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> In my opinion cybernetics are ass backwards!, debate
Abbandon
post Jul 7 2006, 08:28 PM
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For virtually any archtype in shadowrun you get to have your abilities from the get go and as you progress you become stronger in those abilties with no penalty. A mage can raise his magic and poof he gets stronger spells, a hacker can buy a bigger program and poof he is stronger, a rigger can buy better drone parts and poof he has a better drone.


Now look at the poor schmuck samurai. If he wants toys at the beginning of his life he will pay for it later. He gets penalized if he trys to get a toy now and get a better one later on. His toys cost him essense and if he upgrades to better cyber he doesnt get the essense refunded. The only way for him to get the things that make him a samurai is to either be ok with the permanent essense loss or not have it at the beginning and save up for the essense friendly stuff and get it later in the meantime he is a wussy normal human.

I think having the better grades of cyber be less essense is ass backwards. Normal crap should be 50% less and delta grade should be whats listed in the books.

Then you would be able to start with all your cool cyber and upgrade it later. However making it cause greater essense loss at higher grades means you will porbably have to choose some stuff over the other instead of having all cyber all maxed out.

I dont know. Im looking at making a street samurai and i got all this cyber on him but im thinking about down the line and how i wont be able to upgrade anything. I can but i will be penalized for having had a lower grade cyberpart first. And if i want all the kick ass cyber then i have to not get any at the beginning and run around waiving my arms screaming "dont hurt me". Nothing will seperate my guy from a mage or rigger or hacker except my guy doesnt have any special abilties.

Also if you try to play by the rules and not get cyber until you can afford the delta grade post creation you get screwed again because you dont get that fat chunk of nuyen you had access to at character generation. Mages, hackers, and riggers all get alot of nice starter gear for free basically and the street samurai gets to get a couple of dice worth of 100 :nuyen: and gets sent on his way to make the tons of money it takes to get cybered.

Somethings gotta give. Rework Essense so upgrading cyberparts can be refunded essense or flip the essense cost on cyberwear so you can upgrade however you want but you wont have everything maxed out that you wanted maxed out.

*sigh*
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Tanka
post Jul 7 2006, 08:32 PM
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Never heard of surgery rules, where you get Essence holes? You pop out that bone lacing, you have an Essence hole equal to how much that lacing cost you. You then have to fill that up (with something in the same area, usually) before you use the rest of your Essence.

So going from Alpha Eyes to Delta Eyes means you have a pretty big hunk of Essence to fill before you begin using up regular Essence for your eye mods.
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Moon-Hawk
post Jul 7 2006, 08:35 PM
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Well sure, if you start the game with Wired Reflexes 3 (5 essence) and then later upgrade it to Beta grade (3 essence), you still only have 1 essence left, not 3, but the idea is you can then get more ware to fill that essence hole. You could go out and get two shiny new cyberlimbs and still be at 1 essence.
So the sam advances by upgrading his old stuff and getting more stuff, not by upgrading his old stuff and having it cost less essence.
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Butterblume
post Jul 7 2006, 08:42 PM
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Just mentioning, this essence hole stuff right now is a houserule, before anybody asks for a page reference (but I am pretty sure it will be in an official rule in the gear book).
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deek
post Jul 7 2006, 08:53 PM
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Just to add another voice, I too use essence hole rules, so the characters I run for don't run into this issue...it just makes sense and while a character never gets essence back, it does make upgrading less painful.

And also realize that a lot of the later upgrades, with better grades of cyberware come a lot of times from special runs or bartering, not just dumping a ton a nuyen in a body shop...at least that is how I normally run things...
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Tanka
post Jul 7 2006, 09:00 PM
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QUOTE (Butterblume @ Jul 7 2006, 04:42 PM)
Just mentioning, this essence hole stuff right now is a houserule, before anybody asks for a page reference (but I am pretty sure it will be in an official rule in the gear book).

In SR4, maybe. In SR3 it's an optional rule (that I've found most GMs won't argue with).

QUOTE (Man and Machine @ p. 150)
Essence Slot (Implant, +2 Threshold)
If the character previously had cyberware removed, a new implant with this option can be installed within the "Essence hole" left behind by the earlier implant.  In other words, the old implant's Essence Cost can be subtracted from the new implant's Essence Cost.
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Moon-Hawk
post Jul 7 2006, 09:03 PM
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My house rule, in the interest of SR4's simplified and streamlined system, is that the essence hold surgery option is automatic and free. It always just happens, and upgrades work nicely.
Generally, if someone is upgrading something's rating, I let them pay the difference in price, but if they're upgrading something's grade, then they have to start paying for it over again, but sometimes they can get a little kick back by selling their old 'ware as used.

edit: I should add, I actually use this house rule in SR3 and SR4. I generally don't like to get into SR3's surgery options, but that one I give out for free.
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Butterblume
post Jul 7 2006, 09:10 PM
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Somehow I assumed this was the SR4 forum ;).

I don't object to this optional rule, of course. Wouldn't be fun otherwise. That's the reason why I think it will be official, and even non-optional in SR4.

I'll go back to my game version now :spin: .

And ignore every surgery rule i've read so far :D.
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Abbandon
post Jul 7 2006, 09:18 PM
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Hey that sounds pretty decent. In a perfect world I could get a samurai decked out in delta grade gear and maybe have 2-3 essense left which would be nice for healing. But my troll samurai is gonna start life at 1.1 essense and that sucks for healing but if i used essense holes i could fit alot of stuff in and be able to have the natural progression of the other archtypes.

Do you think it is worth it to try and hold onto a few essense points for healing purposes?

I kinda have problems with essense holes though to. Lets pretend i have upgraded a bunch of stuff and have some essense hole points to spend so i can just hack off my arm and get a cybernetic one put on for free? lol. Seems a bit extreme.
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deek
post Jul 7 2006, 09:20 PM
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Well, if your character just chopped off his arm and didn't replace it would he lose essence???
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JesterX
post Jul 7 2006, 09:24 PM
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I too use the essence hole rule. Perhaps it came from the first or second edition?!

I'll look in the Cybertechnology and Shadowtech books this weekend...
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Moon-Hawk
post Jul 7 2006, 09:30 PM
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A house rule that I have used in the past is allowing characters to buy back their essence hole as essence at a rate of 1 good karma per 0.1 essence.
Of course, this directly contradicts the canon nature of essence, so don't allow it until you've seriously thoguht about it.
Just to be very clear, this doesn't let anyone exceed the 6 essence limit, it just lets you "heal" the essence hole. Obviously, the rate is flexible. If 1:0.1 seems to lenient, make it 1:0.02, or whatever makes you happy. Again, this is a house rule, possibly a stupid one. YMMV.
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Beaumis
post Jul 7 2006, 10:00 PM
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I dunno. I've been playing since 2nd ED (tried first but never really got into it untill 2nd) and we have always been playing with essence holes. I honestly cant tell wether or not it used to be cannon back then, but it just seemed common sense that if you loose essence for cyberware and get that ware taken out that you could refill that.
Essentially, I always looked at it from the astral standpoint. Putting in cyberware kills part of your aura. If you take that piece of ware out the aura wont revive, but it wont die any further if you refill the hole.

I also had a group where we had a houserule that essence that was "not filled" would return after a period of time. We usually spoke in terms of month but we never really bothered to fix a time. We had the same for magic lost due to deadly wounds. The idea was that the shock would reduce your abilities (or in case of essence, the body would get used to beeing less human) but would recover after a time. Much like smoking reduces the capacity of your lungs but would slowly (very slowy) return once you quit.

I actually never realized essence holes were an optional rule. I just thought it was like that in 3rd.
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Shrike30
post Jul 7 2006, 10:49 PM
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I've been playing since 2nd, and always thought this was part of the RAW.
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Nikoli
post Jul 7 2006, 11:35 PM
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The big issue there is the samurai can start nearly at top end at char-gen, whereas everyone else (rigger excluded) have to earn and spend karma to get there.
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Drraagh
post Jul 8 2006, 12:14 AM
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Yes, Samurai cannot upgrade as much as other characters, no. But the flip side is that any starting samurai can wipe the floor with pretty much any character. So, their ramp for improvement, depending on how you build your character can be quite sharp. Whereas for mages, for example, to go to the sam versus mage debate, they have a slower improvement curve but it doesn't really have an ending point.

The moral of the story is that magic types have more power over time, but only if the sams don't wipe them off the face of the planet first. Geek the mage first after all. :P

It's why one of my friends tried comparing a mundie decker to an adept decker, to see which might be more capable. Improved attrib spells for example, as well as using adept powers.
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FanGirl
post Jul 8 2006, 12:52 AM
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Oh yeah, and the sammies don't have to spend all their time upgrading their 'ware. There's other stuff they can do in SR4, like improve their skills and attributes, get rid of their negative qualities, or purchase nice things that don't go inside their bodies.

Of course, you'll understand that a complaint like "I'm so awesome just the way I am that I don't know how to make myself more awesome!" doesn't do much to earn my sympathy. :P
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Drraagh
post Jul 8 2006, 01:22 AM
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On the ride home, a thought occured to me. I hear people saying that mages are more powerful than sammies. I even admit it when you look at my post, that they have more power in the long run. Either a wider range of power, where they take all sorts of spells/abilties/etc. or a larger power where they pick afew spells and specialize in them.

However, that means that the samurai must be smarter than the mage. Set up ambushes, using cyberware to boost your surprise test rolls. Set up traps, like stun darts or even automatic weapons fire (or the standard hunter traps like spiked pits and such.

For the pits, your mage can fly over them or out of them after taking some damage, your mage can heal self from the shots of automatic fire. However, all that increases drain. Which eventually makes renders most abilities of mages useless or limited. Same with drugging them and putting a mage mask on, or line of sight barriers between you and them.

The sammie just needs to think like a fighter, like a hunter, like a professional when dealing with enemies. Magic users do have their limitations, just like other people. Some of it happens in different ways, so thery just need to prepare for that. Part of that reason, wanting to get to know magic users abilities better is why my mundane took a few magic knowskills with karma. Can't hurt to know thy enemy.
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mfb
post Jul 8 2006, 02:40 AM
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plus that whole thing about power and responsibility. the sam is the team's asskicker; that means that when the fit hits the shan, he's pretty much got to be everywhere at once to keep his team alive.
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Beaumis
post Jul 8 2006, 08:35 AM
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Quite honestly, if SR where an MMO, I'd agreee that mages are more powerfull. But it isnt. Mages are, and will always be, specialists. They specialize in magic. Some, specialize even further down the road into a specific area of magic. For them to be viable in their chosen field, they have to invest a whole lot of Karma and money in terms of foci.

Mundane characters however can have the advantage of versality. A mage build from ground up will rarely have more then 30 skillpoints. Usually much less. These usually go in Sorcery, Conjuring, Centering if you are allowed, some form of combat (usually pistols) and maybe some stealth or social skills. Very few mages have the points to afford unarmed combat and those who do rather take armed combat for a future weapon focus.

A decently and smart build sam on the other hand will have many different skills. He will be able to alternate between weapons depending on the demands of the situation. He'll be able to defend himself in both unarmed and armed combat (and even do some damage in the process, mages with Str 2 or 3 tend to go unnoticed in meele) and he'll even be able to stay silent or something similar.

This is where the strength of mundane characters is. Mages may be powerfull and if your DM is lazy they will always outscore mundanes, but I hav yet to see a mage with a driving skill for instance. Defaulting only gets you so far and when the shit hits the fan, the mundane characters are those who have the dice to save the day whereas the mage can hope for some good rolls because of all his defaulting.

A good DM will play to the strength and weaknesses of his whole group. This includes seperating people from each other, putting them in situations where you absolutly need this one skill only the sam has and similar. Sams may be weaker in the long run when it comes to raw nunbers, but thats not what Pen and Paper is about. Thats what computer RPGs are about.
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Ophis
post Jul 8 2006, 08:44 AM
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QUOTE (Abbandon @ Jul 7 2006, 10:18 PM)
Hey that sounds pretty decent.  In a perfect world I could get a samurai decked out in delta grade gear and maybe have 2-3 essense left which would be nice for healing.    But my troll samurai is gonna start life at 1.1 essense and that sucks for healing but if i used essense holes i could fit alot of stuff in and be able to have the natural progression of the other archtypes. 

Do you think it is worth it to try and hold onto a few essense points for healing purposes? 


Having seen it in action the essense loss does hurt healing, but not by all that much at 1.1 essesnce its -2 to tech healing and -5 to magic, nasty but not awful as a year of play has shown (way better for you than the TN boost in sr1-3). If it worries you a lot get quick healer (+2 on all healing tests) and symbiotes(+level on natural healing).

The loss on healing is more than worth it for the gains the ware gives you, with a bit of luck they at as proactive healing,making sure you never get hurt, it's easy to build a troll with close over 20 dice to soak while naked and how often do you need healing then?
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The Stainless St...
post Jul 8 2006, 02:10 PM
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QUOTE (Ophis)
...it's easy to build a troll with close over 20 dice to soak while naked and how often do you need healing then?

Well, let's see.

Against even a 9M Heavy Pistol (assuming 2 pts natural ballistic armor reducing the effective TN# to 6) you will take a moderate wound 3% of the time, and a light wound roughly 57% of the time. So with even a standard weapon with standard ammo and a single (net) success on the shot, you will take damage you have to heal from more than half of the time.

More Dice < Target Number Modifiers
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knasser
post Jul 8 2006, 03:17 PM
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QUOTE (Drraagh)
However, that means that the samurai must be smarter than the mage. Set up ambushes, using cyberware to boost your surprise test rolls. Set up traps, like stun darts or even automatic weapons fire (or the standard hunter traps like spiked pits and such.


The problem being that mages are just as able to be sneaky. In fact, having high mental scores, it even fits the character better sometimes. You could even make the case that given their long term power potential the more strategic players are probably already playing the mages.

I know that when I was a player, mages seemed to be near a no-brainer. I was one of the group that really could have put together a tactical Samurai, but Astral projection? Spell locks? Initiation? Spirits? I knew which character type would give me the best potential for my karma - knew it with just a glance.

The problem with cyberware, getting back to the original point, is twofold. Firstly, It doesn't have the same potential for progression as magic. You hit the top, and have to stop and that's what's bothering me. But secondly, the progression also depends on money, and potentially quite a lot of money. That means for the Samurai to keep developing with the karma-based characters, you have to be dishing out plenty of nuyen. But the other characters are getting both the nuyen and the karma. It's hard on the Samurai.
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Drraagh
post Jul 8 2006, 03:39 PM
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Cyberware's power scale does flatten out in time, pretty quickly with a well-designed character, as opposed to the others. But in the meantime, characters will be developing their skills to become better gunners and all that. Also, they can, if you use one of the houserules, karma2cash conversions, but that's not really part of the rules.

Depending on the GM, or the group, sometimes you might be able to do a sammy only run to get yourself some money for upgrades. You can do jobs like bodyguard, pitfighting, trainer, etc or do stuff like clearing out gangers or whatnot for extra money above and beyond the group.
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Dawnshadow
post Jul 8 2006, 06:28 PM
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Ah.. but you see, mages need both karma and nuyen for a lot of their extras -- foci take nuyen to buy, karma to bond. And that karma can't be spent on cranking skills up to astronomical levels.

See.. if the optional training rules aren't included as an "obscenely cruel way to excessively limit the skill-wh.. err.. Street Samurai", then you wind up with metalheads that have decent stats, decent damage dealing... and skill 8-16 with their weapons.

Yes, admittedly, there's a degree of diminishing returns when that happens. But you can end up with characters that, while they might not be able to empty small rooms with spells, are capable of taking a character and removing his left arm, right eye, right hand, and nose... without spending any of that precious resource we call combat pool.

The mage? Most of that karma is tied up with spells, initiations, and the like. They certainly don't have the karma to initiate twice, learn two-three force 8 spells, crank the sorcery up to 8, and bring up the willpower for drain resistance, not without giving the Samurai the karma to take his skill 6 cyberimplant combat and go up to skill 6( 12 ) cyberimplant combat ( spur )... (Actually, doing the math, it's more likely cyberimplant combat AND assault rifles go up to 12.. but that's beside the point)
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