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Old 04-15-2018, 10:01 AM   #41
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: A question about Tech Levels

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post


Heck even with Magery that uncommon the TL can still take it on the chin per GURPS Fantasy with Agrarian Magic playing the most havoc. Five spells known by one mage can allow a village of 100 people to reach production levels surpassed only by those seen in the Green Revolution of the 1920s-30s (TL6)
1)
Which has nothing to do with tech level any more than I'd give a planet of telepaths a high communications tech level. Superpowers are not technology. Technology can be invented using them or otherwise based on them, but that has not as yet happened on Yrth.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:45 AM   #42
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: A question about Tech Levels

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Which has nothing to do with tech level any more than I'd give a planet of telepaths a high communications tech level. Superpowers are not technology. Technology can be invented using them or otherwise based on them, but that has not as yet happened on Yrth.
Using 'superpowers' to systematically enhance agricultural yields is definitely technology (divergent, sure) and in low-tech periods where agriculture is practically the entire economy could very easily boost your main TL. Even with 'everything but agriculture' as delayed technology.

Technology doesn't mean hardware. Ideas and techniques with no associated tools can still be technology.

EDIT: Of course a flip side of this is that the existence of the raw materials needed for a technology doesn't imply that technology is actually implemented.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:07 AM   #43
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Default Re: A question about Tech Levels

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Using 'superpowers' to systematically enhance agricultural yields is definitely technology (divergent, sure)y.
The system would be a technology. If they've calculated the schedule on which the village witch or itinerant priest needs to come by and magically fertilize the field in order to maximize sustained yield and have organized finding, recruiting and training fertilizer mages enough to apply it on a large scale then that schedule would be a technology, and a divergent one from the ones familiar to a TL 3 to 6 agronomist. But Yrth doesn't do that. They just notice their crops are starting to fail and then beg for the Church or the overlord to send them a magician to banish the curse. And the answer they get is uncertain and they might just come after the nearest possible witch, stones in hand and hope that fixes it.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:14 AM   #44
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Default Re: A question about Tech Levels

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The system would be a technology. If they've calculated the schedule on which the village witch or itinerant priest needs to come by and magically fertilize the field in order to maximize sustained yield and have organized finding, recruiting and training fertilizer mages enough to apply it on a large scale then that schedule would be a technology, and a divergent one from the ones familiar to a TL 3 to 6 agronomist. But Yrth doesn't do that. They just notice their crops are starting to fail and then beg for the Church or the overlord to send them a magician to banish the curse. And the answer they get is uncertain and they might just come after the nearest possible witch, stones in hand and hope that fixes it.
That's a technology too.

It just may not work well enough to actually increase yields much, especially during normal years as opposed to bad ones. So it probably wouldn't change the TL.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:19 PM   #45
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Default Re: A question about Tech Levels

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Using 'superpowers' to systematically enhance agricultural yields is definitely technology (divergent, sure) and in low-tech periods where agriculture is practically the entire economy could very easily boost your main TL. Even with 'everything but agriculture' as delayed technology.
Right, in fact GURPS Fantasy is quite specific on this:

"Look at a number of commonly used spells, assign them to approximate TL equivalents, and see if these cluster around one or two TLs as usually defined; if so, use a rough equivalent TL in that range. If that doesn’t work, the TL concept may not fit the setting. (...) Settings with magically based TL ratings are effectively alternative histories, where the point of departure is the invention of reliable magic." - GURPS Fantasy pg 66

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Technology doesn't mean hardware. Ideas and techniques with no associated tools can still be technology.

EDIT: Of course a flip side of this is that the existence of the raw materials needed for a technology doesn't imply that technology is actually implemented.
Right on both counts but magic really mess with the TL levels. You could have "A system as simple as a music box or a prayer wheel may cast a single spell infinite times."

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
That's a technology too.

It just may not work well enough to actually increase yields much, especially during normal years as opposed to bad ones. So it probably wouldn't change the TL.
Actually the section on Agrarian Magic (Fantasy pg 95) states "With just these five spells, a farm village can make every year a good year, and double the yield of its most important fields. Farmers can feed themselves on smaller fields, which means the same amount of magic will aid even more farms."

"For example, one ceremonial casting of a 100-point Bless Plants spell will double the crop yield on 6.5 acres (see Agrarian Magic, p. 95). That’s a small wheat field, but a substantial vineyard – and good wine sells for more than good bread, so doubling the yield pays off even more." (Fantasy pg 71)

Then you have Low magic which is the official version of Hedge Magic
"Low magic is magic that anybody might pick up, without systematic formal study, and use in everyday life or emergencies." (Fantasy pg 71)

The next level up brings one to Craft Magic where special rituals can cast spells and even enchant items (Talents as Magic Fantasy 160)

Heck, GURPS Banestorm directly references you back to GURPS Fantasy in regards to "the social consequences of widespread magic" but doesn't tell us just what that magic involves. Rune magic is known on Yrth (pg 171) as is Ritual Magic (pg 184), and Blessed magic so it is clearly magic beyond just magery based magic...but how much beyond? The older versions of Yrth clearly state that twice the number of people with magery know spells (ie 4%).

But why would anyone ever learn a skill that per the way magery works they could never cast outside of a high mana zone? The answer is craft magic.

If that isn't enough there is the issue of how much of GURPS Thaumatology applies on Yrth.

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Old 04-15-2018, 04:20 PM   #46
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Right on both counts but magic really mess with the TL levels. You could have "A system as simple as a music box or a prayer wheel may cast a single spell infinite times."
Which messes with TL levels precisely how? You're throwing around a lot of quotes without either establishing their applicability to any particular setting or explaining what conclusion you are drawing from them.
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Actually the section on Agrarian Magic (Fantasy pg 95) states "With just these five spells, a farm village can make every year a good year, and double the yield of its most important fields. Farmers can feed themselves on smaller fields, which means the same amount of magic will aid even more farms."
Are you completely ignoring what text was quoted in my post?

Sure, that's something that sufficient agrarian magic, properly deployed, could do. It's not what will be achieved if "They just notice their crops are starting to fail and then beg for the Church or the overlord to send them a magician to banish the curse. And the answer they get is uncertain and they might just come after the nearest possible witch, stones in hand and hope that fixes it."
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:53 PM   #47
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Default Re: A question about Tech Levels

Beaming down to a planet doesn't break the Prime Directive. Starfleet does it all the time. If the spaceship was going to explode, it would be the only thing they could do. The Prime Directive only applies to Starfleet personnel for some stupid reason. What reason would Merrik want to sabotage his ship? So he can have power on the planet? I just don't buy it.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:02 AM   #48
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Default Re: A question about Tech Levels

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Beaming down to a planet doesn't break the Prime Directive. Starfleet does it all the time. If the spaceship was going to explode, it would be the only thing they could do. The Prime Directive only applies to Starfleet personnel for some stupid reason. What reason would Merrik want to sabotage his ship? So he can have power on the planet? I just don't buy it.
There are hints that Merik wasn't right in the head: "He failed a psycho-simulator test". When you realize three of the captains we met who clearly went off their head bonkers (Tracy, Decker, and Garth) passed that same test it makes you wonder just how stable someone who failed it was.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:15 AM   #49
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Default Re: A question about Tech Levels

All this stuff about "Bread and Circuses" is moot. The rulers of 892-IV weren't interested in introducing new technology and changing the status quo. They weren't particularly concerned whether the population learned about aliens, and the population didn't seem to care either. Anybody finding a communicator would apparently just scoff at the device of a barbarian.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:33 AM   #50
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Default Re: A question about Tech Levels

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All this stuff about "Bread and Circuses" is moot.
I'd go further and say it's entirely tangential. I thought we were trying to decide what a Rome-inspired TL(2+7) would look like.
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