Gadgets in the Marvel Multiverse RPG
Currently there are no rules for building gadgets in the Marvel Multiverse game. I assume this will be a power set in the full game, but I want any of my players to be able to make and use them. In addition, there aren’t really enough ways to attack weaknesses right now, so we could do with something to help with that. So here’s a system based on the one I use for Clockwork in Backswords & Bucklers, that any character (regardless of archetype or powers) can use.
First the player must pick a number of Things that they want the device to be able to do from the following list:
- Something minor, such as tell the time, play music or conceal an item within it
- Grant a movement mode, such as Swingline or Teleport at normal running speed
- Move about under it’s own power
- Duplicate the effects of a Utility power
- Carry a person (multiple people requires multiple Things)
- Damage reduction (10 per Thing, specify subtype of damage to reduce)
- Target someone (at Fight range, choose an appropriate attack modifier to use, an appropriate defence, type and subtype of damage for the method of delivery)
- Target someone at range (must be able to target someone, default range bracket 50, each extra Thing doubles range bracket)
- Inflict damage (using firing character’s base Fight/Range damage)
- Inflict a status effect
- Think enough to follow orders (must be able to calculate)
- Think for itself (must also be able to think, and must have a moral code defined)
- Act as a character (must be able to think for itself, 1 Thing per rank)
For each Thing a gadget can do, it will require a successful Logic check against the regular challenging TN. Each Logic check will take a week (test at the end of the week), and will require some sort of laboratory or workshop.
Example: a skybike with a sonic cannon. It can move about, has the flight 1 power and can carry a person. The sonic cannon uses Vigilance to target someone’s Ego at range and inflicts Force damage to Health and the Deafened condition on a successful hit. That is 7 things it can do, which means it will take 7 successful Logic checks, with each check requiring a week.
There must be a cost involved, otherwise your characters will soon be swimming in gadgets. Money isn’t really a thing in MMRPG, so we have to use something else.
A character has a limit on the total number of Things amongst their gadgets equal to their Rank. Rocket Racoon at Rank 10, for example, could have the example skybike listed above and still have 3 spaces left for a less complicated gadget. If they have run out of space and want to make something else they will either have to pass one of their gadgets on to another character who does have space or get rid of one of them.
Gadgets on the Fly
As an Easy action a character can produce a gadget they can claim to have created earlier. This will cost an amount of Karma equal to the number of Things they want it to do, and the character must still have space for the Gadget or be able to immediately hand it to someone who does. The character must successfully pass a Logic test in order to find the item. Failure will cost them Focus equal to the amount of Things they declared, and the Karma spent is returned to them. They can keep trying as long as they have the Focus to do so.
You can use the gadget system to help you come up with rules for signature weapons. Allow them three Things it can do. Only the character in question can use the Signature Weapon, but it does not use up their regular gadget limits so they will still have points equal to their rank to spend on other gadgets.