80 World Building Prompts for Heroes and Villains

These world building prompts come from 3000 World Building Prompts, which you can get at Amazon. This section is focused on creating world figures like heroes and villains.

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  1. What kind of figure are you creating (hero, villain, martyr, etc.)?
  2. What is their name and does it mean anything?
  3. What nicknames do they have? How did they earn the name(s)?
  4. What species or race are they?
  5. Are you going to use this person as a main or minor character?
  6. Or are you only mentioning them and they do not appear in the story?
  7. What kind of person admires this figure?
  8. What kind of person hates this figure?
  9. What are they famous/infamous for?
  10. What significant deeds have they done?
  11. What event turned them into a world figure?
  12. Who or what was involved in this?
  13. Are they a reluctant figure or someone who sought it out?
  14. What stories about them are true?
  15. What stories about them are false and in what way?
  16. What is unknown about them?
  17. What places have heard of them?
  18. Do they regret their fame?
  19. If their fame has faded, how do they feel about that?


  1. Are they alive or dead?
  2. If dead, how long has that been true?
  3. What/who killed them?
  4. How did they die?
  5. Is their death indisputable, or is there a chance they’re still alive somewhere?
  6. How old are/were they?
  7. Are they free or imprisoned? Hiding? Living peacefully?
  8. What weapons, armor, or items did they have that are worth people remembering and/or coveting?
  9. What is special about those items?
  10. Are any magical?
  11. Is an item broken, the pieces scattered and awaiting reconstruction?
  12. If so, where are the pieces?
  13. Who is searching for this and what do they hope will happen from finding it?
  14. Was there an animal associated with them, like a steed?
  15. Did/do they have a ship?
  16. How is it noteworthy? Just because it is theirs?
  17. Or does it have unusual speed or weaponry?
  18. Does it have hidden compartments or other unexpected features?
  19. Where is it now?


  1. Are their parents still alive?
  2. If so what, is their relationship?
  3. Do they have a romantic partner?
  4. If so, who is/was it?
  5. Are/were they married/divorced?
  6. Is that person alive or dead?
  7. Do they have children?
  8. Do they know about their children?
  9. Are the children alive or dead?
  10. How old are the children, and what genders?
  11. Do the children know this person is their father/mother or have they heard of him/her?
  12. What does each person in the family think of this figure?
  13. And what does he think of them?
  14. Have any of the people close to them been targeted by their enemies?
  15. Has this targeting changed the world figure’s behavior?
  16. Have any of them been kidnapped?
  17. Killed?
  18. Held for ransom?
  19. What effect did this have on the world figure?
  20. Have any of these people come after the world figure to change their behavior?
  21. Did it work?
  22. Did it strengthen or end the relationship?
  23. What does each race/species in the setting think of this figure, who can be a hero to some and a villain to others?


  1. What is/was their profession?
  2. What skills do they have?
  3. Where did they learn their skills?
  4. Are those who taught them still around?
  5. If so, what do they think of what this world figure does with his/her skills?
  6. Would the figure be welcomed back by those trainers?
  7. Do they have street smarts?
  8. Book smarts?
  9. How well-traveled are they?
  10. What situations can they blend into?
  11. In what situations do they immediately stand out?


  1. Do they have any identifiable scars?
  2. What is their hair color and length?
  3. What is their eye color?
  4. What is their overall build?
  5. What impression do they create on sight?
  6. What impression do they create when they speak?
  7. What sort of attire do they wear?
  8. What colors do they wear?
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