WorldAnvil summer camp 2020 – prompts 11-20

The next set of prompts for WorldAnvil Summer Camp 2020 have now been released. If you missed the stream, catch up here. Here’s my unpacking of the new prompts, and I have also updated WorldAnvil SummerCamp 2020 to cover all of the prompts.

11. Describe a common item that is used as a secret symbol in your world.

This is something which most people just think of as the item, but for a group it has more significance, like the fish symbol for the early Christians. Examples:

  • Particular tattoos to identify as a member of a group
  • A coin, e.g. a special coin given to children to mark a birthday

12. Describe a vehicle in your world that brings joy wherever it arrives.

This could be large or small, from an ice cream van to a circus to Santa’s sleigh

13. Describe how birthdays are celebrated in a particular culture of your world.

This could be as simple and generic as baking a cake, putting candles on it and singing, or it could be some special celebration for reaching a particular age. It could be specific to a cultural subset or more general.

14. Write about a secret code or cypher in your world: who uses it, and for what purpose?

This may be obviously unintelligible, or hidden within something people not in the know wouldn’t think twice about. Examples:

  • Tattoos communicating status
  • The language of fans
  • A genuine code or cipher: word substitution, character transposition, reference to words in a known document, etc
  • A foreign language not understood by the people round about (if everyone understands it it doesn’t count)
  • Symbols scratched on walls or bark or… Which look like random scratches unless you are in the know.

15. Describe an elite or highly specialised military unit in your world.

This is probably part of a military organisation, but may not itself be specifically fighting, e.g.

  • A cyber crime unit
  • The rapid response health team
  • An intelligence gathering unit

Of course it may be a fighting group like the SAS, SBS, US navy seals, a beserker unit which is always in the front line, an archery unit.

I asked about thug enforcers in a thieves guild; this was considered borderline.

16. Write about a material that is considered sacred or culturally crucial in your world.

Examples included

  • Gold, as for the Mayans and Aztecs
  • Water in a desert
  • The bread and wine of the sacrament
  • Silk reserved for royalty

17. Describe a common old wives’ tale or conspiracy theory from a region of your world. Does it hold any truth?

Fairly self-explanatory I think. Joy much to unpack.

18. Write about the events of a devastating natural disaster in your world, either past or present.

Examples:

  • A flood
  • A volcano
  • An ice age
  • A forest fire

Lots of questions about whether it could be caused by gods – answer was absolutely.

Needs to be written from the perspective of the past or present not the future – need to show how it has impacted the world (or at least the area)

19. Describe a location in your world that is brimming with diverse or bizarre flora and fauna.

Obvious options – a rainforest or coral reef.

There was a question about whether a place where the plants had become so poisonous that there weren’t any animals left would count. I can’t remember the answer…

20. Write about an organization in your world that has become so powerful it’s above the law.

Interesting prompt. Pretty clear for me with the Thieves’ Guild in Akorros… Also The Unseen University in the Discworld was put forward as an example.

Plenty of discussion. One key point I took from that was it was felt that a government embodied the law and hence didn’t count as above it.

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