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Old 10-23-2021, 05:41 AM   #1
scc
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Tramways In (Dungeon) Fantasy

So tramways, or wagonways, have been around for a long time, as far back as the 12th century according to Wikipedia, or at least their predecessors. Now these tramways didn't use modern rails (cast iron or simply wooden with iron tops shortly before steam was the norm) nor where they hauled by steam locomotives (Horses normally).

Now while all of this is rather fragile and slow in real life, fantasy is a different matter. While all steel construction is not realistic, steel wheel rims and rail tops might be, and while the money might not be there in rural areas, in dense cities it may well be, and cities will be dense, because they have to be walled to keep the monsters out, and building up is cheaper with magic.

So would people have problems with trams showing up in fantasy or Dungeon Fantasy games?
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Old 10-23-2021, 05:47 AM   #2
Balor Patch
 
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Default Re: Tramways In (Dungeon) Fantasy

The Dwarven Mine ride zipping dangerously through tunnels is fine. Especially if the lettering says "Made by Gnomeco".
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Old 10-23-2021, 10:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tramways In (Dungeon) Fantasy

I think it would be fine.

The biggest barrier for high-use in cities would be repairs. I'd have low-level magic users on hand to mend cracks before they spread. Maybe slums have broken-down or bumpy systems waiting for the government to get around to it.

Another fun option for more rural areas is horse-drawn boats. This video is about a minute and shows the idea nicely.
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Old 10-23-2021, 10:15 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tramways In (Dungeon) Fantasy

Some early wagonways used grooves cut into a stone surface rather than raised rails. So with a suitable stone surface (paved or natural) that might be possible, though you probably couldn't reduce friction enough that way to go all that fast unless you could carve a very smooth track. That might be a job Shape Stone or Earth to Stone could be used for, though.
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Old 10-23-2021, 12:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tramways In (Dungeon) Fantasy

Horse-drawn trolleys inside a city and mule-, horse-, and/or oxen-drawn wagon trains between cities can be interesting. One other option, of course, is having the tram go downhill from the mining or lumber town to the port trade city without animals, using gravity and the angle of the track to manage movement, though you'd need the animals to drag supplies the other direction.
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Old 10-23-2021, 04:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tramways In (Dungeon) Fantasy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
Horse-drawn trolleys inside a city and mule-, horse-, and/or oxen-drawn wagon trains between cities can be interesting. One other option, of course, is having the tram go downhill from the mining or lumber town to the port trade city without animals, using gravity and the angle of the track to manage movement, though you'd need the animals to drag supplies the other direction.
You could also use counterweights, such that each loaded cart going down lifts an empty or less-loaded cart up on a parallel track.
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Old 10-23-2021, 05:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tramways In (Dungeon) Fantasy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalillama View Post
You could also use counterweights, such that each loaded cart going down lifts an empty or less-loaded cart up on a parallel track.
Careful there, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxlt_UTSGzI
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Old 10-24-2021, 10:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dalillama View Post
You could also use counterweights, such that each loaded cart going down lifts an empty or less-loaded cart up on a parallel track.
If that sounds too complicated and crazy for anything but a very "dungeonpunk" campaign, nope, this was done pretty frequently. In fact, there's a record of at least one system where the ascending and descending wagons ran on the same track down a steep hillside, with just a small passing-place in the middle where the tracks split and one wagon went up and over the other. (This was at a coal mine in Broseley, Shropshire, in 1754). So if you want complicated and slightly alarming contraptions in the background of your setting, you can have them.
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Old 10-24-2021, 07:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tramways In (Dungeon) Fantasy

Since my version of Dungeon Fantasy asks the question "is it cool?" well before it gets to "is it realistic?", I'd say Dwarven tramways are totally in.
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Old 10-25-2021, 07:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tramways In (Dungeon) Fantasy

Depending on how you roll, this is either way too much technical information (and piccies) or just the right amount of technical information (and piccies) on an 11-ton tram counterweight that ran under the street. I guess its usefulness also depends on whether you want to have the PCs running from a runaway counterweight above ground or in a tunnel.

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