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Old 02-03-2014, 12:34 PM   #181
tshiggins
 
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Default Re: Five Earths, All in a Row

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
I've been thinking of including this idea in the timeline, which is why I wanted warellis to post the above, here. If there's anything wrong with it that neither of us have noticed, please, do let us know. Likewise, does anyone feel like doing a GURPS writeup the EM bolter?

On another note, something I've been thinking about, that ought to be detailed, here (numbers are mostly subject to change, if anyone has a better suggestion):

A fairly recent invention on Stp-Earth, dating mostly from the 1870s (though there were some early prototypes in the late 1860s), is the machine-seed. This device, which depending on the desired end result may be sized anywhere from a coat-button to a workman's lunch-box, is in effect a single-use factory, or in other words, a machine that builds itself.

The machine-seed is activated, and then placed on a pile of appropriate material. Depending on the size and complexity of the item it is designed to produce, and how close the available material is to that item, the machine-seed then works for anywhere from some minutes to several hours, after which the material, plus the seed itself, has been converted into a rifle, or a clank, or a Thalassonautic Scaphander suit (Steam-Tech p26).

The instructions packaged with the machine-seed include a list of all materials needed for the device the seed is designed to 'grow', along with warnings that failure to supply the seed with its requirements must needs void the warranty, as the resulting equipment will very likely not work as well, if at all. Some of the more expensive varieties of machine-seed are capable of improvising with inappropriate building materials, have the ability to smelt metals from ores and/or alloys, or even create new chemicals from simpler substances (or reduce compound to their component elements, and then build new ones), but even these have limits.

In general, it's much cheaper to just buy the resulting machine, than to purchase a machine-seed for it, but when what you can carry with you is strictly limited by mass and volume, as in space travel (or must be both small and hidden, as needed by certain Covert Agents of Her Majesty's Government), the machine-seed is money well spent.

The price is based on the cost of the resulting item, with CF+2 and up (plus the cost of materials, normally purchased in-situ). The size of the resulting item determines the size of the seed, as does the complexity. A seed made to be disguised as a coat-button (SM-11) could be used to produce a rifle with telescopic sight (SM-2 or so), while the largest ones, the size of a lunch-box or attaché case (about SM-4, being generous) could produce a smallish personal vehicle, such as an Armoured Walking-Machine (SM+2). Machine-seeds can be made to operate in groups, with several together building a single device (though the minimum size remains SM-11), in which case the minimum cost factor for a single group is +1.4, rather than +2. This allows even larger items to be built by the same size seed.

The above probably needs revision, but I am very tired, and want to get it posted, since I bothered to type it up.
This may be magically-powered, but it fundamentally functions as "dry nanotech," with everything that implies. And that means the only reason magical "gray goo" doesn't exist is because the spirits don't want it to.

I'm not sure this is a good idea. The potential for abuse is so great that the GM must engage in overt metagaming, just to keep it under control.
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Old 02-03-2014, 01:00 PM   #182
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Default Re: Five Earths, All in a Row

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I figure it is only a matter of time before someone figures out how to use a universal truing machine to manifest and or direct a thoughtform. On Fa- and Clp-Earths, this would remain a mathematical curiosity. Stp-Earth could do it, albeit very slowly. Dsp-Earth could do it, but it would take large, expensive computers a while to do so.
'Truing machine'? Do you mean 'Turing machine', or something else I'm unaware of?

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Inp-Earth would wind up with supercomputers competing with distributed computing for casting spells, and the supercomputers would probably loose, especially given the existence of things like SETI@home, Fold@home, and Galaxy Zoo (currently Galaxy Zoo IV, as the first three iterations were completely analyzed to exhaustion.) Really, the only question with UTM-casting is how to motivate enough people to participate.
Interesting thoughts, here. May end up in the timeline, if developed, but I'd have to be able to fully grasp the implications.

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Armored Walkers - Stp Earth


Considering you mentioned in your answer on SB.com that the "Armored Military Walkers" used on Stp-Earth had both military and exploration roles, and considering Dsp-Earth was also experimenting with mecha, why wouldn't Inp-Earth also start experimenting with mecha? I'm not talking about Gundam sized mecha, 18 meters in height, but something like a Scopedog, around 3-4 meters in height. At that size, I think they could be used in terrain that'd be more difficult for tanks or IFVs/APCs to travel in, acting like a one man IFV or scout.

Also I don't see Inp-Japan selling it to the other Earths currently due to how few have been produced, that and I think the bigger market is on Inp-Earth right now due to all the experimenting and testing of ideas previously dismissed as impractical. And honestly doing so might give away tech secrets. Unless they really monkeyed down the walker being sold.
Maybe. Even with magic, mechs are of limited military use, but there are niches where they can be useful - it just isn't going to look like a mecha-anime.

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This may be magically-powered, but it fundamentally functions as "dry nanotech," with everything that implies. And that means the only reason magical "gray goo" doesn't exist is because the spirits don't want it to.

I'm not sure this is a good idea. The potential for abuse is so great that the GM must engage in overt metagaming, just to keep it under control.
Gray goo scenarios are actually a lot less likely than most people think. There's a reason I had them work fairly slowly, and it's not balance - they're actually very fast compared to what RL dry or wet nanotech is predicted to be like, AFAICT.
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:49 PM   #183
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This may be magically-powered, but it fundamentally functions as "dry nanotech," with everything that implies. And that means the only reason magical "gray goo" doesn't exist is because the spirits don't want it to.

I'm not sure this is a good idea. The potential for abuse is so great that the GM must engage in overt metagaming, just to keep it under control.
Considering there's some realism in this, wouldn't nanotech here still be very vulnerable to EMP attacks? IIRC gray good scenarios are one of those pretty soft science fiction things.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:12 PM   #184
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Considering there's some realism in this, wouldn't nanotech here still be very vulnerable to EMP attacks? IIRC gray good scenarios are one of those pretty soft science fiction things.
EMP attacks would affect hard-science nanotech (to the extent that any nanotech qualifies as hard science...) which uses electrical power sources.

This is a magical device that grows equipment out of scrap parts or other resources. Since it functions by magic, I'd say anything that disrupts magic disrupts it, as opposed to an EMP.

However, the outcome strongly resembles dry nanotech, so many of the problems with the in-game abuse of dry nanotech also applies to this, I'd think. About the only thing that prevents those abuses is a sort of "GM fiat" by way of saying, "the spirits don't like it."

It's the sort of heavy-handed GM intervention that happens in campaigns, sometimes, which I find rather inelegant. Frankly, I think the "gizmos" advantage works just fine, for most "small-but-clever" devices (and allows for characters such as James West, as portrayed by Robert Conrad), while preventing a campaign from getting out of control because the magi-tech is too powerful, or has too many unfortunate implications.

That's just my take though, and part of it is due to the fact that, while I really do enjoy exploration of the social and cultural conflicts inherent in this setting, I really don't like supers games.

Were I to use this setting, I'd back the power levels down a notch or three. More pulp, less four-color, with people such as the Vampire Slayer, Doc Savage, Steve Rogers, Kent Allard, Fu Manchu, Merlin from the movie "Excalibur," and James Moriarity defining the high end of the power scale. No Kal-El, and no Lantern rings.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:29 PM   #185
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Were I to use this setting, I'd back the power levels down a notch or three. More pulp, less four-color, with people such as the Vampire Slayer, Doc Savage, Steve Rogers, Kent Allard, Fu Manchu, Merlin from the movie "Excalibur," and James Moriarity defining the high end of the power scale. No Kal-El, and no Lantern rings.
The problem is that since it's 1940 in Dsp-Earth, I don't really think "pulp" is appropriate anymore because that's when superheroes started to develop. Pulp settings thematically fit in the 1920s and early 1930s I believe.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:33 AM   #186
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Default Re: Five Earths, All in a Row

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However, the outcome strongly resembles dry nanotech, so many of the problems with the in-game abuse of dry nanotech also applies to this, I'd think. About the only thing that prevents those abuses is a sort of "GM fiat" by way of saying, "the spirits don't like it."
Again, grey goo scenarios are not that easy in real life. Full stop.

There's not need for a GM fiat to avoid a 'bronze goo' scenario, the GM fiat is needed to make them fast enough to be useful.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:16 PM   #187
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Again, grey goo scenarios are not that easy in real life. Full stop.

There's not need for a GM fiat to avoid a 'bronze goo' scenario, the GM fiat is needed to make them fast enough to be useful.
Hey, no problem. Those were just my thoughts.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:34 PM   #188
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Hey, no problem. Those were just my thoughts.
Yeah, sorry. Didn't want to look like I was loosing my temper, but it seemed like you were ignoring the first time I said it, or like you'd just missed it.

Also, it seems to be a slight hot-button issue with me, at least since I found out that the nightmare grey goo scenario had been so very exaggerated.


On another note, an entry from the timeline, in the hope that historical scholars here might be able to answer a question:

Quote:
Sept. 11: A school shooting occurs at Fairview High School, Fairview, Inp-Nevada, perpetrated by a dangerously strong probability manipulator named Bobby Greenwood. Much is made in the press of his frequent habit of reading and posting on /b/, one of the more disturbing sections of 4chan. On Clp-Earth, Elizabeth I establishes the Day Ward and Night Watch, based somewhat on the Ancient Roman Cohortes urbanae and Vigiles, as well as the Metropolitan Police of Stp-, Dp-, and Inp-Londons, as described to her by King Arthur's ambassador. PLACEHOLDER <name> is appointed Prefect of the Watch and Ward.
What historical British person from the era (or British fictional character from the era) would be a good fit for the office of 'Prefect of the Watch and Ward'? If I can't get a good suggestion, I suppose I could add some Discworld characters to Clp-Earth, and have Sam Vimes as Prefect, but I wasn't planning on doing that, as it doesn't quite fit.

When you imagine the Day Ward and Night Watch, do note where she's getting her information from. Arthur's ambassadors are outsiders to everyone, and only have long experience with the Roman groups. They've observed the Metropolitan Police, and reported it to the scribes on Fa-Earth, and it's from those reports that the ambassador to Clp-Britannia learned about the Met, and described them to Her Majesty.

On the bright side, they do at least have the concept of 'professional detectives' and 'crime-scene technicians'.

On the first part of that entry, I'm wondering if the date of 'Quick Hand' should be moved, but I can easily see Bobby having the poor taste to pick that day for his rampage.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:03 PM   #189
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*snip*

On the first part of that entry, I'm wondering if the date of 'Quick Hand' should be moved, but I can easily see Bobby having the poor taste to pick that day for his rampage.
Seems legit to me. McVeigh deliberately picked April 19th for his attack for similar reasons.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:20 AM   #190
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Hey Charon have you talked with anyone here about the worldline data you showed me in a PM on SB?
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