With the advent of a new life-form, one that is not biological in nature, a new field of study has come into being: Xeno-Biology (Virus)*. Individuals who specialize in this field have become known as AI Specialists. People who delve into this area of expertise tend to be highly regarded for their work in helping the fight against Virus; so much so that the military will often recruit doctors and their assistants to join them on missions where their skills may come of use. In cultures where Psionics are acceptable, the use of Arcana (Computer Empathy)** can boost someone's progress in this career.
- Technician: Computer 2+, Xeno-Biology (Virus) 2+, and any of INT 7+, or undergraduate degree, or Arcana (Computer Empathy) 0+.
- Understudy: Computer 4+, Xeno-Biology (Virus) 4+, and any of Commission from Technician, or a Master's degree in Xeno-Biology (Virus), or Arcana (Computer Empathy) 3+.
- Doctor: Computer 5+, Xeno-Biology (Virus) 6+, and any of Commission from Understudy, or a PhD in Xeno-Biology (Virus).
- First Term
- Commission: Not Possible.
- NOTE: If advancing to Understudy from Technician, select skills from Subsequent Terms - Understudy as normal. If advancing from Understudy to Doctor then select skills from First Term - Doctor as if it was your first term in this career, and then from Subsequent Terms for all following terms.
- Technician or Understudy: Physical Science 2, Technician 3, Sensors 1 or Arcana (Computer Empathy) 1, Perception 1, Charm 1.
- Doctor: +1 SOC, Physical Science 5, Starship Architecture 1 or Arcana (Computer Empathy) 1, Perception 1, Psychology (Virus)***.
- Subsequent Terms
- Technician: 10+, DM +2 if EDU 8+, DM +2 if INT 8+, DM +1 if Arcana (Computer Empathy) 1+. Commission is automatic if character has an undergraduate degree. In either case, the prerequisites for Understudy must still be met or a commission is not possible. If a character has SOC 5-, then their SOC stat is increased to 6 upon receiving a commission.
- Understudy: 9+, DM +1 if EDU 8+, DM +1 if INT 8+, DM +1 if Arcana (Computer Empathy) 2+. Commission is automatic if character has a Master's degree in Xeno-Biology (Virus). In either case, the prerequisites for Doctor must still be met or a commission is not possible.
- Technician: Charm, Vehicle, Technician, Perception, Physical Science, Sensors.
- Understudy: Charm, Interaction, Technician, Perception, Physical Science, Starship Architecture.
- Doctor: Determination, Interaction, Perception, Physical Science, Psychology (Virus).
- All Terms
- Special Adventure: 6+ (8+ for Technicians), DM +1 if Arcana (Computer Empathy) 0+. Roll 1D6 and choose skills from the indicated career's special adventure skill set. 1: Army, 2: Marines, 3-4: Scout, 5: Navy, 6: Special Operations.
- Promotion: 7+, DM +1 if INT 7+, DM +1 if Arcana (Computer Empathy) 1+. Only four promotions are possible as a Technician (max level E4), and a commission from Technician to Understudy grants an automatic promotion (no need to roll) for that term to E5.
- Contacts: 1 per term of either Government, Scientist, or Specialist (AI Specialist). Upon becoming a Doctor, either 1 Wealthy contact or one Government contact is gained (the source of the lab's funds). For each special adventure 1 Military contact is gained.
- Other Effects: 1 ship DM per term as a Technician, 3 ship DM's per term as an Understudy, 5 ship DM's per term as a Doctor, all for a Lab ship.
*Xeno-Biology (Virus): This is a skill new to The New Era. It is the study of the makeup of the Virus 'body', both in what has been observed and what might be possible. It is a combination of the Xeno-Biology skill, Computer skill, and Electronics skill. As such, this is not a sub-cluster of Xeno-Biology in that you can not use any amount of this skill towards trying to accomplish any other standard Xeno-Biology type of task. However, if there was another silicon based lifeform around...
**Arcana (Computer Empathy): This is a very useful psionic skill, but one that is not likely to be common in many campaigns. The use of that skill in this career assumes that the character has already undergone both testing and training and the AI Specialist path in no way provides for either of these.
***Psychology (Virus): This is the skill of trying to understand Virus' psychological makeup. The exact nature of this skill will depend on what is known about Virus and what is just assumed. This could vary greatly from region to region and players are encouraged to role play out any biases that might be prevalent in their setting.