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In the Shadow of the Beanstalk (SotB) and Worlds of Androids (WoA) books, five technologies are listed as "Technologies that changed the world":

  • The beanstalk
  • Fusion power
  • Androids
  • The network
  • Pads

What I find conspicuously missing from that list is Nanotechnology. 

There are little references to nanotech in the SotB and WoA books, yet, it sounds to me that it would have had a major impact on the world. At least two of the technologies listed above (The beanstalk and Androids) were made in part possible by the development of nanotech.

There are also frequent references to nanotech in the Android novels I have read so far. Here are some examples I can remember:

  • Bioroids can regenerate damage thanks to nanotech. 
  • A nanotech filled bullet fired at a window reassembles into a sound recording and transmitting device.
  • Spying nanites.

I guess I am curious on how advanced nanotech is in the Android setting to better decide on how large a role it will play in my campaign.

I'd like to read your thoughts on the subject, or examples you remember from the novels or games.

 

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I think that one of the potentials here, is to homebrew the idea specifically to fit a given game's story. The potential power (and danger) of NanoTech, is pretty crazy, and could quickly get out of hand. However, if used sparingly as a plot device, it could be a useful tool.

As an example, I've been toying with the idea of using NanoTech as a background plot point for a mini campaign I'm concepting. The hook will be a wealthy business person/ Criminal boss/ or similar, suffering from a mysterious illness. They have exhausted conventional methods to find a cure, but have heard a rumor of a doctor/ scientist allegedly working on an experimental serum that may yield results. Being desperate, (and possibly fearing that a rival may be involved?)  they are willing to hire outside help to track down the doctor/ scientist who has mysteriously disappeared.

Not all that original, I know.

I don't have all of the threads sorted yet, as it's still in concept form,  but ultimately the group will discover that it's not a disease per se' but rather, is the result of exposure to experimental NanoTech of some sort. Which will likely lead to a larger conspiracy/ mystery/ etc. that most likely will indirectly affect one or more of the PCs if not resolved.

Anyway, this is just one example, where I don't have to come up with a set of NanoTech rules, or necessarily introduce an overpowered element to the game wholesale, but where the idea can be utilized to prop up the goals of the PCs for a particular adventure. 

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5 minutes ago, Tephyc said:

One thought I had, was to adapt magic to represent nanotechnology. But that is as far as i got.

Ahh, yes, ala Revolution... Until it got over the top, I enjoyed how that concept was explored.

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In my opinion, Android lacks a clear vision for its level of technological advancement. You are probably better off deciding on the basis of your story needs...

Allowing for nanotech opens a can of worms I'd rather not see in my games, so I would not have it appear outside advanced (and carefully controlled) lab environments. This still allows for some interesting plot hooks, without the the kind of world-shattering consequences nanotechnology would probably show if it were ubiquitous.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Tephyc said:

One thought I had, was to adapt magic to represent nanotechnology. But that is as far as i got.

In a sense:

Quote

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

-- Arthur C. Clarke

 

1 hour ago, Colgrevance said:

In my opinion, Android lacks a clear vision for its level of technological advancement. You are probably better off deciding on the basis of your story needs...

Allowing for nanotech opens a can of worms I'd rather not see in my games, so I would not have it appear outside advanced (and carefully controlled) lab environments. This still allows for some interesting plot hooks, without the the kind of world-shattering consequences nanotechnology would probably show if it were ubiquitous.

I 'm with you on the can of worms / Pandora's box Nanotech could be. 

I'm inclined to stick with its use in the production of advanced materials (Buckyweave/Beanstalk) and the self-repair ability of bioroids.

I'll probably ignore the 'nanite mass that can be programmed to turn into any device' type of thing, even if it's been alluded to in the novels.  The books do a decent enough job of ignoring it after all.

Edited by Aazlain

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It strikes me as a technology that the setting takes for granted. Which is probably for the best, because nanotechnology is basically the sci-fi equivalent of "It's Magic!" as far as justification go. The more heavily we lean on it, the more we have to question why everyone doesn't already have an Amorphous Blob Of Problem Solving.

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