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a g uide t o fant asy steamworks
by Christopher Allen
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First Electronic Release - June 11 2004 - version 1.0
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S team and S teel
by Christopher Allen
Layout & Production
M Jason Parent
Anthony “Squidhead” Monorchio Nathan Boyd David Hamilton Benjamin D Richards
M Jason Parent
Steam Technology in a Fantasy Setting Effects of Introducing Steam Tech Steam Power Styles
2 6 12
Creating and Using Steamworks
Maintaining Steamwork Devices Malfunctions Table Creating Steamwork Devices Feats
21 19 21 22
Spider Sentinel Steel Sentinel Stalker Steam Wurm Steam Spirit Steamwork Creature Steamwork Lich Zealot
95 96 96 97 99 99 100 102
Beasts of Steel - Vehicles
Vehicle Upgrades Copter Copter, Dragonfly Dirigible Dirigible, Personal Steam Train Steam Ship IronClad Steam Wagon Submersible Tunneller
103 106 106 107 108 108 110 110 111 111 112
Engines of Steam Materials and Craftmanship Tools of the Trade
Equipment Weapons of War Personal Protection
26 37 40
40 54 60
Edifices of Might Prosthetics
Prosthetic Upgrades Prosthetics and Magical Healing
Beasts of Steel - Constructs
Alchemists Hound Automaton Behemoth Eviscerator Living Steel Iron Juggernaut Iron Shroud Manservant Mechanized Creature Scorpion Sentinel Siege Sentinel Slaughterer
82 83 85 87 88 89 90 91 92 92 94 94
Balloonist Inspired Inventor Mechanist Metalworker Steel Knight
113 114 116 117 119
magine a world where the magic of fantasy and the power of science is thrown together to create and exciting new mixture of the eldritch and the mechanical. Industrializing cities spread and grow, becoming cityscapes of roofs and chimneys, vents and smokestacks, smoke pluming upwards from the incessant toil of hundreds of smithies and alchemists and factories. Mechanics and arcane engineers assemble mighty beasts of steel, designing armoured constructs to take to the field of battle and ironclad vehicles to travel far and wide. Elves seek to defend the boundaries of their ancestral lands from the burgeoning cultures around them, bringing their advanced technology, magic and skill to bear against their foes, fighting from graceful flying airships and wielding blades and armour augmented by steamwork power. Dwarves delve deeper than ever before in their mines with massive drilling machines, their fortresses sporting massive chimneys to gout forth the fumes of a thousand machines forging weapons of war. Evil goblin necromancers craft sinister and deadly war machines that feed off the souls of the dead to fuel their engines, darkening the skies above their hordes with the smoke of burning corpses. The clergy of a machine cult spread their word far and wide, bringing with them new technologies and crafting steel prosthetics to replace weak flesh and blood. Turmoil and change grips a land that is undergoing the transition from feudal and ancient cultures to dynamic and powerful industrial nations. This guide is aimed to allow a Dungeon Master to take a more conventional fantasy setting, a campaign rich with fantastic beasts and exotic magic, and to integrate the marvels of steam technol-
ogy into it to create a world like that described above - one made exciting from the opportunities to be had from the power and possibilities of steamworks. Steam & Steel presents rules and ideas for a DM wishing to incorporate steam technology into their campaign setting, however much or little they may desire. From small everyday steamwork devices to the massive machines employed by heavy industries, to steamwork prosthetics and deadly constructs, this guide presents a framework of rules that cover many different forms of steam technology, and explores the possibilities of meshing magic with machinery to get a unique feel for a fantasy world. As well as rules, Steam & Steel covers the impact that steam technology has in a setting, on a wider scale than just the items that adventurers can get their hands on, delving into the effects and ramifications of the changes that advancing technology brings about and the advance of industrialization.
S team Technolog y in a Fant asy Setting
his section of Steam & Steel is devoted to exploring a number of the ideas and themes behind the use of steam technology in a fantasy setting. It covers the basic principles by which steamwork devices operate, and the manners in which steam power can be exploited. It also investigates how to integrate steam technology into a fantasy setting, covering the addi-
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
struct could be given motility, with mechanisms moving its armoured legs and giving its strikes bone-shattering strength. The same engine design could be put to use driving a massive rock drill deep in the bowels of a dwarven coal mine reaching far underground. With the use of simple turbines and generators a steam engine could even create electricity, bringing power to a wizard's arcane lab or a personal static generator incorporated in a suit of steamwork armour. In a fantasy setting where magic can be melded with machinery, the possibilities are limited only by your capacity for imagination. Steam powered constructs, flying machines, suits of armour and even more bizarre and exotic devices such as steampowered prosthetics are all possible when magic is taken into account. Steam technology does have innate disadvantages; limitations brought about by the dependency on a steam engine that such a device has. The boiler must be kept heated to make sure that the flow of steam through the system continues unabated, and in any conventional fuel-burning engine this means that the fire must be kept burning. If the fire were to go out, the boiler would simply cool down, the steam all recondensing back into water, and as a result steam power demands a constant stream of fuel being fed in. The furnace of such an engine is vulnerable too, and needs to be protected lest it be put out. Of course, in a fantasy setting far more exotic forms of steam engines are possible such as mystical arcane engines powered only by eldritch currents of magic, and dark necromantic engines that feed not from coal or oil but from the souls of the living. These types of engines may not
tional aspects that it brings to a campaign and the impact that steam power has on the societies and cultures that it is brought to.
How does steam power work?
team power works on a relatively simple basis. Any piece of steam-powered technology is based around a boiler engine, which heats up the water within its system to boiling point. The water then becomes steam and moves around the system under pressure. Various methods of harnessing this movement are available, depending on what the designer of the machine had in mind when creating it. By harnessing the steam engine to pistons and gears, translating the energy of the steam into mechanical movement, an iron-shod war con-
Steam & Steel
have the same problems as more conventional engines but they often are far more expensive and complex to create, and may well have their own drawbacks. Steam engines also need plenty of maintenance. Burning fuels creates grime and fumes which can cause pipes and working parts to seize up or build up too much pressure. The steam flowing through the system takes its own toll on machine parts, and leakage's and steam escaping are common problems. Mechanisms need oiling and cleaning to ensure they continue to work at optimum efficiency. The more exotic forms of steamwork device need appropriately more bizarre forms of maintenance, such as attending to arcane rituals or speaking the appropriate prayers every day. Keeping a steamwork device in condition is a messy task that usually involves plenty of grime and oil, as well as a decent knowledge and understanding of just how the whole machine works. Those with little skill in maintaining steamworks will soon find that their devices are quick to break or fail. Since steamworks are often prone to breakdowns, malfunctions and steam venting it can also be more than a little dangerous to work around them, especially those employed in heavy industries where getting caught up in a machine can prove crippling or fatal. its way via trade or theft to the areas where the focus of the campaign takes place. Steamworks might be the handiwork of a guild of mechanic mages that carefully guards their hard-won knowledge of machinery and whose creations only rarely come into the hands of outsiders. On the other hand, a setting might be rich in examples of the melding of steam science and fantastic concepts. Steamwork constructs might be crafted to do the heavy industrial work of factories and transport, or even designed to fight the wars of nations and religions. The followers of a deity of machines might take it as their task to spread the word of steam power, progress and industrialisation. Steam power could well be a matter of common knowledge if encountered on a daily basis by people of all levels of society. A fantasy setting can feature any amount of steam technology you wish, from just a few examples scattered here and there in an otherwise conventionally medieval fantasy campaign, to total saturation of everyday life in a world of high steam-power. However much you include, the presence of steam power will have a definite impact.
Adding steamworks to a preexisting fantasy setting
How much steam power to introduce into a setting?
hen considering how much steam power and technology to introduce into a fantasy setting, it really all comes down to how much do you want to introduce? It is easily possible to tailor it so that there is as little or as much steam technology in a campaign as is desired. Steamworks could be incredibly rare, perhaps found only in the ruins of a now dead culture from the distant past, with the present era being one in which understanding and knowledge of arcane steam engines has been lost. Alternatively, steamwork devices might be examples of the technological advancement of some far-off society, only the occasional specimen making
antasy settings commonly seem to be quite static in their levels of cultural and technological advancement. Ancient cities and nations change little over hundreds of years, with great monolithic institutions like religions, guilds, and royal lines of descent keeping a lock on societies. There is little active progress in the development of new scientific disciplines or advancements in pre-existing ones. There are plenty of arguments as to why this is a perfectly valid setting. Long-lived races like elves are naturally conservative and slow to progress, since their understanding of the meaning of time and urgency are quite different to those with shorter lives who face death within a mere century. Even for species like humans, relatively fast breeding and short-lived compared to some more ancient races, the push to achieve and discover is abated by the presence of magic. Advances in medicine and biological sciences
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
hardly seem worth the effort when a divine spellcaster can simply cast some healing spells. This dominance of magic also serves to entrench organisations of spellcasters as conservative elements in a society, quite possibly opposed to technological progress. Nonetheless, not all fantasy settings need be as static and locked as this, and a DM can add steamworks to a pre-existing fantasy campaign to give more of a feel that it is alive and slowly changing. Science does not need to be totally obliterated by spellcasting and magic. Those with inspired and inquisitive minds will always seek to understand the world around them just a little bit better, pushing back the boundaries of knowledge. Sages and scholars can be quite active in pursuing lines of research into the sciences. Elements of steam technology can be introduced into a fantasy campaign in three different ways. magic to everyone else. How it works is either a secret or simply incomprehensible to those outside the culture that possesses steam power.
fantasy setting might well be brought out of a technological rut by some outside influence. Steam spirits (see Beasts of Steel, below), perhaps working for some unknown power or perhaps on the request of a progress-minded deity from the setting's pantheon, might be responsible for a sudden rash of technological breakthroughs and discoveries that sweep across a land, bringing grand new machines into common use. Of course it is unlikely that anyone realizes it is the work of steam spirits, and most native scholars and sages of the setting would simply assume that it was a case of natural development and not outside influence. Alternatively, some plane-spanning culture or organisation that walks between worlds might pay a visit. This could be in the form of a friendly delegation, giving as a gift the knowledge of steam technology, or it could be in the form of a brutal, ravaging invasion. In the aftermath the survivors would piece back together their old societies as well as incorporating the new sciences that the invaders brought with them.
lowly but surely, steam technology begins to be developed. Inventors, alchemists and scholars discover how to build simple steam engines, using them for a number of purposes on a small scale. Here and there examples of steamwork devices appear, strange and new machines, and before long steam technology is a new revolution spreading faster as knowledge of how to build the engines is disseminated amongst sages, guilds and governments. This is simply a natural progression of science, and is often accompanied by discoveries in other fields such as gunpowder and chemistry.
Creating a steamwork setting
s well as taking a pre-existing fantasy setting and introducing steamwork technology to it, it is quite possible to instead build a new setting in which steamworks are already an integral part of the feel and flavour of the world. Steamworks do not need to be omnipresent in every part of the world, and indeed it is often more interesting to restrict it to only some of the societies and cultures present so as to provide a contrast with the less technologically progressive nations and races. The advantage of incorporating nations in which steam technology is already well established is that it allows the campaign to explore and experience some of the issues and developments that arise from the impact that steam power can have.
n this case, a pre-existing culture or society in the setting discovers steam power, but it does not spread and is not taken up by other cultures. The sorcerers of a tyrannical nation might discover how to craft necromantic engines, building sinister constructs to keep the populace in line and to subjugate those around them. Strange monstrous scientists from a far-off land might build weird arcane steamworks to serve them and perform their manual labour. In this case, steam technology appears as some odd, unique form of
Steam & Steel
The Effects of Introducing S team Technolog ies Society
epending on how much steam technology you introduce, the societies of the fantasy setting can potentially be affected to a significant degree - this is especially true if you are adding steam technology to a pre-existing fantasy setting. In general, fantasy settings often revolve around concepts and ideas based on real world medieval life and steam power can clash with some of these concepts. Importantly, a general introduction of steam power to a society means that no longer is it limited by the working power of either men or beasts - metal is far stronger than flesh, and steamwork automata are untiring and uncomplaining servants. This is one of the major factors that cause industrialisation (see below). Introducing only small amounts of steam technology is unlikely to have a major impact on how a society works, but in this kind of situation steam-powered devices could well prove symbols of status, wealth, or membership of a sect or faction who have the knowledge of how to create steamworks. The appearance of new sects and factions is one particularly likely social change, because steam technology can alter the way people look at the world around them. New cults can arise that worship - or despise - technology, such as a cult of mechanists (see Paths of Power, below) who fervently believe that replacing flesh and blood with metal and machinery is the next step towards enlightenment. Greater amounts of steam-power in a setting can have all sorts of other side effects as well, quite often including a myriad of smaller and less world-shaking changes but ones that can herald further changes in a society or culture. For instance, hot, running water might suddenly become commonly available, since it is a cheap side-product of steam-powered processes and steam engines themselves are eminently suitable for the task of pumping it around. This massively improves hygiene, allowing anyone who can afford running water the possibility of washing themselves in relatively clean water regularly and easily, and a culture might begin to put more emphasis on the importance of individual cleanliness and hygiene. Running water around a city and an increase in hygiene opens the doors for massive population growth and creates a draw to cities, Humans bringing in people and further Humans are a preparing the way for industrialispecies with the sation. Hospitals and other medical establishments suddenly kind of ingenuity become far more effective when and curiosity to they have safe, fresh water on tap. create steam techThe introduction of new forms nology, but how it is received of steam-powered transport can depends very also cause a revolution in the field much on the socieof travel. Steam trains make hauling bulk cargoes of raw materials ty in question. In or people around the countryside a general they are far faster and more efficient quick to embrace option. Steam-ships make travel- steamworks and ling the oceans a less dangerous all the new possiand more modernised affair, espe- bilities they procially with steam engines herald- vide, but it must be noted that ing the creation of ironclad seacraft. A society might inhabit human cultures can also be the rugged lands that are difficult to traverse and so create airships and ones most opposed to change and dirigibles. An elven society that is progress. Usually unwilling to tear through the forests it guards just to lay down though it is the train tracks might well do the human race which throws up the same, crafting elegant sky-craft most inspired, that are an identifying emblem inventive and when they travel to foreign lands. These and all sorts of other pos- driven scientists and engineers. sibilities can arise. The most important difference to magic in the way that steam technology can affect a society is that technology is in the hands of everyone, while few are capable of mastering the arcane or divine arts. Magic only really benefits small sections of the population, whereas steam technology can have far-reaching social implications because its effects run through all the strata of a society.
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Alternatively, and quite likely in a fantasy setting, it is the ruling classes and the institutions of erhaps the most significant religions, spellcasters and guilds that are likely to change that can potentially keep hold of power. The gap between the working arise from the introduction class and the upper class can be even further of steam power is industrialisawidened if race or species differentiates those in tion, the ramifications of which power from those they rule. In a land where elves cause great social and economic own all the factories and uphold the law over their development. A fantasy society or dwarf and human subjects, social classes become culture could potentially remain extremely emphasised. This is even more true static even after steamworks and machines had with more exotic species in command, such as a been brought into use, especially if steam technol- royal family made up of half-fiends or half-celesogy remained a rare and uncommon thing. If tials, a cabal of night hags, or a family of dragons. however the use of steamworks grows and is The growth of distinct classes also allows for the exploited, it is more likely that industries would development of a new middle class of professionbegin to flourish. The mechanical means available als, such as physicians, merchants and perhaps to industries such as steelworks and textile facto- even arcane spellcasters in a society in which they ries far exceed the previous possibilities offered are not dominant. by only manual labour, with lines of heavy steamIndustrialisation brings with it considerable work machinery far outstripping previous pro- economic growth of the society in question. With duction rates. Such businesses could quickly massively enhanced production capabilities and expand and bring wealth to their owners, creating often greatly increasing populations accompanymore jobs with their growing success. ing its development, an industrialising nation This process of industrialisation brings with it might well begin to expand. This could be in the a pull on the country population to cities. In the form of commercial growth, establishing new countryside, new methods of agricultural practice trade routes and mercantile connections, or it improve the crop and foodstuffs output there. could well manifest as aggressive expansion and This may partly result from improved adminis- the creation of an empire. An industrialised trative methods such as 3- or 4-field crop rotation nation is often a power to be reckoned with, its and the absorption of smallholdings into fewer new industries fuelling a powerful military but larger farms, but it also results from the use of machine that can bring other cultures under its steamwork machines and pumps to improve the sphere of influence. This can take the form of a efficiency of agricultural work. This in turn crude relationship by which the subjugated results in fewer jobs being available for the coun- nations have to pay in tribute - gold, raw materitryside population (although the effects are miti- als, horses or other livestock, magical items or gated in an agricultural environment where ani- slaves depending on what demands are made and mal herds are central to farming) and so they are what the defeated nation is good at making. A instead drawn to the cities where the burgeoning human empire that has conquered nearby goblin industries offer new opportunities and vocations. tribes might demand slaves to work in the dangerOf course life in the city is not always as good as ous conditions of its coal mines, while a dwarven those travelling there might hope, especially in a empire with little skill for its own magic that has steampunk setting. a kobold dominion might demand magical objects Greater distinctions arise between social class- from the sorcerously talented reptilians every es as a result of industrialisation. A growing year. Alternatively the rule might be a more working class of labourers and mechanics creates enlightened form, an empire aiming to create a lower stratum of society. The success of indus- a harmonious collection of peoples that try may create a new elite of successful business- shares its knowledge and technology men that begins to push out the old nobility and with those who come under its barons from the corridors of power. wing.
Steam & Steel
Industrialisation also brings with it a great deal of social problems. The great rifts between social classes can be a source of great unrest, tension and oppression, especially if aggravated by lower classes having to live in squalor and bad conditions on low pay for their work, tightly packed in the slums of a smog-filled cityscape. With conventional fuel-burning engines a society can create a great deal of pollution, filling the cities with smog and grimy living conditions, acrid fumes eating into the lungs of those working their lives away in factories and steelworks. Such a society would also demand massive amounts of fuels and raw resources to support its growth, a frightening, devouring beast capable of levelling entire forests and rending the precious resources of the earth up through mines that leave ragged scars over a landscape. This can result in at the very least bad relations if not outright war with those who consider themselves the defenders of nature. Druids might mount sustained sabotage campaigns against bands of lumberjacks using steamwork automata to fell trees, or even try to rally the denizens of the forests to destroy entire settlements. Elven nations might take offence at the ugly destruction being dealt out by a human or dwarven nation intent on fuelling its furnaces, and go to war to protect their woods and verdant lands. An industrialising society provides plenty of opportunities to explore the theme of man and machine against nature, and to see whether they can exist together. Of course, a dragon might just get irritated by the constant buzz of machinery and smell of smoke on the wind and go and level a city to demonstrate to the lesser races what happens when they get uppity and ideas above their station. Steam technology in a society that is just beginning to undergo industrialisation (or is even well into the process) is unlikely to be of advanced standards. It may well be unreliable, poorly constructed and quite possibly dangerous to work around, meaning industrial accidents and even deaths could be a not uncommon occurrence. This can further the gap between the lower classes and the factory owners, as well as adding to the dangers of living in such a society. Industrialisation brings with it both advantages and disadvantages to the culture undergoing this process, which can give it a very distinctive and unique flavour and feel. The steampunk style (see below) emphasises the themes of industrialisation in particular.
f a nation suddenly gains the capability to field clanking, smog-belching automata on the battlefield against a rival who is still confined to more conventional troops, it definitely has the upper hand. Massive iron juggernauts can break up infantry formations just by charging into them and sending terrified troops running in fear. More heavily armoured than a knight and more resilient too, they can crush opposing melee troops and shrug off any missile fire less powerful than siege weapons. This distinction that a force with steam power has is lessened in a fantasy setting where magic, monsters and exotic styles of warfare mean that machinery on the field of conflict is less of an overpowering advantage. Nonetheless this does not mean that steam power should be discounted in a land with wizards and dragons. Obviously the raw fighting power of steamwork constructs is something to be feared, with their strength far surpassing a normal man and their metal hides turning arrows and blades alike with ease. Tacticians need to take into account the positioning and behaviour of such mechanised troops, and develop new strategies to make the most of them. However steam power also brings opportunities for steamwork armour and weapons, usually only to the elite troops of an industrialising nation although a highly advanced civilisation such as an ancient elven empire might routinely equip its warriors with such devices. Super-heavy armoured troops are able to rout enemies who are far superior to the common human soldier and capable of shattering fortifications. Improved communications and transport due to steamwork devices also change the way that
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
wars are fought, altering the entire manner in which an army does battle. Untiring constructs can march through conditions that are daunting to more conventional troops. With steam trains or dirigibles, a force becomes able to re-deploy much faster, responding to changing military sitgreater Dwarves uations with transportflexibility. A nation can its troops This mechanical- to and from the front line far ly-minded and faster with trains, while practical race are armoured airships bring the bateager users and tle to the skies to protect ground builders of steam- troops from aerial monsters and works. Often by flying troops. Ironclad steamers their very nature a bring about a new era of sea warrace with a scien- fare, changing the nature of naval tific and engineer- engagements with their heavier ing bent, it may armour, greater number of well be from weapons, and the improved dwarves that the mobility and lowered dependenother races learn cy on the weather than a steam their arts of steam. engine brings. Equally however, Of course all this technology their conservative usually consumes a great deal of attitudes mean fuel, and needs lots of maintethat such sciences nance, so tactics need to be are often ancient, changed to account for it. Lines and unchanged for of supply bringing parts and fuel decades at a time; to the battlefield heighten in they also often importance, and they need to be have formalised protected from assault by infilguilds and organi- trating enemy troops or spellcastsations for the ers, or assaults from tunnelling purposeful control or aerial foes. An army that does and release of such not itself field steamworks but technological faces an enemy with such techknowledge. nology will itself need to adapt in order to be victorious. Sabotaging steamwork constructs and methods of transport can become an important new part of strategic warfare. see it as 'another type of magic.' Given the disciplined and scholarly manner in which wizards tend to pursue the arcane arts, the division between mages and scientists might be very minor indeed. Arcane spellcasters could be the primary creator of steamworks, engineering complex arcane engines rather than conventional fuel-burning devices, or they might just be the creators of the more fantastical steamwork devices in a setting where mechanics and steam technology is already common. In fact, spellcasters might be the guardians of scientific knowledge, ensuring that it is preserved and passed down through specially formed mages guilds. On the other hand, spellcasters could be the primary form of opposition to the introduction of steam technology into a culture. It could be as minor as spellcasters representing a generally conservative element in society, with a king's court wizard making disparaging remarks about the newfangled steamwork constructs that a noble has purchased to clear a forest. It could be expressed in a dwarven sorcerer who is irate at the ancient traditions being uprooted by new methods of mining. In a more violent manifestation of opposition, a group or guild of arcane practitioners might suppress and destroy steam technology where they can. It might be due to some cultural or racial hatred of such technology, but it could equally be down to the fact that they feel steam technology threatens their own power over the people by opening up new opportunities for the populace. This is especially likely in a magocracy where the ruling class depends on their magical powers to keep their place at the top of society. Magic and steam technology could also be opposed due to a more fundamental reason, that of an innate animosity between the arcane and the scientific. Those skilled in magic might not be able to get machines to work, while those devoted to the mechanical disciplines might actually be unable to weave even the most basic of spells. This could be due simply to some intangible law of science and magic, creating a world where technology and the eldritch are strictly separated.
n a fantasy setting, steam technology can find in magic either its closest ally or its most vehement opponent. Steam technology can easily be made into either the antithesis of the magical arts, a discipline firmly rooted in the scientific and the logical, or most people might just
Steam & Steel
ith such a potentially important change as the invention of steam technology, different religions and faiths can take quite extreme views on the matter. Steamworks might end up being condemned as works of demons because of their seemingly magical abilities and workings that are incomprehensible to the religious investigators. Steamwork devices might run counter to the dogma of a faith, and hence be denounced as heretical creations. A faith might also decide that the very act of creating steamwork constructs is evil because it attempts to copy the work of the divine creators, so a society might have all forms of steamwork device except for constructs. A particularly conservative and static religion is especially likely to take this view, and is unlikely to see the changes in society wrought by steam power to be a good thing. There might be a great rift caused between the religions and the sciences (perhaps including the arcane disciplines), with believers drifting away from their faith due to the power and possibilities of science and less need for belief in deities who are no longer in tune with the changing world. On the other hand, religions might embrace steam technology like any other institution, building zealot constructs and employing steamwork devices to supply their cathedrals with running water and mechanised defences. They might simply remain neutral on the matter, caring little for it one way or the other. If it was the result of a god's influence that introduced steamworks in the first place (as per the outside intervention method of introducing steam-tech to a fantasy setting), then the reactions of other deities might be varied. Theological debates between religions that differ on the matter might arise, or in more extreme cases even rifts and holy wars. The religion of a god of invention and machines would whole-heartedly embrace the concept of steam. It might be from the hard work and research of the clergy of such a religion that steam technology originates, and such science might be solely their province as they are the only ones who understand it. The faith might see it as
its purpose to spread the knowledge of such wondrous technology; but then again it might choose instead to keep such knowledge closely guarded so that only its own initiates might benefit from it. In such a religion, the very act of creating a steamwork device could itself be an act of worship. This guide introduces two new domains, those of Steamworks and Invention. These domains are for clerics whose deities concern themselves with the mechanical and machinery, and with invention and technical innovation. Invention Domain Granted Power: A cleric with the Invention domain gains Inspired as a bonus feat. 1: Divine Favour 2: Augury 3: Machine Savant* 4: Divination 5: Fabricate 6: Major Creation 7: Genius* 8: Mind Blank 9: Awaken Machine*
he Gearlord is a powerful deity of machines, inventions and metalcraft, worshipped by mechanics and blacksmiths alike. A Lawful Neutral god, the Gearlord is mostly worshipped amongst the dwarven and human species, as well as the more advanced kobold civilisations. Represented by a mesh of interlocking cogs and gears, the Gearlord represents both the inspiration of the engineer as well as the endurance of the craftsman putting his all into forging metal, and is not particularly warlike nor expansionist - but his followers will happily fight if pushed to it. The Gearlord has the Invention, Law, Steamwork, and Strength domains. His favoured weapon is the heavy mace.
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Steamworks Domain Granted Power: A cleric with the Steamworks domain gains the ability to ignore a failed Maintenance check a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum of once). The Craft (Steamworks) skill is always a class skill. 1: Magic Co8g 2: Repair Metal* 3: Heat Metal 4: Warp Metal* 5: Wall of Iron 6: Antilife Shell 7: Analyse Dweomer 8: Iron Body 9: Dominate Steamwork* *Spells marked with an asterisk are detailed in Spells, at the end of this guide. tures far easier. The use of steel manufactured in large amounts in factories and incorporated into building designs results in even larger and more elaborate buildings being possible, making use of the enhanced strength and pressure endurance. Building an edifice like a cathedral or castle, previously a task that could take years or well over a decade without the aid of powerful magic, becomes a far more viable prospect. Alchemy can see significant advances, particularly if steam technology is primarily based on fuel-burning engines. This creates a demand for superior methods of rendering down crude fossil fuels like oil to create a purer and more efficient substance, and the plethora of new chemicals available as side-products of such processes can give alchemists access to new and strange mixtures and elixirs. Alchemy could even be the source of steam power in the first place, engines containing chemical mixers which brew heated reactions to warm water into steam. The invention of gunpowder is another discovery that can accompany the development of steam technology. The combination of firearms and steamworks that this can result in can provide a fantasy setting with a unique and interesting flavour that is far from the medieval norm, and the two concepts complement each other well. Gunsmiths could be rare and highly skilled artisans, only selling their carefully crafted firearms at high prices, or a handgun could be a costly but not uncommon device common amongst adventurers and soldiers. In any case, the addition of firearms can have as much of an impact on a setting as steam technology and should be considered carefully before doing so. As with steam power, firearms technology can vary wildly in levels of advancement and sophistication.
Despite their knack for ingenuity and inventiveness, and an aptitude for complex mechanisms, gnomes are not always eager in their acceptance and use of steamworks. Many species of gnome retain a strong tie to nature and the fey, and they are not quick to make use of machines that might cause the woodlands to be despoiled and the air and water to be befouled with fumes and effluent.
n a setting where steam technology is developing or is already a firmly entrenched part of a culture, it is very likely that it will not be the sole science that has advanced beyond medieval levels of progress. Other spheres of scholarship and research also benefit from the flourishing power of steam, with all sorts of new disciplines springing up from the side effects and side-products of the processes of steam engines. Forging, smithing and construction, all so essential in the crafting of steamwork devices, are bound to see advances, improvements and refinements as mechanics and engineers seek to push back the limits to which they can exploit their machines. Furthermore, construction and architecture can be revolutionised by the use of steam-powered cranes and heavy lifting constructs that make transport of raw materials and assembly of struc-
The haves and have-nots
ntroducing steam technology to just a limited number of races or societies in a setting can help give them greater flavour and individuality. For example, there is an even greater contrast between elves and dwarves if the dwarves are masters of steam power and expert gunsmiths,
Steam & Steel
while the nature-loving elves revile machines and depend upon their gaia-given magic instead. Perhaps kobolds are the best artificers of steamworks for underground mining or trap making, unsurpassed by any. The science of steam technology might be an obscure art practised only by the few gnome craftsmen that can be found scattered here and there through human cities, and they need to be approach respectfully and politely for an adventurer to stand a chance of purchasing one of their mechanical wares. A single human nation might have just recently begun industrialisation and proudly boast steamwork construct warriors to help defend its borders, where its neighbours field knights and wizards in their armies. A goblin horde invading from distant lands might be made more alien through its use of steamwork hounds and brutal, smog-belching steamwork weapons. Rather than disliking machinery, elves could be the finest steam mechanics, but their aesthetic styles and highly advanced understanding of technology could make their creations quite different to the heavy steel-and-rivets metal beasts of a younger race. As well as making steam power distinctive along cultural and social lines, it might only be the field of knowledge of one guild of wizards in one city. Members of a mysterious and secretive order might create steamworks along lines that they themselves only barely understand, using the hidden lore of past empires in their search for power. Most ordinary and sane people who see it as foolish to tangle with such dark machines might simply shun steam technology, but one order of royal agents still employs steamworks anyway, giving them a feared reputation amongst the common people. A steamwork construct could well be a rare sight, but not an unknown one. A DM may simply wish to restrict steam technology in their campaign to just one or two particular locations or adventures. A mad wizard with a dungeon or tower full of automata and steamwork monsters can give a surprising and innovative series of encounters for the players, making the villain, monsters and location distinctive from the usual fantasy fare.
S team Power S tyles
ere are presented three different styles in which steam technology can be presented in a campaign, exploring different themes and concepts made possible through the technological and social changes that steam power can provoke. Each entry also includes a brief example of just what a fantasy setting designed with it in mind might be like.
Steampunk his style of campaign often focuses on society undergoing the process of industrialisation, and all the problems that it can bring with it. The science of steam power plays an important part in this kind of setting because it is the source of the industrialisation and all its ramifications. A steampunk setting may well be grim and gritty, depicting dystopian cities full of factories belching smog and fumes. Slums and squalor dominate the lives of an oppressed working class, kept down by the factory bosses and institutions of power. Class struggle comes to the fore, only aggravated further by the presence of magic and different races. In the countryside steamwork engines fell forests with mechanical purpose, and
he Victorian period in the real world is one of rich pickings for inspiration with a steam technology setting. The class struggles and divides between the rich and wealthy and the poor labourers, the steam technology and developing scientific ideas, and the many stories and tales from the period, present a great variety of concepts that can be poached. A fantasy society could be based on that of the Victorians, with their same biases, emphasis on social etiquette amongst the upper classes, and grimy and unhealthy lives amongst the working classes.
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
mines are dug deep into the earth to bring up coal and oil to keep the machines of civilisation working. Alternatively, a steampunk setting could be one of exploration and wild adventure in the manner of pulp novels. Steam power and machinery open up new horizons to nations and people, empires extending routes of travel to previously far-off and hard to reach lands and places, accompanied by a flood of opportunities for the lucky, the brave and the skilled. Steam technology in a steampunk setting tends to be very industrial. Smog-belching, rivet-ridden iron constructs move heavy loads of metal and ores in warehouses, and maintaining them is a frequently needed, messy and dangerous task as they blow a gasket or pistons seize up. Steamwork creations tend to be inefficient and liable to breaking down, and injuries in industry are common affairs. Equally, steampunk can feature some wildly advanced creations that are as advanced, if not more so, than that of today, though once again the notorious unreliability of steam technology comes into play. Other sciences are often also undergoing the same progress and advances, and firearms are a common feature of steampunk campaigns. Fantasy steampunk can be truly bizarre and exotic. Cities become the centre of a nation's activity and can draw people of all races into the melting pot, rousing class and race tensions. Unions of dwarven workers might down tools in solidarity with human mechanics striking in the docks, or a riot might start where orcs and elves work together in the same steamworks, racial suspicions boiling over. Magic might be incorporated heavily into steam technology, or its practitioners could shun machinery altogether, even gathering people together to try and hamper the introduction of new technologies in order to keep their hold in the common people strong in the face of the rising tide of progress. Explorers and adventurers going forth into distant and uncharted lands as the reaches of empire spread forth would meet even stranger and more exotic beasts than those encountered by Victorian explorers in the real world. Steampunk is about change, in society and the world around it, and it is about the way in which people, nations and beliefs change as well. The Empire of Hurdell: The human empire of Hurdell is a steadily growing economic power in the east, its coastal cities dominating the waves with their fleets of ironclad ships. Advances in the design or skycraft mean the empire's dirigibles have been instrumental in the subjugation of the nations directly around it, and its economy has flourished as its industries churn out the wargear and goods that the government and populace are demanding. Unable to expand further across the mainland due to the presence of a mountain range in one direction (which is inhabited by a dwarven civilisation, allies of the empire) and extremely hostile elves in the other, whose nature magic is strong enough to fend off any attempts at conquest by the humans, Hurdell has instead spread its influence across the seas. Settlers and troops have already landed in the distant land known as Saradus, where mercenaries and soldiers push back the savage tribes of lizardfolk that dwell there. Yet in the midst of this burgeoning growth the empire is beginning to experience problems back home. Hostile elven raids into the reaches are taking their toll on the mines there that supply the fuel that runs the empire. Worse, civil unrest grows rife in the packed cities. Lizardfolk workers from the province of Qakul, the best of the dockyards mechanics, have downed tools in protest at the treatment of their kin in Saradus, and other races have also begun to make sympathetic noises in the factories and industries. The typical heavyhandedness with which the military advisors of the Emperor deal with such problems has caused unrest to rise up more strongly rather than quelling it, and several of the cities along the eastern seaboard are simmering with the confined anger of the working class. Only the stationing of extra garrisons of troops has kept the problem down so far.
his is the progression of steam technology to its pinnacle of achievement. Steam technology becomes almost flawless, advanced to amazingly complex levels capable of crafting even living steel (see Beasts of Steel). It becomes an integral part of everyday life for those who live in a culture of high steam-power, who
Steam & Steel
can rely on intelligent machines to guard and serve them and wondrous devices to aid them. Rather than providing the style for an entire setting, high steam-power is best used to give an individual society or place a unique feel. A single race of elves might have mastered the science, turning their long lives to exploring its every nuance and aspect. Alternatively dwarvenkind could be the holder of the keys to such knowledge, their steadfast mountain fortresses containing examples of amazingly advanced steam engines. It also provides a good 'Golden Age' for use in a campaign set in a later era. Remembered as a past time when life was much better, now only fragmented knowledge remains. Perhaps all that is left from a past time of high steam-power is the occasional master-crafted object that is beyond the understanding of mechanics and wizards of present times. It may be that sites of ruins and ancient fortresses are still patrolled by clever machine-guards that keep would-be looters and archaeologists away, mysterious engines still thrumming with activity deep in the bowels of such sites. Steam technology from a period if high steampower tends to be very aesthetic, reflecting the artistic tastes if the culture and race that created it. When the techniques and methods of making a device work are perfected, an artisan has the time to spend on making objects appealing and pleasing to the eye. Perhaps even in this field, high steam-power relics demonstrate artistry and artisanship beyond the capability of following ages. Steamwork items tend to be pleasing to look at, less industrial than cruder examples and perhaps barely even distinguishable as being steam-powered under their crafted façade. Steam technology in this style is also often heavily combined with magic, making it even more wondrous. Examples of high steam-power may well seem alien and unnatural to others from outside of such a culture. This is exaggerated even further if there are only hints and ruins of a high steam-power society remaining. Sages and archaeologists often covet knowledge of any sort that can be gleaned from the wreckage of such a past age, and might well pay for those that can get it for them. In a fantasy world already full of dangerous locations for adventurers to travel to, ruins of a high steam-power empire can prove lucrative environs, but also often very dangerous. High steam-power technologies may well still be active even after centuries or even millennia, and how to turn them off is usually beyond the grasp of anyone else. Ancient constructs and traps often prove to be just as deadly after being inactive for years as they were when first created. If a high steam-power culture still exists it is likely to be a dominating force due Gnolls to its advancement. It might be an enlightened society seeking Gnolls strongly knowledge and understanding of dislike steamwork the world around it; or it could use technology. They can't really get its power to make itself a tyrannitheir heads round cal overlord at the head of a huge, even world-spanning, empire. In it, seeing it instead this situation, heroes might be as some sort of found as rebels against the oppres- monstrous and sion of such a culture, seeking to demonic magic that seeks to bring it tumbling down. destroy them. High steam-power is all about wondrous technologies that may Gnolls are almost be barely recognisable as steam- technophobic of powered, and perhaps exploring steamworks, in fact, and gnoll the ruins of past eras of enlightenment, or exploring the way in society is unlikely which a still-existing culture of to ever throw up high steam-power interacts with any steam technology on its own. the world around it. Empires of Past and Present: Far in the east, a strange and exotic culture of elves who live lives of decadence, served by their machines, is reputed to exist. They are said to fear no dangers, their constructed guards capable of destroying armies and scattering those who oppose them. Equally, they have no ambition or drive, for they have reached a perfect existence. Occasionally they might trade a wondrous device to outsiders in return for something strange like a story that they have never heard before or some new and interesting experience, but other than that they keep to themselves and have little to do with outsiders. The only thing they are said to fear is an ancient, demonic enemy. Meanwhile in the west, wizard-archaeologists have discovered a number of scattered ruins, remnants of an ancient dwarven empire of unsurpassed advancement,
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
possibly even superior to the elves in the east. What led to its fall is unknown, but the ruins often hold amazing devices and strange objects and tomes that are worth a lot of money to arcane practitioners and collectors, even though they barely understand them. The only problem is that the dwarves' constructs and traps are still in place and many of their engines still work, making exploring such places a hazardous task at best and only suited for well-equipped parties of adventurers and mercenaries. Worse still, whatever destroyed the empire seems to have caused such suffering that in some locations the wailing souls of the dead still linger, attacking those who approach their precious machines with mindless fury. Meanwhile, samples of living steel move amongst the ruins, seemingly marshalling the constructs there as if in preparation for some forthcoming battle. arcane and divine being exploited for all sorts of conceivable purposes. Instant magic gateways between cities allow for easy transportation, and mages develop huge spells that can affect entire swathes of land. The other sciences reach epic proportions too, alchemists capable of turning lead into gold and concocting amazing elixirs. High-level characters are likely to be present in large numbers, and the population in general will likely be pretty huge when considering how magic and technology can be exploited to push back all the limits on the growth of cities and communities. Neighbouring Giants: Two massive empires meet each other across hundreds of miles of borderland. Both are huge in the extent of their territories and their cities hold incredible numbers of people, advanced magic and technology making the lives of the citizens easier, and expensive teleportation gates making travel between key locations much more viable. Both are cosmopolitan societies, dozens of smaller nations absorbed into them, from elves to dwarves to humans to goblins. One even boasts an alliance of dragons, the scaled beasts serving as mounts for the ruling council to go into battle atop. When these neighbouring giants dispute, the battles are awe-inspiring. Behemoths, the largest constructs that it is possible to create, spearhead assaults with hundreds of thousands of warriors behind them, shattering fortifications and battling each other over plains scorched by the fiery spells of battle-wizards. Highly trained troops armed with magical and steamwork devices attempt to assault the massive beasts, breaking in through joints and weak points to slay the crew guiding the huge steel construct. Immensely powerful characters scythe their way through lesser foes to meet in climactic duels. The two empires are of such power and influence that lesser nations around them often have a hard time making their opinions and concerns heard. Nonetheless it seems that soon the status quo will be shaken up once more, for rumours from the north tell of a huge gathering of dark creatures and behemoth constructs created by evil necromancers that will challenge the might of both of the dominant powers in the south.
his is steam power brought to a huge scale - the scale of huge empires pushing the possibilities of steam technology to the limit. Massive armies march into battle, accompanied by monumentally massive steamworks like Behemoths, constructs the size of fortresses that shake the earth with every clanking step, battering one another around on the field of battle as thousands of warriors and smaller constructs swarm around their feet. Huge arcane steamworks perform amazing tasks, supplying the streets and boulevards of entire cities with eldritch light and harnessing power for a dizzying array of other purposes. Mighty dirigibles soar through the air like lords of the skies. High level characters abound. This is steam technology in epic proportions. Steam technology in such a style of campaign can be anything from clanking, industrial steamworks that belch out clouds of smog from their furnaces, to expertly crafted designs built with grace and an eye for the aesthetic, even on the kind of scale as city-shattering war machines. Whatever it is, it's big. Machines, logistics, empires and plots, nothing in epic scale is small. Steam technology is accompanied in this by other aspects also being of the same epic scale. Magic is used often and the campaign may well be magic-saturated with the
Creating & Using S teamworks
he presence of steamworks in a campaign can open up a whole lot more options and opportunities for characters. They have the chance to be a part of the scientific and mechanical processes that construct and invent steam technologies, and they have the opportunity to make use of the end products, the steamwork devices themselves. Adventurers especially are likely come across steamwork equipment during their travels, both making use of it themselves, and of course having it used against them. This section provides rules for characters to both make, and make use of, steamwork devices, and to exploit science and machinery. Through the guidelines laid out here, characters can maintain, refuel and sabotage technological items, and can bend the power of magic and of science to create amazing steamwork arcana.
The Craft (Steamworks) Skill
entral to the operation and construction of steam technology is the Craft (Steamworks) skill. This new skill is used to represent a character’s understanding and savvy when it comes to steamworks, and shows his or her capacity to activate, maintain and build such devices. Characters with a few ranks in Craft (Steamworks) will generally be able to operate most steamwork devices and keep them running in good shape with only the occasional mishap. More ranks in the skill allows a character greater competence in handling more advanced steamwork devices, and even makes it possible to build various items. It is important that a DM judges which classes should have access to the Craft (Steamworks) skill according to the desired feel and technology level of the individual campaign. In a setting
heavy with steam technology, the DM may decide that this skill is available as a Craft skill to all classes. Steam technology in such a setting is so common and generally available that even fighters and clerics will have a good chance of picking up enough ranks in the skill to be able to use basic steamworks without too much trouble. In a setting where steam power is much more restricted in both knowledge and use, then it is a good idea to limit the skill to fewer classes. If steamworks are a new phenomenon then it might only be Inspired Inventors who have access to the skill (see Paths of Power). If it is only skilled mechanics and scientists who can figure out and build steamworks, then limiting the Craft (Steamworks) skill to only be available as a class skill to Experts is recommended. If use of steamworks has an arcane connotation within a setting, it should be limited to wizards and maybe sorcerers, while if it is only the province of a religion that dominates the flow of scientific knowledge then it could be limited only to the clerics of that faith. In cases where steam technology is exceptionally rare it may be necessary for a character to unearth hidden lore and ancient (and perhaps forbidden) sciences to be able to gain any ranks in the skill at all.
Identifying Steamwork Devices
o the eye of someone with a little knowledge of science, the purpose of a steamwork device is usually fairly obvious from its form. On the other hand, the more complex such a device is, the less apparent its use and operation becomes, and to someone unused to steam technology any such device can seem bewildering. If a character purchases a steamwork device, it is likely that the vendor will have told him or her how it is operated, what it does and how it is
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
fuelled (unless the vendor doesn’t know either, or lies to the purchaser). In the case of a character acquiring a new steamwork device that he is not aware of how to operate, he may make a Craft (Steamworks) check to see if he can figure it out. The DC is set at 10 + Maintenance DC, and if the character successfully uses the skill he works out how to operate the device. This process takes 10 minutes of careful examination on the part of the character. Example: An adventuring party deep in the bowels of an ancient fortress has discovered a steamwork device in the pile of loot collected from some kobolds. The silvery box of metal, studded with glass tubes and pipes and inscribed in draconic, is actually an alchemechanical sniffer, but the adventurers don’t know that. The rogue sits down and examines it carefully for ten minutes. The player makes a Craft (Steamworks) check for his rogue, and rolls 12 + his skill bonus of 7 for a total of 19. The Maintenance DC for an alchemechanical sniffer is 7, so the DC is 17. The rogue successfully works out how to get the sniffer to work and fires up the engine, setting to seeking out the tracks of the kobolds that escaped them earlier. tem simply lacks the pressure to get the steamwork machinery working properly, and it has no effect. Steamwork devices of Small size or smaller only take 2 rounds to warm up. Activating a steamwork device once it has warmed up requires a Maintenance check (see below) to ensure that it works properly and doesn’t malfunction. Some steamwork devices have an instantaneous effect, for instance a crank-cannon being fired to spray an area with bullets; others have sustained effects, such as the benefits of a suit of steamwork armour or a steamwork construct being operational. Every time a steamwork device such as a crank cannon is used, a new Maintenance check needs to be made, while an item with a constant effect does not require new Maintenance checks every time it is involved in an action. Example: A character possesses a steamwork arcana version of gauntlets of ogre strength. He only needs to warm up the gauntlet’s engine and then successfully activate them once, after which they continually grant their +2 bonus to Strength. He does not need to make a new Maintenance check every time he uses the gauntlets to do something, e.g. hit someone or lift a heavy object. It is general practice with steamwork devices to have the engines already fired up and the boiler running when a character is in a situation where he might need to make use of his steampowered items. This saves characters from such unfortunate situations as having to spend several rounds in a battle warming up their weapons before they can pitch in to aid their comrades. The price of being ever ready for events is that with the engines being on for longer more fuel is used up. It is possible that a steamwork device might have its engine shut down, possibly through having the firebox doused or by magical means. In this case the engine must be fired back up and allowed to get back into operation before the device can be used once more.
Using Steamwork Devices
efore a character can activate a steamwork device that he already knows how to operate, he needs to fire up the engine. Firing up the engine takes a standard action as the character ignites the fuel in the firebox, speaks the arcane syllables needed to activate the arcane machinery, or otherwise starts the system up. Firing up the engine gets the steam flowing from the boiler (or whatever method the engine in question employs to create the steam), quickly bringing the device to an operational status. It takes three rounds for the boiler to heat up and the steam to start flowing, except for in the case of alchemical mixer engines (see Engines). If a character attempts to activate a steamwork item before the three rounds have passed then the sys-
Steam & Steel
The ‘Machine’ Bonus Type
n the same way that many arcane spells grant enhancement or deflection bonuses, holy items grant sacred bonuses and some powerful magics grant inherent bonuses, steamwork devices often grant a machine bonus. For instance, a suit of heavy piston-augmented steamwork armour grants a +6 machine bonus to Strength, which stacks with enhancement bonuses from spells and magic items, but does not stack with the +2 machine bonus to Strength given to attacks made with a steamwork arm prosthetic.
question. A natural roll of 1 on such a check is always a failure. There are a number of different situations in which a Maintenance check must be made for a device: Activation: When a character activates a steamwork device, having already warmed up the engine, a Maintenance check is required. Long-term Wear: Steamwork devices that are t on for long periods of time need careful attention and maintenance due to the continual stresses of activity. For every 24 hours that a device is active for, it needs a suitable amount of maintenance (which takes 5 minutes per size category of the device, from 5 minutes for Fine to 45 for Colossal). If this is not done the Maintenance DC of the machine increases by 1, which accrues for every day the machine is not maintained properly. This can only be reset by giving the device a full day of inactivity and triple the amount of maintenance time that is needed normally. Battle-Stress: Although steamwork constructs S are immune to critical hits, it is none the less possible that a particularly powerful or damaging strike might cause the machine to suffer a malfunction. Whenever a steamwork construct or character wearing steamwork armour suffers a hit on which a natural 20 was rolled, a Maintenance check must be made. Prosthetic Stress: Whenever a character with steamwork prosthetics undergoes a situation in which their prosthetics undergo a taxing amount of use, a Maintenance check is needed. Whenever such a character enters combat, a Maintenance check is needed for a randomly selected prosthetic that is employed during battle, such as a fighter’s steamwork arm used to wield a weapon. When a character uses a prosthetic as part of an action over a long period of time which may fatigue them, for instance a character with a steamwork leg running for a long period of time, a Maintenance check is needed for the prosthetic in question. In these circumstances, a character with the Endurance feat benefits from the +4 bonus to
Maint aining S teamwork Devices
teamwork devices have an unfortunate tendency to jam up, blow a gasket, or otherwise go wrong. The fuels used by many types of steam engine produce residues and smog that muck up the mechanisms of a steamwork with oily grime and grit, and the more exotic forms of engine powered by magic or other eldritch energies can have arcane circuits frying and energy conduits breaking. The high pressures that occur within a steam engine from the gases swirling around its system can cause leaks of hot steam, or more catastrophic malfunctions… Of course, if given the correct maintenance and tending a steamwork device can be kept in tiptop shape and will run efficiently, rarely breaking down or going wrong. If maintained badly or negligently, things have an even greater chance than normal of malfunctioning. Every steamwork device, from massive lumbering constructs to steam-powered prosthetics, has a Maintenance DC. This represents how hard it is to keep the device operational, and those unskilled in maintenance and who understand their steamwork equipment only poorly are unlikely to keep it working for long. A Maintenance check is a Craft (Steamworks) check against the Maintenance DC of the device in
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Maintenance checks in these situations in addition to the normal situations it applies in. Massive Damage: Whenever a steamwork construct, character wearing steamwork armour or character with steamwork prosthetics takes massive damage, a Maintenance check is needed. In the case of a character with steamwork prosthetics, a single prosthetic is randomly selected for the check. Although constructs are immune to the other effects of massive damage they are still subject to this Maintenance check. The DC for this check is increased by 10. The Maintenance roll represents the maintenance, oiling and greasing and general care that has been given to a device, and a failure indicates that something has gone wrong. Roll a d20 and consult the following table to discover the effects: in the device grinding to a halt in d3 rounds; reignition devices in the Equipment section are designed to cope with this problem. Manually reigniting a furnace is a standard action. 13-14: Blows a Gasket: A gasket blows, venting 1 steam as per the Steam Vent result. The machine itself suffers from an increase in Maintenance DC of 3 and a -1 penalty on any attack or skill check made involving the device. Constructs and characters wearing steamwork armour suffer either a halving in their movement speed or a -5 penalty to attack rolls (50% chance of either result). 15: Pressure Build-Up: A serious pressure U build-up begins somewhere in the machine, usually with an ominous rumbling noise. In d6 rounds it results in a breakdown and a steam vent unless a successful Craft (Steamworks) check is made against a DC of 5 + Maintenance Level is made to fix it quickly, one attempt allowed each round. 16-18: Breakdown: The device simply stops 1 working as something inside breaks or slides loose or the boiler starts venting continually. Constructs suffer a penalty to both Strength and Dexterity scores of -4. 19: Major Breakdown: The device breaks down in impressive style, usually with a considerable amount of mechanical grinding and expensivesounding crunches. Fixing the device will take an hour rather than the usual ten minutes. Constructs break down like anything else. 20: Catastrophic Breakdown: As major breakdown, except potentially even more impressive. The device breaks down. There is a 50% chance it sprays boiling steam over a ten foot radius area in the process, inflicting 2d6 damage to all in the area unless they make a Reflex save (DC 15) (small-sized and smaller constructs only inflict 1d6 damage on those in contact with them). In addition, different types of engine may have additional catastrophic effects; for example oil-burning engines may have their fuel reserves simply explode. Note that constructs usually do not have their own Craft (Steamworks) skill, and thus use the skill bonus of the last character to maintain them instead. For every day a construct then
1 - Slow Warm-up: The device takes a while to u start working properly, activating a round late. 2-4 - Pressure Dip: A momentary loss of pres4 sure means the device stops working for one round. If the item is just being activated, it just activates a round late, as per the Slow Warm-up result. A steamwork construct, or someone wearing steamwork armour of any kind, suffers a -2 penalty to Dexterity for one round instead. 5-7 - Steam Vent: A spray of steam vents out of 7 the machinery in a billowing, scalding cloud. Anyone in contact with the device must make a Reflex save (DC 10) or suffer d4 damage from the hot steam. The machine itself suffers from a Pressure Dip. 8-9 - Clunk: Something in the machinery 9 makes an ominous clunk. The Maintenance DC of the device is increased by 2 until fixed. 10 - Catch the Bouncing Cog: Part of the machinery simply comes springing free from the innards of the device, usually a small and fiddly cog. The Maintenance DC of the device is increased by 3 until fixed; and if the missing piece is lost then the character will need to find or make a new replacement. 11-12 Smouldering Embers: If the device has a 1 conventional furnace then it goes out. This results
Steam & Steel
goes without any maintenance, the skill bonus to its Maintenance checks is reduced by one unless a Craft (Steamworks) check (DC 15) is passed. Most constructs are usually given maintenance every few days. On the occasions that they are sill found active within ruins and dungeons, they are often of either superior quality manufacture, have powerful magic woven into them, or are being maintained by some other dungeon denizen or construct. The same guidelines apply to large steamwork devices such as pumps and arrays that can continue functioning for long periods of time which need Maintenance checks independently of their use by characters. Example: An iron juggernaut construct enters battle with a group of adventurers, requiring a Maintenance check. The skill bonus of the necromancer who created the juggernaut and keeps it carefully maintained is +10, and the DM rolls a 12 for a total of 22, easily beating the Maintenance DC of 9. Later in the battle the juggernaut takes massive damage, and this time the DC is 19. The DM rolls a 3, and the juggernaut malfunctions, resulting in a roll of 9 on the Malfunction table and thus an increased chance that the construct will suffer even more problems later on.
Fixing Breakage and Malfunctions
f a machine breaks down, or suffers a Maintenance penalty or some other negative state from one of the results on the Maintenance table, a character can attempt to fix it. This process takes ten minutes and requires mechanic’s tools (see Tools of the Trade, below).
After spending ten minutes attempting to fix it, the character must make a Craft (Steamworks) check against a DC of the Maintenance value modified by any effects from the Malfunction table. A success indicates that he has managed to fix it and a negative state or penalty is removed. Note that if a machine has suffered various different malfunctions and breakdowns the character must take ten minutes and make a separate check for each one to try and fix it. A character can take 10 or take 20 when fixing breakages.
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Like gnomes, elves have an affinity for nature that often makes them balk at the idea of industrialisation and the ramifications of large machines devouring fossil fuels in their fireboxes. However, when elves do make use of steamworks their creations are often amazingly well-crafted, aesthetic and graceful in form rather than lumbering junkmen of rivets and blackened iron. They also enjoy making extensive use of magic in their crafting, and generally make use of magical engines that do not burn any fuel. Their dark kin, the drow, very rarely make use of such machines. They far prefer the use of magic over machinery, and rarely bother themselves with attempting to understand scientific principles. They might however force captured slaves with engineering knowledge to craft steamworks for them.
Breaking Steamworks & Causing Malfunctions
s well as fixing such machines, it is of course equally possible that a character might be in a position where they wish to deliberately damage and sabotage steamwork devices. Whether a saboteur deep behind enemy lines, carefully incapacitating the sleeping hulks of steamwork war constructs the night before a battle, or a mechanic throwing a sabot into the grinding gears of an industrial steamwork hammer as a form of covert protest at low wages – breaking and tampering with steamworks is often easier than keeping them working. Sabotage takes ten minutes and requires a Craft (Steamworks) check against a DC of 5+ the Maintenance DC of the device. A success means that the next time the device is used it will automatically cause a roll on the Malfunction table. A character attempting to sabotage a device without saboteur’s tools (see Tools of the Trade, below) suffers a –2 circumstance penalty. A character with at least 5 ranks in Disable Device gains a +2 synergy bonus to sabotage attempts. Sabotage can be spotted by those with an eye for it. A spot check made against a DC of 10+ the saboteur’s ranks in Craft (Steamworks) successfully notices that a device has been tampered with, whether or not
the attempt at sabotage was successful. A character needs to be looking closely at the device, for instance while maintaining it. Once noticed, sabotage can be countered by fixing the device as normal; however, the wilful damage caused by a sabotage attempt means that the period taken to fix it is increased to one hour rather than ten minutes. Example: A scout infiltrates an enemy army camp, and comes to the prize of the invading force’s troops –
Creating S teamwork Devices
an iron juggernaut, that has already spread terror and confusion on the battlefield and swung the balance firmly in its owners favour. The scout manages to reach the juggernaut unseen in the gloom, his Move Silently and Hide checks passed easily. He can’t risk staying there long and takes a furtive ten minutes to try and covertly sabotage the device, rolling a 15 on his check, which with his skill bonus of +4 to Craft (Steamworks) is just enough to beat the DC of 19. He then slinks away back into the darkness. When the wizardly engineer who created the juggernaut starts it up the next morning, he rolls a 4 on his spot check, which with his Spot bonus of +2 fails to beat the DC of 7 (5+ the saboteur’s ranks in Craft (Steamworks)). Failing to notice that an act of sabotage has been committed, he activates the construct, and he watches in horror as it staggers a few feet, hisses violently and breaks down. character with ranks in the Craft (Steamworks) skill can attempt to create steamwork devices in the same way he could create other mundane items with the appropriate craft skills. Crafting a steamwork device requires access to a forge, as well as appropriate tools for forming and shaping the metal parts of the item, unless the process is using materials other than metal. In addition, due to the complexity of increasingly advanced steamworks and the scientific element
Steam & Steel
involved in their creation, there are a minimum number of ranks in the Craft (Steamworks) skill that a character must have to be able to attempt certain devices at all. This reflects a character’s increasing levels of scientific acumen and technological understanding. A dwarven engineer with 5 ranks in Craft (Steamworks) simply does not have the scientific and mechanical training to be able to design and build a steamwork sentry (see Tools of the Trade). His more experienced companion with 9 ranks has done the necessary research and investigation to understand how to construct the guardian machine. It is building the engine parts of steamworks that is a slightly different matter to the rest. The categories of engine are conventional furnace, alchemical, arcane, essence, necromantic and energy trap. A character needs the appropriate feat (see Feats, below) to have mastered the scientific or eldritch principles behind what makes the engine type work, and to be able to build an engine from that category. Creation of engines is detailed in the Engines of Steam section below, along with the special effects that different engine types have. For the purpose of calculating the creation DC for Craft checks, steamwork devices count as complex or superior items, meaning the DC is 20. ing the unreliability. Any item other than scrolls and potions can be made in this way. Such items are usually obviously built with steam technology, such as gauntlets of ogre strength covered in heavy metal pistons. The steamwork versions of others have a more inventive appearance, such as a strange-looking pump device that coughs out dust of appearance when activated. Crooked wands with steamwork pistons and joints and tiny wire-wreathed and vent-studded arcanomechanical rings are equally possible. To create such an item, the character must fulfil all the prerequisites needed to create a normal version. In addition, he or she must possess ranks in Craft (Steamworks) equal to the caster level given in the item description. Steamwork magical items crafted in this way cost only 80% of the normal gold and experience, but become steamwork items and thus must have their engines warmed up to be activated, require Maintenance checks for various circumstances, and need to be fuelled. The Maintenance DC of a steamwork magical item created in this way is equal to the caster level given in the item description + 5. Other than the effects of becoming a steamwork device, the magic item operates as normal. However, any bonuses it grants, such as enhancement bonuses to ability scores or deflection bonuses to armour class, are changed to be machine bonuses instead. The reduced cost of the item does not include the cost of the engine. Since the cost of the engine, and fuel consumption, is dependent on the size of the item in question, and not all magical items have their size detailed, it is sometimes necessary for the DM to use his discretion in deciding on an appropriate size value.
Creating Steamwork Arcana
ome of the steamwork devices presented in this guide are magical items, implementing arcane or divine power into their functions and workings. These follow the usual rules for magical item creation, requiring an appropriate feat and spells, as well as usually also having a prerequisite of a certain number of ranks in Craft (Steamworks) on the part of the creator. Items that are both steamwork and magical still require the usual maintenance and fuelling as appropriate to the engine type. It is also possible for a character to make steamwork arcana versions of existing magical items taken from other sources. Using a cunning blend of technology and magic, these items are less draining and less expensive to make, but also suffer all the shortfalls of steamwork devices, includ-
etailed here are a number of different feats related to the creation, use and sabotaging of steam technology. It is important to note that the engine creation feats here do not all have to be made available in a fantasy set-
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
ting. The DM may decide that the only steamwork engines in existence in his campaign are to be alchemical engines made by mad gnomes or complex and rare arcane engines built by reclusive wizards. Alternatively it might be a steampunk setting where the only form of engine available is the conventional furnace, except for necromantic engines built by sinister horrors that lurk on the edges of civilisation and the designs for such not being comprehensible to humankind. The DM should make engine feats available to various cultures and societies at his discretion and as suits his aims for giving flavour and distinctiveness to the campaign. Alchemechanic [Engine Creation] You have mastered the alchemical sciences and steamwork principles needed to construct an engine driven by chemical energy. Prerequisites: Craft (Alchemy) 9 ranks, Craft (Steamworks), Craft (Steamworks) 9 ranks Benefit: The Alchemechanic feat allows a character to build alchemical engines. Arcanomech [Engine Creation] Your knowledge of both arcana and the sciences is such that you can meld the two, creating fantastic magic-powered steamworks. Prerequisites: Able to cast 3rd level arcane spells, any Item Creation feat, Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 8 ranks Benefit: The Arcanomech feat allows a character to build arcane engines. Arcanomech Channeller [General] You have learned how to tap into machinery as a conduit for your magical energies. Nearby steamwork devices, your power is increased. Prerequisites: Able to cast 3rd level arcane spells, Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks Benefit: A character with this feat can draw energy from nearby machines to boost their spellcasting capabilities as a standard action. They must select a steamwork device within 20 feet to draw energy from, which suffers as if from the pressure dip malfunction for one round. In the following round, a single spell the character casts benefits from a +1 bonus to DC and caster level. If the arcanomech energy is not used within one round of being acquired, it drains away. Eldritch Technologist [General] Wise in the ways of both magic and steam technology, you can use supernatural powers to meddle with nearby steamwork devices. Prerequisites: Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks, Spellcraft 8 ranks Benefit: Once per day a character with this feat can modify a single Maintenance check made within 20 feet by 5, as either a bonus or a penalty to the roll. Essence Engineer [Engine Creation] Either through your religious training or your knowledge of the planes, you are able to harness Inner or Outer planar energies to power mystic steamwork engines. Prerequisites: Able to cast 3rd level spells, Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks, Knowledge (Religion) 8 ranks or Knowledge (The Planes) 8 ranks Benefit: The Essence Engineer feat allows a character to build essence engines. High Artificer [Engine Creation] You have mastered the complex and mystical sciences needed to create energy trap engines. Prerequisites: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana, Physics, Chemistry or Religion) 12 ranks. Benefit: The High Artificer feat allows a character to build energy trap engines. Industrialist [General] You hail from an industrial city where the air is thick with smog and grime and the noise of factories endlessly toiling. Many of your people learn an industrial trade, and the polluted air has toughened your lungs. Prerequisites: This feat can only be taken at 1st level. Benefit: A character with this feat gains a +2 bonus to saves against gas and choking effects, and a +2 bonus to a single Craft skill.
Steam & Steel Mag ic/Technolog y Animosity
It may be that a campaign features a stronger animosity between magic and science than merely a dislike of the other by the practitioners of each. Magic and technology can be made so entirely different that they are actually the opposite of each other, so incompatible that they actually interfere with each other. In this case, an arcane spellcaster has a -2 penalty to any Craft (Steamworks) checks. An arcane caster of 10th level or above increases this to -4 and applies the same penalty to anyone else making Craft (Steamworks) checks for a device that the caster is in contact with, for instance when he is aboard a train - his magic is so strong that it actively disrupts the mechanisms and science. An arcane spellcaster of 20th level or over increases this penalty to -6. Meanwhile, the following feats become available: Tech-Savvy [General] S You're a capable user of technology and steamworks, and understand the basic scientific principles. Prerequisite: Craft (Steamworks) 6 ranks Benefit: You gain a +3 innate bonus to saving throws against arcane magic, and suffer a 10% increase to your chances of arcane spell failure, even in no armour. Engineer [General] Your technological skills and understanding are quite significant. Prerequisite: Craft (Steamworks) 13 ranks, Tech-Savvy Benefit: As an innate ability, you can dispel magic as an extraordinary ability once per day, as a caster of your character level. You suffer a 25% increase to your chances of arcane spell failure, even in no armour. Scientist [General] You are a true scientist and mechanic, fully steeped in the lore of machinery. Prerequisites: Craft (Steamworks) 18 ranks, Engineer Benefit: You gain Spell Resistance equal to 10+ your character level against arcane magic, even friendly arcane magic. You suffer a 35% increase to your chances of spell failure, even in no armour. Inspired [General] Either by natural genius or the influence of some outside force such as the work of steam spirits, you are inspired. Your mind is full of amazing ideas and fantastic designs for machines and steamworks, and you can see methods and solutions for any challenge put before you. Prerequisites: Intelligence 13+. Depending on the campaign, the Inspired feat may only be available through the work of outside influences, such as being bestowed on clerics with the Invention domain or made available to a character due to the presence of steam spirits (see Beasts of Steel). Benefit: A character with the Inspired feat can benefit from a flash of inspiration and ingenuity once per day, allowing them to take 20 on a skill check once per day without having to spend a longer period of time that would be needed to take the check normally. In addition, this is the prerequisite for the Inspired Inventor prestige class, which in some campaigns may be the only method of gaining access to engine creation feats. Master Mechanic [Engine Creation] Your mechanical skills and scientific understanding of steam technology allows you to build conventional steam engines. Prerequisites: Craft (Steamworks) 7 ranks
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Benefit: The Master Mechanic feat allows a character to build conventional furnace engines. Necromek [Engine Creation] Your mastery of the dark arts and your scientific knowledge allow you to create an unholy fusion of both in the form of necromantic steamwork engines. Prerequisites: Ability to cast rd level arcane spells, Spell 3 Focus (Necromancy), Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks Benefit: The Necromek feat allows a character to build necromantic engine types. Quick Fix [General] You can fix a breakdown or malfunction in a steam engine in no time flat. Prerequisite: Skill Focus – Craft (Steamworks) Benefit: Fixing a steamwork device takes 1/10th of its usual duration for a character with this feat. environs for operating – your patients are more likely to wake up with a successful graft and less likely to pick up an unpleasant disease from the wounding. Prerequisites: Heal 10 ranks Benefit: A character with this feat gains a +2 bonus to skill checks to implant a prosthetic, and their patients benefit from a +4 bonus to Fortitude saves against catching a disease from the graft. Super-Heavy Armour Proficiency H [General] [Fighter] You have been trained in the use of superheavy forms of steamwork armour, and are able to pilot them competently. Prerequisites: Craft (Steamworks) 4 ranks, Heavy Armour Proficiency. Benefit: A character with this feat can operate super-heavy armour. Normal: A character who is wearing armour with which he is not proficient suffers its armour check penalty on attack rolls and on all skill checks that involve moving, including Ride. In the case of super-heavy armour, the armour check penalty to skill checks that involve moving is doubled. Technophobe [General] You come from a society that hates and maligns technology, perhaps because of its effects on the environment and nature, or for other reasons. You fight with great ferocity against such metal abominations. Prerequisites: This feat can only be taken at 1st level. Benefit: A character with this feat gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls against steamwork constructs and those with steamwork armour or prosthetics.
Lacking any real scientific knack for machinery, halflings tend not to invent steamworks by themselves. They will, however, quite happily make use of such devices that others have made. Steamwork devices often end up in the hands of light-fingered halflings who have 'appropriated' them. In situations where one or two organisations control the entire flow of steamworks, and heavily restrict their distribution, it may be halflings who can acquire a device for a character outside the normal legal channels…
Saboteur [General] Your knowledge of how to sabotage and damage machinery and steamworks is such that even in battle you can pick out the weak points on a hostile construct. Prerequisites: Base Attack Bonus +3, Sneak Attack class ability, Craft (Steamworks) 4 ranks Benefit: A character with this feat can make both sneak attacks and critical hits on steamwork constructs in melee combat. Normal: Constructs are immune to sneak attacks and critical hits. Steam Surgeon [General] You’re a skilled healer and experienced surgeon when it comes to implanting prosthetics and understand the need to keep a clean and hygienic
Eng ines of S team
t the heart of every steamwork device is an engine of some sort or another, the machinery that powers the entire item. There are all sorts of different types of engine possible in a fantasy setting, from the conventional fuel-burning furnaces to the more fantastical variants such as the magic-eating dweomerburners and the sinister necromantic engines. The only thing they have in common is that they transform water to steam through their processes in order to make the machine operate. The type of engine that powers a steamwork device is often apparent through the item's appearance; arcane engines are scribed with runes and mystic patterns and crafted from odd materials, while a necromantic device is disturbingly crafted and often inlaid with patterns in bone. Other types of engine not described here are also quite possible.
Size Fine Diminutive Tiny Small Medium Large Huge Gargantuan Colossal
Engine Cost Multiplier x1 x2 x3 x4 x5 x6 x7 x8 x9
Constructing an Engine o construct an engine requires the appropriate feat, as well as a forge and tools in the same manner as crafting other steamwork devices. Building the engine is effectively a sub-process of building an overall machine, and can be done quite separately (and often is) to constructing the other parts of a device. The average industry labourer or apprentice mechanic can build the metal cogs, gears and struts needed to put together most of a device. It needs the careful skill of a talented engineer to assemble the complexities of the engine and connect it into the machinery, systems and controls of the item and to ensure it works as it should. The cost of an engine depends on the size of the device it is supposed to be powering, and thus engines for larger devices like constructs cost more. To find the cost of an engine, multiply the cost supplied in the engine's entry by for each increasing size category the device it powers has. The table below lays out the price increase.
Some engines also have added costs in forms other than gold; for example an arcane source engine drains experience points from the creator, as the process of building it is similar to crafting any other magical item. The type of engine in a device does not affect its weight or size, since that is already included in the device's entry. Certain types of engine may affect the Maintenance DC of a device. Example: A dwarven engineer is making a steam sentinel to help guard his clan's mines from marauding orcs. He has the Master Mechanic feat and decides to construct it with a coal burner engine, since his clan's mines produce a lot of coal. Coal burner engines are simple and cheap, only costing 10gp per size category, so for the Large construct it costs 60gp to build the engine. This minor cost pales in comparison to the 12,000gp needed to craft the sentinel in the first place. Example: A wizard wishes to craft a steamwork arm for one of his fighter companions, who had theirs bitten off by a voracious troll. He possesses the arcanomech feat, and decides to build an arcane source engine so that his friend won't need to bother constantly refuelling the prosthetic. A steamwork arm is a Small item, and so it costs a total of 1,000gp and 40xp for the magical engine, on top of the 2,000gp cost of the arm itself.
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Example: An evil necromancer plans to construct a dirigible, desiring the greater mobility it gives him and the opportunity to strike at his foes from far above. Possessing the necromek feat, he decides to power the steamwork machinery of the vehicle with vile corpseburner engines. Since the dirigible he is making is a Huge construct, a corpseburner engine costs 350gp, only a small additional cost to the overall price of building a dirigible in the first place. Note that except for where specified in individual engine entries, any type of steamwork device can be built with any type of engine.
Fuelling an Engine
ach engine entry also includes the cost to fuel a Medium-sized device for one day. Some engines have special fuel requirements that are noted in their details, while others do not require any fuel due to their nature. To find the fuel cost for a device that is larger than Medium size, simply double the fuel cost with each increasing size category. To find the fuel cost for a device that is smaller, halve the fuel cost with each diminishing size category. As mentioned above, it is important to note that the list below is not necessarily a comprehensive collection of every single engine type that should be included in a single campaign. Rather, it is intended to provide a broad spectrum of different possibilities that the DM can put to use, picking and choosing which engines he feels are appropriate.
Size Fine Diminutive Tiny Small Medium Large Huge Gargantuan Colossal
Fuel Cost Multiplier x1/16 x1/8 x¼ x½ x1 x2 x4 x8 x16
team engines with a conventional furnace rely on the heat generated by the combustion of some sort of fuel to power them. Device design usually features an accessible firebox where the fuel combusts, as well as vents or smokestacks to allow the smoke and fumes created by the process to escape. Engines of this type are notorious for creating large amounts of pollution through burning fossil fuels. They also generate a lot of heat and working in an environment full of heavy steamwork machinery powered by conventional furnaces can be hot and tiring. Creating a conventional furnace engine requires the Master Mechanic feat. Coal Burner: This type of engine depends on a feed of normal coal into its furnace to keep the fire burning and the boiler heated. Burning coal creates large amounts of waste ash that needs to be disposed of, but it does tend to be a fairly
Steam & Steel
cheap and plentiful fossil fuel that burns well. Coal is found in seams that run through rock and need to be mined out, a process that can be done without need to recourse to much technology and sophistication. It is however not without its dangers, both short-term (collapses and underground creatures) and long-term (damage to lungs and throat through coal-dust), and as such it is not uncommon to see slaves put to work in coal mines. Coal is also heavy and cumbersome to transport, as well as needing someone to either shovel fuel direct into the firebox or to regularly top up a large device's fuel hoppers. Using coal isn't very practical for very small devices due to the size of pieces of coal, and adventurers are generally unwilling to lug sacks of the fuel around with them on their travels. Oil Burner: Rather than having an open furnace into which fuel can be shovelled, oil Engine Conventional Furnace Coal Burner Crystalburner Oil Burner Alchemical Engine Alchemical Mixer Arcane Engine Arcane Source Dweomerburner Energy Trap Engine Divine Source Solar Trap Essence Engine Elemental Essence Spirit Essence Necromantic Engine** Blood Drinker Corpseburner Dragonsblood Soulburner Soul Drinker burners often have more complex engines to feed in the right amount of fuel into the furnace. Burning oil creates thick, oily fumes and can leave thick residues, and as a result oil burner engines need a lot of maintenance and cleaning to ensure they keep working. Despite this, oil burns efficiently and carrying fuel for an oil burner is considerably less encumbering than carrying coal, especially since the viscous liquid can be stored in vials and flasks. In the case of a Catastrophic Breakdown, the fuel reservoirs of an oil burner engine explode. For every size category larger than Small of the device, the radius of the explosion expands by 5ft. For Small or smaller devices the explosion only affects someone handling it. Anyone in the area is hit as if by alchemist's fire unless they make a Reflex save (DC 15) and may be set on fire. Note that on a successful save, someone handling the device only succeeds in taking half damage rather than avoiding it entirely. The smouldering wreckCost 10gp 30gp 15gp 20gp 250gp, 10xp 100gp 250gp, 10xp 250gp 250gp, 10xp 250gp, 10xp 50gp 50gp 50gp*** 75gp*** 100gp, 4xp Fuelling Cost per Day 5gp 15gp 8gp 6gp None * None * None None * * * * *
*Indicates non-standard form of fuel. **Can benefit from cost reductions through the use of sacrifices ***Indicates additional creation costs
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
age of the device remains hot and dangerous to touch for quite some time. Devices with oil burner engines suffer a -2 circumstance penalty to saving throws against fire damage (this is primarily relevant for constructs). An oil burner device that is reduced to 0 hit points by fire damage explodes as per a Catastrophic Breakdown. Crystalburner: Crystalburner engines are an exotic form of conventional furnace that does not burn any fossil fuel, but instead combusts specially treated crysGoblins tals. These crystals are only Goblins like steam- found in growths that occur in work devices, and odd locations such as deep underground and near active the noisier and more destructive volcanoes, but they only create the better. Goblin a very thin smoke from their steamworks tend to furnaces and thus a minimum of pollution and grime. They use either crude conventional fuel also have exceptionally effiburner engines, or cient boilers. Since only a few the more complex crystals, shards a foot in length, devices crafted by are needed to power the engine their priests and for quite a long time, it does not necromancers use have the same kinds of problems of transporting fuel as coal necromantic engines instead. If a burners suffer from. Crystalburners also have goblin culture gets hold of a steam- a strange and inexplicable work device it is side effect, in that any sentient only a matter of steamwork creation with a time before they crystalburner engine benefits figure out how to from increased cognitive abilimake it themselves, ties - the crystals have some strange magical quality that and they can be very dangerous foes affects the delicate mechanisms when equipped with for the machine consciousness steam technology as of such devices. Steamwork well as their own constructs with crystalburner natural cunning. engines possess a +2 inherent bonus to their Intelligence and Wisdom scores. In the case of a Catastrophic Breakdown the crystalburner's firebox explodes. As well as venting hot steam it quickly burns the rest of the crystals in a lightning-fast reaction, pulsing out a wave of blue-white energy like the flash of a detonation. This energy deals no physical damage but hits the mind and psyche of anyone nearby like a hammer, dealing d6 temporary Wisdom damage to all within a radius of 5ft. per increasing size category of the device.
his type of engine does not rely on combustion at all. Instead it uses chemical reactions to create the heat needed to keep the boiler running. Alchemical engines are usually very complex and filled with delicate glass components, and make strange sloshing noises when moved as the substances within swirl around. Since the chemical processes create noxious fumes and gases, alchemical engines are often riddled with vents and exhausts to allow it all to escape, meaning they are usually accompanied by a pungent smell on the air. Those who work around alchemical engines for too long tend to get headaches, while individuals who spend years around them often develop coughs or respiratory problems, sometimes their brain also suffering from the chemicals. Creating an alchemical furnace requires the Alchemechanic feat.
Alchemical Mixer: Alchemical engines have a number of benefits. When a vent is opened the various chemical agents instantly mix and create heat, and the reaction can be switched off just as fast. Firing up an alchemical engine does not result in the usual three rounds of warm-up time, although it can still be affected by the Slow Warm-up result on the Malfunction table. Additionally, alchemical mixer engines are immune to the Smouldering Embers result on the Malfunction table, as they lack a firebox or indeed a fire. Although several different substances are needed in the engine, the volume they are required in is quite small because only a little is used up in each reaction, meaning that the problem of transporting fuel is almost negligible. In the case of a Catastrophic Breakdown an alchemical engine gouts gas and steam as chemical reactions go wild, spraying corrosive chemicals
Steam & Steel
everywhere. For every size category larger than Small of the device, the radius of the explosion expands by 5ft. For Small or smaller devices the explosion only affects someone handling it. Anyone in the area is hit for 1d10 acid damage unless they make a Reflex save (DC 15). Note that on a successful save, someone handling the device only succeeds in taking half damage rather than avoiding it entirely. If an alchemical mixer device is reduced to below 0 hit points by acid damage then it explodes in the same manner as a Catastrophic Breakdown. engine is expensive as well as demanding on the arcane creator. The personal steamwork creations of arcane spellcasters often feature arcane source engines, but the large-scale assembly of arcane steamworks is a rare occurrence. Due to the magical nature of their engines, arcane sources do not have the same problems as more conventional ones of the firebox going out or being doused, and are immune to such effects (ignore the Smouldering Embers result on the Malfunction table). Equally they require no fuel, but like other steamwork devices they can suffer and degrade from being functional for too long at a time and so are generally only activated when needed. Maintenance of an arcane source engine is easier for someone versed in arcane lore because the engine does not produce the same kinds of grime and filth as some others. A character with at least 4 ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) gains a +2 synergy bonus to all Maintenance checks for an arcane source engine. However, a character without any Knowledge (Arcana) ranks at all may find the methods of keeping the device maintained nigh on incomprehensible as they won't understand the inner workings of the engine, and hence suffer a -2 penalty to any Maintenance checks on a device powered by an arcane source. In the case of a Catastrophic Breakdown an arcane source engine cuts out and breaks down, often producing some impressive pyrotechnic effects but without any additional special results. Dweomerburner: This type of arcane engine is rather cannibalistic in its nature, for it needs to devour other magic to keep its fires burning. Like a conventional engine, a dweomerburner features an accessible firebox, which appears to be filled with dancing, ghostly flames that give off no heat and do not actually burn substances placed within them, merely causing a light tingling sensation to the skin. However, they do actually burn creatures that touch them in the Ethereal plane like normal fire. When a magical item is placed in the fire, the flames burn with ghostly enthusiasm as they set about devouring the spells imbued into the object within, burning it away to power the steam engine. Eventually all
rcane engines do not rely on a conventional furnace to heat up the boiler, instead utilising more eldritch means to do so. Unlike the practical mechanics and industrial appearance of more conventional engines, arcane creations are easy to recognise. They often sport mystic runes, crystal or glass tubes through which shimmering lights occasionally dance, and other pieces of arcane paraphernalia. Arcane engines also often generate and use electrical energy from the boiler to power the device in strange, pseudomagical ways through meshes of copper wiring and specially sculpted magical foci. Peering into the innards of an arcane steamwork device reveals the bizarre and weird structures within. Maintaining such engines often requires mystic rituals and the adjustment of strange valves and vents. Creating an arcane engine requires the Arcanomech feat.
Arcane Source: An arcane source engine relies on some form of magic bound into the machine to transmute the water into steam. This is usually done through the creation of a magical flame and heat, or by transmuting the water directly into its gaseous state, but there are a myriad of other different arcane methods by which the same end result is achieved. In any case, an arcane source engine has the advantage that it is usually permanent and does not require constant fuelling to keep it running, although equally the creation of such an
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
that is left is the physical form of the magical item, all its enhancements stripped away. A medium-sized dweomerburner device derives 1 day's fuel from every 250 gp of magic item that it burns, consumption changing as normal for other sizes of engine. If an artifact is placed in the engine the dweomerburner is fuelled as if burning a normal magical item but does not diminish the object in any way, no matter what the size of the device. Tales often abound of mighty behemoth constructs at whose mechanical hearts lie puissant artifacts eternally burning. Dweomerburners can also devour spells that are cast directly at them (though this doesn't apply to spells cast at a character handling a dweomerburner device). Dweomerburner devices have Spell Resistance 10, or in the case of constructs grant Spell Resistance equal to 10 + the hit dice of the construct. Any spell nullified by the Spell Resistance gives the dweomerburner an additional ten minutes of fuel per spell level devoured. In the case of a Catastrophic Malfunction, a dweomerburner explodes in a flash of white light, with the effect of an area dispel as per the spell centred on the steamwork device, at 10th caster level. some of the strongest sources of power and usually much less (normally up to twenty or thirty miles). Outside the operational radius they simply cease functioning and shut down. As a result, divine source steamworks are usually used to guard a stronghold or fortress at or nearby the source of power, rather than being designed for greater travelling purposes. Since the process within the engine does not involve an actual fire to hear the boiler, but rather strange processes that channel the received energy into heat, divine source engines are unaffected by the Smouldering Embers malfunction. Steamwork constructs powered by a nearby divine source often display an alarming grip on group tactics and work together well through the link provided by the source, as a divine source steamwork is aware of the exact position of any other steamwork powered by the source that is within 60ft. Such constructs also gain a +1 bonus to any Maintenance checks made for other devices incorporating the same engine type. A divine source engine is keyed to only a single source. In the case of a Catastrophic Breakdown, a divine source engine merely breaks down as normal with no further special effects. Solar Trap: Solar trap engines harness the power of the sun. They absorb solar energy to heat up their boilers, picking up the warmth and light through arrays of collector panels and flat surfaces positioned to pick up as much of the sun's rays as possible. The framework of solar panels on some steamwork devices can be quite delicate. A solar trap powers a steamwork device for 1 hour for every hour of sunlight absorbed. Although clean in terms of pollutants and maintenance, solar trap engines have the obvious disadvantage of being unable to process more power during the night or when in the shade, and they rarely have enough power reserves to function for long out of sunlight. Equally though, their source of fuel is essentially free. Since they do not have a firebox they are not affected by the Smouldering Embers malfunction.
Energy Trap Engine
his type of engine derives its power by collecting or tapping the energy emitted by some other source. In this way the source of power lies entirely outside the structure of the steamwork construction itself, and possibly quite a considerable distance away. The two forms of energy trap engine presented here are quite different and distinct from each other.
Divine Source: This type of energy trap engine is designed to pick up the energy emitted by some nearby source of great power. This usually takes the form of something divine, whether it is an ancient and puissant artifact or the place where a deity perished, or even a still-living demigod. Steamwork engines designed to tap into the energy of the source can only operate while within a certain radius of where it is located, up to one hundred miles for
Steam & Steel
In the case of a Catastrophic Breakdown malfunction, solar trap engines merely break down without any further special effects.
ike arcane engines, an essence engine does not use conventional fuels to power steamwork devices. Instead it harnesses otherworldly energies, drawing them directly from the Inner or Outer planes. Both arcane and divine spellcasters are able to tap into the planes in this way, but essence engines generally remain the provinces of religions and faiths. Due to the religious nature of their creators, essence engines thus often bear prayers, sacred texts and other examples of religious panoply. All essence engines require that a deal has been made with some Inner or Outer planar being to give the creator access to the spiritual or elemental energies of the appropriate planes. This usually
has to be done through some form of divination or summoning spell, for instance lesser or greater planar binding. In the case of clerics in the service of a religion, they have the advantage that the deity of their faith will supply the link to that god's home plane. In the case of an essence engine powered in this way, a character who has Knowledge (Religion) of 4 ranks or more gains a +2 synergy bonus to Maintenance checks in relation to that device. For those forced to barter with planar beings for power for an essence engine, depending on the size of the device the demands of the being can vary wildly. Incorporating a spirit matrix (see Equipment) so that the being can send a minion to inhabit it is a common request. Creating an essence engine requires the Essence Engineer feat. Elemental Essence: This type of engine draws energy from an Inner plane. Exactly how it works depends on the element and the creator. Elemental Fire devices are usually pow-
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
ered by an ever-burning furnace that heats the water, while Water engines simply exploit the nature of water and persuade it to take the form of steam. Air engines infuse the water with the energy of clouds in the sky to make it transmute into its gaseous form, while Earth engines are usually very rare and often Kobolds exploit the raw physical effort Kobolds have a tal- of a servant elemental spirit ent for integrating within the device. Elemental essence engines steamworks with traps, tunnelling do not need fuel and are also devices, and other immune to the Smouldering result on the nasty surprises for Embers Malfunction table - even Fire their enemies. They have a love of fossil essence is immune since the purity of the flame cannot be fuel-burning engines and oil in simply doused with water from general, and their a material plane. They also technical capabili- gain a +2 inherent bonus to ties are not to be saves against effects of their element; for example, a conunderestimated. struct powered by Fire essence Inventive and ingenious, kobolds gains a +2 bonus to its save against a fireball spell. While sometimes even elemental essence engines do lead the cutting edge of science in not have problems with the grime and filth of burning fuel this field. they do have to contend with the powerful elemental forces roiling within them. Thus for characters who have no ranks in Knowledge (The Planes), or Knowledge (Religion) in the case of engines powered by the deity of a religion, they suffer a -2 penalty to Maintenance checks. In the case of a Catastrophic Breakdown, an elemental essence engine temporarily collapses into a small elemental rift with a flash of energy. While the engine is not destroyed (and indeed can carry on functioning normally), a single elemental of the appropriate type forces its way through before the rift closes. The elemental is hostile and attempts to destroy the engine as well as anyone nearby. The size of the elemental is random although an elemental cannot emerge through a device that is smaller than it - so a Medium-sized device can only be breached by a Small or Medium-sized elemental, not larger ones. Spirit Essence: A spirit essence engine draws energy from an Outer Plane to power a steamwork device. The exact manner in which the energy is used to achieve this depends on the construction of the steamwork, but the usual fashion is to channel the energy into transforming the water into steam directly. Since spirit essence engines are usually found in the service of a religion, they are normally crafted to reflect the dogma and portfolio of a particular deity. Spirit essence engines do not need fuel and are immune to the Smouldering Embers result on the Malfunction table. Characters carrying steamwork devices dedicated to a particular deity may find themselves targets of choice to Outsiders that are hostile to that deity. In the case of a Catastrophic Breakdown, a backlash of bright planar energy simply severs the planar connection and obliterates the device's engine entirely.
s any student of the necromantic arts is aware, death is a powerful tool, possessing energies that can be harnessed by those who are wise to it. Some have applied this path of thought to the creation of steamwork devices, creating engines that derive their power from death and decay. Necromantic engines usually reflect the tastes of their creators, tending towards gothic design and horrific appearance, whether that is a skeletal, bone-like frame or vicious spikes and blades adorned with the remnants of enemies. Necromantic steamwork constructs often possess a malicious aura to them, eyes glowing with witchfire; those with furnace engines tend to have slender, sinister smokestacks and vents that puff out foul fumes. Creating a necromantic engine requires the Necromek feat.
Sacrifices: In the creation of any necromantic engine, the creation costs can be decreased by 10% by ritually sacrificing sentient creatures. The blood and death of a single sentient creature for every increasing size category of the
Steam & Steel
steamwork device to be powered is integrated into dark rituals that allow the necromancer to spend less of his own energy in the process. Both gold and experience costs are reduced through the use of sacrifices. Using sacrifices to empower a steamwork device in this way is an unambiguously evil act. Soulburner: This type of dark engine has a firebox that seems full of ethereal black flames. These flames act in the same way as real fire except that they inflict cold damage on anyone foolish enough to stick a limb in the firebox; like real fire, this coldfire can also set them alight. In addition, the flames also burn on the Ethereal plane and will inflict damage on any ethereal creature that passes through them. A soulburner uses souls as its fuel but can only burn them if they have been captured in gems, for instance through the use of the soul harvest spell (See Spells). Once the engine has consumed a soul, the holding gem crumbles to dust in the coldfire, and an individual whose soul is eaten by a soulburner can only be returned to life through a wish or miracle spell. Soulburners give off a thin, unpleasant smoke from their firebox. The creation of a soulburner has an additional cost, in the form of one soul trapped in a gem for each increasing size category of the steamwork device to be powered. The souls are bound permanently into the machine until the engine is destroyed, when they are freed. Coldfire burns merrily even when underwater or in airless environments, and so soulburners are immune to the Smouldering Embers result on the Malfunction table. In the case of a Catastrophic Breakdown, the firebox explodes in a flare of blue-white coldfire accompanied by the sound of screaming spirits. For every size category larger than Small of the device, the radius of the explosion expands by 5ft. For Small or smaller devices the explosion only affects someone handling it. Anyone in the area is hit for 2d6 cold damage unless they make a Reflex save (DC 15). Note that on a successful save, someone handling the device only succeeds in taking half damage rather than avoiding it entirely. If a soulburner is reduced to 0 hit points by magic damage of any sort then it explodes in the same manner as a Catastrophic Breakdown. Corpseburner: This form of necromantic engine needs a large furnace, as it burns corpses to provide heat for the boiler. Unlike a conventional furnace, it doesn't just derive energy from the burning flesh, but also from the pain and fear of death that still resides in the corpses. Although the burning corpses give off a foul stench and thick smog, it does mean that for war machines, the battlefield Orcs becomes a source of fuel after the fighting is over. It is not While the orc tribal unusual to see the dark-spined, structure is not very hulking minions of some suited to the invennecromancer prowling a tion and disseminakilling field with a trail of tion of steam techthick smoke as they hunt for nology, and in genfresh fuel. Some particularly eral they are too nasty constructs are fitted so warlike and uncerethat they can scoop up living bral a race to have opponents and place them talent in that field, directly into their furnaces, there is the occadealing 2d6 fire damage to the sional incidence of tribal wisemen unfortunate each round they passing down the remain there. knowledge of creatA Medium-size corpseburner device consumes a single ing a few crude syscorpse to fuel it for one day. tems. Orcs do like Corpseburners have the advan- big and noisy steam tage of their fuel being effec- engines though, and eagerly acquire tively free, but like other more conventional furnace engines, them off other socithey are vulnerable to their eties by barter or firebox going out or being plunder. Powerful doused. Although it does not allies might give an seem viable for small steam- orc tribe steamwork devices to keep work devices to use corpsethem loyal. burner engines, it is quite possible for a necromancer to feed small body parts such as fingers into the furnace of a construct such as a spider sentinel. In the case of a Catastrophic Malfunction, a corpseburner breaks down in a billowing cloud of foul smog, but with no further special effects.
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Dragonsblood: These vile necromantic engines exploit the highly magical nature of dragons, using necromantic sciences to extract energy from their sorcerous blood. Dragonsblood engines may appear similar to alchemical steamworks, featuring a nest of glass tubes and alchemical devices buried amongst the machinery that distils and filters the blood to extract the magical energy from it. Moving dragonsblood constructs are accompanied by the ghastly sight and sound of the crimson liquid swirling around the glass pipes. Even worse, the blood actuLizardfolk ally seems to enhance such Like gnolls, lizard- steamworks with fiendish energy and power drawn from folk rarely have anything to do with the blood. Steamwork consteam technology. structs powered by dragonsThey have a certain blood engines gain an inherent affinity to nature, at +2 bonus to all ability scores, least to its aspects as well as the ability to cast of survival and bru- one single level 1 arcane spell 3 times per day (the spell is tality, and their druids and priests decided on creation of the Dragonsblood find the havoc that engine). can be wreaked on engines are also unaffected by the environment by the Smouldering Embers steamwork device result on the Malfunction belching fumes and table. Needless to say, dragonswaste to be quite horrific. Although blood engines are hated by all individually they do dragonkind. It is not unknown not hate technolo- for evil dragons to create draggy, lizardfolk often onsblood engines fuelled by their own blood and that of find themselves dragons they have slain, but opposed to the groups that do pos- such monsters are shunned sess steamworks. and reviled even by other evil dragons. A dragon will go out of its way to destroy a dragonsblood steamwork and kill its creator. Creating a dragonsblood engine has an additional cost. Half a pint of dragon's blood per increasing size category is used up in the crafting process. For fuel, a pint of dragon's blood will keep a Medium-sized dragonsblood engine running for 1 day. There is no standard cost associated with a pint of dragon's blood, and it usually needs to be acquired directly - which is normally a very dangerous task. Some particularly unpleasant necromancers may keep imprisoned and crippled dragons that they can siphon the blood from. In the case of a Catastrophic Breakdown, a dragonsblood engine explodes in a detonation that rips it apart, sending pieces of glass scything through the air around it like shrapnel. For every size category larger than Small of the device, the radius of the explosion expands by 5ft. For Small or smaller devices the explosion only affects someone handling it. Anyone in the area is hit for 1d8 damage unless they make a Reflex save (DC 15). Note that on a successful save, someone handling the device only succeeds in taking half damage rather than avoiding it entirely. At the DM's discretion the blood of other highly magical creatures, for instance fey or medusae, could be used to power a necromantic construct as well. Blood Drinker: Blood drinker engines are only ever used to power a device of destruction such as a weapon or construct, due to the way they acquire their fuel. A blood drinker relies on the blood of its victims. Unlike the carefully refined alchemical and necromantic process of a dragonsblood engine, a blood drinker feeds off both the crude blood and the pain of the injuries it inflicts. A blood drinker device normally features vicious blades and hooks designed for ripping and tearing, etched blood channels in the weapons causing drawn blood to flow back towards the machine where it is collected and siphoned into the furnace. They possess a normal firebox augmented with necromantic energies, the flames a deep crimson in hue. Despite the magic bound into the furnace, blood drinkers can still be affected by the Smouldering Embers malfunction and can be doused. Blood drinkers create a thin, acrid smoke as a result of the burning. A Medium-sized blood drinker device must inflict 25 points of damage to living beings that have blood in order to extract the fuel to keep it running for one day. In the case of a Catastrophic
Steam & Steel
Breakdown, a blood drinker blasts out an invisible surge of pain and agony as it breaks down and the magical processes within go haywire. The blast has a radius of 5 feet for every increasing size category the steamwork device is, and anyone within the area must make a Will save (DC 15) or suffer 3d6 subdual damage. Soul Drinker: Like blood drinkers, soul drinker engines are only ever used to power destructive steamworks. An attack by a soul drinker uses necromantic magic to snare pieces of the life force of anyone injured, bestowing a single negative level on them (the DC to remove it after 24 hours is 10). By draining life energy a soul drinker is able to power the dark processes going on within it, and from the joints and valves in the machinery small, ethereal wisps of souls can be seen seeping out. Anyone killed outright by a soul drinker engine's level drain can only be returned to life through a wish or miracle. Anyone slain by more conventional injuries inflicted by such a machine suffers no such restrictions. Since the process is entirely necromantic and a soul drinker does not have a firebox, a soul drinker is unaffected by the Smouldering Embers malfunction. However, due to the bulkiness of the arcane apparatus that a soul drinker engine employs, they cannot be used to power steamwork devices of smaller than Medium-sized. 2 levels of energy drain are needed to sustain a soul drinker device of Medium size for one day. In the case of a Catastrophic Breakdown, a soul drinker explodes in a pulsating gleam of sickly grey light, energy washing out of it that saps the strength of those caught nearby. For every size category over Small, the radius of the explosion is increased by 5ft (thus having a minimum radius of 5ft. at Medium size due to the minimum size restriction of the engine). Anyone in the area suffers 2d6 temporary Strength damage if they fail a Will save (DC 18).
Materials and Craftmanship
teamwork devices are usually crafted with rivets and welding, ironshod conglomerations of gears and pistons that hiss and clank. Industrial in appearance, constructed from heavy metal and slicked with oil and grease within their moving machineries, this level of technological advancement and fabrication refinement is not the only possibility. Materials other than steel and iron can be employed to build constructs and engines, and more advanced cultures often hold the secrets to building more efficient and reliable devices. Equally, some more primitive and cruder sources of steamworks are possible, with poorly crafted assemblies of unrefined metal plates hammered together and gouting great vents of filth from their engines.
The weight modifier indicates the modifier that should be applied to the base weight of a device. The cost indicates the increase in cost of a steamwork device, calculated by a percentage increase to the base price of the object, except in the case of adamantine and dragonscale plating. Adamantine: This rare and incredibly hard metal can be used to build a steamwork device to create an amazingly resilient structure, as well as an obvious display of the wealth of the creator. Although it is expensive to acquire so much of the metal, adamantine is sometimes used to create steamwork war constructs, their armour very difficult to penetrate. A device created from adamantine gains a +3 non-magical enhancement bonus to its AC. Adamantine Plating: Although still expensive, adamantine plating is considerably less costly than creating an entire device from adamantine, while still reaping some of the benefits of the metal. Adamantine plating covers the armour of the device – usually constructs – with a layer of the metal that helps turn aside strikes and missiles. A device with adamantine plating gains a +1 non-magical enhancement bonus to AC. Bone: Sometimes used by necromancers to construct their steamwork devices and constructs, as well as by societies with an Cost advanced capacity for scientific +150% thought but lacking the metal +2,000gp resources needed to built steel +0% devices, bone can be used for +50% parts, structure and framework. -10% Smaller bones are carefully +150% chipped and shaped with +15,000gp tools and larger ones +100% bound or riveted +150% together, creating +100% a somewhat
s well as the usual forms of iron and steel used for the bulk of the parts of a steamwork device, plenty of other possibilities are available, from elaborate and ornamental metals to crude and primitive materials such as bone or coral. Note that many steamwork devices might have decorations in the forms of precious metals or odd substances inlaid or plated onto them, but the entries here represent the use of non-standard materials for the construction of the main part of the machinery (except in the case of adamantine plating).
Metal Adamantine Adamantine Plating Bone Copper Coral Crystal Dragonscale Plating Gold Mithril Obsidian
Weight Modifier None +10% -50% None -25% +25% +10% +50% -50% +50%
Steam & Steel
rickety whole. Hollowed bones stoppered with natural sealant like resin provide pipes, and genuine teeth can be used for the teeth of cogs. Bone steamworks are bound round with spells and magics, and creating a device from bone requires a spellcaster capable of casting spells of at least 3rd level – even with this, bone is far less resilient than iron or steel and also less reliable. Bone steamworks suffer a –2 penalty to their natural armour and have their Maintenance DC increased by 1. However, the rituals and magic that holds the thing together grants the device a +2 innate bonus to saves against spells. Copper: Copper appears in some areas in a natural, raw form which can be easily harvested and shaped by primitive societies. When properly treated metal is used, it is possible to construct copper steamworks. Such devices are also sometimes the result of the fancy or aesthetic tastes of someone rich. The beaten copper gives such a device an impressive appearance, and the treated metal is as tough as steel. Furthermore, the treatment grants the device Fire Resistance and Acid Resistance 5. Coral: Some undersea civilizations manage to build weird steamwork devices with exotic engines, and may construct their items from coral due to a lack of natural metals available. Equally, those in coastal areas and near reefs may use the same material, as do some religions of sea deities to show where their faith lies. Coral is lighter than steel, and carefully selected specimens interwoven with thick shells of deep sea creatures mean that it is still fairly tough, although the brittleness of the organic substance means that it is still far from as resilient as metal, suffering a –1 natural armour penalty. The visual effect of multi-coloured and multi-textured corals and armouring shells put together to create a steamhissing construct is impressive. Crystal: Some truly spectacular steamwork devices are crafted from crystal. Sometimes the pieces are hand-crafted, chipped and formed from crystal pieces, while the more puissant or knowledgeable crafters of crystal machines actually encourage and culture mineral growths deep in underground caverns, carefully manipulated to be harvested later. Such devices are especially impressive when their components have threads of brightly coloured mineral impurities running through them. The pieces of the crystal machinery are treated with powerful arcane and alchemical processes and then assembled to create the final device, granting it a +2 AC bonus and a +2 innate bonus to saving throws against spells. Dragonscale Plating: Although it is not possible to use dragon scales to build an entire steam engine, they are highly valued for use as an additional layer of armour plating. Getting hold of such scales in the first place can be a difficult task, but they give an impressive appearance to any construct or device as well as the practical virtues of using such materials. A steamwork device with dragonscale plating benefits from resistance 10 to fire, acid, cold or electricity depending on which type of dragon the scales came from. Gold: Any precious metal can be used as ornamentation and elaboration on a steamwork device, but only the most ostentatious, grand and wealthy craft entire items of gold. As it is very heavy, gold is less practical for smaller devices, and in the case of constructs it may appear impressive but normal gold is softer than steel, meaning that specially treated metal is needed instead. Gold steamwork devices benefit from Fire Resistance 5 and Acid Resistance 5, as well as granting a +1 morale bonus to Will saves to any friendly characters within 15ft. Mithral: Another rare and expensive metal, mithral is very light and hence excellent for crafting smaller devices that need to be carried around. Items built from mithral weigh half their listed weight. Constructs built from it are lighter and faster in their movements and reactions, benefiting from a +2 inherent bonus to their Dexterity value.
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Obsidian: Rarely, steamwork constructs are build from crafted obsidian components, resulting in massive, heavy and resilient devices. The stone armouring means that an obsidian device gains a +2 natural armour bonus, and obsidian constructs benefit from an inherent +2 bonus to their Strength value. ciently while magical engines work from basic and unsophisticated spells and rituals. Crude steamworks don’t even approach the practical but brutal industrial appearance of more advanced devices. They look like what they are – crude. Poor: Poor technology is a bit more unreliable than standard steamworks, usually due to shoddy craftsmanship or cutting corners in the design, and thus also a bit cheaper. Standard: This is the standard level of steamwork technology used in this guide, with no modifiers to maintenance or cost. Standard steamwork technology can be used on its own to represent any and all steamworks in a campaign if a DM does not wish to bother using other levels of advancement. This form of steamwork technology is usually, though not always, practical and industrial in appearance. Advanced: Advanced steam technology is more reliable and better crafted, less likely to break down due to its more efficient and developed processes and mechanisms. Advanced steamworks also tend to be more aesthetically designed and less industrial in appearance. High Steam-power: Highly sophisticated p machinery and far more reliable, this level of technology is usually the result of high steampower cultures rather than an exceptionally good piece of craftsmanship on the part of an engineer from a culture with standard steamwork advancement. Since high steam-power cultures are often the empires of past eras and their devices found only in ruins and dangerous places, the cost of high steam-power items is often increased even further than the base +100% modifier.
Quality of Construction & Technology
rom the crudely riveted and muck-stained constructs of a goblin artificer to the beautiful and masterfully crafted implements constructed by an elven artisan, the quality and sophistication of different examples of steamwork technology is apparent as being widely variable. The levels of technology and workmanship here can be used to represent both exceptional and exceptionally bad examples of craftsmanship within a single culture, or to differentiate the advancement and skill of different cultures from one another. The DC modifier indicates the adjustment made to the Maintenance DC of any steamwork device that is made at that level of advancement. The cost modifier designates the adjustment to the price of such a device in a culture with standard levels of steam technology. The shoddy work of a goblin mechanic, less reliable and poorly constructed, would be worth less to a human culture undergoing industrialization, while the sophisticated devices crafted by an advanced elven society would be worth more. However, within the goblin or elf’s own culture, their devices would be worth the standard amount. Level DC mod Cost Mod Crude +2 -25% Poor +1 -10% Standard +0 None Advanced -1 +50% High Steam-power -2 +100% Crude: This is the most basic level of steam technology, consisting of metal crudely welded or hammered together, poorly connected machinery and pipes, and leaky boilers. Fuel burns ineffi-
Tools of the Trade
his section details a wide selection of new gear, divided into three categories – equipment, weapons and armour. Each part has a number of new items, including steamwork devices and related items such as special fuels and upgrades, as well as mundane items that while not steamwork themselves are of the right kind of flavour for a campaign featuring steam technology elements.
number of items here are alchemical in nature, and have the following DC’s for the purposes of creating them with the Craft (Alchemy) skill.
The items here are defined as being either steamwork items, magical items or mundane. Steamwork items have the [Steamwork] tag, and are operated in the manner laid out in previous sections of this guide. Each entry for a steamwork item includes the creation requirements to be able to build it, which include a minimum number of ranks in Craft (Steamworks) and possibly other skills as well. If a character does not meet these prerequisites then he does not have the needed knowledge to understand how to construct it and cannot craft one with his Craft skill. In the case of magical items, which have the [Arcana] tag, the entry contains the usual prerequisites and caster level for such an item. Some magical items are also steamwork items. Note that a number of steamwork items contain magical pieces or parts or operate in a magical way, but not are not necessarily magical enough to deem them as needing an item creation feat to build.
Item Dragon Spittle Fogger chemicals Kobold’s Fire Metalmist Re-igniter Cartridge Rust-Bile Saboteur’s Elixir
DC 20 25 25 20 20 25 20
Aether Oil This swirling, milky liquid is sometimes used as a fuel in oil burner engines. A magical substance extracted from a type of ore called aetherstone, found only in seams amidst the high reaches of tall mountains, aether oil burns with a wispy smoke that smells strangely pleasant. However, it has malign effects on those of a magical nature, as well as those travelling the Ethereal plane. Anyone within 10ft of an engine burning aether oil who can cast spells or who has supernatural abilities must make a Fortitude save each round (DC 16) or suffer 2d6 damage, feeling as if their minds are on fire. Any ethereal characters within 20ft of such an engine sees the smoke as pulsing, white tendrils of mist that scald to the touch, and suffer 4d6 fire damage each round they remain within 20ft of the device. The exact causes for the formation of aetherstone on high mountains, and for its unpleasant effects on ethereal travellers and magical beings, are unknown. The entry in the equipment table represents enough aether oil to fuel a Medium-size device for one day.
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Name Aether Oil Alchemechanical Alarm Alchemechanical Brewery Alchemechanical Sniffer Alchemy Engine Arcanomech Eye Arcanomech Eye, All-Seeing Arcanomech Familiar Arcanomech Lamp Blood Oil Calculation Engine Climbers Companion Cloud Dust Dragon Spittle Enhanced Smokestack Erudite Matrix Farsight Lens Filter Mask Fire Coal Flowmetal Fogger Chemical Reserves Size Small Diminutive Large Tiny Small Tiny Tiny Varies Tiny Small Small Small Small Tiny Tiny Tiny Tiny Diminutive Tiny Small Tiny Weight 10lb 1lb 80lb 7lb 30lb 8lb 5lb Varies 2lb 10lb 30lb 20lb 20lb 1lb 4lb ½lb 3lb ½lb 2lb 15lb 3lb Cost Maintenance DC 800gp 50gp 12,000gp 11 250gp 7 500gp 7 3,000gp 10 12,000gp 9 Special 100gp 6 500gp 600gp 7 400gp 6 150gp 50gp +500gp +500gp 1,000gp 300gp 50gp 300gp 600gp 8 100gp -
Alchemechanical Alarm The alchemechanical alarm is an alchemical device designed to act as a ‘wake-up call’ to an alchemechanical steamwork device if tripped. It is a small device of metal and glass that holds reservoirs of the same chemicals used in an alchemical mixer engine, attached to a detection device such as pressure plates or integrated into a trap. When activated, the alarm pours the reserves of chemicals directly into the engine of the steamwork object (usually a construct), powering it up immediately as the chemicals mix and heat the boiler. The alarm itself is not a steamwork device and needs to have its reservoirs refilled regularly. Alchemechanical Brewery [Steamwork] A large steamwork device consisting of a tangle of pipes, vents, tubes and vats, an alchemechanical brewery is capable of various different purposes. It can be used in an actual brewery to vastly improve the creation of alcoholic beverages, pumps and suchlike moving liquids around within the system. Alchemechanical breweries are also often used by alchemists to create large
amounts of chemicals quickly and to conduct very complex experiments. When used in this way an alchemechanical brewery grants a +10 machine bonus to Craft (Alchemy) skill checks. An alchemechanical brewery can also be set up for the delicate processes of creating potions, its complex innards turned to the task of filtering, distillation and mixing exotic substances. An alchemechanical brewery used in this way greatly speeds up the production of potions, and a character using it for such may create not one but two potions per day. The character still has to pay the normal gold and experience costs for the potions he creates. Creation: Craft (Alchemy) 15 ranks, Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Alchemechanical Sniffer [Steamwork] This steamwork device is a bulky foot-long box full of glass pipes and perforated alchemechanical sensors along with reservoirs of dozens of different chemicals. When fired up and activated, the sniffer picks up traces of substances in the
Steam & Steel
Name Granite Coal Kobold’s Fire Living Oil Mechanic’s Assistant Mechanic’s Lenses Mechanic’s Tools Mechanic’s Tools, Masterwork Mechanical Lockpick Metal Mosquito Metal Mosquito, Scrying Metalmist Meteorometer Necromek Blood-Taster Necromek Blood-Lock Necromek Skull Homunculus Necromek Surgeon Poison, Pain Angel Poison, Ironroot Predator Matrix Re-igniter Re-igniter, Advanced Re-ignition Cartridge Retch Oil Rolling Eye Size Diminutive Tiny Tiny Small Tiny Small Small Tiny Fine Fine Tiny Small Tiny Medium Tiny Medium Tiny Tiny Tiny Tiny Tiny Diminutive Small Diminutive Weight ½lb 1lb 2lb. 12lb 1lb 13lb 10lb 1lb 1lb 18lb 2lb 75lb 10lb 80lb 1lb 1lb 4lb 3lb 3lb 10lb ½lb Cost Maintenance DC 300gp 35gp 18,000gp 600gp 7 80gp 30gp 180gp 1,000gp 2,000gp 10 8,000gp 10 30gp 2,500gp 11 +1,000gp 10,000gp 7 3,000gp 7 10,000gp 8 300gp 3,500gp +2,000gp +75gp +200gp 5gp 400gp 50gp 7
air with its chemical array and a clever character can use it to pick up scents and trails in the air; as a result it’s also often nicknamed the ‘bloodhound’. A character using an alchemical sniffer gains a +4 circumstance bonus to Survival checks that involve tracking. Prerequisites: Craft (Alchemy) 10 ranks, Craft (Steamworks) 5 ranks Alchemy Engine [Steamwork] An alchemy engine is a solid metal steamwork device with an input board of metal keys and small vents, sprouting glass vials and tubes and chemical indicators. Used by alchemists and scientists for the purpose of distilling new compounds as well as identifying unknown substances, an alchemy engine can provide a fairly sophisticated breakdown analysis with its little engine and complex mesh of alchemical gear. An alchemy engine improves the bonus to Craft (Alchemy) checks provided by an alchemist’s lab by an additional +2. Prerequisites: Craft (Alchemy)
10 ranks, Craft (Steamworks) 5 ranks Arcanomech Eye [Arcana, Steamwork] An arcanomech eye is a steam-powered surveillance system. Usually placed high on walls or ceilings, arcanomech eyes can take many forms; a golden, impassive face with eyes of glowing blue crystal and the machinery hidden within, a gothic dragon or gargoyle head in scarlet- or blackpainted metal, or a complex array of cogs and glass lenses in a gyroscopic cradle of steel. Arcanomech eyes slowly swivel to gaze over the area they are assigned to guard; each is programmed to recognise intruders, and possesses a Spot skill modifier of +12. If an eye spots an intruder it focuses its gaze on the target and activates a klaxon alarm that usually brings reinforcements running. An eye has 5 hit points, hardness 5 and AC 14. Despite the name, an arcanomech eye does not need to have an arcane engine; the workings of the device are highly magical though, and magic-
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Name Rust-Bile Saboteur’s Elixir Saboteur’s Tools Sacred Lock Scientist’s Assistant Singing Smokestack Spirit Matrix Steamwork Clock Steamwork Clock, Grand Steamwork Drill Steamwork Grapnel Steamwork Hammer Steamwork Lock Steamwork Music-Organ Steamwork Orrery Steamwork Press Steamwork Sentry Thaumometer Volcano Crystals War-Pack Matrix Warrior Matrix Size Tiny Tiny Small Medium Small Tiny Tiny Small Small Small Medium Medium Large Small Medium Small Tiny Tiny Tiny Tiny Weight 1lb 1lb 5lb 75lb 30lb 5lb 5lb 15lb 30lb 9lb 100lb 75lb 300lb 50lb 140lb 40lb 10lb 1lb 4lb 4lb Cost 150gp 160gp 40gp 10,000gp 600gp +3,500gp +5,000gp 400gp 1,800gp 200gp 300gp 1,000gp 750gp 3,000gp 2,500gp 1,800gp 800gp 14,000gp 2,000gp +1,500gp +3,000gp Maintenance DC 7 7 6 8 8 8 8 7 7 10 10 8 9 -
wielding intruders often attempt to temporarily knock them out with targeted dispel spells. Caster Level: 10th Creation: Create Wondrous Item, scrying, Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks Arcanomech Eye, All-Seeing [Arcana, Steamwork] This superior version of the normal arcanomech eye also sees invisible creatures, preventing thieves and intruders from cloaking their presence with magical spells. It also has enhanced components that need less maintenance. Caster Level: 12th Creation: Create Wondrous Item, see invisibility, scrying, Craft (Steamworks) 15 ranks Arcanomech Familiar In a society where steam technology is available, some mechanically minded wizards and sorcerers create their own arcanomech construct as a familiar. To create the familiar, choose an animal from the list of familiars and apply the Steamwork Creature template to it (see Beasts of Steel). Arcanomech familiars are sentient and bound to their owner in exactly the same way and with the same rules as normal familiars, but do
not grant the usual special benefit of the creature. Instead their mechanical nature grants the wizard a +2 bonus on all Craft (Steamworks) and Knowledge (Mathematics) skill checks. The process of constructing an arcanomech familiar costs 500gp and, as with normal familiars, if a familiar is destroyed another cannot be created for a year and a day. The familiar draws its power and strength from its creator, and thus needs neither fuel nor maintenance. Arcanomech Lamp [Arcana, Steamwork] Another magical steamwork device, an arcanomech lamp can appear in a variety of elaborate and eldritch forms. Any form of engine can drive it; the internal workings of the lamp harness the steam power to create heatless magical light. The light can be any colour or even multicoloured, and usually performs strange but alluring patterns and movements within the glass chamber of the device. Caster Level: 6th Creation: Craft Wondrous Device, (Steamworks) 5 ranks Craft
Steam & Steel
Blood Oil Blood oil is a slick liquid of crimson hue that is an excellent fuel for oil burner engines. It’s a rare occurrence to find blood oil; it seems that occasionally rocks in volcanic areas just seem to squeeze some out, forming little pools of what look like gore splashed around the fiery landscape, prompting claims that it is literally the blood of the world seeping from its wounds. More sinisterly, warriors sometimes report that on battlefields strewn with carnage, blood oil can form where the most blood of the fallen pools. Whatever its origin, blood oil burns fiercely and with no smoke in oil burner engines, giving off only a thin vapour that helps keep the machinery slick and moving. An engine burning blood oil has the DC for its Maintenance checks reduced by 3. The entry in the equipment table represents enough blood oil to fuel a Medium-sized device for 1 day. Calculation Engine [Steamwork] A calculation is a sizeable piece of machinery studded with vents and pipes, filled with complex gears and devices. On one face, input and output keys allow for calculations to be put into the machine and for answers to be given, as well as a slot for program cards to be inserted. These are pieces of card with perforations that gears within lock into and run the engine through a set calculation process within the parameters keyed in. A calculation engine allows for more advanced mathematical computations, granting a character a +4 machine bonus to Knowledge (Mathematics) checks as well as to related fields of study. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks Climbers Companion [Steamwork] This ingenious little invention was designed originally for those wealthy gentry with a taste in the pastime of climbing, but has spread to be used by mountain travellers and adventurers too. Effectively a very small construct with its own system of pitons and climbing gear, it can be attached to a rock surface and to a climber by some rope, and will slowly climb its way up alongside the climber. If at any time the climber should slip and fall, the companion will bring him up short and keep him up, the small machine having an amazingly strong grip to the rock. It grants a +2 machine bonus to Climb checks and prevents a character from falling if they fail their Climb check by 5 or more. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 9 ranks Cloud Dust A thin, dusty powder made from crushing special forms of coal dug up from deep mines, cloud dust can be burned as a fuel for a coal-burning engine. When combusted it pours out great clouds of smoke that curl in the air around the engine, hazing visibility in a 10ft radius. While not thick enough to cause living creatures any problems with breathing, the cloud of smoke does help conceal anyone in the cloud, granting ½ concealment and hence a 20% miss chance against those within the area. The haze dissipates within 5 rounds. Cloud dust is usually used to fuel military constructs, giving them cover from heavy missile weapons as they approach the enemy lines. The entry in the equipment table represents enough cloud dust to fuel a Medium-sized device for 1 day. Dragon Spittle Dragon spittle is a thick, viscous chemical extracted from the internal organs of fire breathing creatures through careful selection of the right parts and deft chemical treatment. It consists of the kinds of non-flammable compounds that such creatures use to prevent their own breath weapon from blowing themselves to pieces, and when carefully applied to vulnerable parts of steamwork devices it can help protect a machine from the ravages of fire. Such heat tends to warp and damage delicate parts quite easily and can ignite oils and grease. A machine treated with dragon spittle gains a +2 bonus to saving throws against fire-based attacks; 1 dose of spittle keeps a Medium-size machine protected for a week before a new coat needs to be added. In some places, noblemen and gentry keep farms of small firebreathing creatures, often stunted breeds of firespitting drakes and suchlike, for the manufacture of dragon spittle.
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Enhanced Smokestack Many types of steamwork device are driven by furnace engines, systems which combust a fuel of some sort or another, and these devices can be fitted with an enhanced smokestack. Using slightly more advanced and refined processes, the device’s performance is marginally improved by better venting and cleaning out of exhaust fumes, smoke and pressure. A device with an enhanced smokestack allows for a re-roll on the Malfunction table whenever the device malfunctions, although the second result stands. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 18 ranks Erudite Matrix Comprising of a complex crystalline matrix embedded in a chunk of delicate steamwork machinery, this item can be installed into any steamwork construct. Encoded into the matrix is a carefully programmed set of instructions that grants the steamwork a basic capability at performing some skill or other that needs more complex knowledge than the construct’s awareness possesses. An erudite matrix is keyed to one particular skill, granting the construct 5 ranks in it. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Farsight Lens [Arcana] A small magical device, a farsight lens is a piece of smoked glass usually mounted as a single goggle on a strap. It is needed for a character to be able to use a rolling eye or to pick up the pictures from a scrying metal mosquito. In either case the lens has to be within 100ft of the sending device to be able to receive the images. Caster Level: 9th Creation: Create Wondrous Item, prying eyes, Craft (Steamworks) 5 ranks Filter Mask A cunningly crafted mask with glass lenses and filter pieces across the mouth, this device is commonly used by those in either chemical manufacture to evade fumes or by desert dwellers to protect their throats and eyes during sandstorms. A filter mask grants a +2 machine bonus to saving throws against blinding effects and a +4 machine bonus to saving throws against choking or gas effects (note that this doesn’t help against cloudkill). A filter mask also hampers spells with verbal components, increasing their chance of failure by 10%. Fire Coal It is theorised by scientists that this rare form of coal is created only when normal coal is subjected to intense pressure and heat deep below the surface, suffusing it with inherent magic. It is found occasionally in small samples within normal coal seams that reach especially deep. When brought to the surface by coal miners that have drilled into a fire coal sample, it is usually snapped up quickly by spellcasters who can exploit its innate magic in their spells. If used as an additional material component for a spell with the Fire descriptor, fire coal adds a +1 bonus to the caster level of the spell. Only the effects of a single piece can be gained in this way; using more than one piece does not further increase the power of the spell in any way. The entry in the equipment table represents a single piece of the coal. Flowmetal This enchanted substance is created in lumpy globules of solid metal, runes inscribed across the surface, and is used to repair battle-damaged constructs. When a lump is pressed against the surface of a construct near a damaged area and the command word is spoken, the metal takes on liquid consistency as it adheres and spreads to seal and repair the damage, leaving a blemished patch as it solidifies once again. A piece of flowmetal heals 1d8+5 hit points when used on a construct. Caster Level: 3rd Creation: Create Wondrous Item, repair metal Fogger [Steamwork] A complex array of tubes, pumps and machinery, a fogger is a steamwork device that mixes alchemical compounds together to create billowing clouds of fog in a very short space of time. Each round that a fogger is active, it increases the concealment in a 20ft radius around it; in the 1st round granting concealment with a 10% miss chance, then in the 2nd round concealment with a 20% miss chance, then in the 3rd round concealment with a
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30% miss chance. After the third round it maintains this density of fog. Unfortunately the intense action of the device means that it runs out of chemical reserves within 6 rounds, after which the fog dissipates. Refilling a fogger with chemicals takes a full round. Adventurers and their ilk commonly use foggers to provide cover or diversions. Creation: Craft (Alchemy) 8 ranks, Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks Granite Coal Another rare and magical form of coal found in deep seams from time to time, the crystal-like ‘granite’ coal takes its name from its incredible hardness, as resilient as stone. The stuff is infused with natural magic and is a real asset to any arcane smith who crafts magical objects. If burned in a forge, in which the metal parts of a magical item are being formed during the process of magic item creation, the experience cost for the creator is reduced by 5% to 20%. Burning more than one piece of granite coal in the forge does not grant any further bonuses. The entry in the equipment table represents a single piece of the coal. Kobold’s Fire This substance is a volatile and viscous oil that, upon contact with air, explodes into flame. It’s the creation of kobold alchemists, a by-product from the refinement processes they attempt to render crude forms of oil into more efficient fuels for their oil burning steam engines, and handily it also makes a useful incendiary weapon. The tarlike substance clings to skin and burns slowly, causing horrific wounds, and particularly vile creatures love to use the stuff as an agonising instrument of torture. Kobold’s Fire is usually employed as a grenade-like weapon with a range increment of 10 feet, in much the same manner as alchemist’s fire; a direct hit from a vial inflicts d6+1 fire damage to the target, and 1 fire damage to anyone in the splash area. In the next two turns following a direct hit, the Fire deals an additional d6 fire damage to the target; the flames can be extinguished in the same manner as described under the Alchemist’s Fire entry in the PHB. Living Oil [Arcana] So-called ‘living’ oil is not actually alive, but takes its name from the alarmingly organic way it seems to move about of its own accord like some kind of shimmering, viscous ooze. Living oil is in fact made from the same kind of lubricant used in steamwork devices to keep all the parts moving smoothly and with the minimum of friction, but is also filled with tiny arcanomech machines that are almost smaller than the eye can see. When poured onto a steamwork device, the living oil acts like a janitor, pushing lubricant oil to where it is needed, cleaning parts of the machine, and generally making it run better. Any device with living oil on it has its Maintenance DC reduced by 1, and in addition in the case of a roll on the Malfunction table, a re-roll may be taken if desired (the second roll is final though). The technology for creating living oil is very highly advanced and usually only found in high steampower cultures; sometimes samples can be found in the ruins of such civilisations and it sells for very high prices on the normal market. Living oil doesn’t seem to need any sort of maintenance itself, and the principles behind creating the tiny machines in it are not understood by anyone other than their high steam-power creators. The entry on the equipment table is for one vial of living oil. Caster Level: 17th Creation: Create Wondrous Item, Arcanomech, High Artificer, Craft (Steamworks) 20 ranks, Knowledge (Mechanics) 18 ranks Mechanic’s Assistant [Steamwork] The ‘mechanic’s assistant’ is a popular steamwork construct used by mechanics in both the creation and maintaining of steamwork devices. Although the exact design varies (scarab and steamwork insect designs are a favourite), mechanic’s assistants are usually small quadruped constructs which are effectively mobile toolboxes, a hatch on their back opening up for the mechanic to put his tools inside. They’re possessed of a rudimentary mechanical intelligence and can also help the mechanic in his work by tracking down problems and clambering around the device to fit parts as ordered. A mechanic with a steamwork assistant benefits from a +1 aid bonus to his Craft
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
(Steamworks) check. A mechanic’s assistance has 10 hit points, hardness 5, AC 15 and a movement speed of 10ft, and is unable to attack. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Mechanic’s Lenses Mechanics and steamwork scientists often make use of these kinds of lenses, usually mounted as goggles on leather straps. The lenses allow for more detailed examination of close work, granting a +2 circumstance bonus to Appraise checks, as well as affording additional protection to the eyes of the wearer with smoked or reflective glass, giving a further +2 bonus to saving throws against blinding effects. Mechanic’s Tools Essential to anyone intending to craft steamwork devices, a set of mechanic’s tools includes hammers, crafting implements, tongs, and suchlike. A character wishing to use the Craft (Steamworks) skill needs a set of mechanic’s tools as well as access to a forge or furnace and appropriate raw materials. Masterwork mechanic’s tools can also be purchased, with the effect of giving a +2 circumstance bonus to the Craft (Steamworks) skill. Mechanical Lockpick [Steamwork] A small steamwork device, the engine in a mechanical lockpick drives a complex array of toothed bits, tiny levers and springs. Useable with any conventional lock, the lockpick aids the user with its tiny tools in picking the lock, granting a +4 machine bonus to Pick Locks checks. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks, Open Lock 12 ranks Metal Mosquito [Arcana, Steamwork] A metal mosquito is one of the smallest steamwork constructs it is possible to create, appearing as a small buzzing insect or beetle crafted from metal, glass and gears. They have 3 hit points, hardness 5, an AC of 19, and a flying speed of 30ft (Perfect). Their ground speed is 5 ft per round. Due to their tiny size, if an engine that needs fuelling powers a metal mosquito then it can only contain enough fuel to operate for half an hour independently. While a metal mosquito does not possess an attack, nefarious users can potentially attach a poisoned spike or capsule to one to use as an assassination instrument. Combined with the possibilities of intruding into privacy that these tiny steamwork devices offer, metal mosquitoes are generally illegal in most civilised areas. Mosquito constructs can follow commands quite ably and can relate back information through writing with tiny ink pens, although they are not capable of much independent cognitive ability. Caster Level: 12th Creation: Create Wondrous Item, scrying, Craft (Steamworks) 15 ranks Metal Mosquito, Scrying [Arcana, Steamwork] This type of metal mosquito has been fitted with an arcanomechanical scrying devices to act as a tiny flying eye. To receive the image, a character must have a prosthetic eye, farsight lens or arcanomech eye array (see Edifices of Might). Caster Level: 12th Creation: Create Wondrous Item, scrying, Craft (Steamworks) 15 ranks Metalmist Metalmist is an alchemical substance that, when coated on the surface of metal, causes a chemical reaction that has slight chameleonic effects. The metalmist takes on a blotchy pattern, copying the colours of the environment in a camouflage pattern. While this isn’t enough to make some metal juggernaut construct just fade into the background, metalmist does make metal objects harder to pick out at a distance and can also be coated onto normal metal armour as well. A character wearing mostly metal armour coated in metalmist, or a metal steamwork device such as a construct coated in metalmist, benefits from a –2 penalty to any Spot checks made to see them from a distance of over 100 feet. Metalmist is sold in vials containing enough to coat a medium-sized device suit of armour, and lasts for 8 hours once coated; unfortunately rain just washes it straight off within half an hour.
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Meteorometer [Arcana, Steamwork] This rather bizarre-looking steamwork device sprouts various aerials, sensors and tubes filled with air or chemical liquids, protruding from the central machine itself. The device combines steam technology and magic to pick up air pressure, wind, and other more mystical energies that indicate what forces are affecting the weather, and can predict forthcoming conditions with very good accuracy. It has a 75% chance of successfully predicting the weather conditions on any day within the next week. Unfortunately its delicate parts mean that it needs careful maintenance to prevent malfunctions, misreading and breakdowns. Caster Level: 13th Creation: Create Wondrous Item, control weather, Craft (Steamworks) 14 ranks Necromek Blood-Taster [Steamwork] A blood-taster is a sinister piece of machinery that can be added to any necromantic steamwork construct. The construct is fitted with additional olfactory senses; small vials of necromantic liquids attached to perforated are implanted into its head, and whenever the tang of blood is picked up by the receptors it causes a chemical reaction in the liquids, alerting the construct. With a necromek blood-taster, a construct effectively gains the Scent feat but only with respect to tracking and sensing blood; thus it can pick up injured and bleeding creatures but not the trail or trace of uninjured characters or non-living objects. Creation: Necromek, Craft (Alchemy) 8 ranks, Craft (Steamworks) 6 ranks Necromek Blood-Lock [Arcana, Steamwork] A very strange variant on a normal lock, a necromek blood-lock is a steamwork device that takes up the lock, frame and space in the walls around a door, filling it with necromantic machinery. Part of the lock includes what appears to be a flat piece of glass with the outline of a hand on it. When a character places their hand on the glass, a small blade snicks up out of it to slash along the palm and blood from the wound pours down a rivulet and into the machinery of the lock. Necromantic sensors within are keyed to detect the blood of up to ten unique individuals, and if the blood from the palm-plate is one of the approved types then it activates the blood drinker engine and the machinery in the door swings open. If the blood is found to be from an unauthorised individual, the blade in the palm-plate slashes out harder to try and impale the character’s hand (d6 damage unless a Reflex save of DC 20 is made) and the blood drinker engine activates an alarm instead. The creator is the only one able to key the blood-lock to different blood. Blood-locks are usually only found safeguarding the inner sanctum of a necromancer’s lair, but some governments and wealthy individuals also commission them if they have something to guard which only a few people are privy to. Caster Level: 12th Creation: Create Wondrous Item, Necromek, Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Necromek Skull Homunculus [Steamwork] A disturbing little necromantic construct, a skull homunculus is literally made from a human skull, the steamwork machinery buried in the brain cavity and crystal lenses in the eyes acting as visual sensors. The skull homunculus moves by a set of spindly metal legs that sprout from underneath the skull, giving it the appearance of some macabre spider. Skull homunculi have speed 20ft (climb 15ft), AC 16, hardness 5 and 6 hit points, but do not have any form of attack. They are however remarkably clever, having Intelligence 16, and can also speak two languages. Small and sinister, they often act as spies and assistants for necromancers. Creation: Necromek, Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks Necromek Surgeon [Arcana, Steamwork] A particularly sinister-looking device, a necromek surgeon is a pod of steamwork machinery about 3ft high that sprouts an array of slender metal arms, ending in blades and drills, scissors
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
and needles, with small crystal sensors gleaming amidst the nest of surgical devices and engine vents. It uses necromantic magic to perceive the world around it, seeing a patient as ebbing and flowing with life and death energies and using this to be able to treat them with impressive skill. There are always horror stories of necromek surgeons going crazy while operating on a patient, as well as tales of necromancers using them for torture and not healing, but some governments employ necromancers specifically to craft devices like this for them. A necromek surgeon can independently attempt to heal a character, having a Heal skill bonus of +14. Caster Level: 12th Creation: Create Wondrous Item, Necromek, Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks, Heal 10 ranks Poison, Pain Angel Where the miracles of steamwork prosthetics can give people new limbs and new strength, so the inventiveness of those seeking to bring people low can conjure up new opportunities and methods. Pain angel poison is so named because of the effect it has on victims, inflicting intense and crippling agony as well as hallucinations of visitations by heavenly beings, but it is most notable because it only works on those who have some sort of steamwork prosthetic implanted in them. It absorbs metals from the steamwork into the blood, collecting it in nervous centres and eventually driving the victim to insanity and death. Type: Ingested DC 17 (only affects those with steamwork prosthetics) Initial Damage: 1d6 Wis Secondary Damage: 1d6 Wis Poison, Ironroot A ghastly poison, the invention of a notoriously sadistic assassin cult devoted to a god of murder and pain, ironroot is a vile mixture of necromantic magic and technology. Neither a naturally occurring poison, nor one that can even be mixed from normal chemicals, but which requires twisted necromancy, ironroot poison sweeps through the victim’s bloodstream to coagulate in various organs around their body. Once there, it warps natural processes to instead accumulate metal from the surrounding tissues, building tumourous growths of small mechanisms which spread and grow like the roots of a plant, threading their way through the victims body and causing terrible damage. Eventually the victim is killed by the cancerous machinery, but the horror is even then not over; unless destroyed, the body rises in three days as a free-willed undead, a ghoul with the mechanised template (see Beasts of Steel). Type: Injury DC 20 Initial Damage: 2d6 Con damage Secondary Damage: 2d6 Con damage Predator Matrix A predator matrix is a crystalline structure that has imprinted into it the qualities, instincts and cunning of a predator from the wilds, and can be installed into a steamwork construct. Any construct with this matrix benefits from a +2 inherent bonus to Listen, Move Silently, Spot, Search and Wilderness Lore checks, and to its Intelligence score if it has one, and will always attempt to attack from ambush if possible. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Re-igniter Engines with conventional furnaces are vulnerable to their firebox being doused or the fires simply ebbing and going out, and a number of different types of re-ignition device have been designed to counter this problem. A re-igniter consists of a cartridge of highly flammable chemical that the device sprays over the contents of the furnace automatically of the fire goes out, and then ignites with a spark. This is usually enough to re-light the firebox, but once the cartridge is expended it cannot be replaced until the engine is shut down and the furnace turned off. Because of this, a more advanced six-cartridge re-igniter is also possible, which rotates the device round to the next cartridge after one is used. Creation: Craft (Alchemy) 7 ranks, Craft (Steamworks) 7 ranks Retch Oil Concocted from particularly toxic and greasy oil, retch oil exudes a disgustingly foul smell when burned, clog-
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ging the air with thick wafts of fumes that have the effect which gives it its name, acridly biting into lungs. Retch oil is sometimes used for war constructs, surrounding them with vile smog that drives enemy troops back before its approach. Retch oil being burned in a steamwork engine produces a cloud of 20ft radius around the device, within which any living characters who are breathing the open air must make a Will save (DC 22) or suffer a –2 morale penalty to all attack rolls, skills and checks. In addition, every round a character is within the cloud he must make a Fortitude save (DC 15) or suffer 1d6 subdual damage. The entry on the equipment table is for enough retch oil to fuel a Medium-size construct for 1 day. Rolling Eye [Steamwork] A rolling eye is a common piece of steamwork equipment in the hands of scouts, rogues and infiltrators. A small spherical machine about 3 inches wide with small glass lenses studded across it, it is activated by depressing a button on one side with a thumb, and the user then rolls it along the ground, usually around corners to see what is there. By slipping a farsight lens over one eye, the character can see as if from the rolling eye; hopefully having pitched it so that the glass lenses are looking in a useful direction. If the character has a prosthetic steamwork eye then the rolling eye view can be patched directly through the prosthetic instead. A rolling eye is a one-use device; due to the delicate but small parts within, if it malfunctions it simply breaks and does not operate, without any other results. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks Rust-Bile This watery liquid is an alchemical compound, a distilled elixir designed to rust and corrode iron and steel at an alarming rate. When poured onto these metals, rust-bile immediately begins eating into them, leaving long streaks of coppery rust and melted patches of metal. The compound attacks iron and steel for three rounds after which it becomes inert, inflicting d6 damage each round that is not reduced by hardness. It can be collected in a glass vial and then hurled as a grenade-like missile weapon in the same manner as alchemist’s fire or acid. The entry on the equipment table is for 1 vial of rust-bile. Saboteur’s Elixir A potent alchemical mix, ‘saboteur’s elixir’ is used to catastrophically disable alchemechanical steamwork devices. By pouring saboteur’s elixir into an alchemechanical engine, the chemicals within will combust explosively when the machine is next activated, automatically causing a Catastrophic Breakdown. Tampering with a steamwork device with saboteur’s elixir can be detected in the same way as other forms of sabotage. Saboteur’s Tools The tools of a skilled saboteur can sometimes be more delicate and precise than those used by a mechanic to create steamwork devices in the first place. Pincers, drills, small amounts of explosive charge and suchlike make up a saboteurs tools, along with some hefty bludgeoning implements for when a piece of machinery just needs to be bashed. A character attempting to sabotage a machine without saboteur’s tools suffers a –2 circumstance penalty. Sacred Lock [Arcana, Steamwork] Like a blood-lock, a sacred lock is a machine that incorporates the frame and lock of a door and powers its opening mechanism. A sacred lock provides either a palm-plate or an indented plate shaped to take a holy symbol of the appropriate faith. In the case of a sacred lock the plate is in fact a part of the essence engine that powers it, and by placing a hand or holy symbol on the plate it completes the circuit that allows the planar energy to flow into the mechanism and open the door. In the case of a holy symbol indent, all it requires is a holy symbol consecrated in the name of the appropriate deity to complete the flow of energy. In the case of a hand plate only someone who is a divine spellcaster of the appropriate deity can act to close the circuit and activate the machinery. Caster Level: 12th Creation: Create Wondrous
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Item, Essence Engineer, Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Scientist’s Assistant [Steamwork] There are plenty of different types of ‘scientist’s assistant,’ each specialised for one particular vein of science or line of theory. Appearing as steamwork machines studded with pipes, vents, readout gears, glass jars and other such technical devices, these items are used to help a scientist in his research by analysing substances and materials or processes and reactions taking place in the glass jars, and providing results and observations. A scientist’s assistant can be designed for one of the following Knowledge skills: Physics, biology, chemistry, geology or arcana – the wizardly discipline of arcana is included because to some scientists magic is simply a further natural science. When used during practical research (rather than simply reading tomes) in the appropriate field of study, a scientist’s assistant grants a +4 machine bonus to the relevant skill check. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks, Knowledge (Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Geology or Arcana) 8 ranks Singing Smokestack This upgrade for a steamwork construct equips it with an elaborately crafted smokestack perforated with tuned vents, sprouting additional twisting sub-exhausts and dozens of minutely adjustable valves. When the construct is active, the exhaust gases rush through the vents and play the smokestack like a musical instrument, accompanied by the careful channelling of air through it if the construct is on the move. Whether tuned to play eerily beautiful harmonies or jangling discordant screeches, a singing smokestack is an amazing feat of engineering. Tuning a singing smokestack to either be inspiring or fear-inspiring takes half an hour of adjusting the device. When a construct with an inspiring singing smokestack is active, all allies within 5ft per increasing size category of the device (for example, 25ft for a Medium-size construct) gain a +1 morale bonus to attack rolls. When a construct with a fear-inspiring singing smokestack is active, all enemies within 5ft per increasing size category suffer a –2 morale penalty to Will saves. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 15 ranks, Perform (Any musical instrument) 8 ranks Spirit Matrix [Arcana] A spirit matrix can be installed into a steamwork construct, and is a crystalline array that replaces any machine sentience with a guiding spiritual being instead. The spirit must have been contacted via a spell such as lesser planar binding and must have agreed to be bound into the matrix; it can be any type of spiritual being from the demonic to the celestial. It is almost certain that any spirit bound in this way will demand some considerable recompense for its service – and a pit fiend petitioned to take up residence in the matrix of a Behemoth is likely to make great demands indeed! Although it has to obey the commands of the matrix’s creator the spirit will usually act in a manner appropriate to its alignment and nature, and the construct has its alignment changed to that of the possessing spirit. A construct with a spirit matrix is generally more creative and clever when obeying orders and solving problems, as well as actually being able to hold a conversation if the design is fitted with speakers. It gains the Intelligence and Wisdom scores of the creature that is bound into it – but becomes vulnerable to spells and effects that can banish outsiders, and if affected the spirit in the matrix is returned to its home plane. Caster Level: 8th Creation: Craft Wondrous Item, Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks, Knowledge (The Planes) 6 ranks, must persuade a spirit to take up residence Steamwork Clock [Steamwork] Steamwork clocks are usually found attached to other steam engines, siphoning off a small amount of steam, but sometimes are created to work independently. A steamwork clock is a normal clockwork device, engineered to keep relatively accurate time (within half an hour), except that it uses a small amount of steamwork machinery to keep itself wound and working.
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Creation: Craft (Clockworks) 6 ranks, Craft (Steamworks) 6 ranks Steamwork Clock, Grand [Steamwork] Larger and more grand versions of steamwork clocks are possible, usually as heavily ornamented objects owned by the rich and wealthy as status symbols. These tend to keep more accurate time as well, although they require more attentive maintenance to ensure their smooth running. Creation: Craft (Clock works) 8 ranks, Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks Steamwork Drill [Steamwork] A steamwork drill is a portable steam-powered device about two or three feet long that ends in a drill bit; steamwork drills can feature either rotating mechanisms that bore into rock or hammering mechanisms that use pistons to punch the drill out repeatedly at high speed and force. Miners primarily use steamwork drills of this size after larger steamwork drill devices have been employed or to follow seams that are too small for a larger drill to be useable. The workings of these drills create a racket and tend to break down regularly. Use of one grants a +2 bonus to Craft (Mining) skill checks. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 6 ranks Steamwork Grapnel A small and compact device, this consists of a grapnel with fold-down, spring-loaded claws, and a steamwork launcher capable of hurling it over significant distances (limited of course by the length of rope). The launcher has a range increment of 80ft, requiring a ranged attack roll to get the grapnel on target. These devices are quiet commonly used as integrated weapons in steamwork armour and prosthetics. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 7 ranks Steamwork Hammer [Steamwork] A steamwork hammer is a large and immobile steamwork machine, usually consisting of a piston-powered hammer driven by a steam engine and employed in industrial processes. The hammer can impact down at high speed and f7orce, useful for beating or shaping metals, and the mechanism can be easily modified to fit other tools or purposes. Steamwork hammers or variants thereof are used in most heavy industry as part of a production line. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks Steamwork Lock [Steamwork] A steamwork lock is a machine that incorporates the frame and lock of a doorway. The door is either opened by a button on the inner side of the door, usually in combination with a vision grill to allow a guard to view and question anyone wanting entry, or by a keypad. By typing in the right combination on the keypad, machinery on the other side slides into place and activates the engine. In either case, the door is then opened and closed by the machinery of the lock. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 9 ranks Steamwork Music-Organ [Steamwork] A steamwork music-organ is a large instrument crafted from metal and wood, a set of keys and levers that control the output of a rack of very large metal tubes, carefully formed to coax out musical noises. A steamwork engine keeps the flow of air coming through the pipes, without need for someone pumping the bellows or other such manual labour. A skilled player of an organ can produce incredibly impressive, loud music, and such organs are popular in temples and cathedrals among other places. A character who plays a steamwork organ an makes a successful Perform check (DC 18) benefits from a +2 bonus to Diplomacy and Intimidate rolls against any of the listeners for up to an hour afterwards. Steamwork music-organs are always masterwork and are very expensive due to the time and craftsmanship that goes into making each one. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks, Perform (Any) 12 ranks Steamwork Orrery [Steamwork] A steamwork orrery is a complex and elaborate device, which comes in two varieties: solar and planar. A solar orrery displays the movements of
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
the sun and planetary bodies, steamwork devices mimicking their slowly shifting relationships to one another, while a planar orrery does the same in terms of planes and demiplanes. These devices are generally only found in the possession of sages and spellcasters. A solar orrery grants a +4 circumstance bonus to any Knowledge (Astrology) or Knowledge (Astronomy) checks if used, while a planar orrery grants a +4 circumstance to any Knowledge (The Planes) checks it is used for. Maintenance DC: 10 Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks, Knowledge (Astrology) or Knowledge (The Planes) 6 ranks Steamwork Press [Steamwork] This is a small steam-powered printing press, capable of imprinting large numbers of copies of typeface per day. A revolutionary advancement after the tiresome slowness of copying manuscripts by hand, the development of a steamwork press like this brings with it amazing capabilities to disseminate written material through a populace. In many places the governments are suspicious of quite so much freedom of speech being available to everyone and may demand that steamwork presses be licensed. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 9 ranks Steamwork Sentry [Steamwork] A steamwork sentry is a steamwork-automated weapon usually mounted on a tripod and often used in tandem with an arcanomech eye. The sentry has a Spot skill modifier of +7, but if an arcanomech eye sees an intruder the sentry will automatically detect them as well. Steamwork sentries can also be set up as part of a trap, usually concealed in hidden compartments in walls, floors or ceilings until triggered. The sentry is a small construct with 25 hit points, a hardness of 5, AC 16 and an attack bonus of +5. They usually employ a repeater crossbow that is automatically reloaded by the machinery, or firearms in a setting featuring gunpowder technology. Rarely, a steamwork sentry is fitted with chemical rockets (see Weapons of War below). The cost of a sentry is for the steamwork structure and combat mechanisms, and does not include the cost for the weapon or ammunition integrated into it. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 9 ranks Thaumometer [Arcana, Steamwork] A thaumometer is a complex device that merges magic with science, having the form of a tangle of steamwork machinery sprouting multicoloured and multifaceted lenses, bearing a myriad of small valves for adjustments, and studded with copper wires and crystal tubes. Small enough to be held with one hand and operated with the other, a character using a thaumometer can swivel the correct lens round to position and look through it, able to perceive the waves and concentrations of magic in the area as per a detect magic spell at will. A character with an active thaumometer also gains a +2 circumstance check to any Spellcraft checks. Finally, a thaumometer can be set to diffuse resonant waves of magic around the device, granting the bearer and anyone within 5ft a spell resistance value of 12. Caster Level: 7th Creation: Craft Wondrous Item, detect magic, (Steamworks) 10 ranks dispel magic, Craft
Volcano Crystals These rare forms of the crystalline substance used to power crystalburner engines are found only occasionally, and even then the fact their formations always lie very close to active volcanoes mean they are exceptionally hard to get at. A crystalburner using volcano crystals as its fuel benefits from a number of marvellous properties. It gains a +5 fuel bonus against fire-based and cold-based attacks, as well as becoming shrouded in a Fire Shield (Warm) that affects any attackers. These qualities mean that volcano crystals are usually only acquired in order to fuel war constructs. The entry in the equipment table is for enough fuel to power a Medium-sized device for 1 day. War-pack Matrix A war-pack matrix can be incorporated into any steamwork construct, and is keyed to up to 5 other matrices of the same type. A construct with the
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war-pack matrix is aware at all times where the constructs with the other war-pack matrixes are and how much damage they have suffered. No member of a war-pack is flanked unless they all are. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Warrior Matrix A steamwork construct with this matrix installed possesses highly augmented tactical and combat abilities, modelled on genuine combat styles and concepts. It gains two free feats, which must be chosen from the bonus feat list of the fighter class. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks, Knowledge (Tactics) 6 ranks
Weapons of War
non usually consists of a reservoir of ammunition n this section are presented a number of contained in a steamwork tank strapped to the entirely new types of weapons as well as operator’s back, attached by pipes and mechasteamwork upgrades to pre-existing ones. nisms to a nozzle-gun that ejects the flames, acid Some of the weapons here are steamwork in or steam out over the victims. The ammunition nature, or designed for use by steamwork con- fuel tank has hardness 5, 5 hit points and an AC of structs or steamwork armour. Others are the 15 + the wearer’s Dexterity bonus, and if ruptured result of the progress of science in paralleling sprays the fuel everywhere. In the case of acid this fields, such as alchemy and in particular firearms. deals 6d6 acid damage to the unfortunate as well The firearms presented here are designed to as 3d6 points of acid splash damage to everyone reflect a general level of development at which within 5 ft unless they succeed at a Reflex save for they are beginning to come into more wide-scale half damage. In the case of a fire-thrower it covuse but are not yet highly refined or advanced. ers the operator and anyone within 5 ft in volatile These guns can be used for a period in which chemicals; if the pilot light on the fire-thrower is flintlock, wheel-lock or breach-loading technolo- on or another flame is alight nearby the chemicals gy is utilised. Upgrade Cost Maintenance DC Chain-Tooth Blade +600gp 9 Alchemist’s Cannon Piston Fold-Up +75gp [Steamwork] Possessed Weapon +2 market price modifier An alchemist’s cannon is Silencer +1 market price modifier an ingenious weapon that Steamwork Targeter +50gp 6 relies on a steam engine Steamwork Targeter, Arcanomech +1,000gp 9 to force out a dangerSteamwork Targeter, Necromek +3,000gp 9 ous substance at Warded Weapon +1 market price modifier 6 high pressure. Weapon Plug-In +75gp Such a can-
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Name Cost Dmg Crit Range Alchemist’s Cannon 450gp 3d6 Fuel Tank 50gp Blade-thrower 200gp 1d10 19-20/x2 90ft Blade-thrower, Wrist300gp 1d8 19-20/x2 30ft Blunderbuss 100gp 1d10 x3 40ft Clockwork Torpedo 500gp SpecialRocket Device 500gp 40ft Rocket Rack 150gp 60ft Chemical Rocket 60gp SpecialSunblaze Rocket 60gp SpecialCrank Cannon 2,000gp 2d6 x3 50ft Drill 150gp 2d6 x4 Musket 350gp 2d6 x3 80ft Pistol 200gp 2d6 x3 40ft Pistol, Duelling 500gp 2d6 19-20/x3 50ft Piston Fist 100gp 1d6 x3 Piston Ram 300gp 2d6 x3 Rifle 700gp 2d6 x3 110ft Torpedo of Homing 2,000gp Special Wrecking Ball 100gp 2d6 19-20/x2 ignite, dealing the same amount but in fire damage. In the case of a steam-thrower the backpack merely contains water and the operator is soaked. Alchemist’s cannons are also often mounted on steamwork constructs, which can carry such a weapon and its ammunition around easily. The Maintenance check of an alchemist’s cannon is reduced by 1 on a steamwork construct which it is constructed as an integral part of since the weapon is less vulnerable to damage. The fuel tank may or may not be exposed, depending on the kind of construct; it normally ends up protruding from the automaton’s back. An alchemist’s cannon shoots a 5 foot wide, 25 foot long line of either acid, fire or scalding steam. Acid-throwers and fire-throwers both deal 3d6 damage to everyone in the area, while steamthrowers only inflict 2d6 damage; in all cases a Reflex save (DC 14) results in a character only taking half damage. Any creature that is damaged by a firethrower catches light and is on fire, as with alchemist’s fire. Alchemist’s cannons have their own unique Malfunction Table: Size Medium Medium Tiny Medium Medium Medium Large Small Small Large Large Medium Tiny Small Tiny Large Medium Medium Large Weight 55lb 9lb 4lb 9lb 75lb 12lb 30lb 8lb 8lb 80lb 90lb 8lb 4lb 5lb 3lb 50lb 8lb 75lb 80lb Class Special Martial Martial Simple Exotic Exotic Simple Simple Exotic Exotic Exotic Simple Simple Exotic Simple Maint DC 9 7 6 10 8 7 7 8 -
Alchemist’s Cannon Malfunction Table (d10): 1-6 - Minor Malfunction: The weapon fails to 6 fire this round for some reason or another, with no other effects. 7 – Pilot Light Out: The pilot light goes out, and needs to be re-lit. This result only affects the firethrower variant. 8 - Gunked Up: The cannon’s workings are thoroughly gunked up with oil, effluents and muck. The weapon will not fire until fixed. 9 - Nozzle Block: The nozzle is temporarily blocked up and the cannon sprays its ammunition fuel out through the workings of the device onto the operator instead of firing, who suffers damage as if they were hit by their weapon 10 - Kaboom: The pressure is just too much and the weapon explodes, with the same effects as if the fuel tank had been ruptured. A single tank of ammunition fuel provides for 8 uses of an alchemist’s cannon. Ammunition for a steam-thrower costs nothing, as it simply needs water. Creation: Alchemy 5 ranks, Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks
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Blade-thrower [Steamwork] This weapon takes advantage of a steamwork engine to hurl razor-edged projectiles at high velocity and with a fast reloading rate. Appearing similar to a crossbow in general shape, a bladethrower uses machinery to drop the blade into the firing groove and to draw the firing wire. When the trigger is pulled the blade is launched out and with a hiss of steam and clank of metal another projectile is slotted into place as the tension is rewound. With the killing power of a heavy crossbow and a faster rate of fire, blade-throwers are nonetheless heavier and more cumbersome, as well as less reliable and needing more maintenance on the part of the wielder. Even so, in settings without firearms a blade-thrower might become a popular and powerful weapon. Like a repeating crossbow, a blade-thrower has a magazine of 5 blades, and reloading a magazine is a partial action. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 6 ranks Blade-thrower, Wrist [Steamwork] A much smaller and more compact version of the blade-thrower, this weapon is designed to be strapped to a character’s wrist and used covertly. The tiny blade-thrower only has a magazine large enough to hold 3 blades. Wrist blade-throwers are generally restricted by law only to government and royal agents, due to their potential use in the hands of assassins. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 7 ranks Blunderbuss A crude form of firearm, a blunderbuss is a handgun with a flared barrel that is designed to be able to fire lead shot, nails, stones, or any other bits of metal and debris to hand. The ammunition is blasted out of the barrel by a powder charge, and while it peppers a large area with the shot it rapidly loses accuracy and power over a short range. Anyone caught within the first range increment takes an additional +2 damage from the sheer weight of debris hitting them. Reloading a blunderbuss takes a full round action. Chain-tooth Blade [Steamwork] A chain-tooth blade is a steamwork upgrade that can be made to any weapon that inflicts slashing damage. The weapon is filled with machinery – gears and cogs that drive a vicious, toothed chain of metal where the blade would usually have its cutting edges. The engine is incorporated into the hilt of the weapon in most designs, safely out of harms way. The buzzing noise of the machinery at work increases to a high-pitched scream or whine as the blade bites into tough materials, so weapons with this upgrade are sometimes nicknamed ‘screamers’ or ‘banshees.’ As well as finding use in weaponry, this upgrade can be found employed on the tools of non-military steamwork constructs doing tasks such as logging and tree felling. A slashing weapon upgraded with a chain-tooth blade deals an additional d4 damage whenever it strikes, but the wielder suffers from a –4 penalty to Move Silently checks made when wielding an active one. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 6 ranks Chemical Rocket Also known as ‘dragon tongues’ and ‘fireworks,’ chemical rockets are explosives that are hurled great distances by chemical combustion. Usually in the simple form of a 3-foot-long tube packed with the chemicals and capped with a cone, chemical rockets are unreliable but destructive and impressive weapons. A character can launch a chemical rocket from a rocket device but suffers a –2 circumstance penalty to hit and rapidly becomes even more inaccurate over a distance; rockets benefit far more from the solid firing platforms that steamwork constructs and vehicles can provide for them. A rack of rockets on a steamwork construct or vehicle can be fired without the penalty that a character on foot suffers, and up to five rockets can be fired in a single round (most launchers only have capacity for five anyway). Anyone hit directly by a chemical rocket suffers 3d6 damage and 2d6 fire damage; anyone within 10ft also suffers 2d6 fire splash damage, a successful Reflex save (DC 15) halving the damage taken. On a natural attack roll of 1 with a chemical rocket, the rocket has misfired and exploded on the
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
launching rack, damaging the carrier as if directly hit by the rocket instead. Chemical rockets also make attractive patterns in the sky when fired upwards, the effects best seen at night. Chemical rockets are alchemical in nature and have the following DC for the purpose of creating them with the Alchemy skill. Item Chemical Rocket Sunblaze Rocket DC 25 25 together in a rotating metal framework that allows for a high rate of fire. It takes one round to warm up and start spinning properly, and in following rounds may be fired, the machinery reloading each barrel before it swings round in position to be fired again. Since the weapon reloads itself, crank cannons are simple to operate. Notoriously unreliable, these steamwork weapons are nonetheless highly dangerous, able to pepper an area with admittedly inaccurate fire. A crank cannon can either be fired as a normal ranged weapon or can be used to spray an area of 10ft by 10ft within one range increment with bullets, hitting anyone in the area who fails a Reflex save (DC 18). Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Drill [Steamwork] Larger versions of the steamwork drill are sometimes put to use as weapons on war constructs (and sometimes on non-military constructs that are pressed into a fight). A Large size mining drill inflicts 2d6 damage and threatens a critical on a 20, inflicting x4 damage on a successful critical hit; seeing a sizeable drill bit chew right through someone is not a pleasant sight. The damage can be scaled up appropriately for drills carried by larger constructs. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 6 ranks Musket A musket is a handgun that fires a powerful slug of metal; it is however not massively accurate over any great range, despite the impressive flash and crack that it emits when fired. It also suffers from a slow rate of fire – reloading a musket takes a full round action. Pistol A smaller firearm, a pistol fires a slug of metal out but is only accurate over short ranges and rapidly loses its force and speed. Reloading a pistol is a full-round action. Pistol, Duelling A larger and heavier version of the normal pistol, a duelling pistol packs a more powerful punch though like
Chemical Rocket, Sunblaze A variant form of chemical rocket, a sunblaze rocket carries volatile and highly flammable alchemical liquids in its head that splash everywhere upon impact. Designed as an incendiary device for attacking vulnerable targets like buildings and dirigibles, a sunblaze rocket deals 5d6 fire damage to anything hit directly, and 3d6 fire splash damage to anyone within 5ft unless they make a successful Reflex save (DC 15) for half damage. In all other ways sunblaze rockets are identical to normal chemical rockets. Clockwork Torpedo Not actually a steamwork device, a clockwork torpedo is a metal cylinder powered by a wound up clockwork engine that is used against ships and seacraft. When launched into the water, the clockwork engine starts to unwind, powering a rotor that sends it cutting through the water in a straight line (hopefully towards the target). The torpedo moves 90ft per round through water, and upon impact detonates the explosive charge in its head, dealing 9d6 damage to any structure or vehicle such as a ship. Other targets, and anyone within 20ft of the explosion, suffers 4d6 damage, halved if they make a Reflex save (DC 15). After 6 rounds of movement the clockwork engine runs out of torque and the torpedo sinks. Crank Cannon [Steamwork] A complex melding of firearms and machinery, a crank cannon has a number of barrels held
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royal or governmental officials and by gentry seeking to settle disputes of honour between them. Reloading a duelling pistol is a full-round action. Piston Fist [Steamwork] This weapon is a heavy metal gauntlet worn on one hand, filled with steamwork mechanisms that drive powerful pistons. A character hit by a piston fist must make a Reflex save (DC 14) or be knocked prone by the powerful punch of the pistons’ impact, as well as taking damage. A piston fist takes a full round before it can be used again as it resets itself, although the character wielding it can use it to make attacks as a normal gauntlet in the meantime. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks Piston Fold-up Based on the designs of pistons used in mobile steamworks, this is an upgrade that can be purchased for a weapon that does piercing damage like a spear or staff. The shaft of the weapon is made of metal segments that telescope down to ¼ the length for carrying purposes, and which can be returned to full length and locked into that mode as a free action. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 3 ranks Piston Ram [Steamwork] This weapon consists of a steamwork engine that builds up pressure, releasing it when commanded to slam out a piston ram. It is usually found mounted in the gauntlets on suits of superheavy armour and steamwork constructs. A character hit by it must make a Reflex save (DC 16) or be knocked prone by the sheer impact of the pistons, as well as taking damage. A piston ram takes a full round to reset itself and cannot be used again until it has done so, though the character with the piston ram can use the piston gauntlet to make other attacks. Piston rams are largely designed for military use in assailing fortifications and buildings, and automatically inflict a critical hit on any structure they are used against. The damage of
You may feel that the rules for firearms presented here do not make them as powerful and destructive a weapon as they should be. Two variants are presented here. When hit by the sizeable and forceful ammunition fired from a firearm a character can suffer quiet badly, the impact sending them staggering and knocking the sense from them for a moment, if they even survive. Any character hit by a firearm must make a Fortitude save (DC 14) or be staggered for one round. When combatants who have never encountered firearms before are fired upon by muskets, rifles and suchlike, the terrible racket, flash of light and gouts of smoke can terrify, demoralise and confuse. Characters who are fired upon by firearms must make a Will save (DC 20) or be shaken for the rest of the combat. However, they do not need to take this test again. You may rule that primitive and exceptionally superstitious species always suffer this Will check when fired upon by firearms. a piston ram can be scaled up appropriately for larger versions. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks Possessed Weapon [Arcana] This magical enhancement can only be placed on ranged weapons with moving mechanical parts, such as firearms and steamwork weapons. Some small spirit, usually a little daemonic entity, inhabits the actual innards of the weapon and is bound into it; carved images and faces on the
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
weapon move and shift under its control. As a free action the wielder can whisper to the weapon a target, and against that target he gains an additional +1 to attack and damage rolls. If the character knows the genuine name of the target character, the possessed weapon gives him a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls, and the designated target does not benefit from any cover or concealment bonuses. Caster Level: 9th Creation: Craft Magic Arms and Armour, lesser planar binding, true strike Silencer [Arcana, Steamwork] A weapon with this magical enhancement sports additional pieces of arcane machinery throughout it, small tubes and valves and crystalline pistons. Only ever found on noisy weapons such as firearms, the machinery activates whenever the weapon is fired, momentarily generating a very small globe of silence as per the spell that envelops the weapon with a faint shimmer. This negates any noise created by the weapon, and is generally used only by those wishing to make silent kills such as assassins and scouts. Unfortunately it does not suppress the muzzle flash of firearms. Caster Level: 5th Creation: Craft Magic Arms and Armour, silence, Craft (Steamworks) 6 ranks Rifle A more refined and advanced firearm than the musket, a rifle is more accurate at longer ranges and generally the preserve of only specific military units. Sharpshooters benefit far more from a rifle than they will from using a musket, able to aim with far more confidence. Reloading a rifle is a full round action. Steamwork Targeter [Steamwork] A steamwork targeter is an upgrade that can be added to any ranged weapon. It consists of a number of small measurement devices and machines that sense the wind speed and direction and automatically compensate the weapon to take this into account by adjusting machinery all around the weapon. This reduces the attack penalty imposed by strong winds or worse weather hazards by 2. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 6 ranks
lthough the rules here present firearms as the same whether they use flintlock, wheel-lock or breach-loading mechanisms, breach-loaders are generally faster and more advanced. If you wish to represent breachloaders as being superior to other forms of firearm, then as a variant rule, breach-loaders only take a standard action to reload, not a full round.
Steamwork Targeter, Arcanomech [Arcana, Steamwork] An arcanomech targeter incorporates magical enhancements to the machinery of a normal targeter; the arcanomech technology adjusts the weapon not just to take account of wind speed and direction but also altering it to actually track a target more efficiently. The slight movement of a musket barrel or crossbow stock as tiny machines whirr and shift it slightly to follow the path of an enemy can be unnerving, as if the weapon has its own sentience. As well as the normal benefits of a steamwork targeter, an arcanomech targeter also gives a +1 circumstance bonus to hit rolls. Caster Level: 5th Creation: Craft Magic Arms and Armour, true strike or divine favour, Craft (Steamworks) 6 ranks Steamwork Targeter, Necromek [Arcana, Steamwork] A necromek targeter usually incorporates a small magical scope to a weapon as well as the usual steamwork targeting machinery. The necromantic magic imbued into the device causes the targeter to automatically track living targets, giving a +1 circumstance bonus to hit rolls against such creatures. In addition, the scope picks up the life-signs of anyone viewed through it, showing them up as a warm red figure and effectively negating the penalties of attacking them in darkness. Caster Level: 5th Creation: Craft Magic Arms and Armour, deathwatch, Craft (Steamworks) 6 ranks
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Torpedo of Homing [Arcana, Steamwork] A more advanced form of torpedo, a torpedo of homing makes use of a complex steamwork engine attached to arcane sensors and devices that help it adjust its course to track a target. It is identical to a clockwork torpedo, except that every round it can make a turn of up to 30 degrees to track a target (usually a ship). Caster Level: 5th Creation: Craft Magic Arms and Armour, true strike, Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Warded Weapon [Arcana, Steamwork] This magical enhancement to a weapon builds in a steamwork device into the handle or hilt of the weapon, with enchanted sensors detecting the touch of anyone picking up the weapon. It is keyed to its owner, and anyone else who picks up the weapon and holds it for more than 5 seconds activates the device. A warded weapon can be created to deal physical damage through powered spikes or spines that slash out of the hilt to eviscerate a would-be thief’s hand, or to deal one of
the five types of elemental damage in a surge of energy channelled out by the device. Physical damage deals 2d6, while elemental damage deals 3d6 of the relevant type. Caster Level: 5th Creation: Craft Magic Arms and Armour, glyph (Steamworks) 6 ranks of warding, Craft
Weapon Plug-in A weapon plug-in is a weapon upgrade that links it to a suit of armour with an arcane array (see Personal Protection) by a pipe or bundle of wires. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 4 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 5 ranks Wrecking Ball Wrecking balls are often employed as weapons on larger steamwork constructs designed for battle, large and heavy weights often studded with spines on the end of a thick, strong metal chain. They are effectively just very large flails, backed up by the machine strength of the construct and the speed of its gears and pistons. The damage can be scaled up appropriately for larger versions of the weapon.
Personal Protecti on
his section presents the impressive results that incorporating steam technology into the crafting of armour can give. Steamwork armour can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from highly refined and polished suits of gleaming armour with impassive visors of dark crystal, to clanking and lumbering construc-
tions sporting rivets and smoke spewing from vents. Steamwork armour is available in two forms. The first is augmented armour, a suit of normal heavy armour that has undergone one of three levels of steamwork modification – light, medium and heavy. The second is super-heavy armour, which is presented as an entirely new category of
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
armour. Below these are detailed the various upgrades and enhancements that can be made to steamwork armour. Augmented Armour [Steamwork] Augmented armour is a suit of heavy armour that has been enhanced with the addition of an engine and smokestack built in to the back. It also integrates pistons to enhance the strength of the wearer, making them stronger opponents in battle but also enabling them to actualSahuagin ly carry the added weight of the Savage and brutal, machinery. Only heavy armour can be augmented, since it has sahuagin do not seem likely to cre- the structure and support suitate steam technolo- able. There are three levels of piston augmentation possible. gy, primarily because they live Light Augmentation: This is underwater. the least amount of alteration However, it is not that can be integrated, slightly impossible for sahuagin to create boosting the wearer’s strength steamwork systems with machine-enhanced moveusing arcane and ments. The steamworks are generally fairly small and not parnecromantic engines, crafting ticularly conspicuous from a their devices from distance, and a suit requires coral and shell and only an engine of two sizes magic. Once they smaller to power it (e.g. a Tiny for Medium-size encounter steam- engine work technology it armour). The wearer of the often doesn't take armour benefits from a +2 very long before machine bonus to Strength. Maintenance DC: 7 they attempt to Weight: Creation: Craft employ it themselves in some form (Steamworks) 8 ranks Cost: +2,000gp or another. Medium Augmentation: This steamwork armour features heavier augmentation with more prominent pistons, machinery and engine unit. It also increasingly limits smooth movement, though has a significantly greater pay-off in the form of the mechanical boost to strength it bestows. A suit of medium augmentation armour needs only an engine of one size smaller to power it (e.g. a Small engine for Medium-size armour). The wearer benefits from a +4 machine bonus to Strength, but the armour check penalty inflicted is increased by 1 and the wearer suffers a –1 penalty to Initiative. Maintenance DC: 8 Weight: Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks Cost: +4,500gp Heavy Augmentation: This is the heaviest level of steamwork augmentation, and armour that has undergone this enhancement looks intimidating and impressive with its bulk and strength. A suit of this armour requires an engine of the normal size to power it. It grants a +6 machine bonus to Strength, but also suffers a –2 penalty to Initiative, an increase in armour check penalties by -1, and a reduction in the maximum possible Dexterity bonus to AC by 1 (minimum of +0). However, due to the additional strength of the supporting pistons, a character wearing heavy augmented armour does not have his Movement reduced by his armour. Maintenance DC: 9 Weight: Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Cost: +8,500gp Super-Heavy Armour [Steamwork] Super-heavy forms of steamwork armour are perhaps the ultimate in forms of personal protection. Super-heavy armour is usually a fullyenclosed and free standing suit of heavily plated and reinforced pistons and machinery, similar in its construction to a construct except that the wearer acts as a pilot, and it responds to his movements with a clank and a hiss from its vents and pipes. Super-heavy armour designs are sometimes left unadorned, an imposing, looming industrial bulk of noise and metal, but often they are built elaborately and ornately, especially since they are often only available to elite troops and warriors. The Steel Knight prestige class allows a skilled character to become an expert pilot of one of these powerful devices. Super-heavy armour is largely the province of government military and suchlike; on campaign a unit outfitted with super-heavy armour is usually accompanied by a sizeable entourage of engineers, mechanics and maintenance crew to keep the suits
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running and to start them up. The armour is usually stowed and transported by wagon in between battles. Super-heavy steamwork armour requires the Super-Heavy Armour Proficiency feat to be able to operate correctly and within significant penalties. Wearing a suit of super-heavy armour gives the pilot a +8 machine bonus to Strength from the machine-augmented systems, and the massively thick and reinforced armour gives both a +10 armour bonus to AC and damage reduction of 5/ -. The armour has a maximum Dexterity bonus of +1, an armour check penalty of –8, and an arcane spell failure chance of 60% The wearer’s size is increased by one size due to the sheer bulk of the armour, with all the associated benefits and penalties. The armour does not reduce the wearer’s Movement speed since it’s own mechanisms take the excess weight. Super-heavy armour needs an engine of the correct size to power a device of the wearer’s increased size (so for a Medium-size character in a suit of this armour, the size of the suit itself is Large and needs an appropriately sized engine). Maintenance DC: 10 Weight: Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 11 ranks Cost: 40,000 gp attempts to fix malfunctions) and if the character is wielding a weapon with a weapon plug-in it also relays weapon information up onto the array. With a ranged weapon plugged in, it brings additional targeting information up on the array and grants a +1 circumstance bonus to damage rolls. With a melee weapon plugged in, the array calculates incoming attacks and gives readouts to help the user parry and dodge, granting a +1 Dodge bonus to AC against melee attackers. Caster Level: 6th Creation: Craft Wondrous Item, true strike, Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks Blood Spines Blood spines are long, sharp, talon-like blades and spines that protrude from a suit of steamwork armour. They have the same effect as armour spikes but inflict d8 damage rather than d6, and blood channels mean that a blood drinker engine will benefit from the damage dealt in this manner. Heat Buffer [Steamwork] Some form of heat buffer is more or less essential in all steamwork armour to keep the operator cool and protect him from the heat generated by the engine on his back. However, more advanced forms utilising cooling pipes and heat sinks are also possible with the greater capacity of steamwork armour; this kind of heat buffering grants the wearer Fire Resistance 5. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 6 ranks
nce piston augmentation and an engine have been fitted, a number of other upgrades are also possible. These addiIntegrated Shield tional devices siphon energy and steam off from Many warriors carry a shield with them to batthe main engine system that powers the armour, tle to ward off the strikes of the enemy, and some and so do not need their own independent energy sources. Name Cost Arcane Array +1,500gp Arcane Array [Arcana] Blood Spines +100gp An arcane array is a simple magical Heat Buffer +350gp read-out added to a suit of steamwork Integrated Shield +50gp armour, usually relayed up onto the Powered Spikes +70gp inside of the helm or armour collar. It Sealed Environment +300gp details fuel levels remaining, a generSealed Environment, Enhanced +700gp al readout of which mechanisms Smoked Lenses +50gp are running and which are broSpeakers +60gp ken (adding a +1 circumStatic Generator +300gp stance bonus to any Weapons Gauntlet +75gp, + cost of weapon
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
steamwork suits of armour integrate the shield fully into the mechanised arm armour, ensuring that the wearer will not be disarmed of his protection. An integrated shield is not subject to disarm attempts. Powered Spikes [Steamwork] A suit of steamwork armour can be fitted with steam-powered armour spikes. These spikes are not visible until activated, when they slash out of the armour with impaling force, dealing double damage on the first round of a grapple. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 6 ranks Sealed Environment [Steamwork] It is possible to make a suit of steamwork armour into a closed environment, keeping the occupant safe from gases and fumes for a period of time, even the cloudkill spell. Armour with this upgrade has a ventilation system and air reserves installed, and once activated can keep the occupant sealed off for up to half an hour before the reserves expire and need to be refilled. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks Sealed Environment, Enhanced [Steamwork] Not only is steamwork armour with a sealed environment a useful piece of equipment for a warrior, it also has uses for aquatic ventures. Heavily armoured diving suits see a great deal of use for making repairs to ships and oil rigs, underwater exploration, and those who make a living from diving for shellfish, coral or other substances. The heavy armour is useful in an environment where a land-dweller simply cannot match the dexterity of a native of the seas. An enhanced sealed environment provides 6 hours of air reserves for a character to subsist on. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks Smoked Lenses A simple modification to a suit of armour installs smoked glass lenses into the helm to protect the operator’s eyes. Such lenses grant a +6 circumstance bonus to any saves against effects that blind through bright light, but inflicts a –2 penalty to Spot checks since the glass makes it hard to pick out details at distances. Speakers [Steamworks] Popular with units of city troops outfitted with steamwork armour for broadcasting their voices over the noise of crowds, as well as with military units who want to scare the living daylights out of their opponents, speakers are a common upgrade. A speaker unit is usually mounted into the helm or onto the shoulder, a grill that blasts out the voice of the wearer at augmented volume. Speakers may work through exploiting sonic physics, or through magical or complex scientific processes of amplification. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 5 ranks Static Generator [Steamworks] A static generator is a small device incorporated into a suit of steamwork armour that siphons off power from the main engine to slowly build up a static charge. This can be released in two ways, either to inflict an automatic hit of d6 electrical damage on anyone grappling the character or by adding +d6 electrical damage to an attack made with a metal melee weapon from a weapons gauntlet (see below). After use a static generator takes 5 rounds to build up enough charge to be used again. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Weapons Gauntlet A weapons gauntlet is a device that incorporates a weapon of some sort into the back of a steamwork gauntlet, usually evident through a bulge in the armour there. Crossbows and firearms are popular additions, giving the wielder a surprise ranged attack, though he needs to reload the weapon by unhinging a plate on the gauntlet and doing so manually. Piston rams are also used by super-heavy armoured troops for assaulting fortifications and buildings, but most common is a punch dagger or fighting claw (counts as a dagger). Such a weapon can slide out of the gauntlet or be retracted back in as a free action.
Edifices of Mi ght
team technology does more than just bring new devices and implements for scientists to further their craft with and adventurers to use in rooting out more gold and challenges – it changes the very landscape and cities of the lands it touches. This section describes the use of largescale steamwork devices, along with the impact these kinds of devices have on the cities and lands that they are a part of. Steamwork devices are used in industries, factories and mines, and can form massive structures that rise above the buildings around them, constructions of science and magic melded together. Edifices of might are not just the dominating keeps of barons or the towering temples of the faithful. Grand steel factories and arrays of security devices are as much the symbols of power and the might of technological advancement as the fortifica- Name tions of a war- Arcanomech Eye Array Arcanomech Lamp Array lord. Arcanomech Suppresser Arcanist’s Tower Divine Amplifier Dockyard Crane Factory Homing Beacon Library Lift/Elevator Mine Borer Necromek Crypt Factory Observatory Oil Rig Printing Press Solar Array Spellcraft Engine Steamwork Bridge Steamwork Gate Steamwork Pump System Steamwork Sentry Array Steamwork Siege Weapon Weather Tower
A Note on Architecture
culture undergoing industrialisation brought about by steam technology often displays this state of affairs in its architecture. The fabricated metal parts churned out by steamwork factories become greatly used by builders and architects, causing metal to feature prominently in buildings and facades, often in the form of girders and struts. In cities where pollution and fumes are at their worst, metal tends to rust, corrode and stain, adding to the grime and decay. Glass might also find greater use in architecture, with factories able to create it in much larger amounts than was possible before. Mighty towers and structures of reinforced stone and iron rise above the skyline of houses and factories,
Size Huge Huge Large Colossal Large Large Huge Large Huge Large Large Huge Huge Colossal Huge Huge Large Colossal Huge Huge Huge Varies Colossal
Cost 5,000gp 5,000gp +40,000gp 150,000gp 75,000gp 2,000gp 15,000gp 60,000gp 20,000gp 1,500gp 750gp 25,000gp 75,000gp 350,000gp 4,500gp 10,000gp 20,000gp 80,000gp 5,000gp 2,000gp 5,000gp +800gp 100,000gp
Maintenance DC 10 9 11 10 8 8 9 10 9 8 10 12 8 10 8 9 8 8 9 10 9 12
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
amongst them weird and exotic devices, rotating masts and crystalline receptors that sprout from arcane laboratories. Buildings incorporate steamwork equipment into them, locks and arcanomech eyes keeping warehouses, factories, offices and even private property secure. Steamwork pump systems, elevators and gates also find common use. Usually a single engine is used to operate a number of different devices within one building, linked to them all by pipes or driveshafts with leather belts that thread through walls and under floors. Arcanomech Eye Array [Steamwork] Although by itself a useful security device, the arcanomech eye can also be used in numbers as a linked array to set up an excellent security network. An arcanomech eye array links together all the eyes in an area – usually within a single building or compound – with pipes and wires, connecting them up to a central engine hub that processes the information received from each device. Whenever an arcanomech eye that is part of an array detects an intruder, it alerts the entire security system, bringing it into a higher level of alertness. All arcanomech eyes on the array then gain a +2 bonus to their Spot checks. If no further disturbances occur within an hour then the system powers itself down again to conserve energy and the bonus is lost. In addition, the engine hub itself displays a switchboard of all the eye locations in an array; arcane lights flicking on next to the location of an eye indicates to security staff that the eye has recorded a disturbance or intruder there. More enterprising governments that are worried about their capability to control their subjects sometimes attempt to extend their eye arrays over entire towns and cities, eyes strategically placed on street corners or particular buildings reminding the populace of their dominators as much as any looming castle does. The entry in the table above reflects the central engine hub of an array, and the cost does not include that of the arcanomech eyes linked up to it. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks Arcanomech Lamp Array [Steamwork] An arcanomech lamp array is a series of lamps connected together by a central engine and monitor, usually used to light the rooms of a castle or mansion, or to shed light on the streets of a city district. Normally it is cheaper to simply use a steamwork pump system to pump natural gas to streetlights, but those who either do not have access to resources or who simply prefer the magical hue of the lamps use arcanomech lamp arrays. Elven cultures in particular prefer the use of arcanomech lamps because of the pollution given off by more crude forms of fuel-burning lighting and due to the aesthetic superiority of the arcane lights. The entry in the table above is for the central engine hub of a lamp array, and does not include the cost of the lamps linked up to it. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks Arcanomech Suppresser [Arcana, Steamwork] An arcanomech suppresser can be mounted as an additional device on an arcanist’s tower, a large steamwork device consisting of a complex array of metal and glass. The suppresser emits powerful waves of arcane energy designed to scramble spellcasting attempts within a radius of 1 mile, tangling the weaving of power and magic in confusing ways. Any character attempting to cast arcane magic within 1 mile of an arcanomech suppresser must make a Concentration check (DC 16 + spell level) or the spell fails and is lost. Characters within an arcanist’s tower that incorporates an arcanomech suppresser are unaffected by it. In addition, a specially modified thaumometer can counter the magic-tangling effect of a suppresser and allow a character carrying an active one to be able to cast spells as normal. This kind of device is usually used in a situation where magic is a licensed practice or where a very powerful group of mages are jealous of their might and wish to keep spellcasters who are not of their brotherhood suppressed. Gaining an appropriate license or joining the mages organisation includes the character being given one of the specially modified thaumometers needed to cast spells
Steam & Steel
unhampered. They also make useful defences for a settlement, with enemy spellcasters being hampered while friendly ones use thaumometers to cast without relent. An arcanomech suppresser also bestows Spell Resistance 20 on the tower it is incorporated into. Caster Level: 13th Creation: Craft Wondrous Item, dispel magic, (Steamworks) 12 ranks spell turning, Craft In addition, anyone within the tower who is the target of outside spells or magical effects benefits from Spell Resistance 30, as does the tower itself. A network of arcanist’s towers across a city can make a powerful instrument of domination. With suppressers keeping unlicensed spellcasting down and spellcraft engines allowing for troublemakers to be instantly Ogres & pinpointed, and with the powerful divination Ogre Magi capabilities of a tower meaning the governing Barbaric and not very forces can look anywhere bright, ogres are unlikely at any time, a tower candidates for scientists makes a powerful bastion and engineers, although for policing troops to they are often chosen by rally forth from. evil wizards and arcanomeThe Maintenance DC chanics to be powerfully given in the table above augmented guards and seris only for the machinery vants. Ogre magi on the in the divination chamother hand are much more ber. It is not possible to likely to see the possible break a whole tower with advantages of science, and one unlucky roll, except will eagerly go after steampossibly with siege work items to learn more weapons. of this new technology. An Creation: Craft ogre magi with an under(Steamworks) 15 ranks, standing of steamworks is Knowledge (Arcana) 15 a dangerous foe indeed, ranks even if their common kin can barely use such devices Divine Amplifier without breaking them. [Arcana, Steamwork] A divine amplifier is attuned to a particular domain of the faith it was built by, consisting of a complex machine that focuses its energy on an important object of faith, often a reliquary or powerful artifact. The object in question is always somehow related to the chosen domain of the amplifier. The machinery picks up the divine energy of the object and through a mixture of mechanics, science and mysticism, amplifies it, broadcasting surges of power that bolster faithful spellcasters nearby. Any divine spellcaster within 1 mile of a divine amplifier benefits from a +1 caster level bonus whenever they cast domain spells from the amplifier’s chosen domain. This stacks
Arcanist’s Tower [Steamwork] Rising high above the surrounding roofs, an arcanist’s tower is a tall and imposing structure of metal and glass, smaller turrets sprouting off it at odd angles to thrust out arcane apparatus into the sky. These towers can appear as beautiful and graceful structures, carefully crafted and constructed in fantastic colours and design, or they can be massively looming fortresses of iron and steel with funnels and chimneys pouring out thick smoke. Towers of this type are normally the property of powerful wizards or sorcerers but may also be built by governments and kings who wish to provide facilities for their spellcasters to enact enhanced divinations. Within, the tower has many of the features of a normal fortified tower, with rooms and quarters and many floors. Usually large amounts are given over to arcane steamwork machinery and devices, and in the upper floors the density of these structures increases and becomes more complex. In the top chamber of the tower, a circle of engraved marble set on a raised platform is surrounded by great thrumming engines that, when active, amplify divinations to a great extent. An arcane spellcaster who casts any divination spell in the top chamber while the machinery is active has his caster level increased by 2, and it also inflicts a -5 machine penalty to Will saves for anyone targeted by such a spell, for instance the subject of a scrying spell. To set up the machinery for use takes two hours and it only functions for one casting before it needs to be reset again. From outside it is visible that a tower is building up energy for a casting because the machines and masts at the top of the tower begin to move and rotate with purposeful motion.
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
with any caster level bonus they may already have from a domain. These amplifiers are usually situated in the towers of cathedrals or the bowels of mighty temples, and their use depends on the god in question. Some bolster domains of evil or war to help oppress and control, while others bolster healing or protection domains to aid and defend their worshippers. Caster Level: 9th Creation: Craft Wondrous Item, divine favour, caster must have the appropriate domain, Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Dockyard Crane [Steamwork] Steamwork devices can be put to good use in dockyards, where engine-powered cranes make the task of moving cargo from ship to shore a great deal easier. With a structure usually formed of metal struts to support the ropes, gears and chains, this type of crane is capable of hauling up to 1 ton of weight into the air. The engine is contained in the base of the structure, hidden by metal cladding, and the mechanisms there can rotate the upper portion of the crane to face the needed direction. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks Factory [Steamwork] The advent of steam technology tends to be accompanied by the springing up of industries and factories; their production methods revolutionised by steamwork devices. The steamwork hammer described above in the Equipment section represents a smaller automated machine used in such factories, and can be turned to all sorts of purposes; hammering, shaping and cutting metal items. More complex machinery is also needed in some capacities, from metal rolling mills to larger-scale hammers, huge forges and furnaces and mechanised systems of cauldrons containing molten metal. Inside such a factory is thus a hot and busy place to be, mechanics and workers scurrying around and the growl of heavy machinery all around. Once the machinery in a factory has been modified to suit a particular production purpose, be that metal swords or armour, alchemical liquids or construct parts, the crafting time needed to create such an object is quartered, as well as being automated. Production lines can pour off a constant flow of weapons, armour and equipment to gear up armies and governments. The statistics given here represent any large and heavy engine used in a factory. A process may well require more than one such device. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 9 ranks Homing Beacon [Steamwork] A homing beacon is designed to work in concert with a set of homing compasses (see Beasts of Steel), providing them with a reference point from which to extrapolate position and direction. A homing beacon is a large machine that uses either arcane and mystical circuitry or obscure sciences and magnetic stone to which appropriately attuned homing compasses will always point. Homing beacons are usually housed in fortified buildings, towers or observatories, generally the property of governments and used to provide advanced navigational capabilities for their fleets of ships and dirigibles. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 15 ranks Library [Steamworks] Steamwork technology can even be implemented within libraries and archives to great effect. The body of texts and archived objects are stored in a space of large volume, usually a big warehouse or in the case of valuable contents in a fortified underground excavation. A system of gears and pulleys is rigged throughout the storage space, and attached to a large computational steamwork machine. When a character wishing to remove a text or object from the archive inputs his request into the machine, it sets the system into action, pulleys whirling and cogs turning to send a small container off into the storage area, retrieving the requested item from the shelves (sometimes by a small construct that sits in the container) and bringing it back again. Fast and organised, this system also means that security measures can be put into place on particularly important or dangerous items like magical or prophetic tomes, requiring specific authorisation to retrieve. It also allows librarians to generally monitor what items in the catalogue are being accessed, when, and by whom.
Steam & Steel
Characters utilising the steamwork retrieval system to find an item do not need to make a Maintenance check, only the librarians who start it up and keep it running. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 9 ranks Lifts & Elevators [Steamwork] These are widely used in all sorts of applications – though due to the unreliability of machinery there is always a ladder or stairs too. From the metal cage used to lower workers down a mine shaft, to simple two-floor lifts for moving goods around the levels of a warehouse, they make moving people and objects up and down distances a much easier task. In either case, some people are unwilling to use elevators, finding the idea that they depend on a clanking, hissing piece of metal to keep them from crashing to the ground just too nerve-wracking a concept. These lifts generally come in two kinds; those used in mines and suchlike depending on a system of gears, ropes and pulleys that the steam engine drives, and more heavily mechanised elevators usually found in buildings. Mineshaft lifts tend to be slower but are simpler to make, especially considering the vertical distance that it may need to travel. Both kinds are normally built to hold 4-8 people though may be larger or smaller as design needs warrant. The entry in the table above is for a mechanised lift; a mineshaft lift costs 500gp and has a Maintenance DC of 9. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks Mine Borer [Steamwork] Mines have always been dangerous work for miners and so the added problems of working around heavy machinery are more than counterbalanced by the incredible increase in production that steamwork devices provide. Hand-held steamwork drills like the entry in the Equipment section chew through rock at a far faster rate than the slow chip of a pickaxe, while even larger versions can rip through worthless stone to seek out the seams of wealth that the miners are really hunting. Even down in the depths of dwarven mines the ringing of pickaxes on stone is quickly replaced by the snarling of machinery once they discover just how much effort is saved by setting machines to do the task for them. A mine borer is a large drilling machine, usually mounted on tracks or wheels and capable of self-locomotion. Modifications on the basic design of these devices results in the creation of vehicles capable of tunnelling through the earth and stone with a pilot at the helm (see Beasts of Steel). Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks Necromek Crypt Factory [Steamwork] Crypt factories are the sinister result of experimentation into melding the might of the undead with the strength of machinery, and are usually forbidding and ominous in appearance, sprouting twisted vents and spikes. A character capable of casting spells that create any form of undead can make use of a crypt factory while doing so, and the automated necromantic processes of the factory mean that any undead created in this way automatically gains the mechanised template. In regions where necromancers hold both considerable power and the knowledge of blending steam science with magic, these factories are common sights, adding ‘enhanced’ minions to the rotting ranks of the wizards armies. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 15 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 14 ranks Observatory [Steamwork] This structure is usually in the form of a roughly hemispherical building of metal and stone, capable of rotating to follow the movement of the heavens and with retracting plates that open out to allow the telescopic devices within to peer up to the skies. Steamwork engines power the machinery that moves the observatory and the telescopes. A character conducting astrological study gains a +2 circumstance bonus to Knowledge (Astrology) checks if they make use of an observatory. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 15 ranks
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Oilrig The oilrig is, to most fantasy settings, an entirely innovative structure. Cranes, gate-opening mechanisms and constructs can all be built with magic and simple technology even if it is often not as efficient or powerful as steamwork science, but an oilrig is simply not a structure needed unless there is a demand for oil. Oil can come from many sources, whether it is pools hidden beneath the ocean floor or great welling pits formed in a volcanic valley where a mighty wyrmlord died. Oilrigs are large metal structures designed to get at that oil. The structure is based around one or several great siphons that plunge down to the source of the fuel they are trying to extract, which in the case of sea oilrigs can be a considerable distance indeed, and using drills and pumps they bring oil up to the surface. A tower spouting flame is a sign of an oilrig in the distance, a controlled burning of natural gas to keep it from exploding and wrecking the structure. Building an oilrig is an expensive and difficult venture, and it is usually governments that have the power and wealth, as well as the need, to create them. Building one at sea is especially difficult due to unpredictable weather and unpredictable reactions of sea denizens. More than one expedition of engineers has been wiped out by a tribe of sea elves or sahuagin that took offence at metal shafts slamming down through their territory, and even more dangerous beasts such as kraken also take a dim view of oil rigs. This is to say nothing of the threat posed by other nations and power groups. An oil rig is a great source of power and wealth because it ensures a relatively constant flow of fuel. Since even inland oilrigs tend to be in outlandish or isolated places due to the strange nature of conditions creating the fuel in locations other than the sea bed, most are crewed with a military or mercenary presence, including spellcasters if possible. The pay is good for any crew of an oilrig since the conditions are usually dangerous as well as having the prospect of being isolated at sea for months – and the wages of any spellcaster who can control the weather or waves, or communicate with sea creatures, is even higher. As well as governments, particularly sciencefocused faiths, especially in situations where it is scientist-priests who are responsible for the creation of steamwork devices, may maintain an oilrig. In these cases the towering metal structures are as much cathedrals as industrial buildings, fonts of the fuel which drives their divinely inspired machines. Most oilrigs include at least one steamwork crane for loading and unloading containers of oil and supplies. If aerial vehicles have been developed or the culture has any developed links with aerial creatures, a landing platform for visitors from the air will also be supplied. Most sea-born oilrigs are also outfitted with several steamwork suits of armour, fitted with enhanced sealed environments to allow mechanics to venture underwater. Cost: 350,000 gp
Printing Press [Steamworks] While a single steamwork press is a huge step onwards from the slow and laborious process of hand-copying books, a burgeoning printing company can put the monetary gains it reaps to good use in expanding and improving its capacities. A large-scale printing press can reduce the time made to create a single print run of a book or tract even further, or possibly print more than one thing at a time. Developing societies tend to quickly acquire a hunger for literature of any kind, so those in the printing business can become very rich very quickly. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 11 ranks Solar Array [Steamwork] A solar array consists of a mass of solar panels and light absorbers, usually mounted all over the side of a tower or building. The panels are mounted on small steamwork pistons and adjusters, and during the day, with the occasional hiss of steam and whirr of gears, they move to follow the sun
Steam & Steel
in order to best pick up its rays. Used in conjunction with a solar trap engine, they absorb far more efficiently and generate more energy than the normal set-up of panels. A device powered by a solar array gains 1 ½ hours of fuel from every hour of sunlight absorbed. The array needs a Maintenance check to start it up or keep it running but its own energy consumption is negligible and it doesn’t need a separate engine to drive it. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Spellcraft Engine [Arcana, Steamwork] A spellcraft engine is mounted as an additional device on an arcanist’s tower, a nest of pipes and bubbling glass containers interlaced with copper wire and jagged chunks of crystal. Such an engine is finely attuned to the status of magic within 1 mile, able to sense the disturbance of an arcane spell like the ripples of water across a pond when a stone is dropped in. Whenever a character casts an arcane spell within the detection radius of the spellcraft engine, it emits a warning sound and with a steamwork compass indicates the direction of the incident from the tower. A series of different glass beakers are lined up next to the compass, each one indicating one of the schools of magic, and when an incident is detected the beaker that corresponds to the school of magic of the spell casts fills with swirling steam. Spellcraft engines are often tailored to respond only to specific schools of magic, since in some places certain of the schools are illegal, usually those of Enchantment and Necromancy. A character that is aware of the presence of a spellcraft engine nearby can try and avoid detection by making a Concentration check (DC 25+spell level) while spellcasting. A success means he masks the spell from the engine by damping down its magical signal. While a single spellcraft engine can only indicate the direction of the location in which the spellcasting occurred, two or three spellcraft engines in different locations can be used to triangulate the exact co-ordinates of the location. If combined with teleportation spells this can make a rapid response to unsanctioned spellcasting a viable possibility. Caster Level: 9th Creation: Create Wondrous Item, detect magic, Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Steamwork Bridge [Steamwork] With the power of steam technology, a new and revolutionary type of bridge can be constructed. Rather than suffering the limitations of more static stone, metal or wooden structures, a bridge can be built to span busy stretches of river, not just because of the improved construction techniques of an industrialising society but because it can be engineered to move for passing river traffic. The exact manner in which the bridge operates varies; a central section might lift directly up on steel ropes, cogs and pulleys, or the bridge might be split in the middle as the two sides are pulled up to form a triangular shape when they are at their apex. Either way, larger water craft are thus able to pass under the bridge, where before the static structure of a bridge would have limited only smaller craft to be able to pass further up or down. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 15 ranks Steamwork Gate [Steamwork] Many large structures such as castles, temples and suchlike feature large and heavy gates. Although these can be opened and closed by hand this tends to be slow because of their sheer size and weight, and of course also demands a fair bit of effort on the part of the gatekeeper. Steamwork engines rigged up to open the gates are both a boon to the tired gatekeeper and a significant status symbol on the part of the owner, displaying his wealth and might. Like steamwork locks, steamwork gates incorporate a full locking mechanism easily up to the standards of fortified positions. The nature of the gates is obviously displayed on the hinges and frame of the structure, which are covered in the metal cladding that conceals the mechanisms beneath. The main body of the engine and controls are situated on the inside of the walls and well out of harms way. When the operator opens the gates, the huge weight of the gates swings open slowly enough to allow anyone to get out of the way, accompanied by the hiss of steam and the grinding noise of cogs. They are particularly popular amongst those wishing to
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
impress and intimidate their guests. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks Steamwork Pump System [Steamwork] A steamwork pump is a large and noisy piece of engineering attached to a network of pipes and valves. These pumps can serve a variety of different purposes. Most obvious is to pump water around, which despite its simplicity in concept is a very useful capability. Industries demand large amounts of water in their processes and a steamwork pump can provide a factory with all the water it needs by running pipes down to a river or seafront. Pumps are also used on steam-powered ships to pump water out, as well as being employed in marshy and coastal areas for draining land free of water. Were a pump system to be extended throughout a city, with regular pump stations keeping the pressure up, it could provide the amazing amenity of fresh running water to the ordinary citizens, pushing back the limits of city growth by leaps and bounds with such a marvel. Harness the great amount of heat generated by the factories and plants of a dozen industries working day and night in a city and even hot water becomes available. Pump systems can also be employed as rudimentary sewage systems, taking the waste from alchemical and arcane laboratories and industrial factories – and usually just dumping it in a river or the sea. It is advisable to be wary of venturing into the water near the effluent pipes of an alchemechanic’s or wizard’s workplace. As well as urban uses, steamwork pumps have their applications in agriculture. Here, water is even more useful, and such a pump in place on a well or by a river can have a farmer’s irrigation system running with fresh water; equally, when rains and floods threaten to erode crops away, a pump can be used to mitigate the damage. The statistics given here are for a Huge pump but smaller, more portable ones could also be employed, as could much bigger ones designed to supply entire areas of a city with running water. They usually appear as a number of large metal tanks linked together by a nest of piping and pressure valves; pressure readouts are standard, and these metal beasts need to be maintained regularly. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 9 ranks Steamwork Sentry Array [Steamwork] A steamwork sentry array is another method of linking up smaller devices to a central engine to create a larger network, and can be combined with an arcanomech eye array to give a readout of what sentries and eyes are active and in what locations. Like with an arcanomech eye array, all sentries benefit from a +2 bonus to Spot checks for an hour after any individual sentry is set off. The switchboard for a steamwork sentry array also displays the ammunition remaining in each sentry. As with an eye array, the entry in the table reflects the central engine hub of the array. The cost does not include that of the sentries linked up to it. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks Steamwork Siege Weapon [Steamwork] Large and powerful siege weapons such as ballista can be mounted in a steamwork cradle, a mechanical array that aids the crew by making it turn far faster and by semi-automating the process of reloading it. These steamwork weapon hardpoints are often placed on heavily defended fortifications that have need of the additional firepower. A siege weapon mounted in one of these cradles can turn without impediment through a full 360 degrees, and can turn as far as the operator wishes in a single round. In addition, the loading period is halved in duration. Any sizeable weapon can be mounted in one of these. Weather Tower [Steamwork] A massive structure that reaches high into the air, a weather tower sprouts whirling gyroscopic machines and delicate crystal vanes, weather balloons and lightning conductors. Huge globes of metal that crackle with energy rotate around the top of the tower on a metal framework, arcane energy playing and dancing over the surface of the machinery. Within, arcane machinery growls and thrums in laboratories where the various sensors, detectors and
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devices provide readouts on the weather conditions, predicting potential changes on a much larger scale than a meteorometer. An active weather tower can predict weather up to a weak in advance with a 90% chance of accuracy; for every additional week ahead a forecast is made the chance of accuracy reduces by 20%. Most impressive however is the function of the machinery at the top of the tower, effectively a huge amplification device for weather-altering magics. A spellcaster who casts control weather while in the upper chamber of an active weather tower has the radius of the spell increased by 1 mile and the duration doubled. Additionally, the lightning conductors on a weather tower automatically reduce all electricity damage dealt to the structures to zero. Weather towers find many uses. Often placed within cities to aid in keeping the weather clement and withstanding the worst weather, especially that brought about by hostile will, they are also used by some less pleasant individuals to keep a constant pall of fog or bad weather over the surrounding area. They are also often attached to seabourne oilrigs to help protect the structure from the hazardous weather of the oceans. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 16 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 15 ranks, Knowledge (Meteorology) 15 ranks
The mighty race of dragons has little to do with steam technology in general. Immensely powerful, they often see little use in it for themselves, and view the expansion of industrialising nations into their territory as evidence that it is time to put the lesser species back in their place. On the other hand, canny dragons often make use of steamwork devices for their minions and servants, and it may well be possible to convince them of the potential of steam technology if shown how it can be used for their own comfort and power.
M el ding Man with Machine
his section deals with steam powered mechanical prosthetics, replacements for limbs and lost body parts crafted through clever artifice and scientific principles. Normally when a character suffers a grievous injury that shatters their body, or they lose a limb through accident or battle, they have two options. The first is to seek out a cleric for healing, and hope that there is one powerful enough to cast regenerate. However, such a cleric isn’t always on hand, and in some settings with greater restrictions on healing a character has to take the second option, which is to live with the injuries they suffered.
Steamwork prosthetics – sometimes called rivet surgery, bionics or machine medicine – is another option, by which a character has their damaged or missing body part replaced by a new mechanical form. While most people are attached enough to their own body that the idea of having to have a steamwork replacement will never be superior to just having their old limb back, the enhanced strength and toughness afforded by a steamwork prosthetic can be superior to the old flesh and blood. Prosthetics often end up as a symbol of being a grizzled veteran, one who has seen many battles, and people generally find those who bear prosthetic parts quite intimidating. Of course, if it were as simple as prosthetics being superior to the original body parts then they might be more popular, perhaps even characters voluntarily undergoing surgery to have a perfectly fine arm replaced with a metal claw-limb. However, like with all steamwork devices, prosthetics may need fuelling depending on the engine type used, and need maintenance to keep them running. No warrior would want his swordarm to simply seize up (or worse) in the middle of a fight. Those who end up with prosthetics usually spend a lot of time and effort on the parts of them that are now mechanical and endeavour to become skilled in steamwork sciences. For some that are especially heavily modified, the penalty for failure in this field is death.
Getting a Prosthetic
f a character loses a limb or suffers crippling body damage they may wish to seek out a surgery that can fit a prosthetic. Assuming they can afford the cost, and find someone capable of giving the treatment, they then undergo an operation where the surgeon attempts to fix the prosthetic to them. This is usually the easy part.
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To successfully graft a steamwork prosthetic to a patient, a surgeon must make a Heal check (DC 12). Failure means the operation itself is simply a failure. This is not a problem because more operations can be attempted, but it does delay the whole process. Most surgeons use some sort of anaesthetic where possible. Specialised versions of the sleep spell, strange and exotic concoctions of drugs, and other even odder possibilities are employed. In some cases a character might be the involuntary subject of an operation, perhaps a captive about to be mechanised as an experiment; gruesomely, such experimenters often use variants of the hold person spell, leaving the captive fully conscious for the operation but simply unable to struggle. Some surgeons who simply don’t have access to any anaesthetics at all do the same, figuring that either the patient can be in pain and struggling or in pain and still. The possibility of having to go to a surgeon in a setting without any advanced form of anaesthetic is enough to put off most from the idea of ever undergoing such madness as to have a limb voluntarily removed for a superior prosthetic replacement. Once a prosthetic is grafted it will operate as intended, but the character must make Maintenance checks and refuel it as appropriate. In addition for the first d3 days after grafting a character suffers a –2 check to attack rolls and skill checks made using the prosthetic, as they are not acclimatised to it and tend to misjudge and act clumsily. Unfortunately what many fantasy settings share with the real medieval period is poor sanitation and living conditions, and a newly applied prosthetic is a prime source of infection, if some form hasn’t already been contracted in the dirty operating theatre of a prosthetic surgery. The character must make a Fortitude check (DC 10) after 24 hours or contract a random disease immediately. The check is modified by the factors on the following table: Condition Mod Surgeon has 6 or more ranks in Heal +2 Surgeon has 15 or more ranks in Heal +2 Character is involved in combat with monsters within 24 hours -2 Monsters have a disease-causing attack -4 Character has cure disease cast on them +8 Character spends time in squalid conditions (slums, poor area, etc). -2 Character has been within 5ft of another diseased character within 24 hours -2 Technology level is crude or poor -2 Prosthetic technology level is advanced +2 Technology level is high steam-power +4 There is always a danger of infections or blood poisoning for characters with prosthetics and they tend to be slightly more vulnerable to diseases. A character with any prosthetics suffers a –1 penalty to saving throws against disease.
escribed here is a list of different prosthetic parts that can be surgically grafted to a character. Some are more advanced than others and as such a culture might not have access to all of them, more likely just the cruder forms with more advanced prosthetics being created only by individual master craftsmen and found as relics of ancient civilisations. The category assigned in the Size entry is for a character of Medium size. Characters of larger or smaller size have to be fitted with prosthetics scaled accordingly, which may mean they need a larger or smaller engine to power them.
Bronze Hand [Steamwork] This form of prosthetic is designed in the fashion of a metal hand, pistons and gears replicating the manner in which real fingers move. The machinery within is easily accessible via a plate on the palm of the hand that swings open to allow refuelling of the tiny engine within. A bronze hand replicates a real hand with no bonuses or penalties; the machinery is well-crafted and delicate enough that its mimicry of real hand movements and reactions is excellent but the machin-
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Name Size Cost Maintenance DC fight simply have the stump fitted with a weapon such as a Bronze Hand Tiny 1,000gp 8 sword or hook, an iron claw is Iron Chest Small 3,000gp 7 a superior weapon since it Iron Claw Tiny 750gp 7 returns to the character some Iron Jaw Tiny 200gp use of their hand as well as a Iron Jaw, Steamwork Tiny 700gp 6 weapon. An iron claw can be Iron Throat Tiny 400gp 7 used as a simple weapon, dealIron Throat, Superior Tiny 1,000gp 6 ing d6 damage with a threat Iron Vital Tiny 800gp 6 range of 19-20/x2, and attacks Omnimaw Small 12,000gp 6 made with it benefit from a +2 Piston-Strength Small 2,500gp 8 Strength bonus. If used to Rust Blood Diminutive 100gp crush an object in the claw, Steamwork Arm Small 2,000gp 7 the Strength bonus increases Steamwork Heart Tiny 5,000gp 5 to +4 (this benefit is not Steamwork Leg Small 1,000gp 7 gained in combat, only against Steamwork Wing Medium 4,000gp 8 inanimate objects). Any skill Steel Blood Tiny 50,000gp checks made involving an Steal Ear Diminutive 2,000gp 7 iron claw suffer a –1 penalty. Steel Eye Diminutive 3,000gp 7 Creation: Craft Steel Nose Diminutive 6,000gp 8 (Steamworks) 9 ranks Treads Medium 12,000gp 7 Treads, Spider-walk Medium 17,000gp 8 Iron Jaw ery lacks in the crude strength that some prosthetThis prosthetic replaces the character’s jaw ics have. with one crafted from iron, designed for those Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks suffering grievous wounds to the jaw in battle or industrial accident. The usual design is a hefty Iron Chest [Steamwork] This prosthetic replaces a large section of the metal jaw riveted to the remnants of the characcharacter’s chest with metal plates and pieces, ter’s lower face, often crafted to have intimidating forming an artificial lung for those whose own steel teeth jutting up from it. Despite the name, breathing organs are severely damaged. A charac- versions of this prosthetic can also be crafted for ter with an iron chest gains a +1 bonus to their creatures with more exotic mouthparts such as natural armour from all the machinery. If the iron beaks. An iron jaw of any form does not need an chest ever ceases functioning, back-up machinery engine to power it. A character with an iron jaw kicks in to keep some semblance of air reaching may designate one of his unarmed attacks per the character’s system, but he suffers a –4 penalty round to be made with a bite that deals normal to all attacks, saves and checks and becoming damage and not subdual damage. A character fatigued very easily if they undergo any strenuous with an iron jaw that already has a natural bite activity. If the back-up machinery fails as well, attack gains a +1 damage bonus on that attack. the character will begin to suffocate, eventually Iron Jaw, Steamwork [Steamwork] dying unless the machine is activated again. This steamwork prosthetic is a powerful iron Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks jaw fitted with piston augmentation and a very small engine to power it. A character with a Iron Claw [Steamwork] Unlike a bronze hand, an iron claw is not a steamwork jaw gains the same benefits as carefully crafted mimicry of a real hand. Instead from a normal iron jaw, except that when it is a heavy and powerful mechanised claw. the engine is fired up the jaw can be While some who lose their hand but still need to used to make bite attacks with an
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additional +4 machine bonus to Strength. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 6 ranks Iron Throat [Steamwork] This prosthetic looks like a collar of metal around the characters throat, studded with pieces of machinery and vents. It is designed for a character whose throat has been damaged, usually after having been savaged by some creature, and whose breathing and speaking capabilities impaired. Just by having a steamwork throat implanted a character with a ruined throat can breath without problems, even when the throat is inactive. When the steamwork prosthetic is activated they can speak without problems, although the quality of their voice depends on the quality of the iron throat. The crude mechanisms are not particularly accurate in mimicking the characters voice, and when he speaks he can sound more like the metal voice of a construct or the grinding noise of gears, a sinister, deep and mechanised voice. A character with an iron throat suffers a 5% chance of spell failure for spells with a verbal component due to this impediment. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks Iron Throat, Superior [Steamwork] Crafted with much finer mechanisms than a normal iron throat, a superior iron throat recreates the speakers original voice quite accurately, with only a metallic reverberation or occasional hiss of steam. A character with a superior iron throat does not suffer the 5% spell failure chance. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Iron Vital [Steamwork] This prosthetic replaces a vital organ like a liver or kidney, using a mix of steamwork science and alchemy to keep the character alive and functioning. Usually accessible via a metal hatch for fuelling and maintenance, if an iron vital fails the character suffers a –2 penalty to attacks, saves and skill checks as their body begins to go wrong, and they have 1 day to fix it or get a replacement. If they do not do so then they take d6 Constitution damage every day until they either die or get a fixed or replaced vital. Creation: Craft (Alchemy) 9 ranks, Craft (Steamworks) 9 ranks Omnimaw [Arcana, Steamwork] An omnimaw is a magical prosthetic, a carefully enchanted set of complex metal pumps and rune-encrusted chambers that replace the subject’s original stomach and digestive tract. A character with an omnimaw can derive sustenance from eating anything, from meat to grass to sandstone, the arcane industry of the prosthetic drawing nutrition forth from any consumed substances. It also automatically neutralises any ingested poisons that pass through it. Caster Level: 11th Creation: Create Wondrous Item, neutralise poison, Craft (Steamworks) 15 ranks Piston-Strength [Steamwork] Rather than being a prosthetic replacement for an entire body part, piston-strength is one of the few steamwork augmentations that a character might consider having grafted on voluntarily. It involves incorporating pistons and machinery into the arms, shoulders or both of a character, and unfortunately the bulk of the machinery involved means that it cannot be discreetly buried beneath the skin. Instead much of it protrudes from the flesh and muscle, steel pistons and joints erupting from the surface, and is often quite unsightly. Those who need the extra muscle power, usually heavy labourers who also want a bit of intimidating strength and mercenaries, are sometimes willing to undergo this treatment to get an extra edge in battle. Some powerful beings also have their minions enhanced with pistonstrength. A character with this augmentation benefits from a +2 machine bonus to Strength and a +1 bonus to their natural armour. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks, Heal 8 ranks Rust Blood A crude form of manufactured blood, a primitive mimicry of steel blood, this substance appears like liquid, coppery rust, lumps coagulating and flowing apart. It consists of small, simple machines suspended in a medium that can be injected into patients to give their immune sys-
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
tem a small boost. A character who has an injec- one, an aesthetic design made to help cushion the tion of rust blood gains a +4 machine bonus to any psychological impact of having to rely on a steamsaving throws against diseases during a period of work device to stay alive. A metal hatch on the 48 hours as the machines patrol their body and chest of the character allows access for refuelling attack invading infections and maintenance, and suchlike. After the 48 although those who can hours has passed the natural possibly afford it try to processes of the system s well as being subject to the com- buy a steamwork heart flush the rust blood out mon diseases that affect everyone, with an engine type that harmlessly. characters with prosthetics also doesn’t need refuelling. A Creation: Craft become potential targets for more specific steamwork heart is gener(Steamworks) 16 ranks ally only implanted under infections. urgent need, when a charBlood-metal Fever acter’s heart is rapidly failSteamwork Arm Hearsay and rumour cloud the origins ing due to injury or dis[Steamwork] of this horrific disease. Some say that it is ease, and the operation is A relatively common form of prosthetic, a steam- the result of an experimentation in creat- exceptionally risky (+8 to work arm is designed to ing mechanised creatures that went horri- the DC of a prosthetic implant operation when replace a limb lost through bly wrong and escaped the confines of a implanting a steamwork industrial accident, battle or laboratory, while others claim it is a divine punishment from the gods to make heart). A character with a infection. A steamwork arm steamwork heart is either replaces from the those who embrace technology repent immune to any attacks shoulder or the elbow, both their sins. What is known is that it only versions being identical in infects people with steamwork prosthetics, that work by causing a heart attack, whether mageffects. The prosthetic is as the disease affecting both the flesh of the character and the metal of their replaceical or not, for instance the articulate and dextrous as ment limbs. The exact point where one phantasmal killer spell. Of the original limb, as well as course, if a steamwork possessing of superior starts and the other ends begins to blur, metal rusting with blood-coloured stains heart malfunctions and strength, but if it runs out of fuel or malfunctions then and flowing through the blood of the vic- breaks the character is in the character cannot use it tim as their flesh starts to absorb the bion- serious trouble. Creation: Craft at all. Any attack rolls and ic device. Before long the overload of skill checks made with the metal flowing into the system of the char- (Steamworks) 15 ranks steamwork arm, for acter usually proves fatal. Even those who instance an unarmed attack survive may be left with irreparably damSteamwork Leg aged prosthetics that have been re-crafted or a weapon it is gripping, [Steamwork] by their own flesh into horrifically organic gain a +2 bonus to Strength. Like a steamwork arm, Creation: Craft patterns. this type of prosthetic is Infection: Contact (Steamworks) 8 ranks relatively common, mainDC: 17 ly amongst industrial Incubation: 1 day workers and soldiers. It Steamwork Heart Damage: 1d4 Con [Steamwork] returns mobility to a charOne of the most drastic acter whose leg is lost or prosthetic alterations a character can get, a steam- mangled, although if it runs out of fuel or locks work heart is a fist-sized steamwork pump made up then the character can only hobble at half up of gears, moulded metal and pipes that link their normal movement speed. An into the blood stream. Often the main pump unarmed attack delivered with a kick chamber of the heart is shaped to look like a real of a steamwork leg benefits from a
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+2 Strength bonus, and a character with this prosthetic gains a +2 machine bonus to Balance checks. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks Steamwork Wing [Steamwork] This type of prosthetic is only found amongst races of an aerial nature that have wings and a knack for the sciences. It cannot be implanted onto a character that did not originally have wings since their muscle and bone structure are entirely wrong for its use. Constructed from metal struts, gears and pistons along with leathery canvas or feathers or some other material as appropriate to the species, steamwork wings return the capability of flight to a character that has had its wings damaged or destroyed, although it does not give any additional bonuses. If a pair of steamwork wings malfunction while the character is in the air they can still use the wings to glide clumsily down to the ground, except in the case of a Catastrophic Malfunction. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 15 ranks Steel Blood Steel blood is a silvery substance that looks like liquid metal. In fact it consists of hundreds of tiny machines just smaller than the eye can make out. Much like living oil and living steel, steel blood is an example of very highly advanced technology usually only created by high steam-power cultures, and can sometimes be found in small vials in the ruins of past empires. It does not follow the normal rules for steamwork prosthetics, and the machines seem self-maintaining and self-fuelling, possibly siphoning energy out blood. If injected into the blood stream of a character, steel blood bolsters their immune system, the tiny machines spreading through the body to protect and enhance. A character with steel blood gains a +4 bonus to all saving throws against poison and disease. After having steel blood in their system for a week a character benefits from a +2 bonus to their Strength, Dexterity and Constitution ability scores as the blood works to improve their physique, reactions and resilience. By concentrating mentally a character can flush steel blood out of their system, the liquid metal pouring out of their nose where it can be recollected. A character loses the bonuses to saves the moment steel blood leaves their system, but the ability score bonuses persist for a week before they fade. The entry given in the table above is for one vial of steel blood. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 20 ranks Steel Ear [Steamwork] This prosthetic device replaces lost or damaged ears as well as the organs just within that sense sound. Used to cure deafness caused by damage to an ear, this prosthetic is unusual in that it is sometimes voluntarily implanted by thieves and rogues who want to improve their sense of hearing – especially by those who already have an ear lobe mangled or lost through a fight or punishment. A character with a steel ear benefits from a +2 machine bonus to Listen checks due to the complex machinery within the device. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 15 ranks Steel Eye [Steamwork] A complex and delicate device, a steel eye is a prosthetic replacement for a real eye. Either the entire socket of the eye is filled with a block of machinery that mounts a lens through which the character can see, or a more refined device shaped like an eye is fitted back in, surgically reattached so that the muscles around the eye can move it as if it were a genuine one. Both devices grant sight back to a character that has lost an eye. A character with a steamwork eye can use the device to magnify their vision in and out as well as granting greater clarity and focus, and they gain a +2 machine bonus to Search and Spot checks. A character using a rolling eye device can patch the vision of the rolling eye straight into a steel eye. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Steel Nose [Steamwork] A less common prosthetic, a steel nose replaces a lost or damaged nose as well as filling the nasal cavity with alchemechanical machinery. Cruder versions are little more than unseemly blocks of metal but with superior technology a more refined and aesthetically crafted steel nose is pos-
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
sible. A steel nose is full of complex alchemical devices that grant the character a highly refined sense of smell, giving them the Scent ability when the nose is active. Creation: Craft (Alchemy) 12 ranks, Craft (Steamworks) 9 ranks Treads [steamwork] A drastic modification, this prosthetic replaces the entire lower body of a character, rooting their abdomen into a metal machine and engine mounted on treads driven by dozens of small wheels. Somewhat like a mechanised wheelchair except that the character is actually grafted into the machinery, characters on treads move at a base speed of 20ft, the tracks granting them fairly good mobility over uneven terrain even considering their limited state. A character with treads gains a +3 bonus to their natural armour. Back-up life support systems built into the throne grant the character a +2 bonus to Fortitude saves. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Treads, Spider-Walk [Steamwork] Like the treads prosthetic, this device replaces the lower half of a character with a steamwork throne mounted atop eight long, metal legs driven by pistons and gears. The character can move at a base speed of 30ft rather than 20ft, and obstacles such as stairs no longer hamper their movement for the slender legs are remarkably agile and dextrous. Like treads, a spider-walk system grants a +3 bonus to natural armour and a +2 bonus to Fortitude saves. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 15 ranks This section details a number of upgrades possible to prosthetics. Alchemist’s Breath [Steamwork] An upgrade that can be made to an iron chest or throat, alchemist’s breath uses alchemical substances and filters to allow the character to breath in environments such as toxic gases or even underwater. Note that this doesn’t protect against the cloudkill spell like a sealed environment does. A character with alchemist’s breath can activate it as a standard action, and can breath in such environments for up to half an hour, after which the alchemical reserves run out and need to be topped up. Creation: Craft (Alchemy) 8 ranks, Craft (Steamworks) 5 ranks Arcane Vision [Arcana, Steamwork] A magical upgrade that can be made to a steel eye, arcane vision fills the prosthetic with arcane machinery and mystic circuitry. It allows the character to see as of by detect magic and see invisibility, each once per day. Caster Level: 6th Creation: Craft Wondrous Item, detect magic, see invisibility, Craft (Steamworks) 9 ranks Arm Spikes [Steamwork] This upgrade incorporates a row of vicious bladed spikes concealed in a steamwork arm. When activated the spikes flick out and can be used in combat so that the damage caused by unarmed attacks is normal damage, not subdual. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 5 ranks Augmented Strength [Steamwork] By heavily augmenting the engine and pistons on a steamwork prosthetic, this upgrade increases any machine Strength bonus granted in any form by the device by an additional +2. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Blood-feeder Engine [Steamwork] This upgrade can be used with any steamwork prosthetic that has a blood drinker engine. What the upgrade does is to siphon off blood straight
Name Alchemist’s Breath Arcane Vision Arm Spikes Augmented Strength Blood-Feeder Engine Crystal Iris Injection System Name Integrated Weapon Poison Sensor Cost +500gp +2,000gp +20gp +4,000gp +250gp +1,000gp +500gp Cost +150gp +500gp
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out of the character’s blood stream to feed the engine. While an efficient way to power the device, a blood-feeder weakens the character from blood loss, inflicting a –1 penalty to attack rolls, skill checks and saves. A character can negate these penalties for one hour by voluntarily suffering 2d6 subdual damage. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 9 ranks Crystal Iris [Steamwork] This upgrade can be made to a steel eye. Careful augmentation of the prosthetic’s light sensitivity by amplification lenses of crystal and tiny pieces of glass grant a character with a crystal iris low-light vision. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks Injection System [Steamwork] An upgrade that can be attached to any steamwork device, an injection system incorporates a small medical device. It consists of a glass chamber and some machinery designed to inject the contents of the chamber into the character’s blood stream directly; this can be done as a free action. Special troops or guard creatures fitted with combat drugs usually use it, but some alchemist mages are now developing ‘blood potions’ that can be injected directly into the blood with the normal effect of the potion, rather than having to drink it. A character can make a ‘blood potion’ by altering the usual methods of brewing potions; the cost is increased by 25%, and blood potions can only be injected, having no effect if drunk normally. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks, Heal 8 ranks Integrated Weapon [Steamwork] This upgrade integrates a concealed weapon into a prosthetic. It is a free action to retract or reveal an integrated melee weapon, while ranged weapons can be fired from the prosthetic without needing to reveal them. The size of the weapon is limited by the size of the prosthetic, although stripped-down crossbow or firearm devices can be fitted into a Small steamwork arm but require an additional full round action to reload. Melee weapons can either be attached to the prosthetic, or can simply be stored there and wielded as separate weapons when activated. Integrated weapons are often used as assassination devices, in particular the use of hand crossbows or shuriken that are fired from a steamwork arm and dosed with poison. They are also handy aids when a character would otherwise be facing enemies while unarmed. The cost of the integrated weapon upgrade does not include the cost of any weapons themselves. Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks Poison Sensor [Steamwork] This upgrade can be added to iron vitals and steamwork hearts. The device contains alchemical sensors that pick up on increasing levels of toxins and poisons in the bloodstream, alerting the character and attempting to counteract them. A poison sensor grants a +2 bonus to saving throws against poison. Creation: Craft (Alchemy) 9 ranks, Craft (Steamworks) 6 ranks
Steamwork Prosthetics in a World with Magical Healing
he prosthetic devices here can, to an extent, be rendered irrelevant in a fantasy world where the capability to cast healing spells is easily available and divine spellcasters are common. If every time a commoner gets a scratch there’s a cleric on hand to heal him, then obviously few people will ever need or want a steamwork prosthetic. Presented here are a number of brief ideas about how a setting can be modified to make the use of prosthetic devices more common. Some of these suggestions might result in a more gritty style of game-play when a party of adventurers cannot simply rely on a healer to get them back up to full strength after every battle, while others have less of an impact on the way that the game is played.
The PC’s Are Special: Although in the core rules there are no real rules for damage to specific locations that might result in the need for a pros-
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
thetic, it can be assumed that in most pitched battles the mass of casualties will include some who have lost an arm, leg, or other replaceable body part. Equally, the industrial labourers in a heavy machinery factory might occasionally fall foul of accidents where they have a limb crippled or mangled in the workings of some device. Player characters can continue to fight and battle in the same ways they always have done, with healing easily on hand from divine healers and the replenishing of hit points not hampered by more critical forms of damage. In the world around them there will be NPC’s who have need of steamwork prosthetics from the injuries they suffer, but player characters only suffer hit point damage from attacks as normal (except in exceptional circumstances). The Cost of Healing: If costs for healing spells are rigorously imposed, many of the common populace may not be able to afford curative or regenerative spells. Unable to get divine healing they have to turn to physicians and doctors for their wounds, and to steam surgeons for the more crippling injuries. High-level Healing: All healing spells could be l increased in level. This might be limited to some religions, or all of them, with divine forms of healing simply being rare and hard to cast. Most people have to turn to more conventional forms of healing. No Healing: With this option, there is no healing available, or it is incredibly rare. Entire religions and faiths simply do not have access to any healing spells. Perhaps a druidic hermit living deep in a forest might know the secrets for a few curative spells, but for the bulk of the characters in such a setting, reality is harsh and unforgiving and injuries easily crippling. Steamwork augmentations would be far more common in a situation where there is no form of regenerative spell at all. Limited Healing: It may be that there are some sorts of damage that healing spells simply cannot deal with. It might be as mundane as flesh burned by fire being beyond such divine healing, or it might be that the tainted attacks of demonic creatures inflict injuries that cannot be restored by the power of faith – demon hunters might bear many scars and prosthetics from their battles. Hit Locations: A system using hit locations for critical hits could be implemented, with a chance that critical hits can cause more permanent and crippling forms of damage, even severing limbs.
Beasts of S teel
his section lays out rules for the beasts of steel that steam technology makes possible, from the small dangerous spider sentinels to the colossal behemoths, from armoured trains to steamwork dirigibles cruising high in the skies. Driven by the coursing heat of steam in their boilers, and armed with the crushing strength of metal and machinery, these constructs and vehicles can revolutionise travel, warfare, and the general lifestyle of those around them.
Medium-Size Construct [Steamwork] Hit Dice: 2d10+20 (31 hp) Initiative: +1 (+1 Dex) Speed: 30ft. AC: 15 (+1 Dex, +4 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 14 Attacks: Slam +3; or alchemist’s cannon Damage: 1d6+2; or by cannon type Space/Reach: 5ft./ 5ft. Special Attacks: Alchemist’s cannon Special Qualities: Construct, Hardness 5, Maintenance, Scent, Volatile Saves: Fort +0 Ref +1 Will +2 Abilities: Str 14 Dex 12 Con - Int - Wis 14 Cha 1 Feats: Scent* Climate/Terrain: Any Organisation: Solitary or pack (2-5) Challenge Rating: 3 Treasure: None Alignment: Neutral Advancement: 3-4 HD (Medium); 5-6 HD (Large) The ‘alchemist’s hound’ is a veritable walking alchemy kit, a steamwork construct packed with as many bubbling glass flasks of chemicals as gears and pistons. It gets its name from its quadrupedal, hunched appearance and from the fact that creators with artistic pretensions often craft alchemist’s hounds to look like great wolves or guard dogs made of metal, wood and glass. Normally powered by an alchemechanical engine, hounds are employed as guard constructs. The myriad of alchemical devices mimics an advanced sense of smell as well as powering the construct’s main weapon, an alchemical cannon, the barrel of which juts out of the hound’s gaping maw. Alchemist’s hounds can understand and obey orders in one language. They cannot speak,
teamwork constructs tend to be rather noisy beasts, their joints and pistons hissing with the built-up pressure of the steam flowing through their mechanical body and armour plating clamouring with every movement. They also tend to not be too bright, being driven by machine intelligence that stems from carefully crafted sentience systems, sometimes made from crystalline structures and other times made from amazingly complex arrays of tiny gears. As such, most steamwork constructs have no Intelligence score, although in some cases constructs do possess a more advanced degree of sentience programming. In general, constructs do not possess skills or feats. However, the specialist programming and constructing of some types of steamwork construct imbues them with the innate capability to perform certain tasks and feats, and they can also be upgraded with matrixes that endow them with such abilities. As with other steamwork devices, the steamwork constructs here require maintenance, an engine and fuelling. These constructs are signified with the Steamwork subtype.
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
though they can make mechanical growls and snarls. Combat: Hounds are hardly the brightest of creatures. Their combat programming means they usually attempt to hose down as many attackers as possible with their alchemical cannon until the intruders either flee or die. If a hound is badly damaged it may try and retreat to its owner for repairs, depending on its instructions. Alchemist’s Cannon (Ex): All hounds have an alchemist’s cannon of some variety built into them. The fuel reserves for the weapon are also stored inside the hound’s body and cannot be targeted separately unless the hound is rolled over to reveal its underbelly, a difficult task with any still-functional construct. Since alchemist’s cannons do not need an attack roll to hit the area they attack, hounds can easily do a great deal of damage to closely packed opponents. Construct: An alchemist’s hound is a construct and has the relevant traits and immunities common to that type. Hardness: The metal and machinery parts of an alchemist’s hound grant it hardness 5. Maintenance: An alchemist’s hound has a Maintenance DC of 10. Scent: The incredibly complex alchemical devices within a hound allow it to pick up the barest traces of a scent on the air with alarming ease. An alchemist’s hound automatically gains the Scent feat. Volatile: With their bubbling concoction of alchemical innards and the ammunition fuel for an alchemist’s cannon, hounds are potentially walking explosives. Whenever a hound is struck in melee combat, there is a 5% chance it detonates as if for the Kaboom! Result on an acid thrower. When destroyed, the chemical buffers and mechanisms keeping the alchemy in check stop working, and the hound explodes as per the Kaboom! result in d3 rounds. The only warning that this is about to happen are thin, wispy plumes of acrid smoke rising from the wreckage with increasing vigour. Constructing an Alchemist’s Hound: Creation: Alchemy 9 ranks, (Steamworks) 9 ranks Cost: 5,000gp
Small Automaton Small Construct [Steamwork] Hit Dice: 1d10+10 (16 hp) Initiative: +1 (+1 Dex) Speed: 20ft. AC: 17 (+1 Dex, +5 natural, +1 size), touch 12, flatfooted 16 Attacks: Slam +0 Damage: Slam d4 Space/Reach: 5ft./5ft. Special Attacks: None Special Qualities: Construct, Hardness 5, Maintenance Saves: Fort +0 Ref +1 Will +0 Abilities: Str 10 Dex 12 Con – Int – Wis 10 Cha 1 Medium-Sized Automaton Medium-Sized Construct [Steamwork] Hit Dice: 2d10+20 (31 hp) Initiative: +0 Speed: 30ft. AC: 17 (+7 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 17 Attacks: Slam +3 Damage: Slam 1d6+3 Space/Reach: 5ft./5ft. Special Attacks: None Special Qualities: Construct, Hardness 5, Maintenance Saves: Fort +0 Ref +0 Will +0 Abilities: Str 15 Dex 10 Con – Int – Wis 10 Cha 1 Climate/Terrain: Any Organisation: Labourer (1 plus owner) or work gang (2-6 + foreman) Challenge Rating: Small ½; Medium 1; Large 3; Huge 6; Gargantuan 9; Colossal 12 Treasure: None Alignment: Neutral Steamwork automatons – or automata – are constructs created to provide mechanised labour, and they come in a number of shapes and sizes. Small and especially larger automata might move by four or more legs, or tracks, but automatons are generally bipedal and roughly humanoid in shape, broad metal shoulders hinting at the
Steam & Steel
Large Construct [Steamwork] Hit Dice: 4d10+30 (52 hp) Initiative: +0 Speed: 30ft. AC: 19 (+11 natural, -1 size), touch 9, flat-footed 19 Attacks: Slam +7 Damage: Slam 1d8+7 Space/Reach: 10ft./10ft. Special Attacks: None Special Qualities: Construct, Hardness 5, Maintenance Saves: Fort +1 Ref +1 Will +1 Abilities: Str 20 Dex 10 Con – Int – Wis 10 Cha 1
Gargantuan Construct [Steamwork] Hit Dice: 16d10+60 (148 hp) Initiative: -1 (-1 Dex) Speed: 40ft. AC: 22 (-1 Dex, +17 natural, -4 size), touch 5, flatfooted 22 Attacks: Slam +18/+13/+8 Damage: Slam 2d8+15 Space/Reach: 20ft./15ft. Special Attacks: Trample Special Qualities: Construct, Hardness 10, Maintenance Saves: Fort +5 Ref +4 Will +5 Abilities: Str 30 Dex 8 Con – Int – Wis 10 Cha 1
Huge Construct [Steamwork] Hit Dice: 8d10+40 (84 hp) Initiative: -1 (-1 Dex) Speed: 40ft. AC: 22 (-1 Dex, +15 natural, -2 size), touch 7, flatfooted 22 Attacks: Slam +11/+6 Damage: Slam 2d6+10 Space/Reach: 15ft./10 ft. Special Attacks: None Special Qualities: Construct, Hardness 5, Maintenance Saves: Fort +2 Ref +1 Will +2 Abilities: Str 25 Dex 9 Con – Int – Wis 10 Cha 1
Colossal Construct [Steamwork] Hit Dice: 32d10+80 (252 hp) Initiative: -2 (-2 Dex) Speed: 50ft. AC: 22 (-2 Dex, + 22 natural, -8 size), touch 0, flatfooted 22 Attacks: Slam +28/+23/+18/+13 Damage: Slam 4d6+18 Space/Reach: 30ft./15ft. Special Attacks: Trample Special Qualities: Construct, Hardness 10, Maintenance Saves: Fort +10 Ref +8 Will +10 Abilities: Str 35 Dex 7 Con – Int – Wis 10 Cha 1 for canals and moats, and other such heavy-duty tasks. Automatons can understand a single language and respond to commands from authorised operators, and can handle moderately complex tasks. They might be able to make a mechanical noise to signify they have received and understand an order, depending on their construction. Combat: These automatons are not designed specifically for combat. While they can be outfitted with weaponry they lack the heavy armour and tactical programming of combat steamworks. Normal automatons outfitted for construction
massive strength within and engine vents, grills and smokestacks revealing the source of motive power. Small automatons are normally employed for tasks in spaces that are cramped and confined for their operators to get to. Medium-, large- and huge-sized automata generally perform heavy labour jobs where their superior strength is best employed, moving goods around farms, docks and factories, and hauling raw materials around construction sites. The really massive automatons are used to haul huge stone blocks for the building of castles and fortresses, digging huge trenches
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
and labour will use their brute strength if pressed into combat. Trample (Ex): Gargantuan and Colossal automatons can make trample attacks to simply walk over smaller opponents, dealing 2d8+15 and 4d6+18 damage respectively. The Reflex save for half damage is DC 28 (Gargantuan) or DC 38 (Colossal). Construct: All automatons are constructs and have the relevant traits and immunities common to that type. Hardness: Since automatons are mostly made up of metal plates, pipes and gears, they benefit from a hardness value. Maintenance: Automatons have the following Maintenance DC’s: Small & Medium 7; Large and Huge 8; Gargantuan 10; Colossal 12. Constructing a Steamwork Automaton: Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 9 ranks Cost: Small 1,000gp, Medium 2,500gp, Large 4,500gp, Huge 9,000gp, Gargantuan 18,000gp, Colossal 32,000gp even titans and dragons, the pinnacle of steamwork construction. Generally bipedal, standing tall on massive, tower-like armoured legs, behemoths can have any conceivable appearance. From the gold and crimson plated titanic knight of a human empire, smokestacks alone taller than a house and laden with feudal banners, to the slender and graceful form of an elven masterpiece, arcanomech engines driving its elegant movement, to the huge, hunched form of a necromancer’s finest hour, spines and hooks covering it with the corpses of slain enemies and baleful engines coughing out choking black smoke; what behemoths have in common is their massive size and their capability to level armies and raze fortresses. A battle between two behemoths is an impressive sight indeed. Behemoths are effectively massive automatons built for battle, and are not particularly clever. They need the guidance of a tactical expert amongst their crew for them to be optimally effective. Combat: Since most conventional troops, even powerful heroes, are simply no threat, behemoths tend to just wade through enemy armies to seek out and destroy genuine dangers – massive beasts like dragons, siege engines, and other behemoths. They usually spearhead a larger force, smashing fortifications down to allow ground troops to assault. Trail of Destruction: Behemoths move over battlefields with little care for fighting the tiny creatures swarming around their feet, simply crushing them instead. Behemoths are not obstructed in any way from moving over areas occupied by Huge or smaller creatures; anyone they move over in this way must make a Reflex save (DC 16) to avoid the massive, pulverising feet and evade it safely, or else take 4d6+45 damage. Challenge Rating: Behemoths simply cannot be fought in conventional terms by parties of adventurers due to their Monolithic ability (see below), and so no Challenge Rating is provided. Construct: Behemoths are constructs and have the relevant traits and immunities. Crew: Behemoths need constant fuelling, maintenance and observance from a team of expert
Colossal Construct [Steamwork] Hit Dice: 100d10+80 (630hp) Initiative: +0 Speed: 80ft. AC: 52 (+50 natural, -8 size), touch 2, flat-footed 52 Attacks: 2 Slams +112/+107/+102/+97 Damage: 4d6+45 Space/Reach: 70ft./ 40ft. Special Attacks: Trail of Devastation Special Qualities: Challenge Rating, Construct, Crew, Earth-shaker, Hardness 15, Maintenance, Monolithic, Spell Resistance 25 Saves: Fort +33 Ref +33 Will +33 Abilities: Str 100 Dex 10 Con – Int – Wis 10 Cha 1 Climate/Terrain: Any Organisation: Solitary or Apocalypse (2-3) Challenge Rating: Special* Treasure: None Quite possibly the largest beast to walk the earth, even if it is a beast of steel and gears and not of flesh and blood, a behemoth towers over
Steam & Steel
mechanics of the appropriate type – for instance arcanomech behemoths usually boast a number of wizards amongst their crew. As well as mechanics they need a commander and command staff to help guide the behemoth around the battlefield or even take direct control in some circumstances (more difficult if a behemoth has a spirit matrix with a wilful being bound to it). There is usually a garrison of guards in case enemies attempt to storm the construct. If no magical alternatives are available a behemoth needs semaphore crew to use flags for communication with generals and troops outside the behemoth. Crews usually number up to a dozen mechanics, half a dozen command crew and two dozen guards, all capable of moving around the construct by the myriad of tunnels, ladders and internal spaces. Some behemoths have their legs modified to become huge troop-carrying compartments, effectively turning a behemoth into a mobile fortress that can spill elite shock troops into the battle around it at a
moment’s notice. Many behemoths are also fitted with additional weapons to the fists, claws, rams or wrecking balls they use for pummelling each other and buildings, and crew are needed to man these devices which usually include siege ballistae and chemical rocket racks. Earth-shaker: As a behemoth moves, the ground shakes from its immense machine bulk. Anyone within 100 ft. of a moving behemoth suffers a –2 circumstance penalty on all skill checks unless they make a Concentration check (DC 18). Hardness: The immensely heavy armour plating, reinforcements and fortification that covers a behemoth’s hide grants it hardness 15. Maintenance: Behemoths have a Maintenance DC of 12. In addition to other causes of Maintenance checks, every round a behemoth is active, one randomly selected mechanic must make a Maintenance check; behemoths are immense beasts filled with potential to go wrong. A Maintenance check must also be made whenever a behemoth is hit by another behemoth’s slam
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
attack. Since they are so massive, a failed Maintenance check does not result in a roll on the Malfunction table, but instead the machine suffers a –1 penalty to attack rolls, accruing these as Malfunction checks are failed. Monolithic: Behemoths are simply too massive to be even vaguely threatened by anything smaller than their knee-joint mechanisms. A mighty hero with a sword that can slice through steel like butter cannot even reach higher than the metal impact sole on a behemoth’s foot, and a weapon as tiny as a sword just does negligible damage. A wizard’s fireball melts a small patch of armour plating but doesn’t noticeably affect the steel beast. Only Huge and larger-sized creatures can damage a behemoth; anything of smaller size simply does a pathetically irrelevant amount of damage, even if it’s a high-level hero with a vorpal axe. The only way for smaller creatures to damage or destroy a behemoth is to storm it, get onboard and wreck vital mechanisms from the inside. This is an adventure in itself. A behemoth is such a concentration of resources and power that they are without exception immensely heavily guarded. Elite troops guard the lower levels of a behemoth, ready to fight back enemy troopers and cut grapnel ropes, and more reside up on the shoulders and armoured carapace to fend off flying assaults and man weapons. Military spellcasters are often stationed on behemoths, usually in armoured platforms at the knee joints, to lend their firepower to the battle. Entire regiments of soldiers might be waiting for adventurers if they breached the heavily armoured foot entrances. The command crew is also likely to be tough, possibly including high-level and experienced characters positioned to defend the construct’s brainmachinery. Add to this arcanomech eye arrays and steamwork sentries, as well as traps liberally scattered throughout the bulk of the behemoth in the form of steam and pressure blasts, crushing traps and spring-loaded spikes, and fighting through the cramped confines of a construct is a difficult prospect. On the other hand, a party which gains access to a behemoth stealthily or by unconventional means (such as teleportation, though that’s a trick that would only work a handful of times before the enemy wised up and started using magical defences to fend off teleport spells) might be able to get the drop on the crew. Constructing a Behemoth: The cost of building a behemoth is huge, and no price is given here because it is not as simple as tallying up an amount of gold and handing it over. Real experts and masters of the craft must be drafted in to build a construct so huge and with so much weight that needs to be supported and moved by steam power. Getting the parts is not easy, even if the builders know what they want, especially since there may be rare or exotic components needed (especially in those behemoths powered by non-conventional methods like arcane sources or necromancy). This is the kind of process that can take a kingdom years to accomplish. Of course, sometimes behemoths are recovered more or less intact from ancient ruins, the relics of ancient civilisations of vast power, though even then working out how to power and drive them is a dangerous task with dormant defence systems on board.
Medium-Size Construct [Steamwork] Hit Dice: 4d10+20 (42 hp) Initiative: +7 (+3 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative) Speed: 30ft. AC: 23 (+3 Dex, +10 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 20 Attacks: 2 armblades +7 Damage: Armblade d8+4 Space/Reach: 5ft./5ft. Special Attacks: Razor-edged blades Special Qualities: Bodyguard, Combat Calculations, Construct, Evasion, Hardness 5, Maintenance Saves: Fort +1 Ref +4 Will +3 Abilities: Str 18 Dex 16 Con – Int 14 Wis 14 Cha1 Skills: Tumble +8* Feats: Deflect Arrows, Improved Initiative* Climate/Terrain: Any Organisation: Solitary or bodyguard (2-4) Challenge Rating: 4 Treasure: None Alignment: Neutral Advancement: 5-8 HD (Medium), 9-12 HD (Large)
Steam & Steel
Also known as ‘steamwork blade-masters’, eviscerators are the mechanical masters of melee. Humanoid constructs with impassive faceplates and elegant smokestacks, their most striking features are the jagged blades that jut downwards from the wrists in place of hands. Built to take advantage of the capability of machinery to make lightning-fast calculations, eviscerators see how to parry every strike and evade every missile within a fraction of a second. These elite fighting machines are usually created to act as fearsome and intimidating bodyguards for powerful wizards and merchants. Eviscerators cannot speak but they can understand up to three different languages, and can interpret and carry out commands intelligently and diligently. Combat: Eviscerators are clever and athletic combatants, using terrain to their advantage and closing as fast as possible to bring their superior melee skills to bear. Razor-edge blades: The armblades of an eviscerator threaten a critical on a 19-20. Bodyguard: At the beginning of any round, an eviscerator in base contact with another character can designate that as its target for this ability. Instead of using its Deflect Arrows feat and combat calculations ability for itself, it instead makes them for attacks made against the character it is guarding. An eviscerator that is acting as a bodyguard in this way cannot use Deflect Arrows or combat calculations to protect itself. Combat Calculations: Any melee attack made against an eviscerator is evaded or parried if it makes a successful Reflex save (DC 10 + character level of attacker) Construct: Eviscerators are constructs and have the relevant traits and immunities. Evasion: An eviscerator has the evasion ability of a 1st level rogue. Hardness: Eviscerators gain hardness 5 from the fact that they are primarily made up of metal. Maintenance: An eviscerator’s Maintenance DC is 10. Racial Bonuses: Eviscerators gain the Deflect Arrows and Improved Initiative feats, as well as a +5 bonus to Tumble checks. Constructing an Eviscerator: Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks, Knowledge (Mathematics) 7 ranks Cost: 8,000gp
Medium-Size Construct Hit Dice: 6d10+20 (53 hp) Initiative: +8 (+4 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative) Speed: 30ft. AC: 20 (+4 Dex, +6 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 16 Attacks: Slam ++7 Damage: Slam 1d6+6 & tendrils Space/Reach: 5ft./5ft. Special Attacks: Tendrils Special Qualities: Construct, Fast Healing 3, Immunities, Liquid Form, Machine Command, Spell-like Abilities, Spell Resistance 15 Saves: Fort + 2 Ref +6 Will +4 Abilities: Str 18 Dex 18 Con – Int 18 Wis 14 Cha 14 Skills: Craft (Steamworks) +13* Climate/Terrain: Any Organisation: Solitary Challenge Rating: 8 Treasure: Standard Alignment: Usually Neutral Advancement: 7-12 HD (Medium) 13-18 HD (Large) The mysterious constructs called ‘living steel’’ seem to be the survivors of some past civilisation of awesome power and scientific progress. Living steel usually appears as a slim, roughly humanoid figure of rippling, shimmering metal that moves as if it were liquid; the face featureless. No one knows whether this is their true form or whether they mimic the forms of the races they encounter to put them at ease – or unnerve them. In fact living steel is made up of hundreds of absolutely tiny machines, a collective being formed from minute components that flow round one another like water. The exact agenda of living steel never seems certain. They are definitely highly intelligent, and many sages believe they are still tirelessly working on orders given by their now long-dead mas-
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
ters, wandering the world to gather knowledge or guard certain places. Certain powerful artefacts hidden in the ruins of ancient fortresses are known to power detachments of divine source engine steamworks that guard them still, individual examples of living steel are sometimes found directing and overseeing these groups of ancient but still operational – and still dangerous – constructs. These examples lend credence to the belief that living steel is some sort of overseer construct that has split itself into dozens of smaller versions to keep the machines of the broken empire running. Perhaps inevitably considering their intelligence, rogue samples of living steel seem to have arisen, following their own plans and directives. Some seem to be ‘malfunctioning’ and are the machine equivalent of insane, but others are chillingly focused and aware and do not mind killing beings made of flesh to accomplish their aims. Living steel seems capable of understanding any language, but they never seem to communicate to living beings. Combat: Examples of living steel that are still part of the overseer machine prefer to avoid combat if possible to keep themselves undamaged, instead sending subservient constructs to battle for them. Rogue living steel on the other hand can display a great relish for battle. When in combat, living steel tends to use its machine command and spell-like abilities to fight from out of melee range. It makes intelligent use of its fast healing, retreating for a few rounds to regain strength as it sees fit before launching another attack. Tendrils: When living steel hits with its slam attack, it extends tendrils of tiny machines whipping into the opponent, attempting to scramble their innards. A character struck by living steel must make a Fortitude save (DC 15) or suffer an additional 4d6 damage. Construct: Living steel is a construct and has the relevant traits and abilities. Immunities: Living Steel is immune to slashing attacks, fire damage and cold damage. Liquid Form: A sample of living steel can reform itself into just about any shape imaginable as a free action. Humanoid shape is only the baseline, and by reshaping itself, a sample of living steel can slip under a doorway or drain away down a drainpipe. By spreading itself incredibly thinly over a wide area a sample can make itself effectively invisible, only successful Spot checks (DC 15) noticing the faint sheen of the tiny machines that make up living steel. Machine Command: Living steel can command any steamwork device that was created by its civilisation from a range of 50ft. Even machines that have been salvaged from ruins and heavily modified by later owners will revert to the orders of living steel. Even though they are no longer part of the overseer mechanism, rogue living steel samples also possess this capability. Racial Bonuses: Living steel gains a +9 racial bonus to Craft (Steamworks). Spell-like Abilities: 7/day – Magic Missile, Repair Metal; 1/day – dimension door, lightning bolt, rusting grasp. These abilities are cast as if by a 6th level sorcerer (DC 12 + spell level).
Huge Construct [Steamwork] Hit Dice: 12d10+40 (106 hp) Initiative: -1 (-1 Dex) Speed: 40ft. AC: 25 (-1 Dex, +18 natural, -2 size), touch 7, flatfooted 25 Attacks: 2 slams +18/+13; or melee weapon +18/+13; or ranged weapon +8/+3 Damage: Slam 2d6+9; or by weapon Space/Reach: 15ft./10ft. Special Attacks: Roar, Terrifying Charge Special Qualities: Construct, Hardness 5, Maintenance Saves: Fort +4 Ref +3 Will +5 Abilities: Str 28 Dex 8 Con – Int – Wis 12 Cha 1 Climate/Terrain: Any Organisation: Solitary or Detachment (2-6) Challenge Rating: 8 Treasure: None Alignment: Neutral Advancement: 13-24 HD (Huge), 25-36 HD (Gargantuan) Iron juggernauts are large and dangerous constructs designed specifically for battle. Its structure is
Steam & Steel
roughly humanoid in shape, with two ironclad, blocky legs holding up the bulky armoured body that houses the engine and most of the machinery. Large exhaust vents and smokestacks let the powerful engine work at optimum efficiency. The head is usually crafted to look like the helm of an armoured knight, mythical beast, or just left as a crude sensory grill with small eye lenses, slung forwards from the main torso by a thick neck of armoured pistons. Slung under the head are lamp units that can illuminate the area ahead of the construct with stingingly bright light, giving the feeling of anyone standing in the way that there’s an oncoming train, what with the oily smell and growling engine. While a juggernaut can pummel an opponent into oblivion with its arms and stamp on them with its feet, each arm usually bears a piece of weaponry tailor made for destruction. A juggernaut can attack with both weapons in a round or make slam attacks; common weapons are alchemist’s cannons, chemical rocket racks, wrecking balls or huge cleaving axes, and if firearms are available then mechanised arrays of those. Worryingly, iron juggernauts are usually built to be as psychotically aggressive against hostiles as possible, their controlling mechanisms being refined to result in something that most people would consider a wild animal raging with bloodlust, trapped in a metal shell. Combat: Iron juggernauts utilise brute strength or firepower to obliterate their opponents; however, unlike non-military automata they can employ tactics if in a group. Usually a juggernaut just fights until either it or its opponent are destroyed. Juggernauts prefer to use their ranged weapons for short-ranged mayhem before charging into battle. Roar: Those who see a juggernaut in battle who do not understand technology often think the construct is some sort of incarnate of rage, for the engine of the metal beast snarls and roars deafeningly, giving voice to the machine’s destructive nature and mechanical rage. Anyone in melee combat with a juggernaut suffers a –1 morale penalty to attack rolls. Terrifying Charge: A juggernaut piling at full speed forwards, ground shaking and metal engine roaring, is not something most people want to be in front of; most engineers who make juggernauts are aware of this and fashion the warrior constructs to be as intimidating as possible. Anyone that is charged by an iron juggernaut must make a Will save (DC 19) or be shaken for the rest of the combat. Construct: An iron juggernaut is a construct and has the relevant traits and immunities. Hardness: Since an iron juggernaut is mostly composed of metal plates, gears and pipes, it benefits from hardness 5. Maintenance: An iron juggernaut has a Maintenance DC of 10. Constructing an Iron Juggernaut: Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 11 ranks Cost: 20,000gp
Large Undead Hit Dice: 7d12 (49 hp) Initiative: -1 (-1 Dex) Speed: 30ft. AC: 23 (-1 Dex, +15 natural, -1 size), touch 8, flatfooted 23 Attacks: 2 slams +9 Damage: Slam 1d8+6 Space/Reach: 10ft./10ft. Special Attacks: Fist of Entropy, Soul Scream, Spells Special Qualities: Aura of Rust, Hardness 5, Servitors, Undead Saves: Fort + 4 Ref +1 Will +10 Abilities: Str 22 Dex 8 Con – Int 16 Wis 16 Cha 18 Skills: Concentration +10, Craft (Steamworks) +13, Knowledge (Arcana) +13, Listen +13, Spellcraft +13, Spot +13 Feats: Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Necromek, Spell Focus (Necromancy), Toughness Climate/Terrain: Any subterranean Organisation: Solitary (1 iron shroud + servitors) or mausoleum (2-12 + servitors) Challenge Rating: 7 Treasure: Standard Alignment: Usually Neutral Evil Advancement: 8-14 HD (Large), 15-21 HD(Huge)
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
An iron shroud is a disturbing variant of the undead mummy. The remains of a nobleman from some lost civilisation who was embalmed not in wrappings and preservatives but in iron, rivets and machinery, an iron shroud is commonly found in ancient ruins or mausoleums. They appear as some sort of large, ceremonial statue cast from metal – now rusted and pitted with decay – crafted with a death mask and holding symbols of prosperity and power. However, far from being a statue an iron shroud can move with alarming speed and has enough strength to smash a man’s skull with ease, not to mention its other nefarious powers. Some iron shrouds have naught but shattered mentalities, guarding the tombs and mausoleums that are their final resting-places, while others plan and plot to build armies of undead to re-establish the ancient kingdom they came from. Combat: An iron shroud lets its minions servitors move forwards and do the brunt of the fighting while it supports from behind with spells, moving into melee if it looks like it is needed to tip the balance. An iron shroud will attempt to flee if outmatched, but will plot deviously to try and get revenge. Fist of Entropy: A punch from an iron shroud is like being hit with a piston ram, painful enough; but worse still, the necromantic energies concentrated in the shroud act with powerful forces of entropy, causing advanced decay almost immediately. Wounds inflicted by an iron shroud can only be healed by magic. Soul Scream: Once per day an iron shroud can emit a ferocious scream of entropic energy that bites to the very soul of those who hear it. The soul scream affects everyone within 30ft of the shroud, inflicting a –3 penalty to attack rolls, skill checks and saves for one hour unless they make a Will save (DC 14). Spells: An iron shroud has the spellcasting abilities of either a 5th level necromancer or a 5th level cleric (with domains chosen from Death, Knowledge, and Magic). Aura of Rust: Iron shrouds possess an entropic aura that causes machinery to rust, corrode and degrade. The Maintenance DC of any steamwork device within 50ft of an iron shroud is increased by 2. Hardness: Clad in a shroud of metal over their internal machinery, iron shrouds benefit from hardness 5. Servitors: An iron shroud is usually accompanied by 14 HD of undead servitors that are bound to its service – servants who were embalmed and buried alive with their master when he died. Undead: An iron shroud is undead and has all the traits and immunities of that type.
Medium-Size Construct [Steamwork] Hit Dice: 2d10+20 (31 hp) Initiative: +0 Speed: 30ft. AC: 15 (+5 natural armour), touch 10, flat-footed 15 Attacks: Slam +3 Damage: Slam 1d4+3 Space/Reach: 5ft./5ft. Special Attacks: None Special Qualities: Construct, Hardness 5, Maintenance, Programmed Skills Saves: Fort +0 Ref + Will +2 Abilities: Str 14 Dex 10 Con – Int 16 Wis 14 Cha 1 Skills: * Climate/Terrain: Any Organisation: Servant (1 + master) or Secretariat (2-12 + master) Challenge Rating: ½ Treasure: None Alignment: Neutral Advancement: 3-4 HD (Medium), 5-6 HD (Large) A manservant is a steamwork construct crafted to look as close to the humanoid race that made it as possible, its steel or bronze chassis usually formed to make it look like the attire of a clerk or accountant. Designed to be a mechanical secretary for the wealthy businessman or merchant, a manservant is something of a display of wealth and sophistication as well as a computational device.
Steam & Steel
A manservant can speak and understand Common, as well as possibly others if programmed to do so. When it does speak, it is always in a servile manner. Combat: A manservant is not designed for combat. On the other hand, it doesn’t do well to underestimate one, because its punch is like an iron bar and its metal chassis can take hits as well as any armour. Some paranoid merchants fit their manservants with warrior matrixes and in-built weapons to create inconspicuous bodyguards. Construct: A manservant is a construct and has the relevant traits and immunities. Hardness: Due to its metal structure a manservant has hardness 5. Maintenance: A manservant has a Maintenance DC of 8 Programmed Skills: Upon creation a manservant is programmed with up to any three different skills, and has 6 ranks in those skills. If Speak Language is chosen as a skill it gains the ability to speak 3 more languages. Constructing a Manservant: Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks, Diplomacy 5 ranks Cost: 3,500gp all the creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here. AC: The creature gains a +4 bonus to its natural armour. Attacks: The creature retains all its attacks and gains a slam attack if it didn’t already have one, which deals damage according to size. Special Qualities: A mechanised creature retains all the special qualities of the base creature and gains the additional qualities described below. Fortification: A mechanised creature has a 50% chance of ignoring the additional damage inflicted by a critical hit. Hardness: Due to the mechanical parts of its body a mechanised creature gains hardness 5. Maintenance and Fuelling: The mechanical parts of a mechanised creature may need fuelling if powered by certain engine types. It gains a Maintenance DC of 6, as if it were a steamwork construct. Ability Scores: A mechanised creature gains a +4 bonus to Strength. Challenge Rating: As base creature +1.
Large Construct [Steamwork] Hit Dice: 14d10+30 (113 hp) Initiative: +1 (+1 Dex) Speed: 40ft, climb 30ft. AC: 28 (+1 Dex, +18 natural, -1 size), touch 10, flat-footed 27 Attacks: 2 pincers +19/+14, stinger +14 Damage: Pincer 1d8+10, stinger 2d6+5 + poison Space/Reach: 10ft./ 10ft. Special Attacks: Barbed bolts, improved grab, lightning mandibles, poison reservoir Special Qualities: Construct, hardness 5, maintenance, Spell Resistance 18 Saves: Fort +4 Ref +5 Will +7 Abilities: Str 30 Dex 12 Con – Int – Wis 14 Cha 1 Climate/Terrain: Any Organisation: Solitary or Pair Challenge Rating: 13 Treasure: None Alignment: Neutral Advancement: 15-28 HD (Large), 29-42 HD (Huge)
A mechanised creature is an experiment in melding machine and flesh beyond the use of a handful of minor prosthetics. About half of a mechanised creature now consists of machinery and prosthetic parts, creating a nightmarish appearance. Created to act as guards and servants, mechanised creatures tend to be monstrous humanoids and animals since no one else is likely to submit themselves to the treatment; the process of mechanisation is horrific and painful, and many subjects break and go insane. A mechanised animal that escapes a laboratory and runs wild through a city is dangerous indeed. Even those that undergo the process and remain mostly sane tend to be somewhat mentally unstable. ‘Mechanised creature’ is a template that can be added to any creature. Its type remains the same, and it uses
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
A scorpion sentinel, sometimes erroneously called a war golem (for it is not a golem at all) is an incredibly dangerous design of steamwork construct; heavily armoured, fast, and packed with weaponry. It appears as a large scorpion constructed from rippling plates of steel, bronze, or some other metal, with two powerful pincers and a viciously barbed stinger than bristles with hooks and blades. An array of smoked glass eyes peer out from its armour-plated head, below which mechanical mandibles constantly whirr and move in frenzied manner. Scorpion sentinels can be found either as guardians of ruins and tombs built with long-lost technologies along with other types of sentinel, or as the guardian creations of mechanically minded spellcasters. A scorpion sentinel can understand one language, usually Common, though it cannot itself speak. Combat: Scorpion sentinels are built for battle, their compact structure capable of suffering a great deal of damage without a noticeable lessening in efficiency. They attempt to close rapidly, using their barbed bolt and lightning mandible abilities before attempting to rip apart anyone they can get their pincers on in melee. Barbed Bolts: A scorpion sentinel can unleash the barbs in its tail in a spray of metal bolts, inflicting 2d6 damage on everyone in a cone of range 25ft. unless they make a Reflex save (DC 16) to avoid it. It takes 5 rounds for the sentinel to reload the barbs. Improved Grab: A scorpion sentinel that hits with a pincer attack may use this ability. Any character grappled is hit with the stinger automatically each round that they remain grappled. Lightning Mandibles: The delicate and arcane machinery of the sentinel’s mandibles is in fact an
advanced form of static charge generator. It takes 3 rounds for a sentinel to build up enough charge to attack, the crackling of electricity becoming more and more evident in the construct’s maw. Once charged up, it can unleash the energy as a lightning bolt cast by a 5th level sorcerer (DC 13), or alternatively discharge it throughout its metal shell, inflicting 2d6 electrical damage to anyone in base contact unless they make a Reflex save (DC 15). Anyone grappled by the scorpion is automatically hit. Poison Reservoir: A scorpion sentinel’s stinger holds a reservoir of poison that is injected to any creature hit by the stinger attack, enough for 3 doses. Once used up it needs to be either manually refilled, or the sentinel can top up the level of poison by feeding on noxious substances like mercury or other raw chemicals to manufacture a crude poison of some sort. Construct: A scorpion sentinel is a construct and has all the traits and immunities of that type. Hardness: Due to being mostly made of metal, a scorpion sentinel has hardness 5. Maintenance: A scorpion sentinel has a Maintenance DC of 9. Constructing a Scorpion Sentinel: Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 15 ranks Cost: 35,000gp
Steam & Steel
Large Construct [Steamwork] Hit Dice: 10d10+30 (85 hp) Initiative: +0 Speed: 30ft. AC: 20 (+11 natural, -1 size), touch 9, flat-footed 20 Attacks: Slam + 11/+6; or ballista +7 Damage: Slam 1d8+ 7; or ballista 4d6 Space/Reach: 10ft./10ft. Special Attacks: Siege weapon Special Qualities: Construct, Hardness 5, Maintenance Saves: Fort Ref Will Abilities: Str 20 Dex 10 Con – Int – Wis 14 Cha 1 Climate/Terrain: Any Organisation: Solitary or garrison (2-4) Challenge Rating: 5 Treasure: None Alignment: Neutral Advancement: 11-20 HD (Large), 21-30 HD (Huge) A siege sentinel is effectively a walking siege weapon. Two or four mechanised legs support the weapon, usually a ballista though other siege devices are also possible. The pistons and reinforcements allow the siege sentinel to be able to fire even weapons with sizeable recoil. Siege sentinels are usually to be found guarding a fortification or aiding in the siege of one. A siege sentinel understands a single language, usually the Common tongue or the language of its creator. Combat: Siege sentinels usually fire their siege weapons from a great distance, but can turn them against closer attackers as well. If an attacker reaches melee the sentinel will try and batter them to death by ramming them with its bulk. Siege Weapon: A siege sentinel is a fully automated walking siege engine, and reloads its siege weapon through mechanisms that take a partial action to do so. Construct: A siege sentinel is a construct and has all the traits and immunities of that type. Hardness: Due to its metal construction a siege sentinel has hardness 5. Maintenance: A siege sentinel has Maintenance DC of 8. a Constructing a Siege Sentinel: Creation: Craft (Siege Weapons) 7 ranks, Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks Cost: 12,000gp
Large Construct [Construct] Hit Dice: 9d10+30 (81 hp) Initiative: +4 (+4 Dex) Speed: 40ft. AC: 28 (+4 Dex, +15 natural, -1 size), touch 13, flat-footed 24 Attacks: 4 claws + Damage: Claw d8+ Space/Reach: 10ft./10ft. Special Attacks: Poison, slicing blades, spell resistance 15, tear to pieces, terror gaze Special Qualities: Aura of fear, construct, hardness 5, maintenance Saves: Fort Ref Will Abilities: Str 24 Dex 18 Con – Int 14 Wis 14 Cha 14 Climate/Terrain: Any Organisation: Solitary or Pack (2-4) Challenge Rating: 9 Treasure: None Alignment: Neutral Advancement: 10-18 HD(Large), 19-27HD(Huge) A slaughterer is a terror weapon, a fearsome construct that tears its foes apart in horrific manners. Sinuous and serpentine, a slaughterer’s body is supported by four slender metal legs, while four more limbs sprouting from its shoulders end in slicing bladed claws. The head is featureless except for two eyes that burn with blue balefire, while the vents that cough out exhaust fumes only add to the evil aura of the construct. In order to enhance their already sinister appearance, creators often bedeck slaughterers with spines and trophies, and paint them red or black. A slaughterer understands up to three languages, usually Common, Abyssal and Infernal. It cannot speak, though it can hiss and rattle ominously.
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Combat: A slaughterer prefers to attack from ambush though it will quite eagerly wade into combat anyway. It pitches straight into the fiercest melee, hacking apart enemies until either it or they are dead, unless it has been ordered to retreat if outmatched. Poison: The magically treated claws of the slaughterer exude a foul poison that causes intense agony in those it afflicts. The primary and secondary damage for slaughterer poison is d3 strength (DC 12). Slicing Blades: The butchering claws of a slaughterer threaten a critical on a roll of 19-20. Tear to Pieces: Few survive a slaughterer assault. If a slaughterer reduces a character to below 0 hit points with an attack it may make an attack of opportunity on the fallen character immediately. Terror Gaze: The slaughterer possesses a gaze attack with a range of 30ft. If the target fails a Will save (DC 16) they become panicked. Aura of Fear: A slaughterer emits a magical aura that strikes fear into anyone nearby, even those on the same side as the construct. When a slaughterer’s engine is active, anyone within 30ft. suffers a –2 penalty to all Will saves. Construct: A slaughterer is a construct and has the traits and immunities of that type. Hardness: Due to its metal construction a slaughterer has hardness 5. Maintenance: A slaughterer has a Maintenance DC of 9. Constructing a Slaughterer: Creation: Craft Magic Arms and Armour, fear, Craft (Steamworks) 13 ranks Cost: 15,000gp, 600xp
Small Construct [Steamwork] Hit Dice: 1d10+10 (16hp) Initiative: +2 (+2 Dex) Speed: 30ft, climb 20ft. AC: 17 (+2 Dex, +4 natural, +1 size), touch 13, flat-footed 15 Attacks: 2 Forelegs +0 Damage: Foreleg d4 + poison Space/Reach: 5ft./5ft. Special Attacks: Poison Special Qualities: Construct, Hardness 5, Maintenance Saves: Fort +0 Ref +2 Will +1 Abilities: Str 10 Dex 14 Con – Int – Wis 12 Cha 1 Climate/Terrain: Any Organisation: Solitary or Pack (2-12) Challenge Rating: 1 Treasure: None Alignment: Neutral Advancement: 2 HD (Small), 3 HD (MediumSize) A spider sentinel is a small steamwork construct that appears like a metal spider, with spindly legs and a mechanical central body shielded with armour plating. Useful due to their small size, spider sentinels are found acting as guard constructs for those who can afford them. Those created by ancient civilisations still prowl the ruins of their masters lands, often with other sentinel constructs. A spider sentinel can understand a single language, usually that of its creator. Combat: The two forelegs of a spider sentinel are elongated and sharpened, more like blades than limbs. A spider sentinel will simply move into melee and attempt to stab the opponent to death with these forelegs. They usually rove in packs, scuttling forwards in numbers over floor, wall and ceiling to overwhelm enemies. Poison: The forelegs each contain a small reservoir of poison, enough for 1 dose in each. Once the poison has been used it needs to be refilled manually. Some ancient ruins that sentinels still guard seem to have working machines that refill
Steam & Steel
the spiders’ poison for them. Construct: A spider sentinel is a construct and has the relevant traits and immunities of that type. Hardness: Due to its metal structure a spider sentinel has hardness 5. Maintenance: A spider sentinel has a Maintenance DC of 6. Constructing a Spider Sentinel: Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 8 ranks Cost: 2,000gp and mechanically growling. Combat: Not truly intelligent, a steel sentinel’s combat programming is nonetheless excellent and their group tactics are good. This combines with their fearlessness to make them excellent shock troops and guards. Construct: A steel sentinel is a construct and has the traits and immunities of that type. Hardness: Due to its metal structure a steel sentinel has hardness 5. Maintenance: A steel sentinel’s Maintenance DC is 8. See Invisible: A steel sentinel can see invisible creatures and objects as a constant ability. Warrior Construct: Steel sentinels gain the Cleave and Power Attack feats for free. Constructing a Steam Sentinel: Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks Cost: 12,000gp
Large Construct [Steamwork] Hit Dice: 7d10+30 (69 hp) Initiative: +1 (+1 Dex) Speed: 30ft. AC: 22 (+1 Dex, +12 natural, -1 size), touch 10, flat-footed 21 Attacks: 2 slams +12; or weapon +12 Damage: Slam d8+7; or by weapon Space/Reach: 10ft./ 10ft. Special Attacks: None Special Qualities: Construct, Hardness 5, Maintenance, See Invisible, Warrior Construct Saves: Fort +2 Ref +3 Will +3 Abilities: Str 24 Dex 12 Con – Int – Wis 12 Cha 1 Feats: Cleave, Power Attack* Climate/Terrain: Any Organisation: Solitary or squad (2-8) Challenge Rating: 5 Treasure: None Alignment: Neutral Advancement: 8-14 HD (Large) 15-21HD (Huge) A steel sentinel is a basic form of warrior-construct, a hulking, armour-plated humanoid often crafted to resemble a knight or similar type of soldier. Broad-shouldered and with strong arms, steel sentinels can pummel opponents with their fists but are usually equipped with large weapons to attack with instead, in which case they are also given a large steel shield. A steel sentinel can understand one language but cannot speak, although it is capable of making metallic roars
Medium-Sized Construct [Steamwork] Hit Dice: 4d10+20 (42 hp) Initiative: +9 (+5 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative) Speed: 40ft. AC: 21 (+5 Dex, +6 natural), touch 15, flat-footed 16 Attacks: 2 claws + 6; or weapon +6 Damage: Claw d4+3; or by weapon Space/Reach: 5ft./5ft. Special Attacks: Poison Special Qualities: Assassin construct, construct, hardness 5, maintenance, sneak attack +2d6, spell-like abilities Saves: Fort +1 Ref +6 Will +3 Abilities: Str 16 Dex 20 Con – Int 14 Wis 18 Cha 14 Skills: Hide +12, Listen +11, Move Silently +12, Spot +11* Feats: Improved Initiative, Dodge* Climate/Terrain: Any Organisation: Solitary Challenge Rating: 5 Treasure: None Alignment: Neutral Advancement: 5-8HD(Medium), 9-12 HD(Large)
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
People usually associate steamwork constructs with the loud clanking, hissing and growling of their engines and mechanical limbs, which is why steamwork stalkers take them by total surprise. Engineered with stealth in mind, these magical constructs make barely a sound as they move, and are employed as deadly assassins with the strength of steel. Usually clad in cloaks and robes to disguise themselves, steamwork stalkers are tall and slender humanoid constructs, their faces a myriad of lenses and sensors and their delicate arms ending in cruel claws, though they often use a variety of other weapons as well. Their speed of movement is terrifying to behold, and usually the last thing a victim sees. Combat: Steamwork stalkers usually attack from ambush; if they are not doing so it means their mission has been compromised and their presence revealed already. When hunting a target they use their spell-like abilities and skills to get close before delivering the killing blow. Poison: Stalkers usually use poison on their weapons or claws, and obviously have no fear of the danger of poisoning themselves. Assassin Construct: Due to their programming, stalkers gain the Dodge and Improved Initiative feats for free, as well as 7 ranks in Hide, Listen, Move Silently and Spot. Construct: Stalkers are constructs and have the traits and immunities of that type. Hardness: Due to their metal structure, stalkers have hardness 5. Maintenance: A steamwork stalker has a Maintenance DC of 11. Sneak Attack: A stalker has the sneak attack ability of a 3rd level rogue. Spell-Like Abilities: 3/day – invisibility; 2/day – dimension door, glitterdust. These are cast as if by a 7th level sorcerer (DC 12 + spell level) Constructing a Stalker: Creation: Craft Magic Arms and Armour, dimension door, glitterdust, invisibility, Craft (Steamworks) 15 ranks Cost: 12,000gp, 480xp
Huge Construct [Steamwork] Hit Dice: 13d10+40 (112hp) Initiative: -1 (-1 Dex) Speed: 40ft. AC: 27 (-1 Dex, +20 natural, -2 size), touch 7, flat-footed 27 Attacks: 2 claws +18/13, bite +13 Damage: Claw 2d4+11, bite 2d8+6 Space/Reach: 15ft./10ft. Special Attacks: Improved grab, steam blast Special Qualities: Arcane senses, construct, devour metal, fire resistance 20, hardness 5, jewel eyes, maintenance Saves: Fort +4 Ref +3 Will +4 Abilities: Str 32 Dex 9 Con – Int – Wis 10 Cha 17 Climate/Terrain: Any Organisation: Solitary Challenge Rating: 13 Treasure: None Alignment: Neutral Advancement: 13-24 HD (Huge), 25-36 HD (Gargantuan) Also known as ‘dragon engines,’ these huge constructs are crafted to appear like massive metal dragons, fangs made from glittering crystal and great wings of sheet steel. In fact the wings are merely for show, since they lack the strength to get the huge machine off of the ground. Hissing and venting steam with every movement, a steam wurm is a fearsome sight, usually used to guard important treasures or items since their intimidating appearance and reputation tends to keep thieves away. A steam wurm has five polished gems – a ruby, emerald, sapphire, diamond and topaz – set across its head in place of any eyes, each one imbued with powerful magic that the construct can call upon to aid it in defending its charge. Not only that, but the wurm can devour metals to heal itself, the powerful processes going on within its mechanical gut using the material to repair damage. A steam wurm can understand commands in one language.
Steam & Steel
Combat: Steam wurms attack any unauthorised creatures attempting to get to whatever they are guarding, usually opening up with their breath weapon before thundering into melee. They fight without particular sophistication but their sheer brutal strength makes them an enemy to fear. Improved Grab: A steam wurm that hits with a bite attack can use this ability. A creature grappled is automatically hit by the bite attack in each subsequent round it remains grappled. Steam Blast: A steam wurm has a breath weapon, a cone of superheated steam 60ft. long. The steam deals 5d6 damage to everyone in it unless they make a Reflex save for half damage (DC 16). A steam wurm can use this ability every 4 rounds. Arcane Senses: A steam wurm has blindsight in a radius of 60ft. Construct: A steam wurm is a construct and has the traits and immunities of that type. Devour Metal: By consuming 50lbs of metal of any kind, a process that takes 1 round for the steam wurm to do, it regains 1d8+5 hit points. After a combat, steam wurms are known for devouring all the metal equipment of their former adversaries. Hardness: Due to its metal structure a steam wurm has hardness 5. Jewel Eyes: Each of the five gems set across a steam wurm’s head grants it a special ability. They also act like normal eyes for the construct. Diamond: Once per day, the steam wurm may use the power of the diamond to use prismatic spray as a spell-like ability, cast as if by a 13th level sorcerer (DC 20). Ruby: Once per day the steam wurm may use the power of the ruby to use fire shield (either the warm or cold version) as a spell-like ability, cast as if by a 13th level sorcerer. Emerald: The emerald bestows the ability to constantly see invisible upon the steam wurm. Sapphire: The sapphire bestows the ghost touch weapon enhancement on the physical attacks of the steam wurm. Topaz: Once per day, the steam wurm may use the power of the topaz to use haste as a spell-like ability, cast as if by a 13th level sorcerer. Maintenance: A steam wurm has a Maintenance DC of 10. Constructing a Steam Wurm: Creation: Craft Magic Arms and Armour, detect magic, fire shield, haste, prismatic spray, repair metal, see invisible, Craft (Steamworks) 16 ranks Cost: 25,000gp, 1,000xp
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Medium-Size Construct Hit Dice: 5d10+20 (48 hp) Initiative: +0 Speed: 30ft, fly 50ft. (Good) AC: 18 (+8 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 18 Attacks: 2 slams +7 Damage: Slam d6+4 Space/Reach: 5ft./5ft. Special Attacks: Spell-like Abilities Special Qualities: Construct, Inspire Steamworks, Hardness 5 Saves: Fort +1 Ref +1 Will +4 Abilities: Str 18 Dex 10 Con – Int 18 Wis 16 Cha 15 Climate/Terrain: Any Organisation: Solitary or party (2-4) Challenge Rating: 5 Treasure: Standard Alignment: Always Lawful Neutral Advancement: 6-10 HD (Medium), 11-15 HD (Large) Steam spirits are strange beings from the Outer Planes, creatures of law that represent the inventiveness and inspiration that advances technology to the stage of steam. It is theorised that a deity of technology creates them since they are definitely some form of steamwork construct, though their engines never need fuelling and they never break down. When they visit the material plane the purpose of their journey is never entirely clear until they disappear; soon afterwards some inventor or mechanic has a breakthrough realisation about science or machinery. Steam spirits have a variety of appearances, usually an only vaguely humanoid-shaped figure of metal struts and pistons with a firebox engine that burns with magical light. Their goggle-like eyes peer around them with constant curiosity and they have a tendency to go and poke and fiddle with things they do not recognise to see what it does. All steam spirits have marvellous wing contraptions; arrays of metal struts and frames, wires, and tough canvas material. Combat: In general steam spirits try and avoid combat, though groups have been known to attack if faced with particularly technologically regressive individuals who try and stop the advance of technology and destroy steamwork devices. They make the most of their aerial manoeuvrability and spell-like abilities. They flee if they are likely to be destroyed. Spell-Like Abilities: At will – heat metal, magic missile, telekinesis; 3/day – hold person; 1/day – animate objects, planeshift. These are cast as if by a 5th level sorcerer (DC 12 + spell level). Construct: Steam spirits are constructs and have the traits and immunities of that type. Inspire Steamworks: The presence of a steam spirit has an effect reaching out to a radius of 1 mile. All Craft (Steamworks) checks in the area gain a +4 competence bonus, and the Maintenance DC for steamwork devices is reduced by 1 for the duration of the steam spirit being within 1 mile. In addition, any character within the area that gains a new feat due may choose the Inspired feat. Hardness: Due to its metal structure a steam spirit has hardness 5.
As well as the various other steamwork constructs described in this guide, engineers also often model their creations on creatures they have seen or heard about, either because its form and powers suit their needs or because they simply admire or respect the creature in question. Using this template it is quick and easy to create all sorts of steamworks, from huge and fierce iron wolf constructs that breath super-heated steam (winter wolves as the base creature), to hulking and strong but crude automatons (ogre as the base creature), and a myriad of other possibilities. This is also the template used to create steamwork familiars. ‘Steamwork Creature’ is a template that can be applied to any base creature apart from constructs – with fantastical and bizarre sciences just about any type of being can be replicated in metal and steam. The creature’s type changes to Construct, and it gains the [Steamwork] subtype. Hit Dice: Changes to d10’s. The creature loses any modifiers to hit
Steam & Steel
points from its Constitution score. Speed: Remains the same as the base creature. Armour Class: The creature gains a +8 bonus to natural armour. Attacks: The creature retains the attacks of the base creature, gaining a slam attack if it doesn’t already have one. Special Attacks: The creature retains the special attacks of the base creature. Elemental Attacks: Any form of elemental damage, for instance in the form of a fire breath attack, should be changed to deal fire damage. In the case of alchemical steamwork creatures it should be changed to deal fire or acid damage, and in the case of necromantic engines it should be changed to either fire or cold damage. Poison: If the creature dealt poison damage then it now relies on a poison reservoir which 1 dose of poison per size category of the creature, after which it must be refilled. Special Qualities: The creature retains all the special qualities of the base creature and gains the following. Construct: As a construct, the steamwork creature gains the traits and immunities of the Construct creature type. Hardness: A steamwork creature gains hardness 5, but loses any damage reduction it may have had. Maintenance: A steamwork creature has a Maintenance DC of 9 if it has 6 or less Hit Dice, a DC of 10 if it has 7-14 Hit Dice, and a DC of 11 if it has more than 14 Hit Dice. Ability Scores: A steamwork creature gains a +8 bonus to Strength and a –2 penalty to Dexterity. Its Charisma score drops to 1 and it has no Constitution or Intelligence score. Skills: A construct does not have skills, although it does benefit from any bonuses to skills that the base creature possesses. Feats: A construct does not have feats although it does benefit from any bonus feats the base creature possesses. Challenge Rating: 9 or fewer Hit Dice, CR of base creature +2; 10 or more Hit Dice, CR of base creature +1. Alignment: A steamwork creature’s alignment is changed to Neutral. Creating a Steamwork Creature: Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks Cost: 1,000gp x base CR, + 1,000gp per hit die of the base creature
Many people fear death and wish they could extend their lives beyond their natural life span; for powerful necromancers this is not in the realms of wishful thinking but a very real option, infusing themselves with negative energy in the unspeakably evil ritual of becoming a lich, an undead being. In lands where steam power is well known and science a discipline in which spellcasters often dabble, some necromancers see the advantage in harnessing the strength and power of steam engines to make themselves truly transcend mortal beings and even other undead. A steamwork lich is a clattering, hissing construct about a foot taller than the norm for its race, an imposing figure of metal that is usually clad in the finery of the trappings it wore in life. The machinery is crafted to make the lich look like as skeletal as possible, the head a grinning iron skull with its eye-sockets filled by gleaming sapphire lenses. Most of its torso is full with the machinery that drives it, vents and smokestacks rising out of the lich’s back like stunted wings, and it is in the skull itself that the necromantic phylactery is secured from harm. Creating a Steamwork Lich: “Steamwork Lich” is a template that can be added to any humanoid creature, provided it has the Necromek feat and can create the required phylactery (see The Phylactery below). The creature’s type changes to Undead. It uses all the character’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here. Hit Dice: The character’s hit dice changes to d12 Armour Class: The character gains a +10 natural armour bonus. This replaces any natural armour bonus the character may have had beforehand. Attacks: The character retains all of its attacks and characters without natural weapons gain a touch attack that deals 1d8+5 points of negative energy. Creatures with natural weapons can use
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
their natural attacks or use the touch attack, as they prefer. Spells: The steamwork lich can cast any spells that it could while it was alive. Special Qualities: The character retains all of its special qualities and gains the following: Hardness: A steamwork lich has hardness 5. Steamwork Lich: Immune to mind-influencing effects and to poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless. They are not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, energy drain or the effects of massive damage. The steamwork lich requires a steam engine and appropriate fuelling although the necromantic energy flowing through it sustains the structure and means it does not require Maintenance checks. Turn Resistance: The lich gains +4 turn resistance. Undead: A steamwork lich is undead and has the traits and immunities of that creature type. Abilities: A steamwork lich gains a +8 bonus to Strength, and a +2 bonus to Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma. As an undead creature it has no Constitution score Skills: A steamwork lich gain a +8 racial bonus to Craft (Steamworks), Listen, Search, Sense Motive and Spot checks. Otherwise same as the character. Feats: Same as the character Challenge Rating: Same as the character +2. Lich Characters: The process of becoming a steamwork lich is a long and difficult one and can only be undertaken by a character’s own free will. The lich retains all class abilities it had in life. The Phylactery: Like normal liches, a steamwork lich needs a phylactery. This follows the same rules as the normal liches phylactery (p.217, Monster Manual). The phylactery of a steamwork lich is often stored in the metal skull of its body, since often people fighting a steamwork lich do not realise the true nature of the machine they are fighting and do not bother to search deeply into its mechanisms for the phylactery.
ealots, templars, and other steamwork devices created specifically by a particular religion or faith tend to have a particular appearance depending on the domains with which they are associated. Below are some suggestions for how a construct or machine with an affinity to a particular domain might appear: Air: Often slender and graceful, these machines tend to be brightly polished and plated with silver and copper, as well as being decorated with silk banners, elaborate engravings and tinkling wind chimes. Animal: These machines are often covered with totems and animal charms, from wolf pelts and tails to the hides of beers or bulls, and the skulls of such powerful beasts as well. They are often also decorated with crude sigils and runes. Chaos: Put together with little care for solidity or reliability, these are often constructed from many different materials put together to form one machine. Their appearance is cluttered and random. Death: Usually made from blackened metal, these are generally decorated with skulls, totems of bones and dark runes promising death and destruction. They are also often driven by necromantic engines. Destruction: Powerfully built and studded with blades and spikes, these devices are generally highly destructive in nature and built to cause damage. Earth: Often crafted to appear rocky and textured like stone, in hues of gray and brown, these machines are also often decorated with gems and precious stones. They tend to be of solid, hefty construction, built to last. Evil: Generally menacing in appearance, these machines often sprout long spikes and blades and are covered in sinister inscriptions and prayers. Fire: These machines are often brightly burnished, and plated with bronze and copper. They often bear red, orange and yellow-hued decorations and emblems upon them. Good: Often brightly polished and crafted in attractive hues, these machines tend to bear carefully written inscriptions and prayers on them. Healing: These machines tend to bear emblems of solace and comfort on them, crafted to appear impressive and confidence-inspiring defenders and aids. Knowledge: Such machines are often very well-crafted, using expert techniques and suchlike, and are sometimes decorated with parchment prayers and paper litanies. Law: Angular, precise and defined, these machines are structured and constructed to emphasise order, organisation, and reliability. Luck: These machines are often heavily inscribed and decorated with little charms and prayers for luck and good fortune, especially where it relates to the reliable functioning of the device. Magic: These machines tend to appear highly ornate and arcane, riddled with magical parts and devices and often powered by arcane engines. Runes, eldritch sigils and arcane rituals are often inscribed over them.
Steam & Steel Holy Devices
Plant: Machines of this domain tend to appear roughly normal except for natural, green hues, except that they sprout winding plant tendrils and leaves from their innards which wrap around the structure and cloak it in vegetation. Protection: Heavily emphasising defence rather than offence, these devices are often built with heavy armour plating, rousing inscriptions of famous protectors and reinforced structures. Strength: Strong machinery and sturdy build tend to mark out these machines, which emphasises power and mechanical force. Sun: Brightly burnished and polished, often plated with gold, copper or bronze, these machines generally bear sun symbols and insignia, and are built to be impressive and awe-inspiring. Travel: Generally these machines are crafted to be durable and reliable, generally decorated with fortune emblems and totems for aiding far travel. Trickery: Cunningly crafted to be swift and quiet, these machines are generally crafted in subdued hues and patterns, engraved with prayers and rituals of stealth and trickery. War: Built for war, these machines sport blades, spikes and other such weapons, and are solidly built to withstand battle damage and assault. Water: Crafted with smooth, flowing forms, these machines are often made from blued steel or plated with silver, and decorated with shells and coral. Inscribed with flowing prayers and runes, they are sometimes armoured with scales of armour like the fish of the sea.
Large Construct [Steamwork] Hit Dice: 8d10+30 (74hp) Initiative: +0 Speed: 30ft. AC: 20 (+11 natural, -1 size), touch 9, flat-footed 20 Attacks: 2 slams +12/+7; or weapon +12/+7 Damage: Slam 1d8+7; or by weapon Space/Reach: 10ft./10ft. Special Attacks: Domain abilities Special Qualities: Construct, hardness 5, maintenance, spell resistance 14 Saves: Fort +2 Ref +2 Will +4 Abilities: Str 24 Dex 10 Con – Int – Wis 14 Cha 1 Climate/Terrain: Any Organisation: Solitary, squad (2-12) or crusade (6-36) Challenge Rating: 6 (7 for templars) Treasure: None Alignment: Neutral Advancement: 9-16 HD(Large), 17-24 HD(Huge) A zealot is a large warrior construct created as a steamwork servant for a religion. The exact appearance depends on the nature of the faith, but zealots generally share a humanoid shape, head slung forwards from the broad metal shoulders and powerful arms usually bearing an integrated shield and a large weapon. What differentiates a zealot from normal constructs is that it has been enhanced by divine magic to be a channel for the energy of faith. A zealot can understand one language, usually the Common tongue, as well as an additional language used by its religion such as Aquan, Abyssal or Celestial. Combat: Zealots are essentially melee fighters although they might be equipped with alchemist’s cannons or suchlike. They attempt to close to melee rapidly, making use of their domain abilities to enhance themselves or allies and to weaken the enemy. Zealots fight to the death or until called off by a cleric. Domain Abilities: When a zealot is constructed it is keyed to the energy of one of its deity’s domains. A zealot may cast each of the spells of levels 1 to
3 from that domain once per day. More powerful zealots called templars are sometimes created, which can cast spells from levels 1 to 6 each once per day. While zealots generally are outfitted with conventional engines a religion often goes to the expense of fitting templars with essence engines. The spells are cast as if by an 8th level cleric (DC 12 + spell level). Construct: Zealots are constructs and have the traits and immunities of that creature type. Hardness: Due to their metal structure, zealots have hardness 5. Maintenance: A zealot has a Maintenance DC of 9, while a templar has a Maintenance DC of 11. Constructing a Zealot: Creation: Craft Magic Arms and Armour, divine favour, Craft (Steamworks) 9 ranks (14 ranks for a templar), creator must have the same domain as the zealot he creates is attuned to Cost: 14,000gp (16,000gp for a templar)
Beasts of S teel
team power is applicable to more ideas than just the construction of construct-servants designed to fight, labour or calculate. The more common use of this technology is to build vehicles for the transportation and protection of the creators and their kind, though these machines are as much beasts of steel as the construct-servant designs. The entries in this section are considered as constructs although in general they are not built to be able to independently fight and have no form of guiding consciousness, however basic and mechanical. The general purpose of these vehicles is travel, though some can be designed for warfare as well. As steamwork devices, they require fuelling and maintenance as normal. The first part of this section consists of a master list of upgrades available for steamwork vehicles, followed by the individual entries for specific vehicle types accompanied by lists of the upgrades available to those particular devices.
only found in exotic aircraft such as dragonfly copters, aiding the pilots to scan ground and air while moving at high speed. A pilot in a vehicle with an advanced sensor array benefits from having darkvision up to 150 feet and gaining a +4 machine bonus to Spot checks. Arcane Warding A vehicle with this upgrade benefits from limited protection against hostile spells, gaining Spell Resistance 10. A vehicle with arcane warding usually appears to have been heavily encrusted with spell runes, sigils and suchlike, and may have written prayers or powerful runic scripts stuck to it in various places. IT may also be constructed from slightly unusual materials in places, featuring crystal conductors or blued steel surfaces. Arcane Warding, Heavy A vehicle with this upgrade benefits from more potent magical protections, gaining Spell Resistance 15. Arcane Warding, Unyielding The most powerful form of arcane warding, this upgrade gives a vehicle Spell Resistance 20. Arcanomech Lights This upgrade is designed for use on submersibles that intend to travel deep beneath the surface of the ocean, delving down into murky trenches and far waters. The vehicle has arcane lights able to penetrate the gloom out to 60 feet around the submersible. Drop Cords Military dirigibles that are to be used to carry troops often have this upgrade. By using harnesses and drop cords that can be dangled down beneath the bulk of the vehicle, troops can disembark from a maximum height of 120 feet in one
+1 Extra AC A vehicle with this upgrade has its AC increased by one. A vehicle can have this upgrade multiple times, with the limit to which its AC can be increased being indicated in its entry. +1 Extra Hit Die A vehicle with this upgrade has its number of hit dice increased by 1. A vehicle can have this upgrade multiple times, with the limit to which its total Hit Dice can be increased being indicated in its entry. Advanced Sensor Array This upgrade installs the vehicle with an advanced array of arcane sensors and distant perception devices. It is highly advanced and usually
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round. This allows for rapid deployment of warriors from the air, right into battle or strategic locations such as defensive positions during a siege. Elemental Machinery This upgrade adds a powerful arcane machine to a sea-going vehicle, whether a ship or submersible. When activated, the whirring cogs and emitters build up a powerful elemental charge, and after 3 rounds it summons up a Large water elemental within 60 feet. The elemental is under the control of the machinery, and remains for 20 rounds before lapsing back into normal water again. Elemental machinery can be used once per day. Fireproof Vehicles such as dirigibles that are carried aloft by flammable gases can be vulnerable to flames and fire-based attacks. This upgrade represents either the treating of component materials with non-flammable chemicals, or the use on nonflammable gases instead. A dirigible with the fireproof upgrade loses its Fire Vulnerability. Heavy Armouring This upgrade gives a vehicle hardness 10. Heavy Fortification A steam train with this upgrade has its cover bonus for defenders doubled to a +8 AC bonus and +4 Reflex bonus, providing excellent protection for them. Homing Compass A homing compass is a piece of delicate navigational equipment attuned to a specific homing beacon (See Edifices of Might). The compass always indicates the direction of the homing beacon relative to the vehicle. Hull-Breaker This upgrade gives a submersible a weapon with which to attack sea craft. Usually a set of blades along its top used to make attack runs against a ship’s hull, a hull-breaker is normally used by military submersibles. The weapon deals 4d6 damage on a successful hit, with an attack bonus as a construct of the submersible’s hit dice. Improved Air Supplies This upgrade doubles the air supplies of a submersible. Improved Manoeuvrability Through improved design and machinery, a flying vehicle with this upgrade has its flight category improved by one factor. Light Armouring This upgrade gives a vehicle hardness 5. Luxury Interior Although of little practical value, this upgrade allows for travel in style, usually found in royal or luxury dirigibles and steam trains. Plating, Crystal This magical enhancement allows the pilot of a craft with crystal plating to cast mirror image once per day as a 6th level caster, targeting the craft itself with the spell. Plating, Emerald This magical enhancement allows the pilot of a craft with emerald plating to cast invisibility once per day as a 6th level caster, targeting the craft itself with the spell. Plating, Ruby This magical enhancement allows the pilot of a craft with ruby plating to cast fireball once per day as a 6th level caster, emitting the fireball from the front of the craft. Prismatic Cladding This magical cladding covers the craft with iridescent armour, granting it Fire Resistance and Electricity Resistance 15. Quake Engine A powerful type of magical device used in tunneller vehicles, a quake engine consists of dynamos and circuits attuned to the elemental energy of the
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
stone and earth. Once per day it can be used to emit a blast of elemental energy with the effects of an earthquake spell cast as a caster of 15th level. These engines are generally only fitted to vehicles to be used during underground sieges or to breach the walls of a castle or fortification. Rock-Melt A tunneller with this upgrade uses arcane machinery rather than a drill to tunnel through rock, pushing through it as if it was liquid in the manner of a xorn. This doubles the tunnelling speed of the vehicle. Sealed Environment A vehicle with this upgrade has internal air systems and supplies and can be completely sealed off for up to eight hours, providing immunity for those within from airborne attacks such as gases and some diseases. Shocking Hull Using steamwork machinery and energy siphoned off from the main engine, this upgrade installs dynamos that store up electrical energy. This energy can be released up to 3 times per day into the hull surface, inflicting a blast of 2d6 electricity damage to anything in contact with the hull. It is generally used by sea-going craft to ward off oceanic creatures, one blast usually being enough to scare them off. Sonar This upgrade installs into a submersible or ship a simple form of sonar powered by the steamwork engines, giving the pilot blindsight up to 150ft in the waters around the craft. Steamwork Siege Weapon Some vehicles are large enough to mount large and powerful siege weapons such as ballista in a steamwork cradle, a mechanical array that aids the crew by making it turn far faster and by semiautomating the process of reloading it. A siege weapon mounted in one of these cradles can turn without impediment through a full 360 degrees, and can turn as far as the operator wishes in a single round. In addition, the loading period is halved in duration. Any sizeable weapon can be mounted in one of these. The cost of adding a steamwork siege weapon hardpoint does not include the cost of the siege weapon itself. Storm Engine Installed in vehicles that cruise high in the skies, storm engines sift magical and elemental energies from the winds and clouds to charge up thaumic dynamoes with energy, into which spellcasters can then tap. A spellcaster aboard a craft with a storm engine benefits from a machine bonus of +1 to caster level for any spells of the Air or Electricity subtypes and any Air domain spells that they cast. Subterranean Sonar This upgrade installs a simple form of sonar into a tunneller, giving the pilot blindsight up to 60ft through the rock around the craft. Transport Capacity This upgrade grants a tunneller additional transportation capacity, allowing it to carry up to five others as well as the pilot. This is generally used in tunnellers that are to be used for travelling purposes as for those designed to carry shock troops during surprise assaults. War Banners This upgrade drapes huge war banners and inspirational symbols from a dirigible, turning it into an emblem of might and a reservoir of resolve for warriors far below. Any friendly characters that can see a dirigible with war banners gain a +1 morale bonus to Will saves. Weathersight This upgrade installs a piece of meteoromantic machinery into the vehicle that monitors local weather conditions and estimates future changes. It can predict the weather up to a week in advance with 80% accuracy, benefiting from being situated so high in the atmosphere in a dirigible. If a sudden weather change is impending in the next 3 hours it emits a warning klaxon, and it does the same if
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weather conditions are about to change due to magical spells or effects.
A copter is a flying steamwork vehicle that propels itself by the action of rotary blades. Usually relatively small when compared to the mass of some of the larger aerial dirigibles, a copter is created from a light framework of metal and wood that holds together a complex array of gears and machinery that turns the rotors, driven by a steamwork engine. With the engine doing the work of getting the copter up in the air, the pilot merely has to fly the thing without crashing. Copters are fragile and not particularly well designed for purposes of warfare, and are usually employed instead for scouting or exploration. They do have the advantage of being very fast and agile in the skies, and this is put to good use when trying to escape from airborne crews. A copter’s frame does not have the strength necessary to mount particularly heavy weaponry though it is common for the pilot to carry a loaded crossbow or firearm by his side. Since he needs at least one hand for the controls, usually in the form of an array of sticks and dials, a shortbow or longbow is not really a viable choice. A copter has the following base statistics: Copter Medium-Size Construct Hit Dice: 6d10+20 (53hp) Speed: Fly 70ft (Average) AC: 14 (+4 natural) Special Qualities: Maintenance DC 8 Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 14 ranks Cost: 6,000gp It can be upgraded with the following: +1 Extra Hit Die - To a maximum of 10d10. +250gp +1 Extra AC - To a maximum of +6 natural armour. +150gp Arcane Warding +1,000gp Improved Manoeuvrability - Increasing the flight category to Good. +1,000gp Light Armouring +1,000gp
Sample Copter - Skyrunner Scout This simple flyer designed from a light wood and steel framework contains a mesh of gears powered by a steamwork engine that rotate the blades above the craft to give it lift. Designed purely as a non-combat scout for the Skyrunner mercenaries, the outer cladding has been carefully refined and shaped to give it the best possible aerial manoeuvrability to enable it to evade hostile craft. Copter with Improved Manoeuvrability 7,000gp
Copter, Dragonfly [Steamwork]
The dragonfly design of flying craft is different to a normal copter in that rotary blades do not drive it. Instead, two long and delicate wings protrude from either side of the chassis of the device, which beat at an incredible speed to get it off the ground and to send it winging through the air. Dragonfly copters are usually crafted to appear beautiful and aesthetically pleasing with crystal and glass parts and their amazing aerial manoeuvrability is impressive to watch, as they weave dazzling paths across the sky. Dragonfly copters tend to heavily incorporate magic, and lovers of both art and the arcane such as elves are very fond of crafting and flying these aircraft. A dragonfly copter has the following base statistics: Copter, Dragonfly Medium-size Construct Hit Dice: 6d10+20 (53hp) Speed: Fly 80ft (Good) AC: 14 (+4 natural) Special Qualities: Maintenance DC 9 Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 15 Knowledge (Arcana) 10 ranks Cost: 8,000gp
It can be upgraded with the following: +1 Extra Hit Die - To a maximum of 9d10. +250gp +1 Extra AC - To a maximum of +6 natural armour. +150gp Advanced Sensor Array +2,500gp Arcane Warding +1,000gp Arcane Warding, Heavy +2,000gp
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Improved Manoeuvrability - Increasing the flight category to Perfect. +1,000gp Light Armouring +1,000gp Plating, Crystal +5,000gp Plating, Emerald +5,000gp Plating, Ruby +5,000gp Sample Dragonfly Copter Elven Cloudhawk This elegant, slender craft is of elven design, driven by the rapid beat of humming emerald wings to patrol the skies over elven territories. Although it has little actual armour, a host of magical enhancements make a cloudhawk a formidable aerial opponent. Copter with +1 extra hit die, +1 extra AC, Improved Manoeuvrability, Arcane Warding, Crystal Plating and Emerald Wings - 20,400gp have influences if, for instance, an area is known to be the home to an irritable dragon or flock of harpies). Dirigibles are used primarily for exploration, for transporting the rich and wealthy in style (what more of a status symbol could a king display than his own personal ride to the heavens?) and for military purposes. War dirigibles are impressive sights, especially when bedecked with the panoply of a faction, with rolling banners and emblems fluttering in the breeze around it. They also tend to be the focus for truly aweinspiring battles, as aerial creatures arc around them and wizards hurl spells to and from them. As much as it is a symbol of power, a dirigible crashing to the ground all aflame is an equally powerful symbol for the other side… A dirigible has the following base statistics: Dirigible Huge Construct Hit Dice: 18d10+40 (139 hp) Speed: Fly 50ft (Poor) AC: 23 (+15 natural, -2 size) Special Qualities: Fire Vulnerability, Hardness 5, Maintenance DC 9 Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 9 ranks Cost: 22,000 gp Fire Vulnerability: A dirigible that rises aloft on the buoyancy of flammable gases is extremely vulnerable to fire and fire-based attacks. All fire attacks deal double damage to a dirigible. It can be upgraded with the following: +1 Extra Hit Die - To a maximum of 32d10. At 22 hit dice the size increases to Gargantuan, while at 30 hit dice the size increases to Colossal. +500gp +1 Extra AC - To a maximum of +24 natural. +250gp Arcane Warding +2,000gp Arcane Warding, Heavy +5,000gp Arcane Warding, Unyielding +10,000gp Drop Cords +1,000gp Fireproof +2,000gp Heavy Armouring +4,000gp Homing Compass +1,000gp Luxury Interior +5,000gp Prismatic Cladding +10,000gp
One of the more exotic uses for a steam engine is to power a dirigible, an aircraft held aloft high in the skies by captured gas. Many people think that a single large balloon holds aloft an airship, but this is not the case. Literally hundreds of small cells, each filled with either heated air or gases that are lighter than air, are packed together to keep the craft up. This means that even if one, or even several, cells are damaged there will still be plenty of lift. For further protection, larger dirigibles may have light armour plating over the entire structure. Among the cells run various ladders and walkways to allow people to check them for problems and pressure levels. The view from the very top is often quite impressive. Below the cells hangs the carriage of the dirigible, which can vary from an enclosed and heavily armoured gun-ship to little more than a large basket. The steamwork machinery gives the whole thing the motive power to cruise through the skies by large turbines or other stranger forms of locomotion. Needless to say a dirigible is an impressive sight to see moving across the sky. Although it is not very suitable for moving goods and raw materials in the same way that a train can, it is only bad weather that limits where a dirigible travels (although a sense of self-preservation may also
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Steamwork Siege Weapon +100gp Storm Engine +2,000gp War Banners +1,500gp Weathersight +7,500gp Sample Dirigible Hurdellian War Eagle Designed purely for military purposes by a human empire, the War Eagle is a resplendent sight high in the skies, a gleaming, armour-plated guncraft from which the imperial banners drape down and flutter in the winds. Capable of dropping a squad of elite shock troops into the thick of battle, the War Eagle is an expensive but powerful war machine. Dirigible with +6 extra hit dice, +5 extra AC, 4 steamwork siege weapons, heavy armouring, improved arcane warding, fireproof, war banners and drop cords - 40,150gp Dirigible, Personal Medium-size Construct Hit Dice: 4d10+20 (42hp) Speed: Fly 60ft (Average) AC: 13 (+3 natural) Special Qualities: Maintenance DC 6 Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 10 ranks Cost: 3,000gp It can be upgraded with the following: +1 Extra Hit Die - To a maximum of 6d10.+250gp +1 Extra AC - To a maximum of +5 natural armour. +150gp Arcane Warding +750gp Improved Manoeuvrability - Increases the flight category to Good. +750gp Sample Personal Dirigible Pirate Scout This simple construction, a rickety framework of metal and wood that is borne aloft by a patchwork leather balloon to which the scout is harnessed, is used by pirates to hunt out potential targets, pinpointing vulnerable craft for the pirate ship. Constructed to make sure that a lucky hit on the balloon will not bring the scout down, it’s fairly cheap to maintain and fuel. When a merchant ship’s crew sees one of these on the horizon, they know the hunt is on. Personal Dirigible with +2 extra hit dice 3,500gp
Dirigible, Personal [Steamwork]
A personal dirigible is usually little more than a set of straps and harnesses that keep the pilot attached to a small inflated balloon and steamwork engine that carries him high into the sky and takes him where he wants to go. The balloon is easy to construct from animal hide and the engine means that the pilot is not completely at the mercy of the weather, though wise pilots carry a meteorometer on them anyway. He does need to make sure he carries enough fuel with him to get himself safely back home again though. Personal dirigibles are generally built as scouting devices. Seacraft use them to scout for pirates to avoid, while pirates use them to locate potential prey. Oilrigs and ports also make use of them for policing the waves around them. A balloon scout rarely takes part in an actual conflict due to the fragility of his mode of transport, although when armed with rifles or crossbows they can make quite effective snipers, picking out enemies from the midst of a combat. They are extremely vulnerable to assault by aerial melee attackers. A personal dirigible has the following base statistics:
Steam Train [Steamwork]
In a land where steam technology is common, steam trains wind their way across the landscape between settlements. Steam trains are a significant step forwards because they offer a means for people, raw materials and goods to be moved from place to place with a speed that far outdoes the crawl of a caravan. They bring to the bulk of the populace the opportunities for travel that have only been practical for those in possession of magic transportation beforehand. The advantage of a steam train is that it doesn’t need complex piloting mechanisms, since with the guidance of rails its entire power can be devoted to hauling great weights; the downside of course being that it
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
is limited to travelling only where the train lines go. While many trains are simply used for the haulage of goods or people through non-hazardous environs, heavily armoured trains are also possible in dangerous regions where train lines are subject to attacks by enemy forces, bandits and particularly dangerous fauna. Steam trains have the base statistics given below: Steam Train Engine Wagon Huge Construct Hit Dice: 16d10+40 (128hp) Speed: 60ft (confined only to tracks) AC: 22 (+14 natural, -2 size) Special Qualities: Bull Rush, Carriages, Hardness 5, Maintenance DC 8 Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 7 ranks Cost: 5,000gp +1,000gp per carriage. Bull Rush: A train can only follow the path of its track, and if something is on the rails then the train will collide with it. Anything of Large size or smaller takes 5d6+10 damage if hit by a train and is knocked to one side. Anything larger might derail the train. It still takes 5d6+10 damage from the impact, but an opposed check must be made as if the train bullrushed the creature. The train has a base bonus to this roll of +10, +2 for every carriage. If the train succeeds it knocks the creature out of the way, but if it fails the impact actually knocks the train off its tracks and derails it. Example: An ancient green dragon has decided to show its displeasure at the swathe of its woodlands that have been cut down to lay out a new train line and set up a new station for an outlying settlement. Having levelled the station and killed the staff, it lies down to wait on the tracks for the next incoming train. At 3 o’clock the train steams round a corner, not seeing the waiting dragon till the last moment due to the trees blocking vision, and as the engine screeches against the suddenly applied brakes it slams into the beast. The impact inflict s24 damage to the dragon, and the threecarriage train gets a roll of 9 for its bull rush, for a result of 25 (9+10 Strength bonus +6 carriage bonus). The dragon gets a roll of 13, for a result of (13+10 Strength bonus +4 size bonus), and stands firm, derailing the train. Carriages: A train consists of the engine wagon with a number of additional carriages behind; a single engine can pull up to 12 carriages. Carriages may be open or closed to the air. If a steam train is attacked the occupants can gain cover while firing back; many armoured trains have this specifically in mind and have firing ports and arrowslits. Defenders in a steam train gain a normal cover bonus. An armoured train also often has additional weapons and a garrison of guards on board, which may include one or more spellcasters. It can be upgraded with the following: +1 Extra Hit Die - To a maximum of 28d10. +250gp +1 Extra AC - To a maximum of +25 natural armour. +100gp Arcane Warding +1,000gp Arcane Warding, Heavy +3,000gp Arcane Warding, Unyielding +7,000gp Luxury Interior +5,000gp Heavy Armouring +2,000gp Heavy Fortification +1,000gp Steamwork Siege Weapon +100gp Sample Steam Train Shadow Wood route freight train The train tracks that run past the outskirts of Shadow Wood to get to the deep mines where coal and ore is extracted are known to be a dangerous place, the dark inhabitants often raiding forth. Trains passing that way are built to be able to withstand such an assault and crewed with garrisons of paid mercenaries. Heavy armouring means that their assailants overcome few of the freight trains. Steam train with +6 extra hit dice, +6 natural armour, 2 steamwork siege weapons, heavy armouring, heavy fortification and 12 carriages 22,300gp Tracks One of the main logistics in creating a train network is laying down rails. Since the track needs to be as flat as possible, railway lines need to make use of viaducts and tunnels to go over valleys and
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through mountains. If the technology to build these structures does not exist, a railway line will be limited in where it can go. In addition, other factors can limit a line; elves and treants might not appreciate a noisy and polluting steam train running close to their forest, or a dragon might take offence at the presumption of a human settlement in building a line close to its lair. Cost: 500gp per mile of track. repelling denizens of the deep with impunity. An ironclad is a very large seacraft, varying in design depending on the builders, but usually about as big as a galleon and sometimes larger. An ironclad carries a much larger payload of weaponry and is much harder to destroy than a galleon, and is not as subject to inclement weather and sea conditions. An ironclad has the following base statistics: Ironclad Colossal Construct Hit Dice: 25d10+80 (218hp) Speed: 60ft AC: 25 (+22 natural, -8 size) Special Qualities: Maintenance DC 9, hardness 10 Creation: Craft (Ship-building) 12 ranks, Craft (Steamworks) 15 ranks Cost: 40,000gp It can be upgraded with the following: +1 Extra Hit Die - To a maximum of 40d10.+250gp +1 Extra AC - To a maximum of +28 natural armour. +150gp Arcane Warding +1,000gp Arcane Warding, Heavy +3,000gp Arcane Warding, Unyielding +7,000gp Elemental Machinery +5,000gp Homing Compass +1,000gp Luxury Interior +5,000gp Shocking Hull +5,000gp Steamwork Siege Weapon +100gp Sample Ironclad - “Fearless” The “Fearless” is a huge warship, the pride of a nation’s navy. Built to withstand both magical and mundane attacks, it can absorb an immense amount of firepower, although it lacks steam technology to augment it’s own offensive capabilities. Ironclad with +3 extra AC, +3 extra hit dice, and unyielding arcane warding - 48,200gp
Steam Ship [Steamwork]
Steam engines herald a major revolution in the nature by which land-dwelling creatures travel the ocean waves and build their navies. No longer is a ship hamstrung by the weather; no longer does it rely on the direction or strength of the wind. With a steam engine, a ship has a reliable source of motive power whatever the weather conditions might be. Those who ply their trade on the seas can travel great distances faster as well as being less at the mercy of bad conditions, and the seasons in which they can sail are lengthened. Those who build ships too suddenly have many more options opening up. Equipping a ship with a steam engine merely costs the expense of the engine type and fuel. The fuel-less engines such as arcane source designs are highly prized by admirals who want the extra reliability and the additional weight in weapons and troops that can replace the fuel that would have to be carried with the ship. Ingenious necromancers build huge arks that use nets to haul in fish and other sea animals, and then feed the dead creatures straight into the corpseburner engines of the ship. A steam ship’s engines have a Maintenance DC of 9. Cost: Base price of ship + engines.
Steam Ship, Ironclad [Steamwork]
Without need for sails and with a powerful engine, shipyards can begin to create craft that are far more heavily armed and armoured than before. Ironclads, mighty battleships with hulls of reinforced armour, become the new dominating force in naval warfare, able to withstand fusillades of hostile fire and spells, and even capable of
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Steam Wagon [Steamwork]
While steam trains are confined to tracks, there is a great variety of possible designs for steam-powered land vehicles that are more free roaming, from civilian horseless carriages to heavily armoured war wagons. These designs of vehicle can be created for all sorts of different purposes, although they suffer their own limitations, btoh in the complexity of the mechanisms for directing the wagon, and that they remain relatively confined to only suitable terrain. A steam wagon has the following base statistics: Steam Wagon Large Construct Hit Dice: 10d10+30 (85hp) Speed: 50ft AC: 16 (+7 natural, -1 size) Special Qualities: Maintenance DC 10 Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Cost: 4,000gp It can be upgraded with the following: +1 Extra Hit Die - To a maximum of 15d10.+250gp +1 Extra AC - To a maximum of +15 natural armour. +100gp Arcane Warding +1,000gp Arcane Warding, Heavy +3,000gp Heavy Armouring +3,000gp Light Armouring +1,000gp Luxury Interior +1,000gp Steamwork Siege Weapon +100gp Sample Steam Wagon Dr. Almacroft’s Amazing Horseless Carriage Invented by an innovative gentlemen with an eye for commercial possibilities, the horseless carriage has the appearance of a normal horse-drawn carriage, with the steam engine underneath the driver’s seat and the controls on a panel in front of him. The passengers interior of the carriage is lavishly upholstered - the horseless carriage is designed as a mode of travel for the aristocratic and wealthy, not for the poor and unwashed masses, after all. Steam Wagon with Luxury Interior - 5,000gp
There are few who are willing to put their lives in the hands of a shell of metal and a tank of oxygen to keep them alive in the depths of the ocean, but there are always some – the scientists, the adventurers and the plain curious – who will. Steamwork submersibles are risky ventures, far riskier than a sealed environment suit of steamwork armour simply because more things can go wrong. A submersible can take many forms, from aesthetically crafted like some mechanical, armour-plated fish to a simple spherical or oblong shape. Driven by a steamwork engine and supplied with an enclosed environment that can supply up to eight medium-sized characters with air for up to two days, a submersible is built to withstand deep-sea pressures and curious sea denizens. Of course, not all submersibles are designed for diving far below the waves, and some are created with the express purpose of lurking just below the surface to ambush and attack other sea craft, whether it is in the role of a military strike or simple banditry. These craft are often equipped with devices designed to hole and sink a ship and the crew is made up of tough shock troops. A submersible has the following base statistics: Submersible Huge Construct Hit Dice: 15d10+40 (128hp) Speed: Swim 60ft AC: 25(+17 natural, -2 size) Special Qualities: Hardness 10, Maintenance DC 9 Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 12 ranks Cost: 20,000 gp It can be upgraded with the following: +1 Extra Hit Die - To a maximum of 20d10.+400gp +1 Extra AC - To a maximum of +22 natural armour, +200gp Arcane Warding +2,000gp Arcane Warding, Heavy +5,000gp Arcanomech Lights +1,000gp Elemental Machinery +5,000gp Hull-Breaker +2,000gp B
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Improved Air Supplies +5,000gp Shocking Hull +3,000gp Sonar +5,000gp Sample Submersible - Iron Shark Built in the form of some vicious deep-sea predator, the iron shark model of submersible is crafted from dozens of overlapping steel plates, holding within a safely sealed crew compartment. The heavily armoured submersible is designed for military purposes and the attacking of waterborne vessels, using a vicious array of jaggedly sharp blades along its top that can do severe damage to the hull of any craft it moves under. The iron shark is not designed for deep-sea forays. Submersible with +5 hit dice, +5 natural b armour, shocking hull and hull-breaker - 28,000gp Tunneller Large Construct Hit Dice: 8d10+30 (74 hp) Speed: Tunnel 30ft AC: 19 (+10 natural, -1 size) Special Qualities: Hardness 5, Maintenance DC 9 Creation: Craft (Steamworks) 9 ranks Cost: 4,000 gp It can be upgraded with the following: +1 Extra Hit Die - To a maximum of 12d10.+250gp +1 Extra AC - To a maximum of +14 natural armour. +125gp Arcane Warding +1,000gp Arcane Warding, Heavy +2,500gp Heavy Armouring +2,500gp Quake Engine +25,000gp Rock-Melt +2,500gp M Subterranean Sonar +2,000gp Transport Capacity +1,000gp Sample Tunneller - Kobold Rockripper This crude tunneller is crafted by kobold artisans and mechanics, a massive drill behind which the framework of the vehicle itself clings on, the steamwork engine coughing out unpleasant smoke. The tunneller is used for both digging out new living spaces and mine tunnels for a kobold underground settlement, but is also turned to military uses when needed, an excellent tool for creating traps, ambushes and new tunnels when the enemy least expects it. Tunneller with +4 extra hit dice and +2 extra AC - 5,250gp
A tunneller, or mole drill, is very similar to a large industrial mining drill, except that it is designed for travel rather than tearing ore from rock and has a pilot. The pilot sits behind the drilling mechanisms in a protected framework. As the drill tears up the rock ahead of it, it pushes the rubble around behind it, and tracks on the drills base and sides pull it along. Mole drills are often used to get saboteurs into place to attack fortifications, or to dig tunnels to breach subterranean locations. The base statistics for a tunneller are given below:
Presti ge Cl asses
escribed in this section are a small number of prestige classes designed to go hand in hand with the concepts presented in this guide, and to add flavour and opportunities for the player characters in a campaign which features steam technology. Two of the classes, the Balloonist and Steel Knight, focus on the use of a particular piece of steamwork equipment. The Mechanist focuses on steamwork prosthetics as well as the philosophical idea of the superiority of metal over flesh. Meanwhile the Inspired Inventor and Metalworker work to spread the knowledge of steamworks and technology far and wide.
Balloonists are capable warriors, though they prefer to keep their distance from foes, especially those of the airborne variety. They are most often found on the edges of society, in amongst mercenaries, pirate bands and frontier towns, and other hostile climes where their scouting skills are invaluable. While fighters and rogues are the most common class to take the balloonist prestige class, rangers concerned with scouting wild areas and who want to be up in the sky with the creatures of the air also take this class. Hit Die: d8 Prerequisites: Craft (Steamworks): 7 ranks Feats: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, proficiency with at least one martial or exotic ranged weapon. Special: The character must be the pilot of a personal dirigible, and must have at least 6 months experience as such. Class Skills: Balance, Climb, Concentration, Craft (Any), Craft (Steamworks), Jump, Listen, Profession (Any), Spot, Survival and Use Rope. Skill Points per Level: 6+Int modifier Class Abilities: Weapons and Armour Proficiencies: A balloonist gains no new weapons or armour proficiencies. Combat Manoeuvre: Due to the stability of the harness and support, a personal dirigible provides the balloonist with a good firing platform to attack from, even while the device soars through the air. A balloonist flying with his dirigible can move as far as the base movement of the vehicle in a round where he takes a full attack action with a ranged weapon. Weather Sense: A balloonist gets to know the feel of air currents on his face, and what signifies a change
he balloonist is a sky warrior, a marksman who takes to the air with the buzzing of steamwork engines driving his personal dirigible. Agilely manoeuvring his craft through the air, the balloonist seeks to fight from a distance, making the most of his skill with ranged weapons and the flight of the dirigible. Eagle-eyed and with keen senses, he hunts like an eagle from above, acutely aware of the winds and skies around him. He needs to be, for a balloonist’s weakness is the very thing that gives him his advantages - his dirigible, vulnerable to hostile assault. The balloonist can fill all sorts of military roles, most often as a scout for a military force. Pirates might have a balloonist to locate their prey, and mercenaries pay well for an outrunner who can fly and report back with information. Balloonists also work more directly in combat by aiding from above, sniping and picking out important targets from above the chaos of melee. Balloonists also work as guards for mountain passes and dangerous roads, moving back and forth above them to check for any disturbances or signs of danger.
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Ballonist Level Progression
Level 1 2 3 4 5 BAB +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 Fort +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 Ref +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 Will +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 Special Combat Manoeuvre, Weather Sense Defensive Manoeuvre Aerial Manoeuvre Crack Shot Evade daily that challenge assumptions and cause breakthroughs in technology. The inspired inventor may have gained his knack for ideas from a supernatural cause such as the efforts of a steam spirit, or he may simply be a natural genius who sees the world in a different way to others. An inspired inventor is often talented in more than just mechanics or science, able to turn his hand to arts, literature or other fields as well, always overflowing with ideas. He may well publish numerous texts illustrating his forward-thinking theories and designs of machines, although just how this will be taken by society at large is no set outcome. Those who see technology is evil might persecute inspired inventors, or they might be embraced by wealthy patrons who see the character’s potential. Inspired inventors are often experts or wizards, those with the natural knack and talent for invention and ideas, but through the workings of the mysterious steam spirits just about anyone can end up with their mind brimming with innovative designs for vehicles and engines, and they may well not be particularly sure why one day they just feel the urge to start scribbling down the concepts filling their head. Even adventurers can end up as inspired inventors, though it is usually adventurers who end up most benefiting from the creations of inventors. Hit Die: d4 Prerequisites: To qualify to become an inspired inventor, a character must meet the following prerequisites. Craft (Any): 8 ranks Feats: Inspired Knowledge (Any): 8 ranks Class Skills: An inspired inventor’s class skills are Concentration, Craft (Any), Craft
in the weather. A balloonist can predict the weather up to four hours ahead with a 90% chance of accuracy. Defensive Manoeuvre: At 2nd level the balloonist may add his Wisdom bonus to both his AC and his dirigible’s AC while in flight. Aerial Manoeuvre: At 3rd level the balloonist’s flight manoeuvrability while flying a personal dirigible is improved by one factor (e.g. Average to Good). Crack Shot: At 4th level the balloonist becomes a crack shot at firing from a fast-moving personal dirigible, and can ignore cover bonuses to AC of ground targets when firing. Evade: At 5th level the balloonist becomes an expert at dodging ranged attacks and destructive blasts aimed at his aircraft, and gains the evasion ability of the rogue class. The ability applies to both him and his dirigible, and only works when the balloonist is aerial in a personal dirigible.
he inspired inventor has a mind full of ideas and concepts, fantastical designs for machines and innovative ways of applying old theories. It’s often so full that he has to scrawl down his ideas in sketchbooks and tomes to try and record them all, in shorthand and pictures that most others find hard to decipher but which he intuitively understands. For the inspired inventor the world is simply full of possibilities that have yet to be explored, and he’s eager to do just that. In a world without steamworks, the inspired inventor may be the genius who creates them in the first place. In a world where steamworks are already established, the inspired inventor leads the cutting edge of science, pushing the boundaries and coming up with new ideas
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Inspired Inventor Level Progression
Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 BAB +0 +1 +1 +2 +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 Fort +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Ref +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Will +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 Special Bonus Feat, Inspiration Personal Shorthand Amazing Visions Bonus Feat Dismantle Bonus Feat Spellcasting +1 Spellcaster Level +1 Spellcaster Level +1 Spellcaster Level +1 Spellcaster Level +1 Spellcaster Level +1 Spellcaster Level +1 Spellcaster Level
(Steamworks), Decipher Script, Disable Device, Knowledge (Any), Open Lock, Profession (Any), and Spellcraft. Skill Points per Level: 6+ Int modifier Class Abilities: The following are class abilities of the Inspired Inventor. Weapons and Armour Proficiencies: An inspired inventor gains no new weapons or armour proficiencies, although this does not stop him from constructing weapons or armour. Spells per Day: When a new inspired inventor level is gained that grants the character a new spellcaster level, the character gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before adding the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of turning undead, extra metamagic feats, etc.) except for an increased effective level of spellcasting. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming an inspired inventor, he must decide to which class he adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day. Bonus Feat: At 1st, 4th and 7th level, an inspired inventor gains a bonus feat that he meets the prerequisites for from the following list: Alchemechanic, Arcanomech, Essence Engineer, Exotic Weapon Proficiency, High Artificer, Master Mechanic, Necromek, Quick Fix, Skill Focus (Any), Steam Surgeon. Inspiration: Once per day per inspired inventor class level, the character may benefit from a flash of inspiration and ingenuity, gaining a +4 bonus
to any skill check. This can also be used when taking 10 or taking 20 with a skill. Personal Shorthand: At 2nd level the inspired inventor develops a personal style of shorthand writing. Any text written in the shorthand (usually designs, theories and development notes) cannot be understood by anyone else except by a Decipher Script check (DC 30). Personal shorthand keeps the ideas and sciences that the inventor wants secret kept that way – when writing something for others to understand he of course uses normal text. Amazing Visions: The brilliant and ingenious designs and theories of the inventor attract the attention of a patron at 3rd level. The patron will contact the character and provide funds for him to develop and create new devices, but on the condition that all such designs are developed for the patron and it is he who controls the release of the information. Dismantle: At 6th level, the inspired inventor is so well-versed in the construction of devices, and so familiar with the concepts and theories used in putting together structures, that he can apply these principles to dismantling them as well. Constructs do not benefit to immunity from critical hits inflicted by an inspired inventor, and he gains a +2 bonus to any sabotage checks. Finest Creation: At 10th level an inspired inventor can construct his finest creation, a one-of-akind device or construct. A piece of equipment created with this ability is automatically masterwork, and has its masterwork benefit increased by 1 as well
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Mechanist Level Progression
Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 BAB +0 +1 +2 +3 +3 +4 +5 +6 +6 +7 Fort +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 Ref +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Will +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Special Machine Affinity, Prosthetic +1 Armour Plating Prosthetic, Face of Steel Light Fortification +2 Armour Plating Prosthetic Mechanical System +3 Armour Plating Medium Fortification Mechanical Enlightenment of existence through the purity of the mechanical. Mechanists may exist as an extreme sect of a deity with a portfolio including steamworks, machinery, and the mechanical, dedicated to a vision of a future where even men are brought up to new heights of existence by the progress of machinery. They may be a philosophical sect that has sprung from the ranks of mechanics, or from groups of people who have had a prosthetic part and come to the conclusion that it is superior to the flesh that it replaced. Lone mechanists also occur, individuals who for their own personal reasons have chosen to follow the path of melding man with machine. Hit Die: d12 Requirements: To qualify to become a mechanist, a character must fulfil the following criteria. Craft (Steamworks): 4 ranks Feats: Great Fortitude Fortitude Save: +3 Special: The character must have at least 2 prosthetics. At least one must have been voluntarily implanted even if there was no actual need for the prosthetic. Class Skills: The mechanist’s class skills are Climb, Concentration, Craft (Any), Craft (Steamworks), Disable Device, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Profession (Any) and Spot. Skill Points at Each Level: 4+ Int modifier. Class Abilities: The following are class abilities of the mechanist prestige class. Weapon and Armour Proficiency: A mechanist
as any Maintenance DC reduced by 1. A construct gains a +1 competence bonus to attack rolls and checks and a +1 bonus to AC. With the agreement of the DM, an inspired inventor could instead invent an entirely new piece of machinery that is not detailed in this guide. An inventor can only have a single finest creation at any one time, but can create a new device if the first once is destroyed or damaged beyond repair.
or most people a steamwork prosthetic is something they wish they never need; few are eager to lose parts of their body to have them replaced by a mimicry in metal and gears, even if the prosthetic is superior to the old flesh and blood. Some are less adverse to prosthetics, seeing their practicality in certain lines of work, but even so they are not quick to have part of their body carved off and a steel prosthetic substituted. Yet a mechanist is not eager and quick to embrace the process of replacing flesh with metal, but indeed pursues it as a goal of enlightenment. The mechanist sees flesh and muscle, skin and bone, as more of an impediment than something to be too attached too, merely one stage in several towards a final enlightenment. To him, machines are superior to organic matter, and demonstrably so, since metal never tires and possesses a strength beyond that of a mortal man. A mechanist may see his path as one of harnessing the power of machinery for his own personal ends, or he may see it as a way by which he can achieve a higher state, reaching for divinity and true understanding
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
MetalWorker Level Progression
Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 BAB +0 +1 +2 +3 +3 +4 +5 +6 +6 +7 Fort +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 Ref +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Will +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 Special Aura of Metal, Master Craftsman Heat Metal, Smite Construct Command Construct Mastery of Slicing Steel +1 Aura of Metal Mastery of Shielding Steel +1 Aura of Metal Mastery of Slicing Steel +2 Warp Metal Mastery of Shielding Steel +2 Spellcasting +1 Level +1 Level +1 Level +1 Level +1 Level +1 Level +1 Level
gains proficiency in all simple weapons. Machine Affinity: Due to his affinity for machinery, a mechanist gains a +2 bonus to Craft (Steamworks) and Disable Device checks. Prosthetic: The mechanist undergoes a slow but steady process of altering his body with machines. At levels 1, 3 and 6 a mechanist can have a new prosthetic implanted into him, with no chance of contracting a disease or infection. Armour Plating: As well as prosthetics, mechanists implant smaller devices and machines into them, as well as attaching more practical armour plating. This results in a mechanist gaining a natural armour bonus at level 2, which increases at levels 5 and 8. Face of Steel: From level 3 onwards, the mechanist’s appearance has been changed so much that he gains a bonus to Intimidate checks equal to his mechanist level. Light Fortification: At level 4, a mechanist has been so changed by his augmentations that he begins to pick up some of the traits of a real construct. Any critical hit made against a mechanist has a 25% chance of hitting a metal part or prosthetic and allowing the character to ignore the additional damage caused by the critical. Mechanical System: At level 7 a mechanist gains damage reduction 3 to subdual damage only, as well as gaining an additional +2 bonus to his Fortitude save. Medium Fortification: At level 9 the chance of a mechanist being able to ignore the additional damage from a critical hit is increased to 50% Mechanical Enlightenment: At level 10 a mechanist is so augmented and modified that over half of his body is now mechanical. His machine sens-
es grant him a +2 insight bonus to Intelligence, as well as granting damage reduction 3/ - and increasing his natural armour bonus from armour plating to +4.
he metalworker is a divine spellcaster with power over metal and machines, a priest who preaches of the mechanical and the manufactured. A master of forging and crafting, the metalworker sees the souls of men as being akin to the metal he shapes with his hammer in the furnace, and he seeks to bring the words and wisdom of his deity to those around him. A metalworker walks amongst the factories and industries, spreading the word to those who labour at forge and furnace. Teaching both his faith and his skills at crafting to his flock and bringing his divine gifts to aid those injured in the sparking, hammering halls of industry, the metalworker can play an important part in the community of labourers and manual workers. He is often the first voice to demand better work and pay for the manual labourers and mechanics when they are repressed by the upper classes, and the first to advocate new technologies and methods. Metalworkers often form an important part of the religious structure that worships a deity of metal, forges, machines and hard work. They may represent the members of the priesthood who go out to spread the word amongst the workers while other clerics administrate the higher levels of the organisation, or metalworkers may be amongst the most powerful and influential individu-
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als within a faith. They can be found searching far and wide to discover new machines and spread the knowledge of such devices as far as possible, or might be heavily involved in conflicts with those who would seek to destroy and crush technology and science. Hit Die: d8 Prerequisites: To qualify to become a metalworker, a character must meet the following prerequisites. Craft: 6 ranks in a Craft skill that involves metal Knowledge (Religion): 5 ranks Spells: Must be able to cast divine spells of at least 3rd level. Special: Must have crafted at least one metal item. Class Skills: The metalworkers class skills are Concentration, Craft (Any), Craft (Steamworks), Heal, Knowledge (Religion), Profession (Any) and Spellcraft. Skill Points at Each Level: 4+ Int modifier Class Abilities: The following are class abilities of the metalworker. Weapon and Armour Proficiency: A metalworker is proficient with all simple weapons, light, medium and heavy armour, and shields. Spells per Day: When a new metalworker level is gained that grants the character a new spellcaster level, the character gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class he belonged to before adding the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of turning undead, extra metamagic feats, etc.) except for an increased effective level of spellcasting. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a metalworker, he must decide to which class he adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day. Aura of Metal: Anyone within 30ft of a metalworker gains a +1 bonus to any Maintenance checks. At 5th level the aura also bestows the +1 bonus to hit of mastery of slicing steel to any allies within the area. At 7th level it also bestows the +1 bonus to AC of mastery of shielding steel to any allies within the area. The bonuses to hit and AC do not increase with the mastery of slicing steel and mastery of shielding steel abilities at 8th and 10th
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Steel Knight Level Progression
Level 1 2 3 4 5 BAB +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 Fort +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 Ref +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 Will +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 Special Armour Familiarity, Thunderous Charge Armoured Grace Avoid Malfunction Crushing Charge Extra Edge
level. Master Craftsman: A metalworker gains a bonus to any Craft check to create a metal object equal to his metalworker class level. Heat Metal: A metalworker can cast heat metal as a spell-like ability once per day for every level in the metalworker prestige class he has. Smite Construct: Once per day a metalworker can make a smite attack against a construct, adding his charisma bonus (if any) to the attack roll and his metalworker class level to the damage roll. Command Construct: A 3rd level metalworker gains the ability to rebuke and command constructs as an evil cleric rebukes and commands undead. The character uses his metalworker level only for this ability, not any cleric levels he may already possess. Mastery of Slicing Steel: The metalworker’s mastery over metals hones the edge of his weapons and makes them light and graceful in his hands, granting a +1 bonus to hit with metal weapons at 4th level. This increases at 8th level to a +2 bonus. Mastery of Shielding Steel: At 6th level the metalworker’s mastery over metals reinforces any metal armour he wears, reinforcing it and making minute adjustments. It bestows a +1 bonus to the AC of any metal armour he wears, and at 10th level this bonus increases to +2 AC. Warp Metal: At 9th level the metalworker can cast warp metal as a spell-like ability 1/day.
uper-heavy armour is bulky, slow and requires extensive training for anyone hoping to operate it, but in return it grants strength far beyond that of the muscle and bone of a normal man and protects the pilot with incredibly thick armour from outside assault. The very best of those who pilot this devastating form of armour become familiar with their armour and learn its strengths and weaknesses, in time wearing it almost like a second skin. These veterans of super-heavy armour, toughened and experienced warriors of great skill and competence, are known as steel knights, those who ride across the lands in suits of steel and steam. Intimately familiar with his suit of armour, a steel knight learns to recognise the warning signs of an impending malfunction and how to avoid it; he learns how to move with the suit more naturally, rather than fighting to push the augmented lump of steel around the battlefield. A steel knight can push his suit to its very maximum, getting the vital edge he needs out of it. A warrior who uses super-heavy armour but leaves it to a team of mechanics to keep it maintained and running will never achieve the skills of a steel knight, even if he is an excellent fighter; a steel knight can delve into the workings of his armour and get it working again from the most devastating of damage. A steel knight may well be a member of a knightly order or military organisation who deploy super-heavy armour on the battlefield and train their members in its use, representing the very best and most experienced kind of pilot that these groups can put on the battlefield. Whether a noble or religious knight, or a grizzled veteran mercenary, a steel knight knows how to get the very best out of the suit he pilots. A
Steam & Steel
steel knight might also be a roving individual who has somehow got his hands on a suit of superheavy armour, perhaps from ancient ruins or the ingenuity of an inspired inventor, who follows their own personal agenda through the means of their almost unstoppable steamwork gear. Hit Die: d10 Prerequisites: To qualify to become a steel knight, a character must meet the following prerequisites. Base Attack Bonus: +5 Craft (Steamworks): 4 ranks Feats: Power Attack, Cleave, Skill Focus – Craft (Steamworks), Super-Heavy Armour Proficiency Special: Must possess a suit of super-heavy armour. Class Skills: The steel knight’s class skills are Climb, Craft (Any), Craft (Steamworks), Intimidate, Jump, and Profession (Any). Skill Points per Level: 2+Int modifier Class Abilities: The following are class abilities of the steel knight. Weapon and Armour Proficiency: A steel knight gains no weapon or armour proficiencies. Armour Familiarity: A steel knight is familiar with the idiosyncrasies and individual qualities of his armour, often performing small modifications to it to fine-tune the performance slightly. He gains a bonus to all Craft (Steamworks) checks with his super-heavy armour equal to his Steel Knight class level. Thunderous Charge: A steel knight learns how to perform an intimidating charge, bearing down on a foe in a fearsome thunder of steel. Anyone charged by the steel knight while he wears superheavy armour must make a Will save (DC 10 + Steel Knight level + Str modifier) or be shaken (as the morale effect) for the rest of the combat. A steel knight equipped with speakers on his armour can add +1 to the DC of the save. Armoured Grace: At 2nd level a steel knight is no longer subject to the –2 penalty to Initiative checks the super-heavy armour imposes. Avoid Malfunction: At 3rd level a steel knight can re-roll a roll on the Malfunction table 1/day for his armour, but the second result stands. Crushing Charge: At 4th level the steel knight learns how to use the weight of his armour in a charge, adding a +4 bonus to his Strength score when he charges in super-heavy armour. Extra Edge: At 5th level a steel knight learns how to get an extra edge from his armour, reducing the skill check penalties of the armour by 4 and increasing the maximum Dexterity modifier by 1.
his section details a number of new spells designed around the steamwork system presented in this guide.
Awaken Machine Transmutation Level: Invention 9, Sor/Wiz 9 Components: V, S, XP Range: Touch Target: Machine touched Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: Will negates Spell Resistance: Yes This spell awakens the target machine to true sentience. To succeed, the caster must make a Will save (DC 10 + target’s HD or in the case of non-constructs or non-vehicles 10 + Maintenance DC). The awakened machine is friendly towards the caster, though the caster has no special empathy or connection with it. The machine gains 3d6 Intelligence, +2d6 Charisma and +2 HD if it has hit dice. It can speak 1 language + 1 language per Intelligence ability score bonus it possesses. Machines are usually awoken in this manner to serve as superior war constructs that are more capable of fighting with tactics and strategy, as well as vehicles that are brought to sentience for various purposes. XP Cost: 750xp Dominate Steamwork Transmutation Level: Steamwork 9 Components: V, S, M Range: Close (25ft. +5ft./2 levels) Target: 1 steamwork device, vehicle or construct Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: Will negates Spell Resistance: Yes
This spell brings a steamwork device under the control of the caster. A steamwork affected by this spell will only respond to the command and activation of the caster, no-one else, and he can command and activate it with his voice only. A construct or vehicle dominated in this way will not attack the caster and will obey his commands, even if it is to attack the original owner. A construct with a spirit matrix is still dominated, and the spirit within loses control of its steamwork body unless the caster allows it any control. The effects of this spell are permanent. Material Component: A chunk of crystal wrapped in copper wire, costing 50gp. Genius Transmutation Level: Invention 7 Components: V, S Range: Personal Target: Self Duration: 1 hour/level Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: Yes (Harmless) This spell fills the character’s brain with surging, inspirational flows of genius, propelling the intellect to new heights and bringing amazing clarity of perception. The character gains a +10 enhancement bonus to Craft (Steamworks), Knowledge (Mathematics), Sense Motive, Spot and Search checks as well as a +6 enhancement bonus to Initiative and Intelligence. He gains a +10 enhancement bonus to any other skill checks that involve solving a puzzle, riddle or other complex problem. The character can automatically solve such a problem if he wishes, but the spell ends immediately.
Steam & Steel
Machine Savant Divination Level: Invention 3, Sor/Wiz 3 Components: V, S Range: Personal Target: Self Duration: 10 minutes/level Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: Yes (Harmless) When a character casts this spell, they become able to see into the very heart of a machine, their magical vision stripping away the outer layers of gears and metal to be able to observe the innards at work. They see any machine as if it were a blueprint, able to percieve how the parts integrate, how they interact - and where they are weakest. This spell gives a character the ability to make critical hits against any machines, even if they are normally immune to critical hits. The caster also gains a +5 circumstance bonus to any Craft (Steamworks) checks made in the period. Magic Cog Transmutation Level: Clr 1, Steamwork 1 Components: V, S, M Range: Touch Target: 1 steamwork device Duration: 1 hour/level Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: Yes (Harmless) This minor incantation helps keep a machine running properly, discouraging malfunctions and keeping parts moving slightly more efficiently. The Maintenance DC of a machine that this spell is cast on is lowered by 1 of the duration. Material Component: A small metal cog. Meld Transmutation Level: Clr 4 Components: V, S, F Range: Personal Target: Self Duration: 10 minutes/level Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: Yes (Harmless) This spell allows the caster to make metal plates adhere and meld with their skin, literally bonding armour to them, and is a common spell amongst the priesthood of mechanist sects. The metal plates are the material focus of the spell, and grant a +5 armour bonus and damage reduction 5/magic. Due to the nature of the metal actually merging with the caster’s skin, no armour check penalties or suchlike are inflicted by the temporary armour. After the duration of the spell has expired, the armour plates simply drop off. Material Focus: Four plates of metal, crafted by the caster. Repair Metal Transmutation Level: Clr 2, Sor/Wiz 2 Components: V, S Range: Touch Target: One construct or metal object Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: Yes (Harmless) This spell repairs the damage done to a metal object or construct, sealing up rents and bending steel back into place, and healing 1d8+5 points of damage. Rust Transmutation Level: Druid 2, Sor/Wiz 3 Components: S, M Range: Close (25 ft. + 5ft/level) Target: 1 steamwork device Duration: 1 hour/level Saving Throw: Will negates Spell Resistance: Yes
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
This spell is designed to sabotage steamwork devices, rusting metal parts and weakening joints for its duration. The Maintenance DC of any device that has rust cast upon it is increased by 1d6+1 for the spell’s duration, and constructs and vehicles suffer 2d8 damage. Material Component: A small vial containing some rust. Rust Vampire Necromancy Level: Sor/Wiz 3 Components: V, S, M Range: Touch Target: 1 steamwork device Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: Will negates Spell Resistance: Yes With this spell, the caster makes a touch attack against a machine, infusing its structure with entropic energy. If the subject fails a Will save, it suffers d6 damage/caster level (maximum 20d6) as the spell corrodes metal and twists plates, and suffers an immediate roll on the malfunction table. The caster is healed for an equal amount as the damage inflicted as the spell siphons off energy from the machine. Material Component: A rusted nail. Soul Harvest Necromancy [Evil] Level: Clr 4, Sor/Wiz 4 Components: V, S Range: Self Area: 30ft. radius Duration: Instantaneous This necromantic spell sends a pulse of dark power racing away from the caster that snares any souls lingering nearby. The soul of any corpse in the area that was killed within the last hour is captured in an soul gem that the caster is carrying; if the caster does not have enough gems then additional souls escape. In addition any such soul affected can use the Will save it had when alive to try and escape the spell. This spell is used to acquire souls to power soulburner engines. A gem must be of at least 100 gp in value to be useable in this spell. Timeless Engine Transmutation Level: Clr 7, Sor/Wiz 7 Components: V, S, XP Range: Touch Target: 1 steamwork device Duration: Permanent Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: Yes (Harmless) This spell uses powerful magic to slow down the normal processes of degrading in a steamwork device, meaning that maintenance is needed far less often. The affected device does not suffer any penalties for long-term wear, nor does it need Maintenance checks every day if it is constantly running, instead needing a check every year. In addition, the device does not need to make a check for every day it goes without maintenance to see if the skill bonus to its Maintenance checks is reduced by one, instead needing such a check for every year it goes without maintenance. XP Component: 100xp Warp Metal Transmutation Level: Drd 3, Sor/Wiz 4 Components: V, S Casting Time: 1 action Range: Close (25ft. +5ft./2 levels) Target: 1 lb. of metal/level, all within a 20ft. radius Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: Will negates (object) Spell Resistance: Yes (object) As warp wood, but this spell affects metal instead.
n this appendix are presented the summaries of two of the possible campaigns presented in the first part of this guide. These summaries are designed to show from a rules point of view how to integrate these concepts into a campaign world.
The Empire of Hurdell
PC Races: The primary available PC races in this setting are humans, who make up the primary population of Hurdell, dwarves, with whom they have an alliance, and lizardfolk, who in this setting have a talent for mechanical things and make up a significant portion of the underclass forming in the empire. Lizardfolk especially represent the oppressed lower clases most vociferously and are known for leading strikes and industrial action. Classes with Craft (Steamworks) skill: There is no particular link between steam technology and either arcane or divine practitioners of magic in Hurdell. The science that they use is by and large just technological, and it is primarily the domain of specialist mechanics with the Expert class. However, wizards do make up a proportion of the more learned part of society, and as such, they have access to the Craft (Steamworks) skill as a class skill. Fighters also have access to it, because the armed forces of the empire make extensive use of steamwork equipment and vehicles, and as such, most of those who are trained for battle become familiar with such devices. Finally, rogues are often familiar with at least the basics of steam technology as it aids them in dealing with steamwork traps and in sabotaging machinery. Lizardfolk from the province of Qakul get Craft (Steamworks) as a craft skill as a racial bonus. Engines: As mentioned, Hurdell bases the foundations of its steam technology on conventional methods, and as
such steam engines that are powered by conventional oil or coal burners are the most common sight. Wizards do occasionally craft more complex designs that blend magic with machine but these are expensive and rare. As such, the only two engine creation feats available are the Arcanomech and Master Mechanic feats. Materials & Craftsmanship: In terms of materials, the empire of Hurdell makes use primarily of rion and steel, with more exotic metals being rare. The exception to this is the Imperial Guard, the constructs of which are made from specially treated gold. These constructs, however, are designed more for show than for battle. The Hurdellian level of craftsmanship is average, but has only just advanced from poor in recent years. As such, many devices and constructs of poor quality are still in circulation. Equipment: Any piece of steamwork equipment that is of Maintenance DC 8 or less, and is not arcana, is probably not that hard to obtain in Hurdell, and may even be a regular sight. Arcana and devices of a higher DC are less common, with any piece of arcana needing to be crafted specifically to order by a wizard. Only light or medium augmented steamwork armour is available at the moment, though the progress of science may make the cosntruction of heavier forms possible before too long. Edifices of Might: The more mundane structures are common throughout the empire, but those that bledn magic with science are either rare or unheard of. There are plans to build a magnificent weather tower in the empire's largest port, but this is a task of which the Imperial mechanic mages have yet to master the science for. Prosthetics: Only the simplest of prosthetics are available, and even then it is difficult to find a surgeon with more than 5 ranks in Heal to apply the device. In general, no prosthetic that requires more than 8 ranks in Craft (Steamworks) is available.
a Guide to Fantasy Steamworks
Constructs & Vehicles: If there is one area in which Hurdell excels, it is here. Their prowess in building heavily armoured ironclads and intimidating airships is unmatched, and has reached the point where private companies with crews of workers recruited from the Imperial dockyards are being set up, to provide services to wealthy gentlemen and aristocrats who want their own luxury dirigible or suchlike. Manservant and automaton constructs are common, especially in the industrial areas of the cities, while the various forms of sentinel construct are being constructed on a limited scale to further bolster the flesh and blood troops of the Empire. Prestige Classes: Inspired Inventors exist in this setting, rising above the norm of the mechanics and artisans around them. Metalworkers wander the factories and slums of the lower classes, being so successful in rabble-rousing that the Imperial authorities are considering suppressing the lizardfolks church of the Gearlord. rare and fabulously expensive. The best way for adventurers to gain items of their own is to investigate the dangerous ruins of the dwarven cities. Edifices of Might: The ruins of many of these structures can be found in the ruins of the dwarflands, but most are damaged beyond repair and recognition. The ones that are still active are generally not fully understood anyway. Prosthetics: As with equipment, prosthetics are possible though very, very rare, even in terms of the objects found in ruins. The eastern elves occasionally barter one away though. Constructs & Vehicles: The eastern elves are rumoured to have entire armies of constructs, and many still prowl the dwarven ruins. Of these latter examples, the most common types are automatons and sentinels of various forms, apparently still powered by some mysterious source of energy. Samples of living steel are also known to lair amongst the ancient ruins, and anywhere that one is found is a dangerous place indeed. There are no intact examples of steamwork vehicles from the ruins, though the blueprints for such a device would fetch an exorbitant price indeed. Prestige Classes: Only the Inspired Inventor is available, and even these are rare. Nonetheless, their capability to actually construct steamwork devices means that they are highly erspected and their services in great demand.
Empires of Past and Present
PC Races: All the standard races are available, with the exception of the dwarves. The only trace of that race that still exists is the ruins of their past empire. Classes with Craft (Steamworks) skill: No class has access to the Craft (Steamworks) skill, only as a cross-class skill, with the exception of the Inspired Inventor prestige class. Steamworks are just not well-enough understood in this area of the world. And the decadent elves in the east are not willing to train anyone in such scientific arts. Engines: No form of engine creation feat is available, except to Inspired Inventors. Materials & Craftsmanship: Any item taken from the ruins of the dwarven empire, or purchased from the eastern elves, is of either advanced or high steam power in terms of the quality of its manufacture. The exception to this is that sometimes Inspired Inventors are successful in constructing their own steamwork devices based on studying the ancient steam engines of the dwarves, but in this case the work is usually crude or at its best of poor quality. Equipment: Potentially any piece of steamwork equipment is available, though incredibly
Christopher Allen would like to offer thanks to Oliver Geddes, Maldur, Horacio, Arwink, Kaiyosama, Crothian, Sniktch, my old Planescape group (you'll recognise some Arcanatum stuff) and my Acrozatarim group (you'll know it when it hits you)
Steam & Steel
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That’s right. The author of Steam and Steel, Christopher Allen, has another book on the way. Keep your eyes out for The Biothaumaturgical Handbook, to be published by Enkwell Press in 2004.
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