A Path to Steam
Defaults: Special. Prerequisites: Mathematics (Applied) at TL5+, plus others as noted.
This is the ability to design and build technological devices and systems. A successful roll lets you design a new system, diagnose a glitch, identify the purpose of a strange device, or improvise a gadget to solve a problem. Time required for each attempt is up
to the GM.
Note that engineers are designers and inventors; they are not necessarily skilled at the routine operation or maintenance of the things they design! For instance, Engineer (Small Arms) lets you design a new assault rifle, but you need Armoury skill to
maintain it and Guns skill to shoot it.
You must specialize. Possible fields include:
Artillery: Designing whatever passes for artillery at your TL, from trebuchets to smart missiles. Default: Armoury (Heavy Weapons)-6.
Civil: Planning highways, aqueducts, buildings, etc. Default: Architecture -6.
Clockwork: Designing wind-up gadgetry – watches, mechanical men, and the like. Default: Mechanic (Clockwork)-6.
Combat: Building or removing fortifications, trenches, etc. Default: Explosives (Demolition)-6.
Electrical: Designing electrical systems, such as power cells and transmission lines. Default: Electrician -6.
Electronics: Designing and building electronic apparatus, from computers to starship sensor arrays. (The specific technologies involved – vacuum tubes, transistors, photonics, etc. – will depend on the tech level.) Default: Electronics Repair (any)-6.
Microtechnology: Designing micromachines. Default: Mechanic (Micromachines)-6.
Mining: Designing underground structures. Defaults: Explosives (Demolition)-6 or Geology (any)-6.
Nanotechnology: Designing nanomachines. Default: Mechanic (Nanomachines)-6.
Parachronic: Designing apparatus for crossing dimensions or timelines. Prerequisite: Physics. Default: Electronics Operation (Parachronic)-6, but there is no default if your society has not discovered dimensional travel.
Psychotronics: Designing psionic technology, such as telepathic shields and amplifiers. Default: Electronics Operation (Psychotronics)-6, but there is no default for individuals from backgrounds where psionics do not exist.
Robotics: Designing robotics and cybernetics. Default: Mechanic (Robotics)-6.
Small Arms: Designing personal firearms, such as guns and portable rocket launchers. Default: Armoury (Small Arms)-6.
Temporal: Designing time machines. Prerequisite: Physics. Default: Electronics Operation (Temporal)-6, but there is no default for individuals from backgrounds
without time travel!
Vehicle Type: Designing a single, broad class of vehicle. Examples include Engineer (Automobiles), Engineer (Ships), and Engineer (Starships). Default: Mechanic (same
Engineer specialties normally default to one another at -4; however, the GM is free to rule that in his campaign, there is no default between exotic specialties (Nanotechnology, Parachronic, Psychotronics, etc.) and more mundane ones (Civil, Combat,
Modifiers: Equipment modifiers (p. 345). Up to +5 to build a gadget if you can give the GM a good description of what you want it to do.