Systems of Communication
The ability to communicate, particularly across distances is incredibly important for any society. These distances may be measured in lightyears, or they may be measured in miles, but in order to coordinate separate people or population centers the ability to communicate over that distance must exist.
- Post: Letters may be carried by a person, via a system of carriages or vehicles, or may be transported by trained animal such as a bird or fox.
- Smoke Signals
- Internet: Networked computers, forums, and chatrooms may be a primary means of communication.
- Newspaper: A widely circulated printed means to distribute news.
- Town Cryer: A single person can be responsible for communicating important news to the masses by announcing such news at a central location such as town square.
- Town Bulletin Board: A central board used to post news, bounties, jobs, etc.
- Phone Line: Briing briiing.
- Satellite: Allows for robust, long distance communication.
- Signal Flares: Can be used to signify an emergency, the onset of an event, or something else.
- Semaphore: Using different colored and patterned flags to communicate was especially prevalent on seagoing vessels. This was also important to organize battle tactics during skirmishes, with flags indicating commands.
- Code Mark: A charcoal, graffiti, or other written mark or glyph readable only to those who understand the code.
- Hand Signals: Commonly used by soldiers and people in noisy bars.
- Instruments: Horns and drums have both been used to communicate across distances.
- Light Signals: These may be generated by electric lights or by signal fires.
- Radio: The primary means of communicating for some time.
- Television: Television, and particularly news channels, can disseminate information to a broad audience.
- Future Technology: Communication in the future, especially so if it spans the massive scales of space, will need to rely on novel technologies.
- Magical Means: Magical mirrors, orbs, sending stones, etc. could all serve to aid in communication.
- Other: Most manipulatable elements can be used to communicate with as long as both parties can understand the meaning of the manipulated element. Communication can be verbal, visual, audible, or other.
Does a remote outpost, village, or garrison in your world depend on long-distance communication? What would happen if that communication channel was severed?
How does the speed of communication impact your world? If it takes days, months, or even years for a message to be conveyed how do people cope or adapt to this?