EQUIPMENT - PROGRESS LEVEL 5 EQUIPMENT

The Information Age is the era closest to our own in terms of technology level. Most of the weapons and equipment from the Information Age are similar to those in our own world and are usually evolutions of currently existing technology. Many near-future campaigns make use of Information Age technology as their primary source of gear.

The Industrial Age relied on chemical power, but in the Information Age, computer technology and electronics rule supreme. Satellite information systems and the Internet connect the globe digitally. This Progress Level also sees the introduction of fission power and weapons reducing the importance of fossil fuels. The automobile replaces the locomotive as the common form of travel. The first steps toward space travel involve massive chemical rockets, unmanned probes and satellites, and short-term manned missions.

The technology of the era allows greater citizen participation in government. The emergence of international alliances begins to dissolve borders between nations. Corporations gather power and begin to threaten government authority. Technology has a greater effect on individual lifestyles than on society as a whole. Most weapons at this time are refined versions of Industrial Age equipment. Rifles, machine guns, and heavy howitzers are still used by the worldís soldiers. Computerized targeting systems and guided weapons make warfare much more precise and efficient. Strategic weapons, tested but never used, exhibit the speciesí power to exterminate itself in minutes.

Humanity experienced its Information Age as anxious years full of minor crises. The tension gradually alleviates through the age, and as the era ends new superpowers form.

INFORMATION AGE WEAPONS

The following weapons are available at PL 5 and later.

Table: Progress Level 5 Ranged Weapons

Weapon1
Damage Critical Damage Type Range Increment Rate of Fire Magazine Size Weight Purchase DC Restriction
Falcon .45 2d6 20 Ballistic 40 ft. S, A 20 box Medium 2.5 lb. 18 Lic (+1)
OICW assault rifle 2d8 20 Ballistic 70 ft. S 30 box Large 18 lb. 26 Mil (+3)
TacMil sniper rifle 2d10 20 Ballistic 120 ft. S 15 box Large 14 lb. 21 Res (+2)
Twin thunder machine gun 2d10 20 Ballistic 100 ft. A Linked Huge 42 lb. 22 Mil (+3)
1 All weapons listed in this table require the Personal Firearms Proficiency feat.

Falcon .45:
The law enforcement response to the ever-growing firepower found in the hands of criminals and gang members, the Falcon pistol not only possesses increased stopping power but also integrates the ability to fire in full automatic mode. Additionally, the Falcon is lightweight and easy to carry.
Oicw Assault Rifle: One of the most technologically advanced weapons to ever reach production during the Information Age, the OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon) assault rifle is a combination weapon.
The weapon houses a 5.56mm compact assault rifle as well as a 20mm grenade launcher (the weapon uses the alternate weapon gadget to add a mini- grenade launcher). The grenade launcher features multiple detonation modes, including detonate-on-impact mode (in which the grenade explodes on impact) and air burst mode (in which the grenade explodes in the air after traveling a certain distance).
The rifle includes a combat-capable scope with built-in targeting computers that are designed to link into the Land Warrior combat system. This system, known as TA/FCS (Target Acquisition/Fire Control System), functions as a built-in night vision scope as well as a rangefinding scope (the scope, rangefinding laser gadget). Additionally, the weapon has an integrated computer link that can hook directly into the Land Warrior armor and transmit images and data to the armorís onboard computer system. On its own, separate from the Land Warrior system, the OICW assault rifle is one of the most dangerous and effective weapons on the market.
This weapon has a two-round burst setting. When the Burst Fire feat is used with this weapon, the penalty on the attack roll is lessened to Ė2 instead of Ė4. Also, the weapon fires only two bullets instead of five and can be used with only two bullets in the weapon. However, the weapon only deals +1 die of damage instead of +2 dice of damage. (In effect, using the Burst Fire feat with this weapon results in the effect of the Double Tap feat.) This setting does not grant the ability to make burst fire attacks without the Burst Fire feat; if you use the setting without the feat, you make a normal attack, and the extra two bullets not have the automatic rate of fire, this weapon cannot be used to make autofire attacks.
Tactical Military (TACMIL) Sniper Rifle: With the success of the OICW assault rifle, a sniper rifle equivalent was developed. The rifle itself fires a standard 7.62mm round and sports a rangefinding scope (the scope, rangefinding laser gadget) that can connect to a Land Warrior combat armor computer. Additionally, the TacMil sniper rifle features a flash suppressor as well as an effective sound suppressor, ensuring maximum stealth.
Twin Thunder Machine Gun: The Twin Thunder is a reduced-recoil .50 caliber machine gun capable of dispensing roughly 260 rounds per minute. The machine gun is designed for use in combat by two soldiers, a single gunner and an aide to feed the ammunition belt into the weapon. What makes the Twin Thunder unique from other modern machine guns is that its reduced recoil allows for greater accuracy over longer distances with less variance in the aim of the user.

Table: Progress Level 5 Explosives And Splash Weapons
Weapon1
Damage Critical Damage Type Blast Radius Reflex Save Range Increment Size Weight Purchase DC Restriction
Grenade, shrapnel 5d6 - Slashing 20 ft. 15 10 ft. Tiny 1 lb. 18 Mil (+3)
Grenade, sonic pulse 3d6 nonlethal plus special1 - Sonic 15 ft. 12 10 ft. Tiny 1 lb. 15 Res (+2)
1 See the weapon description for details.

Grenade, Shrapnel:
Similar in concept to the standard fragmentation grenade, the shrapnel grenade propels dangerous shards of metal outward at high velocity when it explodes. Unlike the fragmentation grenade, the shrapnel grenade incorporates aerodynamic metal shards and directional tubes to ensure that each shard is propelled at lethal velocity along a set path. The result is a calculated field of flying shrapnel that is far more effective than the simple pop-and-spray chaos of a fragmentation grenade.
Grenade, Sonic Pulse: A sonic pulse grenade deals 3d6 points of nonlethal sonic damage to any living creature in the burst radius. (Robots and other nonliving creatures are not affected.) In addition, creatures that take damage from the sonic pulse grenade must also succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 12) or be shaken for 1d4 rounds.
Grenades, Missiles, and Mines

Most explosives are given in the form of grenades. These grenades provide the base form for these weapons, but equivalent missiles or mines can also exist.
To create a missile from a grenade covered here, simply take the base statistics of the grenade and use them as the statistics for ammunition for a missile launcher. Be sure to adjust the range increment, since missiles travel much farther than thrown grenades.
Mines are treated in almost the opposite way; their range increment is eliminated. A mine must be placed to be effective.
Despite differences in their form, missiles, mines, and grenades all have the same primary effect regardless of the method of delivery for their payloads.
INFORMATION AGE ARMOR

The following armors are available at PL 5 and later.

Table: Armor And Protective Gear

Armor
Type Equipment Bonus Nonprof. Bonus Maximum Dex Bonus Armor Penalty Speed (30 ft./20 ft.) Weight Purchase DC Restriction
Light Armor
Flight Suit and helmet Tactical +2 +1 +6 -0 30 ft./20 ft. 2 lb. 10 Lic (+1)
Heavy Armor
Land warrior armor Tactical +6 +3 +3 -3 20 ft./15 ft. 10 lb. 20 Lic (+1)
Space suit Tactical +7 +3 +0 -10 15 ft./10 ft. 50 lb. 26 Lic (+1)

Flight Suit And Helmet:
The flight suit and helmet combination worn by combat pilots doubles as body armor that protects grounded pilots. The flight suit contains kevlar-lined pouches on the chest, back, arms, legs, and abdomen, into which armor plates are inserted. The helmet protects the head.
The armored flight suit carries over into later Progress Levels. Most military pilots in later eras wear armored flight suits and helmets essentially the same as this PL 5 version, though in the design appropriate to their society.
Land Warrior Armor: The Land Warrior combat system was a major Information Age step in the ongoing effort to increase the efficiency of the individual solder. The primary benefits of Land Warrior armor are found in its communications and sensor gear; each Land Warrior armor has a built-in computer that is capable of sending and receiving text and image transmissions (via a display built into the armor), including images captured from the scope of a linked OICW assault rifle or TacMil sniper rifle. Additionally, the display can be linked to the scopes on those weapons to provide real-time representations of what the scope can see, allowing the wearer to fire around corners with ease. In addition to the communications and data equipment, the armor functions as standard infantry battle armor complete with bullet-resistant plating and kevlar protective gear. The armor allows for instantaneous transmission of coordinates and targeting information, allowing teams of Land Warrior-capable soldiers to communicate and coordinate with ease and efficiency.
Space Suit: The standard space suit used by NASA and other space programs is a completely enclosed environment suit capable of sustaining life in extremes of temperature and a lack of breathable air. The suit is large and bulky, composed of a thick body suit and helmet with a transparent mask, all parts of which are capable of deflecting micro-meteors and other space-borne projectiles. Inside the suit, internal air tanks and environmental filters maintain temperature and pressure. Additionally, a communications system not only allows for radio transmissions to the space shuttle but also allows internal sensors to monitor biological functions that can be observed from mission control. The space suit is poor combat armor, but allows for movement and action in space.
INFORMATION AGE EQUIPMENT

The following equipment is available at PL 5 and later.

Table: General Equipment
Name
Size Weight Purchase DC Restriction
Computer Equipment
Display Glasses Tiny 1 lb. 12 -
Hackcard Diminutive - 14 Lic (+1)
Miscellaneous Equipment
Duracable Medium 3 lb. 4 -
Grappler tag Tiny 1 lb. 5 -
Explorer outfit Medium 2 lb. 6 -
Heads-up display Tiny 1 lb. 7 -
Laser tripwire Diminutive - 5 -
Nanobeacon Fine - 8 -
Shepherd chip Fine - 12 -
Spray LCD Tiny 0.5 lb. 8 -
Survival Equipment
Portable environment generator Medium 5 lb. 14 -
Portable glow lamp Tiny 0.5 lb. 4 -
Puritizer Small 2 lb. 9 -
Soother pulse Diminutive - 14 -

DISPLAY GLASSES:
A logical advancement of video display and VR technology, display glasses provide on-the-go monitors that can be hooked up to everything from computer systems to televisions and other audiovideo equipment. Each pair of display glasses looks like a darkened pair of sunglasses and features one or two earpieces that wrap around the back of the ear. The glasses are semitransparent and allow the wearer to see both the display and the userís surroundings simultaneously.
Duracable: Strong as steel, flexible as rubber, and almost as light as normal rope, duracable replaces most cables and ropes as the standard device for lifting, pulling, and support. Duracable is made of lightweight and durable wiring wrapped hundreds of times in a swirl that reinforces itself as more stress is placed on the coil. Duracable is able to support up to 10 metric tons of weight.
Grappler Tag: Often used in conjunction with duracable, the grappler tag is a small disc roughly six inches in diameter. When placed against a solid surface, the grappler tag attaches to that surface by magnetism (if the surface is ferrous) or by an array of nearly microscopic metal barbs (if not). The tag can then be attached to duracable and used as an anchor for climbing, pulling, or any other purpose. A button on the top of the disc releases the grappler tagís hold.
Explorer Outfit: The explorerís outfit is the standard uniform for bold adventurers taking their first steps into the unknown. It includes a set of cargo pants and a utility vest, each covered in numerous pockets and pouches for holding miscellaneous gear. Additionally, the explorer outfit features a pair of durable all-weather boots with a built-in knife sheath, as well as a neck-shading cap, a pair of utility sunglasses, and a belt that holds pouches of all kinds. The chief premise of the explorerís outfit is versatility, giving the explorer a basic set of clothing that can be added to and augmented for each particular mission.
Hackcard: A marvel of computer technology, the hackcard is a disposable, one-use item designed to allow those who are not computer savvy to bypass technological and computer barriers or perform computer-related tasks. Each hackcard is an individual data-carrying card roughly the size of a credit card with a hole in its center and a magnetic strip on one side. Each hackcard carries a single program designed for a single purpose; this may be to open doors, bypass security restrictions, crash a computer, or even to modify information. Almost any task that can be performed by using the Computer Use skill can be encoded into a hackcard. Hackcards can be swiped in magnetic keycard readers and can be inserted into disc drives on computers with the same ease.
When a character uses a hackcard for its designated purpose, the hackcardís Computer Use bonus (+15) is used in the place of the characterís. After a single use, the card triggers small fibers of combustible material and the hackcard self-destructs, leaving behind no trace of tampering.
Heads-Up Display (HUD): One of the most valuable innovations in portable information technology is the personal heads-up display (HUD). A HUD is composed of optical sensors for taking in data and a display device that projects an overlay in the userís field of vision. A HUD also typically incorporates some sort of communications link or data link to allow another person or computer to see what the wearer sees and transmit valuable information back to the HUD.
Over the years, the HUD display device transforms from a simple eyepiece worn on a headband to contact lenses that can display data, all the way up to a neural interface that simply taps into the bearerís optical nerve and tampers with the signals sent to the brain.
The standard HUD can be used to highlight the outline of a person or object on voice command, granting a +2 bonus on Spot checks when pursuing a specific target. Additionally, a person with a link to the HUD can freely send data and images to the wearer at any time. Individual software packages (represented as gadgets) can further augment the abilities of a HUD.
Laser Tripwire: The laser tripwire is a simple device that replaces the standard physical tripwire. A single focused beam of light is projected out from the tripwire generator until it hits a solid surface. If the beam is broken by, for example, a person passing through the beam, the tripwire generator immediately sends out a signal from its data port. This can be used to activate an alarm, trigger an explosive device, or even just turn on the lights in a particular room, depending on what event the signal is set to trigger.
Nanobeacon: An invaluable device used in tracking and search and rescue, the nanobeacon is a small microchip that is placed on a targetís body (or on an object). It sends out a pulse every second that can be detected by sensors attuned to the beaconís frequency. The nanobeacon projects its pulse at up to a 500 mile radius, each nanobeacon with its own unique identification code. Nanobeacons are often used to coordinate combat squads, track wanted criminals, and even to help recover kidnapped or lost children. A beacon can be placed on any character or object by making a simple touch attack against the target.
Portable Environment Generator: As an important piece of survival gear that can be taken on almost any expedition, the portable environment generator is an all-in-one device coveted by explorers and outdoors enthusiasts alike. Resembling a tall cylinder roughly two feet in height, the portable environment generator can project a 30-foot sphere of custom environment under any conditions. In cold weather areas, the generator produces heat. In arid deserts, the generator produces both cool air and moisture.
At night, the generator acts as a glow lamp and provides the area with light. Thanks to a special energy bubble produced by the generator, any atmospheric changes stay within the 30 foot radius and do not escape until the device is deactivated. Essentially, the portable environment generator can produce a sphere inside which a group of people can be relatively comfortable despite extremely harsh conditions outside the generatorís influence.
Portable Glow Lamp: The portable glow lamp is the most efficient and beneficial form of lighting equipment known to man. It can function as a directional lighting device (like a flashlight) or as an area-covering lantern. Glowlamps have long-lasting power cells and bulbs that never need to be replaced, and can be adjusted to provide light in any radius up 50 feet.
Puritizer: The puritizer is a small, semitransparent cylinder roughly one foot tall that removes impurities from water food. The puritizerís onboard computer recognizes chemicals that can be harmful to the human body and separates them from the food and drink.
Shepherd Chip: The shepherd chip is a tiny microchip implanted beneath the surface of the wrist. It contains the bearerís identification information. Some computers can read the shepherd chip and extract its information, while all shepherd chips can be made to receive another personís identification information via handshakeóonce a mere method of greeting, the handshake becomes a permanent way to introduce oneself and clearly identify yourself to another person. Of course, the shepherd chip can be made to not broadcast information via handshake for privacyís sake.
In addition to basic identification information, many people have their banking and credit information keyed to their shepherd chips so that they no longer have to use physical money or credit cards. Businesses love this as it allows them to prevent shoplifting; if a person carries an item from the store, that itemís value is immediately deducted from their bank account. Additionally, in later years the shepherd chip can be linked to computers (particularly neural implants) such that any information can be transferred between two shepherd chipsóa great boon to the espionage community as it allows for discrete information transfers.
Some governments use shepherd chips (occasionally combined with nanobeacons) to monitor the activities of their citizens. This oppressive, watchful eye of the government is exactly what opponents of the shepherd chip fear. Additionally, a black market for forged or stolen shepherd chips emerged as soon as the chips themselves became widespread, making identity theft and falsification an ever-present crime in some communities.
Soother Pulse: A small box that fits in one hand, the soother pulse emits sub-audible noises and subtle vibrations that can soothe almost any animal. It carries in its memory banks the codes of pulses to soothe almost every animal on the planet, and new pulses can be loaded into the device whenever they are discovered. A character using the soother pulse gains a +6 equipment bonus on all Handle Animal checks when dealing with an animal identified in the soother pulseís database.
Spray LCD: The rise to prominence of paint-on LCDs allowed many people freedom and portability with computing never before felt. The spray LCD is the logical extension of this technology. A pressurized canister similar to a can of spray paint, it can spray an LCD onto almost any surface. Any object coated with spray LCD automatically gains the paint-on LCD gadget for 1 hour. After that hour, the spray begins to dissolve and no longer functions. Each canister of spray LCD is enough to produce one working LCD.