The Gaming Den Forum Index The Gaming Den
Welcome to the Gaming Den.
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Google
 Search WWW   Search tgdmb.com 
d20 Future OSSR
Goto page Previous  1, 2
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Gaming Den Forum Index -> In My Humble Opinion...
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Judging__Eagle
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 4638
Location: Lake Ontario is in my backyard; Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

maglag wrote:
Do you have any specific examples of oral trumping written? Because then I must seriously ask why did people bother developing writing and paper and libraries and whatnot if oral is so super awesome.

This is, why do so many smart people insist on making literacy mandatory for everybody if oral is seemingly better at everything?


The rise of sea levels 10,000 years ago has been recorded more accurately in oral traditions than it was in written traditions. Likely due to the fact that in an oral tradition culture any narrative drift is collectively corrected; whereas in a literature tradition any narrative drift is not corrected and becomes the new norm. The problem with an oral tradition culture is that it relies upon the culture being maintained to ensure the knowledge isn't lost.

The reason literature is more advanced & proliferate is that it takes less effort to maintain (once soft clay is baked into stone, it doesn't need to be regularly reviewed/raconteured, nor passed down to the next generation); is vastly more democratizing (you only need to learn literacy to have access to literature, not by-rote memorization of the Method of Loci based data of an oral history); and allows its users to develop wholly new methods of developing new content. Also, the original reason why literacy exists is commerce; the majority of European scripts are modified Phoenician scripts (itself a derivative of Egyptian hieroglyphics).

However, even literature isn't immune to the same problems that can make an oral tradition culture's knowledge become lose. Egyptian hieroglyphics were basically "lost" knowledge for several centuries until the Rosetta stone was found. Likewise, Mycenaean languages such as Linear A, Cypro-Minoan, and the Phaistos Disc are other examples where literature can fail at maintaining cultural information compared to an oral tradition culture. While the Myecenean Linear B is somewhat understood, a fair amount of its characters are not clearly understood.

At the end of the day, the one thing that kills the cultural transferral knowledge is interruptions in the culture's populations ability to continue transferral of said knowledge. The Epics of Gilgamesh were 7,000 years old; and lost for quite a large part of that history due to interruptions. While Australian Aboriginal histories have been able to transfer data for 10,000+ years due to survival despite European colonization.
_________________
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


Last edited by Judging__Eagle on Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:09 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
erik
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 4994

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Judging__Eagle wrote:
maglag wrote:
Do you have any specific examples of oral trumping written? Because then I must seriously ask why did people bother developing writing and paper and libraries and whatnot if oral is so super awesome.

This is, why do so many smart people insist on making literacy mandatory for everybody if oral is seemingly better at everything?


The rise of sea levels 10,000 years ago has been recorded more accurately in oral traditions than it was in written traditions.


Eagle, are you being stupid? There weren't written traditions 10,000 years ago. That could be a factor.


Quote:
The Epics of Gilgamesh were 7,000 years old


Citation pls. The internets tell me you are off by a few thousand years extra, earliest being at 2100 B.C. Unless I overslept this morning and it is the year 5000.

You have offered zero arguments in favor of oral traditions being better than written.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
zeruslord
Knight-Baron


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 577

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm not too worried about the lower-than-modern progress levels making no sense. It's dumb, but it doesn't break any of the stuff that's presented in the rest of the book. What I'd prefer to see is some distinct categories of technology with progress levels explicitly per-category, rather than the assumption that all areas of technology move in lockstep as you get more advanced. Then campaign settings would pick a particular set of technologies at different levels. A typical cyberpunk game would have lots of advanced cybernetic implants but guns that are 20 minutes into the future and no FTL spaceships at all, while a space opera game would likely have minimal cybernetics but lots of spaceships and laser guns. Even the settings they're presenting in the book don't use tech that's all from the same progress level; Genetech uses PL5 weapons but PL6 or 7 genetics.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Judging__Eagle
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 4638
Location: Lake Ontario is in my backyard; Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

erik wrote:


Eagle, are you being stupid? There weren't written traditions 10,000 years ago. That could be a factor.


Except for one problem with such a highly limited idea as to what writing traditions are is that it forgets that humans have been recording data for later referral for as from as late as 18,000 years[1], 25-28,000 years[2], and as far back as between 44,200 and 43,000 years[3]. Especially since humans creating glyphic depictions actually goes back to 10,000-12,000 years old[4]. Just because highly stylized non-pictographic forms eventually became the norm for literature with progressing developments in pictogram abstraction (e.g. the Aleph and Bet that form the begining of the alphabet are a stylized ox's head, and a peaked-roofed house; respectively) doesn't mean that only non-pictographic forms should be the only way to decide if something classifies as human data-keeping.

[1]:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishango_bone
[2]:https://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vlčí_radius
[3]:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebombo_bone
[2]:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Göbekli_Tepe

Quote:

Quote:
The Epics of Gilgamesh were 7,000 years old


Citation pls. The internets tell me you are off by a few thousand years extra, earliest being at 2100 B.C. Unless I overslept this morning and it is the year 5000.

You have offered zero arguments in favor of oral traditions being better than written.


You're right, I was off by a couple thousand years on the history of Gilgamesh. However it's content are much older; closer to the 5,000 BCE than 2700 BCE; which is where I was probably stuck on the notion that it was 7,000 year old content. The Epic of Gilgamesh wasn't solely based on the events of the King of Uruk of c.2700 BCE, but also contains excerpts from texts that describe events from ~10,000 BCE such as glacial flooding as described in the (now lost) Epic of Atrahasis that the Epic of Gilgamesh recounts (& importantly to the fact that written data isn't perfect at transmitting data), but also makes changes to the original account.

The Epic of Gilgamesh's recounting of portions of the (now lost) Epic of Atrahasis[1] survival of the same event is evidence that written accounts have proven to not survive in unbroken success. Even the written versions of the Epic of Gilgamesh was lost for 2,000 years before being rediscovered.
[1]:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atra-Hasis

So yeah, that's actually a good example of how an oral tradition has been able to better transmit a piece of geological-cultural history; Gilgamesh's changes to Atrahasis and it's loss and only partial recovery. The same global events in written form has been lost not just once, but twice, and even then the retained parts are altered in the extant copy. While oral accounts of the same events have survived until only now being recognized as actually accurate.

I'm not saying that oral traditions are in any way superior to literature, but they have shown that they can have benefits that simply recording data onto objects hasn't.
_________________
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


Last edited by Judging__Eagle on Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:53 pm; edited 6 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Omegonthesane
Duke


Joined: 26 Sep 2009
Posts: 2212

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Judging__Eagle wrote:
erik wrote:


Eagle, are you being stupid? There weren't written traditions 10,000 years ago. That could be a factor.


Except for one problem with such a highly limited idea as to what writing traditions are is that it forgets that humans have been recording data for later referral for as from as late as 18,000 years[1], 25-28,000 years[2], and as far back as between 44,200 and 43,000 years[3]. Especially since humans creating glyphic depictions actually goes back to 10,000-12,000 years old[4]. Just because highly stylized non-pictographic forms eventually became the norm for literature with progressing developments in pictogram abstraction (e.g. the Aleph and Bet that form the begining of the alphabet are a stylized ox's head, and a peaked-roofed house; respectively) doesn't mean that only non-pictographic forms should be the only way to decide if something classifies as human data-keeping.

[1]:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishango_bone
[2]:https://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vlčí_radius
[3]:[url]url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebombo_bone[/url]
[2]:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Göbekli_Tepe

Quote:

Quote:
The Epics of Gilgamesh were 7,000 years old


Citation pls. The internets tell me you are off by a few thousand years extra, earliest being at 2100 B.C. Unless I overslept this morning and it is the year 5000.

You have offered zero arguments in favor of oral traditions being better than written.


You're right, I was off by a couple thousand years on the history of Gilgamesh. However it's content are much older; closer to the 5,000 BCE than 2700 BCE; which is where I was probably stuck on the notion that it was 7,000 year old content. The Epic of Gilgamesh wasn't solely based on the events of the King of Uruk of c.2700 BCE, but also contains excerpts from texts that describe events from ~10,000 BCE such as glacial flooding as described in the (now lost) Epic of Atrahasis that the Epic of Gilgamesh recounts (& importantly to the fact that written data isn't perfect at transmitting data), but also makes changes to the original account.

The Epic of Gilgamesh's recounting of portions of the (now lost) Epic of Atrahasis[1] survival of the same event is evidence that written accounts have proven to not survive in unbroken success. Even the written versions of the Epic of Gilgamesh was lost for 2,000 years before being rediscovered.
[1]:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atra-Hasis

So yeah, that's actually a good example of how an oral tradition has been able to better transmit a piece of geological-cultural history; Gilgamesh's changes to Atrahasis and it's loss and only partial recovery. The same global events in written form has been lost not just once, but twice, and even then the retained parts are altered in the extant copy. While oral accounts of the same events have survived until only now being recognized as actually accurate.

I'm not saying that oral traditions are in any way superior to literature, but they have shown that they can have benefits that simply recording data onto objects hasn't.

1) If X has benefits over Y, then there likely exists a situation Z in which X is superior to Y. That is, of course, not the same as postulating that X is generally superior to Y, but you forgot that qualifier.

2) (more importantly) I don't think the URL function likes the words Vlčí or Göbekli - your post just didn't show at all until I removed the tags to make those ones links. (Also the third link was typed wrong anyway.)
_________________
Kaelik wrote:
Because powerful men get away with terrible shit, and even the public domain ones get ignored, and then, when the floodgates open, it turns out there was a goddam flood behind it.
FrankTrollman wrote:
As far as death and human misery goes, Tobacco is basically World War II grinding on forever with no real sign of stopping in our life times. Death camps and nuclear bombs and stuff are certainly dramatic, but public health crises are always and forever bigger than wars on the global scale.

FrankTrollman wrote:
White people are basically just horrible...The entire Reagan Revolution is just white people voting to destroy their own social safety nets because they'd rather fucking starve than let black people eat.



Zak S, Zak Smith, Dndwithpornstars, Zak Sabbath, Justin Bieber, shitmuffin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mord
Master


Joined: 24 Apr 2014
Posts: 296

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm struggling to understand how oral traditions can be used to accurately date anything. I can understand how a nonliterate society can retain the knowledge that something happened at some time, but placing the remembered event at a specific moment in time..? That kind of thing you need to have invented the calendar for, and you by definition cannot do that without writing.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Judging__Eagle
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 4638
Location: Lake Ontario is in my backyard; Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

You're right Omegonthesane, I kept editing the post to get the tags working properly, then to get the special characters in the links working properly; then I had to leave, so I left the post in it's "empty" state until I could back to it.

Mord, I think that it's done by counting different things that people who don't live indoors most of their lives would observe. Sometimes it's astronomical events/positions, other times it's by counting generations; other times it's by counting yearly seasons.
_________________
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
erik
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 4994

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Except for one problem with such a highly limited idea as to what writing traditions are is that it forgets that humans have been recording data for later referral for as from as late as 18,000 years[1], 25-28,000 years[2], and as far back as between 44,200 and 43,000 years[3]. Especially since humans creating glyphic depictions actually goes back to 10,000-12,000 years old[4].


I don’t consider cave paintings or counting notches to be written traditions. Nor should anyone.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
maglag
Duke


Joined: 02 Apr 2015
Posts: 1170

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Indeed, writing demands an actual structure that repeats itself and thus allows other people to read and understand it, not a series of unique pretty splashes. You simply can't read cave paintings (at best you can try to figure out the intent behind them, but again each one would be its own unique thing), and for all we know it's just pre-historic graffiti because humans just doodle stuff everywhere they go.


Judging__Eagle wrote:

Mord, I think that it's done by counting different things that people who don't live indoors most of their lives would observe. Sometimes it's astronomical events/positions, other times it's by counting generations; other times it's by counting yearly seasons.


So now you're claiming the super tribals could keep track of tens of thousands of years by memory alone? Man, now I wonder why did we bother ever creating calendars then.

Also something I forgot to ask last time, if oral tradition auto-corrects itself thanks to the community as you claim, then how come languages mutate so much every time and actually how did we end up with hundreds(thousands?) of different languages accross the world? If words go extinct all the time or change to completely different meanings, sometimes in a single generation, how are you trusting tales from tens of thousand years ago?
_________________
FrankTrollman wrote:

Actually, our blood banking system is set up exactly the way you'd want it to be if you were a secret vampire conspiracy.


Last edited by maglag on Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:33 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
erik
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 4994

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Judging__Eagle wrote:
While oral accounts of the same events have survived until only now being recognized as actually accurate.


Citation pls. And if your citation is a bone with notches on it again, you're fired.

I'm lost on why Eagle is saying that stories about Gilgamesh are a good example of oral tradition outlasting written. Were stories of Gilgamesh being passed down orally uninterrupted from 2000 BCE onward? i'm no expert on the matter, but from what I've just read when trying to find an answer, they had been lost entirely for well over a thousand years until rediscovered in the 1800's... thanks to discovery of a written copy.

Or, Eagle, if you're trying to say the legendary flood story of Noah which likely shares the same legendary origin as Atra-Hasis is a credit to oral tradition... well, that story also persisted because it was written down and being read. If the Noah version of Atra-Hasis wasn't written down then I'm sure the version we'd hear about today (if any at all), would be drastically different.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Almaz
Knight


Joined: 14 Mar 2011
Posts: 391

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Honestly I'm inclined to agree with the thesis that oral history could okayishly-accurately record some pretty far-flung histories, as long as you can keep people reciting the repetitive, mnemonic storyline over and over, just, we abandoned that technology when a much better tech came up: the ability to write down what you owe me so I can come by later and break your legs for not paying up and have everyone in the village be able to see the record when people ask me why I broke your legs. An accurate record of trivial details is much more powerful than an accurate record only of cool, big, important stories.

Last edited by Almaz on Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:21 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
erik
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 4994

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Whoa. I think I was sleep posting. I recall writing that but then deciding I’d harped enough on Eagle and decided not to hit post. Sleepy erik must’ve had a change of heart. Usually he only answers my phone and does not tell me what was said, or promises to do errands and does not tell me.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Voss
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 3883

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Almaz wrote:
Honestly I'm inclined to agree with the thesis that oral history could okayishly-accurately record some pretty far-flung histories, as long as you can keep people reciting the repetitive, mnemonic storyline over and over, juxst, we abandoned that technology when a much better tech came up: the ability to write down what you owe me so I can come by later and break your legs for not paying up and have everyone in the village be able to see the record when people ask me why I broke your legs. An accurate record of trivial details is much more powerful than an accurate record only of cool, big, important stories.

Well, first someone needs to demonstrate you actually can keep people reciting the same stories without drift. I suspect anthropological studies suggest that doesn't actually work out so well at least over the short term. Public history programs do a lot on the persistence of historical memory these days, and it isn't good. Not mutates and changes pretty rapidly, according to the needs of the current generation- unsurprisingly history reflects more of the people composing it then the people it describes.

Of course, over the long term, the consistent accuracy of purely oral traditions isn't even vaguely verifiable, for obvious reasons.


Last edited by Voss on Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Zaranthan
Knight


Joined: 29 May 2012
Posts: 378

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Is sleepy erik best friends with drunk Zaranthan? Because they sound like they have a lot in common.
_________________
Koumei wrote:
...is the dead guy posthumously at fault for his own death and, due to the felony murder law, his own murderer?

hyzmarca wrote:
A palace made out of poop is much more impressive than one made out of gold. Stinkier, but more impressive. One is an ostentatious display of wealth. The other is a miraculous engineering feat.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
zeruslord
Knight-Baron


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 577

PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chapter Five: Scientific Engineering

This is really a mishmash of technologies that don't quite go in the Gear section, or the space travel sections, or the mecha section. Genetics, cloning, nanotech, and matter replication are all here.

Genetics
This doesn't actually get a section heading... they just jump right in at the beginning of the chapter.

"Of all the scientific arenas, genetics is perhaps the most difficult to attach to specific progress levels."



Christ, what an asshole. Progress levels are pretty much bullshit, the grand march of history only looks like that in retrospect, there's a bunch of things that we had the tooling to do much earlier that nobody noticed (stored program computers), there's a bunch of ideas that people tried before they were actually feasible (PDAs in the 90s and early 2000s), there's even ideas that people had and that the technology existed for, that they then proceeded to fuck up the useability on for years even after the technology was ready for it (smartphones from about 2003 to the iPhone in 2007). Progress levels are a ridiculous fiction and this is the only place where they really acknowledge how silly they are.

They're also wildly wrong about how long various things will take, or maybe they believed it when the physicists said fusion power was only twenty years away, just like it had been for the last five decades.

They think genetic experiments will take 3d10 days, which is laughable. I am by no means a biologist, but a lot of things you might want to modify inherently involve the long term. If your GM is even more wrong about science, or you're throwing realism to the wind because you're a hollywood director, you can cut the time taken to 3d10 hours.

I don't really know enough about biology to evaluate their claims about relative difficulty of any of these things. They seem to think that gene-modding plants is easier than gene-modding animals is easier than making retroviruses, and that gene screening is later than these. Now, I know we're gene screening right now, we're gene-modding embryonic plants and animals, and we aren't retrovirusing anything for industrial purposes.

Having genes modified while living takes succeeding on a number of daily Fort saves with DC 15 or 20, with each failure dealing 2 points of Con damage. This is really harsh, assuming you have a Fort save below +10 - you're going to fail on a pretty regular basis, and you recover one point per day, and, of course, your Fort save goes down when you lose Con. I suspect this leads to almost certain death if you're adding a supernatural or spell-like ability.

Gene Therapy Templates


Basically these are packages of gene-mods you can get. No monetary cost is given for any of the gene therapy stuff, just the DCs.

The Aquan template is a straight-up win. You get water breathing, low-light vision, blindsight while underwater, and a small pile of awareness bonuses while underwater. Of course, you might die while trying to gain the template, given that you need 20 successes at DC 20.

The Healer gives you fast healing but lowers your massive damage threshold. This is almost certainly not worth it if your DM is actually using those. If he isn't, it's pure gold.

Morphean lets you go without sleep for long periods, hibernate, and get +2 on Will saving throws. Not Will saving throws against sleep effects. All Will saving throws. You do need to sleep/hibernate for two full days every 30 days, but that's probably arrangeable. Fort DC is 20, you need 25 successes.

Nocturnal gives you both darkvision and light sensitivity. You probably just wear sunglasses all the time. You also get +2 on Listen and Move Silently checks, and Blind-Fight. I have no idea why you get Blind-Fight.

None of these are worth taking after the campaign starts if you care about your character or there's any time pressure, given that you're probably below your usual Con for a month or more, and also might die. On the other hand, if you can start with one for free, Morphean is great if you can schedule around the multi-day sleeps (which you mostly can, unless the MC is a dick), Aquan is just bonuses (although they might never actually come up), and Nocturnal's only penalty is easily avoidable by being cool.

Cloning
Humanity did it! and then decided there were too many ethical quandaries and also DNA degeneration and we haven't actually done anything with it since this was published.

You can get a Mini-Me, but this is mostly just a plot device, and they say accelerated growth is probably PL9 only, so it is actually just a background detail and not something the PCs can abuse in the vast majority of campaigns. Replacement organs would be rad, but they are hella expensive at PL6, uncheap at PL7, and reasonable at PL8. Blood cloning is supposedly way easier and cheaper, but I find that hard to believe. Uses of full-body clones don't get any prices - there's notes that you could have body doubles, disposble workers, or imprint them with brain scans. There's also a sidebar and a section on ethical quandaries, especially including brain imprinting.

Nanotechnology
Fun Fact: the very instant we make nanomachines, we will be post-scarcity and therefore post-monetary. Furthermore, Gamemasters may be huge dicks about the availability of nanotechnology, even in settings that have them.

Independent Nanocolonies
Gray Goo can be resisted with a Fort save (DC 35). Realistically it should probably just kill you, and also your campaign setting should just never have any involved except as a planet-destroying threat to flee from.

Unseen Bodyguard gives a +4 equipment bonus to Defense. It's probably worth having, but it's also pretty silly.

Utility Fog is basically ambient generic material that can be used for whatever you need. It's also wildly unrealistic - nanites won't be as strong as steel, color selection is probably hard, and different materials probably need different nanites to make it. Better yet, they measure "UFog" by liquid volume, and state that "its weight and density can vary widely depending on what material it becomes". I'll just let that statement speak for itself.

Internal Nanocolonies
You can only have two internal nanocolonies, and if you inject another, it "immediately attacks and destroys" one you already have. This is pretty clearly there to limit powergaming, but...

Calcion doubles your healing rate until you reach full HP, then deactivates forever. This is not terribly impressive for nanotechnology, especially given that genemods can give you Fast Healing 3 for the low, low cost of over a month of your life and maybe also dying.

Gray Death kills you, and then the planet. If you can somehow make a DC 35 Fort save, it does nothing. Everybody bans this instantly, or maybe we just only meet civilizations that banned it.

Onco-Guard cures cancer. The book also says it is "not the 'cure for cancer' that 20th century scientists so voraciously sought", then tells you that it prevents cancer, contains cancer, and makes the host "recover from any ill effects of cancer almost immediately". I'm not sure how that's different from curing cancer.

Resilite is just the nano-bombs from the opening of Diamond Age.

Stiletto deals 2d6 points of ability damage to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.

Brain Boost gives +4 Int, and apparently is common for scientists, researchers, and mathematicians. Note that the GM is supposed to be a huge dick about nanotechnology

Chatter is basically radio-telepath nanites. It says that it attaches directly to the speech and language centers of the host, and transmits and receives directly from those. You can apparently learn to stop ambient thoughts from going out over the channel with 30 minutes of practice, which seems way low.

Doppelganger is not confusingly named at all. It can alter bone structure and facial appearance in half an hour. I'm pretty sure this is just from a James H Schmitz story.

Micro Muscles gives +4 to strength. That's about it. Once again, these are supposed to be fairly common.

Prophecy gives you direct audio or visual input from a computer, but doesn't transmit. This is supposedly beneficial, but you could absolutely use this to screw with someone if you wanted.

Soullink is neural interface to vehicles. You get +6 on pilot/drive, and can tell if the vehicle is damaged. If the vehicle takes damage, you need to make a Will save or suffer 1d4 points of Wisdom damage. Holy fuck this is not worth it. I could maybe see it as a horrible dystopian thing, but it's presented as something that you would seek out voluntarily.

20/20 is sorted here! It gives +6 on Spot and Search checks by "enhancing the sensitivity of a creature's optic nerves". Science Does Not Work That Way. Also, it fixes nearsightedness and astigmatism? Pretty sure those are problems with the physical shape of an eye and the way light is refracted as a result, not a thing you can fix by messing around behind the retina.

Watchdog is a remote health monitor. It sounds great, but it's probably not actually worth it for PCs when you only get two nanocolonies.

Matter Replication
Matter replication is really hard, and they don't seem to distinguish between the two hard parts. First, you need to be able to make protons and neutrons and electrons from nothing (or just energy), and then you need to be able to arrange those quickly and precisely into stable molecules. Note that E=MC^2, so this isn't actually valuable compared to just rearranging subatomic particles in existing matter.

The suggested limitations are pretty silly. Replicators might tag the objects they create, which is going to be totally useless - modified or open source hardware/firmware/software will happen eventually, and once it does there will be no way to stop it. They also suggest limiting individual matter replicators to specific kinds of objects. Other possible limits include requiring some sort of "protomatter", which is pretty dumb - at most you're going to need the right ratios of atoms. Also, replicators can't make life?

Overall, this chapter is a decent summary of where speculation in these areas is/was going, but outside of nanotech the rules are sketchy or unplayable. It's really part of the big issue with the book - there's a fundamental identity crisis about whether it's supposed to be a rulebook that you adhere to or a toolbox that you pull from. Realistically, what you actually want is some common material broken up both into tech levels and into areas of technology, combined with longer setting writeups that give you progress levels for each area. d20 Future could have been the common material book, but they never published any setting follow-ons, the settings it does have are too short, and they assume progress is going to be uniform across settings even though this is obviously not the case.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Gaming Den Forum Index -> In My Humble Opinion... All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2
Page 2 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum




Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group