Paradox and Extraordinary Devices
If used only in the presence of mages or people trained in their use, Extraordinary Devices never generate Paradox. However, if the roll to use the device botches the device automatically fails and must be unjammed or otherwise given minor repairs. When such devices are obviously used in the presence of a Sleeper, a failure on the roll to use them generates a single point of Paradox, and a botch generates two points of Paradox, as well as causing the unit to fail. Also, if a Sleeper examines such a device closely the user must roll Wits + Science to explain the way the device works. If this roll succeeds the Sleeper accepts the existence of the device. If the roll fails or botches the player accumulates Paradox as above. A careful medical exam will reveal the presence all cyberware or other implants to a doctor. Sleepers who acquire Paradox from using Extraordinary Devices should roll a die every time they attempt to use a high-tech device. A roll of 1 indicates that the Paradox manifests, usually in spectacular mechanical failures or similar bizarre events.
Extraordinary devices can do many things, but they always have certain limits imposed by the basic scientific paradigm. Anything which can instantly heal wounds, cure aggravated damage, read minds, breach the gauntlet, create matter or warp time and space is so advanced that it must be an Imbued Item, not an Extraordinary device.
Purchasing Extraordinary Devices
Extraordinary Devices are purchased as Merits. A single normal Extraordinary Device are one or two point Merits. Pieces of cyberware or other implanted devices can be more difficult to produce and install, so they are between one and three dot Merits.
The Strike Force Zero implants listed on pp. 71-77 of the Kindred of the East supplement Demon Hunter X can be used as examples of the types implanted Extraordinary Devices which Awakened mages are capable of creating. When adapting these devices for use by Mages, note that these implants can all be powered by Quintessence, and that when used by mages, Arete is used instead of Ying or Yang scores to determine the power level of the device's effects. The Extraordinary devices from pp. 82-86 of Convention Book: Iteration X (revised) are other examples of these devices.
Extraordinary Devices Used by the TraditionsEdit
The Wearman Mark III •
This device is powerful trinary computer built into a large smartphone with a 4 inch screen. While most Virtual Adepts continue to use trinary laptops and a few still use the older Trinary mainframes and desktop computers, a growing number of Virtual Adepts are adopting the Wearman Mark III as their machine of choice. Recently, awakened version of this device have also become a status symbol for many techno-shamans.
Developed by a renowned VA hacker working with several talented Sons of Ether, the Wearman has more than 20 GB of RAM and a 10 TB hard drive, as well as possessing a GPS unit and a high resolution camera with a 10 x optical zoom and night vision capability. Some models use a touchscreen and voice command, others come equipped with a pair of VR glasses (including a miniature speaker and microphone) that appear to be a normal pair of sunglasses, and VR gloves that look like fancy driving gloves. Both the glasses and the gloves are connected to the computer through a wireless bluetooth link. The batteries on this unit last for at least 24 hours of continuous use. However, any botch on a computer roll means the unit breaks down and requires at least eight full hours of repair and maintenance. This device provides a +2 bonus to all Computer rolls.
Extraordinary Devices Commonly Used by the NWOEdit
Many NWO operatives use Advanced Bugs (Convention Book: Iteration X page 82), Implant Radios, the Mark IV Hand Computer (Convention Book: Iteration X page 83), Mask Maker and Sensor Glasses (Convention Book: Iteration X page 84). In addition, operatives also commonly use the following devices.
Armor Cloth •
Based upon the Ionic Cloth used by the Void Engineers, armor cloth was created in 1991 to replace the advanced Kevlar used in the suits worn by the Men in Black and the other NWO operatives. Armor cloth is as light and thin as moderate weight cotton or wool. However, it is effectively untearable by most normal means. As a result, any kinetic attack (including attacks by bullets) that does six or fewer points of lethal damage is converted to bashing damage. In addition, armor cloth acts as one point armor – this fabric has saved numerous lives.
Unfortunately, armor cloth offers no protection from attacks involving fire, chemical burns, electricity, or any form of aggravated damage. Small holes made by high caliber bullets can be easily repaired. However, large cuts or burns to the fabric (nine or more points of damage by a knife or sword in one blow, or any damage from a fire hotter than a bunsen burner) may cause the armor cloth to rapidly fray and unravel. Roll one die after any such damage is inflicted upon the cloth; a roll of one indicates that the garment falls apart. Armor cloth must then either be repaired by a mage with three or more dots in Matter magic or rewoven (reweaving costs one experience point). Armor cloth can be made to appear like ordinary cloth and can be used to make ordinary-looking long raincoats, suits, or even evening gowns. Purchasing this device allows the character to have a full suit of cloths made of this substance. This suit can be a trench coat, a jumpsuit, a tuxedo or even a set of long underwear. Although this fabric provides less protection than the impact armor commonly used by Iteration-X agents, armor cloth is both lighter and far less obvious.
Black Helicopter ••
This vehicle is synonymous with covert NWO operations. Using advanced electrostatic jets and superconducting motors, this electrically powered helicopter is nearly silent (subtract 3 dice from all rolls to hear it fly overhead) as well as being completely invisible to radar. The only way to detect a black helicopter is by sight. Their unmarked fuselages are legendary among some of the more paranoid Sleepers. Any NWO operative who is issued a black helicopter is also given a list of secret landing sites with underground hangers. These landing sites can be found in every large city as well as in many isolated rural locations.
Black helicopters are also fitted with advanced autopilots that have a dice pool of 4 dice. These autopilots can be operated by simple voice commands. A black helicopter can fly for up to 2,000 miles before its special batteries need to be recharged. All black helicopters are constructed of metallo-cermanics and all of the windows are actually large sheets of specially stabilized synthetic diamond. As a result, it is especially well armored
Vehicle Durability Size Structure Accleration Safe Speed Max Speed Handling Occupants
Black Helicopter 8 20 27 20 (28 mph/turn) 294 (200 mph) 367 (250 mph) 4 2+8
Codebreaker Box ••
Developed by a joint Iteration-X, NWO project team, this device is a miniature, easily portable version of the OSP's larger code-breaking supercomputers. The size of an average hardback book, this device weighs only 0.5 kg. The code breaker box contains a highly advanced computer that is optimized for breaking any and all codes. It can assist the user in breaking ordinary civilian or governmental codes and ciphers on anything from email accounts to electronic door locks. Normally disguised as a perfectly ordinary and fully functional portable hard drive, this device features a wide variety of concealed interface ports and retractable cables that can be connected to almost any modern electronic device.
For simple locks and codes, this device alone can normally break the code in a relatively short time. For more complex tasks, the code breaker box is normally connected to a hand held or laptop computer and the user adds her expertise to the power of the device. In rules terms, this device adds four dice to all Larceny or Computer rolls involving breaking codes, discovering electronic passwords and opening electronic locks. If desired, this device can operate independently, using only four dice, with no aid from the user.
A codebreaker box can normally discover simple codes in less than five minutes, but complex or well protected passwords can easily require several hours of work by the user. While this device is highly effective, it is also somewhat limited. This device lacks the processing speed and the massive parallel architecture found in NWO supercomputers. As a result, it is completely incapable of breaking the exceedingly complex codes used by the NWO or Iteration-X, or the baroque passwords used by most Virtual Adepts. Also, when used in extended actions, this device applies its bonus die bonus only to the first roll in the series. Although extra time often grants humans additional insights about a problem, this machine is more limited.
Crime Comp ••
This unit is the size of a thick paperback novel and consists of a normal Mark IV hand computer (see (Convention Book: Iteration X page 83) that is built into a sophisticated series of chemical and biological sensors. The unit can take and analyze all forms of DNA evidence as well as matching fibers, comparing bullet scoring to gun-barrel rifling and even identifying all common drugs. The unit must be placed in contact with a sample and when running comparisons between two samples, it must have been placed in contact with both samples. The unit also possesses a modem that has the capability to access the national DNA databases for identifying suspects. When using to analyze a crime scene, this unit provides a +2 bonus to all Investigation rolls. This unit will also instantly notify the user if any biological sample like blood or hair belongs to an obvious reality deviant like a vampire, werewolf, or risen.
Dart gun •
This item appears to be an ordinary ballpoint or fountain pen, a mechanical pencil or even a lipstick. However, it can be used to fire either Advanced Bugs (Convention Book: Iteration X page 82) or darts tipped with a wide variety of drugs or poisons. Bug darts are designed to adhere to fabric and so provide a totally discreet method of bugging a target. Drug darts must penetrate the skin to be effective. Since the cannot penetrate armor and can only penetrate a single layer of ordinary clothing. Drug dart can carry any ordinary drug or poison (see nWoD Core Book), including cyanide or special knockout drugs. All darts fired by this weapon have their tip coated with a mild topical anesthetic that prevents targets from feeling that they have been shot with a dart. The darts are also designed to fall off and disintegrate, further helping to disguise their use.
Weapon Damage Range Clip Size
Dart gun 0* 5** 1 1/P
- See Armory, p. 91 for special rules for darts
- 5 yards is also the maximum range at which the dart gun can be used
- The dart gun is almost always disguised as common, non-dangerous item like a pen.
Language Injections •
Since most NWO operative prefer to avoid cybernetic implants, OCM researchers worked with Progenitor neurobiologists to create a less obvious and invasive solution. The two groups produced a device that enables subjects to learn a language in a fraction of the time normally required. While a single use of this machine produces only temporary fluency in the new language, repeated treatments sometimes allows a subject to permanently learn the new tongue. Using a combination of sleep learning, injections of neo-vasopressin to enhance memory, and careful monitoring of brain activity using both multi-phased EEG and micro-PET scan technology this device can produce fluency in a single language after a single 16 hour session. Use of this device is exceptionally tiring and subjects require at least 8 hours of normal sleep after the session is complete.
After they awaken, subjects retain full knowledge and use of this language for a number of days equal to twice their Intelligence score. Afterwards, unless the subject receives additional treatments and spends much of her time in an environment where this language is in widespread use, knowledge of this language will rapidly begin to fade. In rules terms, using this device to acquire temporary fluency does not cost additional Experience Points, since this knowledge is not permanent. For the character to retain permanent fluency in the new language her player must pay the normal experience point cost to learn an additional language. Once this cost is paid, the character’s mind can be assumed to have fully integrated the new knowledge. This device is not portable without great effort. The complete unit includes several boxes the size of large file cabinets, as well as a specially designed bed fitted with both a complex headset and several automated drug injectors. This device can be set up in any room at least 7 meters on a side, and requires a full day of work and a large moving van to pack it the unit up and transport it to a new location. It can provide temporary knowledge of any common language.
Linebarger L-2 Discrete Pistol •
To allow NWO agents to remain armed in all circumstances; NWO engineers recently developed this modification on the X-5 Protector (Mage: The Ascension Revised, page 245). Designed using a variety of advanced materials, this weapon is specifically made to be undetectable by all normal means. While it can be created in the form of anything of the same approximate size, it normally is made to look like a small electronic remote control or a medium-sized Personal Digital Assistant. The L-2 is completely invisible to all metal detectors. In addition, on X-rays and similar scans it shows up looking like a fully functional device of the type that it is designed to mimic. Also, the entire weapon is sealed, and the ammunition is coated with a thin layer of plastic. As a result, even advanced chemical sniffers will detect nothing suspicious about the L-2. Even Matter magic requires an additional success to detect the true nature of the L-2. The L-2 uses the same caseless ammunition as the X-5. However, it can only hold five shots, and once it has been fired it requires a thorough cleaning before it can again safely pass another examination by a chemical sniffer. Such a cleaning requires either Matter magic or a moderately well equipped chemistry lab and at last half an hour.
There does not yet exist a conventional way to detect this weapon, short of disassembling every electronic device someone is carrying. However, any botches rolled when firing this weapon will cause it to either severely jam or explode. Non-explosive jams require up to half an hour to repair.
Weapon Damage Ranges Clip Size
L-2 3 (or special) 20/40/80 5 1/P
Mental Protection Unit (MPU) ••
This unit is worn on the head, normally under some form of hat, cap, or wig and protects the wearer's mind from all forms of covert influence. Two dice are subtracted from any form of Mind Magic, as well as all other types of supernatural mental control used on the wearer. Whenever Men in Black, Men in Grey or Men in White have reason to believe that they will be facing any form of mental influence they wear these units in their hats. The unit can be built into any hat so that its presence can only be detected using x-rays or by physically cutting open the fabric of the hat. The only limit on this device is that it must be worn on the head, which explains why many Men in Black do not remove their hats while on duty.
Remote Control Device ••
Lisa McGowan of the Office of Strategic Priorities invented this device. Dr. McGowan is a neural biologist, and the RCD grew out of her interest in the physiology of perception. This device serves as a unique alternative to the remotely piloted drones and hidden cameras used by the other Conventions. Made in the form of an expensive wristwatch, the RCD allows the user to both control and tap the senses of any human. This device can also be used on dogs and cats, monkeys, and even extremely large rats – in such cases the device is set inside an elaborate collar. To use this device, the user must place the device on the subject. The user can see and hear what the subject is sensing using either an ordinary monitor or a set of VR glasses. The user can also control the subject's behavior using simple keyboard commands. The transmitter on the watch or collar has a range of up to 5 kilometers. Many users of the RCD install the software and hardware required to see through and control the subject into a Mark IV hand computer (see Convention Book: Iteration X page 83).
Controlling the subject is accomplished by sending a series of special commands to the target. When used on a person or an untrained animal the unit emits special ultrasonic tones that can cause subjects to fall sleep, wake up, go into a wild berserk rage where they will attack any nearby living thing or instantly come out of this rage. In addition, the unit can also produce a series of tones that can be used to direct a trained animal.
Different tones can be used to make a trained animal turn left or right, run, walk, or stop. However, even the best training cannot make the animal perform highly complex tasks like dialing a phone. Nevertheless, a well-trained animal can be used to effectively map and search a house or other building while leaving the occupant completely unaware that any search is occurring. Training an animal to obey such commands requires either a month of intensive mundane training or at two full days with a mage who has at least two dots in both Life and Mind magic. Indoctrinating humans to obey these commands has proven considerably more difficult – using the unit to cause a human subject to act as the user desires requires that the user have at least three dots in Mind.
A somewhat more advanced version of the RCD exists that can be implanted into the subject. Surgery or Life magic is require to implant or remove this device, and only a mage who knows two or more dots in Life magic can remove an implanted RCD without killing the subject. However, an implanted RCD requires no watch, collar or other visible external device, greatly reducing the possibility of detection.
Users must roll Dexterity + Computer every time they wish to use the unit to affect the subject's behavior. Currently, only operatives within the NWO are aware of the existence of this device. Characters who possess multiple copies of either form of RCD need only purchase a single additional one point Merit Point for each additional RCD after the first.
Standard Operative Suit ••
These three piece suits are standard issue for Men in Black and Men in Grey. Made from armor cloth (see above) their fabric also contains mimetic fibers that can change the suit's color. Wearers can have the suit match the color of the background (add one die to all stealth rolls) or they can change the suit's color to help evade pursuit or impersonate someone. Hidden fabric panels and invisible electrostatic closures also allow the wearer to reconfigure the suit to resemble any standard police or military uniform or any style of suit (add one die to all rolls to shadow or impersonate someone). Altering the suit's color is a reflexive action, but reconfiguring it to resemble a uniform or other style of suit requires at least 3 full turns. The suits are also constructed of special coated fibers that leave far fewer traces than conventional cloth, allowing the wearer to avoid leaving incriminating evidence at crime scenes (subtract 2 dice from all rolls by investigators to attempt to detect traces left by the wearer).
Standard Service Automobile •
These vehicles are most commonly built to resemble large black sedans that appear to be the sort of cars used by federal agents. However, they are built using advanced technologies that allow them to be far faster and more maneuverable than ordinary automobiles. All SSAs are constructed of metallo-cermanics and all of the windows are actually large sheets of specially stabilized synthetic diamond. In addition, these vehicles are fitted with advanced airbags, a built in satellite phone and wireless internet link, a GPS navigation system complete with a large database of electronic maps, collision avoidance radar and an anti-theft system that can electrify the exterior, delivering taser damage (see nWoD Amory, p. 36) to any unauthorized person touching the outside of the vehicle. This vehicle is also fitted with an advanced autopilot and can actually drive itself with a driving dice pool of 5 dice. Anyone who owns a SSA can use a cell phone or Mark IV Hand computer to call the car and have it drive rapidly to their present location. The autopilot can also be activated by the user's voice and can be commanded to drive to a specific address, or to drive smoothly so that the owner care more easily fire a weapon out the window. Only an extremely detailed examination of this automobile will reveal anything out of the ordinary.
Vehicle Durability Size Structure Accleration Safe Speed Max Speed Handling Occupants
SSA 8 14 17 37 (50 mph/turn) 132 (90 mph) 301 (205 mph) 5 1+4
Voice Stress Analyzer •
This device analyses the minute changes in people's voices and so allows the user to determine both the general emotions being felt by the subject and to determine if they are lying. A miracle of miniaturization, this device is often built into a large wristwatch or a heavy bracelet and it has a range of 10 meters. A single success on a Wits + Computer roll allows the user to focus the device on a target to determine their predominant emotions. Also, using this data combined with the psychological training most NWO recruits receive, this device can be used to detect lies. This unit adds three dice to all Subterfuge rolls to determine if someone is lying. This unit can only be used on single target at a time and it requires two full turns when the target is speaking for the unit to calibrate itself. This device can only be used to detect lies or read emotions, but it cannot be used on phone calls or radio broadcasts because of the low sound quality.
Wireless Taser •
Using a combination of advanced laser technology and some of the insights into neural physiology this discreet weapon has recently been popularized sufficiently that it has entered the edges of consensus reality. The size of a large pistol, a wireless taser uses an ultraviolet laser to ionize the air and then sends an extremely high voltage electric current down this beam of ionized air, where it strikes the target and temporarily disrupts their nervous system.
Weapon Damage Ranges Capactity Strength Size
Wireles Taser 0* 5/10/20 10 1 1/S
- This weapon functions as a stun gun, see nWoD Amory, p. 36, except that it works at range.
The NWO makes extensive use of implants for altering the behavior of subjects. As a result, few NWO agents are willing to have technological devices implanted in their own bodies. The majority of operatives consider tailored micro-organisms and drugs far safer and less invasive.
Microbial Healing Implant •••
This device uses specially tailored viruses and bacteria developed by the Progenitors for use by the Men in Black. This implant allows the user to heal all damage four times faster than normal as well as giving the user a +2 bonus to resist most normal diseases and causing them to age one half as fast as a normal human.