Morph Development

For when your character is enthralled with godliness and wants to make a new body, here’s how they proceed.

Morph Development Rules


1. Setup

To begin, the GM will hear your proposal and then assign several modifiers based on the parameters of the project and the universe at the time of development.

  • DIFFICULTY [DIF]: The basic levels of skill needed to create a morph. Applies a flat modifier for creating novel morphs and applies a modifier for adding additional features and capability to a morph. The default difficulty is [Hard] with a modifier of -30.
  • TIME [TIM]: The amount of time needed to see results from a project, including both design work and growing morphs. Is the length of the task actions in the design and building phases. The default for biomorphs is [Extreme] with a timeframe of one year, and the default for synthetic morphs is [Medium] with one week.
  • INFRASTRUCTURE [INF]: The amount of space, gear, data, and other such resources needed to make an attempt at a project, expressed as a number of credits. Below this amount, the project will suffer from a lack of resources. Note that exceeding the number of resources doesn’t apply a bonus; instead equipment bonuses are expressed via access to higher quality gear (which will of course be more expensive) of the same quantity. The default infrastruture requirements are [Expensive] with a minimum investement of 200,000 credits (A good rule of thumb is to assume that infrastructure requirements are Cost Category x 10).
  • Available infrastructure is defined by location specific modifiers that can be altered during the Acquisition Phase. Each field has a Level from 0 to 5, corresponding with the cost categories defined for the campaign. They add their cost category base value to the infrastructure investment. Materials, Facilities, Equipment, Data Processing, Personnel and Power are the main modifiers.

2. Acquisition Phase

Players may make a related skill check to acquire equipment and/or specialist personnel that will aid in (or hinder) their development process.

  • All rolls in this phase are subject to the specified [DIF] modifier.
  • Players make necessary Networking, Scrounging, or other applicable SSTs. MoS/10 generates a level corresponding to a time scale requirement which determines time taken to accomplish acquisition, higher being faster.
  • Item acquired adds its cost category value times the MoS divided by 10 to the infrastructure investment. Value = (Cost Category)*(MoS/10).

3. Research Phase

Choose morph to use as a template, and choose what features will be added or subtracted. This will affect the basic difficulty and time taken.

  • Players may make a research SST, assisted or unassisted, to acquire templates or other project-relevant data. Subject to [DIF] modifier, MoS determines relevance of data found, and applies a multiplicative modifier to the [TIM] scale, that being MoS/100. For research to be Highly Relevant requires MoS 30+. This is akin to finding the original design or even networking with the original designers. Adds 20 to all skill checks. For it to be Relevant, the required MoS is 20. A piece of theoretical data or a subsystem’s design/operation principles. Not exactly a premade blueprint, but it’ll help speed things along. Grants a 10 to all skill checks. MoS 10 gives you Background information. Incredibly basic data that only gives a vague impression of what the team needs to be doing. Points you in the right direction, but leaves most of the hard questions unanswered. Grants +5 to all skill checks.
  • The template for the Splicer, Synth, and Worker Pod are always considered to have full documentation.
  • If there is no template or data to base the new morph off of (the research check fails), and/or the morph is an entirely new type of organism or mechanism, the GM should use add a -10 or higher skill modifier to the difficulty, depending on how complex the organism is.

4. Design Phase:

Design the overall architecture of the morph; this is a [TIM]-length Profession: Morph Design or related Professional/Academic/Hardware field skill task action with a modifier of [DIF]. Additional modifiers for difficulty may be added based on the nature of morph (ie, making use of alien tissue, multiple genomes, working with old equipment, difficult design specs, etc).

  • If successful, the morph designer has created an overall design that will function as intended. If unsuccessful, either the morph designer begins again, or the GM assigns a number of CP of negative traits and/or removes a number of CP in augmentations and positive traits equal to the MOF. These are components that did not ‘fit’ into the design of the morph.
  • Integrate all the features into the morph:
Aptitude Bonuses +5 aptitude bonuses test at [DIF] +10 aptitude bonuses test at 2 * [DIF] +15 aptitude bonuses are rolled at 3 * [DIF] due to their difficulty/rarity.
CP Traits For every 10 CP of traits added, test a related skill at [DIF]
Augmentations For every 10 CP of augmentations, require a roll at [DIF]
Success Success means the component is integrated without problem.
Failure A roll with MoF 30+ cannot be added to the design. MoF < 30 means it can be added, but the GM can and will add a negative trait/quirk, or ask that another part be removed.
Iteration A designer or design team may repeat this stage until they are satisfied with the results Each run takes [TIM]

5. Blueprint Phase

Now that you know roughly what you’re doing, you need to tell the CM machine how to do it. Cue Blueprinting, a Programming Task Action with a duration of [TIM]. Design and Blueprinting may occur simultaneously.

  • The designer must make a Programming roll at [DIF] taking [TIM]. The programmer must succeed at least once in order to complete the morph. With only one success, the building process will require a roll at [DIF] in the appropriate skill (see below). For each successful programing roll after the first, apply a +10 modifier to the test to grow the morph. If the modifier is greater than +60, the morph can be constructed entirely automatically.
  • A critical failure results in the character expending [TIM] before realizing their design is not feasible to manufacture, and they must rerun a design cycle before attempting to blueprint again.

6. Assembly Phase

With a working blueprint in hand, it’s time to actually build your shiny new morph. This is a [TIM]-long task action for biomorphs, and three days for synthetic and pod morph. Each morph to be built requires a biolab with morph growing vats or a factory/nanofabricator for synthetic morphs, or both for pods. This process is largely automated, but requires an appropriate Medicine test for biomorphs, a Hardware: Implants for pods, and a Hardware: Robotics for synthetics to oversee the process and guide the automatic systems. On a failure, the morph comes out wrong, with a loss in traits and features equal to the MOF. On a critical failure, the morph is simply non-viable and a new one must be assembled from scratch. This does not mean the morph design process must begin again.

7. Testing Phase

It doesn’t do to publish your work untried, so here’s where you’ll make sure you’re not going to destroy someone by letting them sleeve into your creation. Testing the morph requires sleeving an ego into the morph, making a standard resleeving check, with an additional penalty based on how novel the morph is (ie, how well the ego bridge recognizes the brain matter). A normal Psychosurgery test can be used to avoid this modifier.

  • Most morphs are going to have a few hidden kinks in them. The GM should feel free to assign quirks, oddities, and negative traits in the prototypes that might not appear obvious (and should probably assign at least 5 CP of such, or several random quirks). Without comprehensive testing, a person in this morph might run into one of these quirks (or cause a previously undefinied one to be created on the spot) if they fail critically at something.
  • Novelty Modifier: For every level of novelty, add a -10 modifier to the integration/alienation tests.

8. Iterate

It’s unlikely a morph design will come to fruition on the first pass, so feel free to revise it! Go back to the drawing board, and do it again! The first time’s the hardest; going back and starting from the beginning, or repeating stages over again to get out those pesky quirks or add new skills is likely going to be necessary to reach morphological perfection.

Teamwork is Victory!

Making a morph is often a large-scale project, requiring dozens of people. That said, teamwork – flat +10 for each additional person – seem ill-suited to this sort of work. Instead, for this sort of collaborative effort, bonuses should be made based on the size of the supporting staff – +10 for a small team of less than ten, +20 for a department’s worth of eggheads, +30 for the scientific might of several different teams, etc. Note that the bonus only applies if the supporting staff have a varied background in relevant fields; otherwise they’re just deadweights or repeating things that you already know.

Morph Development

Ex Post Human Esarai