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Author Topic: Golems are fantasy robots... **  (Read 9344 times)

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Offline MoonHunter

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Golems are fantasy robots... **
« on: April 23, 2003, 06:35:29 AM »
I just read all of Asimov robot books, so I have robots on the brain.  (Contrary to popular belief I do not have dragons, zhan, and Kerren on the brain... but you all might want to take a look at those posts).

Lets say someone comes up with a new magikal technique.  This second or third level alchemical potion, allows for the animation of a golem in a fraction of the time and cost.  The Golems would have some basic rules built in, akin to the Asmovian rules, so they could be trusted to be useful.  Golems would quickly replace servants, personal assistants, and semi-skilled labor because you could trust them implictedly and they would work indefinitely. They would become status symbols amongst the rich, noveu rich, and the noble.  

Battle Golems would become possible. Bodyguards and near immortal palace guards would be an option.  


As the price goes down and the manufacturing techniques go up, you can have faux human golems. Golems for "entertainment purposes" would appear.  

Eventually enough golems would be made that everyone could live a life of some leisure.  

Hmmmmmmmmm.....
« Last Edit: December 03, 2005, 11:51:28 PM by MoonHunter »
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Offline manfred

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2003, 06:43:48 AM »
As even Asimov recognized, there can never be enough robots. At first people that loose their jobs will protest. Much later, when there are many robots, humanity may start to decline...

What was it named... Kaliban or so, a novel of a robot made without rules, by mistake released into the free world. I won't spoil you and tell you the rules it (he?) made for itself.
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Offline MoonHunter

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oh but in a fantasy world....
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2003, 07:03:38 AM »
there is a) a lower population density and b) a greater security for societal texture... (i.e. people are a little closer to the production of food and don't have to worry about not being able to get it like they do in modern and post modern societies).  

Unlike a full robot society, a semi-feudal golem society would have golems fill in the guild/ city/ semi-skilled labor functions, rather than replacing jobs at the lowest part of the economic ladder where people would have no where to go.  You see, peasants are stuck to the land.  Why replace them, unless there is a plague or something (common enough occurance) and there are not enough peasants to farm.  

Caliban... why quality control should always be enforced.  

If the golems are all unwaveringly lawful good and obedient to people and society, then they will start doing the "work for the betterment of the world" on the sly that the positronic brains did in the books... creating the spacers and after realizing their mistake... revitalizing Earth society and creating the world of the Foundation.  (You do know the foundation is supported by robots don't you?)
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Offline Duilwen Dairuin

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2003, 09:59:36 AM »
Sounds like someone is a little paranoid to me,  :D
It is an interesting concept, though...  What exactly are you getting at?
"The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."
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Offline Agar

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2003, 03:58:16 PM »
Golems could get cheaper and easier to make, like you say. They can become symbols of the rich and can be used to better the world. But what happens when the unpopular baron who charges the peasants too many taxes sees them?

He might decide the golems ruled by their own internal laws are better than peasants with free will. He can kill off ALL the peasants and replace them with only a fraction of the number of golems. The golems don't need rest, so they can work the feilds all day and night. They can work a greater number of feilds too. I doubt the golems need to eat any of the product of these feilds either, so the baron now has a vast surplus and can export it to his neighbors at a lower price than his competitors and reap huge profits.

If the potion is simply alchemical, he could build a small staff of golems that do nothing but make other golems. He'll have ay size of army he needs as long as he can get the parts. He would just have to make some very specialized golems to go and catch or capture the parts that are renewable. A phoenix's gall bladder can be hard to come by, unless you've raised an aviary full of them.
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Offline Duilwen Dairuin

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2003, 07:48:26 PM »
:P  I understood that...  I just thought you had a campaign idea or something you wanted to elaborate on.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Actually it sort of was an idea...
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2003, 02:03:20 AM »
I was wondering what would happen if a "golem economy" was created,  It would be an interesting direction to take a fantasy world. Instead of creating a industrial/ technical revolution (children of the sun and et al), their world would be altered, irrevokably, by a simple development in magik.  It would be a world with many of the elements of an industrial society, with all the trappings of the semi-fantasy realm it was.  

The Evil Overlord making golems to replace his peasants.  The mines that have golems. The forges or factories that would be created with cheaper golem labor.  All of these things would happen to to that world.

 Then of course we have golems designed as Guards, police/militia, and how that would change the face of warfare

In some ways we would have fantasy elements, some modern elements, and some cyberpunkish/ dystopic society elements.  The juxtiposition could be quite interesting.  

I don't have a specific direction for this one... but I think it would be an idea worth following. It could be a world on its own, or something you would do to a campaign you were bored with.
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Offline MoonHunter

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There are some advantages to doing this...
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2003, 02:54:24 AM »
One advantage of making Golems prevolent is that you can then use all those great old hackney sci fi plots in a new setting.  This twist makes all those old Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and old Analog and Asimov's magazine stories, into prefect sources for fantasy stories.
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Offline manfred

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Re: oh but in a fantasy world....
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2003, 07:31:26 AM »
Quote from: "MoonHunter"
Caliban... why quality control should always be enforced.


In fact, he was created without rules with a purpose: to see if he can make his own, better rules (and good for humanity too). The mistake was he was released outside.Various mistakes and not-exactly-mistakes will of course happen - another source of plots.

But is it that easy to create a magical being with clear and easy rules? The robots had them coded in every circuit... golems have no circuits.

Alternative, more fantasy-ish option:
(I've read that somewhere, don't know where) is to give the robots/golems a religion. That's right: religion. If they behave nicely all their lives, and serve the humans well, they get a fine afterlife.

Back to fantasy:
If a large number of beings worships SOMETHING, depending on the world, something might start to response... :twisted:

 - another group of plots.
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Offline Duilwen Dairuin

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Re: There are some advantages to doing this...
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2003, 09:53:21 AM »
Quote from: "MoonHunter"
One advantage of making Golems prevolent is that you can then use all those great old hackney sci fi plots in a new setting.  This twist makes all those old Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and old Analog and Asimov's magazine stories, into prefect sources for fantasy stories.

Only problem with that is that everyone who plays D&D will know all of those plotlines  :P
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Offline MoonHunter

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Re: There are some advantages to doing this...
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2003, 02:47:48 AM »
Quote from: "Duilwen Dairuin"
Only problem with that is that everyone who plays D&D will know all of those plotlines  :P


Like they don't know the plot lines of every fantasy plot?  

Using a tired old plot is perfectly acceptable, provided you put a fresh spin on it.  Romeo and Juliet had been done hundreds of times before. Shakesphere just did it right.
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Offline Strolen

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Re: There are some advantages to doing this...
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2003, 06:44:10 AM »
Quote from: "MoonHunter"
Romeo and Juliet had been done hundreds of times before. Shakesphere just did it right.


He did?

 :roll:

 :wink:

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Offline Agar

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2003, 01:00:34 AM »
I ran a GURPS campaign for 3 months, once a week, that was a rip off of the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. I even turned one of the characters into a  red skeleton. They NEVER caught on. Ever. They were completly oblivious to it. I even PLAYED the game while I was waiting for everyone to show up, to keep the theme and feel fresh, while the people who showed up early watched.

If you can keep it subtle and not throw them obvious cues, and present it differently, maybe add some stuff you think should have been in the plot, the players can be caught completly off gaurd.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2003, 01:03:24 AM »
Wow. Your players may be some of the least observant people I've ever heard of.
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Offline Agar

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2003, 01:08:17 AM »
I was actually hoping I was one of the better dms.  :cry:

I did change quite a bit of stuff. Like there were these skeletons in grey robe taking pot shots at them alot. It wasn't like the game, were they were thrust right into the castle. I was building up to that...
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2003, 01:11:44 AM »
Oh, ok.
But did you have all the "But it was no by my hand that I am again flesh" and "I see the color of your soul" dialougue?
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Offline Agar

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2003, 04:10:01 PM »
Nope. They were in the countryside where the castle was to appear and encountered the vangaurd forces that were quietly preparing to resurect the castle. I didn't just throw the lines straight from the game at them, that would be lame.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2003, 05:29:03 PM »
Right.
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Offline MoonHunter

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So I guess this thread went to sleep....
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2003, 02:33:08 AM »
There are so many ways that fantasy and science fiction overlap... this is just one of them.
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Offline Agar

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2003, 04:11:36 PM »
What? You can't just say "bump"?

All right, if this is but one way science and fantasy overlap, why not discussing some more? Lightsabers are an obvious example, but can we please get to some others first?

Like bags of holding. Extra dimensional spaces and topography and all that. I personally think that the whole reason they explode when one is placed inside another is some guy on a college campus said he didn't want to figure out the topography involved and hurt the players for making him begin to figure it out.

Any other examples people would like to discuss?
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Offline ephemeralstability

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Bags of Holding
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2003, 07:07:33 PM »
Although the following argument is for finitely many dimensions, it can be extended to countable or even uncountable-dimensional vector spaces.

Consider a bag of holding of dimension n. It can contain a vector space A of dimension at most n. Suppose it can contain other bags of holding. Then take the power set of A (i.e. set of all subsets of A). This can be represented as a set of bags of holding all containing subsets of A. There must be 2^n dimensions to contain all these bags and therefore the dimension of the bag of holding would be greater than n which is a contradiction. Therefore the bag cannot contain other bags.

It's not topology, just set theory.

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Offline Agar

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2003, 09:27:59 PM »
... *

(Agar's head just exploded)
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2003, 09:41:35 PM »
I love talking theoretical science.

Ever read Stephen Hawkings' A Brief History of Time or Our Universe in A Nutshell?
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Offline sniperspy

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2003, 09:43:17 PM »
Ive read A breif history of time. Its wierd, I can understand the complicated parts, but some of the simpler ideas are just over my head. Good stuff to think about while you are bored though.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Actually it wasn't a bump...
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2003, 03:17:31 AM »
I just end capped the topic I thought was dead.  The post afterward was an "oops" I was going to write something else, got interrupted by work and did not get back to it.  

The problem with most theoretical physics is well it is very theoretical.  Many of the ideas are interesting, but have only the minimal tennable evidence. In many cases, the paradign we use in theoretical and quantum physics is sooo strained.  We try to make things fit into our existing struture, when it might behoove us to try a new model.  

For example superstrings and FTL. A superstring manipulated by gravity effects everything (mass and space) along the stringline. If you manipulate a superstring that is longer than one light second, would you not be effecting a point of the universe at a rate greater than C?  if we acknowledge that this tennant of General Relativity is wrong, then it breaks our view of the universe.  

A)          *-----------------------------*
B)       *-----------------------------*_  Note the gap in space time.
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