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Think about it this way if you jump up off the floor and all 6 sides of the room suddenly become the floor, or where gravity pulls, you could be pulled apart in a very painful way. Too sick??? hmmm...

 

That reminds me of one of the ancient Greek's argument for why the earth doesn't fall: Since it's in the middle, there isn't any preferred direction for it to fall to. It just hovers there, not being able to fall one direction or another. I get the same image from your idea.

Edited by demagogue

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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Think about it this way if you jump up off the floor and all 6 sides of the room suddenly become the floor, or where gravity pulls, you could be pulled apart in a very painful way. Too sick??? hmmm...

That's not how Super Gravity Ball works. It has a dot on it in one place, and it always rotates the net gravity force on you according to that dot. If you are on the earth and jump up, then rotate the spot to the right, you'll get pulled to the right. As for whether the Super Gravity Ball itself experience gravity, that is a mystery for the ages.

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Spider infestation in a sewer? Highly possible: http://www.amonline.net.au/spiders/dangero.../travellers.htm

Dunking a semi-vertebrate into a bucket of water to turn water to gel? Exists:

http://oceanlink.island.net/oinfo/hagfish/hagfish.html

Using that secreted mixture of sugars and proteins as a main ingredient with pulverized grains baked with water (bread) because for the last 400 years it is uneconomical to breed birds for their eggs. Some combination of a plague and widespread industrialization caused the birds to become extinct and mutate. This left primarily Corvus and Passeridae species, albeit heavily mutated and rare. For this reason in FMs birds are (will be) so rarely seen. In far-away cities, especially in the south, one can see a sight of birds filling the main square front of the Builder cathedral.

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And digital movies like in Gibson's works are out of the question in my opinion. Remember, the squares are flipped mechanically. If it's buildable then it's too pixelated to be able to make out what's shown. No electronics yet. No semiconductors. Not even gallium diodes. Thermionic valves are the pinnacle of technology. (not counting the artificial intelligence autonomous coal-powered robots patrolling the houses *tong in cheek*). In fact thermionic valves are so new they're not used anywhere, only in the research labs in the inventors' guild, and since they lack a commercial application, since there is no radio industry in thought, they will remain in the lab. The Edison effect is not well known. Telegraphy exists, is rare, and nobody thought of inventing the Morse code. Five-wire telegraphy is used. The wiring consists of copper and iron, is thick, needs to be insulated with tarred cloth (assuming they don't have india rubber because they never got rubber from south america and never grew it in their colonies in india like we did), making it expensive and little used. The inventor's guild have several prototypes of Marconi-style spark wireless telegraphs.

I would like to posit that the AI steambots that represent the pinnacle of the Inventor's Guild are given their intelligence in some sort of magical process. I have an explanation why this might be, of course.

 

For the purposes of our argument, let's associate magic with some form of physical law. For example, necromancy and radiation make for a great pairing. Wherever the dead rise apparently on their own accord (no necromancers to speak of), there is a high level of radiation in the area, and even necromancers need this radiation to raise the dead themselves. As they experiment with raising the dead, they slowly succumb to radiation poisoning, which in turn unnaturally extends their lives. Eventually, they become so saturated with radiation (well beyond the normal lethal dosage) that they don't exactly die, they instead become liches. Of course, one can imagine that in years to come the people of the City may unlock the full destructive power of necromancy/the atom. Imagine a a neutron bomb that instantly kills most (not cockroaches) life in miles, only to raise it again almost as quickly, this time in service of the man who used the bomb.

 

Now that we've established a physical law paralleling a form of magic, let's explore how Mechanists and the Inventor's Guild in TDM could create intelligent steambots without first inventing the computer. One possibility of course is to put a human brain in the steambot (presumably an undead one), but that strikes too much of the debilitating weaknesses of humanity for Karras and far too much of evil for a burgeoning Inventor's Guild just exercising it's newfound freedom from Builder rule. While I can imagine it being used on Karras himself by some of his much more loyal, grief-stricken followers (to bring him back from the dead), I can't imagine being anything but incredibly rare.

 

Another technique may involve a similar method to how the Eye in Thief became sentient. While of course the Eye's history is clouded in mystery, we can presume from most of the Eye's statements it never existed as anything but an artifact; it was never a human. Therefore, if Karras (re)discovered a technique to do this (as well as our Inventor's Guild), then the steambots could indeed be (semi-)sentient.

 

Now, with this technology (magic), why would anybody still need computers? Simple: computers are analytical, unlike sentience. They operate on the same basic principles, but sentients are limited by a non-Turing-optimal design (neural network). Magic can bestow an appropriate device with intelligence, but it will suffer from the very same flaws as a human. Creating a device which shares the advantages of both types is at least a hundred years in the future, probably more (and about 20 years for our world). Each displays defects that require the other's existence.

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that strikes too much of the debilitating weaknesses of humanity for Karras and far too much of evil for a burgeoning Inventor's Guild just exercising it's newfound freedom from Builder rule. While I can imagine it being used on Karras himself by some of his much more loyal, grief-stricken followers (to bring him back from the dead), I can't imagine being anything but incredibly rare.

 

There's no such person as Karras in the TDM world, and the Inventor's Guild never had any association with the Builders (other than some mutual respect initially). That said, necromancy is a very dangerous activity (in every way, in fact--politically, health-wise, mentally, etc) and it's unlikely the guild would be very involved with it (though plenty of rumours persist that they are).

 

I agree with you, that, in a world where magic is reality, inventors would use magic as well as science (in fact there would be no tangible difference). Most people assume there is some kind of magic involved in the creation of steambeasts, though even most of the guild members themselves don't know for sure.

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There's no such person as Karras in the TDM world...

I'm well aware. Karras is strictly a character of Thief II, but the Mechanists do share a strong parallel to the Inventor's Guild. The worlds of TDM and Thief are more than similar enough to draw comparisons, and in fact, explanations of how magic works in one world leads to questions of how it would apply in the other; I was merely trying to preempt such questions. I apologize if I hadn't made the separation between the two clear enough.

 

...and the Inventor's Guild never had any association with the Builders (other than some mutual respect initially).

I disagree. Given the circumstances involved in the creation of the guild, the Builders most likely had a strong hand in creating and shaping it; indeed, a number of it's early members were most likely in positions of power in the church of the Builders. At that point in the City's history, the Builder Church dominated the political landscape, and still do for the most part, so the guild could only have been created if it had the blessings of the church. As such, the Inventor's Guild was necessarily under the thumb of the church, but as it gained power over the last fifty years, it has been able to extricate itself from that position and can now oppose the church--much like the Hermetic Order (Mage's Guild).

 

That said, necromancy is a very dangerous activity (in every way, in fact--politically, health-wise, mentally, etc) and it's unlikely the guild would be very involved with it (though plenty of rumours persist that they are).

Those rumors would likely be started by the Builders in an attempt to contain and control the guild.

 

I agree with you, that, in a world where magic is reality, inventors would use magic as well as science (in fact there would be no tangible difference). Most people assume there is some kind of magic involved in the creation of steambeasts, though even most of the guild members themselves don't know for sure.

Exactly. My main problem is that magic is seen as being above and beyond the laws of physics, as opposed to being an alternate set. I mostly blame Jack Vance for this idiocy, but it really had its seeds set far before him. Of course, the alternate track, trying to completely explain magic in terms of pseudoscience is just as bad and almost as common. In the end what works best is to set laws of magic based on analogs to the real laws of physics, rather than being distorted hack of real-world physics or above and beyond physical laws.

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the Mechanists do share a strong parallel to the Inventor's Guild

 

Only that both of them create mechanical creatures. I don't see any other obvious comparisons.

 

I disagree. Given the circumstances involved in the creation of the guild, the Builders most likely had a strong hand in creating and shaping it; indeed, a number of it's early members were most likely in positions of power in the church of the Builders.

 

I'm not sure why you would think so. Have you read the setting information on the wiki? The original Inventors were alchemists, engineers and artists. The Church had no hand in creating the guild--the charter was granted by the secular head of the city.

 

At that point in the City's history, the Builder Church dominated the political landscape, and still do for the most part, so the guild could only have been created if it had the blessings of the church.

 

According to whom? If this is a personal proposal, that's fine, but you're stating it as if it's a fact.

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Ok, the inventors are very empirical. Radiation, not some ionizing or alpha particle stream, something unknown. I think it's better not to discuss any magical stuff, let's stick to what we know, physical. It's a good observation, however, the similarity between sentience of the eye and the robots. I've thought about it for a while, and it is my wish not to have robots or mention of them anywhere, but this is not the public opinion, so my decision is they combine some bacterial culture with bio-materials (sea sponge?) into some matrix within a reactor with nutrients, until it matures. That intangible bit of magic plus readings from the Builder's books and some glyphs influence the process to become sentient and of the doctrine of the Builder. Once the processing component has matured, it is washed in a deactivating solution (pardon my chemical bias). It can now be used in a sentient robot, depending on the model, quality of build, and heaviness of use will last about 2 years before it starts going senile after which it must be shut-down and replaced or else it's a safety risk. (This is new in my mind, there are possible some senile robots who attack their own people for fun FMs!) The "brain" component has an intricate connection method to the mechanical system (the creation process and connection derived from some ancient texts), signals apparently get sent via organic fibres (same material as the brain), into little mollusks which have been harvested, cleaned, and specially prepared in a salt (plus other stuff) solution. The prepared mollusks have a property which drastically alters their conductiveness of electricity when influenced with the signal. The electricity comes from a nickel zinc battery and drives a solenoid which controls the mechanical aspect of the roboto consisting of some kind of combination of tiny heat engines and lots of gears, shafts, and other mechanical things. Considering a lack of mass-production, but conversely a rather large proliferation of technically trained people through the established Order of the Hammer, (haha, I used my name), or the Inventors' Guild, using skills craftsmen and their assistants, I would estimate the cost of each of the beasts at 5000-6000 pounds in early 18th century money. Assuming automation and electrification of workplaces it's 10 times less.

Look at money consumption here for example: http://gpih.ucdavis.edu/files/N.Europe_1745-1754.xls

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To be honest, I too hope that there won't be robots, though admittedly a necro-steambot story could be very interesting and disturbing if done right.

 

Imagine the following: You're sneaking into a noble family's home. One of their young daughters was recently raped and murdered by a deranged peasant who broke into their home. The family, still grief-stricken and horrified has kept her room just the way it was, and has decided to donate a large sum of money to the Inventor's Guild in exchange for the added protection of one of the new-fangled steambots. As you read the notes left by the family, you learn that the steambot hasn't worked as well as expected. It doesn't stick to patrol routes well, and is usually found standing in their daughter's room. The father's diary mentions much contempt for the useless thing, and he yells at the bot whenever he finds in standing in the daughter's room. So you make your way to the daughter's room, open the door, and find yourself face-to-face with a huge steambot holding a doll. It drops the doll and promptly chases after you. I guess there'd be some kind of implication of the daughter's soul being bound to the bot when it was constructed.

 

I think such a story could combine a good bit of tragedy and irony while being just plain creepy.

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Good idea. And the spirit influences the <<brain>>. I forgot to mention, the biosignals have not been successfully studied, unlike electricity, and it is still a mystery how it works. like bio-magnetism of our early history.

Edited by Order of the Hammer Bureaucrat
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Only that both of them create mechanical creatures. I don't see any other obvious comparisons.

That's pretty fucking huge right there, wouldn't you say?

 

I'm not sure why you would think so. Have you read the setting information on the wiki? The original Inventors were alchemists, engineers and artists. The Church had no hand in creating the guild--the charter was granted by the secular head of the city.

And just like in medieval society, the Church essentially is the "secular" government. How else do you expect the Builder Church to be able to wield such power and be able to sustain what amounts to an Inquisition on a permanent basis?

 

According to whom? If this is a personal proposal, that's fine, but you're stating it as if it's a fact.

The creation of the Inventor's Guild is written specifically--but not it's early years. I simply expanded upon your own admissions about the Builder Church:

 

Overview: The Builders are modeled after an exaggerated kind of Catholicism, specifically around the time of the Inquisition. The Builder Church is very powerful. Like the Catholic Church, it is deeply intertwined with the politics of the Empire. The Builders are not a local religion, they are a nationwide organization with a lot of power and influence. The senior members of the Church vie for power with the noble classes and can affect laws especially where those laws are concerned with "moral" behaviour. There are specific religious crimes which one can be tried for by the Builders, like European charges of witchcraft back in the day.

Furthermore, you note in the Inventor's Guild history (emphasis mine):

 

The Inventors Guild came into being half a century ago, when the City was at war with its nearby trade rival. This enemy had a powerful navy, and the city knew that an invasion was imminent. The ruler of the city called together a group of engineers and alchemists and charged them with the defense of the city... The defense of the city was a success, largely due to their creations, and the greatful[sic] ruler of the city presented them with a royal charter, allowing the creation of a formal Guild.

That royal charter would require the blessings of the Builders, at least tacitly. To do otherwise is to oppose the Church, and that is political suicide--and potentially actual regicide. No king would have been stupid enough to go Henry VIII on the Catholic Church at the height of their power, and certainly not on the mainland. The same goes for the Builder Church, which is, in your own words, "modeled after an exaggerated kind of Catholicism, specifically around the time of the Inquisition." (The Inquisition represented the height of the Catholic Church's power as a political entity.)

 

Now we go into speculation mode. Suppose that the fifty years leading up to the current era of TDM has been the very, very beginnings of a Renaissance or Age of Enlightenment. As the Inventor's Guild, the nobles, and the Hermetic Order have gained power, the Church has lost theirs. By no means is their society ready for the full onslaught of the Age of Enlightenment, but they're beginning to experience the growing pains of a society that is quickly becoming tired of being crushed by the Builder Church. The Inventor's Guild's ability to openly oppose the Church therefore is a largely newfound ability, gained from fifty years of garnering respect from the nobles for their deeds.

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Ok, the inventors are very empirical. Radiation, not some ionizing or alpha particle stream, something unknown. I think it's better not to discuss any magical stuff, let's stick to what we know, physical.

That's basically what I did. However, I much prefer the idea that ordinary radiation is the cause of the reanimation of dead tissue, in whole or in part, in an alternate universe. We can always suppose that the reason why this happens at all is due to some unexplained force, i.e., magic, but I would much prefer that necromancy can be reasoned about using radiation (and nuclear fission) as a toy model. We can always just explain that radiation serves as little more than a source of (necromantic) energy, that is converted by some fifth force, after all.

 

It's a good observation, however, the similarity between sentience of the eye and the robots. I've thought about it for a while, and it is my wish not to have robots or mention of them anywhere, but this is not the public opinion, so my decision is they combine some bacterial culture with bio-materials (sea sponge?) into some matrix within a reactor with nutrients, until it matures. That intangible bit of magic plus readings from the Builder's books and some glyphs influence the process to become sentient and of the doctrine of the Builder. Once the processing component has matured, it is washed in a deactivating solution (pardon my chemical bias). [...] The "brain" component has an intricate connection method to the mechanical system (the creation process and connection derived from some ancient texts), signals apparently get sent via organic fibres (same material as the brain), into little mollusks which have been harvested, cleaned, and specially prepared in a salt (plus other stuff) solution. The prepared mollusks have a property which drastically alters their conductiveness of electricity when influenced with the signal.

Pardon my CompSci/Physical bias, but I would much prefer that we relegate the overtly biological stuff to cyborgs and the like and keep the automatons strictly abiological. Having steambots be partially biological smacks too much of the Victorian idea that biology/biochemistry is somehow "irreducible," and that's too arbitrarily restrictive for a magic system--too Jack Vance and D&D. Personally, it's much more interesting to take a very dim view of humanity and teleology in a world where gods do exist (if not all gods); why not throw away the concept of a human soul in the one place where it would make sense? I know it sounds rather backwards, but I personally think it's actually more compelling in a way. (How do you find purpose in life when even the gods themselves must face a meaningless existence?)

 

It can now be used in a sentient robot, depending on the model, quality of build, and heaviness of use will last about 2 years before it starts going senile after which it must be shut-down and replaced or else it's a safety risk. (This is new in my mind, there are possible some senile robots who attack their own people for fun FMs!)

Interesting idea there.

 

The electricity comes from a nickel zinc battery and drives a solenoid which controls the mechanical aspect of the roboto consisting of some kind of combination of tiny heat engines and lots of gears, shafts, and other mechanical things. Considering a lack of mass-production, but conversely a rather large proliferation of technically trained people through the established Order of the Hammer, (haha, I used my name), or the Inventors' Guild, using skills craftsmen and their assistants, I would estimate the cost of each of the beasts at 5000-6000 pounds in early 18th century money. Assuming automation and electrification of workplaces it's 10 times less.

Look at money consumption here for example: http://gpih.ucdavis.edu/files/N.Europe_1745-1754.xls

You put a lot of work into that, haven't you? It's pretty damn impressive. One point though, I think I prefer the steambots running strictly off of steam power. That isn't to say there aren't other ways to power a robot, but it might make more sense if things like fusion, fuel cells, any sort of arcane engine and modern batteries--i.e., anything more powerful than a Leyden jar--are all lost technologies, rather than something that can be built by the average inventor. That way, a mapper can still add some really crazy designs, but still have that classic steampunk.

 

To be honest, I too hope that there won't be robots, though admittedly a necro-steambot story could be very interesting and disturbing if done right.

Yes, it would.

 

Imagine the following: You're sneaking into a noble family's home. One of their young daughters was recently raped and murdered by a deranged peasant who broke into their home. The family, still grief-stricken and horrified has kept her room just the way it was, and has decided to donate a large sum of money to the Inventor's Guild in exchange for the added protection of one of the new-fangled steambots. As you read the notes left by the family, you learn that the steambot hasn't worked as well as expected. It doesn't stick to patrol routes well, and is usually found standing in their daughter's room. The father's diary mentions much contempt for the useless thing, and he yells at the bot whenever he finds in standing in the daughter's room. So you make your way to the daughter's room, open the door, and find yourself face-to-face with a huge steambot holding a doll. It drops the doll and promptly chases after you. I guess there'd be some kind of implication of the daughter's soul being bound to the bot when it was constructed.

 

I think such a story could combine a good bit of tragedy and irony while being just plain creepy.

You need to make a way for our lovable thief to find a way to piece it together without it being obvious enough that the family would necessarily figure it out. Then again, you could play up the tragedy by having the father, or indeed, the whole family, know this going into the procedure--that they did to try and bring their daughter back.

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However, I much prefer the idea that ordinary radiation is the cause of the reanim
What exactly do you mean? gamma radiation? something on the EM spectrum!? what?
Pardon my CompSci/Physical bias, but I would much prefer that we relegate the overtly biological stuff to cyborgs and the like and keep the automatons strictly abiological.

fine. can you outline the basics of operation and the materials required for construction. I would enjoy hearing it as I'm also in favour of eliminating the bio-aspect.

arbitrarily restrictive for a magic system--too Jack Vance and D&D.

Don't know the above references.

You put a lot of work into that, haven't you? It's pretty damn impressive.

I finished dinner, took my laptop, and sat on the couch to watch who wants to be a millionaire. it took me 10-15 minutes to write all the posts I posted that evening.

One point though, I think I prefer the steambots running strictly off of steam power.

The power source is steam, but how does the communication channel control the mechanical? I just added a tiny battery for that. In a human we all know it's action potential along the neurons with K and Ca++ balance along the muscle cells. Please explain how the the movement is controlled. In case it's unclear, by electrification of the workplace I meant an almost necessary aspect of mass production, where in an assembly line each workplace is more efficient because it has power tools instead of hand tools. Remember how previous to that all factories had to be built in one long strip, with an overhead power drive and leather belts running down in a forest of leather to each of the workstations? Diesel's solution to this was tiny heat engines for everyone, but he was not successful.

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That's pretty fucking huge right there, wouldn't you say?

 

It might seem like a big one, but it's really just a surface detail. The mechanists are a religious organization created by one single megalomaniac, who presumably discovered the secret of making steambots (and not much else) on his own and is now worshipped as a prophet by his followers. Their primary goal seems to be wiping out nature/living things(?). The Inventor's are a trade guild with no religious overtones, full of specialists in various fields who pursue knowledge in order to understand the world as well as fulfill commissions from the city for various defensive devices. They make a lot of things besides steambeasts.

 

(and I'm another person who would like to see steambeasts left out. At the very least, I'm pushing for them to be far less sentient than Thief)

 

And just like in medieval society, the Church essentially is the "secular" government.

 

The Church had a lot of power, but they did not control secular matters, for the most part. The actual influence of the church fluctuated a lot depending on how cooperative the current ruler was.

 

How else do you expect the Builder Church to be able to wield such power and be able to sustain what amounts to an Inquisition on a permanent basis?

 

The Church has authority over religious law, and part of that involves determining heresies. And while the Church can (and did) use that authority for political gain, that doesn't mean they suddenly became all-powerful. Inquisitions were quite common in our own history, but they still had to abide by the law.

 

That royal charter would require the blessings of the Builders, at least tacitly. To do otherwise is to oppose the Church,

 

Not necessarily. The church could have been very annoyed about it, but not in a position to do much about it at the time (actually, the Builders had no problems with the creation of the Guild, but they certainly didn't have to 'rubber stamp' its creation).

 

We don't intend on having the Church be all-powerful, ruling everything. There is a constant jockying for power between the Church and State, just like our own history. Each jealously guards the areas that it has authority over. Don't assume the Builders are in control of everything, because they're not.

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What exactly do you mean? gamma radiation? something on the EM spectrum!? what?

Nope, ordinary radiation--the kind you associate with atomic decay. We don't need to get as exotic as neutrinos or some as-yet unheard of radiation; just stick with alpha, beta, gamma, fission, et al. I personally think radioactive decay is an excellent metaphor for necromancy and death.

 

fine. can you outline the basics of operation and the materials required for construction. I would enjoy hearing it as I'm also in favour of eliminating the bio-aspect.

Good. I do have one question though: is really necessary to have a complete description of how it works, or can't we just inference most of it?

 

Don't know the above references.

Dungeons & Dragons. Jack Vance wrote the magic system for it. I hate it with every fiber of my being--the magic system, that is, not D&D.

 

I finished dinner, took my laptop, and sat on the couch to watch who wants to be a millionaire. it took me 10-15 minutes to write all the posts I posted that evening.

It'd probably be easier for me to be productive if I weren't sans desk right now. -_-

 

The power source is steam, but how does the communication channel control the mechanical? I just added a tiny battery for that. In a human we all know it's action potential along the neurons with K and Ca++ balance along the muscle cells. Please explain how the the movement is controlled. In case it's unclear, by electrification of the workplace I meant an almost necessary aspect of mass production, where in an assembly line each workplace is more efficient because it has power tools instead of hand tools. Remember how previous to that all factories had to be built in one long strip, with an overhead power drive and leather belts running down in a forest of leather to each of the workstations? Diesel's solution to this was tiny heat engines for everyone, but he was not successful.

It's called hooking up your steam engine to an electric motor. Instant electricity. Besides, if you really wanted, the AI for the steambots could be strictly hydro-mechanical (hydraulics and gears). I think an electromechanical brain would be better, though. We can always explain the heavy unconscious processing we do with magic. ;)

 

(and I'm another person who would like to see steambeasts left out. At the very least, I'm pushing for them to be far less sentient than Thief)

It'd probably be for the best; the steambots always were a bit out of character. I personally don't mind running across the very occasional steambeast or automaton from a long dead civilization, but having AI in a pre-Victorian era is strange. But hey, since the damn things are going to be there anyways, why not speculate?

 

The Church had a lot of power, but they did not control secular matters, for the most part. The actual influence of the church fluctuated a lot depending on how cooperative the current ruler was.

That was true for the Catholic church as well, at the height of their power, but you'd better believe that there'd be hell to pay if you crossed them on something important.

 

The Church has authority over religious law, and part of that involves determining heresies. And while the Church can (and did) use that authority for political gain, that doesn't mean they suddenly became all-powerful. Inquisitions were quite common in our own history, but they still had to abide by the law.

Yes, but they could easily change the law: "The Inventor's Guild is full of sinners and heretics of the very worst sort. If you do not disband them now, you are just as damned as they are! You will be excommunicated and branded as a heretic; you will be barred from seeking forgiveness indefinitely! Tell me, do you really, really want to go to hell? REPENT NOW, SINNER, LEST YOU FEEL THE WRATH OF HIS ALMIGHTY HAMMER! ...Good. Now let that be a lesson to you: never cross the Church again."

 

It wasn't until the Protestant Reformation that the Catholic Church could be opposed successfully. What makes you think that the Builder Church is any less powerful? I imagine that the Hermetic Order's and Inventor's Guild's continued existence actually represents a similar change in the landscape. Now, people are beginning to realize that it's possible to oppose the church for the very first time.

 

We don't intend on having the Church be all-powerful, ruling everything. There is a constant jockying for power between the Church and State, just like our own history. Each jealously guards the areas that it has authority over. Don't assume the Builders are in control of everything, because they're not.

They're not, now, no. Like I pointed out, the Inventor's Guild might be somewhat of a parallel for the Protestant Reformation. The City has come into contact with a lot of new technology only recently; that's a recipe for upheaval.

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--Nope, ordinary radiation-

--It's called hooking up your steam engine to an electric motor. Instant electricity.

--It'd probably be for the best; the steambots always were a bit out of character.

-- Imagining "ordinary radiation" raising the dead instead of forming radicals and breaking bonds is like imagining a stream of crates hitting the wall painting the wall green instead of breaking into splinters.

-- this frustrates me. I don't care where the electricity comes from it's the control that is difficult. Imagine a semi-closed tube with a compressed gas and a piston - a pneumatic. one of dozens which control all aspects of the bot's movement. How does the bot's desire or programming to move cause the piston to move?

-- That's why it makes sense they cost over 5000 pounds in early 18th century money. Considering the manufacturing of all parts, all the trained craftsmen and equipment. Without mass-production. For a poor man like Ramirez it takes about 4 annual incomes combined to buy one. For a medium lord it takes about half a yearly income.

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That's the thing about the undead. What the keeps their decaying flesh still working? Obviously ordinary radiation couldn't do that in our world, but then again, we can't bring back the dead, either.

 

As for thought, you'd be surprised how easily conscious thought can be imitated. Just ask Crispy or SophisticatedZombie. The real hard stuff is the basic stuff, like seeing and recognizing things. In terms of steampunk, it really can only be explained in terms of magic, I'm afraid. We haven't yet reached the level of sophistication to do that ourselves, much less in the 18th century.

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why mean?

why are you talking about thought? The problem here is actuation coupling.

and wrt undead, as you might remember I had a dream a few days ago, and I shall elaborate on it once I don't have to worry about my presentations, thesis, studying, tests, etc. I'm gonna get a nice mug of cocoa, or 3, with double the standard concentration, at 60 degrees celcius, and turn on my kerosene lamps, and sit down for a nice evening of posting a post on the forums. -basically I'm not a big fan of commonplace magic and outright undead, I think magic should be a rarity.

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Nya, agree with you? I think it could be discerned from my posts from the beginning that I prefer rational explanations, which are interesting and entertaining in and of themselves. I thought you're the one who wanted the magic and mysterious unexplained happenings.

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I prefer a mix of mystery and rational processes, but I much prefer my mysteries to be explicit and not a function of the writer's inability to reason about it.

 

For example, it's acceptable to use magic where either no one (particularly the characters) knows how it works, or occasionally to replace a technology that could not possibly exist otherwise (at that point in time).

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But isn't the technology I proposed technically magic? Because some people know the procedure to build it, according to some ancient manuscripts, but nobody knows how it works. And it uses enchantments and holy Builder scriptures as key part of the technical construction process.

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