Tinker Gnome Projects (5e Other)

From D&D Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

A tinker gnome is a rock gnome that can undergo an ambitious tinkering project as a downtime activity. Tinker gnomes hate simplicity, and their machines tend to be large with many levels of redundancy. They favour mechanical devices powered by water, wind, flywheels and coiled springs. They are dubious of steam power and incompetent with electricity. Inspired tinker gnomes with steady hands may delve into clockwork mechanisms.

See Tinker Gnome Projects (5e Other)/Examples for examples.


Tinker gnomes get a bit carried away while constructing their project, and it usually expands in size and scope to include other concepts they come up with along the way. A finished design rarely looks like the blueprint.

When you embark on a project, you choose one idea from column A or B, and roll 1d12 for the other. Each idea has a Complexity and/or a Size.

  • The Complexity of the project is equal to the highest Complexity of the two ideas. Add 1 if the lower Complexity is half or more than that of the higher Complexity. Add 2 if both ideas have the same Complexity.
  • The Size of the project is equal to the highest Size of the two ideas. Add 1 if the lower Size is half or more than that of the higher Size. Add 2 if both ideas have the same Size.
d12 Idea A Idea B
1 Weaponized Carriage
2 Armored Launcher
3 Hovering Bench
4 Grooming Lantern
5 Folding Calculator
6 Incapacitating Suit
7 Waterborne Crafter
8 Tunnelling Communicator/Sensor
9 Intelligent Musical Instrument
10 Children's Measuring Instrument
11 Disposable Automaton
12 Tall Breaker
Advanced Projects

Experienced tinker gnomes may include additional ideas in their project. The maximum number of ideas in a project is equal to your proficiency bonus. The Size and Complexity is modified as above.

For example, a 5th level tinker gnome can include three ideas. The ideas are Complexity 2, 4 and 5. The final Complexity is 6 (the highest idea is 5; the second highest is more than half of this; the third is less than half).

Care should be taken when adding additional ideas, as the project will be more susceptible to construction mishaps.

Creating the Plan

Prior to constructing a project, the plan needs to be created. Drawing up the plan takes 8 hours, four sheets of parchment, one bottle of ink and one ink pen per idea. A tinker gnome will not embark on a new plan or project until the current plan is finished - if an undesirable idea is rolled for, it is not apparent until the plan is finished, so the time and expenses must still be paid!


Unless otherwise specified by an idea, the project can move forwards by itself at a speed of 5 feet.

The project is an object with hit points based on its Size, as determined by the "fragile HP" column of the Size Table. It has an AC of 13.


An armored project has a significant AC.

Choose an AC of 14 or more. The Complexity of this idea is 2 for each point of AC over 13, to a maximum of AC 23. For example, steel armor (AC 19) is Complexity 12. Refer to DMG p. 246 for examples of materials. This idea does not have a Size.

In addition, the object has resilient-tier hit points.


An automaton replicates the form and function of a natural creature. The Size of this idea is equal to the size of the creature you are trying to replicate: refer to the Size Table. The base Complexity is equal to its Size.

The base automaton is a crude representation of the creature, with simple joints, lumbering movement, and acts only as operated by its user. You can increase the Compexity to add fidelity to its form and movement. Choose from each column on the following table, adding the indicated Complexity to this idea. For example, a crude automaton dog that will fetch a thrown stick is Complexity 10 (from 5 [size] + 1 [crude] + 4 [simple reactive routine]), Size 5 and runs at speed 20 ft.

Complexity Form and Movement Automated Function
+0 Rudimentary (Quarter land speed) Manual operation
+1 Crude (Half land speed, swim speed) Simple pre-programmed routine
+2 Representative (Three-quarters land speed, swim speed) Complex pre-programmed routines
+4 Lifelike (Full land speed, swim speed; Half fly speed) Simple reactive routines
+6 Replicant (Full land, swim and fly speed.) Complex reactive routines

Pre-programmed routines are such as "move forwards 100 feet, turn around, repeat" (simple) or to perform a particular dance (complex). Reactive routines allow the automaton to vary its actions based on stimuli, such as opening a door when a bell is rung (simple), or copying text (complex).

An automaton cannot communicate or think, but advanced projects may combine this with Communication, Calculator or Intelligent ideas to make it seem more lifelike. Similarly, the automaton cannot attack unless combined with the Weaponized idea.


The automaton expends 1 charge per hour that it operates.


A bench is simply a place for one or more people to sit or lie down. Refer to the Size Table and choose a capacity. This will give you the Size of this idea.

The Complexity of this idea depends on its quality and comfort. Choose an associated lifestyle:

  • Squalid. Complexity 1.
  • Poor. Complexity 2.
  • Modest. Complexity 3.
  • Comfortable. Complexity 4.
  • Wealthy. Complexity 5.
  • Aristocratic. Complexity 6 (or more).

A bench does not expend any charges.


A breaker project acts on a nonmagical object and renders it into smaller or less refined parts. For example, a machine that can fell a tree and chop it into logs.

  • Size is equal to the maximum size of the object this is designed to break.
  • Complexity depends on the maximum AC of the object this is designed to break. It is equal to AC − 9.

The project is designed to work only against one kind of object (tree, stone, building, door, for example). If the project is generalized to break down any object of the appropriate size and AC, add 1 to the Size and Complexity.

  • The finished project deals cutting damage equal to the "fragile" column on the Size Table against the object per round if it is in contact with it. You can improve the damage die. This increases the Size and Complexity by 1 per damage die improvement.

A breaker expends 1 charge each time it acts on an object.


A carriage transports people or things horizontally. The speed of the carriage is equal to 10 feet × its Complexity. Its Size is equal to the greater of its Complexity or the capacity you choose on the Size Table.


A Carriage expends 1 charge for each distance equal to its speed × 10 that it moves.


A calculator takes input data, and performs a calculation or generates some other information. For example:

  • Complexity 1: Counting (tally stick)
  • Complexity 2: Addition, subtraction (abacus)
  • Complexity 3: Astrolabe
  • Complexity 4: Multiplication, division
  • Complexity 9: Programmable calculator
  • Complexity 10: Polynomial functions (Difference Engine)
  • Complexity 12: General-purpose computer (Analytical Engine)
  • Complexity 14: Cryptanalysis

This idea's Size is equal to its Complexity.


A Calculator expends 1 charge each time it completes a calculation.


This project is designed to be operated and enjoyed by children, such as a carousel or mechanical game. The other ideas of this project cannot cause harm to the user, bystanders or the environment — although mishaps are exempt from this!

This idea has no inherent Complexity or Size.


This idea does not expend any charges.


A crafter takes raw material and refines it by cutting, heating and/or assembling. Its Complexity depends on the relative level of refinement between the input and output material. Use the levels in the following table as a guide. The Complexity of this idea is 2 × the difference in levels. It takes 10 minutes per level of refinement per 20 lb. of material to complete one process.

Level Minerals Wood Food
0 Raw stone, sand Dead animal, harvested plant
1 Broken stone Primal cut
2 Rubble masonry Felled tree Meat cut, filleted fish, threshed wheat
3 Raw ore, ashlar masonry Timber Minced meat, filleted fish, flour
4 Smelted ore Wooden planks Prepared uncooked food
5 Metal ingots (iron), Tooled wood (dowel, frame) Cooked food
6 Glass block Polished wood Prepared cooked food
7 Alloy ingots (steel), glass pane Furniture Processed food
8 Worked metal (tool, weapon), glass bottle, monumental masonry Toy Prepared processed food
9 Mechanical device (spring, gear), wire, optics Sculpture Delicacies

For example, if the project could bake bread from flour, this idea would have a Complexity of 4.

This idea's Size is equal to its Complexity.


A crafter expends 1 charge each time it completes a process.

Communicator / Sensor[edit]

This project transmits information from one location to another. This idea's Complexity is based on what information is being transmitted, modified by the distance it is transmitted.

Complexity Communication Sensor
1 Binary (Morse code)
2 Text
3 Synthetic sound Sound level
4 Recorded Sound Light level
6 Representative Image (Painting)
8 Recorded Image (Photograph) Low-quality vision 60 ft. (disadvantage to Perception, Investigation)
12 Moving Image (Video) Normal vision 60 ft; low-quality vision 120 ft.
14 Moving Image with Sound Darkvision 60 ft; normal vision 120 ft.
18 Darkvision 120 ft.
  • If the information is not being transmitted any distance (for example, it is merely being recorded on-site), there is no further modifier to Complexity.
  • If it being transmitted from one part of the project to another, add 5 this idea's Complexity. Generally this will mean the project is divided into two devices (each of Size equal to the project's final Size − 1) connected by pipes and wires.
  • If the transmission is indirect, add 10 to this idea's Complexity. Indirect communication does not use a physical connection: it may use radio waves, the ethereal plane or telepathy; or it may project a small device that travels to the target audience. The destination requires a receiving device of Size equal to the project's final size − 10. If it doesn't need a receiving device (enabling it to transmit to anywhere within range), add 1 to this idea's Complexity.
  • Information can be transmitted 100 feet. For further distances, choose one of the following ranges and add the indicated value to this idea's Complexity
    • 500 feet, +1
    • 1000 feet, +2
    • 1 mile, +3
    • 5 miles, +4
    • 20 miles, +5
    • 100 miles, +6
    • 500 miles, +7
    • Limitless, +8

This idea's Size is equal to its Complexity.


A communicator expends 1 charge each time it communicates.


The project works once and is then rendered unusable. Its components are destroyed on completing its task. This halves the final Complexity of the project.


A disposable idea consumes all its charges when it has completed its task.


This idea allows the project to fold or compress into a smaller size. It has a Complexity of 2 for each Size step it can be reduced by. For example, a Medium-sized project (Size 7) that can be compressed into a Small object (Size 5) has a Complexity of 4. This idea does not have a Size rating itself.

A project in a folded state cannot be operated, but is easier to transport. Folding or unfolding the project takes a length of time depending on its Size.

  • Tiny (Size 3) or smaller projects do not require an action to fold or unfold.
  • Small project (Size 5) requires an action or bonus action.
  • Medium project (Size 7) requires an action.
  • Large project (Size 9) requires 1 minute.
  • Huge project (Size 11) requires 10 minutes.
  • Gargantuan project (Size 13) requires 1 hour.
  • Size 15 projects require 10 hours.
  • Size 17 projects or larger require 1 day.

You can reduce the time taken to fold or unfold the project by one step, this increases this idea's Complexity by 1.


This idea does not expend any charges unless it has a reduced transformation time, in which case it expends 1 charge when it transforms.


A grooming project attends to the cosmetic and hygiene needs of one or more creature. It might include automated brushes, combs, tweezers, sprays, scrubbers, scissors and mirrors. It completes its task in 1 minute.

The Size of this idea is equal to the Size of the creature(s) being tended to: refer to the Size Table.

The Complexity of this idea depends on its quality. Choose an associated lifestyle:

  • Squalid. Complexity 2.
  • Poor. Complexity 3.
  • Modest. Complexity 4.
  • Comfortable. Complexity 5.
  • Wealthy. Complexity 6.
  • Aristocratic. Complexity 7 (or more).

A grooming project tends to one type of creature (e.g. Humanoid). Add 1 to this idea's complexity for each additional type of creature.


This idea expends 1 charge on completing its task.


A hovering project can go up and down. Its Complexity determines its maximum altitude and speed.

  • Maximum altitude is 10 feet × Complexity.
  • Vertical speed is half of its maximum altitude.
  • While hovering it can move horizontally at a speed of 5 feet.
  • If the project can only move up or down, the Complexity is reduced by 1. If the project can only move down, and starts from a height greater than its maximum altitude, it falls the remainder of the distance. Likewise, if it can only move up it falls once deactivated.

This idea's Size is equal to its Complexity.


This idea expends 1 charge for each minute that it hovers.


An intelligent project can communicate with its user, providing information, self-analysis or suggestions concerning its task. It has a Size and Complexity equal to its effective Intelligence ability score.

The fidelity of its communication depends on this idea's Complexity. At 1, this might just be a series of audio tones, tickertape marks or a few flashing lights that require interpretation by the user. 4 might be a printed report in rudimentary Common. At 7, it can synthesize rudimentary speech. At 10, its speech sounds natural. Higher levels could represent printed reports that include novel infographics, or televisual or even holographic displays.

An intelligent project is not alive or self-aware, and can only communicate on topics regarding its function.


This idea expends 1 charge per hour.

Measuring Instrument[edit]

The project provides measurements from one or more instruments.

  • Complexity 1: Scale, Caliper
  • Complexity 3: Graphometer, Chronometer, Compass, Thermometer
  • Complexity 5: Anemometer, Barometer, Odometer
  • Complexity 7: Accelerometer, Altimeter, Fathometer
  • Complexity 9: Electrometer, Hygrometer, Stadimeter
  • Complexity 11: Disdrometer, Spectrometer
  • Complexity 13: Micrometer, Magnetometer
  • Complexity 15: Microscope
  • Complexity 17: Katharometer, Photosensor
  • Complexity 19: Diffractometer

If the project has two measuring devices, add 1 to this idea's Complexity if the second instrument's Complexity is half or more than it's first; add 2 if they have the same Complexity.

For example, a Micrometer can include a caliper at no additional Complexity; a project with an Altimeter and Odometer is Complexity 8; a project with a Compass and Thermometer is Complexity 5.

This idea's Size is equal to its Complexity.


This idea expends 1 charge per hour.

Musical Instrument[edit]

This project produces music. Its Complexity is equal to its polyphony: A flute is Complexity 1; a lute is Complexity 8; an organ might be Complexity 10 or more.

The default musical ability is one prerecorded piece of a 1 minute length. Each doubling of the number of pieces adds 1 to the Complexity; each doubling of length adds 1 to the Complexity. If the project can add novel embellishments to a piece, add 1 to the Complexity.

For example, a monotone drum that beats for 2 minutes is Complexity 1; a monophonic pipe that can play four 1 minute tunes is Complexity 3; a ten-polyphony harpsichord that can play a 16 minute piece with novel embellishments is Complexity 16.


This idea expends 1 charge on completing one piece of music.


This project renders the user or the subject incapable of moving or taking actions until the device has completed its task. This is done through mechanical means such as clamps, grabbers, harnesses or coffins.

This idea's Size is equal to its capacity on the Size Table), using the capacity of the project's occupants (in the case of a Bench, Grooming or Carriage project) or the operator.

A creature incapacitated in the project has resistance against damage taken if the project crashes, falls, rolls or blows up. An incapacitated operator may still take actions to operate the project. Unwilling creatures may make a DC 13 Strength check to avoid being incapacitated, and may repeat the check at the end of each of their turns.

The Complexity of this idea is equal to its Size − 2. If the incapacitating action can act at range, add 1 to the Complexity for 30 ft. range; add 2 for 60 ft. range; add 4 for 120 ft. range. You can improve the DC of the Strength check: Add 1 to the DC for each 1 you add to the Complexity.


This idea expends 1 charge when it attempts to incapacitate a creature.


The project sheds illumination. It emits dim light to 10 feet × the base Complexity of this idea. Then add 1 to the Complexity if you wish this to emit bright light to half this distance. Add 1 to the Complexity if the project is to emit blinding light to half this distance again.

Creatures in a blinding light must pass a DC 13 Constitution check at the start of their turn or be blinded until they are no longer in the area. The DC can by increased by 1 for each 1 you add to the Complexity.

You can choose to have the light emitted in a cone only. This doubles the range.

For example, a gnomish "bullseye lantern", emitting a 60-foot cone of bright light and dim light for a further 60 feet is Complexity 7.

This idea's Size is equal to its Complexity.


A lantern expends 1 charge per hour.


A launcher propels something, such as a grappling hook or a gnome.

This idea's Complexity is equal to its capacity on the Size Table. The desired range of the launch may add to this Complexity:

  • 30 feet, +0
  • 60 feet, +1
  • 90 feet, +2
  • 120 feet, +3
  • 150 feet, +4
  • 300 feet, +5
  • 500 feet, +6
  • 1000 feet, +7
  • 1 mile, +8
  • 5 miles, +9
  • 10 miles, +10
  • 50 miles, +11
  • 100 miles, +12

Travel time is 1 turn for ranges of less than 1 mile, otherwise it takes 1 minute per mile.

If the launched object is tethered to the project and can be winched back, add 1 to the Complexity. This takes a length of time equal to the travel time.

A launcher can be used as an improvised weapon. When fired at a single target in range, it has an attack bonus of +2, and deals bludgeoning damage equal to the launched object's "fragile HP" column on the Size Table. For example, a grappling hook (size 2) deals 1d4 bludgeoning damage. A cow (size 9) deals 1d10 bludgeoning damage.

This idea's Size is equal to its Complexity.


A launcher expends 1 charge each time it fires.


This project is worn by the operator like a suit of armor, and moves to co-ordinate with the operator's limb movements. Its Size is equal to the capacity of the operator: refer to the Size Table. Its Complexity is equal to its Size with the following modifiers.

  • Crude movement, -2 Complexity. The operator can move at a quarter their land speed; has an effective Dexterity of 5; and cannot make attacks.
  • Simple movement, -1 Complexity. The operator moves at half their land speed; has an effective Dexterity of 7; has disadvantage on attack rolls; and treats all weapons as improvised.
  • Normal movement, +0 Complexity. The operator has normal land speed; has an effective Dexterity of 9; and treats all weapons as improvised.
  • Enhanced movement, +1 Complexity. The operator has a 5 ft. bonus to their land speed; and can use their own Dexterity up to a maximum of 15.

The suit has an effective Strength. This is equal to 10 + each additional point of Complexity.

If operator can use the project's AC instead of their own, add 1 to the Complexity. This is normally AC 13, but may be more if the project also has the Armored idea.


A suit expends 1 charge per hour.


A tall project is much, well, taller than its Size would indicate. Maybe it needs to reach into trees, or the gnome inventor was overcompensating. It can be up to four times normal height. For example, a Tall Large project can be up to 40 feet tall. This idea does not have inherent Size or Complexity.


This idea does not expend any charges.


A tunnelling project has a burrowing speed of 5 feet. You choose the Size of this idea. This idea has Complexity equal to its Size. As it moves, it leaves behind a tunnel appropriate for its Size.

You can increase the burrowing speed to 10 feet if you add 2 to this idea's Complexity, or to 20 feet if you add 4.


This idea consumes 1 charge per minute.


The project floats on water. This idea has no inherent Size or Complexity.

If the project is submersible, this idea has a Complexity of 1 + the Complexity of its maximum depth: use the values given on the Launcher table. For example, if it can dive to 1000 feet, it has Complexity 8. The project can dive at a speed of 20 feet.

This idea provides no horizontal movement beyond the base 5 feet. For faster speeds, the project must also have the Carriage idea.


This idea does not consume any charges unless it is submersible, in which case it expends 1 charge per hour.


The project is designed to cause harm through the action of its other ideas. You choose this idea's Size and Complexity.

If it attacks a single creature, its attack bonus is +2. This is increased by 1 for every 2 Complexity of this idea. It deals bludgeoning, piercing or slashing damage equal to this idea's Size on the "resilient HP" column of the Size Table.

This is a melee weapon attack. If it attacks at range, this idea's Complexity is increased by 1 + the value on the Launcher table. If the attack has a minimum range (like a ballistic siege weapon), reduce the Complexity by 1. This option is available for weapon range of 150 feet or greater, and the minimum distance is typically one-quarter of the range (rounded to the nearest 30 ft.)

If it acts on a group of creatures, those creatures instead make an ability score save of DC 11. This increased by 1 for each 1 added to the Complexity. It deals bludgeoning, piercing, slashing, fire, lightning, acid or cold damage equal to this idea's Size &minus 2 on the "resilient HP" column of the Size Table. It attacks either the contents of the project (for example in a Bench, Carriage or Suit) or creatures in a 30–foot cone in front of it. This can be increased to a 60–foot cone for +2 Complexity, or a 90–foot cone for +4 Complexity.


This idea consumes 1 charge each time it attacks.

Size Table[edit]

Size Capacity Fragile HP Resilient HP Example
1 1 (1d3) 2 (1d4) Finger
2 2 (1d4) 3 (1d4+1) Knife
3 Tiny 2 (1d4) 5 (2d4) Sword, bottle
4 Two Tiny 3 (1d6) 7 (3d4) Crossbow
5 Small 3 (1d6) 10 (3d6) Backpack, small chest, lute
6 Two Small 4 (1d8) 14 (4d6) Large chest
7 Medium 4 (1d8) 18 (4d8) Couch, barrel, chandelier
8 Two Medium 5 (2d4) 22 (5d8) Small Cabinet
9 Large 5 (1d10) 27 (5d10) Large Cabinet, cart, 10-ft. square cube
10 Two Large 6 (1d12) 33 (6d10) Wagon
11 Huge 6 (1d12) 39 (6d12) Small Cottage
12 Two Huge 8 (1d12+2) 45 (7d12) Large Cottage
13 Gargantuan 10 (1d20) 73 (7d20) Mansion
14 Two Gargantuan 12 (1d20+2) 84 (8d10) Tower (3 stories)
15 14 (4d6) 112 (32d6) Tower (6 stories)
16 16 (4d6+2) 126 (36d6) Tower (10 stories)
17 18 (4d8) 162 (36d8) Small Keep
18 20 (4d8+2) 180 (40d8) Castle
19 22 (4d10) 220 (40d10) Town
20 24 (4d10+2) 242 (44d10) Mountain

Final Modifiers[edit]

You can decrease the project's Complexity by 1, by increasing its Size by 1. This does not effect idea effects based on Size (for example, Weaponized damage or Carriage capacity.)

Similarly, you can decrease the project's Size by 1 by increasing its Complexity by 1.

Neither Complexity nor Size can be reduced to 0.


Components and Cost

Every gnomish device must include a number of components equal to its Complexity, as chosen from the following five groups. Each component can only be chosen once.

The number of components in Group 1, 2 or 3 cannot differ from one another by more than one.

Projects with the following ideas must include one component from group 5: Automaton, Calculator, Crafter with a craft level of 6 or more, Communicator, Grooming, Intelligent, Measuring Instrument or Suit with enhanced movement.

The construction cost, in gold pieces, is equal to the total cost of all the components × the Size of the project.

Group 1 Cost (gp) Group 2 Cost Group 3 (Charges) Cost Group 4 (Frame) Cost Group 5 (Special) Cost
Pulleys 5 Vanes 10 Counterweights (2) 30 Stone Block 5 Clockworks 50
Shafts 10 Steel rods 20 Coiled springs (3) 60 Wooden Truss 20
Gears 20 Glass rods & panes 40 Waterwheel or Aeolipile (5) 100 Iron Plates 40
Belts 100 Bellows 200 Windmill or Flywheel (7) 200 Steel Shell 80
Screws 500 Pumps 1,000 Coal-fired boiler (15) 1,000 Mithril Lattice 200
Blades 1,000 Tuning Forks 5,000 Sun mirror (30) 5,000 Adamantium Beams 500

The project has a number of charges equal to the total value in parenthesis of Group 3 components. When complete, the project expends one charge each time it is operated, as noted in the idea information. Recharging the project takes 1 minute per Complexity per charge.


Creating the project is a downtime activity in which progress is made in 25 gp increments, assuming the tinker gnome works for 8 hours per day. While building a project, a character can maintain a modest lifestyle without having to pay the 1 gp per day, or a comfortable lifestyle at half the normal cost. The character also needs workspace of at least twice the Size of the project.

For example, the aforementioned automaton dog of Complexity 10 might use clockworks (required, 50 gp), pulleys (5), vanes (10), counterweights (30), stone block (5), shafts (10), rods (20), coiled springs (60), wooden truss (10), and gears (20). The total component cost is 220 gp, multiplied by Size 5 for a total creation cost of 1,100 gp. It would take 44 days to build. It will also have 3 charges.


When the project is complete, it's time to find out if it works. You roll percentile dice and add your character level. Compare the total to the Mishap Table to determine what happens to the project. You make one mishap roll per idea the project has (so for a Children's Waterborne Automaton, you roll three times on the Mishap Table).

Removing Mishaps

You can attempt to remove any mishap except "Needs Another Part". This is a downtime activity that takes 1 day and 25 gp per Complexity of the project. Once it is "fixed", you activate the project and re-roll on the Mishap Table with a +10 bonus in addition to its previous modifiers.

Mishap Roll Mishap
1–10 Explosion!
11–13 Machine Pursuit
14–16 Moves Uncontrollably Vertically
17–19 Suffocating
20–22 Horrendus Sound
23–25 Unbearable Heat
26–28 Unbearable Cold
29–31 Olfactory Malfunction
32–34 Unexpected Glow
35–37 Improper Alteration
38–41 Communication Glitch
42–50 Needs Another Part
51–55 Akward Activation
56–60 Vibrations
61+ No mishap

Some results force the project to behave as though it had a certain Idea. When this happens, it does so using the machine's final Size and Complexity.


The project explodes. Creatures within 5 feet × Size of the project must make a DC 15 Dexterity check, taking 1d6 piercing damage per Complexity on a failed save or half as much on a successful save. The project is reduced to 0 hit points must be fixed before it works again. In addition, this mishap must also be removed (or it will explode again!)

Machine Pursuit

The project pursues the activating creature, making one melee attack every turn it as though it were Weaponized. If it is already Weaponized, it also makes this attack every turn. It moves at its base speed or 15 feet, whichever is greater. Unless it has a Dexterity score, it has an Initiative bonus of −1. A creature can spend an action to try and deactivate the machine, this requires a successful DC 17 Dexterity check.

Moves Uncontrollably Vertically

The project moves upwards as though it were Hovering. It remains at its maximum altitude until it is deactivated, at which point it falls. If the project already has the Hovering idea, then it burrows downwards as though it was Tunnelling.


While active the project renders the air around it unbreathable, perhaps by creating a near vacuum or removing the oxygen content. Creatures within 5 feet × Complexity of the project cannot breathe and must hold their breath (PHB p. 183)

Horrendous Sound

The project makes a horrible deafening sound as it operates. Creatures within a radius of 5 × Complexity feet when the project is activated, or when they move into this area, must make a DC 15 Constitution check, and are deafened if they fail. They remain deafened until they leave the area or the machine is deactivated.

Unbearable Temperature Changes

The project gets very hot or cold. Creatures within 5 feet × Complexity suffer extreme heat or cold (DMG p. 110) while it is operating. If the Complexity of the machine is 10 or more, the exhaustion checks are made every 1 minute rather than 1 hour.

Olfactory Malfunction

While the project is operating, it emits a cloud of noxious fumes. Creatures that start their turn within 5 feet × Complexity of the project must make a DC 15 Constitution check or become poisoned for 1 minute. This check must be repeated for every minute they remain in the area of effect.

Unexpected Glow

The project glows while it operates. Really bright. Creatures that are within 5 feet × Complexity of the project when it is turned on, and creatures that enter this area subsequently, must make a DC 15 Constitution check or become blinded. This condition lasts until the machine is turned off or the creature leaves the area. The project sheds light to 10 feet × Complexity, and dim light to 20 feet × Complexity.

If the project already has the Lantern idea, then instead the light flickers or strobes distractingly. Perception checks or Investigation checks made in the area of light are made with disadvantage.

Improper Alteration

The project tries to alter something as though it had the Crafter idea. It will apply itself to whatever the project was meant to act on, or its contents, otherwise whatever happens to be in front of it.

If this is a living creature, it must pass a DC 13 Dexterity save or take slashing damage equal to the "fragile HP" column for this project's Size on the Size Table.

Otherwise it will "craft" 1d4 levels on the Crafter Table, and do so poorly. For example, a Launcher that was supposed to hurl a stone sphere might first render it into mis-angled masonry blocks.

The the project already had the Crafter project, it instead disassembles the input material by the same level.

Communication Glitch

If the project does not already have the Communicator idea, it starts recording information as though it had the Communicator idea. If the Complexity level allows it, it will transmit the information. For example, a Complexity 15 project starts indirectly transmitting representative images out to 100 feet.

The information recorded or transmitted is of poor or misleading quality. For example, it might miss out every third word or misses out the faces of people in pictures.

Needs Another Part

The project requires another device to be built before it can function properly. The new part must be a useful tinker gnome project on its own and have a demonstrated use other than in conjunction with fixing this device.

Awkward Activation

It takes 1 minute to activate or deactivate the project instead of 1 action.


The project shakes rapidly as it operates. The operator and anyone in the machine are at disadvantage on Wisdom, Intelligence or Dexterity checks while it is active. If the machine operates for 1 minute or longer, it deals bludgeoning damage to itself every minute equal to its Complexity.

Associated Character Options[edit]

Home of user-generated,
homebrew pages!