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Let's think about the Orks for a moment, shall we? Nobody ever thinks of the Orks.

Specifically an Ork Street Samurai with Agi 5, Bod 8 and Str 7. He's a relative newbie (still in character creation, and his attributes are certainly inside reason for this). This poor Sam wants to get a cyber-arm so he can mount a few choice bits of gear in it. He doesn't really care about his appearance, so he's fine with getting an obvious cyberlimb. But wait! In order for his cyberlimb to be even as strong as he is, he has to have a cybertorso! Ok, fine. He shells up the Nuyen... and discovers that his cybernetic enhancement is already weaker than his natural abilities! The poor guy just didn't know that even obvious cybertorsos have only 10 points of capacity, and since he has to purchase (2 for AGI, 5 for BOD and 4 for STR) 11 points worth of attributes just to break even, he's already got to give something up.

Whoops! Sorry, Street Sammies. No cybersoup for you. And woe to you if you're doing acrobatics (full-body Gymnastics tests) with a cyberskull that isn't agile enough! Everybody needs an agile skull.

Now, of course, there's always the Adept who wants to be as fast and tough as his Sammy brothers. He knows he's got a lot to give up -- they can get alphaware and better, and their enhancements tend to be much cheaper for things like attribues and whatnot. After all, they can get an eye package with vastly improved senses for .4 essence, including low-light, themographics, flare compensation, and more, while he's got to spend .75 of his (also Essence-limited) Magic for only the enhancements listed. But he's OK with that. Until he gets to Improved Reflexes.

5 points for +3 passes? Why bother? With 3 points, you can get +2 passes, and there are a wide variety of stimulants for that last one. Of course, why even spend those three when you can get it for 1? After all, at creation you can spend 32 BP, which is significant but far from unlivable-with, and just pick up the Bioware reflex enhancement for the same deal. You can even pick up Sensitive System to get 15 of those points back; after all, it's Bioware. It's not even a point-wise deal much worse than just buying the Adept power (with the added bonus of more free space, which can't be bought for any amount). Buying back that one point of Magic costs you 10 BP plus the 32 for the gear, or 42; buying the three points of Magic to pay for Improved Reflexes is 30 points anyway, so you're burning 12 points to keep open two 'free points' of Magic. If I could increase my Magic maximum for 6 BP during creation, I'd probably start the game with a max of like 12.

Here are my solutions.

First, Cyberlimbs. Since they're about the same size, it makes sense for Orks, Elves and Humans to use pretty much the same limbs. So simply assigning starting scores by race is kind of awkward; why wouldn't a human take an Ork limb for the bonus strength and body? You could say he's not tough enough for it, but the average values for Orks (6 Bod, 5 Str) fall within human limits, and you could of course have an Ork weaker than that; why would a 6 Bod 5 Str human naturally only be able to use a weaker limb than a 4 Bod 3 Str Ork?

Trolls are even weirder. Their Bod and Str attributes are much, much higher, and they're also proprtionately bigger. This means more room to mount reinforced servos and sturdier pneumatics (or whatever cyberlimbs have inside), and so the limbs should be naturally stronger, tougher, and with more internal capacity.

So: Most cyberlimbs come default with 4 Str, 4 Bod and 3 Agi. Thanks to technical advances and the simple nature of designed machinery versus evolved organics, they're naturally stronger and harder to damage than human limbs. Troll cyberlimbs are stronger and tougher, with 7 Str and Bod, and have more internal capacity. They're also 25% more expensive. Dwarf limbs are just as strong, but have less capacity.


† † † † † † † † † † † † †Troll Limb Capacity /
Troll/Dwarf Limbs † † † † † †Dwarf Limb Capacity
†Full Arm † † † † † † † † †18 / 13
†Full Leg † † † † † † † † †24 / 16
†Hand/Foot † † † † † † † † †5 / 3
†Lower Arm † † † † † † † † 12 / 9
†Lower Leg † † † † † † † † 14 / 10
†Torso † † † † † † † † † † 12 / 9
†Skull † † † † † † † † † † †5 / 4
†Full Arm † † † † † † † † † 9 / 7
†Full Leg † † † † † † † † †12 / 8
†Hand/Foot † † † † † † † † †3 / 2
†Lower Arm † † † † † † † † †6 / 4
†Lower Leg † † † † † † † † †7 / 5
†Torso † † † † † † † † † † †6 / 5
†Skull † † † † † † † † † † †3 / 2

Furthermore, attribute increases (not Armor addition) to cyberlimbs take 1 point of capacity per 3 points of total increase (+2 AGI, +2 STR and +4 BOD takes 2 capacity points, not 4). The limit for any cyberlimb attribute is the character's augmented Body or their chaacter's augmented limit for that attribute, whichever is lower. This Body limitation represents their ability to absorb and tolerate the stresses imposed by fast, powerful movements being made by the cyberlimb. Having a cybertorso increases their effective Body by 3 for the purpose of determining cyberlimb maximums only.

Cybershells (torso and skull) do not have attributes, but may have Armor. Since much of the character's musculature and/or skeletal structure remain intact, the natural attributes are used. Oh, and the Bioware enhancement Orthoskin doesn't work on Cyberlimbs; use whatever natural armor value represents the greatest portion of the body, or whatever happens to cover the particular body part being targeted.

Finally, additional capacity may be purchased for all cyberlimbs and shells, representing miniaturized or better designed components. Up to +50% capacity may be purchased. Additional capacity costs nu•2000 per point up to +1/4 of the limb's regular capacity, rounding down, and nu•3000 per point up to +1/2 of the limb's capacity (also rounded down). Costs for synthetic limbs are doubled, and costs are modified according to limb grade as well, so improving a human, ork, or elf's alphaware synthetic full arm to 12 capacity would cost nu•40,000 [(2 points * 2 (synthetic) * 2 (alphaware) * 2000) + (2 points * 2 (synthetic) * 2 (alphaware) * 3000)].

As for Adepts and Reflexes, Improved Reflexes costs 2 points for the first level and 1 point each for levels 2 and 3. Wired reflexes costs 1.5 Essence per level, and Bioware reflexes cost .7 Essence per level. All improvements to Initiative or Reaction stack as long as you're willing to pay the points for them, but you are still limited to +3 Passes.
So limbs are 3 bod/agi/str and not +3 bod/agi/str?

Man did I get that wrong.
Yup. In SR4, limbs have a base of 3 in each attribute, and you may add up to 3 points without the need for a cybertorso. This is fine -- even great -- for your average human, who might have been a 2 STR Joe Shmoe before the accident that took off their arm. But for Sammies who like to run up to their augmented attribute, or for Orks in general, it's not so hot.
I would be reluctant to make cyberlimbs start at >Avg attributes.


A pure, simple in-game reason: If they were so much better, why would -anyone- mundane not get their arms lopped off and replaced by cyber ASAP?

Also, recall that most of the cyberlimbs/cybereyes started out as (and presumably still has as a main task) replacing vision/limb use/whatever that's been lost (or never worked in the first place).

In medical tech, you aren't going to design such things to be stronger than average for one simple reason:

You already have to deal with your previously 3s patient waking up with cyber-(whatever). That means a lot of counseling, a lot of psychological trauma. It would be even worse if they wake up and suddenly their limbs are a lot stronger than what they remember. They'd be seriously weirded out.
A pure, simple in-game reason: If they were so much better, why would -anyone- mundane not get their arms lopped off and replaced by cyber ASAP?

Essence and cost. The RP, 'in-world' effects of Essence loss suggest that increasingly low-Essence characters act increasingly weird. If your buddy got a cyberlimb the other day and now he doesn't like girls as much (or guys any more), you'd be a bit loathe to run out for that. Besides, as I already pointed out, you can be a Str 2 character and get up to Str 6 without much of a problem (and your default arm will be higher than your 'natural' attribute anyway), meaning this objection applies just as much to the default rules.

You already have to deal with your previously 3s patient waking up with cyber-(whatever). That means a lot of counseling, a lot of psychological trauma. It would be even worse if they wake up and suddenly their limbs are a lot stronger than what they remember. They'd be seriously weirded out.

This only applies to 3 Strength characters? What about a kid who, with the default setting, has a Str 1 and wakes up with Str 3? Or an adult with Str 2 and wakes up with Str 3? Or someone who opts to pick up +2 and wakes up at Str 5? I agree: Your average mundane's gonna flip. But there's no reason they have to wake up with their arm fully enabled; it might be only as strong as their previous limb until the hospital and counseling agree that it should be turned 'all the way' on.

As far as the medical tech argument, that's true to a point, but this is 2070. Cyberlimbs are old news, chummer. If anything, we should expect SOTA to have enabled limbs that run higher than human-augmented max attributes (limbs exist with 10 or even 12 (Exceptional Attribute) AGI for elves; why can't humans mount them, exactly?), but we'll overlook that for game balance.
Your cyberlimb fix seems overly complicated. Why not the much simpler rule that your cyberlimb has the same physical stats as your non-augmented scores (i.e. if you have a strenght of 5 and an agility of 2 so does your cyber arm unless you add some options in. If you raise your strength with bio-ware your cyberlimb is still as 5 because it lacks the bioware . . .)
redwulf25_ci : My cyberlimb fix is a bit complicated, yes. I'm doing it that way to play up the flavor difference between artificial and natural limbs, and because I like the capacity rules, I just think they're too strict as they are. Also, as you say (slightly paraphrased), if you raise your strength later, your arm isn't going to get better because it doesn't have any biological components.
QUOTE (noneuklid @ Dec 7 2006, 10:40 AM)
Yup.  In SR4, limbs have a base of 3 in each attribute, and you may add up to 3 points without the need for a cybertorso.  This is fine -- even great -- for your average human, who might have been a 2 STR Joe Shmoe before the accident that took off their arm.  But for Sammies who like to run up to their augmented attribute, or for Orks in general, it's not so hot.

Just wait for Augmentation... cyber.gif

QUOTE (Nyx @ Dec 7 2006, 02:39 PM)
Just wait for Augmentation... cyber.gif

You gonna make sure that little tidbit about Ork (or even worse, Troll) cybertorsos gets straightened out? Maybe even make it not matter how agile my cyberskull is? wink.gif

Plus, the magic book's already out. Adepts still pretty well suck at being anything other than ninjas; they can snipe good, and nobody but nobody can get more melee dice, but I just can't see them holding their own against mages or street samurai. Plus, what happened to the nifty swappable PP in SR3? That's what gave 'em their edge, and I miss it! (and have houseruled it back in, of course)

[Edited by Adam: Just trying to figure out why this post is causing Firefox to break on this this thread. No content edited.]
I agree about the ideas you have here. I'm going to have to sit down and break it down more to get it all. Here is some of the thoughts that I had.

Have three sizes of cyberlimbs. Medium, Large, Xtra Large. Humans, Elves, and Dwarves get the medium. Orks get large and Trolls get the extra large. A Troll can get Medium and Large limbs installed as well. They could have medium limbs on their hips like the Troll in one of the pictures with the extra limbs holding the gun under the table. They could also get them on their back to fire over their shoulder. A human could get extra large limbs to be gorilla like. Etc.

Cyber torso is not needed unless you are going over human limit. You might need for heavy lifting. Cyberarms include the shoulder blade muscles and have a built in harness that get Human range strength without the torso.

I think that there should be a much bigger difference between obvious and hidden cyberware. I think that this has more to do with visuals and all the movies I've seen with cyberware. I think that there should be an inobvious type that is really bioware. It is better at agility then strength but is very strong and durable. It would also be very fast.

An Alphaware grade that would be heavy combat oriented. It would be still humanoid but metallalic. Lots of capacity.

Then a Heavy Gear grade that is totally obvious and mainly strength based. It is bulky and easy for a mechanic to work on. It should have lots of hydrolics and ability to swap out nearly any tool for the hand or arm.

That way you could have lots of different abilities but not have one character that is so superhuman that they are unstopable.

I'm not so sure Adepts get such a raw deal (though I agree they do with the enhanced reflexes 3) since you can get the same benifit argubly far cheaper out of bioware.

Part of the trade off is that adept right out of CG can have that +3 enhancement, but a sammie cant due to availabliity (Of course if you up CG avail then that is nulled as well). And if you wnat to raise it later on you've got to raise your magic attribute twice as well, which is alot of karma for just an extra +1 reac and +1 pass.

On the flipside adepts get any abilities that have levesl at the full level for what ever cost. So if I take .25 in vision enhancement i get lvl3 vision enhancement with that .25. And to top it up, the are absolutely no scanners taht will ever pick that up. A mage might spot that, but I can also initate, take masking and help hide those abilities and with further initation etc make it so that even the average mage will think I'm a mundane.

I agree that Adepts make awesome snipers/ninjas etc. But the thing is now they make equally awesome ranged combat monkies. You pay more for it overall, in some cases ALOT more for it, but on the flipside for at least helpful healing magic etc you suffer no problems. Lowered essence however adversely affects such things (But the payoff is that it also affects harmful health based stuff too). ANd then flipside agani, adepts can run over water and pull a matrix run along a wall. I've yet to see a regular sammie pull that stunt off. Even with gecko tape they cant pull a full out run, and they sure cant run across water etc. Then there's my favourite (Traceless walk) among others.

I mean I agree I'm not all that keen on the costs of some of the powers compared to the payoff (as opposed to tech based equivilants), and tech is frankly a hell of alot cheaper in the long run than magic ever will be (Especially now that not only do you have to pay intitation costs, but then you have to ontop of that pay yet again to raise your magic attribute, and both costs only ever significantly increase).

Sami's on the other hand dont spend any karma just cash to buy this that etc, sure an adept then arguably has more to spend, but spend it on what? I've had plenty of adepts taht built up multiple huge arsenals of stuff just cause I didnt know what the heck do do wtih my money and top it off half th estuff I just got off dead people anyway.
Yeah, I'm arguing that adepts are physically underpowered, not useless. And you're also right about them being able to start the game with Reflexes 3, unlike 'rye. Most significantly, their Improved Reflexes has (in the default) a loophole I touched on above, which neither the Synaptic Booster or Wired Reflexes have; Improved Reflexes can't be combined with "technological or other magical increases to Initiative," which allows them to use the Initiative boosting drugs Cram, Jazz, and Kamikaze (which is also why the third level of the power is pointless -- spend two full points of hard earned Magic on something you can get much more cheaply?).

The problem with making Adept powers across the board cheaper is balancing them as starting characters. For instance, I think Improved Reflexes ought to cost 1 point per level to balance it with higher-nu nuyen.gif cost versions of Reflex implants, but then you have every Adept starting the game with 4 passes and a good array of other abilities. So what's really important is improving their versatility, although for my game I've also made several powers cheaper/more useful (and a couple more expensive; attribute boost is undercosted, which doesn't really 'balance' the incomprehensible expensiveness of Improved Attribute so much as render it a waste of points). To this end, I'm trying to work out a way of putting the PP-overload back into the game. In SR3, Adepts could buy extra Power Points and 'swap out' which powers they were currently using. This gives them a significant versatility advantage over 'rye and other mundanes without strictly speaking increasing their raw power. So I'm making this an inherent ability of Adepts, but slow, taking several minutes to swap a power point's worth of abilities, and then making an Metamagical ability to boost the speed up.

I also want to figure out a way for Adepts to get improved versions of their powers somehow. One thing that crossed my mind is to have certain powers scale up when they Initiate or take a particular sort of metamagic. For instance, I really like the idea of an Adept with a weapon focus being able to parry bullets for a short period of time/at a high Drain cost. It's flashy, dramatic, and essentially impossible with the normal laws of physics, all things which fit well with the various Adept themes and with metamagic. So I made a super-speed Metamagic, which boosts the character's movement speed and Initiative passively all the time and allows them to take bursts of really impossible speed/reflexes, during which they can do things like parry bullets with Missile Parry.

So anyway, yeah. There are a lot of solutions to this problem, and they're not so much 'Make adept powers cheaper/stronger' as 'make adept powers more interesting and versatile.'

Anyway, Garrowolf: That sounded kind of corny to me at first, but the more I thought about it, the more it's kind of appealing. I'm not sure I like the complexity issues raised with some of it (charts for different size limbs and combat with more than 2 arms could get pretty confusing pretty quickly), but the flavor stuff is very cinematic. I'm not sure if I'd incorporate it into my game, but if you draw up rules, you should make a new post for them on the forum.
Well, I'm not so keen on bullet parrying adepts but what ever. And I agree it's hard to sort of balance that issue with then every adept and their adept dog being able to start with reflexes 3 if you lower the inital cost. Maybe link it instead to initate grade? (Ie to lave max level you need to have at least initated once?) and then lowering the actual point cost.

I just about never take the top teir of reflexes on an adept purely for that very same reason. It really is a waste of PP. I've still gone ahead and done it however on rare occasions. But there's a great deal of sacrifice in doing that really. I however remain somewhat molified by the fact that at least an adept can do many things a samie cannot. And in return sammise can do many things an adept cannot (or at least not as easily).

At one point it was the smartlink. If an adept wanted one you had to pay essence and thus a poitn of magic. Now I dont even need that, I can just pop it in some contacts and for style's stake use nanotrodes.

You could really argue it back and forth till you grow old and die. I dont think there's really any 'perfect' way to balance out adepts vs samies. I mean overall the BP thing sorta balances out. Out of CG an adept can do a wide range of nifty things, but they have to take a serious cut on the BP side to pay for the magic stat, and then they still need a decent chunk for gear. Leaving alot less for stats, attributes and really more importantly, skills.

Sammies on the other hand just have to pay for gear + ware, it's really cheap now and generally I've found have alot more left over to play with skill side. So it really comes out about even.

ANd finding the proper cash/Karma balance is an issue too. And then to add onto it further, it's really hard to do certain things with adepts now without seriously gimping yourself. Best example I have is Shadowrun: Seattle basically is doing a restart once they get their SR4 system done up. I -wanted- initally to recreate my adept sniper simply under the system. But I cant really and here's why. (their not doing conversions, but a total wipe, start from scratch thing)

What happend with my char under the SR3 system is basically this. I make the char, full 6 magic points, stat out the skills, even initate once, nab a few more nifty adept abiliites ™. Then I wound up on a really really nasty (but very well paying run) where I was sniping at a convoy (3 trucks, 4 security vehicles, couple of drones, and later on a pair of light attack choppers). The convoy had heavy security, each security car had a full team of 4 guys, with LAWs, each truck had one mage, one driver, one rigger with drones.

ANyway, so I start sniping away, and obviously kick up a hornets nests (there were I think 7 runners all told on the team, 2 of us were sniping, couple were magical suport rest were misc hit & run kinda thing). Eventualy they managed to spot me, and since at this poitn I was the only one they'd actually spoted the physical location of, all hell broke loose. And I had to deal with the fun time of trying to soak 3 deadly one serious level elemtnal spell, 1 near miss with a LAW (Caught in blast radius), being shot on burst fire with ares alphas several times and being engulfed by a fire elmeent all with a body of 5 and a heavy helping of armor.

End result, I spent almost all my KP wind up a few boxes into overflow and just barely make my willpower roll. yadda yadda stuff goes on, end of the run I manage to survive have to trauma patch and all that fun stuff, kcik in magic loss rules I some how avoid all magic loss, but I loose an arm. Ok no real biggie. Contact a fixer get sent off for a replacement arm. I obviously stated the desire for a cloned replacement.

So I go nighty night, the PC run fixer (this was on the MUSH so lotta PCs) buggers up not realizing I'm an adept (dont ask me how but almost -everyone- thought I was a regular street samie boosted with bioware or something) has me fixed up with a basic obvious cyberarm. OUCH. Save vs magic loss for non magic friendly surgery, loose one poitn anyawy because my essence drops a whooping 1 point, geasa it to avoid loss. and boom. I now had an adept with a cyberarm and a serious depression issue.

Now obviously out of the basic 400BP I cant totally recreate all that, but the thing is, not only can i oviously not quite get at the same starting point but to even retain 5 Magic, I have to waste 25BP to get a 6 in magic, then spend yet more BP to buy the cyberarm. Then also of course upgrade the cyberarmt omatch the other stats etc etc etc. Leaving me extremely tight on BP for actually useful things.

With SR4 being even more lethal and the MUSH setting being rather unforgiving, as much as I'd almost say I'd bit the BP bullet anyway, it... doesnt really make sense. WHich is abit of a pitty because I kinda liked the RP that forced uppon situation generated, but because of RL and various goigns on on teh MUSH I never really got to explore that sort of semi burnt out adept bit at all. And just basically going through the same thing with the char under SR4 now means not only do I have to pay initation but also pay to raise the magic attribute seperately doubling my karma costs. I'd have to really love inflicting pain uppon my own characters to put myself that horribly behind any other character wobble.gif
QUOTE (noneuklid)
Also, as you say (slightly paraphrased), if you raise your strength later, your arm isn't going to get better because it doesn't have any biological components.

Of course, that's only logical.
QUOTE (Nyx @ Dec 7 2006, 02:39 PM)
QUOTE (noneuklid @ Dec 7 2006, 10:40 AM)
Yup.† In SR4, limbs have a base of 3 in each attribute, and you may add up to 3 points without the need for a cybertorso.† This is fine -- even great -- for your average human, who might have been a 2 STR Joe Shmoe before the accident that took off their arm.† But for Sammies who like to run up to their augmented attribute, or for Orks in general, it's not so hot.

Just wait for Augmentation... cyber.gif


I'd like to be able to play Shadowrun BEFORE augmentation comes out. Since the cyberlimb rules are broken and unusable I need houserules now.

[Edited to unbreak the thread -- Adam]
QUOTE (noneuklid)

Let's think about the Orks for a moment, shall we?  Nobody ever thinks of the Orks.

I *always* think of the orks. See my .sig. wink.gif

I too find it odd that Orks and Trolls get hosed by cyberlimbs. I think it's generally accepted that you can bring over the racial averages idea from SR3 without any big issues, and explain it all away by just saying "Physiological differences."

Why can't a body 6/str 6 human wear an ork arm? Orks are still built differently. It's muscles and bones and nerves and stuff. Shush.

QUOTE (noneuklid)

5 points for +3 passes?  Why bother?

You're oversimplifying this a bit.

A few keys points, also discussed later:

1. It is a trade off - 12 extra bp, plus 32 of your 50 gear bp for the +2. +3 is 5 points, which is huge, but also the only way to get 4 passes, which is also huge.

2. Drugs are fine. Drug addiction rules are pretty damn nasty.
QUOTE (lorechaser)
Why can't a body 6/str 6 human wear an ork arm? Orks are still built differently. It's muscles and bones and nerves and stuff. Shush.

This is the answer I've always used in my games.
Don't forget the "shush". It's very important. smile.gif
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