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Brrzzap: The requirements, regulations, and rigamarole of ray guns

Brian Karasek


"Oh no, I've debigulated us all!"

The arsenal of the Engineer holds an array of combat gear for use at range, close up, or even on a time delay. The Engineer's toolbox might produce explosives, or decoys, or rockets, or snares. Some Engineers have even used their talents to convert themselves into high altitude bombs, though the result is often as bad for the Engineer as for his target.

However, an old standby of the Engineer cannot be overlooked. Pushing the envelope of our technical prowess, Engineer designers have produced a family of weapons which have been considered at times our signature pieces: the ray guns. Herein we will discuss the creation and use of the ray emitters available to all Engineers, with particular attention on what has long been a prize piece of the Mechanical Engineering Guild, Associated: the Gnomish Death Ray.

The Discombobulator Ray: Does this look infected to you?
The first of the rays an Engineer may learn, the Discombobulator Ray transforms its target into a Leper Gnome for twelve seconds. The transformation reduces the newly Gnomogenized target's damage in both hand to hand combat and spell casting, as well as slowing him down by a good margin. Between the debilitating effects of leprosy and what is usually a substantial reduction in both length and span of the lower extremities, such drawbacks are to be expected.

The Discombobulator is quite easy to assemble. It requires three Whirring Bronze Gizmos, two Silk Cloth, a Jade, and a Bronze Tube. The device produced has five charges before the Gnomerator is overpowered by the Degnomenator and the device ceases to function.

While the device itself is quite simple to produce, learning how to can be a difficult proposition for a young Engineer. One must visit Gnomeregan, sure to be an enjoyable tour for any fan of Engineering. Mekgineer Thermaplugg can at times be found carrying the schematic on him, but it can be more reliably found from a Class Delta Punchomatic card reader. To access this card reader, you must first find the Security DELTA Data Access Card, which can be obtained through negotiations with many of the mechanical denizens of Gnomeregan. Engineers will need no explanation of the term "negotiations" as it is used here. Having obtained the DELTA Data card, Gnomeregan's Engineering Labs house the Matrix Punchograph 3005-D, which will deliver the schematic upon presentation of the card.

As discussed earlier in Playing Chicken: A frank discussion of poultrification, the result of the Leper Gnomilization is startling to the target. The actual hindrance of the discombobulation field can at times be secondary to the target's stunned reaction.

The Gnomish Shrink Ray: I was in the pool! I WAS IN THE POOL!
Created by Gnomish designers, and generously shared with the rest of the Engineering world, the Gnomish Shrink Ray is a popular device to engage in dungeons and battlegrounds alike. The intended effect is a single target debigulation, resulting in a substantial loss of attacking power on the part of the target thereby debigulated. There are occasional mishaps with the debigulation matrix, which will be discussed shortly.

The Gnomish Shrink Ray requires a Mithril Tube, an Unstable Trigger, four Mithril Bars, four Flasks of Mojo, and two Jade. The device is worn as a trinket and requires five minutes between use to recharge.

In operation, the Gnomish Shrink Ray causes its target to shrink noticeably, while causing a corresponding reduction in that target's attack power, consistent with the labeling. The effect lasts for twenty seconds, which is ample time for most targets to be dispatched prior to rebigulation.

As with all things Gnomish, the use of the Shrink Ray is more art than science. Even masters of the arts at times produce abysmal works, and the same holds true no less for Gnomish Engineering. The Shrink Ray might not always work as advertised. Engineers are cautioned, as are those who stand near them, that debigulation is an inexact science. The Shrink Ray has been reported to shrink, with appropriate loss of power, all enemies hostile to the operator. It has also been known to apply a bigulation field to the operator and his allies, causing a corresponding increase in both size and attack power to all concerned. Some unfortunate Engineers report that either of these unplanned events might affect those hostile to the operator or friendly to him. Wise Engineers will have a joke prepared for the odd occasion when they debigulate their entire party in the heat of battle. The alternate title of this lecture is highly recommended for this purpose by Chief Engineer Geargrinder. Engineer 1st Class Flimsy, who claimed no such joke was necessary, has not been seen since entering Stratholme, though the four he went with returned safe and in surprisingly good spirits.

Gnomish Death Ray: Someone's winning this fight, and I don't care who.
The envy of many a Goblin, and scourge of many who have interacted with either end of it, the Gnomish Death Ray is among the finest innovations in Engineering developed by Azerothian technicians. The device drains a small amount of life force from the operator when engaged, which charges the deathomizer matrix sufficient to unleash a fierce bolt of energy, causing damage to the target ranging from "catastrophic" to "what was that for" on Geargrinder's Scale of Phrases to Apply Willy Nilly.

The Death Ray is taught exclusively to Gnomish Engineers, and the process of creating one is so personal that no one other than the creator can ever use it. However, it is easy enough to use that those Engineers who skulk out of the halls of M.E.G.A. are still able to use ones they crafted. The device relies heavily on one's skill at Engineering to get the most damage from it, though, and ex Engineers are always disappointed with the results of their Death Ray once they have resigned. The Death Ray requires two Mithril Tubes, an Unstable Trigger, an Essence of Undeath, four Ichors of Undeath, and an Inlaid Mithril Cylinder. The device is worn as a trinket. It will require five minutes after use to recharge.

In operation, the device drains life from the user for approximately six seconds, during which the user must remain still. At the end of the charge, the device emits a beam of energy at its target, capable of dealing quite astonishing damage. Reports persist of unprepared characters losing half or more of their life, even those who regularly travel in Outlands. It should be noted that the damage dealt to the operator of the device can be fatal to the operator. The labeling on this device is not misleading.

Surveying the Damage: Did I do that?
The various rays produced by Engineering can be a great help or hindrance, often independent of at or by whom they are being pointed. Engineers are always reminded to use caution when applying these lessons in the field, and Hoof and Horn disavows all responsibility for damage or loss of life due to the application of Engineering devices in the field. It might be wise to inform your allies of your intent to operate a ray in their vicinity. Some laypeople are unreasonably superstitious about such things.

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