Independent Nanocolonies

Although all the other categories of nanotechnology are by definition nanocolonies, this section is a catch all for independent nanocolonies that don’t fit into a specific category. An independent nanocolony is one that is capable of functioning and surviving outside of a contained environment. Independent nanocolonies can take many forms and can be either airborne or part of another piece of technology. These nanocolonies usually perform independent tasks, such as creating, building, or destroying, without having to enhance or alter an existing object. In fact, most independent nanocolonies are designed to function as autonomous units once released into the environment, only altering their objectives when given new commands or new programming.

Independent nanocolonies are among the most dangerous because they can move about freely and cannot be reclaimed easily (if at all) should a malfunction occur. In some settings, independent nanocolonies are responsible for the fall of entire civilizations. Some independent nanocolonies are capable of wiping out entire planets, moving from one location to the next devouring and destroying anything that stands in their way.

Table: Nanocolonies

Name Level Price Activation Bulk Capacity Usage Source
Gray goo, gray 1 500 L 1 1 SH:GA:NE
Holographic Servant 3 950 unlimited SH:GA:NE
Nano-clothes 3 1,000 unlimited 1 SH:GA:NE
Utility fog, obscuring 5 2,675 1/day 1 SH:GA:NE
Zombie dust, standard 5 2,650 1 1 SH:GA:NE
Gray goo, gray-blue 6 5,000 L 1 1 SH:GA:NE
Deflection screen, standard 7 7,125 10 rounds/day SH:GA:NE
Zombie dust, advanced 8 10,550 SH:GA:NE
Utility fog, solid 9 14,350 1/day SH:GA:NE
Deflection screen, advanced 13 52,475 10 rounds/day SH:GA:NE
Zombie dust, superior 13 51,750 1 1 SH:GA:NE

List of Nanocolonies

Deflection Screen

This nanocolony is normally worn as a belt buckle or broch. When activated the nanites envelope the subject producing a visible sheen just above the skin’s surface. These nanite operate in quite the opposite fashion of a magnetic containment field: the deflection screen repels different energy types providing a +2 circumstance bonus to the wearer’s EAC. The advanced deflection screen provides a +4 circumstance bonus to the wearer’s EAC.

Activating the deflection screen is a move action. The nanobatteries store enough energy to power the deflection screen 10 round per day. The nanites are recharged by kinetic energy and magnetic fields. Neither type of deflection screen requires a separate power source.

Gray Goo

Gray goo is one of the most destructive nanotechnologies in the universe. In its infancy the primary goal for scientist in the field of nanotechnology was to build nanites capable of self-replication. This seemed like a noble goal since millions of nanites are needed to perform a given task and creating nanites is incredibly difficult given their size. Unfortunately, gray goo is generally one of the first successful nanocolonies that scientists learn to create, and in almost every case are completely unprepared for the results. Gray goo must be contained in a magnetic storage field or it will eat through almost any organized matter while it replicates itself.

This colony of nanites exists for the sole purpose of replicating itself. The nanites within gray goo attack any organic or organized materials they come in contact with and convert it into additional gray goo nanites. In other words, any manufactured object or person that touches this material is consumed by it. A few examples, gray goo will eat though armor, ceramics, clothing, plastic, sheet metal, or glass but will not consume disorganized materials like concrete or stone. Gray goo is not harmed by water and actively avoids contact with it.

Anyone touching or being touched by gray goo must attempt a Fortitude saving throw (DC 30) for each round of contact. If the save is successful, the character severed contact before any damage was done. If the save fails, the nanites have gotten into the character’s system. The character takes 1 point of ability damage to all their ability scores every 10 minutes. When the character’s Constitution score is reduced to 0 they are irretrievably killed and completely transformed into gray goo. The only way to prevent this is to amputate any portion of the body that has come in contact with the gray goo nanites (use the Table: Wounding Weapons in The Starfinder Role Playing Game to determine the body location).

Fortunately, gray goo is extremely slow and it only moves 5 feet per round. Gray goo does not have to roll to hit simply occupying the same space requires a saving throw. It will always attempt to consume the closest source of material for replication and will not chase a potential victim past an easier source of raw materials.

Gray goo nanites are immune to all energy and kinetic attacks. The only known surefire way to destroy it is by introducing nano-hunters to the colony.

Blue Goo: Blue goo is a derivative of normal gray goo but it only consumes organic matter otherwise its identical to gray goo. Blue colonies were developed as a weapon of mass destruction. It had one purpose, to eliminate all enemy personnel but leave the base and equipment intact.

Holographic Servant

Although the holographic servant has often been considered a vanity item, many lonely souls in the depths of space would have went lost their mind without one. This nanocolony provides a semi-transparent semi-corporeal form to an A.I. That advantage of a holographic servant over other holographic devices is the capability of the nanites to manipulate their surroundings. It can fetch an item, open doors, get you a coffee, or scratch an itch as long as its within network range of its central A.I. Any computer with an A.I. can be synced with this nanocolony.

The holographic servant can perform one physical activity at a time due to the limited number of nanites dedicated to physical manipulation. It can only open normal doors, drawers, lids, and the like. It has an effective Strength score of 2 (so it can only manage items of 1 bulk or less). It can trigger some types of traps, but it can only exert up to 20 pounds of force, which is not enough to activate certain pressure plates and other devices. It can’t perform any tasks which require a skill check for a skill which it doesn’t possess or that cannot be used unskilled. Although produces enough propulsion to move objects and hover slightly above the ground it cannot fly, climb, or even swim (though it can walk on water). Its base speed is 15 feet.

The servant cannot attack in any way; it is never allowed an attack roll. The holographic servant is dispersed and destroyed if it takes 6 points of damage from area attacks and is also destroyed by strong winds. (It gets no saves against these attacks.) A holographic servant only functions within 100 feet of its AI or within 100 feet of a network that provides direct access to its A.I. If the holographic servant is cut off from its AI or moves beyond its functional range, the nanites fall to the ground and it ceases to exist.

The holographic servant is stored in a tiny canister the size of a shotgun shell. Activating or deactivating the servant is a move action. The nanites cannot be activated if beyond the range of its AI.


Not all nanorobotic systems change the course of human history, or turn garbage into starship fuel. Nano-clothes are a simple form of nanocolony that transforms itself to the user’s tastes as a comfortable, fashionable outfit that never needs to be washed or changed. Its operation doesn’t interfere with other nanocolonies. This nanocolony provides a +1 circumstance bonus to Charisma based skill checks which require the character to be dressed in a specific outfit or uniform.

Utility Fog

Inactive utility fog is carried in a 1-liter container. If it were poured out, it resembles a formless, colorless substance a little more viscous than water. When utility fog is fed instructions through a computer or neural computer, it can reorganize its size and density to produce a fog cloud of nanites. Activating or deactivating utility fog is a move action.

Standard utility fog produces a 20-foot radius, 10-foot high cloud of nanite fog surrounding the controller. The fog can be programmed to move with the controller or left in place. The controller range on utility fog is 100 feet + 10/level of the computer or neural computer used to control the fog. If the controller walks out of range the fog falls harmlessly to the ground and can only be retrieved by the controller coming back into range. The fog can only be moved up to 30’ per round by the controller. Utility fog obscures all sight, including darkvision, beyond 5 feet. A creature within 5 feet has concealment (attacks have a 20% miss chance). Creatures farther away have total concealment (50% miss chance, and the attacker can’t use sight to locate the target).

A moderate wind (11+ mph) disperses the utility fog in 4 rounds; a strong wind (21+ mph) disperses the fog in 1 round. These nanites do not function underwater.

Solid utility fog functions like standard utility fog, but in addition to obscuring sight, the solid utility fog is so thick that it impedes movement. Creatures moving through a solid utility fog move at half their normal speed and take a -2 penalty on all melee attack and damage rolls. Ranged attacks are ineffective against creatures within the fog. Kinetic weapons are slowed and energy weapons are diffraction and absorbed. A creature or object that falls into solid fog is slowed so that each 10 feet of vapor that it passes through reduces the falling damage by 1d6. A creature cannot take a 5-foot-step while in solid utility fog. Solid utility fog, and effects that work like solid utility fog, do not stack with each other in terms of slowed movement and attack penalties.

Unlike standard utility fog, only a severe wind (31+ mph) disperses these vapors, and it does so in 1 round.

Zombie Dust

Zombie dust is a tool worthy of any Gothic horror tale. The nanites are used to reanimate a recently deceased corpse. Zombie dust is a nanite colony which reacts to chemicals (a mix of Benzene, Freon, Sulfur, and carbon tetrachloride) naturally release by a corpse shortly after death. The conditions for zombie dust to work properly only exist within the first 72 hours after death. Zombie dust has no effect on the living.

Zombie dust is normally carried in a small vial. Once the contents of the vial are poured into any opening in the corpse, If the gases are present, the nanite colony immediately goes to work replicating and scrubbing the C02 from the corpse substantially slowing down decay. At the same time parts of the colony repair critical neural pathways to the primitive sections of the brain and muscle tissue. It only takes 1d4 minutes for the subject to rise as a nano-zombie (“zombie”). A zombie can be created only from a mostly intact corpse and the corpse must be that of a creature with a physical anatomy that was once living.

Zombie dust is usually synced with a computer or neural computer. Either type of computer can control up to 4HD per device level of zombies. The zombies are considered uncontrolled under any of the following conditions; the computer controlling the zombies is destroyed, the zombie dust isn’t linked to a computer before application to a corpse, or the computer doesn’t have the hit dice capacity to control the Zombie. Unfortunately, due to the replication protocol of the nanites, uncontrolled zombies created by zombie dust attack the living in attempt to create the conditions necessary to create new zombie dust colonies. An uncontrolled zombie will intentionally “dust” other corpses. Dusting a corpse is a full action.

Zombie dust grants the zombie template to any corporeal creature meeting the requirements. Advanced zombie dust grants any zombie variant template (CR +0) to any corporeal creature meeting the requirements. Superior zombie dust grants any zombie variant template (CR +1) to any corporeal creature meeting the requirements.

Any zombie created with zombie dust gains the Nanite Repair special ability. (Nanite Repair (Ex) A nanoswarm’s nanites heal it, restoring a number of Hit Points per hour equal to its CR. Once per day as a full action, a nanoswarm can restore 1d8 Hit Points to itself or any construct touched with the technological subtype.)

A few interesting facts about zombie dust: zombie dust was originally marketed as a “coroner in a bottle”, more than one moon base has fallen victim to a zombie apocalypse, and possession of zombie dust is illegal almost everywhere.

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