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Posting to the Sandbox

Please take the time to read through the Help Center > Asking pages. We know it's a lot to read, but those pages contain the rules our mentors are using to judge your proposed question. If you have not taken the time to read through them, we ask that you do. It would also be beneficial to read through our Meta posts about high concept questions, open-ended questions, and what "primarily opinion-based" means on a creative site like Worldbuilding.SE.

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Once you have posted your proposed question, users will be able to comment on it with feedback. You can then respond to their feedback with comments of your own, or make edits to your post to attempt to address their feedback (after editing, be sure to notify the user via a comment of your own, use @username in your comment to make this happen). The feedback/edit cycle can go on for as long as needed until either you are confident that your question is ready to be asked on the main site, or you've decided the question just won't work.

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Occasionally a Sandbox question is abandoned. While crafting the question, you may discover the answer. Or you may realize that the question's basic premise can't be expressed within the rules of Worldbuilding.SE. You may also simply forget that you have a question in the Sandbox. If you decide to abandon the question:

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Please be aware that questions without activity (edits to your question or comments left by you) for more than one month may be judged abandoned and removed. We'll leave a comment or two to get your attention, but eventually, forgotten questions will be cleaned up and deleted.

Helping in the Sandbox

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Keep the Sandbox clean. In order to keep the Sandbox clean users are encouraged to look out for questions that have not seen any activity in some time.

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See the Sandbox FAQ for more information on how to use the Sandbox.


This section is referred to when a new sandbox is created. In order to make the Sandbox easier to use, a new Sandbox question will be posted when the old one becomes too full (between 75 and 100 sandbox questions).

Whomever creates the new page: be sure you want to be actively involved with the Sandbox, because until it gets replaced in the future, you'll be notified of every proposed question and every comment.

(A) Update this previous sandbox list:

The previous sandbox post should be marked a duplicate of the currently active Sandbox and renamed to "Inactive Sandbox [Date]." Please add a link to the top of the old sandbox page to the new Sandbox.

If there are active questions in the old Sandbox, leave a comment for the users indicating that the old sandbox is closing and they either need to wrap up (preferred) or re-post the question in the new Sandbox.

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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 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 at 4:41

3 Answers 3


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 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 at 7:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Tortliena I updated and tried to incorporate what you talked about. $\endgroup$
    – reymazing
    Sep 20 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 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 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 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 at 23:03

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 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 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 at 12:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks guys, I really appreciate it. I'll rework the question. $\endgroup$ Nov 18 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 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 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 at 5:01

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