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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
    kestrel404's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default [3.X] PEACH: Greater Apparatus of Kwalish

    I was reading the complaints people had about the original Apparatus of Kwalish, and this idea just ate my brain. Hopefully someone likes this.

    Artifact: The Greater Apparatus of Kwalish.

    Description: The Greater Apparatus of Kwalish has been seen in every plane of existence, and been used by innumerable groups and individuals for a such a wide variety of purposes that it would boggle the mind. Seemingly impervious to all harm as well as the passage of time, scholars are certain that it is in fact some form of ancient artifact from times beyond knowing. The Greater Apparatus of Kwalish is named for the most recent scholar to study the device in depth, as well as the individual to construct a lesser version of this artifact. If one can find a copy of his original notes, never published but much copied after his death, he speculates that the origins of the device may lie in the elemental Plane of Fire as a weapon of war against the other elemental planes.

    In its 'dormant' state, it looks like a barrel that is 6' tall and 6' in diameter. It appears to be made from pure adamantine. There is a hidden catch outside which can be discovered with a DC 20 search check, which opens a hatch on one end. When it is first discovered, there is a 5 in 6 chance that the Greater Apparatus will be yellow, and a 1 in 6 chance that it will be blue. If prestidigitation is used to change the color of the Greater Apparatus, it will stay the new color for 24 hours, then change to either yellow or blue (rolled randomly on a d6). Every 24 hours, the Apparatus changes to either yellow or blue (rolled randomly on a d6).

    Inside, there are a number of levers, dials, buttons and meters whose purposes are obscure, all labeled in an ancient magical script which is vaguely related to an archaic and unused version of Ignan. This can only be deciphered after Read Magic is cast, and then only with a DC 25 decipher script check - knowing Ignan provides a +2 circumstance bonus to this check.

    The Inside of the Apparatus is also larger than the outside - There are two portable holes near the 'tail' end of the contraption, one of the left and one on the right as you enter from the rear. These portable holes are integral to the device, and cannot be removed, moved or closed without first destroying the Apparatus. The one on the left appears to be set up as a combination galley and living space, while the one on the right is set up as a sleeping quarters that can hold up to six people at a time in three sets of double bunk beds. Each bunk bed also comes with a pair of medium chests, sufficient space to store the contents of a normal backpack. There is also a 'cockpit' which can seat up to two medium creatures side by side with only mild cramping. Each seat has a set of straps which can be used to strap any small or medium sized human-shaped creature into the seat, although figuring out how the straps work will take a DC 25 Knowledge (Architecture & Engineering) check. Creatures who are strapped into these seats get DR 10/- which applies only to falling damage.

    If a Bag of Holding, Portable Hole, or other form of extradimensional storage is brought into the Apparatus, it immediately activates the Eject Button (see below).

    Living in the Apparatus:
    A spell on the cockpit provides sufficient air circulation to support up to 8 medium creatures. Each size category smaller than medium allows the accomodation of twice as many creatures (so, 2 small, 4 tiny, etc.). Only a single Large creature can fit inside any one section of the Apparatus (one in the main compartment, one in the galley, and one in the living quarters) and they would be unable to switch places without first leaving the Apparatus - each would require 2 medium creatures worth of air. A large creature would be unable to pilot the Apparatus. A Huge creature would be unable to enter the Apparatus. A tiny or smaller creature would not be able to move the levers, although a tiny creature would be able to operate a dial.

    The Galley portion of the Apparatus is always stocked with a nutritious liquid similar in flavor to Coconut milk mixed with Lime juice - enough for 6 people. It also has pot of whiteish goo that has an oatmeal like texture, and tastes like well made five-alarm chili. Eating this requires a DC 15 fortitude save to avoid 1d6 points of non-lethal damage. A use of the prestidigitation spell to flavor this food can allow it to be eaten without the fortitude save. There is enough to feed 6 people for a day. There is also a fake fireplace with an eternal flame, a comfortable couch facing it that would allow an additional person could sleep on, and a bookshelf. When the Apparatus is found, this bookshelf will have 1d20-1 books. Roll a d10 twice on the 'Random Destination' table below for each book to determine the origin (and language) and the topic of that book. Nearly all of the books are travelogues, there are also some are atlases.

    Operating the Apparatus:
    There are 4 Dials. Operating a Dial is a Move action. They are labeled as follows:
    Turn - Perhaps the most obvious control in the cabin, this on has an arrow on the dial itself, and around that is an 8 pointed compass. This sets the direction the apparatus turns when the Turn Lever is pulled. It resets to 'straight' every time the Turn Lever is pulled.
    Move - This is a numbered dial with a pointing arrow on it. It's numbered from .1 to 120 - 0.1, 0.5, 1, 5, 10, 30, 60, 90, 120 at odd spacing in a pseudo-geometric progression. This sets the distance the apparatus moves when the move lever is pulled. If the distance is set to 120' when the Move lever is pulled, the Apparatus will overheat for 1 round after moving. While overheated, if the dial is set to 120', the apparatus will not move.
    Ascend - This dial is completely unlabeled except for a single word. It turns right or left up to three clicks. If it is turned left when the Move Lever is pulled, the apparatus attempts to move up 10' per click, and if it is turned right it attempts to move down 10' per click - for a total of up to 30' vertical movment. This movement is in addition to any caused by the Move Dial.
    Destination - When this dial is turned, a nearby label changes between various words. These words each require a seperate DC30 decipher script check to understand. This lever determines the destination when the Shift lever is pulled. For a list of possible destinations, see the Random Destination table below.
    Target - This dial is the most mysterious. When this dial is turned, the closest object to the Apparatus is illuminated by Faerie Fire. Each click beyond the first causes the spell effect to jump to a new object or person. A Use Magic Device check with a DC equal to the desired target's touch AC will allow a user to set the dial to the correct target in a single attempt. Otherwise, a stationary target can be selected with the targeting dial in 1d6 attempts (each requiring a seperate move action by one of the pilots). Once set by the targeting dial, this Faerie fire lasts 10 rounds. After that, it winks out and the dial must be operated again.

    There are 14 Levers, each labeled with a single word. Operating a Lever is a Standard action and cannot be operated more than once in a round. They are labeled as follows:
    Change Levers - When a Change lever is pulled, some aspect of the external appearance of the Apparatus changes. This change appears partially organic and partially mechanical transition. Only 3 changes can be active at any one time. If someone operates a Change lever and 3 Changes are already active, then the change fails to occur and the lever returns to its normal state.
    Hatch - This lever opens and closes the hatch. It only operates when all other changes (except pontoons or eyes) have been deactivated.
    View Port - This lever opens view ports which allow the pilots to see outside the apparatus.
    Legs - This lever causes six mechanical Legs to extend. Without the legs extended, the apparatus has no move speed.
    Tail - This lever causes the Tail to extend. The Tail gives the Apparatus a Swim speed. If the tail is not extended and the apparatus is in water, it will still crawl along the ground, but it cannot ascend and it will fall until it hits the ground (at 1/2 normal fall speed, and dealing 1/2 normal falling damage to occupants). This tail will also make a trip attack against large or larger creatures.
    Drill - This lever causes a giant mechanical drill to extend from the front. The Drill lever will not work while the Apparatus is Overheated. This gives the Apparatus both a Ram attack (4d6+9/x6, charge only) and a Burrow speed. If the Move Dial is set to more than 30' or the Ascend Dial is set to more than two clicks in either direction while Burrowing, the apparatus will overheat after moving (See below) for 1d4 hours.
    Wings - This lever causes huge mechanical wings to extend. This gives the apparatus a Glide speed. While Gliding without the propeller change active, the Apparatus will automatically descend 10' and move forward 30' every round even if the move lever is not operated. If the Move dial is set to more than 30' while the apparatus is Gliding, it will descend 10' for every 30' moved. If the Apparatus is on the ground and moves more than 30' with the wings extended, it may also Ascend 10' for each 30' it moves beyond 30'. For example, with the legs out, if the Move dial is set to 90' and the Ascend dial is set to two or more clicks to the left, the Apparatus will move up 20'. If the Apparatus crashes while gliding or flying, it will be unharmed but all occupants will take an appropriate amount of falling damage.
    Propeller - This causes a propeller to extend, along with stubby wheels - if the legs are extended, the wheels do not reach the ground. The Propeller lever will not work while the Apparatus is Overheated. The propeller gives the Apparatus a Move speed that only works on roads or other relatively flat surfaces, but doubles the move indicated by the Move Dial. If the wings are extended, the Apparatus may also fly, again at double the indicated speed, with poor maneuverability. The Propeller causes the Apparatus to Overheat (see below) after 1d4 hours of use, which lasts for 1d4 hours.
    Pontoons - This lever causes a pair of Pontoons to extend. This allows movement over the top of water. While pontoons are out, the Apparatus cannot descend into water or earth. While the Pontoons are extended, the Apparatus cannot be sunk and will continue to ascend at a rate of 30' per round until it reaches the surface of the water.
    Claws - This lever causes a pair of claws to extend from the Apparatus. These claws deal 2d6+6/x3 damage and have 5' reach.
    Eyes - This lever causes a pair of eyes to open. The left eye acts as a Sunlight spell, in a 60' cone in front of the Apparatus. The right eye acts as an Invisibility Purge for the same area. Both eyes emit enough light to see for 60' around the apparatus.

    Movement Levers:
    Turn - If the Turn Dial has been changed, the apparatus turns a number of degrees based on this dial.
    Move - When this label is pulled, the apparatus will move based on the Move and Ascend dials.
    Shift - If the Destination dial has been set to anything other than a blank value, the Apparatus and all occupants will Plane Shift to the indicated plane. After the lever has been pulled, the destination automatically changes to the Plane that was just left. This Lever only works once per day.
    Attack - When this lever is pulled, the Apparatus attempts to make a full attack with all weapons available against the nearest source of Faerie Fire (either created with the Target dial, or by some other means). Have the Pilot who pulls this lever make a Use Magic Device check with a Circumstance bonus of +5 for each of the attacks and treat this as the attack roll. If the Drill is out, the Apparatus will automatically attempt to Charge the target, moving up to 90' without the Move lever being operated. If the target is within 10' of the Apparatus the Drill will not make an attack. If the Claws are extended, the Apparatus will automatically turn to face the target before attacking. If the Tail is extended and the Target is size Large or larger, the Apparatus will attempt to make a trip attack by spinning 360 degrees. Treat the Apparatus as Huge for this attack, and treat the pilot's UMD check as both the attack roll and the strength check. The Apparatus cannot be counter tripped while making this attack.

    Buttons - There is one button. It is large and candy red. It takes a swift action to activate the button.
    Eject - When this button is pushed, the hatch is opened, all occupants of the Apparatus are violently expelled (sailing 10 + 1d6*10 feet and taking appropriate falling damage), and the hatch closes again. After the Eject has activated for any reason, all of the levers change functions. The labels associated with each lever move to the new location. Anyone who is not familiar with this feature needs to make a DC 20 spot or DC 10 search check while sitting in one of the Pilot positions to notice this change before they pull one of the levers.

    Overheating: When the Apparatus Overheats, certain Changes automatically deactivate and cannot be re-activated until normal temperature is restored. In addition, the occupants will be subjected to the excess heat. Overheating can occur when the device is overtaxed - this is described during the Operating the Device section.
    Overheating can also occur if the Apparatus takes sufficient fire damage. While the Apparatus itself is immune to fire damage, any fire damage that exceeds its Hardness rating will apply to all occupants. In addition, the device will be overheated for 1 round per point of fire damage over the Hardness rating.
    While Overheated, the Apparatus has an internal temperature of 140 degrees F (see the DMG for dealing with temperature extremes), and some of the Change options are unavailable. If the Propeller or Drill are extended when the Apparatus overheats, both of those changes will retract and the associated levers will return to the off state.

    Damage & Healing: The Apparatus and each of its components have hardness of 15. The central body of the Apparatus has 200 hp by itself, and if that much damage is dealt, the Apparatus will cease to function until fully restored - first the Eject lever will activate itself as an immediate action, and then all components will retract and all levers will reset to their default configurations. Every component has 100 hp, and can be targeted seperately by an attack when it is extended. Any component that takes this much damage will retract and not extend until it is fully repaired. A mend spell cast on the Apparatus will repair 1 damage to the central body and all components, while a repair will repair the normal amount of damage to the main body and all components. The Apparatus itself can also repair itself at a rate of 1 hp per day - this healing occurrs for each component seperately. The Apparatus, once in its default configuration, is effectively invulnerable. Any further damage causes only cosmetic effects - scratches, dings, dents and burn marks. The Apparatus is immune to fire damage, and both itself and its occupants are protected from the effects of the Postive or Negative energy planes. In all other respects it is treated as a mindless construct.

    Random Destinations: If the PCs have changed the Destination Dial and pulled the Shift lever without understanding what they are doing, roll 1d20 to determine where they go.
    1 Material
    2 Ethereal
    3 Shadow
    4 Astral
    5 Positive
    6 Negative
    7 Fire
    8 Earth
    9 Air
    10 Water
    11-20 An unlabeled space, no destination.

    In order to get the Apparatus to an Outer- or Demi-plane, you can turn the Destination dial to one of the 10 unlabeled destinations and cast Plane Shift on the Apparatus, targeting the plane you want to reach. This will not cause the Apparatus to plane shift - instead, a new label indicating the target destination will appear on the dial. That label remains for a year and a day, and then disappears. Only time or a wish spell can remove a label once it has been added. Casting Plane Shift on the Apparatus while the destination dial is turned to an already filled slot has no effect.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground

    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: [3.X] PEACH: Greater Apparatus of Kwalish

    So it's a Apparatus of Kwalish except it flies through dimensions and the air?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: [3.X] PEACH: Greater Apparatus of Kwalish

    A x6 crit on the Drill is a little ridiculous. The rest seems very fun, though. Very much a "screw with the PCs" item.
    Lord Raziere herd I like Blasphemy, so Urpriest Exalted as a Malefactor

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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: [3.X] PEACH: Greater Apparatus of Kwalish

    The apparatus has been one of my favorite items through many editions. What made you choose the Plane of Fire as part of it's history? If it has the lobster-like shape wouldn't that make it a Plane of Water based item?

    Unless of course the creater used that shape specifically to battle IN the plane of water, which is pretty much what you wrote
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
    kestrel404's Avatar

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    Jul 2009

    Default Re: [3.X] PEACH: Greater Apparatus of Kwalish

    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    A x6 crit on the Drill is a little ridiculous. The rest seems very fun, though. Very much a "screw with the PCs" item.
    The x6 crit is a bit high, yes. I was thinking that on a crit, the drill would bite in and DIG THROUGH whatever it hit - which is a really clean way to say that it's like vorpal but instead of cutting a limb off cleanly, it turns it into hamburger. The only way to improve the crit-threat range on this thing is to cast keen on it (a permanent version wouldn't work, it's an artifact), but that might be enough to unbalance things, I suppose. Perhaps only an x4 would be sufficient.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Eugene, OR

    Default Re: [3.X] PEACH: Greater Apparatus of Kwalish

    I love this. I'm going to 4e-ify it and put it into my game.

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