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Author Topic: SC 2.0 Cyberpunk?  (Read 5296 times)
MikeS
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« Reply #75 on: June 07, 2012, 12:32:42 AM »



Between the GURPS Ultratechs and the full set of Shadowrun chrome books, never mind my own ideas, I can probably extend that list by quite a bit, but is it really your goal to create an exhaustive list and stat it?

Yeah.  It'd make more sense if you knew me well, but I'll leave it that I've OCD.  Instead of writing 2 powers for my buddies XCOM game (dominate and fear), I wrote an entire Psionics system with about 130 powers, a base class and an expert class (and more I'm working on).  It's just how my mind works (plus others can run games in the setting when I'm done if they're interested).  Time to find my Shadowrun and Ultra Tech books, methinks.

I see. I'm quite the opposite. I like to paint everything in broad strokes, and oly start filling in the details when I need to, or, better yet, let the players do the work. I would certainly benefit from your OCD, though.
Ultra Tech 2 was the best book for cyberpunk tech, IMO, including the most realistic version of reflex boosters I have seen to date. Cybertech for SR2 was good, too, but the latest chromebook for SR4 slants too much in the bio direction and towards transhumanism.

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Something to maybe think about up front: if you armor cyberlimbs, -skulls, and -torsos, how does that work (in terms of capacity per rating)? I never really liked the Shadowrun solutions; most of them weren't worth it.

True, in Shadowrun it was a pretty universally bad idea.  Something like that works better in a GURPS environment, where you have armour by location.  In the Mastercraft framework it either becomes Thick Hide or Fittings (for just armoured limbs).  Either of which aren't super powerful choice, but can be made quite balanced in the games structure (and be a worthwhile choice, instead of a waste of currency).

What annoyed me more was that the limb had capacity, but some of that would get filled up with Strength and Agility, and then you had to use up capacity for the armor as well, and the final result was worse than taking good Strength and adding some muscle implants and body armor, and didn't leave space for anything else. I would give the limbs DR that you pay for (and maybe a reasonable capacity cost, but working backward from a high-grade cyberarm that should be stronger and more agile than a regular arm, and bullet-proof to boot). The DR applies fully against attacks that target the limb, and otherwise you can either average the DR over all body parts, or, if the DR is high enough to stop the attack outright, maybe consider it partial cover (again based on total body area).

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Also, rather than using "natural looking" as an upgrade, how about using it as base type and assigning capacity specifically to that, eg:

"natural" cyber limb: capacity 5
obvious cyber limb: capacity 7
"industrial" cyber limb: capacity 10

I did consider this briefly, the reason I went with what I did was to reduce base options - if a natural limb has a capacity of 5 and an obvious has 7, you really just need 1 arm price and an upgrade.  How you flavour it will vary by campaign, but the mechanics are the same.

Yeah, I guess that makes sense. You could buy the "industrial" as an upgrade that adds capacity, but reduces appearance, or the like.

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Torso structural reinforcement: for people who want cyber limbs that are strong enough to tear their own body apart, but don't want a full cyber torso, this modification supports various stress points in the body to make it tougher, and helps distribute load from cybersytems

That one is a little weird.  Realistically it has to be an exoskeleton to keep their flesh bits intact, and they'd have to wear it at all times (unless powered down).  That's easy to stat up, but I guess it comes down to the big question of "Where do we draw the realism line?"  If we go hard science, then cyberarms can have greatly improved grip strength, but not much in the way of "arm strength" (lest the rip apart the person), and nothing short of a replacement torso will fix that.  It also presents the problem of how to model just pure "Grip Strength" - while keeping the game balanced.  I actually have statted up some exoskeletons though, for what that's worth.

I actually wasn't thinking of an exoskeleton, but more of skeletal reinforcement to which the limbs are attached. In this case, the cyberarm wouldn't socket into the shoulder, but the shoulder would be replaced as well and attached to the reinforcement. It's a bit less drastic physiologically than the full cybertorso.
I think you should handily go to ST 18-20, somewhere around human maximum, without needing the reinforcement, but when you start exceeding that, then you'd need the reinforcement.
The harness could also then add to carrying capacity, as it helps distribute load.

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And my favorite:
Articulate mount: attached to a cyber torso or torso structural reinforcement, this servo mount can hold extra weapons and comes with an autonomous targeting system. The user just has to select his targets (via targetlink) and the mount and gun do the rest...

Easy to stat, hard to balance.  Free attacks are always a problem though, especially free attacks that only cost hard currency.  If this cost a feat or something it'd be a bit easier (you could make it an NPC passenger that uses it's attack stats - pretty doable in FC with Personal Lt. right now).  As a prize it's easier - a prize that grants a low XP NPC that attacks with a specific weapon.  Easy as cake in GURPS - Extra Attack + Enhanced Tracking, aspected to a specific firearm only.  About 27pts from memory [(25+5)-10%].

Your GURPS fu is strong! I have several shelves of GURPS books, but only got to play thrice in my life, as most of my players were completely lost in the host of options and details.
I think your idea of handling the mount as an NPC is very good. That can be transferred to drones and programs that run other programs (called SKA's in SR) as well. It also gives you options how to get them, via feats or prizes.

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Gotta go with advanced battery / capaciter.  You list some really good reasons for it, and I can think of more (not least of which is players - you give my group a micronised nuclar generator and they will ruin my day).

Heh. It wouldn't be a generator, but instead a nuclear battery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_battery). No fission reaction here, just harvesting radiation with the appropriate scintillators. You can't really do anything spectacular with them, like blow stuff up, but you can irradiate the shit out of things. It would be alpha or beta radiation, easy to shield, but a lot of it if the power output has to be high.

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2. How hard is it to install?

By definition it's difficult surgery.  That means you need a cleanroom (one would hope...) and advanced training.  Likely along side very advanced robotics and automation (with supervision).  I'd say things like brainchips would become common: Baby monitors that work anywhere and let you feel what your child is feeling just sell themselves.  Full VR Videogames that don't require a television or controller sell themselves.  Completely handsfree video cellphones sell themselves (ala Futurama's Eye-Phone).  That consumer need will drive corporate research into making it easier to get into the consumers (and quicker, and smoother - so they can profit more).

See, I think it can't be a difficult procedure, if the masses are going to be using it. All the devices you name may sell easily (except for maybe the baby monitors; no way I would let anybody do any kind of neurological surgery to my kids unless it was absolutely unavoidable), but only if they are affordable. I'm sure no health insurance will pick up entertainment cyberware, so the procedure must be affordable, and thus almost certainly does not involve brain surgery. It shouldn't need a cleanroom (the electronics will all be packaged and ready to go), but should require sterile environment and equipment.
I envision it to work a bit like this:
You need an image technique that can observe firing neurons (which aren't really that small). Maybe you use a tracer to highlight them and make the job easier. Then you stimulate the patient (show him pictures, movies, play sound) that should cause the neurons you're targeting to fire. You might even be able to narrow down specific neurons if you have the right sequence of stimuli. Once you have the neuron, you shoot the wire into it. If it's on the outside of the brain, no problem. If it's buried, you might need some form of endoscopy to get to the location, maybe through the ear (what do I know about brains...).
Once all connections are made, the patient has a "learning" period, in which the stimuli are repeated, to reinforce the connection. Just an example of how it could work. Of course, robots could be involved and make things easier at many stages.
Now, adding cyberlimbs, cybereyes, dermal armor, etc, will still require surgery, and thus should be more expensive. Maybe there can be a code or grade for surgery level for each piece of cyberware, ranging from 0 (ambulatory, street doc in the slums) over 2 (full narcosis, surgeon (eye implant??)) to 5 (open brain, medical expert team).

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Now would probably be a good time for me to smooth out a history of the future I think, since it's really determines everything else.  The rest of this post had some interesting thought points, but again - needs more of the setting to be finalised before it can be really thought about.

Ooohh... I'll play, but next post.
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MikeS
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« Reply #76 on: June 07, 2012, 01:03:55 AM »

Here is what I was thinking on the setting I want to use:

I'm going to focus on California, the Bay Area, mostly because I know it reasonably well, and it's current business climate lends itself to what I want to do with the campaign. I want corporate enclaves. I want a US government, but it should be reasonably weak. I want lawless zones. I want Sprawl, but also emptier regions. I want a large divide between rich and poor, and justice you pay for with cash. I want a decent level of chrome, but not too much. I'm ambivalent on space, and want to leave options for some fairly advanced tech. No AI's, at least not confirmed, and no braintaping.

The U.S. didn't end with a bang. Rather, it went out with a wimper. Historians will point to the recession of '08 as where it all started, but it really just helped things along. From the U.S., economic crisis was pingponged across the globe, first to Europe, where it led to the demise of the Euro in '15 and a shattering of the EU in '19, then to China, where economic growth ended in '17, and unrest eventually led to the Beijing uprising of '23. In the U.S., there was initial recovery after '08, but successive crises in the other major economies kept the US economy on unsure footing, aided by lack of decisive political leadership. In 2035, after many government programs had been cut, social security and medicare finally brought the US government to it financial knees. Rather than print more money, the president opted for a more radical form of "privatization" of public services: any entity, be it a corporation or "group of concerned citizens", could take responsibility for public service of a specific region in exchange for "enclave status". In an enclave, basic rights have to be observed, but the owner can modify or ignore other laws (eg, patent law and copyright), the enclave may choose whom to award resident status, and the enclave is permitted to defend its territory against non-government entities. In addition to having to provide all social services, the enclave owner also has to pay tax, which often is determined by bid (so areas like Silicon Valley, with multiple interested parties, would have a much higher tax than, say, rural Wyoming).
The end result was the formation of corporate enclaves, which housed key personnel and were heavily guarded, private enclaves (mostly formed by the rich to keep out the rabble), and in some cases, religiously motivated enclaves. The enclaves' wealth determines level of healthcare and security presence, so a corporate enclave may be walled, with ID scans at the gates, while a middle-class enclave may not even be fenced, but instead sporadically patrolled by police cruisers. Anybody outside of an enclave is sheer out of luck. Nobody cares about them, crime rates soar, and the inhabitants get to do the dirt jobs for enclaves, if they are lucky.

Alright, that's enough for today. I'll add more tomorrow.

 
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Catodon
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« Reply #77 on: June 07, 2012, 03:23:36 PM »

From a science perspective, I wouldn't call both o f them "will"s, for the simple reason that one of them has been done (ie implemented in patients) and the other one can be done theoretically (apologies if it has been done, not my field). ...
Human stem cells especially adult stem cells have been used for rebuilding portions of the cornea for over 14 years.
When it comes to the retina state of the art stem cell techniques and bionics are about neck and neck in terms of outcomes for patients i.e. rubbish. Their are currently more patients with bionic implants. However our capabilities with biotech are growing very rapidly.

Here's an example of stem cells in a human retina.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jun/04/stem-cell-first-human-trials
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CafeCyberia
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« Reply #78 on: June 08, 2012, 01:53:31 AM »

A little off topic, but as a member of one of Sletch's gaming groups, I can attest to HMjesus (Sletchman's Seizure Induction System when HMjesus plays Facemen) figuring out how to get even a microfusion generator (a swine to keep going at best of times) to initiate with a non-trivial yield. 

D-T fusion only converts 0.0018% of mass to energy, meaning (compared to 45 megatonnes yield per kilo reactant for M/AM annihilation, a mere 82 kilotonnes per kilo reactant for D-T, meaning an 82 kilogram yield blast for initiating and completely burning a milligram of fuel).

Awesome bits about biotech SOTA, though.
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Me: I had implicitly assumed the coarse neural adjustment is prerecorded and installed with the prosthetic, giving adequate gross control, but fine control takes time(this is awesome justification, for GURPS, to charge points)
Sletch: That's a bloody genius bit of meta explanation
- on cybernetics
hmjesus
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« Reply #79 on: June 21, 2012, 12:39:16 AM »

A little off topic, but as a member of one of Sletch's gaming groups, I can attest to HMjesus (Sletchman's Seizure Induction System when HMjesus plays Facemen) figuring out how to get even a microfusion generator (a swine to keep going at best of times) to initiate with a non-trivial yield. 

D-T fusion only converts 0.0018% of mass to energy, meaning (compared to 45 megatonnes yield per kilo reactant for M/AM annihilation, a mere 82 kilotonnes per kilo reactant for D-T, meaning an 82 kilogram yield blast for initiating and completely burning a milligram of fuel).

Awesome bits about biotech SOTA, though.
HEY!  That city was coming right for me!  You didn't see the crazy look in its eye...
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Sletchman
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« Reply #80 on: June 21, 2012, 01:11:34 AM »

I'm hoping to top "dirty bombing darwin" as most referenced setpiece with my next game.  I've got something pretty awesome up my sleve.
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hmjesus
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« Reply #81 on: June 21, 2012, 01:21:13 AM »

I'm hoping to top "dirty bombing darwin" as most referenced setpiece with my next game.  I've got something pretty awesome up my sleve.
Sounds good, as the #2 at the moment tends to swing between "My Child died", "Headbutting the Pomeranian" and the pooping guy.

That's just from my exploits anyway.  Understandably keen.
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