I believe it is a real mistake to think that just because there is a world created by D & D type thinking where magic and magical monsters exist, there is no room for technological type devices and all they imply. Many times while discussing rules with other judges and players I have heard statements like “magic and its uses denies science and its uses.” I myself usually loudly clamor that, “a lightning bolt wand is just a static electricity generator,” or, “many magical potions are simply advanced chemical formulae,” but my words are usually swept away in the magic tide. In response to this, I created a race of people who had transported their Island land Atlantis to another nearby dimension. This race called “Artificers” has a high degree of technology and are very aware of magic and have devices to counter any magical effect. I present some of their creations to those who have some players in their game that are too powerful and need a challenge.I love the cantankerousness of these two paragraphs. In the first Mr. Ward is talking about how he's always drowned out by those who would hold that magic eliminates technology and then goes on to argue his point with a simple, but intelligent argument that would actually hold more water in my campaigns than most others I've heard. Then he creates a race (whose name I hate) and technological devices to fuck up those that are drowning him out with their incessant ramblings.
There are three powerful devices used all the time by the Artificers: a hand held weapon much like a small catapult made of unbreakable crystal and spring steel, a mobile “blue sphere,” and a computer. The pistol shoots a two inch sphere for a maximum range of 50 yards. These spheres only upon being released from the pistol emit their stored power on contact . . . (Dragon Vol 1, No 1 Ward pg 8)
By god the man could be family!
At any rate, after reading the article I was reinvigorated and went back to my game with a new perspective on my hobby. And a new item to add to my bucket list: I want to game with James M. Ward.