Let’s Talk About Worldbuilding (pt. 5)

This is going to be short, and the main portion is going to be about weird math stuff. Buckle in.

So! I’ve been busy lately, and one of the things I like to do when I’m stressed out is do math in my head. Not like, multiplication and algebra (though that too, sometimes), but mostly figuring out weird math patterns. For example, earlier I was trying to figure out what the smallest common multiple of 12 and 16 that was also 2 to the power of something. (Meaning 2*2*2*2 until I got a number that was divisible by both 12 and 16). Turns out, no such number exists, so that was an exercise in futility. Point being, I’ve been fiddling with numbers.

That being said, I spent a lot of time developing counting and money systems for the nations of my world. I talked a lot about dozenal in my last worldbuilding post, which much of my world uses. But I also fiddled around with a Base-8 system that had been used by another empire previously, several thousand years before my book begins.

Now, last week, the two came together. I liked the idea of an entirely non traditional counting system: something that used cool math instead of just going up. So, I thought it would be cool for one of the bigger nations in my world to use money that counted up exponentially. Instead of having a column for each unit, or tens of units, or hundreds of units, they would a different symbol for each exponent. Like this:

1 unit will be 0
2 units will be 1
4 units will be 2
8 units will be 3

Math-heads in the audience might realize this is just 2 to the power of something.
2^0 is 1
2^1 is 2
2^2 is 4
Et Cetera

I think it’s really cool because even if each symbol is a completely different number, you can still count up.
0 is 1
1 is 2
10 is 3
2 is 4
20 is 5
21 is 6
210 is 7
3 is 8

This fascinates me especially because order doesn’t matter. 210 is the same as 021, because each number represents an amount regardless of position. Really nerdy folk may realize this system is similar to binary, or counting with just two symbols, and there may be a name for it but I haven’t found one (not that I’ve looked too hard.)

Enough about the math, though. One of the nations in my world is called Búandiš, and for a while they had a really stable trading community. So stable, in fact, that when Myria (the largest nation currently) came to full power, they pegged their own dollar to the Búandiš money, which is called Gill. Myrian money (called Kronkel), counts in twelves like the rest of my world, but Gill uses this weird counting system I showed you up above.

Anyway, that’s a bit of math and a bit of my worldbuilding process. I get bored or something and decide to make my world more complicated. Whoo!

Besides just sharing some math nerdiness with you, I also want to get more comfortable actually talking about the world I’ve made. Because, when you create something as dorky and wonderful as a whole new world, it can be a bit embarrassing to show that to people. You’re baring a part of your mind to the world, for them to love or hate, compliment or critique, and that’s scary. All this to say that creativity should be shared. If you put the time and effort into making something, then it is worth seeing and enjoying. No matter what it is, someone out there will be delighted to see/hear/feel/be a part of your creations.




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