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The Architects of Betrayal (TAB) 40: An Illustration of Goblin Assembly Techniques

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

"If you think that's correct, you ride it!"
Yeah, it's kind of like that . . .

Hello again. I'm sure you're just itching to hear what shenaniganry the group got up to today so we'll just dive right in.

The group began the day by slaughtering a group of innocent Serpentfolk (as heroes do) who were just minding their business mining the tunnel. At this point I think its more like a game to them; see who can get the most kills. Extra points for a kill steal! At one point Minerva (after having killed her target) enlarged in order to cover the five foot gap to the next one. This allowed her to make full attacks against it even though the tunnel (due to neglect) was difficult terrain. I gave her an Int point. Or perhaps, instead of some demented contest, it could be that they have issues with races of the ophidian line itself. Damned racists.

Either way, they handled the encounter in short order. They then ran into nothing else to slaughter mercilessly, eventually reaching another train station. This one (by their rolls) being a station servicing a major hub. There they were finally able to collect the pieces they needed to begin fixing up a train. Huzzah!

Which meant it was time to PIMP MY TRAIN!

Above: The parts in their appropriate configuration. Parts List: Blue Octagon: Water Tank Red Octagon: Boiler Red Rectangle: Piston Block

Blue Rectangle: Condenser

Small T In Boiler: Regulator Screw

Big T In Piston Block: Piston

Trapezoid Connecting Water Tank and Boiler: Backflow Valve

Path Connecting Boiler to Block: Steam Pipe Path Connecting Block to Condenser: Exhaust Pipe Trapezoid Connecting Condenser to Water Tank: Drain Pipe Black Trapezoid: Crankshaft

Grey Piece Connecting Piston to Crankshaft: Connecting Rod (aptly named right?) Watching them try to assemble the parts I'd swear they thought I'd sublet the design process to Rube Goldberg himself. Yes, I know; I'd have needed some serious smelling salts and a heater. But they clearly thought I'd made the investment.

Granted, some of their issues stemmed from trying to build a 3D device with 2D parts. As such issues came up I gave more info to alleviate the confusion. But some of their choices made no sense in any context. They insisted on placing the piston block backwards, meaning steam would flow out the exhaust port without pushing the piston. And they continued to do so even after the kobold burned a hero point to gain insight suggesting such! They also kept trying to stick the condenser directly to the block.

Eventually the Kobold got annoyed and enacted a time honored plan B; If all else fails RTFM! So he went searching for plan B. And rolled a 20 for his perception. He came back with faded, but still usable map. I introduced this by giving them the picture found here, which just happened to be the illustration I modified to create said magical steam engine .

Armed with this information . . . they were still defeated. Well, for a little while. They eventually got it. Since they all participated they all gained an Int point for their efforts. But that was only half the battle. They still had to figure out how to make it run.

During a break from figuring the engine out Golbat had found a locked door. It was at this juncture that the group decided to break into said locked door. Quagrim tried to pick the lock. I won't humiliate the little guy by giving the number he rolled (it was a one) here. So Thibbldorf pushed him out of the way and unlocked it with ease. Quagrim steamed. He was informed that that was not the answer to their quandary.

He steamed some more.

Inside they found a workshop with enough tools to do some blacksmithing should they have the need, and a book detailing an 8 hour ritual that allowed a caster to enchant a piece of metal with a spell containing an elemental descriptor. The group quickly went back to the train, and Golbat began the ritual using the boiler. (It's not actually shown here but the boiler has a plate on the bottom that can be lowered with a lever, which is the piece he enchanted. He chose . . . wisely). He also chose to use Wall of Lava as his spell, on the guess that a higher level spell would be more effective. Again, he chose well as I'd already pegged the top speed of the locomotive to the average level of the spells used to enchant it.

Yes, I said spells. You'll see.

During the ritual the group was set upon by four more Irlgaunts. Ironically it was the distracted Theurge who heard the scuttling nightmares approaching and warned the group. The distraction caused by the battle necessitated some concentration checks from Golbat, but the group did a good job of keeping him from actually being attacked. By attacking. Good thing these things stumbled on them instead of planning some sort of mischievous pincer move. (Next time my pretties) And with that the group went back to being terrible lookouts and bitching about how long it was taking.

Of course they'd forgotten to actually fill the engine with water, so once the ritual was finished the entire contraption began to heat up quickly. They did realize their mistake as the engine began pinging and had Bob yank the plate out. Damn that eidolon and his elemental immunities! They then separated the drain pipe from the water tank and filled her up with many uses of create water. After which they resealed the drain pipe and reconnected the plate.

This caused the train to move a few feet before over-pressure created an opening in the condenser. Golbat made it whole only to have it open up again. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until Minerva figured out they needed to vent the pressure and activated the whistle. And thus began the trouble shooting portion of the session. Did they overfill it? Did they miss something? Are they about to be blown up?

Join us next time for the answers.

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