Concussive Cannon

Artifact •• TO •••••

Repair Rating: Varies (Below)

One of the oldest and simplest forms of magical ranged weapon not powered by muscle in some fashion, concussive Essence cannons function by focusing motes into crystals that convert that Essence into pulsed beams of pure force. Because they are so easy to build and maintain (relatively speaking), these cannons remain the most widely fielded First Age weapons in Creation. The Realm and Lookshy both deploy them in sizeable numbers for major engagements, and quite a number of more prosperous nations throughout the Threshold have a few kept in reserve.

Make a reflexive [(Dexterity or Stamina) + Athletics] roll at difficulty 3 for any roughly human-sized character struck by a blast from a concussive Essence cannon. Failure means she is blasted a number of yards back equal to the cannon’s artifact rating and falls prone. Increase this difficulty to 5 for beings notably smaller than humans, and decrease it to 1 for horse-sized beings. (Larger creatures are too massive to be blasted back.)

Concussive Essence cannons come in five ascending size categories of power. The Essence cost listed in each weapons’ statistics has two values separated by a slash. The first is the attunement cost, and the second is the number of motes needed to power each blast. Some First Age cannons have a hearthstone socket, and as long as this socket is filled with a stone of the appropriate rating or better (which provides no other benefit while used this way), the cannons have a reduced Essence cost. These models are considered to have an Artifact rating one dot higher. If hearthstone-powered models exist for a particular size category, a second Essence cost is provided in parentheses, with the required hearthstone rating given after a comma with the second cost. Some copies still require a one-mote commitment even with a hearthstone, as a security feature to prevent mortal use.

Personal Arms

Very Small (Artifact 2, Repair 1): Scaled for portable personal defense, these small bulbous wands tipped with emitter nozzles fit snugly in one hand, powered by a conductive pad set in the grip to absorb Essence from the wielder. The devices must be recalibrated after every scene in which they are used. For each scene of use the weapon is in arrears, its damage cumulatively decreases by one level until it finally stops working altogether.

Small (Artifact 2, Repair 1): A heavy brass and steel tube lined with Essence lenses, this model of cannon is just small enough to qualify as a personal weapon. It is fired over the shoulder for use in crowd control or attacking small vehicles/structures.


Medium (Artifact 3, Repair 1): Normally requiring a two-man team to move and fire (though one gunner can operate a fixed emplacement), these light artillery cannons can blast apart wagons or walls with equal facility. Human-sized characters who try to fire a personally carried medium cannon suffer a -3 internal penalty from its unwieldy size. (This penalty comes in addition to any penalties for failing to meet the weapon’s hefty Strength requirements.)

Large (Artifact 4, Repair 2): These massive weapons have reinforced barrels of white jade alloyed with alchemically enhanced steel nearly three yards long. Although they can be mounted in a fixed position on heavy wagons or Second Age ships, they must be fired with care, as the recoil from each shot drives the cannon back five yards (20B piercing to anything crushed in the path). Placed atop reinforced turrets on stone fortifications or the hulls of First Age naval vessels or skyships, the cannons gain far greater angles of fire coverage and do not endanger those behind them.

Very Large (Artifact 5, Repair 2): Only the largest skyships and naval vessels of the First could mount these massive five-yard cannons. Most were set in fortress turrets. Hearthstone-powered versions of cannons this size are still Artifact 5, but have a Rate of 1/4 instead. As a reminder, having a Rate lower than 1 means that a character can fire the weapon only every so many actions. (For example, Rate 1/2 means the character can fire the weapon once with one action, but cannot fire the weapon on his next action and must wait until one action further to fire again.)

Type Speed Accuracy Damage Rate Range Cost Minimums Attune Tags
Very Small 4 +1 10B 1 50 1/3 1 P
Small 4 +1 15B 1 75 3/5 (3/0, 2) Str •••• 1 P
Medium 5 +0 20B 1 125 5/8 (0/0, 3) Str ••••• ••• 1 P
Large 6 -2 (-4 if Wagon Mounted) 30B, 3 Yard Radius 1 200 7/12 (0/0, 3) Mounted 1 P
Very Large 8 -4 45B, 5 Yard Radius 1/2 300 7/12 (0/0, 4) Mounted 1 P
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