Smart Focus

THE SMART FOCUS Ability: Intelligence

Focus Bonus:
+1 Will Save
+2 Skill Points

Research Talent Tree
The Character has a natural aptitude for study and fact-finding. These talents can be selected in any order.

Select one of the skills listed in the following paragraph. The hero must have ranks in the skill if it is Trained Only. The Character gets to add a bonus equal to the number of levels he or she has taken in Smart focus when making checks with that skill. A Character can take this talent multiple times; each time it applies to a different skill.
Computer Use, Craft (any single skill), Decipher Script, Demolitions, Disable Device, Forgery, Investigate, Knowledge (any single skill), Navigate, Repair, Research, Search.

With this talent, the Character becomes a master linguist. Whenever the hero encounters a new language, either spoken or written, that he or she does not know the Character can make an Intelligence check to determine if he or she can understand it. The check is made with a bonus equal to the hero’s Smart level. For a written language, the bonus applies to a Decipher Script check instead.
The DC for the check depends on the situation: DC 15 if the language is in the same group as a language the hero has as a Read/Write Language or Speak Language skill; DC 20 if the language is unrelated to any other languages the hero knows; and DC 25 if the language is ancient or unique. With this special ability, a Character can glean enough meaning from a conversation or document to ascertain the basic message, but this ability in no way simulates actually being able to converse or fluently read and write in a given language.
A single check covers roughly one minute of a spoken language or one page of a written language
Prerequisite: At least 1 rank in either Read/Write Language or Speak Language for each of three different languages.

Strategy Talent Tree
The Character has the brainpower to see solutions in most situations. These talents can be selected in any order.

Exploit Weakness
After 1 round of combat, the Character can designate one opponent and try to find ways to gain an advantage by using brains over brawn. The Character uses a move action and makes an Intelligence check (DC 15) with a bonus equal to the number of levels he or she has taken in Smart focus. If the check succeeds, for the rest of the combat the Character uses his or her Intelligence bonus instead of either Strength or Dexterity bonus on attack rolls as the hero finds ways to outthink his opponent and notices weaknesses in his opponent’s fighting style.

Prior to an encounter the Character can develop a plan of action to handle the situation. Using this talent requires preparation; a Character can’t use this talent when surprised or otherwise unprepared for a particular situation. Creating a plan requires 1 minute.
After creating the plan the Character makes an Intelligence check (DC 10) with a bonus equal to the number of levels he or she has taken in Smart focus. The result of the check provides the Character and allies with a circumstance bonus. A Character can’t take 10 or 20 when making this check.
Check Result Bonus
9 or lower +0 (check failed)
10–14 +1
15–24 +2
25 or higher +3
This bonus can be applied to all skill checks and attack rolls made by the Character and his or her allies, but the bonus only lasts for the first 3 rounds after making the plan. After that time, reduce the bonus by 1 point (to a minimum of +0) for every additional round the situation continues, as the vagaries of circumstance begin to unravel even the best-laid plans.

The Character has the ability to temporarily confuse a target through the use of ploy and deception. The target must have an Intelligence score of 3 or higher to be susceptible to a trick, must be within 30 feet of the hero, and must be able to hear and understand the hero.
To play a trick on a target, the hero must use a full-round action and make an Intelligence check (DC 15), adding his or her Smart level as a bonus. If the Intelligence check succeeds, the target can try to think quickly and ignore the trick.
The target resists the trick by making a Will saving throw (DC 10 + Character’s class level + Character’s INT bonus). If the saving throw fails, the target becomes dazed (unable to act, but can defend normally) for 1 round.
A trick can only be played on a particular target once per encounter. After the first trick in an encounter, whether the attempt succeeds or not, that target becomes wary and immune to such ploys. This is a mind-affecting ability.

Smart Defense
A Character applies his or her Intelligence bonus and his or her Dexterity bonus to his or her Defense. Any situation that would deny the Character his or her Dexterity bonus to Defense also denies the Intelligence bonus.

Scientific Improvisation
The character gains the ability to improvise solutions using common objects and scientific know-how. This ability lets the Character create objects in a dramatic situation quickly and cheaply, but that have a limited duration.
By spending 1 action point and combining common objects with a Craft check that corresponds to the function desired, the Character can build a tool or device to deal with any situation. The DC for the Craft check is equal to 5 + the purchase DC of the object that most closely matches the desired function.
Only objects that can normally be used more than once can be improvised.
Electronic devices, special tools, weapons, mechanical devices, and more can be built with scientific improvisation. It takes a full-round action to make an object with scientific improvisation.
The object, when put into use, lasts for a number of rounds equal to the Character’s class level, or until the end of the current encounter, before it breaks down. It can’t be repaired.

Skill Mastery
A Character selects a number of skills from his or her class list equal to 3 + his or her Intelligence modifier. When making a skill check using one of these skills, the Character may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent him or her from doing so.

Smart Survival
A Character can spend 1 action point to reduce the damage dealt by a single attack or effect by 5 points. This can be used multiple times during combat, but only once per attacking enemy.

Smart Weapon
The Character selects one weapon that he or she is proficient in and can use with one hand. With the selected weapon, the Character can use his or her Intelligence modifier instead of Strength or Dexterity modifier on attack rolls.

A Character gains a +3 competence bonus on Repair skill checks made to attempt temporary or jury-rigged repairs. See the Repair skill for details on jury-rigging.

Extreme Machine
If it has mechanical or electronic components, the Character can get maximum performance out of it.
By spending 2 action points and making either a Craft (electronic) or Craft (mechanical) check (whichever is appropriate for the machine in question), the Character can temporarily improve a machine’s performance—at the risk of causing the machine to need repairs later. The DC for the Craft check depends on the type of improvement being made, as shown on the table below.
The Character performs the extreme modifications in 1 hour. The Character can’t take 10 or take 20 on this check. If the check succeeds, the effect of the improvement lasts for a number of minutes equal to his or her Character class level, beginning when the object is first put into use. The Character selects the single improvement he or she wants to make prior to making the check. After the duration of the effect ends, the machine reverts to its previous state and a repair chance percentile roll is made. The result of this roll indicates whether the machine requires repairs before it can be used again.


Build Robot
The Character can build remote-controlled robots that are Tiny or Diminutive in size. These robots serve as the Character’s eyes, ears, or hands out to a predetermined distance away from the character when the Character wants to use one of the following skills: Computer Use, Demolitions, Disable Device, Listen, Repair, or Spot.
The Character must have at least 1 rank in the skill that he wants to program into the robot. The Character can only control one robot at a time, and only one of his robots can be active at any time.
To build a robot you’ll a working computer…..Mechanical tool kit and an appropriate facility (a workshop, garage, or hangar) and parts, lot of parts….. And a creative GM. You’ll have to gather the parts, because a good majority of the original construction facilities no longer exist. Once you have the parts , you have to put it together. The DC for crafting is the robot’s HP divided by 10 + 5. The amount of time it takes to put said robot together is Robot HP divided by 100 + 5.
Program the Robot: The Character programs the robot as the final step. Decide how many ranks of the appropriate skill to program into the robot, up to the number of ranks the Character has in theskill. A Character’s robot can only contain programming for one skill. Make the Computer Use check to program the robot.
The DC for the Computer Use check is 20, modified by the number of ranks the Character wants to program into the robot (+1 to the DC for each rank). It takes 3d4 hours to program the robot.
Reprogramming: A robot can be reprogrammed at any time. Doing this requires 3d4 hours of work and a Computer Use check (DC 20 + the number of ranks programmed into the robot).

The Character becomes adept at creating mastercraft objects. He or she applies the mastercraft ability to one of his or her Craft skills (electronic or mechanical). From this point on, he or she can build mastercraft objects using that skill.
With Craft (electronic), the Character can build electronic devices. With Craft (mechanical), the Character can build mechanical devices, including weapons.
In order to make a mastercraft a gun (or any item for that matter) in the wasteland world you need:

  • 3 guns(items) of the same make
  • Ballistic weapons: a craft mech skill of 15+ and a repair of 10+
  • Energy/Powered weapons: 15+ in both craft electrical and mechanical and a knowledge technology of 10+

The Character disassembles the guns(items) and takes all of the best parts and pieces to craft a +1 weapon. A gun can be improved this way to a max bonus of +2, which will require 3 additional guns of the same make to achieve this bonus. Guns that are improved in this manner add 20% to the Sale/Trade value of the gun.

Quick Craft
A Character learns how to craft ordinary scratch-built electronic, mechanical, and structural objects more quickly than normal.
When using the Craft (electronic), Craft (mechanical), or Craft (structural) skill to build an ordinary scratch-built item, the Character reduces the building time by one-quarter.
The Character reduces the building time of ordinary objects and mastercraft objects by half.

Superior Repair
A Character learns improved ways of repairing robots and vehicles.
A Character with a mechanical tool kit and an appropriate facility (a workshop, garage, or hangar) can repair damage to a robot or vehicle. (Without a mechanical tool kit, the Character takes a –4 penalty on the Repair check.) With 1 hour of work, the Character can restore a number of hit points based on his Repair check result, as shown in Table: Superior Repair. If damage remains, the Character may continue to make repairs for as many hours as needed to fully repair the damaged robot or vehicle.

Reconfigure Weapon
A Character can reconfigure a melee or ranged weapon, improving one aspect of it. Reconfiguring a weapon requires 1 hour of work and a successful Repair check (DC 20); reconfiguring a mastercraft weapon is slightly harder (DC 20 + the weapon’s mastercraft bonus feature). A Character may take 10 or take 20 on this check.
The reconfiguration imposes a –1 penalty on attack rolls made with the weapon but grants one of the following benefits indefinitely:

  • Changed Rate of Fire: The reconfiguration changes the weapon’s rate of fire. A semiautomatic-only weapon switches to an automatic-only weapon, or vice versa. This benefit applies only to a ranged weapon with either a semiautomatic or automatic fire setting.
  • Greater Ammo Capacity: The reconfigured weapon can hold 50% more ammunition than normal. This benefit applies only to weapons that take ammunition.
  • Greater Concealment: The reconfiguration grants a +2 bonus on Sleight of Hand checks made to conceal the reconfigured weapon.
  • Greater Range Increment: The reconfigured weapon’s range increment increases by 10 feet. This benefit applies only to weapons with range increments.
  • Signature Shooter: The weapon is reconfigured for a single individual’s use only and is treated as a unique exotic weapon. Anyone else who uses the weapon takes a –4 nonproficient penalty on attack rolls.
    Weapons can be reconfigured multiple times; each time a weapon is reconfigured, it imparts a new benefit. Undoing a Character’s weapon reconfiguration requires 1 hour and a successful Disable Device check (DC 20 + the Character’s class level).

The Character can sabotage an electrical or mechanical object so that it operates poorly. The Character must succeed on a Disable Device check (DC 20) to accomplish the downgrade, and sabotaging a mastercraft object is slightly harder (DC 20 + the mastercraft object’s bonus feature). Noticing the Character’s handiwork without first testing the sabotaged device requires a successful Search check (DC = the Character’s Disable Device check result). Fixing the sabotaged item requires a successful Repair.
Sabotage Device: As a full-round action, the Character can reconfigure a device with electrical or mechanical components so that anyone who uses it suffers a penalty equal to the Character’s class level on skill checks made to use the device.
Sabotage Weapon: As a full-round action, the Character can sabotage a weapon so that it misfires or breaks the next time it is used. A sabotaged weapon cannot be used effectively until repaired. This use of sabotage also applies to vehicle.

Quick Fix
The Character can repair a mechanical or electrical device in half the normal time; see the Repair skill description for normal repair times. However, cutting the repair time increases the Repair check DC by 5.

Weapon Upgrade
The Character can upgrade handheld or robot-installed weapons (as well as weapon systems aboard vehicles), adding extra effects or added damage.
The Character must spend 1 hour tinkering with the weapon, after which he must succeed at a Craft (mechanical) check. The DC varies depending on how the weapon is modified, as shown in Table:

Weapon Upgrade.
If the skill check fails, the attempt to modify the weapon also fails, although the Character may try again. (The Character may take 20 on the skill check, but the upgrade takes 20 hours to complete.) An upgraded weapon has a 10% chance of breaking after each time it is used; it cannot be used again until repaired, and repairing it requires 1 hour and a successful Repair check (DC 40).

A Character can perform complicated tasks without provoking attacks of opportunity from adjacent foes.
During any round in which the Character uses the Computer Use, Craft, Demolitions, Disable Device, or Repair skill, he can first make a Concentration check (DC 15) to use the desired skill without provoking attacks of opportunity. Making the Concentration check doesn’t cost the Character an action. He may take 10 on the Concentration check, but he cannot take 20.

A Character learns to read, write, and speak a jargon-riddled dialect called Technocant. In other words, the Character gains Read/Write Technocant and Speak Technocant as free skills. Characters without the Read/Write Technocant skill can translate written Technocant with a successful Decipher Script check (DC 20). Characters without the Speak Technocant skill can translate spoken Technocant with a successful Intelligence check (DC 20), although any character with the linguist talent can add her Character levels to the check.
The Read/Write Technocant and Speak Technocant skills each cost 1 skill rank.

The Character has become a master of robotics. With the help of some mechanical “magic,” she takes half the normal time to build or repair a robot’s frame or a robotic component.

The Character adds one-half her Character level to any Knowledge (technology) check made to identify an unfamiliar piece of technology or alien artifact.

Skilled Salvager
The Character has a special knack for scavenging useful components from destroyed vehicles, robots, and cybernetic attachments.
When using the Salvage feat, the Character gains a competence bonus on her Search checks equal to one-half her Character class level.

Down With Robots
A Character of can use her knowledge of robotics to more easily defeat and disable robots. The Character deals +2d4 points of damage against robots by targeting slight weaknesses in their design or armor. In addition, the Character gains a +4 bonus on grapple checks against robots, enabling her to deactivate them more easily using the Disable Device skill.

Exotic Weapon Adept
The Character becomes more adept at handling exotic weapons without any formal training. She suffers only a –2 penalty (instead of the usual –4 penalty) when wielding an exotic melee weapon or exotic ranged weapon with which she is not proficient.

Virtual Houdini
A Character can perform small wonders with a computer. She gains the following benefits when using the Computer Use skill:

  • Find File
  • Degrade Programming
  • Write Program
  • Cover Tracks
    When attempting to find a file, degrade a computer program, or write a program, a Character who exceeds the Computer Use check DC by 5 or more accomplishes her intended task in half the normal time (minimum 1 round).

Cover Tracks: A Character who successfully covers her tracks while hacking into a computer system imposes a –10 penalty (instead of the normal –5 penalty) on any attempt made to identify her.

Expeditious Salvager
A Character can use the Salvage feat to salvage a wrecked vehicle, robot, or cybernetic attachment in half the usual time (see the Salvage feat description for details).

Read/Write Code
Character can understand both the nature of raw computer code and what the program is intended to accomplish when implemented. On a successful Decipher Script check (DC 10 + Computer Use skill modifier of the code’s author), the Character can determine both the function of the program and any bugs or potential weak points in the design. If weak points are found, the Character gains a +2 insight bonus on Computer Use checks attempting to degrade the program.

The Character gains the following abilities:

  • Electronic Empathy:The Character gains a +2 competence bonus when repairing or disabling electronic devices. This is in addition to any synergy bonuses for related skills.
  • Careful Progress:When the Character attempts to defeat computer security, the administrator is alerted only if the Character fails his Computer Use check by 10 or more.
  • Install Backdoor: After successfully breaking into a specific computer system, the Character can install a “backdoor” to the system. A backdoor is a piece of code that makes it easier for the Character to break into that particular system in the future. Writing and installing the program requires a Computer Use check (see chart below), but once successfully installed it automatically defeats that systems’ security upon return trips—the Character no longer needs to make Computer Use checks to enter that system.
    It is important to keep backdoors hidden from the system administrator, who will always be on the lookout for such invasions. A backdoor automatically allows the Character entrance to a particular system, but every time he uses it he must make an opposed Computer Use check against the administrator. Failure means the backdoor is discovered and will be deleted before the next time the Character returns.
  • Improved Degradation: The Character’s attempts to alter and degrade existing programming get more insidious. The degradation is installed as normal (as described in the Degrade Programming function of the Computer Use skill). However, unless the Computer Use check to fix the degraded program exceeds the DC by 5, the degradation returns within 6 hours—this happens automatically, the Character does not have to make a second check.
  • Pass firewall: When the Character attempts to defeat computer security, the administrator is alerted only if the Character rolls a 1 on his Computer Use check.
  • Walking Database: The Character gains the ability to recall vast amounts of information. He may spend an action point and then substitute his Computer Use score instead of a Knowledge score for the purposes of one check.

Machine Empathy
The Character is so comfortable with technology that she gains a +2 competence bonus with any electronic or mechanical device, and in addition may use any skill that involves technology untrained.

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