The Tinkerer Class

With sharp minds, quick wit and a curious nature that leaves them always asking questions, Tinkerers are a class I’ve developed especially for this campaign. Tinkerers are lovers of technology—from a simple pulley system to a huge computer mainframe, tinkerers want to understand it all. They love inventing and crafting new innovations to help them with their quest or even day-to-day life.

Tinkerers bear some similarities to the Artificer class in the Ebberon campaign setting, but they don’t use magic to run their machines. Instead, they use whatever power source they can find. Since electricity is a thing in Agnusse-Diah, that’s the most common source used. However, hand cranks and steam are occasionally usable in a pinch, and more advanced Tinkerers can hook up devices to wind power, water power, solar power, and even power a battery with a potato.

Adventures: Although some Tinkerers can be nerdy, introverted home-bodies, most of them really enjoy being part of an adventuring party and look for excitement every chance they get. A Tinkerer will take any opportunity to examine a piece of technology that is unfamiliar to him, even if it’s currently attacking him. Tinkerers might also join an adventuring party if they feel that their technology has gotten into the wrong hands. For example, if a Tinkerer designed a giant robot suit for a business that claimed to want to use it to build cars, but he later found out they were actually using it to take over the world, he would probably be all over stopping that from happening.

Characteristics: Tinkers usually aren’t the best fighters in terms of brute strength, but can wield a medium-sized gun or similar technological weapon with some proficiency. They generally prefer not to jump into combat unless they have a weapon they can use confidently.
Tinkerers are quick thinkers,

Alignment:* Tinkerers are always neutral in some way (lawful/chaotic or good/evil). They want what’s best for their inventions and their research more than an ultimate good or evil solution.

Religion: Tinkerers worship the Patron just like everyone else in Agnusse-Diah, but are not quite as devoted to her as some other classes are. Religious life is more of an aside to tinkerers.

Background: In Agnusse-Diah, Tinkerers have been around in one form or another for thousands of years—dating to long before the apocalypse. Many of them went into hiding after the nuclear war began, but when Agnusse-Diah began to reform and it was decided that there was some need for technology and weaponry in the city, most of the Tinkerers were pardoned and given leave to start their own businesses or work for the government. Today, the Tinkerers’ Guild makes sure they are able to pursue their work without too much governmental interference, and rumor has it there are even a few secret societies of Tinkerers working on projects that the government might not approve of.
Most Tinkerers start off as apprentices to their parents or to someone who is in the field they wish to pursue for a few years before going off to make their fortune in their own business.
Male Tinkerers are actually surprisingly common, although very few actually run their own business. Tinkerers are the most evenly divided class in terms of gender.
Most Tinkerers live in the fifth ring, where most of the city’s labs and workshops are. This is because they prefer to be as close as possible to their work, sometimes eschewing social contact and other responsibilities to spend all day crafting and inventing.

Race: Tinkerer is the preferred class of gnomes especially, and they make up almost half of all Tinkerers in the city. Their curiosity and eye for detail make them perfect for the task of inventing and fixing machinery, weaponry, and other objects that magic has a hard time with. Elves without interest or talent in magic oftentimes become Tinkerers as well. Dwarf Tinkerers aren’t unheard of, but their creations and inventions tend to be rougher and somewhat less advanced. Dwarves are also more interested in practicality instead of appearances and workmanship, so they invent and fix more quickly, but their inventions are less likely to hold together over long periods of use.

Other Classes: Tinkerers don’t mind magic users, but tend to look down on them a bit as having little understanding of science and the real world. They also look down on fighters and barbarians as being archaic and stuck in the old ways. Tinkerers tend to get along best with rogues, admiring their quick wits and eye for detail. However, they work well with almost any class they need to, as they are used to teamwork.

Role: With steady hands, quick minds, and an unyielding focus on their work, Tinkerers make an excellent addition to a party. Their Invent skill allows them to create weapons or other objects as the need arises, and they can disable cameras, hot-wire cars, and notice things other party members miss. They can supplement a fighter or barbarian in terms of fighting abilities, although Tinkerers aren’t equipped to be a party’s main offensive power. But their quick understanding of weaponry allows them to fight with almost anything they can find.

Tinkerers have the following game statistics.

Abilities: High intelligence and dexterity are the main things that influence what a Tinkerer can and cannot do. Intelligence relates to how they create, disable, hack into or fix mechanical devices, while a high dexterity ensures that they are able to do this with speed and precision. A clumsy or unintelligent Tinkerer would be a hinderance to a party. It’s also important that they have a decent constitution score, as Concentration is a skill they will use frequently when inventing during combat. Tinkerers tend to have lower strength and charisma scores (they’re a little antisocial).
Alignment: Neutral Good, Neutral Evil, True Neutral, Lawful Neutral, or Chaotic Neutral.
Hit Die: d6.

The Tinkerer’s skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Disable Device (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (must be mechanic, engineer, or programmer) (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Use Device (this is similar to Use Magic Device, but applies to things like computer programs and niche tools) (Int).
Skill Points at First Level: (6 + Int modifier) x3.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

The bonuses for a Tinkerer are the same as that of the bard.

All of the following are class features of the Tinkerer.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Tinkerer is proficient with all simple weapons, as well as the crossbow, the handgun (simple or exotic), the simple pistol, and the revolver. At level 3, the Tinkerer becomes proficient with the rifle, at level 5 the machine gun, the carbine and the sniper rifle, and at level 7 the chain gun. The Tinkerer is also proficient with any weapons he or she invents or makes. He or she is also proficient with light armor.

Tool Proficiency: The tinkerer is proficient with all basic tools that require no additional strength to operate. This includes wrenches, hammers (the tool, not the weapon), drills, pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, etc. Examples of tools that would require a strength check to use include saws, crowbars, sledgehammers, etc.

Vehicle Proficiency: A tinkerer with 3 or more ranks in Profession (Mechanic) is able to operate cars, buses, trains, boats and planes with the proficiency of an average professional, and only in the manner the vehicles are intended to be operated in (in other words, you can’t “operate” a car so well that it turns into an Autobot). At level 5, tinkerers with eight or more ranks in Profession (Mechanic) can also operate construction equipment (like forklifts, bulldozers, and steamrollers). These can be used as weapons or transport, or for their intended purposes.

Tinkering: A feature exclusive to the tinkerer and the namesake of their class, Tinkering can be used once per day per level to affect a mechanical object in various different ways. These abilities all fall under the Tinkering feature, and can be used anytime a tinkerer has his hands free and uninjured and can get within touching distance (5 feet) of the object he wants to tinker with. For example, a tinkerer who wanted to hot-wire a car would be unable to do so if there was someone or something blocking him from getting under the dashboard to where the wires are. Tinkering abilities require skill ranks—some in Craft, some in Profession.
Using a tinkering ability is a standard action, and does not include moving to within reach of the object that the tinkerer intends to tinker with. Depending on the complexity of the object and the tinkerer’s goal for that object, it may take multiple rounds (each requiring its own skill check as well as a concentration check if during battle) to do what the tinkerer intends to do with the object. While tinkering, the tinkerer cannot fight or use any other skill (such as spot or bluff) other than the one that the ability he is using requires (Craft or Profession). At level 3, he gains the ability to move while tinkering, provided the object is under 8lbs and is moveable. If the tinkerer fails his skill check, his attempt still counts against his daily limit.
It’s intentional that a tinkerer must choose which skills he wants to invest his skill points in depending on which uses of the Tinker ability he wants to use. Since there are many different skill sets involved in the class, it’s very difficult for a tinkerer to be exceptionally good at all of them.
Invent (Basic): A tinkerer with 3 or more ranks in the Craft (General) skill can combine two to three objects to create a new object. The objects he combines must be within reach (he may take a turn to move and collect an object if he wishes) or in his inventory. He may also use objects in the inventories of other party members provided they are willing to allow him to use them and are within the tinkerer’s reach. The tinkerer will find that almost anything can be used to invent something new—office supplies, sheets, clothing, coins, books, and even garbage can become a weapon, simple lockpick, ladder, simple trap, or other basic device that might be useful during the adventure. One stipulation to this is that the player must be able to describe to the DM how the objects his character intends to use can be combined to make the object he wants. For example, a coat hanger and two rubber bands cannot be combined to make a bicycle.
Repair: A tinkerer with 3 or more ranks in the Profession (Mechanic) skill may use this ability to repair a mechanical object that has been damaged or broken. This skill cannot be used unless the tinkerer has all the parts required to fix the object. All objects require two rounds to be repaired, and if an object has more than three components that must be adjusted or replaced (ascertained with a Search check), it takes 1d6 rounds to repair it. The tinkerer only needs to roll a Craft check for the first round during which he is fixing a device, but must roll a Concentration check every round that he is fixing the device if he is actively being attacked.
Adjust: Tinkerers with at least 3 skill ranks in Profession (Engineer) can adjust the controls on fuse boxes, heaters, air conditioners, speakers/music players, and other mechanical components of their surroundings to change conditions in their or others’ favors. For example, a tinkerer could short out a fuse box to flood the room in darkness, cut the line on a telephone, blast music from a sound system and cause temporary deafness, de-pressurize a plane cabin, or cause a fire alarm to go off at the slightest hint of danger. The tinkerer must pass a Search check to find the controls he is looking for and then move to within 5 feet of those controls before he can use this ability. If he fails the search check or is unable to get to the controls, it does not count as a use of the Tinkering ability for that day. If he fails the Profession (Engineer) check, however, it does count as a use and may even have negative effects on his surroundings (for example, a tinkerer who fails a Profession (Engineer) check while attempting to close off a ventilation system to stop a fire from spreading may instead cause the vents to go on full blast and worsen the fire).
Program: At level 2, tinkerers with 2 or more ranks in Profession (Programmer) are able to use and understand all simple computer programs immediately.
Temporary Upgrade: At level 3, a tinkerer with 4 or more ranks in Craft (General) can temporarily upgrade his or another character’s weapon during a battle, granting it a +1 attack bonus and +2 damage bonus. He must be within touching distance (5 feet) of the weapon in question to use this ability. The effect lasts for 1 round/level.
Purposeful Damage: At level 4, a tinkerer with 5 or more ranks in Profession (Mechanic) can cause purposeful damage to an object so that it functions incorrectly. For example, a tinkerer might use this ability to make a clock run slower than is accurate, jam a lock, change around the functions of the buttons on a remote control, or make a pen spill its ink when used. The tinkerer must be within touching distance (5 feet) of the object he wishes to damage when using this ability.
Hack: At level 6, a tinkerer with 5 or more ranks in Profession (Programmer) can hack into the system of most computers.
Disable Structure: At level 9, a tinkerer with 10 or more ranks in Profession (Engineer) is able to find the points on large structures that keep them working and destroy them, disabling the structure from performing its main purpose. For example, this could be used to take out a bridge, bend train tracks, or cause a small building to collapse.
Temporary Upgrade (Advanced): Gained at level 11. Same as Temporary Upgrade, but increases to +3 Attack, +4 Damage.

Nimble Fingers: Tinkerers receive a +1 bonus for any skill that requires primarily the use of their hands or fingers, provided their hands are uninjured.

Familiarity: Tinkerers gain a +2 attack bonus on any weapon they have created or invented themselves.

Keen Senses: Tinkerers are extremely observant and detail-oriented—therefore they get a +4 bonus on saves against all spells of the illusion school and against any magical object with illusion-creating properties.

The Tinkerer Class

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