chibifrieza (chibifrieza) wrote,

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everybody here wanted something more

So I spent fifteen dollars and an hour figuring out how my D&D campaign's solar system works. The DM wasn't especially concerned about little things like science when he decided that our planet doesn't spin but swivels, and that our side of the planet gets no sun, but life is supported by the radiant light of its moons, which by their unusually long orbits govern not the day/night cycle but the seasons.

... >_<

Anyway, I went to Michael's, bought some foam spheres, and figured out how to fit most of what the DM said into physically plausible planetary mechanics. We have two moons orbiting in opposing directions in paths offset from one another by something like 45 degrees. We're handwaving the radiance issue with magic, which, considering the cataclysmic history of the empire that used to engulf our whole continent, is reasonable and ties in with why the planet now swivels instead of spinning. I needed to know, though, how the movement of the moons will appear from our part of the world so I can figure out how we orient ourselves when pathfinding in the wild (for what should be obvious reasons, magnetic navigation is unreliable), what the days feel like, how the season changes work exactly, stuff like that.

For starters, the moon will rise and set on the same horizon. Approximately one-twelfth of the planet will be completely in the dark for a matter of days in mid-spring when the moons cross, and a different twelfth on the other side will experience the same in mid-autumn. For simplicity's sake I decided that neither of those regions is on the same continent we are. I have yet to chart out how each moon's arc will impact the weather patterns throughout each season, but it won't be as simple as our general rule of "days get longer, things mostly get hotter" until midsummer and "days get shorter, things mostly get colder" from then until midwinter.

Believe it or not, though, the DM is very good. He's excellent with story, just a little fuzzy on details of time and distance. We can live with that.

That being said, I better get so many experience points for this. :P
Tags: d&d
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