It's definitely a worse-than-death sentence; not only what you mention, but rumors likely exist about how the poor sod's mind sin't really frozen, but trapped, forced to watch the world constantly but totally unable to do anything. It's like the stories of immortality gone awry, in that respect.
And you have part of the idea down pat; the skeleton makes for an excellent framework. Skeletons also tend to creep out people, particularly ones walking around, if the world's undead are proscribed (Kuramen only having the Hollow Ones as true undead, for example). And hey, they can be enhanced if you really want... Thaumatechnology is prone to cramming extra runes, glyphs, and scripts into too small a space, after all.
...Even if you solved the problems of bipedal balance for the thing, which would likely require slightly different programming on each skeleton-construct, it's a bit too disturbing a concept for the real world. People would be up in arms over the desecration of the dead, regardless of their origins. As for the resistance fighters - the main thing that'd do would be give them more targets to blow up and likely turn the Iraqi people who are ambivalent about the USA solidly against them. It'd be solidly living up to the label you occasionally hear about the States being devils, Shaitan's minions, and so on.
That's assuming you could get a computer brain for them capable of handling everything necessary, or convince someone to teleoperate what amounts to some guy's corpse.
I'm happy leaving them in the steampunk realms, honestly. Go to Comment
Kuramen, which these things belong in, used to be a high-fantasy world. Then I had a conversation with siren and it turned steampunk. Now it gets better described as a world of heroic fantasy where all the heroes have already gone off into legend, and only the normal people are left to try and deal with it.
I can help counterbalance that. I don't trust any authority at all. Go to Comment
They work best, naturally, on foggy nights, or other misty locations; your first clue there is of a faint red glow in the vapor, which abruptly resolves into the Steamwalker itself, eyes blazing like windows into the fiery pits of damnation. Go to Comment
Glad to have been of inspiration to you. The world needs more steampunk, in my opinion.
Yes; the storytelling bit at the beginning is meant entirely to show how these things behave in practice. When they first show up... Players will expect them to behave like the undead in some fashion. When it suddenly moves in and tears into the guy holding a stolen item, or who was picking a lock, it'll undoubtedly startle them, even more so when it just shrugs off any holy effects. Of course, if the party hasn't actively attacked it by the time it finishes off the criminal, it just turns and walks off... It can be really compelling if it they catch it tearing into a NPC criminal in the middle of the night, outside their bedroom window. Go to Comment
Lets keep the undead, and things that look like them, in the realm of fantasy. Is there even one movie where at the end of the story, the protagonist says Thank Goodness we had these Robot-Zombies? Go to Comment
I like it. The creep factor could probably be turned up a bit more for extra effect when actually used. I also like the explicit inclusion of, "These are not undead, they merely have similarities." Go to Comment
An excellent piece (and I dont say that just because you credit me...). In a steamfantasy setting, it is also quite logical. Why construct a golem or automaton from scratch when you already have ready-made frames, with all the necessary hinges and articulation - and in great abundance to boot? And I do love the idea of this being a worse-than-death sentence. Not only are you executed, but your remains will be desecrated and forced to serve the very society that killed you.... Mmm, delicious irony..:)
Excellent! Well-thought, and well-explained. I shall be using steamwalkers in my game (and that, I believe, is the highest compliment one can receive on a sub). I have a thief PC who's been getting a little too cocky lately, and the next strange city he visits... Go to Comment
I just stumbled upon this entry and it alone did two things for me...
1. Cause me to sign up so I could get active in this community.
2. Mothball the current d20 modern campaign and kick start that steampunk campaign I first started working on back when I first got into Hordes/Warmachine.
Very nicely written. The small piece at the start sets the mood perfectly and shows just how creepy these things are. The other great thing about them is that my PC's will assume they're undead and waste turnings and other holy items on them. Can't wait to get started with these :) Go to Comment