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The Overlord
Of late I have been reading the Runner's Companion, particularly the section on SURGE. While there is a nice selection of SURGE qualities in the book and in the older one, year of the comet, I have been looking for more and so have begun working on a list of new homebrewed SURGE qualities. However I have never been that good at balancing such homebrewed work and am hoping that the members of the forum can help me balance them out. Of them I am particularly interested in the first two big ones. These are the ones with more rule tie-ins than the others. So what do you think I might need to do to keep them balanced and fun.


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(15)Functional Wings: These wings can come in several different varieties such as feathered(like a bird), smooth and leathery (like a bat), Soft and furry(like a flying squirrel), or scaly(like a dragon). They can be independent appendages(sprouting from the back), or Under arm(that can fold out when arms are stretched). Both require custom made cloths in order to be used. The character cannot fly if over encumbered. If the wings are independent then it grants the character the use of his/her hands while in the air, but they cannot be concealed easily(if at all), While if they are Underarm, then the character must hold on to their wings in order to fly(meaning no holding things in their hands) but are easily concealed.
In order to fly the character must make a Strength + Flight Skill test ( un-augmented for independent)(-1 each whole point of missing of essence) VS Body+1 per reduced essence(rounded up), for up to double Body+1(per hit exceeding threshold) Meters before another test must be made. Alternative to flying the character can glide up to Max distance of a single flight test. The character cannot have this if they have a Cyber torso.

(10)Wings(non-functional): These wings are similar to the other type however they are only capable of granting the character the ability to glide a distance. They can glide a distance of Flight+Strength meters(?). This effect requires that the player modify their clothing to feel comfortable and even use while wearing cloths. These are easier to conceal then normal wings. Consult the GM to determine any stipulations and modifiers.

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(15)Serpentine body: This metagene quality has caused your legs to fuse together and elongate, changing into that of a serpents with scales and everything. Apart from making half your wardrobe obsolete and not needing to by any more socks, shoes, or pants you gain the following.

-Pros: bonus to climbing speed(undetermined). While prone you are still able to move at your normal rate while prone on your front. -1 to the threshold for gymnastics tests, functions as a Prehensile Tail though its strength is equal half rounded up, characters with a un-augmented strength greater than 3 gain one of the following Thagomizer or Constrict attack.

-Cons: cannot conceal, will get treated differently (see Freak), Cannot receive any cyberware leg related mods, Large penalty towards moving on low friction surfaces, Use Naga Movement Table. (increased weight?),

The serpentine half of the body can either be scaled like a snake or a lizard. The length of the serpent segment is at least X2 as long as your original height and at most X3 1/2 your height.

-Constriction attack: The player lashes out and quickly wraps their lower body around the victim in an attempt to squeeze the life out of the individual. To do so the player makes a Subduing type attack, Reaction + Strength opposition test as a complex action. If the target is surprised than it will automatically succeed to engage. Every following IP you must make a fresh test to maintain the grapple. Every success deals stun damage equal to your strength (subdual) – one half of their impact armor. The victim must use the tests to throw you off, taking a number of successes equal to your body plus 1. Only successes on their IP count towards throwing you off. During this grapple you are not able to make complex actions. It is possible to make called shots on parts of the victims body to render them broken(still unsure of how this should work).

-GM’s Choice(this is up to the GM): Difficulty or inability to jump vertically. Increased sensitivity to heat/cold in serpentine half of body,

-Rp details: Serpent section is sensitive to heat and cold(can/will cause discomfort), Regularly must shed skin(scales only). Player acts more snake like. A rattle tail end is optional.

-Important note: While there are things like Vibration, infrared sensitivity and such that are natural to real snakes, it is up the GM wither they are allowed; This quality focuses on movement, interaction, and an alternative method of playing a PC in Shadowrun.
This quality is a very questionable one because the player’s body is essentially being split into two very different halves the human and the serpent. This can(and probably will) raise some issues. 1-how does this effect armor. 2 - Legs vs No Legs.
1. Seeing as your legs have become a long section of a snakes body, and ‘Normal’ Naga do not have any need or ability to wear armor. So some may say that since there is now a long section of un-exposed unarmored flesh (or scales rather), that the armor that you would normally ware is worthless since the quality does not grant armor ratings. Like trolls, dwarfs, and other such metahumans, cloths and armor must be custom made for them that protect their lower half. Any weight and or bulkiness of the armor are negligible and do not effect anything. “But what about the ‘belly’ part of the body?? Since just about all their armor/clothing will be form fitting, this is a non issue. “What about broadside shots?? It’s the same for those with legs; both are equally vulnerable to being shot.
2. Legs vs No Legs, Who is better? Frankly neither. Sure you gain some bonuses from taking the quality; however the trade up is spelled out in the con section. However aside from those there are no substantial differences, with maybe the exception of the loss of kicking. The taping of feet becomes the sound of something slithering. You can choke someone with your legs in a sleeper hold or wrap their tail around someone’s neck. Etc. Any ‘problems’ distinct differences should be those of RPing.

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(5)Segmented Body- Much like ants, wasps, and other insects, the exterior of your body has hardened and now is reminiscent of insects. You gain a +1 natural armor and +1 to body for tests involving impact damage. However you will need to purchase custom made cloths and due to the differences in your body structure, Any invasive surgery(bio and cyberware) is much more difficult to have incorporated into the body.

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(-5)Lizard frill(s)-on one or more parts of your body has frills much like that of a lizard. While you have some control over them, they tend to flare out when you are feeling an extreme emotion like anger or glee. {usual locations are on neck, under arms, back, head.}

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(-5)Plant growth- Some incomplete gene has cause your body to grow plant structures on various parts of your body. While you can trim them, they will grow back, though they will never grow too unruly. Some examples are moss, flowers, twigs, brush, leafs, etc. You gain no bonus from this.

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(-5)- Soil like skin- For some reason your skin seems to be a perfect place for plants to grow. Often times seeds, spores and the like from the environment will somehow manage to get on you and begin to grow as if they were in soil. The root system will slowly dig their way down into your body. While the roots of small plants will never cause you harm, larger plants can be dangerous. However with proper gardening skills it is possible to safely maintain vegetation on your body. It is inadvisable to attempt to grow fruits or vegetables since growing them will be a pain, not to mention harvesting them.

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(5/-5?)Extra arms(vestigial)- The two extra arms you were suppose to grow have never fully developed and have become vestigial. While they can move, they are to small and weak to do anything significant beyond holding small and light objects.

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(-5/-10)Revealed/emaciated bone structure- Some strange metagene has caused parts of, or your entire, body to become emaciated in appearance. The effect depends on the level. With the -5 level, the degree of emaciation is minor, but noticeable. This affects small areas. With the proper attire and a moderate amount of makeup you can disguise this. This level does not give you any physical penalty. The -10 level causes the emaciation to make you look inhuman. It is insanely difficult to hide/cover up the condition. )
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Here are some other qualities that are not complete and need a some focus to complete them.

(10)Tentacle Limbs-

(5)Vampiric fangs-(fangs[allow player to drain or inject whatever into someone]-{“sucking out fluids from someone takes time, pointless in combat}

(5-10)Ore Skin-(sections of skin to entire limbs take on a crystal/metallic texture/consistency)-[minor: just feel, but no real bonus|Major: actual bonus, but more obvious]

(10)Insectoid Limbs-(you have either sprouted an extra pair of insect/arachnid like limbs that are fully functional/ or turns a set of limbs into the previous mentioned.)

(5-10)Internal Sack/cavities + Ducts-(you have grown fair sized sack(s) organ(s) somewhere in your body that have outlets/inlets. The openings to these organs are mildly noticeable. Openings are held shut with specialized muscles around the openings)
Machine_From_God
I like both the Wings and the Snake Body mutations, especially the latter. I love snakmen smile.gif

Problem with Wings, at least Functional Wings, is basically it would be impossible to fly without further mutations like hollow bones and a lowered muscle and tissue density. There are problems enough making a metahuman fly with wings. Granted, you can always just hand-wave at the mana levels, say a wizard did it and call it a day.

Serpent Body works fairly well I think. Why does it give a bonus to climbing though? That should be a penalty, since you lack feet and toes to go for footholds with. Also I think it should use your full strength; it's a huge muscely tail that replaced the strongest muscles you used to have, which were in your legs.
Machiavelli
I created a similar effect that matches your "non-functional wings" and simply used the "insectoid features"-quality. They can include e.g. butterfly wings and one of my chars has bat-wings so i adapted it for him. They are just for the look, of course.^^
The Overlord
QUOTE (Machine_From_God @ Jun 29 2009, 12:22 AM) *
I like both the Wings and the Snake Body mutations, especially the latter. I love snakmen smile.gif

Problem with Wings, at least Functional Wings, is basically it would be impossible to fly without further mutations like hollow bones and a lowered muscle and tissue density. There are problems enough making a metahuman fly with wings. Granted, you can always just hand-wave at the mana levels, say a wizard did it and call it a day.

Serpent Body works fairly well I think. Why does it give a bonus to climbing though? That should be a penalty, since you lack feet and toes to go for footholds with. Also I think it should use your full strength; it's a huge muscly tail that replaced the strongest muscles you used to have, which were in your legs.


I think you might be right about the functional wings. At the same time though as far as I am aware dragons are never described as having hollowed bones and definitely have a considerable amount of muscle and tissue density. Yes they are fictional, but still winged dragons within SR and most RPGs do not need magic to fly, simply powerful wings. Maybe the Functional wings quality should modify the rest of the body with some minor mechanics stipulations attached.

As for the climbing bonus, have you ever seen a snake climb. They do it all the time. I have seen snakes in Texas that can climb straight up the side of a tree. Also if you have ever held a snake you will have noticed how they wrap themselves around whatever they are climbing. Its all in how they move their scales. Though you may have a point. As for the strength bit, have you ever seen a snake eat? I have a boa constrictor and when he is hunting for his meal, he doesn't use just brute force. He is pretty darn quick. Though maybe the reaction att should just be used for the initial test and just strength after.
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