View Full Version : Gauntcraft Items

2009-07-06, 03:42 PM
Well, I'm currently busy incorporating Ethergaunts into my own campaign world. Now, they are supposed to have really high technology, and their example weapon from the Fiend Folio is really cool. But one weapon alone doesn't make technology, so I thought I'd add some more. Now, I'd like to have some help with balancing and pricing them. Ideas for more items are also welcome.

Now, the etherblade and doubt bomb from the FF are a kind of unmagical force effects. I tried to make something similar here.

First, a heavier version of the etherblade's ray:

Etherpulse cannon

When Ethergaunts, usually reds, are encountered in teams, often some of them will not carry the traditional etherblade, but this heavy, two-handed weapon which fires powerful blasts of blue energy.
An etherpulse cannon is an exotic weapon that must be held in two hands. It can fire a ray of force as a ranged touch attack for 2d6 points of damage. It has a range increment of 70 feet.
Since the ray is not magical in effect, it is not affected by antimagic field or similar spells, nor by spell resistance.
Alternatively, the weapon can be used as a crude melee weapon, which deals 1d6 points of bludgeoning damage.
The weapon can be fired 50 times before it runs out of charges.

A fully charged weapon has a price of 1600 gold pieces.

Ethergaunt Armor

Like all their crafts, the armor of the ethergaunts is made from the ethereal protoplasma itself. These suits consist of paper-thin, iridescent plates the colour of the ethergaunt wearing them. They must be custom made for every wearer and will not fit any other individual without extensive reworking. (And even then, they will not accept non-ethergaunts).
The armor provides it's wearer with a +2 armor bonus to armor class. However, since they are made out of quasi-force-effects, they also provide a +2 deflection bonus to armor class. It gives it's wearer a -1 armor check penalty.
Since the armor contains highly sophisticated mechanisms that cause the different parts of the suit to automatically attach themselves to each other when held close together, it only takes one round to don the suit.

Price: difficult to say. The deflection bonus alone should be worth about 8000, as the ring of protection. Then, there's the "nonmagical" part all the ethergaunt items have, which should significantly increase the price. 12000? 16000?

Paralyzation Ray

These weapons are among the most feared in the ethergaunts arsenal: they are used to incapacitate potential thralls, so that slave collars can be attached to them without too much struggle.
As a standard action, the weapon fires a thin, blue beam, a ranged touch attack. When this ray hits a living target, it must make a fortitude save (DC 18) or be affected as if by a hold monster spell, except that the effect is, as with all gaunt weaponry, nonmagical.
As with other similar devices, the ray has 50 charges before it becomes powerless. It can not be recharged.

Overseer's Platform:

This platform is used by Ethergaunts of middle ranks overseeing large groups of slaves as taskmasters. It is a disc, five feet across, made from the same thin iridescent material as the gaunt's armour.
While within ten feet of any surface, the platform can levitate with a speed of 60 feet, ignoring difficult terrain, requiring only mental commands from the passenger.
The platform can increase it's altitude to a maximum of 60 feet, though above a height of ten feet, it can only hover straight up or straight down.
Finally, up to two handheld gaunt weapons can be attached to the platform. The user can use their ranged attacks as if he was holding them in his hands. Usually, these platforms are fitted with Paralyzation rays, for stopping fleeing slaves, but rarely, elite task forces of Red ethergaunts use these platforms outfitted with Etherpulse cannons to attack fortified positions from above.


The Vibrocannon is a true monstrosity, used by the ethergaunts in siege situations or, rarely, to ambush and kill large monsters like giants or dragons.
It consists of a translucent tube of ethereal matter, twenty feet long and five feet wide and, at the one end, a large sphere, ten feet in diameter, consisting of strips of different metals that slowly turn in different directions. Inside them, rarely visibile, sit several large crystals, the largest of which is nearly the size of a halfling.
To use the cannon, a single ethergaunt gunner is necessary, along with a crew of ten thralls used to move the cannon. Even with ten thralls, all of which must be of medium size, the catapult usually only moves at a maximum speed of ten feet.
The vibrocannon fires a beam five feet wide and up to 500 feet long. It has variable power based on how long it was charged up without firing before the shot: 2d6 sonic damage per round of charging, to a maximum of 10d6 for five rounds. A successful reflex save against the intelligence score of the gunner halves the damage. Crystalline structures, including those made from stone, take double damage.

And finally a feat:

Ethereal crafter [Item Creation]

You are adept at gathering the raw essence of protoplasma from the ethereal plane itself when creating magical items.

Prerequisites: Concentration 6 ranks, any item creation feat.
Benefits: When creating magical items while staying on the ethereal plane, you pay 20% less of the gold piece cost for raw materials. The XP cost remains the same. Additionally, all items you craft have only 3/4 the normal weight. This reduces armor check penalties of all suits of armor created this way by 1.

2009-07-08, 01:25 AM
Since the entry in the Fiend Folio of the ethergaunts says that only they have the ability to make ethergaunt items, being an ethergaunt should be a prerequisite to the Ethereal Crafter Feat.

The weapons are really cool. Can the etherpulse cannon be recharged?

I have no clue as to how to price the ethergaunt armor. 8000 gp sounds plausible since the ethergaunts wouldn't need obscure materials for their own weapons. In the Fiend Folio, it doesn't state that ethergaunt items are created from the "ethereal protoplasm" unless I misread the entry. If I overlooked this, I do apologize and please advise me as to where that information may be found.

It is quite possible that the ethergaunts have knowledge of source of appropriate material within the Ethereal Plane or that they plunder other planes particularly the Prime Material or Far Realms in particular for raw materials. That wouldn't necesarily add to the cost of their items. It might ensure that that none of these items would be sold to non-ethergaunts and that any non-ethergaunt found with such items would incur the emnity of any ethergaunt it encountered. At least that is how I would view this.


2009-07-08, 04:47 AM
Well, while the armor is ethergaunt-only, I can easily see a situation where the players can end up with one of their weapons.
As for the creating stuff out of protoplasm: on the one hand, it seems cool and fitting, on the other, I'm not only going by the Fiend Folio entry, but also by a pretty long and well-written article here. (http://www.geocities.com/ripvanwormer/ethergaunts.html)
For the feat: well, note that it doesn't in fact allow anyone to create ethergaunt items, it's merely there for flavour. Also, the setting I'm incorporating them in is set almost exclusively on the ethereal, therefore something like that should be in there.

2009-07-08, 05:15 AM
Awesome, I love the ethergaunts. A few ideas: maybe a cannon that's more stationary? Like a mounted cannon. And then maybe some form of flying vehicle that they use to move about and oversee their slaves, like a small, fast one.

2009-07-08, 05:21 AM
Good ideas, both. I'll go read up on the rules for siege weapons first, for the cannon.
For the other thing: maybe some kind of hovering platform?

2009-07-08, 05:29 AM
Good ideas, both. I'll go read up on the rules for siege weapons first, for the cannon.
For the other thing: maybe some kind of hovering platform?

Yes, exactly. Maybe with a kind of use-activated dominate/charm/suggest gun. I'm just thinking that when they're they're monitoring their slaves, they're zooming around and one gets out of hand, and they zap him with the gun to make him more... compliant. If that makes sense. I know they can cast the spell themselves, but it's a use-per-day thing. Sorry I'm rambling. :smallwink:

2009-07-08, 05:58 AM
Added the paralyzation ray, a nice weapon for capturing slaves, and the overseer's platform. Once again, not sure how to price these.

Also, I'm working on a siege weapon, firing a line of force, but requiring about ten thralls to operate.

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-08, 08:12 AM
Also, I'm working on a siege weapon, firing a line of force, but requiring about ten thralls to operate.

Are we talking thralls a fuel or thralls as operators? If the latter, it doesn't seem to fit that the ethergaunts would make something that would put its use in the hands of thralls; if the former, it might be a bit too evil for the 'gaunts, but it's an awesome idea.

2009-07-08, 08:14 AM
More along the lines of: ten thralls dragging it, with a gaunt operator.

2009-07-08, 03:01 PM
So, instead of a force cannon I went with a vibrocannon, stolen from WH40k. Because I thought the constant force rays got a little boring. It also lets you make up more technobabble at the table when players ask.

I just hope this will not utterly annihilate all players who ever try to stop these things. Honestly, I have no idea how my campaign world is gonna survive.

The Tygre
2009-07-08, 05:23 PM
This may help you. Lo! I pull it from the darkest and deepest depths of the interwebs! Foretold to me by the great planar scholar Rip Van Wormer! (Which is to say I found it on his website.) The history and culture of the Ethergaunts

Masters of the Ethereal - Ethergaunts (http://www.geocities.com/ripvanwormer/ethergaunts.html)

2009-07-08, 05:27 PM
I've already read that, it's what inspired me in the first place.
THank you nevertheless, kind Sir.

2009-07-08, 05:35 PM
The minute to charge seems a little much for a weapon that only deals 5d6 damage.

Also, how much do the last 3 cost?

2009-07-08, 05:37 PM
You're right, actually. Looking at the siege weapon stats, it's pretty much worse than a catapult. Less reach, less damage... sonic damage and a line instead of a point of impact being pretty much the only advantages. How 'bout five rounds and 10d6 damage?

2009-07-08, 05:50 PM
Sounds good to me. Maybe have it recharge 2d6 damage every round, so they can use it more frequently but it won't do as much damage, and it caps at 5 rounds and 10d6 damage.

2009-07-08, 07:32 PM
Good idea. Did that. Actually, with this baby, they can pretty much level fortresses at will.