‘Better Angels’ Gadget: 31% Omniscience

Written by Greg Stolze, © 2013.

While a few gadgets are described in the Better Angels rulebook, more are always welcome, right? Here’s an example of how the Devilish Creativity rules work. Use it as a player character invention or as an armament for hellbound antagonists.

If the Internet has taught anybody anything, it’s taught everybody that they need to be able to argue any time, anywhere, against any ridiculously named racist twerp.  The device known as “31% Omniscience” gives a decided edge, whether you’re arguing about which Die Hard movie rocked the least (www.rottentomatoes.com says it’s A Good Day To…) or why Benjamin Franklin’s pious arguments can be discounted (there is titillating evidence of libertinage).  It is, of course, a smartphone app.  Being diabolical in nature, however, it cannot be pirated, jailbroken, resold or installed on other devices.

In rules terms, when you’re persuading someone with reason and facts, this provides Advantage from surprise. When building this device, that counts as a Minor Environmental Change (since, if you had a garage-sized bank of supercomputers you could cherry pick facts and presentation pretty aggressively), so that costs 1 Generosity. How much Advantage accrues is entirely up to the GM.  If she thinks the facts are violently in favor of your cause, it’s a +3 bonus.  If she thinks the facts are actually against your course of argument, it’s still +1 (because there’s no point of view so dumb you can’t find an authority willing to endorse it).  If it’s up in the air, +2 Advantage.

The drawback to this sort of specific research is that it only works once per argument.  If you use this to come up with facts in favor of evolution, those facts won’t pack the same wallop next time, because the listener has had time to find alternative explanations, or has just gotten bored and tuned the arguments out.  That’s why 31% Omniscience comes with a diabolical backup.

Even if the arguments 31% Omniscience offers are 100% pure, unadulterated, chiropto-guano crazy, it presents them in the way most calculated to persuade.  Thus, if facts from this app are used bolster a Devious Corruption roll specifically, they also give a +1 weapon Advantage no matter how good (or poor) the facts are.  After all, if it’s corrupting, it’s not really all about logic and proof, is it?

Keep in mind, though, that bonus can only be used when leveraging arguments where facts off the Internet would swing some kind of stick.  “Pot isn’t harmful, the stress relief is good for you!” is probably kosher.  “You should totally give my partner here a hot baby-oil rubdown” on the other hand, is not the sort of assertion that evidence influences.

This aspect of the device costs 1 Knowledge to install.

Total cost: 1 Generosity, 1 Knowledge.

Because this costs less than three points of Tactics, it has no flaws.

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