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    Canonfire :: View topic - Technology/equipment by historical period (loose anology)
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    Technology/equipment by historical period (loose anology)
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:58 am  
    Technology/equipment by historical period (loose anology)

    I'm considering a few different possibilities:

    1:

    The Oerdian calendar more or less matches up to Anno Domini, so we are liking at 13th Century Europe and adjacent regions as a general basis for existing technology, allowing for anachronisms and uneven development.

    Those plate-armored heavy cavalrymen on the cover of the WoG box? That's an anachronistic painting from 988 CY, depicting an earlier era but not getting all the details correct.

    Weapons and armor will follow the ''Crusades" era guidelines in Combat and Tactics and other AD&D 2E materials.

    Shields will likely be a more attractive choice for fighters, given that mail-and-plate (AC4) is generally the best armor around.

    Locks are more often crude, so thieves get a bonus to pick the common sort.

    Gem-cutting may be a gnomish technology.


    2: Inspired by the cover of Greyhawk Wars (even though I realize it's likely recycled art of a Romano-Briton and a Saxon fighting-- Arthur and a foe?), Common Year more or less maps to Anno Domini.
    This gives a 6th century style setting.
    Much bigger changes!
    Most horsemen don't use stirrups (maybe those are a recent Baklunish introduction?).


    3: Late Medieval GH, as implied by the standard weapons line-up in AD&D. But perhaps with gunpowder? Maybe those cannonballs in the Ahlissan coat of arms are just what they look like?
    I'd probably say no full plate armor, rapiers, harquebuses, galleons, spyglasses or any other such post-medieval stuff.



    ---------------

    How do you guys handle technology in the game setting?

    If you stick to canon, which canon? The presentation seems to have varied a bit over time.

    Do you include gunpowder?

    Full plate?

    What sorts of ships exist? (I favor cogs and galleys over later period stuff).
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:19 am  

    TANGENTIAL STUFF ON EXPLOSIVES AND INCENDIARIES



    Is it a big nerf to require on more component for the fireball spell: a small quantity of charcoal/a charred piece of wood?

    It's already got bat guano (nitre), and sulfur as required components.

    It could be that gunpowder of a sort does exist on the Oerth, but it's part of a spell, not a mundane technology used by laymen.

    ---------------


    What's the deal with the Ahlissan cannonballs (in the coat of arms)?
    If cannon don't exist, what are these supposed to be?
    Flaming oil bombs?
    Has Ahlissa/South Province got a ready source of bitumen?
    Adept Greytalker

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    From: Verbobonc

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    Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:20 am  

    CombatMedic,

    In the back of Carl Sergeant's Ivid the Undying, page 159 has the closest thing I have ever seen in regards to setting a canon technology level for Oerik. The highlights are:

    Plate mail is the best armor available
    Gunpowder is not available
    Spelljamming and psionics are rare
    The AD&D heavy crossbow is not the historical arbalest
    Some exceptions do exist: the Sea Barons have galleons, caravels, and astrolabes, setting them up to start exploring the Solnor ala Henry the Navigator.

    Generally, I consider the Flannaess a society in the 12th - 14th centuries. Chain mail constitutes heavy armor, plate is quite rare. It is a more monetized world than that time period, but outside of cities and key trading centers, barter remains dominant. I consider the Migration period to be the equivalent of Late Antiquity (what used to be called the Dark Ages), and the rise of the Aerdy Empire to somewhat coincide with the creation of the Carolignian and Holy Roman Empires. Obviously the ancient Baklunish and Suel civilizations are the Classical world. These are rough parallels, and only loosely coincide with technological developments. Probably the most important innovation under the Aerdy is the creation of the rigid horse-collar.

    As far as the availability of equipment, I also impose some geographic restrictions. The original WoG mentions the most common weapons that troops in various states are armed with. For starting players, I require that half of their weapon proficiency slots be spent on weapons common to their homeland, as these are ones they would most likely be exposed to. This is a means to try to encourage some regional differentiation, as otherwise every fighter has a longbow, a longsword, and a dagger.

    Finally some weapons and armor (and other equipment) is not available in certain places. I use the Arabian Adventures source book to stock weapons, armor, and sundries for the Baklunish states. Ket and Bissel (Turkey and Serbia) are the great crossroads of civilization, and there anything Baklunish or Flannean(?) may be found; the further one moves from this nexus, the rarer one or the other culture's equipment becomes.

    I look forward to tales of how the Sea Barons deal with scurvey...[/list]
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:44 pm  

    The difference on Oerth is of course Magic which makes most Tech progressions not needed to move at a rapid pace. Priests that an cure disease slows down health concerns at eating a bad batch of stew.
    With Oerth surrounded by a ring of rocks in Greyspace likly not many Spelljammer traders would be visiting from other worlds to influence the Flannaess with new ideas. Even travelling to other parts of Oerth is tough based on the geo-political climate in the Flannaess.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:55 pm  

    tarelton wrote:
    CombatMedic,

    In the back of Carl Sergeant's Ivid the Undying, page 159 has the closest thing I have ever seen in regards to setting a canon technology level for Oerik. The highlights are:

    Plate mail is the best armor available
    Gunpowder is not available
    Spelljamming and psionics are rare
    The AD&D heavy crossbow is not the historical arbalest
    Some exceptions do exist: the Sea Barons have galleons, caravels, and astrolabes, setting them up to start exploring the Solnor ala Henry the Navigator.

    Generally, I consider the Flannaess a society in the 12th - 14th centuries. Chain mail constitutes heavy armor, plate is quite rare. It is a more monetized world than that time period, but outside of cities and key trading centers, barter remains dominant. I consider the Migration period to be the equivalent of Late Antiquity (what used to be called the Dark Ages), and the rise of the Aerdy Empire to somewhat coincide with the creation of the Carolignian and Holy Roman Empires. Obviously the ancient Baklunish and Suel civilizations are the Classical world. These are rough parallels, and only loosely coincide with technological developments. Probably the most important innovation under the Aerdy is the creation of the rigid horse-collar.

    As far as the availability of equipment, I also impose some geographic restrictions. The original WoG mentions the most common weapons that troops in various states are armed with. For starting players, I require that half of their weapon proficiency slots be spent on weapons common to their homeland, as these are ones they would most likely be exposed to. This is a means to try to encourage some regional differentiation, as otherwise every fighter has a longbow, a longsword, and a dagger.

    Finally some weapons and armor (and other equipment) is not available in certain places. I use the Arabian Adventures source book to stock weapons, armor, and sundries for the Baklunish states. Ket and Bissel (Turkey and Serbia) are the great crossroads of civilization, and there anything Baklunish or Flannean(?) may be found; the further one moves from this nexus, the rarer one or the other culture's equipment becomes.

    I look forward to tales of how the Sea Barons deal with scurvey...[/list]


    Ah, so Sargent restricted the advanced ships and navigation to the Sea Barons?
    That certainly suits me better than making such things commonplace in coastal regions.
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    Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:01 pm  

    Yasir wrote:
    The difference on Oerth is of course Magic which makes most Tech progressions not needed to move at a rapid pace. Priests that an cure disease slows down health concerns at eating a bad batch of stew.
    With Oerth surrounded by a ring of rocks in Greyspace likly not many Spelljammer traders would be visiting from other worlds to influence the Flannaess with new ideas. Even travelling to other parts of Oerth is tough based on the geo-political climate in the Flannaess.


    Indeed.


    Speaking of magic, have you read Oerth Journal #11?

    It's got an article I plan to use, "Iron Enchantments." The author goes a long way towards explaining why GH can look more or less medieval and still be fairly high magic.


    I add in stuff like blessed banners held by picked men and relics carried on war wagons that help protect against area effect and fear inducing spells (these are not something a gang of bandits or humanoids will have, but PC wizards can't just go about blowing up the armies of kingdoms and cities willy-nilly).
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:23 pm  

    I have access to the Oerth Journal #11 I will take a gander at it.
    Adept Greytalker

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    From: Verbobonc

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    Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:07 pm  

    Quote:
    I add in stuff like blessed banners held by picked men and relics carried on war wagons that help protect against area effect and fear inducing spells (these are not something a gang of bandits or humanoids will have, but PC wizards can't just go about blowing up the armies of kingdoms and cities willy-nilly).


    Kind of a fantastic carroccio. I like it.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:54 am  

    CombatMedic wrote:
    TANGENTIAL STUFF ON EXPLOSIVES AND INCENDIARIES

    Is it a big nerf to require on more component for the fireball spell: a small quantity of charcoal/a charred piece of wood?


    -Go for it. Wink

    CombatMedic wrote:
    ...What's the deal with the Ahlissan cannonballs (in the coat of arms)?
    If cannon don't exist, what are these supposed to be??


    -Alchemist's Fire... Wink

    CombatMedic wrote:
    ...Has Ahlissa/South Province got a ready source of bitumen?


    -Why not?

    tarelton wrote:
    ...In the back of Carl Sergeant's Ivid the Undying, page 159 has the closest thing I have ever seen in regards to setting a canon technology level for Oerik. The highlights are:

    Plate mail is the best armor available
    Gunpowder is not available
    Spelljamming and psionics are rare
    The AD&D heavy crossbow is not the historical arbalest
    Some exceptions do exist: the Sea Barons have galleons, caravels, and astrolabes, setting them up to start exploring the Solnor ala Henry the Navigator...[/list]


    Hmmm...

    I just realized that Sargent's "no plate armor" claim is contradicted in several modules set in the Flanaess, and innumberable illustrations, or at least, I think... What did

    SPOILER ALERT

    The Marshal of Furyondy wear in his captive stasis?

    END SPOILER ALERT


    If the heavy crossbow is not an arbalast, then it's doing a bloody good imitation of one. Of course, Sargent is referncing the wussy pre-reform (i.e. pre-AD&D2 Combat & Tactics) version of the heavy crossbow. Even so, I think the encumberance example on p. 225 of the AD&D1 DMG refernces and crannequin or a windlas for a crossbow.

    The Nyrondese Navy started producing a gnome-designed galleon as well (mentioned in the Living Greyhawk's Nyrond Gazeteer for 593). She was never finished, due to expense. Of course, that could be considered "quasi-canonical."

    Yasir wrote:
    The difference on Oerth is of course Magic which makes most Tech progressions not needed to move at a rapid pace...


    -Agreed.

    FWIW, I set the tech' level at CY 576 = AD 1445, and add one year of tech' by our standards for two chronological years in the Flanaess i.e., CY 578 = 1446, CY 580 = 1447, etc. That means that full plate armor exists, but is "NEW" in CY 578 (i.e., double price), and the arbalest is old news (crannequins go back to 1370). Other science, technology and other advancements from my list: Zero (873 in Asia); Trigonometry (929 in Asia); Carrier Pigeons (1098 in the Islamic world; 1203 in Europe); Vertical Windmill (1200); Spectacles (1311? but more common 1492- I consider them "NEW" in CY 578); Box Compass (1300); Improved Astrolobes (1300); Mechanical Clock (1340); Contagion theory of disease (1350); Canal Locks (1375); Maps with latitude & longitude (1408); Caravels (1410); Mechanical Chime (1420); Perspective in art (1434). That means no Moving front axels (1470); Coaches (1575); Calculus (1690); or Sextants (1775).The printing press (1447) is just around the corner! But where...? :wink":

    A few time anomalies in my CY 578:

    1) No gunpowder, as per canon (or cannon; historically, old news by the fifteenth century). However, Murlynd's temple is working on that. Certainly by CY 591, but still largely a secret concept, and not neccessarily better than any other weapon anyway (as was the case historically).

    2) Galleon technology apparently exists, see above (historically, AD 1500 or so; I consider it to be "NEW" and expensive technology in CY 578);

    3) Four Humor's Theory largely discredited (historically, continued into the nineteenth century);

    4) I think telescopes have been referenced in canon, so they exist (historically, the first reference I could find was for AD 1509; I consider telescopes to be "NEW" tech').
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:01 pm  

    Gnomish shipwrights?

    Well, I suppose I say ''why not?"

    There must be some elf miners out there, unless elves get most of their metal in trade.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:09 pm  

    CombatMedic wrote:
    Gnomish shipwrights?

    Well, I suppose I say ''why not?"

    There must be some elf miners out there, unless elves get most of their metal in trade.


    -Intersting point. I think that's with the idea of Gnome = Engineering Geek in mind. This might be a little bit of bleed-over from the Dragonlance version of gnomes, sort of like thosee who portray halflings as Kender instead of Hobbits. I didn't catch it; I guess it must have infected even my thinking.

    Ugh! Laughing Embarassed
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:12 pm  

    If you are talking about something like the printing press and moveable metallic type of Gutenberg from the date given, I'm assuming that's what you mean), I'd say Greyhawk is one likely place for it to be developed.

    Greyhawk (the city) has got, or seems to have got:

    a lot of artisans

    a fairly large literate minority that provides a market for texts

    significant capital flow that could fund such developments

    central location on trade routes, such that diffusion of ideas and techniques may arguably be greater there than in some other places
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:21 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    CombatMedic wrote:
    Gnomish shipwrights?

    Well, I suppose I say ''why not?"

    There must be some elf miners out there, unless elves get most of their metal in trade.


    -Intersting point. I think that's with the idea of Gnome = Engineering Geek in mind. This might be a little bit of bleed-over from the Dragonlance version of gnomes, sort of like thosee who portray halflings as Kender instead of Hobbits. I didn't catch it; I guess it must have infected even my thinking.

    Ugh! Laughing Embarassed


    My wife is a big fan of tinker gnomes.
    I used something like that in my Thunder Rift campaign.


    I rather prefer my GH gnomes without any notably advanced technology besides gem-cutting. I play up the illusions, camouflage, and pranks stuff.



    YMMV
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:48 pm  

    tarelton wrote:
    ...the Sea Barons have galleons, caravels, and astrolabes, setting them up to start exploring the Solnor ala Henry the Navigator...I look forward to tales of how the Sea Barons deal with scurvey...[/list]


    I had to look it up, but I found it:

    A Rel Astran caravel circumnavigated Hepmonaland in 589 (Scarlet Brotherhood, p. 7).
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    Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:13 am  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    tarelton wrote:
    ...the Sea Barons have galleons, caravels, and astrolabes, setting them up to start exploring the Solnor ala Henry the Navigator...I look forward to tales of how the Sea Barons deal with scurvey...[/list]


    I had to look it up, but I found it:

    A Rel Astran caravel circumnavigated Hepmonaland in 589 (Scarlet Brotherhood, p. 7).


    I read that sort of stuff in a meta-game context of a general late 1e through an AD&D 2E trend to expand the technology of some settings. We see Renaissance/Early Modern technology cropping up in Unearthed Arcana (full plate armor) and more of it coming along in the AD&D 2E PHB (spyglasses, matchlock arquebus) and other 2E books (rapiers in the Complete Fighters book). Some of it was always present, of course.

    I've never quite understood why Medieval gunpowder weapons weren't standard elements of D&D from early on, given that a lot of the armor and weapons reflect Late Medieval European setting which would indeed have primitive cannon and likely also hand-gonnes.


    Krynn, Oerth, and Toril (at least the Faerun part of it, anyway) all received some technological advances from TSR writers in the 1990s.
    Gunpowder weapons of some kind (even if heavily restricted in GH, ''firebrands'' of Murlynd's cult) appear in every one of those settings in the 90s.
    Sailing ships seem to get a bit more advanced as more maritime stuff gets published.
    Mystara , too, sprouted advanced wheellock guns in Red Steel.
    Printing presses (not sure if they had moveable metallic type, but it seems they may have had such) show up in later FR and I think in 3E era GH stuff.

    But I'm not knocking any of that. It's cool.

    I just sometimes like a lower tech Medieval setting. GH seems like a good fit for that if one goes with some of Sargent's ideas but not all of them.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:52 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:


    Hmmm...

    I just realized that Sargent's "no plate armor" claim is contradicted in several modules set in the Flanaess, and innumberable illustrations, or at least, I think... What did

    SPOILER ALERT

    The Marshal of Furyondy wear in his captive stasis?

    END SPOILER ALERT...


    -I checked; he's apparently UNarmored. Don't know why I had it in my head that he had full plate. Confused

    However, Captian Stillguar, or the Dwarvish guard at the Greyhawk ruins, wears full plate (+1 magic full plate + shield = AC 0; Greyhawk Ruins, p. 10).
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    Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:50 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    jamesdglick wrote:


    Hmmm...

    I just realized that Sargent's "no plate armor" claim is contradicted in several modules set in the Flanaess, and innumberable illustrations, or at least, I think... What did

    SPOILER ALERT

    The Marshal of Furyondy wear in his captive stasis?

    END SPOILER ALERT...


    -I checked; he's apparently UNarmored. Don't know why I had it in my head that he had full plate. Confused

    However, Captian Stillguar, or the Dwarvish guard at the Greyhawk ruins, wears full plate (+1 magic full plate + shield = AC 0; Greyhawk Ruins, p. 10).






    Field and full plate also feature in the City of Greyhawk boxed set.

    I believe the female Knight of Holy Shielding described in that boxed set wears full plate. Or was that field plate?



    But Sargent's tech notes are a retcon.
    No doubt a number of other things in canon are also retcons.

    It's not a matter of technology, but here's a notable canonical retcon:

    The Scarlet Brotherhood in Fate of Istus differs in a number of important respects from the versions presented in the Scarlet Brotherhood sourcebook.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:29 pm  

    CombatMedic wrote:
    ...It's not a matter of technology, but here's a notable canonical retcon:

    The Scarlet Brotherhood in Fate of Istus differs in a number of important respects from the versions presented in the Scarlet Brotherhood sourcebook.


    ...I'll shift this to the Unloved Canon site:

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=64877#64877
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    Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:59 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    However, Captian Stillguar, or the Dwarvish guard at the Greyhawk ruins, wears full plate (+1 magic full plate + shield = AC 0; Greyhawk Ruins, p. 10).


    Full Plate has a Base AC of 1. With shield it would be 0.
    If you have the Arms and Equipment Guide, I'd suggest that a Dwarvish guard might have Dwarven Plate Armor, which does have a Base AC of 2. Then, if it's +1 and he carries a (nonmagical) shield, the AC of 0 works out.
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    Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:31 pm  

    BlueWitch wrote:
    jamesdglick wrote:
    However, Captian Stillguar, or the Dwarvish guard at the Greyhawk ruins, wears full plate (+1 magic full plate + shield = AC 0; Greyhawk Ruins, p. 10).


    Full Plate has a Base AC of 1. With shield it would be 0.
    If you have the Arms and Equipment Guide, I'd suggest that a Dwarvish guard might have Dwarven Plate Armor, which does have a Base AC of 2. Then, if it's +1 and he carries a (nonmagical) shield, the AC of 0 works out.


    Ah, yeah. But it's more advanced than platemail, which would put the tech level to ca. 1390s at the least.
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