(Note: potions of this article previous appeared in the Kazei 5 worldbook from Hero Games. Permission to duplicate select material has been granted by the author of Kazei 5.)


Although often billed as a 'supernatural cyberpunk thriller", Silent Möbius has far more supernatural than cyberpunk. At least when it comes down to some of the more popular elements of the cyberpunk genre such as cyberware and cybernetics. Explicit scenes in Silent Möbius Side 3 seem to indicate that certain forms of cybernetic enhancement exist. These enhancements appear to mainly revolve around systems designed to augment the brain's ability to handle and process data. As such, the only reliably shown cybernetic device used in the series are the various forms of neural datajacks seen in Side 3, and Lebia herself credits her extensive visonaire abilities to "All those link systems embedded in my body...".

Other forms of cyberware, such as artificial eyes and replacement limbs seem to fit with the general feel of the Silent Möbius universe. Kiddy's cyborg body certainly seems to make the existence of other forms of artificial limbs highly probable. At one point in Side 2, Yuki says she works for Anapple Japan; a "cybernetic hardware company". On the other hand, it seems 'wrong' (ie. against the setting) to have characters loaded with upgraded reflexes, pop-out blades, armor plated bodies, and smartgun links.

However, for those that wish to expand on the basic cybernetics presented in Silent Möbius, the following guidelines are offered:

Cyberwear in Silent Möbius:

Cybernetics in Silent Möbius are assumed to be of a more advanced technology then the cyberware discussed in the CyberHero sourcebook. There are three basic types of cybernetic implants: Bioware, Electrical and General Cyberware.

Biological Systems
Bioware, or Biological Hardware, consists of implanted artificial organs that manufacture assorted chemical additives to boost the body's performance. These systems are usually more reliable than other forms of cyberware, but can cause harmful effects if used for extended periods of time. Most of the harmful side effects from bioware usage is a result of the inordinate stress such systems put on a normal body. Complications can also arise following extensive use of the artificial stimulants and other performance enhancements produced by this form of cybernetic system.

Electrical Systems
Electrical Cyberware is much more common, representing a wide range of systems from modified eyes and ears to accelerated reaction wires, snap-out blades, or entire limb replacements. These units run off either internal batteries (i.e., an END Reserve) or use the body's own bio-electrical field for power. It should be noted that unshielded and poor-quality electrical systems have shown a marked tendency to short out and fail when exposed to strong electrical-magnetic (EMP) pulses.

General Systems
A General System is any implant that doesn't really fall in the two former categories. This includes implanted armor plates, skeletal replacement, internal armor sheeting and so on.

Cybersystem: This is the standard -1/4 limitation for all implanted cybernetic devices. It represents a number of assorted drawbacks to having artificial body parts, including the fact that cybernetic devices are often an obvious modification, can be broken or disabled, are detectable with certain scanners, can interfere with medical procedures, increase the user's weight and can often cause assorted psychological problems. Psychological problems associated with cybernetic implantation include hallucinations and phantom pains involving missing limbs or other body parts, delusions (such as feelings of godhood or inhumanity) as well as a possible loss of identity where the character feels less than a complete human. In extreme cases the character can become exceedingly violent, with psychopathic or sociopathic tendencies, taking his anger out on those around him.

Note: Some GMs may want to limit the number and amount of cybernetic systems a character can have implanted. There are a number of ways of doing this, including setting an active point limit on cyberware or restricting the number of systems per hit location.

Sample Cybernetics:

Neural Interface: Also known as a Direct Neural Interface (or DNI for short) this is a input/output jack implanted into the user's skull. Common implant locations are the temple or behind the ear.
Power: +1/+2/+3 with all computer related skills (such as Computer Programming).
Modifiers: Requires accessible datacable (-1/2), Requires DNI capable computer (-0), Cybersystem (-1/4)
Active Cost: 5/10/15 pts
Real Cost: 3/6/8 pts

Internal Respirator
Power: Life Support (Sealed systems)
Modifiers: One charge of 5 minutes (-3/4), Cybersystem (-1/4)
Active Cost: 10 pts
Real Cost: 5 pts

Thermographic Eyes: Thermographic filters allow the user to see heat patterns, usually allowing the user to ignore the actual light level of his surroundings. When combined with Low-Light filters, the user can operate in almost total darkness.
Power: IR Vision
Modifiers: Cybersystem (-1/4)
Active Cost: 5 pts
Real Cost: 4 pts


For those who want extreme cybernetic augmentation, then the best option is to become a cyborg, or, in the terminology of Silent Möbius, getting a "cybergraft upgrade" or "cybercoating". Kiddy states that her body is a "combat cybergraft" and has an "armor coat". At any rate, this makes Kiddy fantastically strong, reasonably resistant to harm and able to leap incredible distances. She is also very heavy (in Side 6 Kiddy apologizes to Ralph Bomers for weighing so much), and although they never give her actual weight, it can be surmised that she tips the scales at well over 200 pounds (and 300-400 pounds sounds likely).

In Side 6 cyborgs are central to the storyline, and a number of interesting details come to light. One is that Kiddy's "armor-coated" body is unusual, and is not normally found among those with full-body enhancements. The second is that Kiddy is asked "... why didn't you get a normal body? A bio-matter body would be closer to normal..." This would seem to indicated that it is possible to get a full-body replacement using a biological construct as opposed to Kiddy's mostly mechanical body. Finally it is stated that all the victims of the serial killer running loose in Side 6 have "... used cyber coating to some extent."

What does this mean? It is hard to say. A "cyber-coat" might be another term for a cybernetic implant, but that seems doubtful, as a comparison is made between the victims of the serial killer and Kiddy. So, a cyber-coat is probably some sort of low-grade body enhancement. Note that a bio-matter body is mentioned as well, this might be a body force-grown to spec for a customer, at which point the brain and/or spine is transferred to the new body. This process (if it is the correct one) sounds very similar to the method used to make a cyborg in Ghost in the Shell.

Cyborg and cyber-coat basics:

To start out with, the Game Master needs to decide what is allowed in the game. As the Players are presumed to be AMP Officers, allowing armor-coated characters shouldn't be a problem. As such, , all armor-coat cyborg characters are required to take one level of Density Increase, 0 END, Persistent, Always On. The cost of this power is 7 points. Bio-matter bodies probably don't suffer from this problem.

Note that armor-coated cyborgs can have a number of minor problems associated with their great weight. A cyborg's mass-to-body-size ratio is too high to allow the cyborg to float in any significant depth of water. It may be possible to counteract this with an external suit, but otherwise the character will sink like a stone. Of course, cyborgs with internal respirators (such as Kiddy) or artificial gills will find this a minor nuisance at best. Large or massive cyborgs may not be able to ride in (or on) certain vehicles, such as motorcycles or small cars. Cyborgs may bend or break stair risers when stepping on them, or may find that they can't sit in anything but reinforced chairs. When landing after any sort of leap, cyborgs may shatter the pavement, bend roofing sheets, or even break through roofs and other landing surfaces (we see Kiddy do this in Side 2 when she catches the falling Yuki).

Cyborg Strength and Structural Integrity:

Due to the design and construction of their cyber-coat bodies, cyborgs can possess strength far beyond that of normal, unaugmented humans. As such, a minimum STR score of 20 is recommended, with a maximum of 45. Other recommended Primary Characteristic values include a CON of 20 to 28 (or even higher) and a BODY of 15 to 25. Note, that these values presume a full conversion cyborg, designed for military or law enforcement duties. For a more normal, bio-matter model, a STR and CON between 15 and 20 would be appropriate.

Cyber-Coating the Cyborg:

When purchasing a cyborg's defenses (such as a armor-coat), the Power "Armor" should be used. Depending on how much of the body is artificial, the limitation regarding locational coverage could be applied. Usually, the character's head remains unarmored, while the rest of the body is plated over. Kiddy seems to have this type of armor arrangement. To represent the physical toughness of a cyborg, the power Damage Reduction is recommended, usually with the limitation of "Only Affects Stun" (-1/2). Due to the extensive mechanization of a cyborg, GMs may want to consider allowing cyborg characters to buy the automation power of "Does not Bleed", as many cyborgs seem to be able to continue functioning even after taking extensive physical damage. The automaton powers "Cannot be Stunned" and "Takes no Stun" may seem to be appropriate for cyborgs but should not be bought by cyborg characters, as they are too unbalancing for player characters. These powers should only be bought for robots and similar characters.

Cyborg Disadvantages:

Distinctive Features
Cyborgs and cyber-coats may have bodies designed to look as natural as possible, but they still have to worry about the fact that their weight is far greater than their size indicates, that their skin may not feel right, that damage to their skin could expose internal plates, and so on.

Physical Limitation: Requires Specialized Medical Attention: Infrequently, greatly impairing (10 points)
This limitation is required for those characters who have had undergone cyborg modifications. "Requires Specialized Medical Attention" gives a base modifier of -3 to any Paramedic roll performed on the character. It may also mean that certain injuries (such as gunshot wounds) will be next to impossible to treat without access to specific tools. Any extensive injuries to a cyborg's torso, for example, will usually be untreatable unless a carapace cracker is available (which is highly unlikely). Note that mention is made of Kiddy getting her body 'tuned' more than once in the manga.

Physical Limitation: Does Not Heal Body; Must be Repaired: Frequently, greatly impairing (15 points)
The character does not heal Body damage normally, but instead must be repaired. For example, broken limbs and damaged armor plating must be replaced. Internal injuries may heal normally, or they might require the swapping out of damaged artificial organs for new ones. This disadvantage is probably innapropriate for bio-matter bodies.

Building a Silent Möbius cyborg/cyber-coat:

In the Silent Möbius Zeta campaign, cyborgs come in two broad types: Soft Shell and Hard Shell. Each of these "Shells" can be broken down into two further categories: Partial Conversion and Full Conversion. Each type of cyborg has its own unique combinations of powers and disadvantages.

Soft Shell Cyborgs: With a Soft Shell cyborg, the limbs and internal organs have been replaced with an understanding that visual aesthetics and the cyborg's comfort are paramount. A cyborg such as this looks very human, only their above-average mass, internal plastic and metal components, and superhuman abilities give away their true nature. A Soft Shell cyborg can easily interact in society since they lack many of the physical disadvantages of the more mechanical Hard Shell cyborgs. On the other hand, a Soft Shell cyborg is not as physically powerful as a Hard Shell cyborg and is less resistant to damage. It seems pretty likely that a soft-shell cybrog is what is ment by a "bio-matter body".

Soft Shell - Partial Conversion: Technically, anyone with a cybernetics implant or a prosthetic limb could be considered a partial Soft Shell conversion, but this designation generally refers to those who have replaced 40% to 90% of their body with artificial tissue and cybernetic systems. Generally, a partial Soft Shell conversion involves skeletal reinforcement, muscular replacement, removing certain organs and replacing them with artificial substitutes (typically the heart and lungs), and adding a subdermal damage-diffusing weave. Despite all the augmentation, real blood still pumps through the cyborg's body, and they retain all their normal human sensations. Finally, depending on where the cyborg takes damage, the body may or may not heal on its own; this determination is up to the Game Master.

Typical Powers for a Partial Soft Shell Conversion: Increased Characteristics: STR, DEX, CON, BODY, PD, ED, SPD, REC, END, STUN
Armor: 3 - 6 DEF
Enhanced Senses
Any normal "cybernetic" power

Typical Disadvantages for a Partial Soft Shell Conversion: Distinctive Features: Cyborg (Easily Concealable, Noticed)
Physical Limitation: BODY Damage May Not Heal (Infrequent, Greatly)
Physical Limitation: Requires Specialized Medical Attention (Inf., Greatly)

Soft Shell - Full Conversion: A full Soft Shell conversion involves removing the character's brain and spinal cord from his original "meat" body and installing them into an android body made entirely of synthetic materials. This body still looks human, but has some anomalies, such as an increased mass, an unusual heat signature, or odd-colored lubricant fluids instead of blood. A full Soft Shell conversion is physically much tougher than a partial Soft Shell conversion, but still can't approach the durability of a Hard Shell conversion. However, a Soft Shell conversion allows the user to lead a (relatively) normal life. Note that this form of Shell is basically the samew as a low-end Megadyne.

Typical Powers for a Full Soft Shell Conversion: Increased Characteristics: STR, DEX, CON, BODY, PD, ED, SPD, REC, END, STUN
Armor: 5-8 DEF
Enhanced Senses
Damage Reduction: 25% Physical and/or Energy, Resistant, STUN only (-1/2)
Density Increase: One Level
Lack of Weakness (unless your opponent knows you're a cyborg)
Life Support
Swimming: 0"
Any normal "cybernetic" power

Typical Disadvantages for a Full Soft Shell Conversion: Distinctive Features: Cyborg (Easily Concealable, Noticed)
Physical Limitation: BODY Doesn't Heal (Frequent, Greatly)
Physical Limitation: Requires Specialized Medical Attention (Inf., Greatly)

Hard Shell Cyborgs: Rather than artificial muscle tissue and synthetic bone, Hard Shell cyborgs are built out of metal actuators, plastic tubing and armor plate. Hard Shell augmentation is almost always noticeable, unless extreme measures are taken to conceal this fact (such as Kiddy Phenil's fully covering synthetic skin). Hard Shell cyborgs use a radically different internal architecture then that found in a Soft Shell cyborg, allowing them greater capabilities of strength and speed than their softer counterparts. Of course, extensive modifications such as this result in tremendous amount of weight and sometimes require the cyborg to be bigger than is humanly possible, but that's just the price a Hard Shell cyborg has to pay. Hard Shell cyborgs are generally easier and cheaper to repair than a Soft Shell cyborg, but require more frequent maintenance. Finally, Hard Shell cyborgs often suffer from decreased tactile sensation, their armored bodies having a poor sense of touch. A Hard Shell cyborg is functionally the same as a megadyne.

Hard Shell - Partial Conversion: Anyone with an obviously cybernetic limb could be considered to be a partial Hard Shell cyborg, but normally, only someone who has replaced more than 50% of their body (such as three limbs or more) with cybernetic implants is considered a cyborg. Partial Hard Shell cyborgs generally replace all of their arms and legs with robotic limbs, and reinforce the torso and skull with steel rods and armor plating. A Partial Conversion is highly unlikely to be larger than a normal human, but will mass at least twice a normal human's weight. Naturally, Kiddy is the perfect example of a Partial Hard Shell cyborg.

Typical Powers for a Partial Hard Shell Conversion: Increased Characteristics: STR, DEX, CON, BODY, PRE, PD, ED, SPD, REC, END,
STR: 1/2 to 0 END
Armor: 8 to 12 DEF
Damage Reduction: 25% to 50% Physical and/or Energy, Resistant, STUN only (-1/2)
Density Increase: One to two Levels
Enhanced Senses
Life Support: Up to space capable
Running: 1/2 to 0 END
Superleap: 1/2 to 0 END
Swimming: 0"
Any normal "cybernetic" power

Typical Disadvantages for a Partial Hard Shell Conversion: Distinctive Features: Cyborg (Concealable, Major)
Physical Limitation: BODY Doesn't Heal (Frequent, Greatly)
Physical Limitation: Requires Specialized Medical Attention (Inf., Greatly)
Physical Limitation: Poor Sense of Touch (Infrequent, Slight)
Watched by Police/Government (varies)

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