Random Conworld idea thread

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Salmoneus
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Salmoneus »

Ahzoh wrote:
14 Feb 2019 19:57
Salmoneus wrote:
02 Feb 2019 14:14
You've never heard of Ravenloft!?

Ugh, kids these days! Next you'll be saying you don't know about Dark Sun, or Spelljammer, or Planescape...


Ravenloft is/was the D&D setting for horror stories. Different 'Domains' have different horror flavours, reflecting their different 'Darklords'. A Darklord is someone who is considered morally beyond redemption; the Powers 'reward' the evil with Domains, in which the Darklord has great powers, but ultimately the Domain is designed as a sadistic prison for the Darklord, intended to torture them eternally. Domains can be destroyed if their Darklord is killed, or may split in two, or merge. In a period known as the Grand Conjunction, lots of Domains were moved to new locations.

Externally, of course, these changes are driven by marketing concerns. Within Ravenloft, however, they appear to be largely arbitrary.
I know of Ravenloft from novels my dad had involving the setting. My favorite is the Vampire of the Mists.
...sometimes I forget how young some people are.

Yes, I remember sort of liking VotM when I read it, a long while ago, although it was very conventional. It was the introduction to the setting in novels, and it had one of the better-known authors (Christie Golden, who more recently was chosen to write one of the first tranche of the new star wars canon novels; she's not well known for her own work, if there is any, but she's written star trek, star wars, world of warcraft (including the film novelisation), starcraft, assassin's creed, etc).

If you liked that, you might like Dance of the Dead, also by Golden, which I happened to re-read a couple of years ago and review over on my blog. (review/stream-of-consciousness rambling...). It's bonkers and has an insanely high deathcount, but it's fun, and weird, and has cool moments. It's set in Souragne, which is basically Louisiana or Florida and ruled over by a zombie lord. Overall, it's not bad.

Alteratively, if you liked Barovia and its ruler, Strahd, there's a pair of books from Strahd's perspective (including, iirc, a brief bit that shows the events of Vampire of the Mists from Strahd's side): I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire and I, Strahd: The War Against Azalin. They're by P.N. Elrod, who's written and edited a lot of vampire fiction (mostly urban fantasy I think?), and although I've not reread them in a long time, I remember them being pretty good, if a bit less horror-y than most Ravenloft.

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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Ahzoh »

Salmoneus wrote:
15 Feb 2019 00:52
...sometimes I forget how young some people are.

Yes, I remember sort of liking VotM when I read it, a long while ago, although it was very conventional. It was the introduction to the setting in novels, and it had one of the better-known authors (Christie Golden, who more recently was chosen to write one of the first tranche of the new star wars canon novels; she's not well known for her own work, if there is any, but she's written star trek, star wars, world of warcraft (including the film novelisation), starcraft, assassin's creed, etc).

If you liked that, you might like Dance of the Dead, also by Golden, which I happened to re-read a couple of years ago and review over on my blog. (review/stream-of-consciousness rambling...). It's bonkers and has an insanely high deathcount, but it's fun, and weird, and has cool moments. It's set in Souragne, which is basically Louisiana or Florida and ruled over by a zombie lord. Overall, it's not bad.

Alteratively, if you liked Barovia and its ruler, Strahd, there's a pair of books from Strahd's perspective (including, iirc, a brief bit that shows the events of Vampire of the Mists from Strahd's side): I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire and I, Strahd: The War Against Azalin. They're by P.N. Elrod, who's written and edited a lot of vampire fiction (mostly urban fantasy I think?), and although I've not reread them in a long time, I remember them being pretty good, if a bit less horror-y than most Ravenloft.
I've read Vampire of the Mists, The Tapestry of Dark Souls, The Knight of the Black Rose, The Carnival of Fear, and of course, I, Strahd.

VoTM and The Tapestry of Dark Souls were especially saddening to me, I remember crying when I read the end of them. The Carnival of Fear was pretty saddening too.
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by k1234567890y »

gestaltist wrote:
14 Feb 2019 09:09
Yeah, sounds realistic enough. Why send mothers to be nuns though? Wouldn't they be more useful as grandmothers? There's a reason why in most cultures, monasticism is linked to celibacy, not parenthood.
they can be a grandmother and a nun at the same time I guess.
I prefer to not be referred to with masculine pronouns and nouns such as “he/him/his”.

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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Salmoneus »

Ahzoh wrote:
15 Feb 2019 02:31
Salmoneus wrote:
15 Feb 2019 00:52
...sometimes I forget how young some people are.

Yes, I remember sort of liking VotM when I read it, a long while ago, although it was very conventional. It was the introduction to the setting in novels, and it had one of the better-known authors (Christie Golden, who more recently was chosen to write one of the first tranche of the new star wars canon novels; she's not well known for her own work, if there is any, but she's written star trek, star wars, world of warcraft (including the film novelisation), starcraft, assassin's creed, etc).

If you liked that, you might like Dance of the Dead, also by Golden, which I happened to re-read a couple of years ago and review over on my blog. (review/stream-of-consciousness rambling...). It's bonkers and has an insanely high deathcount, but it's fun, and weird, and has cool moments. It's set in Souragne, which is basically Louisiana or Florida and ruled over by a zombie lord. Overall, it's not bad.

Alteratively, if you liked Barovia and its ruler, Strahd, there's a pair of books from Strahd's perspective (including, iirc, a brief bit that shows the events of Vampire of the Mists from Strahd's side): I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire and I, Strahd: The War Against Azalin. They're by P.N. Elrod, who's written and edited a lot of vampire fiction (mostly urban fantasy I think?), and although I've not reread them in a long time, I remember them being pretty good, if a bit less horror-y than most Ravenloft.
I've read Vampire of the Mists, The Tapestry of Dark Souls, The Knight of the Black Rose, The Carnival of Fear, and of course, I, Strahd.

VoTM and The Tapestry of Dark Souls were especially saddening to me, I remember crying when I read the end of them. The Carnival of Fear was pretty saddening too.
Of those, I've read VotM, KotBR and both I Strahds - not Carnival of Fear or The Tapestry of Dark Souls. I remember thinking VotM was OK, I Strahd (I&II) were good, and I didn't like KotBR.

And yes, now you mention it, that might be part of what's distinctive about Ravenloft: it's usually sad. Not just gory or shocking like some horror, but almost always tragic.

The other one I remember sticking with me as a child as probably the saddest of them was Heart of Midnight, the werewolf novel. Though I never read most of them.

The short story collection is fun.

Oh, and the sequel to Knight of the Black Rose, Spectre of the Black Rose, was much better, I thought - much weirder and sadder and more thematically coherent.

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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Ahzoh »

Salmoneus wrote:
15 Feb 2019 22:25
Of those, I've read VotM, KotBR and both I Strahds - not Carnival of Fear or The Tapestry of Dark Souls. I remember thinking VotM was OK, I Strahd (I&II) were good, and I didn't like KotBR.
Yea, VotM was definitely ok plotwise, I just always hope that Jander didn't burn to a crisp when he played that flute in the dawn sun. You might like the tapestry of dark souls and the carnival of fear.
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

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Make an alternate Earth based on the medieval T and O map.

Step 1: Exchange longitude and latitude around a point centered on Jerusalem.

Step 2: Reclimatize.

Step 3: ???

Step 4: Profit!
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Creyeditor »

Zekoslav wrote:
07 Jun 2019 20:55
Make an alternate Earth based on the medieval T and O map.

Step 1: Exchange longitude and latitude around a point centered on Jerusalem.

Step 2: Reclimatize.

Step 3: ???

Step 4: Profit!
Step 3a: Exchange longitude and latitude for cultural and linguistic parameters
Spoiler:
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by LinguoFranco »

I've been thinking up names for an interstellar current than just generic credits. I'm leaning towards the "uno." I got the name from the idea of the euro, used by many European countries, and the "uno" is supposed to be a universal currency, hence the name. Also, "uno" is the Spanish word for one, which the currency has a base value of 1, so I think it's clever.

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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by elemtilas »

LinguoFranco wrote:
24 Jun 2019 03:24
I've been thinking up names for an interstellar current than just generic credits. I'm leaning towards the "uno." I got the name from the idea of the euro, used by many European countries, and the "uno" is supposed to be a universal currency, hence the name. Also, "uno" is the Spanish word for one, which the currency has a base value of 1, so I think it's clever.
Also calls to mind the UN and ideals like unity and union. (Also calls to mind a silly card game and a pizzeria, if those images help any!) Strength of purpose and interplanetary unity are all good for a star-spanning currency.

Hopefully, any physical representations of the Uno will not be quite so horrifically dreadful as the Euro's designs!

Do you have any visuals in mind thus far?

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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by abi »

LinguoFranco wrote:
24 Jun 2019 03:24
I've been thinking up names for an interstellar current than just generic credits. I'm leaning towards the "uno." I got the name from the idea of the euro, used by many European countries, and the "uno" is supposed to be a universal currency, hence the name. Also, "uno" is the Spanish word for one, which the currency has a base value of 1, so I think it's clever.
If your conworld is in English you could always take a word for currency and give it a few sound changes + historical reanalysis for some humor. Dollars > Dorrors > Doors: Those weird ancient earth people used to carry around entire doors just to buy food!

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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Porphyrogenitos »

A thing I thought of today:

A society that believes in “lineal reincarnation”; the notion that after you die you are reincarnated as the next one of your descendants to be born. Or in particular the idea that (if you are a man) you are reborn as the next one of your male-line descendants to be born; for women, the belief might be that you are reborn as the next of your own female-line descendants to be born, or perhaps the belief is that you are reborn as the next female to be born to your husband’s male line.

Obviously this generates enormous anxiety and pressure to have children; someone without descendants is denied any future rebirths, or even eternal life or spiritual perfection, if there is some kind of end goal to the cycle of rebirth. As long as the belief in female lineal reincarnation remains in place, this doesn’t necessarily encourage female infanticide, but it could incentivize all kinds of perverse behavior, such as wealthy men taking huge amounts of wives in order to ensure they have ample male descendants - since, of course, just one son will not do; since your reincarnation is naturally not born until after you are already dead, you cannot be even remotely sure of your rebirth until you have three or four male grandchildren ready to provide you with a rebirth after you die.

If this culture believes that the fetus is not ensouled until a certain point in the pregnancy, this could even encourage some people to take their own lives upon finding out that one of their descendants is pregnant, so they can be assured of at least one more reincarnation for the time being.

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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Nachtuil »

Porphyrogenitos wrote:
09 Jul 2019 04:34
A thing I thought of today:

A society that believes in “lineal reincarnation”; the notion that after you die you are reincarnated as the next one of your descendants to be born. Or in particular the idea that (if you are a man) you are reborn as the next one of your male-line descendants to be born; for women, the belief might be that you are reborn as the next of your own female-line descendants to be born, or perhaps the belief is that you are reborn as the next female to be born to your husband’s male line.

Obviously this generates enormous anxiety and pressure to have children; someone without descendants is denied any future rebirths, or even eternal life or spiritual perfection, if there is some kind of end goal to the cycle of rebirth. As long as the belief in female lineal reincarnation remains in place, this doesn’t necessarily encourage female infanticide, but it could incentivize all kinds of perverse behavior, such as wealthy men taking huge amounts of wives in order to ensure they have ample male descendants - since, of course, just one son will not do; since your reincarnation is naturally not born until after you are already dead, you cannot be even remotely sure of your rebirth until you have three or four male grandchildren ready to provide you with a rebirth after you die.

If this culture believes that the fetus is not ensouled until a certain point in the pregnancy, this could even encourage some people to take their own lives upon finding out that one of their descendants is pregnant, so they can be assured of at least one more reincarnation for the time being.
I think that's brilliant. I could imagine a variation where all ones ancestors join a cue to get into the the offspring of their descendants. It prompts images of grandmothers and grandfathers discussing which of their deceased relatives' souls is present in a new born. That idea will stick with me and if i ever use it I'll try to remember to give credit :)

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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Keenir »

Porphyrogenitos wrote:
09 Jul 2019 04:34
A thing I thought of today:
A society that believes in “lineal reincarnation”; the notion that after you die you are reincarnated as the next one of your descendants to be born.
oooh, I like this idea. kudos to you and your brain.
Obviously this generates enormous anxiety and pressure to have children; someone without descendants is denied any future rebirths, or even eternal life or spiritual perfection, if there is some kind of end goal to the cycle of rebirth. As long as the belief in female lineal reincarnation remains in place, this doesn’t necessarily encourage female infanticide, but it could incentivize all kinds of perverse behavior, such as wealthy men taking huge amounts of wives in order to ensure they have ample male descendants - since, of course, just one son will not do; since your reincarnation is naturally not born until after you are already dead, you cannot be even remotely sure of your rebirth until you have three or four male grandchildren ready to provide you with a rebirth after you die.
If a child is adopted, are they stuck with their original ancestors being reborn from them, or can they give a rebirth to the ancestors of their adopted parents?

...Which brings up a scary thought: what if some of those wealthy men you mentioned, what if they adopted/baptized/whatevered the kids who work for them - whether the parents okay it or not? (that'd be a motivation in a murder mystery, i wager) :)
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Voskhod_02 »

gestaltist wrote:
14 Feb 2019 09:09
Yeah, sounds realistic enough. Why send mothers to be nuns though? Wouldn't they be more useful as grandmothers? There's a reason why in most cultures, monasticism is linked to celibacy, not parenthood.
I'd say that monasticism is linked to celibacy because the monks/nuns are supposed to be "married to God". Plus, if applies to all levels of parental life. They can't become parents beccause they can't procreate as they're married to God, they can't be parents beccause this would take time and attention that they can dedicate to God instead, and they can't be someone's children because they're God's children.
That's something that makes sense in Abrahamic religions though, I guess the logic behind being a Buddhist monk in the Himalaya would be radically different.

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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by LinguistCat »

Voskhod_02 wrote:
23 Aug 2019 18:59
gestaltist wrote:
14 Feb 2019 09:09
Yeah, sounds realistic enough. Why send mothers to be nuns though? Wouldn't they be more useful as grandmothers? There's a reason why in most cultures, monasticism is linked to celibacy, not parenthood.
I'd say that monasticism is linked to celibacy because the monks/nuns are supposed to be "married to God". Plus, if applies to all levels of parental life. They can't become parents beccause they can't procreate as they're married to God, they can't be parents beccause this would take time and attention that they can dedicate to God instead, and they can't be someone's children because they're God's children.
That's something that makes sense in Abrahamic religions though, I guess the logic behind being a Buddhist monk in the Himalaya would be radically different.
Indeed. In fact it was very common at least in Japan for nobles, the Emperor's mother and even the Emperors/Empresses to become monks or nuns when they stepped down from their positions and passed them on to their children (who often had children of their own). But they often still had some sway in the court.

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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Pabappa »

I want to see more stories set on climatologically exotic planets. Just within our own solar system we've got roughly six completely different models of planetary climate systems on which life could evolve if only a few nonessential variables like distance from the sun were tweaked.

My favorite is Mercury: Because its rotation and orbit are synchronized, some areas get more sun than others at the same latitude, and one could say that there are four poles instead of two, from the standpoint of weather. The axial tilt is low enough that some areas near the North Pole get no sun at all and are colder than any place on Earth and probably also Mars. The eccentricity is very high, adding to the exotic weather patterns. Thus Mercury contains the hottest surface land in the solar system while also containing the coldest surface land among the four inner planets.

Your people couldn't live on Mercury unless you're writing science fiction, but just by moving it further from the sun and adding water and an atmosphere, they could. The 3:2 spin-orbit resonance could appear if the star is larger or older than our sun, and everything else could be kept the same.

Another idea is Uranus, the planet spinning on its side, which has 40-year seasons in which almost an entire hemisphere is either completely bright or completely dark. Uranus is a gas planet, but this orbit could happen to a terrestrial planet too. Land-dwelling life forms would be mostly confined to the bright side, meaning they would have to be capable of moving every forty years when the seasons flip over. But you could have a whole other ecosystem set up on the dark side where all animals are either blind or capable of producing their own light. The forty-year life cycle would probably be instinctively born into the behavior of almost all life forms, just like cicadas on Earth. Humans would inherit this instinct and perhaps our rite of passage would involve setting out to cross to the other hemisphere. Of course, the seasons could just as easily be 20 years long instead of 40, which would better fit the human life cycle we're familiar with.

If there were only one layer of the atmosphere, perhaps the solar wind could plow right down to the surface every now and then, creating a new type of storm unlike anything on Earth or even in our solar system. Maybe the temperatures suddenly shoot down to -150C or maybe they shoot up to 150C instead. Humans here might get the better of the animals around them by learning how to predict the solar flares, which I doubt even a very highly evolved animal would be capable of instinctivizing.

Why dont I just do this myself? Well, I did when I was younger, but Ive pretty much decided to focus on small things from now on. My planet, Teppala, is pretty interesting, I think .... it has a highly eccentric orbit, and its orbital parameters change on humanly observable time scales, so that e.g. Paba 7000 years ago was essentially the same temperature all year long (about 50F/10C) but today it has a climate similar to the inland US south. But this doesnt really show up well in my writing because even 7000 years is a long time and each piece of land by itself doesnt stand out as particularly exotic compared to Earth, even though the planet as a whole does.

I briefly entertained the idea of having continental drift at 100X the rate of Earth, but abandoned the idea before I was finished researching to see if it was feasible without choking out the atmosphere.
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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Glass Half Baked »

Your people couldn't live on Mercury unless you're writing science fiction, but just by moving it further from the sun and adding water and an atmosphere, they could. The 3:2 spin-orbit resonance could appear if the star is larger or older than our sun, and everything else could be kept the same.
Unfortunately, this is not as easy as it sounds.
First of all, tidal forces and solar radiation do not scale proportionately. Tidal forces depend on the ratio between the distance of the day side and night side of a planet to the primary, which quickly approaches one as you move away from the primary. This drop is much faster than the mere square drop in apparent luminosity as you move away from the star. This is why planets around red stars are likely to be tidally locked: to get close enough for Earth-like levels of solar radiation, you need to have way more tidal forces than what our sun exerts on the Earth. Moving Mercury to an Earth orbit and then making the primary bigger/hotter would fry the planet long before you achieved the same levels of tidal force.
A better strategy is to do the opposite: make the primary smaller/cooler, and move inward if necessary. This would allow you to have a tidally locked world, or one with a 3:2 resonance (or for that matter, a more exotic resonance like 5:2 or 2:1).

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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Pabappa »

Glass Half Baked wrote:
09 Mar 2020 14:59
Your people couldn't live on Mercury unless you're writing science fiction, but just by moving it further from the sun and adding water and an atmosphere, they could. The 3:2 spin-orbit resonance could appear if the star is larger or older than our sun, and everything else could be kept the same.
Unfortunately, this is not as easy as it sounds.
First of all, tidal forces and solar radiation do not scale proportionately. Tidal forces depend on the ratio between the distance of the day side and night side of a planet to the primary, which quickly approaches one as you move away from the primary. This drop is much faster than the mere square drop in apparent luminosity as you move away from the star. This is why planets around red stars are likely to be tidally locked: to get close enough for Earth-like levels of solar radiation, you need to have way more tidal forces than what our sun exerts on the Earth. Moving Mercury to an Earth orbit and then making the primary bigger/hotter would fry the planet long before you achieved the same levels of tidal force.
A better strategy is to do the opposite: make the primary smaller/cooler, and move inward if necessary. This would allow you to have a tidally locked world, or one with a 3:2 resonance (or for that matter, a more exotic resonance like 5:2 or 2:1).
Okay thanks. The Wikipedia article on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRAPPIST-1 suggests that there exists such a system and that not just one, but as many as six planets may be habitable. That would be fertile ground for a story, although I for some reason don't find eyeball planets that interesting .... I think it's because while they have exotic climates, their weather is pretty much the same day after day after day. I really would rather have the Mercurian 3:2 resonance with earthlike temperatures.

One other idea is a rogue planet, or one extremely far from its star, that nevertheless hosts life because its internal heat is sufficient to warm the surface oceans to above freezing. Some moons, such as Titan, are speculated to have a situation like this some distance beneath the surface, but none are warm enough to host life at or above the surface. I think I remember reading someone saying that Planet Nine might be able to do that, since it is expected to be large but not believed to be a gas giant like Jupiter, but the mainstream theory seems to be that it is in fact a gas giant or at least an ice giant.
I'll take the theses, and you can have the thoses.

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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Glass Half Baked »

The data on the TRAPPIST-1 system has been adjusted over time, so that page may not be accurate.

As for internal heat... Well, the Earth absorbs about 122000 terawatts from the sun, while about 47 terawatts bubble up from the mantle. So to have above-freezing temperatures from internal heat alone, you're gonna need a lot of heat. Add to that two complications. One, the Earth's internal heat budget has changed over time, so you might only have a narrow window of ideal temperatures. Also, heat flow to the surface is highly irregular. On Earth, about 3-20 times as much heat transfer takes place at mid-oceanic ridges compared to tectonically inert regions. Plus, I don't think anyone knows for sure what sort of surface morphology you'd get with such high temperatures near the surface. Undoubtedly plate tectonics would be impossible, and you might have temporary flakes of solid rock just meters thick, above a molten mantle.

If you want something that's sort of tidally locked but sort of not, I would recommend a look at Libratia

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Re: Random Conworld idea thread

Post by Salmoneus »

Odd that you link to a site that also presents worlds that follow the idea (livable worlds beyond the snowline maintained by internal heat) that you dismiss!

The key to such a world is the atmosphere - a thick enough atmosphere can let you build up almost any heat you want under it. The sources of that heat, meanwhile, can either be nuclear (a heavy-element-rich inner planet somehow gets knocked out into the outer system early in its formation), or tidal (a moon of a gas giant).

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