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Grod_The_Giant
2019-04-28, 09:11 AM
I'm planning a sci-fi game with its fair share of transhumanist themes. Genetic engineering, cybernetic implants, robot bodies, the whole nine yards. Can you guys help me brainstorm a list of example bits of (bio)tech the party could purchase for their characters?

JNAProductions
2019-04-28, 09:34 AM
Well, take a look at real prosthetic and mechanical enhancements, and make them bigger and badder.

I, for instance, have a pacemaker, which helps regulate the beating of my heart. In THE FUTURE! perhaps it allows one complete control over their heartrate, allowing you to slow it down to trick sensors or calm yourself, or speed it up to get adrenaline in the system faster.

Hytheter
2019-04-28, 09:36 AM
I, for instance, have a pacemaker, which helps regulate the beating of my heart. In THE FUTURE! perhaps it allows one complete control over their heartrate, allowing you to slow it down to trick sensors or calm yourself, or speed it up to get adrenaline in the system faster.

...did you just come up with that yourself? That's a pretty cool idea that I haven't seen before.

JNAProductions
2019-04-28, 09:38 AM
...did you just come up with that yourself? That's a pretty cool idea that I haven't seen before.

Yes, I did. Thanks for the compliment!

Except the bit about having a pacemaker. I am, in fact, cybernetically enhanced right now, as I type this.

Seclora
2019-04-28, 09:58 AM
D20 Future and D20 cybertech have some interesting ones, if you wanted to glance through them for ideas.

Personally, I put together an eye with a database of creatures and improved vision, a computer database hooked up to a contact lens display with a HUD and what amounts to a battery of social media algorithms to assist with social interactions(for manipulation purposes), and implanted shrunken Contingency Foci. Never really tried any genetic engineering though.

The Jack
2019-04-28, 10:24 AM
Life'd be easier if I could just capture footage with my eyes. Safer eyes would also do me some good, cause they're the organs I most worry about. In the future, it's probably doable to replace eyes, but an armoured nictating membrane (humans have a vestigal one) or just solid eyes would be really good in fights.

As someone said, manually controling certain involuntary body functions would be useful.

I think a good deal of this stuff would be used to make civilians (especially the rich) more beautiful, healthier and smarter. There'd be a market for improved or secondary livers and sweat gland enhancers, genital modification, a poop improver, conspicuous consumption mods that aren't very practical for their price point but just tell the world how successful you are....


Jumping spiders are amazing. Steal their features. Bugs in general have a lot of super interesting features, though you should keep in mind that a lot of their stuff only works because of how small they are.





My fair warning for good stuff:

External armour and weapons will be better for both war and personal life. Arm guns and the like would get in the way of having a better arm. Making the body tougher is not a bad idea, but you should avoid making the body freakish in the persuit of making it tough (at least make it modular)

A tough guy wearing armour is better than a guy with a bulky exoskeleton he can't remove.

Anonymouswizard
2019-04-28, 10:49 AM
So I'm assuming that you have all the basics, Luke cybereyes and replacement limbs. All of these are things that are available in my space opera setting and so are fairly low on the transhumanism scale

Tweaked menalin production/regulation, shifted skin tone on demand. Combine with shiftable facial features for a basic infiltrator package.

On a related note, hormone glands that can be switched on and off and tweaked in productivity. Gives better control of your emotional state and can potentially alter appearance over time.

On a more bizarre and not PC appropriate note, some subcultures might specifically inflict cureable disabilities on themselves as a fashion statement at higher levels of transhumanism. Being rich enough to have bad legs might be a thing.

I'll post more ideas this evening.

Kaptin Keen
2019-04-28, 11:11 AM
The litterature is packed with all sorts of nonsense - enhancing strength and stamina, sense, cognitive ability in various ways, and so on.

One I came up with once - and then was surprised a fellow RPG'er had also though of - is a slave arm. Your preferred hand has a firearm mounted with a laser, and your offhand has a weapon with a sensor, and will automatically fire at the laser pointed by the first.

I think people often overlook the usefulness of sensory enhancers besides sight - being able to sense exhaust from cars, engine sounds, the smell of gunpowder or gun oil, things like body odour (fear, perhaps), distant conversations, select-sound filters, vibrations from machinery or feet or tank treads, echo location .... and so on, and so on ... can be enormously advantagous.

And then of course all the counters - biotech to mask body odour, to dampen footfalls, to modulate your voice outside the usual vocal range. I read a book once where enhanced humans could compress their speech into super short bursts, which was unintelligible to anyone without the proper hardware encoding. Also allowed for very quick communication, which I find less believable.

Then there are all the enhancements that fall outside what the players are likely to want. Modifying humans to live under water, or in harsh climates, or even in the vacuum of space (well, let's say survive briefly without a suit - less nutty that way). Modifications for specific jobs, sex is a common theme, but others exist, eye modifications for microscopic sight, perhaps the ability to sense electric current, and there's always a bunch of mods for interfacing with machines.

It also depends what you want with them? Say you want the cortical stacks of Altered Carbon. Do you want them to be implanted in everyone - or is it a super expensive procedure only available to the ultra wealthy?

Oh ... and all sorts of damage and feedback related stuff: Pain dampers, overrides for fear and shock, overrides for shaky hands, flare reduction (a classic), some sort of cushioning to avoid concussions (possibly irrelevant simply because games never let such 'minor' injuries affect gameplay). If you're looking for incremental enhancements, there's much that can be done. Muscle-to-weight ratio is an important one, and while upping the muscle factor is obvious, reducing weight will likely be more effective overall. Removing the stomach and bowels entirely and introducing some sort of alternative would drop you maybe 15-20 pounds, which is a substantial reduction (of course the replacement systems can't be entirely weightless, but might be primarily external?!).

And targeting reticules, proximity sensors, all that jazz.

Mastikator
2019-04-28, 11:15 AM
Ghost in the Shell is a pretty good catalogue of cybernetics.

Here are some ideas at the top of my head.

Cybernetic eyes with infrared/ultraviolet/xray vision.
Carbon nanotube bone augmentation for near unbreakable bones.
Nanorobot muscle cell augmentation for increased strength and stamina.
Internal oxygen storage tanks so you can hold your breath for longer.
Neural interface so you can download information from a digital store.
Dermal carbon nanotube to make your skin highly resistant to damages.
Rockets inside your legs so you can make single huge rocket jumps.
Hidden compartments on your body to hide weapons/contraband.
Chemical sensors to give you targeted ultra sensitive smell.
Subdermal micro machines that can restructure your face making you look like anyone you want at will.
Detachable turbojet and wings so you can become a human sized airplane.
Microphone aided hearing to give super focused hearing abilities.
Tiny magnetic crystals attached to your neurons so you can feel magnetic and electric fields like a shark.
Ultra sound sonar to aid your vision and let you see inside things.

Mark Hall
2019-04-28, 02:04 PM
Messed up biohacking:

Local robots experiment on humans. The people of Orc Station disfigure themselves to avoid the facial recognition sensors. Disfigurments must be unique; if too many people have the same ones, it is feared that the robots will learn

A cache of alien tech was found on a planet. It is designed for smaller hands, so people cut off their pinky finger to interact with the technology.

Early stations used centrifugal gravity, which would vary from .1 to .8 gravity, depending on time of day and location in the station. The descendants of these early settlers are attenuated but hunched.

Funky Odor
2019-04-28, 03:47 PM
To add flavor to the world you are creating, quality of life enhancements could be sprinkled in. Like bio hacking which changes eye color / skin color on a whim. Hair follicle manipulation to change color, length, or styles. Perhaps mood altering or emotion changing cybernetic manipulations for personal or business reasons. Not everything has to result in direct statistical benefits. Oh, also Repo Men is a good movie if you want some ideas about what happens when a client can't afford the implant costs.

noob
2019-04-28, 03:53 PM
I think people often overlook the usefulness of sensory enhancers besides sight - being able to sense exhaust from cars, engine sounds, the smell of gunpowder or gun oil, things like body odour (fear, perhaps), distant conversations, select-sound filters, vibrations from machinery or feet or tank treads, echo location .... and so on, and so on ... can be enormously advantagous.
The problem is that training to use a new sense is hard(it takes quite a lot of time for babies to learn to see correctly and it is well know sight contains a lot of preprogrammed stuff) and the brain is generally not great at managing huge amounts of incoming data.
So sensory enhancers are not always so practical to use because it would probably mess up enough the sense it would be almost as learning again the sense and also increasing the amount of received data does not makes the brain much better at perceiving.
Unless you are at a high enough tech level you can start replacing most bits of brain by components but then it is going from transhumanism to numerical consciousness in a continuous way and by then you are probably already surrounded by so many robots as smart as biological humans or smarter that the main force of humanity is the new digital humans(that most of the organicals would probably still consider as not being human because slavery is easier if you consider the slave is not human).

lightningcat
2019-04-28, 04:58 PM
Shadowrun and GURPS both have a large list of both cybernetics and bioware that you can steal ideas from. GURPS BioTech and the GURPS Transhuman Space line have giving me more than a few ideas. One of the stranger ones is the Solarskin transformation, which makes people into "naked, space-back dolls with enormous pseudo-wings, drifting through the vacuum on light pressure like dark angels." While Shadowrun 5e Augmentation and Chrome Flesh have most of that lines stuff (although less than you might expect), and some interesting essays on biotech and cybernetics.

Mastikator
2019-04-28, 06:14 PM
The problem is that training to use a new sense is hard(it takes quite a lot of time for babies to learn to see correctly and it is well know sight contains a lot of preprogrammed stuff) and the brain is generally not great at managing huge amounts of incoming data.
So sensory enhancers are not always so practical to use because it would probably mess up enough the sense it would be almost as learning again the sense and also increasing the amount of received data does not makes the brain much better at perceiving.
Unless you are at a high enough tech level you can start replacing most bits of brain by components but then it is going from transhumanism to numerical consciousness in a continuous way and by then you are probably already surrounded by so many robots as smart as biological humans or smarter that the main force of humanity is the new digital humans(that most of the organicals would probably still consider as not being human because slavery is easier if you consider the slave is not human).

But a micro computer could transform the data into a dozen dimensions, this small amount of highly refined data can then be experienced like color through training. If you have sonar and it is working together with vision that would help the brain make sense of it by having the correct interpretation to compare it with. Or maybe not. I'm not a neurologist.

weet555
2019-04-28, 06:27 PM
I don't think its been listed here but on the practical if niche side there could be "in build" lights, ether bio-luminescence (hope that's the right spelling) or simply lights in preexisting implants.

if you haven't though about it I could also see implant based "smart phones" or computers.

not a cybernetic per say but if they and smart weapons are common I image electromagnetic disruption and shielding becoming more common in combat.

Some sort of calculated precondition program could be installed in what ever gui system is used. "where is the enemy likely to move" "where is this attack going to hit" might be hard to do in a rpg and it should probably only able to see a second or two in to the future.

This is probably isn't good for an rpg but after watching a fight scene from the movie upgrade. I could see a program that controls a heavily cybernetic body and fights for its owner.

I hope that all make sense.

jjordan
2019-04-28, 09:11 PM
Bio-hacking?
-Extra heart that kicks in at full power during times of stress/exertion or when the main heart has been damaged.
-Extra rods and cones to allow for greater perception of color.
-Modified rods and cones to see into the infrared or ultraviolet.
-Reflective layer at the back of the eyes like cats have to give you better night vision.
-Modified ears to hear better.
-Modified brain to have a better sense of smell.
-Increased density of fast-twitch muscles to increase reaction time.
-Increased nerve density to grant better body control, higher degree of dexterity.
-Incorporating some aspergers aspects so you notice every detail.
-Increased clotting to help staunch wounds.
-Skeletal reinforcement.
-Larger adrenal glands.
-Decreased pain sensitivity.

The Jack
2019-04-28, 09:50 PM
Magnets are awesome, but Poison and electrical attacks are the best weapons you could add because they take up little room and aren't discernable. Animals use poison and eletricity because it doesn't get in the way of their mechanics... Adding sharp weapons or shooting weapons means something else has to be sacrificed; if you had retractable claws you'd have weaker fingers. That said, advanced materials can let you get away with stuff animals couldn't for a lot less. For instance you could strap small shaped explosives to yourself, which are placed over your well armoured parts, that could defend you in a pinch as they expel shrapnel away from you.

Here's some cool animal ideas.

Dorsal Ocelli, or little eyes that deal with little information and which don't take up much room. Basically simple sensors, but from a transhumanist stance you could make a big deal out of having little eyes with different features, without going all in on overloading your brain with an eye of equal standing to the ones you were born with.

Electro receptors, not as a vision mode, but as a 'feeling'

'Unlike most arthropods, spiders have no extensor muscles in their limbs and instead extend them by hydraulic pressure.'

The ability to be a puffer-fish and get round.

Dragonfly wings? I feel like jetpacks and the like aren't good in a human body. Dragonfly wings be the ideal if you can power em. Maybe not, maybe they'd blow stuff everywhere and get banned and then you'd have to get a licence to wear external wings... but it's cool.

Weight reduction techniques, like you're literally getting hollow parts installed into you to help you float (would that even work for air? Who knows but it'd work for water)

Extra arms in ergonomic locations. (They'd likely be smaller and weaker and come from above the shoulders or from the chest)

Transferable wombs. Get high concept and go all out with weird. Maybe the men'll have to carry the baby. Maybe people don't even carry babies any more, they just stick em in labs.

Crazy things:
You could also install retractable roller skates with engines into your feet... because... You could also put in springs. Current amputee leg replacements are often spring like.
Insidious mods they put into unwitting people to watch and control them.
A whole lot of fetish stuff we can't talk about here. But wouldn't breasts be better if the milk was chocolate?

Lord Raziere
2019-04-29, 12:57 AM
internal Virtual or enhanced reality games. imagine a videogame played inside your head, with the brain being your console.

"adrenaline rush" on command. "be in the zone" on command. built in language translation, probably clunky.

be cybernetic/biohacked spiderman.

a little off topic, but I imagine some people would use biohacking and cybernetics to set up their own little kinds of societies or other little weird things they do with the tech separate from common culture. imagine biohackers who make a one-gender or genderless village, or cyborgs who modify themselves to live without eating, or people who buy clones of famous or talented people to raise as their own child, or make a child who is upgraded as possible from birth so that they raised completely differently as a form of social experiment, or people who intentionally modify their brain to be more or less neurotyical for the job they do, things like that.

Eclipse Phase has a lot of ideas you can use, as well as Mindjammer.

calam
2019-04-29, 01:14 AM
I was always a fan of genetic enhancement concepts that worked with what is already there rather than grafting on limbs, especially when its framed more as bodily control so anything that can be justified by being able to produce or decrease body chemicals at will (of course without the side effects that happens when your body gets too used to them!).

some ideas for enhancements based off of manipulating your body
-adrenaline activation to justify temporary strength or reaction enhancement
-controlling the dilation of your eye for better night vision
-dampening nerves to prevent pain
-remove fear or other emotions you don't want to bother with
-eliminate body tremors (sounds minor but something that surgeons and snipers would kill for)
-eidetic memory
-rapid analysis of situations (think the recent sherlock holmes movies)

if you extend the idea of body control enough you can justify things like natural nails sharp enough to be claws, damage resistant skin, faster healing and many more things.

noob
2019-04-29, 06:10 AM
people who intentionally modify their brain to be more or less neurotyical for the job they do, things like that.

Okay so I am going to work in that paperwork job so I need to remove hope from myself and add depression glands.

The Jack
2019-04-29, 07:35 AM
By the time we get this tech we should be
A-victims of automation
B-beneficiaries of automation.
Or
C-automation is banned.

Killing your brain for a paperwork job is only likely under C. But hey, maybe

under A the godly uber rich are pushing changes on the most vulnerable for their own gain.
Under B, as most of these people don't need to worry about work, they spend their time getting to passionate about transhumanisn

Cluedrew
2019-04-29, 08:51 AM
I'm going to go for some day to day protective gear: "Earplugs" that adjust for loud noises and filter out white-noise. Or provide white-noise/music depending on the setting. Contact lenses that dim bright lights and give my eyes time to adjust. Military (PC/non-flavour) versions could protect against certain sensory attacks, which might be more popular with enhanced senses going around. Or they could just be flavour text on the enhancing tools for the same senses or AI feedback devices.

Drugs to change metabolism (flavour unless you track food, I don't expect you to) and help build mussel (might be a better way to frame increased strength, as opposed to the strange "injected" strength some systems seem to imply).

Vogie
2019-05-06, 11:52 AM
Use nanotechnology to replicate and/or store mundane objects, like clothing, tools and weapons a la Ultraviolet and post-Extermis Iron Man.

You can take a nod to the Simic from the Ravnica setting, allowing the populace to graft animalistic capabilities onto themselves. Squirrel suit flaps, extra eyelids, gills, spider spines to allow for vertical movement, and extra sensory abilities.

Ken Murikumo
2019-05-07, 09:07 AM
I wrote up a bunch for a 3.P game i'm running. I didn't like any of the preexisting stuff from d20 modern or the tech guide from pathfinder so i just made my own.

Cybernetic prosthetics were ranked from A to D where D class gave you stat penalties but were super cheap (basically just a quick replacement until you get something better) and A class were paramilitary/mercenary, gave you some serious stat boosts and were off limits to the general populace. Having 2 cybernetic arms or legs gave you a synergy bonus (like extra movement speed or bonus 2 handed weapon damage).

Im AFB at the moment, so I'll list some system agnostic stuff from memory

Prosthetic/Bio-hacked arms could contain:
-hidden storage
-auto magazine reloaders (like Briareos from the second Appleseed movie)
-Deploy-able blades or melee weapons (everything from the elbow or wrist and below became said weapon)
-Deploy-able firearms (same as above, but with guns. Like your forearm and hand open up to reveal a shotgun or something)
-Quick type digits (your fingers break apart into dozens of spindly digits for typing on keyboards, like in the Ghost in the Shell anime movie)
-shock nodes on knuckles & elbows for unarmed combat

Prosthetic/Bio-hacked legs could contain:
-more hidden storage
-quick draw weapon holsters (like Robo-cop)
-Jump jets for extremely limited flight
-Sprint module for increased speed (legs come apart and lengthen for mechanical advantage)
-Deploy-able foot blades for kicking

Prosthetic/Bio-hacked eyes could contain:
-nightvision
-infrared
-bioscans
-linking up with a "smart-link" weapon scope (like that Tom Clancy book movie i cant think of the name of)
-Microscopic vision
-"full immersion diving" while on the internet, computers, or brain hacking
-immunity to over-stimulation from bright lights or stun weapons like flashbangs

Prosthetic/Bio-hacked ears could contain stuff in the same vein as the eyes.

More general stuff could include:
-endodermic armor
-exodermic armor
-mounting surfaces for more prosthetic arms
-"cyberbrains" like in Ghost in the Shell
-those cyberbrains could include upgrade chip slots for skills or feats or even a chip system like Nier Automata
-upgraded firewalls to prevent brainhacks
-upgrades to enhance any type of hacking/brainhacking

I think i covered the bulk of it. Ill add more later if i get the chance to go through my list and have missed anything important.

Mark Hall
2019-05-07, 11:26 AM
Manuevering Thrusters for microgravity, appropriate to the technology level (my first thought was compressed air canisters in the wrist, but higher tech could mean different options)

Magnets or other means of attaching to common surfaces in hands and feet.

Malphegor
2019-05-08, 03:27 AM
Broncheal scrubbers that allow people to smoke thick cyberpunky 80s cigarettes without actually getting the long term damage... Except they still have a nasty cough from time to time because the scrubber irritates their air passages!

Achilles' Heelies- little titanium and bone wheels built into your bare feet that pop out with a disgusting squelch at will, lubricated by tissue fluid.

Backrub Lenses: contact lenses lenses that cover a bit more than normal contact lenses. As well as providing reactive sun glare protection, they're connected to a search engine named Backrub, selling on a list of your day to day actions, making advertisments and public algorithims more relevant to you. When active, your eyes look like they're a 1940s cartoon character because of the big black pupils.