Jul. 14th, 2017

beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I am reading lots about wooden sailing ships. It is one of those topics that keeps going until it's about everything.

I spent a chunk of time reading about different things you can make sails with, which isn't data I can imagine a use for personally, but it's all interesting. Sails stretch and rub, as far as I understood, they have technical words for it. You need them to catch a lot of wind without letting it through, but materials can't optimise for everything at once, so you also have to figure out how long they'll last and stuff. UV breaks many things. Many. And laminates are harder to handle, plus what you want it to get the good stuff of all the layers, but if you get it wrong you stack the bads as well. And I started out just wondering what sails were made of and why they're not like a solid thing. I'm not sure I learned exactly, but probably because you need it to make complicated shapes to make the wind make you go.

All of this is minimally useful if I'm AUing a possessed ship where magic makes it go. Maybe spirits like different sorts of fabrics. Maybe a spirit would need sails to make things easier.

I read a bunch of stuff about Really Big Ships before deciding that anything with a crew compliment in the hundreds is more Star Trek than I was really imagining.

The crew thing is tricky though, because I'm not sure it's saying how many people it needs to make it go. Sometimes it's saying how many marines it can take somewhere fast. And it's unlikely to give you a minimum. But sails need sailors.

... unless a magic ship.

Though with GURPS rules where magic is fatigue powered, you'd get quite a lot of power out of living crew, since alive people recharge plenty quickly. Like batteries. ... after the Matrix they'd call each other coppertop until it was uncool again...

I don't know if I want something modern but wooden or something more like a historical reconstruction.

A lot of fantasy books seem to accidentally have very advanced ships, with cabins and all sorts. It seems like cabins, or indeed anywhere to put the humans, weren't a feature for a really long time.

Ships travelling the Banestorm need to be Oz particle resistant to avoid a sort of magical radiation poisoning for the people inside. So they'll either need to be enclosed or have like a faraday cage where you're always behind the magic resistant material. Hmm, silk counts a bit, maybe they have fluttery prayer flags between them and the storm, for emergencies. Hawthorn counts a lot, so you'd want lots of that around the living quarters. But I decided iron counts too much and won't get lifted in the first place, which is why iron and steel ships stopped going to other worlds much, and stormships need to be wood.

... this is a lot of layers of extrapolation from game rules to a story I'm only thinking of writing that will need the game bits mostly filed off...

... but it's just an angle for looking at all the real data.

Like, how much cargo space do they have effects what cargo they even could take between worlds. Multiverse masquerade means no trading in culture unless you can provide a plausible provenance. Books yes, movies no. ... huh, just found an excuse for making a protagonist an English student. But book publishing is, well, tricksy at best. What makes the world hopping worth its keep?

How many people it takes to make it go: Want to keep it Waverider sized, so nine ish, that being how many there's seats for. Or double or triple or quarduple it or shifts, but then you've got several stories happening at once. And on the Waverider they seem to have individual rooms, but with so much space they could easily be shared bunks for other shifts. Well, space easy, people not so easy. But probably keep it to nine people, for an adventure party. And a Gideon to actually make it go.

That's pretty small crew if you translate it to sailors.

So do I want to make it a medievalish AU with a possessed ship in a really old style? Is Gideon a dragon boat? Or do I want a ship from the here now with its engines swapped out for somewhere for the spirit to live?

Luxury cabins and modern construction methods... which would not be optimised for the Storm. Especially if you have to actively avoid iron.

(I realise the Long Earth series did the iron thing too. I'm not trying to be original, we're all playing in the same folklore after all.)

There's ships that were held together with iron nails, which wouldn't suit a magic ship. Could swap it or like titanium or aluminium or something but that's a bit boring. There were ships that were kind of sewn together, but I don't know much about that yet. Modern ships rely on glue, and the strength of fancy modern epoxies, which gets you a whole different set of constraints. There were overlapping or side by side plank constructions, and plugging of gaps with caulking, but with modern tools they can get them super matching and really smooth.

And how important is hiding? Masquerade is a bit hard if you sail into a storm and don't come out... until months later... on the regular. Could you even do that on Earth or would someone be watching you and think you sank?

But to write even a small bit of story on a trade ship I need to know the tech level, how many people to make it go, how much space they'd have to live in, and stuff like bathrooms and eating. ... yes I know almost everything skips the bathrooms but still.

Even a dramatic bit of story where all the humans go below and close the hatches but the ship keeps going
has just implied many things about size and construction and where humans can go.

And it would be way cooler to ride the Banestorm like an exciting bit of Earth weather. I'm sure there's a whole lot of books where people cope with exciting Earth weather but they'd all be new to me. Add some magic, glowing... wait, there's rl glowing, I should look that up... and a whole lot of storm spirits, as well as portals that are more like freaky whirlpools... (was that Once Upon a Time or Pirates of the Caribbean? It'd be cool though.)

Exciting ship adventure or 'we went to hyperdrive and then back again'...



I shall go read more things :-)
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
... history has lots of interesting bits, but reading about battles that were lost because 'soldiers lost their discipline due to dysentery' certainly puts me off visiting...
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Turns out if you pay attention to the bit of the instructions that says 'add a splash of milk' when you make scrambly eggs in the microwave whatsit
a magic happens
and also the eggs try to escape but cannot due to the clip on the lid and just make an impressive noise.

But they were a better texture and so forth when the calmed down.

... my experiments in cooking are very, very basic. ah well...
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I just got a text says "delivery will be attempted between ten and twelve today"
... and I have been watching too many time travel shows
cause now I'm just seeing some deliver due with a delorean being all 'challenge accepted'

(there is still quite a lot of between left, but still)
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Ships are cool.

I keep reading about clipper ships because they were the last time sails was winning. They took gigantimous amounts of tea or wool or whatevers a really long way around the planet. And stuff like tea on the supermarket shelves seems much more insane when it started with floating bits of wood and cloth trying to go real fast by hoping there was weather.

A multiverse trading co would definitely have some of these. I'm tempted to borrow the names from disappeared ships, but that also seems rude. Names are hard though, all the cool ones have been used a lot.

... Rainbow might not sound like a cool name to everyone, but it's a ship meant to come out the other side of a storm, so...

Waverider or the serial number filed equivalent wouldn't be a big fast cargo ship on a regular trade route. It just doesn't suit the personalities. But with a whole multiverse to navigate they'd have to have scouts out, little very fast ships that can maybe shoot their way out of small trouble but not look too intimidating when they go to greet the potential new trade partners. That suits Legends or any other adventuring party just fine. And they'd bounce between established locations and entirely new universes. If I can think of interesting universes. Or they'd be looking for something particular. It'd be a bit like Sliders but only because Sliders is the only primarily multiverse show I can think of. Haven't seen it for many long years. But still, knowing Waverider function, can narrow down what it would look like if it was a magic ship made of wood.

... yeah, this may be another universe interesting only to me.

... though there's nothing about the premise of either the DCU or this that would stop the Waveriders meeting. Fun with that is always compare and contrast though, getting new angles on canon characters.

... hang on, cannon. If we're not dragging iron across the multiverse, we probably have to drop at tech level, at least. Maybe big crossbows? Or obviously getting fiddly with very modern weapon composition. So up or down, not just in keeping ith the look.

Huh, excuse to bring Arrows or Hawkeyes.

Anyways, I'm going asleep again, but now my head has far more data about ships in it than it did yesterday, let alone last week.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
It just occurred to me
that by the rules of the Banestorm
there's nothing to stop Mecca being taken to another universe.

The Banestorm appears out of nowhere, builds up a fierce but wierdly local storm, fogs over a whole area, and when it vanishes, sometimes everything in it vanishes with it, only to appear on the next world the storm hits.

Banestorms range in size from a few yards to a few miles across, so as far as I can understand from wiki, a big Banestorm could swallow the most holy sites of Islam.

And then an entire religion, including parts of the world that were ahead on points on education and tech for a large chunk of history, would have a hajj pilgrimage inspired obligation to go looking for it. Read more... )

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beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
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