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JanessaVR
I know it’s a staple conceit of the “dark cyberpunk future” that real food (and especially meat) is all but unavailable save for the rich, and Shadowrun embraces that to a considerable degree (though not as much as some settings). That said, I have increasing difficulty buying this one.

It was a few years ago that I read about the first successful cow muscle cloning. The researchers grew it in their lab, then decanted it, tossed it on the stove, grilled it and ate it. They said the flavor was rather bland, but otherwise it wasn’t bad; they speculated it was likely the total lack of any fatty tissue and the lab-nutrient “diet” the tissue was fed.

That said, it works. This is no longer speculative science fiction as of now. Now fast-forward 60 years to the current Sixth World, where they have a lot of highly-advanced biotechnology that’s used every day. There’s no way that factory meat-cloning isn’t a fully-mature technology at this point. And as a matter fact, it’s probably replaced traditional farming almost completely, at least in first world nations. Think about it. You can either:

A) Buy up lots and lots of land for your cows, feed and water them, give them veterinary care, watch over them, drive them to the slaughterhouse when mature, chop them up, package them, and then ship them to market.

Or…

B) Grow just the tissue you want in controlled conditions, decant it when mature, then chop it up, package it, and ship it to market.

Option B is not only easier and way cheaper, it can also all be done in single location. Heck, you could probably fully automate the factory (I refuse to believe in a lot of dumb manual labor in the Sixth World – drones would be doing all that). So why would anyone bother with anything else in the 2070’s? Cheap meat of all varieties should be readily available unless you live the Barrens or something.

And while we’re at it, this really ought to change the picture for ghouls. Nothing says you can’t grow human muscle tissue in these factories while you’re at it. Yeah, I know, I know, they supposedly need that “residual Essence” or whatnot that just has to come from real metahuman flesh, but that strikes me as a cop-out rule. When vampires drain Essence, they need a live donor, not a corpse. The dead have an Essence score of 0, so I don’t really see the difference between a dead real metahuman and dead cloned metahuman tissue.

And keep in mind, I’m saying this as someone who thinks the Infected should be strictly NPCs and used for target practice. I’m not all bleeding-heart-liberal-let’s-hug-the-poor-misunderstood-Infected, but even I think this approach should be viable.
Stahlseele
'cause it's fucking expenaive and still kinda morally/ethically icky of a topic to deal with, even with the fucked up world of SR.
You either go for naturally grown from an animal that you than gruesomely slaughter expensive real meat, or you eat the vegetarian, maybe even vegan soy stuff.

And for ghouls, it does not work either!
That is actually one of the big rewards still up for grabs from Dunkelzahns Will. Make synthetic meat that ghouls can and will eat without problem.
JanessaVR
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ May 13 2016, 11:50 AM) *
'cause it's fucking expenaive and still kinda morally/ethically icky of a topic to deal with, even with the fucked up world of SR.
You either go for naturally grown from an animal that you than gruesomely slaughter expensive real meat, or you eat the vegetarian, maybe even vegan soy stuff.

And for ghouls, it does not work either!
That is actually one of the big rewards still up for grabs from Dunkelzahns Will. Make synthetic meat that ghouls can and will eat without problem.

You're missing my points completely.

After another 60 years of R&D, it won't be expensive anymore. And why the hell would cloned meat be an "icky" topic to deal with? Heck, the animal-rights people are very in favor of this idea right now in the real world - no more animals get killed to provide meat for humans! They think this is an awesome idea. So do the environmentalists - no more cow farms producing tons of methane every year. And lots of money is even now going into learning how to grow organs for transplants. It's not icky, it's big business. And with everything else that's legally available in either SR4 Augmentation or SR5 Chrome Flesh, this is nothing.

As for ghouls, my whole point is that this rule doesn't make any sense. That either shouldn't have even come up in Big D's will, or that particular X-Prize (D-Prize?) should have been won years ago as of the current campaign timeline.
Stahlseele
It's
a) there in the fluff
b) there in the crunch
It is simply how the shadowrun world works.
If it makes sense to you or not, is of no consequence.
Why are you complaining about this stuff, but not about magic?
Sendaz
Remember a lot of your food isn't just soy, it's krill, soy or algae based. With krill they can aquafarm these babies by the megaton and harvest for the protein, similar for the algae stuff.
The advantage here over cloned stuff is its fairly low maintenance so while costings are probably similar, the added ease and minimal staff required made it a better deal than cloned meat, though the latter would still appeal to the market that could afford it.

'Islands in the Net' by Bruce Sterling had good examples of this where whole tanker ships were converted over into farms growing algae and other stuff to food and .. ahem.... various pharmaceuticals to the various islands in the Caribbean.

Alternatively you can have some fun by messing with things.
Edit: In Spacetime by BTRC, the heads of certain branches of the hindu faith which still did not normally eat beef, who some suspected had been co-opted by certain fast food megacorps, declared that a particular strain of heavily Gene modified cows were no longer the same as their original predecessors and thus could be eaten without violating their particular religious taboo against eating beef.
Which caused a massive market shift among those regions as you can imagine.
JanessaVR
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ May 13 2016, 12:12 PM) *
It's
a) there in the fluff
b) there in the crunch
It is simply how the shadowrun world works.
If it makes sense to you or not, is of no consequence.
Why are you complaining about this stuff, but not about magic?

I don't care if it's there in the fluff and the crunch. Gaming rule books are not holy writ, and I'm not required to mindlessly accept everything written in them, especially when it's doesn't make sense.

The physical is not magical, and the magical is not physical. I treat them as strictly separate. Magic can be part of a campaign setting, as long as its rules are internally consistent. But its presence or absence has no affect on my opinion of purely physical technology.
Stahlseele
So . . you have no problem with magic . . Ghouls being victims of a magical virus that were changed into carrion eaters that hunt by actually looking into the astral world because they have become blind to the material world . . but you have a problem with accepting that they have been changed in such a way that they can not eat meat that does not come from a (meta)human being . .
JanessaVR
QUOTE (Sendaz @ May 13 2016, 12:13 PM) *
Remember a lot of your food isn't just soy, it's krill, soy or algae based. With krill they can aquafarm these babies by the megaton and harvest for the protein, similar for the algae stuff.
The advantage here over cloned stuff is its fairly low maintenance so while costings are probably similar, the added ease and minimal staff required made it a better deal than cloned meat, though the latter would still appeal to the market that could afford it.

'Islands in the Net' by Bruce Sterling had good examples of this where whole tanker ships were converted over into farms growing algae and other stuff to food and .. ahem.... various pharmaceuticals to the various islands in the Caribbean.

Alternatively you can have some fun by messing with things.
Edit: In Spacetime by BTRC, the heads of certain branches of the hindu faith which still did not normally eat beef, who some suspected had been co-opted by certain fast food megacorps, declared that a particular strain of heavily Gene modified cows were no longer the same as their original predecessors and thus could be eaten without violating their particular religious taboo against eating beef.
Which caused a massive market shift among those regions as you can imagine.

Indeed, this is just strengthening my resolve to continue work on a new campaign setting - the Sixth World rebooted. It's 2016, the Awakening was December 21st, 2012. Up until that point, the world was exactly the world you see out your window. But on that day, magic came back and things changed. Now, it's 4 years later. There are no sovereign megacorporations, there is no matrix, and cybernetics are still very primitive. But there is magic, and a rapidly-changing world. What are you doing in that world?

That's what I'm working on now. A chance to start over, and wipe the slate clean of a lot of Shadowrun's dead wood.
JanessaVR
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ May 13 2016, 12:21 PM) *
So . . you have no problem with magic . . Ghouls being victims of a magical virus that were changed into carrion eaters that hunt by actually looking into the astral world because they have become blind to the material world . . but you have a problem with accepting that they have been changed in such a way that they can not eat meat that does not come from a (meta)human being . .

I'm saying that rule makes no sense. A dead metahuman has an Essence score of 0. Dead cloned metahuman flesh also has an Essence score of 0. Ghouls aren't getting any Essence from either source. Why, because it's dead. The living have Essence scores, the dead do not. If the rules say otherwise (without bothering to explain how and why), then I call BS.

As I happen to be on the "House Rules Committee" for our gaming group, I'm going to see this is corrected for our campaigns.
hermit
Tank meat and vat-grown meats have been a staple of Shadowrun for some time. However, producing them still is more expensive than producing soy products - and highly processed foods generally turn a better profit. It's not about viability - vertical farming is possible but it lacks the idiotic, emotional aspects of "real", blood and soil farming. Organic farming, while producing in no way healthier products (in fact, you could well raise plant according to organic principles in vertical factory farms), serves these emotional matters well, and therefore thrives despite being inefficient, polluting, land-intensive and expensive. It's not about viability, it's about marketing.

I mean, just look at the killing the real food industry makes off vegans and people who beileve special anti-allergenic food is somehow better! It gets even more amusing when you realize the same vegan hipsters who cheerfully accept "vegan cheese" and try to shove it down the throat of everyone they know are the same people who vehemently protested the "fake cheese" the food industry produced only a few years ago. It's literally the same product. Kudos to the lobyists, marketing and social media people who pulled this off.

For ideas on how futuristic tank meat could be used, see this excellent book.
Sendaz
QUOTE (JanessaVR @ May 13 2016, 03:26 PM) *
Indeed, this is just strengthening my resolve to continue work on a new campaign setting - the Sixth World rebooted. It's 2016, the Awakening was December 21st, 2012. Up until that point, the world was exactly the world you see out your window. But on that day, magic came back and things changed. Now, it's 4 years later. There are no sovereign megacorporations, there is no matrix, and cybernetics are still very primitive. But there is magic, and a rapidly-changing world. What are you doing in that world?

That's what I'm working on now. A chance to start over, and wipe the slate clean of a lot of Shadowrun's dead wood.

A reboot may be interesting, but without some jumps in cyber isn't it basically just going to became Earthdawn 2016?

I mean magic will trump a hell of a lot of things, especially if the big ability boosts are only available through magic since there is no realistic cyber to compete with it, though their rarity will still serve as a bit of a limit on the global scale of things.
Stahlseele
*sigh*
Ghouls are Ghouls.
Ghouls eat CARRION/are CANNIBALS.
If you change that, they are NOT GHOULS anymore.
They are BLIND MAGICALLY ACTIVE HUMANS.

Seriously . . i have SUCH a raging Hateboner for people calling stuff UNREALISTIC! CHANGE PLOX! And then turning around and taking FRAGGING MAGIC the most unrealistic thing in the entire fragging setting and simply accepting it as a given fact!
If you want to play a REALISTIC SHADOWRUN . . . go play something else. Because shadowrun. IS. NOT. REALISTIC!
And it should not be!
I have made it a point to take character sheets of people away that complain about stuff being unrealistic and give them a normal human wageslave with all 2's in useless office skills and tell them to play their realistic character because of such whining.
A:"Realistically, there is NO WAY he should have done that!"
Me:"Don't care, rules say i can, and so i can. End of discussion!"
A:"But seriously, i don't think he should be able to do that."
Me:"Because breaking the fucking laws of physics with bullshit MAGIC is fine, but me doing something cool using cyber/bio etc. is suddenly unrealistic . . riight . ."
A:"MAGIC IS DIFFERENT! MAGIC SPECIFICALLY ALLOWS BREAKING PHYSICS! BIO AND CYBER HAVE TO BE REALISTIC!"
Me:"Cyber and Bio are STILL MORE REALISTIC THAN MAGIC! You want to play more realistic? Fine! Here is your useless wageslave, i will be playing a game where Gandalf has shootouts with Robocop and the Terminator in the mean time!"
Sendaz
QUOTE (hermit @ May 13 2016, 03:37 PM) *
For ideas on how futuristic tank meat could be used, see this excellent book.

No link?

QUOTE (Stahlseele @ May 13 2016, 03:39 PM) *
They are BLIND MAGICALLY ACTIVE HUMANS.

So.... Umpires and Refs? nyahnyah.gif
Stahlseele
QUOTE (Sendaz @ May 13 2016, 10:40 PM) *
No link?


So.... Umpires and Refs? nyahnyah.gif

que?
Sendaz
Some say being able to actually see the ball is NOT a requirement to be an umpire in baseball or other sports. wink.gif
Stahlseele
QUOTE (Sendaz @ May 13 2016, 10:58 PM) *
Some say being able to actually see the ball is NOT a requirement to be an umpire in baseball or other sports. wink.gif

i don't know what an umpire is . . i guess ref is short for referee now that you mentioned sports?
the only not seeing the ball and still hitting it i remember is from star wars when luke is training . .
JanessaVR
QUOTE (Sendaz @ May 13 2016, 12:39 PM) *
A reboot may be interesting, but without some jumps in cyber isn't it basically just going to became Earthdawn 2016?

I mean magic will trump a hell of a lot of things, especially if the big ability boosts are only available through magic since there is no realistic cyber to compete with it, though their rarity will still serve as a bit of a limit on the global scale of things.

Well, in Earthdawn, the Scourge just happened. In Shadowrun, it hasn't happened yet. But it will, and some people are crazy enough to try to get an early start on things...

But yes, it will be primarily a "MagicRun" campaign. Probably more like Call of Cthulhu modern day meets the early Sixth World.
hermit
QUOTE
Indeed, this is just strengthening my resolve to continue work on a new campaign setting - the Sixth World rebooted. It's 2016, the Awakening was December 21st, 2012. Up until that point, the world was exactly the world you see out your window. But on that day, magic came back and things changed. Now, it's 4 years later. There are no sovereign megacorporations, there is no matrix, and cybernetics are still very primitive. But there is magic, and a rapidly-changing world. What are you doing in that world?

That sounds like Night's Black Agents of some stripe. It has neither Fantasy nor Cyberpunk. Hence, it is not
Shadowrun in the least. If you want the setting with more "realism", at least go a few decades forward and put all the Fantasy stuff in, and advance technology a bit. Otherwise, play a variation of Cthulhu Modern or Night's Black. No need to convert the Shadowrun system for such a setting (though it can be done, of course; I am playing a the Division themed game based on SR4).

QUOTE
i don't know what an umpire is

A Schiedsrichter in Cricket and the rules-lighter Cricket: Anarchy, commonly known as Baseball.
JanessaVR
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ May 13 2016, 12:39 PM) *
*sigh*
Ghouls are Ghouls.
Ghouls eat CARRION/are CANNIBALS.
If you change that, they are NOT GHOULS anymore.
They are BLIND MAGICALLY ACTIVE HUMANS.

Seriously . . i have SUCH a raging Hateboner for people calling stuff UNREALISTIC! CHANGE PLOX! And then turning around and taking FRAGGING MAGIC the most unrealistic thing in the entire fragging setting and simply accepting it as a given fact!
If you want to play a REALISTIC SHADOWRUN . . . go play something else. Because shadowrun. IS. NOT. REALISTIC!
And it should not be!
I have made it a point to take character sheets of people away that complain about stuff being unrealistic and give them a normal human wageslave with all 2's in useless office skills and tell them to play their realistic character because of such whining.
A:"Realistically, there is NO WAY he should have done that!"
Me:"Don't care, rules say i can, and so i can. End of discussion!"
A:"But seriously, i don't think he should be able to do that."
Me:"Because breaking the fucking laws of physics with bullshit MAGIC is fine, but me doing something cool using cyber/bio etc. is suddenly unrealistic . . riight . ."
A:"MAGIC IS DIFFERENT! MAGIC SPECIFICALLY ALLOWS BREAKING PHYSICS! BIO AND CYBER HAVE TO BE REALISTIC!"
Me:"Cyber and Bio are STILL MORE REALISTIC THAN MAGIC! You want to play more realistic? Fine! Here is your useless wageslave, i will be playing a game where Gandalf has shootouts with Robocop and the Terminator in the mean time!"

Well, dump some ice water on your raging hateboner and chill out.

I personally like my games to make some degree of sense. And where they donít Ė Snip! Scribble! Paste! Ė thatís what house rules are for. And if thatís how you treat your players, I can only be thankful I donít game at your table.

You seem to be screaming a lot here lately. Itís Friday. Go have a drink. Chill a bit.

Stahlseele
QUOTE (hermit @ May 13 2016, 11:11 PM) *
That sounds like Night's Black Agents of some stripe. It has neither Fantasy nor Cyberpunk. Hence, it is not
Shadowrun in the least. If you want the setting with more "realism", at least go a few decades forward and put all the Fantasy stuff in, and advance technology a bit. Otherwise, play a variation of Cthulhu Modern or Night's Black. No need to convert the Shadowrun system for such a setting (though it can be done, of course; I am playing a the Division themed game based on SR4).


A Schiedsrichter in Cricket and the rules-lighter Cricket: Anarchy, commonly known as Baseball.


*blank stare* ah . .
JanessaVR
QUOTE (hermit @ May 13 2016, 12:37 PM) *
Tank meat and vat-grown meats have been a staple of Shadowrun for some time. However, producing them still is more expensive than producing soy products - and highly processed foods generally turn a better profit. It's not about viability - vertical farming is possible but it lacks the idiotic, emotional aspects of "real", blood and soil farming. Organic farming, while producing in no way healthier products (in fact, you could well raise plant according to organic principles in vertical factory farms), serves these emotional matters well, and therefore thrives despite being inefficient, polluting, land-intensive and expensive. It's not about viability, it's about marketing.

I mean, just look at the killing the real food industry makes off vegans and people who beileve special anti-allergenic food is somehow better! It gets even more amusing when you realize the same vegan hipsters who cheerfully accept "vegan cheese" and try to shove it down the throat of everyone they know are the same people who vehemently protested the "fake cheese" the food industry produced only a few years ago. It's literally the same product. Kudos to the lobyists, marketing and social media people who pulled this off.

For ideas on how futuristic tank meat could be used, see this excellent book.

You may have a very valid point. I could be vastly overestimating the intelligence of Joe and Jane Consumer, as yes, those RL examples have me banging my head on the wall.
Beta
QUOTE (JanessaVR @ May 13 2016, 08:04 PM) *
You're missing my points completely.

After another 60 years of R&D, it won't be expensive anymore.


You don't know that. It could be that the engineering and bio-engineering has still failed to make it cheap -- or at least comparatively cheap to soy or krill, at any better quality/tastiness. Especially given that there have been various economic and humanitarian disasters in the SR universe which has its scientific and technological progress generally well behind the curve that we are seeing. (losing a fair chunk of the population, losing your computer infrastructures twice, goblinization, the disruption of things like the creation of the NAN, lack of funding for purely academic research .... )

If you want it to be a bigger part of your particular version of the world, then go for it -- it won't break anything. The poor eat 'vat food' in general including vat meat.

But of all the technologies to get upset about, that is an odd one.
Sendaz
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ May 13 2016, 04:01 PM) *
i don't know what an umpire is . . i guess ref is short for referee now that you mentioned sports?
the only not seeing the ball and still hitting it i remember is from star wars when luke is training . .

Ah sorry, an umpire is what they call a referee in baseball, but even in basketball/football/soccer if the referee makes a bad call one of the common insults is that he must be blind.

So a whole race of actually blind individuals would be a perfect source for refs according to some. wink.gif
hermit
QUOTE
You may have a very valid point. I could be vastly overestimating the intelligence of Joe and Jane Consumer, as yes, those RL examples have me banging my head on the wall.

That's how I rationalize it, at least. But thanks! smile.gif

Plus, with a massive loss of arable land (Africa gone, the Midwest gone, Siberia gone, all the forests turning into magical nightmare monster factories) and a much more concentrated populace in general, and a loss of much of formerly arable land in Europe to global warming (East Anglia, half of Belgium and the Netherlands and much of Northern Germany are gone too), traditional farming just isn't as viable anymore. I do think there should be more light shed on the alternatives. Plus, processed food can be (and, in-setting, frequently is) considered cleaner (100% controlled conditions, as opposed to pollutand-laden free-range farming, also 100% pesticide-free), more efficient, and optimized for (meta)human consumtion (both it probably actually is), as opposed to natural produce. And processed component food (be it Soy, Krill, Mycoprotein, Bacteria, or Lupinus-based) is fully moddable and customizable to the user's desires, leading to impossibilities such as convincingly textured false meat with strawberry taste, in pink! And all that genetics and pesticide free (and optimized to whatever crazy diet fad is making the rounds - maybe capsacaines become the new sugar?). Try that with your farm potatos!

Even just with in vitro meat, you could do all kinds of crazy things (to the setting'S credits, most of these have been mentioned somewhere, but the setting's huge fluff background has never been properly colllected and thus is lost on new authors and gamers alike).

In all honesty, have a look at that book I linked if you can. It's full of really crazy ideas about in vitro meat. I'm particularly partial to the roast that grows whenever you excercise.
JanessaVR
QUOTE (hermit @ May 13 2016, 01:11 PM) *
That sounds like Night's Black Agents of some stripe. It has neither Fantasy nor Cyberpunk. Hence, it is not Shadowrun in the least. If you want the setting with more "realism", at least go a few decades forward and put all the Fantasy stuff in, and advance technology a bit. Otherwise, play a variation of Cthulhu Modern or Night's Black. No need to convert the Shadowrun system for such a setting (though it can be done, of course; I am playing a the Division themed game based on SR4).

Ok, I looked this up at DriveThruRPG. Seems to be focused on vampires in the shadows, pulling the strings of power; sounds kinda WoD actually. I might pick up a copy, so thanks for bringing it to my attention.

I'm not sure I'll need to do that much conversion of the existing rules. It's more like leaving out quite a bit of the future tech. But it's also a chance to explore a glossed-over period in the Sixth World's history. Big D's alive, and can still run for president. Do I include VITAS and then fast-forward past that, or have the players (maybe) live through it? Many ways to go with this idea...
JanessaVR
QUOTE (Betx @ May 13 2016, 01:22 PM) *
You don't know that. It could be that the engineering and bio-engineering has still failed to make it cheap -- or at least comparatively cheap to soy or krill, at any better quality/tastiness. Especially given that there have been various economic and humanitarian disasters in the SR universe which has its scientific and technological progress generally well behind the curve that we are seeing. (losing a fair chunk of the population, losing your computer infrastructures twice, goblinization, the disruption of things like the creation of the NAN, lack of funding for purely academic research .... )

If you want it to be a bigger part of your particular version of the world, then go for it -- it won't break anything. The poor eat 'vat food' in general including vat meat.

But of all the technologies to get upset about, that is an odd one.

But I can make a pretty good guess. In general, technology gets better and cheaper as time goes by, and manufacturing is getting less expensive every year. How soon until we're 3D-printing nearly everything - until nano-manufacturing arrives? This is 6 decades into the future, and the technology actually exists right now.

This is just something in the Sixth World that struck me as being particularly nonsensical, and I set out to correct it, if only in our house rules. Though hermit raises some very valid points about possible public perception and marketing.
hermit
QUOTE
Ok, I looked this up at DriveThruRPG. Seems to be focused on vampires in the shadows, pulling the strings of power; sounds kinda WoD actually. I might pick up a copy, so thanks for bringing it to my attention.

As I understand it, the setting is highly modular. The shadowy stuff can be literally anything. Also, for all I remember, mechanicalls it's a variation of the Gumshoe rules set.

QUOTE
I'm not sure I'll need to do that much conversion of the existing rules. It's more like leaving out quite a bit of the future tech. But it's also a chance to explore a glossed-over period in the Sixth World's history. Big D's alive, and can still run for president. Do I include VITAS and then fast-forward past that, or have the players (maybe) live through it? Many ways to go with this idea...

Ah, VITAS, the most-ignored huge impact fact of Shadowrun. It'd certainly be interesting. What will you do about SAIM? The current presidential election might well lead straight to the Jarman/Garrety administration (so much for 'this is unrealistic' I guess), so ...

In my The Division game, we found you need a bit rebalancing. Since you haven't got much to spend your monetary units on, less Karma is needed for generation. However, we went with SR4A and 500 Karma, and it turned out this made the characters a bit incompetent in everything (my massively optimized Ex Marine hasn't got one pool over 10). Especially with a mix of mundane and mages, you need to see, if you want to stay with SR rules, what the mundanes spend their money on (while mages spend their chargen Karma pretty much like Mages do).

QUOTE
But I can make a pretty good guess. In general, technology gets better and cheaper as time goes by, and manufacturing is getting less expensive every year.

Not with everything. There still are no aircars, nuclear energy gets more expensive and less viable with time, and fusion power has been "right around the corner" for what, 7 decades now?
JanessaVR
QUOTE (hermit @ May 13 2016, 01:43 PM) *
Not with everything. There still are no aircars, nuclear energy gets more expensive and less viable with time, and fusion power has been "right around the corner" for what, 7 decades now?

True enough, but we actually have aircars (working prototypes at least), it's just that there isn't a huge market for them so far, and the flying regulations seem to a bit of stumbling block, IIRC, but it's been a while since I last looked in on these.

Nuclear power, yes, probably not going to get any less expensive, and fusion still isn't working yet (at least, we don't have anything where we get out more than we put in to make the fusion happen).

But cloned meat's just applied chemistry and biotechnology. That's the kind of technology that's very likely to become cheaper and more accessible over time. And with 6 decades of time...
hermit
QUOTE
True enough, but we actually have aircars (working prototypes at least), it's just that there isn't a huge market for them so far, and the flying regulations seem to a bit of stumbling block, IIRC, but it's been a while since I last looked in on these.

They also have an efficienty problem, and really, who would be allowed to pilot these? Do we want people with two weeks worth of "drivers' education" (or even the much more intensive German drivers' license) pilot aircraft? If you require a pilot license, you narrow down the market so much they just make no more sense. Also, crashing cars cause a lot less mayhem than crashing flying cars. Plus, if two aircars collide, you have an entire block covered with shrapnel. It's an insurance nightmare (even worse than autonomous cars).

QUOTE
Nuclear power, yes, probably not going to get any less expensive, and fusion still isn't working yet (at least, we don't have anything where we get out more than we put in to make the fusion happen).

Oh, we do, Iter is operable and has already held plasma stable for notable fractions of a second. The question is more how we convert that heat to energy in an efficient way, and how to make this process exoenergetic.

QUOTE
But cloned meat's just applied chemistry and biotechnology. That's the kind of technology that's very likely to become cheaper and more accessible over time. And with 6 decades of time...

Sure enough, yes, I'm pretty positive this will happen in 10 to 20 years, too (my comment was just about 'tech gets cheaper and better over time' as a general rule). It will have its own problems (like infections carried by clone meat), but hey, you could market it as vegan meat, and vegans could come full circle.
JanessaVR
QUOTE (hermit @ May 13 2016, 02:09 PM) *
They also have an efficienty problem, and really, who would be allowed to pilot these? Do we want people with two weeks worth of "drivers' education" (or even the much more intensive German drivers' license) pilot aircraft? If you require a pilot license, you narrow down the market so much they just make no more sense. Also, crashing cars cause a lot less mayhem than crashing flying cars. Plus, if two aircars collide, you have an entire block covered with shrapnel. It's an insurance nightmare (even worse than autonomous cars).

Yeah, that's the other problem. So, these won't be going anywhere anytime soon (save as the occasional toys for the rich).


QUOTE (hermit @ May 13 2016, 02:09 PM) *
Oh, we do, Iter is operable and has already held plasma stable for notable fractions of a second. The question is more how we convert that heat to energy in an efficient way, and how to make this process exoenergetic.

Really? I see I need to look in on this. Much like AI, stable fusion's always 20 years away, but this is encouraging news.


QUOTE (hermit @ May 13 2016, 02:09 PM) *
Sure enough, yes, I'm pretty positive this will happen in 10 to 20 years, too (my comment was just about 'tech gets cheaper and better over time' as a general rule). It will have its own problems (like infections carried by clone meat), but hey, you could market it as vegan meat, and vegans could come full circle.

I love it! Vegan meat! GODS, I want to join a marketing firm just to be in on that marketing campaign. wink.gif
hermit
QUOTE
Really? I see I need to look in on this. Much like AI, stable fusion's always 20 years away, but this is encouraging news.

Oh, I was mistaken, it was a German reactor.

QUOTE
Yeah, that's the other problem. So, these won't be going anywhere anytime soon (save as the occasional toys for the rich).

Not even that, or would you let affluenzia kids pilot these things? Really?

I could see robotic air cabs working, or maybe even robotic private air cars. Then again, that needs a lot of development in autonomous vehicles, and their control software, and has to take into account the safety and security threats of robotic cars, magnified by 10.
ShadowDragon8685
QUOTE (JanessaVR @ May 13 2016, 05:42 PM) *
But I can make a pretty good guess. In general, technology gets better and cheaper as time goes by, and manufacturing is getting less expensive every year. How soon until we're 3D-printing nearly everything - until nano-manufacturing arrives? This is 6 decades into the future, and the technology actually exists right now.

This is just something in the Sixth World that struck me as being particularly nonsensical, and I set out to correct it, if only in our house rules. Though hermit raises some very valid points about possible public perception and marketing.


It's '80s cruft leftover from '80s cyberpunk. Me?
I say sure, go ahead. VatMeat is fine! It exists right along Omnipresent Soy, MycoProtein, Krill a la presse, and blended cricket protein.
binarywraith
QUOTE (JanessaVR @ May 13 2016, 03:19 PM) *
I don't care if it's there in the fluff and the crunch. Gaming rule books are not holy writ, and I'm not required to mindlessly accept everything written in them, especially when it's doesn't make sense.

The physical is not magical, and the magical is not physical. I treat them as strictly separate. Magic can be part of a campaign setting, as long as its rules are internally consistent. But its presence or absence has no affect on my opinion of purely physical technology.


Look, the book's explicit about it. Ghouls eat living metahumans because they need Essence to survive.

Vat grown tissue that isn't part of a sentient being doesn't have Essence. This is why bioware damages a character's Essence, even if it is clonal.
JanessaVR
QUOTE (binarywraith @ May 13 2016, 04:36 PM) *
Look, the book's explicit about it. Ghouls eat living metahumans because they need Essence to survive.

Vat grown tissue that isn't part of a sentient being doesn't have Essence. This is why bioware damages a character's Essence, even if it is clonal.

I don't care how explicit they are about it. It doesn't make sense. I'll say it again:

A dead metahuman has an Essence score of 0. Dead cloned metahuman flesh also has an Essence score of 0. Ghouls won't be getting any Essence from either source. The living have Essence scores, the dead do not.

One is as good as the other, it's just that the rule books say they're not because...um, uh...magic thingies that we're not really going to explain. At all. And uh...hey, look over there! [runs away]
Wakshaani
As for why it isn't widespread?

1) the Crash wiped out most of the world's computerized data. Take how interconnected the world is now. Add thirteen years to it. Now, erase every scrap of information on any machine connected to the Internet. After you try to recover society, you MIGHT get around to the whole "Cloning meat" project at some point, but boy oh boy are there higher priorities.

2) You're one of the leading Agricultural corps in the world... Aztechnology, Renraku, or Shiawase. you have tight-fisted control over foodstuff, the ultimate resource. You decide what's made, what's being shipped, how much it costs... it's the lifeblood of the planet. Someone out there starts trying to gather the money and research up to make a competing product, introducing cheap meat into a world where you sell real meat at a huge profit (and with a social mark-up as well ... being someone who eats REAL meat is a huge status boost!) ... are you going to let that slide? Or do you call up the other gentlemen, quietly give a wink and a nod, then blink innocently at the next morning's paper about that guy's house having blown up. "Gosh. Must have been a gas leak. The world today can be so tragic. Oh, Codsworth! DO shovel another thousand Nuyen into the fireplace? I believe that my toes have gotten a tingle."
JanessaVR
QUOTE (Wakshaani @ May 13 2016, 05:08 PM) *
As for why it isn't widespread?

1) the Crash wiped out most of the world's computerized data. Take how interconnected the world is now. Add thirteen years to it. Now, erase every scrap of information on any machine connected to the Internet. After you try to recover society, you MIGHT get around to the whole "Cloning meat" project at some point, but boy oh boy are there higher priorities.

And yet they found the time to make all of the other toys in SR4 Augmentation and SR5 Chrome Flesh.


QUOTE (Wakshaani @ May 13 2016, 05:08 PM) *
2) You're one of the leading Agricultural corps in the world... Aztechnology, Renraku, or Shiawase. you have tight-fisted control over foodstuff, the ultimate resource. You decide what's made, what's being shipped, how much it costs... it's the lifeblood of the planet. Someone out there starts trying to gather the money and research up to make a competing product, introducing cheap meat into a world where you sell real meat at a huge profit (and with a social mark-up as well ... being someone who eats REAL meat is a huge status boost!) ... are you going to let that slide? Or do you call up the other gentlemen, quietly give a wink and a nod, then blink innocently at the next morning's paper about that guy's house having blown up. "Gosh. Must have been a gas leak. The world today can be so tragic. Oh, Codsworth! DO shovel another thousand Nuyen into the fireplace? I believe that my toes have gotten a tingle."

There's a limit how much luxury meat you can sell to the rich. Produce even decent quality cloned meat and you can sell to exponentially more consumers. There's no way the megacorps you mentioned aren't already all over this, and include cloned meats as part of their standard foodstuffs product line. Face it, this idea is, as Shadow Dragon said above, "cruft leftover from '80s cyberpunk." Time to let this piece fall by the wayside.
binarywraith
QUOTE (JanessaVR @ May 13 2016, 07:41 PM) *
I don't care how explicit they are about it. It doesn't make sense. I'll say it again:

A dead metahuman has an Essence score of 0. Dead cloned metahuman flesh also has an Essence score of 0. Ghouls won't be getting any Essence from either source. The living have Essence scores, the dead do not.

One is as good as the other, it's just that the rule books say they're not because...um, uh...magic thingies that we're not really going to explain. At all. And uh...hey, look over there! [runs away]


Actually, a dead metahuman body retains its Essence rating for some time. Depends on the book, but that is days to a couple weeks. I understand that you don't like the system, but please don't try to characterize it as what it isn't.
JanessaVR
QUOTE (binarywraith @ May 13 2016, 06:21 PM) *
Actually, a dead metahuman body retains its Essence rating for some time. Depends on the book, but that is days to a couple weeks. I understand that you don't like the system, but please don't try to characterize it as what it isn't.

It does? Where is that noted, in which book specifically? And why aren't vampires chomping on them? They can get their Essence fix from the dead, if that's the case. That would be a game-changer for the vampire-rights crowd. Vamps could hang around the morgue and chomp down on fresh corpses. No need to attack the living.

Also, if that's the case, why isn't it noted that ghouls only have that long to chow down on them before they become worthless for their nutritional needs?

Like I said before. Rules need to be internally consistent. If not, then it's time for a House Rules Smackdown ™ on them.
Wakshaani
QUOTE (JanessaVR @ May 13 2016, 07:16 PM) *
And yet they found the time to make all of the other toys in SR4 Augmentation and SR5 Chrome Flesh.


The ones that they felt were important, yes, and before the calicification of the Corporate Court. The work since then has been gradual improvements over what hey'd manage dto salvage. This is why, in many places, the tech of 60 years from now is the same, or a tad behind, today.

QUOTE
There's a limit how much luxury meat you can sell to the rich. Produce even decent quality cloned meat and you can sell to exponentially more consumers. There's no way the megacorps you mentioned aren't already all over this, and include cloned meats as part of their standard foodstuffs product line. Face it, this idea is, as Shadow Dragon said above, "cruft leftover from '80s cyberpunk." Time to let this piece fall by the wayside.


True, but, when you have 100% of the food money, adding a new product won't gather new money, it'll just keep gathering the same, only split more. Why bother?

Better to leave it as it is, and keep the social ques in place so the little people know their place.
JanessaVR
QUOTE (Wakshaani @ May 13 2016, 05:39 PM) *
The ones that they felt were important, yes, and before the calicification of the Corporate Court. The work since then has been gradual improvements over what hey'd manage to salvage. This is why, in many places, the tech of 60 years from now is the same, or a tad behind, today.

True, but, when you have 100% of the food money, adding a new product won't gather new money, it'll just keep gathering the same, only split more. Why bother?

Better to leave it as it is, and keep the social ques in place so the little people know their place.

Those sound more like excuses for lazy writing on the part of the devs. I realize this comes as a great surprise to the SR devs, but, as a rule, corporations aren't actively, moustache-twirlingly evil. They're amoral, and care about profits, not people. But, in the Sixth World, corporations apparently have a budget for "Evil," even when it doesn't make them any money. Just so that they can be evil. You'd think the stockholders would protest, but no, they understand the need for corporations to do evil for sake of doing evil.
JanessaVR
QUOTE (binarywraith @ May 13 2016, 06:21 PM) *
Actually, a dead metahuman body retains its Essence rating for some time. Depends on the book, but that is days to a couple weeks. I understand that you don't like the system, but please don't try to characterize it as what it isn't.

I don't buy physical game books anymore (I haven't for nearly a decade now, I think), so I have searchable PDFs from DriveThruRPG. I've just done keyword searches for "Essence" in the SR5 Core Rules and SR5 Run Faster, and I can't find this anywhere (I assumed this was some sort of new edition rule). I'm moving on to the SR4 books now.

Ok, just searched SR4 Core Rules, Runner's Companion, and Running Wild. Still can't find this supposed rule about the Essence rating of corpses.
binarywraith
QUOTE (JanessaVR @ May 13 2016, 07:28 PM) *
It does? Where is that noted, in which book specifically? And why aren't vampires chomping on them? They can get their Essence fix from the dead, if that's the case. That would be a game-changer for the vampire-rights crowd. Vamps could hang around the morgue and chomp down on fresh corpses. No need to attack the living.

Also, if that's the case, why isn't it noted that ghouls only have that long to chow down on them before they become worthless for their nutritional needs?

Like I said before. Rules need to be internally consistent. If not, then it's time for a House Rules Smackdown ™ on them.


Mostly previous edition information because as usual for nearly every aspect of SR5, Catalyst has managed to produce hundreds of pages of rules and no real explanation on most of them.
JanessaVR
QUOTE (binarywraith @ May 13 2016, 11:45 PM) *
Mostly previous edition information because as usual for nearly every aspect of SR5, Catalyst has managed to produce hundreds of pages of rules and no real explanation on most of them.

Well, I'm certainly not going to argue for the value of the SR5 rules (as we've largely skipped them in favor of staying with SR4), but if I can't find these supposed rules on corpses having an Essence score (despite searching for them), then I don't acknowledge them.
hermit
QUOTE
as a rule, corporations aren't actively, moustache-twirlingly evil. They're amoral, and care about profits, not people.

Evil is a matter of definition. In the above-mentioned example, the extreme selfishness does fulfill most of my preconditions for moustace-twirlingly evil, for instance.

QUOTE
But, in the Sixth World, corporations apparently have a budget for "Evil," even when it doesn't make them any money.

Movie/Crime Show corniness aside, many real corporations are disturbingly evil (just take Areva). Even in ways that cannot possibly be profitable in all but the most short-sighted terms - see the Volkswagen disaster (that is looming over GM and has caught up to Mitsubishi too, by now), or how Areva - under its old name Cogema - told workers mining uranium in its Gabon mines without any protective equipment they have AIDS when they showed up at the company clinic with radiation sickness. Neither resulted in profits for the company - Cogema had to shutter its mines, and Volkswagen and the others have to pay very high fines that in no way are offset by the profits made. Sometimes, corporations act very irrationally and evil, or at least very detrimental to their own interests.

QUOTE
You'd think the stockholders would protest, but no, they understand the need for corporations to do evil for sake of doing evil.

Quite unlike in real life, shareholders in Shadowrun can basically fuck off and die. True power in Shadowrun rests with CEOs and the Board, not shareholders, as the Business Recognition accords destroyed the finance industry as we have known it since the 80s. That is why there are multifaceted, broadly spread mega-consortiums as the dominant form of corporation in Shadowrun in the first place. If shareholders had their say, Shadowrun's most important companies would be like Apple - immensely profitable and well-versed in PR and entirely reliant on one (1) product for its revenue. Shadowrun corporations have decided to break out of shareholder value principles for the sake of accumulating ever more capital in a handful of entities. That's two very different brands of capitalism.
Wounded Ronin
As far as real life goes I'd be excited to try cloned meat.

As far as SR goes, I just took it for granted that the algae etc. were simply homages to dystopian sci fi like Soylent Green. So asking why is like asking why a cyberdeck has to be huge and look like a music synthesizer, or why everyone is still running around with an uzi.
Sengir
QUOTE (JanessaVR @ May 13 2016, 10:04 PM) *
As for ghouls, my whole point is that this rule doesn't make any sense. That either shouldn't have even come up in Big D's will, or that particular X-Prize (D-Prize?) should have been won years ago as of the current campaign timeline.

The (IC) working theory is that the meat needs to have been infused by a living person's aura at some point. It does not matter that the person's Essence score is "N/A" at the current time, it needs to have been >0 at some point. The force-growing process used to create wimps has the convenient side effect of total anencephaly, therefore they never have a metahuman aura. And human muscle meat grown in a cell culture would be even less so, since it's not part of anything even resembling a human body.


For people who just want meat and don't have any special needs, I don't see why it should be impossible to have a steak grown in a nutrient vat. It should however still be more expensive than soy or krill, because the same 60 years of R&D for making vat meat cheaper would also be 60 years of making soy and krill products cheaper...
Wakshaani
Shadowrun corps aren't capitalist. They're feudal. They have *zero* interest in an actual free market. They want a tightly-controlled one, and one where they hold the reigns.
KarmaInferno
If it helps about the ghouls vs cloned meat problem...

Formerly metahuman meat has Essence. It loses it quickly, which is why bodies are consumed quickly by ghouls and you don't have them stockpiling the 'food' for later consumption.

Cloned meat has no Essence. Not even 0 Essense, it has no Essence rating at all.Much like a magically active person has no Resonance rating, or a technomancer has no Magic rating. Having a rating indicates it can be changed.

QUOTE (JanessaVR @ May 13 2016, 08:41 PM) *
Those sound more like excuses for lazy writing on the part of the devs.


Wak is one of the "devs", in fact. One of the current edition writers, anyway.



-k
binarywraith
QUOTE (hermit @ May 15 2016, 03:05 PM) *
Movie/Crime Show corniness aside, many real corporations are disturbingly evil (just take Areva). Even in ways that cannot possibly be profitable in all but the most short-sighted terms - see the Volkswagen disaster (that is looming over GM and has caught up to Mitsubishi too, by now), or how Areva - under its old name Cogema - told workers mining uranium in its Gabon mines without any protective equipment they have AIDS when they showed up at the company clinic with radiation sickness. Neither resulted in profits for the company - Cogema had to shutter its mines, and Volkswagen and the others have to pay very high fines that in no way are offset by the profits made. Sometimes, corporations act very irrationally and evil, or at least very detrimental to their own interests.


Corporate evil isn't personal like a traditional villain, it's just the refusal to accept responsibility for the necessarily negative consequences to others that their profit seeking behavior generates.
Koekepan
I guess I'll try to answer this topic as a whole because it spun way out while I couldn't reach Dumpshock. (Are there any other farmers/agricultural scientists/agricultural economists on the forum?)

It's a big question, so this will be a long post, but I'll try to help you as best I can.

First, some basics. To create food, you need seed, soil, water, air and sun. You can vary this formula a little bit, for things like algae where your soil turns into nutrients suspended or dissolved in water, and the air becomes water oxygenation, but you generally need some combination of the above. In the case of livestock, you need all of the above plus breeding stock.

And then you need time.

But wait, you say. We can do meat in labs! And mushrooms don't need sun! And ... and.... the formula must be wrong!

Actually, mushrooms depend on all the above, just on a longer timeframe because they rely upon compost in which to grow. Lab meat (and aeroponics, and hydroponics, and similar systems) depend upon either all of the above separated in time, or they depend upon external fuel inputs. What do I mean by external fuel inputs? It turns out that if you have enough energy, cheap enough, then you can do things like create nitrate-based fertiliser from non-biological sources. It also means that you can replace sunlight with equivalent lighting.

On the other end, you can't just make do with a knowledge of inputs; you also need to understand outputs. Human beings can't just eat grass; it can't sustain us. We require a balanced amino acid intake; if you read vegan dietary analysis you'll get a lot of this. This is where the meat thing comes in; there are relatively few, relatively constrained plant sources of some amino acids. Without being too technical about it, many amino acids are available from plant sources, but some are rare and we need those too. This doesn't mean a vegan diet is infeasible - but it does mean that it takes careful planning, and soy is one of the sources for that rich amino acid balance. Krill would help a lot as well. Without getting into the politics and ideology surrounding veganism, it's well known (in fact, a freshman calculation for people in some fields of study) that we could bulldoze and plough every rainforest and savannah in the world, and not be able to grow enough of the right kind of crops to get the right kind of amino acids to feed the world a balanced diet. So, someone's eating meat, or someone's malnourished. In the shadorun world, with the angry return of the wild, this guarantees that lots of people are getting lots of meat or meat analogue, or you have worldwide starvation as an imminent threat.

OK, so there were your basics. We need inputs, we can supplement them with energy, and animal proteins have to be in the mix, regardless of how we get them (vegetables, krill, whatever). The question then becomes: what are the constraints?

Arable land, that farmers will be allowed to use, is one. However, enough people care enough about eating that it's a cinch that farming will be permitted, even by green freaks, tribal luddites and elven overlords. So the land will be available.

Water should similarly be available, if the greening of the awakened landscape is any indication; so that's a given.

The air is around; polluted, but around.

Soil isn't perfect, but is still around, pollution notwithstanding.

The sun still shines. And plants still grow, so seed is available.

So given a smaller population (thanks, VITAS!) to feed, it's not infeasible. What are the actual constraints?

Energy is a big one. Peak oil, ecoterrorism, resource hogging, infrastructure losses - take your pick, they're all in the game as canon elements. The oil still pumps, and nuclear power is a thing, but both of those are very unevenly distributed and in the case of oil, quite expensive. What does this affect?

For starters, throwing energy at food production will become a last resort. Energy-dense NPK fertilisers? A thing of the past, or used incredibly sparingly. CAFOs, vertical farms, armies of drones and monster tractors? Only very sparingly, or in circumstances where the savings are so breathtakingly massive that they are justified. A vertical farm needs a lot of energy to replace the sun (unless there's nothing to shade it), the soil (unless that's re-established internally and constantly monitored), to cycle air and water (sure, you can be efficient, but you'll still need some pumping and venting capabilities), and of course to move things up and down your vertical farm. CAFOs take a lot of energy for everything from food movement and ventilation through to disinfection and monitoring. Drones and monster tractors may be justifiable if you can fuel them with the side effects of farming (such as weed digestion) but at this rate a relatively unmechanised farm will become increasingly cost competitive. Draft animals will not be a joke, but a serious response to oil prices. A gang of labourers tilling the soil by hand is not an ideal vision, but they have actual capabilities that even today's tractors just can't match (ask me for details if you're morbidly curious). Farmers who can really close the loop on everything from field to table, including dung, flies (for poultry), soil construction, fallow periods, permaculture and more will clean up.

Another facet of all of this is that logistics is hugely expensive, and a massive zone of loss for food in the supply chain. We'll see a lot more immediate preservation of food through drying, pickling, salting, fermentation, canning and other systems just so that more of the food actually reaches the stomach, rather than recycling. Alcohol production, intended not for direct consumption but for the purpose of vinegar production, intended then for pickling should boom.

So where does this leave lab meat? Not too well off, I'm afraid. It's all very well to talk about the input costs going into a steak, but it's worth bearing in mind that the opportunity costs are part of the picture. It works like this: someone growing meat in a lab needs some fairly specific, carefully monitored chemical and energy inputs. These are high value items, high up in the production chain, that have immediate alternative uses. Even if you have all drones running your meat factory (massive energy costs!) such that you need minimal expert assistance, you're still competing with every other factory for energy, and a whole list of industries for clean water, and your nutrients. This is expensive. By way of contrast, your steer munching brush down a canyon somewhere isn't occupying much of anything that is in highly competitive demand. The brush is in limited demand, the steer doesn't need carefully purified (or even human potable) water, and most other needs can be provided on an occasional basis by a small team. A couple of dogs, a couple of ranch hands, maybe once in a while a visit by a vet to check the herd. Granted, slaughter and shipping take their cut, but that isn't that different from decanting and shipping.

Now, aquaculture, especially bulk aquaculture as exemplified by mass krill production as envisioned in Shadowrun, can certainly produce a lot, more so with intelligent use of waterways, or vessels, but even so you're not looking at an energy cheap solution in most cases. You want passive arrangements (like oyster floats, for example) or relatively simple ones based on existing flows of water so that you don't have stagnation (the gulf stream springs to mind). This makes it feasible, but only where surrounding circumstances are conducive to intelligent development.

In the big picture, I think that the soy-heavy culture is quite plausible, given that enough arable land is sufficiently densely planted that big agriculture will be able to fill that need on a regular basis. However, it cannot be the only solution. Krill, sure. But there will have to be other kinds of farming, and those kinds of farming will have to be a lot more intelligent, and labour intensive, than people think now. Even today, some farmers are finding that saving energy makes a big enough dent in their budget to justify alternative approaches. The big open question will be what happens when oil reaches the equivalent after inflation of $1000/barrel? We may well find ourselves going back to horse-drawn or steam-powered machinery for a lot of stuff, and just accepting much lower yields per acre because NPK isn't justifiable.

Factory-created meat just won't be sufficiently energy-efficient to justify.
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