Author Topic: How to give a wizard some amenites.  (Read 6419 times)

Offline Todjaeger

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Re: How to give a wizard some amenites.
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2011, 08:45:51 AM »
A few things have come to mind about Harry and his relative lack of modern amenities.

The first is that a number of the suggestions provided so far would either not work, or could potentially work but might cause other problems.

One of the suggestions was to utilized a gas-fired hot water heater.  I forget which of the later books it was, but Harry quite specifically mentioned it being too risky for him to have a gas-fired hot water heater, because there was a risk of explosion.  As has been observed repeatedly, Harry tends to hex things, and he's therefore rather hard on modern appliances.  This includes hexing mechanical devices like automatic weapons.  With the example of a gas-fired heater, there is the possibility that the pilot light could snuff out, and there would be a build of gas, or any of the other potentially very bad things which can happen with such a volatile fuel.

For the example of staying in residential hotel, the wizard is most likely still going to be in close proximity to the hot water tank, or the hotel might very well use a tankless system, with the heating elements relatively close to the individual showers and faucets which would draw hot water.  This is the case (both in terms of hot water tanks and tankless systems) because there is a limit to how far hot water can be moved from the heating source to the end point of use, and have the water stay within an acceptable temperature range (~120 degrees F)  Now the greater the distance, the more material the water would come into contact with to draw heat from the water.  This could be gotten around but increasing the water temperature at the tank, but then those showers and faucets closer to the tank would get hot water which is too hot, potentially 160+ degrees F (the temperature of a hot cup of coffee)

Now for Harry's issue of taking cold showers, I suspect that is a bit self-inflicted.  The ancient Greeks and Romans had showers, and for a long time, various types of baths were available for people to use which could be heated.  Unfortunately for Harry, he lives in a basement apartment of an old Chicago rooming house, and he has neither the money nor the craftsmanship to buy, modify or build some of the systems which could allow him to regularly take hot showers. 

Consider this, Harry has a fireplace which he uses to heat his apartment.  If there were a series of circulation pipes running between a water tank and the back of his fireplace, Harry could both heat his apartment, and have a source of hot water.  Taking things further, by having a large tank of heated water in his apartment, it would actually help regulate the temperature of his apartment, since water is slow to both heat and cool.  In order for his to be able to actually use this though, there would need to be a certain amount of re-plumbing the pipes...

For those looking for other, non-magical and non-technical ideas, look at how current groups like the Amish manage to live with, or some of the ancient civilizations like the Greeks and Romans.  Some of the earliest examples of indoor heating and plumbing can be from such societies.

-Cheers
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Offline JediDresden

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Re: How to give a wizard some amenites.
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2011, 03:08:24 PM »
Thanks for your ideas everyone.  Yeah i seemed to remember those things about Harry's philosophy on life, and he is busy saving the world and does not have a lot o of time to come up with things that might make his life easier.

I was just wondering how other magic users live when they are not saving the world all the time.  Thanks again.

Offline TheMouse

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Re: How to give a wizard some amenites.
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2011, 04:31:19 PM »
Consider this, Harry has a fireplace which he uses to heat his apartment.  If there were a series of circulation pipes running between a water tank and the back of his fireplace, Harry could both heat his apartment, and have a source of hot water.  Taking things further, by having a large tank of heated water in his apartment, it would actually help regulate the temperature of his apartment, since water is slow to both heat and cool.  In order for his to be able to actually use this though, there would need to be a certain amount of re-plumbing the pipes...
Redoing the pipes in your apartment and ripping apart the chimney at the same time is going to be really expensive. If you do it yourself, you're going to need to know what you're doing, and then it's going to take a while (especially if people keep attacking you while you're doing it). Either way, it's really resource intensive.

It's way easier to just take a bath. Fill the tub part way with cold water. Heat a pot of water over the fire and add it to the tub. Repeat until it's full.

Those times you're really gross, you can either rinse off in the cold shower, or you can wipe off the worst of the grime with a wash cloth and then dump some water over your head. Then rinse out the tub and proceed as above.

Yeah, it's a bit of a stop gap. On the other hand, you don't need to redo the plumping in your whole apartment and rip apart your chimney while you're doing it.

If you're dead set on taking a hot shower, you can always rig something up. Put a hook into the ceiling that can easily hold 50 pounds. Fill a 5 gallon bucket with a combination of tap water and hot water. Put it on the hook (which can hold it, because it's only 40 pounds). Attach a hose to it somehow (and there are lots of ways to do that). Let it rip.

I mean, a 5 gallon shower isn't going to be record-settingly long, but it's better than an ice cold one. And you can rig up this sort of system in 20 minutes. Better yet, the highest tech thing involved is a spigot, and the rest runs on gravity.

Offline Todjaeger

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Re: How to give a wizard some amenites.
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2011, 07:28:41 PM »
Redoing the pipes in your apartment and ripping apart the chimney at the same time is going to be really expensive. If you do it yourself, you're going to need to know what you're doing, and then it's going to take a while (especially if people keep attacking you while you're doing it). Either way, it's really resource intensive.

It's way easier to just take a bath. Fill the tub part way with cold water. Heat a pot of water over the fire and add it to the tub. Repeat until it's full.

Those times you're really gross, you can either rinse off in the cold shower, or you can wipe off the worst of the grime with a wash cloth and then dump some water over your head. Then rinse out the tub and proceed as above.

Yeah, it's a bit of a stop gap. On the other hand, you don't need to redo the plumping in your whole apartment and rip apart your chimney while you're doing it.

If you're dead set on taking a hot shower, you can always rig something up. Put a hook into the ceiling that can easily hold 50 pounds. Fill a 5 gallon bucket with a combination of tap water and hot water. Put it on the hook (which can hold it, because it's only 40 pounds). Attach a hose to it somehow (and there are lots of ways to do that). Let it rip.

I mean, a 5 gallon shower isn't going to be record-settingly long, but it's better than an ice cold one. And you can rig up this sort of system in 20 minutes. Better yet, the highest tech thing involved is a spigot, and the rest runs on gravity.

Th chimney wouldn't need to be torn apart to get hot water piping into the back of the chimney, the pipes would just come out the front of the chimney and lead back to the water tank.

Heck, this could be done with a modified beer keg and some welded copper piping and two shutoff valves..  Makes a great portable hot water heater and can be pressurized with a pump...

For that matter, many camping stores and wilderness outfitters sell solar showers, which perform a similar function as a suspended bucket of hot water.

Incidentally, the whole issue is with a wizard being able to use modern appliances to heat/store hot water for later use.  Meaning that there wouldn't normally be such water "on tap".

Now from my experience, having at least one or two characters in a group that have some decent Craftsmanship is valuable, as it can let players build things they want/need to have, even if it's mostly used 'off camera'.

-Cheers
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Offline Pbartender

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Re: How to give a wizard some amenites.
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2011, 08:21:48 PM »
Okay.

As noted previously, modern wood burning (or "pellet" burning) stoves are easy to find, relatively inexpensive to purchase ($2,000 or less, typically), and can be surprisingly efficient...  With the right duct work, they can keep even large houses toasty warm.  Plus, conversion kits that allow you to use a wood burning to heat water for storage in an otherwise disconnected gas or electric water heater (they're just loops of stainless steel pipe that run through the heater box of the stove) are not terribly expensive (a few hundred bucks) or difficult to find, either.

Harry lives in a cold apartment with no hot water, not because there is no alternative but because he hasn't bothered to look for alternatives.

Offline The Mighty Buzzard

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Re: How to give a wizard some amenites.
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2011, 08:51:40 PM »
And then there's the option of having a thaumaturgical replacement for an outside-the-copper-line water heater.  As long as you're putting the spell on something outside the copper pipe, the running water inside may not affect the spell too badly.  You could even do this as a scene-long evocation maneuver and have it only operate long enough for you to grab a quick shower.
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Offline JediDresden

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Re: How to give a wizard some amenites.
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2011, 10:47:08 PM »
Yeah the wizard I am doing background stuff for is for a game in Hawaii.  I am not really worried about him getting to cold, it would just be nice to look into ways to have some hot water.  I looked into some solar powered 'passive systems', basically a holding tank that is black letting the sun heat it up - like was mentioned above.  It would give him enough for a shower everyday and what not, I really just want his significant other to be somewhat comfortable when she spends the night.  I was also thinking like an outdoor shower area that are at some beach houses where you can rinse off the saltwater and sand after a day on the beach, which probably would not have to heated that much.

Probably keeping things cold would be harder in a tropical environment.  I like the idea of ice from winter's realm or an enchanted crystal with Thaumaturgy to stay cold.

I agree Harry just has not taken the time to research anything better than cold showers, I just shudder at that thought for the rest a wizards life.

It is for a NPC character more or less soa as long as it is half way believable it should fly with the GM.

Offline Haru

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Re: How to give a wizard some amenites.
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2011, 10:54:43 PM »
Probably keeping things cold would be harder in a tropical environment.  I like the idea of ice from winter's realm or an enchanted crystal with Thaumaturgy to stay cold.

Why not strike two vampires with one satellite? Create a link between the icebox and the water tank, and you could simply move heat away from the icebox and use that heat in the water heater. Like when Harry froze the lake, only you don't do it quite that sudden and you don't just throw all that energy away. They don't even have to be physically linked, just a pair of crystals, one placed in each should do.
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Offline theDwarf

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Re: How to give a wizard some amenites.
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2011, 11:57:55 PM »
A few things have come to mind about Harry and his relative lack of modern amenities.

The first is that a number of the suggestions provided so far would either not work, or could potentially work but might cause other problems.

One of the suggestions was to utilized a gas-fired hot water heater.  I forget which of the later books it was, but Harry quite specifically mentioned it being too risky for him to have a gas-fired hot water heater, because there was a risk of explosion.

All depends on where you live and whether you own the building.
Oil and coal are both urban fuel sources that could also be used to heat water.  The real problem with a modern hot water heater is not as much the gas as the pressure value failing and the unit turning into a bomb (think Mythbusters, then a wizard accidentally hexing the pressure valve).  If you have the room a larged raised open vat can be heated via coal or wood then mixed with cold water.  What's the problem?
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Offline JediDresden

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Re: How to give a wizard some amenites.
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2011, 07:41:29 PM »
Haru,
I like the idea of the linked crystals.

Everyone/Anyone,
I am not familiar enough with the crafting rules.  If I wanted to stat it up how would you do it?  Would it be a thaumaturgic ritual placing 2 aspects of the crystals and a duration?  It seems to simple, but when I tend to over-think things too much and complicate it.


Offline Richard_Chilton

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Re: How to give a wizard some amenites.
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2011, 07:56:17 PM »
I've written up a wizard who likes the good life - it's at http://www.jimbutcheronline.com/bb/index.php/topic,29167.0.html.  Feel free to comment.

Richard

Offline The Mighty Buzzard

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Re: How to give a wizard some amenites.
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2011, 08:29:56 PM »
Haru,
I like the idea of the linked crystals.

Everyone/Anyone,
I am not familiar enough with the crafting rules.  If I wanted to stat it up how would you do it?  Would it be a thaumaturgic ritual placing 2 aspects of the crystals and a duration?  It seems to simple, but when I tend to over-think things too much and complicate it.

It's not crafting, it's just a long running spell.  I tend to go with Harry's explanation on spells placed on objects.  It's easy to make them work at home, being able to take them on the road takes more effort.  So, if it's something for just around the house, I don't charge EI slots for it.
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Offline JediDresden

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Re: How to give a wizard some amenites.
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2011, 08:44:07 PM »
That's what I was kind of thinking after reading the thread about Jake that Richard started.

Offline Silverblaze

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Re: How to give a wizard some amenites.
« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2011, 11:23:13 PM »
I pose a question similar to amenites, but not quite.

Can a wizard keep tattoos or peircings long term.  I know Molly has plenty of both, but will Wizards Constitution slowly heal all of it? 

(both are technically wounds and scars/permanent wounds [that aren't permanent on a wizard])

By extension can someone with recovery powers have those above body alterations?

Would that depend on the flavor of the recovery power?

Offline Richard_Chilton

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Re: How to give a wizard some amenites.
« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2011, 11:40:18 PM »
Define long term.

Most tattoos need to be retouched and older ones fade.  I might be wrong but I don't think that a 50 year old tattoo would be anything but a blue of ink.  As for piercings, as long as the ring (or whatever) is in they should be okay, but I've known people whose piercings have healed over because they left the ring/stud/whatever out for too long.

Richard