View Full Version : Ascended Apparatus of the Aquatic Animal

2007-11-10, 11:26 PM
NOTE TO MY PLAYERS: Read another word and bad things happen.

Apparati of the Crab? Ha! That shard of metal did not merely injure, brothers... no, it gave me, ARCHIDEN MAGGOVOS an open wound to the realm of dreams! And in that madness I have found the designs for my greatest creation yet! The gnomes will SEETHE with envy! - A crazy half-orc inventor.

This metallic vessel has the basic profile of an oversized teardrop on its side, and its exterior shines with the dull luster of adamantine. Three hatches on either side have been propped open, and thick, spidery legs of metal and soarwood extend from each. Two giant claws extend from the front of the vessel, their inner edges sharpened precisely. A glassteel window is built into the large end of the teardrop, and white light pours from two sunken tunnels at each side of the window - permanent daylight is enchanted onto crystals deep within, also providing some illumination inside. At the rear end, there is a continual sharp breeze - perhaps the lingering effects of the gust of wind spell that can be directed at will through the jets on either side of the flexible tail.

A DC 22 Disable Device check allows someone to find and undo the complex mechanisms that keep the door tight and secure; someone who has succeeded on the check once need not do so again. It takes a minute to open the hatch.

The apparatus has the following characteristics:

Huge Object
HP 240/20 Hardness
Spd 15 ft., swim 30 ft (good).
AC 23 (-2 size, +15 natural)
Atk +4 melee (3d8, 2 pincers), +14 grapple
Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, the object must hit with a pincer attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Inside, there are several well-labeled switches and controls. Unless otherwise indicated, each control requires a full-round action to utilize. No control can be used more than once a round.
- Move with legs.

- Controls horizontal movement underwater.

- When used underwater, increases swim speed by 90 ft, but attacks cannot be made until the round after this lever is switched off. Decreases maneuverability to clumsy.

- Controls the left pincer.

- Controls the right pincer.

- Pops open the hatch above immediately. Activating this control is a swift action.

- Controls vertical movement.

- Toggles the daylight headlamps.

Up to two Large creatures or four Medium or smaller creatures can utilize the controls at once, and the vessel can carry up to eight Medium creatures. The Ascended Apparatus can function in water up to 1000 feet deep. It can also go deeper if necessary, taking 2d8 points of damage per minute for every additional 100 feet it goes lower. Such pressure damage bypasses the vessel's hardness. Under such higher pressure conditions, the Apparatus will also immediately rupture if it takes in excess of 20 points of damage in a round.

The apparatus is so enchanted that it will never run out of fresh, breathable air - although the crew may be constrained by other supplies.

Moderate evocation and transmutation; CL 12th; Craft Wondrous Item, animate objects, daylight, gust of wind, water breathing, creator must have 12 ranks in the Knowledge (architecture and engineering), Craft (Gadgetry), and Profession (Crazy Inventor) skills each.

Not sure what to put on price, since the original Apparatus of the Crab always seemed extremely overpriced for the utility to me, and the price being not especially relevant to my campaign; I've flagrantly violated the recommended wealth levels when it comes to giving my PCs access to transportation as the story demands.

What I'm looking for is ideas to improve this, thematically and in terms of utility. For the record, this is an Eberron Campaign, and the creator is a brilliant (but crazy) Half-Orc Expert 9. Int 20, Wis 7, Cha 15. (He can get the magic from some of the artificers they've hired. He's got points in UMD.) He eschews elemental binding as a cruel habit that tempts fate. The PCs are going to have to do some underwater exploration in a hunt to find an artifact before the BBEGroup does...