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Player's Guide to Centaurus Gate

Centaurus Gate is a science fiction theme RPG based on a rebuild of WestEnd Game's Star Wars D6 RPG. While it is primarily inspired by Farscape, it also draws on many concepts presented in other shows such as Stargate. The game focuses on the adventures of a daring crew as they guide their starship into a galaxy far away to explore and exploit (a pioneer theme). Each player's character is a crew member of the starship in question, taking on one or more roles as crew. Blast off into a Science Adventure!

ISOtech Rules

ISOtech gives each Player's explorer access to a nearly magical set of abilities. All humans have an ISOfield, a Low Power Low Radiation (LPLR) energy technology fused with their very flesh. This is kind of like an integrated force field and computer all in one, fused with every human being and connecting them to each other via a subspace highspeed network. However, simply looking at an ISOfield like a computer would be a bad idea, as its not really that simple. Here are the basics of the technology that players should know.

Understanding the Tech

LPLR is an advanced technology that allows matter and energy to exist outside our physical universe. The exact details aren't needed, but in essence the matter and energy in a LPLR device is out of phase with our quantum world and interacts with it only when it shifts into phase. Ok, back to practical stuff.

ISOfields are an LPLR system that is both a computer and field system. A field system is a complicated way of saying it is a set of point around and inside the user's body that can create, alter, and transform matter given enough energy. It draws this energy from lights, which are not unlike glowing points in space that can be absorbed by LPLR as a power source. Each light can be thought of as a battery which supplies energy to the field. When its not doing heavy work though, the field consumes little power and will last thousands of years.

At the core of the field system is what we would call a computer, but humans in the 32nd century simply called a Link. Programming for this system however is nothing like we might imagine, since the Link itself is a signal moving through the field system itself. Instead of introducing confusing technical details, lets just discuss what this means in application:

  • Programs are called Functions and are either: Encoded or Imaged. Imaged Functions aren't in use, but still stored within the field. You encode an Imaged Function (commonly just called an Image) to run that program, or use that Function. You decode a Function back to an Image to stop it and remove its abilities.
  • Images can be locked on a Link. A lock is a block that require a key (data) to unlock the Image.
  • Images can be hidden on a Link. A hidden image can't be fully hidden, and casts a shadow that can be seen. It is just no details about the Image can be known unless the proper key is used to make the Image visible to the user.
  • I3's also run in the same way a Link does, but they are intelligent and interactive entities which are never allowed within a user's field (you can't install an I3 into your explorer's field :D)
  • Most Functions have a cost in lights, which must be paid to activate its use when its Encoded. For example: If you have a Function that creates a gallon of water and it has a cost of 1 Cx, you must spend 1 C light to create that gallon of water.

Unlike modern computer technology, Links are an even platform. Everyone is using the same energy design given the same generation of ISOtech (currently 3rd for ETF explorers). Literally your explorer's Link is as good as they can make it, which depends heavily on their stats.

The Link gets a die code for normal usage called Power which depends on your explorer's die codes (they actually build it themselves, it is as good as they can make it). How do we rate Power, here we go:

  • If the explorer has none of the following abilities: Systems, Hacking, Encoding, or Science(ISOtech), the Power rating equals the lowest die code of the explorer's attributes: Technical and Perception.
  • If the explorer has one or more of the following abilities: Systems, Hacking, Encoding, or Science(ISOtech), the Power rating equals their Mental die code plus one die.

The Power die code is all about encoding speed. When you encode a function quickly you have to use the encoding action, which has difficulty dice equal to the complexity of the function to encode plus 1 die for each already encoded function. You can encode quickly (in mere seconds) this way but risk a system reset. This will cause all functions to decode and need to be re-encoded again. If speed is a non-issue you can do a slow automated encode. For slow encoding, it take one hour plus one hour per die above the power rating to encode the function. If the complexity to encode was 7d and you have a 5d Power rating, encoding that function takes 3 hours the slow way (1 + 2d excess complexity).

The projector Badge ISO 3 generation issued to all ETF non-humans is an impressive piece of technology. It can do anything and everything that the Field links integrated directly into humans can do. That said, there are some issues with the technology. Since it is not fully integrated, it must be operated in SuperState Mode only, and requires the full concentration of the user to operate (they may take no other actions in a tension round if operating ISOtech). Let's explore the ramifications of this for a moment.

When a user operates the Link in Superstate Mode, they enter a virtual reality in which they can directly interact with their Link's functions. What happens to them outside in the real world is projected against a sphere background around their little virtual reality, but they can't actually interact with it in this state. Count all ISOtech die codes one higher in this state.

If the SuperState Mode is entered from user using a badge projector, they have an additional limitation. Each additional ISOtech action/execute after the first in a round requires a Savvy vs. 5d test to succeed, increasing the 5d one die per consecutive action/execution. This means the third action/execution take is against 6d, and the fourth 7d and so on. The first action that fails stops further attempts, but does not harm the device and no lights are spent.

Common Functions

There are several common functions installed into a typical ISOfield for an explorer. These are assumed to be in everyone's field unless they have purposely removed them. Here are all of them and what they can do when Encoded.

  • CopyCat: [5d] This Function is usually always encoded by all explorers, unless they decode it to an Image to make space for another Function. CopyCat costs a preemptive 1 Sx, and creates a quantum copy of the explorer within the field that is updated once ever few minutes. If something horrible happens to the explorer and can't be otherwise repaired, the copy is integrated back into existence by the field when it deems the situation safe. in essence you prepay 1 Sx to allow a backup copy of your explorer to exist that can be called into existence if the current one is killed, etc. You are safe as long as your field remains integral.
  • ForceLoad: [3d] This Function allows the explorer to pay 1 Cx to bypass normal encoding rules and force encode a new function instantly, though never more than 10 + ISOTech Power dice functions can be encoded at once for a link period.
  • PocketX: [7d] This Function allows the explorer to stow and retrieve up to Power dice objects inside their field when encoded (it can be encoded multiple times). Each object must not have more than 10 kg mass or exceed 5 meters in any one dimension. It costs 1 Cx when encoded. Living matter can't survive the process used to place it in and out of the pocket, but dead organic matter is fine.
  • Reflector: [9d] This function creates a shadow copy of the link outside space and time, allowing the user to call in the copy almost instantaneously if it resets. The user pays half the encoding difficulty dice in Cx to create the copy, and earns up to three of that back when the copy is called in. Track all the loaded functions of the link when encoded to the copied state, that is what you get when its called back on a reset (all the functions encoded before Reflector is encoded). A user can have up to three reflector copies waiting, if they are willing to invest that much Cx and encoding effort.
  • Unharm [5d+] This function heals the user when encoded. The complexity to encode is 5d, plus 1d per two Harm on the user's Harm track.
  • WireMe [3d] This function allows faster, realtime access to the Whitenet (and Blacknet with proper credentials). For activities driven by hacking the net, combine its die code (3d) with the ISOtech power of the user.
  • SyncData: [3d] This function allows the user to move data to and from their link from any compatible device (another link, ISO device, some Astral stuff, etc.)
  • FunctionPort: [7d] The function allows the user to use the imaged function (not encoded) of another user given they are in the immediate area (2m radius) and have SyncData encoded. The user must pay 1 Cx to encode the function and follow normal encoding rules.
  • Simulate: [7d] This function may be decoded immediately after an action is not successful to void it as if it never happened and allow the user to choose another action (or the same action with a new roll!) instead.
  • Energize: [7d] This function may be decoded to allow the user to count any one die code as +1d until the end of situation. It may be used at any time, even after a roll has been made (forcing a re-roll).
  • SpaceSuit: [5d] This function allows the user to create a temporary energy suit around their form, letting them move about and exist normally in harsh climates like the vacuum or space or lakes of lava. While it only offers a material defense increase of +1d, it will last an hour per Cx spend (pay ahead).
  • Insight: [3d] This function connects the user to the I3 they are associated with, and in real time, lets them get impressions of that I3 on things they experience. This can give them insight into people they meet, things they encounter, and so on. It isn't really like you are talking to the I3, it is more like the I3's thought process is in your head.

Uncommon Functions

There are several uncommon functions which may or may not be installed into an explorer's ISOfield. An explorer can have one of these per technical + mechanical dice (add the count of those dice and you get that many Functions from below) at the start of the game. Here are all of them and what they can do when Encoded.

  • AnalysisL1: [3d] When encoded this function allows the user to spend 1 Cx and user their ISOtech power combined with their Perception die code and create an instant analysis of a large dataset (such as one gathered from a recorder). This is much faster than spending hours doing it yourself, it is a heuristic algorithm based on the user's own thinking.
  • ShieldsUp: [5d] This function creates a shield around the user when encoded. It will simply stop any attacks and forces below 6d, and treat all those 6d and above as 3d less. Each time the shield takes 6d of impacts, it costs the user 1 Cx or the shield fails.
  • WeaponUp [5d] This function creates an enhancement to a weapon, or a weapon itself for the user. If it enhances a weapon, combine the weapon with the ISOtech power die code of the user. If it creates a weapon, count the weapon as strength 5d for close combat or 3d for ranged.
  • Commune: [7d] This function allows the user to commune with an I3 in its native state, the user leaves their body for all intents and purposes for a short period of time and nearly becomes an I3 themselves, operating in their state. The user may pay 1 Sx to maintain the state for a period of time not to exceed a minute, or 5 Cx for every second. For each second they may take one suitable action (anything not physical or directly social) and count their die code combined with 5d. The I3 hosting this communal state must agree to it.
  • HackBrain: [9d] This function allows the user to hack an I3, attempting to subvert its opinion or stance with ISO force. While the I3 is aware of the attack, they have been ordered by Avery to resist it only with their own ISOtech power (always 11d). The ability of the user to hack is their ISOtech score combined with 7d. The HackBrain function won't ever allow the I3 to operate outside its directives, the user will be red flagged and notified if this is the case. It costs 5 Cx for the attempt.
  • Enlighten: [5d] This function enlightens and enhances the user's awareness, such that they might notice interesting details otherwise missed. When investigating anything, they may decode this encoded function and pay 1 Cx to combine 5d with their Perception die code in an attempt to notice details (in general the Exec will use Dilligence rules in this case).
  • EyeBeam: [3d] The user may pay 1 Cx to combine 5d with their normal Perception die code to observe the area around them using an advanced sensor array.
  • CounterCommand: [7d] The user may decode this function to cancel out any public ISOtech function use in their location (10m radius). They use their ISOtech power versus the target's ISOtech power to determine success.
  • LogicLine: [5d] The user may pay 1 Cx at any time to increase their effective ISOtech Power +1d. They may do this once per LogicLine encoded on their link.
  • ReIntegrate: [5d] The user may pay 1 Cx at any time to remove 1 mark against their HPTA track, though you must also pay 1 XP to actually remove a condition and only once enough marks are removed this way to buy it off.
  • FastForward: [7d] The user may pay 1 to 4 Cx and decode this function in order to take (1 + Cx spent) actions as if it were only one action of a situation round.
  • TotalRecall: [3d] The user may decode this function at any time to create an image stored on their link, a sequence of perfect memories for a number of minutes equal to the Cx they spend when decoded. This isn't as good as a Recorder can do, but its pretty close.

Rare Functions

There are a few rare functions which may be installed into an explorer's ISOfield on occasion. An explorer can have one of these per technical die at the start of the game. They must also have the requisite listed ability (at least one of the listed abilities if there are more than one) for the Function to take it. Here are all of them and what they can do when Encoded.

  • AnalysisL2: [5d, Science(Any)] When encoded this function allows the user to spend 1 Cx and use their ISOtech power combined with their Perception die code and 5d to create an instant analysis of a large dataset (such as one gathered from a recorder). This is much faster than spending hours doing it yourself, it is a heuristic algorithm based on the user's own thinking.
  • DCommand: [7d, Science(ISOTech), Hacking, Systems] The user may decode this function and pay 1 Sx to issue a direct command to an I3 they are associated with that it must follow. If the command would make the I3 act against its directives the I3 may behave unexpectedly.
  • ReWrite: [7d, Science(ISOTech), Hacking, Systems] The user may decode this function and pay 1 Sx to alter a single parameter of an I3 they have access to (this is something of a chore in and of itself, as normal the location of an I3 in any point and time is a bit fuzzy). The parameter may be a directive, a trusted fact, or so on.
  • SilkScreen: [3d, Shadowing, Technology] The user may pay 1 Cx when they have this function to become all but completely undetectable for 1 minute (or more Cx for more minutes, as they wish). This does indeed make them invisible to the naked eye and most sensors. The difficulty to detect them is 9d if they are moving and 11d if they remain still.
  • SledgeHammer: [5d, Systems, Security Systems] The user may activate this function when encoded for 1 Sx and then every ISOtech system in their location (10m radius) will be crashed as they choose. To avoid a crash the system must resist 9d using ISOtech Power.
  • Automation: [9d, Science(ISOTech), Hacking, Systems] The user may activate and decode this function to execute another set of functions in order (maximum number equal to their ISOtech Power - 2, all must be encoded in slots under Automation), paying 1 Cx for each. Count the link's ISOtech power as 11d for these function uses, as it uses an optimal AI shadow of the user's mind to execute them.
  • AlphaCannon: [7d, Weapon(Blaster)] The user can decode this function to create a temporary cannon style blaster (imagine a spectral gatling gun), rated 9d combined with the user's ISOtech Power. The weapon will last for only a few shots however, it has a chance of failing (and disintegrating) after the user's Savvy dice in shots.
  • DreamMode: [9d, Engineering(any)] The user can decode this function to create any part they need for their engineering skill, though it will only last one hour per Cx they pay. After that point, it has a chance of failing (and disintegrating) every hour until it does indeed fail. You may use this part to count your Engineering die code as combined with 7d towards enhancement or repair.
  • StasisField: [5d, Medicine(any)] The user can decode this function to place any one being of the proper medicine skill into a perfection hibernation inside a statis field. The target being must be within the immediate area (2m radius). This field offers them armor as equal to the user's ISOtech combined with 5d, and lasts as long as the user is willing to pay 1 Cx per day. If the target resists, it is a contest of ISOtech Power.
  • Replicate: [5d, Infiltration, Streetwise, Charm] The user can decode this function to create a living breathing illusion around them that changes their form into something their size or larger. The difficulty to see through this illusion is 9d.
  • Alexandria: [7d, Knowledge(any), Science(any)] The user can pay 5 Cx to integrate this amazing store of data into their mind (based on one of their Science or Knowledge skills) for one action, and combine their die code with 7d for that action.
  • ZenGarden: [5d, Discipline(any), Belief(any)] The user may pay 1 to 3 Cx to count twice that many marks on any of their HPTA tracks as empty (reduce effective marks) at any time. The effect diminishes 1 per situation round (or minute if not in a situation). The user may not use it again on a track while it is already applied to a track.

Lights and Storage

A single ISOfield, Generation 3 (the type in current use by ETF) can hold quite a few lights. In its unmodified, no special function state, it can hold 10 Sx (S light) and 1000 Cx (C light). How many are given to an explorer is determined by chance, but all start with a base of 2 Sx and 50 Cx. You use the roles of the explorer to determine their additional chances of more, taking the best option when you have two roles:

  • Leader role explorers have 4 chances for +1 Sx, and 5 chances for +10 Cx.
  • Engineer role explorers have 6 chances for +1 Sx, and 2 chances for +10 Cx.
  • Medical role explorers have 5 chances for +1 Sx, and 4 chances for +10 Cx.
  • Science role explorers have 5 chances for +1 Sx, and 6 chances for +10 Cx.
  • Security role explorers have 4 chances for +1 Sx, and 4 chances for +10 Cx.
  • Alien role explorers have 2 chances for +1 Sx, and 3 chances for +10 Cx.

A chance is 50%: a coin flip, a roll of 1-3 on a six-sided die or a roll of 1-5 on a ten-sided die. Count failures though, each failure is worth +1 XP for the explorer instead of earning lights.

ETF Standard Gear

Here are die codes, descriptions, and RP costs for ETF Standard Gear. This is mostly the stuff you can find on the Explorer Roles page, plus some bonus content.

Endeavors, the Powerful Toys

centaurus_gate/the_player_s_guide.txt · Last modified: 2015/02/08 03:37 by JasonP