Thunder Rift rivers, fantastic geography

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Thunder Rift rivers, fantastic geography

Postby combatmedic » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:30 am

Looking around the web I found:


http://rachelghoulgamestuff.blogspot.co ... -zero.html


I don't really disagree with the blogger, but I do like the weirdness of the map.

Here are a few ideas about rivers and water in the Rift, taken from my comments on her blog post.


Possible ret-cons or reinterpretations:


• Change the flow of the southern rivers. They now empty into Lake Melinir. We can’t really tell the slope of that SE canyon/channel from eyeballing the map.
• Where does Lake Melinir drain? It drains into a subterranean river system that leads into cavernous realm connected to the Rift. Thunder Rift’s Underark, if you will.
• The Gloomfens, as you note, may be whacky due to magic origins. But why not Wizardspire, too? Does the stream in fact flow uphill in contravention of the laws of nature? That would be pretty trippy. These two sites, Gloomfens and Wizardspire, have linked histories, of course. The Wizard-Warrior feud, magical curses thrown down.
• Option two Wizardspire- Somebody left the tap water one when the assassins wiped out the magic-users. That’s not ONE stream flowing uphill and then down, but TWO streams flowing downhill from two windows/spouts/gutters on the hidden side of the spire.
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Re: Thunder Rift rivers, fantastic geography

Postby Noxxon » Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:20 pm

combatmedic wrote:Looking around the web I found:

http://rachelghoulgamestuff.blogspot.co ... -zero.html

Yes, I also found that page a long time ago. I agree that the rivers make no sense (some seem to flow uphill, others seem to flow both ways at the same time, ect.), and that is what got me started with editing the map of TR.

combatmedic wrote:Here are a few ideas about rivers and water in the Rift, taken from my comments on her blog post.

Possible ret-cons or reinterpretations:
• Change the flow of the southern rivers. They now empty into Lake Melinir.

That is the way I see it as well, all rivers flow into TR, none of them flow out.

combatmedic wrote:Possible ret-cons or reinterpretations:
• Where does Lake Melinir drain? It drains into a subterranean river system that leads into cavernous realm connected to the Rift. Thunder Rift’s Underark, if you will.

Again, that is how I see things in TR. I use the boxed set Night Below as the underdark setting for that part of it. The waterways eventually flow into the area of Hollow World containing the location found in the Warriors of the Eternal Sun video game, which is connected to TR.

http://pandius.com/nghtbelw.html

combatmedic wrote:Possible ret-cons or reinterpretations:
• The Gloomfens, as you note, may be whacky due to magic origins. But why not Wizardspire, too? Does the stream in fact flow uphill in contravention of the laws of nature? That would be pretty trippy.

Using magic to explain away unusual occurrences only really works in few instances, and altering the flow of a river is not a good one to try and do. Especially if it is to just "fix" a cartographical error.
Instead, what if the wizards of Wizardspire caused the area to the east of the Gloomfens to rise up rather than causing the Gloomfens area itself to sink, creating a barrier of hills and causing the Gloomfens area to become flooded. Those rivers flowing out of Wizardspire could then be said, in part, to be the underground water seepage from the Gloomfens, having cut their way through the barrier created by the wizards.


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Re: Thunder Rift rivers, fantastic geography

Postby combatmedic » Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:45 am

I like that idea about Gloomfens and Wizardspire.
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Re: Thunder Rift rivers, fantastic geography

Postby LibraryLass » Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:46 pm

Huh, never thought I'd see any more commentary on this article! Thank you very much for the feedback!

Yeah, sorry, I'm just a stickler for plausible fluvial systems. It's important to me. And... actually, I like the way you think. Some of those explanations never occurred to me. I especially like the idea of the lake draining into an underground river system, it gives me some interesting ideas for what might be in the Underdark beneath Thunder Rift-- which I've always wanted to do something with 'cause the Dark Pit was just begging to be an entrance to it (or, perhaps, even to the Hollow World, if one likes to stick Thunder Rift in Mystara.)
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Re: Thunder Rift rivers, fantastic geography

Postby DirtSkull » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:25 pm

Thunder Rift is a favorite setting of mine but I remove the distances and population details the book gives you. The towns I've re-done, the political power, the villains, their threat, the mood etc. The original setting concept was good, but that was it.
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Re: Thunder Rift rivers, fantastic geography

Postby combatmedic » Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:30 am

LibraryLass wrote:Huh, never thought I'd see any more commentary on this article! Thank you very much for the feedback!

Yeah, sorry, I'm just a stickler for plausible fluvial systems. It's important to me. And... actually, I like the way you think. Some of those explanations never occurred to me. I especially like the idea of the lake draining into an underground river system, it gives me some interesting ideas for what might be in the Underdark beneath Thunder Rift-- which I've always wanted to do something with 'cause the Dark Pit was just begging to be an entrance to it (or, perhaps, even to the Hollow World, if one likes to stick Thunder Rift in Mystara.)



Thanks for the feedback.


Yeah, I've pretty well sold myself on the underground drainage system and cavern realms. Those rivers don't seem be to intermittent streams, and the water will have to go somewhere.



Is the Rift an actual rift valley? IMC, it probably would be, though I never worked out the larger geographic context.

How geologically active is the region?

The Burning Hills are dotted with vents, geysers, fissures, hot springs, and that sort of thing in my campaign. I'd have to grab the book and check to be sure, but that description almost certainly came from the notes in the sourcebook (the area is called ''The Burning Hills'' , after all).
I set the ''Hill'' from Horror on the Hill, in the Burning Hills, shorn of the dragon and some other features.



Based on all that, I'd say that a good portion of Underdark of Thunder Rift is rich in water and organic matter from the underground rivers/drainage of Lake Melinir. That input may form a crucial link in the ecosystem (not that I'm going to worry too much about ecology).
Some areas would be wholly flooded. Parts of the underworld may be steamy or flooded with toxic gases. Some caverns will be prone to instability and tremors.
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Re: Thunder Rift rivers, fantastic geography

Postby combatmedic » Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:41 am

DirtSkull wrote:Thunder Rift is a favorite setting of mine but I remove the distances and population details the book gives you. The towns I've re-done, the political power, the villains, their threat, the mood etc. The original setting concept was good, but that was it.



The distances work pretty well more me.


RE population:
Havard worked it out that the valley is about 688 square miles. With his figure of 20K humans and demi-humans, that's about thirty people per square mile. A bit sparse, put plausible for a Medieval society. One has to leave room for all the orcs, goblins, the dragon, and other monsters.

I'm tempted to cut that 20K down to about 10K, and say the figure does not include bandits, itinerant folk, hermits, and hidden/isolated communities.
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Re: Thunder Rift rivers, fantastic geography

Postby LibraryLass » Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:30 am

combatmedic wrote:
DirtSkull wrote:Thunder Rift is a favorite setting of mine but I remove the distances and population details the book gives you. The towns I've re-done, the political power, the villains, their threat, the mood etc. The original setting concept was good, but that was it.



The distances work pretty well more me.


RE population:
Havard worked it out that the valley is about 688 square miles. With his figure of 20K humans and demi-humans, that's about thirty people per square mile. A bit sparse, put plausible for a Medieval society. One has to leave room for all the orcs, goblins, the dragon, and other monsters.

I'm tempted to cut that 20K down to about 10K, and say the figure does not include bandits, itinerant folk, hermits, and hidden/isolated communities.

I can see an argument for beefing it up a little, on the other hand. Even Melinir is too small to do much in the way of "city" adventures, which are always good fun.
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Re: Thunder Rift rivers, fantastic geography

Postby Big Mac » Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:12 pm

Has anyone ever looked at anything like maps of potholing caves, to see where a river that comes out of the Lake Melinir lake and into the ground might go?

I'm guessing that it would not be logical for it to flow back the way any of the existing rivers came in.

East looks like a good way to go...to my untrained eye.
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Re: Thunder Rift rivers, fantastic geography

Postby banesbox » Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:37 am

I know this is an old post, but I was thinking about photoshoping a few of the rivers out of the official map. The lake in Brichtwood is fed wrong, that needs to be fed from the Northern waterfall. If I had my way, the river flowing by Raven's Ruin would be removed. I dont know whats up with the short river coming out of Wizardspire on the right side, I would take that out too. The river part above the Whistling Cave and Abandoned Mine drives me nuts, that one would need to go. The rest look cool to me. What do you guys think since I am rehashing an old post?
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