Nanite Limits

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Nanotechnology is an astoundingly powerful tool that, with the right programming and forethought, can make miracles a reality where otherwise it would be impossible, extremely expensive, or just impractically long to do. They are not without limitations, however. At the heart, they are little machines. They have extremely limited(essentially none) intelligence, individually. They rely on an off site computer to coordinate their efforts with limited cooperative power with local transponding nanites that relay commands and report changing environments.


The transponder nanites are the weakest point of the nanite chain of command. A sharp burst of EMP interference will cause them to lose connection with the off site computer, or even cause damage to their internal radios. If enough of them are brought offline, the entire nanite mass becomes inert until new transponders can be assembled.

Hard Limits

Creating Life

  • Nanites can't work with souls. Strange place to begin, but science hasn't even proven such things exist, and if they did, little flecks of carbon and aluminum are insufficient to get a good handle on one and move it around or manipulate one.
    • If an animal is created from 'nothing', out of neighboring idle molecules, it typically fails to express life. There are rare exceptions. Figure the chances to be about 5% of any given corpse being assembled snapping to life within a minute of production. After a minute has passed, the body begins decaying and there's little more to be done.
    • Non sentient Plants do not have this issue, and can be assembled on demand. Microscopic organisms also do not seem to mind being created.

Life Extension

  • A body flooded with nanites is like having a dedicated doctor following you around all day, dispensing nutritional advice, administering drugs and performing surgeries, sometimes before you are even aware you need any. The basic upkeep protocol performs the following acts.
    • Assembles raw nutrients from ambient molecules sufficient for life.
      • Not enough to stave off hunger and its ill effects.
    • Is capable of shutting down the body for extreme repair when death would otherwise result.
    • Can assemble and attach new cells, causing massive cellular regeneration, up to and including lost limbs.
    • Keeps arteries and veins whole, plaque free, and elastic
    • Assists with oxygen transfer and waste removal
    • Manufacture missing vital compounds if the body is not producing a sufficient amount
    • Undo radioactivity damage, provided the nanites are not too damaged by the same source.
      • Works better once radioactive source is removed


  • A body has to be, mostly, in one piece to reassemble. A body that is incinerated, evaporated, diced, cubed, or otherwise ripped asunder is beyond the abilities of nanites to save.
    • An attempt could be made to assemble a new body entirely, but, as above, there's no particular assurance the body will receive that spark of life once the original has died, rather than being put into stasis to be recovered and patched up later.

Exotic Biology

  • Nanites can get very creative, with proper programming, in making biology work in ways it should not. Making 'living' beings out of alternative materials, or in unusual shapes and configurations are possible. Here are some things it can't do.
    • It can't make gaseous life forms.
    • It can't make liquid life forms(Goo is as liquid as it gets, any less cohesive and the life form becomes an inert puddle)
    • It can't make radioactive life forms(They would damage the nanites constantly, making the transformation itself haphazard, and upkeep impossible, eventually leading to death)
    • It can't make beings taller than about ninety feet or so, at which point, even with immense energy and nanite intervention, the life form would collapse on itself and expire.
    • It can't make beings smaller than about six inches. Smaller than this and a sufficient number of nanites can't occupy the space without dangerously high concentration.
    • Without an extensive, specialized, program, bodies must be one, whole, structure, not separate structures.
      • Goo girls can not split themselves in two and act independently. One would live, the other would be inert, either rotting or later being reabsorbed by the still living goo girl.
        • Unless the right program is used(See the mini goos they like to use).


  • Since nanites don't do much thinking for themselves, they are in constant communication with the offsite computer. When the user of nanites leaves the range of that computer, known as the 'bubble', most nanite functionality shuts down, and begins to only follow what tiny little programs the transponders have built in. This is typically just the upkeep program.
    • The nanites will do everything listed above, though major surgeries and dissolutions are offline, requiring coordination with the computer to do without killing the patient in the process.
    • Beings that require constant upkeep to exist, such as jellied anatomy, typically have a higher concentration of transponder nanites in their system, which hold the extra programming required for existing. Outside the bubble, they don't begin to melt, and can survive.
    • Infecting others is impossible outside of bubbles.
    • Shapeshifting is impossible outside of bubbles.
      • This only applies to nanite methods, however. A Fenrir Wolf dedicant can turn into a wolf, or a human, but not back into their favorite nanite-based shapes, for instance.
      • Both of the above require the advanced computational power of an offsite computer to perform without simply killing the host.
    • Most 'mutant' powers work normally, if they are entirely biological in origin. Nanite enhanced powers will typically fail, or perform very poorly, without the needed computational power.