Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Ad Astra Appendix I: Cybernetic equipment

Cyborgs are reasonably common in AD ASTRA—surgical modifications to include mechanical and/or electrical equipment is basically what this means.  Because it is similar to much of what is done with equipment, the rules for cybernetic enhancements are similar to that for equipment.  It is, however, more costly than adding the same bonus to, say, a suit of armor.  This is because the surgical procedure itself is a pricey endeavor, but the benefit is that you can not have your cybernetic equipment taken away as you can your regular equipment.  It's a literal part of your body and it's always on you.

Here is a list of cybernetic enhancements that can be purchased and installed.  If you have the credits at character creation, you can buy it then; otherwise, cybernetics can be installed any time the character has the money and is in a place where the equipment can be bought, a surgeon specializing in cybernetics can be found, and he has time for the surgery and recovery.  Usually most urban areas will suit.

The list does not include very many specific items, rather—as with regular equipment—you buy the effect and then determine exactly what piece of equipment gives you that effect.  An increase in STR is probably due to a cybernetic limb or two, for instance—but it might be something else.  What you buy is the increase in STR; you determine what kind of cybernetic equipment actually provides the increase.

Effect Cost Comments/Examples
+1 to STR 3000 Usually comes from a cybernetic limb
+2 to STR 7000 Two cybernetic limbs
+3 to STR15,000High-grade cybernetic limbs
+1 to DEX 3000 May include cybernetic limbs, or more complicated reflex/nerve packages
+2 to DEX7000Same as above; higher grade
+3 to DEX15,000Same as above; premium grade
+1 to MND3000 Cybernetic head implant.  Cannot be used by psionic characters as it interferes with the connection to the Outer Darkness
+2 to MND7000Premium grade extra computer brain. Also cannot be used by psionic characters.  There is no +3 to MND because any further modification usually causes brain death
Affinity3000Various equipment grants an affective affinity; example: a datajack can grant Computers affinity, optics upgrade gives Perception affinity, etc.  There is no cybernetic package that allows Psionics affinity
+1 to AC3000Subdermal armor
+2 to AC7000 Subdermal and exodermal armor
+3 to AC15,000Premium grade armor
Extra limbs20,000 Usually includes two extra mechanical arms, as well as rewiring of the nervous system to allow their control.  Grants an extra attack per round, or other action requiring arms.

For 10% of the cost of cybernetic equipment, characters can also buy a temporary bonus via performance enhancing drugs.  The duration of these drugs is usually 1 hour.  These are often harder to obtain, however, and are illegal in many jurisdictions, requiring finding them on the black market and risking arrest and detainment.  There are often side effects too, including (but not limited to) a -2 penalty to all rolls for the next hour after the drugs wear off.

At the GM's discretion, cyborgs may suffer from a kind of "anti-affinity" at least in certain cultures.  Cyborgs that have extremely obvious or off-putting cybernetics that threaten their ability to appear human(oid) are often at a social disadvantage in some cultures.  This applies a penalty (-2 through -5 or so, depending on GM's discretion) to any type of social interaction, as people are put off by their strange, pseudo-robotic appearance and mannerisms.

As an aside, given how many cultures there are throughout known space, this can apply to aliens or robots as well; again, at the GM's discretion.

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