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Ideas about spaceby Bruce Heard
Re. navigation and flight capabilities
One way I like to see space in the world of Mystara remains totally unlike the RW. There is no void, but instead a vast, weightless expanse filled with breathable air. Although it could be pretty cold (or pretty hot), it would not be as deadly as RW void. Hmmm... visions of space storms come up -- I wonder what this would be like. Light would have an easier way of getting through (???), maybe. On the other hand, "warp speed" definitely needs to be modified since friction with the air would make it totally impossible. One would assume then that warp speed causes the moving object to become semi-corporeal, thereby avoiding the problem with air friction and intervening obstacles altogether. I would also allow a version of the spell Find the Path to make such long distance travel more accurate (none of this missing the moving planet stuff). Basically keep it simple and adapt it to the game so adventuring becomes possible there without getting bogged down with science and interminable debates on the laws of physics. This *is* fantasy and as such, it does not have to be like the real world. I'd rather keep the RW space stuff for SF role-playing games. What I'm suggesting here is something that is far more tolerant of scientifically-challenged DMs and is also more colourful (see the schlock Flash Gordon movie for ideas on what space might look like) . What I mentioned above implies certainly a lot of ramifications -- which could be the start of another discussion.
Heardium, Brucium, and just plain air!
About "Heardium" and other issues in Mystara space...
I would prefer Brucium. Sounds more Latin if anything! :-D
I think it's just simpler to call it *air* so anyone capable of flying and making it through a vortigern vortex could conceivably reach outer space. The issue of "warp speed" then comes up again. Who can/can't attain warp speed? Is this a law of Mystaran physics which allows blinding outer-space speeds? How is it triggered? Or is it magical?
Let's think outside of one's own box for a minute...
If it's a law of Mystaran physics, then we could imagine the following properties. Anyone within a totally weightless area or within a weak enough gravity field (i.e. being at a certain distance of Mystara itself), may gradually attain non-corporeal shape. The property would be based on velocity (relative to the closest/largest object, presumably Mystara itself -- this can get weird). The higher the physical speed, the more incorporeal one would become. The more incorporeal, the greater velocity one can reach, and so on up to a point where one becomes totally immaterial and reaches "warp speed". Since one is incorporeal, sudden deceleration ceases to be a problem as well. The risk of course, if not knowing when/where to stop to reach a target since "navigation" is maintained through purely visual cues (not very accurate, but still manageable). A Find the Path spell would take over the flight path and bring the traveller to a full stop near the destination.
If it is a magical property of Mystara-space, then I would make the Find the Path spell be the trigger of the "warp speed". The rest is identical to what I described above. Therefore, only creatures that can cast that spell could leave Mystara and reach other worlds. This should make the whole thing pretty simple. Being incorporeal does not mean someone is in the astral or ethereal plane. It only means its atoms are vibrating at a different wavelength. Any DM can modify this so it does interfere with outer planes -- allowing interesting encounters occasionally. Basically, the vessel travelling at warp speed becomes a unwitting portal to these planes. Just a thought...