Aquatic Equipment

When going underwater, characters can take a variety of equipment modified to work in that environment.

Jet Fins. These work on the same principle as the scooter. Jet fins enable a character to move at a rate of 13 meters per turn without requiring rest breaks every hour. A pair of fins weigh .5 kilograms and cost 50 Credits They are powered by two small, rechargeable energy cells good for two hours of use.

Modified Weapons and Equipment

Modified weapons and equipment have a tendency to malfunction due to powerful pressure from deep dives, as do AGSs. Weapons and equipment must be further modified if taken into water containing powerful chemicals; this modification will cost a further 50 Credits.

For every tenth of a gravity less than one, weapons and equipment are able to dive 10 meters deeper before a chance for malfunction occurs. The opposite is true if the gravity is greater than one. This rule applies to the weapons and equipment, too.

Artificial Gill Suit (AGS). To survive underwater for long periods, characters must employ a breathing apparatus known as an artificial gill suit (AGS), which covers the wearer’s entire body. It is made of a material that is similar to that used in skeinsuits, and it may be left transparent or colored as the manufacturer desires. Normal goggles may be worn by Humans, Vrusk, and Yazirian divers. The AGS will absorb one-fourth of all damage caused by projectile and gyrojet weapons, fragmentation grenades, explosives, and melee weapons. It cannot be worn with any other suit of armor, but a screen may be used with it. When the AGS has taken 35 points of damage, it will be ruined and useless as armor.

The AGS for Humans, Yazirians, and Vrusks conforms to their basic physical shape The AGS for Dralasites will stretch to accomodate their shape-changing abilities. A Yazirian AGS covers the glide-wing membranes without hampering their use in swimming (see below).

Much of the exterior of the AGS is covered by a series of microfilters, all made of tough, translucent plastic. These microfilters draw oxygen from the water, pumping the gas mixture through small tubes to the area of the body where the wearer inhales air. The waste gases produced are released directly from the suit. The whole system is regulated by a computer chip and powered by a small energy cell good for five hours before it needs to be recharged.

The AGS also has a small digital display which can easily be seen by the wearer. The display shows the diver’s depth, time in the water, and the amount of power left in the suit’s energy cell. The suit also has a built-in low-frequency radio system, which has a range of one kilometer.

The AGS weighs five kilograms and costs 800 Credits. The suit can be safely used at a maximum depth of 110 meters on Earthlike planets. If a deeper dive is attempted, there is a cumulative 5% chance per 10 meters below the safe limit that the AGS will malfunction. This chance must be rolled for every five minutes, with an additional 1% chance of failure added for every additional five-minute period spent beyond the first.

If the characters dive in water with extremes in temperature, an AGS can be bought with a heating/cooling system. This modification costs 100 Credits extra and adds two kilograms of weight to the AGS. This system is powered by a small energy cell which works for four hours before needing a recharge. The system protects the character in water with temperatures ranging from -35—C to 70—C.

Special AGSs may be created if the characters are going to dive in waters which contain dangerous chemicals or poison. These AGS must be tailor-made for the body of water in which the characters are going to dive. Such suits cost and average of 1000 Credits.

If the AGS malfunctions, the character wearing it must hold his breath until he can reach the water’s surface.

AGS Wide-beam Underwater Flashlight. 50 Credits. The flashlight will be attached to the AGS, around the character’s chest. The flashlight’s energy cell can go for 100 hours before needing a recharge. The flashlight enables the character to always have a minimum visual range of two meters, except in extremely murky water. It illuminates a cone-shaped area, ranging from .5-2 meters at the widest part of the cone.

Handheld Wide-beam Underwater Flashlight. which works like the one attached to the AGS, can be bought for 10 Credits.

Standard Sea Survival Pack. The contents of such a pack are: one all-weather blanket, one first-aid pack, four survival rations (eight days of food), one compass, 10 salt pills, 10 liters of water, one flashlight, one pair of sea goggles, and an emergency beeper that emits a signal for 20 km for 48 hours. Some packs may include a small firearm.

Waterproofed Compass can be found for 20 Credits.

Underwater Toxyrad Gauge. 25 Credits; its functions are slightly different from the regular type, and it will not work above water. If the red light shines, it means that there is a chemical in the area that can affect the character through his AGS, but the special filters mentioned earlier can filter them out before they reach the character. A flashing blue light indicates that there is dangerous radiation nearby. A flashing yellow light indicates that there is a chemical in the area that is so powerful that even the special filters mentioned above can not filter them out.

Underwater Exoskeleton. 2500 Credits. This version of the exoskeleton also works above water. While wearing the exoskeleton, a character is able to swim 20 meters per turn without having to rest. While underwater, the character has a +10 bonus to hit in melee, and does five additional points of damage. The exoskeleton is designed to be worn outside the AGS without hampering any of the suit’s functions. Because of the heat-absorbing properties of water, an AGS cannot have built-in infrared vision capability. Freeze fields cannot work underwater, either.

Underwater Radiophone. 550 Credits. Works under or above water. It only has a range of 50 kilometers underwater, and is connected to the communications system of the user’s AGS.

Underwater Solva-Way. Comes in small plastic bulbs which must be crushed by the entangled victim. It then spreads out and dissolve the threads, remaining potent for one turn. A bulb of underwater SolvaWay costs 15 Credits, and it will not work above water.

Variable/Timer Detonators. Regular Tornadium D-19 works underwater, but special waterproofed Variable/Timer Detonators must be used. They cost 7 Credits each and work above water, too.

Underwater Power Backpacks (300 Credits)

Underwater Powerclips (150 Credits)

(source- Star Frontiers: 25th Anniversary Edtion Rulebook)