I woke up in the middle of the night saying “tool pill” to myself.

TOOL PILL: A tool pill is a 30-gram single-use nanofactory with thousands of pre-defined simple objects available for construction. Tool pills can be set to provide everything from hedge trimmers to slabs of gold. Assume that any practical hand tool, household item, or metal part set can be fabricated, within boundaries defined by 4 kilograms and one cubic meter. If you know the desired tool’s sequence, the process requires 30 seconds and access to construction material — any matter will do. Activating a tool pill on an immobilized living being is an extraordinarily cruel method of execution, and results in a very creepy souvenir of your crime. Don’t lose your reference guide listing the many tools and their settings.

Reading too much Charles Stross. I’ve also been thinking about a game this would be perfect for – you play truly reprehensible criminals on the run from an interstellar authority, going to ground on some interdicted and dirty feudal backwater. It’s The Man Who Would Be King meets D&D by way of Traveller. You don’t have much high tech stuff, but what you do have makes you sorcerers, kings, Gods. You can pull ten pound slabs of gold out of thin air. You have fireball wands strapped to your hips. You know stuff, like how to stop cholera epidemics. But everybody hates a wizard, and eventually Authority (or other ne’er-do-wells) are going to come calling…

The Tool Pill
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One thought on “The Tool Pill

  • January 2, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Wow, this entry has already attracted the attention of comment spammers. Maybe “TOOL PILL” is a bad name for the thing.

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