Cowboys From Hell
Steam and Steel
However, Mad Science in Deadlands is perfect for a variation on the non-power point version of Blessed. So here’s how it works.
Mad Scientists now have access to all powers that would be available to their rank. The Mad Scientist tells the Marshal what power/trapping he wants his new gadget to have, and makes his Mad Science roll as normal. Assuming he makes the check, he can build the new device in roughly 2d6 days; if he fails, he has to spend 1d6 days reworking his theories and making new blueprints before he can try again. If he manages to get hold of any blueprints for a mad science device, he can bypass the roll and ignore the normal rank restriction. Once the gizmo is built, he then devotes however many power points he wants that are available to him to powering the device. The power points stay in that device and are unavailable to use in other gadgets until the Mad Scientist decides to break it down, a process that takes 1d4 hours. Most powers that are listed as continuous have an on/off switch or are otherwise not in use until necessary (such as body armor), but it obviously pays to give those enough power points to run for a few rounds. The power points for any mad science gizmo recharge as normal and all devices still malfunction as normal, too. Now the real downsides: You will go crazy. Every rank, you gain a new dementia as randomly rolled by the Marshal.
So let’s say Dr. Ignis is working on a new design for his trusty flamethrower. He wants it to use the Blast power, which is a Seasoned power. Being a Novice Mad Scientist, he normally wouldn’t have access to Blast, but luckily, he got a hold of some old blueprints that Eli Rivers left lying around and so gets to skip that part. Since Blast can take a lot of juice, Doc Ignis decides to allocate 12 of his 20 power points to powering it. Later, when Doc Ignis gets shot up a few times too many, he wants to build a bullet proof vest with the Armor power. He makes his Mad Science check and tries to figure out where to put his remaining 8 points. Since Armor takes 2 points to activate for 3 rounds, and 1 point per round afterward, he puts 3 points into it. The bullet proof vest stays inactive until he gets in a firefight and activates it, at which point it will protect him for 4 rounds worth of gunplay before becoming shredded (at least until he has a minute to fix it up, ie, let the power points recharge). Ignis now has 5 points left to make other gadgets.