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> [SR4] Technomancer Changelings and Electrosense/E-Sensing
post Aug 19 2019, 06:33 AM
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Moving Target

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So, while looking through the various metagenetic qualities for a character concept that came to me the other day (one of those ones you just have to flesh out to get it out of your system), I came across this quaility:

QUOTE (Runner's Companion @ p. 113)
Cost: 10 BP
Characters with this quality have developed the capacity to sense electricity and changes to electric fields in their vicinity, similar to animals like fish or a platypus. Electric charges can be felt through touch (actually the indirect effect of electric charges on hair).

Treat Electrosense like the technomancer echo E-Sensing (p. 146, Unwired). To sense electric currents, non-Emerged characters use Intuition instead of Resonance, however. The range of the electric sense is (Essence) meters.

That last bit got me thinking about what would happen if a technomancer was also a changeling and had that as one of their positive qualities. It's clear that it wasn't a quality intended to be taken with a TM character, and thus I came up with a few questions because of it.

- Would you just use Resonance for them instead of Intuition?
- Would you basically modify the range to match that of the echo as well?
- What happens if the TM with this positive quality later gets the E-Sensing echo? Would the effects stack?
- Would you just outright deny this as a metagenetic quality for a changeling TM?

For reference, here's the phrasing for E-Sensing (minus the table).

QUOTE (Unwired @ p. 146)
E-sensing enhances the technomancer’s perception of electric fields in the real world. Technomancers with this echo may make a Resonance + Perception Test to physically sense nodes, sensors, drones, and other electronic devices—as well as the bioelectric fields of people and animals. Each hit gathers information about the target, as noted on the E-Sensing Table (p. 146).

Use of this ability requires an Observe in Detail Simple Action. The range of the electric sense is Resonance x submersion grade in meters.

So a brand new TM character who is also a changeling, hasn't yet submerged, but has the Electrosense quality. For example purposes, we'll assume Intuition 4, Resonance 5, Essence 6, and Perception 3.

- Do they roll 7 dice (Intuition + Perception) or 8 dice (Resonance + Perception)? This one seems the easier answer, as it does specify that non-emerged characters use Intuition, so I'd assume the TM (as an emerged character) still goes with Resonance.
- Is their range 6 meters (Essence) or 0 meters (Resonance x Submersion Grade)? From my reading, I'd assume the 6 for Essence, as it doesn't seem to specify any difference between emerged and unemerged characters.

Those two seem pretty self explanatory, but then comes the more complicated issue for me. Assume the character has had some more time, spent some karma to raise Resonance and even undergone their first submersion. They now have Resonance 8, Submersion Grade 2, and the E-Sensing echo. How does that work now?

- Does the presence of the echo completely override the metagentic quality, and now they essentially lose the quality? In this instance, they'd be rolling 10 dice (Resonance + Perception) and having a range of 16 meters (Resonance x Submersion).
- Do the two stack together? If so, how? In this case, the roll is the same as above, but now they have a range of 22 meters (Resonance x Submersion + Essence) or 28 meters ((Resonance + Essence) x Submersion).

Basically, how would you handle this situation as a GM if a player wanted this kind of character? Would you disallow it completely? Or maybe give it to them as a free echo, with a few caveats (e.g. Essence range before submersion, then standard after) but increase the cost of the quality? Or allow it as written, but once they pick the E-Sensing echo (the superior pick), shift their Electrosense quality into something similar metagenetic (such as ultrasound hearing and magnetosense)?
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post Aug 19 2019, 07:15 AM
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Shooting Target

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It's not disallowed, but redundant.
Electrosense is strictly worse than E-sensing, but if you absolutely need it, you can get it with a quality before submersion. I also would rule each exactly as written, and as not stacking, because no interaction between the versions is indicated.

In your example, the character would roll 8 dice since the quality specifies that non-emerged characters use Int, but a TM is by definition emerged. The range would be 6 meters (assuming no implants, of course).
You would also not lose the electrosense on submersion, but could freely choose which one to use in any given situation.
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