Floating Continents

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Floating Continents

Post by Cthulhudrew » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:42 am

Listing of the Floating Continents of the HW:

Hiak-Lor* : Home of the Hiakrai tribe of Neathar (a tribe that is unique to the HW, having domesticated the giant eagle after arrival there). (HW DM's Guide)
Oostdok: Properly called Valoin-Flaemaker, actually two islands that were merged into one on impact. Home of the Oostdok gnomes. (Dragon #162)
Ashmorain**: Home to the feathered serpents and a sort of magical fauna preserve (much as the HW itself preserves cultures). (HWA2)
Alphatia: Post Wrath, this is the largest floating continent in the HW. (And must surely have affected the Shadowfall somewhat significantly as a result?) (PWA 1010)
Cassia: Per PWA 1012, one of the "eight major floating continents". (PWA 1012)
Chijioke: Per PWA 1012, one of the "eight major floating continents". (PWA 1012)
Disa: Per PWA 1012, one of the "eight major floating continents". (PWA 1012)
Gowon: Per PWA 1012, one of the "eight major floating continents". (PWA 1012)
Kjell: Per PWA 1012, one of the "eight major floating continents". (PWA 1012)
Resi: Per PWA 1012, one of the "eight major floating continents". (PWA 1012)
Tama: Per PWA 1012, one of the "eight major floating continents". (PWA 1012)

*In HW DM's guide, it is noted as being "the lowest and largest" floating continent, yet it isn't mentioned in PWA 1012.
** I haven't done a proper calculation, but at a rough glance at the HWA2 map of Ashmorain, it looks like the continent is comparable in size- if not larger- than some of the "major 8" from PWA1012.

Just compiling some information on these guys. Will try to update with some more substantial measurements and information. In the meanwhile- did I miss any?
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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Havard » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:20 am

Great list! I can't think of any other official ones. Was Alphatia a completely new Floating Continent, or was it placed on an existing one?

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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Seer of Yhog » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:08 pm

I think it was completely new.

However, this talk of floating continents does give one a hankering for maps of said places. Mayhap we should develop them... ;)
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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Chimpman » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:54 pm

Yeah, my take has always been that the Alphatian floating continent was completely new - otherwise how would they know to have an Alphatian shaped continent already ready and waiting for them in the HW.

...and I agree with Seer about the maps... but don't look at me. Hey, where is Dave L? :twisted:
Last edited by Chimpman on Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Dave L » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:20 pm

Chimpman wrote:Yeah, my take has always been that the Alphatian floating continent was completely new - otherwise how would they know to have an Alphatian shaped continent already ready and waiting for them in the HM.

...and I agree with Seer about the maps... but don't look at me. Hey, where is Dave L? :twisted:
He went thataway doc! ;)

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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Cthulhudrew » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:16 pm

Seer of Yhog wrote:I think it was completely new.
Yeah- it was brand new to the HW, per PWA1010 (and probably elsewhere). Which, considering that it provides the longest shadowfall in the HW nations it floats over (3 hrs and 15 minutes or thereabouts, per PWA1012), would seem to me to be a pretty significant event to the HW nations below. Suddenly they've got a 3 hour gap of darkness that they didn't have before (and, surprisingly, the longest shadowfall before that was only about 1 1/2 hours- makes for very strange "nocturnal" schedules; I'd always presumed they had something a bit longer than that...)
However, this talk of floating continents does give one a hankering for maps of said places. Mayhap we should develop them... ;)
You're reading my mind, now. I was just considering trying to map out Oostdok (which should be partly natural, partly artificial, given its origins), and making a proper 8 mile/hex map version of the 2 mi/hex map of Ashmorain in HWA2. Hiak-Lor would be cool to see, as well.

BTW, I'm just now remembering- didn't Havard once postulate on a couple of different Floating Continents? (I seem to recall him linking an article in the Merry Pirate thread about aerial pirates). I'll check it out.

EDIT: Found it- his Engloutis Archipelago article.
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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Havard » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:19 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:
However, this talk of floating continents does give one a hankering for maps of said places. Mayhap we should develop them... ;)
You're reading my mind, now. I was just considering trying to map out Oostdok (which should be partly natural, partly artificial, given its origins), and making a proper 8 mile/hex map version of the 2 mi/hex map of Ashmorain in HWA2. Hiak-Lor would be cool to see, as well.
I would love to see maps of the continents. For those we only know the names of, perhaps some more fleshing out of what could be found there would be useful for map makers? I would love to see maps of Oostdok and Hiak-Lor.

This thread has made me particularly interested in the Hiak-Lor. BTW Drew, if you are developing these further, I might have some Blackmoor tid bits we could toss in for those Giant Eagles... :cool:

BTW, I'm just now remembering- didn't Havard once postulate on a couple of different Floating Continents? (I seem to recall him linking an article in the Merry Pirate thread about aerial pirates). I'll check it out.

EDIT: Found it- his Engloutis Archipelago article.
Thanks for digging out that old thing. Even if we don't want to rip off that french cartoon completely, there might be some interesting concepts there that might be worth stealing :)

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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Khuzd » Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:11 pm

I'm planning to bring my high level PCs to HW (through the northern hole)... but can they reach those Floating Continents with a simple Fly spell? I have never really understood it. How much time does it take?
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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Cthulhudrew » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:55 pm

Khuzd wrote:I'm planning to bring my high level PCs to HW (through the northern hole)... but can they reach those Floating Continents with a simple Fly spell? I have never really understood it. How much time does it take?
Depends on the continent, really. Many of them lay beyond the Skyshield, so you'd need some way of breathing to survive (an air breathing spell or the like). Some are within the Skyshield- such as Hiak-Lor, from whence the Hiakrai Neathar ride their bonded giant eagles. Then, too, is the distance involved a factor. Oostdok floats only about 6,000 feet above the lands below; Alphatia floats about 17 miles up; Tama seems to be one of the highest, at 997 miles up.
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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Ashtagon » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:45 pm

And since a fly spell (in 3.5e) takes you at 60 ft/round, that's 6.818 mph, or 4.545 mph if carrying a medium or heavy load. Duration maxes out at 20 minutes (1 min/level) at 20th level, for a total range of about 2.272 miles (12,000 feet).

Dark Dungeons is a bit more generous - 10 min/level + 1d6x10 minutes, and 120 feet per 10-second round speed (but non-combat speed is 360 feet every 10 minutes). At 12th level, and ignoring the random component of the duration, that gives 4320 feet (0.818 miles), rising to a theoretical range of 2.454 miles at 36th level.

So, very high level wizards could fly to Oostdok, but no one is using a fly spell to get to Alphatia. A sufficiently high level caster could cast several fly spells in succession to get to Alphatia, but at that level, a teleport is easier.
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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Khuzd » Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:40 am

a fly spell (in 3.5e) takes you at 60 ft/round, that's 6.818 mph, or 4.545 mph if carrying a medium or heavy load. Duration maxes out at 20 minutes (1 min/level) at 20th level, for a total range of about 2.272 miles (12,000 feet). Dark Dungeons is a bit more generous - 10 min/level + 1d6x10 minutes, and 120 feet per 10-second round speed (but non-combat speed is 360 feet every 10 minutes).
According to Rules Cyclopedia (my rulebook) Fly has a duration of 1d6 turns+ 1/level. Our magic user is 17th level, so he can fly at least 18 turns (3 hours). In RC speed is 360' (120').

My basic problem is with the stupid rule that while fighting you can fly 720 feet/minute (120'x 6 rounds of 10 second each)but without fighting, instead you fly only 36 feet/minute!!! (360' turn/10minutes).

This was already stupid for walking movement, but, OK, "red box said it in the old days" and, well, walking you get tired, you are alert, you are emcumbered... But now we speak of magical flying!!!

OK, let's rule that flying is always flying and the spell makes you travel at 720feet/minute. In 3 hours, the magic-user flies... mmm... 129.600 feet (nearly 38,9 kilometers... and, with luck, maybe another 9 km).

Mmm... how high is the skyshield in the HW? And in the Outer World?? Does it have any effect besides no air to breathe?
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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Khuzd » Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:53 am

According to my numbers, the RC and a generous interpretation, Fly makes you go at 13 km/hours (sorry for my European measures)... while usually (uncumbered) people walk at 4 or 5 km/hour. :|

I can imagine my PCs flying to a Floating Continent and letting the continent bring them around the HW, only to fly down when they decide. ;(

I'm thinking about ruling that all floating continents are very, very, very far... very near the Red Sun. (Perhaps they descend some times a year or a decade).
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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Cthulhudrew » Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:22 am

Khuzd wrote:Mmm... how high is the skyshield in the HW? And in the Outer World?? Does it have any effect besides no air to breathe?
The Skyshield in the HW is the same distance as that of the Outer World- 80,000 feet up (a little over 15 miles). At 15,000 feet, you begin losing oxygen, and characters take a -2 to hit, damage, saves, and skill rolls. At 20,000 feet, you start suffocating in 1d4 turns (unless you hold your breath or have some kind of magic to help you breathe).

Beyond the Skyshield, you not only have no oxygen, but no atmosphere at all; In Outer Space - beyond the Skyshield of the Outer World-it's frigid cold (make a Constitution check once/turn or take 1d6 points of cold damage). In the Hollow World, you only have to deal with the lack of oxygen (the lack of atmosphere is "pleasantly warm").

There are some other effects related to the void beyond the Skyshield (for some of them, see Bruce Heard's article Up, Away, and Beyond). One notable one that I don't see mentioned offhand in that article, but that I recall from reading in Dragon magazine, is that objects move faster in the Void the farther away from a gravitational body they are. Thus, space travel (or travel in the Void of the Hollow World) can be very fast indeed, depending on how far from say, a Floating Continent you are. Which would make travel between them rather quick.
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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Culture20 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:39 am

I've been researching the floating continents, and I just realized that none of them actually orbit the hollow world sun. Per both PWAIII and the HW boxed set, the cycles are annual, and the floating continents travel relatively slowly. If they actually orbited the sun, then they would appear to move very fast (as the hollow world rotated underneath them). They instead orbit complicated paths that are made simple if you just assume they orbit the interior of a non-rotating hollow world. The two easiest to see this with are Alphatia (equatorial, but traveling the "wrong" direction) and Disa (always longitude 150W or 30E).

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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Raymond » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:40 am

Which way is the "wrong" direction?

How does Disa always follow 150W or 30E?

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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Culture20 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:19 pm

Raymond wrote:Which way is the "wrong" direction?

How does Disa always follow 150W or 30E?
I don't have my PWA III with me at the moment, but consider that the whole hollow world "orbits" the hollow sun once a "sleep", so if Alphatia orbited the hollow sun only once per "year", then it would actually appear to travel across the entire equator once a "sleep". That's way too fast.
Disa's orbit is longitudinal, always going only north or south with relation to Mystara.

These make me think that the floating continents orbit Mystara, and not the hollow sun (which is really just a wormhole anyway).

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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Havard » Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:22 am

Exploring Hiak-Lor in more detail in this thread.

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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Robin » Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:11 pm

Ashtagon wrote:And since a fly spell (in 3.5e) takes you at 60 ft/round, that's 6.818 mph, or 4.545 mph if carrying a medium or heavy load. Duration maxes out at 20 minutes (1 min/level) at 20th level, for a total range of about 2.272 miles (12,000 feet).

Dark Dungeons is a bit more generous - 10 min/level + 1d6x10 minutes, and 120 feet per 10-second round speed (but non-combat speed is 360 feet every 10 minutes). At 12th level, and ignoring the random component of the duration, that gives 4320 feet (0.818 miles), rising to a theoretical range of 2.454 miles at 36th level.

So, very high level wizards could fly to Oostdok, but no one is using a fly spell to get to Alphatia. A sufficiently high level caster could cast several fly spells in succession to get to Alphatia, but at that level, a teleport is easier.

But a Teleport is impossible in the Hollow World due the spell of Preservation.
I think a magic user would also not use a Fly spell (within the Skyshield) , but would prefer a Polymorph self spell, as its duration is unlimited, and the change into a rapid bird (falcon for example' 480'/160') maybe even with a Speed potion or Haste spel (or even both---speaking of "roadrunner effect" :lol: )would give way faster and easier access.



And for maps; I have worked on a version of Ooostdok, but I must retrieve it. It was made on paper (yes I work on the Old medium too :P )so somewhere in my archive it must exist, maybe I can make a hexmap of it in the future. Nice goal. But then ...I need all Oostdok information links I can get to make it as complete as possible. So that's upon you all to hand me these.


Some links to some nice floating Islands art http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/son ... 1009211052
http://img01.deviantart.net/7c25/i/2010 ... 349vqj.jpg
http://wallpaperswa.com/thumbnails/deta ... com_19.jpg
http://pre11.deviantart.net/0819/th/pre ... 3ldmy9.jpg
http://img02.deviantart.net/195f/i/2012 ... 524yaw.jpg
http://www.ufointernationalproject.com/ ... /04/a2.png
http://designyoutrust.com/wp-content/up ... dWyana.jpg
http://img06.deviantart.net/6b40/i/2013 ... 606krh.jpg
http://www.lokieliot.com/blog/wp-conten ... /09/A7.jpg
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/i ... d_3405.jpghttp://api.ning.com/files/8KGb8vxx0YnOJ ... 5yft87.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ByekoFoIAAABYEa.jpg
http://www.sielkes.com/heather/school_w ... dgehog.jpg
http://static.tumblr.com/2f2fe344ee2a91 ... 439197.jpg
http://pre10.deviantart.net/aa61/th/pre ... 6rkt6h.jpg
http://schneeblog.com/wp-content/upload ... 710535.jpg
http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/son ... -prefix=es
http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/fan ... 1004003946
http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/son ... 0522192654
http://files1.coloribus.com/files/adsar ... -90677.jpg
http://f.ptcdn.info/084/035/000/1441258 ... flyi-o.jpg
https://d3esbfg30x759i.cloudfront.net/s ... 50ch8QxVjs
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lxspp ... o1_500.jpg
Especially this one i see as Oostdok main cities
https://tavernmeet.files.wordpress.com/ ... 9n4ps1.jpg
enjoy these, and mayb e they inspire you
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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Hugin » Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:44 pm

Very cool visuals, Robin!

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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Sturm » Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:48 am

Hi made a map with the orbits of the Floating continents in Threshold issue 9, also stored in the Vaults:
http://pandius.com/Hollow_World_Floating_Continents.png
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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Hugin » Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:14 pm

I really like seeing the relative sizes of the floating continents on that map, Sturm. They're bigger than I had thought actually.

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Re: Floating Continents

Post by Sturm » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:44 am

Alphatia would be even bigger, I made it a bit smaller. My choices for the map are explained in Threshold issue 9. I've made the HW bigger than the dimension given in the boxed set planetary map to better fit it with Iciria.
I've made all the floating continents bigger than the dimensions given in the Poor Wizard's almanac consequently, but their relative dimensions to the rest of the HW should be the same.
I invented completely the size and shape of Hiak-lor however, as it is not given in canon.
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