Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21

Thread: How does one avoid th River Police?

  1. #1
      TheMarcus7 is offline
    Guild Member TheMarcus7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    South Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    64

    Default How does one avoid th River Police?

    Short of just posting something with a river in it for review that is. I did some cursory searching but couldn't find a thread on "Real Rivers I Have Known and Policed" or the like.

    .TM7
    Currently using Photoshop CS3, GIMP, MapTool, and planning to try Inkscape, Illustrator and Wilbur "real soon now."
    Running and playing as much 4e as I can.
    All work I post here and refer to as "mine" can be used under this Creative Commons license

  2. #2
      Ascension is offline
    Community Leader Ascension's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    St. Charles, MO
    Posts
    8,216

    Default

    Here are the basics, there are a whole lot of things to consider but these are the simplest things:

    1. Water flows downhill. It will not flow from the plains up and over a mountain chain to some other plains area.
    2. Lots of rivers and streams flow into a lake but there is only one that flows out. That one might have some little delta-like thing branching at the start but they will join up to form one river channel and the area with the softest dirt to cut into or the steepest angle to flow down will eventually win out producing one outflowing channel. The known exceptions are: an endorheic basin which forms below sea level so therefore has no outflow; and a crater lake.
    3. Rivers wander all over the place and vary in width...flat = fat (generally).
    4. Rivers don't split and stay split except in deltas. They may go around a more dense chunk of rock to form and island but they rejoin rather quickly. The reason that they don't rejoin in deltas is that the area is too flat so they wander around like tweens at a sock-hop and they dump into the ocean before they can get a chance to rejoin. This is the biggest thing that people mess up. They usually make these giant deltas and forget about scale. We try to encourage the analogy of a tree - put the branches in the mountains, put the trunk on the plains, and put some tiny tiny roots near the coast.
    5. Rivers do not flow so that they connect two oceans or two separate parts of the same ocean. You could have a man-made canal, though.
    6. Don't rely on "magic" to explain things away - that's bad physics and would require so much power that only a god could maintain it.

    Here is a link to a good discussion:
    http://www.cartographersguild.com/sh...he-right-place
    Last edited by Ascension; 02-05-2010 at 11:17 PM.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  3. #3
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    2,365

    Default

    Try "How to get your rivers in the right place" and "Essential river guidelines"
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

  4. #4
      TheMarcus7 is offline
    Guild Member TheMarcus7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    South Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    64

    Default

    Awesome! Thanks! I think if I stick to #4, I'll probably be fine. But I'll do my homework.

    .TM7
    Currently using Photoshop CS3, GIMP, MapTool, and planning to try Inkscape, Illustrator and Wilbur "real soon now."
    Running and playing as much 4e as I can.
    All work I post here and refer to as "mine" can be used under this Creative Commons license

  5. #5
      Mark Oliva is offline
    Publisher Mark Oliva's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Altershausen, Northern Bavaria
    Posts
    591

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMarcus7 View Post
    Short of just posting something with a river in it for review that is. I did some cursory searching but couldn't find a thread on "Real Rivers I Have Known and Policed" or the like.

    .TM7
    The truth is, you don't always have to avoid the river police. Sometimes you just have to toss them out, saying that they're outside their area of jurisdiction.

    Being more serious, the river police are very valuable for people who want rivers in their fantasy RPG setting to flow the way that they do in the real world. But that's also where their jurisdiction ends.

    Fantasy and fantasy RPG settings have their roots in mythology, and many mythologies have their own geographical and geological premises that are pretty far removed from those of the real world. So ... if you want to make your setting more or less in the manner that a mythology explained it, you may have to ignore some of the otherwise meritorious rules that the river police want to enforce. On the other hand, once you've mapped in the parts of your mythology-based world that violate the "river rules," you might do well to obey the rules in mapping what's beyond the violated areas. The reason to do that is that your world will have a more natural feel to it and work more down the lines of the logic that players in the setting understand.

    My arguments here should lead one to the reasonable conclusion that I - or in my case the entire Vintyri (TM) Project - are among those who intentionally live outside of the jurisdiction of the river police. That's correct. The root of our Jörðgarð (TM) campaign setting is Eddaic. The Elder and Prosaic Icelandic Eddas are the granddaddy of a large segment of the fantasy RPG and novel markets, including the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. In fact, Prof. Tolkien offers a prime example of operating outside of police jurisdiction, in his case, the jurisdiction of the mountain police. If they had had their say, the mountains of Mordor would have been banned, and we would have had an entirely different story, if any at all, from Prof. Tolkien.

    In the Eddas, the 11 great rivers of the world all flow down from Hvergelmir on Upphafsjall, and from there they flow through great mountain ranges in 11 different directions from due east in a half circle to due west. So, the Jörðgarð setting does indeed have a single source that feeds 11 rivers, and these 11 rivers forge gorges through great mountains that are without a parallel in the real world. The river police would be out of bounds in that part of the setting. However, once the 11 great rivers have broken through the mountains, they follow the otherwise sensible (in most respects) rules by which the river police work.

    However, I think the river police give too little credit to some real world realities that can be very useful in RPG settings:

    An old truism (but not one enforced by the river police) tells as that all rivers flow into the sea. The unfortunate thing about truisms is that they're untrue. There are some rivers that never flow into the sea.

    We find a prime example in the Bear, Jordan and Weber Rivers, in the state of Utah in the U.S.A. These three rivers flow into the Great Salt Lake on the Bonneville Flats. The Great Salt Lake has no outlet. Its water does not flow into the sea; it evaporates just as sea water does.

    This brings us round in something of a circle, where we may be able to find a bit of accuracy in our inaccuracy after all: The Great Salt Lake is what remains of a great inland pluvial sea in prehistoric times.

    Another interesting example in the U.S.A. is the link of Lake Tahoe, the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and Nevada. Melting snow from the mountains flows down into the Tahoe Basin, which is 1,645 feet/501m deep, forming Lake Tahoe. The great lake has only a single outlet, as the river police demand, the Truckee River.

    Nearby Donner Lake also is a part of this system. Its outlet is Donner Creek, a tributary of the Truckee, which flows down Nevada's east face of the Sierra and across the Northern Nevada desert into another basin, Lake Pyramid, which, like the Great Salt Lake, has no outlet.

    There also are streams that spring from the ground, forge a course along the surface and then flow into a cave system running underground once more. The Puerto Princessa River in the Philippines is one of the better known examples.

    Don't hesitate to break the rules of truisms in the manner Mother Nature does, if it serves your campaign well. But if you do so, follow another of nature's examples: Don't overdo it. Rivers that flow back into the ground or that never reach the sea are exceptions. They should be that in your gaming world too.
    Mark Oliva
    The Vintyri (TM) Project

  6. #6
      jbgibson is offline
    Guild Expert jbgibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,104

    Default

    Another avoidance is to not "be" the cartographer and actually join the police as a deputy. Agree that the bard that drew this land obviously didn't know the place well, because he put in these implausible rivers. He probably put in other imaginary stuff too - look at that: he put in horses and eagles when anybody knows the dragons and griffins ate the horses and eagles ages ago. That still leaves you "needing" to be realistic in whatever part of the world the mapper honestly knows, but that could be a small subset of the map.

  7. #7
      Coyotemax is offline
    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Coyotemax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,972

    Default

    The river policed rules (to coin a phrase) are good ones for making general sense and generally follow a geologically sound pattern based on generalities found in nature, at least on our earth. (and i'll say it again- generally! hah) Regards the river police and inland salt basin seas etc, I've seen those posed as examples many times as exceptions If you want to, you can find examples that contradict nearly all of the specific citings that have been handed out (except perhaps water flowing uphill). Of course there are exceptions, but as you point out, that's exactly what they should be - exceptions, not rules.

    if your world has it's own rules, i think the call at that point is to ensure that those rules are followed consistently throughout that world. Consistent internal logic is important to the believability, which in my case at least, adds to the enjoyment.

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

  8. #8
      TheMarcus7 is offline
    Guild Member TheMarcus7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    South Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    64

    Default

    I appreciate all the responses. I was mostly looking for a reference to the articles listed above because I figured they existed but couldn't find them <cough>because I'm too lazy to look real hard</cough>. I'm less worried about "breaking the rules" than I am about making a map that looks good.

    Ansel Adams said "The great is the enemy of the good" or some such, but everyone here is so friendly and helpful, that I see a lot of good cartographers becoming great. I just wanna be one of them

    .TM7
    Currently using Photoshop CS3, GIMP, MapTool, and planning to try Inkscape, Illustrator and Wilbur "real soon now."
    Running and playing as much 4e as I can.
    All work I post here and refer to as "mine" can be used under this Creative Commons license

  9. #9
      Coyotemax is offline
    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Coyotemax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,972

    Default

    Excellent plan, it worked for me

    And sometimes threads take on a life of their own and get away from you. Don't worry too much when it happens

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

  10. #10
      Imahilus is offline
    Guild Apprentice
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    49

    Default

    There are even some unique cases in which water can flow uphill =P
    Supposedly there are only three places in the world where this happens, though in the quick search I did I could not find their names (several youtube videos and mentions though).
    Fact remains that nature has stuff far more strange than what we can imagine =)

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •