Gadgets & Gears: Steampunk Devices for Mutants & Masterminds
“Welcome to Doctor Clockwork’s Device Emporium! We have gadgets for every discerning gentleman adventurer including the latest aerial locomotive devices, capture and containment tools and much, much more! Prices start at only Fifteen Shillings!”
My humble contribution to the Steampunk & Klokwerks RPG Blog Carnival hosted by Mad Brew Labs!
Steam-powered Flight Pack
Essentially a boiler strapped to your back which provides thrust and powers the guiding wings, this Flight Pack is as large and unwieldy as it is cool. It can reach a top speed of 50mph or more (though such speeds will kill a man!), and has a 100 mile range before it needs refuelling and a top-up of water.
Device 1 (4pp):
- Flight 3 (50mph, Limited: 100 mile range before refuelling, Feedback)
“… and out of the shadows stepped a man of burnished steel and iron, smoke and steam emanating from fissures along every joint. Could it possibly be that a living man yet survived in this monstrosity? I drew my sword cane, prepared to find out.”
A suit of powered-armour for the Victorian age, this coal-fired suit of armour turns fists into pile-drivers and protects the wearer almost entirely from harm. It does have a few weaknesses – the intake vents along the back of the armour are unprotected, and the suit has no fine motor control so you can’t pull punches in this beauty. But then – why would you want to?
Device 6 (24pp):
- Protection 10 (Impervious; Weak Point: intake vents)
- Enhanced Strength 10 (Flaw:Full-Power)
– AP: Burrowing 6 (50mph)
– AP: Speed 4 (100mph)
“I pulled out my trusty Blunderbuss and fired. With a deafening crack the net streamed out, easily entangling all of the crooks. I barely glanced back at them. The chase was afoot!”
The Net launcher is a modified Blunderbuss which uses compressed superheated air to fire cartridges containing nets which eject over a large area – easily enough to ensnare multiple mooks in a single blast. Humane, and efficient.
Device 6 (18pp, easy to lose):
- Paralyze 10 (DC20, Burst area 50′ radius)
“The cylindrical tank glowed a vicious green, the pallid liquid contained by fragile glass and ugly iron. Wires festooned the top and base, snaking out across the floor. And within…… within was a naked man!”
The recovery tank is a miracle of modern science. Place an injured body inside and irrespective of damage he will eventually emerge fully recovered of all his wounds! The secret is in the liquid, stimulated by vital electricity to promote life and growth inside the body itself. The tank requires that the spark of life yet exists inside the subject, though scientists are hard at work to bypass even that requirement. Cross that barrier, and they shall even be able to restore the dead to life!
Device 2 (8pp, bulky):
- Regeneration 16 (Source:Electricity, +10 recovery bonus, Regrowth, Ability Damage/5 hours, Bruised/round, Disabled/5 hours, Injured/20 mins, Staggered/20 mins, Unconscious/round)
“The crook laughed, an evil, wicked sound. ‘You call that a gun? What good is a gun made of brass and wood?’ He asked. I showed him and he looked down, startled at the sudden appearance of an 8 inch hole where where his stomach once was.”
Steampunk guns require no introduction! Fashioned from brass, copper wire, wood and strange cylinders of unknown metal they’re quite, quite deadly.
Device 4 (12pp, easy to lose):
- Blast 8 (DC23, Accurate (+2), Improved Range: 200′)
“The contraption looked for all the world like a penny-farthing bicycle with a pair of massive crank engines affixed to each side of the larger wheel. And that, indeed, was exactly what it was. The Inventor held it proudly. ‘Care for a ride?'”
Device 1 (4pp):
- Speed 6 (500mph, Distracting, Tiring, Limited:Steers like a brick, only worse)
Notes: Making Devices in M&M is fun! Every 3 (or 4, if it’s a hard to remove) points you put into the device gives you 5 to play with. This means they’re much cheaper to build than if your character possessed innate powers, but the trade-off is that those self-same devices may well be taken from you and Used For Evil. Da da daaaaaaa!!
I’ve built these devices assuming they’re pretty reliable, but a core tenet of the Steampunk genre is that devices are anything but. Give your Devices the Unreliable Flaw, Fades (to represent a fixed number of uses), a Side-Effect or Feedback (if the device is damaged, you get hurt from the scalding jet of steam!). As ever, the beauty of the Mutants & Masterminds system is that it can be as simple or gloriously complex as you want it to be.