The Hextech System
Mostly out-of-character document
The Hextech System
Hextech is a new art created in the Mists of 1299. Before this, there was no Hextech anywhere in the world: Ancient Hextech does not exist. Anyone who has heard rumours or encountered Hextech before is aware that it combines mechanisms with magic, and is able to produce remarkable effects.
Junior Hextechnicians may be aware that Hextech has existed for a few decades in Byzantium, which was itself created in the same Mists, but is still a new technology even there. They understand how to create items from schematics, but are not typically aware of precisely how the items they create work so much as that they do, at least as long as the schematic is precisely followed. All Hextech items have a limited working life, which can be extended by regular maintenance.
More advanced Hextechnicians are likely to know that Hextech devices channel magical energy along the precisely delineated paths of elemental metal in their construction, and are powered by their alchemical metal content, plus potentially mana crystals or other power sources. They may also know that, whatever the Byzantine dwarves claim, Hextech was introduced to them by the demons of Gateways, a few decades ago in Byzantium's timeline. Although Hextech items cannot produce spiritual effects, a skilled Hextechnician might be able to work out ways to create effects that appear superficially similar, despite the different method of execution underlying them.
Master Hextechnicians (and those Hextechnicians who are also students of geomancy) are aware that Hextech devices function in a manner akin to geomancy on the microscopic scale, which is why the precise outlining of a schematic is so vital. They have an understanding of the ways in which the various metals may conduct, block, or alter magical energy to produce almost any magi-mechanical effect. Runemetal may also be used to power Hextech items, as it is much more powerful than alchemical metal.
Hextech Complexity Levels
- Basic. Requires only one kind of elemental metal and/or only one unit of alchemical metal. Provides abilities suited to a character of level 3 or lower.
- Complex. Requires more than one kind of elemental metal and/or two units of alchemical metal. Provides abilities suited to characters of level 3-5.
- Intricate. Requires many kinds of elemental metal and/or three units of alchemical metal. Provides abilities suited to characters of level 5-7.
- Legendary. Requires vast quantities of resources. Provides abilities suited to characters of level 8+.
Note that the refs may at their discretion adjust the complexity of an item up or down one level from that predicted by its manufacturing costs, according to the expected usefulness of the ability it grants.
Hextech Crafting Costs
Hextech items do not have a manufacturing cost other than the cost of their components. However, they cost CTUs according to the base CTU cost of the item, multiplied by (the Mastercrafted modifier + thrice the level of complexity). Small items such as amulets are presumed to have a base CTU cost of 3 for this purpose, so the CTU cost for a Basic Hextech amulet would be 3 x (5 + 0) = 15 CTU. In comparison, the CTU cost for an Intricate Hextech amulet would be 3 x (5 + 6) = 33 CTU. Similarly, a Complex Hextech longsword (36") would cost 6 x (5 + 3) = 48 CTU.
Hextech Complexity Limits
There is a limit to the amount of Hextech that can be concentrated into one location (i.e. on one character) before the close proximity of differing elemental metals and powers causes instability, and items begin to malfunction. Stabilisation devices can be created that link Hextech items together to raise this limit. The number of items a character may carry without a stabilisation device is determined by a total complexity limit as follows:
Complexity Rating = (No. of items carried) + (Total item complexity rating)
If the Complexity Rating exceeds 6, the most complex item carried begins to malfunction, and cannot be used. For each additional excess of 3 (Complexity Ratings of 9, 12, etc.), another item malfunctions. If the character relinquishes an item (places it on the floor and steps away; gives it to another character; etc.) then their Complexity Rating drops accordingly, and their remaining items may begin to function normally. Note that placing a Hextech sword into a back scabbard or a Hextech amulet into a pocket does not count as relinquishing that item, even if that action renders the character physically incapable of activating the item's powers.
Therefore, any character may own and use two Intricate Hextech items (CR = 2 + 2 + 2 = 6) simultaneously, or one Intricate, one Complex, and one Basic device (CR = 3 + 2 + 1 + 0 = 6) without mishap, but may not use any further Hextech items without an Intricate device malfunctioning.
Stabilisation devices are Hextech items of Complex or above which provide a bonus to allowable Complexity Rating of 4 x (stabilisation level), and do not count towards CR. A Complex stabilisation device will therefore permit a character to carry Hextech up to a CR of 6 + (4 x 1) = 10. An Intricate stabilisation device, likewise, will permit a character to carry Hextech up to a CR of 6 + (4 x 2) = 14. Only one stabilisation device may be worn at any one time, and a stabilisation device is always the first piece of Hextech to malfunction if the CR is exceeded, frequently causing a failure cascade in the character's other items. Unlike other Hextech items, a malfunctioning stabilisation device does not begin to work again until repaired by a Hextechnician of the appropriate skill.