Friday, January 4, 2013

Atomic Dawn: The Guild of Engineers

"Hey look, buddy, I'm an Engineer. That means I solve problems. Not problems like 'what is beauty?', because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy. I solve practical problems." -The Engineer, Team Fortress 2
Alias: Gearheads, Grease Monkey, Builders Guild, The Guild, Mechnicians
Group Goals and Beliefs: The Guild of Engineers is an organization of architects, mechanics, chemists and related technicians dedicated to applying the scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity of the ancients to develop solutions for the technical, social and economic problems found in the post apocalyptic world of Atomic Dawn. Guild Engineers have a pseudo-religious adherence to The Applied Sciences, which are taught to them through apprenticeships from an early age. This makes them into human repositories of ancient knowledge, and among the most valuable (but often irritating) people to have around.
The Guild is comprised primarily of Pure Humans, though a large number of Mutant Humans can also be found as members. Androids are rarely Guild Engineers as the higher ups of the Guild see them as machines rather than people.
Identifiers: All Guild Engineers have the symbol of their Guild tattooed somewhere on their person, typically the arm or forehead. As they are brought up to be very serious about technology and caring little for personal appearance. Guild Engineers wear serviceable clothing like coats, robes and tool belts with little ornamentation. Men and women keep their hair short or even shaven altogether.
Guildhalls are always solidly built and well-lit, utilizing the best materials and innovations available in the region. These buildings are almost always austere, with few adornments that are not primarily practical in nature. These Guildhalls always have significant areas functioning as labs, workshops, libraries and classrooms, with close dormitories for those Mechnicians who live at the Guildhall.
Group History: The Guild grew out of the efforts of engineers who survived the Apocalypse and tried to hold on to the sciences of the ancients. To maintain or even rediscover and reinvent the ancient devices of the past requires a great deal of dedication and study, and cannot be “figured out” for very long before it is lost forever.
Game Information: Guild Engineers are a valuable resource in any land, as these serious men and women can transform a shabby town into a clean and efficient society in a short period of time. However they are not the easiest people to like as a whole, being stern and extremely serious people. Guild Engineers have an almost monastic feel, living separate lives from their neighbors and keeping to their studies.
Within the ranks of the Guild of Engineers are the Four Branches or Four Schools, one of which a Engineer must belong. All technology rolls regarding this specialty gain a +20% to identify, use and repair the device. A list of Guild Specialties. These branches are;
Chemical: Chemical Engineers convert raw materials into more useful or valuable forms. In the era of the Atomic Dawn, Chemical Engineers contribute to the "chemical" industries such as ore testing and refining, metalworking, production of gunpowder, ink, dyes, paints, cosmetics, leather tanning, ceramics, glass manufacture, preparation of extracts, liquors, and so on.
Civil: Civil Engineers comprise the design, construction, and maintenance of permanent structures such as buildings, roads, mines, bridges and the like. Civil Engineers are masters at salvage and related waste management, finding new and better ways to get the most use out of damaged or broken devices, structures and systems.
Electrical: Electrical Engineers are dedicated to the study and application of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism. Electrical Engineers also work with computers (hardware and software), telecommunication and robots.
Mechanical: Mechanical Engineers comprises the design, analysis and usage of heat and mechanical power for the operation of machines and mechanical systems. Mechanical Engineers are those who they study, repair and build all manner of mechanical marvels and vehicles.

Engineers in Mutant Future
The Guild of Engineers is an excellent source of NPC's or PC's who are particularly tech-savvy, but do not have all of the answers. Engineers are an excellent source of assorted technology and specialized knowledge. In my home campaign of Atomic Dawn, the Engineers operate salvage and gadgeteering shops, brew ethanol, make gunpowder and supply a wide range of minor gizmos. So they are an excellent source of adventure, as their need for exotic materials, information, and salvage brings them to hire adventurers.
Engineers can also be an excellent source of more exotic technology such as airships, cybernetics or the like. Mutant Lords are urged to come up with all manner of wild mechanical marvels that might be created by Engineers. I suggest the following special items:

Airship (Blimp)

These are small, semi-rigid airships with an enclosed gondola, multiple internal balloonets and a steering system. These vessels are 100 feet long and 35 feet in diameter. Aiships are powered by ethanol engines, though some advanced models make use of solar cells or more exotic power sources. Some variations of these vessels are made with advanced materials for the balloon, and additional devices.
Though expensive to make and fuel, an Airship is an excellent way to get around the turbulent post-apocalyptic world of Atomic Dawn. These vessels have sealed gondolas, and so are able to fly as high as 9000 feet, well above the limit of most flying mutants.
Required Crew: 2
Top Speed: 55 mph
Cargo: 2000 lbs
Structural Hit Points: Balloon 20 Gondola 40
Armor: Balloon 6 Gondola 4
Weapons: None initially

Modeled after modern day mountain bikes, these vehicles allow a character to travel over rough terrain and at considerable speed. These bicycles have solid rubber tires, have a single speed, and are heavier than modern version, but more durable. Bycycles cost 10 gp and allow a character to double his or her movement rate over more-or-less level ground. DEX checks are required to handle rough terrain.

With the many harmful mutations and sources of injury running rampant across the Mutant Future, the need for corrective and enhancing cybernetics is great. Still, the process of implanting cyberware is dangerous and daunting, and will be expensive, often done in trade for services.
For Cybernetics Rules, I recommend the Apocalypse Tech Report from The Savage Afterworld. Other systems are out there, but so-far I have found this to be the most balanced.
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I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light
-- Henry Vaughan