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 dams in the FR
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superiksar
Acolyte

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2018 :  23:03:48  Show Profile Send superiksar a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
aside from a tiny mention of a dam in daggerdale, Ive never come across any mentions of dams in the realms. If anyone could point me in the direction of any info, Id be grateful. Thanks ~

Thraskir Skimper
Learned Scribe

165 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2018 :  01:03:51  Show Profile Send Thraskir Skimper a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What are you going to use a dam for?

Thay Red
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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

786 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2018 :  03:28:46  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To open aboleth farms. They're an endangered species.

EDIT: In all seriousness, there are probably dams near major villages and the like, even if they're not described.

Edited by - LordofBones on 03 Aug 2018 03:31:12
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
590 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2018 :  06:01:31  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by superiksar

aside from a tiny mention of a dam in daggerdale, Ive never come across any mentions of dams in the realms. If anyone could point me in the direction of any info, Id be grateful. Thanks ~



I don't think there is any mention of formal dams.

My guess is that the feats of engineering required for any kind of high head or large dam just isn't possible with the current level of non-magical tech.

I don't think anything larger than the scale of a local mill possibly with a hand built rock dam that would be temporary at best.

There is several reasons for this: lack of Portland cement technology and sources, lack of high grade steel.



The biggest reason would be lack of need.

There doesn't seem to be any lack of water or resources mentioned anywhere. So there simply wouldn't be any need or payoff to all the trouble and cost of building a high head dam.

Just some thoughts. It's your world.
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Storyteller Hero
Learned Scribe

USA
121 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2018 :  06:01:33  Show Profile  Visit Storyteller Hero's Homepage Send Storyteller Hero a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you follow the large rivers and/or canals on the Forgotten Realms maps and look at where the towns and cities are, you can get an idea of where there might be dams,

Reservoirs and irrigation are what come to mind when thinking about what dams are used for.


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moonbeast
Senior Scribe

USA
451 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2018 :  06:38:56  Show Profile Send moonbeast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thraskir Skimper

What are you going to use a dam for?



The Werebeavers need a home too, you know?

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TheIriaeban
Seeker

USA
21 Posts

Posted - 03 Aug 2018 :  22:39:08  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wikipedia has some interesting information on even ancient dams. That will give you an idea of what is possible for the FR technology level. Also, I remember seeing how dams were used in Mesopotamia and Ankor Wat to control flooding. I haven't see anything in any of the FR books that mention flooding. I know that in the Grand History of the Realms, they mention a few plagues, a drought or two, and a year of abundance but nothing about a flood. Maybe there is a Realms wide Weather Wizard Guild that makes sure that there is just enough water for everyone.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dam

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7261 Posts

Posted - 04 Aug 2018 :  01:40:01  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Old empires has them

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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ElfBane
Seeker

USA
47 Posts

Posted - 04 Aug 2018 :  11:10:04  Show Profile Send ElfBane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

Wikipedia has some interesting information on even ancient dams. That will give you an idea of what is possible for the FR technology level. Also, I remember seeing how dams were used in Mesopotamia and Ankor Wat to control flooding. I haven't see anything in any of the FR books that mention flooding. I know that in the Grand History of the Realms, they mention a few plagues, a drought or two, and a year of abundance but nothing about a flood. Maybe there is a Realms wide Weather Wizard Guild that makes sure that there is just enough water for everyone.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dam


Amazing! A culture (albeit a made up one) without a Flood myth.
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superiksar
Acolyte

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2018 :  06:52:43  Show Profile Send superiksar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
thanks for the help. going to dig out my old empires and see what's up.

i always get bogged down with infrastructure questions. even in a world with magic that can create food and water, erect stone walls, and provide continual light, i often find myself spending an absurd amount of time wondering about dams, roads, bridges, and sewers.

and let's not get started on food and water. create food and water has always struck me as an incredibly powerful spell.

anywho, thanks for the replies. this was my first post after years of lurking.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7261 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2018 :  00:40:47  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From Old Empires, just because its interesting that the dams were created long ago and are illegal to study, yet some Thothians do study them in secret.

number of other technical innovations occurred between the First and Second Empires, notably the invention of the wheel and the block and tackle. The wheel led to the invention of the chariot, which gave warriors additional protection in battle and enabled them to maneuver on the battlefield far more quickly. The block and tackle enabled buildings to be constructed more easily (the great pyramids of the First Empire were all constructed without these tools, relying instead on human strength and teamwork).

The most interesting of the technical innovations, though, was the invention of the pressure engine. The priests of Thoth devised a way to use dams and engines to harness the power of Mulhorand's rivers, which they used to grind grain and pump water into far reaches of the desert, fertilizing the desert soil. A period of desert settlement followed. It ended when the pharaoh disapproved of a plan to build a huge dam on the River of Spears, feeling that technological innovation had gone too far. He ordered all development on river and steam technology ended.

Eventually the engines fell into disrepair, though a few steam engines, powered by stones of everburning, yet pump water into isolated areas. There has recently been a rebirth of interest
among a small faction of Thoth priests, known as the Technologists. They are defying the ancient order against working with steam technology and are trying to rediscover the secrets of the
ancients, master them, then see what else can be done with this weird form of magic.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
590 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2018 :  01:51:27  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by superiksar

thanks for the help. going to dig out my old empires and see what's up.

i always get bogged down with infrastructure questions. even in a world with magic that can create food and water, erect stone walls, and provide continual light, i often find myself spending an absurd amount of time wondering about dams, roads, bridges, and sewers.

and let's not get started on food and water. create food and water has always struck me as an incredibly powerful spell.

anywho, thanks for the replies. this was my first post after years of lurking.



We have all struggled with the same sorts of questions regarding real immersion.

Like it's impossible to feed all the people living in Waterdeep, let alone provide them with firewood every day of every year.

However, we have gone to GREAT lengths to explain this. Do some searching on here.

Essentially my rule of thumb is this: there is plenty of space and resources clearly. That is made very clear in canon.

So unless it's an urban center, it's quite simple for most settlements to have more than enough resources and vast feats of technology simply are not needed.

The most advanced thing in any town would be their mill for grinding grain. If not water powered than powered by oxen and such.

The rest is just early 1200s basic iron age tech.

No need for dams, sewers, etc.

Outhouses do just fine and chamber pots. In urban centers sewers are well documented.

And if all else fails you have the worlds premiere garbage and poop disposal: The Otyugh
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7261 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2018 :  12:51:27  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Regarding what Cards77 just said, I would also recommend thinking along the lines of some of the interesting recipes we've seen from Ed in which they reuse monsters for food purposes. Now, I'm not suggesting that everyone in Waterdeep's eating owlbear stew.... but what if a fire giant's, remorhaz, or hell hound's bones are somewhat like radioactive uranium (without the radiation issues mind you), such that it can give off a low grade heat for years (maybe enough to slow bake with at low temperatures, but not fry). Maybe the scale of a red dragon gives off a soft warmth, such that when 3 or 4 of them are put inside bedding, allows a person to sleep warm at night. If these same scales were put in a bit of clothing, a person from Mulmaster might be able to walk around in a fur bikini at winter.

Along similar lines, the bones of a frost giant, white dragon, winter wolf, etc... may also have some interesting applications. Also, besides basic heat and warmth, we often think in terms of our own world in regards to where things like leather might come from. Hill giant flesh for instance should be able to be made exceptionally thick compared to much smaller creatures. As a result, hill giant leather might be used to make some very rigid things that might normally be made via casting metal or painstakingly carving wood. Some non-human tribes may favor hill giant leather tents and trade with communities for said leather. The exoskeleton of a thri-kreen, bacar, hook horror, ankheg, etc... may be cut into multiple usable pieces, for use as poles, planters, water bowls, sinks, etc... Similarly, if a large creature has horns, they may be extracted and hollowed out similar to a bull's horns, then sliced and put to reuse. Creatures with large wings (such as say a wyvern) could have their wings tanned and when furled together could make a tepee like creation with little effort, or even attached to a wooden pole and used as small sails for a 3 man sailing vessel. A gargantuan creature like tyrannosaur might have its skull inverted, a few rocks rolled into the eye sockets to serve as seats, and resin poured in to line the interior... instant two person bath tub.

While I do not picture Faerun embracing this type of "reuse the parts of monsters" bit to an extreme, I do actually picture this being done HEAVILY in other areas of the world. For instance, I picture Maztica, Anchorome, and Katashaka being filled with this type of furnishing. Skulls, bone, and leather would be everywhere, with rubber resin collected to use to seal things if necessary. For instance, while the concept I have for the United Tharchs of Toril would have Peleveran and the Western Pridelands of Katashaka as very similar areas in terms of geography, the two will look very differently from the fact that the red wizards of Peleveran will be more concerned with having "crafted" things made of plasters, ceramics, metals, etc... and the person from the Western Pridelands will be poorer and having to make do with a food bowl and drinking horn made from the skull of a minotaur that his father killed. In fact, there may be seen status in exactly what KIND of skull you're eating from (eating from a bowl made from a small "muisling" mouse person is nowhere near as interesting as eating from the skull of a noceri/"rhinotaur" in their society), and if you're using utensils such as a spoon made from the finger bones of a creature, the ends may be carved to resemble the creature itself.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 06 Aug 2018 15:09:06
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Thraskir Skimper
Learned Scribe

165 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2018 :  14:26:20  Show Profile Send Thraskir Skimper a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Why not just use magic, so much more cost effective, even to water a desert just use rain.

Thay Red
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TheIriaeban
Seeker

USA
21 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2018 :  18:57:47  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thraskir Skimper

Why not just use magic, so much more cost effective, even to water a desert just use rain.


I can see that happening for the rich only unless paid for by a large, well-funded government. I suppose, a group of farmers MIGHT be able to gather the resources to pay a wizard or two to create a small dam but any large public works project would have to come from a centralized government.

Of course, you will probably get a nice little war going because the farmers downstream are not going to be happy about their water supply drying up until the dam is filled.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."
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Starshade
Learned Scribe

Norway
201 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2018 :  22:03:52  Show Profile Send Starshade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Would small, shallow ones do, or do you need really big ones?
Weirs were buildt to alter the flow of the water, prevent floods and used for thimber transports, thereby the name "Weirwood", which is a wery real place in England, though you don't find any George R. R. Martin ish oddities.
Also used to make the area more passable by boats, etc. Think simple, a lot of the old dams were build using natural terrain, and to make simple things. Could also power industry with waterwheels, etc.
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Thraskir Skimper
Learned Scribe

165 Posts

Posted - 07 Aug 2018 :  08:00:30  Show Profile Send Thraskir Skimper a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

quote:
Originally posted by Thraskir Skimper

Why not just use magic, so much more cost effective, even to water a desert just use rain.


I can see that happening for the rich only unless paid for by a large, well-funded government. I suppose, a group of farmers MIGHT be able to gather the resources to pay a wizard or two to create a small dam but any large public works project would have to come from a centralized government.

Of course, you will probably get a nice little war going because the farmers downstream are not going to be happy about their water supply drying up until the dam is filled.



You don't need to build a dam, for that you just summon a beaver and let it do it. Just 'hire' or do it yourself, a wizard to make it rain in your desert.

In Thay you just request a movement of water, it is already raining in the desert. Or a Novice be sent to move a portion of water from the elemental plane of water to your holding area or what not. Or the use of a magic item, decanter of endless water for instance.

I don't understand what you mean "hire a wizard"? Can't you just put a request in?

It almost seems like your betters don't care about the people. In Thay there is always a wizard nearby, at least a student or novice or apprentice to clean a place or fix something or lend a magic item for a purpose. Once the permission is approved it gets done. As long as no one is too busy. There are always slave to do mundane things but magic is everywhere used in everything for everything.

Isn't that how it is for you?

Thay Red
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Misereor
Learned Scribe

143 Posts

Posted - 09 Aug 2018 :  10:12:34  Show Profile Send Misereor a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Dams are primarily used to improve agriculture.
Weather Control spells have to be managed carefully when cast on a large scale. Magic is perfectly capable of causing ecological disasters, and screwing with water and wind patterns on a large scale must be risky; especially when done by monolithic bureaucracies. I can also see hundreds or thousands of Decanters of Endless Water being a problem (at least if you're worried about rising sea levels and climate change).

If you want crop control, my best bet would be agriculturally minded Druids. They are embedded into the local villages, and are naturally disposed to care about balance, be it pests, predators, growth acceleration, or weather patterns. If your local Druid says that casting a few dozen weather control spells a month is a bad idea, I'd be inclined to listen. But once that is out of the way, it's probably a useful solution, and cheaper than large scale dam building.


What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder, stronger, in a later edition.
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Gyor
Master of Realmslore

1309 Posts

Posted - 09 Aug 2018 :  14:35:11  Show Profile Send Gyor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Old empires has them



Yes, flooding severely damaged old Untherlass. Of course they are rebuilding the city, so it's likely better now.
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