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Old 11-27-2021, 03:50 PM   #21
Prince Charon
 
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Default Re: [Ice Age] TL0 Gadgeteers and Civilization-Building

Thinking about The Flintstones in regard to this concept (because something vaguely like it could perhaps arise from the descendants of the Neanderthal band in the OP). The town of Bedrock is largely a TL(0+7)^ setting, but while some elements are basically sitcom superscience (the TV and phone which are equivalent to the 1960s CE versions, some of the ways animals are used, arguably also the presence of non-avian dinosaurs), some of it is not really that far off from what a Neolithic civilization could have built. The cars are an example: They work better than they should, but wheeled vehicles propelled and braked by the riders' own muscles are plausible at late TL0 (and may explain the proportionally large feet and legs of the men), even if they're ridiculously inefficient for a civilization that has mastered domestication of animals to the degree that the Bedrock Culture has... unless there's some TL0^ superscience advantage to them.


Thoughts?
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Old 11-27-2021, 04:05 PM   #22
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Default Re: [Ice Age] TL0 Gadgeteers and Civilization-Building

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The cars are an example: They work better than they should, but wheeled vehicles propelled and braked by the riders' own muscles are plausible at late TL0
Such vehicles are plausible to the extent that smooth and level roads are plausible. It takes a lot of work to build roads at TL0, so that if I saw a network of smooth level roads I would deduce not just wheeled vehicles but also population density and labour productivity higher than TL0.

Also, such vehicles are not plausible with a roller weighing at least about a tonne for each of the front and back axles. They would have too much mass and rolling resistance to be driven or braked by legs, you couldn’t steer them, and carving them round and smooth would be too expensive. A vehicle driven and braked by the rider’s feet (such as a velocipede) would need light strong (i.e. spoked) wheels and a way of turning an axle to steer.
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Old 11-28-2021, 09:16 PM   #23
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Default Re: [Ice Age] TL0 Gadgeteers and Civilization-Building

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Such vehicles are plausible to the extent that smooth and level roads are plausible. It takes a lot of work to build roads at TL0, so that if I saw a network of smooth level roads I would deduce not just wheeled vehicles but also population density and labour productivity higher than TL0.
I thought about mentioning smooth roads when considering the post, but apparently I forgot when actually typing it up. Yeah, the road network borders on low-level superscience at TL0 (it's possible to do that, but as you note, the labour required exceeds what they could plausibly accomplish).

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Also, such vehicles are not plausible with a roller weighing at least about a tonne for each of the front and back axles. They would have too much mass and rolling resistance to be driven or braked by legs, you couldnít steer them, and carving them round and smooth would be too expensive. A vehicle driven and braked by the riderís feet (such as a velocipede) would need light strong (i.e. spoked) wheels and a way of turning an axle to steer.
Yeah, Fred's cart is a stretch, even if the rollers were made of something like pumice, or even wood - what does he even use the steering-wheel for? Barney's cart is another matter, though, having four (admittedly heavy, if they're stone as they appear to be) wheels, instead of two rollers. Still, the main point remains, that they are much less ridiculous than the TV or telephone.

The trained dinosaurs performing various tasks are a bit less silly in some cases, though there are issues even there. Training large plant-eaters to lift and move heavy objects is acceptable, at least, even if the exact methods shown are more comedy than reality, IMHO.
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Old 11-29-2021, 08:37 PM   #24
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Default Re: [Ice Age] TL0 Gadgeteers and Civilization-Building

There's 1 episode where 1 of the tires crashes into a wall and it's hollow. Does that make any difference in this conversation?
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Old 11-29-2021, 09:43 PM   #25
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Default Re: [Ice Age] TL0 Gadgeteers and Civilization-Building

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There's 1 episode where 1 of the tires crashes into a wall and it's hollow. Does that make any difference in this conversation?
Well, it certainly means that the tires (do you mean Fred's rollers or Barney's wheels?) are lighter than we were expecting, so that helps for that aspect, but it also means that more work went into making it. Still doesn't help with the 'How does Fred steer?' question, though.
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Old 11-30-2021, 01:19 AM   #26
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Default Re: [Ice Age] TL0 Gadgeteers and Civilization-Building

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There's 1 episode where 1 of the tires crashes into a wall and it's hollow. Does that make any difference in this conversation?
Makes them lighter (useful) but also totally impossible to construct at TL 0.
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Old 11-30-2021, 10:44 AM   #27
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Default Re: [Ice Age] TL0 Gadgeteers and Civilization-Building

About the roads, something like the split-log road drag should be buildable with stone-age technology, even if the ropes will break occasionally.
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Old 11-30-2021, 06:31 PM   #28
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Default Re: [Ice Age] TL0 Gadgeteers and Civilization-Building

I mean Fred's tires.
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Old 12-16-2021, 11:32 AM   #29
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I suggest that no 'magic' system should exist, but if you include TL^, inventing a magic system or systems is not that much more ridiculous than some of the other stuff you can do with unrestricted TL^ gadgeteering.
Thinking a bit more about this bit from the OP. The concept of PC designed (as opposed to player-designed) magic systems is a potentially interesting one. Perhaps mana (or sanctity, or spirits) already exists, and the gadgeteers develop ways to take advantage of it. Perhaps it doesn't, and they superscience up a magic system or systems that won't need it (e.g. psi powers). The question is what would be believable for them to think of (along with what the GM would allow, which is highly variable)?
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