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Why is there no magical internet in most fantasy settings?

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by JarlFrank, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Drowed Arcane

    Drowed
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    There are some fantasy settings that focus on a more scientific use of magic. Magitech is a famous trope, even. But it is much more common to see this kind of atmosphere in works made in Japan for whatever reason. The entire ''Final Fantasy'' and ''Tales of'' series usually use that idea heavily (but no internet, as far as I know).

    The whole problem of "advanced" magitech is the fact that, ultimately, you end up turning a fantasy world into a world extremely close to ours, which is counterproductive. The logic of using a fantasy environment is precisely to try to bring a different society, which works differently, has different concepts and a different kind of life. But the more you try to develop a scientific approach to magic, the more magic ends up getting closer to everyday life. You have electricity, but it comes from light magic. You have cars, but they run by movement magic. You have elevators that use levitation magic. Essentially, you get to a point where you have a replica of modern society, where you've only changed the technique used to make objects work.

    If it is to have so much work to get to the same place, it is just easier to create an setting that is essentially identical to the modern world with all the current scientific knowledge, and put magic over everything and make the necessary adjustments - which is what often ends up being done. That's why most of the time, when you decide to use magic in your setting you end up creating a society that is either at a different stage of development from our own society, or you try to take it to a different path, omitting some concepts of modern life like the internet.
     
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  2. Bigg Boss Prophet

    Bigg Boss
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    The spirit world is the magical equivalent of the internet. Akashic Records? Call it what you will but it is the spiritual memory of all existence. It has to be navigated through astral projection. Spirits can use it to tell you things but they can lie.

    To elaborate there are libraries that go forever. Jam the book into your being and you absorb the data. You might not remember it when you awake but your subconscious will.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Bester Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Bester
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    If they were written in pre-internet era, the writer couldn't think of it.

    If they were written in post-internet era, they usually have something like that.
     
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  4. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    You know what really would have punched up Lord Dunsany's King of Elfland's Daughter or Howard's Conan? Some fucking magical internet, that's what.
     
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  5. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    This.

    I would argue strongly that they usually have it strongly in place.

    Think about it: wizards usually need to research at length their own magic spells ==> shut-in researchers ==> the need to exchange data, at the very least the kind of non-exclusive data.

    I am thinking Mystra' The Weave is a kind of magic data internet with Mystra being super-admin who need to total immerse to manage it. Which is why whenever she die, The Weave crash. or vice versa, any attack strong enough to crash The Weave, she (the previous Mystra) die. And you will need a new super-admin. Mystra/Mystril is like a tittle with super-admin power and priviledge.

    The limitation of DnD wizards usually the hardware to store data. They have scrolls, books, spellbook, and finally wizards' own memory. This in turn limit the size of data banks exchange within The Weave.

    Which showcase why Elder Brain holding such high position in mind flayer society. It serve as main server where dead mind flayers upload their own digitaled souls before dead, and possibly store extra data for live ones to access as well.
     
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  6. HarveyBirdman Learned

    HarveyBirdman
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    TES trance states are an intranet.
     
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  7. Background Character Learned

    Background Character
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    Because the internet sucks
     
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  8. HoboForEternity In every buttons you press Patron

    HoboForEternity
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    geneforge has it in form of living computer. they dont have a world wide network but iirc they achieved a LAN connection
     
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  9. Neanderthal Arcane

    Neanderthal
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    I think there were a few communication spells in old ad&d books, and obviously magic items, but yeah this seems a fairly overlooked area of development. The utility of Psionicists in this would seem to be particularly apt.

    Then again I don't think the application of the supernatural in fantasy worlds is ever thought about in depth, for some reason folk see fantasy elements and assume they invalidate mundane elements through their existence, which is strange.
     
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  10. ESh Arcane

    ESh
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    So basically you want...

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. moraes Cipher Patron

    moraes
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    Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    The mere existence of magic capable of moving mountains and conjuring energy out of thin air would devalue the need for empirical research and the scientific disciplines. Why would you study ballistics and invent the trebuchet when a wizard could demolish walls with a well placed fireball? All institutions of higher learning would be concentrated on the mastery of arcane power. Why would you focus on the study of causality and regularity of nature when a wizard can freely manipulate those?

    The world would never move beyond a limited political development level: if magic is rare and obscure, the priestly caste with access to the mysteries would covet and protect them and rule perpetually; if magic is inherent and accessible, local warlords could cling to power with the help of one or more accomplished wizards. No nation-state would ever be born and no modern political notions of liberty and equality.

    Magic is the enemy of the people.
     
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  12. vonAchdorf Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    vonAchdorf
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    Because with magical social media, it would be OVER for non chad users of magic.
     
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  13. Fedora Master Cipher

    Fedora Master
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    And like the Internet, using them too much corrupts you. Tolkien was a visionary.
     
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  14. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    Mistmare had one. Then it turned into an evil magical AI.
     
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  15. vonAchdorf Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    vonAchdorf
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    Crystal ball assisted Skyping seems to be very common in fantasy, sometimes also with hologram projections.
     
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  16. BING XI LAO Savant

    BING XI LAO
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    Fantasy likes mystery and adventure; powerful communications tech would destroy a lot of mystery and a lot of the motive to move from one place to another.
     
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  17. Mr. Magniloquent Learned

    Mr. Magniloquent
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    I created something akin to a magical internet in one of my modules. It was essentially a crystal ball of scrying that allowed people to connect to the astral plane. Since the astral plane is outside of time and the place of dreams, it contains all knowledge that ever was or ever will be. Finding what you were looking for was the hard part though, and potentially perilous. It was a cool plot device that began wreaking all kinds of subtle ruin on society.
     
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  18. fantadomat Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Edgy

    fantadomat
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    It will feel out of place and will have a negative effect on the atmosphere.
     
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  19. Black Angel Magister

    Black Angel
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    I'll play it. Defeat Kerghan by trolling and shit talking him on Twitter with my 20 CHA and max Persuasion.
     
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  20. Apostle Hand Learned Possibly Retarded

    Apostle Hand
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    wizards can create interdimensional hyperspaces where they can hibernate and plot their things

    thats close to internet as far as i know
     
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  21. Doktor Best Arcane

    Doktor Best
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    I could imagine Wizards would be averse towards the risks coming with such a network. Getting "hacked" would probably be a lot more problematic than in our world.
     
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  22. samuraigaiden Educated

    samuraigaiden
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    What about cars and airplanes? Why didn't wizards invent that?!
     
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  23. Molina Educated

    Molina
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    It's the astral plane.
     
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  24. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    I am thinking Netherese Archwizards did hack Mystra for extra privilege and exploit her until Karsus broke her for good. Which all the floating isle fortress promptly fall down to the ground in a catastrophic display of Blue Screen of Death.
    Midnight assume commands and limit spells to level 9 sounds like she patch the hell out of the system, the priviliges were rolled waaaay back and all backdoors closed.
     
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  25. HoboForEternity In every buttons you press Patron

    HoboForEternity
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    or pick 4chan vampire clan perk and DDOS his social security numbers and ID. the downside is you cannot leave your basement except between 1 to 4 AM in the night. any contact with sunlight is instant death and contact with opposite sex always result in permanent decrease of charisma. the male variant of this class is called neckbeard and the female is called legbeard
     
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