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Posthuman: The Definitive D20 Guide to Human Augmentation
 
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Average Rating:3.6 / 5
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Posthuman: The Definitive D20 Guide to Human Augmentation
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Posthuman: The Definitive D20 Guide to Human Augmentation
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/24/2006 14:06:33
An RPG Resource Review:

After a brief run-through of the contents, the Introduction explains that modifications to the very person are part and parcel of many future and especially cyberpunk genres. Sometimes they are background, sometimes they occupy centre stage. And at some point, your players are going to want augmentation, or will interact with those who already have it.

But there's more to being able to do extraordinary feats due to modification. Do you want to question the essential 'humanity' of those who have been augmented - are they still humans? What's the effect of such technology on the natural processes of evolution? How is technology used in society, and how are those who have accepted it into their very bodies used and treated? A series of quick questions and ideas to start you thinking a bit more deeply about the ramifications of allowing characters - and NPCs - access to this technology.

While this kind of technology mostly will be used in a future/cyberpunk setting, a couple of ideas are presented for those who'd like a few augmented humans running around in a contemporary setting. Perhaps they are the result of secret government experimentation. Or they are aliens, or were modified by them. Or they may even be time travellers, popping back from an era where such modifications are commonplace.

Next comes the 'Posthuman Template Class' - an ingenious device to allow as much customization as possible. The idea is that rather than apply a straigh template to a character and so change his level, or create a core, prestige or advanced class and so make it a career choice that stops you advancing in other areas, the two are combined. You can apply the template at an appropriate level depending on where you are before accepting augmentation by inserting a level of this class. It also allows, should you so wish, for the avoidance of some of the usual negative effects that most systems of cybernetic or biotech enhancement impose, such as Cyberpunk's loss of humanity as you cyber up. After all, in a society where this technology is mature, people will be better adjusted to the thought of technology in their bodies, and the technology itself will be refined enough to genuinely augment without hindrance. The cost is merely the experience used to take the necessary level of the Posthuman class.

However, not everyone uses cyberware to improve themselves. Perhaps biotechnology or nanotechnology are used instead - or as well, in parallel development. And there may be those who have less good cyberware and so do suffer the more traditional problems associated with it, as well as those with the refinements of a Posthuman level. Biotech can involve genetic modification, either before birth or to a mature individual, as well as surgery and other implantation techniques. Nanotechnology infests the character with myriads of tiny machines that perform certain tasks, for example healing, on them from within.

When a character takes a Posthuman level, he gains a number of 'enhancement points' to spend on a wide range of augmentations from all 3 types of technology... and there are plenty listed here to play with. For the unlucky, there is also information on what can go wrong with it, and how to fix it... and what problems and side effects you can suffer even when everything is working as intended.

Finally, a few sample characters are provided. Use them as inspiration, or as NPCs - friends or foes - as you please.

The strength of this product is in the way it presents a whole range of options, and so allows the GM to tailor the overall concept of his game to create the desired effect - gritty cyberpunk where everything comes with a price or a transhuman utopia where enhancement is standard and natural. Well worth a look if you wish human augmentation to be possible in your game.

You can read about product from Adamant Entertainment & many other publishers at http://www.rpg-resource.org.uk/

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Posthuman: The Definitive D20 Guide to Human Augmentation
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Sean S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/20/2005 00:00:00
Disclaimer: The art and layout of the books in the Terminal Identity line offends my sense of aesthetics. The art is photo-realistic and appears to be digitally retouched images. This style of artwork has never appealed to me and I feel it detracts from the book. The layout, while PDF friendly (including wider margins) has one oddity. The page number art interferes with the placement of text and images in some places and is rather jarring when you are reading.

Posthuman was one of the first supplements to be released dealing with the Cybernetic rules from d20 Future. It breaks down into five sections: Introduction, Posthuman Template Class, Biotech, Nanotech and Sample Characters.

The Introduction covers what Posthumans are (in this case cybernetic, genetic or nanotech enhanced humans), some of the questions the development of posthumans pose for society, a sidebar on Posthuman versus Transhuman and a section on using Posthumans in a modern-day setting.

Next the book presents the Posthuman Template Class (which is actually three classes covering cybernetics, biotech and nanotech). The author explains his reasoning behind using a template class, how the template class differs from other classes, what the Posthuman class is (an alternative to the rules presented in the Cybernetics section of the Modern SRD) and guidelines for using the Posthuman class with ?regular? cyborgs.

The Posthuman class is geared towards a high-technology game and its abilities reflect this. The class has five levels, with a medium base attack progression, good Fortitude save, regular Reflex and Will saves, d8 hit points, a decent skill list and 5 skill points per level (4 for non-humans).

The Posthuman gains three special abilities at each level: Modification Points, Tolerance and Superior Upgrade. Modification Points allow the Posthuman to buy augmentations (cybernetic, biotech, nanotech or any combination) without making a Wealth check. Additionally the Posthuman can save any unspent Modification Points to use at his next level. Tolerance is essentially the Cybertaker feat, but covers all three types of augmentation. Superior Upgrade gives the Posthuman?s augmentations a special ability or eliminates a weakness from them. For example the Idiot Proof Superior Upgrade makes one type of the Posthuman?s augmentations easier to repair, (re)install or remove.

Following the Posthuman Class we get rules for Biotech. The Biotech rules cover Creation and Healing, Installation and Removal, and Benefits and Drawbacks. Two new feats are included in the Biotech section: Biotaker and Craft Biotechnology. The Biotech section includes a list of Biotech equivalents to existing Cybernetics along with 12 new biotech enhancements ranging from Antiagathic Therapy to Tectogenetic Engineering (an alternate way of gaining a gene-therapy template).

Following the Biotech section we come to Nanotech. The section starts out covering the standard areas of Creation, Installation and Removal, Benefits and Drawbacks. Two new feats are included in the Biotech section: Craft Nanotechnology and Nanotaker. Included is a sidebar covering what changes if any apply to the nanotechnology presented in the Modern SRD. There are also rules for modeling cybernetic and biotech augmentations as nanotech (increase the PL by 1 and purchase DC by 4). 13 new nano-augmentations are provided ranging from Assembler Cloud to the Shapeshifting Colony.

The final section presents three characters from three different Progress Levels that utilize the rules in the book. Yang Ping is a PL 6 cybernetic post-apocalyptic survivor of a nuclear war between Europe and China fighting to restore China to its former glory. Nanzi Janz is a PL 7 biotech revolutionary fighting against the repression of the Jovian Catholic Church and its cyborgs. Keshanth is a PL8 nanotech mad scientist who rules a portion of the galaxy with an iron fist conducting inscrutable experiments.



LIKED: The book expands on the material found in d20 Future and provides new rules and augmentations that allow players and game masters more variety in their games. The rules are well thought out and follow the d20 Modern conventions. Adding them to an ongoing campaign shouldn?t present and difficulties.

DISLIKED: I can?t really find much that I disliked when I read the book minus the disclaimer above.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Posthuman: The Definitive D20 Guide to Human Augmentation
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Rick A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/10/2005 00:00:00
"Definitive" D20 Guide to Human Augmentation? Hardly. Incomplete and lacking in detail as well as lacking in any original information (other than a debatably useless prestige class) is more like it. A waste of money.

QUALITY: Poor

VALUE: Ripped Off


Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Given that the three other reviews of this product are 5 stars, 4 stars and 5 stars, respectively, I guess we'll have to chalk this one up to a difference of opinion. Feel free to contact us at marketing@adamantentertainment.com, and tell us specifically what you found lacking, and we'll see what we can do to win you back.
Posthuman: The Definitive D20 Guide to Human Augmentation
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Bryce C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/29/2005 00:00:00
I'm quite pleased with what I've seen in Posthuman. This is something that D20 has needed, and I'm sure I'll find it applicable to the D20 Modern, and D20 Future gaming that I'm doing. I also feel it will be useful with the Fourth Millenium setting material.

LIKED: I liked everything about this product

DISLIKED: See above

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Posthuman: The Definitive D20 Guide to Human Augmentation
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Derek H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/20/2005 00:00:00
Though the idea of the level template is not new (it is found in Genjitsu's Shaping the Self), this is an excellent approach to different power levels. There is an nice selection of cybertech, biotech and nanotech. If you want to use any of these three, I suggest this file to you.

The only thing I didn't care for was the overwhelming amount of graphics and the file size it causes.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Posthuman: The Definitive D20 Guide to Human Augmentation
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Steven W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/19/2005 00:00:00
Great book, good ideas well executed, and great art to boot! An auspicious launch to Adamants new series and another worthy product from GMS!

LIKED: Good ideas, easy to use and well thought out. Using template levels to quantify degree of post human modification is perfect. And the art rocks.

DISLIKED: Not a thing.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
"Another worthy product from GMS!" Credit where credit is due: I only did digital artwork and layout on this one. The product (the entire line, in fact) is the work of Malcolm Sheppard. Kudos should go to him. -GMS
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