Sunday, June 5, 2016

Fantasy Tech - Light Houses and whether or not it matters

I’m working on how they do mundane things around my world and I have been forced to invent some things - These civilizations have been “stuck” in a fantasy era for thousands of years. They must have come up with some solutions that we would consider anarchistic. One is theaters. I don’t want all of the theaters to be outdoor things like the Greeks. But how do I do indoor theater? I could just say they have powerful illumination enchantments, and for some of my cultures, that is exactly what they do. But some should have other stuff. So I added acetylene lamps (like they had in the 1880-1920 era of America). But they need to get their fire up over 2000C - so I invented efreeti’s powder. What is this - it is an alchemical that causes things to burn hotter, which actually makes them burn for shorter periods of time. Now I am also planning on adding this into some weapons or other ideas, but for right now, just for this.

Why? Well, it is actually a lot more than just for the footlights. I’ve been trying to figure out how I should do light houses. Again - different cultures are approaching this from different styles, but at least this one (who already are known for their chemistry and the fact that the chemical workers who make up a good portion of the middle class are willing to be sickened at work so they can maintain lives or the middle class as opposed to lives like lesser paid craftsmen) will use acetylene. Yes, others will use whale oil or magic, or possible huge pyres of wood. But as you pull into Brinston - it’s acetylene burners.

Before you think I’ve gone completely crazy with this - check out carbide lamps. This is a bit of steam punk, but I think it works pretty well for my chemistry oriented folks. Absolutely you can ask why it’s OK to use magic in the chem lab but not in the theater. Because the one controlled use of magic (in this case efreeti’s powder) produces a material that can be used in multiple applications by some not so magically inclined folks. The enchanted spotlights should (in my opinion) require some manner of understanding of enchantment.

FYI - the dwarves have actually lit natural gas vents for some of their underground lighting, and because (at least for now) there is no oxygen in the “vaults” the gas is coming out of, the fire cannot follow the gas back and cause an explosion. The dwarves do not fully understand the chemistry of this, but they do understand enough earth magic that they know it won’t happen here. They don’t always do this, in fact most natural gas vents are vented using magically powered vent fans so as to avoid anything metallic that might cause a spark that could cause an explosion. It’s actually a lot safer than it sounds, because ... well ... magic, but magic that sounds like it has a reason!

What’s the point? Who really cares about theater lighting or even light houses? That’s not the point, just an example. The point is, when you think about how things really work in your world, a lot of the times, you come up with ideas that can actually be really cool for your campaign world. I don’t know where I’m going with efreeti’s powder, but I’ll bet it will get really cool!

1 comment:

  1. Or really hot! (Sorry could not resist.)

    It is important to ponder how things work for a coherent world. I enjoy reading about such thought.