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Astral Space, Essence, and the Awakened

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Time, Pool, and the Flow of Combat
_________________________________________________
Decided:
(All of these are subject to reopening for discussion should there be any strong argument for a different path)
_________________________________________________
In progress:

1) Cyberlimbs are nearly worthless

They cost more than meat arms, are weak for all but very crippled characters, and eat Essence like there's no tomorrow. This is Shadowrun, people should be chopping off perfectly good arms to get at that sweet, cyberlimb goodness.

Proposed changes: cyberlimbs/partial limbs, the cybertorso, and the cyberskull have their Essence cost divided by 2 and their Nuyen cost divided by 5. Speed and Strength upgrades for cyberlimbs also receive this Essence and Nuyen reduction.

Also, we should consider whether we need to change the formula or guidelines for unbalanced strength. Any thoughts?
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1) Cyberlimbs are nearly worthless

They cost more than meat arms, are weak for all but very crippled characters, and eat Essence like there's no tomorrow. This is Shadowrun, people should be chopping off perfectly good arms to get at that sweet, crunchy cyberlimb goodness.

Proposed changes: cyberlimbs/partial limbs, the cybertorso, and the cyberskull have their Essence cost divided by 2 and their Nuyen cost divided by 5. Speed and Strength upgrades for cyberlimbs also receive this Essence and Nuyen reduction.

Also, we should consider whether we need to change the formula or guidelines for unbalanced strength. Any thoughts?

~J
Crossfire
I totally agree. Plus, the cost for improving strength and quickness is way too high and I'm not even talking of the rules concerning multiple limbs!!! I've seen more than one player reading the cyberlimbs rules for 5 sec than decide to play an adept or a mage lol.

Peace!

Crossfire
Kyoto Kid
...Almost, almost considered getting cyberfeet for Leela (so she could get those nifty built-in inline rollerblades), even worked it into her backstory. Alas, buying up the attribute mods to where her augmented quickness attribute was at were way too spendy to make it worthwhile.

Same goes for the Cyber + Shock Hand combo, neat until you have to buy up the Strength/Quickness mod to match the character' attributes.

I always thought the Cyberskull would be great for a decker with a headware cyberdeck.
Kagetenshi
Another proposal was to have the cyberlimb begin at the base strength of the character at implantation. While that may, from some perspectives, have realism issues, it seems the sanest way to handle things.

Thoughts?

~J
tisoz
How was it done in previous editions? I do not recall problems until late SR2 or SR3, but we may have been ignoring some rules back then.

If no one recalls off hand, I have the old books and can look. It will not help with the cost too much, other than the slight reduction in obvious cyberlimbs as IIRC all cyberlimbs used to be obvious.

My opinion is that a full body replacement should not cost more than 6 essence. The rationale being, the recipient only has 6 essence worth of body to begin with, if it is cut away, where is more than 6 points coming from? Using this logic, perhaps the total cyber replacements that can be packed into an individual should be determined, then the relative impact of each piece of cyberware determined as a ratio of the total. The individual piece of cyber might cost slightly more as a stand alone piece as it loses the benefit of attaching to/working with other cyberware.

The previous rationale would pretty much make cyberzombies (less than 0 essence) impossible, but that actually makes some sense to me. As long as there is meat left, there should be essence left.

Is the irony of losing a body part costing no essence until it is replaced with cyber going to be addressed? As it is now, if you lose an eye and decide to wear an eye patch, you lose no essence. The eye is gone. Insert a cybereye though and you lose essence. Same goes for a limb or anything really. The only problem I see reconciling the situation with current rules is if the person is awaiting a cloned part, when they are then restored to full body and full essence. The solution I see is a virtual essence loss for missing, unreplaced body parts that either becomes permanent essence loss when the cyber is attached or essence is restored when the cloned part is inserted.
Kagetenshi
The game disagrees with your rationale, since one can get to -4 Essence by only augmenting the nervous system (Wired-3 + VCR-3).

Although it makes sense in this thread as well, the question of "what is Essence" already has a thread. See the navigation chart, it's "Astral Space, Essence, and the Awakened".

~J
tisoz
As is, I agree, and pointed out my way of thinking means cyberzombies, or characters below 0 essence, are no longer feasable. If essence costs are reduced for limbs, why should they remain so high for Wired Reflexes 3 and Vehicle Control Rig 3? (Although those 2 examples in combination could be explained as having the same "meat" removed for each, so if combined in the same individual should get a synergetic essence and price break by not including the redundant parts, or not extracting the same meat twice.)
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (tisoz)
If essence costs are reduced for limbs, why should they remain so high for Wired Reflexes 3 and Vehicle Control Rig 3?

The issue wasn't (by itself) that cyberlimbs were expensive (in cost or Essence). The issue was that cyberlimbs, as a package, sucked. WR3 and VCR3 do not suffer the same issue, though WR3 is as far as I can tell a weaker choice than VCR3ópossibly too weak. Nevertheless, it does not obviously suck the way cyberlimbs did.

~J
nezumi
In addition to reducing the essence and monetary cost of cyberlimbs, there should be some other basic advantages...

It should 'come with' the base Strength and Quickness closer to 5 for a human. I can't think of any reason why they wouldn't produce the limbs so they're better than a human limb by default (well, except cost nyahnyah.gif). If people want to get balanced strength, it's easier to deactivate stuff that's already there than have more put on. Let cyberlimbs accept the standard increases after that (so a human can boost its strength up to 8 without losing essence).

It should also have some other basic advantages. It should never get tired, so a pair of cyberlegs means you don't have to roll Body checks during forced marches, nor do you have to roll a body test when hanging from something with your cyberarm. It should come with a default amount of armor, probably 2/2 per limb. The limb is made out of steel, not flesh, so it is inherently resistant to damage. It should count as +1 recoil compensation, since it is easy to make it "lock up" when the gun fires, holding it steady. This is twice as likely with a Smartlink, when the gun can tell the cyberlimb when exactly its going to fire, and get the cyberlimb to react accordingly.

Also, upgrading the limb to alpha or beta or whatever should increase, not decrease the available ECUs.
HullBreach
My understanding (taking into account this is mostly from SR2) on essence loss was that there are essentially two 'templates' to the body: the physical and the spiritual. When the physical is altered, it resembles the spiritual less, and as such things like magic become harder to manifest. Once a certain level of differnce is acheived between these templates, the spirit (or soul if your so inclined) of the individual tends to lose touch with the body and wander off to oblivion. This is why cyber-zombies require so much work to create.

Now, in the case of a limb, once the meat is gone, there is no longer any connection between that portion of the spiritual and physical templates, and as such any further modifacation to that limb should be completely irrelavant in terms of essence, unless it requires further modifacation to the meat side of things.

This is the reasoning behind why in SR2 smartlinks only cost half as much for folks with a cyberarm, and spurs and the like were free (in terms of essence) when installed into a cyberlimb.

I always liked the 'template' description, as it established a basis for why you could only modify a body so much before it withered and died. With this in mind, one must realize that 6 essence is not the whole of a bodies essence, but it is how much one can 'spend' before ones spirit (soul) stops recognizing its digs and wanders off.
Darkest Angel
QUOTE
Also, upgrading the limb to alpha or beta or whatever should increase, not decrease the available ECUs.

It certainly shouldn't decrease available ECU, although for Alpha I'd probably say it made no difference, but beta and delta should certainly free up more space.

QUOTE
This is the reasoning behind why in SR2 smartlinks only cost half as much for folks with a cyberarm, and spurs and the like were free (in terms of essence) when installed into a cyberlimb.

This was still true in SR3, a whole array of things were made easier on the essence in M&M when installed in a cyberlimb.

I certainly think cyberlimbs are far more costly on the nuyen front than necessary, especially when you added in strength and quickness enhancements. Essence on the other hand, it's about replacing the living with the machine, you're giving over what makes you (meta)human to something that just isn't alive anymore. VCRs and WR at high levels do make you that much more machine than man because they provide you with capabilities far beyond your normal self.

However, I disagree with the "once it's gone it's gone" principal, if you have cyber removed, essence should slowly come back, maybe at a rate of one point a year (or 0.08 a month) or something.
Thane36425
One reason cyberarms have a lower strength rating is that the human average STR is 3. The designers didn't want to unbalance the body making it much stronger on one side that the other. Another reason cyberarms aren't super strong is that they are still attatched to a meat body. Just because an arm might be capable of lifting, say, a small car doesn't mean that trying to do so wouldn't rip the arm off the character as the flesh gave way. Mounting it to a cybertorso should fix that, but then the lifting problem would be shifted to the meat legs which would buckle. Now, if the whole body had the same strength rating, you could say the body was hardened to that degree and wouldn't have a problem, using the max strength of the arm that is.

Cyberlegs would reduce marching fatigue, but not eliminate it. The legs do most of the work, but the upper body and arms still do a lot of work too, especially if carrying a weapon and a loaded pack. So, aerobic strain on the body might be reduced by 50% or more, but it wouldn't be completely eliminated.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Darkest Angel)
However, I disagree with the "once it's gone it's gone" principal, if you have cyber removed, essence should slowly come back

FWIW I disagree with you, but I'd definitely listen to your argument in favour of this over on the "Astral Space, Essence, and the Awakened" thread (linked in the first post).

~J
HullBreach
QUOTE (Thane36425 @ Mar 3 2007, 07:46 PM)
So, aerobic strain on the body might be reduced by 50% or more, but it wouldn't be completely eliminated.

You make a great point here that never occured to me before. As cyberlimbs do not use blood, they would not put any strain on the cardiovascular system, as the body would still have the same capacity for gas exchange via the lungs, despite the lower load on the system as a whole, and the lower overall volume of blood in the system.

EDIT: Sorry for the stringy sentance there, but the point is: A cyberlimb user would have greater stamina and endurance not just because of the mechanical limbs nature, but the somewhat unintended side effects on the users physiology.
Darkest Angel
Except your lung capacity would decrease, as it does with any lack of excercise. Plus you're now lugging 10Kg of steel where your arm was!
HullBreach
QUOTE (Darkest Angel)
Except your lung capacity would decrease, as it does with any lack of excercise. Plus you're now lugging 10Kg of steel where your arm was!

Could the atrophy on lung capacity be staved off with drug therapy?
Fix-it
QUOTE (Darkest Angel)
Except your lung capacity would decrease, as it does with any lack of excercise. Plus you're now lugging 10Kg of steel where your arm was!

would lugging 10kg of steel around not be considered exercise?
Darkest Angel
QUOTE (HullBreach)
QUOTE (Darkest Angel @ Mar 3 2007, 08:10 PM)
Except your lung capacity would decrease, as it does with any lack of excercise.  Plus you're now lugging 10Kg of steel where your arm was!

Could the atrophy on lung capacity be staved off with drug therapy?

Dangerous path for someone lacking in essence anyway. There probably is something that could help though.

QUOTE (Fix-it)
would lugging 10kg of steel around not be considered exercise?

To an extent I guess your body would guess used to it - you'd certainly gain muscle mass, but that's not directly related to cadiovascular output. My mate is into the whole body building thing with his protein shakes and daily visits to the gym, sure he can throw stuff around, but he can't run for drek.
nezumi
Body building can be done either for strength or endurance, since different exercises focus on different types of muscles. I suspect carrying extra mass would work on both, but primarily endurance.

Any decrease in lung capacity isn't likely to put the guy lower than he was before, so I'm not too worried about him coming out worse for the wear. Plus, most characters don't live past a year in game time anyway, so who's counting?

DA, do you have a suggestion for what bonuses or penalties a cyberlimb would confer?
SirBedevere
I've been thinking about cyberware costs (Essence and nuyen.gif )

Here's a document I sent to my gaming group with my ideas so far:

Suggested Changes to Cyberware


The vast majority of cyberware is not used by, nor designed for, Shadowrunners. It is designed to be used by; ordinary consumers, corporate workers, corporate security and the military. I have tried to alter things with this in mind; and with the explanation of essence loss in the introduction of Man and Machine.

Level 1 Rigwires: Reduce price to 6,000• from 12,000• Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.


HEADWARE

Brainware

Chipjack: Reduce price to 600• from 1000•. Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.

Datajack: Reduce price to 200• from 1000• Used by so many economies of scale and competition come into play.

Encephalon: As per SR2 rules

Knowsoft Link: Reduce cost to 250• from 1,000•. Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.

Maths SPU: Reduce cost to 1,000•, 2,500• & 5,500• from 2,000•, 5,000• & 11,000•. Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.


Communications

Radio Transceiver: Reduce Essence loss to 0.1 from 0.75. Connections to brain arenít almost four times that of the eyes (0.2 Essence). Reduce cost to (Rating x 200•) from (Rating x 2000•) Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.

Radio Receiver: Reduce Essence loss to 0.05 from 0.4. Connections to brain arenít twice that of the eyes (0.2 Essence). Reduce cost to (Rating x 100•) from (Rating x 1000•) Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.

Subvocal Microphones: Reduce Essence loss to 0.05 from 0.1. Connections to brain arenít half that of the eyes (0.2 Essence). Reduce cost to 200• from 850• Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.

Telephone: Reduce Essence loss to 0.1 from 0.5. Connections to brain arenít more than twice that of the eyes (0.2 Essence). Reduce cost to 300• from 3,700•) Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.

BODYWARE

Auto-injector:
Reusable: Reduce cost to 600• from 1,000•. So many people require drugs for ongoing conditions, that therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.
Extra Dose Capacity: Reduce cost to 50• from 500•. So many people require drugs for ongoing conditions, that therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.

Balance Tail: Increase Essence loss to 0.75 from 0.5. Requires an enormous number of connections to the Central Nervous System, particularly the expert system. Increase cost to 25,000• from 10,000•. Demand for such a thing low so no economies of scale.

Biomonitor: As there is no connection to the CNS, there is no Essence loss. Reduce cost to 500• from 5,000•. Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.
Diagnosis Processor: As there is no connection to the CNS, there is no Essence loss. Reduce cost to 200• from 2,000•. Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.
Subdermal Display: As there is no connection to the CNS, there is no Essence loss.
The Biomonitor and its subsidiaries can, of course, be connected to other devices by DNI or Router.

Body Compartment: As there is no connection to the CNS, there is no Essence loss. The Legality rating should be changed to Ď6P-Ní, as this is not something that ordinary everyday folks would need. The number of body compartments is limited by practicality.

Bone Lacing: No Essence loss, no increase to armour, although increase to Body and Hand to Hand damage still apply. Bone lacing does not involve connections to the Central Nervous System, therefore no Essence loss. Bone lacing does not protect surface of body, therefore no armour bonus. Obviously a character can only have one type of bone lacing. It cannot be removed (at least not without very great difficulty).

Wired Reflexes involve connections to the CNS and the brain and can be switched off or used at a lower rating.

Wired Reflexes: Reaction Increase: Essence Loss: Cost (•):
Level 1 +2R +1d6 1.0 55,000
Level 2 +4R +2d6 2.5 165,000
Level 3 +6R +3d6 5.0 500,000

Fingertip Compartment: As there is no connection to the CNS, there is no Essence loss. The Legality rating should be changed to Ď6P-Ní, as this is not something that ordinary everyday folks would need.

Muscle Replacement: Reduce Essence loss to 0.2 per rating from 1.0 per rating. The idea that a level of muscle replacement requires five times the connections of the eyes is just silly.


Cyberlimbs should cost less, due to the number of nerve pathways. Standard cyberlimbs now cost 0.5 Essence.
SirBedevere
Kagetenshi as you see I agree with your suggestion for cyberlimbs. I also agree with your ideas on cyber skull/torso.

I do think we should still go with the cyberzombie concept; they make tough and creepy opponents.
Thane36425
QUOTE (SirBedevere)
I've been thinking about cyberware costs (Essence and nuyen.gif )

Here's a document I sent to my gaming group with my ideas so far:

Suggested Changes to Cyberware


The vast majority of cyberware is not used by, nor designed for, Shadowrunners. It is designed to be used by; ordinary consumers, corporate workers, corporate security and the military. I have tried to alter things with this in mind; and with the explanation of essence loss in the introduction of Man and Machine.

Level 1 Rigwires: Reduce price to 6,000• from 12,000• Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.


HEADWARE

Brainware

Chipjack: Reduce price to 600• from 1000•. Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.

Datajack: Reduce price to 200• from 1000• Used by so many economies of scale and competition come into play.

Encephalon: As per SR2 rules

Knowsoft Link: Reduce cost to 250• from 1,000•. Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.

Maths SPU: Reduce cost to 1,000•, 2,500• & 5,500• from 2,000•, 5,000• & 11,000•. Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.


Communications

Radio Transceiver: Reduce Essence loss to 0.1 from 0.75. Connections to brain arenít almost four times that of the eyes (0.2 Essence). Reduce cost to (Rating x 200•) from (Rating x 2000•) Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.

Radio Receiver: Reduce Essence loss to 0.05 from 0.4. Connections to brain arenít twice that of the eyes (0.2 Essence). Reduce cost to (Rating x 100•) from (Rating x 1000•) Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.

Subvocal Microphones: Reduce Essence loss to 0.05 from 0.1. Connections to brain arenít half that of the eyes (0.2 Essence). Reduce cost to 200• from 850• Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.

Telephone: Reduce Essence loss to 0.1 from 0.5. Connections to brain arenít more than twice that of the eyes (0.2 Essence). Reduce cost to 300• from 3,700•) Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.

BODYWARE

Auto-injector:
Reusable: Reduce cost to 600• from 1,000•. So many people require drugs for ongoing conditions, that therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.
Extra Dose Capacity: Reduce cost to 50• from 500•. So many people require drugs for ongoing conditions, that therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.

Balance Tail: Increase Essence loss to 0.75 from 0.5. Requires an enormous number of connections to the Central Nervous System, particularly the expert system. Increase cost to 25,000• from 10,000•. Demand for such a thing low so no economies of scale.

Biomonitor: As there is no connection to the CNS, there is no Essence loss. Reduce cost to 500• from 5,000•. Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.
Diagnosis Processor: As there is no connection to the CNS, there is no Essence loss. Reduce cost to 200• from 2,000•. Very useful so demand high and therefore economies of scale and competition come into play.
Subdermal Display: As there is no connection to the CNS, there is no Essence loss.
The Biomonitor and its subsidiaries can, of course, be connected to other devices by DNI or Router.

Body Compartment: As there is no connection to the CNS, there is no Essence loss. The Legality rating should be changed to Ď6P-Ní, as this is not something that ordinary everyday folks would need. The number of body compartments is limited by practicality.

Bone Lacing: No Essence loss, no increase to armour, although increase to Body and Hand to Hand damage still apply. Bone lacing does not involve connections to the Central Nervous System, therefore no Essence loss. Bone lacing does not protect surface of body, therefore no armour bonus. Obviously a character can only have one type of bone lacing. It cannot be removed (at least not without very great difficulty).

Wired Reflexes involve connections to the CNS and the brain and can be switched off or used at a lower rating.

Wired Reflexes: Reaction Increase: Essence Loss: Cost (•):
Level 1 +2R +1d6 1.0 55,000
Level 2 +4R +2d6 2.5 165,000
Level 3 +6R +3d6 5.0 500,000

Fingertip Compartment: As there is no connection to the CNS, there is no Essence loss. The Legality rating should be changed to Ď6P-Ní, as this is not something that ordinary everyday folks would need.

Muscle Replacement: Reduce Essence loss to 0.2 per rating from 1.0 per rating. The idea that a level of muscle replacement requires five times the connections of the eyes is just silly.


Cyberlimbs should cost less, due to the number of nerve pathways. Standard cyberlimbs now cost 0.5 Essence.

Economy of scale only goes so far. There will always be a minimum cost coming from materials, plant and equipment, labor, design, etc. Also, the cost of cyberware includes the cost of having it implanted. Those medical costs will be even less flexible than the cyberware itself.

Rather than lower costs of the cyberware, paying more for runs.
Kagetenshi
I'll cover the rest when I have time, but I very much disagree with slashing the Datajack's cost so much. Given how closely connected to very, very sensitive brain-meats it is, its current price already stretches credibility.

~J
HullBreach
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
I'll cover the rest when I have time, but I very much disagree with slashing the Datajack's cost so much. Given how closely connected to very, very sensitive brain-meats it is, its current price already stretches credibility.

~J

It'll be a cool day when we can penetrate the menges without fear of infection.
nezumi
I would have to agree with what's been said so far. The price of installation alone should mean that no piece of cyber should ever be below around 750 nuyen.gif (discounting the price of the actual hardware). No piece of moving, 'functional' ware (discounting the cost of installation) should not be below 200 nuyen.gif. 1,000 nuyen.gif really isn't very much, and this is a one-time cost (certainly with excellent finance plans).
Darkest Angel
QUOTE (nezumi)
DA, do you have a suggestion for what bonuses or penalties a cyberlimb would confer?

Umm yeah, you can hold a cyberarm above your head indefinately and it wont go numb spin.gif

Seriously though, I'd have to have a proper think about other things - kinda like the reduced fatigue for cyberlegs on running/forced marches. You should be able to add extra ECU too, you could easily pad things out to make it look more beefy so you could fit a CrashCart or RCD in it.
Sphynx
I know I've posted this a few times, but here are some game-mechanic changes in our system for Cyberlimbs.

1) Arms start at the maximum racial bonus of the character's race.

Reasoning being thematic and realism. Thematic: Cyberpunk genre. Can you honestly imagine a metal arm being weaker than your meat-arm? A metal hand should be able to crush a person's skull. Realism: I work with hydraulics every day. To make something with hydraulics (which cyber-arms are suppose to be using) that was weaker than a meat-arm but not prone to breaking and leakage within 10 uses requires infinitely more work to accomplish.

2) The ECU of arms works like the Essence of eyes. Multiply the ECU-requirement of cyberlimb accessories by the grade bonus of the arm. So, an item that would take 1 ECU would take up 0.80 ECU in an Alpha Grade cyberlimb. Grades of cyberlimbs do not decrease capacity.

Cyberlimbs and 1 other item are the most 'broken' cyberware in the game. The other item is Muscle Replacement.

Muscle Replacement is stupid. If you allocated enough resources to get Muscle Replacement at a level that is interesting to the character, you'd be better off buying Muscle Toner/Augmentation, so that your 'natural' attributes are higher allowing you to use skills.

Our own House Rule has been to ignore the problem, after all, who's going to use it? But it would be interesting to come up with some rule that makes it usable in preference to the bioware....

I'm not crazy about re-writing the cyberware essence and costs, especially if you want the 'revised' to be more accepted by people. However, it would make sense that 'basic' grade has evolved to a more 'alpha' grade level. Ie: 0.8 vs 1.0 for a full limb, allowing for 'alpha grade' to cost '0.64' now. Means you can get a full 4-limb replacement for 3.76 in Alpha Grade. nuyen.gif should remain the same I think. (Basic cost for the Alpha level adjustment of 0.80)
SirBedevere
I was adjusting the costs from 'Man & Machine' and IIRC that cost is excluding surgery.
nezumi
I don't mind muscle replacement being outpaced. It's been around since first edition. The idea of 'newer and better' gives a sense of progress for the whole metaplot. Frankly, I'm a little surprised that wired reflexes and VCRs have changed so little in 15 years (of course, now WR is partially replaced by reaction boosters+synaptic accelerator, so there's progress for you).

But that still doesn't explain why cyberlimbs have actually gotten WORSE after sixty years of development.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (nezumi @ Mar 5 2007, 09:27 AM)
I don't mind muscle replacement being outpaced.  It's been around since first edition.

In my opinion, not a good way to handle this. Obsolete 'ware just takes up space in the book. While I understand that it's more realistic to have continual advancement, that requires a power creep, useless 'ware cluttering up the game, or both.

Unless someone has a very persuasive argument, 'ware that's flat-out never worth taking (or almost never) will be either fixed or removed entirely.

~J
nezumi
Power creep over 20 YEARS IRL time and 30 in game does not seem like a bad thing to me. It's not like everyone said 'woo, SR3, I'm sure it'll have more powerful stuff than SR2!' And the difference is really fairly minor.

If your concern is you want to save that one extra line in the main manual for all the people who have both that AND M&M AND will never have another reason for using muscle replacement... I don't know what to say. I'm not going to cry over one wasted line, and as someone who is currently running a BBB-only game, it's actually kinda useful. None of the characters have bioware, so they're happy to use the cyber version. (In other words, under some circumstances, that cyberware IS worth taking, although you may consider those circumstances extenuating. I can guarantee you, if you do actually make an SR3R manual before... 2009, there will be at least one player who continues to use muscle replacement, because he's in my game right now.)

I'd say drop the issue and continue on. If we're going to spend weeks debating how best to use a single line in a single book, we're never going to get anywhere, and it's not like either piece of ware are especially unbalanced.
Sphynx
I assume however, that SR3R will include Bioware, making it useless to have Muscle Replacement. And honestly, even using just the BBB, I've never known anyone to take Muscle Replacement except in maybe their very first cyber character.

But still, I agree with Nezumi in that it's a "core" item to Shadowrun. It shouldn't be deleted as much as 'fixed'. Your muscles are kinda 'steel' (yeah, I know it's some sort of calcium and vat grown bioware or something), that should offer more than just Strength and Quickness, that should add to Body and maybe Impact Armour as well. Something so that a full Muscle Replacement with Titanium Bone Lacing makes you a scary thing. Just my opinion....
nezumi
QUOTE (Sphynx @ Mar 6 2007, 01:44 AM)
I assume however, that SR3R will include Bioware, making it useless to have Muscle Replacement.  And honestly, even using just the BBB, I've never known anyone to take Muscle Replacement except in maybe their very first cyber character. 

From what I understand, Kage will make something that will update existing books, so my main manual will have just cyber, but it will have SR3R cyber. M&M will have bioware, but SR3R bio. Even though SR3R will cover bio, the main book still won't, so my game still won't.

Like I said, I know a character who uses it smile.gif If we should eliminate things based simply on use, why aren't we tossing the standard chipjack? The retinal clock? Hand razors? Balance tail? There is tons of gear that none of us have seen in use. Should we nix it all? Should we optimize the system to how we think it should be played, so people don't have the option of playing a lesser character? It would seem to me that this is not only beyond the scope of SR3R, it is ultimately detrimental, since we cannot reliably predict what a player might find as useful, or know all the things that players have previously found as useful.

I wouldn't mind if muscle replacements offered other boosts, but I really don't feel its strictly necessary.


First they came for the muscle replacement, and I said nothing...
Link
Is Muscle Replacement compatible with Muscle Augmentation? I'm sure no book says otherwise.

As most cyberware has been around since either SR1 or Shadowtech the cyberware technology curve is about 4 years long as far as obsolescence goes.

As Sphynx said, I think it makes sense that cyberlimbs match the body's attributes. When attributes rise a quick tweak by the cyberdoc soups the limb up to the new rating. Flesh is weak... Steel you can trust!
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (nezumi)
From what I understand, Kage will make something that will update existing books, so my main manual will have just cyber, but it will have SR3R cyber. M&M will have bioware, but SR3R bio. Even though SR3R will cover bio, the main book still won't, so my game still won't.

Just want to mention that this is my hope. The details of the PDF specification, as well as simple layout issues, may end up nixing this plan. Nevertheless, once the project gets further, I intend to try this. If not, I'll be making my own rulebook with a lot of "See SR3 pXX"s for the parts we don't change.

Eventually.

~J
Sphynx
The difference between the Muscle Replacement and the other items you listed is their seemingly unbalanced costs in comparisson. It's just not viable to expend so much of your limited essence for so little. That, and the description pretty much states that it is Bioware. It is outdated, both thematicly (what doctor would recommend it over the real-deal, less intrusive bioware?) and for a player.

While I agree it shouldn't be removed, it does need, just like cyberlimbs, a re-think to either make it worth the costs, or adjust those costs.
Sphynx
QUOTE (Link)
As Sphynx said, I think it makes sense that cyberlimbs match the body's attributes. When attributes rise a quick tweak by the cyberdoc soups the limb up to the new rating. Flesh is weak... Steel you can trust!

Just a quick interuption here. nyahnyah.gif I didn't really say that. I said they should start at racial max. (Ie: 6 strength for human and elf, 8 for dwarf and orc, 12 for a troll).
Link
QUOTE
Reasoning being thematic and realism. Thematic: Cyberpunk genre. Can you honestly imagine a metal arm being weaker than your meat-arm? A metal hand should be able to crush a person's skull. Realism: I work with hydraulics every day. To make something with hydraulics (which cyber-arms are suppose to be using) that was weaker than a meat-arm but not prone to breaking and leakage within 10 uses requires infinitely more work to accomplish.

I was referring more to your reasoning, probably. wink.gif

On the subject of redundant 'ware I have pasted below a list I made back in the day to deal with redundancy while preserving old cyberware (maintaining the old look n' feel) as my games seem quite inter-generational with rules and equipment. For each item the 1st line is the old 'ware and the ones below it are its component pieces. Some components are new and there is usually a package deal on price and/or essence. (Note that it's somewhat unfinished)

CODE
Name Essence Price Type Legality Availability Index Reference
     
[B]Camera 0.4 5,000• H Legal 6/24 hrs 2.0 sr2.247[/B]
Cyber-video camera 0.2 2,000•  Legal  
Low-Light 0.2 3,000• H Legal 4/36 hrs 1.25 sr2.247
Memory 60Mp 0.1 3,000• I Legal 3/24 hrs 0.8 tek.44
     
[B]Cybercomm Link 0.4 62,000• H 5-CB 8/2 weeks 3.0 cyt.18[/B]
Cyber-Transceiver 10 0.4 Rating x 1,000• H Legal 2/24 hrs 0.8
Display Link 0.1 1,000• I Legal 4/36 hrs 1.0 sr2.247
Encryption 10 0.1 Rating x 4,000•  8P-W As device 1.0 sr3.290
Transducer 0.1 2,000• C Legal 4/1 wk 1.5 mm.19
     
Dr. Spott Smartcam Implant 0.2 10,000• H Legal 8/48 hrs 1.5 sbt.89
     
[B]Eyecrafters Opticam Package 0.5 20,000• H Legal 6/40 hrs 1.25 sbt.89
Electronic Magnification 1 0.1 3,500• S Legal 5/48 hrs 1.0 sr3.300[/B]
Low-Light 0.2 3,000• H Legal 4/36 hrs 1.25 sr2.247
Opticam (Trid) 0.3 15,000• S Legal 5/72 hrs 2.0 sr3.300
Thermographic 0.2 3,000• H Legal 4/36 hrs 1.25 sr2.247
     
[B]Radio 0.75 Rating x 2,000• H Legal 2/24 hrs 0.8 sr3.298[/B]
Commlink 0.15 Rating x 500• H Legal 3/48 hrs 1.0 sr3.298
Cyber-Jammer ECM 0.3 Rating x 1,500•  4P-V Rating/72 hrs 1.5
Cyber-Transceiver 0.4 Rating x 1,000• H Legal 2/24 hrs 0.8
Display Link 0.1 1,000• I Legal 4/36 hrs 1.0 sr2.247
Encryption 0.1 Rating x 4,000•  8P-W As device 1.0 sr3.290
     
[B]Radio Receiver 0.4 Rating x 1,000• H Legal 2/24 hrs 0.8 sr3.298[/B]
Commlink 0.15 Rating x 500• H Legal 3/48 hrs 1.0 sr3.298
Cyber-Receiver 0.2 Rating x 500•  Legal  
Display Link 0.1 1,000• I Legal 4/36 hrs 1.0 sr2.247
Encryption 0.1 Rating x 4,000•  8P-W As device 1.0 sr3.290
     
SIMRIGS      
Sense Link (Baseline Simrig) 2 or .2? 300,000• I Legal 8/12 days 3.0 ssc.83
     
[B]Internal Transmitter 0.6 80,000• I 8P-CA 3/5 days 1.5 ssc.83[/B]
Baseline-radio converter 0.1   Legal  
Cyber-Transceiver 0.4 Rating x 1,000• H Legal 2/24 hrs 0.8
Encryption 0.1 Rating x 4,000•  8P-W As device 1.0 sr3.290
     
Full-X Simrig 2 500,000• I Legal 6/12 days 3.0 sbt.97
     
[B]Internal Simlink (Rating 1-10) 0.6 +(rx.05) 70K• + (10K• x r) I[/B] 8P-CA 3/5 days 1.5 sbt.97
Cyber-Transceiver 0.4 Rating x 1,000• H Legal 2/24 hrs 0.8
Encryption 0.1 Rating x 4,000•  8P-W As device 1.0 sr3.290
Full-X-radio converter 0.1   Legal  
     
[B]Skill Hardwires Level x 0.2 Mp x rating x 250• B    ssc.88[/B]
Level 1-4   Legal 6/10 days 1.0
Level 5-8   6P-CB 12/14 days 1.5
Level 9-10   4P-CB 12/14 days 1.5
     
Smartcam Link 0.5 2,500• B Legal 8/48 hrs 1.5 sbt.90
     
[B]Telephone 0.5 3,700• H Legal 3/24 hrs 0.9 sr2.247[/B]
Cyber-mobile 0.3   Legal  
Encryption 0.1 Rating x 4,000•  8P-W As device 1.0 sr3.290
Image Link 0.2 1,600• H Legal 4/48 hrs 2.0 cyt.19
Sub vocal microphone, Internal 0.1 850• H Legal 4/72 hrs 2.0 cyt.18
     
[B]Video Link 0.5 22,000• I Legal 4/48 hrs 1.0 ssc.84[/B]
Electronic Magnification 1 0.1 3,500• S Legal 5/48 hrs 1.0 sr3.300
Low-Light 0.2 3,000• H Legal 4/36 hrs 1.25 sr2.247
Opticam (Trid) 0.3 15,000• S Legal 5/72 hrs 2.0 sr3.300
Thermographic 0.2 3,000• H Legal 4/36 hrs 1.25 sr2.247
     
[B]Vid Link Internal Transmitter 0.4 4,500• I Legal 6/48 hrs 1.0 ssc.84[/B]
Cyber-Transceiver 0.4 Rating x 1,000• H Legal 2/24 hrs 0.8
Encryption 0.1 Rating x 4,000•  8P-W As device 1.0 sr3.290
Trid-radio converter 0.1   Legal  
     
Memory Mp/600 Mp x 50• I Legal 3/24 hrs 0.8 tek.44
Kyoto Kid
...ahhhh, some of the fun toys from Shadowbeat. We adapted some of the "newsware" (as I called it) for my Reporter character Lana Lane. She wasn't just the Camera ["love ya, Audrey W."], she was also the broadcast and fragging video editing studio to boot. The only non-related ware she had was a level 1 Synaptic Accelerator & two levels of Muscle Toner.
Chance359
I don't think I've every made a character with cyberlimbs, I just never cared for how much they cost versus either bioware (which would affect the whole body) or clonal parts.

I'm fine with Kage's original suggestion of cutting the essence cost by two and the cash cost by five. And also with Sphynx's suggest that limbs start at the racial max strength.

Also I'd like to throw this out for consideration:

QUOTE
Bodyware package instalments
Kjell Sawyer (sawyer@hsr.no)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
When multiple pieces of bodyware are installed, several of these system's interface requirements overlap. However; If these systems are installed simultaneously, they can quite easily be customized to reduce the impact on the recipient's nervous system, making the overall modification more essence-friendly.
This type of customisation is almost exclusively used by customers installing systems in conjunction with cybernetic limb replacements (either arms or legs).

As several bodyware systems require implantation throughout the recipient's whole body (such as reflex enhances and bone lacing), a lot of the essence which would be lost in the implantation is saved simply because the modifications no longer take place in flesh.

The follows list sums up the systems that can be customized by "package instalment" in with cyberlimbs.

Bone Lacing
Boosted Reflexes
Muscle Replacement
Simlinks
Skill Hardwires
Skillwire Plus
Skillwires
Vehicle Control Rig
Wired Reflexes
Each limb involved in the package lowers any additionally implanted bodyware's essence cost by 15%. Obviously, the more limbs the recipient has, the less actual nervous tissue is being tampered with, thus the lower essence cost.
Number of Cyberlimbs† † † † † † † † † † Essence Reduction of additional
in the Package:† † † † † † † † † † † †  Bodyware System:

1† † † † † † † † † † † † † † †  -15% (x .85)
2† † † † † † † † † † † † † † †  -30% (x .7)
3† † † † † † † † † † † † † † †  -45% (x .55)
4† † † † † † † † † † † † † † †  -60% (x .4)

Example: A character who signs up for voluntary replacement of both arms wishes to implant Titanium Bone Lacing and a level 2 Wired Reflexes system while he is at it. The essence cost would be 5.675 (2 for the arms, there is no reduction there, while 3.675 for the other two systems [5.25 (2.25 + 3) x .7 = 3.675].


(from the Shadowrun Archive.)

I'd also suggest and -10% (x.90) modifier for a cybertorso, and a -5% (x.95) modifier for a cyberskull.

Change Muscle replacement to cost: rating x 5,000 nuyen and rating x .8 essence.

My reasoning for this is that I can see a lot of people who would want to spend a couple of grand on surgery over having to waste hours at the gym to get results, then having to maintain those results. So that would drive cost down, if the legal code on it was lowered, I could see all kinds of grunt labor and street types packing it because it's so much cheaper than muscle aug and toners.

With the description of muscle replacement from both third and fourth editions indicate that part of the procedures is skeletal reinforcement so an addition die for damage resistance wouldn't be completely out of the question.
nezumi
I'm not comfortable with giving them a 75% bonus before cyberware grade, especially for some of those...

A cybertorso should reduce the additional essence cost of cyberlimb strength and quickness increases to 0. In addition, it should have an impact on monetary cost.

By the rules, it decreases the costs (essence and monetary) of bone lacing, muscle replacement and a few other things (dermal sheaths, etc.), but also decreases their effects. You just don't have bones in a cyberlimb, so you can't reinforce them. Why can't you add dermal sheath to a cyberlimb? I don't know.

Boosted reflexes, the VCR and simlinks have no interaction with cyberlimbs. There should be no bonus.

Things with a simsense rig (skillwires, smartlink) could perhaps have a very, very slight bonus (way less than 75%). Wire reflexes I'm on the fence about.

That isn't to say that cyberware shouldn't have a reduced cost. I see no reason why dermal sheath shouldn't be just as effective, but have a reduced essence cost, or a smartlink or a cyberradio in a cyberskull. I just think you chose some less than exemplary ones of this case.

Link
QUOTE (nezumi)
Why can't you add dermal sheath to a cyberlimb? I don't know.

Dermal sheathing is described in Cybertechnology as a combination of dermal plating and a semi-synthetic skin sheath for greater regenerative qualities. If it's semi-synthetic it must be semi-authentic(?) too and hence needs a living limb to sustain and regenerate it. nuyen.gif nuyen.gif

I think limbs should match a character's abilities to avoid a mismatch of ratings.
Chance359
Alright, heres a dumb question, how do cyberlimbs work? are they hydraulic with tubes of pressuried fluid, or do they rely on servos, or perhaps they use something like a variable memory (more current more movement) metal counter balanced with another one (one shortening, the other lengthening like real muscles)?
Moon-Hawk
Probably an artificial muscle. Some kind of polymer or metal that changes length when a tiny current is applied. The stuff exists now, in face I have some in my lab right now. (no, I didn't make it) It's just expensive and kinda sucky, it needs a few years of improvement, but it's very promising.
Chance359
Maybe different ways of making a limb work could count for the different types of limbs. You've obvious cyberlimbs would be hydraulic, synthetic limbs would use servos, and custom cyberware (beta and delta) would us the memory metals.
Garrowolf
I have heavyware that uses hydrolics, Alphaware that uses myomer, and then Wetware (bioware).
Kagetenshi
It'd be a nice touch to expand cyberlimbs into multiple categories, all with different degrees of strength, resemblance to the original limb, etc. rather than the simple obvious/synthetic divide we have now.

~J
Eyeless Blond
(Cross-post from Matrix thread, as it concerns cyberware)


Absolutely agree that initiative-boosters should be all cyber-based, rather than external-hardware based (I came up with the idea; one has to be his own biggest fan biggrin.gif). The breakdown, as I saw it, went thusly:
  • "Physical" initiative boosts came from Wired Reflexes (+2+d6 init/rating level, can be switched off to avoid "twitch-fire"), or their bioware equivalent (Synaptic Accelorators, harder to detect but cannot be switched off). These affect actions made in meatspace, but not purely mental actions like decking, using DNI to drive a car, etc.
  • "Mental" initiative boosts come from the Encephalon (again, +2+d6 init/rating level). These affect only purely mental actions: DNI driving, decking, CCSS system-interaction, etc. Encephalons no longer provide Task Pool. Dunno about a Bioware equivalent here, at least not pre-2070.
  • Reaction Enhancers (+1 Reaction/level) and their bioware equivalents (Boosted Reaction treatments, +1 Reaction/level) affect both physical and mental initiative.
  • VCRs have their init-boosting effects stripped out, and only provide the driving bonuses. Essence and nuyen cost are reduced accordingly, as a "rigger" will need to have both.
  • A given deck can only handle a maximum-rated Encephalon rating of MPCP/3, round down to a minimum of 0. Beyond that the headware is just too advanced for the hardware to cope with, much like having a persona attribute that's set too high.
  • (HIGHLY DEBATABLE): Combat turns could be run like this: if your Encephalon rating is higher than your Wired Reflexes rating, roll the extra die seperately. If you get an extra init pass, that pass can only be used for purely mental actions (observe in detail, etc). If opposite is true, any extra init pass gained by WR can only be used on purely physical actions.
Link
QUOTE (Eyeless Blond)
  • (HIGHLY DEBATABLE): Combat turns could be run like this: if your Encephalon rating is higher than your Wired Reflexes rating, roll the extra die seperately. If you get an extra init pass, that pass can only be used for purely mental actions (observe in detail, etc). If opposite is true, any extra init pass gained by WR can only be used on purely physical actions.

Interesting debate though. A character has a mental and physical initiative. One with a high mental/low physical initiative could shoot once then still jam his foes comms, check out the matrix with AR (if your into shit like that) and finally send detailed commands to a drone. One with a high physical/low mental initiative could just go on a homocidal/fratricidal spree.

A character could always do these things but this may clarify the initiative process a bit.
Eyeless Blond
Weighing in on the cyberarm debate:

I vaguely recall this proud nail being fought a whole lot on the SR4 boards too, as one of the big things that SR4 failed to resolve. Here's one such thread, looking in the wayback machine from when SR4 was brand new.

Naturally, I like my own idea, smack in the middle of that thread smile.gif. But more seriously, there are lots of better thought-through ideas to look over there as well. wavydavy's notes about cyberlimbs' lack of fatigue have resurfaced here, but there's a bit more in that thread about an obvious limb's durability with regards to normal skin that bears repeating.
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