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    Default The Goblin Engine

    I was perusing the Dungeon Master's Guide II for version 3.5 when I noticed the elixir of reckoning. It is a crimson potion that fills you with unstable magical energy. If you die via negative hit points within 1 hour, you explode with eldritch energy, dealing 5d6 damage to everything in a 20-foot radius, DC 14 Reflex save for half damage. The DMG II talks about it mainly being used by "suicide troopers in the service of evil warlords", which made me think of goblins. After thinking about this for a while, I came up with the idea of some sort of spell trap that kept resurrecting and feeding another potion into this one goblin, effectively turning it into a 5-use automatic reset trap (2 points of Con resurrection cost on a goblin with Con 10). Then I wondered, "How could you use and prolong this?" My use was: The Goblin Engine. I know this sounds incredibly cruel and painful, but this would really only be used by evil people (). You have two goblins set to explode in alternate rounds. Round 1: spike stabs goblin, goblin explodes. Round 2: Other goblin explodes from damage just as first goblin resurrects. Etcetera. The resulting blasts could power machines. Then I started trying to prolong it. My thought was to use a second-level goblin and keep stuffing him with XP after he died, but I have no idea how to do this. Any ideas on how to indefinitely kill and resurrect a goblin? (Also, any ideas on how to keep the People for Ethical Treatment of Goblins off my back?)
    Last edited by Ranting DM; 2012-10-17 at 06:11 AM.
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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    I'm not sure that the elixir is the most efficient way of doing this, but I can't think of anything better off the top of my head. I also can't think of any way to "force-feed" a potion to someone (outside of the normal Full-Round action to "feed" a potion to an unconscious creature).

    Since you're obviously not above a touch of cheese, I suggest making a trap of revenanceSpC and having it be cast every other round or so. If you're unfamiliar with the spell, it's a 4th level Cleric spell that resurrects a touched ally with no XP loss, Con loss, or material/XP components. The catch is that the ally can only be raised if it died within rounds/level, and it dies again when the spell ends (minute/level duration). For you, this doesn't matter even a little bit because there's no rule saying you can't just keep casting it over and over.

    I can't think of any way to make this perpetual negative energy machine actually useful, though... Maybe if you bolted the engine to a Gargantuan undead creature. That would be fun.

    As far as PETG goes, this kind of thing doesn't have to be done to unwilling goblins. It could be volunteer-only (in return for benefits for your family or some other reward), or mandatory for all citizens to spend two weeks in the Engine before being resurrected more permanently and sent back to daily life. Although I like those ideas, I think I would prefer this as a form of prison.
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    Last edited by Lyndworm; 2012-10-17 at 01:04 AM.
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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    Quote Originally Posted by Lyndworm View Post
    I'm not sure that the elixir is the most efficient way of doing this, but I can't think of anything better off the top of my head. I also can't think of any way to "force-feed" a potion to someone (outside of the normal Full-Round action to "feed" a potion to an unconscious creature).
    I'd probably be force-feeding the potion with a hose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lyndworm View Post
    Since you're obviously not above a touch of cheese, I suggest making a trap of revenanceSpC and having it be cast every other round or so. If you're unfamiliar with the spell, it's a 4th level Cleric spell that resurrects a touched ally with no XP loss, Con loss, or material/XP components. The catch is that the ally can only be raised if it died within rounds/level, and it dies again when the spell ends (minute/level duration). For you, this doesn't matter even a little bit because there's no rule saying you can't just keep casting it over and over.
    Revenance does sound like the way to go for the resurrecting. It also means I can just throw a Monster Manual goblin in there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lyndworm View Post
    I can't think of any way to make this perpetual negative energy machine actually useful, though... Maybe if you bolted the engine to a Gargantuan undead creature. That would be fun.
    Well, it's not a perpetual negative energy machine. It's a perpetual eldritch energy machine, which I can imagine as being either some sort of spell fuel, or the blasts could just be milked for their force to drive pistons and such.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lyndworm View Post
    As far as PETG goes, this kind of thing doesn't have to be done to unwilling goblins. It could be volunteer-only (in return for benefits for your family or some other reward), or mandatory for all citizens to spend two weeks in the Engine before being resurrected more permanently and sent back to daily life. Although I like those ideas, I think I would prefer this as a form of prison.
    Those sound like good ideas. Puts me in mind of a spell from Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed, woodlands prison, which shuts off all of a subject's physical and mental functions and keeps them alive for eternity in a cocoon made of plants. The descriptive text reads "often, when granted the option of this type of imprisonment or death, a target submits to this spell."
    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Sagan
    The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.
    Nor, for that matter, is it required to be in perfect harmony with anybody else's.

    78% of all DM's start their first campaign in a tavern. If you're among the 22% who didn't, copy and paste this into your signature and tell us where you DID begin. Mine began at a dragon's dinner table. The dragon has kidnapped all the PCs and is forcing them to find her son.

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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    Wait ... I just checked the Spell Compendium, and revenance is like raise dead, which means that it only works on a mainly whole body. However, the elixir of reckoning blows the subject to small bits, so resurrection would work but revenance wouldn't. Any other thoughts on working spells/XP force-feeding? And regenerate only works on living people, so that won't work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Sagan
    The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.
    Nor, for that matter, is it required to be in perfect harmony with anybody else's.

    78% of all DM's start their first campaign in a tavern. If you're among the 22% who didn't, copy and paste this into your signature and tell us where you DID begin. Mine began at a dragon's dinner table. The dragon has kidnapped all the PCs and is forcing them to find her son.

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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    I don't know if pack of return would be a reasonable alternative?
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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranting DM View Post
    I'd probably be force-feeding the potion with a hose.
    Assuming that you're the DM (or can otherwise convince your DM to go for it) that might work. (See below, where I apologize for the exploding mix up.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranting DM View Post
    Well, it's not a perpetual negative energy machine. It's a perpetual eldritch energy machine, which I can imagine as being either some sort of spell fuel, or the blasts could just be milked for their force to drive pistons and such.
    Sorry about that; I misread your post and didn't bother breaking out my DMG2 to make sure I understood. As above, assuming you're the DM that should work alright. I don't know of any way to actually use that energy by RaW, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranting DM View Post
    Those sound like good ideas. Puts me in mind of a spell from Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed, woodlands prison, which shuts off all of a subject's physical and mental functions and keeps them alive for eternity in a cocoon made of plants. The descriptive text reads "often, when granted the option of this type of imprisonment or death, a target submits to this spell."
    Personally, I'd rather go for death. In D&D, there's concrete proof of an afterlife, and you'd be denying yourself that. Also, death is probably easier to reverse than that spell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranting DM View Post
    Wait ... I just checked the Spell Compendium, and revenance is like raise dead, which means that it only works on a mainly whole body. However, the elixir of reckoning blows the subject to small bits, so resurrection would work but revenance wouldn't. Any other thoughts on working spells/XP force-feeding? And regenerate only works on living people, so that won't work.
    My bad on that. As I said, I didn't check the DMG2 and didn't realize that the effect destroys the body. I can't think of any way to put the body back together other than resurrection and higher level effects.

    If the body is destroyed, though, how are you forcefeeding the elixir to the goblins every round? Wouldn't you need to manually reposition the body every time it was resurrected?
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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    Quote Originally Posted by Lyndworm View Post
    If the body is destroyed, though, how are you forcefeeding the elixir to the goblins every round? Wouldn't you need to manually reposition the body every time it was resurrected?
    some trap forces it into their mouth

    they are strapped to the spot, so the hose is just affixed

    trap to compel them to drink it


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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    All that makes sense at first, but the goblin's body was torn apart and flung all over the room. I'm just having a hard time envisioning a device that could actually do that, even with magic involved. Could just be me, though.
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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    4 traps with two oscillating plates. Dead goblin triggers a res/true res/whatever, other triggers a death throes ability (there are variation, but easy way is to use an energy substitution way and make it fire or electricity since this is a power source and those are easy) on a living unenchanted one. the real downside to the system was the costs in potions. making it spell traps that auto-reset make it more expensive, but cost less in the long run.

    Edit: easy, lets go with a standard pressure plate to illustrate. Plate moves up: true res on creature that was standing there. Plate moves down: cast death throes on creature standing there. If we don't like the past tense we can replace "was standing there" with "is now splattered all over the nice tile"
    Last edited by drack; 2012-10-17 at 09:24 PM.

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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    Whew, so many new ideas! I'll try to address them...
    Quote Originally Posted by CthulhuEatYou View Post
    I don't know if pack of return would be a reasonable alternative?
    I'm not familiar with this magic item. What does it do?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lyndworm View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ranting DM View Post
    Those sound like good ideas. Puts me in mind of a spell from Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed, woodlands prison, which shuts off all of a subject's physical and mental functions and keeps them alive for eternity in a cocoon made of plants. The descriptive text reads "often, when granted the option of this type of imprisonment or death, a target submits to this spell."
    Personally, I'd rather go for death. In D&D, there's concrete proof of an afterlife, and you'd be denying yourself that. Also, death is probably easier to reverse than that spell.
    Ah, but in Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed there is no certainty of an afterlife, at least in the given campaign setting.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lyndworm View Post
    All that makes sense at first, but the goblin's body was torn apart and flung all over the room. I'm just having a hard time envisioning a device that could actually do that, even with magic involved. Could just be me, though.
    I think that just a small adamantine box with little holes for the energy to go through would be enough. If I'm using a 5d6 potion, that will have no effect on the hardness 30 adamantine. Also, I'd be making sure that the holes are too small for goblin parts. In sum, the goblin is torn apart but contained in his box.
    Quote Originally Posted by drack View Post
    4 traps with two oscillating plates. Dead goblin triggers a res/true res/whatever, other triggers a death throes ability (there are variation, but easy way is to use an energy substitution way and make it fire or electricity since this is a power source and those are easy) on a living unenchanted one. the real downside to the system was the costs in potions. making it spell traps that auto-reset make it more expensive, but cost less in the long run.
    Edit: easy, lets go with a standard pressure plate to illustrate. Plate moves up: true res on creature that was standing there. Plate moves down: cast death throes on creature standing there. If we don't like the past tense we can replace "was standing there" with "is now splattered all over the nice tile"
    Sounds like a good idea, but how would you get a death throes ability on a goblin? I can't recall any spell that does that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Sagan
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    78% of all DM's start their first campaign in a tavern. If you're among the 22% who didn't, copy and paste this into your signature and tell us where you DID begin. Mine began at a dragon's dinner table. The dragon has kidnapped all the PCs and is forcing them to find her son.

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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranting DM View Post
    Sounds like a good idea, but how would you get a death throes ability on a goblin? I can't recall any spell that does that.
    The spell death throes, from the Spell Compendiump60. It deals 1d8 damage (probably meant to be force damage, given it's a [Force] spell, but that wasn't errataed) per caster level to everyone in a 30ft burst. However, only a true resurrection can bring the victimvolunteer back to life.
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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    Quote Originally Posted by Lyndworm View Post
    The spell death throes, from the Spell Compendiump60. It deals 1d8 damage (probably meant to be force damage, given it's a [Force] spell, but that wasn't errataed) per caster level to everyone in a 30ft burst. However, only a true resurrection can bring the victimvolunteer back to life.
    Yup, so true res balanced against a death throes with feats or the archmage class ability changing the energy type from force to one of the basic elemests. (If I miss-recolect the limitations of those and they end up only one energy type to another there are spinoffs of the death throes spell that do other energy type, ans one or two of the I think is a basic energy type...)

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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    Hrm, true res and death throes is an expensive way around this...don't see much in the way of better options though. As far as force-feeding the potion goes, you could always use a syringe to inject it directly into the goblin's stomach, it's gonna die anyhow so it doesn't matter too much about a bit of damage first, surely?

    I was going to suggest looking at the cyst spells (particularly Necrotic Burst) in Libris Mortis, but I've just re-read them and I don't think they'd help much, unless you want the engine to create an undead cyst-creature thingy instead of dealing area damage every time the Gobbo dies...this could be quite amusing though, since the subject doesn't get turned into the cyst creature, the creature bursts forth from them, making it possible to res them and make another.

    Either way, this would make more sense as some sort of punitive sentence, rather than a voluntary post. I also like the idea of powering some sort of undead construct doomsday machine with this, since if the 'engine' was inside the creature, the explosion of the corpse wouldn't spread it anywhere, and the negative energy would restore any internal damage anyhow.
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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    Well true res/death throes is actually much cheaper then potions considering how many you'd need to run this thing for even one day... (14.4 thousand)

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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    Quote Originally Posted by drack View Post
    Well true res/death throes is actually much cheaper then potions considering how many you'd need to run this thing for even one day... (14.4 thousand)
    ....truth. Heh, that's a lot of potions...then again that's a lot of anything really, spell, potion or whatever! You're right though, for the first couple dozen or so death/res cycles the potion would be cheaper, but after that point the spell combo becomes the better choice.
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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    Yup, not to mention that it's M-rule how many times/round this loops, so being able to instantly res opens up the possibility for more then once/round as automatic reset says "immediately" is a possibility allowing infinite energy/round without having to go through all that nasty business of worrying about how to feed a potion to them before they are hit with the damage.

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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    Aye, I've noticed that myself with the way the wording goes. As a DM who's had many a trapsmithing mage character to contend with, I've personally ruled that 'immediately' translates to immediate action, of which only 1 may be had in a round (yes, I know it's inanimate and therefore not technically subject to this but meh!). This applies separately to each 'repeater spell' in the trap/device, so the whole combo could happen in the same round, but shouldn't happen more than once per round. Otherwise you end up with commoner railguns and the like, funny but ultimately silly.
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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    Hmm... this is an interesting idea. I have an idea on how to design it, but I guess it depends on how this eldritch energy interacts with liquids. See, if it is an explosion of pure MAGIC energy then does it just pass through things, harming those it was designed or are particuarly vulnerable to it?

    OR does it interact as if I was just a regular old explosion, and thus interacts with liquids that way?

    Either way, you could seal the goblin in a waterproof container and fill the tank to capacity with the potion. That way, he drowns, explodes, then the rez mechanic triggers and brings him back, to drown again. Now, if the energy interacts with liquids as if it was a regular explosion, you can add hoses and basicaly use it as a repeating hydrolic device, using the poition as hydrolic fluid.

    Now if the energy was purely metaphysical Harming magic, then I would think you could simply build an array around the box designed to gather up that energy and store it in some kind of magic battery. Then just build some sort of emmiter, and presto! Death ray. Or bottle it and make magic grenades.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veklim View Post
    Aye, I've noticed that myself with the way the wording goes. As a DM who's had many a trapsmithing mage character to contend with, I've personally ruled that 'immediately' translates to immediate action, of which only 1 may be had in a round (yes, I know it's inanimate and therefore not technically subject to this but meh!). This applies separately to each 'repeater spell' in the trap/device, so the whole combo could happen in the same round, but shouldn't happen more than once per round. Otherwise you end up with commoner railguns and the like, funny but ultimately silly.
    As I said it's as fast as the DM lets it go

    Anywho cod, death must be through damage for the potion, and it just hits everything, as it is a D&D burst damaging effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drack View Post
    As I said it's as fast as the DM lets it go

    Anywho cod, death must be through damage for the potion, and it just hits everything, as it is a D&D burst damaging effect.
    drowning is death by damage. you are dealt lethal damage on this third round


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    Hmm, guess they changed that mechanic. I'm remembering the save or die rule from way back when.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drack View Post
    Hmm, guess they changed that mechanic. I'm remembering the save or die rule from way back when.
    actually, thats just if you homebrew Drowning to work and continue the patern (It doesnt, it actually loops infinitely between steps 1+2)


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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    Hmm? lost me.

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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    Tragically, I'm pretty sure a Decanter of Endless Water or Wall of Fire is a more efficient power source. Actually, if you're already assuming automatically-repeating spell traps with one-round delays, isn't a 5d6 damage Fireball literally exactly as effective, and much more practical?

    EDIT: Of course, if you do settle on the goblins (because hey, evil doesn't have to make sense) figure out how to extract Liquid Agony in the process.
    Last edited by Eurus; 2012-10-18 at 04:33 PM.
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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    Practicality wasn't high on priority it seems.

    Still, you can do a lot of neat things with a little know how and a devious mind.

    Hmm... a liquid agony machine... we aren't too far off the mark with the cumbustion goblin engine. Well first off line the box with spikes and make it barely bigger than the goblin. As to harvesting... I gotta go find my book and reread the rules on that stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by drack View Post
    Hmm? lost me.
    Drowning RAW sends the character into a loop of perma drown, because Drowned is not a game term, and so it doesnt actually kill the player.


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    I use Red when I'm angry, I use blue when I'm excited.
    Drow avatar @ myself

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Titan in the Playground
     
    drack's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    Ah, yeah, I think I was thinking of a different edition

    Gah, you know, I think my original avatar and emoticon spamming suits me best. Let the good times roll.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    Not another batch of comments to note ... (Kidding. I wouldn't complain about my fellow goblin torturers. )
    First of all, thanks for the answer on the death throes spell. I'm still waiting on the pack of return.
    Second, I am now convinced that I should just use the spell trap and avoid massive potion cost (unless I wish for infinite wishes and have a mass potion factory, but if I'm using wish, then I might as just well wish for perpetual motion).
    Third, the drowning idea ... I'm not sure if it would work; I don't know what all "eldritch energy" does.
    Fourth, I do admit that this is ridiculously impractical and that hooking up a decanter of endless water to a waterwheel is a perpetual motion machine, but I still like the idea of exploding goblins powering a big nasty ol' engine.
    And finally, what is liquid agony?
    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Sagan
    The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.
    Nor, for that matter, is it required to be in perfect harmony with anybody else's.

    78% of all DM's start their first campaign in a tavern. If you're among the 22% who didn't, copy and paste this into your signature and tell us where you DID begin. Mine began at a dragon's dinner table. The dragon has kidnapped all the PCs and is forcing them to find her son.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Codemus's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    And finally, what is liquid agony?
    Its a special liquid that you can only get by basically torturing it out of living things. I believe it can be used for special spell components, though the exact use eludes me. My books are all packed up so I can't check it.
    Add me on Steam! Link


    Here is some Homebrew that I've worked up.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Titan in the Playground
     
    drack's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Goblin Engine

    liquid pain is created through a day of torturing someone with a 4th level spell and can be subbed in as 4-5xp as components/creation. This is all somewhere in BoVD, though I don't really see how you can be torching someone all day if half the tie they're dead...

    Gah, you know, I think my original avatar and emoticon spamming suits me best. Let the good times roll.

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