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  1. halisme
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    halisme Contributing Member Contributor

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    Second Opinions on map

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by halisme, Apr 25, 2016.

    So this is my map. Only major settlements and rivers are shown. The river that passes through the mountains noramlly ran through a valley, however, it was damned to flood all the valleys.
    [​IMG]

    Is there anything that seems particularly off geographically, or anything you like or dislike? Sorry if its a little big.
     
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  2. Robert Musil
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    Robert Musil Contributing Member

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    It looks very nice. Only thing is that rivers don't normally flow all the way through a mountain range? They usually begin at the top and flow down, right?
     
  3. halisme
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    halisme Contributing Member Contributor

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    As I said, there was a series of valleys that ran through them that the rivers followed. The people colonising the region dammed it for defensive purposes.
     
  4. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'm a bit confused. You talk about how the river used to flow through valleys before it was dammed. Yet the map seems to show rivers still running through the mountain.
    I think I'm misinterpreting you somehow.

    I'm no expert, but rivers flowing into and out of mountain ranges are not normal and will look odd to a lot of people.

    If you want to imply it goes through a valley, a bit of space between the river and the mountains on either side might be useful to stop it looking like you've just sent your river up a hill.
    Or were you actually envisaging canyons and gorges?
     
  5. halisme
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    halisme Contributing Member Contributor

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    It runs through the valleys and gorges uninterrupted, from right to left, through valleys between the mountains. It was damned on the left side, and over time the valleys flooded.
     
  6. IlaridaArch
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    IlaridaArch Active Member

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    Water flows downwards. Rivers form, when the rain water comes together and paves its way down the land towards the sea (on rare occasions the river flows to a lake, which doesnt end to a sea).

    So we have a mountain range, which then has a gap in the middle. That gap could be somehow created by two tectonic plates, moving away from each other. Problem is, this would make that range impossible in general, because ranges are caused by two tectonic plates moving towards each other (or side-by-side grinding). That kind of land form is simply impossible to be realistic unless something else paved that gap, especially when we have two rivers joining each other in the middle. All of my points are irrelevant, if you don't mind irrealistic world. If you do, a reader knowing this would deem this highly unrealistic.

    Another point is, if I recall it right, there can't be deserts on both sides of the mountain. The Himalayas is a pretty good example. Winds bring the rain clouds from the sea to India, and rains the water on this side. The other side within Mongolia's and China's borders remain dry. That is how Gobi Desert is formed there.

    Deserts can be formed without mountains (Sahara), but if mountains are there, it ensures that desert won't be on both sides. Because rain keeps the land bit wet, and thus makes vegetation possible and stronger.

    So if I read it right, "Ifamalia" is inaccurate and unrealistic sand area on this case.
     
  7. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    I must not be seeing what the others see. It appears that the Narrow Sand area may have been formed by a glacier that pushed through thousands of years ago. Or maybe something like the Grand Teton formation out west where a series of mountains just seem to pop up out of a plain. And IIRC there are desert areas on both sides of the Inyo Mountain range in Southern California, don't know that a river runs east to west since the Sierra's are much taller however.
     
  8. Justin Phillips
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    Justin Phillips Active Member

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    if it's any consolation, I understand what you mean with the valleys in the mountains. I wonder if the Narrow Sand is higher up in elevation than the land Harrow's Gift is in, and the rivers ran down at fast pace carving a valley through the mountain ranges to the other side. Makes sense to me. The Dam is by New Farus, right? It must have an outlet though, since no pool was created.

    *oh, I see, the entire valley flooded, so very deep river right
     
  9. IlaridaArch
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    IlaridaArch Active Member

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    Narrow Sand works, but the sand area to the left of the range in the middle doesn't. There is no reason why land would be that dry to that bit only, while the nearby lands between the sea and the range is healthy with forests.

    That area has that grinding movement between tectonic plates. :) Frankly west coast of US is possibly the most active area with the movement of plates. Well at least it is declared as the high risk target. I think if you google "San Andreas Fault" you should find those articles I read during last winter. Interesting stuff.
     
  10. Martin515
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    Martin515 Member

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    Nice map!

    As others have mentioned, the river is a problem for me. As Justin says, the Narrow Sand could be some sort of higher plateau, but I'm still not convinced. You say the valleys are flooded, but if this is indeed a mountain range, even the valleys between the peaks will be at high altitude. The highest peaks (and the highest valleys) will roughly be along the centre-line of your mountain range (running north-south). There is no way a river would form this way so there will be nothing to damn in the first place as you describe.

    Take a look at any relief map and you will see what I mean. I think you could take a piece of tracing paper (or a new layer in photoshop) and draw a rough contour map to help you understand how your land lies, it can be a difficult thing to visualise.

    So, if there were existing rivers in the valleys, (highly probable and realistic,) these would naturally flow outwards from the high centre. To flood the valleys, damns would be needed on both sides of the range.

    Perhaps there is some enormous lake high in the mountains? this could flow into two (or more) rivers, one going east and the other west. This lake could be natural, or perhaps created by damning, filled by hundreds of streams coming down from the highest peaks. Or a massive glacier could be up there, slowly moving and melting, it could feed several streams and lead to rivers that go both east and west. The bottom line is, the river can never flow in from the right-hand edge of your map, it flows outwards.

    If you are set on one continuous watercourse flowing east to west, then it could (at a push) be a man-made canal (think Panama.) Though this would be a gargantuan engineering project so they'd need a bloody good reason to want to make it. What is the technological level of your story? They would certainly need high explosives.

    Sorry for the lengthy post, just trying to think of ways to make this work for you. Hope this helps!
     
  11. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not being much of a map person, @halisme, I have no critique of the map itself.

    But I am curious what software you used to create it. Care to disclose?
     
  12. Lew
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    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the key word is "continental divide." you will see it in the east in the Appalachians, and west in the Rockies. The rivers flow downhill from the snow/precipitation at the top, and form valleys in their course, they don't follow them.
     
  13. halisme
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    halisme Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's a game called Age of Wonders 3 that comes with a map maker and after that photoshop or an equivalent. I use it for most of my maps as it's simple to use.
     
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  14. Shattered Shields
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    Shattered Shields Gratsa!

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    I have two issues with it. Both of which have been stated already.

    1. The arid patch in the northern sector. Unless that's some weird, sandy depression, it doesn't quite work. The narrow sands make a lot of sense since the mountains would block any moisture coming off the sea.

    2. The river. It just makes no sense, I'm sorry. Water never cuts through mountains like that. Rivers will always take the path of least resistance, and gravity is a mean bitch. And keep in mind that all rivers have a source, typically from a large body of water in a mountain.

    A good example for this would be the Mississippi River system and the Nile river. Four of the Mississippi's major tributaries flow directly from a mountain range (two from the Rockies, two from the Appalachians). The Nile, on the other hand, flows from Lake Victoria in the Ugandan highlands.

    Hope this helps.
     

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