146 World Building Prompts for Creating Settlements

These world building prompts come from 3000 World Building Prompts, which you can get at Amazon. This section is focused on creating settlements like cities, town, villages, and even outposts.

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  1. What is the name of this settlement?
  2. Are there any nicknames for it?
  3. Will you set scenes here or only mention this place?
  4. Will characters be from here?
  5. Which races created this settlement?
  6. Is the species that created it still here and dominant?
  7. If not, what happened and how long ago?
  8. How do they feel about this?
  9. Which races have influenced the settlement’s development?
  10. What is the symbol or banner?
  11. What are the city colors?
  12. Do they have a slogan and what is it?
  13. What is the settlement famous for? What’s the first thing that comes to mind?
  14. Are there any notable religious, magical, or technological sites here?
  15. What legends exist about the settlement? Are they true?
  16. What products does this settlement produce?
  17. What products does this settlement need to get from somewhere else, and who is the supplier?
  18. Is public transportation available?
  19. What condition is it in?
  20. Is it expensive or free?
  21. What form is the public transportation (train, car, wagon, rickshaw, boat)?
  22. How are messages sent?
  23. Are messengers uniquely protected?
  24. What historical events are important in this settlement?
  25. What year was this settlement founded?
  26. How old is this settlement?
  27. What is the local attitude about magic?
  28. About technology?
  29. Gods?
  30. The supernatural?
  31. Are strangers welcomed or avoided?
  32. What is the local form of government?
  33. What type of mayor is here?
  34. Is there a council and what is the mayor’s relationship with it like?
  35. What organizations of groups are influential here?
  36. Is the settlement considered safe or dangerous?


  1. How large is the population?
  2. What percentage of each species lives here?
  3. What percentage are permanent residents vs. visitors?
  4. Are any species outlawed or discriminated against and why?
  5. Is anyone segregated and why?
  6. Which race’s culture dominates this settlement?
  7. What is the overall disposition of the population?
  8. What impression do the settlement’s residents create for newcomers?
  9. Do the residents seem to like or avoid each other?
  10. What is the settlement’s reputation?
  11. Are there quarters, which ones (elven quarter, etc.), and where?
  12. If so, what distinguishes each?
  13. What important characters are in town, such as wizards, priests, and scientists?
  14. Are any villains living here, secretly or not?
  15. Are any heroes living here, secretly or not?
  16. What monsters are nearby or in the settlement?
  17. What effect does a monster have on the settlement psychologically and behaviorally?

Location and Characteristics

  1. What size is it (outpost, castle, village, town, city)?
  2. In which direction is the farmland?
  3. Is irrigation employed here?
  4. Is there an Old Town, and if so, where is it?
  5. Is Old Town well preserved or a warren of thieves?
  6. What is the original water source?
  7. What continent is it on?
  8. What is the climate?
  9. How does climate affect the way people dress and behave?
  10. What land features are nearby?
  11. Do any land features impact the ability of people to travel?
  12. Is the settlement mostly flat?
  13. Is the terrain hilly or rocky?
  14. Where is the highest ground and what is built upon it?
  15. Does the topography have anything noteworthy?
  16. Where do the wealthy live?
  17. Where do the poor live?
  18. Is the pollution significant, absent, or moderate?
  19. Does zoning (residential, commercial, industrial, agriculture, mixed) exist?
  20. If not, are people aware of the problems thus caused and long for a better setup?
  21. Is this settlement part of a sovereign power? Which one?
  22. How important is this settlement within its power?
  23. Is this settlement a capital?
  24. Is this settlement in space?
  25. If so, what is it orbiting?
  26. How often is the orbit?
  27. Is it on another body like a moon?
  28. Is this an underwater settlement?
  29. Is this a floating settlement?
  30. If so, how is it protected from destruction?
  31. How integrated with sea creatures is it?
  32. Are there any sentient races/species that make use of them?
  33. Is this settlement in the ocean, rivers, or lakes?


  1. What other settlements are nearby?
  2. Are they friendly, neutral, or hostile? Why?
  3. How big is each?
  4. In which direction does each lie?
  5. How hard is it to reach them or vice versa?
  6. Are there any special or common escorts of travelers available?
  7. Is there a cost for this or do taxes pay for it?
  8. Is it safe to leave the settlement?
  9. If so, for how far before trouble is likely to be encountered?
  10. What kind of trouble is expected?
  11. From whom?
  12. What alliances does the settlement have with other settlements?
  13. How many smaller settlements are near this one and partly dependent on it?
  14. Is this the smaller settlement dependent on a bigger one? In what way?


  1. How much of it is surrounded by walls?
  2. What are the walls made of?
  3. How tall/thick are the walls?
  4. Are there guard/archer/gun towers?
  5. What other defenses exist?
  6. Has an area around it been cleared of vegetation or anything else that aids an attacking force?
  7. Is there a castle or fortress? Where is it located?
  8. What condition is it in?
  9. Has it ever been destroyed and is it now a ruin?
  10. Is there a secret way into the settlement/castle/fortress? What is it?
  11. Is the weaponry of this settlement superior to likely foes?
  12. What sort of armed forces are here (knights, star fighters)?
  13. Is there a garrison?
  14. Are there any flying defenses? What are they?
  15. Are there any defenses against flying attackers?
  16. Is there a navy and which kind of ships constitute it?
  17. How formidable is the navy?
  18. Are there any restrictions on carrying or using weapons?
  19. Are there training centers for warriors here?
  20. If so, what kind of training?
  21. Can anyone take the training, or only those in the military?
  22. If the non-military can take it, do they need to pay in advance or with a service performed?
  23. Are non-military treated differently and to what extent?
  24. Does the settlement conscript people into its defenses?
  25. Is everyone expected to play a role when there’s a siege?
  26. Even women and children?
  27. If so, what roles do they receive?
  28. How old must one be to fight?
  29. Are women allowed to wield weapons?
  30. How much does magic play a role in the defenses?
  31. What war or battles have shaped life here, and how?
  32. Does this settlement tend to be the aggressor or the victim?

Daily Life

  1. What religions are present here with buildings and worshippers?
  2. Are any religions shunned?
  3. Is there an official religion? How does it affect life?
  4. What religions temples and sites exist?
  5. What festivals or holidays are observed here and when?
  6. How easy is it to get lodging here?
  7. In what part of town do travelers stay?
  8. Is it safe there?
  9. What are some of the more prominent lodgings and what makes them unique?
  10. What guilds are here and what kinds of help do they provide?
  11. How well stocked are equipment shops?
  12. What sort of gear can/can’t adventurers gain?
  13. Are there any unique weapon, armor, or items that this settlement produces or has available?
  14. How common is crime in the settlement?
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