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Old 01-25-2022, 03:29 AM   #1
scimon
 
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Default Low Tech Draw Power

Apologies if this has been asked before (and if so and people have links that would be cool). Does anyone have any ideas about the Draw Power spell in a Low Tech environment.

If I've got a Windmill, Waterwheel or (my personal favourite) Golem in a bit hamster wheel. How can I work out the power output and available Energy for a Draw Power spell?

(Which can be used to Enchant more Golems who can then power more Hamster wheels ad infinitum).
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Old 01-25-2022, 04:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: Low Tech Draw Power

It's been discussed many times over.

If memory serves correctly, the Draw Power requires power in the MegaWatt-range to be of any use, which is not really feasible to supply via TL3 methods. The logic of GURPS Magic requires that all the energy used to the spell must be available at the time when the spell is cast, during the last second of concentration, when the dice are rolled, so you can't just siphon energy from the hamster wheel for weeks and weeks and then spend it all in a single spell.
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Last edited by Taneli; 01-25-2022 at 04:21 AM. Reason: More details
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Old 01-25-2022, 04:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Low Tech Draw Power

Unless the Hamster Wheel powers a Flywheel and you pull the power out of that.

(This is mostly me hand waving for some bad guys here rather than something I want PC's to try but I'm trying to work out the feasibility).
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Old 01-25-2022, 05:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: Low Tech Draw Power

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Originally Posted by scimon View Post
Unless the Hamster Wheel powers a Flywheel and you pull the power out of that.
* You have to distinguish between energy and power. Energy is a flat amount (so many joules); power is a rate at which energy is generated, transmitted, or used (so many joules per second, or watts). A power plant puts out an ongoing flow of energy, so many watts; a battery stores a single pool of energy, which flows out once (fast or slow) and then is used up. Draw Power is intended to work on power plants or power lines, and Steal Power on batteries. But a flywheel is an energy storage device and follows the rules for batteries.

* In the 4e rules, we don't really have figures for energy storage in watt-seconds, but we can improvise, using data in GURPS High-Tech: Electricity and Electronics. A car battery is Large, and typically stores around 50 ampere-hours at 12 volts; that multiplies to 600 watt-hours. That's equal to 600 x 3600 watt-seconds, or joules, or 21,600,000 joules. GURPS Magic says that 360,000 joules is 1 FP. So that battery holds 60 FP. If you have skill-15, you gain 15% of that, or 9 FP.

* A Large flywheel made of steel (or, I suppose, iron) stores as much energy as a car battery, weighs 67.5 lbs., and costs $2500.

* I've worked out that you can estimate sustained work output as BL x Move, in watts. If your golem hamster has Move 5 and BL 0.2 lb. (from ST 1), it has an output of 1 watt. It will have to run for 21,600,000 seconds to spin up your flywheel, or 6000 hours, or 250 days; you can approximate a golem hamster, then, as giving you 1.5 recharges per year. That's 13.5 FP per year. Of course, that assumes you have low-friction bearings that will let the wheel keep spinning . . .

* You might do better to have apprentice mages who pay for their training by running on a treadmill for four hours a day. They have output of 100 watts, so it only takes 2.5 days, or 60 hours, or 15 shifts to power you up.
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Old 01-25-2022, 06:02 AM   #5
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Default Re: Low Tech Draw Power

What about the basic Clay Golem, a quick search gives it ST+5, DX +1 and HT +4, it should produce a lot more energy than a hamster or an apprentice wizard, and can keep going 24/7.
BL x Move is 45x6 or 270.
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Old 01-25-2022, 06:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: Low Tech Draw Power

Also I think a flywheel would count more as a battery and require a different spell.
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Old 01-25-2022, 06:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Low Tech Draw Power

Thanks folks giving me a lot to work with here.

What I'm looking at is a magical swarm type thing. They build and expand because that's what they do, they breed humans (maybe halflings, they are smaller) for Magery and use Greater Geas to force them to help build and expand.

I want them to be able to use Draw Power to do Quick and Dirty Enchantments once in a while to increase their expansion.

Mainly because their main foe (who my PC's are just finding out about due to a cross dimensional event) has had to adapt to fight them, but they don't have access to the Draw Power stuff so instead have to use *other* energy sources. And more Zombies rather than Golems.

So far they have met some Zomblins (Zombie Goblins) and a Ex Orc Overseer Mummy. Next session should be fun when I think they will reach the Dark Tower.
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Old 01-25-2022, 07:10 AM   #8
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Default Re: Low Tech Draw Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldric View Post
What about the basic Clay Golem, a quick search gives it ST+5, DX +1 and HT +4, it should produce a lot more energy than a hamster or an apprentice wizard, and can keep going 24/7.
BL x Move is 45x6 or 270.
Well, I figured that the golem hamster was running 24/7, so you just divide the number of days required by the power ratio.
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Old 01-25-2022, 07:21 AM   #9
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Default Re: Low Tech Draw Power

Draw Power is not the right spell.

In the first place, there's the Generator/Battery distinction.

But in the second place, if you have a treadmill or something else with a power train that you can tap, 1 FP/second equates to 360,000 watts. A sustained human energy output is 100 watts. So you need 3600 humans (or human-equivalent zombies) to get just 1 FP/second.

I worked out a lower-tech, more modest version in GURPS Thaumatology: Fantastic Cities. It did 1 FP/minute or a multiple. That was only 6000 watts. You needed 1 FP/minute to keep the spell going, so to get a net yield of 1 FP/minute you needed 12,000 watts, or about the output of a hundred men with ST 11—say, rowers for a bireme. Or about 20 harnessed mules.
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Old 01-25-2022, 08:34 AM   #10
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Default Re: Low Tech Draw Power

Thanks Bill, I'll grab that for a peruse.
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