Praise the Sun – Code/Switch

Hi, my name is James and welcome to Code/Switch. Today I want to talk about the sun, specifically the sunrise. In a misdirect, I want to first talk about what brought me to the subject of today’s topic. 

It’s like torture, but fun!

Recently, I was in a group that finished Curse of the Crimson Throne, poorly I might add. We ended up wasting time hunting dragons until we finally undertook the last act at the eleventh hour. Once we started to undertake the final act, we ran out of spells, abilities and resources. Unable to rest we prepared to press on in the worst shape of our lives, until our Cleric informs us he prepared Nap Stack, a spell that gives you the full benefit of a nights rest from two hours of sleep, usable once a week. Excitedly, we used the spell and regained our spell slots and spell-like abilities. We started to prepare spells for the impending conflict only to learn our cleric can’t prepare spells. Our cleric chose to make sunrise as his spell preparation time, making his roughly midnight rest less useful. Desperate, I petitioned our GM, pleading “Isn’t it sunrise somewhere?”. 

Fun fact! You need to stare at the sun to see if its rising or setting.

It was with a sigh and the stipulation of 60 seconds to do so, if I could find the distance our cleric would have to greater teleport to find sunrise, he’d be able to do it. I did the fastest math of my life, and came up with 4,800 miles, as our cleric needed to go forward about 6 hours, and my math guessed 800 miles per hour of daylight. I may have messed up my math a little bit, sorry GM! I’ll correct my work here!

Golarion in general is basically Earth, as far as size, rotational speed, etc, so Earth will be our Golarion for maths sake. Our math would be more complicated because Earth isn’t a sphere but an oblate spheroid, slightly flattened at the poles and bulging at the equator. Thankfully, I’m going to ignore this as my math ability isn’t that good, and assume Earth-Golarion is a sphere. 

Looks round to me, take that scientist!

Earth has a circumference of 24,901 miles at the equator and completes a rotation (day) in 24 hours. Using this, we can split the Earth-Golarion hybrid into 24 different 1037.54 mile segments. If you wanted to go “forward” if it was night to get to daylight, you’d head East, if you wanted to “rewind” you’d go west. Easy!

Less easy is when you factor Earth-Golarions slightly ovoid shape. I said we were saying Earth-Golarion is a sphere, but I want to flex some math chops. I used Google to get a latitude of “France” to use in place of the Inner Seas Region, and google gave me 46.2276°N along with some other bologna. Using this calculator I was able to figure out Earth-Golarions radius, thereby allowing me to find the circumference of Earth-Golarion at that latitude. Turns out its 24,858, not much different than our equatorial measurement, curse you Mercator Projection for skewing my perception of sizes at the poles! This ever so slight difference makes each hour segment 1,035.75 miles wide, basically 2 and a quarter miles shorter, whoo hoo.

What’s the functional distance of this result? If you went from the western-most point of Varisia to the eastern-most point of Varisia, that’s roughly 1,000 miles as per this awesome interactive map. Our cleric went roughly 6,000 miles east, which landed him east of the Castrovin Sea, likely near the city of Kaladay. For a real world analog, that’d be like going from Paris, France to La Paz, Bolivia

We should have just to La Paz, it’s so much nicer than Korvosa.

Hope this was a fun, functional look into hacking real world math and geography into your RPG experiences, also, sorry GM! You can find me and the rest of the KD crew at our Discord!

James Ballod

James blossomed into geekdom like a piranha plant in the crack of a sidewalk. Watered by the muscle-brained lore of Warhammer 40,000 and nurtured in the rough bosom of World of Warcraft, tabletop RPGs came late in life to James. The rich lore and real-world influences in games like Pathfinder inspire James to explore them from every angle. When not being an annoying anime-fanboy he can be found discussing the history of various cuisines and over-analyzing real world influences in works of fiction.