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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    May 2016
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    Corvallis, OR
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    Default What's a reasonable "blown off course by a major storm" distance?

    I'm considering a "lost in unknown lands" campaign, and need to know plausible distances (where to place the land).

    Parameters:
    Ship type: Roughly something of the Cog type or possibly caravel-ish nature. Lateen/square-rigged, 1-2 masts. 20-30 crew (including the party).
    Ocean type: Tropical oceans, deep water.
    Storm type: Equivalent to a good tropical storm/light hurricane. As strong as would be reasonably survivable. Assume the ship is running pretty-much downwind for several days.
    Crew: experienced sailors.

    If the storm lasts for (say) 2 days, is several hundred miles a reasonable distance? Or are we looking more like high hundreds of miles?
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DeTess's Avatar

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    May 2017
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    Female

    Default Re: What's a reasonable "blown off course by a major storm" distance?

    A quick google search gave me this source: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/G16.html

    So bases on this, 1400 km or more for two days wouldn't be too odd.
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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

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    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: What's a reasonable "blown off course by a major storm" distance?

    Ships have considerable drag in the water and the crew would avoid catching the wind with their sails to avoid being drifted off too far.

    But say they are pushed at 20 km/h, that's still 960 km over 48 hours. Mid hundreds of miles should be quite reasonable. This can easily be way off from the regular shiping lanes between charted islands. If the region isn't charted well and the island not very high, then it might not get spotted until a few dozen miles away.

    You can increase distances by quite a lot by having the ship getting damaged and unable to steer effectively until it can be repaired with material from an island. Then they can just keep drifting until a current takes them close to an island. Ships have drifted across the entire pacific this way.
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    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: What's a reasonable "blown off course by a major storm" distance?

    How far is it from England to Lilliput?
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