Posted by : David Guyll October 17, 2010

"Omega technology" is a catch-all term that indicates technological remnants from the time before The Big Mistake. Due to the fluctuating and merging worldlines, some of it is alien technology that was re-purposed by the Ancients, while the rest has more enigmatic origins. Regardless, it's everywhere, and anyone who manages to survive out in the wastelands inevitably stumbles upon an old fusion rifle, hoverboard, or suit of powered armor. Unfortunately, due to time and wear most of it is highly unstable and prone to breaking down. In some cases it can be salvaged, functioning and reduced capacity, but just because a hoverboard doesn't work doesn't mean it can't make a neat-looking shield.


They Don't Make It Like They Used To
Usually after an encounter, players can draw an Omega tech card from either the GM's deck or their own (if they've made one). This often represents the character discovering such an item after looting a defeated enemy, or somewhere in the immediate vicinity. Omega tech can only be used once per encounter, after which you must make an overcharge roll to see if it breaks down. This is normally a straight d20 roll, and if you get a 10 or higher then it's good to go. Otherwise it breaks. You can salvage it if there's a salvage entry and you're of a sufficient level, otherwise it goes into the discard pile (where it gets shuffled into your deck during an extended rest).

However, even if a character cannot salvage an item doesn't mean you have to toss it. Consider the H11 blaster rifle. If it breaks and you aren't level 6, why not keep it? Use it as a light melee weapon. A disruptor pike could make a fine heavy melee weapon. Hell, I'd even allow the prototype power fist to work as a shield of sorts. While for some stuff, like pills or the plasma sword, this might not make any real sense, but keep that shit anyway because you never know when it'll come in handy.

Characters might be able to use Mechanics and/or Science to cannibalize parts from a working item to get the other to work. This could work in a variety of ways.

You could trash other items to give yourself a bonus to the overcharge roll. Unfortunately, items don't have levels, so the bonus would be pretty arbitrary, though I'd go with a +2 (you could use other broken parts at a reduced bonus). I'd limit this to similar items. For example, I wouldn't allow a character to use pills to patch up a pair of teleport disks. If it's a stretch, reduce the bonus or give none (but still allow a roll). A houserule that I'm going to implement is for the characters to be able to find spare parts that would allow them to make checks to repair/recharge Omega tech. Fuel cells, busted rifles, some kind of "nano-forge". Whatever works. This could also be used to escalate an item from salvaged back to "normal" status.

And remember, if all else fails you can still try to sell or trade it.

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