Eclipse – The Tech Wiz Level One Build

   Our next sample classless Eclipse d20 character is the Tech Wiz – a hacker, security breaker, and repairer of equipment. Obviously enough, this particular character is best suited to a high-technology setting; if the best he or she has to work with is water wheels and wooden gears, there just won’t be much for him or her to do. In other settings, he or she may be quite invaluable.

   The Tech Wiz is usually relatively young – although there’s no particular requirement for that – and comes equipped with a lab, an assortment of pocket tools,  considerable confidence in his or her gadgets and skills, a small robot or drone with some handy built-in gadgets to assist him or her, and basic combat skills. He or she has a remarkable knack for getting things to work in a pinch… Given how much settings vary, the Tech Wiz comes in seven different flavors – suited for superhero, cyberpunk, and simple modern worlds.

  • Disadvantages: (Select three disadvantages for 10 CP).
  • Duties or Restrictions (Tech Wiz’s often have duties to secret organizations, may refuse to kill or be pursued either by people who want their talents or by people who want to lock them up for various offenses, and often refuse to have anything to do with magic or psychic abilities. It’s just the way they are, +2 CP/Level).
  • Total available character points: 48 (Level One Base) + 10 (Disadvantages) +2 (Duties) + 6 (Level One Bonus Feat) = 66, 18 of which (from disadvantages, duties, and the bonus Feat) may be spent outside of the Adventurer framework restrictions.

   Basic Attributes: Str 12, Int 16, Wis 12, Con 14, Dex 12, Chr 8 (28 point buy).

   Basic Purchases (30 CP):

  • Proficient with All Simple and Martial Weapons (9 CP) and Light Armor (3 CP).
  • +8 Skill Points (8 CP)
  • +2 on Reflex Saves (6 CP)
  • d8 Hit Die (4 CP)
  • Initial BAB +0 (0 CP).

   Special Abilities (36 CP):

  • Adept (6 CP): May purchase Computer Use, Craft (any one technical speciality), Disable Device, and Repair for half price.
  • Privilege/private laboratory (3 CP).
  • Mystic Link with Communications/back to laboratory computer systems, Specialized/can be jammed, is limited by distance, and the implant can be surgically removed and then must be replaced (3 CP).
  • Companion, Corrupted/the link may be interfered with and does not allow the sharing of special effects or the transmission of touch-based effects (4 CP), with the +2 ECL Robot Template (6 CP). The Tech Wiz will have a modest drone or robotic companion hanging around, in which he or she will have installed some useful options.
  • Mana, 1d6, with the Reality Editing option, Specialized/only to perform modifications, repairs, and overrides on technological equipment, get computers to accept gueswork passwords, break through security systems, and other technical tricks. Corrupted/requires tools, access, and at least a little time to use (2 CP).
  • Special Packages:
    • The Technical Hero is best suited for superheroic worlds, or those with high technology levels and few restrictions on it’s use, since his or her powers allow him or her to use a few abilities over and over again. Shaping, Pulse of the Dragon, Heart of the Dragon II, and Taskmaster (36 CP total). All Specialized and Corrupted/can only be channeled through gadgets which produce specific effects, the user may only maintain seven gadgets (four for level zero effects, three for first level effects) at a time, and must spend hours or days in his or her lab to change them around (12 CP).
    • The Kit-Basher can throw together a pile of components from a broken radio, an old microwave oven, and a lego set and come up with some marvelous device that will work – once, twice, or maybe even three times – but then it will burn out, melt down, blow up, or otherwise never be heard from again. Inherent Spell with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized for Double Effect (a level six inherent effect and +8 bonus uses, for nine uses/day)/requires various components and anywhere from several rounds to several minutes to activate as determined by the game master, Level Six Greater Invocation/produces any technological effect of level three or less (12 CP).
    • The Robot Master commands an additional second robotic companion, although this one is much more formidable than the first. Additional Companion (6 CP) with +4 Template Levels (usually the Warbeast template and some specific upgrades), Specialized/only applies to this companion and is quite obvious, making the creature a major target, 6 CP).
    • The Intuitive Expert just has a feel for things, and can often get things to work when there’s no reasonable way that he or she could do so. Occult Sense/intuitively understands the general principles and operation of any device (6 CP) and Occult Talent (4 L0 effects – Instant Start, Guess Password/Encryption Key (+6 Insight Bonus to check), Jury-Rig (works for a little while), Produce Tool (produces any one minor pocket tool for a few minutes) – and one L1 effect – Moment of Insight (provides a +20 bonus on any one skill check) – once per day each, 6 CP).
    • The Expert Technician is a cool master of many fields, and works best under stress. Mastery (May “take 10” under stress for Int Mod x 3 Skills, 6 CP) and Favored Foe/Chosen Technologies Variant: gains bonuses to build and repair devices, understand their principles, create variations on them, and use, devices in his or her chosen areas of expertise, 6 CP).
    • The Wondersmith can make near-impossible items, and will usually have a few along: Create Relic, Specialized in points from Enthusiast (3 CP), and 3x Enthusiast, Specialized in Relics for Double Effect/may have up to three 2 CP relics at any one time (9 CP).
    • The Hacker is one of those people who can somehow break encryptions that should require tens of thousands of years to break. Occult Sense/Access and Encryption Codes (6 CP), Skill Emphasis/Computer Use, Specialized in hacking into systems for Double Effect (+4 to rolls, 3 CP), and Enthusiast, Specialized in Hacking-Related Relics for Double Effect (hacking boxes, cyberdecks*, etc, 2 CP worth, 3 CP).
      • *A Typical “Cyberdeck” has Skill Focus/Computer Use +1 (2 CP), with the Speed (+6 CP) and Stunt (+6 CP) modifiers, making them 2-point relics. If something nasty happens to it, the Hacker does not necessarily have the ability to make more such tools; he or she will just have to visit and work with a specialist.
    • While Action Hero/Invention would seem appropriate, as a general rule, no matter what marvelous “breakthroughs” a Tech Wiz comes up with, they never seem to have much effect on the rest of the world – which is why special powers like Reality Editing are usually a better fit.

   Further Advancement: The Tech Wiz will have lots of places to put points – Saves, Skills, Hit Dice, Base Attack Bonus, and – probably – some Rogue-Style combat skills are in order. In addition, virtually every special ability they have can do with upgrading – more and better Companions, more Mana, Rite of Chi and Bonus Uses to get the Mana back quicker, upgrading his or her special package – and possibly adding more. Action Hero/Crafting may be handy, Defender will be useful in most modern settings, and Contacts are always helpful when you’re looking for components. As with most builds, there will simply never be enough character points available to get everything that would be nice to have.

Eclipse: The Codex Persona is available in print HERE and in a shareware .pdf version HERE.

One Response

  1. […] Tech Wiz: a build for hackers, security breakers, and tinkerers. Includes the Technical Hero, Kit-Basher, […]

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