What is the reasoning for Rock Gnome tinker toys breaking after 24 hours?

I'd like mechanical reasons and lore reasons for this. It seems to me that a wind up toy soldier or a wind up music box ought to last for a longer time than 24hrs.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Erik Honestly, that could be part of an answer. It certainly answers the mechanical side. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 23:49

1 Answer 1

  1. These devices are whipped up in only an hour; if a gear or belt isn't aligned exactly right and machined to precise specifications, then it may slip after a certain number of revolutions and cause the device to cease functioning.

  2. A clockwork device also requires power to function. In real life, the power tends to come from kinetic energy stored when the device is wound up.

From a gameplay mechanics standpoint, I suspect that that WOTC decided to simplify those two issues into a straight 24-hour limit, rather than including an entire page dedicated to what amounts to a mechanical cantrip.

The 24-hour limit may also prevent particularly creative players from coming up with interesting exploits by creating toys which have eternal random movement and distracting sounds when left unattended, though I can't think of a specific example at the moment.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I hadnt considered the speed at which one makes things to be a factor. But it is indeed a significant factor if your character is crafting all the parts AND assembling them with in that 60 min. I had assumed that when it said 10g in parts that the parts were already made and ready to go, leaving an hour to carefully assemble the toy. I will have to bring this up with my DM to see if we can make my toys last longer (since all i want to do is sell/give them to children/families) \$\endgroup\$
    – MC_Hambone
    Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 14:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ I can think of exploits, though they're all wacky enough that a DM would have other reasons to nix them, eg a mechanical heart like Dick Cheney used to have, only ever-lasting. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 13:45

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