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Old 07-17-2018, 01:30 PM   #11
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

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Originally Posted by zot View Post
More gates means fewer wizards need to know the spells because those that do, the ones that build and maintain the redundant gate network, can use it to move around and leverage the network effect to get to the gates they need to maintain.
Yes, in theory.

When a gate starts to flicker somewhere, that means there is one minute from then to go alert the repair crew (minimum IQ 15 and 50 ST available to use somehow, probably Aid spells which require additional turns and DX rolls) - in this case maybe involving more using of gates and get them to come back and do it. That team needs to be very responsive and not on a bathroom break, and the distant Wizards Guild branches with the gates need to trust each other to allow the maintenance crew to rush through and cast spells in their gate room. (They probably do, if they trust each other enough to have mutual gate rooms, though it's another interesting situation for possible backstabbing and/or covert operations...)


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Originally Posted by zot View Post
After reading the OP, we realized that an ancient, Dune-like Transport Guild must have arisen that would control the knowledge of Gate, Control Gate, and Long Distance Teleport, assassinating competitors, controlling prices, and influencing governments.
Yet another very cool/interesting idea arising from gates and breaking up and tracking who knows what spells and what that implies for power politics.
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:57 PM   #12
zot
 
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Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

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Yes, in theory.

When a gate starts to flicker somewhere, that means there is one minute from then to go alert the repair crew (minimum IQ 15 and 50 ST available to use somehow, probably Aid spells which require additional turns and DX rolls) - in this case maybe involving more using of gates and get them to come back and do it. That team needs to be very responsive and not on a bathroom break, and the distant Wizards Guild branches with the gates need to trust each other to allow the maintenance crew to rush through and cast spells in their gate room. (They probably do, if they trust each other enough to have mutual gate rooms, though it's another interesting situation for possible backstabbing and/or covert operations...)
No, it wouldn't have to be that tricky at all, you just put five gates on top of each other with priority rules that ensure fail-over. Inspection crews would go around and periodically check how many gates are left, using a key patrol protocol like security guards do.

All the gates are inside of gate stations, like train stations, with a crew and a crystal ball (maybe several of these). If all the gates in a station that go to a particular location happen to fail, the crew uses the crystal ball to contact the gate network so an emergency technician can either come in through a gate from another location or as a last resort, a senior emergency tech can Long Distance Teleport in and make a new gate for a junior gate crew to use.

Senior emergency techs would be responsible for a territory, traveling the gate networks to familiarize themselves with each gate station so they can teleport to it at need. Each station would have a distinctive appearance to help technicians teleport there.

Last edited by zot; 07-17-2018 at 02:58 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:27 PM   #13
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Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

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I think your analysis either assumes a very large population, or a higher rate of wizards in the population that 1 in 200, or a high rate of powerful living wizards per people who were born wizards, or a high rate of wizard obedience and focus on commercial goals - probably all of the above.
Probably it does. My explicit assumption was that spell-casting services are available at the price the rules say, but that is probably equivalent. Two points
  • ruling that there aren't enough suitable magicians to supply this obvious demand would either introduce an inconsisency or throw out the prices of magical items and wages of wizards
  • the alternatives to a gate network — roads, highways, bridges, docks, quays, wharfs, ships, lighthouses — are much more expensive to build, and have been ubiquitous for millennia.
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:39 PM   #14
RobW
 
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Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

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Originally Posted by zot View Post
More gates means fewer wizards need to know the spells because those that do, the ones that build and maintain the redundant gate network, can use it to move around and leverage the network effect to get to the gates they need to maintain.

After reading the OP, we realized that an ancient, Dune-like Transport Guild must have arisen that would control the knowledge of Gate, Control Gate, and Long Distance Teleport, assassinating competitors, controlling prices, and influencing governments.
Brilliant! Knowledge of Control Gate would make you rich, powerful, and in perpetual mortal danger, or perhaps a slave or extorted worker (also in mortal danger).
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:43 PM   #15
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Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

A small team armed with strength batteries, perhaps even a single wizard, once inside the enemy's unassailable walls, could create a gate to unlock an invasion.

How could that be controlled or counteracted?
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:47 PM   #16
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Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

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A small team armed with strength batteries, perhaps even a single wizard, once inside the enemy's unassailable walls, could create a gate to unlock an invasion.

How could that be controlled or counteracted?
Get there fast with a Gate Lock? I suggested in my article that, far from banning gate locks as the rules suggest, most cities would try to get as many as they could afford.

You detect the creation of an illicit Gate by using a Gate to divine it. Write the addresses of all the buildings in your city onto billets of wood. Stand them on end on a horizontally-oriented Gate that will pass only billets with addresses on then corresponding to places where an illicit Gate is, with its other end over a gong or something. Or use a more general-purpose Gate that will pass only objects with true statements written on them, that you can use for settling disputed successions and sorting affidavits.

Useful things, Gates.
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:53 PM   #17
zot
 
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Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

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A small team armed with strength batteries, perhaps even a single wizard, once inside the enemy's unassailable walls, could create a gate to unlock an invasion.

How could that be controlled or counteracted?
I would think that the Transport guild would be preoccupied with questions like that. They have at their disposal Trance, Astral Projection, Insubstantiality, and permanent pentagrams (which can be very, very large and you can nest them within each other). Besides these, there are the rest of the spells and items that exist...
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Old 07-17-2018, 04:29 PM   #18
Chris Rice
 
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Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

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Originally Posted by RobW View Post
A small team armed with strength batteries, perhaps even a single wizard, once inside the enemy's unassailable walls, could create a gate to unlock an invasion.

How could that be controlled or counteracted?
I would imagine cities and fortresses in such a world would have a means of preventing such an eventuality. An object, or enchantment with a permanent field surrounding the city that prevents gate operation would be logical. Gates would only be able to operate outwith the walls.
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Old 07-17-2018, 04:36 PM   #19
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

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No, it wouldn't have to be that tricky at all, you just put five gates on top of each other with priority rules that ensure fail-over.
Yes, the ability to add however many gates from A to B is a really strong tactic. You need 100 ST for each gate, but that can be reduced had with apprentices with Aid spells - the usual limit being 25 ST / apprentice per day, so only 4-apprentice-days per gate or redundant gate. The more apprentices you have available for this purpose, the less time you take from the wizard with Create Gate. By the book, it's a cheap operation except for the need to get a wizard to move from A to B to do it.


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Inspection crews would go around and periodically check how many gates are left, using a key patrol protocol like security guards do.
Ok.


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Originally Posted by zot View Post
All the gates are inside of gate stations, like train stations, with a crew and a crystal ball (maybe several of these). If all the gates in a station that go to a particular location happen to fail, the crew uses the crystal ball to contact the gate network so an emergency technician can either come in through a gate from another location or as a last resort, a senior emergency tech can Long Distance Teleport in and make a new gate for a junior gate crew to use.
Crystal balls let you see things but not send messages. It takes 5 minutes and and IQ roll and 2 ST to use one, and their nominal value is $50,000, and they're ridiculously useful for other applications (so much that I tend to ban them from existing in my campaigns), so that technique doesn't seem very feasible to me.

How about Long-Distance Telepathy instead? Still, requires an IQ 16 wizard with that spell to be on-call, as 12 ST per message.

Seems to me like a protocol for "where is the repair crew" and just sending a page through the gates would tend to work even better.

Any of those methods will want people to be on duty whenever the gates are in use, and ready to respond very quickly to get the message and get the repair crew to come to the flickering gate and cast Aid spells and then the Create Gate spell to stabilize it.

It might be less work, if you have redundant gates, to do what we assumed was done, which is to just keep one gate as the last-resort gate, and use it to send someone through and rebuild more gates when one link is wearing down. It only costs 100 ST more to build a new one than the 50 ST to stabilize one, and then you're not having to keep an emergency crew ready to scramble and not allowed to use the WC for hours.

I suppose if you're really going for industrial levels of traffic, though, that a repair team might end up being more efficient.


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Originally Posted by zot View Post
Senior emergency techs would be responsible for a territory, traveling the gate networks to familiarize themselves with each gate station so they can teleport to it at need. Each station would have a distinctive appearance to help technicians teleport there.
The thing about Long Distance Teleportation though is:

IQ 19: "... one person at a time ... If the wizard misses his DX result with any result EXCEPT a 16, the teleported character is dead, kaput, finished, lost forever." ST 20

So maybe just use the gates?
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Old 07-17-2018, 04:54 PM   #20
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

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Originally Posted by RobW View Post
A small team armed with strength batteries, perhaps even a single wizard, once inside the enemy's unassailable walls, could create a gate to unlock an invasion.

How could that be controlled or counteracted?
I think mainly just by bottlenecking the breakthrough somehow. If your stronghold is divided into small enough spaces with no wide enough area for an invading group to pour into quickly, only so many can show up before there's no place for more of them to go.

It will break down on average every 216 crossings. If the GM makes some limits on how much weight & speed can go through per turn, that can help.

In general though, the spell mix could do with some more defensive magic...
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