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A Question on Cyberlimbs for all you GMs out there. What are your opinions?

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8-bit

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« on: (13:43:02/10-13-14) »
How do you GMs feel about partial limbs and hands? From what I understand, most people consider getting Used Hands and/or Feet with Armor 3 munchkining and disallow it. What about Lower Arms, and Lower Legs? What about Hands and Feet combined with Lower Arms, and Lower Legs? What is the point of anything but a full limb if it's mostly considered for munchkining?

I mean, there is literally no point in a cyberhand if you aren't going to get Armor, but I know many people don't like that. Story reasons? Just give it 0 customizability or only the ability to fit cyberweapons, and you're done. Still, what is the reason of getting a hand just for a cyberweapon? It's literally the same Essence cost, sometimes less, to install that weapon into your flesh directly. Lower Arms and Lower Legs have a lot more capacity, but unless you want the slightly lower cost in nuyen and essence, you're better off getting a full limb. The only reason I can think to get a Partial Limb is to stack them with Cyberhands or cyberfeet. As I've said before, hands and feet are gotten to get Armor, so Partial Limbs would be meant to expand on it with Armor as well. That means you could get 24 Armor with 4 Partial Limbs and all your Hands and Feet replaced. Also, you can add in a Torso and/or Skull for even more Armor. Throw in Titanium Bone Lacing as a final thing and you've got a super tank. Granted, you go over in Essence at this point, but you get the idea.

Basically, what are your rulings on this? Do you just leave out this part of cyberlimbs? Do you accept it? Do you accept the augmentations unless they try and stack Armor, probably the only reason to do this? I mean, I think it's an interesting idea to come up with a Troll who is super tanky, or even just a human with this many augmentations to be super tanky, but all this Armor is really close to munchkining, and I know I have a much more relaxed and lenient position on munchkining than most.

Here are the 3 situations I've thought about.

1 - Used Hands and Feet w/ Armor 3 - 12 Armor Total; 42,000 nuyen and 1.25 Essence.

2 - Used Hands, Feet, Lower Arms, and Lower Legs w/ Armor 3 (No other enhancements or weapons installed) - 24 Armor Total; 99,000 nuyen and 3.5 Essence.

3 - Used Hands, Feet, Lower Arms, Lower Legs, Torso, and Skull w/ Armor 3 + Titanium Bone Lacing - +3 Body for Soak Rolls, 33 Armor Total; 157,500 nuyen and 8.1875 Essence (Completely not available at character creation). This last option is not something to really worry about early on, but someone could eventually build a character up to this point. If they took everything as Deltaware, it would cost them 393,750 nuyen, but only cost 4.09375 Essence. That's pretty scary considering you can still fit quite a bit of augmentations into that 1.00625 Essence, especially if it's that far into a game that they can find and afford these items. Even if a game doesn't get to this point, you can still afford to drop the Torso and Skull and get Titanium Bone Lacing, for a total of +3 Body for Soak Rolls and 27 Armor; quite a huge boost to soak rolls as it is.

I am curious as to your answers, because this is allowable in game. I also don't want to seem as if I'm trying to cheat the system; however, I think it's an interesting concept, and something that I've seen has come up often. Do you, as a GM, allow a player to get this tanky with augmentations, or do you just smack them with common sense (aka the phone book)?
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Namikaze

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« Reply #1 on: (16:45:09/10-13-14) »
The armor issue is one that I've argued with other people about, tried to find a common solution, and failed.  The way I've come to see it, the Armor stat is arbitrary anyway, since combat is rarely based on where your armor is in relation to your character.  Unless you're aiming for an unarmored spot on the body, it's assumed that the Armor fully covers you against non-called shots.  So I've come to just let the armor on cyberlimbs be applied.  The thing is, if someone gets a hand with 3 armor and replaces their upper arm and gets 3 armor, it's not 6 armor.  It's still 3 armor, especially if the mods are installed on the same arm.

Cyberlimbs don't come with a lot of advantages in Shadowrun 5 - armor is one of the few really big ones.  I've seen far fewer players picking up cyberlimbs in this edition than in previous ones, and I think that is the reason why.  So if allowing the armor doesn't unbalance your game and it instead gives a little bit more value to an underutilized piece of equipment, then I say let it ride.
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MijRai

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« Reply #2 on: (16:56:38/10-13-14) »
There isn't 'no use' for partial and appendage cyberlimbs.  You forget the main use of partial parts (as they were intended, at that).  It's meant to replace the body-parts you lose in a fight or something.  Your mage got his hand cut off; is he going to want a full limb put on, or just a replacement hand to lessen the Essence loss?  Your cheapskate poor guy isn't going to want to shell out triple the price before even getting any upgrades for his stuff.  It's also good if you only need that much Capacity.  You seem to be looking at this from a strict meta-perspective only, which still isn't all that valid.  Just because there's a bigger gun, doesn't mean you need it. 

There's also no indication that you can stack lower limb and hand/foot cyberlimbs.  Your idea implies you can replace your entire forearm but still have a meat hand flopping around at the end, for one; secondly, your hands and feet are generally counted as a part of the lower limb.  Cyber-hands and feet are also included with partial limbs in what tests the augmentations can apply to.  While it's irritatingly unclear, common sense should apply; you can't take a full cyberlimb AND a partial cyberlimb on the same arm, and a full cyberlimb does include the hand. 

Your point that Armor mods can fit into a cyber hand/foot is valid; Capacity 4 could fit all three levels of Armor in each.  I'd personally just apply this paragraph to anyone trying it;
Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, page 456
Quote
The attributes of partial limbs (including cyberhands and Ėfeet) may be enhanced, but their attributes only apply for tests directly involving those limbs (such as a Strength Test when gripping something with an enhanced cyberhand).

The rules regarding location armor do exist; the snake-proof socks from Run & Gun are the primary example off the top of my head.  It's a completely by-the-book reason why it wouldn't be effective.  Personally, even if they didn't like it, I wouldn't care.  There's enough broken in this game at the moment that needs house-ruling anyways, I'd just throw it on the list.

Also, as far as what you can put in a partial limb or appendage, there's a lot of options besides cyberweapons.  Run & Gun actually statted out the capacity costs for a lot of gear; 4 capacity could hold scanners, lock-picking gear (go-go gadget lockpicks!), a mini-welder, commlink, wire clippers, tag eraser, a camera or directional microphone and a lot of other things. 
Would you want to go into a place where the resident had a drum-fed shotgun and can see in the dark?

Namikaze

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« Reply #3 on: (17:24:39/10-13-14) »
There isn't 'no use' for partial and appendage cyberlimbs.

I wasn't referring to people who need the appendage due to some unfortunate event.  I'm talking about the street samurai who purposefully replaces his arm so that it can have super-strength, recoil compensation, and a bunch of other things.

The rules regarding location armor do exist; the snake-proof socks from Run & Gun are the primary example off the top of my head.

I'm pretty sure you mean the ONLY example.  Outside of called shots, which is what I said.

Also, as far as what you can put in a partial limb or appendage, there's a lot of options besides cyberweapons.  Run & Gun actually statted out the capacity costs for a lot of gear; 4 capacity could hold scanners, lock-picking gear (go-go gadget lockpicks!), a mini-welder, commlink, wire clippers, tag eraser, a camera or directional microphone and a lot of other things.

Yes, but in my experience we are seeing fewer people doing that than in previous editions.  My suspicion is that the limitation to make cyberlimbs more like real limbs is part of that decrease in application.  I'm not saying there's zero use for cyberlimbs, or partial cyberlimbs.  I'm saying that they have less utility than in previous editions, and that (from my perspective, which isn't at all the whole perspective) we are seeing fewer cyberlimbs as a result.

We don't really need to get into a semantic argument only three posts into a topic, do we?
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MijRai

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« Reply #4 on: (17:37:48/10-13-14) »
I didn't read your post when I came up with that response, Namikaze.  That was all to 8-bit, you finished your comment before me, and I posted mine anyways. 

It's still a valid example, especially considering the text I quoted from page 456.  I could have sworn there was another somewhere, but maybe I'm remembering a different edition or something. 

I wasn't commenting on the relative frequency of cyberlimbs.  I do agree with you on that, however.  I was thinking of making a Rigger/Sam based off of Dragonlance, of all things, a dwarf with a massive obvious silver cyberarm, and I saw how it'd cost 40k just to get an arm at 8 Strength, pre-enhancement (on top of the attribute points needed so I can put the arm at that level).  I lost interest after that.  As I mentioned, I was contesting 8-bit's point on the matter, since it appeared to me to be almost entirely meta-driven, and flawed given the utilitarian possibilities. 
Would you want to go into a place where the resident had a drum-fed shotgun and can see in the dark?

Namikaze

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« Reply #5 on: (17:46:25/10-13-14) »
Sorry MijRai, I thought we were about to get into an argument that would result in us more or less agreeing with each other, and respecting each other's disagreeing points.  :)
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Reiper

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« Reply #6 on: (21:38:16/10-13-14) »
Personally, I've made the rule that you don't get your armor bonus from limbs unless that limb is being targeted, partial or not.

In combat, I always assume you are aiming center mass unless otherwise specifically stated.
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8-bit

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« Reply #7 on: (23:35:42/10-13-14) »
There isn't 'no use' for partial and appendage cyberlimbs.  You forget the main use of partial parts (as they were intended, at that).  It's meant to replace the body-parts you lose in a fight or something.  Your mage got his hand cut off; is he going to want a full limb put on, or just a replacement hand to lessen the Essence loss?  Your cheapskate poor guy isn't going to want to shell out triple the price before even getting any upgrades for his stuff.  It's also good if you only need that much Capacity.  You seem to be looking at this from a strict meta-perspective only, which still isn't all that valid.  Just because there's a bigger gun, doesn't mean you need it. 

Indeed, I am looking at it from a strict meta-perspective. Because you don't break rules when you take a Cyberarm to replace a lost arm, you break rules if you push the limits intentionally from the get-go. If you managed to lose a hand, sure, get a replacement. You're main reason for a replacement will likely be to replace your hand, not to metagame and try and create a ridiculous combination of stats. The main reason for a cyberlimb is functionality to me, that's the point of Enhanced Strength and Enhanced Agility and Customized of each. If I was an average Joe who got his arm cut off in an accident, I would buy a basic off the shelf cyberlimb, possibly get it Alphaware, but it wouldn't have hidden weapons, it would have super tricked out Agility and Strength, it would just be a replacement. I doubt a GM would get upset over taking a basic limb with no special benefits that could possibly break the system.

Regardless, the point of the questions is do you consider something like this munchkining and trying to cheat the system? If you aren't trying to super optimize, I doubt it will be a problem.

There's also no indication that you can stack lower limb and hand/foot cyberlimbs.  Your idea implies you can replace your entire forearm but still have a meat hand flopping around at the end, for one; secondly, your hands and feet are generally counted as a part of the lower limb.  Cyber-hands and feet are also included with partial limbs in what tests the augmentations can apply to.  While it's irritatingly unclear, common sense should apply; you can't take a full cyberlimb AND a partial cyberlimb on the same arm, and a full cyberlimb does include the hand. 

I have no idea if hands/feet an lower limbs stack. I thought a lower arm was literally your Elbow to your Wrist, but if it includes your hand, then they don't stack. I can admit being wrong there.

Your point that Armor mods can fit into a cyber hand/foot is valid; Capacity 4 could fit all three levels of Armor in each.  I'd personally just apply this paragraph to anyone trying it;
Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, page 456
Quote
The attributes of partial limbs (including cyberhands and –feet) may be enhanced, but their attributes only apply for tests directly involving those limbs (such as a Strength Test when gripping something with an enhanced cyberhand).

The rules regarding location armor do exist; the snake-proof socks from Run & Gun are the primary example off the top of my head.  It's a completely by-the-book reason why it wouldn't be effective.  Personally, even if they didn't like it, I wouldn't care.  There's enough broken in this game at the moment that needs house-ruling anyways, I'd just throw it on the list.

Oh, sure. I agree it's absolutely stupid that Armor 3 from a Hand applies when a shot hits you in the chest. I'm just saying that it is entirely valid by RAW. Who's to say you don't pull your hand up as a reflexive action when getting shot at? Unless you want to tack on a couple thousand optional rules for what your initiative should reduce by when you try to block a shot coming towards you, which most people actually do when getting shot at. So, it is possible that the Armor 3 would apply. I'm sure every GM has their own version of a houserule for it, but for those who don't, it applies and should be considered about whether it breaks your game or not.

Also, as far as what you can put in a partial limb or appendage, there's a lot of options besides cyberweapons.  Run & Gun actually statted out the capacity costs for a lot of gear; 4 capacity could hold scanners, lock-picking gear (go-go gadget lockpicks!), a mini-welder, commlink, wire clippers, tag eraser, a camera or directional microphone and a lot of other things. 

Scanners require Electronic Warfare to operate. Very few people take that. Lock-picking gear can be useful I suppose, but you can fit maybe one item into your cyberhand. That's really useful when you should be carrying the things around in the first place if you are planning on using them. Mini-welders, well, I don't think I've ever seen a normal one, so I don't think an implanted one is at the top of people's lists. A commlink is implanted in the hand if it takes up capacity, right? That means that you can't remove it easily. You don't want that with Burner links, and an expensive one is most likely going to be implanted in your head, due to the fact that if someone cuts off your head, you aren't around to worry. If someone cuts off your hand, there goes your commlink.

As for the rest of the stuff you listed, sure it's useful. Out of all of those things, there's not a single one I wouldn't take in a different piece of 'ware or just carry. That's probably my personal preference, but I can't say I've seen anyone take a single one of those items as an implant into their cyberlimb.

I wasn't commenting on the relative frequency of cyberlimbs.  I do agree with you on that, however.  I was thinking of making a Rigger/Sam based off of Dragonlance, of all things, a dwarf with a massive obvious silver cyberarm, and I saw how it'd cost 40k just to get an arm at 8 Strength, pre-enhancement (on top of the attribute points needed so I can put the arm at that level).  I lost interest after that.  As I mentioned, I was contesting 8-bit's point on the matter, since it appeared to me to be almost entirely meta-driven, and flawed given the utilitarian possibilities. 

Well, I'll just say that a Dwarf can get an 8 Strength Arm with Enhanced Strength 3 even if their base is only 3. You can customize to your natural maximum, so you don't even need your strength to actually be that high.

I don't mean any hostility here, but you did not really answer my argument. You pointed out that cyberhands can have other things inside of them rather than just armor; that's true. That was not, in really any way, the point of the argument or post. The point of it was asking whether you think this ridiculous armor stacking is fine for a player to do, or whether it requires the GM ban hammer at your table. The whole "it's meta-driven" seems to imply to me that you are referencing that I forgot you could install other things in cyberhands. My actual argument can never be utilitarian based, because the entire point of it was that someone can put all their money into armor and basically become a nigh unkillable tank. My post was illustrating the fact that if someone makes this decision to do armor stacking, the numbers can inflate pretty quickly, which is entirely "meta-driven" and in no way invalidates the point of the post. Not to take the specific details and nuances of creating the perfect cyberhand.

So, my hopefully more clear question is, do you allow a person to take 4 Partial Limbs (we'll go with that since it's slightly more reasonable than hands or feet), Titanium Bone Lacing, and a Cyberskull, which can add to a total bonus of +3 Body for Soak Rolls and 18 extra Armor? Combined with a Body 11 Troll and Ares Big Game Hunter Armor, you are looking at 48 dice for Soak Tests. Do you consider this munchkining and disallow it, or do you let a person build a character like this? It is perfectly legal to build this way. Just assume all the cyberlimbs have Armor 3; the rest of the capacity doesn't matter.

---------------------------------------------------

Personally, I've made the rule that you don't get your armor bonus from limbs unless that limb is being targeted, partial or not.

In combat, I always assume you are aiming center mass unless otherwise specifically stated.

How does that factor with holding a gun or sword? You usually hold them with your arms in front of you, covering a decent portion of center mass. Would you roll percentile dice to determine if the limbs factor in? I agree with the center mass part, but there can be a lot of things that are in that, for lack of a better term, "center mass area", including limbs.
« Last Edit: (23:39:15/10-13-14) by 8-bit »
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All4BigGuns

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« Reply #8 on: (00:09:59/10-14-14) »
The Armor on Cyber Limbs, despite wild claims to the contrary, isn't a problem. Even if someone gets into the 20+ range for Armor--or higher--it is still very possible to not soak a single gorram point of damage when it comes time for the actual roll (seen a 25 dice soak pool do just that).  The only problem lies in customization not being set up to where it can only take the limb's attribute to the user's current natural rating rather than the natural maximum.
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8-bit

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« Reply #9 on: (00:52:11/10-14-14) »
The only problem lies in customization not being set up to where it can only take the limb's attribute to the user's current natural rating rather than the natural maximum.

Where are you seeing that it only takes it to the user's current rating?

Quote from: Core Book of SR5; page 456
Customization: You can have your cyberlimb tailored and customized to your frame and musculature. Customization lets you add to your limbís base Strength and/or Agility ratings. Each increase of either attribute increases
the limbís Availability and cost. If either of your limbís attributes are increased beyond your natural maximum for that attribute, you canít use the cyberlimb (so donít overdo it), but you can still add cyberlimb enhancements.

The bolded part is my emphasis. This seems to imply you can, let's use a dwarf with Strength 3 as an example, get a Strength 8 Cyberarm, as that's your natural maximum.
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All4BigGuns

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« Reply #10 on: (01:25:10/10-14-14) »
You are, unfortunately, right, and that is exactly what the problem is. If it were restricted to only customizing to current natural rating instead of natural maximum, Cyber Limbs would then be just fine with no other changes.
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8-bit

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« Reply #11 on: (01:30:13/10-14-14) »
Ah, I misunderstood what you were saying. I get it now. I don't know, I kind of like the idea of a 13 Strength (total) cyberlimb on a troll. I will grant you that it is a little powerful though, as no other investment is needed.
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All4BigGuns

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« Reply #12 on: (01:35:15/10-14-14) »
Ah, I misunderstood what you were saying. I get it now. I don't know, I kind of like the idea of a 13 Strength (total) cyberlimb on a troll. I will grant you that it is a little powerful though, as no other investment is needed.

If that Troll had a Strength with a current natural rating of 10 (since that's what the customization would bring the limb to), or even if he had a natural Strength of 8 with Muscle Replacement rating 2, I'd have no problem with it.
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ZeConster

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« Reply #13 on: (07:29:57/10-14-14) »
The Armor on Cyber Limbs, despite wild claims to the contrary, isn't a problem. Even if someone gets into the 20+ range for Armor--or higher--it is still very possible to not soak a single gorram point of damage when it comes time for the actual roll (seen a 25 dice soak pool do just that).  The only problem lies in customization not being set up to where it can only take the limb's attribute to the user's current natural rating rather than the natural maximum.
"There's a chance of getting 0 hits with a dice pool of 25, even if that chance is less than 0.01%" isn't a valid argument, especially when you complain about Agility-9 cyberlimbs on a low-Agility character in the same breath.

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« Reply #14 on: (07:46:04/10-14-14) »
I'm not sure I understand the issue some people have with cyberlimbs; the Essence and nuyen cost of these makes them prohibitively expensive, to the point where, as Namikaze points out, very few people even consider them. Can they be exploited; absolutely. Compared to other forms of ware, are they cost effective; I would say no.

To my mind, they are poorly balanced in SR5 to the point of being a very bad investment, whereas in SR4A they arethe exact opposite. SR3 seems to have more of a balanced approach to my mind.

In SR5 it is not economically viable to replace several limbs as you'll need high natural Attributes in addition to customized and enhanced limb Attributes, and I note that some people argue that cyberlimbs do not even affect movement rate or physical limits when the limbs are used. If the only real functionality of cyberlimbs is as a vessel for capacity (armor, hidden weapons, or gear), I think that they are way overpriced in SR5 for what you get.

I'm not sure what the designers were intending when they wrote the rules for cyberlimbs, but as written I feel like they lack a proper place in SR5 except as possible exploitative pieces of gear. I don't see a way of building a solid character with more than one cyberlimb that isn't overly optimized, because the cost is just too high.