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|Date Created:||May 27, 2008|
|Editing:||Please feel free to edit constructively!|
The term 'gear actua' is both single and plural and refers to a race of mass-produced humanoid automatons whose bodies are actuated by gears and clockwork. Often simply called 'actua', or even Gears, these constructs are animated with a didactic, computing intellect. Originally, the plan was to give these massproduced units a semblance of true life, but they are instead kindled by what is commonly referred to as 'pseudo-animus'. As such, most Actua do not in fact have much self-awareness beyond their own physical status and immediate surroundings, and only very few Actua can boast to possess any true form of insight. Actua do often have a (limited) sense of individuality. Beyond inventing new and novel methods to manipulate and customize their own bodies, they do not possess much in the shape of creativity and many would instead choose to copy and mimic others of their kind. Due to their penchant of imitating and following precise instructions, Actua are valued slaves as most lack the self-awareness to want to escape. Despite all this and for reasons oft unknown to the Actua themselves, some do relish the representativity of their bodies and ornament and engrave their skin plates.
Gear Actua are usually built completely of metal, ranging from common materials as copper, nickle, iron and steel, vanadium and zinc to more precious materials such as silver, gold or platinum, as well as countless alloys. Their physiology consists of internal supports that mimic the endoskeletal forms of humanoids reasonably closely. This skeletal structure is animated by joints that move due to intricate contraptions of gear and clockwork. This mechanical core of the Actua's body is considered to be its internal organs. Their actual appearance comes from tightly interlocked plates that resemble a smoothly aligned exoskeleton that makes their silhouettes resemble that of a human. More self-aware Actua often ornament these plates with engravings and etchings. Their heads have the general cranial shape of a human or an elf and are, of course, without hair. Generic, featureless faceplates most often cover the gearworks underneath and limit the Actua's sense of individuality.
Relations of Actua with creatures of other races is most unusual, as most Gear Actua live in worlds and lands that are hazardous or lethal to most any living things, however the relations between the Gear Actua themselves are often numerous and closely knit. Despite their seeming lack of self, their metal metropolises are bustling and surprisingly lively, boasting its own transit system, vocal and visual media (mostly newspapers). Trade between Actua occurs daily and throughout the city, exchanging and buying grafts, upgrades, building blueprints and modified parts.
The greatest congregation of Actua live in the place where they were birthed; the self-contained Realm of Solips. Solips is a planet-shaped world that used to contain a global civilization known throughout the planes for its technology and arcane practice. Unfortunately, that civilization found its end by the hands of a plague it could not cure. Billions of people died in pursuit of a means to counteract the spread of that plague, but in the end their sole remaining legacy was the Gears, an entire ecosystem that was created with the purpose of sustaining Solips in their absence.
As a last ditch effort to find a way to defeat the plague, a gathering of 100,000 scientists, arcane specialists and engineers was put into a collective stasis. They were entombed in cyllindrical glass pods contained within a massive dome structure uniformly referred to as the Think Tank. Inside the think tank, those hundred thousand minds were interacting and crossreferencing in order to find a solution to their problems while the neonate Gears slowly repopulated the decimated ecosystem outside. Although it is unknown exactly how it happened, the intermingling of so many minds created a chaotic undercurrent throughout the Think Tank and after many decades, the minds that created the collective thoughtscape started to lose sight of the original purpose with which they had been joined. As the undercurrents of thought and concept became stronger, the Think Tank evolved into a singular entity over tens of thousands of years. Through the power of a hundred thousand brilliant minds and the worship of the newly evolved Gear Actuas, the Think Thank had become an active deity from which Actua clerics draw their power. The Think Tank grants such a cleric any two of the following three domains: Chaos, Knowledge and Magic.
Strangely, the only language that is uniformly spoken amidst all the Actuas is Common, although many Actua speak a great multitude of languages.
Most Actuas have no real name, but rather a designation. This designation consists of the job that the Actua is tasked to do, combined with a serial number (example: Waste Disposal 139127). Only Actua that gained great power or obtained very important positions are allowed to give themselves a personal name.
- +2 Strength, +2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma
- Construct (Gear): Gear Actua have no Constitution score and possess the traits of a Gear construct.
- Medium-sized. Gear actua gain extra hit points per character level equal to half the die size of their Hit Dice (+2 for d4, +3 for d6, etc), until the maximum of +20 (the number of extra hit points due to their Medium size) is reached.
- Natural Weapons: 2 slams, base damage 1d4.
- Gear Actua base land speed is 30 feet (decreased to 20 feet when wearing the medium, heavy or battle armor package).
- Gear Actua cannot wear any armor, including boots and gauntlets, although they can wear rings, cloaks, necklaces and belts.
- Gear traits, including Customization.
- Gear Head (Ex): Gear Actua have a +4 racial bonus to all Knowledge (architecture and engineering) checks and to any Craft check related to metal and to engineering. They never take a -2 penalty to any such Craft check due to lacking equipment.
- Adaptive Mind (Ex): A Gear Actua's mind is quick and adaptive, allowing it to learn certain things quicker than living beings. A Gear Actua needs to invest only a single skill point to gain an additional rank in an Intelligence based cross class skill. Resultingly, a Gear Actua only needs one skill point to learn a new language using the Speak Language skill. A Gear Actua still cannot increase the number of ranks in any Intelligence based cross class skill beyond the maximum of half that of any class skill, rounded down.
- +4 racial bonus to Listen and Spot checks.
- Automatic Languages: Common.
- Bonus Languages: Any (other than secret languages such as Druidic).
- Favored Class: Favored Class::Any. Because Gear Actua are constructed for any number of skills and abilities, they have no favored progression.
- Level Adjustment: +Level Adjustment::0
- Effective Character Level: Effective Character Level::1
Gear Actua have no definable life stages and can theoretically qualify for any class at any age. Their ability to perform or request regular self-maintenance also exempts them from the physical effects of aging. Gear Actua also have no definable gender, although they can choose to alter their appearance to emulate a specific gender or appearance. Newly assembled Actua possess identical bodies that are exactly 6 feet tall and weigh 260 pounds.