Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-15-2020, 10:27 PM   #21
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Gadgeteer

Thus, one of the many reasons that I replaced Gadgeteer with Superscience RPM (which I call Advanced Scientific Procedures or ASP). Procedural Genius (its version of Ritual Adept) allows for the equivalent of quick gadgeteering, though in a more stylish manner. It actually allows for settings like Girl Genius and Narbonic without that much difficulty (unlike Gadgeteer, which breaks down and cries).
AlexanderHowl is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2020, 11:19 PM   #22
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Gadgeteer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah Davis View Post
It's an inevitable element of a setting where the TL has ever advanced at all - It's clear that TLs do advance, it's clear that many games will be run on the cusp of the advancement (1980s, 1940s), and it's clear that this happens on a regular basis.
But then we aren't talking about gadgeteers mass producing items two TLs ahead of their time and flinging all of society centuries into the future.
David Johnston2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2020, 01:19 AM   #23
Micah Davis
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Gadgeteer

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
But then we aren't talking about gadgeteers mass producing items two TLs ahead of their time and flinging all of society centuries into the future.
"But now, we're not talking about the exact same thing" - Yeah, that's true, but I can't work with that objection except to say that you're posing it. Yes that's a difference - Why is it a significant difference? People transition large numbers of TLs in the Core Rulebook (Hi, Dai), so it's clearly possible to move someone up the ladder individually. You can raise your personal tech level because these are the only circumstances under which you can get high TL IQ skills at all. So, either A, the Gadgeteer doesn't have high TL and thus is working off of truly insane base rolls and has not invested the time and energy to raise his own TL for whatever reason or, B, the Gadgeteer does have High TL and could teach it himself.
Micah Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2020, 01:49 AM   #24
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Gadgeteer

Obviously, Gadgeteer is a must for certain genres like Steampunk or certain types of SF but it's a tough one to GM to control. It can really bog down play in games that are intended to be light and fast-moving.

Gadgeteer can also might be difficult for players to handle unless they've got a very good handle on the rules for research, inventions, etc.

The Gizmos variant of Gadgeteer is much easier to handle both as a GM or as a player.

I believe that there is a variant or limitation to Gadgeteer which repurposes it into a super repair power. That's more appropriate for cinematic mechanics and scroungers.

One bit missing from the Gadgeteer advantage is the ability to create gadgets, do research, or repair a device in a miraculously short period of time or with limited supplies. (e.g., Cinematic SF doctor whips up a cure for the Denebian Pox overnight, while the engineer completely rebuilds the ship's hyperdrives in just a few minutes using only baling wire and beer cans.)

The ability to work at superhuman speeds might require at least one level of ATR in addition to Gadgeteer, or at least levels of Reduced Sleep. Making repairs with limited parts or tools might require Serendipity or similar.
Pursuivant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2020, 02:45 AM   #25
kirbwarrior
 
kirbwarrior's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Dreamland
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Gadgeteer

Two things that have come up;

Gadgeteer! is a broad wildcard skill that covers any skill but only for the purposes of using Gadgeteer. It's entirely unrealistic and for the kind of characters like Doofenshmirtz who can make wild and crazy gadgets and have zero idea of how they actually function outside of 'push this button to turn it on, push this one to self-destruct'.

A common feature my players take is that you can't mass produce your gadgets (you don't even get any bonus to creating an item you already invented) but your stuff also can't be reverse-engineered because "it's too complex". I find this neatly solves any problem the advantage brings and keeps it in the realm of making things you need instead of making things as a job and increasing the TL. Note that this doesn't stop enemy gadgeteers from copying your work; they get no bonus from finding your suit but can scavenge it for parts and create Dark Iron Man with their own invention rules.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post
While I do not think that GURPS is perfect I do think that it is more balanced than what I am likely to create by GM fiat.
kirbwarrior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2020, 03:03 AM   #26
Otaku
 
Otaku's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: South Dakota, USA
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Gadgeteer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
That would probably be Versatile.
Gadgeteer is a cinematic advantage and I treat it like Trained by a Master.
Not sure I completely understand. Some of it is my own fault; I made a large, messy post and discussed some ideas that were related, but not always. As is, Gadgeteer is at least cinematic; I put forth the notion that perhaps there was a middle ground between inventing without the trait, and the base Gadgeteer advantage.

I also wondered about a Gadgeteer restricted to only refining existing tech, though my example was probably more confusing than intended. I focused on Quick Gadgeteering examples, but it would still be relevant for non-adventuring. They don't - for example - invent your gun, your mobile device, your car, etc. but they can make it better. If the setting permits, they may even still advance Tech Levels, but only for technology that has a counterpart in the current Tech Level.

Unrelated to my previous post, but something being discussed already in the thread: I have never run a character using this Advantage, and only ever slapped it on an NPC as justification for why [insert group] has access to advanced technology. So I do not know what it takes to keep Gadgeteers from throwing gamebalance out the window. One thought I did have, however, was that at least non-Quick Gadgeteers still need a lot of time and resources. As GM, and as long as everyone understands it will be ahead of time, could you make it clear that conditions to invent will be precious? In fact, that might be the reward for completing a series of adventures: securing the funding, the materials, the manpower, the location, and the time free from distractions for the Gadgeteer to do its thing?
__________________
My GURPS Fourth Edition library consists of Basic Set: Characters, Basic Set: Campaigns, Martial Arts, Powers, Powers: Enhanced Senses, Power-Ups 1: Imbuements, Power-Ups 2: Perks, Power-Ups 3: Talents, Power-Ups 4: Enhancements, Power-Ups 6: Quirks, Power-Ups 8: Limitations, Powers, Social Engineering, Supers, and one issue of Pyramid (3/83), most of which was provided through the generosity of others. Thanks! :)
Otaku is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2020, 03:28 AM   #27
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Gadgeteer

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
The inventor doesn't have skill in the higher TL so he can't teach skill in the higher TL. He just has a superpower that lets him bend the limits of his TL that ordinary people don't have.
...Sure, in one almost minor respect. A Gadgeteer can go more than one TL beyond the baseline. That's the only change on that front.

Note that all your objections about manufacturing would apply just as much to non-Gadgeteer inventors whose inventions cross a TL boundary. You won't find any more factory workers one TL ahead than you will three TL ahead.

If said objections had had any foundation in the rules to begin with, that is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Oh and I forgot. You don't get the price break on manufacturing the gear if the gadgeteer isn't there to use his gadgeteer advantage.
...What price break? The only place where Gadgeteers appear to get any kind of price break is that at TL +1 Gadgeteer prototypes cost double retail while non-Gadgeteer prototypes cost triple retail.

Once it goes to production there's no advantage to being a Gadgeteer. (Reading strictly, there's actually a disadvantage, but that's probably an error.)
__________________
I don't know any 3e, so there is no chance that I am talking about 3e rules by accident.

Last edited by Ulzgoroth; 10-16-2020 at 03:54 AM.
Ulzgoroth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2020, 06:10 AM   #28
Phil Masters
 
Phil Masters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: U.K.
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Gadgeteer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah Davis View Post
Quick Gadgeteer, by contrast, almost requires a Vow "Protect My Inventions from those who would use them ill" or "Non-Interference Clause".
AKA "Uphold the law that Reed Richards is Useless".

Cinematic Gadgeteer runs through superhero comics like an excessive quantity of cheese through a toasted sandwich (and also shows up in superhero movies), to the point where it's been lampshaded quite often - the number of villains who just try to get into Reed Richards' lab notes is probably quite large, and Iron Man got to fight virtually every other power-armoured character in the Marvel Universe that time that the GM reminded him of that Vow and hinted that they were all pinching his ideas. Though I think that Lex Luthor's ten-minute consultation on the Swamp Thing problem was probably the apex deployment of the advantage. Even if Lex does employ people to do the actual engineering for him.

Basic Gadgeteer, on the other hand, I tend to interpret as a license to make a habit of using the invention rules. They allow quite a lot for a moderately high-points character, and GMs might get grumpy about characters who spend all their spare time sitting in a lab forcing decisions about what is realistically possible -- but "Dude, I spent 25 points for this -- it's too late for you to complain!" Alternatively, see it as an Unusual Background to reflect the difference between someone who's just a good engineer and one of those rare but entirely real people who make a decent living from holding a whole stack of (100% legitimate) patents.

As the player of the Monster Hunters gadgeteer who John and Roger previously mentioned, I'm having fun, but I sometimes feel that I'm not getting full use out of the Cinematic version of the advantage. Cobbling together an unending stream of drones is great (with this and a Crossroads witch on the team, well, we're a party which believes that time spent on reconnaissance is never wasted), but I really must brew up a few proton packs some time.
__________________
--
Phil Masters
Author of A Dozen Castle Images (Pay What You Want for Twelve Plot Seeds).
My Home Page.
Phil Masters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2020, 07:15 AM   #29
Daigoro
 
Daigoro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Meifumado
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Gadgeteer

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Except that the staff will be penalized for working with higher TL equipment. How many people with skill 25 are you going to be able to find to run your production lines?
How would that work if their building superscience tech at their tech level? A TL8 engineer dealing with TL8^ equipment?

As Gadgeteering is a perennial topic, I'll add these links for the readers' edification:

Gadgeteer: List of Fictional Gadgeteers
Gadgeteer: List of Real-life Historical Gadgeteers

And my thoughts on what RAW Gadgeteering lacks and what a Power Ups book on inventing and gadgets could focus on:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
I'd like to see-
  • the Metatronic Generators rules, perhaps polished up a little, "officialised", and a bit more generic
  • covering all SMs: lumping "laser pistol" and "mega big starship" into the Advanced category doesn't really work
  • skill/field specialisation: Tony Stark shouldn't be able to Gadgeteer biotech just because he drops a point into Bioengineering
  • rules for components: is Iron Man's suit one Gadget, or is it built by researching 6 different sub-systems?
  • Gadgets as Allies, and when and how to do that
  • Magic Items, Enchantments, runes, flying castles, alchemy, etc, done as variations of Gadgeteering. That is, genericise Gadgeteering from just a Weird Science skill to cover crafting in other genres
  • a bunch of alternative Gadget Quirk tables for different flavours of Gadgeteering
  • Social Gadgeteering in IW saw a bit of use in our Spacefaring Fantasy game, more stuff like that
  • other sundry Gadgeteering stuff that I believe is in Action, MH and Mars Attacks, in one place
  • how to avoid or cope with the Netrunner problem equivalent with Gadgeteers, i.e. Gadgeteering can force a lot of downtime on the team
  • and importantly, how to GM a Gadgeteer, especially of a tech savvy player, so he doesn't just run rings around game balance or get a backdoor to Wealth
  • not exactly Gadgeteering, but a bit about Cybernetics. For example, when should an inbuilt smart phone count as an Accessory Perk instead of trying to write it up as a list of Advantages
__________________
World Wikis:
Cyberpunk: Duopoly Nation
Fantasy: Dominion Cross
Space Opera: Behind the King's Eclipse
Steampunk: Colonial Steam
Daigoro is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2020, 07:31 AM   #30
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Gadgeteer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
And my thoughts on what RAW Gadgeteering lacks and what a Power Ups book on inventing and gadgets could focus on:
Some of those aren't actually uncovered to begin with:

-A laser pistol would be Average complexity, and a starship Amazing. That's flawed, certainly, but not in the way you suggest.

-Putting a Limitation on the Advantage is fairly obvious and standard, though a lot of Gadgeteers can switch fields relatively easily.

-I'm pretty sure that using the Invention rules to invent new spells is specifically recommended in RAW. Though probably not with any helpful details. Thaumatology does have a fairly detailed section on inventing new alchemical elixers.
__________________
I don't know any 3e, so there is no chance that I am talking about 3e rules by accident.

Last edited by Ulzgoroth; 10-16-2020 at 07:34 AM.
Ulzgoroth is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
advantage of the week, gadgeteer

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:15 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.