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Science/Magitech in Creation

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  • #31
    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

    I don’t really think that is how they’re portrayed in the default setting
    What do you base that on?

    I have approximate knowledge of many things.
    Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.


    • #32
      Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

      What do you base that on?
      I think that excellencies are supposed to represent superhuman ability, obviously nobody in universe measures things in dice caps, but when a mortal has a pool of 10 and an exalt a pool of 20 I think that’s supposed to represent something.

      Also just the consistency. An exalt who focuses on athleticism can tear a stone tower off of a fortress, out-sprint a cheetah, and have a giant rock fall on their head, breaking the rock. An exalt that focuses on social skills can walk into a room and with a glance at each person know their relationship to eachother, and the group as a whole, rewrite their own memories with nothing more than a 60-second conversation, and instill fear in mindless automations. One who focuses on investigating can look at a crime scene and instantly understand the basic and deeper meaning and purpose behind the crime, all while feeling the emotions of the perpetrator.

      Really even just the linguistics ones of being a perfect memory ultra-speed reader would make a an exalt a better researcher and scientist than humanly possible. If I ran into some trouble figuring something out, and then could just read a 300 page textbook in a minute and a half and then perfectly recall any of the passages from it that’d be superhuman.


      • #33
        A spin I really like on creation-based magitech is via the simple fact that "technology", even magical technology doesn't just have to look like steampunk and metal.

        I for one favor the idea of spinning crystals and gemstones.

        A magitech engine to power to your vehicle? why, its a ring of red jade set with special-cut rune-carved gems that spins when you feed it essence. bam, magi-tech engine, but it looks a lot more swords&sorcery rather than Tron.

        I'm reminded of the movie version of the Golden Compass - trailer

        Around 0:40 you see a girl in a carriage. Except its not horse drawn... there's a magical gimbal thingy spining out in front that pulls it along, with a driver sitting on the back. That, IMO, is magi-tech. Hell, you could swap the aesthetics on it and have the carriage made of enchanted wood instead of polished brass if you want it to look less steam punk. That movie actually has a ton of really nice magi-tech ideas, even things like air-ships with blue-glowing engines that seem to run on magic.

        being an engineer by trade, I find it kinda funny how games in general try to seperate the notion of magical technology and then in the same breath go "and that DB blacksmith just made a magic sword out of frozen lightning and the tooth of a dragon"

        ...IMO both of those are magical technology. So you have to ask yourself: at what point do you go from blacksmith and sorcerers making magical artifacts, to an engineseer crafting magical technology? I mean, sorcerous workings sound a lot like engineering projects to me, just with magic thrown into it, especially if its to enchant... say... a bascule style bridge to open and close on its own, or ensorcel the waters of a harbor to move boats around at the direction of the harbormaster (great defensive advantage + you can move prams and boats around really efficiently for a boost to the economy)

        Like, take the really simple 2-dot artifact of the Folding Servant - a magitech automata that can collapse itself into a cube for easy transport. What if, instead of jade tubes and steel joints, it was made out of a glass-core featuring a perpetually spinning runic gem, and its limbs and head were self-re-arranging tiny sheets of adamant? suddenly it looks a lot more like a magical construct impued made via sorcerous artifice.

        The difference between an animated golem created via magic, and a bit of metal and gears that is equally animated through magical technology... I just don't see that much of a difference.

        Malfeas F'Tagn - go check out my epic MLP/Exalted crossover "The Scroll of Exalted ponies" @ Fimfiction


        • #34
          Originally posted by Exthalion View Post
          That is a 1Eism. In 2E magitech was catigoricaly better than "solid state" artifacts of similar dot ratings in performance but (usually) suffered from maintenance costs.
          That's actually not true. Sure, it was a general belief in the fandom at that time, but was not actually directly supported by setting at all. It was just a (probably unintended) byproduct of three things:
          - First Age (and Shogunate) products were considered to be better than the Age of Sorrows ones.
          - the game often made a mistake of not representing this difference with increased artifact rating (due to how that rating system worked, it was especialy problematic for all the stuff in the 5-dot category).
          - Most of the First Age products described (and especially most of the grand ones) were Magitech.

          People looked at those and immediately assumed that it means Magitech is better, while in reality there was no such information from game sources at all.

          As i see it (although, due to abovementioned scarcity of actual more in-depth info about what Magitech actually is, how it relates to other stuff, and what it can/cannot do it is obviously just my personal interpretation), Magitech should actually be weaker that more traditional artifact types (in addition to being more dependant on maintenance and infractructure), and ended up being predominant due to a single feature - it was just easier to produce.
          It was basically a difference between a handcrafted, unique product and its mass-market version. The "handcrafted masterwork" classical artifact may be of better quality, but it does require a master crafter to dedicate a lot of time in order to craft it personally. At the same time, the "mass market" magitech version requires the same master to create a design, and probably take part in final assembly, but most of the components may be created by a much less qualified crafters (and often even highly qualified mortal technicians). Moreover, any mistake during crafting of the "masterwork" version probably scraps it completely, and forces the crafter to start the whole lengthy (often very lengthy) process from the very beginning, but a similar mistake with magitech requires just replacing faulty components with new ones, without invalidating the rest of the work.
          Basically, Magitech might not create the best of works, but it is a cheaper and more efficient approach.

          Notice, though, that Magitech in such a situation to be introduced/made more popular requires the society to think more along the modern lines. For one, it requires crafters to be primarily producers of goods, not artisans. A society where the truly high-end crafters are extremely scarce and respected, and low end ones (mortals) just cannot advance above certain (and very low) level might as well go in some very different directions, where the primary driving force behind "production innovation" would be individual interests of individual crafters, and not a pressure created by market needs.

          The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.


          • #35
            (in separate post, because editing doesn;t seem to work)
            One has to notice however, that this approach basically depends on society thinking a lot more modern lines, with crafters being considered to be primarily goods producers, instead of artisans. A society with extreme high-end crafter scarcity, and where low end (mortal) crafters are simply incapable of advancing their works beyond certain (vely low) level can easily develop into some completely different directions, with "production improvement" being more a result of individual master crafter interests, and being far less influenced by such base things as wide market demand.

            The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.


            • #36
              Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
              There are different ways you can do a world "without stasis" (i.e. without "40,000 years of the same damn thing, one after another"). I'll give at least a couple.

              One of these is you can assume a linear, progressive world where things generally get better, and knowledge and capacities are rarely lost because they can be easily passed on, communicated, replicated.

              The other is that technological and "scientific" history lurches around; it's all very personalistic and "craft" like, knowledge is frequently lost or not replicable because the art and craft of it can't be alienated from a master craftsman and made into a replicable body of knowledge that is separable from a particular person.

              In both of these modes there's no "stasis", but the latter is perhaps more like a dynamic fluctuation around a point in a multi-dimensional space, not a clear vector along a path.

              The latter of these is common in fantasy literature, and the mode in particular in Jack Vance's Dying Earth books, a great Exalted inspiration.

              It is probably the better suited mode of these to Exalted, because in Exalted characters have such great capacity to accelerate "technological" progress that if you assume the former, you get inevitable magi-tech singularity, and the setting history and themes (including the singular importance of individual heroes) would rapidly cease to make any sort of sense if you apply a linear progressive mode.
              I feel like some themes to address are the importance of mortals themselves-- in the First Age, mortals were regularly equipped with Gunzosha armor, for example, and the idea of mortals gaining essence pools or being affected by are Charms (ex: Tiger Warrior Training Technique) was an addressed thing. Leaning into that would be an interesting path.

              On the topic of progress, I think there should be space for both ideas. Exalts certainly were powerful, but their greatest achievements were accomplished as a civilization, and moreover there was a very clear progression of tech, so to speak, throughout the First Age (info from setting book).

              On the topic of "looks", 100% that "steampunk lol" is overused. I think a theme was that in the First Age, the magitech was more Essence based, while the Shogunate was more physical (ie what we would see as tech).

              PS: Not looking to extend digression, but I think that concepts should exist to further grant opportunities. Not "lol all your airboats fail suddenly b/c we are doing RL physics only." Again, things like the excerpts from the 1e books, and the lore from the First Age setting books would be a good base, as well as thinking about expanding the settings of Modern and Heaven's Reach.


              • #37
                The way I approached Magitech vs Classic Magical Artifcing is that in classic enchantment/artificing is that the guy who starts the project finishes the project and must possess the craft skills, magical knowledge and power to create it. This makes the spread of such devices much smaller but the internet quality of its parts on average higher, to the point that they are unbreakable. Magitech on the other hand doesn't have that sole responsibility on one person. The burden is spread out, because each component that makes magitech item a separate magical item. When combined it creates a greater effect. Now that is of the type of magitech creation handed down by autocathon rather than the Dragon Kings, the dragon kings developed a separate branch of magic (biowizardry) based on breeding and guiding the development of life forms and shaping crystals.
                That said magitech worked in second edition because thaumaturgy was the foundation of "science" of Creation and was the foundation of magitech and any one with training could do it. Not so with 3rd edition, where it was turned into another thing you have to be born special to have.