Who Are The Augmented?
Most of the species in Core Space developed cybernetic prosthetics for medical use as soon as they had the technology to do so. From there, many were tempted to see what would happen if, instead of just replacing parts of their bodies, they attempted to upgrade them. The results of these earlier experiments are now a mature technology found across the known galaxy, available to anyone with the Florence to pay. That’s not to say the Augments don’t come without other costs. The quality or scale of the implants, and the skill of the surgeon, can have a massive impact on the strain put on the recipient.
Pi, from the crew of the Poseidon, is a tragic case in point. As an orphan barely surviving on the streets, he saw the power of Augmentation as a way to escape a brutal, and probably short, life. His plan worked in a sense, but the cost has been constant pain and nerve damage from his scrap-built Augments. It remains to be seen if he can earn enough as a Trader to afford corrective surgery before his failing upgrades destroy his body and mind.
Some costs aren’t so easy to see. The sense of power from becoming essentially a superbeing can lead to some Augmented becoming cold, arrogant, and corrupt. Satiene from the Cygnus crew was no angel before she submitted herself to implants, but her Augments have enhanced her flaws just as much as her strength and speed.
Such can be the price of power.
Whether enhanced by scrap-built implants or top-of-the-line tech, an Augmented crewmember can be a useful asset for a Trader crew. In game, the powerful abilities that they can call upon are represented by Augmented Skills.
There are currently four Augmented skills: Accelerate, Blast, Manipulate, and Engergise.
The Accelerate skill focuses on adding a boost of mobility that can ensure that your crew can claim their objectives and get out alive. At its base level it provides some extra movement, which is critical early in your career when getting out quickly can be essential. By level 3, an Augmented character with this skill can take up to three additional Move and / or Assault actions, potentially changing the tide of a battle if used at the right time.
The Blast skill is not subtle, but it’s certainly exciting. It lets Augmented characters shoot at their foes with their bare hands, fire themselves across the board, and when things get really bad, potentially knock out all the enemies unfortunate enough to find themselves in short range of the Trader. In the late game, this could be the silver bullet needed to get your crew out of a crowd of enemies in one piece.
If you’re looking for something more nuanced, there’s the Manipulate skill. This means that the Augmented Character can force enemies to miss their turn, break the equipment of their foes, and even move terrain items around with their mind. Perfect for snatching a crate away from a rival before they can get all the shiny loot!
Finally, there’s the versatile Energise skill which can be handy for getting you out of all kinds of trouble. Need to Move somewhere, reclaim a Health peg, or take a critical extra shot? Boost yourself with Energise. Or perhaps it would be useful to know what Event Cards are coming up, then boost your senses with Energise. Need to be absolutely certain that a stubborn enemy is taken out? Energising yourself to make an attack with up to six combat dice is likely to get the job done!
Augment your crew
If you want to add a Trader to your crew that can move objects with their mind, propel themselves across the board with a thought, and smash the toughest enemies to pieces – and why wouldn’t you – then you can pick up Augmented Traders in the Cygnus, Poseidon, and Skylark expansions.