129 World Building Prompts for Creating Continents

These world building prompts come from 3000 World Building Prompts, which you can get at Amazon. This section is focused on creating continents, including mountains, forests, wetlands, and deserts.

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  1. How many continents are you creating?
  2. How many will figure prominently in your work right now?
  3. Which one are you creating as you read these prompts? What is its name?
  4. Which continents are near this one, in what direction, and how far?
  5. How difficult is each nearby continent to reach from this one?
  6. How can people reach other continents?
  7. What is this continent famous for?
  8. Is this continent feared?
  9. Are people from this continent feared?
  10. Is the wildlife considered more dangerous or safer here?
  11. Are plants here considered more exotic?
  12. Which hemisphere is this continent on, or does it straddle the equator?
  13. What percentage is above and below the equator?
  14. Are there any large islands offshore?
  15. Is there a chain of volcanic islands offshore?
  16. Is there just one volcanic island?
  17. Is there a lone volcano anywhere on the continent?
  18. Where are the explosive mountains ranges?
  19. Where are the taller/shorter ranges?
  20. Are there any straits here?
  21. Are there any river deltas?
  22. Are there any large bays?
  23. Is there a sea here?
  24. Is this continent connected to another by a narrow area of land? Was it once? How long ago?
  25. Where is the longest river?
  26. Where is the most widely used river(s) for travel and commerce?
  27. Where are the oldest and youngest rivers?
  28. Where is the largest lake?
  29. What regions exist, as defined by terrain and/or climates?
  30. What is the climate in each region?
  31. For civilizations, are the oldest or youngest found here?
  32. Where are the sovereign powers located?
  33. What areas do not have a sovereign power controlling them?
  34. How heavily fished are the oceans and rivers?
  35. Is toxic waste being dumped and where? What effect has it had?
  36. Have dams been created?
  37. What rivers have been diverted?
  38. Are earthquakes common on this continent and in what areas?
  39. When was the last major earthquake?
  40. Are tornadoes common on this continent and in what areas?
  41. Do monsoon rains happen here?
  42. If so, where?
  43. Which months of the year does it occur?
  44. Is there a hurricane season here and when is it?
  45. What parts of the continent are impacted?
  46. Are tsunamis common? On which coastlines?
  47. When was the last major tsunami?
  48. Are hailstones common and where, if so?
  49. Does anywhere experience lake effect snows or unusual blizzards? Where?
  50. What areas experience drought?
  51. How long has the last drought been occurring?
  52. Is there an area prone to wildfires? Where are they?
  53. What areas are prone to flooding?
  54. Are any areas that are near to deserts prone to dust or sandstorms?
  55. If so, during which months?
  56. Do people flee from these phenomena?
  57. Do they build shelters or ride it out?
  58. Has there been a meteor strike in recent memory?
  59. Is there a visible crater anywhere and where?
  60. When was the most massive loss of life from one of these disasters?

Land Features

  1. How cultivated or terraformed is the land?
  2. Have deserts been turned into settlements?
  3. Have forests been burned down?
  4. Have mountains been leveled?
  5. Are there significant canyons anywhere and what makes them so? Size? Formation? Beauty? Adventure? Beasts?
  6. For grasslands, are there nomadic tribes living here?
  7. Are they thought to be savages?

For all Land Features

These prompts should be viewed when creating mountains, forests, or other landscapes.

  1. What is its name?
  2. What is its nickname(s)?
  3. Will you use this as a setting that characters interact with or only as framing?
  4. What continent is it on?
  5. Are there any stories about the landscape?
  6. Does this act as the border between lands or sovereign powers?
  7. Does more than one sovereign power border this or lay claim to all or part of it? Where?
  8. Are any unique plants or animals found within?
  9. Are any common plants or animals found within?
  10. Is there a monster there?
  11. Is anything particularly abundant or rare/valuable here?
  12. How safe or dangerous is it here? Does this vary by region?
  13. Do people disappear inside this land feature and never return?
  14. Do you know what happens to them?
  15. Does anyone on the world know?
  16. Are there any humanoid species/races living here?
  17. Is there a famous fortress or settlement here? Where is it?
  18. Are there watch towers here? What features do they typically include?
  19. Are there any roads passing through it?
  20. What quality are the roads and who built them?
  21. Did anything interesting make the trails found here?
  22. Is there anything particularly dangerous or friendly dwelling here?
  23. Are there bandits?
  24. Are there inns or taverns?
  25. Are people afraid of traveling through here? Why?
  26. Have any ruins within been discovered? What is their backstory?
  27. Are there any settlements within?


  1. Is this a lone mountain or a range?
  2. If a range, what direction is it (north/south, etc.)?
  3. Is it volcanic? How many peaks of it are?
  4. How tall are the mountains?
  5. What are the names of the tallest or more interesting peaks?
  6. Are there any flying creatures or machines that struggle to get over it?
  7. Are mining operations taking place?
  8. If so, what is found here in unusual quantities?
  9. What is not known to be found here but is?
  10. Are there any mountain passes and where are they?
  11. How difficult is it to travel through the passes?
  12. How hard is it to cross the mountains without using a pass?
  13. Do people live underground here?
  14. Is there a kind of building stone that is found here and commonly/rarely used?
  15. For every volcano, is it active, dormant, or extinct?
  16. When was the last eruption?
  17. How devastating was it and was life altered for any species, settlement(s), or sovereign powers? Or even the world?
  18. Did the volcano unleash anything unusual?


  1. Is this a forest, savannah, woodland, or jungle?
  2. Is this forest used for horseback riding?
  3. Do people hunt here?
  4. How close to a settlement is it?
  5. When was the last major fire and in what area of the forest?
  6. Is there a Forest Service that manages the health of the forest?
  7. If this is a jungle, how impenetrable is it?


  1. Where is this wetland located?
  2. Is this a mire, bog, swamp, or marsh?
  3. How close to a settlement is it?
  4. If a mire, how much of the top is covered by peat?


  1. Is this a hot, cold, or mild desert?
  2. Is this desert rocky or sandy?
  3. At what elevation is it found?
  4. How close to a settlement is it?
  5. Do settlements have underground areas?
  6. Is there any grass here, making this a steppe?

How much rainfall occurs every year?

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