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Old 11-05-2015, 11:05 PM   #1
dfinlay
 
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Default High TL 9 vs TL2+RPM

I'm brainstorming for a campaign where a high TL9 (the tech level is similar to what the alliance had in Firefly or to BSG minus FTL) fleet of generation ships invades a solar system with inhabitants at TL2 with RPM that had colonized the solar system centuries earlier with the use of magic, but interplanetary travel/communication would be difficult and rare for them. I'm curious for people with more RPM experience that I have to tell me their opinions as to how the war would be fought and who would win. Ideally, I would like the war to have been hard fought but for the TL9 people to have triumphed. What assumptions, for example, on proportions of skill levels would be needed to make this result plausible? Assume that the TL2 civilization outnumbered the TL9 around five to one (or more, if neccessary), a relatively even distribution of RPM paths and that some (maybe 5-10%) of the RPM mages would have Ritual Adept.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:49 AM   #2
Nereidalbel
 
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Default Re: High TL 9 vs TL2+RPM

As soon as the mages find out how much damage lightning does to vehicles, bad things happen. Even worse things happen when they figure out how to use Greater Destroy Matter to foul fuel supplies and guns. They'll still lose when somebody decides to nuke the site from orbit, though.
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Old 11-06-2015, 02:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: High TL 9 vs TL2+RPM

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
As soon as the mages find out how much damage lightning does to vehicles, bad things happen. Even worse things happen when they figure out how to use Greater Destroy Matter to foul fuel supplies and guns. They'll still lose when somebody decides to nuke the site from orbit, though.
Hmm...

They'd obviously use scrying to determine what their enemy is capable of in a way that they can't block. If they can therefore realise the threat of nuking they may be able to set up defensive circles of mages who can cast Greater Destroy Matter to get rid of radioactive compounds in the missiles either before they hit, or while they're in the ships, they may even be able to start fission. That obviously depends on how long range they can work their magic.
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Old 11-06-2015, 02:55 AM   #4
Andreas
 
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Default Re: High TL 9 vs TL2+RPM

The possibility of getting energy from sacrifices means that very powerful spells would be available to them regardless of skill level. Something would be needed to prevent the mages from just using this to overwhelm the TL 9 force.

Perhaps the mages don't understand the enemy and the structure of their society is such that they can't effectively make use of the information they get from scrying (perhaps they don't trust each other for example).

Another possibility would be that they got a critical failure from one of their powerful spells, which caused massive damage to their own side. Or perhaps they are unwilling to use powerful spells due to the danger of critical failures even if it means defeat in the war.
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: High TL 9 vs TL2+RPM

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Originally Posted by Andreas View Post
The possibility of getting energy from sacrifices means that very powerful spells would be available to them regardless of skill level. Something would be needed to prevent the mages from just using this to overwhelm the TL 9 force.

Perhaps the mages don't understand the enemy and the structure of their society is such that they can't effectively make use of the information they get from scrying (perhaps they don't trust each other for example).

Another possibility would be that they got a critical failure from one of their powerful spells, which caused massive damage to their own side. Or perhaps they are unwilling to use powerful spells due to the danger of critical failures even if it means defeat in the war.
Of course there's a pretty major risk involved with getting together a huge number of people for a sacrifice, that becomes a pretty major target for exploding.
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:05 AM   #6
evileeyore
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Default Re: High TL 9 vs TL2+RPM

In order for Greater Destroy to work the mages need either to understand how the machines work (not likely) or get a sample of what they to destroy (more likely for bullets/energy cells).


What I'd do is have it be be a quick blitz for the invaders, shock and awe all around (magic will be a big surprise to the invaders) followed by a terrible occupation. Even with magic I don't think they'd be able to match the edge high tech has... unless every other lowtechie was a Mage with time to prepare and the knowledge of what they were preparing for.

Now following the invasion there would be a strong nigh successful revolt (insurgent Mages now know what they are fighting) as magic could make for some extremely effective guerrilla action. The revolt is only ended when the invaders show they are willing to nuke cities. Probably at least one per planet.
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Old 11-06-2015, 06:41 AM   #7
Andreas
 
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Default Re: High TL 9 vs TL2+RPM

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Originally Posted by Wavefunction View Post
Of course there's a pretty major risk involved with getting together a huge number of people for a sacrifice, that becomes a pretty major target for exploding.
Sure, assuming that the invaders manage to set up enough presence in each planetary orbit to detect and destroy any large group of people before the mages know about them.

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Even with magic I don't think they'd be able to match the edge high tech has... unless every other lowtechie was a Mage with time to prepare and the knowledge of what they were preparing for.
Even a single mage with a large group of sacrifices could cause a lot of damage to the invaders. Some spell effect scale very well with the amount of invested energy.
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Old 11-06-2015, 07:00 AM   #8
Nereidalbel
 
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Default Re: High TL 9 vs TL2+RPM

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Even a single mage with a large group of sacrifices could cause a lot of damage to the invaders. Some spell effect scale very well with the amount of invested energy.
Such as external damage over a wide area.
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Old 11-06-2015, 07:00 AM   #9
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Default Re: High TL 9 vs TL2+RPM

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Originally Posted by Wavefunction View Post
Of course there's a pretty major risk involved with getting together a huge number of people for a sacrifice, that becomes a pretty major target for exploding.
Design that expected attack into the sacrificial ritual; then the high-tech attackers become your helpers.

Is it possible for the high-tech civilization to detect magic? Or to learn it?
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Old 11-06-2015, 07:10 AM   #10
Nereidalbel
 
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Default Re: High TL 9 vs TL2+RPM

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Design that expected attack into the sacrificial ritual; then the high-tech attackers become your helpers.

Is it possible for the high-tech civilization to detect magic? Or to learn it?
If they can identify the gene that gives access to Magery, sure?
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