Technology

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Chef Bryardee

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This is probably the one last thing about PT that I don't have a feel for.

Finny noted in my last chapter that my rifle sounded very modern and, honestly, it pretty much is. I understand PT isn't a futuristic kind of universe, but I'm not exactly sure what period I should be referencing. I'm thinking it's sort of mixture of the not-too-distant past and maybe further beyond, but I'm unsure what you would and wouldn't find in PT, technology-wise.

Would Tycho, a gunsmith, be using a lathe to trim metal pieces or would he be doing more manual labor with like a hammer and an anvil? As a sniper, would he have the benefit of a range finder or would he just be licking his finger and judging the wind that way?
 

swaswj

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It's not exact.

When the Cataclysm devastated the world, much of the prior knowledge was lost, and people had to start over with what references survived, what knowledge remained. However, the introduction of Terra Regia (which had not existed, or at least wasn't known, prior to the Cataclysm) enabled both magic and science to advance in new and different ways.

A good comparison would be steampunk, which has a blending of old and modern, but that's not a perfect comparison, obviously. Magitek from Final Fantasy is another comparison you can make, and perhaps hits closer to the mark.

The short version is that most modern technologies (aside from computers) can exist in some form, but they aren't common. Some specific examples below:

The average tech level of is somewhere in the 1800-1900s, but when supplemented by Terra Regia, machines and devices are often capable of things they otherwise wouldn't. The Art of Ingeniarius (Engineering) is a skill that is mainly devoted to creating tools and devices that go beyond what physical machinery alone can accomplish, by drawing on the unique properties of Terra Regia. The Art of Alchemia (Alchemy) is devoted to blending natural ingredients and Terra Regia ones in order to create medicines and potions that defy conventional limits, as well as create unique mediums to tap into the unseen plane of Astrum, bridging gaps on the material plane for scrying. Again, Terra Regia is a catalyzing agent. You may have already realized that there is a very specific problem: Terra Regia is expensive, and thus devices using it are expensive to create, leading them to be more rare.

Conventional radio wasn't discovered in PT. Instead, the Arcanum and Conexus have historically offered scrying services to send messages to people far away. Unfortunately, such messages can't be delivered to just anyone -- the recipient must be someone the scryer is familiar with. This led to entire businesses being devoted to building a web of connections across continents, not unlike the shipping companies in the real world.

While sending communication via scrying has been going on for hundreds of years, much more recent is a variant of television. A combination of scrying and engineering is able to create a smaller web of connections between specially created grandis speculii, which are viewing screens made from vitatium, solid lateris framework with volantis behind a glass viewing pane. A scryer with the appropriate knowledge can scry for one image, and project that image onto all linked grandis speculii. The scope of this, so far, is pretty slim. The city of Terminus is the first place to experiment with it on a large scale, erecting grandis speculii in many districts throughout the city to broadcast important events. The 500th Anniversary speech was one such event, and thus most of the city saw the assassination attempt. This does not span continents (yet), and the requirement of vitatium (one of the rarest TR grades) means that it may not ever see extensive use.

Computer programming doesn't exist in PT. What allows demvir to be autonomous and display free will is a mystery. The Gera race, though different from demvir, is a similar mystery. The closest thing to that would be drones used for the Calling of Fundibuli (Mechanist). These drones are crafted by engineers, but they are not truly autonomous. In actuality, there are two control nodes, one in the drone and the other implanted in the mechanist. The drones are controlled, or control themselves, based on subconscious commands from their owner. If separated by too great a distance, the drone becomes a lifeless piece of metal.

But to look at your examples, lathes have existed since antiquity, though not as advanced as ones in the modern world. I would expect them to exist, but the more 'modern' you want it to be, the more likely it had to be created by an engineer... and that means TR, which means higher costs. Consequently, your character needs to be in good with someone that has the access to the technology, or needs to use a less advanced version of the machine, or alternative methods.

Rangefinders requiring mathematical knowledge and calculations on the part of the users have also been in use since the 1700s in the real world, but fancier ones using lasers and radar are obviously not going to exist or be common in PT.

The takeaway is what I said earlier: feel free to be creative with what kinds and types of technology your character encounters, but remember that most 'modern' things are going to be uncommon or very rare.
 

swaswj

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As an addendum to that post:

Remember in Halcyon Days where literally every character had potential to attain a release? Canon lore stated that only 1 in 10 shinigami, at most, ever attained shikai, and bankai was a thing often with decades or centuries between new people attaining one. Being a shinigami was, itself, a one in a million rarity, similar to the rarity of advent humans. Even Quincies, a bloodline dedicated to hunting hollows and fostering their spiritual power, supposedly only saw a fraction of its members actually attain powers suitable for fighting.

In PT, I fully endorse your characters having connections or history that would allow them access to some of this rare technology in their everyday life. PCs are the protagonists of their own story, and they are allowed to be a little special. Just keep in mind that such things are special, though, and the general population may not have access to the same things.

Things that directly benefit you in combat, above and beyond someone of the same caliber, need to be earned or created through your own writing, though, not as a benefit of background connections.
 

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