Interesting, if rather roundabout way of doing it
It is an optional technique, for world-builders who want to give planets more "history". She says so herself.
Havard wrote:I always appreciate it when RPG setting continents and coastal shapes look like they could be a real world, so perhaps this could be a good way to accomplish that.
I think that the key advantage for world-building design with continental drift would be when someone wants to create a detailed timeline and give a feel of long-lost civilisations.
If you want to build some sort of Blackmoor-like civilisation and stick it in the distant past of a Jakandor-like world, you need to come up with some sort of logic to explain why that old civilisation vanished. You could have magic, technology or some sort of combined techno-magic be the reason why "the civilisation destroyed itself", but Teramis is actually providing a new option with this technique:
With continental drift, you could have a Blackmoor-like city that passes over the north pole and is buried by a mile of ice for 10,000 years. Or you could have another continent drift over the pole (or one over each of the poles) and create an ice-age that simply swallows up dozens of countries.
Imagine having a long-lost Thay-like city, run by a lich who was literally encased in ice for 10,000 years. That makes a change from the "they blew themselves up" trope. If the elders of the city knew they would be buried by an ice age, they might have the choice between abandoning their homes forever or finding a way to put their population (or some of it) into suspended animation until the danger has past. If you wanted to go with something like that, Teramis's method would allow you to create a number of different campaign maps to show the "before", "during" and "after" positions of the continents and the locations of any "frozen civilisations".
Cool seeing more work from Teramis in any case
I'm still waiting for Teramis to put her book onto Print on Demand, so I can buy a copy. Actually, she has a couple of things I'd be interested in: There is the world-building book she co-wrote with Bruce Heard, but she is also actually sitting on an entire
RPG campaign setting book. If she could maybe get that updated to Pathfinder, I think it would have an audience. There are a couple of other asian-inspired RPGs for Pathfinder, so I think that people would also want to mix and match material for more than one of them.
Always dangerous to show this to a geologist
but an easy way is simply to make your world into plates and simply decide where you have spreading zones (including Rift systems on land - east Africa) or subduction zones with creation of volcanoes and mountains being folded up. Some spreading zone might even be half finished and abandoned (like the Oslo Fjord that was created during the unfinished unzipping of Norway and Sweden).
You can also toss in some hot spot centers either on land (Yellowstone) or sea (Hawaii).
I think a lot of people don't have enough geology-fu to work out how to do this. Teramis's video has a sort of simplified geology that most people should understand.
I think it might be nice to have some geology tutorials or discussions in The Squisy Bits, so that the people, like you
, who do know about this stuff can help other people learn enough for them to avoid schoolboy errors.
Looking at geological maps of our globe should give some inspiration and also a fast forward video of the continental drift could give some ideas, since you have a change from continents coming together - continents splitting (because the earth is round spreading continents will meet again on the backside).
Those things can be really useful with "near Earth" campaign settings.
But I do wonder how things would work with the standard fantasy worlds that D&D (and other RPGs) gave us. I also wonder what sort of geology could be done for non-standard fantasy worlds.
D&D Next would be a great opportunity for Forgotten Realms to get some geological history. (They could probably have used some sort of "continental insertion" back when they wanted to bring in Abeir, instead of having continents land on top of other continents.)
Imagine uber-magic that makes entire islands and continents get swallowed up into a pocket dimension. But imagine if they got a geologist to help with the "fantasy geology", so that they could work out how to make things appear or vanish in a short amount of time, but still be logical.
I've followed a few conversations about flatworlds and the usual way people "sell" them is that they are artificial. But I've always thought that was a shame. I've always thought it would be nice if someone could design some "two dimensional fantasy geology" that would make flatworlds work as a natural thing. Why couldn't flatworlds have molten cores (or at least molten inner plates)? Why couldn't they have something similar to continental drift (perhaps with continents "folding over" at the edge of the world and getting "dragged down" inside the world)?