Saturday, July 21, 2007

Weather or Not

Beyond what was discussed last time about the weather in games—and this applies to all story telling—there are other factors to consider. The most visible of these factors in indeed visibility. Whether it is heavy rain, driving snow, or clinging mists, the weather does affect how far away things can be seen. This can be an important factor in game combat or in mood creation in fiction. Additionally in both role-playing and stories this helps determine the feasibility of certain actions as well as precipitates the need of other actions.

In a similar manner, knowing the temperature is one thing, but dealing with it as a force that acts upon your character(s) is something else all together. It can dictate right off the bat what clothes will be required. It can present challenges like dealing with heat exhaustion at one end of the scale and hypothermia and frostbite at the other end. More so than rain, snow, or obscuring fog the temperature in a setting can alter the moods of the characters as opposed to the moods of the audience.

Precipitation can be a part of a larger situations as well as working on its own. Watching the news one sees two big scale conditions caused by rain, or its lack. Too much rain and you have flooding. Also too much can lead to deluging rivers, and mudslides. If there is too little rain then there is drought. Drought affects crops and impacts economies and impacts the lives of everyone. It can also be a mitigating factor in wildfires whether they are caused by careless people, or they are caused by another weather factor, lightning.

Carrying over to snow and there are blizzards. They can ground planes, seal off villages, trap people in places they'd rather not be and create situations where they have to deal with other people they would likely not encounter if not for the storm. Heavy accumulations of snow can damage houses as buildings just as unpredictably and suddenly—if not universally—as a tornado. Then lastly there is the avalanche possibility when the conditions or setting is ripe for it. There is a plethora of ways to use the weather in any kind of tale, be it role-played, rolled with dice, or found static in a short story, novel, or movie.

Mood: brainy.
Music: Going Mobile by The Who and Heavy Metal Poisoning by Styx.

The Who: Who's Next
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Styx: Kilroy Was Here

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