Change Terran -> Forest

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Impaler
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Change Terran -> Forest

#1 Post by Impaler » Tue Jun 07, 2005 9:09 am

I have been thinking and it seems logical to me that in the Wheel of EP the "Terran" type planet would be better described as "Forest". The name is less "human centric" for one, none of the other planets types are named after a particular planet or species, rather they are named for the most part after "Biomes" such as swamp, tundra, desert ect ect. By changing to Forest we bring that plant type into better alignment with the rest of the wheel and de-emphisise it as being "best". Another major reason is that the real Terra is far to diverse a place, it has areas coresponding to no less then 4 of the other planet types, only a small part of Earths land surface coresponds with "Forest"

Ofcorse this brings up the point that realy NO planet is pure. Every planet is realy going to spill across several types. In saying that a planet is such and such type the game is just saying that the planet is MOSTLY that kind of terrain. A Forest Planet has Ocean area, Desert area and Tundra areas as well. This is the reason why planets that are 2 or 3 degreess away from optimum can still be inhabited just at reduced capacity, only the limited areas of the planet that actualy match or are very close to the alien races optimum are being inhabited.
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Kharagh
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#2 Post by Kharagh » Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:01 am

I'm in favor of that. It fits into the planet spektum much better and as Impaler said "terran" is much too "human centric" if you think about it.

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Geoff the Medio
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#3 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Jun 07, 2005 3:26 pm

Sounds good to me...

It also actually gives us a forest terrain, as opposed to having to add a separate biomass rating for all planets, or a "forested" special or somesuch.

Planets that are defined by a single biome is just a space opera cliche. Dune and Tantooine were desert planets. Coruscant was covered in city. Endor's moon was forested. Dagobah (sp?) was a swampy jungle. Mars and Venus are imagined as having a single uniform climate by humans, despite what locals might consider a wide range of climatic variation. Hoth is all snow and ice. Caladan (from Dune) was mostly oceans. Planets of the week on Trek were occasionally defined by something like being very storming with lots of technobabble in the atmosphere so that transporters would only work every few hours. There are others I could mention, but they're nto so well known.

I wouldn't attempt to rationalize having nearby environment be habitable due to pockets of other environments... they just are.

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Forest

#4 Post by guiguibaah » Tue Jun 07, 2005 3:47 pm

The only issue here is that when we think "forest" we first think "Evergreen / Deciduous / Apple,pine,Cedar,Birch,Fir, etc" - things that are good and come quickly to mind.

However we often forget that even here on earth one can have a forest of seeweed, mushrooms, kelp, etc... Obiwan's 2nd toxic picture has a forest of spouting stalks on them. Swamp / jungle planets also have lots of forests. "Forested" is more of a description to explain the thickness of vegetation in an area.

What does this say about planets that are grassland / plains and, or hilly / mountainous?

I don't mind the idea - I think it could be interesting... But the argument of shifting terran to forest to prevent it from being too human-centric suffers from the same human-centric thought of what we describe forests to be.
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Re: Forest

#5 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Jun 07, 2005 5:49 pm

guiguibaah wrote:...here on earth one can have a forest of seeweed, mushrooms, kelp... Swamp / jungle planets also have lots of forests.
Forests of seaweed / kelp would be an ocean planet.

We wouldn't have mushroom forests, unless they're something in Swamp, and Swamp is distinct from Forest in that while both have vegetation, they have different temperatures and atmospheres (Swamp unbreathable to humans), among other things.

Jungle would be the same as Forest: Lots of big green leafy or needly trees and perhaps some ferns, as humans general visualize them.
What does this say about planets that are grassland / plains and, or hilly / mountainous?
It says we don't have grassland / plains planets nor hilly / moutainous as environments.

Mountainous could be a special for any on-wheel environment. We could have Moutainous Forest planets, Moutainous Ocean planets, Mountainous Barren, etc.

We just wouldn't have any concept of plains / grassland though.

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#6 Post by yaromir » Tue Jun 07, 2005 6:04 pm

I am in favor in principle, but have reservations about the actual term for already pointed out reasons. Why not medow, or steppe?

Forrest does bring up a mass of pine trees in my mind. Why not try a few names around and then put it to a vote? Certainly a good idea to de-empahsize human-centric aspects
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#7 Post by Daveybaby » Tue Jun 07, 2005 7:12 pm

Arboreal.
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Geoff the Medio
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#8 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Jun 07, 2005 7:29 pm

Why not medow, or steppe?
Because Forest is much a more interesting and common planet type in space opera. It's not the meadowed moon of Endor.
Forrest does bring up a mass of pine trees in my mind.
What about rainforests, which can be both tropical and temperate. Forest has a range of tree types.

I really don't get this objection on human-centric grounds... or even understand what guiguibaah is referring to when calling "Forest" human-centric. Lots of different things could live in forests. The point of them is that they have lots of big tall tree-like vegetation, similar to what's found in forested areas on Earth. If this makes it human-centric, then Ocean, Desert, Tundra/Glacial, and arguably Swamp are just as human-centric.

The word "Terran" is human-centric because it refers to a specific planet, Earth, aka Terra, not because humans life on that particular environment, or have a particular conception of what it should look like (which applies to all environments anyway, so why is this only bad for Forest?)...

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#9 Post by utilae » Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:15 pm

I think terran is the better name. Forest does not describe hilly grassy plain like landscapes.

What about balanced, cause isn't a terran would balanced with sea, grass, hills, mountains, snow, plains, forrests and the odd swamp.

Other ideas: jungle, lush, green.

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Forests and pinecombs

#10 Post by guiguibaah » Wed Jun 08, 2005 3:08 pm

I really don't get this objection on human-centric grounds... or even understand what guiguibaah is referring to when calling "Forest" human-centric. Lots of different things could live in forests. The point of them is that they have lots of big tall tree-like vegetation, similar to what's found in forested areas on Earth.
- And that's the human-centric view. For example, if I was a fish I would consider a large amount of kelp stalks as a gigantic forest. Those pesky human scuba divers would call it something else, but I call it my forest. I am an ocean dweller.

- Or, I am a flea. I feed upon the succulent blood of my host. To avoid detection, I hide in the forest of hairs, deep in the undergrowth downing. Those... things... that try to remove me would call it hairs, but I call it my forest. I am a parasite.

- Or, I am a rock. I sit on the ground and don't consider anything because rocks don't think.
If this makes it human-centric, then Ocean, Desert, Tundra/Glacial, and arguably Swamp are just as human-centric.
Good point - how we all describe these environments are based on our upbrining. Heck, I'm sure if you asked a nomad of the Sahara about their home they would say it is anything BUT a desolate desert.

- In the end, it all depends on your upbringing and point of view. That's all I wanted to mention. How we describe "Forest, Tundra, Terran, etc..." are all based on our human experiences.

It's interesting, because the wheel is a mix of biome descriptions - We don't have a "Toxic" or "Infernal" biome, but we do have "Forest" and "tundra".




(My own little rant goes here) - I wonder if a purely forested planet could exist... A planet with little or no oceans whatsoever. The forested moon of Endor is based on the large rainforest we see along the Western Coast of Washington State, British Columbia and Alaska. These forests would not exist if it were not for the massive humidity and rainfall created by the ocean to one side and the mountains to the other. But then again, who knows what exists out there? Maybe a 600 foot Larch is a twig compared to the trees on Beta Groombridge.
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#11 Post by yaromir » Wed Jun 08, 2005 3:59 pm

It's not the meadowed moon of Endor.
Maybe it should be ;)

Like I said, I am in favor, just not sure about the actual word.

Arboreal, for example, brings up no association, not to mention making me reach for dictionary. :D
# arborical: of or relating to or formed by trees; "an arborous roof"
# inhabiting or frequenting trees; "arboreal apes"
# resembling a tree in form and branching structure; "arborescent coral found off the coast of Bermuda"; "dendriform sponges"
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Re: Forests and pinecombs

#12 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Jun 08, 2005 4:36 pm

guiguibaah wrote:
Lots of different things could live in forests. The point of them is that they have lots of big tall tree-like vegetation, similar to what's found in forested areas on Earth.
- And that's the human-centric view. For example, if I was a fish I would consider a large amount of kelp stalks as a gigantic forest. Those pesky human scuba divers would call it something else, but I call it my forest. I am an ocean dweller.
This is nonsensical. If you were a ocean-dwelling fish, you would have one term for kelp forests, and another term for trees-on-land forests, just like land-dwelling mammals have two separate terms for these things. That ocean-dwellers and land-dwellers use different words to describe the same thing is irrelivant; there would exist a translation between the two languages, and the concepts would remain distinct to speakers of both who are capable of perceiving the distinction. It's theoretically possible that a fish could use a word that happens to sounld like the english word "forest" for what we call a "kelp forest" in english, but this is irrelivant, as it would be merely a linguistic conincidence. That fishes' natural habitat is in kelp forests, not land forests, and the opposite is true for land dwellers and tree forests is also irrelivant, as the proposed environment has a clear meaning: land-based tree forests.

Perhaps it might seem human-centric to describe one environment in terms of its vegetation, and another in terms of its water content, but in both cases, and all other environment name cases, the description is of the dominant surface feature or condition. Ocean planets are covered in water. Forest planets are covered in trees. Desert planets are covered in Desert. Toxic planets are covered in toxic chemicals and gasses. Barren planets are covered in rocks and vacuum. These are the (supposed) actual surface conditions, and the simplest or best seeming names for them in english. Describing them using those names is not human centric; it is merely necessary to use human words to talk to humans, which presumably most people who play the game will be. (And if they aren't, they can write themselves a translated stringtable).
Good point - how we all describe these environments are based on our upbrining. Heck, I'm sure if you asked a nomad of the Sahara about their home they would say it is anything BUT a desolate desert.
Maybe they would... but so what? That doesn't mean they wouldn't have a word or term for it (desert), and another word for oceans, and another word or term for jungle/forest, and another for tunda, and another for barren solid rock that all mean what they mean unambiguously to them.
I wonder if a purely forested planet could exist... A planet with little or no oceans whatsoever. The forested moon of Endor is based on the large rainforest we see along the Western Coast of Washington State, British Columbia and Alaska. These forests would not exist if it were not for the massive humidity and rainfall created by the ocean to one side and the mountains to the other.
Transpiration from the trees themselves could be the source of atmospheric humidity. Or there could be millions of small to moderate sized lakes within the forest. Or perhaps planet-wide forests of some sort could exist without massive rainfall and humidity, by retaining the water within themselves, cactus-like.

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#13 Post by skdiw » Thu Jun 09, 2005 12:31 am

utilae wrote:I think terran is the better name. Forest does not describe hilly grassy plain like landscapes.

What about balanced, cause isn't a terran would balanced with sea, grass, hills, mountains, snow, plains, forrests and the odd swamp.
i gonna go with utilae here. i think terran is just fine and is better than forest.

there is nothing wrong with some human-centricism. this game is based on sci-fi, and games developed and conjure by none other than humans. some human-centricism is unavoidable.
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#14 Post by Ran Taro » Thu Jun 09, 2005 3:29 am

fecund?

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#15 Post by Velizar » Thu Jun 09, 2005 2:32 pm

Forest does seem to sound better than terran. And flora does not necessarily have to be what we envision as 'standard' forest; it can range to...well, anything...Symbiotic intertwined foliage? Great hunks of wood (like Kashyyk in KOTOR), or bilions of smaller plant life that never the less cover the planet. Forest could actually be more dangerous than an inferno planet.
Maybe jungle would sound even better.
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