Describe Dragon Mech here.
You asked for it. Start with the basic Dungeons & Dragons
setting, which contributed to the basic ideas of the High Fantasy
genre as we know it today, Dwarves
, et cetera. Then something completely unprecedented happens: the moon grows in the night sky, until it is literally falling to the earth, particle by particle, in a series of apocalyptic meteor showers
every night. Civilizations crumble as untold numbers of lives are lost in the nightly lunar rains, showers of boulders raining down on the land like some unholy siege. The survivors flee underground as the only effective shelter against the cataclysm.
This is where it gets weird. First, it turns out the moon is inhabited. All sorts of alien monsters are brought down to earth
, voluntarily or not, as part of the lunar rain. The most feared among these are the Lunar Dragons: all-consuming monstrosities which are, pound for pound, more powerful than any terrestrial dragon. Worse still, Lunar Gods are coming into contact with the earthly deities, and waging war against them. Clerics and Paladins find that they occasionally simply don't receive the magic usually granted by their hosts, as the gods are weakened or at least kept busy by the war. Second, one dwarf mechanic from an ancient guild of mechanics introduces something long-lost to the world: steam-powered Humongous Mecha
Yes, you read that right.
The result is that the safest places on the planet, besides deep underground, are now the City Mechs, obscenely huge, humanoid mechs that carry entire cities on their backs.
Tropes present in this setting:
- An Adventurer Is You: it's a D20 setting, you do the math.
- Alien Invasion
- BFS: Well, any sword used by large scale mech count. The biggest one is the Moonquencher, a sentient magic sword used by Sharlorn, the Necropolis mech. It's mentioned that its creator already has plan for even larger sword.
- Caped Mecha: Mentioned and deconstructed for laugh in Paladin profile.
"One Legion commander even commissioned a massive velvet cape for his paladin, although an encounter with a flame nozzle nearly led to disaster two weeks after the cape was installed."
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: the cult of Dotrak, a machine god, is bringing Dotrak into existence.
- Clock Punk: While Steam Punk is more common, the vessels of Dotrak gain a clockwork heart, and a handful of mechs (most notably Smiggenbopper's Perambulatory Orc) use clockwork rather than steam or magic. Even the clockwork mechs are wound by a steam engine though.
- Colony Drop: the Lunar Rain.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: the "steamborg" class has a trait called "Lose Self" that forces a Charisma check to avoid spending the day as a partially biological machine.
- Eldritch Abomination: the lunar gods are weird. The good old D20 Aboleth also exist here, and worse, now they use mechs to travel on land as well.
- The End of the World as We Know It: it's kind of hard to miss the descending moon. It's already totally redesigned the face of the planet and it hasn't even hit yet.
- Eternal Engine: The lower levels of the city-mechs are filled with "gear forests," enormous rooms of engines, pipes, gears, and other machinery. They have even developed their own ecosystems, with the grease lizard being the dominant predator.
- One of the variant classes introduced in Dragon Mech is the clockwork rangers, who have dedicated themselves to preserving the gear forests and who have developed skills and abilities that let them navigate the gear forests with ease.
- Fantastic Racism: Shar Thizdic, the master of the Legion and a diehard human supremacist. Since the Legion is one of the most powerful military forces in the world, this has made a lot of people very worried.
- Feel No Pain: tortogs are largely immune to pain unless someone punches through their shell.
- Impossibly Graceful Giant: the mech devil prestige class, a sort of monk/barbarian/mech pilot hybrid, gains a supernatural ability that turns their mechs into the kung fu robot subtype.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha
- The Legions of Hell: Due to fact that the gods of Highpoint are weaken, even weak devils can be found here.
- Lizard Folk: an unusual form in tortogs, tortoise-men who serve as traders because they can withstand the lower intensities of lunar rain thanks to their massive shells.
- Magitek: The animated mechs, including undead mechs created via necromancy. There is also spell furnance, which function just like steam engine except it's magic-powered.
- Nay-Theist: everywhere. Something about the gods failing to stop the freaking moon from falling kind of turned a lot of people off the whole "religion" thing. Ironically, Mech Manual states that the orcs are still faithful to the gods. They view the lunar rain as act of their gods, and the gods' failure to respond to their prayers is only a passing concern, as even the greatest warriors must rest after a hard battle.
- Our Dragons Are Different: The local ones are relatively standard D20 dragons. Lunar dragons, on the other hand, are bulky monsters with horns all over their faces, pallid and veined skin, weakened flight in terrestrial gravity, no interest in treasure, and More Teeth than the Osmond Family.
- Powered Armor: Used by the Irontooth Clan and Orc.
- Scenery Gorn: every description of the surface world emphasises that the lunar rain has kind of messed up everything everywhere. Natural beauty is so hard to find that kings will pay a fortune for a bunch of daisies.
- Science Fantasy: Steam Punk + High Fantasy.
- Spider Tank: The Scorpion. Mech Manual add Ganasher, Lactrodectus (a literal example) and Deep Spider. Finally, The Last City add Nardigrum to this trope.
- Title Drop: The DragonMechs are a Stenian elite mech unit dedicated to slaying lunar dragons.
- Took a Level in Badass: The core rulebook only gives passing mention to orc mech and undead mech. The first is primitive design and not really good in mech battle, while little info are given to the latter. Then in Mech Manual reveals that the orcs are now capable of built their own series of mechs, and some are extremely dangerous. It also state that while undead mechs are uncommon, they aren't rare as they were. And there is even a Necropolis, undead city mech.
- Transhuman: the entire point of the steamborg class, who replace their meat parts with steam-powered machinery. The Assimilated prestige class achieves a variant by permanently installing themselves into their mechs.
- Weird Moon: populated by strange monsters and eldritch abominations, and oh yeah it's falling, did we mention that?
- When Trees Attack: forestrati are treants driven insane by the ongoing apocalypse, which randomly attack anything that moves.