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So some questions I finally got desperate enough to make an account for--

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Eddren

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« on: (02:46:53/06-08-18) »
So I've ghosted these forums for a while, and I've seen a lot of cool questions. A LOT of questions I have are usually answered, but then I delve into some really niche stuff and I realize that it's maybe too niche. It's not useful enough to have ever had anyone ask. So I ended up with a bunch of odds-and-ends questions I was hoping people might be able to help out with.

As a bit of a heads-up, some of these probably vary from GM to GM, and I understand that, but I like to design characters just for the sake of it, and I like to make them in a way that I know GMs will find reasonable.

So, first on the Homunculus. Every time I get a question about these guys, I always find that I can't find a satisfactory answer. For instance--Does a Homunculus count as a living creature? Does it have the aura necessary for contact with contact preparations? Can it hear other runners? If the Mage had a Homunculus follow a 'Runner around, and, say, stop when the 'Runner said stop, would it? (I understand you can't get too complicated with it, but I'd like to see if the very basics are possible.) If a Spirit possesses a Homunculus, does the spirit gain the advantage of its minor flexibility? Do Homunculi have vision at all, and if so, to what degree? Are they, too, only seeing through the astral realm?

If I were to take a flechette round and then, with the armorer skill (along with industrial engineering and a whole bunch of other related skills, along with knowledge skills on munitions, proper tools, the whole nine yards) remove the original slivers and instead place, say, tungsten slivers in instead, hardened by a spirit power or a spell, and we were hypothetically considering the damage of each sliver, when would that sliver take its' first box of damage? What if the slivers were each coated in that stuff that's meant to protect things from damage?

Finally, how much would ceramics cost? Not armor types, but just a ceramic plate that you might eat off of. How much would a custom-made one cost? How much would tungsten cost if you were to get, say, a crate-load of it? About how much might it cost to get someone to make a wooden arm with full articulation made?

Marcus

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« Reply #1 on: (03:33:33/06-08-18) »

So, first on the Homunculus. Every time I get a question about these guys, I always find that I can't find a satisfactory answer. For instance--Does a Homunculus count as a living creature? Does it have the aura necessary for contact with contact preparations? Can it hear other runners? If the Mage had a Homunculus follow a 'Runner around, and, say, stop when the 'Runner said stop, would it? (I understand you can't get too complicated with it, but I'd like to see if the very basics are possible.) If a Spirit possesses a Homunculus, does the spirit gain the advantage of its minor flexibility? Do Homunculi have vision at all, and if so, to what degree? Are they, too, only seeing through the astral realm?

A Homunculus is basically a really dumb watcher spirit inside/possessing an object. It does possess Sapience so yes it's alive to a meaningful degree. As it is alive has auras so yes. It has perception so it could hear, but it's not smart (1 in all mentals), so it would probably get lost, and while it's implied it follows commands i'm not 100% sure it can speak or understands language. Spirit possession falls under a whole different set of rules see possession, at that point it is no longer a homonculus. It has perception and Assensing so they can see both astral and normal, how well is based upon it's force.



If I were to take a flechette round and then, with the armorer skill (along with industrial engineering and a whole bunch of other related skills, along with knowledge skills on munitions, proper tools, the whole nine yards) remove the original slivers and instead place, say, tungsten slivers in instead, hardened by a spirit power or a spell, and we were hypothetically considering the damage of each sliver, when would that sliver take its' first box of damage? What if the slivers were each coated in that stuff that's meant to protect things from damage?

Finally, how much would ceramics cost? Not armor types, but just a ceramic plate that you might eat off of. How much would a custom-made one cost? How much would tungsten cost if you were to get, say, a crate-load of it? About how much might it cost to get someone to make a wooden arm with full articulation made?

This all falls under what your GM wants to let you do.


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Eddren

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« Reply #2 on: (03:45:40/06-08-18) »
Fair enough. Technically, speak (language) is a skill which it neither has nor is described as having, so maybe some sort of hand gesture or something, although that's all of course assuming a 1 intelligence is smart enough for it to remember which one is the Shadowrunner, so maybe I'd want to keep it even simpler. So no using Humunculi and clever disguises to make a fake gang for distractions, or at least not terribly convincing ones.


Bamce

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« Reply #3 on: (08:03:24/06-08-18) »
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Flechette

What is it your trying to do? Cause I dont see you walking around a battle field and picking up these slivers.

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Cost


Well plates would be covered under a high lifestyle imo. The other stuff your asking about is so ridiculously specific that your never ginna find an answer for it that matches from gm to gm.

I always get this paranoia when folks ask these kinda of wuestions as they are usually trying to break something

SunRunner

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« Reply #4 on: (08:22:09/06-08-18) »
Well if I were your GM I would just google what he price of tungsten was and then look up its density. After that we do some math and you would have your answer. Lots of stuff like that, especially if its real world stuff I just use its current real world value and move on from there. Same thing if a team of runners came across some bars of gold bullion. You can just look up the value and I would say that's how much nuyen they are worth at the moment. Now some stuff has changed like ceramic/china dinnerware are way harder to come by in the shadow run world and are probably much more expensive then they are today as thats a high lifestyle kinda thing, normal people eat off of recyclable disposable plastic/polymer plates ala microwave dinners. If you go out into the bush away from civilization like out in the NAN tribal lands you might find people who actually hunt their own food who also you hand crafted and fired clay pottery dishes but that stuff is all locally made for personal use and not exactly marketed.

Eddren

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« Reply #5 on: (12:09:29/06-08-18) »
Darn. So I'd probably have to come up with some alternative aesthetic. I was kind of hoping to have an Alchemist who made a sort of ceramic disk-looking preparation for any preparations the 'Runners carried as planted explosives.

--Oh, and as for the Flechette rounds, they're definitely disposable, but there's a compromise I'd like to come up with with my GM, but if I'm going to do it, I'd want a round that would make sense to go with it. The design of the round is important for reliability, though, so it has to be really durable.
« Last Edit: (12:11:17/06-08-18) by Eddren »

ChromeCoyote

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« Reply #6 on: (13:35:04/06-08-18) »
So I've ghosted these forums for a while, and I've seen a lot of cool questions. A LOT of questions I have are usually answered, but then I delve into some really niche stuff and I realize that it's maybe too niche. It's not useful enough to have ever had anyone ask. So I ended up with a bunch of odds-and-ends questions I was hoping people might be able to help out with.

As a bit of a heads-up, some of these probably vary from GM to GM, and I understand that, but I like to design characters just for the sake of it, and I like to make them in a way that I know GMs will find reasonable.
Welcome to accounthood! :)

So, first on the Homunculus. Every time I get a question about these guys, I always find that I can't find a satisfactory answer. For instance--Does a Homunculus count as a living creature? Does it have the aura necessary for contact with contact preparations? Can it hear other runners? If the Mage had a Homunculus follow a 'Runner around, and, say, stop when the 'Runner said stop, would it? (I understand you can't get too complicated with it, but I'd like to see if the very basics are possible.) If a Spirit possesses a Homunculus, does the spirit gain the advantage of its minor flexibility? Do Homunculi have vision at all, and if so, to what degree? Are they, too, only seeing through the astral realm?

Based on the text, a Homonculus is less than a spirit. "Commanding a homunculus is not like commanding a spirit. A spirit is intuitive and intelligent; a homunculus just follows orders and becomes frustrated when the task becomes impossible." (SR5 p. 298) A spirit has an aura, but I'd say a homonculus is more a spell than a spirit, so no, does not have an aura to activate alchemy. The guiding principle here is that you're using Ritual SPELLCASTING, not Ritual SUMMONING. Binding a possession spirit and preparing the (statue or whatever) as a vessel would get you the desired effect, but not the homonculus ritual.

Also, as a spell, I'd say the homonculus doesn't so much "hear" the mage, as receive orders via the mage's command of the spell, so it wouldn't take orders from other beings. It's essentially more like playing a guitar than talking to a person. You can play a guitar, but that doesn't mean you can hand the guitar to someone else and they can play, necessarily. The other person would have to participate in the ritual that created the Homonculus in order to command it.

As a spell, it can't be possessed by a spirit, though a spirit with possession could certainly use the same vessel. You could probably prepare a vessel to be both a homonculus and a possession host, use the homonculus spell to get it to follow you around, and then have the spirit inhabit it when you called it. Essentially, you'd have a self-driving portable possession vessel, which is pretty clever. The homonculus ritual could act as a buff spell on the spirit, so I see no issue with having the spirit get the flexibility bonus. You paid for the materials, spent the time and drain to cast the homonculus ritual, after all.

As to vision, no. Again, it's just a spell, it doesn't see, just follows orders. More like a Roomba.  ;)

Marcus pointed out that I'd overlooked some things. This is all wrong, as the rules are written.

If I were to take a flechette round and then, with the armorer skill (along with industrial engineering and a whole bunch of other related skills, along with knowledge skills on munitions, proper tools, the whole nine yards) remove the original slivers and instead place, say, tungsten slivers in instead, hardened by a spirit power or a spell, and we were hypothetically considering the damage of each sliver, when would that sliver take its' first box of damage? What if the slivers were each coated in that stuff that's meant to protect things from damage?

In real life, you're just talking about loading your own shotgun ammo. This is uber simple. Only Armorer would be required, and a YouTube video, along with an Armorer's Tool Shop (not a kit, this is a bigger job with mounted equipment, but also not a facility. It takes the equivalent of a bench-mounted vice.) What you load into a shotgun shell (flechette ammo is basically a shotgun shell), is up to you once the powder and wadding is in. Rock salt is a popular real-life alternative to metal. More durable flechettes would be as simple as choosing what you want on your sandwich at Subway. Not sure why you want to be able to retrieve the pellets/shards, but that's between you and whatever they land in, I suppose.

Finally, how much would ceramics cost? Not armor types, but just a ceramic plate that you might eat off of. How much would a custom-made one cost? How much would tungsten cost if you were to get, say, a crate-load of it? About how much might it cost to get someone to make a wooden arm with full articulation made?

Artisan skill, ceramics specialization, and a facility (tools). Ceramics require baking, though, so I don't suggest loading the explosives first. Maybe leave a hole, fill afterwards, and then plug the whole with nano adhesive? (Wondering if you've been reading the Malazan series? :D )
« Last Edit: (14:27:44/06-08-18) by ChromeCoyote »

Reaver

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« Reply #7 on: (13:40:04/06-08-18) »
What exactly are you trying to do with the flechette rounds? Your description does really tell me anything other then you want to swap out the standard flechettes for one made with a different material... but you don't say what you expect this change to do.
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Marcus

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« Reply #8 on: (14:00:07/06-08-18) »
What exactly are you trying to do with the flechette rounds? Your description does really tell me anything other then you want to swap out the standard flechettes for one made with a different material... but you don't say what you expect this change to do.

He's looking to make AP Flechettes. But it's not an industrial Engineer that's needed, they are focused on industrial processes, not designing ammo. An ME with experience in ammunition design is what would want.
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Marcus

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« Reply #9 on: (14:07:08/06-08-18) »
Coyote while your pulling the spell description, i'd also recommend taking a looking at the Homoculus actual stats.
When you do that, you will notice it has the Perception skill and the Assencing Skill. For that to be true has to be able to see.
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ChromeCoyote

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« Reply #10 on: (14:22:45/06-08-18) »
Coyote while your pulling the spell description, i'd also recommend taking a looking at the Homoculus actual stats.
When you do that, you will notice it has the Perception skill and the Assencing Skill. For that to be true has to be able to see.

You're right, but I could write that off as equivalent to a Roomba, too, except that I see it has the Sapience power. That makes no sense with the description. Huh.

Well, Sapience means it will set off Alchemy, and has an aura. Also means a spirit can't possess the same vessel while the Homonculus is in it. Geez, those stats make NO sense with the description.

Anyways, you're right, Marcus, I should have looked at that.
« Last Edit: (14:24:51/06-08-18) by ChromeCoyote »

Marcus

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« Reply #11 on: (14:41:33/06-08-18) »
I think your description of it as Roomba is very accurate. And I agree that stat are terrible, and it makes very little sense, as you pointed out in the description it takes orders be we don't know how, as i don't think understand language. Don't mean to be rude but just wanted to make sure everyone is on the same page.
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Eddren

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« Reply #12 on: (15:19:58/06-08-18) »
Thank you! I actually didn't know much about this forum until I finally relented and looked for a dedicated Shadowrun forum. Looks like a lot of the important questions I have are...Well, looks like in heated debate. Not necessarily about the possibility, but maybe the implication of what allowing them would do.

I'm glad I've got that description as well, as that means I have a better idea of what a homonculus uses as a command--Now I guess I have to ask the imperative question--Would it make more sense that it's commanded with magical phrases, or with a leash similar to that of a Spirit?

As for the ceramic disk, it was less an inspiration(Although that series looks fascinating, and reminds me of one of my favorite authors in the way it's described--L.E. Modesitt, who can do no wrong in my eyes), and more of me trying to think of something that'd be practical to carry around and carve into for a cool thematic sort of alchemy lynchpin.

And yeah, the Flechette is less 'retrieval' and more 'delivery.' I just want it to be as durable as possible, so that it can hit the target as intact as possible. If it weren't for the fact that this would be ridiculously elaborate, I might have even put in a secondary charge and had it detonate on impact, but at that point it's...It's a lot of math for a single round. And I think it'd have to be a Corp that made it at that point.



Overbyte

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« Reply #13 on: (15:49:10/06-08-18) »
Finally, how much would ceramics cost? Not armor types, but just a ceramic plate that you might eat off of. How much would a custom-made one cost? How much would tungsten cost if you were to get, say, a crate-load of it? About how much might it cost to get someone to make a wooden arm with full articulation made?

The easy thing to do here is to go by current prices and just call it nuyen.
If you look at much of the stuff in SR the prices are approximately equivalent to now in dollars. A car cost 20k, Ammo costs 50 for 10, its probably close enough.
If you are talking about making ceramics, you will need a kiln, which I happen to know a little about. They can either be gas or electric and you can get little ones to keep in your home. They will cost you as little as $300, and up to thousands.
Nothing is foolproof. Fools are so ingenious.

easl

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« Reply #14 on: (21:19:18/06-08-18) »
If I were to take a flechette round and then, with the armorer skill (along with industrial engineering and a whole bunch of other related skills, along with knowledge skills on munitions, proper tools, the whole nine yards) remove the original slivers and instead place, say, tungsten slivers in instead, hardened by a spirit power or a spell, and we were hypothetically considering the damage of each sliver, when would that sliver take its' first box of damage? What if the slivers were each coated in that stuff that's meant to protect things from damage?

Personally I wouldn't bother requiring the PC to harden it with spirit, tungsten is used already as a hard metal. However, pure tungsten is between 2x and 3x as heavy as steel. So if I were to homerule this, I'd say this sort of specialized flechette round has, oh let's say +3 AP instead of +5, but halve all range categories.


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Finally, how much would ceramics cost? Not armor types, but just a ceramic plate that you might eat off of. How much would a custom-made one cost? How much would tungsten cost if you were to get, say, a crate-load of it? About how much might it cost to get someone to make a wooden arm with full articulation made?
Well given that china is a type of ceramic, I'd say ceramics cost the same as regular plates given that ceramic plates ARE regular plates.

Cost of tungsten is entirely up to the GM. Even today it varies wildly depending on whether you're buying it as a powder, wire, block of ore, etc.. Your GM could probably justify anything  between "cheap because in 2100 we found a fast cheap refining method" to "100x the cost of steel because it's become more rare since 2100."