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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Unless your players are quantum physicists: yes.

    Because then they'll almost certainly have not the slightest clue what either variant is and how they are different. A mage snaps his finger, it makes *poff* and something appears somewhere else.
    Well, firstly, the system is playable... technically.

    But the main reason why I am writing this at all is to make a system that can actually explain magical mechanics at a granular level.
    The base-level explanation for teleport must exist for me to use it in other things. It has to be able to give predictions about the world and how it would interact with other parts of the magic system.
    Hence why I am starting with the "math".

    The end result I would like is for someone who understands how it works to have an explanation something like this...
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    "So how heck did you get the fireball to hop straight through the Stone barrier?"
    "Ah, that's a little trick I invented.
    Use Spell Technique to detect the collision event, convert the fire magic to the Shadow element to translate the fireball half a meter into the 4th dimension, after 0.1 seconds, move the magic back into fire to end the teleport and translate back down.

    Of course, this makes the spell take one additional tick to cast, and every time it has to hop a barrier, the fireball will lose some explosion power *insert some mp number here*. Additionally, since the fireball moves at the default 10 meters per second, a wall more than 1 meter thick will generate a 2nd collision and count twice.
    Furthermore, the fireball will now only explode at the point you indicate (via the established Range/Speed=TOF method), since any potential target you are shooting at will be hopped right over too!

    A simple defense, of course, is to make your magic wall extend more than half a meter into the 4th dimension. "


    And have it all make sense. FYI, as it currently stands, that explanation is currently *valid*; it is not some random fluff I made up on the spot, that explanation is exactly how I would make a wall-hopping variant of the fireball spell.

    Also, it is using the same mechanics as the world-wide teleport spell an epic-level mage might use. Mechanics that can handle and explain the solutions to teleport-into-wall, time taken, conserving motion/speed, and the host of other problems that crop up when you do not do this.

    While I certainly can just allow 4D rotations, I feel that the complications can be eliminated simply by changing the physics of the 4th dimension.
    Last edited by jseah; 2012-07-20 at 04:36 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Just now noticed this thread and it looks like it could be help me with soem ideas i've had for a setting I've been trying to develope.

    Question 1: a cultural question, how safe from attack(either from good nations opposed to things such as doing business with thieves or demons or from pirates/raiders) would a very small nation that makes most of it's income from being a completely neutral merchant city be?, I was planning for it to be both a place where pirates might fence goods, but also one where an order of knights might get their supplies from. I was also planning on having it be strongly anti-slavery, as the true natives of the city are extremely diverse in species(the city contained everything from demons to angelic beings)
    If it changes anything; the city/country is on a small island in an archipelago in the middle of the setting's largest ocean(the archipelago is a very large one, but not very inhabited), and the city itself is inside of a bay(the island is a circle of "mountains" leading to a bay with an semi-active volcano in the center. The mountains are actually remains of an enormous volcano which exploded millions of years before the setting's date), the entrance to the bay I also fairly treacherous due to sandbars and jutting stones, but once inside is very deep(or at least there is a deep ring surrounding the center volcano, the water right by the city is only about 6-10 feet deep for about 100-150 feet from the docks).
    the cities population is about 50K, with most of them being non-humans, it also has about 10k people visiting the city to trade in it's constantly active bazaar(which is located near the docks and is well patrolled by the city's guards to keep it safe from thieves trying to steal goods)

    Question 2: has there ever been a real world culture/country that used a system of having three leaders?, For the city/country in the setting that I mentioned above in question 1, i had been planning to have it have 3 main leaders, one to manage currency and trade(he also handles most public conferences), one which acts as the country's main diplomat, and one that manages guards and the city's defenses.
    I was also having some trouble coming up with names for the positions so I thought I would see if any names came to mind for those sorts of position. The only ones I have so far are; brigadier general for the one in charge of the nations military and guards, and maybe minister of finance?, for the one in charge of currency and trade
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  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by Togath View Post
    Question 1: a cultural question, how safe from attack(either from good nations opposed to things such as doing business with thieves or demons or from pirates/raiders) would a very small nation that makes most of it's income from being a completely neutral merchant city be?<...>
    Well, it's an island nation, based on trade. Therefore, there is a very large amount of ship traffic to and from their island.
    They could get a professional army, so their guys are much better trained than any other country in the world. Nearly all military are naval, so they also have the best ship crews.
    Their trade gives them lots of money, so they have the best and most number of ships as well.

    With sufficient sea power, a nation could secure itself from all comers. An army 30x their size makes little headway if they cannot land to invade. And naval battles play up the military skill and training factor.

    See Napoleon vs England. That didn't go so well for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Togath View Post
    Question 2: has there ever been a real world culture/country that used a system of having three leaders?, For the city/country in the setting that I mentioned above in question 1, i had been planning to have it have 3 main leaders, one to manage currency and trade(he also handles most public conferences), one which acts as the country's main diplomat, and one that manages guards and the city's defenses.
    I don't know much about how the actual UK system works, but perhaps you could adopt it for your ends.

    The Royal Family is the main diplomat. The Prime minister (leader of the elected House of Commons) controls finance and economics. The House of Lords (unelected) provides the military arm and domestic security.

    Of course, that involves giving the House of Lords something to actually DO, so it isn't the same as the UK's system. But you could coopt it something like that.

    Since the House of Lords originated from the aristocracy, and in feudal times, aristocracy was expected to provide arms and men for wars, it makes sense to make them in charge of the military and security affairs. Perhaps it's a holdover from the feudal period when the Queen/King was an actual ruler, but has since evolved into the current form.
    Cultural quirks like that exist in RL and I wouldn't be too surprised if my IC character came across a country like that.

  4. - Top - End - #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by Togath View Post
    Just now noticed this thread and it looks like it could be help me with soem ideas i've had for a setting I've been trying to develope.
    Question 2: has there ever been a real world culture/country that used a system of having three leaders?
    Yes. The term for this is Triumvirate. Historically, they've mostly happened in times of political disruption, such as after a civil war, where you might have three loosely allied factions each headed by a powerful individual, or when the death of a single ruler doesn't leave a clear heir.

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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tyger View Post
    Yes. The term for this is Triumvirate. Historically, they've mostly happened in times of political disruption, such as after a civil war, where you might have three loosely allied factions each headed by a powerful individual, or when the death of a single ruler doesn't leave a clear heir.
    There's one that immediately comes to mind. The one Julius Caesar murdered his way out of.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Triumvirate
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  6. - Top - End - #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    There's one that immediately comes to mind. The one Julius Caesar murdered his way out of.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Triumvirate
    Indeed. Historically, it can present problems in that generally you only end with one if you have three highly ambitious individuals.

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    Thank you for helping me find a term for that, I may also go with English/Scottish/Irish names, or at least ones that sound appropriate for the positions, as the nation in the setting is strongly allied, and influenced by(the people who populated the island originally came from the mainland nation), another country in the setting that is based off of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
    How does; grand general, minister of finances, and.....high diplomat?, sound?
    I may avoid tension between the three for now though, as at least currently, the only one that might try to remove the others is the diplomat(and the triumvirate in this case is elected, for 50 year spans or until a member dies or gives up the position.
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  8. - Top - End - #188
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    i may be wrong but i don't believe the roman triumvirate divided their responsibilities that way
    Last edited by awa; 2012-07-20 at 08:17 PM.

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    If the main defence is naval, you might try Grand Admiral or Fleet Admiral or similar rather than Grand General.

    The financial guy might be called the Treasurer. Diplomat - this might be a noble title to give him/her something to throw about when dealing with foreign bigwigs, even if the position is elected.

  10. - Top - End - #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Togath View Post
    Question 1: a cultural question, how safe from attack(either from good nations opposed to things such as doing business with thieves or demons or from pirates/raiders) would a very small nation that makes most of it's income from being a completely neutral merchant city be?
    Singapore and Dubai seem to do ok.

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    Here's an interesting topic: Nations keeping secrets.

    Using a medieval age for starters... let's say one side has much better designs of war ships. How do they keep their enemies from obtaining a ship or a traitorous ship builder? I remember hearing the Romans had to find a Carthaginian shipwreck, before they learnt how to construct ships like the Carthaginians'.

    How do nations like Carthage make their ship designs so hard to obtain?
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    Reverse engineering can be quite difficult. Because even when you have hundreds of workers knowing what procedures they have to follow, they mostly don't know what the exact shapes of parts and the material they are made from are important. You could get a number of workers who worked on a certain type of ship and ask them to do the same thing they always do. But without a superviser who understands how all the components work together and influence each other, the result would be less than spectacular. And in antiquity and the middle ages, getting craftsmen from a specialized trade from a foreign nation may not even have been that easy. To build a warship for example, you might need easily 20 or 30 workers who each are familiar with a different part of the construction, and getting one of each type to betray their country and work for the enemy might not have been easy.
    Even NASA had to go to scrapyards to find pieces of their Saturn V rockets because in the space race documentation was quite shoddy and engineers had no knowledge of why their predecessors used certain materials and shapes as specified in those plans they had not been thrown away.

    And I think for most of history, there were no standard sized components and exact sizes were decided for the specific project and the material available.
    Only the architects and engineers would know which factors are important and where you can make compromises regarding material or size. And there probably were not many of those people around. After all, that's the source of their income. If there's ten people who can build a certain type of warship, they can demand very high pay, especially when this technology provides a vital advantage for their employers. If the technology becomes public knowledge, then you can hire the engineer who works for the least amount of pay and when everyone can have it, it might not even be that useful to employ anymore. It's a cartel, if you want. And agreeing to produce that technology exclusively to a single nation can push the payment even higher.

  13. - Top - End - #193
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    In an RPG setting oaths might be enforced by supernatural powers. This could help secrecy quite a bit. Guilds would have happily used such, never mind the state.

    Actually using the new ships to their potential could be quite an expensive learning process even without that. There's the odd story about a new ship lost on it's first voyage; IIRC there was one heavily-gunned ship in Sweden which capsized and killed most of the crew as it left the harbour. Somewhat later in history there was the Titanic, unsinkable and immune to mere icebergs ...

  14. - Top - End - #194
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    also remember you have no standardized measurements and a lot less writing things down. the foot measurement the french are using is not the same one the English are using not to mention the fact that information in general is traveling much slower. this makes any kind of technology transfer more difficult even if no one is trying to prevent you from acquiring it.

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    How large of an area would an independent city state control? I can't specify size or anything because I just want the question answered and I do not have any specific use for it in mind.
    Why? Flying Belgium.

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    Depends on their source of income and the relationship with their neighbors. Can be as small as pretty much just the city walls, or as big as a tiny country.

    Today, Monacco has an area of 2 km˛ and Singapore of 710 km˛.

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    Quote Originally Posted by avr View Post
    IIRC there was one heavily-gunned ship in Sweden which capsized and killed most of the crew as it left the harbour.
    Ah, yes. The Vasa. Too narrow, too high, too rushed, too heavily loaded, too expensive and too ambitious. Pride of the Swedish navy that was. For about ten minutes.

    A prime example what happens when you try to build a ship you don't know how to build coupled with far too much meddling from your superiors.

    Grytorm
    How large of an area would an independent city state control? I can't specify size or anything because I just want the question answered and I do not have any specific use for it in mind.
    Like all nations, it depends on how well it can project it's power. Some city states where little more than the city and the surrounding farmlands and towns. You could cross such a state's border on one side and leave on the other side within a single day.

    On the other hand, city states such a Genoa and Venice controlled hundreds of islands and coastal colonies all over the Mediterranean in their primes. Uisng their fleets and immense riches to maintain control over massive distances (and controlling islands such as crete and corsica).
    Or the papal state (which technically could count as a city state) which controlled much of Lazio (area around rome), Umbria, Romagna and Marche. Using it's immense wealth to control these lands.

    So, basically... it depends on how wealthy the city state was and just how powerful it's neighbours are. A very wealthy city state with small neighbours (such as in Italy) a city state could control immense territories.

  18. - Top - End - #198
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    how much you can control also depends on how fast you can move stuff. if you have good cavalry, roads, or can move things by boat you can control a fairly large area if your army needs to walk your going to control far less. terrain is also important for the same reason really mountainous regions are going to be smaller then big open plains.

    In a fantasy setting with flying mounts/ air ships of some sort or reliable teleportation a city could control a vast area of land far bigger then any real world city state ever could

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    Quote Originally Posted by lunar2 View Post
    3. a similar compound channels heat inward when your temperature is low, and outward when your temperature is high, replacing sweat as a means of regulating temperature.
    I'd like to throw in my two cents here, although I am a little late on answering this…

    For a mechanism that regulates body heat without sweat, I'd suggest you look at jackrabbits. They have an ingenious solution to this problem… they use their ears. Jackrabbits have rather large ears, which they use as radiators to rid themselves of excess body heat. When they are overheating, the blood vessels in their ears expand, increasing blood flow, which directs their heat toward these areas with large surface area where the heat dissipates quickly. When they need to store heat, said blood vessels contract, keeping blood flow, and thus heat flow, to a minimum.

    I believe that other mammals have similar tactics, such as elephants, although I'm not entirely sure…
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ksheep View Post
    I'd like to throw in my two cents here, although I am a little late on answering this…

    For a mechanism that regulates body heat without sweat, I'd suggest you look at jackrabbits. They have an ingenious solution to this problem… they use their ears. Jackrabbits have rather large ears, which they use as radiators to rid themselves of excess body heat. When they are overheating, the blood vessels in their ears expand, increasing blood flow, which directs their heat toward these areas with large surface area where the heat dissipates quickly. When they need to store heat, said blood vessels contract, keeping blood flow, and thus heat flow, to a minimum.

    I believe that other mammals have similar tactics, such as elephants, although I'm not entirely sure…
    i know. but i was wanting to keep the human shape.
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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by awa View Post
    i may be wrong but i don't believe the roman triumvirate divided their responsibilities that way
    The First Triumvirate wasn't even official, its just that Caesar, Crassus and Pompey were the three most powerful men in Rome at the time. Through their wealth and influence they controlled the Senate, the army and finances. Caesar played peace maker between the other two, and eventually just had Pompey killed after Crassus died in battle.

    Now the Second Triumvirate was Octavian Caesar, Mark Antony, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. This one was fully official and legalized by the Senate and basically marked the end of the Roman Republic. Octavian took the name Augustus later, and became Rome's first emperor after a civil war between himself and Antony.

    If you want a different take you can look at a modern democracy with a division of powers. The US is a reasonable example. The executive (the President) can veto laws, start a war and basically acts as the head of the military actions; the legislature (Congress) makes laws, holds meetings on various subjects and can sue for peace once a war has started; the Courts interpret laws, determine whether they fall within constitutional bounds and generally act to enforce the laws created by the legislature. That's about as close to a triumvirate as we have currently, at least one that lasts any significant length.

    The real problem with triumvirates is that each member is given basically unilateral power to do as they please. Its a dictatorship with three members as opposed to one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lunar2 View Post
    i know. but i was wanting to keep the human shape.
    You may still be able to get away with this with a human shape. Instead of using ears, you could use limbs, although to be effective they would have to loose a fair bit of their mass, which means less muscle…
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ksheep View Post
    You may still be able to get away with this with a human shape. Instead of using ears, you could use limbs, although to be effective they would have to loose a fair bit of their mass, which means less muscle…
    We are already. When we're warm blood vessels expand (or even open up) in out entire skin, with an extra density in head, arms and feet. We then use the sweat to cool the skin off. But the primary heat regulator is, like with all mammals, the blood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aux-Ash View Post
    We are already. When we're warm blood vessels expand (or even open up) in out entire skin, with an extra density in head, arms and feet. We then use the sweat to cool the skin off. But the primary heat regulator is, like with all mammals, the blood.
    Well, as lunar was asking for some way of heat regulation without sweating, the simplest answer is to radiate the heat away by passing more blood through the extremities.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Welknair View Post
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    what i was thinking of when i posted that would work more like a one way mirror.

    when you're hot, the outside of your skin reflects heat, while the inside is transparent to heat, or even actively draws it away. when you're cold, the reverse is true, and it's the inside of your skin that reflects heat back into your body. so it serves as a sweat replacement when it's warm, and insulation when it's cold.
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    Thing is though... it's not a very efficient way of cooling down. Radiating heat is as a rule very inefficient. That's why we sweat, because then we don't radiate as much as conduct it. Which is vastly more effective.

    The animals in the world that uses their ears and equalient cool them down using the airflow. There are many other ways of cooling down (like keeping cooler air "stored" inside the fur, rather clever).

    It's not on a biological level the obstacle lie. It's on a thermodynamic level.

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    How about Dragons? If you tried to supe up a flying, fire-breathing lizard, how far could you get before you hit some snags?

    Example: Dragons are meant to be big, and sometimes nigh-invulnerable--which tends to mean heavy. That isn't conductive to flying.

    You might be able to reason them having some sort of light, yet super-strong hide/scales, at this point.


    So... thoughts?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conners View Post
    How about Dragons? If you tried to supe up a flying, fire-breathing lizard, how far could you get before you hit some snags?

    Example: Dragons are meant to be big, and sometimes nigh-invulnerable--which tends to mean heavy. That isn't conductive to flying.

    You might be able to reason them having some sort of light, yet super-strong hide/scales, at this point.


    So... thoughts?
    Another real problem is the muscles involved in lifting a dragon via flapping. If you made it so they could lift off from the ground that is. A solution to this might be the dragon flings itself from a high hieght and then glides and flaps. Making dragons wyverns helps take away from weight, as well as lighter bone structure. A young adult series - Diadem - features dragons that are basically hot air balloons, making them able to fly. Decreasing them from monsterous size to raptor-esque sizes might help.
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  29. - Top - End - #209
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    127.0.0.1
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Ah, dragon flight. I've heard many a debate about this, with solutions ranging from extremely lightweight skeletal structure to magic-assisted flight (think inherent permanenced levitate to control altitude, wings to propel forward and turn) and even a suggestion that they were filled with hydrogen or some other lightweight gas to increase lift.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Welknair View Post
    *Proceeds to google "Bride of the Portable Hole", jokingly wondering if it might exist*

    *It does.*

    What.

  30. - Top - End - #210
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ksheep View Post
    Ah, dragon flight. I've heard many a debate about this, with solutions ranging from extremely lightweight skeletal structure to magic-assisted flight (think inherent permanenced levitate to control altitude, wings to propel forward and turn) and even a suggestion that they were filled with hydrogen or some other lightweight gas to increase lift.

    Hydrogen, I think, with the added suggestion that they hoarded gold because they needed to eat enough metal that they could cause sparks to ignite the hydrogen as dragon breath.

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