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The following contrivances were all possible in the last years of the eighteenth century (and first two decades of the nineteenth). They are not preternatural Mad Science, just the cutting-edge of technology and design in their time. Of course, the lair of a Mad Scientist would probably feature many of them!
As an example of modern ingenuity and progress, the house has… (d20)
1 | flushable toilets that do not need to be manually emptied. (Of course, somebody still has to clean out the cesspit into which the toilet flushes!)
2 | running water on tap throughout.
3 | bell-pulls to summon servants to almost every room.
4 | bathtubs filled by pumps and heated from below by stoves, allowing one to actually have a hot bath within 10 minutes.
5 | music-making automata installed in the walls of many rooms. The interior cylinders can even to replaced to change the tunes.
6 | a steam-powered mechanical conveyance that can bring visitors from the parkland gate to the front courtyard.
7 | extremely efficient, modern fireplaces that cleanly heat the rooms so well you could be quite comfortable in only a single layer of clothing.
8 | non-leaking skylights in many rooms. (The architecture of the house maximizes the number of rooms lit by the skylights)
9 | a theater set up for phantasmagoria shows where images are projected onto a wall (and sometimes smoke) with a magic lantern.
10 | a salon with especially smooth floors, where guests wearing special wheeled pattens can skate as if on ice. (Note: 18th century roller-skates have metal wheels, and are extremely hard to maneuver in. Users might have to make a Dexterity Check or fall for 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. Skill in dancing or acrobatics will confer a Bonus, naturally.)
11 | rooms and gardens lit not with candles and lamps, but jets of burning coal-gas enclosed within glass globes.
12 | a rotating serving tray that allows food to be passed into the dining room from an adjoining kitchen without the intrusion of servants.
13 | a facility for making carbonated beverages.
14 | a mechanical clockwork turnspit in the kitchen, allowing meat to be rotisserie roasted without the use of a turnspit dog.
15 | a mechanically-operated elevator that can transport guests from floor to floor.
16 | a machine for washing clothes, installed in the laundry room.
17 | camera obscuras (or camera lucidas) that allow anyone with basic drawing skills to create accurate portraits.
18 | sideboard tables in the dining room that can be raised and lowered from the room below. An entire dinner can be served without without servants being visible.
19 | an automaton animal with an apparent artificial metabolism.
20 | A exceptionally clean, white-tiled sickroom, presided over by a rogue surgeon who washes his hands before touching patients. When he performs surgery or attends a birth, he also washes his instruments with boiling water and pure alcohol to kill the “animalcules” that he claims actually cause disease. He has never lost any of his patients to sepsis. Unfortunately, his low birth prevented him from attending a properly prestigious school, and he is known to be religiously nonconforming. Therefore, nobody in the wider medical community respects his ideas, or his insistence that bleeding and cupping have no curative value. His apparent successes are widely attributed to the “whims of Providence”. The gentleman who built the sickroom is considered an eccentric.