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My groups is getting ready to start running The Sprawl, and I'm pretty interested in the Tech. There are a lot of moves that add utility, and lots of ways to spin the flavor. But the rules seem light on how to actually benefit from the signature Expert feature. Let's take Mechanic:

You are an expert in the construction, maintenance, and operations of vehicles & drones; you have two drones created according to the Driver move drone jockey.

OK, two drones is a definitely a good addition. But is that supposed to be it? If we're trying to make our getaway and I have to fix the +unreliable Driver's hot-rod, I'm just going to be rolling Act Under Pressure, without any kind of bonus, so any character could do that just as well. If I get the cyberarm with implant tools I get a +1, but anybody can get a cyberarm.

Off camera, there's almost no discussion in the rulebook about repair costs except for Decks, and that section makes it sound like it costs exactly as much to have your Tech Breadboarder fix it as a random street contact.

Tl;dr: does the Tech's expert move change anything mechanically other than granting some extra starting gear?

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Looks like you get the following (according to the 0.2 doc):

  • workshops dedicated to your areas of expertise
  • at the start of each mission roll+mind, possibly letting you hold appropriate +gear
  • extra starting gear or other minor feature based on your area of expertise

So in this case, two drones, a vehicle/drone workshop, and a chance (based on mind) at some vehicle/drone-related +gear. That's not nothing. Also, that's just the Expert move. You also get Customizer (based on area of expertise), and you get to select a third.

Beyond that, "fictional positioning" is a very real thing. If your GM is running it right, then much of the time when you decide to do a repair (in the workshop that you have) they'll just say "okay, you're an expert, that works" where one of the other characters would have had to roll Act Under Pressure if they were able to do it at all.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for the bit about fictional positioning — that's everything in this type of game design. It's worth noting that how fictional positioning affects the mechanics is not something that's obvious when looking at just the player mechanics, since that's all contained in the GM's mechanics. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 6 '17 at 22:35

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