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09/29/2005


d20 Cyberscape Excerpt

IMPLANT HACK

An Implant Hack is a cyborg who specializes in putting together (and taking apart) other cyborgs. Most Implant Hacks are illegal cybersurgeons, using their own implants to aid them in black market surgeries under less than ideal circumstances. Many are walking surgery rooms, able to perform cybernetics surgery in a back alley with little or no assistance. When crooks, freelance enforcers, undercover agents, and secretive heroes need someone to help with any cybernetic medical problem, it's an Implant Hack they seek out.

Of course, what they can put in, Implant Hacks can also take out. Some become buzzards-bootleggers who strip expensive cybernetic devices or even valuable organs from downed foes to sell on the black market. These scavengers are the worst perversion of the medical occupation, causing pain and maiming their victims to make a quick buck. They're also frighteningly common, making any black market surgery for cybernetics extremely risky.

The fastest path into this advanced class is from the Dedicated hero basic class, though other paths are possible.

Requirements

To qualify to become an Implant Hack, a character must fulfill the following criteria.

Skills: Knowledge (technology) 6 ranks, Treat Injury 6 ranks.
Feats: Cyber Surgery, Surgery.
Implants: External tool mount or internal tool mount (surgery kit).

Class Information

The following information pertains to the Implant Hack advanced class.

Hit Die

An Implant Hack gains 1d6 hit points per level. The character's Constitution modifier applies.

Action Points

An Implant Hack gains a number of action points equal to 6 + one-half his character level, rounded down, every time he attains a new level in this class.

Class Skills

The Implant Hack's class skills are as follows. Bluff (Cha), Computer Use (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (electronic), Craft (mechanical), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (behavioral sciences, business, current events, earth and life sciences, streetwise, technology) (Int), Profession (Wis), Read/Write Language, Repair (Int), Research (Int), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Dex), Speak Language, Treat Injury (Wis).

Skill Points at Each Level: 7 + Int modifier (6 + Int modifier for nonhumans).

Class Features

The following class features pertain to the Implant Hack advanced class.

Fast Operation

With the aid of built-in surgery tools, an Implant Hack can perform surgery faster than normal. An Implant Hack can attempt to perform any surgery in one-tenth the normal time. (For example, a surgery that would normally take 5 hours instead takes 30 minutes.) The Implant Hack takes a -5 penalty on his Treat Injury check. On a failed check, the surgery fails and the patient takes 2d6 points of damage. An Implant Hack can't attempt a fast operation a second time; once a surgery has failed, it takes proper conditions to attempt it again.

Surgical Genius

Starting at 2nd level, whenever an Implant Hack spends an action point to improve the result of a Treat Injury check, he rolls an extra 1d6, adding it to the bonus added to his skill check.

Bonus Feat

At 3rd, 6th, and 9th level, an Implant Hack gains a bonus feat. The bonus feat must be selected from the following list, and the Implant Hack must meet all the prerequisites of the feat to select it. Alertness, Brawl, Builder, Cautious, Craft Cybernetics, Cybernetics Weapon Proficiency, Educated, Frightful Presence, Gearhead, Low Profile, Medical Expert, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Run, Track.

Cybernetic Genius

Starting at 4th level, an Implant Hack gains a +2 bonus on Craft, Knowledge, and Treat Injury checks dealing with cybernetic implants.

Additional Specialty

At 5th and 10th level, an Implant Hack gains the ability to perform delicate procedures other than surgery much more quickly than normal. At each of these levels an Implant Hack chooses one skill from the following list: Computer Use, Craft (electronic), Craft (mechanical), Disable Device, or Repair. The Implant Hack must have a tool kit appropriate to the skill installed as an external or internal tool mount.

The Implant Hack is then able to perform the functions of the skill in half the normal time by taking a -5 penalty on his skill check. On a failed check, the item being worked on is ruined (if being built or repaired), or set off (if an alarm, trap, or sensor). In any case, the skill check is failed, and the Implant Hack cannot attempt it again without taking the normal amount of time to do so.

Forced Anesthesia

It's often in an Implant Hack's best interests to take a target alive rather than kill a potential source of live organs. Beginning at 7th level, an Implant Hack can choose to deal nonlethal damage with a weapon that normally deals lethal damage without taking the normal -4 penalty on his attack roll.

Medical Mastery

By 8th level, an Implant Hack has mastered the art of surgery under distracting conditions. He can always take 10 on a Treat Injury check, even if stress and distractions would normally prevent him from doing so.

TABLE 1-7: THE IMPLANT HACK
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Defense Bonus Reputation Bonus
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Fast operation +0 +1
2nd +1 +3 +1 +3 Surgical genius +1 +1
3rd +1 +3 +1 +3 Bonus feat +1 +1
4th +2 +4 +1 +4 Cybernetic genius +1 +2
5th +2 +4 +1 +4 Additional specialty +2 +2
6th +3 +5 +2 +5 Bonus feat +2 +2
7th +3 +5 +2 +5 Forced anesthesia +2 +3
8th +4 +6 +2 +6 Medical mastery +3 +3
9th +4 +6 +3 +6 Bonus feat +3 +3
10th +5 +7 +3 +7 Additional specialty +3 +4

NECROTIC IMPLANTS

Necrotics are, quite literally, undead implants. Necromancy is used to bring life back to the flesh of the dead or undead and bind the unliving tissue to the live tissue of the recipient. Most necrotic implants are simply the limbs, organs, or skins of corpses animated to replace or augment a living creature, but some are actually culled from undead creatures (a process often called ghoul harvesting), allowing their recipients to gain the powers of the undead.

Necrotics are never common even in the most magic heavy campaigns. The process that creates them is inherently selfish and painful, stealing from the bodies and spirits of the departed. The most advanced processes are universally illegal and even the most permissive of societies restricts all necrotic implants. Necrotics are most common in settings with a high level of magic, but little or no other cybernetic options (and thus most common in games at PL 5 and lower). If dark magic can replace technology, someone is always willing to pay the moral price for using it.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Although necrotic implants cannot be repaired with a skill check and don't heal naturally, they can be healed with negative energy (such as from an inflict light wounds spell). Conversely, any magical or psionic healing received by a character with necrotics has the potential to damage the undead implants. Apply the amount of healing as damage to one randomly determined necrotic system, allowing it to subtract its hardness (this is an exception to how hardness normally works, representing the general resilience of each necrotic implant).

Normally, a necrotic implant does not appear any different from the recipient's original flesh-and-blood parts, except as noted in individual descriptions. A DC 30 Spot check is required to notice a necrotic implant, and scanners and sensors do not normally aid in this check. A thorough medical examination certainly reveals any implant as dead flesh that has not yet begun to rot. On the other hand, any FX that reveals the presence of the undead also reveals necrotic implants.

Simple necrotics use the same basic rules as standard implants. The following implants, described either in d20 Future or Chapter Two of this book, can be bought as necrotics: artificial organ (and upgrade), prosthetic arm (and upgrade), prosthetic leg, (and upgrade), artificial muscle fiber, artificial twitch fiber, prosthetic enhancer, prosthetic booster, light amplification optics, nightvision optics, poker face, oxygenator, rage implant, tailgunner, neuron boosters, personality mapping, proverb chip, stabilizer, body repair weave, enviro-skin, fortified skeleton, redundant organs, and personality implant. Those implants that have no hardness rating gain a hardness of 10 when built of necrotic materials.

Additional necrotics that draw power from the undead from which they were harvested are described below.

Creating Necrotics

Necrotics are crafted using the Craft (mechanical) skill, but this is only possibly for skilled spellcasters. Each necrotic implant has a caster level (CL) given after its name. This is the minimum caster level required for a spellcaster to craft the necrotic implant. Additionally, the spellcaster must have access to at least one necromancy spell, though it need not be cast as part of the crafting process.

Necrotic devices also have specific PLs, to allow the GM to balance their relative complexity with standard cybernetic devices. Realistically, these PL numbers are only relevant in a game with both high technology and high levels of magic, but they're still a useful measure of how advanced the "science" of necrotics should be before certain undead implants become common. If these implants were to be available at any progress level without the benefit of magic, it would be only at PL 9.

Necrotics

The following are examples of necrotics and necrotic systems.

Black Heart [CL 4] (PL 6)

A black heart is an undead organ that replaces the recipient's natural heart. This shriveled, black organ pumps unnatural vitality throughout the recipient's body, allowing him to resist many of the frailties of normal flesh.

Benefit: The recipient of a black heart is immune to all diseases and poisons.
Type: Internal.
Location: One torso.
Hardness/Hit Points: 10/3.
Base Purchase DC: 26.
Restriction: Res (+2).

Dust Lobe [CL 3] (PL 8)

Taken from the brain of a powerful undead creature (usually a vampire), a dust lobe allows the recipient to become insubstantial and ghostlike for a limited time each day.

Benefit: The recipient gains the supernatural ability to assume a gaseous form. As a move action, the recipient (and all his gear) becomes insubstantial, misty, and translucent. The recipient gains damage reduction 20/+1 in this form. His armor (including natural armor) ceases to modify his Defense, though other modifiers (such as from Dexterity and size) still apply. The recipient cannot attack or use supernatural abilities while in gaseous form.

A character in this form can remain gaseous for 10 minutes each day and has a fly speed of 20 with perfect maneuverability. The 10 minutes need not be continuous. He can pass through small holes or narrow openings, even mere cracks. His gaseous form is subject to wind and cannot enter water or other liquid.

Type: Internal.
Location: One head.
Hardness/Hit Points: 10/5.
Base Purchase DC: 23.
Restriction: Res (+2).

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