mythfish wrote:I'll try to tackle some of these, but read this disclaimer: none of these things you have questions about are things I wrote, so my opinion doesn't really hold any more weight than yours, and furthermore the only book I have handy to reference at the moment is Steam Warriors.
Understand completely. Your answers are still more official than mine, though, since you've actually written official material for the DragonMech line.
Sword Guy wrote:
1. Do mech symbiotes with the True Symbiosis class feature deal with crew requirements as an assimilated (crew needed to keep mech running) or as a hellborg using Fuse Mech (no crew needed)? See above discussions on crew requirements.
Given the description of the mech symbiote and the true symbiosis ability, it seems reasonable to me that no crew would be required.
Seemed that way to me too, but then, I thought that an assimilated wouldn't have to have crew members because the mech became his body. Thought I'd get an semi-official-opinion from someone else, since I'm partial to the no-crew-members version.
Sword Guy wrote:2. How is crew requirement and number of crew needed to fire weapons affected when a mech is the recipient of an awaken construct spell?
Um...hmmm. As an easy answer, I'd say an awakened
mech is perfectly capable of operating itself and its weapons with little or no need for crew (though it would have a hard time doing maintenance on itself). To make things a little more complicated though, I might say the number of crew members the mech "replaces" depends on its intelligence score. I'd also rule that the mech can only effectively use weapons in a forward arc (in its "field of vision"), though a crew member could still operate weapons facing in other directions. And even though the mech may be able to fire its own weapons, it may not be GOOD at it.
The big tradeoff for having a mech that operates itself though, is that even though it is friendly toward the person who awakened
it, it is a fully developed personality. In other words, it's an NPC with its own wants, personality quirks, and agenda. It may not fully understand what characters explain to it, and even if it does it may flat out refuse to do it.
Makes sense. The only quibble I have with that is over the "forward arc" part, since 3.5 doesn't have facing rules. It's assumed that anything in combat is turning and twisting, keeping all opponents in sight. I agree that it may not be good at firing weapons, though. I think that I'll use the rule that an awakened
mech requires no crew members, since it seems odd that a sentient, mech-sized creature (which can control the mech "shell" as if it was its own body), would have to have two or three people in the "stomach" who were feeding it coal.
As for NPC-ism, exactly right. I was trying to take that into consideration, but most of these questions I ask are only for my own enlightenment or entertainment value. I don't think I'll wind up with PCs who want to cast awaken construct
until high levels, by which time they'll probably have custom-designed stuff on their mech that worries me much more.
Sword Guy wrote:3. Any plans after Almanac of the Endless Traders for the DragonMech line?
Joseph is really the only one who can answer that.
Well, I hope to get an answer from Joseph soon, then. It'd be nice to know what's next so that, when I get a campaign going, I don't have to go in and rewrite stuff to make it compatible with the new book. But if it's about something like the cosmology, or the moon, I can probably not worry, since I doubt I'll have 3rd-level PCs who decide to go plane- or ether-hopping.
mythfish wrote:Oh wait...I suddenly see why you think it might be too powerful. I was operating under the assumption that the only person using it would be someone who already has the ability to maintain steam powers, and that it wouldn't actually increase the number of steam powers one had access to. But it doesn't actually say that, so I'd like to revise my opinion on that one. I'd say no, it can't be used to maintain steam powers. You can cast it on a steam power and clean it up nice and perform "routine maintenance" on it. I think "routine maintenance" is just a poor choice of words in the description, and when you are officially maintaining steam powers, it requires specialized knowledge beyond simple "routine maintenance" to make them operate effectively.
A spell that actually does maintain a steam power is a cool idea, though.
Exactly. I was looking at it and thinking "huh, there are rules in the DMG for creating at-will use 1st level spells. 1st level spell = refurbish
. Infinite refurbish
= infinite # of steam powers maintained per day."
"Routine maintenance" was really a question because "maintain" is the word used to describe keeping steam powers running. If the spell had said "routine sustenance" and not listed steam powers as a possible target of the spell, I wouldn't have been so worried about it. Again, another question that is mostly to gather other opinions.
Sword Guy wrote:5. Are 7 HD cogling crawlers Small or Medium creatures?
I'd go with Medium for no particular reason other than I have a hard time imagining a Small creature with that many hit points.
I only recently started reading the monster creation and advancement rules in the MM, mostly because I run a combat-light game (unless the PCs are really stupid). So I still haven't gotten used to looking at advancement and being able to figure out exactly why each number was placed there. When I start getting more accustomed to the rules, and finish statting the monsters I've written, I'll probably have a better idea of what HD should go where.
Sword Guy wrote:6. In the main DragonMech book, it says that "Any corpse reanimated with a steam engine can be reanimated as a smoking dead zombie or skeleton using the animate dead spell." However, it lists no spell used to create meat racks.
I believe in the Player's Handbook there is a spell called create undead
that allows one to create more powerful undead like ghouls, ghasts, and wights. I'd use that as the spell for creating meat racks.
Steam Warriors seems to contradict the core book a bit in that regard, in that the necroborg engine and necroborg harness steam powers are used to create smoking dead and meat racks, and no spells are necessary.
The necroborg engine and necroborg harness steam powers are designed to be used only by the necroborg. Because of this limitation, I wanted to confirm which spell would be used to create a meat rack if done the traditional, magical way. I think what the steam powers are saying is that no magic is necessary for the steam powers to function, but magic is necessary if you're not using the steam powers to create smoking dead.
I thought create undead
too, but I wanted to check and make sure I wasn't missing some aspect of d20 rules regarding undead.
Sword Guy wrote:7. Later on that same page, it says "A steam engine strong enough to power a Medium smoking dead costs 100 gp." Since a meat rack is a Large smoking dead, how expensive is the engine to power it?
I would just pull a number out of my butt, say 200 gp. But if you want something more scientific, figure out the cost to hit die ratio...twice the cost of the engine would give you twice the hit dice of a medium smoking dead? Hard to do without that book in front of me.
I think that would work if I was designing a bigger smoking skeleton, but trying to extrapolate skeleton costs to a meat rack would probably end up wrong. Since not only is one a lesser undead and one a normal undead ("normal" being less powerful than "greater"), but also they're different sizes and methods of construction.
mythfish wrote:Oho! Wait...the necroborg harness steam power says it costs 500 gp to create an engine for a meat rack.
I disagree, because the cost for a steam power does not accurately reflect the cost of the components. The necroborg engine costs 120 gp, but the engine itself (without the necroborg additions) costs 100 gp. I can't trust my own judgement for this because smoking dead are sufficiently outside the range I've dealt with before. I'd like to get some more opinions from the "official" people.
Sword Guy wrote:8. Do steamborgs with an upgrade to a natural attack actually gain said natural attack, or does the attack have to be pre-existing in order to be enhanced?
I think I'd need my core book to answer that one.
The core book just puts the steamborg enhancements in three columns: Function, Change, and Bonus Eqv. Under Function, it says "Natural weapon or unarmed damage," under Change "Next higher die (1d4 to 1d6 to 1d8, etc.)," and under Bonus Eqv. "+1." Problem is, from that I can't deduce whether a steamborg gains a natural attack or simply increases the dice of a pre-existing one. Also helping with the perplexity is the steam monster prestige class, which allows for "monster parts" to grant a bite or claw attack to a steam monster.
Sword Guy wrote:9. Do monster parts (from the steam monster prestige class, SW) count towards the number of artificial parts a steamborg has for Constitution limits and lose self checks? It seems like they should, but they don't say either way.
I'd say pretty clearly yes on that one.
Thought so, but asking never hurts.
Thanks for the help. With some luck, your answers will make it possible to finish up some prestige classes and compose some new spells.
DragonMech DM soon, with any luck.
Owner of all DragonMech books, Etherscope core book, and DCC 12.5: Iron Crypt of the Heretics.