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  • Machinus ideas

    Hi, i m trying to discover a clever usage for the Promethean Machinus powers in a medieval tech setting.
    I don t want to alter the way the power works, and i m writing this here because i need someone who is more familiar with how electricity behave than to promethean rules.

    If you don t have access to Promethean 2ed core book the Machinus power works in that way:

    -Passive ability
    In a 200 yard radius you can feel electricity and gauge its strenght, the presence of electronics (even unpowered)
    Very powerful electrical sources can extend the range.
    Predicts where a lightning will strike within some minutes.

    -Level 1
    Generate on touch an electrical current with a strenght of a wall socket.
    The current can be used to power electronics, recharge batteries and turn a device off and on.

    -Level 2
    Level 1 effect can be used within sight range.
    Know the rough capabilities of a device on sight and can modulate electrical flow to alter the intensity of some functions, like speed or power level.
    On touch, generate an electrical current with a strenght of a large portable generator, instant recharge batteries and prevents shorting out.

    -Level 3
    Level 2 effect can be used on anything perceived with the passive ability.
    More precise reading and manipulation of electricity, complex devices (like computers) can be used remotely within the passive ability range.


    Now, with this in mind, i have some hypothetic alternative use of the powers, but i m not very expert of electricity.

    -Passive ability
    I think that it can detect also magnets and magnetic fields right?
    Also it can determine the orientation of the magnetic field i think.
    Also, does the ability to perceive unpowered devices translates in the ability to perceive ferromagnetic materials?

    -Level 1
    I think that it can be used to turn iron items in simple magnets on touch, correct?
    Could be used to leave an item as a right/left or yes/no sign to another Passive ability user.

    -Level 2
    I think that it can be used to turn iron items in industrial strong magnets on touch, correct?
    Does the volume of the item impact on the magnet strenght?
    Also i think that you can leave more complex signs in an iron item for another Level 2 ability user, like a morse code letter or symbol.

    -Level 3
    Can you transform an iron item in a rough "hard disk" that another Level 3 ability user could read knowing the right code?
    Also is it possible to modulate magnetic field to simulate a "radio" conversation with another Level 3 ability user



    Feel free to correct my ideas or add new ones.
    Thank you!

  • #2
    After so many views and no answers i m a little worried 😅
    Anyway, the details i m more interested to are:

    Do you think that whit a fine control on how electricity flows it s possible to make an iron item behave like an electronic circuit?

    It s possible to turn iron into a magnet with the electricity flow? Can you make it permanent somehow?

    The ability to detect the presence of electronics (even unpowered), what does unpowered exactly means (turned off or without a source of electricity)?
    Do you think that it translates in an ability to perceive ferromagnetic metals and their magnetic field or molecule orientation?

    Comment


    • #3
      The big question is how much the character understands its potential. Roughly comprehending the physics properties to create the effects is a big, but possible leap. Understanding how to install the mechanisms to move things via electricity would require a supernatural tutor (GM Angel, mage craftsmen, some kind of artificer spirit, etc).

      Since I have yet to read the source material, I am not fully aware of the limits of the powers and am speculating based on your description. With that in mind, some sample applications are:

      Level 1
      Taser, electroplating to make cheap yet highly detailed jewelry, improvised glowstick, sparks substitute flint and tinder

      Level 2
      Use sparks to light torches, rush lights and similar at a distance, create will-o-whisps effects to confuse and terrify, flare, flash bomb, sell salt produced by shock electrodyalisis (salt was a premium product in medieval times)

      Level 3
      Create heating and hot water on demand (which also has a combat applications for foes swimming or doused), direct lightning in a thunderstorm
      Last edited by KaiserAfini; 11-30-2020, 12:01 AM.


      New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.

      The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists (Mind/Time)
      The Szary Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy of Scholars of the Glyphs of Fate (Fate/Prime)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by KaiserAfini View Post
        The big question is how much the character understands its potential. Roughly comprehending the physics properties to create the effects is a big, but possible leap. Understanding how to install the mechanisms to move things via electricity would require a supernatural tutor (GM Angel, mage craftsmen, some kind of artificer spirit, etc).

        Since I have yet to read the source material, I am not fully aware of the limits of the powers and am speculating based on your description. With that in mind, some sample applications are:

        Level 1
        Taser, electroplating to make cheap yet highly detailed jewelry, improvised glowstick, sparks substitute flint and tinder

        Level 2
        Use sparks to light torches, rush lights and similar at a distance, create will-o-whisps effects to confuse and terrify, flare, flash bomb, sell salt produced by shock electrodyalisis (salt was a premium product in medieval times)

        Level 3
        Create heating and hot water on demand (which also has a combat applications for foes swimming or doused), direct lightning in a thunderstorm
        Thanks for the answers!

        Many of the applications that you have detailed are very useful, but by the power description it seems that it is limited in directing electrical flow in inorganic unliving matter (damaging applications and interactions with living creatures are the purviews of the other three sections of the main power).

        I think that electroplating and electrodyalisis are very interesting options, and i m wondering if electromagnetic flows could be used to boost a blacksmith forging process.

        Also i think that if one promethean discovered this uses by happenstance the azothic memory would instruct any other user about them.

        I m also interested in a possible use of the passive ability for metal prospecting.
        If it s possible i think that the power could be more focused on metal/electricity interactions

        Comment


        • #5
          Glad to help. I think magnetism has a lot of potential. While you did mention harm is another power's purview, maybe you can target the iron in a target's blood. See how Magneto escaped prison in X-Men: First Class for a demonstration of how eerie that can be. Although I think its more likely a part of the other power.

          Technically the light and sparks effects are the result of using the ability on air. Its an inorganic material with very high electrical resistance, so much so that a lot of energy is transformed into light, heat and sound. Were it otherwise, lightning would be invisible and a lot more lethal. Perhaps that allows some of those applications?

          Using fine tuned control over magnetism could be used to remove impurities from ore and to make sure the metals and electrons in a forged blade are properly configured (done during the part of the process where its red hot and being hammered into shape). The closest thing to compare would be crucible steel, which would probably be a technique known by the most revered smiths on the Silk Road. It would only be done by commission, cost a fortune and take a day of zealously tending the smelter. But with Machinus you could be done in minutes or hours at worst. Either way creates top tier medieval gear, so good its quality would only be matched and exceeded in the industrial revolution.

          You could also boil sources of water and the humidity in the air to create mist, very useful for stealth and intimidation.

          Manipulate iron sand for a lot of creative applications. Poisoning and administering medicine can be done by dipping it in substances. Jamming crossbows and the joints of armor is another.

          Making a copper jumpsuit (a flexible and relatively common metal at the time) or wearing armor (relatively expensive) could allow them to replicate the Icarus Jump and Icarus Dash from Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. But more importantly, it would allow the replication of the TITAN augmentation from that game, an incredible edge for the user.

          Magnetic levitation is another simple one. Create a metalic disc and you can fly around like Static Shock.

          I would probably also look at the Toaru no Index or Railgun wikis for ideas based on Misaka's powers, adapting them using metalic intermediaries. Creating an iron sand, flexible, chainsaw/chainwhip is a simple and very useful one.

          Lastly, to elevate this all to insane levels, find a mage that is a master of Matter. Perfected copper is a flexible, easily produced, resistant superconductor. That is the potential of only one perfected metal. If they sell you a box containing a sample of the basic ones and enhanced with a permanent Endless Bounty (a major boon/payment will probably be required), then the possible applications are tremendous.
          Last edited by KaiserAfini; 11-30-2020, 07:33 PM.


          New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.

          The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists (Mind/Time)
          The Szary Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy of Scholars of the Glyphs of Fate (Fate/Prime)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by KaiserAfini View Post
            Glad to help. I think magnetism has a lot of potential. While you did mention harm is another power's purview, maybe you can target the iron in a target's blood. See how Magneto escaped prison in X-Men: First Class for a demonstration of how eerie that can be. Although I think its more likely a part of the other power.

            Technically the light and sparks effects are the result of using the ability on air. Its an inorganic material with very high electrical resistance, so much so that a lot of energy is transformed into light, heat and sound. Were it otherwise, lightning would be invisible and a lot more lethal. Perhaps that allows some of those applications?

            Using fine tuned control over magnetism could be used to remove impurities from ore and to make sure the metals and electrons in a forged blade are properly configured (done during the part of the process where its red hot and being hammered into shape). The closest thing to compare would be crucible steel, which would probably be a technique known by the most revered smiths on the Silk Road. It would only be done by commission, cost a fortune and take a day of zealously tending the smelter. But with Machinus you could be done in minutes or hours at worst. Either way creates top tier medieval gear, so good its quality would only be matched and exceeded in the industrial revolution.

            You could also boil sources of water and the humidity in the air to create mist, very useful for stealth and intimidation.

            Manipulate iron sand for a lot of creative applications. Poisoning and administering medicine can be done by dipling it in substances. Jamming crossbows and the joints of armor is another.

            Making a copper jumpsuit (a flexible and relatively common metal at the time) or wearing armor (relatively expensive) could allow them to replicate the Icarus Jump and Icarus Dash from Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. But more importantly, it would allow the replication of the TITAN augmentation from that game, an incredible edge for the user.

            Magnetic levitation is another simple one. Create a metalic disc and you can fly around like Static Shock.

            I would probably also look at the Toaru no Index or Railgun wikis for ideas based on Misaka's powers, adapting them using metalic intermediaries. Creating an iron sand, flexible, chainsaw/chainwhip is a simple and very useful one.

            Lastly, to elevate this all to insane levels, find a mage that is a master of Matter. Perfected copper is a flexible, easily produced, resistant superconductor. That is the potential of only one perfected metal. If they sell you a box containing a sample of the basic ones and enhanced with a permanent Endless Bounty (a major boon/payment will probably be required), then the possible applications are tremendous.
            Very interesting!
            Considering that the power is conceived to be subtle and that transmitting great streams of electricity through the air would be unrealistic, i m starting to think that the Machinus power allows you to bypass the electrical resistance of all materials (via Occult methods) until the stream reach a metallic material.
            Probably the power is focused on directing the electrical flows only in electronics and other conductive material, hence no method of using it to damage is mentioned.

            I can really se using it to heat metal, to boil liquid inside a pot or to melt soft metals.
            The crucible steel application is definitely a must ! (what level of power do you think it would require?)

            Unfortunately i think that a magnetic control power precise as that owned by magneto is beyond the power limits.
            But, i think that it can still create electromagnet using iron pieces.

            The most important thing i need to understand is the answer of this question:
            "
            The ability to detect the presence of electronics (even unpowered), what does unpowered exactly means (turned off or without a source of electricity)?
            Do you think that it translates in an ability to perceive ferromagnetic metals and their magnetic field or molecule orientation?
            "
            Because if yes it would allow a lot of interactions with other prometheans using the same power and a great metal detecting ability.
            Last edited by Neos01; 11-30-2020, 11:52 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think the fine tuned control and power needed for crucible steel would require the third level.

              Regarding the passive ability, I believe it should be able to detect anything that was made to employ electricity somehow, such as a Baghdad Battery, even if depowered.

              In the case of materials, it should be able to detect ones with high electric conductivity, magnets and piezoelectric materials. So if a spirit made a piezoelectric thunder steel axe for a werewolf, they would sense it.

              Finally, anything that received electric stress recently should also ping. So lets say you are looking for a crazy Changeling that wants to curse his "human" twin to death for whatever reason. Your ability pings and you learn its from a tree that was recently struck by lightning for a second time. With some knowledge of Occult, you would know those are great materials for making hexing catalysts. Now you know where the mad one is headed.
              Last edited by KaiserAfini; 11-30-2020, 07:35 PM.


              New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.

              The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists (Mind/Time)
              The Szary Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy of Scholars of the Glyphs of Fate (Fate/Prime)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by KaiserAfini View Post
                I think the fine tuned control and power needed for crucible steel would require the third level.

                Regarding the passive ability, I believe it should be able to detect anything that was made to employ electricity somehow, such as a Baghdad Battery, even if depowered.

                In the case of materials, it should be able to detect ones with high electric conductivity, magnets and piezoelectric materials. So if a spirit made a piezoelectric thunder steel axe for a werewolf, they would sense it.

                Finally, anything that received electric stress recently should also ping. So lets say you are looking for a crazy Changeling that wants to curse his "human" twin to death for whatever reason. Your ability pings and you learn its from a tree that was recently struck by lightning for a second time. With some knowledge of Occult, you would know those are great materials for making hexing catalysts. Now you know where the mad one is headed.
                Very good, thanks again

                Comment


                • #9
                  After a conversation with KaiserAfini , i developed a dark eras variation of the Machinus Alembic.
                  Feel free to comment about utility and scientific accuracy.

                  Sidereus (Machinus)

                  The Sidereus Alembic is the pre-industrial version of Machinus. In the past the Alembic had identical powers, but the Azothic memory instructed Promethean on alternative uses focused on interactions with metals, expecially iron and steel.

                  Persistent:* The Promethean gentles her humours, rendering them sensitive to the electrical* flow of the world* around her. She senses electrical energy, magnetic fields (usually natural magnets or Degaussed prometheans) and conductive materials (usually metals) within 200 yards, along with* their* relative strength or quantity. At Storyteller’s discretion, particularly powerful sources of electrical energy can be detected up to fifty miles away. The Promethean also instinctively knows where natural lightning will likely strike within the next few minutes.

                  Lodestone
                  Running an electrical current through his body, the Promethean may grasp a metallic item and power it.
                  Cost:* 1 Pyros
                  Dice Pool:* None
                  Action:* Reflexive
                  The Promethean must remain close enough* to touch the object, maintaining a constant flow of* electricity. He doesn’t* have to remain in absolute contact* — standing in front of an armored soldier will do — but he must be able to touch the item without effort. While within range of this power, a conductive material can be heated like if it was on a campfire.
                  A ferromagnetic metal can also be turned in a weak magnet (no more than Strenght 1) that lasts until the electrical flow stops.
                  The promethean can change at will the orientation of the magnetic field (this can be used to convey simple information to an user of the Persistent effect in range, like a direction or a yes/no).

                  Heaven's fire
                  The Promethean may effortlessly send Electricity through the air to a conductive target. By means of this Transmutation, a Promethean may remotely use Lodestone on an item, as if she’s using the power while in contact with it.
                  Cost:* 2 Pyros
                  Dice Pool:* None
                  Action:* Reflexive
                  A Promethean may apply any effect of Lodestone on an appropriate target within sight range (to a maximum of 200 yards). She can roughly determine which type of metal the target is made of by measuring its electrical interaction properties.
                  If she chooses to physically grasp a metallic item, she may raise its temperature up to 12,5 Celsius degrees per turn.
                  By touching a ferromagnetic object, she can turn it into a strong magnet or increase its natural magnetism (up to Azoth in Strenght score) while the power lasts.
                  Her control over the magnetic field intensity paired with Azothic memory instructions allows her to convey Pilgrim Marks to other prometheans in range capable of feeling them.
                  Alternately, if the Promethean is capable of* remotely sharing Pyros (through the* Vulcanus or Benefice Transmutations), while using Electroshock Therapy she can fill her throng with Pyros or heal them from afar.

                  Forge of the Gods
                  At the apex of Sidereus, the Promethean can use his control over electricity to enhance metalworking and encode complex texts in magnetic fields.
                  Also she doesn’t have to physically see an item to power it; if he senses the target via the Persistent effect, he may now use Heaven's fire effects on it without a roll.
                  Cost: 3 Pyros
                  Action: Instant
                  Dice Pool:* Manipulation + Crafts (or Enigmas if writing informations) + Azoth
                  Roll Results
                  Dramatic Failure: The power fails to work, and the crafted item gains the Fragile condition.
                  Written informations deteriorates quickly or conveys false statements.
                  Failure: The power fails to work.
                  Success: The Promethean can direct precisely an electrical flow into the target for the remainder of the scene, as if he held it in her hand.
                  He can alter the magnetic field of a ferromagnetic item in order to temporary "write" complex encoded information (one sentence or one uncolored sketched picture per point of Intelligence) and the message can be changed with a following instant action.
                  Other Prometheans using this Distillation can access the information while in range.
                  It is also possible to activate the power at the beginning of a metal crafting action (performed by the promethean or by someone else) to apply one special permanent effect to the item.
                  The crafting still requires a roll, but with a +3 bonus.
                  The item could receive a permanent free dot in Availability (that translates in a better quality or finely decorated equipment).
                  A ferromagnetic metal can be made into a natural magnet (maximum Strenght is the lower of Azoth and half of the item size, rounded up) or be permanently encoded with a message (with the same above limits).
                  Exceptional Success:* A written message can be a page long, or a picture very detailed.
                  Crafted items can be made with two free dots of availability,
                  The Strenght limit of a crafted natural magnet use the lower of Azoth and Size.
                  Last edited by Neos01; 01-06-2021, 08:01 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If I read this correctly, does it mean the higher levels of the ability can be used in a similar way to Heat Metal from D&D ? Because in a medieval setting that can be very useful and lethal to knights, if not always discrete.


                    New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.

                    The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists (Mind/Time)
                    The Szary Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy of Scholars of the Glyphs of Fate (Fate/Prime)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KaiserAfini View Post
                      If I read this correctly, does it mean the higher levels of the ability can be used in a similar way to Heat Metal from D&D ? Because in a medieval setting that can be very useful and lethal to knights, if not always discrete.
                      I ve calculated that in three turns (of touch with level 2, at distance with level 3) an armored target would start to have serious problems, with the armor almost too hot to be removed by hand.
                      So yes, it could be lethal to heavy armored opponents, within minutes it could also melt iron items.

                      It must be said that it is more limited than the Spagyria Alembic, and in three turns Arc would do much more damage.
                      Last edited by Neos01; 01-07-2021, 11:33 AM.

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