Questions tagged [natural-resources]

For questions that deal with the natural resources found in the environment.

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2
votes
2answers
78 views

What is the smallest land mass to develop human civilization? [on hold]

(Related to this question about the smallest land mass to support a civilization, possibly dropped in fully-formed by magic or advanced technology. This question is asked in response to comments there ...
7
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4answers
341 views

What is the smallest land mass to support human civilization?

Let's say we have an Earth-sized planet and the same general solar activity and climatology. However, the continents are much smaller, and it's effectively impossible to accomplish travel between them ...
15
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5answers
4k views

Getting fresh water in the middle of hypersaline lake in the Bronze Age

An ancient kingdom covers a several rivers in a desert basin all converging on a central, hypersaline, lake. Because of its central location, and the importance of the salt, the lake has important ...
18
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3answers
2k views

Closest Proximity of Oceans to Freshwater Springs

I am trying to wrap my head around the geography of a settlement in my world. The settlement is situated along the coast, along a river roughly 500m wide with temperate mixed forests surrounding it, ...
3
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4answers
178 views

What plant life and resources could humans consume if colonies were established on the ocean floor?

I'm interested in creating some construct of a society in the Twilight and Midnight zones of the ocean. By what means could they mine, farm, and trade in what is suppose to be a more futuristic ...
14
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2answers
476 views

Where do I put diamond mines on my map?

I've got a home-brewed D&D setting. Diamonds, in D&D, are needed for resurrection magic, so access to diamonds is literally life and death for any country with clerics capable of casting such ...
1
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5answers
146 views

How would Elves survive underground without prior experience? [duplicate]

Background: An Elven nation that once thrived for thousands of years as a predominantly agricultural race was forced underground because of unexplainable occurrences of extreme weather conditions (...
50
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18answers
9k views

How to not starve gigantic beasts

If I create dragons to be castle-sized animals, how am I supposed to let them eat? Won't they need too much for an earth-like planet? I'm currently trying to build a world where a whole lot of ...
2
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12answers
322 views

How can I make personal mana capacity relevant to a form of magic that doesn't use it?

Dryadism is a passive form of magic that anyone with the skill and training can learn. Unlike other forms of magic, it does not depend on the individual using their mana, but on the natural mana ...
6
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8answers
250 views

Ambush tactics for dummy witches?

Magic in this world focuses on controlling the elements of nature (earth, air, fire, water). Witches perform magic by drawing in energy from the natural world and focusing it into a spell using their ...
10
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18answers
3k views

What aspect of planet Earth must be changed to prevent the industrial revolution?

I am thinking of a planet (I suppose one would call it a parallel earth) where the industrial revolution never happens, and people live with 1700s technology forever. What differences in resources/...
11
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5answers
2k views

Important resources for Dark Age civilizations?

In a time period with medieval technology, what would be the most important local resources? I've put together a small list and broken it down into categories, but I'd like to know if there's anything ...
2
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1answer
166 views

Post-Apocalypse Technology? [closed]

I’m currently writing a book where there is a large explosion in Mid-USA, in the year 2025. Following this, there is a world war that diminishes the US population to ~70 million people. There is a ...
6
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5answers
256 views

MacGyvering medieval poison

Does anyone know of any compound/substance one could have access to in a stone prison cell (From food? The rocks? The metal bars?) that could be processed through rudimentary means into a quick acting ...
5
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5answers
639 views

How to share a mine of irresistable resources in the middle of an ocean without conflict?

The year was 2019. Somewhere in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean (between Bermuda & Ponta Delgada) a new volcano erupted violently for a year. The volcano created a tiny island around 100 ...
7
votes
2answers
230 views

What circumstances would ensure that hybrid species of frankencats are produced in the wild naturally?

I am a mad scientist with an intelligence matching Albert Einstein and Steven Hawking, and plan to create a new species of animal. After watching Napeoleon Dynanite, widely considered by critics to be ...
18
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8answers
6k views

What would be a source of iron to ward off faeries in todays world

In a story I'm writing, I'm going to need iron to ward off magical creatures, faeries to be exact. This iron should not be used in an alloy with other metals or coated with something like paint, tin,...
5
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3answers
231 views

What kinds of minerals or compounds could radiate heat?

I'm working on an RPG in a world with some magical elements, like a type of energy (so far unnamed) inherent in animals and humans. Those with high amounts of this life energy in them are thought of ...
25
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12answers
8k views

How can a mortal woman successfully carry a demigod to term?

Demigods are special humans that are born partly divine. These individuals have been extremely rare throughout history, and always have various significant effects for the world around them, leading ...
3
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6answers
230 views

Would planting trees across an earth-like planet to reduce the CO2 and produce O2, be enough to keep it in balance?

An IPCC report of Oct 8, 2018 indicates - to keep the world temperature rise at or below 1.5 C, we need to reduce our CO2 emissions globally from the 2010 level by 45% by 2030, and a further 55% ...
9
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15answers
5k views

Is a world with infinite resources possible? [closed]

In my current fictional fantasy-ish endeavor, I have a world with a great war. This war is vast and encompasses all of the known land. Due to magical means, soldiers for the war are 'summoned' from ...
21
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18answers
4k views

What's the ideal era for harvesting resources by an advanced society?

It's 2100-ish and we're experimenting on our new time travel device, or let's say time travel bunker. What we gathered of information so far are: We can't really go back in time, literally. Every ...
3
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5answers
103 views

Resource from enemy space ships as currency [closed]

I am developing a space ship game (where you fight against enemy space ships) and want to consider which resource should be used as game currency. In comparison to classic fantasy/medieval universe ...
6
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4answers
2k views

Are there any advantages of rail vehicles in space? [closed]

In my world, humanity has turned to space as a source of resources. Of course, all that stuff has to be transported back somehow. On Earth, that is usually done with seafaring ships or rail vehicles. ...
16
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14answers
4k views

Alternative source of fuel instead of wood

In my world, humans live on an island. The island is not real big, there is a volcano, a river around which is a marsh.The forest on the island is sacred for them so they cannot enter it and cannot ...
9
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11answers
3k views

Why would male organs make better ingredients for a spell?

Witchcraft in this world is practiced openly by witches and is exclusively female. Magic works through long, complicated rituals that require multiple components. The most powerful of these demand ...
7
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3answers
202 views

What is the strongest glass that can be formed from nature?

tl;dr What is the strongest glass that can be concocted from a single reasonably abundant, natural source? (Without nuclear or quantum manufacturing) So I am developing a character for a story. He ...
2
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6answers
756 views

In a tundra, what material would be available to build houses, castles, etc?

I’m writing a story in which the setting is a vast tundra. I had in mind a medieval-like lifestyle, with a few certain changes. But I’m not sure what resources could be used to create a housing in a ...
41
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3answers
6k views

Is it possible for a mine to contain both gemstones and precious metals?

I have been trying to find an answer to my question for a couple hours now but I haven't had any luck on Google though I might be searching using the wrong terms I'm not sure as I know next to nothing ...
1
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1answer
65 views

Reducing power of magical substance [closed]

What would make a substance that powers magic less powerful when it is moved to a dimension where magic goes unacknowledged? I want the source - a mineral or chemical - to become something that is ...
18
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6answers
2k views

What would be the effect of magic ultraviolet rocks on developing societies?

One of my favorite bits of set dressing is magic glowing rocks. You see them in movies, video games, and every other manner of medium conveying fantasy settings. Personally, I'm perfectly okay with ...
6
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7answers
213 views

How would enforcement work with an AI managed world?

In a recent discussion on Dune we noticed that earlier there had been an AI ("thinking machines") managed society for the best possible outcome for the common good and that Paul Muad dib and ...
2
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0answers
86 views

How much damage would the industrial extraction of oil do to an uninhabited jungle island? [closed]

Note: I have done considerable research on this topic and have not yet found an answer that fits the specific conditions of my question. Since my question has unique conditions, (for example: The oil ...
0
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1answer
322 views

Harvesting lightning from within the thunderstorm with a Faraday Cage

Lightning is abundant in some places in Earth. Attempts had been made it collect it. Laser triggered lightning below is the closest attempt. By the time it reaches the ground most of the power ...
0
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2answers
278 views

Shard Technology Uses For City-Defenses [closed]

In my Fantasy world there is a magical resource called shards that is as follows: Shard Powers: For all the people of the world; the benefits and dangers of using shards are well known. Shards are ...
6
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6answers
716 views

There's no oil in space?

On earth, all sorts of machines require heavy oils and lubricants in order to function correctly, be it bearing grease, engine oil, transmission fluid or hydraulic oil, the majority of which are ...
-1
votes
1answer
186 views

Why animals have to breathe? [closed]

First time poster, let me know if this is not about world building. I am not asking about the function of respiration nor the chemical effect of oxygen and stuff. I am asking if there is any good ...
-2
votes
1answer
156 views

Why do my players want kittens? [closed]

I'm designing a board game based on this old riddle: As I was going to St. Ives I met a man with seven wives. Each wife had seven sacks; Each sack had seven cats; Each cat had seven kits. Kits, cats, ...
1
vote
5answers
971 views

Humans with natural “weapons”, how effective would they be and how would it impact development

The difference between humans and most animals, is that animals usually have natural "weapons", by that I mean claws, powerful jaws with sharp teeth, horns, tusks, etc... Humans depend on their ...
13
votes
1answer
244 views

What sort of water sources could occur in a world tree?

I'm working on a fantasy setting that's literally a giant tree on a planetary scale. Magic is in effect, so concerns of how a tree that large could survive are irrelevant, but I need to figure out ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

Resources and shelter for water-based fantasy world [closed]

Say there is a fantasy world where land is extremely rare, with only a few islands specling it's surface. The rest of the world, however, is covered in a single ocean. What would a society be like in ...
7
votes
5answers
459 views

What are the political pitfalls with the ability to shift liquid water to any location?

I would like to propose being able to transport water at very low cost to any location on our current or near-future Earth. The mechanism of transport is technology based, and results in 100% pure ...
7
votes
3answers
422 views

Is it possible for a planet to have few metal ores but an overabundance of gemstones?

Background: The planet is very volcanic, having at least a dozen volcanoes on any landmass and even more in the oceans. I want the planet to have very few metal ores but a complete overabundance of ...
4
votes
2answers
183 views

A world with sentient life but very few natural resources to spare

Background: My settings world has sentient life around the space-faring level. The problem is that the planet itself has very few natural resources available, they’re too deep down to harvest or ...
1
vote
5answers
156 views

Resources that a new space colony cannot produce on its own [closed]

Setting: Sci-Fi Roleplaying Game Location: A large colony on the Fronteirs, far from any hub, but the size of modern city. I am writing a mission where my players are going to a relatively new ...
13
votes
9answers
5k views

Using a quarry as a water reservoir

Our country, which is located in thousands of km2 of plains, needs a way to store water. Dams are not an option due to the fact that there are no mountains. We have retired mining quarries that are ...
6
votes
2answers
635 views

Is a habitable desert planet with large fossil fuel deposits possible?

I'm working on a sci-fi Western scenario on a habitable desert planet along the lines of Tatooine from Star Wars and Arrakis from Dune. For it to be habitable there has to be water below the surface ...
20
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7answers
2k views

How can I get enough food into my underground empire?

I'd like to have a large underground world. Imagine the "Underdark" which will be familiar with DnD folks. A huge network of large and small caverns connected by winding passageways. The occasional ...
5
votes
3answers
260 views

What fossil fuel may be found on a carbon planet?

My scenario is a civilization on a carbon-rich planet. The planet has a hydrocarbon atmosphere, oceans and clouds. Most rocks are carbides. The only flammable substance in such an atmosphere is oxygen....
0
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4answers
162 views

Generate electricity using altitude and pipe

A present day society has had to relocate from their coastal community and have taken refuge at the top of a very high mountain roughly 10,000 feet above sea level. This mountain is the most prominent ...