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Desslok

What can Utility Belt™ do for you?

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Egads! It occurs to me that I'm like 3 or 4 books behind! So the list is updated all the way up to Endless Vigil, and we're good to go!

 

Would the SE-Vigilant count as borderline? It's encumbrance 2, but is listed as collapsible.

 

You know, I think it's plausible enough that if I were GMing, I'd give it the go ahead nod. So yeah, I'll throw it on the list with an * next to it.

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3 hours ago, EliasWindrider said:

Just imagine an ascetic with the utility belt talent (getting into oxymoron territory here)

Hah. I'll admit I like the utility belt talent best with droids - of course I can shoot a net from this little chassis-launcher. And I have a built in surveilance detecter. And survival flares, and a water purifier, and detachable cam drones.  

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There was a discussion a while back on this about the difference between the item Utility Belt, the Talent Utility Belt and the use of Destiny Points to get an item. The consensus was something like this:

 

Quote

After reading the Utility Belt entry (pg183) and the Utility Belt Talent (pg145) it's seems like just an unfortunate naming issue of the talent matching the name of the item. It's pretty clear that the Utility Belt item is just a way to hold an additional 1 ENC worth of 0 ENC items that the player is supposed to document. The Utility Belt Talent allows a PC to spend a Destiny Point to pull out a small (likely 0-1 ENC only), up to rarity 4, undocumented item from anywhere on the PC (less subject to GM approval unless they feel it's too large).

Reading the Destiny Point/Deus Ex Machina section (pg28) it's seems clear that when spending a Destiny Point to "find" an item it is actually a suggestion to find any somewhat likely item (with no implicit ENC or Rarity restriction) within the scene and does not mean that the item is immediately available or on the PC, the GM may place the item anywhere and require some action to retrieve it. However "Player's should not abuse this use of Destiny Points: the more outrageous or unlikely the suggestion the more likely the GM will curtail the Players' use of Destiny Points" This clearly means that whatever the Players' ask for is not guaranteed to be given.

 

So here are the breakdowns:

Utility Belt (item): Carry up to 10 additional 0 ENC items in the PC's inventory.

Utility Belt Talent: Spend a Destiny Point to gain a small (likely 0-1 ENC), up to rarity 4, undocumented item from anywhere on the PC. (less subject to GM approval unless they feel it's too large).

Destiny Point/Deus Ex Machina: Spend a Destiny Point to find any somewhat likely to be found item (with GM approval) somewhere within the scene and may require an action to find or retrieve.

 

 

Edited by FuriousGreg

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And now it's time for another Badassed Usage of Utility Belt story of the night. So there's my Engineer and her Excalibur-like Gaffi stick having to face a Dark Jedi apprentice amid a raging Gettysburg-ish battle. Already things are looking kind of bad, having blown through half my wounds belly-flopping from the dropship (curse you, despair!) and then getting shot by a couple of minions. Also, you know, not a Jedi.

It rapidly becomes apparent that normal tactics are not working, forcing me to get clever. One Destiny Point later, I'm pulling a Beast Lure out of the utility belt, setting it to Mating Call, and then tackle her so I can slip it into her pocket. So while she does a whole boatload of wounds and knocks my *** out the next round, she gets the inglorious death of being stampeded to death by horny Nerfs. The game resumes a few minuets later after everyone at the table composes themselves from laughing so hard.

God bless you, NarDS system, for making this awesomeness possible.

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On 2/11/2016 at 7:17 PM, Desslok said:

For those that don't know, here's the Talent:

The talent only mentions rarity, not size. In theory you could pull a Comm Jammer out of the belt (Rarity 3, Encumbrance 3) - but that makes no sense. So I tried to stick to things with a encumbrance of 0 or 1, and marked things on the border with a *. In other words, use your common sense (or stuff it in your infinite back packs).

Be aware that what appears in the talent trees is just meant as a summary of the talent.  The full talent write-up comes in the Talents section:

"The character may spend one Destiny Point to perform a Utility Belt incidental to produce a previously undocumented--but essential--small tool from his utility belt, satchel, or pockets, with a rarity no greater than (4).  This cannot be a weapon unless the weapon has the Limited Ammo 1 quality.

So no, it doesn't have to be an actual utility belt.  By RAW it does have to be a utility belt, satchel, or pockets; but I imagine most GMs will be flexible on this.  It does have to be small, and as that's not a defined term it's really up to the GM to define.  As a guideline I think enc 0 or 1 is a good rule.

Some of the weapons listed are out: Explorer's Knife, Hand Grinder, Vibro Machete are all weapons without Limited Ammo 1.  As a GM I might allow the Explorer's Knife if we had a gentleman's agreement that this wouldn't be used as a weapon (this particular model is unsuited for combat).  The Bolo/Net technically does have limited ammo; I'd allow it if it were described as a bolo (because that fits the size restrictions in my mind) but not a net.  I'd still allow the Hand Grinder under the same Gentleman's Agreement as the knife, except it has Cumbersome 3.  Personally, I'd disallow anything with Cumbersome, as I see that as incompatible with the "small" portion of the talent (Cumbersome is described in the CRB as "large, unwieldy, awkward, or heavy").  Personally, I'd disallow the Rivet Gun because of the Encumbrance, but it is pretty cool.

OP, none of this is meant to be a slam--I think this is an awesome list.

Personally, I don't see any reason to disallow things like the Cultural Etiquette Manual just because it doesn't seem like a Technician thing to you.  The talent isn't just "stuff I happen to have as a Technician to preserve realism" (if that were the case, I'd say every character has "the gear necessary to fulfill their role"), it's "hey, I'm a pack rat who keeps pulling surprising stuff out of their pockets".  And the talent isn't limited to Technicians either.  The Scout has the talent in the CRB, and there are specs in the other line with it as well.  Heck, in the Dilbert comic above, Dilbert has a thesaurus...

On 2/12/2016 at 10:13 AM, RodianClone said:

Don`t any of you let your players flip destiny points for helpfull stuff in fitting situations, even without utility belt?

And with the utility belt talent, do you see it as a literal utility belt? Can`t you use it for bigger things that wouldn`t fit in the belt? Can`t utility belt just be the name of the talent and just one of many ways to flavour it?

Just wondering.

Personally, I do let players flip DP for gear, but I have no problems vetoing stuff if it's unreasonable (and that's one area I'd take career, specializations, and character concept into account).  If a Technician said "hey, could I flip a Destiny Point to say I happen to have an Emergency Repair Patch?" I'd say yes.  It makes sense that a guy who repairs stuff for a living would have a repair kit with him.  If they're unexpectedly dropped on Tatooine and he wants a Cultural Etiquette Manual for Sand People, I'm going to laugh.  With the Utility Belt talent, I'll say "wow, that's interesting...tell me why, of all things, you happened to have that in your satchel, and you can have it."  I don't care if he says "well, I've suddenly decided my character has always been fascinated by them and he's always carried it around and studies it during his downtime" or "well, when we were in Watto's shop there was this datapad-like thing there that looked really interesting and I swiped it when nobody was looking" or whatever.  Give me something somewhat plausible or at least entertaining and I'll be fine with it.

Basically, for me it comes down to flexibility.  I'm strict with Destiny Points; I'm a lot more flexible with a talent the player has sunk XP into.

On 2/12/2016 at 2:51 PM, GranSolo said:

In my book, the distinction between the regular use of a Destiny token flip for "Deus ex Machina" and the Utility Belt talent is the following:

The purpose of the former is to advance the plot. If it doesn't, you can't do it - unless you have Utility Belt.

...Yeah, I agree with that.  I generally wouldn't worry about paying for them, unless it was pretty expensive (and rarity will generally take care of that).

Edited by Enoch52

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23 hours ago, Desslok said:

God bless you, NarDS system, for making this awesomeness possible.

NarDS system?  I am unfamiliar with this acronym.  I assume you mean this system, the FFG star wars system.  What does the acronym stand for?

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In my last session, we bought repulsor-assist units (EV) for each of the characters. When we got to where we needed them, some of the character's left them on the ship. The player with Utility Belt had his and wanted to flip to have brought an extra one for one of the other character's. Because the party had actually bought the item, and he had utility Belt, I allowed him to have the extra one without making him flip.

For some of my sessions, I ask my players for a concise list of items they are bringing, usually due to local laws on the planet you are landing on, or for the players that have accumulated way more gear than they can actually carry..

"You are landing on Coruscant, your heavy battle armor and repeating blaster rifle is illegal here. While you are on the planet, what are you wearing and what weapons are you carrying."

"There are weapon's detectors at the entrances to the Phelar University Archive, Does the alias you are using have a permit for the weapon you are carrying or are you going to smuggle it in."

In situations like these, (once their plan hits the fan) I would probably lift the limited ammo 1 restriction to allow a "utility belt talented" character to produce a small (encumbrance 1 or 2) weapon that they actually own but "supposedly" left on the ship due to the restrictions. But then they have the burden of either having to ditch it before reaching customs or smuggle it out somehow.

Also, I plan to cut out the cheesiness but restricting the ability to produce a weapon to once per session or once per encounter. But regardless of whether or not it's a weapon I think that I am going to stick to the part the it must be "essential".

 

@Desslok, You have a couple of items in the PDF that exceed the rarity 4 or less restriction.

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On 2/11/2016 at 4:23 PM, Desslok said:

Yeah, my thinking is that if you cant see Batman keeping it on his belt, it doesn't fit.

And lo, in Dawn of Rebellion, we have a Batarang Vibrorang! The Batman analog is complete!

So, no books for a very, very long time means no updates. But here we are, back to back (almost) releases! So the list has been updated all the way to Fully Operational. Surprisingly, not a ton of stuff in there that meets the criteria. I so badly wanted the Engineers Hammer to qualify, but it doesn't.

Oh, and the minesweeper is questionable - being that it's on a very, very long stick and all. So if you can justify it (or have a long stick handy that you can tape the head to), you're golden. Otherwise, no mine sweeper for you!

Also, as the list was getting kind of long, I put the categories in alphabetical order for ease of finding. And yes, I know that Dru comes after Det - it's close enough, damnit!

 

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With the Utility Belt talent, do you get to keep the item? If you whip out a datapad, or electrobinoculars, or chance cubes, a glowrod - or just about anything on the list - do you get to keep it? Obviously, if you produce a grenade and use it, it's gone. However, if you produced a grenade, and you ended up not using it, can you throw it in your backpack for another day?

As written, the item produced needs to be "essential" at the time. So you couldn't just whip out things all willy-nilly just to have stuff. However, there's nothing about the items disappearing after their immediate usefulness has passed.

(Also, great list Desslok! thanks!)

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It doesn't say anything about the fate if the item, but we always played it as the item was ephemeral. Pull it out, use it, put it back in whatever pocket it came out of. You could pull it out again later, but it's cost you another flip.

As to essential, what was "essential" was pretty mercurial. My engineer pulled a glass of water from her bag once. Not a travel mug, not a sippy cup - a glass of water.  Everyone was "Wait,  where did you get. . . never mind. Of course you have one."

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I know I'm being a bit pedantic and maybe a buzzkill for some of you but, as Enoch52 pointed out the Talent is actually more restrictive than most people play it. Keep in mind that the Talent is intended for Outlaw Tech and Scout Trees not just any Specialization:

Quote

The character may spend one Destiny Point to perform a Utility Belt incidental to produce a previously undocumented--but essential--small tool from his utility belt, satchel, or pockets, with a rarity no greater than (4).  This cannot be a weapon unless the weapon has the Limited Ammo 1 quality.

The bold/italicized text is rather specific that it be a small tool not just anything a PC needs/wants. For other, non-tool items you'd flip a DP and ask the GM using deus ex machina.  This may seem the same but the restrictions are different; the Utility Belt Talent does not actually require GM approval (ie. the GM shouldn't say no to a hydrospanner, cutting torch, or any tool that would normally be required to do a task). With deus ex machina on the other hand the item can be anything with GM approval but may require that the PC do something to get to it.

The weapon restriction would be something like a cutting tool that can be used once to cause damage before running out of charge or would break, or maybe a power charger that can cause Stun damage and be used up as well.

So, and I hate to be a party-pooper, but most of those things on your list wouldn't actually be available with this Talent :(

Edited by FuriousGreg

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On 6/21/2018 at 3:28 PM, Desslok said:

Another book, another update! But first, let us pour one out for my just retired Engineer who was the root cause for this thread!

tenor.gif

Final analysis? Utility belt is the best talent I've run into in this game. Hands down, full stop. Saved my **** more times than I can count!

Your gif is what I'd use it mostly for every session..........'how the F does he always have a beer?'.......

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18 minutes ago, 2P51 said:

Your gif is what I'd use it mostly for every session..........'how the F does he always have a beer?'.......

Improved Utility Belt should also be a thing, where you manage to secretly stash your brews in someone else's kit (all that beer can get heavy).

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