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  • Magitech, been doing it wrong!

    Magitech is perhaps one of the coolest things in Exalted, and you have been doing it wrong, all of you, including the developers of the game. This statement is not said lightly, but mearly matter of factly. New editions of any game almost always draw up feelings of hesitation. I am pretty sure eeveryone has groaned asking them selves, "what sacred cow will be cooked now?" For this edition, it was magitech that was on the chopping block. I will admit that I was upset about it, but I asked my self why was it a bugbear for the new devs. Some say that it ruined the feeling of the setting. The whole F16 rode by T-Rexes, has been mentioned, or that the kitchen sink approach ruined Exalted. Did it though, or was it a failure of a incredibly vocal subset of the fandom. Else where amongst others, they liked the idea of magitech. So what went wrong, did it distract from the setting? I think not, but rathet a grand failure of understanding of what it is and implementation of it.

    So to get to the bottom of this we must first define what magitech is. Magitech is the industrialization of magic and iit's appliance in methods not covered by traditional means of artacts spells and charms. In the First Age it allowed the development of the infrastructure of the Solars' kingdom and allowed mortals access to what was the purview of essence wielders. This meant mass transportation, sewage, a form of internet, global communication, mass production of goods. The ability to control the weather. The First Age was an era of enlightenment, education and growth. So what seperates magitech from a regular artifact. That would be the sum of its parts, Artifacts are for the most part a single piece, all of its complexity is imbued into that one piece, like a lever or a sword. Magitech should not be thought of as a singular object but rather a multitude of simple magic items working in concert to produce an effect, this is why magitech required maintenance and repairs. Over time the components that made up the device would loose synchronization and begin to enter a fail state.
    So how common is it? That depends on the era you are talking about. During the First Age, it was every where, this was the height of society amd development. It was during the Usurpation that the first great loss occured. Those factory cathedrals that people seem to be obsessed about, the ones that were the producers of Magitech. Well lets remember a few facts. All of them are temples to the Sun, they employed Thaumaturges who were loyal to the Solars, managed by lower priests. During the Usurpation the Dragonblooded did not just murder the Solars, but thier loyal followers as well, being rigtfully weary of any mnemonic encoding and brainwashing used on them. Then began the purges of any knowledge or device that the Dragonblooded saw as dangerous, or the theft of such things of the Sidereals after they broke the Mask. Then began the Shoganate period, where a millenium of war further lead to loss of items, and knowledge as facilities were destroyed or holders of coveted knowledge were killed. Remember that paper is very flamible, and even in our history much knowledge was lost in similar ways. Then came the Great Contagion, a plague that killed 90% of ALL LIVING ORGANISMS, which then was then hit by the Balorian Crusade of the Fairfolk. All of this would be bad, but that was not the end, then the woman who would become the Scarlet Empress activated the Sword of Creation, which not only stopped the plague but also caused am unbelievable amount of collateral damage as well. Not to mention the amount of death and further loss of knowledge that followed. It must be stated that for most of thier history, that Dragonblooded were not craftsmen. That was seen as beneath them or something that thier solar and lunar masters would look at. Some dabbled sure, but after the Usurpation, the Dragonblooded had to pretty much teach themselves from only books, and blueprints, that some required the powers of a Solar to decode. So after several millenia of disasters and war, with the Dragonblooded hoarding knowledge and loosing said knowledge, all they have left are maintenance manuals and damaged reminders of a more glorious time.

    What about the return of the Solars, you ask. Well first of all they are not going to be tripping on any Arcane Tanks by stepping out of their village, and for the first few years they are are going to have to redevelop the means of production and infrastructure. This is no simple feat, because back in the First Age, Solars had the Deliberative, the entire Exalted Host, all of Creation and backing of the Unconquerable Sun, and their libraries to draw on. Right now they have none of that. Half of the Solar host is gone, corrupted into Green Sun Princes, and Abyssals. Their Lunar mates no longer trust them, and the Dragonblooded are trying to kill them.
    So what does that mean, I have a box of scraps and a cave I should be able to whip up a Royal Warstrider with a fleet of fighter Jets in no time. Actually no, in Wonders of the First Age, most Warstriders required the blessing of the Sun God, in a fully functional Factory Cathedral, under very strict controls. The tools used in the construction were Artifacts them selves. I think alot of people overstate what a solar can do. They forget the most important thing, that a storyteller can say No, that the players will have to spend a very valuable resource to get Magitech and the infrastructure to build it. That resource is time, it will take years of research and development to rediscover the theory of design, years to establish the flow of supplies to build, months and years to train the thaumaturges to assist these ventures. Remember it took a couple of thousand years for the United Exalted Host to develop magitech to the level it was. We as players and fans forget this, so yes the current age is in a bronze age, with bits of magitech poking about, but that is the grand exception not the rule. What did not help is that at times Exalted wants to be a simulation and at other times it just hand waves things away. One example factor in this is how money is handled, a grim setting might force a player to count his pennies, worry about where he will sleep next, Exalted treats money how a trust fund baby would, just something thats always there and never an issue.
    The point I am trying to make is this, Magitech is rare. Rare being a not strong enough word, in the default setting, few see it, few know of it, fewer know how to use, and less than that know how to maintain what is there.

  • #2
    Originally posted by videopete View Post
    Magitech is the industrialization of magic and iit's appliance in methods not covered by traditional means of artacts spells and charms. In the First Age it allowed the development of the infrastructure of the Solars' kingdom and allowed mortals access to what was the purview of essence wielders. This meant mass transportation, sewage, a form of internet, global communication, mass production of goods.
    These are things I want FAR AWAY from my Exalted table.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by danelsan View Post
      These are things I want FAR AWAY from my Exalted table.

      Yeah I don't particularly need Exalted to be Numenera with kung-fu demigods either.


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      • #4
        How the hell is sewage Magitech? Or mass transportation? Or, even, the mass production of goods?

        One could have all those things without magic. It would be difficult without the backing of a powerful nation-state (meaning, established bureaucracy, infrastructure and logistics) , but possible.

        I mean..... even an illiterate peasant farmer can dig a drainage ditch and elevate his house above wet ground. It isn't world-shattering rocket science.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by videopete View Post
          you have been doing it wrong, all of you, including the developers of the game.



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          • #6
            Originally posted by videopete View Post
            you have been doing it wrong, all of you, including the developers of the game.
            Or we each have a different idea for what "magitech" means and what role it should play in the game.

            For instance, I disagree that technology == industrialization.
            The wheel was technology before factories. Writing was technology before typewriters. Astrolabes were technology before steel mills.

            For this edition, it was magitech that was on the chopping block. I will admit that I was upset about it, but I asked my self why was it a bugbear for the new devs. Some say that it ruined the feeling of the setting. The whole F16 rode by T-Rexes, has been mentioned, or that the kitchen sink approach ruined Exalted. [...] Else where amongst others, they liked the idea of magitech. So what went wrong, did it distract from the setting? I think not, but rathet a grand failure of understanding of what it is and implementation of it.
            It's not on the chopping block. It's being de-emphasized as the One True Expression of Progress. Also because in a world created by titans out of pure chaos-as-allegory-for-imagination where magic not only exists but comprises every possible thing and idea, "like the modern day but powered by magic" is a pretty uninspired direction to take.

            Did it though, or was it a failure of a incredibly vocal subset of the fandom
            @the forum : What's with the rise in threads blaming the fandom lately?
            (including that thread blaming the fandom for blaming itself too much)



            edit: wrote this out before Ferryman's post. Now I'm embarrassed.


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            • #7
              sewage or mass transportation - it all depends on the implementation. If by sewage, its meant large scale magically automated and maintained infrastructure that pumps, filters, processes, cleans and recycles sewage... then I can easily imagine that being some flavor of magitech - in it being industrialized magic

              the same for mass transport - again if its a huge automated system of light-rails and whatnot.


              but ya - describing magitech as industrialization of magic. That is brilliant. It explains it really well.

              Magitech isn't steampunk - its magitech is when you have a kingdom with 5 magic academies, churning out several hundred competent wizards and enchanters every year, when you can apply magic on an industrial scale. Six million clay golems to super-size your agricultural economy, enchanted tools for artisans becoming commonplace so that the average quality of goods skyrockets. That's magitech

              Hell, one of the basic definitions of the concept of technology is that it is the 'science of craft' - and science is all about reproducible results.

              Compare to pre-industrial "workshop industries" - where every journeyman, master and apprentice made things a little different. No one thing was ever the same, everything had to be custom made.

              With industrialization you got mass production of the same things, over and over. Sure, the amount of masterpieces made dropped, but the volume of production greatly increased.


              IMO what makes magitech so unattractive for a lot of people is the often steampunk aethstetic of it.

              and sure, having an in-game internet can easily be seen a horribly game breaking. But IMO that's not a thing you should have in a game - its a goal, its an end-game achievement.


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              • #8
                Yes but modern sewage systems are amazing, they take all that peepee, poop and other nastiness and turn it into drinkable water, other goods and prevent the spread of some of the worst diseases.
                https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8isr9nSDCK4
                What made it magitech was that the it used a very renewable energy source known as eessence and small gods bound to the process.
                The industrialization of magic still occurs in the time of tumult in places like Sijan in their funeral services and the alchemist guilds in Great Forks. Also remember that we some times forget that we as humans live in a kitchen sink setting we call Earth, and the rest of the universe is probably even more kitchen sink like.

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                • #9
                  Magi-tech is, like it says on the cover, magical-technology. Things that feel "technological" to readers, simply empowered by magic rather than things like electricity. Generally speaking, this means modern day devices with a magical feel. What this means, in practice, is often more a matter of aesthetics and description than actual mechanical details.

                  It's possible to have a stick that shoots lightning. This could come off as a magical wand, or it could come off as a magical gun. It depends entirely on how the stick is presented in its description and accompanying artwork. Magi-tech can radically alter the feel of a game by making it feel very modern and relate-able. People use magic to perform many of the same activities that modern, real world people do. They have magical cell phones. Magical cars. Magical elevators. Magical guns. Magical toilets. Magical refrigerators.

                  Now, I was a big fan of magi-tech (always have been). I generally like the idea and concept quite a bit. But it just doesn't really work that well in Exalted. Exalted already has it owns aesthetic - that of Greek Myth + Hindu Mythology + Chinese Wuxia + Anime. Throwing magi-tech on top of that really ends up muddling with the themes and the feel of Exalted.

                  Of course, Exalted is a huge setting with a massive backstory, several world-shattering apocalypses and literally tens of thousands of powerful crafters who have made magical devices over thousands and thousands of years. So there's honestly nothing wrong with the occasional magi-tech device. If someone wants a cool magi-tech staff/cannon like Nanoha's, and they want it to have an spirit buddy inside and to load magical cartridges into it to increase its magical output, I think that would be fine as a one-off kind of thing. But including that sort of aesthetic across the Exalted setting, and as a core part of the setting like 2nd edition did, does a lot to dilute the important themes that Exalted is based on.

                  We can trace this back to Autochthon. Autochthon is specifically supposed to have the magi-tech feel and aesthetic. That's basically the entire point - that it's a weird and unusual world and completely strange compared to Creation. The tone, mood, and theme in Autochthon is supposed to be very different from the rest of the Exalted setting. When Autochthonians were first introduced back in 1st edition, everyone collectively went, "Whoa!"

                  The problem that 2nd edition began introducing was the idea that Autochthon's themes, aesthetics and magi-tech were also First Age themes and aesthetics, and that's how First Age magical devices worked. This unfortunately took Exalted in a rather bad direction as a whole. Rather than being something completely alien to Creation, magi-tech was suddenly a fundamental part of the core setting, Stuff like the Daystar exacerbated this even more, because now the whole magi-tech aesthetic wasn't just part of the First Age and Autochthon, no, now magi-tech predated the Primordial War altogether.

                  So I would generally say that magi-tech, as a singular one off device that a player might have is okay. But having magi-tech widespread in any way throughout Creation is just bad.
                  Last edited by AnubisXy; 04-02-2017, 05:09 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by videopete View Post
                    Yes but modern sewage systems are amazing, they take all that peepee, poop and other nastiness and turn it into drinkable water, other goods and prevent the spread of some of the worst diseases.
                    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8isr9nSDCK4
                    What made it magitech was that the it used a very renewable energy source known as eessence and small gods bound to the process.
                    The industrialization of magic still occurs in the time of tumult in places like Sijan in their funeral services and the alchemist guilds in Great Forks. Also remember that we some times forget that we as humans live in a kitchen sink setting we call Earth, and the rest of the universe is probably even more kitchen sink like.
                    PAHAHAHAHAH

                    Trust me, you do not want to directly drink the effluent of a water/sewage treatment plant. It depends on how it gets treated, but just because treated wastewater can be safely discharged into the environment doesn't mean it is potable.

                    Even facilties that use reclaimed wastewater generally put it through the regular water treatment process, and/or (usually "and") dilute the shit out of it with untreated raw water first.

                    I work in water treatment, for those interested.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Boston123 View Post

                      PAHAHAHAHAH

                      Trust me, you do not want to directly drink the effluent of a water/sewage treatment plant. It depends on how it gets treated, but just because treated wastewater can be safely discharged into the environment doesn't mean it is potable.

                      Even facilties that use reclaimed wastewater generally put it through the regular water treatment process, and/or (usually "and") dilute the shit out of it with untreated raw water first.

                      I work in water treatment, for those interested.
                      Yeah, I just simplified the statement, but it really is a interesting process.

                      Plus my home town is doing just that,

                      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ywhYu2FRJTk
                      Last edited by videopete; 04-02-2017, 05:11 PM.

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                      • #12
                        I read a long block of text which started with saying that everyone was doing it wrong, but I still don't really see any sort of unified argument in your post.

                        For what it's worth, I agree with everyone else that magic internet was stupid.

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                        • #13
                          Why is magical internet so bad, all internet is a series of databases to retrieve information and allows communication by posting information. I mean how is that game breaking? Nevermind the fact that none of it exists in Creation as of the Second Age, except in some form in Yu Shan, but no one but celestial gods or the Chosen of the Maidens have access to it or know of it.

                          My key point, was that magitech did not exist at the level some claim it did in the second age.

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                          • #14
                            After reading only one sentence, I have but two words to rebut: No, you.


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                            • #15
                              Alright, Pete your thing is pretty much a very long ramble if your entire point comes down to, "Magitech isn't anywhere near as prevalent in the setting as people act like it was." More so if you're then insisting that everyone else is doing it wrong.

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