is an RPG by Palladium Books
(The makers of Rifts
and the Robotech
RPG). It is best described as "Guyver
vs. The Terminator
In the far future, Humankind had grown depended on a machine intelligence called N.E.X.U.S. We're fairly certain you can see where this is going
already: Computer goes crazy
, decides to Kill All Humans
, La Résistance
rises up to fight them, yadda yadda yadda.
Here's where it gets interesting: The Machine gets clever and dries to disarm the Resistance with a Nanobot Plague. This plague turns not only machinery, but even otherwise inert metal into deadly weapons if touched by organic life. (Guns only fire when pointed at humans, Humongous Mecha
come to life and attack their users, even a spoon
will sprout Combat Tentacles
and try to impale your hand). In response, the Humans turned to powerful bio-weapons, genetically engineered monsters, and living Powered Armor
to continue the fight.
Contains examples of:
- Ace Pilot: Archangels, though they "pilot" a suit of winged Powered Armor. Outriders, though largely ground-bound, are described in terms clearly evocative of this type of character.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: As if the whole "Kill All Humans" thing wasn't bad enough, N.E.X.U.S. has Split Personalities too. Some of them even help the Resistance from time to time.
- Automaton Horse: Averted with both War Mounts and regular horses, who need a certain amount of food and sleep every day. Most War Mounts need a lot of food, but just four hours of sleep; horses need way less food, but twice as much sleep plus periodic naps throughout the day.
- Beast of Battle: War Mounts, living tanks bred by the Resistance to replace the regular ones.
- Beneath the Earth: Most Human settlements are underground, due to the fact that The Machine controls the local Kill Sat network.
- BFG: The Bio-Rocket Slinger. For ordinary humans it's a two-man weapon, with one aiming and shooting and the other supporting it in their shoulder.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: "Combat spurs", which protrude from the elbow, are available for Host Armors.
- Bloody Murder: The appropriately-named Gore Cannon.
- Body Horror: Saints, Engineers, Gene Pools, Gene Thieves, and especially Librarians. Yeah, Skinjobs and Scarecrows don't even come close to these guys.
- On that note, Skinjobs and Scarecrows. The "Downsides" section for the Skinjob OCC takes care to note that you look like "a monster out of a nightmare" with your nasty new super-skin.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Technojackers are usually shunned by people, despite the fact that they were likely the only thing keeping the Resistance (and by extension the Human race) alive between the introduction of the Nanobot Virus and the development of the first Host Armors and War-Mounts.
- Chest Blaster: Yes, you can equip your Host Armor with a Mega Smas- er, Omega Blaster.
- Code Of Honor: Dreadguards follow one based on the principles of honor, benevolence, propriety, courage, and wisdom.
- The Engineer: Technojackers, though the technology they handle isn't the same stuff anybody else uses.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: Extra sets of eyes are among the available for Host Armors. It's mentioned, though, that eyes on your hand or forearm would mostly get in the way and get damaged easily. They can also be mounted on eye stalks, if that's your thing.
- Fast Tunnelling: A noted ability of Tunnel Rat War Mounts. It is mentioned that they can't build tunnels as fast as they can burrow because of a need to pack down soil and reinforce walls, though.
- Fantastic Racism: Technojackers, who are unaffected by the plague, make up about 1% of the human population, and are looked down upon by basically the entire remaining 99% at every echelon of society. They actually have a special power called "Scorned by Humanity"; even Scarecrows and Skinjobs are better regarded.
- Gaias Revenge: The N.E.X.U.S. personality so named also sees herself as this.
- Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke
- Healing Factor: Host Armors can have three different levels of it. A variant is the "Quick-Clotting Blood" feature, which causes wounds to close up faster.
- Horse of a Different Color: There don't seem to be any equine War Mounts described or shown, though normal and enhanced horses see widespread use among humans as regular transportation. Examples of War Mounts include creatures based on rhinos, crabs, and even dragons.
- Invisibility Cloak: Skinjobs' special skin allows them to generate a stealth field that makes them nearly invisible. It's noted that they remain visible under night vision and infrared sight, but can be detected in motion by motion sensors and the like.
- Lethal Joke Character: In-universe, the Tunnel Rat War Mounts were designed as something like a joke on the Machine, which hates rodents as much a humans. They were mostly used to draw fire away from human forces until Splicers in the field saw how fierce and capable they were.
- Made of Iron: It takes Mega Damage to pierce the super-tough skin of a Skinjob. They're also very resistant to pain — no amount of pain can impair their performance. Handy for them, since they can't wear real armor without compromising their role as stealth operatives.
- Master of Disguise: Deliverymen can perfectly mimic the facial features of any human or human-like android they encounter with their Second Skin
- Mon: Packmasters, Geneticists, and other Splicers who have monsters to fight alongside them.
- Mr. Fixit: Technojackers have the ability to repair basically any mechanical technology, or at least jury rig it to work for a little while.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: The "Freya" personality, who has found that replacing all the Humans in a town with androids makes them run much smoother now.
- Organic Technology: You'd be surprised how far this can be taken — how do organic rocket launchers sound?
- Powered Armor: Host Armors. Also the less advanced Living Armors, which are available to a wider range of classes.
- Reverse Shrapnel: A bio-weapon called the "Needle Death Blossom".
- The Rustler: Mount Rustlers, Waste Crawlers unaffiliated with the Resistance who steal War Mounts for their own purposes.
- Playing Possum: A special ability of the Skinjob O.C.C.
- Psycho for Hire: N.E.X.U.S.' "Kali" personality.
- Psycho Serum: The "Elixir of Life" used by Scarecrows. It makes them strong, fast, durable (etc.) enough to tear robots apart with their bare hands, but it's addictive and carries a number of nasty physical and psychological side-effects.
- Samurai: This is pretty much what Dreadguard are, and it's even lampshaded.
- Spike Shooter: The Needle Death Blossom, Quill Launcher, and Spike Launcher weapons for Host Armors
- Techno Wizard: The Technojacker Character Class, which is able to mutate the Nanobot Plague in their own bodies into a usable weapon and can still use technology without it turning on them.
- Theme Naming: Each of N.E.X.U.S.' personalities is named after a mythological Goddess (except Lilith).