Major Technology: Body Swapping

Some characters in SA have the ability to move their consciousness (be it housed in a brain or seated in a purely digital mind) from one physical body to another. Depending in the technology and neuroform involved, the process may be as complex as a brain transplant, or as simple as placing a chip into a socket. The new body will give the character a new set of Biotech, Nanotech, and Stringtech Capabilities.


Characters with the right neuroform can change bodies easily. With the broad availability of replicators, a new body (whether mechanical or flesh-and-blood) is easy to obtain. Because of this, seeing someone with a new body is as common in some civilizations as seeing them with a new haircut.

Bodies that are commonly available in replicator catalogs will have easily traced fingerprints, short-lived radiation traces, or other well-known identifiers. Custom-designed bodies are expensive, and records of purchase are kept. Criminals who attempt body-switching to evade capture will be disappointed – only well-funded and well- organized cartels can get away with this sort of tactic.

Gender becomes a much more flexible concept when one can start the day male and end it female. Race and visual age are an intentional choice. Height, strength, beauty, and even coordination and balance become things that can be chosen, and chosen quickly, without significant cost. Some civilizations thus choose to place emphasis on having a unique body rather than one that would be considered conventionally attractive.

Low-tech civilizations often have a visceral reaction against this technology. Many cargo cults and old-worlders will see it as strongly unnatural.


Baseline characters, born in the traditional way, must undergo a change before they can wear a new body. Most take one of two routes to body swapping: digitizing the mind, or braincasing. Digitizing the brain requires a destructive scan, slicing the brain down and encoding it into a computer one cell at a time. Braincasing takes the brain and places it into a container with access for nervous system connections and nutrient feeds.

Altering your existing body can be done, but it is not a fast process. It can require days or months depending on the extent of the change. Chemical changes in the brain can result in a very different personality for what is essentially a new person.

Adapting to a new body can take time. The higher the character’s Cognitech score, the faster it will happen. Access to Stringtech is nearly instantaneous; understanding the input from new sensors or organs can take longer.

Game Terms

Players should recalculate their characters’ Tech and Import scores when switching between bodies. If the new body has a reduced Tech score, gain Twists equal to the difference in scores. If it has an improved Tech score, changing bodies costs Twists. Characters who cannot pay the Twist difference cannot change bodies.

Core Tech: Cognitech. Nanotech or Biotech will be needed as well, to create the body.


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