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Mastergilgamesh
2012-01-19, 12:27 AM
I'm trying to create a globe for my new campaign setting, but i want the natural world of the setting to flow somewhat realistically. For instance, how close could a tropic jungle realistically be to a frozen tundra? How drastic is the difference in climate at the equatoe as opposed to directly adjactent to it? Should mountain ranges that trail into the ocean lead to a island chain? I know that for a lot of things that i can use magic as an excuse, but i want to try to make it seem reasonable. Can someone give me some pointers as to how to create a planet?

Tzi
2012-01-19, 12:43 AM
I'm trying to create a globe for my new campaign setting, but i want the natural world of the setting to flow somewhat realistically. For instance, how close could a tropic jungle realistically be to a frozen tundra? How drastic is the difference in climate at the equatoe as opposed to directly adjactent to it? Should mountain ranges that trail into the ocean lead to a island chain? I know that for a lot of things that i can use magic as an excuse, but i want to try to make it seem reasonable. Can someone give me some pointers as to how to create a planet?

Equatorial boundaries are somewhat fungible in a sense, tropic and sub tropic conditions can be found outside of the actual tropical latitudes, and some parts of the actual tropics are desert do to geologic formations.

Realistically a frozen tundra, well it depends on what we mean by tundra. Actual tundra lands can't be anywhere near the Equator as the tundra on earth touches only the northern most parts of Russia, Europe, Canada, Alaska ect... On the other hand if you just mean "Areas that have permafrost in the dirt," then actually anywhere mountains are really high up. Algeria, in North Africa has parts of the Atlas mountains that are coated in thick snow and that is a country dominated by the mostly sweltering Sahara Desert. Also Mountain tops in the heart of the African tropics do sport snow pack.

Mountain ranges is a tricky thing, traditionally they do not form as you describe. The main way you get mountains is basically along tectonic fault lines. For example the India Asia plate collision formed the Himalaya mountains via the two plates scrunching into each other. Or in the Swiss Alps its the Africa and Europe-Asia plate. Also the Rockies, Atlas and Andes Mountains are formed this way.

Then you have Fault-block mountains which are formed by the movement of large crustal chunks which forces the crust to pull itself apart. Some parts of the crust plates are pushed upward and others collapse down. Forming mountains kind of like the Sierra Nevada in the United States.

Generally mountains don't become island chains unless the area of the crust is particularly odd, like a lot of small faults and cracks in the crust.

Creating an entire planet that is meant to be realistic or really earth like would require maybe a basic geology class. Idk, watch that documentary "How the Earth was made," the one that catalogs the entire planets history from formation to present. Could give a rough idea of plate formation and motion. Tectonic forces, geologic forces and stuff like that. Beyond that just study how the earth looks and seems to work and maybe copy that?

Jallorn
2012-01-19, 01:13 AM
The Magical Society Guide to Mapping (http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=XRPFREE2) is a really good place to start, whether you're starting from scratch, or with some basic understanding of biomes and whatnot.

Wiwaxia
2012-01-19, 09:28 PM
Figuring out tectonic plates and hotspots will tell you where to put your mountains and islands. Once you have your mountains in place, figure out the prevailing winds, based on convection cells and the Coriolis effect (I'd suggest just copying Earth for this). That'll tell you where rainshadows go: when the wind blows off an ocean and into mountains, there will be a wet climate between the ocean and the mountains, and a desert on the far side. The Coriolis effect can also help you set up your ocean currents, if that's something you're interested in including.

(also, shouldn't this be in worldbuilding, not general homebrew?)

Melayl
2012-01-20, 11:00 AM
Jallorn beat me to the punch in recommending the best resource you can find.

Deepbluediver
2012-01-20, 12:53 PM
For geography, read up on some basic geology that focuses on fault lines and mountain-building.

Weather and climate are frequently dependent on geography and hundreds of other variable such as wind patterns, and particularly mountains. Honestly, I would say just use common sense for most of it and I doubt you'll get any real challenges; some of the stuff that happens IRL on earth absolutely defies expectations.

If you look at a place like Hawai'i, it has something like 9 of the 11 major climate types represented over the entire planet in just a few hundred square miles. (the only 2 that I think it's missing are tundra and artic)

Ingus
2012-01-20, 07:52 PM
some of the stuff that happens IRL on earth absolutely defies expectations.


Thinking of this, I suggest you to go wild. Think of the Cliffs of Dover, Grand Canyon, the Great Salt Lake Desert, Himalaya and so on: don't forget the fantasy part and give players some astonishing place to go (I once used a tropical island in a desert of salt, just to give you ideas) :smallwink:

Yora
2012-01-20, 07:58 PM
Coal Fires are amazing. Underground fires that burn for centuries. As the underground coal burns up, cavities are left behind that often collapse, making the ground above shift and crack open, to vent the smoke and toxic gases.

Also, there's a natural nuclear reactor somewhere in Africa or Australia. (Ground water flows into high-grade uranium deposits, connects the ore to critical mass, water starts to boil, evaporates, process begins again. Like a nuclear geyser.)

Mastergilgamesh
2012-01-20, 08:10 PM
hmm... i guess i'll need to find a good balance...

LibrarianHuntar
2012-01-21, 08:29 PM
It depends on how far back your willing to go. I'm mapping my campaign back from the year the universe was created, through to the begging of the evolution of life, with MAGIC and SCIENCE. I'm also attempting to create a DNA code for elves.