Deadlands Reloaded: The Weird West
Mad Scientist Gizmos
This is a list, by Power, of various ideas for Mad Scientist players to determine the trapping of their character’s gizmos. Some of the mechanics of the powers have been altered to fit the gizmo’s function. Players are encouraged to work with the Marshal to determine how their Mad Scientist’s prototype works.
To help Mad Scientist players, think about a theme for your character that all of his/her inventions follow. Perhaps they work with a type of energy such as fire, electricity, or even sound. Perhaps all of their devices are clockwork creatures various types. They could even have a single weapon such as a grenade launcher with differing types of grenades. Once the character as theme it should be easier to come up with the Mad Scientist’s power trappings.
Feel free to alter the basic power around to meet the trapping of the device. If the device needs to be larger (in the case of a Steam Wagon) or operator longer than a few rounds. try to balance out any increases to the gizmo with drawbacks such as increased weight, reduced range, specific use, inherent weaknesses, unusable under certain conditions, long start up time, noisy and/or smokey, constant maintenance costs, etc. Work out these exceptions with the Marshal to get make it seem more like the gizmo and less like a power.
This ammunition has been infused with magnetized ghost rock which seems to seek out sources of heat (or living creatures). The magnetized metal can adjust its trajectory to better hit the heat (living source targeted). Attacks made against at creatures or objects of this sort are made with a +2 provided there isn’t any similar source nearby. The bullets/arrows/knives have the weight as appropriate for the item.
High-Tech Weapon Scope
This clips onto any gun in a round with a Mad Science roll to ensure proper alignment and operation. Once attached, the scope can be turned on or off instantly (to conserve battery power, the Power Points). After 10 rounds of use (+2.5 rounds, round down, for each Power Points Edge the character takes), not necessarily consecutive, the scope needs to be readjusted and the battery recharged at Mad Scientist normal Power Point recharge rate. The scope provides the the Marksman Edge but they can move if they choose. The scope also has a built in night vision feature that ignores up to -1 (-2 with a Raise) lighting penalties for Short and Medium range targets. The device malfunctions on both the Mad Science rolls and any Shooting rolls used with the weapon. The scope has a weight of 3.
To properly secure the vest for maximum protection a Mad Science roll is made yielding a Armor 2 or Armor 4 with a Raise to the torso only. The plates can be hit 12 times before the armor is too damaged to continue to provide protection. To repair or replace the plates it takes access to a forge to re-temper the plates the Mad Scientist’s Power Point rate for the plates to be reused. The armor weights 15 lbs and characters wearing it suffer a -1 to Agility rolls in addition to any encumbrance penalties. It takes a full round to remove the armor. The device malfunctions on rolls to put on the armor as well as any Soak and Agility rolls made while wearing it.
Variations: For armor that covers more of the body increase weight by 5 lbs per area, i.e. right arm +5 lbs, both arms +10 lbs, head +5, etc.
Skin Hardener Spray
This ghost rock infused liquid is placed in a small atomizer. When sprayed on the target, the liquid quickly dries and hardens making normal and clothing skin as tough as iron boilerplate yet still as light and flexible as usual. This works as described per the Armor power. The spray has a weight of 2.
This fairly portable device is the size of a breadbox. It contains a number of strange 1 inch wide “memory” metal bands that make a grid like barrier that can be setup in a variety of differing positions from a straight fence to a small jail cell enclosure. This works as described per the Barrier power. The trap has a weight of 12.
Freeze Ray Gun
This weapon takes the moisture out of the air and creates a barrier of ice. The character makes a roll of the lower of Mad Science or Shooting to determine where the barrier forms. Each barrier section is a few inches thick has a Toughness of 10. Sections can be doubled up by thickening the ice and a treated as to separate barriers to break. The freeze ray can also be used to encase the target in ice. The freeze ray user must make a Mad Science/Shooting roll and if successful, the target gets an free Agility roll to escape. Each round the encased target must make a Vigor roll or take a level of Fatigue. If the target is incapacitated they frozen solid and must be thawed out careful to revive them. Each round the ice encased target may make a Strength roll to escape requiring a 10 or greater. The device malfunctions on Mad Science and Shooting rolls. The ray gun has a weight of 6.
This gel is highly combustible igniting seconds after coming into contact with air. To use the character succeeds a Mad Science roll and squeezes or pours the gel onto the ground where it instantly blazes into a wall of fire. The fire does 2d4 damage with a 1 in 6 chance of catching fire to anything that crosses the barrier. The gel ca also be used as a weapon by the character making a Shooting (when squeezing out the get Range: 1/2/4) or Throwing (a Molotov Cocktail) that does 2d4 fire damage. The fire gel barrier duration is the same the Barrier power. The device malfunctions on Mad Science, Shooting, or Throwing rolls. Full canister of fire gel has a weight of 4.
Force Barrier Electrolyte Gel & Control Rods
This greenish gel is sprayed using the Mad Science skill in the desired location of a the barrier. Once an electrical current, typically by the control rod also requiring a Mad Science roll, is applied to the gel it creates an invisible barrier of similar to that of two magnets repulsing each that bars anything from crossing. Unfortunately, the electrolyte gel decomposes quickly when exposed to air or electrical current (as per the Barrier power duration). If the electrical source is interrupted or the gel decomposes, the barrier dissipates with a loud pop and the smell of ozone. Multiple separate barriers are possible, but additional control rods or other electrical sources are required to each one. The device malfunctions on Mad Science rolls. A canister of electrolyte gel has a weight of 4 while the control rods have a weight of 2.
Animal Pheromone Spray
This is an atomizer sprayer filled with an advanced concoction of universal animal pheromones. This works as described per the Beast Friend power. The spray has a weight of 2.
Beast Manipulator Device
Critter Control Collar
Ball Lighting Gun
Clockwork Beetle Bombs
These are small rat-sized brass clock work devices that look like half a metal ball riveted to together with six insect-like legs (hence the beetle name). The user quickly programs the route they wish the bomb to take (roll Mad Science) while winding the gears with a large key to the specified distance and place the bug-like device on the ground. The bomb them follows this exact route (at Pace 6) until the clockworks wind down where it then explodes. Complicated routes such as more than a single 90 degree turn makes the Mad Science roll at a -2 or higher. While complicated to program these gizmo can get at targets even around corners provided they don’t shoot the thing (Object Toughness 8). Each Beetle Bomb weighs 1 pound.
Greek Fire Bombs
After years of study and experimenting the once lost technology of the ancient Greeks can be bottled for modern convenience. Contained in long necked (for ease of throwing) glass flasks is a powerful igniting oil. When the enough pressure, such as throwing the bottle some distance (over 6 yards (3")), the bottle breaks exposing the oily mixture with air where it combusts in a violent explosion of fire. This fiery explosion causes damage as described in the Blast power.
NOTE: This power is best when used with the Alchemist Edge and the mad scientist is free to pick other types of damage with taking this power such as: acid, electricity, ice, Lightning, Sound (________ in a Bottle anyone?), or other elemental damage that fits the mad scientist’s motif. Each flask of Greek Fire weighs 0.5 pounds.
Mechanized Slingshot with Nitro Grenades
Improved Gatling Weapon
This is a Gatling weapon with an improved Rate of Fire (RoF:3 instead of 2). That uses custom ammunition to each that effect. Otherwise use the all the statistics of the Gatling Weapon in question (Range, Damage, Weight, etc.). The Gatling weapon must fire its full Rate of Fire using up the appropriate number of Power Points, and the gizmo cannot be used for the higher damage option. The weight of the weapon is the same as list in the Deadlands Player’s Handbook.
This bizarre contraption only roughly looks like a gun with a number of capacitors, wires, and vacuum tubes covering its exterior. They electrical components ionize the the air much like thunderclouds and generate up to three arcs of lighting (or one powerful one). Like being stuck by lighting, the gun can cause sever electrical burns. However, unlike thunderclouds, this weapon does not work well in the rain which tends to short it out. The weapon ignores metal armor and can even be used to target people, creatures and objects in pools of water become a Small Burst Template. The gizmo isn’t as heavy as it is bulky and fragile with a weight of 10.
Miniature Clockwork Spiders
This nasty little buggers are the size of a man’s fist with their legs retracted. The user programs their path to their target (using the Mad Science skill) then places them on the ground. They move at a Pace 8 following unerringly the route (if the target most before they get there the attack is wasted unless someone takes their place). When these mechanical beasties get their they pounce on their target injecting them with a powerful venom derived from most dangerous spiders known to man.
This weapon fires brightly colored blast of high energy light. Its range is determined by the size of the weapon (Derringer, Pistol, Carbine, Rifle). Otherwise this works as described per the Bolt power. The gun has a weight of of the lightest weapon type it is modeled after.
Tonics & Elixirs
This works as described per the Boost/Lower Trait power. The spray has a weight of 2.
Sonic Mood Manipulator
Personal Burrowing Device
Drill Steam Wagon
This is can be a pistol or rifle sized weapon made of corrosive resistant metal (usually ghost brass). Atop the barrel is a glass storage tank filled with extremely corrosive acid of the usual green color. The over-sized trigger mechanism actually pressurizes the tank causing the acid to be sprayed out in a narrow arc (Burst Template). The weapon does 2d10 on the first round. If the target does nothing about the acid on the second round it causes 2d6 damage and 2d4 on the third. After which the acid loses its potency. If the target is sprayed again the Damage goes back to 2d10 the process starts again. Note, while the glass pressure tank is tougher than typical glass (Object Toughness 9), if targeted and broken, the user must make a Mad Science roll it keep from a Small Burst Template centered them automatically causing damage to all targets caught in the splash zone. Some mad scientists build the tank in a backpack flamethrower style to increase the amount of shots (with the Power Points Edge). The Pistol weighs 5 pounds and the rifle weighs 12. The backpack flamethrower style weighs 18 pounds. The heavier rifle and thrower styles counts as Heavy Weapons.
This weapon fires an electrical arc similar to lighting in a seconds long burst before recharging for a few seconds to do it again. The electrical arc wildly twists and turns in a narrow cone from the end of the weapon (Cone Template) striking all things in its path that fail to make an opposed Agility roll. The Weapon can also be fired at people, creatures, and objects standing in a pool of water becoming a Medium Burst Template. Danger: Do not allow this weapon to become saturated with water as it will ground the user causing the damage to hit them. It is bulky and fragile weapon with a number of glass vacuum tubes and delicate electronics exposed along with its heavy power battery backpack giving it a weight of 12.
Energy Beam Weapon
One of the most common gizmos found in the weird west this device’s design is as various as its designers however its operations is essentially the same. To use it it requires an opposed Shooting vs. all targets in the Cone Templates Agility. Other than that, it works as described in the Burst power. Flamethrowers weigh 18 pounds.
The inventions are basically vacuums strapped to the back of the user with two barrels. One of the barrels sucks rocks, nails, glass, and other debris off the ground into the bulky vacuum pack, while the other barrel blasts this debris out in a narrow cone (Cone Template). The thing is loud, heavy, and bulky, but it will run out of power before it will run out of ammo. Shrapnel throwers have a weight of 20 pounds.
Magnetic deflection Belt
Ghost Rock Detector
This little hand held device is invaluable for striking it rich as a ghost rock miner. The detector houses a gauge with a needle and reads off the amount of ghost within 50 yards (25") from a pound up to half a ton. It can be recalibrate to handle smaller or larger amounts with a successful repair roll and 30 minutes. This handy little gizmo operates for minutes instead of rounds although it requires constant adjustment (Mad Science) to hone in on the exact location of the ghost rock.
NOTE: Detect Arcana can be used for a number of material specific detectors (Gold, Silver, Ivory) each working off the mechanics listed above.
Paranormal Energy Detector/Concealer
This bulky device once setup reveals or conceals any person, creature, or object that is giving off a supernatural field (a relic, abomination, using a power, etc.). The generator does take a few seconds to get working but once it does, all thing mentioned above (including invisible objects) are revealed in a Large Burst Template.
These goggles have specially sealed glass lens filled with atomized ghost rock gas. When a small electric current (as applied by the built-in battery pack) is applied to the ghost rock gas the lens glow a strange greenish color and allow wearer to see the “mystic” energy fields given off by so called supernatual creatures and objects including the invisible. The power works as per the Detect/Conceal Arcana skill.
Negative Energy Discharger
Glue Blaster Gun
This gizmo looks like a minature flamethrower (unless more the Power Points Edge is taken). It has a single barrel shotgun-like nozzle with a flexible rubber tube that attaches to a metal tank the size of a man’s leg. The tank has a couple of wide leather straps allowing the user to attach the device to their hip or back. The user can adjust the flow of the glue (which is a milkish white with a strange green tint to it). With a flick of the wrist the nozzle can be set to a single target (2 Power Points), a small area (Small Burst Template using 3 Power Points), or a medium sized area (4 Power Points). Targets caught in the quick drying sticky mess find it difficult to move and in some causes find themselves rooted in place. The glue does quickly dry out and become brittle taking less than an hour to do so. The device has a weight of 10 lbs.
“Memory” metal Bolas
The high tech versions of such a low tech weapon are constructed entirely out of ghost steel. When they are employed (using the Throwing skill) they wrap around the target and the ‘memory’ metal becomes as rigid as jail bars unless they are manipulated in a certain way attempting to break free with a Mad Science roll. Depending on construction (chosen by the mad scientist), the target may attempt to wiggle free (using Agility for strong bolas) or break free (using Strength for ‘smart’ bolas). The range of these weapons is similar to other bolas and have a weight of 0.5 lbs per each set.
This lotion is applied directly to the skin and provides hours of protection from all but the hottest or coldest weather (depending on the type created). A person could be in the Mohave sun in the middle of summer and not worry about heat exhaustion. Similarly, with the cold version, one could walk naked in an Arctic blizzard without worry of even getting a little bit of frost bite. The balm weighs 0.5 per dose which last 1 hour before a new application is required.
This bulky suit is made of specially treated leather and oil cloth with rubber joints and seals. It has a large brass helmet that while it restrict vision and hearing (Notice -4) provides some protection to the noggin (Armor +3). Overall the suit gives the wearer Armor +2. Attached to the back of the suit is a small pressurized air tank that provides the wearer with 10 minutes per Power Point of fresh air. Alternatively, with an external air line and automatic bellows the a man could be underwater indefinitely. The suit is quite heavy and bulky weighing in at 40 lbs.
Force Field Projector
Sonic Terror Generator
The theory behind this large handheld device is it generates subsonic waves on a frequency that all things find deeply disturbing. The mind interprets the sensation of these odd vibration on a subconscious level as intense terror. The device can be used to target victims is a number of ways from a 1 to 180 degree arc. It can hit a single target, Large Burst Template the edge of which is in contact with the device user, Large Burst Template centered on the device (The user is not immune). The device has a timer built in that even allows the user to hide the device and have it activate at the programed time. The device weighs 6 pounds.
This alchemical gas is contained in specifically designed grenade like containers that break open when significant force is applied to them. The user throws the bomb (using the throw skill with the following Range: 10/20/40) when they land the gas escapes covering a Large Burst Template area. Unlike other Fear power devices, the gas does not cause a -2 to Guts checks, but at the same time, it rarely effects the thrower (needing snakes to be dropped or not thrown far). Each bomb weighs 0.5 pounds.
NOTE: For mad scientists all healing powers are generally weaker than other Arcane Backgrounds. In the case of greater healing the character has to choose healing as above or regrowing limbs, eyes, etc.
This remarkable tonic works nearly as well as most shyster’s snake oils claim to. It can cure almost any poison, disease, or sickness. If poured on wounds, even older ones (greater than an hour), the can heal nearly instantly. Unfortunately, the miracle cure cannot regrow lost limbs eyes or injuries the body has already healed up.
The inventor has unlocked the secret of X-19 and graft steam-powered limbs and sensory organs back onto the body. The prosthetics are bulky and loud, but they work nearly as well as the real thing. The scientist may even be increase Strength at the loss of Agility only by one step though. The same can be done with the senses. Eye sight that sees better in the dark or far away but doesn’t handle daylight well or things up close. Due to the personal nature of these items they don’t actually add weight to the person though they do count the number of augmentations they can have.
NOTE: For mad scientists all healing powers are generally weaker than other Arcane Backgrounds.
Camouflage Duster and Hat
This long coat and hat, with built in mask, actually changes color to match its surroundings like a chameleon but better and faster.
Micro Radio Transmitter
Light Negation Device
Mind Control Device
Time Accelerator/Decelerator Pocket Watch
A language Deciphering Machine
Electrostatic Shock gun
Pain Generator Device
Track Covering Brushes
Dust Devil Generator
While there are a variety of ways to construct this device onto a corpse, the most efficient may be a pair of neck bolts that are screwed into the sides of the corpse. The neck bolts are actually a pair of electrodes (one positive and one negative) that tap straight into the corpse’s spinal column basically jump starting to animation. The electrical charge is not perfect so the corpse tends to sputter and learch in ambulation but can follow basic commands until the charge runs out. Another basic form of this invention is a strange girdle of wires and electrical components on a metal frame. The girdle attaches to the corpse’s mid section is bulkier due to poorer contact with the spinal cord. The bolts weigh 1 pound per set and the girdle is 2 lbs.
Necrotic Revitalizing Fluid