New Dwarven Machinist Automaton Design - "The Mist"

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Spinam
Joined: 2019-01-29 22:18
New Dwarven Machinist Automaton Design - "The Mist"

So I have a bunch of machinist designs that I am looking to get feedback on. This one is is a favorite. Please be critical and let me know what is technically flawed. 

 

 

 

“The Mist” [5] 

Monster; robotic insect swarm; attacks all owner-designated enemies relentlessly; in lieu of orders, will attack all units that display outward hostility to their assigned owner; the swarm obscures light and  vision through it; the swarm normally occupies a 25' x 75' area (the area is 10’x30’ for 4 HD organic swarms), but may be expand or shrink as conditions merit; through collective efforts, the swarm is able to grab and move objects up to its carrying capacity.

 

Insect Swarm (p 197 ,Core Rulebook): double damage is dealt to characters wearing no armor (or monsters with an AC of 3 or worse). If a character wards the insects off (as above) or runs out of the swarm, the damage is halved. Unlike swarms of large creatures, insect swarms take no damage from weapons. Swarms do not need to roll to attack.  Instead, any character within the swarm is automatically hit by the creatures, suffering damage or other effects depending on the type of swarm. Unlike organic insect swarms, The Mist cannot be warded with torches, weapons or similar items; the swarm also is not affected by fire- or cold-based damage, or the sleep spell. To mitigate damage, a character can only flee. If a character flees from a swarm, it will take 3 rounds for him to swat off any remaining creatures, during which time he may continue to suffer from its effects. The swarm can only be directly attacked using AOE effects and spells...although, since  bombs have no effect since the concussive waves do little more than displace the swarm and fire damage is ignored, spell are the only effective choice. Or simply fleeing into water...but will The Mist lose interest before you drown?

 

HD: 10 (up to twice machinist level)

AC: 5 (½ HD)

Weight: 1, 000 (HD^2 * 10)

Carrying Capacity: 500 (½ Weight)

 

Attack: 30 dmg (HD x 3), dealt by a bites

Bite = 30  dmg → Bite (3d10)

THAC0: Autohit (Look at Swarm mechanics, page 197 of Core Rulebook)

 

Exploration Movement Rate: 60’

Combat Movement Rate: 20 (⅓ EMR)’

 

Special Abilities: 5 (one allowed per machinist level)

Fly and Hover (+2)

Immune to poison, gas, charm, hold, sleep; standard automaton immunities (+1)

Immune to fire (+1)

Immune to cold (+1)

 

Direct Design Cost: 45,000 gp  ((2,000gp x HD) + (5,000gp x # of abilities))

Min. Research Library Value: 45,000 gp (+1 to proficiency throw for every 10,000 gp over that min.)

Design Time: 52 days (1 week + 1 day for each 1,000 of cost)

Design Penalty: +9 to target throw (+1 for every 5,000 gp of total cost)

 

Build Cost: 45,000 gp ((2,000gp x HD) + (5,000gp x # of abilities))

Min. Workshop Value: 45,000 gp (+1 to proficiency throw for every 10,000 gp over that min.)

*Material Quality Bonus: +1 to proficiency throw for every 10,000 gp worth of mats invested (cannot exceed base cost)

Build Time: 52 days (1 week + 1 day for each 1,000 of cost)

Build Penalty: +9 to target throw (+1 for every 5,000 gp of total cost)

 

GMJoe
Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2013-01-04 12:56

You don't appear to have accounted for the cost of swarm immunities and special abilities, such as not needing to roll to attack and being immune to all weapons (including magic weapons). Those are some pretty significant abilities for a construct to have, since they make it practically invincible against many foes.

Spinam
Joined: 2019-01-29 22:18

 

 

Yea, this is the point of confusion for me. So insect swarms (organic and as they occur in the bestiary in the back of the Core Rulebook) are not targetable by non-aoe attacks. They can be warded and damaged by fire, etc, or charmed. I was trying to make a mechanical version of that but I wasn't sure if I would have to reconstruct their constitution using a combination of abilities or simply state that they are a mechanical insect storm. After all, the fact that they can't be hit by a sword is due to their nature (a swarm of bugs) not a magical ability. The only reason they are more resilliant than regular insects is their automaton resistances and the filler immunities I added (to fire and cold). The fact that they don't roll attacks is also because monsters they are attacking are "inside" them. They are surrounded and constantly touching the swarm. Also a result of their nature, right?

So would making an automaton include having to reconstruct traits that are inherent to form by using abilities? 

 

Aryxymaraki
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Joined: 2014-01-04 02:20

Normally, an automaton isn't a swarm though.  Given that there are significant benefits for being a swarm, I would agree with GMJoe that you should purchase special abilities to give the automaton those benefits, and then it can be a swarm with its swarm-benefits being bought and paid for.

Otherwise, you would be getting a very significant power increase without any cost increase, and that's just not a precedent that's good to set.

Spinam
Joined: 2019-01-29 22:18

Fair assessment. But what's the best way to tally this up? How many special powers would "being a swarm" be worth? Or should each insect be build individually with their being some required number to create a swarm? 

 

Single "Automaton"  - same stats 

Fly (+1)  |  Hover (+1)  |  Untargetable (+?) |  Engulf (+1)  |  "Some ability to state that they are a swam of insects - although this doesn't have impact on mechanics anymore" (+?)

 

Swarm - Individual (x,000 number); bare minimum stats; essentially the number of them would be sufficient to allow for the number of attack throws and that would probabilistically ensure a base damage. Individual insects can be targeted by attacks that ensure hits and chains. They would essentially attack as an army so damage would be a lot higher, wouldn't it? But costs would be appropriately insane

Fly (+1)  |  Hover (+1)  |  "Some ability allowing them to size of a locust and an appropriate penalty to see/hit" (+2)

GMJoe
Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2013-01-04 12:56

So insect swarms (organic and as they occur in the bestiary in the back of the Core Rulebook) are not targetable by non-aoe attacks. They can be warded and damaged by fire, etc, or charmed. I was trying to make a mechanical version of that but I wasn't sure if I would have to reconstruct their constitution using a combination of abilities or simply state that they are a mechanical insect storm. After all, the fact that they can't be hit by a sword is due to their nature (a swarm of bugs) not a magical ability.

-Spinam
Most special abilities of creatures aren't inherently magical. In fact, as written, every ability of a dwarven machine is non-magical. Magic is a red herring, here.

So would making an automaton include having to reconstruct traits that are inherent to form by using abilities? 

-Spinam
Yes. Definitely yes. Otherwise, there's nothing stopping my dwarven machinist son from making every construct he ever builds a swarm that's immune to basically everything and using his army of invincible nanomachines to take over the world.

How many special powers would "being a swarm" be worth? 

-Spinam
As a starting point, most of the special abilities of swarms may already be found elsewhere. "immunity to non-magical weapons" is one ability in the rules for creating magical crossbreeds. Given that magical weapons are rarer but more powerful, I guess "immunity to magical weapons" should probably be another ability on top of that?

The "automatically hitting" thing is a little trickier to price, but I guess you could consider it equivalent to an extra attack per round, more or less.

As the for AoE thing... Hmm. I'm not sure about that one.