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> Shapeshifters and cultured bioware
Cymophane
post Nov 8 2004, 11:19 AM
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Hail!

I am new to these boards, so "hi" everybody...

I wonder if it is possible to implant shapeshifters with (cultured) bioware. To me it sounds acceptable because it is cloned from your own tissue and therefore it shouldn´t be painfully rejected by the shapeshifter´s regeneration power.

If it was possible, it would be quite powerful, because the shapeshifter character could get up to 11 points worth of bioware (essence 8 + 3). But there are a few other things to be taken into consideration (if it works at all):

1. Does the regeneration power extend on the bioware? (I´d say it does.)

2. Does it work in animal form? (I´d say "b)".)
a) only neural bioware (i.e. stuff already cultured)
b) everything goes (i.e. enhanced human muscles -> enhanced animal
muscles

3. Would it suck to allow this? (If it´s overdone I am pretty sure it could be quite
unbalancing.)

What do you think? RAW only mention cyberware...
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Blaze
post Nov 8 2004, 11:41 AM
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I'd probably allow a shifter to take bioware, but would:
  1. Only allow the bioware to be cultured- non-cultured bioware won't survive the shift, and
  2. Double the effective Bio Index of any implants, similar to how the Sensitive System flaw affects Cyberware and Essence cost. I wouldn't have this as a flaw- just a fact of life.
I'd also require the player to come up with a really convincing argument as to how a shapeshifter (who, IIRC, is not extended metahuman rights in most locales let alone by most organisations, societies and other such groups) managed to have such equipment implanted in him/her (aside from 'was experimented upon by a corporation'- I hear that faaar too often).
However, if given all the above I would allow the shifter to use any bioware he could get installed, and allow the regeneration power to affect it (though limit it to reducing bioware stress over a period of days/weeks rather than near-instantly).

-JH.
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Cymophane
post Nov 8 2004, 11:56 AM
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I like the idea of applying the "double bio-index" restriction. This would help getting rid of the problem of the 11 bio-slots. But what about the unique regeneration powers? Is cultured bioware so well integrated into the subjects systems that it would apply? And what about those different shapes?
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Blaze
post Nov 8 2004, 12:20 PM
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Not having SRComp here for reference I can't be exactly sure how Regen works for PCs. I would allow bio-enhanced shifters to regenerate but probably slow down the rate of regeneration- say maybe a complex action extra per point of Bio Index, or a combat turn per 3 points or part thereof? I might also have Bioware take a point of Stress every time the player shifts form to account for it not being fully capable of adapting to a being with its morphic field in flux- regeneration would heal this, but slowly (over a period of days sounds the most balanced, though your mileage may as always vary). It'll change shape with the character, but it'll hurt like hell and put the character at a disadvantage if he does it too often.

-JH.
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hyzmarca
post Nov 8 2004, 12:48 PM
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The real difficulty with regeneration is getting it in. A shapeshifter heals fully every 3 seconds. This mans that any implant surgery will have to be completed in under that time frame. No surgeon is that good. I'd also be inclined to disallow culturd bioware on the grounds that shifters don't have metahuman DNA. That appear to be human, but they most certainly are not. Bioware capible of functioning in a shifter would have to be a one-of-a-kind prototype or similar.

As for stat boosts and abilities from bioware extending to animal form, Shifters have two seperate sets of natural physical stats. Adept powers don't transfer over between forms, so I doubt bioware would either.

Bioware adds half bioindex to all healing test TNs, so I'd apply that to regeneration tests. A shifter with 1 bioindex would fail to regenerate deadly damage on a roll of 1 or 2; 1 2 or 3 for fire, silver, and weapon foci. A shifter with bioindex of bioindex of 8 would only regen deadly damage on a roll of 6. If hit by fire, silver, or a weapon focus it wouldn't regenerate at all.
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Nikoli
post Nov 8 2004, 02:21 PM
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I would not allow a shapeshifter to have any bio or cyber ware, on the basis that it's almost impossible to implant through surgury and on the rare (read you probably have to pre-burn your hand of god) occurance, the foreign material would be extruded out in a painful manner.

But that's me.
Shifters aren't supposed to have any 'ware, Bio or Cyber
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Blaze
post Nov 8 2004, 02:25 PM
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Culturing the Bioware (ie. creating it directly from the shifter's own genetic makeup) would probably be possible despite it not being a metahuman. By definition Cultured Bioware is unique and particular to the host in any case.
As to implanting the stuff, the regeneration would be a problem as Hyz points out. However, you could probably get around this by putting the shifter into a state of cryogenic suspension, either through magic or technology. A clinic capable of implanting betaware would probably have the resources capable of doing this. It's still be a very tricky procedure, however- increase the TNs for your surgery test appropriately.

-JH.
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KarmaInferno
post Nov 8 2004, 03:03 PM
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QUOTE (hyzmarca)
The real difficulty with regeneration is getting it in. A shapeshifter heals fully every 3 seconds.

Soo...

I could cut a hole in a shapeshifter, shove a remote-detonate bomb in a thus exposed body cavity, and grin as it sealed inside the poor fragger?

:D


-np
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 8 2004, 04:17 PM
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QUOTE (Cymophane)
I wonder if it is possible to implant shapeshifters with (cultured) bioware. To me it sounds acceptable because it is cloned from your own tissue and therefore it shouldn´t be painfully rejected by the shapeshifter´s regeneration power.

Logically and thematically? No. The context of the entry forbidding cyberware is clearly referring to any type of artificial augmentation.

Even the FAQs have apparently changed their mind on the topic. Some time ago, there used to be a silly suggestion about allowing cultured bioware, but it included equally silly scenarios involving weapon foci scapels and the like.

QUOTE
1. Does the regeneration power extend on the bioware? (I´d say it does.)

No. Not even the silly rules mentioned above allowed for that. Especially since Bioware has no impact on Essence, thus there's no way for the magic of the shapeshifter's transformation to realize those artificial organs are anything but diseased tissue.

QUOTE
2. Does it work in animal form? (I´d say "b)".)
a) only neural bioware (i.e. stuff already cultured)
b) everything goes (i.e. enhanced human muscles -> enhanced animal
muscles

Logically, the implant should take severe stress during the transformation. But since it's not in the rules or even encouraged by the rules whatsoever, it's not an issue.

QUOTE
3. Would it suck to allow this? (If it´s overdone I am pretty sure it could be quite unbalancing.)

Regeneration is more than enough of an advantage for a shapeshifter.

If you're looking for ways to make shapeshifters a little more balanced rather than crippled, consider getting rid of the rule that requires them to buy their Physical Attributes twice. You might also want to ditch the restrictions on Contacts and Resources -- trust in your players good judgement for determining what is appropriate for their character, not some two-dimensional attempt to stereotype an entire character race D&D style.

QUOTE (KarmaInferno)
I could cut a hole in a shapeshifter, shove a remote-detonate bomb in a thus exposed body cavity, and grin as it sealed inside the poor fragger?

Almost. You could cut the hole in the shapeshifter, you could shove the bomb in, but his body would eject the bomb before it sealed itself up.
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 8 2004, 04:19 PM
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If I were to, for whatever reason, allow cultured bioware, I would also have the body absorb it and render it non-functional if it ever took Stress.

~J
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lorthazar
post Nov 8 2004, 05:08 PM
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Of course everyone is forgetting one small point. If you are the GM in your own campaign YOU get to decide what does what. I see no reason a shapeshifter could not have cultured Bioware if they could find a doctor they trust enough to make it.

Implanting would be easy as all you would have to do in a Shapeshifters case is inject a few cells and let the natural regeneration take care of the rest. A few days later the piece of bioware should be fully grown. Now of course there are a few items they could not get. Muscle Augmentations and Orthoskin, being most notable.
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 8 2004, 05:10 PM
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I see no reason why it would repair to a new state rather than just entirely replacing the new organ with stuff equivalent to the functionality of the original.

~J
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GaiasWrath8
post Nov 8 2004, 05:10 PM
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This came up in my game. If you go by the book (To a point) no one can start with cultured bio. I think that shifters should be aloud to use cultured bio but they would have to get it in game play and I made them pay three times the surgary cost (Because its hard to operate on some one who keeps healing)

So far its been ok, the player is not over powered and seems to make sence that cultured would shift with him. I did not think about the double bio index cost, But I like that idea. Makes good sence.
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BitBasher
post Nov 8 2004, 05:12 PM
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Uh no, those cells would be foreign and killed immediately by the regeneration IMHO.
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 8 2004, 05:13 PM
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On the contrary, if you go by the book cultured bio is available. Some may consider it a good idea to use the presented optional rule, some may not, but it is no more a part of pure canon than the deadlier overdamage rules.

Edit: incorrect terminology. It is canon, but it is not the only way presented, nor even the primary one. Therefore, calling it by the book is misleading.

~J
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Cymophane
post Nov 8 2004, 05:16 PM
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thx for your detailed answer doc,

i guess those silly rules have already been deleted :P , i couldn´t find them following your link.

IMO the problem with shapeshifters and cultured bioware is not to reason why it should be allowed but why it shouldn´t. the rules are absolutely clear about cyberware and common sense tells me that normal bioware isn´t allowed either, but from a genetical/scientifical PoV there´s no reason not to allow for cultured bioware.

i can´t jibe with you (and the stupid rules :D ) saying bioware shouldn´t regenerate because it wasn´t paid for with essence. i think there´s no need to pay for anything with essence that has become a natural part of your body and that even taps into your bodies healing powers. i think cultured bioware should benefit from regeneration.
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Bigity
post Nov 8 2004, 05:18 PM
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Wouldn't ever be allowed in one of my games. I do kind of like the idea of getting rid of the whole buy two sets of physical attributes thing though.
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 8 2004, 05:23 PM
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QUOTE (Cymophane)
IMO the problem with shapeshifters and cultured bioware is not to reason why it should be allowed but why it shouldn´t. the rules are absolutely clear about cyberware and common sense tells me that normal bioware isn´t allowed either, but from a genetical/scientifical PoV there´s no reason not to allow for cultured bioware.

i can´t jibe with you (and the stupid rules :D ) saying bioware shouldn´t regenerate because it wasn´t paid for with essence. i think there´s no need to pay for anything with essence that has become a natural part of your body and that even taps into your bodies healing powers. i think cultured bioware should benefit from regeneration.

At best, I'd let it work until it got damaged. Once it got damaged, the body would restore it to functional order: as the original organ.

Remember that stressed bioware is actively harmful to an individual.

That being said, from a scientific/surgical point of view there are a lot of reasons why you shouldn't be able to get cultured bio in a shifter in the first place.

~J
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GaiasWrath8
post Nov 8 2004, 05:24 PM
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ya, the two attributes was hell for this poor player. He is a damn bear and the troll could kick his a$$. Oh well. Thats part of the reason I let the cultered bio in. Give him something. I mean they can not even start game with money, so they get the most basic starting amount of spell points. It would be sad if it was not so funny.
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lorthazar
post Nov 8 2004, 05:25 PM
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And that is your choice, but no one but the GM of the game has the power to say yes or no on any subject in that campaign, not even Fan Pro. You may make your suggestions, provide arguments, and even propose a compromise, but in the end it is the GM who says yes of no.

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Cochise
post Nov 8 2004, 06:14 PM
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O.k. some thoughts on this (including a reference to those "silly suggestions" Doc F has mentioned *I got an email including these ideas during the days when Mike Mulvihill was linedeveloper*):

By canon it's actually only cyberware that is a no go for shifters.
But what about bioware?

The first question would be: What do you consider the "regeneration power" to be?
Is it
a) a purely magical property of beings with that power or
b) a genetically encoded trait in the DNA of those beings ?

In the latter case it should be possible to transfer the responsible genes into shifter-bioware.

Now the next question is: Is human and shifter bioware the same?

Answer: Most definitely not. Regardless of being standard or cultered bioimplants, all implants for humans are either type-O or especially cloned tissues with human DNA basis. Thus you'd need the same basic research and development for shifter-compatible bioware implants as the one that was done for human bioware implants. Given the fact that shifters are quite rare and not too many would actually be interested in having such implants, such research programs would be of no potential profit for corps aside from the pure knowlegde. Additionally the same effect that would be the main goal of such research (regenerating biowarimplants) would be a major hinderance to the reasearch itself.
So even if a corp were to invest in such research, the implants would have a much higher cost and avail rating than their human counterparts. Here comes what Mike suggested to me: price * 4, doubled avail rating, SI * 2

Cultured or standard?

Standard bioware means mass production and finding type-O material. As mentioned in the previous section, research on shifter-ware would be rare and cost intensive. So it's likelier that it remains a technique on the cultured level for each individual rather than going into mass production.
I can see an argument being made here for cultured implants having bioindex values of standard implants (when compared to human counterparts) or simply doubling the bioindex values. The suggestions of Mike didn't include anything the like.

How to do the surgery?

Regeneration obviously doesn't make it too easy here. The consequence would be that any attempt of implantation should be connected to a deadly wound (opposed to human surgery rules where bioindex / essence cost determines wound levels of surgery), since you'd have to bring the shifter to a point where his regenerations fails. Then do the implantation and have him heal conventionally. Later on those shifter-organs would regenerate with the same restrictions as the shifter himself. However, any stress to those organs would still lead to one permanent stress point, regardless of regeneration.
This surgery part was were Mike also suggested that involved surgeons could possibly be magicians using a weapon focus scalpel, since the use of such a focus would lead to a sooner failure of regeneration. It wasn't considered to be a "must" however.

Other consequences?

The high-tech and magical resources involved in such an implantation are very similar to those of cybermancy. Thus any shifter undergoing such implantation would most likely end up as the responsible corp's (literal) "pet". Normal shifters are already a certain problem when incorporating them into "normal" running scenarios, but this would put them into yet another very restricetd area of the SR-setting.

Bottom line:

It can be done, if you actually feel the need for it. However, it's rather cost intensive and limiting in context of the normal SR-setting ...
I wouldn't recommend on allowing it into normal campaigns


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GaiasWrath8
post Nov 8 2004, 06:25 PM
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:eek: Thanks for the well drawn out points. At the very least its food for throught.
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 8 2004, 06:25 PM
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Keep in mind that by canon a Shifter has no overflow. If they hit ten boxes and fail the regen test, you have a cooling hunk of biomass on the operating table.

~J
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Cochise
post Nov 8 2004, 06:29 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Keep in mind that by canon a Shifter has no overflow. If they hit ten boxes and fail the regen test, you have a cooling hunk of biomass on the operating table.

~J

Wrong ... NPC-shifter do not have an overflow .. PC-shifters do have an overflow. Yet another point were PC and NPC shifters aren't the same --
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 8 2004, 06:31 PM
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:proof:

~J
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