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Playing chicken: A frank discussion of poultrification

Brian Karasek

With Minor Allusion to Related Sciences
"Now You're Really Clucked!"

The Gnomish Poultryizer, among the more technically advanced devices produced by the Mechanical Engineering Guild, Associated, which we shall hereafter refer to as M.E.G.A., is a device of some controversy among Engineers Gnomish and Goblin alike. In this lecture we shall examine the Poultryizer and discuss its flaws and its merits, and how one might indeed become the other.

The creation of a Gnomish Poultryizer requires a pair of Hardened Adamantite Tubes, two Khorium Power Cores, ten Arcane Dust, and two Large Prismatic Shards. Breaking this down further, we see that the pair of tubes will require a total of six hardened adamantite bars, themselves requiring ten adamantite bars per, for a total of sixty adamantite bars for the tubes. The Khorium Power Cores will require a total of six bars of khorium and two Primal Fire. As for the Dust and Shards, none of you present here need be instructed on obtaining such. The device, once produced, is worn as a trinket, and when used will require a cooling down period of five minutes before it can be used again.

Basic Operation

The Gnomish Poultryizer has an effective range of 30 yards. When triggered, the intended function is to transform the target into a chicken. The effect will last 15 seconds if not dispelled. The process of chickenization is instantaneous, though the newly poultrified target will retain control of their actions, and will even still be able to attack. Engineers are cautioned that any harm done to the chickenified target will dispel the effect, so those who might do accidental harm via a totem, trap, or consecration should be forewarned. The most crippling effect of the hennization is the interruption and prevention of spellcasting, for which wise Engineers will be specifically using it. There are few ways known to disrupt spellcasting at range, and fewer still which allow the target free action afterwards. Those Hunters who are fond of freezing traps will not need to be told how useful it can be to prevent a target from casting spells.

When equipped, the Gnomish Poultryizer will augment the user's Stamina by +45.

Potential Mishaps

The greatest art, the grandest science, that is Gnomish Engineering. And as with any art, it is an inexact science at best; lethally so at worst. With that in mind, an Engineer appropriately equipped with a poultrificater should be aware that the intended effect is not the resulting effect in one hundred per cent of uses.

In the most common misfire it is the user, and not the target, who is cluckulated. The effect remains the same: the user will be rendered unable to cast spells. If this happens to you, do not panic. Neither run around like your head has been cut off, nor sit still hoping to produce an egg. Keeping a cool head will get you out of trouble in a moment. Non Engineers might tell you this is counterintuitive, but in this case you should keep your head by running headlong at the nearest source of damage. As discussed earlier in the lecture, any harm done to the chicken will dispel the effect.

Update: Researchers in the field have confirmed the chickenization is far more stable when it backfires, contradicting earlier reports. Many thanks to the widespread Engineer support.

A less common misfire, referred to in the field as "Extra Crispy," for reasons which escape this researcher, causes the target to turn into a much larger chicken. This chicken will actually do greater damage when attacking than the target originally did. Engineers who experience this misfire should remember that the target is still unable to cast spells. As mentioned earlier, in most cases you should use the device to silence a spellcaster. If that is the case, the misfire has still done the intended job. If the larger chicken becomes problematic, unfortunately, damage will not dispel the effect as easily as normal.

The "Extra Crispy" effect can at times affect the user instead of the target. This result is quite rare in this researcher's experience, but much the same applies as above regarding being poultrified by one's own poultryizer. Some casters might enjoy pecking on their target for a few, just for fun.

Unintended Side Effects

The act of turning someone into a chicken is an aggressive one, but let us not forget it is also a shocking one. The target may well not have had this happen to them before, and might not know how to react. Engineers all over the worlds report targets simply standing stock still, awaiting their slaughter in shock. Still more report that the target's group, which had been attacking the Engineer, let off the attack in favor of laughing at the chicken (while the clever Engineer escaped). When you use the Poultryizer, be ready to think quickly on your feet , hooves, or flippers. Your target might not know what's happened to them. It's key that you be ready to take advantage of their surprise.

You should now be prepared to create your first Gnomish Poultryizer, or perhaps to use the one you have let collect dust in the bank to its best advantage. This concludes the lecture on the Gnomish Poultryizer.

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