Neverstarve/walktapus

From: Ian Gorlick (igorlick@nortel.ca)
Date: Fri 30 May 1997 - 23:27:00 EEST


 Sandy,
Your Neverstarve biscuits are a big improvement over the idea of walktapus bits
in a jar. May I be so bold as to suggest an ammendment or two?

>The main problem is that when an eater of
>Neverstarve dies, about 48 hours later a huge tentacled walktapus bursts
>out of his body and goes on a rampage.

It seems to me that you can't walk around with bits of walktapus in your belly
and have no risk to yourself, just to your neighbours after you die. If you ever
suffer any digestive irregularity then you may have difficulties.

The rate at which you digest the biscuit depends on its surface area, but the
rate at which it grows depends on its volume.

If you ever have your digestion slow down, because of illness, stress, injury,
overwork, etc. then the biscuit will grow faster than it digests. Once it gets a
bit larger then its ratio of surface area to volume gets smaller. Then it begins
to grow exponentially even if your digestion goes back to normal. Pretty soon
you will have a walktapus in your gut exuding poison and eating its way out.
(Did you see "Alien"?)

I would bet that Ralzakark's broo all know this. If they ever feel any digestive
upset then they would induce vomitting immediately. If the thing has already
managed to grow some tentacles then it may be impossible to expel and then you
are toast.

On the other hand, if for any reason your rate of digestion increased, then the
biscuit would shrink a bit and then would exponentially shrink away to nothing.

One more thing, if you eat very much, then the food in your stomach will consume
some of your gastric juices, effectively protecting the biscuit from being
digested. This sets off scenario number 1. So you don't have to eat (a big plus
when food is scarce), but you aren't able to enjoy dining when good food is
available either (a big minus in most people's minds).

I hope these suggestions are useful to you in your Glorantha. Unfortunately I
don't think I will be able to introduce Neverstarve into my Glorantha.

I still can't accept the notion of walktapus flesh generating more flesh out of
nothing. It causes too many problems with the world at large.

Consider walktapus or any other chunk of regenerating meat. Most people would
probably find cave troll to be safer than walktapus. If you have a chunk of meat
that is small enough to be safe then you let it grow a bit. Once it has doubled
in size you cut it in half and put the halves in separate containers. Then you
repeat the cycle. The amount of available meat grows exponentially. Once you
have enough you stop putting the new bits aside to grow and you cook them
instead. This sort of thing would mean that starvation would be unknown in
Glorantha. Every fortress or town would have some regenerating meat bits in

storage. They don't need reserves of food. In case of seige or famine, you bring
out the meat and you can feed any size of population easily. People would only
bother to hunt or farm for luxury foods, the staple would become regenerated
meat.

It is a fairly obvious idea, so if it is possible then any group that really
wants to do it will figure out how given time, and they have had millenia to
work on it. So I can't assume that it is a military secret known only to
Ralzakark and his minions.

Your biscuits are a fun idea, and if I ever play in your game I'll cheerfully
accept them as part of the background, but my personal obsessions prevent me
from using them in my game.

------------------------------


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.7 : Fri 13 Jun 2003 - 17:00:00 EEST