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Old 08-31-2017, 09:22 PM   #1
Michael Thayne
 
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Default [Powers] The Power of... Gadgeteering?

The "Chi Sorcery" article in Pyramid #3/105 got me thinking about using a similar powers-based approach for Gadgeteering. This would be intended to represent technological abilities that go beyond "cinematic", to something like the Great Machine's abilities from Ex Machina or any of the works listed on this TV Tropes page. Perhaps slightly more subtle so that characters wouldn't necessarily know what's going on, but nevertheless bending reality in well-defined ways rather than "simulate movies written by writers who don't understand how R&D works".

I'm thinking of using Sorcery-style enchantment as a starting point for most such abilities, but I don't want it to be too similar. Perhaps make the Gadgeteer's big advantage over the Sorcerer that the Gadgeteer's "enchantments" take the enhancement Delay, Triggered, When Used, +50%? This would represent inventions that could be stored indefinitely, but break down quickly when used.

Another problem: many abilities would be based on imbuements, and it would be nice to keep the costs the same as in sorcery. However, I'm not quite sure what you'd use to replace the -20% of limitations that comes from Magical, -10% and Visible, -10%. I don't like the idea of "powers" that shut down super-technology, so the version of Superscience in Supers is out. I like the "Futuristic" limitation from Pyramid #3/102 more, but it's only -5%. I think visible represents glowing with magical energies, but I may be wrong. Maybe you could go for Futuristic, -5%; Mundane Countermeasures, -10%; Nuisance Effect, Variable, -5%? Speaking of Nuisance Effect, is there any official or semi-official answer to the value of an ability causing your technology to suffer from the kinds of "bugs" used in the default gadgeteering rules?
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:27 PM   #2
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: [Powers] The Power of... Gadgeteering?

Also: you'd want a handful of other abilities, even though "equipment buffs" would be the main focus. For example, something like the "Artifact Lore" power-up from Dungeon Fantasy, or the special version of Blessed in the "Crafting Imbuements" article in Pyramid #102. But I think the focus would be on equipment buffs.
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Old 09-01-2017, 10:27 AM   #3
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: [Powers] The Power of... Gadgeteering?

Okay, some sample abilities. This assumes "Gadgeteering" is a -0% power modifier, which there is precedent for in the "Crafting Imbuements" article:

Analysis
23 points

As the Artifact Lore Artificer power-up from Dungeon Fantasy 11, without the reputation bonus, and with the power modifier Gadgeteering, -0%.

Frickin’ Laser
142 points

This ability lets you convert an ordinary gun into a frickin' laser. Use the gun's normal statistics, except that it gains Armor Divisor (2), Acc +3, and damage becomes Burning. This takes 2d-1 × 10 minutes and requires an Engineer (Small Arms) or Engineer (Artillery), depending on the size of the weapon.

Once created, the laser can be stored on the shelf indefinitely, but after first being fired it will cease functioning after minutes equal to your margin of success. If you spend additional time working on the weapon, you can make multiple rolls and total the margin of success, e.g. 4d-2 × 10 minutes of work would let you roll twice and add get minutes of operation equal to your total margin of success.

Statistics: Afflictions 1 (Advantages, Burning Strike, Penetrating Weapon (2), and Precise Gear +3, +1,260%; Based on Own IQ Roll, +20%; Cosmic, Duration is cumulative, +100%; Delay, Triggered, +50%; No Signature, +20%; Immediate Preparation Required, 2d-1 × 10 minutes, -45%; Melee Attack, Reach C, -30%; Guns Only, -60%; Gadgeteering, -0%) [142].

The advantages have the limitations Futuristic, -5%; Mundane Countermeasures, -10%; and Nuisance Effect, -5%. Alternate version of Immediate Preparation Required taken from here.

Permanent Modification
180 points

As Sorcerous enchantment, but more expensive due to the power modifier.

Affliction 1 (Accessibility, Only to build gadgets, -40%; Based on IQ, Own Roll, +20%; Cumulative, +400%; Extended Duration, Truly Permanent, +300%; Limited Use, 1/day, -40%; Melee Attack, Reach C, -30%; Gadgeteering, -0%; Special Enhancements, as for sorcerous enchantment, +1080%) [179] + Extra Option (Limited access to meditative study for gadgeteering) [1].

Hyperactive Inventor
20 points/level

Statistics: Altered Time Rate (Accessibility, Creation and invention only, -40%; Non-combat speed, -60%; Gadgeteering, -0%) [20/level]

Other Abilities

You may purchase Blessed (Inspired Crafter) 1-3, Machine Empathy, and any number of levels of Versatile with no special modifiers other than the Gadgeteering power modifier.

Last edited by Michael Thayne; 09-03-2017 at 04:30 PM. Reason: An earlier version of this post gave a smaller discount for "guns only", and accidentally underpriced the "Advantages" mod.
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Old 09-01-2017, 04:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Powers] The Power of... Gadgeteering?

I don't really have anything to add here except I like this idea and I'm curious where you will go with it. :-)
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Powers] The Power of... Gadgeteering?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostdancer View Post
I don't really have anything to add here except I like this idea and I'm curious where you will go with it. :-)
Thank you! That feels like a strong signal I'm on the right track with this. Here's a few more:

Battlesuit
184 points

With 2d-1 × 10 minutes of work and an Engineer (Battlesuits) roll, you can add servos to a suit of armor to turn it into a battlesuit. This gives the wearer +10 to Lifting and Striking ST, Super Jump 1, and also makes the suit's weight not count towards encumbrance. The suit's abilities operate for 1 minute per margin of success. You can extend the duration by working longer and making multiple rolls, as with other equipment modifications.

Statistics: Afflictions 1 (Advantages, External ST +8, Lighten Armor (Weightless), and Super Jump 1, +1,760%; Based on Own IQ Roll, +20%; Cosmic, Duration is cumulative, +100%; Delay, Triggered, +50%; No Signature, +20%; Accessibility, Only on a full suit of armor, -40%; Immediate Preparation Required, 2d-1 × 10 minutes, -45%; Melee Attack, Reach C, -30%; Gadgeteering, -0%; Special feature: ST bonus and Super Jump apply to wearer, not armor) [185].

Stardrive
117 points

With 3d-2 hours of work and an Engineer (Stardrive) roll, you can install a stardrive on a vehicle, which allows the vehicle to travel through hyperspace at a right of 1 parsec per day. This works best on spacecraft, because stardrives only work in space, but there's nothing to stop you from installing one on another large vehicle, say, a tank. The drive will continue working for 1.5 hours × your margin of success from when it is first turned on. This means without Permanent Modification, interstellar travel will pose difficulties, but even without a stardrive is far superior to any other method for travel within a system. You can extend the duration by working longer and making multiple rolls, as with other equipment modifications.

Statistics: Afflictions 1 (Advantage, Modified Warp, +950%; Based on Own IQ Roll, +20%; Cosmic, Duration is cumulative, +100%; Delay, Triggered, +50%; Extended Duration, x100, +60%; No Signature, +20%; Accessibility, Only on vehicles weighing at least 10 tons, -40%; Immediate Preparation Required, 3d-2 hours, -60%; Melee Attack, Reach C, -30%; Gadgeteering, -0%) [117] • Modified Warp is Warp (Reliable 10, +50%; Risky Blind, +10%; Futuristic, -5%; Hyperjump, 1 parsec per day, -20%; Naked, -30%) [95].

Last edited by Michael Thayne; 09-03-2017 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:57 PM   #6
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Re: [Powers] The Power of... Gadgeteering?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
Thank you! That feels like a strong signal I'm on the right track with this. Here's a few more:

Battlesuit
168 points

With 2d-1 × 10 minutes of work and an Engineer (Battlesuits) roll, you can add servos to a suit of armor to turn it into a battlesuit. This gives the wearer +10 to Lifting and Striking ST, Super Jump 1, and also makes the suit's weight not count towards encumbrance. The suit's abilities operate for 1 minute per margin of success. You can extend the duration by working longer and making multiple rolls, as with other equipment modifications.

Statistics: Afflictions 1 (Advantages, External ST +8, Lighten Armor (Weightless), and Super Jump 1, +1,600%; Based on Own IQ Roll, +20%; Cosmic, Duration is cumulative, +100%; Delay, Triggered, +50%; No Signature, +20%; Accessibility, Only on a full suit of armor, -40%; Immediate Preparation Required, 2d-1 × 10 minutes, -45%; Melee Attack, Reach C, -30%; Gadgeteering, -0%; Special feature: ST bonus and Super Jump apply to wearer, not armor) [168].
This is quite clever. I'd just call this "Extra ST without HP" since that's what you are essentially doing.
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Old 09-02-2017, 12:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Powers] The Power of... Gadgeteering?

I've had several "super-gadgeteer" characters who used Cosmic Power with a custom limitation to represent a "gadget pool" from which they could build as many gadgets as they could afford.
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Powers] The Power of... Gadgeteering?

A -5% Nuisance Limitation, Self Destruct. No matter your intention all devices you build have a external self destruct button.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:30 AM   #9
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: [Powers] The Power of... Gadgeteering?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PK View Post
I've had several "super-gadgeteer" characters who used Cosmic Power with a custom limitation to represent a "gadget pool" from which they could build as many gadgets as they could afford.
Yeah. I've been looking at that to steal ideas from, but I'm going for a slightly different take.
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:14 AM   #10
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: [Powers] The Power of... Gadgeteering?

After more thought, I'm thinking of pricing the "keystone" ability for this version of gadgeteering—call it "Spark of Genius"—the same as Sorcerous Empowerment. In some ways it might seem more narrow, but there are probably equipment buffs for everything.

This approach requires giving low-powered Gadgeteers something to improvise. I'd suggest: (1) a wide variety of technology-level skill perks and (2) exotic perks that represent hastily-assembled inventions which only work for the gadgeteer.
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