The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    lord_khaine's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unhuman Intelligence and advancing technology

    Int 30 is amazing but I feel like it is being dramatically overvalued here.
    Yeah. I think thats the relevant bit here.
    Its just limited how much a single person, no matter how smart, will be able to do.
    Science just dont work that way. There are far to many inventions that comes from a happy coincidence of the right person observing the right action, and going "huh.. thats weird?"

    Also, the notion that as people get older, they're less likely to accept new ideas is an unfounded myth that has no actual basis beyond stereotypes of staunch, stubborn old people who refuse to change.
    This i disagree with. I think its extremely well founded from repeated observations on how the previous generation handles the habbits and technology of the new one.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    This i disagree with. I think its extremely well founded from repeated observations on how the previous generation handles the habbits and technology of the new one.
    From my observation, this is something inherent to people, it doesn't come with age. If someone is easily adaptive and able to learn new technology, they're like that their whole life, but the ones who can't or won't, are also like that when they're young, the only time age becomes an issues is when actual mental deterioration begins to set in.
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    Playing a wizard the way GitP says wizards should be played requires the equivalent time and effort investment of a university minor. Do you really want to go down this rabbit hole, or are you comfortable with just throwing a souped-up Orb of Fire at the thing?
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Unhuman Intelligence and advancing technology

    It's not the nuclear weapons or planet-cracking antimatter bombs, it's the little stuff.

    Absent full Tippyverse, things like the bicycle and overshot water wheel are massive game changers for the muggles.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    GreatWyrmGold's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    I mean, is it really millenia? We've had a few stages in our history where we've gone quite severely backward in our technological advancements.
    Not really. We've lost social developments and stopped maintaining infrastructure, but technology was maintained and continued to advance through the Dark Ages. The only time I can think of that the Europe/Mediterranean region has had anything like a proper technological decline was the Bronze Age Collapse, and that only collapsed so badly because everyone and their neighbors had a bad time at once.
    With the exception of isolated cultures (e.g, Rapa Nui), it's really hard for technological developments to be lost. If someone remembers, or if someone lives close enough to the results of a given technology, it's too easy to figure out how it worked and spread it again.
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    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Malphegor's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unhuman Intelligence and advancing technology

    Didnít we lose (decent quality) concrete for a while between Roman to near-modern industrial times?
    never piss off people for who one of their main hobbies involves aggressive and thorough note-taking.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    CIDE's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unhuman Intelligence and advancing technology

    Aren't there gods in multiple settings actively against this very concept?
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  7. - Top - End - #37
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malphegor View Post
    Didnít we lose (decent quality) concrete for a while between Roman to near-modern industrial times?
    Arguably we still haven't gotten back to the Roman standard. But part of that is laziness. We know seawater and volcanic ash makes better concrete than sand and filtered water, and we know that if it's so thick you have to pound it into the forms with a maul it's better. We just don't bother.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Beholder

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    Default Re: Unhuman Intelligence and advancing technology

    Consider that several older dragons and outsiders hit the high 20s for Int all the time. Pit Fiends are Int 26 for example - are we theorizing that you need a wizard in the party in order to outsmart these villains? What was Smaug's Int score when Bilbo outsmarted him, I wonder?
    Recognizing deception is a function of Wisdom, not Intelligence. ;D

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Unhuman Intelligence and advancing technology

    External factors contribute so much to the rate of human advancement (in which the biological elements of our intelligence have been more or less constant). We can point at eras where major advances were decades or centuries apart, while in other periods we see bursts of advancements every 2-5 years or so. So a smart wizard isolating themselves to develop stuff on a demiplane may paradoxically invent things much slower than a population of 100 million commoners and experts and such of unaugmented intelligence who are operating in a social context that encourages invention, collaboration, exchange of information, etc.

    If D&D land is dominated by guilds who use a handful of high level characters to enforce secrecy and monopoly by force, I can see a setting where there are occasional examples of custom high tech installations made to order, but no general spread of technology.
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  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Unhuman Intelligence and advancing technology

    Consider Thomas Edison. He was a man of many inventions who made the late 1800s and the early 1900s the technological revolution that it was. He had helpers, yes, but it was largely because of his diligence that society has or had many, many things.

    Imagine someone with even more time, talent, and mind space. Such a being would also need ample motivation and resource access to do something comparable or better.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Unhuman Intelligence and advancing technology

    Edison was also a blatant thief who worked for the Patent office and put his name on tons of stuff that was not his. Not a total hack but not a shining example.

    Also quantifying insane int is difficult at best, if its quadratic like strength is, it is so far beyond our conception that we cannot hope to process it.

    I also am unsure why anyone who can study (and adventure) and rearrange reality at a whim would bother with doing stuff the hard way except as a weird mental exercise.

    The grounding basics of science do not exist in a world where you can more or less ignore real world standards. You can create AND destroy matter AND energy, bend time or ignore any real world limitation easily. Without those and similar constraints forcing you to think a new way around a problem, you just won't. You can magic your way around nearly any limitations very easily, so the drive and creativity to overcome the most common problems let alone more complex ones will not be present.

    The tool exist which solve all manner of issues easily, and that tool is magic.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    druid91's Avatar

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    Default Re: Unhuman Intelligence and advancing technology

    Well, at least in forgotten realms, part of the issue is that the gods don't like things that disrupt the balance of power overmuch. That's why you need to make smokepowder rather than just gunpowder. Because someone made gunpowder and the gods threw a fit and rewrote reality to make it not work.
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    I like the "hobo" in there.
    "Hey, you just got 10000gp! You going to buy a fully staffed mansion or something?"
    "Nah, I'll upgrade my +2 sword to a +3 sword and sleep in my cloak."

    Non est salvatori salvator, neque defensori dominus, nec pater nec mater, nihil supernum.

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  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Ashtagon's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkad View Post
    Arguably we still haven't gotten back to the Roman standard. But part of that is laziness. We know seawater and volcanic ash makes better concrete than sand and filtered water, and we know that if it's so thick you have to pound it into the forms with a maul it's better. We just don't bother.
    Harder/more durable concrete is not necessarily "better".

    We recognise that our buildings are not going to be needed forever, so we choose materials that won't last forever. In some regards, Roman style concrete would actually be worse, because it makes taking down the buildings when they reach the end of their useful life that much harder.

    It's a mix of that and cost:benefit analysis.

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Unhuman Intelligence and advancing technology

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    Harder/more durable concrete is not necessarily "better".

    We recognise that our buildings are not going to be needed forever, so we choose materials that won't last forever. In some regards, Roman style concrete would actually be worse, because it makes taking down the buildings when they reach the end of their useful life that much harder.

    It's a mix of that and cost:benefit analysis.
    And that would make sense if we didn't make bridges out of the cheap stuff. Or at least actually tore them down when they reached End of Life, instead of just painting over the cracks until it falls in the river during rush hour.

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