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Old 05-16-2019, 09:49 PM   #11
CraigR
 
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Default Re: Magically protected interpaths

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Originally Posted by Michele View Post
Never mind that, the potential for invasion is tremendous.
You might have a path to a place that you thought was friendly, and you might find that useful for, say, trade across a fiercely inhospitable region, say tall trackless mountains with wolves and constant bad weather. Now the enemies of your trade partners over there have conquered and taken over that place. Normally the inhospitable region would help protect you from invasion, but... have a look down that corridor for me, please, will you? Nobody's coming along, right?
Well, although a pain to set up, I figured they would be easy to shut down (their trouble to re-establish being why they're normally not), dumping all those on the path as if they stepped off of it. Regular communication, either by magical means or simply runners, would allow either side to determine if the other is safe/secured.
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:50 AM   #12
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Default Re: Magically protected interpaths

I've been considering just such a thing for my next fantasy campaign; traditionally, they're known as Faerie Trods...

The traditional version is shorter in Færie than the mortal path... and are usually protected within færie by powerful magics.... until you step off the path.

Tolkien's Elf Path is a variation on this, except that he doesn't have a separate færie realm.

In the Librarians show and novels, The Library functions in a similar way - it has doors in various places, and you can walk through The Library and exit through any other door to it.

It's also known as "ley line walking" when coupled to ley-line theory. In that theory, the normal mode is entry and exit only at the junctions of the ley lines. Some versions allow entry anywhere along the line for magic-using folk; a few allow exit, as well.

If you know the terms, it's easy to find, and it's been incorporated in a number of settings: Palladium Fantasy & Rifts, & WWG/Atlas Games' Ars Magica have rules on using them (Palladium as spells, Ars Magic as forms of Regio in a supplement); Since Harry Dresden uses them in they noves, they're also in the Dresden Files RPGs. There are others, but I don't recall which off the top of my head.

In Sci Fi, several settings make use of fixed hyperspatial paths...
Niven and Pournelle's Codominion universe has naturally occurring points for FTL which require a specific drive to trigger.
Starfire (SV Cole, David Webber, Marvin Lamb & the SDS, Steve White, and Whites various coauthors) has a constant speed space drive, which interacts with (apparently) natural linkages.
Webber's Honorverse and Doohan & Stirling's Flight Engineer series have keyhole drives similar to Niven & Pournelle's, but with differing descriptions of the process and its effects. The Flight Engineer series has one quirk - the paths aren't point to point... they're long tubular hyperspaces with junctions and multiple entry/exits in various systems.
The Vorkosiverse (Bujold) also uses a keyhole drive with naturally occuring points doing a to b travel, travel time corresponds somewhat to distance, and it involves "5-space math" and has deleterious side effects on some.

Even Star Trek has gotten in on it - Voyager discovered the Borg's Transwarp conduits, while DS9 had a stable (possibly artificial) Wormhole, while another, (probably natural) one came to rest in the Barzan system (TNG).

Likewise, a few Sci-Fi RPGs have some variation on the theme... not many. The most noted is VSCA's Diaspora. Instant FTL, but located way out in the depths of the system, well above or below the system's ecliptic plane, so most of the travel is N-space.
SJG's Vorkosigan Saga RPG (Powered by GURPS)
The Fantasy Trip has its gate system. (D&D never made it prime-to-prime; TFT did/does.)

The big issue with them is that, if a natural chokepoint exists, it can be held. If it's artificial, it HAS to be staffed.

In play, it has some VERY interesting effects.
  • The biggest is like we see in the recent Thor movies - if the gatekeeper is lost, the gate belongs to the enemy.
  • In terms of security of travel, unless it's "each party is a different bubble", there's a possibility of trouble in transit with other transiting parties.
  • Unlike a road, you can't safely exit in most versions until the endpoint.
  • This also means that unless their natural, they're going to be monitored heavily. If they take physical travel and can't be exited, they're essentially tunnels.
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:02 AM   #13
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Default Re: Magically protected interpaths

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...while DS9 had a stable (possibly artificial) Wormhole...
Oh, it's definitely artificial. It was opened by a species that lives outside normal spacetime - to them, "time" seems like an artificial construct, and they wanted to observe what reality was like for creatures bound to a linear time-frame. In the process, they became gods for the nearby world of Bajor, for which they developed their species' equivalent of fondness.

In Trek, natural wormholes tend to collapse in a matter of anywhere from minutes to hours, and are often less than useful in other ways (such as the wormhole Voyager found from where they were in Delta Quadrant to a location within the Romulan Star Empire - which was too small to permit the passage of physical objects, and also led back in time something over a century, meaning the researcher communicating with them had to hide his work from the Tal'Shiar and couldn't get messages to anywhere in Federation space; his children found the hidden data and sent it on its way sometime after the Voyager's mishap in the Badlands, and after the Romulans had joined in the Dominion War).
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:55 AM   #14
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Default Re: Magically protected interpaths

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I've been considering just such a thing for my next fantasy campaign; traditionally, they're known as Faerie Trods...

(snip)
Great stuff! Thanks for chiming in!
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:52 AM   #15
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Default Re: Magically protected interpaths

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In the Librarians show and novels, The Library functions in a similar way - it has doors in various places, and you can walk through The Library and exit through any other door to it.
Not this one. The Door was the result of a magical machine created by Jenkins. That's why it wasn't seen until he joined the cast and they moved to The Annex where he was set up.

The Library did have extra-dimensional properties but they were mostly about being larger on the inside than the outside.
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:49 AM   #16
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Default Re: Magically protected interpaths

There was a Pyramid article (HTML era) that theorized that all malls were connected to one another via convoluted paths within the service hallways.
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:45 AM   #17
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Default Re: Magically protected interpaths

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There was a Pyramid article (HTML era) that theorized that all malls were connected to one another via convoluted paths within the service hallways.
I remember that article! Space-Time For The Advanced Mallwalker! I still have it in the Pyramid archives I downloaded when the online weekly version shut down.
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