Has anyone ever reinvented something for a conworld? (ex: numerical system, religion, music composition, etc)

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notahippo
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Has anyone ever reinvented something for a conworld? (ex: numerical system, religion, music composition, etc)

Post by notahippo »

Recently, I've been wondering if making a more "complete" conworld was a common thing in this hobby. I want to know what people have done in their own conworlds for some inspiration and for ideas as to what I should experiment with. I've only ever tried to make a unique numerical system once, but I was 12 at the time, so I miserably failed.

So, what have you done? Is it even something I should worry about?
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Re: Has anyone ever reinvented something for a conworld? (ex: numerical system, religion, music composition, etc)

Post by Man in Space »

Musical equivalences across Máranhír tend to be quintave-based—that is, P5 equivalence is preferred over that of the octave (P8). The Tim Ar have an thirty-six-tone chromatic system (though your garden-variety diatonic scale only uses eighteen or so), while the Caber have a five-tone system much akin to Georgian.

The Tim Ar musical scale was originally an 18-tone system—eighteen equal divisions of the perfect fifth—but the second and fourth notes of the Caber scale are exactly in between two notes each in this setup (the first, third, and fifth correspond exactly to the unison, the halfway point, and the perfect fifth). Cultural crosstalk yielded the Tim Ar 36-tone system from the Caber notes being bent to so much. To this day, the accidental notes—all sharps—are called "Caber" notes. So you have madál ĝ Kán 'a Caber (i.e. sharp) madál', for instance.
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Re: Has anyone ever reinvented something for a conworld? (ex: numerical system, religion, music composition, etc)

Post by eldin raigmore »

notahippo wrote: 04 May 2022 03:44 Recently, I've been wondering if making a more "complete" conworld was a common thing in this hobby. I want to know what people have done in their own conworlds for some inspiration and for ideas as to what I should experiment with. I've only ever tried to make a unique numerical system once, but I was 12 at the time, so I miserably failed.

So, what have you done? Is it even something I should worry about?
I have been intending to do all of those things for various conworlds. (I have only three, Adpihi and Reptigan and Arpien, but technically Reptigan is the successor to Adpihi and includes Adpihi, so maybe only two.)
Progress has been extremely slow; perhaps I’m not really good at this hobby?
But I’ve enjoyed it. I think I’d advise you to try it — but not to worry about it.

…..

The crucial (for me) one is the religion; Adpihi is all about religion. I began that conworld when I was a devout believer and have kept working (or “kept working”) on it as an atheist. The conpeople are all monotheists or henotheists of one sort or another; they all believe in their own personal relationship with their God; and they think they all have the same religion. As their omniscient narrator I think each of them has their own unique personal religion.

Differences in numerals, music, card games, compass directions and three-dimensional directions and demonstratives, color terms, body parts,
Edit: calendars, clocks
, etc., have all been deeply contemplated for Adpihi and Reptigan. So have differences in clan structure, kinship systems, marriage customs, and naming systems for people.

For Arpien the five-patriclan and five-matriclan prescriptive marriage system is one of the main drivers.
Another is the different biological systems for eliminating nitrogenous waste.
The third is the existence of MerCentaurs.
Arpien is a four-“race” magical fantasy conworld.
Adpihi is science-fiction; Reptigan even moreso (with its FTL space-travel, interstellar relations, artificial intelligences, and extraterrestrial intelligent species). Reptigan, though it springs from Adpihi, tends to be less about the religion, and more about interstellar politics and inclusivity of other species and of AIs.

…..

In every case I’ve probably bitten off more than I should reasonably expect to be able to chew.
While I do wish I were making progress faster, in some ways I’m somewhat pleased by knowing I’ll probably never run out of things I need to do in these conworlds.

Which is why I recommend trying it, but not worrying about it!
Last edited by eldin raigmore on 05 May 2022 13:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Has anyone ever reinvented something for a conworld? (ex: numerical system, religion, music composition, etc)

Post by Foolster41 »

I came up with a religous system for Saltha, that's sort of monotheistic (there's on God), but there are also self-existing lesser beings who are not refered to as God's, but more like a term like "angel" but they are not created or nessicerly subservant to Santha Which i guess is effectrively just a pantheon anyway. They also have reincarnation, but instead of it being a cycle that removbes the good to paradise, it's a cycle that removes the bad to judgement.

I also came up with a number system that's base 5. Numbers are counted as hashes in alternating from bottom to top right to left like so:

Code: Select all

  Etc.           3125s    125s       5s
-------------------------------------
   Etc.          625s      25s       1s
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Re: Has anyone ever reinvented something for a conworld? (ex: numerical system, religion, music composition, etc)

Post by Cellular Automaton »

For my conworld, I've been working on what musical traditions they have. One of my cultures has a series of non-octave-repeating scales with simple structures, designed for vocal melody. The simplest such scale is made of an alternating series of 7/6 and 14/13 just intervals, since human voices tend to "lock" to just intonation easily.
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Re: Has anyone ever reinvented something for a conworld? (ex: numerical system, religion, music composition, etc)

Post by sangi39 »

Calendars end up taking a fair bit of my time when working on a conculture. Like, how do a people keep track of time, from days up to longer epochs? Do they divide up the year to follow, say, seasonal changes? Do they tie that to any specific events, like the position of the rising or setting sun in the landscape, or its height in the sky over the year, or the appearance of a particular star or constellation in the night sky? Are divisions of the year, instead, tied to astronomical events, like the phases of a moon (or more), or do they have set numbers of days which have no strict relation to anything, or are these lengths vestiges of a former tie to a particular event that is no longer marked (an example in our calendar being months which probably did relate to the phases of the Moon in the past, but are now set in their length, regardless of the phases of the Moon). Do they even try to keep track of just one (set of) event(s), or do they try to resolve mismatches between events that occur at different periods, like lunisolar calendars here on Earth? Do they even use just one calendar to do this (like in Ancient Egypt which had both a solar and a lunar calendar, or the Mayan Tzolkin and Haab' calendars, which also fall back in line with each other after longer periods of time)? Are years named, or numbered, or something else? How? Are they numbered with the reign of some current ruler (regnal years or ), or mark the number of years since some event (like the founding of a country, or some important religious event), or do their names make reference to specific people (like the consuls of Rome) or after the interplay between two calendars (like the year bearers of the Mayan round count).



On my conworld, Yantas (although currently in a state of hiatus... again), the calendar of the Kusan Empire is a lunisolar one. Basically, the planet has an orbit of 387 days, but the months (either 46 or 47 days, alternating between the two) are fairly strictly tied to the phases of the larger of two moons, Hwestun, and the new year occurs on the first full moon after the winter solstice (more or less), but this means that a calendar year, at this point, is 372 days long. To counter this mismatch, every third year, an additional month is added. The second moon, Kadyura, used to form the basis of our equivalent of a week (although I've called them "short months" instead), but they became fixed at 12 days in length, regardless of the phases of this moon.

I also came up with a calendar for my D&D character's culture when I (wrongly) assumed the DM was using the same solar and lunar cycles the Earth does, which was lunisolar and took into account solar eclipse cycles and the length of the Earth solar year being ~365.2425 days long, and was used on top of a purely solar calendar which consisted of 12 30-day-long months and 5 (or 6) extra days spread throughout the year to mark solstices, equinoxes, and new year. The lunisolar calendar was important for a number of cultural events and played a role in the progression of a person's life.



But there's looooaaaaads of ways you can go about making calendars, and it can really help you get a handle on what's actually important to the people that use it, and how they view the world. And then you can have fun with, say, festivals, how time ties in with their religion or mythology or some other shared cultural stuff. Do those festivals shift depending on other factors in the calendar (like one day is already a rest day, so they move the festival), or do they appear strictly on a particular day regardless (kind of like how the most public holidays in the UK will fall on a Monday or a Friday around some date, to create a long weekend, but most public holidays in France always fall on a specific date). And then you can have fun with things like the run-up to a specific day in the calendar, or how people go about things after it has passed. It can be fuuuun [:D]
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That they all still believe in you.
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Re: Has anyone ever reinvented something for a conworld? (ex: numerical system, religion, music composition, etc)

Post by MissTerry »

I had to "reinvent" the whole Hindu religion for my conlang's conworld and its conpeople. My conlang is supposed to be a sister language of Vedic Sanskrit, which split from Proto-Sanskrit [Indo-Iranian] before Brahmanism [the ancient source of modern-day Hinduism] fully developed.

I use two main sources to put together a proto-Brahmanism for my conworld. The first source is my own real world culture, which is Southeast Asian. In ancient times, before Buddhism was imported into the region, Brahmanism had already been imported to Southeast Asia. An easy example is the Brahmanism of Bali. Our Brahmanism seems to have many animistic elements, where the "Devas" are actual nature spirits, sometimes called "Jungle angels." The second source I use is the interesting ur-religion of the Dardic people [an indo-aryan group of people living in the rural highlands of northern India and Pakistan, isolated by their topography]. The ur-religion of the Dardic tribes are mostly animistic but it has elements that look like Vedic Brahmanism suggesting that the ur-religion of the Dardic tribes may have come into being during a time when the Vedas and Brahmanism had not yet fully developed [meaning gods like Brahma and shiva and vishnu, and the Vedic skriptures, etc had not yet developed].

So the first everyday element of my conworld's ur-Brahmanism is called Pitryapuja, which means Ancestor Veneration, which is something all animism in any culture has. The second element are the Dahvai [plural of Dahva]. The word Dahva is the Humrayan version of the Sanskrit and Avestan word "deva." The Dahvai are nature spirits; what we would call things like fairies, gnomes, dryads, nymphs, etc.

The third element of my conworld's proto-Brahmanism are the 7 Dippujngai [Dipa+Pujnga+i = Illustrious/Luminous + God + plural ending]. The 7 Dippujngai are seven ancient planets the days of our week are named after. Interestingly, the names of the English days of the week, and the names of the Spanish and French days of the week, along with the names of the days of the week in my second Asian language exactly corresponds with the days of the week names in Sanskrit and the planetary gods they were named after. The 7 Dippujngai and their day of the week are as follows:

1. Sulayadiva [Sun + day = Sunday], the day of the Humrayan Sun God "Sulaya." Sulaya comes from the Sanskrit Surya. Diva means "day" in Humrayan, and comes from the word "dipa" meaning Shine, Bright, Illustrious, Luminescent, and is related to the primitive root "Diu" in the Latin word "Diurnalis."

2. Candladiva [Moon + day = Monday], the day of the Humrayan Moon Goddess "Candla" [pronounced as "Chandla"]. Candla comes from Candra in Sanskrit and is actually related to the Greek word Kendra [a poetic word meaning moon]. Chandla is the earth goddess, and wife of the god Sulaya.

3. Angaradiva [Mars + Day = Tuesday (Tiu's Day)], is the day of the Humrayan God of War and Strife "Angara." Angara comes from the Sanskrit word "Mangala" which is the word for Mars and the namesake of the word Tuesday in Sanskrit.

4. Bodhadiva [Mercury + Day = Wednesday (Woden's Day)], is the day of the Humrayan God of Knowledge "Bodha." In Sanskrit Wednesday is Budhavara, named after Budha which is the word/name for the planet Mercury.

5. Dyuspitaradiva [Dyuspitara + day = Thursday (Thor's Day)], is the day of the Humrayan God of Gods, King of the Dippujngai, "Dyuspitara." Dyuspitara is the Humrayan word for Jupiter. Thursday in Sanskrit is "Guruvara," where "Guru" is an epithet of Jupiter. Dyuspitara has two parts to it: Dyusa + Pitara. Dyusa means Sky and Pitara means Father and comes from the old Vedic Sanskrit god named "Dyaus Pitar" which also means Sky Father. And so "Dyusa" is related to the Greek Zeus, and an ancient/primitive Greek god once known as Zeu-Pater; and is thus related to the Latin/Roman god Jupiter.

6. Shokaradiva [Venus + day = Friday (Freya's Day)], is the day of the Humrayan Goddess "Shokara," Goddess of love, fecundity, and beauty. In Sanskrit Friday is Shukravara, where Shukra is a name for the planet Venus.

7. Sanyadiva [Saturn + day = Saturday (Saturn's Day)], is the day of the Humrayan God "Sanya." In Sanskrit Saturday is Shanivara, where "Shani" is the word and name for the planet Saturn. Sanya is the Humrayan God of Time, of Endings, of End Results, of Vegetation and the Harvest of such, of Fruits and the Fruit of our work and labor and thus of the Fruit of our Karma. And so, Sanya is related to the ancient Greek Kronos and the ancient Roman Saturnus.

Each of the 7 Dippujngai has their own priestesshood and monastic order of nuns, its own ceremonies, rituals, and rites. The most powerful of the priestesshoods is the Sodarada Shokara, the Sisterhood of Venus. The Sisterhood of Venus searches cities and villages and kidnaps the most pretties girls and initiates them into the priestesshood. The Priestesses of Venus are sacred prostitutes, who give up their bodies in service for those who desire to worship Shokara for fees of gold and silver. They amass wealth and marry their pretty sisters to kings and princes of other tribes and nations in order to spread their influence over the foreign tribes and countries.

Another element of my conreligion is a mountain called Meruva in Humrayan, which is mount Meru in Sanskrit. Meruva is the netherworld, the afterlife realm. It is a paradise and is an "in-between" domain that exists between our physical universe and the mind of the Brahmana. Meruva is governed by a Dahva who is pre-indo-aryan in provenance named Thevanisa in Humrayan. Thevanisa = Theva [god] + Nisa [pleasure, delight; Nisa being an epithet of mount Meru], and is the Humrayan version of the ancient Greek god Dionysus [Dio/Deus/Theos/Theva + Nysus/Nisa]. Thevanisa is the god of wine, altered states of consciousness, mind altering natural drugs like mushrooms, toadstool, and such. The worship of Dionysus goes back at least 6000-8000 years. His worship, since ancient times involved the drinking of wine and dancing to drums in order to induce trance. Which is shamanic. Trance is Humrayan is "Samadhaya." This element of my conreligion thus, resembles shamanic practices as well as some West African religions such as Vodou where Humrayans drink wine and dance to drums in order to enter a trance so that the devas, ancestors, and gods can come down from Meruva and enter their bodies to interact with people, perform healings, prophesy, and work magic.

Another element of my conworld's conreligion is something called "Brahmanu." Brahmanu means "The Brahmana." The Brahmana is not a god or being. The Brahmana is the "Citaikavartana." Cit [from Sanskrit Citta] means "Mind/Psyche/Heart" and Aikavartana means "Universe." The Brahmana is the Substrate of reality, the collective psyche of the cosmos, the mind that dreams into being the world of experience. It is from where our individual citai [cittas/psyches] arises, where each individuated cita is a focal point of individuated experience in the dream world of the Brahmana.

The 7 Dippujngai are the 7 governors of the dream world of the Brahmana who upholds and maintains the laws of nature that makes the universe function and gives it its qualities. And so the ultimate endeavor of my conworld priestesses and monastics is to eventually come to an understanding of the Nature of The Brahmana, because to do so is to come to an understanding of our Ultimate Nature [who and what we are] because The Brahmana is the Self of all and every self, the Macrocosm of the Microcosm.

And that endeavor to understand the Nature of the Brahmana first begins with the understanding that The Brahmana is the Mind of the Cosmos [anima mundi], its dream world [our universe] is the Body of the Brahmana [corpus mundi], and its life force is the Spirit of the Brahmana [spiritus mundi] which enlivens all Bhavamanai [That which has being].

And so, in the same way where if we study our own bodies and how our body functions we are able to come to an understanding of our own selves and our own human nature, likewise, by studying the physical cosmos [the body of the Brahmana] and the natural laws which governs it, we are, by way of Yahtukha [Reason / Logic] and Pratipha [intuition / intuitive knowledge] are we able to eventually come to an approximate understanding of the Nature of Brahmanu.
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Re: Has anyone ever reinvented something for a conworld? (ex: numerical system, religion, music composition, etc)

Post by Torco »

Oh, I've been doing this for a while <with very little to show for it, but I guess I do mostly enjoy the process, plus I always procrastinate the documenting. I've made alphabets, syllabaries, calendars, religions, ideologies, most of the regular things I think.

I'd like to feel confident enough as a musician to really get into conmusic. I recently got a cheap viola I'm using as an oud (my god is that violin type position difficult to get used to... by contrast the cello you just play sitting down: a total begginer's gonna be tense and play badly, of course, but he's not going to be in pain XD). come to think of it, there's a couple of threads about world music here, neato!
Man in Space wrote: 04 May 2022 05:38 Musical equivalences across Máranhír tend to be quintave-based—that is, P5 equivalence is preferred over that of the octave (P8). The Tim Ar have an thirty-six-tone chromatic system (though your garden-variety diatonic scale only uses eighteen or so), while the Caber have a five-tone system much akin to Georgian.
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Re: Has anyone ever reinvented something for a conworld? (ex: numerical system, religion, music composition, etc)

Post by lsd »

I don't have a conworld...

but a conlang...
  • I have a writing at the same time pictographic, logographic, syllabic and alpha-syllabic, even alphabetical...
  • this 3S deductive language (1Sign=1Sound=1Sense) forbids dictionaries and considers other languages, and proper names, as mouth noises...
  • I use a numerical system with an unusual basis...
  • an unprecedented dactyl counting...
  • a mathematics noted with the same rules as the writing and which differ from the one you know...
  • my calendar is linked to the numerical system and does not follow the usual customs...
...a conlang encompasses the whole world and puts a new layer on it, it asks its conlanger to become a demiurge of this real world...
what is the point of inventing another one, more simple, less rich... and which reduces the power of your language...
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Re: Has anyone ever reinvented something for a conworld? (ex: numerical system, religion, music composition, etc)

Post by Khemehekis »

MissTerry wrote: 19 May 2022 17:48 And so, in the same way where if we study our own bodies and how our body functions we are able to come to an understanding of our own selves and our own human nature, likewise, by studying the physical cosmos [the body of the Brahmana] and the natural laws which governs it, we are, by way of Yahtukha [Reason / Logic] and Pratipha [intuition / intuitive knowledge] are we able to eventually come to an approximate understanding of the Nature of Brahmanu.
Wow, that last part sounds almost like deism!

(There are resemblances to the "scientotheism" of the Lehola Galaxy, too -- people who believe in God for scientific reasons, among them the Iteli.)
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Re: Has anyone ever reinvented something for a conworld? (ex: numerical system, religion, music composition, etc)

Post by prettydragoon »

My conworld Rireinu is in a different spiral arm from Earth, that wretched hive of scum and villainy, so technically I do have to invent everything in it. Mostly though, I merely steal things from Human culture and file off the serial numbers.

Like, I happen to like the decimal system, so I decided that is what my conpeople, the Rireinukave, should use. And so the decimal system is literally built into their bodies: ten fingers, ten toes, ten mipi ("doorways" of the body). And thirty days of the month (That's as many as three tens. And that's terrible.) Although then they also have a seven-day week. And eleven months in a year.

In a way, you could say that there is only one, polytheistic, religion on Rireinu, with a creator goddess, the All-Mother, and numerous subordinate goddesses, all of whom have numerous regional epithets. You would also be correct to say that all the numerous local and regional pantheons have been merged by interpretatio Harunica rationalizing all goddesses with corresponding portfolios as local aspects of one Harunese goddess each, after the Federation of Haru took over the rest of the planet.

Entertainments are an important part of worldbuilding. I know the names of several games and sports and vague notions about how they are played. Offhanded comments like "as fat as the Queen of Cups", "stuck at sixteen", "lose a cannon to take a chariot", can be great at giving more depth to your conworld.

So, yeah. Having more things to play with is good.
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