Neurovite CR 1
The man before you looks almost normal except for the glimmer of metal in his eyes and the ridges of wires running through the skin of his head.
DEFENSE HP 10
EAC 13; KAC 15
Fort +0; Ref +0; Will +2
Immunities construct immunities
Defensive Abilities implant, unliving
Speed 5 ft.
Melee zap +4 (1d4-1 E)
Space 1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Offensive Abilities hijack
Str -4, Dex +0, Con -, Int +6, Wis +4, Cha +1
Skills Computers +11, Culture +6, Engineering +11, Life Science +6, Physical Science +11
Languages Common, three other languages prevalent in the area
Other Abilities sensory shade, skilled
A neurovite can tap into its host’s nervous system to partially control their body. Once per round a neurovite can attempt to make the host take an action no more complex than one standard action. The host may contest this if they so wish with a DC 12 Will save. If the host is not in a state to resist, such as being unconscious or paralyzed, the save is automatically failed and the neurovite may instead fully control the creature as if they were staggered. A neurovite controlling the host in this way uses the host’s physical ability scores to determine bonuses for actions like attacks or skill checks, but no other bonuses the host may possess unless they are physically innate. Because this is only a physical control, the neurovite cannot make its host cast spells or spell-like abilities unless the neurovite is itself capable of casting those same spells.
A neurovite is not meant to function on its own, but rather to serve as a symbiotic mind to a host. A neurovite can be implanted into a creature if a surgeon makes a DC 14 Medicine check in a process that takes an hour, with the check increasing to 17 if the creature is attempting to implant it into themselves. While implanted, a neurovite is considered a part of the host creature and cannot be specifically targeted for harm or to make saves. An implanted neurovite can communicate with its host as per telepathy, save that this ability can only be impeded by effects that disable electronics. Neurovites make their own skill and perception checks and may share information with their host if they so choose, though while in a host they may only perceive the world through their host’s senses. Removing a neurovite is a DC 15 medicine check and takes two hours, increasing to DC 18 if the creature is attempting to remove it from themselves.
Sensory Shade (Ex)
A neurovite can alter the sensory input of its host to some extent. It can create a single false sensory input at a time for any sense, such as floating text or the feeling of a hand on an arm. These sensory inputs can never be harmful and are always distinctly unreal, requiring no save to realize their true nature.
As little more than electronic minds, neurovites are quite clever. A neurovite has a +1 for all mental skill checks. The skill bonuses listed above already include this bonus, though they are not all of the mental skills.
Organization single, club (2-10)
When one thinks of a construct, the most likely subject that comes to mind is a golem or a robot. Those with more experience in administration or intrigue than combat may instead consider powerful AIs used to run ships or datashades lurking in computers. What is likely not considered is the neurovite, a complex yet rather mundane form of AI meant to be implanted directly into a user’s brain.
On its own, a neurovite isn’t much. Outside a host, a neurovite resembles a dense computer chip roughly the size of a fingernail with many branching wires on all of its sides. Neurovites are not designed to function on their own, though their intelligence allows them to circumvent this somewhat. In dire circumstances while out of a host, a neurovite can use carefully modulated electrical pulses to twitch its wires and allow a crude form of locomotion, and should they find the need to defend themselves they can overclock their external connectors to lightly electrocute anything touching them.
While in a host, it is nearly impossible to tell that the creature is hosting a neurovite. While they may be observed talking to no one or gesturing to things only they can see, the common nature of intracochlear communication devices and augmented reality lenses, such behaviors do not effectively serve as distinguishing markers. Close observation of a neurovite host may reveal the scars from the implantation process, but a better signifier is the presence of other internal augmentations. If one is willing to implant an AI directly into their brain, they will often implant a variety of other mechanisms to augment it.
The process of implanting a neurovite should by all rights be a complex one, but a neurovite is capable of wiring itself into the host brain on its own, only requiring assistance to get past the skull. Once exposed to the brain it embeds itself as its wires rig themselves into the host’s neurons, primarily focusing on the parts of the brain relating to sensory input. From there they can piggyback of the host’s senses and input sensory data of their own in order to communicate and assist the host.
Creatures take on neurovites for many reasons. The most common is seen in soldiers, criminals, and masterminds who find such a source of information and constant support invaluable in high-risk situations. Others take one for constant companionship, preferring models with a greater focus on personality over raw intelligence. Some actually download the minds of other mechanical beings into a neurovite core in order to carry a fallen friend or lover with them forever. This is commonly seen in those who serve alongside and grow attached to creatures like mechanized armors, allowing them to keep close companions without the danger and legal snares of keeping the full machine.
On rare occasions, a neurovite is less positive. Some grow addicted to the rush of another mind inside their own, installing multiple neurovites until their brain is nearly fried from the wires burrowing through it. On certain worlds, technopathic overlords secretly install neurovites in persons of note or known enemies. These neurovites do not communicate with their hosts, serving as silent watchers their true masters can use as an inside source.