Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Genetically modified humans?
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Are genetically improved humans found anywhere in the books?
If not, what would be the cost and stats of one?
Kanada Ten
I think that genetically modified humans will use the search engine more wink.gif

Recent topic about Genetically improved humans.

The third edition book SotA:63 (State of the Art 2063) talks about genetic engineering and some different processes. It did leave a lot to be desired, but I expect more on the subject in future releases.

Typically, you can receive similar benefits of bioware for greater monetary cost and time with lower essence and bio index costs.
This was discussed in this thread. I believe snowRaven said (s)he was working on a system for genemod characters.

edit: Curse you, Powerpuff Girls!
Ancient History
Yes. Specifically, Stat of the Art: 2063 gives prices and costs for genetic alterations.

On a more fictional level, you could read the novel "Tails You Lose," which is very unrealistic canonically speaking.

[/edit] SHITE!
QUOTE (Ancient History)
On a more fictional level, you could read the novel "Tails You Lose," which is very unrealistic canonically speaking.

*g* At least the english version said that the superkids had Move-by-Wire-Implants that explained the high athletics skills.
In the german translation those MbWs suddenly turned into Wired Reflexes biggrin.gif
I still remember reading questions on several german SR boards that went something like this: "Whoa, was there any Errata on wired reflexes or why does the protagonist in Tails you Lose receive bonuses on athletics?"
"genetically modified" is a pretty vague term. According to most comic books I've read (and I haven't read many, but I watch a lot of cartoons to make up for it), I can genetically modify myself by sitting on the microwave, but that doesn't mean I'll suddenly grow a synaptic accelerator. Basically what I think you're getting at is best summed up by gratuitous use of the term "super soldier," or maybe throw in a good ol' fascist vibe by using Nietzsche's often twisted term "ubermensch." Oh, and "playing God," that's a good one.
Omega Skip
You forgot "messing with mother nature"... But seriously, genetic engineering is a touchy subject, and will remain so for the next 60 ~ 100 years, unless we reach some substantial breakthroughs in information science and / or nanotechnology. Quantum computing would help, but even then, it would take a LOT of basic research to apply that to proteomics. My guess is that after the first working quantum machines are developed, it will still take a few years for researchers to make the switch away from classic computing and their many finely crafted tools.

Genetic research today, even though genetic researchers will try to convince you otherwise, is still mostly trial and error. Remember Kaguya? She was actually a fluke, a random event - you could say that it was statistics, and not Tomo and his team, that made her.

What does that mean for Shadowrun? Nothing, really, if you look at other areas where real science has been given a rough treatment in the game. But if you want to add flavor to your game, consider this: A person who is the result of a eugenics program will most certainly not be without flaws. Furthermore, for any living specimen, there will be a huge number of almost identical twins who were either immediately flushed or killed off later because of severe deformations. Hey, here's an interesting NPC idea...

A genetically enhanced human, on the run from his creators, and his deformed twin brother, the only kind of family he's ever had; running the shadows to find a way to cure his brother, and to find a place where they belong.
You would think it would be easy enough to just engineer humans to naturally have bioware. It probably is too, but no one is likely to do it. You can genetically engineer a superhuman, but you can't guarantee that he will use his expensive body to work for you. Besides, growing a crop of superhumans would be at least a 20-year investment. The only way you could conceivably ensure that these superhumans would be loyal to you would be to replace part of their brains with computers, which would be not only grossly illegal, but so inhuman that even most corp scientists would puke at the thought. The only people I can imagine doing it would be reasearchers, who would have to go through all sort of ethical hurdles, and wealthy couples who have a kid engineerd to be their child, and be raised as their biological offspring. And, even if this is feasible, or even commonplace, it takes years for a kid to grow up, so if this only became doable in the 60's, then the products of this science wouldn't be old enough to be player-characters until some time in the 70's. You could make some kind of superhuman toddler the focus of a game though.
Omega Skip
There's nothing in canon to say that it wouldn't be possible to engineer a person to have certain bioware implants from birth, but from personal experience I'd say it would be more realistic to assume that in the world of Shadowrun, the closest thing to true eugenics would be prenatal screening. Which would pretty much fit the example of rich parents who want the "perfect" offspring. Create a few thousand embryos through IVF, let them develope for a few cycles, and then perform a screening on them to see which one of those is the best in terms of cretain traits.

Here's the thing that most people don't understand about genetic engineering: We can pinpoint sequences in a person's genetic code that are responsible for certain traits with moderate accuracy even today; for example, the genetic anomalies that are responsible for cystic fibrosis, certain kinds of cancer, and even some forms of dementia are known. You could go to a sufficiently equipped lab, pay a very unreasonable amount of money, and have them search your genetic code for quite a lot of badboys. This is possible today, this is not science fiction.
However, knowing these sequences does not enable us to just remove them or alter them so that they become their opposite; this is the point where a very well established science, genetics, segues into another, relatively young field of research, called proteomics. Genetics deals with the genetic code that makes up the instructions, or operating systems, for all living things. You could say that it's software. Proteomics is the science that deals with the hardware, the proteins that are coded by the genetic code. To get back to the above example, we can say that sequence S is responsible for affliction S', but we have still very little idea of what the corresponding protein P looks like, or how it interacts with the other few hojillion protein complexes in our body to cause affliction S'. And that's where the science is at right now.

I've always assumed that genetics in Shadowrun has not found an easy way to predict protein assembly, and that therefore proteomics is still as much of a mystery as it is today. If they had indeed figured out proteomics, then Shadowrun would be a much different world... no diseases, no hunger, no pollution, no difference from a huxleyan dystopia. Instead, it seems to me as if all those achievements of genetics in Shadowrun are just a huge collection of serendipitous lab accidents, eternally refined through careful studies and experiements. Which would be a more realistic pov.

So, in other words, there may very well be genetically enhanced humans in Shadowrun, but they're certainly not the result of thoughtful design or direct manipulation - rather a statistical occurence in a massive experiment, like Kaguya.
Crusher Bob
Though if you want to add some conspiracy elements to your game, a howard families like eugenics program is doable at most any tech level...

Throw in some 'simple' genetic cleaning checks and your can probably jack up the expected lifespan of the 1st generation around 10 years over the norm. Given a few hundred years to screw around you can get lifespans that are, dunno, +25 years over the norm. So most of your end run test subjects would live (using todays standards) would live and average of 95+ years, with some lving to around 120 or 130 (?)
You can ensure almost anyone's loyalty if properly conditioned from birth.

What form that loyalty will take, however, can be another matter entirely.

Think Dark Angel " ah a genetically anhanced super babe like jessica Alba"

Heck make it up your self...your the GM.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012