Trade in Aliens & Asteroids: Technology

We’ve covered a few things so far in the realm of trade… metal, food, and water being the big three. But what about technology? What about weapons?

The Perception of Safety

Whether you are in a base on a hunk of rock, a space station orbiting somewhere, or a spacecraft floating through deep space, you want to feel as safe as possible. Imagine what would happen if something pierced a wall or punched through the hull, leaking atmosphere into the void. Or even imagine if you were out in your spacesuit gallivanting across a hostile scene and suddenly you have a hole in that suit? Would you feel safe? Probably not.

The technology embedded in your suit or the wall of your abode becomes much more important at that point. Is it dependable? Is it easily fixable? Will it allow you to survive in an environment not built for human survival? If any of those answers is “no,” you probably don’t want to invest in it.

A proven track record becomes much more important at that point. You probably don’t want to buy a used suit unless you know the person who fixed it did a solid job. And the same holds true for the suit or environmental containment you are purchasing brand new. Does the manufacturer know what the heck they’re doing? You’re putting your life in their hands!

As a result, the perception of safety is just as important to you as any actual safety you may be given from such an item. You likely won’t risk your life on some one-off “designer” merely experimenting with some new form of armor or environmental protection.

There are at least three ways this can show up in Aliens & Asteroids

  1. Marines will only want to buy the things they know and trust. That standard item list becomes their bread and butter. You can use the big corporations like Cydyne and Taylortech to produce just about all the main equipment and introduce others over time with more specialized items.
  2. Smaller corporations will often want to wheedle their way into contracts with the Dominion Space Forces, which may lead to outfits using prototype equipment or companies outfitting entire groups with potentially disastrous change in the long term.
  3. And technicians (armor, weapons, and robotics) will always be tinkering, potentially creating new prototypes in the field that corporations may fight over down the line. These prototypes could be fantastic upgrades to field operations and corporate espionage will likely take a toll on anything that outperforms the “normal” equipment.

This approach can work for any standard equipment, especially any armor, tools, or special items the team may need in the field.

Living on the Edge

Beyond the simple “safety” aspect, there’s the constant push for bigger, better weapons in the field. But again, some practicality comes into play. Large organizations such as the DSF like the standard weapon manufacturers simply because it’s easy to get them in large quantities and they usually have replacement parts and ammunition to match.

That doesn’t mean that Marines in the field don’t like tinkering with their own weapons or grabbing alien technology to play with!

The Stellar Graveyard is a looters paradise, but it’s not without its risks. Entire alien races were destroyed when the Dread devastated that corner of the galaxy, leaving behind entire warehouses of old alien weapons and technology to explore. The Excursori are out on the front lines of this effort, exploring uncharted territory and bringing back strange new items and weapons for the corporate researchers to play with.

Just keep in mind that these weapons are not as tested as the more traditional ones, and when they break — it will be difficult, if not impossible, to find replacement parts or ammunition for some of them. That doesn’t mean that your typical mechanic or gunsmith on the larger DSF vessels aren’t always looking for a challenge, but it does mean that time and the realm of possibility definitely has to come into play.

Use the potential for weapon failure (Natural 20s are great ways to suddenly render weapons useless) and items working in strange ways to spice things up if your Marines are really pushing the boundaries — but that’s half of the fun of exploring strange new worlds and tinkering with alien devices!

Looking for more ideas for your Aliens & Asteroids campaign? Check out the rest of the available articles!

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