Friday, December 28, 2018

Elite Armor II: Imperial Knight Armor

Over on my Patreon, I did a poll some time ago about the elements of the Emperor’s mystical conspiracy, those aspects of the Empire that are beyond the control of generals and bureaucrats, that answer directly to him and know of his command over Dark Communion. One such element is the Imperial Knight, a small cadre of elite psychics who have studied at the feet of the Emperor himself and deploy their psychic might in a dark mirror of the Maradon Space Knight or, more accurately, as a dark mirror to the Templars of Communion.

In Tinker Titan Rebel Spy, we had a player who wanted to be an imperial knight (even before Imperial Knights were a thing), and wanted to know what sort of armor they would have. I gave him some hacked together version of what I had designed for Maradon Space Knights, but it required a few different features, such as a unique material (diamondoid laminate, in this case). When I rebuilt the materials, he expressed sadness that I had removed their unique material (replacing it with Carbide Laminate, which is “common” now for the soldiers of the Empire). What this says to me is that his armor mattered to him. And why shouldn’t it? An Imperial Knight is as defined by his armor as a Maradon space knight is.

So, if I’m going to give Maradon space knights cool armor options, should I not give the same to Imperial Knights? More, this is an opportunity to show off some of the other options made available to the Cult of the Emperor, what secret technologies he uses to empower his most prized minions.

Imperial Knights are an order of magnitude rarer than Maradon Space Knights, but where most space knights play at war with their dueling while warrior over-priced fashion-original armor, the Imperial Knights are titans of psychic power with access to Dark Communion and thus make up for quantity with quality. So while this armor is unlikely to see much use throughout the Empire, those who wear it are such key NPCs, or the armor is sufficiently interesting to PCs, that its definitely worth diving into at great length.

Imperial Knight armor is elite armor. It may not be purchased with money, only as signature gear.



Imperial Knight Armor

Imperial Knights have the whole of the imperial industrial might at their disposal when crafting their armor, thus all Imperial Knight’s have armor customized to their precise specifications. Below are three variants to represent the possible directions an Imperial Knight might go with. All such models provide vacuum support with 8 hours of air and bio-monitors. Furthermore, this armor is tailored to the wearer; anyone other than the intended wearer, or someone with an extremely similar build (a clone or a twin) will suffer -1 to DX and DX-based skills while wearing it. An armorer might be able to modify armor for someone else of roughly similar build to wear, but this would take days.

ImperialJuggernaut” Armor: The heaviest form of armor available to Imperial Knights, it closely resembles older “crusader” armor, but it replaces the gleaming diamondoid plates with precisely machined plates of carbide laminate over a heavy battleweave body sleeve. The result offers impressive protection for its weight. This tends to be preferred by Imperial Knights who see themselves as the mailed gauntlet of the Emperor, taking the fight directly to his foes.

ImperialWarlock” Armor: Patterned after the ancient “Gothic” model of armor, this sacrifices some of the baroque psychic geometries of that older armor for more elegant psychotronic circuitry. The resulting design of carbide laminate and battleweave integrates the circuitry directly into it. The resulting design is cleaner, but carries an ominous air about it. This is preferred by those Imperial Knights who see it as their duty to employ their psychic powers in defense of their Emperor, or to ferret out the secrets of his enemies. This armor provides +2 to a single psychic power, or the bonus can be split up (+1 to two different powers simultaneously) as per a universal psi-amplifier (see PT 13). The psi-amplifier also reduces the cost of extra-effort to 1 fatigue rather than 2 fatigue. See PT 12.

ImperialRogue” Armor: This armor most closely resembled Imperial trooper armor, though usually of a much darker cast and sculpted so closely to the body of its wearer that the integrated carbide laminate plates and battleweave seem to hug the wearer’s curves. The resulting armor offers minimal protection, but enough to deflect a stray pistol or carbine shot, and is extra-ordinarily light for the protection it offers. This model of armor tends to be chosen by Imperial Knights who wish to serve their emperor from the shadows, infiltrating the enemy or assassinating his enemies.

Armor
Loc
DR
Cost
Weight
LC
Cell
Notes
“Juggernaut” Armor
All
130/90*
$150,000
50
2
C/5 days
SV
“Warlock” Armor
All
90/70*
$140,000
35
2
C/4 days
PSV
“Rogue” Light Armor
All
80/60*
$120,000
25
2
C/5 days
SV
*The higher value protects the torso only; Double DR vs Plasma or Shaped Charges.
P: Universal Psi-Amplifier: +2 to single psionic power or +1 to two different psi-powers
S: Sealed with helmet
V: Vacuum protection

Imperial Knight Sealed Helmets

Just as with Space Knight armor, Imperial Knight armor is functionally a heavily armored vacc suit; with the inclusion of a sealed helmet, it offers full vacuum protection and a sealed system. While any such helmet can be used, Imperial Knights generally have helmets that come with their armor. All of the following helmets provide a complete seal airmasks (allowing them to provide filtered air rather than relying on separate air stores), a tiny radio with a 10-mile range and a nightvision HUD (×8 magnifier, +9 Nightvision) and offers both protected vision and hearing. They also include Psi-Shield circuitry, providing a +5 to resist any telepathic intrusions or afflictions!

Imperial Knight Mask: Patterned after the Maradon masque, this system consists of a battleweave “hood” that hugs tightly to the skull and seals an armored mask to the face. This is light, thus preferred by those wearing Warlock or Rogue armor, and the mask itself is satisfyingly intimidating, if far simpler and cleaner in lines than the Maradon version.

Imperial Knight Helm: This far heavier helm is a typical helmet crafted of Carbide Laminate, offering increased protection at the cost of greater weight; those who wear Juggernaut armor tend to choose the helm.

Armor
Loc
DR
Cost
Weight
LC
Notes
Imperial Mask
Head
60/20*
$1500
3
3
ANS
Imperial Helm
Head
130/90†
$5000
8
2
ANS
* The higher DR protects the face; the lower DR is flexible
† Lower DR protects the face

A: Contains an air-mask and filter, allowing it to remain sealed while breathing atmosphere without airtanks.
N: Nightvision HUD (×8 magnifier, +9 Nightvision)
S: Completes a seal

Imperial Knight Armor Customization

The Emperor custom crafts each Imperial Knight’s armor to exacting specification. In addition to tailoring them to their exact dimensions to ensure a snug fit, he also chooses what various options to integrate. Imperial Knight armor is not modular, rather, the player (or GM) may select from the following options to represent customization options selected to individualize their armor.
The Emperor outwardly embraces Neo-Rationalism and thus often makes a point of integrating advanced Shinjurai technology into his Imperial Knights’ armor. The Emperor and his cult also have access to unique techno-occult technologies, derived from his own understanding of Communion and knowledge stolen from ancient alien races, that integrate psychotronics with path-like resonances to create subtle and dangerous communion-like effects.

Advanced Psi-Amplifier Prototype (Armor): This doubles the amplification effect of the Warlock model of armor, or grants a +2 to a single psychic power for the other models of armor. However, if the wearer rolls a critical failure while using an amplified psychic power, in addition to the normal effects, it may generate a Broken Communion miracle, at the GM’s discretion. +$20,000, +2 lbs. This reduces the armor’s endurance to 4 hours (80% duration). 
 
Deep Engine Reactor (Armor): This reactor provides total power to the entire armor system, giving it indefinite endurance. This costs the wearer nothing, nor requires anything special of the wearer, though if the reactor is destroyed, it releases a pulse of Broken Communion energy that can create a wave of uncontrolled Broken Communion miracles at the GM’s discretion. +$20,000, +2 lbs.

Dynamic Chameleon (Armor): The armor integrates a dynamic chameleon effect. This provides a +8 to stealth rolls in contests against normal or IR detection; this bonus is halved if the character is moving or against opponents with Hyperspectral vision.: +$12,000, +3 lbs.

Hyperspectral Visor (Helmet): Replace the Nightvision HUD with a Hyperspectral HUD, with the same magnification. +$1500.

Mag-Lanyard (Armor): Built into the gauntlet of the armor, this is designed to magnetically resonate with a given weapon (typically a force sword). It pulls your weapon to your hand as long as it is “loose” and within 2 yards of your character; this functions like a technological version of TK-Tether (Psi 56). +$500.

Path Resonance (Armor): The armor is designed with to resonant with a particular path. This requires it to be highly stylized so as to naturally evoke a reaction from those who see it appropriate to the path. Furthermore, it include occult symbols that naturally resonate with a particular path, such as appropriate colors or imagery for the path. This grants the wearer the effect of +1 Legendary Reputation for one single path, chosen when the armor is designed. This bonus is cumulative with any Legendary Reputation they already have. This applies to both Communion rolls and to reaction rolls, if the reputation bonus is applicable. Characters who not have access to Communion tend to develop the Aspect advantage naturally over time, and the GM might consider giving them “free” miracles everyone in awhile to represent the armor’s spooky, occult nature. The paths of the armor must be either Dark Communion paths, or Broken Communion paths; True Communion paths are not available. The Emperor prefers to use the paths of the Rebellious Beast, the Beautiful Fool, and Death. Triple the cost of the armor (+2 CF).

Psychokinetic Exofield (Armor): The armor integrates a psychokinetic field that augments the wearer’s natural ST. These offer bonus Striking ST, Lifting ST, a level of super-jump, and offer a bonus Psi Talent for Tactile TK only. If active, it reduces the endurance of the armor to 1 hour (20% duration). Three options exist:
  • Light Psychokinetic Exofield: +5 ST, Super Jump 1, +1 Talent; +$30,000.
  • Medium Psychokinetic Exofield: +10 ST, Super Jump 2, +2 Talent; +$60,000.
  • Heavy Psychokinetic Exofield: +15 ST, Super Jump 3, +3 Talent; +$100,000.
Psychotronic Battery (Armor): The armor integrates psychotronic storage and circuitry to allow the character to both store and use psychic energy. See PT 13 for more. Note that characters may spend multiple turns drawing energy from the battery if they want to create an especially powerful effect, and that they can refill it with energy borrowed from Dark Communion, if they have access to Dark Communion. This has a capacity of 10 fatigue; +$10,000.

Sensor Visor (Helmet): The helmet no longer has any eye-slits that can be attacked, but instead transmits information to the character via very tiny cameras located elsewhere on the helmet (these cameras can be attacked at -10, which will destroy the camera but cause no harm to the character). +$500.

Synthetic Relic (Armor): The armor integrates psychotronic circuitry laid out to invoke occult symbolism to allow the character to access specific Dark Communion miracles with some reliability. Using Techno-Communion psychotronics requires a successful Electronics Operations (Psychotronics) roll and the wearer accumulates 1d of Corruption whether or not the roll succeeds. Success allows the character to invoke one of the following Dark Communion miracles (chosen when the armor is built): Dark Charisma, Dark Confidence, Hunter’s Eyes, Psionic Focus, or Unstoppable. +$50,000; +$25,000 per additional miracle (only one miracle may be active at a time). This reduces the endurance of the armor to 4 hours (80% endurance).

Trauma Maintenance (Armor): The armor includes an injector system and an integrated ESU. It automatically detects if the character is critically injured and begins to administer emergency care. The armor automatically performs first aid with First-Aid-12; if the character is mortally wounded, it acts to stabilize the armor-wearer, and applies a +2 to all rolls to prevent death after being mortally wounded. + $10,000, +2 lbs.
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