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Straight Outta Johto
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« on: March 21, 2017, 01:54:39 AM »

In Character

Hoers
Anti-magic Zone = no cell service
Ghostman
All you need is a Wish.
LoA
So my friend and I were talking about this, and he said that mass producing rings of communication would basically be more effective than trying to make cellphones.
Magnus Pym
Maybe even creatures. Think Den-Den mushi in One Piece
Magnus Pym
To me it looks REALLY EASY to implement in D&D. Use rituals, magic spells, magic items... really the ways to implement it are numerous.
LoA
So I'm just going to ask a quick question and if starts going somewhere, I'll make a thread. Do you guys think an information superhighway, or some form of communicative networking like we currently have is plausible with DnD magic as it's presented in the game?

So I'm just making this a thread. I've been musing on my USK (Yankee in King Arthurs Court) Setting where a modern city gets thrown into a fantasy world. My friend actually had a similar idea he's implementing in one of his games, and we got to talking about practicality stuff. With some dice rolls, we determined that the city had enough resources to regress into a steampowered society. However, the question of electronics came up, and we had a serious long discussion on how a magical telecommunications/information superhighway would function in a practical sense. The biggest hurdle is the simple fact that magic is FRIGGIN EXPENSIVE. We seriously did the cost analysis, and we figured out that a Communication Ring would cost roughly around 50,000 dollars a piece if you did it as presented in the books. That is not viable in an economic sense. We both agreed that the core of the city should be Steampunk technology. If steampunk technology is the cake then magic would be the frosting.Why would Americans allow magic in the first place, you may be asking? If you're gonna live in a DnD world, then you're going to have to embrace a certain degree of magic, if only to keep everyone else from screwing you over with their own powerful magics.
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2017, 08:18:33 AM »

I would determine how widespread you plan on magic being, and what it is capable of. It sounds like a communication ring is something from D&D (I couldn't determine it from a brief search), which, if you have a surplus of mages (which I imagine would be required to have a mass transit of communication on such a large and magical scale) with presumable access to spells like anti-magic field, I would wonder how reliable it would be, or what other sorts of interference and dangers it could bring - this could lead to fun situations for players, and/or maybe headaches for setting design. ...But I'm also making a lot of assumptions on little information.

I'm also coming at this from an outside standpoint and don't know what sort of formulas you used to determine the price of the rings or why the society would be able to regress to steampower, but given that most steampunk settings tends to rely on a large degree of ill-defined technological bounds (don't think too hard about why my super awesome mech suit can be powered by steam alone!) I would wonder why you couldn't similarly apply that to creating a magical superhighway of communication. Perhaps communicative magic is expensive on its own, but relies on magical obelisks (like radio towers) placed across vast distances to assist it.
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Straight Outta Johto
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2017, 05:46:22 PM »

Weave

I would determine how widespread you plan on magic being, and what it is capable of. It sounds like a communication ring is something from D&D (I couldn't determine it from a brief search), which, if you have a surplus of mages (which I imagine would be required to have a mass transit of communication on such a large and magical scale) with presumable access to spells like anti-magic field, I would wonder how reliable it would be, or what other sorts of interference and dangers it could bring - this could lead to fun situations for players, and/or maybe headaches for setting design. ...But I'm also making a lot of assumptions on little information.

Forgive me for being vague. It's only one society in a large setting that is medium magic in flavor. There's a ton of magic, but High level magic is nigh impossible to come by.

Basically the Americans have a technological core that is solid, with magic filling in the gaps of whatever technology couldn't be replicated. Mainly I'm trying to figure out a way to keep up electronics and communicative technology. My friend suggested that magic should be used to help maintain electronic equipment, as opposed to outright replacing it. However if you look at how fragile and crappy computers are nowadays, I don't see electronics lasting very long.

Also we have been having discussions about anti-magic fields. How could the Americans keep divination wizards from scrying on key military intelligence such as radio towers, and railroad pathways.

Weave

I'm also coming at this from an outside standpoint and don't know what sort of formulas you used to determine the price of the rings or why the society would be able to regress to steampower, but given that most steampunk settings tends to rely on a large degree of ill-defined technological bounds (don't think too hard about why my super awesome mech suit can be powered by steam alone!) I would wonder why you couldn't similarly apply that to creating a magical superhighway of communication. Perhaps communicative magic is expensive on its own, but relies on magical obelisks (like radio towers) placed across vast distances to assist it.

There's a sliding scale of Steampunk. On one end, we have fantastical technology and airships and whatever, and on the other end, we have gritty realism. I'm going for Manapunk which is basically a mix of steam powered technology and magic, but in my case, the magic is more of a supporting element of the steampowered machinery.

We actually literally discussed giant obelisks that act like radio towers/cell phone towers, and that certainly is still on the table, the primary issue with this whole thing is that magic is again, prohibitively expensive, atleast as presented in DnD terms.
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2017, 09:43:48 AM »

Spitballing:

LoA

Also we have been having discussions about anti-magic fields. How could the Americans keep divination wizards from scrying on key military intelligence such as radio towers, and railroad pathways.

Is this D&D? If so, which edition?  If 3.5e, non-detection is a start, but I could see setting up some kind of "trade secret"/"national security" ritual equivalent that extends over larger sensitive areas.  Also, I'm not 100% sure on this, but isn't lead scry-proof? (I may be misremembering that).  Perhaps a non-poisonous lead-based alloy could be used to line things like railway cars or sensitive military targets.

The thing I like about non-detection is that it's a DC-based issue, which means a skilled enough "hacker" could still spy, leading to the need for counter-measures to detect scrying for some black hat, white hat hacking back-and-forth.  I'm always more of a fan of "skill vs. skill" rather than outright nullification, since it creates locked doors rather than brick walls. (As a former high-level wizard, however, brick walls are merely a target of a different spell - disintegrate is such fun.)

(In 3.5e, I believe the Trickery cleric domain grants access to non-detection, so priests of some gilded baron god of non-disclosure agreements could potentially be involved in the daily rituals and castings).

I think some kind of ritual or large-scale casting mechanic would be necessary to make these kinds of things feasible, and thematically fits with the notion that the combined product of an industry (in this case, magic-users) is greater than the sum of its parts, and there can be some additional tension between magic-users and those who own the means of production.  (Headline: Wizards Go On Strike! Will Gov't Respond?)
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 09:47:26 AM by Elven Doritos » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2017, 02:52:14 PM »

They should try to use the same method that the magic-using natives of the world do, once they lear of it. Or if that's not feasible, then try create some simplified hack (that's prolly less efficient) of said method.
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2017, 06:50:28 PM »

Just want to add another two cents: don't underestimate the culture's tendency to go "cheap", as you've already sort of mentioned. If there's any reason at all that limits access to magic, then leadership will on average make every attempt to maximize their efficiency and/or approach things from the "lowest bidder gets the contract" stance. The thing about magic is that if it doesn't have a fairly strict "pool" that has to managed for its use, then the endless free power and such will inevitably be a bigger draw than developing any real machines. Also, if using many instances of less-powerful spells achieves essentially the same effect as a higher-level one that only a few people can cast, they'll almost certainly prefer the former if it means that the handful of individuals who can cast the stronger one are free to do more essential/specialized work.

Preventative medicine via low-level healing spells, and very liberal use of Purify Food and Drink will be preferable to having to cast Cleanse or Miracle to bring a person back.

Divination spells will be used whenever possible to determine how safe travel and whatnot are, possibly even taking the place of economical forecasts and spycraft.

Weather's another obvious one - if there's anyone around who's got access to weather control spells, they'll have a big hand in optimizing growing seasons.

Some of these things are going to overlap with each other, depending on what magic the society has access to, and how much of it.
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Straight Outta Johto
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2017, 02:51:44 AM »

Elven Doritos

Spitballing:

LoA

Also we have been having discussions about anti-magic fields. How could the Americans keep divination wizards from scrying on key military intelligence such as radio towers, and railroad pathways.

Is this D&D? If so, which edition?  If 3.5e, non-detection is a start, but I could see setting up some kind of "trade secret"/"national security" ritual equivalent that extends over larger sensitive areas.  Also, I'm not 100% sure on this, but isn't lead scry-proof? (I may be misremembering that).  Perhaps a non-poisonous lead-based alloy could be used to line things like railway cars or sensitive military targets.

The thing I like about non-detection is that it's a DC-based issue, which means a skilled enough "hacker" could still spy, leading to the need for counter-measures to detect scrying for some black hat, white hat hacking back-and-forth.  I'm always more of a fan of "skill vs. skill" rather than outright nullification, since it creates locked doors rather than brick walls. (As a former high-level wizard, however, brick walls are merely a target of a different spell - disintegrate is such fun.)

(In 3.5e, I believe the Trickery cleric domain grants access to non-detection, so priests of some gilded baron god of non-disclosure agreements could potentially be involved in the daily rituals and castings).

I think some kind of ritual or large-scale casting mechanic would be necessary to make these kinds of things feasible, and thematically fits with the notion that the combined product of an industry (in this case, magic-users) is greater than the sum of its parts, and there can be some additional tension between magic-users and those who own the means of production.  (Headline: Wizards Go On Strike! Will Gov't Respond?)

Ok, so here we go. It's basically Pathfinder, and I'm using the E6 variant, where everyone stays at level 6. This means that any magic that's around is going to be at most 3rd level spells, with some 4th level stuff occasionally. Anything above level 3 requires extensive rituals to perform, and high level spells are epic campaign shattering events.

With that in mind, if you applied free market principles to cantrips and low level magic, mixed with jurry rigged hard steampunk technology, could you develop a primitive "Manapunk" setting with a decent communicative technology that was formed through magic rather than telephones, or computers. And on that note, would a "computer" be possible through magical means?

Hoers

Just want to add another two cents: don't underestimate the culture's tendency to go "cheap", as you've already sort of mentioned. If there's any reason at all that limits access to magic, then leadership will on average make every attempt to maximize their efficiency and/or approach things from the "lowest bidder gets the contract" stance. The thing about magic is that if it doesn't have a fairly strict "pool" that has to managed for its use, then the endless free power and such will inevitably be a bigger draw than developing any real machines. Also, if using many instances of less-powerful spells achieves essentially the same effect as a higher-level one that only a few people can cast, they'll almost certainly prefer the former if it means that the handful of individuals who can cast the stronger one are free to do more essential/specialized work.

Preventative medicine via low-level healing spells, and very liberal use of Purify Food and Drink will be preferable to having to cast Cleanse or Miracle to bring a person back.

Divination spells will be used whenever possible to determine how safe travel and whatnot are, possibly even taking the place of economical forecasts and spycraft.

Weather's another obvious one - if there's anyone around who's got access to weather control spells, they'll have a big hand in optimizing growing seasons.

Some of these things are going to overlap with each other, depending on what magic the society has access to, and how much of it.

This is true, and I'm going to bring this up next time I speak with my friend about this. Maybe restricting different kinds of magic would be an important thing.

So I'm just going to say this real quick like, I've been playing Breath of the Wild, and the "Sheikah Slate" is actually pretty much almost what I had in mind when I was thinking of the Americans creating a "Magitech computer system".
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