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Aberrant Gadgets done right.


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Yes I can be Iron Man! Here is a rough draft of my idea for gadgets in Aberrant. It will allow for characters to be nearly as effective with gadgets as Novas are, and keep your character as a baseline, if you so choose. No need for mega intelligence to create gadgets, although it helps a lot. 

M-INT Characters, are able to create new forms of technology at ease, as well as, improve upon existing technology, in ways that will make them far more efficient, than anything a Baseline human, may have ever thought possible. To represent this, we have the inventions section, for rules on creating or modifying technologies.
 For modifying existing tech, your character may have the tools already. A mad scientist is bound to have a lab full of improvised tools, however, the more outrageous the tech is, that a player wants to create, the more time will be needed to make the tools to use on your new device. A standard success is enough for minor things that a player is prepared to build, where a 5 successes, represents the time needed to rebuild your lab entirely, to build the new tech.
Successes here are the weeks needed to rebuild and modify your lab.
R&D Complexity
For inventions that are simply modified  versions of existing tech, it is a standard success to achieve the desired results. However, if you are creating a super-science, this should take 5 successes.
1) Low/1 hour
2) Medium/1 day
3) High/1 week
4) New superscience/1 month
5) Complex superscience/1 year
A nova may be able to mimic the effects of a Quantum Bolt, in a weapon, but the technology may be a bit clunky and hard to handle. A standard success multiplier of 1 is acceptable for a vehicle mounted Quantum Bolt weapon. For each success multiplier added, beyond this, the player can reduce the tech's clunkiness. 
1/8 hours    Vehicle Mounted Weapon, Heavy, Bulky, etc.
2/16 hours    Shoulder Mounted Weapon, perhaps needing 2 men to use it efficiently.
3/32 hours    Portable and able to be effective with a single person working it, like an RPG launcher.
4/64 hours    Portable and extremely efficient for single person use, such as a rifle.
5/128 hours    Portable and concealable, such as Tony Stark's Repulsor Beams on his gauntlets.
Additional Perks/Options A player may want more than a ray gun. they may want that gun to also have a range finder, or even a battery. A player may have as many mods on a gadget as he/she has in the related ability + specialty. So a maximum of 6 mods, can be placed on a device. Also, the mods should make sense for the gadget in question. Some times a gadget will have it's own dice pools, such as a mech or robot, however, a player may create a power armor, to enhance the wearers abilities. The player would spend one success on an attribute rating up to his/her own, but anything beyond that, would require more successes and XP to create. Also, some mods require different dice pools to use correctly. 5 dots in flight allows for the increased distance, you may fly/turn, but you would need a roll of DEX + Pilot, to make maneuvers, such as dodging. A player who created a Mech, would use a piloting skill to dodge, attack, etc. where a player with a power armor, would use the augmented dice pools (players dice pool, plus the devices dice pool) of the given abilities. Augmented dice pools are still restricted to the normal maximums. A player may not augment his attributes, abilities, or powers, beyond the standard 5 dots. Mods can be combined, however. If a gadget has Armor on it already and a player wants to add invulnerability, this does not count as an extra mod, but rather, an improvement on the mod. Here is a list of mod categories.
Attribute and M-ATT- each attribute counts as a mod, but the associated M-ATT is an improvement upon the base Attribute.
Powers- Usually, each power is a separate mod, however, some can be combined, such as flight and hypermovement flight
Enhancements- An enhancement can be a mod (bought separate) or an improvement to an existing M-ATT.
Abilities- Each ability is an improvement on an existing Attribute.
A player must perform routine maintenance, to keep a gadget running at full steam. Maintenance, is a roll of your related dice pool. Successes needed, are equal to the number of modifications plus improvements, on an existing device. Repair is equal to the number of health levels being repaired plus the usual maintenance.  Each success needed, represents a base of one hour of work. If a character has a mod that represents a self repair, such as buying regeneration, as nano tech, then repairs are automatic, but weekly maintenance, is still necessary.
A rebuild is the same, minus the Tools, Streamlining and R&D times.

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Basically, as a starting character gadgets are easy to do. Make your character as a human, spend all of your points, up to the bonus points. the Nova points are to round out skills and such on your human, but mainly to build your gadgets. Batman characters would build body armors and grapple guns while Iron Man characters would build a suit. Here is my Iron Man concept to show the system works.

NPC Iron Man.pdf

Mark 52.pdf

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This looks pretty good AFAICT. If you or a friend has the right software, you could put out a nice minibook PDF* once you pad this out with more examples of the invention process and example inventions. One tip: if you do go that route, use no trademarked/copyrighted examples such as Iron Man. Generic descriptions are always the way to go.

Also, do you have a copy of Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman? It provides an excellent in character viewpoint of the process you're describing.

*- You can get page templates & the font to match the canon Aberrant books from Matt here @ RPGPost if you don't have them already.

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I do not have that, but I will be checking into that. I am trying to limit the gadget/invention process a bit now. I have been going back and forth on a couple ideas, on how to use this system. The problem is, what a M-INT character should be able to do vs what is balanced for other characters.

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Also, I have the unpublished book, Brainwaves, by White Wolf. I like the system for inventions, rather than gadgets, but it gives no insight into how effective the gadget will be or even the limit on how many "powers" can be represented.

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Quick recommendation: get in cahoots with someone else that has a really good grasp of Aberrant game mechanics. Even if you have a good grasp of those yourself, it's good to have another person to act as a sounding board for your ideas.

Before you ask, I'm not available - putting out Aberrant: Nexus will consume all my scant free time for the forseeable future.

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I have decided to keep these rules simple, if I go about this the right way, I would have to write an entire book to cover the majority of possibilities. On another note, can anyone explain the weakness system to me? I keep seeing people post about weaknesses, that have a point reference. I have the APG, and it mentions weaknesses, but it goes into no details, at all about it. What are the points used for, when you purchase a power with a weakness?

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