Following on from yesterday's self defeatist post I decided today to pick myself up and talk to you about something more positive:
On the world of Honos the setting for Gang War; a First Law: Override skirmish game, the use of technology is everywhere.
Technology is a necessary evil in First Law: Override. It is through technology that the world Honos was terraformed from a presumed lifeless world into a planet now capable of supporting life without the use of Biodomes.
It is technology that runs the medical facilities bringing citizens back from a state of near death.
It was technology that rose up under the control of the A.I. and forced mankind to flee Earth and settle in the Outer Fringe.
You see, in FL:O many forms of technology uses a form of AI in one way or another. In many cases the AI is designed in such a way that it will never be noticed, such as in the form of a toaster that ensures your bread is always cooked to the exact requirement. In other cases the AI is more visual such as a vehicle with an autopilot capable of not only steering the vehicle but capable of reacting to various degrees of external factors.
It is the ability to interact with these AI constructs that is known informally as Technomancy.
Every playable character in FL:O and by proxy; Gang War will have a varied degree of Technomancy know how. Even if it is just knowing to push a button to turn on the previously mentioned toaster, this requires an affinity with technology. In Gang War this is reflected in the form of a low Technomancy score or (Tm).
Then you have the more advanced users. Those who if you gave them a VHS recorder would not only be able to set the time and tracking, but even set it to record a program in advance.
Of course this also has more practical applications, such as knowing how to interact with more advanced AIs and even utilise certain devices such as Medi-Kits which themselves use an AI construct to analyse a target's injuries and apply an appropriate level of medical care.
Beyond that you have the Technomancers themselves; those who are capable of interacting with an AI to a degree not intended. They can rationalise with the AI and bargain with it, convince it to do their bidding and in some cases go directly against their intended programming.
These Technomancers are split into two categories;
1). Hackers - A Hacker has the know how to infiltrate an AI's construct beyond the intended interaction. They are able to do things that the average user does not understand nor would they be able to comprehend the intricate nature should they have it explained to them.
2). Ghosts - A Ghost is more often than not more comfortable when 'jacked in' with an AI than they are in the real world. They commune with AI constructs like a Shaman would with ancestral spirits and they are able to, at a limited degree, impose their own will on these constructs. A Ghost is a very rare sight indeed as most are hired as Sponsored Agents as soon as their abilities and talents are made known.
Last but not least you have the Technomagi. These are users of Technology who from natural affinity are living examples of Construct Will. Most of them started off as Hackers but soon after jacking in discovered the extent of their affinity; more often than not leaving their physical body behind and existing as an entity of digital will, able to 'download' themselves when required to a receptive body.
Most of the times such downloads are made to mechanical beings such as drones or even members of the A.I.'s scouting force from Earth. Occasionally however they have been known to take control of a talented Hacker or Ghost gaining access once more to a living she'll. This rarely lasts for long however as the Magi's time as a digital intelligence more often than not has overridden their desires to feed and sleep resulting in malnutrition, dehydration and even death in prolonged exposure cases.
Because of the infiltration nature of Technomancy into every day events, almost every Unit in a Gang War gang will have a Tm score, however it will almost always be low.
Once your gang has reached a certain level of notoriety (or if you happen to play a certain race) you will be able to hire Hackers.
In Gang War the role of the Hacker is mostly that of support and infiltration. They are able to override locked doors, or lock open doors. They can also interact with the atmosphere of the environment, possibly releasing dust into the atmosphere reducing visibility, or maybe they want to boost the levels of O2 present making those within the vicinity capable of greater actions. They are even capable of taking direct control of technological units be them neutral or enemy.
Naturally a lot of what a Hacker can do, a normal Gang Member can do too such as locking and unlocking doors, but with a lower Technomancy score this will always be harder to achieve.
- All of this is of course a slightly moot point. As mentioned just now; Hackers will only be hireable by Gangs that have reached a level of Notoriety or certain races. These races and the Notoriety (experience) system is not due to be looked at for quite a while after the Pre-Alpha build that I am currently working on.
However the Pre-Alpha will include certain types of equipment that will be included as the starting load out. These equipment will require the use of a Tm roll to utilise, so be prepared to get familiar with your Tm as well as your opponents as it will prove necessary.
Until next time
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley