Many explorers and mercenaries modify their own bodies with technological or biological gear called augmentations. These are modifications to your body that give you special abilities and bonuses. Once installed, they become a part of your body and generally can’t be affected by abilities that destroy or disable objects or target technological items or creatures. As far as attacks and abilities are concerned, a cybernetic or vat-grown arm is no more (or less) vulnerable than your original biological limb.
All augmentations have a system entry indicating the part of the body into which it must be installed. You can’t have more than one augmentation on the same part of your body.
In some cases, such as with augmentations installed in limbs, you can install an augmentation into a single general type of body part, such as any single one of your feet or hands. In these cases, the augmentation lists the acceptable body parts into which the augmentation can be installed. You can install a single augmentation on each limb of which you have multiples. For example, if you’re a kasatha, you could install a separate augmentation on each of your four hands, as long as each of those augmentations requires only a single hand.
If an augmentation requires multiple limbs for installation such as climbing suckers, which require all feet, or a speed suspension, which requires all legs, the augmentation’s systems entry indicates that requirement. The augmentation’s description will also indicate whether a limb-based upgrade requires the replacement of a limb or the augmentation of an existing limb. In the case of augmentations that specifically replace a lost limb, such as a polyhand or a prosthetic limb, you cannot attach such an augmentation to an existing limb, due to the way these upgrades are manufactured.
Common Systems: Although exceptions do exist, most augmentations require installation into one of the following body systems: arm (or all arms), brain, ears, eyes, foot (or all feet), hand (or all hands), heart, leg (or all legs), lungs, spinal column, skin, and throat.
Getting an augmentation installed requires the services of a professional cybernetic surgeon or someone with ranks in Medicine equal to the level of the augmentation. A session with a cybernetic surgeon usually takes 1 hour per level of the augmentation. The price of such implantation procedures is included in the prices listed for each augmentation.
You might want to have an augmentation removed, usually because you want to install a different one in the same system of your body. This removal usually occurs during surgery to install new cybernetics. Biotech usually kills off the old augmentation while it’s integrating with your body, allowing you to purge the dead biotech naturally. Because augmentations are coded to your body, it’s not possible to resell an old augmentation, nor can you reimplant one into a different person. The price of a new augmentation includes the price and time to remove the old augmentation.
Most augmentations work continuously. Those requiring some degree of control are plugged into your nervous system, and you can turn them on or off as a standard action unless otherwise noted. For example, you could activate or deactivate cybernetics in your eyes to observe different visual phenomena.
Cybernetic augmentations use machines and circuitry integrated with the flesh and bone of the recipient. In most cases, cybernetics must be installed into the body by a trained surgeon, a process that takes 1 hour per level of the augmentation and the price of which is covered in the price of the cybernetic. Cybernetics are more than just machine implants: they are complex meldings of technology and the living host’s own organs. This allows them to be hardened against assaults that affect other technologies in ways robots and other entirely technological creatures can’t. Cybernetics are not subject to any effect or attack that targets technology unless it specifies that it affects cybernetics.
Cardiac Accelerator | System: Heart
This implant plugs directly into your heart and can be triggered to overclock the performance of your heart and circulatory system. When you run, charge, or take a move action to move, you can spend 1 Resolve Point to increase your speed (in the relevant mode of movement) by 20 feet for that action. This extra movement is treated as an enhancement bonus.
Alternatively, you can spend 1 Resolve Point as a reaction when you attempt a Reflex saving throw to gain a +1 enhancement bonus to your roll.
Cybernetic Arm | System: Spinal Column
Made of ultralight materials, this fully cybernetic arm fuses to your spinal column, exoskeleton, or equivalent body structure and functions as a full arm. You can hold an additional hand’s worth of equipment. This lets you have more items at the ready, but it doesn’t increase the number of attacks you can make in combat. You must have a Strength score of 12 to use a cybernetic arm effectively.
Dual cybernetic arms consist of a pair of arms, one on each side of your body, and let you hold two additional hands’ worth of equipment. You need a Strength score of 14 to use dual cybernetic arms effectively.
Darkvision Capacitors | System: Eyes
These replacement eyes allow you to see in total darkness, giving you darkvision with a range of 60 feet. They operate by sending out low-powered ultraviolet lasers that are then detected by receptors within the capacitors. When your capacitors are in operation, their lasers can be detected by creatures that have darkvision capacitors or can otherwise see ultraviolet light.
Advanced darkvision capacitors have the benefits of a wide-spectrum ocular implant. Long-range darkvision capacitors function like advanced capacitors but provide a darkvision range of 120 feet.
Datajack | System: Brain
This cybernetic includes a programmable data port that allows you to access different types of computers and digital storage media. Any handheld computer can be inserted directly into the port, while larger systems need to be connected by an adapter cable. Having the system connected directly to your nervous system obviates the need for an interface to access data on a system. Actually operating the system requires you to use the Computers skill as usual. Some closed systems don’t allow data access or require you to do some rewiring to connect with a datajack (usually an Engineering check).
Advanced datajacks make it easier to process and send information through the datajack. With a high-density datajack, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus to Computer checks when accessing a system via your datajack. An accelerated datajack instead provides a +2 bonus.
Dermal Plating | System: Skin
You line your skin with hardened composite plates that deflect physical attacks. You gain an amount of damage reduction that depends on the model of your dermal plating. If you have natural damage reduction equal to or greater than your dermal plating, adding dermal plating increases the value of your natural DR by 1. If you have natural DR of a value less than your dermal plating, the value of DR from your dermal plating increases by 1.
Hideaway Limb | System: Arm or Leg
This compartment is hidden inside one of your limbs. You can conceal items inside and protect them with a simple passcode. The compartment can hold items of negligible bulk and items of light bulk that are either relatively small or can be folded or contracted to fit. A hideaway in a leg (in a human) can hold more than one in an arm, and the creature’s size also adjusts the capacity. The GM decides what can fit.
When the compartment is closed, the seam in your flesh is difficult to detect. You gain a +2 bonus to Sleight of Hand checks to conceal items in a hideaway limb. Though this compartment can usually foil a simple pat down, most security checkpoints include a scan that can detect such devices. Retrieving an item from a hideaway limb is a move action instead of a standard action.
This type of augmentation is for Small and Medium creatures only. Hideaway limbs for creatures larger than Medium typically cost more but can hold items of greater size or bulk.
If you have a quickdraw hideaway limb, the compartment is integrated with a specific weapon. This allows you to draw the weapon as a swift action or as part of making an attack or full attack (similar to using the Quick Draw feat). A quickdraw hideaway limb works only if the limb is one you can normally aim and attack with, typically an arm. You can’t, for example, put a quickdraw hideaway limb in your leg and have the weapon spring into your hand.
You can have a mount installed in a quickdraw limb that holds the weapon in place while you shoot. You still can’t use your hand for other purposes, but you gain a +2 bonus to KAC against disarm attempts. The mount can’t hold a weapon that requires more than one hand to operate. You can’t hide other objects inside a quickdraw hideaway limb—there’s room for only the weapon.
Nothing stored in a hideaway limb is considered part of the cybernetic, and the stored item does not gain the cybernetic’s immunity to attacks affecting technological devices.
Polyhand | System: Hand
You replace your entire hand with a hand made of reprogrammable microscopic adamantine prisms. With either a mental command or a programmable interface built into the hand, you can reconfigure your hand into the shape of various tools. The hand can contain programming for nine different tools, in addition to a configuration for a normal hand for your species. As a move action, you can switch the setting, causing the adamantine pieces to realign into the shape of the chosen tool. The tool has all the flexibility of the normal tool (or of a hand, if set to that).
Programming a new tool into the polyhand takes 10 minutes, and you must choose either to fill an empty slot or to replace a programmed tool. The tool replicated must be 8th level or lower. The polyhand can replicate the moving parts of a tool, but you must supply any fuel or batteries needed for the tool to function. The tool cannot produce substances, and since it’s not very conductive (important so as to avoid shocking the user), it can’t serve as a power conduit or data transmission line. The GM has final say in deciding which tools you can duplicate. The tools within engineering kits and similar kits can be duplicated, subject to the restrictions above.
You can’t replace the hand setting based on your biology, which is required for the polyhand to function properly. You can add a hand corresponding to another species in any slot that isn’t reserved; for instance, a human could program her polyhand to replicate a shirren hand. This can’t duplicate features of a unique individual, such as thumbprints. You can install a polyhand into a prosthetic limb that replaces an arm as if the prosthetic were a natural arm.
The adamantine construction makes the polyhand extremely durable. This doesn’t change the amount of unarmed strike damage, no matter the form your polyhand is in. The polyhand can’t maintain structural integrity if extended too far, so it can’t assume a form more than one and a half feet long in any dimension. Consequently, it can’t extend your reach.
Prosthetic Limbs | System: Arm and hand, or leg and foot
This prosthesis replaces a missing limb. It restores functionality, but it is no more durable than and doesn’t otherwise function differently than a normal limb for your species. A prosthetic limb can replace one you’ve lost, or you can have a limb removed in order to replace it with a prosthetic.
A storage prosthetic limb has a built-in concealed storage compartment, which functions as a hideaway limb.
Respiration Compounder | System: Lungs
A respiration compounder consists of a series of modules that attach to your lungs, letting you survive longer without having to breathe. Treat your Constitution score as though it were doubled for the purpose of how long you can hold your breath. You also gain a +4 bonus to Constitution checks to continue holding your breath. This doesn’t protect you from other dangers of an airless environment.
The compounder also filters your air, granting a +2 bonus to saving throws against inhaled poisons or other airborne toxins.
Retinal Reflectors | System: Eyes
These sheets of reflective material can be implanted behind the retina, granting you low-light vision and a +1 enhancement bonus to vision-based Perception checks.
Speed Suspension | System: All legs
You increase your land speed by replacing joints and tendons in your legs with high-performance cybernetics. A minimal speed suspension replaces only a few parts, increasing your land speed by 10 feet. A standard suspension is more invasive and increases your land speed by 20 feet. Replacing all your leg joints and tendons with a complete speed suspension increases your land speed by 30 feet. You can install a speed suspension into prosthetic legs. Extra speed from these augmentations is treated as an enhancement bonus.
Vocal Modulator | System: Throat
A vocal modulator includes a series of miniature actuators built specifically to reshape your voice box, along with miniature hyper-resonant chambers that dynamically closes or opens. This allows you to change the pitch, timbre, and tone of your voice. You can more easily imitate accents or pronounce alien languages. When using Disguise to change your appearance, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus if the change in your voice also helps your disguise (at the GM’s discretion).
Wide-Spectrum Ocular Implant | System: Eyes
These cybernetic spheres replace your eyes entirely. You gain low-light vision, as well as the ability to see infrared and ultraviolet light. These enhancements grant you a +2 bonus to vision-based Perception checks and allow you to notice some things people who can see only the red-violet light spectrum can’t, including the lasers from darkvision capacitors. This doesn’t grant you darkvision, but in darkness you can see significant sources of heat due to your infrared vision.
Functioning similarly to cybernetics, biotech items include modifications to your DNA combined with implants of biological origin that integrate into your physiology. Biotech mostly operates by the same rules as cybernetics and uses the same implantation slots.
Adaptive Biochains | System: Varies
You can duplicate the effects of cybernetics with biotech by using adaptive biochains—microscopic cells that can reform themselves into replacements for technology within the body of a living host. This replicates the effects of any cybernetic augmentation, but it costs an additional 10% due to the price of the biochains. Adaptive biochains can also be used to replace any existing cybernetic with a biotech version of the same device; doing so has the same price and time as introducing a new adaptive biochain.
Climbing Suckers | System: All feet
The soles of your feet become covered in fleshy slats you can open and close, providing you a climb speed of 20 feet. You don’t need to attempt Athletics checks to traverse a vertical or horizontal surface (even upside down). You don’t benefit from climbing suckers unless you’re barefoot or wearing custom clothing, and you can not be wearing more than light armor. Climbing suckers integrate into your natural feet and do not require you to replace your feet and legs. Climbing suckers can be installed into the feet of prosthetic legs.
Dragon Gland | System: Throat
You implant an arcanicus gland modified to function for a creature of your race at the back of your throat. You can trigger this gland as a standard action to expel a breath weapon in a 15-foot cone as an extraordinary ability. Choose the damage type when the organ is biocrafted, picking from the following list: acid, cold, electricity, or fire. You are not harmed by using your own breath weapon. Once you’ve used your breath weapon, you can’t use it again until you’ve rested for 10 minutes to regain Stamina Points, though you can spend 1 Resolve Point at any point to recharge it immediately.
A wyrmling dragon gland deals 3d6 damage, a standard gland deals 9d6 damage, and a wyrm gland deals 18d6 damage. Targets in the area can attempt a Reflex save (DC = 10 + half your level + your Constitution modifier) to take only half damage.
Gill Sheath | System: Lungs
An external lining striated with oxygen-filtering nodules coats the outside of your lungs. If you breathe in water, it filters into the lining, where the nodules extract the oxygen and deposit it into your lungs. This lets you breathe underwater or in the air. You still exhale normally.
Skin of the Chameleon | System: Skin
This biotech modification replaces pigmentation cells in your skin. You can alter your skin to mimic the terrain or lighting conditions around you, giving you a +3 circumstance bonus to Stealth checks. You must be wearing custom clothing and no more than light armor to benefit from this biotech.
Tympanal Cluster | System: Ears
A tympanal cluster consists of multiple small membranes of various sizes that can detect a wide range of sounds. They give you a +2 circumstance bonus to hearing-based Perception checks.
Venom Spur | System: Hand
You implant a retractable stinger and venom sac into your hand. You can extend this stinger as a swift action but only while you aren’t holding anything in that hand. Attacks with your stinger deal 1d6 piercing damage and automatically inject venom into the target. An affected creature can attempt a Fortitude saving throw (DC = 10 + half your level + your Constitution modifier) to resist the effects of your venom. On a failed save, the creature takes 2d6 damage immediately and must attempt a new Fortitude saving throw at the start of its turn each round to end the effect. Each time it fails this save, it takes an additional 2d6 damage. Effects such as remove affliction and antitoxin affect this venom as though it were a poison.
Once used, the venom sac doesn’t refill until the next time you rest to regain Stamina Points. While it’s empty, you can still attack with the stinger but can’t envenomate your target.
Wildwise | System: Throat
The soft purple fungus called wildwise attaches itself to your vocal cords and extends fine filaments into portions of your brain. It allows you to communicate in a general sense with animals and with magical beasts with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2. You can attempt Diplomacy checks to influence such creatures as well as understand in very vague terms information they try to convey to you. The information they give you usually consists of simple concepts such as “danger,” “food,” or “that way".
Personal upgrades are a special class of augmentation that do not follow the normal system-limitation rules. Instead, these are broad upgrades that make changes across your entire body, while still allowing for other augmentations. Put more simply, buying a personal upgrade is the easiest way to increase your ability scores.
Personal upgrades may be cybernetics, biotech upgrades, mystical crystals, nanite enhancements, or various other forms of enhancement, and each permanently grants you additional ability score points. Using any of these sorts of items counts as a personal upgrade.
You can gain a total of three personal upgrades, regardless of the source. Each personal upgrade item has a model number: mk 1, mk 2, or mk 3. A mk 1 personal upgrade grants you +2 points to a single ability score, a mk 2 personal upgrade grants +4 points to a single ability score, and a mk 3 personal upgrade grants you +6 points to a single ability score. Each of your personal upgrades must be a different model number (for example, you cannot have three mk 1 upgrades, but you can have a mk 1, a mk 2, and a mk 3). You can boost an existing personal upgrade by paying the difference in price between the current model and the next higher model. For example, if you have a mk 1 synaptic accelerator granting you +2 points of Strength, you could increase that to a mk 2 synaptic accelerator granting you a total +4 points of Strength by paying 5,100 credits (the difference in price between the mk 1 and mk 2 models). Be sure to keep track of what upgrades you have applied to which ability scores.Below are three typical examples of personal upgrades: one each for purely technological upgrades, purely magical upgrades, and hybrid upgrades. These distinctions have no rules differences, but some societies may view them differently.
Ability Crystal (Magic)
This crystal formed a mystical connection to the memories of heroes long ago. Any character can spend 1 hour communing with the crystal to gain additional ability points. This counts as a personal upgrade of the appropriate model number. Once a character has used the crystal, its magic is forever spent.
Synaptic Accelerators (Technology)
These implants supercharge the synaptic connections in your brain, allowing you to process information faster and send impulses throughout your body more effectively. Synaptic accelerators grant you additional ability points. This counts as a personal upgrade of the appropriate model number. It takes an hour to install a synaptic accelerator,and once a character has benefited from its technology, it is forever spent.
Synergizing Symbiote (Hybrid)
These tiny, biovat-grown, tadpole-like creatures form symbiotic relationships with other animals by attaching to their bodies and instinctively maximizing efficiency in the hosts’ biological systems, losing their own independence and functionally becoming a new organ. Synergizing symbiotes grant additional ability points. This counts as a personal upgrade of the appropriate model number. It takes an hour to implant a synergizing symbiote, and once a character has benefited from it, it is forever spent.