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Old 07-10-2018, 09:41 AM   #41
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Help with the Actions of an NPC

I was talking about this with C last night, and she raised the question of dental work. In 1914, I think this was comparatively crude, with fillings made from gold/mercury amalgam as a rule. Does our visitor have crowns, onlays, dental prosthetics, or even dental work carried out with porcelain rather than metal? At some point a doctor might look in his mouth.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:10 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I was talking about this with C last night, and she raised the question of dental work. In 1914, I think this was comparatively crude, with fillings made from gold/mercury amalgam as a rule. Does our visitor have crowns, onlays, dental prosthetics, or even dental work carried out with porcelain rather than metal? At some point a doctor might look in his mouth.
I had an idea along similar lines, but for diet and physical training. I get the impression that modern gym junkies have a very different body type and musculature to what old photos of fit athletes had. This might be noticed at some point.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:33 PM   #43
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Bulletproof vests of ballistic cloth (silk) were not unknown in 1914. The Archduke Franz Ferdinand owned one, and one saved the life of King Alfonso XIII of Spain in 1901.
...but anyone who takes apart a modern vest is going to realize that's not what his is.

Quote:
There is at least one alternative interpretation: Extraterrestrial.
It might be raised, but there's not much evidence for that... why go to such exhaustive trouble to make your clothes and equipment look like it came from Earth, then do such a poor job of it? Leaving off all labels and markings would have been better.

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she raised the question of dental work
That's a good one. Any visible dental work is going to be markedly more advanced... and just the condition of his teeth is almost certain to be better than a contemporary person of similar age.

Last edited by tanksoldier; 07-10-2018 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:28 AM   #44
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...but anyone who takes apart a modern vest is going to realize that's not what his is.
Sure. My point was that because such vests were available at the time, this chap's kevlar might be immediately recognised as armour.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:49 AM   #45
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Sure. My point was that because such vests were available at the time, this chap's kevlar might be immediately recognised as armour.
I'm pretty sure that resin hardened fabric was experimented with during the Great War so the idea might be one that could be identified by a skilled materials scientist.
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:13 AM   #46
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I'm pretty sure that resin hardened fabric was experimented with during the Great War so the idea might be one that could be identified by a skilled materials scientist.
starched linen armor dates back to Roman Republic-era ... linen armor is a known historical thing.

Likewise, wax-soaked leather was in use in the 18th C, and into the 19th in the Orient. And for men's shoe uppers. From which we get the wonderful tradition of spit-shining our boots.

Women's shoes have been hardened with various resins and resin-like substances, including wax, pine resin, pitch, tar, hide glue, and more, for centuries.

So the concept would be readily familiar to clothiers, cobblers, tailors, and materials scientists alike. They might not know what the resin was, but would recognize the mode.
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:33 AM   #47
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I would appreciate some alternative insights into an NPC’s actions in response to a situation. Please read and answer the 4 questions.

BACKGROUND
It is early July 1914, in London England, and war on the continent is expected soon, so espionage cases abound. You are a Chief Inspector for the Metropolitan Police Service at New Scotland Yard (you might have just been an average citizen or a petty criminal, but there was a bad roll). You are standing on a street in the dock district (high crime), near a gas street light, waiting for your assistant to return with a cab, when a man staggers out of a dark side alley, and collapses unconscious into your arms (some other bad rolls, and a poor choice about “heading towards the light” rather than the “dark). At a quick glance, as he fell into your arms, you notice a small metal and waxy(?) object sticking out of his neck and something odd looking in his ear.

No shaking or noise wakes the collapsed man. A quick check of pulse (assuming that is the correct first-aid of the time, and would be known to the inspector) fines a slow steady pulse and his breathing is deep and regular. The man would pass as British/westerner (Caucasian with dark blond hair), but his clothes are of a strange cut and he doesn’t have a hat. A closer look at the small metal and waxy object on the collapsed man’s neck shows it to be a small hypodermic dart. Just as you notice this, a cab with your assistant pull up and your assistant jumps out to help you with the collapse man. You and your assistant pull the collapsed man into the cab.
Question 1: Where do you direct the cab to go?
- A hospital?
- A nearby doctor?
- A doctor that you personally know and trust?
- Back to Scotland Yard?

You are a detective and although natives or Africa and South America are known to use poisoned darts, metal hypodermic darts that can tranquilize a person are not a known technology and a likely assumption is that the collapsed man is a victim of some crime. Searching the collapsed man would me in order, either before, after, or with the doctor.
Question 2: Would your search be …
- A simple “pat down” for a wallet?
- A general emptying of pockets?
- A near strip search (down to his skivvies)?
- Time to pull out the rubber gloves?

The collapsed/unconscious man is wearing a long leather duster over a dark suit, a white shirt with an unusual collar and dark shoes and socks. The clothes appear very well made, but are not of a fashion seen in Europe. A simple pat down for a wallet will not find one. He also doesn’t have pocket watch, but a band on his left wrist appears to hold one. The victim of a robbery is an obvious conclusion for you to come to.
Search with the doctor, and mentioning something in the collapsed man’s ear, with the help of a pair of tweezers, will return two small pieces of a waxy-rubbery material, colored to match the skin color of the unconscious man, each with a slim outer slit, and the inside has a round opening with a small fine metal mesh.

A search of the unconscious man’s pockets will find:
- A small (able to fit in a hand) black metal cylindrical torch (flashlight) with a strange rubbery button on the back away from the bulbs.
- A folding knife like the Swiss Army has, but it has a number of tools like plyers and screwdrivers, and has the name Gerber on it (a German Name)
- A single blade lock back folding knife, with a black coating, that has the name Gerber on it (a German Name)
- A flat (finger width tall) rectangular (5 by 9 finger widths) object with a glass front (makes a poor mirror) and a rubbery back material, with a couple buttons and a small round lens shape.
- A pair of strange looking eye glasses with dark but reflective lens.
- A small pad of note paper 52x74mm (2” by 2.9”)
- An unusual looking ball point pen, also made of strange materials
- A metal lighter
- A small first-aid kit. The kit includes some pills with names the doctor is not familiar with.

A more through search of his coat and shirt will find that he is wearing:
- Some sort of thick vest concealed under his coat.
- At his waste, a concealed holster made of sort of strange smooth material with a semi-automatic pistol and two spare magazines. The pistol has a large bore and an attached torch (flashlight). There is no visible hammer or safety on the boxy looking gun. A closure look at the pistol slide notices on the slide for the pistol a large stylish “G” by the word “LOCK”, the number “20”, the word “AUSTRIA”, and “10mm Auto”. The front site of the gun appears to glow. The attached torch (flashlight) also has the stylish “G” by the word “LOCK” and two switches, one with the word “Laser” by it. The magazines are heavy and appear to each carry 15 rounds. (Your service Webley is 32 caliber and carries 7 rounds).

A full search will also locate:
- A set of lockpicks
- A woven swatch of some thin cord made of an unusual material
- A small knife.
- A couple small squares of a hard smooth material
- The watch has glowing dials and appears to give information on temperature and altitude, as well as time and date. The time appears to be six hours late.

Question 3: Depending on what search you did and what you found, what do you (the Chief Inspector) think is going on?

Question 4: What do you (the Chief Inspector) do with the poor unconscious man?

I know what I what I was going to have the Chief Inspector do, but I want a second/third opinion to make sure I’m not being too harsh.

Thank you for your input.
-Dan
Some of those would just make him say, "Amazing what modern science comes up with, I wonder who makes those."

Remember to never underestimate primitives. Especially when the Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard in 1914 is not especially primitive.

He may have never seen a hypo, but a clever forensic team could guess roughly what it is at the time. Butterfly knife fashion multitools were a weird fashion, indeed they still look kinda weird. But they would only prove that there was something unusual about him. The I pad (if that is what it is) might be a little hard though.

As for the gun, well obviously it is a gun. As for the sight, "By jove, clever fellows putting a flashlight on a gun".

I am imagining he would first guess he was some sort of foreign agent as ordinary decent criminals don't have the juice to rate that kind of tech. Next he would try to trace the stuff and underestimate the difficulty ("Hey Mr. Zaharoff, have you any idea what this is"). But his first assumption would be that they were extremely clever contraptions that did in fact come from somewhere on Earth.

I suspect his first reaction might not be puzzlement but overoptimism. His first assumption would be that the products were rare but could be traced on Earth.
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:06 AM   #48
whswhs
 
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One thing that occurs to me about the pat down is that there may not be much reason to look for a wallet specifically. Before World War I, most people were not expected to carry identification papers. Of course a check for a passport might be in order, but I think that might be carried in a separate small folder. Drivers' licenses existed, but few people drove automobiles and the victim wasn't found in an automobile. If it were considered necessary to learn his identity that would likely call for a general search for all papers and other identifying marks.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:48 PM   #49
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I'm pretty sure that resin hardened fabric was experimented with during the Great War so the idea might be one that could be identified by a skilled materials scientist.
Yeah, but that's going to happen long after a DCI in the Met has lost control of the case. I was thinking that the NPC in question will probably recognise a bulletproof vest as such immediately.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:55 PM   #50
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One thing that occurs to me about the pat down is that there may not be much reason to look for a wallet specifically. Before World War I, most people were not expected to carry identification papers. Of course a check for a passport might be in order, but I think that might be carried in a separate small folder. Drivers' licenses existed, but few people drove automobiles and the victim wasn't found in an automobile. If it were considered necessary to learn his identity that would likely call for a general search for all papers and other identifying marks.
Yes. People then used their visiting cards (if they had visiting cards) to establish their identities. Lots of personal effects had names, initials, or monograms engraved in or stamped on them, and well-made clothes had embroidered labels with the name of the customer, not the tailor. There is a scene in one of the early "Saint" stories in which Chief Inspector Teal looks inside Peter Quentin's jacket to check his claim that he is Simon Templar.
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