Frontiers – Progressive Weapons (AGE System)

   Posted by: Andrew Linstrom   in AGE System, Frontiers

The marvels of clockwork gadgetry have brought a host of conveniences into the adventurer’s life. The miniaturization and automation of the processes of collapsing and expanding, first seen in such contrivances as collapsing batons and shovels and tent poles, have culminated in so-called progressive weapons. A progressive blade may at first glance to be no more than a mere short sword, but once its internal clockwork systems are engaged, it transforms. The hilt elongates, and the blade lengthens and widens as plates slide out from behind one another and click seamlessly into place, until what was at first a short sword has grown into a longsword. Even a bastard sword or two-handed sword is possible, given advanced dwarven alloys and sufficiently sophisticated clockwork.

Progressive weapons are built along logical patterns. A dagger, for instance, may transform into a spear, its blade retaining shape while its hilt elongates into a polearm’s haft. A steel club may suddenly produce spikes from hidden panels to become a morningstar, or it may slim down and lengthen to become a quarterstaff. A seemingly simple throwing axe tucked into a belt or bandolier, its nature betrayed by its gleaming metal handle, can, at the flick of a switch in its master’s hand, grow into a fearsome battle axe, then grow further still into a two-handed head-taker.

Progressive weapons, for all their versatility, are not without their drawbacks. They require charges from an internal clockwork battery in order to progress from one form to another, as the necessary tensions and fine workings are at once too delicate and too demanding to work by hand. They are also somewhat fragile–an errant blow can jam the mechanism and lock the weapon in its current form until it can be repaired. Additionally, they are considerably expensive, requiring the attentions of both a master weaponsmith and a master clockworker in their creation. Progressive weapons are difficult to enchant, with the collapsing handles and shifting plates making it difficult to trace paths between runes. Finally, the weapons themselves take some getting used to–it’s not uncommon for careless owners of progressive blades to lose a finger or suffer a scar or three before they’ve mastered the appropriate motions to keep themselves safe from expanding edges and points.

Progressive Weapons

By expending 1 charge from its internal clockwork battery as a free action, the wielder of a progressive weapon can change it into any one of its available forms. If the wielder changes the weapon into a form that requires two hands and doesn’t have two hands free, then the weapon is still in hand but not considered readied until a ready action is taken.

SP CostStunt
2Progressive Strike: As part of your strike, you shift your weapon's form, catching your enemy off guard. Roll damage for both forms and pick the higher of the two.
3Progressive Mayhem: Your attack triggers the mechanism of your enemy's progressive melee or thrown weapon, shifting it to another form (randomly chosen if it has more than two). Your enemy must succeed at a TN 11 Dexterity (Legerdemain) test or suffer the weapon's damage, unmodified by Strength, and 1 charge is drained from the weapon's internal clockwork battery.
3Jam Mechanism: You jam the mechanism of your opponent's progressive weapon, leaving it stuck in its current form until it can be repaired. This is a TN 13 Cunning (Clockwork) test to be performed outside of combat.

Notes:┬áMentions of “clockwork batteries” refer to the clockwork gadgetry system, the core of which is the subject for another article, another day.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 at 8:20 pm and is filed under AGE System, Frontiers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One comment


Two-Handed Head-Taker is the name of my Alice Cooper tribute band.

July 27th, 2011 at 8:38 am

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