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gorthano

Crafting High Tech Weaponry

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I have an Adeptus Administratum Sage character in my game with a desire to craft advanced weaponry on Desoleum Prime.  He asked me about it last session and I effectively shut him down with a response about needing to ingratiate himself to a high ranking Magos of a forgeworld (which he interpreted to be a less than viable option), but in hindsight I'm worried I may have been unfair.

 

How does one get the blueprints for weaponry and armor?  Core p117 provides that "The time, difficulty, and materials it takes to create these items are greatly dependent on their complexity, the kind of workshop the character has, and his access to properly sanctified designs or Adeptus Mechanicus data-vaults."

 

Does he have to buddy up to a Magos on a forgeworld to get the blueprints for a handflamer, plasma pistol, powersword, or bolter?  If he doesn't have access to any Magi in the current narrative, would you allow this to be as simple as influence test? At what modifier? Should he be required to sacrifice influence to achieve it?

 

In terms of time, the Core p97 indicates it should take 1d5 hours to craft weapons and 1d10 hours for armor (I think this is an error--it was 1d5/1d10 days in OW and BC).  For stuff that is Rare or less available, would a matter of months or years be more appropriate?

 

How would you handle this?  He is very arguably mentally equipped for the task of crafting:  Influence Score of 56, Trade Armorer, Tech-Use +30, Intelligence score of 54, Good Quality Cerebral Implants, and Infused Knowledge talent [meaning that in total he is +20 to any relevant scholastic lore test and automatically adds 2 DoS to a successful test].  He doesn't have Forbidden Lore (Archeotech) or Forbidden Lore (Adeptus Mechanicus).

 

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For further context of power levels, the players have been awarded 5600 exp after the 1k given at creation.  They have a power blade, shock whip, a bionic heart, good quality cerebral implants, a poor quality mesh combat cloak, and a mesh body suit, but otherwise all their weaponry or armor is Scarce or more available although the weapon modifications they have are pretty fancy (i.e. custom grips, motion predictor, laser sights, tox dispensers, quick releases).

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I would straight-up ask him how he would justify it.

How are you getting the blueprints and plans? Okay - Make X test! Awesome, you got it! 

etc. etc.

 

Ultimately it's GM discretion, and I don't think that you were unfair, especially if the player didn't explain how he was going to do such a thing. Crafting a Power/Plasma weapon is no easy feat, and from what I know it's also arguably lethal, and should rightfully demand way more than an Influence-Test + Trade (Armourer)-Test.

 

In my eyes, the exampled-times in the crafting table assume that you have all the materials required, tools, workspace, and etc. - as any forge in the 40k universe would. If he's trying to forge a plasma weapon in a bedroom though... I can see a great number of difficulties in trying to make that work. He may even need to requisition already-completed components of the plasma weapon and assemble it himself, as oppose to just gaining the raw materials to build the components with.

 

It just depends what kind of game you want to run, and what kind of precedent you want to set for your players. If you feel something is appropriate, I'd say go with it, and of course provide alternatives and recommendations if something is inappropriate.

Edited by TheWorldSmith

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Well, by and large, the Mechanicus is extremely territorial regarding any technology advanced enough to require a solid foundation of the underlying principles. They have no problem with lasguns and the like because they can be reliably replicated by rote with only moderate technical skill and knowledge; what you are talking about is a step beyond that. While there are skilled, non-heretic artisans outside the Mechanicus, they are not common and tend to be specialists; such as shipwrights, demolition experts, or crafters of assassination tools. One of the maxims of the Mechanicus is "Knowledge is Power: guard it well." Dealing with them is usually about striking a deal for equipment, rather than blueprints. There are several stories in the fluff of Forge Worlds spending millennia trying and failing to trade for STC designs, and eventually settling for hodgepodge variants or lesser designs; that is how you get the proliferation of equipment like the Macharius heavy tank, replacing the Baneblades that cannot be constructed by most Forge Worlds.

 

As for your character...remember there are some things beyond even the Mechanicus: most archaeotech cannot be replicated anywhere, and many more technologies are known to very few of the highest level Techpriests. Volkite, Grav, and Plasma weapon production is at a virtual standstill, losing almost as many weapons each year than are fabricated. Some, like Inferno pistols and certain combiweapons, may be beyond all but a handful of artisans, most of them on Mars. Crafting them with anyone besides a skilled Magos with the resources of a full Forge World is simply not going to happen. In terms of fluff, you can forget about Grav, Volkite, and Plasma weapons, along with Inferno Pistols. That said, the biggest draw of being an artisan is being able to customize your equipment and crafting custom munitions on tap, instead of spending several fruitless sessions trying to scrounge up your next load of specialty bolt shells and grenades. Obtaining blueprints should be a major undertaking involving a great service to the Machine God, and tacit approval of your work by a high ranking Techpriest before disseminating the plans.

Edited by ViperMagnum357

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Chain weapons and average quality carapace armor are in regular production everywhere, though the Guard and PDF make do with Lasguns, stamped steel melee blades, and flak armor because of the economics. Guard units end up far flung and frequently have to make do with locally sourced equipment, so chain weapons are usually for officers and carapace for a few veterans. A typical Civilized World-not even a Hive World-will frequently have several million to tens of millions of PDF under arms; wholly impractical even with locally produced equipment more complicated than a Lasgun. And, quite simply, better tech is wasted in the hands of glorified militia. Few worlds besides Fortress Worlds with have the training regimen and discipline to make full use of it, and those worlds have economic pressures of their own replacing losses. Same reason carapace is not standard; a waste for PDF who might go centuries without serious action, and no guarantee of steady replacements for guard units deployed across the Galaxy. For you, having someone on hand to repair it or forge replacement parts alleviates most of those concerns.

 

Hotshot weapons are interesting. Most of them are produced of Forge Worlds because of the higher difficulty, but other planets like Cadia can still produce their own. That seems like a good investment for your character; it won't put a Magos' proprietary inclinations in a twist, and a skilled artisan with the right tools can make them in a reasonable time frame. Mesh armor, on the other hand, is murkier. It does not seem to fall within standard Imperial tech, so most of the examples are salvaged Xenotech or based on alien designs. That could present a problem, though a character with the inclination could probably produce it with a large enough investment of time and resources. The question is why-apart from the light weight and lack of obtrusiveness, there is little to recommend it over a specialized bodyglove or more standard heavy armor. For the same outlay of resources, you could get pretty far down the road towards Power Armor.

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For a quick-and-dirty house rule, I'd start by saying that any equipment of Very Rare or higher rarity will be very difficult to craft from scratch and require access to specialized tools and the proper schematics to attempt the test. This category includes bolt, melta, plasma, power and most exotic weapons, as well as mesh cloaks, Militarum Tempestus carapace and power armor. Basically, even a skilled armorer is unlikely to have handled this equipment frequently enough to really understand how it works, and the Mechanicus jealously guards the secrets to manufacturing these precious relics. The Very Rare stipulation is the cleanest delineation I could think of and avoids lots of individual rulings from the GM.

 

This still leaves your player with many options for crafting new gear. Hellguns (hot-shot lasguns), Enforcer carapace, non-Eviscerator chain weapons, flamers and launchers are all craftable under this rule, so he can flex his technomat muscles and build strong equipment without allowing wildly powerful gear into the hands of the party. These items are all mass-produced by enough forges and used widely enough that the designs for some patterns of weapon will be available to the public. They might not be as finely designed as Mechanicus-crafted forge world patterns, but within the context of the game they should be functionally identical.

Edited by Covered in Weasels

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In terms of time, the Core p97 indicates it should take 1d5 hours to craft weapons and 1d10 hours for armor (I think this is an error--it was 1d5/1d10 days in OW and BC).

 

In my eyes, the exampled-times in the crafting table assume that you have all the materials required, tools, workspace, and etc. - as any forge in the 40k universe would.

 

As far as I understand the rules for crafting the time is ment per test.

An example: The GM decides that crafting a Bolt-Pistol needs 20 DoS. The player roles his/her first test with 4 DoS. The 1d5 time roll results in 3 hours. Still 16 DoS to go. The next test results in 3 DoS. Rolling another 1d5 adds 2 hours. Now 13 DoS to go. And so on ...

Assuming that a normal Character (no Magos with Machine Trait, or taking any stimulant) can only work concentrated for a few hours a day I guess most high-tech weapons would in the end need several days to craft.

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From Dark Heresy 1st Edition > Inquisitor's Handbook

 

I find many of our forum questions were answered in 1st edition > they had many facets of play not tied to character development directly aka MISC stuff per say...

 

Check this bunk out... LOL

 

dh-crafting_Page_1.jpg

 

dh-crafting_Page_2.jpg

 

dh-crafting_Page_3.jpg

 

dh-crafting_Page_4.jpg

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As far as I understand the rules for crafting the time is ment per test.

An example: The GM decides that crafting a Bolt-Pistol needs 20 DoS. The player roles his/her first test with 4 DoS. The 1d5 time roll results in 3 hours. Still 16 DoS to go. The next test results in 3 DoS. Rolling another 1d5 adds 2 hours. Now 13 DoS to go. And so on ...

Assuming that a normal Character (no Magos with Machine Trait, or taking any stimulant) can only work concentrated for a few hours a day I guess most high-tech weapons would in the end need several days to craft.

 

You are correct.  That is the extended test interval rather than the total time.

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 While this is certainly very helpful I think the rules in  DH2 (cf. DH2 core rule book page 97) are somewhat different (and not at all that detailed).

 

The same was with DH1 - very short rules in Corebook, but then Inquisitor's Handbook introduced expanded skills rules and detailed crafting rules.

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 While this is certainly very helpful I think the rules in  DH2 (cf. DH2 core rule book page 97) are somewhat different (and not at all that detailed).

 

The same was with DH1 - very short rules in Corebook, but then Inquisitor's Handbook introduced expanded skills rules and detailed crafting rules.

 

Okay, I didn't know that.

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