Continuing with the information on Federation Technology, here are a few more of the most ubiquitous gadgets – Effector Modules, Familiars, Imps, and Elementals.
Effector Modules are low-energy personal force-field generators, normally run by a bodycomp. While they’re normally used to manipulate objects, sustain simple tool-shapes (1), and hold off weather, when linked with a sensor module they do offer limited protection from melee and projectile attacks, as shown below. Note that military-class effector modules are a recent development: the rapid increase in power demands and computation associated with scaling up a shapable projected force field without fixed distribution nodes and cables (2) made them impossible until the introduction of exotic-matter circuitry.
The “Lift” rating is primarily limited by the systems ability to generate force-struts to distribute weight. Effector modules are programmed not to exceed those limitations, since simple action-and-reaction from doing so places dangerous strains on the user, can throw them off balance, or twist the module itself away fro its moorings, turning it into a dangerous projectile.
Effector modules without violence-restraint programs can be used to generate force-weapons. While effector modules lack the mercury-mass reservoir and specialized “chainsaw edge” circuitry which makes forceblades so effective, they can still generate various damaging shapes for use in melee (Str Mod applies), hurl small items with the speed and effectiveness of light crossbolts (Dex Mod applies to hit), and launch internal assaults (damage bypasses armor-based DR, but no bonuses apply).
(1) Effective use of these is subsumed in the intelligence-based bonus to skills in this setting, but this does eliminate penalties for the lack of basic hand tools.
(2) Such as are used in Starship and Orb shields.
|AC Bonus versus Physical Attacks||+1||+2||+4||+6|
As a note, Personal, Armor-Based, and Force Field-Based DR does stack. A tough, heavily-armored character with a personal force field can withstand quite a lot of small arms fire and/or melee weapon attacks.
Light Effector Modules are about the size of a pocket calculator, and weigh only a few ounces. Medium versions are about the size of a paperback book, and weigh about half a pound. Heavy ones are normally belt-mounted, and weigh 2-3 pounds. Military versions include additional power cells to drive the exotic matter circuitry, and weigh about six pounds. Unfortunately, the next scale-up requires a field-broadcast grid and a massive power upgrade, rendering them unsuitable for personal use.
Familiars are small robotic “animals” and come in a wide variety of styles, but normally share the same basic statistics: 12 HP, Speed 40 (ground and air) or 20 (water), AC 16, Attack +2/1d4 (If violence inhibition overridden), universal DR 4, including a Light Effector Module. IR, UV, and Low-Light Vision, elementary Sonar and Radar systems (60′ radius), Str 5, Dex 16. On their own, Familiars can do light housework, carry things about, fetch drinks, relay data, and generally act as rather dim servants/scouts, capable of accomplishing Easy tasks (Difficulty 15). Alternatively, they can be operated remotely at ranges of up to 150 feet (direct link) or at indefinite ranges over a compatible network. In this case the operator may simply use his or her skills, albeit with a +4 bonus for appropriately-sized tasks unless said task would be impossible for a creature of normal size to perform. Familiars are generally extensively personalized, and are Incredibly (40) difficult to “hack”.
Imps are tiny remote-operated robot-manipulators. They typically weigh 1-2 ounces, and – while they are reasonably tough for that size – are pretty easily destroyed (2 HP, Str 1, Dex 20, AC 20 but rarely noticed, basic senses). They can operate from 15-20 feet away from whatever system is controlling them wirelessly depending on local conditions. Whether fortunately or unfortunately, Imps are Extraordinarily (30) difficult to “hack”. Used in conjunction with a suitable control system they can provide a +6 bonus on tasks of appropriate scale unless said task would be impossible for a creature of normal size to perform. For example, a medical imp provides no bonus for amputating a limb (too large) or in reconnecting fine nerves in damaged tissue (too small to perform without such a micro-manipulator). It will be of considerable help while performing internal heart surgery.
Micro-Elements or “Elementals” are normally 5-10 thousands of an inch in diameter, and are the smallest practical programmable and remotely-directable machines known (smaller-scale “nanites” normally use chemical rather than electronic components, much like the bacteria, enzymes, and similar mechanisms they’re modeled after). Where they can be applied to a task of appropriate scale, such as rebuilding damaged tissue, they can provide a +8 bonus for the user.