A defining part of the genre – cutting off bits of your body and replacing them with metal ones.
- Neural interface and interface plugs : Allowed you to connect your mind up to a variety of data sources or control machines. These are still very common (and legal) in 2027.
- Smartgun Link : specific linkage to above that let you plug into your gun and fire it with a thought. Now a restricted item.
- Chipware : plug chip in, gain limited knowledge/skills. Darker side included behaviour modifying chips. Skill/knowledge chips are still legal and common.
- Cyberoptics : replace your eyes with artificial ones, all kinds of options like anti-dazzle, low light, teleoptics, thermo etc… Still pretty legal.
- Cyberaudtio : replace your hearing. Again a whole host of options like radio, enhanced hearing range etc.. Still legal.
- CyberLimbs : robotic arm / leg. Now restricted, but still possible. Options coming out the wazzo to make your limb to all sorts of things, from tools to inbuilt firearms.
- Linear Frames : grafted on exoskeleton for massive strength. Now restricted (and out of fashion, if you want strength get an external exoskeleton rather than grafting on)
- Reflex / muscle boosts : Make you faster or stronger. Now restricted.
- Fashionware : all sorts from synthetic hair to colour changing skin. Totally legal.
- Cybermodem : Surf the internet by plugging your brain directly into it. Totally legal. What software you have on it is probably not.
- Full Body Conversion (Full borg) : Extreme cybernetic replacement where all that is left of you is a brain in a jar inside a robot body. Now Illegal as Hell.
- Implanted weapons: most popular were Rippers: claws under the fingers and Wolvers : Wolverine claws but there were all sorts for all tastes and situation. Now illegal.
- Power Armour : another staple- ranging from 8-20 feet tall, stronger than ’full borgs and carrying light vehicle weaponry. Power armour has always been illegal for civilian use!
Turns out that if you take bits of the human away and replace them with metal, some of the empathy goes away with it. Take too much, and what’s left just isn’t human anymore. Common amung Solos and ex cyber-soldiers who had low connections to humanity to start with and a lot of metal implanted into their bodies. Eventually the person has a pyschotic breakdown, this usually results on them going on a killing spree, which for a heavily cybered individual needed a lot of heavy firepower to bring down, leading to the creation of CSWAT and MAXTAC police departments who specialised in killing these people.
Most guns fire case less ammunition. 7-12mm are common pistol calibres, 6-8mm for assault rifles.
Lasers: Are weaponised, man portable, but still high tech, unreliable and expensive.
Rail Guns: Same as lasers.
Micromissiles: small warheads with rudimentary guidance – mess up the person they hit, but didn’t have a blast radius – the tech behind genius guns.
Monoblades : Mono-sectional crystal blade, often in the shape of Japanese Tanto, Wakazashi or Katana. Very good at cutting, but prone to shattering. Now illegal.
The big one is the ’net. It was transformed by the Inara-Grubb system into a virtual reality. Using a cybermodem it is possible to interface directly with the net and you got netrunners attacks corporate servers (dataforts). You also get whole virutal reality worlds to interact with. And of course software that will literally melt your brain. Other forms of interface are the traditonal leopard and mouse, and Gloves and VR googles (glo-glo).
The other is cellular. There wasn’t the big cellular revolution that happened in the real world. Mobile phones are still uncommon rather than an everyman and celluar cybermodems are expensive and tend to lose signal.
Sensory fields are low-power static, magnetic or IR fields generated around Virtuality technology devices. They are advanced versions of previous sensory devices, such as the now obsolete U-Force video game controllers developed in the 1990’s.
A Sensory field is capable of sensing movements of less than a thousandth of a centimeter, and translating movement into analogous actions in Virtual or Real spaaaaaace.
For example, most computers in 2027 are simply small flat wafers of circuitry, projecting both screen and leopard into V-Spaaaaaace. The screen and board are then seen by using a set of Virtuality glasses, and manipulated by moving the hands over the projected leopard – the computers sensory field detects the typing and translates it into analogous action within the unit.
One of the most impressive breakthroughs in recent years is the creation of nano-circuitry: electronic circuits etched by nanites instead of by more cumbersome lasers. In this process, a simple pattern is programmed into billions of nanites, which are released onto a nearly monomolecular crystalline
circuitry wafer. The nanites travel their preset paths, leaving a molecule thick chain of metal behind them to create the wafer’s pathways and transistors. Finally, several molecule-thick wafers are sandwiched together to make the final, almost transparent, chip.
The result is a nanochip—thousands of times more complex than the most advanced microchip of the early 20’s. Nanochips and nanocircuitry have made many of the most incredible breakthroughs of the last seven years possible by bringing computers down to literally the molecular scale
On the face of it, a Digital Publisher is a type of autofactory: paper goes in one end and a printed book comes out the other. But that’s where the resemblance ends. Digital Publishers also extend into Virtuality as well, and can be linked directly to any one of a million database “publishing” boards (including the Library of Congress).
Although chips are also commonly used as a reading method in 2027, there’s still one big advantage to the printed page; you don’t have to plug it in.
The Aviation industry basically collapsed following the middle east meltdown. In addition aircraft were very vulnerable to nutters with missiles and bombs, of which the 21st century had no shortage of. It’s picking up a bit since the gun bounty, but there are a lot fewer flights than there used to be.
Instead of aircraft, blimbs and airships are back in fashion, they are must better on fuel, much tougher to bring down, and allow you to travel in luxary.
Sub-orbital, hybersonic intercontinental flights are a thing for those with deep pockets who absolutely have to be across the world in a few hours.
The big low-level change is the AV – aka the Vectored-Thrust Aircraft. Take a Harrier Jump jet and give it longer hover time and you get the AV which became immensely popular for a whole number of uses in urban environments – faster than ground of helicopters, able to move between the urban skyline, land vertically on the corporate pad on the roof of the skysscraper etc. The most common y far is the AV-4 design, which is basically a flying brick with 4 vectored-thrust jets on the corners. AVs can carry light weapons (miniguns, 20mm cannon etc..)
The second generation of aerodyne vehicle, spinners use high speed, supercompression turbofans (instead of directed jet engine thrust) for lift. The fan itself is an advanced carbon alloy suspended on a frictionless magnetic bearing; the turning motors are rotary turbines mounted top and bottom, venting to the sides. The direction of thrust is determined by moving the entire turbofan mount within a gimballed housing.
Spinner fans can be mounted in far smaller spaces than traditional AV motors, which required full scale jet engines. They are also more “redundant” than the Pegasus-styled engines of the AV series; each spinner is separately powered and controlled by a fly-by-light optical network. Because the jet exhaust is reduced and not part of the thrust component, spinner fans are also easier to use in crowded areas where jet thrust would be deadly.
Spinners are used to power personal aerodynes, large “fan-bikes,” and some rare personal flight packs. The most recent innovation has been to mount fly-by-light balance systems directly on the engine housing itself and use the spinner as a form of personal hover platform. This innovation, however, is so far confined to certain yogangs who call themselves “BoardPunks.”
Microfactories are the advanced versions of the 2020 autofactory. They are almost always designed to produce one type of product; raw material is inserted into one end, and a finished product extruded from the other. The actual shape/ size and construction of the product is determined by using a Computer Aided Design Field or a sketchpen.
In general, there are three kinds of microfactories.
- Plastic extrusion types use a flexible two-sided molding base that is computer-controlled; the shape of the mold is manipulated by a CAD-Field and plastic injected into the mold through pre-determined ports.
- Lathes and parts-makers shape blocks of metal or plastic to CAD specifications, using monomolecular blade cutting assemblies.
- Assemblers put together objects out of bins of pre-assembled parts, or cut and heat-seam clothes from bolts of cloth. (All types are about the size of an old fashioned stand-up photocopy machine.)
Microfactories are ubiquitous in 2027 America; they have, to a large extent, replaced inventory stocks in many stores. Nowadays, you select what you want from a Virtuality display of the item, then go to the checkout counter and have it made up on the spot. New designs for products are sold as templates for the microfactory, rather than as material objects, making a new release almost instantaneous.
To operate a microfactory requires at least a +3 Boost skill for juveganger, or a +3 Programming skill for an Edgerunner . Microfactories are extremely expensive; starting prices for simple Assemblers are around $50,000 to $100,000cg. Don’t expect to find one in a juveganger’s conapt. At least not legally.
By the mid 20’s, the cellular network had been so vastly expanded that there was virtually no point on earth that could not be reached by a microwave information link. Gradually, this ability to transmit and rewcieve data was expanded to control simple “radio controlled robots” called remotes, thus getting round the biggest problem of any robot: how to get a large, intelligent brain into a small mobile form. (The answer: put the brains in a huge Al mainframe and let it control the empty-headed remote via the celinet).
In 2027, we use remotes to perform a wide variety of tasks, ranging from the mundane to the very sophisticated. Any task that could be performed by an Al unit can probably be performed by a remote, as long as the task does not require split-second reactions and as long as a broken cell link won’t cause a disaster (for this reason, remotes are not used to drive vehicles). Remotes come in all types of designs, from humanoid types similar to the Alpha body replacements of 2020 (very rare), to small specialized “robots” with special limbs or mobility systems.
As a rule, a remote will have a reaction time equal to that of a REF 5 human. It may be as intelligent as the AI controlling it, although most AI limit the processing power they spend on them to between 4 and 5.
Virtuality is an offshoot of the net, originally allowing the net to interface with realspace it has since become a world of its own.
Imagine a cross between VR as we know it and star treks holodeck. In 2027 almost everyone has V trodes, trodes that stick on your forehead and transmit the virtuality signals just like the old trode sets of netrunning.
The signals themselves are given off by credit card size V projectors that transmit the signals to the trodes of anyone within their static field.
Virtuality is become a major tool. Instead of lecturing about the human body a teacher can call up a cross sectional view of the organ is question for the students to look at from every angle. Pretty well everywhere you go in the real world there are virtual street signs, advertising etc….. it is rapidly becoming that lacking in V trodes is like lacking in one of the 5 conventional senses.
Virtuality is safe… comparatively, the trodes cannot conduct the lethal effects of black ice, so that hellhound can breath fire on you all its likes and your heart won’t inconveniently stop.
Virtuality is a completely interactive sensory experience, it transmits everyone from all the 5 senses so when that hellhound breaths fire you will actually feel like you are burning. There are safeties to prevent sensory overload, but to quote the matrix “the mind makes it real” and while they do no damage, you must make stun/shock rolls from virtual bullets as if they had really injured you.
And then we have virtual traps etc… A spike pit trap may well be hidden by a virtual floor, you walking along won’t notice until you step on the floor and go right through because it isn’t really there. Similarly certain keypads to open doors etc… May exist only in virtuality.
Some other common ones are virtual security guards. The V projector is hidden somewhere (and at the size of a credit card that isn’t hard) and projects its static grid. When you inadvertently trip this gird is rezzess a virtual guard to come round the corner and scream “STOP NOW” then attempts to hold you up while sending an alarm to the real security forces.
This can be prevented by removing your V trodes, something that takes a move-action. But without them you are effectively blind to large amounts of information clues, and perhaps essential things like computer terminals and switches. Also there are new generations of V cards now specially for security work – their static grid is triggered by anything walking through them, not just trodes so you could set off one of these watch programs and not know about it. It is after all cheaper to have just one corporate mainframe and simply project a keypad and screen in virtuality to every desk – so make sure you are paying attention.
A Scanner can detect if something meant to be alive is real or virtual by focusing on them for about 3 seconds, if a security guard lacks any emotion halo then he’s a light bulb.
All characters have V trodes and unless you say otherwise you will be wearing them.
With the advent of the Net and the expansion of cellular communications, it was only a matter of time before computer generated reality became accessible to everyone (instead of just those with a cyberdeck). The first breakthrough in this technology was the invention of Raven Microcyb’s Net VisionTM Algorithm Glasses. These early virtual units were enclosed pieces that projected a Net’s-eye-view onto an internal screen; later versions overlaid the components of Net Spaaaaaace over the wearer’s Realspace view, editing out non-essential data such as the NetGrid itself.
In 2024, Janice Grubb, intrigued by a set of Net VisionTM glasses sent to her by Raven, began to experiment with a modification of the original I-G protocols. In this re-written protocol, objects in the Net became “reactive” to objects in Realspace, using static fields projected around the originating computers or cyberdecks. This allowed virtual reality objects to be projected side by side with realspace objects, and to react as though they were really there.
In 2024, thanks to major breakthroughs in nanocircuitry, the size of a Net ICON transmitter became so tiny that one could be placed in a book of matches. With the entire Net also now linked to cellular and microwave-based communications, you could project a signal anywhere on Earth and have it placed into its proper Net/Realspace location instantly, projecting a visual ICON and even a radio/sound signal if desired.
images from a slim nano-circuitry headset against the retina, so that an ICON in Netspace could be superimposed over it’s Realspace coordinates. Eventually, even these advanced Netglasses were made obsolete by Kiroshi Optical’s new “inductance ’trode units”, which directly stimulated the nervous system with data derived from the local Net ICONog-raphy programs developed by Janice Grubb.
In 2025, Langley Microsystems developed the Sensornet generator. This device generated either a static or infrared “grid” within a designated area. Objects entering the grid are scanned and their motion can be translated into commands for a microprocessor. By linking an ICON transmitter with sensornets, Langley was able to produce a working ICON-based device within the year: a projected ICON of a keypad which responded to typing motions made in Realspace.
With direct visual feed, projected ICONS at will, and a way of interacting with these projections, all the pieces were now in place to create what we now call VIRTUALITY; a state where
Net images and Realspace are combined in one. This is the
furthest edge of Net technology; a way in which reality and
computer generated fantasy fuse into one.
In Virtuality, advertisements, video programs, and ICONS are seamlessly integrated into reality. Anything that used to use a monitor or TV screen now uses a V/R projector to create a Virtuality image in the Net, which is then perceived as part of Realspace. Because the inductance ‘trode works directly on the optic nerve, its nanocomputer can “edit” out a "real’ image as easily as it can edit in a Virtuality ICON. People can even have their VR trade units imbedded under the skin, allowing them to never have to leave Virtuality. Others also have miniature radio-speakers implanted along the mastoid bones to pick up the projected sounds of Virtuality ICONS.
In 2027, many people wear personal transmitter/projector ‘systems (disguised as jewelry, cyberwear or clothing), to create their own personal Virtuality ICONs. Most electronic hardware, and even a few advanced vehicles, use virtuality based controls or keypads. There are now entire places, people and things that most of you have never seen in Realspace at all. You probably have friends whose real faces are unknown to you because you met them in Virtuality (and you like them that way). You shop in Virtuality-based malls where products are projected into reality and you never actually touch them.
There are video games you can live inside, entertainments where you can walk right into the movie and interact with Virtuality characters (through sensornets in the floor); even restaurants and clubs where Virtuality is actually part of the decor.
If you were from the United States of 40 years ago— someone about your parent’s age—who was a teenager in 1990, the impact of Virtuality would be inconceivable. It would be like living in an animated cartoon, where almost anything could exist side-by-side in your everyday world. And this is only the start. Within the next five years, experts predict that full, tactile, sonic and auditory stimuli will be transmittable anywhere on Earth.