Inscrit le: 19 Sep 2009
Mar 6 Oct - 23:18 (2009)
Technology and its impact on society are the largest and, to us, most important themes in Sufficiently Advanced. This chapter talks about what does and doesn’t exist, and gives ideas for how to invent some of your own.
As its name implies, Sufficiently Advanced is a game about exceptionally powerful technology; technology so advanced that it is (in many cases) indistinguishable from magic. Most characters in S.A. have significant amounts of this technology built into their bodies. When you have the ability to shoot a starship out of orbit, enter suspended animation, or make your anything you say sound more important than the voice of God, that’s not something you want to activate accidentally!
Characters with a Cognitech score of 5 or higher are required to have meshes (see page 25), and can use mental triggers for their abilities. Those with Nanotech 5 or higher most likely have dermal microbots, which can track their voice and gestures, and can use those triggers instead. Others have their own means.
To someone who’s not acquainted with this level of technology, this all looks like magic or psychic powers. Imagine: someone speaks some strange words, makes a hand gesture, and this bolt of light fires from his hand to destroy a boulder. Black magic! Sorcery! Witchcraft! Even on a world without an infosphere, a high-Cognitech character seems to know the unknowable, like an oracle.
Devices and Procedures
The following pages contain a very short compilation of the technology available to citizens in the current era. All technologies on this list have a Tech Level, Cost, and Descriptors.
A device’s “Tech Level” indicates how sophisticated the device is. If a civilization’s highest rating in a particular Capability is equal to or higher than the Tech Level listed, then that civilization can build and maintain this technology. For instance, Replicators are TL: Nanotech 6. This means that any culture whose highest Nanotech rating is 5 or lower cannot build or maintain replicators. They might be able to use them, but they can’t fix them when they break. Technicians from high-tech civilizations are always in high demand.
For a list of technology according to the tech level required to create them, see page 152.
A cost of “Low” means that an average person could afford one instance of this technology on a week’s paycheck. “Moderate” indicates a similar purchase for an entire town or very rich person, “Expensive” could be bought by a major city, and “Exorbitant” is a week’s income for an entire planet.
Some items are listed as “Public Domain,” which means they bear no cost except that which a restrictive civilization might levy.
Costs for lower-tech devices often drop as tech levels increase. We leave this to the GM’s discretion, but truly dangerous items should always be costly.
Some items on this list have special Descriptors, important characteristics that they share with other technologies. See the sidebar on the next page for detail on what each Descriptor means.
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No Reserve From Items
Unless specifically noted otherwise, no piece of technology here gives its wielder any points of Reserve. Using a gun rated at Stringtech 7 doesn’t give you 7 points of Stringtech Reserve. Wearing a level 4 Competence Lens doesn’t give you 8 points of Reserve in that Profession.
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Check here to see what any technology Descriptors mean.
Auxon: This device is self-replicating, and will continue to create more of itself until a predetermined limit is reached.
Dataform: This technology is pure computer code, and exists only on the Infosphere.
Energy: Weapons with this Descriptor fire energy instead of (or in addition to) physical matter. If the target is employing energytransparent countermeasures, they will be ineffective.
Energy-transparent: Countermeasures with this Descriptor can not defend their targets against Energy weapons.
Inheritable: This enhancement will, in all likelyhood, pass on to any of the character’s children born after it is acquired.
Internal: This enhancement is completely internal to the human body. Cursory examination will not reveal its presence; it takes exploratory surgery or a Nanotech score of 6 or more to discover internal enhancements.
Microscopic: This device is impossible to see with the naked eye; it requires a Nanotech score of 5 or higher to detect its presence.
Near-c: Weapons with this Descriptor either fire energy or deliver projectiles at nearly the speed of light. Targets must spend a point of Reserve before even rolling to defend themselves, and may lose more Reserve if their roll fails.
Procedure: This is not a device, but a learned and practiced procedure. There is no way to “deactivate” such technology without rendering the user unconscious or employing psychotropic drugs.
Supersymmetric: Weapons with this Descriptor fire particles of dark matter, which pass through ordinary matter and are unaffected by most types of energy. Only defenses with this Descriptor will protect against them. A character’s Stringtech score provides this Descriptor starting at level 7.
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Some items of technology are so ubiquitous in our time that we don’t even think of them as technology - they’re just there. Most of the stuff from capability levels 1 and 2 fall into this category. (The denizens of the S.A. universe often see computers the same way.) Just to let you know we haven’t forgotten them, here’s a list of the low-level technologies out there.
1 Agriculture and domestication
2 Most drugs and medicines before the 20th century
3 Germ theory, surgery, organ transplants
1 Knowledge of the existence of neurons and nerves
2 Formal logical systems
3 20th century cognitive science, various “math whiz” tricks
1 The Art of War and other light classics
2 19th century psychology, mass media
3 20th century psychology, global cultures
1 Tongs, “Waldo” gloves, metals and ceramics
2 Telescopes and microscopes, alloys
3 Electron microscopes, radio antennas
1 Knowledge of forces, the number zero
2 Explosives, the theory of electromagnetism, electrical power
3 Lasers, quantum theory, general relativity
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