Questions tagged [alternate-worlds]

For questions about worlds other than Earth that are significantly different. This could be a water, ice, barren or other planet. For questions about planets similar to Earth with specific differences use the *earth-like* tag.

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72
votes
15answers
15k views

How can Santa exist when adults buy the toys?

This really gets to me when I watch modern-day Christmas movies. These movies usually present the notion that Santa exists and adults don't believe in him. From what I've seen, it's either because of ...
70
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18answers
14k views

Would a culture with magic consider it magic? [closed]

I was discussing with a buddy of mine about magic and how it could easily be explained using alternate laws of physics. She replied simply "Magic that relies on alternate physics is only magic to ...
70
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12answers
20k views

Do centaurs suckle from horse nipples or human nipples?

This has been puzzling me, because if the human half needs human nutrients, then suckling from the human nipples makes sense. But the horse half needs different nutrients, so which set of nipples ...
53
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11answers
10k views

How could mushroom/fungi forests be possible?

I am currently working on a setting which is fantasy but based around a soft approach to speculative biology. It is a tidally locked world with the habitable region based around the terminator ...
53
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11answers
7k views

Infinite flat world

Instead of discovering that earth was round, we find that we live on a infinite, flat "earth". What are some cultural implications if we were to live in a world like that (disregarding any physical ...
48
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18answers
10k views

Where to hide the Illuminati?

Go to the kitchen, open your baking utensils and make yourself a tinfoil hat. Put it on your head before continuing to read this question. Done? Ok: Let's have an alternate Earth where The Illuminati ...
44
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15answers
13k views

How could elves survive without any fat cell in their body?

Have you ever seen a fat Elf? I haven't, and I think there's an unexpected reason. You see, Elves aren't really the best workers or at least working the land and cultivating food is not something ...
44
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20answers
9k views

How can I explain English existing in a fantasy world?

My hero travels from our world to a fantasy world where people speak English. While there are other nations that speak non-English languages, the particular land she arrives in does. How can I explain ...
41
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9answers
7k views

How does Santa keep the elves from revolting?

As it's that time of year I thought I'd do a Christmas themed question that is a big problem for the old man up north; Why don't the elves rise up and kill Santa? First let us consider the horrible ...
41
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18answers
5k views

Papers, please: Can characters trapped in our reality acquire enough paperwork to be legal?

Being at Anime Expo last weekend got me thinking about all the "trapped in another world" anime I watched as a kid: Inu Yasha, Fushigi Yuugi, Escaflowne, etc. The general plot of these is that a high ...
40
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23answers
13k views

Make slimes great again, but how?

Slimes are seen as merely base-level enemies which don't really challenge the heroic main character, the Chosen One. My question is how to make slimes incredibly powerful without using magic. They ...
36
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19answers
5k views

What sort of world would help prevent an intelligent species from discovering evolution?

I’m working on a first contact story set in the near future where an advanced alien species arrives at Earth and reveals itself to humanity, but is utterly baffled by the diversity of life that it ...
35
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28answers
12k views

If my world is flat (obviously not possible) how would I explain the edges?

I don't want my world to be infinite, that would be a pain to draw maps for. And I need it to be flat (for a slightly unrelated reason). How would I explain why no one has looked over or seen the edge ...
33
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17answers
12k views

How to defend when attacked by an avian species?

Bird people are humanoid creatures with a wingspan of 4 meters, they are as tall as humans and the fittest of them weight 72 kilograms or slightly less, so they are quite lighter than the average ...
33
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24answers
10k views

How to conquer a country, forever

I am going to post this question in general terms, but resemblance with our Earth is totally intentional - to the level that I am tagging this question alternate-world, so if unsure, assume the ...
31
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4answers
7k views

A planet rotating twice per second; what mass is needed to hold it together, and how oblate would it be?

I want to create a planet that has a frequency of two rotations per second, thus making a "Planet without Night". The planet will be like a flattened disc, due to inertia causing the planet to be an ...
29
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16answers
4k views

Can the existence of an orthogonal reality be proven to those who cannot experience it?

In the following I consider "reality" to be "all the sensorial evidence a living being can obtain by interacting with its surrounding world". I am setting up a world where two realities exist, but ...
28
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13answers
9k views

Medieval ways to tell time, without a sun or stars

I am looking for ways to tell time when the sky is completely blacked out all the time. I am aware of nails and other metal objects inserted into candles. Due to vegetation dying due to this calamity,...
26
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28answers
22k views

A guy asked me to kill 15 trolls, how do I prove that I did it?

In my world there are adventurers who are squeamish about getting blood on them. Trolls are commonly hunted by adventurers. What trophy can my squeamish adventurers collect from these trolls, and not ...
26
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12answers
8k views

World where gender roles are swapped

This world is background for erotica story which came into my mind. Porn/erotica worlds are commonly totally unrealistic: Pizza delivery is always on time, always delivered by fit male at exactly the ...
26
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10answers
2k views

Is there a reason why similar or the same musical instruments would develop?

In a lot of fantasy world's the instruments used are the same or very similar to our own, the real reason why is obvious: the creators would have to create a music system from the down up which is ...
26
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5answers
5k views

Can I just stack the Earth?

We live on this sphere of matter, and most people are content with that. However, it is really inefficient! A sphere is the shape with a minimal surface area compared to its volume, so assembling the ...
26
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5answers
11k views

What if an Earth-like planet had no axial tilt? (impact on ecosystem)

The Premise The Earth rotates on its own axis, which is tilted by about 23 degrees. The setting for my fantasy novel is an earth like planet without the axial tilt, all other factors remaining ...
24
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16answers
6k views

How can I brighten the night sky (just a bit)?

Okay so we have the case: My world is Earth-like(Spherical) Slight fantasy, but also some science It has a normal day-night cycle and seasons I need for a particular area to make the sky somewhat ...
22
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6answers
5k views

How much time would it take for a planet scale Miller-Urey experiment to generate intelligent life

Stanley Miller's experiment was an amazing step forward in unifying inorganic and organic chemistry. It was also a landmark development for the theory of chemical evolution. Miller-Urey Experiment ...
22
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10answers
5k views

How to prevent your enemies from digging under you?

So, my world is a sphere (roughly) within hyperbolic space. Since the surface areas of spheres in hyperbolic space grows exponentially with radius, it has the same surface area of the Earth (indeed, ...
21
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7answers
5k views

A World with Freshwater Oceans?

Is it possible to have a Terran-like world where the seas and oceans do not have high levels of salt? Could, in fact, oceans and seas exist that were fresh-water? Excuse my ignorance. Assumptions: ...
20
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14answers
2k views

Why would you build underground defensive structures in an an alternate world medieval europe?

Assuming a world otherwise like ours and at the same technological level of medieval Europe, what change in the world might have caused people to build defensive structures underground rather than ...
20
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10answers
6k views

How would a “reversed planet” be able to exist?

I want to write a novel situated in a “reversed planet”: there are two stars orbiting each other, and there is a little spot exactly in the middle of the two that is suitable for life. A normal planet ...
19
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7answers
6k views

How would a planet-sized computer power receive power?

Imagine: A Kardashev Type I civilization mainly resides on a planet analogous to Earth, with one moon, analogous to Earth's moon. Eventually, the society grows so complex that machines filling space ...
18
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17answers
5k views

Would there be evolution on a perfect world?

Imagine a planet with the same climate all on the surface. There is only one living creature on this planet (let's say a plant to avoid food problem). It is perfectly adapted for the climate. And as ...
18
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6answers
2k views

What type of architecture would an arachnid /crustacean likely to have? [SCULPTING FINISHED]

UPDATE!!!! - FINISHED THE SCULPT :D [UPDATE: Much Much bigger response and feedback than i anticipated, I am hugely greatful and overwhelmed by the ideas and the help, I will keep the thread going ...
17
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9answers
6k views

How large can a world be in fantasy? [closed]

As far as I read books, I met various worlds. Each of them has own size. Middle-earth is very large and partially not limited (some parts are only mentioned). Discworld is very large, but quite ...
17
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4answers
2k views

What would it be like to live on a rapidly rotating planet?

On Earth we don't really notice many effects of the Earth spinning, apart from the day-night cycle. It took a long time for people of Earth to realise that it even was spinning, but there are ...
16
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5answers
2k views

Development of society with random encounters

A staple of many games is the existence of random encounters - while traveling from point A to point B, the heroes are attack by bandits/wild animals/monsters/whatever. When defeated, the enemies will ...
15
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8answers
3k views

Do I have to rename all creatures in a new world? [closed]

I'm building a whole new world for a table top RPG so I don't want to completely alienate my players from the world. But if I want to include horses or whales, do I need to reinvent the wheel and make ...
15
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6answers
2k views

How to accomplish planetary independence

Inspired by this question: How many of a Typical Sci Fi Army would you need to take a planet? Let's have a Galactic Empire which spans the galaxy. The Empire is ruled by The Emperor from one central ...
15
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2answers
3k views

Elves have alcoholic blood

From further investigations I see that someone came with an idea that gives support to my theory that elves don't have body fat. Their idea was that Elves store their energy as ethanol in their ...
15
votes
3answers
796 views

Could a habitable planet form with no major bodies of water?

In the book Dune by Frank Herbert. Arrakis is a desolate planet composed entirely of deserts. Water is a precious commodity due to its rarity. The Fremen have found ways to live on its surface, ...
14
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23answers
4k views

Weapon developed in modern melee only world

Let's say a global law has been passed in the year 2000 that disallows any projectile, explosive or otherwise long distance weapon or put differently, only allows variations of melee weapons. Thrown ...
14
votes
7answers
810 views

An enviroment where a bird-like creature can survive on passive feeding

The question about a diet of dust brought up a few creatures that survive on dust, however they were all insect-sized or smaller. This got me thinking about the Blue Whale, which survives on a diet of ...
13
votes
10answers
3k views

Planet with a surface area that’s 90% water or more?

I’m thinking that there will be one small continent, about half the size of Australia or a bit larger. The single, massive ocean is inhabited by an aquatic humanoid species (yes, think mer-people) ...
13
votes
6answers
876 views

Atlantis and Sewage

How do underwater cities (with aquatic human-like citizens) handle sewage? What type of technology would be possible to use underwater in order to take care of the mess?
13
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4answers
2k views

Simulating gravity in a gravity-less universe

In my fantasy universe, there is a disc-shaped world that has a flat surface that has roughly the same atmosphere as Earth (see this); the atmosphere moves along with the world. There is no gravity in ...
13
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10answers
3k views

How could two alternate realities “blend” at a single point in space time?

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse The multiverse (or meta-universe) is a hypothetical set of various possible universes including the universe which we live in. Together, these ...
13
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9answers
8k views

One day, China suddenly stops all exports. What happens to the world economy?

I am more curious about the immediate effects on local and global socio-economics rather than the likelihood of the rest of the world declaring war on China or were the other countries would get their ...
13
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8answers
1k views

Economic Effects of 'The Rift'

This is going to require some explanation to set up, as I have been working on this world for a while. The world is an isolated alternate dimension (no stars in the sky) that contains a bizarre ...
13
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1answer
1k views

What effect would three moons have on ocean/landscape formation?

I'm building an alien world for a game mod, and want to avoid any blatant mistakes from a world-building perspective. The world has three moons visible in the night sky - two on one side near each ...
12
votes
8answers
4k views

What would happen if everyone in the world desired equally to start a business?

Consider the following concept: Everyone in the world is naturally a hard worker. Everyone in the world is naturally of equal intelligence. Everyone in the world receives equal educational ...
12
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3answers
2k views

What would the world be like after 10,000 years if we all suddenly disappeared?

My story involves everyone in the year 2015 suddenly disappearing. What would visitors to Earth find if they arrived in the year 12015, or 10,000 years after we all disappeared? Assume none of our ...

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