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 Baldur's Gate & Neverwinter Climates?
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Neverwintan
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 05 Jul 2018 :  21:45:37  Show Profile Send Neverwintan a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I have tried to dig up some accurate information on the climates for these regions and have only found minimal information. Perhaps some more knowledgeable people here can help? :)

From the game and some information I have read on the surrounding forests, the Baldur's Gate region seems to be like parts of Italy, Southern France, or even California. It seems to be a bit dry and evergreen trees are prominent. Is this considered to be the canon climate of the area?

I imagine Neverwinter and the surrounding area to be quite lush and green throughout the year, aside from winter. Perhaps more mild along the coast?

Anyway, if anyone could point me to some info about the climate, flora, fauna, or other environmental information regarding these areas, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Balmar Foghaven
Learned Scribe

Canada
100 Posts

Posted - 05 Jul 2018 :  22:10:55  Show Profile Send Balmar Foghaven a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Northern Sword Coast is, going from south to north, mildly temperate to cold tundra. As you approach Neverwinter, the area has extremely harsh winters and summers comparable to the Pacific Coast of Canada. It rains quite a bit, as evidenced in prominent marshlands and moors closer to the coast, and the rainfall from the sea drops off further inland, as evidenced by the presence of things like the Anauroch desert.

The Neverwinter Wood is vast, and I imagine would have a high degree of biodiversity in its flora and fauna. This seems to agree with the climate for the area, as it resembles a real-world temperate forest in its descriptions and portrayal.

As for the city itself, it is warm despite the harsh weathers outside. This is due to the river which flows through the city's center, which is heated by fire elemental residue that runs off from Mount Hotenow (or if you believe the rpg, it's from a mystical underground Source Stone).

"Despair not, for in the end all things shall work out for the best - in at least one timeline."
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Neverwintan
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 05 Jul 2018 :  23:42:09  Show Profile Send Neverwintan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you so much for the input, Balmar Foghaven!

Do you happen to know any details about Baldur's Gate or the Western Heartlands, climate-wise?
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6697 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2018 :  00:29:43  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As far as climate goes: Baldur's Gate is basically San Francisco, Neverwinter is basically Seattle. Ignoring magics and apocalypses, lol.

[/Ayrik]
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Neverwintan
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2018 :  21:08:59  Show Profile Send Neverwintan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the input, Ayrik. I am designing areas in Neverwinter Nights 2 from these two regions. I am hoping my areas are as close to authentic as possible. It seems Neverwinter is pretty good. I'm doing Cloakwood now and I'm designing it as a somewhat-arid temperate area. White pines, elms, and other evergreens dominate the rugged landscape as it has been described from sources. So it does seem that Baldur's Gate is indeed like parts of California, Italy, etc...

Do most of you experts consider the game's portrayal of the Sword Coast region in Baldur's Gate to be accurate?
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rangerstranger
Seeker

USA
31 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2018 :  18:06:48  Show Profile Send rangerstranger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I always thought of Waterdeep as basically Seattle, or maybe a little further North like Vancouver and Luskan as Anchorage and then Neverwinter somewhere in between. Baldur's Gate would be like what Ayrik said with San Francisco or a touch further south.

For European equivalents I'd say Waterdeep is London, Neverwinter is Glasgow and Luskan would be Bergen. Baldur's gate would be on the Atlantic Coast of Spain or Portugal. I've always thought of Sembia and Cormyr as Northern Italy and Southern France respectively.

I think the books do a decent job of describing the climate of said cities with respect to their geography, although I do have a hard time placing just how far North The North is. I think I've read somewhere on these boards that there is a source book which gives Waterdeep a latitude further North, like Northern Scotland.

Edited by - rangerstranger on 12 Jul 2018 18:23:37
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6697 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2018 :  07:25:41  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I said San Francisco because to my mind Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California seems just a little too warm and dry. Baldur's Gate seems to have a dash of temperate climate and wider seasonal variations than I'd expect - it's described as having sometimes hard winters, it gets a little more rainfall, I'd expect it to be a little more lush and green than sandy and arid.

http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=19729
http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=21988
http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=15339

[/Ayrik]
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Werthead
Seeker

United Kingdom
21 Posts

Posted - 15 Jul 2018 :  21:04:26  Show Profile  Visit Werthead's Homepage Send Werthead a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Waterdeep sits at 45°N on Toril (according to the 3rd Edition FRCS), which puts it at the same latitude as Grenoble, Turin, Crimea, the Montana-Wyoming border and Minneapolis (as in, right through the middle of the city). Neverwinter is c. 332 miles north of Waterdeep (at approx. 49.78°N, the latitude of Normandy, Vancouver Island and Newfoundland), Baldur's Gate is c. 590 miles south (at c. 36.45° N, the latitude of Rhodes, the Strait of Gibraltar and the Missouri/Arkansas border).

That's from the Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas, so the distances may not be quite correct for the current Realms (particularly the shrinking of the continent between 2E and 3E). Also, the FRIA was based on the idea that Toril is exactly the same size as Earth. Ed's home Realms setting was originally bigger (12%, I think), but I think TSR and WotC have always worked on the idea that Toril is the same size as Earth.
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Neverwintan
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2018 :  22:13:44  Show Profile Send Neverwintan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I recall reading somewhere on this forum that the region between Baldur's Gate and Nashkel can be dry and arid in some parts as it was portrayed in the game. I know some parts of the Western Heartlands themselves (inland) have valleys and such with cacti, but I sometimes find contradicting information on this. The prevalence of evergreens in the forests nearby gives me the impressed a warm-temperate and semi-arid climate may be accurate though. I always try to get the realms correct when mapping and such, so this is something I've been trying to get more definitive information on. Thank you all for your input, any more will be greatly appreciated!

Edited by - Neverwintan on 06 Aug 2018 22:14:26
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Storyteller Hero
Learned Scribe

USA
132 Posts

Posted - 07 Aug 2018 :  01:00:16  Show Profile  Visit Storyteller Hero's Homepage Send Storyteller Hero a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From the FR wiki on NeverWinter:

"Locals, however, believed that the name came from the city's unusually warm climate, and how its docks were always ice-free in all but the coldest of winters. It was believed this was because of the Neverwinter River that flowed through the city, as it was heated by fire elementals living under the nearby Mount Hotenow in the Neverwinter Wood.[1] The heat given off from the river created a permanent warm climate in the immediate area.[3]"

http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Neverwinter





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moonbeast
Senior Scribe

USA
483 Posts

Posted - 07 Aug 2018 :  02:36:06  Show Profile Send moonbeast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So would it be a decent analogy that the Southernmost region of the Sword Coast (near Candlekeep and below) would be more like Central to Southern California or even Texas…. temperate to warm/arid climate. Which makes sense, since south of that would be the warm southern nations of Amn, Tethyr and Calimshan. Tethyr is probably more temperate of the three since it has large swaths of green forests, but all three nations have arid/desertic badlands as well.
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Thraskir Skimper
Learned Scribe

195 Posts

Posted - 08 Aug 2018 :  03:27:51  Show Profile Send Thraskir Skimper a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It depends what you think cold is, to me they would be hot all the time.

Thay Red
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Neverwintan
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 08 Aug 2018 :  20:29:29  Show Profile Send Neverwintan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I found this in a book online... "The Western Heartlands have best been described by one sage as "Miles and miles of miles and miles." Theirs is a sweeping, open terrain, broken by arid and eroded badlands, rolling hills, and high, forbidding moors. The land is often an area one passes through on the way to other areas traders heading for Cormyr or Waterdeep, adventurers heading for the Inner Sea or the Savage Frontier, or armies and mercenaries heading for Amn and Tethyr. Yet life and civilization flourish here in the form of a handful of small mercantile city-states and a scattering of walled towns."

Lets keep this thread going. Such information will be useful not only to us involved, but others as well!
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31599 Posts

Posted - 08 Aug 2018 :  21:50:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That reminds me of a description of Texas I saw when I was like 10: "Miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles."

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TheIriaeban
Seeker

USA
46 Posts

Posted - 08 Aug 2018 :  22:18:07  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sounds like that sage may have had a jaundiced eye about the Western Heartlands. There are several fairly decent sized cities. There would have to be some agriculture around each to support the population. Also, you have an area called The Greenfields. Unless there was a huge slaughter of some very lost Vulcans/Romulans, there is either a lot of farms or it is a pretty fertile plain.

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Neverwintan
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 08 Aug 2018 :  22:43:38  Show Profile Send Neverwintan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

Sounds like that sage may have had a jaundiced eye about the Western Heartlands. There are several fairly decent sized cities. There would have to be some agriculture around each to support the population. Also, you have an area called The Greenfields. Unless there was a huge slaughter of some very lost Vulcans/Romulans, there is either a lot of farms or it is a pretty fertile plain.



It's from the 2nd Edition Campaign Setting book. Contradictions are common in the source material though, right?
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31599 Posts

Posted - 08 Aug 2018 :  23:34:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't think it's really a contradiction. Even in the more populated nations, there's generally a whole lot of nothing between cities. You'll have scattered villages, isolated homesteads/farms, small fortified compounds, all that stuff, of course -- but you will still be likely to travel half a day or more between signs of civilization, and that's assuming you're on a major road. Get off the main road, and you may go days without seeing any sign of civilization.

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Thraskir Skimper
Learned Scribe

195 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2018 :  00:35:27  Show Profile Send Thraskir Skimper a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I don't think it's really a contradiction. Even in the more populated nations, there's generally a whole lot of nothing between cities. You'll have scattered villages, isolated homesteads/farms, small fortified compounds, all that stuff, of course -- but you will still be likely to travel half a day or more between signs of civilization, and that's assuming you're on a major road. Get off the main road, and you may go days without seeing any sign of civilization.




Mind you in DnD and the forgotten Realms there are a lot of "Monsters" like nasty Wood Elves or Roaming Paladins. Even escaped slaves and bothersome Dwarves are out roaming about. Luckily there are a fair number of Orcs, Gnolls and Ogres to keep them occupied while one is out and about.

However it is always good to carry enough gold handy to bribe those who don't know who you are.

Thay Red
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31599 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2018 :  02:56:36  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not sure I get your point... What does an encounter with random humanoids have to do with whether or not there are signs of civilization?

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6697 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2018 :  09:46:56  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Large cities need lots of surrounding farmland, they build some walls, they maintain patrols and garrisons, they train militias and keep large standing armies and even hire adventurers. They are obligated to keep the local towns and villages under protection, they know that if they don't secure their food sources then someone/something else will.

Places faraway from civilization will therefore tend to have more outcasts, bandits, raiders, and monsters.

But the Realms seems rather densely populated to me. Some kind of permanent settlement in every possible location, large road networks connecting them, plenty of defensible taverns/inns/stables dotted along the way for travellers to take rest every half-day or so of riding.

And I don't see what that has to do with climate. All but the harshest climates and terrains are populated to some degree.

[/Ayrik]
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moonbeast
Senior Scribe

USA
483 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2018 :  10:17:19  Show Profile Send moonbeast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

Sounds like that sage may have had a jaundiced eye about the Western Heartlands. There are several fairly decent sized cities. There would have to be some agriculture around each to support the population. Also, you have an area called The Greenfields. Unless there was a huge slaughter of some very lost Vulcans/Romulans, there is either a lot of farms or it is a pretty fertile plain.



In my 5E campaign…. I have (homebrew) placed a small region nicknamed The Little Shire within the Greeenfields of the Western Heartlands.

You guessed it…. it's a small Halfling Shire, consisting of around 5 or 6 Halfling-populated villages and hamlets (nothing large as a town). My explanation is that The Little Shire was founded some decades ago when the Spellplague and Sundering catastrophes literally flooded and obliterated the original Shires of Luiren to the East. Granted, many many Halflings of Luiren that survived the calamity would have left for "greener pastures". A few hundred of them migrated to the Western Heartlands, and therefore settled in one of the greenest vast plains they could find in the West…… and thus they settled their villages and created The Little Shire.

Vast plains and rolling hills…. perfect for the Hin.

However, I am also a DM that is HUGE in realism and verisimilitude. Things HAVE to make sense, things have to fit into place, any time I add some homebrew into my 5E Forgotten Realms.

A Halfling community with 5 or 6 villages (unwalled) and no one bothers to molest them? Well, of course they are a tempting target for many nasty or greedy beings. Bandits, raiders, Zhents, and occasionally transient bands of gnolls or other Horde races could very well prey on them. How could the Halflings protect themselves?

As of Year 1490 (roughly the starting years of 5E Era), the elders of The Little Shire have just managed to sign a "pact" agreement with The Kingdom of Elturgard (also called The Palatinate of Elturgard in my campaign, since it's a Paladin-governed entity).

The Halflings agree to send their over-supply of produce a couple times a year to help feed the walled city-states of Elturgard. In return, the good-aligned rulers and paladins of Elturgard have promised to offer protection to The Little Shire.

Every ten-day (sometimes more frequently), a cavalry squadron of Elturgard's knights will patrol ride into The Little Shire, whereupon they stay for at least 1 night as guests in the largest village. The Halflings always greet their human protectors with the best baked goods, fresh fruits, freshly caught river fish, and hearty meals.

At least once during these regular "patrols" the Elturgard knights have intercepted a small band of raiders (just human bandits) that were on the verge of attacking the Shire.

The Halflings are content with this Pact with the city-dwelling humans.

The Elturgard rulers see it differently. Humans are humans, they are an ambitious and over-reaching people. Elturgard rulers see the Pact as a testimony that the Halflings of the Little Shire have informally agreed to become VASSALS to their kingdom.

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Neverwintan
Acolyte

11 Posts

Posted - 23 Aug 2018 :  02:15:02  Show Profile Send Neverwintan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks again for the input so far, everyone!
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