Better Living Through Magic and Science


Advice


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I am about to join a new campaign that will be starting at low-mid level and hopefully going to high level by the end. Our characters will be in close with a local ruler from the beginning of the campaign, and I will be playing the party wizard (typical "God" build, with some RP fluff thrown in).

This will be a RP heavy game and so I have decided that to add some flavor to my wizard by making him a bit of a visionary inventor type who wants to make the world a better place using magic and knowledge (so basically Leonardo da Vinci with spells :P).

Which brings me to my first question, does anyone have any suggestions for things from our world that would improve a stereotypical D&D world (either magical or mundane) that a wizard with the right skills and magic could create?

I have already had a read through the "Tippyverse" stuff which is right up the alley that I want with things like using permanent teleportation circles to join the cities of a kingdom for super fast travel and trade.

and the second question, does anyone have any ideas for things that could be invented in a D&D style world using magic that could not possibly exist in our world due to lack of magic and physics?


Some of the ideas i am currently looking at but don't have solid ideas on yet:
The printing press
Mass communication
Travel through teleportation (as mentioned with Tippyverse stuff)
Knowledge repositories (maybe by creating magical intelligent books, basically stealing the idea of Bob from the Dresden Files series on this one)
Magic Engine (steam engine but with magic)
Flying ships


I suggest blimps. Massive metal skeletons are spelled with heat spells that give it it's lift. I'm sure there's one that will provide thrust.


My current character is attempting to do the same thing.

For example, I made computers by enchanting a book with silent image as a holographic interface and detect magic to sense for specific versions of spell schools that touch the surface of the illusion.

Then people have gloves with Magic Aura spells that can change what school of magic energy they give off on a special "frequency" that the book item thing is meant to detect, which then causes an arcane mark enchantment to edit the book accordingly. Since the silent image is displaying information based on the contents the book, this updates the interface instantaneously. This allows the wearer to interact with the books through the holographic display.

It can be severely improved if you swap out the gloves and detect magic with detect thoughts, but I thought it'd be best to limit the process to 1st level spells and cantrips to increase production speed.


The Indescribable wrote:

I suggest blimps. Massive metal skeletons are spelled with heat spells that give it it's lift. I'm sure there's one that will provide thrust.

Nice Blimps are now definitely on the list :)

Milo v3 wrote:
For example, I made computers by enchanting a book with silent image as a holographic interface and detect magic to sense for specific versions of spell schools that touch the surface of the illusion.

Just had a read of the intelligent item rules, i think your computer idea would work well with them. Make a Lawful Good Book with intelligence, charisma and wisdom of 18 with a special purpose to teach and educate people, give it the ability to speak and use minor image at will. So its now the best teacher there could be with the ability to show presentations and keeps its students welfare in mind and drives them to excel, and the best part it never grows old and dies and is always dedicated to its purpose. Admittedly its a lot more expensive but very effective.


GreyFox776 wrote:
Just had a read of the intelligent item rules, i think your computer idea would work well with them. Make a Lawful Good Book with intelligence, charisma and wisdom of 18 with a special purpose to teach and educate people, give it the ability to speak and use minor image at will. So its now the best teacher there could be with the ability to show presentations and keeps its students welfare in mind and drives them to excel, and the best part it never grows old and dies and is always dedicated to its purpose. Admittedly its a lot more expensive but very effective.

My PF group recently saw Age of Ultron so they aren't letting my Lawful Evil Stark expy touch anything with Intelligence for a while unfortunately. Sentient equipment is quite a boon to nearly any device.


Milo v3 wrote:
My PF group recently saw Age of Ultron so they aren't letting my Lawful Evil Stark expy touch anything with Intelligence for a while unfortunately. Sentient equipment is quite a boon to nearly any device.

Lol, but didn't they watch up to the end, not all AI are bad :P

Just did a quick build for a "Bob the Skull" type intelligent item (for those unfamiliar with Dresden files, Bob is a spirit of intelligence bound to a skull that acts like an adviser and basically knows everything)

Intelligent Item - 500 gp
Int Stat (20) - 8,000 gp
Alignment (LG) - 0 gp
Speech - 500 gp
Read Languages - 1,000 gp
Read Magic - 2,000 gp
Ghost Sound at Will - 1,000 gp
Silent Image 3/day - 1,200 gp
10 Skill Ranks (Every Knowledge)- 100,000 gp (10,000 x 10)
Purpose (Educate owner) - 0 gp

Total - 114,200 gp

*This assumes that its ok to have an item that is just intelligent without a base item to add it to.


Or a more cost effective version for lower levels

Intelligent Item - 500 gp
Int Stat (16) - 2,000 gp
Alignment (LG) - 0 gp
Speech - 500 gp
Read Languages - 1,000 gp
Read Magic - 2,000 gp
1 Skill Ranks (Every Knowledge)- 5,000 gp (2,500 x 2)*
Purpose (Educate owner) - 0 gp

Total - 11,000 gp

*would require special GM permission, RAW says item can have 5 skill ranks in 1 skill for 2,500. I have made the assumption here that a GM might allow for 1 rank in 5 similar skills for the same price


Found another one:
Have a 20th level Cleric or Witch cast animate objects on 10 medium sized mannequins, then cast permanency. Net effect is a robot production line costing 1.5K per robot (you could also just make small robots which would cost 750 gp each)

The Exchange

Zombie kinetic energy generator:
Create a HUGE horizontal wheel that has parts sticking out that function as walls
Sink that into a circular hole in the ground.
Every second wall will have some way of attracting zombies to push on it.
Dump zombies into every second compartment so that they all push the walls in the same direction (they don't need a necromancer to control them).
???
profit.


Of course, don't forget that this also has great potential for Evil as well. For instance, once computer-equivalent devices can be made in significant quantities and are accepted widely, it would be an easy step onwards to make arcane voting and vote tabulation machines, which could then be used to steal votes . . . just like on Earth. Combine this with a serious program to train Demagogue Bards (possibly aided by mass media magic devices, and judiciously using spells such as Modify Memory), and Andoran is doomed -- it's amazing that it has lasted as long as it has.

Silver Crusade

Permanent Telekinesis on an engine or turbine:

I would estimate 12.5k gold for 13th lvl caster, based on Wall of Force which is same level as Telekinesis.

The maximum work generated would be 325lbs at 130ft/6sec = 7051.6ftlbs/sec, which is about 12.8 horse power.

For comparison, the Wright Brothers had a 12 horse power engine in their first powered flight. This engine weighed 180lbs, which was about a third of the weight of the whole plane (thank you wikipedia), so this virtually weightless engine would increase speed and maneuverability enough to make reliable early aircraft.

(I will assume here that the spell is cast on something at the start of the drive train and not the propeller itself. Otherwise the propeller would keep spinning even after the plane crashes, which nobody except the sickist GM's would want).

More interestingly however, 12.8 horsepower could (assuming >90% efficiency, due to a single, magical moving part) produce about 10 kilowatts of electricity, without requiring the consumption of any materials.

For scale, 10 kilowatts would power one hundred 100w lightbulbs, power an average sized radio station, or operate an industrial laser (thank you again wikipedia).

This puts a single Telekinetic turbine at the level of individual use, and at a cost that would be prohibitive for most... other than PCs and certain NPC in remote Goblin workshops, mwahaha...

So if you are looking for something mechanical, somewhere in the steam-punk, turn of the century, or early modern range, with a range of applications -- Telekinetic turbine it is.

Unless of course, you want post-apocalyptic, for which a zero-emission engine that never stops running could either be a tool for transforming the planet back into a sustainable habitat, or the means by which marauding bandits race though wasteland after wasteland in their pursuit of evil-aligned things.

Mwahaha!
Oli


Oli Ironbar wrote:

Permanent Telekinesis on an engine or turbine:

I would estimate 12.5k gold for 13th lvl caster, based on Wall of Force which is same level as Telekinesis.

The maximum work generated would be 325lbs at 130ft/6sec = 7051.6ftlbs/sec, which is about 12.8 horse power.

For comparison, the Wright Brothers had a 12 horse power engine in their first powered flight. This engine weighed 180lbs, which was about a third of the weight of the whole plane (thank you wikipedia), so this virtually weightless engine would increase speed and maneuverability enough to make reliable early aircraft.

(I will assume here that the spell is cast on something at the start of the drive train and not the propeller itself. Otherwise the propeller would keep spinning even after the plane crashes, which nobody except the sickist GM's would want).

More interestingly however, 12.8 horsepower could (assuming >90% efficiency, due to a single, magical moving part) produce about 10 kilowatts of electricity, without requiring the consumption of any materials.

For scale, 10 kilowatts would power one hundred 100w lightbulbs, power an average sized radio station, or operate an industrial laser (thank you again wikipedia).

This puts a single Telekinetic turbine at the level of individual use, and at a cost that would be prohibitive for most... other than PCs and certain NPC in remote Goblin workshops, mwahaha...

So if you are looking for something mechanical, somewhere in the steam-punk, turn of the century, or early modern range, with a range of applications -- Telekinetic turbine it is.

Unless of course, you want post-apocalyptic, for which a zero-emission engine that never stops running could either be a tool for transforming the planet back into a sustainable habitat, or the means by which marauding bandits race though wasteland after wasteland in their pursuit of evil-aligned things.

Mwahaha!
Oli

Very nice, I was just reading telekinesis with that in mind, it would be a game changer that's for sure. Now all we have to do is bump that 13 Horsepower up to a few thousand and we have a viable locomotive that doesn't require fuel :)


Food storage. Make giant room with a device that, once per round, casts purify food & drink on the next 1 foot cubic section of its many shelves. Per day, it's perfectly preserving 14400 cubic feet of food. That much food is enough to feed around 300 people for a year, maybe more like 600 if it's packed in tightly (*see below for calculations). A few rooms like that and sieges are much less of a problem, and far less food is going to be wasted due to going bad, and things will be available year round instead of only in certain seasons.

Also, it wouldn't be very expensive. Purify food & drink is a zeroth level spell. If (following the advice from the 3.0 stronghold guidebook, you construct the immobile device like a magical trap, it only costs 250 gp*. Constructing a few of those is easily within the wealth of a civic-minded mage.

(Water weighs ~60 pounds per cubic foot. Assume food weighs half of that, for 30 lbs/cu.ft., and that half the space is wasted on containers and empty space, for 15 lbs/cu.ft.. 14400*15=216000 lbs. Figure 2 lbs of normal food per person/per day (1 pound of iron rations really isn't enough for long-term survival) = 108000 person-days of food/365 days = food for 295 people for a year)

(500gp*1(caster level)*.5(spell level)=250gp cost, per the 'constructing magical traps' chart)


With the new Instructor archetype you can train local prodigies to provide their own communities with spellcasting services.


Indoor plumbing, including toilets.
Indoor heating and cooling.
Food preservation and/or cooling units.
Lighting (including street lights).


Lyres of building can create large amounts of mundane infrastructure fast. They're not that hard to make.

Planar binding can get many kinds of elementals and outsiders with odd abilities to help in your plans.

Simple spells like Track Ship, Burrow and Continual Flame can have considerable effects if you exploit them fully.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Of course, don't forget that this also has great potential for Evil as well. For instance, once computer-equivalent devices can be made in significant quantities and are accepted widely, it would be an easy step onwards to make arcane voting and vote tabulation machines, which could then be used to steal votes . . . just like on Earth.

That would only be an issue in lands where things like democracy actually exist as opposed to the more typical autocracies, ogliarchies, or monarchies. The idea of giving the common man a voice in choosing rulership only dates from the early 1800's.


^The idea of democracy actually has popped up on Earth from time to time before that (ancient Athens being the most famous example but not the only one). But yes, the point I was making is that arcane voting machines (like any others) would favor Golarion staying non-democratic. You have to figure that Cheliax, Druma, and shadowy forces within Andoran itself must have already thought of something like this (although they were probably prideful enough to believe the People's Revolution couldn't possibly succeed until it actually did). It just hasn't yet taken effect because of the fortuitous combination of the glacially slow pace of cultural evolution in general on Golarion and the fact that democratic Andoran has a REALLY recent origin (4669 AR, compared to the current date of 4715 AR -- only 46 years).

When (if) we ever have an Andoran AP, I'd like to see this issue pop up.


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Mile markers along major trade routes that provide a command word triggered ant haul or endure elements.


magic street lamps don't need oil. from kingdom builder
what kind of envirement is this land dessert mountains? how are the people are they educated or not if not open a school and stuff.
no water decanter of endless water and put it in a fountain.
magic up the defences make the walls harder than they should if wood use wall of stone or iron better walls make them untouchable.
as for the inventions it depends on the tech level but im guessing some form of farming community field rotation and introducing better tools I can think of.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
UnArcaneElection wrote:

^The idea of democracy actually has popped up on Earth from time to time before that (ancient Athens being the most famous example but not the only one).

Understand that Democracy does not automatically mean representative government. Athens was not the one-man/one-vote paradise of the Athenian ideal (generally only 6,000 citizens were able to vote at any time.) And most of the ruling offices were appointed by lot.


wabbitking wrote:
what kind of envirement is this land dessert mountains?

To the best of my knowledge it is mostly small islands and frozen tundra in the starting area. My understanding is that the area our characters are from has a rather viking feel to it.

Edit: Just found out it is part of the core PF setting, the starting area is in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
GreyFox776 wrote:
wabbitking wrote:
what kind of envirement is this land dessert mountains?

To the best of my knowledge it is mostly small islands and frozen tundra in the starting area. My understanding is that the area our characters are from has a rather viking feel to it.

Edit: Just found out it is part of the core PF setting, the starting area is in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings

Vikings without boats.


Two pebbles. One that creates water and one that creates heat. (cantrip level magic)

Place them both in a sturdy metal container with one small opening.

Cheap magic steam engine. Though I'd make sure to have a release valve to prevent explosions.


Surprised no one has mentioned this. Take a look at the D&D 4e campaign setting Ebberon. The whole concept of that setting is that magic substitutes for technology and technology is powered by magic.


Prestidigitizer!

Build an unlimited use Prestidigitation item(s). Perfect for cleaning, and a must have for any upscale restaurant (chill that beer, enhance the flavor of your food, clean the dishes, etc, etc).

As mentioned - undead (skeletons are nice, and less smelly) make great violations of the First Law of Themodynamics - they can power all sorts of things (simple Mills can be created to grind grain without the need of a water wheel to power them, for example). Good for lumber mills, grain mills, etc.

Command use Sending spell items - communications across distances are now farcically easy. Similarly, Message and Whispering Wind too - at a more tactical level. Think of battlefield command/control when you can stay in constant contact with your squad leaders (just one example).


+1 for checking out Eberron (which is originally a 3e setting) It is a great setting.

Though I can't imagine a da Vinci like magical engineering prodigy fitting into the Lands of the Linnorm Kings.

Not that some engineering wouldn't fit but most of these ideas will probably be met with some (quite possibly violent) resistance by the culture.

If you want to ground your concept a bit more in Viking culture I suggest you check out the Northlands supplement by Kobold Press. Gift it to your GM and he'll be grateful...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thanael wrote:

+1 for checking out Eberron (which is originally a 3e setting) It is a great setting.

Though I can't imagine a da Vinci like magical engineering prodigy fitting into the Lands of the Linnorm King.

Not anymore than the real Da Vinci would have fit into 8th century Norway. :)


LazarX wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

^The idea of democracy actually has popped up on Earth from time to time before that (ancient Athens being the most famous example but not the only one).

Understand that Democracy does not automatically mean representative government. Athens was not the one-man/one-vote paradise of the Athenian ideal (generally only 6,000 citizens were able to vote at any time.) And most of the ruling offices were appointed by lot.

True, but the United States hasn't lived up to its own ideals either -- gotten closer than in the late 1700s, but never going to get there (indeed, progress has ended and then reversed within the lifetimes of most of us on these boards).

* * * * * * * *

And while we're on the subject of using Undead to do stuff, you might be interested in this thread.


Thanael wrote:

+1 for checking out Eberron (which is originally a 3e setting) It is a great setting.

Though I can't imagine a da Vinci like magical engineering prodigy fitting into the Lands of the Linnorm Kings.

Yeah I will give Eberron a look, sounds interesting.

I never said i would be successful in instituting sweeping change, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't try. Looking at the world info though I don't think it's too big of a stretch because Torag is one of the regions main deities, so the idea of engineered solutions won't be too foreign, now the magic side of things might cause an issue, but conflict is the essence of drama so it just provides RP opportunity


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GreyFox776 wrote:


Just did a quick build for a "Bob the Skull" type intelligent item (for those unfamiliar with Dresden files, Bob is a spirit of intelligence bound to a skull that acts like an adviser and basically knows everything)

You will NOT be making this. Please retract the entirety of your post. The world does not need another Bob.


Harry B. C. Dresden wrote:
GreyFox776 wrote:


Just did a quick build for a "Bob the Skull" type intelligent item (for those unfamiliar with Dresden files, Bob is a spirit of intelligence bound to a skull that acts like an adviser and basically knows everything)
You will NOT be making this. Please retract the entirety of your post. The world does not need another Bob.

Sure it does, it just needs to be female, (equivalent kinda) grins


Eh, I don't like how eberron tries to do it. They just grabbed generic steampunk and painted it with magic. Nothing like actual thinking about how magic can be used in the setting.

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