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Lost Technology of Sunken Empires

Lost Technology of Sunken Empires

RevolverThis week sees the release of Sunken Empires, and already bursting at the seams, there was simply too much material for its pages alone. It was packed to the GILLS! Ha! Ahem, anyway… this week, to celebrate, Kobold Quarterly presents new gaming bits, complementing what’s already packed within Sunken Empires and all from the same designers—there’s additional spells for manipulating ioun stones and the water around you, there’s additional lost technologies, there’s even a new monster. And more!


(Illustration by Christophe Swal)

I’m not sure what it is, but I know someone who will pay a fortune for it.

There’s untold riches just waiting to be found at the sea’s bottom, they say. Some of it’s strange, but hey, there’s always a buyer.

But once you understand what you’re trading in, you may decide to keep some of it yourself…

Ankeshelian Arciary

This device appears to be a flat piece of brushed steel with a smooth piece of black onyx slate inset on one side. It has cable that runs from the bottom, and when it is attached to a vril battery, the black screen lights up and allows the user to verbally record up to 5 pages of information per charge. When the device is full, the oldest data must be erased before new data can be recorded. Users can record magical spells into the device, but doing so cost twice as many pages. It stores a maximum of 100 pages worth of information, and drains a single charge from the vril battery per month of use.

Thalassos Box

These metal boxes, the first of which were discovered in the tomb of Thalassos IV, measure 1 ft. on a side. One face displays a series of dials and buttons. When activated and placed adjacent to a wounded creature, hatches open on the box’s side and several slender mechanical probes examine the individual and perform, as needed, one or all of the following actions as described in the Heal skill: provide first aid, treat disease or poison, treat deadly wounds, and remove caltrops. It automatically succeeds on all Heal skill checks. When treating deadly wounds the box restores an additional 1d6+1 hp. A newly restored unused Thalassos box contains enough medicine and sutures for 25 applications. Each use of the box drains 2 charges from the attached vril battery.

There is a 1% chance any Thalassos box malfunctions when used. Such a box inflicts 1d6+1 damage when rendering first aid, treating deadly wounds, or removing caltrops. If such a box treats poison or disease, the treated creature takes a -2 penalty on its next saving throw against the condition.

Velourian Psychograph

This metal case opens to a field of dials, probes, gauges, and tubes. Coiled within, braided fibers terminate into flexible pads and leather belts of varying sizes, including a lattice of straps intended to cover a subject’s head. When you affix the pads and belts to a subject, you gain a greater insight to the subject’s true intentions. Without a power source, the device still grants you a +5 bonus to Sense Motive checks due to the phrenological readings the probes and gauges provide. When attached to a battery, the device can accurately discern whether a subject is lying (Will DC 20 negates). Operating it in this way drains 3 charges from the attached vril battery for every minute of use. You can also force the subject to utter no lies, though this setting is painful. Each round you use this setting, the subject convulses in pain, suffering 2 damage and can speak only the truth for the next minute (Will DC 17 negates). This is a mind-affecting effect.

(This post is Product Identity.)

6 thoughts on “Lost Technology of Sunken Empires”

  1. Ah, yes! Very detailed rules for figuring out these wonders are in the book. For our purposes here, I’d make it at least a 25 or 30 Knowledge (engineering) or (history) check, and remember that detect magic and identify won’t help much.

    And hope the items have already been restored by a professional! =-)

  2. I admit, I easter egged this one as well….with another Pixies song. I challenge any casual reader to check the lyrics to Velouria and not get a distinctively Lemurian theme to the whole song.

    “Hold my head,
    We’ll trampoline.
    Finally through the roof,
    On to somewhere near,
    And far in time.”


    “Forever green,
    I know she’s here,
    In California.
    I can see the tears,
    Of Shastasheen”

  3. These remind me of the tech items in S3 but I like the way they’re more steampunk than space opera. Is there a flowchart on figuring these out in Sunken Empires? Do they blow up in the PCs’ faces if they press the wrong buttons? ;)

  4. Adam, the Pixies references are wonderful. I was fortunately enough to see them a couple times, and I still treasure a Dutch cover of “Where is my mind?”

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