Gear: Security

Security Software

The basic software provided with a computer's operating system can synch with any sensor (see Gear: Sensors) and run recognition algorhithms using the sensor input. In particular, a camera will allow facial, gait, and body type recognition; professional level cameras will allow iris biometric identification at 5 meters or less; professional microphones will provide a voiceprint ID; chemsniffers can get a detailed biochemical signature for ID (as well as detecting alcohol and drugs that could influence one's perception, reaction time, or otherwise reduce one's competence); and a medscanner can perform a much more detailed recognition up to and including gene sequencing (which takes 5 minutes). The AI assistant can check the measured signature against a database of authorized users; this information can then be used for decisions as whether to allow access or activate defense mechanisms.

Physical Security

  • Armored Structures: Armor is still a good way to prevent people and things from breaking through your facility.
      Armor Types
    • Shatterplate: A nano-structured diamond-like carbon material designed for superior one-hit protection. However, it is fairly brittle and will tend to fail after several hits.

    • Carboweave: A fabric made from carbon nanotubes. It is flexible, so it is used as a lining or stuffing for structures rather than as a structural element by itself.

    • Carboplast: A disordered carbon nanostructured material, engineered for high toughness as well as penetration resistance. Carboplast is a good general-purpose armor. It can be made opaque, translucent, or transparent, and consequently is often used for armored windows.
      • Lining: A thin layer of carboplast is often used as an outer skin or protective lining.
      • Vault: For ultra-secure rooms, very thick carboplast walls are used.

    • Energized Armor: A fusion of Gummi and Human technology, energized armor uses affector screens similar to deflectors to support a carboplast layer and hold it in place. Unlike other armors it requires power, but since it uses building power the screen can last indefinitely as long as the power holds out. If the power runs out, it only protects with the armor of the de-energized carboplast layer. Enough damage can cause the supporting affectors to collapse, but damage can be regenerated realtively quickly. See the rules for affector-energized armor.

    • Deflectors: Deflectors are not common among Human-populated worlds, although trade with the Gummis is making them more available. Deflectors produce an invisible barrier that repells matter. They only work if the power is on, and too much damage in a short time can cause them to collapse. See the section on deflectors for more detail. A deflector screen for a door replaces the material object by the deflector surface. Instead of opening and closing the door, the deflector is activated and de-activated.

    • Adamant: A lost technology, used by the people of old Earth and the Antecessors. It is as strong as shatterplate but as tough as carboplast, and harder than either. The Squirm know how to make it, but it is not available in the Verge except as relics. Adamant structures might be encountered in Antecessor ruins or Human-built buildings or forts dating back to before The Bump in the Night.

    • Steel Plate: Chrome-nickel face-hardened steel is still sometimes used for armor, either for a deliberate retro feel where performance isn't as important as function or on mid-tech lost worlds only recently re-contacted.

    • Hard Stone: Quarried and fitted stone blocks, assembled by a competent mason, can make good armor by virtue of their sheer mass and thickness. This assumes good quality, dense, strong stone. Softer stone, such as sandstone, will have its mechanical Armor Score reduced by up to 4.

    • Brick: Seldom used primarily for armor, a brick wall can still aford some protection.

    • Concrete: A popular, low-cost building material. It can be applied in thick slabs to protect against many threats.

    • Wood: Good quality hardwood is popular for its decorative properties, but can also make reasonably strong barriers. It can also represent bamboo structures (a popular building material on Zhǎngshān). Softer wood will have a reduced Mech Armor Score (down to -2 to Mech Armor Score for hemlock or white pine). High quality wood (from species such as hickory, osage orange, mahogany, ebony, Tiananese nailwood, ironwood, and Zhǎngshān hornwood) can have higher Mech Armor Scores for the same thickness and mass, up to +4 to Mech Armor Score for lignum vitae or +5 for Zhǎngshān silkwood. Price increases by by the number of RS that the Armor Score was increased.

      Wood is flammable. If a wood armor slab accumulates a burning Pen of 0.5 or more from damage with a temperature score of 4 or more, it will catch on fire and cause another Pen 0.3 burn at temperature score +4 every combat round (Pen 0.15 for a single action's exposure).

    • Nacre: A building material used by Gummis and their entrained followers. Gummi technology allows nacre to be used as a versatile structural element and barrier.

    • Sandbags: An impromptu barrier of sandbags can make a useful barrier to penetration by virtue of its sheer mass. This can also represent rammed earth structures. Attacks get no benefit from their AP score against sand or other granular materials that are not held together by physical strength. The listed Temperature Resistance Score is for the sand itself - a cloth bag can catch fire at Temperature Scores as low as +3 and potentially spill the sand in it.


    • For walls, weight is of little concern. Listed costs and power use are per ten meters and for one level (or storey), which is assumed to be 2.5 meters high. Increased ceiling height or multiple stories increases the cost in proportion. Ceilings and floors can be armored for the same cost per 25 square meters. The listed injury thresholds are for 1 m² sections (Size +2, area attacks cause Wound +12 to 1 m² sections).
      Description Armor ScoreInjury
      Power Price
      Carboplast Lining+7-9½+6¾+2-11¼-5¾+8+10.18250
      Carboplast Vault+16+15¾+11-2¼-14¾+8+135 k
      Energized Armor+12+13½+12+11¼+11+1¾+8+12½0.252 kW700
      Deflector Web+14+16½+14+14+14-1¼+12½06 kW800
      Steel Plate+8+0+5c-3¼-7½+6+01800
      Hard Stone+12+4¾+12½+11¾+3¼-6+6+5½25700
    • Doors are assumed to be 2 meters high by 1 meter wide (including the frame). For larger doors, multiply power, weight, and price by the proportional increase in area. For doors larger or smaller than normal, row shift the injury thresholds by ½ the sum of the row shifts in width and height to reach the different dimensions. The listed injury thresholds are for damage to the door as a whole.

      Heavier doors are more cumbersome and take longer to open, although if well hinged and balanced they can still be opened (if slowly) with minimal force.
      Description Armor ScoreInjury
      Power Mass
      Carboplast Lining+7-9½+6¾+2-11¼-6½+8+10.181220
      Carboplast Vault+16+15¾+11-2¼-15½+8+13200400
      Energized Armor+12+13½+12+11¼+11+1+8+12½0.25180 W3550
      Deflector Screen+14+16½+14+14+14-2+12½0500 W5070
      Steel Plate+8+0+5c-3¼-8¼+6+0118020

    • Deflector shells can be installed that cover an entire installation in a spherical deflector screen bubble. The shells listed below cover a 20 meter diameter. See the section on deflectors for more information on deflector shells, and for scaling the shell to cover different sizes. Access into and out of a deflector shell is typically through a door-sized aperture port.
      DescriptionProtectsArmor ScoreInjury
      Light Deflector Shell1-10+10-6 +15 0 20 kW200030 k
      Medium Deflector Shell1-10+12-8 +15 0 45 kW450060 k
      Heavy Deflector Shell1-10+14-10 +15 0 80 kW8000120 k

      • Armor can be made thicker than listed for greater protection. For every +1 to Armor Score, Damage, Thickness, Mass, and Cost increase by +1 RS.

    • Access Lock: An electronic lock, typical of dwellings and vehicles. The lock opens with an electronic key. It takes a DC 8 task with the Use Gear: Security Systems skill to defeat the lock.

      Electronic locks can be synched to a computer's AI assistant to open locks only for recognized authorized individuals without the hassle of keys. Such a lock can still be defeated even if the AI does not allow access, but the AI is likely to call police or security.

      Price: $3, +2 RS to cost for every +1 to DC

    • Fence: A chain link fence, to demarcate boundaries and pen animals. If you can jump high enough to hurdle the fence, it can be crossed as an obstacle. Otherwise, it must be climbed. It has lots of hand and foot holds, so the climb DC is only 2, but it slows you down and is inconvenient.

      A strand of chain link is Armor Score +0. Against piercing and beam attacks, it has Activation 10. You need to break one wire for every 5 cm of the cut you want to make in the fence.

      Price: $0.8 per meter of 1 meter high fence. For higher fences, multiply price by height in meters.

    • Fence Alarm: Security measures that trigger an alert if the fence is cut or damaged. It can also trigger an alert if anything significant makes contact with the fence. The threshold of "significant" can be adjusted to prevent false alarms by blowing leaves, squirrels, and the like. The alert will indicate not only that a contact or breach took place, but approximately where on the fence it occured.

      A fence alarm can be installed without the fence, to represent buried proximity sensor wires that sound an alert whenever anything approaches within Value of [object's Size] meters.

      Price: $0.1 per meter of 1 meter high fence. For higher fences, multiply price by height in meters.

    • Fence, Electric: Contact with the electrified wires delivers an electric zap:
      • Dose: +6 + victim's Size. Fatigue from this dose will never cause actual Fatigue penalties or effects, nor does it add to other Fatigue - it is merely for keeping track of symptoms. Fatigue does not accumulate from multiple zaps, use only the highest Fatigue from any zap to determine effects.
      • Potency: 10.
      • Delay: none.
      • Period: immediate.
      • Cycles: 1.
      • Symptoms: Immediate knockdown and loss of next turn. Penalty of -1 to Brawn and Coordination plus an additional -1 penalty at each Fatigue increment. Lose 1 Breath Point, and an additional Breath Point per Fatigue increment. Stunning with a DC of 5 + Dose modified for Size and the Potency check.
      • Healing: value of [- Vigor + score of [Action Points]] turns. Stunning remains until recovered normally.
      (The dose increases with Size because bigger victims have a longer path from electrical contact to ground, increasing the electric dipole moment for distributing current across the body. Note that, as usual for dose, you subtract 2×Size to determine the effect – larger victims have a higher resistance and thus get less electric current overall.)

      Electric fences have two components – a charger and the wires and insulation. Chargers can be powered via solar panels or strips, connected to grid power, or use SMESs. The listed duration assumes the charger is running off of the internal SMES power supply. When running off of grid power, the duration is unlimited. If using solar power, it will run indefinitely as long as it gets sufficient power from the strips or panels (and if also connected to a SMES it will recharge the SMES with any extra power).

      Electric fences can be synched with a computer's AI assistant for more versitile control (turning it on/off with a voice command, only activating when an unauthorized intruder is recognized, etc.).

      Description Power Duration Capacity Price
      50 km charger 2 W 200 ks (2.5 days) 1 Lantern SMES $15
      150 km charger 6 W 200 ks (2.5 days) 3 Lantern Solenoids $25
      300 km charger 12 W 1.8 Ms (20 days) 1 SMES Pack $40
      Wire & mounts $1 per 100 m

    • Fence, Security: A topping for a standard chain-link fence, consisting of a coil or stretched strands of razor wire to discourage intruders from vaulting or climbing the fence. Climbing the fence is a DC 6 task, but avoiding getting cut by the wire is a DC 12 Coordination task. On a failure, you cause your own unarmed damage at +4 to Wound as Slash damage. You can take up to a minute of extra time to increase your chances of getting past the wire.

      The razor wire is under tension. If cut, it will spring out and slash around it. Treat this as a melee attack against all potential targets within one meter of the cut, with an effective attack skill of +0 and a +4 to the attack DC. The attack can be defended against normally, but it always hits a random location and degrees of success cannot buy up goodies.

      Price: $0.2 per 10 meters of protected fence.

    • Fire Extinguisher: When activated, the fire extinguisher sprays fire retardant. In one combat round it can spray retardant over an area of 3 m² at distances of up to 4 m. Extinguishing the flame in the covered region takes all your actions that round and requires succeeding at a task of Smarts with DC 5, modified for proficiency with fire extinguishing. The extinguisher can spray retardant for up to 7 combat rounds.

      Mass: 5 kg
      Price: $2

    • Fire Extinguisher, Sonic: This extinguisher uses low frequency sound from a wide-area speaker to drive oxygen away from the combustion surface. It produces much less mess than a chemical retardant sprayer. Extinguishing a fire uses the same game resolution mechanism as a chemical-based extinguisher, but the device can douse flames continuously as long as it has power.

      Power: 20 W
      Mass: 7 kg
      Price: $30

    • Input Pad: Used to enter passwords. It is usually synched to a computer's AI assistant, although an electrician can connect it directly to an access lock for increased compartmentalization at the expense of decreased flexibility and convenience.

      Mass: 0.2 kg
      Price: $4

    • Laser Tripwire: A laser emitter and narrow-band photreceiver tuned to the laser's wavelength. The beam is pointed at the receiver. If anything interrupts the beam, it triggers an alert. The laser tripwire can be synched to a computer's AI assistant. The emitters and receivers can be mounted in place, or attached via reversible gecko adhesive. The emitters automatically align with their receiver when activated. The laser tripwire usually uses mid infrared wavelengths wich cannot be seen even by Tweechis or Pirangs without using other sensors. Even then, the laser is sufficiently low power that it can only be seen if an aerosol is sprayed into the beam path. Laser tripwires do not need sophisticated software – if they are interrupted, the interruption is noted without any need for a Perception of Use Gear (sensors) check.

      Mass: 1 g
      Price: $1 for a pack of 20

    • Mechanical Lock: An old-style key-and-tumbler lock or combination lock. It can be defeated with a DC 8 Open Lock skill. Mechanical locks are not amenable to electronic or computer control.

      Mass: 0.1 kg
      Price: $3, +2 RS to cost for every +1 to DC

    • Mechanical Lock, Primitive: Primitive locks hand-produced by local artisans are generally cruder than well engineered modern locks. They require a DC 5 task of Open Lock skill to open one without using the right key.

      Mass: 0.4 kg
      Price: $12, +2 RS to cost for every +1 to DC

    • Padlock: A stand-alone access or mechanical lock, with a locking shackle. The padlock is protected with a half-centimeter of carboplast armor, and its shackle is made of carboplast. This is the equivalent of Armor Score Mech +10, Burn +10 with Injury Susceptibility +0. The shackle can be severed with a half-cm cut or a +12 Injury Score to the lock directed at the shackle.

      Mass: 80 g
      Price: $3, +2 RS to cost for every +1 to DC for opening the lock.

    • Portal Alarm: An electronic switch set into something that opens, such as a door, window, or security case. If the electric connection is broken by opening the portal it triggers an alert.

      Price: $1.5

    • Proximity Sensor: A capacitance sensor that will trigger an alert if someone gets to close (or some other event happens to significantly change the capacitance). Prox sensors will go off if an object approaches within Value of [object's Size] meters, although a lower limit on Size may be set to prevent false alarms.

      Price: $7

    • Print Pad: A touch screen pad that can read finger and palm prints (and for non-humans, nose prints, tongue prints, or whatever part of the body is being used for biometric identification). It otherwise acts as an input pad (see above).

      Mass: 0.2 kg
      Price: $6

    • Safe: A safe is generally used to protect valuables or important documents, or to secure firearms against unauthorized use. The safes listed here have a half-centimeter carboplast armor (Equivalent in protection to a standard carboplast wall) and an access lock. Larger vaults are made by choosing an appropriate armored door and armored walls, floors, and ceilings.

      • Small Safe: 30 cm × 30 cm × 40 cm. Commonly used to store pistols, ammunition, jewelry, cash, or other small valuables.

        Injury Susceptibility: -8

        Mass: 10 kg
        Price: $18

      • Medium Safe: 40 cm × 50 cm × 60 cm. May contain a filing cabinet.

        Injury Susceptibility: -10

        Mass: 25 kg
        Price: $40

      • Large Safe: 40 cm × 50 cm × 150 cm. Safes of this kind may be used to store shotguns, rifles, and other shoulder arms; or may come with an integral filing cabinet.

        Injury Susceptibility: -10

        Mass: 50 kg
        Price: $80

    • Screen Integrity Alarm: The existence of aperture ports creates an obvious security concern for those relying on deflector screens for security. The increased power draw and disruptions to the screen's surface during activation allow monitoring software in the screen generator to detect when an aperture port has opened a hole in the screen, and approximately where it was located when activated.

      Price: $7

    • Security Bars: Bars or grates commonly put across windows to prevent people from going through. These can also represent the bars on jail doors. There is typically one bar every 10 cm. The bar is a hollow carboplast cylinder 2 cm in diameter, the equivalent of Armor Score Mech +10, Burn +10, and it will be broken with a +12 Injury Score. Since bars will do nothing to prevent Gummis from going through and Tweechi are usually small enough to squeeze between them, security bars are being replaced by transparent carboplast in more modern buildings.

      Injury Thresholds: +0

      Mass: 0.25 kg per meter
      Price: $2.5 per meter

    • Shielded Room: A room or installation can be protected from observation. The walls, ceilings, floors, doors, and windows (if any) are made with radio-blocking materials, preventing electromagnetic signals from coming in and out – this prevents the use of phones that are not using a wormhole link, and blocks all radar (such as a multiscanner) from seeing throgh the shielding. Wires going through the shielding (such as for power or data) are protected with filters to prevent stray electromagnetic signals from propagating along them to the outside (they also usually include heavy duty surge protectors and fuses, to guard against high power signals getting in and frying electronics). The shielding also includes sound-proofing so noises from the inside cannot get out (and outside noises cannot get in). If windows are present, they will have electrically controllable transparency to automatically dim for privacy. They will also usually have manual backups, such as blinds or drapes.

      Price: $400 per 100 square meters (10 meters of wall for a single storey is 25 m², but you also need to sheild the ceiling and floor). 100 square meters is enough to shield a typical office or bedroom.

    • Touch Sensor: A capacitance sensor that will trigger an alert if a protected object is touched.

      Price: $2


    • Capture Bag: A carboweave fabric bag large enough to fit around a Size +1 creature. The fabric allows air to pass through, but not body parts. The top is sealed with a drawstring and clamp, and is typically cinched down to minimize the space available for the captured creature to move. Capure bags are often the only method that works to restrain Gummis, which can ooze out of most other devices.

      The capture bag fabric is AV -1. Anyone inside a capture bag is considered grappled with a Strength +10.

      Mass: 2.5 kg
      Price: $5

    • Capture Gun: A capture gun is a hand-held tractor web. It envelops the target in a tractor binding, tethering them to the gun with a Strength +3 The gun has ROF 1 and Aim +6. It always binds with full strength, but beyond 10 meters the Strength ramps up as 10 - range score + score of (number of rounds), up to the gun's base Strength score. The maximum speed is 30 meters per round and the Maneuver is 200 meters per round per round row shifted by 3× the object's Size. As usual, RS the speeds by minus the operator's Action score and the Maneuver by twice that to get the movement on the operator's turn. When used to push or provide transverse forces, the beam tends to buckle at ranges greater than 10 m, but it can be used to pull at any range.

      If you are holding a capture gun that pulls and pushes with your own Strength score or less, and if you are prepared and properly braced, you can handle the third-law reaction forces on the generator without difficulty. Otherwise, you are also affected by the beam. You can always dial down the pushing and pulling Strength setting on the gun to make it easier to handle, while leaving the capture Strength unchanged.

      Mass: 3 kg
      Price: $200

    • Capture Screen: This is what the Gummis use to restrain prisoners. A capture screen generator is placed on a captive and activated, surrounding them with a deflector screen and a repulsor. The deflector screen grapples a captive of up to Size +½ with Strength +6, pinning their limbs to their body in a constricting "shrink wrap" envelope (larger targets are still grappled with the same Strength, but will not be completely enveloped). The repulsor lifts the prisoner off the ground by a few tens of centimeters, creating a frictionless envirnment where the prisoner can be easily pushed and cannot himself manage to wriggle away. The repulsor also prevents any other material objects from getting within a few tens of centimeters (unless they can overcome the screen's Strength, and manage to wedge it someplace where it's frictionless repulsor lubrication can't allow it to squirt off away from whetever is pushing on it). The deflector screen protects the prisoner with an Armor Score of +4.

      The recommended way to use this is to place an aperture port over the captive's breathing orifice (or orifices, as the case may be). Otherwise, air cannot get past the deflector screen and the captive will suffocate. Once floating, Gummis or their entrainments will often punt the prisoner around with pressor beam emitters.

      The Zox use capture bands, which work similarly – bands of deflector screens tighten up on the prisoner, wrapping him in what seem like giant invisible rubber bands. The game rules are the same, except that there is no repulsor effect to float the prisoner, and air can easily get past the bands to allow the prisoner to breathe. Zox security agents may only envelop the arms and torso, allowing the prisoner to walk. They can also activate a neural disruptor effect, which acts like shock cuffs (see below). Commonly, the bands are linked to a handle by a short-range tractor beam tether, allowing the prisoner to be led around (or zapped, if he's being non-compliant).

      Forming the capture screen initially takes 100 kJ of energy, but afterwards only consumes 30 W of power. The screen stores enough energy in its internal energy storage cells to last for 80 kiloseconds (1 day).

      The Gummi version of a capture screen is designed to be spat at targets (the Gummi way of throwing), much like a grenade. The capture screen will envelop and restrain what it hits.

      Mass: 1.5 kg
      Price: $30

    • Handcuffs: Fastened around a captive's wrists, these require a DC 14 task of Escape skill to get free. The lock can be picked with a DC 8 task, but picking the lock of the cuffs that hold your own hands is awkward: the DC increases to 12. The cuffs can be snapped with Pen 15, but trying to bust the cuffs with your own strength while your own hands are cuffed results in any damage that does not snap the cuffs being applied to your own wrists as well.

      Ankle cuffs and locking restraint collars can be treated with the same rules. With ankle cuffs, you can at most move one step per action.

      Mass: 0.4 kg
      Price: $5

    • Manacles: Not all places in the Verge have access to high quality, well engineered, machined equipment. When a local warlord on Zhǎngshān or baron on Jefferson wants to keep his political prisoners in chains, he can use more primitive manacles around the wrists, ankles, or neck. These require a DC 10 task of Escape skill to free oneself. The lock can be picked with a DC 5 open lock task, or DC 9 if you are trying to open the cuffs around your own hands. It takes Pen 8 to break the manacles, with the same effects as handcuffs if you are trying to brute force snap the manacles around your own wrists.

      Mass: 1 kg
      Price: $15

    • Shock Cuffs: Handcuffs with built in electrical restraint measures. The shock is triggered by a remote (included with the purchase of the cuffs), and affects whoever is wearing the cuffs. The current acts like a stun gun, causing the victim's muscles cramp up, preventing voluntary motion, causing the victim to fall to the ground, and leaving the victim exhausted. This causes neural stun with Dose +6 + victim's Size. (The dose increases with Size because bigger victims have a longer current path from one wrist to the other, increasing the electric dipole moment for distributing current across the body. Note that, as usual for dose, you subtract 2×Size to determine the effect – larger victims have a higher resistance and thus get less electric current overall.)

      The cuffs will deliver a shock immediately when the button on the remote is pressed. If the button is held down continually, treat the cuffs as having 5 Action Points and taking three actions every turn to deliver a shock. The battery is enough to last for hours of continuous shocking.

      Mass: 0.5 kg
      Price: $15

    • Zipcuffs: Cheap zip-ties for restraining a person. It requires a DC 11 task of Escape skill to slip the zip cuffs. Once applied, the cuffs must be cut off in order to free the hands. The cuffs can be snapped with Pen 4, but trying to bust the cuffs with your own strength while your own hands are cuffed results in any damage that does not snap the cuffs being applied to your own wrists as well.

      Mass: 50 g for a 10-pack.
      Price: $1.5 for a 10-pack.

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