CT!: The Costs of War
The militaries of the Iron Kingdoms equip their warcasters with mechanikal armor so advanced that only the most skilled armorers and arcane mechaniks understand the techniques behind its construction. All warcaster armor is custom-fitted to the individual. Plate armor is used as the basis for warcaster armor, but a wide variety of types can be modified to suit the needs of the ’caster, some sacrificing greater protection for augmented mobility. Every suit of warcaster armor is unique, and the cost, look, and specific materials vary considerably. The most expensive and refined suits are built from the finest alloys by wealthy kingdom militaries and include small, precisely tooled components. Those built by mercenary companies or poorer nations are usually more cumbersome and employ heavier metals and thicker pipes and gauges. Even these are marvels of modern mechanika, employing scores of dedicated runeplates connected by an intricate lattice of arcane conduits.
Most important, all warcaster armor is integrated with an arcane turbine, a highly efficient and advanced type of steam engine worn on the back and fueled by coal. The steam engine in an arcane turbine powers small internal mechanisms, the negligible weight of which allows the turbine to run for many hours on a small quantity of coal. A turbine should be refueled once a day, although if its wearer has not been in active combat it can sustain itself at its lowest setting over several days of use. Warcaster armor includes exhaust pipes for venting smoke and excess steam pressure. These expel thick plumes when running at full power but only a trickle when dampened. Warcasters must be wary of running turbines at full power in enclosed spaces, such as aboard a passenger train, where emissions quickly become a breathing hazard.
The heart of the turbine is a complex series of wire-coiled wheels spinning inside a thinly layered metal lattice, all constructed of arcane-sensitive alloys. When worn by a focuser who has bonded to the armor, the turbine powers a protective power field around the warcaster that also helps negate the encumbrance of the armor and ensures heat generated by its boiler is safely dispersed. This field absorbs damage that would otherwise be sustained by the focuser. The focuser can enhance the field’s protective qualities by overboosting the field, which can allow a warcaster to walk unscathed through explosions and direct fire that would otherwise be instantly fatal.
Military warcasters are usually aided in the process of donning armor and priming its turbine by an assisting adjutant, but practiced mercenaries can don their own armor with a bit of hassle and additional time. The turbine requires only a couple of minutes to be stoked and quickly reaches peak efficiency.
Power Field Rules
While its boiler is fueled and its arcane turbine is in operation, a bonded suit of warcaster armor generates a power field that absorbs damage. This acts as a buffer against incoming damage in two different ways. Note that non-bonded warcaster armor cannot generate a power field.
Power Field Damage Boxes
Warcaster armor has six power field damage boxes. When a warcaster takes damage, mark his power field boxes before marking his life spiral. The warcaster can spend focus points during his turn to regenerate lost power field boxes at a rate of 1 focus point for each power field box restored.
Overboosting the Power Field
Unspent focus points on a warcaster wearing bonded warcaster armor increases his ARM by 1 for each unspent focus point.