Hello EP Forums! I usually don't do a lot with forums, but I received a lot of encouragement from people on The Eye Discord to post some of my homebrew here. So I'm gonna start with what I have already written up, and I'll try to add some new stuff every couple of days or so. Without any further adieu, here's four homebrew creations to spice up your campaign!
Cognite's NarcoAlgorithm Generator v0.2
"Greetings user! Available Functions: BioScan, Diagnostics, NarcoAlg Gen, Data Upload. Request 'Help' to learn about a specific function. Input your Cognite Credentials to access full functionality."
The NarcoAlg Generator is a prototype PDA-like device. Unlike most electronics, it hasn't been manufactured via nanofab, instead, being cobbled together with specialized, prototype parts. It's very clearly a prototype, not meant for the market, and the back of it is emblazoned with the Cognite logo. Linking it into your PAN prompts an introduction from the loaded ego, a beta fork of one of Cognite's specialized AGI. It lists several functions, and requests the user's Cognite credentials.
The PDA is capable of linking to any commercially available medical-scan nanites, and using them to perform a full body scan. However, the AGI claims that, if used while under the influence of a drug, it can record the data and create a Narco Algorithm of the drug with a 90% success rate. It will note that the resultant algorithm will be tailored to the user specifically, before cheerfully noting that, if given multiple test subjects, it can eventually create a general narcoalgorithm of the drug.
While the AGI overstates the device's effectiveness(outside of a laboratory setting, the success rate is closer to 70%), it is true to its word, and will create narcoalgorithm versions of any drugs the user cares to test.
However, the AGI leaves out several crucial details(these details are readily revealed to any user who can present, or convincingly fake, credentials belonging to a Cognite employee who would conceivably have access to this information). Firstly, the narcoalgorithms generated with this device subliminally influence the user to be more receptive to the Planetary Consortium, and to Cognite. In addition, the narcoalgorithms will, during their course, hijack the user's brain and PAN to upload test data back to Cognite(overwriting memories and digital records created during this time as well). Finally, if someone who is vehemently against the PC or Cognite use the narcoalgorithms, there is a 1% chance that they will suffer immediate epileptic seizures as a result.
There is currently only one of these devices on the market, in the possession of a mid-ranking member of the Nine Lives syndicate. The device was recreated from plans stolen from a forknapped Cognite researcher, who absconded with a copy of the research and the AGI. Cognite is aware of the theft, but is using it as an opportunity to collect test data.
The AGI rolls against a 75 to create a narcoalgorithm for any drug it can monitor its user taking. The device can be replicated with a Hardware test at -40(timeframe is 1 week), and the device's data can be copied freely. Presenting Cognite Credentials will give access to all information on the device, as well as nanofab schematics for the parts(and instructions on how to assemble them, reducing the test to a -0 with a timeframe of 1 day).
- The PCs acquire, or otherwise get access to this device. After using it, they encounter Cognite troops on their next mission. Now it's a scramble to find how that info leaked before they get strung up as traitors to Firewall.
- Buzzhead, a notorious scum drug lord(neo-orangutan in a hypergibbon pod, smells like a sewer), wants to get his hands on this. And he'll leverage his credits and his vast reputation networks to reward anyone who can get it to him.
- Exsurgent-infected Narcoalgs are suddenly spreading across the mesh, and wreaking havoc. While it's contained to areas around Legba, for now, Firewall needs you to find the source of the infection and destroy it, fast.
If you want to make an omelet, you've gotta break a few eggs.
Inspired by Anders Sandberg's Workshop of Dionysus.
Nine Lives is always looking for exciting new egos. Personality traits, skills, disorders, you name it, someone wants to buy an ego with it. There are a lot of transhumans, and a lot of diversity, but it's not enough. But when Phoenix hit the market, a Nine Lives researcher knew that there was money to be made. And thus, the Scrambled Eggs project was born.
Scrambled Eggs seeks to create egos to fill specific needs, and the Frying Pan server is their kitchen. A team of Nine Lives psychosurgeons, analysts, and enforcers work around the clock. In this server, hundreds of egos are loaded into time-accelerated simulspace, and are quantified. Skills, memories, personality traits, and more, are all identified, and the ones that are useful are isolated. Then, those areas of the brain are locked down, and then the fun begins.
Nine Lives, as an egonapping syndicate, has an extensive collection of recorded memories, skillsofts, egos, and more. The nanodrug, Phoenix(replicated as a narcoalgorithm), can free up a person's brain, massively increasing neuroplasticity, and allowing for a complete alteration of who someone is. The Scrambled Eggs project takes egos subjected to this drug, and bombards them with input data from Nine Live's archives, sometimes randomly, sometimes carefully selected as to create an ideal ego out of a composite of experiences. The process fails 95% of the time, partially succeeds 4.99% of the time, and only 0.01% of the time is completely successful.
(when subjected to scrambled eggs, roll 1d100. 5-99 results in a gibbering, insane mess. 1-4 results in a partial success, with the ego taking 3d10 stress damage and picking up 2 mental disorders, along with partial acceptance of skills, memories, or personality traits, at the GMs discretion. Any part of the ego that was not 'locked down' has a 75% chance of having been overwritten. On a 0, roll again. On any number other than a 0, treat it the same as a 1-4. On a second 0, the process critically succeeds. The ego takes only 2d10 stress damage, but the resultant composite has the skills, personality traits, and memories they were subjected to, as well as the ones that were locked down, with 95% of everything else having been overwritten. Logical consistencies in the new memories can cause further stress, at the GM's discretion)
While this project is still in its infancy, it shows great promise for the future of Nine Lives, and it's ability to produce egos tailored to its clients needs and wants.
- An exhuman cult has discovered the existence of the Scrambled Eggs project, and is preparing to launch an assault on the Frying Pan facility to take it for themselves. Firewall is inserting your team to use the assault as a distraction: either to destroy the project, or obtain it for further study.
- A Firewall Router has been forknapped by Nine Lives, which is bad under any circumstances, but now they're being fed into this project. Firewall already dispatched you to retrieve the fork and destroy any data, but you arrived too late. Now, there's an army of insane egos with partial memories and skills of a Firewall router overrunning the facility.
- It isn't often that the Jovian Junta are the good guys, but their intelligence somehow caught wind of this, and now they want it shut down and destroyed, and they're willing to offer a substantial reward to anyone who can do it.
Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death!
The Patrick Henry
This is based on Anders Sandberg's Neuralware homebrew. If you don't use that, then this isn't right for you.
Psychosurgery is terrifying. The thought that, at any moment, you could be subjected to any number of horrors, and transformed into a completely different person. The idea that, with just an infected ego bridge, someone could learn all of your darkest secrets with no trouble at all.
If you could talk to a WWI vet, you'd learn that tactics and defense often lags behind new technology. The same applies to psychosurgery. There's precious little you can do to defend against it except not letting yourself be forknapped. But that's changing. Now, when you think of modern technology, the Jovians are the last people you'd think of, but the Jovian Black Ops are more than willing to use any edge they can get, including stuff like stacks, psychosurgery, synthmorphs, etc. They won't be happy about it, but they'll use it. And perhaps it's because of their staunch traditionalism that this was invented.
The Patrick Henry, named after the figure from the American Revolutionary War, is a horrifically brutal, but highly effective, defense against psychosurgery. Your ego is loaded into cold simulspace, and a massive network of neurons is added to your neural map. This network expands through your entire brain, connects to various parts of it, and if its broken, triggers massive epileptic seizures and causes rapid ego death.
Due to the imprecision of modern psychosurgery, any change is liable to cause collateral damage, and this defensive measure is designed to take advantage of that fact. As one of the Crows in the Psychosurgery Server said, this technique is very much "bringing a hand grenade to a scalpel fight." And like that hypothetical scenario, it has several downsides. Firstly, anyone who has a copy of the added network can remove it wholesale. Secondly, while it is larger than it needs to be specifically to add redundancies, large enough psychosurgical changes could remove enough of it to disarm it. Thirdly, it does not discriminate between benign and malevolent psychosurgery. Fourthly, morphs with weird neural architectures are incompatible with this, such as Hyperbrights or exocreature pods(unless it's specifically designed with that morph in mind, adding a -10 penalty to the design test) And finally, it must be removed within a month of implanting it, otherwise, it could become permanent, detonate prematurely, or be disarmed, by your brain's natural rewriting process.
Think of it like a spider web woven through your brain. If it's completely intact, then everything's fine. If you break a couple strands, but there's still a full loop through part of the brain, then it's seizure time. If you cut the entire thing into pieces so that it's only straight threads, then it stops working. (And yes, concussions can trigger this too. It is not graceful.)
This neural network is not added gracefully. It is a brute force addition to one's mind. The psychosurgeon must operate on your ego in cold storage. Creating the pattern requires a Psychosurgery test at -30 with a timeframe of 1 week(to design for morphs like the hyperbright, or morphs of a species other than the ego's original, like uplifts going to a human morph, add an extra -10 for each morph taken into consideration), and requires a current scan of the patient's brain. Implanting it is a -20 test with a timeframe of 1 day, and inflicts 1d10+3 SV. While it is active, the user suffers from -5 COG. Removing it is a simple Psychosurgery test with a timeframe of 1 day, however, for every week after one month has passed, it takes a -10 penalty. Removing it inflicts another 1d10+3 SV. If the cumulative penalty reaches -100, the network is permanently integrated into the ego's neural map, and cannot be removed. Additionally, every month after that, a 1d100 is rolled against a value of 70. On a success, nothing happens. On a failure, roll again against a 50. On a success, the neural network fails harmlessly, though the -5 COG remains. On a failure, the network triggers, instantly killing the ego. Finally, resleeving into biomorphs must be done while "cold"(the morph is kept on ice while the resleeving takes place, and only afterwards are biological processes restarted), and similarly to restoring from backup, triggers stress from continuity(1d10/2 SV)
- Your team has to interrogate a Jovian spy for important intel, but he has a Patrick Henry installed. Now you can't use psychosurgery. Good luck.
- Right as your informant comes to meet with you, they drop dead of a massive brain seizure, wiping out both brain and stack. Can you work with their backup to figure out what happened, and why they'd use something so dangerous?
- Ever since this was introduced to Firewall, agents who have used it have been dropping like flies...after it was removed. Is there a rogue psychosurgeon at work in Firewall? Are the Jovians trying to get back their trump card? Or is it just a piece of crap that doesn't work as advertised?
Malestrom of the Damned
The Headhunter Nanoswarm
Firewall exists to defend humanity against x-risks. Part of that mission is to theorize about x-risks that may not even exist. To this end, the Soothsayer Server spends their time engaging in paranoid hypothesizing. And recently, they asked the question, what would the TITANs employ if they came back? They've had 10 years to improve, if they still exist. So they looked at records of existing TITAN weapons, and extrapolated, and came up with the idea of the Headhunter Nanoswarm.
This weapon combines the worst parts of the existing, "crude" TITAN tech employed in a single weapon. The Headhunter Nanoswarm is a self-replicating nanoswarm, programmed to seek out cortical stack and morphs, to scour them for information, uploading it into the shared cloud of the Nanoswarm, and then dismantling everything, morph, stack, and environment, to keep going. It's the brutality of the Headhunters combined with the efficiency of the nanoswarms left on Earth.
Now, this is all just rampant speculation. Perhaps the Soothsayer Server has just gone mad from engaging in what amounts to paranoid schizophrenia all day. Or perhaps they have a point. The question is, how do you defend against a weapon that may or may not exist?
- Your team has been selected to audit the Soothsayer Server. During your visit to their research facility, the weapons they've imagined start appearing, starting with minor nuisances, and quickly escalating to very dangerous. Is this a TITAN invasion, or maybe a shared hallucination? Can you discover the truth before the Headhunter Nanoswarm, the most dangerous projection the Soothsayers have come up with, becomes real?
- An exoplanet colony broadcast a distress signal moments before going quiet. Your team is dispatched to find out what happened. You arrive to a colony that's been completely wiped off the map, and the screams of the colonists echoing on all radio frequencies.
- A rogue Firewall Crow has absconded with TITAN tech. It'd be bad enough already, but he was privy to the Soothsayer Server's ideas. What if he gets infected? What if the exsurgents get some new ideas?
Alright, that's all for today. I'll be back in a few days to add some more stuff.