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> Going Macro: Life Without Nanotech, Your thoughts?
Tashiro
post Aug 9 2013, 02:55 PM
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An In-Character Article

I'm of mixed feelings about this. I don't mind the increased cost for cyberware / bioware and such, that's fine. I'm more concerned about characters from 4E going into 5E who used nanohives or had genetic engineering. :\ I'm waiting now for the Augmentation 5E book, to see if this kind of stuff will still exist.
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Blade
post Aug 9 2013, 03:22 PM
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This is ridiculous, and a great illustration of a problem with the way the shadowrun line is handled.

This is ridiculous because nanotech has been working fine in the SR world for a long time. Ok, there might be something new that causes problems with nanotech, like a virus or something. But when Jorgumandr hit the Matrix in 2065, did all the Matrix corporation close down? Did everyone said "ok, we're closing down the Matrix, we won't be using it anymore"? No, because that's not what people do. When there's a rotten apple you don't stop eating apples forever. Here, it'll probably take long enough for the prices of the 'ware in the core book to stay correct for the whole duration of the 5th edition.

A great illustration of a problem with the way the shadowrun line is handled because:
- It's a decision made to move shadowrun to something closer to what it was before. This is something that you can't do forever. You can't advance the timeline and reverse eveything else.
- It's a shitty fluff explanation for a questionable change of rules and fluff. It's no different from the stupid wireless bonuses that are bad things made to allow an (arguably) good thing.

If they wanted Shadowrun to go back to the 50s, they'd have been better off by making the 5th edition take place there, not in a 2075 where everything suddenly starts looking like the 50s all over again.
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Blastula
post Aug 9 2013, 03:50 PM
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Honestly, it's like pruning away branches on a tree. Some stuff gets cut off and removed to make way for new growth. Whatever the 5e Augmentation book looks like, it will probably bring back nanotech and gentech in one form or another. Neither of those played a big role with the players at my table, but I can see how not having something people are used to using suddenly become unavailable could be upsetting.
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SpellBinder
post Aug 9 2013, 03:54 PM
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QUOTE (Blade @ Aug 9 2013, 09:22 AM) *
This is ridiculous, and a great illustration of a problem with the way the shadowrun line is handled.

...

If they wanted Shadowrun to go back to the 50s, they'd have been better off by making the 5th edition take place there, not in a 2075 where everything suddenly starts looking like the 50s all over again.
Should've done like what was done to transition between SR3 & SR4. Don't make it 2075, make it 2080 and go on from there.

And as someone else around here mentioned, SR5 is more throwback to the older SR3 style to entice more of those older players. Not sure how true it is, but from one gaming group I know of it certainly seems to be true.
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Sengir
post Aug 9 2013, 03:56 PM
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*Performs a happy dance*

Also, partially called it
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Tashiro
post Aug 9 2013, 06:17 PM
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QUOTE (Sengir @ Aug 9 2013, 10:56 AM) *
*Performs a happy dance*

Also, partially called it


You, then, are a visionary. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
I don't see this as a long-term shutdown (oh gods, I hope not), but more of a short-term setback. The way nanites are produced and used at this time are being closed down and studied while the 'event' is happening, and perhaps a method for correcting this situation will come out in the future - around the time the Augmentation book comes out.

I want to see nanites, genetech, and other such things return to Shadowrun, it pushed the envelope into transhumanism, and that's something I really want to see in the Shadowrun universe -- effectively 'the body is hackable'. Mind you, that's completely different than 'damn it, someone hacked my body', which seems to be what's causing this panic. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Voran
post Aug 9 2013, 08:07 PM
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If cool with "Nanotech no longer reliable to have in internal Hives and used as weapons/attack vectors" but "Still ok for out of combat use/infrastructure/whatever".

Like Commlinks to Cyberdecks now, or when they said "Um, yeah you remember that total immunization package that we let you have in Shadowtech (or whatever), yeah that doesn't work anymore"

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apple
post Aug 9 2013, 09:25 PM
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QUOTE (Blade @ Aug 9 2013, 11:22 AM) *
This is ridiculous because nanotech has been working fine in the SR world for a long time.


Especially considering the fact that the 2050 Shadowtech stated that Cyberimplantation works with ... nanoware.

So what exactly ware these "old tried and true" cybernetics for fallback? Oh yeah, cyberware with ... nanoware?

QUOTE
If they wanted Shadowrun to go back to the 50s, they'd have been better off by making the 5th edition take place there, not in a 2075 where everything suddenly starts looking like the 50s all over again.


Yeah ...

SYL
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RHat
post Aug 9 2013, 09:50 PM
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QUOTE (Blade @ Aug 9 2013, 08:22 AM) *
This is ridiculous, and a great illustration of a problem with the way the shadowrun line is handled.

This is ridiculous because nanotech has been working fine in the SR world for a long time. Ok, there might be something new that causes problems with nanotech, like a virus or something. But when Jorgumandr hit the Matrix in 2065, did all the Matrix corporation close down? Did everyone said "ok, we're closing down the Matrix, we won't be using it anymore"? No, because that's not what people do. When there's a rotten apple you don't stop eating apples forever. Here, it'll probably take long enough for the prices of the 'ware in the core book to stay correct for the whole duration of the 5th edition.

A great illustration of a problem with the way the shadowrun line is handled because:
- It's a decision made to move shadowrun to something closer to what it was before. This is something that you can't do forever. You can't advance the timeline and reverse eveything else.
- It's a shitty fluff explanation for a questionable change of rules and fluff. It's no different from the stupid wireless bonuses that are bad things made to allow an (arguably) good thing.

If they wanted Shadowrun to go back to the 50s, they'd have been better off by making the 5th edition take place there, not in a 2075 where everything suddenly starts looking like the 50s all over again.


After Jorgumandr, they basically had to rebuild from the ground up. At this point, we're still in the midst of whatever the hell this is, and nobody knows what's going on. It's not that they're choosing to stop using nanotech, it's that they're no longer ABLE to use nanotech for whatever reason - and at least until they know what's going on, there's not much they can do about that. Largely, this all seems to be in consequence to what's shaping up to be a pretty interesting plotline.
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Trillinon
post Aug 10 2013, 01:55 AM
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This strikes me as a plan to reign in nanotech and genetic manipulation to a level that remains familiar to us. This is necessary, because the natural result of these technologies is a form of humanity that we, as players, won't be able to really understand.

A little transhumanism is great. But deep transhumanism is a very different beast.
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Sengir
post Aug 10 2013, 02:00 AM
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QUOTE (apple @ Aug 9 2013, 10:25 PM) *
Especially considering the fact that the 2050 Shadowtech stated that Cyberimplantation works with ... nanoware.

Read further than just the buzzword: "Nanites" in Shadowtech are simply bacteria which incorporate metals and then settle on patterns formed with special nutrients. In other words, stuff which might actually work instead of magical tiny spider bots, and which most likely will remain unaffected by the disease which befalls these bots.
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Tias
post Aug 10 2013, 08:24 AM
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QUOTE (Blastula @ Aug 9 2013, 05:50 PM) *
Honestly, it's like pruning away branches on a tree. Some stuff gets cut off and removed to make way for new growth. Whatever the 5e Augmentation book looks like, it will probably bring back nanotech and gentech in one form or another. Neither of those played a big role with the players at my table, but I can see how not having something people are used to using suddenly become unavailable could be upsetting.


Still, it ought to remain. Not only did it offer interesting augs both fluffy and practical for the players, but out of control genetweaks and transgenic creatures made for great GM tools.
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RHat
post Aug 10 2013, 08:26 AM
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QUOTE (Tias @ Aug 10 2013, 01:24 AM) *
Still, it ought to remain. Not only did it offer interesting augs both fluffy and practical for the players, but out of control genetweaks and transgenic creatures made for great GM tools.


Well, I think it might be wise to withhold judgement on that score until this plotline has actually been carried through.
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Tias
post Aug 10 2013, 08:37 AM
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I'd never. The game is for the players, if the fluff ticks us off, we should find our own depth. Until I get to work on SR (a dwarf can dream!), all power to 'em.
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Heath Robinson
post Aug 10 2013, 10:06 AM
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QUOTE (Sengir @ Aug 10 2013, 03:00 AM) *
Read further than just the buzzword: "Nanites" in Shadowtech are simply bacteria which incorporate metals and then settle on patterns formed with special nutrients. In other words, stuff which might actually work instead of magical tiny spider bots, and which most likely will remain unaffected by the disease which befalls these bots.

Uhhh...
QUOTE ("Augementation @ Page 106")
Soft nanites are partly artificial or genetically modified micro-organisms programmed to perform a certain task.

By my count, 30-40% of the nanoware systems are exclusively soft nanotech and a further 30-40% are available in your choice of hard and soft. If soft nano were safe, the text would describe a move to the safer systems. The text makes no distinctions between soft and hard nano, so we should assume that soft nano is also affected.
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Sengir
post Aug 10 2013, 01:00 PM
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QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Aug 10 2013, 10:06 AM) *
Uhhh...
QUOTE

Soft nanites are partly artificial or genetically modified micro-organisms programmed to perform a certain task.


Painting a pattern with a nutrient and then setting bacteria on is is not really "programming". In Fact, M&M even went out to establish why the "old" nanites were actually no nanites and only the new nanobots deserved that name:
In the early stages of the cybernetics industry, genetically engineered bacteria, misleadingly nicknamed "nanites," laid the neural bridges during cybersystem implantation. This "oldworld" nanite was responsible for the first implants, and its imprecision limited cyberware to a comparatively basic level and caused significant Essence loss even for very small implanted devices. The advent of true nanites rendered such clumsy tools unnecessary. True nanites are more precise and versatile, allowing larger devices, including limbs, to be implanted without such a loss of Essence that the body would shut down.
(M&M, page 84)


@Tias: It explicitly says that geneware is still around, just more expensive due to no longer having nanite support. I guess they just went back to retroviral carriers

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lokii
post Aug 10 2013, 01:34 PM
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@Sengir: But Man & Machine also discusses how essential robotic nanites / hard nanites have become for cyberware, both with installation/cybersurgery and maintenance. So the original statement that cyberware relies on nanotechnology would be correct. Even if there are alternatives to make cyberware work, the field should be massively impacted by this. Switching highly developed products to a completely different technology would prove disruptive. And if we ignore the speculative science behind this for a moment, Heath Robinson's argument is convincing, if soft nanites are not susceptible to this "disease", why isn't half of nanotech still working? Soft nanites complement bioware. So both cyber- and bioware should be in trouble. "older, tried-and-true techniques" essentially means far behind sota.

BTW: Those who can read German, we have the same discussion running in Pegasus' forum, from here: http://www.foren.pegasus.de/foren/topic/85...-66#entry313018
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lokii
post Aug 10 2013, 01:38 PM
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Aug 10 2013, 04:07 PM
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QUOTE (RHat @ Aug 10 2013, 01:26 AM) *
Well, I think it might be wise to withhold judgement on that score until this plotline has actually been carried through.


Assuming that you actually care about that particular plotline. Personally, not really a big fan of it currently. *shrug*
Maybe it will grow on me.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Aug 10 2013, 04:09 PM
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QUOTE (lokii @ Aug 10 2013, 06:34 AM) *
@Sengir: But Man & Machine also discusses how essential robotic nanites / hard nanites have become for cyberware, both with installation/cybersurgery and maintenance. So the original statement that cyberware relies on nanotechnology would be correct. Even if there are alternatives to make cyberware work, the field should be massively impacted by this. Switching highly developed products to a completely different technology would prove disruptive. And if we ignore the speculative science behind this for a moment, Heath Robinson's argument is convincing, if soft nanites are not susceptible to this "disease", why isn't half of nanotech still working? Soft nanites complement bioware. So both cyber- and bioware should be in trouble. "older, tried-and-true techniques" essentially means far behind sota.

BTW: Those who can read German, we have the same discussion running in Pegasus' forum, from here: http://www.foren.pegasus.de/foren/topic/85...-66#entry313018


Which is obviously why the Bioware and Cyberware are so much more expensive in SR5. They have had to implement new protocols for implantation and maintenance. *sigh*
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lokii
post Aug 10 2013, 05:00 PM
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QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Aug 10 2013, 05:09 PM) *
Which is obviously why the Bioware and Cyberware are so much more expensive in SR5. They have had to implement new protocols for implantation and maintenance. *sigh*
Well, you are missing the point. This is not about price or availability, but about being able to provide equivalent function at all. If a component technology that has been relied upon for decades and was co-developed along with your product suddenly is completely unavailable, you don't just switch over to an older technique without loss of quality or function. Fluff from both Man & Machine ("Without nanotechnology, all but the most basic cyberware would be so large and bulky that it would defeat its purpose") and Augmentation ("Nanotechnology is an absolute necessity for all implant surgery") stresses how important nanotech is to the field of cybertechnology. Going by that cyber- and probably bioware should not only be pricier and less available but maybe also more dangerous to implant, less useful and in some cases not even usable at all.

And we are not even speaking about all the people who run around with systems that rely on nanotech. "nanotech [..] is integral to the functioning of many others including cybereye accessories, filtration systems, chemical analysis tools, and even cyberlimb sensory feedback systems" aug.103

EDIT: And I grant you that some of that nanotech could be materials engineering rather than nanoscopic machinery. Doesn't change the overall problem, especially with cybersurgery.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Aug 10 2013, 05:15 PM
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QUOTE (lokii @ Aug 10 2013, 11:00 AM) *
Well, you are missing the point. This is not about price or availability, but about being able to provide equivalent function at all. If a component technology that has been relied upon for decades and was co-developed along with your product suddenly is completely unavailable, you don't just switch over to an older technique without loss of quality or function. Fluff from both Man & Machine ("Without nanotechnology, all but the most basic cyberware would be so large and bulky that it would defeat its purpose") and Augmentation ("Nanotechnology is an absolute necessity for all implant surgery") stresses how important nanotech is to the field of cybertechnology. Going by that cyber- and probably bioware should not only be pricier and less available but maybe also more dangerous to implant, less useful and in some cases not even usable at all.

And we are not even speaking about all the people who run around with systems that rely on nanotech. "nanotech [..] is integral to the functioning of many others including cybereye accessories, filtration systems, chemical analysis tools, and even cyberlimb sensory feedback systems" aug.103

EDIT: And I grant you that some of that nanotech could be materials engineering rather than nanoscopic machinery. Doesn't change the overall problem, especially with cybersurgery.


No really, I am not. I agree that the elimination of Nanotech is stupid and ill thought out. I agree that the return to an older tech base is completely ludicrous. It is just another example of not thinking through all the ramifications of a change to the game world. This is just one of the reasons that I dislike 5th Edition. While there may have been some great ideas, they were not thought out in regards to the world setting and the unintended ripple effect impact that such changes would have.
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Elfenlied
post Aug 10 2013, 05:23 PM
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I feel about this the same way I feel about the reintroduction of decking. Which is to say, I think it is a bad game design decision.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Aug 10 2013, 05:28 PM
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QUOTE (Elfenlied @ Aug 10 2013, 11:23 AM) *
I feel about this the same way I feel about the reintroduction of decking. Which is to say, I think it is a bad game design decision.


Agreed. I like the new matrix paradigm (mostly), but it would have worked with Comlinks just fine. No need to reintroduce Decks, just pop in a few new hardware modules and go. The price points for Decks are just ludicrous. *sigh*
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SpellBinder
post Aug 10 2013, 05:30 PM
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QUOTE (Elfenlied @ Aug 10 2013, 11:23 AM) *
I feel about this the same way I feel about the reintroduction of decking. Which is to say, I think it is a bad game design decision.
On that note, if I ever were to transition a favored technomancer character to the SR5 rules (still not likely to happen) I'd treat him as a decker as well. Funny thing there, means that he'll get a Fairlight Excalibur, a ¥823,250 cyberdeck, for free. Sad thing is that deck is still better than his living persona.
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