Unlike nanoviruses, nanoaugmenters latch onto a specific biological system and provide consistent bonuses for as long as the nanites remain active. Most nanoaugmenters are injected into a character or creature to permanently enhance performance and continue to function indefinitely. Nanoaugmenters are only removed by other nanites or by commanding the nanocolony to cease all activity. When this occurs, nanoaugmenters are absorbed and recycled by the host body in the same manner as inert nanoviruses.
Most nanoaugmenters simply provide energy or transmit signals between the nanocolony and the host body, but some actually alter the host’s genetic structure or change the host’s chemical balances.
Brain Boost: Frequently used by scientists, researchers, and mathematicians, brain boost is a nanoaugmenter that gives the brain increased memory capacity. The nanites in brain boost latch onto the memory and thought centers of the brain and transmit data back and forth between these centers at an incredible rate. Each nanite can store large amounts of data and acts as a temporary memory storage center. Brain boost nanites also move back and forth between various memory centers, copying and moving information in the most efficient manner possible.
The thought and memory abilities of the creature or character are increased greatly. Any creature injected with brain boost immediately gains a +4 bonus to Intelligence. This bonus remains in effect for as long as the nanoaugmenters remain attached to the brain.
Chatter: A useful nanoaugmentor frequently injected into soldiers on covert missions, chatter allows communication without speech. In many ways, chatter resembles the technology of the micro-aural communicator. However, unlike the microcom, the nanites in a chatter nanocolony attach directly to the speech and language centers of the brain. When a character wishes to communicate via his chatter nanites, he needs only to think of what he would say and the nanocolony transmits those thoughts over a communications channel. When other nanites receive the communication, they transmit the information directly into the brain of their host.
Each set of chatter nanites is keyed to only communicate with certain other chatter colonies, or with other computer systems. Those without the chatter nanoaugmentation can communicate and receive communications from those with the chatter nanoaugmentation through the computer system.
When a character is injected with the chatter nanoaugmentation, he must spend 30 minutes practicing so that ambient thoughts do not interfere with the communications.
Doppelganger: A devious nanoaugmentation popular with criminals, the doppelganger nanoaugmentation acts as a dynamic plastic surgery system that alters the physical appearance of its host. The nanoaugmentation can change the hair and eye color of a character instantly and, if desired, can reconfigure the bone structure and actual facial appearance of a character in thirty minutes.
Reconfiguring the bone structure and facial features of a character are excruciatingly painful. Most doppelganger colonies release anesthetics before and during the process to eliminate or reduce some of the pain. A doppelganger colony can change the character’s features any number of times, though each time requires 30 minutes of transformation time and another 30 minutes of recovery time. A character that has a doppelganger nanocolony transform his physical features suffers a –2 penalty on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma based skill checks for the 1 hour of transformation and recovery time while the anesthetic is functioning.
Micro Muscles: Often used to enhance soldiers and those involved in athletics, micro muscles are nanoaugmentations that attach themselves to muscles and enable them to perform beyond their normal limitations. Micro muscles not only enhance the strength of a creature injected with the nanites, but also allow the creature to push its muscles beyond their normal capacity. Only one micro muscle colony may function in a host at a time.
Any creature or character injected with micro muscles gains a +4 bonus to Strength while the nanites are functioning. Additionally, the creature gains an additional +4 bonus on all Strength-based skill checks that involve endurance or long-term activity.
Prophecy: Another of the brain-altering nanoaugmentations, prophecy allows the character to receive visual and audio data from a remote source. Prophecy nanocolonies link to a computer system that receives images and video from multiple sources and funnels the information directly to the nanocolony. A character can be fed images from other locations, giving her access to everything from security camera locations to computer representations of terrain. Like chatter, prophecy is often used on soldiers in the field to transmit dynamic battlefield representations directly into a soldier’s mind. Additionally, prophecy is used to give mission briefings on the fly. Prophecy nanites cannot record or transmit data, however, and only act as receivers of information from the remote computer system.
Soullink: Pilots and drivers that want greater interaction with their vehicles frequently seek out soullink injections. The soullink nanites connect the mind of a character directly to the vehicle, starship, or mecha the character is currently piloting. The mind of the pilot directly links to the vessel, melding his consciousness with it. The pilot maneuvers the vessel as though it were an extension of his body. In combat, this nanoaugmentation allows the pilot to know when and where the vessel sustains damage; he also knows the severity of the damage.
An unfortunate drawback to this link between pilot and machine is that if the vessel’s onboard computer system suffers trauma, such as when it takes damage, the pilot’s mind often suffers damage as well. Whenever a soullinked vessel suffers damage that affects the computer systems, the soullinked pilot must make a Will save (DC 17) or suffer an immediate 1d4 points of ability damage to his Wisdom score.
A character with this nanoaugmentation gains a +6 bonus on Pilot or Drive checks while piloting a soullinked vessel. This nanoaugmentation works with only those vessels that support soullink technology.
20/20: One nanoaugmentation that can be incredibly useful for scouts and investigators is the 20/20 nanocolony. By attaching to and enhancing sensitivity of a creature’s optic nerves, the 20/20 nanites improve the creature’s vision. One of the most common consumer nanotech injections, 20/20 corrects eye problems such as nearsightedness and astigmatism. A creature injected with 20/20 nanites immediately gains a +6 bonus on all Spot and Search checks involving vision.
Watchdog: Often used in medical situations as well as in space exploration, the watchdog nanoaugmentation is a catchall phrase used to describe nanocolonies that monitor the health condition of a creature. Watchdog nanites monitor everything from heart rate and blood pressure to brain activity and the purity of air being taken into a host’s lungs. Hospitals and other medical facilities often inject their patients with watchdog nanocolonies to monitor vital signs and watch for early warning signs of illness relapses or other medical problems. Additionally, organizations involved in space exploration often use the nanoaugmentation to monitor the vital signs of their explorers in remote regions of space. Watchdog nanocolonies can be linked to computer systems to monitor and report data automatically; however, a watchdog nanocolony cannot take action to heal or prevent damage to a host in the event of a problem with the host body’s physiology.