Cultural Traits Brainstorming

Copying this thread over from the old forums:

The Society Stage is still a ways away but we are speculating about concepts for it and one that always eludes us is a fun and realistic system for culture. Here is the latest idea I have on this.

I’ve been thinking about a system of Cultural Traits for a while. What is a Cultural Trait? It’s a small and specific aspect of culture that provides certain bonuses or penalties and describes the way your people think or act in a certain situation. A trait would be something like “Warrior’s Code: Your people believe in a common duty requiring soldiers to fight honourably.”

These traits procedurally generate and spread between cities, granting minor bonuses and penalties that add up. The player can pass laws to promote or ban them if they want to finetune their culture (especially because the traits will impact the society of the player). The sum of all the traits of a player will add up to form the cultures of civilizations.

Some traits are incompatible with each other, such as Nomadic Lifestyle (your people have an attachment to their nomadic way of life) and Sedentary Lifestyle (your people have an attachment to their sedentary way of life). Often several traits can be grouped together as different types of doing the same thing, such as different types of funerary practices. Sometimes traits cannot spawn until a certain tech has been discovered.

So, let’s start brainstorming!

Let’s go through each category of traits one at a time. The following are the different types of traits for funerary practices that I was able to think of:

Funerary Pratices
Burial – The dead are buried in graveyards.
Mummification/Entombment – The dead are buried in tombs/crypts.
Cremation – Funeral pyres
Sky burials - Placing the bodies on high points like mountains or towers
Burial at Sea - Bodies are thrown to sea
Burial in Space - Bodies are discarded to space.
Cannibalism - Bodies are eaten.
Fed to nature - Bodies are left for animals to eat.
Promession (Recycling the body’s elements) – Bodies are sent to mortuary recycling centers
Cryopreservation - The bodies are frozen to preserve and possibly later rescusitate them.

See if you can think of any other types of funerary practices, and what would be the effects of these different traits?

Some examples would be Burial would greatly improve health by disposing of the bodies cleanly, but would require the construction of graveyards which takes up space. Cremation increases the air pollution and flammability of your cities but hardly takes up space. Burial at sea would cause water pollution. Cannibalism could lead to diseases, etc.


Would there be a trait like “Hive Mind” where all individuals work toward one goal the society wants/needs instead of the individual doing what they want

I found these ‘‘traits’’ quite interesting, there are several possibilities

  • Coffins: the dead are buried/burned/whatever in coffins of some kind (not sure if that’d make a seperate trait)

  • Structures (shitty name, I know): the dead bodies are used to make structures of some kind (e.g, a tower of bones).

  • Accesoires: Dead body parts are kept as accesoires (e.g a finger on a rope as a necklace)

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Continuing the discussion from Cultural Traits Brainstorming:

there could be a trait named up minded that maked them produce more trade more and reserch more but is very hard to mantain because religion and politics

One of the ethics proposed on the old forum was “Innovation,” as opposed to “Traditionalist.” Innovationists support the flow of new ideas, which gives them a broad array of technologies and political opinions. Radical innovationists tend to be anarchistic and wish to get rid of old ideas.

You could also be meaning “Motivated” by “Up-minded,” I think that would be a consequence of making your populace riled up to help their country and ideology. A good example would be the propaganda campaigns during wartimes, the government makes the populace motivated to risk their lives for freedom or something.
The alternative would be contentedness, where the society matches the goals of a faction, and will merely enjoy the country, not make an effort to change it. Opposing politics may also be motivated, when their goals are at risk. Any sort of resistance movement is an example of that.