The Hurt Locker: Doodads and Gewgaws, Part II

The follow-up to a previous post. This post is all about the Doodad perk and a few other odds and ends for gizmos and gizmo-like traits.

Foreight, Schmoresight
+Pk Levine‘s “Fortunately, I Saw This Coming” from Pyramid #3/53: Action is one of my absolute favorite articles of all time. It’s a bit of brilliance that if there is ever a 5th edition or 4th edition revised needs to replace Gizmo. Period. So what is it? It lets you simulate just about any cinematic retcon you can think of. “You get ambushed!” “We were prepared.” [rolls Tactics]. “We did the switch already.” “Ok…” Seriously. It’s amazing. If you don’t own that issue of Pyramid you should stop reading right now and go buy it. Got it? Back? Excellent. See how awesome it is? Good. I’m not really sure how I could expand this more. It’s really good as is.

Doodads or “I Always Have a Paperclip”
Perhaps the most underrated perk in existence in my opinion, Doodad lets you have one a pencil or gum, or things like that. Now in the past, I’ve let it function as Gizmo for things under $10, it can fit in your pocket or container you have on you, and that could be bought over the counter anywhere. That’s totally a house rule, but would fit in any cinematic campaign as an optional rule.

The excellent +Christopher D went through the GURPS Basic Set and GURPS High-Tech to bring you this spreadsheet of items that cost $10 or less if using said optional rule – some are more bewildering than others (DMSO? A coffee maker?)

So what can you do with a Doodad? Here’s a short list:

  • a book of matches
  • a pen or pencil
  • a dead or dessicated common creature(s) weighing up to 8 ounces
  • a paperclip or similiar office supplies (e.g., push pins)
  • a notepad or stack of paper
  • a set of keys
  • a set of tweezers or similiar cosmetic care items
  • a washcloth or hand towel
  • a butter knife, fork, spoon, etc.
  • a bit of yarn, twine, or string
  • a penny, quarter, or other loose change
  • a dose of aspirin, antacid, tylenol, or similiar ubiquitous OTC medicine.
  • a pair or reading glasses
  • a pamphlet or business card
  • a feather, scrap of fur, or similiar item
  • a pebble, bit of sand, or similiar
  • a crayon, piece of chalk, or colored pencil
  • a packet of gum, breath mints, or similiar item
  • a pair of dice, deck of cards, or poker chips
  • a empty water bottle, disposable cup, or similiar item
  • a disposable medical item for a disease you have (e.g., a finger stick for a diabetic)
  • a disposable tube of soap, hand sanitizer, or similiar item.

Picking Over the Bones
Overall, I love Gizmos and similiar traits – they let you create a wide variety of characters from the crazy madman who just has the right doohickey because reasons to the overly brilliant detective who say the need coming and properly prepared. It also always you to emulate some types of stories where the hero has just the thing he needs at the right time.

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