Questions tagged [reality-check]

Asks if a given concept is realistic in a given context. Answers should say yes or no, with supporting info. Compare this with the science-based and hard-science tags. This tag should never be the only tag on a question, because this tag frames how a question should be answered, not the topic.

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19
votes
16answers
5k views

How plausible would a self-aware, conscious viral life-form be?

In my story there is a parasitic viral life form which infects multiple species and has the capability to hijack the entire host body as well as communicating with the host. Essential to the story is ...
46
votes
33answers
13k views

Could I have a culture where stealing is not wrong?

I'm working on differentiating primarily nonhuman cultures from human cultures in a fantasy world by adding a bit of Blue and Orange Morality. One way I'm considering adding a unique element to one ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

How to best miniaturize firearms? The idea is to go mechanic route as far as possible, assuming massive energy shortage

How one would go about making firearms smaller? I don't think size per se, more like make them lighter, but at the same time more powerful and having greater range. I would like to incorporate as much ...
3
votes
5answers
409 views

Can my civilization be totally isolated by deserts?

Is it possible for a dry planet similar to Earth* to be inhabited by an indigenous intelligent humanoid species that is restricted to a small area of the planet – perhaps 1000 miles x 1000 miles near ...
-1
votes
0answers
42 views

How viable is it for my mage to use atom-splitting as an attack? [closed]

The average mage can use magic to lift about as much as the average person, and a good mage can use magic to exert about as much force as a knight of about the same tier. My mage has deep knowledge of ...
2
votes
4answers
208 views

Supplies necessary for subterranean survivors to adapt to the apocalyptic surface?

In my world, there was a brutal nuclear war, killing off a large, large amount of humanity. While the (former) working-class and blue-collar survivors spent a century fighting and scavenging in an ...
6
votes
9answers
1k views

Feasibility of Spaceship Artillery

Could something similar to a naval battleship main gun work in the vacuum of space? Let me set the stage: A turret of 2-3 large caliber guns, loaded with an explosive shell. Artificial gravity ...
3
votes
3answers
192 views

An alphabet with alternating reading order

I am in the middle of designing a con-lang that features, among other things a letter reading order that alternates by line from left-to-right to right-to-left and back again. My justification for ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Does prolonged (lifetime) exposure to strong and chaotic geomagnetic storms have any side-effects?

The concept is that my world has a permanent chaotic geomagnetic field going on. Sort of a perpetual Carrington Event, only the source is not a solar storm. In theory, this should make electronics be ...
1
vote
3answers
79 views

Natural continental isolation in the form of a long string of cliffs?

In my worldbuilding there's a planet with a continental population, that was until a certain period of time unknown for the rest of the world. The continent in question is positioned in such a way ...
1
vote
3answers
82 views

How much deterrence is too much deterrence?

So I have a magic system in which Magic Practitioners cultivate Magic Energy. Grants super strength, regeneration, and the associated powers to make them work. There are nine levels to the system. ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

How feasible and capable is a preindustrial land yacht?

This question is based in the desert world described in this question: Can my civilization be totally isolated by deserts? A pre industrial society is adjacent to deserts and mountains to the East and ...
2
votes
4answers
100 views

Is it possible to have train but not have guns? [duplicate]

For a setting I'm working on I have an evil empire that I need to be highly connected as opposed to more medieval or earlier states low connectivity. I'm sure Roman roads were great but still we are ...
5
votes
8answers
16k views

Can we build a 3D maneuver gear from Attack on Titan?

Context In the animé Attack on Titan, armed forces use a special device called 3D maneuver gear (also called vertical movement gear) to move through the air. The system is based on a pair of ...
4
votes
4answers
456 views

Water wall against naval invasions

Setting: a large sea that can only be accessed through a waterway. The waterway is about 15 by 15 kilometers but blocked off by a giant wall stretching from nearly one side to the other that is about ...
7
votes
2answers
177 views

Global warming through waste heat?

Let's assume a world where humanity managed to stabilize the climate again and maybe even reversed the effects of the current climate change. (So that we can ignore the current global warming in this ...
-2
votes
1answer
47 views

Is my air pressure system okay? [closed]

Second question here. So in a previous question I got told to make a wind system to determine precipitation, which in turn needs and air pressure system. I've attached two images, the first is when ...
9
votes
11answers
2k views

With current technology, genetically modified virus able to end mankind

Description : Even in the ⅩⅩth century, biological warfare was studying only existing diseases. But recently we're able to modify viruses in order to cure genetic impairments. Would it be possible to ...
1
vote
3answers
313 views

How would a humanoid race grow grass instead of hair?

I'm making a Mythic Earth setting and I want to figure out how a race of human-like creatures could realistically grow grass or grass like hair. I'm basing the design of these creatures on of the ...
5
votes
0answers
79 views

Is my topology/are my climate zones alright?

This is my first try at worldbuilding, and I need some feedback. I've filled in what I hope are realistic climate zones, ocean currents and topology for this current state of the world, all done in ...
78
votes
18answers
17k views

Is there any real reason for Dwarves not to have cavalry?

It's a fairly common trope in fantasy worlds/stories that dwarves don't use cavalry. But is there any real reason why? Off the top of my head the two most likely ones seem to be: Their size. Except ...
3
votes
1answer
40 views

How would the wings of a sphinx or a manticore need to be in order for the creature to fly?

Obviously giving a creature the ability of flight is much more complicated than just sticking wings on any terrestrial animal. The bones and muscles need to be strong enough to lift the large cat-like ...
7
votes
3answers
338 views

How big would this space station have to be?

Imagine a world very similar to Earth (and about the same distance from its star as we are to our star (it's the planet from my other question). But in another solar system (let's say in Alpha ...
1
vote
3answers
85 views

How would mammals in this world evolve to deal with this problem related to sweating?

My world is extremely acidic. Upon contact with liquid water, the acid forms and can lead to several problems that the natives have to face. One of these problems is that the farther from the extremes ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Butchering meat from mutant giant rats and lizards?

So, in my world, there was a nuclear apocalypse, which resulted in two new species of animals, radrats (capybara sized brown rats) and geckos (3ft. tall leopard geckos) emerging. About a generation ...
18
votes
6answers
6k views

Where Would a Mermaid's Blowhole Go?

Whenever people discuss mammalian-type merfolk, I usually see them be modeled after cetaceans like dolphins and whales. This is perfectly serviceable, but there is one piece of anatomy that I cannot ...
8
votes
4answers
326 views

Is my idea of Wyverns realistic?

I am an aspiring fantasy writer, and I wanted to include rideable Wyverns in my world. There will be a magic system in my world, but I still want to make them as scientifically possible as I can. Now, ...
6
votes
4answers
187 views

How dangerous are these density gloves, and other than punching people what are their uses?

In my fictional story I am playing with the idea of a sort of density gloves that can change density while keeping volume the same. Obviously you can punch people with diamond hard gloves with these ...
3
votes
2answers
69 views

Decomposers produce acid and depend on (liquid) water to perform their function. Is this world coherent?

About my idea: The decomposers of this world perform the degradation by producing and diluting acid in liquid water molecules. In this world, most decomposers are present in the seas and oceans. ...
5
votes
4answers
100 views

Can facial Nerve damage cause all facial functions to shut down (temporarily)?

So I'm writing a character that cut his face very deep making a big x mark on his face at some point in the past to scare off a couple of thugs. He survived the ordeal, but now it so happens that ...
100
votes
28answers
13k views

How to monetize uploaded consciousness?

In 2039, our company was the first to bring a safe and reliable solution to upload someone's mind to the cloud. Although it was 10 years ago, you probably remember the news, don't you? We guaranteed ...
11
votes
23answers
5k views

What would cause a heavy military or civil presence on an island with no strategic value?

Let’s say I have an island, similar to the likes of Kerguel in the Indian Ocean, as the island is hundreds of miles away from any mainland, has no immediate resources, a tiny population and no ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Could cats sustain themselves in caves?

An odd question, yes, but a question I am asking anyway. I have a group of feral cats that lives in a cave system. They've lived down here for generations, and survival of the fittest weeded out the ...
3
votes
2answers
102 views

Biologically classifying a gene-spliced creature?

In my world, new wildlife and creatures have emerged due to the presence of radiation, genetic engineering, and have lead to new mutants and dangerous beasts stalking the Wastelands. A scientist in my ...
7
votes
5answers
827 views

Stopping a Volcano

I've seen in multiple forms of fiction the sort of joking notion of stopping a volcano from erupting by just... plugging up the top with something? Like, a large and sufficiently heavy rock? While ...
26
votes
8answers
18k views

Anatomically Correct Angels

As part II of anatomically correct myths here we have the Angel. Angels appear in many cultures and are most commonly seen as simply winged humans. Is there a realistic way that angels could evolve? ...
8
votes
7answers
634 views

What would it take to make a “true” universal translator? [duplicate]

In Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy I know you put the Babel Fish in your ear and it telepathically translates any language, and the one from Star Trek could translate languages that the Federation ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

Habitable low mass super earth and its habitable high mass moon feasability

So, I've got a fantasy world where there is a super-earth with Earth-like gravity (aim is approximately half-again the diameter of Earth) that is the homeworld of non-native humans(introduced to the ...
7
votes
5answers
988 views

Could a Mosasaurus destroy a ship?

Would a fictional relative of a Mosasaurus, the fictional one being a tad bit bigger, be capable of destroying a ship? For the purposes of this question, assume a wooden ship of comparable size and ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

What would Martian Life be like? [closed]

Basically what I'm asking is how would hypothetical life be able to survive on Mars? Would they need to be created from scratch in some effort to make life on seemingly uninhabitable worlds or ...
-5
votes
0answers
71 views

Is it possible to build the Omni-Directional Maneuver Gear from Attack on Titan? [duplicate]

I've seen other questions similar to this one, but they don't provide the explanations I'm after. What I want to know is: Is it physically possible to build the Omni-Directional Maneuver Gear (ODM ...
2
votes
3answers
214 views

How can giants be incorporated as foot soldiers into a traditional army?

In the hellenistic period, giants are considered gifts and blessings from the Gods, and are honored as minor deities by the culture that they are born into. They measure between 10 - 12ft tall, and ...
28
votes
25answers
5k views

Why wouldn't magically gifted individuals be forcibly conscripted?

Ok, so this late-medieval fantasy setting in question has magic that isn't available to everyone. A small percentage of the population is magically gifted, and only they can cast spells without the ...
3
votes
0answers
46 views

If I remove the capacity for one of the primary flaws, is it inevitable I end up with a boring character? [migrated]

In this world, there are mortals (human beings) and divine beings (gods/goddess). The gods and goddess have personalities, limitations, and what is commonly called "human nature" (they don't ...
2
votes
6answers
427 views

In this universe with these technologies would HUMAN infantry still be useful for the military?

In my previous question about galactic empires the subject of human infantry was not the main focus so it was not discussed properly. And so I think it needs to be covered as I'm really trying to ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Electroreception for human beings

Having been looking into scientifically plausible forms of telepathy, I stumbled across the electroreception senses that exist in some electric fish (and in a few land-dwelling marsupials). My ...
8
votes
6answers
629 views

Is it possible for a terrestrial creature to generate lightning?

Question Context: I've been developing insect-looking bipeds that have evolved on a mostly jungle/ocean planet in addition to small, scattered grasslands. This is justified (from what I've read) by a ...
66
votes
26answers
17k views

How can I prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union?

During the era of the Soviet Union, Russia was a much scarier nation: The Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Space Race. No one can deny these were major events in Russia's history. Let's say ...
-4
votes
7answers
363 views

Biochemical plausibility of blue(-gray) fur?

I want some critters to have gray-blue fur (specifically, colors like Alice blue, cadet gray and marengo). I know there are blue schemochromes, but I'd prefer getting there by absorption rather than ...
9
votes
8answers
3k views

The Galactic Cold War

Two large and powerful space empires are currently engaged in a very tense cold war type stand-off with each other. The Colonists are a republic that is concerned with the safety of their home system. ...

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