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 Post subject: Homebrewing the Steamborg
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:24 am 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:05 pm
Posts: 189
The 'borg's my favorite Dragonmech base class. In fact, this user name is taken from a steamborg I played.

But the class does strike me as being underpowered, while at the same time loaded with features. I mean, the Mark II's customizeability is a nice idea, but the bald fact is, the first steamborg gets the equivalent of 12 or so feats PLUS steam powers, whereas the Mark II can get 10 features.

So I'm going to lay this out...

-The steamborg gets no spellcasting, so it's pretty much got to be a combat or a skill class.

-Its customizeability is its coolest feature

So let's go with making it the ultimate customizeable class.

Or, rather, classes.

Because I'm seeing three of them here.

The standard steamborg is the medium one. It gets a nice mix of skills, combat ability, and a modular nature.

But why not have a low-BAB, high-skill, high-tech steamborg? Give them more steampowers and more skills, and maybe some alternate Artificial Parts bonuses, and you could have something very nice going.

And, on the flipside of the coin, have a steamborg who's made to be a soldier. Trade the good will save for good reflex, give more weapon proficiencies, give good BAB, lower the steampowers and the skills, and give them the option of getting some really snazzy artificial parts and built-in weapons (I've got a couple of ideas in that direction).

Possible have a list of "core skills", and then a couple of skill lists which represent your character's specialties, of which you choose one. I'll consult the books, then I'll look around for the template to make a character chart and see if I can post these for criticism and comment.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:15 am 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:05 pm
Posts: 189
I've got some ideas listed, but to lay some groundwork for this...

Let's talk about the Legion and the Stenian Confederacy, and about the battleborgs and the skillborgs.

The Legion first, shall we?

Shar Thizdic has learned about steamborgs from one of his people who temporarily went rogue. He had been aware of their existence, but hadn't ever thought about them much. His agent, however, was able to give her take on how useful the steamborg technology could be. Since then, Shar has had people learn more about the steamborgs and the integration of flesh and steel, with the intent of making more powerful soldiers for the Legion. Is there an army that wouldn't welcome in superstrong soldiers with built-in weaponry and good technical skills?

Thus the 'battleborg' was born. There's several variation, and, indeed, the battleborgs are a collective term for steamborgs designed and trained to fight, but they boil down to Strong vs. Agile.

They're mostly human volunteers from the Legion, although a few dwarves in the Irontooth clans have taken the path, too.

Naturally, this has been extremely worrying to those non-humans who know about it, because a squad of battleborgs proved themselves against a mid-sized Lunar Dragon with good result.

As a result, the Stenian confederacy is taking steps for when they may need to fight against the Legion.

They are also using steamborgs, oddly enough. Oh, steamborgs have been around, but a secretive section of the Stenian Confederacy realized how useful a steamborg would be in infiltrating a city mech, and hiding in it for long enough to determine how to disable it. Thus, some coglayers have been drawing up plans for utility arms and ways to muffle the exhaust of a steamborg's engine. A properly-trained steamborg would be able to sneak past the city mech's entourage, sneak aboard, cut his way in, and then merge silently into the gear forest, and live self-sufficient for months if need be, to learn the workings of the city mech so that it might be totally and utterly disabled and open to attack.

Most of the 'skillborgs' are dwarves and gnomes, and some are former coglayers whose technical skills are highly prized for this endeavour.

(Not too bad, huh? Now I just have to work on ideas and mechanics for the classes themselves...)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:09 pm 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:05 pm
Posts: 189
Thanks to a multi-hour gap in my class schedule, I have some more concrete thoughts about the skillborg and the battleborg.

Remember that all this is tentative

-The skillborg sounds like it should have d6 HD, 6 skill points, and a mix of stealth and technology skills. It can integrate steampowers into itself like a normal steamborg does, but it may also make them run off a small steam engine, like a coglayer's. In 20 levels, it gets 10 + Int steam powers, and also gets a couple of feat choices, one of which is "That Piece is Important." And it gets a couple of optional upgrades, either designed to make it more sneaky/more likely to survive (The Practical skillborg), or that give it some more bonuses with technology (the Academic skillborg).

-The battleborg...2 or 4 skill points, d10 HD, good Reflex instead of good Will, probably some of the basic skills, but, notably, a lack of tech skills. Battleborgs, if they're created, may actually be designed and maintained by Legion coglayers, which, in true Shar Thizdic reasoning, assures that they won't easily be able to go rogue, because your average battleborg doesn't quite understand what's been done to him and how to take care of himself, thus ensuring he has to depend on the Legion for maintenance. Maybe as they gain levels, they can be trained to be self-sufficient, but Shar Thizdic really discourages that.

I'm getting conflicting images of the stereotypical battleborg, though.

One is a heavily armed steamborg that's poured all his Artificial Parts and feats into increasing his range and accuracy, and his prize weapon is a farshooter rifle.

One is a man's upper body mounted on a large, heavy pair of legs, and built up his back and into his shoulders is a second, massive pair of arms that reach around or over his shoulders, effectively giving himself four arms and an upgrade to Large size. He's holding a biiiig sword in one hand.

One has been been giving an all-around treatment to increase his speed, dexterity, armor, and strength.

And I could probably think of some others, but the point seems to be, if it's got to do with battle, there are 'borgs being designed for it.

And I'm toying with the idea of them gaining more than 10 Artificial Parts over 20 levels (some of the rigs cost more than 1, of course), and being able to sustain this number because of the professional, expert care they receive from both physicians and coglayers.

I dunno. Some of these ideas (especially the one with the big legs and arms) could be PrCs...

Am I making any sense here, anyone?


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 Post subject: sense
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:08 pm 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:15 am
Posts: 87
sure, it makes sense, however im not sure how best to implement your ideas. many of the options you mentioned are certainly possible within the scope of the regular steamborg options, especially when combining steampowers together to get larger effects.

the primary limitation i think would be the limited # of steampowers a borg gets over his career. but say you want to get the big legs and arms you could make 2 oversized iron arms (mentioned elsewhere in the forums i think) and an oversized pair of mechanical legs to get the big-bad stomper borg effect. not sure how many power that would take... 2 par arm, 2 for oversized legs, like 6? would take up a big chunk of theiur selection.


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 Post subject: Re: Homebrewing the Steamborg
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:28 pm 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:05 pm
Posts: 189
Eureka!

Well, okay, I got back into my Dragonmech books, and again I was stricken by how the Steamborg doesn't get much besides big numbers. So I took another look, took a step back, and came up with a variant that has a decent increase in power and I'm happy with the idea.

The first thing that needed doing, Artificial Parts needed to do more. So I looked at F&K Scaling feats. Thus, you take one Artificial Part feat, and it provides benefits for you throughout your entire career, under the assumption that you're still honing that design.

The second thing that was needed was customization. Steamborgs seem to be a pretty individualistic lot, so I had to come up with something so they could go different routes--the main two routes being combat and skills/tech. I had an idea--what if Steamborgs pursue different interests (combat, skills, whatever), and, naturally get better at that field of interest? And then there's the stuff like Steel Skeleton and Metal Skin. That inspired me to write a bunch of 'modifications' that the borgs can buy as they go along in a similar vein.

I've got to tweak a couple of things, but I'm going to pop it up here when I've got it looking like something coherent...


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 Post subject: Re: Homebrewing the Steamborg
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:12 pm 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:05 pm
Posts: 189
Steamborg
"Work it harder, make it better, move it faster, make it stronger more than ever, hour after hour, our work is never over..."
--Steamborg with a song stuck in his head while he works on his next upgrade.

HD: d8
Saves: Good Fort and one other Good save (your pick)
Medium BAB

Level, Special, (Steampowers)
1 Steam Engine (0+Int)
2 Artificial Parts, Improved Tech Skills (1+Int)
3 Field of Interest, Lose Self
4 Artificial Parts (2+int)
5 Body Modification
6 Artificial Parts (3 + Int)
7 Field of Interest
8 Artificial Parts (4 + int)
9 Body Modification
10 Artificial Parts (5+Int)
11 Field of Interest
12 Artificial Parts (6+Int)
13 Body modification
14 Artificial Parts (7+Int)
15 Field of Interest
16 Artificial Parts (8+Int)
17 Body Modification
18 Artificial Parts (9+Int)
19 Field of Interest
20 Artificial Parts (10+int)
Skill Points: 6 + Int
Class Skills: Balance, Climb, Craft, Disable Device, Heal, Jump, K (Mechs, Steam Engines, Engineering), Listen, Mechcraft, Pilot Mech, Profession, Search, Spot, Swim.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Steamborg are proficient with simple weapons, four martial weapons, and the more common steam weapons (guns, buzzaxe, chattersword, etc.). They are proficient with Medium Armor, but with no shields.

Steam Engine: You know how this works.

Artificial Parts: At every even-numbered level, the Steamborg gets an Artificial Parts feat. Artificial Parts feats continue improving, as long as the Steamborg continues putting ranks into Mechcraft, and K (Steam Engines and Engineering).

Improved Tech Skills: Equal to 1/2 character level.

Field of Interest: Steamborgs all go their own way, pursuing their own interests. Naturally, the time spent teaches them some extra stuff. At levels 3, 7, 11, 15, and 19, they get to pick one of the following
-A point of BAB
-An extra skill point (gets skill points retroactively)
-Extra class skills (The number gained depends on the power. Take UMD by itself, 2 out of Hide, Move Silently, Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Sense Motive, Tumble, and 3 out of Knowledge (any), Use Rope, Ride, and Speak Language)

Body Modification: At level 5, 9, 13, and 17, the Steamborg undergoes some extensive body modification. I'll work out prices and recovery times later. Unless noted, a body mod cannot be taken more than once, but it does stack with whatever artificial parts.
-Metal Skin
-Steel Skeleton
-Reinforced (Increases hit dice by one step, +2 to Fort Saves)
-Powerful Build (Prereq: Reinforced. As it says)
-Wired Reflexes (+2 to Dex)
-Extra Arms (Gain an extra pair of arms. Need a Coordinator before you take this again)
-Coordinator (helps the Steamborg smoothly use a non-standard body. Various effects to Feats and Extra Arms)
-Tools (Built-in tools give substantial bonus to things they're used for)
-Ageless (can only be taken at level 17)

(Artificial Parts feats to come).


Last edited by Arek on Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Homebrewing the Steamborg
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:57 pm 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:05 pm
Posts: 189
Need to spend some time and come up with some more Artificial Parts feats...anyway.

Artificial Parts:

Artificial Parts are feats which can be taken as general feats by anyone who has a steam engine implanted within their body. The number of Artificial Parts a character can have is equal to their Constitution Score - 10. In general, effects provided by artificial parts do not stack with similar magic effects, although they may often stack with Body Modifications. Artificial Parts scale with the steamborg's ranks in Mechcraft, Knowledge (Steam Engines) and Knowledge (Engineering).

Stronger
0 You get +2 to Str.
4 Your carrying and lifting capacity is doubled.
9 You get +1/3 level to Str, in addition to the +2
14 You get your entire Str score to Str checks.
19 You get another +2 Str.

Faster
0 +2 Dex
4 +2 Bonus of Dex Related skills
9 +1/3 level to Dex
14 You get +10 feet of speed
19 +2 Dex

Harder
0 +2 Natural Armor
4 DR equal to ½ character level/piercing
9 +1/3 level Natural Armor
14 You an additional 5 DR/piercing.
19 +2 Natural Armor

Unusual Mobility
0 Choose climbing, swimming, or a speed increase
4 Choose climbing, swimming, or a speed increase
9 Choose burrowing, climbing, swimming, flight, water-walking, etc.
14 Choose or improve
19 Choose or improve

Magic Legs
0 +10 ft speed Speed.
4 Jump bonus equal to level.
9 Flight equal to double landspeed (average)
14 Flight improves
19 Flight Improves

Omnivision
0 Low-Light/Darkvision
4 Low-light and Darkvision improve.
9 Choose a weird method of seeing.
14 Choose or improve.
19 Choose or improve

Stealthy
0 +1/2 level to Hide and Move Silently
4 Your Steam Engine does not produce visible exhaust.
9 You may become Invisible for a number of rounds each minute.
14 Your invisibility is not penetrated by True Seeing
19 Number of rounds you can become invisible increases

Cogmorph
0 You get a hidden weapon which can be produced with a move action
4 Alternate land-travelling (quadruped or wheeled). Double speed, cannot use hands until you change back.
9 You get a Large weapon which is brought out with a move action
14 You get an another mode of mobility
19 You get an improved weapon which is brought out by a full-round action

Supersenses
0 +1/2 level to either Spot or Listen.
4 Scent
9 Tremorsense
14 Blindsight
19 Blindsense

Survivorman
0 Bonus to Fort Saves, Air Supply
4 Air Filters—poison, smoke.
9 Waterbreathing
14 Heat and cold resistance equal to level.
19 No ill effects from environment.

Monstrous
0 Natural Weapon
4 Choose a monster part
9 Choose a monster part
14 Choose a Monster Part
19 Choose a Monster Part

Scanning
0 Ignore half hardness on creatures, mechs
1 Crit thesholds up by 1.
6 You get X-ray vision out to 60 feet
11 Taking the principles of X-ray vision, you build a superior variant, one which is not block by solid material (even lead) and which allows you to see a 5-foot-cube at a time (if anyone's ever played the N64 Perfect Dark, visualize like operating the alien sniper scope)
16 You Scan-o-vision becomes a cone out to 120 feet, allowing you to see anything within the cone.

Minibot (skill feat)
0 You make a diminutive, sentient construct. It has Str 12, Dex 10, Con -, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 6. It listens to what you say, but may takes things a touch literally at times. It is a qualified workshop assistant, with ranks in Craft, Mechcraft, and Knowledge equal to yours - 3.
1 You can specialize your minibot (fill in later)
6 Minibot can build *other* minibots.
11 More forms of them available
16 Lots more forms available


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 Post subject: Re: Homebrewing the Steamborg
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:40 pm 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse

Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Wichita, KS
So, would anybody be interested in seeing my mageborg class? It is basically a sorcerer variant that channels their natural magic energy into magic items built into their bodies.


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 Post subject: Re: Homebrewing the Steamborg
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:40 pm 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:05 pm
Posts: 189
Sure.


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