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kryton
With the level surgical precision, prosthetics, and enhancements theoretically anyone with enough money could buy the face and body they desire. Cybernetics requires a good deal of patching and connecting of human tissue and synthetic materials. People now pay thousands of dollars for cosmetic surgery I wonder what SOTA work could be performed 2064. With magic augmenting healing and manipulating the human form it would see that you could look just like anyone. With the proper enhancements you could sound like anyone. With simsense and memory manipulation you could have memories customized. Possibly advance therapy might include manipulating negative memories and reshaping the human psyche. (Babylon 5 expanded on Death of Personality for Serial Killers.)

It would make sense that with the advanced procedures for DNA enhancement and cybernetic surgery that anyone could buy the perfect body. With the creation of Alice in Jak Koke's first heart of the dragon series it may even be possible to project a personality and memories into a harvested human clone. So you not only don't die you pass your mind on from generation to generation. If you don't like the way you look you have a new body either sculpted or if youre squeamish about blades genetic enhancement would be available. If street docs are as prevalent as they are then conceivably plastic surgery could become more and more accessible to the middle class. (Unfortunately I would think that there would be a larger class gap between the middle class and upper class folks.)

I think these are interesting ideas. The book Holy Fire might become a reality where folks wanting to be young again can go from they're 80's to 20's. So I think the key question is "What would the perfect person look like?" How would the starlets and jet setters define the perfection? Is age the biggest taboo in 2060? How much would someone pay or give of themself (in this case a middle american girl) to get the perfect body and form?
mfb
leonization already accomplishes in one swell, easy foop what the age doctors in Holy Fire sweated blood and tears to create a poor reflection of. on the plastic surgery front, i tend to think that from the middle class on up, there are no un-beautiful people. it's probably one of the things that keeps the classes so very seperate--no one with any amount of legitimacy would put up with unsightly acne scars, bad teeth, tendencies toward obesity, etcetera.

personally, i think the lifestyle you live in (not your various safehouses/boltholes/whatever) should give a TN mod on social interations.
kryton
Leonization works but it cuts into essence. There's also a chance it could go wrong and the side effects could be nasty. I think body sculpting from a surgical sense would never go away. Genetics can do a lot but when genetics fail your surgeon would take over where science failed. Surgery is a art form and merge between science and skill. Some folks simply won't want to get genetic manipulation. Untill we know how aging works fully the surgeon's scapel or laser will always be there for the well to do.
Backgammon
Interesting post.

First off, there is a general consensus that sentient clones are a non-reality in SR. because of the huge implications they would have. The SR world would be too radically altered. Armies of cloned superhumans, people that never really die...

But I definatly agree that a "looks" gap should be introduced in SR. With the terrible city air, acid rain, bad hygene, etc, the lower class people would not only look not as good as the upper class people, who I totally agree would all look gorgeous, but they'd look like shit because of the effect all that pollution has on their skin.

Looks are part of the gap in classes in a society. Considering the cyberpunkish theme of class gaps, the looks of the poor vs the looks of the good, and the jealousy (sp?) that is created by this shoudl be brought up. Lower classes would be VERY resentful of the upper classes who create all the polution but don't have to suffer it's (visible) effect.

Furthermore, on the topic of changing what you look like, that's a subject I think SR material hasn't put forward enough. It's often mentionned in fiction or shadowtalk, how when a run goes sour you change your face and get a new identity. But you don't see it in the rules much, you don't see many examples of it, what the consequences (loss of self-indentity maybe?) are, etc. M&M says a few things about plastic surgery, but more complete material should clarify the face change quesion. It's too late now, but SSG would have been a GREAT place to put that in.
Fygg Nuuton
QUOTE (kryton)
Genetics can do a lot but when genetics fail your surgeon would take over where <b>science failed.</b>

emphasis mine

cosmetic surgery is still a science.

also i dont know if leonization can go wrong, and if it does, there could be a serious problem. most people that have it done are rich and powerful, so if you are a surgeon and you mess it up, you better be able to correct it.
Kanada Ten
In SR, cosmetic surgery can be performed by a tattoo artist.
kryton
True it is a science but the artistic ability I think requires extreme amounts of hand eye coordination and precision. The same sort of precision and skill a painter or sculpter might have. Flesh is the canvas.

If Leonization involves a virus vector then it can fail. Viruses mutate and do all sorts of things unexpected. Nanites could theoretically repair and fix the cell but the DNA would have to have to be manipulated by some sort of vector. Free radicals and maybe even the body's own white blood cells might retard or impact leonization. Anthing biological is at risk to random effects. Medicine is science but the body as an organism has a level of chance. The body is such a complex medium chance is always a factor. Drug trials for instance test possible side effects for drugs after they're deemed safe for clinical use. People die and have unexpected reactions. I think medicine as a whole will always have a level of unpredictability of side effects. Complexity can be understood but not always predicted. That's ultimately my point.
Cray74
QUOTE (Backgammon @ Sep 1 2004, 07:38 PM)
First off, there is a general consensus that sentient clones are a non-reality in SR. because of the huge implications they would have. The SR world would be too radically altered. Armies of cloned superhumans, people that never really die...

I'm not sure I understand the worry about sentient clones. SR seems to be able to grow the BODIES to adulthood quickly, but those adult bodies would have the mind of a newborn infant. You'd have to train them up from scratch, just like any naturally born human.

Further, the new bodies aren't much use for making someone immortal, except by providing spare parts for aging bodies. There's no way to transfer memories or consciousness (yet). You can chip them, but those aren't memories, they're files on a hard drive.
kryton
Possibly with robotics and automation surgery could move into the "expert system" level of production. The machine is programmed and expert systems may do the work for you using nanites and microsurgical techniques with percision and skill exceeding surgeons. Nanites are the ultimate micro level surgical machine. Possibly machines then act as assembly line surgeons. Imput body here, upload medical - cad file, remove human at end of bay. The russians use a form of assembly surgery or experiemented on it in the 80's. Machines may take the place of men with a doctor acting more as a computer operator / tech. Then all you need is the right machinery and any fool able to push a button can perform surgery. I just hope it doesn't run windows....that could get messy.

"General Protection at location x3223110 in executable surgery.exe.......Errror patient viatals dropping please contact Doc Wagon....Warning.......massive blood loss detected....reboot?"

I heard from a co-workers brother during a bar crawl of a patient waking up from brain surgery. Turns out the anasthiethology (msp?) machine crashed and stopped giving gas to the patient. That had to be a surprise and a head ache.
kryton
The book Stanger souls talked about consiouness transfer. It was fairly potent but required a magically active person and some use of magic. So it's at least bleeding edge and buggy but possible.
Cray74
QUOTE (kryton)
The book Stanger souls talked about consiouness transfer. It was fairly potent but required a magically active person and some use of magic. So it's at least bleeding edge and buggy but possible.

Well, that sounds like one person going from one body to another. I see nothing wrong about that. It's not much different than rebuilding a body after it's been abused down to deadly damage or something.
Kagetenshi
Depends. If the original brain is not carried over, it has the potential to be very different indeed.

~J
Jason Farlander
QUOTE (Cray74)
I'm not sure I understand the worry about sentient clones.

Armies of cloned mages. Armies.
Kanada Ten
To me, cloning a mage wouldn't guaranteed that the clone would Awaken. In fact, if SR allowed cloning (which it doesn't), I would probably say clones would be less likely to Awaken because they are processed material and thus not virgin (same goes for anything grown in a test tube). It's not impossible mind you, just more difficult.
Cray74
QUOTE (Jason Farlander)
Armies of cloned mages. Armies.

And why do the clones suddenly manifest magical powers, when the mage talent isn't necessarily genetic in nature?
Edward
The tech seems to be there for brain transplants (the amount of neural work needed would be modest compared to cerebral boosters, encefelerons, move by wire, riger implants).

So what are the costs associated with transplanting your brain into a physically fit clone of you at any given age. Thus only diseases of the brain can really affect you.

Has the Programmable ASIST Biofeedback unitprogressed to the point where you can copy your memory and personality thus escaping every ailment other than psychological. and what happens to the spirit (pre-existing essence loss, magical talent).

If you are cloned (no genetic mod what will the clones magic rating be (same as you, none, random individual) might a rich mundane be able to clone himself 1000 times have each one cheeked for magical talent and use a PAB to transfer his conchesnus into it.

Edward
Kanada Ten
Magical Talent isn't in the body. It's in the Essence.

[edit] Meaning you'd have to let the clone develope as a person and see if it developes magical talent and then try to convince/force it to allow the transfer (and if it has magical talent from a totem that won't work).
Cray74
QUOTE (Edward)
So what are the costs associated with transplanting your brain into a physically fit clone of you at any given age. Thus only diseases of the brain can really affect you.

Like senility, geezerly brain disfunction, irreplaceable brain cell loss, etc. Human nerve tissue is pretty bad about replacing itself.

QUOTE
Has the Programmable ASIST Biofeedback unitprogressed to the point where you can copy your memory and personality thus escaping every ailment other than psychological. and what happens to the spirit (pre-existing essence loss, magical talent).


When you force an ASIST copy of your memories on a new brain, you're basically reprogramming a brain and "soul" with fancy video tapes. The personality that results from this isn't the original - it's a baby that's been raised on video tapes of your life.

QUOTE
If you are cloned (no genetic mod what will the clones magic rating be (same as you, none, random individual) might a rich mundane be able to clone himself 1000 times have each one cheeked for magical talent and use a PAB to transfer his conchesnus into it.


His consciousness would NOT be transferred. Basically, the clone would be forced to sit through a bunch of fancy video tapes and slide shows known as "simsense recordings".
Kanada Ten
QUOTE
His consciousness would NOT be transferred. Basically, the clone would be forced to sit through a bunch of fancy video tapes and slide shows known as "simsense recordings".

In theory, PAB allows them to alter the memories of a subject, but I can't imagine trying to "alter" a lifetime onto a person who grew up in a glass tank, or even a person who lead a "full" life. They can record memories, but that's not the same as consciousness...
Cray74
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
In theory, PAB allows them to alter the memories of a subject, but I can't imagine trying to "alter" a lifetime onto a person who grew up in a glass tank, or even a person who lead a "full" life. They can record memories, but that's not the same as consciousness...

Correct, a video tape that gets played back straight into your brain's optical center, auditory center, olfactory center, etc. All your senses are feeding realistic signals into your brain. Are they real experiences, or are they Memorex?

Your brain can't tell, and I'm sure with the correct drugs, you can really convince that brain that the input is authentic experiences, not a simsense recording.

However, it isn't an honest transfer of consciousness. It's convincing some brain that it's someone else.
Jason Farlander
QUOTE (Cray74)
And why do the clones suddenly manifest magical powers, when the mage talent isn't necessarily genetic in nature?



My understanding, coming from Shadowtech, is that magical ability is generally agreed to be genetic in nature, but that it is impossible to figure out the necessary genes to produce an awakened individual are because of the weird nature of the "magus factor." Since it (probably) operates as a gestalt of numerous, widespread traits, and these gestalts do not need to be identical in different people, geneticists do not have the ability to create magically active individuals insofar as they do not know which genes to activate or insert.

Not knowing which genes to insert/activate isnt a problem if you can produce a viable, sentient clone of someone who is already awakened.

...Then again, if you prefer less science in your magic, thats cool. We likes the biologieses though. (precious)
Kanada Ten
QUOTE
However, it isn't an honest transfer of consciousness. It's convincing some brain that it's someone else.

Right, and that's enough for some people...

But you could use some powerful magic to cause a mundane to Astrally Project (Rifts, Blood Magic) and then force the clone to do the same. Then mimic the cyberzombie spirit trap effect on the clone body, thereby sucking the mundane's spirit into it. Then do the same to the clone's spirit into the mundane's body. That would be an honest transfer of consciousness, and boy would the god's be pissed. You then stick the clone spirit / shriveled mundane body into a freezer essentially creating a "Liferock" for the mundane spirit / clone body. Talk about your plot hooks.
Jason Farlander
Anyway, its all academic insofar as a) its a game and b) in said game, clones are not sentient. I merely posit that, perhaps, one of the reasons they chose to make human clones mindless may have been because they didn't want to deal with the possibility of mage clone armies. *shrugs*
Kanada Ten
QUOTE
My understanding, coming from Shadowtech, is that magical ability is generally agreed to be genetic in nature, but that it is impossible to figure out the necessary genes to produce an awakened individual are because of the weird nature of the "magus factor."

I would say that the genetics is only the base requirement of magical talent, not the only one. It is the clay from which you can form a cup or bowl or dagger, but it may well form nothing useful, as well. It takes the living of life to create to possibility of Awakening. IMESHO.

QUOTE
I merely posit that, perhaps, one of the reasons they chose to make human clones mindless may have been because they didn't want to deal with the possibility of mage clone armies.

I'd agree that was probably one of the reasons.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
To me, cloning a mage wouldn't guaranteed that the clone would Awaken. In fact, if SR allowed cloning (which it doesn't), I would probably say clones would be less likely to Awaken because they are processed material and thus not virgin (same goes for anything grown in a test tube). It's not impossible mind you, just more difficult.

So test-tube babies are less likely to awaken? Care to offer any canon backing at all?

~J
Kanada Ten
None that I know of. My only argument is processed material and personal flavor. I'm not talking about sperm frozen in a tube and then inseminated, I'm talking vat grown humans.

Does genetic manipulation before birth cause Bio Index or Essence loss?
toturi
Bio loss
Kagetenshi
Bio index, which means a maximum of 5 points of prenatal magic loss.

As far as I can tell, the main difference magically between a clone and a natural human would be that you couldn't harvest the former for virgin telesma.

~J
Cray74
QUOTE (Jason Farlander)
Anyway, its all academic insofar as a) its a game and b) in said game, clones are not sentient.

Which is lame. If you can clone someone, you can clone a functional brain. It's just another organ. Dolly shows every sign of being a normal sheep, and those cloned kittens are just normal cats.

The only inhibitions from the clone becoming sentient are either intentional brain damage inflicted to prevent sentience or some sort of active prevention of the brain from learning, so no one feels guilty about using the clone as a source of spare parts for DocWagon contract holders.

QUOTE (Jason Farlander)
My understanding, coming from Shadowtech, is that magical ability is generally agreed to be genetic in nature ...

Not knowing which genes to insert/activate isnt a problem if you can produce a viable, sentient clone of someone who is already awakened.


You still need to teach the clone to use its magical abilities, which is far from a given. Even very "awakened" cultures like the Native Americans have trouble IDing kids with magical potential and getting them to use their talent, once they're IDd.
mfb
the brain itself may be a normal organ, but there's nothing that says the 'spark of intelligence', or whatever, is based in the meat. cloned bodies may lack something on the astral side that keeps them non-viable.
Cray74
QUOTE (mfb @ Sep 2 2004, 01:13 AM)
the brain itself may be a normal organ, but there's nothing that says the 'spark of intelligence', or whatever, is based in the meat. cloned bodies may lack something on the astral side that keeps them non-viable.

Dolly and kittens (yours for only $50000) function normally when cloned.

So, I'm not buying the astral/spark idea. Cloned pets develop on their own, showing new personalities.

For that reason, IMO, any lack of sentience in human clones is intentional. DocWagon would have a lot of 'splainin' to do if its vats o' involuntary organ donors were actually potentially sentient.
toturi
The basis of magic ability may be genetic in nature, but a large part of the science is still unexplained. Perhaps being grown in a lab lacked the astral shadow of being nutured in a womb, perhaps Awakening requires the baby to be immersed in a metahuman aura?
Cray74
QUOTE (toturi)
The basis of magic ability may be genetic in nature, but a large part of the science is still unexplained. Perhaps being grown in a lab lacked the astral shadow of being nutured in a womb, perhaps Awakening requires the baby to be immersed in a metahuman aura?

Sure. Certainly not everyone with magical parents, siblings, or twins manifests magical abilities. There's more than genes at play.
kryton
Wasn't Alice one of the deckers who sought to hunt down the virus crash of 29. Something nasty happened and her consciouness was "mirrored" or "transfered" to the matrix where she roamed about here and there. So there was a "digital" personality created. I don't know how close it was to the original but the personality was derrived from a human mind. (It was mentioned I think in Stranger Souls by Jak Koke) Deus (Renraku AI I think it's name was Deus) projected parts of itself in the minds of hundreds of folks creating a wetware P2P type of network. Possibly it might be possible to transmit digital personalities into minds. Although they might have some nasty cyberware installed running and taking advantage of the brain using it as wetware processor. As I understand it though you can alter memories making false memories ect. or hiding memories and reprogramming folks in a way. As I understand it the reprogramming isn't nessacarily simsense but the modification of memories which is a complex structure.

Theoretically with simsense you could create worlds where a brain lives in a virual educational environment learning all they need to know. Interacting with virtual teachers ect. Although the AI isn't there so the individual might figure out something isn't right. But the question is wether you can create memories in the brain or just stream simsense in like a movie? I don't know if they were very explicit on that aspect. In terms of black ops and slavery though clones would take they're place. Complacent workers who don't question, but follow they're masters....Something like a THX1138 scenerio. Cloned workers would have some excellent advantages but may be on the costly side. What would happen though if all your middle managers were clones bred, educated, and socialized by the corporation to run operations efficiently or you get the ax. Cloned super mages are a possibility but I think logistically the possibility for slavery and agents of the corporation would be more insidious. Hell why not breed them with genes resisting atrophy so they can manage all space assets and orbital labs and processing. Hell you could have a instant genetically created harem or prostitution house with barely literate females who have the intellect of a 8 year old. (human depravity has no bounds) I think the mage this one thing but the social implications are far more reaching. With increases in robotics and expert systems you might see a move toward reduced labor in manufacturing. Now you don't need a disloyal employee you grow your techs and in ten years of extensive education you've got tech experts who are totally dependent on the corporatation.

The next step would be vat grown babies for Dr. Haberstam's experimentation. As long as your labs are in far off places and the right people are paid you could perform all sorts of unspeakable horrors.

Getting back to the main topic though I wonder what people would give of themselves to be in the beautiful elite? How could shadowrunners take advantage of that? Beautifical woman doing dasterdly things to corporate executives once all they're pieces are in place. What would a runner do to be one of the "in" crowd.
Kanada Ten
QUOTE (toturi)
The basis of magic ability may be genetic in nature, but a large part of the science is still unexplained. Perhaps being grown in a lab lacked the astral shadow of being nutured in a womb, perhaps Awakening requires the baby to be immersed in a metahuman aura?

I wouldn't go so far as to say vat-babies couldn't Awaken (and really what better breeding for a sterile toxic shaman), I just think mechanical processing is a hinderance to it.
Crimsondude 2.0
QUOTE (kryton)
I heard from a co-workers brother during a bar crawl of a patient waking up from brain surgery. Turns out the anasthiethology (msp?) machine crashed and stopped giving gas to the patient. That had to be a surprise and a head ache.

Brain surgery is often done while the patient is conscious for two reasons:

1) The brain has no pain receptors.

2) If you're poking and prodding and performing surgery on someone's brain, it might be a good idea to ensure that you don't eliminate any cognitive ability in the process.

Of course, the pain coming from the removal or displacement of skull and skin is usually taken care of through other anesthetic means.

QUOTE (Cray74)
QUOTE (mfb @ Sep 2 2004, 01:13 AM)
the brain itself may be a normal organ, but there's nothing that says the 'spark of intelligence', or whatever, is based in the meat. cloned bodies may lack something on the astral side that keeps them non-viable.

Dolly and kittens (yours for only $50000) function normally when cloned.

Except Dolly also died a relatively short time later.
Clyde
Robotic surgeons? Teleoperated surgical drones? Sounds like a great way to bump off a vain corporate exec and make it look like an accident to the public. Plausible deniability, come on over!
BishopMcQ
On a related note, try looking into the Takeshi Kovacs series by Richard Morgan. Starts with Altered Carbon--non-magical, but it deals with the concepts of resheathing personalities in cloned bodies et al.
SirBedevere
Surely the ultimate in getting a new ID would be to kidnap someone with a similar tissue type to you, remove their brain and implant yours. As far as fingerprints, retinal pattern and DNA (apart from the brain) you ARE the original person.

This was done by the organlegger Anubis in Larry Niven's Gil the ARM book to avoid detection (and collect an inheritance).
snowRaven
My take on magic ability and vat-growth/genetic manipulation.

Given the lower magic attribute of the wiz-kid mage (previous editions though, so not sure if it'll be the same in MrJLBB if there's such a contact there) and other mentions about awakening etc, I think it's fairly reasonable to take the approach that magic ability is more sensitive the younger (and more untrained) you are. So if you're newly awakened and have a magic attribute of 1, losing 1 point would mean you're back to mundane again. Since In Vitro genetic alteration causes bio-loss it's not a far cry to say that it makes the subject a mundane, or at least severely reduces it's potential to awaken.
I think any severe manipulation at embryo-level would cause tests for magic loss, and that growing in a vat would require chemicals and such that damage the magical ability in ways similar to stim patches, again causing the subject to roll for magic loss.
Link
A reoccurring issue in topics like this is the question of clones in the SR canon.

3 things I recall:
The main rulebook in all editions ruled clones non viable - were these forced growth clones?
Shadowtech hinted (not subtly) that cloning was more advanced than was generally known and I think this is repeated in SOTA63.
Finally I recall mad clones on the loose in a SR novel(?)

Is there a consensus on this issue amongst the scions of shadowrun?
Herald of Verjigorm
It works when the GM wants it to, not when the PCs want it to.
Pelaka
Hmm, a few sick questions that come to mind based on this thread:

1. If you force grow an adult body could you just put in a personality chip (like those used in the bakaru parlors) to get a functioning human drone?

2. If you give someone a personality chip, an internal radio and some modified simsense/rigger cyber could you essentially make a human drone?

3. OK, you have a medical factory that force-grows clones fetuses to twisted semi-adult sizes then kills them just so you can harvest an organ. This factory has done this tens of thousands of times in their persuit of manufacturing efficiency and nuyen. Just what sort of background count would this site have?

Pel
Kagetenshi
Unless there was some sort of emotional response from the clones, Id say 2 at absolute maximum. A slaughterhouse ought to have more background count than something like this.

~J
Kanada Ten
A corporate office sterilized of emotion, hope and humanity has a background of 2 to 4, according to MitS I believe. I would put the background count at 4 to 5 if the process was painless.

Forced clones dream in the purity of innocence: the world's first angels, chipped with devotion, armed with pulse rifles, and set for destruction. The Army of Deus.
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