1. Infel
    Offline

    Infel Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2016
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    144

    Technology in Fantasy

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Infel, Jan 9, 2017.

    Hey there cool kids.

    Fantasy is great and I love writing it. I'm in the process fantasy-ing right now. But I've hit a wall and I come seeking advice.

    In story, things are standard medieval fantasy. People fight with swords and shields, build castles with slave labor, and whip peasants who don't farm fast enough--like ya do.

    Then all of the sudden, fantasy_race.jpeg enters the fray and introduces humans to magic. The two races have a good ole' fashioned tussle and it ends with both being on okay terms.

    But humans are like "*@&! those guys, yeah? Ass holes tried to enslave us".

    So all the human nations of the world pool their allowance money and build a secret cool-kids-club whose purpose is to build weapons and advance magic, science, and technology as fast as they possibly can. They do this so that if fantasy_race.jpeg tries any more bullshit, humans can wipe their smug faces off the smug face of their smug earth.

    All the greatest philosophers, scientists, and wizards in the world are sent to this organization. My goal is to end up with a very small group of people who are years ahead of the world in terms of advancements.

    So what kind of advancements could a fantasy science lab with unlimited resources develop over 50 years? What would they build, what would they try? Transportation, weapons, natural phenomena... what would human beings attempt if they had the resources to try anything they could imagine? How fast could a small society reasonably develop in a span of 50 years given that they devote 90% of their time to making things they already have better?

    Thanks for any help and insight you've got!
     
  2. PilotMobius
    Offline

    PilotMobius Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2016
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    'murica
    I'm not sure what the magical limitations of your universe are so I'm just going to base these on the common tropes of the fantasy genre.

    Magic firearms - if magic wands are a thing, that means magic energy can be focused using a physical medium. Make this focusing technology more efficient, mount it on the pistol grip, and attach a set of sights.

    Pneumatic weapons - air magic can be used to compress air into a container. This compressed air could be used for air guns.

    Elemental manufacturing technology - fire magic will greatly expedite metallurgy and the manufacturing of alloys. Water magic can manifest high-pressure water jets for cutting sheets of metal. Earth magic will make mining extremely fast and efficient.

    Crystal ball heads-up display - the same magic technology used in crystal balls can be adapted for the military in the form of heads-up displays. The HUD uses a psychic radar for detecting nearby lifeforms and telepathically links to other crystal devices.

    Golem exoskeleton armor and load-bearing system - mages are able to create elemental golems out of inanimate matter. These golems are controlled by the user's mind to be worn like a powered suit of armor, greatly augmenting strength, stamina, and endurance. This increase in strength allows the user to carry large amounts of armor and equipment. The golem can also be manifested in a quadrupedal form for the sole purpose of load-bearing.

    Magic medicine - commercially distributed healing magic.
     
    Infel and Iain Aschendale like this.
  3. Iain Aschendale
    Offline

    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Location:
    The Hopton Stoddard Home
    Think about how magic limits technology, and how technology limits magic. I read a modern urban/low fantasy novel a couple decades ago which had a group of Elves who were motorsports fanatics, and on the cutting edge of technology, no less. Their fatal aversion to "cold iron" was canon, so they were building F1 cars entirely out of aluminum, carbon fiber, exotic alloys and such, and racing the hell out of the international motorsports circuits.
     
    Infel likes this.
  4. PilotMobius
    Offline

    PilotMobius Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2016
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    'murica
    I'd think of more magitech concepts, but I know nothing about fantasy and its tropes beyond "fire, earth, water, air, and magnets."
     
    Infel likes this.
  5. psychotick
    Offline

    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    335
    Location:
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    Hi,

    So humans are "introduced" to magic? In which case they don't have magic? Then they would be limited to technological advancements wouldn't they.

    Best guess would be to look at your medieval world technology, and then to look at the ideas / inventions of someone like Leonardo. See what he dreamed up, and see if your experts can take the technology of the time and produce something like it. I mean for example the helicopter would never work. But his glider might.

    Also you might want to put a Chinese spin on things and introduce gunpowder, basic rockets and bombs.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
    Infel likes this.
  6. Shadowfax
    Offline

    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,590
    Likes Received:
    1,399
    The problem with using Leonardo is that most of his tech didn't work...but try using George Cayley - his glider actually flew, and his ideas are the basis of ALL modern airplanes. He even invented an internal combustion engine...

    The problem with your notion of hothousing the "greatest talents of the day" is that, in an agrarian society, most of those are undiscovered, labouring in a field or a pig-sty, and/or dying young (how long would Stephen Hawking have survived in those days?).

    But, with enough will, you can achieve almost anything. Two Royal Navy battleships of the 1920s were equipped with 24 inch torpedoes. A visiting Japanese navy party were told about them. The Japanese went home and worked on their torpedoes, which were legend come WWII. The Royal Navy never got them to work...If you believe it can be done...
     
    Iain Aschendale and Infel like this.
  7. Infel
    Offline

    Infel Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2016
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    144
    Thats some good stuff right there.

    Thanks for the responses, gents. Really appreciate it.
     
  8. newjerseyrunner
    Online

    newjerseyrunner Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2016
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    313
    50 years is not a lot of time, but you'd have to better define your world and the physics of it.

    Science requires experiments, these take time to build, even with unlimited resources. Leonardo was what most of us would consider pre-scientific, so while they had some idea of science, they lacked the formalization and math to do it quickly. Advanced science requires advanced maths, the first thing they would likely have to invent is calculus. Most scientists consider the birth of the modern scientific age to be 1728, the year Issac Newton showed us the laws of motion, universal gravity, and calculus.
     
    Infel likes this.

Share This Page