Friday, September 12, 2014

Building a World - Part 2, Continents & Oceans

The first big steps of building our world have been complete. So what do we know?

  • It is a low-magic Fantasy world
  • The world is actually the moon of a gas giant
  • Said gas giant is the primary source of light for the planet
  • Beyond the world itself the gas giant has 12 other moons, one of which is constantly visible the others rotate into view during the year
  • On occasion a different source of light is seen...the "sun" of the system
  • The gas giant has its own ecology including some creatures that are visible from the world.
  • The sky is filled with stars, constellations, and other celestial phenomenon

This is all interesting and unique. I like the Gas Giant idea with its own animals that can be seen. A literal "here there be dragons" but maybe they're something else.

So where do we go from here? Well, with the space around the planet done we now move into the planet. This brings us to our next set of questions:

1) How much (percentage wise) of the world is water?

2) How many continents are on the world?

For a point of example, the Earth is about 70% water with most of it broken up across the two major oceans (Atlantic and Pacific.) The Earth also has 7 continents.

Does our world have one super continent? Two or three giant continents? Is it full of small islands?

With the number of continents made we'll be able to talk about placement and climates.

Finally, remember when answering how much water that this is a world that will be populated with humans (low fantasy and all that) so the lower the water...the more the resource wars over water. At the same time, our own oceans prove that just because you have water doesn't mean it's drinkable. 

Answer by noon on Saturday. With luck I'll have a (bad) map or three drawn for us to choose from on Monday.


  1. I'm going to say 60% surface water, 2% potable surface water with fairly significant underground rivers and major natural underground cave systems. I'm going to say there are 3 major continents, and a vast scattering of small and medium islands around the biggest of the seas that, if you could map it directly, is a single circular crater.

    Climates: The planet is on a slight axis tilt giving extreme seasons at the poles, and relatively stable seasons near the equator that passes about 2/3rds of the way through the crater ocean. The smallest of the major continents that is to the "south" of the equator experiences severe seasons ranging from incredibly hot to terribly cold. Either way it has a lot of precipitation.

    The other two continents are fairly large with a relatively large break between them that is heavily populated with small islands. Both of the large continents have climate ranging from subtropical perfect to bitter cold.

    Upper temperatures at the height of the summer at the Equator is 110F, and the coldest temperature at the poles gets to -60F. In the inhabited continents temperatures rarely drop below -20 since none of the continents are at poles.

  2. How about one mega-continent with a massive fresh water sea in the center with a ring of mountains scattered around the sea with several breaks in the perimeter. The rest of the continent has many huge forests, hills, and lakes over it and a desert region near the equator. Opposite this continent on the planet is a large cluster of small islands, both volcanic and coral atolls. As for temperatures and climate I recommend keeping it earth normal as there are enough non-earth aspects for players to get used to without throwing freaky weather in on top.