Things you'd like to know about Tharkold

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Matthew Surridge
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Re: Things you'd like to know about Tharkold

Postby Matthew Surridge » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:12 pm

There's something I'd like to see treated in one of the sourcebooks about the tech realms, which I'll mention here in case it's not already in the Cyberpapacy book. And that is how the the realms above Core Earth technology interact with the Core Earth internet, and generally what the internet looks like in their realms. The Cyberpapacy's much faster (because Tech) and much slower (because Social), I get that. But Pan-Pacifica? The Grid?

To be clear, I don't mean the design sensibilities so much as: If somebody in one realm launches a hacking attempt on another realm, what does that look like? Is it even possible? Can somebody in one realm create viruses for use in another? Do people outside East Asia, Russia, and Cyberpapal areas get a lot of 404 errors when they try to access sites with high-tech widgets embedded in them? If you access the internet in Core Earth, is there a risk of your traffic passing through another realm? What kind of information can High Lords (or others) get from that traffic, if so? In Tharkold, do the Blasted Lands have wireless? (I imagine haunted electronic demon-carriages crawling through the Blasted Lands to create a kind of mobile Grid. But at their Tech level, I don't know if that's necessary, or if the demons can just plant a spire in Moscow or somewhere that extends the Grid to the ends of the realm.)

(Anyway, I also think there's probably an adventure in Storm Knights being summoned to the Nile where the good guys have learned that an evil pulp scientist has a mad scheme afoot, and only as or after the players stop it do they learn that the scientist was planning to gain ultimate power by tapping into "the world-wide machine brain" and so gain access to "the unimaginable power that is the sum total of all human knowledge!!" — The word "computer" meant a human thinker until 1945, so I imagine it'd actually be a contradiction to use it in the Nile to refer to a machine. But this all is neither here nor there.)
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Wakshani
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Re: Things you'd like to know about Tharkold

Postby Wakshani » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:35 pm

Well, you CAN have computers in the Nile, they're just room-sized things (with lightning sparking off of it because Nile) that use punchcards. And probably a MASSIVE on-off switch that you can yell at a henchman to operate while you sit there and cackle because, again, Nile.

Not only was ENIAC a thing, but the World's Fair in 1939 (!) featured Elektro, a walking, talking robot that could smoke and respond to questions (and who had a dog, Sparko, added ayear later).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuyTRbj8QSA

Wakshani
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Re: Things you'd like to know about Tharkold

Postby Wakshani » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:40 pm

You can also go REALLY deep and have a couple of brilliant people in Victoria messing around with a Difference Engine. Now, it won't connect to any sort of worldwide web, true, but it can do calculations (and grind to a halt if you do a number wrong. It's a feature, not a bug!) … just give props to Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace.

(And if you want to see them in full-blown Steampowered glory, ad the original documents that a surprising number of things are drawn from, go take a peek through 2D Goggles)

http://sydneypadua.com/2dgoggles/

Worth it for the Economic Model comic ALONE (Brunel!) but the whole thing is just amazingly excellent and I can't suggest giving it a read-through enough.

Wakshani
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Re: Things you'd like to know about Tharkold

Postby Wakshani » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:22 pm

As for the internet?

Well, Core Earth is what we have, only a bit more Hackers... when you're on there, hacking the things, it's with cool graphics and the light always shines on your face while you type superfast.

PP is us in a few years, with AR feeds and such (links in a sec)

Tharkold probably doesn't exist.... it USED to, back when there was a global grid and no demons, but it was a casuality of The War. Now, you have indy computers linked to nothing, but an ad hoc network of sats lets you bounce out information sometimes … but normally you need couriers to get data from place A to place B. Because that gets you moving and chased by demons and that's just how that world works.

The Godnet is just awesome. :D

The PP will be more like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJg02ivYzSs

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Kuildeous
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Re: Things you'd like to know about Tharkold

Postby Kuildeous » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:51 am

I want to know what is happening with Fort Alexander: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Alex ... Petersburg). Bringing back plague research maybe? Use it to do nanotech research? Maybe a duke takes up residence with the intent of harassing St. Petersburg?

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Matthew Surridge
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Re: Things you'd like to know about Tharkold

Postby Matthew Surridge » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:34 pm

Wakshani wrote:You can also go REALLY deep and have a couple of brilliant people in Victoria messing around with a Difference Engine. Now, it won't connect to any sort of worldwide web, true, but it can do calculations (and grind to a halt if you do a number wrong. It's a feature, not a bug!) … just give props to Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace.


That's a really good point. Particularly interesting to consider a Difference Engine/Analytical Engine possessed by an Orrorshan horror …

You're quite right about what we now call computers existing in the Nile Empire. What I was trying to get at was that the word 'computer' was used to refer to human beings who did math calculations, and only got applied to a machine in 1945. That strikes me as a bit late for the Nile, but each to their own.

The thing about the internet … I mean, you're right in everything you say, it's what's in the books, I got all that (excellent video, too). What I want to know is how the different levels of technology interact with each other. So for example, what are people in one reality are going to see when they're on a worldwide computer network that just because of how it works potentially connects up to computers in other realms? This is not something I know much about, but my understanding is internet traffic can go all over the place just to ultimately travel a very small distance. So if I'm in Core Earth Canada, accessing a site in Core Earth Germany, I might easily have my traffic go through CyberFrance or Pan-Pacifica. What happens then?
Humankind cannot bear very much reality
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Wakshani
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Re: Things you'd like to know about Tharkold

Postby Wakshani » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:59 pm

Know how you go to websites and they're coded for a different browser and nothing loads right?

Or when you go see a site from the foundation of the Net and marvel at how bad it looks compared to today?

Logging in from Pan-Pacifica, everything form Core Earth looks like this:

https://www.marvel.com/captainmarvel/

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Matthew Surridge
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Re: Things you'd like to know about Tharkold

Postby Matthew Surridge » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:07 pm

Sure. I mean, that sort of stuff I can figure out myself. But transmission of viruses, what information can be scraped, who can attack whom and how, can Kanawa attack Core Earth with stuff within our axiom that we haven't figured out (as Core Earth does with the Nile), all that kind of thing, I'd love to see at least a nod to that in the official rules.
Humankind cannot bear very much reality
— T.S. Eliot, who didn't know the half of it

My Torg Eternity review, part one and part two

Wakshani
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Re: Things you'd like to know about Tharkold

Postby Wakshani » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:28 pm

Matthew Surridge wrote:Sure. I mean, that sort of stuff I can figure out myself. But transmission of viruses, what information can be scraped, who can attack whom and how, can Kanawa attack Core Earth with stuff within our axiom that we haven't figured out (as Core Earth does with the Nile), all that kind of thing, I'd love to see at least a nod to that in the official rules.


AH! Okay, you're looking for interaction.

Well, my gut feeling is that it's handled under tech axioms. That is to say, the PP can't go futzing about in Core Earth systems due to the limitations of the tech axiom any more than a Core Earther can fire up their smartphone in the living Land and toss a text out to someone 30 klicks away. They'll need to use old, out-dated tech that can interact on the same level as the targeted area.

Now, in return, they're pretty much immune from lower-tech incursions. Nobody in Los Angeles is cutting through the Godnet, for instance. Without a cyberdeck, they can't even *interact* with most of it and CE's bandwidth isn't enough to get holographic hallucinatory imagry projected directly into your brain. Much like launching a missle from Berlin at London, only to have a giant log land there with a 'thud', the Godnet can't reach out and clobber primitive systems.

That's not even taking into account trying to figure out, from Core Earth, how the Cyberpapapcy or Technodemons store data.

"Wait. The data's preserved on still-living heads on pikes? WHY WOULD YOU EVEN?!"

My gut feeling mind you. I'm in no position to say anything official but I'm pretty sure an official word *will* come out, if not in the Cyberpapacy book then in PP. Deanna's a friggin' machine at this. I got full faith in her.

mathey
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Re: Things you'd like to know about Tharkold

Postby mathey » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:55 am

I imagine high Tech Axiom networks could at least try to connect to lower Tech Axiom networks, and they'd pick up some raw code and convert it to some simple format that looks downright primitive by their standards. Its a bit like what it'd feel like for a modern user checking the text logs of a VAX terminal or something - comprehensible but positively Stone Age and peculiar. Grid-veterans would find it quaint and clumsy, and maybe a bit refreshingly less horrific and scream-laden?

On the flip side, I don't know if you can go the other way (VAX to Grid), though Independence Day's infamous example may suggest that we handwave those sorts of considerations in favor of cinematic computer logic. And I can totally imagine a Tharkold network infecting a Core Earth user's smartphone with some sort of tech-horror inspired goo virus. See "Videodrome".


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