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Old 10-10-2016, 12:33 PM   #21
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Default Re: Tech Level for a Fantasy Setting

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Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
As an aside, film/television castles tend to be on vast, open moorland. Winterfell is a good example. Always leaves me wondering what the lord of the castle eats.
Magically created food of course, see the thread on that topic.. :)
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Old 10-10-2016, 12:34 PM   #22
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Default Re: Tech Level for a Fantasy Setting

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Also, anyone using Flying Carpet, flying brooms, or any kind of aerial cavalry (pegasi, hippogriffs, dragons, etc) would have an easier time getting above a castle's outer battlements than a purely ground-based force.
Indeed. Thus a more "proper" fantasy castle should likely have all defensive works covered and similar changes.
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Old 10-10-2016, 12:42 PM   #23
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Default Re: Tech Level for a Fantasy Setting

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Magically created food of course, see the thread on that topic.. :)
Winterfell can't have magically created food in a setting where the "wizards" can't even light candles. On the other hand the novels definitely say there's a town nearby, and given the climate I think we can expect that Winterfell sustains itself like say a castle in Gotland would in our history.

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Old 10-10-2016, 12:54 PM   #24
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I suppose a lot would depend on what magic is in use, though. Castles may be as vulnerable to a good Earth to Air spell as they ever were to heavy gunpowder artillery.
Given the limited range of that specific spell the advantage would definitely be with the mage casting repair spells on the walls rather than the mage doing the obverse. Tunneling would be a bigger threat.
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Old 10-10-2016, 03:36 PM   #25
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Default Re: Tech Level for a Fantasy Setting

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It's not that simple. The official starting point of TL4 is 1450. People stopped building castles, as such, toward the end of the 1500s. And only because the threat became armies with increasingly heavy gunpowder artillery. Castles would be perfectly practical defenses against, say, zombie legions, or giant monsters,
Its even more complicated than that, large fortresses of one sort or another where built and upgraded until well into the nineteenth century. The design changed over that time to compensate for gunpowder but certainly on a strategic level they remain the same beast, a combination of refuge and forward base.

The big change is cultural, these forts stopped being residences (often considered the defigining feature of a castle) and eventually stopped being treated as the private property of garrison comanders. This is why we have the idea that castles somehow stop at TL4.

Like many technologies it is better described as being current over a range of TLs (in this case 3-5) rather than a single TL.

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Old 10-10-2016, 04:10 PM   #26
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Default Re: Tech Level for a Fantasy Setting

One idea I have been playing with is having multiple divergent tech levels. For example Elves might be expressed as TL 2 + 1 (quality) or TL2 + 2 (magic) while humans are the almost default fantasy level of not quite 4 or 3 and bit more.
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Old 10-10-2016, 04:28 PM   #27
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Default Re: Tech Level for a Fantasy Setting

I think that massive powered weapons like canons make star forts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_fort more sensible than all the classic castle designs of the middle ages we usually picture.
Has anyone mentioned Dan Howard's wonderful Compact Castles game-generic supplement yet? It has the nitty gritty details for a small but varied group of real world fortifications.
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Old 10-10-2016, 05:50 PM   #28
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Default Re: Tech Level for a Fantasy Setting

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...transportation would be mostly by horse and wagon, possibly carriage.
Short-haul shipping would be by horse and wagon. Long-haul by ship and river barge. The Roman Empire had a vast network of river shipping.

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As an aside, film/television castles tend to be on vast, open moorland. Winterfell is a good example. Always leaves me wondering what the lord of the castle eats.
A lot of castles in Europe are built on hills near a river, to control (and tax) river trade. Castles fed on the food produced on the nearby farm lands.

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Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
Also, anyone using Flying Carpet, flying brooms, or any kind of aerial cavalry (pegasi, hippogriffs, dragons, etc) would have an easier time getting above a castle's outer battlements than a purely ground-based force.
It would all come down to cost. If a castle was cheaper to build than the cost of an assault force, the castles would be built. Creating and training even a small dragon force could be very expensive.
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:19 AM   #29
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Default Re: Tech Level for a Fantasy Setting

Cannon can reduce a castle to a pile of rubble pretty easily. However a pile of rubble still makes a decent defensive position.
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:33 AM   #30
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It would all come down to cost. If a castle was cheaper to build than the cost of an assault force, the castles would be built. Creating and training even a small dragon force could be very expensive.
My major fantasy castles have always had arbalest turrets and archers on the walkways as precautions against aerial assault, and a guarded underground complex so as not to be taken off guard by sappers and to give the inhabitants a place to retreat from overwhelming surface assaults. Many "dungeons" were the intact subterranean component of a destroyed fortification.
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