133 World Building Prompts for Creating Armed Forces

These world building prompts come from 3000 World Building Prompts, which you can get at Amazon. This section is focused on creating armed forces like the army, navy, marines, and more.

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  1. What type of armed forces are you inventing (army, navy, air/space force, or special like marines)?
  2. Are you changing/defining one of those or creating something new?
  3. What is it called?
  4. What are its nicknames?
  5. Do the members have nicknames (like “jar head”)?
  6. What type(s) of government do they work for?
  7. What sovereign power invented them?
  8. Where are they found?
  9. What are their colors?
  10. What do they signify?
  11. What is their symbol?
  12. What does it signify?
  13. What impression does it create?
  14. How do people feel when they see it? Relieved? Intimidated?
  15. Which Earth military service are you basing ranks on?
  16. Are you renaming the ranks and to what?
  17. Does the military have its on judicial system?
  18. Have they invented anything? What was it? How is it used?
  19. What discoveries have they made and what impact did this have and on whom?


  1. What is their reputation among each race?
  2. What is their reputation among each gender?
  3. What is their reputation among those they protect?
  4. Are there are famous stories about them?
  5. Are any of the stories false?
  6. What sort of light do the stories paint them in?
  7. Are they respected by those they protect? Taken for granted?
  8. How do they feel about this relationship?
  9. Are they honored on any holidays? When and why?
  10. Do they get special discounts?
  11. How do those with whom they battle feel about them?

In War

  1. What battles are they famous for and why?
  2. Have they won any decisive victories?
  3. Have they lost any important battles or wars?
  4. What terrain do they excel at traveling over or fighting in?
  5. What terrain hampers them?
  6. Do they hope to die in battle? Why?
  7. What is considered a good death?
  8. Do they have any typical foes, against who them specialize in fighting or defending against? Who/What is that threat?
  9. How do they train to deal with it?
  10. Do they collect trophies and what are they?
  11. Are they honored with a recognized number of kills? What is it?
  12. Is there a rank or bonus achieved by reaching a number of kills and what is it?
  13. What is their fighting style?
  14. What kind of ranged weapons are they trained in?
  15. What kind of hand-to-hand weapons are they trained in?
  16. Is there a type of fighting they struggle with such as plate armor inhibiting martial arts?
  17. Which kinds of opponents give them trouble in combat?
  18. Which kinds of opponents are easy for them?
  19. Can they fight just as well on foot as on a steed/machine?
  20. Which species/animals are harder to fight and why?
  21. Which species/animals are easier to fight and why?
  22. What special attacks do they have?
  23. What special defenses do they have?
  24. When defeating an opponent, is there anything they traditionally say or do?
  25. Do they honor or ridicule those they’ve killed?
  26. How are they typically used in war?
  27. Are they saved for special moments?
  28. Are they in the vanguard?
  29. What famous missions have members of this military undertaken and what was the result?
  30. How does this affect the way they are viewed today?
  31. Do people remember such events, and in what detail?


  1. What special sites exist for them and what makes them important?
  2. How often are such sites visited?
  3. Have any such sites been destroyed or captured by enemies?
  4. Have this group tried to recover or rebuild them and how did that go?
  5. Is the loss of a special site a psychic or emotional wound?
  6. Are there special training grounds? What makes them special?
  7. Are any training grounds famous and for what?


  1. Is there anything unique about their history? What, when, and why?
  2. What languages are they required to speak, read, and write? To what degree?
  3. What customs are unique to them and they are known for?
  4. Do people salute them and how?
  5. Are there any special handshakes or greetings/farewells, and what are they?
  6. Are there any expressions they use before, during, or after battle?
  7. Who does the leadership officially answer to?
  8. Is there someone leadership unofficially answers to? Who, and why?
  9. What is their relationship with every species/race in the setting?
  10. How do each of those races/species view them?
  11. Are they rivals with another military group regardless of location?
  12. Are they rivals with another military group working in the same sovereign power?
  13. What is at the heart of the rivalry?
  14. Is this a friendly or hostile rivalry?
  15. What caused/causes the rivalry?
  16. How does each feel about the rivalry?


  1. Do individual members get nicknames? Are those more consistently used?
  2. Who are the important historical members of this military?
  3. Who is a revered hero?
  4. Who is reviled as someone who let them down or betrayed them?
  5. Are these people still alive and what is their role today?
  6. Are their expressions about them?
  7. Are their statues or paintings of them?
  8. Who is famous among them today, and for what? What do they exemplify?
  9. What races/species are accepted members?
  10. Which races and species are forbidden or frowned upon?
  11. Does racism, racism, or other discrimination exist within the ranks?
  12. Of those who cannot join, how does resentment factor in their relationships?
  13. How old must someone be to join?
  14. How old is too old?
  15. Are people required to retire or enter “desk duty” by a given age?
  16. What skills and knowledge must people achieve proficiencies in and to what degree, before they can attempt to join?
  17. What must they show to enter basic training?
  18. What basic training is done?
  19. How long does it last?
  20. Where does it take place?
  21. Is there a limit on how many times someone can attempt to join or undergo basic training or tests?
  22. What skills must be demonstrated by the end to fully join the military?
  23. What tests are performed?
  24. Do the tests use real/live weapons/ammo?
  25. Are the tests deadly?
  26. Is it possible to bypass some training and tests? How?
  27. How hard is it to pass the tests?
  28. Must they change their appearance, such as a haircut?
  29. What denotes they’ve been accepted? A pin? Tattoo? Uniform?
  30. What sorts of armor is given or expected at each rank?
  31. What sort of weapons are given or expected at each rank?
  32. Are they allowed to use their own personal weapons and armor or only that which the military provides?
  33. Are there any weapons or armor they may not use? Does that ever change?
  34. Are there weapons and armor that they look down upon using? Why?
  35. If they have steeds or ships, are they allowed to use personal ones on duty?
  36. How does clothing change with higher ranks?
  37. Is there an occasion when recent members are publicly announced?
  38. How much fanfare is associated with this?
  39. How much compensation do they achieve and how does this relate to other professions in the setting?
  40. How often is compensation given? In advance or after service?
  41. For those who leave the military, what perks do they enjoy?
  42. Do they take part in tournaments and contests?
  43. Are they forbidden from participating in them?
  44. Does the military stage those events?
  45. Are they allowed to issue or accept duels?
  46. Are there conditions on them, such as not accepting/refusing a duel to the death?
  47. Are they allowed to issue or accept challenges?
  48. What is the military penalty for violating these protocols?
  49. How do they travel?
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