A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Treasury of the Machine

Treasury of the Machine by Tim Hitchcock, Robert Brookes, Jeff Lee, and Jonathan H. Keith and published by Legendary Games is a supplement for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. The supplement is part of Legendary’s Adventure Path Plug-Ins series, which are designed to add extra content for the official Adventure Paths published by Paizo. This supplement is for use with the Iron Gods series, #85 to #90, which revolves around a crashed starship. The book is covered by the Open Game License and therefore some of it is considered to be Open Game Content. It also comes in a version for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition.

Treasury of the MachineThe supplement is available as a PDF from RPGNow for $5.99, a print on demand softcover colour book for $11.99 or both book and PDF for $13.99. A printed book version is also available from Amazon. The PDF is the version reviewed, which was purchased at the reduced price of $0.95. The PDF has 28 pages, of which two pages are the front and rear covers, one page is the front matter, one page is about the Adventure Path Plug-In series and Legendary Games, one page is the Contents, one page is essentially an introduction, one page has a table of the items ordered by price and one page is the Open Game License.

There are many new items separated into various categories, some of them different from the norm, given that the items are technological in nature rather than magical. Each follows the standard format for technological items.

Treasury of the Machine in Review

The PDF has bookmarks, but they are a bit disorganised. The primary sections, the new material and the new robot are all linked from the bookmarks, but there are also duplicated of these bookmarks as well. The various sections are hyperlinked from the Contents, and there are external web links to relevant material in the Pathfinder Reference Document and d20PFSRD. Bookmarks linking to each individual item would have been appreciated.

The PDF is in full colour and there are a number of illustrations for the various items. The majority of the book maintains a two column layout and is largely error free, although there is a comment about “pregenerated characters” which would appear to have been mistakenly used from another supplement as (Metal Heroes: Pregenerated Characters), of course, this one contains items and, in the description for the Discipline Rod, part of the text has been copied from the similar item, the Rapture Rod.

This supplement has rather more items than others in the Treasury range. Most have around 30 new items, plus the occasional option; this one has a total of 63, including the minor artefact, as well as a new robot and a new material. In addition, rather than being magical in nature, these are technological. Unlike some of the other Treasury collections in the Adventure Path Plug-Ins series, this is perhaps not as easily adapted to other settings, simply because of the extensive use of technology.

Technology crossovers have been an occasional element in fantasy RPGs since the early years; S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks was an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventure that took place in a crashed spaceship that was published in 1980 (although its origins were a few years older than that) and various incarnations of Dave Arneson‘s Blackmoor setting have had technology, also from a crashed ship. What made those different was that there was no way for players to make their own technological items; once an item was broken or used up, it was gone. This allows players to create more items, which has the potential to be unbalancing (the same is, of course, true of the Adventure Path as well).

The items themselves are pretty impressive. Each is well described, and many are rather creative in their applications, rather than being simply spells in a thing, the default for many creations. Their feel is not really magical in nature, but then they aren’t magical items. There are a couple which combine both magic and technology to create new and interesting results; it’s a shame there aren’t more like that.

Treasury of the Machine is a nicely done supplement that should prove useful for its primary attended purpose of expanding the Iron Gods Adventure Path, but using it in other settings will be harder.

 

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