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  • $\begingroup$ Is the following question within scope? worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/156548/… $\endgroup$
    – overlord
    Sep 25 '19 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 '20 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. $\endgroup$ Oct 24 '20 at 4:04

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


All plant life is dead. How to keep bugs alive?


Planet Dao is an Earth like planet that hosts a human-like intelligent species with 1980's technology when it is discovered by The Galactic Empire.

The native intelligent species (Dao-ites) have grossly overused a particular agriculture "miracle compound" for so long, that they are past "the point of no return" in terms of environmental damage.


I'm using the definition of Plantae from the 6 kingdoms (1998).

Native mushrooms, brown algae, bacteria, etc. could easily survive if they have food.

The Galactic Empire

The Galactic Empire is vast (it includes Andromeda) and has been around for many eons years. Your answer should mention any necessary handwave activity.

This "miracle compound" is a known to The Galactic Empire as a highly toxic compound. It is so toxic, The Galactic Empire decides to wave the normal "should we teraform this planet?" red tape under the following conditions:

  1. nothing is allowed to leave the planet
  2. low budget is used


The Handwavium Teraformers Incorporated (HTI) has won the bid from The Galactic Empire to clean up this planet.

It is a company of questionable integrity.

  1. Some of the HTI's cleansing factories (city block size+) are on their 8th "tour of duty" (normally retired after 5). A few may be actually be from a salvage yard and/or illegally acquired. Stuff will leak or fall off from the factories that would normally not.
  2. Because of the low budget, strict protocols are not always followed (except the THOU SHALL NOT LEAV rule.) Stuff will be accidental added to the planet that would normally not.
  3. Getting paid, under the table, to dump the used french fry grease (and/or other substance) from McDonald's is not below the foremen/forewomen of this teraforming project. Stuff will be added to the planet on purpose for the sake of an individual's compensation.

Post Galactic Empire Intervention

Because of The Galactic Empire's intervention, the timeline for Dao's re-habitability has improved such that:

  1. All plants die in 1000 years instead of 100
  2. planet won't be able to support plants for 5000 years
  3. the low budget, corner cutting, under-the-table dealings of HTI causes "something wonderful" to happen.


What needs to be "accidentally" imported onto the planet's surface in order to keep the following species alive within a Manhattan size area until the 5k year period is up?

  • insects
    • ants
    • cockroaches
    • flies
    • beetle
  • small sea life
    • minnows
    • shrimp
    • crawfish
  • worms


  1. any plants imported onto the planet before the 5k years are up will die.
  2. "Size of Manhattan" might actually an upper limit
  3. 1+ oasis is allowed.
  4. no continuous importation of these species from other planets is allowed. These need to be natives.
  5. handwave any other necessary conditions like weather, shade (from factories), etc.
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is probably pretty close to ready to ask... but you need to realize that you can't affect one kingdom without affecting the others, so I would expect people to complain that your death-dealing agent and the estimate of what will happen in time is far too simplistic and far too narrow for suspension of disbelief. Also, factually, if you kill all plant life, everything else will be dead in years if not months (except for the zombie apocalypse survivalists, they'll last a little longer. Food storage...). $\endgroup$ Oct 28 '21 at 21:47
  • $\begingroup$ @JoinJBHonCodidact - Updated question. Hopefully, I didn't answer it myself. $\endgroup$ Oct 29 '21 at 19:48
  • $\begingroup$ This question is hard to read. I know it's fun to include lots of worldbuilding in questions but it makes it more difficult to identify the critical from the unnecessary information. You will do your readers and answers a great service by editing to remove extraneous information and to highlight the crux of your question $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Oct 29 '21 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ Trimmed down the question per @sphennings suggestion $\endgroup$ Oct 29 '21 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ Much more readable now. Thanks for editing. When you say keep alive what precisely do you mean? To keep current population levels alive in the wild. To preserve enough of these species that they survive in the wild at non-zero levels. To preserve breeding populations of these species in artificial conditions for 5k years to allow for reintroduction. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Oct 29 '21 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ I'll edit the question more later. Keep breeding population for later introduction. Math wise, HTI might be able to maintain a few of these sites buy they can't artificially maintain all the surface of the planet. $\endgroup$ Oct 29 '21 at 22:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why not maintain small stable populations off world for the majority of the 5k years and then start a reintroduction program after plants have been reestablished? $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Oct 29 '21 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ (a) Please define "?000." Note that things happening in thousands of years is unrealistic and usually unbelievable. If your people have 1,000+ years before the plants die, that's a very long time (given the lifespan of plants) to fix the problem without importing anything. Users can get distracted by the backstory, try to minimize it as much as you can stand. (b) You need to keep things going for 5,000 years? It's the same problem, the planet will fix itself long before that. $\endgroup$ Oct 31 '21 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ (c) The rules state no open-ended questions. We address that here by converting Qs from an off-topic infinite list of things to an on-topic finite list of things. This means that you need to list goals, expectations, limitations, conditions, and restrictions that act to minimize the number of answers and the breadth of opinion. I believe the time limit isn't enough to meet that expectation. $\endgroup$ Oct 31 '21 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ added conditions but may have over-stressed the one-way trip aspect. $\endgroup$ Oct 31 '21 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ You've added a lot of worldbuilding facts to the question again. It is difficult again to easily read it, make sense of what you're asking. I'd recommend first focusing on just writing the core ask, then if you want to add some characterizing fluff do that as a final pass once you have a solid core question. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Nov 1 '21 at 16:20

Creating an eternal and inconspicuous prison on a planet, without too much fiction on the science, is it possible?

In the past a war between an entity and a race of galaxy wide empire ended when the elders of that race sacrificed themselves to imprison that entity on a planet. The entity did not even consider that option because characterization.

Long story short they trapped the entity on a planet with this particular dilemma: If the 100X50 meters prison is breached or comprised in anyway the thing gets loose. The magical seals there keep the entity imprisoned.

There are no method of actually destroying the entity as he has magic. For an easier time imagine the sort of power that the Martian Manhunter has that makes him become like air. So all earthly and scientific methods of destroying anything will end in that entity becoming like thin air and escaping. Please I don't want to argue about the magic in my world, consider it a thing if you would.

At this point that galactic wide empire race was reduced to handful of people and keeping a millennia vigil as in the stories does not seem possible for 2 reasons

  1. They don't have the people. Maybe now they do but in the future other intelligent races would appear and what happens if an exploration ship lands with a hard headed captain who insists on fighting them and once the fighting is over they go around exploring and you know the drill.
  2. Leaving any signs of the existence of intelligent life on the planet would only lead to more attention and a lot of exploration. Much like on earth. Even if they draw a skull with 2 bones on the entrance a foolhardy explorer would brush it off and go in.

Solution? They make a prison on that patch of ground and hide it.

That's where you come in. I can easily say: They used Phlebotinum atop the prison which made it invisible to all forms of detection while equally resistant for all sort of natural and unnatural things. Don't you just love Phlebotinum!

But I'm looking for something more science based. As in simply taking what we know and expanding it or increasing it...etc to try to understand if it can be done or not. I'm looking for something scientific.

The only 2 criteria are that is must be

  1. Eternal or as eternal as possible. This should mean that things within that area need to be undisturbed by natural events or phenomenons.
  2. Really inconspicuous. Like underground or underwater.

Which leads to the whole thing about the problem of making something to last so long.

Could it be done without exceeding our current theories and speculative theories without getting into pure fiction?. If yes then how?. And if no what is the next best thing?

The closest thing I can think off is making something that gets stronger with time and elements. Like that more pressure you apply to that block of material the stronger it gets...etc.


Is it too long?

Is it unclear?

How many questions do I have?

What other problems or suggestion can you help with?

  • $\begingroup$ (a) You're asking for, basically, a real-life answer, but even your example solution isn't real-life. IMO, nothing in real life can justify what you're looking for. (b) I'm not sure the answer would have that much value to your story (read this and this). (c) It isn't too long, but you do introduce more backstory than is necessary. (d) Have you read Jordan's The Wheel of Time saga? You're describing the Dark One and his prison. $\endgroup$ Jun 27 '21 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH, thanks. Guess it does not make sense $\endgroup$
    – Seallussus
    Jul 5 '21 at 0:52
  • $\begingroup$ It would need a lot of mainteinance. But in theory in possible build something so it endures a arbritary finite time. $\endgroup$ Oct 28 '21 at 3:02

What Role Would Shamans Take In A Medieval (European/Christian) Society Given the Following Conditions?

  • While my world is fictional, please use London, England in the years 1066-1067 as the real-world contextual reference for purposes of military, political, and religious conditions. In my world, this country will have greater stability and technology.

  • My shamans will be on a difficult-to-access chain of islands (even the islands are well separated). A contextual reference would be Zadya in The Dragon Prince, where one continent is split down the middle geographically and ideologically. Please consider an actual map unimportant (if you're sure you need a map, please explain why). The Shamans are technologically similar to the Aztec peoples (stone works and wood/obsidian weaponry).

  • The "role" I need help defining is the final role the Shamans will have after a religious conflict with an expanding militarized Christianity. Assume, as history with the Celts has suggested, that Christianity becomes the predominant philosophical influence in the society. But remember, unlike the Celts, my shamans have a very real and very practical magic.

Shaman Summary: Shamans can wield the power of the elements present in their home (like Fire, Air, and Earth and perhaps water for a desert) through their connection to the spirits of nature, even to the point of sensing what lies around them (as if the environment is an extension of their own body) and commanding elementals. This is bad for Christian Monks, because this means these ‘pagans’ have actual power to wield and won’t be so easy to civilize.

Best Answer Condition: The best answer will avoid the trivial "they're all wiped out" answer and will instead seek to identify a role based on the ancient Roman tradition of absorbing the religions of its conquered peoples. If this doesn't make sense, think about the adoption of December 25th, the Roman celebration of Saturnalia (the celebration of the undying sun) to celebrate Christmas (the birth of the Son).

Shamans: The Details In the Mystic category, there is a Class, Shaman. Classes are a reflection of one’s true self, where one’s talents lie. Shamans have a unique connection to the spirits of nature, specifically the Elements (Water, Earth, Air, Ice, Fire) present in their given environment. For example, a Desert Shaman may have a Bond to any combination of a certain four elements ( Fire, Air, Earth, and Water) and gain a Bonds to any of those four Elements (that they aren’t already Bonded to) by communing with and seeking to understand that Element.

A Shaman’s abilities allow them to manipulate the Elements they possess a Bond to, command Farungen (beings of living element), commune with the environment (gaining an awareness of it akin to their awareness of their own body), and forge spiritual connections between them and fellow Elementals (allowing spiritual communication-telepathy, basically-between, say, a Fire Shaman and a Fire Dragon).

While this is pretty different from what IRL shamans did, this means that these Shamans have actual powers, which is going to be more than a little problematic for the clergy. Holders of the Monk Class can become Sages and Paladins, and therefore gain powers of their own, but the fact of the matter is that shamanism and Christianity are different religions and will naturally conflict.

What Do They Believe?

Christianity Shamanism
Beliefs centered around God and Christ Centered around nature and the Elements (namely, living in harmony with nature)
Author of various philosophies and a distinct lifestyle based upon God’s word Has different philosophies and ways of life based upon the nature of each Element
Have latent magical powers(because they can become Sages and Paladins) Have active magical powers
Known for forcing itself upon followers of other religions Don’t force their beliefs upon other people, but will encourage people to do what they (they meaning the Shamans) feel is right
Powerful and well-organized Unlikely to be strong (or last long) in Europe, are powerful in their respective regions, but are separate and therefore relatively disorganized Ex: Volnoa, the Island of Fire, has one dominant religion/philosophy, the Order of Flame, which focuses on the nature of fire and how fire interacts with other Elements. Thus, Volnoans value passion, strength, and courage and advocate ‘jungle law,’ or the idea that might makes right.
Relies on faith (while Shamanism does the opposite) Is centered around what one can see and observe (opposite of faith)
  • $\begingroup$ Under the "belief" section, I have a table to put in....advice on inserting said table would be greatly appreciated, as it would make my question much neater. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 21 '21 at 0:03
  • $\begingroup$ I formatted your section as a table. Here is the guide for how to do that. In essence you need to format the header as | heading 1 | heading 2 | (starts ends with pipes and is separated by pipes) then follow that with a line that matches the pipes of the header |-|-| (the number of dashes between pipes is not important as long as this matches the columns) and then each row looks like the header | cell 1 | cell 2 |. However, I'm not sure there is a way to force a new line in a cell. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Aug 21 '21 at 4:43
  • $\begingroup$ @VLAZ: great, thanks you very much! I had no idea how to do that, so your help is greatly appreciated! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 21 '21 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ Haven't you already asked a very similar question? There's something in the void of my thoughts... $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Aug 21 '21 at 20:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Tortliena: yes, I have, so instead of posting this to the main site as is, my plan is to edit the previous question with what I have here once it's ready. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 22 '21 at 0:10
  • $\begingroup$ I'll get to the basic premise that witches (shaman) were burned during the medieval period later. But to start, "medieval" covers a period from something like 400ad until 1500. That's an incredibly long period with massive technological and philosophical changes - and those changes occurred very differently depending on where you were. In short: please specify exactly one year and one reference city to work with. $\endgroup$ Aug 22 '21 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ I read your question entirely now, and doki doki, my mind's so full of conditions it's overflowing x_x. Asking for year and place is a first (and good thing) or give some similar context (after all, you're going with some fantasy). But could you also go with your intents? I mean by that : Are the shamans in a "decaying" situation or the reverse? By choosing ourselves, answers will vary so much that getting to know later that half of the answers are irrelevant because you chose the first option or the latter will not be the nicest feeling the answerers would have =| . $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Aug 23 '21 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Tortliena: thanks for your input, I'll edit as soon as I figure out a fitting setting and context. My intent is that both are more or less equal in terms of power. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 24 '21 at 0:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Tortliena: I added some clarification on setting and context, please let me know what you think! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 24 '21 at 23:28
  • $\begingroup$ @JoinJBHonCodidact: I edited some clarification in and would appreciate furthers input, thanks so far! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 24 '21 at 23:28
  • $\begingroup$ OK, long questions need to be as tight as possible. I've edited the question to reflect one way of doing that. You can revert or re-edit at your convenience. Please avoid dribbiling "clarifications." That actually makes a question really hard to read. It's why we have a sandbox... to keep that (among other things) from happening. Note how I've condensed the "conditions" of your question. I believe you have a problem. You picked 1066 to reflect William's political role, but you're talking about plate mail in a traditional "fantasy" medieval setting. (*continued*) $\endgroup$ Aug 25 '21 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ The problem is that plate mail wasn't invented until the 1200s, by which time the politics and religion of England was hugely stabilized (and a much different monster). If you're trying to mix 1200's tech with 1066's politics and (as an example) 950's religious conditions, you're asking far too complex a question. My recommendation is to pick a single year so people are all working on the same page, then modify the answers you get for the specific variations of tech, etc., that you'll have. $\endgroup$ Aug 25 '21 at 18:27
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, and you can't ask the two questions as one. Either ask what their role would be if they won the conflict or ask what it would be if they lost. $\endgroup$ Aug 25 '21 at 18:51
  • $\begingroup$ @JoinJBHonCodidact: thanks for the advice, but I'm not well-versed enough in the Dark Ages to know which year would be best for my setting. The general idea here is something like English settlers v. Native Americans, ie. expanding religious empire vs. tribes of relatively primitive shamans. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 25 '21 at 22:04
  • $\begingroup$ I get your point. I just expect there will be a lot of confusion. Christianity in 1066 was a lot different than Christianity in 1200 or 1600. Maybe it would be easier to completely ignore why the integration came to be and ask, "if Christian England circa 1300 had absorbed my shaman as part of the religion (much as the Christians absorbed the celebration of Saturnalia to create Christmas, and never mind how this absorption came to be), what role would the shaman play in the pre-Anglican church?" $\endgroup$ Aug 26 '21 at 0:29

Q: Is possible a state with third way economy in the long run?


Third way economy mean mix of Capitalism and Communist


Should I post this in Economy SE?

  • $\begingroup$ For the sake of readability and to help you ask better questions, can you edit this to focus on the question you want feedback on. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Oct 30 '21 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ This is mostly commentary on other questions. Itis hard to find the question you are asking. You should remove the commentary and focus on the question you want to ask. This will help readability. Remember your post needs to be able to stand on its own. Also see my comment below about posting on other sites. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Nov 1 '21 at 9:10
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings Getting rid fo the comentary this is very much real-life thing. $\endgroup$ Nov 1 '21 at 9:15
  • $\begingroup$ If that's the case you should probably not ask it on Worldbuilding. A site for helping people build fictional worlds. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Nov 1 '21 at 15:33

Is possible to implement a true democracy, so that persists in time?

The questions is very much in the title, but some clarification are necessary

  1. For the porpourse of this question the term true democracy means government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives, without any kind of oligarchy.

  2. The democracy must be of a arbritary quantity of participants.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Please limit yourself to one active question in the sandbox at the time, It's hard for the community to provide good constructive feedback when there are many active questions being asked by one user. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Oct 30 '21 at 19:20
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Do an editing pass for grammar and readability. Before you post on other SE sites, read their help centers to understand their site policies regarding what is and isn't on topic. We're not necessarily the experts on other sites policy. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Nov 1 '21 at 9:05
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    $\begingroup$ @sphennings Should I also remove the comentary here? $\endgroup$ Nov 1 '21 at 9:17

For the first time, I am trying to create a detailed map of the area a storyline is set in, based partially off of my time playing Breath of The Wild.

What I Had At First:

The character's journey begins in a hilly grassland, where they see a the ruins of a walled town. Once they reach this town, they find someone who gives them a quest-logically enough, to fulfill a prophecy-and they then travel along a road leading up to the town gates until they reach Rockhaven.

Rockhaven is a town carved into the inside of a mountain, and right next to this mountain (geographically speaking) the ground slopes down into a riverbed. This river runs into what used to be a forested valley, a dell to be exact, and this spot is named Riverdell. The road mentioned earlier is broken by a bridge that goes over this same river.

What I Realized About Rockhaven:

Rockhaven is a mountain. As far as I know, mountains do not exist in isolation unless they are volcanoes, the result of lava venting from the earth to form layer upon layer of rock. This most likely means that subduction is occurring; one tectonic plate falling below another. This phenomenon is the mechanic behind the Himalyas, and would mean that Rockhaven is not one mountain by itself but one mountain in a chain or ridge composed of many mountains, and is built into the side of a mountain pass.

Otherwise, well, I'm not quite sure what would result in a rock formation large enough to fit a town inside of it, and I'm definitely not sure how it would work. A lava plume? Hotspot? Erosion? This, however, would be closest to my original vision of a small mountain beside the aforementioned road, with a town and town gate carved inside of it, but likely unfeasible.

This means that the grassy hills I pictured my characters starting their journey in would be dunes, as mountains create rain shadows, and the field is on the other side of the mountains, which lie between said field and the coast. This would turn the field into a desert, and make grassy hills into dunes.

What I Realized About Riverdell

Originally, I pictured Riverdell as a sort of island in the center of a river, specifically a spot where the river bulged outwards to make a nice ring of water. This same river would cut across the road leading from the Ruined Village, necessitating a bridge on that same road.

However, my attempt to depict a small map incorporating at least the two towns of Rockhaven and Riverdell showed the land sloping away from Rockhaven into a river, or more specifically, a narrow valley with steeply sloped sides, filled with water. The water came from a waterfall at the beginning of this valley, and flowed down into a wider area with trees, where Riverdell was located.

My trouble is I lack the geographical information to create the vivid and realistic setting I am trying to create:

  1. If I go the simple route, based on what I originally envisioned, I have to explain how there is a straight road, placed on level ground, surrounded by the hills of a grassland, then why there happens to be a rock formation big enough to house a town (or maybe a village) inside of it in that same grassland. As for Riverdell, well, I'm not entirely sure how realistic a flooded dell lying along the path of a river is either, or how that could happen.

  2. If I go by the map I drew, then I have a double whammy. There would be a ridge of mountains caused by subduction, with a river between them and a gigantic "block" of forested land. Somehow, this ridge would be lacking a mountain in the middle, creating a pass where the road continues in a bridge to the forest. That's one thing.

Having a gap where the land dips downward, creating a space for a large river to form, with a ridge of mountains on the other side of the river being created by subduction, is something else entirely. It seems impossible, like I unintentionally combined a mountain ridge with a rift valley, which both result from opposite geological phenomenons!

With this in mind, my question is simple: How can I make this setting geographically plausible?

  • $\begingroup$ This reads like you're looking for us to make decisions on how to build your world for you. Do you have a more specific question you can ask than "How do I make this plausible?" What's preventing you from picking one of your options and asking for a reality check? $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Nov 20 '21 at 8:59
  • $\begingroup$ You shall draw the map! Surely, it'll help you understanding better where you're throwing your town darts, but also and most importantly for others to picture where you're putting things, relatively to others. $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Nov 20 '21 at 9:31
  • $\begingroup$ Don't need to be especially beautiful (still if you want it nice and cozy and you have a drawing tablet I might be able to find back an old nice step by step guide), but only coherent with what you say. It can reduce your text by a third, and it'll make any geographologeologist enthusiast happy :). $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Nov 20 '21 at 9:35
  • $\begingroup$ Regarding sphennings' viewpoint, I believe that your issues lie in the contradicting geological phenomenal phenomenons, doesn't it? If that's the case, perhaps focus the question towards it? Like how can a river and a mountain stand this way? Another way's to take things step by step through multiple questions : What could cause a single mountain to exist other than what I stated? Then if no answer match your goal, I don't know... Can I have grassy hills instead of dunes on the other side of a chain of mountains? $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Nov 20 '21 at 9:46
  • $\begingroup$ The idea of the step-by-step is to find a way to reach your view of your world instead of just restraining to what you know, get a better understanding overall and dropping parts of your original plan if that doesn't work even with others's help. In other words, ask for more jigsaw puzzle pieces to complete your landscape puzzle. $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Nov 20 '21 at 9:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Tortliena: Good idea! If I use this as a reference and split this into pieces, I should be able to figure out the different aspects of the map very well. As for adding a drawing of the map, I'm sorry to say I have no idea how to do that, though I agree it would be helpful. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Nov 20 '21 at 19:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias I used to fiddle with this guide a long time ago. This one's small scale, but there are more "regional" tutorials there and anyhow it should help understanding one way to make maps. However, to follow them in practice you'd need to either abstract from Photoshop/Krita/other drawing software tools or have a drawing tablet. If you're willing to do this much efforts, you can get a good starting tablets for 60€ nowadays, semi-pro and pro beginning at 250€. Otherwise it's pen and paper :). Remember, it does not need to be pretty! $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Nov 21 '21 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed, what's important is the layout of things at this stage. If you drew only lines in Paint and blocked out the colors to show where trees and mountains are, it would be largely enough for the task. $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Nov 21 '21 at 15:44
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    $\begingroup$ @Tortliena: thanks for your advice! I will take it under consideration. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Nov 22 '21 at 22:56

How can cross-contamination occur among ingredients made from magical creatures?

Sentient beings, such as elves, humans, orcs, dwarves, etc., all contain mana that can be used to perform spells, or alternitively, can be stripped for the purpose of being used to create items or perform magical rituals. This energy exists within the body of an individual and saturates various parts of the physical form, such as organs, skin, and bones. Species contain different kinds of mana which range in colors all over the spectrum, such as green, red, and blue. Each mana type holds a certain amount of power, and can be mixed and matched with other types for certain magical effects. While an elf's mana would be used for raw power, a dwarf's would be used as a preservative. Sacrificial priests from the empire of the region sacrifice thousands of captives a year to their deity, Esmeralda Weatherwax, who demands numerous sacrifices to appease her bloodlust. Victims are ritualisticallly murdered on an altar by having their hearts cut from their chests, after which their remains are repurposed for other uses. Organs, bones, and skin are removed, ground up, and stored to be used as materials in future magical rituals.

The empire has sacrificed millions of sentient beings to their deity. Even though these materials made from different species can be used together to produce magical effects, they must be stored separately. This is to prevent these samples from contaminating each other and spoiling the whole batch, which could be catastrophic for spells. To prevent this, certain proceedures are put in place as precautions. Thousands of samples from different beings are stored in jars and kept on separate shelves on separate floors so that there is no ability for them to come into contact. Items used in conjunction with these samples are regularly sterilized and washed. In addition, priests who are responsible for maintaining this equipment must wash hands regularly.

Despite these safety checks, samples are continously contaminated, causing other samples to be ruined or rot away. This has been an issue for all warlocks, with some of the consequences being fatal. Sometimes spells do not work, while others simply explode in the face of the practicioner and causing death. How can this be the case when all of these proceedures have been followed?

  • $\begingroup$ How does the stripped magic look like? Is it like water, powder, freshly cut organs, banana-shaped...? Also, looks like you have an inspiration from chemistry, can we tell it's the case? $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Dec 13 '21 at 8:58

(Just a short try.. feedback very welcome.. when I do this right, I'd like to refer this as an example in an answer, the related topic opened by Amadeus is: Can I ask questions related to music making here? Music that I want to use for worldbuilding projects )

Note: this has been edited twice, I used sphennings input below, this is actually the third version I put one hour ago..

In my creepy rainforest, do the snails really sing ?

My adventure game world consists of a dense, Earth-like rainforest, with predators and prey animals, both using magic. There is a certain dark and creepy atmosphere to the trees, the environment is very dangerous and poisonous for humans. It must be a challenge to stay alive as a player. I want the player to be thrilled and a little afraid of the next unexpected creature right around the corner.

There are lots of rainforest sounds. But when you enter my rainforest, you would immediately hear the snails. The cither snail is huge, about the size of a cat. It whistles. Every time it repeats three subsequent tones, separated by slobbering. The sound of this animal is bizar. It sounds lake a minor chord. Could a snail produce e.g. a minor third, followed by a fifth interval ? Or is that just my imagination..

  • $\begingroup$ This looks to be a question about music in your game rather than questions about building a fictional world. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Jan 3 at 18:45
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ For a question to be on topic you would need to be asking about music in your world, not the soundtrack for your game. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Jan 3 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings thanks for your fast feedback. In the first version, I tried to get close to Amadeus proposal. We agree all this sample talk would be non-WB. I'll change the second sentence now, to focus on WB some more. But the question is still [i]about the music[/i] not primarily about the design of worlds itself. Compare it to creature design (for a world), this would be music design (for a world) $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Jan 3 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings I finished the edit.. $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Jan 3 at 19:36
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    $\begingroup$ This still looks like a question about composing music, to be experienced by an audience, as opposed to questions about the music that exists within your world. This very similar to asking question about writing, which can be related to the fictional world you've created but aren't about building a fictional world. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Jan 3 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ So @sphennings the proper subject/question would be... how to devise the music for a magic rain forest (or.. for "my world") ? The music would be produced and heard in a magic, creepy world. I'll do my best to change things in that direction now, I'll leave in the text (grey it out) to keep your remark relevant. I'll put a ready signal when I'm finished.. $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Jan 3 at 20:24
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings I finished the edit. $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Jan 3 at 21:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm with @sphennings on this one. You're not asking about how music relates to your world. You're asking about how music reflecting the emotion of your game play would affect your players. You're in the wrong Stack. You need to ignore the "worldbuilding" aspect completely, focus on what emotions you're trying to create in your players, and ask it at Music: Practice & Theory. I can't see a way to ask this question here that would be on-topic. Note that you can ask anything in our Worldbuilding Chat, but I'm not sure how much response you'll get. You're basically asking for an advanced class in musical composition. $\endgroup$ Jan 3 at 21:52
  • $\begingroup$ Asking about music inside your world would be something like: My natives, the Katunga tribe, don't have access to solid, woody trees like most tribes did here on Earth. It's an old world so even rocks larger than their fists would be very unusual in their area. They do have access to fibrous bushes with trunks that grow to about 14" in diameter. What kind of percussion instruments could they be expected to invent? -or- My giant snails have the following esophageal configuration, what sounds could they be expected to make? -Note- Nothing applies to your players, who are NOT part of the world. $\endgroup$ Jan 3 at 21:57
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm @JoinJBHonCodidact you'd like to finish off both versions, it seems ? lol why.. we're iterating here, I try to accomodate to sphennings wishes. With a second director/tutor, it would become a little confusing.. $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Jan 3 at 22:00
  • $\begingroup$ I read the last version (created, at this writing, an hour ago). Asking whether or not it's believable that a snail could produce a minor third followed by a major fifth doesn't change why you're asking the Q. You're still trying to crowbar a question relating to the players of your game (outside your world) to anything inside your world. That's not worldbuilding as defined on this stack (see help center). So long as you're asking the question for the benefit of your players, you're outside of the scope of the stack (whether you say that in your Q or not). (*continued*) $\endgroup$ Jan 3 at 22:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Could be something in the like of : I'm making a game where there are lots of snail people. I would like some instruments to play in the game at the same time snailmen play. However, I'm stuck on the kind of instruments to give. The scene they play is for some chamanic rituals, so it's bound to be something more akin to magic, they live in medieval times and have large access to... Let's say shells. So goal is "magical" instruments made of shells. what kind of instruments would they make? That's very rough on the edge, but notice the focus on the world characters instead of the players ;). $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Jan 3 at 22:41
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    $\begingroup$ (I think I actually missed out what is the current version. Take this with a grain of salt ^^"). $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Jan 3 at 22:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Tortliena I'll leave it like this.. the normal text (below, NOT in table layout) is the current version, although I could consider some of your input. You go culture & magic, I went creature design......... I'll remove the table now.. although it would not be easy for Amadeus to reconstruct things, I trust he has access to these buttons as well. $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Jan 3 at 22:54
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Your current version (asking if a snail could produce a sound) is an about worldbuilding but you'd need to modify your question with a description of your snail detailed enough for people to be able to meaningfully answer that question. You should also edit the first paragraph of the question to match the current question. Talking about gamemastering and other unrelated-to-worldbuilding concepts doesn't relate to asking what sounds a snail in your world could make. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Jan 4 at 3:17

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