Neuralware

These cybernetic systems have made more impact on technology than any other to date. The systems work in unison with a person's existing abilities rather than simply replacing them. Neuralware can be very subtle and it's not always easy to see who has top grade reflex boosts or an implanted computer. Typically, neurological systems are powered by a system recharger or by two microcells which need replacing every four years.

A data plug plug consists of the socket and a tiny nerve interface processor. Sometimes they come in pairs, although a single head mounted plug is more common. They must be placed at any major nerve cable such as at the temples or behind the ears. It is possible to situate one on the wrist, but a nerve cable link is required (see bioware). Dataplugs can channel data to AND from the wearer - so vehicles, lab equipment, computers and smartguns can all be interfaced this way. In fact, the increasing number of wireless devices has lead to a wireless plug-in that lets a wearer use a remote system without any cable.

The most common implant other than dataplugs, are "senseware" links. These allow the wearer to play back recorded sensory data or "sims". Sims form a large part of the entertainment industry and are a useful feedback system for computers and other devices. A senseware link takes the form of a small opaque "gemstone" that the sim player transmits to. Some users prefer to have an optic cable to feed the link, while others use a tiara which gives them a wireless connection.

Data plugs and other boosterware are now only minor operations as nano-surgical machines perform the difficult task of wiring in the device into the host's central nervous system. The device merely needs to be secured in the patient and the NSMs will do the rest. The course takes 2D4+6 days to finish, during which time, the NSMs will connect the plug to the wearer's central nervous system.

NEURALWARE SYSTEMS

Neuralware
S
Description
Cost
IL
Data Plug
M
Both data & stim in/output
1,000
D4
Chip Socket
M
Hold up to 2 chips per level
1,000+
2D4
Covert DataPlug
M
Hidden Data plug
+250
D3
Neural Computer
M
Run neural software
3,000+
2D4
Nitro Boosterware
M
Reflex booster
Varies
Varies
Olfactory Boost
N
Track by scent
150
D4
Overlay Processor
M
Overlay images onto vision
800
D3

Pain Editor
M
Dampen any pain or shock
Varies
Varies
Scent Memory
N
Remember 5 scents/lvl (ml 4)
200
D4
Senseware
N
Play back stims
250
D3
Senseware Editor
N

Edit recorded sensory data
2,000
D2
Senseware Recorder
N
Record all sensory inputs
1,000+
D3

Tactile Boost
N
Improved tactile sensations
150
D4

Taste Memory
N
Remember 5 tastes/lvl (ml 4)
200
D4
Turbo Boosterware
M
Boost reflexes
Varies
Varies
Zerobatics Unit
N
Auto Z-G compensation
200
D3

Data Plug: A data plug allows the wearer to receive and transmit information. A person with a data has all the benefits of a sensory link, but more importantly, can interact with any data or environment. The translational software required to process the signal is kept in the device itself rather than installed in the dataplug.

Data Plug
M
Both data & stim in/output
1,000
D4

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Chip Socket: This uses modified data plug technology to give the wearer access to databases and recorded physical movements. So you can buy yourself degree level French over the counter or learn to drive in a matter of hours. The problem with skill programs was the impact it had on the education system, in that many "smart people" (and I use the term loosely) gave up on schooling thinking they could just buy a chip. To some extent this is true, but a chipped skill is only as good as the programmers coding it. Additionally, when the chips crashed the wearer was left clueless until the system came back up.

Chip technology works by having a skill program loaded into a button sized "chip", although in reality the chip is a collection of luminal wafers held in a tamper proof gel. Tampering with the chip causes the wafers to self-corrupt and goes some way to keeping the skill program's copyright. When a chip is inserted the user will be asked if he wishes to install the skillware. The chip then uploads part of its code to the chip socket and the wearer must now practice the skill so that the chip's software can be customised to the wearer's physical responces or how the user will want to query the chip's database. More information on what programs are available can be found here.

A typical chip socket holds two chips. However, improved models are available holding up to ten chips. Each level holds two chips and the maximum level is level five. A basic chip socket costs $1,250 and holds two chips ($1,000 for the neural link and $250 for the chip rack). If the user already has a data plug, the cost is only $250. Installing a chip rack does not take very long, about two hours or so. However, if a the neural link is not present, NSMs will be required to connect the system to the wearer's CNS. This will take 2D4+6 days. A rack with a concealing syn-skin flap is available, but it increases the cost by $500.

Chip Socket
M
Hold up to 2 chips per level
1000+
2D4

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Covert DataPlug: this is a slimline design plug which is hidden beneath a pull back syn-skin layer [difficult [20] search roll is required to find it]. The plug has exactly the same operational abilities as a normal dataplug, although some argue that it's cover gives it extra protection from the elements (useful for drivers, etc).

Covert DataPlug
M
Hidden Data plug
+250
D3

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Neural Computer: this is a very powerful add on as it allows a number of functions. It's main function is that it can download skill software and other neural programs. Furthermore, it can perform any function that a normal computer can. The device sits close to the wearer's spine and is completely linked to the host's central nervous system and parts of the brain. The system makes use of specialist biochips and to some extent it is powered by neutrients from the host's body (a careful toxin screen pervents any "recreational" chemicals from damaging the core).

System Type Example Minimum & Maximum
Power Rating
MU of Storage
per Power Rating
Cost per
Power Rating
Additional
Hardware
Neural n/a 3 - 8 10 $500 Neural Interface: +$1,000
Power Systemr: +$,1000


A neural computer gives a wearer a number of functions. Firstly, it acts as a normal computer although any input or output is kept soley within the wearer's own body. Images can be flashed up in windows over the wearer's own vision and sound can be played back as necessary. The OS positions windows away from the user's point of view and this allows a multi-layered mode of operation. It's even possible to put program windows to the side of the wearer's vision and turn their head away when ignoring them. Unlike many other cybersystems, a neural computer does not need any extra devices to carry this fucntion out, as it is integrated with the host. Thus, a neural comptuer, or Ncom, user can make use of computer packages at any time of day without having to jack in, or use a thumb stick or clumsy looking VR mit.

The computer can run any standard computer package including Net enabled search agents, wordprocessors, CAD design packages or even VR design software. The only limitation with wanting to link to the Net, is that the wearer must connect their Ncom via a set of dataplugs, or have an internal cellular phone implant available. It is possible to use a neural computer for hacking, although the expence of the system puts many would-be netheads off (not to mention the difficulty in accessing the computer to upgrade it - which most techheads just love doing). Given that a neural computer can use the wearer's dataplugs to transfer data, it is possible to move data to or from an internal digital store, cyberdeck or other external device.

Given the right software it is possible for a neural computer to act as an in-built AV recorder. Furthermore, the computer can play play music or video files and software-based sim players are available too. So far, no one has released a full senseware recording suite for neural computers, but it can only be a matter of time. The system has built in safety levels to prevent sensory overload or the danger of a wearer's sense being crashed out.

Neural Computer
M
Run neural software
3,000+
2D4

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Nitro Boosterware: This series of implants augments the wearer's reflexes and helps cut responce times. The nitro systems are not always turned on, so they avoid the serious psychological and klutz-faction of the hardwired booster systems (namely: turbo units). Nitro boosting is not that obvious, even to very perceptive people, whereas turbo units give the impression of the person being rushed or hyped up all the time. The main disadvantages are that the boost is not instantly available and the lower end systems have a wait period before the reflex systems kick in. Additionally, the boost only lasts for a short period to prevent nerve and processor damage - overclocking a nitro booster can be very painful!.

Nitro boosts are available in various levels, with each level adding +1 to the wearer's initiative score. As with other rated systems, it is not possible to upgrade an existing system once it has been implanted. However, due to a common standard among neuralware manufacturers, it is possible to remove the lower level system and use the pre-wired housing for the replacement unit. As with other neuralware systems, a reflex processor has a wiring in time too, taking 2D4+2 days before it can be used. Note that this time is halved if the user already has a data plug and further more, can be ignored if the basic interface has been installed previously.

Rating
Cost
Boot Time
Total IL
Availability
1 - 3
$600, $1,200 and $1,800
5 seconds (1 round)
D6
15

4 - 6

$3,200, $4,000 and $4,800
2 seconds (half bonus in this round)
2D4
20
7 - 8
$7,000 and $8,000
1 second (0 rounds)
2D6
25
9 - 10
$13,500 and $15,000
0 seconds (0 rounds)
3D6
30


* Boot time is the period a user has to wait before the reflex boost kicks in. The level 4 to 6 systems boot quickly to give a partial boost as soon as they are switched on (namely: for that combat round) and give a full boost during the rounds following.

* All boosts last for a period of minutes equal to twice the system's rating.

The identiy loss for these systems are not per rating. So, a rating 3 system has the same IL as a rating 2. However, the costs listed are for each rating within the rating's bracket. So, level 1 is $600, level 2 is $1,200 and level 3 is $1,800. Needless to say, the really powerful systems are very expensive and can be difficult to locate. The availabilty section is the streetwise or resources skill roll required to source an implant.

Nitro Boosterware
M
Reflex booster
Varies
Varies

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Olfactory Boost: these are extra sensors placed in the nasal cavity. They are more receptive and responsive than normal bio versions thus allowing the user to track by scent alone (providing that the scent is fairly fresh and the target has not gone to any lengths to mask their scent). It allows a greater range of smell adding +2 to perception and tracking (providing the unit gets a "lock" on the scent, 70% chance). A suitable perception roll will allow the wearer to remember a person's scent from before.

Olfactory Boost
N
Track by scent
150
D4

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Overlay Processor: this minute processor sits between the wearer's optic nerve and data plug inputs. It allows the user to overlay images to their normal vision as if they had a picture-in-picture function as per cyberoptic option or neural computer. A wearer with an overlay processor can view text, play video or overlay other camera data on to their vision, without the need for a cyberoptic or display function (although you could not overlay a targeting scope; that requires more complex processing). So, a user could interface their smartgun's camera to their overlay processor, but they would not gain the targetting option (so, only a +1 to hit). Sound can also be mixed into the user's hearing, so the wearer is no longer "deaf" when plugged into their chipman music player. These processors are common with deckers and those who can't afford a neural computer just yet.

Overlay Processor
M
Overlay images onto vision
800
D3

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Pain Editor: Rather than completely remove pain, this unit reduces it to a more tolerable level. This system has much less of an effect on the user's mental health and also prevents accidental wounding (ie: stabbing yourself and not noticing until the blood wells out). Previous anti-pain systems cut pain off completely, but operatives would often continue moving unhindered, which made their injuries far worse, often fatally so.

Each rating of the pain editor lets the wearer deduct two points from any STUN damage. This includes STUN damage taken from real damage (ie: killing damage) and STUN lost from punches or non-fatal trauma. The wearer may set the editor to run at a certain level, reducing the amount of "stun armour" they have, this takes five seconds. The system is available in up to rating 10 with each rating costing $200 and every two levels causes D3 IL (round up). As with other neuralware, this unit has a neural harness which allows the lower rating system to be removed and replaced. However, as with other rated systems, this one cannot be bought a level at a time.

Pain Editor
M
Dampen any pain or shock
Varies
Varies

top

Scent Memory: this is similar to taste memory. It also costs $50 for an extra level and each level allows the user to record and recall 10 scents. Scent memory is compatible with an olfactory booster so the wearer can select which scent he / she wishes to track. Scent memories are often used by chefs and chemists so they can remember various recipes and compounds.

Scent Memory
N
Remember 5 scents/lvl (ml 4)
200
D4

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Senseware: This was one of the first neural interfaces designed. A sensory link allows the wearer to "feel" recorded sensory data. Now people could feel the warmth of a computer generated sun or walk through a memory of a rain forest. Recorded sensory programs are often referred to as sims and are basically highly advanced non-interactive video. The original development of senseware was as an infalable recording system for the government. Senseware links do not allow any interaction with the sim, the user merely gets to sit back and enjoy the ride.

A senseware link is a small jewel-like implant that is frequently placed behind an ear or on the wrist. The sim can be transmitted to this device over a short distance, although most users prefer to have a cable clipped to it for better transmission quality. Broadcast tiaras are availble ($300) should a number of people wish to share a sim recording.

Senseware
N
Play back stims
250
D3

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Senseware Editor: the editor allows a user to edit the recorded sensory data. It has a built in level processor so that levels of pain can be lowered while other more pleasurable sensations increased. The editor's user is protected at all times from the full effects of the recorded patterns so that they do not experience the full level of a recorded gunshot wound or other mishap. Once the levels of sensation have been altered and the sensory data edited, much like a film would be edited into a cohesive story, the copy can be tested. If approved it may be finally produced by a media corp or by a well equipped garage studio (who often bring in new talent and different approaches). The senseware editor is not true cyberware as it is more often situated outside the body. It has about 50 MU of storage for editting, but as the device is attached to a recorder via a data link, storage is not a problem.

Senseware Editor
N

Edit recorded sensory data
2,000
D2

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Senseware Recorder: the device allows the wearer to record all their five senses. The recorder unit makes a copy of everything the wearer sees and feels - and to some extent, even emotions (the thudding heartbeat during fear or heat of sexual pleasure). The recorder is about the size of a pack of cigarettes and is frequently implanted in the wearer. A set of dataplugs allows the information to be dumped once the unit's memory is full.

Senseware recordings use up 2 MU of memory per minute and a standard recorder has 50 MU of storage (that's a rating one system). Each extra level adds 50 MU of storage and costs $600 per level. The maxium level is five which gives 250 MU of storage or approximately 125 minutes of sim recording. Many senseware users have an internal digital store for offline backup or use dataplugs to export their recordings.

Senseware Recorder
N
Record all sensory inputs
1,000
D3

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Tactile Boost: increases the amount of sensation by adjusting the amount of sensory input from the wearer's touch. It makes you more sensitive, allowing more intense feelings; such as the fibres of a silk shirt or a lover's kiss. The implant takes the form of a course of NSMs which rewire parts of the central nervous system. When active it adds +2 to touch based perception tests.

Tactile Boost
N
Improved tactile sensations
150
D4

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Taste Memory: this option is a sense pattern recorder. It allows you to store up to ten different taste pattern per level (each extra level costs $50). The system, when switched on, will tell the user if they are tasting a recorder flavour / pattern. It will also allow playback of tastes and textures.

Taste Memory
N
Remember 5 tastes/lvl (ml 4)
200
D4

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Turbo Boosterware: This reflex processor speeds up and amplify the wearer's reflexes. The key advantage is that the wearer reacts more quickly, although they do not think any faster. Turbo units are always turned on, so the user is always speeded up. Such fast reaction times have a considerable mental impact on the user and can lead to clumsiness.

Turbo units are available in six levels ranging from +1 to +6 (each level is +1 to the wearer's initiative). The table below shows the price and identity loss for such a unit. As with nitro systems, the processor is rated in levels, but must be bought as a whole and cannot be purchased a level at a time (see the nitro boost for more information). The availability value is the streetwise task to find a unit.

Rating
Cost
Effects
Total IL
Availability
1 - 2
$500 and $1,000
+ rating to initiative
2D4
15

3 - 4

$1,800 and $2,500
+ rating to initiative
2D6
20
5 - 6
$4,000 and $5,000
+rating to initiative, +1 QUI and -1 DEX.
3D6
25

The IL and costs are per rating installed (ie: a level +3 costs $1,800 and has an IL of 3D6). Nitro and Turbo are not compatible, you may only have one or the other. Turbo units are excellent for small reflex jumps but have a greater identity cost the further you boost them (which is why many people prefer nitro units).

Turbo Boosterware
M
Boost reflexes
Varies
Varies

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Zerobatics Unit: the zerobatics unit is an nerve signal and muscle action coordinator which adjusts the user's nerve signals to that of a lesser or greater gravity environment. It can be best described as an auto-compensating system which boosts or lessens the wearer's motor nerve signals so that the user does not have to consciously adjust their degrees of movement. The unit prevents the user from making sudden movements which would send them spinning out of control.

The effect is that the user has a +3 bonus to all zerobatics tests and a +1 to all melee combats in 0G. For an additional $100 most manufactures will download an extra option which boosts and emphasizes the motor nerve signals for use in heavy gravity or underwater environments where it is difficult to move quickly and steadily.

Zerobatics Unit
N
Auto Z-G compensation
200
D3

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