Climate or Biome Maps

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Thorf
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Climate or Biome Maps

Post by Thorf » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:15 pm

While working on my Skothar 72 mile per hex map, it struck me that I don't have a climate map of the continent to refer to. Does anyone know if such a thing exists?

As far as I can see, the main climate maps we have so far come from articles Bruce put on his blog in December 2012, Climate in Alphatia and The Winds of Brun. The former provided a climate map for the Alphatian region together with a useful legend, while the latter article expanded the map out to cover Michele's map of known areas.

This is great stuff, and very helpful for deciding what sort of terrain to put where, but unfortunately most of Skothar and Davania are missing.

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Re: Climate or Biome Maps

Post by Sturm » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:23 pm

AFAIK there is nothing else beyond Bruce's maps. I used them to determine the positions of equator, tropics and arctic circle which are indeed quite similar in mine and his.
My tropics however are a bit lower and I think it's better because in my map Specularum is already at 34th north more or less, which is the laitude of Lebanon, southern California and Yamaguchi, meaning subtropical. I explain this by assuming the Known World has a colder microclimate.
In Bruce maps however the southern KW is at 30th north, meaning like Iraq, Baja California and Kuchinoshima which seems a little too much subtropical for my taste :)

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Re: Climate or Biome Maps

Post by Thorf » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:35 pm

There's no getting round this, I'm afraid: the southern coast of the Known World is always going to be around 30ºN. Official tables list Thyatis as 30ºN, and all of the official equators have the southern coast within five degrees or so of 30º.

That said, Bruce marked these areas in orange, which is to say humid subtropical. This map shows similar areas as being central Japan, southern South Korea, most of China and northern Taiwan, northern India, as well as northern Italy, the east coast of the USA (central and southern parts), etc. That's quite a range of climates.

Just going by my own experience alone, central Japan and northern Taiwan have pretty vastly different climates, and yet they're in the same band.

Image

In any case, if the comparison is European, the southern Known World countries are definitely a bit hotter than their real world counterparts. I don't think there's any way round this.

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Re: Climate or Biome Maps

Post by Robin » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:23 pm

The problem with Climate is that it is not only created by the continents, elevations, waterflow patterns and wind direction patterns...but mainly by the breathing of the plants (1), solar reflections(2), evaporation(3), moisture storage(4), precipitation patterns(6), Global rotation(7) and animal foraging (8) and living patterns(9).

A snippet of my knowledge in this matter.... :ugeek:

If you combine the fact that the forest of Brasil (amazon) is on only 1 to 3 feet of fertile soil, and that this is not reproduced by any other vegetation,...thus desertification lies around the corner, and forest fires become common, animals tend to flee, causing the forest to become overgrown and close up trying to envelop the lost terrains asap when rest has settled in....(which in our real life never happens and thus slowly diminishes the amount of rainforest by 300 acres a day!!), ...............as this also influences the anounbt of O2 and Co2 and N2 in the air, this will have great effects upon animal life thousands of miles away (even global effects will apply.

Back to Mystara...the Great Davanian Desert (in reflection the Southamerican continent) with the rainforest on its easternside (the african continent in reflection) have in effect switched biopatterns when seen to the real world...this means O2, Co2, and N2 created will become available to a more northern ecosphere than our world....which gives credence to the amount of diversity of creatures on the continent of Brun and Skothar. The Davanian continent however is greatly handicapped by the great desert and mountain chains blocking wearher patterns from giving any chnce of dispersing the needed gasses an water. as such the climate will tend to stay dry, hot, to death valley standards except on the coasts. This will create a expanding rise of hot air in the upper spheres and some internal directed dominant winds towards the desert. this semi-permanent weather cell will have great effects upon the world and weather patterns. while the greener regions will benefit more from the gasses produced in the somewhat more northern (and more in the dominant)water &windcurrents.
This is also the reason for the very large tundra region in the north;...mountains blocking the lower gasses and weather patterns while the higher patterns overflow and cool down.


The same weather cell pattern of the davanian dxeswrtcould also be created on the Sind desert due the black mountains, thus giving credence to the drier yak steppes, but will not apply to the (magical created)ylari desert as this is nearly fully enclosed in mountains causing the pattern to become an enclosed self sustaining sphere, only partially restored /refreshed on the eastern coast.

Ecology was my master in my studies as Biology/physics/chemistry teacher...and this helped me already making a lot of Mystara areas more logical :geek:

I hope this helps, otherwise...just ask... ;)
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Re: Climate or Biome Maps

Post by JTrithen » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:12 am

Robin wrote:The problem with Climate is that it is not only created by the continents, elevations, waterflow patterns and wind direction patterns...but mainly by the breathing of the plants (1), solar reflections(2), evaporation(3), moisture storage(4), precipitation patterns(6), Global rotation(7) and animal foraging (8) and living patterns(9).
Great information, Robin!
Thorf wrote:In any case, if the comparison is European, the southern Known World countries are definitely a bit hotter than their real world counterparts. I don't think there's any way round this.
I always used North America as the comparison for habitats and ecology, as a general rule. (But not necessarily for climate and related phenomena, like weather/wind patterns, etc.) Of course, at some point they will contradict, but I don't think of the terrain and flora and fauna in the Known World and Brun as being similar to Europe, even though the cultures are. I usually use North America as a guide, as original inspiration and reference, in my game world. Of course, there will be divergences. And, obviously, the cultures of the Known World are predominantly RW-European. I do allow that potatoes, tomatoes, and corn are present in the Known World cultures, though more predominant in some cultures than others. I realize that terrain and living things greatly influence cultures, but you can't dissect this stuff too much. (Then, of course, there are major terrain divergences from RW-North America that make Mystara unique such as the Great Waste desert, the mountain ranges in the Known World that are larger and more predominant in southeastern Brun than in southeastern North America, the savanna-like terrain in and around Sind, etc.).

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Re: Climate or Biome Maps

Post by Morfie » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:46 am

I believe that Earth at 152 mya (which is close to Mystara) was a few degrees hotter than current Earth anyway.

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Re: Climate or Biome Maps

Post by Birchbeer » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:33 pm

What's neat about 30-degrees latitude north which Robin alludes to with the wind/precipitation patterns is the difference between SE USA and the Sahara desert. I'm sure this is a big simplification, but the presence of land between 30-degrees latitude and the equator makes one into a subtropical area (SE USA) and the other a huge desert (Sahara). Regarding Skothar the only area that looks like it should be much drier, probably desert like is the Jennite Sword area north of the mountains.

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Re: Climate or Biome Maps

Post by Lord Sheriff Takari » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:04 am

unless otherwise written into canon = most every known realm <Mystara included> has the sun rise in the east and set in the west.

by correlating this to our known world, ocean currents will tend to be warm ones off the eastern coastlines flowing north/southward from the tropical Equatorial Region with possible eddies diverging into large bays and Gulfs. <like the Gulf of Mexico>
this transfer of warm temperature toward the polar regions is counterbalanced by the cold currents flowing from the polar regions back toward the Equator generally following the coastal landform or large undersea ridges and island chains along the western coasts.

the large scale air currents <Jet Streams> are also influenced by high mountain ranges which tend to deflect them depending on the orientation of the mountains themselves. <parallel or blocking arrangement compared to wind flow>
the tropical Jets flow east to west <the Trade Winds> while the mid latitude winds flow west to east directing the regional weather systems
<you can factor a weather system to pass a given location every 4-6 days bringing seasonal precipitation to the area.

if your game has access to Sky Ships or other forms of travel by air using artificial crafts, these Jet Streams will be somewhat known about by veteran Skyfarers who can use them to move goods faster along them or avoid them when traveling against the flow pattern spicing up life when traveling about

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Re: Climate or Biome Maps

Post by Robin » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:09 pm

Lord Sheriff Takari wrote:unless otherwise written into canon = most every known realm <Mystara included> has the sun rise in the east and set in the west.

by correlating this to our known world, ocean currents will tend to be warm ones off the eastern coastlines flowing north/southward from the tropical Equatorial Region with possible eddies diverging into large bays and Gulfs. <like the Gulf of Mexico>
this transfer of warm temperature toward the polar regions is counterbalanced by the cold currents flowing from the polar regions back toward the Equator generally following the coastal landform or large undersea ridges and island chains along the western coasts.

the large scale air currents <Jet Streams> are also influenced by high mountain ranges which tend to deflect them depending on the orientation of the mountains themselves. <parallel or blocking arrangement compared to wind flow>
the tropical Jets flow east to west <the Trade Winds> while the mid latitude winds flow west to east directing the regional weather systems
<you can factor a weather system to pass a given location every 4-6 days bringing seasonal precipitation to the area.

if your game has access to Sky Ships or other forms of travel by air using artificial crafts, these Jet Streams will be somewhat known about by veteran Skyfarers who can use them to move goods faster along them or avoid them when traveling against the flow pattern spicing up life when traveling about
This is what I meant with Wind and water directional patterns...thanx
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Re: Climate or Biome Maps

Post by pauldupuis » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:45 pm

When I was working with Ann on Night Howlers, Champions of Mystara and the Almanacs series, climate on Mystara came up in discussions many times. Without trying to reconstruct the lengthy discussions, the final answer was one that some people will not like: Immortals! Mystaran climates and geology often makes no real world sense - none. There are way too many physical impossibilities that can only be explained by ... Immortal intervention. Which, when you have HUNDREDS of canon/fanon Immortals to account for, is actually the easiest explanation. We ended up referring to Mystara as having lots of "microclimes" or "microclimates" to account to sandy deserts where there should be none or snowy wastelands where the should be none or rivers that do not flow right and so on. Immortal Magic, the easy answer, if not the satisfying one to some!

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Re: Climate or Biome Maps

Post by Big Mac » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:40 am

pauldupuis wrote:When I was working with Ann on Night Howlers, Champions of Mystara and the Almanacs series, climate on Mystara came up in discussions many times. Without trying to reconstruct the lengthy discussions, the final answer was one that some people will not like: Immortals! Mystaran climates and geology often makes no real world sense - none. There are way too many physical impossibilities that can only be explained by ... Immortal intervention.
I'd love to watch a YouTube video of you and Ann having that discussion. :)
pauldupuis wrote:Which, when you have HUNDREDS of canon/fanon Immortals to account for, is actually the easiest explanation. We ended up referring to Mystara as having lots of "microclimes" or "microclimates" to account to sandy deserts where there should be none or snowy wastelands where the should be none or rivers that do not flow right and so on. Immortal Magic, the easy answer, if not the satisfying one to some!
Wouldn't there be an underlying natural climate, with Immortal-controlled microclimates overlaying parts of the world? :?

There are parts of the world where there are unusual things like hot springs, that seem radically different from the environment around them. Do you think that the Immortals would create things similar to hot springs (perhaps via portals to other planes) in order to counter the natural climate trends?
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Re: Climate or Biome Maps

Post by Thorf » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:44 pm

Thanks very much to everyone who has posted here! Sorry I haven't replied much, but I have been lurking the whole time.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/mystara ... 288212738/

I just posted to the Mystara Cartographic Society on Facebook with my first take on these issues. I started by extending Bruce's wind and ocean current arrows out to the whole world. There are a few issues to be ironed out. I can't post the images here, unfortunately, but you can see them at the link above.

Here's what I posted there: Most of the ocean currents seem fine, but there are a few areas I wasn't sure about.

Most notably, Bruce stated in his article that he was confused about the waters around Alphatia and the Isle of Dawn. And there's a conflict between Bruce's 2012 map and Poor Wizard's Almanac II's map: Bruce has warm currents floating anti-clockwise around the Isle of Dawn, coming south down the Eastern Sea of Dawn, while Poor Wizard's Almanac II has water flowing north along both sides of the Isle of Dawn. Connected to this is the direction of the flow through the Strait of Furmenglaive (between the Isle of Dawn and Ochalea).

I'm also wondering about the flow down the western side of Bellissaria; Bruce has this going south, but it looks to me as if the warm currents should be flowing north from the Sea of Bellissaria, then splitting into two, with one current going up the east side of the Isle of Dawn, and the other through the Sea of Aquas and then merging with cold currents to flow round Bellissaria, back into the Sea of Bellissaria.

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Re: Climate or Biome Maps

Post by Thorf » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:00 pm

By the way, I checked the Facebook link while signed out, and it seems to be accessible even if you don't have a Facebook account. Please check out the images and the comments there — make sure to click on the "1 comment" grey text at the bottom of the post to see a couple more images illustrating the text I posted above.

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Re: Climate or Biome Maps

Post by Sturm » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:25 am

I would be inclined to assume a cold current going south from Norwold to the northern Reaches, given the climate of the area, and a warm one going north from the south of the Isle of Dawn to Alphatia, given that the mainland seems a bit warmer than the KW at equal latitudes..
This happens in the RW comparing Europe and North American, where the latter is much colder at equal latitudes due to currents and the Mediterranean. The magical climate of Ylaruam could then warm up the current, creating the warm temperatures of the Sea of Dread.
So I imagined currents around the IoD going counterclockwise.
Also Bruce indicated the prevalent winds in the eastern sea of Dawn going south, should not be the same for the sea current? (Just asking, I do not know if in the RW we have prevalent wind contrary to sea currents..)

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Re: Climate or Biome Maps

Post by Thorf » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:03 pm

I've posted another take on the currents over on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/mystara ... 230848077/

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Re: Climate or Biome Maps

Post by LoZompatore » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:04 pm

Hi Thorf, for canon info about sea currents and winds around Alphatia also check these out:

http://www.pandius.com/Metropolitan_Alp ... ail_01.jpg

Entries are described here:

http://www.pandius.com/metroalp.html

In particular in the Strait of Helskir / Gulf of Westrourke I believe there should be a mix of two sea currents, a warm stream going north from the Western Sea of Dawn and and a cold one going south from Norzee / Alphatian Sea.

My two cents!
; )

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