New answers tagged

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There's a great downside--the child's power comes at the expense of the mother's power. The child always has high manna--so the mother always has low manna.


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Various answers to this will probably require the world to either not be as you've described it in some detail, or to add other details. For instance: What if eclipses aren't easy to predict? Frankly, it wasn't until the 1500s that Western civilization rediscovered the heliocentric theory and solidified the math of orbital motion behind it, and it wasn't ...


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Solutions: 1) Make it less predictable. Add more satellites to the planet, to calculate orbits of more than 2 bodies is actually hard! 2) The Government actively hunts eclipse babies. They are feared and coveted, some groups hunt them to kill, other to forcibly recruit them. 3) Only naturaly born on the eclipse count. Eclipses last mere minutes, and it is ...


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If this is a modern society, satellites may suffer. A commonly used device on a satellite is a star tracker. They are used to figure out absolute orientation information by using cameras pointed at the stars Hydra star tracker used by ESA's Sentinel 3A mission. Image courtesy ESA I do not know what proportion of satellites rely on these, but from the ...


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The far stars wouldn't be a problem. In most cities, we can't see them anyway because of our "light pollution". Maybe there are still a few people who use them for navigation, but most people use GPS nowadays. The real big problem is, that our sun is a star, too. If the sun suddenly disappears or becomes dark, the world would be dark and would become really ...


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Stars disappearing would be horrifying First, let's clear some stuff up. Starlight isn't exactly essential, and it's also a good deal less useful than moonlight. Also, somewhat humorously, a great deal of non-lunar light in the night sky is provided by planets (Mar, Venus, Jupiter, etc.). Not much of an impact there. It wouldn't be great for civilization, ...


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You need to consider two points. 1) Why is it a problem? (To the society, and to you as an author.) If there is a system, people will attempt to game it. That's just natural, people send their kids to Eton to try to give them a better chance at life and I would expect if they can game the birth system to give their children a better chance at being powerful ...


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I've found that in worldbuilding there are few problems that cannot be solved by a massive, worldwide, theocratic bureaucracy. You need one randomly selected person from each town to be executed at the end of every year that begins on a Friday? Massive theocracy. You need an entire country to refuse to leave their houses on the first day of every month? ...


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In addition to all proposed solutions, you could add a sort of clause. The birth has to be natural. If the mother tries to force the birth of her offspring prematurely in order to make it coincide with a celestial event, it will interfere with destiny, or the natural order of things and render her baby a creature incapable of performing magic (or less ...


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The celestial events at birth are just a coincidence. What's important is celestial events at the moment of conception. (Or, alternatively, a specific moment after conception when the embryo develops enough complexity to begin forming/hosting a soul - perhaps 27 days? Assuming that 3 is a magically powerful number, and 33 is more so...) After copulation, ...


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I have 3 suggestions, none without their problems. 1. People don't know about the eclipse correlation The first possibility is that while this does occur, people don't know that a solar eclipse is the cause and just think that these people are lucky. Of course it might be difficult to prevent them from finding out, especially if it's a sort of enlightened, ...


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Not possible as suggested. People will game the system. When it comes to pregnancy and childbirth, there are many a danger to both mothers and children. Yet that hasn't stopped people trying to "game" it and try to get something more out of it for millennia. Other answers suggest some sort of rationality from people at large yet even in our world we have ...


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My suggestion is rather straightforward: specify that a total eclipse is required at the relevant point in childbirth, and you're good to go, for several reasons. One: Biology does not tend to be perfectly predictable; you don't need magic to impose severe limits. Conception is by no means guaranteed on any given day in humans. Childbirth can happen in a ...


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You need two things: Give the world multiple suns. An eclipse is only when only one is in the sky and the moon covers it. With three-or-more body problem, the eclipses become impossible to predict... even with modern computers it’s near impossible. Any child born by cesarean section has no magic. Magic requires a hormonal change in the mother that only ...


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They're not given a choice of birth date. An ancient and powerful spell covers the entire world. When someone wishes to have a child, they perform a ritual and recieve two dates - a date of conception and a date of birth. It is impossible to become pregnant outside of your day of conception, and you will give birth on your day of birth. Trying to ...


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Economy. Have these Eclipse born also get some kind of balancing detriment. Maybe their mana is larger to begin with but takes longer to resupply? Maybe their spells are less likely to work? Maybe they're outcasts as everyone is afraid of them? You should be doing this with your magic system on the whole... That is managing your costs to balance with ...


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Solar eclipses on Earth are quite rare already and short (less than two hours). Only one in 25 pregnancies ends in exactly 280 days (the average), that means even if you time the fertilization right, chances on success are at most 1 in 400. (Less if the mother isn't fertile 280 days before the eclipse.) Giving birth is already dangerous, but suppose there's ...


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I must disagree on the detection range of a SMBH, approaching from above or below it could get a lot closer before being detected if it's behind another star. If the proper motion of the black hole and the star are the same it could stay in hiding until it got close enough that we noticed it tugging other stars, we would not get a lensing observation until ...


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Light Balloons You might consider a system embedded in a nebula as a way of eliminating the view of stars rather than that star being the only one in the universe. Douglas Adams did this with his Krikkitmen. If compasses are too mundane and you want an exotic/steampunk solution you might consider a balloon-based lighthouse. If the lighthouse sent a beam ...


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They are sailing, right? So every night, they just keep their course at the same angle towards the wind until the sun comes up again. Wind directions at sea are typically rather stable.


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1.The Sun is a star, so "having no stars" is a funny paradox. Well I'm no sailor, but is there a moon in your world?Because if so maybe it could be used as a means of direction.Or at least as an "anchor" of sorts so those on the seas know where to look for for reference. A compass might work, but how about also using some knowledge of water currents' paths ...


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One possible method of navigation would depend on the features of the solar system the story it is set in. If another planet in the solar system happens to be visible in the sky at night its angle above the horizon and the date and time can be used to calculate the latitude the ship is at. That is similar to using stars to find the latitude, but more ...


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If they absolutely need to... Lightvessels Well, as already mentioned, usually sailors keep close to the shore, especially in ancient times. Yes, there was this "Columbus" guy who wanted to sail to India via the western route and almost perished had not America been in his way, but in general no one was that stupid. In real life, Germany has still three ...


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Even if this solar system is all that exists in your universe, it can still be all they need to navigate. Some of the brightest 'stars' in our sky are simply planets in our solar system (like Mars and Venus), so as long as your solar system has a few of those, they can be used for navigation.


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They could potentially use a network of anchored beacons. This would take a bit of work on part of the authorities and probably not really work for trans-oceanic sailing (or during wartime), but may be usable for your purposes.


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Using accurate clocks In order to know where you are at sea, you need to know both latitude and longitude. Latitude is some sort of 'trivial' problem since ancient times, because you can tell at where latitude you are by measuring the duration of the day and night. Now, longitude is a more difficult problem: it was a problem even in the earth, because at ...


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Is it "without stars"? Or is it "without nearby, resolvable stars" (say, a star ejected from its home galaxy together with the habitable planet, but given enough time and darkness, the galaxy still visible)? You will get a short interval between the daylight and the total darkness when eyes adapt and the sky stops being uniform. Maybe only blue-eyed people ...


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Nobody else seems to have mentioned it, so I will - the three moons of where-the-heck-am-I make for a very fine navigation system. OK. Yes. You did say just the local star and other planets, but if you are wanting a navigation system, then throwing in a few moons may help.


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Following coastlines is a great way to not get lost, for people without advanced technology. And as mentioned in another answer, you can get a bearing with a compass. Ancient mathematics would be enough to navigate by the planets. Most planets are more or less in the ecliptic plane - to ancient astronomers, the sun and all the planets they could see moved ...


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Polynesian navigation No explanation could be better than real history. Do what the Polynesian sailors used to do. Apart from relying on the sun they were able to read the sea itself to know their position. They were aware of how the water behaves at certain locations on a particular period of the year. They used things like swells, currents, wind ...


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First off, this question reminds me of the Doctor Who episode The Pandorica Opens, in which the TARDIS exploding destroys all the stars. To get on with the main question, there are four ways that ancient peoples generally navigated. First off, your hypothetical people could make like Boy Scouts and Use a compass Seriously, this is one of your best options....


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Well... I guess they would have to go by the other planets then, the Gegenschein could also help: Gegenschein (German: [ˈɡeːɡənʃaɪn]; lit. "countershine") is a faintly bright spot in the night sky centered at the antisolar point. The backscatter of sunlight by interplanetary dust causes this optical phenomenon. Since you don't mention the tech level they ...


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Yes, it is completely safe to orbit HDE 226868 because... HDE 226868 has an exoplanet. Do we know that? No. Do we know that it does not have an exoplanet? Also no. I could not confirm, but I don't believe that Kepler or other systems have surveyed that particular star for having an exoplanet, and even if they did, we cannot detect all exoplanets -- they ...


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You're probably looking at a K-type main sequence stars (also sometimes referred to as Orange dwarves, though astronomers apparently don't like this name much). These stars, bigger than red dwarves, but smaller than G-type main sequence stars (such as Sun), are considered the best candidates in the search for extraterrestrial life, simply because they don't ...


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