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Cantankerous
So, after again watching Johny Mnemonic (a much better genre flick than Matrix ever was) again recently I started thinking about something for the newest 3rd edition campaign we are going to have running. This is going to be much less epic than the former campaign, grittier, grimmer and downright dark most of the time, by popular acclaim at that too. smile.gif With those pre-conditions my mind turned to cyber sickness, which is never really covered in the rules and which is one of the things that made Jane from that movie actually interesting as a character. So, as one has to do in such situations, I came up with a mechanic for it. Since the campaign hasn't really started yet, I'm placing it here for discussion and suggestions. Thanks in advance for your help.

QUOTE
Cyber-sickness: What happens when you stick too much Cyberware in your body? You get sick. Sometimes real sick, other times it’s like a summer cold, but it’s almost omnipresent with a Essence of less than 1.0 and it get worse the less Essence you have remaining. The lesser degrees of it can be handled strictly with role playing the "summer cold" symptoms, but for the more drastic degrees we want a mechanic.

In basis if you have 1.0 Essence or higher you never need to make any rolls to avoid the effects. If, on the other hand, you are a more normal kind of guy in my Shadowrun games and have .0035 essence left, you’ve got problems.

For every full .2 essence under 1.0 that you have there is a single die rolled against a target number of 4, for every success there you have a +1 modifier to social skills die rolls if you do not remove them with a Willpower check with the same target number. That means that if you are about to roll any kind of social skills check you have the roll to worry about. As an example let’s take a guy with 0.15 essence remaining. He has to roll 4 dice against a target number 4 to determine how badly his twitching, or dead eyed stare or obvious cyber limb (or, heaven forbid, all of the above) bothers the person he is interacting with. Say he rolls a 4,2,1,5 on those dice. Two successes minus what ever he gets on a Will Power T#4 check are added to his target numbers for that check. Usually this won’t amount to much, but… ?

Alphaware equal to ½ or more of the total essence use the person has decreases the penalty number suffered by 1, Betaware will decrease it by 2. Conversely if ½ or more is cheap or second hand Cyberware increase the penalty by 1, or by 2 if all of it is cheap or second hand stuff. Thus a guy with a ton of Betware would never have more than a +2 and usually nothing at all…meaning you really can’t tell he’s a near cyber-zombie most of the time. On the opposite side a guy who has loaded himself down with parts scavenged from corpses he created will sometimes have as much as a +6 modifier and as even if he has fractionally more essence, he really looks more the cyber-zombie part. wink.gif


So, there she is, basis. Suggestions and comments are very welcome. smile.gif



Isshia
Cantankerous
Note: Looking at this the Cheap cyberware +2 will also apply if more than 80% of the cyberware is cheap. There will be no using a standard datajack instead of a cheap one to get around the additional +1. smile.gif

Isshia
Cantankerous
Has no one else ever done anything with cyber sickness? It seems like such a natural for attention with it being talked about in some of the novels and several of the company published scenarios.


Isshia
Cain
Wasn't there a rule in SR3 that basically said you suffered social penalties for having a low Essence? It was waived if your essence was due to non-detectable 'ware, which may not be what you're looking for.
Link
I think that rule popped up first in Cybertechnology, and was +1 to social tests for every 2 full points of essence lost subject to the nature of the 'ware as noted above.

Cantankerous, your proposed rule issues social penalties for symptoms akin to the flu. I think you need to consider if implants cause autistic like effects, physical illness or both. Also, with the effects based on essence, there's no need to modify things based on cyberware grade, as they already modify essence.

As for Jane from Johnny Mnemonic, she had NAS, there was no problem with her implants according to her street doc ;)
Cantankerous
Hi guys.

I thought so too Cain, but I haven't been able to find it other than in Cybertechnology as Link quoted. There I think the penalties come in too soon.

You see Link, I'm not talking about penalties for cold like symptoms. That is simply a role playing notation. That once you pass half way on the essence scale, you always have some minor physiological and psychological reactions and these outwardly manifest, at the very least, as cold like symptoms. Once the essence loss has become really severe though, as I had first envisioned it anyway, things would get drastically worse quickly. The persons own dislocation from themselves would cause MUCH more severe symptoms, from shaking (I realize Jane had NAS, but she's a good example of the worst results of what I foresee in game terms, so for visual reasons I used her, as she has little obvious cyberware but still came across as chipped to the ears and slightly wonky) through dissociative interactions, to the obvious wires and tubes and plating that make people feel like they are dealing with a modernistic Frankenstein's Monster.

As a second thought though, perhaps it is TOO back loaded. Not enough up front penalty and too much later essence loss penalty?

Maybe something more like the above but with the cut offs being under 3.0 to 2.0 essence for the first level of dysfunction, under 2.0 to 1.0 essence for the second level of it, under 1.0 to 0.50 for the third and under 0.10 essence for the last level of dysfunction? Does that sound less back loaded without being to great a restriction to people interested in getting cyberware? And what then with Bioware? Since it doesn't cost essence there is no cyber sickness, but again, should the alteration of the form come with no drawbacks?


Isshia
BullZeye
So then comes the question of why would the loss of essence affect your social rolls or make you insane? A person who has lost his legs in a car crash and has them replaced by mechanical ones in order to be able to walk again would hardly develop some manic symptoms but would be happy to be able to walk again. Some can cope with such and some not. That's why in CP2020 you had to roll it to reflect the difference of people being able to cope with it, but as in SR it's a constant, I see it more on the how much "flesh" there is left for the human soul to still hold in it's vessel.

On some other thread this was bit discussed on the matter of riggers. Rigger could have a some simple implants (don't have the books with me) and with fairly low essence cost they will become a car or a tank or a plane. That would mess up the mind so much more, would it not? Spend 10 years as a oiltanker vs. have your legs replaced because of injury... which has more negative effect? I'd say let people roleplay such cybernetic mental problems if they wish to do so. Some would without a doubt develop some megalomaniac symptoms if put into a superman's robotic body.

Thus my comment is, no, I wouldn't take such ruling into my games nor would be happy camper to play in a game with such rule smile.gif
Cantankerous
QUOTE (BullZeye @ Sep 28 2008, 03:12 PM) *
So then comes the question of why would the loss of essence affect your social rolls or make you insane? A person who has lost his legs in a car crash and has them replaced by mechanical ones in order to be able to walk again would hardly develop some manic symptoms but would be happy to be able to walk again. Some can cope with such and some not. That's why in CP2020 you had to roll it to reflect the difference of people being able to cope with it, but as in SR it's a constant, I see it more on the how much "flesh" there is left for the human soul to still hold in it's vessel.

On some other thread this was bit discussed on the matter of riggers. Rigger could have a some simple implants (don't have the books with me) and with fairly low essence cost they will become a car or a tank or a plane. That would mess up the mind so much more, would it not? Spend 10 years as a oiltanker vs. have your legs replaced because of injury... which has more negative effect? I'd say let people roleplay such cybernetic mental problems if they wish to do so. Some would without a doubt develop some megalomaniac symptoms if put into a superman's robotic body.

Thus my comment is, no, I wouldn't take such ruling into my games nor would be happy camper to play in a game with such rule smile.gif


I always though Cyberpunk 2020 handled that horribly. I just put it down to my assumption that no one among the game writers and designers had ever had to rely on a prosthetic, even a fairly benign one that doesn't show allot, like my ankle.

But mainly, it's a matter of degrees again. The person who has lost both legs (or even just had a single ankle replaced with a prosthesis) IS very likely to be HIGHLY conscious of it themselves. That interior consciousness of it can make an impression on others quite easily, even if they don't see the reason. But where they DO see it, it almost always makes a huge impact on how they act.

For the Rigger, like the person with a ton of Wired Reflexes and a Trigger (so they don't usually move and react in such a chipped, jerky fashion) and for the anyone with allot of cyber replacements; there is the simple factor of having so much the central nervous system having been replaced. The reason that those systems take so much essence is that they are so hard on the central nervous system. Since IT has almost everything to do with how we perceive the world it has a tremendous impact on how we act.

In the proposed rules until you have gone over the half way point the worst reaction contemplated is something like (not really like, but analogous to) cold symptoms. They have no game effect, except as a role playing notation. It is only when most of the bodily integrity has been compromised that the symptoms manifest themselves strongly enough to cause some reaction in others. Your example person with both legs replaced would still be safe from any reaction, as long as they weren't an obvious feature (structured like ostrich legs for example).


Isshia
Steampunk
Players who want that are free to take apropriate negative qualities to reflect this, but I wouldn't force them to - cyberware has enough drawbacks and I really don't need more adepts smile.gif
Cantankerous
I wasn't aware of ANY drawbacks cyberware has in third edition unless you have less than 1.0 essence and take a deadly wound. What are the others?


Isshia
Steampunk
Yes, SR3 Basic Book, p. 93 says that roughly every -2 essence gives +1 to many social interaction tests
Cantankerous
QUOTE (Steampunk @ Sep 28 2008, 10:38 PM) *
Yes, SR3 Basic Book, p. 93 says that roughly every -2 essence gives +1 to many social interaction tests



But that is what we are talking about is social interaction tests. This mechanic simply replaces the one already in place. it doesn't run along side of it.


Isshia
Kliko
mm 47 Cyberware and signature (-1 for essence <3 and -2 for cz's... for each 2 points <0). Riggers should love that one.
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