NEWS

Cyber: synthetic vs obvious

  • 88 Replies
  • 30080 Views

martinchaen

  • *
  • Guest
« Reply #30 on: <12-17-13/1712:02> »
Again, your definition of metal robot hands is obviously different from mine. Where in the text foes it state that they have weird angles or odd shapes? Nowhere, that's where...

And just to throw fuel on the fire... If you're rolling palming to Palm a cyberlimb, do you use it's augmented Agility, or your natural agility? ...

Top Dog

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1219
« Reply #31 on: <12-17-13/1728:08> »
Again, your definition of metal robot hands is obviously different from mine. Where in the text foes it state that they have weird angles or odd shapes? Nowhere, that's where...

And just to throw fuel on the fire... If you're rolling palming to Palm a cyberlimb, do you use it's augmented Agility, or your natural agility? ...
"They are often chromed or matte colors but visibly mechanical in nature."; p456. That's distinct from color and the like; they're described as specifically mechanical.

Apart from that there's depictions of cyberlimbs in the book, and while art is the least definitive of rule sources, the depiction there is not humanlike - it's usually in the rough shape of a human, but there's edges at the joints and such. Look at the Street Samurai sample character, for example. or the back cover (incidentally, SR5 has less examples of obvious cyberlimbs then I thought it would).

Interesting question about the augmented vs natural agi btw. I'd say average. You use both arms to properly hide it; one to cover it and one to, well, stay hidden.

DeathStrobe

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 868
  • Front Range Free Decker
    • Dethstrobe.com
« Reply #32 on: <12-17-13/1939:53> »
Again, your definition of metal robot hands is obviously different from mine. Where in the text foes it state that they have weird angles or odd shapes? Nowhere, that's where...

And just to throw fuel on the fire... If you're rolling palming to Palm a cyberlimb, do you use it's augmented Agility, or your natural agility? ...

It'd probably be more logical to use a disguise test to hide a obvious cyberlimb. Which is int+disguise. And if the corpsec gets more hits on their perception test, that is because they noticed something like the hump of the limb or the clothes folding in a weird way or something like that.

martinchaen

  • *
  • Guest
« Reply #33 on: <12-17-13/2334:36> »
I still don't find that argument convincing, Top Dog, but we evidently have differing views on cybernetics in the SR5 setting, which is cool.

And to the palming example; what happens if you have two arms to conceal, what do you roll then? What about one leg and one arm? Or all four limbs? What about a torso? Can you even hide a cyberskull? Why not, seeing as it's "just a shell, not an actual replacement..."

And this is why I don't bother with requiring checks. Put on clothing, and you're good until you hit a MAD scanner or cyberware scanner, in which case good luck (or hope that your hacker is being paid well enough).

ProfessorCirno

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 299
  • The strongest! The smartest! The rightest!
« Reply #34 on: <12-18-13/0317:48> »
How I would generally do it: synthetic cyberarms aren't detected until you hit a scanner or someone examines you really closely, obvious cyberarms are...uh, obvious.  If you want to hide an obvious cyberarm you'd use Disguise.

The point of this is to GIVE a point to synthetic cyberarms.  As it stands, Martin, why would anyone not take an obvious one?

One of the things I generally focus on is cutting down on the sheer MATHS factor of things in favor of a more narrative approach.  Having an obvious cyberarm doesn't give you -who cares to whatever stat.  It just means people treat you differently.  Heck, it might even be a positive change in some places!  Having an obvious cyberarm means you're either proud of it and want to show off, you've got heavy duty hardware, or you're miserably poor.

Now, if you're Mr Big Bad Cyber Merc with near bottomed out essence, you likely do not care.  People will keep a distance and will be more suspicious?  You're RIGHT they will!  But for the face or the B&E expert or for people who don't want to stand out, now an obvious cyberlimb is a potential risk.  I might make it harder to convince a shaman or hoity toity upper crust management of something - I don't mean change the bare difficulty so much as when they have that conversation, that person will find them distasteful.  A REAL bloody minded purist might refuse to speak to you.  On the other hand, the scum of the streets are less likely to see you as some bootlicking corporate wageslave if you're bucking fashion and middle/upper class sensibilities.  The local go gang is willing to hear your proposal, because they know you are, in some way, on their level - so long as you leave that pure blooded, knife eared sycophant behind.

So, you know.  It's a trade off.

martinchaen

  • *
  • Guest
« Reply #35 on: <12-18-13/0911:04> »
ProfessorCirno Counter-question: why would anyone take a synthetic cyberarm? I simply choose to apply the concealment modifier of synthetic limbs for when you go up against scanners; to my mind, either limb is hard to spot for the naked eye, but synthetics are harder to spot with MAD and cyberware scanners.

You run the game the way you feel like, I'll run it like I do. Synthetic cyberarms have little place in the games I play, simply because we view cyberlimbs as a ubiquitous part of the SR5 universe, and have yet to encounter someone in Shadowrun Missions who apparently dislike them so much that it would give a negative modifier. Furthermore, the only character I play who uses cyberlimbs is also a street sam, so the social modifiers do not matter much to me in any case.

Top Dog

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1219
« Reply #36 on: <12-18-13/1213:19> »
Martin, you can, of course, run the game however you like. If I thought magic was silly and wanted Shadowrun without magic, I can totally do that. But that's a houserule - a pretty glaring one in that case. If you and your fellow players all want a game where noone notices cyberlimbs because whatever, go ahead. Just don't claim that's what the rules say or imply.

MAD-scanners are described in the rules and they don't distinguish between obvious and synthetic arms. If you want to do that, fine, houserule it. If you want a game where even obvious cyberlimbs are so human-looking as to be hard to spot, fine, but the rules specifically disagree - again, this'd be a houserule. If you want NPC's not to care about cyberlimbs - well I think most won't either, it's just out of place in some situation. Heck you can make it the New Hip Thing. Point is, the rules disagree with your interpretation, which is fine, just don't claim they don't.

Cirno, I also disagree, in principle, with your point about the narrative approach. I do agree that in most cases it's not necessary to involve the numbers and you can deal with it narratively, but it's important to have ways to deal with situations where you need to hide otherwise obvious limbs (infiltration is the classic example) and, this being a rule founded on dice, there should be some mechanical way of dealing with that.

martinchaen

  • *
  • Guest
« Reply #37 on: <12-18-13/1352:58> »
Top Dog
I believe I stated several times that this is how I would choose to run the game (or words to that effect), and made no intentional implication that this is what I think the rules say, one way or another.

Let's face it, the rules are somewhat ambiguous in general, and let's certainly not forget that it is entirely up to the GM to impose social modifiers for having obvious cyberware (positive and negative, both). As such, there is no clearly set precedent that implies "this is the TRUE WAY that cyberlimbs MUST be played!" in the RAW, merely suggestions for how certain game mechanics can be used by the GM. And I for one like this just fine, as it is a method that caters to individual perceptions of the setting rather than "the one twue way" which a lot of players seem to be advocating, neatly forgetting that the GM has final say whatever the hell RAW may or may not say...

You can argue semantics of how you perceive cybernetics to be until you're blue in the face for all I care (that they are obviously mechanical in nature does not prove your argument in any way, shape, or form, as modern leg prosthetics are exactly the same (i.e. some are obviously mechanical) but can EASILY be covered by a pair of $10 pants), so the only argument that remains if you want to argue RAW game mechanics are simply:

Per page 456
1. Obvious cyberlimbs can be concealed by clothes
2. Synthetic cyberlimbs are disguised as natural limbs
3. Synthetic cyberlimbs get -8 "Concealability" modifier to opposed test to spot the limb, and the observer may use the Cybernetics skill in place of Perception "for this test" if desired

Now, from the capitalized word Concealability we can infer that the rule makers are referring to concealing gear, rules for which are somewhat clearly defined on pages 419 and 420 "Concealing Gear" and pages 135 and 136 "Using Perception"
1. Spotter rolls Perception* + Intuition [Mental] modified by the items Concealability** and visual modifiers
2. Difficulty is either
    2a. a set threshold ***
    2b. an opposed test against concealing characters Palming skill

*       Or Cybernetics (but for synthetic cyberlimbs only by RAW as per the wording of synthetic cyberlimbs (for this test)), or Palming, as per the Actively Hiding Gear paragraph on page 419
**     Presumably, obvious cyberlimbs receive no modifier, as these are not mentioned in any table pertaining to Perception and/or Concealment and synthetic cyberlimbs specifically receive a -8 modifier
***   As per the Using Perception the threshold can be 1 through 4, with 2 being the most likely to apply to obvious cyberlimbs as they would be between the size of a pedestrian (threshold 2) and a contact lens (threshold 3)

There's your RAW argument all neatly summarized with rules referenced and everything. Happy now?

And with that said, I'll go right back to my SRM Season 5 game where my heavily cybered street sam (all four limbs) has yet to make a concealment test, because in my/our view of the SR5 universe cyberlimbs are common enough for 99.99% of people to not give a good god damned...

firebug

  • *
  • Errata Coordinator
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2991
  • Scraping the bottom of the Resonance Barrel
    • Moth's Mad Path
« Reply #38 on: <12-18-13/1355:31> »
With the "covering it with clothing" part, nobody is really mentioning at all what kind of clothing.  A simple dress shirt isn't going to cut it, since it will still be a bit clunky.  A hoodie would probably work, but you can't wear a hoodie everywhere without looking like a thug.  Also, one thing to mention is that stuff like tattoos, colorful hair, and all that punky stuff is significantly more common in Shadowrun.  It's not exactly "business casual" but it's a lot different from today.  Walking down the street in the suburbs with tatoos and pink hair will make people concerned you might shank them in some places today.  In Shadowrun, you just look like a random youth.

One more thing...  Having cybernetic is not immediately threatening!  Thinking to that whole "murderarms" thing...  Even most players I've seen don't fill their arms with guns and explosives, usually just armor and agility augmentations.  And while that does make them more deadly, the arm itself isn't some death machine.  At base, cybernetic arms, obvious or otherwise, have average human stats, and both Synthetic and Obvious are heavily customizable.

Using an obvious one actually says the exact opposite about having "gone out of your way to get something serious".  They are cheaper and not any harder to acquire than synthetics, so unless you've got visible machine guns sticking out of the damn things, you look, at worst, poor.

Regardless, I don't think any of this is actually an issue.  Your Street Samurai is going to have difficulty going to a formal dinner no matter what his arms look like; everyone expects the deck jockey to be a non-conformist punk from all his time on the matrix; only the Face should be terribly concerned about having hard to conceal physical features, and no Face is ever going to bother with a cyberlimb.
I'm Madpath Moth on reddit (and other sites).  Feel free to PM me errata questions!
Jeeze.  It would almost sound stupid until you realize we're talking about an immortal elf clown sword fighting a dragon ghost in a mall.

ProfessorCirno

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 299
  • The strongest! The smartest! The rightest!
« Reply #39 on: <12-18-13/2009:50> »
ProfessorCirno Counter-question: why would anyone take a synthetic cyberarm? I simply choose to apply the concealment modifier of synthetic limbs for when you go up against scanners; to my mind, either limb is hard to spot for the naked eye, but synthetics are harder to spot with MAD and cyberware scanners.

This actually does answer my question!  Indeed, funny enough, you've boosted synthetic cyberarms way more then I think anyone else here has - I can see this working out great for a game, and gives a rather serious advantage to synthetic cyberbitties (that may or may not equate to the bonuses you can get to an obvious cyberarm filled to the brim with bonuses, which is exactly what you want!)  Heck, this might be better then my solution.

Cirno, I also disagree, in principle, with your point about the narrative approach. I do agree that in most cases it's not necessary to involve the numbers and you can deal with it narratively, but it's important to have ways to deal with situations where you need to hide otherwise obvious limbs (infiltration is the classic example) and, this being a rule founded on dice, there should be some mechanical way of dealing with that.

There is.  Like I said, you would use Disguise to hide an obvious cyberarm by my reckoning.  I meant more that any potential "consequences" would be more narrative.  Now, this would eventually translate to dice - in the troll example I use below, it meant the elf could give advice to the others but the gang leader in question simply wouldn't accept anything he said, so he turned to leadership for the others (giving them an AR power point presentation as they walked in, of course!), while I lowered the threshold for the troll boxer PC.  He had an easier time convincing the gang leader to a mutually beneficial arrangement to get them to focus more on a specific corp in their turf, but any of the other non-elf characters could've jumped in and done it instead - it just might've been a bit harder for them.  But the starting point was narrative - the troll's bigotry, and what actual arguments the PCs used.  I tend to play it a bit fast and loose with thresholds depending on how stuff is described and what sort of game I'm trying to encourage.

One more thing...  Having cybernetic is not immediately threatening!  Thinking to that whole "murderarms" thing...  Even most players I've seen don't fill their arms with guns and explosives, usually just armor and agility augmentations.  And while that does make them more deadly, the arm itself isn't some death machine.  At base, cybernetic arms, obvious or otherwise, have average human stats, and both Synthetic and Obvious are heavily customizable.

Using an obvious one actually says the exact opposite about having "gone out of your way to get something serious".  They are cheaper and not any harder to acquire than synthetics, so unless you've got visible machine guns sticking out of the damn things, you look, at worst, poor.

Right, but that's generally my point.  If you take Obvious Cyberlimbs, you're either dangerous, a fanatic, or one of the poors.  All three likely shine a poor light on you depending on what you're doing.

Quote
Regardless, I don't think any of this is actually an issue.  Your Street Samurai is going to have difficulty going to a formal dinner no matter what his arms look like; everyone expects the deck jockey to be a non-conformist punk from all his time on the matrix; only the Face should be terribly concerned about having hard to conceal physical features, and no Face is ever going to bother with a cyberlimb.[/color]

Ah, I believe in the school of thought that the GM should try to challenge characters outside of their niches, though obviously far less then challenging them as a full team.  To give the example: Going into the Ork Underground, then a little bit deeper, to parley with a rather infamous Troll gang leader.  A particularly racist Troll that is entirely uninterested in what the elven face has to say...but is far more willing to listen to the troll boxer (who doesn't have a lot in the way of talking skills, but has enough for this to turn the tables).

I'm rather adamant on this with players - I want characters that at the very least can dabble in other areas.  If you have Charisma 1 and no talking skills, don't assume the Face will always be able to jump in on your behalf.  If you're a sammy, some Hardware can go a long way.  In 9/10 cases the Face can handle talking to people.  That last case though...

~*~

Mind you, all this is diving rather fast and hard into House Rules (though I'm of the opinion that this game sorta needs those by default!).  By STRICT RAW, it's...well, it ain't said.  Obvious cyberlimbs have to be covered in clothing, synthetic ones are easier to "hide."  However you interpret that is by individual game, I reckon.

martinchaen

  • *
  • Guest
« Reply #40 on: <12-19-13/0935:13> »
ProfessorCirno Counter-question: why would anyone take a synthetic cyberarm? I simply choose to apply the concealment modifier of synthetic limbs for when you go up against scanners; to my mind, either limb is hard to spot for the naked eye, but synthetics are harder to spot with MAD and cyberware scanners.

This actually does answer my question!  Indeed, funny enough, you've boosted synthetic cyberarms way more then I think anyone else here has - I can see this working out great for a game, and gives a rather serious advantage to synthetic cyberbitties (that may or may not equate to the bonuses you can get to an obvious cyberarm filled to the brim with bonuses, which is exactly what you want!)  Heck, this might be better then my solution.

Hehe, I read that as cybertitties, and was like... "Huh?"

But yeah; my view of the Shadowrun world is that cybernetic replacements is par for the course. I've always envisioned the setting as fairly far down the path of transhumanism, and obvious cybernetics would be the first step on that path. Synthetic and more "natural" replacements would indeed be higher end and more specialized, hence the vastly increased difficulty in detecting them at the cost of function (more concealability vs higher cost and less capacity). This fits my world view pretty neatly.

Inconnu

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 321
« Reply #41 on: <01-06-14/2000:15> »
ProfessorCirno Counter-question: why would anyone take a synthetic cyberarm? I simply choose to apply the concealment modifier of synthetic limbs for when you go up against scanners; to my mind, either limb is hard to spot for the naked eye, but synthetics are harder to spot with MAD and cyberware scanners.

This actually does answer my question!  Indeed, funny enough, you've boosted synthetic cyberarms way more then I think anyone else here has - I can see this working out great for a game, and gives a rather serious advantage to synthetic cyberbitties (that may or may not equate to the bonuses you can get to an obvious cyberarm filled to the brim with bonuses, which is exactly what you want!)  Heck, this might be better then my solution.

Hehe, I read that as cybertitties, and was like... "Huh?"


You're looking for this thread, mate:

http://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=13687.0

….

 8)

martinchaen

  • *
  • Guest
« Reply #42 on: <01-06-14/2252:46> »
Hahaha, that's horrible... Need bleach.

Ryo

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1924
« Reply #43 on: <01-06-14/2332:04> »
I never understood the way Shadowrun deals with synthetic vs. obvious, as the concealability modifier does not at all warrant the drawbacks, especially since it doesn't apply to touch. Apparently its 2075 and they still haven't figured out how to make synthetic skin feel real, even though we can do that passably already.

I can understand being more expensive. Synthetic skin comes at a premium. I can understand if it has less capacity. You need to shape them like a normal sized arm and the skin takes up space. But halved capacity on top of an increase in price? Completely not worth it for an aesthetic difference.

MadBear

  • *
  • Chummer
  • **
  • Posts: 198
« Reply #44 on: <01-07-14/0947:27> »
I think you fail to understand why people will pay so much more for a Mac than a windows machine. Or why they will shell out $1,200 for a handbag with some fancy name on it. The desire to fit in is huge, though hard to quantify in a game mechanic. While implants might be more common in the 6th world, they are still not considered appropriate for some social settings, and in other situations it's considered polite to at least maintain the illusion of normalcy.
It comes down to how your table plays, though I do think the game is intended to include social prejudice(against Trolls, for example), and I think for most tables a Face certainly should spring for the synthetic arm, while the Orc sammie can happily sport two heavily modified obvious.
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities.
-Dr Suess