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Author Topic: [Mastercraft]Cyborg Expert Class  (Read 2439 times)
Agent 333
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« on: July 19, 2010, 05:42:27 PM »

I've been working on a sci-fi setting using a Mastercraft base. I've also been watching a lot of Ghost in the Shell. Not coincidentally, I've decided that I'd like to create an expert class dedicated to getting the most out of your Implants.
First, I'd like to point out that as I have it set up right now, Implant is an upgrade you can apply to many different types of gear. I don't (yet) have any kinds of gear available only as implants, nor do I yet have rules to cover the case of full-body conversions. The way I see it, you don't need to have the Cyborg class to have Implants, but you'd need Implants to be a cyborg (natch). The Cyborg class would be designed to make your implants more effective. There may or may not also be feat support (ie. Implant Basics/Mastery/Supremacy), which if there is, Cyborg would probably require Basics to get in but give Mastery and Supremacy as bonus feats.

The way I see it's table would be something like:
BAB .....  High
Fort ..... Medium
Ref ..... Medium
Will ..... Medium
Def ..... Medium
Init ..... High
Lifestyle ..... Low
Legend ..... Low

With class abilities that make Implants cheaper to acquire that make up (in part) for the lower lifestyle.

Any ideas on class abilities? I'd prefer things that effect Implants in general, but don't require a specific kind of implant (no bonuses to attacks with implanted weapons for example).

Class Features
Requirements: Resolve 6+, Athletics 6+, Study: Implants
Favored Attributes: Dexterity, Strength
Class Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Crafting, Investigate, Notice, Resolve, Sense Motive, Tactics
Skill Points: 4 + Int modifier per level
Vitality: 12 + Con modifier per level

Core Ability
Prosthetic Perfection: Each time you spend 1 action die to boost an attack or skill check made using an implant, you roll and add the results of 2 dice (e.g. at Career Level 6, 1d6 becomes 2d6).

Class Abilities
Six Million Dollar Body I: Your body's worth more than a house. At Level 1, you recieve a 20% discount when purchasing Implants. Further, the time required to repair your implants is reduced to half.
Prosthetic Enhancements: At Level 2 and 7, the lower of your Strength or Dexterity scores rises by 1.
Bonus Feat: At Levels 3, 5, 7, and 9, you gain an additional Basic Combat or Gear feat.
More Machine Than Man I: At level 4, the number of devices that can be installed as implants is treated as if you were a housing one size category smaller than yourself (rather than two).
More Machine Than Man II: At level 8, the number of devices that can be installed as implants is treated as if you were a housing equal to your own size category.
Technological Evolution:At Levels 4, 6, and 8, you may choose 1 of the
following abilities. Each may be chosen only once.
Always Ready: You may always act during surprise rounds.
Expendable Parts: Once per adventure, when you would suffer a critical hit or injury, you may instead choose one implant you own. That implant becomes broken and cannot be used until repaired.
Expertise: Choose one: Acrobatics, Athletics, Crafting, Investigate, Notice, Resolve, Sense Motive, or Tactics. Taking 10 with this skill doesn't take twice as long and taking 20 only takes 10 times as long.
Most Deadly (implant weapons): It costs you 1 fewer action dice to activate critical hits with attacks made with implanted weapons (minimum 0).
Silicon Stomach: You are immune to poisons and diseases, and you never suffer the effects of drugs, but can gain no benefit from them either. Also, you only require one common meal each day, but you gain no benefit from eating other than sustenance.
Sprint: In combat, your Speed increases by 10 ft.
Ghost in the Shell: At Level 10, you may replace your body once per adventure during a Downtime of at least 1 day. When you use this ability, all damage and critical injuries are healed. Further, once per adventure you may spend one action die to Cheat Death with a petty fate. When you do, you may return after the next Downtime of one day or more instead of the start of the next adventure.
   Your new body can have different attributes or implants than your original, but if any changes are made you lose 1 point from your highest Renown. If you choose to change your body, you must pay for all implants in the body that weren't in your original (its assumed that your old body was cannibalized for parts). You may rearrange your physical attributes; compare your current physical attributes with Table 1.1 Attribute Scores. Total the cost of the attributes you have (any attribute over 18 gives you 22 points and the excess is lost), then redistribute those points amongst Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution. Any points that cannot be spent are lost.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2010, 06:32:14 AM by Agent 333 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2010, 06:38:46 PM »

What about making the core ability give the Implant boost, but not focus so much throughout the class so people can get some chrome-y goodness, but those that pick it up first get all the best toys
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 07:06:28 PM »

Is there a limitation to the number of implants a 'normal' human can have? If so, you could let this class take more as the levels increase. You could even call it 'More machine now than man'.
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 10:43:57 PM »

Is there a limitation to the number of implants a 'normal' human can have? If so, you could let this class take more as the levels increase. You could even call it 'More machine now than man'.

You know, I wrote the section on implants so long ago I forget...

Actually, let me copy my implant rules here so you guys can see what we're working with:

Quote from: Implant Notes
Many types of gear can be implanted into a character. No item more than 2 size categories smaller than the character may be implanted. Similarly, a character can house a number of devices as if he were two size categories smaller. There is no limit to the total number of items a character may have implanted.

Implants may be difficult to install or repair. Installing, modifying or repairing an implant requires a Medicine check (DC 25) in addition to the appropriate Crafting check.

Elsewhere in my notes the upgrades that make items implants are +25% cost, though that is subject to change. A discount is definitely a viable class ability, perhaps even making an item cost less as an implant for a Cyborg than it would cost as an exterior item...

More Machine Than Man I: At level 4, the number of devices that can be installed as implants is treated as if you were a housing one size category smaller than yourself (rather than two).
More Machine Than Man II: At level 8, the number of devices that can be installed as implants is treated as if you were a housing equal to your own size category.
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 11:16:57 PM »

If you're looking for 1st level full-borg, you could do a lot worse that use this variant of the Unborn.

Alternatively:

Cyber-Conversion [Gear]
The only meat left is your brain -- and some question the existence of that!
   Benefit: Your Charisma score is reduced by 4 and you gain the Construct quality, however you must still eat, sleep and breath and you gain no benefit from food enhancements. Additionally your error range increases by 2 when making Impress and Sense Motive checks targeting other characters, you suffer a 2 to all Reflex saves, and become flanked any time two opponents are adjacent to you. Further you may not make Swim checks (you're too heavy) or take Refresh actions. Finally, electrical attacks inflict 1 additional die of damage and gain the keen (20) quality; threats and critical injuries arising from such attacks may be activated for 1 less action die than normal (minimum 0)
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 11:40:26 PM »

If you're looking for 1st level full-borg, you could do a lot worse that use this variant of the Unborn.

Alternatively:

Cyber-Conversion [Gear]
The only meat left is your brain -- and some question the existence of that!
   Benefit: Your Charisma score is reduced by 4 and you gain the Construct quality, however you must still eat, sleep and breath and you gain no benefit from food enhancements. Additionally your error range increases by 2 when making Impress and Sense Motive checks targeting other characters, you suffer a 2 to all Reflex saves, and become flanked any time two opponents are adjacent to you. Further you may not make Swim checks (you're too heavy) or take Refresh actions. Finally, electrical attacks inflict 1 additional die of damage and gain the keen (20) quality; threats and critical injuries arising from such attacks may be activated for 1 less action die than normal (minimum 0)

Hmm, I like the idea of full body conversion being a feat, though I think making the character a Construct might be a bit too far. How's this?

Full-Body Cyberization (Gear Feat)
Your biology has been replaced with high technology.
Benefit: You are immune to poisons and diseases, and you never suffer the effects of drugs, but can gain no benefit from them either. Further, you suffer no damage from vacuum, but you may still suffocate. Also, you only require one common meal each day, but you gain no benefit from eating other than sustenance. You only heal damage when targeted by a Crafting(Electronics) check using the rules for Medicine/Mend checks.

I'd still like to have the Cyborg Expert Class, and this feat would then be a prerequisite for the class.

EDIT: Made some changes to my version of Full-Body Cyberization.
Also, the following might be the E, F, or G ability of the class:

Turn Off the Pain: You're in enough control of your own physiology to turn off the pain sensors in your skin. You're immune to stress damage caused by weapons. Further, you gain Subdual Resistance equal to your class level.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 02:10:18 AM by Agent 333 » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2010, 06:01:17 AM »

Made some changes to the first post, slotting in some abilities. Note that any and all are still subject to change, if someone posts something (or I think of something) I like better.
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2010, 08:46:42 AM »

I do see your point and when you think about it, they are perhaps closer to horrors than constructs.

Being a full borg is something that comes as a major cost. If you recall, GitS showed that Kusanagi and other full borgs needed extensive regular maintenance: losing Charisma reflects that ongoing expense by reducing the amount of cash you have access to, as well as touching upon the Uncanny Valley effect. Similarly you can't float, and while you're tougher than meat it takes more effort to bounce back.

Cyber-Conversion [Gear]
The only meat left is your brain -- and some question the existence of that!
   Benefit: You gain the improved stability and lumbering qualites, your Charisma score is reduced by 4 and you are considered to be a Construct for all effects that target that type. You are immune to subdual damage, poisons and diseases that do not specifically affect constructs, and never gain the bleeding, fatigued, or sickened conditions. You require only 1 meal per day, gaining no benefit from anything that is not rations, and you age, sleep and breath normally. Additionally you may not make Swim checks (you're too heavy) or take Refresh actions and your error range increases by 2 when making Impress and Sense Motive checks targeting  characters without this feat. Further, electrical attacks inflict 1 additional die of damage and gain the keen (20) quality; threats and critical injuries arising from such attacks may be activated for 1 less action die than normal (minimum 0). Finally, though you regain vitality normally you do not naturally heal wounds and must be Mended with a successful Crafting check using the Medicine rules (see page 77). You become inert when reduced below 0 wounds but only die when destroyed (i.e. reduced to 25 wounds or worse).

Full Borg [Gear]
The last shreds of your humanity have gone the way the way of all flesh.
   Prerequisites: Cyber-Conversion, The Extra Mile, Interest (cyberspace).
   Benefit: You lose the lumbering quality and gain the full benefits of the construct type, as well as the spirit quality, though your ability to move while incorporeal is restricted to [Matrix] nodes. Returning to a corporeal state requires the presence of your body or another suitable form.
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2010, 09:43:19 AM »

Hmm, while I agree with you on the Swimming thing (though specialized gear would allow for it, like the Major's floaters), I still think that you're going too far. The maintenance costs, rather than ham-fistedly making all cyborgs incapable of basic human interaction, why don't we penalize Prudence directly?
I also disagree with you on lumbering. While it makes sense for Fantasy golem-like constructs, I just can't see it for someone who has performance enhancing cybernetics.
Immunity to subdual damage and/or fatigue might be taking it a bit too far. Maybe instead let them take the damage normally as they stress out their parts, and require a Crafting check to fix it? That should let us get rid of some of the penalties...

I considered just ignoring it, but I think it's worth being on the record as saying I immensely dislike your Full Borg feat, for a couple of reasons: A) It's too much for a single feat, third tier notwithstanding, and B) it's wording is intensely vague and unhelpful. I think the ability to disappear onto the net and switch bodies out is totally a gamebreaker level ability, hence the placeholder I have above.
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2010, 11:16:12 AM »

It's not hamfisted, it's quite reasoned. You're not human anymore, you're a brain in a jar that just looks human, a jar that doesn't look or move quite right and which filters the outside world through an electronic interface. People inherently respond poorly to someone who's sacrificed the entirity of their meat for chrome.

Fatigue is essentially an organic physical reaction. Without an organic body, you can't be fatigied, And if you can't suffer the condition, subdual damage becomes utterly meaningless to you.

Full Borg suffers from not knowing how you working in cyberspace/post-singularity infomorphic life. It however is not too much for a feat or game breaking at all. Go take a look at Eclipse Phase for starters, or pretty much every cyberpunk game to date that deals with cinematic cyberspace. Gamebreaking would be autonomous personality replication and establishing a networked consciousness like the Stepford Cuckoos from the X-Men comics
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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2010, 02:13:30 PM »

It's not hamfisted, it's quite reasoned. You're not human anymore, you're a brain in a jar that just looks human, a jar that doesn't look or move quite right and which filters the outside world through an electronic interface. People inherently respond poorly to someone who's sacrificed the entirity of their meat for chrome.
Assuming that the chrome is insufficiently advanced as to be easily distinguishable from flesh. I don't recall the Major, Batou, Kuze, or any of a dozen other cyborgs suffering undo trouble interacting with people in GitS, or Steve Austin from the Six Million Dollar Man for that matter.

Quote
Fatigue is essentially an organic physical reaction. Without an organic body, you can't be fatigied, And if you can't suffer the condition, subdual damage becomes utterly meaningless to you.

That's simply not true. Metals and plastics can undergo physical stresses that is described as ::gasp:: fatigue. Hence the suggestion that it's still possible (you're overtaxing your parts), but it requires a crafting check to heal. Need to repair/replace the damaged parts.

Quote
Full Borg suffers from not knowing how you working in cyberspace/post-singularity infomorphic life. It however is not too much for a feat or game breaking at all. Go take a look at Eclipse Phase for starters, or pretty much every cyberpunk game to date that deals with cinematic cyberspace. Gamebreaking would be autonomous personality replication and establishing a networked consciousness like the Stepford Cuckoos from the X-Men comics

Seems fair enough on the point about not knowing about the setting. Admittedly, the setting actually lends itself to the feat being less powerful than it would be in, say, GitS or Shadowrun. I still don't like it and it's not appropriate for the style of game I'm going for. That seem like a better argument?
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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2010, 04:37:31 PM »

It's not hamfisted, it's quite reasoned. You're not human anymore, you're a brain in a jar that just looks human, a jar that doesn't look or move quite right and which filters the outside world through an electronic interface. People inherently respond poorly to someone who's sacrificed the entirity of their meat for chrome.

Except that things don't work like that in Shirow's works. The Major and her childhood friend are both charismatic individuals, so are the slightly less enhanced characters in Section Nine. Briarios and the other full borgs in Appleseed are even more 'humans in funny makeup'. Briarios and Dunan are still lovers and no one thinks it's odd. Similarly, Makoto's side buisness as a call girl and her role as undercover specialist and honeypot argues against Charisma penalties. This even goes beyond human intelligences, the bioroids in Appleseed and the Tachikomas and Fuchikomas in SAC are just as charismatic or not as 'normal' humans. In some settings your comments make sense, CP2020 for instance. If you're using Shirow as your inspiration though, they're way off base.
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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2010, 04:49:46 PM »

Assuming that the chrome is insufficiently advanced as to be easily distinguishable from flesh. I don't recall the Major, Batou, Kuze, or any of a dozen other cyborgs suffering undo trouble interacting with people in GitS, or Steve Austin from the Six Million Dollar Man for that matter.

Steve Austin wasn't a full-borg conversion. Nor did we ever see the members of the Section interact very much with people outside it who aren't old friends or family, and even within it they're generally as a rule a bunch of grim and taciturn folks; of the borgs and part borgs, Batou is almost freakishly cheerful.

And ignoring talent modifiers, a 14/12/13/13/13/13 starting array means your Charusma begins at 10 -- nothing special, ceetainly not hideously antisocial

Quote
That's simply not true. Metals and plastics can undergo physical stresses that is described as ::gasp:: fatigue. Hence the suggestion that it's still possible (you're overtaxing your parts), but it requires a crafting check to heal. Need to repair/replace the damaged parts.

Just because its got the same name doesn't mean its the same thing. Subdual is mechanically intended as a short term damage form that goes away every time you pick up a grade of fatigued which itself goes away when you sleep because your body is fixing itself. What you're talking about illogically converts it into a form of damage superior to normal lethal damage -- it needs to be fixed exactly the same way plus inflicts conditions

Quote
Seems fair enough on the point about not knowing about the setting. Admittedly, the setting actually lends itself to the feat being less powerful than it would be in, say, GitS or Shadowrun. I still don't like it and it's not appropriate for the style of game I'm going for. That seem like a better argument?

Yes, which raises the question as to the style of game, the nature of cyberspace and whether or not people can become infomorphs having comletely abandoned the need for meat
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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2010, 05:07:56 PM »

Quote from: Krensky
Except that things don't work like that in Shirow's works. The Major and her childhood friend are both charismatic individuals, so are the slightly less enhanced characters in Section Nine. Briarios and the other full borgs in Appleseed are even more 'humans in funny makeup'. Briarios and Dunan are still lovers and no one thinks it's odd. Similarly, Makoto's side buisness as a call girl and her role as undercover specialist and honeypot argues against Charisma penalties. This even goes beyond human intelligences, the bioroids in Appleseed and the Tachikomas and Fuchikomas in SAC are just as charismatic or not as 'normal' humans. In some settings your comments make sense, CP2020 for instance. If you're using Shirow as your inspiration though, they're way off base.

The taks are great examples of wisdom as a dump stat, not to mention that their strong personalitits are something the Major is less than fond of. to the point of having them shut down as aberrant. And as I pointed out to 333, even with the penalty Charisma has no problem starting off human average, and good ranks in Impress makes up for a lot of sins (not to mention she isn't exactly a level 1 noob).

Appleseed is fantastically different from GitS: it's arguably a post Singularity culture where literally half the population are genetically engineered AIs (that some humans seem to have some degree of retinence over, despite their passive natures). More importantly, humans aren't going around turning themselves into bioroids (who as the name suggests are essentially organic beings)
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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2010, 05:52:27 PM »

Hideo Kuze, the foil from 2nd Gig, was repeatedly described the same way you describe an extremely high charisma individual: Always made friends with whoever he met, quickly able to win over converts to his cause, someone people couldn't help but like. He was also a full body cyborg with a face that barely moved. There were even a couple of minor characters who wanted to become cyborgs just to be more like him.
Now, you can chalk that up to a maxed out Impress if you like, but I still think that a charisma penalty (especially a heafty -4) just doesn't sit right. It's not the cyborgs who are worse at dealing with people in your examples, its the people who have problems with cyborgs. You know what we call those people? Bigots. (WARNING: Heavily loaded example to follow) Should black people in a Civil War era game get a Charisma penalty because people in general (even abolitionists) treat them like dirt? No.

Also, grim and taciturn doesn't mean low charisma. Pretty much every member of Section 9 is only there because of the Major. Kusanagi is shown in several episodes of SAC and 2nd Gig to be charming to people outside of Section 9, even if she is a cold bitch to some other people. Admittedly, she is a pretty god-mode character at times (is there anything she can't do?), but I still think she's buildable without being 3 levels above the rest of her team.

There's also the issue of going from 90% cyborg = no penalty to 100% cyborg -4 penalty. It just doesn't flow. Unless you're going for a Shadowrun cyber-zombie vibe where people can literally feel queasy around someone because they have no Essence, but having 0.01 Essence is enough to make them fine around you.
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