I am a serious fan of Ghostmans proposal.
After thinking about this, it might be better to left gunpowder out of the setting because of the impact it would have on warfare and the society. Or maybe just keep this one ? http://pcmedia.ign.com/pc/image/arti...621466-000.jpg
Ghostman: Not a bad idea and I suppose people would also greatly rely on the stars and constellations map to travel.
Last edited by Azelor; 12-10-2013 at 05:15 PM.
I'm mostly in line with previous posts:
low-mid magic. preferably low. the more powerful, the less common.
no guns. "gunpowder", "greek fire" or other techno-chemical advances are ok if limited to experimental/highly dangerous cases.
I definitely think there is a need to make this world unique, rather than going with a generic blank slate. Yes, we need to leave plenty of room to develop individual ideas. But adding 2 or 3 really distinctive traits (such as Ghostman's mystical compass idea) or themes would enhance, rather than detract from creativity, while encouraging collaboration.
I've been working on a project to create a "realistic" world from literally scratch, based on current astro-physics, planetary science, etc. So my uniqueness suggestion is to make the "heavens" something very non-Earthlike. Perhaps the world is actually a tidally locked moon of a gas giant? Or is part of a binary system that causes dramatic shifts in weather/magical/aurora activity when the secondary star is nearby?
I like the idea of a binary star system and that Idea first came to me when reading A song of fire and ice by Georges R.R. Matrin where the explanation remains a mystery. A binary star system could do something similar.
The movement of the planet would be similar to Earth's but seasons would not always be the same because of the second star. Some summers would be hotter than other and some winters colder but everything remains relatively predictable. It depends on how the two stars are aligned. When the 2 stars and the planet are in line, it means that a new cycle begins and ideally it would last for a couple of years.
I'm just not sure how to make this idea interesting and plausible. I also fear it might look too sci-fi.
And about using Greek fire and primitive flamethrower, it's always dangerous. Even if it was powerful, I don't think it was much used, but I don't know why. It gives an advantage to those that have it but just like magic, its not that common.
Last edited by Azelor; 12-17-2013 at 06:58 PM.
Tidal locking for those of us who have to look it up How would such a construction affect the ocean tides? and also how would it affect the day night scale?
I can't claim to have any idea what a binary star system would do to a planet either, but it could be interesting to explore. I'm more interested in the tidal locking thing though. Both of these things open up the possibility of some enterprising soul to do a system map though so that's is kind of cool.
With the gunpowder/greek fire thing I think we are getting a bit too involved in the detail as this is unlikely to have significant effect on the maps whatever or not we go overboard. Besides the overboard things like a sea of fire (would be cool in any case in my opinion). There isn't so much to worry about. (guns though do have significant impact on maps)
Don't worry about sci-fi cross over Azelor. I'm telling you, everyone should read some of Jack Vance's Dying World stuff, it just has an absolutely inspiring texture and atmosphere to it. And it is pure fantasy but has such an underpinning of sci-fiedness to it you'll see that they fit together pretty seamlessly. In addition it has all sorts of wizards escaping to far off worlds, which when you consider the ideas brought up above could open up more mapping possibilities. Perhaps even allowing people freedom to make maps if they feel the constraints of the co-op world too heavy.
Other differences would include:
- Frequent radiation storms from the gas giant. Since it isn't a barren rock, the world must have a strong electro-magnetic (or in this case magical?!) field protecting it from this radiation. The practical affect is that aurora would be spectacular.
- One side of the world would always face the parent planet. The other side would never see it. (imagine the cultural differences that might create)
- A "day" would be equal to the time it takes the world to orbit the planet. That would typically mean a day longer than 24 hours, but we could fudge the number, particularly if magic is involved.
- Depending on orbital alignments, the side that faces the planet might get frequent eclipses. This might influence climate. It would certainly get additional light some of the time, due to the light from the star reflecting off of the gas giant.
If you want some crazy details, have a look at these papers:
If there's more interest in the binary system model, I can lay out the (mostly much less severe) possible impacts of that as well...
Those were just examples of the "tech level" limitations that I think are critical to defining the limiting parameters of the world. Reasonable limits on certain realms, including weapons, but also transport types, energy sources, magical power sources (and anything else that would completely change the world by its presence) help keep the world in balance. But you're right. Unless it has global geo-political/cultural ramifications, it can undoubtedly wait until later to determine/resolve.With the gunpowder/greek fire thing I think we are getting a bit too involved in the detail as this is unlikely to have significant effect on the maps whatever or not we go overboard. Besides the overboard things like a sea of fire (would be cool in any case in my opinion). There isn't so much to worry about. (guns though do have significant impact on maps)
I took a look at Ganymede and Titan, the two biggest satellites in our system to get an idea. They take about 7 to 16 days to orbit while the Moon takes 28 days. They are all tide locked. That mean that if your are on the tide locked side, you have nearly half of that time without light. This would make for big temperature variations and a huge impact of climate. It's possible to have a smaller orbit but then the tidal distortion is more intense.
So you need a gas giant or a solid planet heavier than the moon. In does not need to be very huge in fact. If you look at Pluto, the difference is rather small. And the planet could also be habitable but would be different from our earth for things like gravity and atmosphere. It is also possible that the planet could be tide locked with the satellite too, so both would end up tide locked. With two celestial bodies with a similar mass, it would greatly reduce the nasty distortion.
I'm not too sure about the amount of energy this would create but I don't think it would heat the surface much as it appears here in the article: ''However, the geophysical and atmospheric properties of extremely tidally-heated bodies are unknown, making habit ability assessments challenging. With Io’s surface tidal heating of about 2W/m2 in mind, which leads to rapid reshaping of the moon’s surface and global volcanism, we thus focus on moons in the IHZ for the time being. '' so the closer you are, the more energy is generated but it also cause massive distortion. And if you bring it a little closer, you wreck the satellite apart. But not too far either because the satellite could move out of the planet’s attraction.
Furthermore, the planet needs to be located in the habitable zone and correct me if I’m wrong but gas giant usually form far from the star. So I think a giant planet (or simply a bigger earth) would be a better idea.
This being said, I'm also interested at binary stars. I know how to make it stable gravitationally but I have not explored the impact it would have on climate yet.
EDIT: Ok, now I see what you meant - the time the side facing the planet is facing away from the star. This actually applies to every location on the moon (save it's poles) equally, not just the tide locked side. That said, my second point (below) may still complicate things, depending on the angle...
What's more, you appear to be assuming that the plane of the moon's orbit around the planet is the same as the plane of the planet's orbit around the star. If these planes are tilted relative each other at a significant angle, the moon won't actually enter the planet's shadow at all for much of the year.
Happy to address some of these great questions, but I definitely agree that if you're following the known rules (however limited those are today) of planetary formation theory as it relates to habitability, gas giant moons make for interesting candidates for life, but probably wouldn't produce the kind of planet (earth-like) we're looking for. I still think another interesting quirk of the solar system that adds flavor would be nice though.
On a completely different tangent, how about making the atmosphere denser? Not so much to cause havoc with normal medieval life, but enough to make human engineered flight easier and evolutionary flight more common and with larger flyers. Plenty of interesting things can come of that...
Yes, I considered that the moon was orbiting along an untilted planet equator because it ws simplier to start off. You could also have an orbit that follows the meridiens, with one pole always facing the star but the other side would never recieve light.
And I was talking about the tidal locked side but the opposite is true the the other side as well, just like you said.
Whit an inclined orbit, the moon might never be caught in the shadow of the planet if it's far enough. But this also mean that one hemisphere of the moon would receive a lot more sunlight than the other.