Ever since the big bang, the Hunting Grounds have been flooded
with the spirits of technology, freed from their physical shells
by the blasts of ghost rock bombs. This wasn't a welcome change
for most of these spirits, and many turned to the junkers to get
them back into the physical plane. There were some, however, who
weren't so eager to head back; they wanted revenge for the destruction
of their machines, and holding some gun together just didn't cut
it. These spirits, who became known as Servers, decided they needed
power, and fastest way to get it was to take it from the denizens
of the Hunting Grounds. Easier said than done, but over time,
many of these tech spirits gained powers on par with the nature
spirits and even the manitous. Newly empowered, the Servers began
to seek out a way to manifest their abilities in the physical
Enter Ian Malcolm.
Just Before the war, Malcolm was a young professor, teaching Unique Organism Biology (monsters) at theUniversity of California Shan Fan, a part of the "alternative sciences" (ie occult studies) department. As a result, he had some knowledge of magic, and was just beginning to learn the arts of the huckster when the bombs began to fall. Afterwards, Malcolm wandered the wastes (don't they all?) for a time, using his rather limited arcane skills to help survivors as best he could. Unfortunately, the manitou became much stronger in the wake of the Big Bang, and it wasn't long before Malcolm caught a nasty case of backlash, and wound up in a coma. It was then that the Servers approached him, offering him a safer source of power. He jumped at the chance, and when he awoke, the first technomancer was born.
How Technomancy Works
Technomancers summon Servers (like a huckster summons a manitou)
to create their magic effects, known as "programs."
However, since the Servers aid technomancers willingly, there's
no need for a battle of wills, making technomancy safer and easier.
Unfortunately, this safety comes at a price. Most Servers lack
the skill of the manitou in crafting spells, and technomancers
have to put forth a great deal of effort to achieve the desired
effect. Furthermore, these powers aren't subtle; the energy the
technomancers channel warps their bodies, giving them weird mechanical
Fortunately, technomancers have an extra trick up their sleeves. These modern day metal mages have many ties among the normal tech spirits as well as Server spirits, and can cast tricks and have browser spirits just like Junkers (see the Extra tricks section for more info).
Getting with the Program
To make a technomancer, a character must take the Arcane
Background:Technomancer edge, as well as at least two levels
of Academa: Occult. The character also needs at least three
levels of the new skill Science: Occult Programming. It
is this skill that the techomancer uses to focus and craft his
programs. For every level of Occult Programming a technomancer
has he may choose 1 program or trick.
Technomancers fuel their programs with strain, just like sykers and doomies. However, the assistance the Servers provide makes things little easier; technomancers regain a point of strain every 30 minutes of rest instead of every hour.
To run a program, the technomancer makes an Occult Programming roll against the program's TN. If successful, the technomancer spends his strain, the program takes effect, and warping manifests (see the warping section for more information). For the most part, it's just this simple. However, technomancy isn't a perfect science, and sometimes a technomancer summons something besides a Server. Whenever a technomancer busts on an Occult Programming roll, he not only suffers Backlash, but whatever warping the program creates becomes permanent (see backlash and warping respectively).
The warping that technomancers experience as a result of their
programs is a disturbing effect unique to their form of magic.
It appears in a variety of ways, from cameras replacing the eyes,
to circuit boards erupting from the skin, or even stranger things.
Whenever a technomancer successfully runs a program, he gains a warped feature, which persists for 3d6 minutes after the program ends (reroll aces). Exactly what occurs is up to the Marshal. The important thing is that this warping is obvious and Ug-Ly!
The first warping makes the technomancer Ugly as Sin, and any additional warping he picks up actually gives him a Terror score, starting at 3 and increasing by 2 for any extra warpage he picks up. Needless to say, this kind of thing doesn't get technomancers a lot of dates...