The Fusion Age is the first step to technology that seems to be beyond the reach of current scientific knowledge. Gear from this Progress Level is typically a stretch of the imagination, but could eventually be derived from current technology.

The development of fusion power provides an efficient, nonexpendable energy source that almost obliterates the need for chemical fuel sources. Advanced space exploration and colonization become possible. Computers become even more accessible, reliable, and powerful, leading to the development of virtual systems and widespread access to the global Internet. Slowly, society experiences another revolution as individual nations are replaced by world powers. Megacorporations number among these new superpowers as the line between the national citizen and corporate employee is rendered indistinct. Armed with the means to eradicate the entire species, the world powers keep conflicts to the level of skirmishing and posturing, and integration of the Information Age’s improvements proceed peacefully.

Scientific advanced in genetic engineering lead to artificial evolution and the first government- and corporate-sanctioned attempts to genetically manipulate human beings. Early results are encouraging, with the manifestation of positive and negative mutations in the species toward the end of the age. Scientists also perfect cloning technology, and the first human clones are created.

In the later years of this age, the first crude applications of gravity induction technology appear, in the form of civilian and military vehicles that can move through the air without using physical propulsion or consumption of fuel.

Chemical-powered explosives and firearms remain the weapons of choice; fusion technology can’t be effectively miniaturized for personal combat. Nevertheless, advanced chemistry and superconducting technology change the materials and capabilities of many weapons. True spaceships become possible, propelled by powerful fusion drives, but still require a reaction mass to traverse space.

The age sees the tenuous settlement of other planets and asteroids within the same star system.


FUSION AGE WEAPONS

The following weapons are available at PL 6 and later.

Table: Progress Level 6 Ranged Weapons
Weapon1
Damage Critical Damage Type Range Increment Rate of Fire Magezine Size Weight Purchase DC Restriction
Laser pistol 2d8 20 Fire 40 ft. S 50 box Medium 3 lb. 17 Lic (+1)
Laser rifle 3d8 20 Fire 80 ft. S, A 50 box Large 8 lb. 19 Res (+2)
Laser sniper rifle 3d8 20 Fire 120 ft. S 50 box Large 14 lb. 21 Res (+2)
Mini-grenade launcher Varies2 20 Varies2 70 ft. Single 1 int. Medium 4 lb. 20 Mil (+3)
Mini-rocket launcher Varies2 20 Varies2 150 ft. Single 1 int. Medium 5 lb. 23 Mil (+3)
Tangler gun Special - - 20 ft. S, A 20 box Large 8 lb. 16 Lic (+1)
1 All weapons listed in this table require the Personal Firearms Proficiency feat.
2 Damage and damage type varies depending on the ammunition.

Laser Weapons:
Laser weapons come in many shapes and sizes, from pistols to rifles and other longarms. Many different forms of technology can be used to create laser weapons, resulting in many different forms of lasers; short, self-contained beams are as common as longer, solid stream lasers, while others produce spherical balls of energy and others fire laser rings. The coloration and noise created by the laser may vary, but the effect is the same.
Laser weapons do not use ammunition, but are instead powered by power packs.
Mini-Grenade Launcher: Though personal grenade launchers were commonly found in the Information Age, the mini-grenade launcher is somewhat different in that it is reduced to roughly the size of a large pistol. Additionally, the ammunition it uses, while still as potent as hand-held counterparts, is reduced in size to match the weapon.
Though shoulder-carried missile launchers were commonly found in the Information Age, the mini-rocket launcher is somewhat different in that it is reduced to roughly the size of a large pistol. Additionally, the ammunition it uses is reduced in size to match the weapon.
Tangler Gun: A unique nonlethal weapon eagerly adopted by law enforcement agencies around the world, the tangler gun fires condensed balls of an incredibly sticky compound that can render a target immobile in a few short moments. The tangler gun fires pellets of an inert compound that, when broken, expand into a gelatinous substance that covers large portions of a target. Unfortunately for the target, the disgusting mess soon becomes more problematic as the compound hardens. Within second, a single pellet no larger than a fingernail has expanded into a ball of goop and then hardened into an immobilizing layer of tough chitin.
Any time a character is struck by a tangler gun, that character suffers a cumulative –2 penalty to Dexterity. This penalty remains in place until the compound is dissolved.
If the character is struck with enough tangler pellets that the penalty is equal to or greater than his Dexterity, he is immobilized and may take no actions until the compound is dissolved. Dexterity penalties from tangler guns stack with those from tangler grenades.
Hardened compound dissolves naturally after 8 hours or can be removed by using solvaway chemical or some other spray solvent.

Table: Progress Level 6 Melee Weapons
Weapon1
Damage Critical Damage Type Range Increment Size Weight Purchase DC Restriction
High frequency sword 2d6 19-20 Slashing - Large 2 lb. 15 -
Stun baton 1d6 + special 20 Bludgeoning - Medium 1 lb. 16 -
1 All weapons listed in this table require the Simple Weapons Proficiency feat.

High Frequency Sword:
One of the few melee weapons to be developed in the Fusion Age, the high frequency sword is made of a durable metal alloy many times tougher than steel. Inside the blade itself, and controlled by a switch on the hilt of the weapon, are microscopic machines that cause the blade to vibrate at incredibly high speeds. Though the wielder of the weapon is shielded from these vibrations by a soft hilt, any character or object struck by the high frequency sword finds that the weapon is given extra cutting power thanks to its technological enhancements.
Stun Baton: The stun baton is a long rod similar to those carried by modern-day police officers, though on one end of the baton a metal cap that emits a pulse of stunning energy when it strikes a target. Any creature hit by a stun baton takes 1d6 points of bludgeoning damage and must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + damage dealt) or be stunned for 1d4 rounds.

Table: Progress Level 6 Ammunition Types
Ammunition (Quantity)
Damage Type Purchase DC Restriction
Bio-agent (20) Ballistic 14 Mil (+3)
Power pack (50) Special1 8 -
1 A power pack powers any ranged weapon that deals energy damage (such as a laser pistol). A power pack does not change the weapon’s damage type.

Ammunition, Bio-Agent:
Unfortunately for its victims, biological warfare continues to be a common part of combat even in the Fusion Age. Bio-agent ammunition is a logical extension of previous military tactics with regards to biological warfare.
Bio-agent ammunition contains a miniscule amount of a biological weapon inside an insulated chamber within each round. Use of bio-agent ammunition causes a –1 penalty to damage. However, any living creature damaged by the round is injected with a poisonous bio-agent with effects identical to cyanogen gas.

Table: Progress Level 6 Explosives And Splash Weapons
Weapon1
Damage Critical Damage Type Blast Radius Reflex Save Range Increment Size Weight Purchase DC Restriction
Grenade, concussion 4d6 nonlethal - Concussion 15 ft. 15 10 ft. Tiny 1 lb. 15 Mil (+3)
Grenade, EMP Special1 - Electricity 20 ft. 15 10 ft. Small 2 lb. 16 Mil (+3)
Grenade, fireflush 3d6 - Fire 10 ft. 15 10 ft. Small 2 lb. 18 Res (+2)
Grenade, tangler Special1 - - 5 ft. 12 10 ft. Tiny 1 lb. 14 Lic (+1)
1 See the weapon description for details.
FUSION AGE WEAPON GADGETS

The following gadgets are found in the Fusion Age and can apply to weapons of that era or later, provided all gadget-specific restrictions are observed.
Scope, Video

The video scope is a special modification to ranged weapons that provides an easier way to survey remote portions of the battlefield from the comfort of a safe haven. The video scope is a three-inch- by-three-inch viewscreen attached to the rear of a standard scope. It allows the weapon’s user to sit back and examine the details in the image rather than having to press his eye against the scope. Additionally, the viewscreen can be used to freeze-frame and take still images and boasts zoom and image enhancement software, allowing on-the-fly computer analysis and dissection of battlefield images. Some video scopes are capable of receiving broadcast images from remote locations, allowing the screen to be used for video communication (by jacking in an optional earpiece and microphone) or to transmit maps and movement orders with visual aides.
Restrictions: Ranged weapons only.
Purchase DC Modifier: +3
FUSION AGE ARMOR

The following armors are available at PL 6 and later.

Table: Progress Level 6 Armor

Armor
Type Equipment Bonus Nonprof. Bonus Maximum Dex Bonus Armor Penalty Speed (30 ft./20 ft.) Weight Purchase DC Restriction
Light Armor
Light combat armor Tactical +3 +1 +5 -2 30 ft./20 ft. 6 lb. 12 Lic (+1)
Scout armor Tactical +2 +1 +7 -0 30 ft./20 ft. 4 lb. 11 Lic (+1)
Survival suit Concealable +1 +1 +7 -0 30 ft./20 ft. 3 lb. 16 -

Light Combat Armor:
Light combat armor provides less protection than later, heavier types, but also allows increased mobility. Most light combat armors consist of a reinforced blast vest, shoulder and upper arm pads, thigh and abdomen pads, and kneepads. Some light combat armors also include helmets and visors, though not all incorporate this aspect of the armor.
Scout Armor: Scout armor is similar in many ways to light combat armor, but with a few notable exceptions. Scout armor is painted with camouflage patterns: woodland, desert, winter (primarily white), urban (gray patterned), and black are available. When worn in an appropriate setting, the armor grants a +2 bonus on Hide checks.
Additionally, scout armor lacks the kneepads and legwear of the light combat armor, increasing mobility but decreasing protection to the lower body. Scout armor more often incorporates survival gadgets as fits the terrain for which it is designed.
Survival Suit:
The survival suit is the natural evolution of wilderness survival gear popularized in the Information Age. Thanks to the continued miniaturization of technology along with advancements in chemical engineering, the survival suit allows its wearer to function for days or even weeks on end without a source of water or rations. The basic premise of the survival suit is that in order to continue living in harsh environments the human body must conserve and recycle resources. As a result, the survival suit, which looks much like a modern-day wetsuit covered with matte-black pads, is able to control the intake and waste of the human body in an efficient manner.
Water is stored in small pouches all over the survival suit and can be drawn through a small tube that protrudes from the collar; the suit recycles sweat and urine (which it chemically purifies) and then refills those pouches as needed. The outside of the survival suit bears a number of partially reflective black pads, which absorb solar energy and heat and store that energy in tiny heat cells throughout the suit. If the temperature begins to drop, these heat cells can release energy and sustain a comfortable temperature for the human body for up to 8 hours without needing to recharge. If these cells are empty, the suit also has chemical pouches that can be activated one time for another 8 hours of heat. A tiny intravenous feeding system provides nourishment when rations and food run out for up to six days. Tiny fans and vents built into the suit cool the body in temperatures of extreme heat without losing any body moisture.
FUSION AGE ARMOR GADGETS

The following gadgets are found in the Fusion Age and can apply to armors of that era or later, provided all gadget-specific restrictions are observed.
PREHENSILE APPENDAGE

Useful for scientists, explorers, and others that have need for an extra hand, the prehensile appendage gadget is both utilitarian and expensive. Essentially, this gadget consists of a long flexible cylinder capped at the end with a grasping claw that attaches to the armor’s side or back. The prehensile appendage gadget essentially gives the wearer of the armor an additional hand with which to hold and manipulate objects. The gadget cannot be used to make normal melee attacks or fire ranged weapons, but it can make grapple attempts (with a Strength bonus of +2 and using the wearer’s base attack bonus). The appendage is controlled through a pair of gloves worn by the user; by issuing commands via a specific set of hand signs, the wearer can order the gadget to pick up, drop, or manipulate an object once per round as a free action.
Restrictions: None.
Purchase DC Modifier: +6
SELF-REPAIRING

The self-repairing gadget implements nanotechnology in its infancy to repair minor damage to armor. Whenever the armor is damaged, the self-repairing gadget immediately issues commands to a set of nanites that move to the problem spot and begin making repairs. The gadget repairs 1 point of damage per minute to th armor.
Restrictions: None.
Purchase DC Modifier: +6
FUSION AGE EQUIPMENT

The following equipment is available at PL 6 and later.

Table: Progress Level 6 Equipment

Name Size Weight Purchase DC Restriction
Chemical and Medical Equipment
Chemical, antitox Diminutive - 6 -
Chemical, boost Diminutive - 6 Illegal (+4)
Chemical, neutrad Diminutive - 6 -
Chemical, solvaway Diminutive - 5 -
Chemical, sporekill Diminutive - 6 -
Medkit, advanced Small 3 lb. 7 -
Medkit, fast use Small 3 lb. 7 -
Plastic surgery kit, personal Tiny 1 lb. 11 Lic (+1)
Computer Equipment
Computer, card Diminutive - 22 -
Display contacts Fine - 16 -
Miscellaneous Equipment
Disguise kit, morphic Tiny 1 lb. 12 -
Flash-seal Tiny 1 lb. 8 -
Fusion torch Medium 3 lb. 10 -
Intellipicks Small 1 lb. 13 Lic (+1)
Jetpack Large 22 lb. 16 Lic (+1)
Neural scrambler Small 1 lb. 10 Res (+2)
Universal communicator Tiny 0.5 lb. 6 -
Sensor Equipment
Sensor, chemicomp Small 1 lb. 18 -
Sensor, geocomp Small 1 lb. 18 -
Sensor, motion Tiny 0.5 lb. 14 -
Survival Equipment
Aquaconverter Medium 4 lb. 13 -
Violet rations Fine - 5 -

Aquaconverter:
Also known as “mechanical gills,” the aquaconverter is a simple device that takes in water, separates its molecules into hydrogen and oxygen atoms, and then feeds the oxygen into a breather tube and the hydrogen into power-generating mechanisms. Worn as a backpack with a breather tube placed in the mouth, the aquaconverter is a limitless and self-powering way to breathe safely underwater.
Chemical, Antitox: A chemical found in many first aid kits, antitox is a special hypodermic injection that can be used to save the life of any character infected with a poison. Each antitox injector contains a specialized analyzer linked to chemical generators. When the needle penetrates the skin of the target, it samples the target’s blood and sends the data back to the analyzer, which determines the nature of the poison and generates an antidote from stored chemical compounds. Once the antitox delivers its specially formulated chemicals, the target character is completely cured of the poison and its effects in 1d6 rounds.
Chemical, Boost: A drug that is both beneficial and highly dangerous, boost functions as a temporary adrenaline-enhancer. Boost was originally conceived for military purposes in an attempt to make the soldiers of the Fusion Age stronger, faster, and more combat-capable. A single injection of boost grants the character a +4 bonus to Strength and a +2 bonus on Reflex saves, increases the character’s movement speed by 10 feet, and increases the character’s massive damage threshold by +4. These effects last for 1 minute (10 rounds).
Unfortunately, the side effects of boost almost outweigh the benefits. For one, the chemical is addictive and can alter the perceptions of a character so that she thinks she cannot live without a dose of the drug. Additionally, repeated use of boost has debilitating effects on the body’s immune and nervous systems.
Each time a character uses a dose of boost, she has a 10% chance of suffering a –2 penalty to her Dexterity and a –1 penalty on Fortitude saves. These penalties last for 24 hours.
If the character uses the drug again before recovering from these penalties, the penalties increase and the recovery time extends for an additional 24 hours. For example, if a character uses another dose of boost while still under the effect of the penalties, the character suffers a –4 penalty to Dexterity and –2 on Fortitude saves, and the recovery time increases to 48 hours.
Chemical, Neutrad: A chemical found in many first aid kits, neutrad is a special hypodermic injection that can be used to neutralize the effects of radiation poisoning. Each neutrad injector contains a specialized analyzer linked to chemical generators. When the needle penetrates the skin of the target, it samples the target’s blood and sends the data back to the analyzer, which determines the nature of the radiation sickness and generates an antidote from stored chemical compounds. Once the neutrad delivers its specially formulated chemicals, the target character is completely cured of the radiation poisoning and its effects in 1d4 hours.
Chemical, Solvaway: Solvaway is a special spray-on chemical designed to break through the restricting compound fired by tangler guns and tangler grenades. A single application of solvaway completely dissolves any hardened compound and frees the character as though the compound had dissolved on its own.
Chemical, Sporekill: A chemical found in many first aid kits, sporekill is a special hypodermic injection that can be used to neutralize the effects of most diseases. Each sporekill injector contains a specialized analyzer linked to chemical generators. When the needle penetrates the skin of the target, it samples the target’s blood and sends the data back to the analyzer, which determines the nature of the disease and generates an antidote from stored chemical compounds. Once the sporekill delivers its specially formulated chemicals, the target character is completely cured of the disease and its effects in 1d10 hours. Some genetically engineered diseases are created to circumvent sporekill chemical, and are unaffected by this piece of gear.
Computer, Card: As has been the case since the invention of the computer, the miniaturization of technology is most often seen in the area of computer size. The card computer functions as a standard computer but is no bigger than most credit cards or hackcards. The card computer may be hooked into any computer interface or display (including paint-on LCDs) and functions exactly like a personal computer.
Disguise Kit, Morphic: Most people forced to work undercover for extended periods rely on the morphic disguise kit. The kit features a pair of contact lenses that change color, a hair prosthetic that changes color, length, and texture, a paint-on LCD injector for instant tattoos that transform, and a vocal encoder (vocoder) that is attached to the throat to alter the user’s voice. Each component can be altered on command. The morphic disguise kit grants a +6 equipment bonus on all Disguise checks while in use.
Display Contacts: Like the previous era’s display glasses, display contacts are part of the further miniaturization of computers. These contact lenses fit perfectly over the eye and project a semitransparent image that appears to be roughly three feet from the user and comparable to a 52-inch monitor. This can be used to show the character any computer display it is linked to, and is also frequently implemented into the heads-up display device (using the multiple use item gadget) to provide real-time data on objects and people in the character’s field of vision.
Medkit, Advanced: The advanced medkit functions as a combined first aid kit, medical kit, and surgery kit. It also grants its user a +2 equipment bonus on all Treat Injury checks.
Medkit, Fast-Use: The fast-use medkit functions as both a first aid kit and a medical kit. In addition, specialized computers and sensors prepare exactly what is needed to restore a character’s hit points, treat a disease, stabilize a dying character, or revive a dazed, stunned, or unconscious character. A character may use the Treat Injury skill with the fast-use medkit as a move action.
The fast-use medkit cannot be used as a surgery kit.
Flash-Seal: Flash-seal looks like a block of metal roughly the size of a thin brick. It attaches to any door frame. When activated, chemical compounds inside the block of metal burn fast and hot enough to melt the metal into a liquid form. Almost instantaneously, a second chemical compound freezes the molten metal back into its solid state. The result is that the metal melts, sinks into the space between the door and its frame, and then solidifies again, essentially welding the door shut. A door that has been flash-sealed may not be opened by normal means and must be destroyed or cut through as though it were a wall.
Fusion Torch: The fusion torch is the Fusion Age’s equivalent of a blowtorch. The fusion torch produces a small, thin gout of flame that burns with such intensity that it creates temporary blobs of plasma all around it. The fusion torch consists of a small fuel canister attached to the torch generator. The torch deals 3d10 points of damage each round to immobile objects. Due to the nature of the fusion torch, a character using the torch must be meticulous in the way he cuts to maximize damage to whatever he is slicing through. If used as an improvised weapon, the fusion torch deals only 1d10 points of damage since it is being wielded in a more haphazard fashion.
Intellipicks: Though not technically an actual set of lockpicks, intellipicks are a cluster of several tiny machines (though not quite small enough to be called nanites) that can pick almost any lock and open almost any door. Intellipicks come in a small box that, when placed on the lock to be opened, releases the miniscule robots to do their work. Once the intellipicks penetrate the lock, they move tumblers and shift bolts in an efficient and rapid manner, opening the lock in way that no human could. Intellipicks have an effective Disable Device modifier of +20 (this skill can only be used to open conventional locks). Intellipicks cannot open electronic or computerized locks, though they can open magnetic locks by generating a magnetic field of opposite polarity.
Jetpack: A jetpack consists of a backpack and fuel cells capable of producing powered flight for up to 2 hours. A character equipped with a jetpack can fly at a speed of 60 feet (good maneuverability). Replacement fuel cells have a purchase DC of 10.
Neural Scrambler: The neural scrambler is a restraint device used by many law enforcement agencies in the place of physical restraints such as handcuffs. The neural scrambler consists of a six-pronged device that, when placed over the head, interrupts brainwave activity. A character wearing a neural scrambler may not take any actions whatsoever, though she moves her normal speed under the command of another individual. When the neural scrambler is removed, the character has no knowledge of events that took place while she was restrained.
Plastic Surgery Kit, Personal: The personal plastic surgery kit is fashionable with society’s elite—and its criminal underworld. Consisting of a mask that fits neatly over any human face, the personal plastic surgery kit is a one-use item that completely and permanently changes a character’s facial appearance.
The personal plastic surgery kit is first linked to a special imaging computer that programs the kit with the desired outcome. The kit is then placed on the face and activated. The kit sedates the person using it and then proceeds to alter his face according to the specifications, and can even go so far as to permanently alter eye and hair color. Using the kit takes one hour, during which the character is unconscious.
Sensor, Chemicomp: The chemicomp sensor computer is a handheld computer or computerized gauntlet designed to find individual chemical compounds. Chemicomps can locate a specific chemical, providing a +10 equipment bonus on Search checks when attempting to find chemical compounds.
Sensor, Geocomp: The geocomp sensor computer is a handheld computer or computerized gauntlet designed to find individual minerals. Geocomps can locate a specific mineral, providing a +10 equipment bonus on Search checks when attempting to find minerals.
Sensor, Motion: The motion sensor is capable of not only detecting motion but also of plotting it on a display screen in relation to other objects. The motion sensor plots motion relative to its own position, but can sense motion through walls and solid surfaces, indicating the location of any moving object within 100 feet.
Universal Communicator (Unicom): The unicom is an all-in-one piece of equipment that handles the communication needs of a single person. Each unicom has its own frequency and can send transmissions both directly to another individual unicom as well as to an entire group of unicoms. The unicom also has a data port so that it can be linked to a computer system and receive data as well as audio and visual communications. In later eras, the unicom also frequently incorporates the hologram recorder and projector devices (via the multiple use item gadget).
Violet Rations: The standard rations of Fusion Age militaries, violet rations are entire meals that come in pill form. The pill is placed under the tongue and dissolves, releasing not only the flavors of various foods but also the consumer’s daily supply of nutrients and vitamins. Each violet ration is the equivalent of a single meal and is nutritious, filling, and relatively appetizing.
FUSION AGE EQUIPMENT GADGETS

The following gadgets are found in the Fusion Age and can apply to equipment of that era or later, provided all gadget-specific restrictions are observed.
HUD SOFTWARE, SENSOR LINK

A piece of software for the heads-up display device, the sensor link allows the user to directly link any computer sensor to the HUD. As a result, any sensor can be used hands-free as a free action, provided they are present on the character’s person.
Restrictions: Heads-up display only.
Purchase DC Modifier: +1
HUD SOFTWARE, TARGETING

A piece of software for the heads-up display device, targeting software links directly to a ranged weapon’s video scope. This allows the character to see exactly what the video scope displays without having to look at the weapon. The character may fire around corners without exposing himself as normal. The software also grants a +1 equipment bonus on ranged attacks using the weapon to which it is connected.
Restrictions: Heads-up display only, requires weapon with video scope gadget.
Purchase DC Modifier: +2
HUD SOFTWARE, VEHICLE LINK

A piece of software for the heads-up display device, the vehicle link allows the onboard computer system of any vehicle to be displayed on the HUD. This grants a +1 equipment bonus on all Drive or Pilot checks made on a vehicle linked to the device.
Restrictions: Heads-up display only, requires vehicle with onboard computer system.
Purchase DC Modifier: +2
SELF-REPAIRING

The self-repairing gadget implements nanotechnology in its infancy to repair minor problems with any piece of equipment. Whenever the equipment is damaged, the self-repairing gadget immediately issues commands to a set of nanites that move to the problem spot and begin making repairs. The gadget repairs one point of damage per minute to the equipment.
Restrictions: None.
Purchase DC Modifier: +6