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How to Create a Realistic Empire for Your World

Storyteller OS users: Clip this video into your Knowledge Base and categorize it under Setting + World Building

An effective empire is one that has efficient communication, and control its people without rebellion, and stabilize its economy through commerce. Learn from different both fictional and historical examples of effective empires and how they handled communication, control, and commerce and what can happen if one of these pillars breaks.


  • The speed and amount of communication across an empire is vital to effective coordination. This can be altered by magic or technology. Slower communication often results in decentralized power.
  • It's important to consider how the magic system affects how government works and the challenges that it faces.
  • An empire can establish control through terror, making it preferable to be a part of it, propaganda about the outside, allowing self-governance, creating a feeling of sovereignty, and assimilation. The capacity to mobilize troops quickly is crucial to control.
  • A healthy economy is an indicator of stability for an empire, and a wider market may make its citizens better off than those outside the empire. Successful empires often protect property rights.
  • Empires change in culture, economy, politics and religious makeup, and it can help with realism for its description to reflect that.