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Stacking BioWare

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Beansidhe

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« on: <09-16-10/1817:36> »
An Ork with a Agility of 4 that takes Restricted Gear two times and uses them to purchase a SuperThyroid Gland (+1 to the 4 Physical Attributes) and a Rating 4 Muscle Toner (+4 to Agility) would be able to benefit from both the Agility improvements from these pieces of BioWare and have a modified Agility of 9? 

If I'm wrong on this, please go ahead and point out each place that I am wrong and where I can find the info in the books.  Thanks much. 

FastJack

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« Reply #1 on: <09-16-10/1833:15> »
The numbers look correct. The Ork would be at his augmented maximum, so he could not increase this number any further, either through Karma improvement, further augmentation or magic.

Bradd

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« Reply #2 on: <09-16-10/1847:01> »
As far as I know, the rules always say explicitly when two things don't combine. For example, you can't have both bone lacing and bone density augmentation. And that's more about realism than game balance, since you can't replace your bones in two different ways. :) I did something similar to you to build an elf with outrageous Agility. First use Exceptional Attribute, SURGE, and Genetech to raise the metatype maximum to 10 (15), then use a suprathyroid and muscle toner to actually get the +5 Agility. (Note that there aren't enough PQ points left over to cover Restricted Gear twice, so I need to buy some of the bioware as Transgenic Alteration, or wait until after character creation to finish this.)

Beansidhe

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« Reply #3 on: <09-16-10/1848:32> »
Thanks for the replies.  I have a friend who is working on an Ogre Street Sam using guns and he asked for some of my advice.  So I just wanted to make sure this did all work before I mentioned it to him one way or the other. 

Bradd

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« Reply #4 on: <09-16-10/1905:19> »
The one thing I'm not really sure about is augmented Reaction. Almost all Initiative augmentations are incompatible with each other, and apparently that includes Reaction augmentations. I'm not sure about the full consequences of that. What happens if you have both Wired Reflexes and a Suprathyroid Gland? Do the Reaction bonuses stack or not? Is it even possible to have both? I understand why you can't have both Wired Reflexes and Synaptic Boosters, because they're essentially the same thing, just like the bone replacement example. But the Suprathyroid just seems to be something different. And I'm really not sure about the adept & spell versions!

FastJack

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« Reply #5 on: <09-16-10/1941:59> »
Reaction bonuses stack, Initiative bonuses do not. If you have Wired Reflexes, you can still augment your Reaction attribute with other cyberware, magic or whatever else. The stacked Reaction bonuses will increase your Initiative indirectly through the calculation of Reaction + Intuition.

Frankie the Fomori

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« Reply #6 on: <09-16-10/2037:35> »
Unless it is noted that they do not stack. Like reaction enhancers + wired reflexes or Move by wire system stack but Booster and enhancers do not stack.

Bradd

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« Reply #7 on: <09-16-10/2054:59> »
It's clear that you can only use one of Wired Reflexes, Move By Wire, or Synaptic Booster in your body, since each of them augments your nervous system in different ways. It's also clear that you can't combine Reaction Enhancers with a Synaptic Booster. Where I'm unsure about is the full implications of this rule (SR4A p.342): "Reaction Enhancers are incompatible with most other Initiative-boosters." The rules for Wired Reflexes also refer to Reaction Enhancers as an Initiative enhancement.

So which things exactly are "Initiative boosters"? Stuff like Improved Reflexes power, Increase Reflexes spell, and Synaptic Booster for sure. But apparently Reaction Enhancers are Initiative boosters even though they only improve it indirectly. Is a Suprathyroid Gland an Initiative booster? Improved Physical Attribute (Reaction) power? Increase Reaction spell?

I can think of a few ways to answer this.
  • Reaction Enhancers are a special case; they are only an Initiative booster because the rules call them out as such.
  • Everything that augments Reaction is an Initiative booster, and they're mostly incompatible with each other.
  • The stuff about Reaction Enhancers is a mistake.

Frankie the Fomori

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« Reply #8 on: <09-16-10/2128:42> »
Nice questions, and unfortently i have no answear. I have a hard time of thinking clearly out of the Box....I made a great soldier :) SGT do this,  and SGT do that  was well within my means. but constuctive thinking seems to become harder and harder for me after each head injury. Heck i have to go over my posts time and again and i still feel like i either come off as a dick, or not saying anything of value. But at least I am trying now, which is a big step for getting better lol

FastJack

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« Reply #9 on: <09-16-10/2152:56> »
Reaction enhancers affect Reaction and, in most cases, stack. Much like boosters to Strength or Agility. By augmenting the Reaction attribution, this affects Initiative indirectly, so it is not an Initiative booster. Initiative is a derived attribute based on Reaction and Intuition, so anything that directly enhances it is special in the first place. In most cases anything that affects Initiative directly will have something in its description that it cannot be stacked with other Initiative boosters (this is to keep players from having an average Reaction/Intuition, but an 20 Initiative with 10 IPs).

In almost all cases, if something doesn't stack with other augmentations, it will say so in the augmentation's description. If it doesn't say anything at all about stacking, I'd say it's safe to assume that you can stack it with other augmentations.

Of course, I am merely a fanboi, and my word (although mighty in itself ;)) can easily be overruled by the officals. ;D

KarmaInferno

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« Reply #10 on: <09-16-10/2257:29> »
Unless it is noted that they do not stack. Like reaction enhancers + wired reflexes or Move by wire system stack but Booster and enhancers do not stack.

Actually...

Most of the bonuses in Shadowrun specifically state when they DON'T stack.

All the initiative modifiers that don't stack, say so in the individual modifier entries.

Similar to firearm recoil compensation. They very carefully spell out what doesn't stack.

If someone can find me a passage in the rulebooks that states "bonuses don't stack unless noted", it would be appreciated.



-karma

Bradd

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« Reply #11 on: <09-17-10/0007:44> »
Reaction enhancers affect Reaction and, in most cases, stack. Much like boosters to Strength or Agility. By augmenting the Reaction attribution, this affects Initiative indirectly, so it is not an Initiative booster.

Yes, that makes perfect sense, and I wish the rulebook agreed! ;) Unfortunately, it refers to Reaction Enhancers as Initiative boosters / enhancements in at least two places (SR4A p.342):

Quote
Reaction Enhancers: By replacing part of the spinal column with superconducting material, a character's reaction time can be increased. Add the rating of reaction enhancers to a character's Reaction attribute (this will also affect Initiative). Reaction enhancers are incompatible with most other Initiative-boosters.

Wired Reflexes: ... Wired reflexes cannot be combined with any other form of Initiative enhancement, except Reaction Enhancers.

So, even the description of Reaction Enhancers mentions it as one of the Initiative boosters. I'm just wondering whether they're unique, or whether this is true of Reaction augments in general.

FastJack

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« Reply #12 on: <09-17-10/0021:35> »
It's unique. As Karma said, the augmentation will say that it doesn't stack with X if that's the case (I've yet to see anything to the contrary of that hypothesis, at least).

Edit: Just realized I should clarify a bit more. The Reaction Enhancers do not stack with other Initiative Enhancers, but they *would* stack with other augmentations that increase Reaction. So, if you have Reaction Enhancers, the Mage could cast Increase Reaction on you, but not the Increase Reflexes spell.

Bradd

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« Reply #13 on: <09-17-10/0031:01> »
OK, thanks for the clarification. I'm inclined to agree. I wouldn't normally think of Reaction Enhancers as an Initiative mod, but they are described as a central nervous system replacement, much like the major Initiative mods. So I figure they did this for thematic reasons, rather than for balance, or to set a precedent for all Reaction mods.

The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #14 on: <09-17-10/1113:37> »
I think this is a typo in SR4A.  In all other iterations of SR, including SR4, Reaction Enhancers stacked with any other initiative booster.  That's the point to having them, really.
There is no overkill.

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