Val CHA Cost Notes 10 SIZE 50 10" x 5"; -10 KB; -6 DCV 60 STR 0 Lift 100 tons; 12d6 HTH Damage 15 DEX 15 OCV: 5/DCV: 5 20 BODY 0 12 DEF 30 3 SPD 5 Phases: 4, 8, 12 Total Characteristics Cost: 100 Movement: Ground: 22"/44" Cost Abilities and Equipment Power Systems 20 Power Plant: Endurance Reserve (40 END/40 REC); OIF Bulky (-1), Only Powers Martian Mechanical Devices (-1/4) Propulsion Systems 4 Mechanical Tentacles: Extra Limbs (9 - 6 tentacles, 3 legs); Limited Manipulation (-1/4) 27 Tripod Legs: Running +16" (22" Total), No Turn Mode (+1/4); Costs Endurance (-1/2), END 4 -2 Ground Vehicle: Swimming -2" (0" Total) Tactical Systems 49 Heat-Ray: RKA 3d6, Area Effect (2" Radius; +3/4), Armor Piercing (+1/2), Continuous (+1); OAF Bulky (-1 1/2), Beam (-1/4), No Knockback (-1/4), END 15 191 Black Smoke Launcher: RKA 4d6, Area Effect (34" Radius; +1), NND (defense is appropriate LS [Immunity] or LS: Self-Contained Breathing; +1), Does BODY (+1), Continuous (+1), 8 Charges lasting 1 Day each (cleared away by high winds, rain, or the like; +1 1/2), Indirect (can arc attack over intervening obstacles; +1/4); OAF Bulky (-1 1/2), Limited Range (1000"; -1/4) plus Change Environment 34" Radius, -4 to Sight Group PER Rolls, 8 Charges lasting 1 Day each (cleared away by high winds, rain, or the like; +1 1/2), Indirect (can arc attack over intervening obstacles; +1/4), Increased Maximum Range (1000"; +1/4) (132); OAF Bulky (-1 1/2), Linked to RKA (-1/2) 62 Steam Jet: Dispel Gas/Mist/Smoke Powers 20d6, any Gas/Mist/Smoke power one at a time (+1/4); OIF Bulky (-1), Limited Arc Of Fire (Only On Undercarriage Level Or Below; -1/4), Limited Range (20"; -1/4) plus RKA 2d6; OIF Bulky (-1), Limited Arc Of Fire (Only On Undercarriage Level Or Below; -1/4), Limited Range (20"; -1/4) plus EB 10d6; OIF Bulky (-1), Limited Arc Of Fire (Only On Undercarriage Level Or Below; -1/4), Limited Range (20"; -1/4), END 15 24 Cowl Defense: +8 DEF, Hardened (+1/4); Limited Coverage (not directly underneath cowl; -1/4) Operations Systems 14 Tripod Communications System: Hearing Group Images, +8 to PER Rolls; Only To Create Simple Noises For Long-Distance Communication (-1), No Range (-1/2), END 3 Skills 6 Fire Control Systems: +3 with Martian Fighting-Machine Weapons; OIF Bulky (-1), Costs Endurance (-1/2), END 1 415 Total Abilities and Equipment Cost 515 Total Vehicle Cost Value Disadvantages 25 Distinctive Features: terrible fighting-machine (Not Concealable, Causes Extreme Reaction [fear]) 25 Total Disadvantage Points 98 Total Cost (490/5)
The Martian fighting-machines are awesome hundred-foot-high robotic tripods, far in advance of Earthly science of the Nineteenth or Twentieth Centuries. Resembling a "boiler on stilts" by one account and a "milking stool tilted and bowled violently along the ground" in another, a fighting-machine consists of a main body surmounted by a "hood" that contains the driver. Tentacles described as "ropes of steel" dangle from it. The tripods are made of an aluminum alloy, mined by advanced Martian technology out of the clay wherever their cylinders land.
The tripods are armed with "metallic cases" which hold their heat-rays, and tubes for firing canisters of poisonous Black Smoke. When the Black Smoke has served its purpose, the Martians use steam jets to lay the smoke, which is highly reactive with water.
I briefly toyed with the idea that the Martian tripods had some life support systems for the pilot; perhaps the diseases affected the exposed Martians first. I mean, how could the Martians not have thought of life support? Yet, Wells seems to have purposefully left it out of the Martian technology. The clincher is the use the Martians make of their tripod-mounted Steam Jets to disperse the Black Smoke; were the machines equipped with even rudimentary life support systems, this would not be necessary.
The Heat-Ray and Black Smoke Launcher are tentacle-held objects. Wells mentions the Heat-ray: "A kind of arm carried a complicated metallic case, about which green flashes scintillated, and out of the funnel of this there smoked the Heat-Ray." This obviously makes the Heat-Ray a Focus; I have chosen to interpret it as an Accessible one.
Later in the story, we read: "It was a few minutes past nine that night when these three [tripods] were joined by four other [tripods], each carrying a thick black tube. A similar tube was handed to each of the three, and the seven proceeded to distribute themselves [in a curved line]." Thus, the Black Smoke Launchers must be Accessible Foci as well. It is used to deny cover to the humans, dropping them behind ridges, buildings, etc.; keep in mind the Martians are not immune, and must use their Steam Jets to disperse it!
The Steam Jets work on the Black Smoke due to their Special Effects (water vs. Black Smoke); it's only when used against other aerial agents that the Dispel is rolled. The Steam Jets are modeled on similar effects in the Environment chapter of the HERO System 5th Edition book.
The Fighting-Machines seem nigh indestructible when pounded by artillery; one piece gets a lucky shot and destroys a tripod. Because of this, I have purchased the extra DEF with the Limited Coverage limitation. Define one area on the tripod as the weak spot, probably Location 3. If you don't use the optional Hit Location rules, then make it an Activation Roll on 15-.
The Communication System consists of what are essentially horns, used to signal other tripods. The signals are extremely simple; Wells notes only the excited sound, "Aloo! Aloo!" used to signal that the Martian has found a group of unarmed humans to capture for food, and a few similar sounds.
The Martian tripods may seem disgustingly powerful—that's because they are! Wells was using the Martians as a metaphor for European expansionism, and he knew that to the natives of places like Africa or South America, our technology seemed disgustingly powerful and mysterious.
Also note that, as per The Ultimate Vehicle, I have not bought any Stretching power for these vehicles, but they should be assumed to have a Reach of about 8".
Sources: The War of the Worlds, 1898.
(Martian Fighting-Machine created by H. G. Wells, character sheet created by Roland Volz <firstname.lastname@example.org>)