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Cyber: synthetic vs obvious

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DeathEatsCurry

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« Reply #15 on: <12-11-13/1620:09> »
My thanks to the points made on both sides! I think in the end I'll run with obvious cyber. The disadvantage of cyber over synthetic is too easily overcome by dressing accordingly, especially once you factor in that any cyber detection (Scanners, but also Assensing) doesn't distinguish. For a Runner, I get the feeling obvious has too much of an edge over synthetic.

The fact it's cheaper helps too. Gotta pinch those pennies, chummers.


martinchaen

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« Reply #16 on: <12-11-13/1623:27> »
High charisma does not necessarily equal "most beautiful person on the planet". The SR5 book describes Charisma also as a measure of force of personality; you can be bland looking (as represented by the Bland quality) and still be incredibly persuasive (high charisma).

Acceptance and "fitting in" is highly situational. As illustrated by the pool example, no character can blend in in all situations. A persuasive but bland Elf will still stand out like a signal flare in the Ork Underground, whereas a cybered-up razorboy ork will attract little to no attention unless he starts causing a ruckus.

Take those same two characters and move them to a high-society ball, and suddenly the ork is the sore thumb. Put either of them in front of the Corporate Court, and they're both likely to be out of their depth.

TL;DR
Cyberware, and obvious cyberlimbs in particular, should in my opinion not be a huge factor in most social situations as long as it's concealed by clothing unless a) you're dealing with someone who has a bias against cyberware and b) they have a means to detect it. It is also my opinions that having a single cyberarm shouldn't somehow suddenly make you an obvious "threat" from a mechanical standopoint, as this would greatly disadvantage characters who choose cyberware over bioware, or obvious over synthetic; particularly since synthetic cyberware carries the exact same essence loss, and so the "wrongness" of the ware is present equally in both characters.
« Last Edit: <12-18-13/1304:34> by martinchaen »

Elektrycerze3

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« Reply #17 on: <12-12-13/0331:05> »
I don't know where you live, but I know where I am tattoos are not "accepted."  The people I know with tattoo sleeves are not allowed to wear short sleeves to work.  That is not accepted.  Not being illegal is not the same thing as being accepted.  Many of them would lose their jobs if they showed up with them visible.

Well, initially I wrote exactly that, but I thought that might sound too offensive... =)

Cyberlimbs have had a degree of acceptance in society often because of what they represent, technological triumph over debilitating injury.
That's what you have synthetic limbs for ;-) I don't really think that obvious limbs share the same degree of acceptance. It's the difference between a visible tattoo on your neck and a hidden tattoo on your back. But of course YMMV. I like my SR to have as much stratification (maybe not the best use of the word, but I hope you catch my drift) as possible - punk dystopian setting and all that.
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #18 on: <12-12-13/0404:37> »
Charisma isn't purely attractive appearance, it's a lot about the force of personality, your voice, how you use it all.
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Anarkitty

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« Reply #19 on: <12-12-13/1222:44> »
It seems to me that  the distinction is largely one of perception. 

The average non-runner of middle class or above will almost always have synthetic, because it isn't obvious.  If it is replacing a debilitating injury or birth defect, generally the wearer will want to downplay it as much as possible.  In those settings an obvious cyberlimb makes a statement because it is essentially a body modification.  It is not socially unacceptable but it stands out as different in the same way flashy tattoos, unusual piercings, bright colored hair or other "unnatural" cosmetic changes do.

Among the lower classes, obvious limbs would be more common, because they are cheaper and easier to get, probably easier to find second-hand as well.  In those settings an obvious cyberlimb wouldn't really stand out unless it is especially flashy.  An expensive, high-quality synthetic limb might actually gather more attention in some circles.

The exact effects of all of this is up to the GM, of course, and may vary depending on specific groups.

Top Dog

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« Reply #20 on: <12-14-13/1800:54> »
Let's not forget covering obvious limbs up, as Godwyn mentioned. The  book even states on page 456 that
"Obvious cyberlimbs: These implants are immediately recognizable as artificial limbs unless you cover them with clothing."

I'd wager than even a street sam with multiple obvious artificial limbs would be able to blend quite perfectly into environments like the "upper-crust society and the purist crowd", until they reach a cyberware scanner or metal detector, of course.
That sentence means that you automatically detect cyberlimbs if you don't cover them. That doesn't mean that you automatically hide them if you do cover them (it's called denying the antecedent).

If you have uncovered obvious cyberlimbs, people automatically know you have them. If you have uncovered synthetic cyberlimbs or covered cymberlimbs (any), you get to roll to conceal, with the synthetic ones getting a -8 concealability. I'd assume covering the limb up also helps somewhat for a synthetic one but I'm not sure how the rules cover that (perhaps it counts as "actively hiding gear"?). At any rate, covering up obvious cyberlimbs isn't an all-access pass to undetectability. Certainly not in a wetsuit.

Anarkitty

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« Reply #21 on: <12-16-13/1056:45> »
Let's not forget covering obvious limbs up, as Godwyn mentioned. The  book even states on page 456 that
"Obvious cyberlimbs: These implants are immediately recognizable as artificial limbs unless you cover them with clothing."

I'd wager than even a street sam with multiple obvious artificial limbs would be able to blend quite perfectly into environments like the "upper-crust society and the purist crowd", until they reach a cyberware scanner or metal detector, of course.
That sentence means that you automatically detect cyberlimbs if you don't cover them. That doesn't mean that you automatically hide them if you do cover them (it's called denying the antecedent).

If you have uncovered obvious cyberlimbs, people automatically know you have them. If you have uncovered synthetic cyberlimbs or covered cymberlimbs (any), you get to roll to conceal, with the synthetic ones getting a -8 concealability. I'd assume covering the limb up also helps somewhat for a synthetic one but I'm not sure how the rules cover that (perhaps it counts as "actively hiding gear"?). At any rate, covering up obvious cyberlimbs isn't an all-access pass to undetectability. Certainly not in a wetsuit.

This is a good point.  Obvious Cyberlimbs are not just a different color.  They're bulkier and not necessarily shaped like a metahuman arm.  That is what accounts for the increased capacity: function dictates form.
This would be less obvious, but still probably visible, through clothing.

martinchaen

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« Reply #22 on: <12-16-13/1110:25> »
I disagree that this is a case of inverse error, Top Dog. Obvious cyberlimbs "may" be bulkier than normal limbs, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they automatically stand out, either. Case in point, the limbs cannot be customized (in terms of stats) beyond the frame they are fitted to.

As such, unless there is a large discrepancy between the characters body, strength, and agility attributes and those of the limbs, I do not believe there is any cause to require a palming test; how would you conceal your own arms, after all?

As you say, the rules do not provide for this situation, so the only guidance we have is "they are immediately recognizable unless covered with clothing". You may call it a logical fallacy if you wish, but in terms of rules that's all we've got, so I'll choose to interpret that as "you can hide obvious cyberlimbs under clothing if you want/need to".

Top Dog

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« Reply #23 on: <12-16-13/1556:34> »
I disagree that this is a case of inverse error, Top Dog. Obvious cyberlimbs "may" be bulkier than normal limbs, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they automatically stand out, either. Case in point, the limbs cannot be customized (in terms of stats) beyond the frame they are fitted to.

As such, unless there is a large discrepancy between the characters body, strength, and agility attributes and those of the limbs, I do not believe there is any cause to require a palming test; how would you conceal your own arms, after all?

As you say, the rules do not provide for this situation, so the only guidance we have is "they are immediately recognizable unless covered with clothing". You may call it a logical fallacy if you wish, but in terms of rules that's all we've got, so I'll choose to interpret that as "you can hide obvious cyberlimbs under clothing if you want/need to".
But the rules do provide for the situation. The Cyberlimbs rules even spell out the difference - synthetic cyberlimbs get a -8 concealabilty. That's a pretty big hint as to what you're supposed to be rolling. The vague part is the bonuses you might get from hiding them with clothing. And since the rules don't say that clothes hide them - it being a logical fallacy means it's not a rule - the Conceiling Gear rules are, in fact, all we've got.

It's also the ruling that makes sense - obvious cyberams look different from real arms. They have angles in weird places and joints that look and work differently. You can try to hide them, but a skilled observer should be able to at least get a chance to spot them.

martinchaen

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« Reply #24 on: <12-16-13/1601:35> »
*shrugs*
Like I said, that's just how I would roll with it as a GM; after all, how do you roll Palming to, well, hide your palms...

I just do it for simplicity's sake, to be honest; any situation where NPCs are wary of chromedomes will very likely have decent rating MAD and cyberware scanners, so concealing cyberarms, obvious or not, in such a setting would be nigh-impossible in any case.

Godwyn

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« Reply #25 on: <12-17-13/0339:59> »
It really should be disguise instead of palming for cyberlimbs, and then it all makes sense perfectly.  Clothing hides a regular cyberlimb, at not bonus.  Covering up a synthetic provides the bonus, allowing an average person to roll 10 dice defaulting on hiding a synthetic limb.  Whereas they only roll 2 dice on a regular one.  With only a bit of practice concealing it, they go to 4 dice easily, which passes average people not paying attention to it in detail.

And I would argue that there is no logical fallacy either.  Part of the logic used is in the fact that covering  them is, in fact, an act of hiding them.  That doesn't make it automatically successful, though.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #26 on: <12-17-13/0513:20> »
Disguise for Cyberlimbs does sound good.
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ProfessorCirno

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« Reply #27 on: <12-17-13/1401:13> »
I disagree that this is a case of inverse error, Top Dog. Obvious cyberlimbs "may" be bulkier than normal limbs, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they automatically stand out, either. Case in point, the limbs cannot be customized (in terms of stats) beyond the frame they are fitted to.

What, precisely, do you think "obvious" means?  ;)

I would assume the name itself tells you most everything.  Synthetic cyberarms are mostly just...arms!  They're made of chrome and can be either totally disguised as non-ware or, if you want, are clearly chrome when examined up close, but look like regular ol' limbs from even middling distances.

Obvious cyberlimb are OBVIOUS.  You see the silhouette of this guy, you're already thinking about how garish those big dumb chrome arms are.  Maybe they're jut big and bulky.  Maybe they bend in the wrong place (for better efficiency, of course).  Maybe they're misshapen in order to fit in all that customization.  Or maybe they're just super blinged out and covered in LEDs, I dunno.  The point is, obvious cyberlimbs stand OUT.  They're obvious!  Unless you actively take care to hide them, people are going to know even at just a glance that you're packing something weird and/or serious there.

Now, I'm sure the immediate question is for what NUMBER this oh my god no who cares.  It doesn't have to be connected to numbers.  Obvious cyberlimbs mean that people KNOW you've gone out of your way to get something serious connected to that joint of yours - it's something to work into the narrative.  Some people might find it garish and vain.  If you're trying to talk your way through a joint, maybe the guy in question is going to be a little more suspicious about Miss Murderarms.  Sir Elven Apostraphename with the synthetic limbs won't have too many troubles negotiating with the shaman; Dame Orky Murderarms, on the other hand, might find that same shaman giving her a harder time because of how flashy and show off-y said Murderarms are.

martinchaen

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« Reply #28 on: <12-17-13/1439:25> »
ProfessorCirno Our definition of obvious obviously differ.

When I think of obvious cyberarms, I think of Adam Jensen from Deus Ex: Human Revolution. His arms are quite obviously cybernetic replacements when examined up close, but cover them with clothing and they'd be fairly innocuous. I do not see the term obvious as necessarily referring to something that stand out, specifically because according to the rules they can be covered with clothing without any difficulty what so ever; presumably, since I don't have to pay customization costs for armor or clothing if I decide to use cyberlimbs, my regular armor and clothing work just fine and I can easily cover my obviously cybernetic arms and be on my merry way without standing out like a Mr .Murderarms, as you so eloquently put it.

Different viewpoint is all. No need to get all up in arms (heh) about it...

Top Dog

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« Reply #29 on: <12-17-13/1705:59> »
It really should be disguise instead of palming for cyberlimbs, and then it all makes sense perfectly.  Clothing hides a regular cyberlimb, at not bonus.  Covering up a synthetic provides the bonus, allowing an average person to roll 10 dice defaulting on hiding a synthetic limb.  Whereas they only roll 2 dice on a regular one.  With only a bit of practice concealing it, they go to 4 dice easily, which passes average people not paying attention to it in detail.

And I would argue that there is no logical fallacy either.  Part of the logic used is in the fact that covering  them is, in fact, an act of hiding them.  That doesn't make it automatically successful, though.
Hmm, I'd say palming fits better. You're not trying to look like something else, you're trying to hide something. Rolling palming to hide your arms isn't much different as rolling it to hide a gun - you pick the right clothes, shift them properly so the item is hidden (in this case, in what people assume would be the place your arms would be) and so on. The name may not fit perfectly but the mechanics do.
Plus, there's actual rules for using cyberlimbs with palming - the +8 concealment modifier mentioned for synthetic cyberlimbs. So you can "palm" those.

At any rate, the main point is that they're not automatically hidden with clothing, which was the fallacious argument I was referring to (Obvious cyberarms are immediately recognisable if they're uncovered & they're covered  -> they're automatically unrecognisable. That doesn't follow). I don't have a big problem with using disguise to hide them.

As to the definition of obvious - they're metal robot hands. They have weird joints that move differently and stick out at places human hands don't. Even if the arm can be somewhat covered with a bulky sweater the same goes for the hands. That doesn't mean you can't make them less obvious or try to hide them under clothing, but it does mean even with those precautions it's possible to spot it - much like it's possible to spot someone hiding a gun under their coat. And if you don't have the proper skills - and many street sams won't - it's far from a sure thing. If you want your street sams running around being unobvious, by all means do; that's mostly a style choice. But it's not the obvious and only true choice.