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20 April 2012

"O" is for...


   Herr Doktor Professor Otto Maton, a Belgian mechanickal genius, is the designer of many of the wondrous mechanickal devices that inhabit my Victorian Science Fiction universe. Some of these inventions are in use by a variety of empires and nations. A partial listing of his impressive works includes:
  • Whirlifliegertornister: the whirling flying backpack used by fliegerjaeger
  • Voltaic pistol: a sidearm which discharges a ray of intense heat and light
  • Maton's Aetherpropeller: smallest known aetherpropeller
  • Sentinel Walker: A British light armoured steam walker.
  • Anti-'Nef Rocket: A set of barrage rockets specifically calibrated to shoot down flying vessels
  • Steamhorse: a mechanickal horse, powered by steam, of course
  • Sono-troller: a hypersonic projector which controls automata at a distance
  • Black Smoke Projector: a fiendish artillery device
  • Magneto-gun: using electromagnets, it fires a high velocity steel projectile
   Automatons are, not surprisingly, his specialty. He has built hundreds of them, to serve him in all capacities. They operate under programs written by Maton or his assitants and then inserted into their mechanickal brains. His work with mechanickal beings has left him quite unhinged, however, and Maton is currently in hiding on Mars. His goal is to set himself up as Otto the First, Solarian Emperor.

Brass Soldaten [Clockwork Soldiers, 25mm, Parroom Station]

[Hoverbots, 25mm, Hydra Miniaturs]

Limpet Spiders
[Steam Spiders, 25mm, Wyrd Miniatures]

[Destroyer, 25mm (and HUGE), Hydra Miniatures]

[25mm, Privateer Press]

[25mm, Reaper]
   Maton is served by several nefarious characters of biological origin as well. His primary lieutenants are a Celestial woman named Yuko Oni and a French madamoiselle named Luci D'Amonds, both of whom he has trained extensively in the programming and control of automata. He has another assistant, the mysterious figure known only as Fez. No one is sure where Fez comes from. Many human mercenaries also serve the cause of Maton, in hopes of gaining a position of importance under his Empire. To hide their identities, and protect themselve from the poisonous gasses that Maton is fond of using in his diabloical schemes, they wear elaborate breathing masks.

The Mysterious "Fez"

Masked Minions
[25mm, Parroom Station]
   Maton imagines himself to be a serious threat to the Solar System. To date, he has been more of a nuisance in the badlands of Mars than anything else, although many nations regret the loss of his particular brand of genius. Germany would be very happy to capture him and force him to develop new weapons for them, as would the Tsar.

   From a gaming perspective, one of the nice things about automatons is that they are really pretty scale-neutral. I use the same figures for 15mm and 25mm. In 15mm, they are just bigger and scarier. I also make mine a bit... unpredictable. While they know no fear, they can malfunction. Rules for using Automatons in GASLIGHT can be found in Vol. 1, Issue 1 of The Aethergraph.
   As a side note, every photo in this post comes from my personal minis collection.


Elderac said...

I have been following the exploits of Dr. Maton as I have been reading the older posts of this wonderful journal.

I am curious about how you handle character continuity in your VSF universe. Say, for example, the nefarious Dr. Maton were killed in a battle? Would you retire the character?

I ask, because you mention one Yuki Oni as his assistant, however in one of the earlier battles, his geisha assistant fell in battle. Now, it is entirely possible these are two different persons, although I would question his ability to recruit such a specialized assistant while on Mars, especially since his interplanetary conveyance was destroyed upon his arrival there.

Now, it may be that there is a Japanese outpost there (I know that Frank has one in the Space 1889 setting), but the basic question remains. Would the Fez take over Dr. Maton's operations should he fall in battle or would "rumors of his demise be largely exaggerated?"

Great figure for the good Dr. by the way (although you have mentioned that he will be regulated to an assistant if you were to obtain that shiny new figure).


Michael Awdry said...

Ooooh Shiny! This is really opening my eyes to the wonders of VSF, thank you!

J Womack, Esq. said...

Very simple: I have yet to run anything like a campaign, so we just re-spawn them.

If you like, think of it as what kept happening with Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the James Bond movies: Bond kept killing his doubles, never the real Blofeld.

J Womack, Esq. said...

Fez, of course, is also a regular on "That '70s Show"