Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Technology Guide (PFRPG)

4.30/5 (based on 17 ratings)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Technology Guide (PFRPG)
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Ray Guns and Rocket Packs!

It’s one thing to face a dragon armed with a longsword and a suit of magic plate mail, but what if you had an atom gun and powered armor? How many zombies could you blow up with a rocket launcher? What happens if you’re standing next to a graviton reactor when it explodes? All of these questions and more are answered within the pages of the Technology Guide—an invaluable manual of items, hazards, and character options for use in science-fantasy settings like Golarion’s Numeria, land of savagery and super-science!

Within this book, you’ll find:

  • Rules for dozens of new technological items, including weapons, armor, force fields, hologram generators, grenades, cybernetic implants, nanotech devices, remote controls for robots, and more!
  • New feats, spells, and archetypes for technologically savvy characters, along with rules for how your skills interact with super-science.
  • Extraordinarily powerful scientific items and artifacts, such as extinction wave devices, powered armor, and nuclear reactors!
  • The technomancer prestige class, which allows you to use magic to command robots and power your technology .
  • Rules for artificial intelligences, the effects of the passage of time on technological items, the dangers of radiation, the seven skymetals of Numeria, technological traps, and more!

The Technology Guide is a must-have for GMs running the Iron Gods Adventure Path or anyone looking to introduce super-science into any Pathfinder adventure or campaign setting.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-672-0

Technology Guide Errata
Last Updated - 12/16/2014

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paper quality is bad

4/5

Nice book with a lot of sci-fi items,, something like Wizardry in Golarion .. I woud like to give this book 5/5, but I cant. Reason why I cant do like that is simple, the quality of paper is just terrible. Paper Quality of Paizo books is going down, what is sad .. for me 4/5


Essential for Adding Tech to Pathfinder

4/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

The Technology Guide provides gamemasters with the information and items they need to add technology into their fantasy games. It's not particularly exciting or innovative, but that's not really its point. Instead, it forms the necessary baseline for other books to build upon, much like the Core Rulebook provides the baseline rules for the entire game. If you want technology in your games, it's a book you really can't do without.


Meh

2/5

There are some interesting items in here but having sci-fi with magic breaks the immersion for me.


Pretty damn cool

4/5

I picked up this as a pdf because it looked interesting, and I was not disappointed. I used it to write an adventure (crashed UFO in a fantasy setting), and it led to the most fun I have ever had running a game. It would be useful if it had suggestions for other books containing some of the referenced monsters (such as certain types of monsters which I found on the pfsrd), but all in all it does exactly as promised.


Yes. Get it.

5/5

If you have any interest at all in genre fusion in your adventuring, this book is a must buy.


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Eh, not really my thing.


Soooo... was this an April's fools day joke or serious? If serious, I'm game! :-)

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Tels wrote:
I see all this, and I have to wonder, how the hell does an energy sword not "fit the theme" of Numeria?

Maybe James Jacobs knows more about the theme of Numeria than you do.

You are always free to change Numeria in your games to include energy swords if you want to.


Philip Dhollander wrote:
Soooo... was this an April's fools day joke or serious? If serious, I'm game! :-)

Well given that it was posted the day BEFORE April 1st, has been up for a week AFTER April 1st, and the Paizo team have repeatedly said "This is not an April Fools joke", I think we're good. So, you know, party on! :D


Finally some rules for radiation, cybernetics, and a lot more fun stuff.


Can you play Iron Gods without this book ?


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Tinkergoth wrote:
Philip Dhollander wrote:
Soooo... was this an April's fools day joke or serious? If serious, I'm game! :-)
Well given that it was posted the day BEFORE April 1st, has been up for a week AFTER April 1st, and the Paizo team have repeatedly said "This is not an April Fools joke", I think we're good. So, you know, party on! :D

And if they come back with "it was all a joke", now, it goes from an April Fools joke to epic scale trolling. ;D

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Has anyone asked if there will be energy swords yet?

-Skeld

Liberty's Edge

Draco Bahamut wrote:
Can you play Iron Gods without this book ?

James said somewhere that this books content will be posted in the prd ASAP after release.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Skeld wrote:

Has anyone asked if there will be energy swords yet?

-Skeld

As the answer on multiple other threads, no there will be no energy swords.


But... we already have them!


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Tacticslion wrote:
But... we already have them!

Yes... because everyone wants a sword that is completely incapable of cutting through piece of twine; lets hope a person with such a weapon never encounters a Gordian Knot! Oh, then there's these things like robots, constructs, and undead. Two of those three I expect will be encountered fairly often in Iron Gods. Better hope you never have to fight one of the Iron Gods, because you'll probably be unable to hurt them, artificial intelligence and all that.

Sammy wrote:

Maybe James Jacobs knows more about the theme of Numeria than you do.

You are always free to change Numeria in your games to include energy swords if you want to.

You're right, he probably does. My point was that when you look at everything being included into the 'theme of Numeria' the argument that energy blades don't fit the theme is a weak one at best. Consider playing a game with dragons and undead and angels and demons and devils and magical swords and magical armor and magical wands and magical staves and you have bards and clerics and sorcerers and druids all using magic. Then you have a Wizard class that doesn't cast spells because Wizards casting spells "doesn't fit the theme". When you look at everything that is included from the teasers and tidbits we have, and then add in the fact that there will be more than just what has been teased, and then you come across the claim that an energy blade 'just doesn't fit' and I can't help but think, "That makes no sense!".

Hell, as for not fitting the theme, it's not like the Gearsman Robot attempts to make a pseudo-energy weapon by automatically charging any metal weapon it wields with electrical energy or anything.


How do you think (non-paizo staff) they will handle the skills ? Knowledge (Engineer) will handle technology and there will be a computer code language or there will be new skills ?
Storytelling are aways creating news skill when they change the setting and this make us prints lots of different character sheet types.
I hope there is no "technocraft" skill. At least new knowledges/crafts/professions/performs are easy to handle in the present sheet as we have to write them down anyway.
I also hope that there aren't only adventuring tools, some technological musical instruments would be cool. (Quantum Guitar for my Heavy Metal Bard ?)


Tels wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
But... we already have them!
Yes... because everyone wants a sword that is completely incapable of cutting through piece of twine; lets hope a person with such a weapon never encounters a Gordian Knot! Oh, then there's these things like robots, constructs, and undead. Two of those three I expect will be encountered fairly often in Iron Gods. Better hope you never have to fight one of the Iron Gods, because you'll probably be unable to hurt them, artificial intelligence and all that.

Oh, them. Pittsburg.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The wizard comparison is a bad one. It would be more like if the DM said that in their setting, there are no wizards because it doesn't fit the theme of the setting, while bards, clerics, sorcerers, and druids do. Which...a DM is totally free to do. Your comparison with 'a wizard class that can't cast spells' would be more like if the developers had said there was 'an energy sword, but it's not actually made of energy or capable of cutting things'. Which isn't what they said. They just aren't in the book, as you have complained loudly and repeatedly.

Personally, I disagree with them being iconic, I can only think of a relative handful of science fiction books that had energy sword...more often than not, if they were bothering with swords, they were usually using ones made of advanced composite materials, ones that vibrated and could thus cut through virtually anything, or ones with a monomolecular edge, or more than one of the above. I certainly can't agree that they're as prevalent as cybernetics, laser rifles, chainsaws, rocket launchers, railguns, and force fields...though perhaps slightly less esoteric than 'id rifles' or 'atom guns'. Energy swords certainly aren't unique to Star Wars, but they're certainly not as widespread in science fiction as you seem to be implying...

And there's a fair difference between charging something with electricity and making a weapon out of nothing but energy. We have stun batons right now, for that matter, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some of the weapons presented here capable of discharging some energy even if we don't have any swords that are made of pure energy.

Regardless of whether or not you agree, though, your complaints aren't going to change the book at this point; a sidebar is a different animal than adding something completely new, and even that was barely in time. You have let them know at least one or two people would be interested in seeing an energy sword, and thus one might appear in the future, but I doubt further complaints will be particularly productive, nor necessarily suited to this thread, which should be about the product itself...and the developers have already said it's too late at this point to make it part of the product.


Tacticslion wrote:
Tels wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
But... we already have them!
Yes... because everyone wants a sword that is completely incapable of cutting through piece of twine; lets hope a person with such a weapon never encounters a Gordian Knot! Oh, then there's these things like robots, constructs, and undead. Two of those three I expect will be encountered fairly often in Iron Gods. Better hope you never have to fight one of the Iron Gods, because you'll probably be unable to hurt them, artificial intelligence and all that.
Oh, them. Pittsburg.

Letting the Flaming and Shock abilities of such a weapon affect constructs and undead is a stretch at best. However, you also have to remember that they are energy effects. The 2d6 points of damage you deal to a construct (if it isn't immune or resistant to either energy, let alone both) is effectively meaningless at the point you could afford such a weapon.

When it comes to cutting through something, like a ladder, or rope, or other item, energy damage, such as from the flaming property, is automatically halved and then it has to get through hardness.

Let us show an example of your "lightsaber" as it attempts to cut through a ladder. Is the ladder living? No, but it's made of wood and is an organic substance, but that doesn't matter, so the weapon and all applicable bonuses (strength, power attack etc.) don't apply to damaging the ladder. So we rely on the 1d6 fire and 1d6 shock. Wood has hardness 5 and 10 HP per inch of thickness. So the 1d6 energy damage is automatically halved, down to 1d3, then it must overcome hardness. The Fire damage rolls a 3, and fails to overcome hardness dealing no damage. The Shock rolls a 3 and fails to overcome hardness and deals no damage.

Congratulations, you've spent at least 200,300 gp on a weapon that is completely incapable of cutting through a ladder. In a fight in which some caster animates some chairs to attack you, your weapon is useless as even small animated constructs have hardness 5.

[Edit] Even if you were to crit, applying the bonus damage from the Burst properties, the bonus d10 damage is halved to a d5 so it also fails to overcome hardness. Remember, your example was a bastard sword, not one of the higher crit modifier weapons.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

I was a little miffed at the lack of info, but given how I knew nothing about the DotB not completely surprised. In a way, I think it fits the mysteriousness of the DotB that it is... mysterious. That is ehy I said "suitably". ;)

If there is other DotB info, what products would it be in for the editors of the wiki to draw it from/interested parties to find it in?

Huh, almsot like I know folks are interested in that info but am trying to keep it secret to build anticipation or desire for products or something, isn't it?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lou Diamond wrote:
James can you give us a hint on what powered armor can do. Does Powered armor have targeting systems? What kind of Resistences DR Etc.

I could, but I won't. That's the type of thing that's better saved for close to the book's release as a preview... if at all, since powered armor is an artifact and it's not something I necessarily want to give out to everyone at once. It's better for it to be something that the players are surprised by when they find a suit.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Draco Bahamut wrote:
Can you play Iron Gods without this book ?

Not really, no.

Which is why the plan is to get these rules up on the PRD.

Paizo Employee Developer

As it stands, we are going to be hard pressed to fit everything that is written for this book into 64 pages. The priority is going to be those items which appear in the Iron Gods Adventure Path, since supporting that AP with technological rules is the primary reason we're even doing this book. As such, we are already in a situation where we will likely need to cut content to get it all to fit and get the book out on time, thus we won't be adding new items at this time. There are suggestions within the book on how to expand the technology rules to create new items you as a GM feel would be appropriate for your campaign, and those can easily be applied to the creation of an energy sword. As it stands, there are several technological melee weapons that resolve against touch AC and deal energy damage, but that aren't light sabers or Thundarr's sword. If those are items you want in your game, as James has said above and elsewhere, they may be able to be added to the AP in a later volume, or you can extrapolate from the rules that are presented in this book and Iron Gods to formulate your own.

Paizo Employee Developer

This thread is really not the place to debate the effectiveness and cost-to-usefulness ratio of existing magic item properties. Please take such concerns to the Pathfinder RPG rules forum.


Uh, Tels, it's 2d6/2 (or 2d10/2) not 1d3 v. 5 and then 1d3 v. 5. That is a weird interpretation you've got there. Feel free to post links to the things you're talking about, though, especially if I'm wrong.

Actually, please make a new thread about this, as it applies to the new lasers we're getting just as much as other things, and since the developers don't want us cluttering up this one...

Besides, man, you really missed the joke. I was literally answering the question about "energy swords" followed by "energy swords" that could "cut through twine" (your words). That's it. I really don't know why you're making such a huge issue of this, but whatever. One would-be-really-cool missing element doesn't a potentially-awesome product negate.


As it's a rules question, it will be in the rules forum.

[Edit] Thread is up: Split Energy Damage.

I think the designers and developers for the Tehcnology Guide/Iron Gods should weigh in on it as it does concern Robots and Plasma weapons.


Tacticslion wrote:
Besides, man, you really missed the joke. I was literally answering the question about "energy swords" followed by "energy swords" that could "cut through twine" (your words). That's it. I really don't know why you're making such a huge issue of this, but whatever. One would-be-really-cool missing element doesn't a potentially-awesome product negate.

If you had wanted to make a joke about cutting through twine, then you should have only quoted that part of my post. However, you quoted the entire bit on the brilliant energy property, most of which talks about constructs, robots and undead, then linked to a post where you talk about the energy properties still affecting constructs, and then talk about mention the ghost touch property letting you attack incorporeal creatures.

So I followed that up with talk about how the energy properties and how they are all but useless on constructs.

I missed the joke, yes, but you also failed to deliver one.


You only looked at one link, man. And really, what does "Pittsburg" have to do with that? I don't know what's got your goat, sir, but relax.


Tels wrote:
You're right, he probably does. My point was that when you look at everything being included into the 'theme of Numeria' the argument that energy blades don't fit the theme is a weak one at best.

I don't know. We don't really use swords for close combat or duelling in the real world in this current era; people tend to rely on guns or tasers or fists. Considering that Numeria's technology comes from starship pilots, why should we expect that they might have been using lightsaber-like weaponry? When's the last time you saw any of those on, say, Star Trek.

While there is certainly a precedent for lightsabers in a lot of space opera/sci-fi fiction, there is just as much of a precedent for it not to be there. It depends on what genre the Silver Mount originated in, really.

I guess my point is, really, that you seem to be looking at the lack of energy swords from an OOC perspective of "they'd be great to have in my games", while they may just not make sense in an IC perspective ("Hey! We're starship pilots, and we normally just blast away at our enemies from the safety of our giant ship, but when we do go on away missions, we bring along our laser guns and not swords which we stopped using centuries ago.")


I would imagine that close quarters weapons are very relevant in space. One of my favorite anime's is Outlaw Star, one of the scenes made me stop and really think (I was like 11 at the time) about something that I'd never realized.

One doesn't use projectile weapons in space ships because one might puncture the hull.

This almost never comes up in science fiction unless the plot dictates it should. Firing lasers, plasma cannons, grenades, or anything like that in the close quarters of a space ship, where an accident might blow out a wall or window or something causing rapid decompression and possible death of all those in the room... is probably a very, bad idea.

Using something like a sword, or other close quarters weapon is a good idea as you are much less likely to blow open a hole in the hull.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

...or maybe you just make your hull out of something that bullets can't penetrate.

Which is likely the sort of thing you should be making your spaceship hulls out of anyway.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I find a lot of sci-fi make the point about not using weapons that can breach the hull. Blasters are usually portrayed as not strong enough to blow holes in solid walls.


Why would close quarters combat be any more prevalent on spaceships than it is on, say, modern naval vessels?

Plus, as the previous two posters point out, ships are usually made of sterner stuff (see what I did there?) and there are doubtless blasters and weaponry that are effective against enemies that won't puncture your hull (such as tasers; needlers are a personal favorite).


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Skeld wrote:

Has anyone asked if there will be energy swords yet?

-Skeld

The answer is no. No energy swords. I too am disappointed, but still painfully excited.


Cthulhudrew wrote:

Why would close quarters combat be any more prevalent on spaceships than it is on, say, modern naval vessels?

Plus, as the previous two posters point out, ships are usually made of sterner stuff (see what I did there?) and there are doubtless blasters and weaponry that are effective against enemies that won't puncture your hull (such as tasers; needlers are a personal favorite).

Blasters are ineffective against hulls, but very effective against control panels and the like.

Monofilament/monomolecular whips/blades are more dangerous to hulls/spaceships than blasters and "light sabers".


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Draco Bahamut wrote:
Can you play Iron Gods without this book ?
James Jacobs wrote:

Not really, no.

Which is why the plan is to get these rules up on the PRD.

I thought that the PRD contains just the setting-neutral hardcover PF rulebooks, and nothing from the PF campaign setting/chronicles line.

Not that I'd complain if the rules from the CS Technology Guide appeared on the PRD ...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Odraude wrote:

There are some here and there in The Dragon's Demand and Distant Worlds and I think Doom Comes to Dustpawn.

Also, check out the Vespergaunt (a.k.a. Heresy Ooze) entry in the Inner Sea Bestiary (Campaign Setting/Chronicles line).

Liberty's Edge

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Bellona wrote:
Draco Bahamut wrote:
Can you play Iron Gods without this book ?
James Jacobs wrote:

Not really, no.

Which is why the plan is to get these rules up on the PRD.

I thought that the PRD contains just the setting-neutral hardcover PF rulebooks, and nothing from the PF campaign setting/chronicles line.

Not that I'd complain if the rules from the CS Technology Guide appeared on the PRD ...

That is normally the rule. However, as the poster you are replying to is James Jacobs, a member of the Paizo staff, it would be safe to assume that he knows what he is talking about when he says that the rules content of this book will be in the PRD.

In other words they appear to be making an exception.

Grand Lodge

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zergtitan wrote:
Skeld wrote:

Has anyone asked if there will be energy swords yet?

-Skeld

As the answer on multiple other threads, no there will be no energy swords.

Just to clarify, Karzoug, you're saying that there will be energy swords in the book? Awesome!

-Skeld


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Hmm. So there's powered armor and chainswords?

If you were able to acquire both along with some other cool technology, you could conceivably play as a SPEHSS MAHREEN!!!


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Skeld wrote:
zergtitan wrote:
Skeld wrote:

Has anyone asked if there will be energy swords yet?

-Skeld

As the answer on multiple other threads, there will be no energy swords.

Just to clarify, Karzoug, you're saying that there will be energy swords in the book? Awesome!

-Skeld

No there will not.


I hope there will be rules for living armor, living weapons, bio tech, etc.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Dragon78 wrote:
I hope there will be rules for living armor, living weapons, bio tech, etc.

Not really; that's a different kind of technology that'll be touched upon elsewhere (in Iron Gods #4, to be precise). Living weapons and biotech like that isn't really what the crew of the ship in Numeria were about.

Grand Lodge

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zergtitan wrote:
Skeld wrote:
zergtitan wrote:
Skeld wrote:

Has anyone asked if there will be energy swords yet?

-Skeld

As the answer on multiple other threads, there will be no energy swords.

Just to clarify, Karzoug, you're saying that there will be energy swords in the book? Awesome!

-Skeld

No there will not.

I don't understand.


James Jacobs wrote:
Not really; that's a different kind of technology that'll be touched upon elsewhere (in Iron Gods #4, to be precise). Living weapons and biotech like that isn't really what the crew of the ship in Numeria were about.

More hints about the Dominion of the Black. I can't wait for that one to hit. The Neh-Thalggu have been one of my favorite monsters since X2: Castle Amber.

Speaking of weird alien creatures- are the items in the Technology Guide the sorts of things that Mi-Go would use, or is Mi-Go tech even more exotic than this? (Or perhaps they simply use whatever tech they find and take a shine to?)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cthulhudrew wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Not really; that's a different kind of technology that'll be touched upon elsewhere (in Iron Gods #4, to be precise). Living weapons and biotech like that isn't really what the crew of the ship in Numeria were about.

More hints about the Dominion of the Black. I can't wait for that one to hit. The Neh-Thalggu have been one of my favorite monsters since X2: Castle Amber.

Speaking of weird alien creatures- are the items in the Technology Guide the sorts of things that Mi-Go would use, or is Mi-Go tech even more exotic than this? (Or perhaps they simply use whatever tech they find and take a shine to?)

The items in the Technology Guide are basically things humans invented. So, no... they're not really appropriate for mi-go. At least, not without a fair bit of flavor reskinning.


Oh I just love this idea. This is book is what drew my attention back to pathfinder.

I have a thought on why the engerysword doesn’t work. A big part of crashing spaceships into castles is that spaceships don't fit in next to castles. When you see a wizard with a laser pistol, it looks odd. They clash and the clashing is what makes this kind of setting unique and appealing. (For me at least.) The reason a laser sword doesn’t quite fit is because it fits too well. A laser sword is an harmonious mixture of SiFi and fantasy. It doesn’t clash with the setting, but you want it to clash. (I am guessing that in place we will have some kind of energy prod like a shock club.)

I have a question about the book as well. Are you including rules or guidelines for PC learning how to use tech artifacts? I really don’t expect a barbarian to be able so simply pick up a laser gun and know exactly how to use it without at least a little fiddling, and maybe a little bit of accidentally shooting their foot off.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

nomotog wrote:
I have a question about the book as well. Are you including rules or guidelines for PC learning how to use tech artifacts? I really don’t expect a barbarian to be able so simply pick up a laser gun and know exactly how to use it without at least a little fiddling, and maybe a little bit of accidentally shooting their foot off.

Yes. The rules work pretty similar to how folks identify magic items, in fact, but have some gateways that folks need to pass through in order to do so.

For those familiar with Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, we do not use flowcharts to model this, though. I thought about that, but then discarded it in favor of a less complex, faster method that allows the identification of technological items to work better with the skill system.


James Jacobs wrote:


nomotog wrote:
I have a question about the book as well. Are you including rules or guidelines for PC learning how to use tech artifacts? I really don’t expect a barbarian to be able so simply pick up a laser gun and know exactly how to use it without at least a little fiddling, and maybe a little bit of accidentally shooting their foot off.

Yes. The rules work pretty similar to how folks identify magic items, in fact, but have some gateways that folks need to pass through in order to do so.

For those familiar with Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, we do not use flowcharts to model this, though. I thought about that, but then discarded it in favor of a less complex, faster method that allows the identification of technological items to work better with the skill system.

Too bad. I can see why you'd skip the Gamma World type flowchart thing and integrate it into the skill system but it was both fun and cool to go through back in the day...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

R_Chance wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


nomotog wrote:
I have a question about the book as well. Are you including rules or guidelines for PC learning how to use tech artifacts? I really don’t expect a barbarian to be able so simply pick up a laser gun and know exactly how to use it without at least a little fiddling, and maybe a little bit of accidentally shooting their foot off.

Yes. The rules work pretty similar to how folks identify magic items, in fact, but have some gateways that folks need to pass through in order to do so.

For those familiar with Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, we do not use flowcharts to model this, though. I thought about that, but then discarded it in favor of a less complex, faster method that allows the identification of technological items to work better with the skill system.

Too bad. I can see why you'd skip the Gamma World type flowchart thing and integrate it into the skill system but it was both fun and cool to go through back in the day...

True. They were fun. Imagine doing that for every single magic item you find in an adventure, though... it gets old fast.


James Jacobs wrote:
R_Chance wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


nomotog wrote:
I have a question about the book as well. Are you including rules or guidelines for PC learning how to use tech artifacts? I really don’t expect a barbarian to be able so simply pick up a laser gun and know exactly how to use it without at least a little fiddling, and maybe a little bit of accidentally shooting their foot off.

Yes. The rules work pretty similar to how folks identify magic items, in fact, but have some gateways that folks need to pass through in order to do so.

For those familiar with Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, we do not use flowcharts to model this, though. I thought about that, but then discarded it in favor of a less complex, faster method that allows the identification of technological items to work better with the skill system.

Too bad. I can see why you'd skip the Gamma World type flowchart thing and integrate it into the skill system but it was both fun and cool to go through back in the day...
True. They were fun. Imagine doing that for every single magic item you find in an adventure, though... it gets old fast.

I thought that chart was needlessly complex. Your like rolling randomly to move along a chart with almost zero context. I think I liked "Return to the Temple of the Frog" way better. It basically described the items in very basic descriptions and think the idea was for the players to RP them guess what the item was and what each button did.


James Jacobs wrote:
R_Chance wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


nomotog wrote:
I have a question about the book as well. Are you including rules or guidelines for PC learning how to use tech artifacts? I really don’t expect a barbarian to be able so simply pick up a laser gun and know exactly how to use it without at least a little fiddling, and maybe a little bit of accidentally shooting their foot off.

Yes. The rules work pretty similar to how folks identify magic items, in fact, but have some gateways that folks need to pass through in order to do so.

For those familiar with Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, we do not use flowcharts to model this, though. I thought about that, but then discarded it in favor of a less complex, faster method that allows the identification of technological items to work better with the skill system.

Too bad. I can see why you'd skip the Gamma World type flowchart thing and integrate it into the skill system but it was both fun and cool to go through back in the day...
True. They were fun. Imagine doing that for every single magic item you find in an adventure, though... it gets old fast.

Pretty much what I thought. It depends on how many tech items you find I guess. Utilizing the existing skill system would be simpler and more streamlined. Certainly easier than adopting a new subsystem in any event.

nomotog wrote:


I thought that chart was needlessly complex. Your like rolling randomly to move along a chart with almost zero context. I think I liked "Return to the Temple of the Frog" way better. It basically described the items in very basic descriptions and think the idea was for the players to RP them guess what the item was and what each button did.

nomotog, the only problem with descriptions is coming up with sufficiently vague descriptions that aren't too non functional. The flow chart had little context (except charting how far along you were) but when it comes to fiddling with unknown essentially alien tech stuff I thought it worked well to simulate the process and progress. I used a similar flowchart for an Empire of the Petal Throne game in the late 70s and it worked well. Then too, there simply weren't that many technological artifacts encountered.


R_Chance wrote:


nomotog wrote:


I thought that chart was needlessly complex. Your like rolling randomly to move along a chart with almost zero context. I think I liked "Return to the Temple of the Frog" way better. It basically described the items in very basic descriptions and think the idea was for the players to RP them guess what the item was and what each button did.
nomotog, the only problem with descriptions is coming up with sufficiently vague descriptions that aren't too non functional. The flow chart had little context (except charting how far along you were) but when it comes to fiddling with unknown...

True. It's something I puzzled over myself trying to think of a way to make an items description descriptive, vague and complex. Some items are kind of easy. Like color coded medicine. Call something strange blue icor in a glass jar and the players will have a hard time guessing it's a healing potion. Others are a little hard. Like how do you describe a gun without players imminently saying oh that's a gun and knowing everything about it. (I tried to do this myself once before and it didn't do all that well.)

Then there is the question of how many often do you want to do the laser caveman thing in an adventure. On every item, or just the big ones.

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