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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    In short, Have you encountered it in any campaigns?
    How was it used?
    How do you run a combat scenario with it?
    What creatures are evenly balanced (boss fight style) with a third level party in a tin can underwater?

    I am planning a session where the party needs to use it to recover some sunken treasure and they don't have access to waterbreathing yet. I think it will make a nice change of pace, and setting. Or should I avoid it like the plague?

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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    I've always wanted to do a "Fantastic Voyage" type adventure with one.

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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    Has any D&D party used this wondrous item? If not, why does it even exist?

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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Forbiddenwar View Post
    Has any D&D party used this wondrous item?
    In previous editions, maybe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forbiddenwar View Post
    If not, why does it even exist?
    Holdover from previous editions.

    Honestly, it might be more worth it, were it not for that insane, supermassive price tag.

    I'm going to go ahead and quote from something else.

    Quote Originally Posted by AGC
    The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy describes the Aparatus of Qualish as 'the most advanced magical self-contained trashcan in Dungeons and Dragons', and it is without a doubt at least 10 years ahead of its closest competitor.

    The Guide lists the third most advanced magical self-contained trashcan to be Daern's Instant Fortress: a small metal cube which expands into a 20 foot square, 30 foot tall Adamantine tower complete with arrow slits and crenelations. Since the tower is immune to any form of physical or magical repair short of a wish spell (which are listed in the description as healing roughly half of the tower's HP), at 55000 gold it would be far too expensive a bastion to use, but because it expands instantly from a tiny cube into a 20 foot square Rook, its most common use is to crush unwelcome foes out of the way (after which you collapse the fortress to be used again).

    The second most advanced self-contained trashcan (magical or otherwise) is a standard suit of Half-Plate armor. Unlike Full-Plate, which is a series of rigid metal plates, with the joints protected by much smaller plates linked together with chainmail, all constructed with care such that the plates rest upon one another, dissipating a good portion of their weight through the legs and feet and into the ground, Half-Plate cuts the assembly costs significantly by prioritizing the most vital or prominent areas of the body, with the plates mostly just strapped together. The advantage to this, appart from a 60% costs savings over full-plate, is that it provides nearly the same degree of protection, while restricting your mobility to the point that you no longer feel obligated to even try dodging attacks. In fact one Gnomish iventor simplified the production even further by simply building a metal cylinder with eye- and arm-holes (and an open bottom), which isn't really any more cumbersome than normal half-plate, and has the advantage that if fighting on higher ground, you can make a quick escape simply by falling over sideways and rolling away to freedom. Which all seemed well and good until in one particular battle, the inventor make a quick escape into a river and discovered that his 50lb steel barrel didn't float. Probably due to the eye-holes.

    The Apparatus of Qualish, thus, takes both of these inventions to their natural (magical self-contained trashcan) conclusion. Though at first it appears to be nothing more than an overlarge sealed iron barrel, it is actually riddled with hidden ports from which emerge an array of lobster-like legs and feelers, and a tail. In fact, the Apparatus functions as something of a medieval amphibious submarine vehicle with a 2-man capacity, featuring such brilliant innovations as unlabelled and difficult to manipulate controls, an air supply determined by a random die roll, and pincer attacks which deal respectable damage. Or it would be respectable, perhaps, if not for 2 factors: 1) anyone skimming the Monstrous Manual might notice that all monsters that live underwater tend to be larger and far more dangerous than their land-based counterparts, probably to balance out the fact that players characters are always at a natural disadvantage in underwater combat, and 2) the Apparatus costs an Astounding 90,000 gold, which you would be 'out' if some giant squid crushed it. Compare this price to a Cloak of the Manta Ray (a 7200 gold item that grants you an array of excellent abilities in salt water, camouflages you as a native animal, moves three times as fast and does NOT have a limit on its airsupply), or a Headband of Intellect +6 (a 36000 gold item that would likely cause you to think better of this whole underwater affair).

    In fact, for 90,000 gold, you could actually construct a Stone Golem, an unmanned automaton that fights much better than your 'lobster-barrel', obeys your commands, doesn't need to breathe at all, and can likely accomplish your sea-bed mission for you whilst you remain comfortably NOT-underwater.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2011-07-08 at 12:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    You could always give them to PCs who abuse the lack of magic item price caps on wish. You want a +20 sword of True Striking? More like 20 Apparatus of the Crab.
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    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    To me, the high price makes the apparatus the perfect plot item. Low level adventures rent them out to find sunken treasure. Or find one in a collapsing underwater dungeon to make a dramatic escape with. I do feel that the Apparatus was never meant to be owned by characters, simply used by low level characters for a dramatic effect or finding one being a key plot point. The emphasis is Low level, because once you have water breathing, it's moot.

    The key question I have is how do you run a combat scenario with it. What effect on the ECL does the Apparatus have (Since a party of commoners and a party of 2nd level PCs have equal abilities when inside)?

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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    The unlabeled controls always suggested to me that this was the kind of item the antagonist uses for travel to and from his underwater lair, and you steal one on the way out.

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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    i always thought it looked like a cool base to use to build a tank or something ie: remove claws and such and add a self-loading ballista, but then eberron and its elemental land carts came out and killed that... so yeah, dm tool so the bad guy can have an underwater lair only.

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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    The main advantages seem to be pressure resistance for deep sea diving, toughness and silliness.
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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    I've encountered an Apparatus of Qualish that was used as decoration, basically, as it was used as basically a statue in the middle of a town square. Myself and another player, who were both playing gnomes, found the entrance and went joyriding till we got caught by the town guard and arrested for disrupting the peace and destruction of public property.

    Basically, the device is best as a plot device or just one of those things you use for fun, like having a Crab Battles arena. As long as you have two operators, you could probably use it to fight a single CR appropriate enemy at a time, as I kinda doubt a lot of sea critters can deal with its Hardness 15, 200 HP and a pair of 2d8 pinchers. I mean, let's compare the Apparatus to a Medium Water Elemental. The crab hits it on a 7 and, given an average damage of 9 hit points a hit, will likely kill one in 2-3 rounds. The Water Elemental's slams do a maximum of 1 hit point a hit, if it rolls max damage while Power Attacking and including Water Mastery. It also can't catch the Apparatus in its vortex, as, since is able to hold 2 Medium creatures, the Apparatus would have to be a minimum of Large size (which I realize it basically mentions when it shows how its AC was calculated...). So yeah, it could actually deal with angry water spirits fairly handily while you go treasure looting in whatever lake or pond you raid with it.
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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    I really want to use one with a jamming helm and have a flying crab to board other ships from. With an Instant Fortress on its back.
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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    I really want to use one with a jamming helm and have a flying crab to board other ships from. With an Instant Fortress on its back.
    Seems a bit slow to me, given the Apparatus' speed, but otherwise: *internet high five*
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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    As long as you have two operators, you could probably use it to fight a single CR appropriate enemy at a time...
    But what's CR-appropriate? With that 90k price tag, a PC can't easily justify buying one until he's 15th-level. For the sake of fairness, let's say two PCs pool their money on one of these things, each chipping in half of his total WBL to afford this. That means they buy this thing at 13th level. What aquatic creature is about the right CR for that?

    A kraken.

    A kraken will destroy the Apparatus, could probably destroy several of them.

    Heck, let's say you rent this thing, like others above me have suggested. The very fact that there might be a kraken where you're taking it should be enough of a deterrent - after all, if it gets destroyed, not only are you probably gonna die, you're probably gonna have to pay to replace the Apparatus, too.

    But taking it inland, you say? That might work - but if that's the case, why make it resistant to 900 feet deep, et cetera, et cetera? Seems like one might as well just invest in some really good snorkels, or pay some aquatic humanoid to go down there for you.

    Plus, there's that whole one-in-ten chance of pulling the wrong lever at the bottom of the sea and killing the entire party.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2011-07-09 at 12:55 AM.

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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    But what's CR-appropriate? With that 90k price tag, a PC can't easily justify buying one until he's 15th-level. For the sake of fairness, let's say two PCs pool their money on one of these things, each chipping in half of his total WBL to afford this. That means they buy this thing at 13th level. What aquatic creature is about the right CR for that?

    A kraken.

    A kraken will destroy the Apparatus, could probably destroy several of them.

    Heck, let's say you rent this thing, like others above me have suggested. The very fact that there might be a kraken where you're taking it should be enough of a deterrent - after all, if it gets destroyed, not only are you probably gonna die, you're probably gonna have to pay to replace the Apparatus, too.

    But taking it inland, you say? That might work - but if that's the case, why make it resistant to 900 feet deep, et cetera, et cetera? Seems like one might as well just invest in some really good snorkels, or pay some aquatic humanoid to go down there for you.

    Plus, there's that whole one-in-ten chance of pulling the wrong lever at the bottom of the sea and killing the entire party.
    Hence why I said leave it as a plot device, aka something you don't spend money on gaining ownership of. It's something you'd quest for, not something you'd commission.

    Also, just b/c the Apparatus doesn't come labeled doesn't mean you can't label them afterwards, when you find out what each lever does. The table is there when you're randomly flailing around with levers. I don't see anything in the description that claims that it's self cleaning on the inside, meaning that any labels you leave in there should stay.

    Another thing is the Apparatus just says it has room for 2 medium creatures, which, if we go by Swallow Whole rules, means you can stick 4 small creatures in and have them operate 4 levers a round, for increased maneuverability as you rise or sink, turn and move forward and back like some unwieldy tank. It's obviously a gnome device, if I ever saw one.

    A final bit on the cost is WBL is a guideline, not a rule. The guideline also states how much that amount should be devoted to weapons, armor and other necessities but it's by no means the sole guiding principle of power. I don't expect the character who has all his wealth invested in his family pickle plantation to be on the same level of power of another character who decked themselves out in every killing device known to dwarfdom. The Apparatus is a curiosity, something that shouldn't be considered to be part of normal WBL on any one character or even at all, as it's a party vehicle meant to be controlled by a party, as no character can operate one by themselves effectively in a combat situation unless the enemies are brain dead or something. (Fending off zombies from the deep, perhaps? That actually sounds semi-interesting...)
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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    This thread has finally given me the last piece of the puzzle I needed : How do I get Dwarves to an isolated jungle island, for them to look at mining into the mountain at its center? Clearly, the Crab is the solution!
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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    Plus, there's that whole one-in-ten chance of pulling the wrong lever at the bottom of the sea and killing the entire party.
    I've always assumed that while it comes unlabeled, some chalk and ten rounds solves that problem handily.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    My only real beef with the Apparatus (aside from the obvious cost problem) is that it's too small to actually carry a normal-sized party, unless you're all capital-S Small. Admittedly, a group of gnomes with an Apparatus would be pretty funny.
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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    Now I kind of want to run a crew of mad gnomes in an Apparatus as a "character" in an underwater game.
    Last edited by Claudius Maximus; 2011-07-09 at 02:36 PM.
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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    too bad it works on random rolls, maybe a feat makes you familiar with it, and you can do the actions you want to do?
    Last edited by super dark33; 2011-07-09 at 02:42 PM.
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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by super dark33 View Post
    too bad it works on random rolls, maybe a feat makes you familiar with it, and you can do the actions you want to do?
    Familiar you say?...

    Put your familiars in it.

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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by super dark33 View Post
    too bad it works on random rolls, maybe a feat makes you familiar with it, and you can do the actions you want to do?
    It doesn't run on random rolls, the table is there if you don't know what switches do what, they don't randomly switch from what I can tell. As has been mentioned multiple times already, you can label the switches afterwards or *gasp* get it made with labels for a modest fee! Support your local sign making NPC today!

    Though really, if I was going to overhaul the Apparatus, I'd probably be using Dragon Mech rules and build it as a Clockwork or Animated powered mecha.
    Last edited by Cieyrin; 2011-07-09 at 05:26 PM.
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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    I always find that people online overthink the Apparatus. Let's break down it's main point of awesomeness.

    Two words: lobster tank.

    That's really all I need. Of course when playing I'd never BUY one and as a DM since 2nd edition, I've never given one out as treasure. But all of my players from 2nd edition all the way to 4th have talked about the thing and how awesome it would be to own and trick out. In fact it was THE first thing we looked for when 3rd edition came out, haha.

    I think we all tend to look at things from an optimization standpoint. Let's take a step back and realize the Apparatus is basically fueled by the Rule
    Of Cool. Let it sink in playgrounders....

    Lobster Tank.

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    I was once playing a PbP,PvP assasin game with a high level and TONS of extra gold. While seraching around for magic items, I decided to buy the Apparatus of the Crab.

    Nevermind that it was an optimized game, in a landlocked city, where the goal was to draw as little attention to yourself as possible. I wanted the Lobster Tank. Sadly, I never did get to use it.
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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    Hence why I said leave it as a plot device, aka something you don't spend money on gaining ownership of. It's something you'd quest for, not something you'd commission.
    Here's the thing - if they "quest for one" and get it at low levels, all they've gotta do is sell the thing for a ridiculous amount of cash.

    Even at half price, they're probably better off with the cash for the thing than the embarassment of actually having one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    Also, just b/c the Apparatus doesn't come labeled doesn't mean you can't label them afterwards...
    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    I've always assumed that while it comes unlabeled, some chalk and ten rounds solves that problem handily.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    As has been mentioned multiple times already, you can label the switches afterwards or *gasp* get it made with labels for a modest fee!
    Okay, admittedly this part's just a general gripe, but if you can label the stupid thing, why would you make it unlabeled, ever? Even if you make one of these things with the intention of only ever operating it by yourself, you would still need ridiculous reasons not to. But the fact is that every time you come across one of these, the controls aren't labeled - either it truly cannot be labeled, or there's absolutely no point in doing so because the levers do control it randomly.

    Does that sound stupid? Yes, yes it does. But so does not labeling the thing in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    The table is there when you're randomly flailing around with levers.
    Does it say that? No; thus, as ridiculous an argument as this sounds, seems like it does that every time you pull a lever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    Another thing is the Apparatus just says it has room for 2 medium creatures, which, if we go by Swallow Whole rules, means you can stick 4 small creatures in and have them operate 4 levers a round, for increased maneuverability as you rise or sink, turn and move forward and back like some unwieldy tank.
    It's still ridiculously-limited in its utility, especially to gnomes. Why? Because gnomes are predisposed to arcane magic and have spell-like abilities, but sealing yourself in an airtight barrel means none of your spells will have line-of-effect to anything. So you're basically cutting off some of your best features to go riding in a metal lobster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    A final bit on the cost is WBL is a guideline, not a rule.
    It may just be a guideline, but so is the suggestion that you shouldn't throw balors at a first-level party.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    The guideline also states how much that amount should be devoted to weapons, armor and other necessities but it's by no means the sole guiding principle of power.
    Oh, I'm sure - but it's still no excuse for this ridiculous, sucky item.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    I don't expect the character who has all his wealth invested in his family pickle plantation to be on the same level of power of another character who decked themselves out in every killing device known to dwarfdom.
    Of course not; that'd be silly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    The Apparatus is a curiosity, something that shouldn't be considered to be part of normal WBL on any one character or even at all...
    Oh, really? Where'd it say that?

    By the price tag? No, if they'd wanted this thing to be outside the scope of WBL, they'd've made it an artifact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    ...as it's a party vehicle meant to be controlled by a party
    Bolded for emphasis; this is mentioned nowhere. The fact that it's best used when operated by four people doesn't mean this was its original intent - after all, a candle of invocation is best used when you infinite loop efreeti to get as many wishes as you want, and that sure as hell wasn't the intended use.

    Consider, after all, how it specifically mentions seating two Medium people, not four Small ones.


    Quote Originally Posted by MrSinister View Post
    Two words: lobster tank.
    I'm sorry, that's really not enough to make me drop the issue. The simple fact about this is that the device has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSinister View Post
    I think we all tend to look at things from an optimization standpoint.
    While I understand and appreciate this viewpoint, I cannot agree with it.

    I won't tell my buddy who wants to play a samurai-type character to play a CW samurai; I'll help him build a Fighter with fluff that's appropriate to it.

    If someone wants to go around having magical underwater adventures, preferably with some sort of giant metal lobster, I won't recommend him this item. Why? Because I can attach fluff to anything I want; why waste good fluff on bad mechanics?
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2011-07-10 at 12:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    Here's the thing - if they "quest for one" and get it at low levels, all they've gotta do is sell the thing for a ridiculous amount of cash.

    Even at half price, they're probably better off with the cash for the thing than the embarassment of actually having one.
    "Apparatus of Qualish, huh? Hmm. Good condition. Give ya 5,000 GP for the scrap and the magic essence."
    "What? But it's one of the finest examples of magical construction known to gnome! Goes underwater, lights up, it's even got heated seats! Gotta be worth at least fifty thousand."
    "Why ya sellin' it then, if it's so awesome?"
    "... Five thousand you say?"

    Which is to say.. if the PCs don't want the thing, who the heck is gonna buy it off 'em? They're notoriously useless, above and beyond the usual junk magic items.. somebody somewhere wants a bundle of twenty +1 longswords, most other things have at least some use. These? You're pretty much only gonna sell them to dedicated collectors of Weird and Stupid Crap Gnomes Made (and yeah, I agree this thing has to be of gnome origin.)

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    Here's the thing - if they "quest for one" and get it at low levels, all they've gotta do is sell the thing for a ridiculous amount of cash.

    Even at half price, they're probably better off with the cash for the thing than the embarassment of actually having one.
    That's assuming a Magic Mart that buys whatever magic crap adventurers bring in, no questions asked. I wouldn't assume you could easily find a buyer, which is an adventure all in itself. Bring it to Mount Nevermind and you could probably get a good price for it. Otherwise...*shrug*

    Okay, admittedly this part's just a general gripe, but if you can label the stupid thing, why would you make it unlabeled, ever? Even if you make one of these things with the intention of only ever operating it by yourself, you would still need ridiculous reasons not to. But the fact is that every time you come across one of these, the controls aren't labeled - either it truly cannot be labeled, or there's absolutely no point in doing so because the levers do control it randomly.

    Does that sound stupid? Yes, yes it does. But so does not labeling the thing in the first place.

    Does it say that? No; thus, as ridiculous an argument as this sounds, seems like it does that every time you pull a lever.
    It's because the designers took it whole cloth from 2E, converted stats to 3rd and called it good, just like how it was grabbed from earlier editions. It's a relic of Greyhawk that stuck around for the last ~20-30 years or so that wasn't adapted. I can't explain why it's the way that is, that's something you'd have to ask Arneson or Gygax about, which isn't possible anymore for obvious reasons.

    It's still ridiculously-limited in its utility, especially to gnomes. Why? Because gnomes are predisposed to arcane magic and have spell-like abilities, but sealing yourself in an airtight barrel means none of your spells will have line-of-effect to anything. So you're basically cutting off some of your best features to go riding in a metal lobster.
    That's only one aspect of gnomes. Not every gnome is a spellslinger and this item, as I've stated above, was cut as it was originally written or pretty damn close. It's a transport vehicle with limited combat utility, not a device of mass destruction and god slaying. Is it optimized to use one? No, by no means. Can players have fun with one? Absolutely. I'm not stating the Apparatus is the next best thing to sliced bread, just that it's not utterly useless and should be avoided at all costs. Like most seemingly useless things, you just gotta get creative with it.

    It may just be a guideline, but so is the suggestion that you shouldn't throw balors at a first-level party.

    Oh, I'm sure - but it's still no excuse for this ridiculous, sucky item.

    Of course not; that'd be silly.

    Oh, really? Where'd it say that?

    By the price tag? No, if they'd wanted this thing to be outside the scope of WBL, they'd've made it an artifact.

    Bolded for emphasis; this is mentioned nowhere. The fact that it's best used when operated by four people doesn't mean this was its original intent - after all, a candle of invocation is best used when you infinite loop efreeti to get as many wishes as you want, and that sure as hell wasn't the intended use.

    Consider, after all, how it specifically mentions seating two Medium people, not four Small ones.
    It practically is a minor artifact, if the cost is any indication. Does anybody who could make one do so? No, since there are more efficient ways of doing it. The only ways you get one of these is to find one. I wouldn't recommend any group to want to spend the money on it at full book price. If you find one for sale somewhere, I'd be surprised to find it at the full price, as how many people really need a submersible vehicle? That's the realm of adventurers and eccentrics, which is a fairly narrow market, really.

    Again, this isn't something you buy because it's optimized and should never be considered in that light. It's a MacGuffin, nothing more. You get one for a specific purpose and that's underwater exploration, which doesn't happen all that often, at least in my experience. Is it still neat? Sure.

    And for people's personal edification, Kwalish wasn't a gnome, he was a Baklunish human inventor who lived several centuries before Mordenkainen and his comtemporaries. You can find a good amount of info on him here at Canonfire: Just who is this Kwalish person, anyways?
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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    You're pretty much only gonna sell them to dedicated collectors of Weird and Stupid Crap Gnomes Made.
    Not true. Artificers have plenty of reason to take one of these things off your hands.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    That's assuming a Magic Mart that buys whatever magic crap adventurers bring in, no questions asked.
    No, no it's not. Not in the slightest. Don't try and misrepresent my argument like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    I wouldn't assume you could easily find a buyer, which is an adventure all in itself.
    And that's fine. Still worth it. Quite literally the only adventure worth having for this useless POS item is the adventure of selling it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    Bring it to Mount Nevermind and you could probably get a good price for it. Otherwise...*shrug*
    That's fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    It's because the designers took it whole cloth from 2E, converted stats to 3rd and called it good, just like how it was grabbed from earlier editions. It's a relic of Greyhawk that stuck around for the last ~20-30 years or so that wasn't adapted.
    i.e., it's a bad item.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    It's a transport vehicle with limited combat utility, not a device of mass destruction and god slaying.
    So is a cloak of the manta ray, for less than a tenth of the price.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    Can players have fun with one? Absolutely.
    Oh, sure, maybe. At low levels, when it's arbitrarily given to them and they mysteriously can't sell the thing off and there's suddenly all these underwater locales available to them. At high levels, there are a hundred better options, one being just not bothering going underwater.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    I'm not stating the Apparatus is the next best thing to sliced bread, just that it's not utterly useless and should be avoided at all costs.
    Then I'm afraid you and I are at an impasse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    It practically is a minor artifact, if the cost is any indication.
    Err, if it's an artifact, it shouldn't have a price tag.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    If you find one for sale somewhere, I'd be surprised to find it at the full price, as how many people really need a submersible vehicle?
    But that's the thing - how many people really need a ten-foot pole? Or a telescopic eleven-foot pole? Yes, it's a narrow market, but it's the market this game is built for. The game runs under some default assumptions, one of which is that the PCs are going to be adventurer-type characters, and, at least in theory, that's a very significant driving factor for the prices of these things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    It's a MacGuffin, nothing more.
    Then why does this thing have a price tag? If you're only ever going to find one of these worthless barrels, then why does the game assume you can buy one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    And for people's personal edification, Kwalish wasn't a gnome, he was a Baklunish human inventor who lived several centuries before Mordenkainen and his comtemporaries. You can find a good amount of info on him here at Canonfire: Just who is this Kwalish person, anyways?
    Now I know, and knowing is half the battle!

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    Shrug. It's a thing you can buy. It's way over priced. Who cares? Lots of crap is overpriced. I really don't see any point in debating the exact level of uselessness, especially seeing as how more than half of the listed magical items will never ever see any play whotsoever outside of random treasure tables. Whatevs.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    I once wrote up a dungeon crawl with a room in it with the transforming beer keg.


    when the party activated The Keg, it would transform and attack them, once defeated, it's theirs to repair and operate as they see fit.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Apparatus of the Crab Use Stories

    That reminds me of an item I made once...

    Metallic barrels roll into the room from both entrances and stop just short of the players and do nothing.

    The rogue believes that the item is trapped. The only thing that can possibly set off the trap, is attempting to disarm the trap. Evil? Probably.

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