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Iituem
2007-02-06, 09:34 PM
When trying to come up with technological items that duplicate magical effects, I struggled for a long time to determine methods of adapting the existing rules for magic items to tech items (in some instances, these rules were ridiculously complex). This is my current set of streamlined rules.



No Instant Effects: All technological effects take the form of items. No technomancers, although some items may require knowledge of an effect similar to spell completion.



Blueprints: To create any technological item, the technologist must first research the basic effect he wishes to create. For example, to create muskets he must first research a way to fire lead bullets powered by combustion. Research follows the same costs as developing a new arcane spell and results in a finished blueprint at the end, similar to a spell written in a spellbook.* The blueprint cannot be used to create single-use effects as a scroll or a spell cast from a spellbook, it can only be used in the creation of technological items. The technologist must have the blueprints on hand when creating a tech item, at least in the final stages of assembly.



Tech Mastery (feat): A scientist taking this feat chooses a number of blueprints equal to his Int modifier and permanently commits them to memory. He need not have a blueprint on hand to create tech items with those effects.



Create Tech Item (Creation Feat): A feat, similar to Create Wondrous Item, used to create technological items. Instead of using arcane magic item creation times and prices, the tech item uses Craft times and prices to determine how long and how expensive an item will take and be. For example, a technologically enhanced sword of market value 2300gp would take 88 weeks and 667gp for the tech component, as well as 8 weeks and 100gp for the masterwork sword. Generally, assume that a tech item has a Craft DC of 13 + (tech level x 2). This means that an 8th level tech item would have a craft DC of 29.

Unlike magical creation feats it may be possible for multiple people to work on a tech item, provided there is more than one component. An item's technological component can be divided between a number of people equal to the square of the tech level (so a tech level 9 item can have 81 people working upon it), but each one must possess at least a partial blueprint for the item and must undertake Craft checks with DCs equal to the normal item's DC -4. If any component is mismade at this stage, it can be replaced and remade. Final construction of the item requires a single Craft check at the item's Craft DC (it is impossible to take 10 on this), with all the components at hand. On a successful check, the item is created. On a failed check, half of the components are ruined and must be recreated for a new check to be made.

Crafting tech items is represented here as one feat, although it may be wiser to split it into several along the lines of the magical craft feats, such as Craft Tech Armour, Craft Firearms, Craft Chemicals and so on.



Power Supply: Most tech items require power supplies. When creating a permanent item with continuous or unlimited effects, assume there is sufficient power supplied for 1 year of continuous use (unless the item is itself a continuous power generator, in which case it will supply power until its own power source runs out). Most tech items are effectively charged, being created with the 50 charge creation guidelines and having enough power for 50 charges. After all its charges are expended or it has used up its year of continuous power, it must receive additional power.

To provide power to a drained item, a compatible power source must be supplied to it (be that gunpowder, electricity or otherworldly ether) with a material value equal to half the value of the charged item or half the value of the permanent item (for continuous items). This recharges the item with either 50 new charges or 1 year's additional power. Hooking a generator up to a continuous item provides a continuous drain and reduces the generator's maximum capacity rather than simply using up the power.

Power sources typically require materials as reaction mass or similar such as coal, gunpowder, uranium, hydrogen or neutronium. Resupplying a used reactor with material generally takes a Craft (power generation) check of DC 14 + reactor tech level and materials equal to one third of the power value desired to be restored**. A failed check ruins the materials completely, sometimes with disastrous consequences. Quick resupply typically takes around 10 minutes per 1000gp of material, although a deliberated resupply can take over three hours (counts as a take 20).

Worked Example: Torjak buys a 2nd level tech item (use activated, 50 charges) for 6000gp. He has a great deal of fun with it, but it eventually runs out of power. Torjak is fortunately an engineer and constructs a power generator of 12,000gp value (costing him 4000gp to do so) from a 2nd level tech effect. He hooks the generator up to the item and recharges it, draining the generator's worth to 9000gp but completely recharging the item. Another 50 uses later, he hooks the generator up again and completely drains its power supply, reducing the market value of the generator to 6000gp and once again recharging his item. He buys reaction fuel for his generator (1000gp's worth) and on a successful Craft (power generation) check restores 3000gp of market value to his generator. He does this a second time, restoring the generator to its full value of 12,000gp. He cannot do this a third time, as the generator has reached its maximum capacity.

Later, Torjak buys a personal shield of effective tech level 2 (value 12,000gp) and hooks it up to the generator. The generator's maximum power output is reduced to 6000gp as 6000gp is being used to power the shield. As a result, so long as the shield is hooked up to the generator, it will remain active. After 1 year, 6000gp will be drained from the system (leaving a market value of 0 with a max value of 6000gp) unless sufficient materials are resupplied.




*I have not duplicated these costs as I am uncertain if they have been released to the SRD. If someone can show me they have been, I shall for the sake of clarity. Otherwise, refer to the DMG.

**Some substances require no checks or different checks to resupply. Resupplying a musket with gunpowder, for example, requires no skill check.

Well, it's 2:40am. I shall return to this later, hopefully, but there are some of my off-the-back-of-a-napkin rules for you. Enjoy!

Mewtarthio
2007-02-06, 10:21 PM
Tech Mastery (feat): A scientist taking this feat chooses a number of blueprints equal to his Int modifier and permanently commits them to memory. He need not have a blueprint on hand to create tech items with those effects.

Engineer. Not scientist.

I can't really comment on this until I see the "tech effects," but bear in mind they will be slightly more powerful as they can't be disjoined, dispelled, or AMF'd.

Iituem
2007-02-07, 04:40 AM
I was thinking about that, actually. It makes sense that there should be a way to dispel/disjoin/resist tech effects, otherwise they get unbalanced, but you'd probably need individual effects. I suppose some sort of nanotechnology might provide Tech Resistance of a sort, as well as specific effects neutralising others as per a dispel effect (EMP, anyone?). I'll have to work on this one.

Also, yes, engineer. Shh. _

cferejohn
2007-02-07, 01:02 PM
*I have not duplicated these costs as I am uncertain if they have been released to the SRD. If someone can show me they have been, I shall for the sake of clarity. Otherwise, refer to the DMG.


Yuppers

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/arcaneSpells.htm#addingSpellstoaWizardsSpellbook