Because the World of Gaianar operates under a hybridized magic/science universal ruleset, this allows for a variety of ways people can stay in contact from a distance.
Courier. This is the slowest method, but it is useful when the message has to be written on an original, authenticated document. For example, a deed to a home or notice of pardon.
Whirligig. This is a relatively fast communication method. A whirligig is a small, flying sphere that contains a compact object such as a scroll or a receipt. While whirligigs range in size between 2” and 6” in diameter, the 4” sphere is the preferred size for monthly subscription pulps (think comic books that are rolled into a scroll). Whirligigs fly at 120// and home in on the recipient’s locator bracelet or a stationary locator. The carrying capacity of a whirligig is 1 ounce per inch. Thus, a 4” whirligig could carry a document that weighed four ounces. The user verbally announces the locator address at time of sending. The address is always unique and follows certain protocols. For example:
- Sending a message to Red McPherson, targeted by his locator bracelet: “redmcpherson.person.dynamic”
- Sending a message to Red McPherson’s house: “redmcpherson.building.static”
- Sending a message to Red McPherson’s boat: “redmcpherson.ship.dynamic”
- Sending a message to Red McPherson’s truck: “redmcpherson.vehicle.dynamic”
- Sending a message to Velociraptor Joe’s Bar & Grill in Bali, West Point: “velociraptorjoe.business.building. static.westpoint.bali”
- If it’s a one-of-a-kind business, the city/continent descriptors are not required.
- Sending a message to a travelling locksmith company called Lockout Larry: “lockoutlarry.business.vehicle.dynamic”
- Sending a message to a government agency (such as a courthouse): “balidisrictcourt.government.building.static”
Whirligigs cost 1 CP each. While they are not immediately reusable, there is a bounty on used whirligigs. Turning in ten spent wohirligigs to the local post office will yield a 1 CP reward. Unless physically damaged, they are recharged for resale.
Tablets. This is the fastest way to communicate. It cannot send physical items, however. This is the Gaianar equivalent to email. The data speed is inversely proportional to the distance.
- High Speed Robust Resolution Transfer Protocol. The typical range is a few hundred feet. It’s fast enough to project 3D CAD modeling of complicated projects in real time. The acoustic fidelity for this transfer protocol is also extraordinarily high.
- Telecast Transfer Protocol. The range is usually a few miles (enough to cover a city). This method is often used for broadcasting news or entertainment to the masses. The protocol can handle moderately high resolution 2D full-motion video with stereo sound.
- Standard Transfer Protocol. The range is typically 20-30 miles with “floating head” video, or up to 100 miles with audio only.
- Automated Mapping Protocol. This is an asymmetric protocol with faster download speed and upload. It connects to the closest GPS satellite network and generates both maps and directions. If a weather satellite is available, then weather data will be integrated into the map. Currently the most commonly used networks are "Wayfinder One" (GPS) and Sky Eye (weather).
- Long Distance Transfer Protocol. This is a data-only system for sharing small files and other documents across long distances. It has insufficient bandwidth for audio/video content. The range us up to 500 miles.
- Very Terse Transfer Protocol. This is a data-only, text-only system for sending messages across extraordinarily far distances. It works at interplanetary (and possibly interstellar) distances. It is, of course, still constrained by the speed of light. The data rate is approximately as fast as an old-fashioned telegraph.
- Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol. This is a specialized protocol specifically for attacking Constructs and computer systems. The range is very short (typically 100’ feet, unless the Game Master has a storytelling reason for making the distance greater). This protocol essentially initiates the cybernetic equivalent of spirit combat. Cybernetic challenges are almost always waged between two Constructs or between a Mathematician and a Construct. An untrained attacker foolishly deploying CHAP is almost certainly going to lose (hint: don’t store critical passwords, classified secrets, or embarrassing porn on your tablet.)
Tablets vary in price depending on their capability. A "book reader" tablet can be had for 15 CP while an engineering (or Mathematician) level tablet can easily reach 400 CP (and can be even higher, depending on design requirements).
All Constructs have data beacons. These function as whirligig locators as well as supporting STP, LDTP, VTP, and CHAP. Some specialized Constructs may also have AMP, HSRRTP and TTP.
The data broadcast range references civilian tablets. Specialized miliary or industrial tablets may have a greater range. They may also use protocols not featured in this list. Likewise, non-portable broadcast stations (such a geosynchronous satellite) will likely operate at power levels that are many orders of magnitude higher than a portable data device. Moreover, not all tablets contain all of the protocols listed. For example, an el cheapo tablet that is primarily used as a book reader might only have LDTP and VTTP).
Losing a battle in CHAP does not physically damage either a Construct or a tablet. It does, however, allow the victor to access any data stored on the Construct or tablet. Moreover, it allows the victor to issue commands to the defeated unit (which will be obeyed so long as it is not a suicide directive). Constructs their own Willpower score while a tablet does not. Therefore, the tablet user’s Willpower is used in CHAP battles instead.