I went through a phase of my life when I didn't play, follow or buy any role-playing games or supplements. I was in denial. Oh what a powerful psychological mechanism that is. It lasted a few years, then I realized how much of a sci-fi/fantasy nutbar I really am. I gotta have a small fix of sci-fi at least every day. I am now in the process of re-collecting all the old goodies I had and checking out new stuff too. I know, I know,... I'm a dumby for getting rid of my old goodies.
Recenty, I perused GURPS Bio-Tech at One Eyed Jaques in Richmond Va. I put it down then I picked it up again and said "I gotta have this." I'm not sorry, it's totally cool. Bio-Tech was put out in '97 so it's an oldie but a goodie. David Pulver is the writer.
We are introduced with a brief but informative dose of Biology 101 in chapter one. Here, he lays down the basics and then takes off with them into pure speculation. Vatbrain Biocomputers, DNA Computers, Cross-Sex Clones, and Vat-Grown Organs and Parts are just some of the highlights you'll come across in your reading.
Chapter Two covers human genetic engineering. Welcome to the world of "Homo superior", the cutting edge in genetic engineering. This chapter covers meshing human and animal DNA for beings like the Felicia-Series Bioroid which posseses "superhuman grace, speed and reflexes." Modifications to all the organs can be made so that they can be super efficient and durable. This chapter also covers a lot of custom made humans and parahumans. Examples include:
There's more, you can impant bones ala Darth Maul, add wings or a tail. They also cover custom designs as well as genetic engineering with aliens.
Chapter Three introduces Biomods. Included are Hair Graft, Sex Change, Muscle Graft and the ever popular Testicle Tuck (You know, in case some one tries to kick you in the Jimmy.)
The Transplants sections covers transplanting brains, cat's eyes, tails, different types of hearts, and tentacles, no not testicles (You must be tired.) But I'm sure if you asked the good doctors they could hook you up. Tell'em the Field Marshall sent ya.
Items of note are:
You can also get nerosurgery. This ranges from a Prefrontal Lobotomy to Wetware Sub-Personality. "I'll take the Prefrontal Lobotomy for 200 Jim." Cool Stuff. Chemical enhancements include Nootropic Drugs which you can really get right now(No kidding, but only in pill form)and Bone Stimulation. The remainder of the chapter offers viruses (No, these are the good viruses.) and nano-tech to give one a variety of advantages.
Chapter Four, entitled "Man's Best Friend", starts off with Gengineered Microbes which make for some pretty killer bio-weapons. Germ Warfare takes on a new meaning. Biological warfare is missing from many sci-fi games. I thought it was a nice touch. Devious Rifts GMs such as myself can now get the knees of the toughest juicer to quiver when I say "Are you sure you want to touch that without gloves? It could have germs." The "Fighting Disease" section offers a counter to my bio-weapons in the form of vaccines. Gengineered plants are also covered in depth. I thought the "Insect Bioweapons" and "Insect Agents" were very cool. Insects are no longer a nuisance they're fatal. Engineered and modified animals are also covered. The chapter ends with Living Bioships. Anybody watching Farscape may get an idea of what this is about.
"Immortality Incorporated" is the title of chapter five. This chapter covers Cryonics, Suspended Animation, and Braintaping. This offers a very cool element to any sci-fi game.
Last but not least chapter six offers some character archetypes and campaign ideas. Entitled "Characters and Corporations", this chapter contains types like:
The last part of the chapter covers campaign ideas for Biotech jobs and briefly touches on Biotech Corporations, Black Clinics and the like. The appendix features new and modified advantages.
In closing, if nothing else you ought to take a look at their bibliography. GURPS and White Wolf sourcebooks always have the greatest and most thorough bibliographies. They have adventure ideas from novels, comics, magazines and even other games. The sources are from both fact and fiction. They also feature a great list of movies that are related in theme.
Note. I never have played GURPS but I possess many of their sourcebooks and use them for other games, mostly RIFTS. They are great reading and let my imagination soar.
Helpful Hint of the Day: Take your RIFTS characters through the old AD&D module "Queen of the Demonweb Pits." Beef up the NPCs with energy weapons. This old module features Loth the Spider Goddess and allows characters to travel to different planes. That's what it's all about.
Style: 5 (Excellent!)