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Prototype tech

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« on: <01-02-18/1822:31> »
In lieu of the ever-present influence of Magicrun, my game has lost a lot of the cyberpunk feel to it. One way I'd like to gravitate closer to it is to have a macguffen of some prototype tech, however I'm coming up short with ideas. Just how many ways can you make a deck? Not enough to always grab the next model. So what suggestions might y'all have for the object of a run that would better immerse the feeling and setting of a more cyberpunk Shadowrun?

Jack_Spade

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« Reply #1 on: <01-02-18/1836:47> »
Cortical stacks from the Takeshi Kovacs books:
An implant that captures all your sensations, memories and your personality which allows you to be reimplanted into a new body after your death.
Immortality through cybernetics - a game changer that makes the rich immortal and gives the other body thieves a run for their money.

All the necessary elements have been added already through CFD...
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« Reply #2 on: <01-02-18/1954:50> »
Isn't that from Eclipse Phase?

Jack_Spade

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« Reply #3 on: <01-03-18/0518:28> »
Possibly, never played EP, but I'm pretty sure Richard K. Morgan came up with the idea in 2002  ;)
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ShadowcatX

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« Reply #4 on: <01-03-18/0644:09> »
Possibly, never played EP, but I'm pretty sure Richard K. Morgan came up with the idea in 2002  ;)

The idea has been around since before that. The Waste World RPG had a city built around it back in 97.

Sphinx

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« Reply #5 on: <01-03-18/1111:07> »
In lieu of the ever-present influence of Magicrun, my game has lost a lot of the cyberpunk feel to it. One way I'd like to gravitate closer to it is to have a macguffen of some prototype tech, however I'm coming up short with ideas. Just how many ways can you make a deck? Not enough to always grab the next model. So what suggestions might y'all have for the object of a run that would better immerse the feeling and setting of a more cyberpunk Shadowrun?

Some campaign changes to encourage a more "cyberpunk" atmosphere:
  • A paradigm shift occurs in some category of cyberware. Say Spinrad revolutionizes cyber replacement surgery, where cyberlimbs become available at reduced cost, or reduced Essence, or higher ratings.
  • Fashion swings back toward the "cyber-chic" of the early 2050s (+1 social modifier for obvious cyber). Meanwhile, an unusually effective Humanis marketing campaign builds distrust for the Awakened (-1 social modifier for magical paraphernalia or symbolism, -2 for obvious magic use).

Some possible technology MacGuffins for shadowruns:
  • Someone patents a superior acrylic glass, making higher structure and armor ratings possible (albeit more expensive). Details of the manufacturing process are worth a fortune to the right buyer.
  • Advances in photovoltaic building materials and transparent solar cells (google "solar windows") make it possible to take even large buildings completely off the grid, if you can afford them. Again, industrial secrets command high prices.
  • A small company develops a short-range personal flight system, sufficient to reach the top of a tall building or travel a few city blocks (look up "Flyboard Air" on YouTube). Megacorps compete to take over the company and control the tech.
  • Someone figures out how to grow the right combination of mundane and Awakened plants in zero-G hydroponic gardens to generate a sustainable manasphere aboard an orbital habitat. Plenty of people would kill to use magic in space. Plenty of others would kill to prevent it. Limited testing opportunities, good for industrial espionage or sabotage.

DigitalZombie

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« Reply #6 on: <02-02-18/0057:46> »
It could also be  prototype person?

1. A rather small corp Rated A or even B: suddenly starts to market ( in the shadows, as PR would go crazy if the public knew) themselves as being able to create cyberzombies. The characters are hired by a "real" corporation to get them a specimen. The employer is convinced that a small corp has been cutting corners or cheated somewhere in the process.


Marcus

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« Reply #7 on: <02-02-18/1650:26> »
So one thing you might try to boost the cyberpunk side combination tech items prototypes, Wire Ref+Control Rig, Internal Deck + Skill wires, Muscle Toner+Tailored Pheromones, Cyberarm+Deck etc. These things give tech some badly needed breadth/variance, and helps it compete a little more with magic. After that play with wirelessly active stuff. Having all your tech talk to another other should good advantages. Have some new types of special active assistance computers be invented, macguffin or otherwise, think  wirelessly active grouping that gives some kind team work assistance type roll on the device it's assisting. 
I had GM who put Wire Ref+Control Rig into an NPC, then combined with bunch cool combat drones, one of the coolest fights scenes I ever had.
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lowedown98

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« Reply #8 on: <05-20-18/1120:33> »
Jetpack! Am I crazy to think that by the 2070s there wouldn't be a commercially available jetpack? Expensive as hell to maintain, sure, but still.. its a jetpack!
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Beta

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« Reply #9 on: <05-20-18/1434:08> »
Part of the essence of cyber-punk is what people accept as side effects.  So something that has a better combination of cheap/effect, but with a worse side-effect, is always on theme.  Like:
- an experimental anti-spirit ammo that creates a lingering back-ground count when used,
- a new variant of soy with better pest resistance but which kills off bees.
- a new nano-construction bot system -- guaranteed not to cause CFD!  But which may melt older structures nearby if it isn't used properly.
- new, cheaper, skillwire systems that seem to have the side-effect of dulling emotional responses and making the implantee lack creativity.
- etc.
Tipperman  --
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kyoto kid

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« Reply #10 on: <05-23-18/0334:13> »
...small little known tech research lab perfects anti-grav.

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Reaver

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« Reply #11 on: <05-29-18/0120:10> »
You don't have to think too far outside the box for your Prototype tech. There are always new 'Decks to steal, or cyber arms, legs, and other bits of stuff.

This isn't a new idea, nor does the prototype item have to be that "wild, crazy", and "better!".. A Prototype tech that shaves 1/1000th off the production costs of an item and does that exact same job is a huge win for a company! Especially if that item is something that they make a billion of a month. (Like the humble O ring. )

This type of thing happens every day today, well, every marketing cycle, Samsung, Apple, HTC, and every other company trots out their "brand new and improved" phone... and usually all you really get is a furniture change and a camera upgrade to the best camera tech of 2 years ago.. (So those idiot Selfie Junkies can take even more narcissistic pictures of themselves) But at the end of the day, it does everything last years model did where it counts (talking, texting, web access).

So, by having your runners go out and acquire a piece  prototype tech, you may be introducing them to some cool piece of tech they didn't thing about, and may want to "acquire" a second copy for themselves... and you get to use the standard stats from the book. (they improved the elasticity of the muscle fibers, decreasing their maintenance wear by 5%...No that doesn't mean you get an extra stat point, or Capacity. But you don't have to go to the CyberDoc as often!)


This concept isn't new to SR either. Back in the tail ends of 3e, they put out a book called S.O.T.A 2063 (state of the art). In it they broke down that the "quality" of electronic gear constantly degraded as newer tech came along while not actually changing the positive stats of a device/item/deck. So, tech based characters had to constantly spend money making sure their programs, and hardware were the latest and greatest, or they would get a TN modifier... (Essentially, IMO, this new concept was designed as a "money bleed" for GMs to bleed away cash from players that were getting too rich, as the costs for keeping things up to date got hugely expensive!)
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« Reply #12 on: <05-30-18/1708:58> »
That book also had rules for dead end tech lines, if the GM wanted to be extra nasty. Basically, each item (!) had 2-5 competing brands making it, and every so often one would die out (anyone remember Compaq?), thus meaning that those who used that brand suddenly couldn't keep up with SOTA, and thus had to switch brands. Really bad for those with Brand Loyalty.... and a great way to keep runners paying for those SOTA upgrades.
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Marcus

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« Reply #13 on: <05-30-18/1716:00> »
There were several SOTA books as memory serves. Just using the sota rules for the sake of sota rules is not exceptionally helpful.

I do think Reaver's point that an upgrade doesn't need to be a game changer is very good. If we look at tech development in reality you do see the most common change is they get cheaper. As we get better a building electronics we make components that used to be super expensive cheaper and sometime more reliable.

That said I think it's perfectly fine to come up some fairly game changing prototype if that serves your table.
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Ragin Cajun

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« Reply #14 on: <06-10-18/0118:38> »
If you have the book, check out 4th editions Arsenal for a thing called the Lockheed Sparrow. Not quite a jetpack but damn close.

Jetpack! Am I crazy to think that by the 2070s there wouldn't be a commercially available jetpack? Expensive as hell to maintain, sure, but still.. its a jetpack!
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