Friday, July 22, 2016

Weather - Redux

 On the Generation of Weather

I just read Courtney Campbell's post over on Hack & Slash: On the Generation of Weather. I think that he and I think a lot alike about RPG weather. In the post he listed his requirements for weather generation.

  1. Must organically simulate weather. (Not sure organic is really the right word.)
  2. Require minimal bookkeeping.
  3. Fit on one page in a 4"x6" notebook.
I think the by organic he means that the weather fits a specific pattern for the region and season and that the weather has a degree of persistence, and often a gradual change from one type of weather to another, and when the change is not gradual, a recognizable pattern of change usually occurs. For example, in many places in the USA hot weather is frequently followed by movement of a front that causes a pressure drop, precipitation, and a drop in temperature.

If you haven't already, I suggest you click on the link and take a look at his sample weather table. It's an elegant way of doing what he wants.
The example he provides is for weather in a frozen wasteland, he wants the randomization to allow for consecutive, repeating weather. What I called persistence. Everywhere I've ever lived has some degree of weather persistence. Assuming tomorrows weather will be like today's weather is often correct. 
The way he has structured the weather table, weather is grouped and a change in weather will only move you so far, typically within the same weather grouping or to a lower or higher grouping on the table. By making sequential entries in the list have similar weather and by limiting the range of change by using a die e.g. d6 and a table with 3 x that many entries he gets persistent weather with (usually) gradual and predictable changes. Nice!

I hope he will post other weather tables he creates.

For even more on weather, here's a 3-part series on weather I did last summer. (What is it about July that makes people think about weather?)

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