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PiXeL01
I have been playing Shadowrun since SR2 and through all of SR3 but I never understood why Essence is the only part of a living entity that cannot be regenerated or replaced. Magic can be Geased.

I have always been wondering why not. Game Balance?

In the SR2-3 rules Essence lost from cyberware implantation left holes in which other implants could be placed, though I cant remember if those holes had to be filled with a similar type of implant.

In my games I made Essence, unless "occupied" by implants, regenerate though slowly (0.1 point pr month).I see Essence as "lifeforce" and as any other part of living organism if giving time would regenerate if circumstances allow.

Could someone please clarify why Essence doesnt regenerate?
Critias
For the most part, you're absolutely correct that it's just a game balance thing. Your house rule sounds perfectly reasonable to me, though.

As an aside, take a look at Augmentation, specifically the Revitalization and Augmented Healing/Cellular Repair, for the canon answer (they're geneware treatments that can, slowly, expensively, and over time, repair Essence lost to magical attacks, and the Essence "hole" created by removing implants).
PoliteMan
At some point, 3rd edition I think, the problem with cyberware wasn't the implantation but how it changed your thinking, for lack of a better term. You begin to think more as a machine, or at least less in normal human terms. At a certain point, your essence "soul" doesn't recognize your body anymore and tries to leave.

A better way to phrase it is probably this. Your essence "soul" has a certain concept of who you are. The more cyberware you install, and more importantly the more experienced and integrated with it you become, the less your essence "soul" is able to recognize your body as it's home. With enough cyberware, your essence "soul" can't recognize your body anymore and leaves, usually causing an unexplicable and mortal bodily failure.

It's the only explanation which made any sense to me. For example, if you tried to live with Wired Reflexes, always moving and reacting twice as fast as everyone else, it'd be hard to think of yourself as really human anymore. At some point you would be more machine than man, especially if you have something like Encephelon, which is an actual computer in your brain controlling your body, and if you do have some sort of magical "soul", it'd probably leave at that point.

While I like this explanation for cyberware, it does absolutely nothing to explain vampires or spirits that can steal and transfer essence.
PiXeL01
I have read about cyberpsychosis and what not and understand princible.But if you take some of that cyberware out again what is then stopping your soul from getting reaquinted with your body as you can steps towards being human again?
Of course if you see your essence as your soul, which every being has, then you could say you are giving a limited amount which cannot be replenished, but then we still have the Essence drain problems as well as transfers.
You could of course say people are capable of sacrificing their own soul to give to another, an act that can only be given completely voluteerily (no magics, torture what not can force someone into doing it). But except fanatics who would sacrifice their soul for another?
Fatum
Well, it's pretty much what Critias said - Essence can be replenished through complex, expensive and rare treatments.
It doesn't heal all by itself for the same reason why a severed hand won't grow back after a time, even very very slowly. Some things just do not heal.
PoliteMan
It's not exactly cyberpsychosis. Cyberpsychosis is medically explicable, essence loss is more magical. And I'm only using the term "soul" 'cause I can't think of a better term. As for why taking the cyberware out doesn't reverse the Essence loss, that didn't make any sense to me either.
hermit
It's not the cyberpsychosis, but really the cyber/bioware itself. You're changing the body in ways the 'soul' pattern doesn't know how to deal with, so it disattaches from the body more and more. Eventually it leaves.

Since there are differnet mechanisms for regenerating essence lost to implants and to essencs drainers (and those essence holes are not applicable for cyberware installation), one could theorise that the drainers really eat the pattern instead of the body, making Vampires and their ilk soul-eating monsters. Of course, mechanically, it's just so that one can be vastly cheaper than the other, so that Infected PC have an easy time feeding.
PiXeL01
While it is true in in our time that limbs doesnt grow back naturally, in SR limbs can be cloned and reattached, even nerve damage can be healed through surgery or implants iirc. (away from my books).

Anyways, thank you for you replies, i appreciate it
Mardrax
Nerve damage outside of the central nervous system can regrow IRL given favourable conditions, as there is no cell necrosis of the neuron itself. All surgery does is try to ensure favourable conditions by bringing separate nerve halves together, and ensure blood supply.
Neuron damage inside the central nervous system may be compensated for somewhat by relegating functions to different parts of the brain, but that's a different story altogether.

Essence however, is magical. The explanation for it working is "It's magic. Just trust us here." It fits nicely into dystopic concepts as well. As always though, houserule if you wish.
Khadajico
I use the same house rule myself in the games I run.

I have had one player take out all his cyberware and spend time and money on shrinks and suchlike to get him back to a functioning normal human.
Fatum
QUOTE (PiXeL01 @ Jan 24 2011, 12:11 PM) *
While it is true in in our time that limbs doesnt grow back naturally, in SR limbs can be cloned and reattached, even nerve damage can be healed through surgery or implants iirc. (away from my books).

A-yep. Same with Essence - it's just that the treatments involved are relatively new and rarely needed, and thus very expensive.
dataweaver
It's not exactly Essence Regeneration, but: I've toyed with a "Cyber-Adept" concept, which would be to Technomancers as Adepts are to Magicians. Briefly, a Cyber-Adept would have a Resonance score; but instead of having a Living Persona, the Cyber-Adept's Resonance would let him attune himself to cybernetic implants, acquiring them without losing any Essence: one point of Resonance would let the Cyber-Adept attune himself to the equivalent of one Essence worth of cybernetics.

Conceptually, I really like the idea; but I'm not sure what effects this would have on the setting, or what further implications it might have.
sabs
Well

1) you should only let it work for Chrome, and not work on Bioware.
2) You end up with a guy who can go into CZ territory without dying.
3) He could get cool Echos that allow him to Redline Cyberware, and do crazy shit with it.
4) it's a cool concept, and I like it.. but it does have an issue in the whole resonance behaves like magic in that essence lost drops your max resonance.

Seth
Shortly after edition 1 came out, I ran a very house rules variant. Any character could initiate, the effects would depend.

Hackers got a bonus to all computer rolls
Magicians were dealt with in the standard rules
Cyborgs could get extra essence equal to the level
Faces could get bonus's to social rules.

It worked well: basically the could cyborgs turn xp into extra essence capability, so they are not hard capped on how much cyberware they can have.



I share with the OP the observation that there is no need for the vampires essence drain to be linked to the cyberware limit.
hermit
QUOTE (dataweaver @ Jan 24 2011, 04:42 PM) *
It's not exactly Essence Regeneration, but: I've toyed with a "Cyber-Adept" concept, which would be to Technomancers as Adepts are to Magicians. Briefly, a Cyber-Adept would have a Resonance score; but instead of having a Living Persona, the Cyber-Adept's Resonance would let him attune himself to cybernetic implants, acquiring them without losing any ssence: one point of Resonance would let the Cyber-Adept attune himself to the equivalent of one Essence worth of cybernetics.

That seems vastly overpowered for me. Especially since he can - theoretically - get limitless cyber then. I agree it works well with the Technomancer concept, and in tune with that, it would render mundane characters even more obsolete.

QUOTE (dataweaver @ Jan 24 2011, 04:42 PM) *
Conceptually, I really like the idea; but I'm not sure what effects this would have on the setting, or what further implications it might have.

Shadowrun wuld degenrate into a game where everyone could only play either techmages, techadepts, adepts or mages. Because mundane concepts - let alone mundanes without extreme mods - would be rendered utterly futile. Whatever floats your boat, but that's not man meets magic meets machine anymore.
pbangarth
QUOTE (hermit @ Jan 24 2011, 11:02 AM) *
That seems vastly overpowered for me. Especially since he can - theoretically - get limitless cyber then. I agree it works well with the Technomancer concept, and in tune with that, it would render mundane characters even more obsolete.


Shadowrun wuld degenrate into a game where everyone could only play either techmages, techadepts, adepts or mages. Because mundane concepts - let alone mundanes without extreme mods - would be rendered utterly futile. Whatever floats your boat, but that's not man meets magic meets machine anymore.

It does seem to fit the transhumanist tendency of the cyberpunk genre, though, doesn't it?
hermit
QUOTE
It does seem to fit the transhumanist tendency of the cyberpunk genre, though, doesn't it?

Usually, the Cyberpunk gende does not use genuine magic (which is what Resonance is, mechanically and in terms of how it is explained) as a storytelling device.
sabs
I would be happier if cyberware improved significantly to the point where man becomes machine becomes man is a reasonable concept.

Homo Sapien Technocratic (people with math spu/co-processors/databases implanted at or near birth)

Imagine spending your life where facial recognition allows you to pull up a full detailed 'dossier' of everyone you know, including personal information.


Yerameyahu
So play Eclipse Phase. smile.gif For me, cyberpunk is the (early!) transition era, not 'we're all machines now'.
sabs
Sure..
But they're already heading that way with all the magic.

I'm saying, i like exploring Man and Machine more than Man and MagicalMachines
Yerameyahu
Sure, but I don't think the solution is to break it two ways instead of one. biggrin.gif
sabs
we're already almost there with e-ghosts, AI's and the amount of mind-altering cyberware available.

dataweaver
QUOTE (hermit @ Jan 24 2011, 08:02 AM) *
That seems vastly overpowered for me. Especially since he can - theoretically - get limitless cyber then. I agree it works well with the Technomancer concept, and in tune with that, it would render mundane characters even more obsolete.

How would this be any different from the tendency for Adepts to render mundane characters obsolete? Granted, Adepts don't get unlimited cybernetics (though, in practice, neither would cyber-adepts); but they do get - equally theoretical - unlimited access to cybernetics' magical counterpart, adept powers.

All that said, I'm a big proponent of TANSTAAFL. I prefer to handle magicians and adepts as individuals who, in opening themselves up to magic, not only gain access to powers and abilities that mundanes cannot match, but also make themselves susceptible to some dangers that mundanes generally don't have to worry about. Likewise with technomancers and, if I implement them, cyber-adepts: there needs to be some price to be paid for the special benefits that come with technological resonance.

QUOTE (sabs @ Jan 24 2011, 07:47 AM) *
Well

1) you should only let it work for Chrome, and not work on Bioware.
2) You end up with a guy who can go into CZ territory without dying.
3) He could get cool Echos that allow him to Redline Cyberware, and do crazy shit with it.
4) it's a cool concept, and I like it.. but it does have an issue in the whole resonance behaves like magic in that essence lost drops your max resonance.

1) I'm assuming that this is primarily for game balance reasons? I.e., bioware has inherently lower Essence costs for the benefits that it provides, so a cyber-adept would get too much bang for the buck if he were to be permitted to resonate with bioware? Hmm... instead of a flat-out ban on bioware, how about saying that bioware is harder to resonate with, requiring (say) two or three times as much Resonance as usual to offset the usual Essence cost? Call it a paradox of the cyber-adept condition: for some reason, the blatantly inhuman chrome is easier to attune to than the more organic bioware.

2) True enough. I expect that when and if cyber-adepts first start appearing, this is likely to create some consternation among the cybermancy community.

3) I hadn't considered Echoes; but yeah, I could see this. I wonder how far you could go with this: could a cyber-adept take an Echo that allows his attuned cybernetics to self-repair, effectively healing themselves as if they were flesh and blood? Mind you, I'm not talking regeneration or regrowth here: an implant that's ripped out wouldn't grow back any more than an amputated arm would, nor would it knit itself back together any faster (or better) than flesh does if it were merely damaged; but even that level of mechanical healing would be impressive (and potentially disturbing).

4) Yeah; this was a concern that I was having. You "lose" Resonance either way; the difference is that a cyber-adept only "loses" Resonance, whereas an augmented technomancer would lose both Resonance and Essence. OTOH, technomancers get those cool Living Personas that grant them an unprecedented degree of access to the Matrix; cyber-adepts would have to make do with more traditional links. (Although there might perhaps be an Echo that lets them get around that limitation?) Or am I missing your point?
Quake
To avoid starting another thread, I'll "hitchhike" a little related question :

Given that ghouls start play at Essence 5, rather than 6 (due to HMHVV-III) :

QUOTE
Starting Infected characters start with Essence 5 and Magic 1 during character generation. The Infected may increase their Magic attribute with BP or Karma as any other attribute to a maximum of 5 (+ initiate grade).


Of course, Genetech is banned, but explicitly only Revitalization is mentionned (RC, p.83) :

QUOTE
Revitalization gene therapy cannot recover Essence lost to HMHVV III infection.


Now, cellular repair is different from Revitalization, it's in another section in Augmentation, and according to the FAQ :

QUOTE
Can cellular repair (p.88, Augmentation) regain Essence lost due to infection with HMHVV?

Yes.


Does that mean a ghoul can take cellular repair and have Essence 6 ? O_o
Yerameyahu
My position: No. Cellular Repair is for repairing Essence lost due to infection with HMHVV which was subsequently survived (nigh-impossible, of course). After all, you do lose Essence *during* the infection. smile.gif
PoliteMan
QUOTE (Quake @ Jan 25 2011, 11:36 AM) *
Does that mean a ghoul can take cellular repair and have Essence 6 ? O_o

I'd say no. The damage is not a one time thing, the victim is still suffering from HMHVV and it will simply damage/destroy any repaired cells. It's the same reason Ghouls can't get geneware, HMHVV undoes the modification because it is an ongoing effect.

In a more RAW sense, HMHVV not only lowers Essence but Max Essence.
Manunancy
QUOTE (dataweaver @ Jan 25 2011, 04:08 AM) *
1) I'm assuming that this is primarily for game balance reasons? I.e., bioware has inherently lower Essence costs for the benefits that it provides, so a cyber-adept would get too much bang for the buck if he were to be permitted to resonate with bioware? Hmm... instead of a flat-out ban on bioware, how about saying that bioware is harder to resonate with, requiring (say) two or three times as much Resonance as usual to offset the usual Essence cost? Call it a paradox of the cyber-adept condition: for some reason, the blatantly inhuman chrome is easier to attune to than the more organic bioware.


In my opinion it's not only a matter of balance but also of concept - if the tech-adept is bridging the flesh-machine divide, I don't see him getting any special benefits toward bioware. Those are, afterall, living flesh oR at least something closely related to it. Cyberware and hard nanites on the other hand are pure machine, the animated yet unliving products of technology.
Teryon
One could always treat the cyber\bioware thing, at least in-game, as follows:

Cyberware is *not* flesh. The mind recognizes this, the soul recognizes this. It works, feels, moves differently, and a cyber-adept can make the psychological and holistic bends, leaps and such to integrate such alien things into him\herself. But bioware is a far more subtle thing, since technically it should be identical yet its not. It would take a far more discerning mental eye to be able to handle the far more subtle bioware differences(like, the difference between a titanium\bioplastic heart implant vs one they grew out of your own cells in a vat with artificial chemicals and non-self-processed compounds).

Out of game, yeah, simply have it that bioware is something only an Advanced Cyber-adept could handle, and even then the costs are expensive enough that there's a reason said adept is going for it. Something like initiation on the magic side of things. Though mechanically I cant quite figure out how to make it so that anyone would bother outside of plot\character reasons, if bioware is going to require more karma to pay for or whatnot, people will just use cyberware.

Well, unless the bioware would help them avoid the modified-essence limit, maybe someone who's implanting ALOT of ware really quickly in terms of karma development would use it to avoid going the CZ route.
sabs
You're a technomancer adept. It just doesn't make alot of sense that you can 'integrate with Bone Density Augmentation, or Orthoskin. Course, it doesn't make much sense that you could integrate better with Dermal Plating either. smile.gif
Teryon
Only if dermal plating is just chunks of metal with no circuitry at all in them
sabs
QUOTE (Teryon @ Jan 25 2011, 07:03 PM) *
Only if dermal plating is just chunks of metal with no circuitry at all in them


Which it is smile.gif
Teryon
Huh. I wouldve expected something more elaborate than something I could pull off today were I sufficiently insane..

That being said, there's two ways to handle that then:

1. Said CA dosent get to adapt to it, there's nothing to integrate, its the equivalent of having your skin stripped off to put on a jacket because its raining.

2. They get to, and its far more mystical\illogical.

Id lean towards Option A simply because if its just metal, there's *no* feedback. At least most cyberlimbs give you feedback of some kind.

dataweaver
QUOTE (sabs @ Jan 25 2011, 09:13 AM) *
You're a technomancer adept. It just doesn't make a lot of sense that you can 'integrate with Bone Density Augmentation, or Orthoskin. Course, it doesn't make much sense that you could integrate better with Dermal Plating either. smile.gif

Think of it this way: your Essence normally takes the form of a human-shaped aura. Installing chunks of metal in your body normally disrupts that Essence-form, leaving holes in it (and thus costing you Essence). A cyber-adept can instead Resonate with those chunks of metal so that they're now effectively transparent to his Essence. Technically, it ought to be easier to do this if circuitry of some sort is involved; but that would involve considering cybernetics on a case-by-case basis. Better to just make a blanket ruling.
Teryon
QUOTE (dataweaver @ Jan 25 2011, 02:38 PM) *
Think of it this way: your Essence normally takes the form of a human-shaped aura. Installing chunks of metal in your body normally disrupts that Essence-form, leaving holes in it (and thus costing you Essence). A cyber-adept can instead Resonate with those chunks of metal so that they're now effectively transparent to his Essence. Technically, it ought to be easier to do this if circuitry of some sort is involved; but that would involve considering cybernetics on a case-by-case basis. Better to just make a blanket ruling.


Probably wouldnt be that complicated, I dont recall many pieces of cyber just being chunks of metal. Hell, I didnt even think dermal plating was mere metal. Thats probably going to be the isolated exception to the rule as opposed to introducing multiple rules-lawyering cases.
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