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Jeff Tibbetts

Cool archeotech ideas

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Here are some random ideas off the top of my head. No idea if any of them are useful.

-A brass sphere that spins at a constant rate of one revolution every thirteen seconds. It requires a full tonne of pressure to stop it spinning, but once you have applied that pressure it can be held in place by hand with no difficulties. Once it is free of all constraints its slowly starts to spin again.

-A hololithic plate that can record and playback the dreams of whoever wears an ornate piece of crystal jewelery.

-A gunsight that highlights the targets central nervous system and locks on to the greatest concentration of neural tissue.

-A 10-bolt clip (that only contains three bolt shells). When fired, the bolt shells break apart into small, semi-sentient mechanical insects that slip though cracks in armour and walls, burrow into the flesh of the targets THEN detonate.

-A pair of perfectly clear wine glasses that turn dark when poison is detected within them.

-Five fifty centimetre long platinum rods. When one detects body heat, the others warm up to the same temperature. Only the presence of a living creature activates this ability.

-A wide, yet thin, table that performs all the functions of a powerful data loom.

-A mundane sword with a cutting edge that is fractal in nature, being infinitely long and sharp.

-A set of playing pieces from a game not unlike regicide, that can be set up on a playing field and can move themselves, providing a stimulating opponent for any player, even one who has never played the game before.

 

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A cube with different coloured faces that had 9 armatures on them which is currently scrambled and all the colours mixed up.

If you manage to get all the faces of the cube with matching colours after a fairly extended Logic test then you get a portal to the warp open up and a free greater daemon of Tzeench who might be disposed to grant 9 wishes and a cubic arseload of corruption points.

 

*I'll get my coat*

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MKX said:

A cube with different coloured faces that had 9 armatures on them which is currently scrambled and all the colours mixed up.

If you manage to get all the faces of the cube with matching colours after a fairly extended Logic test then you get a portal to the warp open up and a free greater daemon of Tzeench who might be disposed to grant 9 wishes and a cubic arseload of corruption points.

 

*I'll get my coat*

 

HA!!!!   A "Rubric's Cube!"  Awesome.

-=Brother Praetus=-

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Thanks for the clarification. However, in Dune the universal empire has already stamped out all machines, but in Star Trek the AI are there and tend to turn out bad, except Data, but including the Borg.

The nanite swarms have always interested me. I do not guess they have to be sentient, no more so than a servitor. However, a Sentient Swarm would be so cool and so heretical.

I also like the idea of a swarm of microbot bees or wasps or stinging whatevers.

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professor_kylan said:

Here are some random ideas off the top of my head. No idea if any of them are useful.

-A brass sphere that spins at a constant rate of one revolution every thirteen seconds. It requires a full tonne of pressure to stop it spinning, but once you have applied that pressure it can be held in place by hand with no difficulties. Once it is free of all constraints its slowly starts to spin again.

-A hololithic plate that can record and playback the dreams of whoever wears an ornate piece of crystal jewelery.

-A gunsight that highlights the targets central nervous system and locks on to the greatest concentration of neural tissue.

-A 10-bolt clip (that only contains three bolt shells). When fired, the bolt shells break apart into small, semi-sentient mechanical insects that slip though cracks in armour and walls, burrow into the flesh of the targets THEN detonate.

-A pair of perfectly clear wine glasses that turn dark when poison is detected within them.

-Five fifty centimetre long platinum rods. When one detects body heat, the others warm up to the same temperature. Only the presence of a living creature activates this ability.

-A wide, yet thin, table that performs all the functions of a powerful data loom.

-A mundane sword with a cutting edge that is fractal in nature, being infinitely long and sharp.

-A set of playing pieces from a game not unlike regicide, that can be set up on a playing field and can move themselves, providing a stimulating opponent for any player, even one who has never played the game before.

 

 

I like all of these, especially the bolt shells.

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The whole nanite swarm idea has popped up in the 40K universe before, in the early 'Inquisitor' novel, where Draco uses 'spy flies,' miniaturised mechanical flies that have cameras lens built in.  They would certainly make a useful addition if there was any espionage required, and they are not AI as such, being controlled from a receiving unit, and having a definitive 'range' of effectiveness, thus avoiding some potential nastiness from the Inquisition.

Recently, some other ideas of cool things linked to the AdMech came to mind, that there could still be 'working' examples of, and that could be found outside the boundaries of the Imperium, mothballed somewhere:

  • A Knight walker from the time of the Horus Heresy.  These were minature Titans effectively (like Dreadnoughts, but larger), and were eventually dropped from canon because they looked too similar to Eldar walkers.  However, Abnett recently revived them in 'Mechanicus,' and I think there might be some surviving units somewhere.  How cool would one of these be, and how keen would the AdMech be in reacquiring one?
  • Some kind of light refracting technology to make you difficult to see, or that displaces your true position to an enemy.  This would be worn attached to the body.  It might be something that a Magos could power up from a personal energy field, and effectively disappear from open view, or divide up into multiple mirror images.
  • A mini burrower - with a reinforced adamantium tipped drill head - this vehicle would be rhino sized and could fit a group of six humans quite comfortably.  It would come with wheeled tracks and a useful all terrain vehicle even if not used to burrow through rockcrete etc...
  • A sonic weapon that can disable the nervous system of an opponent, reduce them to a gibbering wreck, perhaps even used as a torture device?

 

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In general, I'm also describing Dark Age of Tech tech as 'High-Scifi', akin to Star Trek and Andromeda, but perhaps a bit rougher around the edges and a bit more 'artsy' in design. Considering it was a time of technological heights and unbridled possibilities never seen thereafter.

I view Dune to be much more 41st Millenium tech; almost archaic looking, large, clunky, well decorated. Forbidden power computers and A.I. etc etc

In one of the first Horus Heresy novel they describe some neat human empires that are direct descendants of intact DAOT societies. Even having power armour and vehicles similar to Imperial STC-based Space Marine armour and vehicles. But it's described as much more refined and high-tech than Imperial tech.

 

So I think some good key words for designing any archeotech could be:

-Sleek

-Small or compact

-High capabilities

-Possible xenos influences or hybrid tech.

-energy efficient

etc... etc...

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A lot of archeotech would presumably be from the original STC patterns so I think it's safe to assume that it would include an awful lot of rather every day items. From hand tools to cutlery to furniture to vehicles to weapons to medical equipment to farming equipment to water purification tech and so on. Some of this tech would be usable by the players, some would merely be a player status item (come to my Lord Captains table and be amazed by my archeotech cutlery and carving knife collection!) and some might be interesting but is basically just profit factor.

Weapons, armour, ship components, military vehicles, drugs, equipment and tools all make good player usable archeotech items.

Furniture, cutlery, maps (which are probably out of date), entertainment devices, civilian vehicles, artwork, artificer gear (good looking but not necessarily better armour/weapons etc - display quality), jewellery or even types of clothing would all work as cool things that a player would love as trophies or to display their wealth and power to their peers.

Farming and mining machinery, building designs (or even flatpack/kit buildings unused!), unknown STC templates of any kind, heavy equipment, terraforming devices, weather control satellites and so on are interesting but mostly of use in creating profit factor (the players aren't going to use much/any of it themselves. Some of this archeotech might be used by the players for their own projects such as establishing a colony but if they were to find an archeotech argricultural machine they'd probably be better of trading it with the Mechanicus (who'd want to study it) for several hundred current normal machines to establish their colony.

Another archeotech that occurs to me is that we keep discusing finding 'new' STC library fragments for things the Imperium no longer has. By definition most of the STC libraries would be more or less identical. I think the Mechanicus would still give their eye teeth if someone brough home a template that was for something they already have a template for - such as a perfectly normal Rhino template. It's confirmation the template they already have is complete, it tells them if changes were made, it tells them an STC was in the area the players were at (so it's worth them exploring for more) and of course, technology is holy to them so the object itself is a relic even if they already know the information. I'm thinking in my own campaign if I reward the players with STC information I will include a range of templates that are well known by the Adeptus Mechanicus and maybe a lost one for something unusual too.

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 1. Pleasure, assassin and Science androids, kind of like the ones in Blade Runner.

2. Artificial A.I computer devices.

3. A Bacta Tank, some type of super healing technology.

4. Advanced Hydroponic systems that grow, recycle food, improve crew morale.

5. Mind reading or thought reading devices

6. Reliable and small Vox casters, better range, maybe holographic in nature.

7. Advanced Water purification field systems, like a super canteen.

Just some so far, can add much more.

 

 

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I remember reading a book where one of the (void-born, this was important to the story) characters acquired a weather predictor, of sorts. About the size of a dataslate, holographic buttons on the sides, top-down topographic view of the user's current location. Pressing the appropriate sequence of buttons allowed you to see whether patterns, when the next big rains would come, risk of tornadoes, et cetera. Utterly useless aboard a ship of course. Wasn't until later in the book when this guy's been down on a planet for some time and decides to show off his trinket that he discovers it's actually a weather creator. You could have a bit of fun with that. STC terraformation project succeeded millenia ago but all the project members died off in some horrible accident, leaving only their control slates behind.

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Since the Soul Drinkers have recently come up in my game:

 

A sword (or any weapon) that utilizes a variation of the technology in vortex grenades.

 

The Inquisitor in those books had a sword that can fragment and turn into a bunch of flying shards of metal, seeking out weak spots in the armor.

 

He also had a few rounds (they were supposedly worth about as much as a starship) of stub ammunition that had improved propellant and micro-cogitators.  They guided themselves to chinks in the armor.  If they had enough propellant remaining, they passed straight through and turned around and shot them again.  Once they ran out of propellant (inside the target), they detonated.

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This may not be archeotech but I think it is cool.

I don;t even remember the book I got this from, it is an older black library book about a rogue trader who enters the eye of terror (I found the book disturbing but cool).  The rogue trader is given a stone and told that whatever he dreams about he will get.  Sure enough he goes to sleep and has a dream about his childhood when he was playing with his favorite toy, when he wakes up it's there is his room.  He tries to dream up some women he heard exist on a pleasure world but he always dreams about other things.  The thing is it that this stone can be used as long as you want and will never corrupt its host.  What is does do however is mark you for sacrifice to a demon.  How it works is once you enter the warp you have a nigthmare of a demon coming for you, when you wake up the demon is there.  It is never explained how the device worked but the demon manifested through the gellar fields right into the rogue traders room.  Luckily for him he only used it a few times so the demon did not have the power to maintain stability long enough to kill him.

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 That'd be the old Barrington J Bayley book, Eye of Terror. At a guess, it worked by having the daemon bound into the wish-gem before it was brought aboard the Wandering Star (the rogue trader's vessel), so it didn't have to work against the Geller Field.

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Not archeotech, since it can be reproduced, but still very presentable as such, the Inquisitor's Handbook for DH has a Sollex Energy Blade (or something like that).  Its essentially a lightsaber, but made of plasma (it even has the belt power source of the archaic lightsabers).  It uses plasma flasks for a power source, but an archeotech version might not need such a source and be an independent hilt (like a normal lightsaber).  The archeotech might be quieter too, since this version is described as having a "Blast furnace roar"

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 Old Tech resources could come from GURPS. They have a number of resource books like High-Tech, Bio-Tech, Vehicle Builder, Space, Ultra-Tech, or a number of different tech-books, magic-books, psionic books, and so on. Each book has a listing of what "Tech Level" they are from. I think a few weapons are like Disintigration guns, Anti-Matter bullets, or even bullets that have atomic capability. Lots and lots of stuff. I used to use what books I had as a gauge for a homegrown campaign universe that I carried over through several different RPG system changes.

 

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I gave a rogue trader a piece of archeotech as his total reward for a mission, he was initially a bit put out.  He initially thought it was a mere curiosity, the device (a brass orb with many crystal lenses on a mount a bit like a old fashioned globe but its held by a suspensor field so it doesn't actually touch) being able to project strange and fanciful scenes.  Then he found that with careful adjustments he could use it to project what is happening in the present (arduous (-40) tech use, if passed gives +10 to navigation and +10 to detection for the current endeavour).  He has also started to get glimpses of the future and of events he can identify from the past, as a result he's started hunting for some specific items and has become somewhat obsessed (he's one step away from calling it his precious)........  I'm tempted to eventually give him Forbidden Lore (Imperial History) for the fun that could cause......

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As an end of campaign mcguffin, I gave my players leads of an intact STC library. To cut a long story short, it was indeed intact. The Korro, a bunch of humans who didn't lose tech over the Age of Strife, actually made some improvements. Mostly in the areas of energy manipulation (*really* good plasma reactors and void shields) and in insane redundancy. They reduced the role of natural entropy and warp corruption in the STC library itself with automated repair systems (stable, not quite sentient AI) and weaving hexagrammatic and pentagrammic wards into the crystal circuitry. This was all safe-guarded by auspexes that could pick out the DNA of their descendants from ships approaching the library (players needed cooperation of said descendants to gain access).

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Erretnorb said:

 

I gave a rogue trader a piece of archeotech as his total reward for a mission, he was initially a bit put out. He initially thought it was a mere curiosity, the device (a brass orb with many crystal lenses on a mount a bit like a old fashioned globe but its held by a suspensor field so it doesn't actually touch) being able to project strange and fanciful scenes. Then he found that with careful adjustments he could use it to project what is happening in the present (arduous (-40) tech use, if passed gives +10 to navigation and +10 to detection for the current endeavour). He has also started to get glimpses of the future and of events he can identify from the past, as a result he's started hunting for some specific items and has become somewhat obsessed (he's one step away from calling it his precious)........ I'm tempted to eventually give him Forbidden Lore (Imperial History) for the fun that could cause......

 

 

You do know who wrote THE book on the Imperial faith?

He can find out who the 2 lost space marine legions are.

Actual orders of the God-Emperor, not the distorted versions that are being told now.

Yes many reasons to have the character gain knowledge, considered to be tainted.......hur hur hur
 

 

 

Nerdynick said:

 

He also had a few rounds (they were supposedly worth about as much as a starship) of stub ammunition that had improved propellant and micro-cogitators.  They guided themselves to chinks in the armor.  If they had enough propellant remaining, they passed straight through and turned around and shot them again.  Once they ran out of propellant (inside the target), they detonated.

 

 

Ahh physics protect me! Another proof, that too many writer of science fiction know nothing about one of the two, and about the good fiction im not so sure either.

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Decessor said:

As an end of campaign mcguffin, I gave my players leads of an intact STC library. To cut a long story short, it was indeed intact. The Korro, a bunch of humans who didn't lose tech over the Age of Strife, actually made some improvements. Mostly in the areas of energy manipulation (*really* good plasma reactors and void shields) and in insane redundancy. They reduced the role of natural entropy and warp corruption in the STC library itself with automated repair systems (stable, not quite sentient AI) and weaving hexagrammatic and pentagrammic wards into the crystal circuitry. This was all safe-guarded by auspexes that could pick out the DNA of their descendants from ships approaching the library (players needed cooperation of said descendants to gain access).

Unfortunately they started getting a bit too uppity and we fell out with them if I recall correctly but *shrugs* it's not like they were loyal servants of the Emperor anyway right? We got the goods and took it back to the Imperium!

In games I've run myself I put a good few little archeotech items in as things to bid for in the House of Dust and Ash and looked at some pictures of art work done by a steam punk fan, the Lightning Guns were funky little things that shot lightning, I just said they effectively worked like dueling las pistols with the shocking quality.

Another item I put in was a digi las but instead of recharging normally you could press a small stud on it and take a wound as it drained your blood and you could shoot again.

I also had an entire archeotech ship with an A.I. on it as the reward at the end of a modified lure of the expanse the dread pearl they prophesised was actually "The Black Pearl", it was a frigate geared out with a full archeotech load out and only needed two thousand crew to keep going. However when it's crew died it stayed in system for some reason (it forgot why it kept deleting files as the memory banks became more full). The A.I. was a bit odd in that it actually valued life and dated to sometime before the Imperium. There was some great roleplaying moments as some of the PCs tried to explain the Imperial Creed to it as well as to not "talk" to people outside the command crew. I said if they had a lot of MIUs amongst the crew their might be hidden bonuses. One of the players started making jumps of logic by themselves and then convinced the other PCs to acquire a servitor crew for it since it would get bonuses... Pearl the A.I. was horrified at what these humans were doing to each other and asked why they didn't just use robots? I think it more or less refused to let them crew the ship with those "things". The PCs did chance their arm a bit making other assumptions of the ships abilities like the Astropath asking to get transported via teleportarium and then to another location on the ship... the ship said it would try but this'd take atleast fifteen minutes, anything less would be too dangerous, impressively fast but the PC was hoping for it to be much faster... down such roads lies making precedents that PCs point to and howl and gnash teeth. It was a lot of fun having the intelligent ship being nice and having the PCs hide it's AI nature. One player didn't like the idea that it accumulated corruption points after a warp incursion occured on it, its a thing yes but just because it didn't start off corrupted by chaos didn't mean it was a real possibility of happening later.

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For any David Gemmell fans out there...

Soul-Forge: An ancient device in the form of a 4 meter tall, 3 meter diameter cylindrical capsule which can perform advanced cellular regeneration and replacement - basically a super Juvenat machine - the fountain of eternal youth and life! Unfortunately, it does require 'fuel' of sorts... other, fresher cellular material. For some reason virgins work best, maybe due to lack of contamination?? I would make it require massive amounts of energy and a series of very difficult extended skill tests for both Medicae and Tech Use (and maybe others).

Successful use of this device could be bad enough (maybe the rejuv wears off too soon and needs more and more frequent refreshing?)

Failed rolls could have any number of effects

> It could be as mundane as aging the subject instead of rejuvenating them

> killing them outright

> grossly mutating them

> hideously melding the subject and the 'fuel'

> appearing to work beautifully execpt that the mental patterns of the fuel source were transferred into the rejuvenated subject during the cellular rejuvenation of the brain

> And of course, if the wrong source material were used, that's where the GM can get really creative, effectively introducing any fantastical type of creature imaginable, Half-Eldar, Half-Orks, Half-Slaught!!! and, my favourite, Chaos Beastmen - or "Joinings" as I prefer to call them  ;-)

Heretical as all hell once the exact workings were discovered, but think of how much a Noble or a Rogue Trader would be willing to pay for the promise of everlasting youth!

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In the Righteous Path, I'd left a few interesting items. There was the archaotech resusitratix chamber which healed in half the time and had the potential to rewrite genes. Potentially, a mutant could be "cured" using it.

The antique plasma cannon "Punishment" whose machine spirit urged anyone linked to it via MIU to punish. It was built as an execution tool for a people who believed in leaving beautifully preserved corpses and horrified by the idea of vapourisation.

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Knight of Dark Renown said:

For any David Gemmell fans out there...

Soul-Forge: An ancient device in the form of a 4 meter tall, 3 meter diameter cylindrical capsule which can perform advanced cellular regeneration and replacement - basically a super Juvenat machine - the fountain of eternal youth and life! Unfortunately, it does require 'fuel' of sorts... other, fresher cellular material. For some reason virgins work best, maybe due to lack of contamination?? I would make it require massive amounts of energy and a series of very difficult extended skill tests for both Medicae and Tech Use (and maybe others).

Successful use of this device could be bad enough (maybe the rejuv wears off too soon and needs more and more frequent refreshing?)

Failed rolls could have any number of effects

> It could be as mundane as aging the subject instead of rejuvenating them

> killing them outright

> grossly mutating them

> hideously melding the subject and the 'fuel'

> appearing to work beautifully execpt that the mental patterns of the fuel source were transferred into the rejuvenated subject during the cellular rejuvenation of the brain

> And of course, if the wrong source material were used, that's where the GM can get really creative, effectively introducing any fantastical type of creature imaginable, Half-Eldar, Half-Orks, Half-Slaught!!! and, my favourite, Chaos Beastmen - or "Joinings" as I prefer to call them  ;-)

Heretical as all hell once the exact workings were discovered, but think of how much a Noble or a Rogue Trader would be willing to pay for the promise of everlasting youth!

Actual what you sugested is chaos tech or xenos tech not archeotech. I find highly unlikly that during DAOT humans(not corupted by chaos) would have built a machine that runs on souls.

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The two most popular Archaeotech items in my game have thus far been pretty simple and unassuming, but the uptick from the norm made the players happy:

  • A two-handed powersword with the equivalent of a Captain's Baton imbedded in it (eventually will be used to get access to a superior ship).
  • An advanced synskin with slightly boosted stats in addition to a psychic sense baffler that provides a penalty for psychic senses attempting to locate the wearer.

I have a number of other 'tweaks' of common items like boarding shotguns (with integral mono-axes) and wide-angle lasguns (shotgun lasers!), but the above items really took on a charm of their own even though they didn't do anything really game-breaking.

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