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Magic Weather Diversity: Too Much?

 
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virgil
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:16 pm    Post subject: Magic Weather Diversity: Too Much? Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

My party of planewalkers are exploring various Prime worlds for building a base, and I was planning on having one of the worlds they go to have supernatural storms pass through. Nothing dramatically physical like flame tornadoes, as that would necessitate either a barren landscape or dramatically different flora, and I want it to look like a normal Prime before suddenly the sky turns mauve and players are blown 1d6 hours into the future by temporal winds.

Having just two supernatural weather events happen would be enough to set the stage for what they're dealing with, but if they stay for the long term I need to consider the options. I don't want the supernatural weather to be a totally unpredictable roll off a d% wild surge table, but I also don't want it to be Biweekly Temporal Wind & Solid Fog Planet. How many different magic weather patterns is too many? Presumably, I could organize them by season (Winter has chances of Phantom Snow, Spring has occasional Temporal Winds, etc), and give myself ~8 supernatural events.

At first glance, I'm tempted to have the list be: murderous heat (high temp, chance of raging), telepathic storm (everyone's distracted and Concentration DCs go up), incorporeal wind (cold wind becomes incorporeal to all but flesh), phantom snow (nobody leaves tracks), aberrant sky (sky turns psychedelic, fascinating all who can see it), arcane storm (all spells at +/-1d4 caster level), solid fog (as the spell). They'd be organized by season. Biggest issue there is that the collection is kind of disparate with no real rhyme or reason. Would it be better to have a unifying cause behind the supernatural weather, even if not explained to the players, and come up with a fistful of events that fit the theme of the cause?
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think having an explanation is a good starting point, and I think 'temporal winds' could provide exactly that.

When the PCs arrive they see a grove of trees where some are budding (spring) and others are just turning red (autumn). When the temporal winds blow through they can bring snowstorms in summer or spark severe storms/tornadoes when summer temperatures mix with winter temperatures across a temporal divide.

Since you're using temporal winds to 'blend seasons', you wouldn't have to have seasonal weather patterns - you could put everything on the list. The frequency of events would then depend on the frequency of the temporal winds.

The winds themselves could cause interesting challenges. A PC disappears in the wind and 15 minutes reappears with no knowledge of what happened in the intervening time (because they didn't experience it).
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JonSetanta
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Fascinating idea.

Try throwing in an Antimagic Storm where rain cancels magic too.

I'd say 10 patterns would suffice.
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Sir Aubergine
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Weather that affects the stream of time itself.
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I think that you can make the weather as wacky as you want, but you ought to show how the landscape, flora, and fauna (if they exist) have been shaped or have adapted to the extreme environmental stresses. It would be a touch boring to say, "the only fauna on this rock are bacteria, because extremophiles are the only organisms that can cling to life in such inimical conditions." That said, your players might appreciate you giving verisimilitude a shot in the arm.
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Dogbert
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Don't forget magical animals that, if they see their own shadow after hybernating, time is rolled back 2 weeks.
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Hicks
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So, is everybody a hunter-gatherer on this prime? Or are there pockets of survivors living off of murlynd's spoons and 5th level clerics with create food and water?

Is this limited by location? Are objects and creature's affected like above where all the seasons are visible in a patchwork at all times, or are only creature's affected as they are shunted minutes or hours or whatever foreward/back in time compared to who was outside the storm?
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

JonSetanta wrote:
Fascinating idea.

Try throwing in an Antimagic Storm where rain cancels magic too.

I'd say 10 patterns would suffice.


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codeGlaze
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I have specific areas of a campaign that experience "severe" arcane weather. As well as something locals and fauna would know to hide from.

For example, torrential rain storms that sweep across an arcane prairie and act as a roving portal. So if you're caught above ground in the grasslands during the storm you're most likely going to wake up in a different dimension. Admittedly it was a plot device... But limiting the "severe" weather to specific areas or geological locations might help with believing local fauna could thrive.
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LordSunder
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Um... hi Den. Long time lurker here, chipping in because I love the work you guys do and I'm the kind of person who generates the weather months in advance for my current campaign.

If the theme is eclectic, it might be because magic in D&D isn't really codified in what it can/can't do. I'd say go with the themed explanation, and pick a few interesting weather types based on that theme. It only needs to be interesting while the players are in the area, and things like the weather table are pretty easy to extend after the fact, so if they end up staying longer than normal, roll a few more days in advance and add a few more effects, probably 6 maximum unless it's a seasonal thing, in which case maybe 2 per season plus the temporal weather. There are only so many effects we can call 'memorable' before some start to fall off the bottom of the list, after all. Not exactly hard and fast numbers, but I'd say somewhere around 5-8 isn't too many, when you combine it with mundane weather effects.

My players loved Rogue Zephyrs, and all those do is untie/unlock/open everything under Open Lock/Disable Device DC 30 exposed to the weather. Pack harnesses, doors, drawstrings on people's trousers... it kept them occupied, certainly, watching an entire town go a bit mad over it.

Players in my sandbox campaign pay attention to making checks to know the weather ahead of time, needless to say.


Last edited by LordSunder on Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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