- Standard Racial Traits
- Traits for Gearforged
- Feats for Gearforged
- Making a Gearforged
- Gearforged Components
All gearforged were once other creatures, now inhabiting standardized bodies with cylinders, springs, and articulated joints of varying quality. Each is made of iron, brass, and steel and as distinctive in appearance as other people differ by their hair and eyes. The gearforged are thinking creatures and can serve as city watchmen and soldiers. Gearforged have free will that separates them from other mechanical devices, which are no more than simple servants responsive to orders and capable of little more than a limited amount of memorization.
Each is well-balanced mechanisms to support thought and action. Each such body is the safe harbor of a soul that once lived in flesh. Once created, a gearforged can in theory live forever, though in practice most wind down or are destroyed by the ravages of time and the difficulty of surviving as a well-crafted machine.
Physical Description Without exception, the gearforged are shaped as humanoids, and the vast majority of those are one of two styles: roughly human-sized, with articulated joints, hands, feet, and magical eyes; or a rather stouter version made by the dwarves. Minotaur gearforged are rare but not entirely unknown. A very few gearforged are built to even smaller sizes, believed to be intended for kobold souls, but these are subject to frequent failure and even the extinction of the souls they carry. The core fact of all gearforged is that they were once something else, and now they are somewhat standardized with cylinders, springs, and articulated joints of varying quality. Each is made as distinctive in appearance as any other people are distinctive in their hair and eyes, but the basic framework is always humanoid. This is what separates them from the devices, which are merely servants responsive to orders and capable of little more than a limited amount of memorization. Gearforged are thinking, free-willed creatures. Their mechanisms are more than mechanical, of course, because all gearforged are machines with souls. Their arms and legs depend on actuators powered by magical springs. Their minds depend on memory gears, transverse cognition gearing, and the marvel of a soul gem connected directly to a maze of silver and mithral, steam, spark, and magical conduits. These elements are all held in a shell of iron, brass, and steel, and the bulk of the things is quite remarkable: A large and heavily armored gearforged can weigh 400 pounds, as its armor is often built in.
Society Gearforged do not have a separate society of their own; instead, they insinuate themselves into existing societies as best they can. Having metal bodies and longer lifespans than most alienates them to some extent.
Relations Gearforged are generally respected individuals in the realms they hail from. They get along well with members of their base race, but treat other races as would their base race. Most try to maintain good relations with dwarves and kobolds, as they rely on these crafters to keep them running.
Alignment and Religion Gearforged may be of any alignment. They may also pay homage to the deities worshiped by their base race.
Adventurers Many gearforged embark on adventures out of boredom, their lives having been extended past their race’s normal lifespan. Others seek to experience the world around them fully, deciding to see its awesome all because they can. Others are merely wanderers in search of places to call home.
Names Gearforged names favor the character’s original race.
- Ability Score Modifiers Gearforged gain a +2 racial bonus to any one ability score. Their makers pride themselves on fitting the body to the needs of the soul. (Editor’s Note: Ability score modifiers were missing from the source material but were noted on the Paizo forums here.)
- Size: Medium: Most PC gearforged are Medium creatures, and have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size. Larger or smaller gearforged received bonuses and penalties appropriate to their size.
- Base Speed: Gearforged base land speed is 30 feet.
- Type: Construct. As constructs, gearforged have no Constitution scores and are immune to disease, poison, magical sleep effects, enchantment effects, paralysis, and effects that require a Fortitude save (unless those effects can also affect objects). They cannot become fatigued or exhausted. Gearforged do not need to eat, sleep, or breathe. As living creatures, though, they do not have any other immunities common to constructs. Gearforged cannot heal damage on their own. Cure spells, wands, and potions heal gearforged for the minimum amount per charge or dose, and the psionic repair damage power works normally. The mending spell heals 1 point of damage for a gearforged, while make whole heals 2d8 points of damage +1 per caster level (maximum +10). Rather than sleep, gearforged must rewind their springs, repair gears, and oil and clean their parts each day for a four-hour period to ensure normal functioning. They are fully aware during this period, but any interruption in their routine during these four hours forces them to start again from the beginning. A gearforged can function a number of days equal to his character level without performing this maintenance, but each day without such a repair period applies a cumulative –2 penalty on all attack and damage rolls, saving throws, and skill checks. If a gearforged neglects his repair period a number of days equal to his character level, he becomes immobile and helpless until repaired by someone else. One four-hour repair period eliminates all accumulated penalties.
- Languages: A gearforged begins play speaking Common and his base race’s language. A gearforged with a high Intelligence score can choose from the following: Draconic and Dwarven, as well as the bonus languages available to his base race.
OTHER RACIAL TRAITS
- Skills: Gearforged gain a +2 racial bonus on Craft (clockwork) and Intimidate checks; gearforged intimately understand how their own race works and can apply that knowledge elsewhere, while most living creatures find gearforged a little unsettling.
- Weapon Familiarity: Gearforged are proficient with the weapons of their base class and race. They are also proficient with any weapon attachments they may have.
Your crafters made your body more resilient than normal.
Benefit(s): You gain a +1 bonus to AC.
Your body has a secret compartment and you can discretely access it.
You are a scholar of mechanical devices.
To know your own structure is to know that of the enemy, or at least that of some of them.
Benefit(s): You gain a +2 bonus on your Knowledge (arcana) checks related to constructs, and this skill is a class skill for you. You also gain a +1 bonus on your melee and ranged attacks made against constructs.
Special: These bonuses stack with the favored enemy class feature of the ranger.
Your soul-link to your gearforged chassis is so strong it allows you to interact with magics and effects or take feats as if you were still a member of your original race.
Benefit(s): You retain the racial traits of a human along with your gearforged traits.
Your memory gears can draw on distant memories of a flesh-and-blood life long past.
Special: You can take this feat multiple times. Each time you take this feat, it applies to four new skills having Intelligence as their key ability.
Your entire body is a unique objet d’art thanks to acid etchings, gilding patterns, welding techniques, or other features.
Benefit(s): You gain a +1 bonus to Charisma-based skills.
Special: You can take this feat only once and must invest at least 2,500 gp to enhance your whole appearance.
You see all the gears and mechanisms of the world as so many challenges.
Benefit(s): You gain a +2 bonus on two of the following skills, chosen in advance: Craft (locks), Craft (traps; mechanical only), Disable Device, Knowledge (engineering), Profession (architect), Profession (engineer), and Profession (siege engineer) checks.
Special: You can gain Mechanical Universe multiple times. Each time you take the feat, it applies to two different skills from the list above.
Your body constantly exudes an alchemical oil that acts as an anti-corrosive.
Prerequisite(s): Gearforged, must be taken at 1st level as gearforged.
Benefit(s): You gain DR 5/acid and a +2 circumstance bonus on your Escape Artist checks. If you are targeted by a rust monster’s antennae or a rusting grasp spell, the damage of the attack is reduced by 1d6 hit points.
Your diligence when it comes to daily maintenance pays off.
Benefit(s): You gain a number of temporary hit points equal to your level after an uninterrupted daily repair period. You can also use a Knowledge (engineering) check in place of a Heal check when you try to repair yourself or another gearforged.
The most important moment for many gearforged is the moment of their remaking when they leave their flesh body behind and enter their new, clockwork body of brass and steel. One can spend a fortune on these new bodies or simply scrape together something that will work—though only barely—if they are aging or deathly ill. The details don’t matter a great deal, since the iron body can be rebuilt.
Without exception, the gearforged are shaped like humanoids, and the vast majority appears in one of two styles: roughly human-sized, with articulated joints, hands, feet, and magical eyes; or a stouter version made by the dwarves. These dwarf-like gearforged are accepted as receptacles for dwarf souls. Minotaur gearforged are rare but not entirely unknown. A few gearforged are built in even smaller sizes, intended for kobold souls, but these are subject to frequent failure and even the extinction of the souls they carry.
Favored Class: Fighter.
Gearforged mechanisms are more than mechanical, because all gearforged are machines with a soul. Their arms and legs depend on actuators powered by magically wound springs. Their minds depend on memory gears, transverse cognition gearing, and the marvel of a soul gem connected directly to a maze of silver and mithral steam, spark, and magical conduits. These elements are all held in a shell of iron, brass, and steel, and the bulk of the things is remarkable. A large and heavily armored gearforged can weigh 400 pounds, since its armor is built in.
The range of gearforged anatomy in all its variants is remarkable, but all gearforged share some common parts.
Infinisprings provide energy over long periods, effectively acting as the power sources for most of the gearforged’s limbs and fingers. A broken infinispring results in the loss of function in that digit or limb.
The mind of a gearforged creature is as sharp as that of any flesh-and-blood soul, but it is more portable. The animating, vital principle of a gearforged—its will, its personality, and its mind—are retained in one or (for an extra 8,000 gp) two soul gems. These are the elements that retain an individual’s spirit or soul, and their destruction means the death of that gearforged. It can be raised from the dead as a member of its original race.
Separate from the soul gems are a gearforged’s memory gears. These are delicate constructions: scroll-like ribbons pierced with thousands of pin-sized holes, and others wound about with tiny enchantments of great complexity. The memory of a gearforged for all the days after its creation lives in the memory gears; older gearforged have many such gears, and the material component for the magic to create them requires one new gear/two levels attained or every 10 years of life. Installing one requires one day’s work and 2,000 gp.
Memory gears can be taken from a dead gearforged and read by others. This is a lengthy process and viewed with some alarm by most gearforged, since it is akin to peering into the most private details of a creature’s life.
Installing an existing, used memory gear in a new gearforged requires at least one week for the recipient to remember and understand the results. The process is dangerous, requiring a Fortitude save (DC 10 + one-half level of dead gearforged + Cha modifier of dead gearforged) to succeed.
Midgard: The Player’s Guide To The Crossroads, Copyright 2012, Open Design LLC. Developer: Christina Stiles. All rights reserved.