Eversky: Eye of the Abyss
Magic and Technology
Just as in any other world, every culture has its own virtues, vices, and values which have a direct effect on the knowledge that they respect and nurture. The fiercely rational nature of the Tieflings pushes them to explore the frontier of science and technology, while the reverence for tradition shared by the Eladrin is evident in their vast libraries and arcane disciplines. Other cultures value brute strenth, spiritual faith, or mental agility, and pursue neither technological or arcane pursuits, while some, such as the enterprising Gnomes of Wetherby, dabble in a bit a both. In the “Nations of Eversky” sections, each culture has been given a 1-5 rating in both Magic and Technology, to help put into perspective the relative power of each civilization in these fields. This thread expands on what the ratings indicate, and gives some examples as to the kind of technology and magic that is evident in the world.
1 – Use of high magic (particularly the arcane) is looked down upon, seen as a sign of weakness, particularly the arcane. Some primal or nature-based magic might go unnoticed, but in general, a magic user is going to attract attention, and probably negative.
2 – Magic is accepted as a legitimate endeavor, but does not seem to have caught the interest of the general public. They may distrust someone who relies too much on their spells and scrolls, or at least view a wizard as an outsider or elitist. At the very least, an eccentric. The civilization does little of note to contribute to the advancement of the discipline. Most magic items are imported, and as such, the more portable versions of arcane powers are prominent. Scrolls, magical gems, and enchanted weapons can be found with a decent Streetwise roll. Artificers can get by comfortably.
3 – Magical talent is encouraged, and those gifted with it are pushed to succeed, but the civilization may not always possess the resources to foster that talent on a large scale. There may be a sizable contingent of hedge wizards or shamans, brought up without formal education, as well as a talented few who were fortunate enough to get their magical education abroad. Some wealthy Vanirian or Brecken parents, for example, might send their children to a school in Illan to develop their talents. Those who return with that knowledge can find their talents put to good use in the construction of ships, or as a tutor for rising magicians. Classes that require less rigorous study, such as Warlocks, Sorcerers, Bards, Runepriests, and Psions can thrive in this environment.
4 – The arcane plays an important role in the culture, with the nation hosting academies of notable achievement, and smaller schools to help develop magical talent at a young age. The nation is an exporter of magical goods and knowledge, housing either large libraries, or robust oral traditions that can serve as reliable sources of expertise in their fields. Wizard and Swordmages are fairly common.
5 – Magic is a defining attribute of this culture, and they are at the forefront of at least one field in which they cannot be rivaled. For Tymordia, it is their sheer arcane talent – mind-bogglingly complex or extremely destructive, while Nebur is unmatched in its holdings of magics traditionally considered forbidden, illegal, or lost to the ages. Short-distance Teleportation, Temporal Manipulation, Arcanium-fueled ships, or Necrotic Engines, may be found in these cultures.
1 – Use of technology is discouraged or forbidden by authorities or codes of honor. The use of firearms is perceived as cowardice, and reliance on gadgets and gizmos as a kind of laziness.
2 – Technology will likely not draw any negative attention, but it won’t get much respect either. The citizens of these civilizations prefer to get things done through other methods, only simple machines that requrie little knowledge to operate will be found in most shops. Basic firearms, steam-and-gear machines, propelled airship flight are accepted as part of everyday knowledge.
3 – The civilization has accepted technology as an advantageous force in everyday life, as well as warfare. They may not house any prominent schools of research, but they have an interest in integrating technology into their culture. Immigrants from other nations who’ve brought useful technological knowledge with them can thrive in these cultures, as well as independent Alchemists, Engineers, Marksmen, Sky Pirates, Watchmakers, and Venture Capitalists. Clockwork machines, crude calculators, advanced guns, photography and sound-recording devices, trams and trolleys, may all be found in these cultures.
4 – The culture is very interested in building on their technological knowledge to accomplish even greater deeds. Dedicated Research and Development departments spearhead new projects, children are brought up with a respect for scientific pursuits, and airship flight has been perfected to create fast, agile crafts that fly circles around the clunky galleons of other nations (or perhaps simply outlast them). Electric networks, run through entire square blocks, allowing for the use of convenient household appliances such as stoves, light bulbs, and wired short-distance telecomm systems. People get together to watch moving pictures, and printing presses have greatly facilitated communication and political discourse.
5 – Technology has developed to such a point that any further progress begins to raise questions of ethics and responsibility, or perhaps even crossed back into the realm of magic. In hidden laboratories, lone mad scientists perform research on superweapons, machine-guns, death rays, complex chemical compounds and biological warfare, and soul-harvesters.
Combining the Tech and Magic ratings of each civilaztions gives a rough idea of how possible it is to experiment with devices that blend magic and technology together. The higher rating usually takes precedence over the lower in terms of flavor, and cultural acceptability. A magitek device from an M2/T5 civilization obviously looks different from that of a M5/T2 civilizations.
A combined score of 6 in both Tech and Magic represents a culture that has begun exploring the mixing of both of these fields in the new frontier of Magitek. Runed rifles and efficient arcane/steam hybrid airship engines are available, and communication through Lodestone Resonators is possible
Civilizations with a combined score of 7 possess some advaned mechanisms, such as Beam Swords, Power Armor, Kinetic Barrier Emitters, and Telekinetic Projection Gloves, that can run on energy from elemental crystals. The functionality of crystals can be enhanced through the carving of Runic Logic Gates in the structural composition of the crystals.
With a combined score of 8, magitek has advanced to the point of advanced ergonomic portability and minimization of risk. Technology and Magic practically work seamlessly with one another. The threshold for Crystal-driven computing has been breached, though the machines can only mimic sentience with very elaborate programming.
A score of 9 has never been reached by any civilization at large, though it can be thought to represent the level at which the living Warforged remnant operate.