The Dragonlance Nexus

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Varga, Mechanical Engineer

by Clive Squire

Male Gnome Master (craftsman) 7/Gnomish Tinker 3
Strength9 Fortitude+3 Armor Class16
Dexterity13 Reflex+6 Flat-footed AC12
Constitution10 Will+9 Touch AC15
Intelligence18 AlignmentN Base Attack+7/+2
Wisdom12 Speed20 ft. Melee Attack+6/+1
Charisma12 Initiative+1 Ranged Attack+8/+3
Hit Points36 SizeSmall


Gnome Traits, Gnomish Guild (crafts), Primary Focus (crafts), Secondary Focus (sage), Kitbash, Consultant, Gnomish Toolbelt, MacGuffin, Remarkable Discovery (medium armour proficiency), Applied Craftsmanship, Item of Distinction (craft – weaponsmithing).


Appraise +11 (+13 with weapons, armour and woodwork), Craft (alchemy) +16, Craft (armourer) +21, Craft (carpentry) +14, Craft (leatherworking) +12, Craft (weaponsmithing) +24, Concentration +2, Decipher Script +8, Diplomacy +5, Disable Device +17, Gather Information +7, Knowledge (engineering) +13, Knowledge (local) +9, Listen +5, Open Lock +5, Search +14 (+16 secret doors), Sense Motive +5, Sleight of Hand +1, Spot +5, Use Magic Device +13, Use Rope +8.


Armour Proficiency (medium), Excelled Craftsmanship (Craft – armourer & weaponsmithing)*, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Goblin-Beater), Greater Improvise Weapon, Greater Primary Focus*, Improvise Weapon, Skill Focus (craft – weaponsmithing). *Found on the Nexus.


Common, Ergot, Gnome, Goblin, Solamnic.


Quarterstaff +7/+2 melee (1d4) or quarterstaff +7/+2 (1d4–1/1d4–1) as a double weapon or goblin-beater +6 melee (1d4/x4 [+2d6 flame & +2d6 cold for 1 round from alchemical capsules]).


Quarterstaff, goblin-beater (see below), long grabber (see below), tool belts, various fasteners, various tools, gnomish toolbelt (3 tool points; each tool point may be spent for a +2 enhancement bonus on any one Craft, Disable Device, Open Lock or Use Magic Device skill check or used to activate Kitbash or MacGuffin abilities), weapon capsule retainers (4)*, quickflame alchemical capsule (2)*, quickfrost alchemical capsule (2)*. (*Weapon capsule retainers and alchemical capsules can be found in Complete Adventurer)


Varga is an atypical gnome. He has a large nose with blue eyes, white beard, moustache and hair. He has a friendly face, continually smiling or squinting (depending on what he is doing).


Vargalastinesservalderkatzminovilbergapolinkkoffel, or Varga for short, is a gnome from the halls of Mount Nevermind. He comes from a long line of mechanical engineers that specialise in weaponry and warfare. Varga himself has chosen to specialise in the non-explosive technologies and weaponry. After spending many years working on his devices, Varga decided to take them outside the labs of Mount Nevermind for "field-testing". Varga joined with a number of travelling groups, both around Sancrist and across the sea on Northern Ergoth.

Varga loves to tinker, and often tries to improve his companions equipment, offering them an improved sword or protective alchemical substance to ward their backpacks.

Varga's two most prized possessions are his Long-Grabber and Goblin-Beater. He is currently working on upgrades to these devices.


Like most of his race, Varga is a devotee of technology, believing that it can solve every problem. His current work is working out the "goblin problem" of Mt. Nevermind. Varga is a likable gnome, although he has a habit of not paying close enough attention to the things that humans say and seems a little slow to them. As with other gnomes, Varga speaks very fast about things nobody else is even remotely interested in.

In Your Campaign:

Varga can be used as an excellent companion to a group of adventurers that are exploring Sancrist of even Northern Ergoth. He might be encountered while a group are combating goblins or other goblinkinds, trying out his latest device or purchasing supplies to go on a goblin hunt. With his excellent crafting skills and knowledge of alchemicals, Varga could be an excellent source of alchemical supplies for a party.

References: Unsung Heroes.

Varga's Unique Items

Long-Grabber: This is a fairly simple device consisting of two long-handled, extendable mechanical rods, with padded grippers on the end. The long-grabber can grip something up to 10 feet away that is smaller in diameter than 6 inches and weighing no more than 10 pounds. To use the Long-Grabber effectively, there must be a 2 feet clearance to the item. Although the only known set belongs to Varga and is not of masterwork quality, he could craft other Long-Grabbers on commission.
Cost: 80 stl; Weight: 1 lb.

Goblin-Beater: The Goblin-Beater is a far more complicated device than the Long-Grabber. The device consists of four small clubs (resembling a bizarre egg beater) attached to a central hub. The hub has a chain driven pair of hand cranks (protruding to the left and right, so they can be gripped) and sits on the wearers chest.

When the wearer rotates the cranks the clubs swing start to flail around. Starting the device is a full round action. Once started, the wearer can use the clubs to attack all creatures within 5 feet of him. The wearer cannot choose to attack selectively, all creatures within 5 feet of him are attacked while the device is operational.

The wearer can crank the device for a maximum number of rounds equal to 3 + his Constitution modifier before having to rest for an equal number of minutes. All attacks the device makes while operational are full round actions and the user makes only one attack roll for each target within range, suffering a –2 penalty to the attack roll. As the Goblin-Beater is mechanical in natural, the wearer gains no additional damage from high Strength to the damage inflicted by it.

While the device is operational, it produces sparks and a shrill whistle, making the wearer and those within 5 feet of him suffer a –2 circumstance penalty to all Listen skill checks. Varga believes the pitch of the whistle is the right frequency to frighten goblins (and children, animals, elves, and numerous other creatures).
Cost: 200 stl; Weight: 25 lbs.

The Goblin-Beater also acts as a chain shirt. As with the other inventions that Varga uses, the Goblin-Beater is unique and his current version is masterwork quality. He could reproduce the Goblin-Beater for a commission.

As Weapon: Dmg 1d4 (S) or 1d6 (M); Crit x2; Rng -; Type bludgeoning.
As Armor: Type light; Bonus +4; Max Dex +4; Armor Check -2; Arcane Spell Failure 20%*; Spd normal.

*The arcane spell failure chance applies only while the device is not being activated and used. When being used, the arcane spell failure chance is 40% for spells or spell-like abilities that have a verbal-only component, and spells with somatic and/or material components have an arcane spell failure chance of 100% (effectively making spellcasting impossible). This is due to the rigorous motion and flailing of the device.

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