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  • proindrakenzol
    started a topic [2E Legacy] Thaumatech Engineers

    [2E Legacy] Thaumatech Engineers

    “Humanity is magical”. So says the credo of the Council of Free Assemblies, and so believe the Thaumatech Engineers. The Thaumatech Engineers are masters of magical item creation, but unlike the superficially related Forge Masters, the Sparks care little for ancient ways or perfected metals; rather Sparks create magically powered sci-fi gadgets drawn from Sleeper culture and then attempt to reverse engineer them to something creatable by mundane science, because it is their belief that this erodes the Abyss by reducing the gap between the Phenomenal and the Supernal.

    Origins
    Parentage:
    Obrimos, Free Council
    Nicknames: Sparks, Madboys/Madgirls (derogatory)
    Background: Engineers, craftsmen, futurists, and inventors make up the ranks of the Thaumatech Engineers.
    Appearances: Many affect styles associated with their favorite science-fiction setting, others are heavily into the steam-punk look (and their creations follow suit), still others adopt a hodge-podge of styles or a sci-fi-esque update to more traditional magical motifs.

    Doctrine
    Prerequisites:
    Matter 2, Crafts 2, and a specialization in Engineering or other appropriate field.
    Initiation: The initiate must come up with a design for a piece of technology impossible to make without magic and then refine the design so that it uses as few magical parts as possible – bonus points are awarded if the magical components are always-on filters or converters to minimize the amount of Mana necessary to activate the item. There have been discussions of just making the initiation “design a lightsaber” due to how often a lightsaber is submitted as the initial design, but the Thaumatech Consortium – the primary organizational body – has so far resisted doing so.
    Organization: Sparks are all part of a single, globe spanning organization called the Thaumatech Consortium for the Advancement of Magic into Technology. There are several elected positions – in order of importance they are: Chairman, Secretary, Custodian of Prototypes, and Liaison to the Pentacle Orders – and any member of the legacy can vote, but only those who have achieved the third attainment can hold office, and only those that have achieved the fourth can become Chairman. The Chairman sets the agenda, the Secretary keeps the minutes and assists the Chairman with the agenda, the Custodian of Prototypes keeps records of every creation of any Thaumatech Engineer, and the Liaison works with the Pentacle Orders to keep friction to a minimum and goals moving more-or-less together.

    Magic
    Ruling Arcanum: Matter
    Instruments: Portable electronics and engineering tools (e.g. soldering irons, multimeters, &c) (+1), electronics clean rooms (+2), industrial engineering tools (e.g. water-cutters, industrial 3D printers) (+2).
    Oblations: designing a magitech device, building electronics, creating clockwork mechanisms

    Attainments
    First: (Never) Read the Manual
    Prerequisite: Initiation
    It’s tough to even get started on a project if you don’t know what your tools can even do. Luckily, every Spark can instantly and intuitively understand how any tool works simply by picking it up and using this Attainment. This Attainment mimics the effects of the Craftsman’s Eye spell with reach assigned to Instant Casting.
    Optional: Prime 1
    Sparks do not deal solely with Phenomenal objects, and with their knowledge of Prime they’re able to also intuit the functioning of Supernal objects such as Imbued and Enhanced items or even Artifacts. This Attainment acts as the Supernal Vision spell with reach assigned to Instant Casting, but only works on objects such as equipment, tools, or weapons, not people or places.

    Second: Handy Tools
    Prerequisite: Matter 2, Crafts 3 or Crafts 2 and either Computers or Science 1
    The handiest of tools have hands of their own, able to reach into tiny places the Spark cannot, or pick up large objects. With the expenditure of a point of mana a Thaumatech Engineer can instantly add the ability to be remotely controlled to any machine she touches; often a modern robot or robotic limb, but occasionally a clockwork automaton or even simple toy. This Attainment emulates the Remote Control spell with reach assigned to Instant casting and Complex tasks, and utilizes the Permanence attainment for Advanced Duration.
    Optional: Prime 2
    Sometimes a Spark comes across a magical item they did not create and do not know how to activate. Other times they hand a magical item off to one of their puppets and need to activate the magical item remotely. Rarely – and most enjoyably – the Thaumatech Engineer gets to test the deleterious effects of an enemy’s Imbued Item on that enemy… while said enemy still has possession of the item! With but a thought the Thaumatech Engineer can trigger any Supernally based magics (or non-Supernal magic items with one dot in an appropriate Arcanum) in sensory range as if using the Word of Command spell with a potency equal to the Spark’s dots in Prime and reach assigned to Instant Casting and Sensory Range.

    Third: Touch of Malleability
    Prerequisite: Matter 3, Crafts 3, and Computers or Science 2 or Computers and Science 1
    Whether it’s getting the chassis of your latest project just right, or making the right tool for the job from a nearby wall, or collecting all the nitrogen gas your assistant just released because they forgot to hook up the hose before turning the knob (again, for, like, the fourth time this month), the ability to shape matter to your will is an undeniably useful one. This Attainment allow the Spark to freely alter the shape of liquids, gasses, and even solids, with a Wits + Crafts - desired equipment bonus roll being required for particularly intricate shapes such as precision tools or parts. This Attainment emulates the Shaping spell with reach assigned to Instant casting and manipulation of solids.
    Optional: Prime 3
    While multi-use items are often preferred, single use items are both easier to craft and capable of storing the spells of other Mages. With an hour of preparation and a point of mana, a Spark can prime an item to store spells within it for future release. Placing a spell within the item costs a point of mana for the casting Mage (if the Spark is the one implanting the spell there is no additional cost if the spell is implanted as part of the crafting), but the spell is automatically relinquished from the casting Mage’s control without additional cost. The target of the spell is whoever (or whatever) is touching the item, or the item itself. If the item is ingestible (i.e. food or drink), then it can be consumed; if the Spark also has Forces 2, then a kinetic trigger may be specified for releasing the spell; otherwise a point of mana must be spent to activate the item. This Attainment functions similarly to Spell Potion (if made to be consumed), Energize Object (if given a kinetic trigger), or Stored Spell (Signs of Sorcery pp 69-70) with reach assigned to Advanced Duration.

    Fourth: Multitooldinous
    Prerequisite: Matter 4, Crafts 4, Computers and Science 3.
    Complex functions are what the Thaumatech Engineer wants, and this is one way for them to get it. The Spark can select a number of properties up to their Matter dots from various objects and superimpose them onto another object. Heat-based death rays, cell phones able to take detailed x-ray scans, death rays that let you call your mom while simultaneously burning your enemy to death and getting a detailed look at that tumor in their intestines, the possibilities are limited only by imagination and available items. This Attainment mimics the Wonderful Machine spell with reach assigned to Advanced Duration and Instant casting.
    Optional: Prime 4
    Thaumatech Engineers tend to make magical items, and the Consortium insists on proper relinquishment. This Attainment potentially eases that burden by allowing an exceptional success on Imbument rolls on 3 successes instead of 5, allowing the Mage to safely relinquish without expending Willpower dots.

    Fifth: Supernal Engineering
    Prerequisite: Matter 5, Crafts 4, Computers 4, and Science 4.
    At this level of mastery the Thaumatech Engineer can fuse Imbued and Enhanced items together in a way that allows their spells and properties to function together as one, complex item. With an extended Gnosis + Crafts roll and a point of Mana the properties of two different Supernally imbued or enhanced items (but not Artifacts) can be linked similar to the fourth merit’s ability to transpose properties of mundane items. Flying motorcycles capable of Mach speeds, magically enhanced armor that can store itself in a bracelet when needed, even – should there ever be enough Sparks to work on it – an entire city capable of traveling the stars at faster than light speeds.
    Optional: Prime 5
    The final Attainment learned by a Thaumatech Engineer is how to fully ground their creations in the Phenomenal. When Imbuing an item the Spark can spend an additional point of Mana and render their creation immune to dissonance and Sleeper induced Paradox while also protecting Sleepers from any Quiescence for as long as they're in the presence of the object.


    Nicknames lifted from the Girl Genius webcomic.

    Critiques and thoughts welcome and encouraged.

    Updated June 23, 2019 to reflect Signs of Sorcery content.
    Last edited by proindrakenzol; 01-25-2020, 08:22 PM.

  • KaiserAfini
    replied
    The changes make the first Attainment becomes a lot more practical, now they can prepare their labs and tools to be a lot more useful. If they have the mana to burn, they can gain command of key tech or traps in the area.

    The changes on the third one feel a lot more focused on the theme, it reminds me of tulpa from Werewolf, a quick fix but very useful nonetheless. Words of Truth made sense as a way to convince people to adopt new ideas, but the final Attainment does that a lot better. Because the other Attainments feel more focused on creating wonders, the sudden shift to promoting was appropriate, but it broke the flow a bit.

    Overall, these are some pretty nice changes, I would say go for it.

    Leave a comment:


  • proindrakenzol
    replied
    After mulling this legacy over for a while (years!), and with the release of Signs of Sorcery, I'm planning on making two significant changes, and would like to read everyone's thoughts.


    First, I'm planning on tweaking the second attainment's primary portion to make use of the Matter 2 Attainment Permanence and use the extra reach to allow for Instant casting. So, rather than taking the Spark an hour to gain control over something, it is instantaneous but costs a point of mana, while retaining its advanced duration and ability to engage in complex tasks.


    Second, I'm planning on changing the third secondary attainment. While I like the Words of Truth effect, I ultimately want the focus of this Legacy to be on the crafting itself, and with the release of Signs of Sorcery there are three new spells that really fit the theme. This is the big one I want feedback on, as it's treating what is presented as three separate spells (Energize Object, Spell Potion, and Stored Spell) as one spell with two options (essentially, as if Stored Spell were the spell and it simply had Matter 3 and Forces 3 options).

    While multi-use items are often preferred, single use items are both easier to craft and capable of storing the spells of other Mages. With an hour of preparation and a point of mana, a Spark can prime an item to store spells within it for future release. Placing a spell within the item costs a point of mana for the casting Mage (if the Spark is the one implanting the spell there is no additional cost if the spell is implanted as part of the crafting), but the spell is automatically relinquished from the casting Mage’s control without additional cost. The target of the spell is whoever is touching the item. If the item is ingestible (i.e. food or drink), then it can be consumed; if the Spark also has Forces 3, then a kinetic trigger may be specified for releasing the spell; otherwise a point of mana must be spent to activate the item. This Attainment functions similarly to Spell Potion (if made to be consumed), Energize Object (if given a kinetic trigger), or Stored Spell (Signs of Sorcery pp 69-70) with reach assigned to Advanced Duration.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bauran
    replied
    I like your take on it, my idea was more along the lines of if I do what Dr. Proton says I get inspired, if I disobey or fail I feel guilty until Dr. Proton forgives me. Less about speaking objective truth and more about I'm brilliant so what I say is obviously right. I was inspired by the entry in the girl genius wik (http://girlgenius.wikia.com/wiki/Spark) where it talks about how Sparks gather minions from whom they inspire either loyalty or obedient fear.

    But the brilliant scientist trying to get through to lesser minds also works in this interpretation.

    Leave a comment:


  • proindrakenzol
    replied
    Originally posted by Bauran View Post
    I like this but I'd change the Prime 3 optional to one that represents a Sparks ability to inspire loyalty in underlings. The Voice of Fire allows you to slap someone with Inspired if they obey you or Guilty if they don't. If you made a version of that spell that focused less on truth and more on channeling your true platonic self to convince others of your genius, one that only worked on mundanes. It would be a better fit to the mad scientists that Sparks are.
    I think you mean Words of Truth?

    I love it, though creating "minions" is a bit off-theme inspiring creative and scientific genius is definitely on-point (as is chastising those that turn away from the possibilities). I think I'll just go ahead and implement that right now, way less boring than *Channel Mana*.

    Thanks so much!

    [Edit] Updated, let me know what you think, please.
    Last edited by proindrakenzol; 10-22-2016, 08:31 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bauran
    replied
    I like this but I'd change the Prime 3 optional to one that represents a Sparks ability to inspire loyalty in underlings. The Voice of Fire allows you to slap someone with Inspired if they obey you or Guilty if they don't. If you made a version of that spell that focused less on truth and more on channeling your true platonic self to convince others of your genius, one that only worked on mundanes. It would be a better fit to the mad scientists that Sparks are.

    Leave a comment:


  • proindrakenzol
    replied
    Originally posted by Vent0 View Post

    If I can complete such a project, I might.

    1st Block Simic (Grafting), 2nd Block Simic (Evolve), or just the general flavor?
    The Moros one would be Grafting (or maybe even Phyrexian style Compleation) whereas the Acanthus would be Evolve.

    Leave a comment:


  • Vent0
    replied
    Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post

    That feels very different from what I was thinking. Less "mad biologist" and more "mad social-scientist". I was trying to go for a Simic feel (if you play *Magic: the Gathering*) and what you're proposing is more "evil Selesnya".

    But there's no reason you couldn't make that Legacy, yourself.
    If I can complete such a project, I might.

    1st Block Simic (Grafting), 2nd Block Simic (Evolve), or just the general flavor?

    Leave a comment:


  • proindrakenzol
    replied
    Originally posted by Vent0 View Post

    What about Life/Mind? It's alive, it thinks, what more could you want? Souls are for the privileged.

    Actually, maybe their creed/philosophy believes that there are a limited number of Awakenings, and by reducing the number of people eligible (through most "people" being little more than organic, Turing-test-passing robots), they increase the odds that the "right" people Awaken. And yes, that flies in the face of evidence, and is likely some kind of racist. Those minions, though.

    Actually, one of their Attainments could grant them Staff, Retainers, etc. Mages spells can just grant Merits now, after all. Perfect for your Bond Villains and Bad Bosses. "Die for me, my minions! I can always make more of you."
    That feels very different from what I was thinking. Less "mad biologist" and more "mad social-scientist". I was trying to go for a Simic feel (if you play *Magic: the Gathering*) and what you're proposing is more "evil Selesnya".

    But there's no reason you couldn't make that Legacy, yourself.

    Leave a comment:


  • Vent0
    replied
    Originally posted by proindrakenzol View Post

    Thanks!



    A few, though I haven't hashed it out, yet.



    My first thought is a Silver Ladder Acanthus Legacy (Life/Fate) based around trying to breed "superior" humans more likely to become great leaders.

    The other idea is a Left-Handed Moros Legacy (Life/Matter) around crafting organic/inorganic super hybrids.
    What about Life/Mind? It's alive, it thinks, what more could you want? Souls are for the privileged.

    Actually, maybe their creed/philosophy believes that there are a limited number of Awakenings, and by reducing the number of people eligible (through most "people" being little more than organic, Turing-test-passing robots), they increase the odds that the "right" people Awaken. And yes, that flies in the face of evidence, and is likely some kind of racist. Those minions, though.

    Actually, one of their Attainments could grant them Staff, Retainers, etc. Mages spells can just grant Merits now, after all. Perfect for your Bond Villains and Bad Bosses. "Die for me, my minions! I can always make more of you."

    Leave a comment:


  • proindrakenzol
    replied
    Originally posted by TheArcane View Post
    I really like this legacy you've developed, especially the creative Attainments that really fit the character and purpose for the legacy.
    Thanks!

    I'm wondering if you had any thoughts on how you'd write up a similar legacy of evolutionist/bioengineers?
    A few, though I haven't hashed it out, yet.

    I imagine something like the Venture bros clone farm and The beings from the island of Dr. Moreau as a example of what they might be pursuing. I saw a similar prompt by wyrdhamster in the Some mad science-based Legacies thread, and would love to see how it would be written up.
    My first thought is a Silver Ladder Acanthus Legacy (Life/Fate) based around trying to breed "superior" humans more likely to become great leaders.

    The other idea is a Left-Handed Moros Legacy (Life/Matter) around crafting organic/inorganic super hybrids.
    Last edited by proindrakenzol; 10-09-2016, 07:41 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheArcane
    replied
    I really like this legacy you've developed, especially the creative Attainments that really fit the character and purpose for the legacy. I'm wondering if you had any thoughts on how you'd write up a similar legacy of evolutionist/bioengineers? I imagine something like the Venture bros clone farm and The beings from the island of Dr. Moreau as a example of what they might be pursuing. I saw a similar prompt by wyrdhamster in the Some mad science-based Legacies thread, and would love to see how it would be written up.

    Leave a comment:


  • proindrakenzol
    replied
    Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
    The Duration isn't Indefinite so eventually the issue of numbers would even out especially since Potency is the primary factor and so the Duration can be set at best to last a day (Maybe a week, I'm never sure I'm reading those charts right). That might still result in a lot of remote controlled devices but it's also a spell that rewards lateral thinking so it's not too overtly powerful right out the gate.
    Sounds good!

    Anyway, yeah you understood me correctly on my suggestion for the last attainment. Technically, an attainment can't reach Indefinite anyway but it's a narrow enough application that I'd certainly allow it the boost to Indefinite since it's only purpose is protecting the item. By the way,why Apocalypse and not Stealing Fire?
    Because I didn't think about it. Stealing Fire is probably closer to what I want as a base, since I'm not interested in granting Mage Sight.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mrmdubois
    replied
    The Duration isn't Indefinite so eventually the issue of numbers would even out especially since Potency is the primary factor and so the Duration can be set at best to last a day (Maybe a week, I'm never sure I'm reading those charts right). That might still result in a lot of remote controlled devices but it's also a spell that rewards lateral thinking so it's not too overtly powerful right out the gate.

    Anyway, yeah you understood me correctly on my suggestion for the last attainment. Technically, an attainment can't reach Indefinite anyway but it's a narrow enough application that I'd certainly allow it the boost to Indefinite since it's only purpose is protecting the item. By the way,why Apocalypse and not Stealing Fire?

    Leave a comment:


  • proindrakenzol
    replied
    Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
    I like it, but there's no reason to limit the number of objects you can Remote Control by your Matter dots.
    I felt having dozens of little puppets without worrying about spell control was a little over the top. I'd love to hear your reasons for having it be unrestricted.

    I think the last attainment if it works like Apocalypse should probably only protect Sleepers from Dissonance as long as they're in the presence of the legacy's gizmos. This still protects the objects from Dissonance without rendering the Lie obsolete and incentivizes kitting out any Sleeper that is exposed to this stuff.
    So as long as one of the "gizmos" is on the Sleeper the Quiescence is held at bay but as soon as it's removed... boom, hit with the breaking points?

    That would certainly make sparks more cautious in how they use their toys and who they show them off to.

    Leave a comment:

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