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Gears Equipment

Three Innovations

Source Guns & Gears pg. 60
While many of the items here contain their own unique blend of engineering, science, and, sometimes, magic, three major types of technology appear in several sections.

Clockwork Technology

Source Guns & Gears pg. 60
Clockwork technology is the least rare technology in this book, though it's still quite uncommon. Clockwork represents, if not a majority of the new inventions, then at least a plurality, spurred by cutting-edge research at the Clockwork Cathedral in Absalom and the return of New Thassilon, which surfaced some of the secrets of clockwork discovered by the ancient empire's first emperor, Xin. Most clockwork items need to be wound in order to work, but aside from a few extraordinary devices, the time and effort needed to wind up a clockwork item are far less than the duration and magnitude of its effects.

Stasian Technology

Source Guns & Gears pg. 60
Stasian technology is the rarest of the three types, channeling electricity from a limited supply of Stasian coils smuggled out of Irrisen, the land of eternal winter, which owns few Stasian coils to begin with. However, enough smuggled coils have spread to the mist-haunted principality of Ustalav to inspire a technological renaissance in the highest halls of Ustalavic academia. While Stasian technology is the newest form of electrical technology, and the one least dependent on magic, it's hardly the first time in Golarion's history that a civilization has attempted to harness electricity. Most notably, aeromantic infadibulum technology allowed the sky cities of the Shory empire to soar through the sky. However, such previous electrical technologies relied heavily on magic as a key component, as this made the inventions that harnessed them drastically more stable and powerful than a purely technological solution. After all, magic-users could create lightning bolts—what need was there for a non-magical alternative? While it might seem frivolous on magic-soaked Golarion, Stasian technology exists because it originates from another world where magic is much rarer. By utilizing less magical energy, Stasian tech offers a viable alternative. The core Stasian technology can be found on page 82, but other sections of this chapter have a few pieces of Stasian technology sprinkled in as well.

Steam-Powered Technology

Source Guns & Gears pg. 61
Steam technology is also an extremely recent invention, making it far less known than clockwork but still more accessible than Stasian technology, since it doesn't require the use of the heavily limited Stasian coils. Many regarded the idea to use steam for power as particularly novel simply because the world of Golarion contained so many other power sources that seemed more obvious or useful than the energy generated by the transition from water to steam. Most steam engines currently in use include a magical component used to heat the steam; for instance, a fire elemental generates a steady supply of heat on its own, though prior inventors would have used that energy directly rather than through the creation of steam. Nonetheless, several small proof-of-concept steam engines have successfully run safely and stably without the use of magic, through the use of a furnace to heat the water. Purely technological steam power will remain mostly a curiosity, though, as long as it continues to be less effective and convenient than steam power sourced through magical means.