Campaign of the Month: March 2016
Ptolus, City by the Spire
It’s worth pointing out the differences between straight technological items and Chaositech. Chaositech is the result of harnessing raw chaos to accomplish seemingly impossible deeds. Chaositech has an opposite, however—and it’s not magic. Whether you call it “steamtech” or “science,” it uses the natural order of things to accomplish impressive deeds. Science is far more reliable than Chaositech, but not as powerful, as it’s bound by the laws of physics.
|Weapons and Armor|
|Bayonet||3 gp||2 lbs|
|Blast axe||300 gp||5 lbs|
|Pistol shield||300 gp||16 lbs|
|Steam armor||18,000 gp||180 lbs|
|Barometer||300 gp||2 lbs|
|Bell alarm||50 gp||3 lbs|
|Clock, wall or mantle||50 gp||5 lbs|
|Clock, grandfather||150 gp||90 lbs|
|Magnetic compass||450 gp||1 lb|
|Match cord (50 feet)||5 gp||1 lb|
|Mercury thermometer||350 gp||1 lb|
|Pocketwatch||30 gp||1 lb|
|Pressurized launcher||420 gp||5 lb|
|Printing press||1,200 gp||1,000 lb|
|Paper (2 sheets)||1 cp||–|
|Protective goggles||5 gp||1/2 lb|
|Sextant||150 gp||3 lbs|
|Spyglass||200 gp||1 lb|
|Syringe||50 gp||1/2 lb|
|Battle cart||15,000 gp|
|Glider wings||1,400 gp|
|Hot air balloon||3,500 gp|
|Steam cart, large||8,000 gp|
|Steam cart, medium||5,000 gp|
|Steam cart, small||3,000 gp|
WEAPONS AND ARMOR
For the technologist warrior, there are more weapons to choose from than simply firearms. A few of the most interesting are described below.
Bayonet: The wielder can use this blade as a dagger or affix it to any rifle, allowing the rifle to be used as a shortspear that cannot be thrown. Price 3 gp.
Blast Axe (Pistol Axe): This strange weapon is like a long-barreled dragon pistol. Its reinforced barrel ends in an axe blade. One can fire it like a regular pistol, then use it as a handaxe. Price 300 gp.
Pistol Shield: This heavy shield has a built-in dragon pistol, with the barrel facing straight out. The wielder can fire the pistol and then draw a melee weapon and charge into a fight. Price 300 gp.
Steam Armor: Steam-powered armor protects a wearer as plate armor and adds a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength due to its built-in strength-augmenting mechanisms. It requires firestone. Price 18,000 gp.
Barometer: A handy weather-predicting device.
Bell Alarm: The user can set this alarm to go off at a specified time.
Clocks: These timepieces are often ornate and beautiful. They require daily winding.
Magnetic Compass: This device proves extremely valuable in determining direction and keeping a traveler on the right path, whether he is making his way through the woods or across the sea on a ship.
Mercury Thermometer: A handy device for determining the temperature.
Pill: Potions can be distilled into tablet form for easy storage. Most ingested poisons also can be made into pills. The effects and cost remain the same but the weight is negligible.
Pocketwatch: This small timepiece requires daily winding.
Pressurized Launcher: This device can project an object with great force. Although one could use it as a weapon, this is not the standard use, as firearms are far more efficient. Instead, adventurers employ it most often to fire grapnels with attached ropes up to one hundred feet with great force and accuracy, even anchoring them into a stone wall. If it does not need to embed itself, the grapnel can travel up to two hundred feet. If used as a weapon, it inflicts 2d6 points of damage to a single foe up to one hundred feet away (apply a –2 penalty to attack rolls made with it).
Printing Press: This machine, which can mass-produce the printed word, makes broadsheets possible and has allowed books and pamphlets to become common. Paper for the press can be purchased at very reasonable prices.
Protective Goggles: This eyewear protects eyes from flying debris and provides a +1 resistance bonus on saving throws against blinding or eye-damaging effects.
Sextant: This device aids navigation. The user gains a +4 bonus on Survival checks to determine position, assuming she spends at least five minutes using the device.
Spyglass: Objects viewed through a spyglass are twice their normal size.
Syringe: This is an easy way to inject a potion directly into a creature. If the syringe is in hand and full, injecting is only a move action.
In a big place like Ptolus, characters need a reliable and fast way to get where they need to be. These are just some of the options characters have to use technology to help them get around.
Battle Cart: This massive vehicle looks like a wagon without horses. It measures ten feet long and about six feet wide (size Large). Its sides are armor plated with small slits for archers or riflemen. The cart has a hardness of 10 and 200 hp. A battle cart is steam-powered (it requires firestone and can travel up to twenty miles per hour over flat, smooth, terrain. The carts are usually outfitted with a ram or a spiked plate for running down foes on foot (inflicting 3d6 points of damage at full speed; a Reflex save, DC 15, negates the damage). One character must drive the cart. While it is moving, controlling the cart is a full-round action. A Dexterity check (DC 15) is required to avoid obstacles when moving at full speed. Price 15,000 gp.
Glider Wings: A Medium creature can strap on these aerodynamic wings to glide through the air. A character can take ranks in Ride (glider wings) to use them even better. On a still or relatively calm day, the glider travels in a straight line for twice as far as it drops, so a character wearing the wings and jumping from a forty-foot-tall tower can travel eighty feet laterally before landing. On a very windy day, a character can travel much farther (almost indefinitely) if she makes a Ride check (DC 15) every ten minutes. Landing safely requires another check (DC 12). Failure results in 1d6 points of damage to both the character and the wings, assuming the wearer dropped at least ten feet. Made of light wood and canvas, the wings have a hardness of 3 and 10 hit points. Their wingspan measures fifteen feet. Price 1,400 gp.
Hot-Air Balloon: With a powerful furnace beneath it, a large balloon can carry aloft up to 2,000 lbs. A single character can operate the balloon, controlling its altitude and direction. The latter, of course, depends greatly on the wind’s direction and speed. The balloon itself measures about forty feet across and sixty feet high. The basket below is about eight feet in diameter. A hot-air balloon has a hardness of 1 and 5 hit points. The basket has a hardness of 3 and 30 hit points. Price (with furnace) 3,500 gp.
Steamboat: A steamboat is a keelboat (fifty- to seventy-five-foot-long vessel) that does not require wind or oar to move. A powerful steam engine fuels its massive paddlewheel. While these boats can’t operate in the King’s River (too many waterfalls), they are sometimes seen out in the Bay of Ptolus. Price 18,000 gp.
Steam Cart, Large: This vehicle resembles a battle cart, but it is not armored or fitted with spikes, ram plates, or the like. With it, a person can haul up to 1,500 lbs. of cargo or passengers. Its top speed is only ten miles per hour. A driver operates it just like a battle cart, and it likewise requires firestone to use. Price 8,000 gp.
Steam Cart, Medium: This wheeled chair has a steam motor and room enough for equipment or a passenger up to 250 lbs. Controlling the cart in motion is a full-round action. It can move five miles per hour but requires firestone. Price 5,000 gp.
Steam Cart, Small: This is basically a wheeled chair with a steam motor. Controlling the cart in motion is a full-round action. It can move up to five miles per hour and requires firestone to use. Price 3,000 gp.