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Future Cybernetics

Future Cybernetics



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Published by: api-3824531 on Oct 18, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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this material is open game content, and is licensed for public use under the terms of the open game license v1.0a.
evolution of cybernetics
as with all forms of technology, advancements in cybernetics can be tracked by progress level.
progress level 5: cybernetics is still in its formative stage. most prosthetic units are of the nonpowered variety, but medical

associations have approved certain electronic regulators for life-threatening conditions. the artificial heart is the most
recognized example. other common examples include pacemakers, artificial kidneys, and pancreas monitors (for high-risk
diabetics). nearly all pl 5 cybernetic attachments are simply designed to keep their recipients alive and reasonably healthy.
elective cybernetics begins at this stage with the work of university professor kevin warwick, who develops methods of
linking computer microchips to the human nervous system. his \u201ccyborg chip\u201d becomes the foundation for all future
cybernetic components.

progress level 6: this era sees the first use of independently powered cybernetics, including servolimbs and subcutaneous

cellular telephones. these begin mostly in military applications but soon become available to the public. household pets all
over the world are implanted with subcutaneous identity chips\u2014as are important government figures and their families\u2014
after the technology proves safe and effective on prison inmates.
as cybernetics is still new and can have negative side effects, its adoption is not universal. most people still prefer mundane
equipment, which is generally cheaper, safer, and less troublesome to repair, replace, or upgrade. cybernetics becomes the
preferred choice only when mundane equipment is impractical or unavailable\u2014 or when the recipient is fixated on self-
medical plans eventually come to offer at least baseline prosthetics to compensate for disabling injuries, such as the loss or
partial loss of a limb, though such plans do not cover elective cybernetic surgery. their concern is overall health\u2014not
\u201ccosmetic\u201d enhancement. for those who want more than just replacements, a new kind of clinic appears, offering cybernetic
at this progress level, the first cybernetic regulation laws are passed\u2014largely instigated by a few harshly publicized accidents
involving cyborgs. these laws give rise to numerous black-market cybernetic clinics that install cybernetics without
performing the required background checks.

progress level 7: by this era, cybernetics has become a mostly safe science. flaws in earlier designs have been corrected.

cybernetics becomes more of a status symbol, and luminous skin grafts become the fashion accessory of choice. in some
societies, newborn children are implanted with identity chips as an anti-kidnapping measure. military applications include
replacement eyes with heads-up targeting and gps displays.
insurance regulations relax considerably toward cybernetic replacements at progress level 7; enhancements are perfectly
acceptable, though only as part of a prosthetic, rather than as elective cyber-surgery. still, most cyborgs are members of
military or law-enforcement organizations\u2014or mercenaries.

progress level 8: cyborgs are a common sight. in some societies, medical insurance frowns on noncybernetic replacements,
as mechanical body parts are less expensive than flesh. cybernetic technology has improved so much, in fact, that some
cyborgs are virtually indistinguishable from living beings\u2014except that they never appear to age.
cybernetic attachments
two kinds of cybernetic attachments exist: replacements and enhancements.
replacements: replacements are prosthetic or artificial units intended to replace lost limbs and damaged organs. common

replacements provide no benefits other than duplicating the essential functions of their biological counterparts, and they present little strain on the beneficiary\u2019s overall well-being. in appearance, a cybernetic replacement can be recognizably artificial or virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.

enhancements: enhancements bestow new abilities or improve the recipient in some fashion. enhancements include skeletal

reinforcement, subcutaneous communications hardware, and weapon mounts. some enhancements have visible external components, while others are hidden beneath the skin. enhancements put more of a drain on the body\u2019s resources, and recipients frequently suffer debilitating physical or mental side effects.

construction and repair

cybernetic attachments are complex instruments with both electrical and mechanical components. consequently, a character
must have the craft cybernetics feat to build a cybernetic attachment.
repairing a damaged or nonfunctional cybernetic attachment requires 10 hours of work and a successful repair check (dc 25).
a character needs both an electrical tool kit and a mechanical tool kit to facilitate repairs. without one or the another, a
character takes a \u20134 penalty on the check; without both kits, the penalty increases to \u20138.

installation and removal

installing or removing a cybernetic attachment, regardless of whether it\u2019s a replacement or enhancement, requires a
successful treat injury check. a character with the cybernetic surgery feat suffers no penalty on the check.
removing a cybernetic attachment without proper surgery causes lasting physical trauma to the patient\u2019s body, dealing 1d4
points of permanent constitution drain.

number of attachments

only living creatures can have cybernetic attachments. in addition, a living creature can have a maximum number of
cybernetic attachments equal to 1 + the creature\u2019s constitution modifier (minimum 0).
a creature may have more cybernetic attachments installed on its body can it can bear. however, the creature gains 1 negative
level per cybernetic attachment that exceeds its maximum allowed. for each negative level, the creature takes a \u20131 penalty on
all skill checks and ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws, and loses one effective level or hit die whenever level is
used in a die roll or calculation. further, a character with psionic powers loses the ability to manifest one power of the highest
level she can manifest (player\u2019s choice), while a character with spellcasting ability loses the ability to cast one spell of the
highest level he can cast. this loss persists until the negative level is removed.
negative levels caused by having too many cybernetic attachments remain until the offending attachments are removed.

benefits and drawbacks

cybernetic attachments provide countless benefits to their recipients. for example, cybernetic eyes can bestow darkvision,
improve the accuracy of the recipient\u2019s ranged attacks, or emit pencil-thin laser beams. a cybernetic brain implant can
improve the recipient\u2019s response time in a crisis, protect against mind-influencing attacks, or increase the flow of adrenaline
throughout the body. the possibilities of cybernetic technology are endless. although the benefits make cybernetics very
alluring, the drawbacks are equally discouraging:

electricity vulnerability
a creature with one or more cybernetic attachments takes 50% more damage from any attack that deals electricity damage.
this vulnerability to electricity can be offset by an anti-shock implant (see cybernetic enhancements, below).
negative levels
whenever a creature exceeds its maximum number of cybernetic attachments, it gains negative levels until the excess
attachments are removed (see number of attachments, above).
susceptibility to attack
external cybernetic attachments are subject to attacks as if they were objects worn by their recipients.
massive damage effects

massive damage wreaks havoc with cybernetic attachments. whenever a creature with cybernetic attachments fails a fortitude save against massive damage, the gm should roll percentile dice and consult table: massive damage effects to determine what happens.

table: massive damage effects
d% roll effect of failed fortitude save
normal effect
attachment disabled
normal effect and attachment disabled
81\u2013100 attachment damaged and side effect
normal effect: the character immediately drops to \u20131 hit points and is dying.
attachment disabled: one cybernetic attachment (determined randomly or chosen by the gm) ceases to function until
repaired (see construction and repair, above). the character suffers the effects of the disability\u2014as noted in the description of
the cybernetic attachment\u2014 for as long as the attachment remains disabled.
attachment damaged: one cybernetic attachment (determined randomly or chosen by the gm) continues to function but
develops an unpleasant side effect that persists until the attachment is repaired (see construction and repair, above).
side effect: the character suffers a debilitating side effect as the result of a damaged attachment. various side effects are
presented on table: side effects.
table: side effects
d% roll side effect
blurred vision: character suffers a 20% miss chance on all attacks.
constant trembling: character takes a \u20132 penalty on dexterity-based skill checks.
cybernetic rejection: character suffers 1d4 points of constitution damage per day.
dizziness: character takes a \u20131 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, ability checks, and skill checks.
impaired hearing: static distortion imposes a \u20132 penalty on all listen checks.
impaired vision: distorted images impose a \u20132 penalty on spot checks.
insomnia: character can only sleep for minutes at a time and gains insufficient rest to heal naturally.
muscle cramps: character moves at half speed.
muscle fatigue: character takes a \u20132 penalty on strength-based skill checks.
power surge: character is shaken for 1 round if wounded; a successful fortitude save (dc 12) negates.
psychosis: character suffers 1d4 points of charisma damage per day, lapsing into a coma if the score drops to 0.
94\u2013100sensory overload: character is stunned for 1 round if wounded; a successful fortitude save (dc 15) negates.

the most basic replacement limbs and organs don\u2019t bestow any special benefits, but they suffer the usual drawbacks (see
benefits and drawbacks, above). some replacements of higher pl are built to counter certain drawbacks, as noted. they don\u2019t
add measurably to the recipient\u2019s weight.
each replacement description includes the following information:

benefit: what the cybernetic replacement allows its recipient to do.
type: replacements can be external or internal. external replacements are subject to sunder attacks; internal replacements are
hardness/hit points: the hardness and hit points of the replacement. internal replacements don\u2019t have hardness.
base purchase dc: the purchase dc of the replacement (or the components to build it), at its specified progress level.
cybernetic attachments are cheaper to buy at higher progress levels; for each raised step in progress level, reduce the purchase
dc by 2.
restriction: the level of license required to purchase the replacement legally, and an appropriate black market purchase dc
artificial organ (pl 5)
an artificial organ fully replaces a defective or destroyed biological organ, such as a heart, lung, eye, or ear.

benefit: the artificial organ duplicates the function of its biological counterpart. it provides no special game benefits.
type:inte rnal.
hardness/hit points:\u2013/2.
base purchase dc:19.

prosthetic arm (pl 5)
a prosthetic arm fully replaces a lost or destroyed biological arm. the prosthetic arm may begin at the shoulder, elbow, or

benefit: the prosthetic arm duplicates the function of its biological counterpart. it provides no special game benefits.
type:extern al.
hardness/hit points:3/5.
base purchase dc:17.

prosthetic leg (pl 5)
a prosthetic leg fully replaces a lost or destroyed biological leg. the prosthetic leg may begin at the thigh, knee, or ankle.

benefit: the prosthetic leg duplicates the function of its biological counterpart. it provides no special game benefits.
type:extern al.
hardness/hit points:3/7.
base purchase dc:17.

artificial organ upgrade (pl 6)
this upgraded version of the pl 5 artificial organ not only replaces a defective or destroyed biological organ but is also more
resilient than its technological predecessor.
benefit: the artificial organ upgrade duplicates the function of its biological counterpart and cannot be disabled if the
recipient takes massive damage (see massive damage effects).

type:inte rnal.
hardness/hit points:\u2013/4.
base purchase dc:21.

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