Gadgets (Action)

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Heroic Action Role-Play

Gadgets are nifty items that can help on an adventure, but which are not as powerful as items imbued with powers. Gadgets can be purchased in three different ways. You can purchase each schtick multiple times to gain multiple uses.

  1. As a gadget pool. This allows you to select a gadget you could reasonably have access to and have access to that gadget for the rest of the session. You can only use this schtick to select a new gadget once per session, but you can acquire the schtick several times to gain additional uses.
  2. A gadget pool of two gadgets—each of these can only be used in one scene and are then expended until the next session.
  3. As a supply of three different gadgets selected when you take the schitck. The GM can allow substitutions, generally at the start of a session.
  4. A supply of four gadgets selected when you take the schitck, each of which can only be used in one scene and are then expended until the next session.

Ancient Gadgets

Assembly Weapon

Basic Action, Create, Slick

A weapon can be constructed so that it can be quickly assembled from parts, each of which is inconspicuous. It is a Basic Action to assemble or disassemble the weapon.

Blinding Egg

Basic Action, Melee, Tiny

A small bird's egg filled with itching and blinding powders, the blinding egg is thrown like a grenade (Close range) and bursts to fill a five meter diameter cloud. Make a Melee vs. Dodge check against each target, on a success the target is blinded until it has completed its next basic action. On an outcome matching the target's Action the target is blinded for the rest of the scene.

If applied in melee it only affects a single target.

Disappearing Powder

Basic Action, Maneuver, Tiny

This is a colored, glittering powder that can be thrown into the air. While onlookers are distracted by the pretty cloud, you quietly disappear. Variants use smoke or flash powders. Often used as a stage-magician prop, one danger is that onlookers might think you are a genuine magician.

The gadget allows you to use Sneak to disappear from plain sight, as long as you can get under some kind of cover or use some disguise.

Diving Gadget

Basic Action, Maneuver, Medium, Slick

A set of primitive "SCUBA" equipment. This includes a set of flippers, goggles, a simple snorkel, and a weighted "air bag". You can use the air bag to fill your lungs underwater, permitting you to stay underwater for twice as long before having to surface or drown. Several air bags can be used, but they are very bulky and difficult to swim with; each air bag after the first reduces your Move by one underwater.

Allows you to move normally underwater, and to hold your breath 100% longer than normal or indefinitely while snorkeling.


Basic Action, Create, Small, Slick

The Doka is a small, ceramic pot, lashed shut with heat proof twine. It holds a live coal which it will keep burning for 12 hours. It is insulated so that you may carry it secreted in your clothes. It provides warmth in cold weather. The firepot allows access to fire, which will always succeed in igniting combustibles, as opposed to the vagaries of flint and steel fire making. If thrown it will break, igniting a pool of oil, dry straw, or other incendiary material or causing Body +0 Fire damage if used as a weapon.

Folding Raft

Basic Action, Ride, Large, Slick

A collapsible, 1-man raft. It has room for one person and his personal gear. In collapsed form, it may be carried slung over one shoulder or as a backpack. Assembling or disassembling it is a basic action.

Money Belt

Basic Action, Charm, Small, Slick

A most unusual money belt developed for those whose security needs are more stringent than average, this article is constructed from high quality leather, with a large (usually U-shaped) buckle with a single spike. Twisting the spike for a few turns reveals an extremely sharp blade concealed within the spike sheath. This blade is used to force open a hairline crack in the buckle. Within the buckle is a handle for the blade. Using this tool, the agent measures off two-inch segments of the belt, starting at the buckle. Each two-inch segment contains about a dozen bills of mixed denominations in a different currency or a few gold coins. By cutting through the stitching, the agent can gain access to emergency currency for upwards of a dozen nations.

Parabolic Listening Device

Basic Action, Create, Large, Slick

This is a large parabola, usually made of thin metal or or waxed paper. It works by concentrating sound from a certain direction, and allows you to hear as if you were one-tenth the distance from whatever you are listening on. In this way, shouted orders can be heart at five hundred meters, a normal discussion can be heard up to a hundred meters away and whispers up to fifty meters away. Halve these ranges under noisy conditions, and halve them again if there is a breeze.


Basic Action, Create, Small

Easy-rolling pebbles can be used as a simple trap on flat, hard surfaces. This is rare in nature, but common in buildings. A packet of Pebbles is about a hundred and will cover five one-meter squares. They need darkness or some concealment, such as grass, to work.

Pebbles are a Trap. Pebbles whose presence is known are less dangerous, the Create difficulty is only 5. Pebbles do Concussion damage soaked using Reflexes. If any damage is inflicted, the victim stops dead in his tracks, losing the rest of his movement for that action. Someone moving through Pebbles can take a Basic Action to be safe.

Power Seal Amulet


A seal that interfere with the powers of one or more origins as specified when it is made. The target suffers Power Loss. The amulet is relatively easy to remove. If bound to the target, it can be removed as a Basic Action with a Create or Melee check against your Create or Melee, but this requires free hands and cannot be done with bound hands. Power Seal Amulets may not be available for all origins, particularly Technology.

Secret Compartment

Inherent, Create, Slick

There is a number of medium-sized personal items considered ubiquitous in each culture; briefcases in modern society, saddles in the old west, crucifixes and codpieces at certain other times. Such items can be fitted with secret compartments, perfect for hiding small weapons, reserve funds or other gadgets. In hi-tech or magical junctures, they can be fitted with anti-detection gear as well. A secret compartment like this will pass most searches automatically, and only a determined search allows a Create roll to discover the compartment.

Specialized Intrusion Device

Basic Action, Create, Slick, Medium

As long as you know exactly what traps and alarms you will face during a break-in, it is always possible to create a gadget to take care of each problem. The problem with this is that it can be an adventure in itself to find out what protects your target. A skilled techie can build the perfect tool for every situation. Using this device, that particular lock, trap or alarm can be bypassed automatically, as long as no additional complications crop up. The technology rating of specialized intrusion devices is the same as the Traps or lock it is supposed to bypass. Any tech level can suffice to bypass magical locks and wards.

Water Feet

Basic Action, Maneuver, Slick, Medium

The Mizugumo (literally,"water spider") are outsize pontoons worn on the feet, permitting the Ninja to walk on water. He can move his Move as a basic action. If he falls, it requires a stunt to right himself again. Taking them on or off is also a basic action.



Basic Action, Create, Small

Four spikes pointing out from a core is such a way that at least one point points up when scattered on the ground. A packet of caltrops is about a hundred and will cover four one-meter squares. They need darkness or some concealment, such as grass, to work well.

Caltrops is a Trap based on your Create or Recon. Poisoned caltrops also do either Neurotoxin or Infection damage but are Unreliable unless you have Poisoneer. Caltrops do Piercing damage, but are soaked using Reflexes. If any damage is inflicted, the victim stops dead in his tracks, losing the rest of his movement for that action. Caltrops whose presence is known are less dangerous, the Create difficulty maxes out at 8. Someone moving through known Caltrops can take a Basic Action to be safe during that move.

Combination Weapon

Inherent, Create

This is two weapons built into one. The character can change from one use of the weapon to the other. Any two weapons with similar shape can be combined. Historical examples includes the naginata-staff and pike-longbow. One use of this is to conceal a lethal weapon inside a non lethal (and legal) one. The GM is encouraged to give surprise bonuses when the peaceful staff suddenly turns into a deadly glaive.


Basic Action, Mundane

A rocket that flies high and explodes in a bright flash and leaves a cloud of smoke. Mainly useful as a signalling device. Flares come in a variety of colors and sizes. A Small flare is visible about a kilometer, a Medium flare about 3 kilometers, and a Large flare is visible 10 km, which is way beyond the horizon as seen from the ground—this is only possible because the flare flies so high. Variant flares emit only smoke and are useful for signalling ground to sky.

Grappling Hook

Basic Action

A hook, usually three-pronged, attached to a hook and throw. On a successful throw, the hook catches and the line can be used to aid in Climbing. The throw itself requires a Melee check with Close range. In most cases the difficulty depends on the number of things to catch on and is in the 6-12 range. If an opponent has taken care for security, the difficulty is the Create of that opponent.

Smoke Powder

Basic Action, Create, Tiny, Slick

A small black powder charge detonated to create obscuring smoke. It will fill an area ten meters across with tick smoke, imposing a penalty of -1 per meter of distance on most attacks and stunts and confusing scents as well. It can provide concealment to sneak in.


Clockwork Cart

Basic Action, Create, Large, Slick

This is a self-propelled cart, concealed as a barrel or other inconspicuous object. It is capable of carrying ten kilos or so over flat floors and perhaps one kilo over rough ground. Variants can be constructed to traverse pipes and other areas humans can't go, climb, float, or even fly or jump very short distances. One use of the device is to carry a bomb into enemy territory. Another use could be to fetch some item in a high-security area or past bars or grilles impassable to humans.

Clockwork carts are built for one specific task and cannot be reprogrammed. It is similar to a Specialized Intrusion Device in that it is designed to solve a very specific problem, and the device is not capable of tacking any unexpected problems that crop up. Under these limitations the device will travel along a predetermined route (Move 3), sneaking and using security with the creator's Create skill.

Clockwork Knight

Basic Action, Create, Large, Slick

This is a suit of medieval full armor powered by a clockwork engine. It fights furiously if blindly, and can be a real danger in an enclosed space or if its nature is not realized. It takes a Create or Melee check against the creator's Create to identify a Clockwork Knight for what it is.

The device has a number of points to distribute between Body and Reflexes equal to the creator’s Create (minimum 5 each) and 5 points of armor. It's Melee is equal to the creator's Create, and it can use this value to defend from Melee from it's front. It is usually armed with a Greatsword, for Body +5 damage. All other skills and attributes are zero. If its nature is known, it is vulnerable to a number of stunts, the simplest of which is simply moving around to its defenseless rear side. A clockwork knight can be placed on a remote-controlled rotating dais to alleviate this problem.

Grapnel Bolt

Basic Action

This is a bolt, rifle grenade, or (more rarely) arrow that extends grapnels on impact to function as a Grappling Hook using Shoot with Short range. If fired from a bow, or against a surface of higher tech level than the Grapnel Bolt, the check to fasten the bolt is Stymied.

Shadow Cabinet

Basic Action

A shadow cabinet is a mechanical theatrical display. A normal shadow cabinet works much like a puppet show, but by back-lighting, it can project shadows on a wall, giving people that see the shadows the impression the events are real. A Sound Box can enhance the illusion. A Shadow Cabinet can either be hand cranked or use a spring mechanism - the later continues to work until the end of the round and then ends, but can only make one specific performance decided when the Shadow Cabinet is designed.

Sound Box

Basic Action

A sound box is a system of bellows, pipes, membranes and other parts used to produce a specific set of sounds. This can be a melody, a siren, horn and drum signals, a simulated fight, animal sounds, and similar non-verbal sounds. A Sound Box can either be hand cranked or use a spring mechanism - the later limits the volume of sound, but the sounds continue until the end of the round. What sounds a music box makes is decided when it is created and cannot be changed except by redesign.

Sword Cane

Inherent, Melee, Small

A sword hidden inside a stout walking stick. The stick itself is a Baton but can become a lethal Smallsword. This is mainly a way to smuggle a blade where they are not allowed, but also a way for a gentleman to be prepared without sacrificing style.


Barbed Wire

Basic Action, Create, Large

A roll of barbed wire can be quickly spread behind you as you move, creating a barrier along the path you just moved over. A typical roll of barbed wire forms a barrier 5 meters long when uncoiled. Anchoring the barbed wire to the ground makes it a Limit Break to deploy it. It is an automatic Basic Action to move barbed wire aside unless it has been anchored - it takes a Basic Action and an opposed Create or Maneuver check to remove anchored barbed wire.

Barbed wire is a hindrance to Free Running with a difficulty equal to your Create.

Detonator Watch

Basic Action, Create, Tiny, Slick

This can be a pocket or arm watch. Pressing twice on the watch face releases the back plate, revealing two long strands (each about 4 meters) of ultra-thin fuse and two blasting caps. There is a small amount of explosive, enough to use the Demolish stunt once as a Basic Action.

Garrote Watch

Inherent, Melee, Tiny, Slick

Pulling on the time setting stem until it clicks allows the wearer to set the time on his watch as he normally would. Pulling the stem beyond this point releases two finger grips which detach from the watch casing. Holding the watch by the reinforced watchband, the wearer pulls on the finger grips to expose a length of strong, thin wire. This wire can be used as a Garrote, or as a saw wire.

Grappling Cane

Basic Action, Shoot, Medium, Slick

Concealed as a metal headed walking stick is a spring-loaded grappling hook and cable. The cable can be shot to it's full length of 20 meters, and requires heavy gloves or the winding mechanism in the stick to climb on, as it is to thin for bare hands. When using the winding mechanism, the stick is flexed back and forth, pulling the character up the line like a windlass.

Reflective Stealth Suit

Basic Action, Maneuver, Medium

Looking somewhat like a suit of plate armor made out of flat mirrored surfaces, a reflective stealth suit can be used to make you invisible by reflecting selected parts of your environment. It allows Snake stunts without cover or concealment, but this stealth only works in one direction; if there are two observers 90 degrees or more apart you can only hide from one of them. This gadget is sometimes combined with armor.

Truth Drug

Finisher, Know, Tiny

An injected substance that makes the victim suggestible and easier to question. Allows the use of Know for Good Cop Routine and Bad Cop Routine stunts.


Explosive Belt

Basic Action, Create, Small, Slick

Simultaneously twisting and pulling on the belt buckle will release the catch mechanism, opening the compartment in the buckle. Inside the belt buckle are two blasting caps, and a single-charge "burst" battery to provide power to detonate the caps. The back end of the prong is sharpened to provide a minimal cutting edge. The prong is used to cut open the back of the belt, inside of which are 30 feet of very thin wire and enough plastic explosive to allow a single use of the Demolitionist schtick. The belt is made to resemble alligator hide or similar material, to help mask its rather thick appearance.

Geiger Counter Watch

Basic Action, Create, Tiny, Slick

The sweep hand of the watch gives a reading of the radioactivity, 12 o'clock representing no appreciable radioactivity, and any other hour reading indicating the damage value of exposure. The sweep hand would lock at 11 o'clock should radioactivity ever get that high, which is extraordinarily unlikely. Nuclear materials will have radioactivity which range from 1 o'clock to 7 o'clock, depending on how they are stored. The watch is waterproof.

Magnetic Watch

Basic Action, Create, Tiny, Slick

Inside this watch is a tiny, powerful electromagnet. It is activated by pressing the setting stem twice. The magnet will attract any iron within 3 meters. Small objects (100 grams or less) will fly to the watch; objects between up to a kilo in weight will be jerked in the direction of the watch; and objects greater than a kilo in weight must be able to move without friction to be drawn to the magnet. The watch's power source lasts only a single Basic Action once activated and cannot be changed in the field.

Marble Grenades

Basic Action, Create, Small, Slick

These tiny grenades, each the size of a marble and slightly mold-able like clay, are made of an experimental substance which detonate into a miniature explosion when it impacts on a surface with sufficient force. The common method of use is to scatter on a floor where a pursuing enemy will step on them.

A packet of marble grenades is about a hundred, will cover five one-meter squares and can be spread with a Basic Action. They need darkness or some concealment, such as grass, to work well.

Marble grenades is a Trap. Marble grenades whose presence is known are less dangerous, – the difficulty is only 5. Running through a field of marble grenades is dangerous even if their presence is known, forcing the runner to rely on Reflexes alone. Marble grenades do Fire damage equal to your Create.


Audio Compass

Basic Action, Ride, Small, Slick

This is an electronic compass which indicates north with a soft beep or discreetly flashing light. It is useful in the dark. A variant uses vibration and is silent, though more difficult to read.

Infrared Goggles

Basic Action, Recon, Small

A bulky apparatus which straps over the head. It allows characters to see by the light of an infrared projector similar to a flaslight negating penalties for darkness up to 30 meters away and larger ones illuminating further out. The illumination is easily spotted up to ten times as far away by infrared sensors or others wearing infrared goggles, but they are rare in this period. Ignore darkness for Scan and Keep Watch stunts in the illuminated area.

Jet Pack

Basic Action, Ride, Large

A backpack-mounted rocket, the jet pack allows individual flight of short duration (1-5 minutes depending on model) at a speed of 100 kph (Move 9). Due to the instability of the device, it requires constant effort to maintain; the user needs to take a Basic Action to fly it on each of his actions.

Laser Microphone

Basic Action, Create, Medium, Slick

A laser microphone turns any window into a bug. These devices work by reflecting an invisible laser beam off the glass, picking up vibrations caused by speech. Normal bug detectors cannot sense a laser mike. However, such precautions as playing loud music or running the faucets drown conversation. A laser microphone has a range of 50 meters.

Long Range Microphone

Basic Action, Create, Large

This device uses a parabolic dish to concentrate sound. It can pick up speech at a range of 1,500 meters. This device can intercept even whispered speech at 100 meters. Halve these ranges under noisy conditions, and halve again if there is a breeze.

Optic Fiber Code

Limit Break, Create, Medium, Slick

A clever device the size and shape of a jeweler's glass. The lens of the decoder consists of over 500,000 optic fibers bent in a unique fashion. Each decoder corresponds with one and only one encoder.

To encode a message, a technician selects an intense color (a bright red-orange, for example) which is to be used for the coded message. A short message of less than 100 words is written in this color. The encoder photographs the message through the fibers, thereby scrambling the message into a series of apparently random orange dots. These dots are then spaced further apart, but the relative space between the dots is retained. The dots are inserted into a photograph or printed as part of a color picture. An agent in the field merely scans the stationery with the decoder until the encoded message is found.

Rotary Saw Watch

Basic Action, Create, Small, Slick

This is a rather large pocket or wrist watch. A discrete pressure point in the watch casing releases the blade and simultaneously activates the miniature motor powering the saw. The saw can cut through steel at the rate of half an inch per minute. The power supply will be exhausted in 10 minutes.

Umbrella Radio

Basic Action, Create, Medium, Slick

The unfolded umbrella works as the antenna, while the rather heavy handle holds the electronics. The transmission microphone is located at the top of the umbrella handle.

The umbrella radio has an additional component, — an ear piece which is necessary to amplify the volume of the received transmissions. The ear piece is quite small.

The transmission range only a kilometer or so. The equipment is powered by small batteries which have sufficient charge an hour of operation.

Night Sight Lens

Basic Action, Recon, Large

This is a huge lens worn as a faceplate before the eyes. It is an optic light amplification system incorporated in a full helmet. During the darkest night, the Night Sight Lense will give the impression of twilight. Ignore darkness for Scan stunts (0nly).

Phosphorescent Powder

Basic Action, Create, Tiny, Slick

This dust looks innocuous but glows distinctively under ultraviolet light. It adheres to whatever it touches. Agents use this substance to trap thieves and trace people. For example, a bureau which suspected one of its employees of purloining files might falsely label some document "secret" and sprinkle it with this powder. Later, counterespionage agents would examine the hands of employees under a black light to see who touched the document. Alternatively, one can arrange for surveillance targets to touch this substance, and then use an ultraviolet light to find out what the suspect has touched. When spread on a section of ground, will adhere to the feet of anyone passing through the area.

Assume that a sprinkling of this powder marks all people who touch the contaminated object or document. These people then leave traces on other objects for 2d6 hours. Placed on shoes or tires, this dust marks a trail for up to 1,000 meters. Tracing dust remains on the skin for 1d6 days under normal conditions. However, thorough scrubbing can remove this powder.


Basic Action, Shoot, Medium

A line-throwing unit for emergencies such as a man overboard, or perhaps throwing a rope over the Berlin Wall. In appearance, the device is a cylinder with a carrying handle and a trigger housing at the top. Removing the front end of the cylinder reveals the rocket to which is tethered 30 meters of specially prepared rope.


Automated Lockpick

Basic Action, Create, Small, Slick

A expert system on locks and security. It has a Create skill of 12 for Breaking and Entering tasks only.

Automated Medkit

Basic Action, Know, Small, Slick

A medical expert system and drug dispersal unit. Attach it to a wounded area, and it will suture the wound, inject appropriate drugs and warn if the wound becomes infected. It has a Know of 12 for First Aid tasks only.

Currency Emulator

Basic Action, Create, Medium, Slick

This is basically an advanced adaptive copier. Put any paper currency in the "in" slot, and the machine will pour wads of it out the other end. The emulated bills are of the same type, but different in terms of wear, serial numbers et al. It is impossible for a casual observer to tell an emulated bill from the real thing.


Basic Action or Limit Break, Charm, Small, Slick

Often mounted as a belt buckle or jewelry, this device creates a holographic image around the user, totally altering his appearance. This is only a visual illusion. Senses other than sight, as well as many sensors, see right through the illusion. The holofield must be programmed with the movement patterns and mannerisms of each new user/appearance combination, this takes a Limit Break. Changing between registered patterns is just a Basic Action, as is mimicking any desired clothing for a user who's mannerisms are registered.

A cheaper variant of the holofield known as the Cinderella Holosuit only projects clothing, allowing your clothes to change over time, or the thrill of going to a party stark naked while appearing to be properly dressed. This device does not count as an item schtick.

Inertial Locator

Basic Action, Ride, Small, Slick

A gyro compass connected to a computer that keeps track of movement. Whit this gimmick, you can always tell how far you have traveled from the point of origin, as well as retrace your exact steps. It is not dependent on satellites or other points of reference, but when disconnected from such the reading slowly declines over time.

Lolite Glasses

Basic Action, Recon, Small, Slick

Lolite Glasses are lightweight night-vision gear. During the darkest night, the light amplifier will give the impression of twilight, extending the range of vision to 50 meters. Ignore darkness for Scan and Keep Watch stunts.

Sensor Vest

Basic Action, Create, Medium

A lightweight vest that can be worn under a coat or sweater (but over armor), the radar vest has amazing detection capabilities. It works by a complex combination of radar, sonar and seismic sensors. It can "see" straight through smoke , mist, or darkness out to 100 meters. Inside Create meters, it can detect movements even through concrete walls. Information is displayed on a handheld or wrist-mounted screen, but can be fed to a HUD.

Smoke Screen Mask

Basic Action, Create, Small, Slick

A Smoke Screen Mask is an air filter and a pair of light amplification goggles tuned to a specific frequency of light. Smoke screens can be tailored to block all light except this specific frequency, so a character using a Smoke Screen Mask can see through his own smoke screens and those designed to be compatible with his mask.

Targeting Glasses

Basic Action, Shoot, Small, Slick

Heads-Up glasses or visor visor coupled to an advanced tactical computer connected to a gun with electronics sights (included in the package) wirelessly or (more secure) by cable. By observing a target and letting the computer to analyze its movement, the device gives a +3 bonus to Shoot on your next attack against this target.


Freeze Shield

Trigger Action (Defense), Dodge, Small, Slick

This can have dramatic effects on a setting and should be introduced with care. The best weapon to use against a Freeze Shield is a melee weapon with many special abilities. If freeze shields are common in a particular setting, they are likely to greatly change how wars are fought, making melee the most viable attack and reducing guns to obscurity. Freeze Shields work through temporal flux; when something that moves too fast or has too much energy approaches the shield, it momentarily freezes time, rendering the user invulnerable but immobile for a split second to deflect the attack. Someone protected by this looks like a perfectly reflective mirrored statue. For the wearer, the only indication is a moment of lost time, as if seeing the world under a single strobe light flash. The shield activates on any successful hit, and reduces the base damage of any attack to zero. In the case of melee weapons, damage is reduced to the Strength of the wielder. You still add attack outcome to this as normal. Each shot in which this shield activates counts as a trigger action. This is not so much because the shield takes time to use as it is because of the disorientation caused by the temporal freeze. The shield still works when the user is out of shots. Freeze shields do not work along with any type of armor.

Morph Field

Basic Action or Limit Break, Charm, Small, Slick

Often mounted as a belt buckle or jewelry, this device morphs the user, alerting his physical form through the Abensteiner Biognition System (ABS). The transformation cannot be detected by touch or ordinary sensors. The morph field must be programmed with the movement patterns and mannerisms of each new user/appearance combination, this takes a Limit Break. Changing between registered patterns is just a Basic Action, as is mimicking any desired clothing and accessories for a user who's mannerisms are registered.

Phase Shield

Trigger Action (Defense), Dodge, Small, Slick

A phase shield works by shifting the user to hyperspace whenever he is threathened by an attack. This makes the user semi-transparent and intangible. Each shot in which this shield activates counts as a trigger action. This is not so much because the shield takes time to use as it is because you cannot interact with physical reality. The shield still works when the user is out of shots. The shield activates whenever the user would normally have been hit by an attack. When active, the shield improves the user's Dodge by +5. There is no certainty that this will be enough to avoid the attack, but at least it will make it less effective.