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Phill Devil
01-02-2011, 02:06 AM
Hi, there
I know I'm new here, but there is this question that have been bothering me since I got interest in fictional cartography

Well, in many RPGS (most of them, online) The desert is locatad in the extreme south of the game.
I mean... WHY?! why the south? it's always the south
the only exceptions that I know are FInal Fantasy (wich the desert is loocated int he north) and Final Fantasy X (wich the desert is located in the west (and i think that Valkyrie Profile 2's desert is located in the center, though, I'm not sure)

I mean... those deserts randomly put in the south of a continent doesn't make much sense, does it?

but I can't say much, my fisrt idea for a continent had it's desert in the south XD

anyways, discuss

LS-Jebus
01-02-2011, 03:06 AM
My guess is that's because most fantasy writers are in Europe or America. For them, the north is cold going to tundra, the people live in temperate woodland regions and steppes with rivers, and the south is dry and contains deserts. It seems to have become a convention among fantasy writers.

Ascension
01-02-2011, 10:02 AM
Agreed. On this earth the deserts are located on the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, for the most part (not sure about the Gobi) and the actual tropical climates are on the equator. So I always think of general climate bands as a color gradient going from white to brownish-gray to green to tan to dark green (over-simplified, of course). So I always chuckle when I see deserts on fantasy maps placed all willy-nilly. It might make for a good story and all but the physics of climatology doesn't really support willy-nilly placement...there are reasons for why deserts are where they are (temperature, wind, jet stream, rain shadow, ocean currents, precipitation and evaporation, above or below sea-level, etc).

Hai-Etlik
01-03-2011, 06:37 PM
Well, Ultima VII puts a desert in the northeast and tropical islands in the northeast, southwest, and in the middle. And everything else is temperate.

Aenigma
01-04-2011, 10:47 AM
In the story I'm writing, I'm considering to have a desert in the north, which was created in a gigantic accident by a half-crazy wizard who loved to experiment...

Greason Wolfe
01-04-2011, 11:12 AM
There are Northern "deserts" on Earth, but, for the most part, they don't have the same appearance (great rolling dunes and what not) that we typically associate with deserts. Eastern Oregon might be a good example. Instead of dunes and the like, it is mostly arid land with either exceptionally high temperatures during the summer (well, exceptionally high for Oregon anyhow) and fairly cold temperatures during the winter. It really comes down to what you define as a desert, I suppose.

GW

Phill Devil
01-04-2011, 10:24 PM
There are Northern "deserts" on Earth, but, for the most part, they don't have the same appearance (great rolling dunes and what not) that we typically associate with deserts. Eastern Oregon might be a good example. Instead of dunes and the like, it is mostly arid land with either exceptionally high temperatures during the summer (well, exceptionally high for Oregon anyhow) and fairly cold temperatures during the winter. It really comes down to what you define as a desert, I suppose.

GW

Never Heard about those, but that's a nice information
how are they created?


In the story I'm writing, I'm considering to have a desert in the north, which was created in a gigantic accident by a half-crazy wizard who loved to experiment...

I LOL'd XD

waldronate
01-05-2011, 12:34 AM
It really comes down to what you define as a desert, I suppose.

The classical textbook definition is less than 10 inches of rain a year, making Antarctica the world's largest desert.

My general rule of thumb is an area with relatively low rainfall and very high evaporation, typically with highly seasonal rains. Where I live, for example, we tend to get about 5-6 inches of rainfall annually with about 350 inches of evaporation.

Aenigma
01-05-2011, 08:50 PM
I LOL'd XD

I'm glad you like the idea xD

njordys
01-06-2011, 05:34 PM
It can be fun to study climate maps of the real world, to get a picture on how to place climate zone in relation to mountains and such. Found these images with a google search.

http://www.meteorologyclimate.com/world-climate-map.jpg

http://www.climate-charts.com/images/world-rainfall-map.png

Deserts are often found far into the landmass, near mountains or where wind-currents drive moisture away from land.

Ascension
01-06-2011, 08:02 PM
Now those are some helpful maps. Great find, man.