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Lands Asunder

White Wolf Exalted v 2.0 RPG set in An-Teng


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Technology

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1 Technology on Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:39 am

Trygve


Celestial Deliberative
Celestial Deliberative
One of the more frustrating elements of the Exalted thematics is an utter lack of technological consistency. White Wolf can't make up their minds on whether people use quills or pencils. Books are readily available, yet people still write on papyrus scrolls. The printing press is some times invented, while other times books cost a fortune as they're all written by hands. Some times the cities have vast industrial factories that spew out communists and all sort of fancy weapons, while other times there are guilds of crafters and artisans painstakingly crafting each individual tool by hand.

While this is frustrating enough in its own right, it becomes even more so when you get player characters from the -same- place, operating with concepts seperated by centuries, if not millennia of technological innovation.

As we are going to be sticking to one nation in Creation, we're going to need some consistent guidelines for what is and isn't available: Does An Teng have newspapers? If so, are they made by a free press, or completely state controlled? What is the average level of literacy? Are peasants and citizens at all permitted schooling outside apprenticeships? And so on.

2 Re: Technology on Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:40 am

Admin


Agent Provocateur
Agent Provocateur
My thoughts are simply this:
There is no talk of electricity anywhere in the books, period.
If there is a printing press, it's powered by essence.
If there exists a factory to make pencils, it's powered by essence.

Which means, if basically exalts or englightened humans are more or less little hamsters on wheels powering huge factories or machines, they are going to be a limited factor in creation because enlightened humans and exalts capable of powering these things typically have better things to do.

However, that is a matter of opinion. I think it would completely depend on what is important to the society and culture in which it originates.

A large multi city-state such as the Dynasty or even An-Teng, things like newspapers would probably be an important source of news, with access to tons of Dragon Blooded.

One newspaper, controlled by the Dynasty, of course.

Considering that our setting is a satrapy, I do not see any reason why the Dynasty would not control the flow of news with an iron grasp. Free press is a feature of a place that doesn't suffer from vile Anathema that can use the written word as tools for mass public influence.

Typically, a lot of travel in Creation takes time and your average citizen of Creation is going to be a human that will not risk his/her life to traffic anything from one city to the next - that doesn't mean that there aren't humans out there that would for the right price.

That being said, the spread of "technology" like the essence driven printing press would be something I think of a Realm sponsorship or a characteristic of a city that could do business with the Realm or even Lookshy. Like Nexus, has plenty of Dragon Blooded to power it and many merchants with contacts with access to it, and would probably have many newspapers - I would say at least 5 representing the opinions and views of for example the Dynasty, Lookshy, Immaculate Order, etc etc. And they are all probably slanted to paint their respetive source in a pleasant light.

I like to think, when it comes to Creation a bit like Final Fantasy. Yes, there's technology but not in the way that we see or view it. Smile

Which brings me to my next question - what about toilets and junk? The basics aren't powered by electricity (only water heating for the most part) and the romans had running water and such way before electricity so do toilets and running water have a place in Exalted? Obviously, hot water is slightly out of reach for the moment (except maybe on the Blessed Isle) but An Teng is a vacay spot for the Dynasty - where would we stand?

I would find it amusing if we say NO TOILETS and one of our players invents the toilet and he becomes famous for the crapper. I dunno. Just a thought. Wink

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3 Re: Technology on Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:50 am

Guest


Guest
As the Realm is supposed to be something like Rome, I'd like to say yes to having flush toilets at least for the affluent. The peasantry might still use chamber pots instead. Like you said, the technology doesn't require any form of power other than gravity.

4 Re: Technology on Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:45 pm

Trygve


Celestial Deliberative
Celestial Deliberative
The printing press doesn't need anything more than hand-power Smile The reason I mentioned it is that if books are written by hand, books are expensive and only available to the elite. If the peasants have any books at all, likely it's a religious one. If there are printing presses around, books will be affordable, and the literacy rate is going to be a lot higher.

The reason I mention this is that a lot of players -assume- that Joe Average can read and write, which needs not be the case at all. Likewise they assume that paper has been invented, that Bob Generic and his dog has a printing press in his cupboard and that mass-printing propoganda leaflets to drop over the city in a mysteriously common and available airship is not a crippling expense involving a thousand scribes and bribes to the Haslanti league.

5 Re: Technology on Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:06 pm

Guest


Guest
I say we keep to the level of technology of 5th century AD Roman/Byzantine Empire complete with firedust as Greek fire. So there should be rampant illiteracy save for the elite, fairly good metallurgical technologies, and so on and so forth.

6 Re: Technology on Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:57 am

Admin


Agent Provocateur
Agent Provocateur
Okay, my father was a printer and unfortunately inflicted detailed information upon me about the history of the printing press. I spent many a childhood day helping him clean and prepare his presses for work and we when I was a child even bought a few antique ones and a few new ones and did some amazing stuff with them - not only do I know how to clean, take apart, operate, etc. I know how to print and their history. So.

You're right Trygve, the earliest printing presses required only a man to operate, and it was a vast improvement on hand printing every damn thing. It went from 1-2 page a day production hand written to 3000 - 4000 pages a day if you worked in an assemply line. The stuff they printed was for the scientific community, church community, and the elite of society. They were made of wood or cast iron - and the intelligence and materials are not out of the grasp of Creation. However, mass production, in my opinion is. It would make books and even scrolls readily available and there would be literacy all over the place.

So, I agree with Zuriel - early printing presses should exist, but books and scrolls are still impressively expensive.

Ugh now I want to make a twilight printer that wants to increase literacy. Damn you Trygve.

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7 Re: Technology on Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:25 pm

Guest


Guest
I'd like to point out that illiteracy doesn't necessarily mean uneducated. In the past people would memorize vast amounts of information and pass it on like that. For reference, read The Art of Memory by Frances Yates. Scholars would even construct vast memory palaces in their mind wherein they would store their information.

8 water dynamics on Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:08 am

shaitan


Celestial Deliberative
Celestial Deliberative
The common solution to the hot water issue is hot springs that feed public bathhouses of varying access.

There is the true public bath house, that allows anyone in that can pay the coin.

There are semi public bath houses run by families, merchant groups, or government groups that restrict access to members, to allow for more secure and/or elaborate trappings.

Then there are the private bath houses that are truly elaborate, expensive, and well appointed. These are usually invitation or appointment only. And they often offer services that would break the minds of the general public.

A private home with a spring on the land it controls could also set up plumbing for really private baths, but such real estate would be a very hotly contested commodity. Pun intended.

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