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Old 12-10-2013, 02:11 PM   #21
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Default Re: Tech Level appropriate skills

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I have the impression that the older transmitters were sending out very broadband signals, or even white noise, suitable for Morse code but not for audio.
That's basically correct, as I understand it. There were quite a few types of broadband transmitter, ranging from spark gaps upwards, but they all died out pretty fast once tuning worked properly.
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:13 PM   #22
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Tech Level appropriate skills

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
That's at least a possibility. I had thought of Harvey as having Anachronistic Skill to let him buy Physician and/or Physiology at TL4 after he discovered blood circulation.

I might say, though, that Galileo had Anachronistic Skill (Physics) and Physics/TL4, but Newton had High TL 1 and Physics/TL5 (along with Astronomy/TL5 and Machinist/TL5). It looks to me as if TL5 pretty much can be defined as "based on technologies that follow from understanding Newton."

Bill Stoddard
Personally I'd just go with having an extremely high level of the predecessor skill so you can beat the penalty.
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:55 PM   #23
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Tech Level appropriate skills

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Originally Posted by tbrock1031 View Post
Nor I. You could even go so far as to say that anyone considered the "father" or "mother" of a field should have either Anachronistic Skill or Cutting Edge: Ada Lovelace with Computer Programming; Einstein, Galileo, and Newton w/ Physics, etc.
Would the Anachronistic Skill Perk fit Einstein? I don't remember what the Cutting Edge Perk does, but I don't think AS fits.

In Sagatafl, my homebrew RPG, revolutionary discoveries are handled as binary skills, e.g. Newtonian Mechanics, Relativity Physics, Quantum Physics, and the next potential physics revolution, Quantum Gravity (or Higgs Physics, maybe).

(For that matter, Darwinian Evolution is another example, helping make sense out of biology.)

Characters can discover these via an Invention process, and once discovered they can teach them to others, but for the sake of simulation, there ought to be some sort of "mental resistance" mechanic, since such discoveries are often profoundly counter-intuitive. I just don't yet have a very good idea of how such a mechanic should work (it'd also be useful for hibernaut characters, who have skipped one or more Tech Levels, and subsequently need to adapt to a newer and more modern world. Ideally I'd like to be able to simulate the gradual process of a renaissance character adapting to early 21th century society and technology, both someone with much capacity for adaptation such as Leonardo da Vinci, and someone with very little, such as a common Italian town labourer).

Eventually, of course, such "revolutionary" discoveries effectively cease to be counter-intuitive. Small schoolchildren still balk when told that without air resistance, a heavier object won't fall any faster than a lighter object, but only for a few seconds, whereas if you had told that to Aristotle, e.g., he'd have balked much harder, and for much longer.
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Old 12-10-2013, 02:59 PM   #24
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Tech Level appropriate skills

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Personally I'd just go with having an extremely high level of the predecessor skill so you can beat the penalty.
That'd certainly be an attempt at being simulative: Newton didn't kick the vast amount of scientific butt that he kicked because he had something called "a Perk". He did it because he was "very skilled" (and one layer deeper: and he was skilled because he had great potential, that he then got the opportunity to develop on).

Nothing wrong with Perks, per se. It's just often nice to know what they are, what they look like from an in-world perspective, where they come from, how they can be transmitted from character to character, and what that process looks from the perspective of the giver and from the perspective of the recipient.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:13 PM   #25
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Tech Level appropriate skills

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Personally I'd just go with having an extremely high level of the predecessor skill so you can beat the penalty.
That works in many cases, but here you are going from a TL where Physics does not exist to one where it does. If you have no skill in Physics, I don't think you can buy up your skill! I suppose you could go off the default, but with -6 for the IQ default and -5 for the one-TL-ahead penalty, you're looking at a severe penalty. And there isn't a default from Natural Philosophy to Physics.

That's precisely what Anachronistic Skill is for: To let you buy a skill at a TL where it normally doesn't exist.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:19 PM   #26
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Tech Level appropriate skills

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
That'd certainly be an attempt at being simulative: Newton didn't kick the vast amount of scientific butt that he kicked because he had something called "a Perk". He did it because he was "very skilled" (and one layer deeper: and he was skilled because he had great potential, that he then got the opportunity to develop on).
"Very skilled" does not account for it. Tycho Brahe was incredibly skilled at Astronomy; his naked eye observations had ten times the precision of any previous astronomer's. But he didn't come up with heliocentric astronomy, or even believe Copernicus's version of it. On the other hand, Kepler was able to figure out, through years of painful struggle, that Mars's orbit was an ellipse with the sun at one focus, using Tycho's observational data. Kepler had figured out a different way of looking at the problem, such that his struggles with the data led him to the right result, despite the mystical rubbish he believed in and his own tendency to jump onto sidetracks.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:37 PM   #27
Polydamas
 
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Default Re: Tech Level appropriate skills

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
"Very skilled" does not account for it. Tycho Brahe was incredibly skilled at Astronomy; his naked eye observations had ten times the precision of any previous astronomer's. But he didn't come up with heliocentric astronomy, or even believe Copernicus's version of it. On the other hand, Kepler was able to figure out, through years of painful struggle, that Mars's orbit was an ellipse with the sun at one focus, using Tycho's observational data. Kepler had figured out a different way of looking at the problem, such that his struggles with the data led him to the right result, despite the mystical rubbish he believed in and his own tendency to jump onto sidetracks.

Bill Stoddard
Similarly, being in a culture with the Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis amongst its heritage makes some things possible which are otherwise impossible, and others easy which are very difficult without those ideas and techniques. And brilliant speaker or writer who has never encountered systematic grammar and a theory of rhetoric will also have limits.

The TL system is a crude model, but what skills and ideas one has to work with are important. Perhaps Peter could think of Newton as having used his high skills to make an Invention which is represented as a perk?
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Last edited by Polydamas; 12-10-2013 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 12-10-2013, 08:59 PM   #28
Rabek
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
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Default Re: Tech Level appropriate skills

I just want to say again: Thanks to all you who provided answers.

The GURPS forums are some of the most helpful forums I've ever stumbled upon. Also, enjoying the discussion about historical figures and TL!
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Old 12-10-2013, 09:50 PM   #29
whswhs
 
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The GURPS forums are some of the most helpful forums I've ever stumbled upon. Also, enjoying the discussion about historical figures and TL!
One of the cool things about GURPS is that it both invites discussion of such topics and attracts people who are capable of having informed opinions about them.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:39 PM   #30
acrosome
 
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Default Re: Tech Level appropriate skills

Those of you who are saying things like "Anthropology at TL2" are I think forgetting that these weren't remotely sciences at those low TLs. I think that the low-TL equivalent is Area Knowledge and Cultural Familiarity. Thus (per Low-Tech) these sciences get subsumed into Expert Skill (Natural Philosophy) before TL4, or something. I actually think that this is very appropriate.

Likewise, yes, scientific Physics and Astronomy did historically appear at late TL4. But that's late TL4, and that's why (again, per Low-Tech) they can only be learned at TL4 if you pay the 1-point perk for an anachronistic skill. EDIT-- I see someone already said this...

Last edited by acrosome; 12-12-2013 at 06:46 PM.
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