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Technology

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Harsk shows off some technological gear.

Technology is defined on Golarion in one of three ways: fist, in the more specific sense, it is any non-magical device created through scientific study that approaches or exceeds items created through magic.[1] The incredible technological devices found in the nation of Numeria fall under this category. Secondly, more generally speaking, technology is any non-magical device that is used to assist in a task. This second definition covers items as simple as a lever to ones as complex as a printing press. Thirdly, the term "technology" also covers items created using both magic and scientific ingenuity, such as complex clockworks.[2] This article gives a brief overview of all three categories.

History of general technological innovation

The history of technological advancement on Golarion is a complex one. More than once, destructive, world-spanning events have wiped out hundreds or thousands of years of innovation and progress. The most famous example of this was Earthfall, which destroyed the advanced Azlanti and Thassilonian civilizations, and ushered in the Age of Darkness that kept the major races back for thousands of years. Even once humanity began to reemerge during the Age of Destiny, technological advancement was checked by the availability of magic. After all, why invent a mechanical answer to a problem, when one can simply wish it into being by appealing to a deity or relying on arcane magic? Technology, therefore, flourished best where magic was absent, such as in the Mana Wastes of Garund. It was here, in the city of Alkenstar, that one of the greatest non-magical achievements of the past few hundred years was born: firearms.[2]

Another recent technological innovation is the printing press, which allows for the quick and inexpensive reproduction of pamphlets, letters, and books. Although printing presses are very expensive (especially movable type printing presses that allow the printer to rearrange letters and images, and thereby greatly speed-up the printing process), their cultural and political impact has been substantial. They have allowed for the quick dissemination of information, and have led to the democratization of ideas.[2]

Clockworks

The technological understanding to build non-magical clockwork devices was first developed over 10,000 years ago in Azlant, and later perfected in Thassilon. Even though Earthfall destroyed most examples of their work, a few constructs survived the apocalypse, leading to the rediscovery of the art thousands of years later. Because clockworks are so much more time-consuming to develop and create than more standard magical constructs, they remain somewhat of a curiosity of the rich.[3]

Numerian technology

Numerian technology is alien in origin, and either comes directly from one of the spaceships that crashed in Numeria thousands of years ago during the Rain of Stars, or has since been developed based on these items. The technology within them is so advanced as to be indistinguishable from magic to the common person. It is also quite dangerous and is prone to backfiring or even exploding, giving these items a well-deserved sinister reputation. Nearly all such items are under the strict control of the Technic League of Numeria, who hoard these items for their own profit and power.[2]

Examples of technological devices, powers, and forces found primarily in or having their origin in Numeria include:

Technologists have unique talents for finding and using technology, while Technic League technomancers try to preserve their stranglehold on what technological secrets have already been unlocked. Many technological devices are timeworn from their centuries on Golarion.[4]

Magic and Numerian technology

Certain spells are capable of specifically targeting technological devices and forces:[5]

Iron priests are clerics, often of Brigh, Nethys, Gorum, or Haagenti, who can manipulate unliving constructs through divine magic in a similar manner as other clerics can turn undead.[6] Technomancers can apply technology to amplify magic, and vice versa.[7]

Science and Numerian technology

Sub-branches of Numerian technology include:

Numerian technological items

Technological devices share much in common with magic items: both require extensive training, time, money, materials, and tools to create. However, technological items forgo spells for high-tech effects and capabilities.

Technological items must be created in specialized laboratories, which require power.[9]

Numerian weapons and armor

Technological weapons have unique features and requirements. For instance, many require power to function.[10]

Technological firearms and ranged weapons, such as beam weapons, can have different fire modes, allowing even relatively unskilled wielders to rapidly fire single shots or quick bursts.[10] They can also feature unusual attacks, such as lasers that burn through barriers or infectious mind-rending nanites.[11]

Armor of this nature can protect against elemental forces, including the vacuum of the Void.[12]

Hybrid items

Items can be designed to combine technology and magic, or can be enchanted after creation with magical abilities.[13]

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Color coding

Numerian technological items can be categorized in terms of their relative strength via certain colors associated with various skymetals, though most items do not contain the skymetals associated with their color. There are nine known "colors" of technology, listed from weakest to most powerful:

Degradation over time

Technological items can lose their functionality over time due to neglect and damage. Such items might not be rechargeable, and might require constant maintenance simply to maintain their basic functionality.[14]

Charging devices

Technology requires power, usually in the form of electricity, and such power is hard to come by on Golarion. Batteries and generators can provide power, as can certain spells and abilities.

Radiation

Radiation is a mysterious poisonous aura of a technological nature that permeates many of Numeria's alien ruins.[15]

References

  1. James Jacobs and Russ Taylor. (2014). Technology Guide, p. 4-5. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-672-0
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 256-257. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  3. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 256. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  4. James Jacobs and Russ Taylor. (2014). Technology Guide, p. 5-8. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-672-0
  5. James Jacobs and Russ Taylor. (2014). Technology Guide, p. 8. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-672-0
  6. James Jacobs and Russ Taylor. (2014). Technology Guide, p. 12. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-672-0
  7. James Jacobs and Russ Taylor. (2014). Technology Guide, p. 14-15. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-672-0
  8. 8.0 8.1 Adam Daigle and James Jacobs. (2015). Continuing the Campaign. The Divinity Drive, p. 65. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-724-6
  9. James Jacobs and Russ Taylor. (2014). Technology Guide, p. 16. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-672-0
  10. 10.0 10.1 James Jacobs and Russ Taylor. (2014). Technology Guide, p. 20. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-672-0
  11. James Jacobs and Russ Taylor. (2014). Technology Guide, p. 29. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-672-0
  12. James Jacobs and Russ Taylor. (2014). Technology Guide, p. 32. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-672-0
  13. James Jacobs and Russ Taylor. (2014). Technology Guide, p. 17. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-672-0
  14. James Jacobs and Russ Taylor. (2014). Technology Guide, p. 55. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-672-0
  15. James Jacobs and Russ Taylor. (2014). Technology Guide, p. 55-56. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-672-0