— Referenced Episodes Strife-spire, the cause of millenia of conflict: Ep. 1.25 The Bellum Obscura, the eternal war of all wars: Ep. 1.67 Parresari, beating heart of…
 
This week we imagined what life might be like on a world where the appearance of the night sky changes every year. Get ready for some 8-legged fun! HOSTED by Dr. Moiya McTier (@GoAstroMo), astrophysicist and folklorist GUEST Dr. Lauren Esposito is an arachnologist and assistant curator at the California Academy of Sciences. Lauren co-founded the co…
 
As we continue to wrap up the last days of Parresari, the implications grow until we discover potentially very strange things about the whole strange city. What becomes of it all? Also Joe Rogan and Runescape. Hmm. ——— Referenced Episodes The Bellum Obscura, the eternal war of all wars: Ep. 1.67 Parresari, beating heart of the Golden-hour rush: Ep.…
 
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