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  • $\begingroup$ Is the following question within scope? worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/156548/… $\endgroup$
    – overlord
    Sep 25, 2019 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH Hello. I am not a new user, but I have a question that I'm uncertain about whether it should go in Worldbuilding or Physics. Should I post it here to get feedback on this? $\endgroup$
    – Qami
    Oct 23, 2020 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Qami This is the right place. Generally speaking, if your question is a real-world question with no direct worldbuilding conditions, it would go to physics. If it's a real-world question with specific and identified worldbuilding conditions, it should be here. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Oct 24, 2020 at 4:04
  • $\begingroup$ Quick question, why do you have to create a new question for sandbox everytime it gets "full"? In my opinion it is making things messier. On code-golf.SE, all sandbox posts are in one question to keep it organised. $\endgroup$
    – DialFrost
    Jun 27, 2022 at 11:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DialFrost I'm delighted to hear that on another Stack people are so well organized and courteous enough about maintaining their questions that they don't require Sandbox chains. Here, we have had difficulty in the past with people cleaning up their questions and comments. When they don't, the load/sort/scroll/manage time for the page gets so long that people stop using the Sandbox. This version of the Sandbox has been going quite a long time and I'm equally delighted that our users have been doing a better job of maintaining their questions. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Jul 1, 2022 at 4:41

5 Answers 5


Graduated Questions List

In accordance with Sandbox Overflow!, answers containing graduated questions will be deleted. This answer is designed to be a repository for all those questions that have graduated. It is a community wiki answer, so add in your question here, at the end of the list, once it is posted on the main site!

  1. Gravity magic - How does it work?

  2. How can animals of various species organize themselves against a super-predator?

  3. How could indestructible materials be used in power generation?

  4. Modification to Chariots for Heavy Cavalry Analogue for 4-armed race

  5. In what ways would cryomancy affect the food eaten by medieval people?

  6. Comprehensive Worldbuilding Outline

  7. How can I design a glamour spell for a creature that meets certain requirements??

  8. Anatomically Correct Huldra

  9. How can I refine the rules of precognition to make it valuable in a fast paced enviromment?

  10. Ambush tactics for dummy witches?

  11. How can I build a school around a particular form of magic?

  12. How can existing methods of plumping, genetic modification, and gmo feeding be altered to accommodate the need for plumper, meatier human food stock?

  13. What is the lower bound for lightspeed? / What is the upper bound for Lightspeed?

  14. Designing a magic-compatible polearm

  15. How can power levels matter in a magic system that emphasizes control?

  16. How can religions without a hell discourage evil-doing?

  17. Why would non-kinetic weapons be used for orbital bombardment?

  18. Kinetic weapons - establishing an upper limit when dealing with grey goo

  19. How can an elder god's corporation remove suspicion from its plans while preserving its clandestine monopoly?

  20. How can you eliminate dreaming without affecting REM sleep?

  21. The North Star in the ancient world sky

  22. https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/152522/plants-and-animals-switch-places-how-could-this-have-happened

  23. How can I motivate mages to recruit individuals for a pyramid scheme of evil?

  24. How can I prevent corporations from growing their own workforce?

  25. How can having multiple casters for a spell create excess heat?

  26. How can you discreetly advertise underground death matches?

  27. How can I shift my country's immigration policy to a skills based approach?

  28. How big could dinosaurs get with super strength and durability?

  29. How can reincarnation lead to a second personality?

  30. How can a long lived species deal with generational shifts in society?

  31. Adapting to a sonic world

  32. How can my hammerspace safely "decompress"?

  33. Can We Prevent an Impact Winter Extinction with Modern Technology?

  34. What would cause a sapient race to evolve oral castration as a core cultural part of reproductive intercourse?

  35. How easily can a medieval granary explode?

  36. Long Term Evolution of Double Planet System in Close Orbit

  37. How to create fictional earth ecosystems with lots of megafauna which can plausibly coexist?

  38. How can an illness make one's eyes turn green?

  39. Utility of Class Crystals

  40. Why does magical defensive equipment not work in layers?

  41. Why Would Mages and Adventurers Wear Impractical Clothing?"

  42. Can an Earth-like world of shallow, global, seas be stable over geological time?

  43. Controlling the late-medieval world with just a network of agents and instant communication

  44. Space Piracy, a case study

  45. I can send small things back in time 500 milliseconds, which item listed would be most profitable to teleclone? (without extortion)

  46. What could reduce sunlight on an Earth-like planet?

  47. What kind of hooves do horses need to race on a river of lead?

  48. Redshifting the sky on a rogue planet

  49. How can Dracenae Walk if They Have Two Snakes For Legs?


Winged Ruling Class City Building?

In my story, the ruling class/royalty are winged folks. In this world there are non-winged humanoids and magic users as well. I want the architecture to favor winged folks. It has to be at a live-able level for everyone else, but just not nearly as convenient.

The area I'm having trouble with is as follows:

The royalty has a palace on a floating island with waterfalls. Below and around the floating islands are lower class homes/ranches/farms/towns. Then there's also a city about the size of LA that's right on the coast of a large body of water. This is where more wealthy/well known people live and spend time. There’s also a lot of social gatherings held in the city for royalty/nobles to mingle with rich/powerful/famous city folk. That city is the part I'm having the most trouble with.

Some details I have for the city so far: The large body of water has magical water that raises/floats upward with certain weather/time of year/moon phases. The city buildings are made of concrete/steel and some form of reinforced glass and thermal glazing to keep heat in.

The buildings don’t often end up underwater, but sometimes when the water floats AND is rough, it can happen temporarily. Some people want to build farther towards the water and even into it, but there’s pushback due to safety and wanting to leave the docks alone.

The main way I’ve been able to think of the buildings catering to winged folk is them getting higher up living spaces/higher areas to socially gather, but I really want some sort of building shapes that would be convenient for winged folk to fly into different levels of buildings easily. I've looked into social bird nesting, but a lot of it looks more like burrows/holes/nests in holes. Also, the wingspan of winged folks varies a lot based on species, so entrances would probably favor a larger wingspan just in case?

Basically, what kind of architecture would make a city more winged-person friendly while still following the general idea of tall skyscrapers? This can include magic/other improbable architecture as long as it's at least somewhat possible to explain. Even some sort of branching buildings or something? Bonus points if it incorporates the fact that the city is on the coast.

  • $\begingroup$ A few things to detail : Are you more asking about individual buildings, or city planning (they are two related yet different things)? You're worried about coldness, but what environment do they live in? What shape do winged people have (ie. what is their wingspan when fully extended, in particular)? $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Aug 30, 2022 at 7:38
  • $\begingroup$ And something which could be useful to ponder : Does your royalty interact routinely with citizens? In medieval lifetime and especially for royalty and especially especially in people's mind, nobles tend to get disconnected from commoners. They rarely get into a leatherwork or baker shop to buy day-to-day's stuff, which means entering "conveniently" the building is not as much as needed as being able to scratch lazily your belly as you contemplate how well built your city is. $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Aug 30, 2022 at 7:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Tortliena I updated and tried to incorporate what you talked about. $\endgroup$
    – reymazing
    Sep 20, 2022 at 9:01
  • $\begingroup$ Asking us to brainstorm architecture for you isn't a suitable question for this site. Can you try determining the architecture on your own, and ask us for help with any specific challenges you cannot resolve on your own? $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Sep 20, 2022 at 10:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Reymazing Thanks for the heads-up ;). I think it's better, but let me ask : Is your specific issue linked to water running down in buildings, or more the ergonomic way of entering/exiting the building? If it's the latter, is it the building itself or/and the doors to enter and exit? The more accurate you are on the issue you're having, the less likely your question will feel like you're brainstorming and the more likely people will be able to give neat answers rather than broad, uneasy strikes at it. $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Sep 22, 2022 at 5:37
  • $\begingroup$ I probably won't be able to answer quickly in the following days and for some time, you might need to rely on others' help. If for some really unlucky reasons no one else answers you, I'd advise to take inspiration from other questions like here or there, and see how specific the questions are. It's not perfect (and the linked questions aren't, either!), but it might tip you in the right direction to improve both your question and world thoughts ;). $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Sep 22, 2022 at 5:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @reymazing Is this an active sandbox question? If it has graduated, please follow the instructions to pack it away. If it has been abandoned, follow those instructions. If it's still in consideration, what do you need to know to continue? Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Oct 18, 2022 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ Please note that this version of the Sandbox, after years of service, is closing. Questions left active will automatically be deleted as abandoned on January 1, 2023. Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Dec 11, 2022 at 4:04

How many people could be mobilized out of mainland USA in case of an emergency?

In a story I am writing, a disaster happens that will result in extreme global cooling within the span of a few months. This will coincide with winter in the northern hemisphere, which will make the cold much harsher - around December, the North Atlantic will freeze all the way down to Miami. On land, there will be snowfall all the way down to Colombia. Due to other factors not relevant to this question, this condition will become permanent.

The southern hemisphere will of course be affected as well, but due to geography the changes will be less severe. Latitudes ranging from 5 degrees north to 22 south will become cooler but should remain free of ice and snow all year round.

Considering that North America will become practically inhospitable, but many countries more to the South won't... If the US government were to try and relocate its population to countries in the southern hemisphere, how many people could moved out of the continental US in the span of six months?

I'm not interested in whether people will survive to settle, nor in the political ramifications of this migration.

  • $\begingroup$ You are right that this is an incredibly story based question. Which means that you the worldbuilder will have ultimate decision over the final tally, as you decide how the relocation plays out in your world. Perhaps it's a lot. Perhaps it's a little. That will have cascading effects as you decide the events of the intervening decades. It's still story based. Story based events shape history, but that doesn't make questions about them suitable for this site. Instead you could try to reword the question to ask about the theoretical maximum, reallocation, given some constraints that could work $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Nov 18, 2022 at 2:06
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ In general the more variables you fix, the less your answer will hinge on worldbuilder discretion. For instance instead of leaving the politics ambiguous, leaving answers based on any political outcome, equally valid, you could decide which nations decide to provide what sort of how much aid. With that information far less about the answer hinges on story. Or that could lead you to instead ask a far more specific question, like 'What is the upper bound on refuges that Peru could take in and indefinitely support in 6 months with 0 preparation?' $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Nov 18, 2022 at 2:16
  • $\begingroup$ In short, what Sphennings says ^^. If this helps you rationalize it in your project, imagine you have your US general coming to you and saying "We could move New York and Washington civilians to Guatemala in this few months... But first we need to have the agreement of their president : A war would slow us down too much". The bold part should be relatively stable and answerable as worldbuilding, the rest is aaaaaallllll the story issues you're going to throw at them :p. And dog can you throw wrenches in their works ^^. $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Nov 18, 2022 at 12:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks guys, I really appreciate it. I'll rework the question. $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2022 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ I suspect that even the most trivial of back of envelop calculations will show that it's entirely feasible to physically transport the entire population of the US out of the US in 6 months. That doesn't seem to really give you much in the way of meaningful insight. How about you start by leaving a comment with what you're wanting to figure out. And we can work with you to create a question that will get that answered. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Nov 18, 2022 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings I don't know how to calculate that :( and 50 million people per month seems too much to me. How did you figure that is possible? That is all I want with the question. $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2022 at 23:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Remember that as written just crossing the border is sufficient. You don't calculate it. You estimate it using rough approximations. You could consider how long it takes a healthy adult to walk to the Canadian or Mexican border. You could consider the number of passengers on US flights in 2019. Or look CBP statistics for entering the US. (But remember that they screen entrants, so raw throughput will be orders of magnitude higher). Also remember you're writing a work of fiction, if your story requires that a billion Americans to escape the US in 6 months then that's exactly what happened. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Nov 19, 2022 at 5:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Please note that this version of the Sandbox, after years of service, is closing. Questions left active will automatically be deleted as abandoned on January 1, 2023. Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Dec 11, 2022 at 4:03

How can a monarch mask its true intentions in collecting records for a nationwide registry?

in the 1600s, King Macbeth has succeeded in taking the throne of his country for himself with the help of a cabal of dark witches. Due to their art of divination and prophesizing, he has managed to stay one step ahead of his rivals, ruthlessly purging them in order to establish his authoritarian regime. However, despite the power that he has gained, he retains an insecure grip on power. The witches have told him of a prophecy that sees the end of his reign by the actions of an individual. This chosen one would be born under a total solar eclipse, in which an entity will enter and possess the body of a newborn child. This chosen one will grow up to lead a rebellion and end his tyrannical reign. Although the witches can predict when a solar eclipse will occur, they cannot pinpoint the exact child whom the entity will choose, nor the location that it will happen. Macbeth must find a way to relay the coming of the messiah for as long as possible to extend his rule over the populace. Finding and killing the child become's Macbeth's first priority. However, the prophecy goes on to say that the messiah can never truly die, but will simply be reincarnated during the next solar eclipse.

Therefore, Macbeth settles on the idea of a database that would be standardized across the kingdom. This would require strict record keeping, demanding that the records of every child born during an eclipse within the kingdom be gathered for use in a nationwide registry. These records would need to be specific, down to the very date and time the child was delivered. The goal is to design a system of record keeping that would allow for a national database that is as accurate as possible. This can be done by mandating that hospitals keep records specific to the event and requiring them to be turned over to the state. Once they had been gathered, the king's staff would analyze the records and narrow down the potential list of chosen ones to a handful few.

There is precedent for this in many governments in the form of a census, which are used to determine the number of people there are in a specific area. They do this to determine the amount of taxes they can expect, or to decide how much resources to devote to a certain location. However, there are a number of problems with this format. Going on a murderous rampage and killing every child delivered on a certain day is simply impractical for the long term. Collecting birth records for certain children linked to a specific event is likely to raise suspicions. People are unlikely to cooperate with having their data collected by the state, specifically if it can get their child potentially killed. Many expecting mothers would simply avoid hospitals and have their children in secret away from prying eyes, or at home. In a worst-case scenario, these scorched earth tactics are likely to push the populace into open rebellion and civil war. This leads to a high body count that limits to pool of taxpayers in the future.

Macbeth needs to disguise his motives for collecting records in creating this national database for the purpose of murdering newborn chosen ones, all while protecting his good guy PR image. How can the king accomplish this?

  • $\begingroup$ I suspect that there are many equally valid ways to go about gathering records. Please remember that questions with many equally valid answers are not permitted on this site. Can you try asking a more specific question? Or you could try coming up with a process yourself and ask us for some specific help instead of asking for us to do your brainstorming for you. Remember that we're not a brainstorming site. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Dec 6, 2022 at 2:04
  • $\begingroup$ You’re now asking how a specific organization can convince other individuals to support a program. That’s no longer a worldbuilding question. That’s a story specific question about politics in your world. Not only does an answer require accurate knowledge of the politics of your world, it also requires knowing how the population will respond to said program. This makes the question entirely dependent upon the actions of individuals. Unfortunately your edits have made this question less suitable for this site. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Dec 6, 2022 at 3:18
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings So the original edit was a better question but needed to be more specific? $\endgroup$
    – Incognito
    Dec 6, 2022 at 11:02
  • $\begingroup$ Both aren’t suitable for this site but just too broad is easier to correct than too broad and too story based.your edit didn’t meaningfully reduce question scope. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Dec 6, 2022 at 14:30
  • $\begingroup$ Instead of asking a more specific open ended question of the form “how could x?” Figure that’s out on your own and ask us for help without a specific problem you aren’t having. With your most recent edit you’re still asking users to brainstorm and generate ideas for you. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Dec 6, 2022 at 14:34
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings what about the recent edit with the hospitals? How can I narrow that down any further? $\endgroup$
    – Incognito
    Dec 6, 2022 at 14:57
  • $\begingroup$ I haven't read the ol' versions, so I'll focus on the "now". I think it would go relatively well regarding story-based/off-topic/opinion-based, just for clarity you need to tell what kind of technology and kingdom is it : Medieval tech, modern with computers and internet? Ultra-large kingdom, city-state...?[...] $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Dec 6, 2022 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ [...] There are also a few... Inconsistencies people will notice and are likely to downvote for. Here's what I've seen : First, foremost and for most, why do you need an exact record of all life, when all you want is to get rid of babies born during solar eclipses? There's no direct relationship between having all data and data only during eclipses. [...] $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Dec 6, 2022 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ [...]Then, propheties oblige, know the chance any system will actually work is extremely low, especially since it's likely some mothers will hear of their child's fate and actively prevent that. Think how in Greek mythology fate somehow always play on words (e.g.: the child "is" born or "is being" born?), or on story unknowns by the tyrant (e.g. :The nurse saved the chosen one, sent them afloat a basket on the river).[...] $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Dec 6, 2022 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ [...] Finally : If you rule by fear, you'll automatically bring resentment/hate, simply because fear is a negative emotion. If I'm facing a mygalomorphae 🕸️ (can't stand them unfortunately 🦋😢), I'll be frightened and my instinct would be torn between smashing the peck of it (hate > fear), or do nothing/flee (fear > hate). Politically wise it's more a long-term sentiment than raw feeling, but the principle stays the same :). $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Dec 6, 2022 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ Focus first on the lack of details for the kingdom, then think about the points I raised; They're quite likely to come up in comments, but aren't a direct cause for closure (even though poor-voted questions are more likely to be closed). $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Dec 6, 2022 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Tortliena I edited with your suggestions in mind. Would it fit the site now as a better question? $\endgroup$
    – Incognito
    Dec 6, 2022 at 17:49
  • $\begingroup$ Is it just me, or is this a really trivial question? Here in the U.S., vital statistics (birth date, death date, sex, weight, etc.) are public records that hospitals are required by law to submit to governing authorities. Nobody thinks twice about it. In fact, entire genealogical societies depend on it. Is there really a question here? $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Dec 6, 2022 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ You’re still asking us to brainstorm for you. The only thing that changes is that you’re asking us to brainstorm something smaller. However we’re not a brainstorming site. Asking us to brainstorm something small is still a problem. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Dec 7, 2022 at 4:27
  • $\begingroup$ Ok for clarity; The question's difficulty should be more understandable with the new version, and the inherent constraint/intention of keeping things hidden should lessen up the "brainstorm/opinion-based" part 🐶. I don't have much more to say at this point... Unless the other two have something to add, in which case I'll help you tackle the issues while they're still in the egg 🍳, make sure you won't wait for a solar eclipse to post ;). $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Dec 7, 2022 at 16:56

How can a planet remain in perpetual algae bloom?

I've been developing a planet for an original scifi setting and I'm not sure if it's scientifically plausible. Said planet is in a state of global algae infestation across all major oceans, resulting from unchecked industrial activity several million years before the present. The few surviving fauna were either hardy extremophiles or formed a symbiotic relationship with the algae, such as undergoing kleptoplasty. These organisms became the dominant lifeforms, speciating into a relatively diverse ecosystem, albeit not as complex as the previous generation. The ecological shift was long enough ago for a moderately intelligent animal species, comparable to corvids or chimpanzees, to evolve into a sapient one with at least a neolithic level of technology.

My main concern is whether or not this infested state would last long enough for this to occur. Algae blooms on Earth typically only last a few weeks before the algae runs out of sustenance, suggesting a relatively quick recovery. I previously considered increased volcanic activity, another byproduct of global warming, as a new source of greenhouse gases and nitrates. However, I'm not sure if this would be enough to perpetuate the bloom for millions of years.

What mechanism would allow a planet to remain in an algae-infested state for an extended period?

Background info/criteria:

  • The planet's physical characteristics differ from Earth, being twice as massive with a 25% larger radius. Its surface gravity is about 28% higher, resulting in flatter terrain and overall smaller landmasses due to heavy erosion. Its rotational period is 43.125 hours, with an axial tilt of 6.2°. It is tidally locked to a mars-sized companion, creating a permanent 800m tidal bulge. As a result, its landmasses are concentrated on opposite hemispheres perpendicular to the companion planet.
  • The main causes of the planet's current state include: unchecked greenhouse gas emissions, namely CO2 and methane; rampant fracking and mineral harvest, deep enough into the planet's crust to cause mild instability and increase volcanic activity; excessive use of fertilizer and dumping organic waste, such as sewage.
  • Currently, the planet's average surface temperature is about 25°C, 10 degrees hotter than it was before the collapse. There is no surface ice due to a lack of major polar landmasses with high mountains. Tropical regions exceed 30°C, consisting of scorched, barren landmasses and desert archipelagoes. The algal bloom encompasses all bodies of water, including major oceans and smaller inland bodies such as lakes and rivers. The current generation of fauna descended from the few hardy organisms which survived the collapse and mass-deoxygenation. Many of them are kleptoplastic, absorbing the chloroplasts from the algae to undergo photosynthesis and produce their own oxygen. Others are simply adapted to anoxic conditions, including abyssal sea life.
  • This state should last at least 10 million years, and the mechanism perpetuating it can't be actively sustained by sapients. The planet's state is the result of sapient actions, but they went extinct shortly after the collapse. Whether or not the current sapients can perpetuate the bloom is irrelevant since they've only recently become intellient enough to do so.

Sandbox Questions

I originally posted this in the main site and forgot to delete it after it was flagged for needing more focus. It was answered before I made any corrections, meaning I can no longer delete it. I am continuing to refine the question based on the feedback here, but I'm not sure what to do about the original post. I like the answer that was provided in it, so I'm not sure if I even need to continue improving it.

  • $\begingroup$ Huh. When I saw the original question on Main I didn't believe it was a High Concept question. Asking how a planet could enter a state of a permanent algae bloom doesn't seem open-ended or hypothetical to me, which are 99% of the problem with High Concept questions. I was concerned with the millions of years you wanted. That appears to have become "permanent." Planets operate in cycles (life... death...). A permanent bloom has no cycle. Algae changes its surroundings and is not self-perpetuating. Once the (e.g.) food source is gone, so's the algae. Why do you need such a long period? $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Dec 6, 2022 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, when it comes to asking questions on this Stack, there are some Qs you should ask yourself. (a) Since we're committed to helping people build imaginary worlds, why is it important to be scientifically plausible? Worldbuilders often confuse "logically consistent" with "scientifically realistic." We embrace a larger view than that. So, if you need your answers to be science-based, it helps to explain why so we understand the limits we must work within. (b) You are allowed to ask only one question per post. You'll need to edit your post to remove all other questions. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Dec 6, 2022 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ (c) From a rules perspective, "permanent" and "multi-million-year" are two different targets, and therefore two different questions. However, it would help to have an explanation for why you need that much time. It's quite hard to keep planets in a static condition for very long periods of time, especially when the conditions that put them into that condition are anything but static (industrial pollution has only existed for a infinitesimal period of the Earth's existence). (d) A question like this needs a clear list of (1) what conditions led to the state you want. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Dec 6, 2022 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ (2) A clear description of the state you want. (3) Your expectations for how long the state should last. (4) Any conditions, limitations, restrictions you want (and should) impose to limit answers. Stack Exchange is the wrong place to ask brainstorming questions. It's the right place to ask specific questions that lead to one best answer. Everything you do to narrow the question is good. Anything you do to broaden the expected answer base is bad. (That's a lot of commentary. You'll get more from some of our other users, so I'll butt out for a bit.) $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Dec 6, 2022 at 20:02
  • $\begingroup$ Rats, one more thing. You'll find that I have a personal distaste for focusing on "realsitic." In most cases, what people are asking for is so fantastic that the idea of a "realsitic" answer is next to meaningless. We have only one data point to work with: Earth. If we can't derive references from Earth's history or today's scientific hypotheses, then the only reasonable answer will be a science-fiction answer. You really need to ask yourself why "realistic" is important to you, because there isn't a horde of people waiting to judge your work and find it "fake." On the contrary.... $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Dec 6, 2022 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH 1) I'm trying to get a long period to allow a sapient species to evolve in the timespan between the climate shift and now. Its ancestors are already pre-sapient, on a level similar to corvids or chimps. 2) Sorry for the confusion about the wording I used, I realize they're two different things and will change it accordingly. I'll also add the parameters you suggested to narrow down the answer. $\endgroup$
    – Thoth
    Dec 8, 2022 at 0:18
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH 3) My reasoning for focusing on realism is kind of arbitrary. This is a science fantasy setting where the laws of nature exist alongside a magic system, which can be used to bend or defy these rules. However, not everyone uses magic and the rules governing our universe exist outside of it, meaning anything that could exist in real life can exist in the setting. Also, the ones responsible for the planet's current state never discovered magic, doing so through purely technological means. While I could explain the bloom away with magic, I chose not to. $\endgroup$
    – Thoth
    Dec 8, 2022 at 0:30
  • $\begingroup$ i.e. rather than the laws of physics not applying at all in this setting, there is a poorly understood method of breaking them some sapient aliens civilization learned to wield. Just because a wizard can levitate a rock, that doesn't mean gravity ceases to be everywhere in the universe. $\endgroup$
    – Thoth
    Dec 8, 2022 at 0:38
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH 4) The main reason I find realism so interesting is the idea that something fantastic and strange can hypothetically exist in real life. Of course being "unrealistic" doesn't diminish the value of fiction, as the endless possibilities of imagination are what makes fiction special. However, the idea of being able to physically coexist with something on top of appreciating it as an idea is something I find captivating. (That being said, this specific idea is a near-worst-case scenario for Earth's biosphere which I hope to never reach or experience.) $\endgroup$
    – Thoth
    Dec 8, 2022 at 3:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Tortliena Yeah, I have to admit I'm kind of an amateur at this, and I do kind of get a feeling of security from realism, as an arbitrary measure of validity. Generally, the way I handle realism is to try to make mundane things plausible, i.e. any real life substance or process is 1:1 to how we know it unless specified otherwise. If something is important or cool enough, it can afford to be less grounded as being outlandish and fantastic is part of the appeal. Ex: Iron behaves like it normally should, but Unobtanium can have any properties no matter how impossible they seem. $\endgroup$
    – Thoth
    Dec 8, 2022 at 21:05
  • $\begingroup$ The planet I'm making is meant to be mostly grounded, since it has a topical, relatable premise: "What if the worst predictions for anthropogenic climate change came true? What if the biosphere took millions of years longer to recover than it should? What if an entire generation of lifeforms evolved to thrive in these harsh conditions?" $\endgroup$
    – Thoth
    Dec 8, 2022 at 21:15
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH I've made the suggested changes, does the current version meet your criteria? $\endgroup$
    – Thoth
    Dec 8, 2022 at 22:36
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, I'm kind of confused as to what I should do now. I forgot to delete the original post and someone answered the question before I made the current edits. Does this mean we're done? Should I delete the post now that someone's answered it? I like the answer they gave, I'm not sure what to do. $\endgroup$
    – Thoth
    Dec 8, 2022 at 22:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Thoth Oh yes! Since you posted on main you can follow the graduation procedure you can find at the top of this page. In short, remove first all your comments here and leave only a link to the question on the main site inside your draft. Then, still in the sandbox, edit the promoted question's list, adding the same link at the end (N.B. : it won't be applied instantly since you don't have yet the privilege ;) ). Finally, delete this draft. Ah and before we go, nobody voted to close your main question nor downvoted, including me and JBH. Soo... good start so far :). $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Dec 8, 2022 at 23:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Tortliena The post on Main came before this post in the Sandbox. Thoth, unfortunately, once someone answers a question you can't delete a question. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Dec 9, 2022 at 4:50

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