Living a productive life is all well and good, but perhaps we should try and mix it up a little. After all, what fun is a society without its share of prophecies/dynasties/evil cults/weird traditions. This is a short guide on how best to start and participate in the sort of lore that can develop over many generations in any village worth its salt. It might not be productive but it makes a life more memorable than if you just farmed cabbage the whole hour.
There seem to be three main ways of creating lore. Firstly, you could create an institution or lineage that will continue with your children and add depth to a village. For example you could be born into an early settlement and go out on your own to found a rival village nearby. Or you could create a guild for a certain craft with its own head and base, even a monarchy. Generally, as long as you can afford them, the more of these in a town the better. And yes, evil cults are included in this category.
Secondly you could try making a story, either in writing or by telling it to the village youth. You might tell a tale from events of your own lifetime, perhaps with some creative license used to make it mystical sounding. Or you could simply make something up. It might even be a prophecy that you create. For example, as an elder, you might tell your grandchildren about how a day will come when the town will be saved by a woman with blond hair, or something like that. Eventually it could be fulfilled, and if people still remember your prophecy it will make one awesome story. Remember, most importantly, to keep your stories vague and, in the case of prophecies, open ended or they might never be fulfilled.
Finally you can simply do something in your lifetime which will generate its own lore. You might not even notice it happening. If you spend your whole life giving out presents then it could become a tradition for all clothiers to do the same, if someone makes a story about it that catches on. You might even make a story about yourself.
But making lore is very hard, especially over multiple generations. It is usually better to simply continue existing lore. If your parents tell you a story pass it on to your kids. If they don’t, ask ‘em. You might have lore about only your close family, like the lesson from Old Uncle Jim’s life in which he spent the whole time farming carrots yet forgot to make compost. Fulfilling prophecies is also good. If there is a legend that there will one day be an evil player who will threaten the village then you might rise to the role. But remember to be careful how you go about it. Simply running around with a knife would not only be annoying, but also fairly anticlimactic. Instead maybe you could attempt to take over the town leadership, start a militia, hold a feast or whatever the prophecy suggests. Having a cool hat while doing it is also nice. I think rabbit skin hats are the best but that’s just my opinion. Make sure, however, that there is always at least the chance for the prophecy to be completely fulfilled. If it is foretolled that a player will stand in your way who is characterised by a red wool hat then make sure there is someone of that description who can do so. And don’t forget to have the story of your prophecy fulfilment written down somewhere, otherwise what’s the point of making all that lore? Oh yes, and try and do something useful as well without getting caught up in all this. Lots of lore is fun, but someone still needs to bake that bread or there will be nobody left to remember your story.
Most importantly of all, remember to use your imgination. When the lifetime comes where I am born into a cult family celebrating the almighty carrot mutton pie deity then I will consider the work of this article done.