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> Making Essence Loss not matter for mundanes?, Some thought experiments here.
ShadowDragon8685
post Aug 17 2015, 10:26 AM
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Okay, I've got a question here, and I know it's absolutely anathema to the setting as intended, but...

What if Essence literally only mattered in cases of interacting with Magic?
IE, Cyberpsychosis exists but is hugely overblown by the media, Cyberzombies are rumors without basis, and if someone gets cybered below 0.0, their soul doesn't rip itself screaming from their body, they just continue to become harder to affect with magic, and their Magic score continues to decrease.

Obviously, it would change game balance a hell of a lot, but it would also mean you could go full Jensen on someone. Any thoughts? Input?
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Mikado
post Aug 17 2015, 11:00 AM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Aug 17 2015, 06:26 AM) *
Okay, I've got a question here, and I know it's absolutely anathema to the setting as intended, but...

What if Essence literally only mattered in cases of interacting with Magic?
IE, Cyberpsychosis exists but is hugely overblown by the media, Cyberzombies are rumors without basis, and if someone gets cybered below 0.0, their soul doesn't rip itself screaming from their body, they just continue to become harder to affect with magic, and their Magic score continues to decrease.

Obviously, it would change game balance a hell of a lot, but it would also mean you could go full Jensen on someone. Any thoughts? Input?


I always liked the idea of "unlimited" essence loss that grants mundane characters bonus dice to resist magic equal to the lost essence, a mage would gain that but would loose magic rating as well. You can also give a dice pool penalty to social rolls equal (maybe x2) to the lost essence to emulate cyberpsychosis. Perhaps with the added problem of rolling a social dice pool that goes negative to determine if the character does something catastrophic.
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ShadowDragon8685
post Aug 17 2015, 11:08 AM
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QUOTE (Mikado @ Aug 17 2015, 07:00 AM) *
I always liked the idea of "unlimited" essence loss that grants mundane characters bonus dice to resist magic equal to the lost essence, a mage would gain that but would loose magic rating as well.


Yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking - extrapolating the penalties for buffs and healing spells into a general "someone this cybered resists all essence magic, for better and for worse" magical resistance.

QUOTE
You can also give a dice pool penalty to social rolls equal (maybe x2) to the lost essence to emulate cyberpsychosis. Perhaps with the added problem of rolling a social dice pool that goes negative to determine if the character does something catastrophic.


That, however, is exactly what I wouldn't do.

I got out of Shadowrun into Eclipse Phase when 5e came out, partly because of that nonsense. Cyberpsychosis, I say, should be something only a very small proportion of cybered individuals should suffer, much like, say, alien hand syndrome. IE, it's something that should just not be a real concern for players getting chrome, the way that sometimes, people don't come out of anesthesia, but it should not be a real concern for you to sweat over when your doctor tells you that you need to go under.
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Blade
post Aug 17 2015, 11:24 AM
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Nath has argued that we could allow characters to buy Essence the way a mage can buy Magic, in order to get rid of the cap. While surprising, and even possibly shocking at first, it does make kind of sense.

Augmented mundanes vs Awakened used to echo the Fighter vs Mage of first D&D editions: fighter was better at low level, but mage eventually got better. Similarly, Streetsam used to be better than adepts, but with adepts having a lot more of room for improvement. This has mostly been erased or at least blurred since then, and there's no real point to have this.

In my home system for SR, I went with this:
Essence points are merged with Edge points. They represent that sparks of humanity, the sparks that let you push yourself further. Each point must be linked to a concept that drives the PC forwards (love of someone, hate of someone/something, passion, ambition, belief, etc.). The way Cyberware uses them depends on the setting:

- 2035/Technothriller : Augmentations are tools, but the full cyborg treatment is rare. Essence limit apply, but implants won't eat your soul.

- 2050/80's cyberpunk: Augmentations eat your soul, or so they say. When you burn an Essence point, your character loses the connection with the concept behind it. You can buy back lost essence points with karma (each point costing more than the one before), getting that concept (and associated Edge point) back. You can then decide to use it again for implants, but in that case you completely lose your ties with the concept of the point.

- 2070/post cyberpunk: Augmentations are part of your identity. Implants can be swapped easily (nuyen cost is down a lot), but there's a karma cost to convert Essence points into Implants points. In that process, the concept behind that Essence point has to be converted into something that fits the implant. The "Rage against corporations" point can be turned into "Become stronger (to fight corporations)" when buying muscular replacements. This implant point can then be used for any kind of implant that fit the new concept. The character can buy additional Implants points, but they have to fit the philosophy of existing implant points. A character who don't follow that philosophy might see his body reject his implants.
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ShadowDragon8685
post Aug 17 2015, 11:37 AM
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I, uh... Well, that's complicated, and, I guess, thematic, and sure, it works for you, I suppose.

I'd go with this:

-All/All: Augmentations are mechanical, biological, nanological, or genetic augmentations to your person. They work because medical science. There are no limits to them, other than your ability to purchase and install them, because medical science. However, they interact poorly with magic, because magic does not give a fuck about medical science, and freaks out when you force it to interact with someone who got smashed to pieces and then had the Full Jensen Treatment done to restore him. This is a neutral thing for him, because while it makes him much harder to heal or enhance - with magic - it also makes him much harder to negatively effect with magic, unless that magic is being used to evoke a normal physical effect - like, say, a gout of ordinary superheated gasses, conjured by magic but mundane when they hit him.
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Stahlseele
post Aug 17 2015, 11:53 AM
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It will never happen.
Way too much magic wank.
Way i see it, it's been like this:
SR1: NEW AND SHINEY!
SR2: Cyber is OP! NERF! Make magic better!
SR3: BIO is OP! NERF! Make magic better!
SR4: Nano/Gen is OP! NERF! Make magic better!
SR5: HOW DARE YOU NERF MAGIC!
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ShadowDragon8685
post Aug 17 2015, 11:54 AM
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QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Aug 17 2015, 07:53 AM) *
It will never happen.
Way too much magic wank.


Good morning, even though it's well after lunchtime for you, I believe.

It can damn well happen in my games if I say it happens in my games. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) That's what I was talking about, as a possible houserule.
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Stahlseele
post Aug 17 2015, 11:57 AM
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Yeah, as a House-Rule, i applaud it. Your magic players will whine and bitch and moan and grine and argue against it and for giving it to them too to be more fair FOOREEVEERR!!
And if that does not work, they will argue about it being unrealistic. Wanna bet?

And yes, it's almost 14:00 over here.
Good morning to you though.
And yesterday, i slept till 15:00 *-*


An idea that i'd been toying with for some time was to simply not allow the magic attribute to improved.
You have 6 Magic, as long as you do not use cyber or bio. if you do, you can't get it back up to 6 either.
You can still learn more spells and spirits and learn stronger spells and spirits, but then you will overcast.
Initiation only gives Meta-Tech or stuff like spell formula/focus formula or a spirits true name or something.
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ShadowDragon8685
post Aug 17 2015, 12:21 PM
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QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Aug 17 2015, 07:57 AM) *
Yeah, as a House-Rule, i applaud it. Your magic players will whine and bitch and moan and grine and argue against it and for giving it to them too to be more fair FOOREEVEERR!!
And if that does not work, they will argue about it being unrealistic. Wanna bet?

And yes, it's almost 14:00 over here.
Good morning to you though.
And yesterday, i slept till 15:00 *-*


I haven't gone to bed yet. I meant to go to bed... Fuck, 3 hours ago. Then I thought "I'll just have a quick whip through /tg/. Saw an anon talking about getting into Shadowrun, being a veteran EP player, and advised him to go 4e instead of 5e, as 4e was in my opinion (and I gave my reasons,) closer to EP and what he likes about EP, as well as general reasons why 5e is, in my opinion, a large sack of dongs.

You can guess the rest.
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Stahlseele
post Aug 17 2015, 12:24 PM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Aug 17 2015, 02:21 PM) *
You can guess the rest.

Someone was wrong on the Internet?
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ShadowDragon8685
post Aug 17 2015, 12:39 PM
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QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Aug 17 2015, 08:24 AM) *


Pretty much.

Here's where I came in, if you are for some reason mental and want to read a three-hour long argument on 4chan.
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Stahlseele
post Aug 17 2015, 12:45 PM
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Strangely enough, 4chan is not actually blocked here at work O.o
But it raises an interesting question:
If your smartgun is set up to shoot on thinking "fire" and you have it holstered and see a burning building . . what happens?
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Teulisch
post Aug 17 2015, 01:49 PM
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the easiest solution to the problem, is twofold.

first, make ware at chargen cheaper. this can simply be a 5-pt positive quality that specifies you cannot have magic or resonance, and then cuts your cost for cyber/bio in half. this would let you take all alphaware, or get more of the expensive stuff. good for street sams, riggers, and deckers. alternatively, we could have a positive quality where every 5 points gives 10k worth of ware (with a 30bp cap, and thus a limit of up to 60k more ware). the latter would have a larger impact on positive qualities, which may not be a desired outcome, as theres a limit to qualities, and a 10-pt quality can cut your essence cost by 10%.

second, give everyone more essence. magic is still capped at 6 (or whatever you bought it up to), and each point of essence lost is a point of magic lost. but if everyone actually has 9 essence, that means that you can get more implants, and also be more resistant to things that damage essence. the mechanics dont change, you just give non-mages more of a buffer to work with.

if you do those two things, then the players have more ware to start with, and everyone can use more ware in total, but the balance of magic is not affected. if anything, it makes having an adept lose a point of essence to grab some ware even less desirable. it does help the street sam reach their archetype goal more easily, and helps the decker to afford more useful implants (decks are expensive after all). essence does matter in the large view for mundanes, as several awakened threats have attacks that result in essence loss, and these can be the greatest threat to heavily cybered characters. also, with 9 essence we would still see cyber-zombies, but they would simply have that much more ware in them. 4 cyber limbs, torso, skull, and wired reflexes will add up very quickly, after all.

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KCKitsune
post Aug 17 2015, 03:46 PM
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QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Aug 17 2015, 07:57 AM) *
An idea that i'd been toying with for some time was to simply not allow the magic attribute to improved.

Another way is to allow magic to be improved to a max of Essence * 1.5 (just like every other stat in the fragging game), because the mages would like to be able to grow. This makes getting cyber/bio for the mage that much more costly. I'd still do it for my character, but that's just me.

Also I would make it so that if a mage's Essence ever drops below 1, then his/her magic is GONE! No "well my magic rating before cyber was 12 so I can have 5.9 points worth of cyber/bio and still have a magic of 6" crap either.
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Stahlseele
post Aug 17 2015, 05:26 PM
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And i say even with the magic attribute limited to 6, a magic person can still grow.
They can learn more different and stronger spells and spirits after all, using the bigger stuff will just be more costly to them.
Meaning there would be a ramping up of the difficulty, instead of stuff just getting easier and easier to do over time, as is the case right now.
And it'd hopefully lead to more diversification and to less specialisation where everything is just geared towards making one thing better.
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Mikado
post Aug 17 2015, 06:11 PM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Aug 17 2015, 07:08 AM) *
That, however, is exactly what I wouldn't do.

I got out of Shadowrun into Eclipse Phase when 5e came out, partly because of that nonsense. Cyberpsychosis, I say, should be something only a very small proportion of cybered individuals should suffer, much like, say, alien hand syndrome. IE, it's something that should just not be a real concern for players getting chrome, the way that sometimes, people don't come out of anesthesia, but it should not be a real concern for you to sweat over when your doctor tells you that you need to go under.


Well... To be honest, I agree with you. I would have cyberpsychosis a negative quality with the game effects I mentioned in my first post.

If mages do not suffer some sort of insanity or superiority complex from wielding "phenomenal cosmic power" why should a mundane suffer for installing cyber to compete against mages that can basically alter reality. Why would a person who lost a hand and replaced it with a cyber one be mentally worse off than the mage who can cast a spell to dominate someone's mind and freewill.
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Neraph
post Aug 18 2015, 12:08 AM
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This seems like a work-around to "nerf" magic without actually addressing magic at all. Removing the need to police the Essence of your players changes the balance of the game dramatically, especially since you're doing it to give mundanes the ability now to offset the possibility of Awakened characters from theoretically increasing their Magic to nigh-infinity (still limited by karma and Initiation quests) later. It seems sloppy to me.

It also doesn't take into account the inherent fear of Infected that they should have. Now that Essence literally does not matter then Vampires/Nosferatu/Essence Drain becomes a non-issue, as one vampire can feed off of a mortal for forever with no bad side effects, and ghouls lose the threat of their one point of Essence drain straight-out killing a street samurai.
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Glyph
post Aug 18 2015, 02:53 AM
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Ghouls don't have Essence drain, they just eat you. Actually, that has always been a reason for my street samurai to have a fractional Essence. I would rather have a character be dead, so I can just make a new one, than permanently maimed or turned into undead (and have to pay Karma for having my character ruined). But I have always found this permanent vitality drain of undead to be a grating annoyance, both in D&D and Shadowrun. Critters should never be "scary" because of metagame reasons.


Unlimited Essence is something that needs to be considered carefully, as it is one of the mechanisms of game balance. For example, why ever get anything other than used 'ware, or pick bioware over a cheaper cybernetic alternative, if all losing Essence does is make you harder to affect with magic? And I would be careful piling on a resistance to magic - mages already are rolling skill + Attribute vs. 2 Attributes, with hits capped. Adding another dice pool for the defender could tip it too far.
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Mikado
post Aug 18 2015, 03:17 AM
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QUOTE (Neraph @ Aug 17 2015, 08:08 PM) *
It also doesn't take into account the inherent fear of Infected that they should have. Now that Essence literally does not matter then Vampires/Nosferatu/Essence Drain becomes a non-issue, as one vampire can feed off of a mortal for forever with no bad side effects, and ghouls lose the threat of their one point of Essence drain straight-out killing a street samurai.


The solution to that is easy... Just have that power permanent drain hit boxes. That is more scary than just essence drain.
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binarywraith
post Aug 18 2015, 03:52 AM
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I disagree wholeheartedly with the concept.

Essence as a restrictive factor is, honestly, a good thing. It gives a reason for mundane humanity to exist, and for the setting not to have become a case of magic-using Morlocks and cyber-augmented Eloi who exist to be breeding stock for more mages and try to make up their terrible lacks with augmentations.
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Blade
post Aug 18 2015, 08:32 AM
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QUOTE (Mikado @ Aug 17 2015, 08:11 PM) *
If mages do not suffer some sort of insanity or superiority complex from wielding "phenomenal cosmic power" why should a mundane suffer for installing cyber to compete against mages that can basically alter reality. Why would a person who lost a hand and replaced it with a cyber one be mentally worse off than the mage who can cast a spell to dominate someone's mind and freewill.

I agree. In my rules, for each Magic point bought, the mage has to define one aspect of his belief that will shape his vision of the world and his behavior. The more powerful a mage is, the weirder and more detached from the rest of society he gets.

For a moment I thought that the "everything has a price" motto of SR5 would finally have something like this integrated in the official rules but no, karma is still the only price Awakeneds have to pay.
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post Aug 18 2015, 09:44 AM
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QUOTE (Blade @ Aug 18 2015, 03:32 AM) *
I agree. In my rules, for each Magic point bought, the mage has to define one aspect of his belief that will shape his vision of the world and his behavior. The more powerful a mage is, the weirder and more detached from the rest of society he gets.

We had something similar at one table for the Elemental Mages back in SR3, as they initiated they picked up traits according to their preferred element and not just psychological like the book suggested.

It was actually amusing when the Initiated Fire Mage not only grew to be more aggressive and wilful, but actually left scorch marks on things they handled if they were not heat proof while the Water Elemenalist left damp footprints behind them.

While it never happened to any of the players, it was rumoured that high level elementalists could actually ascend to becoming an elemental (aka retired the character and became a NPC)
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Mikado
post Aug 18 2015, 10:54 AM
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The best way to handle the entire thing is to remove essence completely and rename magic to meta-attribute and have anyone who wants any sort of augmentation (magic, cyber, adept and such) buy that attribute for points to put in magic or essence as the case may be.

I do still think that cyber should offer a mechanical benefit just for being implanted. There are numerous instances in the rules for magic having a difficult time affecting tech so why would you not get a bonus against magic for having cyber. Hell, you get penalized for having cyber when it comes to magical healing, why should a combat spell be any different?
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Lionhearted
post Aug 18 2015, 12:13 PM
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Funny how it's argued that we need more ware, personally I always felt that you get to much ware at chargen. Every Tom, Bill and Sally can pack themselves so full of chrome that they resemble a fridge. This never made thematic sense to me, chrome is something you get out of necessity and in many cases its frowned upon or restricted.
Bob the accountant isnt going to run around sporting a custom cyber arm, unless he lost his original in a freak accident and cant afford a flesh one. A military grunt would have their wires removed when they left the service unless they went AWOL, A dock worker gonna have second hand skillwires at best. Yet at chargen you can sell of most of your humanity with little issues, which also presents a gameplay issue... where do you go from there? I mean sure going from Wires to MbW is cool n'all but it doesnt offer as gratifying character advancement as say, initiating.
But that's just my 2 nuyen, I like my players to start out mostly au naturelle, have them consider what they put into their body.
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Stahlseele
post Aug 18 2015, 12:37 PM
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Your opinion.
And it's actually wrong according to both rules and background.
Datajack, chipjack, internal comlink, cyber-eyes/ears. . People get that done in their lunch break!
Technically, most everybody who has a paying job should have eyes and internal comlink at least!
Hell, even Bioware is not much of a hassle, if it's not something hugely invasive and you can not pay for magical healing.
Go to clinic, give tissue sample, wait some weeks, get it implanted on friday afternoon, get back to work monday morning.
Same for most things cyber that are not hugely complicated procedures like bone augmentations or things like that.
Smartlink, Spur, Cyber-Muscle, all that can be done in a day without problem. Stuff that gets attached to the central nervous system is of course still a bit more problematic.
But if you can pay for magical healing? Yeah, out in a week or so . .
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