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Oil

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 12:36 pm
by Seethyr
World by world, is oil ever a thing? I mean, we have an Underdark that delves into these territories and I never hear about it. Which worlds had a carbon rich forest environment at some point?

I ask because I’m trying to work out an area where dragons battling ankhegs have caused an “eternal flame” of sorts to spring from the ground.

Re: Oil

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 1:02 pm
by Boneguard
Bitumen , tar pit and oil sand are known forms of surface deposits of petroleum so that could be one direction to look at.

Dark Sun likely have several such deposit by their history. And Bitumen was used for mummification, so an "Egyptian" culture might have access to some, so would "Chinese" and "Arabic" culture as both historically was able to extract and/or refine it early enough.

Re: Oil

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 1:14 pm
by Khedrac
I am sure oil occasionally gets mentioned in articles for D&D - so Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms etc., however you may not need it - coal mine fires can also burn for decades and coal is most definitely a feature of standard fantasy worlds.

Just checked Wikipedia - coal seam fires tend to be underground and can burn for thousands of years... Forget decades, though i expect the surface fires don't burn for as long.

Re: Oil

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 1:18 pm
by agathokles
Enormous tar pits are found in the Isle of Dread in Mystara, and are used by the natives.

Re: Oil

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 1:27 pm
by RobJN
Khedrac wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 1:14 pm
I am sure oil occasionally gets mentioned in articles for D&D - so Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms etc., however you may not need it - coal mine fires can also burn for decades and coal is most definitely a feature of standard fantasy worlds.

Just checked Wikipedia - coal seam fires tend to be underground and can burn for thousands of years... Forget decades, though i expect the surface fires don't burn for as long.
Centralia, PA might be a small fire, and its only been going since '62.

Re: Oil

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 1:55 pm
by Seethyr
Thanks everyone for the info. I’m surprised there hasn’t been “oil deposit” as a hazard in underdark supplements in the past. This also has implications for FR history comsidering it virtually guarantees the world had a Carboniferous period which, as far as I know, has not been mentioned elsewhere.

Re: Oil

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 2:50 pm
by Havard
I'm assuming the main use for oil in a fantasy world would be lamp oil? Tar might be used for ships and such of course.

-Havard

Re: Oil

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 4:41 pm
by RobJN
Havard wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 2:50 pm
I'm assuming the main use for oil in a fantasy world would be lamp oil? Tar might be used for ships and such of course.

-Havard
Don't forget dumping the boiling stuff down on pesky armies attacking your keep!

Re: Oil

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 6:49 pm
by Seethyr
I figured most of the oil used for lamps came from whale oil, up until this discussion.

Re: Oil

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:17 pm
by Khedrac
Seethyr wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 6:49 pm
I figured most of the oil used for lamps came from whale oil, up until this discussion.
I think the source varied greatly depending on local supplies. Areas with natural oil used wells, other areas used whales (if they could kill them) or other oily fish. Some probably used vegetable oils and others animal fats.

Until I did some checking for this post I assumed none came from mineral oil prior to the industrial revolution except where tar pits existed, it turns out that ancient Babylon had oil wells (similar to water wells)...

Re: Oil

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:56 pm
by Seethyr
Khedrac wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 9:17 pm
Seethyr wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 6:49 pm
I figured most of the oil used for lamps came from whale oil, up until this discussion.
I think the source varied greatly depending on local supplies. Areas with natural oil used wells, other areas used whales (if they could kill them) or other oily fish. Some probably used vegetable oils and others animal fats.

Until I did some checking for this post I assumed none came from mineral oil prior to the industrial revolution except where tar pits existed, it turns out that ancient Babylon had oil wells (similar to water wells)...
Very interesting. So there is precedent - and it wouldn’t be abnormal for regular oil use. I could see it being quite a common substance among dwarves, particularly duergar.

Re: Oil

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 10:15 pm
by willpell
The eternal flames of places like Centralia are produced by coal, not oil. Not a huge difference there, since both are derived from ancient dead plants, but to the best of my knowledge, being solid rather than liquid is what allows a fire to burn indefinitely.

Re: Oil

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 12:02 pm
by jdrakeh
Something like crude oil exists in one of my worlds. But it's alive. And, also, can control the minds of sapient beings whom it is in close contact with. Have you ever seen that old horror movie, The Stuff? It's like that (except you don't have to eat it). Blame Scott Lininger, as The Stage (for his system The Window) planted this seed.

Re: Oil

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 1:29 pm
by Big Mac
Seethyr wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 1:55 pm
Thanks everyone for the info. I’m surprised there hasn’t been “oil deposit” as a hazard in underdark supplements in the past. This also has implications for FR history comsidering it virtually guarantees the world had a Carboniferous period which, as far as I know, has not been mentioned elsewhere.
The Underdark below the Sundered Empire (that's a the Greyhawk subsetting - Chainmail - rather than Forgotten Realms) has something called Hissing Pools that cause instant death if you fall into them.

I asked about those and BlackBat242 gave some real world examples of where gasses came up from below the ground and got stored in pools of water.

I saw a science thing about distillation of petroleum products once and they had a number of them ranging from aircraft fuel to bitumen. So, instead of looking at oil as a thing, you might be able to look at it as a number of things that appear naturally or things that are manufactured.

I think that a black river of undrinkable water that sticks to creatures and kills them could be a good way to go with this.

Re: Oil

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 2:59 pm
by Big Mac
Seethyr wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 12:36 pm
I ask because I’m trying to work out an area where dragons battling ankhegs have caused an “eternal flame” of sorts to spring from the ground.
Metallic dragons are all associated with precious metals (even if they are not specifically made from those metals). Perhaps black dragons could be associated with tar or some other oil-related substance and other coloured dragons could be associated with other natural materials that share their specific colours. :idea:

Come to think of it, dragon breath weapons all have specific forms. I've had a couple of chat with AuldDragon where he has said that spell components are often associated with the effect of the magic.

I wonder if there are any petrolium byproducts (or natural derivatives of oil) that act like a black dragon's line of acid attack.

The black dragon ability to Corrupt Water would seem to fit in well with oil pollution.

Re: Oil

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 3:01 pm
by Big Mac
jdrakeh wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 12:02 pm
Something like crude oil exists in one of my worlds. But it's alive. And, also, can control the minds of sapient beings whom it is in close contact with. Have you ever seen that old horror movie, The Stuff? It's like that (except you don't have to eat it). Blame Scott Lininger, as The Stage (for his system The Window) planted this seed.
I've not seen The Stuff, but it sounds similar to the black liquid monster that killed the original security officer in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Re: Oil

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 4:04 pm
by Seethyr
Big Mac wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 3:01 pm
jdrakeh wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 12:02 pm
Something like crude oil exists in one of my worlds. But it's alive. And, also, can control the minds of sapient beings whom it is in close contact with. Have you ever seen that old horror movie, The Stuff? It's like that (except you don't have to eat it). Blame Scott Lininger, as The Stage (for his system The Window) planted this seed.
I've not seen The Stuff, but it sounds similar to the black liquid monster that killed the original security officer in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
There was also a “Creepshow” movie from what I remember, that has an oil slick that dissolved a few skinny dippers. Horrified me as a kid.

That gets me to wondering if you could connect oil to the black pudding.

Re: Oil

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 6:15 am
by Angel Tarragon
Seethyr wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 4:04 pm
There was also a “Creepshow” movie from what I remember, that has an oil slick that dissolved a few skinny dippers. Horrified me as a kid.
I recently watched the Creepshow 2 movie for the first time, and can confirm this. One of the more interesting and macabre skits from the movie.

Re: Oil

Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 11:53 am
by Big Mac
Seethyr wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 4:04 pm
That gets me to wondering if you could connect oil to the black pudding.
It would certainly make sense to knock up a list of monsters that might be found in the same area that oil was found in.

Re: Oil

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 3:39 am
by BlackBat242
A cross of Ocre Jelly and Green Slime - the Petroleum Jelly?

Re: Oil

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 3:55 am
by Gravesguardian
The Dragon's Den boxset adventure Wild Dragon Den has lizardmen using impure oil from tar pools in crude sandstone bowls for lighting. On pg. 6 of that adventure Location #2. The Tar Pools, 2nd paragraph states: The oil on the surface is impure and thus cannot be used like flasks of oil; it will, however, burn feebly as a light source. (This is the oil in the sandstone lamps found throughout the complex.) And Hakra, the dragon in the adventure, is a Black Dragon so there's 2 monsters that can be listed in the same area as Tar/Oil Pools/Fields.

Re: Oil

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 1:24 pm
by Tom Bulls Eye
Big Mac wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 11:53 am
Seethyr wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 4:04 pm
That gets me to wondering if you could connect oil to the black pudding.
It would certainly make sense to knock up a list of monsters that might be found in the same area that oil was found in.
Oil gels are well known in chemistry. So assuming that black puddings are akin to jelly fish but biologically gelling oil rather than water makes good sense, also in terms of their combustability.