Monday, April 16, 2012

Update: Races of the Tatakama is OUT!


Races of the Tatakama was just released for the Pathfinder RPG- at nearly 100 pages, this book takes the best (and most freaky shit) from Black Tokyo and converts it to a fantasy context.

Over on the right, an absolutely amazing piece by Amanda Webb. Though less explicitly erotic than I originally planned on the cover being, I liked this image so much I used it as the cover to the sourcebook.

As the sales of Races of the Tatakama continue to roll in, I'm getting ready to release the Sky Sailor core class, which is designed for Pirates of the Bronze Sky, but usable in any Pathfinder setting with airships.

I'm also still working on Frontlines of Choice, which will be a 90-100 page sourcebook on the life and operation of a Choicer abortion clinic, for Otherverse America. Expect tons of world info, and lots of additional options tagged for players with Neo-Witch Midwife and Clinic Defender player characters. It'll be pretty kickass, even if it only sells something like 5 units.

I'm also putting together an updated 'cyberpunk' sourcebook, consolidating the info from Cybernetics Armory and D7 Tech Update Cybernetics books, as well as the now defunct rules from D20 Future, and modernizing them a bit. It's multi-campaign, useful for Otherverse America, Psi-Watch or any cyberpunk or post-human setting. It's going to be heavily influenced by things like Ghost in the Shell, Altered Carbon, Neuromancer, and even the old editions of Cyberpunk and Shadowrun. Here's some sample text from it.....I've only been working it for a few hours now, so everything is still kinda basic, but this should give you a framework of what I'm going for, and how I'll lay things out. It'll have, in addition to what you see here, Full Conversion Cyborg and Light Cyborg races, alternate racial traits for each race, starting talents, feats and starting occupations for a cyberpunk campaign.

BEGIN EXCERPT-------

Skin wasn’t good enough.

You needed steel. Chrome and composite.

Bullet proof ceramic-composite skin. Camera lens eyes that can pick out facial details from 10 miles away. Piloting links that merge driver and vehicle into a single bio-mechanical organiansm of incredible efficency. Neural chips that boost your intellect into the high genius range. Targeting arrays that make every shot a kill. Muscle group stimulators that increase strength and speed. Sexual implants that are open the host to an incredible new world of pleasure. Who wouldn’t want to be a cyborg?

The Ultimate Cyborg is the definitive sourcebook for building cyborg heroes and villains. It builds upon two earlier sourcebooks: Dept 7 Tech Update: Cybernetics (Skortched Urf Studios, 2006) and State of the Otherverse: The Cybernetics Armory (Otherverse Games, 2010). This sourcebook consolidates and updates the material in both books, as well as the cybernetics described in the D20 Future Core Rulebook and several other sources, creating a definitive catalogue of cyber-implants.

Though designed with D20 Modern cyberpunk in mind, The Ultimate Cyborg is fully compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. In addition to high tech cybernetics, you’ll find advice on converting Purchase DCs to hard currency costs, suggestions on integrating cybernetics into your fantasy campaign, either as recovered artifacts or steampunk or magi-tech innovations, new spells and starting talents for fantasy cyborgs.

New Uses for Skills

The Computer Use, Treat Injury and Repair skills take on new importance in any campaign where cyborgs play a major role.

Cyber-Surgery

Performing cyber-surgery requires both the Treat Injury and Repair skills, depending on the exact task to be performed. The difficulty of implantation surgery or repair are determined by the implant’s category. Implanting a cybernetic system is always considered surgery, meaning the cyber-physician takes a -4 penalty on the associated Treat Injury check unless he possesses the Surgery feat.

The Cyber Surgery feat is modified slightly from D20 Future, as described in the feats section. Rather than reducing the penalty to perform cybernetic augmentation, this feat now allows a cyber-physician to substitute a Treat Injury check rather than a Repair check to repair damaged implants or perform routine cyber-maintenance.

Cybernetic Implant Category

Treat Injury DC to Install

Repair DC to Repair

Sensors

DC 18

DC 20

Defenses

DC 15

DC 15

Life Support

DC 22

DC 20

Electronic Warfare

DC 16

DC 20

Physical Enhancement

DC 18

DC 16

Cyber-Gadgets

DC 15

DC 15

Cyber-Weapons

DC 12

DC 14

Full Cybernetic Reconstruction Surgery

DC 34

Not Applicable

Light Cybernetic Reconstruction Surgery

DC 28

Not Applicable

FCB Monthly Maintenance

Not Applicable

DC 32

Cyber-Hacking

Cyborgs whose implants interface directly with their brain or central nervous system may have their minds and souls attacked by computer viruses and hackers. An enemy hacker can attack the cyborg by using the Computer Use skill to hack the cyborg as he could with any other system. Rather than a static Computer Use DC, this is an opposed check against the target cyborg.

A cyborg that is being hacked opposes the hacker’s Computer Use check with a WILL Saving Throw, and may add her ranks in Computer Use as a bonus on the check. If the cyber-hacker is successful, in addition to the normal tasks listed in the Computer Use skill description, he can take the following actions against the target cyborg.

Change Allegiance: By re-writing the target cyborg’s personality, the hacker can change the cyborg’s ethics and outlook. The cyber-hacker can add, delete or change any of the target cyborg’s secondary or tertiary allegiances. Attempting to change the target cyborg’s primary allegiance (her core personality) is more difficult, providing the cyborg with a +5 bonus on her WILL Save to resist the tampering. This change is temporary, and the cyborg’s true personality reemerges on its own in a number of days equal to the cyber-hacker’s ranks in Computer Use.

Change Alignment: More difficult than merely changing allegiance, the cyber-hacker can attempt to temporarily alter a cyborg’s mystic alignment. Each alignment step away from the norm provides the target cyborg with a +5 bonus on her WILL Save to resist the tampering. As with the alteration of allegiance, this hack is temporary. The target cyborg’s original alignment returns automatically in a number of hours equal to the cyber-hacker’s ranks in Computer Use.

Review Sense Memory: The cyber-hacker can download recent sensory impulses from the cyborg’s memory banks, which may be visual, audio (or both), or with the proper computer equipment, even tactile, olfactory or taste data. The cyber-hacker can download sensememories up to 72 hours old, plus 24 hours per five point his check beats the target cyborg’s WILL Save by.

Delete Memory Files: The cyber-hacker can delete experiences and memories from the target cyborg’s neural net, exactly like deleting files from a computer system. Each check allows the cyber-hacker to delete up to 24 hours worth of recent memories, plus an additional 24 hours (or portion of) for every five points the hacker beats the target cyborg’s check by. Experience gained during wiped periods of memory is lost; the game master otherwise determines how a cyborg suddenly missing several days of recent memory reacts to her sudden amnesia, or if she even consciously notices. Wiped memories are un-recoverable.


Install New Memory Files:
The cyber-hacker can create new false memories for a target cyborg. With a successful check, the hacker can install up to 24 hours worth of false memories, which are almost indistinguishable from reality. The cyber-hacker can install an additional 24 hours (or portion of) worth of false memories for every five points the hacker beats the target cyborg’s check by.

The cyborg receives a +5 bonus on her check if the newly installed false memories are especially surreal, nonsensical or directly contradict other memories or memory implants. The game master determines how a cyborg reacts to several days worth of implanted memories. False memories degrade; every 72 hours after implantation, the cyborg can attempt a new check to ‘see through’ the false memories, opposed by the cyber-hacker’s original Computer Use check. If the new check succeeds, the cyborg realizes the memory implants are false.

Deactivate Cybernetics: With a successful check, the cyber-hacker can shut down a chosen cybernetic implant. If the implant’s loss would cause death or complete incapacitation (such as the sudden shutdown of a cybernetic heart or spinal nerve replacement), it is especially well firewalled, and the target cyborg receives a +5 bonus on the check to resist shutdown.

Suppress Talent, Feat or Skill: The cyberhacker can temporarily shutdown a natural feat or skill learned by the cyborg, by hacking their nervous system. With a successful check, the cyber-hacker can ‘turn off’ any single feat possessed by the cyborg, which also shuts down other feats which use the suppressed feat as a prerequisite. The cyber-hacker can also choose to impose a -10 penalty on checks with a particular skill on a successful check. Alternatively, the cyber-hacker can suppress any single class-based talent tree. The suppressed skill, talent tree or feat returns 24 hours after the cyber-hacking.

Drain

Most cybernetics are implanted in a human host without needing an external power supply. The host’s blood is filtered through microscopic turbines, a hydroelectric dam in minuture, that produces all the electricity needed to run the implant. Or a chemically reactive tap-line is run into the host’s bladder, and electricity is chemically generated from the host’s urine. Other implants simply draw from the body’s electromagnetic “Krillian” aura, asorbing minute amounts of energy from the energy of life itself. A cyborg can be implanted with dozens of low drain devices without ill effect, and many are: implanted clocks and cellphones, language translators built directly into the frontal lobe, swappable skill-chips, subcutaneous drug dispensers and the like.

Full cybernetic conversion and ‘high-drain’ weapons implantation is a different story, though. The power demands of military cybernetics ensure that the cyborg must have some form of onboard power supply, which depending on the setting might take the form of an onboard fusion reactor, high density storage battery, even a sputtering diesel engine..... or in some technomagical settings, something as odd as a glowing crystal skull imbued with arcane power and recharged by human sacrifice.

Each cyber-implant has a Drain rating, which ranges from zero (for extremely low drain, non invasive devices) to five or higher (for implants that require massive amounts of power, like an implanted jet pack or energy weapon). A cyborg can safely receive implants with a total Drain rating less than or equal to her Constitution (CON) score.

Thus a cyborg with a Constitution of 14 (+2 modifiers) could safely accept up to 2 points of drain, while a character with a Constitution of 10 (no modifier) could not safely have cybernetics implanted.

Some incredibly tough characters can survive having high-drain devices implanted directly into their bodies, without the need for expensive (and potentially) dangerous power supplies being implanted. Other cyborgs are fitted with a power supply, which increases the amount of Drain they can safely withstand. The one downside to having an onboard power supply, aside from the possibility of catastrophic containment failure, is that high-energy cyborgs are easier to track and detect than their low-drain counterparts.

A creature may be implanted with more (or higher-drain) cybernetics than its body can safely handle. When this happens, the cyborg receives one negative level for each additional point of Drain inflicted, or fraction of a point. For each negative level, the cyborg takes a –1 penalty on all skill and ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws, and loses one effective level or HD whenever level is used in a die roll or calculation. If a character’s negative levels exceed it’s total Hit Dice, it dies.

This loss persists until the negative level is removed. Negative levels caused by exceeding the character’s Drain limitation remain until the offending attachments are removed.

Toughness and Cyber-Implants

Cyborgs who take the Toughness feat are better able to resist the strain of cyber-implantation. In addition to gaining bonus Hit Points, a character who takes Toughness can withstand an additional two (2) points of Drain. This feat would be highly sought after by military cyborgs and by cyborg spies, and is even more attractive to low Constitution cyborgs.

Implant Details

There are two basic types of cyber-system: internal and external devices.

Internal devices are integral computer systems, cybernetic organ replacements, subdermal body armor and the like. They are rarely detectable without a thorough medical examination or sensor scan. Internal devices have no Hardness or Hit Points of their own, anymore than a mundane organ does.

External devices are placed primarily outside the cyborg’s body, though most have some internal components as well. Cybernetic limbs, weapon implants, replacement eyes and exo-skeletal armor are all examples of external devices. External devices have their Hardness and Hit Points listed in the implant’s description, and may be targeted just as any weapon or worn item can be.

The implant’s Category describes what general category or purpose the cybernetic implant fits into, such as Defense, Sensory, or Physical Enhancement, among other categories.

Cybernetic implants may have one or more ‘tags’ which describe how they work. These tags are noted in each implant’s description. Finally, the base purchase DC and restriction rating of each implant are listed.

Implant Tags

If an implant has one of the following tags, it follows a specific rule detailed below.

Exclusive: Implants with this tag are extremely invasive and require the replacement of large amounts of organic tissue. If you select an implant with the exclusive tag, you cannot select other implants from that category.

Irremovable: The implant cannot be recycled or salvaged intact. Implants that need to be custom-built for the intended user, such as many varieties of neural-chip, are Irremovable.

Plug-In: The implant can be attached to an existing implant of the same type, rather than being installed separately. The cyborg just needs to pay the implant’s standard cost -2 and undergo a system upgrade. The cyber-medic receive a +4 bonus on the Treat Injury check to install the implant, as much of the work has already been done.

This tag is especially common among Sensors, such as a pair of cyber-eyes with both darkvision and telescopic features, for example. Implants with the plug-in tag are also available as ‘single’ implants- pay the normal cost and face the normal surgical difficulties. Given the way plug ins work, it makes sense to start with a cheap ‘base implant’ and add more expensive features as plug-ins to maximize your discount.

Security Risk: This implant has electronic warfare vulnerabilities, that a skilled cyber hacker can exploit. This tag is usually written as Security Risk -1 or Security Risk -5, or some other number. If you implant a device with this tag, you suffer a penalty on checks to resist cyber-hacking equal to the device’s security risk rating. The effects of

multiple implants with this tag are cumulative.

Sensors

Any cybernetic implant that provides a new or better way of perceiving the world is considered a sensor. Artificial eyes, augmented hearing, and integrated scientific scanners are all sensors. Most sensors are wired directly into the cyborg’s central nervous system.

Defenses

Defenses represent augmentations designed to keep the cyborg alive and functional in combat or designed to protect them from hostile environments. Many defenses are passive systems; once installed, they require minimal maintenance or thought.

Life Support

While Defenses protect cyborgs from injury, Life Support systems either allow him to recover more quickly, or maintain life function under adverse conditions. Life support implants range from artificial organs to dedicated nano-factories that allow near instant regeneration.

Electronic Warfare

Electronic Warfare systems protect the cyborg from hacking or electronic detection, or allow the cyborg to go on the offensive and hack other systems.

Physical Enhancement

Physical Enhancement implants augment the cyborg’s physical capabilities. Physical Enhancements include implants such as bionic limbs with superior strength, speed or flexibility, as well as more subtle augmentations such as muscle replacement and bone lacing.

Cyber-Gadgets

Cyber-Gadgets encompass a variety of useful implants common in industry, business and leisure. Many citizens of the future have several cyber-gadgets installed, from integrated cell phones, implanted computer systems and PDAs, contraceptive implants, onboard tools or even purely decorative cyber-systems like nano-tattoos.

Cyber-Weapons

Cyber-Weapons are onboard, military grade weapons systems concealed in the cyborg’s body. Cyber-Weapons can be obvious (a wrist mounted plasma cannon), or subtle (fingernail razors).

EXCERPT ENDS-------


Like what you see? I'll probably add more implant tags and cyberhacking possibilities as the draft progresses, as well as rules for cyberjacking/salvage. Finally, I leave you with an awesome Brett Booth image of the new Legion of Superheroes and Teen Titans. Fuck, Wildfire has never looked cooler, and he's actually made Tyroc somewhat bad ass. Enjoy,

CHRIS


1 comment:

Curt said...

Excellent idea!