Clockwork automatons, or tinskins, are an increasingly frequent sight in the streets and parlors of the New World. They come in many shapes and sizes to suit a range of tasks, from small repair models to lumbering cargo loaders. The most versatile are those built in the image of their creators. Among the humanoid tinskins, the model produced by the Czegei Workshop in Northport are the most prevalent. The Czegei tinskins are seen all over, from behind shop counters in town to guiding mules down the trail, to packing iron on free-willed missions of their own.
Viktor Czegei began producing humanoid tinskins in 500, the same year the last Atreborian emperor was assassinated. While not the absolute finest model available, Czegei tinskins are famously clever, capable, and reliable. They stand five feet tall and weigh a little under 200 pounds, and are powered by an internal steam plant that provides hydraulic pressure to their limbs and winds their internal clockwork. Like most tinskins, a Czegei’s “brain” is in its torso, near the boiler. The standard faceplate is smooth, with roughly humanoid features: a pair of lensed ocular receptors allowing for stereoscopic vision, aural receptors on either side of the head, and a grill for speaking where the mouth would be. A headshot against a Czegei wouldn’t kill the construct, but it would effectively incapacitate it by cutting it off from sight and sound, leaving it to grope about and navigate by touch. True to their name, factory Czegeis come plated in tin, resistant to corrosion and easy and inexpensive to repair, but their owners–or the tinskins themselves, in the case of emancipated individuals–often have the plating replaced with more glamorous and durable brass or steel.
Czegei tinskins’ adaptability allows them to be purchased for and instructed in a variety of roles: butler, secretary, groom, bodyguard, and porter, to name a few popular choices. They are so adaptable, in fact, that they very quickly begin thinking for themselves, though their programming keeps them obedient and servile–barring interruption of their programming due to flaw, tampering, or injury. It has become common among owners to emancipate their tinskins in their wills or even earlier. In cases where inheritance of a tinskin is unclear, frontier judges are inclined to grant emancipation to the tinskin in order to remove the question. Once a tinskin assumes ownership of itself, it is free to make its own destiny, and all cities in the New World recognize it as a person. If its former owner was both kind and generous enough to emancipate it while he or she still lived, it may remain with him or her as a friend or hired companion; if its owner was cruel, they may attempt to purchase the freedom of other tinskins away from similar masters. Tinskins left their freedom by a dying owner often take up the owner’s profession, one explanation for why there are a number of tinskins working as merchants, hunters, lawyers, engineers, and adventurers.
Playing a Czegei Tinskin
If you choose to play a Czegei tinskin, modify your character as follows:
- Add 1 to your Cunning ability. Czegei tinskins can be coldly analytical when it benefits them most.
- Pick one of the following ability focuses: Cunning (Clockwork) or Willpower (Self-Discipline).
- Your character is a tinskin. You consume coal in place of food. You require only half the amount of rest as an ordinary character. You may not make Constitution (Drinking) or Perception (Smelling) tests.
- You can speak and read Low Treb and Difference.
- Choose a class. You can play a rogue or a warrior.
- Roll twice on the accompanying table for additional benefits. Roll 2d6 and add the dice together. If you get the same result twice, re-roll until you get something different.
|3-4||Focus: Dexterity (Crafting)|
|5||Focus: Communication (Etiquette)|
|6||Focus: Constitution (Stamina)|
|9||Focus: Cunning (Engineering)|
|10-11||Focus: Strength (Driving)|