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im a long time lurker first time poster.

i have created a new "race" "type" whatever you want to call it. i call them the baroque. a baroque is a distortion of esence in a metahuman. im not writing fluff for them at the moment.

i have writen this for the 3rd ed priority system but would not mind if somebody decided to make it for bp 4th. run it by me first

i know what most of you will think. "its overpowered/unfair." "it doesnt belong in shadowrun"

my players love the idea.

race b priority. all baroque appear human at first.

baroque cannot accept any cyber,bio,genetech,or nano.

baroque have the essence drain power and suffer from essence loss.

what is special though is the ability to mimic ware by distorting the body. in example if a piece of ware would cost 3 esence basic grade a baroque would copy it into his or her body at the cost of 3 essence. baroque can also recreate adept powers at the power point cost in essence. if the baroque is also an adept you can stack powers. incompatibilities are still the same.

baroque also regenerate physical damage at a rate of .1 essence per box. if a baroque takes deadly damage an essence test is made against the power of the attack. if it generates no successes the baroque loses 1d6 baroque powers and 1d6 essence.

when a baroque recreates ware or powers it is evident in the persons structure in a way similar to twisted adepts. depending on the effect of the baoque power the distortion may make them competely hideous or unwordly beautiful. in most cases the distortion is represented in a modifier to social tests. + 1 for every essence spent.

a new stat checks and caps the power of a baroque. called distortion, it limits baroque in the same manner that an adepts magic rating. distortion can be raised like a normal stat using essence instead of karma.

baroque resemble background count equal to the spent essence on the astral but dont have an actual effect other than unpleasantness.

i think ive covered everything. what do you think? any questions or comments?
The way i would do it is to say a baroque would be a kind of shifter metahuman instead of a animal that shifts into meta form. So the physics of a baroque would be that it can change its body chemistry, structure, and organs through a way of controlled shifting. I would make them have a magic rating (being that all magical, and this is magical, creatures do) I would let them replicate bioware and not cyber. I would use the essence cost (aka power cost like an adept) as possibly delta. I would use it as replicating ware would take up magic points like an adept but a baroque can be an adept or magician but if the baroque uses 3 magic to replicate ware then it would only have 3 magic left for use in magical practices if say it had a magic of 6. I would also, as part of the flavor, let the baroque to shape their face and body to look in any way they want with time. Perhaps they would have to have some sort of skill or use an existing one to replicate the exact look, shape, and mannerisms of a person it tries to copy. Also perhaps let it have a natural magic limit higher then a regular human.

thanks for your time. you are appreciated.

its more of a distortion in reality of the being that allows for their power instead of acctual magic. as i continue writing i know more of what i will do with it. the background im working on is simple. baroques are (meta)humans that are killed in the pressence of manawarps/manastorms. the more power they use,(more essence spent on powers), the more distant they become from reality. i intentionally created the distortion stat to be seperated from the magic stat. mainly to show that they dont directly interfere with one another. another type of power in the universe seperate from magic.

as far as the shifting to copy people. i like that concept. ill put more thought into it later.
FYI you can play vampires in 4th edition now. I'd say they're maybe, what, maybe 3/4th of what you're talking about? Maybe 1/2?

i probably didnt make this clear. when a baroque spends essence they lose the essence.

baroque arent like vampires.vampires drain essence and have a few cool powers, but they dont spend essence on powers like a baroque does. im holding a game friday to introduce the baroque to the rest of my players. im also going to post the baroque character and the rest of the rules i have for them later today.
IMO, Adepts "copy ware into their bodies" with their powers. How is a baroque different, concretely, than an Adept?
and adept cant copy any ware it wants. adepts gains similar effects while a baroque has the same effects and is treated as having the implant. a baroque could have titanium bonelacings, moveby wire,datajacks,articulated limbs. all cyber, bio, nano,and genetech are at a baroques dispossal. a baroque can also create weapons from their body. i just recently figured up how the essence cost will work. an adept cannot create things in their body. a baroque can. thats how they are different. im working on a very broad baroque character just to show what they are really capable of.
Adept are designed to have powers similar to cyberware, but not exactly the same. This is meant to make them unique as well as actually offer a decision to players as to what they want to go.

So you're proposing an Adept that is exactly the same as a character that has cyber, adding on top of that stuff like regeneration?

So my questions are then
A) How is the core cyber-generation mechanism different from someone picking out cyberware?
B) Why not invent new Adept powers that match exactly what cyber does?
C) why make it a race rather than an Adept power?

a baroque has an organic version of the ware. and its has the exact same effects.

a) with the exception of a chargen baroque. a baroque needs to be inspired (have seen or studied and piece of ware or powere) in order to generate it.

b) because i wanted something other than an adept. a baroque is more flexible. a baroque can lose/gain powers near indefinately. as long as a baroque has more than zero essence and the distortion limit permits a baroque can gain new powers. an adept cant give up a power to learn a new one. but they can initiate. initiation cost more karma than raising distortion.

c) i wanted something similar yet seperate than magic. with an adept you choose your starting powers and they may never change or gain anything new. a baroque can drain essence whenever it feels drop powers it nolonger has use for and gain others.
this is a baroque with a distortion of 8 and plenty of time to grow.

this baroque has drained around 4 people completely of essence.


body 4
strength 6 (10)
charisma 2
essence 6

adept powers
increased aim 6
improved heavyweapons6

movebywire 4 (7 essence)
increased aim6 (1.5 essence)
claymore str+3s (1.5 essence)
muscle augmentation 4(1.6 essence)
muscletoner 4(1.6 essence)
minigun 7s 15 shots(3.25 essence)
100 bullets (.5 essence)
optical magnification3(.2essence)

thats a little over 17 essence spent 3 people drained entirely of essence
for weapons the essence cost = .25 for each damage level and power level. and .1 for each rate of fire.
bullets are .25 for 50
baroque weapons are armorpiercing and can effect astral forms.

anybody who assences him has to make a willpower test against a traget of 8 or they become too disturbed to keep looking at him. +8 to all social modifiers -4 to intimidation .
I'm thinking Obliterators from WH40k.

They are overpowered for no good gameplay reason. Why allow PCs to play this? What would be the fun? Player needs to taylor powers for this mission. Find bum, drain essence, change powers. Lather, rince, repeat. It is too flexible. It takes away the fun out of having to plan with what you have. Instead you systematically get what you need. You don't even need contacts, you are fully self-sufficient. They also don't mesh well with Shadowrun. The fantasy stuff presented in RC (vampires, drakes, etc) still sorta works. I don't see these things meshing in with the world at all. Not as a race anyway. I'd make 1 of these, a monstruous exception, and center a run along in for the PCs. "Look, a monsters that mimics cyberware.. now kill it!". A weird corp experiment or something.

Mileage may vary for your game of course, but in general, I put a "not approved" stamp on it. It would make an interesting NPC, but as a PC option is doesn't work on many levels.
its definately not for everyone. its for more highpowered games. now that we have moved from a team of 5-8 people
to a 1-3 group a character capable of being entirely self sufficient fits rather well for our games.
something thats said at our table often" just because you are invincible doesnt make you useful". in all games given time you can make a catchall character. my group is very used to making characters perfect in one aspect from chargen. that doesnt mean everything is easy. and these kind of things (with the testing ive done with a couple members) have gotten rid of the i went first i win scenarios. i plan on having baroques on both sides and filling in any necessary gaps.

the style of game my group plays would be conidered overpowered in general. it fits rather well with our games for the fact that we tend to have 3 to 8 min maxed team capable of pulling anything. having my players running around with these kind of characters makes me feel less guilty about destroying them later.

all in all it is really starting to spice up our games more by giving people the option of changing the character on a whim. before we always had a guy that could instapop people with guns, one with swords. one with magic. and one that auto wins the matrix. our group has had 3 seperate gamemasters. matrix jargon,atma/xero,and me.
Agreed that it's going to be very overpowering just in it's flexibility. Some suggestions above wouldn't be bad. So here are some suggestions I'd put forth almost as a balancing act.

1 - Because this creature exists due to a manawarp or manastorm, their abilties may well be in flux. Whenever they acquire a new ability, roll (Remaining Essence)d6 and that is the number of days they keep the modification. Afterwards, their body returns to normal, but the essence is not regained, requiring them to feed.
2 - Limit the mutability to only being able to imitate adept powers and bioware. This is a biological creature with a really odd (meta)physiological adaptation. The body may not be able to fully comprehend metal and plastic, but flesh is easy, even if it's improved flesh. This won't cut down the amount of mods it can pull in by too much. Most of what you can do with Cyberware can be done with Bioware anyway.
3 - I would call this character an adept, just for rules sake. Sure, it's not truly an adept, and it uses a warped version of magic (even if you're hesitant to call it that) but it fits, rules wise, to think of it the same way.
4 - Allow this character/race to be able to initiate, but call it Distortion. Same effect. Allow essence to be boosted by Distortion ONLY for the purpose of acquiring abilities, so it can really load up as needed.

SR4 information
If we were to put this into SR4, I'd probably make this similar to an infected character. Create a new character and add the quality to make it a baroque, and then go from there. A baroque automatically gains a magic rating of 1 (for rules purposes) and can initiate, but unlike a normal adept or magician, it also raises their Distortion rating, which starts at 1.

BP    Metatype   BOD   AGI   STR   REA   CHA   INT   LOG   WIL
110   Baroque     N     N     N     N     N     N     N     N
Baroque Abilities:  Regeneration, Imitation, Essence Drain, Essene Loss, Essence Boost

New Stat:
This is a measure of how warped the Baroque has become since it's inception. The longer it goes, and the more powerful it becomes, the more inhuman and distorted the being appears to be. This rating can be used to temporarily boost the Baroque's essence as listed below in the Essence Boost power. Because of the longterm effects of distorting the body, the Baroque can become somewhat hideous over time. For each 2 points of Distortion, reduce social dicepools by 1, due to people being less and less willing to deal with a freak of nature such as the Baroque.

New powers:
A Baroque has the ability to imitate adept powers or bioware abilities. The Baroque makes a Current Essence + Intuition roll to attempt to understand and imitate the power or ware in question. A number of successes must be obtained equal to the power point or essence cost of the item, rounded up. If the roll succeeds, the character spends an amount of essence equal to the power point or essence cost of the desired item, and acquires the power for [Current Essence]d6 days. Once the time frame is up, the power dissipates,

Essence Boost: A Baroque is always in need of Essence, and moreover it needs it just to survive it's imitation. At will, a Baroque can temporarily increase his essence by an amount equal to his Distortion to allow for more or larger modifications. The character makes a Current Essence+Distortion test, with a threshold equal to the number of essence points he desires up to a maximum of his Distortion rating. If successful, the character temporarily boosts his essence for [Current Essence]d6 days. This ability is very taxing, however. Once Essence boost has worn off, the Baroque must feed on metahuman essence and they must drain a minimum of 1 point plus the amount their essence was boosted. This will return them to no more than the maximum base essence of 6, regardless of how much they drain. Obviously, this could result in the death of their victim, depending on just how much of a boost they'd taken.

*Note: If we want to make it less powerful, change all those d6 days timeframes to d6 hours.
2 - Limit the mutability to only being able to imitate adept powers and bioware. This is a biological creature with a really odd (meta)physiological adaptation. The body may not be able to fully comprehend metal and plastic, but flesh is easy, even if it's improved flesh. This won't cut down the amount of mods it can pull in by too much. Most of what you can do with Cyberware can be done with Bioware anyway.

in regards to that it creates a bio version of a cyberware. metal and plastic arent involved. a person baroqueing wired reflexes would develop a more powerful faster neural network giving the same effects. or baroqueing oxyrush nanoware would develop a new series of bloodcells. i like the whole losing the powers over time and was considering something like that myself.

so far ive gotten two approvals(with tweaking), one disapproval, and one guy that likes vampires.

thanks for the 4th edition breakdown. are you considering making use of it?
Personally, probably not. But I like breaking things down and trying to balance them. Hehe

Regarding the Cyber/Bioware distinction, I look at it this way. He can understand and adapt meat and magic. Synaptic accelerator (The bioware equivalent of Wired reflexes) is pure engineered flesh, and understandable to the ability. Wired reflexes is plastic and metal in the form of fiber optics and lead wires as well as circuitry to control it (esp if you have a reflex recorder or stepped reflex trigger), and thus is foreign and unknown to the ability.

Similarly, he could imitate muscle toner and muscle augmentation, but not muscle replacement, because the first two are flesh, the last is a composite plastic/metal material.

That's all. I'm just attacking it from the most realistic and shadowrun-explainable position.
ok. gotcha.

well, i doubt this will get much more attention.
Sounds alot like a T-1000, from Terminator 2 with HMHVV. It is made of "a mimetic polyalloy", essentially liquid metal, allowing it to emulate almost anyone or anything of equal size. cyber.gif
Now it would be interesting to try and come up with something that would allow that to work, actually. This Baroque wouldn't necessarily... but maybe...

An AI inhabiting a series of nanite hive clusters that allow it to move and function as an anthroform drone, and alter it's shape at will?

Maybe it's a little far fetched, but it's the best I can think of at the moment.

Or a toxic earth spirit that manifests as mercury. *shrug*
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