June 23, 2017

Vect

Race
Comments from the Finger: Dark Matter is on the horizon -- it might just be the coolest thing we've ever written. This race, in particular, is one of our favorites: the Vect are a race of living constructs; our answer to the warforged.
     And yes, Mr. Martin Kirby, the artist that did this piece for us, is a literal wizard with a brush, thanks for asking.

Vect
Very gradually, by degrees, pale blue hues invade the quiet of night, and Hammerer knows that only a few hours remain until dawn. Throughout the afternoon, evening, and night, he has meticulously inspected his tools, a wide array of mallets, sledges, and, of course, hammers, cleaning them, performing repairs, and organizing them by size and by color, only powering down for a few hours in the middle of the night.
     Through the walls of his workshop, Hammerer can see the heat signatures of people waking up and preparing breakfast; he performs a similar ritual, polishing his chassis and running diagnostics for the day ahead. Mentally, he has a checklist of duties and chores before he begins the day’s work.

     Finally, the clocks strike seven, and Hammerer leaves his home, a room barely ten feet square, and heads out into the town. Somewhere in the market, a child cries for his mother to buy him a toy, and Hammerer puzzles at this behavior; work, after all, is far more interesting than frivolity.
 - A typical morning for Hammerer, a vect craftsman

Living constructs designed by dwarves as laborers, the vect are now free to search for meaning across the width of the 'verse.

Evolved Golems
The vect were preceded by unthinking golems of various designs but, though they are still constructed rather than born, they are now fully living beings. Underneath their armored exteriors lies an organically-influenced anatomy, with a circulatory system crafted from leather piping and a network of magic nerves. At the core of each vect unit is an everlasting construct core, tinged with the influence of the Spark that awoke them.
     Vect bodies are humanoid in shape, but unmistakably mechanical, with large air intakes, protective shoulderplates, toothless jaws, and glowing mechanical eyes. Though each of the Foundries produces its vect in slightly unique proportions, the general shape is always the same, and vect can normally scavenge spare parts from the deceased if they are ever grievously injured. In fact, many vect choose to install specially-designed embedded components to improve their bodies, up to and including replacing limbs with appropriate tools. If a vect unit is preparing for a dangerous journey, their preparation will likely include purchasing embedded components as replacement parts.
     Vect can work tirelessly and never need to sleep, instead entering a dreamless period of inactivation each day. Most vect create endless lists of goals and chores, taking comfort in the sequence and monotony of tasks to break up the endless march of days, weeks, and months. It is not uncommon to see a vect standing watch over his party, sharpening tools and repairing armor while the others sleep.

Mechanical Minds
Although vect units experience the same fear, anger, pain, loss, and other emotions that humanoids do, their expression of them is muted. Neither do their mechanical 
faces and harsh, metallic voices endear themselves, driving a wedge between vect and most other living things. Many vect, therefore, seek refuge in logical thinking. Some become emotionally distant and lack introspection, whereas others plumb the philosophies of existence and consider what it means to be alive. These become the two extremes, between vect who seek to embrace their status as living things, and those who wish to banish all within themselves that is not construct. The vast majority of vect exist between these extremes.
     Vect are most comfortable existing within a small group of some kind, as long as it is dedicated to a purpose. Temples, adventuring parties, and voyages of exploration are deeply attractive to the vect.

Search for Meaning
All vect are keenly aware that they were once nonliving material which suddenly came to be fully-formed as a living thing. And while there is no doubt that vect are alive, the destination of their souls upon death is another matter entirely. The philosophical implications of this are not lost on them, and the questions of existence echo loudly inside some vect. 
     Though the Foundries are intelligent beyond measure, they are wordless in their duties, and ascribe no grand meaning to their creations.
     Some vect find comfort in faith, normally worshipping gods of arcana, smiths, and constructs. Others seek permanent distraction in quests and chores. Others still look to the 'verse for answers, and seek meaning through understanding.

Vect Names
The original vect were divided into working groups and given numbers by their dwarven keepers; nothing more was necessary. Now, however, all vect choose their own names, usually designations reflecting some function or purpose, though some vect choose to be identified by their serial number, or a nickname given to them by others.
     Vect Names. 176, Armory, Bolts, Clunk, Crusher, Glitch, Hammerer, Keeper, Lifter, Null, Phong, Scarce, Three-Four-Three, Titan, Unit Seventeen, Watcher

Vect Traits
Your mechanical body is driven by an inexhaustible construct core, and has the following traits:
     Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2.
     Reconfigurable Ability Score Increase. One ability score of your choice increases by 1 and you can change this selection whenever you finish a long rest. You can't increase Constitution using this trait and you can't increase any ability score above 20.
     Age. With the proper replacement parts and activities to occupy yourself, you can conceivably exist indefinitely. The vect are known to degrade and lose their sanity, however, if they live too long without an explicit purpose. It is not known if this insanity visits all vect at old ages, or just those whose resolve wavers. 
     Alignment. Vect possess mechanical minds, which find logic comforting. Generally, vect are lawful.
     Size. As constructs built by massive forges, the vect could conceivably be perfectly uniform, like the golems that preceded them. However, the Foundries are either inherently flawed, or otherwise have a fondness for making diverse vect units, for each created vect is in some way unique. Vect units stand between 5 and 7 feet tall and average about 150 to 300 pounds. Your size is Medium.
     Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
     Thermal Vision. You can use a bonus action on your turn to switch from your normal vision to heat-detecting thermal vision or back again. Your thermal vision can see 30 feet through darkness and heavily obscured conditions, but you are blind beyond this radius. You can't discern color with your thermal vision, nor can you see through illusions or magical darkness. This vision penetrates most materials, but is blocked by any one-inch barrier.
     Construct Anatomy. Even though you were constructed, you are a living creature. You are immune to nonmagical diseases. You do not need to eat or breathe, but you can ingest food and drink if you wish.
     You have advantage on saving throws you make against exhaustion.
     Instead of sleeping, you enter an inactive state for 4 hours each day. You do not dream in this state; you are fully aware of your surroundings and notice approaching enemies and other events as normal. You can still be placed into a torpor by sleep-inducing magic.
     Inflexible Mind. Your mechanical mind is inherently logical, and is not easily swayed. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed.
     Embedded Armor. You can embed special armor plating directly onto your metal body. Installing or uninstalling this embedded armor requires 1 hour of work, and occupies the same place on your body as armor normally would; you can't wear conventional armor while you have embedded armor installed. This armor also takes the External slot for your vect components.
     At 1st level, you choose one of the following types of embedded armor, though you can install other types if you acquire them in the world.
Velocity Plating. Your movement speed increases by 5 feet and your jump distance increases by 5 feet.
Composite Plating. Your Armor Class equals 12 + your Dexterity modifier. 
Juggernaut Plating. Your Armor Class equals 16. You can only install this embedded armor if you are proficient with heavy armor.
     Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common.


Changelog: 6/24/17: Thermal Vision: Rewritten
Construct Resilience: Removed
Construct Anatomy: You have advantage on saving throws against being exhausted
Embedded Armor: Composite Plating: Reduced to 12 + Dex

37 comments:

  1. This is amazing! Is your dark matter theme going to be sci fi then?

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    1. It's a mixture of sci-fi and science fantasy. I'm not overly familiar with Spelljammer, but my understanding is that Dark Matter leans more into the sci-fi side than that.

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    2. Dark Matter still has magic - wizards, warlocks, and clerics are still doing their thing - but it's also very, very sci-fi.

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    3. Can't wait to see it guys, your stuff is always great!

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    4. Toa, If I had to distill Dark Matter down to a sentence, I would say "Any sufficiently advanced Magic is indistinguishable from technology."

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    5. Ooooh! That's a Larry Niven quote! That makes me wanna play in Dark Matter even more.

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    6. Its actually a misquote, probably an intentional one.

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  2. Awesome. Like, REALLY awesome.

    Kinda reminds me of the Talos Principle.

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  3. I have a friend whos definitely going to be intrested.

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  4. Just so you all know, the Dark Matter book will also include complete rules for upgrading your vect character with new components!

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    1. YEAH!!!

      Will it be one of your paid for expansions?

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    2. Yes, this is a Patreon book, like Weird West. Hopefully it'll appear in the store soon, but the initial release will be via Patreon.

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  5. If Kirby is the wizard, does that make you all his apprentices?

    Love the art. Can't wait to see the rest. Will we be getting an art preview on Patreon like we did for Evil Archetypes?

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    1. There's some great art coming in this book, and I'll try to get an art preview thing out in the next few days. I used to do that more often before we started doing monthly polls; nowadays, it's a little weirder to schedule on my end.

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    2. No worries we will see it eventually anyway. Cocnentrate on the book itself. We can wait for the art.

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  6. Even without upgrade stuff... These feel WAY better than the UA warforged. They really dropped the ball on those guys...

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    1. It's a huge relief that people are digging this race. The warforged were always my favorite race, by far, and it's going to be extremely fun to play with our own version in our own setting, all under the OGL.

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    2. And believe me, we debated for a LONG time over what direction we were taking these guys before the final form came out.

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    3. If we were in the same room, it would have been a bloody bare-knuckle brawl. We (well, mostly I) completely scrapped out two _whole_ versions of this race before we landed on the Vect.

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    4. Not to mention all the OTHER stuff we nearly killed each other over for the rest of the book...

      Seriously, people, if you could see the chat logs, you'd fear for us.

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    5. It's true, I have to log out and skip over some of the conversations, just for my own sanity.

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  7. So did you leave out the Component Slots on purpose or did you forget them?

    Also I just saw the new Transformers and this instantly made me think of the new butler transformer the movie introduces. I'm a little sad that Bender wasn't a sample name though I can understand why.

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    1. The vect components are going to be in the Dark Matter book; I didn't include them in the race itself to simplify and streamline things a bit.

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  8. I really like this version, even more than my own write up on warforged. Can't wait to see the components!

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  9. This is a decent start, but Thermal Vision needs to go. It's ridiculously OP, to the point where I don't see anyone allowing it. It's almost True Sight as a bonus action. That itself makes it too much. Far too much, to the point where I'd laugh at someone if they brought this to my table.

    Construct Resilience means you can be a Berserker Barbarian and Frenzy with no penalty. To outright negate the biggest drawback of something is an issue.

    Construct Anatomy and Inflexible Mind are fine.

    Juggernaught is fine, but Composite is where I have a bit of an issue. Innate Mage Armor on any class you want can be troublesome. I'm not saying its outright bad, but on any non-Dragon Sorc, its free Mage Armor. On a class designed with so few spells known, that can be an issue. On any Light Armor class, its almost free +1 Armor to start the game.

    Bottom line: This needs some work. It really does. I've lurked here on MFoV for awhile, I've seen some things which are pretty damn great. And I've seen some things that were... To be blunt, things that I'd never allow. As it stands, this is closer to the latter.

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    1. Thermal vision is going to be adjusted to meet proper expectations.

      Construct resilience is getting rolled into Construct anatomy, and is going to be changed to be advantage on saves against exhaustion, but I will make a point: It only negates the effects of 1 level of exhaustion. You can frenzy for free, 1/long rest, and that is by no means game breaking.

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    2. The changes you stated would bring it down to earth quite a bit. I'm looking forward to seeing a revised version.

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    3. You should be able to see them now -- lemme know what you think!

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  10. Am I the only one who thinks Thermal Vision (TV from here on out) is completely OP? It's only slightly less powerful than True Sight, a 6TH LEVEL spell. This needs to be toned way down before you release the full book. And if every race has something as good as TV, than y'all're writing some serious power creep into the game.

    What I suggest: I'd make it a limited duration: no more than 1 minute, once per long rest. And that's being very generous. I feel like this ability should be scrapped all together and replaced with darkvision. Maybe TV could be one of the components that you talk about. It would need a steep cost attached to it...like 10,000gp, but I would never in 1,000,000 years - nor would any sane DM - allow TV into my game as currently written.

    Listen to me, or hate me, that's the long and short of it. IF you choose to ignore your reader commentary you will only alienate your readership and lose credibility as a reliable source of hombrew.

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    1. So this was something that we had some long debates about -- in fat, we have a debate going on right this second -- and we'll definitely rework this feature. This root of this problem is my fault: I introduced the clause about seeing creatures as a nerf, when in fact, it makes this ability much, much more powerful.

      I _do_ however, want to keep it in the core vect kit, once it's been modified to be more balanced for the level. We're working on it. Keep posted for that changelog.

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    2. Also, I don't want y'all to think I hate the vect. Quite the opposite. I want to play one, and that's why I don't want them to be OP. I want them to be acceptable to every table. Spread the Vect love! :D

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    3. Alright, let me know what you think about thermal vision now!

      (Also, you should be aware that there's a racial feat in the book that will buff it with regards to seeing magical creatures and the like. If it seems conspicuous that this version is missing that, it's because it's been migrated to the feat.)

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    4. Hail Holy Vecna it's so much better now! I would definitely allow this at my table now.

      Also, I just wanna say: fluff-wise, I find this thematically more engaging than any iteration of the warforged. From any edition, not just the pitiful 5e version.

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  11. a quick question, would the restriction on armor while having the embedded armor count against activating the magic armor bestowed on warlocks under The Enhanced patron?

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  12. Hi, I have a question can Vect get Lycanthropy?

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    1. I believe that lycanthropy counts as a magical disease, meaning that vect can be infected with it.

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    2. Yes, abosoluetly.

      *cue Beast Wars into music*

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