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The Village of Smaft

by Geoff Gander

AC: 7
Hit Points: 450 (15 buildings, 30 HP each)
MV: 180' (60')
Attacks: 2 steam accelerators (15 hp or 4d8)

From a distance, the village of Smaft looks like a triangle, with an iron-plated, six foot tall stone wall surrounding the perimeter. It measures 80 feet on a side, and is roughly 15 feet above the ground. Each of the buildings is of mixed stone and wood construction, having 30 hit points and an individual AC of 6. Positioned at the two rear corners of Smaft are two stout towers, each of which is topped by a large square construction, from the front of which protrudes a long metal tube. Each tower has an AC of 6, and 50 hit points.

These towers are the main weapon of Smaft - the steam accelerators. Using superheated water deep within the bowels of the village, the steam is forced through tiny pipes into a sealed chamber inside each tower. The front of this chamber is movable, and in fact it slides along the inside of the tube, stopping five feet short of the end. The tube's end is also filled with hundreds of tiny holes. In front of the chamber, and within the tube, the gnomes place a large lead cone. As the steam inside the chamber builds, gnomish technicians keep the front plate from moving forward by a complicated mix of springs and gears. Once their pressure meters register a critical level of pressure, the gnomes release the catches, allowing the steam to escape to the only exit - along the tube and out the holes at the end. It rushes out at tremendous speed, propelling the projectile at the opponent. Each accelerator is mounted on a platform, which can turn in a 180 degree arc by means of a system of gears within each tower's base. Because of the pressure required to fire the device, each accelerator can fire only once every six rounds. The projectiles have a range of approximately one mile. The chief artillerist simply makes a successful artillery check, and a normal attack roll at -2, to hit the target.

Smaft moves by means of three large wheels mounted underneath its undercarriage, each of which is about 20 feet in height - thus embedding them partially into the village itself. Only the leading wheel can turn in its mounting, by means of gears mounted at the leading corner, in the forward observation and navigation area. Within each wheel is a giant rat, measuring roughly 20 feet in length, goaded into motion by a large hunk of cheese suspended on a string in front of its nose. Since living creatures propel the city, Smaft can move for only up to half an hour at a time, after which the rats must rest and eat for another thirty minutes. Each wheel has an AC of 5, and has 30 hit points.