Synch
It's that new drug that came out from Osiris Corp - the one that nobody can pronounce. You've surely heard the tagline: "Everything's a cinch when you're in sync with Synch." We don't represent Osiris Corp (honestly, we stole their formula), but we're willing to give you a taste, for a price. Synch makes it a bit difficult to do anything but think, and makes you a good deal calmer - with a minimum of negative effects. Great for hackers that want to play with fire, or pyromaniacs that want to go digital.
  • Cost: 2500 creds
  • Uses: 1
  • Requirements: Be a human.
  • Stats: +2 hacking
    +1 willpower
    +1 exotics
  • Duration: 4d6 turns
    Effects start at the beginning of the next turn.

Synch induces a sensation of disassociation, where the user may not feel directly connected to the world around them. Movement can feel strange, as can interacting with other people. After a short time the user can manage to overcome this and focus their efforts on whatever task they've assigned for themselves, be it studying, coding, hacking, or tossing some good old-fashioned fireballs.

Users report a feeling of intense calm and security. The drug has a minimum of side effects, as per its design, but has a fairly high cost due to the fact that it's fairly powerful. Studies have shown the drug to have an effect on problem-solving IQ, with an increase of up to 60%. Unfortunately, most users cannot adequately convey this to their peers, and may in fact outwardly seem somewhat stupider.

Side effects while active

Side effects only take place for the duration of the drug, and stop afterwards. Side effects can stack between drugs. Some effects may be immediately obvious. Others, the GM may record privately and must be discerned by the player.

100% Dilated pupils The classic sign of a synch addict: very widely dilated pupils, to the point where the iris is almost not visible.
35-65% Social lag Social cue processing is somewhat more inhibited than normal due to synch; the delays in conversation can lead to awkward moments, giving a -1 to charisma. This effect manifests itself in most users; it is only in extreme cases that the penalty exists. The GM will not inform the character of whether the penalty is in effect.
20-50% Muscle lag In some cases, moving the body can take a lot of conscious thought due to how synch removes the "automatic" side of the brain. This gives a -1 to runspeed on foot.

Overdose effects

If you take too many different drugs in a short amount of time, you have a chance of receiving the side effects of any of them. These last for the duration of the longest-duration drug you've taken. Those that last other lengths will be noted. Continuing to take drugs past this point may result in death. Some effects may be immediately obvious. Others, the GM may record privately and must be discerned by the player.

100% Nausea Synch's only overdose effect: a feeling of nausea. The player does an endurance roll to see whether their character vomits. If he does, he is stunned for the remainder of the turn. Can take place at any time while the overdose is in effect, but must be announced the preceding turn by the GM: "You're starting to feel sick." Further overdose will of course lead to more serious symptoms, just like any other drug; taking large amounts of anything is typically a bad idea all around, but Synch's effects are tamer than most.

Withdrawal effects

If you take too many drugs over the course of one or two missions, there's a chance you can become addicted and experience withdrawal symptoms. Some effects may be immediately obvious. Others, the GM may record privately and must be discerned by the player. Still others may happen at random for the duration of withdrawal. Withdrawal can be mitigated by taking another of the particular drug at some point during or before the next mission - or you can try waiting it out for a mission or two, until it goes away.

  • Duration: 1 month (1 full-sized REKT mission)
85-100% Trouble thinking straight When in withdrawal, a synch user may have trouble thinking straight. They may feel like they need more synch in order to keep their brain "flowing", and often use the analogy that it feels like they've removed their glasses and everything is blurry. This equates to a -1 in general knowledge.
20-50% Hives Reddish welts and hives can show up all over the addict's body. They do not bleed, but they may itch or be painful.

History

Not much history here. It really hasn't been around long enough - but it's been around longer than Osiris Corp likes to claim: almost a century, in fact. The drug was intentionally designed from an offshoot of Red Sand, using some of the same processes and chemicals to produce a similar psionics-inducing effect. The whole point of it was to increase how well people could interact with the then-new and -primitive field of direct neural-to-computer systems, such as VR. Interestingly, though, as it gives a bigger boost to programming ability than… practically anything else, it quickly became popular in week-long coding sprints known as "game jams", where the objective was to create a VR simulator in as little time as possible with a minimum of materials to start with.

There's the catch, though. After it caught on, and a few people got addicted, Osiris Corp ramped the prices up. As it turns out, they were running at a loss for the first few years in the hopes of getting people addicted, so they could bump up the cost and make a pretty penny. Typical corporate strategy. The materials required are already fairly expensive, so they felt quite free to ramp up the price to several thousand galactic credits. As it turned out, it didn't work. Their drug is hardly addictive at all, and by that time people had managed to reverse-engineer it for a street version that became known as Senpa - a version with most of the same benefits, but a slew of withdrawal effects that made it highly addictive. Senpa stole Synch's thunder, causing Osiris Corp to launch some heavy marketing campaigns that unfortunately never managed to recoup their sustained losses. As has been demonstrated time and time over the course of history: most people don't care about the crash, just the high.

Ingame example

Ingame example


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