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Thread: CWBP 2 : Era and Technology

  1. #1
      Azelor is offline
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    Default CWBP 2 : Era and Technology

    I'm moving the discussion here because I feel it was eclipsed by the other subjects
    So far, it seems many people associate magic with the middle ages but it doesn't have to be that way. Other genre like steampunk and post apocalyptic are generic genre that can fit different era.

    The question is: what is the general level of technology in the world and what are the different level of technological advancement if any ? (I expect that some places will be more advanced that other.)
    Is there any differences with our world at the same era regarding the technology (ex: end of middle ages with no gunpowder, with flying boats, with no compass) ?


    Level of technology:
    nomad/hunter gatherer
    prehistoric (with agriculture and animal husbandry but without writing)
    antique/classical (after the discovery of writing), …
    middle age
    ...

    or these for reference:

    Tech Level Comparison Chart - Traveller
    Technology level - Traveller
    Tech Level - GURPS Wiki

    It would be a good idea to make you suggestions by putting the century and the region (in the real world) matching the level of technology.

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      Falconius is offline
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    I'd suggest expressing it as what level is the most technology advanced culture at, with perhaps very minor exceptions for extremely small enclaves who may be higher.

    Anyways,
    Guns/Canons/Gunpowder: No to all
    Calvary: Horse, and on rare occasions other beasts
    Armour: All the way up to 16th century plate (because that stuff is boss)
    Hand weapons: All stuff until 15th 16th century
    Missile weapons: Bows, x-bows perhaps more advanced kinetic weapons or magically assisted weapon

    Navigation and travel:
    Compasses: No due to Ghostman node interference
    Dominant propulsion: Sail
    Alternate propulsion: Yes
    Steam: No, to very minor experimental use in small enclaves.
    "Boat" types: Up to 14th century sail technology
    Airships/airtravel: No airships, to small limited magical conveyances.
    Flying creatures for travel/transport: Yes, anything.
    Overland transport: Wagons, horses, etc. Possibly landships for special uses

    Writing and learning
    Printing press: No
    Scholarship level: 15th century?
    Learning institutions (eg. universities): Yes.

    Um thats all I can think of right now really.

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      Ghostman is offline
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    Perhaps in addition to "level" of technology we should discuss how closely it should mimic the real world. What I mean is that technology is not just about function (what it can achieve and how easily) but also about form (how it does so).

    For example, a compass that points to the magnetic south (or north) can be functionally the same as a miniature clockwork figurine that whistles when oriented to face the point in horizon where the sun last rose. Both of them are just means for figuring out directions. The former is a mundane invention familiar to us from the real world, whereas the latter is an exotic piece of weird technology that only exists in the realm of fiction. Similarly, a horse-drawn carriage and a cabin borne on the back of a six-legged reptilian beast are functionally equal as long as they allow passengers to be transported at equal speeds for equal cost & effort and equally reliably.

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      Falconius is offline
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    I think we should first focus on functionality and leave the details to be developed in peoples modules.

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      Azelor is offline
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    Guns/Canons/Gunpowder: No to all
    I would like to have some. Maybe it could be limited to the most advanced and even it that case, it's considered some sort of secret weapon. Greek fire...
    Let see, I don't think it's that overpowered compared to magic.

    Calvary: Horse, and on rare occasions other beasts

    Armour: All the way up to 16th century plate (because that stuff is boss)
    Totally true, even if it more or less match the rest

    Hand weapons: All stuff until 15th 16th century
    Bastard sword !

    Missile weapons: Bows, x-bows perhaps more advanced kinetic weapons or magically assisted weapon
    repetition crossbow
    and stuff like that Warlore - Medieval II Total War Unit: Mercenary Monster Ribault

    Navigation and travel:
    Compasses: No due to Ghostman node interference
    compasses work, except it's different

    "Boat" types: Up to 14th century sail technology
    caravels would be great too.

    Airships/airtravel: No airships, to small limited magical conveyances.
    I like the idea of some flying ship but they should not be too common

    Flying creatures for travel/transport: Yes, anything.
    they should not be too common
    Falconius likes this.

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    Professional Artist Cunning Cartographer's Avatar
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    No option for multiple technologies depending on continent/culture/race?

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      Falconius is offline
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    This would indicate more the limits that technology has reached so far (except in rare cases where it might be greater), it is not determinative of the overall technology or the specific technology anyone has. In other words if we ended up choosing no guns or canons then you couldn't reasonably go out and create a race or culture that uses them. You could create a race that uses bows, or throwing spears or whatever, or still be so backwards they are still busy throwing rocks at each other. If however a "gunne" was central to a story or module you are developing you could have an exception with the understanding that the exception is limited and won't actually alter the technological limits of the world.

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    Gotcha. I'd go with a Discworld low-end steampunky type technology

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      Azelor is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunning Cartographer View Post
    No option for multiple technologies depending on continent/culture/race?
    It is entirely possible and even logical that some places will be more advanced than others. In the three links I posted at the end of the first post, you can see an example of technology by era. The Gurps progression seems better because it concentrate more on the first eras. So each country could have a tech level associated to it's description.

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      Azelor is offline
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    Here's a suggestion for era advancement, It's mix from Gurp, D20 modern, Ravenloft and Civilization progression.
    Ideas: form of government available for each era, weaponry and siege engine progression

    WIP, STILL VERY MESSY

    0-Primitive: first priority is survival
    Inventions: firemaking
    travel: on foot
    Weaponry: wooden weapon, raw stone

    1- Stone age (-10 000 to -5000) : nomadic tribes, hunter/gatherer, live in cave or small tents, small villages made of stone possible,
    Technology: barter, basic mathematic, oral tradition (no writing), haven’t mastered magic yet, shamanic cult
    Travel: ski, simple boats...
    Weaponry: leather armor,stone/obsidian tools, shortbow, spear, club, hide/leather/wooden shield,

    2-Bronze age (-5000 to -2500) : beginning of civilization, states, large cities arise, ,
    Inventions (technology) : agriculture, animal husbandry, metal working, weaving, writing, scrolls, calendar, mathematic, architecture, pottery(conserve food), levers, wheels, pulley,organized religion, magic mastery, stone construction , masonry
    travel: horse back, chariot, sail boat, galley
    Weaponry: bronze weapon and armor, studded and padded armor

    3-Iron age (-2500 to 0): new government form..., first empires
    Technology: Iron working, advanced military tactic, code of law (separate the state from religion), shipbuilding, coinage, trading, glassmaking, medicine, measurement of time( sundial, hourglass), hydraulic engineering, roads, canals, windmills, water mills, saddle,
    travel: saddled horse, bigger ship (trireme)
    Weaponry: breastplate, tower shield, siege engine,

    4- Classical ( 1 to 500) : high quality roads,
    Society organization:
    Technology: philosophy, theology, algebra, geometry, astronomy, alchemy, paper (replace scrolls), books, libraries, stirrup,
    Travel:
    Weaponry: first true cavalry,

    5- Dark age (500 to 800) (this on is only in europe) might mix it the the others): still some progress: monastic orders,
    Technology: astrolabe, crop rotation, mechanical mills,
    Travel: advanced ship (ocean travel),
    Weaponry: crossbow (China had repeating crossbows before Jesus was born),banded mail, scale mail, splint mail,

    6-Early Middle age (800 to 1200) (still mostly about Europe) : castle, cathedral, guild, insurance, healers, collegue of bards,
    Technology: gothic architecture, compass, water clock, stern rudder, Universities
    Travel: cog
    Weaponry: chain mail, lance ,

    7- Middle age (1200 to 1400) : ,medical school, , standing army (Europe)
    Technology: Gothic flamboyant, block printing (on textile or paper, existed in china’s antiquity), glassblowing, optic, mechanical clock (huge), spinning wheel (textile),
    Travel: on foot is still very popular, carrack
    Weaponry: longbow, mounted knight, half plate armor, heavy barding,

    8- Chivalric (1400 – 1550) : government records, disease control, beginning of postal service (o my !)
    Technology: smaller mechanic, banking,
    Travel: caravels, sea navigation made common
    Weaponry: basic gunpowder weapons (bombard), early musket, bastard sword, full plate, Knight zenith,

    9- Age of sails/renaissance: (1550 to 1750) more comfortable castles, opera, newspapers,
    Technology: printing press, sophisticated clock and mechanical devices, microscope, telescope, bigger ship (more reliable), scientific method, Newton, Chemistry, biology, electromagnetism,
    Travel: galleon
    Weaponry: firearms, cannon, fencing, no more heavy armor/weapon,

    10- Industrial revolution (1750 to 1880… ): factories, urbanization, corporations,
    Technology:steam engine,assembly line, Military science (Clausewitz not Sun Ci) Interchangeable parts telegrapher,vaccine
    Travel:train , steam boats, steel ship,
    Weaponry: rifling,machine gun,

    11- Mechanized age: (1880-1940) aviation, radio, phone, submarine, steel battleship, mass media, electricity, combucstion engine, mass production, plastic, refregiration, globalisation

    12-nuclear age (1940-1980) . Television, fission, computer, satellite, microwave, automobile, highways, rocket/missile, transnational organizations, guided weaponry, atomic bomb,

    13-Digital age (1980- 20??) : personal computer, internet, electronic devices, telecommunication…

    14- the future: it's tomorrow so we don't know what's in it yet. Where science become magic !
    Last edited by Azelor; 02-06-2014 at 04:54 PM.

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