5E [5E] Apparatus of Kwalish
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  1. #1
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    [5E] Apparatus of Kwalish

    Reading this, I see that the WDDH description states that two creatures can fit inside, and that for their turn they can each operate 2 levers. But it says nothing about if they can operate the same levers with both operations, or if they can operate the same lever(s) as the other driver.

    So, with two drivers, can it make 4 attacks? Or turn 360 degrees, or move forward 120' or climb/dive 80'?

    Or could each driver only operate each lever once? Or could each lever only be operated once per round?

    Thoughts? Any more RAW info on this? Or any Sage Advice or tweets?

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    I would use the much maligned "common sense" here.

    Which I'm pretty sure tells me that if two people turn the steering wheel of a car it doesn't turn twice as much....
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    Yea, I was thinking that, but if you look at the available levers, their really isn't much for 2 people to do. I mean, most of the levers aren't things you actually really want to do while the device is "in use" (i.e. open the hatch, windows, or extend the arm and legs).

    All it leaves is 4 actions; attack, forward/backward, turn, rise/sink. It works, but is that the intent?

    It also means that the device can only turn 90 degrees on one turn, and means any other creature can stay behind it and out of claw attack pretty easily. So as soon as someone figures that out, the thing is easy to defeat and sink/destroy. Doesn't sound very fun...

    Possible fixes;
    A- Claws can attack in 180 or 360 degree arc
    B- Each driver can operate any 2 levers (each lever only once)

    I don't like A, but maybe it's the easiest "fix"?

    I like B. It means the two drivers have to work together to be effective, and it means that enemy tactics matter (i.e. standing two-to-toe means you get attacked twice, but moving around means you only get attacked once, or maybe none)

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    It's not supposed to be a fighting machine, it's intended for underwater (or other hostile evironment) transportation. It's not meant to be very manuveable.

    If you want a fighting machine that your players can ride in it would be better to design something from scratch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Farquhar View Post
    I would use the much maligned "common sense" here.

    Which I'm pretty sure tells me that if two people turn the steering wheel of a car it doesn't turn twice as much....
    But the Apparatus of Kwalish is a "car" about as much as you are a rooster.
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    Thanks Paul, I do appreciate your thoughts, but they aren't helping me much.

    I don't want a fighting machine, but even a "commoner" NPC has clear rules for combat, if the players decide to fight one etc.

    Anyone have thoughts on A or B? Or other thoughts?

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    A single character can push up to two levers, but they can't push the same lever twice (at least by my parsing of the description). So I'd rule that two characters can push up to four levers, but not the same lever twice.

    If you need a formal rule for timing purposes, I'd change this sentence by adding the bold part: "After each use, a lever goes back to its neutral position at the start of the creature's next turn."
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Thanks Paul, I do appreciate your thoughts, but they aren't helping me much.

    I don't want a fighting machine, but even a "commoner" NPC has clear rules for combat, if the players decide to fight one etc.

    Anyone have thoughts on A or B? Or other thoughts?
    It's rules are pretty clear if you assume each leaver can only be used once in a round. One person controls movement, the other controls the claws. Yes, it is possible for someone to stay out of reach of it's claws by moving around behind it. This is intended. The party really isn't going to want to take the miniature submarine into battle unless they have no choice. In which case they are going to have to find a way to compensate for it's lack of manoeuvrability. That is what makes for an interesting combat encounter.

    Spoiler for The Lost Laboratory of Kwalish:


    [SPOILER]

    Spoiler:

    In this adventure the party will come across a six-person Apparatus (i.e. large enough to carry the whole party) which they will need to use to overcome a specific obstacle. Clearly, with six people on board it would be quite ridiculous if they could each pull the same leaver.


    [/SPOILER]

    Think of it like this: each leaver is a sword. If the party finds an extremely powerful magic sword would you allow it to be passed from party member to party member so they can each can use it to attack the monster?

    If you treat it like this, then you might allow Action Surge or Haste to squeeze a bit of extra performance out of the apparatus.

    Some said "but it's not a car". It's not, but it is a vehicle, not a creature. It has more in common with a rowing boat, wagon or chariot than it does with a commoner.
    Last edited by Paul Farquhar; Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019 at 08:41 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Farquhar View Post
    It's rules are pretty clear if you assume ...
    And if I don't assume?

    Think of it like this: each leaver is a sword.
    But each level is not a sword. Look, I get it. You don't need to add anecdotes to justify your position.

    I'm not saying your are wrong, I'm just saying I think their are opportunities to "assume" something else that will yield more enjoyment and maintain the intent of the item. If needed, consider it my version of the device, or a one-off, or something completely new if you need to in order to consider other possibilities.

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    Sure, if you want to house-rule stuff, I think there's a lot of fun ways you could force players to cooperate in a device like this. Now I'm imagining fantasy Voltron...

    EDIT: I'm not saying one interpretation is RAW and the other is a house rule, just that if you are willing/committed to house rule, you could do a lot of interesting things with this.
    Last edited by 77IM; Wednesday, 24th April, 2019 at 03:50 AM.

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