Modern Adventure Role Playing (MARP)

I am back home and wading through my emails. In amongst all the work stuff was an email about MARP. Craig, the author is having trouble posting to the blog, his comments seem to disappear into the bit bucket, so he could not post this himself.

I have copied it below in so you take a look.

This may be of interest to you:

In the ICE forum vaults, there’s a PDF by Aki Heikkinen called MARP – Modern Adventure Role Playing.

I don’t know why it’s called that because it’s far more Sci-Fi than Modern – it’s actually a conversion of Spacemaster: Privateers to HARP.;dl=item380

By Aki Heikkinen.

This is 59-page, 3MB PDF is the updated 2.5 version of Modern Adventure Role Playing (MARP) using Spacemaster Privateers setting. This PDF contains ten chapters and character sheet:

Professions: Eleven professions including 5 completely new professions: Academic, merchant, pilot, psychic and technician.

Race and Origins: Privateer universe’s races and cultures. Requires Privateers: Race and Culture book

Skills: Skill list and description of new skills. Three new categories: Science, Technical and Vehicle.

Talents and Starting Options: List of possible talents and starting options including dozens of new talents and starting options.

Cybernetics: Cybernetic rules and list of cybernetics. Requires Robotic Manual book.

Robotics: Android creation rules. Requires Robotic Manual book.

Psychic Power: Psychic rules. Requires Spacemaster Privateers core rulebook.

Combat Rules: Rules for dealing ranged attacks, new piercing and armor value rules and over dozen new combat actions. New critical tables are not included in this supplement but it is designed to be used with Spacemaster critical tables and means that all necessary books including critical tables are reguired.

Construction Rules: Quick overview of construction rules. Requires Vehicle Manual book.

Training Packages: List and description of possible training packages for privateers setting.



There are two things that stand out about this, apart from Craig’s technical problems. The first is that ICE seem perfectly happy to let a 3rd party reproduce content from the Spacemaster and Privateers setting and they must have approved the download. The second is that you would have thought that ICE would try to protect HARP SF rather than have people basically get it for free by utilising old books from a now unsupported game.

It is possible the download got through because it obviously states that all the official ICE books are required.

Navigator Update

I have cleared the decks a little and last night I started to look at Navigator RPG again.

The first thing that would strike you is the limited scope of the game. So far we have three races and five professions, that is it.

My justification for this is twofold. Firstly, I am trying to follow the source material, White Star as closely as possible and that is the full set of player character classes in the book, plus one. I have added in an extra profession, the Mystic. Mystics are what Spacemaster fans would recognise as true and semi-telepaths. I thought they were an important part of Spacemaster and needed to be included.

We have stats. These are d100 rolls, re-roll anything under 21 and if you have no stats over 90 then your two lowest can be elevated to 90.

Potentials are all 101 and stat gain rolls will cost DPs.

DPs are fixed at 50 per level.

Stat bonuses are (Stat-50)/3 so no table needed for stat bonuses.

Character races or Species are built using talents. I have included six talents and one flaw. These serve as a model for 3rd party writers to create a whole spectrum of optional talents and Species.

Mixed Species are easily possible by mixing and matching the talents that define the parents.

We now have seven cultures. Each culture gives 50DPs worth of skills.

We have simple guidelines for creating new cultures.

As I said above we have five professions but we also have the rules for creating new professions. Each profession comes with 50DPs of ‘basic training’ in the professions core skills. We also get Professional skill bonuses. Every profession has individual skill costs.

Things I have borrowed is the idea of Expertise skills that reduce penalties but do not give bonuses. This has allowed me to remove the four individual moving in armour skills.

I have borrowed the fixed 50DPs and I have borrowed the method of creating ‘half races’. In effect the three races I have created could be turned into six different species.

The calculated stat bonuses comes from Hurin.

All skills are going to have three governing stats and the stat bonuses are going to be additive rather than averaged. I just find that easier.

After being given 50DPs of skills from your culture, 50DPs of skills from your basic training you will then have an additional 50DPs to spend as you wish to customise your character. This means that a starting character will be level 1 and have 150DPs of skills in place.

Limited Scope

I said there were two reasons for the limited scope. This whole project is dependent on building a community who will add to the game. The tools for creating new Species, Talents, Flaws, Cultures, Professions and Skills are right there in the core rules and just enough examples are provided to give people what they need to build what they want. A spin off benefit of limited scope is time to completion.

In project management you can decide what you want a project to achieve or when you want to complete a project but you cannot define both. You either ship what you have on completion day your you ship the completed project when it is finished. By limiting the scope of the project the time to completion is going to be much shorter. As it is I am hoping to have the game up to the point where you can create a character by the end of this week.

The most time consuming things I have to deal with this week will be calculating all the skills costs for my five professions and all the skills and then writing all the skill descriptions.


After that the next set of rules in White Star than need converting are Movement, Skill Resolution and Resistance Rolls. I am hoping that they will be able to be completed in a week although I have a busy couple of weeks coming up.

Plan A

When I have tried an ‘ideas gathering’ set of posts in the past what has happened is that because there is no real structure in place there are almost too many options. Once discussions become circular we stop making progress.

Another problem is the transient nature of blogging. Ideas soon drift down the list of articles and away into oblivion.

So to Plan A

I am going to hammer my way through a conversion of White Star to create something that is extremely basic but both reminiscent of Spacemaster and actually playable. This will be the Navigator RPG.

Navigator RPG will be a Pay What You Want game on DriveThruRPG so you can pick it up for free or make a voluntary contribution. It is also a Creative Commons Share Alike product so no company can ever own the intellectual property and restrict its use.

The rules will be extremely modular with the intention of swapping out core rules for optional rules. In fact this swapping out of rules will be essential.

Yesterday, in my free time I wrote the Introduction, The start of the character generation chapter, rolling stats section, stat bonuses and I have just started the Species chapter. I have a pretty heavy schedule for the next 10 days or so but by early May I hope to have Species, Professions and Skills completed.

This may all sound rather egocentric. It is just me, my ideas, my opinions and my game. Why would anyone what to play my idea of a overly simplified Spacemaster?

Because it is easier to criticise something that is already there. I don’t really have to create anything new in doing a conversion from an existing game to a game with Rolemaster principles. We all know the ‘Rolemaster way’ so where there is a mechanic that could be more rolemaster then it is easy to apply that.

In addition, the design philosophy is that every single section of the rules will be replaced. I am providing just three or four races or species. Anyone can create new species, replace the provided species or anything in between. We know races are going to be primarily a collection of stat modifiers and resistance roll modifiers. You could start creating a bunch of new races now because you know what the options are going to be.


There a few other things I have been working on. When I release Navigator RPG, on the same day, I am going to release three other downloads. The first will be a compatibility license.

This isn’t particularly exciting but what it does do is send a signal to the indie RPG developers that Navigator RPG is open for business.

The second is an Art Kit. A selection of art, backgrounds, spaceships, weapons, figures and so on. This is to make it as easy as possible for an independent developer to produce great looking supplements. The Art Kit exists already but it only contains three pieces of art. By the time of its release it should be a few hundred pieces strong.

The final download will be a document template for at least Word and inDesign. This is so that anyone can create a supplement and it will look and feel exactly like an official release.

That may not sound every exciting but the three, the license, art kit and document template are the three requirements to create a Community Content Programme [CCP]. You will have heard a great deal about CCPs on the ICE forums. This game will have all the required criteria to have a CCP.

Here is a curious thing…

This game will be OSR, Old School Revival. When it is listed it will be found on DrivethrRPG under HARP/Spacemaster and OSR/Old School Revival. So? There is only one other OSR community content programme and that is Zweihander. What this means is that most places where the Zwei CCP shows, Navigator RPG will show too. You have to like a bit of standing on the shoulder of giants.

RPGaDay2018 Day 16: Describe your plans for your next game.

Oh, complicated answer time…

I have borrowed the Darkspace supplement from a friend and I want to have a read of that. He isn’t GMing right now so I have a very long term loan of that book. He would be a player so as far as he is concerned I can have the book until after any resulting campaign ends. I have also been reading the complete works of H P Lovecraft so I really want to go in that direction. That probably isn’t going to be my next game though.

I really want to do some modern day gaming or near future Sci Fi. I have been focusing my Solo play in this genre. So I would love my next game as a player to be in that genre.

My next game session I am running is all planned out and the BBEG was really the inspiration for the Octopus in my City of Forgotten Heroes posts. I am 99% sure my players do not read my blog so I don’t think I have given anything away that I shouldn’t have.

I can also answer this in another way. I write games and release them. I have a supplement for my 3Deep game in progress but more excitingly I am nearing completion of my Wild West/Old West game. There were bits I simply could not do well so I have hired a freelance writer to do a decent job of what I was butchering. This has shifted the project over a show stopping barrier. So my next game release will be Devil’s Staircase Wild West Role Playing. That will also be my first kickstarter campaign (hopefully of many!).

So the answer could be evil monsterous octopi, shoggoths in the shopping mall, special forces taking on drug cartels or holding up a railroad locomotive. the options are limitless.

RPGaDay2018 Day 14: Describe a failure that became amazing

I have told the story of our greatest role playing failure several times but it is such a wonderful story I will tell it once again.

So the GM (not me, I am innocent of this one!) is trying to bring the party together. It is a spacemaster game and my character is an insurgent against an evil empire. As I wander around the town other members of my team of dropping out of radio contact as if they are being picked off. Then I notice I am being tailed so I end up leading them to a cafe, lots of witnesses around should they try and make a move against me. Much to my surprise my tail sits down opposite me at my table. We are eyeing each other, full of distrust. I take my auto blaster out of its holster and it is aimed at this person under the table. Unknown to me the person opposite has done pretty much the same thing.

The tension builds….

A third person enters the cafe, walks up to our table and says “Hello” and the PCs all shoot each other and all roll fatal criticals. End of game.

Amazing but not in a good way, but it is a good story.

Tomes of Cthulhu by another route

Egdcltd (Azukail Games) has kindly sent me a copy of Tomes of Cthulhu. This supplement details 40 books, journals or tomes to add colour and detail to a Cthulhu based game.

Like nearly all of Azukail Games supplements this is system neutral so if you were running a Rolemaster based Cthulhu game you could use this just as easily as alongside one of the official Cthulhu games.

Each book is steeped in details about how it was written, the author, where and how it was lost or found and they are all suggestive of adventure hooks. Not all Cthulhu is based in the 1920s so the book descriptions consider the influence of time between writing and the game setting. It looks like a lot of thought and work has gone into this supplement.

This got me thinking about Rolemaster and Cthulhu. My Cthulhu experience was all with the Chaosium game which was very much based on the RuneQuest game mechanics with a bit of insanity thrown in.

So we already have insanity, if sorts, with the Fear rules. Parapsychology was an essential skill in those games and there is no difficulty in adding a skill to rolemaster for that purpose.

Making magic unavailable to the players is not something that requires a rules change, it is simply a GM/world building choice. It was my experience that magic was slowly revealed to the characters as the story developed.

The magic itself as far as I can remember was more of the summoning and control style so putting together customised spell lists would be easy enough. Anyone who was a keeper of the secrets  (GM) would have a better understanding of the spells needed.

There is nothing here that RM cannot cope with except one thing.

The go to weapons of the 1920s and 30s were firearms. I have always felt that guns in RM and Spacemaster for that matter were disappointing. I had always used Spacemaster until I discovered 10 Million Ways to Die. Even with the add on book guns are not really any better, 20 or 30 hits plus a critical just do not make guns scary. Spacemaster 1st edition was by far the worst with a 11mm Automatic doing a maximum damage of about 15 to 20 hits against unarmed targets.

I know this is intothatdarkness’s speciality but it had never occurred to me that this is the only thing stopping people from running a perfectly capable Cthulhu game using Rolemaster rules.

I know this is a little premature but this is something that RMU (for muskets and the like) and SMU (should it ever happen) needs to address.

So I have wandered off topic a little but if you were looking to run something a little different then consider this take a copy of Don’t Let Them Take You Alive (PWYW) for the setting, Tomes of Cthulhu ($2.99) for a bit of flavour and your favourite RM/SM version with guns and have a fun night of horror and insanity.

Seconds ticking away

Following on from my last post about movement and mounted combat I have been thinking about combat rounds.

There are three combat round lengths in the ICE world. RM2, Spacemaster and I guess RMSS use the 10 second round. RMU uses 5 second rounds and HARP uses a 2 second round.

If was obvious that the 10 second round didn’t work for modern day and Sci Fi. There is no way you can only squeeze  the trigger of a gun once every ten seconds. The fix was to introduce fire phase 1 and 2 into the standard RM2 phased combat round.

If everyone was using firearms, which was not unusual in modern settings then it left anyone who had to move wading through molasses. If you could not get from cover to cover in a single move then you would get ripped to pieces.

Splitting the round into two five second rounds does improve things slightly but there is always going to be a disparity between how long different tasks take. Picking a lock could be seen as a 10 second activity for a skilled thief but it becomes more of a stretch at 5 seconds and surely for the typical PC two seconds is not likely?

Is it better to have some actions take multiple rounds compared to some actions happening multiple times in a single round?

I think I am inclined to go for the very short round and things just take as long as they take. We are used to bows taking rounds to reload. I think those times are a little exaggerated in RM2/RMC but that is because they have been rounded to an easy number of whole rounds. I know that I can shoot five arrows in twenty seconds from a galloping horse and be on target. That does not marry up with one arrow every 2 rounds for a short bow in RM2. One arrow every two rounds in HARP is closer to my observed reality.

But lets ignore combat for a moment. A real dramatic plot device is the hero in action movies defusing the bomb with 3,2,1… seconds to go. If you are in combat time, the rest of the party are keeping the enemy at bay while you are defusing the bomb then ten second time chunks do not fit well with this staple of the action genre. If you treat bomb disposal as a static action you really want to avoid partial or near success as either of those leave you with having another go 10 seconds AFTER the bomb went off.

The more I think about this the more I think the 5 second round is not the right choice for RMU. 2 seconds is tried and tested in HARP and works without compaint. Sure it means rejigging spell casting, durations, movement and critical results (bleeding) but they are rebuilding all of RM anyway so now is the time to do it and not in a future companion as an optional rule.

What do you all think? 10, 5 or 2?

RMU – to infinity and beyond!

There was a comment to my last post that read:

The challenge I see with RMU as opposed to RM2 is the apparent lack of willingness to look beyond fantasy (and even then it’s their definition of fantasy). RM has always suffered (IMO) from the lack of a solid, accessible setting, and RMU just seems to accelerate that trend. They also took steps (especially in the combat system) to render it almost useless for non-magic settings if you leave it RAW. The flexibility that came with RM2 (and even RMSS in its own way) seems to be disappearing.

In addition in a recent comment Hurin had noted the amount of HARP that seems to have found its way into RMU. There is nothing wrong with HARP but HARP is not Rolemaster and definitely not RM2!

That got me thinking. Last year I bought HARP Fantasy and HARP SF. I bought them because I want to run a SF game soon and as I have said many times before I have lost my Spacemaster books.

So HARP is certainly not locked into a fantasy setting and not into one single fantasy setting. Shadow World is statted out for HARP and HARP has its own core setting of Cyradon. HARP SF plays out in Tintamar but by default it also shares the same setting as Kulthea and Spacemaster because of the Shadow World connection.

One of the things I like about HARP is that the last release was to truly unify the fantasy and sf rules and make them interchangeable. I only needed the fantasy rules as monsters make great aliens.

There is a massive gulf between RM2 and HARP and I agree there is a lot of HARP in RMU. The skill system is the same, character creation is very similar. The move in RMU to less combat tables is almost a single step towards the HARP way of thinking and that I think is the problem with RMU. The only weakness as I see it with HARP, looking from a RM background point of view, is the combat system and the criticals in particular. The same old critical comes around again and again way too often and even in the same fight. The rest of the combat system works really nicely as far as I can tell.

Another interesting thing is that the HARP forums are far busier than the RM forums if you exclude the BETA test forums. If you include them then you also need to include the HARP development forums as well. I see a far greater variety of voices in the HARP debates than in the RM ones these days. There is an active HARP community around the game and new HARP books are eagerly awaited,even if most of them are just re-releases to bring them in line with the unified Fantasy/SF rules.

Whether HARP’s firearms are as good as intothatdarkness’s firearms is a completely different question but the fact remains that HARP does have viable settings and it does have modern day and SF elements that make it go well beyond the fantasy genre.

I think RMU is trying to learn from HARP but is struggling to take the old guard with it to some extent. Which is a pity as we are the old guard.

Time Travel in Rolemaster & Shadow World

In a recent BLOG POST, I touched upon Time Travel as a technology or mechanism that could be introduced into a Shadow World campaign. Tricky, right?

A lot has been written on time travel in RPG’s and if you have ever allowed it in your game you know it can generate great adventures but create a lot of hassles as well. Some suggested solutions are only allow travel into the past, time travel only occurs in alternate timelines that don’t affect the current one or there are side effects to encountering yourself in the past etc.

I mentioned a few mechanisms to introduce time travel or time manipulation during game play:

  1. Portals. These can be used not just to transport over distances but over time as well. Several gateways Terry describes in Emer Addendum hint at such a power.
  2. Flow Storms/Foci. Want to change things up? Add a Time jump into the effects of an Essaence effect. Not only can you send the players to another interesting time/place but you create a whole adventure path if they want to return to their own time.
  3. Spells. Spell Law never introduced Time related spells, but I think some were added in a companion? (citation needed). I posted up our Time Mastery spell list on the RM Forums. The list is a work in progress–and very powerful in some aspects and very limited in others. A couple of spells take some work and ingenuity on the GM’s part:

6. Time Jump I – Caster can “jump” 1 rnd/lvl into the past or future.

I thought of only allowing the caster to jump into the future–that’s an easy solution where the caster is basically “out of play” for the # of rounds. But that’s not really useful unless it’s just used to avoid a impending bad situation. So how do you handle a caster going back X rounds into the past? First you have to realize that there will be 2 casters for X of rounds (then the other will cast the spell and go back into time and everything is back to normal).  One option is to have the PC announce that they will be casting the spell in the future and then they can play 2 versions of themselves for those set number of rounds. One issue is that the original caster may not survive or be able to cast the Time Jump spell in the future… One resolution is to qualify that time travel creates a new timeline and that this new timeline might not end up the same way. That also means that there will be 2 casters permanently in this new timeline. Interesting…

This spell gets much simpler at higher levels when a caster can travel forward or back years or decades and thus removes the problem of 2 casters or travelling such a short time that the other “self” is present.

8. Time Bubble I – Caster is enclosed in a unmoving time singularity. He can either slow time by 1/2 or speed time by x2 during the duration. The caster cannot interact with anything outside the bubble or vice versa.(no causality). Perception is modified by the time difference(slow inside will make outside activity appear hyper fast, etc.)

Time Bubble is a more useful and less complicated time spell. Basically the Caster is demising themselves from the current timeline and either speeding up or slowing down time within that bubble. This allows the caster to create extra time to heal, prepare another spell or just get away from a dangerous situation. The bubble wall is inviolate. (Unless someone else has Time Merge to cross into the bubble.)

15. Time Stop I – Target up to MEDIUM size is enclosed in a time singularity where time is stopped. No information(visual or otherwise) can pass through the barrier.

A useful spell, it’s basically a version of Time Bubble that can be cast at a distance on a target–basically freezing the target for the duration of the spell. This does not slow or speed up time within the bubble but stops it completely. For a group, this would allow them time to prepare, heal or buff against a troublesome foe.

But Time Travel doesn’t have to be literal. Here’s the thing–one of the great parts of Shadow World is the immense timeline. It’s a great read, adds a lot of depth to the world building, but most of it will be lost on players: I’ve read it A LOT and I can’t keep track of most of it!So when people ask WHERE they should start a SW campaign I say how about “WHEN”? Want a hack ‘n slash one-off adventure? Introduce the PC’s to a battle during the Wars of Dominion. Want a mixed genre sci-fi/fantasy campaign? Start during the interregnum and have the PC’s be Worim, Taranian or Jinteni characters with technology and interacting with the fantastical creatures of SW.

So many possibilities–anyone play around with Time Travel in their game?

Advanced Technology in Shadow World

For those that want to utilize it, ancient advanced technology is a narrative aspect to the Shadow World setting. Advanced technology was not just achieved by the Althan/Ka’ta’viir civilization in the 1st Era, but also utilized by several other notable cultures during the Interregnum: Taranian, Jinteni & Worim.

When we think of technology in fantasy role playing we often visualize laser pistols, laser swords, shield devices, power armor—objects that are just more powerful version of standard fantasy weapons (crowsbows, swords, armor etc). I posted up an older file on using technology in SW here, but the convenient fact is that although it’s tech, it can be handled easily within the RM fantasy magic rules. Laser Guns cast “Firebolts”; Lightsabers inflict Electricity, Fire or Plasma Crits; Anti-grav belts cast “Levitation”, etc.

While there have been numerous ancient high-tech civilizations and contemporary cultures that use “science” (Krylites), none of them reached the advancements of the Althans or Ka’Ta’viir.(Tech Level 13+). Truly advanced technology can transcend common form factors and seem inscrutable to normal understanding. In other words, they will seem magical.

Here are a few advanced technologies that might be a good fit in your Shadow World game:

Post Physical Entities: This is a term often used to describe an “upload society” where consciousness can be transferred to a computer network, object or virtual emulator. Shadow World modules already features stored Ka’ta’viir intelligences (Cloudlords) and the Thalan are a good example of a post-physical entities (PPE’s). From a game standpoint, introducing an ancient Althan/Ka’ta’viir consciousness could be interesting. The entity would probably have their own agenda, limit information flow and perhaps “guide” the players to their own purpose. This could provide a useful guide for the GM to direct the PC’s through the adventure or tie multiple adventures into a greater campaign. Mechanically, PPE’s should be treated as an NPC, only limited by the ability to interact with the physical world. Additionally the PC’s may not even realize the “entity” is an uploaded consciousness or ancient being.

A.I.: Similar to Post Physical entities, A.I.’s are already featured in SW. Two prominent ones are the A.I. in Andraax’s tomb and Morik in Eidolan. Unlike PPE’s, A.I.’s are a technical/software artifact and may be limited by their learning ability, programming and information resources. Like PPE’s, A.I.’s should be treated as NPC’s.

Time Control: Ka’Ta’viir use a “Chronagenic” process to hibernate. Not to be confused with a cryogenic process; rather than freezing or preserving a person through physical or biological means the capsule seals the entity into a time singularity. It’s not clear whether the Althans had additional control over time (barring localized events). Jinteni also had some time dilation abilities (Emer III and Inn of the Green Gryphon). Time travel and control have always been tricky in RPG’s: a GM needs to decide the long term effects of causality and impact on the game narrative. There are three basic mechanisms for time manipulation: devices (machines & portals), spells (I’ve uploaded a Time Mastery spell list on the RM Forums  ) or Essaence effects (Essaence Storms and Foci). Time Travel introduces an introducing plot device to allow PC’s to explore other parts of the immense SW timeline. In fact, you could probably roll randomly for page, paragraph and line or 1-100,000 years to pick a date in the timeline to send the players. At the least, they could be spectators to interesting historical events and experience some of the intriguing past of Kulthea!

Matter/Energy Conversion: A truly advanced society will have mastered matter – energy conversion. This is more than simple fusion, it’s a two way process to generate power from any matter OR the ability to produce objects or material from energy. This probably has less game-world impact than other technologies but it does allow for devices to be powered indefinitely (by harvesting small amounts of matter for energy), self-repair of devices and vehicles or for generating objects “out of thin air” like a Wish spell.

Molecular Assembly: Before they have the ability of creating matter from energy, a post scarcity society will have obtained the ability to create any object from scratch using “feedstock” raw material. These Replicators or “Cornucopia Machines” are just highly advanced 3D printers. In Sci-fi and economic theory, such a machine would be a major societal disruptor allowing for the easy creation and accessibility of wealth. This technology was the basis for the post-scarcity society presented in Star Trek. In your SW game, this technology could be useful but not unbalancing on a limited basis—perhaps program/design access is prohibited except to authorized users (i.e. weapon mfg)

Mal-Metal: Malleable, changeable or programmable materials would be common in an advanced society. This allows for amorphous forms—wings that can change shape, weapons that can morph into others with a thought, adjustable cloaks, armor that can distribute impacts or force etc. This type of technology would be very useful to a PC and would be indistinguishable from common magic item tropes. Obvious examples would be morphing weapons (retain weight/mass but changes shape), fluid bracers that cover the arms as greaves at a thought etc. In SW, “Malloys” (malleable alloys) could combine advanced tech with materials like Keron, Eog or Ithloss.

Bionomics: A step past cyborg implants, Bionomics are organic based technological capabilities built into a person at the molecular and cellular level. These could be energy projections (disruptors, beams), shields (force fields or environmental shields), wetware computing power for advanced mental and calculative abilities. Unless they were born from a very specific parentage, installation of Bionomics would require substantial surgical procedures and DNA manipulation.  Bionomic abilities could be treated as innate spell abilities powered by a reservoir of cell energy (use CO. stat?).  In our campaign, Bionomic technology was a significant part of the Xiosian heritage.

Von Neumann Self Replicators: These machines combine the technologies of molecular assembly and matter/energy conversion to build copies of themselves. This is a powerful concept but might not have too much relevance in a gaming environment. However these could also work on a nano scale—“Nannite” clouds that replicate and perform programmed tasks (healing, buffs, metamorphis etc). Examples of “Nannites” might be found in upcoming SW material!

Solid State Technology: When we think of machines we often conflate it to devices with moving parts and collections of components. An advanced society will utilize microtization, exotic meta-materials and atomic level functionality to produce devices that work as machines but won’t have moving parts. To PC’s this will give machine or software functionality to solid objects–just like magic items.

Neural Control/Interface: The Ka’ta’viir were not only advanced technologically, they were able to utilize the Essaence AND access Psionic/Mind powers. At the height of their powers (Late Imperial Era) many devices were controlled through mere thought. In the game, neural interfaces should be treated as quasi-mentalism or accessed via “Attunement” skill (treat as Absurd or -150 due to the complexity of this technology or allow a PC to have some Althan heritage and reduce the penalty).

While primarily a fantasy setting, Shadow World also has elements of a post-apocalypse setting and a sci-fi setting. Maybe the PC’s will initially be unaware they are encountering technology and not magic but these elements could add flavor to your campaign!