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.

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