Forces Concepts

There is a push and pull in the universe, around each of us, that influences the choices we make and the destinies laid out before us. What forces draw your characters in?

Worlds are filled with forces, great energies that ebb, flow, surge, wax, and wane ubiquitously through forests and stone, towns and cities, homes, hearts, and minds. Sometimes, characters are aware of these powers’ existence and sometimes they are oblivious as the energies work their way through all things great and small.

You can play with powerful energies in your narrative to create a deep, resonant strength that compels and influences the actions of your characters and the obstacles of their adventure. Some nasty powers can prey on character weaknesses as other benevolent forces work to raise them up. What compels the inhabitants of your narrative world? Have a look…

Forces Menu

  • good, evil, truth, wickedness, sin, salvation,
  • nature, earth, the natural world, Mother Nature,
  • the cycle, a cycle, cycles, circles, spheres, endless line, infinity,
  • the end, finish, completion, finality,
  • all or nothing, everything or nothing,
  • awakening, the light,
  • spirit, life force, life energy,
  • magic, mana, fey power, divination,
  • time, eternity, immortality, Father Time,
  • law, order, harmony, balance,
  • give and take, yin and yang,
  • positive, negative,
  • death, fatality, finality, mortality, the end
  • birth, beginnings, rebirth, awakening, chrysalis, catharsis,
  • dream, ethereal, astral,
  • love, compassion, heart, hope,
  • destiny, fate, the preordained path,
  • karma, balance, order, chaos, disharmony,
  • harmony, neutrality, peace, oneness
  • anger, wrath, hate, terror, fear, hopelessness, despair
  • envy, jealousy, lust, covetousness, greed,
  • knowledge, wisdom, intellect, thought, the mind, sentience, omniscience, oneness,
  • chaos, madness, insanity, anarchy, disorder, pandemonium,
  • loss, loneliness, singleness, solitude,
  • emptiness, a blank state, blank slate, the void,
  • emotion, logic, feelings, intellect, passion, knowledge
  • self, selflessness, selfishness, self-realization, self-fulfillment, self awareness, the higher self, the base self,
  • individuality, community,
  • freedom, conformity
  • power, strength, rule, domination,
  • death, life; the end, the beginning,
  • a voice, the voice, the power, the one, the command,

Conduits of Forces

Forces are channeled through different means. How will forces manifest themselves in your narrative?

  • elements, fire, water, wind, earth, electricity, acid, metal, stone, wood,
  • children, a child, an innocent,
  • a storm, wind, weather,
  • a sacrifice, offering,
  • a ritual, rite, custom, tradition,
  • war, struggle, conflict, strife, anger, wrath, hatred, misery, mistrust,
  • a symbol, a shape, a sigil, a sign, an emblem, holy symbol,
  • runes, letters,
  • animals, birds,
  • cards, coins,
  • wands, staves, rods, maces,
  • the elements, earth, fire, wind, water, stone,
  • colors, hues, shades, rainbows,
  • the mind, thoughts,
  • emotions,
  • bones, skull, corpse, undead,
  • belief, faith, trust, submission,
  • words, chants, callings, utterances,
  • potion, elixir, powder, balm, salve, wine, poison,
  • a gaze, the eyes, sight,
  • gesture, hands, fingers,
  • objects, things, stuff,
    • cup, candle, urn, statue, idol, box, doll, ornament,
  • people,
    • “holy” people, priests, seers, oracles, shaman, holy knight, paladin, a drunk friar, holy adventurer, the devout, witch,
    • masters, sages,
    • wizard, necromancer,
    • superhero,
  • places
    • lines, nexuses, channels, rays, beams, connections, networks, peaks, points, filaments


  • Opposite forces make for excellent narrative: compassion is more relevant if the alternative is a bitter, bilious hate; clinging to hope is more critical when faced with grave despair; and goodness in a world of evil is all that more difficult… and necessary.
  • When the whole world moves in one undeniable direction, the character who tries to move in another way gives rise to great narrative. Look to make your story exemplify this struggle for independence through the rebel character you’ve created.
  • Characters in stories get pushed and pulled by forces despite their own ideas or actions. The story is in the struggle one has with these powerful driving influences. Push your characters to the edge before bringing them back (or not) from the precipice.
  • Forces can be overt and obvious to everyone in your narrative world by, for example, the presence of an evil overlord; or forces can work subtly behind the scenes. Evil can lurk deep in the hearts of men for centuries and then burst suddenly forth in a triumphant, menacing eruption. How will the forces at work in your narrative become known to your characters?