Thread: Yrth technology
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:20 AM   #26
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Default Re: Yrth technology

Originally Posted by malloyd
Yrth is intended to do classical "fantasy", which to a large extent means it is late TL4 but without gunpowder or the early edges of industrialization. Though sometimes it has their *effects* anyway. It should have all sorts of TL3 "anachronisms" ranging from articulated plate armor, to window glass, to cheap, brightly colored textiles.
But this can certainly be explained by magic. What I don't understand is why things like street lamps aren't handled by magic. Refrigerators replaced with boxes with the Preserve Food spell, bathrooms featuring magic toilets, etc. I know in some of the Forgotten Realms based video games you see the magic street lamps in large fantasy cities (I don't own any of the Forgotten Realms D&D books, so I don't know how accurately the setting is being represented).

That last by the way is an example of one the problem of thinking to hard about this. The target is essentially a visual and storytelling style, and trying to justify logically what is and is not present, is largely an exercise in futility. You have cheap polychrome textiles because fantasy nobles have lots of fancy clothing, and clean neat dress of even the goat girls in fairy tales needs cheap cloth too. But you will never, ever see the improved spinning technology this implies, nor the chemical industry that generates the affordable soap or the color fast dyes across the entire spectrum.
Heh, it could be brownies making the inexpensive shoes and textiles with some form of magic. Mages helping out with coloring of fabrics. I'd think the vast majority of mages would be equivalent of craftsman and such.

This sort of thing is true all around - fantasy cities are huge (though Banestorm did scale them back some) because fantasy cities always are, never mind where the food comes from. Every plot significant noble will have a castle, don't ask who built them, or why. Tobacco and coffee and whiskey are all over the place, regardless of their probable absence from the times and places of origin of Yrth's cultures. Pagan religions appear likewise because they are cool and in genre, as do ninjas, and samauri, and any number of other anachronistic details of religious practice and heraldry and.... I really, really wish that it could have just been admitted and the effort to fake up "reasons" abandoned.
I've always seen the statements about the effects of magic taking the place of mining of ore. I just think it wouldn't be an either or situation. Princes and Kings would tend to employ the mages who do this sort of thing. They'd use them to build their huge castles and important parts of the large city core. The food is easily explained with spells like Bless and agricultural spells improving the yield on food. Preserve Food helps keep food from going bad.

I'd think technology wouldn't progress much if there is sufficient magic to handle desires of the populace. "Necessity is the mother of invention", so if magic handles the things technology would normally handle how much innovation do you get. If the best and brightest minds are all mages wouldn't technological innovation be stiffled.
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