Cocoa

Making Mecha with the Invested Arts

3 posts in this topic

Just for fun, I gave some thought as to the hows and whys you'd go about making mechas with the different invested arts.

Allomancy: Use Southern Scadrian mechanical allomancy to push and pull on the appropriate parts to move the mecha around. Additional coinshot weapons systems can also utilize mechanical steel burning, or even cadmium bubble grenades like Marasi used in BoM. Unfortunately, it would be hard to scale up very far unless Southern Scadrian technology can store wight from an inanimate object in an iron-mind (or perhaps reinforce the material strength of the mecha in some other way).

Awakening: This might actually be the single most intuitive invested art for mecha to arise out of. Thanks to the Law of BioChromatic Parallelism, shaping a gigantic hunk of metal into a humanoid form would actually make it more effective than it would otherwise be (or at least less resource-intense to create). The major hurtle would just be getting enough breaths and finding the right command.

AonDor: While it probably can't do everything, AonDor is one of the more versatile invested arts we've seen. Beyond just finding the right Aon and modifier combination to reinforce and animate the mecha, I also imagine you'd also need some sort of 'power core' to fuel the whole thing, possibly incorporating AonRao. One of the obvious downsides to something like this is that it wouldn't function very well outside Arelon's borders, if at all.

Dakhor: Instead of an inorganic mecha like other arts, I actually imagine Dakhor making an (at least partially) organic, 'living' mecha from a heavily modified human. It feels like it'd fit Fjorden's general vibe, plus we've already seen Dakhor modify and reinforce skeletal structures before; this would just be taking that existing principle further.

Bloodsealing: "Hey, what if we stuck a whole lot of skeletals together into one really big skeletal?" "Duuuuuuude, that would be rad!" - two bloodsealers after partaking of a particular Dzhamarian swamp plant.

Surgebinding (and fabrials): With either a radiant or fabrial capable of using the surge of gravitation, you could lighten the mecha enough to get around most square-cube issues as long as you had enough stormlight. I can pretty easily imagine various fabrials being used to make all the parts move in a motion-capture-type way, especially now that Navani's figured out a trick for magnifying an applied force between two parts of a paired fabrial. I also think that, rather than going for a humanoid look, Rosharans would probably take inspiration from greatshells and make animalistic mecha. Rosharans also have the advantage of already having the basic idea of powered armor in widespread circulation, which lends itself well to making the mental leap of "what if we made shardplate but bigger?"

Sand Mastery: Possibly the most 'low-tech' mecha type. Build a light frame, probably out of wood, that sand masters can then wrap their lines of sand around and through. Make sure the mecha caries plenty of water with it that the operator can use to rehydrate.

Edited by Cocoa
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Fun!

13 hours ago, Cocoa said:

Just for fun, I gave some thought as to the hows and whys you'd go about making mechas with the different invested arts.

Allomancy: Use Southern Scadrian mechanical allomancy to push and pull on the appropriate parts to move the mecha around. Additional coinshot weapons systems can also utilize mechanical steel burning, or even cadmium bubble grenades like Marasi used in BoM. Unfortunately, it would be hard to scale up very far unless Southern Scadrian technology can store wight from an inanimate object in an iron-mind (or perhaps reinforce the material strength of the mecha in some other way).

Harmonium should be able to help make feruchemy effect the mecha itself (same as the airships). From there you could probably scale a basic Steel/Iron Piston Actuator as far as you wanted, so long as you can coordinate all the complexity in a control system.

13 hours ago, Cocoa said:

Awakening: This might actually be the single most intuitive invested art for mecha to arise out of. Thanks to the Law of BioChromatic Parallelism, shaping a gigantic hunk of metal into a humanoid form would actually make it more effective than it would otherwise be (or at least less resource-intense to create). The major hurtle would just be getting enough breaths and finding the right command.

I would probably go with resin-reinforced wood, Greatshell chiton, etc.  Anything that is technically organic, so you dont need such a huge heightening just to make the Breaths stick.  

13 hours ago, Cocoa said:

AonDor: While it probably can't do everything, AonDor is one of the more versatile invested arts we've seen. Beyond just finding the right Aon and modifier combination to reinforce and animate the mecha, I also imagine you'd also need some sort of 'power core' to fuel the whole thing, possibly incorporating AonRao. One of the obvious downsides to something like this is that it wouldn't function very well outside Arelon's borders, if at all.

You'd need a Connection Tether on it like we saw the Ire use.  Otherwise, this would probably be the most complex at every level (compared to the cool steam-punky-ness of the Metallic Arts) since you'd be custom designing a lot of different Aons to accomplish all the functionality.  On the up side, you could probably incorporate a lot more esoteric functionality (Fireballs, realm shifting, etc) than are readily available to the metallic arts.  

13 hours ago, Cocoa said:

Dakhor: Instead of an inorganic mecha like other arts, I actually imagine Dakhor making an (at least partially) organic, 'living' mecha from a heavily modified human. It feels like it'd fit Fjorden's general vibe, plus we've already seen Dakhor modify and reinforce skeletal structures before; this would just be taking that existing principle further.

The biggest catch here is that Dakhor may require a living person as the focus, something with a living spritweb, etc, since it seems like Hemalurgy that works inside a living being.  If so, a Dakhor "Mecha" would be a little closer to a massive Frankenstein monster with a Rider more than a pilot.  

13 hours ago, Cocoa said:

Bloodsealing: "Hey, what if we stuck a whole lot of skeletals together into one really big skeletal?" "Duuuuuuude, that would be rad!" - two bloodsealers after partaking of a particular Dzhamarian swamp plant.

Wont have the living focus issue of Dakhor, but the common form requires "complete" skeletons, implying that it will not work with customized bone patterns.  On the other hand, that might just be a development issue, since all the Dor magics are supposed to be programming languages, so there may be some way to expand it.  

13 hours ago, Cocoa said:

Surgebinding (and fabrials): With either a radiant or fabrial capable of using the surge of gravitation, you could lighten the mecha enough to get around most square-cube issues as long as you had enough stormlight. I can pretty easily imagine various fabrials being used to make all the parts move in a motion-capture-type way, especially now that Navani's figured out a trick for magnifying an applied force between two parts of a paired fabrial. I also think that, rather than going for a humanoid look, Rosharans would probably take inspiration from greatshells and make animalistic mecha. Rosharans also have the advantage of already having the basic idea of powered armor in widespread circulation, which lends itself well to making the mental leap of "what if we made shardplate but bigger?"

Agreed, this is probably the most "natural" aside from Awakening.  The insectoid legs of greatshells are easier to make work from a mechanical and balance control standpoint.  And they have the Thundercasts to inspire the Pacific Rim response.  The two routes that I see are to either build a Mechanical Fabrial with lots of gem-devices, or else work it from the Spren direction and make a Manifest Spren device more along the lines of the Oathgates, Soulcasters, or (sorta) like the Sibling/Tower.

13 hours ago, Cocoa said:

Sand Mastery: Possibly the most 'low-tech' mecha type. Build a light frame, probably out of wood, that sand masters can then wrap their lines of sand around and through. Make sure the mecha caries plenty of water with it that the operator can use to rehydrate.

Very Stone-age, I like it! Lines of sand for movement, possibly a Sand-Shroud skin for defence. You'd want to go full Voltron on it with multiple pilots to share the control burden.  

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On 2021-11-22 at 1:50 AM, Cocoa said:

Awakening: This might actually be the single most intuitive invested art for mecha to arise out of. Thanks to the Law of BioChromatic Parallelism, shaping a gigantic hunk of metal into a humanoid form would actually make it more effective than it would otherwise be (or at least less resource-intense to create). The major hurtle would just be getting enough breaths and finding the right command.

Honestly, the simplest thing to do here would probably be to do Kalad's Phantoms, but bigger.

Encase bone in stone or metal, let the Breath do the rest. You'd just need some Command shenanigans to let it respond to the pilot.

Though you would probably run into fun* physics problems once you scale it up, but at least it should be able to keep its own balance.

(*actual fun not guaranteed)

On 2021-11-22 at 1:50 AM, Cocoa said:

Bloodsealing: "Hey, what if we stuck a whole lot of skeletals together into one really big skeletal?" "Duuuuuuude, that would be rad!" - two bloodsealers after partaking of a particular Dzhamarian swamp plant.

So, the interesting thing here is that I could see it going the same way as I propose for Awakening, depending on if the skeleton could be spread out or not.

The other thing you could do is possibly end up with an amalgamate monster, basically. Think something similar to how the Sleepless work, have multiple skeletals grab/hook onto eachother to form one interlinked giant.

Problem here is that you'd need to coordinate all the skeletals so that the whole thing doesn't trip and fall, and making sure that the bones can take the stress. Things snapping or becoming Invested bonemeal is not in your best interest.

On 2021-11-22 at 1:50 AM, Cocoa said:

Allomancy: Use Southern Scadrian mechanical allomancy to push and pull on the appropriate parts to move the mecha around. Additional coinshot weapons systems can also utilize mechanical steel burning, or even cadmium bubble grenades like Marasi used in BoM. Unfortunately, it would be hard to scale up very far unless Southern Scadrian technology can store wight from an inanimate object in an iron-mind (or perhaps reinforce the material strength of the mecha in some other way).

Hmm, you'd need to be able to modulate Push/Pull strength pretty finely, or the movements would be very janky. Given that mecha have some inherent problems (small footprint for their mass, balance, inconvenient center of gravity and I'm pretty sure a lot of strain on the materials), janky movements is not something you'd want.

We do know from BoM that it's possible to mechanically store the weight of objects:

Quote

"Fed is down below, priming the weight-changin machinery with her Feruchemy, to lighten the ship."

-BoM, chapter 29

So Scadrial could solve stress from mass and the problem of a too small footprint.

On 2021-11-22 at 1:50 AM, Cocoa said:

AonDor: While it probably can't do everything, AonDor is one of the more versatile invested arts we've seen. Beyond just finding the right Aon and modifier combination to reinforce and animate the mecha, I also imagine you'd also need some sort of 'power core' to fuel the whole thing, possibly incorporating AonRao. One of the obvious downsides to something like this is that it wouldn't function very well outside Arelon's borders, if at all.

AonDor is probably the system that I think is most likely to be able to easily solve all the issues with humanoid warmachines. AonDor seems able to do darn near anything, as long as you know what you're doing. They could probably levitate the parts, make them work as a cohesive whole and possibly even find a way around the balance problem.

But as you mention, getting them to work outside Arelon would be trickier.

On 2021-11-22 at 1:50 AM, Cocoa said:

Dakhor: Instead of an inorganic mecha like other arts, I actually imagine Dakhor making an (at least partially) organic, 'living' mecha from a heavily modified human. It feels like it'd fit Fjorden's general vibe, plus we've already seen Dakhor modify and reinforce skeletal structures before; this would just be taking that existing principle further.

This is probably the least viable, from my perspective, possibly tied with Bloodsealing. Problem here is that you're square/cubing a living thing.

You'd either need a constant flow of Investiture to heal it, or a way to either lower body temperature or bleed off heat. It'd cook itself otherwise.

And this one also has the problem of being made of squishy organics, it can bleed, have muscles destroyed, tendons cut and nerves severed. It'd also be easy to compromise through electrical attack.

Sticking to something that moves by the power of Investiture just seems far more practical.

On 2021-11-22 at 1:50 AM, Cocoa said:

Surgebinding (and fabrials): With either a radiant or fabrial capable of using the surge of gravitation, you could lighten the mecha enough to get around most square-cube issues as long as you had enough stormlight. I can pretty easily imagine various fabrials being used to make all the parts move in a motion-capture-type way, especially now that Navani's figured out a trick for magnifying an applied force between two parts of a paired fabrial. I also think that, rather than going for a humanoid look, Rosharans would probably take inspiration from greatshells and make animalistic mecha. Rosharans also have the advantage of already having the basic idea of powered armor in widespread circulation, which lends itself well to making the mental leap of "what if we made shardplate but bigger?"

Mechanical greatshell with half-shard plating? Sign me up!

Most functional overall design, multiple limbs to support the mass. Low centre of mass, good.

Have to figure out how to move the actuators effectively and not have the limbs interfere with eachother. Must also have some kind of suspension to deal with uneven terrain.

Hard to crack from the outside, vulnerable to mechanical failure. Gems cracking under strain would be a big problem, as well as limbs getting stuck or entangled. This could break the conjoiners that make the thing move on either end, or compromise the limb joints.

Fuel and energy-hungry, even more so if Lashings are used to lighten the mech.

Possible problem of creating its own frame of reference, making the whole thing not work.

Least likely to fall over and break.

 

¤_¤

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