At the Heart of the Abyss
This page has a variety of items, medical gear and drugs, separated into sections like the Tech Gear page. Any odds and ends that might be interesting to a Spectre but don’t fit in another category are found here somewhere.
- Pretty much any use of the Medic skill requires that the character use a dose of Medi-Gel. With medi-gel on hand to patch up after battles, even operatives who can’t regenerate can recover their full Health points. They may not feel perfect, but they can fight at full potential if they get jumped again.
- Technically illegal under council law, Medi-Gel has become impossible to ban, especially with the addition of Humans to the Citadel Council. In the wake of a landmark court decision on the status of Medi Gel just two months ago, hundreds of bills are being brought before the Council to relax restrictions on genetic engineering.
- The citadel government is highly suspicious of Medi Amp but has been able to do little more than put light restrictions on its sale. Many say that they’ve only been able to take even those measures because Sirta simply cannot pump the drug out fast enough to meet demand. A single dose of Medi Amp goes for more than six times the price of a dose of Medi Gel, and the price continues to climb as more markets find out about the drug.
Biotic Tweezers: Not actually a biotic implement at all, this medical tool creates a minor mass effect field that can pull dense items like shrapnel and weapon slugs out of a patient’s flesh without damaging the less dense tissue they’re buried in. Not only are these a great boon to battlefield surgeons, but if used quickly they can greatly mitigate the effect of toxic ammunition types. Biotic tweezers boost battlefield Medic rolls by +2.Combat Stims: Dangerous when improperly used, and addictive if used too often, Combat Stims are still considered a valuable part of a soldier’s arsenal. Stims have one of two effects depending on when they are used. If used on a reasonably healthy combatant, (above 0 health), they energize him, giving him a temporary boost of energy. On the round that the stims are used, the subject feels an intense energy rush, and gains an extra minor action that can only be used for movement. The round after, and the subsequent round as well, the subject has intense energy and focus, gaining +2 to Accuracy and +2 to Defense and Tech Defense. After the third round of combat has passed, the stim is already past its usefulness.
- Stim Addiction: Subjects addicted to Stims must take at least one Stim a day depending on their racial metabolisim and how bad the addiction has gotten. Taking a stim no longer improves combat performance, other than the extra minor action during the inital rush. Going into withdrawl, i.e. missing a required dose has the reverse effect that a normal stim user enjoys. Addicts in withdrawl suffer a -2 to Accuracy and -2 to Defense and Tech Defense.
- Stims are contraband all over Citadel Space, restricted to official military only, and even then their use is carefully monitored. Of course, their utility in combat makes them very popular on the black market, it’s a good bet that most mercs have access to stims.
Nanny Bag: Another Sirta Foundation innovation, the Nanny Bag is named for the nanobots inside the tough plastic bag. The nanobots are suspended in a thick layer of medi-gel, and activate when the medi-gel becomes contaminated, that is, when a body part is shoved into the bag. The nanobots work with the medi gel to keep the body part infection free and un-rotted, without the kind of damaging preservation that intense cold or harsh chemicals can inflict on already traumatized tissue. Nanny bags are rapidly becoming popular as re-attachment surgeries for severed body parts are approaching a 100% success rate when the limb was preserved in a nanny bag.
Symbiote System: Less elegant than the Medi Amp or Nanny bag from Sirta, the Symbiote system is a true example of the grim pragmatism of Turian medicine. Looking like nothing more than a giant white robotic tick or crab, this briefcase-sized machine clamps down hard onto the ribcage of a dying patient and inserts tubes and probes into the torso. Within seconds, the Symbiote System has taken over all vital functions the patient’s body normally performs, keeping him alive until he can get to a proper medical facility. A Symbiote System can run for up to three weeks without recharge or refill of its medical supplies. Turians have yet another reason to grumble at humans as a medical system that would have been hailed as a marvel is overshadowed by the impressive Medi Amp.
Aurora: Aurora is an expensive, ‘classy’ drug that’s often used by socialites, politicians, and wealthy merchants. It is a dark purple liquid, and is taken in doses about two shots worth. It induces euphoria, and causes the user to see coronas of light around objects, hence its name. Aurora can be used responsibly but rarely is. It takes a lot of the drug for the user to become physically addicted, but the euphoric feeling is good enough that a psychological addiction usually results in a physical one. Long term overuse of Aurora burns out long-term memory and causes users to be hypersensitive. As the drug has increased in popularity, gloves and clothing that covers the entire body have become more fashionable in wealthy circles.
Hallex: A sensory drug that has varying effects on different races. The most common effect is synesthesia, though the more it’s used, the more changed a person’s perceptions become. Hallex tends to cross sensory wires, causing one form of sensation to trigger another, in extreme cases even switching out sensations so that the user begins to imagine that he hears light and sees sound, even though the organs themselves continue to function normally. Many users of Hallex go mad from the way their perceptions are twisted. Notably, Asari who take Hallex seem to be resistant to some of the worst effects, but the drug allows them to access a sort of ‘partial melding’ state that makes time spent with another person a delightful experience of bonding.
Grava: Grava is cheap, and it takes all your cares away. That makes it extremely popular among poor populations in the Abyss. Grava is a brutal drug that interferes with brain activity in most sentients, literally reducing mental capacity over time. It doesn’t matter how much Grava you take, it’s always detrimental. Taking more simply speeds up the damage. Grava junkies litter the slums of the Abyss, able to do little but perform brute labor or whore themselves out to support their habit.
Red Sand: Red sand is a stimulant with biotic-enhancing properties. When taken nasally, red sand creates a brief but intense euphoria, and gives the user very short-term telekinetic biotic abilities. Side effects include red-tinting of the user’s vision, discolouration of the teeth and longer-term withdrawal symptoms. Red sand is normally sold in small bags. The slang expression for using it is “dusting up” or being “sand-blasted”.
Saph: Saph is a vapor drug, inhaled through breather masks or a room filled with the fumes. It produces euphoria and a sense of loss of control and responsibility. It also triggers dream-like sensations for races that are able to dream. Taking enough of it induces a waking dream state that is the main object of inhaling the drug. Saph addicts often have trouble separating reality from their dreams, and lose a lot of their sense of self-preservation.
Vix: Vix is a drug that’s chemically related to combat stims. It’s an intense stimulant, giving the user hyper focus, a lot of energy, and an aggressive, driven mental state. Thugs favor its use before a fight, or just to help them seem motivated and tough. Long term use of Vix is connected anecdotally to psychosis in most sapients, but no real research has been done on it yet.
- Biotic amps are as restricted as any military grade weapon.
- +5 to biotic activation rolls.
- Cannot gain Resolve for Victory.
- All Resolve gain reduced by 1/2.
- Bone weaves, because of the possible complications, can only be performed by doctors who have demonstrated a lot of cybernetics experience. In citadel space at least.
Cybereyes: As delicate as eyes are, you’d think replacing them would be a big deal, but the technology is so popular and useful that it’s become the kind of thing you can get done on the weekend. Cybereyes come with a HUD, wireless link to a dedicated system like the user’s omni tool, and flare-compensation as part of the basic cybernetic. Other addons are common, the ability to see in a greater portion of the light spectrum, the ability to change the color or style of the eye’s appearance, and so on.Holdout Weapon: A weapon literally buried in the user’s flesh. Nearly impossible to detect with security scans, the weapon is usually something that only shows it’s muzzle on the outside, and even then that small bit extends out of a flap of flesh. The most common holdout weapons are long blades or heavy pistols, both stored in the forearm. The heavy pistol is obviously configured very differently, being long and thin rather than a stocky gun.
- Holdout weapons are illegal in just about any civilized system, in or out of Citadel space. They’re a security nightmare, and there’s really no reason to have one unless you plan to bypass security and then murder someone.
Interface Pads: The sign of a serious computer user, these pads are installed in the fingertips and palms, just under the skin. They allow the character to use modern holographic computer interfaces without the need to wear and maintain a special set of gloves.
Iron Lung: More than just a lung, this is a large, cylindrical cybernetic ‘organ’ that processes toxins in the character’s air supply, bloodstream, and digestive system. It has three chambers, one to process blood before it reaches the heart, one to process air before it reaches the lungs, and one to process food and liquids before they hit the stomach. The user gains a +5 to any roll to resist poisons, survive in marginal atmospheres, and the like.Muscular Augments: A micro-fiber weave in the muscles improves overall strength and reduces muscle tearing and fatigue from exertion. It doesn’t increase the character’s Strength score directly, as Strength measures more than raw power, including athletic ability. However, it gives a +5 bonus to Strength or Athletics rolls based purely on raw muscle power, and reduces penalties from long exertion. In combat, it grants +3 damage to melee attacks.
- Muscular Augments are fairly common for tissue that’s been damaged by combat or disease. However, their implantation is restricted. It’s easy to get a medical prescription for them, but the cosmetic enhancement is carefully monitored, mostly to prevent sports players from sneaking cybernetics into ‘natural’ sports leagues.
- Sub Dermal Weaves are restricted in the same way a system restricts armor and weapons, usually on the installation end rather than the possession end.
Odds and Ends
Breather Mask: Breather masks are the mainstay of any galactic traveler’s survival gear. They come with a series of filters, in addition to their own small oxygen supply. They can also be hooked up to a larger air supply in a suit. These masks can be worn directly over the face, or slotted into any helmet. Simply put, they allow survival in areas where the user would not be able to breathe.Bug: Most modern listening devices are simple affairs with an auditory sensor, maybe a weak visual sensor, and a transmitter. They rarely store the data they collect. These cheap bugs are easily defeated, but still useful for collecting data from people who don’t expect to be listened in on, or who don’t have time to destroy the devices. Better devices have better sensors, more subtle or better encrypted transmitters, and the very best ones are equipped with good sensors, a tactical cloak, and store the data rather than transmitting it, so that they won’t broadcast their location. Those are very expensive, of course.
- Listening devices are almost always restricted to the use of the current organization in power, all over the galaxy.
- Combat drones are restricted to government militaries and licensed merc groups in citadel space.
Cryoberth: Called a coffin the galaxy over, this device is very similar to the hanging bunks that conserve space on ships, but with a medical bent. It lowers the body’s temperature, provides preservative medicine, and aims to preserve what life remains in a heavily damaged person for as long as possible, until they can reach a medical facility that can save them. Naturally, the person inside looks completely dead, hence the cryoberth’s common name.Mag Cuffs: Handcuffs are one item that hasn’t needed upgrading to mass effect technology yet. Powerful electromagnets do the job well enough instead. Cuffs are often used by Spectres who want to bring someone in, as well as most law enforcement. Most modern cuffs can expand or contract with a telescoping section to accommodate the various limbs and limb sizes the officer will come across.
- Mag cuffs are generally restricted in use to law enforcement.
- Thruster packs are usually restricted to use by military personnel, except in places where one can get a permit for recreational use.
Tranq Darts: Useful in subduing animals and people without hurting them, Tranq darts also combat the effects of combat stims, taking away an enemy’s advantage in a fight. When used against someone not on stims, the dart acts like a poison, forcing a Toughness check to see if the character can remain unaffected. If the roll succeeds, the character feels groggy and can’t benefit from stims for a few rounds, but was largely unaffected. If the roll fails, the character gets a -2 to accuracy and will be incapacitated in about five rounds. If the roll critically fails, the target drops.
Utility Drone: Like the combat drone, but weaponless, this hovering device is rarely equipped with shields. It generally carries a variety of scanners, tools, and small limbs to help it’s owner out in whatever task can use an extra pair of hands, or soldering iron, etc. Drones are preferred over a full synthetic android both because of people’s fear of the geth, and because the small hovering drone can stay out of the way until needed.