Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Worldkit: Climate & Weather

Climate Bands

In reality, climates are complex and tricky - taking into account not only position but immediate and adjacent terrain, wind patterns, ocean currents, and endless other details.  For the purposes of the Worldkit, though, climates are broken into the following (real world locations given as a reference point):

LatitudeClimate Band Real World Locations
0 - 10Equatorial Indonesia, Brazil
11 - 20Tropical Colombia, India
21 - 30Subtropical Hawaii, Saudi Arabia
31 - 40Moderate Morocco, Japan
41 - 50Temperate Chicago, Spain
51 - 60Subarctic Norway, England
61 - 70Arctic Alaska, Iceland
71 - 80Glacial Russia, Finland
81 - 90Polar  Canada
91 - 180Dark Wastes These are part of the inner Torus of Eradu 

Most weather systems for RPGs suck.  Here is why.
  Player: "What is the weather?
  GM putters for a few minutes.
  GM: "48 degrees Fahrenheit, slightly overcast and ..." rolls dice "... looks like rain"
  Player: "I've already forgotten why I cared. Who cares?!  I kill some NPCs"

- or -

  Player: "What is the weather?
  GM: "It doesn't matter - you are going into a dungeon!"
  Player: "I am bored.  Let's start a fire somewhere inappropriate."

Then I found this slice of genius. From what I understand, credit goes to Dave.  Where this is a weather chart for a particular part of the WHFRP world (the Empire), creating a single chart for each Area or Region (or at least new ones when needed) would be easy enough, especially creating them as needed rather than all at once.

  Player: "What is the weather?
  GM: "Mild and sunny with a nice breeze"
  Player: "Rad.  I strip off my armor and go skinny dip in that cursed lake."

With a few simple tables, it is easy enough to roll up for a week or two in case folks have the ability to predict (or sense) the weather.  The results have enough flavor to be interesting and just enough detail to pacify most weather questions without being overwhelming.  Perfect.