On Clockwork and Magic

On Clockwork and Magic

Below is a list of terms involving arcane and clockwork inventions, encountered so far in the campaign. It is by no means a complete list, only those terms which the players have had explained to them or they have read about.

  • Arcane – An object using magic. In Golarion, this is anything that manipulates raw arcane energy
  • Arcane Dynamo Condensers – Also called “condensers.” These devices that take focused arcane energy (spells) and converts it back into raw energy called Eldritch volts or a “charges”
  • Arcanodynamic Convergence Engine – Also called “accumulators.” These taps the raw arcane energy found in the gem called De’Ryan’s Eyse and converts it into Eldritch volts or a “charge” to power mechanex devices
  • Clockwork – Any device, regardless of power source, that use a complex system of gears to perform a task such as locomotion or arcane mimicry
  • De’Ryan’s Eye – Also called “eyes”. A unique gem found in the ruins deep below Fogdown. When tapped by accumulators, they produce Eldritch Volts, or “charges”.
  • Eldritch Volt – Also know as a “charge”. The basic measurement of a mechanex device
  • Mechanex – (Pronounced: Ma-can-x) Is a device that combines clockwork ingenuity with arcane effects or power sources
  • Mechanical – A strictly physical wonder of invention that uses clockwork engineering and steamwork to act and move
  • Rune Plate – Interchangeable plates that produce the effects of mechanex device (for example: lighting shock, flame burst, etc)

A Primer on Clockwork Machina

Every clockwork construction has three important pieces: an effect, created by a combination of rune plates; a power source, which gives the device life; and a base, which is the foundation of the machine.

  • The Base – The physical foundation or an object that the clockwork device emulates or extends. For example: a long sword
  • The Power Source – How the device creates whatever effect it was intended to do. For example: a light condenser
  • The Effect – What a clockwork device is capable of doing. For example: flaming burst

The Base

Clockwork items come in all types of shapes and sizes, but are generally divided between weapons (includes mechanex blades, firearms, etc), armor, and devices (such as clocks, transports, etc).

Constructing any item requires first to draw up schematics. Schematics take 1 day to draft per 500 gp. The base is Craft(Clockwork) DC 15 + 1 for each component (including the base) and cost 1/25 of the total cost in GP. Items can not be completed without schematics and as such, are quite valuable, especially if they hold the secret to new invention.

The Power Source

Power sources come in three types: arcane dynamo condensers (or “condensers”), acranodynamic convergence engines (or “accumulators”) and mechanical engines.

Arcane dynamo condensers: or condensers, are specially designed devices that take focused arcane energy (spells) and converts it back into raw energy called Eldritch volts or a “charges”. Conversion from spells to charges is a 1 to 5 basis, that is for every level of the spell it converts to 5 charges. These charges can be sorted indefinitely or until used. These come in 3 sizes: light (max 20 charges), medium (max 50 charges), and heavy (max 100 charges). Rumors tell of super heavy condensers as well.

Acranodynamic convergence engines: or accumulators, are the cornerstone of advancement of clockwork devices. Accumulators taps on the raw arcane energy found in the gem called De’Ryan’s Eyse, or just “eyes” and converts it into Eldritch volts or a “charge”. Eyes come in all shapes and sizes that have anywhere from 30 to 100+ charges. Since the discovery of the magical properties inherent in De’Ryan’s Eyes, other gems have been discovered to posses similar powers but usually particular to a certain school of magic. These come in 3 sizes: light (max 20 charges), medium (max 50 charges), and heavy (max 100 charges). Rumors tell of super heavy accumulators as well. Accumulators can only hold Eyes of equal of less power. For example, an Eye with 65 charges could not run in a light or medium accumulator. Doing so can produce problems similar to when devices are run “hot” (see below).

Mechanical engines: are the most inefficient, cumbersome sources of power. Engines are usually piston engines, driven by the super heating of steam by the burning of wood. As wood is a pricey commodity on the island, the cost also usually runs high for maintaining devices that use mechanical engines. The only benefit is not having to deal with annoying wizards. Also, there is no maximum to the number of changes a mechanical engine can have. Charges are different for each engine.

The Effects

Effects produced by any clockwork device are primarily accomplished through the use of complex components called rune plates. Rune plates, come from a combination of special alchemically treated metals and the ability to scribe scrolls. One rune plate must be created per effect. The cost of a rune plate is base 100 gp, + the cost of a scroll of an equal level. You must be able to cast the spell to scribe the plate.

What is unique about rune plates is the ability to swap them as necessary. Rune plates are compatible with bases of a similar type. For example, a rune plate on a spear is compatible with a rune plate on other spears, a rune plate on a suit of full plate mail is compatible with any other suit of full plate mail.

After activating a mechanex device, one charge is spent per rune plate per round that draws from power source. This draw occurs automatically when triggered, then at the beginning of each round. If the device has no or insufficient charges when being activated, it fails to activate. If a device is unable to pull its total charge at the beginning of a round, the device fails and seizes. Failed devices still function as their base when applicable, although running the device beyond its ability to pull a charge, also referred to running a device “hot”, can have other unknown and deadly problems.

On Clockwork and Magic

The City of Fogdown redstar