View Full Version : Walking Ballista [3.5]

2009-07-20, 01:54 AM
So I was playing Morrowind and came upon this outside some ruins,


and thought it would be something my players would love.

So aside from obvious siege weapon rulings (I'm thinking light ballista)...
How fast should it be? Should moving it require special skills, such as Pilot (Crazy Ancient Technology)? Should load time be reduced, since it looks steam powered, and on that note, how should I handle powering it?

Any ideas/thoughts would be great.

2009-07-20, 02:12 AM
The adventure Eyes of the Lich Queen has an encounter that involves two such constructs. They're large-sized and deal damage as Huge-sized Light Crossbows (3d6). They have a 20-foot movement speed and have arms that they use to reload themselves or defend themselves in melee. Bolts they fire get an automatic +3 enhancement.

If you mean for them to controllable, you could just use Profession (Siege Engineer) since that actually appears in existing books.

2009-07-20, 02:21 AM
Hmm...that sounds good, though I think I'll keep the damage at a 3d8 for light ballista.
Basically it's just a ballista that only requires one person to opperate/move, so you could have a gnome rocking the pilot seat or something, great image in my head for that :smalltongue:

2009-07-20, 04:27 AM
Everything is better with Gnome. On a slightly similar note, has anyone tried to stat a steam cannon for D&D?

2009-07-20, 04:57 AM
There is a cannon with alchemical fire ammunition in stormwrack. You can use or refluff it (after all, steam is like fire, is hot!).

Another thing: in cityscape, there is a siege golem that is part golem and part siege engine, maybe can be useful.

2009-07-20, 05:07 AM
There's something... I think it's called Animated or Arcane Ballista...
*Commence search...*
*Item found*

Arcane Ballista; Eberron - The Forge of War, page 149

Moves 20ft, and selfloading. The bolts fired from the ballista is equal to +3 flaming burst bolts.

2009-07-20, 02:19 PM
Awesome, I've settled.
20ft, not self loading, but reduced time for loading (it pulls back the... stringy bit, but it doesn't load the bolt)
Also requires some fire and water for its boiler, but I'll get to that.

2009-07-20, 02:34 PM
There are rules for ballista in Heroes of Battle, including a Ballista Proficiency feat. A light ballista deals 3d8 damage, 19-20 *2 crit, with a range increment of 100 feet. Unfortunately it takes 2 full round actions to reload (or 2 people one full round action to reload), but you can reduce this to one full round action with a magical enhancement (though a nice DM might let you enhance it a second time to auto-reload). There's also magical ammo that fires lightning bolts or exploding fire instead of normal ammo.

2009-07-20, 03:38 PM
Yeah, I was debating making it the magical ones that shoot the fire/lightning, plus that would remove the need for a power source. But I'm a fiend for steam-punk, so its just like a normal ballista thats easier to move and loads faster/gets plus to hit as if you had other people helping, while being piloted by one person.