The Gadgeteer: Custom Weapon Options
This expansion for the gadgeteer class clocks in at 4 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
I assume familiarity with the gadgeteer class in this review.
All right, so we get 3 addons at one Structure Point each: One needs you resistance 1 versus acid, electricity and fire, and may be stacked thrice; another nets you a temporary hit point that lasts a round, basically providing a mini shield. (This one requires 4th level.) Another nets you a 1/day shield of 2d4 temporary hit points as an immediate action, which is cool. Gadgeteers of 6th level can benefit from the 1-structure addon called enhancement modification unit. This one is added to a custom weapon and lets you choose acid, cold, electricity or fire. Instead of adding the enhancement bonus to the weapon’s base damage, the weapon now causes this bonus damage as energy damage of the chosen type, though it’s not multiplied on a critical hit. Also available at 6th level, though it does require 6 ranks of Craft (alchemy), lets you choose acid, fire or electricity, yielding you resistance 2 versus the chosen energy, stacking explicitly with aforementioned resistance gain. At 10th level, you can 1/day activate a swift action activated custom weapon’s addon as a free action.
The disposable glory device requires second level and cost 1 Structure Point as well. This one adds a volatile flask to a weapon, allowing you to fire it into an adjacent square. This inflicts your choice of 1d8 acid, fire or electricity damage as though you’d have thrown a flask on a hit – but you also take full damage. This is activated as a swift action and thus doesn’t provoke AoOs. The Mutable Mutilation Mollification module addon requires third level to take, costs a Structure Point and nets the wielder DR 1/ that can be bypassed by two of the three physical damage types, which lasts until next round or until the bypassing damage bypasses it. This costs a swift action to activate, which is generally a bad idea for such a minor boost. Toxin Buffers require 1 Structure Point and 2 ranks in Knowledge (nature), and lets the wielder ignore the first 2 points of ability score damage taken each day. Toxin Converters (2 Structure Points) build on that and require 5 ranks in Knowledge (nature); they reduce the first instance of ability drain to ability damage each day. Track coverers cost 2 Structure Points and require 4th level, leaving caltrops with every 5-foot-step taken. They can’t be taken from the square sans destroying them and are short-lived. I love this one! Pick Me Ups cost 3 Structure Points and require 7 ranks Craft (alchemy). The dispenser this grants holds 3 capsules,e ach of which may be consumed as a swift action. The capsules net a bonus to all speeds, brief fear immunity and the final ones briefly nets a +1 bonus to all three physical ability scores, saves and skill checks, which improves to +2 at 13th level.
The pdf also contains a total of 3 different defensive options: Emergency Motion promoter requires 10th level and costs 3 Structure Points. For each attack missed in an attack or full-attack action, the wielder may move 5 ft. as a swift action. Emergency Potion injector costs 1 Structure Point and does what you’d expect: You can insert a “1st-level or lower” potion (I assume that to refer to the potion’s CL, and that it doesn’t work with extracts into the item, and it triggers and injects the potion when you’re reduced to 0 hit points or below. At 8th level, more potent potions may be injected – up to 2nd level. Whatever that exactly means. Kinetic conversion unit costs 2 Structure Points and requires 8th level to take. This one lets you, as a move action activate it, and grant your next weapon attack made the ability to bestow base weapon damage die + enhancement bonus temporary hit points on the target instead of dealing damage. Interesting!
The pdf also has two offensive options: Glory device costs 2 Structure Points and requires 7th level to take. It adds a flask holder to the weapon, which may contain acid or alchemist’s fire – and yeah, you guessed it, this is basically the base version of the disposable glory device mentioned above, save that it may be reloaded after being used, and that its damage output can actually be less than that of the disposable one. I like the idea here, but damage should scale. (Unless you’re using the rules from Everyman Gaming’s excellent “Superior Alchemical Items”-tweak.) Finally, requiring 2 Structure Points to take, 4th level and shuriken proficiency, the Iron Supplement enhances your full attack. When all attacks are executed against a single target within 30 ft., you can use a swift action to fire a shuriken at the target, using full BAB (verbiage is here slightly nonstandard). The shuriken shares the weapon’s enhancement bonus.
Editing and formatting re very good on a formal level, and, apart from a few slight deviations form standard verbiage, extend that to the rules language level. Layout adheres to interjection games’ two-column b/w-standard, and the pdf has neither artwork, nor bookmarks, but does not require them at this length.
Huh. I kinda hoped for a somewhat overdue power-increase for the gadgeteer, and instead, some of the addon options within can be considered somewhat basic. Don’t get me wrong: there are some gems here, like the automated “I leave caltrops”-addon, and some of the more complex ones are interesting. But gaining the option to fling a flask of acid/alchemist’s fire that damages yourself at 7th level? That’s…kinda underwhelming. Similarly, I dare you to find a worse use for your swift action than spending it on a paltry DR that is bypassed by 2 or the three most common damage types. On the plus side, there are quite a few interesting options for gadgeteers within, and the pdf is inexpensive. As such, I consider this to be a mixed bag on the positive side of things, though one that definitely warrants rounding up from my final verdict of 3.5 stars.
You can get this inexpensive class expansion here on OBS!
You can get the gadgeteer bundle here on OBS!
Want to make the aforementioned alchemical tricks presented herein work and scale? You can find the excellent Superior Alchemical Items-rules here on OBS!