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The Jopp
I know "Essence" is a game balance issue for most part but at the same time it kinda makes sense.

Sensitive neural Connections and/or Invasive Neural Connections cost high essence

Cyberlimbs cost lots of essence as they replace a lot of neural connections to fool the brain that they are actual muscles and also leaves a lot of "connection space" left for limb implants and gear.

But since the first cyberlimb replacement in 2023 they haven't managed to drop the price or essence on these suckers?

We are talking about a mass produced item that is basic grade cyberware that has been around for 45+ years and materials and how to build them have never changed?

Yes, one can say that they are cheaper since 3rd edition - but in reality they are not.

They dropped the price by roughly 80% but at the same time dropped starting cash to 1/4 - so not a noticeable price change.

I get the feeling that the developers have never actually liked the full borg koncept.

Think about it.

Maxed out commlink is 1% of the 2060 pricerange of the Cyberdeck (well, everyone use them). Cyberlimbs are mostly middle to low class gear as they are (supposed to be) cheaper than a cloned limb but more invasive.

Well, last time i checked the poor and downtrodden masses are a lot more than the rich and influental so why the incredible cost for such obvious ware since it by the fluff is so widely used and "cheap".

Just getting a basic obvious limb is three middle classs lifestyles - even second hand it is expensive.

And trying to make a troll limb fitting to someones actual attributes is a pain in itself as both the availability and the cost will increase astronomically.

Apart from cost we also have the worth compared to cheap bioware and bonelacing that makes you do physical damage but a metal limb cannot?

How have my fellow chromeheads solved this?

I was thinking the following:

Cost decrease by 30% for obvious limbs and 20% Synthetic

Essence Cost Decrease (They have had 50 years to make it more essence friendly and more compatible materials): 20% flat cost (with alpha grade the cost in essence is 60% of original value)

Base damage is the following
Hand: Str/2P
Half Limb: Str/2+1p
Full Limb: Str/2+2P

Second Hand limbs have -1 to -3 capacity if Hand/partial limb/full limb to represent the larger space parts take or lesser space in limb.




Stahlseele
dunno if you've seen it, but in SR4, Limbs cost about half as much or less as they did in SR3 O.o
but yes, the essence part is still a bit shady . . but they did not manage to lessen the essence impact on most other cyber-ware either . .
obvious arm SR3: 75k
obvious arm SR4: 15k
The Jopp
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Sep 1 2008, 01:08 PM) *
dunno if you've seen it, but in SR4, Limbs cost about half as much or less as they did in SR3 O.o


A basic limb cost roughly 100K in SR3 and now they cost 15-20K

They also slashed starting cash from 1mil to 250k - end result is that they arent noticeable cheaper to start with at char gen as teh starting cash are much lower. Sure, they are easier to get after the game starts but that wont help char gen.

Besides, they need to be cheaper in order to be able to compete with most bioware who is virtually invisible and hardly much more expensive (and affects most of the body).
Squinky
The solution for me was to make use of the awesome rules in augmentation smile.gif

For the essence issue, When you combine Alpha ware, Bio compatibility, and making cyberlimbs a cybersuite, you get 40% off essence wise, and the suite makes it 10% cheaper.

In my games we have always made Cyberlimbs of any sort do Str/2 +3P, because its a hunk of metal, plastic whatever and it should hurt.
Ryu
I could see giving cyberlimbs the damage code of titanium bonelacing, but otherwise I don´t think that limbs need help. So a yes to the solution of Squinky´s group.
Ravor
Something to consider is that one of the theories behind Essence loss is the idea of Pattern Warping, in which case the costs should stay roughly the same no matter how much technology advances. My gripe with cyberlimbs is that the capacy rules are fragged.
sunnyside
Being able to make something cost less essence over time is what alphaware, betaware and the like is all about. That's what it means.

I think the high performace arms are OK. Though on the lower end I'd like to see cheaper stuff availible.
Kronk2
for purely prosthetic replacements I never charge essence. this way if a mage gets his arm blown off he can get it replaced, no big deal.
Stahlseele
QUOTE (Kronk2 @ Sep 2 2008, 08:41 AM) *
for purely prosthetic replacements I never charge essence. this way if a mage gets his arm blown off he can get it replaced, no big deal.

but where do you draw the line?
is purely prosthetic just the old junk from the store, all 3's in every attribute, no extras, no armor, no nothing?
or is it an arm that has the same physical attributes as the arm lost?
will the arm take up essence suddenly, if you later on put in armor or some extras into the arm?
The Jopp
Everyon creates different characters but if we look to the streetsamurai - that dude with hardly any essence and physical statistics through the roof compared to regular people we can make a comparison.

In order to have a basic body with Attributes of 3 and +4 damage track/damage resistance you need to pay..minimum:
90000

That's 90K for +4 body/damage Resistance and no other attribute and/or bonus for 6,25 Essence...

Yes, you get the POTENTIAL to have implants inside the limbs but they cost extra, and forget any kind of increased reflexes.

For 90K i get the following:
Wired 2 / Muscle Augmentation / Muscle Toner / Reaction Enhancer 2 / Cybereyes / Cyberears and some little extras.

Reaction+4 Initative Passes +2 Strength +2 Agility +2

For the total essence cost of 4.

Creatinga cyber replacement samurai is nigh on impossible as they need at least Alpha graded (5 essence) and a cost of 180K

Thats 72% of max resources at chargen just to get attributes of 3 and no space/money for reflex enhancement...

Now, build a STANDARD streetsam witha mix of bio/cyber for the same amount of cash (180K and 5 essence)...

I see two different path's of samurais but one of them is ALWAYS nerfed from scratch - even worse if you are of a more exotic/expensive metatype as cyberlimbs dont care about racial attributes.
Mx
A full body cyborg just isn't something that your supposed to be apple to do from the start.
But you should calculate the body as a suite, becouse thats really something i see as existing.

Oh and
QUOTE (The Jopp @ Sep 2 2008, 12:56 PM) *
Wired 2 /Reaction Enhancer 2

These two do not work together.
The Jopp
QUOTE (Mäx @ Sep 2 2008, 01:22 PM) *
A full body cyborg just isn't something that your supposed to be apple to do from the start.


And why not, really?

It's neither broken and it sure fits the setting. I mean, one can rejuvenate, one can travel between planes of existence, meet elven clowns, dragons learns to hack, technomancers eghosts...But not a full body replacements at a reasonable price and essence cost?

QUOTE (Mäx @ Sep 2 2008, 01:22 PM) *
But you should calculate the body as a suite, becouse thats really something i see as existing.


True, but even with that it's hard, and even impossble when you start playing with a more expensive race.

Oh and

QUOTE (Mäx @ Sep 2 2008, 01:22 PM) *
These two do not work together.


Do'h houserule from our end.
Ravor
QUOTE (Kronk2 @ Sep 2 2008, 12:41 AM) *
for purely prosthetic replacements I never charge essence. this way if a mage gets his arm blown off he can get it replaced, no big deal.


Bah, every great Mage should already be sucking up at least one point of Essence loss.
Squinky
I make full body borgs by RAW all the time smile.gif

Make use of the cybersuite+Biocompatibility+AlphaWare
4 limbs= 2.4 essence
Torso= .9 essence
Plenty of room for some kind of IP enhancer

From there it's easy to get way higher stats than that bioware mix sammy, and you will have more armor than
anybody else in the game. Seriously.

The only problem is that you have to go all or nothing.
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (Squinky @ Sep 3 2008, 12:36 AM) *
From there it's easy to get way higher stats than that bioware mix sammy, and you will have more armor than
anybody else in the game. Seriously.

Not to mention that your physical track is now as long as if you had a Body attribute 8-10 higher than normal.
Squinky
Yeah, and the free level of pain resistance per limb smile.gif

Good stuff smile.gif
TKDNinjaInBlack
When someone is complaining about essence loss with limbs, you have to remember that essence as a whole represents not just your bodies ability to cope and interact with the implant, but also your level of humanity and sense of well being. People who lose an arm in RL feel phantom pain and go through horrible bouts of depression. Even when they use a functional prosthetic, it doesn't replace their sense of wholeness and well being. Just because that flash cyberarm tells your brain that you feel the sensations it reads, doesn't mean that on a psychological level you don't resent it or miss your meat.

In my campaigns, I love gritty realism and rule that if that mage loses his arm, then he loses the corresponding essence. It was in the older editions to suffer essence loss at the wrong end of huge damage dealt, and it is even mentioned in a Tweaking the rules section in Augmentation. Now, if that mage goes through some bioengineering and has an arm cloned from his dna and re attached through medtech, I go a bit lenient and more or less give the character their essence back without the gene therapy. I can see where this is broken because What's to keep that samurai with his cyberarm from ditching the arm and having a cloned vat grown arm matching his DNA popped back on when he wants his essence back (like he'd want that). But, if that mage or any other character loses an arm, leg, or significant part of their torso or head, they loose essence regardless of whether or not they choose to leave it gone or replace it with chrome. One limb equals one essence lost, the head equals one gone (and most likely dead), and the torso equals one. These are all very close to the essence losses with cyberlimbs in the core book. For half an arm or limb, half the essence point. A hand or foot? .25

DocTaotsu
Actually fully functional cyberlimbs such as those described in SR should serve to alleviate phantom limb pain given that they provide direct neural feedback and stimulation. Beyond that there are advances in neuroscience such that guiding the "remapping" of neural connections should be fairly standard task, after all we've learned how to jam sockets into our brains to drive a plethora of things that we never evolved to drive.

They've done some really promising work with, of all things, mirror boxes. Patients put their good arm in the box and it mirrors the image onto where the phantom limb is. By moving both arms together (like clapping) patients are able to synch up the phantom limb with the mirrored image. End result is that mere visual feedback is enough to convince the brain that "Yep, limbs actually there and moving as I direct. Nope it can't be hurting or locked in an awkward position." The catch is that, at least check, it doesn't work for everyone and it isn't a long term solution (the pain returns... but the box is cheap). Still it's better than sawing off progressivly larger portions of someones limb or telling them that it's all in their imagination. I imagine that by 2070 we'll be utilizing our brains innate knack for self deception to fully integrate cyber limbs and more exotic technology into our body.

The war is what it is but I've read some very interesting material about the amputees that are coming out of it. For one thing many of them actually prefer non-lifelike limbs (much more than people who aren't military who lose limbs to disease or accident). So there is a great deal of psychology here that we're still working out.

Gritty as those rules may be they leave some logical disjuncts. We're talking wholeness of body right? If your born without limbs are you instantly short a couple essence points? If you get in a car accident and the nerves in your arm get yanked right out of your spinal collumn, do you lose essence then? What if it gets mangled? How mangled does it have to be before it qualifies for essence loss.

This is why I've always liked the RAW idea that essence represents a wholeness of being. If you replace flesh with flesh your body doesn't give a goddamn and everything zips along merrily. If you replace flesh with chrome, that chrome puts a strain on your body and demands on your system. You have to go on anti-rejection drugs, you have to get regular maitenance, etc etc. If you want gritty make players aware those those snazzy cyberlimbs and eyes are essentially artificial organs with their own bizarre needs and problems. And as you've mentioned it just doesn't give much reason for people to do anything but get chromed out. If the essence is gone why bother?

The other reason I never liked the serious wound=essence loss was because it, to me at least, unfairly punished the awakened. Street Sam Jim takes HMG rounds to the cyber torso, almost dies and loses a point of essence. Sweet! I have an essence hole to fill (provided this doesn't bump him down below zero... which is another issue). Street Mage John takes 2 .38's to the chest and suddenly he's half the man he used to be. Magic was your thing? Oh well, you can still cyberout and do the burnout mage sami thing...
TKDNinjaInBlack
yeah, i hear you on the grittier rules punishing the awakened player, but too few players go the path of the burnout and use that as a means to have character development. In our games we are more about the story and the roleplaying than super character building. Yeah, that pimped out mage who could possibly kill a dragon... been done before, by tons of players with enough karma and time on their hands. That burnout cyber mage/samurai with a chip on his shoulder... not done as often. Plus, magic is way more powerful than guns at higher forces, so go ahead and punish that mage a bit more. Maybe he'll be smarter than standing in the middle of a gunfight.
Da9iel
QUOTE (Squinky @ Sep 2 2008, 09:22 PM) *
Yeah, and the free level of pain resistance per limb smile.gif

Good stuff smile.gif

Where is that in the books? I looked, but couldn't find it. Perhaps I skimmed too quickly.
Squinky
Its in Augmentation pg. 33. under cyber-limb sensory cut off.
Da9iel
Thanks.
Cain
I know this is old hat, but here is what I did under SR3. It wouldn't take much to convert it over to SR4.

All cyberlimbs are "custom", which means they're set to match your body's natural attributes. If you have Body 3, QUickness 5, and Strength 2, then that's what your cyberarm gets.

If you want to exceed your normal strength or whatever, you could do so, but at the standard cost increase. It would also cost Essence, as the limb would require extra reinforcement. Your cyberlimb would then be rated as "Str +2", or what-have-you. If you raise your attributes through Karma, the limits on your limb go up as well.

Redlining was always an option in my games.
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (DocTaotsu @ Sep 9 2008, 07:05 AM) *
The other reason I never liked the serious wound=essence loss was because it, to me at least, unfairly punished the awakened. Street Sam Jim takes HMG rounds to the cyber torso, almost dies and loses a point of essence. Sweet! I have an essence hole to fill (provided this doesn't bump him down below zero... which is another issue). Street Mage John takes 2 .38's to the chest and suddenly he's half the man he used to be. Magic was your thing? Oh well, you can still cyberout and do the burnout mage sami thing...

Essence holes are typed, and there's no "woundware".
jago668
On general cyber"limb" question. It says that if you have a cyberlimb you can't put bioware in it, nor can you put cyberware that costs essence instead of capacity. So if you take a cybertorso, doesn't that mean you are unable to get any initiative modifying cyber/bio? Since it is listed as bodyware and has no capacity cost.

Now we've always just glossed over that. That if you wanted stuff put in, you just paid the essence for it and went about your business. Just saying by RAW it appears as though it isn't allowed.
Ol' Scratch
Cybertorsos aren't really "cyberlimbs" so much as... I dunno, "cybercasings" to coin a word. They still contain all of your vital organs and whatnot, for instance.
jago668
Very true, but the rules say they are included in the cyberlimbs even though they are shells. So they follow the same rules as cyberlimbs. So according to the rules, no wired reflexes, no move-by-wire system, and no synaptic accelerators. Also no simrigs either, and if you fill up the capacity, no internal airtanks, etc. Also evidently if you get a cyberskull then you can't get cybereyes/ears. Since they don't have a capacity cost instead of an essence cost.

Now obviously common sense should come into account here. Just saying, by RAW it doesn't look like getting cybertorso/skulls is worth it.
MaxMahem
I agree the cybertorso is a 'casing' of sorts. Basically it surrounds your internal organs while replacing much (if not all) of your torsos skin, bones, and musculature. So after you get a cybertorso you no longer rely upon your abs to do sit-ups and what not, but upon the new cybermusculature inside your cybertorso. It might be realistic to require a full body borg to get strength/agility enhancements in his body as well, though the rules do not require that. Your bones may or may not play an important role in supporting your body. In any case the replacement of large sections of your bodies tissues with lighter more lightweight mechanical equivalents frees up space within your system for other bits of ware.

Similarly a cyberskull replaces the majority of the bones, skin, and muscles inside your head (and possibly your neck and jaw, depending upon the user) with cybernetic equivalents.

Although cyber limbs are rather abstract pieces of hardware, so the exact extent of cyber replacement probably varies from user to user, and the extent of their other replacements. In some the cybertorso may replace virtually everything, while in other it may cover just the users chest, leaving the the shoulders and groin as flesh and blood parts. A full borg likely has few bones and voluntary muscles remaining except for perhaps his tongue, diaphragm, and so on. Though I see no show-stopping reason why one could not (if you liked) assume that these to were replaced, the in game effect is negligible. The only bone requirements are those necessary to produce the (reduced) quantity of red-blood cells his body still needs. Perhaps a chunk of his sternum, spine, or pelvis.

---

A house rule I use is to give players a discount on the essence cost systemic cyber/biowear (like wired reflexs, bone lacing, skill wires and so on) based upon the number of replacements they have. 10% for each part replaced up to a maximum of 50% for a full borg. As obviously the cybernetic parts do not require the instillation of bone lacing or skill wires.

Oh, and I think there is pretty much universal agreement that the majority of body wear is compatible with the cybertorso. Certainly the reflex enhancers are.

Cyberlimbs remain very potent, especially if using the rules from augmentation. A full borg can pretty easily reach his augmented max in all areas, and be well armored to boot.
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