Cybernetics

Cybernetics Rules

Cybernetics as Power-Up

Players may simply purchase Cybernetics directly, with their spare advantage points, or with any additional points the GM may have given them (for example, explicitly for power-ups). Cybernetics purchased during character creation do not need to be purchased with money. Alternatively, if players would prefer a more cohesive power-up, they can purchase the following:

Cybernetics Power-Ups

50 Points

Advantages: Choose 40 points from the Cybernetics below.

Additional Traits: Choose an additional 10 points from the Cybernetics below or from the following skills: Beam Weapons (Pistol) or Fast-Draw (Cyberblade), both (E) DX+1 [2], Shortsword (A) DX [2], Current Affairs (Technology) (E) IQ+1 [2], Connoisseur (Cybernetics or Robotics) or Mechanic (Robotics) both (A) IQ [2], or Engineer (Robotics) (H) IQ-1 [2].

Disadvantages: Characters with the cybernetic power-set may add the following disadvantages to their disadvantage lists: Secret (Cyborg; Embarassing) [-5], Social Stigma (Cyborg) [-5]

"Cyborg" as meta-trait

These cybernetic rules assume the character takes a single cybernetic upgrade: they have a bionic arm or cybernetic eyes and that's it. In this case, the cybernetics packages below work just fine. But for very heavily augmented cyborgs, the character may have a multitude of cybernetics. In this case, a lot of traits don't stack. A character with two mannequin bionic limbs is not twice as creepy nor as twice as ugly as a character with one mannequin bionic limb. Characters with DR and Injury Tolerance (Unliving) do not "stack" them either, but integrate them into a whole advantage with particular limitations (see Unliving Limbs below).

If you plan on making a complex cyborg, consider creating a metatrait "Cyborg" into which all of these elements get placed. Characters should absolutely consider integrating the following traits:

  • Unnatural Feature -2 (Mannequin) [-2]
  • Unnatural Feature -1 (Heavy Cybernetics) [-1]
  • Social Stigma (Cyborg) [-5]
  • Injury Tolerance (Unliving)
  • Damage Resistance
  • Affected by Magnetic Fields [-1]

Characters with multiple, strength enhancing elements, such as one cybernetic arm, and then a second cybernetic arm, should use the listed rules for integrating them, and with a sufficient number of limbs and bone upgrades, the character might integrate them all into a simple, improved ST stat (see Bionic Spine).

If struck by a Surge attack, you must roll HT at -1 per 2 damage inflicted or your cybernetics short out. Your cybernetics must be repaired with Mechanic (Robotics). You have reduced damage from impaling or piercing attacks (including blaster fire) to your cybernetic limbs. You are not immune to metabolic hazards: Cybernetics integrate enough with flesh that damage to the body will harm the cybernetic attachments. For example, you can poison a cyborg by poisoning his nutrients.

They must also be maintained with Mechanic (Robotics) once per week. Failure to meet this maintenance results in a loss of HT for that part only. For simplicity, assume all cybernetics have the same HT and the same maintenance level. Maintenance takes an hour to treat all parts, and requires a Mechanic (Robotics) roll, using the standard modifiers for tools. Apply the maintenance-missed penalty to all parts (so, if you're HT 12 and you've missed two maintenance sessions and you get hit with sufficient electrical damage to see if your cybernetics short out, they'll do so on a roll of 11 or more, rather than the usual 13 or more).

Cybernetic limbs are unliving. They take reduced damage from piercing and impaling attacks and require twice as much damage as normal to cripple.

Social Effects of Cybernetics

Cybernetics are a normal part of the Psi-Wars universe, but characters who augment their capabilities beyond the norm are become “more robot than human” are controversial as others begin to consider them dangerous or strange (worth -1 reaction from most characters). Characters with Unnatural Feature -1 or more (from something other than Mannequin) must take Social Stigma (Cyborg) [-5]. Characters with superhuman abilities from implants, or any character with any cybernetics may choose to take Social Stigma (Cyborg) [-5] if they wish the controversiality of cybernetics to be important to their character or Secret (Cyborg) [-5] if they wish the same and their abilities are sufficiently subtle that others have not yet uncovered them.

Cybernetics and Corruption

Cybernetics slowly strip a character of his humanity and bring him closer to Broken Communion. Characters who gain cybernetics later in play may choose to pay for some of their cybernetics by taking on disadvantage points appropriate to Broken Communion, if they wish. If a random value is desired:

  • Simple Procedures inflict no corruption
  • Minor procedures inflict 1d6x10 corruption
  • Major procedures inflict 2dx10 corruption
  • Radical procedures inflict 4dx10 corruption.

Player characters should never lose net points as a result of this form of corruption (that is, if a player loses 5 character points, then he should be allowed to spend 5 points elsewhere). Corruption from cybernetics are voluntary and cosmetic as far as player characters are concerned.
NPCs, on the other hand, can certainly go mad from their cybernetics. This is called cyberpsyschosis.

Bionics

These change the most, as nothing written in any book is precisely correct. When choosing multiple bionic parts, adjust your character’s Injury Tolerance and DR limitations rather than adding a new DR, Unnatural features are not cumulative.

The following are not the only possible bionic items. Instead, I've tried to create a reasonable catalog for players to explore when purchasing what they want, instead of building something using Demi's very extensive system (found in “Living better with Cybernetics” in Pyramid #3-51 Tech 'n' Toys III). The general themes are:

  • Basic: Standard, obvious bionics that fit well with what is found in Star Wars and the like.
  • Mannequin: Bionics with human-level performance and human-like appearance. These would be the ideal choice for someone who has lost a limb and wants minimal change.
  • Heavy: Obvious, high performance, military-grade bionics.
  • Advanced and Exotic: Certain factions or races may have access to unique or prototype cybernetics. Access to these is a feature for members of that faction or race, but a Perk (Better Cybernetics (Faction)) for everyone else. Examples include House Kain and Traders.

Bionics feature additional traits:

  • Biomorphics: These are the same as robotic biomorphics. Sculpted bionics are obviously cybernetic. Mannequin or unusual bionics apply Unnatural Appearance levels.
  • Availability: If a character wishes to implement this procedure later, this describes the difficulty of the procedure and the cost.

Basic Bionic Catalog

The basic bionic catalog mostly consists of appropriate standard technology. These are generally available wherever cybernetics can be found. If an entry is not found in a given catalog, use the value found in the basic catalog. Basic bionics are sculpted. They are immediately obvious as cybernetics, but do not detract from appearance (though they may qualify for a Distinctive Appearance quirk).

Bionic Limbs

Unliving Limbs

All Unliving limbs gain the benefit of Injury Tolerance (Unliving) vs all attacks against them (that is, 1/3rd damage from piercing attacks or from blaster fire; treat impaling has halved, rather than 1×.), they also have double HP (thus twice as much damage is necessary to cripple them, typically 1×HT to cripple an arm or a leg, or 2×HT to permanently cripple such a limb) and damage to a bionic limb does not count against the character's HP; in principle, this means you should track damage of the limb independently; if the character has a single limb, this might be tolerable, but you can also simply ignore it unless a single attack inflicts sufficient damage to cripple it.

The Unliving injury tolerance of limbs is represented by the Injury Tolerance advantage with an appropriate limitation. This limitation does not "stack" well with itself. For example, a character with a bionic arm (Injury Tolerance (Unliving, One Arm -40%) [12]) gets a second bionic limb, he gains Injury Tolerance (Unliving, two arms -20%) [16], rather than Injury Tolerance (Unliving, One Arm -40%)×2 [24]. Use the following limitation values as a guide:

  • Two Limbs -20%
  • Four limbs (everything but the head and torso) -15%
  • Everything but the Torso -10%
  • Everything but the Head -5%

If the character has sufficient bionic replacements (bionic limbs, bionic organs, bionic jaw, etc) that you're beginning to split hairs, just give them Injury Tolerance (Unliving) [20], and ignore the rule about not counting damage against their bionic limbs against their HP total, because they're all bionic at this point!

Apply the same rules to DR.

Basic Bionic Hand
3 point

Statistics: Arm ST +1 (One Arm; Bionic -25%) [2]; DR 5 (One Hand -80%) [1], One Hand (Mitigator, -70%) [-4], Injury Tolerance (Unliving, One Hand -80%) [4]

Availability: Major Procedure; $6,500.

Basic Bionic Arm
15 point

Statistics: Arm ST +2 (One Arm; Bionic -25%) [3]; DR 10 (One Arm -40%) [6], One Arm (Mitigator, -70%) [-6], Injury Tolerance (Unliving, One Arm -40%) [12]

Availability: Major Procedure; $10,000.

Two Basic Bionic Arm
19 points

Statistics: Arm ST +2 (Two Arms, Bionic -25%) [4]; DR 10 (Two Arms -20%) [8], No Fine Manipulators, (Mitigator, -70%) [-9], Injury Tolerance (Unliving, Two Arms -20%) [16]

Availability: Two Major Procedure; $20,000. If already has one bionic arm, use the availability of one arm.

One Basic Bionic Leg
12 points

Statistics: DR 10 (One leg -40%) [6], Injury Tolerance (Unliving, One Leg -40%) [12], Missing Legs (Mitigators -70%) [-6]

Availability: Major Procedure; $6500

Two Basic Bionic Legs
27 points

Statistics: Basic Move +1 (Bionic -25%) [4], Super Jump (Bionic -25%) [8], DR 10 (Legs -20%) [8], Injury Tolerance (Unliving, Legs -20%) [16], Legless (Mitigator -70%) [-9]

Availability: Two Major Procedures; $13,000

Bionic Head/Face replacements

Bionic Ear
-3 points

UT 209. $400

Bionic Ears
-1 point

UT 209. $800

Advanced Bionic Ears
11 points

UT 209. $4000.

One Basic Bionic Eye
9 points

Statistics: Accessory (HUD) [1]; Nictitating Membrane 2 (One eye, -50%) [1]; Infravision (Temporary Disadvantages, Electrical and No Depth Perception, -35%) [7]; Telescopic Vision 1 (Temporary Disadvantages, Electrical and No Depth Perception, -35%) [4]; One Eye (Mitigator, -70%) [-4].

Availability: Major. $4000.

Two Basic Bionic Eyes
0 points

Thermal Imaging eyes, UT 214. $8,000. This represents a sculpted (and thus obvious) bionic eyes.

Bionic Jaw
3 point

For the purposes of hit locations, treat any attack against the face that isn't explicitly against the Nose, Ears, Eyes or the Skull, or Corrosive attacks to the face, as an attack on the Jaw. It covers everything from the mandible to the lower cheeks.

Statistics: Cannot Speak (Mitigator -70%) [-3], DR 10 (Jaw -80%) [2], Unliving (Jaw only -80%) [4].

Availability: Major. $7000.

Bionic Organ Replacements

Basic Bionic Organ Transplant
-26 points

See UT 210. $5500

Boosted Heart
19 points

See UT 210. $8,000

Bionic Organ Reconstruction
-2 points

Statistics: HP +5 [10], DR 10 (Tough Skin -40%, Vitals only -30%) [3], Hard to Kill 3 (Electrical -20%) [5], Resistant to Metabolic Hazards +3 [10], Terminally Ill (Up to One Month, Mitigator -70%) [-30]

Availability: Radical Procedure. $80,000

Mannequin Catalog

The Mannequin catalog is intended for people for whom looks matter more than performance. Mannequin technology is not immediately obvious as cybernetics, but it applies Unnatural Feature -2, and it reduces Appearance by one level unless the target still has living flesh on their face and torso.

Mannequin Limbs

Mannequin Hand
-2 points

Statistics: One Hand, Mitigator (-70%) [-4], Injury Tolerance (Unliving, One Hand -80%) [4], Unnatural Appearance -2 [-2]

Availability: Major Procedure; $7,000.

Mannequin Arm
7 points

Statistics: DR 5 (One Arm -40%) [3], One Arm, Mitigator (-70%) [-6], Injury Tolerance (Unliving, One Arm -40%) [12], Unnatural Feature (Mannequin) [-2]

Availability: Major Procedure; $11,000.

Two Mannequin Arms
9 points

Statistics: DR 5 (Two Arms -20%) [4], No Fine Manipulators, Mitigator (-70%) [-9], Injury Tolerance (Unliving, Two Arms -20%) [16], Unnatural Feature -2 [-2]

Availability: Two Major Procedure; $22,000. If already has one bionic arm, use the availability of one arm.

One Mannequin Leg
7 points

Statistics: DR 5 (One leg -40%) [3], Injury Tolerance (Unliving, One Leg -40%) [12], Missing Legs (Mitigators -70%) [-6], Unnatural Feature (Mannequin) [-2]

Availability: Major Procedure; $7000

Two Mannequin Legs
13 points

Statistics: DR 5 (Legs -20%) [8], Injury Tolerance (Unliving, Legs -20%) [16], Legless (Mitigators -70%) [-9], Unnatural Feature (Mannequin) [-2]

Availability: Two Major Procedures; $13,000

Mannequin Head/Face replacements

Mannequin Ear
-5 points

UT 209 but with Mannequin Sculpting. $450

Mannequin Ears
-1 point

UT 209 but with Mannequin Sculpting. $900

One Mannequin Eye
-4 points

Statistics: Accessory (Video Display) [1], Nictitating Membrane 2 (One eye, -50%) [1]; One Eye (Mitigator, -70%) [-4], Unnatural Feature -2 (Mannequin) [-2]

Availability: Major Procedure. $4500.

Two Mannequin Eyes
-9 points

Statistics: Accessory (Video Display) [1], Nictitating Membrane 2 [2]; Protected Vision [5], Blindness (Mitigator, -70%) [-15], Unnatural Feature -2 (Mannequin) [-2]

Availability: Major Procedure. $9000.

Mannequin Jaw
0 points

For the purposes of hit locations, treat any attack against the face that isn't explicitly against the Nose, Ears, Eyes or the Skull, or Corrosive attacks to the face, as an attack on the Jaw. It covers everything from the mandible to the lower cheeks.

Statistics: Cannot Speak (Mitigator -70%) [-3], DR 5 (Jaw -80%) [1], Unliving (Jaw only -80%) [4], Unnatural Feature (Mannequin) [-2]

Availability: Major Procedure. $7500.

Heavy Bionics Catalog

The Heavy Bionics catalog represents military-grade bionic hardware. All of the following are not only sculpted, and thus obviously cybernetic, but also inhuman looking and provide a -1 to -2 unnatural feature.

Heavy Bionic Limbs

Heavy Hand
9 points

Statistics: Arm ST +4 (One Arm; Bionic -25%) [5]; DR 20 (One Hand -80%) [4], One Hand (Mitigator, -70%) [-4], Injury Tolerance (Unliving, One Hand -80%) [4], Striking Surface [1], Unnatural Feature -1 [-1]

Availability: Major Procedure; $9,000.

Heavy Arm
25 points

Increase the cost to 28 points if the character has a Bionic Spine or the Might of Kain.

Statistics: Arm ST +4 (One Arm; Bionic -25%) [5], Arm ST +4 (Bionic -25%, Unsupported ST -25%) [3], DR 20 (One Arm -40%) [12], One Arm (Mitigator, -70%) [-6], Injury Tolerance (Unliving, One Arm -40%) [12], Striking Surface [1], Unnatural Feature (Heavily Armored) [-2]

Availability: Major Procedure; $12,000.

Two Heavy Arms
34 points

Increase the cost to 37 points if the character has a Bionic Spine or the Might of Kain.

Statistics: Arm ST +4 (Two Arms; Bionic -25%) [8], Arm ST +4 (Two Arms, Bionic -25%, Unsupported ST -25%) [5], DR 20 (Two Arms -20%) [16], No Fine Manipulators, Mitigator (-70%) [-9], Injury Tolerance (Unliving, Two Arms -20%) [16], Unnatural Feature (Heavily Armored) -2 [-2]

Availability: Two Major Procedure; $24,000. If already has one bionic arm, use the availability of one arm.

One Heavy Bionic Leg
16 points

Statistics: DR 20 (One leg -40%) [12], Injury Tolerance (Unliving, One Leg -40%) [12], Missing Legs (Mitigators -70%) [-6], Unnatural Feature (Heavily Armored) -2 [-2].

Availability: Major Procedure; $6500

Two Heavy Bionic Legs
39 points

Statistics: Lifting ST +4 (Electrical -20%, Requires Maintenance -5%) [6], Basic Move +1 (Bionic -25%) [4], Super Jump (Bionic -25%) [8], DR 20 (Legs -20%) [16], Injury Tolerance (Unliving, Legs -20%) [16], Legless (Mitigators -70%) [-9], Unnatural Feature (Heavily Armored) -2 [-2].

Availability: Two Major Procedures; $13,000

Heavy Bionic Head/Face replacements

Heavy Bionic Jaw
4 points

For the purposes of hit locations, treat any attack against the face that isn't explicitly against the Nose, Ears, Eyes or the Skull, or Corrosive attacks to the face, as an attack on the Jaw. It covers everything from the mandible to the lower cheeks.

Statistics: Cannot Speak (Mitigator -70%) [-3], DR 20 (Jaw -80%) [4], Unliving (Jaw only -80%) [4], Unnatural Feature (Heavy) -1 [-1].

Availability: Major. $7500.

Heavy Bionic Organ/Bone Replacements

Heavy Bionic Organ Reconstruction
1 point

Statistics: HP +5 [10], DR 20 (Tough Skin -40%, Vitals only -30%) [6], Hard to Kill 3 (Electrical -20%) [5], Resistant to Metabolic Hazards +3 [10], Terminally Ill (Up to One Month, Mitigator -70%) [-30]

Availability: Radical Procedure. $85,000

Bionic Spine
-8 points

This explicitly removes the Unsupported ST from heavy bionic limbs, as it grants them a proper attachment point. Characters with four heavy limbs and a bionic spine might instead replace +4 HP (from the spine), +4 lifting ST (from the legs) and +4 arm ST (unsupported) with +4 ST for 1 point.

Statistics: DR 40 (Spine -80%) [8]; HP +4 [8]; Quadriplegic (Mitigator -70%) [-24].

Availability: Radical Procedure. $20,000

Reinforced Skeleton
24 points

Affected by Magnetic Fields

Cyborgs tend to have a lot of metal in their bodies. While Psi-Wars is sufficiently ultra-tech that all cybernetics could be made of non-magnetic composites, players will often expect that if they apply a sufficiently powerful magnet to a cyborg, that cyborg will be affected by it. Anything with the Electrical limitation might suffer under the effects of a sufficiently large magnetic field (arguably, that's what a "surge" is), but cyborgs may wish to take the "Affected by Magnetic Fields [-1]" quirk to further represent the fact that a magnet can drag their bionic limbs or manipulate their cybernetic bones directly.

Precisely when this is taken is up to the GM and the player. Players who don't want to take it can argue that their cybernetics are built with non-magnetic materials; this is easier to justify with Mannequin bionics and harder to justify with Heavy bionics. Those who do want to take the quirk can do so after they have at least one full limb as a bionic limb, or they have a bionic spine, a reinforced skeleton, or a cyber skeleton.

Whatever choice they make, this is a choice that should not penalize the player. A player who chooses to take the quirk should get a character point back, and the GM should consider allowing the quirk in excess of the 5 quirks (arguably, its bundled with their cybernetics).


All rules for bionic spine for replacing RM and Lifting ST with ST apply to Reinforced Skeleton.

Statistics: HP +6 [12], DR 40 (Skull only -70%, Tough Skin -40%) [8], DR 20 (Limited, Crushing -40%, Tough Skin -40%) [4].

Availability: Radical Procedure. $50,000

Cybernetic Skeleton
0 points

Where reinforced skeleton augments the character's skeleton (titanium splints, etc), this replaces his bones, or a great portion of their bones, with robotic components, similar to a bionic spine, but across the character's whole body. This already includes a Bionic Spine and a Reinforced Skeleton; characters may not take both. All rules for bionic spine apply to Reinforced Skeleton, including the option to replace Arm and Lifting ST with ST.

Statistics: HP +6 [12], DR 40 (Skull only -70%, Tough Skin -40%) [8], DR 20 (Limited, Crushing -40%, Tough Skin -40%) [4], Quadriplegic (Mitigator -70%) [-24]

Availability: Radical Procedure. $100,000

Cybernetic Implants

Boosted Reflexes
18 points

UT 210; Minor Procedure, $8,000

Gyrobalance
10 points

UT 211; $6500

Hidden Compartments
varies

Available to both arms (see below) and legs. UT 211. $500.

Implant Radio
7 points

UT 211; $100

Battleweave Subdermal Armor
12 points

Statistics: DR 20 (Tough Skin -40%) [12]
Availability: Major Procedure; $10,000

Neural Jack
9 points

UT 216-217; Minor Procedure, $3000; A neural jack provides a +4 to use of a computer, including Computer Hacking or diagnostics of a computer problems, etc, provided you’re jacked into said computer. You may also purchase up to 4 levels of the "Soul of the Machine" talent, which provides +1 to all Piloting, Gunnery, Artillery and other skills necessary to control and/or fight with that vehicle provided you can control it directly through a neural interface. This costs [5/level].

Bionic Arm Upgrades

Neurolash Hand
15 point

The hand or arm integrates a neurolash glove into the surface of the hand; this deals 1d(5) fatigue damage that ignores DR from “metallic” (non-diamondoid, non-composite) armor; further, targets must roll HT at a penalty of -1 for ever 2 points of fatigue damage or be stunned for a number of turns equal to their margin of failure; if they fail by 5, they’re unconscious for a number of minutes equal to their margin of failure. Characters with a Neurolash hand may attempt a Neurolash parry against a force sword with their bare hands.

Statistics: Innate Attack 1d fatigue(Surge, Arcing or Armor Divisor 5, +170% ; Side Effect, Stunning +50% + Unconsiousness (Easy to Resist+5, -25%) +150%; Melee Attack, C -30%) [15].

Availability: Simple Procedure; $2500

Vibro Cyber-Blade
24 points

The arm integrates an ejectable knife-blade that deals thr+1d(5) cut or thr+1d(5) imp. This takes a ready action or Fast-Draw (Cyber-Blade) roll.
Statistics: Talons (Switchable +10%) [11] + Innate Attack +1d cut (Armor Divisor 5 +150%, ST-Based, +30%; Melee, C -30%) [6] + improved base cutting attack to have Armor Divisor 5 assuming up to 2d of damage [7];

Availability: Simple Procedure; $4500

Vibro Claws
19 points

The arm or hand integrates vibro claws that deal thr+1d(5) cut. These can be unsheathed with a Ready action. They count as “unarmed” for the purposes of skills and Unarmed Etiquette

Statistics: Sharp Claws (Switchable +10%) [6] + Innate Attack +1d cut (Armor Divisor 5 +150%, ST-Based, +30%; Melee, C -30%) [6] + improved base cutting attack to have Armor Divisor 5 assuming up to 2d of damage [7]

Availability: Simple Procedure; $3000

Cyber-Blaster
7 points

The arm contains an integrated blaster (treat as a heavy blaster pistol with an Acc of 3) that can fire through the palm of the cybernetic hand. Integrates a bio-power tap that provides sufficient power to fully charge the cell once per day.

Statistics: Weapon Mount [2], Integrated Biotap (Pyramid #3-51, "Better Living with Cybernetics" page 14) [5]

Availability: Minor Procedure; $5000

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