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Old 07-17-2018, 10:55 PM   #21
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
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?
That's a very good point. There should be service gates only for when all the other gates fail. If THOSE happen to fail when all other gates have also failed, that's when someone with Long Distance Teleport sends over "the new guy" to make a gate. Probably using a bunch of apprentices to charge him or her up on the same turn to try to make a gate immediately. The guild would use Long Distance Teleport to find out what happened if the gate doesn't immediately start working.

Last edited by zot; 07-17-2018 at 11:32 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 07-17-2018, 11:29 PM   #22
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
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.
One wizard with Gate plus 6 apprentices can cast Gate once every two hours if they each use 8 ST each. That's 4 gate-ends per day. Maybe they make 4 ends one day and go to the destination and make the other ends the next day. That works fine for connecting established gate houses to each other and provides each gate with 3 fallbacks.

That's 32 ST for each apprentice but these are Travel Guild employees, not Wizard's Guild employees. They're better paid and they aspire to learn Gate, Control Gate, and Long Distance Teleport, which they can't do from the Wizard's Guild :).

When a gate flickers, the station crew sends someone through a service gate to a service location to fetch a maintenance crew.

1 in 216 failures will keep maintenance crews busy but redundant gates let crews repair a bunch of failures in one location without a crisis.
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Old 07-18-2018, 12:21 AM   #23
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

I do rather love the Travel Guild idea.

As mentioned, our Wizards Guild houses had far less thorough/elaborate gate networks. They did tend to have guarded/protected gate rooms and would try to keep them maintained and staffed, but there weren't all that many wizards with the ability and willingness to focus on gate network status.

Another interesting situation, it seems to me, if someone did develop a really comprehensive and robust gate network that linked most major places over a large area, would be that it might become a target for some sort of master takeover scheme. Of course it would need to involve the Wizards Guild, or it might just be about the Wizards Guild running such a network spanning the known world, but it seems to me that if one faction has control of the gate network (which by definition is effectively sort of all in one place that touches all the major cities of the world), then that group would tend to have massive power.

If such a group were the Wizards Guild, well that could naturally be one of the main pillars of their power and control. On the other hand, if ever there were hostility of division, having the gate network all connected could suddenly turn the gate network into a world-spanning battlefield involving every city in the known world.

If the gate network designers had foreseen such an issue, though, maybe there would be a way to design the network so that it could be compartmentalized if/when there were reasons to have not every gate extremely proximate to each other.
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Old 07-18-2018, 12:42 AM   #24
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Another interesting situation, it seems to me, if someone did develop a really comprehensive and robust gate network that linked most major places over a large area, would be that it might become a target for some sort of master takeover scheme. Of course it would need to involve the Wizards Guild, or it might just be about the Wizards Guild running such a network spanning the known world, but it seems to me that if one faction has control of the gate network (which by definition is effectively sort of all in one place that touches all the major cities of the world), then that group would tend to have massive power.
There would certainly be a lot of scheming and a lot of extremely paranoid people running the Travel Guild. And they'd be very vulnerable to betrayal. My friend Guy sent my this article about castle networks as food for thought.

It might be more practical to take an organization like that over from within, since it already has the infrastructure and experienced people. Possession would help. It would be messy but such a powerful empire. Puts the East India Company completely to shame...
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Old 07-18-2018, 01:48 PM   #25
Steve Jackson
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

This is fun! Draper Kauffman, who was my economics wiz back in the day, would have loved it.

I read all the way down to the end and saw the original ms. was gone. Aieeeee!

What happens when you make the gate that only passes paper with false statements, and then feed it a paper that says "This statement is false." ?

Clearly we need to prevent divinatory Gates. It would be possible either to write a general rule for the kind of rules Gates could have, or make a short list of legal rules, such as:
- Says the Magic Word.
- Is, or accompanies, Person X.
- Carries Item X.

Suggestions welcome.

I have added a third class of Gate item. Gate Key is what it is, Gate Lock closes but does not harm a Gate, and Gate Seal eliminates the gate.

Flicker time - would five minutes be better?

See Larry Niven's various discussions of "stepping discs" for a teleport economy.
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Old 07-18-2018, 02:41 PM   #26
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
...Clearly we need to prevent divinatory Gates. It would be possible either to write a general rule for the kind of rules Gates could have, or make a short list of legal rules, such as: ... Suggestions welcome.

I have added a third class of Gate item. Gate Key is what it is, Gate Lock closes but does not harm a Gate, and Gate Seal eliminates the gate.

Flicker time - would five minutes be better?

See Larry Niven's various discussions of "stepping discs" for a teleport economy.
Hi Steve,
I think a list of allowable gate rules is a great idea. The list you give seems sufficient to me, altho I have a question: "Does person X include races?"

The major question is, do you want to strangle normal trade with gates? Do you want trading ships, merchant caravans, and river barges to go away? I don't, so I put more limitations on gates. For that reason, I think that increasing the flicker time to 5 minutes is a step in the wrong direction.

On the other hand, increasing flicker time and giving Gates a few extra limitations might work.

See this post for some further suggestions on gates:

http://forums.sjgames.com/showpost.p...0&postcount=39


Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 07-18-2018, 02:48 PM   #27
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

Certainly Gates are an interesting facet of TFT and the World of Cidri. But before we get too excited by the concept, do we really want a game where we take this to its logical conclusion?

Economics dictated by Gate availability and control.

Transportation controlled by Gates.

Warfare heavily dependent on Gate logistics.

Is that the sort of world we want? I don't mind playing around with the concept, but I don't want to be dictated to by it.
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Old 07-18-2018, 02:56 PM   #28
Shostak
 
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Location: New England
Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

I had one campaign in which I made gate travel inherently risky. Travellers had to roll 3d6 when entering a gate and something unexpected happened on a 17 (such as losing an item in transit) and something bad happened on an 18 (arrived unconscious, fatigued, wrong gate, etc.). That's enough percentage of time to nerf gates a bit, if they seem too convenient.
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:01 PM   #29
RobW
 
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Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

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Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
Certainly Gates are an interesting facet of TFT and the World of Cidri. But before we get too excited by the concept, do we really want a game where we take this to its logical conclusion?

Economics dictated by Gate availability and control.

Transportation controlled by Gates.

Warfare heavily dependent on Gate logistics.

Is that the sort of world we want? I don't mind playing around with the concept, but I don't want to be dictated to by it.
Fair points. I figure there are probably multiple logical conclusions, if the world is big enough.

Gates are cheap to set up relative to roads, and fast, but they involve many other costs, such that the more effective these networks are, the greater the payoff for disrupting them, and the greater the costs required to protect them. We've been discussing some of these elaborate schemes, and these costs will be eventually borne by the travelers

So yes an elaborate gate network is one logical conclusion, but to my mind so is road and port route, especially if wizards and vast resources for magic creation aren't plentiful.
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:30 PM   #30
Agemegos
 
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Default Re: Gates, Gate keys, and Gate locks

The consequence of a shortage of wizards will not be confined to making Gates expensive and rare. It will raise the price of all magical artifices and spell casting services, and make wizards rich.

One thing that I did not understand about Gates when I wrote that article in 1983 was the importance of value of time in transit. Most traveller have a behavioural value of time similar to their wage rate, and will willingly pay tolls to save travel time. Wage rates in TFT are low, but travel is slow and travel times are long. Other than for short-range commuting, people are likely to prefer travel by Gate even to fully subsidised roads free at the point of use. Let alone paying taxes to build costly roads, or working in corvées.
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