Gizmo Table, Circa 1930
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Deadlands: Weird Wars Gizmo Table


The following table is meant to be used by Mad Scientist characters in the early 20th century. Complete rules can be found in the Deadlands Players' Guide.

HandDescriptionItemTNBase Time
JacksCurrent top-of-the-line technology, or simple repair of device created by these rulesPropeller-driven airplane; u-boat; radio; automobile; flame-thrower; automatic machine-gun510-60 minutes
Two PairsSlight improvement on existing technology10% faster automobile71-5 hours
Three of a KindMajor improvement on existing technologyPortable radio; rocket-propelled grenade91-10 hours
StraightRelatively simple but new use of existing technologyHelicopter; rocket-propelled car111-6 days
FlushNew use of cutting-edge technologyJet-propelled airplane; tilt-rotor aircraft131-4 weeks
Full HouseEntirely new but "realistic" technologyRocket pack; primitive vacuum-tube computer; nightvision helmet; electric sound synthesizer151-6 months
Four of a KindNew technology that flaunts the laws of scienceHeat or freeze ray; sleep gas; zeppelin aircraft carrier; gun laser sight171-12 months
Straight FlushNew technology that alters the laws of scienceMind-control ray; anti-gravity vehicle; robot suit; x-ray vision helmet191-4 years
Royal FlushTechnology that defies the laws of scienceDimension or time control device211-20 years

Technology Limitations

It's important to note that, even with the supernatural help of the manitous, there should be certain limits on what achievements Mad Scientists can easily make. First of all, while some Mad Science inventions can defy the laws of science, and do more than "conventional" machines of the time, they do so with the supernatural energy of ghost rock. In other words, despite all the "scientific" window-dressing, it's at least in part a product of magic. This is one reason why inventions of Mad Science defy attempts at mass production. The truly wondrous inventions are one-of-a-kind.

Please note that while a time control device is possible, actual time travel should be beyond the reach of Mad Scientists. Well, maybe the Marshal wants to do a time travel adventure. That's his business. But it shouldn't be an option casually made open to players if they happen to get some amazing die rolls and the cards turn out to be in their favor. The Reckoners had to go through a lot of trouble just to send Stone back in time, after all. Why in the world, then, would some petty little manitous and a mad scientist be able to outdo them?

Also, by definition, mad science inventions are large, clunky, and more or less unreliable in this period. As cool as it would be to run around with two-way wrist TVs, that would be over the top. (Even two-way wrist radios are pushing it.) Wait until the fifties or so before that may come around.

Ghost rock is still used for inventions, but "spook juice" has been developed, and that is frequently used to power machines. Steam power is a thing of the past. It's also conceivable that ghost rock might be employed in chemical reactions to power a device -- i.e., a chunk of ghost rock is stuck in a chemical bath, and the energies released as it dissolves are what powers the device. Irradiated ghost rock, however, is a thing still of the future.

Another important thing to keep in mind for inventions is a matter of style. A rocket pack in the 30s may functionally be very much like the rocket pack available in the 19th century ... but now it's more streamlined, with small hand-grips rather than a big awkward lever. Electrical devices tend to have lots of flashing lights of dubious purpose, vehicles may sport fins or chrome trim, and any mad scientist worth his blueprints is bound to incorporate an art deco touch here or there (or, if he's from the 1910s, an art nouveau touch here or there). Energy weapons have a tendency to sport long antenna-like needles with multiple rings running around them.

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