This isn't half bad, but it leaves me with some questions and odd points.
1. After reading your notes at the end, I understand why the materials around Locastus are uniformly low in quality. The problem I have is that this is a very arbitrary function and I am curious if this is a setting wide phenomenon or just a local one. If this is a local phenomenon, why is so much mundane material of sub-standard quality as compared to normal?
Personally I would have made it a matter of what materials were available, replacing minable granite with structurally weaker basalt. Oaks and other quality hardwood would be rare, being replaced with softer wood trees that grow just as slowly. Coal comes in various grades, and gunpowder can be a function of a suboptimal recipe.
2. Are there adverse effects due to such a large number of sigils concentrated in a confined area? From reading the mechanics behind their function, it seems that a sigil would have a zone of effect, an area where it was dominant over any other weaker sigil that entered the area. If too many sigils were concentrated in one area, could their conflicting influence over the intangible ether cause problems? Can too many sigils 'deaden' an area, or muddy the flow of etheric energy so as to make sigils work inefficiently?
Being somewhat educated in Feng Shui I can easily understand the concepts of flow and essence patterns as well as harnessing them. But I also know that in that school of thought, such patterns and flows cen be affected in a negative fashion. There is also the basic idea of ecology, with sigils perhaps having an effect on the ether just as pollution or depletion of natural resources has on the enviroment. Go to Comment
Scras's suggestion and your addition of the Sigil ecology section addressed a problem I have with 'free energy'.
One could even build weapons which were large or very long carpets enscribed with many sigils enscribed upon then. When laid flat, they are far enough apart to avoid creating a dead zone. Not so when rolled up.... Go to Comment
Scras, this is excellent. I could just take your comment and paste it straight into the sub...:-) I love, repeat LOVE the idea of Sigils polluting the Aether, and the one that many Sigils in one place would compete over available energy. Now I´ll have to go back and muck about with the sub to add this in some way. I might go as far as adding a "Sigil Ecology" subheading. Thanks a lot, friend. A comment like yours sums up why you need to kick your ideas around with other people.
Thinking about it, I may change the raw material problem as well... And , yes, i actually got the idea from Feng Shui. Always liked that idea..
Nicely written. I do like all the fantasy-esk details added to a technical weapon.
I think you have worked the balancing of fantasy and science nicely. I have a "musketeer" setting which is fantasy (magic is suppressed and what most D20 players would consider cantrip, with a fairytale rather than Tolkien fantasy style). It takes jsut a bit of work to make sure that neither side is without its limits.
Since Urban Fantasy and the Iron Kingdom settings shows us that you can easily have technology and fantasy combined, not in a techno-magic sense but in a both are present sense, we should have more of these kinds of submissions.
I have added the Black Powder free-text to this one. Go to Comment
This is good. It reminds me, actually, of a great many Elephant hunting guns from the Elizabethan era. Veracity in such an item is good.
As for technical feedback - (Sorry, I have to. It's in the blood.)
As a curiousity... Is there a particular reason that the pin has to penetrate the primer? A typical primer is an unstable concussion explosive that provides heat to ignite the major propellant, and you just have to bang on it to make it go. Good steel will last tens, if not hundreds of thousands of rounds, while bad steel will still last a few thousand rounds. Brass, on the other hand, that might be a problem.
Good breech loading seals are not -that- advanced, they just require a complete knowledge of metallurgy, and an appropriate sealing ring. This is probably the hard part for the Locastus setting. Poor rubber will break down quickly, leading to the 'powder tattoos'. Now, breeches being where they are, personal experience dictates that zee goggles, zey will be an important part of life, as zey will do summfink. Powder tattoos are going to grace their cheeks and temples, too, especially if it's a top breaking action. Blow back SUCKS. Go to Comment
I like it. As a random thought about the power sigils being visible at night, wouldn't it be fairly simple to just wrap the stock with a cloth? It wouldn't work for the pin or the barrel, but the stock shouldn't be a problem... Go to Comment
Val, here´s the link to the gun I drew my inspiration from, a firing pin-mechanism that used paper cartridges: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Needle_gun Check it out! But now I got this great idea about Breech-Loader users having "powder tattoos" on hands and forearms because hot soot from the breech has burned itself into their skin....The spare firing pins is a good idea, too...gotta add that, Thanks!
Siren - When I was doing a bit of research I came across something called a needle gun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Needle_gun) that i´ve used as a template for the breech-loader. In the cartridge of a needle-gun, the primer is located not at the base of the cartridge, but directly beneath the slug itself, so the firing pin must penetrate the entire propellant charge to reach the primer. I think it has something to do with slow-burning gunpowder - if you ignite it from behind, most of it will shoot out of the barrel, adding no gas expansion to the bullet´s velocity. If its set alight front to back, it stays in the weapon. I thought that was a neat idea..:-) /David Go to Comment
What if some crazy wizard created an artifact that empowered rodents that touched it with one random supernatural power? Preferly right out of the pages of your favorite four-color. (But only one power!) This item does not convey any sort of intelligence boost.