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Full Version: Transhumanism or superheroes - without essence cost, how hard would the game break?
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Brainpiercing7.62mm
So I keep thinking about this: how important is essence as a game balance tool? (Because it certainly serves pretty poorly as anything else.)

So now there are two train of thoughts here:

1) Every character, as in, special person, is awakened for free, and does NOT suffer magic loss, either. People who wish to be mundane can cash in on their magical quality (5bp/10karma for adept).

2) magic loss is the only consequence of augmentation

Even cursorily glancing through the books brings me to a money stop when starting to install serious cyber/bio. Also, bioware instantly loses some of it's advantage, since you're not splitting the pool anymore, and the high cost holds it back. The only way to make really filthy use of it is using used cyber. Also, a lot of ware needs Restricted gear at a useful rating, so you're not buying endless high rating wares.

So basically, how much does the game turn into a clash of demigods? Is this like epic D&D, where the game basically breaks, or does the scale simply shift? I'm thinking the game is actually less likely to break, because DP creep is less bad than bonus creep with a fixed RNG. What will likely happen first is that characters will not only have obscene offensive DPs, but rather obscene defenses, too, due to cyberlimbs/armour/dermal sheath/etc. So will the game overall become more deadly, or less?

The other thing is that now fairly well-rounded characters can still have large DPs in some areas. When playing around with DK's sheet a bit I immediately don't find my attempt at a character much more extreme than some of the chars posted on these boards - however, he can sport a 20dice offensive pool while still having around 30+dice for damage resistance (which clearly isn't really that much). I also don't need to min-max much.

Yerameyahu
Given that everything was designed with Essence in place, you'd have to change everything before you could do anything. smile.gif As you say, used cyber, and then bioware, are totally different from their old selves. You'd throw out half the book just removing the redundant items.

The question you pose has too many variables to really predict, but I guess that everyone would spend all their cash on 'ware, while retaining magic; everyone would be extreme cyber-mysads. The proliferation of defenses wouldn't matter for direct combat spells (and mind control, illusions, etc.), so they'd get even more popular. NPCs (esp. mundanes) would indeed become literally ignorable. Spirits would be useless as combat drones, so they'd use their unstoppable Powers instead. I can't say if it'd be more or less deadly, because there's not that much 'ware that can make you more deadly than people already are… but spells don't care about your cyberarmor.
Hida Tsuzua
Do technomancers lose resonance as well? If not, that's a huge change for them.

I'm not sure if anything really changes by the "everyone starts as a mage" aspect or why add it in this thought experiment as a confounding variable. It just makes being a mage cheaper. Since the magician quality was 15 points, you only "save" 10 BP which isn't much of a deal.

As for the general thrust of the thought experiment, it's "what if mundanes didn't have to worry about essence loss?" The answer is that heavy essence killers like full body replacements, wired reflexes 3, and muscle replacements do pretty well for themselves. Full body replacement + WR2 is extremely cheap and can give you a lot of attributes. You'll see a lot of cripples in shells. Cyberarmor is a great deal that becomes better. That hurts mundane sources of damage especially as a threat to PCs.

However, in the end it's not that big of a deal. Mundanes can make essence go a hell of a long way especially if they have money. Cash is the only real limiter. Really it'll be the same if shadowrunner pay was really high in the 50000+Y a person range. Mundanes eventually converge to full body replacements unless they have really huge physical stats anyways.
JanessaVR
This is basically what I've been advocating for some time. I like the idea of the full-body cyborgs from Cyberpunk 2020 and Ghost in the Shell. I think you could keep Essence around as a balancing factor, but simply make one change, as follows:

Acquiring cyberware and bioware will reduce your character's Essence score, which in turn reduces their Magic rating. If Essence hits 0, your character does not die, but loses all Awakened abilities, no longer being able to perform magic.

And there you go. Street sammies can load up on as much cyberware as they want (it would be smart to just go the full-body route), and mages will typically avoid it if they know what's good for them (although a friend of mine is adamant in insisting that losing 1 point of Essence for his mages to acquire cybereyes, a datajack, etc. is worth it, and I can see that argument).
Irion
@JanessaVR
It would end up with characters having half of the book installed as ware.

In short: Mages would only operate astral and adepts will be fucked big time.
Technomancers will be fucked too.
Yerameyahu
I agree: mentioning magic in this equation is really superfluous. What we're talking about is unlimited mundane augmentation (and at significantly lower costs, too).
JanessaVR
QUOTE (Irion @ Feb 10 2012, 10:50 AM) *
@JanessaVR
It would end up with characters having half of the book installed as ware.

In short: Mages would only operate astral and adepts will be fucked big time.
Technomancers will be fucked too.

Well, yes, that's more or less what I was saying. If you're not a mage, might as well go full cyborg body. What's the problem? Tabletop GitS:SAC meets the Sixth World. Mundanes go purely mechanical, mages avoid it, and thus you don't have full-borg-body spellcasters, and avoid all that "cyberzombie" nonsense. Yes, Adepts would be screwed. So what, I always thought they were a bad deal anyway.
Yerameyahu
Well, one problem is that this would totally change the game world (no progression beyond cyber into bio, etc.). Not insurmountable, of course.
3278
I played around with it with my own group some years ago, and it didn't really have a massive effect on the game. It's always seemed to me like this mostly changes the very high end of the game, anyway, where many people feel Awakened characters have a significant advantage already; this can smooth that advantage, particularly if the game is calibrated for the alteration [with the sorts of changes Yerameyahu and others have already mentioned would be necessary]. I thought it was kind of fun, and would be even better in SR4a [where I sometimes have problems shoehorning everything I want into low-end characters who can't afford high-grade ware].
Yerameyahu
Honestly, it depends on the game you want (not the world, the game). If you want a game where the PCs *don't* start at or near their maximum powers, this change is a problem; SR4 is bad enough in this regard (as are games like Exalted), for several things, and this would exacerbate it. If you *do* want that, then yes. smile.gif
JanessaVR
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 10 2012, 12:21 PM) *
Well, one problem is that this would totally change the game world (no progression beyond cyber into bio, etc.). Not insurmountable, of course.

Change it for the better, I would argue. As always, YMMV. That said, I think now's a good time to mention this to our GM, as we're going to be starting a new campaign soon.
Yerameyahu
Better or worse, it's a significant history and world change, I'm saying. smile.gif This issue can't be assumed to only affect mechanics, that's all.
3278
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 10 2012, 09:33 PM) *
If you want a game where the PCs *don't* start at or near their maximum powers, this change is a problem...

Wait, what? Maybe it's the phrasing, but I'm confused. I want a game where PCs start at, whatever, 1 percent of their potential, but this change isn't a problem for me. Could you explain?
Yerameyahu
This change makes it even easier in SR4 to start at a higher fraction of your max (esp. in a given subfield). Money and Essence are both less limiting, now; you can have more of your cyber wishlist than under the normal rules. SR4 is pretty bad for this already (one can already begin as literally the greatest marksman on Earth, for example).
Brainpiercing7.62mm
Maybe with some real cyber concealability rules bioware could still have a future? Cyber is cheap and obvious, bio is expensive + undetectable.

I agree that the no magic-loss idea was really just a way to make superheroes, which isn't a game that could even remotely be translated back to Shadowrun.

However, with magic loss still in place... it could be fun, if a little different.
3278
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 10 2012, 10:31 PM) *
This change makes it even easier in SR4 to start at a higher fraction of your max (esp. in a given subfield).

How would it do that? Wouldn't the increase of your maximum be proportionate to the increase in your minimum?
Yerameyahu
No? There's a set number and ratings of the relevant cyber for any given subfield. Infinite essence mostly lets you generalize, not specialize. It does let you start closer to your max specialization for a given subfield, was my point.
Udoshi
QUOTE (Brainpiercing7.62mm @ Feb 10 2012, 09:29 AM) *
1) Every character, as in, special person, is awakened for free, and does NOT suffer magic loss, either. People who wish to be mundane can cash in on their magical quality (5bp/10karma for adept).


One of the more interesting houserules i've seen proposed on the forums here for a game is to make EVERYONE an Adept for free - basically boot everyone straight into Hollywood Protagonist mode, and give them a set/limited # of power points, perhaps based on Edge or something.
Basically the idea is that a lot of Adept powers are not very magical at all, and could be attributed to special training, so you give everyone a few power points to flesh out their idea.
3278
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 10 2012, 10:31 PM) *
No? There's a set number and ratings of the relevant cyber for any given subfield.

Right, and that caps the high end, absolutely. But a starting level character can't hit the Availability they'd need to make proportionate use of the limitless essence, and in many cases wouldn't be able to afford it, either...depending, of course, on the changes needed to make the whole crazy thing work! biggrin.gif
Irion
@3278
They do not need to, they just take MORE.
It does not matter if I hit the cap with muscle toner or muscle replacement. It does not matter if I go Move by wire or Wired reflexes+rection enhancer+ Skillwires and so on.

I totally agree with Yerameyahu. Thats not some minor change like the 1001 changes to magic or the 1001 changes to make full cyber characters a bit more attractive.

As soone as you use the possibilities, it totally changes the game world.

Yerameyahu
I'm not saying they'd be at 100%, 3278. I'm saying they'd be closer than they are now. The 100% didn't move, but now they have more cash and Essence (infinity).
3278
QUOTE (Irion @ Feb 11 2012, 02:27 AM) *
@3278
They do not need to, they just take MORE.
It does not matter if I hit the cap with muscle toner or muscle replacement. It does not matter if I go Move by wire or Wired reflexes+rection enhancer+ Skillwires and so on.

We're talking about a starting character, right? How much money is it you expect them to spend? Again, on the low end, they're still getting capped, they're just getting capped by money and Availability instead of money, Availability, and Essence. On the high end...well, there aren't hard caps on money and Availability like there are on a starting character. smile.gif

QUOTE (Irion @ Feb 11 2012, 02:27 AM) *
Thats not some minor change like the 1001 changes to magic or the 1001 changes to make full cyber characters a bit more attractive.

I suppose it all depends on what you consider "minor." It's definitely not a little change, no, but it's less of a change than if you eliminated magic or made all drugs free and mandatory or something. It didn't wreck the game for us [SR3, though; worth remembering], and wasn't even what I'd call a major consideration. But my anecdote shouldn't stand proxy as a common experience, either: my group might be mad whack or something, it's hard to tell.
Irion
@3278
Starting characters would be limited by Availability more than by the costs.
Muscle replacement is 5k per point.
Wired reflexes 3 is 20 BP. True it gets expensive a bit. But still nothing compared to the amounts bioware does cost. (Move by wire 2 is under 10BP)
3278
QUOTE (Irion @ Feb 11 2012, 02:55 AM) *
Starting characters would be limited by Availability more than by the costs.

Definitely.
Neraph
QUOTE (3278 @ Feb 10 2012, 08:47 PM) *
We're talking about a starting character, right? How much money is it you expect them to spend?

330,000 nuyen.gif.
Yerameyahu
Too right. smile.gif
GreyBrother
I have no problem with killing essence. Heck, i proposed it in another thread.
Eclipse Phase offers unlimited implants for every body. Cyberware, Bioware, Nanoware, Genetic alterations. There are still things my starting character doesn't get because its too expensive and i need the points to buy other stuff.
Then again, Eclipse Phase isn't really concerned with balance, which is in my eyes a pretty silly concept in a cooperative game, administrated by a Gamemaster.

So yeah, shoot essence out of the window, raise the cost of implants a bit, adjust availability and its fine.
I mean, how much karma do you have to get that the hard cap makes troubles in regard of mages?
hobgoblin
Between deltaware and cyberware suites, you do not miss out on much anyways.

With those calculated in, a sammie can squeeze in almost 10 essence worth of ware.
Irion
@hobgoblin
Yeah, but those cost a lot of money...
And still you have to choose between high money and high essence cost. If you make essence for fee...
hobgoblin
QUOTE (Irion @ Feb 11 2012, 03:37 PM) *
@hobgoblin
Yeah, but those cost a lot of money...
And still you have to choose between high money and high essence cost. If you make essence for fee...

Money is easy to come by, karma however wink.gif
Irion
@hobgoblin
Depends on your game... Yes, if you throw a billion at your players, it is easy to come by. Thus this begs the question why they should continue running, if the just can retire for around a thousand years.
nezumi
It would put mundanes and mages on more similar advancement tracks. The cost of a mage buying the next power point is less, compared to the cost of his last power point, than the cost of a mundane buying his next piece of ware, compared to the cost of his last (due to beta/bio/whatever having such a steep markup).

If everyone can buy standard ware, the only limiter is cost, which is pretty flat. Plus, I can adjust it easier. If the mages are getting too powerful, I only need to throw a little more cash at the mundanes (as compared to stupid amounts before).

I don't think I'd have an issue with it, or at least with reducing essence costs significantly. CP2020 had 'essence', but still let you buy full cyborg bodies.
Irion
The point is, you are tweaking the powerlevel significantly.
Every time you do something like that, you should ask yourself the question why...
Such systems tend to end up (see vampire) as beeing completly GM regulated. Everything you want to buy, everything you want to learn has to be approved by the GM or you could break the system much too easy.

And at that point, you should ask yourself, why you use "rules" in the first place...
GreyBrother
QUOTE (Irion @ Feb 11 2012, 04:51 PM) *
And at that point, you should ask yourself, why you use "rules" in the first place...

Thats a pretty good question.
And in my opinion, there's no reason for availablity rules at all. Several games handle equipment without such shenanigans and do pretty fine, so why bother? To hold up some illusion of balance in the metagame no one really cares about? Whats important is, whats going on on your table.
The current system is clunky anyhow, especially when you want to use different settings than Seattle.
Brainpiercing7.62mm
QUOTE (Irion @ Feb 11 2012, 04:51 PM) *
The point is, you are tweaking the powerlevel significantly.
Every time you do something like that, you should ask yourself the question why...
Such systems tend to end up (see vampire) as beeing completly GM regulated. Everything you want to buy, everything you want to learn has to be approved by the GM or you could break the system much too easy.

And at that point, you should ask yourself, why you use "rules" in the first place...

Well... this I don't agree with, because the overall powerlevel of the PCs will just fall into a perspective within the game world. Every system can have breaking points, present SR4A isn't inherently safe.

The question that remains for me is what to do with different grades of ware?

Basically what you could do is this:

Instead of changing essence cost with ware grade, make better grade mechanically better.

For instance:
For every piece of used ware, for every point of rating involved or dice bonus given in a given roll, you gain 1/3 of a rolled 1. This must be marked and pre-added up on the sheet. So if you have 3 points of used ware used on one roll, you gain one roll of 1, which counts towards glitches.

Regular ware has regular effect.

For every die added by ware of alpha-grade that contributes to a roll, you gain 1/3 of an automatic success. Per full 1 automatic success 2 dice are deducted from the pool.

For every die of beta-ware that contributes to a roll, you gain 1/2 an automatic success. Per full 1 automatic succes 1 die is deducted from the pool.

For every die of deltra-grade ware involved in a roll, remove one die from the pool and gain one automatic success.

Automatic successes are considered 6s when exploding dice are rolled.

Example:

Shooting with alpha-grade smartlink and alpha-grade bioware MT3, you have 5 alpha-grade dice. You gain 1 success and only get a bonus +3 dice to the pool. Adding an alpha-grade reflex recorder you would gain 2 successes and 2 dice.



alright this gets to be a very different game by now, and only really works with the revisions to dice mechanics suggested previously on these boards: Opposed tests with threshold are a must.
Yerameyahu
While I don't think anyone considers the Avail rules perfect, that's very different from rejecting the very idea of Avail. I think it's an important aspect for modeling the difference between having the money for something, and actually being able to get it. It's not "some illusion of balance in the metagame" (I'm not even sure what that means), it's an aspect of the game world.

Eclipse Phase, while a totally different (post-scarcity) world, *does* have an 'Essence problem'. You do see characters walk out of chargen with a Christmas tree of every implant they had cash for (which is why starting cash is limited). And those characters *are* significantly more 'powerful' than normal people (the difference being that the GM can destroy their body on a whim). If you object to Essence limits, you should equally object to 'artificial' cash limits; they do the same thing.
Brainpiercing7.62mm
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 11 2012, 05:24 PM) *
While I don't think anyone considers the Avail rules perfect, that's very different from rejecting the very idea of Avail. I think it's an important aspect for modeling the difference between having the money for something, and actually being able to get it. It's not "some illusion of balance in the metagame" (I'm not even sure what that means), it's an aspect of the game world.


Availability rules are extremely important as rules, because if you don't have them you end up in "pretty please can I have a cookie" territory.

QUOTE
Eclipse Phase, while a totally different (post-scarcity) world, *does* have an 'Essence problem'. You do see characters walk out of chargen with a Christmas tree of every implant they had cash for (which is why starting cash is limited). And those characters *are* significantly more 'powerful' than normal people (the difference being that the GM can destroy their body on a whim). If you object to Essence limits, you should equally object to 'artificial' cash limits; they do the same thing.


You could say Essence is just a thing like Capacity. Fine. The capacity rules are also iffy smile.gif.

Maybe you could also make Ware slots? Like every body has a muscle slot, a bones slot, limb slots, spine slot, eye slots, etc. then the char sheet could come with a nifty full-page pictogram with spaces for ware in them.
Yerameyahu
Yes, both of those are basically the same thing as Essence rules, I agree. EP doesn't have anything like that, but it's also a post-Singularity far-future transhumanism-in-space game. smile.gif

Essence is probably the simplest of those kind of capacity/slot rules, and you do see it in other games (I'd consider Alternity's cyber-cap rule an 'Essence' type). Slots would be funny, sort of like Deus Ex 2 (?), but I kind of like the fact that there are direct tradeoffs between Wires and limbs, for example. There's not a Wires slot that minds its own business, it affect the whole system and your choices. With slots (and I love a pictogram as much as the next guy, yay Diablo, D&D, Angband, etc.), the choices are limited more to 'where do I spend my money?' and 'what *kind* of muscle slot mod should I get?'; so it's a slightly different dynamic.

You'd also get rid of the grades/ratings distinction there, because the only way to upgrade a slot would be to make it *better*, not smaller. While I see that's sort of like the implant revamp you proposed above, it is indeed a major overhaul.
GreyBrother
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 11 2012, 05:24 PM) *
While I don't think anyone considers the Avail rules perfect, that's very different from rejecting the very idea of Avail. I think it's an important aspect for modeling the difference between having the money for something, and actually being able to get it. It's not "some illusion of balance in the metagame" (I'm not even sure what that means), it's an aspect of the game world.

To elaborate on my quoted phrase: Balance between different "classes" is in my eyes only in the eyes of the playerbase as a whole (the metagame) not In-Game and shouldn't be enforced. This isn't a tabletop wargame like Warmachine or your favorite Warhammer, its a cooperative game.
My argument is: What use do we have for balance? None. We are all players and i wouldn't play with a GM i can't trust to deal with arising issues. Enforcing some kind of balance is kinda silly when you have one group of players who think magic is fine as it is and others nerf it into the ground because they are a walking utility belt.

The availability rules play into this. Why can't the GM have the final word on whats available and what not? Yes, you may have the money to buy something, but when its simply not available where you are? I don't see anything bad about that, as long as the GM is reasonable about it.
What about players, who abuse the system? The old munchkin argument "There, i rolled everything, the dice say i found it somewhere and i have the cash. Why can't i have my Ballista? I don't care that we are in the middle of the yakutian Wild." (Extreme example, watch out)

I'd make it optional and be good with it. To me, the Avail Rules feel more like taken from a videogame to simulate a scarcity and falls on its nose to deliver.

QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 11 2012, 05:24 PM) *
Eclipse Phase, while a totally different (post-scarcity) world, *does* have an 'Essence problem'. You do see characters walk out of chargen with a Christmas tree of every implant they had cash for (which is why starting cash is limited). And those characters *are* significantly more 'powerful' than normal people (the difference being that the GM can destroy their body on a whim). If you object to Essence limits, you should equally object to 'artificial' cash limits; they do the same thing.

Theres not really a problem there. As you (and i) said, starting cash is limited and every character in Eclipse Phase is more powerful than normal people because they already are in gengineered bodies.
But the issue is not, that players wanting more implants and thats bad. The problem is, that essence as a mechanic - to simulate how much your body can take - brings in a hard cap for the abilities of mundanes. A cap Magicians and Technomancers don't suffer.
You could argue, that games never last that long, or that characters of that powerlevel retire or stuff, but i know some players who'd love to do a High-Power Campaign, where charakters start with a big load of karma.
Yerameyahu
Oh, I didn't realize you were talking about this whole issue as magic vs. mundane. I hardly think being an RPG removes the point of balance, though, and not between classes. Balance is between every player, the game world, and so on. It keeps people near the same level because that's what's fun. Being cooperative doesn't mean that balance doesn't matter, and there's huge amounts of evidence at every table for that. wink.gif

The GM basically can't be trusted to deal with Avail on the fly all the time (nor does he *want* to, what a pain). That's the reason any rules exist in any game: so everyone knows what they can do, instead of making (or letting!) the GM do everything.

The point of Grades is to make Essence effectively not a hard cap. Instead, it just interacts with the cost curve to make it much steeper as you go forward. I'm fine with that; it actually gives the players somewhere to go. In EP, it's pretty easy to start with nearly everything (gear and weapons, too), and there's nowhere to go from there (which is why it's not really combat game).

I honestly consider the concerns of 'epic' players unimportant. smile.gif If you want that, you have to design the game around them specifically.
3278
QUOTE (GreyBrother @ Feb 11 2012, 04:04 PM) *
And in my opinion, there's no reason for availablity rules at all.

I like that they're in the game; it gives those who need such rules something to use, and is easy enough to ignore for people like you or I who personally have no use for them. I think one of the reasons my group has always liked Shadowrun is because it's so easy to ignore rules you don't like. biggrin.gif
GreyBrother
Yerameyahu: Fair enough smile.gif I can respect your opinion and the way you express it in words.

3278: Yeah, my GM hates me for arguing in ignoring certain rules. In a proverbial sense, i always have to make a hearing out of it, with witnesses, sources, figures and diagrams and whatnot ^^
3278
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 11 2012, 09:46 PM) *
Balance is between every player, the game world, and so on. It keeps people near the same level because that's what's fun.

That is, by the way, not true for all groups. It's true for many, I'd even say most, but there are a large number of groups that don't find balance any more fun than imbalance.
JanessaVR
QUOTE (GreyBrother @ Feb 11 2012, 05:10 PM) *
3278: Yeah, my GM hates me for arguing in ignoring certain rules. In a proverbial sense, i always have to make a hearing out of it, with witnesses, sources, figures and diagrams and whatnot ^^

Alas, you don't have my GM - she's bribable. She also still owes me money. You'd be *amazed* at what I can get away with during character creation. smile.gif
CanRay
I fully admit that I take bribes as a GM. nyahnyah.gif
Yerameyahu
Nothing is true for *all* groups, 3278, but there's a reason rules and mechanics are so popular. If most people didn't care about balance, we'd just have freeform. biggrin.gif Even if what's fun is powergaming, you have to have balance so you know what you're beating, hehe.
Irion
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 12 2012, 08:18 AM) *
Nothing is true for *all* groups, 3278, but there's a reason rules and mechanics are so popular. If most people didn't care about balance, we'd just have freeform. biggrin.gif Even if what's fun is powergaming, you have to have balance so you know what you're beating, hehe.

Thats one thing. The other part is, that playing with rules makes things easyer.
Freeplay means nobody of the players has to know any rules, but the GM has to limit every action on the fly.

@GreyBrother
QUOTE
To elaborate on my quoted phrase: Balance between different "classes" is in my eyes only in the eyes of the playerbase as a whole (the metagame) not In-Game and shouldn't be enforced. This isn't a tabletop wargame like Warmachine or your favorite Warhammer, its a cooperative game.

There are no classes in Shadowrun.
I know what you meant, but the argument is not really true for classless games. There everybody can walk through this door.
For example: In D&D you could just give the fighter two addition hitpoints per level ( 1-12 hitdice) it would make the fighter stronger without ever effecting any other class.

You half the essence costs for implants, it affects EVERYBODY and not just the SAM.
For example at this point (following the standart rules) it would be more than stupid not to take ware as an adept, mage or technomancer.
You drop the ressonance loss for technomancers, if using ware, every "matrixchar" would be a technomancer.

QUOTE
The availability rules play into this. Why can't the GM have the final word on whats available and what not? Yes, you may have the money to buy something, but when its simply not available where you are? I don't see anything bad about that, as long as the GM is reasonable about it.
What about players, who abuse the system? The old munchkin argument "There, i rolled everything, the dice say i found it somewhere and i have the cash. Why can't i have my Ballista? I don't care that we are in the middle of the yakutian Wild." (Extreme example, watch out)

Mhm, I guess thats how most GM handle it. Let the player say what he or she wants, give it a role and then your ruling or skip the role.
No you do not have to make a roll to find a dress since you are a medium build woman and standing in the middle of a mall.
You might want to make an edge roll to see if you just found "the dress" on the "everything must be out"-sale.

Using standart rules for everything, for me, breeds the impression that you actually do not care about what players do.

QUOTE
But the issue is not, that players wanting more implants and thats bad. The problem is, that essence as a mechanic - to simulate how much your body can take - brings in a hard cap for the abilities of mundanes. A cap Magicians and Technomancers don't suffer.

It is an issue of resources. If you can just buy more and more implants your power will grow almost linear. While a power grow should be self reducing. (Going from strength 2 to 3 is far cheaper than 4 to 5. Same increase in power but the second is much more expensive)

This makes magic self regulating at about magic 12, depending on your game. Magic 13 is nothing you would really go for, costing 65 points of Karma. (Unless you give your players around 3000 Karma. But at this amount, the sam would have nearly all the active skill in the book on 6 and every natural attribute 8 (If you let him buy normal and surge advantages).

So the problem would not be the "unlimited" growth (karma) of mages but the rather limited groth (karma) of sams. And it would have nothing to do with implants.

QUOTE
You could argue, that games never last that long, or that characters of that powerlevel retire or stuff, but i know some players who'd love to do a High-Power Campaign, where charakters start with a big load of karma.

And what would the implants change?
The problem with mages is not that they have a unlimited progression possibility. It is that increasing one attribute gives you progression in everything.
And as soon as you start using a force 10 combat sence spell, quickend to you with (depending on how you interpret the edge rules) with 12 or 20 hits, stuff gets out of hand.
Because at some point the rewards you may gain from quickening outshine the drawbacks big time. If this point is reached (high power) the rules do just break.
Make 400 BP characters and offer them 3000 Karma to go with the "in game rules". Allow 1 Karma to be changed into 5k or even 10k. Allow unlimited essence for all I care. It won't change the problem...
snowRaven
If you remove Essence you have to either remove all 'capacity' stats for cyber replacements, or add 'capacity' to the natural body.

It doesn't make sense for the flesh to be able to take more augmentation than a cyberreplacement equivalent.
Irion
Did not think of that. Getting rid of essence makes cyberlimbs useless..
Jekolmy
QUOTE (Irion @ Feb 12 2012, 08:30 AM) *
Did not think of that. Getting rid of essence makes cyberlimbs useless..



If I remember correctly, wfb at the moment. Each full cyberlimb provides one extra HP box, which is always useful.
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