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Old 01-28-2005, 12:18 AM   #11
maximara
 
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Default Re: G4e Tech Levels for Merlin, Homeline

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Originally Posted by DaltonS
I'm afraid I'm not very familiar with the roots of Japanese military fanaticism but I assume there was a hierarchy involved, and if one of the observers was sufficiently trusted and of high rank wouldn't their advice be heeded? Maybe a close encounter with a demon proved convincing.
Actually the real situation in Japan was a real mess. Those that wanted out of the War were trying to make peace with and through the USSR and there in is lies the problem. Keep in mind in OTL we now know that Stalin had an agent at Trinity so he knows how the test went. With no atomic bomb to get him to move Stalin can putter around as long as it takes the US get tired of the situation and go ahead with Operation Downfall.


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Originally Posted by DaltonS
Except empowering the masses was not really high on his agenda. Besides, the electromagnetic effects could leave his country open to attack. (A remote chance I admit, but with his documented paranoia would he be willing to take the risk?)
.

In OTL he was willing to detonate an Plutonium atomic bomb in OTL near Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstani (USSR) which surprisingly is not in Siberia but in Turan.

Siberia would ahve been remote enough that Stalin would have risked it as he controled who could get near the place and therefore near the thing. Also what spells were know in 1949? Also remember the USSR had a psychic program invovled in remote viewing at least back into the 1950's (as well as Stalin's supposed test of Wolf Messing which if real creates all kind of problems for Stalin not want to use magic.)

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Originally Posted by DaltonS
First, think work gang (chains would be unnecessary). Second, the law might pass if the period of undeath was strictly limited, after which the zombie would be put to rest. Third, the sentence would have to be reserved for truly heinous crimes, such as child molestion and murder.
The problem is the Southern states were notorious about their abuses with these systems which is how they got eliminated in the first place. In fact when Alabama tried to revive the practice in 1995 they got a lawsuit on their front door step (Austin v. James) as the abuses occured again. Given its 8th admendment problems is is very doubtful than anything like the Lousiania Zombie Chain Gang would exist; it is just too much political dynamite for anyone to want to touch it.

Last edited by maximara; 01-30-2005 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 01-28-2005, 10:57 AM   #12
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Default Re: G4e Tech Levels for Merlin, Homeline

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Originally Posted by prosfilaes
That's, um, absurd. Atomic energy is, by definition, a TL7 technology. TL6 atomic energy is painting glow-in-the-dark watches with radium. The start of the development of the nuclear weapon marks the start of TL7 in GURPS 4th ed.
The flaw in that line of logical is as Steampunk showed and Fantasy (F65) directly states not all the cartagories advance at the same rate. Alone one aspect of a TL does not mean that suddenly everything else is at that TL. Take Etheria setting in Steampunk (126-129) has manned Interplanitary travel which is TL8 by "definition" (B512) but in nearly all other aspects that matter Etheria is a TL(5+1) setting.

Similarlly just because the US transcontinental railroad (Transportation TL6) was finished 1869 doesn mean suddenly all the other TLs jumped to 6; heck antibiotics (Medicine TL6) were not even discovered until 1929 and it was not until WWII that they could be made at a reasonable scale. Conversely if Pasteur had just been a little more lucky (Pasteur's Legacy) the antibiotics revolution could have been kicked off in 1877.
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Old 01-28-2005, 03:59 PM   #13
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Default Re: G4e Tech Levels for Merlin, Homeline

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Originally Posted by maximara
The flaw in that line of logical is as Steampunk showed and Fantasy (F65) directly states not all the cartagories advance at the same rate.
Which is besides the point. Atomic energy is TL7. Period. It is in the very definition of TL7 that it is the atomic age, and it starts with the Manhattan project.

In general, distinctive new technologies that show up in the 1940s are not part of TL6. There's absolutely no reason to think that nuclear power could have shown up earlier than that; the needed science wasn't there.

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Take Etheria setting in Steampunk (126-129) has manned Interplanitary travel which is TL8 by "definition" (B512) but in nearly all other aspects that matter Etheria is a TL(5+1) setting.
Then again, that's not the real world. TL is defined by the real world, not by Etheria's tech. In fact, that exception says a lot about the crossgenre limitations of TL; TL (x+1) very frequently has space travel, for any value of x, whether by geese or cannon, and often interplanetary travel.

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Old 01-28-2005, 04:42 PM   #14
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Default Re: G4e Tech Levels for Merlin, Homeline

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Originally Posted by prosfilaes
Which is besides the point. Atomic energy is TL7. Period. It is in the very definition of TL7 that it is the atomic age, and it starts with the Manhattan project.
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Originally Posted by maximara
Take Etheria setting in Steampunk (126-129) has manned Interplanitary travel which is TL8 by "definition" (B512) but in nearly all other aspects that matter Etheria is a TL(5+1) setting.
Then again, that's not the real world. TL is defined by the real world, not by Etheria's tech. In fact, that exception says a lot about the crossgenre limitations of TL; TL (x+1) very frequently has space travel, for any value of x, whether by geese or cannon, and often interplanetary travel.
??

And Merlin is the real world?
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Old 01-28-2005, 04:47 PM   #15
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And Merlin is the real world?
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Originally Posted by maximara
As the movie Atomic Cafe and Time Machine's "Future that never Happened" our understanding of atomic energy for nearly of all the 1950's was basicly TL6 which was another reason that I felt that Technomancer would be at TL(6+x).
That's the quote I was responding to, that our understanding of atomic energy was TL6.
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Old 01-28-2005, 04:57 PM   #16
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Whoops. Gotcha.
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Old 01-28-2005, 04:57 PM   #17
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Default Re: G4e Tech Levels for Merlin, Homeline

As I understand it, Tech Levels have more to do with practical use of technology than with theoretical knowledge. So, yes, we knew about nuclear energy in late TL 6, but the actual use of nuclear energy is solidly TL 7.

On the other hand, I don't think that the instant of the detonation of the first atomic bomb marked a total, worldwide transition to TL 7, it just marked the transition of nuclear energy (in the U.S., at least) and certain branches of physics.
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Old 01-28-2005, 06:20 PM   #18
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Default Re: G4e Tech Levels for Merlin, Homeline

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On the other hand, I don't think that the instant of the detonation of the first atomic bomb marked a total, worldwide transition to TL 7, it just marked the transition of nuclear energy (in the U.S., at least) and certain branches of physics.
Of course not, technology lines don't break down quite as easily as roleplayers would like them to. But I do think it's more than just nuclear energy and physics. Computers, for instance, were born in the same era. Given that the line is ultimately arbitrary, I suspect in many domains we could find some justification to draw the line about there. I think it more useful to just set TL7 as starting in 1940 then try and create a jagged line saying that this field was TL6 and that field TL8; simplicity is worth more than correctness, and second-guessing when technologies could have come out is going to gives a more debatable and less memorable TL tree

Yes, Joe Shmo was using TL6 stuff probably well into 50s. But I'd rather call the fancy new refridgerator GE was designing in 1945 TL7 rather than debate what TL every home appliance is.

(On the pedantic note, it's not the first detonation, it's the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction; 1940, not 1945. Of course that's probably also rounding issues, since it's really arbitrary.)
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Old 01-28-2005, 11:46 PM   #19
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Default Re: G4e Tech Levels for Merlin, Homeline

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Originally Posted by prosfilaes
Of course not, technology lines don't break down quite as easily as roleplayers would like them to. But I do think it's more than just nuclear energy and physics. Computers, for instance, were born in the same era. Given that the line is ultimately arbitrary, I suspect in many domains we could find some justification to draw the line about there. I think it more useful to just set TL7 as starting in 1940 then try and create a jagged line saying that this field was TL6 and that field TL8; simplicity is worth more than correctness, and second-guessing when technologies could have come out is going to gives a more debatable and less memorable TL tree.
Except that the real world and most game worlds don't have a TL that is uniform across the board. That is is what Basic Set and Fantasy are telling us and there is really a easy shorthand: simply use the first letter of each of the four catagories. So c1000 Western Europe was for the most part TL3 MTL1. (M of course being Medicine)

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Originally Posted by prosfilaes
Yes, Joe Shmo was using TL6 stuff probably well into 50s. But I'd rather call the fancy new refridgerator GE was designing in 1945 TL7 rather than debate what TL every home appliance is.
We are not going into that level of detail but the important thing is to realize that one innovation of TLy does not dump everything else into TLy. Remember that until they actually set the Gadget off the scientists were not sure what the thing was going to do. Edward Teller thought intially that it would set the atmosphere ablaze (an idea revived for the Alpha-Omega bomb in Beneath the Planet of the Apes) and Oppenheimer had plans to evacuate the southwest part New Mexico. Even after they set the Gadget there really did not understand what an atom bomb could do because moments after the test they were poking around in the still hot remnents.

So the Gadget, Little Boy, and Fat Man were more on the order of TL(6+1) than true TL7 ie a TL7 invention made with TL6 understanding. The previously mentioned movie Atomic Cafe is made up of clips and promotions of the 1950s and shows the total lack of understanding we had of atomic energy in general and atom bomb in particular. The scene where the army chaplin is saying "it (the bomb going off) is a beutiful thing to behold" while the army is marching is troops through fallout is case in point. Then you have Bert the Turtle and his advice 'When you see the flash - duck and cover' which was lampooned decades later in Bloom County as 'When you see the flash bend over and kiss your butt goodbye'. A&E's The Future that Never Happened showed an army training from c1950 where they are talking about using tactical nuclear weapons as if they were just a bigger artilery round.

The fact of the matter is the first years of the atomic age were more TL(6+1) than 'true' TL7.
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Old 01-30-2005, 06:06 PM   #20
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Default Re: G4e Tech Levels for Merlin, Homeline

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Originally Posted by maximara
Except that the real world and most game worlds don't have a TL that is uniform across the board. That is is what Basic Set and Fantasy are telling us and there is really a easy shorthand: simply use the first letter of each of the four catagories. So c1000 Western Europe was for the most part TL3 MTL1. (M of course being Medicine)
Why doesn't the real world have a TL that's uniform across the board, or nearly so? It is as logical to say that c1000 WE was MTL3 as MTL1, as they are both completely arbitrary. One, however, requires big lists of technologies and TLs, and the other requires going "Okay, this is like c1000 WE, so everything is TL3."

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The fact of the matter is the first years of the atomic age were more TL(6+1) than 'true' TL7.
TL (x+1) was never designed for real world use; it was designed, IIRC, for the Steampunk book, and was explicitly for alternate universes. It's needless complexity for the real world, and it's the wrong tool, to boot; TL (x+1) is by definition off the RL trail of technologies. If you don't want the nuke to be TL6 and don't want it to be TL7, you need to make a TL 6.5 and place it there.

A TL(6+1) nuke would be a chemical bomb launched from a Zepplin or a huge Paris gun. A TL (6+1) computer would be a mechano-electronic form of the Difference Engine, not an early vacuum tube computer.
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