Friday, 10 July 2015

Clockwork Marvels 2: Low-level clockwork technology

Clockwork Technology Difficulty Ratings


Name
Operate (O)
Maintain (M)
Repair (R)
Construct (C)





Pocket watch
0
0
1
2
Clockwork toy
0
0
1
2
One-shot (clockwork 'gun')
0
0
1
1
Repeater crossbow
0
1
1
2
Tiny Yaga
0
1
2
2
Clockwork limb
0
1
2
3
Simple automaton (repeats one action endlessly)
1
1
2
3
Peppergrinder gun
0
2
2
3
Bronze horse
1
1
2
3
Small tank (2-man)
1
1
2
3
Calculating machine
1
1
2
3
Small Yaga
1
2
3
3

Pocket Watch: The essential sign of true gentility. Carried by aristocratic fops, well-to-do tradesmen, engineers, and military officers everywhere.


Clockwork Toy: Wind-up horses, music boxes, etc. At the more sophisticated end, this includes things like wind-up birds which 'sing' one of several tunes (from internal music boxes) while moving their heads and flapping their metal wings.

One-Shot: Where there's strain energy, there's a weapon waiting to happen. ATWC's clockpunk technology requires fantastically powerful springs: the 'one-shot' is just a hollow metal tube containing a powerful spring with a trigger. Drop a bullet or pebble down the tube, then point and shoot: 1d8 damage, but the 'sproinnnng!' noise it makes is much quieter than a gunshot, and unlike a crossbow it's easy to conceal and can be used one-handed. Takes ten rounds to reload by winding the spring back up.

Repeater Crossbow: A crossbow with a clockwork mechanism bolted onto the side for automatic reloading; just turn the handle and it pulls back the string and drops a new bolt into place from the magazine. 1d6 damage, can be fired every round. On an attack roll of 1 it jams and needs to be repaired. You're still better off with a bow if you know how to use one.

Tiny Yaga: Named after a witch with a walking house in some western folktale. A yaga is basically a metal box on clockwork legs; throw some coal into its autowinder and it'll stomp forwards endlessly until it's either turned off, trips over something, runs out of power, or has its direction changed by turning its steering wheel. Tiny yagas are crate sized boxes (3' across or so) walking on 3' legs, and are used by merchants to transport valuable goods. After all, it's much harder to steal something from a walking lockbox than it is to filch it from a saddlebag.

Clockwork Limb: How do they work, you ask? Well, you see, the mechanism is surgically connected to the remaining tendons and then FUCK YOU MAGIC CLOCKWORK MY CHARACTER HAS A CLOCKWORK ARM. They're not any stronger than normal limbs, but if you cover them with heavy metal plating then you get +1 AC for each armoured clockwork limb. Armoured clockwork limbs are much heavier than the flesh and blood they replace, and count as one item each for encumbrance purposes.

Each limb requires one hour's winding for every six hours activity; most people take their clockwork limbs off at the end of the day and allow them to be wound by autowinders while they sleep. Remember that autowinders are powered by primitive, uninsulated steam engines, so leaving your clockwork limb attached to your body while it's being autowound is a fantastic way to get horribly, horribly burned.

You can install a pistol and/or finger blades into a clockwork arm. You can even install them in concealed compartments, spring-loaded to pop out when you press a hidden catch. The authorities will confiscate your arm if they catch you doing this, though.

Simple Automaton: These are the kind of automata which actually existed in the real world. They can be anything from child-sized to man-sized, and are capable of performing a single set of actions over and over again: walking through a specific set of dance moves, for example. Sometimes used to carry out repetitive tasks on workshops and construction sites. Requires one hour's winding for every five hours activity.

Peppergrinder Gun: Six one-shots welded together and attached to a rotating mechanism like the one used on a repeater crossbow: you use one hand to aim and shoot, and the other hand to turn the crank, moving the next barrel into position. Permits up to six shots at 1d8 damage each, one per round; after that the gun is empty and you'll need to spend ten rounds per barrel rewinding the springs. Any attack roll of 1 or 2 means that the mechanism has jammed, making the gun useless until repaired.

Bronze Horse: Preferred mode of transportation amongst the Brass Men. Slower than a real horse, but powerful and tireless; good for transport, but not great in a fight. (AC 15, 30 HP, no attacks, too slow to trample anyone unless they're immobilised, always outrun by real horses.) Eats coal, which powers its internal autowinder; hot steam is expelled through its nostrils in a continuous stream. If you don't have any coal you can open it up and crank it by hand, but it requires two hours winding for each hour of activity.

Leonardo Da Vinci's clockwork tank. So cute!
Small Tank (2-Man): A claustrophobic metal box on wheels, about 6' on a side, equipped with a coal-powered clockwork mechanism that allows it to move (slowly and clumsily) forwards under its own power. One person drives, the other one fires a musket out of the firing slit that runs along the side. Proof against small-arms fire (unless they can get you through the barred viewing window, which is AC 20), but a swivel gun will punch through 50% of the time, and a cannon will smash right through. They're really slow, really hot, and horrible on uneven ground, but if you have to assault a fixed obstacle across flat terrain then you could do worse. If someone pours burning oil in through the viewing window then you will die a horrible death. Requires six hours of hand-cranking for each hour's operation if you run out of coal.

Calculating Machine: It's a calculator. Made of clockwork. (They really existed, as it happens.) They can perform addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication, and are used mostly by astronomers, merchants, and civil servants. Real mathematicians look down of them, of course.

Small Yaga: As tiny yaga, above, but this one is a 10' cube (usually with some barred side-windows) walking on 8' legs. The steering wheel is inside the yaga: a ladder drops down from a hatch between the legs to permit access. It's big enough to live in, and some merchants travel in them for months, carrying themselves and their goods within its cramped interior. Not good on uneven terrain. Arrow-proof (unless they can get you through the window, AC 20), but musket bullets have a 50% chance of punching through its thin skin, and a swivel gun definitely will. The most vulnerable part is the legs: each leg has AC 15 and 20 HP, and smashing one will bring the whole yaga crashing down. If you run out of coal, you're probably going to have to abandon it, unless you like the idea of two people each spending four hours turning its hand cranks (or one person spending eight hours turning both) for every one hour of forward progress.

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