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 05-29-2018, 09:45 PM #1 Tigrah2k   Join Date: Jul 2017 Location: Michigan Energy Spells & Electricity Hey all, I don't think I've asked this question, but my gaming group and I are wondering about the conversion of energy to mana. The magic book is somewhat helpful, but the conversions don't make much sense, and leave far more questions than it answers. Does anyone understand the conversion system well enough to give some notion of how to understand it (relatively simplistically)? Thanks in advance for any insights.
 05-29-2018, 10:21 PM #2 Anaraxes   Join Date: Sep 2007 Re: Energy Spells & Electricity The standard conversion rates are listed in the intro to the Energy Spells section. (10 FP = 1 kWh; 1 FP = 360 KJ; 360 kW = 1 FP per second.) Using those ratios requires that you have some idea of how much energy or power you have to tap form your source -- usually not too difficult in the case of electricity, but sometimes more obscure if you want to tap a waterwheel. Conduct Power and Draw Power are the main two spells involved, and their descriptions have a couple of examples and more text. "A form which could be directly used by a machine" is a bit vague, but the intent is really just that there's some machine-like apparatus in existence, so you're not just tapping latent heat or the kinetic energy of moving water / wind (or the planet) or forest fires or gravitational potential straight into FP. The source is supposed to be something to which you could attach some work-performing machine of the setting's TL instead of the wizard, not just any collection of energy in the physics sense. There's not really a good way to precisely define that concept, so it becomes a GM judgement call. What questions did you have, exactly?
05-29-2018, 10:46 PM   #3
whswhs

Join Date: Jun 2005
Re: Energy Spells & Electricity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Anaraxes The standard conversion rates are listed in the intro to the Energy Spells section. (10 FP = 1 kWh; 1 FP = 360 KJ; 360 kW = 1 FP per second.) Using those ratios requires that you have some idea of how much energy or power you have to tap form your source -- usually not too difficult in the case of electricity, but sometimes more obscure if you want to tap a waterwheel. Conduct Power and Draw Power are the main two spells involved, and their descriptions have a couple of examples and more text.
Before TL5, you really have hardly any machines that operate at the necessary energy level. 360 kW is about 480 horsepower. Medieval water wheels might get 1% or so of that.

In terms of electricity, 360 kW is the power of a fairly large industrial plant. Typical household wiring apparently runs around 15 amps, and at 120 volts that gives you 1.8 kW, or 1/200 of an FP per second.
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05-30-2018, 01:47 AM   #4
Tigrah2k

Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Michigan
Re: Energy Spells & Electricity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Anaraxes The standard conversion rates are listed in the intro to the Energy Spells section. (10 FP = 1 kWh; 1 FP = 360 KJ; 360 kW = 1 FP per second.) Using those ratios requires that you have some idea of how much energy or power you have to tap form your source -- usually not too difficult in the case of electricity, but sometimes more obscure if you want to tap a waterwheel. Conduct Power and Draw Power are the main two spells involved, and their descriptions have a couple of examples and more text. "A form which could be directly used by a machine" is a bit vague, but the intent is really just that there's some machine-like apparatus in existence, so you're not just tapping latent heat or the kinetic energy of moving water / wind (or the planet) or forest fires or gravitational potential straight into FP. The source is supposed to be something to which you could attach some work-performing machine of the setting's TL instead of the wizard, not just any collection of energy in the physics sense. There's not really a good way to precisely define that concept, so it becomes a GM judgement call. What questions did you have, exactly?
Quote:
 Originally Posted by whswhs Before TL5, you really have hardly any machines that operate at the necessary energy level. 360 kW is about 480 horsepower. Medieval water wheels might get 1% or so of that. In terms of electricity, 360 kW is the power of a fairly large industrial plant. Typical household wiring apparently runs around 15 amps, and at 120 volts that gives you 1.8 kW, or 1/200 of an FP per second.
You guys actually cleared it up pretty well with that. The issue we were having, was trying to figure out how much energy any machine (magically motivated - in the long run - or mundane, would have to make in order to be effective, and how to rate that energy on a real world basis. There is a section of the conversion in the book, at the energy spells, which confused the heck out of us.

05-30-2018, 02:07 PM   #5
Anaraxes

Join Date: Sep 2007
Re: Energy Spells & Electricity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by whswhs Before TL5, you really have hardly any machines that operate at the necessary energy level.
True. The Energy spells were originally part of a Technomancer-type setting, weren't they? That is, they were written for use in something like the modern era, not Ye Olde Generic Dungeon Fantasy.

Using them in a medieval fantasy setting is the reverse problem from the ultra-tech case mentioned in Magic, where you might adjust the ratios for less FP per kW, because mages have access to so much power from their antimatter plants (or whatever). If you want your mages to be powered by water wheels, you might adjust those ratios up instead. But if you don't want mages to prefer building their towers next to the hydro power, then you have a built-in excuse with the values the way they are -- and you'll also probably wind up never using those spells, for lack of proper sources.

05-30-2018, 06:06 PM   #6
Fred Brackin

Join Date: Aug 2007
Re: Energy Spells & Electricity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Anaraxes True. The Energy spells were originally part of a Technomancer-type setting, weren't they? .
They went from a old Pyramid article in an early form to the Grimoire book and from there to Technomancer.

From the mentions of "power cells" and starship reactors measured in MW I'd say a UT/Space setting was assumed.
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05-30-2018, 06:19 PM   #7
roguebfl
Dog of Lysdexics

Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Melbourne FL, Formerly Wellington NZ
Re: Energy Spells & Electricity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Fred Brackin From the mentions of "power cells" and starship reactors measured in MW I'd say a UT/Space setting was assumed.
Note in 3rd Powercells of had a set wattage for any given TL. 4e removed this to allow for GM assumtions
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05-30-2018, 08:09 PM   #8
Anaraxes

Join Date: Sep 2007
Re: Energy Spells & Electricity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Fred Brackin They went from a old Pyramid article in an early form to the Grimoire book and from there to Technomancer.
Interesting. I remember them from my 3e Grimoire, but assumed the path had been the other way around. Thanks.

 05-30-2018, 11:01 PM #9 Tigrah2k   Join Date: Jul 2017 Location: Michigan Re: Energy Spells & Electricity We're playing a mage-punk hybrid. The base tech level of the world is TL3, but there is some Ultra-High-Tech in the world (obscenely rare, but still there).
05-31-2018, 08:40 AM   #10
malloyd

Join Date: Jun 2006
Re: Energy Spells & Electricity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Tigrah2k Thanks in advance for any insights.
The physical energy (and power, not the same thing incidentally, if you don't know *exactly* what the difference is, these rules are probably never going to make any sense) to spell "energy" rules are generally agreed to be broken both from a game balance perspective and for what they are supposed to be for.

A household main breaker (i.e. all the power you could possibly draw for everything in your house) isn't enough to allow you to draw 1 "energy" per turn (it's at least a factor of 10 short). A semi truck engine can get you 1 "energy"/turn, barely, if it's in good condition and you run it flat out. You need an actual power plant to get anything useful out of these spells, presumably because they were written with starship power plants and physically impossible power cells intended to allow hand held beam weapons in mind.
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