[DLR] Sonic Screw Driver from Dr.Who.

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Nordicnomad
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[DLR] Sonic Screw Driver from Dr.Who.

#1 Postby Nordicnomad » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:31 pm

So I wanted to see what folks thought of implementing this iconic multi-tool into the deadlands universe.

For those unfamiliar with the tv show. The main character in the show has a futuristic multitool from the 55th century that uses sound waves to emulate the functionality of any known tool. (Think Swiss Army Knife on space crack) Supposedly by causing vibrations in objects that create a similar result.

In the show I have seen it used as a variety of sensors, to lock and unlock doors, to weld, to rewire circuits and most mechanical devices, start fires, and even disassemble robotic enemies from across the room.

Naturally I thought this would be a great trapping for the macgyver ability, paired with the elemental manipulation power to account for the starting fires and flipping switches from a distance (Most detailed work is done close up)

So here's how I was thinking it would work and looking for people's input.
- When standing right next to the target object, it works like the macgyver edge. No power points used, no penalty for not having correct tool.
- When not adjacent is limited to simple actions (start a fire, lock a door, turn devices on or off, loosen fasteners.) and requires the macgyver to have the elemental manipulation power.
- Near actions require no pp's, simple distant actions cost 1pp and can create no durable effects unless they're inherent to the target object. (Door stays locked, machine stays on, etc.)
- Only works on metal and technological items. Items made of wood, stone, or items that are "deadlocked" (don't vibrate evenly or have arcane resistance) are unaffected. So GM can preserve plot lines.
- When used to detect, it can only reduce negatives to notice and weird science rolls. Provides no bonuses to non-hindered notice rolls.
- It isn't a chemistry set. Can't make potions or create new compounds without proper additional equipment.
- Trapping is a 6 inch long tube that makes a distinct noise and lights up. Meaning its use is detectable to observers.

Looking forward to any observations, suggestions, or criticism on how you think something like this should work in the deadlands universe. Cheers.


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#3 Postby Nordicnomad » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:57 pm

VonDan wrote:Video = Related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3CjduFddN8


Well that's one application I hadn't considered. :/

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Re: [DLR] Sonic Screw Driver from Dr.Who.

#4 Postby TheLoremaster » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:26 pm

Nordicnomad wrote:So I wanted to see what folks thought of implementing this iconic multi-tool into the deadlands universe.

Why not just count it as a trapping for boost/lower trait? Specifically for Lockpicking and Repair checks?
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#5 Postby Sitting Duck » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:44 am

Years ago on the HOE forum, there was this thread where people came up with Movie Town relics. One of them was the Sonic Screwdriver. IIRC it granted a bonus to lockpicking and tinkering rolls and allowed junkers to cast any tool trick. Can't recall what the taint was though.
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Re: [DLR] Sonic Screw Driver from Dr.Who.

#6 Postby Nordicnomad » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:51 pm

TheLoremaster wrote:
Nordicnomad wrote:So I wanted to see what folks thought of implementing this iconic multi-tool into the deadlands universe.

Why not just count it as a trapping for boost/lower trait? Specifically for Lockpicking and Repair checks?


I suppose you could do it that way if you didnt want to spend edge points on macgyvering. It would remove any tool related penalties most of the time and get a bonus in normal situations. So seems solid in that regard.

But I suppose having watched so much of the show, the doctor was macgyver 20 years before that term was even coined. Plus the ability to not just tweak devices with the repair ability, and be allowed to make a tazer out of a pair of shoelaces, a belt buckle capacitor, and a rubber band suites my playing style. lol

There's also the consideration of what you're spending power points on. I tend to shy away from powers that require up keep in a battle situation because I want to make sure I always have enough for my 40mm grenade launcher made with the blast power. But if you have plenty of regular weaponry that's probably much less of a concern.

It's definitely something that could even be tacked on eventually if it ends up being needed I imagine. Thanks for the idea!

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#7 Postby Nordicnomad » Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:06 pm

Sitting Duck wrote:Years ago on the HOE forum, there was this thread where people came up with Movie Town relics. One of them was the Sonic Screwdriver. IIRC it granted a bonus to lockpicking and tinkering rolls and allowed junkers to cast any tool trick. Can't recall what the taint was though.


Hearing loss maybe? :wink:

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#8 Postby Scott A. Woodard » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:20 pm

The problem is that the screwdriver is a magic wand. It can do anything... Unlock doors, scan the environment, cut and resolder wire, explode mines from a distance, do bio-scans, etc., etc.

Can't really stat-up something like that... realistically...
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#9 Postby ValhallaGH » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:18 am

Ogma wrote:The problem is that the screwdriver is a magic wand. It can do anything... Unlock doors, scan the environment, cut and resolder wire, explode mines from a distance, do bio-scans, etc., etc.

Can't really stat-up something like that... realistically...

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#10 Postby TheLoremaster » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:53 am

Ogma wrote:The problem is that the screwdriver is a magic wand. It can do anything... Unlock doors, scan the environment, cut and resolder wire, explode mines from a distance, do bio-scans, etc., etc.

Can't really stat-up something like that... realistically...

Which means it's not really a Relic, it's more of a Trapping. It's what lets The Doctor do all the amazing things The Doctor does. Hence, it's a Weird Science Trapping for multiple Powers.
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#11 Postby Nordicnomad » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:25 am

Ogma wrote:The problem is that the screwdriver is a magic wand. It can do anything... Unlock doors, scan the environment, cut and resolder wire, explode mines from a distance, do bio-scans, etc., etc.

Can't really stat-up something like that... realistically...


Absolutely spot on. In the research I did on the whole evolution of the device, there was a lot of discussion as to how the producers and writers struggled to keep it from becoming a "deuce-ex-machina". For several seasons it was expressly forbidden from appearing on the show, and once allowed back in it had significant limitations such as the convenient "dead locking" of anything involving recurring baddies and the inability to effect wood so ventures to the past weren't so convenient.

In practice, I think treating it like a tool box and a limited remote control helps. Yeah it can do "anything" but as long as you don't make it instantaneous and have every mod action take the 2d6 minutes or whatever it is that the macgyver edge stipulates. You don't have time to do anything that really unbalances a particular battle.

Just like if you have a complete workshop nearby and can make anything you can imagine, but don't have time to always get there as soon as a need presents itself.


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