With galaxies and instantaneous travel via wormhole available, exploration now reaches out to touch new worlds and stars – not just hidden valleys and new continents. The challenges facing an explorer are many and varied. Hostile Cargo Cults, dangerous wildlife, leftover weapons, incompatible biologies, flare stars and on and on.
The Explorers Society started as a talking shop for professional explorers – a place to share experiences, solutions and stories. These gatherings became more formal, turned into conventions and finally an actual organization.
Today, the Explorers Society is a combination hiring hall, specialized equipment store, museum and publisher/broadcaster (they have to tell someone what they've done after all). It helps finance expeditions to seek out lost colonies, strange life forms, unique experiences and beautiful sights. It also offers an impressive hospital and medical benefits for its members as well.
Core Value: To explore - to strive, to seek, never to yield. Explorers' Society members will always be interested in seeking out new worlds, societies and civilizations. If they can be the first to reach it, so much the better.
Benefits: Members of the Explorers Society Cognitech scores are considered one point higher for tasks related to Exploration and their Biotech scores are considered one point higher for Outdoorsman tasks. They receive a neural mesh and they also have access to some very, very good survival gear such as:
- Exploration suits: These are multi-environmental suits that can function in vacuum, under water, high (or low) temperatures. It has a programmable surface allowing it to armor up, as well as functioning as a nanoweave great coat. It has memory plastic inserts in the boots and gloves to give it swim fins, and its smart enough to help ballast itself (unless the wearer wants to do that). For non-members, the suit has a cost of High. For a member of the Explorers' Society, it has a cost of Moderate.
- Enhanced Outdoorsman Lenses: These are a bit better than the standard lens, but are more specialized. Typically, they are produced for a specific type of environment (hard vacuum, alpine, deep ocean, tropical jungle, swamp, etc.) or a specific planet. Within the specific environment or planet, wearers gain a +2 to the Outdoorsman profession. Outside of it, a -1 while using the lens. Available to Society members at Moderate Cost. Expensive for non-members.
- Robohelmet: The Explorers' Society freely admits they stole the idea from the Spacers - a mobile robot space suit helmet that is smart enough to follow its owner around. The Spacers admit that the Explorers have tweaked it pretty far. They added additional sensors (Nanotech 6), as well as boosting the computing ability (Cognitech 2), plus small manipulators. The Spacers aren't sure about the last piece, but Explorers that specialize in hostile environments love them. A Robohelmet has a cost of Moderate for members and Expensive for non-members.
And so on. A member of the Explorers' Society may start with one piece of survival gear for free at character creation and always has access to other pieces of gear for lower cost than non-members.