Maggie Finson originated this article as Questions and Answers:Power Categories. New information and corrections should be added as Additional.


‘Gadgeteering’ is a specialization of the Esper trait, one that must apparently be established when the Esper trait first manifests itself. No non-Gadgeteer Esper has ever ‘learned’ to Gadgeteer, though Sahar has managed to learn some near-Gadgeteer applications. To ‘Gadgeteer’ is to instinctively know how to put mechanical and electronic devices together so that they will achieve a certain effect. Harry ‘TechWolf’ Wolfe appears to be a mechanically inclined Gadgeteer, though he might discover a gift with electronics later, once he has a chance to explore his power more fully. Researchers will be watching. Gadgeteering seems to work on the design, repair, sabotage and jury rig levels. Gadgeteers find learning technical and engineering skills very easy, but having them also makes their tinkering sounder and more effective.

Gadgeteers vs. DevisersEdit

How is a Gadgeteer different from a Deviser? Simple: A Gadgeteer can go to the Patent Office, while a Deviser can go anywhere BUT the patent office! (insert rimshot here). More accurately, Gadgeteers are limited to the normal Laws of Physics, while Devisers aren’t; As long as the Deviser has a coherent theory of how the doo-dad works, it WILL work. But Gadgeteers don’t have to worry about the sometimes spectacular ‘melt-downs’ that happen with Devises, and they can patent their inventions, as the designs will work for anyone. With Devises, the Deviser must create the gizmo, which they can then give to another to use. While it isn’t routine, it isn’t unheard of either, that a Deviser will also have the Gadgeteer trait. (‘Bugs’ of Poe Cottage is a Deviser/Gadgeteer)


See Rack for another counterexample of pseudo-gadgeteering.

Add hydraulic, electronic, chemical and possibly biological to gadgeteer's instinctive knowledge.

Yes, there are Bio-Gadgeteers.[1]

Harry Wolfe is not actually a gadgeteer, as he has no meta-gene complex. His abilities are the result of a balanced curse.

The proposed Hewley-Aranis ranking system has the Gadgeteer rankings go from 1 to 7 unlike the current Yerunkle-Corbin system, with 1-3 rankings as a subset of ESP. See the Loophole entry for an example of a Hewley-Aranis ranking [2]

It isn't entirely clear that Gadgeteering is a single trait, as there seem to be two described forms of the ability. One form, typified by Kew, demonstrates a form of precognition which allows the Gageteer to foresee how the gadget will work, and work towards the final goal. The second form, demonstrated by Loophole (most dramatically during her 2006 Fall Combat Final)[3], shows the ability to psychically bond with a gadget, even one not yet built, giving them an immediate insight to the state of the gadget and allowing them to mold its development. It is possible that all gadgteers possess both forms, in conjunction, and that these two cases are merely the extreme developments of each aspect of the overall trait.

Gadgeteer 1 makes cutting edge tech 'common sense' and it is almost impossible not to constantly upgrade or improve on it. You might not really be inventing anything new (though that is possible too), but you will always have a version of something someone else has invented that works better than theirs.
Gadgeteering 2 is like having immediate access and understanding of all the research projects currently going on in the world right now.. as if those projects were finished, the papers and the papers responding to them were things that you read last year, and your muse just gave you the inspiration for inventions based on what you learned from reading all that.
Gadgeteer 3 is like taking all of todays newest inventions and using them as inspirations for research projects that you want to assign to all the top people in the world in those fields and immediately getting the results of those projects (and all the peer response papers) and having read all that research material last year, and your muse just gave you the inspiration for inventions based on the results.
Gadgeteer 4 is looking at some of the things that we currently consider possible, but just don't have practical ways to test the theories yet. You prove those theories, get all the research that comes down the line after solving THOSE problems, and then you use that for inspirations for your inventions.
Gadgeteer 5 is like taking a fairly practical technology out of today's science (based) fiction, using it as inspirations for a chain of research projects that will lead to the development of the theories necessary for you to invent the technology that people think is just fictional.
Gadgeteer 6 is like taking something theoretical in today's science (based) fiction, using it as inspiration for a chain of research projects that will lead to the development of the theories necessary for you to invent technology that would spin out of the theories proposed as potential 'futures' in that fictional world.
Gadgeteer 7 invents things based on theories that no one even imagines yet. The only reason people believe that Gadgeteer 7 items are gadgets and not devises are that they always work. But no one else has the equipment to replicate the process to try duplicating the invention.[4]


  1. Diane Castle on the Crystal Hall Forums, Msg 49189
  2. E. E. Nalley on the Crystal Hall Forums
  3. Gearhead
  4. Kristin Darken Forum post # 94765, (may be subject to change with 2nd edition )
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