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This skill offers a basic understanding of mechanical principles and how to apply them. It is used to build, modify, and repair most mechanical items, and to disable or sabotage some of them. Mechanics is common among maintenance staff, craftsmen, blue-collar tradesmen, and other gear-oriented characters, especially those relying on their weapons, armor, and other mechanical devices to survive.
Setting and Bypassing Mechanical Security: This skill allows you to build, modify, and repair mechanical Security devices, but not to disable them. This activity is handled with the Security/ Disable skill check (see page 156). Further, setting Security is handled with the Security/Installation check.
Combat Actions: None.
Dramatic Conflict: None.
Sample Knowledge: Safety when working with or near mechanical devices; reading mechanical blueprints; famous mechanical pioneers throughout the ages, tools and their manufacturers.

Build check

(Int; Active; Complex, Concentration, Gear (Mechanics Kit), Hands-On, Vision, Project Investment (Medium))
Time Varies Per Challenge • Base Error Range 1

You may use this skill check to build any mechanical item in any Spycraft 2.0 product, except for items covered by a Science skill focus. Doing so is a Complex Task, requiring you to overcome 1–10 “Challenges” representing the many smaller projects involved in the construction. The number of Challenges is equal to twice the item’s Caliber (e.g. a Caliber I item involves 2 Challenges, a Caliber II item involves 4 Challenges, etc.). Overcoming each Challenge requires a successful Build check with a DC and error range determined by the item’s complexity, as shown on the gear tables.
Cooperative: Yes, but only if the target item is Small or larger (maximum helpers equal to your Charisma bonus, minimum 0).
Synergy Skills: Drive (when building a vehicle), Science (Fabrication), Security (when building a Security device).
Retry: Yes, though if an error destroys your materials, you must pay for them again before you retry.
Threat: You find a cost-cutting measure, gaining back 1/2 of the money invested in the current Challenge (rounded down, minimum $50 per Challenge).
Critical Success:You make impressive progress (see Complex Tasks).
Error: You inadvertently destroy some of your materials. To continue the current construction, you must pay an additional amount of money equal to 1/2 the money invested in the current Challenge (rounded up).
Critical Failure: You realize your initial design is flawed in some fashion and have to backtrack a bit (see Complex Tasks).

Disable check

(Int; Secret; Concentration, Cross-Check, Gear (Mechanics Kit), Grasp, Hands-On, Project Investment (Low), Vision)
Time Varies • Base Error Range 1

You may use this skill check to disable any mechanical item in any Spycraft 2.0 product, except for items covered by a Science skill focus or the Security skill.
When an attack is made to disable an item, the time required to make the attack is added to the time required to make this check (the Disable check is made once you have your hands on the device).
The item’s complexity determines this check’s time requirement and cost, as shown on Table: Project Investments. When making a Disable check, the monetary investment is $0. Your Disable check’s error range is also determined by the item’s complexity, as shown on the item tables in Chapter 4. There is no DC; your result becomes the damage against which the target item must make a Damage save (see page 224). If the item fails its save, it is disabled (though not broken).
Finally, when disabling an item is sufficiently risky or pivotal, the GC may opt to use the Complex Task rules instead of this streamlined check.
Cooperative: : Yes, but only if the target item is Small or larger (maximum helpers equal to your Charisma bonus, minimum 0).
Synergy Skills:Drive (when disabling a vehicle), Science (Fabrication).
Retry: Yes, but because the check is secret, you may be replacing a better result.
Threat: You disable the device in 1/2 the standard time (rounded down, minimum 1 half action).
Critical Success: You disable the device in 1/4 the standard time (rounded down, minimum 1 half action).
Error: The item need not make a Damage save against the result of your check.
Critical Failure: You cannot disable the item. Further, any attempts you make to test that the item is disabled show that you have succeeded in disabling the device until an opponent successfully uses the item, or until the end of the scene.

Modify check

(Wis; Active; Complex, Concentration, Gear Only (Upgrade), Gear (Mechanics Kit), Hands-On, Project Investment (Low), Vision)
Time Varies Per Challenge • Base Error Range 1

Unless otherwise specified, you may use this skill check to attach any upgrade to any mechanical item in any Spycraft 2.0 product, except for items covered by a Science skill focus. The DC and error range modifier are determined by the item or upgrade’s complexity, whichever DC and error range are higher (see Gear Complexity, page 224). The cost and time required are listed with each upgrade. Non-Integral Upgrades: Some upgrades — like weapon holsters — are used with an item instead of attaching or interlocking with it. These upgrades require no skill check to use. Combining Electronic and Mechanical Items and Upgrades: When you add a mechanical upgrade to an electronic item or vice-versa , you use either your Electronics or Mechanics skill bonus (whichever is higher).
Cooperative: Yes, but only if the target item is Small or larger (maximum helpers equal to your Charisma bonus, minimum 0).
Synergy Skills: Analysis, Drive (when modifying a vehicle), Science (Fabrication).
Retry: : Yes, though if a critical failure damages your upgrade, it must be repaired or replaced beforehand.
Threat: You complete the modification in 1/2 the standard time (rounded down, minimum 1 half action).
Critical Success: You complete the modification in 1/4 the standard time (rounded down, minimum 1 half action).
Error: : Through trial and error, or simple mishap, you destroy some of your materials. To continue the current modification, you must pay an additional amount of money equal to 1/2 the cost of the upgrade (rounded up).
Critical Failure: You destroy the upgrade materials and must pay for them again in full before you may re-try the modification. Alternately, the GC may spend 1 or more Action Dice to worsen the item’s performance, increasing its error range by a number equal to the Action Dice spent (maximum error range increase +4). Though it can still be used, the item is considered broken. If it is repaired, its original error range is restored (see page 141).

Optimize check

(Int; Active; Gear Only (Mechanics Kit), Hands-On, Project Investment (Low))
Time Varies (Take 10/Take 20 with permission) • Base Error Range 1

This skill check is used to boost a mechanical item with a Power Rating past its standard limits.
The item’s complexity determines this check’s time requirement and cost, as shown on Table: Project Investments.
Each Optimize check has a base DC of 15 + (the item’s original Power Rating × 5). With success, the item’s Power Rating is boosted by +1 (maximum 10). This boost lasts until the item is shut off, until you restore the item’s standard functionality, or until the end of the current scene (whichever comes first). However, following each check made using the optimized Power Rating, the item must make a Damage save with a DC of 15 + (the item’s original Power Rating × 3).
If your check result exceeds the DC by 10 or more, you may apply one of the following two benefits.
• After the item succeeds with 1 Damage save forced by use at the optimized Power Rating, it need no longer make Damage saves for the same reason until the end of the current scene. • The item’s Power Rating is boosted by an additional +1 for the same time period (maximum 10).
You may not apply both of these bonuses without a critical success.
Further, if an item possesses more than 1 Power Rating, only 1 of its Power Ratings may be optimized at any time.
Cooperative: Yes (maximum 1 helper).
Synergy Skills: Computers, Science (Fabrication), Science (Super-Science).
Retry: Yes, though an item may only benefit from one Optimize check at any time. If you make a second check to boost the same item’s Power Rating when a previous boost is still active, the new check’s outcome replaces that of the previous one — even if it’s worse.
Threat: If your check result exceeds the DC by up to 9, you gain one benefit listed for exceeding the DC by 10 or more; otherwise, the time required is reduced to 1/2 standard (rounded down, minimum 1 half action).
Critical Success: You gain both benefits listed for exceeding the DC by 10 or more.
Error: The item must immediately make a Damage save (DC 15 + (the item’s original Power Rating × 3)).
Critical Failure: The item suffers damage that reduces its Power Rating by 2 (minimum 0). Though it can still be used, the item is considered broken. If the item is repaired with the Mechanics skill, its full Power Rating is restored (see page 141).

Repair check

(Int; Active; Concentration, Gear (Mechanics Kit), Hands-On, Project Investment (Medium), Vision)
Time Varies • Base Error Range 1

You may use this skill check to repair any mechanical item or scenery in any Spycraft 2.0 product, except for items covered by a Science skill focus. The item must be broken — an item that is destroyed cannot be repaired (see page 224).
The item’s complexity determines this check’s time requirement and cost, as shown on Table: Project Investments. Your Repair check’s DC and error range are also determined by the item’s complexity, as shown on the item tables. With success, the item is no longer broken and regains its full functionality.
With failure, you’ve merely wasted your time.
Finally, when repairing an item is sufficiently risky or pivotal, the GC may opt to use the Complex Task rules instead of this streamlined check.
Cooperative: Yes, but only if the target item is Small or larger (maximum helpers equal to your Charisma bonus, minimum 0).
Synergy Skills: Drive (when repairing a vehicle), Science (Fabrication), Security (when repairing a Security device).
Retry: Yes, unless you suffer a critical failure.
Threat: : You repair the device in 1/2 the standard time (rounded down, minimum 30 minutes).
Critical Success: You repair the device in 1/4 the standard time (rounded down, minimum 15 minutes).
Error: The item must make a Damage save (DC 10 + 3 per Caliber beyond the first).
Critical Failure: You cannot repair the item. Alternately, if 3 Action Dice are spent to activate this critical failure, the item is accidentally destroyed.

Sabotage check

(Wis; Secret; Concentration, Cross-Check, Gear (Mechanics Kit), Grasp, Hands-On, Project Investment (Low), Vision)
Time Varies • Base Error Range 1

You may use this skill check to sabotage any mechanical item in any Spycraft 2.0 product, except for items covered by a Science skill focus or the Security skill.
When an attack is made to sabotage an item, the time required to make the attack is added to the time required to make this check (the Sabotage check is made once you have your hands on the device).
The item’s complexity determines this check’s time requirement and cost, as shown on Table: Project Investments. When making a Sabotage check, the monetary investment is $0.
Your Sabotage check’s error range is also determined by the item’s complexity, as shown on the item tables in Chapter 4. There is no DC; your result becomes the damage against which the target item must make a Damage save (see page 224). If the item fails its save by up to 4, your sabotage is unsuccessful but you may still leave the item disabled if you like, in which case it is considered broken until someone makes a successful Repair check to restore its function (see above).
If the item fails its save by 5 or more, the following effects apply.

  • For every 2 by which the item fails its Damage save, the error range with each skill check made using the device increases by +1 (maximum +10).
  • If the device’s operator suffers an error when using it, you may spend 1 or more Action Dice to activate the critical failure, even if you aren’t present.
  • At your discretion, you may designate a specific time the device stops working, after which it is considered broken until someone makes a successful Repair check to restore its function (see left). As you may not be aware that you failed this secret check, the GC should always ask you if and when you want the device to shut down.

Your Sabotage result becomes the DC for any Notice/Awareness checks made near the device, or any Search/Perception checks focusing on the device. If any such check is successful, the character making the check notices the sabotage and may attempt to reverse it with a successful Repair check.
Finally, when sabotaging an item is sufficiently risky or pivotal, the GC may opt to use the Complex Task rules instead of this streamlined check.
Cooperative: Yes, but only if the target item is Small or larger (maximum helpers equal to your Charisma bonus, minimum 0).
Synergy Skills: Analysis, Drive (when sabotaging a vehicle), Science (Fabrication).
Retry: Yes, but because the check is secret, you may be replacing a better result.
Threat: You sabotage the device in 1/2 the standard time (rounded down, minimum 1 half action).
Critical Success: You sabotage the device in 1/4 the standard time (rounded down, minimum 1 half action).
Error: Your attempt fails, and your efforts are immediately apparent to any opponent who attempts to use the device.
Critical Failure: You cannot sabotage the item. Further, any attempts you make to test that the item is sabotaged show that you have succeeded in sabotaging the device until an opponent successfully uses the item, or until the end of the scene.