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The Armorer

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This is the guy who procures, develops, and/or builds all those wonderful toys.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
MadAnthony94 on Jul 10th 2018 at 8:23:31 PM
Last Edited By:
Synchronicity on Jul 31st 2018 at 6:57:08 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

If The Hero, the Caper Crew, or whomever needs a camera that can be cleverly disguised as a cufflink, a wristwatch that conceals a handy garrote wire, or one of those discrete amphibious sports cars, they turn to this guy. The Armorer tends to be strictly non-action; they are not The Smart Guy. Their usual role in the story is to introduce some fabulous new toys for the main character to use (basically serving as a specific variation of Mr. Exposition), so said toys can save the hero at the last minute, usually after a strategic absence to allow the audience to forget about them. If the Armorer has any presence beyond that, it's probably to help keep any fuming, obstructive superiors off the main characters' backs.

This is one possible answer to the question Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?. Gadgeteer Genius, The Engineer, The Blacksmith and Mr. Fixit all describe skills an Armorer should or may have (though, to be clear, an Armorer is not required to be an inventor themselves). Personality-wise, they stand a good chance of being a Bungling Inventor, an Absent-Minded Professor, or an Insufferable Genius.


Examples

     Anime and Manga 
  • In Dragon Ball, Bulma serves as this for the Z-Fighters, providing them with all their gadgets and technology when ever they can't use their power levels to solve the problem. Notable examples include the Dragon Radar used to locate the Dragon Balls, several space ships to travel between planets, and capsules which allow shrinking large objects for easy storage.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • The setting has this on a wide scale with the Support companies, who provide heroes and heroes-in-training with their costumes, gear, and other technology that they might need.
    • For U.A., the local Superhero School, Hatsume and Power Loader are the Support Department's representatives to the plot. They are constantly tinkering with gadgets in the laboratories and help the students upgrade and modify their equipment.

     Comic Books 
  • As an agent of SHIELD, Nick Fury relied on Sidney "The Gaffe" Levine (a mechanic who took care of Fury's flying car) and Boothroyd, who mostly gave him personal effects like guns, armor, invisibility pills (comics, everyone)...
  • On the villainous side of the Marvel Universe, see the Tinkerer. Shocker, Vulture, Rocket Racer, Jester, Diamondback, and too many others to count go to him for their equipment.
  • Reed Richards and Tony Stark also work as this in the Marvel Universe, when they're not doing their usual superheroics. It's stated several times that their tech is crucial for SHIELD, and when Tony is in the hospital for life-threatening injuries, they even post guards outside his door.
  • The Punisher: Micro fulfills this role for Frank, both outfitting him with assorted gadgets and vehicles (Frank goes through a lot of battle vans) and helping with electronic warfare and surveillance. At one point he claims Frank's total bodycount would have been a third of what it is without his assistance.
  • In Batwoman, one of Jacob Kane's roles is making or acquiring hardware for his daughter's war on the Religion of Crime.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Gyro Gearloose is a Bungling Inventor variant. In the Paperinik stories, he creates the titular hero's various super-gadgets.
  • Agent of the Empire, unsurprisingly since it's James Bond in Star Wars. Jahan's tech guy is Alessia Quon. Not only does he keep Jahan's favorite droid in working order, we learn that they can confide in each other when they step out of bounds, Jahan being one of few Imperials who doesn't have any anti-alien bias.
  • The Mexican version of Fantômas had Professor Semo. It's not clear why he gave so many gadgets to a self-professed criminal. Presumably he's just happy as long as his stuff gets a field test.

     Film 
  • Lucius Fox fills this role in The Dark Knight Trilogy, providing Bruce with all the Wonderful Toys he needs, while helpfully pretending he has no idea what Bruce is using it for.
    Fox: And before you ask, yes, it comes in black.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Howard Stark from Captain America: The First Avenger is an eccentric industrialist who offers Captain America an array of experimental shields to chose from to tackle the Nazi threat. Cap quickly gravitates to a light-weight, invincible shields he takes with him until the end of the war.
    • Tony gives Peter Parker a high-tech Spidey-Suit in Captain America: Civil War, but working out all its bells and whistles (which Tony kept restricted for, frankly, Peter's safety) is up to Peter and his pal Ned, sort of a Back Alley Armorer, in later films.
    • Shuri from Black Panther is Wakanda's greatest mind, allowing her to give Black Panther the tech he needs to pull off his superheroics. His nano-Vibranium panther suit, sound-proofed sneakers, and car-jacking Kimoyo Beads all come from Shuri and serve him well to the end of the film.
    • Eitri the Dwarf becomes this for Thor in Avengers: Infinity War, helping him make Stormbreaker after Mjolnir is destroyed (from the sound of it, he was already this for Asgard well before that, as he is implied to have made Mjolnir too).

     Literature 
  • The Trope Codifier (to the point many examples on this page are direct parodies of him) was Major Boothroyd in Ian Fleming's James Bond books, better known to modern audiences as "Q". Originally just the quartermaster who kept track of MI-6's handguns, the films cemented the popular image of him as a master boffin whose presents for 007 got increasingly elaborate and in some cases downright absurd, and who would always admonish Bond to return what he gave him on a mission in "pristine order" (which wasn't always possible).
  • Possibly von Herder, the blind German mechanic mentioned in some Sherlock Holmes stories. According to Holmes himself, von Herder made the air rifle used by Professor Moriarty's henchman, Moran. Some adaptations, like The Hound Of The D Urbervilles, expand on this scant information to make von Herder Moriarty's personal Q-Branch.
  • Foaly in Artemis Fowl invents and parcels out tech for LEP agents and is willing to help the main characters off-the-books, since he doesn't like most of his superiors.
  • Barry Trotter and the Unauthorized Parody features Zed, a purveyor of magical toys who's a clear parody of Q.
  • Discworld:
    • Leonard da Quirm operates as this in several stories. The poor guy has several dozen brilliant ideas for inventions every day, but is too naive to realize how dangerous some are, so the Patrician keeps him locked up and top secret. It doesn't bother Leonard; you can imprison his body, but his mind can't be held down.
    • Another parody of the Trope Namer is Qu, who fills this role for the History Monks, providing neat little toys like the Procrastinators that allow you to speed or slow time.
  • The Drood Family in Secret Histories has the Armorer, in charge of all the family's magical items.

     Live Action TV 
  • Barney Collier in Mission: Impossible built the electronics and mechanical contrivances the IMF used.
  • Invoked in Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Buffy compares Xander and Giles to "her Q" after they build a training course for her.
  • A villainous (or at least amoral) example in Daredevil; Wilson Fisk gets literal body armor (well-made enough to hide beneath a tailored suit) from a man called Melvin Potter. When Matt learns this, he decides to visit Potter himself to get his own classic costume.
  • In The Flash
    • Cisco is, in his own words, the one who "makes the toys". Almost all of Team Flash's many gadgets come from Cisco, most notably Barry's Flash suit. Occasionally Dr. Wells pitches in to help Cisco out.
    • Season Four Big Bad, Clifford DeVoe/The Thinker, has his wife serve as his engineer, constructing all of his impossible equipment from his Thinking Cap, to his Cool Chair, and even their pocket dimension lair.
  • Alias: Whenever Sydney Bristow is going on a mission, Marshall Finkman supplies her with helpful gadgets to aid her.

     Mythology 

     Tabletop Games 
  • The Adeptus Mechanicus in Warhammer 40,000 are the main supplier and developer of advanced technology in the Imperium of Man. And by "advanced technology", I mean war machines. "Developer" is also a bit of a stretch, since their methods discourage inventiveness.

     Video Games 
  • The Assassin Brotherhood of Assassin's Creed has had several historical inventors help their cause by building them special equipment. To name a few: Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, and Alexander Graham Bell.
  • In Mega Man Zero, the Resistance's scientist robot Cerveau supplies Zero with new weapons that he builds from studying Zero's original weapon, Z-Saber.
  • Goldeneye Rogue Agent, in keeping with the prevailing Evil Counterpart theme, has Francisco Scaramanga serve as the Q stand-in to the "Evil Bond" main character. Mostly this means adding upgrades to his, ah, Golden Eye.
  • Funky Kong in Donkey Kong 64 takes on the role of arms dealer, and provides the Kongs with various weapons and ammo

     Western Animation 

     Real Life 
  • Man at Arms are a group of real life armorers. They have created realistic weapon props that have been used in feature films.

Feedback: 60 replies

Jul 10th 2018 at 8:26:15 PM

I refuse to believe this isn't a trope already, but I'm unable to find one that fits.

Jul 10th 2018 at 8:52:17 PM

  • In Mega Man Zero, the Resistance's scientist robot Cerveau supplies Zero with new weapons that he builds from studying Zero's original weapon, Z-Saber.

Jul 10th 2018 at 9:40:31 PM

Needs A Better Title according to Trope Namer Syndrome. "Q Division" is meaningless outside of what it references.

Jul 10th 2018 at 10:35:00 PM

Trope Namer Syndrome. Hero's Gadget Developer? Also, several of the examples are lacking context; please see Zero Context Examples for more details on what sufficient context entails.

  • My Hero Academia:
    • The setting has this on a wide scale with the Support companies, who provide heroes and heroes-in-training with their costumes, gear, and other technology that they might need.
    • For the focal students themselves, Mei Hatsume is consistently the Support Department's representative to the plot. She shows off many of her inventions at the Sports Festival and provides Midoriya with upgrades to his equipment.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Gyro Gearloose is a Bungling Inventor variant. In the Paperinik stories, he creates the titular hero's various super-gadgets.
  • Kim Possible: Wade Load doubles as this and Mission Control; in addition to being her Voice With An Internet Connection while on missions, he also provides her with all the gadgets she uses on the field.

Jul 11th 2018 at 2:07:35 AM

  • Examples section
    • Added a line separating the Description and Examples section.
    • Added the word "Examples".

Zero Context Examples have been marked as such. They need more information to show how they fit the trope. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context. Warning: providing Zero Context Examples can result in being suspended from editing.

Jul 11th 2018 at 4:59:12 AM

Hopefully that's enough context. Let me know if it isn't. Hero's Gadget Developer is okay as a title. Any other ideas? Anyone have any feelings about "The Quartermaster" or "Hero R&D"?

Jul 11th 2018 at 5:53:33 AM

Regarding "is this a trope"... well, currently it's Chekhovs Armory, but this is a fairly distinct subtrope that I would be fine with splitting it off.

... and as much as I love the name and think it's perfect, it's objectively a Bad Trope Namer. Hero R&D might work, though.

Jul 11th 2018 at 8:24:03 AM

Chekhovs Armory is about "a lot of Chekhovs Gun", which is unrelated to thia.

Jul 11th 2018 at 9:20:56 AM

Film

  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Howard Stark from Captain America The Firest Avenger is an eccentric industrialist who offers Captain America an array of experimental shields to chose from to tackle the Nazi threat. Cap quickly gravitates to a light-weight, invincible shields he takes with him until the end of the war.
    • Shuri from Black Panther is Wakanda's greatest mind, allowing her to give Black Panther the tech he needs to pull off his superheroics. His nano-Vibranium panther suit, sound-proofed sneakers, and car-jacking Kimoyo Beads all come from Shuri and serve him well to the end of the film.

Podcasts

  • After each arc in The Adventure Zone Balance, the adventurers can go to the Moon to receive a new item from Leon the Artificer. All he asks is that they put a coin in a slot and spin the Fantasy Gachapon to receive a random item, only for the adventurers to deliberately misinterpret his instructions every time.

Jul 11th 2018 at 12:54:32 PM

I think this is covered by The Engineer, which has a similar discussion of the role within a battle team dynamic that this does.

Jul 11th 2018 at 4:03:43 PM

  • Marq FJA I guess so. My line of thought was that a Gadgeteer Genius describes a skill, while this trope is more about a function within the plot (i.e., giving the hero the inventions to use). It's possible for them not to overlap: a character with the unusual ability to invent things out of junk, who uses this ability to save the day, is a Gadgeteer Genius but not Hero Rn D. A businessman who supplies the hero with nifty tech but has no inventive ability himself (just hires others who do) is Hero Rn D but not Gadgeteer Genius. Hope that makes sense.
I don't think it's quite the same as The Engineer, but I admit I could be wrong. I sort of agree with Chekhovs Armory; I mention the overlap with Chekhovs Gun in the text.

Jul 12th 2018 at 6:17:58 AM

A redirect/rewrite of Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys, maybe? The overlap is heavy enough that some examples seem like they could just as easily go on the current page as-is, but maybe the current name isn't indicative enough. The character archetype of the (usually labcoat-clad) Non Action Guy Support Party Member inventor/Mr Fixit character does come up often enough that it does deserve to be troped, I think. See also: boffins.

Comic Books

  • Marvel Comics:
    • Depending on the story, when they're not playing a leading role themselves, characters like Tony Stark, Reed Richards, and Beast can serve as this, either for their respective teams or for other heroes.
    • The Tinkerer is a villainous example.

Jul 11th 2018 at 8:09:45 PM

"Hero R&D" is a somewhat better title, but I'd prefer to not squash "Research and Development" into an acronym.

Jul 12th 2018 at 1:37:48 AM

The Punisher: Micro fulfills this role for Frank, both outfitting him with assorted gadgets and vehicles (Frank goes through a lot of battle vans) and helping with electronic warfare and surveillance. At one point he claims Frank's total bodycount would have been a third of what it is without his assistance.

Jul 12th 2018 at 3:05:15 AM

@Mad Anthony 94/OP

Re: The new title Hero R&D.

Naming A Trope - Be clear in the name says "Avoid acronyms, as they are hard to understand and difficult to remember."

Jul 12th 2018 at 3:26:30 AM

^You could always have both the full name and the acronym to direct to the same page. I do feel like the more this trope becomes a group or department, though, the less reason there is to have it be separate from Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys

As an alternate title: The Armorer, maybe? That was the (only name given) for the proto-Q from Dr No, it can work for heroes or villains, and it's specifically about a character who arms other characters with the gear they build, rather than using it themselves.

Jul 12th 2018 at 9:05:10 AM

^ Ooh, I like "The Armorer"!

Jul 12th 2018 at 5:18:20 PM

For the record I do agree with most of these suggestions for entries, but it feels like there's still a little uncertainty over how worthy this is of tropehood, so I'm just waiting to scope things out a bit. As it's seconded, Armorer passes.

Jul 12th 2018 at 5:47:29 PM

The Engineer could at least be mentioned in the description.

Jul 12th 2018 at 9:28:05 PM

Comic Books

  • In Batwoman, one of Jacob Kane's roles is making or acquiring hardware for his daughter's war on the Religion of Crime.

Jul 13th 2018 at 5:44:20 AM

  • In Dragon Ball, Bulma serves as this for the Z-Fighters, providing them with all their gadgets and technology when ever they can't use their power levels to solve the problem. Notable examples include the Dragon Radar used to locate the Dragon Balls, several space ships to travel between planets, and capsules which allow shrinking large objects for easy storage.

  • MCU:
    • Peter has two of these. Firstly it is Tony Stark himself who provides Peter with upgraded Spider-Man suits that are full of technology. To a lesser extent Peter's best friend Ned, and while he doesn't make technology himself, he is tech savvy enough to tinker and hack the technology Peter has on hand.
    • On the villain's side, the Tinkerer makes all of the Vulture's high-tech gadgets from the various alien and super-powered technology that they steal. There's include: an anti-gravity gun, a matter phase shifter, and of course Vulture's signature wings.

Jul 15th 2018 at 6:12:08 AM

Ah, good old Q. He was the guy who would always admonish Bond to bring whatever he gave him back in "pristine order" (and this was sometimes impossible given certain crazy action scenes).

Jul 19th 2018 at 9:34:17 PM

  • In The Flash, Cisco is, in his own words, the one who "makes the toys". Almost all of Team Flash's many gadgets come from Cisco, especially Barry's Flash suit. Occasionally Dr. Wells pitches in to help Cisco out.

Jul 22nd 2018 at 10:21:53 AM

  • In Avengers Infinity War, Eitri the Dwarf King serves as The Blacksmith for both Thor and Thanos, creating the Infinity Gauntlet and Thor's new axe-hammer, Stormbreaker. It's also implied he may have been the one to create Thor's original Weapon Of Choice Mjolnir.

Jul 22nd 2018 at 1:59:17 PM

Now that my only reason for bombing this has been fixed, I've hatted this.

Jul 22nd 2018 at 3:29:39 PM

Something like this should be included in the last paragraph: "The Armorer will almost always explain the exact function of each of their gadgets to the extent the story needs them too, making them a specific variation of Mr Exposition." This should be indexed under Characters As Device, since its about a character fulfilling a function in the plot.

Related to that, I think the title fails to convey that this trope is about a character who provides the hero's gadgets they will later use to resolve conflicts in the story. The previously suggested Hero R&D would get that across better, especially since R&D fits the sci-fi vibe of these characters better than the medieval term Armorer.

Jul 22nd 2018 at 5:29:30 PM

^ someone high above apparently hates acronyms.

Jul 28th 2018 at 8:21:22 AM

Armorer's not some archaic medieval term that's fallen out of use. It's still in common parlance as exactly this trope in police and militaries all over the English-speaking world.

And while I didn't mind the acronym myself, we've already got Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys for the broader field of supplying gadgets and gear. This trope's for when there's one specific character, like Q or Lucius Fox, who gives that department/division/etc a face.

Jul 22nd 2018 at 6:36:08 PM

^ My bad on not knowing the term. Still, would it be more accurate to call it something like "Hero's Armorer" to signify that this is about a character who is the protagonist's gadget supplier?

Jul 23rd 2018 at 12:14:07 AM

Eh. I think that'd be less pithy. And similar to my issue with Hero R&D, this is character archetype which could just as easily work for the villains as the heroes.

Jul 23rd 2018 at 4:39:16 AM

^ The Tinkerer is one for the villain, and listed up there.

Jul 23rd 2018 at 4:58:09 AM

I know, I mentioned the comics version. I'm just restating why I'd prefer a name that didn't suggest the archetype is only for heroes.

Jul 25th 2018 at 3:29:09 AM

Real Life

  • Man At Arms are a group of real life armorers. They have created realistic weapon props that have been used in feature films.

Jul 25th 2018 at 3:46:08 AM

Alias: Whenever Sydney Bristow is going on a mission, Marshall Finkman supplies her with helpful gadgets to aid her.

Jul 25th 2018 at 8:26:51 AM

The laconic has to change.

  • Big Hero 6: Hiro serves as this for the titular team. Aside from Baymax's enhancements, he modifies the tech that each of his friends specialize in into something workable as superhero-level gadgets, i.e Gogo's mag-lev wheels, Wasabi's plasma arm blades and Honey Lemon's chemical ball-slinger purse.

Jul 27th 2018 at 3:18:42 PM

I'd prefer the trope's title to be something derived from our friend Q. Q-Branch was out for reasons I don't recall, and Armorer was the name for the proto-Q character in the Bond novels. That's why I personally like it.

Jul 27th 2018 at 6:00:11 PM

^ Q-Branch was out for reasons you don't recall... but I recall, and I can remind you. As I said a few comments before, "Q-Branch" is meaningless outside of what it references. Anybody who hasn't seen the work that "Q-Branch" is referencing is not going to understand what "Q-Branch" means. (e.g. they might wonder, "Is this about pruning tree branches into the shapes of alphabet letters?")

It's not just me saying this. The Trope Namer Syndrome page says the same thing...

Due to the size and popularity that the wiki has grown to, the old days of sitting around in closely-knit circles of nerds and naming tropes directly from our favorite works of fiction are over. With a capital O. ...the goal of this wiki is (still) to document tropes in ways that are actually useful for all the other people who aren't familiar with the same things we are.

That being said, the only titles I'm discouraging with this information are "Q Division" and "Q-Branch". Fortunately for you, "The Armorer" doesn't fall into the same problem as those other titles because "The Armorer" is clear enough to summarize the idea of this draft even for people who don't know what it's referencing.

Kudos to Unsung for pointing out that the word "armorer" is not some archaic medieval term that's fallen out of use. It's still in common use as exactly this trope in police and militaries all over the English-speaking world. That is why I like the title "The Armorer".

Jul 28th 2018 at 7:57:45 AM

^4tell0life4 Why has the Laconic got to change, and what should it change to?

Jul 28th 2018 at 8:20:28 AM

Should've mentioned that I changed it. It used to specifically refer to this being the guy who got The Hero those wonderful toys, and we were saying that this character can just as easily work for the villain or anyone else, not just the Hero.

Jul 28th 2018 at 9:31:38 AM

Funky Kong in Donkey Kong 64 takes on the role of arms dealer, and provides the Kongs with various weapons and ammo.

Jul 28th 2018 at 8:45:48 PM

Edited the MHA example for clarity.

Jul 29th 2018 at 3:26:45 AM

An official term for this is The Quartermaster. That is where James Bond's Q and Q-Branch came from. Armorer works, but is a little more archaic and typically refers to specifically armor and weapons rather than general gear and supplies.

Could also be integrated into the Command Roster.

Jul 30th 2018 at 2:49:06 AM

Seconding The Quartermaster, for the reasons given above.

Jul 30th 2018 at 3:39:15 AM

Armorer is punchier, is also an official term, and we already have Corrupt Quartermaster, so I think it cuts down on ambiguity. It's specific to armor and weapons (working out of the armory) as opposed to more general supplies and rations, but I'd say that better suits the scope of this archetype anyway. Quartermaster suggests the procurement and maintenance side of things, but nor so much the development or construction part, which I think The Armorer carries.

Jul 30th 2018 at 5:16:34 AM

^ Reading Corrupt Quartermaster, I would conclude that James Bond films use the term "Quartermaster" wrong. :P

Jul 30th 2018 at 7:38:57 AM

Corrupt Quartermaster would be a subtrope, that shouldn't be a factor in which name we use (if they were unrelated tropes with similar names that's a different story). I prefer The Quartermaster over Armorer because of being more precise, but either way one should be a redirect because they are both official terms.

Jul 31st 2018 at 1:36:05 AM

It's not more precise. It's a term with broader applications, but I think that works against it here — the archetype in question is fairly specialized. This character is mostly equipping the hero or villain with their "toys", which largely consists of weapons, often various armored or superpowered suits, and perhaps different specialized tools and vehicles — things that are somewhat more restricted. Calling it The Quartermaster implies that they would be handling everything, from provisions on up, and could include any quartermaster, which wasn't the original intent of this draft. The Quartermaster could maybe be a Missing Supertrope if someone wanted to write that TLP, but I don't think that it should overtake the current trope, which is the character supplying the various gadgets used by the main hero or villain.

Jul 30th 2018 at 1:37:28 PM

By that logic Armorer isn't a good name either, and there is a lot more overlap with Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys. You would then just call it Hero R And D, but I think the trope is broader than that and Quartermaster/Armorer is a better description of what the trope is trying to be.

Jul 30th 2018 at 2:11:34 PM

I don't really see what you're going for. The logic is that Armorer is more specialized, which you've already said. I'd say that brings it closer to what this trope already is. This trope does overlap significantly with Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys — it's supposed to. That's what it's for. Hero R&D would pretty much be what WDHGATWT already is.

Jul 30th 2018 at 2:07:52 PM

So, would any smith that sells the product of their craft to the main characters, count for this trope?

'Cause it seems too common and broad, but No Trope Is Too Common...

Jul 30th 2018 at 2:13:36 PM

I'm saying that there isn't a spectrum where Armorer is closer in idea to Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys and somehow Quartermaster is further from it. Armorer is not more specialized, but more specific in what kind of toys. A Quartermaster would include all the stuff the Armorer offers, but not the reverse. You wouldn't get a radio from the Armorer, and the trope is supposed to be about ALL types of toys.

Jul 30th 2018 at 2:17:19 PM

This character generally doesn't sell their product to the character — they supply them, often as partners like Micro, but if they're paid by the main characters, it's usually more because they're directly employed by them. They could sell their services for hire — Tinkerer does — but in that case the need for the equipment they supply to be unique gadgets or magic items goes up.

^ Your average standard-issue radio, probably not, but some kind of custom-made undetectable micro-radio? Quite possibly.

Jul 30th 2018 at 10:23:08 PM

The non-Bond dictionary definition of "quartermaster" isn't "someone who makes the toys", it's (generally) an officer in charge of supplies and provisions — with that in mind, I don't think The Quartermaster is very indicative of what this draft is about, and it may be mistaken for an actual army/navy quartermaster if that name is chosen. The Armorer isn't perfect, but is at least functionally closer.

Jul 31st 2018 at 2:11:41 AM

The trope has a long list of different roles the character is supposed to have: issuing toys, procuring toys, creating toys, repairing toys, etc. That's why I say that neither name is really more closer than the other (Quartermaster is about procuring and issuing toys, Armorer is about issuing and repairing toys), and if people start listing realistic military Quartermasters in fiction I don't really see that as a problem because I see that element as where the trope is most valuable, even if not as fantastical as the Bond example. If the focus of the trope is supposed to be on the building and repairing toys, I would find it redundant with The Blacksmith, Gadgeteer Genius and The Engineer / Mr Fixit.

Jul 31st 2018 at 3:50:02 AM

Quartermaster as a job tends to be about procurement on a larger scale, and involves mundane items like food and uniforms in addition to weapons, vehicles, etc. That could be a trope, but not this one. This trope is narrower than that. This is specifically about those characters who supply various unique gadgets, and possibly magic items, to characters who go through a lot of them. A quartermaster will usually be shown working on behalf of a larger force — this character might literally only work on behalf of the main cast, possibly only a single character. This also differs from The Blacksmith, Gadgeteer Genius, and the like in that the Armorer may or may not make the items themselves — they might just stock them as needed, or act as caretaker for a repository of weapons or artifacts.

If you want to create another, broader supertrope, that would be fine, but I don't think we need to broaden this trope when it's got as many examples as it already does.

Jul 31st 2018 at 6:57:08 PM

  • In Pathfinder you yourself can become this for your group depending on how you specialize. It's not unusual for higher lever wizards to have the feats and spells necessary to make any magic item in the game themselves without having to shop around.

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