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Old 04-09-2008, 04:30 PM   #41
Witchking
 
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Default Re: Yrth technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apache
Healing/cure disease potions are cheap (relatively), and can heal many more troops than any single healing mage can.
Ah but consider a single healing mage casting ceremonially. Sure it takes 10x the casting time. So for most healing spells its 10 sec instead of 1 sec. Per the RAW the caster in a ceremony can draw fatigue (1 FP each) from up to 100 "spectators." Assuming a "classical Roman Early Republic" Legion that is 5000 potential spectators. So assuming perfect conditions; one healing mage can heal 10,000 pts of damage using Major Healing before he has to spend a point of his own fatigue. I think that is quite an improvement over historical TL 3-4 First Aid....
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:49 PM   #42
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Default Re: Yrth technology

The fact is, if we use Gurps skill levels and compare them in Job Tables, and that tell us Mages would have skill level 12-14. But, IMO, magic NEVER got +4 or +5 bonus of a "simple task".

So, a wizard using Shape Earth to fabricate a horseshoe would probably have a worse shot at it than a Blacksmith of same skill level. Magic is faster and with spectacular results, no doubt there, but way more unpredictable and unreliable.

And I hardly believe it that a Mage with Shape Earth 21, and a lot of Earth school magics at a high level would bother to manufacture stuff at industrial scale just for the money.

Participate on great works, sure; but fast-casting extremely good horseshoes at a machine-gun rate, at no energy cost seems a little overkill, IMO.
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:55 PM   #43
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Default Re: Yrth technology

Mages on battlefield, however, it's another business.

But then again, that depend on the rarity of magical aptitude on your setting. This can put them as warlords or footsoldiers, depending on how many of them are available AND willing to spend their knowledge and inborn talent in "magic-warfare-tactics".
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:44 PM   #44
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Default Re: Yrth technology

So has anyone thought about the Magery frequency in Dwarves? And are Yrth Elves still pretty much all mages? It is entirely possible that many magical items may be imported from those cultures (and here I am assuming that Dwarves may have a higher frequency of Magery in their populations).

Granted, Elves may not export out their magics, but even if they aren't interested in battlefield magics (highly likely, actually), they may not have any problems with plant growing magic items, or preserve-food-erators, or other "relatively mundane" magics that could take the place of some technologies.

Dark Elves, on the other hand, may compromise a bit and become battle mages in the human armies. At least that way, they get to kill off at least some of their hated foes! Not to mention getting some really good first hand intelligence about the other races' forces and tactics....;-)

Just a thought....
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Old 04-10-2008, 03:00 AM   #45
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Default Re: Yrth technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander
What does he end up doing?
Logistics and transportation, mostly.

But using Strange & Norrell as a reference for Yrth - or for any game using GURPS spell magic, in fact - is an exercise in lunacy. Superb book, and the magic is insanely powerful and all over the shop. It's the magic of fairy tales.

(Suffice to say that the hero resolves a minor problem on the eve of Waterloo by temporarily transporting the entire British force to America for a few hours. Just for somewhere to put it, you understand.)
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:38 AM   #46
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Default Re: Yrth technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Masters
Logistics and transportation, mostly.
I knew it. ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Masters
But using Strange & Norrell as a reference for Yrth - or for any game using GURPS spell magic, in fact - is an exercise in lunacy. Superb book, and the magic is insanely powerful and all over the shop. It's the magic of fairy tales.

(Suffice to say that the hero resolves a minor problem on the eve of Waterloo by temporarily transporting the entire British force to America for a few hours. Just for somewhere to put it, you understand.)
Oh, fair enough.

Can you recommend any good novels with less powerful magic that explore the effect it has on military strategy with something approaching plausibility?
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:33 AM   #47
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Default Re: Yrth technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Witchking
Ah but consider a single healing mage casting ceremonially. Sure it takes 10x the casting time. So for most healing spells its 10 sec instead of 1 sec. Per the RAW the caster in a ceremony can draw fatigue (1 FP each) from up to 100 "spectators." Assuming a "classical Roman Early Republic" Legion that is 5000 potential spectators. So assuming perfect conditions; one healing mage can heal 10,000 pts of damage using Major Healing before he has to spend a point of his own fatigue. I think that is quite an improvement over historical TL 3-4 First Aid....
It is.

Healing and Cure Disease potions are also major improvements over TL3/4 First Aid.

What you forget is that a healing potion can be carried by the troops themselves, and used by the troops themselves; I doubt that a healing mage will be assigned to each cohort, and would be a major target if he was.

Alchemists do not require Magery, anybody (with the proper training) can be one. Considering the equipment most legions haul around with them, I'm sure that attached to each legion is a master alchemist, many journeyman, dozens of apprentices, 'volunteers' (screw up in the legions, and 'alchemical assistant' would be a valid punishment duty...), and enough alchemy equipment to set up at least 2 brewery lines.

Considering how few mages are going to be with each legion, a healer mage is a waste; I would rather have another mage that can Read Minds (it helps to know what the enemy is planning) and Send Thoughts (I need to give that unit new orders NOW), and leave the healing up to the potion makers.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:33 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander
I knew it. ;)


Oh, fair enough.

Can you recommend any good novels with less powerful magic that explore the effect it has on military strategy with something approaching plausibility?
Lord Darcy series, by Randell Garret.
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Old 04-10-2008, 08:56 AM   #49
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Regarding alchemists versus mage-healers: Alchemy is a VH skill and IQ based. That will cost points too. For mage-healers one important consideration is whether Healing-Only-Magery exists, and if yes, whether it is inborn or learnable. If it can be taught, that makes them cheaper. If significant numbers are born with it, what else do you with them ? I also like mage-healers because even the wounded troops can contribute FPs, and FPs are replenished much faster than potions are brewed. Potions can be made in advance and brought along, yes, but that also creates a new target. A Healing potion costs $ 120 to restore 1d HP. Making enough of them to heal as many HPs as one mage with Minor or Major Healing and access to a few dozen wounded soldiers as spectators can heal will be expensive. In addition, shouldn´t those alchemists rather make Battle (+1d DX for 1 hour, plus Bravery, $ 350) or Strength (+1d ST for 1 hour, $ 250) ? Might and Grace have durations of only 1 minute, so here they have a real advantage over mages. Finally, given that alchemists need labs, and that even making Healing takes a week, I wouldn´t assign them to legions, but to fortresses and send the potions to the legions.
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:42 AM   #50
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Default Re: Yrth technology

Quote:
I think he means stuff like how "Create Earth" hasn't been used to dominate the metal ore market...

Or 'Shape Stone' completely dominate the construction market. Or the fact that classical-style knights exist for no apparent reason.
On Create Earth, Earth to Stone, Shape Stone, Shape Metal, etc. - do we know that these *aren't* in fact extensively used as part of Yrth's economy? Perhaps these, along with Bless Plants, etc., are why Yrth is able to support a larger percentage of its population as city dwellers rather than farmers, why those cities tend to have nice stone or at least stone-faced walls (and remember that worked stone is much harder to Shape), why there're enough metal weapons and armor to go around, and so on. There's not a lot of detail given about mining, smelting, and smithing activities of a more mundane sort in the setting, as far as I can recall.

Even if there is a line or two about slaves being sent to the mines or whatever, it's possible that either a) this is just done in areas where lots of Earth mages aren't available or are too busy with other tasks, 2) it's only done in areas with ores that aren't duplicated by vanilla Create Earth, or 3) it's more in the nature of make-work punishment than a productive economic activity
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