New answers tagged

1

Imagine a "log" of extremely resistant material maybe 100km long and several kilometers thick, floating vertically just under the planetary surface so that it protrudes into planetary mantle and is pushed by currents there. It is thus moving differently than the crust tectonic plates over geological timescales. On its top there is the mountain. I can't ...


1

If you consider a glacier to be a mountain of ice, then that could be an answer. Glaciers have a very slow lateral movement which is a result of melting unevenly at the base. This means that over a long period of time, the glacier will eventually be in a different location from where it was first measured to be. If you want your mountain to be a pure ...


6

Of course! There used to be a very famous mountain called the Flanabjarg. Famous now only because it's in Sweden. But, you say, Sweden is full of mountains! But what makes Flanabjarg interesting is that, even now, it has a garrison of Norwegian soldiers on top, the so called Black Pillars, for it's a matter of history that Frederick V established a border ...


0

You could do worse than the Colorado river in the US. It starts up in the mountains near Denver. From Wikipedia Most of the basin is arid, defined by the Sonoran and Mojave deserts and the expanse of the Colorado Plateau, although significant expanses of forest are found in the Rocky Mountains; the Kaibab, Aquarius, and Markagunt plateaus in ...


2

Assuming you don't want a fantasy explanation: get some "helpful" nearby gas giants. In the right configuration, the terrestrial planet can end up experiencing large-scale variations in inclination and orbital eccentricity on timescales of tens of thousands to millions of years. The paper "Effects of Extreme Obliquity Variations on the Habitability of ...


0

In Atlantis Found by Clive Cussler, a similar event happens, although the planet's tilt does not change. An asteroid hits Hudson Bay in Canada and brings about a period of major geological upheaval in which Antarctica moves many thousands of miles closer to the South Pole within a few years and is covered by ice. There are also major earthquakes and tsunamis,...


3

Yes, such an event is possible, whether it is survivable or not is a different question. You wouldn't even need to tilt the axis by that much, the Earth's ice ages are caused by a 25,000 year cycle of procession around its axis. If your planet had a close encounter with a large body, it would be possible for it to alter the planet's rotation. A massive ...


0

You need a glacier and abscence of rains. Best way to achive this - strategicaly placed high mountains on one side of an island - they would keep glacier and cast "wind shadow" with no-rain zone on (almoust) all the island. Mamonth steppes should be on sort of mesa in our warmer climate, so some traps would help. Mamonth steppes formed between deserts and ...


0

By evolution. It may possible when there are only few predators and competitors for the primary food source of mammoth and also no drastic environmental changes. Maybe there was an earlier source of climate change that makes the environmental change smother but stretched duration. Mammoth may be altered because of fitting process. So maybe you could run an ...


7

Your planet will either be incredibly cold, or have no heavy elements. Krypton is a fairly light noble gas, it boils at 119K, and it's fairly rare. Naturally, such an element would never form the core of a planet. Even for planets where krypton occurs as a solid, heavier, denser materials will sink and form the core of the planet, especially when the ...


1

Australia could build a canal and store monsoon flood waters in underground reservoirs. They really do not have to build desalination plants near their cities when tens of billions of cubic meters of water are washed out to sea. They claim the distances are too great and the costs a burden but Australia is thinly settled and most of the country is still not ...


-1

and any other ideas about floating landmasses I would be very grateful! ->I've loved floating castles/cities ever since seeing the cover of the old DND Dungeon Masters guide. There are many ways to answer this. Do you want to have the floating cities be a major part of the story & world? So for example, the cities constantly need to acquire resources. ...


0

Ursula K. LeGuin, in her Earthsea trilogy, had the Roke Wind, which prevented anyone wishing to do harm to the island of Roke from sailing too near it. It would sink their ship or blow it away. Do this in reverse. Personally, I would create a few interesting places that the adventurers could go if they tried to escape. For example, there is a permanent dip ...


0

Shipworms - they live in the ocean surrounding your island and are well-known to eat through wood - the fishing boats & docks constantly develop leaks & need to be repaired, and no sane person ever goes farther than they can swim back because of this risk


5

You can't People have free will. They can choose to leave and do nothing but being "adventurers" they are motivated by loot and XP so it's highly unlikely it will ever be an issue. The players spending several months of game time rolling for wind direction and random encounters plus building proficiency checks for the raft verses a storm and suddenly the ...


1

The demon has warped space around the island I'm assuming that the villagers on this island would also try to leave, given the opportunity, and they've had way more time to build a ship or raft that the players will. So what's keeping them there? Inspired by legends of the mysterious "black hole", the demon lord Kazuzu has crafted a powerful spell. Ships ...


0

Personal motivation. So your players are shipwrecked on an island. They are hurt, they are incapacitated. In fact, they only survive because X helps them. X rescues them with X's little boat, X shelters them in X's little house, X nourishes them from X's little supplies. Then X gets culled by the demons, while X's children (who the characters never saw, ...


13

TL;DR Requirements for building a reasonable ocean going ship are beyond a group of normal DnD characters, they don't have skills either to build it or to navigate it, and they have no knowledge of how far and in which direction any civilized land lies. Their only hope is that demons might have something that helps. Being lost on a remote island is no ...


0

A few things could be used. Isolation You could make the island so far from the mainland that it would be impossible to sail back. If your players were on a shipping route, maybe a strong storm caused them to veer waay off course. Think Point Nemo, but an island. Strong Currents Currents can be used to carry people to distant places, but can also hinder ...


1

Difficult ocean voyage Building and navigating a long-distance ocean-going vessel aren't particularly easy skills to just develop on your own just because you need them. If the players were on a long distance voyage, many days away from any safe land when they were wrecked on this island, then this would be quite a difficult and time-consuming endeavour. ...


0

Its seems like a combination of all of the above is the best answer Reefs, shoals, and man-eating critters make simple rafts too dangerous. But, there aren't proper tools to build a real boat than can make the trip safely. But, if they succeed in the quest, then they get tools to build a boat if they need it. Or they get a boat as part of the payoff. ...


0

For another D&D inspired solution the Island exists in a pocket dimension similar to the Demi Plane of Dread that the Ravenloft setting exists in. In that setting player characters can pass into the Demi Plane through the mists and are prevented from leaving it by the Dark Powers that control the area. Their escape can equally be allowed at the whim of ...


7

What about skills? Building boat which will safely sail through stormy sea requires skills time and resources. Sailing and navigating it to get back also require skills. With some luck, your players doesn't have complete set of them. Obviously they could try to rely on folks who live on the island. But will they accept coin, or favour. What about ...


3

Because of sea monsters/treacherous tides/other impassable conditions, the castaways are unable to safely leave (they might have tried and been turned back). There is a way out but only the villagers know it. But they have been unable to leave (or save themselves from the demons) because they lacked something the castaways have unknowingly brought with ...


18

Session 0: Get Player Buy-In Probably your best bet is to have a session 0 (always a good idea when you're getting ready to play an RPG) and discuss this with the players. Ask them if they have reasons why their characters might not want or be able to leave the island. You'll have a lot more buy-in if the players helped come up with the idea(s) themselves, ...


4

First of all, this is D&D. If you are going out of your way to prevent players from leaving your setting, you'd be railroading your players. That's not what D&D is about. Having said that, why are your players there? If they're there because their ship got of course, and they are shipwrecked, your players have no motivation to stay on the island -- ...


2

Reefs, while barrier reefs often shelter near shore waters creating calm lagoons they do so by breaking the energy of the ocean in walls of waves. Without local knowledge attempting passage through such reefs is often suicidal, there's a reason that over 1600 ships have been lost on the Great Barrier Reef. If the locals don't take to sea there is no local ...


117

Sea monster. https://www.belloflostsouls.net/2019/05/dd-monster-spotlight-dragon-turtles.html D&D has so many great sea monsters and it is hard to get them any use if you stick to dungeons. I am fond of the dragon turtle. In your campaign, the turtle is charmed / compelled / enslaved by the demon. Your players winding up on the island was not by ...


5

Magic Considering the constant threat of being ritually sacrificed and/or eaten by their demon overlords, many inhabitants of the island will certainly consider the option to just leave the island and settle somewhere with less abusive neighbors. But the mighty demon lord certainly wouldn't want his livestock to escape. So he has to make sure that the ...


7

Since nobody's mentioned it yet: Supplies They don't know how far away the next habitable land is, and they don't have the means to preserve fruit and potable water for more than 3 or 4 days. There is a surprising shortage of fish in the seas nearby, so they can't rely on the day's catch to supplement their stores


14

A curse? The players wander into the town after the shipwreck, do regular adventurer stuff then eat, drink, make merry and have a Long Rest at the local Inn. But, the staff seem oddly apprehensive, constantly asking "are you sure you want all this free food we're offering?", "do you definitely want to stay in the luxury suite at the Inn?" In the morning, ...


8

The island is ruled by a demon and its monstrous servants, right? How many of those servants (or the demon itself, if it cares to do its own patrolling) can fly? A raft on the sea would be easily spotted - and easily attacked - by any sort of aerial patrols. Just make sure the PCs are aware of this, perhaps by having the townsfolk tell them stories about ...


14

There's nothing to build with Much like Easter Island or Zavodovski Island, there are no trees, no reed beds, no large animals. Once you're there, either someone comes along with a boat to pick you up or you're staying for the foreseeable future. How you actually get your adventurers off such an island is a matter of plot, but I'm sure the big bad either ...


48

Have you seen Cast Away? When the main character attempts his first escape from the island on a self built raft, he fails because outside of the lagoon the ocean is fierce and smashes the poorly built raft. Indeed, if you look at images of atolls and their lagoons, you will see that, while the lagoon is usually calm, the open sea is way more active. Should ...


4

Depending on your swamp there are two key pieces of information: Routes where the water is always shallow enough and the ground firm enough to walk Routes where the water is always deep enough to use a small boat A swamp is a maze without definite pathways. The conditions of the above routes could repeatedly cross each other without interfering, but ...


3

If your swamp is a very hostile environment where the Swamp Rats have culturally adapted to as a matter of survival then beyond detailed knowledge of the terrain, they'll have skills that make them dangerous foes. (1) Since they hunt in the swamp, they learned how to move without disturbing nesting birds. This lets them take their prey without warning. A ...


9

It seems to me the tactical advantage they'd have would be first and foremost knowledge of the terrain. If they've been mucking about there as nomads for a while, they'll have learned where the (and I'm guessing at wildlife, so please allow for these being examples) 'gators hang out, where the birds nest, how to watch for water moccasins, and what to put on ...


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