Joined: Jan 05, 2002 Posts: 568 Location: Sky Island, So Cal
Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:42 pm Post subject: More Realistic Wind at Elevation
I have been using the weather generator from the Glossography for my new Greyhawk campaign and am in general satisfied with it.
However, the party is now working their way high into the Barrier Peaks.
The RAW say any time there is no precipitation, wind is d20-1 mph, plus 5mph for every 1000' of elevation in the mountains. This appears excessive to me. Certainly that would work for gusts on an already windy day, but as a typical background it seems too much.
I have lived for the last twelve years at 5000 feet in two different places - central Utah sagebrush at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains and the San Jacinto Mountains of California. Both places certainly saw days where the wind was 25 to 44 mph, but these were acknowledged as rare, windy days, not the baseline.
Denali in Alaska (peak at 20,000'), I am sure, can have gusts over 100mph in a storm, but that would be rare, and not a daily average either.
With just a bit of googling I have found most real world weather estimators of the effects of altitude on wind use a power law, with the exponent relating to the roughness of the ground cover, and use the wind speed at ground level to calculate it at altitude. It seems like they are assuming the elevation to be above ground, rather than above sea level. I don't need anything that accurate, but some easy rule that would give more realistic results would be appreciated.
Suggestions? _________________ My campaigns are multilayered tapestries upon which I texture themes and subject matter which, quite frankly, would simply be too strong for your hobbyist gamer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Mp7Ikko8SI
Joined: Sep 09, 2009 Posts: 2389 Location: SW WA state (Highvale)
Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:26 am Post subject:
I also have made widespread use of the elements, terrain, and weather in my campaigns and use a mixed hybrid of the Glossography and Wilderness Survival Guide for weather determination. Unfortunately, I haven't found anything 'useful' or realistic, either, for wind determination, and don't even use the altitude formula presented that you mentioned was excessive (for just that reason!). Not only that, but I have not found a consistent chart or table that gives the elevations of various regions, for that matter, to reliably use it!
I prefer the matrix table for terrain from the WSG b/c it already includes temperatures based on elevation. It doesn't help much with wind speed and wind chill (which I DO use in my campaigns), unfortunately, and I don't really prefer to use what is provided. I like the d20-1 mph method of the Glossography and modify it based on terrain, but as yet have not found a good modifier for elevation. So I keep it as is and change it based on desire and convenience.
Not sure I have been much hope, sad to admit...
If you don't have a copy, I HIGHLY suggest you grab one of the Wilderness Survival Guide. It is one of my FAVORITE source guides.
With the advent of the internet and internet weather reporting, it should be possible to choose a similar location in the real world and use the weather it was experiencing at a similar point in the year in the past and base your campaign weather conditions off that.
That's what I'm planning to do in the next game I run, anyway.
You're probably aware of this, but this is what I use. It's a Greyhawk-specific weather generator based on the Glossography and has the infinite advantage of I don't have to roll anything or spend time on generating weather.
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