At the Heart of the Abyss
Technical gear comes in a lot of flavors, from portable kinetic barricades that provide cover, to com systems, to upgrades for the operative’s Omni-Tool. There are four categories on this page, Shield Systems, Coms and HUDs, Omni Tool Mods, and Software Packages (for Omni Tools). Scroll down to find the tech your character wants to blow his paycheck on!
|CORK System – Small||5000||3||R|
|CORK System – Large||10,000||3||R|
|VAULT System – Small||25,000||4||C|
|VAULT System – Large||50,000||5||C|
Shield systems refer not to the personal shields that are built into armor, but portable shields that can be set up for a variety of uses. Kinetic barrier technology is so useful that it has found its way into a huge number of applications in the galaxy.CORK Systems: The acronym stands for Custom Operation aRray – Kinetic. CORK systems are deployable shields that will set up cover where there is otherwise none. On the battlefield, sergeants can be heard yelling, “We’re flanked on the left side. Put a CORK in that and hold that side!” While CORK barriers are not super durable, the ability to create cover in the middle of a fight is extremely valuable, sometimes even key to the tactical situation. Small CORK systems are only large enough to shield a single soldier. Large ones can fit three, in cramped crouches. CORK systems count as light cover, they are burned out by heavy weapons fire, and any direct hit that causes more than 40 points of damage will also burn out the shield. Because they don’t have to cover a humanoid body, but only provide a single flat pane of protection, they don’t have Shield Points the way armor shields do.
- CORK systems are generally restricted to military personnel and police on civilized planets. Having criminals bunkered up behind a CORK barrier is a nightmare for police.
Environment Shield: This generator creates a fairly large hemisphere of shielding that protects from nasty environmental effects. It can’t protect those inside from toxic gasses, or temperature extremes, but it’s designed to mitigate or prevent the effects of extreme weather conditions on unterraformed worlds. The device can stop hailstorms, sandstorms, gale force winds, rockslides, avalanches, and other minor disasters that are common on many worlds. It’s a great boon to anyone who plans to set up camp on an unexplored planet. It can also be polarized to reduce dangerous radiation.
Kinetic Curtain: A shield that fills a doorway, window, or other opening between one area and another, this barrier is set to block everything, but at an incredibly weak level of force. The result is that people can walk through it and feel only a slight tingle, but it can separate the atmosphere of one room from the other. This allows setting up atmospheres for specific races, as well as creating especially sterile labs and operating rooms. Most ships have a few of these in strategic places as emergency bulkheads in the case of a hull breach.Kinetic Tripwire: Two of the most useful properties of a kinetic barrier system is that it knows when it’s being breached, and it can be invisible to the naked eye. Those facts have caused kinetic barriers to replace lasers and monofilament threads in nearly all security systems. Once set up in any choke point, the kinetic tripwire can create a field so whisper-soft it won’t even block air-flow, but will still register a breach by a solid object.
- Kinetic Tripwires are not especially illegal in Citadel Space but their sale is restricted to licensed dealers in an effort to keep track of the sentients buying them.
- VAULT systems are milspec gear, and it’s illegal to sell them in Citadel Space, period. They are supposed to go straight from manufacturers to government militaries only.
Coms and HUDs
|Field Com Unit||4000||2||R|
|Master Com Node||10,000||2||L|
|Sat Com Node||6000||1||L|
- Being mostly for military use, these units are not sold on the open market. However, it is possible to obtain a permit to buy one for planetary exploration or salvage operations.
Master Com Node: Technically an Omi-Tool mod, this upgraded node can handle advanced com operations for a squad, instead of just sending and receiving like the standard units. Master nodes can change or set encryption, and set up private channels so that operatives can cut untrustworthy hires out of the loop. Being higher quality tech, they’re also better at resisting attempts to jam them, and have sat-com capability.
Sat Com Node: With the capability to not only broadcast to satellites or ships in orbit, but also search for com sources in planetary orbit, these coms are more expensive than the basic communicator most troops get, but it keeps operatives in touch with their ship while on-mission.
Customizeable HUD: Most helmet HUD systems work the same way out of the box, which is great for being able to use any suit of armor a trooper is handed. Operatives usually have special needs that require a more custom system. Having a custom HUD is also the sign of a very serious, career soldier over a trooper who’s going to put in his time and get out. The price listed is the increase over a regular or specialized HUD system that upgrades it to be fully customizable. Having a custom HUD just makes everything easier and smoother, resulting in a +1 to the Operative’s initiative score.
Piloting HUD: A HUD can’t replace the need to train as a pilot but it can give a crucial edge to a pilot when he needs it most. These are used most by fighter pilots, who project them on their helmets, and by pilots on capital ships who project them through an eyepiece. Fighter pilots lack the large, accessible screens of a larger ship, and capital ship pilots share duties with several other crew, so having their own HUD helps them keep track of their specific responsibilities. Pilots of frigates and other mid-sized ships enjoy plenty of large screens and don’t have any need to share control of the ship, so they typically just use the ship’s screens. A piloting HUD gives a +3 bonus to piloting rolls in stress situations.
Science HUD: This system is actually a category of systems that are all similar in price and availability. Every scientific discipline imaginable has a corresponding HUD that can be projected over an eyepiece to give the scientist up to the second access to databases, notes, and sensor readings. Using one of these cuts the time needed to study a phenomena, life form, new technology, or other scientific find in half.Targeting HUD: Enjoyed by snipers and marksmen the galaxy over, these can be projected into a helmet or into an eyepiece. It provides data on range, environment, possible threats, and projects a ‘shadow’ in front of the target in the direction the simulators connected to the device predict the target will move next. Using this device gives a +1 accuracy bonus when firing weapons that rely on precision, like pistols, sniper rifles, and assault rifles in burst-mode.
- Targeting HUDs see extensive use by assassins, and are therefore restricted to purchase by permit from licensed dealers, in an effort to gather data on the buyers.
Omni Tool Mods
|Variable Interfacing Tools||6000||3||L|
Omni Tool Mods refer to actual physical additions to the tool that allow it to perform new functions when interacting with physical objects, or upgrade its sensors.Dart Gun: A ubiquitous omni tool is the perfect place to hide a tiny dart gun that can fire an injection dart at just about any nearby target. With all the sensors, mass effect systems, and computers built into an omni tool, such devices can be frighteningly accurate, and the darts can be loaded with nearly any poison or drug. These devices are rarely discovered by casual inspection as well, usually only being revealed when a tool is searched or confiscated for some other reason.
- Dart Guns are completely banned in Citadel Space. There is never a good reason to own one, in the eyes of the law, because the potential for abuse is far too high, and the military capabilities of the device aren’t superior to any regular weapon. Anyone caught with a dart gun installed in his Omni Tool is assumed to be a professional assassin. Only a Spectre could carry one legally, because nothing they do is illegal.
- Hacking Tools are contraband, restricted to police, government agents, and Spectres.
- Because communications are often vital in emergencies, Jamming Emitters are contraband on most Citadel worlds, restricted to those who have a good reason to have them, i.e. elite police units, commandos, government agents, and Spectres.
- Probe bays are restricted in Citadel Space because the probes can also be used to bug a room. Legally purchasing them involves getting a permit and contacting a licensed dealer.
- Spiker tools are contraband in Citadel systems not only for their sabotage abilities but also because the electric shock is strong enough to kill elderly or frail individuals in some cases. Some police and military forces do use them, so that they don’t have to bother with keeping a security cracker on staff, but mostly they are only seen on criminals.
Storage Upgrade: The standard Omni Tool can hold a lot of data, but so can modern stationary systems. Some users find themselves regularly running across more data than they can store on their tool, especially those that investigate Geth installations, delve into Prothean ruins, or investigate cyber-crime. A storage upgrade is bulky, but enhances the Omni Tool’s data capacity to hold ten times as much data as a regular tool.
Variable Interfacing Tools: While an omni tool can interface with just about anything, even some Prothean tech due to all the ruins that have been found, there are times when the standard Omni Tool comes up blank on interacting with a strange piece of alien tech. This set of tools includes a variety of physical and wireless ways to tap into a piece of technology, and monitor the results to build a profile of what works and what doesn’t. Prothean archeologists and explorers into uncharged areas bring these along so they’ll be able to handle anything they run across, eventually.
Software packages modify only the processing options for an omni tool or computer system, they don’t add additional physical functionality, except in regards to better data collection or specialized use of tools that already are present.
Bio-Tools: A full suite of biology software, with as much data as possible on organic chemestry, xenobiology, general biology, and known species as possible. The Bio Tools software suite includes a ‘Solus Algorithm’ data processing program that matches new samples against the database for similarities and interactions, predicting both evolutionary connections between organisms but also checking for a variety of possible beneficial and problematic reactions between the current samples and the user. This software suite is excellent for dealing with the plethora of life that’s everywhere in the galaxy. Using it to figure out a situation related to life forms, and the interactions between them grants a +3 to the Science roll.
Investigator: This software is designed to use the omni tool’s sensors to capture a 3D model of any room designated for investigation. It records on as many bands as the tool can, and then creates a holographic simulation of the room that the user need only touch to interact with. Data is cross referenced in all relevant objects, notes can be stored for the investigation as a whole or directly in the holo sim. It organizes the data collected and entered in several different ways to help the investigator pick out patterns, and has it’s own fairly sophisticated pattern recognition algorithms. Using it to investigate something grants a +3 to the roll.
Mapper: Somewhat like the Investigator tool with a less detail oriented focus and more of a look toward spacial processing. The Mapper uses the Omni Tool’s sensors and whatever data it can pull down on nearby com channels to build the most complete 3D map it can of the user’s current location. Given time and a satellite or ship overhead it will construct a map of a significant chunk of the planet, in as high a resolution as the sensors allow it. It projects a 3D holo map of the user’s current area, which can be zoomed in or out, or moved to other areas of the map as the user directs. Even without outside data sources, it will keep taking visual and other sensory data, to build up a map of everything it can see. The user can leave notes in the map hologram for even easier landmark reference. It is very difficult for someone with this software to become lost.Probability Suite: This software works from two directions at once. It takes stored data on probabilities, and user-entered data, and calculates the chances of events falling out one way or another in the user’s current situation as seen through the omni tool’s sensors, or in a simulated situation. It also uses the tool’s sensors to gather real world data continuously, using it to update its probability algorithms and refine them for greater and greater accuracy over time. This is a boon to anyone who uses game theory to predict outcomes, and as an advisor on likely outcomes of complex decisions. Of course, the software is only as good as the data it has, so new situations often get vague or misleading results from the software. This software is also highly valued by gamblers, and anyone found using it in a casino is instantly banned from the premises at best, attacked at worst.
- Because of it’s use in cheating gambling games, users of probability suites must register with a permit that puts their identity on a list of people with access to such systems. All legal gambling organizations have full access to that list.
Science Suite: Biology isn’t the only discipline that can benefit from a comprehensive software set for research. Biology is merely one of the most useful and complicated disciplines in a galaxy full of differing life forms. A suite of programs can be purchased for any discipline that functions much like the Bio-Tools.
Social Assistant: This clever tool, when combined with a habitually-worn or subtle HUD, can turn an absent minded politician or social dullard into a charismatic whiz. Though it can’t correct for what the user actually says or does, it can use the omni tool sensors to identify and record faces, match them up with personal profiles, and feed the user information about who they’re talking to, what that person responds best to, and any information pertinent to the conversation. It’s also a great help to investigators, security personnel, assassins, and bounty hunters for it’s recognition programs which not only track faces but can search for mannerisms or any other personal criteria to attempt to crack a disguise. Many politicians who work with other races, such as ambassadors to the Citadel, find it extremely helpful for recognizing the faces of aliens that look superficially similar to the ambassador’s eyes. It’s estimated that something like 95% of the ambassadors on the Citadel have had at least one eye replaced by cybernetics to be able to use this software discreetly. In game terms, this software grants a +2 bonus to social rolls if the software has good data on the subject being spoken to, in addition to its uses in data collection.Vehicle Handler: A set of software that interfaces directly with any vehicle that can support remote operation, and drives it to a designated destination as an autopilot. It can even handle starships though nearly every ship worthy of the name already has software to handle routine flight paths. In the case of a vehicle that can’t be remotely piloted, such as on a low-tech world, the software can advise an unskilled user on safe operation of the vehicle. In game terms, the software can perform routine travel for any remote capable vehicle, but no fancy driving, flying, or boating. If advising the user, it can remove the unskilled penalty and let a user with no piloting skill roll as if he had a Novice skill level, but cannot provide any real bonus to a trained pilot.
- Vehicle Handling software can be dangerous in the hands of careless, unskilled operators who assume that the software can handle situations it is not rated for. Thus, it is illegal in most major cities in citadel space, or restricted to use by citizens who have proved they can competently operate a vehicle without the software’s aid.