One of my players is a Heretek and in the game his part feels underplayed. Part of this is because he rolls atrociously. The other part is that the NPC Renegade can output a great deal of damage, the PC Apostle is great with the talkie-talkie and the Space Marines are, of course, Space Marines while the core book wasn't a great deal of help in giving us some toys for Hereteks to play with, so I drew up this little document to remedy that. Below are expansions upon the main rule set intended to give your technology oriented characters greater versatility within the game world, as well as some a generalization of technology's prevalence in the game system itself.
- Broad summaries for the precedence of technology on a given world.
- Additional modifiers for the acquisition of Mechanicus-related items given the technological advancement of the trading location
- Advanced rules for Hacking (Tech-Use and Security), covering long, short and direct intrusions as well as a series of rules to outline detection.
As always, comments, suggestions, pointless ranting tirades and threats are all welcome and encouraged. Collaboration breeds awesomeness. Otherwise please enjoy and if you discover something horribly flawed or miraculously awesome when you use these, let the rest of us know!
Technology in Black Crusade
Primitive worlds are devoid of any real technology more advanced than the wheel. Be it through environmental demands or perhaps just an apocalyptic warzone, there are virtually no vox transmissions, cogitators or servitors to speak of on the surface outside of tombs or ancient alien sites.
Examples: Death Worlds, Khurse (surface)
Moderate planets have rudimentary technology available. Motorized vehicles, electricity, running water, the occassional food distribution machine and cogitator with perhaps some public address systems. Very basic turrets, gun servitors and servo-skulls are unlikely on these worlds but not unheard of. There may be one poorly maintained long-range vox frequency used to coordinate with ships in orbit.
Examples: Sacgrave (I realize the book says Sacgrave is on par with Q'sal in Tech but I decided I don't dig that - dude is freaking stuck on the surface) , Harvest Worlds
Advanced civilizations have technology commonly distributed among the populace and although advanced items are worn by perhaps the elite of society, they remain rare. Servitors of varying kinds, automated defenses and alarms, servo-skulls and cogitators are commonplace however. There are two constant main-stream vox frequency used for distribution of information across the planet (one military-esque, one public) but it is a closed system, much like virtually every kind of cybernetic system to be found on these planets.
Examples: Poorly supplied and maintained Forge Worlds, Forge-run trading outposts - Khurse (Orbit), militarized planets
Peak worlds are as rare as they are wondrous. Technology abounds and if it is not freely traded among the society those who have access to it are ubiquitous. Servitors of every kind are as common as the populace, state of the art automated defenses and alarms protect some of the most beautifully constructed infrastructure ever crafted and cogitators that can calculate Warp jumps within minutes are commonplace. Multiple main-stream vox frequencies are a constant, many for private use, some for entertainment, and some that have a use beyond understanding.
Examples: Well supplied and maintained Forge Worlds, Terra, Q'sal, Mars
Availability for Technology Acquisition Tests
Standard Closed Systems, be they for alarms, automated defenses or security, typically follow the same structure. There are multiple redundancies and firewalls which makes hacking into the system extremely difficult depending on the approach taken. Three ways are available to the prospective hacker.
The first is long-range intrusion, which is an extremely difficult attempt to subvert the system through any vox frequencies it uses (most systems maintain a tight band to communicate between objects). It requires a -20 Tech-Use test to locate the frequency using a long-range Vox-caster and because you are encountering every firewall in the system a -30 Security test to compromise. Even once inside the routes required to give commands make changing the programming from afar a -10 Tech-Use test.
The second is short-range intrusion which follows the same rules as a long-range intrusion, but uses a closer satellite to affect the system (typically a servo-skull with a vox caster although the clever Heretek may devise other suitable satellites). Finding the frequency is a -10 Tech-Use test and being so close allows the hacker to pick and choose their targets lowering the difficulty of the task to a -10 Security test. Once inside the routes required to give commands makes changing programming a +0 Tech-Use Test.
The last is a direct intrusion, the hacker physically adjacent to a node in the system. No Tech-Use test is required to locate a vox frequency or change command routines and unless otherwise noted (the effective Security score of the target system as per the skill table or stat block), the test to compromise the system is a +0 Security test.
On any failed Security test to compromise a system there is a chance of detection that becomes more likely the more sophisticated the system is. A defending system with an effective -30 Security check (as per the Security skill difficulty table) detects an intruder on a failed test to compromise when the hacker has two or more degrees of failure. A system that incurs a -20 check has a chance to detect with three or more degrees of failure. A system that has a -10 to the security check has a chance to detect with four or more degrees of failure. A system with a +0 security check modifier has a chance to detect with five or more degrees of failure.
Additional Special Rules: The +10 Loyalty from Technological minions applies to the Heretek's Fellowship score for meeting the prerequisites of Minion feats so long as the minion is a cybernetic of some kind (Servo Skull, Servitor, etc). The Heretek may also grant a number of additional talents, skill ranks or traits equal to his intelligence bonus in personal upgrades to technological minions (although all other restrictions apply to these upgrades).
The Orthoproxy talent may be taken for technological minions to increase the effective difficulty to hack their systems.
As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.
-Henry David Thoreau