I thought of that almost as soon as I read the effects of the weapon. Locastus gets a Cacotopic Stain that i might, eventually, manage to shut down again! How lovely for them, if only it weren't nearly impossible to get to the device causing it.
The lightning guns kind of throw me. Lightning, in an oceanic environment? I understand the conductivity notion, but it seems to me more like you'd want a version that shot pure concussive force, or enough heat to ignite wood and flash-boil water; or perhaps cold, since it gets hard to freely maneuver with an iceberg frozen around your ship. Go to Comment
The image that I have is less shining steel and brass, and more, after his obsession has truly set in, a monstrous creature of a rusty and tarnished hue, looming suddenly from a thick pea-souper fog.
Imagine, as rad-sickness and cancers set into him, being trapped so close to a live and leaky nuclear reactor all the time; each encounter, he gets weaker and weaker, until, in an encounter, he suddenly collapses, stone dead.
And as the party exchanges looks, bewildered, they hear a thin, raspy voice. "I ain't done yet..." And the mechanical abomination lurches upward again, tougher than ever because now there's nothing /alive/ in it to get rid of. Go to Comment
Sapient clockworks, and without the usual evolution from organic to machine. They're like little mechanical brownies, in my mental image.
I like the included bit about how winding down is akin to death for them, to a degree that you can't find one in a tomb someplace, wind it up, and expect it to come to life. Do the 'dead' ones, reactivated, just kind of totter in place like toy soldiers? Or could you perhaps end up with a 'clockwork undead' that echoes the 'living' clockfolk in the way that zombies and skeletons imitate living people? Go to Comment
How would they react to someone animating an empty 'shell' of a deactivated clockfolk, in the fashion of a golem? Probably about as well as fleshy races tend to react to the 'desecration of the dead' done by necromancers, I expect? Go to Comment
That's awesome. I could see a couple of plot hooks from it; one being the clockfolk trying to hire or otherwise convince the party to help them retrieve a shell, the other being a 'grave robber' wanting to hire the party to make the clockfolk leave him alone (my, what a lovely toy soldier his son is playing with!) Go to Comment
Aetherball Systems (Technical/ Mechanical)
Definite;y has more of a straight fantasy flavor, but as an item by itself it certainly has uses; use it as a power source for your golem! Just hope there's not some psychotic's soul ensnared in the gem. Otherwise you might get some crime scenes where there's no trace of the killer - just a bit of clay here or a scrap of wood there, perhaps a bit odd but certainly not suspicious. Go to Comment
Simple, sweet, and an excellent blending into steampunk. Right down to the radioactive steam that could be put to so many nasty uses in a darker version of the setting. A city filled with cancer-ridden, perpetually ill citizens, where no one knows why the strange plagues have begun. And yet there are those satisfied with the situation - the illness keeps the population from complaining too much, and these marvelous engines let most of the work be done without the wastrels at any rate. Go to Comment
Depends on how it was hollowed out, I'd say. Given the design of your average pike, it could just be a hole drilled to one side of the piercing point, or a fitted tip that has vents around said point. Go to Comment
You just made my head hurt, man. Steampunk ninjas. Ow.
But yes, for assassins and scouts who need relative silence, they're excellent. They lack the full stopping power of a black powder weapon, really, but for what they're meant for, they're excellent. Go to Comment
Sort of. It comes with a crank you plug in, like hand-cranking an old car to kick-start it, except here each wind compresses a bit more air in the canister. Otherwise it's essentially a clockwork rendering of an air rifle. Go to Comment
Actually, if you've ever used a crossbow, this is easier to reload; rather than requiring you to haul the string back and then nock a quarrel in the grove, you snap it open and slide in a fresh projectile, then snap it shut again. A slight modification could allow for it being a double-barreled weapon, allowing two shots per reload action. Overall, I'd say the basic model would take less than half the time to reload that a crossbow does. If you modified it to match, say, the loading mechanism described in the article Val linked, you don't even need to waste time on reloading - just match the ammunition to the charge of compressed air, and you're good to go until you run dry on both.
As it is, though, this is more of a sniper's weapon than something you'll find on the field of open battle. Given that most of the parts should be able to be designed in a modular fashion, it should be a fair bit simpler to innocently smuggle it into a location than most crossbows; in a world with thaumatechnology, the parts might all resemble pieces you'd find in an engineer's kit bag. Go to Comment
There is a reference for things along these lines. The spectacularly bad idea of the gunblade - a fighting knife bonded to a pistol - really did exist; perhaps in Acqua the notion is a better idea than our own unwieldy, awkward, and poorly-balanced gunblades were.
Longer barrels are effective for longer-range shots, though. Go to Comment
This is definitely an intriguing idea, although the first use for it that actually spring to mind is sabotage, by creating a situation of serious overpressure in smaller devices to wreck them, or as a weapon to scald and blind opponents. Possibly also useful for creating covering fog on a cool night, although the sudden turbulence would certainly mark the fog as something unusual.
I'm not too sure about the variants; I could see the heat pipe being used as a heater in a cold place, or to help bake food, but the main use I'd see for the boiler wand would be to refill a steam engine's boiler without lowering the boiler's temperature in the process. I suppose if you needed to cook some lobsters in an emergency it'd be good for that, too.
Names aside, do they run out, or are they self-renewing somehow? Are they relatively common, or rare? I could almost see them being a tool of the trade in some respects, particularly the boiler wand, for maintenance types who feed the furnaces with coal and top off the boilers with water. Go to Comment
A typical wand with offensive capabilities (magic missiles, fire, fireball, lightning bolt) that was either damaged in combat or made just under par. When the wand is discharged, there is a 1 in 4 chance that it fires an additional 1d6 charges simultaneously or in rapid succession. Wands that shoot fire may incinerate innocents and friendlies, or burn whole buildings and even villages down. Those which shoot fireballs have a considerable radius, and lightning bolts that bounce upon contact with ground and stone can cause catastrophic random collateral damage. Those who have paid large sums for such a device may go seeking a refund, possibly even retribution.