Cybernetics and Augmentations

Saturday, June 24, 2017

A common trope of many science fiction stories is the ability of characters to be able to improve themselves with science, often in the form of cybernetic enhancements. In the Starfinder Core Rulebook, these kinds of augmentations fall into a few broad categories—cybernetics, biotech, and personal upgrades. Cybernetics and biotech are handled using roughly the same rules, while personal upgrades have their own system.

Personal upgrades represent any system—be it technological, magical, or a hybrid of the two—that increases a character's ability scores. Personal upgrades are useful, but not crucial to most character concepts because of how ability score generation and level-based increases are handled. In Starfinder, when a character reaches 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter, the character increases 4 ability scores of the player's choice. Also if the ability score is a 16 or lower, it increases by +2, while scores of 17 or more increase by +1. This makes it easy for characters to shore up ability scores that turn out to be too low to produce the effect desired in mid-level and high-level play, without forcing a player to decide between improving a key ability score and improving weak ones.

As a result, personal upgrades are kept very simple. Over the course of a character's career, beginning around 3rd level or so, they can buy one personal upgrade that grants a +2 to one ability score, one that grants a +4, and one that grants a +6. It doesn't matter if these are mystic ability crystals, technological synaptic enhancers, or some hybrid system, each character can successfully use only three of them, each at a different level of ability boost.

Cybernetics and biotech work differently, as they come in a wide range of item levels, and can be as simple as gaining a fully function prosthetic limb to replace a lost body part, or as complex as installing a dragon gland that gives you a breath weapon attack. Other forms of augmentation, such as necrografts, are mentioned as existing in the Core Rulebook but don't have full descriptions there. (Hint: keep your eyes on the Adventure Path!) Here's an example of a cybernetic augmentation:

CARDIAC ACCELERATOR SYSTEM: HEART

Price 3,850 credits Level 6

This implant plugs directly into your heart and can be triggered to overclock the performance of your heart and circulatory system. When you run, charge, or take a move action to move, you can spend 1 Resolve Point to increase your speed (in the relevant mode of movement) by 20 feet for that action. This extra movement is treated as an enhancement bonus.

Alternatively, you can spend 1 Resolve Point as a reaction when you attempt a Reflex saving throw to gain a +1 enhancement bonus to your roll.

Each augmentation has a system it replaces or modifies, such as an arm, the throat, or your skin. You can't have more than one augmentation applied to the same system—once you add a dragon gland, you can't also get a vocal modulator installed, as they're both throat system augmentations. The price listed for each augmentation includes the cost of having it professionally installed, which normally takes about an hour per level of the augmentation. While a minimum level of skill is required to do this, there's no check involved—adding augmentations has become a routine outpatient procedure in the universe of Starfinder, with no significant risks of failure or complication. You can also have old augmentations removed or replaced with new options, though since all augmentations are custom built for their specific user, there's no market for used augmentations.

Once implanted, augmentations work just like your natural limbs and organs—a cybernetic arm is no more vulnerable to specific attacks or effects than your natural arm. Adding augmentations is essentially a character design choice: they can be useful, but no character concept requires them in order to be effective.

Owen K.C. Stephens
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If nothing else, the trope doesn't seem to be entirely removed as there does seem to be a market for (presumably) used necrografts. At least we can have our human chop shops on Eox! :)


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Torbyne wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Well, I was mostly trying to say that generally, showing up with shot-up cybernetics that were ham-handedly chopped off, clearly were never attached to you, possibly still with parts of the original owner's body attached to them, and trying to sell it generally is going to heavily imply homicide or at least mutilation, whereas you could at least attempt to pass off other stolen goods as being legitimately gained, since they weren't actively a part of someone else's body. Or just regular theft. So I was more attempting to address Marco's assertion there would be an easy market for such things; obviously theft is wrong, though even in lawless areas of space, I imagine people who mutilate corpses for money get some revulsion, even if law isn't being enforced.
Maybe. The closest real world analogy I can think of would be mutilating corpses to remove jewelry or pulling gold teeth. It was all considered gruesome but when it was a profitable endeavor people still did it. I wouldn't be surprised if something similar still goes on today. Actually, my mother in law had a titanium plate in her leg after a break and they eventually removed it when her leg had healed up. The plate costs something like $600 on its own and she had to pay out of pocket for it. She had wanted to keep it, I don't know why, jewelry maybe? But the hospital told her it was illegal to do so because there have been a lot of problems with people reselling such things for use in other operations and that resulted in a lot of infections and lawsuits so no one is allowed to keep such implants anymore. Which really makes me think there would be a market for second had cyberware and that the trade would probably be a thriving black market...

Oh yeah, I'm not denying it might happen...if it was worth it, which it might or might not be, depending on how easy it is to remove without damaging it, how customized it is to a specific individual, whether it's out of date or not, the demand for cybernetics in the first place, etc. A gold tooth could be melted down and sold as gold, but given there are probably asteroids made of various metals and the like, its components might not be innately worth much when melted down. Adding further discounts to damage, either from having shot up the previous owner (or smashed or however you killed them) or from whatever damaged you caused by removing them, along with making sure it's worth more than chump change...

A lot also probably depends on how prolific cybernetics are, and how much of a choice they are. Can limbs be regrown, or new ones grown and attached? If so, cybernetics might be actually the option for a cheap prosthesis by people who can't afford to get it regrown...or of course, people who want to weaponize them. In which case the majority of cybergear might well not be worth it. And it might depend heavily on the culture in question...Vercites have cybernetics even in modern day Golarion (well, one of their castes), so they might prefer them as a cultural thing. We really don't know yet.

I am curious to see how they handle this, though...


bugleyman wrote:
JakBlitz wrote:
is there any explanation on how we have such an advanced tech with such a big limitation?
Genetically encoded upon installation, perhaps? Or possibly single-use encryption in order to prevent cybernetics harvesting operations?

The security would presumably be some of the best around, to stop hackers strangling people with their own arms. Maybe that's the main cost, rather than installation or manufacturing.

Dark Archive

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The Sideromancer wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
JakBlitz wrote:
is there any explanation on how we have such an advanced tech with such a big limitation?
Genetically encoded upon installation, perhaps? Or possibly single-use encryption in order to prevent cybernetics harvesting operations?
The security would presumably be some of the best around, to stop hackers strangling people with their own arms. Maybe that's the main cost, rather than installation or manufacturing.

Welp I have a character concept for a technomancer now...


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Though with all this talk of cyber-theft, is anyone else imagining a new kind of undead that specifically arises when a creature's spirit is furious with the mutilation of their corpse for their cybernetics, turning into an undead that uses ectoplasmic replicas of their cybernetic gear that might have some limitations, but also possess other benefits (like being able to use them more often or more flexibly, since instead of normal charges they would be powered by their outrage from beyond the grave). Would be a cool new form of the restless dead concept...bent on getting revenge on those who took the parts from them, and perhaps dedicated to hunting down those who now have them, unable to be laid to rest until all their parts are either destroyed or returned to them.


Jack of Dust wrote:
If nothing else, the trope doesn't seem to be entirely removed as there does seem to be a market for (presumably) used necrografts. At least we can have our human chop shops on Eox! :)

I'd like to see necrografts that have not been used yet :P


Actual implants can't be reused.

Permanent implants that don't break just from day to day use like the loot implies would basically be part of your body. Reusing it is about the same a reusing organs. You wouldn't in the future when making fresh ones is an option and adventures or mercs on anti rejection meds sounds like too large of a fort save hit to me.


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We could assume that any implants are built specifically to the buyer's DNA or Soul such that a cyberarm will actually present to the host body as if it was a match to the very DNA of the user so that it is not rejected, it has to bond so closely so as to prevent infections or requiring the buyer to take a lifelong regimen of medications. likewise magical implants attune to the soul of the recipient and are treated as foreign bodies in any other creature. The costs of stripping down and rebuilding such devices to new users is on part with building new. There might have been a black market for such things once upon a time but after that caused horrible deaths for anyone who would re-use such devices it has become not just law but common sense to only use custom built originals. There could even be a template for creatures that to reflect a diseased and weakened creature that is, temporarily, surviving a recycled implant to help drive home to players that it just isn’t worth it.


Rhedyn wrote:

Actual implants can't be reused.

Permanent implants that don't break just from day to day use like the loot implies would basically be part of your body. Reusing it is about the same a reusing organs. You wouldn't in the future when making fresh ones is an option and adventures or mercs on anti rejection meds sounds like too large of a fort save hit to me.

I can't imagine buying a brand new high level augmentation costing a million credits would be cheaper and easier than transplanting and adjusting a used one.


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Mashallah wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:

Actual implants can't be reused.

Permanent implants that don't break just from day to day use like the loot implies would basically be part of your body. Reusing it is about the same a reusing organs. You wouldn't in the future when making fresh ones is an option and adventures or mercs on anti rejection meds sounds like too large of a fort save hit to me.

I can't imagine buying a brand new high level augmentation costing a million credits would be cheaper and easier than transplanting and adjusting a used one.

'Adjusting' it might not be easy, or possible. If the item has been fabricated using the subjects dna incoded right into the material (which it may be, to ensure a perfect graft)' how do you adjust that?

Say you've got a 3D printer, and you print a doodad out of blue plastic. Now you need one made out of green plastic. How do you adjust the blue plastic one? Wouldn't it be easier to just print a green one? Yes, you could paint it, but maybe that's not sufficient.

Obviously, that's a basic analogy. But if the personal fitting of the item is intrinsic in the manufacturing process, it's not hard to imagine it being non-adjustable.


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what im taking from this post is that eventually actual science will kill all sci fi tropes


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Secret Wizard wrote:
what im taking from this post is that eventually actual science will kill all sci fi tropes

I dont know about that. My stance is that all scientific laws are absolute until we find the loopholes in them... which we have been pretty good at so far.


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There's a lot of working backwards to try and justify cyberware that can't be removed and re-used going on in this thread. That's super not the point. Like, yeah, it's really strange and strains immersion to say that a brain chip can never ever have any value again once it's touched the icky cooties of living flesh. That's nonsense, and you have to bend over backwards brainstorming reasons why that might be a thing, rather than it being a natural extrapolation of other setting conceits. But the main problem is shutting down a big chunk of story space for reasons that might exist but haven't been explained in the least. It's a big deal (or at least an interesting footnote) in a lot of worlds that include cybernetic modification, especially cyberpunk settings. In the world of Shadowrun it's a serious problem in low security areas, and cheap illegal street clinics that install cyberware are even called chop shops because they probably stole the ware you're getting from someone else's steaming corpse. Even AAA titles like Deus Ex include it to some degree. It's an evocative setting element, extends naturally from cyberware being valuable and desired, and gives you lots of story seeds to drop into a campaign or settlement.

And obviously hacking off cyberware to go modify and re-sell or install is supposed to be illegal. It's theft. It's the same damn thing as killing a dude and stealing their gun, though you could argue that it's also corpse desecration. PCs can do it, but they're asking for trouble and sticking around at the scene of a crime, and even in Shadowrun where the PCs are literally career criminals and the game gives you a resale value on chrome bits and a discount for buying hot goods they usually don't due to that risk. Excising the whole concept from the setting is a dubious decision to avoid dealing with the subject matter at best (and probably doesn't hold up in a setting with ritual murder and mutilation already being a thing).


Aratrok wrote:

There's a lot of working backwards to try and justify cyberware that can't be removed and re-used going on in this thread. That's super not the point. Like, yeah, it's really strange and strains immersion to say that a brain chip can never ever have any value again once it's touched the icky cooties of living flesh. That's nonsense, and you have to bend over backwards brainstorming reasons why that might be a thing, rather than it being a natural extrapolation of other setting conceits. But the main problem is shutting down a big chunk of story space for reasons that might exist but haven't been explained in the least. It's a big deal (or at least an interesting footnote) in a lot of worlds that include cybernetic modification, especially cyberpunk settings. In the world of Shadowrun it's a serious problem in low security areas, and cheap illegal street clinics that install cyberware are even called chop shops because they probably stole the ware you're getting from someone else's steaming corpse. Even AAA titles like Deus Ex include it to some degree. It's an evocative setting element, extends naturally from cyberware being valuable and desired, and gives you lots of story seeds to drop into a campaign or settlement.

And obviously hacking off cyberware to go modify and re-sell or install is supposed to be illegal. It's theft. It's the same damn thing as killing a dude and stealing their gun, though you could argue that it's also corpse desecration. PCs can do it, but they're asking for trouble and sticking around at the scene of a crime, and even in Shadowrun where the PCs are literally career criminals and the game gives you a resale value on chrome bits and a discount for buying hot goods they usually don't due to that risk. Excising the whole concept from the setting is a dubious decision to avoid dealing with the subject matter at best (and probably doesn't hold up in a setting with ritual murder and mutilation already being a thing).

Something else to keep in mind, they dont have any resale value in core, its entirely possible that the idea will be expanded on in future products. I dont know if there is an equivilent to the Prime Directive in Starfinder so there could very well be a market in selling "junk" cyberware to underdeveloped worlds who dont want to install it, they want to take it apart and figure out how to copy it. There could be a system in a future AP where you can re-use them but they carry defects or you suffer some disease for as long as it is installed. Nothing is set in stone, not even the things they set in stone ;)

Silver Crusade

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I am generally against "they might fix it later don't worry" PoV. If you don't talk about what bothers you nothing will change.


not to say dont talk about it, just pointing out again that they have said it is a living game and new options will be rolling out with each book in the APs. Talking about it here or flat out asking the designers to weigh in on their thoughts about game balance and genre staples can get the ball rolling even.


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While I agree with that sentiment the book has already been printed so 'they might fix it later' is really the only thing we're gonna get, though to be honest I don't see it being a problem anyway. Nothing major is lost from not having the mechanic there, it's just a part of this particular setting, and if you don't like it just add it into your setting.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah, given the amount of stuff they already have to cover in the Starfinder Core Rulebook, it wouldn't be surprising if rules that many PCs might not even interact with, such as black market oriented rules, wind up being published in a future book. It's fine to show concern or interest, of course, since it lets them know the material for such a hypothetical book might be anticipated by at least some. It's just worth keeping in mind that only so much can be covered in a single book, especially with the need to design the layout and fit all the text and tables in there.

Edit: Though yeah, as an alternate rule, it's probably not too hard to make up your own version. If someone really wanted to in my own game, I would probably have a skill check to safely remove it more or less intact for the usual 50% markdown for being illegal and probably damaged goods, and if failed you might only get 10% or under for having rendered them mostly useless.

Dark Archive

I think it´s an interesting discussion, which shows me personally that the option should exist in the game.

I can understand that the three possible "personal upgrades" are probably very hard to remove and worthless to other people, because they are specially fitted to the individuals attributes.

But the above mentioned cybernetics are another story.

Let´s just imagine this scenario:

You are traveling through a wasteland and are attacked by cybernetically-enhanced highwaymen. After a hard battle (which may leave some of you badly injured or dead), the soldier decides to take the cybernetic arm of one brute, which nearly killed him, for himself. He now begins to collect cybernetics from creatures which are very hard opponents to remind himself of all the death-defying adventures he had.
I can definetly see one of my friends doing this in-game.

The scene from Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 1) also comes to mind where Rocket wants that cybernetic leg from a prison-inmate to build something (but was just messing with Star-Lord). ;-)


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It's bad from a game perspective. As mentioned, it would make balancing AP loot difficult across alignments. It'd be a shame to limit the setting's cybernetics for WBL reasons. In addition, you'd end up with the problem Pathfinder has where NPCs need to carry a lot of loot gear just to be a competitive threat to the PCs. While a lot of the things mentioned are cool-sounding, they won't be once the PCs are methodically ripping out every cybernetic implant from defeated NPCs because to not do so would be wasteful. Then it's just gross, boring, and pretty unwelcoming to anybody who has a prosthetic or mobility device.

Much better to leave it up to GMs to add it in at their discretion rather than to push it on GMs as the default PC behavior. One can come up with plenty of different rationales for it in-game.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Mashallah wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:

Actual implants can't be reused.

Permanent implants that don't break just from day to day use like the loot implies would basically be part of your body. Reusing it is about the same a reusing organs. You wouldn't in the future when making fresh ones is an option and adventures or mercs on anti rejection meds sounds like too large of a fort save hit to me.

I can't imagine buying a brand new high level augmentation costing a million credits would be cheaper and easier than transplanting and adjusting a used one.

Why not? We accept that with food markets all the time. A high end restaurant will use slightly higher quality food than your average school cafeteria, but you might be amazed at how much of the value is really added by who prepares and presents the food, rather than anything innate to the ingredients themselves.

I say this as someone that has worked in both a school cafeteria and a high end restaurant. I could cook myself fantastic lunches using the same ingredients that we turned into bland slop for kids. We even used the same vendors for most of it.

Creative Director, Starfinder Team

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Sometimes you have to make a choice that makes some stories more difficult for the sake of game balance and emphasizing other stories you want to tell more. If you want to mod things out to let your players resell cybernetics (or harvest organs from their enemies, for that matter), that's fine with us, but we have to balance things with an eye toward the stories we want to be most common in the game. Like starships, augmentations are both a story element and a mechanical one, and we've tried to find a balance that prioritizes fun and wow factor over absolute realism.


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Look, for those that think that it's a silly, illogical choice, simply edit

Quote:
You can also have old augmentations removed or replaced with new options, though since all augmentations are custom built for their specific user, there's no market for used augmentations.

to read

You can also have old augmentations removed or replaced with new options, though since augmentations would be more expensive to refit for a new user than a brand-new one costs to make, there's no market for used augmentations.

Problem solved, in-game reason is sound, and out-of-game, WBL can remain consistent for all alignments.


I can certainly see an option for "second-hand" cybernetics or bioware, but including a flaw or negative trait for its integration, determined randomly:

* -2 on all CHA- based skill checks (non-cumulative) due to the augment being slightly out of proportion or color with the rest of the body, leading to an off-putting appearance
* a tick or involuntary movement that results from incompatibility with the augment
* occasional malfunction or seize-up of the component in stressful situations (say a 1 in 20 or 1 in 100 chance) due to prior damage

Those are just off the top of my head, I'm sure there could be others. The problems could be fixed, but repair costs and components would effectively push the price back up to that of a new component. That way, the option is still there for those who want it, but it has a balancing factor against a full priced component


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

How about as a house rule that harvested cybernetics aren't as efficient as ones made to order? Like you can pry that +6 wisdom augmentation out of the orc's eye socket, but even if i all goes perfectly, it's never going to be more than a +4 for you.

I'd rather not use that in my own games, but it fits well enough with some forms of sci-fi. PROPER adventurers know that if you want the best stuff, you need it custom made, but if you're desperate, inheriting Uncle's android eye might be better than nothing.


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Personally i keep coming back to starfinder is more star wars (space fantasy) than a realistic space simulator. gee whiz tech just works with no explanation of how and follows rules never explained by science.

There is a reason cyber isn't worth harvesting and everybody knows that even if nobody knows what the exact reason is.

everybody knows blasters shoot red and blue bolts of slow light and not beams but nobody knows why.

It's not worth the brain sweat for more than a toss-off answer such as the part is dna linked. If for some reason it is a huge deal to your players a house rule off the cuff should work.


Jaxom Faux wrote:
Personally i keep coming back to starfinder is more star wars (space fantasy) than a realistic space simulator. gee whiz tech just works with no explanation of how and follows rules never explained by science.

This would be the state of mainstream sci-fi. Not expecting Paizo to adapt towards that is market negligence.

Silver Crusade

James Sutter wrote:
Sometimes you have to make a choice that makes some stories more difficult for the sake of game balance and emphasizing other stories you want to tell more. If you want to mod things out to let your players resell cybernetics (or harvest organs from their enemies, for that matter), that's fine with us, but we have to balance things with an eye toward the stories we want to be most common in the game. Like starships, augmentations are both a story element and a mechanical one, and we've tried to find a balance that prioritizes fun and wow factor over absolute realism.

So does that mean there is no market for used spaceships?


JakBlitz wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
Sometimes you have to make a choice that makes some stories more difficult for the sake of game balance and emphasizing other stories you want to tell more. If you want to mod things out to let your players resell cybernetics (or harvest organs from their enemies, for that matter), that's fine with us, but we have to balance things with an eye toward the stories we want to be most common in the game. Like starships, augmentations are both a story element and a mechanical one, and we've tried to find a balance that prioritizes fun and wow factor over absolute realism.
So does that mean there is no market for used spaceships?

I believe it was stated somewhere early on that starships are done on a point system rather than cost so there probably won't be rules for selling your ship in the core rulebook at least, plus it would be a WBL calculation issue.

EDIT: It occurs to me it's kind of a non-issue anyways as if you want a different starship you just need to do some sort of trade for the new one you want, and if you're on a planet locked campaign you just don't need a starship in the first place

Scarab Sages

The major tropes of sci-FO are that your ship is either 1) provided by you employer/government such as a rebel fighter or a federation starship 2) won in a card game or stolen such as the millennium falcon or the Rocinante or 3) purchased before the campaign as your only real possession such as the serenity.

Buying and selling ships isn't really something that is a part of sci-fi tropes.


Imbicatus wrote:

The major tropes of sci-FO are that your ship is either 1) provided by you employer/government such as a rebel fighter or a federation starship 2) won in a card game or stolen such as the millennium falcon or the Rocinante or 3) purchased before the campaign as your only real possession such as the serenity.

Buying and selling ships isn't really something that is a part of sci-fi tropes.

Literally Rogue Trader. Or Elite. Or whatever else.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Traveller's been doing it since its inception. It's not really all that difficult either, and provides a good fall back mission when you don't really have anything planned. It's what I've done any who with an old sci fi bounty hunters game inspired by Cowboy Bebop.


I confess to not reading this entire thread, but in my skimming I haven't seen anyone ask my question yet...

I don't understand the +6/4/2 deal. I mean conceptually. It seems arbitrary to me. Essence (right?) in Shadowrun makes sense, but this doesn't. Can someone explain how it does?


Baxder wrote:
I don't understand the +6/4/2 deal. I mean conceptually. It seems arbitrary to me. Essence (right?) in Shadowrun makes sense, but this doesn't. Can someone explain how it does?

I can't really think of a logical reason behind it "in-setting".

It seems like when it comes to a choice between Balance and Suspending Disbelief, Starfinder is choosing Balance each time... which can be both a good and a bad thing.


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Baxder wrote:

I confess to not reading this entire thread, but in my skimming I haven't seen anyone ask my question yet...

I don't understand the +6/4/2 deal. I mean conceptually. It seems arbitrary to me. Essence (right?) in Shadowrun makes sense, but this doesn't. Can someone explain how it does?

Think of them as typed bonuses that you have to be a certain level to use.

A +6 doesn't stack with another +6 even if they modify different stats.

Liberty's Edge

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Baxder wrote:
I don't understand the +6/4/2 deal. I mean conceptually. It seems arbitrary to me. Essence (right?) in Shadowrun makes sense, but this doesn't. Can someone explain how it does?

No matter the method, personal enhancements use specific frequencies to enhance one's abilities. So far, there have been three such frequencies discovered, each one able to promote slightly more growth. You can only have three because that's all that's been discovered. They're at +6, +4, and +2 because each frequency has a set strength. And you can't stack them because two frequencies of the same type will just cancel each other out.


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JRutterbush wrote:
Baxder wrote:
I don't understand the +6/4/2 deal. I mean conceptually. It seems arbitrary to me. Essence (right?) in Shadowrun makes sense, but this doesn't. Can someone explain how it does?
No matter the method, personal enhancements use specific frequencies to enhance one's abilities. So far, there have been three such frequencies discovered, each one able to promote slightly more growth. You can only have three because that's all that's been discovered. They're at +6, +4, and +2 because each frequency has a set strength. And you can't stack them because two frequencies of the same type will just cancel each other out.

Nice. I can dig that. Except maybe the same freq's interfere with each other, the results of which you just don't want to see...


JRutterbush wrote:
Baxder wrote:
I don't understand the +6/4/2 deal. I mean conceptually. It seems arbitrary to me. Essence (right?) in Shadowrun makes sense, but this doesn't. Can someone explain how it does?
No matter the method, personal enhancements use specific frequencies to enhance one's abilities. So far, there have been three such frequencies discovered, each one able to promote slightly more growth. You can only have three because that's all that's been discovered. They're at +6, +4, and +2 because each frequency has a set strength. And you can't stack them because two frequencies of the same type will just cancel each other out.

Cancel out nothing, in my games doubling up on those frequencies or jumping to a frequency past +6 results in cascading feedback giving you a brief instant of a nearly infinite stat before your existence is blotted out as an error of reality. :)


Come on down to Glorbax's Used Cybernetics! You want a robot part to stick on your body? We got them! Come and cybernetic-icize your life today!

Glorbax's Used Cybernetics takes no responsibility for the actual usefulness of any cybernetic part sold.


Possessed cybernetic arm that only does what it wants too and has to be bribed with a full share of loot to actually assist you.

Designer

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Torbyne wrote:
Possessed cybernetic arm that only does what it wants too and has to be bribed with a full share of loot to actually assist you.

During a meeting while editing Alien Archive, Judy gave us all a cryptic warning to make sure you've powered down all your cybernetics after you die. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but it sounds scary!


Mark Seifter wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
Possessed cybernetic arm that only does what it wants too and has to be bribed with a full share of loot to actually assist you.
During a meeting while editing Alien Archive, Judy gave us all a cryptic warning to make sure you've powered down all your cybernetics after you die. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but it sounds scary!

This doesnt even need to be an actual thing now to be an old space farer's tale that every adventurer will hear and then spend a whole cmapaign freaking out over, power down or completely destroy all cyberware afte the host is killed or you leave the shell open for cyber-demons to posses and hunt you. Cyberpunk-body horror, thank you! :D


Cyber-revenants of the endless black. Scary.


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Frankly given the revelation that cybernetics are so ubiquitous due to their customization and implantation becoming a fine science I don't see why people are having such an issue with cybernetics NOT being resellable.

For example: A Shirren has a cybernetic nervous system that enhances accuracy and reaction time (IE + Dex). It has been created with that individual Shirren's bio-structure in mind. Customized to it's 'DNA' and metabolism to prevent rejection, work with it's biochemistry, and self repair using the bodies own healing systems.

How the hell would you 'loot' something like that? It is not like armor or guns that you can simply pickup. You would need to surgically go into the corpse and carefully remove it, a process that would require no small amount of surgical ability to prevent damage to the augment and time/proper tools.

Plus who says that all cybernetics are metalic parts and electronic circuitry as we know them today? They could be bio materials like Eldar Wraithbone or plastics or even organic metals.

I would assume this is why there is no biological rejection mechanic in the game. No medications that the cyber enhanced need to consume for the rest of their lives to stave off rejection.

Given how many races there are, the massive differences in their biologies/anatomies/body chemistries/genetics, etc. I think that augmentations NOT being lootable or reusable is probably more realistic than not.

I don't see how a Vesk prosthetic leg would work on an Ysoki for example. Or a human cyber arm on an Android. Hell we have a hard time in our own world making simple chemical medications that work the same way on all human beings, it is one of the big reasons that cancer treatments are all turning towards customized approaches based on an individuals genetics and body chemistry.


Gilfalas wrote:

Frankly given the revelation that cybernetics are so ubiquitous due to their customization and implantation becoming a fine science I don't see why people are having such an issue with cybernetics NOT being resellable.

For example: A Shirren has a cybernetic nervous system that enhances accuracy and reaction time (IE + Dex). It has been created with that individual Shirren's bio-structure in mind. Customized to it's 'DNA' and metabolism to prevent rejection, work with it's biochemistry, and self repair using the bodies own healing systems.

How the hell would you 'loot' something like that? It is not like armor or guns that you can simply pickup. You would need to surgically go into the corpse and carefully remove it, a process that would require no small amount of surgical ability to prevent damage to the augment and time/proper tools.

Plus who says that all cybernetics are metalic parts and electronic circuitry as we know them today? They could be bio materials like Eldar Wraithbone or plastics or even organic metals.

I would assume this is why there is no biological rejection mechanic in the game. No medications that the cyber enhanced need to consume for the rest of their lives to stave off rejection.

Given how many races there are, the massive differences in their biologies/anatomies/body chemistries/genetics, etc. I think that augmentations NOT being lootable or reusable is probably more realistic than not.

I don't see how a Vesk prosthetic leg would work on an Ysoki for example. Or a human cyber arm on an Android. Hell we have a hard time in our own world making simple chemical medications that work the same way on all human beings, it is one of the big reasons that cancer treatments are all turning towards customized approaches based on an individuals genetics and body chemistry.

Why jump through hoops to come up with such justifications, though?

Chop shops are a very iconic sci-fi trope and coming up with excuses to remove them is just silly.


How dare things work differently in different works of fiction!

Honestly, cybernetics probably work like donor organs, they need to be properly compatible otherwise the body attacks/rejects them. If an implant isn't meant to work with your body, then the implant would be attacked by your immune system and possibly even grown over/into, which would cause malfunctions and bodily harm.


It's as they've said before (I think in this thread even) that just isn't the kind of story they want tell, they chose to leave it out because it didn't fit the setting they wanted to create.


Luke Spencer wrote:
It's as they've said before (I think in this thread even) that just isn't the kind of story they want tell, they chose to leave it out because it didn't fit the setting they wanted to create.

Why not just make it an optional mechanic? It would have taken at most a couple lines of text to include it and would have let the game have a significantly wider appeal.

So far this is one of my two biggest disappointments in Starfinder as a system and generally a huge buzzkill, making me far less interested in the system than before I heard of it. (the other of the two being the inability to buy/sell spaceships, which is about as weird)


Mashallah wrote:
Luke Spencer wrote:
It's as they've said before (I think in this thread even) that just isn't the kind of story they want tell, they chose to leave it out because it didn't fit the setting they wanted to create.

Why not just make it an optional mechanic? It would have taken at most a couple lines of text to include it and would have let the game have a significantly wider appeal.

So far this is one of my two biggest disappointments in Starfinder as a system and generally a huge buzzkill, making me far less interested in the system than before I heard of it. (the other of the two being the inability to buy/sell spaceships, which is about as weird)

Who's to say they won't in future hardcovers? They're bound to do a hardcover detailing cybernetics stuff in the future and it'll probably have rules for these mechanics, same with ship stuff I imagine. They wanted to pack everything they considered important for the base game into the CRB and those are things that aren't in line with their goals for the game at it's basic level.


Luke Spencer wrote:
Mashallah wrote:
Luke Spencer wrote:
It's as they've said before (I think in this thread even) that just isn't the kind of story they want tell, they chose to leave it out because it didn't fit the setting they wanted to create.

Why not just make it an optional mechanic? It would have taken at most a couple lines of text to include it and would have let the game have a significantly wider appeal.

So far this is one of my two biggest disappointments in Starfinder as a system and generally a huge buzzkill, making me far less interested in the system than before I heard of it. (the other of the two being the inability to buy/sell spaceships, which is about as weird)
Who's to say they won't in future hardcovers? They're bound to do a hardcover detailing cybernetics stuff in the future and it'll probably have rules for these mechanics, same with ship stuff I imagine. They wanted to pack everything they considered important for the base game into the CRB and those are things that aren't in line with their goals for the game at it's basic level.

It's not reasonable to defend principal problems such as outright denying iconic sci-fi tropes from being present in the game by saying "it will be fixed several years later in the future". Especially given what Paizo said will be their policy on future content for Starfinder.

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