General Technology Guide

As a Sci-Fi Fantasy setting, the technology in Shattered Universe can vary greatly depending on various factors, such as the faction in question, location, circumstances and so forth. Due to the presence of magic and psionics however, even low-tech solutions are viable against those that use high-end technology. In order to give a sense of the setting however, this article will focus on the high end of the spectrum as well as the common standard, giving examples of what is considered the best of the best.

Quick Tech Listing

These can range from anywhere between the classic flaming sword of fire to thermonuclear warheads.

Plasma, particle, laser and various other directed energy are considered the pinnacle of technological weaponry in the setting. Due to their numerous advantages, they are among the most desirable weapons available. In general, hand-held directed energy weapons in the setting are capable of firing hundreds of rounds before requiring a recharge or refill, and are only limited by their waste heat. Though both particle and laser weapons are instantaneous, plasma weapons usually have a bolt with a travel time comparable to traditional, chemically propelled projectile weapons.

This is typically compensated for by their significantly improved terminal ballistics, which not only have reasonable degrees of penetrative power, but notable concussive impact. It is for these same reasons - power, light logistical footprint and so forth - that they are also the preferred weapons on board ships, not only for point defense, but main cannon use.

In comparison, the most common technology based weapons in the setting would be various projectile weapons. These all use various methods to propel a metal bullet at high velocities, with the most prevalent method being the use of a chemical propellant. Though new, more efficient firearms of this type have been created, numerous samples from the past have not only survived in collections, but have been duplicated cheaply for their continuing utility. Like small arms, most vehicles and ships rely on kinetic energy weapons that fire metallic objects at ultra-high velocity. Typically, this is done through the use of a magnetic rail or gauss coil assembly. Alone, they are not ideal however, as beyond certain ranges, the time to impact will allow targets to simply move out of the way. As a result, various missile systems supplement these weapons with their more accurate seekers.

The pinnacle of magical weapons is more difficult to clearly define due to the sometimes unpredictable and even erratic nature of magic itself. However, the most notable samples are typically enchanted weapons with particularly potent effects, such as the ability to behave as though armor were immaterial, negating all protection. When pushed even further however, influences from science and technology can be seen, with weapons known as 'Casters' being the most famous and well known of them. Storing powerful, potent spells within paper or metallic cartridges, these weapons can typically fire their spells without drawing from the user's stamina.

In most cases however, the most common magical weapons are simply those that are given lesser enchantments, such as a flaming sword of fire or a crossbow that has a draw weight of 30-lbs rather than its actual 800-lbs. Slightly less common but still available for use are various staff weapons which may fire a singular spell provided they are kept charged with magical energy using heartstones. All this pales in comparison to the magic in its natural form however; the very best and rarest spellcasters are walking weapons of mass destruction, capable of snap freezing cities, sweeping them up in fiery infernos, or calling down asteroids from the stars.

A listing of all weapons in the setting is listed here: Weapons of Shattered Universe.

Defenses can be as simple as a flak jacket, or consist of esoteric fields powered by hopes and dreams.

Power armor constitutes the very best protection available to the individual, and in addition to providing the armor of a small vehicle, can bring the firepower of one to bear as well. The very best among power armors are flight capable and posses energy shielding, rendering them very difficult for the majority of standard infantry to deal with. Despite these strengths however, dedicated vehicles like tanks and fighter craft can easily outperform a power armor. The rank and file are not without protection however, and usually rely on lightweight suits that provide full body protection using armored plates. These suits typically include an atmospherically sealed body suit and various sensor and targeting equipment integrated into the helmet. The materials used in the construction of their protective plates can range from cutting edge polymer to ceramics, hyper-alloys of common materials such as titanium, steel or aluminum, to completely new substances created in the lab. Ships are typically clad in these same materials.

Due to the unpredictable nature of magic, the pinnacle is difficult to deduce, however, instances of defensive spells protecting entire cities from asteroid bombardment or the like have been observed. Meanwhile, more isolated and tactical uses of defensive magic include rendering individuals and objects incorporeal, allowing magic users to evade harm. In most situations however, common defensive magic produces a protective field of various types, with their nature varying greatly from user to user. These are typically capable of not only defending from arrows and lance charges, but also bullets and the like with an appropriate energy source to supplement the user's own stamina. Below this, are various magical enchantments placed on clothing and armor which reinforce or strengthen the material through unknown means. These are far more easy to acquire, but typically come with some sort of limitation, such as only blocking against excess heat or cold.

In general, certain technologies never become truly obsolete and continue to be useful even when better alternatives exist for various reasons. One of the things that falls into this would be 'retro-weapons' - weapon designs that were used far in the past, but continue to be used due to their continued utility. These range anywhere from melee weapons such as swords to chemical propellant based projectile firearms; due to their ease of manufacture, they can be created almost anywhere using common civilian or industrial grade fabrication devices. Certain companies also directly cater to history enthusiasts, creating accurate replicas of iconic weapons and armor, but often with modern materials for enhanced durability. For this reason, certain sets of 'retro-armor', or new sets of armor inspired by them, can occasionally see continued use in areas where military technology has not reached a certain aptitude.

A prime example of this would be the Kowloon Special Political Region and the conflict with the Black Army. Due to the relatively low prevalence of more advanced weapons and artillery, shields and plate mail made of modern super-alloys were effectively used against assault rifles and general purpose machine guns.

Despite the advanced levels of magic and technology available, energy remains a finite resource.

Anti-matter is one of the very best technological sources of energy available, with a very good ratio between fuel mass and energy produced. However, this comes with several drawbacks; not only does antimatter require excellent containment systems, but it also requires a strong industrial base and logistical chain to produce and distribute it appropriately. For this reason, fusion is a much more common source of energy for military applications, as even the most catastrophic reactor breaches produce relatively small explosions. For civilian applications, the thorium reactor has become the most popular source of energy despite using nothing more than a highly refined fission process.

In comparison, the most energy dense and reliable source of magical energy available would be the Embers. Though they themselves act as living conduits and capacitors for energy that comes from magical worlds and the towers on them, those cannot be directly tapped. Embers however, can, and are capable of not only storing and giving out vast amounts of mana, but also draining energy from their surroundings. The very most common source of mana would be the individual user themselves however, taxing their own stamina and physical well-being to fuel spells. Less common but highly important would be the heartstones, which naturally occur on magical planets. These do not generate magical energy, and only retain or discharge mana for use.

In general, cybernetic technology in the setting of Shattered Universe is just becoming viable, being in its first generation. The miniaturization of parts such as processors and batteries combined with the knowledge of the nervous system, have enabled numerous advances within the field. Most ongoing progress is led by private entities such as Psychopomp, but litigation and attitudes within the human purist The Interstellar Alliance tend to hamper this. Prior to its fall however, the Wangdaio Colonies were the bleeding edge in this technology owing to their desperation to quickly establish themselves as a new power.

Currently, limbs and torsos can be replaced easily and even enhanced beyond their original capabilities. A few companies are capable of replacing or enhancing organs at considerable expense to the consumer. Competition from small startup companies is beginning to lower prices. For better or worse however, the only organ that can’t be replaced at this time is the brain. Damage to certain areas can be repaired to restore functionality, however, damage to the brain stem is considered irreparable by many due to the risks, and any memories that may be lost from brain damage are impossible to recover. Minor upgrades to the brain, such as enhanced cognitive speed and ability to access wireless networks, are possible.

Black market dealers claiming to possess brain enhancements or recovered black technology from the Wangdaio Colonies are widespread. These are mostly frauds looking to separate fools from their money, however, the possibility of true, legitimate findings remain. Meanwhile, the Cerberus Syndicate is in possession of enhancements from an unknown source.

Technological or magical, the ability to resurrect the dead is rare, difficult and costly, even under ideal circumstances. It is also highly situational, and as a result, the head or its contents needs to be intact in some form in most cases. Even those methods of resurrection that involve external data storage of memories and the like are at risk of being stolen, hacked or otherwise manipulated or corrupted without exception. Worse still, during ideal circumstances, individuals run the risk of returning different than they were before, and may have physical or mental defects on top of the costs required to initiate the resurrection. Technologically, the cost is typically a resource and monetary fee, however, magical resurrections may ask for something else entirely; a soul bargain with a god or goddess.

Perhaps most importantly, it is something that needs to be approved by the GM or Staff, as death is not meant to be taken lightly.

OOC Notes

  • guides/general_technology.txt
  • Last modified: 2021/04/22 18:25
  • by kim