Omni-Gadgets in Tales of Justice | World Anvil


I hate these. Seriously hate.


Please don't misunderstand, I do understand the basic idea behind Omni-Gadgets from the Core Rulebook. They were created to cover a particular, specific need for a handful of characters in the traditional DC Heroes comic book universe. Specifically, more modern writers abandoned a long-standing guideline for pulp/action/superheroes ...

The hero extricates themselves using THEIR OWN SKILL, training or brawn.
— Lester Dent from "The Lester Dent Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot" ... slightly paraphrased ...

... and instead rolled out yet another, even more, complicated or strange device the hero happened to have. Until it turned into a silly trope ... which modern writers only doubled down on for unknown reasons. In terms of table top roleplaying, all it took was one time with a player abusing the rule and I and my co-Game Master were just done with these.


Omni-Gadgets simulate the Batman's utility belt (or any of the Bat-Family toolkit, Green Arrow's arrows, or Iron Man's latest hobby project ), basically, although they can also be used to cover MacGuyvering in general. (In our campaign, we tend to handle MacGuyvering by using the What'll It Cost Me approach, and The Cool Rule. ) They're officially intended to cover a comic book character's ability to have exactly the right device to get out of any situation when he's not that kid Russell with the Scouting Backpack of Holding.


Omni-Gadgets are devices whose exact Powers and Attributes are unknown. They are only defined when the Gadget is taken out and used. The main limitation of Omni-Gadgets is the range of devices they can turn into. The ranges are:

A = Physical Attributes
B = Mental Attributes
C = Physical and Mental Powers
D = Italicized Attributes (requires at least that A or B also be chosen)

(You'll notice that Omni-Gadgets cannot have Advantages or Skills.)


No matter what an Omni-Gadget is used for, it always has a Body equal to its AP rating. An Omni-Gadget may be used for either one battle, or a duration of time equal to its AP rating, __whichever is shorter__.


An Omni-Gadget must be built just like regular Gadgets. The major difference is that all Omni-Gadgets have a single Ability: their AP rating. The Base Cost of "Omni-Gadget" is 10, and the Factor Cost starts at 5 (but won't stay there). Each of the above-listed ranges adds something to the Factor Cost:


A = +1
B = +1
C = +2
D = +1


An Omni-Gadget has a Gadget Bonus Divisor of 5, instead of the 2/4 normally given depending on whether it can be Taken Away.


Once it's been used up, it can be replaced as described in the Too Busted to Repair section, without having to "buy parts".


All that said: in our campaign, "B" Omni-Gadgets are simply not permitted. There's no one-shot Gadget that can substitute for a hero's Intelligence, Will, or Mind, or do any thinking or willing for itself. The GM might be persuaded that a well-prepared Hero just happens to have packed along a portable jack or some equivalent tool that substitutes for a Character's Strength, but that's not as crazy as a Gadget that substitutes for a Character's brain.

  Or in other words, in this setting ... this world follows the guidelines set down by Lester Dent himself ... that in the third / final act ... when the hero is almost buried in his or her troubles up to the neck ...  
The hero extricates themselves using THEIR OWN SKILL, training or brawn.
— Lester Dent from "The Lester Dent Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot" ... slightly paraphrased ...


Please Login in order to comment!