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Old 04-09-2008, 01:42 AM   #21
Crakkerjakk
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Default Re: Yrth technology

Oh, absolutely. It just sounded like you were saying that the only reason Knights existed was to do HCCs(Heavy Calvary Charge). All I was saying is that while they were generally a mounted force, the HCC was not the only tool they had at their disposal, and except for the High Medieval period(according to MA), it wasn't even their primary purpose. Before the high medieval they didn't have the armor or stirrups, and after the high medieval they fought a lot more dismounted, again, according to MA.

I do think that effective calvary units would be a lot more expensive to maintain and of much more limited strategic use in a normal mana world, but then, the only place where there's a huge Knightly tradition in the "mounted warrior" sense that I can tell in Banestorm is in Caithness, which is one giant low-mana zone. Granted, I just got it recently, and I'm only partway the section on Al-Haz, but it seems to me that the Magelan Legions are modeled on Rome's Legions, confirming the supremacy of heavy infantry in normal-mana warfare. I know AL-Haz has a mostly mounted military, but that also fits with their general dislike of magic, and the inadvisability of wearing heavy armor in the desert.

Way I see it, in order to have effective calvary, you would need to either have them be mostly missile calvary/scouts or super-expensive heavy calvary, with all kinds of enchantments on the horse's barding to allow them to resist all the stuff that can spook them, and they would still be vulnerable to stuff that affects the terrain. However, I'm assuming this type of magic is expensive on the large scale, and can be countered by the opposing side's mages. I'm not sure of that, as I don't have a real great handle on all the spells in Magic, I'm just assuming affecting very large areas is very mana-intensive.
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Old 04-09-2008, 02:02 AM   #22
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Default Re: Yrth technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crakkerjakk

I do think that effective calvary units would be a lot more expensive to maintain and of much more limited strategic use in a normal mana world, but then, the only place where there's a huge Knightly tradition in the "mounted warrior" sense that I can tell in Banestorm is in Caithness, which is one giant low-mana zone. Granted, I just got it recently, and I'm only partway the section on Al-Haz, but it seems to me that the Magelan Legions are modeled on Rome's Legions, confirming the supremacy of heavy infantry in normal-mana warfare. I know AL-Haz has a mostly mounted military, but that also fits with their general dislike of magic, and the inadvisability of wearing heavy armor in the desert.

Way I see it, in order to have effective calvary, you would need to either have them be mostly missile calvary/scouts or super-expensive heavy calvary, with all kinds of enchantments on the horse's barding to allow them to resist all the stuff that can spook them, and they would still be vulnerable to stuff that affects the terrain. However, I'm assuming this type of magic is expensive on the large scale, and can be countered by the opposing side's mages. I'm not sure of that, as I don't have a real great handle on all the spells in Magic, I'm just assuming affecting very large areas is very mana-intensive.
You are right; unless protected, the mounts become a vulnerability when the appropriate magic is introduced. Magically protecting them is an option, but enchantment on that kind of scale is not only very expensive, but very hard to come by, unless the number of mages is introduced or enchantment made much more easy. But then you end up with other problems.... Keeping them out of range of the mages is a much more economic option!

Large spells cast on the battlefield are indeed expensive. I have always assumed that mages work as special ops groups, or in a support role (like food acquirers/healers or something). Although the illusionist can be quite useful, if given time to prepare a bit or during the fog of war. Even a vision-only illusion spell can come in quite handy....
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Old 04-09-2008, 02:07 AM   #23
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Yrth Generals might true and keep their cavalry away from mages and hope that they can be brought to bare on more vaulneral infantry.
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Old 04-09-2008, 05:59 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Dangerious P. Cats
Yrth Generals might true and keep their cavalry away from mages and hope that they can be brought to bare on more vaulneral infantry.
Well, in the case of Megalan legions, they usually have battle-mages along with them. The Cavalry unit might have a mounted wizard to ward against animal-targetting spells.
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Old 04-09-2008, 06:58 AM   #25
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The real strength of Megalan 'magic superiority' isn't in their mages (although the battle wizards and support mages are tremendous force multipliers...), its in their alchemical factories.

Healing/cure disease potions are cheap (relatively), and can heal many more troops than any single healing mage can.

Elite formations (say, the 1st cohort of each legion) probably are issued various combat potions before each battle. Some of the combat potions are so cheap, they might be issued legion-wide.
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:20 AM   #26
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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).

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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.

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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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Old 04-09-2008, 07:25 AM   #27
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Default Re: Yrth technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd
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.
Not entirely untrue, frankly. The first part of the sentence is certainly on the money.

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Originally Posted by malloyd
I really, really wish that it could have just been admitted and the effort to fake up "reasons" abandoned.
All geeky impulses aside - if you do that, you lose all coherence to a setting. With your last connection to logic severed, you float away on a breeze of vapid "Because it's KEWL!" glamour.

Maintaining a balance between style and cohesion is an art. I'm not saying we got it dead right, but we recognised the need to try.
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:39 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd
.................... 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.
Not in my version of it.

When I ran BANESTORM. One of my characters pitched and helped out at the Tavern they were eating and drinking at. She noticed a small greenish bottle next to the sink that bartander/tavern owner used to clean utensils and cups, glasses etc. When she looked at the bottom of the bottle - there was a very stylised trademark that had the letters "P&G" very prominent. *

It turns out the tavern owner was concerned about demonets, heard it was a good idea to always try to have clean plates and forks and things - so he traded for the cleaning liquid. Heard that it oroginally comes from Tredroy , down river. This nice Merchant House called White Star tRading sells the stuff.


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* I live in Cincinnati, so do all my players. Gotta work in a local area joke if possible. "P&G" /Proctor & Gamble has its headquarters here.
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:41 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Rupert
A mage can live very comfortably off the proceeds of Create Earth and Earth to Stone, used to create iron out of thin air.
I have a Uber-Mage PC in one of my campaigns who is going around making Orichalcum weapons for people.... I think the Armourer's Guild is going to throw lawyers at him. It worked for the Mason's Guild when he offered to build a new extension for the University overnight.
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:57 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Witchking
Under magic illusions can be devastating. After all you are just trying to beat the Horse's IQ...
The right breeds of horses can be trained to obey and trust its' master absolutely . They can be trained to ride through apparant obstacles which is how show horses can ride through paper banners or crash through prop walls and sugarglass windows in movies . It why horses can be trained to ride down onto a steep downward slope , which due to the way a horses eyes are set and function , looks like a shere drop into empty space .

If it were impossible to train horses {which are pretty stupid creatures with vitually no imagination , thus they can be taught to do even obviously suicidal things if they trust their handler} to enter terrain they would concider impassable , you would never have seen such scenes in film as where cowboys gallop off a plateu and down a steep trail {Young Guns , Man from Snowy River etc} and Scottish infantry worried about Englands' heavy cavary wouldn't have bothered with pikes many ranks deep to stop a charge , they would have simply have woven grass mats and have one single rank hang them from poles infront of the formation to have the chargers halt {as would everyone else} .

Magic would be quite a boon to training chargers . The extra expense would be made up for by time saved . Also , magical charms against the most likely michief of enemy mages wouldn't have to be too powerful as in European style Medieval warfare , each Knight brings several Men At Arms whom are almost as heavily armed and armoured and riding powerful and well trained warhorses and the numbers thus of the heavy cavalry contingent of such an army would be too great for the likely number of combat worthy mages to do more than anoy or inconvienience with spells that would be difficult or very expensive to ward against with affordable protective charms , training and tatics .
A single mage cannot control the horses of a whole banner of Knights and the supporting Men At Arms {and a contingent of knights will contain many banners} .
The range at which mages could realistically try to use most spells that could actually effectivly counter heavy cavalry is so close that the charge will have struck home before the mage has finished casting it or so soon thereafter that it might as well have {10 yards is -4 to skill , 20 is -6 , but try to keep calm when a solid wall of knights is bearing down on you at full tilt in phallanx and having to wait until they are but one or two seconds from impact before you begin to cast !} .
Horses have been trained successfully to ride into blazing cannon and musket fire , ride through walls of flame , ride into what looks to horse perceptions like solid walls or into seeming shere drops into empty space {ever seen "diving" horses at carnivals ?} into gigantic solid ranks of armed angry men , to chase their natural predators {the reason there are no more lions in the Middle East is they were hunted to extinction be men in horse drawn chariots and on horse back} and to even fight armed men directly {the "dancing" of modern Andelucian horses is directly derived from combat maneuvers , including attack maneuvers , their warhorse ancestors were trained to use in battle} . Charging through an illusion at the direction of their riders would be concidered a normal and required ability for any genuine warhorse in such a setting .
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