A RACE OF STALWART, HUMANOID CONSTRUCTS, gearmen, with their clanking gaits and steaming flues, are a common sight throughout Lanjyr. The artificers of Danor and Drakr developed the gearmen to use as slave labor and as construct soldiers in their ongoing wars against Risur. Many different models of gearmen were later designed for hundreds of specialized tasks—everything from bookkeeping to wizardry. After developing sapience and self-determination, the gearmen collectively conspired to free themselves from the yoke of their tiefling overlords. After a brief but bloody revolt, a diplomatic accord was reached between the ruler of House Jierre and the self-appointed King Clockwork. Some gearmen felt the accord, while allowing loyal members of their race rights and protection under Danor law, did not go far enough to compensate them for years of slavery, or prevent the less intellectually developed among them from exploitation. Renegade gearmen fled abroad and some are rumored to have forged a war-like culture in the Malice Lands.
Though they have been immigrating to Risur for the better part of a generation, the gearmen have only recently been extended personhood and legal protections there. This development was not without controversy. Most denizens of the Dreaming are offended by the presence of gearmen, as are those sympathetic to the fey or affiliated with the Unseen Court. Primalists, extremist followers of the Old Faith, have committed acts of terror against gearman settlers, and there have been several violent clashes between gearmen and “drudgers” (a term for indigent longshoreman or factory workers with stereotypically aggressive, loutish behavior and prosaic viewpoints). Many working poor accuse the gearmen—who can work longer hours and have fewer needs and expenses than organic beings—of reducing their value to the industrialists.
A vocal minority of politicians and pundits in Risur opposed the citizenship and equal protection of gearmen, most notably, Duchess Ethelyn, the king’s sister. Though her brother, King Aodhan, did express his own concerns, eventually he acceded to Parliament’s vote on behalf of the gearmen. Cynics claim the industrialists swayed the minds of lawmakers to encourage more gearmen to immigrate to Risur, thus providing them a cheaper, more robust labor force.
Physical Description: Gearmen appear as humanoids molded from a composite of materials—obsidian, iron, stone, darkwood, silver, and organic material—though they move with a surprising grace and flexibility. Flexible plates enclose the fibrous tubes, cogs, and pulleys that make up the guts of a gearman. Gearmen continuously vent steam and smoke and subsist on a “diet” of coke that smolders in their hollowed-out midsections. The voice of a gearman echoes as if amplified in a iron-enclosed chamber, emphasized by the sounds of grinding, clicks, and whistles through which these mechanical creatures express themselves.
Gearmen alter and mold their forms into various shapes, and today are as distinctive as suits of armor. Some even shape their bodies to superficially represent genders; as a growing number of gearmen curiously self-identify as male or female. Adventuring gearmen often adorn themselves with heavier armor plating than those their creator originally endowed them with. Customized armor, built-in weaponry, and other enhancements further distinguish one gearman from another.
Gearmen do not age naturally, but some of their oldest are starting to exhibit wear and tear—and an ennui that prohibits them from restoring themselves.
Relations: Apart from the extremists, the people of Lanjyr have come to terms with the gearmen among them just as the mechanical beings have striven to find a place in society for themselves. In general, the humanoid races regard the gearmen as they would anyone else, but bigotry and bad memories are deeply entrenched in some places that were especially hard hit by war. Nearly everyone in the great capitol of Cherage knows someone who was injured or killed during the gearmen revolt.
Throughout Lanjyr, the greatest social challenge the gearmen face in this day and age is one of exploitation. They have freedom but still find themselves hard-pressed to receive equal compensation for their labors. Most gearmen, not being particularly emotional creatures, accept their struggles and servitude with equanimity, but others seethe with resentment against all other races as well as those gearmen whose only desire is to please their “masters.”
Alignment: Gearmen are generally neutral. They were built to serve, not to ponder morality. Though they have evolved the capability to think independently, most choose not to wrestle with ethical ideals.
Language: Gearmen speak Common, since they were designed to communicate with their (mostly Danoran) creators and owners.
Names: Gearmen names often encapsulate their personality, interests, and purpose. Others choose names that indicate their materials, fuel sources, and machinery. Examples: Quietcogs, Ironframe, Chromeforge, Coaleater, Greasytracks, Goldshanks, Runeweld, Rustbucket, Bronzerivets.
Adventurers: Adventuring is one way that gearman can fit into the world—at least as well as any adventurer ever fits in. A fairly large number of gearmen choose an adventuring life to escape from the confines of a society they didn’t create and at the same time engage in some meaningful activity.
GEARMAN RACIAL TRAITS
+2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, –2 Charisma: Gearmen are resilient and learn quickly, but their difficulty in relating to other creatures makes them seem aloof or even hostile.
Constructed (Ex): Although gearmen are humanoids, their bodies are constructed of physical components, and in many ways they function as constructs. For the purposes of effects targeting creatures by type (such as favored enemy and bane weapons), a gearman counts as both humanoid (gearman) and construct. Additional rules are as follows:
- Gearmen are immune to bleed, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, disease, nausea, fatigue, exhaustion, effects that cause the sickened condition, and energy drain.
- Like a construct, a gearman cannot heal lethal damage naturally. But they can be repaired through the use of various Craft skills (see Equipment, Crafting). Constructs can also be healed through spells such as make whole and the various repair damage spells. Spells from the healing subschool and supernatural abilities that cure hit point damage or ability damage provide only half their normal effect to a gearman.
- Unlike constructs, gearmen are subject to nonlethal damage, stunning, ability damage, ability drain, and death effects or necromancy effects.
- Gearmen can be affected by spells that target living creatures as well as by those that target constructs. For example, a gearman is equally vulnerable to disable construct and harm.
- The unusual physical construction of gearmen makes them vulnerable to certain spells and effects that normally don’t affect living creatures. A gearman takes damage from heat metal and chill metal as if he were wearing metal armor. Likewise, a gearman is affected by repel metal or stone as if he were wearing metal armor. A gearman is repelled by repel wood. The iron in the body of a gearman makes him vulnerable to rusting grasp, taking 2d6 points of damage from the spell (Reflex half; save DC 14 + caster’s ability modifier). A gearman takes the same damage from a rust monster’s touch (Reflex DC 17 half). Spells that effect objects only cannot be used on the stone and wood parts of a gearman.
- A gearman responds slightly differently from other living creatures when reduced to negative hit points. If an injury would otherwise instill the dying condition, the gearman does not make Fortitude checks to become stable or recover. He is considered inert until repaired, or slain by further injury.
- A gearman can be raised or resurrected.
- A gearman does not need to eat, sleep, or breathe, but they must replenish the burning coke in their boilers at roughly the same rate and cost as food for other races. Gearmen can benefit from the effects of consumable spells and magic items. In an environment that makes it difficult for a gearman’s boiler to function (such as underwater or in a vacuum), they suffer an effect mechanically similar to suffocation. A gearman wizard must rest for 8 hours before preparing spells.
Composite Plating: The plating used to build a gearman provides a +2 armor bonus. This plating is not natural armor and does not stack with other effects that give an armor bonus (other than natural armor). This composite plating occupies the same space on the body as a suit of armor or a robe, and thus a gearman cannot wear armor or magic robes. Composite plating can be enchanted just as armor can be. The character must be present for the entire time it takes to enchant him.
Composite plating also provides a gearman with a 5% arcane spell failure chance, similar to the penalty for wearing light armor. Any class ability that allows a gearman to ignore the arcane spell failure chance for light armor lets him ignore this penalty as well.
Iron Fist: A gearman has a natural weapon in the form of a slam attack that deals 1d4 points of damage.
Automatic Languages: Common. Bonus Languages: Elven, Draconic, Dwarven, Goblin, Gnome, Halfling, Terran.
Juggernaut, a Gearman-specific Prestige Class