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You can safely skip the first couple paragraphs and just skip to the actual question as the first paragraphs are just background as to why I'm asking.

In 3rd edition I was in a group with a guy who had replacement blades for his spurs. A type for every oocasion, he had Dikote spurs for everyday use, silver plated spurs with gold inlay for when he thought shapeshifters were a potential threat, hollowed plastic spurs for injecting chemicals (Used to surprisingly good effect when filled with insecticides on a fleshform bug spirit) and finally a set of ebony spurs with supposed Orichalcum runes for vampires or spirits (And despite the fact that the character was entirely mundane the GM gave him a tiny bonus when fighting spirits due to effectively boosted willpower from the placebo effect). Now this guy's story was that he'd specifically had a quick release implanted (.1 essence I think) so he could eject a blade onto the floor as a free action then slam home a new one as a simple action (I think, the same as putting a new clip in a gun.)

Currently I'm working up a high adventure campaign where the characters will start off quite powerfully, but won't have too much opportunity for advancement, particularly money-wise, during the campaign. To help boost power levels a bit and to encourage some backstories that will be useful to me as a GM I'm creating some package character creation deals. Usually a series of cyberwear, qualities and skills and background tidbits that if picked up by a character with the right prerequisites cost significantly less than if they'd bought them on their own.

One of the packages (A former Deus Blue Banded Mage) requires the Mystic Adept or Magician quality and includes beta-grade cyberspurs in each hand. The off-hand spur is a power focus and the primary hand is a weapon focus. (The character also has a fingertip replacement spellcasting focus and an unused fingertip compartment for later potential foci use (currently a monowhip))

So here's the questions;

1. How easy do you think it is to remove the blade and tang (Not the whole piece of cyberware, just the knifey part) of a factory standard cyberspur? If one of your spurs breaks do you pretty much have to wait till you can find a doc for surgery?

Or maybe you just twist your arm 'just so' and pull on them when they're only partially extended and out they come easy as pie?

2. Would having cybernetic pieces that actually slide into your body help conceal a focus from assensing if the focus wasn't 'on'?

3. Same as #2 but if the focus is active.

4. Would there be any increased danger of damage to the Magician if someone attacked their focus while it was retracted?

5. Then again would they even be able to attack the focus at all since presumably the magician's aura would be in the way. (or maybe the essence loss of the spur would weaken the aura enough around the arm to still allow an attack? Then again what would happen if you swallowed an active focus?)

Not likely to be a huge issue or anything, it just made me wonder and thought I'd search out more perspectives on it.
Interesting ideas. I love the switch-out cyberblade idea. Good to see someone thinking beyond the standard Wolverine archetype.

1. Personally I'd rule that normal cyberspurs are quite difficult to remove/replace and would require a cyberdoc. If you wanted to make that easier, I'd probably make them cost a little more (and it looks like that's what you did). But of course making them easier to remove can be a bad thing if your enemies take advantage of it.

2-5. I don't think an aura would much conceal or protect a focus. An aura of a non-dual-natured character in the physical plane is ghostly and nebulous, very distinct from the sharp astral form that I imagine a focus might have. I'm not very clear though on the SR4 way of dealing with attacks on foci.
my opinions:

1) hard to remove

2-5) I'd say a modifier if it was inactive, but that's it. Everything else would be handled normally.
I thought I'd chime in with my own opinions:

1. If they were easy to remove, they would be terrible weapons. Weapons that are easy to disassemble are rather weak when it comes to the kind of force required to hurt someone. A Kergan-style assembled sword, for example, would break on the first solid blow. Switchblades are terrible for fighting.

2. According to page 191 of your hymnal, activated foci have an astral form, which implies that inactive foci do not, so my guess it that it doesn't matter; they'd look like regular cyberware.

3. An active focus has an astral form, so it'd be quite visible from astral space.

4. There would be no increased danger for having an active focus. The separation between the physical and astral worlds is stronger in 2070. There's no longer any "grounding" spells from the astral to the physical. They could attack the active focus, but the best they could do is disrupt it, which would merely deactivate it.

5. Auras don't get in the way of astral forms. They are intangible in astral space. If you swallow an active focus, it could still be attacked, assensed, etc.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Aaron)
5. Auras don't get in the way of astral forms. They are intangible in astral space. If you swallow an active focus, it could still be attacked, assensed, etc.

And moved.
Pretty messy if you think about it... wink.gif
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
QUOTE (Aaron @ May 20 2006, 03:56 PM)
5. Auras don't get in the way of astral forms. They are intangible in astral space. If you swallow an active focus, it could still be attacked, assensed, etc.

And moved.
Pretty messy if you think about it... wink.gif

Yeah that was kind of a nasty side-thought I had of a Johnson slipping something into the Troll's (preferably one with Symbiotes) stew or something. Wouldn't be a great plan in the end though because presumably you can still trace people if you have access to one of their foci (haven't checked).

In the campaign I'm working up there are at least three places where the group is likely to get picked up and held prisoner. Even with magehoods and cyberware disablers the authorities probably don't want a character to hold onto their foci.

So if a spur would require surgery to remove it creates the potential for having a rescue right in the middle of a removal which only a sadistic and cruel GM would do. cool.gif
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
QUOTE (Aaron @ May 20 2006, 03:56 PM)
5. Auras don't get in the way of astral forms. They are intangible in astral space. If you swallow an active focus, it could still be attacked, assensed, etc.

And moved.
Pretty messy if you think about it... wink.gif

I'm not sure they could be moved in astral space. The new SR4 stuff hasn't come out for it yet, but those nets filled with the dual-natured bio bits worked on purely astral forms because a purely astral form couldn't move the physical component of a dual-natured being. I'm not sure that concepts like inertia work in astral space. In fact, the rules on page 186 of your hymnal about being unintentionally forced through a mana barrier suggest that the physical world trumps the astral one when it comes to positioning. Consider: can a purely astral barrier like a ward allow a dual-natured being to walk on air?

I'm pretty sure you cant' grab things or move them around in astral space. Everything there is thought and emotion; there's nothing physical there to grab.
I had an idea (taken from a book of course) recently for making a focus in the form of a smooth stone, then swallowing it. You'd need to retrieve it each time, and clean it thoroughly, but it'd make it really hard to get it from you. spin.gif
How easy should it be to remove the blade of a spur? 5 minutes and an alen wrench should do it. Just extend it, take out three or four hex screws and slip off the blade. It shouldn't be removable if retracted.

It is true that a multi-sectioned blade isn't very safe but screws and pegs are the best and most common way to attach a blade to a handle. Likewise, it makes sense that this is how the spur blade is attached to the retracting mechanism. If there is a weak link it would be the mechanism itself, not the mount point.
I could see the extra costs involved being used to install "smart bolts" and other sorts of goodies like that, which would allow the bots/pins/whatever to be retracted with a thought, then use the normal action of extending the spurs to just pop them out. It would require a bit of alignment to get the new spur in the right place for the bolts to grab onto it. I'd say that if designed for the procedure, you could probably do it in under a minute, especially with practice.
or you could just assume something as simple and commonplace as maglock technology.

'cause, you know, making things excessively complicated is just plain silly. we have, in SR canon, a device which is essentially unforceable... no one says "we'll just pry the door open" in SR, it's always about hotwiring the maglock, blowing up the door, hacking the security node, or whatever. effectively, maglocks are officially given an unlimited strength score, and the technology could certainly be applied to an interchangeable cyberspur concept, IMO.
I would say you could have quick reles cyber spurs for .1 esanse and +50% cost.

In a cyber arm they would not consume additional capacity but sill be +50% cost.

Release would be buy computer (DNI) control

The chemical blade is a problem, you cont have eth chemical gland (or cyber wear resevwa) so you would be limited to a single poison application on the blade when you click it in place, connecting a quick switch blade to a resevwar would take an additional simple action.

I would give no bonus for astral perception checks for implanted foci. Thatís what the aura masking metamagic is for.

There is of cause no rule against enchanting a dicoted holow blade and mixing suspended gold and silver into the poison dispenser.

I'd say switching out would be really easy if your spurs are implanted in a full cyberarm. I don't know if there are rules for this, but I'd be concerned about having oricalchum placed internally, due to the particular metals that make it up. But spurs could be sheathed in a way that keeps it shielded from the meat body. Otherwise I could see it being a risk to the user for sticking potentially toxic things, and slipping their blades back in the housing, then dying from toxic shock nyahnyah.gif

I'd think it'd be more difficult if the spurs are implanted in a 'meat body', swapping out blades might compromise the stability of the overall system. But on the other hand, I could see it being as something that a user should be able to do some sorta maintenance on, since moreso than other types of cyber, its intended to be actively used in striking other things.
i would make it fairly easy to do. say a threshold one test with the cybertechnology skill (skilled use only). not everyone knows how, but anyone with the skill and some tools can do it easily.

this would make removing blades easy when you process a prisoner, and then make it equaly easy to add a shiv in its place.

QUOTE (Teulisch)
this would make removing blades easy when you process a prisoner, and then make it equaly easy to add a shiv in its place.

Hmm, a crudely made cybershiv could be interesting. Almost as likely to jam or punch out the wrong hole as work properly.
A cyber blade would need to be just the right shape to work, if you tried making one in the machine shop, without proper plans it would more than likely not fit properly, apply penalties for wrong tools.

On the other hand there is always smuggling into prisons, fiting one once you got it in would be easy.

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