Technological Marvels

Technological marvels are many in this wonderful age of steam, gear, volt, and reason.

Transport

Transport devices are generally not for use by an individual. A steam engineer may repair a train, steamship, or dirigible on an intellect roll at -3.

The personal airship is a practical and relatively inexpensive mode of transit, capable of carrying significant cargo and making landings in any setting.
The personal airship is a practical and relatively inexpensive mode of transit, capable of carrying significant cargo and making landings in any setting.

Also, a personal airship, steamcar, or steamboat, capable of transporting a maximum of five people, may be made at a cost of 1000 £ and with one week of work, if an intellect roll at -4 is passed on each day of that week. Failing the roll on any given day means attempting the same roll the next day (i.e. a one-day setback) and an additional 100 £ of parts.

The speed of these vehicles is: airship (dirigible): 25 miles per hour; steamcar: 75 miles per hour; steamboat: 50 miles per hour.

The steamboat described is a speed boat, and is not seaworthy for any oceanic voyages. Larger boats that are seaworthy tend to travel significantly slower, approximately 20 mph. Such a vessel is no harder to construct, but is much larger and more expensive. It is at the narrator’s discretion if he allows characters to find sufficient space and materials to construct battle cruisers, tankers, and intercontinental dirigible cruise liners. A personal airship is sufficient for intercontinental travel, and the narrator need allow no more.

Any special maneuvers outside of their normal operations require motor skills rolls at modifiers assessed by the Narrator based on their hazard and difficulty.

Automata

Automata are useful “thinking machines” that may be employed in various tasks. They require a steam engineer or clockwork manufacturer, as listed, to provide parts, and either a computational engine or a bound spirit to drive them. Bound spirits must be taken by compact and then bound to the automaton by a willpower roll at -4. Computational engines are installed on a successful intellect roll by a qualified electrical or clockwork engineer, as appropriate.

Here we see an engineer hard at work in an automata repair shop.
Here we see an engineer hard at work in an automata repair shop.

Body traits are determined by the crafted form, spirit and mind by the means of drive, as listed under Computational Engines and Ghosts, respectively. Automata controlled by spirits have an aura, whereas those controlled solely by mechanical thinking machines do not.

Android

An impressive facsimile of the functions of man, wrought in metal. This simulacrum is capable of nearly any physical action that a man could take, and, with the proper control mechanism in place, makes a handy companion.

Androids are used as companions, servants, information network operators, and laborers, especially for tasks at which human beings are unsuitable due to either the fragility of organic bodies or the relatively slow reaction time of organic nervous systems.
Androids are used as companions, servants, information network operators, and laborers, especially for tasks at which human beings are unsuitable due to either the fragility of organic bodies or the relatively slow reaction time of organic nervous systems.
  • Materials: £ 2500.
  • Creation: (Steam Engineering or Clockwork) Requires one month, and an intellect roll at -4 once each day, with each failure resulting in a two-day setback and the requirement of an additional 200 £ of parts.
  • Stats: 3 both body traits, 8 damage levels of resilience, 1 armor, can wear further armor and wield weapons, though firearms are used at -5.
  • Energy: Steam androids require one peat tablet each 12 hours. Clockwork androids require winding once each 12 hours or the binding of 25 minor elements to a handful of crucial gears.

 

Colossus

One can hardly fail to notice the construction of a colossus nearby. These mega-behemoths are a hundred feet high, standing on steel girders attached to one another by high-tension cables. They are effectively a mode of transport in addition to an automaton, and move 25 miles per hour in a pavement-breaking dance upon their six long legs. Specifics of design vary, but the only currently operating colossi are the Rogue Platforms of the Siberian wastes, an army of six six-legged creations which are comprised of a platform not unlike an ironclad warship mounted on the walking apparatus.

To list traits for such a monstrosity is absurd, but it is assumed that their creation would require daily intellect rolls at -7, with failure resulting in setback, and a probable ten million pound budget to say nothing of the difficulty of acquiring the parts, and at least a year to construct by oneself, and all this before even adding armament. The end result is a terrifying creation, capable of following orders autonomously and transporting 50 or more people on board. Steam Engineering. It is theoretically possible to craft a colossus of clockwork, but the only means of producing sufficient drive would be a massive amount of binding, akin to harnessing the spiritual force of an entire modern city’s population.

  • Materials: ???
  • Creation: (Steam Engineering)
  • Stats: ???
  • Energy: Requires bales of enriched peat each day, costing 1000 £ per day of operation in the absence of a steady peat supply either donated or otherwise free.

Dragonfly ‘Thopter

A dainty and elegantly crafted flying machine, typically constructed of artistically wrought bronze with stretched silk for the wing membrane. These tiny contraptions are small enough to lay on the palm of one’s hand, and are thus useful only for message carrying and information gathering, at both of which they are tremendously capable. Small, carefully-ground lenses grant the ‘Thopter a +2 perception modifier with respect to sight. Incapable of causing harm by direct means, the ‘thopter would only be dangerous if carrying something light and volatile, like a vial of Glowing Green Acid, or a bound enchantment of fire projection. Moves at 10 mph whilst in flight.

  • Materials: £ 60 of materials.
  • Creation: (Clockwork) Requires 12 hours and a motor skills roll at -5 to successfully craft.
  • Stats: 1 damage level of resilience, 1 armor, 5 fast-twitch musculature, 1 slow-twitch, +2 perception.
  • Energy: Must be wound once each week or have 1 minor element bound to its driving gear.

 

Guardian

Basically a heavier version of the Manservant, Guardians are popular companions for those individuals frequently placed in “difficult situations.” They are large, heavy (approx. 600 lb.s), and strong, based around a large, thickly plated boiler with four stump legs and four large arms extending from the central cylinder. Cannot run, jump, dodge, climb, tumble, etc. Moves at walking speed. Can be given melee weapons, but makes attacks with them at -3 due to its ponderous manipulators and jerky pneumatic movement.

  • Materials: £ 1000 of parts.
  • Creation: (Steam Engineering) Requires one week, and an intellect roll at -4 to be passed each day. Failure incurs a one-day setback and 100 additional £ of materials.
  • Stats: 3 fast-twitch musculature, 5 slow-twitch musculature, 10 damage levels of resilience, 2 armor, -3 melee attack.
  • Energy: One peat pellet for every 6 hours of operation.

 

Manservant

These bipedal, half-sized people come equipped with numerous spindly micro-pneumatic arms that telescope from the assembly on their cylindrical torso. Can perform most non-athletic actions that a human could, but has trouble moving quickly or exerting much force. Walks at a decent pace, but cannot run, jump, climb, etc. without assistance or further modification.

  • Materials: £ 350 of parts.
  • Creation: (Steam Engineering) Requires 48 hours, and an intellect roll at -2.
  • Stats: 5 damage levels of resilience, 1 armor (thin plating to keep price down), 1 all body traits.
  • Energy: One enriched peat tablet and it’ll run all day!

 

Pocket Dancer

These tiny facsimiles of human life are fantastically intricate, with articulation so complex it boggles the mind. They are capable not only of human function, but of extreme grace and feats of acrobatics that astound the mind. Capable of leaping five feet in any direction despite their mere foot of stature and able to otherwise move with extreme grace, these marvels are the height of ingenuity. Sinister-minded artisans have seen fit to equip such creatures with attached scalpels, though the creation of such a thing is a certain violation of the Passivity in Automata Act of 1972. Owing to the crystal movements and the necessity of transmuted metal gears and plating of insanely diminutive make, the cost is astronomical.

  • Materials: £ 100,000 per Dancer.
  • Creation: (Clockwork) Requires one week, during each day of which a motor skills check at -5 and an intellect check at -5 or the entire endeavor must begin anew, though the parts can be salvaged at a loss of 50 £ for some replacements.
  • Stats: Fast-twitch musculature of 5, slow-twitch musculature of 1, 1 damage level of resilience, and 2 armor, and to hit one the attacker must make a manipulation roll to target a small target, as listed in Weapons.
  • Energy: It is powered by a single minor spirit, or by winding once a day.

 

Watch-dog

The awful pun has become a more memorable name than the inventor’s choice, and now these four-legged, foot-long walking toolboxes and helpers are saddled with the moniker. They carry up to 200 £ and can climb over walls or ceilings, but otherwise are ill-prepared for physical challenges.

  • Materials: £ 100 of parts.
  • Creation: (Clockwork) 24 hours, and an intellect roll at -2.
  • Stats: 4 damage levels of resilience, 2 armor, 1 all body traits.
  • Energy: Wind it once a day or equip with 10 bound minor spirit elements and it’ll never run short of vim, vigor, and get-go

Computational Engines

Computational Engines are marvels of modern science that use mechanical means to produce the surfeit of thought. Crystal movements are by far the most advanced, thanks to reverse-engineering of the model discovered in the lost city of Atlantis, but an electrical circuit board has also proven able to carry out computations.

Clockwork Mind

Thought by crystal movement has been able to produce a close approximation of human thought. When coupled with ground glass lenses and vibration-sensitive audio receivers, such an engine may be attached to an automaton to create human-like function.

  • Materials: £ 200 of materials
  • Creation: (Clockwork) A clockwork roll of -5 difficulty and one month.
  • Stats (Mind): I:4 G:1 P:4 MS:2
  • Energy: Requires winding once every day.

Electrical Computer

By creating a series of circuits that can either be off or on, computations may be carried out. The advancement of the electrical computer has provided an alternative to the clockwork mind, but has failed to parallel its success in producing pseudo-sentience. The artificial intelligence of these devices is rudimentary in comparison to that of their clockwork counterparts.

  • Materials: £ 300 of materials.
  • Creation: (Electrical Engineering) An electrical engineering roll of -5 difficulty, and one month.
  • Stats (Mind): I:2 G:1 P:2 MS:1.
  • Energy: A fresh voltaic cell is required every 48 hours to keep the electrical computer thinking.

Memory Banks

Installing an auxiliary drive containing reference data allows a computational engine to better understand context when making judgments and calculations. Memory banks must be of the same type as the computational engine to which they are attached, but may be made in either electrical or clockwork varieties with equal ease. Memory banks provide a +1 modifier on all rolls taken by the automaton in one specific area, much like the fourth tier of the Knowledge ability. Up to six memory banks may be attached to one computational engine, but their effects do not stack: that is to say, an automaton cannot gain +2 on any action due to its memory banks. They add bulk to the computational engine, necessitating additional housing upon installation into an automaton, often producing a conspicuous bulge or box where the computational engine is installed. This side effect can potentially put the automaton in danger of having its ‘mind’ targeted by ne’er-do-wells.

  • Materials: 200 £ worth of materials.
  • Creation: (Clockwork or Electrical Engineering) A roll at a difficulty of -5, and one week.
  • Stats (Mind): +1 modifier to all rolls taken in a specific field of expertise.
  • Energy: Electrical memory banks draw their power from the main supply, and do not require their own voltaic cells to operate.

Miniature Processor

This computational engine is very small. It is suitable for use in automatons too small to control with a full-sized computational engine, such as the dragonfly ‘thopter and the pocket dancer. It is also popular as a back-up control device for full-sized automaton, activated when the main computer goes offline, or as part of an automated guidance system for various munitions in military environments. Only clockwork engineering is sufficiently advanced to produce such a device.

  • Materials: £ 200 of materials .
  • Creation: (Clockwork Engineering) A roll of -7 difficulty, and two weeks.
  • Stats (Mind): I:1 G:2 P:4 MS:2
  • Energy: Requires winding once every 48 hours.

Powered Tools

Powered Tools are used in the construction and refinement of other inventions, as well as in mining, drilling, logging, and other endeavors. Steam Engineering.

Chainsaw

A chainsaw is used for cutting things. and may be used to cut through wood or light metals, though anything harder than aluminum will ruin the chain and require replacement.

  • Materials: £300
  • Creation: 24 hours, and an intellect roll at -4
  • Stats: If used as a weapon, it has: 4 damage, 2 foot reach, -4 manipulation, 5 menace, and applies a constant -3 modifier to attack rolls, but is nearly guaranteed to sever something with each successful attack, adding to the subjective threat and potential lethality.
  • Energy: One peat tablet for each hour of continuous use.

Craftsman’s Tools

Rather than purchase a power saw, a drill press, and the like for a combined 5,000 £ to outfit a shop, you may craft them yourself. These may be used to craft any Engineering creation.

  • Materials: £400 of materials.
  • Creation: 48 hours, and a passed intellect roll at -2.
  • Stats:
  • Energy: Requires one peat pellet for each day of shop time.

Drill-hammer

Thanks to transmuted metal, bits capable of drilling and hammering for extended durations have made the powered drill and the jack-hammer a single tool. It is quite bulky, requiring a slow-twitch musculature roll at -2 to carry successfully whenever attempting to run or perform any other athletic maneuver. It also increases the difficulty of athletic rolls by a -2 modifier, and attack rolls made with it by a -5 modifier. However, it is as powerful as its bulk implies, easily drilling holes in any other metal and shattering nearly any rock.

  • Materials: £750.
  • Creation: 24 hours, and an intellect roll at -6.
  • Stats: If used as a weapon, it has: 6 damage, 3 foot reach, -6 manipulation, 6 menace, and it puts a hole in anything it deals 3 or more damage to, adding to the subjective damage that so often results in untimely death due to aerated organs.
  • Energy: Requires one peat tablet for each hour of continuous use.

Miracle Devices

Miracle Devices are the strange half-understood prototype blueprints left by Tesla. Only four are currently known to have operational models, as listed below. Crafted by Electrical Engineers.

Instant Audio Communicator

These communicators allow two individuals to talk to one another more clearly and securely than by radio broadcast, and intercepting their signals is nearly impossible. Calls may be placed to any other communicator to which you have the frequency code. One voltaic cell can power a communicator for a month. They function over any range.

  • Materials: £100.
  • Creation: Pass an intellect roll at -2, and spend 4 hours.
  • Stats:
  • Energy: Requires one voltaic cell per month.

LASER

Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation produces a ray of concentrated light that, given proper power, can be used to cut very accurately, or even to harm. An industrial LASER deals one damage of extreme heat to any surface it touches every round in which the light remains applied, consuming one voltaic cell for every ten minutes of operation. In this way, it will cut through metal at a rate of a one foot line through 1 inch of steel every 10 seconds of concentration, or deal 2 damage to a target on whom the beam concentrates for a round.

Materials: £350 of materials.

Creation: 12 hours, and an intellect check at -4 are required.

Stats: If used as a weapon: 0 manipulation, one round reload time, 100 foot range increment, 1 menace.

Energy: Requires one voltaic cell every ten minutes.

Light Refractive Non-interruptive Cloaking Field Device

More commonly called a Cloaking Device or, by the fanciful, a Cloak of Invisibility, this hooded, floor-length garment of slightly stiff cloth is interspersed with electromagnetic nodes that power a curious field capable of manipulating the optical density of the ionized air around a body. The practical result is that a person wearing a powered Cloaking Device bends most light that would interact with the body such that it continues on the far side with an unaltered trajectory, after an infinitesimally small delay. The device is perfect, in theory, but in practice the interference between the nodes, especially while the relative positions of the nodes are shifting, creates a slight “crackling” effect to the area occupied. Sound and tactile sensation remain unaltered. Rain or other water negates the effect due to interference with the light, and any substance that touches the cloaked individual may stick or otherwise interact, negating the effect at the Narrator’s discretion.

  • Materials: £450 of materials.
  • Creation: Requires 12 hours, and an intellect check at -6.
  • Stats: While in use, the user cannot be seen unless a perception roll is passed by the observer at -4 for a moving user or -6 for a stationary user.
  • Energy: Uses one voltaic cell per hour of operation.

Matter Transmitter

Commonly used at post-offices to send packages over long distance, they have NOT been approved for the transport of living beings, and all attempts thus far to send a living creature by matter transmission have resulted in death en route. However, any object with no living or significantly radioactive components that can fit inside of the cubic, one-yard-to-a-side devices can be instantly sent to another that is set to receive.

  • Materials: £3,500.
  • Creation: 48 hours and an intellect check at -7 to construct.
  • Stats:
  • Energy: One voltaic cell per use.

 

Explosives

Explosives have many uses, but are perhaps best known for their potential for wanton destruction. Explosives have a high chance of inflicting fatal injuries, but the delay between the deployment and detonation gives any unfortunates caught in the blast area a small window in which to escape. Rolls to escape the blast radius are taken as a dodge, and may be taken as reflexive, move, or combat actions for as many rounds as pass before the detonation. Difficulty is determined by the distance a hopeful escapee must cross to reach safety and the difficulty of the intervening terrain, as assessed by the Narrator. It is thus quite easy to escape with a move action in most situations, but significantly more difficult to do so with a reflexive leap. High explosive variants have their blast radius increased by 10 feet. Cost is increased by £20. Incendiary variants add 1 fire damage/round over their blast radius and any caught within for 5 rounds or until extinguished by smothering. Cost is increased by£10. Knowledge of Demolitions is necessary to create the following items.

Crude Explosive

Made by simply stuffing a highly combustible substance inside an enclosed container and attaching a fuse, crude explosives are nonetheless incredibly dangerous. They can be thrown accurately to a distance of ten feet by an average man, but are not guaranteed to remain intact.

  • Materials: £50
  • Creation: A half hour and a successful intellect roll.
  • Damage: 6.
  • Radius: 5 ft.
  • Detonation Time: 3 – 10 seconds.

Demolition Charge

These controlled explosives have their primary use in breaching walls and demolishing buildings, but can be used to disable vehicles or construct traps in a pinch. They are triggered with wire and a plunger, allowing controlled detonation to be produced from up to twenty feet away when the plunger is depressed. The ensuing blast deals 6 damage in a two-foot radius.

  • Materials: £ 150
  • Creation: A half hour and a successful intellect roll.
  • Damage: 6.
  • Radius: 2 ft.
  • Detonation Time:

Grenade

An improved casing and explosive allows for a thirty-foot throw and a ten-foot radius of four damage. If a grenade is seen, it is wise to start running. They detonate very reliably at 10 seconds after the pin is pulled.

  • Materials: £150
  • Creation: A half hour and a successful intellect roll.
  • Damage: 8.
  • Radius: 10 ft.
  • Detonation Time: 10 seconds.

Molotov Cocktail

A bottle of pure spirits with a rag put in will suffice, but adding a dash of petroleum significantly improves burn time. These lit bottles can be thrown easily for thirty feet. They create an intense fire covering a five-foot radius upon impact, and burn for one minute. Thanks to the petroleum, this cannot be accomplished with water – only by smothering the flame is safety ensured.

  • Materials: £5
  • Creation: A half hour and a successful intellect roll.
  • Damage: 4 per round until extinguished.
  • Radius: 5 ft.
  • Detonation Time:

 

Electrical Projection

Electrical Projection devices are varying makes and degrees of the Tesla Coil, crafted by Electrical Engineers. These devices expend voltaic cells to produce charged bolts of electricity over a relatively short distance. Binding does not produce sufficient voltage to operate these devices. These devices come in three grades.

These weapons are aimed and fired like a firearm, but without the ability to use manipulation rolls to target specific areas. Manipulation is listed for attempts to hit small targets.

In addition to the damage dealt, the target must pass a general health roll with a difficulty equal to the damage taken or suffer cardiac arrest (i.e. if hit with a light electrical projection device, a roll of the dice + general health – 1 must result in 9 or greater or the target immediately drops to 0 health due to cardiac arrest.)

Devices controlled by computational engines are denied all actions for a number of rounds equal to damage taken after being shocked by an electrical projection device.

 

Light Electrical Projection Device

Anyone not trained in Electrical Engineering attempts its use at -4.

  • Materials: £350
  • Creation: Requires 24 hours, and an intellect check at -2.
  • Stats: 1 damage, 2 round reload time, 20 foot range, cannot target specific areas but manipulation of -2 for the purpose of hitting small objects, 2 menace.
  • Energy: Expends 1 voltaic cell to produce an arc of electricity.

 

Medium Electrical Projection Device

Non-engineers cannot use.

  • Materials: £500.
  • Creation: 24 hours, and an intellect check at -4.
  • Stats: 3 damage, 3 round reload time, 30 foot range, manipulation -2, 3 menace.
  • Energy: Expends 3 voltaic cells per shot.

Heavy Electrical Projection Device

Non-engineers cannot use.

Even a mighty Carnotaurus is given pause by the shocking discharge of a heavy electrical projection device in the hands of a trained operator.
Even a mighty Carnotaurus is given pause by the shocking discharge of a heavy electrical projection device in the hands of a trained operator.
  • Materials: £1,000.
  • Creation: 48 hours, and an intellect check at -6.
  • Stats: 5 damage, 10 round reload time, 50 foot range, manipulation -5, 5 menace.
  • Energy: Expends 6 voltaic cells per shot.

 

Combustion Inventions

Combustion Inventions are hazardous, ill-advised, and daring. If a crafting or use roll fails, they explode, dealing 6 damage to the engineer in attendance and anything else within 30 feet. They may only be made by Combustion Engineers of first-tier or higher.

Modified Equipment

Combustion engineers may make combustion-driven versions of any steam mechanism by adding an additional -2 to the crafting difficulty and adding +1 to all effects and traits and +10 miles per hour to speed.

  • Materials: As base item.
  • Creation: (Combustion Engineering)
  • Stats: As base item, +1 to all damage and traits and +10 mph to speed as applicable.
  • Energy: Requires refuel twice as often as equivalent steam invention.

My Own Recipe

Combustion fuel. Each batch yields 3 rocketeering pack charges or the equivalent fuel duration of half of a peat pellet for modified equipment per batch. This corresponds to five gallons of fluid.

  • Materials: £75 per batch
  • Creation: (Combustion Engineering) Each batch takes two hours, and an intellect roll at -3, which, if failed, results in a 5-damage explosion.

Rocketeering Packs

These back-mounted rockets, held on by straps, allow the user to fly freely and at high speeds for a short duration. Each ignition (intellect roll) burns through a controlled cell that provides 6 seconds of flight at 100 miles per hour. However, once initiated, there is no way to stop, only to change direction as best able. Controlling this careening journey requires a successful motor skills roll each turn, or else a failure to change direction for that turn. Running into something at that speed is catastrophic, resulting in an explosive 6 damage to the user and anything within 30 feet, and the destruction of the pack.

  • Materials: £ 1000 of parts.
  • Creation: (Combustion Engineering) 48 hours, and pass an intellect roll at -5.
  • Energy: 5 gallons of fuel per 3 rocket pack charges.