Long Distance Communication

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howardrbrandon-RF
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Long Distance Communication

As has been thoroughly discussed, long distance communication via fowl is outside the concept of Shaintar. So, this still leaves the question of how do remote, clandestine operatives such as the Black Lanterns maintain contact with the rest of the Rangers? Keep in mind, magic ability is also out because there is no garuntee the Lanterns would always have magically active agents in their cell.

Thoughts?

Murvoth
Murvoth's picture

Typically Adepts would be your communicators for such activities, though with your statement that is something to retract altogether. This resource is limited but wrights I can envision do something to perhaps make this plausible . There Heliograph which are shield signals essentially a solar telegraph combined with morse code via a  reflective mirror.  Typically the military employed these in the late 1800s.

 

Hydraulic telegraph itself was used by the Greeks though I am less familiarize with that method and would need to research. Lastly there were simplistic things like smoke signals, drums used as an early form of long distance communication, and of course birds. With options like alchemy as well and other wonders the possibilities are endless.

 

 

Steven C
Steven C's picture

Magic devices, to me, are the easiest out but in this regard it depends on how 'magically' active you want them to be. For example a classic long range communication device would be a scroll or book that is paired with another of its kind then when written on has the writting appear on the paired device. 

DavidFredricksonJr.
DavidFredricksonJr.'s picture

No your concept was historically accurate. Your superpowered birds were the problem. That was what people have been telling you all week.

Est Sularus oth Mithas.

GregTripp
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My dregordian, carried to Olara by the Kal-a-Nar during the war of flame, was desperate to contact her family in dregordia. 

She turned to adepts. At exorbinant cost, the Adept was able to use telepathy to connect multiple adepts together to create a link to dregordia.  This was not easy. It took weeks for the adepts to contact each other and get the logistics arranged. Additionally, it was not secure; as multiple minds were able to listen in. Still, it got the job done. 

howardrbrandon-RF
howardrbrandon-RF's picture

An adept network? Now that has promise.

Howard R Brandon III

Community Manager

AKA Colonel Alexander Wolfhaven

Echer'Naught Regional Command HQ

The Dread Polack
The Dread Polack's picture

I kind of like the idea that long-distance communication is difficult. One of the big deals in my campaign is that the PCs are in northern Olara, far from Ranger HQ and have to make decisions on their own with little support. Sending and getting messages back takes weeks at best.

howardrbrandon-RF
howardrbrandon-RF's picture

One of the main reasons I have brought up the issue. And SPF noted that bird communication ended during the Tempest. Now that the major storms are over, I assume that it picks back up, but again...what if we can't use birds...and maybe the roads are impassible due to storms again. What other options do we have?

Howard R Brandon III

Community Manager

AKA Colonel Alexander Wolfhaven

Echer'Naught Regional Command HQ

Steven C
Steven C's picture

Considering the partial reset button that was hit at the end of the storms it may not be that bad. Bridges, being man made are probably still out so they can cause road delays (side note are beaver dams and other major animal constructions gone to or just 'man' made stuff). 

While the main Black Lantern HQs (or large field offices) may have two or three back ups (beisdes footing it and sending birds) I can't imagine that the small secure areas in the field have them only because it is more equipement to lug around. For the individual agent or small out of the way field office my guess is that they are blind, deaf and mute after the diaster, which makes sense as this wasn't something people generally plan for, are are on there own making the best of a bad situtation. 

Sooz - RF
Sooz - RF's picture

At least in some areas of the Southern Kingdoms, there are specialized Adepts called Farspeakers who work as a messaging network.

Granted, this is not ideal for particularly sensitive transmissions, but it works if you need to quickly send word to someone on the other end of the continent.

Saiderin the Raven
Saiderin the Raven's picture

We will be discussing this during the Flock meeting today; the Ravens, as I mentioned in the other string, just needed some tweaking. As well, the Farspeakers Guild is something I've had in development for awhile; now may be the time to start rolling it out on a larger scale.

The Guild would be commercial in nature; various organizations would probably have their own people set up at key locations. One of the things I need to decide is (a) how possible it is to "intercept" Telepathy and (b) the mechanics thereof if it is possible.

"There is no heroism without sacrifice. For this, I am terribly sorry."

Steven C
Steven C's picture

I don't know why but when the Farspeakers got mentioned I had a flash of ComStar from battletech. One thing I'm very interested is how does the prejuice/fear/concern of Adepts and telepaths play into the commerical nature of this group. Also curious if they are 'heroic' in nature as many, many of the Southern groups are or something else.

 

cbooth
cbooth's picture

I can see Druids sending messages through Life Spirits to another party, or Priests doing the same thing through a Celestial "Holy Messenger".  Count them as part of a Summon Ally ability, with the sole purpose of delivering a message.  The higher Rank the caster is, the faster the travel time; Novice would be days, Seasoned would be a day, Veteran would be hours, Heroic minutes, and Legendary would be instantaneous.  This way, long distance communication wouldn't be specific to one type of archtype, so you can have a group of Rangers in the field with the ability to send information back and forth without relying on an Adept.

DavidFredricksonJr.
DavidFredricksonJr.'s picture

cbooth wrote:

I can see Druids sending messages through Life Spirits to another party, or Priests doing the same thing through a Celestial "Holy Messenger".  Count them as part of a Summon Ally ability, with the sole purpose of delivering a message.  The higher Rank the caster is, the faster the travel time; Novice would be days, Seasoned would be a day, Veteran would be hours, Heroic minutes, and Legendary would be instantaneous.  This way, long distance communication wouldn't be specific to one type of archtype, so you can have a group of Rangers in the field with the ability to send information back and forth without relying on an Adept.

I really like this idea. And altering one spell in this minor way could be easier than the other approach.

Est Sularus oth Mithas.

The Dread Polack
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A GM might decide that sending messages via Summon Ally wouldn't work, since the being isn't under your "sway" after the duration is up. Unless they could travel the required distance in that time, they couldn't, or *wouldn't* deliver your message.

I'm not necessarily that GM. If you assume that the being you summon isn't created out of thin air and ceases to exist afterwards, then you can assume the being will remember the message and could be convinced to deliver it under its own power after the duration is up. If a player wanted to do this in my campaign, I'd roleplay some kind of negotiation. If the situation was dire enough and the being recognized it, it might be willing to do so for free (the GM could always have a life spirit or celestial ally with a party without being summoned, after all). If the PC was able to make a good persuasion roll or offer compensation or a favor, then that would help, too.

I'm actually not sure what such beings are capable of, as far as rapid traval without the book handy, but I suspect at least some summonable beings could do it, or they could perhaps pass the message up the chain and back down to a being nearby the target.

In other words, I think it's reasonable, given the right roleplaying. Personally, I really enjoy moments where my players try to solve a problem like this where there isn't an obvious answer, and we're able to come up with a clever solution.

Steven C
Steven C's picture

Summon Ally is an elegant solution to having a potable messager as I've seen other games use Summons as a way to communicate. The Zephyr is a seasoned Wind (Life) Spirit and would be a good messager .... if you could get it to focus. The Faerie is a novice Life Spirit that is decent enough, probably more willing to help but its Spiritual Dependency may be a problem and its not the fastest but it flies.

cbooth
cbooth's picture

It would all depend on what element was available at the time of casting; Earth/Clay Elementals would burrow through the ground, Water would use the rivers/rain clouds, etc.  A lot of it is roleplay, and just depends on what type of flavor you'd want to use.  If you want to get technical, you could say that they travel through Corelisia from Point A to Point B.  

Saiderin the Raven
Saiderin the Raven's picture

The duration issue is a real one, and I am not prepared to screw with that just now. I will give it some thought, however.

In the meantime, there will be a write up of the Farspeaker stuff coming soon.

[Edit] - As Shawn pointed out, Summon Ally has a range, and I believe that Range also restricts the distance a Summoned being can be from the caster. Need to research that.

[Follow-Up] - Summoned beings are not restricted to the initial casting Range. They are, however, still very limited as messengers go, due to Durations.

"There is no heroism without sacrifice. For this, I am terribly sorry."

Steven C
Steven C's picture

(I realize that this is a thread derailment and I apologize. I am more then willigning to delete this post and create a new thread if needed).

What happens to the summon after the duration in Shaintar? If a Seasoned druid in an open field summoned a Faerie or a Zephyr what happens after duration does it return from whence it came or does it stick around? Unless the spell forces the summon back an intelligent summon should be able to be reasoned with, bargained with and if a rapport could be made services or favors could be bartered with. 

The problem with Summon Ally is that it appears to be written soley for the idea of bringing the an extra into combat instead of bringing another loyal being that assists you in other ways. This becomes more interesting with Mediative Casting to extend the duration of the Power. Unsing mediative cating you can Summon Ally as a novice that instead of summoning a experienced soldier summon an experienced lockpicker or an experienced scholar or many other interesting things.

 EDIT-

Random thought. If an Alchemist takes Expanded Understanding to pick up Summon Ally can they become a Pokemon Master? Life Spirits, Celestial Spirits.... Gotta Catch 'em All!

cbooth
cbooth's picture

All good.  Perhaps a new Power, or a trapping for the Summon Ally Power (Communication)?  The trapping would have limits; send message only, no other action.  Duration dependent on the Rank of the caster.  Things of that nature.

Saiderin the Raven
Saiderin the Raven's picture

I generally default to the core rules unless there is a compelling reason not to; Summoned beings return from whence they came at the end of the Power's Duration.

I will point out that the Alakar Racial Edge, Faerie Friend, becomes an exceedingly useful Edge in these circumstances.

"There is no heroism without sacrifice. For this, I am terribly sorry."

Steven C
Steven C's picture

Is that one of Clint's forum posting clarifications? I don't remember that actually being stated in the Core book. Will need to reread the Power.

EDIT-

Actually re-reading the Faerie Friend Edge I ran across this sentence and had a thought: "This is both a more limited and, within the right setting, more useful form of Connections."  Could a Druid take Connections (Life Spirits)* or a Priest take Connections (Celesital Spirits)* and deal with them on that level? Contact a Life/Celestial spirit by whatever normal methods would be availible for contacting, even technically a Mediative Summon to speak with them for minutes at a time, and have your connections speedily pass on messages?

*Not sure if Shaintar has something like a Spirit Court (Summer/Winter Courts, Wind/Water Courts, etc..) as othergames do and instead take it as a Court.

Murvoth
Murvoth's picture

Similiar to the Ravens one with Beastmaster and/or beast friend might be able to be used for communication. Limited thanks to just animal intelligence so perhaps Exalted Beast Friend from the High Magic could be enabled. At that point its carrying a message since its unlikely you'll have a creature who can speak verbally like say a raven.  Some mammals have abilities akin to talking birds.

Saiderin the Raven
Saiderin the Raven's picture

The ruling is from Clint, yes.

And, no, there are not Courts in that sense. However, I am kind of intrigued by your idea. I will have to give that some thought...

"There is no heroism without sacrifice. For this, I am terribly sorry."

Al Bear - RF
Al Bear - RF's picture

Catching up on threads here so please forgive my lateness. Lots of good ideas in this discussion just thought I'd chime in with something related:

Ignoring specifics for a moment, one question that's useful to ask is "how large a role should communication (over long distances) play at the table?" A group that's particularly simulationist minded might be quite passionate about messages taking long times to travel (without access to modern technology) and this could be the spark behind entire adventures or even campaigns (The Postman!). On the other hand, a group might be more interested in "handwaving" this aspect in order to spend more time on other areas of play. An extreme example might be the OmniLens from Wraith Recon, which allows player characters essentially permanent communication with other OmniLens wearers (and even shared vision!).

Finally, just a reminder that if the system (which I'm assuming will be Savage Worlds here!) has specific spells or abilities related to communication, one should attempt to keep them relevant to the game - or if they're not going to get used they might get removed entirely from the game or replaced with other abilities of equal value.

Matrix4b

For the long distance Comunication:  What about an Adept combined with a sort of Post Office type of aragement.  Sort of like a telegraph but with people involoved as the sender's and carriers.  Not secure but hey if you want it secure, send a Post Letter from office to office the old fashioned way. 

A Post Office or message riders to standard stops evolved in the development of America's Old West times for a reason.  Pony Express.  Bards can only do so much in passing news.

(Planning on trying to get a Post system or message system up and running in Sog with a new character, provided my GM doesn't kibosh things)  But it would be fun to have a sort of News Paper type of thing evolving.  Gossip travels faster than facts but hey ya do what ya can)

All with in the Rules.

Sooz - RF
Sooz - RF's picture

That'd be the Farspeakers in the Southern Kingdoms.

swampfoxib
swampfoxib's picture

As this has been brought up again, the recent means of distance communications have been:

- Messenger

- A dwarven publication has spread through the Gathers (and over time further though the longer the sodistance the longer the travel time)

- Adept communications for quick contact between an Adept and a known person

- Adept communications for battles/wars where possible and used for group communications, duration being important here.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Chris Parks

Previous Culture Warden

In Game:
Lt. Felosia Naiilo - High Druidess: Phoenix Moth Grove; Sog
Lt. Magpie Stormsinger - Trollkeep

Murvoth
Murvoth's picture

Aevakar if they are brave, fast, and have some great agility can function akin to a messenger like birds, except usually carrying important documents or news that cant be told per say.  Adepts, animals, and perhaps devices like from Wrights have been the best tools towards this.

swampfoxib
swampfoxib's picture

Wrights and Arcmancers are not able to create anything that resembles long distance communications.  They don't have access to the Telepathy power, and there is no such thing as a radio in Shaintar. (Meaning such things don't work in Shaintar much like gunpowder doesn't work in Shaintar)

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Chris Parks

Previous Culture Warden

In Game:
Lt. Felosia Naiilo - High Druidess: Phoenix Moth Grove; Sog
Lt. Magpie Stormsinger - Trollkeep

Murvoth
Murvoth's picture

Good sir, unless you're ignoring the rules of the books itself Wrights are plenty capable of such feats. Page 17 of Legends Unleashed. Being apart of this since the start indeed I know about the tech, what won't ever work until said otherwise, etc.  Otherwise, you are correct even with Clairvoyance and Teleport a tad limited even as abilities that can be bestowed to Arcmancy. 

Dwarf

Legendary Wright

Requirements: Legendary, Master Wright

Given the right tools and team, this amazing craftsman can create true mechanical marvels. He may create a device that emulates any Power { Say two Legendary wrights making their version of Telepathy to send mental messages }with a successful Repair roll – it takes him a number of hours equal to the number of Essence required to cast the Power.For each raise on the Repair roll, the time is halved.

For every four Extras and/or two Wild Cards helping, he gains a +1 to his roll. Devices created do not expend Essence; they function for 1d6 hours. In all other ways, this Edge works like the Wright Edges from Legends Arise.

swampfoxib
swampfoxib's picture

I appreciate your pointing that out as I had forgotten that one mimics any power.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Chris Parks

Previous Culture Warden

In Game:
Lt. Felosia Naiilo - High Druidess: Phoenix Moth Grove; Sog
Lt. Magpie Stormsinger - Trollkeep

Matrix4b

Actually, I see the possiblity of a Heliograph network being built.  The Heliograph is a form of Optic Telegraph that relies on the sun, it was built in ancient times but was not really documented until the 1700s.  I don't think that this would be too much.  It is almost akin to signal fires, and those featured in Lord of the Rings trillogy and a few other similar fictions.  It stands to reason that this could be developed and it would be limited in distance and in coding.  The hard part would not be the development of the semiphore towers but in developing a coding for it.  But I am sure the dwarves have something similar, Heck, I even see something similar to the 1980s Beauty and the Beast program for underground that uses coding of beats on a pipe for a form of morse code or something.  The sound travels and is picked up by others to repeat it through caves.

While not a part of cannon, I don't see why you could not have this in a personal game.  While not very "magical" it can appear to be magical to the layman.  Look up how the telegraph and telephone was invented as well, a form of visual speach was invented and a form of sign language was invented.  These can be created.  In games that I have been a player in the Rangers even had a form of primitive sign that could be used in the field.

Take note: Not truely cannon on this.  Here is a link on the Heliograph: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliograph

swampfoxib
swampfoxib's picture

Someone using Ranger Hand Sign in the field (waving hands in a pattern that someone can look at you and see it) is very different from creating a device that can mimic Telepathy.

For J&L something like a telephone, no matter how primitive, doesn't fit the world.  Try to remember that this is Epic High Fantasy, not steampunk, and so some things are not going to fit the world very well.

Signal flares is something that could work for distance communication, but it's impractical for anything except an emergency notification system (look at how they worked in Mulan, that's probably what you're looking at as far as the tech there goes).  And if you did manage some sort of fire to mirror and coded messages thing (or beating code on a pipe) the signal is completely visible (or audible) to anyone nearby so while clever, wouldn't mimic telepathy very well as that power is hidden until tapped with mind reading or an opposed telepathy check.

That said I like the idea of a signal tower type of communications network but that kind of project takes years to plan and assemble, and nothing like that is currently in existence (as far as I'm aware) anywhere in Shaintar as of the current J&L timeline. That's not to say that something might not be developed over time, and as the timeline advances more we may just see such things come to pass, but not present as of now nor probably in the near future.

Again, good ideas though.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Chris Parks

Previous Culture Warden

In Game:
Lt. Felosia Naiilo - High Druidess: Phoenix Moth Grove; Sog
Lt. Magpie Stormsinger - Trollkeep

Matrix4b

Yes, as I said, definitely NOT cannon.  And a Heliograph, while would take a bit of working, would by neccesity need to rely on codes and you would need to be in the line of sight (that is the direction of the bounced light) in order to see it or receive it.  While, no system like this is present in J&L.  I see no reason why one couldn't be developed.  It would be by neccessity, primitive.  Telepathy would work better.  I don't think that Telepathy is a standard Dwarf Wright Power that can be built into a device.  Yes, Legendary Device not withstanding.  It may be simpler to get a magical item via Soul Bonded items that are avalible through 2 edges and take Telepathy as the power, but this is in NO WAY a system than anyone can use.

As a part of cannon, the complex Adept route has been mentioned.

Something else to consider with the Legendary Wright stuff, They ARE Legendary.  That means it is not common and by virtue of rank very rare.  Legendary characters are a one in a million type of thing and to narrow it down to a Legendary Wright, interested in this type of communication?  Well, that is maybe one character of the whole Lot, if someone wants to create it.  By no means a sustainable network.

So, Yes, lots of possibilities but nothing in J&L cannon as of yet.  The Gather's Postal system and newspaper is probably not a strong bit of cannon to rely on even.  As it may not last and also, as mentioned, is slightly against the theme of the game.  Epic High Fantasy.

David Forby

swampfoxib
swampfoxib's picture

Actually there isnt anything wrong with the postal/newspaper system.  As of now it's effect is somewhat limited as its a small player-driven faction that would require a little more work in game if you want it to go further than the Gathers.  I know it's come into play in other games further afield, but that just is a matter of time where it travels but may be months out of date by the time it reaches somewhere Else.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Chris Parks

Previous Culture Warden

In Game:
Lt. Felosia Naiilo - High Druidess: Phoenix Moth Grove; Sog
Lt. Magpie Stormsinger - Trollkeep