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Enhanced time sense and learning

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Anonymous
April 11, 2005 4:27:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

I've quite a game balancement problem with this advantage. Thanks in advance
for any insight provided.

In the rules it says that it doesn't slow down the world to the character,
but it also says that it dramatically speeds up its ability to process
information. This usually is no issue, as one needs to wait for the eyes to
focus in order to read at such speed, but when this is coupled with access
to fast information networks and a neural interface directly connected to
ones super-fast brain this becomes a seriously unbalancing advantage.

Assessing the speed:
In the books it is not clear which acceleration is actually provided by this
advantage, I believe this is because the advantage's effect was addressed in
the perspective of physical-mental actions, where, anyways, you'll still
have to wait for your body to act, so everything that matters is just
that -you have plenty of time to think-.
When the action of thinking is everything that is truly needed though, the
actual speed should be assessed. I decided to make it 60 times as fast as a
normal human, for ease of conversion (1 sec = 1 min, 1 min=1 hour).
While the examples of 'seeing a gunshot in flight' and of seeing the single
frames of a movie are not valid in my opinion, as, as far as I know, humans
fail to see the single frames of a movie not because the brain isn't fast
enough to process the information, but rather because our retinae have cells
which 'refresh' slowly, gives an idea nonetheless of which very high speeds
the author had in mind when proposing these examples, I think thus that a
60:1 or 30:1 is close to the figure.

Even in a setting, such as Transhuman Space, where implants and fast
networks open extremely powerful uses of this advantage, allowing for
thought-fast actions in the realm of virtual reality and instant interaction
with machines of any kind, the most serious problem doesn't rise from these
direct applications.
In the average or long term perspective the effects of Enhanced time sense
are worldshattering, with the use of reality simulations it would be
possible, for a character with this advantage, to actually learn skills
dozens of times faster than usual, with a day of high speed
computer-supported training equalling more than two months worth of normal
training for a human.
Such dramatic training should be worth far more than 45 pts. and, being it
part of a SAI's package, it should result in the average SAI possessing
extremely high skills, probably a hundred extremely high skills... and
constantly increasing them. Just to name one, a Complexity 8 AKV brain,
being assigned to continuous combat simulations, should have
bell-curve-breaking skill levels in fighter-related skills, probably in the
40's range, being able of piling up thousands of hours of simulations in a
few days.
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 6:00:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 12:27:22 +0200, "Inverno"
<invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:

>I've quite a game balancement problem with this advantage. Thanks in advance
>for any insight provided.
>
>In the rules it says that it doesn't slow down the world to the character,
>but it also says that it dramatically speeds up its ability to process
>information. This usually is no issue, as one needs to wait for the eyes to
>focus in order to read at such speed, but when this is coupled with access
>to fast information networks and a neural interface directly connected to
>ones super-fast brain this becomes a seriously unbalancing advantage.
>
>Assessing the speed:
>In the books it is not clear which acceleration is actually provided by this
>advantage,

That's because no such acceleration is actually provided by this
advantage. Enhanced Time Sense is just amped up Combat Reflexes.
It has no bearing on how fast you learn.
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 10:34:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

"David Johnston" <rgorman@telusplanet.net> ha scritto nel messaggio
news:425a285e.511583@news.telusplanet.net...
> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 12:27:22 +0200, "Inverno"
> <invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >I've quite a game balancement problem with this advantage. Thanks in
advance
> >for any insight provided.
> >
> >In the rules it says that it doesn't slow down the world to the
character,
> >but it also says that it dramatically speeds up its ability to process
> >information. This usually is no issue, as one needs to wait for the eyes
to
> >focus in order to read at such speed, but when this is coupled with
access
> >to fast information networks and a neural interface directly connected to
> >ones super-fast brain this becomes a seriously unbalancing advantage.
> >
> >Assessing the speed:
> >In the books it is not clear which acceleration is actually provided by
this
> >advantage,
>
> That's because no such acceleration is actually provided by this
> advantage. Enhanced Time Sense is just amped up Combat Reflexes.
> It has no bearing on how fast you learn.
>

It seems to be far more than amped up Combat Reflexes, as it seems self
evident when one reads the description of the advantage where it says that
"your rapid thought processes always allow you to -ponder- a problem
thoroughly" and "You never suffer skill penalties for being mentally
rushed - although you still need the usual amount of time to complete
a -physical- task..."
It is hard to give a rational for being able to ponder a problem thoroughly,
no matter the hurry, but not being able to work at similar speeds 'later'.
When a human reacts just 'faster' then we see no relation to the more
brain-demanding tasks, you don't expect a man with combat reflexes to
actually study or read more quickly, this is because the increase in
reaction times was still within human norm, but when you consider such
dramatic boots in what we are used to call reactivity then that becomes a
faster way of thinking. Gurps seems to associate the ability to process
information to reactivity, which I find quite correct, and it is reflected
in its description of ETS. Isn't the ability to 'visualize' every frame a
result of being able to process every frame in an Nth of a second? And thus,
what stops you from reading at the same speed? After all you can ponder
about extremely quick situations, hard to show that if the situation is
instead slow you shouldn't be able to ponder about it with equal efficiency.
I need good answers for my players, telling them that 'it isn't how it
works' won't satisfy them (nor me) when everything in the description points
at extremely high speeds of thought.
Related resources
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 11:35:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 18:34:59 +0200, "Inverno"
<invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:



>information to reactivity, which I find quite correct, and it is reflected
>in its description of ETS. Isn't the ability to 'visualize' every frame a
>result of being able to process every frame in an Nth of a second? And thus,
>what stops you from reading at the same speed?

Blinding headaches from eyestrain and mental fatigue from trying to
mentally go bullet time days without a break. Try to stay in bullet
time all day, and you'll quite quickly find yourself hallucinating
from dream deprivation while at the same time quite unable to sleep
because your body is fully rested while your mind is exhausted. Quite
apart from that, skills, even intellectual skills are usually not
acquired simply by reading a book or downloading a text file but
through some kind of actual interaction. You have to actually speak
the language, do the lab work, acquire the field experience if you are
to have more than the most superficial understanding.
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 2:27:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

"David Johnston" <rgorman@telusplanet.net> ha scritto nel messaggio
news:425a73e5.19849301@news.telusplanet.net...
> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 18:34:59 +0200, "Inverno"
> <invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> >information to reactivity, which I find quite correct, and it is
reflected
> >in its description of ETS. Isn't the ability to 'visualize' every frame a
> >result of being able to process every frame in an Nth of a second? And
thus,
> >what stops you from reading at the same speed?
>
> Blinding headaches from eyestrain and mental fatigue from trying to
> mentally go bullet time days without a break. Try to stay in bullet
> time all day, and you'll quite quickly find yourself hallucinating
> from dream deprivation while at the same time quite unable to sleep
> because your body is fully rested while your mind is exhausted. Quite
> apart from that, skills, even intellectual skills are usually not
> acquired simply by reading a book or downloading a text file but
> through some kind of actual interaction. You have to actually speak
> the language, do the lab work, acquire the field experience if you are
> to have more than the most superficial understanding.
>
>

Yes, that's exactly the kind of reasons I mounted up at first, but I soon
withdrew them myself:
The problem comes from TS technology, there's no eyestrain as informations
are fed directly to the high-speed brain through datalinks.
They wouldn't have to stay reactive days in a row, even just a few hours a
day is still more than enough to gain huge amounts of training time.
You likely are an AI so you don't have a body and, if you sleep, it's
entirely a 'mind' related fact.
As about learning that's again solved (and thus becomes a problem) thanks to
TS basic technology, with virtual reality providing completely immersive
environment which you may easily have running at fast forward speed, and in
which you virtual body suffers no limitations, thus being able to follow
your extremely reactive brain, the argument that sums it all up, and which
began my dilemmas, was something like:"Alright, I may see every single frame
in a movie, thus I may put my educational sims into 20x speed and still
follow them easily."
I had also thought of a 'burst of activity' interpretation:"Yes, you can
count frames and spot bullets, but that's a feat that you can't do
continuously without suffering from purely mental strain as you push your
mind too long too much." But this is entirely speculation, as there's no
fatigue mentioned in the rules and I wouldn't agree on it myself, you have
no limitations on the Combat Reflexes advantage, saying that you won't be
able to keep up on reacting quickly for a while, quite the opposite, the
bonuses are always applied, the +1 to active defenses doesn't wear off
during a long combat, and I wouldn't expect it to. If you are trained to
react quickly your brain will always react quickly, and, if you are -built-
with enhanced time sense I see no reason this should be valid only in
bursts.
This matter I have discussed with my players for a while the other night,
I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm asking questions for which I have negative
answers ready to use, I appreciate the effort and now we should be almost to
the point were we stopped the other night.
Beginning from here, my next point, which would at least partially limit the
learning speed, would be about the actual process of learning, postulating
that, while thinking quickly is one thing, the act of learning involves
modifications in the brain structure (be it biological or machine in nature)
and that, even if you run your evaluative thoughts at high speed your brain
might fail to adapt to them at the same speed, thus reducing the
effectiveness of such high speed education. Much like being in such an hurry
that in the end you realize that your short term memory didn't actually have
time to get translated into long term memory and thus you didn't 'hold' much
of what you experienced.
It is a mess even to just have it sound reasonable, especially since the
darn SAI got his nifty eidetic memory 2 and it sounds weird that an entity
whose brain runs in the hundreds of terahertz has such learning structures
that can't evolve following 60 actions a second, but it is pretty much my
last option so far.
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 2:27:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 22:27:55 +0200, "Inverno"
<invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:

>
>"David Johnston" <rgorman@telusplanet.net> ha scritto nel messaggio
>news:425a73e5.19849301@news.telusplanet.net...
>> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 18:34:59 +0200, "Inverno"
>> <invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>> >information to reactivity, which I find quite correct, and it is
>reflected
>> >in its description of ETS. Isn't the ability to 'visualize' every frame a
>> >result of being able to process every frame in an Nth of a second? And
>thus,
>> >what stops you from reading at the same speed?
>>
>> Blinding headaches from eyestrain and mental fatigue from trying to
>> mentally go bullet time days without a break. Try to stay in bullet
>> time all day, and you'll quite quickly find yourself hallucinating
>> from dream deprivation while at the same time quite unable to sleep
>> because your body is fully rested while your mind is exhausted. Quite
>> apart from that, skills, even intellectual skills are usually not
>> acquired simply by reading a book or downloading a text file but
>> through some kind of actual interaction. You have to actually speak
>> the language, do the lab work, acquire the field experience if you are
>> to have more than the most superficial understanding.
>>
>>
>
>Yes, that's exactly the kind of reasons I mounted up at first, but I soon
>withdrew them myself:
>The problem comes from TS technology, there's no eyestrain as informations
>are fed directly to the high-speed brain through datalinks.
>They wouldn't have to stay reactive days in a row, even just a few hours a
>day is still more than enough to gain huge amounts of training time.
>You likely are an AI so you don't have a body and, if you sleep, it's
>entirely a 'mind' related fact.

If you're an AI, why are you learning anything? Why not just download
skills as needed and erase them to free up memory when done?
"Modular Abilities", that's the way to go.
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 11:27:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 12:27:22 +0200, "Inverno"
<invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:

>I've quite a game balancement problem with this advantage. Thanks in advance
>for any insight provided.

IMVHO, this advantage doesn't speed up learning.
First of all, it would have said so. ^__^

Second, it's just a matter of hyper-reflexes and being able to REACT
quickly.

It's an highly un-realistic advantage, so that a GM can easily rule
that memory (necessary to learning something) doesn't follow the speed
of the accelerated processes.

If you want more detail, you could rule that memory works differently
when "writing" (memorizing) and when "reading" (recalling from
memory), and say only the latter part is accelerated by the advantage.

You can also detail more, by saying short-term memory is accelerated
(so that one can remember what he did in the accelerated perception),
but long-term memory still needs normal human time of learning
(reading or doing something many times to memorize it, for example).
This is (if GM wishes) true both for "always on" or "swithable"
advantage (same cost, IIRC).

This was for in-game explaination. In rules: if you want a character
able to learn FAST, buy him/her the appropriate advantages. Modular
Abilities can be an example.

If the GM rules it's NOT possible to have E.T.S. without being able to
learn fast (because he wants it to be that way), he should force the
characters to buy both E.T.S. AND the memory advantage(s), or nothing
at all.

I think all option are available, but E.T.S. "per se" DOESN'T affect
memory.

Hope this is of help.
Korin Duval

--

"Truth requires a great amount of courage;
Fiction requires a great amount of maturity."
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 2:10:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

"Korin Duval" <korinNOduvalSPAM@yahoo.it> ha scritto nel messaggio
news:425ac8de.896406@powernews.libero.it...
> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 12:27:22 +0200, "Inverno"
> <invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >I've quite a game balancement problem with this advantage. Thanks in
advance
> >for any insight provided.
>
> IMVHO, this advantage doesn't speed up learning.
> First of all, it would have said so. ^__^
>

Of course it doesn't, as I explained in the other branch of the thread, my
problem isn't about a direct application of the rules, but rather about this
new approach my players came out with, which is, sadly, quite fitting to how
the whole effect is described (see my quotes of the rules in the other
branch). If a player got telekinesis and microscopic vision high enough to
see single atoms he might be able to try to generate a telekinesis-induced
fusion reaction, it is not said in the rules that this is impossible, and
there would be no reason for it to be impossible, thus these two powers,
when combined, might be worth much more than listed if the GM allows it, but
if he doesn't allow it, which would be the rationale given to the players?

> Second, it's just a matter of hyper-reflexes and being able to REACT
> quickly.
>

It can be argued that such an high reaction rate can be applied to actions
which are not critical, but rather mundane and continuous. Reacting is just
processing information and doing something about it, as it is clear in the
definition of the advantage in the rules, and it does make sense.

> It's an highly un-realistic advantage, so that a GM can easily rule
> that memory (necessary to learning something) doesn't follow the speed
> of the accelerated processes.
>

An un-realistic advantage which is common to every single SAI of Transhuman
Space, but yes, that's my final option, as I said in the other branch, for
lowering the potential learning rate, problem is that they are Complexity 8
machines, which should have pretty quick learning structures. Besides, when
considering todays primitive learning software and the training sequences
for software neural nets, it is obvious that such architectures have no
problems in stabilizing what they learn even if they act at a speed of many
gigahertz.

>
> I think all option are available, but E.T.S. "per se" DOESN'T affect
> memory.
>

Yep, my problems lie with the 'original' approaches which TS technology
allows my players ;) 

> Hope this is of help.
> Korin Duval
>

Thanks for the interest!
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 2:41:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

"David Johnston" <rgorman@telusplanet.net> ha scritto nel messaggio
news:425a9b3f.29924909@news.telusplanet.net...
> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 22:27:55 +0200, "Inverno"
> <invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >
> >"David Johnston" <rgorman@telusplanet.net> ha scritto nel messaggio
> >news:425a73e5.19849301@news.telusplanet.net...
> >> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 18:34:59 +0200, "Inverno"
> >> <invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> >information to reactivity, which I find quite correct, and it is
> >reflected
> >> >in its description of ETS. Isn't the ability to 'visualize' every
frame a
> >> >result of being able to process every frame in an Nth of a second? And
> >thus,
> >> >what stops you from reading at the same speed?
> >>
> >> Blinding headaches from eyestrain and mental fatigue from trying to
> >> mentally go bullet time days without a break. Try to stay in bullet
> >> time all day, and you'll quite quickly find yourself hallucinating
> >> from dream deprivation while at the same time quite unable to sleep
> >> because your body is fully rested while your mind is exhausted. Quite
> >> apart from that, skills, even intellectual skills are usually not
> >> acquired simply by reading a book or downloading a text file but
> >> through some kind of actual interaction. You have to actually speak
> >> the language, do the lab work, acquire the field experience if you are
> >> to have more than the most superficial understanding.
> >>
> >>
> >
> >Yes, that's exactly the kind of reasons I mounted up at first, but I soon
> >withdrew them myself:
> >The problem comes from TS technology, there's no eyestrain as
informations
> >are fed directly to the high-speed brain through datalinks.
> >They wouldn't have to stay reactive days in a row, even just a few hours
a
> >day is still more than enough to gain huge amounts of training time.
> >You likely are an AI so you don't have a body and, if you sleep, it's
> >entirely a 'mind' related fact.
>
> If you're an AI, why are you learning anything? Why not just download
> skills as needed and erase them to free up memory when done?

Because it's Transhuman Space, you can have software run on an AI (and
memory issues are not a problem considering available data storage
technology) but AI themselves are mostly taught their skills and then they
continue learning, the fact that a customer can buy AIs who have already
been taught skills he might need is actually another point against limiting
an AI's learning speed: it costs 100$ per extra character point used for
skills of advantages to buy a pre-learned AI. Once you pay for the hardware
and the standard SAI software the extra for skills is thus very cheap: the
equal of an expert professional in a scientific field, say, an AI
neurosurgeon with 40 points put in surgery, chemistry, medicine, physiology
and electronic operations (medical) would cost you just $4000. That shows
that the companies offering such pre-learned AIs can teach the AIs the
skills they need at very low cost, which in turn implies it is quite quick:
if you had to wait 200 * 40 hours (in excess of two years of intensive
training) before you could sell your AI to the customer you would have him
pay a lot more.
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 6:03:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 22:27:55 +0200, "Inverno"
<invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:

[...]
>As about learning that's again solved (and thus becomes a problem) thanks to
>TS basic technology, with virtual reality providing completely immersive
>environment which you may easily have running at fast forward speed, and in
>which you virtual body suffers no limitations, thus being able to follow
>your extremely reactive brain,
[...]

Ok.
So, the PC(s) are able to do this by background.

Don't worry.

I think E.T.S. is NOT enough to represent this (reasons explained in
my other post), so they should buy (in a template or individually,
according to the setting) some kind of memory advantage, and their
point value rises, to represent the "fast learning" part not
represented by E.T.S. alone.

If -all- PC are ALWAYS able to do this, you can factor it as "a gift",
saying (instead of, let's say, "250 points PC"): "you can build 180
points PC, and you have E.T.S., Eidetic Memory and this amount of
Modular Abilities for free. You can buy more if you want. Enjoy."

That way, they'll feel like they recieved a gift, not robbed by a
right they think to have.

If every PC is able to do it, you can give it for free, since it's not
an "imbalance factor", and you can keep what they are able to learn
under control by out-of-game factors, like the amount of Modular
Abilities they have.

Korin Duval

--

"Truth requires a great amount of courage;
Fiction requires a great amount of maturity."
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 6:39:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 10:10:26 +0200, "Inverno"
<invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:

[...]
>> IMVHO, this advantage doesn't speed up learning.
>> First of all, it would have said so. ^__^
>>
>
>Of course it doesn't, as I explained in the other branch of the thread, my
>problem isn't about a direct application of the rules, but rather about this
>new approach my players came out with, which is, sadly, quite fitting to how
>the whole effect is described (see my quotes of the rules in the other
>branch).

Let's just say the manual explained that way because it was easier to
understand... And your player are trying "to get away with it". ^___^;

>If a player got telekinesis and microscopic vision high enough to
>see single atoms he might be able to try to generate a telekinesis-induced
>fusion reaction, it is not said in the rules that this is impossible, and
>there would be no reason for it to be impossible, thus these two powers,
>when combined, might be worth much more than listed if the GM allows it, but
>if he doesn't allow it, which would be the rationale given to the players?

Another puzzle, uh?
I'd say they can try... With an EXTREMELY HIGH penalty to skill, so
that 3 is critical success, 4 a success, 5 or more a critical failure.
Of course, when they are concentrated on a single bunch of atoms, the
other atoms can go out of control more quickly than they caould even
realize.
A part from this, the PC will need a BIG amount of TK to overcome the
so-called "strong nuclear force" (I hope my translation is right).

[...]
>> It's an highly un-realistic advantage, so that a GM can easily rule
>> that memory (necessary to learning something) doesn't follow the speed
>> of the accelerated processes.
>
>An un-realistic advantage which is common to every single SAI of Transhuman
>Space,

I'll explain better: since GURPS defines advantages more or less as
"add-on"s form a standard human condition, I think they should be
taken as restrictively as possible.

So, defining "un-realistic" an advantage means also one must pay close
attention, since nothing which isn't clearly stated isn't provided.

> but yes, that's my final option, as I said in the other branch, for
>lowering the potential learning rate, problem is that they are Complexity 8
>machines, which should have pretty quick learning structures.

You'll have to add appropriate advantages. I have no manual here with
me, so I'll leave to other the options.

[...]
>> I think all option are available, but E.T.S. "per se" DOESN'T affect
>> memory.
>
>Yep, my problems lie with the 'original' approaches which TS technology
>allows my players ;) 

Players... They always, always, ALWAYS try... ^_________^

Korin Duval

--

"Truth requires a great amount of courage;
Fiction requires a great amount of maturity."
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 8:43:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

"Korin Duval" <korinNOduvalSPAM@yahoo.it> ha scritto nel messaggio
news:425b7f24.1135578@powernews.libero.it...
> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 22:27:55 +0200, "Inverno"
> <invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> [...]
> >As about learning that's again solved (and thus becomes a problem) thanks
to
> >TS basic technology, with virtual reality providing completely immersive
> >environment which you may easily have running at fast forward speed, and
in
> >which you virtual body suffers no limitations, thus being able to follow
> >your extremely reactive brain,
> [...]
>
> Ok.
> So, the PC(s) are able to do this by background.
>
> Don't worry.
>
> I think E.T.S. is NOT enough to represent this (reasons explained in
> my other post), so they should buy (in a template or individually,
> according to the setting) some kind of memory advantage, and their
> point value rises, to represent the "fast learning" part not
> represented by E.T.S. alone.
>

Well, of course, we could also say that ETS applied to cybernetic brains
plus virtual reality gives more than the simple ETS, before taking care of
how to model these applied effects into GURPS terms though, I was worried on
how to limit and avoid them to some extent, as my campaign (and in general
the game world) would be quite stressed to try contain the results of such a
'gift' if I were to allow it. This definitely places non biological
characters well above biologic sapients and, as I said in the beginning, the
value of ETS in a campaign were such technologies are present should be far
higher (i.e. to add other advantages to represent such applications of
ETS)... I think I'll combine the short term-long term memory rationale with
the fact that effective high-speed learning simulations are expensive (and
if you try to learn through free, non-interactive documents you get a huge
slow down for the more complex skills) to slow this down to something like
'just' 10 times faster learning. Then I'll modify the template for SAIs and
probably LAIs with a limited amount of learning-ehnancement to reflect this
potentially higher ratio of learning, but later, first I need some reason to
avoid them embarking on Taiko station as relatively high powered posthumans
and arrive to the mars space elevator as 1200 pts. encyclopedic demi-gods.

> If every PC is able to do it, you can give it for free, since it's not
> an "imbalance factor",

Yeah, but intragroup balance was only part of the issue, I am concerned with
world balance.

> you can keep what they are able to learn
> under control by out-of-game factors, like the amount of Modular
> Abilities they have.
>

No, modular abilities do work nicely to model standard computer programs
running on today's machines, not the TL9 learning architectures of
Transhuman Space's computers. Having infomorphs use some kind of slots to
use skills, with limited memory and the like, would strongly go against the
setting, which clearly sets a difference between software to run and learned
skills.
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 9:17:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

"Korin Duval" <korinNOduvalSPAM@yahoo.it> ha scritto nel messaggio
news:425bddd2.5453796@powernews.libero.it...
> On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 10:10:26 +0200, "Inverno"
> <invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> [...]
> >> IMVHO, this advantage doesn't speed up learning.
> >> First of all, it would have said so. ^__^
> >>
> >
> >Of course it doesn't, as I explained in the other branch of the thread,
my
> >problem isn't about a direct application of the rules, but rather about
this
> >new approach my players came out with, which is, sadly, quite fitting to
how
> >the whole effect is described (see my quotes of the rules in the other
> >branch).
>
> Let's just say the manual explained that way because it was easier to
> understand... And your player are trying "to get away with it". ^___^;
>
> >If a player got telekinesis and microscopic vision high enough to
> >see single atoms he might be able to try to generate a
telekinesis-induced
> >fusion reaction, it is not said in the rules that this is impossible, and
> >there would be no reason for it to be impossible, thus these two powers,
> >when combined, might be worth much more than listed if the GM allows it,
but
> >if he doesn't allow it, which would be the rationale given to the
players?
>
> Another puzzle, uh?
> I'd say they can try... With an EXTREMELY HIGH penalty to skill, so
> that 3 is critical success, 4 a success, 5 or more a critical failure.
> Of course, when they are concentrated on a single bunch of atoms, the
> other atoms can go out of control more quickly than they caould even
> realize.

Oh well, this one has yet to occur to them, and we have no psionics
campaigns running at the moment, but I doubt I would be able to give such
high penalties, especially if you consider that with enough microscopic
vision you can see atoms pretty large and well defined, then you focus on a
couple hidrogen ones, ignoring the rest, and... let's get the party started
:-)

> A part from this, the PC will need a BIG amount of TK to overcome the
> so-called "strong nuclear force" (I hope my translation is right).
>

Would you? Considering the extremely small quantity of matter present in a
couple hidrogen atoms, their extremely small surfaces and the fact that TK
works on mass, one would need calculate this and that, but I guesstimate
that even just a couple pounds of push applied on the surface of a single
atom would generate a pretty huge pressure, likely enough to ignite fusion.
I wonder if they could use this system to provide power to small appliances:
"Hey, how comes the psyscanner is still working? Have you got
electrokinesis?"
"Nope but, you see that? It's a small steam turbine that generates 1,5
Volts, 0,02 A alternate when running at 2000 rpm... and that's the steam
collector that feeds it with the steam escaping from that little cylinder
over there, just above the scanner's CPU you see?"
"Yeah but how do you get the steam?"
"Oh, I warm the water in the small cylinder to 100°C, of course."
"Ah! I didn't know you had pyrokinesis powers."
"Nah, I'm just pretty good with my nano-cameras and my Telekinesis, in
fact."
"Uh?"
"Yeah, ever tried squeezing atoms between your telekinetic fingers? It can
turn useful at times."

> [...]
> >> It's an highly un-realistic advantage, so that a GM can easily rule
> >> that memory (necessary to learning something) doesn't follow the speed
> >> of the accelerated processes.
> >
> >An un-realistic advantage which is common to every single SAI of
Transhuman
> >Space,
>
> I'll explain better: since GURPS defines advantages more or less as
> "add-on"s form a standard human condition, I think they should be
> taken as restrictively as possible.
>
> So, defining "un-realistic" an advantage means also one must pay close
> attention, since nothing which isn't clearly stated isn't provided.
>
> > but yes, that's my final option, as I said in the other branch, for
> >lowering the potential learning rate, problem is that they are Complexity
8
> >machines, which should have pretty quick learning structures.
>
> You'll have to add appropriate advantages. I have no manual here with
> me, so I'll leave to other the options.
>

Eh, wish that modeling such effects in Gurps terms were my only trouble ;-)
I first have to avoid them break the setting.

> [...]
> >> I think all option are available, but E.T.S. "per se" DOESN'T affect
> >> memory.
> >
> >Yep, my problems lie with the 'original' approaches which TS technology
> >allows my players ;) 
>
> Players... They always, always, ALWAYS try... ^_________^
>

Oh yeah, and with me they know they can succeed at times, I'm not permissive
usually, but just because I can usually find good reasons as to why
something can't work.
April 13, 2005 1:32:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

I'm afraid that my gurps knowledge is rusty, rather old now.
but I’d like to throw a few observations/comments your way.
(I think too much!) :-)

>> >If a player got telekinesis and microscopic vision high enough to
>> >see single atoms he might be able to try to generate a
>telekinesis-induced fusion reaction, it is not said in the rules that this is impossible,

I think you'll find that the wavelength of light would be what
prevents microscopic vision from seeing atoms.
I'd have no problem with clairvoyance used to 'know' what's happening
at the molecular level, though.

>> >and there would be no reason for it to be impossible, thus these two powers,
>> >when combined, might be worth much more than listed if the GM allows it,
>but if he doesn't allow it, which would be the rationale given to the
>players?
>>
>> Another puzzle, uh?
>> I'd say they can try... With an EXTREMELY HIGH penalty to skill, so
>> that 3 is critical success, 4 a success, 5 or more a critical failure.
>> Of course, when they are concentrated on a single bunch of atoms, the
>> other atoms can go out of control more quickly than they caould even
>> realize.

When under no control they'd just move about, not dangerous.
In fact I'd go the other way with this one.
Yes you can grab a couple of atoms and force them together, and hold
them long enough and they will fuse. Wow.
Unfortunately a single molecular fusion alone is way too small to do
well anything very much. So tell me, can you do this to several
hundred per second? :-P

>Oh well, this one has yet to occur to them, and we have no psionics
>campaigns running at the moment, but I doubt I would be able to give such
>high penalties, especially if you consider that with enough microscopic
>vision you can see atoms pretty large and well defined, then you focus on a
>couple hydrogen ones, ignoring the rest, and... let's get the party started
>:-)

Except for the restrictions of the wavelength of light, sound
vibrations on the sample, and on the eye for that matter....
Stuff moves Fast down there!

>> A part from this, the PC will need a BIG amount of TK to overcome the
>> so-called "strong nuclear force" (I hope my translation is right).
>
>Would you? Considering the extremely small quantity of matter present in a
>couple hydrogen atoms, their extremely small surfaces and the fact that TK
>works on mass, one would need calculate this and that, but I guesstimate
>that even just a couple pounds of push applied on the surface of a single
>atom would generate a pretty huge pressure, likely enough to ignite fusion.

I'd go with you on this one, if you have even the tinniest TK you have
the strength enough.
In fact even if you don't have TK, any psi power would grant it.
(I go by the philosophy that a Psi has 'all' powers, but that they are
really good at the ones recorded on the sheet.)

No, Fusion could be done a different way though.
Take a item, crush to a point. Crush the point to a point, and so on.
Heat would be liberated, and it'd prolly try to explode.
At some er, 'point', the atoms would fuse.
Now this *would* require some Strong PK, but not too much.
You don't want to make a singularity :-)

Do you?

--

Mik :-)


The line below is true
The line above is false
April 13, 2005 3:04:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 16:43:06 +0200, "Inverno"
<invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:

>
>"Korin Duval" <korinNOduvalSPAM@yahoo.it> ha scritto nel messaggio
>news:425b7f24.1135578@powernews.libero.it...
>> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 22:27:55 +0200, "Inverno"
>> <invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> [...]
>> >As about learning that's again solved (and thus becomes a problem) thanks
>to
>> >TS basic technology, with virtual reality providing completely immersive
>> >environment which you may easily have running at fast forward speed, and
>in
>> >which you virtual body suffers no limitations, thus being able to follow
>> >your extremely reactive brain,
>> [...]
>>
>> Ok.
>> So, the PC(s) are able to do this by background.
>>
>> Don't worry.
>>
>> I think E.T.S. is NOT enough to represent this (reasons explained in
>> my other post), so they should buy (in a template or individually,
>> according to the setting) some kind of memory advantage, and their
>> point value rises, to represent the "fast learning" part not
>> represented by E.T.S. alone.
>>
>
>Well, of course, we could also say that ETS applied to cybernetic brains
>plus virtual reality gives more than the simple ETS, before taking care of
>how to model these applied effects into GURPS terms though, I was worried on
>how to limit and avoid them to some extent, as my campaign (and in general
>the game world) would be quite stressed to try contain the results of such a
>'gift' if I were to allow it. This definitely places non biological
>characters well above biologic sapients and, as I said in the beginning, the
>value of ETS in a campaign were such technologies are present should be far
>higher (i.e. to add other advantages to represent such applications of
>ETS)... I think I'll combine the short term-long term memory rationale with
>the fact that effective high-speed learning simulations are expensive (and
>if you try to learn through free, non-interactive documents you get a huge
>slow down for the more complex skills) to slow this down to something like
>'just' 10 times faster learning. Then I'll modify the template for SAIs and
>probably LAIs with a limited amount of learning-ehnancement to reflect this
>potentially higher ratio of learning, but later, first I need some reason to
>avoid them embarking on Taiko station as relatively high powered posthumans
>and arrive to the mars space elevator as 1200 pts. encyclopedic demi-gods.
>

Interpretation. The brain, while in essence a single unit, contains a
bit of internal modualisation. Thus sensory information has to be
interpreted and translated into a form that the cognative portions of
the brain can deal with.

To take a current example, the biggest limit on the speed of computers
today is information transfer rate. Your CPU may be as fast as greased
lightning, your Graphics Card crunches numbers like an industrial rock
crusher, and your RAM is the electronic equivilent of Thrust SSC, but if
your HD trundels along (reletively) as fast as a man with a broken leg
and the BUS is stuck in first then you aren't going to get Quake going
as fast as you like.

The trick with moving pictures is that the individual frames/pics a) are
replaced quickly enough for the visual cortex to blur them together and
b) have a relatively small amout of change between them.

The visual cortex gets images from the eyes at rate X ( ~ 1/24th of a
second, given that the speed most films ran at was 24 frames per
second), it then processes it in time Y and sends it to the cognative
center at rate Z. With E.T.S, the visual cortex may take 1/60th Y to
process, and the cognative center may be able to process information at
60nZ (with n being the normal multiplyer of extra capacity of the
brain), but the visual-cognative interface may only have capacity for
maybe 4Z.

You can only process the information as fast as you can get it.
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 10:34:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 16:43:06 +0200, "Inverno"
<invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:

[...]
>potentially higher ratio of learning, but later, first I need some reason to
>avoid them embarking on Taiko station as relatively high powered posthumans
>and arrive to the mars space elevator as 1200 pts. encyclopedic demi-gods.

Metagame: point awards control. They cannot buy anything without
haveing experience to spend.

Un-realistic, but it works. ^___^;

>> If every PC is able to do it, you can give it for free, since it's not
>> an "imbalance factor",
>
>Yeah, but intragroup balance was only part of the issue, I am concerned with
>world balance.

Let's say memory has a limit, even human memory.
So, not everyone is able to leanr everything that fast. (see below)

>> you can keep what they are able to learn
>> under control by out-of-game factors, like the amount of Modular
>> Abilities they have.
>
>No, modular abilities do work nicely to model standard computer programs
>running on today's machines, not the TL9 learning architectures of
>Transhuman Space's computers. Having infomorphs use some kind of slots to
>use skills, with limited memory and the like, would strongly go against the
>setting, which clearly sets a difference between software to run and learned
>skills.

I know NOTHING of the setting, so let me know: these machines are able
to record EVERYTHING and to learn as fast as they can download?
And to use it at once, without delay, every time it is needed?

It seems thousand of points worth, if it is so.

I mean, in this setting teaching is dead? If you can download all you
need, and remember and use it without limit, it would be a
trascendence to really un uppel level of dis-humanity.

Korin Duval

--

"Truth requires a great amount of courage;
Fiction requires a great amount of maturity."
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 10:34:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 17:17:26 +0200, "Inverno"
<invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:

[...]
>> A part from this, the PC will need a BIG amount of TK to overcome the
>> so-called "strong nuclear force" (I hope my translation is right).
>
>Would you? Considering the extremely small quantity of matter present in a
>couple hidrogen atoms, their extremely small surfaces and the fact that TK
>works on mass, one would need calculate this and that, but I guesstimate
>that even just a couple pounds of push applied on the surface of a single
>atom would generate a pretty huge pressure, likely enough to ignite fusion.

I'd like to ask a nuclear expert.
AFAIR, to split an atom requires LOTS of energy.

>I wonder if they could use this system to provide power to small appliances:

Any kind of psi power can generate energy from nothing, except maybe
mind reading and the like...

>"Hey, how comes the psyscanner is still working? Have you got
>electrokinesis?"
[...]
>"Nah, I'm just pretty good with my nano-cameras and my Telekinesis, in
>fact."
>"Uh?"
>"Yeah, ever tried squeezing atoms between your telekinetic fingers? It can
>turn useful at times."

In GURPS 3rd ed. PK and pyrokinesis were part of the same power, in
effect, but it gave PKers a HUGE point discount on a wide array of
powers!

However, I think the PK alone cannot be used to boil water, because if
applied focused to atoms, it would take too few atoms (or molecules)
to heat the whole.
If you affect the water as a mass, you can move it, not heat it.
If you heat the water by internal movement... It's pyrokinesis! ^__^;

[...]
>> You'll have to add appropriate advantages. I have no manual here with
>> me, so I'll leave to other the options.
>
>Eh, wish that modeling such effects in Gurps terms were my only trouble ;-)
>I first have to avoid them break the setting.

Try to explain it in mundane terms: what are they able to do?
Then, convert to GURPS, adding new advantages when the coverage of the
first ones ends.

[...]
>> Players... They always, always, ALWAYS try... ^_________^
>
>Oh yeah, and with me they know they can succeed at times, I'm not permissive
>usually, but just because I can usually find good reasons as to why
>something can't work.

^____^
An art every GM should master.

Korin Duval

--

"Truth requires a great amount of courage;
Fiction requires a great amount of maturity."
Anonymous
April 14, 2005 1:34:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

In article <425cd5ac.1824140@powernews.libero.it>,
Korin Duval <korinNOduvalSPAM@yahoo.it> wrote:
>
>I mean, in this setting teaching is dead? If you can download all you
>need, and remember and use it without limit, it would be a
>trascendence to really un uppel level of dis-humanity.

There was a neuroscientist on CNN (Europe) yesterday who said some
things about memory, lack thereof and abundance thereof. Apparantly,
there is a neurological disorder (the name of which escaped me, but he
did call it photographic memory for the benefit of the
non-neuroscientists among us) that prevents you from ever forgetting
anything. All memories of all you have experienced are equally vivid
and clear to you. This turned out to be severely debilitating to the
subject as it became increasingly impossible for him to sort out the
relevant memories for any given situation. (I paraphrase of course.)

The neuroscientist claimed that the ability to forget most of that
which you experience or learn and only hang on to the salient points
is extremely valuable, because this ensures that there is no more
information available at any given point than what your brain can
actually handle.

My speculation is that the brain automatically adds the memory in such
a way as to best fit how our brain is already laid out - the memory
thereby augments the existing brain and the existing brain structure
facilitates the retention of the memory. Each of us has a unique brain
structure and each of us therefore needs to discard different parts of
the experience and we end up retaining different main memories of the
event.

The secret to learning a lot fast may therefore not be so much about
being able to remember everything, but about being capable of
distilling the essence of the teachings _as appropriate to your brain
structure_ so that you retain enough for it to be useful, but not so
much that it becomes a problem.

This particular process may or may not be faster in AIs than it is in
humans and it is not clear why ETS should have a direct effect on
it. Regardless of how fast the analytical and decision-making parts of
your mind work, updating your neural net in an appropriate manner
could be a somewhat laborious task in comparison. In fact, use of ETS
might be debilitating to retention of the experience - a combat spent
in bullet time may be recalled as little more than a frenzied blur, a
book read in bullet time might have you remember the general plot but
forget who the main characters were (sounds like a decent limitation
to buy for ETS actually).

I would rather think that a "Fast Learner" type advantage would be
needed. Talents do something along these lines albeit with a limited
scope.

What AIs clearly _can_ do is have some auxilliary storage with
databases, algorithms and whatnot in it which they can tap into to
solve problems they are themselves incapable of. These, as was
mentioned by others, would be modular abilites. Humans already do
something similar to this by lugging around pocket translators,
calculators and whatnot.

They can also presumably carry enough memory so they can record
everything they see, hear and otherwise experience. This would enable
them to quickly look up anything, but it would not allow them to
easily assimilate the experiences into their neural network any more
than what happened naturally (except by repeated viewing of their
recordings anyway - "Strange Days" flashback time :-).

Cheers
Bent D
--
Bent Dalager - bcd@pvv.org - http://www.pvv.org/~bcd
powered by emacs
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 2:55:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

My philosohpy of GMing is when the rules collide with a particular
setting in such a way that campaign balance is destroyed, you simply
change the rules.

I'm not sure why being able to learn at a huge rate is a problem. I'm
guessing it's because you're allowing them to earn experience points
through study, which is a rule I've done away with long ago.

Overall though, if the advantage is worth 1,000 points in this
campaign, just charge 1,000 points for it. Either that or change the
write-up so it doesn't cause problems.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 6:52:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

Inverno wrote:

>Yes, of course I was thinking of it for small appliances, is your three
>trillionths of a Joule figure a good approximation? Say, for moderately
>heavy elements, up to Iron (afterwards I recall that there were further
>problems to get fusion)?
>
It is correct to one decimal place for deuterium - tritium fusion,
including the energy of the ejected neutron (which is usually lost -
neutron radiation is quite penetrating). For small reactors, expect
only the recoil energy of the helium-4 nucleus produced to give any
energy (about 20% of the total energy, or 0.6 trillionths of a Joule per
fusion event).

The deuterium - tritium fusion is on the high end of fusion energies,
for fusing arbitrary elements, expect to get less back out, perhaps
around an order of magnitude less. Deuterium - helium-3 fusion releases
about as much energy, although you have to push harder to get them
together, not that that is really an issue here. More importantly, all
the energy of the deuterium - helium-3 fusion comes out as charged
particles so it can all be recovered. Again, at 1.5 trillionths of a
watt of power, even this will not be of much help, you would need 40
trillion telekinetics working together to light one 60 watt lightbulb!

Luke
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 8:17:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

"Korin Duval" <korinNOduvalSPAM@yahoo.it> ha scritto nel messaggio
news:425cd758.2252531@powernews.libero.it...
> On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 17:17:26 +0200, "Inverno"
> <invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> [...]
> >> A part from this, the PC will need a BIG amount of TK to overcome the
> >> so-called "strong nuclear force" (I hope my translation is right).
> >
> >Would you? Considering the extremely small quantity of matter present in
a
> >couple hidrogen atoms, their extremely small surfaces and the fact that
TK
> >works on mass, one would need calculate this and that, but I guesstimate
> >that even just a couple pounds of push applied on the surface of a single
> >atom would generate a pretty huge pressure, likely enough to ignite
fusion.
>
> I'd like to ask a nuclear expert.
> AFAIR, to split an atom requires LOTS of energy.
>

Oh, nope, not at all, to plit an atom you just need a free neutron
intercepting the core of the atom you want to split, if you use an atom
which is large enough, like uranium, even a relatively slow neutron can
break it, that actually happens in nature continuously as part of a
radiating element's decayment process.

> >I wonder if they could use this system to provide power to small
appliances:
>
> Any kind of psi power can generate energy from nothing, except maybe
> mind reading and the like...
>

Yep, but it would be interesting to use such a complex method to have low TK
provide very miniaturized power sources ;) 

> >"Hey, how comes the psyscanner is still working? Have you got
> >electrokinesis?"
> [...]
> >"Nah, I'm just pretty good with my nano-cameras and my Telekinesis, in
> >fact."
> >"Uh?"
> >"Yeah, ever tried squeezing atoms between your telekinetic fingers? It
can
> >turn useful at times."
>
> In GURPS 3rd ed. PK and pyrokinesis were part of the same power, in
> effect, but it gave PKers a HUGE point discount on a wide array of
> powers!
>

I mean, obviously someone with Telekinesis and not pyrokinesis, people who
have bought the 4pts/level Telekinesis power, not the whole PK bundle.

> However, I think the PK alone cannot be used to boil water, because if
> applied focused to atoms, it would take too few atoms (or molecules)
> to heat the whole.

Maybe, this is why I wonder -if-, but, provided the water is little
enough... Imagine a water-steam cycle where you use a microgram of water,
powering a tiny turbine...
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 8:17:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

Inverno wrote:

>Oh, nope, not at all, to plit an atom you just need a free neutron
>intercepting the core of the atom you want to split, if you use an atom
>which is large enough, like uranium, even a relatively slow neutron can
>break it, that actually happens in nature continuously as part of a
>radiating element's decayment process.
>
Free neutrons only break apart certain very special (quite heavy)
nucleii. Slow free neutrons can only do this to isotopes with an odd
number of nucleons, the rest take fast neutrons. Now neutrons can make
lots of different isotopes (although by no means all of them) unstable,
so that they eventually decay via other radiative processes, but this is
not really splitting the atom. It is also not the usual method of
getting radioactive decay. Usually, no free neutrons are needed, the
nucleus just rearranges itself on its own (spitting out the odd bit of
refuse in the process, like an electron, positron, gamma ray, or helium
nucleus).

Luke
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 9:07:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

"mike" <mike@invariant.freeserve.co.uk> ha scritto nel messaggio
news:j2co51htms9mi9bdjab33r233ienla2aut@4ax.com...
>
> I'm afraid that my gurps knowledge is rusty, rather old now.
> but I'd like to throw a few observations/comments your way.
> (I think too much!) :-)
>
> >> >If a player got telekinesis and microscopic vision high enough to
> >> >see single atoms he might be able to try to generate a
> >telekinesis-induced fusion reaction, it is not said in the rules that
this is impossible,
>
> I think you'll find that the wavelength of light would be what
> prevents microscopic vision from seeing atoms.
> I'd have no problem with clairvoyance used to 'know' what's happening
> at the molecular level, though.
>

Well, that was already overcome by using shorter wavelenghts, frequencies
beyond the range of visible light, as we already do with our very real
electron-microscopes which are well able to get resolutions in the atomic
scale. When Gurps states that you can see stuff at such nanoscopic levels I
believe they imply the use of such technologies, none says the act of seeing
must always pass through a purely 'optical' chain. In TS such technology is
quite widespread, being a nanofacturing society in many ways.

> >> >and there would be no reason for it to be impossible, thus these two
powers,
> >> >when combined, might be worth much more than listed if the GM allows
it,
> >but if he doesn't allow it, which would be the rationale given to the
> >players?
> >>
> >> Another puzzle, uh?
> >> I'd say they can try... With an EXTREMELY HIGH penalty to skill, so
> >> that 3 is critical success, 4 a success, 5 or more a critical failure.
> >> Of course, when they are concentrated on a single bunch of atoms, the
> >> other atoms can go out of control more quickly than they caould even
> >> realize.
>
> When under no control they'd just move about, not dangerous.
> In fact I'd go the other way with this one.
> Yes you can grab a couple of atoms and force them together, and hold
> them long enough and they will fuse. Wow.
> Unfortunately a single molecular fusion alone is way too small to do
> well anything very much. So tell me, can you do this to several
> hundred per second? :-P
>

Yeah, I would be interested in figures for such nano-scale fusions, of
course I didn't presume it would be much. Maybe I'll research the delta-M
resulting of the fusion of the various elements on google and then calculate
the mass-energy produce myself.

> >Oh well, this one has yet to occur to them, and we have no psionics
> >campaigns running at the moment, but I doubt I would be able to give such
> >high penalties, especially if you consider that with enough microscopic
> >vision you can see atoms pretty large and well defined, then you focus on
a
> >couple hydrogen ones, ignoring the rest, and... let's get the party
started
> >:-)
>
> Except for the restrictions of the wavelength of light, sound
> vibrations on the sample, and on the eye for that matter....
> Stuff moves Fast down there!
>

Yep, heat-induced kinetic movement would be a problem. You might take a very
small quantity (but still more than a couple atoms) and first bring that
quantity to solid state through relatively high pressure, then focus on the
single atoms and begin fusing them.

> >> A part from this, the PC will need a BIG amount of TK to overcome the
> >> so-called "strong nuclear force" (I hope my translation is right).
> >
> >Would you? Considering the extremely small quantity of matter present in
a
> >couple hydrogen atoms, their extremely small surfaces and the fact that
TK
> >works on mass, one would need calculate this and that, but I guesstimate
> >that even just a couple pounds of push applied on the surface of a single
> >atom would generate a pretty huge pressure, likely enough to ignite
fusion.
>
> I'd go with you on this one, if you have even the tinniest TK you have
> the strength enough.
> In fact even if you don't have TK, any psi power would grant it.
> (I go by the philosophy that a Psi has 'all' powers, but that they are
> really good at the ones recorded on the sheet.)
>
> No, Fusion could be done a different way though.
> Take a item, crush to a point. Crush the point to a point, and so on.
> Heat would be liberated, and it'd prolly try to explode.
> At some er, 'point', the atoms would fuse.

That's a very interesting approach for larger scale fusions... maybe it
might be interesting to try to draw a table where you can read how much
telekinesis you need to generate a certain amount of energy per second
through this method, and what level of microscopic vision (or skill
modifier) should be applied. At some point, with enough telekinesis, you
might get enough heat localized in a point that a chain reaction would
become statistically likely, which would indeed lead to explosion.

> Now this *would* require some Strong PK, but not too much.
> You don't want to make a singularity :-)
>
> Do you?
>

Oh dear, better not to think of singularities :-) I was considering, some
months ago, on another list, that the way some electrical-based magic
effects are defined in D&D might allow for speculation on them actualy being
magnetic 'monopoles', this being another reason I don't master D&D often, my
usual group of players could destroy the universe through some paradox way
too easily ;-)
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 9:07:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

Inverno wrote:

>That's a very interesting approach for larger scale fusions... maybe it
>might be interesting to try to draw a table where you can read how much
>telekinesis you need to generate a certain amount of energy per second
>through this method, and what level of microscopic vision (or skill
>modifier) should be applied. At some point, with enough telekinesis, you
>might get enough heat localized in a point that a chain reaction would
>become statistically likely, which would indeed lead to explosion.
>
You can't actually get a runaway fusion reaction except under the most
extreme conditions. Basically, take matter at the pressure and
temperature found anywhere in the solar system except at the core of the
sun, and the heat and pressure from an arbitrarily large fusion
explosion will not heat and compress even the most fusable materials to
temperatures which will sustain fusion. This annoyed the early cold war
nuclear bomb scientists to no end, until they figured out how to
concentrate and focus the heat and pressure of a nuclear explosion to
produce a high fusion yeild (basically, you need an implosion rather
than an explosion to generate fusion. The difference between fusion and
fission in this regards is that you need a nuclear bomb to get
sufficient compression and heating from the implosion for fusion, with
fission, you can get away with chemical energies).

Now if one of your players starts messing around with fusing large
amounts of stuff along the axis of a heavy metal hollow cylinder, with
lots of additional fusable material also located along that axis, then
you might get a runaway reaction.

Luke
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 9:24:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

> Interpretation. The brain, while in essence a single unit, contains a
> bit of internal modualisation. Thus sensory information has to be
> interpreted and translated into a form that the cognative portions of
> the brain can deal with.
>
> To take a current example, the biggest limit on the speed of computers
> today is information transfer rate. Your CPU may be as fast as greased
> lightning, your Graphics Card crunches numbers like an industrial rock
> crusher, and your RAM is the electronic equivilent of Thrust SSC, but if
> your HD trundels along (reletively) as fast as a man with a broken leg
> and the BUS is stuck in first then you aren't going to get Quake going
> as fast as you like.
>

That's the reason why we use multilevel cache, paging strategies and exploit
the statistical fact of data locality ;) 

> The trick with moving pictures is that the individual frames/pics a) are
> replaced quickly enough for the visual cortex to blur them together and
> b) have a relatively small amout of change between them.
>
> The visual cortex gets images from the eyes at rate X ( ~ 1/24th of a
> second, given that the speed most films ran at was 24 frames per
> second), it then processes it in time Y and sends it to the cognative
> center at rate Z. With E.T.S, the visual cortex may take 1/60th Y to
> process, and the cognative center may be able to process information at
> 60nZ (with n being the normal multiplyer of extra capacity of the
> brain), but the visual-cognative interface may only have capacity for
> maybe 4Z.
>
> You can only process the information as fast as you can get it.
>

Yes, but, since we are considering engineered hardware I presume that
bottlenecks have been solved through today's or sci-fi methods and the
speeds I use are for the whole system. When you define a system running at a
certain speed in Gurps I presume you aren't talking about the gigahertzs of
its processor, but rather its overall average speed, otherwise it is just as
meaningless as today's habit of using CPU gigahertzs to evaluate a system's
speed, useful to pump up PC prices, but not so useful for game calculations
;) 
Nonetheless I indeed used the 'unoptimized architecture' rationale to
explain why Ghosts running in complexity 7 machines don't have ETS: "Much of
your hardware's number-crunching power is wasted through replication of your
brain image, which presents a series of bottlenecks, as it didn't develop to
run at that speed"
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 9:52:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

> >> you can keep what they are able to learn
> >> under control by out-of-game factors, like the amount of Modular
> >> Abilities they have.
> >
> >No, modular abilities do work nicely to model standard computer programs
> >running on today's machines, not the TL9 learning architectures of
> >Transhuman Space's computers. Having infomorphs use some kind of slots to
> >use skills, with limited memory and the like, would strongly go against
the
> >setting, which clearly sets a difference between software to run and
learned
> >skills.
>
> I know NOTHING of the setting, so let me know: these machines are able
> to record EVERYTHING and to learn as fast as they can download?
> And to use it at once, without delay, every time it is needed?
>

Of course not, information needs to be processed and, in order to generate a
skill increase, the machine, just like a human, must spend time 'learning'
it, using todays AI programming concepts to describe it I would say that
their clouds of actors need time to evolve, that their software neural nets
reconfigure and develop new strategies. The setting presumes that Sapient
AIs are capable of thought just like humans do, and that Non-sapient and
Low-sapient AIs are still able to learn stuff much like humans do, just from
experience, without pre-coded algorithms.
Once the AI has learnt it though, it can use the new skill every time it
needs, just as a trained human brain can form meaningful words every time it
needs, one it has learnt how to speak.

> It seems thousand of points worth, if it is so.

It depends on how fast raw data results in learning. That being the starting
point of the discussion in fact.

> I mean, in this setting teaching is dead?

No, of course not, just yesterday I was sitting at my computer, writing a
little program which basically will propose a few millions scenarios to a
genetic algorithm that I'll prepare next week, I guess I'll have it run for
a couple minutes, I hope it (the neural net) will learn something useful,
namely how to sort data more efficiently. That's teaching, and it may take a
while. TS take on computers is much the same as today's artificial life
algorithms, so teaching is not dead at all, just as today's AI software, it
takes a good 'teacher' to have the AI learn something useful, and it takes
time. The problem is: how much time? ETS and the economics of AI software
proposed in Transhuman Space seem to suggest a relatively high rate of
learning on the part of AI operating systems. Which is a true mess when you
have PCs using AIs.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 10:04:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

On Fri, 15 Apr 2005 17:24:13 +0200, "Inverno"
<invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote:

>> You can only process the information as fast as you can get it.
>>
>
>Yes, but, since we are considering engineered hardware I presume that
>bottlenecks have been solved through today's or sci-fi methods and the
>speeds I use are for the whole system.

Then just tell your players that all skills are free and see what
happens.
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 12:44:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

"Scooter the Mighty" <Greyguy3@hotmail.com> ha scritto nel messaggio
news:1113587707.948706.84400@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> My philosohpy of GMing is when the rules collide with a particular
> setting in such a way that campaign balance is destroyed, you simply
> change the rules.
>

Yes, I just need good reasons to explain why a sapient computer can't learn
stuff at the same speed it can react to situations, so far, taking a point
here and there, I think I've managed to reduce (through relatively realistic
reasoning) the learning rate to around times faster than the average human,
which should mantain the economics of the setting (too strong a slow down
wouldn't allow the AI software market as given in the books) and at least a
bit of balance with the biologic characters. Of course I care for my
campaign and I wouldn't let a rule (not to mention an indirect application
of a rule, even if pretty logic after my point of view) ruin it, that being
the reason I posted my problem in the first place.

> I'm not sure why being able to learn at a huge rate is a problem. I'm
> guessing it's because you're allowing them to earn experience points
> through study, which is a rule I've done away with long ago.
>

Oh? Why?
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 12:51:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

In article <d3p371$mno$1@news.service.uci.edu>,
LukeCampbell <lwcampbe@uci.thetrash.edu> wrote:
>Inverno wrote:
>
>>Oh, nope, not at all, to plit an atom you just need a free neutron
>>intercepting the core of the atom you want to split, if you use an atom
>>which is large enough, like uranium, even a relatively slow neutron can
>>break it, that actually happens in nature continuously as part of a
>>radiating element's decayment process.
>>
>Free neutrons only break apart certain very special (quite heavy)
>nucleii. Slow free neutrons can only do this to isotopes with an odd
>number of nucleons, the rest take fast neutrons. Now neutrons can make
>lots of different isotopes (although by no means all of them) unstable,
>so that they eventually decay via other radiative processes, but this is
>not really splitting the atom. It is also not the usual method of
>getting radioactive decay. Usually, no free neutrons are needed, the
>nucleus just rearranges itself on its own (spitting out the odd bit of
>refuse in the process, like an electron, positron, gamma ray, or helium
>nucleus).
>
>Luke
>


Why do I only seem to be getting about 20% of the messages that come
through here?

Slow neutrons don't really "break" a nucleus. U235 becomes U236 in an
excited state, which fissions with a microseconds half-life. Neutrons in
a reactor are moderated so that absorption becomes more likely--
absorption at thermal speeds goes as 1/v, so the slower the better. It's
obviously not the kinetic energy that busts up the nucleus.

Fast neutrons (and fast protons, for that matter) can bust apart a
nucleus-- spallation. E.g. the Spallation Neutron Source at Los Alamos,
which shoots a high-energy proton beam into a liquid lead target.
Anything heavier than H can be broken up by an energetic projectile,
--
"We don't grow up hearing stories around the camp fire anymore about
cultural figures. Instead we get them from books, TV or movies, so the
characters that today provide us a common language are corporate
creatures" -- Rebecca Tushnet
April 16, 2005 5:44:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

On a dark an dismal Fri, 15 Apr 2005 17:07:41 +0200, in flickering
lamplight "Inverno" <invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> scribed
with phoenix quill:
>"mike" <mike@invariant.freeserve.co.uk> ha scritto nel messaggio
>news:j2co51htms9mi9bdjab33r233ienla2aut@4ax.com...
>> I think you'll find that the wavelength of light would be what
>> prevents microscopic vision from seeing atoms.
>> I'd have no problem with clairvoyance used to 'know' what's happening
>> at the molecular level, though.

>Well, that was already overcome by using shorter wavelengths, frequencies
>beyond the range of visible light, as we already do with our very real
>electron-microscopes which are well able to get resolutions in the atomic
>scale.

Just to throw in a nano-spanner, electron-microscopes don't use
photons, for that reason. (And need to be at point-blank range etc).
As I understand it, vision powers are passive-receptive (unless they
are an attack form), and are still locked into the EM spectrum. Unless
they are Psychic based of course.
This is weird, bouncing between fantasy and reality like this !

>When Gurps states that you can see stuff at such nanoscopic levels I
>believe they imply the use of such technologies, none says the act of seeing
>must always pass through a purely 'optical' chain. In TS such technology is
>quite widespread, being a nanofacturing society in many ways.

How advanced is nanotechnology in that setting? Do they have Utility
fog? Are there any wild nanodevices being a help/hindrance.
Is it a threatened utopia, or a civilisation in a mess?
What is mortality like? I mean, what we call death they could regard
as minor glitch in continuity?
Sorry, Nanotech is a pet subject of mine, that and time travel :-)

<<#>>

>Yeah, I would be interested in figures for such nano-scale fusions, of
>course I didn't presume it would be much. Maybe I'll research the delta-M
>resulting of the fusion of the various elements on google and then calculate
>the mass-energy produce myself.

I guess we could ask in the Physics Ng. But they seem to have major
crank problems at the mo. If you do find out would you let me know
please?

<<#>>
>Yep, heat-induced kinetic movement would be a problem. You might take a very
>small quantity (but still more than a couple atoms) and first bring that
>quantity to solid state through relatively high pressure, then focus on the
>single atoms and begin fusing them.

That might have the effect of Cooling the target, and liberating heat
from that would be like melting a microbe sized ice-cube.

<<#>>

>> Fusion could be done a different way though.
>> Take a item, crush to a point. Crush the point to a point, and so on.
>> Heat would be liberated, and it'd prolly try to explode.
>> At some er, 'point', the atoms would fuse.
>
>That's a very interesting approach for larger scale fusions... maybe it
>might be interesting to try to draw a table where you can read how much
>telekinesis you need to generate a certain amount of energy per second
>through this method, and what level of microscopic vision (or skill
>modifier) should be applied.

Err, none. You are just crushing an item, you don't need to look at
the atoms and molecules. After all you know where they are going.

>At some point, with enough telekinesis, you
>might get enough heat localized in a point that a chain reaction would
>become statistically likely, which would indeed lead to explosion.

I think of it like a small sun, with PK as a replacement for gravity.
If you could keep the pressure just right, not too loose or the heat
goes out, not too tight or Bang!
either way you would end up with a iron dot, as fusion tends to
produce iron. (Eventually anyway).

>> Now this *would* require some Strong PK, but not too much.
>> You don't want to make a singularity :-)
>>
>> Do you?
>
>Oh dear, better not to think of singularities :-) I was considering, some
>months ago, on another list, that the way some electrical-based magic
>effects are defined in D&D might allow for speculation on them actualy being
>magnetic 'monopoles', this being another reason I don't master D&D often, my
>usual group of players could destroy the universe through some paradox way
>too easily ;-)

Ah? I can help you there, Just have the D&D universe manna/psi based
instead of particle based. This means there are no atoms in the D&D
universe. Everything seems normal on the surface but is fundamentally
magical/psychic if they ever dig into the subject.

Or if you like, a personal favourite (bias as I thought it up), the
characters are entertainment AI’s in a computer generated world, and
they don't know it. That works in all games :-)

Seriously though, no-one has ever seen an atom, they are deduced from
the facts we have, it's quite possible we have misinterpreted the
clues.
If so things wouldn't change on our level, but it would move our
perception of what is physically possible.
Chew on them thoughts a while :-)

--

Mik :-)


The line below is true
The line above is false
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 5:44:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

mike wrote:

>Seriously though, no-one has ever seen an atom, they are deduced from
>the facts we have, it's quite possible we have misinterpreted the
>clues.
>If so things wouldn't change on our level, but it would move our
>perception of what is physically possible.
>Chew on them thoughts a while :-)
>
Actually, some people actually have seen atoms. With their own eyes. A
group at the University of Washington managed to isolate a single barium
ion, and by irradiating it with a beam from a laser tuned to one of its
electrical transitions managed to get it to glow blue strongly enough to
be visible. You could look in a little window into the vacuum chamber
and there it was, a little blue speck.

Luke
Anonymous
April 17, 2005 12:19:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

"Inverno" <invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:lYT7e.3046$Bn.559@tornado.fastwebnet.it...
>
> "Scooter the Mighty" <Greyguy3@hotmail.com> ha scritto nel messaggio
> news:1113587707.948706.84400@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>> My philosohpy of GMing is when the rules collide with a particular
>> setting in such a way that campaign balance is destroyed, you simply
>> change the rules.
>>
>
> Yes, I just need good reasons to explain why a sapient computer can't
> learn
> stuff at the same speed it can react to situations, so far, taking a point
> here and there, I think I've managed to reduce (through relatively
> realistic
> reasoning) the learning rate to around times faster than the average
> human,
> which should mantain the economics of the setting (too strong a slow down
> wouldn't allow the AI software market as given in the books) and at least
> a
> bit of balance with the biologic characters. Of course I care for my
> campaign and I wouldn't let a rule (not to mention an indirect application
> of a rule, even if pretty logic after my point of view) ruin it, that
> being
> the reason I posted my problem in the first place.
>
>> I'm not sure why being able to learn at a huge rate is a problem. I'm
>> guessing it's because you're allowing them to earn experience points
>> through study, which is a rule I've done away with long ago.
>>
>
> Oh? Why?
>

In my first experience with GURPS, the GM allowed this rule, but usually
didn't give us enough time between things happening to us for us to get all
studied up. We ended up with too much accounting for my taste, with one of
the players making spreadsheets to keep track of the amount of time everyone
studied various skills. Frankly, it bored my ass off.

As far as I'm concerned, the point of fantasy role playing is for your
characters to have adventures, not to sit around the library cramming for
calculus tests. I've also found that it pushes people to run their
characters against their nature sometimes. If the whole party is sitting
around earning free points, then characters who are not studious by nature
feel like they're missing out if they don't join in. Just toss the
occasional extra point their way, and it all comes out about the same.
Anonymous
April 17, 2005 3:17:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

"mike" <mike@invariant.freeserve.co.uk> ha scritto nel messaggio
news:l3s16112icn11l0mc38kq01gsbsdf96r14@4ax.com...
> On a dark an dismal Fri, 15 Apr 2005 17:07:41 +0200, in flickering
> lamplight "Inverno" <invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> scribed
> with phoenix quill:
> >"mike" <mike@invariant.freeserve.co.uk> ha scritto nel messaggio
> >news:j2co51htms9mi9bdjab33r233ienla2aut@4ax.com...
> >> I think you'll find that the wavelength of light would be what
> >> prevents microscopic vision from seeing atoms.
> >> I'd have no problem with clairvoyance used to 'know' what's happening
> >> at the molecular level, though.
>
> >Well, that was already overcome by using shorter wavelengths, frequencies
> >beyond the range of visible light, as we already do with our very real
> >electron-microscopes which are well able to get resolutions in the atomic
> >scale.
>
> Just to throw in a nano-spanner, electron-microscopes don't use
> photons, for that reason. (And need to be at point-blank range etc).
> As I understand it, vision powers are passive-receptive (unless they
> are an attack form), and are still locked into the EM spectrum. Unless
> they are Psychic based of course.
> This is weird, bouncing between fantasy and reality like this !
>

Indeed, using an electron microscope wouldn't be fully optical cycle, as I
said, but you could use them, maybe with a malus, like when you use TV to
aim teleport.

> >When Gurps states that you can see stuff at such nanoscopic levels I
> >believe they imply the use of such technologies, none says the act of
seeing
> >must always pass through a purely 'optical' chain. In TS such technology
is
> >quite widespread, being a nanofacturing society in many ways.
>
> How advanced is nanotechnology in that setting? Do they have Utility
> fog? Are there any wild nanodevices being a help/hindrance.
> Is it a threatened utopia, or a civilisation in a mess?
> What is mortality like? I mean, what we call death they could regard
> as minor glitch in continuity?
> Sorry, Nanotech is a pet subject of mine, that and time travel :-)
>

They have fully developed wet nanotechnology and limited experimental dry
nanotechnology. Thus they have no true high-speed nanofacs, but plenty of
manufactured and reprogrammable nanobots on the molecular level.
Mortality is a minor problem for the rich, something to plan in advance in
order to avoid it for the average (pay insurance that ensures the full array
of medical care techniques, including radical nanosurgery, which can fix
almost anything), and of course it is still a problem for the relatively few
who can't afford hightech.
Having to choose I would say it's more on the 'civilisation in a mess' side,
especially in the Earth-Moon area, where memes spreading at the speed of
light through the web-sphere and striding technology bring major news every
month, and likely one big world-shaking event/discovery a year, but overall
pretty optimistic, I would say that 'it is a mess but throught our
technology we can still manage its complexity' setting.

> >Yep, heat-induced kinetic movement would be a problem. You might take a
very
> >small quantity (but still more than a couple atoms) and first bring that
> >quantity to solid state through relatively high pressure, then focus on
the
> >single atoms and begin fusing them.
>
> That might have the effect of Cooling the target, and liberating heat
> from that would be like melting a microbe sized ice-cube.
>

Of course you shouldn't use water, considering its oddities. I doubt the
overall process would be highly effective, there are certainly easier ways
to get energy out of TK, but it is an exemple of the weird applications of
Gurps super-powers when coupled with high technology.

> <<#>>
>
> >> Fusion could be done a different way though.
> >> Take a item, crush to a point. Crush the point to a point, and so on.
> >> Heat would be liberated, and it'd prolly try to explode.
> >> At some er, 'point', the atoms would fuse.
> >
> >That's a very interesting approach for larger scale fusions... maybe it
> >might be interesting to try to draw a table where you can read how much
> >telekinesis you need to generate a certain amount of energy per second
> >through this method, and what level of microscopic vision (or skill
> >modifier) should be applied.
>
> Err, none. You are just crushing an item, you don't need to look at
> the atoms and molecules. After all you know where they are going.
>

Yep, but, if you have not enough TK to apply enough pressure on a visible
object you'll need to apply it to smaller parts of it, thus you'll need an
increasing level of microscopic-vision.

> >At some point, with enough telekinesis, you
> >might get enough heat localized in a point that a chain reaction would
> >become statistically likely, which would indeed lead to explosion.
>
> I think of it like a small sun, with PK as a replacement for gravity.
> If you could keep the pressure just right, not too loose or the heat
> goes out, not too tight or Bang!
> either way you would end up with a iron dot, as fusion tends to
> produce iron. (Eventually anyway).
>

Yep, Iron would be a sideproduct if you can't get into supernova pressures,
until iron though you would get your nifty micro-share of energy.

> >> Now this *would* require some Strong PK, but not too much.
> >> You don't want to make a singularity :-)
> >>
> >> Do you?
> >
> >Oh dear, better not to think of singularities :-) I was considering, some
> >months ago, on another list, that the way some electrical-based magic
> >effects are defined in D&D might allow for speculation on them actualy
being
> >magnetic 'monopoles', this being another reason I don't master D&D often,
my
> >usual group of players could destroy the universe through some paradox
way
> >too easily ;-)
>
> Ah? I can help you there, Just have the D&D universe manna/psi based
> instead of particle based. This means there are no atoms in the D&D
> universe. Everything seems normal on the surface but is fundamentally
> magical/psychic if they ever dig into the subject.
>
> Or if you like, a personal favourite (bias as I thought it up), the
> characters are entertainment AI's in a computer generated world, and
> they don't know it. That works in all games :-)
>

Yes, I've used both in the past, but I usually like best maintaining physics
and adding to them metaphysics rather than exchanging the first for the
second altogether. Gurps magic isn't as damaging to physics as some D&D
spells are so I'm often allowed the hynrid solution, when I happen to run a
d&d game I just make sure to justify everything with magic and I hold my own
'divertissements' to myself and eventually a forum ;) 

> Seriously though, no-one has ever seen an atom, they are deduced from
> the facts we have, it's quite possible we have misinterpreted the
> clues.

Well, our microscopes provide a lot of facts, both about their geometry and
their physics, but of course nothing is ever certain and data is never
beyond further additions, especially in such borderline fields.

> If so things wouldn't change on our level, but it would move our
> perception of what is physically possible.
> Chew on them thoughts a while :-)
>

We must discuss facts along with our present knowledge, otherwise we fall
into 'everything is possible' which in turn is just a form of nihilism. I
rarely take care of specifing it, but it should be subsumed that I mean:"as
far as our present knowledge allows..." or, in the case of an RPG setting
"after the physical reality and available knowledge presented in this
setting..."
Anonymous
April 17, 2005 3:29:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

"LukeCampbell" <lwcampbe@uci.thetrash.edu> ha scritto nel messaggio
news:D 3p371$mno$1@news.service.uci.edu...
> Inverno wrote:
>
> >Oh, nope, not at all, to plit an atom you just need a free neutron
> >intercepting the core of the atom you want to split, if you use an atom
> >which is large enough, like uranium, even a relatively slow neutron can
> >break it, that actually happens in nature continuously as part of a
> >radiating element's decayment process.
> >
> Free neutrons only break apart certain very special (quite heavy)
> nucleii. Slow free neutrons can only do this to isotopes with an odd
> number of nucleons, the rest take fast neutrons. Now neutrons can make
> lots of different isotopes (although by no means all of them) unstable,
> so that they eventually decay via other radiative processes, but this is
> not really splitting the atom. It is also not the usual method of
> getting radioactive decay. Usually, no free neutrons are needed, the
> nucleus just rearranges itself on its own (spitting out the odd bit of
> refuse in the process, like an electron, positron, gamma ray, or helium
> nucleus).
>
> Luke
>

"As part of" is the keyword here, of course the neutrons intercepting nuclei
have to come from some source, which is rearranging cores, but statistically
fission happens within a decaying element. This is what I was told in my
nuclear chemistry course, but it was years ago and I have not been studying
similar stuff for a long time so I might recall wrongly.
Anonymous
April 18, 2005 5:05:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

> >> I'm not sure why being able to learn at a huge rate is a problem. I'm
> >> guessing it's because you're allowing them to earn experience points
> >> through study, which is a rule I've done away with long ago.
> >>
> >
> > Oh? Why?
> >
>
> In my first experience with GURPS, the GM allowed this rule, but usually
> didn't give us enough time between things happening to us for us to get
all
> studied up. We ended up with too much accounting for my taste, with one of
> the players making spreadsheets to keep track of the amount of time
everyone
> studied various skills. Frankly, it bored my ass off.
>
> As far as I'm concerned, the point of fantasy role playing is for your
> characters to have adventures, not to sit around the library cramming for
> calculus tests. I've also found that it pushes people to run their
> characters against their nature sometimes. If the whole party is sitting
> around earning free points, then characters who are not studious by nature
> feel like they're missing out if they don't join in. Just toss the
> occasional extra point their way, and it all comes out about the same.
>
>

Well, you don't have to study to learn, adventuring is in fact great for
improvement, why not to use Gurps's standard method, give points for
adventures AND give points for the use of time between them? If you are
always adventuring you'll earn most CPs during adventures, if you spend much
time studying you'll earn most CPs through the use of time.
Anonymous
April 18, 2005 5:05:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

"Inverno" <invernomutoai*NoSpamDamnYou*@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1wM8e.6798$Bn.5043@tornado.fastwebnet.it...
>> >> I'm not sure why being able to learn at a huge rate is a problem. I'm
>> >> guessing it's because you're allowing them to earn experience points
>> >> through study, which is a rule I've done away with long ago.
>> >>
>> >
>> > Oh? Why?
>> >
>>
>> In my first experience with GURPS, the GM allowed this rule, but usually
>> didn't give us enough time between things happening to us for us to get
> all
>> studied up. We ended up with too much accounting for my taste, with one
>> of
>> the players making spreadsheets to keep track of the amount of time
> everyone
>> studied various skills. Frankly, it bored my ass off.
>>
>> As far as I'm concerned, the point of fantasy role playing is for your
>> characters to have adventures, not to sit around the library cramming for
>> calculus tests. I've also found that it pushes people to run their
>> characters against their nature sometimes. If the whole party is sitting
>> around earning free points, then characters who are not studious by
>> nature
>> feel like they're missing out if they don't join in. Just toss the
>> occasional extra point their way, and it all comes out about the same.
>>
>>
>
> Well, you don't have to study to learn, adventuring is in fact great for
> improvement, why not to use Gurps's standard method, give points for
> adventures AND give points for the use of time between them?

I've pretty much given my reasons already. I find doing so subtracts from
the game and doesn't add to it. It encourages boring accounting sessions.
I don't see any real reason why giving points in this way is necessary.

> If you are always adventuring you'll earn most CPs during adventures, if
> you spend much
> time studying you'll earn most CPs through the use of time.
>
Right, and I at any rate do not want to run an adventure where people earn
most of their CPs through use of time.
Anonymous
April 18, 2005 9:25:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

On Sat, 16 Apr 2005 13:44:19 +0100, mike
<mike@invariant.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:

[...]
>Ah? I can help you there, Just have the D&D universe manna/psi based
>instead of particle based. This means there are no atoms in the D&D
>universe. Everything seems normal on the surface but is fundamentally
>magical/psychic if they ever dig into the subject.
[...]
>Seriously though, no-one has ever seen an atom, they are deduced from
>the facts we have, it's quite possible we have misinterpreted the
>clues.
>If so things wouldn't change on our level, but it would move our
>perception of what is physically possible.

Ever tried the Mage:The Ascension RPG? ^_______^

Korin Duval

--

"Truth requires a great amount of courage;
Fiction requires a great amount of maturity."
April 19, 2005 1:40:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

On a dark an dismal Mon, 18 Apr 2005 17:25:38 GMT, in flickering
lamplight korinNOduvalSPAM@yahoo.it (Korin Duval) scribed with phoenix
quill:
<<#>>
>Ever tried the Mage:The Ascension RPG? ^_______^
>
>Korin Duval

Played a small game or two, then it kinda fizzled out.
As far as i can tell, the universe had laws of physics that were
flexible and everyone's mind influenced directly what they did.
We stopped i think, due to an out of game disagreement on if Quiet
effect continued if you gained quintessence enough to loop round and
absorb the Parradox. Also, i thought Quiet effect removed Parradox.
That and i was unwilling to play a unhinged character seriously.
It struck me as poor taste, and i could see reasonable actions that
would probably kill the character.
I guess i was therefore avoiding any paradox actions, essentially it
crippled the character.

--

Mik :-)

New! Atomic Shampoo, with added Uraniuim.
For people who just want to Wash, & Glow.
Anonymous
April 19, 2005 12:46:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

On Mon, 18 Apr 2005 21:40:51 +0100, mike
<mike@invariant.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:

[...]
>>Ever tried the Mage:The Ascension RPG? ^_______^
>>
>>Korin Duval
>
>Played a small game or two, then it kinda fizzled out.
>As far as i can tell, the universe had laws of physics that were
>flexible and everyone's mind influenced directly what they did.

Yep.
And the Technocracy wants everyone to believe in laws of physics, and
since what is believed in comes true... Humanity is screwed.

>We stopped i think, due to an out of game disagreement on if Quiet
>effect continued if you gained quintessence enough to loop round and
>absorb the Parradox. Also, i thought Quiet effect removed Parradox.
[...]

The game, expecially 2nd edition, is not really clear on the Quiet and
on the effects of the Paradox.
However, since it's a game which talks about imposing one's view on
the reality, against the guided will of the masses, it's good that GMs
are encouraged to find "their way", rather than the D&Deque way of
"add this, subtract that".

Korin Duval

--

"Truth requires a great amount of courage;
Fiction requires a great amount of maturity."
Anonymous
April 23, 2005 12:54:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

mike wrote:
> I think you'll find that the wavelength of light would be what
> prevents microscopic vision from seeing atoms.
> I'd have no problem with clairvoyance used to 'know' what's happening
> at the molecular level, though.

What about the quantum level?

Wilson
April 23, 2005 4:39:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

On a dark an dismal 22 Apr 2005 20:54:49 -0700, in flickering
lamplight "Max Wilson" <wilson.max@gmail.com> scribed with phoenix
quill:

>mike wrote:
>> I think you'll find that the wavelength of light would be what
>> prevents microscopic vision from seeing atoms.
>> I'd have no problem with clairvoyance used to 'know' what's happening
>> at the molecular level, though.
>
>What about the quantum level?
>
>Wilson

Too much happening. (And just what would you See?)
Anyway i like to assume that Psi is a Quantum based phenomenon.
Therefore looking at that level is like using your unaided eyes to see
the back of your head.
If you subscribe to a different philosophy, would the use of
clairvoyance at the quantum level be classed as an Observation, aka
measurement? If so it would collapse the wave function and give any
poor Psi empowered Scientist a headache.
Mind you QT gives everyone a headache :-)

--

Mik :-)

--------------
You were called - Yesterday - At - Twenty-three -
Fifty-nine - and Fifty-seven - Seconds.
The caller withheld their number.
Anonymous
April 28, 2005 4:46:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.gurps (More info?)

mike wrote:
> Too much happening. (And just what would you See?)
> Anyway i like to assume that Psi is a Quantum based phenomenon.
> Therefore looking at that level is like using your unaided eyes to
see
> the back of your head.
> If you subscribe to a different philosophy, would the use of
> clairvoyance at the quantum level be classed as an Observation, aka
> measurement? If so it would collapse the wave function and give any
> poor Psi empowered Scientist a headache.
> Mind you QT gives everyone a headache :-)

Yes, that's what I was trying to allude to. Clairvoyance may or may not
impart momentum to a system, which messes up Heisenburg's original
reasoning; it would be interesting to see if clairvoyance affects a
two-slit experiment.

Speaking from ignorance,
Max Wilson
!