Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: about cyborgs...
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Jaid
i'm just curious to see if anyone else thinks the way i do about some stuff about cyborgs:

1) drugs to be constantly alert: wouldn't it be easier to just put in a data lock (or whatever that piece of tech that keeps you from remembering what's going on) and a simrig into them, and make them think they've only been alert for 2 minutes or something? record whenever they think something important has happened, plug that into their brain, and you've got a constantly alert person who can later have all the information downloaded into their brain, and the fact that less brain chemistry is altered should keep them (more) sane.

2) long durations in sensory deprivation: supposedly, they end up spending a lot of time in sensory deprivation. now that just seems silly to me... it can't be all that horribly difficult to essentially hook them up to an implanted commlink + control rig + (presumably) sim module + simsense booster. yet supposedly the process leaves them in sensory deprivation for a long time. similarly, it is described as being a method of punishment for them to correct behaviour the corps don't like... wouldn't it be less insanity-causing if they *didn't* do that?

3) for some reason, clones can get up to 6 in hacking skills but not, for example, vehicle skills (notwithstanding those should be almost as second-nature to them as hacking skills). similarly, while it is possible for a rigger to get those skills up to 6, this doesn't appear to be possible for cyborgs. seems odd to me.


also, out of curiosity, has anyone tried cyborg PCs yet? just curious to see...
Kyoto Kid
QUOTE (Jaid)
also, out of curiosity, has anyone tried cyborg PCs yet? just curious to see...

...hmmm, a project to tinker around with for when I get home tonight...
Jaid
QUOTE (Kyoto Kid @ Oct 23 2007, 07:08 PM)
QUOTE (Jaid)
also, out of curiosity, has anyone tried cyborg PCs yet? just curious to see...

...hmmm, a project to tinker around with for when I get home tonight...

ok, i've been thinking of their suggested rules, and i'm inclined to suggest instead of the way they have it (counting the CCU as 50 BPs of resources, doubling cost of mental attributes) it might be better to restrict them to maximum 1/4 total BP on attributes and charge them something like an extra 100 BPs for their race (that cost coming from their immunities to toxins, mana spells, stun damage, not needing to buy physical attributes, and the built-in 'ware and other such things).

naturally, they *could* choose a race and 100 BPs onto their cost, but that would be rather expensive for either +1 will or +2 cha...
Malicant
I'd suggest you stick by the rules. Houseruling when not needed is... not needed. Just a waste of time.

But Back to your prevoius questions:

1) Guard with an attentionsspan of less than 2 min is not something you want to spend money on. (Whom was I chasing again? Ah, forget it). Also, the Brain gets tired anyway. The drugs are used to compensate for that.

2) The ultimate punishment for Cyborgs. They don't want to go nuts, then they better behave. If they go mad, they will be replaced. Still cheaper than to spoil them with simrigs and whatnot.

3) Sounds Odd. But remember those clonebrains are rather inexperienced. Not a major issue.
Ryu
1) They┬┤ll need some drugs anyway, so a few more wont change much. A question of essence. From the loss of brain mass implied in the text I assume most ware will be lacking parts of the brain it would usually be hooked into.

2) Awakening in an alien body must be intensely stressful. Cutting them off will allow the brain some rest. Being awaken in the matrix works for sleep like watching TV instead of sleeping.

3) Indeed odd. Must send the owner of my groups copy of the book searching for that one. I was thinking any cyborg is allowed to keep his old skills.

---
The only thing making cyborg PCs undesireable right now is the lack of interesting bodys. More specifically, rules for armoring standard vehicles. Those drones that can go places are not drones you want to do combat in.
Stahlseele
thing i wonder about the most is:"why the heck do they get a 0,1 essence left if they are at most 5% or 10% natural meat which is drugged out to nowhere?"
and someone who gets WR3 in them and some other wires who still has 90% to 95% natural flesh left without drugs can easily get into -something essence . .
HappyDaze
QUOTE
I'd suggest you stick by the rules. Houseruling when not needed is... not needed. Just a waste of time.

I'd suggest you houserule. Sticking to the rules when not needed is... not needed. Just a waste of time.

The rules in the book are just guidelines on where to begin - at your table, whe playing with your group, your houserules will almost always be better if you take care to keep them fair and balanced.
Jaid
sorry ryu, to clarify a cyborg does retain any previous skills it had, it just can't *learn* a new skill at 6.
Jaid
hmmm... slight thread necromancy here, but i was thinking to myself lately, and i've come to the conclusion that cyborgs are terrible...

for 250k nuyen and a delta facility, you are left with 0.1 essence and you're gonna go nuts sooner or later. additionally, you can't get out of it and be normal/blend in with people

let's see what that gets you:

skillwires 5
ability to hardwire connect to drones (not substantially different from a datajack)
implanted hot sim module (implied)
simsense booster
control rig
integral damage compensator 6
internal commlink (rating 4)
cannot be magically targetted (but drone body can)
effectively immune to many toxins etc.

now then, let's check for additional costs: living expenses are around 9k credits per month (could almost have high lifestyle for a runner), you need specific equipment (mechanics shop, for example, and probably a drug lab) to reduce the chance of going nuts to the minimum (though still not particularly low), and you can't generally learn skills beyond 5. takes time to learn a new body, otherwise at -2 to -6 penalty for everything. takes a minute to switch bodies

now then, in comparison:

skillwires 5 (10k nuyen, 1 essence)
datajack (500 nuyen, .1 essence)
implanted hot sim module (5k nuyen, .2 essence)
simsense booster (65k credits, .5 essence)
control rig (10k credits, .5 essence)
integral damage compensator (not really needed, imo... particularly when a biofeedback filter will reduce the damage much more. particularly since the only damage it changes the effects of for the cyborg is when it takes feedback damage)
internal commlink (rating 4) (2k + 6.5k nuyen, .2 essence)
cannot be targetted (generally speaking still true of someone rigging a drone, particularly if they can ride inside)
effective immunities (generally also still there)

total costs for drone rigger with identical gear: 99k nuyen, 2.5 essence. they don't go nuts (or at least, they don't have a game mechanic that causes them to), they can learn a new body instantly. they can generally speaking go into polite society much easier, and most of the gear is even 100% legal (exception: hot sim mod). can switch drones in 1 turn. if they don't implant some of the gear, they can save even more money and essence. they are not limited in skill ratings available.

basically, you're paying 150k nuyen and 3.4 essence to be really small, plus taking all those extra disadvantages.. that's just not right, imo. even if you add in damage compensators at rating 6, you're looking at coming up 60k short relatively, and 2.8 essence ahead.

i can't really look at the concept and see how it's supposed to be all that unbalancing to put into your game... is there anything that i missed somewhere that someone else noticed?
Stahlseele
the fact that arsenal will be having at least as many new rules for cyborgs as augmentation did . . and of course vehicle rules under which cyborg bodies fall right?
Stahlseele
the fact that arsenal will be having at least as many new rules for cyborgs as augmentation did . . and of course vehicle rules under which cyborg bodies fall right?
meh, double post . . how does one delete those?
Jaid
QUOTE (Stahlseele)
the fact that arsenal will be having at least as many new rules for cyborgs as augmentation did . . and of course vehicle rules under which cyborg bodies fall right?

arsenal will have lots of cool toys for riggers too.

it still doesn't change the fact that cyborgs are paying a ton of resources and getting nothing much in return. they can't introduce all that much for cyborgs in arsenal that won't be available for riggers, because the book for cyborgs is augmentation. that's where the rules for cyborgs are found. and those rules basically say "use the regular rules for rigging, except pay a lot more for it".
hobgoblin
well, when the arthroforms come in arsenal, one can then make what people have been trying since the days of rigger2: a rigger riding inside a drone shell, that can go with the team and not risk having the drone link hacked or jammed like a outsider could.

say a orc or troll sized anthroform, but packing all the nice toys that a drone can pack, and with a rigger at the helm 24/7. that is what the cyborg is all about.

thing is really that arsenal, with its now rigging and drone toys, should have been out first. then people would be all over the cyborg rules as they would allow so much more.

hmm, i wonder if someone will recreate the major when arsenal comes out wink.gif

but in the end, cyborgs are what cybermancy was at one time, a tuy for the GM to go nuts with. that they added rules for creating a cyborg character from the get go is just icing.

as for going nuts eventually, i recall reading about someone playing a dragoon in cp2020. sure, he would be batshit insane sooner or later, but made for damn good roleplay while it lasted. i think the character even acted as a preacher for a community at one point, robe and all biggrin.gif
bclements
QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Oct 28 2007, 07:42 PM)
well, when the arthroforms come in arsenal, one can then make what people have been trying since the days of rigger2: a rigger riding inside a drone shell, that can go with the team and not risk having the drone link hacked or jammed like a outsider could.

Why would you say that? I may not have been reading close enough on the board, but I don't think I've seen where a drone (anthroform or otherwise) can't be hacked.
the_dunner
QUOTE (bclements)
Why would you say that? I may not have been reading close enough on the board, but I don't think I've seen where a drone (anthroform or otherwise) can't be hacked.

A cyborg doesn't need to have any wireless signal running. Without a signal, there's nothing to be hacked.
Jaid
of course, neither does a person with a datajack cable connecting to the vehicle they're riding inside...

which is largely my point. cyborgs don't really have anything that a regular hacker/rigger can't have other than being small.
hyzmarca
I think the impotent thing that people are overlooking, from a cost/benefit perspective, is that cyborgs are property. If you are a corporation and you hire a rigger then you pay him a salary. A good rigger with high stats and the most useful implants commands a very high salary. If you are a corporation and you cut a man's brain out and shove it into a jar, then you own him. You don't have to pay him a penny; your only costs are those associated with maintenance. If you want to, you can sell him. If you don't have the facilities to shove someone's brain in a jar yourself, you can rent, lease, or buy one from a corporation that does.

That is what makes cyborgs so useful, along with the legal precedents they set.

Today, I can't go to Africa, violently capture a black man, and bring him back home to serve me. In 2070, I can go to Seattle, cut the brain out of a homeless man, and bring it back home to serve me.


And, of course, there is a great deal of fun stuff you can do with cyborgs. I'm considering, once Arsenal comes out, to do something called Everybody Loves RoboHitler, in which the Fuhrer's cryogenically frozen brain is thawed out; turned into an amnesiac cyborg, shoved into a rickety Lost-in-Space style anthroform; falls out of a transport plane flying over Hoboken; and is rescued, repaired, and turned into a lovable mascot by a technologically inclined gang of Jewish street urchins.
You just can't do that without cyborgs.
Jaid
well sure, the top-notch rigger is gonna get paid a lot. but here's the thing: you can start with some homeless guy

skillwires 5
control rig
nanites to boost skillsoft 4 to skillsoft 4(6) (you're boosting his vehicle skills, which will be 4 from skillwires)
appropriate skillsofts and knowsofts
response 6 in vehicle
hot sim module
trodes.

and you can basically own him, too... just put him into debt for any gear you do give him (for example, the nanites, possible nanohive, the control rig, and the skillwires, and maybe even a simsense booster) after pulling him off the streets, and pay him enough money for low lifestyle and enough to pay you back the interest + maybe 50 nuyen.gif per month. there, you effectively own him, without any human rights groups being able to say you own him. and it cost a mere fraction of the cost of making a cyborg. heck, if you're not terribly scrupulous, you just brainwash him with psychotropic IC before you hire him (maybe you promise him some day he can even get a SIN... you know, like after he's paid off his debt, for example). he may even be so thankful for actually having a job at all that he won't even *need* programming to be loyal.

besides, that still doesn't explain why it should cost a player 50 BP, and double cost for mental attributes in exchange for exactly the same thing a normal rigger could pull off. (this is *before* the maintenance costs come into play, of course)
Big D
This starts to get into the "how dystopian is it?" question that's started a few... lively discussions.

As far as the numbers go, a corp could give its workers skillwires 4 and use them for whatever it needed; as long as they wanted their wageslave lifestyle, they'd pretty much have to go along with it. But it's generally assumed that corps don't do that, and rely on the native (and on average, lower) skills of its workers (and I don't think we have a good idea of what wageslaves in different professions get paid, vs. what the full costs of "owning" slaves would be).

The rigger/jarhead issue is just another facet of that. Yes, according to the SBs, you can take somebody off the street, wire them up, brainwash them with drugs, personafixes, and propoganda, and make them do pretty much whatever you want them to do. But also per the SBs, corps don't generally do this. Why? Dunno. Could be more to the costs than we get to see. Could be social ramifications; there's some sort of social construct going on, that keeps the public buying corp goods, and the governments from reclaiming their lost powers by force, and that may include things like "ick" limits on what corps can publicly do.

But for whatever reason, it's considered more profitable to some corps to experiment with jarheads than to swipe some SINless off the street, personafix them, and chrome them up.
Shrike30
A recurring theme in cyberpunk is people breaking out of personafix-type situations, and taking revenge on those who modified them. Not a great situation to be in with RoboHobo the assault cyborg. cyber.gif vegm.gif

Cyborgs have some huge esoteric advantages, though. Want to send a scientific expedition to Mars? Why not send some cyborgs, and drastically reduce the amount of the ship you need to use for life support, while simultaneously making your crew incredibly better adapted to the environment than they would be in a spacesuit?

Essentially, not looking at the numbers and, instead, thinking about the kinds of things that cyborg tech might be getting developed for is where you're going to find the usefulness. Besides, I'm pretty sure the book says something along the lines of "this isn't intended to be a PC type, but if you really insist..."
hobgoblin
Lets not forget that a human body can take up quite a bit of space. A anthroform plus the vehicle modification rules should probably make for a more viable cyborg.
Stahlseele
QUOTE
And, of course, there is a great deal of fun stuff you can do with cyborgs.

true dat . . i'm gonna try and build johnny 5 ^^
hobgoblin
hmm, a belted drone and some manipulators, there you go.

will probably need arsenal for the latter.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012