Almechanist: Mechanical Magery for TFT

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”

– Arthur C. Clarke 


Almechanists have the rare skill of mastery over the intersection of technology and magic— the science that blurs the line between the physical and the fantastic. Whether it is a rediscovered mystery of the mnoren or a creation sprung from the wild imagination of the practitioner, almechanist devices defy the understanding of mundane engineers. 

 These strange practitioners are feared by academics and mechanicians for dabbling with forces they do not understand and are rarely accepted by mainstream ’scientists’. Wizards despise them for stealing their powers. Some large communities have their own Almechanical guilds where they trade secrets and sell their wares to the curious (or foolhardy), but most live a solitary existence tinkering in workshops or rooting out old mysteries.  They are most welcome among the tinker elves or in subterranean goblin enclaves where their practices are less heretical.  

New IQ14 Talent: Almechanist (3) This paramagical skill costs the same for either a Hero or a Wizard, and would only cost 2 for a figure with Mechanician. An almechanist uses two less dice to disarm traps of a magical nature and allows them to Remove these traps as well. They use one less die to identify artifacts with spell-like qualities.

 They may also build almechanical devices (commonly called gadgets or gizmos) similar to the way an alchemist brews potions. They will need access to an almechanical workshop (similar in size and cost to a wizard’s) and a schematic for the device itself. 

Creating Almechanical Gadgets

To build an almechanical device that replicates a magical spell effect, the Almechanist will need a number of days equal to the IQ level of the spell plus the ST used in casting. Typically devices are built to last 12 turns, but this is not required. They will also need a schematic of one page per day costing $20 per page. They must also expend ST equal to IQ-level X the casting ST of the spell. Finally, they would components and parts that cost 10 times the ST expense. For example, to build an almechanical gadget to allow you to telepathically Whisper (ITL, p.21) to allies for a minute would take 12 days (IQ10 + ST2 to cast), a $240 schematic ($20 page X 24 days) require 20ST (IQ10 X ST2) and $200 (Mana coast X 10) in materials. These devices can easily sell for twice the cost of creation. (Note that this method will generate prices often very different than similar items in the Fantasy Trip printed materials. These are based on our Imaginaerie house rules, so feel free to substitute with the original).

 Further, the Almechanist must make a successful check each day while fabricating. Failure indicates a day’s work lost, and a roll of 18 means the process failed must begin again. Success rolls of 3 give a 10% reduction in cost. Having a working gadget to build off gives +2IQ to this check.

 This method can also be used to create an almechanical trap, with the added time cost of building the trap itself (See Mechanician, ITL p. 40). 

 Once a device is used it is non-functional. It may be recharged by an Almechanist (with the proper schematic) at half of all the above costs. A brave fabricator may attempt to recharge a device without a schematic, but one extra die on the check every day of work. 

Given the expenditure of time and assets required to be an Almechanist, it might not be the most exciting path for a player character. But they would make excellent contacts and information resources for adventurers. And escorting an Almechanist into strange ruins to decipher its mysteries might offer tremendous gain for a brave party. 

Sample Gadgets

Optical Enhancer Rig (Fine mundane item $100). These are a strap worn around the head with an enclosure over the eyes. Fitting into slots before each eye is a number of glass lenses of various shapes and tints. Some are mundane and cut down glare or allow aging eyes to read more easily, but some are near mystical.

  • Minute Magnification gives the wearer magnified vision of the full range of sight as the Close Vision spell (ITL, p. 20) for 30 minutes. (11 days, 10ST, $100)
  • Avian Extension allows the wearer to see up to 100 times farther than normal with complete clarity as the Far Vision spell (ITL, p. 20) for five minutes. (11 days, 10ST, $100)
  • Aura Arcana lets the viewer see objects concealed by Blur, Invisibility, Shadow, or ordinary darkness as the Mag Sight spell (ITL, p.24) for 12 turns. (14 days, 28ST, $280)
  • Peripher-all is a series of lenses and mirrors that gives the wearer sight in every direction as the Eyes-behind spell for 12 rounds. (26 days, 168ST, $168, 144ST (IQ12 X ST12) .

Skeleton Key This small handheld device appears as a number of small metal roads and pins connected by a clockwork motor and can open locked and magical closed doors as if by magic. It can even be used to lock unlocked doors or create a magical lock effect. The key can be fabricated to act as 1-3 Lock/Unlock spells(ITL, p. 20) . Level 1 takes 12 days, 20ST, and costs $200, Level 2 takes 14 days, 40ST, and costs $400, and Level 3 takes 16 days, 60ST, and costs $600. Each key only works once.

Metal Mole Like a large cylinder that sprouts clutching arms and drilling fingers, the mole can clear a hex of earth and dissolve it into its core like the Open Tunnel spell (ITL, p.25). And like the spell, this device can work on living creatures, which is a truly ghastly thing to witness (23 days, 130ST, $1300)

Gargoyle Garb is a heavy hooded garment covering the entire body. When activated it stiffens to a consistency as hard as stone but flexible as cloth and acts as the Stone Flesh spell (ITL, p.26) for 12 turns. (26 days, 169ST, $1690)

Scrubbing Bubbles are held in a container under pressure. When released, the bubbles will scour a single hex, cleaning it and killing all small forms of life like germs and diseases like the Cleansing spell (ITL, p. 31). Larger containers can cleanse up to seven connected hexes. (37 days, 340ST, $3400 per hex). A lesser version can purify food and purge poisons as the Cleanse Poison spell (ITL, p.24). (16 days, 48ST, $480)

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but merely a glimpse at the wonders that an Almechanist can bring to your gaming tables. Nor should found devices be limited to existing spells and items. Think of how wondrous walkie-talkies, cheez-whiz, or even Rhoomba would appear to fantasy adventurers. 

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