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Author Topic: Golems are fantasy robots... **  (Read 9408 times)

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Offline MoonHunter

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Oh and you can't put a bag of holding in a bag of holding...
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2003, 03:19:43 AM »
It explodes, much like Agar's head.  I am sure it was a play balance thing, rather than a nod to the nature of the universe.
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Offline ephemeralstability

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2003, 05:40:25 AM »
<waffle>

Though this isn't really the place for discussion of theoretical physics, I'd just like to defend the current state of said field.

I don't really see what is so strained about quantum mechanics, especially when viewed as a mathematical model rather than a representation of "reality". It is a perfectly consistent system which produces accurate predictions and which is elegant and simple. Its predictions are tested by experiment: scanning tunnelling microscopes give us pictures of wavelike properties of electrons also manifest in countless diffraction experiments.

Although I am not particularly familiar with superstring theory I can think of a simpler example which contradicts the ideas of relativitstic causality, namely the EPR paradox. I'll admit that string theory is certainly still in its theoretical stages, however it has a clear justification, in that it is a natural group theoretic extension of the highly successful gauge method which underlies the standard model.

<\waffle> <!-- mmm waffles -->

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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2003, 07:37:06 AM »
Well, how can we say that the theories we humans think up, no matter how complex, can really explain what goes on in the universe?

What we can see and comprehend of it is the mere outer shell. What right do we have to act as if we know it, if we haven't even tried for farther than our moon.

I suppose you should just chalk it up to human curiousity.

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Offline ephemeralstability

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2003, 09:08:34 AM »
Well absolutely, as I say, as mathematical models our theories are sound and elegant and make accurate predictions. That's not to say they're right.

And yes! We should definitely try for further than the moon.

ephe!
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2003, 08:50:55 PM »
...  Ow.  My head hurts.  I dislike theoretical physics intensely.  But anyway.  Yes, we need to go farther than the moon, 'cause I think some day we're gonna have to.
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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #30 on: October 18, 2003, 12:29:44 PM »
Quote from: "CaptainPenguin"
I love talking theoretical science.

Ever read Stephen Hawkings' A Brief History of Time or Our Universe in A Nutshell?
: :D  :shock: :

Offline MoonHunter

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They are making a game out of it....
« Reply #31 on: November 16, 2003, 03:17:10 AM »
http://www.gamingreport.com/article.php?sid=10838&mode=thread&order=0

Most of their "monsters of war" are magical mecha, but smaller ones exist.
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Offline manfred

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2003, 05:06:17 AM »
Thinking about undead, I came to the conclusion they would be in RL an equivalent of a perpetuum mobile, ie it somehow works forever, not intimidated by the laws of nature. Of course, this is fantasy, and is not bound to those laws. And I have seen somewhere rules, claiming that if undead don't kill (don't consume life force), they get weaker and gradually fall apart. Whatever.

To return to the golems... what if it is necessary to fuel them somehow? A common golem is 'run' with its spirit, that comes from somewhere, not important for now. The cheaper and faster created golems must be powered with something, maybe oil, but magic can do it too. Simply cast a spell to make it work again.


Hmmm... looks like it lost some part of the fun. But, it makes these golems need regular "power-ups", meaning plot hooks and potential weaknesses, raising somewhat their costs. Maybe the creator made them with this way, so they don't run forever, or become independent from the wizards help (both the golem and its owner). An option if anyone tries this.
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Offline Kinslayer

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2004, 02:34:53 AM »
Quote from: "manfred"
Thinking about undead, I came to the conclusion they would be in RL an equivalent of a perpetuum mobile, ie it somehow works forever, not intimidated by the laws of nature.
This is one of the reasons why Midian zombies only last for a few decades at most.  Of course, I also incorporated bits from the old zombi legends & horror movies for them.  

Several years ago, I ran a Spelljammer campaign that was a straight rip of Battletech.  I pitted elven Spirit Warriors (gian undead insects with bonded pilots) against orcish space monsters (whose names escape me currently).  I tried to incorporate as many Battletech sci-fi elements into that Spelljammer campaign as possible, using magical analogs.  The players never caught on, but none of them ever played Battletech.  

I do think that it can be a mistake for a fantasy setting to have too many technological analogs, and would never again try something like that crossover again.  Much of the flavour of a fantasy setting is lost if the players can activate a light spell by throwing a switch on a wall, for example.  That said, spicing a fantasy setting up with tech-as-magic (even the Clarke "indistinguishable" bit) works wonders.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #34 on: April 11, 2005, 09:17:33 AM »
A couple of things, since the -Jack thread has been revived.

1) First, lets reject the thread drift that occured in the middle of this thread and head back to on topic.

2) Iron Kingdom, a D20 campaign that I have ranted about a number of times on the site (in otherwords do your own google search for Iron Kingdom RPG and don't search for just Iron Kingdom), has Golems empowered by a combination of magic and steam power (actually the steam power turns a mystical energy generator).  This is used initially to create huge war machines, but in the peace that has occured since, steamjacks have been used for construction, heavy lifting, and security.  They are close to being robots.

3) Undead Economy is still around. That is a similar thread.
http://www.rpgcitadel.com/guild/index.php?topic=962.0

4) So what happens when a society is free from most of its drudgework? It is like having a "slave class" that never rebels and you never have to feel sorry about.
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Offline Kinslayer

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Golems are fantasy robots...
« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2005, 12:28:39 AM »
Much of the potential problems with golems involves their intelligence.  If they are too smart, then they can take over more tasks, and replace people in more roles. If they are less intelligent, then there is a greater likelihood of an unscrupulous person abusing the golems' power.

Quote from: "Manfred"
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.


On the new Battlestar Galactica, the Cylons are religious.  I love this angle for them.  God wants them to kill all the humans.

As to the problem of integrating an Asimovian set of laws into the golems, this can be an inherent part of the magic.  Just like how the animation effect "knows" to move its stone arm at the elbow, instead of more like a tentacle, it "knows" that it's not allowed to kill humans (that's the Cylons' job).  It may be that the rules that govern a golem's existance aren't directly separatable from the animation itself.  In fact, it can be viewed as "you can move" being only one of those rules.  

As regards the steampunk elements, another option is for the magic to power the tech, rather than the steam engine power the magical generator.  That is, you have a magical "field" set inside of the golem that controls the body via pulleys & levers, & uses a periscope type setup for the sensory array.  This way it outwardly has steampunk elements, but avoids much of the loss of verisimilitude with fantasy robotics as it is still inherently a type of golem.
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