R&D Gadgets

Dark Vision Glasses AHFD-65 (Greg Bougg)

    Allows seeing in the dark. 

    Projects a cone of light(50 meters, 20 degrees), so the user is much more visible than the targets.  Upon issuing it, the issuing autohority should give a warning that the device has a very limited use time and should thus be used only in very dangerous situations. This will hopefully cause it to be used only in night fights...

Disguise Machine (Greg Bougg)

    Big machine which the troubleshooter has to step into. Lots of clanks and whistles etc. Then the troubleshooter emerges as themselves dressed in a gaudy costume.

Docbot in a Box (Greg Bougg)

    Treads are in short supply in BOT sector, so they're making portable docbots that you can strap onto your back. Unfortunately, some of the models shipped to Troublshooter HQ are a little on the obsessive side... and used to be dentist bots. "Open a little wider, citizen." "Gaaaaaagh!"

Experimental Gravitational Amplification Device (Michael C Martin)

Give no information about this device until it has been issued.  Once a citizen volunteers to test this item, they will be the proud owner of a 50-kg weight on a chain.

The device has no obvious controls.

The EGAD is good for reducing speed, but it's also (as I learned, as GM) very good at destroying Computer property, which turned out to be its primary function according to the Troubleshooter testing report.  (Its secondary function was the creation of new entrances to rooms, if you're curious.)

Experimental Navigational Device (Greg Bougg)

    The famous "experimental guidance system" provided to troubleshooters having to explore the sewers.

    It is a small round device with the letters N, S, E, W on it and a small stripe of metal in the middle. It is receiving special radio signals. The computer has build a special radio station in the NNN Sector, and the metal stripe is always pointing in its direction.

    So, N means the direction Next to the station, S stands for Straight away, E means Equal distance. Finally, W stands for WAY off!

    Just make your Troubleshooters think, they have a compass.

    Then send them down the sewers.

    When it is too late, they will find out that these items are REALLY just receivers and that the radio station is right in the middle of the sewers, far away from the exit, which was in the S direction... or something.

Experimental Pain Drug BF-113/v9 (Greg Bougg)

    Give them a syringe. No data. Decide at the last minute whether the drug inflicts pain or makes one oblivious.

Experimental Torches (Greg Bougg)

    How about some torches:
    • made from strange structured brown plastic (wood) without any switch to turn on?

    • which is free for all clearances (thus sending infrared light)

    • which is nuclear powered (hm hm hm he he he)

    • which is working by leaking slightly glowing radioactive waste?

    • which turns out as a flamethrower? 

Image Displacement Utility (Draxon Varradami)

This brand new device from R&D is designed to protect the wearer. It displaces the image of the wearer, so that the wearer appears to be standing in a place other than he really is. The device is a small box, colored either red or orange (depending on the security clearance you need) and is usually placed on a belt. It weighs only about 5 lbs. It runs on a battery, which lasts for about 15 minutes of operation. It takes twice that time to fully recharge.

The exact position of the image can be adjusted by a series of controls on the device, but the image can be displaced by no more than a meter. When active, all attacks are made against the affected clone at a -8 penalty, since the any attacks made against the character will be aimed at the image, not the actual character (even those who know the character is using this device will still not know exactly where they are). However, if they know where the image deplaced to last time and aim there (and the character hasn't adjusted the displacement settings since that time) the penalty is reduced to -2.

The image cannot be projected through solid objects, such as wall and doors, and will seem to go 'into' solid objects (an obvious tipoff that it is just a hologram - or evidence that the clone is a mutant). Thus the clone must be careful if he wishes the image to appear realistic.

Of course, something this useful couldn't possibly without defect (none of which will be told to the character). First of all, the distortion field it uses will also distort any concentrated light passing into out of it (for some reason it doesn't affect lasers coming in). When this device is activated, any laser weapons this character fires will have no effect, since the beam is instantly dispersed.

Secondly, it inteferes with the clone's abilities. The clone cannot use mutant powers, and all other attributes are reduced by one. This effect is negated as soon as the IDU is deactivated.

Lastly, and perhaps most interestingly, the IDU will drain all pigment from any living being wearing it. This means that the clone's skin, hair, and even eyes (the irises, not the pupils) will be completely white (like an albino). All GMs should already realize how fun this can be. Two possibilities spring to mind mind right away. This is a great opportunity to for other clones to accuse this one of being a mutant. Plus, the character is now white, as in ultraviolet. I see a whole bunch of treason points for this character. Pigment is only drained after 5 minutes of continuous use. It takes an hour for the pigment to start returning, and every additional 5 minutes the device is used adds another hour to that.

Image Intensifier Goggles (Ben Matasar)

    Releases hallucinagens when worn, making images 'intense'.

Mutant Spew™ Cola (Geoff Gander)

    Tired of the same old Bouncy Bubble Beverage, but afraid of trying something different because you don't want to be executed for treason?  Well, Research and Design proudly gives you Mutant Spew™ Cola!!  (Code HCSD//234-xx.c5)  Now there's a legal alternative! 

    Mutant Spew™ Cola was invented purely by accident at the R&D labs late one eveningcycle, during an intensive planning session on a means to improve the New Bouncy Bubble Beverage. Although the original additives that were accidentally thrown into the mix were never noted down, there never seems to be a shortage of this drink. R&D claimed credit for the discovery, though even its greatest minds are at a loss as to how to recreate the mixture, or how to stop the mixture from reproducing under mysterious circumstances. 

    Mutant Spew™ Cola comes in Red cans, with the name written in large Orange letters on the both sides. In other respects the can is the same as those used for Bouncy Bubble Beverage. 

    Although the cans could be thrown as grenades (though this would probably break even Alpha Complex regulations regarding the humane use of chemical weaponry), the best offensive use is in consumption (see below). 

    Security Clearance/Cost
    Mutant Spew™ Cola is classified as Red security clearance, where it is available. One can of it costs 8 credits. 

    Unless you've devised some sort of launcher for them (don't put this beyond the players), each can is a single-shot deal. 

    The damage of this drink is variable (see table below). When throwing a can of this stuff, use standard grenade rules to determine range. 

    The problems associated with Mutant Spew™ Cola are many indeed - see the table below for the various possible results. Also, anyone who publicly wonders why this drink is called Mutant Spew™ Cola might find themselves ordered by the Computer to report for experimental soft drink testing at R&D.

    Opened Can of Mutant Spew™ Cola Table

    Whenever a PC opens a can of Mutant Spew™ Cola, roll d20 on the table below to determine what the player sees in the can:
      d20 Roll Can's Contents
      1 Player sees Red soda (gains 1D2 Strength for 1 hour if consumed)
      2 Player sees Orange soda (gains 1D2 Endurance for 1 hour if consumed)
      3 Player sees Yellow soda (gains 1D2 Moxie for 1 hour if consumed)
      4 Player sees Green soda (loses 1D4 Endurance for 2 hours if consumed)
      5 Player sees Blue soda (loses 1D20 Power for 4 hours if consumed, fall unconscious for 6 hours if Power falls below 0)
      6 Player sees Indigo soda (gains extra Mutation if consumed, roll randomly)
      7 Player sees Violet soda (all effects from drugs in clone are nullified if consumed - roll on withdrawal table)
      8 Can is filled with tonic water
      9 Can is empty
      10 Tentacle sprouts from can (make insanity check at +5) and slithers away
      11 Same as 10 (see above), but tentacle tries to strangle clone who opened can (skill 12, 9I damage/round)
      12 Can is filled with Bouncy Bubble Beverage
      13 Can explodes like a grenade when opened (P8 damage, 2 metre radius)
      14 Sticky glue erupts from can and coats clone who opens it - inconvenient to say the least)
      15 Can is filled with Cruncheetym Algae Chips
      16 Can is filled with rocket fuel (does column 3 damage if ingested, highly flammable - explodes if within 3 metres of a heat source, treat as hand flamer for damage)
      17 Can is filled with cockroaches (insanity check), they crawl away
      18 Can closes itself, and will keep doing so if opened - must be shy
      19 Clone begins to glow a treasonous shade of Green if Infrared soda consumed - give appropriate treason points
      20 GM's choice

Mutation Proximity Detector (Steve Criddle)

    This device supposedly detects nearby mutants.  There is no activation switch - when a mutant is nearby a red light will flash and a needle on the top will point towards the mutant.  This device basically doesn't work and just decides to point at a random clone occasionally.  Let it activate a couple of times during the mission, but don't overdo it.

    Staging Hints:

    If the team are in the dark, trying to remain unseen, it would be really unfortunate if that red light came on and gave away their position.

    For a nice twist, send the team to R&D before they get their briefing.  During the briefing, tell the clone with the MPD that it is pointing at the briefing officer and the light is flashing wildly.

    Or, see how the player reacts when told that the light has come on and the needle is pointing at him.

Padlocks (Greg Bougg)

    These are designed to open when:-
    • It feels like it.
    • The owner sticks their tongue in the slot.
    • It hears the word "open" (or close)
    • Someone walks past it. 

    GM Note: This can change at your will. Remember - Rules were made for breaking

Supersecret Selfdefence Flashlight (Greg Bougg)

    This flashlight is issued to internal security. Looks like a normal flashlight. has 3 unmarked buttons:
      Normal flashlight
      Fires like a laser (there is a normal laser barrel inside)
      Gives the user a damage 8 electric shock. (anti theft button)
    Multi button functions:
    (the normal function does not happen, although the trouble shooter had better press the buttons in right order or something bad might happen)
      Functions like a communicator: Talk
      Function like a communcator: listen
      Fire a laser backwards at the users hand.
      The flashlight explodes like a hand grenade after 2 seconds.
    The buttons are grouped closely together and are really small, so it should be quite likely to press the wrong buttons, especially if in a stress situation. 

Tactical Situation Decision Assessment Device (Joshua Moretto)

For all intents and purposes this is a Magic 8-Ball.  It supplies all the standard phrases ("Signs point to Yes", "My sources say No", "Reply Hazy, Ask again Later", etc.) as well as a number of unconventional ones ("My sources say Perhaps", "Signs point to Maybe", "Fnord").

Time Expander (Steve Criddle)

    This item is shamelessly borrowed from the cartoon Dexter's Lab.  It was far too good an idea to pass up.

    The Time Expander slows down time for the user for a limited period.  It is left to the GM to decide how much time is slowed down by.  (For example, it could slow down majorly so that if the user moves they appear to have teleported away.  Or it could slow down a little, so that it looks like they can run really fast).

    The user can move about as normal but his surroundings are either slowed down or stopped in relation to him.  The Expander has fairly limited use other than this.  Some examples from the cartoon are:

    • Dexter tries to take a shower, but the water moves very very slowly.

    • Dexter tries to do his homework with the Expander enabled.  But the act of writing creates so much friction that the paper catches fire.

    • Dexter tries to use a microwave oven to cook some breakfast.  After waiting for what seems like ages, the oven finally does something - the timer clicks from 3:00 to 2:59.

    Obviously most weapons are totally useless under these circumstances, although the user can hit other citizens with whatever object they see fit.  Increase the effect however you see fit (since technically the speed of impact is vastly increased).  If the user is hit by something while the device is active, the damage is reduced (for the same reason).

    With luck the user will quickly discover that this gadget is not as useful as they first imagined.  One possible use (if they think of it) would be to cram several hours of sleep into a few seconds of "real" time - this would be useful if their mutant power attribute is low and they want to get it back to full power quickly.

    (I could do with this device in the morning - I could get a few extra hours in bed and still get to work on time).

    This item can cause some fun in a gaming session if you insist players have to talk very quickly or very slowly when it is enabled (depending on which side of the time expansion they are).

Vision Enhancer (Steve Criddle)

    Looks like a crash helmet with some goggles glued on the front where the clone's eyes will be. The clone puts the Enhancer on his head and turns it on. In a dark room the Enhancer will allow the clone to see everything as though the room was lit. In a lit room the Enhancer blinds the clone for five minutes.

    Because the unit covers the whole head, the clone has trouble hearing when he is wearing it.

"Wakeysleep" pills (Damian Klekawka)

One Wakeysleep pill is given to each troubleshooter (under an experimental code name) before they're sent outside for thier mission. It looks like a two tone capsule in the colors of a wakeypill and a sleepypill. The lab boys will claim it's to help them adjust to day/night cycles outside of the complex but give no specifics on it's effects.

Any character taking it will be totally alert for the next eighteen hours, at the end of the eighteenth hour they will fall totally unconscious for exactly six hours, then eighteen hour awake, then six asleep etc. etc. etc. for as many days as it stays amusing.

Luckily only about a third of my shooters were stupid enough not to spit them out first chance they got.

XBR-37 Reconnaissance Boomerang (Greg Bougg)

    This is a plasticene boomerang fixed with a miniature multipurpose scanner (different options may be available), a standard IFC (I Find Commies) identifcation unit, a low-strength sonar system UW2, miniature thrusters, and a small amount of high explosive.

    Simply put, the wielder (who must be wearing a corresponding IFC identifier bracelet...) hurls the boomerang, which, despite its bulky mass, manages to sail about 250m at a speed of 25m/s through using its thrusters (fuel capacity is sufficient for perhaps 2.5 round trips); note that it will always seek to reach this distance... while it traverses it, it uses its scanner to photograph (visual, I, UV) everything within a [classified] distance; if it has other options, these too will be activated.

    In order to prevent this high-tech piece of equipment from falling into the hands of the Communist mutant enemy, if sonar indicates that the boomerang is within 1m of impacting a man-size or greater object (including walls...) not wearing a matching IFC bracelet, it explodes in a 5m radius doing P12 damage from shrapnel.

    Note also that the bracelet technology has not yet been perfected... approximately 50% are slightly unstable and either have a 25% chance of not responding to the boomerang's IFC signal, or cannot broadcast consistently for a distance of greater than 50cm.

Paranoia and The Computer logo are registered trademarks of West End Games
Authors of submitted items are indicated where appropriate
All other text and graphics by Steve Criddle