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ShadowDragon8685
Okay, I've got a question here, and I know it's absolutely anathema to the setting as intended, but...

What if Essence literally only mattered in cases of interacting with Magic?
IE, Cyberpsychosis exists but is hugely overblown by the media, Cyberzombies are rumors without basis, and if someone gets cybered below 0.0, their soul doesn't rip itself screaming from their body, they just continue to become harder to affect with magic, and their Magic score continues to decrease.

Obviously, it would change game balance a hell of a lot, but it would also mean you could go full Jensen on someone. Any thoughts? Input?
Mikado
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Aug 17 2015, 06:26 AM) *
Okay, I've got a question here, and I know it's absolutely anathema to the setting as intended, but...

What if Essence literally only mattered in cases of interacting with Magic?
IE, Cyberpsychosis exists but is hugely overblown by the media, Cyberzombies are rumors without basis, and if someone gets cybered below 0.0, their soul doesn't rip itself screaming from their body, they just continue to become harder to affect with magic, and their Magic score continues to decrease.

Obviously, it would change game balance a hell of a lot, but it would also mean you could go full Jensen on someone. Any thoughts? Input?


I always liked the idea of "unlimited" essence loss that grants mundane characters bonus dice to resist magic equal to the lost essence, a mage would gain that but would loose magic rating as well. You can also give a dice pool penalty to social rolls equal (maybe x2) to the lost essence to emulate cyberpsychosis. Perhaps with the added problem of rolling a social dice pool that goes negative to determine if the character does something catastrophic.
ShadowDragon8685
QUOTE (Mikado @ Aug 17 2015, 07:00 AM) *
I always liked the idea of "unlimited" essence loss that grants mundane characters bonus dice to resist magic equal to the lost essence, a mage would gain that but would loose magic rating as well.


Yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking - extrapolating the penalties for buffs and healing spells into a general "someone this cybered resists all essence magic, for better and for worse" magical resistance.

QUOTE
You can also give a dice pool penalty to social rolls equal (maybe x2) to the lost essence to emulate cyberpsychosis. Perhaps with the added problem of rolling a social dice pool that goes negative to determine if the character does something catastrophic.


That, however, is exactly what I wouldn't do.

I got out of Shadowrun into Eclipse Phase when 5e came out, partly because of that nonsense. Cyberpsychosis, I say, should be something only a very small proportion of cybered individuals should suffer, much like, say, alien hand syndrome. IE, it's something that should just not be a real concern for players getting chrome, the way that sometimes, people don't come out of anesthesia, but it should not be a real concern for you to sweat over when your doctor tells you that you need to go under.
Blade
Nath has argued that we could allow characters to buy Essence the way a mage can buy Magic, in order to get rid of the cap. While surprising, and even possibly shocking at first, it does make kind of sense.

Augmented mundanes vs Awakened used to echo the Fighter vs Mage of first D&D editions: fighter was better at low level, but mage eventually got better. Similarly, Streetsam used to be better than adepts, but with adepts having a lot more of room for improvement. This has mostly been erased or at least blurred since then, and there's no real point to have this.

In my home system for SR, I went with this:
Essence points are merged with Edge points. They represent that sparks of humanity, the sparks that let you push yourself further. Each point must be linked to a concept that drives the PC forwards (love of someone, hate of someone/something, passion, ambition, belief, etc.). The way Cyberware uses them depends on the setting:

- 2035/Technothriller : Augmentations are tools, but the full cyborg treatment is rare. Essence limit apply, but implants won't eat your soul.

- 2050/80's cyberpunk: Augmentations eat your soul, or so they say. When you burn an Essence point, your character loses the connection with the concept behind it. You can buy back lost essence points with karma (each point costing more than the one before), getting that concept (and associated Edge point) back. You can then decide to use it again for implants, but in that case you completely lose your ties with the concept of the point.

- 2070/post cyberpunk: Augmentations are part of your identity. Implants can be swapped easily (nuyen cost is down a lot), but there's a karma cost to convert Essence points into Implants points. In that process, the concept behind that Essence point has to be converted into something that fits the implant. The "Rage against corporations" point can be turned into "Become stronger (to fight corporations)" when buying muscular replacements. This implant point can then be used for any kind of implant that fit the new concept. The character can buy additional Implants points, but they have to fit the philosophy of existing implant points. A character who don't follow that philosophy might see his body reject his implants.
ShadowDragon8685
I, uh... Well, that's complicated, and, I guess, thematic, and sure, it works for you, I suppose.

I'd go with this:

-All/All: Augmentations are mechanical, biological, nanological, or genetic augmentations to your person. They work because medical science. There are no limits to them, other than your ability to purchase and install them, because medical science. However, they interact poorly with magic, because magic does not give a fuck about medical science, and freaks out when you force it to interact with someone who got smashed to pieces and then had the Full Jensen Treatment done to restore him. This is a neutral thing for him, because while it makes him much harder to heal or enhance - with magic - it also makes him much harder to negatively effect with magic, unless that magic is being used to evoke a normal physical effect - like, say, a gout of ordinary superheated gasses, conjured by magic but mundane when they hit him.
Stahlseele
It will never happen.
Way too much magic wank.
Way i see it, it's been like this:
SR1: NEW AND SHINEY!
SR2: Cyber is OP! NERF! Make magic better!
SR3: BIO is OP! NERF! Make magic better!
SR4: Nano/Gen is OP! NERF! Make magic better!
SR5: HOW DARE YOU NERF MAGIC!
ShadowDragon8685
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Aug 17 2015, 07:53 AM) *
It will never happen.
Way too much magic wank.


Good morning, even though it's well after lunchtime for you, I believe.

It can damn well happen in my games if I say it happens in my games. smile.gif That's what I was talking about, as a possible houserule.
Stahlseele
Yeah, as a House-Rule, i applaud it. Your magic players will whine and bitch and moan and grine and argue against it and for giving it to them too to be more fair FOOREEVEERR!!
And if that does not work, they will argue about it being unrealistic. Wanna bet?

And yes, it's almost 14:00 over here.
Good morning to you though.
And yesterday, i slept till 15:00 *-*


An idea that i'd been toying with for some time was to simply not allow the magic attribute to improved.
You have 6 Magic, as long as you do not use cyber or bio. if you do, you can't get it back up to 6 either.
You can still learn more spells and spirits and learn stronger spells and spirits, but then you will overcast.
Initiation only gives Meta-Tech or stuff like spell formula/focus formula or a spirits true name or something.
ShadowDragon8685
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Aug 17 2015, 07:57 AM) *
Yeah, as a House-Rule, i applaud it. Your magic players will whine and bitch and moan and grine and argue against it and for giving it to them too to be more fair FOOREEVEERR!!
And if that does not work, they will argue about it being unrealistic. Wanna bet?

And yes, it's almost 14:00 over here.
Good morning to you though.
And yesterday, i slept till 15:00 *-*


I haven't gone to bed yet. I meant to go to bed... Fuck, 3 hours ago. Then I thought "I'll just have a quick whip through /tg/. Saw an anon talking about getting into Shadowrun, being a veteran EP player, and advised him to go 4e instead of 5e, as 4e was in my opinion (and I gave my reasons,) closer to EP and what he likes about EP, as well as general reasons why 5e is, in my opinion, a large sack of dongs.

You can guess the rest.
Stahlseele
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Aug 17 2015, 02:21 PM) *
You can guess the rest.

Someone was wrong on the Internet?
ShadowDragon8685
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Aug 17 2015, 08:24 AM) *


Pretty much.

Here's where I came in, if you are for some reason mental and want to read a three-hour long argument on 4chan.
Stahlseele
Strangely enough, 4chan is not actually blocked here at work O.o
But it raises an interesting question:
If your smartgun is set up to shoot on thinking "fire" and you have it holstered and see a burning building . . what happens?
Teulisch
the easiest solution to the problem, is twofold.

first, make ware at chargen cheaper. this can simply be a 5-pt positive quality that specifies you cannot have magic or resonance, and then cuts your cost for cyber/bio in half. this would let you take all alphaware, or get more of the expensive stuff. good for street sams, riggers, and deckers. alternatively, we could have a positive quality where every 5 points gives 10k worth of ware (with a 30bp cap, and thus a limit of up to 60k more ware). the latter would have a larger impact on positive qualities, which may not be a desired outcome, as theres a limit to qualities, and a 10-pt quality can cut your essence cost by 10%.

second, give everyone more essence. magic is still capped at 6 (or whatever you bought it up to), and each point of essence lost is a point of magic lost. but if everyone actually has 9 essence, that means that you can get more implants, and also be more resistant to things that damage essence. the mechanics dont change, you just give non-mages more of a buffer to work with.

if you do those two things, then the players have more ware to start with, and everyone can use more ware in total, but the balance of magic is not affected. if anything, it makes having an adept lose a point of essence to grab some ware even less desirable. it does help the street sam reach their archetype goal more easily, and helps the decker to afford more useful implants (decks are expensive after all). essence does matter in the large view for mundanes, as several awakened threats have attacks that result in essence loss, and these can be the greatest threat to heavily cybered characters. also, with 9 essence we would still see cyber-zombies, but they would simply have that much more ware in them. 4 cyber limbs, torso, skull, and wired reflexes will add up very quickly, after all.

KCKitsune
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Aug 17 2015, 07:57 AM) *
An idea that i'd been toying with for some time was to simply not allow the magic attribute to improved.

Another way is to allow magic to be improved to a max of Essence * 1.5 (just like every other stat in the fragging game), because the mages would like to be able to grow. This makes getting cyber/bio for the mage that much more costly. I'd still do it for my character, but that's just me.

Also I would make it so that if a mage's Essence ever drops below 1, then his/her magic is GONE! No "well my magic rating before cyber was 12 so I can have 5.9 points worth of cyber/bio and still have a magic of 6" crap either.
Stahlseele
And i say even with the magic attribute limited to 6, a magic person can still grow.
They can learn more different and stronger spells and spirits after all, using the bigger stuff will just be more costly to them.
Meaning there would be a ramping up of the difficulty, instead of stuff just getting easier and easier to do over time, as is the case right now.
And it'd hopefully lead to more diversification and to less specialisation where everything is just geared towards making one thing better.
Mikado
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Aug 17 2015, 07:08 AM) *
That, however, is exactly what I wouldn't do.

I got out of Shadowrun into Eclipse Phase when 5e came out, partly because of that nonsense. Cyberpsychosis, I say, should be something only a very small proportion of cybered individuals should suffer, much like, say, alien hand syndrome. IE, it's something that should just not be a real concern for players getting chrome, the way that sometimes, people don't come out of anesthesia, but it should not be a real concern for you to sweat over when your doctor tells you that you need to go under.


Well... To be honest, I agree with you. I would have cyberpsychosis a negative quality with the game effects I mentioned in my first post.

If mages do not suffer some sort of insanity or superiority complex from wielding "phenomenal cosmic power" why should a mundane suffer for installing cyber to compete against mages that can basically alter reality. Why would a person who lost a hand and replaced it with a cyber one be mentally worse off than the mage who can cast a spell to dominate someone's mind and freewill.
Neraph
This seems like a work-around to "nerf" magic without actually addressing magic at all. Removing the need to police the Essence of your players changes the balance of the game dramatically, especially since you're doing it to give mundanes the ability now to offset the possibility of Awakened characters from theoretically increasing their Magic to nigh-infinity (still limited by karma and Initiation quests) later. It seems sloppy to me.

It also doesn't take into account the inherent fear of Infected that they should have. Now that Essence literally does not matter then Vampires/Nosferatu/Essence Drain becomes a non-issue, as one vampire can feed off of a mortal for forever with no bad side effects, and ghouls lose the threat of their one point of Essence drain straight-out killing a street samurai.
Glyph
Ghouls don't have Essence drain, they just eat you. Actually, that has always been a reason for my street samurai to have a fractional Essence. I would rather have a character be dead, so I can just make a new one, than permanently maimed or turned into undead (and have to pay Karma for having my character ruined). But I have always found this permanent vitality drain of undead to be a grating annoyance, both in D&D and Shadowrun. Critters should never be "scary" because of metagame reasons.


Unlimited Essence is something that needs to be considered carefully, as it is one of the mechanisms of game balance. For example, why ever get anything other than used 'ware, or pick bioware over a cheaper cybernetic alternative, if all losing Essence does is make you harder to affect with magic? And I would be careful piling on a resistance to magic - mages already are rolling skill + Attribute vs. 2 Attributes, with hits capped. Adding another dice pool for the defender could tip it too far.
Mikado
QUOTE (Neraph @ Aug 17 2015, 08:08 PM) *
It also doesn't take into account the inherent fear of Infected that they should have. Now that Essence literally does not matter then Vampires/Nosferatu/Essence Drain becomes a non-issue, as one vampire can feed off of a mortal for forever with no bad side effects, and ghouls lose the threat of their one point of Essence drain straight-out killing a street samurai.


The solution to that is easy... Just have that power permanent drain hit boxes. That is more scary than just essence drain.
binarywraith
I disagree wholeheartedly with the concept.

Essence as a restrictive factor is, honestly, a good thing. It gives a reason for mundane humanity to exist, and for the setting not to have become a case of magic-using Morlocks and cyber-augmented Eloi who exist to be breeding stock for more mages and try to make up their terrible lacks with augmentations.
Blade
QUOTE (Mikado @ Aug 17 2015, 08:11 PM) *
If mages do not suffer some sort of insanity or superiority complex from wielding "phenomenal cosmic power" why should a mundane suffer for installing cyber to compete against mages that can basically alter reality. Why would a person who lost a hand and replaced it with a cyber one be mentally worse off than the mage who can cast a spell to dominate someone's mind and freewill.

I agree. In my rules, for each Magic point bought, the mage has to define one aspect of his belief that will shape his vision of the world and his behavior. The more powerful a mage is, the weirder and more detached from the rest of society he gets.

For a moment I thought that the "everything has a price" motto of SR5 would finally have something like this integrated in the official rules but no, karma is still the only price Awakeneds have to pay.
Sendaz
QUOTE (Blade @ Aug 18 2015, 03:32 AM) *
I agree. In my rules, for each Magic point bought, the mage has to define one aspect of his belief that will shape his vision of the world and his behavior. The more powerful a mage is, the weirder and more detached from the rest of society he gets.

We had something similar at one table for the Elemental Mages back in SR3, as they initiated they picked up traits according to their preferred element and not just psychological like the book suggested.

It was actually amusing when the Initiated Fire Mage not only grew to be more aggressive and wilful, but actually left scorch marks on things they handled if they were not heat proof while the Water Elemenalist left damp footprints behind them.

While it never happened to any of the players, it was rumoured that high level elementalists could actually ascend to becoming an elemental (aka retired the character and became a NPC)
Mikado
The best way to handle the entire thing is to remove essence completely and rename magic to meta-attribute and have anyone who wants any sort of augmentation (magic, cyber, adept and such) buy that attribute for points to put in magic or essence as the case may be.

I do still think that cyber should offer a mechanical benefit just for being implanted. There are numerous instances in the rules for magic having a difficult time affecting tech so why would you not get a bonus against magic for having cyber. Hell, you get penalized for having cyber when it comes to magical healing, why should a combat spell be any different?
Lionhearted
Funny how it's argued that we need more ware, personally I always felt that you get to much ware at chargen. Every Tom, Bill and Sally can pack themselves so full of chrome that they resemble a fridge. This never made thematic sense to me, chrome is something you get out of necessity and in many cases its frowned upon or restricted.
Bob the accountant isnt going to run around sporting a custom cyber arm, unless he lost his original in a freak accident and cant afford a flesh one. A military grunt would have their wires removed when they left the service unless they went AWOL, A dock worker gonna have second hand skillwires at best. Yet at chargen you can sell of most of your humanity with little issues, which also presents a gameplay issue... where do you go from there? I mean sure going from Wires to MbW is cool n'all but it doesnt offer as gratifying character advancement as say, initiating.
But that's just my 2 nuyen, I like my players to start out mostly au naturelle, have them consider what they put into their body.
Stahlseele
Your opinion.
And it's actually wrong according to both rules and background.
Datajack, chipjack, internal comlink, cyber-eyes/ears. . People get that done in their lunch break!
Technically, most everybody who has a paying job should have eyes and internal comlink at least!
Hell, even Bioware is not much of a hassle, if it's not something hugely invasive and you can not pay for magical healing.
Go to clinic, give tissue sample, wait some weeks, get it implanted on friday afternoon, get back to work monday morning.
Same for most things cyber that are not hugely complicated procedures like bone augmentations or things like that.
Smartlink, Spur, Cyber-Muscle, all that can be done in a day without problem. Stuff that gets attached to the central nervous system is of course still a bit more problematic.
But if you can pay for magical healing? Yeah, out in a week or so . .
Lionhearted
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Aug 18 2015, 02:37 PM) *
Your opinion.
And it's actually wrong according to both rules and background.
Datajack, chipjack, internal comlink, cyber-eyes/ears. . People get that done in their lunch break!

These are the types of augmentation I expect people to have, nothing odd about them, useful in every day life and very common

QUOTE
Smartlink, Spur, Cyber-Muscle, all that can be done in a day without problem. Stuff that gets attached to the central nervous system is of course still a bit more problematic.
But if you can pay for magical healing? Yeah, out in a week or so . .


These are on the other hand I think raise eyebrows in more civilised areas, walking into a fancy resturant with a spur in your arm? why do you have a spur in the first place?
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Lionhearted @ Aug 18 2015, 06:19 AM) *
These are on the other hand I think raise eyebrows in more civilised areas, walking into a fancy resturant with a spur in your arm? why do you have a spur in the first place?


Why would a restaurant even know you had a Spur in your arm to start with, unless you are flaunting it? There are certainly some pieces of 'ware that are questionable (All Cyberweapons fall into that particular category), but you can make a case for most other 'ware as a civilian, even baseline neural 'ware.
Stahlseele
Poser-Shit for egg sample?
Corp Teen Brat:"look at my spur! So street! Much hardcore! Very wow!"
And yes, otherwise if it's retractable, why should it be out anyway?
Smartlink and Muscle-Stuff is perfectly OK for all kinds of workforces.
Lionhearted
Used to run with a group that was pretty black trenchcoat, they had MAD scanners at entrances of higher class establishments
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Lionhearted @ Aug 18 2015, 08:11 AM) *
Used to run with a group that was pretty black trenchcoat, they had MAD scanners at entrances of higher class establishments


Sure... And in high-end establishments I can see that. But even still, it is not hard to gain entry with cyberware. There are myriad reasons to have 'ware, and the only 'ware that would likely stand out in such a place are the cyberweapons.
Lionhearted
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Aug 18 2015, 05:48 PM) *
Sure... And in high-end establishments I can see that. But even still, it is not hard to gain entry with cyberware. There are myriad reasons to have 'ware, and the only 'ware that would likely stand out in such a place are the cyberweapons.


I dont agree completely with that, any obvious chrome would be faux pau at least, and a lot of restricted ware that have very fringe civilian uses would stand out as well, like wires, bone lacing and the like...
This is personal opinion of course, other people might have different mind sets I just dont see people walking around with heavy military ware without people being suspicious
binarywraith
QUOTE (Lionhearted @ Aug 18 2015, 11:10 AM) *
I dont agree completely with that, any obvious chrome would be faux pau at least, and a lot of restricted ware that have very fringe civilian uses would stand out as well, like wires, bone lacing and the like...
This is personal opinion of course, other people might have different mind sets I just dont see people walking around with heavy military ware without people being suspicious


If by 'heavy military ware' you mean 'obvious cyberskulls/torsos with weapons mounts', then I get what your saying. Otherwise, all of the super-restricted stuff is in no way going to be physically visible. How in the hell are you going to spot an encephalon, or mil-spec wired reflexes when someone's just walking around? Much less the guy rocking a cranial cyberdeck and a a bucket of ice-breakers that could eat the NSA.

More to the point, if they're that scared of someone with personal augmentations, why aren't they shitting their pants about every Tim, Merlin, and Harry who can whip up a chaotic world or manaball out of nowhere?
Lionhearted
QUOTE
More to the point, if they're that scared of someone with personal augmentations, why aren't they shitting their pants about every Tim, Merlin, and Harry who can whip up a chaotic world or manaball out of nowhere?


I wouldnt have to do with fear but rather a totalitarian system where every Tim, Merlin and Harry would have to be able to authenticate their autherisation to be rockin' a manaball less they be hauled off in a mage mask to some dank cell with no windows.
Your average runner is not an Ares military contracter so why should he be sporting bone lacing? and why would a military grunt be let into the exotic diner where you need to book months in advance?
I dont feel like this is contributing to the thread though, so I wont continue this discussion, not here at least.
Neraph
QUOTE (Glyph @ Aug 17 2015, 08:53 PM) *
Ghouls don't have Essence drain, they just eat you.

I was referring to the ghoul virus, which drains 1 point of Essence during the transformation.
QUOTE (Mikado @ Aug 17 2015, 09:17 PM) *
The solution to that is easy... Just have that power permanent drain hit boxes. That is more scary than just essence drain.

The solution is easy: kludge together another ad-hoc rule to make up for the change of game balance that I decided to implement because changes to game balance have unforseen side-effects.

Or, you know, you could not tinker with a system that you don't fully understand...

QUOTE (binarywraith @ Aug 17 2015, 09:52 PM) *
I disagree wholeheartedly with the concept.

+1.
Sendaz
QUOTE (binarywraith @ Aug 18 2015, 11:55 AM) *
More to the point, if they're that scared of someone with personal augmentations, why aren't they shitting their pants about every Tim, Merlin, and Harry who can whip up a chaotic world or manaball out of nowhere?

They are shitting themselves, but the mages are smart enough to mind wipe them so they forget they are supposed to be shitting themselves until the next time someone reminds them.

Oops..

Time for another mind wipe. wink.gif



Edit: But yeah, saying someone can go get a license to do magic and its all cool seems kind of like issuing a license to own and operate a tank and not expecting problems from that.

Sure they say they will follow the rules, but would you even let them loose in the first place?
binarywraith
The better question is one of setting. Street mages are a thing in Shadowrun. They have to be, for the setting to operate as it does. So clearly there are people outside the system and walking around who aren't in the regimented licensed ritual-sample-on-file ranks of 'trusted' casters. But when you think high-class club, you think MAD scanners and cyberware detection, not anti-mage defenses.

Mostly, I admit, because the setting would rapidly turn into Warhammer 40k if it ever internally recognized how powerful and chaotic a social force mages can be.
Isath
Making it easier to get cyber, adding additional upsides and removing the downsides does not sound good to me and it also seems to be ignoring the actual problem sets.

If using a pistol is so different from using a rifle, that I can be a legendary world champion in one but a complete idiot in the other, then casting an Illusion maybe quite different from casting a combat spell. So I would make it either easier for mudanes getting combat skills or more difficult for mages to get it all. Another way would be to raise the basic formula for drain... and so on.

As for the cyber. If I want to go easy on my cyborgs, I will just allow for more starting ware, by reducing cost and or allowing for graded ware. One way of doing this would be to have 2nd handware use standard ware stats, standard ware using alpha stats, etc. Another way would be to grant every character the biocompatability quality for free... and so on.

In my book cyber grant really nasty boni and does not need added magic resistance beyond what is already RAW. Pricing in SR5 is cruel, but still our Hacker has no natural limb left and is working on Skull and Torso, while still having a deck. Small adjustments are the way to go there, no need to get funky.
DarkSoldier84
QUOTE (Lionhearted @ Aug 18 2015, 05:13 AM) *
A military grunt would have their wires removed when they left the service unless they went AWOL.

My first SR character was a retired soldier from the SSC. In his background, the state paid for his augs and he paid them back with his service; of course I actually paid for them in chargen, but it fit the theme I wanted. I figure anybody who enlists to get augs needs to read his enlistment contract thoroughly to see whether or not said augs remain property of the state/corp when he's discharged.
Neraph
Hell, the way it works in reality, if you want to keep the gear you're issued for deployments/training/whatever, they just deduct the money from your pay. You want that flak and SAPI plates? Sure, we'll bill you. You want that camelback? We'll deduct it for you.

And that's not to mention all the uniform equipment that's standard issue.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Neraph @ Aug 23 2015, 01:42 AM) *
Hell, the way it works in reality, if you want to keep the gear you're issued for deployments/training/whatever, they just deduct the money from your pay. You want that flak and SAPI plates? Sure, we'll bill you. You want that camelback? We'll deduct it for you.

And that's not to mention all the uniform equipment that's standard issue.


Unless, of course, you are coming out of a war and they just stop-loss the equipment and tell you to keep it (sans weapons, of course). smile.gif
Matsci
QUOTE
If using a pistol is so different from using a rifle, that I can be a legendary world champion in one but a complete idiot in the other, then casting an Illusion maybe quite different from casting a combat spell. So I would make it either easier for mudanes getting combat skills or more difficult for mages to get it all. Another way would be to raise the basic formula for drain... and so on.


Interesting. Make the Spellcasting group into a 5 skill group, and split Spellcasting, up by spell type. Make Counterspelling it's own skill the way Dodge is, maybe fold ritual spellcasting into Regular Spellcasting (4e), or make it it's own skill. Do the same thing with spirit summoning.

That'll definitly slow down mage advancement some, but doesn't quite fix the problem of AdeptRun, featuring Adepts.
ShadowDragon8685
I've been doing more shower-thinking WRT ways to implement something like this; allowing full-on Eclipse Phase style "medical science rocks, no need to die just because you're heavily augmented."

One I had was to institute essence minimums from augmentation - IE, no matter how heavily-augmented you were, receiving further augmentations could never take your Essence below the augs minimum. This would still leave you potentially vulnerable to death-by-essence-drain and would still make heavy augmentation a no-go for Awakened characters, but would allow characters to get the Full Jensen treatment.

Another thought I had was, perhaps (and I think someone mentioned this before but bugger me if I can find out where,) radically changing the Essence costs of ware, such that standard ware now has the essence cost of Alphaware, secondhand standard ware has the original standard ware costs, Alpha has the Essence costs of Betaware, Betaware has the essence costs of Delta, and Deltaware multiplies essence cost by 0. Gene- and tailored bioware would likewise have an essence cost of 0.
Sendaz
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Aug 24 2015, 03:13 PM) *
Another thought I had was, perhaps (and I think someone mentioned this before but bugger me if I can find out where,) radically changing the Essence costs of ware, such that standard ware now has the essence cost of Alphaware, secondhand standard ware has the original standard ware costs, Alpha has the Essence costs of Betaware, Betaware has the essence costs of Delta, and Deltaware multiplies essence cost by 0. Gene- and tailored bioware would likewise have an essence cost of 0.

Edit:That could work so long as you make the reduced essence cost apply ONLY to mundanes.
So when a player buys into the Awakened/Emerged roles, they basically get a modified version of sensitive system and have to pay the regular ess cost for stuff, while mundanes revel in full cybergoodness.



Or if you want to go with something out of far left field you could create a third category in the Mag/Res column, The Way of Steel or WoS.

Way of Steel basically opens up 'extra' essence that only applies to cyber/bio gear based on the priority spent, using the concept that followers of this path basically attune their potential to better bond with the machine.

So it would look like this (number still subject to adjusting, this was just off the cuff afterall)
Priority A - 6 'extra' ess for gear
Priority B - 4 'extra' ess for gear
Priority C - 3 'extra' ess for gear
Priority D - 2 'extra' ess for gear
Priority E - Nada, he's just a normal joe

The extra ess is used up first for paying off the cyber.
Admittedly it is an odd one, especially since it could not be reduced by ess loss like Magic/Resonance does since it's focus is all about the ess, but it is an interesting thought.

This way mages/emerged can't get in on this bonus since its in the same column as their magic/resonance and regular mundanes not planning to go full cyber monkey can still just go E, but for those wanting the potential to cram extra stuff in they can have options.

Perhaps there could even be Initiations/ability to buy up their WoS score for those on the Way of Steel to further expand their way into cyborgville so you don't need to go Prio A right out the chargen gate, but could build up so long as you buy in at least with D.
binarywraith
QUOTE (Matsci @ Aug 24 2015, 02:00 PM) *
Interesting. Make the Spellcasting group into a 5 skill group, and split Spellcasting, up by spell type. Make Counterspelling it's own skill the way Dodge is, maybe fold ritual spellcasting into Regular Spellcasting (4e), or make it it's own skill. Do the same thing with spirit summoning.

That'll definitly slow down mage advancement some, but doesn't quite fix the problem of AdeptRun, featuring Adepts.


I actually really like the spell skill splitting idea. Leads to more hard choices for the casting crowd because they can't just be good at Every Spell. As far as fixing adepts goes, it's mostly a matter of balancing power costs and reminding players that Adepts are not immune to Background Count, so pretty solvable without huge edits.
Moirdryd
Really don't see the need for Unlimited Essence as that really steps away from Cyberpunk/Shadowrun theme and puts you into RIFTS/Eclipse Phase/ WH40K AdMech transhumanism.

If you're looking as a counter to Magic why are Background Counts always ignored when this comes up? Surely they are the biggest balance for Cyber vs Magic in a situation? Going into the Barrens and it's not your home turf? Lose 1-3dice and similar drop in Hits and/or Force on your sustained spells. An Aztech facility where dodgy blood sacrifice has been happening? Enjoy your BGC of 5 etc

Also, you can easily reintroduce the issues Mages and Adepts had with medical treatments from SR3, you know when taking Deadly Damage and Overflow could reduce your Magic rating, or a Trauma Patch getting used on you could kill a point of Magic? These were Non-Optional unlike the other Stat reduction rules. Made for some interesting situations "Great the Mage is down but we Can't trauma patch him because that coud frag his Magic, we need some cover and some regular first aid for a few Combat Turns and hope the physical damage wasn't too bad that it's screwed his mana flow". Or for a simple conversion there-of...

Houserule- Burning Out: When an Awakened character Stabilizes from Physical Damage that was in Overflow boxes they must make a Magic test with a dice pool penalty equal to the number of Physical Overflow boxes they had suffered. Failure reduces the Current Magic (not Maximum) rating by 1. This is only rolled on the first successful stabilisation check (be it first aid, medicine etc) if Magical Healing is used (Stabilize spell) the penalty is 1/2 the Overflow boxes (round down). If a Trauma patch is applied to the Mage an immediate Magic test is required in addition to the test above regardless of if Stabilisation is successful. This is made at a flat -2 Dice pool penalty results are as above.
ShadowDragon8685
QUOTE (Moirdryd @ Aug 25 2015, 06:07 AM) *
Really don't see the need for Unlimited Essence as that really steps away from Cyberpunk/Shadowrun theme and puts you into RIFTS/Eclipse Phase/ WH40K AdMech transhumanism.


That was literally my idea: stepping away from Cyberpunk and down the road to full-on Transhumanism. Or at least, the possibility thereof.

QUOTE
If you're looking as a counter to Magic why are Background Counts always ignored when this comes up? Surely they are the biggest balance for Cyber vs Magic in a situation? Going into the Barrens and it's not your home turf? Lose 1-3dice and similar drop in Hits and/or Force on your sustained spells. An Aztech facility where dodgy blood sacrifice has been happening? Enjoy your BGC of 5 etc.


Because it's a fiddly fucking pain in the ass for everyone involved, that's what. "Hey, you know all those neat powers you invested in? Here, enjoy a blanket -4 penalty to them, because reasons."

Background counts are like rape. Sure, they're an everyday part of the setting, but as far as the player characters are concerned, it shouldn't come up often, and when it does, it should be impactful. They lose their meaning if they're just a blanket rain of drek constantly falling on the Awakened characters.

So, I just assume that any Awakened character who lives in an urban environment has adapted their spellcasting innately to compensate for general bullshit city background counts. If it's something particularly strong (the site of a furious riot triggered by anti-metahuman hatred, before the street-cleaners have gotten to power-washing the blood away,) or unusual (a peace & love hippy retreat,) then it will affect them.

That said, this was not intended as a "I wanna make Awakened characters suck more" measure, it was an "I want augmentations to be more awesome" measure. Specifically, I think that you should have been able to go full Jensen on someone without the arbitrary game balance limit causing their soul to fall off.

QUOTE
Also, you can easily reintroduce the issues Mages and Adepts had with medical treatments from SR3, you know when taking Deadly Damage and Overflow could reduce your Magic rating, or a Trauma Patch getting used on you could kill a point of Magic? These were Non-Optional unlike the other Stat reduction rules. Made for some interesting situations "Great the Mage is down but we Can't trauma patch him because that coud frag his Magic, we need some cover and some regular first aid for a few Combat Turns and hope the physical damage wasn't too bad that it's screwed his mana flow". Or for a simple conversion there-of...

Houserule- Burning Out: When an Awakened character Stabilizes from Physical Damage that was in Overflow boxes they must make a Magic test with a dice pool penalty equal to the number of Physical Overflow boxes they had suffered. Failure reduces the Current Magic (not Maximum) rating by 1. This is only rolled on the first successful stabilisation check (be it first aid, medicine etc) if Magical Healing is used (Stabilize spell) the penalty is 1/2 the Overflow boxes (round down). If a Trauma patch is applied to the Mage an immediate Magic test is required in addition to the test above regardless of if Stabilisation is successful. This is made at a flat -2 Dice pool penalty results are as above.


Yeah, no. No, no, no.
"Things got hairy, so here, lose a bunch of shit you invested Karma in, frag you," is not good GMing. As a player, that's the kind of thing that makes me revolt. I'm sure as shit not going to drop it on my own players.
Stahlseele
So . . Deckers do not lose thier Decks, Riggers do not lose Drones, Samurai do not lose hugely expensive equipment like full Powered Armor or Military Grade Weapons either then?
Because that's what's been happening. Everybody else took losses while the mages somehow got a free ride because it'd hurt their karma too much . .
ShadowDragon8685
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Aug 25 2015, 05:46 AM) *
So . . Deckers do not lose thier Decks, Riggers do not lose Drones, Samurai do not lose hugely expensive equipment like full Powered Armor or Military Grade Weapons either then?
Because that's what's been happening. Everybody else took losses while the mages somehow got a free ride because it'd hurt their karma too much . .


The way I see it, there should never be a metagame of "I can buy this at chargen, using chargen resources, but it's easy to lose, or I can buy this, which I can't in any practical scenarios lose."

The way I see things, invested points (build points or Karma,) are "insured." If some in-character thing happens that means there's no way to explain you not losing them, then you get those points back to spend however you see fit.

Basically, a player should never be put in the position of trying to decide whether they want to continue playing their current character, or just get rid of them and introduce a new one, because their current one has become so mechanically disadvantaged that a new character is an appealing option from a strictly crunch perspective. (Expendables, like grenades and Edge, are not subject to this, nor is anything purchased with nuyen.gif acquired in-game.)
ShadowDragon8685
Okay, so, I had a shower epiphany on the topic of Essence, and I just had to share.

I'm thinking a two-pronged approach.

Approach 1: Essence Floor.
Basically, an Essence Floor is a lower limit past which your Essence cannot fall, short of magical, Essence-destroying attack. Most people have no essence floor. You can take a positive quality (in 4 ratings) to gain an Essence floor. R1 gives you an Essence Floor of +1, R2 gives you an Essence Floor of +2 and makes it so you round your Essence for in-game purposes mathematically, and R3 gives you an Essence Floor of +3 and makes it so you round your Essence up.
(IE, at R2, Essence 2.5 would round up to E3 for the purposes of, say, magical healing, while Essence 4.3 would round down to 4.)
At Rating 4, it means that your Essence Floor is equal to your Essence score itself; IE, you cannot lose Essence short of magical, Essence-shredding attack. Obviously, this would be prohibitively expensive, and would be impossible to take with anything other than a Latent Awakening, if that.

A genetic therapy modification (possibly Adapsin repurposed,) would also give you a +1 Essence Floor. And yes, this would make it functionally impossible for a character to die of Essence loss from a burnout addiction to hard drugs. That, I consider, to be a feature, not a bug; after all, Mick Jagger.

Approach 2: Essence Buying.
Basically, as with other attributes, you can just buy Essence, up to a maximum of your racial default 1.5. IE, all metahumans could buy their Essence up to 9. This is, in some ways, a double-edged sword for the Awakened, however, as I'd be saying that the penalty to Mana spells becomes a bonus for someone with an Essence score of 7+, and could potentially give their enemies bonus dice. (Though it would also make healing easier.)

This would have to be balanced, I think, by making the karma costs always start at buying your seventh point of Essence, no matter what your nominal Essence score when you started buying it was. So burning your Essence down to 1 and then saying "Okay, I buy a point of Essence at the Karma cost to raise an attribute from 1 to 2" would not fly.
Blade
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Aug 25 2015, 12:56 PM) *
The way I see it, there should never be a metagame of "I can buy this at chargen, using chargen resources, but it's easy to lose, or I can buy this, which I can't in any practical scenarios lose."

The way I see things, invested points (build points or Karma,) are "insured." If some in-character thing happens that means there's no way to explain you not losing them, then you get those points back to spend however you see fit.

Basically, a player should never be put in the position of trying to decide whether they want to continue playing their current character, or just get rid of them and introduce a new one, because their current one has become so mechanically disadvantaged that a new character is an appealing option from a strictly crunch perspective. (Expendables, like grenades and Edge, are not subject to this, nor is anything purchased with nuyen.gif acquired in-game.)


In my house rules (beginning of gear part) I've introduced the concept of "investment". Basically, the characters can invest karma into their gear (gear bought at chargen is already considered as investment) to make it sort of "permanent". They'll then always be able to easily find cheap replacement/repairs during downtime. This way, a rigger player will not have to retire his character because he lost his best drone.
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