In settings where technology is pushing forward, magitech and internal combustion engines are not the only lines that cultures may develop along. Among people inclined towards mechanical development, but either lacking fuel or having reason to not want to use explosive power sources, springworks may develop. Such devices are built around a universal plug design that allows mechanical batteries called "springpacks" to be inserted, powering all sorts of devices.

Springpacks

Springpacks come in a range of sizes and qualities. When a springpack's capacity falls below half of its maximum charge it can only exert low power, decreasing the effectiveness of the device it's powering. Masterwork springpacks provide more reliable output, having to fall below 25% of their maximum capacity before dropping to low power. Cheap, crude springpacks expend most of their energy quickly, dropping to low power once they reach 75% of their maximum capacity. The table below shows the point at which springpacks of varying size and quality drop to low power output.

Size / Weight

Capacity

Crude Threshold

Standard Threshold

Masterwork Threshold

Small / 1 lb.

50

37

25

12

Standard / 1.5 lbs.

100

75

50

25

Large / 2 lbs.

150

112

75

37

Industrial / 3 lbs.

200

150

100

50


In skilled hands, a springpack can be overclocked to expend all of its stored energy at once rather than gradually. This process takes up to a minute and requires some mechanical engineering know-how to pull off—a failed attempt to overclock a springpack causes it to lose all of its current charge. Only fully-charged springpacks can be overclocked.

Replacing a springpack on a device is a simple action no more time consuming than reloading a lightweight crossbow. Springpack devices that use ammunition in addition to a springpack typically have clips on whatever sort of ammunition case they use, to which a springpack can be attached. This streamlines the reloading process for such devices, allowing the springpack to be replaced as part of the same action of attaching a new case of ammo.

Crank Winder

A simple device for rewinding springpacks, it makes up in portability what it lacks in speed or ease of use. By clipping it on to a springpack, it may be wound at a rate of 5 points per minute, to a maximum charge based off the strength of the user—an average human can wind a pack to about 50 points of charge. This does not risk damaging the springpack unless it gets overwound. If a strong enough winder is attempting to wind a pack beyond its maximum, there's a cumulative 10% chance per minute that the springpack will be damaged and be lowered in quality by one grade.

While winding, a character can't focus on any other actions.

Steampack

A bound fire elemental powers a miniature backpack-mounted boiler engine. A flat and rather broad wrapped cord runs from the pack and ends in a springpack plug, fitting in to any device that would normally accept a spring pack.

1 gallon of water provides 1 hour of steam power. While the device is running, any device it is connected to runs at full power. Some fire elementals can be temperamental, and may choose to burn hotter or colder, providing either low power or overclocked power. In cases where the fire elemental is cooperative, the variable power can be a useful option. For all variables based off the maximum capacity of the springpack in use, a steampack is treated as an industrial springpack.

Magic that chills or freezes the device renders it inoperable for the duration of the spell.

Waterwheel / Windmill

Harnessing the power of running water or wind is hardly a new idea, and it does a wonderful job of providing force to wind springs. Traveling merchants sell winding kits that are easily retrofitted onto most waterwheels and windmills, using the massive amount of torque to charge springpacks. These kits come in varying degrees of quality, the most common being quite minimalist and requiring the user to turn off the kit / remove the pack before it overwinds, which can take some practice to stop at maximum capacity. Higher quality, more expensive kits may include auto-shutoffs, which help take the guesswork out of winding.


Springpack Devices

Many springpack devices are worn in some manner, while others are used in ways similar to tools or weapons. Those that are weaponlike in nature typically require specialized training to use proficiently.

Devices that are still capable of some functionality when out of power tend to have power shutoffs, and may be used as though they had no power simply by not consuming any.

Needlecaster

This forearm-mounted mechanism can launch a thin, lightweight projectile with reasonable accuracy and considerable force. Though not built to inflict large wounds, the metal needles it fires can pack a surprising punch. A standard streamlined needle clip holds 5 shots before needing to be reloaded. Larger, more cumbersome clips that hold up to 10, 15, or even 20 needles are available as well.

Needlecasters deal damage and have range and critical values as a hand crossbow of similar size. While powered, readying a shot is triggered by a sharp twist of the wrist. The firing mechanism is also wrist-based, allowing the device to be used even if the user's hand is full, although with reduced accuracy.

Charge per use

Readying a shot from the needlecaster costs 10 points of charge.

Full power

Ignores hardness equivalent to steel or less. Attacks ignore armor at short range, and readying a shot is instant.

Overclocked

Ignores hardness equivalent to steel or less. Attacks ignore armor at short to medium range. Deals damage as though it were three sizes larger. There's a 50% chance that the device breaks after firing, and needs to be repaired before being used again.

Low power

Range is halved.

No power

Shots must be readied manually, which takes longer. Range is halved.

Screwpunch

Another forearm-mounted device, the most noticeable element is the long drill-looking part at the front projecting out over the fist. This is actually a long screw, designed to easily detach after being driven in to something. Though primarily used for construction, screwpunches have seen limited but typically rather dramatic use as weapons.

If it deals any damage to a person or an object, the screw disconnects and remains anchored in the target. It can be removed with a screwdriver, or it can be pulled out with an amount of brute force proportional to how deeply the screw bit. For every screw in a target, it takes a small but cumulative penalty to all actions based on strength or agility.

Charge per use

Revving the screwpunch costs 5 points of charge.

Full power

The screw spins like a drill and deals damage equivalent to a shortsword if used as a melee weapon, and ignores hardness equivalent to wood or less. When a screw breaks away, a new one is readied immediately if there are any screws remaining.

A standard screw hopper holds 10 screws.

Overclocked

The screw is torqued with such force that it burrows into what it hits. It deals double damage, causes light to moderate bleeding, ignores hardness equivalent to steel or less, and ignores armor. This also jams the reloading mechanism in the process, rendering the device inoperable until a a few focused moments are spent to clear the mechanism.

Low power

The screw spins sluggishly, dealing half damage and not ignoring hardness. A new screw can be readied once per round if it breaks away.

No power

The device is inoperable.

Clatterbow

A marvel of engineering, the clatterbow is a mechanical crossbow that uses three powerful in-line bowsprings mounted on actuated pivots to deliver bursts of fire. Its streamlined design makes it more comfortable for use in tunnels and confined areas where a regular crossbow may be more awkward to use. While powered, the arms are rapidly winched back to a ready position after firing, allowing the rapid rate of fire that gives the weapon its characteristic clattering sound as the arms clack repeatedly against the frame.

Clatterbows fire a volley of three bolts with every pull of the trigger, each bolt dealing a little bit less damage than a similarly-sized light crossbow. Skilled marksmen can land multiple hits with each attack.

A standard bolt case holds 30 bolts, enough for 10 shots before needing to load a new case of bolts as a full round action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

Charge per use

Readying a burst from the clatterbow costs 5 points of charge.

Full Power

Readying a burst is instantaneous.

Overclocked

The pack over-torques the trigger catch once it begins firing, locking the weapon into fully automatic fire until the ammunition or charge runs dry. Once it runs out of ammunition or charge, the weapon breaks and requires repairs.

Low Power

Readying a burst from the clatterbow takes a few moments.

No Power

The clatterbow can't ready bursts.

Rattlecannon

The angry big brother of the clatterbow, rattlecannons are stationary emplacements that provide an oppressive hail of fully automatic belt-fed crossbow fire. Ammo typically comes in boxes that fit in a frame on the rattlecannon, and the belts are strips of cloth stitched over regularly-spaced bolts. The rattlecannon pops the stitches as it pulls the belt through the feed, leaving a tangle of loose ribbons coming out the other side as it fires. A standard ammo belt in a box has 200 bolts, enough for 20 attacks before reloading.

Rattlecannons fire no less than 10 bolts with each attack, each bolt dealing damage and having range equivalent to a heavy crossbow. The fully automatic nature of the weapon makes aiming it less a matter of lining up a shot on a specific target, and more a matter of picking a line to spray with bolts. This makes it very well-suited to holding narrow chokepoints, or firing into target-rich environments.

Firing a rattlecannon without support (such as a wall, a window, or a stand) imparts a substantial accuracy penalty, and may knock the user over.

Charge per use

Each 10-shot blast with the rattlecannon costs 10 points of charge.

Full power

The rattlecannon functions as described above.

Overclocked

The rattlecannon roars into overdrive, spewing bolts at astonishing speeds when it's not sucking them into the weapon's mechanisms. While attacking with an overclocked rattlecannon, the user may make an additional attack at their full bonus. If they take any action other than continuing to fire, the rattlecannon will stop firing and damage itself. If it's already damaged, the rattlecannon is disabled until it can be stripped for repairs.

Low power

The range increment of the rattlecannon is halved.

No power

The device is inoperable.

Arbalesting Rig

Designed to fit onto an existing light or heavy crossbow, this armature fits over the bow and around the stock. It allows the addition of extra pressure to the arms, letting the user deliver an unusually powerful shot.

Charge per use

The cost varies depending on the amount of tension being added.

Full Power

You can take a moment to add tension, increasing the damage of the next shot for every 10 points of charge spent, to a maximum of 40% of the maximum capacity of the current springpack.

Overclocked

The attack gains a bonus to damage based on the maximum capacity of the current springpack. The crossbow takes an equal amount of damage.

Low Power

Adding tension is a standard action.

No Power

The device is inoperable.

Springboots

These stilt-like contraptions attach to the wearer's legs and give them a digitigrade posture. While powered, they allow for greatly enhanced speed and jumping ability. Putting on or removing a pair of springboots is a laborious process, taking a full minute of work to do alone, although this time can be cut in half if someone else assists. Springboots increase the wearer's height by roughly 20-25%, which for some users can cause a bit of a headache in areas with low ceilings.

Charge per use

Normal operation costs 5 points of charge per minute. Additional charge may be expended to enhance jumps.

Full power

The wearer's land movement speed increases by 50%. In addition, the wearer may spend up to 12 points of charge as an immediate action to grant a 5% bonus per point spent on their next jump.

Overclocked

Springboots are dangerous to overclock. They become incapable of normal movement, and instead only allow the wearer to move by jumping, albeit with a +150% bonus. Every such jump made drains 15 points of charge. On any round where the wearer does not voluntarily jump, there is a 50% chance that the boots will activate anyway and force them to jump.Such involuntary jumps tend to be harder to control, and may throw the user in directions they weren't intending to move.

Low power

The wearer's land movement speed increases by +25%. The wearer can still spend points of charge to improve their next jump, but to a maximum of only 6 points.

No power

The boots are inoperable, and render the wearer incapable of walking or running until removed or recharged.

Autograppler

A handheld device, often gun-shaped, this two-part system is capable not only of launching a grappling hook with a surprising amount of force, but following that launch up with a powerful winch that can pull the user around. To save on space and weight, a metal cable is used instead of rope. This 200-foot cable is very hard to climb without the assistance of the autograppler.

Even without engaging the winch, the retracting mechanism is designed to pull the cable taut shortly after launch. This rewinds the device if the hook didn't manage to catch on anything.

Charge per use

Priming a shot costs 20 points of charge. Engaging the winch costs 2 points of charge for every 5 feet travelled.

Full power

The grappling hook can be launched with a maximum range of 200 feet. The winch is powerful enough to lift up to 175 lbs., and will pull users within that limit at a speed of 10 feet per second towards the grappling hook while engaged.

Overclocked

Overclocking an autograppler causes the pulling-taut mechanism to immediately trigger the winch, while simultaneously knocking the safeties out of alignment. The grappling hook still has a maximum range of 200 feet, but after it connects the user is immediately pulled towards it at a speed of 20 ft per second. The user must have sharp reflexes while being pulled at these speeds, or else take falling damage equal to 1/3rd of the distance they covered as they bounce off walls or land painfully at their destination.

Low power

The maximum range of the grappling hook decreases to 100 feet. The winch can still support up to 175 lbs., but can only pull the user at a speed of 5 feet per second

No power

The device is inoperable. If a shot has already been primed, it can be fired as though on low power, but the winch cannot be engaged.

Autoladder

Useful anywhere that has scaffolding, autoladders consist of a long belt of rope ladder driven by a spring pack powered winch at the top. Riding up or down is as simple as grabbing on and waiting.

Some daring souls install autoladders horizontally, and use them as powered monkey bars.

Charge per use

Running an autoladder costs 1 point of charge per minute for every 60 feet per minute of movement it provides .

Full power

Anyone holding on to the rungs of an autoladder is moved along the ladder's path at the speed the autoladder is set to, to a maximum of 300 feet per minute.

Overclocked

The speed control snaps and the autoladder revvs out of control. Anyone riding the autoladder down takes falling damage as though they fell from that height, and anyone riding the autoladder up can jump off with a substantial bonus. If the top of the ladder would launch the character into a roof or ceiling, they take an appropriate amount of falling damage.

Low power

Anyone holding on to the rungs of an autoladder is moved either up or down at the speed the autoladder is set to, to a maximum of 150 feet per minute.

No power

An unpowered autoladder functions as a pair of normal rope ladders.

Razorwire Mine

Flat disks of metal and wood containing a tightly-wound coil of wickedly sharp razorwire. When activated, the thin wooden top blows open and the razorwire bursts out at dangerous speeds into a shearing tangle. Razorwire mines can either be set as traps, in which case they activate once they are stepped on, or they can be thrown to detonate on impact. Razorwire mines are destroyed after they are used. The springpack used can be salvaged, although it's invariably buried in the heart of the tangle of steel razorwire.

Charge per use

Razorwire mines consume all charge from the loaded springpack when they are activated.

Full power

The razorwire mine bursts, filling a 10 foot radius with slicing bands of metal. If the razorwire mine has at least 50 points of charge available, anyone in the initial burst takes slashing damage equivalent to a shortsword and suffers a low to moderate amount of bleeding. Any creature moving through razorwire will find it slicing and snaring them, unless they move very slowly and carefully. A creature trapped in razorwire can opt to remain motionless in order to avoid taking any more damage.

Overclocked

As full power, but if the razorwire mine has at least 150 points of charge available, anyone caught in the initial burst takes double the amount of slashing and bleeding damage.

Low power

As full power, but if the razorwire mine has less than 50 points of charge available, anyone caught in the initial burst takes only half the amount of slashing and bleeding damage.

No power

The device is inoperable.

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