Parent Pages: Rules

The version of this page for the GM is here.


This campaign setting is mostly TL4. The notable exceptions are the Modrons, the Advanced Goblins and the Gnomes other than Forest Gnomes.


The Modrons use TL4 technology most of the time, but they also have access to TL5 steam technology and TL4+1 clockwork technology. They often use their smallest drones as a power source, so fuel won't be an issue. The big difference in Modron technology is their magi-tech devices. They routinely employ a mixture of magic and technology, often at scales that shock and amaze. How this is done is a mystery, since non-rogue Modrons normally cannot be wizards.

The real beauty of their engineering efforts is the way they work together so well. They're so organized that they can accomplish much larger projects than other races. Adding more workers almost always directly reduces the time required to finish. So far, they've never failed to complete a contracted engineering project on time.

Advanced Goblins

Advanced Goblins have access to TL 5 technology and TL4+1 clockwork, but it is not commonly available on the market, because they live so far underground. They often use enchanted firearms!

Follow the Tiny Tools rule (see p. DF3:8) for Goblin-made equipment. Apply the damage penalty per die for firearms and explosives.

Items built to be sold will suddenly fall apart if used against Goblins; their enchanters are paranoid, after all. This will allow, at most, one shot with a firearm before it falls to pieces, whereas explosives will fail to detonate. Other devices are left to GM discretion as to when and how they fail. However, it should be noted that this is a magical effect: it won't work in a No Mana Area. This effect is placed using the Goblin Safety Recognizer spell or variations thereof.

Goblin firearms are available for sale on Medusa Island. They cost at least twice the normal price (the gunsmiths love to bargain!) and will be sized for human hands.

Tinkers and High Flyers

The Tinkers and High Flyers, on the other hand, have access to TL6 technology. However, their TL5 and TL6 devices are somewhat unreliable and dangerous. Prototypes doubly so and almost everything is a prototype.

With each use, roll 3d on the following table:

Roll Effect
3-12 Device functions properly for one use.
13-14 Device functions properly for one use, but does something random and weird.
15-16 Device fails, requiring repairs before it may be used again.
17-18 Device explodes for 1d damage times it's Size Modifier, as per Explosion 1 (p. B104), minimum 1d. Device stops working and may be repaired as above. Explosives get this in addition to their normal damage. This may cause shaped-charge explosives intended for mining and other precision work to do too much damage.

The GM has final say on what one use is. I suggest that one second is fine for weapons and other devices that function fairly instantly. Vehicles should check once an hour under difficult circumstances (rough terrain or loaded beyond normal capacity) and once a day otherwise. Most smaller items should check once a minute. Weapons mounted in vehicles should check separately from the vehicle, but vehicle malfunctions may affect them. The GM chooses exactly when the devices fail and/or explode. They have a nasty tendency to fail when they're needed most. I suggest the GM make these rolls in secret for the larger devices with longer running times.

Gnomes other than Forest Gnomes may purchase their high-TL items for double (TL5) or quadruple (TL6) the usual price. Everyone else must pay at least double this, as the Tinkers trade with surface folk through the Dwarves of Iron Hall, who mark the price up to make a profit.

Finished products with no moving parts, such as clothing and melee weapons, do not need to use the malfunction table. Flawed items of this type produced on an assembly line (the result of rolling 13-14 for the manufacturing process) may be purchased for 20% off the usual price, but they always have some kind of permanent defect, often simply a matter of coloration.

The High Flyers do not sell high-TL items to anyone. They do make them for their own purposes, however.

Please note that Gnomes usually build their weapons scaled for human hands. This is because humans are their biggest source of customers. They still use them, however, according to the rules for Equipment by Size Modifier. If they build smaller weapons, follow the Tiny Tools rule (see p. DF3:8). Apply the damage penalty per die for firearms and explosives.


Firearms are available, but the TL4 examples aren't all that useful for more than one shot per battle. Firearms up to TL6 are available from the Tinkers, but few actually purchase them due to the inherent unreliability and the expense. TL 5 Goblin firearms are also available, with enchanted versions being available from time to time.

Goblin-made firearms are more highly sought after than their Gnomish equivalents, due to the higher reliability.

Large gnomish vehicles known as tanks are available, but terribly expensive. So much, in fact, that almost no one buys them.

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