New Years Resolutions 2023

With every year comes a new promise, and often a disheartening follow-up question:   Did I keep the promises I made to myself last year?
  Here we are again, bravely facing yet another new year. What an adventure it's been, right gang? None of the past few years have been by any means easy, and this one certainly didn't go easy on me, but I managed to accomplish a lot — and I'm proud of that!   Let's see what we've learned through the year, and what inspiration I've found in the work of my fellow community members.
Curate your experience!

Game Masters: Know all of the secrets!
Players: Follow and explore!

My Resolutions for the New Year

I went into last year (well, I went into last summer...) with the goal of finally taking my worldbuilding more seriously. I wanted to dive back in, make friends, get creative again... and I think I did that! So, this year...

New Goals for a New Year

WorldEmber has left me with a lot of great new ideas and initiatives started, and now it's up to me to flesh them out and get them to a point where I'm proud of them!
  • I've got to flesh out my pantheons. — I thought I'd do it this year, and I sort of almost started by making an article to list them all! Now I just need to fill it out. Gods are intended to be pretty big in this world, and I hope to push that as I get to writing further.
  • I want to better understand my own timelines. — I have a general idea of how things work in my world, and what histories might look like, but the timeline is very muddy in my brain. There may be some reworking of existing chronicles in my future.
  • I want to start streaming!And I actually did! I made my streaming debut this month with article reads and drawing and it was such a hit! I'm so happy and in love with the hobby, and so I think I will make my actual resolution: Keep streaming!

Community Inspiration

This WorldEmber, I decided to throw my hat in the ring by being a community sponsor, and it's one of my favorite things I've done so far. Doing so has forced me to block out time not only to read others' work, but to fully take it in and experience their writing.   With that said, I think this reading list might end up with more than just ten articles on it. I'll be reporting on the articles submitted to my special category — but I'll make it a little easier on myself by only including ones I shared on livestream.
(That only takes about fifteen articles off of my list... leaving twenty-five.)

Let us Begin!

  Vampirism by IoTheSCNot everything in worldbuilding needs to be an original concept.
The first article I read from my list, and a delightful reminder that not every idea in worldbuilding needs to spawn from someplace fully original. Vampires exist in the myths of our own world, as well as in many fictional settings spanning all genres, but seeing the way someone twists an existing concept to fit their own world is so much fun. I often run myself into the ground over feeling like my ideas aren't "original enough," especially since my world got its start with its base in D&D 5e and its pre-existing concepts, before I decided to separate the world from it.
Vampiric Pheromones by KajetanWritesThe beings we think we know can have more depth than we think!
I thought it rather fun that this would be the article I'd read immediately after another about vampires. This has only further pushed that existing concepts from the world and other places are more than welcome in worldbuilding! What this article did for me as well, however, was show how you can add a great deal of depth to beings that we think we know so well, simply because they already exist elsewhere. One might think vampires evil enough to enjoy an evolutionary trait which would make humans easier prey, but some in this world would rather have it cured!
Frozen Bite by CallyxtusLean into your creativity more, and rely less on the convenient tools.
Of course, I have to note that I always admire seeing artwork in people's articles, especially when the writer and artist are the same person. I don't know if it's a lesson, so much as an inspiration, for me to try and focus on creating more of my own work to fill in the blanks of my world. As much as AI is a convenient tool for creating visuals quickly and efficiently, I don't actually enjoy relying on it very much. I'd like to place more of myself and more of my personal vision into my world and into my writing, and I feel the best way to do so is through creating more of my own art.
Blue-Tongue Madness by tjtrewinDon't forget your world's cultures when writing an article.
The thing I tend to love the most about TJ's work is that his articles go into so much more than simply what a thing is. No matter the topic, there always seems to be a tie-in to the cultures of his world, even if it's a small snippet about a tiny population. It makes every article feel much more connected to the world at large, which is something I could really work on as I write more articles. I feel like I do often get caught up in describing what something is, that I often forget to answer the question: how do the people of the world interpret or interact with this?
Ignis' Boon by Soulwing98It can be fun to think about what "good" can mean within a world.
Another article featuring custom artwork from the author, and a delight to read! I love seeing narrative snippets scattered through articles, quotes, stories, little notes, etc.. They really help show me what a world is like, even when I haven't read much beyond the article currently in my hand. I found it very interesting that such a thing exists in this world that can mark someone as being good — and it's been fun to think about how that could go if the definition of "good" was to be seen in a more subjective light. What's good to one might not be to another!

These first five articles got me off to such a strong start already, that I was already dreading the moment where I'd have to choose one and only one! Curse you awesome writers, and your amazing submissions!

Achindel by ArtgallesTackle the tougher topics, but handle them with care.
This is one of a few articles which delves into the subject of mental health and conditions which affect the psyche. Aspects of this condition reminded me strongly of a few real-world mental illnesses, and I always find it deeply engaging to see writers tackle the subject of mental health in their worlds — even if it's magical and not just brain chemistry. I'm reminded that this is a subject not to take lightly or mishandle, but is important to see in a living and breathing world (in my humble opinion). So I'm always excited about articles which do it well.
Madness by RumengolPlant some intrigue and mystery in your world.. on purpose.
My world is filled with gaps of all kinds, missing information, articles lost to time, and general weirdness that trails off with little intrigue tied to the ends. No little carrots on sticks, if you will, to keep those readers interested. This article, however showed me a great example of just that. WHO IS HIM? I want to know more! From this article, I'm learning the value of leaving just a hint of mystery for your readers to hook them and get them asking questions! So I'll have to get better about intentionally crafting intrigue in my world, that entices rather than frustrates.
Mindblot by HanhulaApproach subjects from all sides to achieve a well-rounded article.
I often keep a fairly one-track mind with more specific article categories. Though it's something I've been working on, I still tend to take a lot of time writing about one aspect of these more specific subjects. Maybe I get caught up too much in what something is, rather than the why or how. This article is one example of the wonders you can make when you approach a subject from all sides. It really feels like no details were spared here, and I was able to learn so much about this condition after reading through this article, and I hope to achieve that myself in time.
Catoblepon's Curse by MochimanobanThe community is a beautiful and silly place.
An absolute delight of a read, this article is a shining example of the wonderful silly creations that spawn from the community being the fun and warm place that it is. I love seeing the occasional article pop up featuring members of the community, their likenesses finding homes in worlds throughout the greater worldbuilding cosmos! From the drowned Vertis to the the head-heavying curse of the Catoblepon described in this article, I feel as though I am always seeing these small displays of admiration for one another... and that's really lovely.
Rotten Spots by CatobleponAwesome things happen when the community gets inspired.
Not only did Cato inspire the article above, but Cato likewise inspired a great many articles — particularly, for this very special category! I did notice that many of the submitted conditions shared several notable symptoms; as it turns out, Cato created an unofficial challenge for writing conditions, and many users chose to participate! So many of my favorite articles were created as part of it. This article itself was among them, and it was very cool not only to read about the condition itself, but how certain humanoids were more susceptible to it!

There were some more heavy hitters in this handful of articles, and this is about where I really started to have it sink in that oh no, this will take way more hard decisions than I thought! Is it too early to think I might want to pick runners-up? Man, if I only had the time to reward multiple people!

Zombification by moonflower-writingDon't be afraid to create things that hit hard and fast.
When it comes to diseases and afflictions in fiction, I feel as though I most often see conditions that are more slow-burn. Perhaps they take a while to set in, or to run their full course. This was not one of those conditions! It's so horrifying and thrilling to see that, although incubation may take quite some time, in just a matter of hours one can go from feeling well and good to being symptomatic and then turned. As someone who does play at a zombie LARP, it does tickle me as well to see articles about zombies over on WorldAnvil.
Magic Drain by SableAradiaConsider the effects of utilizing the powers available to you.
It's so easy to get caught up in all of the wondrous things magic can do in your world, that it's so easy to forget to think about what using that magics can do to you! Commanding great power sure can take a toll on the body, and I did enjoy this article filled with the various symptoms and effects caused by this condition, as well as even some tidbits about what other people may think of you if you find yourself afflicted for frivolous reasons. This is a good reminder for me to think about what it's really like to use magic in Malkora.
Stellar Ascended by usurperkingsSometimes great cosmic power just isn't as great as it sounds, at first.
The format of this article made for a wonderful read, as I felt patronized by the narrator, seemingly a book, with excellent quotes sprinkled throughout, such as, "But what would I know, I'm a book." I loved the mix of information and humor, and there was a lot of flavor to this writing style. I love the little detail that often seems to get overlooked when people write about great cosmic power... how do people actually feel about receiving it? Calling it both an honor and inconvenience makes such perfect sense.
Red Hair by eccbooksDon't take prompts so literally — a lot of fun can happen when you don't.
You know, if you asked me prior to this event if I'd consider having a certain hair color to be a condition, I'd likely tell you, "not particularly?" But this article has rather swayed my thoughts! ECCBooks really pushed the connection between a person's natural traits and the perceptions people have of them, and just how that can affect their lives in great ways. Red hair in this article is more than just a factor affecting one's appearance, but one that shapes how the world perceives them, which I feel we often see in the real world. A great take on what a condition can be.
Shadowbound by GiabralterSometimes the condition is what remains after the first condition wears off.
Conditions can come in many forms, in sets, in layers, in bursts, and I enjoy seeing the conditions that spawn from the aftermath of another prior condition! I found there was a lot in this article that tickled me, prompted me to ask more questions about the condition and the people it affects, and the small section at the end intrigued me as well, saying that the condition wipes out the afflicted's creativity. One of the main questions I had was, "how does a society continue to develop when all who reside within have lost their creativity and creative ability?"

There was a fantastic mix of humor and darkness among this collection of articles, and some of them really struck me with their ideas and concepts! I still had two more streams left to go after these... I was very nearly overwhelmed!

Goguryean Green-eyed Polydactylous Otter Syndrome by RahjarYou can build a world through weaving tales.
It may not be everyone's cup of tea and, in fact, it's not always my own, but sometimes articles written purely in the form of narrative can be an absolute delight. I love seeing articles like this one that build out a section of their world just by weaving a tale for us to read through, dropping bits and pieces of information for us to pick up as we go along. Not only was this a great read, but it also featured some very delightful subjects in the form of sweet many-toed otters. It warmed my heart to know they were well-loved creatures!
Blue Syndrome by AmélieISThe simplest elements can make a huge difference.
I remember opening up this article and being so enthralled by the little graphic charts added to each section of the article, with little icons signifying the different steps and stages described by the writing. I'm such a sucker for visual elements like that, and these really made a rather short article shine! Making large works of art is quite a stressful undertaking, but coming from a design background, I am sure I could create my own graphics if I just wanted to shoot for a more streamlined look!
Carved by Willow H.R. HarperPerception can often win out over reality, within a population.
This article called me back to a previous article I'd read, being ECCBooks' Red Hair. Being Carved causes you to have unique identifying features, and the greatest boon or burden of this condition is the perception of others in the wake of the Carving. It's pretty amazing just how drastically different one's life experience can be simply based on how you are perceived by others. Does this condition identify your family line as blessed by the gods, or as an enemy or great evil? It is in some ways scary to think that it could go either way.
Necroscratch by CrazyEddieSome ailments can be cured through unconventional means.
I'm always a fan of unconventional cures, and I would certainly think that getting and staying drunk for as long as possible is among the most unconventional I've encountered for a fungal infection! Something often attributed to causing more harm than good may just be your ticket out of a terrible condition. I do think my go-to approach to infections and the like has always been: create disease, invent a medicine, the end. I'll certainly need to find new ways to think outside the box and create some much more interesting ways to treat conditions.
Symbiosis by nnieSpecies can coexist in curious ways, even by artificial means.
I love seeing the ways humanoids interact with the many different organisms in their world, and this article had quite the unique premise! There was a a lot of attention to detail in this article, with the many questions posed about the ins and outs of acquiring and caring for one's own symbiont. The mentions of adequate care, and notes that these symbionts may become parasitic if uncared for were super interesting and added a lot of life and realism to this practice. I'm left wondering what I would choose, if I could get one for myself...

Whew. Last section, inbound. It's just the last of those I read on stream — I read all of the others in my spare time, off-stream! Goodness, there was just so much gold all around. If I could give everyone prizes, I would. I guess I partially did with the sketches, but sketches don't have the pizzazz of the promised full illustration!

The Huntmarshall's Curse by TonarusIt's okay to make parts of your world a little grotesque.
Right off the bat, this condition was beautifully described, and intensely grotesque... I love that. This article was full of fun details and links to horror themes, and the dread I feel in reading portions of the article really speaks to how insidious this corruption can be. I hope to incorporate more horror into my own world, in the pockets of it in which the darkness outweighs the light; I know this article will be one of the ones I hold on to as inspiration for some of that. We could all use a few more spooky scary conditions in our worlds!
Surface Bones by drunkenpanda951You can put your own spin on even the classics of the genre.
This article was a super interesting read, and I was really excited by the way the author put their own spin on the biology behind the commonly held notion that dwarves are exceptionally sturdy compared to other fantasy races. I found it especially interesting that this phenomenon only affects those who live around metals and ores, and does not appear to affect those which do not — but will begin to affect them should they live among these metals later on in life. Articles like this one are always great reads.
Artenihd by XalderaneConsider what death and afterlives are like in your world. Can souls travel?
This article really intrigued me, delving into some very supernatural subjects, and prompting questions like, "what happens to souls in this world?" On that note, what happens to souls in my own world? It's something to think about. How is life created? Do existing souls claim new vessels, or do new souls spawn with each new life? It almost sounds like, in this article, the answer to that last question is something like, "both?" I am simply curious as to what exactly happens once the children in this article win over the opposing force within them. Does it go somewhere else?
The Dark Plague by R. R. LoreCastleThink about the traditions surrounding illness in your world.
While the descriptions of the condition itself were rather vague overall, there were a lot of interesting bits of information all throughout this article that I found myself latching onto! The notes about how the skydwellers didn't know how to handle actual illnesses due to how rarely they got sick were very interesting, and their traditions of dressing up and decorating their home with orange for good luck was a lovely little detail. This all got me thinking about how different people in my world may handle similar plagues, and what their own traditions might look like.
Meissner Warping Syndrome by BarronThe environment and its atmosphere can produce some strange effects.
This article was a very fun read, especially since sci-fi is not a genre I tend to dive to deep into. It's just never been my favorite! That, however, doesn't quite matter here, as this article still tickled me! I love the idea of gravity having these little burps and bubbles, and it makes perfect sense that these things would cause issues if exposed to them for long. This article is inspiring me now to think about little things about the environments in my world that could do similar things!

So, who won?

That's a fantastic question! And the answer to that is...

Shadowbound, by Giabralter!

Condition | Jan 10, 2023
  I love an article that gets me thinking, wondering about details that can grow and develop and branch from a single concept — the concept, in this case, being the condition that was written! It's a very interesting and in many ways harrowing condition on its own, and it's prompted me to wonder what life is like for these afflicted who make up a civilization on their own, and what that can look like over time. You can see some more of my notes above in my little section about this article!   An excellent article, and I'm so glad for this submission! Congratulations!

Cover image: by Strixxline


Please Login in order to comment!
28 Jan, 2023 14:21

Thank you so much again for reading through my article on stream and for your kind words! :D Have an amazing and inspiring year of worldbuilding!

Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
Latest Work:
Gauntlet - my shiniest article this year!
28 Jan, 2023 14:50

Of course! It was so much fun to do the reads & doodles and I'm glad you had fun!   Heh you caught this article while I'm still working on finishing it up so I might just sneakily throw in another comment once I finish my resolutions as well so you can come back and see what my plans are for the year! ❤

Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
Check out Antecedents, my entry for On the Shoulders of Giants!
28 Jan, 2023 21:43

Thank you so much for the kind words! I really appreciate it! I hope you have a great 2023! <3

I hope you have a great day!   My most recent article!
  My Bestiary Article!
28 Jan, 2023 21:59

You too! ❤

Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
Check out Antecedents, my entry for On the Shoulders of Giants!
28 Jan, 2023 23:21

It's so cool that you took the time to write down a few thoughts about all of these articles! I've added this article to my reading list so I can go check some of them out later.

29 Jan, 2023 15:00

Yay, enjoy! These were all lovely reads so I'm happy to know people will go check them out too ❤

Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
Check out Antecedents, my entry for On the Shoulders of Giants!
28 Jan, 2023 23:38

Thank you for your kind words and the little drawing of my aggressive shroomies. They mean no harm, I swear! :D

You want to hear the voice of fire? I got you covered with my actual entry to the bard challenge: Amara Silverharp. You wanna see what we did for Summer Camp? This way please: Eddie's Summercamp
29 Jan, 2023 15:01

They're just friendly little fungi! :D

Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
Check out Antecedents, my entry for On the Shoulders of Giants!
Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
29 Jan, 2023 14:19

Thanks again for the live read and the drawing. It was super-fun to hang out on that stream and watch you work. Best of luck with everything this year!

Check out The Family Tree of Frieda Jacobs—now complete with 41 portraits of the characters
29 Jan, 2023 15:01

I wish you the same! Thanks for hanging out, and I'll always be glad to see you pop in during future streams :D

Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
Check out Antecedents, my entry for On the Shoulders of Giants!