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For arguements' sake, suppose a player had a human whom he'd managed to get to strength 9 (the max) using karma and steroids, while avoiding the steroids' addictive and damaging properties. Could he then add Muscle Augmentation 4 to get his strength up to 13? Or, because biowear is considered natural, is he stuck with muscle replacement cyberwear? cyber.gif
According to the FAQ:

It says that attribute modifications from bioware are considered "natural" and not "augmented," meaning that they affect the attribute's base rating. Does this also mean that an attribute modified by bioware (not counting cyberware) cannot exceed the Attribute Maximum? What happens if my human character with natural Strength 6 (and Strength Attribute Maximum 9) gets muscle augmentation 4?
Strictly speaking, bioware cannot raise an attribute's natural rating above the Attribute Maximum. So the human character described above simply doesn't need muscle augmentation 4 (and the street doc would probably tell him that ... or maybe not, and just give him muscle augmentation 3 and keep the change). If the character had muscle augmentation 4 installed anyway, his Strength would still be limited to 9.
If you desire a more high-powered game, then you can ignore this rule and allow bioware to exceed Attribute Maximums. The character's natural attribute ratings should never be allowed to exceed the Attribute Maximums, however, and you may wish to inflict bioware-stuffed characters with system overstress or other excessive bioware drawbacks (p. 78, M&M).

However, that's the same place that suggests not starting with Cultured Bio (a commonly ignored rule, rightly so). So, if you consider FAQ to be By-The-Book, then no, you can't use Bioware to exceed that max.

QUOTE (Sphynx)
According to the FAQ:

However, that's the same place that suggests not starting with Cultured Bio (a commonly ignored rule, rightly so).  So, if you consider FAQ to be By-The-Book, then no, you can't use Bioware to exceed that max.

Hey, I never ignore the "Can't start with Cultured" Rule. For starting characters to start with Bioware that's tailored to their specific body seems a little far-fetched for most starting PCs.

(BTW, my main reason for posting this is to find out what kind of "target" I am. smile.gif )
I allow characters to start with Bioware that can only be implanted as Cultured, but disallow Cultured versions of regular 'ware at chargen.
Generally speaking, I allow cultured bio if it fits under the availibility cap, after adjusting for being cultured. Since all the culturing-required bio in the book has already been adjusted, I'll allow it under the same caveat.
The White Dwarf
We used to in a fit of munchy glory until we found out (well, re found out due to the faq drawing attention to it) it takes a beta clinic to install. Basically, its not fair to allow beta clinic for that unless you allow it for other things. Plus, having characters start off with mnemonic enchancers, cerebral boosters, trauma dampers, and synaptic accelerators is a bit much. Youd be surprised how much more balanced those things are when you have to aquire them in game, it really does make for a better SR imho.
The White Dwarf wrote:
We used to in a fit of munchy glory ... Youd be surprised how much more balanced those things are when you have to aquire them in game, it really does make for a better SR imho.

It's much better to allow it at char gen simply because the GM has to get into a "fit of munchy glory" for characters to be able to afford a Beta Clinic, the StreetIndex mark-up and expense of the Bioware as well as surgery. Then of course the extended period of time to get it installed, usually taking up multiple game sessions worth of time.

Although I agree that some of the bioware (primarily the Mnemonic Enhancers) is out of whack, you're much better off just removing them from game than to block the category from Char Gen, IMHO. I agree Trauma Dampeners are out of whack too, but you could always just House Rule that since the damage is 'magical' for drain, it bypasses the Trauma Dampener.

@Kosher Pickle: Far fetched to have bioware tailored to the body? nyahnyah.gif Seems to be less far fetched than ripping the entire body open to lace bones or lay the wires for various cybers. Can't believe nanites do it all, and even if it's done via nanites, you're still pumping how many pounds of Titanium into the body for lacing, drip by drip so the nanites can keep up? Seems to me that Bioware is the next logical step in tech improvement, not cyberware, and A LOT less far fetched that you implant an organ than most cyberware concepts... nyahnyah.gif

Anyhows, just personal opinions all, I think it was a dumb FAQ, but I think that about a few other FAQs as well.

The White Dwarf
No, I think getting it in game is fitting. It doesnt take but a few runs to start saving up the cash if you want to go that route. Most characters so inclined will have the connected edge to bypass the street index, and finiding a beta clinic is not hard at all (its delta thats a pita). Time is easy to use while other characters train or undergo similar things, really I see no issue with having people get the stuff as they go.

My point was that if you let culture in, you should let beta-grade cyber as well, since the character would have had to have had access to the clinic at some point. The specific pieces arent imbalancing, but at starting if you ahve them it can create a "glass barrier" so to speak, where there is little room to expand a character since they start "maxxed out".

I find our games to be both more enjoyable, and more representative of the shadowrun backdrop, when you follow the suggestion and put some bioware out of the characters reach. It gives them something to shoot for, npcs to interact with, and a goal to move story or characters forward. Like Ive always said, your milage may vary based on your play style, but our group really does like it better without it. Id suggest trying it for one campaign and checking things out, you may like it =)
But being maxed out can be fixed by surgery in many cases. Low essence? Get the standard version surgically removed and fill part of the essence hole with a beta version of that ware. Yes it costs alot of money and it takes extensive healing times, but that is what the character is willing to go through if they really want to free up some of that essence.

Let them find out the karma cost on their own (in bed at the clinic while the rest of the team are making cash and getting karma in runs)

I'm all for limiting availability to canon rules at char creation. It makes the game more challenging in a sense.
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