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Thread: Road structure and representation...

  1. #21
      gilgamec is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juggernaut1981 View Post
    What are the other two main forms of human transport: Rail & Shipping. Basically imagine a world where there was light, medium and heavy rail dominating the landscape. Buses would not exist, they'd have been replaced with light rail. Commuters would use medium rail systems and all cargo would be transported by a heavy rail network.
    OK, that seems reasonable, up to this point:
    Quote Originally Posted by Juggernaut1981
    Goods would probably get transported around at the final point by either human power, animal power, or by some kind of over-glorified forklift.
    I don't buy this. I see that the amount of effort needed to transport goods at the endpoints of the system depends on how close they are to the final destination. But that's not going to be so close! Look at the extreme case: a rail spur in everyone's backyard. Can you imagine the logistical nightmare of a train stopping every couple of houses to pick up or drop off cargo? (Plus, you've essentially recreated the problem, with iron rails instead of asphalt.)

    It seems more likely to me that the stops will be more widely distributed: at the inside, maybe every few blocks in an urban area? In that case, I pity the human power that has to deliver my new fridge a block or two from the nearest station! (Let alone deliver hundreds of pounds of fruit daily to the local greengrocer, or make any of a thousand different large commercial deliveries.) And a society at the technological level of our own isn't going to use wagons pulled by draught animals for that kind of thing; they're messy, expensive to keep up, and rightly obsolete. As for an "over-glorified forklift", I think you're nearly there: the phrase you're looking for, though, is probably closer to "light cargo truck".

    We've been over-exposed to the bad things about automobiles for so long that we tend to forget that they're the best solution to a whole raft of problems; more flexible than rail, faster and more powerful than bicycles, much cleaner than animals (small quantities of diesel fumes vs. great wads of dung dropped sporadically down the street). And while I think that, if the rail system was flexible (and cheap!) enough, it's quite possible that automobiles wouldn't ever move out of light commercial roles, I find it hard to buy that they would never be used. (I bet they'd also find a role in transportation to and from isolated areas that are worth a gravel road but not a rail line.)

  2. #22
    Guild Artisan Juggernaut1981's Avatar
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    Gilgamec> I'd be guessing you've never visited a non-first world nation. I've been to a number of places where fridges and large goods are delivered short distances (less than 1 or 2km) by people-power. China is a really good case in point.

    The only thing that really facilitates modern personal transport is oil. If we hadn't really developed oil to run vehicles, we'd probably not be driving cars at all.

    This was all based on a thought experiment of "What happens if nobody really designed a car...?"

    Conclusion: Rail becomes more "graduated", people transport goods around by a combination of rail, hand vehicles (carts, etc), bicycle-based devices and animal power.

    To give you the delivery cycle of white goods, since they seem to be an issue of note.

    "Westinghouse makes a Fridge in (Insert Town A) and loads it into a cargo carriage sitting on rails outside their factory. Their factory is like almost every other and has a rail-line immediately behind it.

    The (Insert Rail Company Here) sends an engine to collect the various goods along the rail line behind the Westinghouse Factory that are to be delivered to (Metropolis B). Heavy rail transports the white goods, along with numerous other goods, to (Metropolis B).

    At (Metropolis B), a number of haulage companies have warehouses immediately next to the rail line and unload into their warehouses from the cargo train. The train leaves.

    Hand-based pallette jacks and hydraulic forklifts move and store the goods until they are distributed to the next step in the chain. In particular, the Westinghouse Goods are stored for shipment tomorrow.

    The Westinghouse Goods are then moved from the warehouse out onto a hand-operated hydraulic cart, allowing the goods to be easily placed on with hand-operated vehicles. This if fine since the store selling this shipment is only a few blocks away.

    Another shipment of Westinghouse Goods needs to be transported roughly 4km away. These get placed on the back of a bicycle-powered cart, like an over glorified goods rickshaw. Also loaded is a hydraulic-hand-palette-jack. The cart will be lowered down and the goods removed from the back along a gangway into the store. As the Westinghouse delivery is coming in, some of the store's delivery staff are leaving on another bicycle-powered cart to deliver what appears to be a washing machine, an armchair and a study desk."
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      Ghostman is offline
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    One thing that seems to not have been brought up yet is that paved roads and wheeled vehicles do not necessarily go hand in hand. The Incas had the former but not the latter...

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    Guild Artisan Juggernaut1981's Avatar
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    Ghostman> thanks for the nice SE-Asian example of "courier" and why Australian and probably US couriers are danger-avoiding bludgers

    Also, RE: Incas... If I lived where they did, I think I'd be thinking its a zero-sum game to have carts. Too likely to roll off a cliff...
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      xequar is offline
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    Savage Worlds > D&D4th
    D&D4th > ALL other D&D Editions
    Unplayable rubbish > ALL other D&D Editions
    ALL other D&D editions > Paranoia XP
    Just sayin'

    Right, sorry to interrupt a good discussion on Roman roads, but...

    Here are some ideas for depicting different roads you may use. In GIMP, one can get creative with the "Stroke Path" tool, which is what I did here. For the two versions of "Imperial Highway," I picked first the outside color, then did "Stroke Path" with a 15 pixel line. I then picked the inside color, did another "Stroke Path", this time with a smaller line (9 pixels on the first, 7 on the second). In the case of the second "Imperial Highway", I used black as the inner color, then I used "Fuzzy Select" on the black and deleted it (there was a line of dark grey created from the Stroke Path, which I left because I'm lazy).

    I hope this helps!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Road structure and representation...-imperialsample.jpg  

  6. #26
    Guild Artisan Juggernaut1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xequar View Post
    Savage Worlds > D&D4th
    D&D4th > ALL other D&D Editions
    Unplayable rubbish > ALL other D&D Editions
    ALL other D&D editions > Paranoia XP
    Just sayin'
    xequar> I'd love to get into a long-winded debate about how 4E actually represents the true death of epic storytelling due to it's complete cotton-wool effect on the protagonist... but I feel that it is summarised best by "Epic Fail".
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      xequar is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juggernaut1981 View Post
    xequar> I'd love to get into a long-winded debate about how 4E actually represents the true death of epic storytelling due to it's complete cotton-wool effect on the protagonist... but I feel that it is summarised best by "Epic Fail".
    And I feel that the more time one spends rule-lawyering and dealing with a broken system, the less time a campaign can focus on story.

    Seriously, Savage Worlds is the greatest gaming system in the history of gaming, hands down. You can do anything with it, from superheroes to sci-fi to fantasy that still puts D&D4 (the only playable version of D&D IMO) to shame. And it's simple. The main rule book is only 140 pages, and it's very very hard to break the system (unlike the old D&D games).

    But, as long as you're having fun, then good enough, eh? (and no, I wasn't being sarcastic. As I reread it, I realize that could sound kinda snarky. Sorry 'bout that!)


    On topic, did we ever figure out what's going on in this world?
    Last edited by xequar; 12-08-2009 at 11:50 PM.

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    [derail]
    xequar> As I hinted at in my post, I don't really have an issue with the mechanics per se of 4E. It's the fact that the protagonists (i.e. players) are obviously protected and set up to "not fail". As said by plenty of other people (including McKee), good stories need protagonists who can, and do, fail. Conclusion is 4E = epic fail.
    [/derail]

    Half of this thread was a thought experiment into how society would work if we hadn't developed the car.
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  9. #29
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    [offtopic]
    Protected? Cotton wool?

    Man you obviously haven't played in one of my games

    If the PCs aren't honestly scared they are going to die from time to time there's no real game IMO.

    TPK happens. Deal with it
    [/offtopic]

    Enjoying the rest that's been said but haven't been able to find anything actually worth contributing!
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  10. #30
      waldronate is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juggernaut1981 View Post
    [derail]
    xequar> As I hinted at in my post, I don't really have an issue with the mechanics per se of 4E. It's the fact that the protagonists (i.e. players) are obviously protected and set up to "not fail". As said by plenty of other people (including McKee), good stories need protagonists who can, and do, fail. Conclusion is 4E = epic fail.
    [/derail]
    I would say rather that good stories need to have heroes who succeed despite the odds. Reading a story that ends "and then they all died" tends not to be terribly interesting to the audience that buys the stories. There is a niche market for masochists but it's a smallish niche.

    Good roleplaying, on the other hand, needs to keep the potential for failure in order to keep the thrill but succeed often enough to keep players coming back.

    I have played in games that were great fun even though we spent probably a quarter of our time generating new characters. The party went on and on despite the heavy individual losses. I have also played in games where the DM was telling a story and all actions were forced into a linear plotline. We didn't lose any characters, but the game degenerated into a relatively uninteresting series of "how can we screw the plotline" exercises. Not much fun at all.

    In my opinion games and stories are similar in that they both provide the thrill of meeting challenges, but in a story the hero always wins by design and in a game you can always screw yourself over by bad decisions or inattention. If you're playing a "game" that is really a "story" then the "storyteller" will move heaven and earth to make sure that you succeed. It can work well or work badly depending on who's in charge. If you're selling "interactive storytelling" to an audience that may not be particularly gifted storytellers then you'll have to make a fair bit of effort to ensure that the "story" doesn't fail.

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