Technopathy [power]

Cost: 5CP
Activate: 1PP; move action
Sustain: per round/hour; move action
Range: 30 feet

You can make mental contact with computers, including desk-top machines, laptops, and PDAs, but not to anything that is considered supertech, so no bionics, alien technology, androids, or Gadgets. Any computer that has some form of human interface is vulnerable to this power. The computer in question must be on, but it does not need to have an active wireless connection. You connect with it directly. You still interact with the software of a given piece of technology, though, so you essentially have a virtual suite of input/output devices in your head. You see the screen in your mind and enter data with your thoughts.

This power does not automatically grant you Computer-related skills, nor can you download data into your mind. You can glean as much information using this power as you could if you were to sit down in front of the computer and it takes just as much time to do so. You must spend a move action to mentally “log in,” but after that you need pay only as much attention as you would to perform a given operation. However, you can do it covertly and at a distance, although you must already know that there is a computer there to connect to. Someone using the computer to which you’re connected gets a Computer Use check (DC 20) to possibly notice that files are moving, data is being accessed, memory is activated, etc., and therefore might conclude that someone is covertly connected to the computer. If they are actively searching for such activity, the DC is only 15.

Enhancements

Enhancement: Bonus Actions
Cost: 3CP
Activate: 1PP per bonus action

For every rank in this enhancement, while you are mentally connected to a computer you get one bonus standard action of interaction with the computer. Each extra action you take costs 1PP. You can buy this enhancement a maximum of 4 times for a total of 6 actions in a round (five standard actions and one move action). These actions can be used only to interact with the computer, nothing else.

 

Enhancement: Data Core
Cost: 4CP

You can download data into your head and upload it to another computer at a later time. The data is not accessible while stored in your mind. Your brain, a far more complex memory storage/retrieval system than the average computer, can record data as fast as a given computer can output it, and vice-versa. Up/download speed is, therefore, based on the computer in question, not you.

In most cases, you have plenty of room in your head, but GMs are within their rights to limit you in truly outrageous situations. You cannot, for example, download the entire Library of Congress into your head, but a couple of books of plain text or a CD are no problem.

You can, using this enhancement, upload a file to a computer and execute it.

 

Enhancement: Data Reader
Cost: 4CP
Prerequisite: Data Core

You can now read the data in your head as if it were loaded into its appropriate client software. This means you can view pictures or video files and you can read text, but you don’t have access to the actual code, and you cannot alter the data. It is “read only.” Without Bonus Actions, it takes just as long to read or view data in your head as it would to do so with a computer. Reading a book still takes hours.

 

Enhancement: Data Manipulation
Cost: 4CP
Prerequisite: Data Reader

You can now edit the data in your head as if you had the appropriate software, altering text, touching-up photos, etc. Without Bonus Actions, it takes just as long to do this work as it would sitting in front of a computer. But you can do it in your head, anywhere you like.

 

Enhancement: Executables
Cost: 3CP
Prerequisite: Data Core, Data Reader, Data Manipulation

You can now download programmes into your head and run them as if they were running on a computer. You don’t need extra software for basic editing; Data Manipulation takes care of that, but that enhancement doesn’t cover speciality software, like hacking tools for example. Those, you need to download and install. Compatibility is not an issue. Your mind is flexible enough to translate any commercially-available, human-made programming language into a usable form. You just need to download the file and take about 5 minutes to install it.

However, alien or other non-human software is far more difficult. To load this kind of software into your mind, you must first download it, then make a Computer Use check, DC 20 (or higher, if the GM decides this technology is even more alien). Every time you attempt to use that software, you must make a fresh Computer Use check (DC 20). If you fail, using the software takes an extra move action where Computer Use would normally take only a standard action. If you succeed, you can use the software normally.

 

Enhancement: Increased Range
Cost: 2CP

Increase the range of your Technopathy by 30 feet. You can take this enhancement up to 3 times for a total range of 120 feet.

 

Enhancement: Remote Control
Cost: 4CP

You can now connect with simple electrical devices that are capable of receiving remote-control signals, everything from RC cars to televisions.

 

Enhancement: Sense Computer
Cost: 3CP per rank

You can now sense the presence of any computer―laptop, desktop, PDA―within 20 feet. This sense is blocked by 1 inch of steel or other dense metal and/or 6 inches of concrete. You can take this enhancement up to four times. Each time after the first add 10 feet to the distance (i.e., 30 feet at 2 ranks, 40 feet at 3 ranks, etc.).

 

Enhancement: Speed Read
Cost: 2CP per rank

You can read/view information off of a computer (or out of your Data Core) much more quickly, approximately one minute for every hour the reading/viewing would normally take. The GM has final say on exactly how long certain tasks would take. You can take this enhancement a second time, which speeds you up even more, converting hours of reading to individual move actions.

 

Enhancement: Wireless
Cost: 4CP

You can connect to the internet using just your mind as if you were using a standard suite of browsers and internet applications. You can connect from anywhere that has a wireless network. You can use public networks without a problem, but private networks still require an ID and a password. Of course, if you have a sufficient Computer Use bonus, you can just try to hack the connection, as well.

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