Saturday 1 April 2023

Machine Gun Fire Is, Of Course, Useless (Glog Class: Apparatus)

 I kept writing drafts of Aclas glog classes and thinking - something’s up with this? What’s up with this?

I still don’t know, but making it an 8-Template Class seems to have fixed it. 

This is something of an exercise of pushing the upper boundaries of GLOG Crunch. I’m not sure if the exercise has been worthwhile or not. 

This class owes a debt to deus ex parabola’s Armature, Archon’s Court’s Hardsuit Operator and the Dredge from Black Reliquary, a mod for a video game only tangentially related to pen and paper rpgs.

Additional thanks to Archon’s Court for proofreading and ideas.  

The soul echoes the shape of the body. Light flows from it out through the nerves to the flesh of the extremities. Magically powered prosthetics work by following along that echo - cladding the phantom limb in steel. 

30 years ago, or so, it was discovered that one could operate a large, mechanical body by the same principle - so long as it’s shaped roughly like the pilot. So began the era of Vis Powered Armour. 

The Apparatus offers every advantage of the war-construct, without needing to train up a complicated and expensive Azoth-brain over years. 

The machine is the Apparatus - the pilot, the Apparat. 

In slang, they’re called Cans. Armies and police forces the world over are adopting them enthusiastically, but none so much as the Iskans, famous for their armoured police units. 


Starting Items: One (1) set of Vis-Powered Armour, a single shot light handgun, discharge papers from whatever military or police force gave you the Apparatus (possibly unsigned), and two pieces of Apparat’s Gear (see end of post). 

Starting Skills: Engineering and one other of your choice. 

A - Attuned Armour, Modern Fuel, 2 Devices

B - Displacement, +1 Device

C - Defiance, +1 Device 

D - Jury-Rig, +1 Device 

E - Secret Compartments  +1 Device 

F - Denial, +1 Device 

G - Ancient Fuel, +1 Device 

H - Titan, +1 Device 

Attuned Armour

Your armour is about one and a half times your height - it’s not some huge building-sized machine. 

Your armour is attuned to you - it is yours, it is an extension of your body. Another person couldn’t pilot it any more than they could move your arm. 

You can climb in and out of the Armour over a full round. Wearing your armour in public spaces is just as illegal as driving an armoured vehicle in public spaces. You will get shit from people. 

In your armour, you are slow. You move at walking speed, and no faster, unless you are burning Fuel (see below). 

While in your armour, you are considered to have 24 Strength (or equivalent).
You also have 16AC, bulletproof (guns ignore armour unless it is bulletproof).
The limbs of your armour are heavy weapons. 

You have the same amount of Inventory Slots, because you instead have to store all that shit in cargo-spaces somewhere in your Armour. 

While armoured, you have DR4 against any damage that doesn’t bypass your armour (such as poison gas, extreme heat or psychic attacks) or punch through it (like anti-construct rifles, high explosives and lightning). 

You and your armour have separate HP.
Your armour has 16HP as a base, and it almost never improves.
Damage that bypasses your armour’s DR does damage to you instead of to your armour. 

Damage to your armour is not healed on its own - you need a night’s work and access to a workshop to repair 1 of your armour’s HP. 

If your armour’s HP hits zero, your armour is wrecked, it becomes immobile and non-functional, and you are trapped in it, wherever it happens to be. Wrecked armour requires a week of repair to become functional again. 

While in armour, you weigh a ridiculous amount. Fear deep water. You cannot jump. You cannot walk backwards. You cannot turn to look back over your shoulder or directly upwards. Your peripheral vision is narrower than normal.  

Modern Fuel

Your Armour can move (enough to lumber around, carry things, and punch) under the power of your soul-echo, but to do anything else, it requires Fuel, specifically, Vis.


To take an action that isn’t just moving your armour, spend 1 Fuel. Firing a gun held by your armour doesn’t cost Fuel (that’s just moving your finger) but triggering a shoulder-mounted rocket-launcher would. 

You have a tank that can store 8 Fuel somewhere in your Apparatus’ silhouette. This is your Fuel Reserve. 

You can burn 1 Fuel to run at human jogging speed for a round. A running Apparatus has a remarkable amount of momentum. Your turning circle when running is poor. 

You can burn any amount of Fuel and get an equal bonus to Hit and Damage for the next melee attack made while in armour. 

1 Canister of Vis (a slot) can be applied as an action, and restores 1 Fuel. 

You can refill overnight to full from the mains in a city connected to the Vis network. 

Retrofitting your apparatus to use something other than Vis is not advised. 


The soul-echo powering your armour needs to be roughly your shape. Bolting too much shit to the armour makes it useless. 

Your armour can support [level + 1] bolted on Devices, as your soul and its echo become more powerful. You can have one instance of a given kind of Device each. 

You start with two devices (and two slots of their requisite ammo, if they require ammo). 

See the bottom of the post for example Devices. 


Timidness fades. You are confident in your motions. 

While armoured, you can sweep ordinary people out of your way with no roll, and no harm to them. Brick walls crumble as you barge through them. You can stop a car in motion by digging your heels in. 

While out of armour, people scramble to get out of your way. You can walk in straight lines through crowds. You radiate visible confidence. You’re hard to ignore. 


Knowing oneself is a form of Enlightenment. 

In and out of armour, you are immune to being shape-shifted, polymorphed, mutated, grown or shrunk against your will. 

Blades, spells and bullets leave you with cool action-hero scars instead of disfigurement. Your armour’s paint is never scraped (unless you want it to be) and when you’re out of it, you’re always turned out and pristine, like the hero of a silent movie (unless you want to be dishevelled, then no force in the world could shevel you). 


You know your apparatus inside out. Many of the lessons you’ve learned can be carried onwards. 

With a slot of appropriate materials (metal, rubber, glass) you can restore 1HP to your armour (or any other machine) with ten minutes’ work. 

Secret Compartments

Your Apparatus complexifies.

You have 4 extra Inventory Slots in your Apparatus that only you can access. 


To deny what one is not, is also a form of Enlightenment. 

You are immune to mind control and charms and can see through illusions. You simply cannot be fooled. You and your armour are too Real. 

You always get saves against spells and magical effects, even when you otherwise wouldn’t. 

Ancient Fuel

Your soul-fire burns bright. You intuit the secrets of Accumulation. You know how to re-energise the lost Vis. 

As long as you have at least 1 Fuel, you can convert your HP into Fuel without needing to spend an action, at a 1:1 ratio. 


The soul blazes brightly. Now even the echo is harder than iron. 

You can burn 1 Fuel to ignore an instance of damage, in a flash of light washing over your Apparatus. Your soul blazes into visibility on your brow when you use this ability. 

1d20 Example Devices

  1. Manhunter Pistol
    A huge single-shot pistol, a scaled-up version of a service firearm. Named for its primary use in combat zones - enemy infantry. 

A heavy gun shaped like an oversized pistol. Fires the same ammunition as heavy rifles, which only costs ¤50 for a box of 20 bullets. You can store two of those boxes in a slot. Can also be loaded with buckshot (dice results of less than 4 are instead 4 when at close range). 


  1. Retractable Steel Blades

One inside each arm. 

Heavy weapons which can be extended to allow your armour to cut and chop. Cost no Fuel to use. 

  1. Gas Filter 

Cloudkill spells dominated the horrific battles at Horn Ridge in the War of the Ruins.

You are immune to cloudkills and other poisonous gases.

  1. Tzoomph
    Athrun is famous for illegal, home-made “spell guns” onomatopoeically called tzows.
    A tzoomph is a very big tzow. 

Fires with a tzoomph at something within 30 feet, dealing 3d6 magical damage with an eye-searing cyan flash and a whipcrack sound. Has a -2 to Hit. Costs 2 Fuel, draining right from the reserves.

  1. Rotating Gun
    Six-barrels spin to avoid frost-buildup from the freezing Vis. Banned by the Treaty of Kelos.
    A massive, louder-than-Hell gun. 10 Ammo fills an Inventory Slot, and costs ¤200 from black market dealers. You can suppress at the cost of 1d4 Ammo, arresting the movement of a creature lest they suffer an automatic hit, and spray at the cost of 1d6 Ammo, hitting everyone in an area with 2d6* damage, save for half.

  2. Flamethrower

A chemical substance is carried in tanks, pressurised, and sprayed over open flames to ignite it. Banned by the Treaty of Kelos.
Pressurising the tanks to spray for a round costs 1 Fuel and 1 Ammo. Anything you spray is lit on fire. If they’re people, they will probably immediately break and try to flee. Creatures can roll INIT to try and avoid being flamed, if they have space to manoeuvre. 4 Ammo for the Flamethrower comes in a steel jerry can, takes up 1 slot, and costs ¤80 from the black market (or somewhere that sells chemicals). 

  1. Angled Plating
    Probably nicked off a war-construct. 

+2DR when in Armour.

  1. Reinforced Chassis
    Strategic pieces of weapons-grade steel, hardwood and rubber patch up the holes in your defences.
    +4 Armour HP.

  2. Dragoncutter
    A hypothetical class of sword above the elephantcutter, itself above the horsecutter. Well - formerly hypothetical.
    Takes up 4 Inventory Slots, is part of your Apparatus with all that implies, and does 2d8 + [MOVE] damage on a swing. Absolutely terrifying. If using the Dragoncutter, you go last in initiative.

  3. Piledriver

A piston, fist-mounted, to really emphasise those punches. Designed to drive in railway spikes and cave in concrete roofs.

Spend 1 Fuel to add 1d8 damage to a successful armoured punch. 

  1. Anti-Construct Rifle
    Designed to punch into Azoth brains and shatter their casings, killing a war-construct in one shot. 

A massive, armour-piercing rifle, with a folding bipod. 10 bullets cost ¤100 and take up a slot. 

  1. Phosphoryllium Spotlights
    The same technology as the streetlights. 

Spend 1 Fuel to produce a forward-facing cone of bright, golden light for 10 minutes.

  1. Zauglass Viewports

This purple glass reacts to thaumoradiation.

While in your armour, you can detect magic.

  1. Winch 

A steel cable with a hook on the end, connected to a motor. 

You can spend 1 Fuel to retract the winch, easily lifting people, and dragging cars from ditches. More difficult hauls may require MOVE checks from your armour. Cannot lift the Apparatus, but can allow it a slightly safer descent. 

  1. Empowered Hydraulics

Running isn’t just about making the legs stronger. The entire Apparatus must work together.
When spending Fuel to run, you can move at about a human’s running speed if moving in a straight line. You can spend Fuel for an equal bonus to Strength checks when in armour. 

  1. Electrogenerator

Forearm-mounted generators spin up, with a whine and a glow. 

You can expend 1 Fuel to zap the nearest target with lightning, to the tune of 3d4 damage. If there are multiple equally nearby targets, they split the damage equally. This is obviously very effective against other Apparats. 

  1. Deoptimised Exhaust Vents

Waste not, want not.
You can spend 1 Fuel to spray a thick cloud of sight-obscuring fog from your Apparatus’ vents. This lasts 10 minutes in still air or 10 rounds in wind. 

  1. Cargo-Mounts
    On the back, and the sides of the legs.
    +4 Inventory Slots when in Armour. 

  1. Anti-Arcane Plating
    Pure titanium, the only substance known to be totally immune to magic. 

+4 to saves against spells. 

  1. Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launcher
    Flies on a pressurised stream of freezing, glowing Vis. Loud, bright, inaccurate.
    Costs 1 Fuel to fire the rocket. You cannot finely aim the rockets. They explode for 4d6* to everything in their area, save for half. For every 10 feet from the point of detonation, past the first 10 feet, they do 1d6 less damage. They are indiscriminate. If you carry spare rockets, you can reload the launcher at the beginning of your turn. Rockets take up 1 slot and cost ¤400 each from the black market.   

1d20 Pieces of Apparat’s Gear 

  1. Snub-Nosed Pistol - A light pistol, perfect for tucking inside your jacket, or hanging in a holster inside the cockpit of your Apparatus. 

  2. Binoculars - Probably military surplus. Great for looking at things far-away. 

  3. Playing Cards - The suits are suns, swords, wands and teeth. Has half-aces, and a wizard for every suit among the court cards. Traditionally, the Wizard of Teeth is the Grue. 

  4. Box of Cigars - Six doses of strong Cordisian tobacco in a wooden box. 

  5. Sneezing Powder - Six doses in little bags. Induces sneezing in almost all creatures without fail. 

  6. Remarkably Comfortable Chair - Much more comfortable in the cockpit than the standard-issue harness. 

  7. Cheap Smut - Two paperback novels that share a slot. Not really that well written, but they have spirit. 

  8. Bottle of Vodka - Darra Traditional, according to the label. Unbelievable gutrot. This bottle contains 6 doses. 

  9. Fragmentation Grenade - Just one. Explodes for 4d6*, dealing 1d6 less damage for each 10 feet past the first you are from the grenade. 

  10. Flashbang Grenade - A pair. Explode, blinding and deafening anyone near them for 1d3 Rounds if they’re unprotected. Anyone right up on it suffers 1d6 damage, being made permanently deaf if dropped to 0HP by the grenade. 

  11. Flare Gun - Comes with two red flares, two yellow ones, and two green ones. Launched flares are on fire

  12. Sawn-off Shotgun - A medium gun designed to fire buckshot. Has a lady’s name carved into the stock. 

  13. Laudanum - Glass bottle. The good stuff. A dose heals 1d4+1 damage and fucks you up special. This bottle has 4 doses. 

  14. Accurate Watch - Guaranteed accurate for 150 years without needing winding. Has little dials showing the phases of Oran, Selos and Scuta, the moons. 

  15. Filigreed Dinner Set - Forks, spoons, little crystal glass, fancy Khadachan shatterproof ceramics. The works. You know, just in case you need to be classy in a mess tent. 

  16. Trombone - And attendant items. Comes in a nice leather case. Does not necessarily come with the ability to play it. 

  17. Man is Man Made - Anti-Church tract discussing the theological implications of the Built, artificial machine humans. Still holds many Makerite positions, but tries to justify them through Science instead. 

  18. Spirit Bells - Twelve little copper bells that ring when a spirit is nearby. This isn’t because of the apotropaic charms carved into them, but simply because they’re copper. 

  19. Heliographic Camera - Prints gold-and-brown images of whatever you point it at. Produces a terrific flash, because its pretty much useless in the dark. 

  20. A Curio!

    1. Clatter Grenade - As flashbang, but, anyone suffering more than 3 damage from it must save or be made permanently deaf, unless protected. Banned by the Treaty of Kelos. 

    2. Ooze Shell - An artillery shell full of aggressive protein-devouring chemical ooze. Bright green. Banned by the Treaty of Kelos. 

    3. Underdark Lantern - A fine lantern with a blue bulb - the filament is not crystalline phosphoryllium, but the hilariously toxic phoselenum, a fibrous material which, when magic is passed through it, glows with a blue light that is invisible to humans, dragons and jor. 

    4. Instant Firestarter - They manufactured about four-hundred of these in a big warehouse in Port Cauldron which no longer exists. The Firestarters were a little too instant. Inexplicably, they firestart when you think about them doing it. This property has never been adequately explained. 

    5. Hippopotamus Whistle - Ivory whistle marked with ancient Sylorian writing. Can only be heard by hippopotami. They find it extremely enraging. 

    6. Havenboc’s Hexer - A heavy gun that requires no ammunition. Another disreputable horror of the War of the Ruins. A “gun” with a “barrel” made from the femur of a once-living person, that fires bolts of decaying and tormentous energy. Mass-produced in awful circumstances in 1804 by wanted fugitive Drago Havenboc. This is one of only a thousand. Does +3 damage, ignoring all damage reduction and even bulletproof armour, unless the target is totally fleshless, upon which it does nothing.