Contraption. What's it Good For?

Yeah… it destroys your tools?
I’d forgotten that bit.

The rules are vague about what sort of device you can make, and it seems like it’d never be worth it if you’re going to lose your tools, especially when you’ve sunk several hundred into getting a crafted tool kit that’s one encumbrance and adds an automatic Advantage (asking for a friend :P).

How have others ruled this? Both on the matter of tools being destroyed and of what sort of device can be created?

If I were to write the talent, I’d write it something like:

Once per game session, the character can take the Contraption action. With a successful Hard Mechanics check, the character can fashion a device to solve a current problem using another device or the spare parts on hand. As a last resort, he may use his tools in lieu. This device must be approved by the GM and functions for the duration of the current encounter only, at which point the device and anything put into its construction is destroyed. A Triumph may be spent to allow the items to be recovered to be used later.

That still doesn’t help with device, but I suppose that varies too much depending on the circumstance. So I suppose the rules are about as good as they can be in that area, but it’d be nice to know what sort of devices they have in mind.

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As a once per session talent it seems to me as a MacGuyver-esque action, using paperclip and pencilsharpener to make up for the missing hyperdrive parts.


Yeah, that’s basically how I’d interpreted it, but that doesn’t actually help me with my problem.

The way I read it is that this is a talent for situations when you are without your other resources … making do with what makeshift tools and the like you have on hand. So, I think it is the word “tools” here that is the confusion, it isn’t (necessarily) referring to a toolkit, but a metal pipe, some string, and a milk carton.

I believe, that in any situation where you have your basic toolkit or your customised aw-some-tools™ toolset, and can find parts to solve a problem, you wouldn’t need this talent. If the problem would require special tools you don’t have, you’d need this talent to do it. If you don’t have any tools with you, you’d need this talent.


There’s a variation of the talent in Genesys that works slightly different and has a clearer definition of what it does. And it doesn’t quite break your tools.

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Would you please enlighten me? I do not have Genesys.

I think Swordbreaker is referring to Mad Inventor, which requires a Mechanics check where the difficulty is based on the rarity of the item being cobbled together. The talent says you use spare parts or salvage to do this.


I think Contraption just got replaced in my game!

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Playing a technician this is how I envisioned the talent. For some reason my go-to example is building a contraption to escape from jail when you have been locked up and stripped of all your things (including toolkit).
Like building a contraption out of a fork, a food tray, some thread from the matress and other odds and ends gathered from the cell.

I’ve always assumed “tools” in the context of the talent refered to the “stuff” used to build the contraption.