Nikola Tesla

The man who invented the twentieth century.

Male Smart Hero 4/Scientist 6 CR 10
Medium-size humanoid (adult human)
Init +0; Senses Listen +4, Spot +4
Languages English, Serbo-Croatian
Def 13, touch 13, flat-footed 13 (+3 class)
hp 38 (HD 4d6 plus 6d6)
Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +11
Spd 30 ft.; Space 5 ft; Reach 5 ft.
Base Atk +5; Grap +4
Melee attack +4 (1d3, unarmed)
Ranged attack +5 (2d4, double derringer)
Abilities Str 8, Dex 10, Con 10, Int 20, Wis 18, Cha 12
SQ scientific improvisation, discoveries, major breakthrough
AL Good, Science, Fellowship; Rep 1 (5/+3); AP 10
Occupation: Technician class skills: Craft (electronic), Craft (mechanical), Knowledge (technology)]
Skills: Craft (electronic) +27, Craft (mechanical) +27, Craft (structural) +20, Disable Device +16, Knowledge (current events) +15, Knowledge (earth & life sciences) +20, Knowledge (pop culture) +17, Knowledge (physical sciences) +20, Knowledge (technology) +21, Profession (engineer) +17, Repair +20, Research +18, Search +18, Sense Motive +8
Feats: Educated [Knowledge (electronic) and Knowledge (mechanical)], Educated [Knowledge (earth & life sciences) and Knowledge (structural)], Low Profile, Builder, Educated [Knowledge (physical sciences) and Knowledge (technology)], Extend Invention, Simplified Invention, Simple Weapons Proficiency
Talents (Smart Hero): Savant [Craft (electronic)], Savant [Knowledge (mechanical)]
Discoveries: 0-aerovapor compound, polarity enhancer, inertial hydroconverter, quantum beam matter array, zortillium pulse transmitter, positron spectralyzer, magnetolaser drive_; 1-_ultraviolet infiniconverter, magnetogravitic reflector, microwave autotargeter, Gaussian multiprismator suit, inertial wave neutralizer sphere_; 2-_Kirlian wave reflector hypersuit, atomic portashield, magnetoray construct_; 3-_microwave megaparticle emitter array, electrolaser gun
Possessions: Double derringer, lab coat, rough clothing and various personal items
Equipment: Tesla has access to specialized tools, including masterwork deluxe mechanical toolkits (2 to Repair mechanical devices, included above), masterwork deluxe electrical toolkits (2 to Repair electronics or electronic devices, included above), a library of technical books, and several large work areas equivalent to a requisition limit Purchase DC of 30 [Res (+2)]

Nikola Tesla (Serbian Cyrillic: Никола Тесла) (b. 10 July 18401, currently age 32) is an inventor and mechanical and electrical engineer currently working for the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company’s lab in Pittsburgh, PA. Born in Smiljan, Croatian Krajina [Austrian Empire], he is an ethnic Serb, formerly a subject of the Austrian Empire, but has recently been granted American citizenship.

Tesla is an incredibly revolutionary scientist, pushing the envelope of applied science to its very limits—and sometimes beyond. Working primarily in the fields of electricity and magnetism, his patents and theoretical work eventually form the basis of modern alternating current electric power (AC) systems, including the polyphase power distribution systems and the AC motor, with which he helped usher in the Second Industrial Revolution.

Early years

Nikola was born to Serbian parents in the Croatian village of Smiljan near Gospić, in the Lika region of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. According to legend, he was born precisely at midnight during an electrical storm, though he will neither confirm nor deny this “fact”.

Nikola moved with his family to Gospić in 1846. Tesla went to school in Karlovac, finishing a four year term in the span of three years. He then studied electrical engineering at the Austrian Polytechnic in Graz (1859). While there, he studied the uses of alternating current.

Dropping out after the first semester of his third year when he stopped attending lectures, Tesla never actually received a degree from the the institute. In December 1862 he left Graz and broke all relations with his family, leaving his friends to believe that he had drowned in the river Mura.

He went to Maribor, Slovenia, where he was first employed as an assistant engineer for a year, working himself so hard that he suffered a nervous breakdown during this time. Tesla was later persuaded by his father to attend the Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague, which he attended for the summer term of 1864. Here Tesla was influenced by Ernst Mach. However after his father died, Nikola left the university, having completed only one term.

Tesla read voraciously, memorizing complete books, and many have credited him with a photographic memory. For many years, Tesla suffered from ill health, and had a peculiar affliction in which blinding flashes of light would appear before his eyes, often accompanied by hallucinations. Much of the time the visions were linked to a word or idea he might have come across; just by hearing the name of an item, he would involuntarily envision it in realistic detail.

Tesla has tried to describe his “technique” to other scientists, and claims that he visualizes an invention in his brain in precise form before ever moving to the construction stage; a technique sometimes known as picture thinking.

Hungary and France

In 1864, he moved to Budapest, Hungary, to work under Tivadar Puskás in a telegraph company, the National Telephone Company. There, he met Nebojša Petrović, a young, Serbian inventor (and friend to the Fellowship) who lived in Austria. Although their encounter was brief, they did work on a project together using twin turbines to create continual power. On the opening of the telephone exchange in Budapest, 1865, Tesla became the chief electrician to the company, and was later engineer for the country’s first telephone system. He also developed a device that, according to some, was a telephone repeater or amplifier, but according to others could have been the first loudspeaker.

In 1866 he moved to Paris, France, to work as an engineer for the Continental Edison Company, designing improvements to electric equipment. In the same year, Tesla conceived the induction motor and began developing various devices that use rotating magnetic fields for which he received patents from the U.S. government earlier this year.

United States

On 6 June 1868, Tesla arrived in New York City with little besides a letter of recommendation from Charles Batchelor, a former employer. In the letter of recommendation to Thomas Edison, Batchelor wrote:

I know two great men and you are one of them; the other is this young man.”

Edison hired Tesla to work for his Edison Machine Works. Tesla’s work for Edison began with simple electrical engineering but quickly progressed to solving some of the company’s most difficult problems. Tesla was even offered the task of completely redesigning the Edison company’s direct current generators.

Tesla claims he was offered US$50,000 (~ US$1.1 million in 2007, adjusted for inflation) if he redesigned Edison’s inefficient motor and generators, making an improvement in both service and economy.

Tesla says he worked night and day on the project and gave the Edison Company several profitable new patents in the process. In 1869 when Tesla inquired about the payment for his work, Edison replied, “Tesla, you don’t understand our American humor,” thus breaking his word.

Earning a mere US$18 per week, Tesla would have had to work for 53 years to earn the amount he was promised. The offer was equal to the initial capital of the company. Tesla resigned when he was refused a raise to US$25 per week.

Tesla eventually found himself digging ditches for a short period of time –- coincidentally for the Edison Company. Tesla even used this time to focus on his AC polyphase system, which Edison (believing DC electricity was the future) had never wanted to hear about.

Middle years

In 1870, Tesla was contacted by several benefactors who agreed to help him finance the formation of his own company, Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing. The initial financial investors disagreed with Tesla on his plan for an alternating current motor and eventually relieved him of his duties at the company. Tesla worked in New York as a common laborer from 1870 to 1871 to feed himself and raise capital for his next project. In 1871, he constructed the initial brushless alternating current induction motor, which he demonstrated to the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (now IEEE) in 1872.

In the same year, he developed the principles of his Tesla coil and began working with George Westinghouse, a friend of the Fellowship, at Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company’s Pittsburgh labs. Westinghouse listened to his ideas for polyphase systems which would allow transmission of alternating current electricity over long distances.

In April 1871, Tesla began working for the Fellowship, primarily investigating what would later be called X-rays using his own single node vacuum tubes (similar to his patent #514,170). In his research, Tesla has already devised several fantastic inventions.

Nikola Tesla

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