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Old 10-30-2016, 02:24 AM   #71
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Another possibility for a magical hull might be shaping stone into the right shape. That is No Mana Zone proof (the transformed shape is not magical) but choosing a shape which is buoyant enough but light and not too fragile could be a challenge.

Yet another would be magically cooled ice or an ice-sawdust mix. That has been toyed with as recently as WW II, I think.
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Old 10-30-2016, 02:28 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
"Speaking in Tongues"
I don't own Pyramid 3/54, but SJ Games describes it as "an assortment of optional rules for making multilingual settings easier (and cheaper for heroes), by GURPS guru Jason "PK" Levine." RPK's house rule was explicit that he was mashing together loosely- or unrelated languages (and completely ignoring the way that an Ossie and a Schweitzer may not be able to understand each other unless they make a point of speaking Hochdeutsch) based merely on the map of the world as seen in American, Canadian, and British adventure fiction and a desire to limit the total number of languages.
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Old 10-30-2016, 03:03 AM   #73
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Sure, but people who invest in languages being able to communicate makes games fun. Presumably modern people being able to manage in Yttaria is also fun; so the decision to forbid that seens unfun, and thus surprising.
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Old 10-30-2016, 03:14 AM   #74
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Sure, but people who invest in languages being able to communicate makes games fun. Presumably modern people being able to manage in Yttaria is also fun; so the decision to forbid that seems unfun, and thus surprising.
Well, the designers of 4e Yrth tried to strike a balance between plausability and fun, making a relatively rational setting which still has showy magic and multiple intelligent species material and immaterial. As this thread shows, they can be criticized both for not being rational enough and not being dramatic enough- but creating a really rational setting would require way more time, education, and books than gamers are willing to pay for (and anyone can bang a bunch of tropes together into something which is great fun as long as you don't stop and think about how it works). Lock ten people with PhDs and a couple of experienced game writers in a library together for a year and you might get something.

It seemed to me that you criticized the language rules in Pyramid #3/54 for not being realistic, so its not fair to turn around and criticize them for being realistic at the expense of pulpy fun.

In our world, lots of people spend six months in a strange culture until they learn what GURPS would call Broken proficiency in the local lingua franca. Living through that is no fun, but in retrospect (or in stories) it tends to blur together.
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Old 10-30-2016, 03:26 AM   #75
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I don't recall ever criticizing it. I am currently using those rules.
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Old 10-30-2016, 05:19 AM   #76
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I don't recall ever criticizing it. I am currently using those rules.
Well, back in #70 you thanked Fred for giving you the page where Banestorm addresses modern Earth languages then said "It seems odd that Arabic gives a default on Akaddian in comparison though." I read that as criticizing the choices which the authors of Banestorm made, and implying that in a Banestorm campaign a transported Assyriologist would have an advantage in learning the local Arabic in Al Wazif.

But Pyramid #3/54 "Speaking in Tongues" is one work by one author which offers one set of choices about where to set the balance between realism and fictional conventions, and Banestorm is another work by other authors which offers another set. Just like Tactical Shooting and Gun Fu!

SJ Games does not force one set of choices on all works by all authors, because the right choices for a pulp game about treasure hunters and Lovecraftian horrors are different from the right choices for a "slice of life in the Old West" game.
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Old 10-30-2016, 06:33 AM   #77
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It wasn't overlooked. It was specifically discounted on p.33 where it is stated that Modern English and Modern Anglish are too far separated for meaningful crossover

Even if there had been no other influences since the language of the "English" speakers in the original Banestorm was halfway between Beowulf and Chaucer.
Thanks. It's nice to see that somebody has actually RTM. It's always a little irksome to be told that we'd overlooked something when we had in fact covered it, in cold print.

My impulse to realism there may be annoying to people who'd much prefer Anglish to be modern English with a few cod-Shakespearean sirrahs and zounds, and I guess I should have anticipated this. It seems to have been a convention of 3e worldbooks that modern English is in fact a strange attractor in linguistic n-space - never mind Yrth, we have Centrum speaking it - but I've read just enough Chaucer to suppress that reflex.
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Old 10-30-2016, 07:09 AM   #78
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That's not the way Essential Wood works. You don't produce Essential Wood by itself. You transform normal wood into the Essential version and you can definitely do it with finished wooden items. It says so plainly in the second paragraph of the rules text for the spell on p.164 of Magic.

Also, as Essential Wood is a Regular Spell with no specific rules about how much for what it follows the Regular Spell rules and the cost of 8 is for an SM+0 item. Larger items multiply that cost by 1 + the SM mod (and if you wonder this is probably not a good rule but its' canon).

So the SM+7 Cog from Campaigns can be transformed all in one piece for 8 x8 energy or 64. That's quite affordable for a Ceremonial casting and could lead us into a long sidetrack about energy from spectators.

Because of the way SMs work the keel alone would be only 1 or maybe 2 SMs smaller i.e. 48 to 56 energy. You'd also run into that problem of hammering nails into 3x as hard wood.

so no, you really don't only use Essential Wood for just part of the ship. It really isn't that expensive and costs are not linear.
In theory, area spells can be cast such that you can exclude specific targets within the area of effect. Question is - whether or not this opens a can of worms not worth the effort.
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Old 10-30-2016, 09:20 AM   #79
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In theory, area spells can be cast such that you can exclude specific targets within the area of effect. Question is - whether or not this opens a can of worms not worth the effort.
It's a non-applicable can of worms. Essential Wood isn't an Area Spell. As previously stated it's a Regular one.
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Old 10-30-2016, 01:17 PM   #80
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It's a non-applicable can of worms. Essential Wood isn't an Area Spell. As previously stated it's a Regular one.
You may want to rethink that one...

If you have the PDF for GURPS MAGIC for 4e, and do a search on "exclude", the following spell types do allow for excluding things that the spell affects at the wish/desire of the spell caster:

Area
Information
Regular (specifically page 94 for Cleansing)
Special


One spell in particular can NOT exclude anything in its area of effect, and that's Suspend Magic (see page 123).

If you look at page 11 under spell classes, you can find in the middle top page the following:

"• Name a subject; e.g., “The closest person in the next room,” or, “George,
who I know is around here somewhere.” The GM determines the actual range to the subject. This is risky! If the subject is farther away than you think – or simply absent – you are inviting failure or even critical failure!"

In theory, could one cast the spell on "Only Oak" within a target as a Naming the subject and bypass entirely, any other non-oak wood? If paper is left aboard a ship with a size 7 modifier, would it too be turned into essential wood? How about paper that is suspended in mid-air by a spell, not in contact with anything of the ship at the time it is turned into essential wood? Would Rope be turned into essential wood at the time of casting, or can someone specify "only wood" being turned into essential wood?

The implications of those questions such that they don't seem to be addressed by RAW is one of the reasons why Sean Punch became THE KROMM in the heyday of GURPSNET mailing list. Heck, even Sean has made some off the cuff comments about "I don't see why not" when someone asked if they could treat the shape of an area spell as being mutable/variable. Sean's comment along the lines of "Seems like a good idea" was responded to by myself privately along the lines of "You do realize that mages who can cast say, a 7 hex radius spell, and starting one or two hexes from their current location, can hit a target that is approximately 127 or 128 yards away with zero or -1 skill penalty."

Taking a few mages working a "Volley fire" type tactic using rectangular shaped spells instead of circular area effect spells, makes it unwise to use mass formations in battles against magic enhanced armies.

In the end, it will be up to the GM to decide whether they wish to adhere to a given standard for their game world or not. Simply specifying that excluding things from a spell effect is strictly the domain of area or informational spells is not entirely correct.
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