T E C H N O L O G Y A N D I T S T Y P E S
Although the comparison between “magic” and technology is worthwhile, taking it too far is likely a mistake. For example, you can imagine someone disbelieving in magic even in a world where it exists. No one in Reforged “disbelieves” in the technolgoy. It’s all around them. It cannot be denied. It’s also more common than magic would be in most fantasy settings. And yet it’s still just as mysterious and strange, mostly because the technology is varied and unpredictable to those who don’t understand it.
There are people, however, who do understand it—at least to some degree. Not everyone merely scavenges technology from ruins. Some study it, comprehend a bit of it, and then create their own. Results are mixed, but in certain villages, the local tinkerer or Priory member has made a fabulous discovery not just of technology, but of understanding. Now, with the right resources, they can make the device, concoct the drug, or develop the process. A whole community might have access to advancements that are far beyond anything else they possess —a group of farmers using automatons to pull their plows, a village whose thatched roofs are coated in fire-retardant spray, or a band of soldiers with chainmail, spears, and short-wave communicators in their iron helms.
It’s important to remember that the people don’t look at technolgoy the way that 21st-century people look at technology. A force field projector and a two-way radio would seem not only like magic, but magic of the same level of power. In fact, the radio might seem more potent because its use is more broad and its effects are “invisible.” These people have no perspective on what sorts of technology are more advanced than others, and they take none of it for granted.
Technology in all its forms is categorized generally into three distinct formats depending on what they do and how they do it. These are typically called Level I, Level II, and Level III tech for simplicty particualry by Krewes who use said terminology.
Level I is basically strange little oddities and trinkets that are found almost everywhere. They are simple things such as a stone that floats in the palm of your hand, or a small rod that glows when you shake it. These weird and interesting little trinkets and gadegts can be given as gifts or commonly sold to merchants for a quick piece of coin.
Level II refers to technology that has power, but can't hold onto that power for long. These are simple things like a magical elixir used to cure poison (anti-venom), a small sphere that when throw emits a bright display of light or maybe an explosion of fire and metal (grenades), a device that points you towards its sister device (a tracking device), a pill that lets you breath underwater and so on.
Level III technology are typically along the same lines of power as Level II tech, but they are much more durable lasting for extended uses or as long as their batteries maintain themselves. These can be reforged and made into much more versatile equipment like weapons, armor, and other utility items like radios and flash lights.
Still, all tech is rarely straightforward in actual use. Rather than find a device that was meant to be used as a “gun,” a person is far more likely to find an item that was originally intended for another purpose but that has been modified (as best as the Reclaimed World understanding can manage) and now can be used as a ranged weapon. So instead of having a laser pistol you have a modified wielding device, and some reactor coating can be made into a reflector shield. Given the right tools and parts, some characters will be able to construct such items on their own. All tech are incomprehensible devices, as likely as not powered by transdimensional siphons using nanotechnology to rewrite reality on an atomic or subatomic level. Even to someone who understands a great deal about technology, most artifacts appear to be more magic than machine.
Drafters are sometimes called mages, wizards, sorcerers, or witches by the people of the Reclaimed World. Some claim to be the representatives of gods or other supernatural agencies. Whatever they’re called, these individuals have come to understand the mysteries of the past to the degree that they seem to perform miracles. They tap into Technology to alter reality or learn things that they couldn’t otherwise know.
Drafters come in two distinctive forms which are dependent on how they interact with the technology around them to perform their magic. Those who through various tiny devices that they possess, which seem like magic charms to the uninitiated, “conjure” energy. By accessing the surrounding web of connectivity transmitted across the world, they connect with machines — including the nanites — to change their environment. As a result the magic does not come from inside or any potency, but from the understanding of these charms making it more "totemic magic" if you want to call it that.
There are also of course what are called High Smiths. These alchemists and artificers have spent their entire lives analyze and understanding the underlying mechanism behind recovered technology. Using their knowledge they are capable of jury-rigging seemingly useless odds and ends of recovered technology into fabulous creations. Anyone can split a few wires to make an old battery into a bomb, but a High Smith can make wrecks into cannons and gravity generators into personal deflector shields for the right price of course. Because of the skill and knowledge it takes to perform such feats High Smiths are very rare especially beyond the Holdings and most if not all are of Cellva blood as their long lifespans work mean that spending seventy years submerged in reading old recovered mechanical designs and taking apart salvaged tech isn't too much of a time sink.