Portraying Historical Oddities

Hi, I was wondering if anyone has run a game set during the Bulterian Jihad or the like, and if so, how they handled dealing with the mechanics (har-har) of portraying Thinking Machines, Cymeks, and a bit more unusually, the Sorceresses of Rossak. I’ve been kicking around a campaign idea, and have been stuttering with how to handle those elements.

I’m sure they’ll likely be covered at some point in the future with the scores of books on the horizon, but I figured I’d see if anyone had anything they use until then.


Just some general thoughts:

Sorceresses should be relatively easy to implement, just a bunch of talents that enable telekinesis, telepathy and whatever else they had.
No idea about specifics exactly. Off-hand, they were quite powerful things at their strongest but also often kinda useless for a lot of things, so balancing them may be tricky. Might be better off as NPC/plot device type of stuff rather than anything for players. Or perhaps power comes at a cost, Threat for GM whenever a player uses a psychic power?

Cymeks should be probably treated as complex assets or collections of assets, with some skills and other things also relying on these. I mean, for example, the brain canister ain’t gonna be moving around, so it can’t have move skill exactly, but different cymek bodies might feature different mobility. On the other hand, it probably would have battle skill, though it would have to be modified or treated differently depending on what kind of body the brain is installed in. Without a body a cymek brain may use its battle skill for strategy or the like, but doesn’t have “skill at arms”.
There could be a scout cymek body that is fast but not heavily armed. A combat body would feature a lot of weapons. And so on. Also figure a cymek’s experience might dictate what kind of body they get. A newbie probably won’t get a complex body with a thousand different weapons, as learning stuff takes time.

Thinking machines could be similar to cymeks probably. Not entirely sure how individual robots would work, off-hand most were just automatons doing specific tasks, not really “thinking” in any way.
Don’t think these are fundamentally different from human characters game mechanically, aside from adding certain specific traits, such as “gel circuitry” which makes them vulnerable to pulse weapons, or whatever else is appropriate depending what the unit is designed for. A soldier robot is different from a mining robot probably.
Individual robots are probably rare, off-hand the books featured exactly three named thinking machines: Omnius, Erasmus and Vorian’s robot buddy whose name escapes me. Omnius didn’t exactly like things being different from itself.

Robots and cymeks may be hard to fit to existing character and asset creation rules. Figure keeping them as NPCs and plot devices is advisable.