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 Post subject: Power Sources
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:50 pm 
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So I've been doing some work thinking about Dragonmech as it relates to a standard DnD world.

My conclusions are interesting me. They run something like...

Steam is fine for everyday, official purposes, but what about more traditional magic? There are myriad ways it could be tapped, and it wouldn't have to be officially done by nations--although they'll probably be interested in the results.

Let's look at magic as a potential power source. Offhand, I can think of these ways they can be used to power mechs and/or steamborgs.

-Lightning Rod. You take a metal bar (I like copper, thematically), and enchant it like you would a Shocking, or Shocking Burst weapon. Now, with some modifiers to Mechcraft checks, you can use it to power mechanical stuff. Oh, and a Lightning Rod can take the place of a spark generator in a steampower array.

-Pure energy. The process is something like this:
1) Identify the part of dragon anatomy that allows them to breath energy.
2) Compare with lunar dragons to attempt to confirm that the moon-lizards have the same set up.
3) Kill lunar dragon of appropriate size.
4) Use a successful high-DC heal check to harvest the organ.
5) Use Heal check, or healing magic, to sustain the organ.
6) Use organ's energy-producing abilities in place of fire for steampowered stuff.
7) Reap profits
8) Make Mechcraft DC to design mechanical setup that can be directly powered by the energy.
9) Build such a setup.
10) Go around shooting energy like this guy. http://youtube.com/watch?v=w7IbCSzWv24
11) PROFIT!!!

Outsider-powered
Big enough to warrant its own section. F'rinstance, you can...

-Forego the coalburning set up by convincing a Fire Elemental to live in your firebox...or you could enslave it.
-Possibly forego the heating of water by means of a Steam Paraelemental to do something
-To wind up your clockwork rig, you come to an accord with a Water or Air Elemental. Both can form whirling currents, so that'll work to your advantage.
-I suppose you could use Lantern Archons to fire Light energy at people.

The Nasty Way
What you do is, find a creature with powerful innate magic--like a Magical Beast, Outsider, Dragon, or so on.

Then you make a restraining rig--maybe like a multi-armed crucifix--and nail the creature in question to it, crippling it to make restraining easier, and then you siphon magical energy off of it, ideally keeping it alive enough to be useful while so weak it can't give you trouble.

Congratulations, you now have a more organic version of a Spell Furnace, and your alignment is highly likely to be Evil.


Later on, I'm going to take a crack at writing what borgs *could* be like once the nations realize their potential use.


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 Post subject: Re: Power Sources
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:51 pm 
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Oh, I forgot.

The other version of the Spell Furnace would involve feeding it unneeded magical items.


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 Post subject: Re: Power Sources
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 7:24 pm 
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Nice ideas. I particularly like the elemental-powered ones, especially the steam paramental. I'm not certain of the lunar dragon draconis fundamentis (the organ, according to Draconimicon, that you're talking about. I may have the first word off). It's a good idea, but I disagree with labeling it "pure energy." It's just a form of energy unique to the moon. I'd rather go with fire or lightning and harness it in familiar ways. The spell furnace for magic items is also a neat idea. I had considered statting it up for a mech that "burns" magic items, and give it a prismatic mist effect representing the arcane pollution.

Other ideas:
- a necrotic mech that's basically an enormous meat rack
- an "organic" mech with an animated heart and such powering it. It acts as a pump, using water pressure as the power source

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I am Omnirahk, half-Rahkshi ("Omni") of the WotC forums. I consider "Psionics in DragonMech" (see my website) my greatest contribution to anything d20 so far. At least, it's my most successful topic.


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 Post subject: Re: Power Sources
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 7:40 pm 
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I haven't read the Draconomicon.

On the other hand, we already have steamborgs who can somehow connect themselves to mechanical parts and control them.

So I'd write off harvesting the thingabobber and keeping it alive to use it as a power source as being a bit similar to steamborg principles.


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 Post subject: Re: Power Sources
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:30 pm 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse

Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 6:48 pm
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Location: Wichita, KS
Permanced Wall of Fire & steam engine.


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 Post subject: Re: Power Sources
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:24 am 
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Raptor wrote:
Permanced Wall of Fire & steam engine.


Now you're thinking!

See, I view this as more of "What will the future of technology be?"

And it gets easy as you realize that with magic, it really is possible to create infinite-energy systems.

And, no, I don't view it as particularly game-breaking. Gamebreaking would be if it ruined the game. As it is, allowing these (assuming it's a player who thinks of them) would be a nice way to reward ingenuinity. And, heck, it'd be a cool advance on the setting--that the nations find ways to make their mechs indefinitely sustainable.


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 Post subject: Re: Power Sources
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:01 am 
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I definitely like these ideas. This is what I'd like to see more of in DragonMech: magic being used for steam.

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I am Omnirahk, half-Rahkshi ("Omni") of the WotC forums. I consider "Psionics in DragonMech" (see my website) my greatest contribution to anything d20 so far. At least, it's my most successful topic.


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 Post subject: Re: Power Sources
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:06 pm 
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Well, to add to this, I just ended up inventing a new material for a friend.

So.

Truecopper. It's naturally magical copper, often found at the center of an area of copper ore, inside a thick jacket of normal copper. As hard as steel, but heats up a bit quicker, so it's actually easier to work (Blacksmithing / Crafting DCs are decreased by 3. ). It's a beautiful metal, takes a lovely burnish. The true beauty, however, is that truecopper takes to magical enhancements more easily than most metals. Depending on the quality of the truecopper (there's a little variation) and the magical quality in question (Shocking and Shocking Burst, hem hem), it costs 10-20% less to enhance and magic up Truecopper weapons or armor.

Because I'm lazy, I'd let players use the pricing guide for mithral. But charge what you wish.


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 Post subject: Re: Power Sources
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:32 pm 
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Oaksoul Elite wrote:
I definitely like these ideas. This is what I'd like to see more of in DragonMech: magic being used for steam.

I'd like to see less of it, actually. :)

One of the cool things about the DragonMech setting, IMO, is the way that technology and magic are set up in opposition to each other. It provides a social conflict that transcends particular mechdoms, races, and tribes as the paradigm shifts from spell to steam. To resolve that tension by having the two forces work together in harmony on a large scale lacks drama and seems anti-climactic to me.

I'm not saying I wouldn't use any of these ideas, because they're certainly interesting and perfectly logical. But any mech using one of these ideas in my campaign would definitely be a unique one.

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 Post subject: Re: Power Sources
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:18 pm 
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Raptor wrote:
Permanced Wall of Fire & steam engine.


The problem is that steam engine aren't something you put together and runs perfectly forever. Things break down. If you don't have the ability to shutdown the fire source, fix problems is more difficult.

Like mythfish, I like steam being an alternative to magic used by the regular people. Combining the two is limited due to low number of mages and even less that are interested in steam power.

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Identical Games


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 Post subject: Re: Power Sources
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:27 pm 
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dulsi wrote:
Raptor wrote:
Permanced Wall of Fire & steam engine.


The problem is that steam engine aren't something you put together and runs perfectly forever. Things break down. If you don't have the ability to shutdown the fire source, fix problems is more difficult.

Like mythfish, I like steam being an alternative to magic used by the regular people. Combining the two is limited due to low number of mages and even less that are interested in steam power.


For Steam Engine repair, you don't cast the Wall of Fire inside the steam engine. You cast it on a metal square which has handles and can be inserted into the firebox and locked into place, or removed safely when necessary.


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 Post subject: Re: Power Sources
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:34 pm 
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Oh, I don't believe I mentioned the idea of Manpowered mech being powered by golems on treadmills or something.

Heck, you could make a pilot golem that's got some additional magic words on it--enough that it can work a crossbow or throw rocks as it peddles away to keep the mech going.


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 Post subject: Re: Power Sources
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:22 am 
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mythfish wrote:
Oaksoul Elite wrote:
I definitely like these ideas. This is what I'd like to see more of in DragonMech: magic being used for steam.

I'd like to see less of it, actually. :)

One of the cool things about the DragonMech setting, IMO, is the way that technology and magic are set up in opposition to each other. It provides a social conflict that transcends particular mechdoms, races, and tribes as the paradigm shifts from spell to steam. To resolve that tension by having the two forces work together in harmony on a large scale lacks drama and seems anti-climactic to me.

I'm not saying I wouldn't use any of these ideas, because they're certainly interesting and perfectly logical. But any mech using one of these ideas in my campaign would definitely be a unique one.


You're right. I'm just not fully satisfied with what the constructor has to offer yet. They supposedly are the one group interested in combining steam and spell, yet the only spells tailored to mechs are the L'Arile ones that affect wooden mechs. Surely the constructors have some oddity to show off? But you raise an excellent point. These mech ideas should be unique ones. And statting up too many uniques makes it very hard to capture it in game.

_________________
I am Omnirahk, half-Rahkshi ("Omni") of the WotC forums. I consider "Psionics in DragonMech" (see my website) my greatest contribution to anything d20 so far. At least, it's my most successful topic.


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 Post subject: Reverse Gravity Turbine
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:12 pm 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse

Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 6:48 pm
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Location: Wichita, KS
Build 2 60 ft tall. empty columns connected with smaller tubes at top and bottom, with turbines in the connecting tubes. Fill with water and seal. Cast Reverse Gravity and Permanence on one column. the pressure differential (low at the top, high at the bottom for the normal column, and high at the top, low at the bottom for the enspelled column) between the ends of the 2 columns will cause water to flow through the connecting tubes, spinning the turbines. You can also do this with air but the pressure differential is much less, and will produce very little power, while with water you get approximately a 2 Atm. difference between ends.


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