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Jason Farlander
In my attempts to make the encephalon worthwhile in terms of its nuyen and essence costs, I have already ruled that it provides an actual intelligence boost rather than a virtual boost for the purposes of int-linked skill costs (maintaining the rule that it does not improve magical ability in any way). I could stop there, but, even with this tweak, its benefit/cost ratio remains rather poor compared to the cerebral booster. My general sense is that cyberware should be better than comparable bioware, but with that pesky essence cost thing and that setting off MAD scanners thing.

The comment for the encephalon in Shadowtech indicates that it allows you to "multitask your cognitive needs." Building off of that, for a while I have been kicking around the idea having the encephalon grant you an extra free action. Now that adepts can do this exact thing, I feel that this is even more justified. Thoughts?
Ol' Scratch
Well, I have to disagree with your decision here. The Enchephelon is one case where it should be more expensive in both cases than a Cerebral Booster. The Booster is naturally enhancing your natural cognitive abilities, whereas the Enchephelon is invasively doing a similar task, but without relying on your own ability to use your noodle. With the Booster, you're supplying all the processing power. With the Enchephelon, it's doing most of the work. Changing the Enchephelon so that it grants a real (but unnatural, so it doesn't work with mages) Intelligence boost, while keeping all the other perks (including the additional +2 to Intelligence for purposes of learning skills), makes it just about right.

'Course you could just read over the way the Enchephelon used to work (multitasking included) and port it over directly. It's been so long I forget the mechanics, and I don't have Shadowtech handy to read it over.
Jason Farlander
Well, the old encephalon didn't really include multitasking either, unless thats what the task pool is supposed to somehow represent.

Edit: One thing the old encephalon did do was function as a limited softlink, which would SR3-adays be a knowsoft link (I guess). Theres also some indecipherable gibberish (at least, so someone completely unfamiliar with SR2 rules) about what those limitations are. But I dont like that.
Ol' Scratch
To be honest, I'd just greatly reduce the costs for the implant and keep it as it is. Leave the multitasking as pure fluff and just let the player describe his thought processes when he's using it.

EDIT: Or, alternatively, you can calculate the difference between the price as it is and what you would have reduced it to, then give the implant free Headware Memory equal to the difference.
Jason Farlander
Hmm... I'll have to think about this a bit more, but perhaps an extra free action is a bit much to add. Perhaps as an add-on to the encephalon? What would be a good cost for such an add-on?
First off, shadowtech isnt exactly new anymore. Second, the OLD encephalon was a massive cost and essence whore. I like that it was broken up inot the current Encephalon, math sup, and cerbrail booster.
how about allowing Encephalon users two free actions per phase, same as the Multitasking adept power?
Jason Farlander
Lindt: Actually, well, you're just wrong. Rather than explain how you're wrong, I'll list the costs and benefits of the old and new encephalons, and let you draw your own conclusions:

QUOTE (Old Encephalon)

All levels: limited softlink
1: +1 INT, +0 Task Pool, 0.5 Essence, 15000  nuyen.gif
2: +1 INT, +1 Task Pool, 0.75 Essence, 40000  nuyen.gif
3: +2 INT, +2 Task Pool, 1.5 Essence, 75000  nuyen.gif
4: +2 INT, +3 Task Pool, 1.75 Essence, 115000  nuyen.gif

QUOTE (New Encephalon)

1: +1 Task Pool, calc skill costs at +1 INT, 0.75 Essence, 40,000  nuyen.gif
2: +2 Task pool, calc skill costs at +2 INT, 1.5 Essence, 115,000  nuyen.gif

Edit: Note, also, that both the Cerebral Booster AND the Math SPU are also in Shadowtech, and are not new subdivisions of the encephalon at all.
Jason Farlander
QUOTE (mfb)
how about allowing Encephalon users two free actions per phase, same as the Multitasking adept power?

You mean, exactly like I was proposing at the start of this thread?
indeed. heh, missed that.
In flies... The SR2 geek! (My physical group is 2nd Ed exclusively.)

It operates in the background, unlike the CB, adding its level divided by two (round up) in Intelligence, and its level minus one in Task Pool. The Task Pool can be used on any skill (big change from 2nd to 3rd) and refreshes like any other pool. It also provides bonuses to any Tech, Know, or B/R skill (which most people I've talked to houseruled it to be a straight Int bonus). It also functions as a very basic skillsoft host.

The comment by TSB is just that -- a comment. As it states in all books with Shadowtalk, any comments could be spot on, or completely off the wall. Granted, Bandit is known for knowing what he's talking about, but it's possible he didn't notice all his own multicognitive capabilities until he grabbed this (that or he got some other wiz 'ware installed at the same time). Nowhere does it say it allows more thinking room for more actions. It just allows the Task Pool to be used on any skill (giving room the the multicognitive capabilities, 'natch) and an Int boost for certain skills (or more commonly houseruled for just a straight-up Int boost).

The Encephalon does not contain a Math SPU, and the CB existed while the Encephalon did at the same time (meaning it was never split up into three different objects, just changed).

It does not state a limit of the rating of the skillsoft you can use, however most people either limited it to (2x rating) or (rating) for purposes of keeping the insanity (somewhat) away.
Speaking as an adept player, go for it - now that a mechanic has been suitably introduced to reflect a "multi-tasking" ability, there isn't any reason why someone willing to carve out a section of their brain and slide in a glorified laptop shouldn't be able to get the same bonus.

Granted, the GM will have to consider the impact of such an ability on riggers and deckers moreso than more pedestrian types, but that issue was a potential risk with the adepts, so it's not a major drawback.

Johnny Reb
SOTA: 2064 uses Multitasking as extra free actions per turn.

I could see a similar benefit for the Enchephelon. Say one extra free action per level (So, two or trhee free actions total), thus allowing them to read two books at once, or talk in a conversation while drawing a picture and playing a video game, all equally allocated in brainpower.

-- Reb
Eyeless Blond
Or, in a more min-maxing sense, call two shots in a round. Of course now that adepts can do *that* there's no reason to be so uptight about about letting mundanes do it too, is there?
Snicker. Equal-opportunity min-maxing, eh? grinbig.gif

The justification is there and Farlander's idea of using an established mechanic to expand an existing bit of ware that has been previously described as "multi-tasking your cognitive functions" to it's logical continuation.

Now, since it is 'ware, you have to create a stress table. Anyone want to guess what happens to 'ware that "multi-tasks your cognitive functions" when it becomes damaged or unstable? grinbig.gif

I thought the Encephalon as is was pretty good (Not having played 2nd edition, of course) but Gunnery is an INT linked skill, right? +2 dice on Gunnery checks, anyone?
You know, it's a good thing that I've only got .24 Essence left to sling around.

Which is when you go for broke and get the Bioware! Who cares about all the downsides to it, it's undetectable on MAD scanners!

In 2nd, the Encephalon allowed people with no Int modifiers to hit 10 easily (Enc + CB). Orks could hit 9 and Trolls could hit 8. Pretty smart Troll, neh?

Edit: Not to mention that magic could effect Mental attributes at that time. Int 14, anyone?

Edit #2: Fix some unclear words that I just noticed. Heh, to think of the confusion that would've lead to.
I've replaced the M&M encephalon with the Shadowtech version in our games, I feel M&M rendered the encephalon a bit obselete compared with other cyberware.

The multitasking ability giving 2 free actions sounds interesting, I don't think it could do much harm.

It does not state a limit of the rating of the skillsoft you can use, however most people either limited it to (2x rating) or (rating) for purposes of keeping the insanity (somewhat) away.

The limited chipjack function of the encephalon replaces the knowsoft link (only .1 Essence) and is even more limited if you use the SLD rules.

The encephalon as described in Shadowtech also allowed full management of headware memory, moreso than a datajack (not sure how this is all resolved in 3rd Ed.) Maybe this would be the equivalent of a head computer?

Siege, bioware has stress tables.
I'd been thinking about this myself and your suggestion to use multi-tasking from Sota64 seems good, say one extra free action per level? (I'd like to think that the only reason I didn't come up with this myself is because I'm still waiting for my Sota 64...)

Personally I'd been considering increasing Intelligence by the Encephalon's level but without the bonus applying to magic or perception.

just a thought...
Because of the multitasking thing, for I while I used to let people use two smartlinks if they had an encephalon. I've stopped allowing that, but I'd at least consider that again if a player had a good argument for it.

I like the extra free action per level. I don't have SOTA'64 yet either. frown.gif
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