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Cyber: synthetic vs obvious

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CanRay

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« Reply #60 on: (17:34:30/01-09-14) »
But this is more than just buying a shiny new trendy car or iWhatever, this is major surgery, the cutting off of part of your body. That's a bit more involved, a bit more traumatic, and no matter how common place datajacks are there will still be hesitation to cu off something like an arm. Certainly less in 2070 than today, but it would still be there...
As a replacement, they're good.

But voluntary?  I have folks react the same way they did to Argent when they found out he had his arms replaced.
Si vis pacem, para bellum

MadBear

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« Reply #61 on: (09:51:46/01-14-14) »
I think Anarkitty and The Other Bandit summed up my point. People don't get these things because they are cool, they are mostly replacements for injuries. Dermal Plating, Bone Lacing, Wired Reflexes 1, Spurs, all of these I can see gangers and the like getting to help them survive. But what about the really expensive implants? Suprathyroid, fully Customized and Enhanced limbs, Adrenal pumps 2, Synaptic Boosters, etc? Where do people get the money for something like that? SR is a dystopia, with most people struggling just to survive, where are gangers getting 140,000Y for Wired Reflexes 2? Or 95,000 for an arm? 10,000 or 20,000 I can see for an upgrade to help you survive in the Barens. No, customized and enhanced cuberamrs are not going to be very common, even in the 6th world. Replacement prosthetics would of course reflect the social station of the user, obvious for a ganger and synthetic for a sarariman: they both want to fit in with their 'tribe'.
Shadowrunners are of course an exception. They can make a ton of money, but often get stuck in the cycle of continually upgrading for the next high paying job, only to use that pay out to upgrade again and again, hoping for that one last big retirement level pay out. While the typical sarariman won't care about lower capacity in his arm, he will likely be willing to pay a bit more for a synthetic one. So will a shadowrun team's face, as there is still enough room in there for some increased AGL, a smuggling compartment or a cybergun. The Orc sammie who took an auto cannon shot to save the rest of the team and lost a leg, he's not going to care about looking normal and is going to want that cybergun grenade launcher.
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Novocrane

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« Reply #62 on: (02:39:36/01-15-14) »
If we're not talking about people who are going to get a large amount of 'ware, (usually not awakened or virtua-kinetic, either) the importance of essence costs is much lower - and the amount of product that can be returned to market much higher.

Cyberlimb enhancements can be taken post-operation, rather than requiring the initial investment of customisation. WR2 seems unlikely in poverty stricken areas, but used WR1? 30k in debt and any street scum can be on their way to being muscled by the Yakuza for money and services before they slip on payments and have it repossessed / sold to someone else.

MadBear

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« Reply #63 on: (02:53:14/01-15-14) »
Exactly! WR1 is within reach of a ganger, but not rating 2, and neither is a top of the line cyberarm.
Though I disagree about the Essence thing... there is a mechanic built into the system that reflects how people react negatively to low Essence characters, it's part of the calculation for Social Limits. People are going to react differently to you depending on how much 'ware you have, because that matters even in 2072. And some people are going to be aware of that, and that is going to influence their decision to get an arm or not, most people probably. So there is likely to be at least some small social stigma attached to major implants. Plenty enough reason to justify paying a little more for a synthetic arm.
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

Novocrane

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« Reply #64 on: (04:58:31/01-15-14) »
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Though I disagree about the Essence thing... there is a mechanic built into the system that reflects how people react negatively to low Essence characters, it's part of the calculation for Social Limits.
The start of my post addressed the type of characters I was referring to. Ignoring that; keep in mind that the difference between 6 essence and rounded up 0.01 essence for the purposes of Social Limit amounts to a +1 or +2. It's not a major impact either way, unless you're already abysmally low in Willpower / Charisma, and facial heavy social modifiers.

Also; I think if Ghost in the Shell can manage to scrape together enough social pressure to force people into last ditch efforts to find decently paying work, then SR can probably get similar results with people who are healthy and whole of body.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ghost_in_the_Shell:_S.A.C._2nd_GIG_episodes#Episodes (episode 6 for reference)
[spoiler]They learn that the man, named Kontan Kanji, had accepted a mysterious job in exchange for the promise of a new cyber body, and had been put to work descaling the walls of a subterranean structure in the Uchikon 7 district, which was submerged in the last war ... Togusa discovers that the building is actually an old nuclear power plant[/spoiler]

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #65 on: (06:32:04/01-15-14) »
C2, W3, Ess 2.01~5 characters have a social limit of 4, and even if they got the skill at 6 they'd have a dicepool of 8. Checking http://www.tinyurl.com/acctables, that's <1/11 chance to roll more hits than the limit, so less than 9%. They wouldn't care.

A C6, W3, Ess 0.01 character would be at a social limit of 6, with a skill on 6 we're at 1/15 chance, so 6.66% to get capped by the limit. Again, wouldn't care.

So honestly, the Essence effect on your social limit is likely neglectable, unless you're walking around with an Essence of <=1, a Willpower of 1 and a Charisma of 2, yet a social skill of 6. At that point, 8 dice vs a limit of 3 means >25% chance to get capped by the limit. And if you're a W1/C2/Ess1 character with a social skill of 6, you're doing something wrong.
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martinchaen

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« Reply #66 on: (08:23:01/01-15-14) »
I disagree with the "people wouldn't get cyber because "it's cool""; I think the transhumanist angle is pretty well played up in Shadowrun, and to me the setting certainly invites civilians taking bodysculpting way, way beyond what we're seeing today.

But, that's just my view of the setting, so it really doesn't make any sense to me trying to argue how someone views the setting, that's your business.

Michael also makes a great point; unless the GM decides that you're talking to a crowd of purists who look down on or despise the use of cyberware, most of the time you're not going to be facing any issues from the Social Limit even with low Essence if that's your character's thing.

MadBear

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« Reply #67 on: (09:45:11/01-17-14) »
I'm just saying there is a mechanic to account for social problems with implants, not that it's a limiting one, so to me that indicates there will be some social pressure to avoid some obvious implants.
Another consideration, and we are starting to slide away from game mechanic considerations into setting-theory, is touch. Being touched, that is. While even obvious cyber-arms would need a good sense of touch in the fingers to function, what about the rest of the arm? A synthetic arm, with it's skin like covering, could have tactile sensors all along its length, so you could feel the caress of that beautiful lady(or man or Troll or ghoul or whatever) rubbing up against you. But an obvious? It's hard to cover gears and pistons and actuators with tactile sensors. From a game mechanic this is a non-issue clearly. But from inside the game, it warrants consideration. Humans are deeply social creatures(Ignoring the disproportionate  number of 'loner' Shadowrunners), and touch is one of the main ways we reassure ourselves. Losing some of that sense of touch could lead to a sense of disconnection, isolation. I'm just saying this bears consideration when talking about the difference between Obvious and Synthetic limbs. I've listed a half dozen reasons to choose one over the other, all in reply to earlier posts asking why synthetic cost more. I think this is an interesting discussion.
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

martinchaen

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« Reply #68 on: (09:57:53/01-17-14) »
MadBear, your argument presumes you consider obvious cyberlimbs to actually have actuators and gears and pistons; I don't. I'm not saying you can't tell an obvious limb from a synthetic, I just think 2072 medical and scientific tech has progressed far enough to where they can make things like that internal. To me, an obvious cyberlimb looks very much like an ordinary limb, except that it's obviously chrome. But in terms of size, I don't see them as very different.

I'll keep using my example of Adam Jensen from Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Full cybernetic arm replacements, but when wearing a coat they don't stand out in any way except perhaps the hands if one was to look closely. So to me, cyberlimbs are closer to real limbs in terms of look and feel (except they are metal instead of flesh), as opposed to more cyber/steampunk looking limbs with, as you describe them, obvious gears, pistons, and/or actuators.

And on the note of sensitivity; there are no game rules for loss of tactile sensation with cyberlimbs, so I don't see why there would be a thematic one. If the doctors or manufacturers can create an artificial limb that is equal to or better than your own, why wouldn't tactile senses be one of the things they'd put in there. Unlike a pain editor, which numbs your senses and results in a -4 modifier for tactile perception tests, no such modifier exists for cyberlimbs.

To me, setting does make and break this discussion, because it is up to the GM to decide how much a cybered character should be penalized in social settings. I have yet to run into such a situation at my table, and my character has all four extremities replaced with cybernetics, so we obviously feel cybernetics are more commonplace and acceptable in Shadowrun 2075 than some others.

MadBear

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« Reply #69 on: (10:40:01/01-17-14) »
I am going off how limbs are portrayed in the core book's illustrations. In my mind at least,  SR cyberlimbs are motivated by carbon nano-tube fiber muscles that closely mirror our own. Once you add in Enhancements like Armor, though, I think they become more than just chrome shiny copies of flesh limbs.
In your mind then, what is the explanation for why Synthetic limbs have lower Capacity than Obvious, if they are similarly sized and shaped?
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


DeathEatsCurry

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« Reply #71 on: (12:28:44/01-17-14) »
Obvious cyberlimbs never get explained in much more detail than being "obvious". Ergo, it's natural everyone has their own opinion on how they should look, even the artists who make SR art themselves :)
Personally, I think they just look like normal limbs in silhouette, but obviously (heh) mechanical somehow. Think John Kennox from Almost Human, or even the automail from Fullmetal Alchemist. Anything more substantial than that would most likely be a bulk-upgraded limb, and prove somewhat impractical.

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what is the explanation for why Synthetic limbs have lower Capacity than Obvious, if they are similarly sized and shaped?
Game balance :P

They might as well slap a "YMMV" right after the "Obvious".

martinchaen

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« Reply #72 on: (15:51:31/01-17-14) »
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what is the explanation for why Synthetic limbs have lower Capacity than Obvious, if they are similarly sized and shaped?
Game balance :P

They might as well slap a "YMMV" right after the "Obvious".

This.

Dinendae

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« Reply #73 on: (00:57:45/01-18-14) »
Exactly! WR1 is within reach of a ganger, but not rating 2, and neither is a top of the line cyberarm.

Really depends on the situation; the ganger could have saved a high-leveled Yak or Mafioso's life, and been rewarded with the ware, perhaps with the expectation that additional services would be owed by the ganger. Similarly, said ganger could have been moonlighting for a crime boss/Johnson/whatever, done an impressive job, but got messed up in the process; the ware could be repayment for services rendered, with the understanding a debt was still owed by the ganger. Let's not forget that gangs also have their own revenue streams (hijacking shipments, prostitution, drugs, extortion, etc.) and depending on the ganger's place in the hierarchy, they could have better access. Shadowrunners aren't the only ones who can work the systems in place to get their hands on what might otherwise be beyond their reach.

DeathEatsCurry

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« Reply #74 on: (06:40:04/01-18-14) »
Exactly! WR1 is within reach of a ganger, but not rating 2, and neither is a top of the line cyberarm.
Though I disagree about the Essence thing... there is a mechanic built into the system that reflects how people react negatively to low Essence characters, it's part of the calculation for Social Limits. People are going to react differently to you depending on how much 'ware you have, because that matters even in 2072. And some people are going to be aware of that, and that is going to influence their decision to get an arm or not, most people probably. So there is likely to be at least some small social stigma attached to major implants. Plenty enough reason to justify paying a little more for a synthetic arm.
Essence tying into social limit doesnt have much to do with social stigma. Instead, its a result from a sort of reversed uncanny valley effect, the idea that humans are instinctively put off by things that look uncannily like humans but arent (robots and such). Social stigma comes on top of that, depending on the crowd, in the form of negatie dice mods (or positive, ynever know).