Information Age Equipment
The following equipment is available at PL 5 and later.
|Table: Progress Level 7 Equipment|
|Display glasses||Tiny||1 lb.||12||—|
|Grappler tag||Tiny||1 lb.||5||—|
|Explorer outfit||Medium||2 lb.||6||—|
|Heads-up display||Tiny||1 lb.||7||—|
|Spray LCD||Tiny||0.5 lb.||8||—|
|Portable environment generator||Medium||5 lb.||13||—|
|Portable glow lamp||Tiny||0.5 lb.||4||—|
A logical advancement of video display and VR technology, display glasses provide on-the-go monitors that can be hooked up to everything from computer systems to televisions and other audiovideo equipment. Each pair of display glasses looks like a darkened pair of sunglasses and features one or two earpieces that wrap around the back of the ear. The glasses are semitransparent and allow the wearer to see both the display and the user’s surroundings simultaneously.
Strong as steel, flexible as rubber, and almost as light as normal rope, duracable replaces most cables and ropes as the standard device for lifting, pulling, and support. Duracable is made of lightweight and durable wiring wrapped hundreds of times in a swirl that reinforces itself as more stress is placed on the coil. Duracable is able to support up to 10 metric tons of weight.
Often used in conjunction with duracable, the grappler tag is a small disc roughly six inches in diameter. When placed against a solid surface, the grappler tag attaches to that surface by magnetism (if the surface is ferrous) or by an array of nearly microscopic metal barbs (if not). The tag can then be attached to duracable and used as an anchor for climbing, pulling, or any other purpose. A button on the top of the disc releases the grappler tag’s hold.
The explorer’s outfit is the standard uniform for bold adventurers taking their first steps into the unknown. It includes a set of cargo pants and a utility vest, each covered in numerous pockets and pouches for holding miscellaneous gear. Additionally, the explorer outfit features a pair of durable all-weather boots with a built-in knife sheath, as well as a neck-shading cap, a pair of utility sunglasses, and a belt that holds pouches of all kinds. The chief premise of the explorer’s outfit is versatility, giving the explorer a basic set of clothing that can be added to and augmented for each particular mission.
A marvel of computer technology, the hackcard is a disposable, one-use item designed to allow those who are not computer savvy to bypass technological and computer barriers or perform computer-related tasks. Each hackcard is an individual data-carrying card roughly the size of a credit card with a hole in its center and a magnetic strip on one side. Each hackcard carries a single program designed for a single purpose; this may be to open doors, bypass security restrictions, crash a computer, or even to modify information. Almost any task that can be performed by using the Computer Use skill can be encoded into a hackcard. Hackcards can be swiped in magnetic keycard readers and can be inserted into disc drives on computers with the same ease.
When a character uses a hackcard for its designated purpose, the hackcard’s Computer Use bonus (+15) is used in the place of the character’s. After a single use, the card triggers small fibers of combustible material and the hackcard self-destructs, leaving behind no trace of tampering.
Heads-Up Display (HUD)
One of the most valuable innovations in portable information technology is the personal heads-up display (HUD). A HUD is composed of optical sensors for taking in data and a display device that projects an overlay in the user’s field of vision. A HUD also typically incorporates some sort of communications link or data link to allow another person or computer to see what the wearer sees and transmit valuable information back to the HUD.
Over the years, the HUD display device transforms from a simple eyepiece worn on a headband to contact lenses that can display data, all the way up to a neural interface that simply taps into the bearer’s optical nerve and tampers with the signals sent to the brain.
The standard HUD can be used to highlight the outline of a person or object on voice command, granting a +2 bonus on Spot checks when pursuing a specific target. Additionally, a person with a link to the HUD can freely send data and images to the wearer at any time. Individual software packages (represented as gadgets) can further augment the abilities of a HUD.
The laser tripwire is a simple device that replaces the standard physical tripwire. A single focused beam of light is projected out from the tripwire generator until it hits a solid surface. If the beam is broken by, for example, a person passing through the beam, the tripwire generator immediately sends out a signal from its data port. This can be used to activate an alarm, trigger an explosive device, or even just turn on the lights in a particular room, depending on what event the signal is set to trigger.
An invaluable device used in tracking and search and rescue, the nanobeacon is a small microchip that is placed on a target’s body (or on an object). It sends out a pulse every second that can be detected by sensors attuned to the beacon’s frequency. The nanobeacon projects its pulse at up to a 500 mile radius, each nanobeacon with its own unique identification code. Nanobeacons are often used to coordinate combat squads, track wanted criminals, and even to help recover kidnapped or lost children. A beacon can be placed on any character or object by making a simple touch attack against the target.
Portable Environment Generator
As an important piece of survival gear that can be taken on almost any expedition, the portable environment generator is an all-in-one device coveted by explorers and outdoors enthusiasts alike. Resembling a tall cylinder roughly two feet in height, the portable environment generator can project a 30-foot sphere of custom environment under any conditions. In cold weather areas, the generator produces heat. In arid deserts, the generator produces both cool air and moisture.
At night, the generator acts as a glow lamp and provides the area with light. Thanks to a special energy bubble produced by the generator, any atmospheric changes stay within the 30 foot radius and do not escape until the device is deactivated. Essentially, the portable environment generator can produce a sphere inside which a group of people can be relatively comfortable despite extremely harsh conditions outside the generator’s influence.
Portable Glow Lamp
The portable glow lamp is the most efficient and beneficial form of lighting equipment known to man. It can function as a directional lighting device (like a flashlight) or as an area-covering lantern. Glowlamps have long-lasting power cells and bulbs that never need to be replaced, and can be adjusted to provide light in any radius up 50 feet.
The puritizer is a small, semitransparent cylinder roughly one foot tall that removes impurities from water food. The puritizer’s onboard computer recognizes chemicals that can be harmful to the human body and separates them from the food and drink.
The shepherd chip is a tiny microchip implanted beneath the surface of the wrist. It contains the bearer’s identification information. Some computers can read the shepherd chip and extract its information, while all shepherd chips can be made to receive another person’s identification information via handshake—once a mere method of greeting, the handshake becomes a permanent way to introduce oneself and clearly identify yourself to another person. Of course, the shepherd chip can be made to not broadcast information via handshake for privacy’s sake.
In addition to basic identification information, many people have their banking and credit information keyed to their shepherd chips so that they no longer have to use physical money or credit cards. Businesses love this as it allows them to prevent shoplifting; if a person carries an item from the store, that item’s value is immediately deducted from their bank account. Additionally, in later years the shepherd chip can be linked to computers (particularly neural implants) such that any information can be transferred between two shepherd chips—a great boon to the espionage community as it allows for discrete information transfers. Some governments use shepherd chips (occasionally combined with nanobeacons) to monitor the activities of their citizens. This oppressive, watchful eye of the government is exactly what opponents of the shepherd chip fear. Additionally, a black market for forged or stolen shepherd chips emerged as soon as the chips themselves became widespread, making identity theft and falsification an ever-present crime in some communities.
A small box that fits in one hand, the soother pulse emits sub-audible noises and subtle vibrations that can soothe almost any animal. It carries in its memory banks the codes of pulses to soothe almost every animal on the planet, and new pulses can be loaded into the device whenever they are discovered. A character using the soother pulse gains a +6 equipment bonus on all Handle Animal checks when dealing with an animal identified in the soother pulse’s database.
The rise to prominence of paint-on LCDs allowed many people freedom and portability with computing never before felt. The spray LCD is the logical extension of this technology. A pressurized canister similar to a can of spray paint, it can spray an LCD onto almost any surface. Any object coated with spray LCD automatically gains the paint-on LCD gadget for 1 hour. After that hour, the spray begins to dissolve and no longer functions. Each canister of spray LCD is enough to produce one working LCD.