Monday, April 26, 2021

Additional Equipment for Mothership (feat Cognitohazards)

Humanity (and most of the dead alien species we find), is defined by stuff. Junk. Trash. Doodads. Nothing a xenoarchaeologist likes better than a perfectly preserved landfill.

Here are some things that will be found in ours.

I didn't list prices because I don't like coming up with lists of prices.

Equipment Aboard the Mothership

Abnormality Sensor - (Item) A handheld device purportedly able to locate nearby disruptions in spatial-temporal normality. It might be a placebo. It provides +10% to Fear saves, occasionally.

Access Key - (Slickware 0) Access to a private or otherwise secure v-sim server.

Adaptive Gun - (Weapon) Can be refit between pistol, smg, shotgun, and grenade launcher forms. Changing form takes a turn. Very illegal in places where that matters.

Adaptive Immunity - (Implant) - Grants (+) to Body saves vs disease and infection, even of alien origin.

AR Goggles - (Item) A cheap alternative to an OGRE implant, with the downside of having lower resolution, more bugs and exploits, and persistent adware.

Babelfish - (Slickware 1) Translation and decryption software. Works best with text, has a short delay when working with speech. Can be used to learn a new language (with sufficient source material and time. INT check needed if time is limited)

BrownNote - (1-Use Program) H-type siren-somatic cognitohazard, vaccine included (1 hour resistance). Non-inoculated individuals must make Body save or void bowels in crippling pain.

Copter - (Drone) A basic flying drone. Comes equipped with a camera, can be outfitted to carry light items. Weapon mount option available (pistol only, cannot carry additional ammo)

Cuttlefish Cloak - (Item) A long hooded poncho that can shift color and texture to match its surroundings. Must readjust if wearer moves. Civilian models do not insulate against thermal vision.

Cyberbrain - (Implant 3) - Consists of file storage, slicksocket and terminal jack. Can directly store OGRE video recordings. Cannot be used to backup or transfer a mind.

Exowomb - (Item) Safe external gestation of a fetus, plus prenatal genetic modification. Budget models can only deal with baseline humans, advanced versions can accept custom blueprints.

Firefly Hive - (Item) Clutch of small luminescent biobots that may be given simple commands via cyberbrain or computer. Good for marking things. Can sacrifice themselves to make a single blinding flash.


Hand Cannon - (Weapon) A shotgun that can be wielded in one hand. Requires 50 STR or Spinal Rig to wield without self-inflicted injury.

Hellbox - (Item) A sleek, silver box running a very small and customizably unpleasant v-sim. Hooks directly into the cyberbrain, can only be released from the outside.

KUNO.exe - (1-Use Program) Disguises a hacking attempt as the work of a legendarily crass and technically charismatic hacker. Like signing it "Alan Smithee", except with more petty vandalism. 

Logic Core - (Special Implant) An android's processing center. Uses a completely foreign architecture to a typical cyberbrain, which are modeled on human brains. Consists of file storage, slicksocket, terminal jack, and Black Box, at no implant cost. All androids start with a logic core. installing one in a human is (-) Surgery / Cybernetics and implant cost 5. Failure will result in death, because you just took out someone's brain.

MiniTachi - (Item) A small, six-legged spider drone with grip-pad feet. Typically comes pre-programmed with a bubbly AI demeanor. Weapon mount option available.

Molly Module - (Implant 1) Retractable claws implanted in fingertips. 2d10 damage, bleed effect on critical hit.

Myul - (Drone) - A sturdy, four-legged robot about the size of a large dog. Can carry 5 pieces of bulky equipment (or 5 saddlebags full of small items)

Partition Program - (1-Use Program) Used to observe a virus or other hazardous program in a safe environment, where it cannot infect other systems.

Riot Shield - (Weapon) + 10 Armor, +20 if in shield wall. Can increase solo bonus to +20 by moving at half Speed. Can only use one-handed weapons while wielding.

Spider's Glory - (Armor) +10 armor. Absolutely gorgeous silk robes. Lightweight, can be worn under other clothes. Sumptuary laws ban most from ever possessing it.

TACNET - (Slickware 1) Encrypted communication channel. Location detection built in, video recorded with OGRE implants can be shared with others.

TURRON - (1 Use Program) Slang term; encompasses a wide variety of gift programs used to appease guardian AI within secure networks.

ZombieParty- (1-Use Program) Can be used to reactivate a deadzoned cyberbrain (supposing that the body is still in reasonable shape and there's no Black Box) and give it basic commands.



These are a way of directly attacking the brain through sensory input. No matter the actual effect or means of dispersal, they all follow the same pattern - you can practically mad-libs them.


  • H-type - Affects humans only.
  • A-type - Affects androids only.
  • U-type - Universal - very rare.


  • Basilisk - Triggered through visual stimuli (can be paired with siren vectors)
  • Siren - Triggered through auditory stimuli (can be paired with basilisk vectors)
  • Maenad - Applied directly through the cyberbrain via computer network


  • Soma - Attacks bodily functions and reactions. BODY save.
  • Psyche - Attacks behavior, thoughts, beliefs. FEAR save.
  • Pnuemon - [DATA EXPUNGED]. SANITY save.

Failing A Save

Cognitohazards have a wide range of effects, though they can be shoved under the umbrella of "involuntary reaction in the victim." This can be anything from shitting your pants to developing a potent phobia (the list in CoC is silly in its own context but if treated as the desired and programmed outcome of the trapmaker's art, I think it is improved somewhat).

Generally you will want to avoid ones that immediately / permanently make a character unusable in one go (unless they are telegraphed VERY well). Long-effect maenad vectors / A-type hazards can take up slickware slots until forcibly removed (and meatbrain ones can take up equivalent slots)

If there's a chance of the effect becoming permanent (either constant or pavlovian), I'd say give the target an additional save.


Successfully saving against a cognitohazard grants temporary inoculation (1 hr). Afterwards, you'll have (+) to resist that hazard, and if you survive it 3 times, you are completely immune.

Vaccines, being a weakened form of the hazard, work in the exact same way - inoculated for 1 hour, then (+) to resist the hazard. Unfortunately, you can't just give yourself the inoculation three times - it only counts for the first exposure.


  1. The way my RSS reader condensed this post, it said "I didn't list prices because I don't like Equipment Aboard the Mothership" and I thought, "That can't be right!"

    1. Ah! A hanging sentence fragment! I have solved it.

  2. Excellent post!
    One must wonder if additional Cognitohazard vectors are possible: based on touch, smell, taste, sense of balance or time.

    1. A chrono-cognitohazard might be one that you don't notice time passing while you experience it, or alternatively, you are trapped in a mental loop for subjective years for the few minutes of exposure.

    2. I kinda imagined it would be tripped by gravity, like entering into the field of a weird planet or passing across an event horizon - using a time-space differential to code for information that'll impact the brain somehow.

  3. A table of cognitohazards (especially if it explains what Pneumon-targeted hazards did) would be a great follow-up to this.