176 World Building Prompts for Travel

These world building prompts come from 3000 World Building Prompts, which you can get at Amazon. This section is focused on deicidng how land, air, water, and even space travel happens.

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Land Travel

  1. What is the most common mode of land travel (foot, horse, car)?
  2. What is the fastest mode of land travel available?
  3. What is the least desired mode of land travel?
  4. Are you using miles, kilometers, or your own measurement system? What’s the term?
  5. Are wagons or pack animals the primary method of transporting goods overland?
  6. Do caravans happen?
  7. If so, what vehicles (wagons, carts, etc.) are in it?
  8. How big do the caravans get?
  9. What kind of personnel are in it for protection, for example?
  10. Are caravans considered safe?
  11. Do trains exist?
  12. How safe are they?
  13. If so, can they be used for both freight and passengers?
  14. What rideable animals exist?
  15. What pack animals exist?
  16. Do ridable animals that can specialize in fast or long-distance travel exist?
  17. Are dirt roads common and where?
  18. Are cobblestones common and where?
  19. Are smoothly paved roads common and where?
  20. Are bandits a frequent problem?
  21. Are aerial attacks a frequent problem?
  22. Are roadside inns/taverns available or unavailable in between places your characters will travel?
  23. Does GPS or an equivalent exist?

Water Travel

  1. How do you plan to use ships? Will scenes take place on them?
  2. Are wooden ships a significant mode of water travel?
  3. Do people still use oars to propel ships?
  4. Do people still use wind powered ships?
  5. Do engine powered ships exist?
  6. Do submarines exist?
  7. What percentage of ships are oar, wind, or engine powered?
  8. Do wooden ships have cannons?
  9. If not, what sort of long-range weapons do they have, if any?
  10. What ship rates exist for wooden ships?
  11. What sea creatures/monsters pose a threat to small vessels?
  12. What sea creatures/monsters pose a threat to large vessels?
  13. What sea creatures assist travelers?
  14. Is there an industry for pursuing unique sea creatures?
  15. If so, are those creatures hunted for sport, trophies, or to use?
  16. What sovereign power(s) dominates the seas in different regions?
  17. Where are the famous shipwrecks and why are they famous?
  18. What myths, legends, and stories exist about the sea?
  19. What’s the name of the most renown pirate ship?
  20. Who is the most renown pirate? Why, and where does he/she operate?
  21. Are there islands known to harbor pirates?
  22. Where are the most famous treasures rumored to be buried and what is there? How true are the stories?
  23. What are the sites of the most famous ship battles, and who won?
  24. Where are the dangerous and known reefs?
  25. Is there a sea that no one has returned from sailing?
  26. Is there an ocean that no one has reached the far side of yet, that people know of?
  27. Do privateers exist?
  28. Who is a well-known privateer?
  29. Are letters of marque called that or something else?
  30. Are there any famous incidents of a letter of marque not being honored?
  31. If there are non-humans in the world, are any allowed or forbidden on ships?
  32. Can they serve as crew?
  33. If not, why not?
  34. If so, are they assigned roles based on their race? What role(s) and why?
  35. Are they respected and valued for the role they play, or feared?
  36. Do they have any special needs on board?
  37. Are there superstitions about any races?
  38. If classes like wizards exist, what role do they play in ship life and combat?
  39. Where are some famous shipwrecks?
  40. What is famous about each?
  41. Is there anything haunting them?
  42. Is there any treasure there? What and how much?

Air Travel

  1. Are there flying animals big enough for people to ride?
  2. What is their weight capacity?
  3. Are saddles required?
  4. How do the reins work?
  5. Can they be trained to follow verbal commands?
  6. Are the special places where they are kept when not ridden?
  7. How rare or common are they?
  8. How much more expensive are they than other travel forms?
  9. Is the average person able to use one?
  10. Must people be trained?
  11. Are the animals well behaved or nearly wild?
  12. How cooperative is the animal?
  13. Can the animal be trained for war?
  14. Can they be trained to fly in formations?
  15. How many can be reliably flown together?
  16. If the rider is untrained, will the animal turn on them?
  17. Is the animal inherently dangerous or only when provoked?
  18. What sort of natural weapons does the animal have?
  19. Do planes exist? What kind?
  20. Do airships exist?
  21. Do air balloons exist?

Space Travel

  1. How common is space travel?
  2. Is it affordable to the average person or only the wealthy?
  3. Are only the military able to travel?
  4. Does artificial gravity exist?
  5. Can people only travel between a pair of planets when the planets are on the same side of their sun?
  6. Does jump drive technology exist? Is it called something else?
  7. Does hyper drive technology exist? Is it called something else?
  8. Does warp drive technology exist? Is it called something else?
  9. Is time dilation a factor?
  10. What are the classes of ships?
  11. Are there places that require ships to have insurance before they can be docked there?
  12. What authority issues and recognizes insurance coverages?

A Ship

These prompts are for when we’re inventing a spaceship.

  1. What is the ship’s name?
  2. What class of ship is it?
  3. Is it possible to get this ship new or is it an older model?
  4. What was the original purpose of this vessel?
  5. Is it still serving that purpose?
  6. If not, to what purpose has it been converted?
  7. Is this ship used for deep space?
  8. Expeditions?
  9. Research?
  10. Leisure?
  11. Did this require any physical modifications? What were they?
  12. From where do people and crew board the ship?
  13. How many entrances and exits exist and where are they?
  14. How can people get off the ship if these are blocked?
  15. Is the ship intended only for space?
  16. Where is the bridge located (front, deck #)?
  17. Where are the crew quarters?
  18. Is the ship large enough for a mess hall?
  19. Entertainment?
  20. A brig?
  21. A separate medical bay?
  22. What amenities does the ship have?
  23. What amenities do crew quarters have?
  24. Are there shops onboard?
  25. How extensive are the store supply lists?
  26. How much cargo can the ship hold?
  27. Does the ship specialize in carrying anything in particular?
  28. Are there items that can only be onboard if they’re in the cargo?
  29. Can the ship take hazardous materials?
  30. Is there anything forbidden to be aboard the ship?
  31. Is the ship considered old or modern by current standards?
  32. Does the ship rotate to create artificial gravity?
  33. How many crew does the ship typically have?
  34. What is the minimum number of crew needed to operate it?
  35. Do escape pods exist? How many?
  36. Is the ship big enough for shuttles to dock inside? How many?
  37. Who is the ship manufacturer?
  38. Which species built it?
  39. What planet or space station was it built on?
  40. Was it built in space?
  41. Is this ship only sold to certain species and which ones?
  42. Does this ship have a noteworthy history and for what?
  43. Do people feel loyal to this ship?
  44. If so, why? What makes it worthy of that?


  1. What kinds of weapons are on board?
  2. In which directions can the ship fire?
  3. Does the ship have shields?
  4. Are these physical shields or some sort of energy?
  5. How strong are these shields relative to typical vessels?
  6. How long does it take to activate shields?
  7. How much damage can the shields take before they fail?
  8. Do the shields fail all at once or can part of them remain effective when other parts have failed?
  9. Is it possible to route more power to the shields to strengthen them or increase their longevity?
  10. Are there different levels (light, medium, heavy) of shields?
  11. If so, what impact does using heavy shields have on the ship, and which causes the crew to choose lighter shields?


  1. What kind of propulsion does it have?
  2. Does it also have air-breathing engines?
  3. What fuel source does each kind of engine use?
  4. Are there any delays in between deciding to jump to hyperspace, for example, and it happening? Why and how long is that delay?
  5. What kind of vessels can the ship outrun?
  6. Is there a race of species that covets these ships?
  7. Does the ship have biometric controls that only some species can operate?
  8. Can those controls be fooled?
  9. Does this ship have a home base? Where?
  10. Does the ship have any unique requirements that limit where it can be serviced or docked?
  11. How rare are such places?
  12. How does the rarity impact its usage?
  13. What is the ship’s current condition?
  14. Are accident reports kept on these ships?
  15. Are these ships insured? By whom?
  16. How much damage can this ship take before it’s destroyed?
  17. How much damage renders it not worth salvaging?
  18. What is the bare minimum number of crew required to operate the ship?
  19. What is the optimal number of crew to operate the ship?
  20. What is the intended maximum occupancy?
  21. How many additional passengers can the ship accommodate?
  22. What impact does this overflow cause on the ship’s performance?
  23. Can it only accommodate that additional weight in space?
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