Technology VS Magick, who suffers most in the feud?

Discussion in 'Arcanum Discussion' started by Mr.Bomb, Aug 13, 2010.

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Which is best in the world of Arcanum?

  1. Steamworks

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. Magick Obscura

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Muro

    Muro Well-Known Member

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    Technology is easier to understand and use in a basic degree, yet magick is more rewarding in the end. In other words, an average techie is more powerful than an average mage, but a master mage is more powerful than a master techie.

    As for the poll: Even though if living in Arcanum and given the choice I would chose magick, I voted Steamworks, simply because Arcanum wouldn't be the wonderful world that it is without the omnipresent steampunk.
     
  2. Sorg

    Sorg Member

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    Mmm you have a point there Dark Elf, The Living One makes magic look so easy. Guess any experts in firearms with a Looking-glass Rifle can just shoot mages one by one from far away :p

    And while magic is pretty cool and all (who doesn't like shooting fireballs from there hands), i did play a gunslinger my first play-through so it's a hard choice to make. But given a choice, a mage-fighter is best
     
  3. Hawkthorne

    Hawkthorne New Member

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    As fun as it is to think about the implications of some of the things that come out in conversations with various characters and stuff that can be gleaned from the manual... magick still seems better.

    For all the talk of an industrial revolution making life better for people in general, you sure don't see a lot of evidence of all the neat inventions a technologist can learn how to make.

    Most people are still using leather armor and mediocre swords or axes. You don't even see that many compound bows, and those are a relatively simple way to duplicate the results one can get with the better magickal bows. A few people in Tarant and Caladon have better firearms, but otherwise?

    It's not like you run into a lot of people who wear feather-weight chain mail and use stun grenades.

    Finding useful tech items is kind of a rare thing, whereas it's not unusual at all to find all sorts of magick armor and potentially cool weapons.

    A fairly average person who hasn't specialized in smithy or something is better off using magickal items than tech ones in a lot of cases.
     
  4. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

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    Don't be fooled, technology requires a lot of time and effort to pick up, just not as much as magic. People still use simply swords and leather armour because from a logical standpoint, the tech items would cost a fair bit of money. That coupled with the idea that you as a technologist aren't really learning schematics when you level technology, you are more so inventing or discovering different uses for things. Schematics you find in your travels though, yes they are actual blueprints you learn from.
     
  5. Hawkthorne

    Hawkthorne New Member

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    All true. But you can just buy schematics for about what a katana costs, so it's not like it's totally unattainable for the average Joe to learn that stuff.

    Some of the other adventurers you run into later in the game (or find after they got killed, in some cases) should really have better gear.

    Instead, sometimes they're about as poorly equipped as the people who live in Shrouded Hills. Which doesn't make much sense if they're from Tarant and they somehow survived long enough to get to remote places like Falcon's Ache.

    At least bring a few hunting rifles, you know?
     
  6. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

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    Indeed however like magic, the Living One is the exception. technologists still have to be taught the trade, whether that is going to university or becoming an apprentice much like in the real world. All they are really is glorified plumbers and tradesmen. As for the people not having better gear, Falcon's Ache, its people like that who aren't specifically looking for fights however they have a form of weapon for self defence. Sell Bate's journal and then you'll get some better geared technologists on your tail.
     
  7. Uncle Pecker

    Uncle Pecker New Member

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    At the point in time the story of the Living One takes place Technology is supposed to be far superior, at least among Men's societies. Just think of Cumbria's deluge. I think apart from the Living One the role of Mages and Technologists is rather subtle and indirect. Most people are rather none or little of each and just use the creations and council of their society's respective savants. Thus Praetor's and his father's mage council didn't fail in being stronger individuals than Tarrant's gun smithies but in making their country's economy and army stronger.
     
  8. TimothyXL

    TimothyXL New Member

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    Which of course leads to the question: How DO mages enchant arms and armor?
     
  9. C64

    C64 New Member

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    They just do, Timothy. Isn't that what magic is by defnition, a powerful force that does things above and beyond our ability to explain them through scientific observation?
     
  10. RodneyDale

    RodneyDale New Member

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  11. EmoryAuster

    EmoryAuster New Member

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    From a lore standpoint, I think it's important to remember that each field is mostly going to be populated by people in the layman-journeyman range. Just as most mages won't know how to teleport halfway across Arcanum, so most machinists won't go around inventing new technology left and right, and most inventors, I suspect, would jealously guard their secrets. So high level technology would likely be pretty rare.

    But as to why magickal artifacts might be more common, consider this; technological gear, like guns, electrical devices, et cetera, don't tend to last very long when left to the elements, rusting or degrading and becoming useless. On the opposite side of the coin, most magickal artifacts are guarded against such degradation, and so would last longer. Considering Arcanum's supposed cycle of tech empire -> magic empire -> tech empire, there would be more leftover usable enchanted weapons and armor than technology.

    From a gaming perspective, it seems as though magick obscura is a far easier path to take. Learning spells is as easy as clicking a button on your character screen, and magickal gear does seem easier to find as you say; technologists, by comparison, have to hunt down materials, find schematics, and so forth. Honestly, I think that you should have to find spells the same way you find schematics. Kill a mage, steal his spellbook, get new rotes to play with.

    Of course, I'm fairly new to the game. So I might be way off here.

    Just my two cents.
     
  12. RodneyDale

    RodneyDale New Member

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    I would say you've got a few fair points there mate.
     
  13. C64

    C64 New Member

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  14. Viktor_Berg

    Viktor_Berg New Member

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    There's also this price that comes with Magick: you have to use up your own powers - mental and spiritual - to cast and maintain spells. You become very exhausted after the more advanced spells, and unless you have trained yourself VERY well, a teleportation spell would likely either knock you out or send you in a coma.
     
  15. RodneyDale

    RodneyDale New Member

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    Yes we have been through this Viktor you cunt!
     
  16. Viktor_Berg

    Viktor_Berg New Member

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  17. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

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  18. Vaz

    Vaz New Member

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    Most of you are missing the point entirely.
    Magic is a power wielded by individuals.
    Technology is power wielded by the masses.

    A magical system is one of handcrafting.
    A technology system is one of industrial mass production.

    So a magical army encounters a technology army.
    The magical army has a handful of mages along with a batch of swordswingers and archers.
    The technology army of Arcanum has thousands of riflemen, machine guns and
    (God help the poor primitive buggers at the receiving end) breech loading artillery.

    The upshot is that the magical army is butchered in about five minutes,
    or did you entirely miss the point of why Cumbria was so thoroughly demolished by Tarrant?
    Magic works only on an individual level, which is why the Cumbrians were very quickly reduced to an ineffective guerrilla war.
    When your military capability is reduced to mere bushwacking, you have lost.

    Moreover, the impact of training time and skill level is enormous.
    A skilled archer takes years, as the English found to their regret in the dying stages of the Hundred Years War
    when they were utterly unable to replace the veterans slaughtered by French artillery at Castillon and various other Normandy battlefields.

    And the training time for mages? Decades?
    Remember that the basic underpinning of any society is economics.
    In simplest terms, for the cost to train a mage, a technical society can probably raise several rifle regiments.
    And since technology boosts the total economy far more than magic does the contest becomes hopeless from the start.

    However, a decent rifleman can be trained in six weeks.
    And you can recruit them by the thousands.
    Yes, mages may be able to do a lot of individual damage,
    but not all that much on the scale of a clash of thousands.
    If it's anything resembling a battlefield, the rifled artillery will start shelling at about 1500 yards (US Civil War standard).
    So, that's only about 1200 yards that the mages have to cross to even get into fireball range.
    And even the muzzle loading British Baker Rifle of 1805 was dead accurate to 400 yards.
    The Sharps repeating rifles of the last half of the American Civil War would do at least double that.

    Another basic problem is that most magic systems evolve and develop only slowly over time.
    For technological civilizations, the reverse is true; their development of new technology accelerates over time.

    The basic flaw in your position, Mr. Bomb, is that you only looked at individual power and capability.
    This is something largely irrelevant on a mass social scale.
    On a mass scale, what matters is the average capability.
    And in that comparison, the non-industrial society loses every time.
    What you are likely to get in such a conflict would mostly resemble the Zulu Wars of the early 1880s.

    "Whatever happens
    we have got
    the Gatling Gun
    and they have not."

    Sorg, you're quite right about snipers dusting mages.
    Go see my post:

    Vaz's Basic Primer On How To Kill Everything That Moves Including Dainty Little Elf Spellcasters

    in this thread:
    http://www.terra-arcanum.com/phpBB/view ... c&start=25
     
  19. Muro

    Muro Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the Tarant vs Cumbria war was a "artillery vs infantry" war, not "artillery vs wizardry" one, so your example is irrelevant. Wizards were present in Cumbria, but they were among the leaders, not the soldiers.

    It could be argued that a powerful wizard could be (near) immune to bullets and other technological projectiles, be it because of his vast magickal aptitude bending their trajectory and/or because of casting, say, Shield of Force, Body of Air or even both.
     
  20. Vaz

    Vaz New Member

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    And then the wizard runs out of power and the machine guns cut him down.
    It should also be noted that Praetor remarked that the wizards were of little use.
    Might have been sour grapes, might have been the cold hard truth.
    Presumably if they could have turned the tide they would have.
    Perhaps the wizards were merely acknowledging that they couldn't stand up to modern technology forces and saw no reason to get turned into bullet-fodder.

    So yes, my example was entirely relevant.
     
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