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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    So, my GM in CoC has a system where you can get perks by getting disadvantages. I think he took it from a rulebook and then homebrewed some stuff for it. One of the perks he wrote up is "futuristic device" which allows the investigator to start the game with some piece of technology that would be otherwise unavailable to them. I was thinking that this would be neat, but I don't know what I would even get. Given that the game is set in the 1890s what do you folks think would be the most helpful modern appliance for an investigator? Alternatively, what possible machines from the from further in the future do you think would be useful?
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Well, the Swiss army knife started production in 1981 so why not be that very handy guy with one?

    Anyhow, how far in the future are we talking? 1? 10? 50 years? How about a ball-point pen? A semi-automatic pistol?
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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Modern wristwatch would be rather useful. You could have a flashlight, a mini calculator, and never be late for an appointment.

    Plus it's stylish.

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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Given that it's CoC in the 1890s, what you're looking for is something a bit steampunky/dieselpunky. Something that can be 'futuristic' but also something someone from that time could build a workable prototype and not have to spend too much time explaining to onlookers. I recommend a vehicle, to be honest. In a CoC game, weapons are going to be close to pointless because other than cultists pretty much everything you want to shoot will be immune to bullets for one reason or another, and anything that enables you to see more clearly in the dark is going to get you ganked. :) However, the ability to run away really fast is always a bonus.

    The first gasoline cars were in the process of being invented in and around that time, but they were rickety things built out of bicycle parts mounted on light carriage bodies, like the 1896 Ford Quadracycle. A 'futuristic' one would be a 1908 Chadwick Black Bess racer. Only twelve years apart, but automotive engineering progressed amazingly fast at that time.
    Last edited by Fhaolan; 2012-11-23 at 03:18 PM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Quote Originally Posted by Asheram View Post
    A semi-automatic pistol?
    Those would have been available to one in 1890's. Machines guns would even be available, actually.

    However, a submachine gun or automatic rifles (circa WWI) would be a good place to look for a weapon which wouldn't already be available someone in the 1890s.

    However, if you need to shot at things which would be immune to most bullets (complete with nasty tentacles and evil demigod powers), it might just be a good idea to chose weapons which have punching or piercing power and thus might go beyond the normal gun. With the advent of machine guns comes the advent of large munitions, meaning your person could simply possess a nice clip feed rifle which fires such large rounds. In other words, a very low-tech, low-quality precursor of a Barretta. A light, clip feed elephant gun, maybe even semiautomatic.

    Really depends on the time frame like he asked. While war tech was rapidly advancing in that period, it was huge number of small advances, so the biggest leaps forward are in the era following WWI (so almost 30 years ahead).

    But to build on Fhaolan, personally I'd say a plane. Only about 20 years at the most, and all kinds of fun and useful. What better way to run for your dear life than in a biplane with a mounted machine gun?
    Last edited by BootStrapTommy; 2012-11-23 at 02:25 AM.
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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Maybe some kind of mobile phone? He could have one mobile device that he can use to call a stationary device, say, in his home, or he could have another, or several mobile units he can give to his fellow investigators. Makes investigating that much easier!

    The telephone was invented around 1870, according to Wikipedia, so your device would build on existing technology while still being futuristic enough. You'll have to wait about 100 years to download cool ringtones, however.
    Last edited by GolemsVoice; 2012-11-23 at 03:16 AM.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Depending on what one counts as a 'piece of technology'; would knowledge of a technique count as one:
    Instruction on how to make a quick blood-type test would be a good one
    Or something that reliably indicates the presence of blood, even if the surface has been cleaned
    A portable recorder
    Zippers (for quick disguises)
    Knowledge of the Placebo Effect
    Color Camera, or a Quick-shooting camera

    Edit: The most valuable one of all
    Chocolate Chip Cookies (wikipedia says they weren't invented 'till the 30's)
    Last edited by Gildedragon; 2012-11-23 at 04:44 AM.

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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    I'd say Medicine, of some kind. Penicillin wasn't invented yet. Does a stash of that count as an item?
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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    It's already been suggested, but the first thing I thought of was my cell phone. It's an android, and even without anyone to talk to on it's various radios, its a light, phone, recorder, camera..... I wonder if you could use some kind of software trick to make it transmit signals compatible with the radios of the day.

    But that sounds way too futuristic. I've always wanted one built into a pocketwatch... but a touchscreen in a pocketwatch case is still a touchscreen.

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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Quote Originally Posted by Guigarci View Post
    Color Camera, or a Quick-shooting camera
    This is what leaped to my mind immediately as futuristic (but not too futuristic) in a way that's useful to an investigator and amazing to anyone who sees it without being an uber-weapon or solve-every-problem tool.

    Polaroid-style instant self-developing cameras didn't come along until the 1940s; it's a huge technological jump while still being useful-but-not-overpowering.

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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    If you really want to bake their noodle, what looks like a modern cell phone . . .that works and only provides information that would have been available at the the time. With a little tinkering you might get more . . .or you might destroy the device. Or the universe. Or both.
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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Active-infrared (night vision) goggles come to mind. You might run into power issues after a bit, though.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Quote Originally Posted by locutus View Post
    It's already been suggested, but the first thing I thought of was my cell phone. It's an android, and even without anyone to talk to on it's various radios, its a light, phone, recorder, camera..... I wonder if you could use some kind of software trick to make it transmit signals compatible with the radios of the day.

    But that sounds way too futuristic. I've always wanted one built into a pocketwatch... but a touchscreen in a pocketwatch case is still a touchscreen.
    Remember that you might have a tricky time recharging that battery.
    If you should get something, you should get something non-expendable which will last with as little maintenance as possible.
    Boats are like nuts, the outside is hard but the inside is usually good to eat.


    And remember, things can always get worse.

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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    How about --
    Band Aids,
    The polygraph machine,
    Electron microscope.
    The Colt revolver,
    A transistor radio,
    Kevlar,
    A gas mask
    Last edited by Kitten Champion; 2012-11-23 at 02:09 PM.

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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Quote Originally Posted by Asheram View Post
    Remember that you might have a tricky time recharging that battery.
    If you should get something, you should get something non-expendable which will last with as little maintenance as possible.
    You couldn't just plug it into the mains , but the technology to do so did exist at the time. The hard part is when the battery wears out, but that's a year at least.
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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Quote Originally Posted by Asheram View Post
    Remember that you might have a tricky time recharging that battery.
    If you should get something, you should get something non-expendable which will last with as little maintenance as possible.
    Admittedly, though depending on how rich you are, you could hire a jeweler to build you a USB connector. Batteries would be a period way to generate the 5v you need, so I don't think you'd be completely SOL.

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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Quote Originally Posted by locutus View Post
    Admittedly, though depending on how rich you are, you could hire a jeweler to build you a USB connector. Batteries would be a period way to generate the 5v you need, so I don't think you'd be completely SOL.
    Dynamo's and generators also existed at that time. Batteries are not the only option.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Quote Originally Posted by locutus View Post
    Admittedly, though depending on how rich you are, you could hire a jeweler to build you a USB connector. Batteries would be a period way to generate the 5v you need, so I don't think you'd be completely SOL.
    But would your character have that knowedge? The only think we know about the perk is that it's called "futuristic device" I agree that such a thing could be done, but we don't know how, why or in what manner the character obtained the device and how much he or she knows about it.
    Boats are like nuts, the outside is hard but the inside is usually good to eat.


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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Given how most games of CoC end, I'd have to say a Davey Crockett Mini-nuke would be your best bet. I mean, if Cthulhu could be beaten with a boat ramming into him...

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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Quote Originally Posted by tbok1992 View Post
    Given how most games of CoC end, I'd have to say a Davey Crockett Mini-nuke would be your best bet. I mean, if Cthulhu could be beaten with a boat ramming into him...
    Hey, if we're going for nukes, go BIG.
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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Quote Originally Posted by Fhaolan View Post
    Given that it's CoC in the 1890s, what you're looking for is something a bit steampunky/dieselpunky. Something that can be 'futuristic' but also something someone from that time could build a workable prototype and not have to spend too much time explaining to onlookers. I recommend a vehicle, to be honest. In a CoC game, weapons are going to be close to pointless because other than cultists pretty much everything you want to shoot will be immune to bullets for one reason or another, and anything that enables you to see more clearly in the dark is going to get you ganked. :) However, the ability to run away really fast is always a bonus.

    The first gasoline cars were in the process of being invented in and around that time, but they were rickety things built out of bicycle parts mounted on light carriage bodies, like the 1896 Ford Quadracycle. A 'futuristic' one would be a 1908 Chadwick Black Bess racer. Only twelve years apart, but automotive engineering progressed amazingly fast at that time.
    This. Although I'd go motorcycle. Preferably with a sidecar, so you can haul the other investigators around in a manner reminiscent of Harrison Ford and Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    A gun invented in the mid-late 1900s might be nice. But that's only if you'd say that an automatic rifle with a baseball-sized spread at a range of 800m, shooting 30 bullets/second, with a 600-round mag, is futuristic in modern times. It might be, but it doesn't really feel futuristic.

    On the other hand, a semi-automatic rifle made of an unusually light material (titanium alloy) that shoots elephant rounds could be a realistic type of device that still seems very futuristic, and is very useful in taking down the tougher monsters.

    A polaroid camera would also be very good. Takes color pictures and processes them quickly.
    Last edited by Hiro Protagonest; 2012-11-24 at 03:49 PM.
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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    Dynamo's and generators also existed at that time. Batteries are not the only option.
    Quite right my good sir.

    Quote Originally Posted by Asheram View Post
    But would your character have that knowedge? The only think we know about the perk is that it's called "futuristic device" I agree that such a thing could be done, but we don't know how, why or in what manner the character obtained the device and how much he or she knows about it.
    Indeed, though knowing the involved voltage is about all you need. IIRC, most phones have a diode to protect against shorts, including picking the wrong polarity. If it came with a charger, you couldn't use the charger, but most of them have the voltage printed right on the label.

    I've never played CoC, but I think I'd go with the motorcycle and sidecar.

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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Quote Originally Posted by locutus View Post
    Quite right my good sir.



    Indeed, though knowing the involved voltage is about all you need. IIRC, most phones have a diode to protect against shorts, including picking the wrong polarity. If it came with a charger, you couldn't use the charger, but most of them have the voltage printed right on the label.

    I've never played CoC, but I think I'd go with the motorcycle and sidecar.
    You should make sure it works with leaded gasoline, though. I guess it depends on how far forward you go to get your motorcycle, but it could be an issue.
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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Quote Originally Posted by Amidus Drexel View Post
    Hey, if we're going for nukes, go BIG.
    Yes, but the Davey Crockett is the only one that's easily transportable into the dark and forgotten crypts and ruins you're presumably going to be going crazy in. And if you're going to do an insanity-induced suicide/self-sacrifice you might as well have something easy to use.

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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Quote Originally Posted by tbok1992 View Post
    Yes, but the Davey Crockett is the only one that's easily transportable into the dark and forgotten crypts and ruins you're presumably going to be going crazy in. And if you're going to do an insanity-induced suicide/self-sacrifice you might as well have something easy to use.
    True, I suppose.

    If your campaign doesn't start in a crypt, though, you could just order an airstrike on the first place you find any evidence of eldritch abominations.
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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Quote Originally Posted by Amidus Drexel View Post
    You should make sure it works with leaded gasoline, though. I guess it depends on how far forward you go to get your motorcycle, but it could be an issue.
    Tri-Ethyl Lead didn't become a fuel additive till the 1920's AFAIK.
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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Quote Originally Posted by Adlan View Post
    Tri-Ethyl Lead didn't become a fuel additive till the 1920's AFAIK.
    To wikipedia!

    Ah, you're right. In that case, you'll have to be careful not to get a bike that requires fuel with lots of additives in it (as I don't think the gasoline from the 1890's didn't have much along those lines).
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    Default Re: CoC 1890s "Futuristic Device"

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamgee View Post
    I think I know what you need.
    On that subject, a hoverboard would be handy.

    I second the idea of a Polaroid camera. Handy for investigating and no real infrastructure issues as long as you don't overuse it. But since you can probably get a contemporary generator to recharge batteries, I'd rather get a set of walkie-talkies so your party can communicate over distances. Cell phones, computers, radios, etc. all need infrastructure to work properly, so those are no-gos.

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