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Nano-stuff Musing

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Voran

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« on: (05:18:51/07-12-19) »
I was wondering if anyone with the inside scoop knew what the thought was on the nano-stuff and how it got changed during editions.

Like, when it was introduced was the idea already there that it was going to be the vehicle of major plot f-u to the world?  Or something on the other end, Did someone think, "hm, this nano rules stuff we introduced has the potential of breaking our world/being too OP, we need to nerf it via narrative somehow" ?

For me it was my first kind of experience with the game series where something was introduced, then rapidly made to get handwaved out of use.

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #1 on: (19:44:02/07-12-19) »
Oh ye of little dikote.

I guess it was interesting they made a story point out of it. But Iíve never been a fan of big world events like this.

Nath

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« Reply #2 on: (18:50:27/07-13-19) »
I think the first mention of nanites dates back to SR1 Shadowtech (about the soft nanites that made neural interfaces possible). SR3 Renraku Arcology Shutdown followed by Man & Machine introduced actual nanoware and a number of other nanotechnology, mentionning its widespread usage in construction or aerospace industry.

From what I know of late SR3/early SR4, there was no particular plan when Augmentation came out or when other use like nano-factories were first mentionned.

It seems like the CFD plot was etched around the time Corporate Guide was written (in which the first move occurs, as Miles Lanier goes missing).

Wakshaani

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« Reply #3 on: (11:02:28/07-14-19) »
Nanomachines were minor, as noted, before the Shutdown, after which they were the bleeding edge.

When 4th rolled around, with a more transhuman bent than previous editions had, nanomachines got pushed to the forefront, drawing from the cyberpunk of the day, which always had a nano-focus. The main problem was that, like RFID tags, the tech wasn't quite understood and quickly spiraled out of hand. With any nanotech story, if you don't have solid rules in place, the "Grey Goo" issue stumbles out like a drunken uncle, shouting obscenities while waving a beer around, demanding that you take time out of your day to deal with it.

So, the bridge from 4th to 5th saw a lot of work being laid down to not remove Nanofunctionality from the world but to pull it back from where it was, which was far too big a deal. the CFD storyline saw nanomachines blow up into a big problem again, dominating the spotlight and demanding to be dealt with, showcasing, once again, that when you let the genie out of the Tequila bottle, well, you have a whole lot of things to deal with.

Right now, things are pulled back again. Tamed? I wouldn't say tamed, but not madly rumbling around again. We'll see what the future will bring. There are certain lot elements that can easily slip away and be massive problems if you don't ride herd over them. For instance, if you have a giant sea of data and processing power like the matrix, and you have AIs, who are purely code, who can write computer code, what's to stop a single AI from making billions of copies of itself and infesting every single computer on the planet? At an ever-increasing speed no less as each copy created can start creating copies of itself as well, turning exponential.

(Similarly, if you have an infectious race, like vampires or ghouls, they can *explode* across a population in a shockingly brief time. The problem's not restricted to technology so don't take this as some kinda of anti-nano screed!)

Always important to keep these things under control and tell the story you want with the tools presented. The transhuman stories are better left to Eclipse Phase, for instance, while Shadowrun focuses on other things. This means thatnanites are on the back burner until needed. Will they be a big story again? Maybe. But you gotta be CAREFUL so that it doesn't turn into another drunk uncle.

Sphinx

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« Reply #4 on: (11:16:54/07-14-19) »
Nanotechnology as it was described in SR4 (personal nanoforges, etc.) kind of jumped the shark. It was some far-flung science fiction on par with matter transmitters, force fields, and FTL spaceships ó which was a problem for a game that's meant to be just fifty years in the future. They really needed to dial it back. The nanopocalypse and CFD were part of the solution. I might have preferred if it were covered in a couple of "big event" campaign books like Emergence or System Failure or Blood in the Boardroom instead of the core rulebooks, but I did enjoy watching the mystery unfold.

Voran

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« Reply #5 on: (03:57:14/07-15-19) »
Heh tho the far flung science stuff seems to continue even without the nano being player hands.  I mean...starships and shields, anti-gravity devices and the like.  There was that old joke about how Shadowrun and Battletech could be related down the line, but the monad 'build their own ship to go out into the stars'....I have to wonder wtf is going on with that narrative.

Are they trying a tie in for another game series not Shadowrun?  Pretty soon we're going to have Gundams and stuff :P

Wakshaani

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« Reply #6 on: (14:33:20/07-15-19) »
Well, there's been giant mecha in the game before, it's just really, really bad at this stage of development.

Hephaestus

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« Reply #7 on: (14:04:16/07-16-19) »
Well, there's been giant mecha in the game before, it's just really, really bad at this stage of development.

Sounds like it just needs some nano-hives to make it function right.

Wakshaani

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« Reply #8 on: (14:45:04/07-16-19) »
I *do* want to work with nano-stuff in the future, I just have to sit down and lay it out so that there's no Grey Goo problem. Can't break the world to get a new toy, you know?

Hephaestus

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« Reply #9 on: (21:54:35/07-18-19) »
I *do* want to work with nano-stuff in the future, I just have to sit down and lay it out so that there's no Grey Goo problem. Can't break the world to get a new toy, you know?

I can just see CFD-based nano-symbiotes... Techno-Venom, here I come!

Wakshaani

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« Reply #10 on: (23:39:47/07-18-19) »
I *do* want to work with nano-stuff in the future, I just have to sit down and lay it out so that there's no Grey Goo problem. Can't break the world to get a new toy, you know?

I can just see CFD-based nano-symbiotes... Techno-Venom, here I come!

Yeah, that's a big no from me. :D

Hephaestus

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« Reply #11 on: (16:38:20/07-20-19) »
I *do* want to work with nano-stuff in the future, I just have to sit down and lay it out so that there's no Grey Goo problem. Can't break the world to get a new toy, you know?

I can just see CFD-based nano-symbiotes... Techno-Venom, here I come!

Yeah, that's a big no from me. :D

Aww, I know. Runners don't get stuff that cool. Might make for a cool BBEG though.