IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

2 Pages V   1 2 >  
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> The Cure for HMHVV, A speculative scenario for curing the plague of the Sixth World
JanessaVR
post May 28 2016, 01:24 AM
Post #1


Awakened Master Ninja
**

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 933
Joined: 30-January 07
From: CalFree
Member No.: 10,844



No, not just shooting them in the head. My opinions regarding the Infected are, I trust, well-known here. Nonetheless, HMHVV always has, and continues to fascinate me. It’s the car crash I can’t help but stare at, the puzzle begging to be solved. And I believe I’ve done so.

I would argue that the existence of a cure doesn’t remove the impact of HMHVV on the Sixth World. If anything, I believe in this instance it would heighten it, as this cure would only be available for the rich. And the rich not having to worry about disease as they have access to best and latest futuristic medical care while the poor masses huddle suffering in the Barrens? What could be more cyberpunk than that?

The process of the cure involves multiple stages utilizing both magic and technology; HMHVV is not an easy disease to fully counter. I’m guesstimating the final price tag as being probably over 1 million ¥ per patient. This process uses the SR4 rules.


Speculations on the Nature of HMHVV

This required some considerable research throughout multiple rulebooks.

The primary basis of metagenetics are “astral shadows,” which are effectively astral components attached to specific genes. In short, they are what make specific genetic components magical in nature. Purely mundane genes don’t have them, and thus behave in a completely mundane manner. HMHVV is an Awakened virus, and so clearly it has them.

This highlights the main problem the canon attempts to cure HMHVV – I think their entire approach is flawed. Most of the people working on the cure are doctors treating this through the lens of a background in mundane virology and genetics, when that’s not the problem at all. If this was caused by a mundane virus, then mundane medicine and/or magical disease curing spells could eliminate it, almost certainly. No, the problem is its magical component, which makes it so tenacious. So no amount of work into trying to develop some sort of vaccine or “miracle drug” is ever going to work. But, if you disable/kill the magical component of the virus, then mundane medicine can be used on the patient. That’s the primary thrust of this approach.

Now, we know that the Cure Disease spell does nothing to cure HMHVV. Most likely, this is because after the victim’s transformation, the virus counts as "normal" for the victim’s body and not as an invading organism, so the spell ignores it. This is supported by the fact that there is no mention of the Cure Disease spell affecting any “friendly” microbes in the patient’s body; no need to rush to go eat some yogurt after being treated by the Cure Disease spell, as if it were some sort of super-antibiotic.

So, we need to target this thing specifically and kill it – with magical assassination. Lock onto the individual viruses in the patient’s body and kill just them, nothing else. But this approach highlights another problem. It’s been mentioned that attempts to alter existing metagenes frequently kill the patient (and the whole point here is to cure them, not kill them). So, there’s a very decent chance that this nasty little magical virus will not “exit gracefully,” hence the need to “brace” the patient’s cells against possible damage during the process. There’s nothing in the rulebooks that would accomplish this, so that will need to be a new spell.

Ok, we have a basic game plan, but now we need some hard numbers. In an Opposed Test to eradicate HMHVV from a patient’s body, what is being rolled against? I decided to use the rules for attacking Wards as a guide, as it seemed to the closest (sort of) equivalent I could find in the rulebooks for this situation. In the SR4A Core Rules, p. 194, in the “Passing Through Barriers” section, it’s noted that “An astral mana barrier may be attacked in astral combat; treat it as a standard barrier with an Armor and Structure equal to its Force (see Barriers, p. 166).” Consulting pages 166 – 167, in the “Destroying Barriers” section, we see that barriers roll their Armor rating to defend against spell damage, and the remaining damage much equal or exceed the Structure rating to destroy the barrier. This seems like a reasonable way to rate the “strength” of HMHVV for resisting removal from its host.

But one more thing, also as per page 194 in the SR4A Core Rules, in the “Passing Through Barriers” section, there is this: “The enchantment on a mana barrier restores it to full Force after one Combat Turn of ‘rest,’ however, regenerating any damage or breaches and making such barriers impervious to all but the most determined foes.” Given the legendary resistance of HMHVV to any and all cures attempted to date, this also seems like a reasonable rule to include. So either kill it in one shot, or it quickly repairs itself and you have to start all over.

All right, so the next big question is…just how strong is HMHVV? It’s magical in nature (but not Sapient and has no Willpower score), so I think it can reasonably just be given a Force rating, which lets us use the above mechanics. And this would be…what, exactly? Well, consulting SR4 Running Wild, page 68, and its errata posted here on Dumpshock, we get:

• HMHVV-1: Vector: Infection Power, Penetration -3, Power: 13, Nature: Retroviral
• HMHVV-2: Vector: Injection, Penetration -3, Power: 13, Nature: Retroviral
• HMHVV-3: Vector: Injection, Penetration -3, Power: 6, Nature: Retroviral

I decided that a particular strain of HMHVV has a Force rating equal to its Power (this is the best I could come up with). So, being somewhat conservative and assuming a 1/3rd success rate (rounding up) on all dice rolls, in an Opposed Test:

• HMHVV-1: Force 13 = Armor 13 and Structure 13. 13 dice to resist damage = 5 hits. Need 18 hits to kill it.
• HMHVV-2: Force 13 = Armor 13 and Structure 13. 13 dice to resist damage = 5 hits. Need 18 hits to kill it.
• HMHVV-3: Force 6 = Armor 6 and Structure 6. 6 dice to resist damage = 2 hits. Need 8 hits to kill it.

Ok, now we have our hard numbers. Bring in the patient – let’s operate.


The Operation

This can be a one-mage job, but that mage will need to have at least a Magic of 10, so that’s Magic 6 + Initiate Level 4 as well. Alternately, a mage of least Magic 9 and two other mages each with Magic 6 can achieve the same results. For this example, we’ll use a single mage.

Morgana is a Hermetic mage with Logic 6, Magic 10, Willpower 6, and a Spellcasting skill of 6. She also has a stacked Power & Centering Focus 10, and three Sustaining Foci 10. She’s also a level 4 Initiate and knows the Centering metamagic technique.

For this operation she’ll be using the following spells: Cellular Support (excluding HMHV Viruses), Detect (HMHV Viruses), Heal, Hibernate, Slaughter (HMHV Viruses) spells. Full descriptions for all of these spells are provided in a section below.

Again, I’m being somewhat conservative and assume a 1/3rd success rate (rounding up) on all dice rolls.

For Spellcasting, she’s rolling: Magic 10 + Spellcasting 6 + Power Focus 10 = 26 dice.
For Drain, she’s rolling: Willpower 6 + Logic 6 + Centering 4 + Centering Focus 10 = 26 dice.

The patient is Vlad, a vampire with an average Willpower of 3; he’s tired of his rather limited liquid diet and wants to be human again.


Phase 1 – Prep the Patient for Surgery
• She casts Hibernate at Force 10 on the patient and locks it into her Sustaining Focus #1. This spell is effectively functioning as magical anesthesia for this operation.
• Morgana’s dice rolls for the above: Spellcasting is 26 dice, giving her 9 hits; the subject’s bodily processes are slowed by a factor of 9. Drain for this spell is (Force / 2) -3, which comes out to 2, and she’ll easily absorb that with 26 dice for drain.
• She casts Cellular Support (excluding HMHV Viruses) at Force 10 on the patient and locks it into her Sustaining Focus #2.
• Morgana’s dice rolls for the above: Spellcasting is 26 dice, giving her 9 hits; this provides the patient with an Armor rating of 9 (to add to their Willpower) against any internal damage the process of killing off the HMHV Viruses in their body might cause. Drain for this spell is (Force / 2) +3, which comes out to 8; rolling 26 dice for 9 hits, she fully absorbs this drain.


Phase 2 – The Operation
• She cast Detect (HMHV Viruses) at Force 10 on the patient and locks it into her Sustaining Focus #3. This spell functions as the targeting mechanism for the next spell. It highlights the exact location of each of the individual HMHV Viruses present inside the patient’s body.
• Morgana’s dice rolls for the above: Spellcasting is 26 dice, giving her 9 hits. Drain for this spell is (Force / 2) -1, which comes out to 4, and she’ll easily absorb that with 26 dice for drain. These many hits will also ensure a sufficient level of detail (see the SR4A Core Rules, p. 206, in the “Detection Spell Results” section) that she knows the location of all of the HMHV Viruses in the patient’s body.
• She casts Slaughter (HMHV Viruses) at Force 10 on the patient. This will fry every last one the HMHV Viruses inside the patient’s body, while the Cellular Support spell protects the patient’s body against the (possible) destructive impact of the Slaughter spell’s effects (see below).
• Morgana’s dice rolls for the above: Spellcasting is 26 dice, giving her 9 hits; this plus the base damage is a total of 19P damage, which is enough to kill off any strain of HMHVV (as per above). Drain for this spell is (Force / 2) +1, which comes out to 6; rolling 26 dice for 9 hits, she fully absorbs this drain.
• Vlad’s dice rolls for the above: If frying the HMHV Viruses in his body causes some sort of harmful backlash, assume that it’s effectively attacking him with a mana damage spell at the HMHVV’s Force rating. He’ll roll Willpower 3 + 9 hits on the Cellular Support spell versus a Force 13 attack. This is 12 dice (4 hits) against 13 dice (5 hits), so he sustains 1 point of Physical damage.
• If the previous spell did any damage to the patient, she can cast Heal on him and repair the damage. Alternately, if the Slaughter (HMHV Viruses) spell was not successful, she can just sit back and wait for him to automatically repair himself, since vampires have Regeneration. If necessary, she can repeat the casting of the Slaughter (HMHV Viruses) spell and try again.


Phase 3 – Post-Op Care
• After the operation, the patient is no longer HMHVV-positive, but still looks like a monster (vampires are probably the only ones who still look mostly normal after their transformation), so that needs to be corrected as well in the final step.
• The patient is taken to a genetic surgery facility where they will essentially be dumped into a tank and rebuilt to look like their old selves (alternately, they could take this opportunity to make some improvements to their old appearance while they’re at it).
• 6 weeks later, the patient’s genetic surgery is complete. They are almost cured and back to normal, but still need to deal with Essence loss.
• HMHVV-2 and HMHVV-3 victims only lose 1 point of Essence. They'll require 10 months of Essence Revitalization therapy.
• HMHVV-1 victims who are cured are left with only 1 point of Essence. They'll require 4 years and 2 months of Essence Revitalization therapy.


The Price Tag - Primary Surgery
• Finding and hiring a Magic 10 caster and having them learn 5 spells. 100,000 ¥
• Spell formula purchase cost for the Heal and Hibernate spells: 1,000 ¥
• Spell formula research costs for 3 new spells (Combat, Detection, Manipulation): 40,000 ¥
• Purchase and binding of 1x Rating 10 Stacked Power & Centering Focus: 400,000 ¥ and 140 KP
• Purchase and binding of 3x Rating 10 Sustaining Foci: 300,000 ¥ and 120 KP
• Final Cost: 841,000 ¥ and 260 KP

I can’t find any rules for hiring NPCs, so the costs for hiring professional mages for legal work are almost completely pulled out of a hat. But, given the time needed for them to learn new spells and bind foci, and Karma the they’ll have to spend doing so – and the fact that Magic 10 mages do not grow on trees – I decided on a cool 100K as their fee. If you can hire this same mage to keep doing this job, however, then there’s room for some considerable amortization here for all the other costs.

For researching the new spells, I used the spell formula purchase prices in the SR4A Core Rules, p. 181, and added a zero.


The Price Tag - Post-Op Care
• Full-body reconstruction of the cured patient (Gene Therapy, Phenotypic Alteration): 50,000 ¥
• Essence Revitalization therapy for HMHVV-2 or HMHVV-3 cured patients: 275,000 ¥
• Essence Revitalization therapy for HMHVV-1 cured patients: 1,075,000 ¥
• Final Cost: 325,000 ¥ for HMHVV-2 / HMHVV-3 cured patients or 1,125,000 ¥ for HMHVV-1 cured patients


Spells Used

Cellular Support (excluding HMHVV Viruses)
Type: Mana
Range: Touch
Duration: Sustained
Drain Value: (Force / 2) +3
Description: This spell is somewhat like the Armor spell, save that it’s focused on preventing damage from inside the patient, by “bracing” the patient’s cells against damage from within while a magical virus eradication is being conducted throughout their body by a damaging mana spell. It specifically excludes HMHVV Viruses from its effects.
Reference: SR4A Core Rules, p. 210 for the basic Armor spell
NOTES: This is a completely new spell.

Detect (HMHVV Viruses); (Active, Area)
Type: Mana
Range: [Force * Magic] in meters
Duration: Sustained
Drain Value: (Force / 2) -1
Description: The caster detects all individual HMHVV Viruses within the spell’s range and knows their number and relative location.
Reference: SR4A Core Rules, p. 207 for the spell Detect [Life Form]
NOTES: This is a new specialization of an existing spell.

Heal
Type: Mana
Range: Touch
Duration: Permanent
Drain Value: (Patient’s Damage Value) -2
Description: Heal repairs physical injuries. It heals a number of boxes of Physical damage equal to the spell’s hits from the Spellcasting Test.
Reference: SR4A Core Rules, p. 208
NOTES: This is a standard existing spell.

Hibernate
Type: Mana
Range: Touch
Duration: Sustained
Drain Value: (Force / 2) -3
Description: The caster must touch a voluntary or unconscious subject. This spell puts the subject into a form of suspended animation. The subject’s bodily processes are slowed by a factor equal to the hits. For example, If 4 hits were scored, the subject’s metabolism is slowed by a factor of 4. Such a subject sealed into a chamber with enough air to keep it alive for a day would be able to last four days. In this particular instance, the spell is functioning as de-facto magical anesthesia during surgery.
Reference: SR4A Core Rules, p. 208
NOTES: This is a standard existing spell.

Slaughter (HMHVV Viruses); (Direct, Area)
Type: Mana
Range: LOS (Area)
Duration: Permanent
Drain Value: (Force / 2) +1
Description: This variant of Manaball is designed to target HMHVV Viruses only.
Reference: Street Magic, p. 165
NOTES: This is a new specialization of an existing spell.


Bibliography

SR3 SOTA 2063, pp. 6 – 30
SR3 Year of the Comet, pp. 22 – 41
SR4A Core Rules, pp. 166 – 167, 181, 194, 207, 208, 210
SR4 Augmentation, pp. 75 – 77, 84 – 90
SR4 Runner’s Companion, pp. 59 – 63, 76 – 83
SR4 Running Wild, pp. 55 – 68
SR4 Street Magic, p. 165
SR Fiction – Another Rainy Night
SR Fiction – Sail Away, Sweet Sister
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
DeathStrobe
post May 28 2016, 05:56 AM
Post #2


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 576
Joined: 6-May 10
From: Front Range Free Zone
Member No.: 18,558



Wasn't Hitomi Shiawase infected and cured?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Wakshaani
post May 28 2016, 06:08 AM
Post #3


Shooting Target
****

Group: Members
Posts: 1,598
Joined: 24-May 03
Member No.: 4,629



QUOTE (DeathStrobe @ May 27 2016, 11:56 PM) *
Wasn't Hitomi Shiawase infected and cured?


Lies and slander about the Empress!

Take his head!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Sendaz
post May 28 2016, 06:47 AM
Post #4


Runner
******

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 3,039
Joined: 23-March 05
From: The heart of Rywfol Emwolb Industries
Member No.: 7,216



Looks pretty good, but you haven't addressed shoring up the recovered party's Essence.

Remember to be turned originally they were drained of their own Essence, and from there had to constantly feed to top themselves up.

Following on this, basically it was the HHMVV holding the essence so when the magic virus gets ripped out your patient is going to have one heck of an essence hole left in him.
He shouldn't just get to wake up with an intact shiny new whole aura coming out of this.

For gameplay I would say leave him with a 1 Ess (personally I would have gone with 0.1 but that's just me) so now he has to look at some sort of Essence restoration process.


Only hitch is in Howling Shadows they hint that the genetech normally suggested for this may be slightly borked at present:

QUOTE (Howling Shadows pg 79)
But whatever it is, our connection to
our bodies, maybe our very souls, is slowly slipping away all
the time, and we need to steal pieces of others to keep ours
going. And those pieces can’t be restored.

> Wasn’t there a genetech procedure a few years back that
could supposedly restore victims of feeding?
> Hard Exit

> There was. Unfortunately, it ran into two insurmountable
roadblocks. The first was a little-known condition called
Mana Displacement Syndrome. Basically, it caused a
kind of disconnect between the subject’s life force and
their body, resulting in spontaneous fugue states, a
higher likelihood for developing cancer, and a marked
vulnerability to magical influences. Cases also showed a
higher likelihood for possession; spirits like loa or shedim
could somehow slip in the cracks and take over.
The second was when all the nanites went nuts, leaving
the tech unusable and outside further development.
> The Smiling Bandit


Doesn't mean there are no options, they are working on new nanite systems that are not so easily compromised and there may be more magic-inclined routes, like a metaplanar quest using a supporting spirit to handle their travel arrangements to renew themselves.
But it does mean coming up with a something for rebuilding the spirit while they are rebuilding the body.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
JanessaVR
post May 28 2016, 06:56 AM
Post #5


Awakened Master Ninja
**

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 933
Joined: 30-January 07
From: CalFree
Member No.: 10,844



QUOTE (Sendaz @ May 27 2016, 10:47 PM) *
Looks pretty good, but you haven't addressed shoring up the recovered party's Essence.

Remember to be turned originally they were drained of their own Essence, and from there had to constantly feed to top themselves up.

Following on this, basically it was the HHMVV holding the essence so when the magic virus gets ripped out your patient is going to have one heck of an essence hole left in him.
He shouldn't just get to wake up with an intact shiny new whole aura coming out of this.

For gameplay I would say leave him with a 1 Ess (personally I would have gone with 0.1 but that's just me) so now he has to look at some sort of Essence restoration process.

Thank you! You wouldn't believe the work I put into this.

And I totally forgot about the whole Essence thing. I'll work on an update to my original post above. But that's mostly for vamps, ghouls only lose 1 Essence, so they'll need less work there.

UPDATE: Done, look over my original post again. And thanks for catching that.


QUOTE (Sendaz @ May 27 2016, 10:47 PM) *
Only hitch is in Howling Shadows they hint that the genetech normally suggested for this may be slightly borked at present:

Doesn't mean there are no options, they are working on new nanite systems that are not so easily compromised and there may be more magic-inclined routes, like a metaplanar quest using a supporting spirit to handle their travel arrangements to renew themselves.
But it does mean coming up with a something for rebuilding the spirit while they are rebuilding the body.

Yeah, but that's all 5th Edition trash I'm ignoring anyway. We don't acknowledge the events of 5e. Like my first post said, this is 4e game mechanics.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
JanessaVR
post May 28 2016, 07:43 AM
Post #6


Awakened Master Ninja
**

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 933
Joined: 30-January 07
From: CalFree
Member No.: 10,844



QUOTE (DeathStrobe @ May 27 2016, 09:56 PM) *
Wasn't Hitomi Shiawase infected and cured?

Really? Where did that appear? I'd like to read that book.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Thanee
post May 28 2016, 08:10 AM
Post #7


jacked in
**********

Group: Admin
Posts: 9,186
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 463



Don't you need to be able to visually target for Combat spells? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

Also, why that Cellular Support spell, when the Slaughter only targets the HMHVV, anyways, which are excluded from the previous one. Seems like a non-effect to me.

And the best thing this would do is kill the subject, in my opinion, since removing HMHVV from the body will effectively remove the body's only source of sustenance. HMHVV is what keeps the body alive (by allowing it to feed on the Essence of others). With that gone, the body will run out of Essence and die in a few weeks/months.

HMHVV transforms the body. Without the means to revert that process, removing the virus won't help.

I also think that your assumption, that noone is trying magic to cure it, is definitely false. There are megacorporations working on that, and they have every asset available to them. Surely they have realized, that all the Infected are also dual beings and/or awakened to some degree.

No, sorry, but this is way too easy a solution. Especially, since most of the spells aren't even necessary. Basically, you only need the Slaughter spell in a form that does not require visual targeting. The rest doesn't do anything. Reduced to its essence the solution comes down to "research spell to kill HMHVV - cast - done".

If anything can work, it would have to be a combination of Biotech, Genetics and Magic. Reading the subject's DNA, reverse-engineering its original genecode (you would probably need something to compare it to), cloning a new body, moving the life force over to the new body in some magical way. Something like that. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

Bye
Thanee
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
JanessaVR
post May 28 2016, 08:20 AM
Post #8


Awakened Master Ninja
**

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 933
Joined: 30-January 07
From: CalFree
Member No.: 10,844



QUOTE (Thanee @ May 28 2016, 12:10 AM) *
Don't you need to be able to visually target for Combat spells? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

Also, why that Cellular Support spell, when the Slaughter only targets the HMHVV, anyways, which are excluded from the previous one. Seems like a non-effect to me.

And the best thing this would do is kill the subject, in my opinion, since removing HMHVV from the body will effectively remove the body's only source of sustenance. HMHVV is what keeps the body alive (by allowing it to feed on the Essence of others). With that gone, the body will run out of Essence and die in a few weeks/months.

HMHVV transforms the body. Without the means to revert that process, removing the virus won't help.

I also think that your assumption, that noone is trying magic to cure it, is definitely false. There are megacorporations working on that, and they have every asset available to them. Surely they have realized, that all the Infected are also dual beings and/or awakened to some degree.

No, sorry, but this is way too easy a solution. Especially, since most of the spells aren't even necessary. Basically, you only need the Slaughter spell in a form that does not require visual targeting. The rest doesn't do anything. Reduced to its essence the solution comes down to "research spell to kill HMHVV - cast - done".

I'm not sure you actually read my post.

The Detection spell is used for targeting, that was stated explicitly. It's absolutely necessary, in fact, as the targets can't be seen visually.

It seems we disagree about the fundamental nature of HMHVV. I can live with that. This will get used at our table, but you can give it a pass.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Thanee
post May 28 2016, 08:28 AM
Post #9


jacked in
**********

Group: Admin
Posts: 9,186
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 463



QUOTE (JanessaVR @ May 28 2016, 10:20 AM) *
I'm not sure you actually read my post.


I did.

QUOTE
The Detection spell is used for targeting, that was stated explicitly. It's absolutely necessary, in fact, as the targets can't be seen visually.


I realize that, and I don't think it is mechanically sound. You cannot cast Combat Spells on targets that you only detect via Detect spells.

You cannot use Clairvoyance for that, nor anything else. That's why I wrote "visually target".

QUOTE
It seems we disagree about the fundamental nature of HMHVV.


That is probably the case, yeah. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

QUOTE
I can live with that. This will get used at our table, but you can give it a pass.


You can do whatever you want, of course. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Just saying, that you make it a wee bit simple to remove one of the greatest maladies of mankind.

Bye
Thanee
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
JanessaVR
post May 28 2016, 08:42 AM
Post #10


Awakened Master Ninja
**

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 933
Joined: 30-January 07
From: CalFree
Member No.: 10,844



QUOTE (Thanee @ May 28 2016, 01:28 AM) *
I realize that, and I don't think it is mechanically sound. You cannot cast Combat Spells on targets that you only detect via Detect spells.

You cannot use Clairvoyance for that, nor anything else. That's why I wrote "visually target".

If that were strictly true, then Ritual Spellcasting on remote targets via material links would not be possible. Clearly there are other methods of establishing a link with the target of a spell. In fact, "Detection spells give the subject a new sense, beyond the normal five senses, for as long as they are maintained." Being able to "see" the targets with your "sixth sense" seems entirely reasonable, especially since if the Detection spell is picking them up at all, it has reached out and connected to those targets to do so.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Thanee
post May 28 2016, 09:18 AM
Post #11


jacked in
**********

Group: Admin
Posts: 9,186
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 463



Well... "A metahuman spellcaster can target anyone or anything she can see directly with her natural vision." That's the only way.

With Ritual Spellcasting, maybe that Symbolic Link could somehow work (getting a Material or Sympathetic Link seems a little far-fetched).

Bye
Thanee
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
JanessaVR
post May 28 2016, 09:24 AM
Post #12


Awakened Master Ninja
**

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 933
Joined: 30-January 07
From: CalFree
Member No.: 10,844



QUOTE (Thanee @ May 28 2016, 01:18 AM) *
Well... "A metahuman spellcaster can target anyone or anything she can see directly with her natural vision." That's the only way.

With Ritual Spellcasting, maybe that Symbolic Link could somehow work (getting a Material or Sympathetic Link seems a little far-fetched).

Again, I guess we'll just have to disagree on this.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Thanee
post May 28 2016, 09:27 AM
Post #13


jacked in
**********

Group: Admin
Posts: 9,186
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 463



Okay, let's look at it from the other direction.

Assuming you can target spells via senses gained by Detection spells.

What stops a mage from researching an extended range, Clairvoyance-like spell without the limitation, that you cannot target spells through it?

Do you really want that to be possible? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Bye
Thanee
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
JanessaVR
post May 28 2016, 09:28 AM
Post #14


Awakened Master Ninja
**

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 933
Joined: 30-January 07
From: CalFree
Member No.: 10,844



QUOTE (Thanee @ May 28 2016, 02:27 AM) *
Okay, let's look at it from the other direction.

Assuming you can target spells via senses gained by Detection spells.

What stops a mage from researching an extended range, Clairvoyance-like spell without the limitation, that you cannot target spells through it?

Do you really want that to be possible? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Sure.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Sengir
post May 28 2016, 11:21 PM
Post #15


Great Dragon
*********

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 5,085
Joined: 3-October 09
From: Kohle, Stahl und Bier
Member No.: 17,709



QUOTE (JanessaVR @ May 28 2016, 03:24 AM) *
• HMHVV-1: Vector: Infection Power, Penetration -3, Power: 13, Nature: Retroviral
• HMHVV-2: Vector: Injection, Penetration -3, Power: 13, Nature: Retroviral
• HMHVV-3: Vector: Injection, Penetration -3, Power: 6, Nature: Retroviral

Emphasis added. A retrovirus inserts its own genome into the host's DNA, which is a fundamental part of what makes the Infected. Therefore magically purging the virus would not be enough, the changes to the DNA would also have to be reversed...incidentally, a popular vector for gene therapy happens to be HMHVV-based retroviruses, because those seem to be really good at rewriting genes...
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
hermit
post May 28 2016, 11:34 PM
Post #16


The King In Yellow
*********

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 6,922
Joined: 26-February 05
From: JWD
Member No.: 7,121



QUOTE
Really? Where did that appear? I'd like to read that book.

That's because in 3rd, HMHVV was maybe curable through confusing rules and badly matched fluff, mostly, which became relatively common use at least with respect to Krieger.

Also, your idea of a "Slaughter HMHVV" spell is interesting and compelling, as long as you could somehow differentiate the Virus from the general patient's aura. If there is a detection spell that can do that, you're pretty much set. I suppose it would need to be strain-specific, given the very narrow application of slay/slaughter spells (they require a different one for every kind of infected too, so it would possibly be both strain- and metatype-specific). Of course, whether it is possible to keep a subject alive without the virus - especiaslly Strain I, which requires the Infected's (brief) death - is another question, but that treatment could, at the very least, keep the Ghoul Apocalypse at bay. Possibly cure Strain II too. I don't have much hope for Strain I and Ia, though.

QUOTE
What stops a mage from researching an extended range, Clairvoyance-like spell without the limitation, that you cannot target spells through it?

Uhm ... but that already is possible with the Clairvoyance spell and Divination metamagic?

QUOTE
Emphasis added. A retrovirus inserts its own genome into the host's DNA, which is a fundamental part of what makes the Infected. (...) because those seem to be really good at rewriting genes...

Can Cure Disease cure AIDS? If so, it can handle retroviruses - which refers to the fact that the virus' genome is RNA-based and need an enzyme called reverse transcriptase to be written inton the host cell's DNA to do their thing, as opposed to DNA viruses, which are able to be read by the cell's mechan isms immediately. This is how they cause 'jumping genes', too. AIDS, being the most feared (most others caue various nasty types of cancer, btw), probably is responsible for the general perception of retriviruses as particularly dangerous.

What makes the Infected stand out from other sick in Shadowrun is the fact they both suffer Aura drain from the disease and can drain auras of other sentient creatures. Aside from being very curiously focused, that, and not the genome insertion, makes these infections stand out from other, mre mundane and probably cured by Cure Disease retroviral infections.

However, retroviruses do not "rewrite genes". They insert new genes. Those genes do dastardly things. Sometimes, because viruses are pretty instable and RNA is a crap medium anyway, they only copy half the genes, and the cell suddenly finds new genes it, being a cell, stubbornly reads and processes, to no effect (becoming a jumping gene or new junk DNA), to the effect of inhibiting growth inhibitors (causing cancer) or, in rare cases, to cause a mutation in an organism that is passed on and may or may not drive an entire species ina new direction. All that, thouh, is accompliced by adding DNA, not by rewriting DNA.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
JanessaVR
post May 28 2016, 11:59 PM
Post #17


Awakened Master Ninja
**

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 933
Joined: 30-January 07
From: CalFree
Member No.: 10,844



QUOTE (Sengir @ May 28 2016, 03:21 PM) *
Emphasis added. A retrovirus inserts its own genome into the host's DNA, which is a fundamental part of what makes the Infected. Therefore magically purging the virus would not be enough, the changes to the DNA would also have to be reversed...incidentally, a popular vector for gene therapy happens to be HMHVV-based retroviruses, because those seem to be really good at rewriting genes...

I know that's not enough, hence the post-op care part where they're sent to a genetic surgery facility.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
DeathStrobe
post May 29 2016, 04:47 AM
Post #18


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 576
Joined: 6-May 10
From: Front Range Free Zone
Member No.: 18,558



QUOTE (JanessaVR @ May 28 2016, 12:43 AM) *
Really? Where did that appear? I'd like to read that book.

I forget, Technobabel, maybe?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
hermit
post May 29 2016, 07:47 AM
Post #19


The King In Yellow
*********

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 6,922
Joined: 26-February 05
From: JWD
Member No.: 7,121



I think it was Psychotrope.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Sendaz
post May 29 2016, 08:19 AM
Post #20


Runner
******

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 3,039
Joined: 23-March 05
From: The heart of Rywfol Emwolb Industries
Member No.: 7,216



And wasn't it more of a vaccine because of the crowds she was running with?

Have to go digging through the tomes, but I think she wasn't full blown Infected, but was potentially going down that route when Daddy stepped in and treated her.

Edit: here we go

QUOTE ( Psychotrope)
Shinanai—the legendary lead singer of Black Magic Or•chestra. Shinanai, the woman whose
name meant "death-less." Shinanai's image was burned into Lady Death's
memory: tall, thin, with nearly translucent white skin and silver-blonde hair shaved high over
elven ears but long in the back. A delicate tracery of luminescent blue face paint accentuating
high cheekbones and piercing aqua blue eyes. Black leather pants, cinched tight with straps and
buckles from ankle to thigh. Red mesh shirt covered by a black leather jacket with its sleeves
cut out. Fingertips, each and every one bearing the tattoo of a grinning skull. And a voice
that could howl as raw as a shadowhound or sing as sweet and pure as a synthesized flute.
Shinanai was just one of many aidoru—singers who were idolized by Japanese high school students.
But to Lady Death, Shinanai was everything—and the only aidoru worth thinking about. She had an
intensity, a way of mesmerizing you and stealing your heart away with just one smoldering,
shiver-inducing look. And so Lady Death—or Hitomi, as she was known in the meat world—had
slipped away from her guardians and sneaked backstage to meet Shinanai in person. Captivated by
the singer's magic, she had run away from home and school and family to become Shinanai's lover.
Or at least, she had allowed Shinanai to love her. It had been enough simply to allow Shinanai to
embrace her, to stroke her skin, to kiss her lips with a passion that Hitomi had never felt before.
Shinanai neither asked for nor accepted physical stimulation in return. Instead Shinanai
drank of Hitomi's soul.
A little too deeply. When the shadowrunners who had been hired by Hitomi's father caught up with
Hitomi, they found her on the blood-soaked bed of the hotel room in Seoul that Shinanai had
vacated moments before. Hitomi had died of blood loss after Shinanai had drunk deeply from her
femoral artery, letting the passion-pumped blood flow until Hitomi expired. For Shinanai was a
vampire.
The runners' shaman and medic had been able to revive Hitomi, to pull her back from just over the
brink of death. He said her ki was strong, despite the fact that the vampire had been supping upon
this life force. But Hitomi knew that her will to live came not from any physical or psychic
strength. It was simply that she could not bear to die and never see her beloved aidoru again.
She had walked away from the brink of death by choice.
They had kept her in isolation in her family's private medical clinic for many months after that.
Her guardians kept watching and waiting, fearful lest Hitomi herself become a vampire. But somehow
her body had resisted the HMHVV virus.
Hitomi knew that Shinanai had intended for her to become a vampire, that Shinanai had killed her
so she could share eternal life. Only the shadowrunners' arrival had forced Shinanai to flee.
In her heart, Hitomi knew that Shinanai would be happy to see her again, would be hoping that
Hitomi would be able to track her down. But a part of her still wondered why Shinanai had fled from
the shadowrunners, instead of fighting them. Vampires were supposed to be legendary in their
strength . ..
Ironically, Hitomi—as Lady Death—had once claimed expertise on vampires and had commented more than
once on their cruel, sadistic nature on the Shadowland postings she loved to frequent. But her
information had come from tridcasts and news reports. After having met a vampire first-hand, after
having become Shinanai's lover, Hitomi now knew how wrong she had been. She only wished she could
convince her guardians of this fact.
Since that night in Seoul, two separate attempts had been made on Shinanai's life, forcing her into
hiding. No more was Shinanai giving live concerts—at least, not for the general public. Hitomi
had no doubt that the shadow-runners hired by her father were to blame, and that they would
continue tracking the vampire until their job was done.
In killing Hitomi, Shinanai had ensured her own death. Double-lover suicide.
As for Hitomi herself, she had not been allowed to leave the Shiawase arcology for the fourteen
long months that had passed since her "death." Her guardians made sure she did not stray, that
she could not follow through on her compulsive need to see Shinanai again. But that did not mean
her mind could not wander freely, that she could not
access Shinanai in other ways as Lady Death .. .


So she had been on the brink, but had not gone fully across.

But there are still some questions about the vaccine itself... especially when it turns out Dear old Daddy set up the child as a guinea pig for testing it.
QUOTE
Hitomi's mind whirled as she tried to piece together what was going on. Had her father bribed the aidoru into
returning Hitomi to him? She'd heard of parents who had paid undesirable suitors to break off
contact with their children. Was that what was happening here?
"The shadowrunners were a mistake," the aidoru repeated. "Now my price has gone up."
"What?"
Hitomi recognized the carefully controlled anger in her father's voice.
"You stand to make an ample profit as a result of my encounter with your daughter."
Her father's eyes narrowed just a little. "What do you mean?"
"When you contracted me to seduce your daughter, I wanted to know why," the aidoru answered. "Do
you know what I learned?"
"I have no idea."
"I learned that the Shiawase Corporation's biotechnology division was attempting to develop a
vaccine against the HMHVV virus," Shinanai continued. "One that they wanted to test on a human
subject. An injection would not do; the subject had to submit willingly to infection with HMHVV
for the test to be valid. The biochemical responses triggered by strong emotion would have to be
present, to ensure that all variables were accounted for."
"But how—"
Shinanai laughed. "That, I will leave it to you to uncover. Suffice to say I found your daughter a
most delicious and willing test subject."
Hitomi felt her face grow pale. "No," she whispered. "It isn't true. It can't be."
On the monitor screen, Shinanai smiled, revealing elongated eye teeth. "It seems no further
research is necessary," she said to Hitomi's father. "Your daughter didn't die. The vaccine seems
to be working—so far. I congratulate your researchers."
Hitomi's father met the false praise with stony silence. Then: "The vaccine did not work. My
daughter is dead."
Shinanai laughed. "Then who has been leaving messages for me these past two weeks? Messages that
bear the secret endearment that I called your daughter during our lovemaking."
Hitomi's father stiffened. Twin spots of anger lit his cheeks.
"You were very foresighted in vaccinating Hitomi against HMHVV," Shinanai continued. "But how did
you come to choose your own daughter as a test subject? How did you know she would wind up wanting
to sleep with—"
"She was rebellious, and had an unhealthy fascination
with ... your kind," Hitomi's father answered brusquely. "I thought it wise to protect her."
"You mean you found it expedient to use her," Shinanai corrected. "As your own private guinea
pig. One who would willingly submit to any medical treatments her loving father recommended."
"There was no danger. I knew the vaccine would work—"
"If she survived being drained of so much blood, you mean." Shinanai waved his protest away. "And I
understand that there are certain—problems. Certain delays that indicate that the vaccine is not
nearly as effective as you might have hoped—that it may only be delaying the onset of the virus,
and may not be a true vaccine. But that doesn't matter. What is of import now is our
agreement—and my new terms. In return for my continued silence about my— participation—in your
research, I require the following as payment: not nuyen, as we had previously agreed, but a sample
of what your researchers have developed."
Hitomi's father shook his head in disbelief. "But why—"
"My—associates—are conducting their own research into HMHVV," the vampire answered. "Your
so-called 'vaccine' will be useful to them."
"Never. There is no agreement."
"In that case," Shinanai said slowly, "I will reveal the terms of our agreement to the press. How
much face do you think you will lose, when the public learns that you used your own daughter in
this way? How much trust will they put in a corporation whose CEO shows so little regard for
his own flesh and blood? And bear in mind my stature as a singer. The public will believe me and
side with me. Especially when they see the trideo."
Hitomi's father considered for only an instant. "Very well," he said. "We have an agreement. I
will arrange for a courier to bring the vaccine to you."
As the aidoru and her father began to work out the details, a wintry bleakness invaded Hitomi's
soul. Her own father had tested an experimental drug on her, without her permission. He had used
her, like any of the other multitude of assets at his disposal. And Shinanai—the person
Hitomi had poured out her heart to and had thought her soul mate and one true love—had been a
part of it.
Shinanai. Despite what Hitomi had just heard, she loved the aidoru still. . .
No! It was all part of the vampire's magic, a distant fragment that was her logical mind cried out
in anguish. Not love. Shinanai hadn't loved her after all! And neither had Hitomi's father.
Grief and anger settled upon Hitomi like heavy wet robes, each equally stifling. Without thinking,
acting purely on emotion, she stabbed the key that would activate the commlink utility and
allow her to cut into the telecom call.
"I hate you!" she cried. "I hate you both! You are not worthy of my love!"
Her father stared at her in shocked surprise.
Shinanai began to laugh.


Besides the shoddy parenting, this is an interesting point as shortly afterwards we have the Terminus Experiment novel, which centers around Vamps researching ways to alter the HHMVV to remove or reduce their current weaknesses/allergies.
Was the vaccine gained here part of that research? seems probable.

After this fiasco she ends up switching one love for a different sort
QUOTE
She saw, now, the cause of her father's concern. He was worried that she had at last succumbed to HMHVV—that
his vaccine was not a success. And that was good, for it meant he did not suspect the truth. He did not know what
she had become.
She smiled. It was a wistful smile, for she remembered the truth now. The one that her father's hired magician had
tried to erase. The aidoru Shinanai had betrayed her and did not love her—had never loved her. And neither did her
father.
But there was someone—or something—that did. The artificial intelligence. In the instant before she had logged
off, Hitomi had once more entered into resonance with it. She had felt the love it bore her, and the warmth and peace
this love conveyed. Now that she was otaku, she could enter deep resonance at will. And there were others there,
other lonely teenagers like herself. Others who could see into her innermost thoughts and who would accept her and
love her with an open, naked truthfulness that no one else could ever experience.
Others who would benefit greatly from the resources of a nuyen-rich corporation like Shiawase . . .


This always made me wonder if that was why otaku were typically children, not just because their neural pathways were still developing and more flexible so as to be able to adapt to being otaku, but they were also chosen because they were more vulnerable to being taken in by the forces behind it with promises of love and belonging.
But that is a discussion for another thread.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Sengir
post May 29 2016, 07:38 PM
Post #21


Great Dragon
*********

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 5,085
Joined: 3-October 09
From: Kohle, Stahl und Bier
Member No.: 17,709



QUOTE (hermit @ May 29 2016, 01:34 AM) *
What makes the Infected stand out from other sick in Shadowrun is the fact they both suffer Aura drain from the disease and can drain auras of other sentient creatures.

The first thing which makes Infected stand out is the simple yet extremely obvious fact that their physical appearance is significantly different (and typically really hideous). Which is not due something akin to a Shapeshift spell, Infected do not get any less hideous and do not lose their claws when burning out their other magical abilities. The changes even seem to be passed down the germline, although I will grant that point is not 100% clear.

Bottom line is, Infected express phenotypical changes because of alterations in their genome, which makes reversing those changes a bit harder than curing AIDS.

QUOTE
However, retroviruses do not "rewrite genes". They insert new genes.

They don't rewrite genes in the sense of directly altering base pairs, but they can destroy existing genes and add new code, which leads to the same result.

Yes, real retroviruses evolve towards not just destroying random parts of the host cell's genes, because that's a bad survival strategy. And the genes they insert do not code for anything relevant to the human phenotype (unless you count "being dead"), because why would they. But HMHVV has apparently taken another evolutionary route...
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
hermit
post May 29 2016, 08:59 PM
Post #22


The King In Yellow
*********

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 6,922
Joined: 26-February 05
From: JWD
Member No.: 7,121



QUOTE
The first thing which makes Infected stand out is the simple yet extremely obvious fact that their physical appearance is significantly different (and typically really hideous).

Hey now, that's really superficial. Besides, my idea of "pretty" isn't a cyclops either.

QUOTE
The changes even seem to be passed down the germline, although I will grant that point is not 100% clear.

Only with Krieger, since Type I and II are infertile as per Running Wild.

QUOTE
But HMHVV has apparently taken another evolutionary route...

In case it took that route evoltionarily, which I kind of doubt. Looks more like a magical super soldier program gone wrong - from the last days of the Elven Court, maybe? At least they're not
[ Spoiler ]
a GoT spoiler! On noes how could you!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
binarywraith
post May 30 2016, 10:22 AM
Post #23


Shooting Target
****

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 1,973
Joined: 4-June 10
Member No.: 18,659



So in short, facebullet remains the best answer? Because I could happily make a career out of slaughtering ghouls if a vaccine is found to prevent further spread.

(IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Bodak
post May 30 2016, 12:22 PM
Post #24


Moving Target
**

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 573
Joined: 23-July 03
From: outside America
Member No.: 5,015



QUOTE (Thanee @ May 28 2016, 07:10 PM) *
Don't you need to be able to visually target for Combat spells? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
On the other hand, Manipulation spells like Sterilise don't need you to target individual organisms visually, and they're great at wiping out things like Fluorescing Astral Bacteria (SM p127, p174).

However, Deathtouch / Slaughter are Mana spells that only affect living things; viruses aren't alive.

Even if a spell destroys all assembled HMHVV viruses at one point in time, infected cells will continue manufacturing the viruses. The virus-blasting spell will need to be repeated frequently to destroy the product of this continuous construction. Maybe "the patient is no longer HMHVV-positive" after a treatment but they soon will be again. Even if the viruses are destroyed, the infection is still integrated into the host chromosomes (whether interrupting a useful gene, or located in "junk" DNA, or whatever) of host cells . The "genetic surgery facility" seems focussed on reverting the typically really hideous appearance. Are you implying the gene therapy is detecting and excising the viral DNA from every host cell? That should be explicit if so. Combined with frequent destruction of viruses, that could prevent reinfection and eradicate the viral genes.

Anticipating your inevitable question, JanessaVR@, yes, I've read the thread.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Thanee
post May 30 2016, 04:00 PM
Post #25


jacked in
**********

Group: Admin
Posts: 9,186
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 463



QUOTE (hermit @ May 29 2016, 01:34 AM) *
Uhm ... but that already is possible with the Clairvoyance spell and Divination metamagic?


Erm... no? At least, the "Divining" Metamagic in my Street Magic book does something entirely different. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

What exactly are you thinking about here?

Bye
Thanee
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

2 Pages V   1 2 >
Reply to this topicStart new topic

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 21st July 2024 - 02:01 PM

Topps, Inc has sole ownership of the names, logo, artwork, marks, photographs, sounds, audio, video and/or any proprietary material used in connection with the game Shadowrun. Topps, Inc has granted permission to the Dumpshock Forums to use such names, logos, artwork, marks and/or any proprietary materials for promotional and informational purposes on its website but does not endorse, and is not affiliated with the Dumpshock Forums in any official capacity whatsoever.