Mechanicians are a blend of engineer and builder who possess both design knowledge and crafting ability so that they may plan and personally manufacture devices. Even without modern power sources and techniques, Mechanicians can still build quite sophisticated devices using systems such as springs, hydraulics and wind-based motor systems to drive well greased moving parts. Mechanicians may also be called on to devise locks and traps to foil the efforts of thieves. They often practice a particular trade and are called Locksmiths, Shipwrights, Architects, etc. A skilled Mechanician may master several such professions. Mechanicians often build overly large and complex devices that are frequently non-functional and occasionally dangerous. Their profession is usually considered more of an art than a science.
MD affects a Mechanician's Experience costs. A Mechanician pays 10% extra EP if their MD is less than 15 and pays 10% less if their MD is more than 22.
A Mechanician must pay money for the upkeep of a studio or workshop, tools, work-in-progress and possibly guild fees.
The more complex, dangerous and experimental a Mechanician's project is, the more likely that it is to be temperamental, expensive to upkeep and prone to breakdowns.
SUPERVISION: Many projects will require the assistance of Artisans and Labourers, as well as other Mechanicians. Mechanicians gain the ability to supervise subordinates who are practising either the Mechanician skill or an Artisan skill necessary to the Mechanician's project.
ARTISAN DISCOUNT: Many of the Mechanician abilities give the character a grounding in an Artisan skill. A character may rank Artisan skills that are listed under abilities they have learned, at half of the normal experience cost and time (round up), up to the same Rank as Mechanician. Artisan skills are shown in the Mechanician ability listings as [craft].
COMBINATIONS: A Mechanician may combine known abilities. A Mechanician may combine any or all of their areas of expertise in the design and execution of a project. A Mechanician may also combine their skills with other crafters to produce items. The GM must decide, based on the abilities possessed by the Mechanician and other assistants, whether or not they may design and build a certain project.
Examples: A Mechanician who knew Bridge-building, Stoneworking, Earthworks and Hydro-engineering, could design and build an aqueduct that spanned a gorge. A Mechanician who knew Chronometrical Engineering, Fine Materials and Spell Containment, might design and build a "magical trap" that has a time delay in the trigger mechanism. A Mechanician, an Armourer and a Weaponsmith could combine abilities to build a suit of plate armour with retractable blades at various locations. A Mechanician wishes to build a mill using a waterwheel for power. The GM determines that they will need the Architecture, Complex Mechanics, Stoneworking and Woodworking abilities. A Mechanician who knew Boat-building and Animal and Textile Products, could design and build a sail powered coracle made of leather, but not a wooden dinghy.
After Rank 0 a Mechanician acquires one new ability per Rank. Additional abilities may be gained after achieving Rank 10, by the expenditure of 1500 Experience Points and 4 weeks of training.
Some Mechanician abilities give abstract comprehension of the theory, design and construction techniques involved in crafting different projects. Others offer an understanding of materials along with a basic practical knowledge and ability in crafting those substances. Each ability lists the particular crafts or substances with which knowledge is gained. Special abilities are fully explained in later sections of this skill.
Mechanician knowledge is of a more practical and less esoteric nature than that gained through equivalent Philosopher fields and may be complemented by the acquisition of Philosophic knowledge.
The abilities available are:
ANIMAL & TEXTILE PRODUCTS: including material such as horn, furs and leather, natural fibres and other non-wooden plant products, heavy cloth and ropes. Does not include venoms and Alchemical extracts. [Rope/Netmaker],[Sail/Tentmaker],[Leatherworker],[Tanner/Hideworker/ Furrier].
ARCHITECTURE: unfortified buildings of any size.
BRIDGES: includes suspension, span, swing, humpback and floating bridges.
CARRIAGES: wagons, carriages and coaches. [Cartwright/Wheelwright].
CHRONOMETERS: clocks, time-pieces and other timing devices.
COMPLEX LOCKS: special ability. (See below.). [Locksmith].
COMPLEX MECHANICS: including stresses, valves, pumps, power transmission (complex gears, compound pulleys, pistons, hydraulics, etc.) and power generation (springs, wind, water, etc.).
EARTHWORKS: complex earthworks, foundations and landscaping. Civil engineering (including road, ramp and town square building, as well as town planning). Earthworks will be required to build most large structures. [Lumberjack].
FINE MATERIALS: fine and delicate materials, wire-pulling and small component manufacture. [Gold/Silversmith].
FORTIFICATIONS:defensive military works. Includes a basic knowledge of seige warfare.
GLASSWORKING: glass mixing, blowing, window construction and staining. [Glass-blower].
HYDRO-MECHANICS: devices (pumps, pistons, valves, waterscrews, etc.), canals, sealocks, drainage, irrigation, sewage systems and plumbing.
METALWORKING: the forging and casting of base metals. [Blacksmith], [Caster/ Pewterer/ Tinsmith].
MINES: mine design & construction, pneumatic devices (air pumps, fans, ventilators, etc.), knowledge of air shafts, ventilation and basic geology. [Miner].
OPTICS: optical devices (telescopes, magnifying glasses, spectacles, mirrors, etc.), knowledge of light, optics, and lens making, grinding and finishing.
PROSTHETICS: articulated artificial limbs.
TRAPS: special ability . (See below).
SHIPS: new designs for boats and ships. [Shipwright].
SIEGE ENGINES: Offensive military machines. Includes a basic knowledge of siege warfare.
SPELL CONTAINMENT: special ability. (See below).
STONEWORKING: quarrying, cutting, finishing and fitting. [Mason].
WOODWORKING: carpentry, joints and wood-joining. Also making basic wooden constructions. [Carpenter/Cabinetmaker].
EXPERIMENTAL ENGINEERING: This ability may be learnt any number of times with different experimental areas. It may first be learnt when acquiring Rank 8. Experimental engineering areas may include: Aeronautics, Steam, Geo-thermal, Gases, Explosions, Perpetual Motion, Vacuum, Sub-marine and Advanced versions of any other Mechanician ability they already possess.
TIME & COST: The time
to construct a Complex Lock is: (11 + Lock
Rank - Mechanician Rank) hours.
The cost is: (25 x Lock Rank [minimum 10]) sp.
A Mechanician may always open one of their own Locks in: (12 - Mechanician Rank) minutes.
TIME & COST: The time and cost to create a trap will vary greatly, depending on the complexity, size and nature of the trap.
E.g. A covered pit or a bent tree noose, may have no intrinsic cost and be constructed in a matter of hours or minutes, while a complex "robber press" for a King's tomb may cost thousands of silver pennies and require six months and two hundred labourers to build.
The most commonly encountered type of Mechanician trap is the Precision trap. This is the type of small needle or blade trap that may be set into or adjacent to, locks or other precision devices. One lock or similar device may have up to: (Mechanician Rank / 3 [round up]) traps on or adjacent to it.
The time to build each trap is:
(11 + Trap Rank - Mechanician Rank)
The cost is: (125 x Trap Rank) sp, minimum of 50, plus the cost of poisons, alchemical materials.
A triggered trap may be reset by any Mechanician whose Rank is at least half that of the trap. This will take: (11 - Mechanician Rank) hours. A trap may need refuelling.
A Mechanician may disable or re-enable one of their own traps in (12 - Mechanician Rank) minutes.
TRIGGERING: The precise actions that will trigger a trap must be specified at the time that the trap is constructed. Traps on a lock or other precision device are automatically triggered if the device is operated in the pre-specified manner and the traps have not been removed or disabled.
DAMAGE: A trap may be built that causes physical damage or explosively discharges its contents in a cone up to: (Trap Rank + 1) feet wide and (10 + Trap Rank) long, or activates the mechanical trigger of a "spell container".
A precision trap that causes physical damage may cause up to: (D10 + Trap Rank] Damage Points. Itmay also be poisoned, coated with acid, etc., so as to cause additional damage.
CHARGING: One "charge" of a suitable Spell may be stored in that device by an Adept spending time in Ritual Spell Preparation. After the Adept has spent the specified amount of time engaged in the Ritual, a cast check is made and the spell is stored in the containment device if the cast chacke is successful. When the mechanical trigger is activated, the spell is released and the device is effectively destroyed and becomes worthless. Expended devices may not be reused, though they may generally be re-smelted to reclaim their metal content.
RESTRICTIONS: The Spell stored must either affect a definable space (such as a beam that goes in a specified direction, or a pre-defined area of a specific), or it will only affect the activator of the device. The triggering mechanism and the exact area and configuration of hexes that the spell will affect must be completely specified by the Adept at the time that the spell is stored. Only those spells that have the storage option "Magical Trap" may be stored using this ability.
WEIGHT, TIME, & COST:
The minimum weight for the device is: (16
- Mechanician Rank) ounces.
The time to construct the device is: (25 - (2 x Rank)) hours.
The cost for the device is: (Spell Rank [minimum 1] x Spell EM) + 100 sp.
The time required to store the Spell is: (Spell Rank - Mechanician Rank) hours, minimum of 1.
Existing Mech characters should
be able to choose the fields that they
want. This seems on the face of it to reduce the functionality
to current Mechs (ie. they will not be able to do all the things that
were supposedly able to do), but I hope that with the better
of Mech abilities, and with a much better guideline being provided to
Mechs will be able to actually use their new abilities more fully.
Copyright 1999, Martin Dickson.