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Month Index: October, 1994

From:     Michael Sandy <mehawk@?????.?????.com>
Date:     Fri, 21 Oct 94 14:29 PDT
Subject:  Re: Industrial Thaumatech
What sorts of magical-industrial tech would you expect in world with
a large amount of spelljammer trade, comparable to the clipper ships
of the 19th century?  I mean, with that much trade the basic spells in
the PH would be widely accessable, and new spells probably would circulate
in about 10 to 20 years as rival nations, magic guilds spy on each other and
trade spells to cement treaties.

A few ideas:
Magical Blast Furnace using a permanently bound fire elemental and a
permanently bound air elemental.  Long term indenture works too.

Crystal Ball and other scrying means for long distance communication.
For brief glimpses, imagine a bulletin board and a Copy spell, mage's
can check in on the bulletin board and magically copy the daily news
thousnads of miles away.  Banking records might be updated this way,
and magical 'credit cards' could be established for a modest fee.  Only
the authorized person could make a withdrawal, and only when certified
not under magical influence or disguise.  This is banking for Kings and
merchants, not grocery shopping.  No more 'could you break a 1,000 gp gem
for me?' at the moneychangers... :+)

Magical Dockyard cranes, using animate object, levitation, TK or whatever.

Sepia Snake Sigil scrolls could be marketed as a cheap (100 gp materials
plus mark up for 3rd mage spell) as a handy protection from assassins.
Read scroll and unless they have a good mage they can't even move you, let
alone kill you.  Good for all those rich people who haven't spent years
learning how to rob, steal and beat people up because they are _businessmen_.

Wide use of Plant Growth spells to improve fertility of soil.  Magical
construction techniques, Stone Shope, Wall of Stone, Iron,

Ice cream in summer, wall of ice,

Truly happening entertainment, with Pyrotechnics, illusions, unseen servant,
TK spells, enthrall (priest 2nd level).  Think Shakespeare with a near
unlimited budget and Magician apprentices who need tuition and _lab fees_

With magical transport, what happens to the roads?  Some theories say that
any boost to long haul trade boosts the short haul as well.  Canals dug
with magical help, and reinforced with stone could provide a huge feeder
system of goods used to buy more Spelljammer ships, as cloth, food, pottery
start moving about, the _best_ of each product starts getting enough
surplus demand to really gear up.

What _is_ the magical industrial complex?  Eventually it has the equipment
makers, glass tubes, paper, magical inks, special woods, exotic animal
hunters, husbanders and breeders, the spellbook copiers, the colleges,
the magical licensing bureaus, the heavy industry magicians, the reseachers,
and the 'adventurers' who retrieve said researchers when something goes wrong,
and of course, the administrators.  Communications, forensics, security,
and entertainment.

Imagine a lathe with a magical precise and magically hardened cutting head.

Magical food storage systems, fro ice cellars to stasis boxes.
Magic Mouth door chimes, product warning labels (do not gargle the potions,
do not stick wand in mouth, do not put bag of holding in portable hole)

Continual light where you want it.  Any useful combination of spells with a
'Permanent' effect will become a common magic item.

Locate object  (murder weapon) is a great forensics device.

You can charge a fairly high price, but that is just overhead, not even a
terribly high maintenance budget.  Forever is a long time to make the
payments on a magic item.  _if_ it comes with a warranty.  The better
Business Bureau has some very nasty mages...

Michael Sandy


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