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Old 10-28-2016, 06:58 AM   #41
hal
 
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Default Re: Banestorm Navies

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
On the other hand, a lot of really useful magic items don't require mages at all and are cheap compared to the cost of a ship. Any ship leaving port without a Purify Water, Find Direction (or Know Location) and Extinguish Fire (or Create Water, the mist form is nearly as good for small normal fires) item has idiotic owners.

I've always wondered a bit why Predict Weather doesn't have an item too. Any tradition of nautically oriented enchanters (and it is one of the more stable markets for enchanters, simply *because* ships aren't cheap) should have cracked that one long ago too.
One of the things to keep in mind (I'm late to the party and haven't gone through the entire postings...)

Scrolls would come into their own in such a setting. Magery 0 candidates who are literate will be able to cast relatively cheap spells (including the wind spells) using scrolls.

What might be interesting is for someone to actively take a value from say, GURPS BANESTORM for a given kingdom, use the demographics given in GURPRS FANTASY and derive the numbers of mageborn available for an entire kingdom. From there, make the presumption that 1/3rd of available mageborn are ineligible for use due to ages under 15. With that last bit, actually allocate the necessary mages to the various job classifications to see what comes of it.

Just a thought.
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Old 10-28-2016, 10:17 AM   #42
Phil Masters
 
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Default Re: Banestorm Navies

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But it's not a medieval style city. From the map in Tredroy it's an unwalled city 10 or 15 miles across. Of course that map scale also indicates it sits on a river wider than the Amazon, crossed by 4 bridges longer than anything built on Earth until 1936, but hey making ridiculous canon numbers is part of the game, right?
Not the way we played it, to be honest. That sort of weirdness is why we probably regarded Tredroy as the least valid source of all while forging the shiny brand new canon.

(3e Yrth and 4e Yrth really aren't the same worlds. You can tell by the fact that the skies are different.)

As to the ships - I'd be tempted to make most of them very similar to historic-Earth TL3/4 vessels (because you can't always get or afford or trust a wizard), but every now and again your experienced sailor will point to some impossibly lean or flimsy-looking cutter over on the next dock and mutter "magic-runner". And if you get into a fight with one of those things at sea, well, try running for that no-mana reef that you've heard of.
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Old 10-28-2016, 10:54 AM   #43
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Default Re: Banestorm Navies

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As to the ships - I'd be tempted to make most of them very similar to historic-Earth TL3/4 vessels (because you can't always get or afford or trust a wizard), but every now and again your experienced sailor will point to some impossibly lean or flimsy-looking cutter over on the next dock and mutter "magic-runner". And if you get into a fight with one of those things at sea, well, try running for that no-mana reef that you've heard of.
I think the idea of Essential Wood ships have hulls 1/3rd as thick is based on a misunderstanding of how the spell and/or low tech construction works.

The first issue is that you don't build with Essential Wood. You build with regular wood and then transform it when it's done. Hammering into 3x as hard wood would be masochistic when there's no need. Anyway, as a Regular Spell Essential Wood has costs based on SM and it's quite efficient to cast on finished products.

The second issue is that for most things materials costs are very low. It's labor that's the overwhelming expense. It's this sort of thing that led David Ricardo to form the Labor Theory of Value during the dawn of economics. It was industrialization that reduced the amount of labor need to make goods that gave us our present ideas about the relative costs of labor and materials.

It's entirely possible that the extra labor to make your hull planks 1/3rd as thick would make them _more_ expensive. You'd also need extensive hull bracing during construction before the essential transformation.

You might see a lot of regular hulls transformed into Essential Wood for 3x durability. The economics are fairly favorable to support one moderately talented Mage working for each shipyard.

Of course, having your wood be 3x as hard is likely to be a nuisance later when repairs and alterations are necessary.
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Old 10-28-2016, 12:37 PM   #44
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Default Re: Banestorm Navies

One thing that I wonder at...

SHAPE PLANT

As a spell, it permits one to mold plant material into an shape required. It also to my mind, would change the way hulls would be manufactured in ways that were not possible in normal technological environments.

Consider for example, the ability to extrude elements of the spars such that they meld together without the need for nails or glue - or used in conjunction with glue make for a better fit that would not be possible otherwise. Imagine a tube of material being such that you can mold a perfectly round wooden member. Or imagine being able to create pretzel like configurations with wood in an effort to strengthen them and then mold them to your needs. Either way, ships would have a better HP value than ordinary construction would imply.
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Old 10-28-2016, 05:54 PM   #45
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I don't know anything about shipbuilding, but couldn't hulls that had 1/3 the weight have other advantages besides reduced materials cost? If the ship can be built much lighter for the same strength wouldn't that potentially improve speed/draft/maneuverability?
It wouldn't improve speed, unless your ship is oar or screw propelled. It wouldn't make much difference to draft, since most of the ship's loaded weight is going to be in its cargo. It would probably help you turn a bit faster, although once again, that's more a function of the vessel's length.
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Old 10-28-2016, 07:34 PM   #46
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I don't know anything about shipbuilding, but couldn't hulls that had 1/3 the weight have other advantages besides reduced materials cost? .
Just one of the problems is that ships are normally built out of wood that is lighter than water. So less wood does not necessarily make the ship sit higher in the water.

Besides cargo there's normally a lot of weight put into ballast along the ship's keel to improve stability. If you left out the ballast you'd probably have to shorten the masts to compensate and less sail area is not a way to make a ship faster.

One good way to make a ship faster is to make it longer for the same beam and draft. If you don't have the USS Constitution's special hull bracing you definitely want the Essential Wood at full strength. You could make _very_ long ships out of Essential Wood.

Mostly though I think you want a ship that lasts 3x as long before wearing out.
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Old 10-28-2016, 08:49 PM   #47
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Default Re: Banestorm Navies

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(3e Yrth and 4e Yrth really aren't the same worlds. You can tell by the fact that the skies are different.)
And the thing that makes a real difference for gameability: Anglish used to have a default to and from English so that when playing a modern English speaker Banestormed into Ytarria he could get along on some level right away ("playing ourselves" scenarios, for instance).
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:44 PM   #48
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And the thing that makes a real difference for gameability: Anglish used to have a default to and from English so that when playing a modern English speaker Banestormed into Ytarria he could get along on some level right away ("playing ourselves" scenarios, for instance).
Isn't that just a matter of language no longer having defaults?
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:54 PM   #49
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Default Re: Banestorm Navies

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...Military ships might still opt for regular hulls for the increased strength (does it matter absent cannon?) ...
It would definitely matter for ram ships. Note that https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lepanto was in 1571, and galleys were used until the 1700s. If you have no gunpowder equivalents they would likely remain in use due to their advantages around ports.
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:58 PM   #50
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Default Re: Banestorm Navies

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Isn't that just a matter of language no longer having defaults?
Languages can (and should) totally still have defaults.
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