[GURPS] - [3rd Edition] - [biotech]

As mans knowledge of genetics increases he will feel the need to improve on what nature gave him. Genetic modifications and implants will give man abilities that he was not born with, and maybe never should be. The limits of the human body and mind will be pushed to their limits, sometimes with disastrous side effects. The augmented person will become faster, stronger, smarter, and more durable. These enhancements are collectively known as biowear.

The following prices assume that the technology is fairly common, but much of it remains out of reach of the average citizen. In a campaign where biowear is still new and leading-edge technology, the GM may wish to increase the cost significantly. In a world where biowear is an everyday item, prices should drop dramatically.

Body Modifications #

“Bod mods” cover a wide variety of implants, augmentations and other expensive improvements.

Increased Articulation TL8 #

$50,000 10 points

This is and extensive process that includes joint-surface coating, lubrication, and tendon/ligament augmentation and enhancements. These procedures result in an incredibly flexible joint and muscle system. Studies also show that the character may be immune to many arthritic conditions as a long-term side effect.

Bonuses: +1 to DX.

Muscle Augmentation TL9 #

$20,000/level 8 points/level

In this procedure the muscle fibers of the body are interweaved with a substance that is more than four times as strong as natural muscle ligaments. When braided into the existing musculature it can increase the system performance enormously. Muscles may be enhanced in this fashion to a maximum of four levels.

Bonuses: each level adds +1 to ST, to a maximum of +4, but gives no extra fatigue.

Penalties/Side Effects: The interweaved substance does not break down normally and tends to absorb poisons that have been injected into the characters body. When resisting the effects of an injected poison the character rolls at HT-1.

Damage Resistance TL9 #

$40,000/level 10 points/level

In this procedure the characters skin and flesh strengthened to resist damage. The body actually has a Damage Resistance score. This works exactly like, and can be combined with, the toughness advantage. A maximum of eight levels may be purchased.

Bonuses: each level adds +1 DR to a maximum DR of 8.

Boosted Reflexes TL9 #

Varies Varies

This procedure involves augmentation of the bodies nervous system. It includes the addition of super-adrenal glands as well as other stimulant producing glands. As well as the replication and lengthening of the neural cells that make up the spinal cord and other main nerve trunks. This provides the body with split second body stimulus as well as a wider “data-path” for the transmission of impulses. It also decreases the amount of time it takes for the brain to send instructions to the body. As a result of this procedure the character tends to be more dexterious and has super human reflexes. A combat trained individual with this augmentation can be a near unstoppable force.


Level 1 (25 points) $100,000: +1 to DX and +2 to speed.

Level 2 (45 points) $250,000: +1 DX and +4 to speed.

Level 3 (65 points) $350,000: +2 to DX and +6 to speed.

Penalties/Side Effects: The character tends to overreact and has a hard time sitting still. It requires a Will roll to sit down and remain stationary for a long period of time. If the character also has combat reflexes he will have a tendency to jump at shadows. The slightest thing will send him into action, if surprised the character will always respond with a defensive or offensive maneuver.

Example: Fred is at a social gathering, suddenly someone drops and glass and it shatters. Before the pieces of glass have even finished falling, Fred has already dove behind a couch and is coming up in a combat crouch. Needless to say this could be very embarrassing.

A roll against the characters IQ is needed to avoid overreacting to a situation.

Super Thyroid Gland TL9 #

$80,000 25 points

This procedure increases the efficiency of the metabolic functions of the thyroid. The altered metabolism produces more energy and effectively supercharges the character.

Bonuses: +1 to HT, DX, ST, and Speed.

Penalties/Side Effects: Characters implanted with a super thyroid gland must ingest twice as much food and beverage as the normal person to fuel the higher metabolic rate (if the character also has increased healing the affect is cumulative). Because stomach capacity remains the same the character must eat twice as often as a normal person. The character can avoid this by purchasing special food (triple normal food costs). The character also has a tendency towards hyperactivity.

Increased Healing TL10 #

$300,000 40 points

This procedure increases the rate at which the character recovers from injuries. This advantage includes the advantage of Rapid Healing (pg. B22). Bonuses: +1 to HT and the character heals at a rate of 1 HT every 12 hours. This procedure also enhances the coagulation of blood and prevents the character from bleeding to death for a period of minutes equal to the characters HT. This procedure will not work on a person who is a hemophiliac.

Penalties/Side Effects: The character must ingest twice as much food and beverage as the normal person. The affects are cumulative with those of the super thyroid gland, thus a character with both would have to eat four times as often as a normal person. Studies show that the character may also have problems with blood clotting later in life.

Enhanced Life Support System TL10 #

$400,000 60 points

This procedure replaces all the bodies major organs with more efficient bioware models, and includes the installation of redundant organs and a recycling system. The lungs are enhanced to extract more oxygen from the air, allowing the character to survive in a thinner atmosphere and hold his breath longer. The heart is replaced with two smaller ones with enhanced myocardium, which allows them to perform at higher levels. The digestive system is improved to extract more nutrients from ingested material, allowing the character to derive nutrition from any animal or vegetable protein, no matter how alien the biochemistry. The addition of several new organs devoted to recycling body waste are also added. This allows the body to survive on even less food, water and air.

Bonuses: +1 to HT, he also gains 3 additional hit points and fatigue, giving him a “split HT and ST”. The character requires only 25% of his normal food and beverage intake to survive. Under normal circumstances the character can hold his breath 10 times longer than normal and can survive unaffected in an atmosphere with 75% less oxygen than normal. The character also becomes less prone to diseases of the heart and other cardiac-related problems, and almost never suffers from indigestion. The characters organs do not deteriorate as quickly as a normal humans, which increases their lifespan by 50%. Example: at TL10 the characters aging rolls will not begin until age 165, and their frequency increases at age 195 and 225.

Penalties/Side Effects: Doctors who are unfamiliar with this augmentation may not be able to properly diagnose the character (Diagnosis-4). A character who also has a super thyroid gland installed will be hyperactive and have trouble sleeping. Before going to sleep the character will have to make a will roll. If the character succeeds he will fall asleep normally, if he fails he will only sleep for half his required amount of time. On a critical failure the character will not be able to sleep all night, and will feel the need to get up and do something.

Adrenal Injector TL9 #

$50,000 20 points

The adrenal injector is a small muscular sac implanted in the lower abdominal region and connected to the bodies adrenal glands. When dormant the organ collects and concentrates the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline. When activated the sac injects these concentrated hormones into the blood stream. The organ is activated in times of need such as combat, unfortunately stress and other emotional states such as anger, fear, or lust will also activate the pump.

The effect of the adrenal injector is to temporarily turbo-charge the user. The duration of this boost is dependent on the level of stored hormones in the sac. When activated, roll 2d to determine how many minutes the hormones remain in the system.

Once the adrenal injector has discharged itself it will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes (9+1d) for the injector to rechrage. The injector will not reactivate until it is fully charged.

Bonuses: when activated the user temporarily gains the following benefits. +2 to ST, Speed, and Will. All bonuses are lost after the duration runs out.

Penalties/Side Effects: when the duration has expired the character loses all bonuses and must make a HT-3 roll. If he succeeds he takes 1d+1 of fatigue, on a critical success he only takes 1 fatigue. If he fails he takes 8 points of fatigue, on a critical failure the character loses all fatigue and falls unconscious. Prolonged use of an adrenal injector can also contribute to high blood pressure and cardiac related problems.

The GM secretly rolls against the characters HT after the player has critically failed his roll, if the GM also critically fails the character suffers a cardiac arrest instead of falling unconscious. A character with an adrenal injector automatically gets the Berserk disadvantage (pg B31) if he didn’t already have it. If the character already had this disadvantage then he must make all Will rolls to avoid berserking or snapping out of a berserker rage at -4.

Neural Modifications #

“Neural mods” deal with modifications to the human brain, a tricky venture at best. The brain is the bodies most complex organ, and as such is difficult to modify safely. Most complex procedures produce unwanted side effects.

Cerebral Booster TL9 #

$100,000 20 points

The procedure involves the addition of extra nervous tissue into the frontal lobes of the cerebrum. The extra cells and increased surface area improve the cognitive and other high-level functions of the brain.

Bonuses: +2 to IQ. Possibility of stimulating latent psionic abilities.

Penalties/Side Effects: studies show that over a long period of use the recipient of this operation may experience halucinations and an increase in mental instabilities such as phobias and delusions (up to the GM).

Combat Accelerated Time Sense TL10 #

$250,000 60 points

Whenever the character is threatened or in great need this system will kick in. Effectively the system jump starts the bodies motor control systems to a higher level. This procedure is NOT compatible with Boosted Reflexes.

Bonuses: +2 to speed (increases dodge and move) and initiative, plus one additional physical attack, for the duration of the combat.

Penalties/Side Effects: studies show that most, but not all, recipients of this augmentation suffer from overconfidence or megalomania.

Mnemonic Enhancer TL10 #

$100,000 or $200,000 30/60 points

By attaching a concentrated growth of gray matter to the hippocampus region of the brain it is possible to enhance the memory retention capabilities of the recipient, giving him partial or full “photographics memory”. The game effect is the same as the Eidetic Memory advantage (pg. B20).

Bonuses: same as the corresponding Eidetic Memory advantage (pg. B20).

Penalties/Side Effects: none.

Synaptic Impulse Augmentation TL10 #

$800,000 100 points

This operation is composed of the implantation of extra neural cells in the form of bridges between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The motor control section and electrical impulses of the brain are also increased/enhanced to augment the abilities of the physical body. The result is to greatly increase the recipient’s creativity, coordination and other cognitive functions.

If the character already possesses one or more of the following advantages or disadvantages, subtract (or add in the case of a disadvantage) the value from the cost of this system. The minimum cost of the system can never go below 60 points.

Bonuses: +2 to IQ and ST, +1 to DX and Speed. When running in a relatively straight line on a fairly flat surface double the characters Move. The character also acquires the following advantages: Level 1 Manual Dexterity, Perfect Balance, Recovery, Reduced Sleep, Combat Reflexes, 2 levels of Alertness, High Pain Threshold, Lightning Calculator, 2 levels of Language Talent, Mathematical Ability, 4 levels of Music Ability, and Ambidexterity. This procedure also has a tendency to stimulate latent psionic abilities.

Penalties/Side Effects: The character suffers from the following disadvantages: Insomniac (-15 points), Impulsiveness, Overconfidence, On the Edge, Paranoia, Stubbornness, Megalomania and Fanaticism.

The character also tends to talk rapidly and in large words that no one else understands. He will also dislike hospitals and especially mental institutes. The character also has a tendency towards hyperactivity, and will be annoyed if anyone tells him to “calm down”.

If combined with a super thyroid gland and/or enhanced life support system and/or boosted reflexes the character will be unable to sit still for an instant. If all of them are combined the character will be a complete lunatic and will need sedatives to sleep at night.