[Archive] What makes acceptable technology for CD?

Grimstonefire:

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on what you consider to be acceptable for CD.

My feeling is that CD should be the most technologically advanced race in the warhammer world.  They have the Dwarf skills for crafting (far superior to men), without the traditions holding them back.

However, a line has to be drawn somewhere on how futuristic to go.

The CD warmachines we’ve seen from WF are interesting because they don’t use any daemonic power.  It’s based entirely on steam, with pistons and solid pipes.

The skaven however are also highly advanced in the nature of their technology, using proper flexible cables and lightning generators.

But where to draw the line on technology…?  My feeling is that anything the CD make should firstly look like it could actually work.  By this I mean that they don’t just make hollow shells that are magically powered into action by daemons.  I’d like to see the pistons and gears.  Having things daemon powered invites designers to make things too futuristic I think.

Secondly imo they should have a very obvious engine or place to generate power.  This is why I’m not so keen on the Warmachine warjacks.  They are supposedly steam powered (I think) but they don’t really look like they could be.

Thirdly, something I have been putting a fair bit of thought into recently, is that anything larger than an ogre should not be sentient without any form of control.  Things this big can take an engineer to pilot/drive/ride them.

I wouldn’t object to a CD dreadnought type monster covered in pistons and gears, as long as it had a steam engine and a rider.

What are your thoughts?  Where would you draw the line?

Redhammer:

I’ve always held that anything with legs is beyond them without the aid of daemonic binding. A walker is a sci-fi invention, although a tank, moving tower, or buggy seems right to me. I agree about things having the potential to go sci-fi. Skaven tech should be a little beyond chaos dwarfs IMO, as chaos dwarfs, still being dwarfs, would make sure of the reliabilty of their devices and take more time on craftsmanship, whereas Skaven would not bother with developing crew safety alongside damage potential.

So, I think CD should be number 2 in technology (right behind Skaven) and, as you said, should have things such as obvious power sources, ventilation, and control.

However, Skaven uses more esoteric tech such as warp lightning, whereas I imagine Chaos Dwarfs have more explosives in their arsenal. I imagine the industry of the Chaos Dwarfs building things more akin to giant artillery and devices to move said artillery. So Chaos Dwarfs use more “conventional” warfare with daemonic augmentation.

fonejaker:

There is a anime out there called “Steamboy”, its set in 1860’s steampunk Manchester and London. In the film there are all kinds of steam powered war machines, from off road steam engines to steam driven blunderbuss wielding knights and even steam powered flying castles like thing. I get most of my ideas from this film and I find them easy to apply to chaos dwarfs.

The full movie is floating around the internet, I highly recommend giving it a watch for inspiration.

Josh

nitroglysarine:

Two legs is a no-no, balance is far to hard with some kind of a bio control system.

six legs or more should be ok though, it makes balance easier to control.

snowblizz:

I've always held that anything with legs is beyond them without the aid of daemonic binding.

Redhammer
Two legs is a no-no, balance is far to hard with some kind of a bio control system.
six legs or more should be ok though, it makes balance easier to control.

nitroglysarine
Awww... someone needs to tell poor Astragoth he can't possible walk around in his mechanical harness.

I'd say stuff that use electrical power and components should be a no-no. They probably understand the basics but feel it's not worth doing or isn't as cool as steam engines and explosives (and who can blame them?)
And excessive miniaturisation. Dwarfs are good with that stuff according to fluff, I seem to recall mechanical toys or something that the elfs bought. Burlok Dammison has a mechanical hand as well. However large scale miniaturisation I'm not sure should be available.

A bit problematic is that there's so much already available so any "next step" is rather tiny compared to what they already know.

nitroglysarine:

Two legs is a no-no, balance is far to hard with some kind of a bio control system.
six legs or more should be ok though, it makes balance easier to control.

nitroglysarine
Awww... someone needs to tell poor Astragoth he can't possible walk around in his mechanical harness.

snowblizz
Astragoth is the bio-control unit!

snowblizz:

Astragoth is the bio-control unit!

nitroglysarine
Of course I would argue that a bio-control system would constitute something too advanced.:hat off:P

nitroglysarine:

my front door works only with a interface with a biocontrol unit

-aka me!

damn muggles! :hat off

snowblizz:

my front door works only with a interface with a biocontrol unit

-aka me!

damn muggles! :hat off

nitroglysarine
Astragoth can't move arms and legs though right?

zobo1942:

I think there is too much technology already - massive cannons, firearms, missiles, tanks, etc…

I’d prefer a more magic-based environment - daemons bound into ‘golems’, re-animated rock and lava, etc…

If I wanted tanks, guns, rocket launchers and dreadnoughts/walkers, I’d play 40K.

Fallen246:

If appropriate justification for it can be made, I think they can use almost anything.

But no electricity. Electricity is a Skaven/Warpstone sort of deal methinks.

Grimstonefire:

Astragoth is a very interesting example I think of where to draw the line.

His hands are stone he cannot actually operate the mechanical things, which either means he uses magic to control it, it is sentient, or it has a driver/controller and Astragoth is hooked up for the ride.

Astragoth is also interesting because he is the most powerful CD, so he should quite rightly have the most fancy machine!  I imagine that his steam body would probably be considered advanced in design even by CD standards. So he could represent the pinnacle of war engine design, and wouldn’t allow anything else to be superior.

If they can make proper steam trains I think a walker (with engineer) isn’t that unrealistic in the steampunk theme.

sparrow:

The issue for me is that the setting wasn’t originally steampunk, it was fantasy. In my mind steampunk is it’s own genre.

Now I know many of the armies have something which could be taken as steampunk in design, and that the inspiration for the warhammer races spans a huge period of human history. But I like the high fantasy feel of the game.

I’d have to agree with Zobo on this, you can play 40K if you want your fix of guns and high tech. For me beating your enemy to a pulp with a stick is where it should be at. Magic is good because of it’s fantastical nature, but I feel Steam Tech is pushing the limits of what I want to see in the game.

wallacer:

I don’t see any reason why something couldn’t be both steam powered and daemonic. The mechanical/steam components make the thing actually move and the daemonic force is basically the driver telling it where to go and what to do.

zobo1942:

Slippery slope…

What’s next? Rockets get smaller, and the chaos dwarfs mount a cyclone missile launcher on the shoulders of dreadnoughts? Someone decides to put a steam engine onto a cart and before you know if people are driving cars around. Fact is, if you can make a steam engine, you can make a car. Or a truck. Or an Armoured Personnel Carrier. And don’t even get me started on how stupid that frakking gyrocopter is.

I like swords and sorcery, and I like scifi. I just don’t like them being mixed together. That said, I can buy into a daemonically animated clockwork imp running around stabbing stuff, or a daemonically-possessed suit of armour… I just don’t like the idea of a purely mechanical device, as it makes the fantasy setting too modern for my tastes.

cornixt:

Just because they have steam engines, doesn’t mean they are easy to make or the materials are easy to get. One thing that makes fantasy tech more interesting is that the inventors are likely to create mechanical versions of living things, so they make planes with flapping wings rather than what we know today to be the better designs. Like Astragoth with his mech legs rather than wheels.

zobo1942:

Certainly, I think ‘fantasy technology’ can look cool, and tons of the steampunk stuff looks really cool! However, I’m really not interested in using it in a fantasy setting.

Like I said previously, I can buy into a ‘construct’ being possessed by a daemon and then intimidated into serving. After all, Warhammer is rife with evil daemonic creatures taking physical form. Making the jump from ‘physically manifesting’ to ‘inhabiting a pre-made physical form’ isn’t huge, and could work in a fantasy setting. But creating something technological from scratch - like a powered exoskeleton (a la ‘Aliens’) - is too much of a leap, in my opinion. It comes down to ‘What’s next?’ They have rockets… what about crazed greenskins piloting kamikazee jet planes into enemy formations? Or, an ornithopter dropping explosives on the enemy? Or even chaos dwarf hand grenades? Call me crazy, but to avoid the silliness that would be bound to come afterward, it’s best to just stop. However, all the non-chaos dwarf stuff (again, that ridiculous dwarf gyrocopter comes to mind) and the Empire steam tank has already set the stage for all this techno-fantasy fusion, so we’re stuck with it, I suppose.

Personally, I think a Chaos Dwarf Sorcerer would be much better suited to riding a Taurus. Or riding in a chariot of sorts. Or being strapped to a throne that’s being held aloft by chained furies or riding a disc of tzeentch, than using purely mechanical leg braces. The ‘six million gold coin bionic chaos dwarf’? Doesn’t found like a ‘Fantasy Battle’ to me.

But, like I said, that’s just me. Maybe a Chaos Dwarf Sorcerer riding a 40K Defiler might be fun.

Border Reiver:

You forgot about the mechanical horse some Imperial engineers have, and the Ironback Boar.

Seemingly out of place tech is not that uncommon in this setting. If you need a medieval tech level with a little magic thrown in then perhaps LOTR might be a better system for your wants.

Or, you can simply not use what you consider the out of place stuff.

Willmark:

I’d say it’s about the right level as is now.

I think the steam powered thing belong to the western dwarfs and not the Dawi. The chaos dwarfs are going to be a bit more random and wilder in their implementations of tech; as grim noted they have fewer qualms, fewer traditions to hold them back.

That bring said anything is possible in a limited small scale sense rather then it being a piece of tech available in everyday CD society.

Drychnath:

I stand with zobo in favoring magical artifice over mechanical advancement.  The division between fantasy and science fiction should be maintained, and in my opinion the best drive for machinery in fantasy should be in support of magical aims (I never take exception to an enormous artifact powering a magic portal, by way of example).

That being said, technology that is very sophisticated in its application but very basic in its fundaments should be within the realm of possibility for Chaos Dwarfs.  I provide as an example such devices as the Curta, a famous mechanical calculator, prototypes of which were manufactured inside a concentration camp in World War II by their captive namesake.  Another good example would be the comparatively efficient crucibles utilizing the prevailing wind to produce steel in the Indian subcontinent.  During the initial Muslim invasions of modern Pakistan under Mahmoud of the Golden Throne, when recording the tricks local priesthoods used to make the Hindu peasantry believe in a local miracle, it is recorded that they discovered in one temple a floating iron statue, and that finding no strings or hidden supports, finally realized the mechanism when it fell as they pulled the roof down - the ceiling was precisely crafted from lodestone tiles.

Perhaps something like an Eternal Crucible, with perfect heat retention, enabling the transport of molten rock or metal over long distances.  Perhaps it has magical siphons, enabling ready raw materials, a heat source, or in an emergency weaponized magma spray and takes the shape of an Anvil of Doom or Casket of Souls style model on the battlefield.

My wariness of steam power, as I have expressed elsewhere, derives largely from the need to differentiate Dhawi Zharr artifice from that of the Empire, who in recent years have in canon been enthusiastic explorers of the field, to include the flagship war engine the Steamtank.