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Old 07-31-2020, 10:11 PM   #4921
fchase8
 
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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Originally Posted by Dr. Beckenstein View Post
Well, the pc of our group belonged to first team that visited Hyboria, a myth parallel where the legendary King Conan ruled 80+ years ago. The pc are now among the few homeliners who speak Aquilonian.
It had been very useful on other timelines where nobody ever heard about Conan, Hyboria or Robert E. Howard.
This is probably the best use for a Linear A (or whatever) - as a language that the PC groups knows some of, to use among themselves.


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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
The Infinite Cabal party learned Etruscan. Another Cabalist hired them to find him an early Rome where the language was still alive, because he wanted to learn it, and several of them decided to join in, until they ran into a group from Reich-5.
One could use/learn Etruscan from Duzakh (GURPS Infinite Worlds: Worlds of Horror, though in that case, it's the language of an ancient vampire empire.
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Old 08-02-2020, 10:03 AM   #4922
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

Try this one...

The pins on the cylinder in a music box are a form of programing, there was a direct link from the incredible automatons of 18th century Europe to the Jacquard Loom, and at base the automatons are elaborate music boxes.

Now hyper elaborate automatic toys (automatons) go back to Hellenistic Period. Which means that you could place a Difference Engine in the Hellenistic East.

So, on this Q5 Low Manna parallel, at the Library of Alexandria in the workshops of the inventors, let someone invent a pin cylinder for a music box and realize the pins could store other kinds of information. Thus by the rule of Ptolemy VII when he vengefully expelled foriegn scholars, he spread the idea of a difference engine across the Mediterranian world. Eventually they got to Rome.

Because Archimedes had played with these ideas, Rome's elites saw these as powerful ideas, power they could use. Thus Tiberius, corrupt as he was, welcomed and supported such scholars, and even Caligula left them in peace. Thus in the rule of Claudius a crude but functional difference engine was available for use. It seems to have used alchemical metallurgy to get the tolerances right. Thus Claudius, whose mind always ran toward getting the facts clear, founded a truely functional Roman Imperial bureaucrracy.

The new government caused big changes to history quickly. Messalina hated the difference engine and loathed the freedmen bureaucracts and told her husband so constantly. So, long before her attempt to dethrone Claudius, he quietly divorced her an exiled her to Antioch (which because it was seen as the most hedonistic city in the Mediterranian world, was taken as a sign he still cared for her). Claudius then married a pleasent level headed young woman named Cornelia, from an old senatorial family connected to the Grarcchi brothers and had several childred. Which meant Nero never got the throne.

Now, the Empire is celebrating a mellienium since the founding of the city. An adoptive Emperor named Gallienus holds the throne. He has wed a barbarian Princess in order to forge an allience to maintain the peace. The Library of Rome (founded by Claudius' younger son by Cornelia) has achived all the innovations of what is called the Arab Agricultural Revolution on most worlds plus the introductions of the moldboard plow and the horse collar. Rome is on the edge of TL4 and a scientific revolution.

Centrum sees this Rome as a good opportunity. They just need to make this Rome go back to being expansionist and imperialist. Note, this Rome is no Utopia, for the lower orders life may be stable but there is little freedom. Still, this Rome seeks peace with its neighbors and profitable trade. Not out of generosity, but pragmatism. Centrum seeks to end this pragmatism.

Meanwhile Homeline seeks to move this Rome into a more egaliterian direction. Mainly because it has long run advantages in preventing a new Roman expanionism. (Although they are aware of possible backfires in their plan).

Meanwhile, the Cabal likes this Rome just fine. There is plenty of Ancient lore. Literacy is commonplace thanks to the printing press being invented a century and a half ago. Best for the Cabal, belief in magic is common but not respectable. Occult belief is everywhere and secret societies are everywhere in abundence. It's a perfect recruiting ground. So the Cabal needs to thwart both Centrum and Homeline.

Basically, Rome slowly moving towards an industrial revolution filled with secret societies from the deadly to the ridiculous. PCs are Agents Provocature in a balse Empire whose agents have a primitive but efficient computer network to aid their attempts to neutralize you. Ask yourself what Richelieu would have done with computerized databases then realise this Rome has been doing that for years. Yes, there are practical limits, but they've gotten good at getting to those limits.
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Last edited by Astromancer; 08-02-2020 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:17 PM   #4923
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Default Tollerances

The difference engine required tolerances that were difficult in the 1800's, especially in the quantity required. That would make it even more difficult to make in ancient times.
I suppose that, if you made it much BIGGER, then a fraction of an inch is a smaller percentage, so the machine might be doable--but temperature could cause it to jam as it gets too hot or too cold.
Alternatively, even a little bit of magic--perhaps a secret of the mathematicians' guild or the engineers' guild--could account for it.
World builders use care: Increased tolerances have MANY spin-off effects. The steam engine comes to mind...
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:55 AM   #4924
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Default Re: Tollerances

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Originally Posted by YankeeGamer View Post
The difference engine required tolerances that were difficult in the 1800's, especially in the quantity required. That would make it even more difficult to make in ancient times.
I suppose that, if you made it much BIGGER, then a fraction of an inch is a smaller percentage, so the machine might be doable--but temperature could cause it to jam as it gets too hot or too cold.
Well, the Romans were good at large-scale construction. They could just make it huge. Perhaps they could contain it in a big "temple" a good fraction of the size of the Colosseum. This could evolve into a big office for all the bureaucrats.
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:02 AM   #4925
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Default Re: Tollerances

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Originally Posted by YankeeGamer View Post
The difference engine required tolerances that were difficult in the 1800's, especially in the quantity required. That would make it even more difficult to make in ancient times.
I suppose that, if you made it much BIGGER...
Make the engine a vast 'beast' housed in a series of interconnected buildings, and the 'operators' mathematically inclined and trained people. Data and commands could be sent via tablets/notes written on scraps of parchment via a pulley system. It would be slow and costly compared to a mechanical device, but it could do the job.

Scribes, lots of scribes...
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:35 AM   #4926
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

What would it be used for? It's a very very simple, but very very costly and very very slow calculator.
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:36 AM   #4927
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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What would it be used for? It's a very very simple, but very very costly and very very slow calculator.
Yeah, it's easier to train a slave. And a slave can do a lot of other things as well.
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:49 AM   #4928
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What would it be used for?
Market analysis, assessing demographic changes etc.
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:52 AM   #4929
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Yeah, it's easier to train a slave.
OK. Now scale it up to lots of slaves, operating like a bureaucracy, but with a mechanical cybernetic overlay.
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Old 08-04-2020, 02:05 PM   #4930
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

Well, at this point it looks less Babbage and more de Prony.

On the other hand, without a revolution in Mathematics the need is still a big question mark.
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