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[SR5] Cyberlimbs: Unarmed DV still low

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Ravennus

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« on: (02:59:18/07-16-13) »
First off.... great job on SR5!  I'm still reading it whenever I have the chance, but it definitely seems to have a certain something that SR4 lacked for me.

That said, I want to comment on something that I noticed regarding cyberlimbs.
This was actually a pet peeve of mine regarding previous editions as well, and I was surprised that with all the changes this ended up staying.

Basically it's this:

Cyberlimb Unarmed DV = STR
Titanium Bone Lacing DV= STR + 3
Bone Density Bioware Lv. 4 DV= STR + 3
"Knucks" DV= STR + 1


Here's what I've never understood.
You can take a flesh and blood (meta)human...... lace his bones with plastic, aluminum or titanium.... and his punches will hit harder and for more damage than a fully replaced cyberlimb.
You can also take that same guy, and instead use bioware to "naturally" toughen up his bones.... and he still hits harder than someone with a fully artificial limb.
Hell, you can strap some reinforced gloves on a guy and he'll do more physical damage than someone with a cyberlimb.

I'm just not sure of the reasoning.
Whether a cyberlimb is made of various plastics, or indeed incorporates stronger titanium (or other metal) into it's structure.... it should always punch or kick harder than someone with just some metal laced bones or bioware bones.  It's said many times that modern 2075 cyberlimb's can naturally withstand more stress than a normal flesh-and-blood limb.  So I'm confused why it would be at a disadvantage here?
I've heard it argued before that the extra damage from Bone Lacing or Bone Density is due to the ENTIRE body being modified to withstand the stress of a harder punch and reinforce it, whereas the cyberlimb is limited by the natural flesh it's attached to.  If this is true, why do brass knuckles or hardliner gloves still do more damage?

Ideally I would like to see cyberlimbs do at least as much damage as titanium bone lacing.  But if that is too much, might I suggest a very low capacity mod that essentially "toughens up" the cyberlimb for unarmed combat and thus increases the unarmed DV?  I could even see it scaling.... like +1 DV per level (max +3, or maybe even +4 to give it some advantage over bone lacing and bone density augs).  It would perhaps cost 1 capacity per level. *shrug*  That's the only compromise I can think of.


Anywho, discuss.  Maybe I'm crazy!
« Last Edit: (07:49:47/07-23-13) by FastJack »

Novocrane

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« Reply #1 on: (05:10:42/07-16-13) »
You can also enhance your cyberlimb strength to STR + 3. Not much of an answer when the alternative is muscle augs for +4 & the +3DV, but eh. You have more condition boxes and capacity.

Psikerlord

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« Reply #2 on: (05:46:06/07-16-13) »
yeah its a balance thing. but honestly just put spurs in yr arm and you get yr extra +3 as well as superhigh cyberlimb enhanced str and agi

Ravennus

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« Reply #3 on: (08:48:46/07-16-13) »
yeah its a balance thing. but honestly just put spurs in yr arm and you get yr extra +3 as well as superhigh cyberlimb enhanced str and agi

So how is this a balance thing?  Honestly curious as to the reason this would imbalance anything.
IMHO, cyberlimbs have been underpowered for a while now.

Also, cyberlimb str and agi mods max out at +3 now... which is also less than muscle augs.
So even with a maxed out cyberlimb, you will do less damage than someone with laced bones and replaced muscles.

As for the spurs, I don't want to attack people with a blade.  *shrug* Not really the same thing.

Tecumseh

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« Reply #4 on: (14:31:48/07-16-13) »
IMHO, cyberlimbs have been underpowered for a while now.

:o

Granted that it's your opinion, but you and I must have very different definitions of "underpowered".

All4BigGuns

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« Reply #5 on: (15:12:42/07-16-13) »
IMHO, cyberlimbs have been underpowered for a while now.

:o

Granted that it's your opinion, but you and I must have very different definitions of "underpowered".

In some cases they were, like the unarmed damage the OP is discussing. The armor was fine. The only problem with them was the cheese that came from the ones that would leave Agi at 1 and max out the attribute with a single limb expecting to be allowed to only use that limb for firing their pistol.
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Ravennus

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« Reply #6 on: (19:01:40/07-16-13) »
IMHO, cyberlimbs have been underpowered for a while now.

:o

Granted that it's your opinion, but you and I must have very different definitions of "underpowered".

In some cases they were, like the unarmed damage the OP is discussing. The armor was fine. The only problem with them was the cheese that came from the ones that would leave Agi at 1 and max out the attribute with a single limb expecting to be allowed to only use that limb for firing their pistol.

Exactly.  Sorry for making the blanket "underpowered" statement.
Yes, there were hedge cases and rules abuse scenarios where cyberlimbs exceled.

But unfortunately, most of the time they simply aren't as efficient as other augmention options.

Psikerlord

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« Reply #7 on: (21:48:44/07-19-13) »
re balance reasons: a cyberarm for 1 essence gets you 3 armour, 9 str and 9 agility if not higher if yr ork etc, for very little nuyen. plus other capacity for other cool stuff, including grapple guns, sensors and smuggling compartments. plus 1 extra box of condition monitor i think. that is a lot of win. for balance reasons, then, you do not also get +3 melee dmg like bone lacing. that would make limbs even more OP and lacing/spurs etc largely redundant.

Ghoulfodder

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« Reply #8 on: (09:40:23/07-20-13) »
yeah its a balance thing. but honestly just put spurs in yr arm and you get yr extra +3 as well as superhigh cyberlimb enhanced str and agi

So how is this a balance thing?  Honestly curious as to the reason this would imbalance anything.
IMHO, cyberlimbs have been underpowered for a while now.

Also, cyberlimb str and agi mods max out at +3 now... which is also less than muscle augs.
So even with a maxed out cyberlimb, you will do less damage than someone with laced bones and replaced muscles.

As for the spurs, I don't want to attack people with a blade.  *shrug* Not really the same thing.
Is it something to do with unarmed strikes not just being powered solely from the limb and muscle augs / bone augs affect the entire body, whereas cyber limbs affect just that limb.

Mara

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« Reply #9 on: (09:50:51/07-20-13) »
yeah its a balance thing. but honestly just put spurs in yr arm and you get yr extra +3 as well as superhigh cyberlimb enhanced str and agi

So how is this a balance thing?  Honestly curious as to the reason this would imbalance anything.
IMHO, cyberlimbs have been underpowered for a while now.

Also, cyberlimb str and agi mods max out at +3 now... which is also less than muscle augs.
So even with a maxed out cyberlimb, you will do less damage than someone with laced bones and replaced muscles.

As for the spurs, I don't want to attack people with a blade.  *shrug* Not really the same thing.
Is it something to do with unarmed strikes not just being powered solely from the limb and muscle augs / bone augs affect the entire body, whereas cyber limbs affect just that limb.

That is part of what I would guess. I would also guess that bone density and bone lacing also cause less give, as the
cyberlimbs are designed to mimic human function. Note that the Cyberlimb is STILL doing Physical damage, not stun,
like a normal unarmed attack, so it is faster to beat someone to death with a cyberarm then a normal arm.  However, I
think, for the most part, it has to do with limits in the cyberlimbs attachment to the body that prevent it from bringing as
much force to bear as when one can put their whole body into the punch.

Ravennus

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« Reply #10 on: (19:41:17/07-20-13) »
You'll notice I addressed this concern in my original post.

It doesn't hold water because you can buy "knucks" which allow anyone to do STR+1 Physical damage with a punch.
A cyberlimb at least encompasses the entire arm/shoulder while hardliner gloves would only provide some reinforced materials over the knuckles.
So the whole "cyberlimbs are weaker because they don't reinforce the entire body" argument makes no sense in this context.
Besides, what about situations where I get a Cyber-torso?  If you go full body with 4 limbs and a torso it still doesn't make a difference to your unarmed damage.


I don't know, this is just one of those "legacy" rules which never made sense.
To be fair, it's always been difficult to go "full metal" in Shadowrun.  In fact, it's highly discouraged.  Other than a cyberlimb being a veritable swiss-army limb, there have almost always been better options.
I suppose they didn't want all the street sams to end up like Robocop, or maybe some developer in the past hated the idea of full-conversion cyborgs and didn't want the game to end up like CP2020 or Rifts. *shrug*


I also don't think it's "easy" to get cyberlimbs with 9 STR and 9 AGI in Chargen.
For one, to get that with only one limb is still expensive.... but it's only good for actions specifically (and only) involving that limb.
To get 9 STR and 9 AGI to apply to most of your actions, you'll need all 4 limbs replaced.  Since this also costs a hell of a lot of essence, you'll likely want at least Alphaware which increases the costs further (especially now that there is a rule that all mods to 'ware MUST be the same grade as the original 'ware).

Even if you can afford that, the potential is still less than other cyberware or bioware.
A human could get 9 Str and 9 Agility with cyberlimbs, but max out at 10 STR and 10 AGI with muscle augs.  They will also hit +3 harder with bone augs, and soak just as much damage when you combine things like bone density and orthoskin.


I guess my bias is showing through though.  It's always been a fantasy of mine to play a full conversion cyborg in Shadowrun, but it's never really worked.  The whole unarmed damage issue is just one of the reasons. *shrug*

Mara

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« Reply #11 on: (21:04:24/07-20-13) »
It doesn't hold water because you can buy "knucks" which allow anyone to do STR+1 Physical damage with a punch.


If the cyber arm still has the give in the hand like a normal hand, then Knucks would work like brass-knuckles or a
roll of nickels: It stops the give, forcing the kinetic energy of the punch to all transfer to  the target, instead of some
of it transferring to your hand.

Novocrane

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« Reply #12 on: (21:53:03/07-20-13) »
Alternately, you could take cyber melee implants. All current melee cyber works off Unarmed Combat.

Ravennus

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« Reply #13 on: (05:01:22/07-21-13) »
It doesn't hold water because you can buy "knucks" which allow anyone to do STR+1 Physical damage with a punch.


If the cyber arm still has the give in the hand like a normal hand, then Knucks would work like brass-knuckles or a
roll of nickels: It stops the give, forcing the kinetic energy of the punch to all transfer to  the target, instead of some
of it transferring to your hand.

Sorry, I don't buy it.  In no way would any decent cyberlimb have the same "give" as a normal flesh and blood hand.
This sort of sounds like you are stretching to prove a point, or explain why the designers would have a metal and plastic cyberlimb do less damage than a pair of reinforced gloves.
Unfortunately there is no explaining it from a "lore" perspective.  But from a purely game mechanics perspective? "Balance"? Sure (even though I don't agree).  A dev from multiple editions ago hated cyberlimbs? Ok.
But there isn't a logical reason why someone with brass knuckles would hit harder than someone with a super customized mechanical limb.

Alternately, you could take cyber melee implants. All current melee cyber works off Unarmed Combat.

Still kinda missing the point.  I don't want to claw at someone with razors or gut them with spurs.  Just a good 'ol fashion cybernetic punch to the face!  It just sucks that everyone else can do it better.
That's not exactly how I would have pictured cyberlimbs.


Anyway, sorry to carry on about this.  This is clearly one of those Shadowrun quirks that will never change.  Dragons, magic and laser guns are ok in Shadowrun... but for some reason capable full-body cyborgs are frowned on.
Every edition I hope for an improvement, but end up disappointed.

In SR4 there were the first full body cyborgs that used special brain cases and rigger vehicle rules.  It was interesting at first, but proved far too unwieldy and unattainable for PC use.
SR3 had Cyber-zombies.... but they were similarly unwieldy and out of reach of most players.  Even if you were made into a Cyberzombie and accepted the extensive drawbacks, you were still far better off NOT going for cyberlimbs.
Either option wasn't really helpful, except in a couple rare cases for interesting NPC encounters.

I still love my cyberware, and would love to create my own version of Adam Jensen for example.... but with the current rules, a ganger with muscle augs and brass knuckles would punch through a wall far more easily than Shadowrun Adam Jensen and his cyberlimbs. Oh well

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #14 on: (05:45:19/07-21-13) »
They have the same Strength and mister Jensen can grab some brass knuckles too. Plus he gets the other benefits of cyberlimbs. And the thing is cheaper.
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