Question about 'ware upgrades in SRM

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« on: <11-03-19/0807:19> »
I've been playing a few missions of SRM Season 5, and earned enough money to upgrade some ware, but on a closer reading of the upgrade rules I find that they are making less and less sense. Some of the confusion may just stem from my background in technical writing, because the current FAQ seems to divide the rules for upgrading ware into two distinct categories:
1. Selling back/changing out existing 'ware with a different type
2. Upgrading the grade or rating of existing 'ware

Issue #1:
"You must still make an Availability test to acquire the new piece of cyberware" is only mentioned in the first paragraph on page 27 of the SRM FAQ version 1.3; this paragraph specifically deals with category 1 above, replacing existing ware of one kind with a different kind. The example used is having Dermal Plating removed in order to install Titanium Bone Lacing instead; these are obviously different kinds of 'ware, and so the sample character receives 30% of the value of Dermal Plating back, but must make an Availability test to find Titanium Bone Lacing before it can be installed.

The second paragraph, which deals with the category above i.e. upgrading 'ware, does not make any mention of an availability test. This seems to be further confirmed in the example, where the PC wants to upgrade from Control Rig 2 (Avail 10, 97k nuyen) to Control Rig 3 (Avail 15, 208k nuyen). In this paragraph, it is stated that "Dr. Tate happens to have one in stock", and that the PC would be charged 133,200 nuyen for the upgrade. But how is that determined?

If using the "Can I buy (fill in the blank)?" rules from page 28, Kayless would have had to have a Negotiation pool of at least 12; Control Rig 3 would buy 15/4=3.75 hits rounded down to 3, which means 12 dice to match, for the price to be accurate. If using Dr. Tate as a contact, he would have had to have been loyalty 2 at least for his negotiation test (5*2)+2=12. This brings us to issue 2.

Issue #2:
Delivery time; the upgrade paragraph and example makes no mention of delivery time. If the standard rules for purchasing an item in Missions apply to cyberware upgrades, then the example (Control Rig 3) would take 2 months to be delivered by Dr. Tate, but the example gives no indication that this is the case. Instead, "Dr. Tate happens to have one in stock" implies that the sample PC can just pay the difference in 'ware cost, spend a week of downtime to recover, and that's it. This also brings up a third issue.

Issue #3:
If the standard rules for purchasing an item is used, and you use a contact or PC friend to acquire an item for you, there is a stipulation under professional services that reads:
"the service must be paid for in full before the benefit can be applied. A face must be reimbursed for the gear AND paid their commission before the gear can be turned over"

This implies that a contact or friendly PC acquiring a Control Rig 3 upgrade would have to be compensated for the full retail price of the upgrade (in the example used, 208k nuyen) plus their fee, then the downtime would have to be spent (2 months unless the contact could muster enough dice to divide the time in half, in this case 20+ dice on negotiation), and only once the item had been delivered could the sample PC actually go under the knife and then spend a week recovering. This seems to contradict the whole purpose of the upgrade rules; since I didn't write the rules I obviously cannot state with certainty what the intent of these rules were from the author's point of view, but it seems pretty obvious that the intention was to provide a path for gear-dependent characters such as riggers and street samurai to afford otherwise prohibitively expensive 'ware. If PCs are forced to use the normal purchase rules this then seems to run counter to the intent, as they still have to pay full price initially and only after the 'ware is installed do they get the difference back.

Based on the rule as written, and the examples given, it seems as if buying new 'ware to replace another piece of 'ware follows the normal acquisition rules except you can sell your old 'ware back for a flat 30%, while upgrading 'ware follows a whole separate set of rules and does not even require an availability test.

Let's take an example of my own:
1. My character has Bone Density Augmentation Rating 4, Used Grade from character creation (Avail 12, 15000 nuyen, 1.44 Essence)
2. I want to upgrade from Used Grade to Alpha Grade (Avail 18, 24000 nuyen, 0.96 Essence)
3. Looking just at the upgrade rules for cost, I would pay (24-15)=9000 nuyen and end up with an Essence hole of (1.44-0.96)=0.48

This is where things get tricky. Because of the availability of 18, it it technically impossible for Dr. Tate to simply have one of these in stock; with Connection 5x2 + Loyalty of up to 4, the highest number of dice he can buy on an availability test is 4, for avail 14.

Again, no mention is made in the upgrade rule or example about an availability test, so is it assumed that when upgrading 'ware the good doctor simply has it available and you just pay the difference and spend a week recovering from surgery?

If it is not assumed that Dr. Tate has equipment in store, we run into issues with payment up front, delivery times, and general lack of availability unless you happen to play a mission with a friendly PC who happens to be a face capable of getting 16+ dice on Negotiations test and is willing to spend the time on your behalf. This seems to be directly contradictory with the upgrade rules, so my respective questions to the Missions FAQ team and other Missions GMs is simple:
1. How is this supposed to be handled given the SRM rules, and
2. How has this been handled by you in the past

Forgot Issue #4:
Does Adjusted Street Cred (SRM FAQ p.30) get applied as an availability modifier when a contact is looking for an item for you?
« Last Edit: <11-03-19/0912:15> by ZeroSum »


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« Reply #1 on: <02-18-21/1029:00> »
i'm in the exact same boat with the exact same 'Ware.  Replying to an old thread here since I didn't see a response.  Any luck getting an official ruling?

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #2 on: <02-18-21/1258:33> »
I know this is much more straightforward for SRM in 6th edition.  I'll take a look at the 5e SRM campaign rules and see if I can give an answer.  Of course, the immediate point is 5e's SRM rules no longer matter in a practical sense... if you're playing SRM now, you're using the modern rules.  If you're playing a non-SRM 5e game, you don't need SRM rules :D


Ok, if you're playing the Neo-Tokyo missions in 5e, see the Missions SR6 FAQ v 1.2 pg 22-23. (it's hard to find unless you know where to look, so I'll make it easy for ya!  Click here!)  This is where upgrading/replacing cyberware is covered.

For this context (playing SRM in 2021, whether it's 6e missions or playing old dual-statted ones in 5e 'mode') the answers are:

1) if the ware is of the same KIND (bone density to bone density) you ignore the grade and rating and just subtract the old from the cost of the new.
2) if the ware is not of the same kind (bone density to bone lacing) you get refunded 30% of the old ware which is subtracted from the price of the new ware.
3) under current SRM campaign rules, PC faces can't get you gear and you have to get it thru contacts, so concerns about this are now a non sequitur.

I'm not going to go down into the weeds and answer "well, what about how did it work before 2019".  1) it's complex and 2) the current SRM rules apply to both 6e and 5e when you play 5e material.  If you really, really need a trip down into the pre-current SRM rules rabbit hole, I'll let you reiterate that's what you actually need :D
« Last Edit: <02-18-21/1356:09> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.