October 14, 2019, 07:58:47 PM

Author Topic: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding  (Read 27699 times)

Offline JMack

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2015, 11:11:27 PM »
As a fellow German I agree with about everything Yora said about our country and history. :)

If you guys really want I can split this (or any other thread) in two, separating the nationalism stuff from the original topic.
It's a bit of work, but if you want, I can do it.
I kind of think so. :P @xiagan gets the second award of a Jmack Karma point!  ;D
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Offline Henry Dale

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #46 on: March 20, 2015, 06:10:40 AM »
Again personal sidenote.
I want a story that has a belfry in it...and a carillon. Anyone? :)
Does the belfry have to have bats in it?
Not necessarily? Unless it suits your mood :p

Offline Justan Henner

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #47 on: March 26, 2015, 06:06:19 AM »
It took several days, but I finally finished reading this thread... *sigh* why is there no "Like All" button.  :-\
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 06:07:53 AM by Justan Henner »

Offline ArcaneArtsVelho

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #48 on: April 08, 2015, 09:00:55 AM »
I promised earlier in this thread that I would link here some information on traveling speeds. (One thing I hate about forums is when someone writes that they are going to post some solution/information/reply later and then never do, so I'll be damned if I become such a person. :) )

So here it is: ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World
It's an online map application that models the Roman transportation/communication network based on research of historical documents and sites. It gives average traveling speeds, sustainable for days or even weeks, for multiple different transport types / modes of travel. It even tells you how much it would have cost to travel from one place to another in the Roman Empire.

Examples of traveling speeds (rest can be found in the Building-part of the About-section):
-Ox carts,12 km/day
-Foot travelers or armies on the march, 30km/day
-Routine travel on horseback, 56km/day
-Armies on rapid short-term marches without baggage, 60km/day
-Continuous horse relays, 250km/day (ceiling for terrestrial information transfer)

The model has it shortcomings (most of which are brought up on the website) and it is an ongoing project, but I think it's still quite a good resource as it is. Or at least it's somewhat fun to play with for a while. :P
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Offline Nora

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #49 on: April 11, 2015, 12:33:04 AM »
Thanks a lot @ArcaneArtsVelho that's very useful info to me so big thumbs up!!

Let me join the scientific simulator game by including a very useful page on nuclear bombs :
This bloke allows you to pin anywhere on google maps where to drop any of the main nukes in existence. You can see the drop, and the different regions of effect (fireball, radiation kill zone ect).
He has a link to a 3D page too.

If anyone wants a city nuked that's a must use! http://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/
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Offline Justan Henner

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #50 on: April 11, 2015, 04:11:46 PM »
I promised earlier in this thread that I would link here some information on traveling speeds. (One thing I hate about forums is when someone writes that they are going to post some solution/information/reply later and then never do,

...

as an example of this, I'm going to post a story in the rogues contest later this week which will hopefully illuminate what I mean.

*presses fingers together and cackles maniacally*

Online Yora

Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #51 on: April 14, 2015, 04:05:41 PM »
Here is a fun little detail that most people don't know, but would be quite important for many fantasy heroes: Gold is incredibly heavy.
It's not only several times as heavy than the brass you usually see in movies (to the point that brass looks more golden than actual gold), but even almost twice the weight of lead. In fact, gold is one of the heaviest substances in the universe. The only things heavier than gold are uranium, platinum, iridium, and osmium, and even those not by much. The weight of a given volume of gold is almost 20 times as height as an equal volume of water. "Your weight in gold" is not a very large pile (though still 2 to 3 million dollars today). With a gold ring (which most probably isn't pure gold anyway), it's not so noticable. But when you have a sack of gold or bars of gold, this will be a major factor. And the classic chest of pirate treasure would require a team of horses to move, which is assuming the handles don't rip off the chest or the bottom breaks out. Even a small to mid-size chest would probably weigh about a ton.

Offline JMack

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #52 on: April 14, 2015, 04:18:36 PM »
Here is a fun little detail that most people don't know, but would be quite important for many fantasy heroes: Gold is incredibly heavy.
It's not only several times as heavy than the brass you usually see in movies (to the point that brass looks more golden than actual gold), but even almost twice the weight of lead. In fact, gold is one of the heaviest substances in the universe. The only things heavier than gold are uranium, platinum, iridium, and osmium, and even those not by much. The weight of a given volume of gold is almost 20 times as height as an equal volume of water. "Your weight in gold" is not a very large pile (though still 2 to 3 million dollars today). With a gold ring (which most probably isn't pure gold anyway), it's not so noticable. But when you have a sack of gold or bars of gold, this will be a major factor. And the classic chest of pirate treasure would require a team of horses to move, which is assuming the handles don't rip off the chest or the bottom breaks out. Even a small to mid-size chest would probably weigh about a ton.
I've watched Battle of the Five Armies twice now, and each time I cringe at how Bilbo is carrying a chest at the very end as though it was a box of kleenex. He famously did have some gold, but this sure couldn't have been it. Not sure what the producers were thinking. In a mixed movie, this was just dumb. (Meanwhile, I have a pet peeve about coffee cups in TV and movies. They're always really empty, so the actors handle them like they are. Then sip. Yrgh.)
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)
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Online Yora

Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #53 on: April 14, 2015, 04:29:05 PM »
I think Tolkien did think of it and wrote that Bilbo made several trips to the troll stash any time the money he had in the Shire ran out.
I looked around for the volume of the gold idol from Indiana Jones, and if that thing were solid, it would weigh about 20 to 25 kg. Given the size of the sandbag and that it was still too heavy, it probably was just wood with a thin layer of gold. ;)

Bank robbery movies aren't much better. They oftern swing these huge bags over their shoulders like if they were filled with styrofoam. But bank notes would have the density of paper, and just imagine carrying old paper to a recycling bin with a bag like that. And not crumpled boxes: Just old newspapers.
They have those big bags in the opening of The Dark Knight, but drag them around on the floor because they are too heavy to lift.

Offline JMack

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #54 on: April 14, 2015, 05:38:38 PM »
I think Tolkien did think of it and wrote that Bilbo made several trips to the troll stash any time the money he had in the Shire ran out.
I looked around for the volume of the gold idol from Indiana Jones, and if that thing were solid, it would weigh about 20 to 25 kg. Given the size of the sandbag and that it was still too heavy, it probably was just wood with a thin layer of gold. ;)

Bank robbery movies aren't much better. They oftern swing these huge bags over their shoulders like if they were filled with styrofoam. But bank notes would have the density of paper, and just imagine carrying old paper to a recycling bin with a bag like that. And not crumpled boxes: Just old newspapers.
They have those big bags in the opening of The Dark Knight, but drag them around on the floor because they are too heavy to lift.
And love the heist movie "The Italian Job" (the recent one; the old one is just straaaaaaange). They figure out which of three armored trucks is actually carrying the stash because the stash is so heavy it lowers the profile of the trucks.
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
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Online Yora

Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #55 on: April 14, 2015, 06:14:28 PM »
Is that the one that invented the Cliffhanger? I think I really have to watch it one day.

Offline JMack

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #56 on: April 14, 2015, 06:20:18 PM »
Is that the one that invented the Cliffhanger? I think I really have to watch it one day.
The original, 1960s version does have a crazy cliff-hang scene, where a bus (?) keeps teetering on the edge of said cliff. Strangest darn movie.
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #57 on: April 15, 2015, 12:55:26 AM »
One of Wilbur Smith's novels; The Sunbird, featured an archaeological discovery of gold and he made the point of how incredibly heavy even a small amount of it is.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline JMack

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #58 on: April 15, 2015, 11:18:18 AM »
I haven't had much to contribute new to this thread for a bit, but here's a little something. I was wondering how 18th and 19th century (and earlier) folks dealt with travelling and snow removal during winter.  While we maniacally have to remove with plows, tame with salt, etc. , their interest was in smoothing the snow for sleighs. I've barely researched this, but I've found references to municipal snow wardens, and huge, weighted rolling drums that the warden would pull behind a horse team to compact the roads. People delighted in the speed and ease of sleigh travel vs. wagon travel, which would usually be on bumpy, stony roads.
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
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Offline Raptori

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #59 on: April 15, 2015, 11:23:13 AM »
I haven't had much to contribute new to this thread for a bit, but here's a little something. I was wondering how 18th and 19th century (and earlier) folks dealt with travelling and snow removal during winter.  While we maniacally have to remove with plows, tame with salt, etc. , their interest was in smoothing the snow for sleighs. I've barely researched this, but I've found references to municipal snow wardens, and huge, weighted rolling drums that the warden would pull behind a horse team to compact the roads. People delighted in the speed and ease of sleigh travel vs. wagon travel, which would usually be on bumpy, stony roads.
Hmm, wonder how that'd work in the long term (i.e. in a climate where the snowy part of winter lasts months). The snow would probably need to be smoothed every day to get rid of the sled tracks, but then surely it'd slowly compress the snow into ice?
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.