Delves the Datasphere

Published January 20, 2014 by


Description

You are a digital shaman, a hacker, an information specialist, and a delver of the hidden world of the datasphere. Through your acute connection to the datasphere, you can see its virtual landscapes and inhabitants as clearly as those of the physical world. Your abilities often require you to act as an intermediary between the material world and the artificial intelligences and “spirits” that reside within cyberspace. Ultimately, you seek to master the codes and systems of the datasphere.

You devote much of your attention elsewhere, causing you to put little value in your physical appearance. Your interactions with an unseen world often appear as the ramblings of a mad man, which can estrange you from others. You have been known to wear oddities as totems you habitually touch to keep your focus anchored in the physical world.

Nanos are more inclined to unravel the mysteries of the datasphere, but the chance to explore the datasphere attracts many jacks. Glaives who walk this path can become fierce virtual guardians against the dangers lurking within the datasphere.

Details

GM Intrusion: Your abilities may attract the unwanted attention of a datasphere intelligence. An artificial intelligence may feed you corrupted information or attempt to possess your body.

Connection:

Pick one other PC. You accidentally altered that character’s memories and have sworn to help restore their memories. Choose whether or not the character knows about their altered memories.

Additional Equipment:

You have a small oddity that you use as a personal totem.

Minor Effect Suggestions:
You learn a trivial fact about the target.
Major Effect Suggestions:
You learn a major secret about the target.
Tier 1:

Datalink (1 Intellect point): Through your mental connection with the datasphere, you are treated as having an asset on all tasks involving recalling information, knowledge, or historical lore for ten minutes. Action to initiate.

Medium: As a living medium, you gain the ability to see and hear creatures and objects within the datasphere as if you were a machine. You cannot physically affect these creatures, nor can they physically affect you, but you can mutually communicate. Enabler.

Tier 2:

Hack Memory (3 Intellect points): You hack the memories of any creature within short range, even if the target doesn’t want you to. You must be able to see your target. You only glimpse their surface memories or make minor memory alterations, but you do not gain specific information. Make an Intellect roll against the target. If successful, you are treated as having an asset on all attacks or social interactions involving that target for one minute. When the effect ends, the creature doesn’t remember having their memories hacked. Action to initiate.

Encrypted Mind: You’re trained in Intellect defense rolls. Enabler.

Tier 3:

Ghost Program (0+ Might/Speed/Intellect points): You access ghost programs in the datasphere to temporarily learn abilities outside of your typical training. At the start of each day, select one fighting move, esotery, or trick of the trade at least tier three or lower that is unknown to you regardless of type. For the rest of the day, you are capable of using that ability and unable to change it until the next day. If the ability requires points from your stat Pools, you pay the normal point cost of the ability as listed in the ability description. Enabler.

Tier 4:

Delve Datasphere (5+ Intellect points): You upload your mind inside the datasphere as a digital replica allowing you to traverse it as a virtual environment. During this time, your physical body remains in a comatose state. In the datasphere, your replica can physically affect other objects and creatures, and they can affect you. Since your replica acts as your virtual extension, you retain your same stat Pools and abilities at the time of initiating this ability. Following termination of your delving, you acquire any stat Pool changes that your replica takes in the datasphere. You can return to your body at-will, but any damage or violent movements inflicted to your physical body automatically returns your uploaded mind to your body. You can apply Effort to bring other people with you, with each level of Effort affecting up to three additional targets. You must touch any additional targets. Action.

Tier 5:

Erase Code (5 Intellect points): If you strike a foe within the datasphere of level 3 or less, you kill the target instantly. Action.

Cybernaut: You’re trained in all tasks involving identifying and persuading creatures from the datasphere. You’re trained in navigating the datasphere. Enabler.

Tier 6:

Transcendence (0+ Intellect points): You have truly become a ghost in the shell. While delving the datasphere, you are no longer automatically returned to your physical body if it is subjected to damage or violent movements, though you are aware of it. Should your physical body die, your mind uploads in the datasphere as a replica with your full health. If you can procure a new physical body, whether of flesh or machine, you can upload yourself into it (8 Intellect points). Enabler; action to possess new body.

Codemaster: While delving in the datasphere, your Might Edge, Speed Edge, and Intellect Edge increase by 1. Enabler.

  • tskaiser

    I am massively in love with this, especially the writing. When I choose whether to give my yay or nay to a focus I usually place mechanics first and flavor second. In this case both seem solid. Delves the Datasphere inherently requires more work for the GM, and its risk and reward is completely up to him, but generally it sounds well made.

    Ghost Programs might open up for some wonky problems given it scales, ultimately granting you an ability a tier above itself at tier 6 – only real problem I got with it, and it can be solved easily if the player and GM is willing to communicate sane limitations on an ad-hoc basis.

    Transcendence is very interesting but dangerous depending on the group. As worded it effectively grants immortality to the so endowed player. This is done in a flavorful and awesome way, but such a power is hazardous to the psychological dynamics of a player group.

    Overall I really like it. Great work.

    • Aldarc

      Thank you both for the feedback.

      Ghost Programs: How about removing the scaling, with ghost programs having access to only Tier 3 or lower type abilities?

      Transcendence: One possible fix based on your input would be to remove the ability of the replica to reform itself in the Datasphere after x amount of days. In the datasphere, the character becomes effectively “immortal,” but not invulnerable to the threat of permanent deletion. It would create more urgency for the character to stay alive in the Datasphere until a potential replacement body could be procured.

      • tskaiser

        Sounds solid. The Ghost Programs change gives you more oomph right here and now then with the previous writing, but I personally prefer a higher powered ability here and now than one that scales to give me access to a tier beyond itself.

        I also like the Transcendence change. I think removing the hard immortality clause makes it better without stealing flavor or here-and-now power.

        I write here and now too often.

      • I loved it and the last modification made it excellent!

  • Ryan Chaddock

    Love the Intrusion.