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Old 09-21-2019, 11:46 AM   #1
PTTG
 
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Default Campaign Jam: Magic Vrs. Technology

This is a lot like the the previous [GAME] posts such as Cross-Dimensional Fantasy Milieu and other collaborative worldbuilding threads.

Magic and science are often depicted as opposing worldviews; sometimes as differing cosmologies, and sometimes as opposing factions. The purpose of this jam is to build a GURPS-compatable setting somewhere to the "opposing factions" side of the scale.

The rules are simple: Answer one previous question, then ask one or two new questions.

When you answer a question, consider previous answers to that and other questions. You can elaborate on the world fairly widely, so long as the additions make sense in light of the previous responses. You are encouraged to take ideas mentioned in previous answers and weave them into your answers. Most importantly, make sure the world we're building is a coherent place that is suitable for adventures.

Your question(s) must be open-ended, and may or may not include an implied assertion about the world. It's recommended that your question expand on an idea established in any previous answer, but this is not needed so long as the question allows the next poster freedom. You may ask none, one, or two questions, (note the bold,) which can include clarifying grammatical questions under that heading.

Question 1: How are the factions of magic and science opposed? Many small cabals in an otherwise neutral society? Two (or more) large political entities in open warfare? Are many independent nations dominated by one ideology, with a widespread underground following the opposite one? Or something different?

Question 2: What is the TL? How evenly distributed is this tech level?

Last edited by PTTG; 09-21-2019 at 04:47 PM. Reason: Added bolding for clarification
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Old 09-21-2019, 01:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: Campaign Jam: Magic Vrs. Technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
This is a lot like the the previous [GAME] posts such as Cross-Dimensional Fantasy Milieu and other collaborative worldbuilding threads.

Magic and science are often depicted as opposing worldviews; sometimes as differing cosmologies, and sometimes as opposing factions. The purpose of this jam is to build a GURPS-compatable setting somewhere to the "opposing factions" side of the scale.

The rules are simple: Answer one previous question, then ask one or two new questions.

When you answer a question, consider previous answers to that and other questions. You can elaborate on the world fairly widely, so long as the additions make sense in light of the previous responses. You are encouraged to take ideas mentioned in previous answers and weave them into your answers. Most importantly, make sure the world we're building is a coherent place that is suitable for adventures.

Your question must be open-ended, and may or may not include an implied assertion about the world. It's recommended that your question expand on an idea established in any previous answer, but this is not needed so long as the question allows the next poster freedom. You may ask none, one, or two questions, (note the bold,) which can include clarifying grammatical questions under that heading.

Question 1: How are the factions of magic and science opposed? Many small cabals in an otherwise neutral society? Two (or more) large political entities in open warfare? Are many independent nations dominated by one ideology, with a widespread underground following the opposite one? Or something different?

Question 2: What is the TL? How evenly distributed is this tech level?
Question 3: Where would sciences like Astrology, Alchemy, Signumology, and Thaumaturgy stand?

Question 4: Is there a wide gap between TL and ETL? (ie is there a Niven's Law of Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology." operating)
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Old 09-21-2019, 04:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: Campaign Jam: Magic Vrs. Technology

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Question 3: Where would sciences like Astrology, Alchemy, Signumology, and Thaumaturgy stand?
Answer 3: They are part of a spectrum of early arts that, while once considered full-fledged fields of their own, have collapsed into one of the two greater fields. Astrology is now a sub-field of the study of magic; no serious scientist considers the movements of the stars to have any scientific value aside from some entertaining mathematical ratios. Alchemy, however, is one of the seeds from which rational Chemistry has sprung. Thaumaturgists are laughed out of both houses of study; mages consider them sadly confused, while scientists see them as superstitious fools.

Signumology, at least, has a few adherents in temples and monasteries, though they simply don't get the results that "secular" mages do. Some consider them a mere branch of magical studies at best, hucksters at worst. Nonetheless, they are distinctly independent of the larger magical field.

Question 8: What are the differences between this world's geography and Earth's?
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Old 09-21-2019, 05:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: Campaign Jam: Magic Vrs. Technology

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Question 8: What are the differences between this world's geography and Earth's?
Answer 8: This world's geography is a "Print the Legend" rework of Earth. Somewhere between magical realism and pulp adventure. A heightened reality stressing drama and adventure.
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Old 09-21-2019, 03:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Campaign Jam: Magic Vrs. Technology

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Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
Question 1: How are the factions of magic and science opposed? Many small cabals in an otherwise neutral society? Two (or more) large political entities in open warfare? Are many independent nations dominated by one ideology, with a widespread underground following the opposite one? Or something different?
Question 1a: Are magic and technology opposed mechanically through genre settings, or merely societally?
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Old 09-21-2019, 03:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Campaign Jam: Magic Vrs. Technology

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Question 1a: Are magic and technology opposed mechanically through genre settings, or merely societally?
Answer 1a
Both magic and technology have a detrimental effect on the other. However the effects are quite different, magic wrecks havoc with technology at a local level, devices cease to function or are even destroyed in the presence of large enough magics. This requires a deliberate act on the part of the magic user and is not a mere byproduct of magic use.
However the presence of sufficently advanced technology makes magic difficult in the extreme, indeed individuals who wish to become powerful users of magic limit their access to the benefits of technology.

Question 5
Is there a middle ground that can be walked involving using both magic and technology? If so, is there a cost or detrimental effect for sitting on the fence?
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Old 09-21-2019, 03:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Campaign Jam: Magic Vrs. Technology

Question 6: To what extent is the general population aware of the struggle?

Question 7: Which political and religious groups back which powers? Classical leftists and Marxists would back tech, but New Left types would plunk down for magic. Some churches see magic as diabolic, others see modernity as the greater threat. How do banks and bureaucracies see the opposing forces?
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: Campaign Jam: Magic Vrs. Technology

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Question 6: To what extent is the general population aware of the struggle?
The general population is well aware of the divide between the two factions, but as to the reasons and the details they are almost completely in the dark. This is mainly due to the propaganda and misinformation spread by groups on both sides. The inhabitants of rural areas are told that the cities are places where rich technocrats keep the workers slaving away to support their machines, where diseases and injury are left untreated for want of a simple spell. On the other hand the urbanites are told that those who live away from the cities are stuck in medieval servitude, broadsheets heavily feature horror stories about strange people from the primitive regions (who are usually bravely vanquished by the guns of a heroic city dwelling hero)

Question 9
Are there any creature of magic, myth or legend that are routinely encountered by anyone in this world?

Question 9A
Are these creatures of magic, myth or legend their own distinct terrestrial races, or is there another mechanism behind them?
(Such as, another realm, latent genetics expressed under specific circumstances etc)
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:29 AM   #9
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Default Re: Campaign Jam: Magic Vrs. Technology

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Question 9
Are there any creature of magic, myth or legend that are routinely encountered by anyone in this world?
Answer 9: There is no such thing as a common magical creature... however, a few rare entities do exist; perhaps a thousand are documented in the whole world. These beings are perhaps most generally termed "spirits." They are nonphysical magical beings with the ability to manipulate human perceptions, communicating through dreams, visions, and hallucinations.

Weak ones whisper in a lonely ear. These small spirits might imprint on humans, being much like figures out of ghost stories. Nobody knows how many of them exist at an even lower level, their cognition barely more than a whispered phrase echoing in a cave, or a cold sensation that remains even on a summer's day.

Many are moderate, communicative with others of their kind, and similar to humans in general capacity. The most powerful -- of these only a dozen are known -- are capable of creating illusions that influence thousands of people at once. No matter how powerful, however, no spirit can actually influence the physical world, only human minds.


Question 10: Why do some Spirits side with technology users in secret?

Last edited by PTTG; 09-25-2019 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 05:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: Campaign Jam: Magic Vrs. Technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Question 1a: Are magic and technology opposed mechanically through genre settings, or merely societally?
Quote:
Originally Posted by (E) View Post
Answer 1a
Both magic and technology have a detrimental effect on the other. However the effects are quite different, magic wrecks havoc with technology at a local level, devices cease to function or are even destroyed in the presence of large enough magics. This requires a deliberate act on the part of the magic user and is not a mere byproduct of magic use.
However the presence of sufficently advanced technology makes magic difficult in the extreme, indeed individuals who wish to become powerful users of magic limit their access to the benefits of technology.
Per Niven's Law of "Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology." I never bought into the whole Magic vs Technology thing.
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