I'm kinda working on a world map for an RP campaign I want to run in the future, but I want it to be somewhat realistic. So, I was hoping the experts over here could drop some hints!
This is what I currently have.
While I'm not learned in geography or anything of the sorts, I know mountains are made by fault lines and that the ocean currents determine the climates. As well as the fact that water usually originates from the mountains and heads back to the ocean, thus creating rivers.
Because of this, I started with plopping down my landmass and then doing my best to add tectonic plates (big black lines) and the ocean currents (small red ones). Any advice is welcome and feel free to scribble all over it to make a point :)
Thanks in advance!
This is a good start.
If you want information you can go here for the climate The Climate Cookbook
and here for other thing Creating an Earthlike Planet
there are more complex guides but these are pretty good.
While it's true that mountains are made near the edge of plate, some mountains can be located far inside the lines like the Oural or the Appalachian Mountains. Because it's like pushing a sheet of paper on both side, it do not always fold right in the middle. That is probably because these are old mountains that appeared when the techtonic activity was greater. Other phenomenon can also create mountains like this one where I live Monteregian Hills - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia but it's much more complicated.
You do have a lot of plate, wich usually mean a lot of sismic activity and volcanoes. Depending on the movement of these plate the sismic activity is not always the same. I would say that is you have a continent made of multiple plates, these are either colliding or grinding laterally. On earth, there is no diverging plates that form one landmass. It's not impossible but unless you world is young, it is very unlikly (the african somalian plate is one of them). And sismic activity can also occur in the middle of the plate because of some rapture. This is from observation because i'm not an expert, but I love geography.
Water usually come from the ocean and fall according to the winds. But be careful Chili is next to the ocean and it's not humid.
Last thing, you equator is 3/4 of Earth's equator. This will have and impact on grivity and other things as well. It's not impossible to have a earth-like planet like that because Mars is smaller but you need to consider it.
Hmm, all right.
Are the plates better this way then?
I also blotted in how I perceived some of the mountain ranges, as well as a desert and arctic area. The arctic one I am fairly sure on. The desert one I kinda blotted down because that part had a few nice spots that could serve as an oasis. Since climates are separated by mountains, that piece of land is basically cut off to accomplish this. Is this remotely realistic?
The links are very nice, but I don't have the time or energy right now to pour over them and take it all in right now, will check them out more thoroughly though!.
As I said in my first post, it doesn't need to be entirely accurate, but I do want it to have a somewhat natural/realistic feel.
Nice work so far Kero. Your plates look fine though each group of landmasses seems to sit in the centre of each plate a little cleanly. You could have plates cross continents like how eastern Russia is on the North American plate. Also Japan has a tectonic border pretty awkwardly across it. Iceland also has a tectonic border right up the middle. As an exercise determine what directions your tectonic plates are moving in as this has a massive effect on where mountains form. Plates that are moving into each other tend to form mountains while those moving apart get rifts and other geological activity. Earth quakes obviously happen most at tectonic borders too and may not form mountains per se.
Ultimately it matters most where you want your mountains and volcanoes as no one sees the exact boundaries of the tectonic plates on the final map anyways. If you are happy with it it looks fine to me :)
Be aware that other northern bits of your landmasses could have some glaciation or at least snow cover too as parts of them are more north then that southern bits of your northern continent.
Look into rain shadows, which is where mountains and highland can make one side of a mountain range lush while depriving the other of moisture. The best known might be how south of the Himalayan mountains the climate is extremely moist and rainy while north of it has deserts.
Also, ocean currents can have a major impact on climate. For example, England and western France benefit from a warm ocean current coming from the south which keeps it warmer than directly west across the Atlantic. South America is a great example as the east side gets warm currents coming from the equator while the west side gets cool currents from down south. Sub Saharan African has the same pattern.
I would say to worrying about the size of the planet it could be a much denser planet than earth and thus have a comparable gravitational pull even though it is smaller. Every planetary body has its own rotation speed too so days may be shorter or longer on this planet as well :)
Actually you are the one that decide if your plates are ok or not. Guideline exist but it's your world and since it's fantasy based, accuracy can be a luxury. Try to create the world as you see it in your head, Then find a compromise between physic's law and your idea. That is what I've been doing so far.
As Vicking said mountains influence climate but latitude too. So the norten continent don't need to be cut off to have a colder weather. But I can't say where the snow should begin.
Okay, so I shrunk the continents and redid the currents. I have also tried to randomize terrain height and use it to make a few rivers, but I'm not really sure about those...
Sorry for the double post, but I updated a region of the map that I have pretty well defined in my mind.
Not happy with the way the rivers look, but it works for now for seeing how the area looks while experimenting with different ideas and stuff.