Shadowrun Penumbra Experiments

   Here we have a list of experiments that Mr Moore is planning to try in the current Shadowrun game. I’ll add an appendum on the results after he gets a chance to try them all out.

   Many of these experiments, though not particularly risky, are unlikely to have any positive value. Nonetheless, even one success would greatly increase the knowledge available to us poor meta-humans as well as potentially open up new areas of research.

Experiment #1: Cybernetics Self Transplant

  • Setup: Cybernetics are bonded to the user through their essence. Essentially, the lost essence flows into the machine, and makes it a part of the user’s (un)natural astral existence. This is shown by the fact that people can regenerate Essence very slowly, but only after cyberware is removed, and that it leaves an Essence hole which can be filled with other cyberware.
  • Hypothesis: If you remove cyberware from someone, and then replace it with at least some components of the same cyberware, you can reduce the Essence impact, because you are transplanting your own Essence.
  • Expected Results: None. Detailed astral analysis could give very interesting insights.

Experiment # 2: Cybernetics Transplants

  • Setup: As Experiment #1.
  • Hypothesis: Transplanting cyberware from one person to another, before the accumulated Essence dissipates, could reduce the Essence cost.
  • Expected Results: None. Detailed astral analysis could give very interesting insights.

Experiment #3: Radical Cybernetics

  • Setup: Cybernetics are normally very mundane. However, innately magical materials (radicals et all) could modify this.
  • Hypothesis: Cybernetics made partially of radicals would interesting properties for self-enchantment. Depending on the exact cyber-part, they also could provide protection against Astral attacks.
  • Expected Results: High. Radicals are in such short supply that they have not been used for much to date, and experimentation in this area should continue to yield results. This may or may not accomplish anything useful.

Experiment #4: Magical Pattern Implantation

  • Setup: Magical patterns and symbols are used by both Mages and Shamans (though with different styles, levels of complexity, and nature) to create or enchant spell effects. It may be possible to “build-in” enchantments for less Karma through designing tattoo-like magical patterns made out of magical materials, implanted into subjects’ dermal tissue.
  • Hypothesis: Magical patterns will create a specific effect the user can learn to control, as if it were a cybernetic implant, except magical.
  • Expected Results: Low. If it has any effect, it probably won’t be nearly as much as we want. If it works at all, it will probably be a good method for enhancing the power of lesser talents by giving pre-set patterns to channel their magic through.

Experiment #5: Essence Regeneration

  • Setup: Essence can regenerate at a very slow rate. However, the existence of Essence-draining creatures supports the idea that quicker Essence regeneration is possibly, likely though taking it from lesser living creatures. Prepare for the mass cow-massacre.
  • Hypothesis: Vampires seem to get this ability in order to survive their unstable spiritual state, which rapidly drains. It may not be possible to duplicate without similarly destabilizing the subject, but is probably possible with initiate abilities. It will probably be safer and easier to slowly absorb energy from all around to regenerate it at a faster rate.
  • Expected results: High. The principles seem practical and achievable, although it does require a couple valid assumptions.

Experiment #6: Essence Burn

  • Setup: Essence is very similar to Force for spirits, except that Essence is perhaps even more powerful and more flexible. it doesn’t give a bunch of freebies, but it much harder to affect. Nonetheless, spirits can burn Force (or usually, have it burned off by others). It has minor magical effects on others. Therefore, people can probably burn Essence for some useful effect. The existence of Vampires and so forth confirms that it should be possible.
  • Hypothesis: Burning Essence can be done and will bring potent but short-lived power boosts, which can be channeled into pre-set effects, such as spells.
  • Expected results: High. The theory may not be practical, but it seems possible and is simply the extension and combination of known existing phenomenon.

Experiment #7: Mundane Spell Sustaining

  • Setup: Spells usually have to be sustained by the individual creating, but it is possible to hand-off spells with the right techniques. What’s not clear is if you could train a mundane to do the same. This could greatly expand potential human achievement, as well as create a lot more Shadowrunners on the cheap. Though they probably wouldn’t be as good as usual player-characters, they’d be pretty useful and flexible.
  • Hypothesis: Although mundane individuals can’t easily sense magical activity, excellent training can sometimes improve on nature. They may not be able to create active magical effects, but they could potentially sustain them, acting as a focus. This will require intense mental training and close work with a magically active spellcaster.
  • Expected Results: Low. Although theoretically possibly, it’s not at all clear that mundane individuals will ever be able to control magical phenomenon.

Experiment #8: Powered Battle Armor

  • Setup: Although it’s never really been done, the basic components of powered armor are available. Artificial cybernetic muscles, strong armor technologies, and the electronic capacilities to link numerous systems together.
  • Hypothesis: Powered armor can be built, although even light suits will run into the half-million range. It won’t be as efficient as cybernetics, but will give solid security-grade armor, much built-in functionality, and Strength and Quickness bonuses.
  • Proposed Powered Armor Design
    • Light Experimental Suit Prototype
    • Base Components: Light Security Armor, Muscle Replacement 4, Battery Pack.
    • Effect: Combined, these should give an effective bonus, although less efficient than implanted muscles.
  • Expected Results: High. The largest issue is that the armor will eat up battery life very quickly, and integrating all the systems could be quite difficult. It may be necessary for users to have datajacks to integrate suit controls and muscles.
  • It will probably be useful for site defense or well-supplied military operations, not running around. The cost is unlikely to go down much beyond the base components. Shadowrun manufacturing is almost as cheap and quick as manufacturing can get; some components simply require a very tight tolerances and very intricate work.

Experiment #9: Quick-Break Capsules

  • Setup: Auto-injectors are handy, but they usually only hold one drug at a time, and require some Essence. However, DMSO offers a quite handy delivery alternative mechanism. The development of quick-break capsules another way of delivering drugs swiftly.
  • Hypothesis: A DMSO/drug mixture, placed within small capsule and strapped near an artery offer a useful alternative, and makes it easier to reload or alter the contents, or get multiple ones. A capsule holder could even link to internal computer or medical systems.
  • Expected Results: High. The technology is easily available and should integrate nicely.
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