CT!: The Costs of War
Made of a skeleton of steel and a musculature of pneumatic pipes, the chassis holds the components of the steamjack on a frame of metal armatures and joints. The ’jack’s reflex triggers lie along the primary chassis, running the length of the spine and across the various pneumatic connections for the limbs. Conduits that lead back to the cortex housing connect all the triggers into a system allowing the cortex to control the ’jack’s every movement.
The limbs of the steamjack are extremely formidable. With arms and legs made of steel and iron, held together with valves of brass and copper, the strength of a ’jack rests in its appendages. Most are designed with modular tools or weapons in mind; replacing the limbs can drastically change the capabilities of the machine.
Focal lenses and clockwork devices carefully connected to the cortex by conduits allow the steamjack to perceive and interpret its surroundings. These complex apparatuses are all, of course, mechanikal in nature.
The chassis determines the shape, strength, and structural integrity of the steamjack. It also impacts the steamjack’s agility, power output, and potential speed. As a rule, the heavier the chassis, the larger the engine and steam boiler driving the machine. Though most laborjacks are built with little more than sheer strength in mind, warjacks are built to traverse all manner of hostile terrain in the midst of battle. Warjack chassis have greater articulation and heavier boilers designed with speed and power in mind.
Chassis come in two weight classes, heavy and light. Heavy steamjacks are rugged machines built for strength and the capacity to endure tremendous punishment. Heavy steamjacks stand over twice the height of a man. Light steamjacks are smaller and more maneuverable but lack the physical power of heavy steamjacks. They tend to be faster and more nimble.
The following attributes define different steamjack chassis in the game.
Cost: This is the cost of the chassis in Cygnaran gold crowns.
Description: This is a description of the chassis.
Height/Weight: The chassis’ technical specs.
Fuel Load/Burn Usage: This describes the chassis standard fuel load and burn rate.
Initial Service Date: This is the date the chassis first entered service.
Original Chassis Design: This is the original manufacturer or designer of the chassis.
Stock Cortex: This is the cortex that comes stock with the steamjack chassis. The cost of this cortex is included in the cost of the chassis. The cortex can be replaced, but the original personality of the steamjack is lost as a result.
Stats: These are the chassis’ stats. The steamjack’s INT and PER are determined by its cortex. The stats listed below assume a stock cortex.
Special Rules: These are the special rules that apply to the chassis.
Damage Grid: This is the chassis’ damage grid.
The following chassis are among the most commonly available on the open market throughout Iron Kingdoms. Most often the steamjack chassis up for sale are older models that have been refurbished or else painstakingly maintained for decades. A steamjack chassis purchased at the going rate is in good repair and in full operating condition.
A stock cortex is included in the price of the chassis. It is assumed that the cortex has been wiped and has no lingering personality at the time of purchase.
| If the chassis is the skeleton of a ’jack, the engine is its heart. On the back of all steamjacks sits a powerful steam engine, comprised of a coal-burning firebox, a boiler, and an arcane steam turbine. Most steamjacks can run for hours on a full bin of coal. Light ’jacks burn through a full hopper of coal and a full tank of water in five to ten hours depending on the model, while heavy ’jacks burn through their coal and water in four to eight hours. When pushed, coal consumption increases dramatically. Under the intense action and mechanical strain of combat, light ’jacks burn through their reserves in fifty to one hundred minutes, while heavy ’jacks run out of steam in forty to eighty minutes. Fully loaded with coal and water, a steamjack gains anywhere between 400 to 650 pounds, depending on the size of its coal hopper and boiler.
The burning coal heats the water in the boiler, turning it to steam, and the steam fires pistons, providing power to pneumatic valves in the steamjack’s chassis— converting heat and pressure into motive force. Steam vents allow for the release of excess pressure, and the steam also turns the ’jack’s arcane turbines. These turbines generate a field of arcane energy that runs along a primary cortex conduit, similar to the accumulator conduit lines in a piece of mechanika. Additional conduits connect the ’jack’s sensory equipment and reflex triggers to the cortex and provide power to these peripheral systems.
Warjacks have more demanding energy requirements, and typically have a larger coal hopper to allow for longer periods of activity. During intense activity, a complex clockwork mechanism inside the ’jack stokes the engine to meet the increased demands for energy. If a steamjack runs low on coal it starts to brown out, losing strength, mobility, and perception. It becomes less responsive and eventually shuts down completely.