One of my players, who started the game early last year with a goblin priest of the hunt named Zeelzeel Shadowspear, has decided to play an Artificer. Zeelzeel was a lot of fun, and when the player went on hiatus, he served as an NPC in a vouple of groups, and introduced his cousin Razakeel Shadowcloak, a necromantic apprentice. Zeelzeel also brought the kobolds of the guild back to the faith of their ancestors, reintroducing them to the worship of the Erl King, and wooing them away from the gentler faith they had bothered from a local human church. Father Robard, a goblin priest of the same, despite his pacifism, was quite wroth with Zeelzeel, who had impressed the kobolds by rescuing one of their young from a Triger that had escaped it’s charmed enslavement by wandering across a no-manna zone.
The introduction of the Artificer came soon after I had some of the other PC’s wander into some artificer trolls. As it is a point of courage an honor to work with fire for the highly flammable trolls, all of the males that are tested by fire and lose the vulnerability (usually bought down by lowering their appearance from ugly to hideous from the scarring from being burnt) usually become troll smiths. So what kind of gadgets do trolls like to build?
Traps. Trolls like to build traps. Yes, being fireproof makes it easy to work the forge, but with ancestors like Grimtooth, there is a lot of pressure plate and dart work, to say the least. What else do they make? My first priority as a member of a species prone to combustion would be a fire extinguisher. So using the example of the crude flamethrower, they combine a barrel and a bellows to make a backpack water jet cannon. Not proof against stone missiles, however.
Second order of business is fireproofing, in the form of spiked archer’s blinds, covered with waterlogged leather from the primary source available. By Crom, my trolls wear a lot of leather armor, and they live deep underground, so whence the hide? Some of it comes from Slorn, which are used for meat, mounts and tool making, but more of it comes from the larger and ridiculously regenerative Andersonian trolls, as found in DF Monsters and are kept in chains by the trolls found in The Next Level, who are more or less what Aethelbert the sage refers to as “Common Least Trolls.” He calls the big guys from Monsters “Common Greater Trolls” which gives me space in the campaign world to incorporate things like Giant Two Headed Trolls.
One of the PC’s is an elementalist and a bit of a pyromaniac, and usually wanders around with a cluster of Fire Elementals, so traps like buckets of sand over doorways and baited traps, like alchemical fire tossed under an iron cauldron propped up by a stick like the classic rabbit box trap, are employed when she is around with her flaming friends.
During the challenges the other group had to pass when negotiating with the other tribe of trolls, the party wizards had to figure a way of disposing of a flaming skull that had similarly been trapped, and the trollsmith had rigged a weight driven clockwork timer to raise the cauldron from the imprisoned skull spirit. Naturally, one of the wizards, a spell archer, thought that destroying the mechanism would count as a win, and one disintegrate spell later, he got to learn a few choice words of trollish.
At the moment, the new Artificer is designing some spiked slorn proof doors to be installed in a part of the dungeon that the guild is expanding into, but I am going to have to be on my toes to allow for maximum fun through inventing .