Foldscape Technology

Transistors do not work, all computation devices are mechanical or assembled as discrete circuits. Vacuum tubes, krytrons, and similar components are still functional. As a result, electronics tend to be bulky, in the fashion of old science fiction aesthetic. Plastics are available, but not nearly as common as they are on modern Earth. Abundant cheap metals and the use of strat for fuels instead of petroleum products simply make plastic synthesis less attractive. Hydrocarbons are typically "skimmed" from appropriate planets and moons, since biological matter has not existed in the Foldscape long enough to form into coal or oil.

Field Transposition Projectors function by performing manipulations (electrical, acoustic, magnetic, etc) on a piece of Stratified Matter. Since Strat Matter is an extradimensional substance, affecting it in some fashions within 3D "realspace" causes subsequent behaviors on one or another 4th axis, which then filter back "down" into realspace, always by creating a field or zone in which physical law is subverted or altered in some way. This field/zone is not always a sphere, not always centred on the projector, and not always uniform in strength/effect.

There are 15 currently known elements of Stratified Matter, which are sometimes simply called "stratified hydrogen", "stratified lithium", and so on, but this convention has grown less popular than simply referring to them by their elemental rank, "strat-one", "strat-three", and so on. With each increasing rank, the raw material is rarer and more difficult to process. Strat-8 is the highest commonly commercially-available form of the fuel, with 9 and higher generally being either too expensive to mass market, or often hoarded into strategic reserves for dedicated military use. Notably, in many systems with unreliable currency or banks, high-rank strat matter bullion is a preferred implement of trade.

Every FTP device can only consume one specific form of strat matter as fuel. This cannot be changed without completely rebuilding the device. Only one field may be active in any given point of space at a time, and a higher rank fuel will always trump a lower-rank one. In the event that two projectors of equal rank are attempting to affect the same region of space, then the one whose projector is nearer to a particular point will be the dominant field.

To illustrate "field priority":
( 1 ) ( 1 )
( 1( 2 )
( 1 | 1 )

Qualities which increase the expense of an FTP projector include:
  • Size of field to be generated, exponential with radius increase
  • Displacement of generated field from projector, exponential with distance
  • "Strength" of field effect, exponential with increase
  • Formation of generated field into non-spherical forms for point projectors, and non-linear forms for plate projectors.
  • Increased durability/reliability
  • Increased fuel-efficiency and power-efficiency
  • Increased compactness
  • Increased fuel rank
  • Uncommon effects (due to less industrial specialization)
  • Integrated accessories such as backup batteries, backup projector modules, remote controls.

Personal and capital weaponry can be sorted into 5 basic categories. The defining feature is which of the 5 shield types will protect against its effects.

1. Kinetic weaponry / Barrier shields (KINE / BASH)
This includes bullets, arrows, darts, and so on. Most barrier shields have a 'threshold', whereby slow objects may enter and exit, typically somewhere around 20kph, to avoid interfering with objects immediately around the user. Setting the threshold too low can prevent the user from being able to move, so it's generally set slightly higher than a normal movement speed. Users must be careful, as the use of a kinetic barrier could cause them to suffocate in a high wind. Kinetic weaponry can use chemical propellant, or may use an FTP-based launcher to accelerate a projectile.

2. Concussion weaponry / Baffle shell (CONC / BAFL)
Concussion weaponry includes any sort of shockwave, be it focused or unfocused. Unlike barriers, baffles are 'all or nothing', and having them active renders the user temporarily unable to communicate beyond the boundaries of the baffle. This does not prevent them from using a radio, nor any sort of visual signal.

3. Direct FTP weaponry / Normal field (DRFT / NORM)
DRFT weaponry tends to be very short-ranged, but varies widely in its use. A common model is the 'hole punch', which uses a tightly-focused gravity beam to cause damage to a biological target, such that the force of gravity causes blood or fluids to rupture out of arteries and organs. Another is the 'electrolysis catalyst', which causes water and hydrocarbons to break down immediately, causing numerous immediate failures in a biological body. Needless to say, there are MANY variations of direct-FTP which can be very deadly to living beings, often in grotesque ways. Normal fields, thankfully, are very cheap and readily available. While they run on expensive Strat 9, they are very efficient, and a single charge lasts through a long period of use. Many treaties signed at the outsets of wars ban the use of direct-FTP weaponry by signatories. Normal fields are effectively an anti-field-field, and while it is active, no FTP-based weaponry or gadgets may be used.

4. Focused-beam weaponry / Diffraction bubble (FOBS / DIBS)
Lasers and their ilk are in this category. While often very powerful for their size laser weaponry chews through strat pellets rather quickly, so having a sufficient supply of ammunition can be rather heavy and expensive. The nature of DIBS is such that an advanced shield could diffract a substantial portion (as high as 20% in high-quality models) of the received energy directly back at the attacker. However, most cost-effective variants simply disperse the energy out through the full shield and slowly emit it away from the intended victim. Diffraction bubbles are generally translucent, much like the lens of polarized sunglasses, and this makes them easy to detect and switch weapon types accordingly.

5. Ionized weaponry / Neutralizing screen (IONZ / NUTS)
Ionized weaponry includes weapons which hurl plasma, electric, caustic chemicals, or direct flame attacks. the neutralizing screen will de-ionize these effects and render their impact marginal, though notably may not prevent their entry into the field fully. For example, an acid attack may be neutralized, but the pellet or gob of neutralized fluid will still enter the field and strike the victim, possibly causing kinetic damage.

It is important to note that while a combatant may carry more than one sheild type, only one may be active at a time. And using both a personal shield AND ftp-based items are mutually exclusive.

Bicycles: The modern bike is alive and well for short-range urban transport.
Automobile: Wheeled personal vehicles of any sort, typically running on a strat 3 motor.
Mule: Similar in form to an automobile, a Mule generally has 4-6 repulsors which maintain a distance of 0.2m to 1m from the ground. These are very popular in Boone, where there are few roads. Broader repulsors spaced further apart are needed for travel over water.
Aircraft: A vehicle whose thrust is provided by a simple engine, and lift from wings.
Hopper: Effectively a small shuttle made for in-atmosphere travel, thrust and lift are provided by thrusters and repulsors.
Shuttle: A vehicle made for entering and exiting atmospheres, with sufficient thrust and durability for navigating traversals across long distances on a planet's surface, or to stations or moons. Usually fueled with Strat 6. Some shuttles may also be equipped with a small FTL drive, these are significantly more expensive, and must have systems able to sustain passengers for a much longer period of time. FTL shuttles are generally called "executive shuttles" if they're modern and opulent or "stellar wagons" if they have a cargo focus or are run down.

Back to Index