Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
AngelOfMercy777

Lure of the Expanse, Zayth, Auto-loading Macrocannons, and the fate of the Imperium (spoilers)

Recommended Posts

 My players have completed Zayth in LotE and after siding with Hovik, helping him in his coup, interrogating and mind probing the engineseers and learning the secrets of autoloading macros I came to a question. Why is this so understated in the adventure? The adventure states that Zayth is pretty much the only place that has these guns and not noly that but also knows how to make them, hence the potential trade link they can set up with the planet for them. Of course if they know how to amke them then anyone can learn how to make them once they figure out how (for instance by busting into the Engine Orders). It seems that this is not jsut a cool source of some PF but also something potentially revolutionary to the Imperium. If you can show the Mechanicus how to amke these devies again and they oufit the various millions of Imperial ships with them that changes the Imperium ina  big way for the better. So why only like 2 PF? It seems like this is unoverse changing archaeotech of the highest calibre and should guarantee the PC's whole star systems at the least and the eternal gratitude of the AM, the Navy, and the Imperium as a whole. 

 

I am not asking this as  a way of trying to counter my players, but rather what other GM's thoughts are on how this tech could effect the Imperium and how you ran it in your games. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the thing is that even after the "re-discovery" of this technology, it is very unlikely that it will see mass production by the Mechanicus within the next few decades. 

I know, you did not ask for a "counter", but a reason why this is so understated. Unfortunately, this "background inerted counter" is the reason why it is so understated. 

The Mechanicus takes a lot of time to "proof" the "trueness" of every recovered technology before they actually start to give it to mass production. 
Production withouth the blessing of Mars is kinda akin to tech heresy. 

Thereby, people might be allowed to own and use such devices since the Mechanicus is still "testing them", but their will be no revolution in weapons technology all over the imperium within the next generation. 


...unless, you as the GM would like to have it that way and change the background accordingly ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My players have finished the Lure of the Expanse adventure and are tidying up all the lose ends now. Last night they finished off the loose eneds at Zayth.

 

I'll echo what Gregorius21778 said about decades of testing by the mechanicus. Even then, refitting the Imperiums vast fleet will take a very long time indeed. Even then, autoloading macro-cannons are good but not outrageously better than non-autoloading ones.

My players struck a deal with Elder Tactician Graves. They would supply melta weaponry and a tech priest to explain it and in return he would share the schematics and technical data on the autoloaders. They then went further and agreed to help Graves take down a rival (and more powerful) landship. In return for their orbital bombardment, he would outfit their ships macro-cannons with autoloaders.

So, they teamed up with Graves landship, wasted the enemy (and took quite a battering doing so) and spent the next 2 months in orbit making repairs and having their cannons refitted.

 

I've ruled that autloaders simply increase the strength of a macrocannon battery by 1. So my PCs now have strength 7 broadsides. Booyah!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't  think that the autoloading macro cannons make that much of a difference. Basically all it does is reduce the number of hands required to load the cannons. Not necesarily faster then a well trained tram of workers. Biggest benefit is that the cannon bays are less susceptible to hard vacuum.

In my campaign, they don't have the STC's to create the guns, just the guns themselves which allow for some hefty profit but no big revolution in Naval Technology.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Echoing everyone elses sentiments on the length of time for this type of technology to come into common use and become widespread, and even then it isn't a game breaker for the imperium. Sure auto loading and aiming is nice, but doing it with hundreds of slaves works almost as well and is a lot cheaper to do.

And remember the scale. The Forsaken Bounty, a 2 kilometer long ship, gutten and packed with ancient treasure and archeotech was worth only 3PF. A single PF represents a LOT of wealth and influence.

Those points aside:

The scenario does NOT account for distributing the technology, setting up refitting operations, or selling designs to the Ad-Mech. It only handles setting up a trade route. Whatever auto-loading guns Zayth can produce being sold off.

As the book says, further developments are "beyond the scope of this adventure".

Certainly extra profit factor can be had. The PCs can set up a refitting operation, auctioning off the guns to the highest bidder. They can open up relations with a forgeworld, or the imperial navy. There is a lot they can do to glean extra profit factor.

But that isn't accounted for or handled in the provided adventure. Opening a trade route with Zaythe is worth 2PF. Anything else is a new endevor, and should be treated as such.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zayth really is a vast treasure store, though the book admittedly understates this. It's suggested that planet has numerous artifacts just waiting to be discovered under the surface, including the capital city of world hailing from mankind's distant past. Conquering this world would certainly be in the best interest of the Imperium. At least that's how I'm planning it for a future Endeavor.

My players also aided Graves in quelling the rebellion. Afterword, the Explorator did some awesome roleplaying where he met with elders of Engine Order and convinced them Adeptus Mechanicus were their "spirit brethren". He told them that the rogues who had attempted to infiltrate them were defilers of the Machine Spirit, scorned and hunted across the stars. So convincing was he that the Engine Order agreed to exchange tech-adepts for a time. Meanwhile, the RT negotiated a mutually beneficial trade with Grave; scavenged remains of the other landship's autoloaders for examples of the Imperium's melta-tech. They also agreed to trade salvage locations for raw materials.

Once the Explorator reverse engineered the autoloaders, I let them equip them to what ships they could. The way I represent autoloader macrocannons is to decrease the space of the weapon by 1/2 but increase it's power requirement by 1/2 rounding down. This represents the lowered labor required for operation but high power needed to keep the mechanisms going.

I also agree that the autoloaders will probably never see mass production and adoption. While they might be superior, they would be more costly to maintain. The Imperium values reliability over output afterall. Still, I could see elite forces such as the Astartes, Inquisition, and Adeptus Mechanicus equip their ships with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing you have to remember is that Forge Worlds are ridiculously insular from each other. They don’t typically share secrets of production. Hence you hear about things like “Forgeworld Orkbait fell to WAAAGH Bitzcruncha in .929.M40 and the Imperium lost the means to produce Orkbait pattern lascannons” or somesuch.

Doesn’t make a lot of sense from a modern perspective, but chances are that if the auto-loading macro-cannons are released to the local mechanicus, they’ll become known as Lathe pattern macrocannons. They might be highly sought after, but they won’t revolutionize the entire Imperium.

Who knows? Maybe the cannons use a level of automation that the Mechanicus deems heretical or something. Its up to the GM to decide.

-Thulis

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Powered loading for naval-sized guns is scarcely high tech. Battleships started using that sort of tech before WWI, possibly even by late 19th century. That's a far cry from cutting edge and should be fairly easy to get accepted by the Adeptus Mechanicus. Since most of the tech is hydraulics and mechanic, with an electronic brainpower that's probably on par with a pocket calculator at best, there"s zero chance for some idiot speaking of Silica Animus.

The main hassle there would be the lack of an STC schematic to support the hardware : on average the Adeptus Mechanicus's view is that if it's not in an STC it's heretek. While they will probably ignore someone doing a non-STC toilet seat, they'll be far more nosy with major tech items like a macrocanon battery. Of course there's probably hydraulic autoloader designs accepted fo tanks and such, but by the time the Adeptus might aknowledge that, yes, it's merely an upscael of what's fitted in the 'xxx tank gun design', and so we should considered it allowed, years if not decades can go by.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Never underestimate the processing power of a modern pocket calculator. The Apollo capsules ran on less. 

With out STC, AdMech would likely be inclined to take the info and vault it away as semi-heretek. For all that, there is no reason that the auto-loader data could not be an iteration or two from proper STC.  

Play up the legend of the cities, if the Explorator and the RT aren't salivating like pavlovian puppies there's a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would it even be possible, within even a thousand years, to reequip the ships of the Imperium? Not to mention the social problems involved.

However, selling the tech to private vessels in the Koronus Expanse could be profitable.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grand Inquisitor Fulminarex said:

Would it even be possible, within even a thousand years, to reequip the ships of the Imperium? Not to mention the social problems involved.

 

May not be possible but it makes a house impossibly rich for long long time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...