The core of Dark Conspiracy, although “cyberpunk”-like, does not concentrate heavily on cybernetic enhancements. In game, very few can afford them, and if they have them, it’s even harder to upkeep them. Out of game, if not properly monitored and restricted, they tend to dominate the game and lower the quality of play. The referee is just cautioned to keep it down to a minimum, and not let it be the main focus of the game; let it only enhance the game.
Cybernetics is the science of electronic, mechanical, and biological enhancement of living organisms. Its most primitive antecedents are the peg legs and hooks used to replace missing legs and hands, inferior substitutes for the originals. Engineering advances made prosthetic limbs progressively more effective replacements for missing body parts, until eventually the replacements became superior to the original organic component.
Prerequisites: Medical 4 and/or Computers 3
There are two uses of this skill: Ops & Cybersurgery
Ops: The user must have Computers at Level 3 before using Cybernetics for this. Basic cyber-operations do not need to be rolled, just special and/or particularly difficult uses of them should be rolled.
Cybersugery: The user must have Medical level 4 to use this skill. This is the difficult process of installing the cyber, and must be rolled every time.
Elective cybernetic enhancement are a reality in Dark America, but very rare. It has only recently become possible and it’s only available to those who can truly afford it, i.e. the gnomes. However, Gnome society had to face a number of ethical issues which are not easily resolved, and it has turned gnome society into two groups: Those that do and those that don’t. Some embrace cybernetic enhancement wholeheartedly, others reject it completely, and still others find an uneasy middle ground.
Virtually all levels of society view cybernetically enhanced humans in different terms than “natural’ humans, and a wide variety of slang (some derogatory) inevitably grows up to help define that difference. The most common slang for a cybernetically enhanced human is “cyberjocks”, “metalheads”, “rippers”, “riggers”, or “plug-heads”, while un-enhanced humans are called “mundanes” or “plain vanilla”.
As general rule, it is a good policy to impose some penalty on visible cybernetic enhancements. Each item below will have a Cyber Value. There will be two values calculated: One for Charisma, and the other for Empathy. Only visible Cyber effects Charisma. All hard cyber is visible in some way. All cyber effects Empathy.
CHA: Round the value down and that is the amount subtracted from CHA.
EMP: Divide the value in half, then round down and that is subtracted from EMP. Darkling bio-tech does not count in this.
There is a range of Cybernetic technology available in Dark Conspiracy. From the basic street tech that’s been around for a few years to ET tech that only a chosen few have access to. The following table defines the Tech Levels in these terms.
|5||Primitive prosthetics (artificial limbs) – 1930s Technology – Available to anyone.|
|6||Reconstructive Surgery – 1950s technology, Available to anyone|
|7||Advanced Plastic Surgery – 1960s Technology, Available to Mikes and up.|
|8||Fully Functional Prosthetics – 1990s Technology, Available to Mikes and up.|
|9||Direct brain-machine interface allows prosthetic eyes and ears and neural jacks. Early controlled chemical manipulation of body systems. 2000+ Technology, Modern Dark America Technology. Only available to the very rich Mikes and gnomes.|
|10||Enhanced performance prosthetics & subdermal armor. Cutting edge 2000-2020 Technology. Corporations only make these available to their elite. Gnomes & ETs only. Human TL 10 is still in the prototype stages, while ET TL 10 is a little more stable.|
|11||Direct computer implantation. ET technology only. This is available to Igor serving ETs, or Cyborg Escapees (GMs discretion)|
|12||Advanced chemical manipulation of body systems. Younger Race ET technology only. This is available to Igor serving ETs, or Cyborg Escapees (GMs discretion)|
|13-17||Genetic manipulation, enhancement, and replacement of selected tissues. Older Race ET technology. This is available to Igor serving ETs, or Cyborg Escapees (GMs discretion)|
|18+||Dark One Technology; appear as Magical items to normal humans.|
A wide variety of cybernetic modifications and enhancement, are discussed below. These are broken into four broad categories head implants, body implants, peripherals, and therapy.
Head implants, as the name suggests, have to do with cybernetic modifications to the character’s head, usually to the principal sensory organs (eyes and ears).
Body implants include large systems which cannot easily be fit into the head and which are instead mounted in the abdominal or thoracic cavity, sometimes replacing or displacing internal organs.
Peripherals are modifications to the arms and legs, either for improved performance or adaptation of limbs to special functions.
Therapy consists of organic modification of the character’s body, either through drugs, genetic manipulation, or surgical procedures.
There is a distinction between your basic obvious cyberware and the more covert near-real ‘ware that is indistinguishable from the real thing. The latter is much more rare and more expensive. It is called slickware.