I liked the idea until I saw it in action. It goes from harnessing steam to some pretty complex contol and pressurized things with amazing accuracy. Before I can run with it, I need to justify it.
Many of the uses mentioned will need very complex. They aren't just stills catching the steam in a complex aerobics of piping. These are complex machines that are harnessing the power of steam in uses that require a fairly accurate control of the steams pressure and release. This will require pressure guages, release valves, check valves and any number of other complex mechanisms as well as perfect seals for all of them. Once you get this technical with what is going, and the creators would have to, then the mystery and magical aura of it loses most of its merit.
So, while I like idea overall, I think that the actual uses should be dumbed down a bit or at least show a timeline of inventions...many of which will probably still be in some kind of use somewhere....if they were useful or fun.
- Started as a cork launching contest in a village. Steam Mages from all around would come with their contraption with a single outlet stopped by a cork. Heating their 'magic' would then eventually launch the cork with the one lauching it the farthests declared the winner.
- Lucifer modifieed the cork thrower and extended the opening. he created a wooden notched cork of perfect size and designed a way to place it down this extended barrel. Was able to place an arrow in the notch and launch an arrow. Horrible innacurate but it started a new contest.
- Homer created an immense magic steam cauldron that was intended to throw a large rock. Through all his attempts he could not build up enough pressure, strike that - call it magic, to actually launch the stone, it mostly just dislodged it.
For the record I don't like technology in games so I am biased to begin with. My suspension of belief is severly tasked when you add technology without a thorough and adequate explanation on why or how it is there. The magical explanation is good and I like the way it is described, but it isn't enough for me to justify this level of technology. I have also never played any system that used it so I present yet another of my skewed perspectives. Go to Comment
I am not disagreeing with the overall principle. I do like the way that steam is magically described. Most of the examples you gave above are low tech when compared to the knowledge involved with steam. My main point is that there needs to be a natural progression to this, whether it be magic or steam.
I agree 100% about magic needing to be explained as well. I very much dislike undefined magic system and very much dislike the "magic is magic" solution. Magic, by its nature, is mystic so it doesn't have to go as far as something as plainly technological. If you used slime instead of steam for instance then I could suspend my disbelief much easier then using something based on our physics.
Even though all the technologies you mentioned were considered magic, they were all based on science even though they were ignorant of it. The sword things and other of the lower tech types are fairly easy to roll with because they are low tech and there isn't much need to suspend disbelief.
Now, steam is getting more advanced so, to me, it requires more explanation to make it plausible because it is based on something we know and use.
I am not arguing the "in game" aspect of it you understand. My character can call it magic, be ignorant and that is fine. I am arguing that for me OOC to enjoy the game it must be explained why it works and why it has a place in the game. If I can't get over that aspect of it then I will be rolling my eyes whenever two steam guns perfectly shoot at the same time to throw a net and I won't have fun. Go to Comment
Quote from: "Moonhunter"
I guess I have gamed with too many people like Strolen (or who game as Strolen presented)
Hey, somebodies got to fight the fight otherwise we are all just agreeing. Drives out more ideas in many cases as well.
The ideas presented are good and I like them mucho.
How about if there was a way that another powerful wizard, through a most ancient or perhaps very new type of magic, found a way to *steal* the magic from others weapons and imbue it into their own. Basically tranferring the magic from one weapon to another. Mr. Evil could figure out this special technique and start collecting the magic of the world for his own. That would be a cool plot for a game Go to Comment
My favorite tip was to get the players involved early and get them familiar with those that are fighting, both friends and enemies. Then it turns from X vs Y to people they have fought with and fought against. Instead of just being another grunt in the battle, they may have motivations to help certain parts of the field and rally to their aid or launch a tricky attack on a hated enemy sighted. Go to Comment
Most of the music we listened to (when we did, which wasn't as often as we should of) was the Sound of Nature series. The best one that I remember was the one that was the recordings of the sounds that a whale makes. Call it silly, but that is an eerie sound. Have it just loud enough to hear and when the shrill cry of the whale sounds it is just enough to make you look around.
The Conan soundtracks are a somewhat obvious one. Just a good old fantasy sounding romp with plenty of bass and drums to get the blood flowing.
You can tell I am not too deep into the classical. Although I think the favorite that I own is Beethoven Symphony Number 9 Choral. I like that one mucho. Been looking for others but never know what to buy...now I have a shopping list. Go to Comment
I actually didn't really like the soundtrack for LOTR. The only song I liked was the first one for the hobbits. Had a nice little melody.
I listen to this type of music all the time. I love the music in a lot of movies and use them for background for coding, studying etc. Depending on my mood of course. I don't know enough classical (now I do a little thanks to eph) to be able to choose it. Beethoven's 6th is the only one I know I like...anyway.
Soundtracks I listen to (a few are in my CD changer as we speak):
Braveheart (no explanation needed)
Gladiator (haunting melodies. I love the main theme and there is that one part that maintains the theme throughout most of it that I love hearing)
Conan - any movie (downloaded from the net. love the drums and evil sounding stuff)
Diablo video game (sounds sort of silly, but I love some of the tracks)
Robin Hood (except I hate the mood break when Bryan Adams actually sings at the end of the CD. What a downer)
Matrix (oops, how did that get in there. Love this for good hardcore coding. Gets my fingers going and keeps me motivated. Hey, I can pretend. Maybe one day I will fall asleep and wake up to "Wake up Strolen" on my computer screen. You don't know it won't happen.)
Anybody know of some good drum banging oriental type music. I love the stuff at the begining of Rising Sun. Have no idea how to go about finding that type of music. Go to Comment
Quote from: "http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/ast123/lectures/lec01.html"
In a seemingly unrelated discovery, Euclid, a Greek mathematician, proved that there are only five solid shapes that can be made from simple polygons (the triangle, square and hexagon). Plato, strongly influenced by this pure mathematical discovery, revised the four element theory with the proposition that there were five elements to the Universe (earth, water, air, fire and quintessence) in correspondence with the five regular solids.
Elements had a natural tendency to separate in space; fire moved outwards, away from the earth, and earth moved inwards, with air and water being intermediate. Thus, each of these five elements occupied a unique place in the heavens (earth elements were heavy and, therefore, low; fire elements were light and located up high).
I like the names. Especially if it was named by its inventor who knows he annoys the elders and continues to do so with the name. Imagine the flourish of introducing the newest invention to the counsel. :)
Mabye a little too much for my light magic taste but a fun submission to think about! Go to Comment
Kept up by the Monks of Monthan the Montan Water Wheel is still working to this day.
On the water wheel, each bucket is created so that only a small sliced portion of it collects water. Each bucket is unique about the section of which it collects water. This water is then dumped into a corressponding gutter of water that takes it to one of many sections of free swinging bamboo. The water fills the top of the bamboo forcing it over dumping the water which allows the bamboo to swing back and strike another bamboo striker creating a hollow yet melodic quick series of tapping.
The water released from the buckets interacting with the bamboo creates a hypnotic, soothing pattern that many from all around venture to witness. It is used by some sick as therapeutic, by the holy as hypnotic and centering, and by the curious as, well, curious.
((In many Japanese gardens the bamboo waterfalls and striking of bamboo together is pretty popular and really does sound cool. A small sample of it is in Kill Bill....well, you know the part.)) Go to Comment
I find this topic has a vague echo or parallel even with the system I am using in Aros so I have more then a passing interest in this. My isn't very detailed but the general principles remain.
Great system by the way and I very much think I am going to be *stealing* a few of your ideas. I have not though heavily about imbuing the powers into items but....anyway...
The problem I had, and I think it is a problem with this too, is the nature of diamond mines, or any other mines. It is common for veins or limited areas to be naturally in high concentration of diamonds and other precious gems. What prevents a wizard from taking over this area and building a fortress? I have that dilemna too, I limited it slightly by having the pockets small and diversified, although I suppose that could be done with yours as well though with only a little explaining.
Kings would probably be trying to stock up on these as much as possible, like we (did) stock nukes as a deterrent and in case of war. Those who control the diamonds control strength in power and in money/trade. So the fact that only a few gems are available could be as much a factor of the economy and ruler as it could their scarcity. That would also lead me to believe there would be a heavy heavy blackmarket in them which may open a whole other world of gem trading and expense. Their are probably little unregulated mines out there that are able to steadily supply blackmarkers the gems whereas the official mines (that haven't been taken over by wizards ) controlled by the king mostly go into the coffers and only a few make it to the free market.
In some places gems, like swords, might be not allowed to enter and must be 'checked' at the door. Perhaps in some places where you buy them it is like a background check here. They take down a lot of information about the wizard in an attempt to track 'civilian' wizards purchasing diamonds because of the threat they may pose. I would think there would be a lot of technology and resources into better mining, and perhaps even a rudimentary strip mining but this leads me to wanting to know A LOT more about the world. It is obvious to me that wizards would also end up being master jewelers so any jeweler very well may be a wizard...maybe...?
I have another question with the size of the gems. It is generically stated that such and such gem gives such and such mana. I would have to assume that each stone would give a certain amount of mana as determined by its carat size, no? A 1 carat diamond would give X amount of mana but a 40 carat jade would also hold X amount of mana. And if this is true would the quality of the gem also come into play?
And if that is true then you would not only have to have the correct type of gem for certain spells, you would also have to have certain carat sizes....or perhaps the spell only requires that gem but the size determines the power. So I could cast a small fireball that maybe only destroys a door with a small gem or I could destroy a castle wall with a huge gem of the same type....
What happens to the destroyed gem? Explodes into nothing? Gem dust? Dust still cool looking or useful for anything? Mixed with weapons? Used as a glistening whitewash on the richies house? Go to Comment
If I was a wizard and took over a mine, I would have plenty of neophyte wizards pounding at my door begging to cut gems for me in return for a few for themselves. I would be doing what I want if I owned the mine. I think implying that he would cut his own gems is like saying that he will mine them at all. I think if they found a mother of all gems, he may want to cut that one himselfe, but all the others....I am sure he would have a loyal (?) army of wizards doing the grunt work and everybody makes out by the situation. More wizards = more protection = no worries about rival kingdoms so much = all the gems they basically keep for themselves and there will be an understood system of distribution/payment. Ideal circumstances anyway. That is my thought on that.
I think the idea of underground creatures feeding off of them is a grand idea. Yet another reason why they are so rare. Perhaps dragons (or other monsters) live off them instead of subteranean beasts. They need them to fly or something, so anybody that has a mine or stockpile is under the immediate risk of magical creatures deciding they need your gems. All kingdoms that stockpile would be under the constant threat of attack and so maybe stockpiling doesn't happen except in very small quantities. If a king decided to use their magic they could pretty much do anything and would probably destroy the world if there weren't some kind of limits. Gem Holocaust.
The quantity of stones causing anti-magic is a GREAT limiting factor so you don't have indestructable mages running around. I couldn't think of a balancing factor for the stockpiling and that one solves it well.
Both the above ideas I used for my sands. Quantities of sand attract the Horde therefore making them very dangerous places to be. Sandmages can only carry a limited amount...because that is the nature of the sands. Both things if not solved cause some problems.
Brainstorming some more on Moonhunter...the "magic rich" environment. When he said "free floating magic creatures" I immediately thought if two powerful wizards carrying the perfect balance of gems that is near or just under the max they can carry before anti-magic come into play, if they come together instead of the combined power of the gems of both sending them over the top into anti-magic it could be an almost Highlander effect. Robes billowing, winds pick up whipping up stones and such, lightning perhaps striking around them. An overall dangerous environment. Another reason to check the gems at the gate.
It is the nature of the two mages with full mana and max gem power that creates the unique effect. This would probably force a rework of everything though, power games and tricking between mages, not wanting to use magic during an adventure to save it for the final confrontational wizard duel, or wanting to not carry max so the events don't happen and accidently harm anybody. Good mages would try and avoid that so limit themselves maybe. Wizard duels: would know the other is not at full strenth if they are at full strength yet the events don't take place so the other one is obviously currently underpowered (but still don't know how powerful they are)....Probably too far out there but I just saw the two wizards meet in storm of spinning gravel and lightning lifting up to the sky where the first few rounds of a magical battle would take place before they came back to the ground to finish the fight.
Maybe, the above scenerio could happen when two magicians are carrying enough gems to make them anti-magic. Any other time a max amount of gems would be anti-magic, but when two wizards with too many gems come together the above reaction happens instead. Perhaps there is an ritual fight that wizards do to solve differences and that is it.....or perhaps kingdoms, instead of killing off their armies in major wars could decide to end it by a glorious mage war. Go to Comment
Oh yeah. That non-gem wizard concept is faaabulous!!
Can anybody learn powers? Can gems make up for lack of skill? I ask these with manfred's comment about the king having perfect gems on his crown. Can the king use it?
So, the magician has all his normal spells that he can cast up to his personal mana. Gems resupply mana and help cast other spells in their realm. Can any gem restore any mana lost from any spell in the wizard?
Going back to the crown idea which hit a chord in me. Wizards would probably not just carry around a bag of gems to use as needed. They would most likely be put into a staff, in their own crown, a wand, or anything, something so that they know exactly where the gem is that they may need. They would probably have the jeweler skill to put new gems in to replace the ones that get destroyed. Only makes sense that their would be a way for the wizards to store them conveniently and easily accessible.
On top of that the gem choice is almost a mental challenge/game/skill to pick the correct or appropriate mix of gems that may change depending on what you are doing. Like a Magic Deck of cards that you can change depending on your strategy. Go to Comment