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Does a character with Arcane Background (Weird Science) need many knowledge skills to go with the Arcane Background? Looking at pregens online I see that some have chemistry, physics or just science in general.

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3Sheets2theWind says "Thanks, I don't think I was too clear on my question. :) I was referring to taking the edge "gadgeteer" not the two knowledges. " I suggest you ask that question in a separate question and mark one of these answers as asking the question you asked. – David Allan Finch Jan 7 '14 at 11:28

In the core rules, the requirements for the Arcane Background (Weird Science) Edge is simply "Novice". Since a character is always Novice or higher rank, that means that any character can take the Edge regardless of anything else on the character sheet including a complete absence of Knowledge skills or a bunch of completely unrelated Knowledge skills, like Knowledge (RPG Stack Exchange).

However, there are two Edges in the core rules that are specifically intended to enhance the abilities of someone with Arcane Background (Weird Science). They are:

Requirements: Novice, Arcane Background (Weird Science), Smarts d8+, Repair d8+, Weird Science d8+, at least two other scientific Knowledge skills at d6+


Mr. Fix It
Requirements: Novice, Arcane Background (Weird Science), Smarts d10+, Repair d8+, Weird Science d8+, at least two other scientific Knowledge skills at d6+

Both of these Edges include the requirement "at least two other scientific Knowledge skills at d6+", which would include skills like Knowledge (Chemistry), Knowledge (Engineering), and so forth. The only time that a character with Arcane Background (Weird Science) would need to have these skills would be if they were also taking one or both of these Edges in order to create a "super mad scientist." Of course, Knowledge skills can be purchased by anyone just for storytelling reasons, so sometimes characters will have scientific Knowledge skills just because it fits the concept.

Also, there isn't a list of applicable scientific Knowledge skills; the player is just expected to make one up and have the GM agree that it falls under the category of being "scientific". Most GMs will rule that "Knowledge (Science)" is too broad and encourage players to be more specific. I usually see people choose skills from the natural sciences (e.g. Chemistry, Engineering, Physics, Biology) because it fits well with the idea of a mad scientist tinkering with stuff or undertaking experiments. However, I imagine you could also use scientific skills from other fields, like the social sciences. Knowledge (Psychology) might be good for a weird scientist who is interested in understanding how people work and uses powers like Fear and Puppet.

So to succinctly answer your question: no, a character does not need any knowledge skills to go with Arcane Background (Weird Science)? However, if you want to use either of the two core Edges that improve upon it, you will need at least two scientific Knowledge skills. The pregens you've seen with these skills have them either because they have one or both of these Edges or because the creator thought they fit the concept.

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Thanks, I don't think I was too clear on my question. :) I was referring to taking the edge "gadgeteer" not the two knowledges. I was curious if I did not pursue this edge if it was taking away from the power of the weird scientist. After further reading the ability to make one thing per session (using any "spells" out there) may determine if players live or die not to mention be entertaining. I initially was not going to take the edge "gadgeteer", now reflecting; it would be like taking a fighter with out the means to fight. – 3Sheets2theWind Jan 4 '14 at 2:33
I disagree that not having Gadgeteer would be like having a fighter who can't fight. By default, you get one power you can use lots of times per session. With Gadgeteer, you can use any power of your choice exactly one time per session with 1d20 minutes prep. It's a flexible ability, but it is very limited. A better analogy would be like a fighter who can't power attack. Sometimes that ability would be nice in the right situation, but the character is still perfectly competent without the ability. – Thunderforge Jan 5 '14 at 4:18

The answer is no but ...

To create a Weird Science Gizmo and to use it you don't need any science knowledges but to get the Edge Gadgeteer which allows you to make quick hack to temporarily create a jury-rigged device you do need two science knowledge skills.

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Is the gadgeteer edge important to a character such as this or is not getting it hindering it. Seems like it would be a good thing for getting out of a jam.. – 3Sheets2theWind Jan 3 '14 at 19:04
@3Sheets2theWind - not sure it is essential just a different way to make your character. It is the same as any advance choice, do I want another power or do I get Gadgeteer. Can't answer that for you. – David Allan Finch Jan 3 '14 at 19:18

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