Sunday, April 1, 2012

Psi-punk Cyberware

April Fool's! If you're looking for a more serious post about actual cyberware you'll find in Psi-punk, check out the post entitled "You Didn't Think We Were Serious?"

Psi-punk wouldn't be a cyberpunk RPG without cyberware.  Though we've branched out and separated ourselves from the traditional cyberpunk genre somewhat, we couldn't help but include that classic cyberpunk staple.  Today, we'll take a look at just some of the cyberware that's available in Psi-punk, but remember that the great thing about it being based on the Fudge RPG engine is that it's simple and easy to add your own.

Cybernetics - Cyberware and Bioware

The line between man and machine has been blurred significantly, and in 2096 cybernetic implants are commonplace.  Cyberware refers to any machine that is implanted within, or permanently affixed to, the human body.  These machines are often designed to enhance ones normal abilities, though occasionally they are used insidiously and might be implanted to track an individual—or worse.
Another form of enhancement is known as “bioware”.  Bioware is similar to cyberware, but it represents any sort of implant or enhancement made of organic material and interwoven directly with the body’s natural functions (as opposed to being a separate prosthetic attachment).  Bioware can be used to enhance muscle tissues, increase metabolism, improve lung capacity, etc.
Both cyberware and bioware are purchased using Gifts, either at character creation or during character advancement.  GMs may allow characters to purchase these options using Wealth, but careful consideration should be given to the cost of each upgrade.  GMs may also wish to restrict the total number of cybernetic enhancements a character may have to prevent characters from becoming too powerful for the campaign.  A good rule of thumb is to allow no more than 8 Gifts worth of cybernetics in any one character; any more than that, and the character becomes a barely-human cyborg unsuitable for interaction with regular humans.

Example Cybernetics

Below are some example cybernetics to get you started thinking about what possibilities lie in store for your characters.  Each will have a suggested cost in Gifts and in Wealth.  Generally, a character need only pay one or the other (Gifts or Wealth, not both) unless the GM deems it necessary to pay for both.
Like anything else, cyberware isn’t perfect.  Faults may be added to any cybernetic to mitigate its total cost, and a rare few may possess only Faults (and therefore grant the character additional bonuses; see Trade-offs in Chapter 2: Character Creation.)

Hand Vacuum

One of the first and most widely available forms of cyberware was the hand vacuum.  By replacing one's own hand with a cybernetic appendage capable of sucking up dust and other forms of debris, it became a hit with housewives and cleaning companies everywhere.  Street runners and other nefarious sorts often load their hand vacuums with sharp debris and set it to "reverse" to launch a fierce offensive against their foes.  Cost: 1 Gift or Great Wealth

Glove Compartment

Steel hands often feel cold and clammy, so Koji Corporation invented the Glove Compartment to conveniently store hand warmers on one's person.  This enhancement installs a small storage area in a cybernetic arm (sold separately) that is big enough to store a pair of gloves or several unpaid parking tickets.  Cost: 1 Gift or Great Wealth

Angry Eyes

This bioware enhancement makes the user's eyes appear permanently pissed, granting the user a +2 bonus on any check made to intimidate another person but a -2 penalty on any check made to positively interact with another human being.  Cost: 1 Gift or Great Wealth

Der Kriegerfinger

A cybernetic replacement of German design, this multi-function finger is capable of altering itself into a variety of weapons, from a simple bladed weapon to a more complex finger cannon.  It's especially popular amongst low-brow criminals who have developed a new meaning for the phrase "giving someone the finger."  Cost: 2 Gifts or SuperbWealth
 Cybernetic Head
It took a long time to perfect this one, but the cybernetic head is popular in the total body replacement crowd.  Attaching a cybernetic head requires first removing the old analog unit, but (if the process is  successful) this enhancement offers a variety of cool features, such as augmented hearing, speech, sight, and the ability to rotate the head 360 degrees for a freedom of movement not previously attainable with the limitations of a regular head.  Cost: 3 Gifts or Wonderful Wealth
We hope you enjoyed your first look at cybernetics in Psi-punk.   As you can see, the system is very versatile and allows for a wide rang eof options.  Feel free to post your own ideas in the comments -- who knows, they may just wind up in the final product!