216 World Building Prompts on Creating Sovereign Powers

These world building prompts come from 3000 World Building Prompts, which you can get at Amazon. This section is focused on creating sovereign powers like kingdoms, democracies, dictatorships, and more.

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  1. What is the name of this sovereign power?
  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. Is there a state religion?
  6. Has this power built/destroyed anything and what/why?
  7. And what did people think of that?
  8. What is the power famous/infamous for?
  9. Is this power feared and by whom?
  10. Is this power admired and for what?
  11. Is this power influential and in what way(s)?
  12. Who is a famous/infamous resident?
  13. Which products is the power known for producing?
  14. What is the power’s symbol?
  15. What are the power’s official colors?
  16. Does the power have a slogan?
  17. How old is it?
  18. Which parts of it existed first?
  19. What are the primary world views of this power?
  20. Does the world view of those in power conflict with that of the population, or major portions of it?
  21. Does the world view today differ from the world view espoused by the power’s creators?
  22. If so, how are these differences affecting daily life and tensions?


  1. Which species created this power?
  2. What percentage of each species lives here?
  3. Are any species outlawed or discriminated against and why?
  4. Are there areas where some species are found in but not others?
  5. Which race’s culture dominates this power?
  6. Is this a highly populated power?
  7. What ethnic groups live in each region?
  8. Is there an official language and what is it?
  9. What languages are spoken here?
  10. Are any languages restricted/forbidden and why?
  11. Have the dominant languages changed so that older ones are still inscribed in public places or possibly defaced as a result?
  12. What sort of freedoms exist here?
  13. What restrictions of restrictions exist here?
  14. In recent years, is the population shifting from rural to urban or vice versa?
  15. How much immigration from other powers is occurring?
  16. Which way is the immigration happening? Are more people coming than going? What is the reason?
  17. To/from which other powers is this happening and in what percentages?
  18. How do people feel about foreigners?
  19. Which areas have the most foreigners?
  20. Why do they congregate there, or is the government controlling that? Why?
  21. Why do foreigners come here?
  22. Is there a dream or vision of what life will be like?
  23. Is that met with reality or not?
  24. Who is responsible for creating the dream and any disparity between it and reality?
  25. Are all foreigners treated equally or are some considered better than others?
  26. Are some reduced to menial labor? Which ones?
  27. Is the discrimination based on race, class, or another factor?
  28. Are there any restrictions on carrying or using weapons?
  29. Who do people do for fun?
  30. What games are common or rare?
  31. How common is crime in the power?
  32. How tall do people tend to be here?
  33. How fit are they?
  34. What hair colors are common and what stands out?
  35. What about eye colors?


  1. If this is an authoritative state, is it an autocracy, totalitarian, dictatorship, or authoritarian government?
  2. If the latter, is the state only concerned with controlling political aspects, or do they also control other elements of society? Which ones and to what degree?
  3. Do people routinely disappear?
  4. If this is a dictatorship, who is the dictator and how did they come to power?
  5. How do they maintain power?
  6. Is the dictator only a figurehead controlled by an inner circle?
  7. If so, who comprises the inner circle?
  8. What do they want?
  9. How long has the dictator been in power?
  10. Is this a stable or unstable dictatorship?
  11. Is this part of an empire, federation, confederation, or unitary state?
  12. If so, what can they self-govern? What can’t they?
  13. Can this power voluntarily leave?
  14. Are they in good standing?
  15. What countries are currently in it?
  16. What sovereign powers left and how long ago?
  17. What happened when they left and why did they?
  18. If this is an empire, how long has it existed? When did it first conquer another power, and which one was it?
  19. Which powers does it control now?
  20. Have any powers left the empire and what happened when they did?
  21. Is there an empire that has fallen?
  22. If so, what aspects of modern life are still influenced by it?
  23. Is the empire still expanding or is it in decline?
  24. If this is a monarchy, is it an absolute or constitutional one?
  25. If constitutional, who is the Prime Minister?
  26. Are there other ministers (Minister of Magic) and what are their titles and roles?
  27. Does the divine right of kings exist here?
  28. What is the line of succession and is it currently under dispute?
  29. Is this an oligarchy, and what kind (theocracy, aristocracy, military junta, etc.)?
  30. If this is a democracy, what laws are supposed to apply to everyone but don’t?
  31. Is the balance of power in the democracy under threat?
  32. Is this democracy one that others aspire to be like?
  33. Is this a direct democracy or indirect?
  34. Is this a parliamentary or presidential democracy?
  35. What are the major political parties and what agendas are they currently pursuing?
  36. What are their agendas?
  37. Are the parties currently functional or dysfunctional?
  38. Is the government paralyzed by political fighting?
  39. Is there a new political force?
  40. If so, what is its agenda?
  41. How successful or disruptive is it?
  42. What ideas are considered conservative or liberal?
  43. Are people satisfied with the government or disgusted?
  44. What societal ills persist?
  45. What special interest groups hold influence and to what end, and is this known?
  46. How is time measured here? What event is Year 1 to them?
  47. What events led to its form of government?
  48. How long has this been the form of government?
  49. What is the most previous form of government?
  50. Is the head of state a different person than the head of government?
  51. Who is currently head of state?
  52. Who is currently the head of government?
  53. Can the head of government sign laws into existence by themselves?
  54. Can they be booted from office? By congress or a popular vote?
  55. Are they protected from prosecution?
  56. Can they be executed? Has one? Who and for what?
  57. Can they raise and lower taxes?
  58. Do they need permission or cooperation from others in government to get things done?
  59. Can they get away with conflicts of interest?
  60. Can they declare war?
  61. Can they suppress or oppress the media, communications, and the people?
  62. Are there exceptions to any of this?
  63. Who takes over if the head of government is incapacitated?
  64. Is the head of state ceremonial only or do they keep some powers? Which ones?
  65. How much conflict exists between the head of state and the head of government?
  66. Do residents respect or like the head of state?
  67. Do residents respect or like the head of the government?
  68. Which sovereign powers recognize this one is sovereign?
  69. Which sovereign power does not recognize that this one is sovereign?
  70. Are there groups within this power that dispute its sovereignty?
  71. Is there a territory within it where sovereignty is disputed?
  72. What aspects of life does the government control?
  73. What services (such as school, drinking water) does the government provide?

Magic and Technology

  1. Is magic championed, outlawed, or something in between?
  2. How technologically advanced is this power?
  3. Are any technologies outlawed or championed here?
  4. Has this power been given credit for a magical or technological invention or discovery and what is it?
  5. Is magic or technological training available?
  6. If so, in what?
  7. How extensive is it?
  8. Do people come here for it or go elsewhere for it?
  9. Is this power considered formidable because of either?
  10. Where is the center of magical or technological power?

Military Might

  1. Is this a seafaring power?
  2. Is this a spacefaring power?
  3. Is this a military power?
  4. How well trained is the military?
  5. How well organized is the military?
  6. Are there standing forces or must an army be cobbled together when needed?
  7. Which races are allowed/forbidden in the military?
  8. Which armed forces types are here (army, navy, knights, etc.)?
  9. What level of fortifications is the power capable of?
  10. For either, is it dominant or dominated, and with who?
  11. Has it conquered other territories or powers, or lost them, and from/to whom?
  12. Does it covet any location, and why?
  13. Has a famous battle involved this power and in what way?
  14. Are the weapons and defenses of this power superior, inferior, or the same as allies and enemies?
  15. What sort of siege engines are available?
  16. What weapons of mass destruction are available?
  17. Is there such a thing as a war crime or is it anything goes?
  18. How much spying takes place within this country?
  19. Are the targets of spying domestic and foreign?
  20. Is the spying in person or magical/technological?
  21. How are caught spies treated?


  1. Which continent(s) is the power on?
  2. If multiple, where did it start, and to where did it expand?
  3. Where on the continent(s) is it?
  4. Is it landlocked?
  5. Does it control the entire continent/planet?
  6. Are there nameable regions?
  7. What are the climates in each region?
  8. What land features/terrain are with in it?
  9. Are there any land features or terrain that don’t exist within its territory?
  10. What land features border it and where?
  11. Does it dispute control over a land feature?
  12. Is a land feature important to it and why?
  13. What is the capital and where is it?
  14. What are the major settlements and their location?
  15. What unique places exist within the power?
  16. What are the most common points of entry for visitors?
  17. How hard is it to immigrate here? Why?
  18. Is there a sacred site here, such as a significant battle location?
  19. What resources lie within the territory of this power?
  20. What of them are rare?
  21. Are any of them in contested lands and if so, who is contested it?
  22. What is the strength of this contest?
  23. How is that contested territory being handled?
  24. Is this important enough that war looms or has broken out before?
  25. How recently, if ever, has this territory changed hands and with whom?


  1. Are there any organizations that have a foothold here, and why?
  2. Have any organizations been eradicated?
  3. Are any organizations trying to gain a foothold and why?
  4. With what sovereign powers does this one have good/poor relations with and why?
  5. What powers border this one and where are they located?
  6. Are there ambassadors for other powers?
  7. If so, are there laws dictating what rights ambassadors have?
  8. What happens when those laws are violated?
  9. Do ambassadors from other powers have designated homes or territory in this one?
  10. What are the existing treaties between this and other powers?

Business and Work

  1. Are imports and exports tightly controlled?
  2. Do businesses need a license to operate?
  3. Are there any regulations businesses must follow?
  4. Are businesses required to keep records? For how many years?
  5. How are records kept?
  6. Do cartels exist?
  7. How much smuggling occurs?
  8. Is there a merchant class and how powerful is it?
  9. What rights do members of that class enjoy?
  10. Can people change professions?
  11. How do people gain the skills needed to enter a profession? Apprenticeship? School?
  12. How long is the typical work week here, in days and hours?
  13. Do people take a siesta?
  14. What professions do very well/poorly here?
  15. What notable holidays or festivals exist and when/where do they occur?
  16. Are there areas that specialize in a trade, being known for it?
  17. Are there limits on how large a building can be?
  18. If so, what is the limit?
  19. Why does that limit exist?
  20. Is there a typical floor plan?
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