I feel like there aren't enough examples of how inventing works online. I tried searching, and couldn't even find one. So let's try inventing something using GURPS

*invention*and*gadgeteering*rules.Typical machine that unlocks doors. |

### We need a skill

Let's invent a

*machine*that can unlock doors. Let's think about this problem from a perspective of**TL3**. I like**TL3**. So, we kind of have an example of a*power*that does this in the sorcery book, so let's use that. In any case, this*machine*is a sufficiently advanced device that can automatically pick*locks*on*doors*in case you lost your*keys*. Pretty handy. We will say that it is going to require an*roll to invent.***Engineering (Mechanical)**### Complexity

So let's see complexity of an

*item*is based on price at a certain*tech level*. Let's reverse engineer the*locksmith spell*from*Sorcery*, and we can see it is about**10 points**with a*tech power limitation*. Using the Weird Science article for*Metatronic Generators*, I estimate this to be about a**$3,000**invention. This device is considered average complexity, and any decent mechanical gadget engineer with a*skill*of**15**to**17**can attempt this. So our inventor has**, just for giggles, OK? Let's make three inventors. Irene (***Engineer (Mechanical)*-16*Inventor)*, Gary (*Gadgeteer)*and Quin (*Quick Gadgeteer*)### Concept

So, we are going to invent this average complexity device. We will say that this is on par with the most sophisticated

*Dungeon Fantasy*level technology which has some hand crank powered*gizmos*, so it is the same tech level. It's a variation on a theme so we get a**+1**to**+5**. Let's split the difference and call it**+3**and finally we have a penalty of**-10**(yikes) for being average complexity. This concept is going to require Irene the*Inventor*to succeed against a*secret roll*of**9**. For Gary the*Gadgeteer*or Quin the*Quick Gadgeteer*, that**-10***penalty*is now**-2**, so they get a*secret roll*against**17**. Irene and Gary can try to succeed**once a****day**. Quin is really fast so she can try every**1d minutes**. A phenomenal improvement. Note,*Quick Gadgeteering*is meant to be extremely cinematic.### Prototyping

After however many tries it takes, our prospective inventors have a working theory that they can use to create a model. Now a

*roll*must be made against the*inventing skill*again, keeping the penalties from the original*skill*. Facilities for an average complexity invention cost**$100,000**(regardless of*tech level*?) Irene, our realistic*inventor*is working in a lab with*almost*everything she needs. So she gets a**-1**penalty. Unrealistically talented Gary and Quin get no penalty even if they are working out of their garage or basement. Irene and Gary will take**2d days**to build the prototype. Gary is allowed to work overtime and pull double shifts if he likes, so he may potentially cut that time in half. Super Genius Quin is going to take**1d-2****hours**. This*roll*is going to be done again by the*GM*in private.
Irene and Gary will need facilities to support developing this device. They will also need to pay the retail price of this

*invention*for every prototype until they succeed. Quin knows how to salvage parts with a*scrounging**roll*. Because this is an average complexity*device*, she needs to*roll*at**. If she succeeds, the project costs her***scrounging -2***1d-1*$100.00**, otherwise, it costs**1/100th**of what it costs for Gary:**$1,000**for facilities (or**$100**if she has similar tools already) and**1/100th**per prototype try, or**$30**.### Simulation

For most intents and purposes, getting one decent device is enough, but one could continue into the testing and mass production phase if they want to make money off of this; the rules are easy enough that I leave that as an exercise to the reader. So here I will run a simulation of inventing by Irene, Gary, and Quin side by side to get an idea of how much

*money*and how much*time*is required for*inventing*this*device*.Irene | Gary | Quin | |

Concept Time | 5 days | 1 day | 1 minute |

Prototyping Time | 45 days | 7 days | 3 hours |

Prototyping Costs | $118,000.00 | $103,000.00 | $100.00 |

Total Time | 50 days | 8 days | 3 hours |

Irene required

**5 dice rolls**to get a**9**or less, so she took**5 days**of*planning*. Gary and Quin both succeeded on their first tries because they didn't have to shoot so high. Quin only took**1 minute**to come up with her idea.
Irene created

**5***before succeeding by***failed prototypes***rolling*a number greater than**8**. On the**6th attempt**, she made it. She had to pay costs for the lab and*. It took her***6 prototypes****45 days**.
Gary succeeded after making

*. He took***1 prototype****7 days**because he didn't have the**HT**to try going any faster. He had to pay the cost of*and***1 lab***.***1 prototype**
Quin found most of her materials from scrounging, and only needed to provide

**$100**worth of parts besides. It took her**3 hours**to assemble the working*prototype*.### Conclusion

Each level definitely has a significant impact on

*time*and*cost*. The rules for Q*uick Gadgeteer*according to*Dungeon Fantasy*are a little different, for better or worse, and make cheap*items*easier and less expensive, but expensive items become more difficult. I think the rules could stand to be simplified a bit, and certain loose ends aren't exactly tied up for me. What are these**$100,000**worth of facilities we are buying for Irene and Gary. Quin needs**$100**worth of supplies; is that on top of what she*scrounged*? Is that what she needs to*scrounge*? Does*prototyping**time*include the amount of*time*it took to procure**$100,000**worth of*facilities*? or**$100**worth of*scrounging*? If I find new information, I might refine this post at a later date.
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