Thursday, March 30, 2017

Corporations #3

Major Industries: Food, Makers
AM is a fairly standard Hypercorp mostly based out of Luna and Mars. Their original industry was in supplying meals and food service to prisons and penal indenture in areas in the orbital sphere of the Earth (including the Moon), but as criminal justice mostly phased away from physical prisons, they needed to do some restructuring. After rebranding, Andromeda took their established industry and marketed it more toward both public and corporate spheres. They sell multiple levels of makers, from small personal food prep stations to big industrial scale ones for corporate stations or indenture housing. They also offer pre-prepared meal plans for those who are not able, or do not wish to own a nanotech device in their own homes. There are strong and persistent rumors that Andromeda regularly donates funds to the Ultimates. Their logo is "AM" emblazoned over a galaxy.

Major Industries: Computer Peripherals
Apex is a relatively standard hypercorp based on Progress who develop and sell computer peripherals and accessories. This includes fiberoptic and other connection cables, external holographic projectors, speakers and displays, ecto accessories, simulspace headsets and more. Like many corps, they iterate their designs frequently to encourage consumers to buy again and help prevent piracy - which is rampant for their designs in the Outer System. Despite relative popularity and quality, they are a corp with middling value and success, usually because they sell relatively cheap products and do so frequently. Their logo is a barely stylized "APEX" or "AX-P" on their products.

Major Industries: Batteries, Energy, Weapons
Ostensibly, FGS primary industry is in batteries - both conventional and nuclear - and various charging and connection accessories for their batteries. However, their battery designs almost exclusively are integrated into powered weapons, such as beam weapons and railguns. Not only is Fu-Green compatible with most leading brands of these weapons, they also produce their own blueprints for many common weapons or aftermarket "upgrade" kits for certain high-power components, such as magnetic rails. Early intelligence indicates that several of the controlling members of this corp may be Asyncs and funneling their profits into efforts to conceal or even train Asyncs in hiding. Their logo is an indigo star.

Major Industries: Genetics, Robotics, Entertainment
"Bringing you a Magical Life" 
Goto-Collins is a company which has grown steadily over the past couple decades and absorbed or integrated several other corps. Originally, as just "Goto Production", they were a "prop-maker" or production company which specialized in custom bioscuplting and robotics or animatronics for props in vids, vidgames and physical locations. Since then, their business has expanded, not only do they do production work, but they also offer custom bodysculpting and cosmetic mods for morphs (both for entertainment or personal use), detailing and customization on bots and smart animals and even custom, to-spec builds of drones or vehicles. Their logo is a lavender mermaid.

Major Industries: Spacecraft, Synthmorphs, Bots
Helios is an unaffiliated Hypercorp based in the Vulcanoids and coordinated by a board with owners from several groups who specializes in "Solar"-rated technology. They produce external and integrated shielding and protection systems for spacecraft, bots or external platforms and synthmorphs (such as the Sundiver) to operate in the orbits close to the Sun. This gives them access to a wide variety of technologies and even clients - and they are known for strict political neutrality to provide products to many groups. Some of their tech is even being utilized in Exoplanet systems via the Vulcanoid gate. Their logo is a shield over a sun.

Major Industries: Virtual/Electronic Gambling
This hypercorp is based on Venus, and specializes in electronic or virtual gambling. They primarily run mesh addresses mirrored across aerostats to handle gambling in traditional games, sports betting and fantasy sports and other methods virtually - all done with simple interfaces. For those with nostalgia, Jones also produces high quality electronic machines which one can place in a place of business, such as slots, pachinko and virtual poker. Due to virtual integration, transfer of money is done fairly quickly and without much fuss - with harsh penalties for those who go into debt officiated by Extropian legal contractors. Many have attempted to draw connections between Jones and several major crime syndicates, but there appear to be none. Their logo is a tan card with "jones" printed on the back.

Major Industries: Data Mining and Analysis
Nebula is a independent contracting corp who handles data gathering and analysis. Unlike Stellar Intelligence, they are do not perform what might be considered "espionage" work or any advanced forms, but will collect and analyze public data. Their best functions are in traffic analysis (either data or physical movement) to aid governing bodies or corporations, but they can also track memetics, engagement or interaction and general trending and make projections accordingly. Due to their relatively innocuous nature, it is highly suspected that Nebula is either a front for some other organization (Such as Oversight, Sybils, ID Crew, Firewall, etc) or has higher levels who work for one or more groups such as that. Their logo is a purple octagon.

Major Industries: Investment Banking
NFI is a banking and investment group, split between majority holding in Luna and Extropia. They handle primary physical banking and resource investment and speculations - their name coming from their original business speculating and trading in investments in radioactive isotopes and fissile materials. They have since moved on to handle transactions involving other heavy and rare metals, volatiles, fusibles, antimatter or even low-value trading and banking in common substances such as carbon and silicates. NFI's physical branches also will hold physical materials in secured, shielded containers for clients, meaning that they've been targeted by erstwhile "bank robbers" before, none of whom have had much success. Their logo is an atom inside a box, which represents a bank vault.

Major Industries: Agriculture, Food
Nymphoods is an extropian-based hypercorp who work in foodstuffs and in "agriculture". Unlike some other groups, their work is based heavily in nano-ecology. They not only sell food produced in nanotech enhanced environments, but also home kits to grow food aided by nanotechnology (such as gardener swarms). This advanced tech tends to make their products expensive, but high quality. Nymphoods also owns and operates a restaurant in The Noodle on Extropia which displays the excellence of their food, and is also known for its interesting scene with attractive service staff and modular environment and atmosphere via smart materials. Their logo is the stylized "Nymphoods".

Major Industries: Environmental Shielding, Stasis Tech
WM Foundation is a bit of a low key, but steadily working hypercorp. They produce a variety of environmental protection and shields for habitats, such as micrometeorite protection, atmospheric seals, various temperature insulation, etc. This includes both external shielding, and protection for various internal facilities, such as for medical facilities or special storage. They also have recently branched into medical stasis tech, such as for morph storage or long term medical care - or even cryogenic preservation. Apparently the company has developed a focus on building habitats and structures to withstand any disaster. Rumors have recently begun circulating, however, that one of their major researchers is actually an infamous con artist. Their logo is a set of connected hexes with W-M overlaid.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


(From p. 126-27 Sunward)
"Phobos orbits Mars about every 7 hours and would
have destroyed the space elevator within a week of
it going up if they hadn’t done something about this
sucker’s chaotic orbit. Now Phobos orbits the straight
and narrow and is crawling with Cognite employees.
Cognite has a controlling interest in Phobos, sharing it
with with several other corps, including Direct Action,
ComEx, and Eng/Dilworth, an IT firm specializing in
automation and security for orbital stations.
Phobos is where the project that created the
Lost generation got its start; the first crèche servers
were located here. Cognite’s Wauxhall Institute was
involved in the Lost project and is also rumored to be
taking part in experiments with the Watts-MacLeod
strain of the exsurgent virus."

Phobos is similar in composition to a D-type asteroid, with numbers of silicates, carbon and oxides with organic chemicals, and sub-surface deposits of water ice. Phobos also has a very low density, as it is a “rubble pile”, not a singular body of rock but many smaller ones held together by gravity, though colonization efforts have taken great pains to stabilize the asteroid.

Cognite’s primary outpost here is Wauxhall, home of the touted “Wauxhall Institute”, a dome settlement built into the massive Stickney crater on the surface of Phobos. The dome features many arcology structures which span the entire height of the space, with gaps between individual structures for air vehicles, trams and walkways. Wauxhall features a high degree of open space for a microgravity habitat. Rumors say that Cognite originally planned to utilize utility fog in the hab to simulate gravity, but after the Fall such technologies are highly restricted. Wauxhall is host to Cognite’s major central “offices”, and most of their more public industries - such as nootropic and cognitive enhancement research, while their more secretive projects are hidden away either in deep interior labs or on other outposts. All in all, several thousand Cognite employees and contractors and their dependants live in Wauxhall or it’s connected interior structures. Also, due to the volume of complaints and controversy directed at Cognite - as well as their own aloof and concealed nature, Wauxhall is host to a branch office of Oversight, staffed round the clock by tactical response teams of auditors and security contractors who keep an eye on Cognite, along with a small team of PR officials who work to prevent frivolous slander against a major player in the Hypercorp Council.

Wauxhall is an interesting habitat. It’s interior structures are designed with a very “Neo-Victorian” aesthetic, combining classical European neo-gothic or neoclassical architecture with Middle Eastern or Asian influences. Structures are artistically reinforced with visible cast iron or steel, various spires and columns are visible as accents, and many facades are covered in a reddish “brick” made from materials from Phobos. Ornamentation is everywhere, with tightly packed designs which verge on cluttered. Elitism is a large part of the corporate culture within Cognite, and verticality plays a large roll in Wauxhall. The higher “up” you live or work, the more important you are in the company. The core employees of Cognite (execs and scientists) also are very showy about their intelligence and creativity, littering their casual conversation with technical and philosophical jargon to appear more intelligent, and public displays of art are highly common and encouraged by the company. Contractors and support staff are less caught up in this particular aspect. Almost everyone in Wauxhall, however, projects as air of austerity and gravitas. People are aloof, polite and avoid open displays of emotion or even most body language. In Wauxhall, you never know if you’re being studied or analyzed, which creates a sense of social propriety (and paranoia). Social or mental problems are also kept under wraps, as it could end up with a quick trip to psychosurgery under orders of the company - something many employees are paranoid about. Emotional dampers are highly common.

Wauxhall is broken up into several broad districts and neighborhoods, typically by function and facilities, though some of these areas may be striated along the vertical axis.

  • Undertown is the colloquial name given to the lowest levels of Wauxhall and the warren of tunnels dug into Phobos beneath it. This area houses most of the distributed infrastructure of Wauxhall such as water reclamation, power distribution and other vital components. Many sectors of undertown are poorly sealed or even open to vacuum. This area is home to the synthmorph indentures who serve as vacworkers and support staff to Cognite. Contracts with Cognite are a double-edged sword: they almost always feature mandatory (albeit “temporary”) behavioral modification with open clauses for further psychosurgery, and the Muses the company provides are loaded with behavioral spyware like a Monitor AI - but on the other hand Cognite offers great mental health coverage and access to recreational simulspace. They also respect company loyalty, the most talented and loyal indentures can end up hired into better contractor positions within Wauxhall itself. 
  • Londinium, Germania and Gallia are the three primary arcology towers, arranged in a rough triangle around the crater, reaching from the floor all the way to the surface of the dome. The outside of these circular structures is adorned with various accents in the style of the rest of the hab. Apartments ring the outside of the building, with the center being a mostly open area layered with transportation methods and zero-g gardens and art installations. Occasionally floors of housing space are replaced with rows of shopping arcades containing basic necessities and supplies sold through Cognite after strict screening, or other recreational facilities. The quality of the housing sharply increases based on the height in the buildings, with the lowest floors little more than single-occupant capsules, and the upper layers having single apartments which constitute one apartment for a senior executive or researcher and their family and personal staff. The very top levels aren’t housing, but rather extravagant dining destinations which extend above the layer of the dome to give a breathtaking view - many high-powered Cognite meetings take place in these locales. 
  • Metaversal Studios started as a nickname, but became a semi-official title for Cognite’s VR division after a partnership with Experia. This tower focuses on the design and programming of various cutting-edge recreational and educational simulspaces, which push the limits of modern hardware for more realistic experiences. Simulspaces are coded, tested and fixed here, before being mirrored to Experia media servers for mass consumption. Cognite employs small legions of infomorph indentures as beta testers and QA contractors. Due to the highly advanced nature of the simulspaces being constructed here, Cognite also experiments in high end computer hardware. The lower levels of Metaversal are dedicated to less “advanced” jobs in “edutainment” vids and vidgames, or development of skillsofts. This zone has a volume of Experia contractors and representatives, who often bring their own flair to the compound.
  • The Candy Factory is another colloquialism. Officially, it is Cognite’s “Pharmaceutical Research and Design Division”. This section of the company is responsible for one of Cognite’s biggest sellers, nootropics. Built of several structures, this area of the hab is a study in contrast. The pharmacists, chemical engineers and research doctors developing or testing new drugs work in sterile, white-walled labs, while the upper layers are staffed by many of Cognite’s overworked marketing and public relations employees, trying to develop new tactics and plans to sell the drugs once their blueprints are encoded to be distributed. Experimental AR graphics and displays run wild on the upper floors, and it is a common joke among the scientists that the guys “upstairs” consume most of their products in order to stay on top of their game. 
  • Teatown is the name for Cognite’s “Cognitive Enhancement and Morphological Development” department, with the name coming about after the Fall and the rise of the “Black Kettle” morph growing operations on Mars. Here, Cognite develops and updated a number of cognitive implants and genelines, including their original variant of the popular Menton morph. Cognite is also feverishly trying to reverse-engineer the Hyperbright morph after Acumenic “embarassed” them with the Bright habitat. It is also known that Cognite also produces a modernized version of the Futura morph used by the original Lost project here, for “internal uses”. 
  • The Think Tank is one of the most centralized and secured structures on Phobos. The building has a dark, bleak exterior at odds with much of the other architecture on the station. It is insulated from many external mesh sources, and has a large airgap. This is because this is where Cognite does it’s “public” AI research, developing the latest templates for Muses and other specialized AIs, while they leave their more advanced (and secretive) research to other stations. Think Tank additionally works on forking work-groups and hives, especially the “autocratic” style which is currently popular with Cognite’s executives. The Think Tank has also been experimenting heavily with cyberbrain emulation states, and Infomorph/Eidolon designs - including Cognite’s special “edits” for Infomorphs to encourage productivity in indentures. 
  • The Morgue has no official name. It is Cognite’s cold storage center. After the Fall, Cognite was one of several corporations who began to buy up the massive stockpiles of Egos in dead storage, and begin processing them for indenture contracts. In addition to the massive racks of cold storage servers, there are also a number of Simulspace servers to process prospective indenture candidates. Most people find Cognite’s particular practices of indentureship particularly unpleasant, so this structure is heavily secured and secretive, with security personnel watching the location around the clock. Cognite doesn’t just store infugees here, they have several contracts to hold criminal Egos in some very secure servers at the heart of the Morgue. Due to secrecy, rumors abound about the Morgue, even among employees; possible ego trafficking with the ID Crew or Nine Lives, imprisonment of captured Egos of Lost Project subjects, or even that the Morgue contains a boxed pre-TITAN Seed AI.
  • St. Dymphna Mental Health Research Center is a pyramidal building built as a kind of miniaturized arcology. Here Cognite performs much of it’s psychosurgical and psychotherapy research. They also develop therapeutic simulspaces to help patients. Most of the work here is oriented on research, and so Cognite takes on a limited number of “patients” but is known to occasionally work on high-profile mental health cases for the publicity. In the lower levels of St. Dymphna are the Infolife and Uplift wings, which experiment on cognitive development, modelling and treatment for non-human cognition, with tales of unethical experiments often thrown around in Mercurial circles. Cognite also is known to dabble in psychosurgical loyalty modifications and interrogative simulspace and psychosurgery techniques for the Planetary Consortium here. 
  • Youth Cognitive Excellence Center (YCXC) is a private educational institution run by Cognite. Here Cognite specializes in the teaching of young people to best stimulate their development and maximize aptitude potential through a variety of experimental educational techniques. The YCXC was popular among Hyperelites and upper class Martians in the immediate aftermath of the Fall, but business waned after the Lost Generation fiasco. Now a majority of the student body are children of Cognite employees or contractors, who get a large discount on enrollment. Some of the students are also Cognite “projects” also. The YCXC was responsible for the rough educational planning of the Lost and some of their creche server environments, but had little to do with the execution.
  • Phobos Circus is the name of the circular district which rings the perimeter of the dome, and is home to what passes for the larger scale entertainment and recreation in Wauxhall. The Phobos Circus is also host to “embassy” or branch offices of affiliated hypercorps and Cognite subsidiaries. Here, there are a number of restaurants, cafes and teahouses, and large scale physical entertainment or exercise - such as zero-g soccer and racquetball. Independant shops sell goods imported from other locations, typically Mars, though at significant markup due to Cognite fees. There are several art galleries and museums here, all sponsored by Cognite, and it also contains the Wauxhall Theater, with a Cognite sponsored troupe who perform microgravity versions of many classic plays - though it is also host to other experiments in performance art, especially performances made possible through the kinds of technologies Cognite works with. 
  • Wauxhall Institute is the center of Wauxhall, located in the smaller Limtoc Crater inside Stickney. Here, Cognite’s scientists conduct their most advanced and bleeding edge research, though almost the entirety of these projects are strictly theoretical. Actual practical research is done on other Cognite stations. This is also where Cognite’s executives, including their board of directors, meet - either remotely or in person. The Wauxhall Institute is linked to all other Cognite “offices” around the system. Also contained in this region is Wauxhall House, which is the administration center for the station, and contains many primary infrastructure functions, such as Ego Casting and Resleeving, and is where the Oversight branch office is based.
  • The Dimondium Palace is the nickname for the orbital tether cluster held in orbit directly above Wauxhall as a spaceport and redundant communications hub. The nickname comes from the variety of windows and viewports to observe both Mars and Phobos as well as the space traffic. Dimondium also has a couple of rotating clusters and rings for certain kinds of work which must be done in “simulated” gravity. Shuttles to Mars and other stations on Phobos are most common here, but there are also regular movements to other major martian orbital habs. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Solar Panels

Sunward, and in some exoplanets, solar power is a fairly reliable method to generate electricity. While not always potent, the sun shines bright enough to generate power on Mars, the Lunar surface and other locations scattered around the inner system region. Solar power can also be artificially stimulated for chargers and other devices, though obviously, simple witricity charging or self-charging batteries are often better. The portability of this is found in the Solar Recharger (p. 155 Gatecrashing) a backpack unit with an extendible photonic film/smart material panel which can generate power at a similar rate to nuclear batteries - though with slightly less rare materials and no effective limit on lifespan. While a backpack unit is useful for many things, like other tech there is no reason such devices cannot be installed in certain morphs.

Solar Panels: Based on the Solar Recharger, this simple augmentation embeds collapsible solar panels into the synthmorph, which can be extended as a Quick Action to begin drawing power. The augmentation uses a pair of slightly shorter (about 1 meter) panels instead of a single longer panel, having an appearance a bit like wings when unfurled. These panels generate power in sunlight similar to the recharger or a nuclear battery and can top off internal batteries or small devices connected via PAN in short amounts of time - or allow a morph with an implant such as Eelware to charge larger devices they are connected too. [Trivial]

Solar Panels are common in Martian synthmorphs who wish to live "off the grid" but don't want to carry an external charging device with them, or in a couple of space-based Synthmorphs (such as the Courier) as an add-on for those who might be catching enough light to charge internal power. Gatecrashing synths have also started investing in them, as a way to reliably generate battery power in terrestrial environments, with the low cost usually being worth it even if they end up in a locale not with solar power.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


Neo-Raptor (Biomorph)
A product of the "Lost World" Center in Burroughs Crater, this is a transgenic morph creation built from a combination of extant DNA samples, structural analysis of fossil record, neogenetic modeling of Dromaeosauridae and Neo-Avian uplift strains. The result is a small, avian-form morph which visibly and functionally resembles "raptor" dinosaur species. While the morph cannot fly and instead must glide short distances with feathers and membrane it has several advantages over the normal Neo-Avian, such as powerful legs and a counterbalancing tail for sprinting, greater sense of vision and smell over uplifted species, sharp claws on the hands and feet - the latter of which are designed to be highly flexible and prehensile. Because they were designed on Mars, the morph also comes "Rusterized" and able to survive many Martian conditions with lower oxygen values and temperatures. For purposes of logistics, most Neo-Raptors are based on smaller species and stand about 1 meter in height, but larger variants exist. This is a fully marketed product, and several Hypercorps have taken to employing them with Neo-Avian uplifts as patrol and security forces due to their inherent agility and intimidating appearance. It should be noted, this is not a proper uplift species. Not enough DNA exists to recreate a raptor species and uplift in situ - the Neo-Raptor is more akin to a specialized and adapted Neo-Avian morph and they do not exist as a species on their own.
Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Bioweave Armor (Light), Claws, Cortical Stack, Enhanced Smell, Enhanced Respiration, Enhanced Vision, Gliding Membrane, Prehensile Feet, Temperature Tolerance
Movement Rate: 4/20 (Walker)
Aptitude Maximum: 30 (20 SOM)
Durability: 30
Wound Threshold: 6
Advantages: +5 SOM, +5 INT, +10 REF, +10 Flight, +10 Freerunning, +10 Intimidation
Notes: Small Size, Nonmammalian Biochemistry
CP Cost: 30
Credit Cost: Expensive (30,000)

(This is an idea I've had since the first glimmers of Burroughs Crater - a way to add a bit of unique flavor for them into the game itself beyond the area of the crater. I know others have made dinosaurid morphs in the past, but this clicked really well for my own variation to work with Lost World. The result is a pretty pesky little bugger, with a lot of skill enhancements to counterbalance the limited SOM, relatively low DUR and limited implant selection, including the loss of the Wings. With this aptitude and implant spread, they make decent morphs for combat and scouting, with a lot of mobility. Range isn't their thing, but you could outfit them with Chameleon Skin and let loose if you liked - a raptor with a gun is probably a pretty fun image. I'm explicitly noting this is not a "Raptor Uplift" - that's a really complex process which would require reviving actual dromaeosaurs and carefully adjusting their genetics to make them transhuman level cognitives, and there's just not enough of the underlying DNA to work with. Even if someone was "born" into a Neo-Raptor morph, they'd just be a Neo-Avian pattern uplift with a specialized morph. Use enlarged size if you want to model a larger "sub-species" of Neo-Raptor.)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Burroughs Crater

TerraGenesis is not the only corporate entity working on reviving and studying extinct animals. Tucked away in Burroughs Crater in the southern highlands of Mars is a corporate facility where no expense is spared to attempt to recreate that which is extinct and market it to the people. Affectionately called the "Lost World" by visitors and marketing, the official name of this facility is "Burroughs Crater Wildlife Conservation and Revivification Center", a lab and research park covering large sections of the 100+ km area of the crater.

Pioneered by Edgar Kingsley, a venture capitalist who was a student of genetics in his early life, the "Lost World" center is part research project, and part an ongoing attempt by the Consortium elite to keep up with the actions of TerraGenesis. Sky Ark is a bountiful planet with a wide area where TerraGenesis' scientists are able to recreate all kinds of wildlife and their natural environments - Burroughs is a bit more limited in scope but still has some promise. Kingsley was interested in such developments on Earth to resurrect extinct large animals, but space and resource limitations prevented such ventures from getting beyond early research and planning phases. A healthy grant by the Hypercorp Council has allowed the Lost World center to flourish on Mars.

Primary habitation for workers and staff are in several arcology towers clustered in one edge of the crater, with access to a skyport and the local rail line. Guests have similar accommodations in a "hotel" arcology which is connected to but not actually with the other areas. The crater itself is mostly covered over in special materials which can absorb solar power and govern light levels and act as a "soft" seal for temperature and air pressure, with individual compounds, labs and sectors being isolated and environmentally controlled as needed. Navigation inside the facility is handled via buggies, a small tram system, or personal air transport. While the center does have multiple environments, terraforming is not its primary purpose - genetics research is. Tourism is only a secondary result to raise funding, and keep awareness of the project - to deter people from taking expensive vacations to Sky Ark.

The Center is run by a board of directors, which Kingsley chairs, and several high-ranking members of the center staff also sit on, with the rest being filled by investors, business associates and several other interested corporate heads. Due to the funding and land offered by the Council, Burroughs Crater falls firmly under the jurisdiction of the Planetary Consortium - though they also interact with the Tharsis government. While clearly a rival to TerraGenesis, the Center also openly works with them to collaborate on certain revival projects and share materials within the constraints of the Consortium's IP laws - ostensibly for the sake of preserving and reviving animals lost in the Fall. Kingsley himself is said to be deeply interested in this (though otherwise Reclamation holds no interest to him) but most of his corporate backers are only interested in keeping up with Sky Ark.

Burroughs Crater and its facility have several branches and departments working on various projects. Some focus on revivals based on extant DNA samples, other on mimicking long extinct animals using transgenic or neogenetic constructs. Other groups focus on tracking, behavioral mapping and even behavioral controls of the products. The veterinary unit is quite advanced, focused on the physical health and wellness of products which are created and often doing hands-on research in the "field" as new products are developed. The Center has corporate offices of course, who handle marketing to upper middle class tourists in the Hellas region, and the uber-rich out of places like Elysium to come see the products. Some creations of the Center are even marketed to corps as usable smart animals. Due to the sophisticated and technical nature of the park, very few indentures are employed, and they mostly in digital or customer-facing tasks. Repair work is done by AIs in bot units which are "unappealing" to any wandering products. Kingsley and his corporate backers do not prefer indenture when hiring primary staff such as scientists, but instead contracts with long NDA agreements and harsh penalties to breaking them to encourage workers to remain with the company while still maintaining the idea they have conventional freedom.

While not as extensive as Sky Ark, the Lost World center has made some strides in animal research and resurrection. They have managed to produce before TerraGenesis a number of animal lines, including Terror Birds, Anaconda, Glyptodonts, Argentavis, Giant Otters and Hyaenodons. They have also compiled several structures of various "raptors" (Dromaeosauridae) to create a morph which resembles them and several Neo-Avian strains - a "Neo-Raptor". Researchers at the Center have also collaborated on or developed in parallel several species now found on Sky Ark, with a focus on the long extinct ones. Unconfirmed rumors persist that in an attempt to one-up TerraGenesis' scientists, the Lost World has begun developing a Giganotosaurus subject to rival Tyrannosaurus forms.

Despite their scientific successes, not everything is ideal at Burroughs Crater - with the limited size the center can never truly rival Sky Ark and there has been some talk of finding an appropriate plot of land on an Exoplanet to move the work to, which would unfortunately require the destruction of many subjects too large to safely transport and would cost a great deal of money. Burroughs Crater is also in the middle of what is seen as Barsoomian territory. Nomads used to frequent the region and some groups still persist, and the Hellas region is a hotbed of Barsoomian terraforming politics. While the center keeps a response team to deal with all kinds of threats, the possibility of sabotage or terrorism still exists. This is compounded by the relative isolation of the center. The southern uplands are too uneven to support a wealth of high-quality roads, and rail lines are expensive to run in that area. If they were to be blocked or destroyed, the only way to leave the facility is by air - and the Center itself only keeps a small number of utility helos, aircars and a small jet to transport staff and sometimes visitors.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Sleep is vital to life, though transhumans don't need as much of it. Basic Biomods reduces the amount of sleep vs active period, and Circadian Regulation does so further. But, mods like Hibernate allow one to sleep deeply longer. Even though Synthmorphs do not require to sleep, many sleeved in them will use low-power modes to take breaks to rest the mind and kill time. Infomorphs can slow run time and emulate sleeping mind states to rest and refocus. As biological importance is retained, so is cultural importance - which can lead to interesting junctures between culture and technology.

Simulspace and VR in general are amazing tools. There are entire subcultures who chose to live not only as infomorphs but in VR environments permanently. They can simply exist in VR sensorium servers and persist there so long as the server operates. For those outside, Simulspace is a bit different, and for biomorphs accessing VR is usually done through a headset with a hardline connection which manages brainwave data - allowing the replacement and immersion in the new sensorium. VR is usually accessed in special couches, beds or chairs to keep the body relaxed and prevent harm from any additional movements in the real world. This also means it provides a relaxing space where transhumans might feel able to sleep. This juncture is the origin point of Dreamweavers.

The art or science of dreamweaving is part psychosurgery, part simulspace engineering, and a bit classical psychology. Those with a more technical aptitude might apply neurology directly also. It is possible to engage in Simulspace while asleep or mimic a sleeping state with the technology. While most people engage with it while fully conscious, the interface point itself doesn't necessarily care. However, interacting with VR while your brain is in various states of rest is difficult and complex, limited often to those who have the ability to lucid dream. This is where a good Dreamweaver comes in. Someone with the technical and academic skills to oversee a dreamer and manage both their psyche and the software and hardware it is working with. The profession is a bit fringe in some habs, especially with a more conservative view on technology, but is non-invasive and entertaining or even therapeutic, so it's not uncommon to be able to find one on the Mesh.

A Dreamweaver can perform many services and operations, and usually does so in real space from a very close proximity to the dreamer - though with decent connection they can operate remotely. Because they have access to both a sleeping mind and body, intense trust is needed with a Dreamweaver. This can sometimes lead to intimate relationships between the dreamer and the weaver. The most simplistic option with a 'weaver is for them to record naturally occurring dreams not just as XP (which some people do as a form of "dream journal") but render them in fully interactive VR. This can allow for interactive dream analysis, editing and even "resumption" of a dream which ended or drifted away originally. The more common and complex option is real time dream observation, editing and suppression. Originally devised as a therapy for those with night terrors and other issues, this process has a Dreamweaver observe dreams (as the sleeper perceives them) and use their VR interface to alter the direction or content of the dream. Traumatic nightmares might be gently brightened or ended to shift to a new dream, stress dreams can be de-stressed and dull dreams might be made more interesting. Because this is done in real time, it requires some skill to string together the hybrid of VR programming and psychosurgery commands to shift dreams on the fly - and poor cohesion or design of a dream edit can cause undue stress on the subject - causing them to wake up. Dreamweavers tend to get better at this the more they work with a client (as the process also often helps with insight and psychotherapy as well) and can learn to navigate their particular dreamscape - which promotes long relationships with a good 'weaver.

The most complex service of Dreamweaving is also the best known and most popular. Not only can they record and interact with normal dreams, but via the Simulspace interface a good 'weaver can take over for normal subconscious dreaming patterns and induce specific dreams in the subject. Because of elements of sub- or unconscious interaction with the dream-state, Dreamweavers who actually build dreams often say that they must remain flexible in their design and often made changes on the fly to the program to account for an active dreamer. In these cases, the client tends to "order" certain dreams or themes before they go to sleep, and the 'weaver executes on them, using their knowledge of the dreamer and their own library of software to bring about the desired result. This is not quite the same as utilizing VR normally, while some dreamers (and particularly good Dreamweavers) can induce lucidity in these dreams they aren't fully immersive or interactive like a normal simulspace - they behave more like natural dreams which content or themes have been "pre-picked" by the dreamer and implemented by the 'weaver. Some Dreamweavers make the dreams in real time as the sleeper experiences and reacts to them. Others can implement pre-programmed dream types, and edit them to match the sleeper's personality. Inducing a dream must be done very carefully to avoid causing undue mental stress on the subject. Additionally, being too loose with the controls on a dream can cause the natural sleeper's mind to influence it causing it to go "off script".

It still is a very popular service by those with good money to engineer their dreams, often hiring personal dreamweavers like one patrons any art - or high quality dreamweavers drawing large packs of clientele like a famous surgeon or therapist. Economically, Dreamweaving isn't as strong in the New Economy, as on just pure Reputation it can sometimes be difficult to organize appointments and clients when they are all in good standing in the community - leading to a handful to operate on "first come, first served" basis or involve trading of favors directly. Usually, you find people with the talents exclusively offering it for therapeutic benefits to a broader community, or where Networking can get you an introduction to a 'weaver, who then screens for people they are particularly interested in working with (though being too exclusive can harm one's own reputation). Also very common is that Dreamweavers form small communities and groups who train and practice together, and will offer services to friends and close companions, or work together to handle scheduling in other people from outside the collective to come in and experience their craft, which enhances the reputation of the collective.

Should the mechanical need to model Dreamweaving come up, the simplest way is to treat it as a specific Specialization of a skill like Programming or Art: Simulspace Design, and have the 'weaver roll that skill as a Task Action which last however long the subject sleeps (and probably shouldn't operate under normal speed reduction, unless you want to wake the subject up early). Success means the dream is woven as it should be, and failure means things didn't quite go as planned. On Critical or Excellent success, the subject might even heal a few points of Stress, but conversely on Severe or Critical failures a particularly "bad trip" should probably inflict some stress.

Or, if you want to get more technical, treat it like a Psychosurgery proceedure (which Programming or Art: Simulspace Design might complement). It has a timeframe of however long the subject is asleep (average 4-8 hours), with a modifier of +20 if you're just suppressing or editing normal dreams, and +0 if you're weaving a dream completely. Oppose with WILx3 as normal. If the surgeon succeeds, things go off perfectly, and if they have a good MoS the subject might heal some Stress or gain some other temporary benefit. If both pass, then the dreamer's subconscious (or conscious if they can lucid dream) may take the dream in unexpected directions - the result is an interesting and memorable experience, but no long term gain. If the surgeon fails or the subject rolls higher on their WIL test, their subconscious rejects or persists in its natural dreams, and the dreamer takes 1 SV (more maybe, if the PS fails worse) and if they pass the WIL test probably wake up in the middle of their sleep.

Additionally, a character who performs dreamweaving services for someone should get a hefty bonus to rolls like Kinesics or Psychology aimed at determining that person's mood, mental state or attitude to the tune of +10-20 as they have a very good look at what the subject's subconscious is like.

[Sidebar] Dream-Eaters:
Not all applications of technology are good, and not everybody who delves into the world of Dreamweaving is interested in helping others - they have more selfish goals in mind. These people who range from antisocial at the best to psycho-criminals as worst are usually called "Dream-Eaters". At their lowest level, Dream-Eaters are voyeuristic and opportunistic. Instead of steadfastly watching over and guiding another's dreams, they might hijack their dream-state for their own amusement, or even utilize XP or VR to experience the dreams they make through another person's POV. Others may copy XP or VR data of dreams without permission, and share or sell them to others (sometimes unedited) in place of their own work. Some Dream-Eaters are con artists, who use the physical proximity and vulnerability of the subject for personal gain - or engage in a tactic known as "inception", where they plant careful triggers or cues in the sleeper's dreams to engage in social engineering. Some may utilize the data gathered on a sleeper's psyche for blackmail or emotional manipulation - while more insidious operators will use their access to a person's Ego and Morph to perform unauthorized psychosurgery or forking of the subject.

These criminals are potent and dangerous, and may be solo operators or associated with big outfits like the ID Crew or Nine Lives. Their actions can be motivated by simple greed to profit off others, or they may have more antisocial or disruptive behaviors in mind. Dream-Eater schemes are often hard to catch without another 'weaver to audit their work - but some get sloppy. Others get found out when people close to the victim realize something is unusual about their behavior or what they say their sessions are like. Due to the risks and damage such close access to a person can cause, the crimes performed by Dream-Eaters are usually treated harshly by most legal systems.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Shotgun Ammo v2

(Author's Note: Sorry about sporadic updating lately. I'm recovering from oral surgery right now, and have also been working on an unrelated homebrew project a lot. Expect H-Rep updates to remain infrequent for probably the rest of the week.

Additionally, this one basically has the same Author's Note as the original Shotgun Ammo entry)

Prices listed for 20 rounds.

API: An armor-piercing incendiary slug, really more of a flechette which ignites when fired. Modern rounds use self-oxidizing compounds so they work even in vacuum, and generally function similar to Reactive or Reactive-Armor Piercing ammo (p. 338 EP) for normal kinetic weapons. It improves armor penetration over the normal slug, but isn't quite as effective as total damage. Remove the Cone effect, and increase AP by -6 and DV by +1. [Moderate]

Bolo: Named after a tool to catch game or cattle, this round utilizes two slugs or balls linked together by a metal cable. The intent is that the cable forces the rounds to spin and maintain energy, as well as create more damaging wounds - however historically it was very much a novelty round as the cable could often snap or otherwise fail to work properly. Transhuman engineering has helped this problem, with stronger cabling material which maintains much better - creating an exotic round for those focused on any kind of "stopping" power. It removes the Cone effect, increases AP and DV by 2, and when dealing damage with this round, the target's WT is considered 1 less than normal. [Moderate]

Breach: Breaching rounds are a classic shotgun tool, a slug which is designed to immediately disperse after hitting it into a relatively harmless dust or powder - with the intent to breach doors or other obstacles without hurting persons behind them, which might include hostages or bystanders. Law Enforcement in urban habs may still use breaching rounds to destroy door locks and other barriers rapidly - and they also have a strong effect on bots and synthmorphs, but are made with a material which reacts similar to biter or flayer rounds and immediately begins to disperse when it hits a soft target to cause minimal harm. VS hardened or inanimate objects such as walls and structures, bots, vehicles and synthmorphs, this round has -10 AP and adds +1d10 DV, but against soft targets like biomorphs it doubles the target's AV and does -1d10 damage. Either removes the Cone effect. Commonly called "Master Key" or "Can-opener" rounds. [Low]

Flash: Part firework, part crowd control, these rounds work similar to Dragon's Breath ones, but with a combusting powder which is much more focused on light than heat. Fired, they produce bright flashes and gouts of flames which will blind those who look at it. This reduces DV by 1d10 which is reduced by E armor, but anyone looking at the weapon when it fires takes a -10 glare penalty to most actions, until the end of the Action Turn. A target hit by the flash round directly must make a SOM+REF test, if they fail they are severely blinded and take a -30 on actions which reduced by -10 every Action Turn until their sight completely returns. [Low]

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Sound Dampening

One of the advantages of cyberware over bioware is the integration of synthetic materials and harder elements. While there are a number of bioware functions which can be mimicked with cyberware - these do tend to be much more invasive however, and thus are usually installed only on Synthmorphs. Other implants are mechanical or electronic elements which can't be replicated with biology - or are paired with extant cyberware. This is the nature of today's implant is along these lines, using elements which are synthetic and may be anchored to other cyberware.

Sound Dampening: This cyberware embedded sound-dampening materials and padding into a bio or synthmorph, primarily in the hands and feet, but it also shields joints, some subdermal areas and extensively works on cybernetic limbs which have mechanical components which may be noisier. This greatly reduces the sound signature of the character as they move, both through locomotion and just flexing or stretching. This implant is quite complex and expensive, but can be a great boon to those who need to move stealthily and avoid being heard. It gives a -20 penalty to all Perception checks to detect the character via hearing, or other audio sensors. [High]

While Sound Dampening has its most obvious use in infiltrators of all stripes, it also has some surprising users - particularly synths or those with extensive cybernetic implants may install this in order to seem more normal or less obtrusive, as it masks unusual sounds produced by the clattering of plastic and metal, the hum of onboard electronics and the noises of mechanical components. However, one does not become stealthier just by installing this mod - it still takes skill and training to move on areas with the lowest sound, carefully place the self as to avoid noise etc. It also helps not to heavily sprint across materials which are not sound dampened, or carry lots of equipment which can rattle around.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Heartbeat Sensor

A "heartbeat sensor" has been long sought by military and law enforcement, and long speculated by military fiction for over 100 years. Motion Detectors (p. 153 Panopticon) are very small, reliable systems which can detect motion via body heat and other IR radiation, and can even do so through surfaces close enough. But, this is not necessarily comprehensive, and even in active or passive modes requires targets to be moving when the sensor is pointed at them. It's ideal for security systems, but not always to carry on your person. And while they do not often make false positives, an active or passive pulse might miss a target who happens to be relatively still. To this end, the Heartbeat Sensor is an alternative.

Heartbeat Sensor: A small, handheld alternative to the Motion Detector, the Heartbeat sensor is an active sensor which uses a small array of antennas and combinations of IR and radio waves to measure back the minute responses related to respiration and pulse. The result is that it can detect a target breathing or with a beating heart even if they stand still. The accuracy enough is to measure the target's heart rate, and if maintained long enough can detect heartbeats which are faint or artificially slowed such as through drugs. It has a material penetration and range similar to Radar, though will not always be detected by the same equipment as a Radar setup. The sensor can have a flat display, or be linked to another display such as AR over mesh - and provides a rough position, range and heart rate data. [Low]

The heartbeat sensor, sometimes also called the biologic sensor, is considered an alternate for the motion detector, and neither is a replacement for the other. Motion detectors in passive mode can be defeated by thermal dampening and some chameleonic materials, but are hard to block in active mode. The Heartbeat sensor is only active, which can harm its user's stealth profiles, and can be affected by measures which inhibit both Radar and IR - but works even on targets which are still. The heartbeat sensor works perfectly on biomorphs and smart animals, and will also detect masked synthetics and Pods - but does not normally locate a Synthmorph. Depending on the user, this may be a benefit or hindrance. While small and one-handed, the Heartbeat sensor cannot be too small, as the antenna array needs to be spread a small amount to work - and takes in just less than 180 degrees in the FOV of the sensor. It is, however, small enough to mount onto a wrist or a two-handed gun if needed.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Martian Bike Gangs

Mars presents a somewhat unique environment in many respects for people. With the Earth lost, it is one of the largest bodies in the solar system one can reasonably expect to travel on. While Titan has ground-roads and highways, they do not have the surface area and distance of Mars to cover, nor the population levels who utilize these roads. This leaves Mars as one of the few places in the Solar System where those who have appreciation for the "open road" or the "need for speed" to thrive and grow. Unfortunately, subculture development is somewhat limited by vehicle selection - groundcars are notoriously small and compact, though urban street racing (illegal as it subverts the traffic control grids) often utilizes modded ones, and while the Martian Buggy can get some speed going, the vehicles are not the most aesthetically pleasing - though "post-apoc" rigs of buggies with extraneous armor plates, spikes and chains are not uncommon in rebellious rednecks.

This means that the traditional cycle has some of the best availability and style for those who seek to feel the independence and power of owning a vehicle. In urban centers, you may find traditional bike clubs and authentics "retro-Mod" cultures who focus on riding and customizing cycles. These make great venues for recent immigrants or ex-Indentures within the hobby to socialize with others and get back into the swing of post-Fall life, and act as an element of a social network. While there are still some wider popcultural implications of a "cycle club", the ratio of the urban ones which engage in criminal activity is low - and in these cases they mostly act as a slightly more mobile street gang, engaged in vehicle theft, extortion and drug dealing to gain additional money for the members or the club and may clash with more established neighborhood gangs. However, the high presence of surveillance and traffic control makes these criminal actions harder.

It is outside the major cities, on the distant highways and their attached communities, where you find groups one can really call "motorcycle gangs". Many of these these resemble rebellious youth and racing subcultures, such as Japanese bosozoku or Maylay Mat Rempit. The backbone of these communities are in local youths, usually areas which have a concentration of similar ethnic cultures (though multicultural gangs exist in areas which are sufficiently diluted) and have little else to do, except perhaps help parents with work or attend virtual schooling. Far from Mars' urban centers, traffic controls get less strict, surveillance gets less comprehensive, and the ease of building a serviceable cycle or trike out of some fabs in a prefab garage gets much higher. This means that many bike gangs are also technically skilled, able to do basic subversion of DRM and licensing, and can handle their own maintenance and assembly of bikes - some gangs even take building your own ride as a bar to entry. While historically there may have been some element of gender separation or roles in bike gangs, the modern gangs rarely make anything of it including active members ("riders") of any gender identity - though some of the most established may comport themselves as a "brotherhood" or "sisterhood". Though, of course, bike gangs are often hotbeds for casual dating and sex in their communities, and it's not uncommon for a date (sometimes called a "bitch" or a "squeeze" usually not intended to be derogatory) of any gender who is not a member to ride with the gang.

Activities for these outback gangs are pretty standard. At their basis, they engage in running (usually friendly) races on highways and access roads, bike parades and other rabble rousing usually just for their own amusement. Particularly adventurous or skilled gangs will travel on major arterial highways, subverting the traffic grid or otherwise operating in manual to travel at high speeds interspersed with regular traffic (though this occasionally draw the attention of the Martian Rangers). Those who feel particularly strong or delinquent might engage in common youthful crimes such as vandalism, extortion or bullying of locals, petty thefts and even robberies. Others might engage in drug distribution and smuggling, illegal courier jobs or act as a hub for illegal fab operations. While sometimes this is selfishly for profit, mostly it is an act of youthful rebellion or a quest for more thrills - many of these gangs' members live ordinary lives otherwise and engage in activities for the adrenaline high. This is reflected in their outfitting; almost no-one uses an enclosed cabin on their cycle or trike, they only wear lightly shielded clothing or crash suits for protection, and the only people wearing helmets or masks are those who do not have respiration implants. This means that while often dangerous and violent, gangs are rarely consistent in their operations beyond the basics. Only the longest established and largest gangs tend to have steady operations which go hand-in-hand with various codes of conduct and strict membership rules.

While high-speed and danger seeking are critical to these cultures, so is rebellion. Gang colors and symbology are often drawn from their cultural or ethnic heritage (a subversion of the Consortium's insistence on Mars as the new home of humanity), others use anarchist symbols or rhetoric in how they operate and may even comport themselves as "lacking hierarchy". However, some gangs will focus on subverting their own cultural expectations operating like "Authentics" in Urban Mars modeled after cultures which are not their own - or deliberately anachronistic stylings such as American "cowboys" or late 20th century "cyberpunks". Some cyclists are brave enough even to chance the outskirts of the TQZ. Culturally, cycle gangs are split between cycles and trikes - with trikes being larger, more durable and better at rough terrain, but the cycle being faster and the lighter frame more customizable. Membership in these gangs is usually youths in their mid to late teens at the low end and early-mid 20s at the high (as opposed to urban cycle clubs, which have a broad age range). Some members naturally mature out of the club, or their older age and legal status makes the risks of the lifestyle less appealing. Those who engage in criminal activities may be recruited by local crime gangs, triads or militant Barsoomians as members. Others may pursue dangerous contract jobs such as PMC work, ego hunting or bodyguarding, or become professional athletes or X-casters engaging in other extreme sports. Very rarely, bikers will "go straight" and join government jobs with the Tharsis League doing infrastructure or surveying and some will even "betray" the gang by becoming Martian Rangers. Some don't ever properly grow out of it, remaining in the local culture to support new blood and keep the gang revitalized while going on with their own lives.

Occasionally, two gangs' territories will meet or abut. This is rare, as very few rural communities have a large enough population spread out to form multiple gangs - though rivalries and falling outs can cause a gang to split or fork. Typically, both being driven rebels, this will result in low-key gang warfare with brawls, vandalism, taunting and very rarely serious fighting over the contested area. This ends either when the local authorities have to step in, or one gang loses the will to hold the territory, causing them to fall back. Occasionally, gangs are mature enough to negotiate, and will split territory up, or one will pay concessions to the other for the space. Exceedingly rarely, gangs might merge to form a new gang with combined membership - this usually only happens if a third party (such as Rangers or local criminals) is present, or in the non-zero chance that gang leadership really just wants to bang and have a weird way of showing it. Combined gangs tend to be volatile, but much stronger and more daring.

Lastly, there are a couple ways gangs might settle things in event of a fight, or some other dispute. Races and related wagers are common, especially in gangs with younger membership who aren't dead set on fighting (and may not have access to weapons). But another common way is jousting, where a champion of each gang will engage in almost ritualized fighting utilizing simple shields (or no shields at all) and carefully crafted lances made with self-balancing materials to be easy to handle - and with smart material heads which can be blunt or sharp depending on the conflict.

Jousting Lance: Lance used in ritualized jousting of Martian Bike Gangs, and occasionally reenactors on horseback. Has a bluntable tip and powerful balance correction for high accuracy. It is designed to be used in motion, and thus has no penalty to make a Charge Attack, but all attacks while not charging takes a -20 penalty. Uses the Exotic Melee Weapon: Lance skill. [Low]
AP -3 1d10+3+DB DV (Half DV when blunted)

Monday, March 13, 2017


While many are effective or even insidious, many forms of "Traps" available to Eclipse Phase are distinctly non-portable, and even complex. Those that aren't tend to be explosives or otherwise highly destructive. While for TITANs, criminals or private security forces who really like their privacy, this makes sense, there are many situations where a regular individual in their course of life might with to lay out a "trap" to catch or discourage vermin, wild artificials or trespassers. In this case, there is the Mantrap.

Mantrap: The mantrap is a portable anti-personnel trap which folds up to be about the size of an early 21st century portable computer. It is "armed" by opening it and setting it on the floor. There are two, primary varieties of mantrap, harmful and adhesive. The adhesive trap, also known as a glue trap or a "roach" trap, has an adhesive covering which activates in contact with air. If stepped in, a character will become stuck to the trap, which may prevent them from moving entirely, or greatly restrict their movement by encumbering one leg (half movement rate) and giving them a -20 penalty on Fray and other movement skills unless they can pass a SOM test to break free. If anchored to the floor or another surface, it can effectively immobilize like an Adhesive Surface (p. 181 X-Risks).

The harmful or injurious type is referred to as a "maneater", a "welcome mat" and many other names. It has folding "jaws" with offset teeth lined with nearly monomolecular edges - which are not designed to be self-sharpening and thus dull inside the target to catch better once they enter. These traps can even be lethal if they cause the right damage, and are armed with a pressure plate and a remote trigger to activate. When they do so, they slam shut, they deal an amount of DV equal to the target's Wound Threshold x3, with an AP of -6. This will typically incapacitate most morphs, though those in heavy armor compared to their smaller weight may find relatively little harm as the force is offset and thus allow them to escape relatively unharmed. A trapped character is likely to be knocked prone and forced to move that way (recommend limiting them to 1/4 movement) or otherwise have their movement significantly hampered, granting a -30 penalty to Fray and other movement tests unless they can remove the trap with a SOM x2 test, or someone else might damage or destroy it.

Both types of traps are equipped with mesh signals to send radio alerts or telemetry data when they are activated. Spotting a mantrap is at -10. [Low]

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Stack Encryption

Under normal circumstances, a Cortical Stack is a "write-only" device, which is deliberately isolated from most other data connections and storage to take only the neural network snapshots required for a backup. They can only be read using specialized equipment which is very expensive, and in many cases not portable. Even so, Even so, some people are worried about others having access to their stack in case they die or are killed. This has led to a proliferation of security measures, like Dead Switches, False Deaths, Self-Destructs, autodelete or copy-protection software and more. But for some, there are simpler solutions, though they have their own ups and downs.

Stack Encryption: This implant overhauls the cortical stack storage medium and it's underlying software, encoding brainscans in simple but hard to break encryption to prevent unauthorized users from reading the stack. The key to this encryption is usually held by a backup service, offsite data security, or with passwords/keys in the possession of the user (which means if you kill someone to take their stack, you can't get the password). A morph with Stack Encryption enabled gives a -30 penalty to Psychosurgery attempts to access or edit the backup data on the stack, and similar penalties to any InfoSec/Interfacing tests to tamper with the stack while still hooked up in a morph unless they have authorized access (or take time to break the encryption with a Quantum Codebreaking Computer). Normally this can only be installed in a morph with a Cortical Stack, but infomorphs may also take this as a Software Plugin which encrypts and obfuscates ego data recorded on a server - but would require another plugin like Emergency Backup (p. 140 Transhuman) to work. [Moderate]

Most insurance companies and several governments with resleeving programs actually ban or carefully regulate Stack Encryption because it harms their ability to do their job, and one often has to pay higher premiums on a Backup Insurance contract if your stack is to be encrypted and the company to store the authorization data. More security focused governments also ban this as part of their efforts to promote public safety - as it is very hard to interview someone in case of an accident or crime if their stack cannot be read. On the other hand, Covert Operatives engaging in risky operations may prefer encryption to Dead Switches or highly expensive emergency farcasters or QE comms - as the encryption can be held by their home agency and used to recover intel or egos if they are lost.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Smart Ammo

Smart Ammo takes advantage of nanotechnology for nano-scale computing and advanced materials science to build rounds which can alter their shape and thus ballistics and aerodynamics, or take advantage of sensor data and telemetry, usually provided by Smartlink (p. 342 EP) systems embedded in every modern weapon system. But, while optical guidance can be useful and make impressive moves (such as indirect fire with Homing or Laser Guided rounds) advances in sensor miniaturization also means many traditional methods of guidance for larger rounds (namely vehicle-mounted missiles) can be placed in Seekers and even Kinetic ammunition to give a wide variety of advantages in a combat situation. Listed prices are per 100 rounds.

ARM: An abbreviation of "anti-radiation missile", this type of Smart Ammo may only be equipped to Seekers, and has a detection system which locks onto signals of Radio waves - including jammers, Radar, T-Rays and wireless radio communication, though they tend to only pick targets over a certain strength. It grants a total of +20 to attack rolls made against a target which is actively radiating (I/E using Radar, Radio Jamming or Radio communication), which does not stack with bonuses such as the Smartlink. Their tracking has a range based on the size of the round uses. Micromissiles have a range of 50 meters in close environments, and 500 meters in the open, Minimissiles have 1/20 km, and the Standard Missile 25/250 km. While the ARM is hard to defeat with ECM or physical countermeasures, they are limited by the strength of the enemy sensor/comm system and might be confused by shutting down systems if they are detected. [Low]

Heatseeker: These weapons are IR-guided, armed with small sensors which lock onto sources of IR radiation - namely those which radiate heat, though IFF though Smartlinks prevents targeting friendlies. This primarily includes biomorphs, most vehicles and many kinds of personal gear. When used it offers a +20 bonus to attacks (which does not stack with other weapon bonuses like Smartlink) against targets which are warm, and can also be used for indirect fire. However, while accurate in most situations, Heatseekers can be defeated by dampened or shielded targets, or may be blocked by decoys, flares or other active countermeasures. [Low]

Radar-Guided: There are two varieties of Radar-guided smart ammo. The first is "semi-active" which can be installed in both Seekers and Kinetic ammo. This uses a radar receiver communicated via Smartlink from the user (or an allied Radar if using TacNet) to guide it onto a target, functioning as an alternative to Laser guidance. It grants a +10 to hit a target so long as they are inside Radar range and visible to that system. "Active" Radar smart ammo can only be equipped on Seeker Mini and Standard Missiles, as it involves their own miniaturized Radar set. The size of the round is required in order to give the set sufficient battery life and range to work. These units home onto a designated target with their own Radar, which makes them very accurate and allows the user to "fire-and-forget" as they can cease guidance and even be jammed from the seeker round. It grants a +30 bonus to the attack, but this does not stack with any modifiers from the user such as Smartlinks or even Aim actions, and this bonus may be reduced if the target is protected against Radar. They are also limited by the sensor range of their home unit, able to lock on at 1 km in urban environments or 20 km in open ones for Minimissiles, and 25/250 km for Standard Missiles. [Low] for Semi-Active, [Moderate] for Active

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Poisoner's Ring

Historically, a poison ring, or a pillbox ring is a ring which hides a compartment in the bezel which can hold a dose of an illicit substance. It popularized in the 16th century, in Europe, but has a long tradition in India and the Far East. The ring can be used to covertly poison enemies, or keep a toxin to perform suicide if captured. Even now, some cultures find the way of pouring or serving drinks so a poison ring could be used incredibly rude and distrustful. While more advanced methods of administering poison or suicide are available, modern minifacturing and fabrication makes traditional jewelry a breeze to make, and administering a compartment even easier with smart or other shape-altering materials.

Poisoner's Ring: Typical ring or similar jewelry with a hidden compartment inside it. Metallic composition of the ring and shielding of the compartment make it almost impenetrable to most sensors and only the most advanced chem sniffers might detect what is inside. The compartment can hold a single dose of any drug or poison which is administered Orally, and grants a +10 bonus on Palming tests to administer the hidden dose. [Low]

Such rings can be a fairly commonplace equipment to many assassins or covert operators, giving easy access to drugs or poisons at hand - and can even be used to hold doses for one to use on their own. Poisoning might not be as effective with resleeving, but can be used to quietly disable an enemy in a private setting to obtain their stack or clear them out of the way for some other operation. Non-toxic substances might also be popular to disable, confuse or manipulate a target. Non-sinister rings also exist, of course, as part of a growing "Earth nostalgia". Rings with storage compartments to hold images or project small holograms as known as "locket rings", and "box", "socket" or "funeral" rings is the common term for a ring which has a small storage space in it - though functionally they are identical to the Poison variety.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Smart Axe

The ice axe is a useful tool for climbing and survival - which resembles several deadly weapons of war. It is really only used in a conflict in a pinch, but has a variety of uses for those who journey onto exoplanets, the Martian highlands or many frozen moons in the Outer System. But, transhumanity is usually not content to keep a design exactly as it was - and just normal materials are sometimes inadequate for the extremes of both environment and use they can see in the broader solar system. Thus, exploratory types have engineered new tools for many uses which integrate smart materials and other factors.

Smart Axe: A one-handed tool which resembles an ice axe, the head of this weapon is made from smart materials which can shift their density and texture around as needed. The head can be sharper and non-stick when carving into ice, but when embedded can get a strong "grip" on the material it's dug into. This also makes it better when used for self-defense, as it can bite into flesh or remain hardened to penetrate armor. Most smart axes come with a polymer "leash" which keeps it attached to the hand if dropped. A person carrying or wielding a Smart Axe gets +10 on Climbing checks while using it. [Low]
AP -2 1d10+2+DB DV

These axes are most commonly seen as tools in the hands of Gatecrashers or sportsmen on Mars or the moons of the Outer Fringe, who swear by it's usefulness in a climb - and for gatecrashers in also being able to fend off hostile xenofauna. While modeled on an ice axe, the smart material head means it can work on rock and other materials just as easily - so is utilized by mountaineers of all stripes. While few reclaimers will openly claim they have climbed on Earth recently, the tool should also be of use there and some of them are known to carry them. Others simply use it in place of a utility knife  or other similar tool when they need - a proper multipurpose device.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Sparkian Biology

As noted earlier, the exoplanet Spark has an unusual biology which often harmonizes with uses of electricity due to natural elements in their environment. This is an unusual circumstance which has led to many fascinating species to be studied by transhuman explorers. However, many species on Spark are not docile or peaceful, and due to their sensitivity to electricity, many of them regard transhumans and their equipment as an annoyance or hostile intruder, and may be territorial. Below are listed several species which may prominently threaten the life or limb of an explorer on Spark.

Thunder-lizards are a common pack hunter on Spark, most dominant in the areas of thin, low forests and plains near the terminus region - and thus one of the most commonly encountered by explorers. Their biology appears to be somewhere between a reptile and a mammal, with live birth and warm blood but their physical structure internally and externally also has similarity to large lizards - and no mammary gland analog. They are hexapeds, with sharp multi-purpose claws, a very fast overland speed and dappled grayish scales, and are the size of large dogs. While they appear to have decent spectrum of vision and smell, their most interesting feature is a pair of conical horns on top of their heads which integrate with their bioelectric senses. They can use this to hunt, to sense the location of nearby packmates and even oscillate their bioelectric fields to perform rudimentary communication - like how other animals would use audio or scent cues. Unfortunately for explorers, Thunder-Lizards are territorial, and the use of electronic equipment by some transhuman gear and morphs strongly alerts them to it's presence, which can cause them to be violent and aggressive in response.
Threat Level: Yellow
Numbers: 2-6
COG 5 COO 15 INT 15 REF 15 SAV 5 SOM 15
WIL 10 INIT 6 SPD 1 DUR 25 WT 5 DR 38
Claws & Teeth: 50, 1d10+3 DV AP -2
Fray/Armor: 30, 3/4
Perception: 40
Move: 4/20 Walker
Skills: Freerunning 40, Infiltration 30, Intimidation 30, Scrounging 40, Unarmed Combat 50
Ware: Bioelectric Sense, Shock Tolerance
Native EMF: An individual Thunder-Lizard can alter its own electromagnetic field to perform simple communication with packmates at 5 meters in close conditions, 50 meters in open. This can be used to relay an emotional state, or basic commands or details like "come here" or "run away".
Stress Test: 1d10/2 SV

The "salt vampire" is an aggressive parasite common to forested or otherwise covered regions in the terminus and dayside regions of Spark. While most of the local fauna has 6+ limbs, the Salt Vampire only has four, but makes up for it with a short, prehensile tail and a long, flexible neck which ends in a mouth ringed in hollow, hypodermic-like teeth. In general, it resembles a giant leech with legs, a gray-green creature about the size of a small dog. It has no visible sensory apparatus, and appears to sense purely by bioelectricity. While they somewhat resemble amphibians, they do not perfectly analog any terrestrial classification. They appear to be opportunity "hunters", striking prey fast to siphon blood or other fluids (and hopefully associate metals and salts) before the prey can properly dislodge them. If the target is too large to kill in one sitting, they will often detach and scuttle away, using their incredibly flexibility. Salt Vampires have ambushed several transhuman explorers, including some synthmorphs - much to the perceived disappointment of the vampire. If threatened, they will use teeth and claws to scrabble at an enemy before leaping away.
Threat Level: Yellow
Numbers: 1-2
COG 5 COO 20 INT 15 REF 15 SAV 5 SOM 10
WIL 10 INIT 7 SPD 1 DUR 20 WT 4 DR 30
Latch On: 40, Subdual. If successful, next Action Turn the Salt Vampire will bite with it's mouth inflicting 1d10/2 DV (round down)  AP -1 (no defense). After that, the Salt Vampire will suck blood and other fluids from the target for 1d10/2 Turns unless dislodged, dealing an automatic 3 DV each turn which ignores armor and cannot be defended against.
Claws: 40, 1d10+3 DV, AP -2
Fray/Armor: 30, 0/0
Perception: 30
Move: 4/16 Walker
Skills: Climbing 50, Freerunning 50, Infiltration 60, Scrounging 30, Unarmed Combat 40
Ware: Bioelectric Sense, Grip Pads, Prehensile Tail
Traits: Small Size, No Eyes, Limber (1)
Stress Test: 1d10/2 SV

These are a colonial, insectoid species which appear to be an analog for eusocial insects, such as bees, colony wasps, ants or termites. Buzzbees have a variety of interesting qualities about their physical structure and behavior that interest researchers, but their defensive measures makes them hard to study. While roughly analogous to many terran arthropods, the Buzzbee and similar species are slightly longer over all, with bodies which have a "centauroid" configuration - they possess four limbs primarily for locomotion on their middle body section, and then on the fore-body behind the head they have another four multipurpose limbs which make them very dexterous. While they do seem to collect nectars and other analogs from plants (and thus help with pollination equivalency) Buzzbees are omnivorous like ants, and will collect scraps of any edible resources they find and return to their hives, though some of this they catalyze or ferment with their own enzymes into a honey-like paste (which is observed to be slightly salty) for long-term storage. They have glittering, almost metallic shells in what may be warning colors, and multiple EM-sensitive eye organs in a configuration which gives them 360 degree fields of view. Most importantly, however, is their electrical adaptations. Buzzbees possess antennae which are capable of minute radio transmissions similar to nano- or microbot swarms, which they can use to communicate positioning and basic information like a threat or resource. They also have stingers like many eusocial insects, but these come in the form of a two-pronged stinger which relies not on venom, but on a small electrochemical charge which they can utilize to arc electricity between the prongs, making a painful shock. Several concurrent stings can even cause disruption to the body similar to a taser.
Threat Level: Orange
Numbers: 1-2 Swarm Units
COG 3 COO 15 INT 15 REF 20 SAV 2 SOM 5
WIL 15 INIT 7 SPD 1 DUR 50 WT - DR 50
Swarm: Buzzbees follow all the normal rules for Swarms. Stats are given for a single swarm.
Shock Sting: 40, 1d10+Shock, Half Armor applies.
Fray/Armor: 50, 0/0
Perception: 30, 50 Vision
Move: 4/30 Winged, 1/4 Walker
Skills: Flight 60, Infiltration 30, Intimidation 20, Scrounging 40, Unarmed Combat 40
Ware: 360 Degree Vision, Enhanced Vision
Natural Radio: Buzzbees have a natural form of radio communication, and can communicate at a range of up to 500 meters in open terrain, or 50 meters in dense terrain. This also means they have an unusual response to EMP grenades. While they do not harm them, if in the area of a grenade they must make a WILx3 test. If they fail, they are stunned for 3 Action turns plus 1 action turn for each full 10 MoF. If they pass, they take a -30 to all their actions, which is reduced by -10 each turn until it passes.
Stress Test: 1d10/2 SV

The Spithian is a vicious predator which appears analogous to a scorpion or some kind of land crab. These long, low creatures range in size from a small to medium dog, and have hard carapaces made with metallic elements to absorb and conduct away electricity. They have twelve, multi-jointed legs for great climbing and land speed, multiple mouthparts/mandibles and very advanced and sensitive optics. They appear to be solitary or breeding pair hunters, who live in the dense jungles and rainforests on the edge of the dayside, and thus are rarely seen by explorers. They do not actively hunt transhumans, but view them as threats or competition, and will engage in intimidation tactics or self defense. Their primary weapons are a set of large crushing or pinching claws which can grow large enough to encircle a transhuman limb, but they also have a long, stinger like tail. However, instead of venom, the Spithian is able to create a natural build up of electricity which arcs to nearby targets with a force similar to modern electrolasers. They use this to stun prey and scare off competing predators, or for self defense.
Threat Level: Orange
Numbers: 1-2
COG 5 COO 10 INT 10 REF 20 SAV 1 SOM 15
WIL 5 INIT 6 SPD 1 DUR 20 WT 4 DR 30
Claws: 40, 1d10+2 DV, AP -1. If the Spithian scores an Excellent Success, it may choose to pinch the target and hold on, similar to a Subdual attack. The Spithian deals 1d10/2 DV per Action turn while pinching the target, half armor applies. If the Spithian is gripping a limb, if it deals a wound it may sever the target limb entirely.
Shock Tail: 50, 1d10/2+Shock DV, 0 AP. Only works on targets inside 5 meters. The Spithian takes a -20 on this attack if the target is Shock-proof or otherwise insulated against electricity.
Fray/Armor: 30, 11/11
Perception: 30, 50 Vision
Move: 4/20 Walker
Skills: Exotic Ranged Weapon: Shock Tail 50, Freerunning 30, Infiltration 50, Intimidation 40, Scrounging 50, Unarmed Combat 40
Ware: Enhanced Vision (Zoom only), Ultraviolet Vision
Traits: Small Size
Stress Test: 1d10/2 SV

Monday, March 6, 2017

Hellfire Clubs

Historically, "Hellfire Clubs" were meeting places for upper class persons of a jaunty or disreputable quality, primarily in Britain. In addition to gentlemanly talks of politics, philosophy and business the clubs would also engage in blasphemy, satire and "immoral acts" - the intention being to shock or scandalize the public rather than proper impropriety. Others were directly engaged in acts would be seen as improper by wider society - pagan rituals, wenching, drinking and gluttony, with one organization famously having the motto "Do what thou wilt". Social clubs under the name of "Hellfire Clubs" have persisted in some places such as Ireland into the modern era.

The landscape of many parts of the Solar System is ripe for the resurgence of such social clubs, particularly in cities on Venus and Mars with strong enclaves of European descent and a high-class populace. The growth of social media and life transparency means that engaging in anti-social or "inappropriate" behaviors can tend to catch up with one quickly, which can mean the end of a career (or a very frustrating setback) for many a young socialite. Additionally, class divides are strong, which can fuel a resentment of the upper crust and drive them to private meeting using their powerful resources. But also, hedonism is popular in many areas, especially due to transhuman resiliency. Food, drink, drugs and sex are all relatively harmless to those with a proper morph and medical care - and worst comes can be easily sidestepped by resleeving. While some of the oligarchy are said to have "Immortality Blues" and have grown tired of many normal pastimes, the hyperelite youth of the Glitterati and other cultures are still amused by the "normal" things, and may desire private outlets.

And of course, the intellectual situation is also ideal - Religion is not as common in these regions in AF 10, and many prominent religious groups are known for their current or classic conservatism - making them ideal for parody. Earth nostalgia and "retro" qualities for many classic fashions recorded from the past couple centuries has arisen, though obviously distorted by time, and many "updated" to fit in with modern technology.

Hellfire Clubs follow many similar internal structures. They meet in restaurants, bars or other social venues, or at members homes. All members are treated as equals, and many may enforce anonymity or lack of Mesh access to prevent leaks and recordings from getting out. Men and women may join, a bit of useful historical accuracy, though depending on "authenticity" all members may still be referred to as "Brother". Meetings tend to be regular, such as weekly or monthly, at appointed times, though to prevent gossip journos from getting a handle on them they especially skilled Clubs may rotate or encrypt scheduling. Membership tends to be invite only, with new members being vouched for by a previous one - and many involve hazing or initiation rituals. Hellfire Clubs may even be virtual instead of physical - though this is not as common due to it's lack of apparent "authenticity". Particularly unscrupulous clubs may also operate by garnering the assistance of local criminal elements to hide or help provide "entertainment".

The actual subject of the club varies widely depending on individual social groupings. Some are simple social clubs with an air of secrecy, a place for people of similar minds or ages to gather and speak about topics without public perception, politics, money or social standing to directly interfere. Many are more in a vein of clubs to party and have fun - where exquisite food, drink and pleasures of the flesh are offered. They may also engage in acts of satire or parody, mockeries of religious rituals of elaborate pagan natures or in blatant misrepresentation of classical Abrahamic religion. Others may engage in political satire, skits or other amusements of a more intellectual nature - or just humble pranks. The most extreme and private clubs engage in acts which are not just socially unacceptable, but illegal: cannibalism, snuff, bloodsports, human or animal sacrifice, bestiality, torture and many others - and these are most likely to be connected to serious criminal outfits.

While some regard the Clubs as unsavory, immoral, in poor taste or "wasting time", only the most extreme are seen as harmful or dangerous - and even then the hyperelite who move in these circles may not even care for harm done to "lower classes", though public image in places like Morningstar and the Consortium mean that legal action may still be taken if the word gets out. Some Autonomist groups, such as many militant Anarchists, see the Clubs (and the obscured rumors of them on the Mesh) as exploitative, abusive and endemic of hierarchical systems - but Extropian and Scum clades are generally more approachable on the subject of "do what you will". There are even rumors that groups on Titan, such as the oligarhov counterculture, are interested in similar concepts to engage in socially unacceptable behaviors away from the sometimes oppressive transparency of normal Commonwealth life.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Shark Skin

As noted under Spinneret, many forms of bioware and other augmentations are inspired directly by the abilities of animals and plants in nature. Genehackers and implant doctors carefully tailor and design new genes, new biological structures and how to implant and maintain them in the system. The end result is with enough experimentation, many unusual characteristics may be added. Of course, many of the more extreme implants may automatically relegate themselves to niche uses - though the prevalence of new Exhuman clades often breathes life into many theoretical implants.

Shark Skin: Requires an armor implant (such as bioweave). This bioware implant mimics the natural scale configuration of sharks, skates and rays by integrating dermal denticles into the skin. It requires anchoring to a skin which has been strengthened or toughened already - and the physical structure of the denticles resembles teeth. The scales are not dense or hard enough on their own to provide additional armor, but can provide benefits similar to that of their original species. This morph gains a +10 bonus to Swimming tests while their skin is exposed, as the shark skin makes it much more hydrodynamic. There is also a secondary benefit - the denticles are sharp and rough, like an enhanced sandpaper, which can make physical contact with the skin unpleasant. This grants the morph a +20 on checks to break free from a grapple (reducing the normal penalty to -10) and whenever this character is targeted by a subdual attack, the attacker takes 1d10/2 DV in the scuffle. A cyberware variant which is compatible with synthmorph shell armor, or with the surfaces of body-covering armor is also available. [Low]

Shark Skin is mostly seen in either directly aquatic or converted humanoid morphs - as people find the additional hydrodynamism helpful and the added defenses useful in the confined, close spaces of underwater. Some even take it as a point of pride to remind others of their "superiority" over aquatic uplifts, who competed with several species of shark in their native habitats. Uplifts occasionally utilize the implant as well, but most purists and mercurials find it unpleasant or unusual to add to their biology based on a competing species. While submersion is not common outside of certain planetoid bodies, those who engage in close combat may also prefer the implant simply because of the "discouragement" it provides in grappling - and some people simply don't care to be touched.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Lucretia Blackbroom

Real Name: Ursula Ventura
Aliases: Lucretia Blackbroom, Ursula Seawitch, Venture Ursa
Known Affiliations: Hypercorps, Socialites
Specialty: Hacking, Traditional Medicine, Social Engineering
Age in AF 10: 26
Primary Location: Mars or Luna

Belief is power. This is a statement attributed to the mysterious subculture of Bruixeria. People in power like to believe they are safe and beyond reproach, but fear that which can reach them. People who are oppressed, downtrodden or unlucky believe they have hope for the future. These believes are said to catalyze the heart and soul of the mysterious "Lucretia Blackbroom".
In reality, Lucretia began her life as Ursula Ventura, a child of a hyperelite dynasty investing heavily in orbital infrastructure and manufacturing around both Luna and Mars. Ursula did not fall into the first stereotype of a scion child as a spoiled brat, but when instead for the next most common - a young rebel. With her superior genetics, resources and education, Ursula was able to become a skilled hacker at a young age. She engaged in typical childhood pranks and petty cracks, but also occasionally performed disruptions to move her family members around the system on business, leak sensitive documents or private conversations to bring actions of the company to light. Of course, she was not so skilled as to be beyond investigation - and shortly before the Fall her family capitalized on her avowed "respect for life", and bundled her off to a prestigious medical school on Luna to begin training as a doctor. The Fall hit the empathetic young Ursula hard, the canned feeds of destruction around the system giving her a distaste for violence, and the results after such as the rise of the Clanking Masses and other Indentures sickened her further. But she had also begun to study interesting electives at school, which gave her ideas about how to help people.
Claiming she could not stomach to perform medicine on live people anymore, Ursula quietly transferred to UMars to study a fine art degree. Her parents thought she had settled down as a normal, talented young socialite. But, Ursula wasn't yet done with her desire to help people. In school and in deep dives on the mesh, she studied the goings on with the Barsoomians, Clanking Masses and many other sins of the Hypercorps, and also ran across the idea of the "Bruixeria". With her combined technical, medical and cultural knowledge along with good poise and social skills, Ursula realized a good way she could help people, strike at the hearts of the hyperelite and maybe do a little good in the world.
So the alias "Lucretia Blackbroom" was born, a bruix greyhat who appears mysteriously in communities on Mars and Luna. Lucretia can heal many harms, such as alleviating pain of GSPs, simple work-related injuries and address some basic mental health through mood-altering substances. She can find broken objects or components and fix them for no charge, recover lost or stolen property, and expose abuses by those in power. When sent against those who oppress or abuse, Lucretia can subtly poison or sicken, she can learn deep dark secrets to expose or blackmail with - she can steal assets and funds digitally and "relocate" them among many other things. Ursula uses her hacking and social skills to find weaknesses in systems - human and digital, in order to get what she wants, which is to help people.
She's not without limits or flaws, however. While subtle and well regarded, she still has a deeply grained fear of violence or combat situations, and her rebellious, headstrong nature keeps her from working as a unit - being a rare, solitary bruix. Fighting physically is not how she accomplishes her goals, she does so with  theatricality, information and manipulation.
In her daily life, Ursula sticks to a conventional morph, which looks like a very average woman of latin descent, with a little bit of a dramatic flair in her mannerisms and dress which befits an average actress or performer from a highly ranked family. In her disguise as Lucretia, she takes many guises, but all involve the peak of the Legend - clattering jewelry, chains and bones for accessories, dark garb which is silky or leathery often adorned with spines, ruffles or feathers to add a mysterious "natural" air. Her face is hidden behind elegant masks with a birdlike aspect, her skin in mysterious patterns of "arcane power" which are just chameleonic or simple paint.

COG 20 COO 20 INT 20 REF 15 SAV 20 SOM 10 WIL 20
DUR 35 WT 7 LUC 40 TT 8 INIT 7 MOX 2 SPD 1
Exalt morph
Motivations: -Family +Owning Systems +Helping Others
Skills: Academics: Cryptography 60, Academics: Economics 50, Academics: Sociology 50, Art: Performance 45, Art: Fashion 63, Deception 60, Disguise 45, Fray 50, Hardware: Electronics 35, Impersonation 40, Infosec 68, Interest: Martian Superstitions 60, Interfacing 50, Intimidation 63, Kinesics 70, Language: Native Portuguese 85, Medicine: Paramedic 60, Medicine: Traditional Medicine 50, Networking: Media 60, Networking: Criminal 40, Palming 40, Perception 55, Persuasion 75, Profession: Social Engineering 68, Profession: Medical Care 50, Programming 60, Protocol 70, Research 50
Implants: Basic Biomods, Basic Mesh Inserts, Cortical Stack, Clean Metabolism, Enhanced Pheromones, Endocrine Control, Enhanced Vision, Enhanced Hearing, Medichines, T-Ray Emitter, Chameleon Skin, Grip Pads, Skinflex
Traits: Digital Ghost, Untarnished Reputation, Combat Paralysis, Not A Team Player
Gear: Anonymous Account, Electronics Tool Kit, Exploit software, Gnat Bot x2, Radio Booster, Sniffer software, Spoof software, Tracking software
50 f-rep

Using Lucretia Blackbroom:
"Lucretia" is a great way to directly introduce the Bruixeria concept - and evoke a classic archetype. She's very robin hood-esque, or even like a masked superhero, a person who is driven by the plight of others to help in mysterious ways beyond the comprehension of normal people. A young rebel, Ursula wants to help the downtrodden and use her resources to better others as opposed to a typical representation of many hyperelite. But is this just childishness or is she serious? The character has some options and depth to use as an NPC. She might be an antagonist, especially for a technical or social story, where her strong abilities might pit her against a group of PCs who are working for someone or investigating something and don't pierce her veil of deception. Maybe their actions come back to haunt them as Lucretia thinks they are "bad people" to work against. Or she might be an ally, someone called in with the right favor or right knowledge to offer mysterious help in "mystical" ways which might baffle characters expecting clear-cut solutions. While not built for combat, Lucretia is balanced as a playable character also, a hacker and face who can adjust to many situations, and could provide support in a combat situation by offering medical aid to others.