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what level a relic is a smartphone or tablet?

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  • what level a relic is a smartphone or tablet?

    I think were all curious, and want to know.

    As I think such things would be VERY MUCH in demand. if somewhat rare...



  • #2
    It would be a level four or five. And it is going to require an immense amount of Pathos.

    However, it really depends on how many powers do you think it will have. Some value is had from the fact that these are computing devices. However, much of the value they have is actually dependent on on other things - a network of cell towers, servers, other computers and devices they connect to, software and apps located on other sites, etc. Since those don't exist in the Underworld, the value of smartphone or tablet is about the same as it will have when stranded in the Sahara or Antartica.

    Of course, if relic smartphones and tablets and such begin to appear in any quantity, the Hierarchy will likely begin constructing the necessary infrastructure to connect them.

    If I was the ST, I would keep the personal functions of any smartphone (what it can do when not hooked up to any network) relic very basic, but require a great deal of Pathos to keep it going. Aps run on a frequenty basis would likely be "retained", but the lesser used functions not at all. I'm not sure how I would use it as an actual phone or network device. In lieu of any Hierarchy infrastructure, I might allow calls to other relic smartphones, but only at the cost of even more Pathos.

    The more useful something is, the higher the level of relic.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

      Of course, if relic smartphones and tablets and such begin to appear in any quantity, the Hierarchy will likely begin constructing the necessary infrastructure to connect them.
      Sounds like a fun story to tell- help the Hierarchy build their infrastructure and stave off attacks, or conversely capture one of their towers so some local heretics or renegades could broadcast a pirate signal.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Prince of the Night View Post
        I think were all curious, and want to know.

        As I think such things would be VERY MUCH in demand. if somewhat rare...
        More common than you would think, I'd imagine. A lot of emotional energy is put into smartphones and they die all the time. If only 1% of those become relics that's still a large influx.


        Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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        • #5
          I reckon the Underworld has tonnes of non-functional smartphones and tablets. The only ones that would work as expected would probably be Artifacts hooked up via Inhabit to some kind of wraithly network. Malfeans might have their own network that operates through the Hive-mind. There was a thread about this a few months back, I think, which had some good systems suggestions.
          Last edited by adambeyoncelowe; 11-24-2015, 10:32 AM.

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          • #6
            I'm sure that in the Shadowlands, things like radio and comm towers exist as older ones get torn down or destroyed etc. So there is likely some basic infrastructure there already for a communication network of some kind, if perhaps somewhat obsolete compared to what is in the Skinlands. The main issue will be powering the network, though there are soul crystals and Pathos for that.

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            • #7
              In the absence of a network I imagine these devices would mostly conjure memories and emotions invested by the previous owner, and surreal imitations of the kinds of things they used the device for. Or maybe there's a Shadowlands mirror to the Internet, a ghostly Digital Web. I'm thinking it would not be a very interactive 2.0 sort of Web, mostly just dark reflections from the real version. The challenge for the Storyteller would be coming up with something more disturbing than the actual Internet.

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              • #8
                I still hold to the idea that they'd piggyback on the Hive Mind, using Lifeweb and maybe Inhabit to make the devices work. The risks of such a network would be very in-keeping with the themes and mood of the setting. And encription would be even more important.

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                • #9
                  What would be in keeping with the setting is electronic communications that just don't work without a serious investment of Pathos and then end up being more like EVP, static ghosts, white noise artifacts. Smartphones would sing scratchy songs intermittently, bring up screens of weird and irrelevant correlations to questions put to them, and whisper the pornographic endearments of past sexting, along with the broken off conversations of charged communications (and it's pretty much a guarantee that for every "You got the job!" and "You're going to be a dad/mom!" you get the heart-wrenching ones, like the conversation cut off mid-sentence when one of the participants was killed in a car wreck or a acreaming tirade about something that should have been minor...) The internet would be overwhelmed by outrage, hate and vitriol of flamewars. That sort of thing. Sure they might be USEFUL for various values of useful, but they would come with heavy-duty baggage.

                  Does the Hierarchy even have ghostly telegraph wires strung between necropoli? If relatively old, simple and well-understood technologies are not useful and reliable enough for systemic exploitation by a government that is willing to adopt and innovate when necessary (meaning, do whatever is needed to insure survival in a hostile world, note, the Hierarchy is STILL THERE after multiple centuries ). If not, then what is the chance they are using an afterlife internet, cell phone or even landline phone system? Not much has been put forth in the books to indicate it.

                  Smartphones that make it past the indifference of folks willing to cast them aside for any and all upgrades or plan changes are going to be unique each in and of itself, not part of some network. Powers will be idiosyncratic to whatever emotional value was invested that made THAT piece of tech important enough for an echo to outlast its physical destruction.

                  If just any old discarded thing was sucked into the Shadowlands, every necropolis would be awash in unpaired socks and dried up pens.

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                  • #10
                    That's a good point, Ajax. On the surface we appear to invest a lot of attention on our devices, but really we discard them without a thought when something better comes along. Their being relic material is pretty questionable.

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                    • #11
                      Well someone whos poor and either steals, saves money for or is GIFTED such a thing may be more attached to it.


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                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=Ajax;n781168]

                        Does the Hierarchy even have ghostly telegraph wires strung between necropoli? If relatively old, simple and well-understood technologies are not useful and reliable enough for systemic exploitation by a government that is willing to adopt and innovate when necessary (meaning, do whatever is needed to insure survival in a hostile world, note, the Hierarchy is STILL THERE after multiple centuries ). If not, then what is the chance they are using an afterlife internet, cell phone or even landline phone system? Not much has been put forth in the books to indicate it.
                        Probably not, but why would they bother when just sending messengers along already extant power lines was a viable option? It would be a resource expenditure for a system that's more vulnerable than what's already available. Now telegraph lines between Stygia and Necropoli might be really desirable, but that would be a lot harder to pull off.

                        Smartphones that make it past the indifference of folks willing to cast them aside for any and all upgrades or plan changes are going to be unique each in and of itself, not part of some network. Powers will be idiosyncratic to whatever emotional value was invested that made THAT piece of tech important enough for an echo to outlast its physical destruction.

                        If just any old discarded thing was sucked into the Shadowlands, every necropolis would be awash in unpaired socks and dried up pens.
                        If people spent hours a day communicating through their socks they might be. I do think the sheer volume of use some phones see is more than enough to create a relic. My phone wouldn't be among them, I don't use it often enough and while I don't like being without it (for emergencies) I'm not dependent on it. However, there are enough people glued to their phones for (in their opinion) crucial communication reasons that I'd say a fair number are coming across.


                        Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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                        • #13
                          I guess the question is: do people love/care about their phones, or is it more about the functions those phones provide? The handsets themselves are often and regularly replaced, but people find it very hard to give up texting, messaging, Facebook, etc.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post
                            I guess the question is: do people love/care about their phones, or is it more about the functions those phones provide? The handsets themselves are often and regularly replaced, but people find it very hard to give up texting, messaging, Facebook, etc.
                            I don't think that's as important a distinction as you are making it out to be, but lets run with it. Sometimes the best way of telling how much of an investment someone has is to take it away. It's hard for me to remember the value I placed in an old blanket, for instance, but I can easily observe the devastation a child feels when their blanket is taken away. So forget for a moment all of the things people do with their phones and just ask what happens if the phone vanishes, and I think the answer for some people is: they feel lost, disconnected, and out of touch.

                            For the most dependent, the smartphone is like a security blanket. Just having it gives them a feeling of connection and control even when there is no one to talk to. Losing it sends them spiraling into anxiety and worry about what they will miss. Sure phones are replaceable, but then so are blankets (shhh... don't tell the kids). So I think the important question is: is a year enough exposure to that kind of emotional investment to create a relic?


                            Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post

                              I don't think that's as important a distinction as you are making it out to be, but lets run with it. Sometimes the best way of telling how much of an investment someone has is to take it away. It's hard for me to remember the value I placed in an old blanket, for instance, but I can easily observe the devastation a child feels when their blanket is taken away. So forget for a moment all of the things people do with their phones and just ask what happens if the phone vanishes, and I think the answer for some people is: they feel lost, disconnected, and out of touch.

                              For the most dependent, the smartphone is like a security blanket. Just having it gives them a feeling of connection and control even when there is no one to talk to. Losing it sends them spiraling into anxiety and worry about what they will miss. Sure phones are replaceable, but then so are blankets (shhh... don't tell the kids). So I think the important question is: is a year enough exposure to that kind of emotional investment to create a relic?
                              But people are most upset at having lost their photos, their numbers, their videos, etc. When those things are recovered or backed up, the distress is much less.

                              Yes, people feel disconnected when they lose their phones, but that's a fleeting anxiety caused by a society where everything is now-now-now. I'd say it's more of a mild discomfort than a devastating loss.

                              It doesn't help, of course, that the fluff here is a bit vague and the rules are nonexistent. I've always felt that if a thing were loved enough to possibly be a Fetter when it remained in the Skinlands (even if it wasn't--because a Fetter requires a wraith too), then it would definitely carry enough emotional resonance to become a relic. Something that's merely quotidian, no matter how 'essential' it seems to maintain the convenience of everyday life, doesn't seem to cut the mustard for me. But this is just my own interpretation.

                              I would like to see something more concrete in Wr20.

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