To Protect and Serve

When creating and building a fictional world, two things you’ll need to think about are law enforcement and military. I bring these up together because in some forms of governance—military dictatorship, for example—these can amount to the same or related things. There are quite a few items you might consider when detailing the law enforcement and military on your world. For example:

What is the general public perception of these institutions? While there’ll be no one-size-fits-all attitude, there’s likely to be one or two prevailing sentiments among the populace. Are these people seen as honorable, honest, hard-working, respected? Are they seen as corrupt, dishonest, dangerous? Are they viewed with fear, indifference, or love?

What is the route to service in these institutions? Is there a period of compulsory military service for all able-bodied citizens? Do these organizations have difficulty recruiting enough people or do they get to pick the cream of the crop from an eager (or obligated) populace?

What is the general public perception toward service in these institutions? Is it seen as an honor? A route to greater things, such as political achievement? Or is it viewed with disdain, or simple expedience?

How much action do the members of these institutions see? Do members of law enforcement risk their lives every day, or do they have a relatively calm job? Does the military go to war often, or is it used largely for defense?

Come up with a tag-line, catchphrase, or slogan for your institutions.

The military and law enforcement of a society are integral to its structure, society, and operation. Whether they’re front-and-center or operating just beneath the surface, they impact everything. In order to truly explore your world you must explore its soldiers.

Posted in Gaming, Writing

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