Also Known As "Automations," "The Built" or "The Engeneered"
Body of Medal +12, PD 4, DR 12 (Non-ferrous, cannot switch out of form, 96 points)
Social Stigma -3 (-15 points)
Unusual Biochemistry (-5 points)
Attentive (-1 POINT)
Machinae are machine-line entities constructed of metal and imbued with a semblance of artificial life by magicial and alchemical means. They are usually built to resemble some type of living creature, the most popular types being iron horses, iron dragons, iron spiders, and iron cobras. Less common types include winged horses, scorpions, constrictors and automatons (mechanical men).
The inner mechanisms of any type of machinae are designed to mimic one or more of the abilities of the creature it is modelled after, usually with some improvement or modication of the original creature's capabilities. Thus, an iron horse is capable of running without tiring, an iron spider is able to "weave" a metal web, and so on. The ancient historian, Chiron the Wise wrote that he had met an automation who "unlike mortal men, was incapable of uttering an untruth."
Machinae are not truely alive. Thier brains are "programmed" to carry out up to three different fuctions (or skill groups).
For example, an automaton may have the following Functions:
Function 1: Combat
This particular automaton could only learn and improve skills relating to the above skill groups. So it could learn to do a complex medicial operation, say a heart bypass, but could never learn or understand law, social interactions or foreign lanaguages...while another automaton may have a social function but not know how a bandage is supposed to work.
The reason for the machinae's three function limitation is that it takes vast amounts of information for the Machinae to be able to do the three functions and normally it takes at least five years to construct such a program and as much as $100,000 in materials.
In addition to their three functions, machinaes are programed to follow any simple and direct command if it chooses. These commands should be simple sentances with only one possible meaning..."Open the box with the Red Cross on it." "Pick up the bandage material" "Unwrap enough bandage material to cover the wound" A machinae without the First Aid Function would carry out the instructions using the usual First Aid Default skill at an additional -2 skill penality.
Machinae take double damage from electrical and water based attacks, but have a self healing program with wich they may recover damage normally. Any failed "crippling" rolls means a major malfunction and requires materials and a skilled mechanic (self skill rolls are allowed) to fix the ailment.
Please Note that my Machinae are not created with GURPS Robots or any of the GURPS High Tech type books. My campaign is fanasty role-playing and these creatures are not meant to be very realistic, they are interesting and they bring a certain amount of wonder to the game. Below is my son's Machinae PC as it was when it was started in play...
Function 2: First Aid
Function 3: Self-maintanince
A SAMPLE MACHINAE:
Machinae Dragon, 200 points
96 Body of Medal +12, PD 4, DR 12 (Non-ferrous, cannot switch out of form)
20 Breath Weapon
10 Teeth (Imp dam based on ST; Bite delivers Corrosive Venom)
55 Claws (Swing +2 cutting; Thrust +2 - impaling)
15 Tail Striker w/ 2 yards of reach (Imp dam based upon ST, delivers Corrosive Venom)
10 Corrosive Venom (level 1)
10 Hard to Kill, 2 level
15 Modified Arm Strength, +3 ST Arms Only
5 Four Legs
22 Controlled Glided Flight
-10 Frightens Animals
-20 Increased Life Support (Eats 3 times as much as an average human)
-15 Inconvenient Size (cannot wear armor or clothing)
-15 Social Stigma -3
-5 Unusual Biochemistry
2 Brawling P/E at DX +1
2 Breath Weapon P/A at DX
2 Climbing P/A at DX (+5 on any climbing from Flexibility)
2 Flight P/A at DX
Attentive (-1 POINT)
This particuliar Machinae Dragon is a little heavier on combat function and lighter on flight controls and self maintaince than I might prefer, but it has a lot of skills it could learn and improve. Size was 2 hexes with another 2 hex tail, but size could range from 2 hexes to 30 or so I suppose, but I would assume a larger one would likely have much more strength. Appearance could be gleeming steel, rusty metal or bronze.
The breath weapon costs 20 points and does d6 damage (modified by breath weapon type, i.e., Fire and Water do d6 base damage, Air and Earth do d6-1 base damage) and has a base range of 3 hexes. It normally costs 3 fatigue for each use and is limited to being used no more than 6 times in a 24-hour period. The fatigue used for the breath weapon is unlike fatigue used for spells in that fatigue fueling breath weapons must be consided differently and it cannot be used by trading hit points for fatigue (as is possible with spells) since it is really fuel and fuel production being measured as fatigue.
1 - Combat
2 - Flight
3 - Self Maintance
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