Monday, April 13, 2015

Basic Strange Stars Tech

Art by Don Maitz
Despite its somewhat retro trappings, the actual technology of the Strange Stars owes more to modern science fiction. Across worlds and habitats it varies, of course: some places are at a Stone Age level while others border on post-scarcity. Here's a rundown of the common technologies available to the average citizen of the "standard" world or habitat:

Metascape: Most people experience the world through an augmented reality overlay. It contains useful information for travels, social media messages, and lots and lots of spam. Nobody walks through a public square without their filters on, lest they be bombarded by all sorts of virtual messages. Clothing is enhanced--or even sometimes completely generated--in the metascape. Some jurisdictions make it a crime to view the world infiltered by metascapes as this is seen as an unwarranted invasion of others' privacy.

Noosphere: The cyberspace of the far future, essentially, encompassing traditional internet activities, the metascape, and the living environment of infosophonts.

Implanted Cyberware: brain-computer interface is as common as smartphones are today and used for similar purposes. The typical pre-programmed software allows metascape interface, noospheric connectivity, communication (where messages can either be read or heard as read by an avatar or the sender or anyone else), chronometry, basic calculation, and interface with most modern devices. Most individuals don't navigate their own apps, but use a personal daemon--a nonsophont ai--as an advanced "Siri" and an answering service. Some cultures (like the Vokun) find implanted devices distasteful as do some individuals. They use wearable devices for the most part.

Fabber (or mini-fabber): A nanofabrication unit--essentially an advanced 3D printer--assembling at a molecular level, finished products from raw materials. These aren't exactly portable, but they are near ubiqitous household and shipboard items and public units can be used for a fee. Anything from foodstuffs (though this would only be done on long space voyages) to starship parts can be made given enough substrate and the necessary "blueprints." Commercially available models can be "jailbreaked" to make illicit drugs or weapons, but its generally easier just to buy or steal such common items.


Jim Shelley said...

that looks like about the same amount of gadgets Eric has out when we game.

Trey said...

He's a visitor from the future, no doubt.

Tanner Yea said...

Aside from Transhuman Tech, what supplements would you suggest for SWN for running Strange Stars (before the official supplement is released)

Trey said...

@Tanner - Beyond the complete core edition (with the robot rules), Transhuman Tech, and Polychrome are the main ones, though that's just off the top of my head.

I may do a post on this.

Tanner Yea said...

Ah, I would very much appreciate that. And thanks for the info