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  • Alchemicals and 3E

    So, with the new edition de-emphasizing the magic-as-technology parts of 2e, where does that leave Autochthonia and the Alchemicals? Are they going to embrace the return to more classical-fantasy attitudes and behaviors, just with a couple of gears and electrodes added for aesthetics, or is the contrast between Autochthonia's more scientific, technical approach to magic going to be played up to make them seem even more alien to Creation and its inhabitants' more animistic sensibilities?


    Shameless Technocratic shill.

  • #2


    Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

    My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by The Nilbog View Post
      Autochthonia's more scientific, technical approach to magic
      The Luminors have extremely elaborate, overwrought, and slightly ridiculous ritual attitudes towards lighting lamps.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

        The Luminors have extremely elaborate, overwrought, and slightly ridiculous ritual attitudes towards lighting lamps.

        Fair enough, but the Soulsteel sodalites (whose name escapes me atm) seem to have a less Adeptus Mechanicus-esque, much more pragmatic, scientific approach. And they're the ones doing most of the actual inventing anyway.


        Shameless Technocratic shill.

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        • #5
          In any case, I'm pretty sure that the Autochthonia that exists in the books is fairly secure.


          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
          https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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          • #6
            I feel that Autochthonia can have a technical, industrial appearance, and benefit from some higher technology than Creation, without invoking really any of 2e's "magitech" aesthetic. The rank-and-file of Estasia's Militat, for example, can be issued repeating crossbows, armor made of pressed plastic, and rations chemically made from nutrient slurry, and all of it made in bulk by industrial processes. Meanwhile, the Alchemical champions who lead them are still wielding daiklaves and goremauls, and dressed in artifact armor. The Eight Nations of Autochthonia will have a technological edge on pretty much anywhere in Creation, but the big limits for them are resources, both material and in personnel. They might be able to field an army that's decades, if not centuries, ahead of whoever they're attacking, but that army will be ten or more times outnumbered.

            Anyway, as I understand it, the 3e devs' big issues with "magitech" as a concept was that a) it encouraged people to think of artifacts as mass-produced, interchangeable things, and b) it also led people into thinking that First Age society, at least, was basically just the modern day Western world, just with magic powering your smartphone instead of electricity. Careful writing can leave Autochthonian artifacts with a "technological" feel, while avoiding those pitfalls, I think. First, it should be emphasized that while Autochthonian artifacts do have a technological aesthetic, they're still individual wonders. There's no mass-produced daiklaves that just happen to have gears glued on them. Each is the construction of a genius inventor, a unique creation that's the peak of that particular mad scientist's learning and knowledge. Second, Autochthonia already avoids the "Modern world but powered by magic" vibe, so just maintain that. Make sure to note that most artifacts are still in the hands of Alchemicals, not mortals, and that even the magic of Municipal Charms are more large-scale and rarely under individual control of humans, particularly the Populat. For example, you can have an Alchemical Metropolis that has interior lighting in most areas. But it's not something an individual can easily control - the Populat live in large domitories where the lights are dimmed and brightened on their own schedule, and even Tripartite members with enough status to rate their own private quarters still "control" the lighting by asking the city politely to adjust the lighting - and that might be denied if there were some good reason to refuse.

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            • #7
              Kelly Pedersen gets it.

              Wait... was there a distinct mention of Autochthonia or Alchemicals within the last few days or weeks?

              Because I swear to God, the subject of Autochthonia, assessment of its technology, and its place in the direction that Third Edition took was a subject of contemplation for me, like... last night? Two nights ago? Extremely recently, but before this thread was started.


              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
              Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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              • #8
                I feel that for Autochthonia there's going to need to be some sort of adjustment to what can be made with standard Craft: Artifact. Many of the things that fall under First Age Artifice for Creation should be relatively mundane (by artifact standards) in Autochthonia.

                One way I thought up that this could be done is to have Craft: Artifact be replaced by Craft: Autocthonian Artifice for Autochthonian natives. This has all the same prerequisites, save that you have to have grown up in Autochthonia to get it. It can be used to build regular artifacts, but there's also a class of particularly autocthonian artifacts that requires either that or FAA. And we can probably also mention a few FAA things that can be built with AA.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                  I feel that for Autochthonia there's going to need to be some sort of adjustment to what can be made with standard Craft: Artifact. Many of the things that fall under First Age Artifice for Creation should be relatively mundane (by artifact standards) in Autochthonia.

                  One way I thought up that this could be done is to have Craft: Artifact be replaced by Craft: Autocthonian Artifice for Autochthonian natives. This has all the same prerequisites, save that you have to have grown up in Autochthonia to get it. It can be used to build regular artifacts, but there's also a class of particularly autocthonian artifacts that requires either that or FAA. And we can probably also mention a few FAA things that can be built with AA.
                  That sounds interesting, but possibly a bit fiddly to keep track of.

                  That said, I do think that you bring up a question that warrants being addressed in some manner.


                  I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                  Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                  • #10
                    Personally, I'd keep Craft (Artifact) as-is for Autochthonian crafters - I don't think they need a significantly different skill from Creation's craftspeople to make a daiklaive or power bow or whatever. What I would do, though, is give them access to Craft (Autochthonian Artifice), which would parallel First Age Artifice, though it wouldn't be identical. Autocthonian Artifice, I think, depends less heavily on sorcerous workings (especially since nobody in Autochthonia can regularly pull off Solar Ambition ones), but even more heavily on infrastructure than First Age Artifice does - they probably almost universally require a tie to a specific Metropolis (or, in a pinch, another major collection of Autochthon's essence, but those are harder to find and usually have reasons they shouldn't be drained frivolously). So you can build an airship with Autochthonian Artifice, and arm it with lightning ballistaes and implosion bows, but it all depends on the power of the Metropolis you've hooked it to, and if that city needs the energy elsewhere, you might be in trouble. This can explain why places like Nurad, suffering a critical essence-supply crisis, are shutting down their airship fleets (rather than using them to scout for new resources or evacuate). It also explains why the Autochthonian forces in Creation won't be regularly deploying such artifacts - they can't power them easily.

                    Another limitation of Autochthonian Artifice compared to First Age Artifice is that I think the Autochthonian version needs more maintenance. I'd probably apply something like the maintenance rules for warstriders to all of their large artifacts, and even small ones would need some degree of effort expended to keep them in good repair.

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                    • #11
                      What sort of artifacts do Alchemicals create that Creation’s Exalted cannot?

                      The closest answer I can think of is “Alchemical Charms”, but I’m sure Creation’s Exalted could do that. Such things would fail to work for anyone but Alchemicals, but a Solar could definitely make new Charms for an Alchemical.


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                      My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
                        Personally, I'd keep Craft (Artifact) as-is for Autochthonian crafters - I don't think they need a significantly different skill from Creation's craftspeople to make a daiklaive or power bow or whatever.
                        Ah, but they don't use regular daiklaves, they use beamklaves. FAA stuff is way too common in autochthonia to have the same prereqs. That was the issue I was trying to solve.

                        As it stands Autochthonia is gonna have to have way more mortal sorcerers that creation. They're supposed to be the ones that build all the charms and artifacts alchemicals use, and even alchemicals themselves. It also means they need to have some way to boost their artifact-making power, but the initiation ritual can probably cover that.

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                        • #13
                          Beamklaves are just another kind of daiklave, with a certain sort of Evocations. They don’t count as First Age Artifice because they don’t radically change the setting.

                          FFA is about lateral rather than vertical jumps in power. Powered armor is just a regular Artifact with strength-enhancing Evocations. Stupidly powerful powered armor is what N/A ratings are for.

                          Ashigaru armor is FAA because it’s lateral advantage is that mortals can use it. An advantage that doesn’t make it more powerful when used by an Exalt.


                          Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

                          My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                            Ah, but they don't use regular daiklaves, they use beamklaves.
                            Some Alchemicals use beamklaives, but it's not universal - even in 2e, they were an option, not the default for all artifact melee weapons.

                            Originally posted by Elfive
                            FAA stuff is way too common in autochthonia to have the same prereqs.
                            I think that's partly a matter, however, of the required infrastructure and institutional knowledge being common in Autochthonia, more than in Creation. I agree that, in Autochthonia, someone capable of maintaining and repairing works of Autochthonian Artifice probably doesn't need the same level of prereqs as First Age Artifice does. Rather than requiring another Craft skill at all, I think I'd put the prereq as Backing (relevant Soldality) 3. However, this probably wouldn't work in Creation or deep in the Reaches, where you don't have access to the relevant specialists and tools. Out in places like that, to access your Craft (Autochthonian Artifice) skill effectively, the prereqs would jump up, probably to something like Craft (Artifact) 4, and Lore and Occult at 4 as well. So, lower than First Age Artifice, still, but not easy.

                            Originally posted by Elfive
                            As it stands Autochthonia is gonna have to have way more mortal sorcerers that creation. They're supposed to be the ones that build all the charms and artifacts alchemicals use, and even alchemicals themselves.
                            In 2e, at least, the people who built Alchemicals and their charms weren't actually sorcerers, or even enlightened mortals in the way 2e used the term. They had a specific mutation, the "Alchemical Demiurge", which allowed them to channel Autochthon's power. I don't think you need to change that significantly for 3e - you don't need a bunch of sorcerers running around. I'd probably call "Demiurge" a 3-dot merit, that allowed its possessor to channel just enough essence to produce artifacts, and gave them the special ability to create Alchemicals and their charms. Sorcery/pattern weaving would be a separate thing.

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                            • #15
                              I'm not even sure that you'd need the demiurge workaround. Wasn't it only there because 2e bent over backward to make Exaltations into autonomous packets of power? If you go back to Autochthon choosing who to empower, you don't need that, anymore than you need a special merit to get the Dark Mother of the Liminals to pay attention to your doomed attempt at resurrection.

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