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Old 08-03-2012, 08:30 AM   #1
Jürgen Hubert
 
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Default Help me come up with Sufficiently Advanced Magitech

OK, if you are one of my players - stop reading now.








I'm currently participating in a campaign set in a fairly standard fantasy setting (the German setting Midgard, for those who happen to be familiar with it). And while I am a player so far, I want to take my turn at GMing at some point.

What complicates coming up with adventures for this group is that the PCs are powerful - at the moment, they are at 512 character point. To give just one example, one of the characters has IQ 17 and Magical Aptitude 20, which means she can maintain spells with an energy cost of up to 7 indefinitely, and usually maintains a dozen spells every time she goes out of the house. Missile Shield definitely is one of them, and she usually casts it for all other members of the group who can't cast it themselves, and often Hawk Flight as well.

And other characters have no shortage of over-the-top abilities either, including quite a few Cosmic Modular abilities. In other words, it is rather challenging to come up with appropriate threats for these characters. And I do not want to use some sort of "power nullifier", since arbitrarily taking away the player characters' powers is boring and tends to hit characters to an unequal degree.

Fortunately, the world is known to exist within a wider multiverse, so I plan to use an "interdimensional invasion" storyline. And I am going to model the main bad guys after the inhabitants of Apocolyps from DC comics (especially the DC Animated Version, since I am the most familiar with it) - a hellish world with godlike rulers who are attempting to conquer other worlds. First they infiltrate them by finding local allies/patsies (like Intergang) and use them to weaken/evaluate opposition. From their their activities gradually escalate until a full-blown invasion starts.

As the first layer of opponents would be the local equivalent of Intergang, I need to come up with some appropriate gear for that world to distribute. This gear should look and feel bizarre to the relatively primitive locals as it was made on a more advanced world - yet it should not feel like "boomsticks" or simple equivalent of modern-day technology. It should feel not like ordinary tech, but magitech - a hybrid that won't be confused for either.

I've already come up with "ammunition" or a power source for this gear. These items are powered by small crystal sphere... which are actually repositories for the Soul Jar spell. This is a reason why the enemy world is constantly trying to collect new captives - so that their souls can power their industries and their wars of conquest. And as long as the item is used, the power of the soul in question is gradually sucked out until nothing is left. Hopefully, this will reduce the temptation for the PCs to use this gear for themselves...


So, what kind of suggestion do you have for such gear? It should be a real threat to characters from a TL3 fantasy world - overpowering most ordinary folks and even endangering 500 CP characters with lots of magical defenses. But it should not be an "instant win" button for those who use it, either. And it should be as flavorful as the Apocoliptic tech from the various animated shows is.
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Help me come up with Sufficiently Advanced Magitech

I don't know about defeat but magitech... enchanted items?
Collapsible batons that flame-on when flicked open.
Communications headsets.
Flash grenades.
low RoF Laser weapons, ie Sunbolt, as it isn't a Missile.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Help me come up with Sufficiently Advanced Magitech

Telepathy headsets.
Mana-Fuel-Air-Explosives: Boom plus mana depletion crashing spells before the mana rushes back in.
Grenades full of tiny short lived chewing imps.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Help me come up with Sufficiently Advanced Magitech

Hellspawn missiles: Look kind of like regular missles, but the warhead summons a powerful demon
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Old 08-03-2012, 03:15 PM   #5
jeff_wilson
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Default Re: Help me come up with Sufficiently Advanced Magitech

Crew-served, quad-barrel magic missile wands on alt-azimuth mounts.

Windup miniature spell caster: rocks back and forth, waves arms and moves mouth while music box chimes sound out an incantation - each one has a single spell and fixed skill, but anyone can spend the FP by winding it up IF they have one of the special keys. Target selected by the winder while winding, OR can be set as a trap to attack the first person to disturb it.

I recommend liberally borrowing Goa'uld gadgets, particularly the non-disintegrating Zats, the Kara Kesh, and the Hara'kesh.
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Old 08-03-2012, 03:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help me come up with Sufficiently Advanced Magitech

Piloted giant bird golems.
I made some using the Spaceship rules plated with orichalcum.
Claws can drop huge bombs or carry longboats full of infantry.
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Old 08-03-2012, 03:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help me come up with Sufficiently Advanced Magitech

Organic looking tech works well for a non-modern feel.
Example: A gun made of a hard carapace, the back is bulging translucent, slightly glowing sack of something (the carapace doesn't cover it completely), it fires globs of acid which explode upon whatever they hit, or upon the goon pressing a detonator.

Mechanically this is just a gun that fires explosive rounds, has a middling range, doing burning or corrosive damage as you feel like it. The baddies will always fire their first volley at the PC's directly and then switch to proximity attacks. Which has the benefit of being able to get through the the missile shield, while keeping it useful. (If the PC's don't use missile shield ever start raining those acid balls from orbit.)

Tron-esque tech would work well too, just add some runes. Easy flight, deadly blades, a few explosives and a spray of doom shoots to encourage missile shield, (and slice through barriers.)

Flying steampunk battleships, are both magical and have technology. You can use spaceships seven to design them, although they need either melee attacks or explosive shots to be a threat. (Or they can act as troop carriers.)

Oh also essential materials everywhere.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help me come up with Sufficiently Advanced Magitech

What are the limits of the magics that the PC's are familiar with? Are there things that are thought to be impossible or unusually hard or time consuming?

The soul jar powered economy suggests that lots of things related to necromancy could be pretty common.

Magical implants that give magical abilities like beholder eye stalks or implanted crystals of phasing.

The dead angel made into a vehicle from Magic Items 3would be pretty creepy :)
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:34 PM   #9
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Help me come up with Sufficiently Advanced Magitech

Obviously giant robots. Japanese cartoons aside, magical robots have a lineage going back to Talos and Hephaestus.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Help me come up with Sufficiently Advanced Magitech

CthuluTech. Especially the Tagers and Engels.

Creepy alien magitech.
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