Echoes LARP

Tinkering OverviewTinkering Production

  Tinkering Production = Skill Level + Learned Trait
110 CPBasic Devices
25 CPContrivance: 1/Day
310 CPIntermediate Devices
415 CPContrivance: 2/Day
520 CPAdvanced Devices
625 CPContrivance: 3/Day
730 CPFiendish Inventor—or— Junkman
835 CPContrivance: +1/Day—or— Shaving the Corners
940 CPFiendish Inventor—or— Sapper
1045 CPContrivance: +1/Day—or— Master Builder
1150 CPFiendish Inventor—or— Schematic Vision
1255 CPContrivance: +1/Day—or— Technomancy
Tinkering Production

Although tinkering is similar to Craft in many ways, it is fundamentally different in its theoretical grounding. Tinkering, in essence, passes for engineering and “science” in Echoes, and is thus affected by the Learned trait (gaining a bonus to production and allowing Tinkers to use the bonus downtime action that Learned provides). Also, tinkers are generalists with regards to all manner of machinery, and do not get specialties at all. It must be said, however, that Tinkering is generally more difficult than Craft, and has higher production and monetary costs.

Note: Even if a tinker could technically make something with their level of the Devices ability, they might still lack the Production to do so.

Basic, Intermediate, Advanced Devices

Every odd level of Tinkering gives a character access to new and strange mechanical devices, which can be created during downtime actions and in-game production periods. Most traps and locks require at least Basic Devices to disable.


Through sheer, intuitive understanding of machines and complex devices, a Tinker can, once per day for every even level in this skill, call “Contrivance” to immediately resist the effects of a trap that goes off in their vicinity. Also, Contrivance can be used to immediately reduce the complexity of a simple, complex, or superior lock by 1 for 1 hour (this will pop simple locks and make complex locks simple, etc.). As well, though a Tinker cannot normally pick a lock or remove traps without tools, using this ability will allow them to do so for one device for up to an hour of work on that device alone. Finally, when confronted with strange devices, using this ability will allow a Tinker to activate, use, or deactivate them, depending on the situation.

Fiendish Inventor

Once per season (game year), for every time this ability is purchased, a tinker may enter into a state of intense creativity. This burst of inspiration may be used to grant a +6 bonus to the character’s Tinkering Production ability, which lasts for one in-game production action and the following downtime session. Alternately, it can be used to make one-of-a-kind devices otherwise impossible to create; the most intricate and powerful machines can only be made by Fiendish Inventors, as a matter of fact.


A Junkman is a tinker who can apply their skill to just about any assemblage of broken gears, discarded springs, and corroded machinery. With this ability, a tinker can scrap any number of tinkered items (as a single downtime action) they have to gain the full value of its original production cost worth of “junk.” Junk can be used in lieu of Fragments—on a 1 for 1 basis—to defray the monetary cost involved in making/repairing tinkered items. As well, during every downtime session a Junkman will automatically find junk just lying about, the amount of which depends upon their normal Tinkering Production value.

Shaving the Corners

A tinker with this ability is able to extract the most functionality out of devices while using the least complicated and expensive means possible. Functionally, Shaving the Corners simply reduces the production and monetary cost for all tinkered items: Basic Devices are reduced by 1, Intermediate by 2, and Advanced by 3. This reduction also applies to repairing Shattered items, before halving their cost.


Sappers are specialist tinkers who are able to create customized traps of horrifying effectiveness. They may add characteristics to any trap they can make, which costs extra production and money according to the power of the effect. Here is a brief guide to the most general types of modifications which can be made (other, more bizarre and potent types are FOIP):

Solid+5May be set and triggered twice
Vicious+5+5 to damage and/or effect level
Magnified+5+5’ to effect range/radius
Intricate+5Requires Intermediate Devices to disarm
Maddening+10Requires Advanced Devices to disarm
Precision+10Takes 2 uses of Contrivance to negate
Assassin’s+10Makes any Poison bearing trap inflict Quick Venom
Indiscriminate+10+10’ to effect range/radius
Perfect+15May be set and triggered any number of times

To make a trap with an enhancement, the tinker simply declares they are doing so for that downtime action, paying the increased cost. A particular enhancement may only be used once per trap, but a trap may bear more than one type of enhancement.

Master Builder

Tinkers with this ability are unparalleled at creating a number of specific, signature devices. Functionally, a Master Builder declares 3 non-trap devices they wish to specialize in, once this ability is chosen. Whenever these items are made, they will have enhanced attributes as per a superior quality craft item (and, like them, are FOIP), and they will be unmistakably the work of the Tinker in question (must have the tag signed by the creator, and the item imprinted with their mark). The number and type of superior attributes depends on the tinker’s native production value and the type of item itself.

Schematic Vision

A true Tinker knows that all things are reflections of the machine. By applying the ordering principles of Tinkering to the world around them, tinkers can gain insights which would escape others of more limited awareness, as well as granting them a sense of profound mental clarity. Functionally, Schematic Vision allows a tinker to expend a use of Contrivance to call aFoPerception, FoLearning, or a FoWill (called as “Contrivance: Willful/Perceptive/Learned”).

As well, characters with this ability are adept at researching new schematics for tinkered items. As such, they gain a +6 research bonus to any Scholarship actions dedicated to developing new devices.


A tinker with this ability has mastered the strange, forgotten arts which join magic to machine. Technomancers gain a +6 bonus to their Artifice for the purposes of understanding and using magical machinery, and any Scholarship actions dedicated to such are granted a similar Research bonus (this ability does not stack with Schematic Vision). Only Technomancers may repair and maintain broken Technomantic creations, and it follows, then, that they are the only ones who have any hope of creating new ones.

Production Basics

Tinkered items have a Production cost associated with them, which is also exactly equal to the amount of Fragments they cost to create. During a downtime session, you get 3 downtime actions, and with each action spent on Tinkering, characters get their full production value to make things. Also, if you dedicate more than one of these actions to Tinkering, you can simply add their production values up so that you can make more complicated items, or just make more items in general. Note that the Learned Trait applies to tinkering, and can grant an additional downtime action in addition to its bonus to production. Leftover Tinkering Production points may not be used for Craft or any other purpose besides Tinkering.

Locks & Lockpicking

While we encourage players to have actual mechanical locks as props for their secured items, they cannot actually be used to lock in-game belongings. An individual lock is represented by a length of shoestring or paracord whose ends are tied tightly together. The more complex the lock, the more strings and knots it has.

When you make a lock, you get 1 key, and both must be phys-repped. Both the key and the lock phys rep itself must be marked identically with your initials, color codes, numbers, or other methods of making them distinct. Additional keys for a particular lock may be made for 1 Tinkering Production/Fragment. It should be obvious, but all locked containers and doors need to have the appropriate knotted strings on them on the outside. Any that do not are simply unlocked. Note that strings may be tied as tightly as is possible (no glue or adhesives can be used, however). Containers/doors/etc. should be tied with the strings so they do not actually stop them from being opened out-of-play; a good place to tie them, instead, is on or under the lock phys-rep itself. Only nylon/poly shoestring, nylon or cotton cord, or paracord is allowed for locks; leather and rope is not acceptable. If you are in doubt as to the acceptability of what you want to use, just run it by us.

To pick a lock, a character must have the Devices ability at the appropriate level and use their tinker’s tools during the process of untying the phys rep. Strings may not be cut or broken in the process, and a player who is lockpicking must always have tools in hand while they are doing so, even if they work the “lock” with their fingers.

Lock Phys-RepRequirement to PickRequirement to Force
1 String (Simple)Basic Devices3 FoStrength
2 Strings (Complex)Intermediate Devices3 Greater FoS
3 Strings (Superior)Advanced Devices3 Heroic FoS
Oversized (Mad Tinker’s)Advanced Devices + Contrivance6 Heroic FoS
Forcing Locks

The level of a lock determines how difficult the object it locks is to force open using Feats of Strength. Every single feat used to break a lock must be delivered with a VERY loud 3 second count: “Feat of Strength: Breaking 1, Breaking 2, Breaking 3!” A Greater Feat of Strength counts as 3 basic FoS for the purposes of lock breaking, and a Heroic Feat counts as 3 Greater Feats. This relationship only goes one way, however: Basic Feats are useless on Complex or better locks, and Greater feats are useless on Superior or Mad Tinker’s Locks.

Any spell, combat maneuver, or special effect that delivers a Break effect counts as 1 Greater FoS for the purposes of forcing a locked container or door.

Locked containers/doors that are Heavy (see General Craft) add 3 to the number of whatever kind of feats are usually needed to break the lock. A Heavy door or chest with a Mad Tinker’s Lock installed takes a daunting 9 Heroic Feats of Strength to break. Expect that some locked doors or containers you find in ruins and other weird places may well be unforceable.

All Feats of Strength used in forcing a lock must be delivered within one minute to have an effect. If one minute passes and the object is still locked, the number of Feats needed resets. If a door or container is successfully forced, it is considered a Broken item and can be fixed with Basic/Intermediate/Advanced Repair as normal. Doors may not be mundanely locked or barricaded (as in, by using a real lock on cabin doors or by blocking their movement somehow).

Traps & Other Items

Traps are most commonly represented by mousetraps set up with triplines or other means of triggering. It is really up to an individual tinker as to how their traps are constructed, but be aware that safety is paramount, and that electronic, battery powered, or otherwise technological traps are prohibited. All traps must make some kind of noise or other obvious indication that they have triggered, and they must be mechanical in nature (only one triggering mechanism can be used per trap), otherwise they do not take effect.

Unlike lockpicking, a character need only have Basic Devices to attempt to remove most traps, but even then, the actual mechanism must be bypassed somehow without it triggering. A trap that is bypassed without triggering may be taken as a tagged item.

The following table gives details for locks and traps, as well as other, stranger inventions that a Tinker can make. The cost column represents how much the item costs to make, in both Fragments and Tinkering Production points. Repairing a Broken or Shattered tinkered item uses the same rules as does Craft, with the level of devices counting as the number of specialties.

Basic Devices
Extra Key1For existing lock: must have a key to copy
Misc. Small Device2Contact Staff
Tinker’s Tools3Lockpicks, tension wrenches, probes, etc.
Simple Lock3Double square knot
Blade Trap3Triggering character takes 5 damage to torso
Dye Trap4Paints triggering character blue; indelible for 1 day
Poison Needle Trap5Triggering character suffers Poison 5
Compass5Makes a simple, dial compass
Magnifying Lens5A simple lens for close work
Crossbow7Mechanical Missile Weapon
Intermediate Devices
Misc. Large Device4Contact Staff
Complex Lock5Two strings, tied with double square knots
Poison Gas Trap8All in 5’ radius take Poison 5
Fire Trap8All in 5’ radius take 5 fire damage to torso.
Lethal Blade Trap10Triggering character takes 10 damage to torso.
Spyglass10A small brass or steel telescope/binoculars
Timepiece12A mechanical pocket watch or small clock.
Reservoir Dagger14+DaggerHolds 3 doses of poison, usable at will.
Double Crossbow14Can have two bolts readied and cocked
Advanced Devices
Superior Lock7Three strings, tied with double square knots
Misc. Elaborate Device8Contact Staff
Oblivion Mist Trap12All in 5’ suffer Sleep as mental effect: 10 min.
Needle Cloud Trap15All in 5’ take Blindness 10
Cruel Viper Trap15Triggering character takes 10 damage to torso + Poison 10 if causes a wound.
Railcaster17Tinkered “Pistol.” See Below
Mad Tinker’s Lock18See Below
Clockwork Eyepiece20See Below
Astrolabe22See Below
Rejuvenator24See Below

This device is a specialized weapon that fires charged, iron-doped ceramic slugs using an array of resonance projectors that derive their motive energies through unknown means. Though Railcaster shots do not travel significantly faster than conventional missile weapons, they spontaneously deliver a tremendous amount of kinetic force upon striking any solid target.

Railcasters are phys-repped by spring-powered, muzzle-loaded, single-shot, pistol-sized “guns” that fire ball projectiles made from model magic or closed-cell foam. Note that these weapons have strict phys-rep requirements, so players interested in making or purchasing them should contact staff for the details.

In order to fire one of these weapons, a character must have the Basic Devices ability. Functionally, Railcasters call “Power Strike 2” with every shot at no Prowess cost, but they have to be calibrated after 6 firings before they are usable again. Calibration requires some level of the Devices ability and takes 10/5/1 minutes of work (Basic/Intermediate/Advanced Devices) during which the user must roleplay fixing the weapon with Tinker’s Tools. Railcaster ammunition, for in-game purposes, is easily and quickly manufactured at next to no cost, so users may have as much of it as they like without spending tinkering production, purchasing it, etc.

Railcasters are considered Missile weapons and their shots are treated as shots from bows or crossbows, meaning they cannot be blocked with weapons but are freely blocked with shields. Unlike bows and crossbows, however, Railcasters may be fired at targets less than 15’ away and players are not required to undergo certification for them. Characters may wield two railcasters at once only if they have the Coordination ability (Agile 1).

Mad Tinker’s Lock

A fiendishly complex lock that can frustrate even the most dedicated thief. Though constructed of one string with but a single knot in it, the knot itself may be as complex as desired (think Gordian), but may not be larger than one inch in any dimension. Requires Advanced Devices and a use of Contrivance to pick.

Clockwork Eyepiece

A complex and strange device which requires the user to have the Intermediate Devices ability, as well as being natively Perceptive in order to use correctly. The device reveals the “vibrations” in items, beings, or at locations , functionally possessing 3 Feats of Perception that may be used at will when the eyepiece is worn. The delicate springs and membranes of the device wear out quickly and the device must be repaired (as if Shattered) to restore the feats.


This intricate model of the heavens, which requires Advanced Devices to use, can grant a Tinker knowledge of impending celestial events during a specific game. When used on downtime through Scholarship research actions, Astrolabes can be used to predict events at further remove. Though a tinker may use these devices on downtime as often as they like, an astrolabe may be consulted only once during an event by a particular character, and of course requires a Marshal’s presence.


This bizarre device, using strange wires, tubes, actuators, and an obscure form of energy, can somehow instill a recently dead person with renewed life. The process is tricky and involves a great deal of finesse such that only Healers with Coax Life can employ this device effectively.