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Ghremdal
Disclaimer: I don't think the following should be implemented in rules as they are now. Mostly these are just musings about the state of dystopian future technology. Mostly this is a idea to play around with



My idea is that 'ware should have more downsides the poorer quality it is. For example basic bone density augmentation could perhaps give a penalty to athletics skill DP (since it makes you heavier), while a deltaware bone density augmentation shouldn't.

Now, assuming other rules are changed so all is balanced as neatly as possible, I think this would be a positive change due to the following reason.

1) This increases the value of higher grades of 'ware. Deltaware could be without any bad effects attached to it, so a Deltawared Sam would be a effective, frightening beast.

2) Decrease the value of lower grade 'ware. This can be a justification why a lot of people don't have such 'ware, even if it is cheap enough for almost anyone. Having difficulty eating soup with a spoon with basic Wired reflexes implanted might discourage most people from wiring up.

3) It feels Shadowrun to me. While I am a newbie at it, starting out with malfunctional or barely functional ware and working your way to the top of the line stuff seems much more rewarding then just being able to have more stuff in you. It also allows mundanes to compete somewhat with people with basic 'ware in them.

So what are your thought, ideas?
Drats
I like the cut of your jib, sir or madam, but it would be a fair bit of work statting it out. I already have a rule sort of like this in place, but it only applies when there's a glitch on the availability test to locate (or the medtech test to install) secondhand 'ware. To date, it's never come into play, but if it ever does the disadvantage is going to be wholly dependent on GM Fiat. I imagine that if you wanted to implement something like this as a cohesive rules system (and maintain realism) you'd have to come up with a distinct disadvantage for almost every different type of ware, as well as how much these disadvantages are reduced for each ascending grade.
tagz
As a GM, it sounds like a great way to punish anyone who isn't Awakened or a techonomancer to me.

The cost and essence requirements are already fairly prohibitive, only allowing a cybered character to go so far without upgrading to more expensive grades. Giving them extra penalties for the equipment they rely on will reduce their effectiveness and if you don't invent some similar penalty for the awakened characters then the cybered ones will feel like they got the shaft.

If you really think this is a good idea then try it out in your own game. After a few sessions tell your group to make new characters for themselves in case they die. I'll bet they all want become adepts, magicians, mystic adepts, or techonomancers because being cybered will just be less appealing.
Wandering One
I like this idea, but not necessarily the implimentation. Instead of penalties, bonuses. Why? Because Beta-delta's a right royal wretch to come by (at least in my worlds, and the ones I've played), but like initiation grades, worth it. It gives street sammies and the cybered world an equivalent boost to the karma junkies.
Delarn
QUOTE (Drats @ Apr 11 2010, 07:07 PM) *
I like the cut of your jib, sir or madam, but it would be a fair bit of work statting it out. I already have a rule sort of like this in place, but it only applies when there's a glitch on the availability test to locate (or the medtech test to install) secondhand 'ware. To date, it's never come into play, but if it ever does the disadvantage is going to be wholly dependent on GM Fiat. I imagine that if you wanted to implement something like this as a cohesive rules system (and maintain realism) you'd have to come up with a distinct disadvantage for almost every different type of ware, as well as how much these disadvantages are reduced for each ascending grade.


He would have to do groups of disadvantage : IE : Group A - B - C
Normal have all of them
Alpha B - C
Beta C
Delta None

QUOTE (tagz @ Apr 11 2010, 07:18 PM) *
As a GM, it sounds like a great way to punish anyone who isn't Awakened or a techonomancer to me.

The cost and essence requirements are already fairly prohibitive, only allowing a cybered character to go so far without upgrading to more expensive grades. Giving them extra penalties for the equipment they rely on will reduce their effectiveness and if you don't invent some similar penalty for the awakened characters then the cybered ones will feel like they got the shaft.

If you really think this is a good idea then try it out in your own game. After a few sessions tell your group to make new characters for themselves in case they die. I'll bet they all want become adepts, magicians, mystic adepts, or techonomancers because being cybered will just be less appealing.


He would have to reduce all essence cost to the Delta one. So it would be only the advantage and disadvantage that count and not really the essence tax.

IE: Wire Reflex Normal : Group A : Always On
Group B : Dice Pool -2 to all test that does not require reflexes.
Group C : Exagerated clumsy reflexes (Composure test Agility + Willpower (Level *2) to do precise movement)

tagz
QUOTE (Delarn @ Apr 11 2010, 11:44 PM) *
He would have to do groups of disadvantage : IE : Group A - B - C
Normal have all of them
Alpha B - C
Beta C
Delta None



He would have to reduce all essence cost to the Delta one. So it would be only the advantage and disadvantage that count and not really the essence tax.

IE: Wire Reflex Normal : Group A : Always On
Group B : Dice Pool -2 to all test that does not require reflexes.
Group C : Exagerated clumsy reflexes (Composure test Agility + Willpower (Level *2) to do precise movement)

Oh boy... that looks awful to play.

So by this method a street sam would have to make an Agility + Willpower(level (Rating?) x 2) test to just be able to make another test at -2 to shoot a gun, because it's not a reaction based test? Sounds like a lot of extra bookkeeping for a house-rule that will basically become worthless as nobody will want to play cybered character in that game.

Sure the essence cost all being delta level is nice, but just that one piece of cyber alone would make the character tricky in many situations. Now combine that with all other pieces of cyber and their detroments... Since they won't be able to afford much delta priced gear at character gen they'll have to settle for lots of penalties.

I bet you'd see a lot of bumbling worthless Street Sams that can't do their jobs.

No... I think the current system is pretty good. If you really think the current system doesn't have enough of the dystopian feel then I would say that maybe all standard ware comes with the quality "Buggy Ware" perhaps. That would at least just make glitches and critical glitches more likely and they could use edge to counter it if needed. And even then it's still something of an unfair thing to do to only cybered character types.
IceKatze
hi hi

In this case you would probably have to make it a little more feasible to be able to get deltaware. Never in all my games have I seen someone actually acquire deltaware.
Delarn
QUOTE (tagz @ Apr 11 2010, 07:59 PM) *
Oh boy... that looks awful to play.

So by this method a street sam would have to make an Agility + Willpower(level (Rating?) x 2) test to just be able to make another test at -2 to shoot a gun, because it's not a reaction based test? Sounds like a lot of extra bookkeeping for a house-rule that will basically become worthless as nobody will want to play cybered character in that game.

Sure the essence cost all being delta level is nice, but just that one piece of cyber alone would make the character tricky in many situations. Now combine that with all other pieces of cyber and their detroments... Since they won't be able to afford much delta priced gear at character gen they'll have to settle for lots of penalties.

I bet you'd see a lot of bumbling worthless Street Sams that can't do their jobs.

No... I think the current system is pretty good. If you really think the current system doesn't have enough of the dystopian feel then I would say that maybe all standard ware comes with the quality "Buggy Ware" perhaps. That would at least just make glitches and critical glitches more likely and they could use edge to counter it if needed. And even then it's still something of an unfair thing to do to only cybered character types.


I didn't say it was good I just thrown an example there ! wink.gif
Since SR 4 I don't play cybered Character. I tend to play Technomancers, AI and Awakened characters.
Technomancer with Echos Biowire + the advanced that make the Biowire like the Move By Wires, Overclocking and the Advanced one. You've got a beast right there. Enough over threading ...

Making this side system would make Cybered character less atractive yes. Would they be boring to play ... yes and no. Would the characters buy seconhand wares ... A lot more ! Would their be REPO MAN to take back cyberwares from runners that have not been able to pay for their Delta ... yes !

Could make thing interesting also... But at the end the concept would need a lot more to be really interesting.
Ghremdal
As I said, to implement this mall'ware (if you will) you would need to redo a lot of the system, mostly nerfing Awakened and Technomancers. Assume for the sake of discussion that has happened and there no balance issues.

QUOTE
I like this idea, but not necessarily the implimentation. Instead of penalties, bonuses. Why? Because Beta-delta's a right royal wretch to come by (at least in my worlds, and the ones I've played), but like initiation grades, worth it. It gives street sammies and the cybered world an equivalent boost to the karma junkies.


That is pretty much the same approach, just with a different philosophical view. I prefer penalties to bonuses myself, since I think that is more fun to play with. Your approach might be easier to implement thought, and keep track of. Something to consider perhaps.

QUOTE
I like the cut of your jib, sir or madam, but it would be a fair bit of work statting it out. I already have a rule sort of like this in place, but it only applies when there's a glitch on the availability test to locate (or the medtech test to install) secondhand 'ware. To date, it's never come into play, but if it ever does the disadvantage is going to be wholly dependent on GM Fiat. I imagine that if you wanted to implement something like this as a cohesive rules system (and maintain realism) you'd have to come up with a distinct disadvantage for almost every different type of ware, as well as how much these disadvantages are reduced for each ascending grade.


It would take a fair bit of work to stat all those things out. I could probably come with a list of most common 'ware by the end of the week. Perhaps that would offer additional insight. Though even that would be a rough draft, a lot more number crunching would go into further development, if I were to make it a official house rule.

Thanks to all for all the suggestions, keep them coming.
kjones
QUOTE (IceKatze @ Apr 11 2010, 08:01 PM) *
hi hi

In this case you would probably have to make it a little more feasible to be able to get deltaware. Never in all my games have I seen someone actually acquire deltaware.


I always kind of got the sense that deltaware was more for NPCs than for PCs, just because of the insane availability ratings.
IceKatze
hi hi

QUOTE
I always kind of got the sense that deltaware was more for NPCs than for PCs, just because of the insane availability ratings.
I agree, and not just because of the availability, but also the cost. There was one game I was in where someone got on good terms with a deltaware clinic, but nobody could afford anything useful. Yes, some of the cheap things like cybereyes are doable, but for big things like Bone Lacing, Muscle Replacement or Wired Reflexes it can quickly spiral into phenomenally expensive.
Ol' Scratch
The trick is to give unaugmented characters an advantage or two based on their Essence score. Rewarding a lack of augmentations is better than punishing those who go the other way, even though the net result is essentially the same. Positive reinforcement and all that. Right now, there's simply no incentive to stay unaugmented at all. You gain absolutely nothing by it, especially since skills and attributes are so expensive during character creation that you might get maybe 2 to 4 more skills or attribute points in exchange for the cash a heavily cybered character gets for their implants, which in turn nets them way more advantages.

The problem is trying to figure out what advantages a high Essence should bring while still making implants viable and attractive, too.
LurkerOutThere
So what's the point of playing a post modern setting again? After all if we're going to get to the point that everyone is going to play wizards (spellcasters) and paladins(adepts).

Ok that was a bit bitter: But truth of the matter is cyberware is already slightly underpowered, anything that a cybered character can do can already be done (in many cases better) with magic. Now further you want to insitute a further F U for playing cybered character. As if the by the book penalties to mundane healing wern't already bad enough.

Again, why in a transhumanist post modern game should playing a high essence character be rewarded. It's like saying "Gee you guys want to use bows and arrows in a world of machine guns, surely you should be given something to bring them up to par."
IceKatze
hi hi

I can think of a couple of possible house rules to give mundane, unaugmented humans a niche at best or a small compensation at worst.

The active skills: Animal Handling, Animal Training and Riding are negatively effected by essence loss in a similar way to social skills, this goes double for awakened critters. Someone who wants a barghest attack dog will want to keep essence loss to a minimum.

Attacks of Will are negatively effected by essence loss. Not huge, but something.
Dixie Flatline
QUOTE (Ghremdal @ Apr 11 2010, 04:23 PM) *
That is pretty much the same approach, just with a different philosophical view. I prefer penalties to bonuses myself, since I think that is more fun to play with. Your approach might be easier to implement thought, and keep track of. Something to consider perhaps.


I'm going to say that you really want to avoid mandatory penalties, in a game design sense, unless necessary.

"Hey, pay a bunch of money and some essence, and take a penalty, and a bonus".

Even knowing what you're getting at, as a gamer that feels... obscene...

Besides, what's to say you can't do that already without mechanics? One of my players in SR3 created an entire character concept off of a perceived "defect" in wired reflexes 3. We described his personality as that dude who drinks way too much coffee and is always amped up, but 10 times worse. Twitch was a fun PC. Prematurely graying hair from all the stress, twitches and shivers, incredibly impatient, and addicted to downers so he could move at the speed of the rest of the world. However, when he cleaned himself up, he was an artist with pistols in QCB. No mechanics adjustment needed: the player was willing to create "flavor" for his character. Sure some of it might have been "penalties", but he took them on as he wished, and got to customize them to his character. That's the essential difference between what he did and what you're proposing.

I understand what you're going at, but either the penalties would have to be so slight as to not really worry about them or so cripplingly debilitating that there's no point in getting cybered out.

Now, if you want flavor text about personality quirks and behaviors and *optional* "penalties" one could take on, then I'm all up for that.
Manunancy
QUOTE (IceKatze @ Apr 12 2010, 06:18 AM) *
Attacks of Will are negatively effected by essence loss. Not huge, but something.


Willpower is already the weak link for for the cybered - you can't do much to pump up willpower with 'ware, and mana-based spells are already easier on teh maegthan physical ones. I don'think there's aneed to make it worse.
Drats
Forgive me if I've misread you, but for clarification: Attacks of Will are a specific type of attack listed in street magic, whereby any character, awakened or not, can use their Willpower (+counterspelling, if they possess the skill) as a "weapon" that ignores the Hardened Armor of a spirit. What IceKatze is suggesting isn't to make it tougher for low-essence characters to resist spells, but to make it harder for them to perform such an attack.
Voronesh
So let me get this straight.

Currently adepts have problems emulating Ware without paying through the nose, cause power points arent that abundant.

Now with your version, adepts pay more in power points, but get none of the penalties?

Yay, you have turned the world into 99% awakened, instead of 99% mundane.

Seriously, my cyberchars normally run around at about 1 essence point. Thats enough ware to turn that character into a total wreck if you applied -1 dice per ware kinda penalty there. Youd destroy the street sam with the blink of an eye.
Ghremdal
For the final time this is not a proposed houserule. It is about developing a idea about possible mechanics for bad sides of 'ware with the ASSUMPTION that such a approach is balanced with awakened and other characters. I know full well that introducing such a houserule without keeping rules for awakened characters the same would bring a serious disruption in gameplay balance. What I am asking is that you take this idea and explore it with the assumption that it is balanced with other character concepts.
Drats
Like I said before, I like the grittiness of it in the hypothetical framework you've put forth, but I like grittiness in general for SR. I don't think you should make it an issue unless you're dealing with extremely crappy ware, like off-the-back-of-a-truck ware. As a system, it seems cool to me, but I think the balance considerations would be a tad overwhelming.
Jhaiisiin
QUOTE (Ghremdal @ Apr 12 2010, 05:42 AM) *
For the final time this is not a proposed houserule. It is about developing a idea about possible mechanics for bad sides of 'ware with the ASSUMPTION that such a approach is balanced with awakened and other characters. I know full well that introducing such a houserule without keeping rules for awakened characters the same would bring a serious disruption in gameplay balance. What I am asking is that you take this idea and explore it with the assumption that it is balanced with other character concepts.

The problem there is that DS is full of rules-lawyering, tight focused loudmouths (I'm one of them, and I love you all!) that will gladly find and flame any imbalance you bring forth.

That said, good info still gets through quite frequently, and sometimes even good house rules develop. My suggestion would be to start working out specifics of something like this so you can start putting obstacles in the way of naysayers.
Teulisch
what would be nice, would be cyberware options (similar to programming options)- +availibility and *cost, for some options that may have a minimum grade, or a limit to rating by grade (1 normal, 2 alpha, 3 beta, 4 delta, for example- higher grade can get a better version).

and heck, some of these options will end up being Nerps. maybe theres an alphaware-only brand thats simply more popular (+street cred) thats functionally no better than any other brand. and of course there will be negative options as well- the low-end no-name brands. but hey, its cheaper!

i could see 'twitch' problems being very serious with lower-end wired reflexes, the result of cutting corners. the kind of stuff you only find with normal ware, or used ware. perhaps a version thats +ip but without the boost to the reaction attribute, for slightly less essence.

Dixie Flatline
QUOTE (Ghremdal @ Apr 12 2010, 05:42 AM) *
For the final time this is not a proposed houserule. It is about developing a idea about possible mechanics for bad sides of 'ware with the ASSUMPTION that such a approach is balanced with awakened and other characters. I know full well that introducing such a houserule without keeping rules for awakened characters the same would bring a serious disruption in gameplay balance. What I am asking is that you take this idea and explore it with the assumption that it is balanced with other character concepts.



The *fundamental* conceptual problem with giving cyber significant penalties is that you eliminate the purpose for cyber to begin with (augmenting you beyond human capability), unless you jack up the corresponding benefits. You have to make the bennies *so* good that they're worth dealing with a significant disadvantage, or else there's no point in including a disadvantage.

Even a -1 penalty could be as significant as what, 8 complete adventures worth of karma? Let's say you're earning 5 karma per adventure, an average, and you want to raise your stat from 4 to 5. That's 25 karma, which translates into saving up your XP for 5 adventures. Congrats, you've got a 5 now. However, because you can't afford Deltaware, that 25 karma, those 5 missions you just did, they count for f*ck all against someone who decided not to cyber or is wealthy enough to afford delta. As a player, I feel cheated. As a GM, I have to deal with players who complain that they're playing for 50 adventures just to stat themselves up to the point where they counteract the penalties their cyber gives them vs joe blow on the street (not even touching awakened characters).

Essentially, you're arguing that the old school permanent level drain from D&D is a great thing, and should be forced on all characters for relatively marginal improvements.

My problem here is that you're forcing these penalties onto players with no real corresponding benefits. If you wanted to go *down* from standard cyberware, into used, damaged, black market, rejects, "it fell off of a truck" 'ware, then I'm right with you. Allow a character to get wired 3 in exchange for some penalties his character takes. Hell, I'd even be willing to allow "standard" cyberware installations at reduced essence cost if you threw in more quirks, bugs, and penalties, so the guy who wanted wired 3 but couldn't afford the essence cost *could* take it, but have all kinds of problems.

However, make it optional. Always make things optional. The whole point of RPGs is to present options. Otherwise it's masturbatory theater.

Here's a challenge. Propose this to your players: "Hey, I tell you what. I'll let your character see in low light and in the dark if you permanently sacrifice 2 points of agility, unless you dig up deltaware. Oh, and when you up your agility, you'll always spend karma as if you had those 2 points." Because that is, essentially, what you're doing mechanically.

I'll lay money on what the players' answer will be time and again to that proposal. Even a -1 penalty in this game is significant now that target numbers have gone the way of the dodo.
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