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> Cyberware and Shapechange
James McMurray
post Jul 8 2007, 06:39 PM
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Are they compatible?
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Ravor
post Jul 8 2007, 06:43 PM
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Depends on what you mean, personally I rule that the cybeware was paid for with Essense so it too is altered into the new Pattern.

Of course, by being altered, it is no longer functioning, so you aren't going to be able to use your implanted commlink or cybergun until the spell is dropped.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Jul 8 2007, 06:49 PM
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The latter would be a houserule, though - and a bad one, concerning cybereyes -limbs, and the like.

In SR4, any special ruling concerning cyberware in Shapechange is gone, so you can still use it in the new form.
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Synner667
post Jul 8 2007, 07:22 PM
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Hmmm..

As mentioned, once you pay essence for something it becomes a proper part of you [I remember reading that's why illusions work on cybereyes]..
..But there would be practical limits, and I think it'll stop being ok very soon.

..Shapechange into a dog, and it'll have a cyberleg ??
..Change an injured person into an uninjured one ??
..Shapechange an obvious cyberarm into a natural looking cyberarm ??

As for internal cyberware, there'd be a limit on what could be done..
..Shapechange into a rat, but where does the datajack go ??


It is an interesting problem, and not one I think was thought about properly.


Just my thruppence..
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Jul 8 2007, 07:26 PM
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"It's magic - it somehow works out." ;)

Honestly, if it doesn't transform, the person will most likely die.
And making it turn into something unmodified... raises even more questions.
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Wasabi
post Jul 9 2007, 03:01 AM
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IMO (and there is certainly some interpretation on my part) the Shapechange spell targets a being and cyberware/bioware by virtue of being paid for in Essence is a part of that being. It changes every portion of that being (everything ties to that being's essence/aura) into the target animal. I'd personally rule it replaces cyberware with fully functional meat. It could even let a mute be a songbird or a quadriplegic be a racing greyhound.

By RAW it changes their form. It doesn't use the language 'only' or 'except' so it by RAW doesn't preclude anything else. My way of handling it above therefore contains interpretation.

Secondly, Technomancers may or may not be magical but their aura's reflect they are TM's if you score enough Assensing hits. This means TM's have distinct, if hard to detect, auras. I personally would rule that since a TM has an aura their Living Persona is like magic and would function when they were Shapechanged into a critter.

Lastly, a few comments to previous posters:

1. Rotbart:
I agree with your assertions. I think, however, RAW is too incomplete for play in this case.

2. Synner:
Shapechange doesnt heal damage. I think it should affect lost limbs and such due to the change in forms but thats an interpretation just like the converse assertion: That all the messed up parts are still messed up in the new form. A broken arm becomes a broken wing, mute person turns into mute dog, etc.

Shapechange doesn't affect just part of a person any more than mind control only affects the big toe. Magic is all or nothing.
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Ravor
post Jul 9 2007, 03:38 AM
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QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
The latter would be a houserule, though - and a bad one, concerning cybereyes -limbs, and the like.


Not if you have the cyberware transform into the unaltered flesh of whatever animal you are turning into. After all you are forcing a metahuman's Pattern into something else, and since the cyberware is paid for with Essense it too gets altered.

QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
In SR4, any special ruling concerning cyberware in Shapechange is gone, so you can still use it in the new form.


Something which I consider as being almost as bad as Turn to Goo not following magical theory. After all how does a shapechanged rat use a cybergun or spurs that are bigger then it is?
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Solomon Greene
post Jul 9 2007, 03:39 AM
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The following is speculation, as I only have access to the BBB for SR4.

I hold, as previous posters have stated, to the idea of Pattern magic. Cyberware is "paid for" with Essence, making it a part of the person. Therefore, the 'ware would be changed with the person.

But what happens to the 'ware itself?

In my game, the cyberware would be modified to fit the new form. That means if you shapechange into a hellhound and you have a cyberarm, one of the forelegs of the hound will be cybernetic. Same with a leg. Internal 'ware would also be transformed as such.

The really speculative part is how this will affect the functionality of the ware in its new state. In my game, the functionality depends on the size. An arm or leg is going to be just as effective as it was on the human body - but items internal to the limb may not be. You could still use the gun in your arm when you turn into a devil rat, for example (which has a body of 2, so it's not out of the question) but due to size reduction, I may assess a penalty to damage, due to the smaller size of the projectile and the power behind it. That's if you can aim the thing. Implanted comlinks and other systems would still function - affects on functionality would be handled on a case-by-case basis.

It's all very free-form, which fits the SR4 rules as laid out, in my opinion.
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Solomon Greene
post Jul 9 2007, 03:42 AM
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Something I forgot to add:

Re: turning an injured person into a non-injured person.

The shapechange spell refers to critters. Critters, as defined on page 285, are "...all non-human creatures the players may encounter." I'm assuming that they meant "metahuman" as well, since the terms are interchangeable. That would put a kibosh on changing some around, in my opinion.

Even if you ruled that metahumans count as critters, the spell has no ability to heal and does not affect the damage track - a wounded person becomes a wounded bird and so on.
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Ravor
post Jul 9 2007, 04:09 AM
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Yes but my question would be that using Pattern Theory Magic why would the cyberware remain cyberware instead of being forced into the proper Pattern of whatever animal was being used? The entirely of the target's physical attributes are being rewritten, the spell doesn't care if you start out in the top 2% of metahumanity, the base Pattern being used is that of a typical member of the animal specis.

You see I agree that cyberware is part of the target's Pattern, but the hang up that I'm having is that the original Pattern is being rewritten into something completely different, and that should include the cyberware as well.
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Solomon Greene
post Jul 9 2007, 04:19 AM
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It seems to me that the spell has to work with what it has. There's no meat arm in place to be shifted, so the spell shifts what's there.

If you had a missing arm, your new animal form would also have a missing arm - there's nothing there to fill in the "gap" in the Pattern. The spell, in my opinion, alters a Pattern to simulate another - the whole of the Pattern isn't changed. If that was the case, you'd loose your intelligence.
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Ravor
post Jul 9 2007, 04:39 AM
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Excellent Counterpoint, but my question would be that if that were the case then why doesn't the fact that the target is well above average physically also count towards the end result under your theory? (I understand that it would be a nightmare to figure the animal's base stats from a meta-game POV if that were the case, but I'm asking from a theory POV.)
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Solomon Greene
post Jul 9 2007, 04:55 AM
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It does, in my opinion.

Your mental stats remain unchanged, and net hits add to Physical stats. In my opinion, this reflects how well the mage casting the spell can alter the Pattern - roll really well and you'll have very few differences between your "bird" self and your normal Pattern.

It's all in the skill of the Weaver who works the spell.
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Ravor
post Jul 9 2007, 05:14 AM
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Hmm, that is a very convincing argument that also fits with Pattern Theory. I like it, alot, although the thought of ruling on how the altered cyber works is enough to give me a headache so I'll probably not end up using it.
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Sterling
post Jul 9 2007, 05:41 AM
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I'll take it one step further, if I may.

If you consider an unaugmented (meta)human as a silhouette made of cotton, then that's our start.

Remove the cotton left arm and sew on a polyester (cyber) arm. The cyberware is now part of the pattern, but is a different material that's paid for by essence. If you then use magic to reshape the pattern from a human shape into a dog shape, then you would think that magic would also follow the path of least resistance and use the existing extremities as they are, just modifying them to fit the new form.


Everything that's part of the arm should theoretically shift as well.

Things in cyberlimbs that I would rule wouldn't shift would be ammo for cyberguns and things in internal storage (gun holsters, fingertip compartments, etc). Those are external items that has no connection with essence and shouldn't be altered. The spurs, commlinks, and anything else with a DNI connection wouldn't be affected, but damage would have to be adjusted. It's possible you could leave the spur damage alone, ruling that the dog's strength would now replace the previous strength, but then we get into debates about how a dog's foreleg isn't designed to do the types of movement that would make a spur effective. A cat, on the other hand, could.

Would you want to fire a heavy pistol round through a rat-sized magically-reduced pistol barrel? On the other hand, the hydraulic jacks in the rat's cyberhindlimbs is going to make him jump around like Yoda hopped up on raw sugar and geritol.
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Solomon Greene
post Jul 9 2007, 05:46 AM
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QUOTE (Ravor)
Hmm, that is a very convincing argument that also fits with Pattern Theory. I like it, alot, although the thought of ruling on how the altered cyber works is enough to give me a headache so I'll probably not end up using it.

Thanks!

It can lead to a headache, I agree, if you don't want to mess around with "off the cuff" rulings and have argumentative players. I've been blessed with cooperative PC's so much that I tend to forget what it is like to have a PC who will say "No, that's not right" and then lack a definitive ruling to back up the statement.


Sterling: Excellent example.
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Talia Invierno
post Jul 9 2007, 07:32 AM
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This does reiterate some of what has gone before, from a slightly different pov.

The Fix spell demonstrates that spells are at least potentially capable of detailed manipulation of electronics and the like at a very high level -- which suggests that the functionality of 'ware paid for in ES (patterned) would be impaired as minimally as the magician's degree of success in pattern manipulation (number of hits).

The usual range in most of the RAW seems to be from threshold for the basic effect (in this case translating 'ware to the new form with minimal functionality) on up to five for maximal possible success.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Jul 9 2007, 09:58 AM
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QUOTE (Sterling)
Things in cyberlimbs that I would rule wouldn't shift would be ammo for cyberguns and things in internal storage (gun holsters, fingertip compartments, etc). Those are external items that has no connection with essence and shouldn't be altered.

But the compartments are, and should retain a shape to accomodate those somehow - otherwise the person would brust. Sure, that might look strange, but given the question, we are way past strange.
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