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Hand Free with weird scientist at least being mute

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  • Hand Free with weird scientist at least being mute

    Do weird scientists need to speak in order to shoot their gun? I understand having their hands free to shoot. But the rules for activating powers says the caster needs to have the ability to speak unless they are Gifted or Psionics. If you used the rules as writen the weird scientist needs to use their voice to activate their bolt pistol with a shooting roll. Should this be brought to the feedback page? It seems like a little thing to worry over.

  • #2
    Some Weird Science gizmos require spoken commands. Some don't. Thus, Weird Science is not automatically free from the speech requirement.
    The same ways some gizmos require fine hand control and others are purely voice activated.
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.


    • #3
      Right, but as written right now, Weird Scientists (or the person they've entrusted with their gadgets) must be able to speak to activate any of their powers. All of their devices are voice-activated.

      "Alexa, cast blast! No, don't order a glass, Blast! No, we don't need ballast, we need blast! Alexa, Blast!"

      Presumably a clarification should be in the activation section of Arcane Devices.

      EDIT: I went ahead and submitted this in feedback.
      Last edited by JackMann; 01-05-2019, 06:39 PM.


      • Freemage
        Freemage commented
        Editing a comment
        ValhallaGH's point is that Arcane Device design would trump the base rule. The form of the thing is what determines how it operates. Hell, a device could even be outfitted to require voice, but not hands (a voice-activated hypno-helmet with the Puppet Power, for instance.)

      • JackMann
        JackMann commented
        Editing a comment
        Freemage That's correct. The Arcane Devices section would override the general activation rules. The problem is that the Arcane Device section doesn't do so. It changes the skill roll and possibly who rolls it, but it doesn't change the requirements to activate the powers. So as written, whoever is activating the power must be able to speak, see their target, and cannot be bound. I'm sure that's not the intent, which is why it's an issue that it's written that way.

    • #4
      Hopefully the devs will address JackMann 's concern, but without guidance, I'd assume having the device is part of the Casting Requirements, and that replaces the need for being able to speak. If casting requirements are seen as a balancing factor, the fact that a device can be targeted or stolen does that without needing to adjust starting powers or points.

      Of course, it's only because Weird Science has the trappings of technology that'd I'd make that assumption. You typically don't need to speak to use technology (Alexa aside). Unless you actually want to be like Laura Dern in Star Wars and say "pew pew!" every time you fire a blaster.

      If a caster with AB:Magic or AB:Miracles with the Artificer Edge created a device, well, I might stick with speaking being required, as magic items needing a command word or invoking divine power is a common trope. And then I'd further tweak it and say "except potions".

      Plus, Weird Science is ... um.. weird ... anyway when it comes to requirements, as they really apply to the wielder of the device, not necessarily the Weird Scientist. So casting requirements fall on the current wielder.

      In the book example of an invisibility belt created by Dr. Destruction given to a minion, Dr. D. makes the roll to activate the belt, even if he's not present. So he obviously can't see the target. He's probably not at home suddenly saying "Inviso!" in the middle of dinner. I'd assume that even if Dr. D. were knocked out and tied up in a basement, he'd still be able to make the roll, since it's not really the character Dr. D. taking an action to activate the belt, but a more abstract roll against his general skill when he created it.

      However, if the minion were Bound, then he couldn't reach the button on the belt to activate it, so that requirement would still apply. Seeing the target I'd also argue doesn't apply - for any AB - if the target is yourself. You should be able to cast invisibility on yourself even in a pitch black room, however redundant that may be. But if the belt could fire a beam to turn someone else invisible, the minion would have to see that target.

      Likewise, if an enemy made a cutting remark about the minion's mother, causing him to become Distracted, there would be a -2 on the roll to activate the belt, even though it uses Dr. D's skill roll to activate.


      • #5
        Vindication! How sweet it is. Er, that is, it seems that a weird scientist does not need to voice activate all of his devices and this will be clarified.