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The Book of Wondrous Inventions II
by Sean Meaney
Home and Business
Bunvoes Heliographic Armillary
Weapons and Warfare
MAKING YOUR OWN BOOK OF WONDOROUS INVENTIONS?
Page of Contents: This should be broken down into Categories based on Type:
Appliances some magical device you might have in your Wizards tower or Castle.
Constructs Autonomons, Specific task Golems, that sort of thing.
Dungeon Devices something useful exclusively in a dungeon.
Entertainment Fun stuff
Home and Business Something used in a D&D setting home or business.
Practical Services Anything you stick a coin in to operate or use for public benefit.
Structures Usually a fixed position building but also a movable one.
Transport A vehicle of some kind.
Weapons and Warfare basically a weapon or tool used on the battlefield.
Title: The full invention name (18 Size Font)
Definition: What the Invention is (5-15 words)
History: A history of the Invention (50-100 words)
Description: What it looks like (50-100 words)
Construction: How to make it, necessary spells, Special Objects (50-100 words)
Statistics: Physical Dimensions, Weight, Monster Stats
Functioning: How it works (50-100 words)
Hazards: What happens when things go wrong (50-100 words)
Staging: An encounter description (50-100 words)
Bunvoes Heliographic Armillary
Definition: A timepiece for plotting the motion of the planets in real time.
History: Invented in AC1005 by the Wizard Falkor Bunvoes in the City of Glantri as part of his quest for the secrets of Time. Unfortunately Bunvoes was a somewhat impatient Wizard. Consequently the Timepiece was only designed with the innermost three planets in mind. Though he always meant to build something larger that would encompass all the Planets of the Solar system, he just never got around to it.
Description: The Heliographic Armillary is made up of three bent, giant sized lock-picks of iron. Each of the lock-picks has a bend defined by it distance from the iron sphere.
The Sphere itself is three inches in diameter and covered in an ancient script of the fire element.
Construction: The whole thing requires a Permanency spell, Clairvoyance, 4x Levitate, and 3x Timekeeping. The Timekeeping spells are for the overly large lock picks which must orbit the Sphere with precision plotting the planetary motion in real time, while the Clairvoyance spell is for the sphere to project a small version of the Sun on the Surface of the Iron Sphere. Levitation allows the whole time invention to float off the ground as a free standing engine.
Statistics: 3 radius, 100lb of iron
Functioning: To activate the time piece the owner simply lays out the keys in their orbiting positions on the floor directly below the point where they are going to be positioned when operating. The iron sphere is then placed in the centre. The Entire contraption will levitate off the ground and a small Sun will appear at the centre of the display.
To deactivate the Device, you simply grab the miniature Sun and remove it from the setting. The rest will fall to the ground.
Hazards: Usually it functions quite well but in close proximity to Immortals or Artefacts it has the appalling habit of changing the planetary orbits, spinning like a high speed saw blade, or flying off in all directions becoming a missile hazard (thrown dagger).
Staging: The PCs encounter this invention in a classroom of the Glantrian School of Magic where it is being examined by a Lecturer and a number of Students. Whenever Etienne DAmberville (School headmaster) walks past it falls to pieces or flies off.
by Geoff Gander
Flavians Ballista Minima Eterna
Definition: A two-handed magical repeating crossbow.
History: Flavian Agostinius (AC 761-813) was a civic-minded spellcaster who spent much of his life researching magical means of automating various labour-intensive processes. Although ambitious, he lacked the background required to truly understand how manufacturing processes work, which tended to produce interesting results. This did not, however, prevent the Thyatian government from commissioning Flavian to produce a repeating crossbow for military use. Many prototypes were developed and field-tested, but engineering flaws proved to be too difficult to make mass-production viable. The project was cancelled, and filed away.
Description: The Ballista Minima Eterna looks like a regular heavy crossbow, except that in place of the string there is a hand crank mounted on the right-hand side. On the opposite side, near the front, is a small dial with three settings normalis (normal), ocius (quick), and valde velox (intensely fleet). Mounted on the top of the weapon, where one would normally insert a bolt for firing, is a metal box slightly longer and wider than a regular crossbow quarrel. In front of the box is the groove down which quarrels fire. A hole is bored into the underside, to allow the weapon to be mounted.
Construction: To construct a Ballista Minima Eterna, one needs a normal heavy crossbow with a wooden or metal stock; the bow must be metal. One woodform and two ironform spells are required to strengthen the crossbow and create the box into which the quarrels drop. A small dimension door is created inside the box to create a link with a special pocket dimension filled with quarrels (see below), which is then made permanent. Finally, a modified version of reverse gravity (minor gravitational anomaly level 7) is cast on the box and groove to create a strong gravitational vortex that will send the quarrel towards its target this is also made permanent. Inertia takes over once the quarrel clears the weapon.
Statistics: The Ballista Minima Eterna measures 1 1/2 feet (0.45 m) long and weighs 130 cn; it has the same range as a heavy crossbow (80/16/240). It can fire once per round on the normalis setting, with each quarrel inflicting 2d4 damage. On the ocius setting, the weapon fires twice per round (the second shot occurs at the end of the round), and on valde velox it fires four times per round divide the firers initiative score by four (rounding down) to determine when each shot is fired.
Functioning: To use the Ballista Minima Eterna, the user must select a setting, hold (or brace) the weapon once a target is sighted, and turn the crank. Although there is no string, the user must still be strong enough to wield the weapon one-handed while turning the crank, and to switch settings quickly in the heat of battle, without dropping it (minimum Strength of 15). When the crank is turned, one or more quarrels drop out of a pocket dimension created by Flavius into a protected chamber on the weapon, where an altered gravitational field whisks them along the groove towards a target.
Hazards: When the Ballista Minima Eterna is set to ocius or valde velox, the force exerted by the bolts provides enough recoil to incur a cumulative penalty of -1 or -2, respectively, to attack rolls per round of firing, unless the firer pauses for one round. For each round of shooting on these settings, there is also a cumulative 5% or 10% chance each round, respectively, of friendly fire (DM picks the victim). When firing on the fastest setting, a natural roll of 1-8 jams the weapon. The firer must spend two turns extracting the bolts before the weapon may be used again.
It goes without saying that sticking ones fingers in the groove while the weapon is firing is a good way of losing them.
Staging: Flavian produced dozens of prototypes over the years, many of which ended up in private collections as curiosities. Some, due to their appeal, turned up in the grey market, and may be found in treasure hoards, or in the hands of villains. Those who know the history of the weapon also know of the pocket dimension created by Flavian, but no one has ever located it. As a result, no one knows how may quarrels remain, or how to refill it once they run out.