Lighthouses — Not The Lighthouse

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Mason
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Lighthouses — Not The Lighthouse

Post by Mason » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:21 am

Hello everyone.

I’ve recently been re-reading my Hollow World boxed set and now have numerous questions but only one to ask as of now. I always assumed the reason they picked ‘The Lighhouse’ as the name for the hidden library was due to how a regular lighthouse would be near useless in Hollow World and thus, stand out and seem quite unusual. However there seem to be many regular lighthouses along the coasts in various places (e.g., the Milinean Empire). Is this a mistake. Or is there’s satisfactory answer why they would still need and use lighthouses in a world where it is always daylight?

Thanks in advance for any insight/answers.

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Re: Lighthouses — Not The Lighthouse

Post by agathokles » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:59 am

Uhm, unless the floating continents create a sufficient darkness, there would be no use.
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Re: Lighthouses — Not The Lighthouse

Post by Sock Puppet » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:06 am

The purpose of a lighthouse isn't simply to shine light. It's to warn of treacherous water s or otherwise guide ships. That said, mere light might not work so well in permanent day for that job.
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Re: Lighthouses — Not The Lighthouse

Post by Khedrac » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:02 am

I strongly suspect it is authors not thinking about the implications of no night.

That said, in the real world light houses also used to sound a bell or a horn in foggy weather to warn of the danger, perhaps these should be renamed "fog-houses" or "horn-houses". Modern lighthouses are also bright enough to make a difference with their lights in heavy overcast/stormy weather, but i believe that that requires quite an advanced level of lens technology, something that would not be widely available in the Hollow World (cultural bias limitations) if at all.
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Re: Lighthouses — Not The Lighthouse

Post by Sturm » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:09 am

Good question, but indeed a lighthouse is useful anyway to warn of dangers and indicate specific spots on the coast. How to make it visible even in daylight? maybe with mirrors that reflect the light of the sun, directed on purpose on ship for a brief moment to say "we've seen you, see us (and identify yourself). More than Lighthouse they could probably be considered Coast Towers for surveillance, the Italian coast for example was full of them to protect the coastal towns from pirates raids, as they were common in many historical periods.
The same should be true in the Hollow World where there are the Merry Pirates indeed and in fact I think all the "lighthouses" are on the Azcan and Mileanian coasts, the preferred targets of the pirates.
Probably Azcans should have obsidian mirrors and the Milenians bronze ones.
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Re: Lighthouses — Not The Lighthouse

Post by agathokles » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:09 am

Smoke may be used instead of light during the day. In this case, though, the "lighthouse" name would be somewhat of a misnomer.

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Re: Lighthouses — Not The Lighthouse

Post by Morfie » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:37 pm

They would still have a use in foggy conditions.

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Re: Lighthouses — Not The Lighthouse

Post by Mason » Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:19 pm

Thanks for all suggestions. I guess I could still see the use for mirrors/smoke (not necessarily the fire) for identifying ships/warnings of bad terrain/impending bad weather. I guess if they saw the ships get closer, they could use bells as last ditch warning. My friend said it would still be helpful for warnings of reefs and would probably be visible off into the horizon, which of course, I explained that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish since Hollow World doesn't have a traditional horizon and used the torus shape of Planescapes' Sigil as a rough analogy so he understood. I remember reading somewhere that if the viewer is at sea level, large objects(like a ship, no light source like a lighthouse) would be visible at roughly 11 miles away at sea level, assuming clear skies. Anyone know roughly how far away a lighthouse's light would be visible in the Hollow World? Assuming the use of Mirrors/Smoke and say about 60' above sea level? Is there some math for this?

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Re: Lighthouses — Not The Lighthouse

Post by Mason » Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:25 pm

As an additional note, I am still curious if the designers intended to put lighthouses there or not though. I assume we wouldn't be lucky enough to have any notes from Allston leftover, or some insight from the cartographer as to the decision? Perhaps Bruce Heard may have chimed in on this before?

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Re: Lighthouses — Not The Lighthouse

Post by Gravesguardian » Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:51 pm

Lighthouses in Hollow World could have ways to modify the color of the lighthouses "light" so that it can be seen.

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Re: Lighthouses — Not The Lighthouse

Post by Cthulhudrew » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:12 am

Maybe they use Blackflame. :)
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Re: Lighthouses — Not The Lighthouse

Post by Gravesguardian » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:24 am

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:12 am
Maybe they use Blackflame. :)
or a modified darkness/continual darkness spell?

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Re: Lighthouses — Not The Lighthouse

Post by Cthulhudrew » Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:09 am

Gravesguardian wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:24 am
or a modified darkness/continual darkness spell?
That's actually a much better suggestion than my jest was. Some kind of directed beam of darkness to "light" the path for ships under the eternal sun of the Hollow World. Relatively simple and cost effective to create for civilizations that have developed it.
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