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> Empathy Software, How wide spread is it?
FuelDrop
post Jun 22 2020, 02:46 AM
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So in my home game I have basically nerfed Emotitoys to oblivion, leaving Empathy software as something that actually requires investment.


However, up to tier 3 empathy software isn't bank breaking, with the main cost being the hardware to run it. Not everyone can drop 2 grand on a rating 3 commlink after all.

At the same time, it makes sense that most professions that involve a lot of face to face interactions will seek out at least some level of empathy software that their 'link can run.

So my question to my fellow 'runners is how prevalent do you have Empathy software in your home games?
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Jun 22 2020, 08:23 AM
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AFAIK, in the current Errata that is only implemented in the German Edition of Arsenal due to... Hardy:

Empathy, either on Emotitoy or as Software, just boosts the Judge Intention Test, not all social skills.
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FuelDrop
post Jun 22 2020, 09:57 AM
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Interesting. Personally I am fine with having it work as written, but having it fairly widely used so it more or less cancels out.
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Blade
post Jun 22 2020, 03:12 PM
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My take is that the more it's used, the more people will learn how to trick it (especially with ware that you can program to react in some ways). So either it's not widespread or I'd add similarly widespread "empathy software exploits" that negate their rating for the empathy software's rating (possibly going negative).
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Stahlseele
post Jun 22 2020, 07:10 PM
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You want to know how widespread it is?
It is used in childrens toys. THAT widespread.
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Thanee
post Jun 22 2020, 09:38 PM
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We house ruled empathy software to be used as a teamwork test and not a straight up dice bonus. That works pretty well. It's still good, but not crazy good.

Also, emotitoys give their rating as a penalty to all social tests (except when entertaining children), instead of a bonus. This is a hidden house rule, though. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/devil.gif)

Bye
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Nath
post Jun 22 2020, 10:40 PM
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QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Jun 22 2020, 10:23 AM) *
AFAIK, in the current Errata that is only implemented in the German Edition of Arsenal due to... Hardy:

Empathy, either on Emotitoy or as Software, just boosts the Judge Intention Test, not all social skills.
I didn't know about this Errata, but that's how I houseruled it a long time ago.

I see a huge difference between the ability to correctly analyse one person's emotions and behaviour, and how to use those hints to adjust in real time your verbal and non-verbal communication to achieve a desired outcome. That's what skillsoft are for.

Actually, even with the houserule, you could consider Empathy Software is still encroaching on knowsoft, if you consider that a Psychology skill should also be allowed add dice to Judge Intentions rolls (which would be another houserule).

Another problem I see with Empathy software is how it fails to account that, the more skilled a character is, the less helpful such assistance should be - instead of being an absolue must-have to compete at top level. But that's a broader problem with the way Shadowrun handles modifiers.
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FuelDrop
post Jun 23 2020, 01:43 AM
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I basically view high end empathy software as being like the social enhancer from Deus Ex Human Revolution as seen here.

So the counter is to have better software, or countermeasure software.
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farothel
post Jun 23 2020, 02:58 PM
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I've never actually used it and most groups I play in either don't either or it was banned by the GM.

I always go with 'whatever the players can do, their enemies can do as well' so if I would ever GM and players come with this, I would simply start using it as well (or the tricks against it) and then it negates each other.
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FuelDrop
post Jun 24 2020, 08:25 AM
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QUOTE (farothel @ Jun 23 2020, 10:58 PM) *
I've never actually used it and most groups I play in either don't either or it was banned by the GM.

I always go with 'whatever the players can do, their enemies can do as well' so if I would ever GM and players come with this, I would simply start using it as well (or the tricks against it) and then it negates each other.


This is my philosophy. Anyone with a camera, an microphone, and a commlink can run basic empathy software. It's not even that expensive.

Now I generally rule that better empathy software requires access to higher quality sensors to pick up more nuance and more signs. High end cybereyes/cyberears/cybernose for instance, along with a higher end commlink to run the software.

Given how the pricetag on software and hardware increase significantly after rating 3 I tend to run with only specialists having access to anything above that rating, with rating 3 being average for Johnsons and Fixers (because forking over for a rating 6 commlink just for a mid level employee to run top tier empathy software looks bad for a cost benefit analysis. Average Lone Star and Knight Errant might be running rating 1, while a lieutenant might be running rating 2, along with face recognition software ect.

This means that if the PCs invest they get an edge, but if they cheap out they're just negating someone else's edge.
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SpellBinder
post Jun 24 2020, 10:04 AM
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Should check out a few scenes in the RoboCop 2014 movie, there's a few interrogation scenes where you'll see an "Emotional Assessment" display in Murphy's HUD. Thought that to be a good example of an Empathy program at work.

And don't forget that the program needs some kind of sensor input. A camera works, but if you've got thermo and a mic tied in with it you should be able to get the full benefits. But then, plopping a camera down to point at Johnson might be quite the giveaway...
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Jun 24 2020, 10:09 AM
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You don't run Sensor Software on a Cluster of your SenseWare?
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SpellBinder
post Jun 24 2020, 10:25 AM
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In one story I've been working on, the two main characters are actually running a battery of sensor programs on their implanted commlinks, and using simrigs to use their eyes and ears as cameras and mics to get the data feeds.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Jun 24 2020, 10:29 AM
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If you get CyberEyes and CyberEars, no need for the SimRig. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Stahlseele
post Jun 24 2020, 11:10 AM
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Or external devices.
No need for implants.
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FuelDrop
post Jun 24 2020, 11:18 AM
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Hack the Johnson's biomonitor.
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SpellBinder
post Jun 25 2020, 01:34 AM
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QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Jun 24 2020, 03:29 AM) *
If you get CyberEyes and CyberEars, no need for the SimRig. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Jun 24 2020, 04:10 AM) *
Or external devices.
No need for implants.

True, true, on both counts, though external devices may require some extra creativity to avoid notice.

It's just that I had different ideas with these two. One of which is to not be 100% optimal as this isn't exactly a realistic concept (people don't always make the best choices all the time).
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Aug 11 2020, 04:02 PM
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At our table, Empathy Software was pretty prevalent. However, Anything above Rating 3 was primarily for specialists.
My Cyberlogician ran his Empathy Software on his cranial implants, with sense feed from his personal senses and various implanted sensors.
Was not world breaking...
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