Inscrit le: 19 Sep 2009
Sam 17 Oct - 14:06 (2009)
Sensory Overload Array
Tiny cameras track your opponents’ eyes and ears, so that low-powered lasers can blind them and coherent sound can deafen them. These are a common non-lethal weapon in physical combat. Those with high Nanotech and Cognitech will be able to “reroute” around the lost senses in a matter of seconds, but often with less efficient senses.
Tech Level: Stringtech 4+ or Nanotech 4+
Descriptors: Typically Energy, sometimes also Microscopic
These misnamed devices actually consist of a central compression beam and several orbiting “pods” that fire their own, asynchronous gravity beams. By focusing immense gravitational forces on a single point, they can compress the matter in their overlap zone into a tiny black hole, which immediately explodes in a burst of Hawking radiation. These weapons deal damage rated at Stringtech 11, and deal an extra two points of Reserve damage because of the multi-spectrum effects.
Tech Level: Stringtech 10
Descriptors: Energy, Near-c
These roughly refrigerator-sized bombs makes matter decay into strangelets, which react again with nearby matter, turning them into strangelets as well. The reaction quickly converts all matter in contact with the origin point into strange matter, which later decays again into regular matter about a minute later, releasing raw energy, protons, and electrons. The transformation wavefront moves at about 1000 miles an hour. The reaction is irreversible, and unstoppable at this tech level. Use this bomb on a starship, space station, or even a planet and you get a mass of hydrogen floating through space.
The damage is rated at Stringtech 12, but unless you can survive in vacuum (or an exceptionally hydrogen-rich environment), it really doesn’t matter. Larger targets will likely suffer “aftershocks” for the next few days as stray, leftover strangelets run into normal matter again, and the whole process happens again. The only reason the Patent Office set an attainable price on these weapons is because they can be used to “reboot” old stars — the star will likely nova several times, thanks to the aftershocks), but all nonhydrogen matter inside will turn back into hydrogen, which the star uses as fuel. Afterwards there will be a slightly smaller star with a reset lifespan.
Tech Level: Stringtech 10
Terraforming expands the methods used in environmental fabrication to entire planets. The process is relatively delicate and can take hundreds of years — to date there have been only a handful of successful terraforming events, and it is so expensive that few civilizations are willing to try. Finding a new inhabitable planet is much cheaper than terraforming a nearly-habitable one, despite the rarity of suitable planets.
Tech Level: Biotech 10, Nanotech 5, Stringtech 5, Cognitech 7
Transmutation chambers (see below) turn raw materials of any sort into a single element by pulling apart and rearranging the protons, electrons, and neutrons that make up atomic nuclei. This beam does the same at range. There are many useful industrial and household applications for transmutation beams, and so they are relatively common in the few civilizations where they are commonly available. When used in combat, these beams do damage rated Stringtech 8 — the effect on the human body is quite harmful, though it does not work as quickly or deeply as some weapons.
Tech Level: Stringtech 8
Descriptors: Near-c, Energy
Replicators turn raw materials into finished goods, or vice versa, but they work at the molecular level. If you need a particular element, there’s no way to get around it with just a replicator. Transmutation chambers work at the subatomic level, stripping apart atoms into protons, neutrons, and electrons, and recombining them into whatever raw elements are needed. Transmutation chambers are typically combined with replicators for maximum effect. Most chambers are relatively small, with waste matter “streamed” in one side and raw elements streamed out the other.
Tech Level: Stringtech 6
Cost: Low to Moderate, depending on the amount of material being transmuted. The chambers are free to build in the civilizations that can afford them, but they always require permits for use, and the electricity requirement is often large.
Unified Field Theory
The ultimate theory of Stringtech, which describes all of the matter and energy in our universe as a single phenomenon. All of Stringtech after this point is based on an understanding of this theory, which was delivered to humanity by the Transcendentals, before the Diaspora. Few characters will use this directly, but it’s a great technobabble term for players who want to invent some science on the fly.
Tech Level: Stringtech 5
This powerful technology is the verbal equivalent of a nuclear bomb. The character shouts, his or her voice amplified and altered by special vocal chord enhancements. Such is the tone of the voice that all who hear it find it almost impossible to take further action. When used for the purpose of stopping a conflict, this technique is a weapon that deals six extra points of Reserve damage (Metatech 10, resisted by Metatech, Soldier, and Meta-based professions). It also combines the effects of Word-Association Hesitation Induction (preventing those who lose their defense roll from acting on the next tick) and Eye-Catching Stance (preventing others from simply filtering out the voice via mesh). This procedure is only useful for stopping conflicts, and typically only those with a timescale of hours or less. Longer-scale conflicts tend not to have the important people around where the character can shout at them.
Tech Level: Metatech 10, plus either Nanotech or Biotech 6
Descriptors: Procedure, Internal
Vortex Sinks use a spherically wrapped wormhole to funnel all forces directed against the user to another location. This makes an incredibly good defense, all but impermeable to modern weapons. Vortex sinks are rated at Stringtech 10. They require an incredible amount of power to activate and maintain.
Tech Level: Stringtech 9
The following technologies have passed into the public domain long ago, and thus are not protected by intellectual property laws. Many of them are free in civilizations with replicators, though some civs prefer to retain a small fee for the creation of drugs, firearms, and other potentially dangerous materials.
Use this list not as a strict reference, but as a guideline for determining for yourself what sort of things should be available free of charge. If it’s in our modern society and it’s not particularly dangerous, it should be available.
Agricultural methods, airplanes, ancient weapons and armor, alcohol, bedding, condoms and other birth control, cooking recipes, disinfectants, drugs of assorted variety, foul weather gear, gunpowder-based firearms, hanggliders, hydrogen fuel cells, internal combustion engines, language tapes and references, motorcycles, old films and movie projectors, old novels, older beauty products, operating systems, painkillers, pre-quantum computers, textbooks, ultra-light aircraft, vacuum suits, vintage clothing, wheeled vehicles, and more.
There are a few pieces of built-in technology that take more than a tenth of a second to warm up or turn on. These Lenses monitor their user’s mental states and turn the devices on when they anticipate that the user will want to use them soon. These programs are somewhat dangerous when linked to weaponry, as others may assume the character is preparing for an assault.
Tech Level: Cognitech 5
Cost: Free - public domain
Weak Stealth Technology
Many limited stealth techniques fall into this category, from radar-based stealth to noise-cancellation speakers to domes that provide invisibility in the normal visible range. Characters who are only concerned about avoiding notice from a single narrow spectrum of phenomena will benefit greatly from these devices, adding +5 to stealth-based rolls. Against most high-tech civilizations, however, these devices are only curiosities and provide no benefit. For someone who can see the entire electromagnetic spectrum, someone who’s invisible to visible light stands out like a sore thumb.
Tech Level: Nanotech 4
Cost: Free - public domain
Word-Association Hesitation Induction
This procedure yields a single word. When spoken with the proper inflection and body language near the target, this word causes a memetic cascade within the target’s mnemonic centers, resulting in flashes of emotionally charged images and sensations. The cascade is brief, lasting only a fraction of a second — but for that instant, the target hesitates. Further uses of that word do not trigger the cascade again until the target’s mind has “reset” through sleep. No target can be affected by the same word more than three times, as the human mind adapts to such stresses.
The research period for this technique is lengthy. Extensive data on a single target is required, preferably including interviews or subtle questioning of the target’s closest associates. More complex and subtle targets require deeper examination. The minimum time is one week per level of the target’s Metatech, plus one month for each point by which the target’s Metatech Capability exceeds the researcher’s. Use of the Comprehension Theme, with descriptors such as Innermost Secrets or True Self, can cut this requirement out entirely.
Word-Association Hesitation Induction can be used as a weapon in Memetic Assault conflict. The word can also be spoken with a mental action in short-term conflicts such as Physical Combat. In the latter case, the attacker and target make contested Metatech rolls. Failure for the target forces them to skip all actions for their next turn. Defenses put in place earlier still remain, but they cannot activate new defenses, hide, attack, seek, or take any other actions. For that instant, they freeze.
Some paranoid VIPs authorize their support staff to research these words and use WAHI against them, in the hopes that it will innoculate them against their foes. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The psychological effect of trying to “fool oneself” into a psychimmune response is sufficiently different from the actual experience as to make the attempt practically worthless. The danger also exists that someone else will steal the research and use it to discover other words.
Tech Level: Metatech 6
Cost: Moderate, though this is typically spread over a long time.
Wormholes connect the civilizations of the universe. They allow for almost instantaneous communication, and can transport people and supplies to where they’re needed, making them the favorite tool of the Transcendentals. Wormhole generators draw a massive amount of power when transporting people or human-sized objects. There are no range limitations. Most major population centers are surrounded by wormhole interdiction fields, making direct transport into the city impossible to help prevent terrorism. “Calling ahead” through the infosphere (which itself uses wormhole links from world to world) is highly recommended.
Visually, wormholes are a blue-white vortex surrounding a view of the destination. Depending on differences between the local area and the destination (e.g. different gravity, air pressure, etc.), the two sides may not be able to see each other very well. One end of a wormhole must be created at the generation point, which involves heavy Stringtech devices. The other end can be created at nearly any distance, with nearly any velocity.
Tech Level: Stringtech 8
Cost: Expensive to travel, exorbitant to build