Cyber-Replacements and Additions

   Cyberware in Shadowrun tends to be awfully standardized. Despite hundreds of companies, and thousands of individual physicians and tinkerers, there really aren’t very many items available. That never seemed especially satisfactory somehow – so we broke the stuff down into subsystems and let people design their own cyberware, mixing and matching as needed to produce just the system they wanted. In this case we’re covering major replacements – extremities and limbs, torsos, and other major chunks of the body.

   Cyber -Replacements and –Additions go a bit beyond simply implanting some gadgets. They involve removing entire limbs or organs and replacing them with cybernetic substitutes. This has it’s advantages; such a replacement part can have a certain amount of “extra” items installed without further impact on it’s user’s system – and such systems are usually tougher and stronger then the tissues they replace. On the downside, this costs a lot, both initially and in the form of repairs, is a huge psychological trauma, limits the effectiveness of enhancements designed for organic bodies, and means permanently giving up some part of your natural humanity. It’s not something to do casually.

   In technical terms, there are three major types of Cyber-replacements; Sensory, Structural, and Vital. Of those three, vital organ replacements are the rarest. Current regenerative, supportive, transplant, and organ cloning techniques have rendered most such procedures medically unnecessary – and other benefits are fairly limited. Sensory systems are, however, pretty common. The various costs of such systems are relatively low, the benefits can be considerable (QV; Sensors), and the technology is relatively “basic” – the only part that was unavailable at the end of the last century is the neural interface. The most dramatic, and rarest, form of replacement is Structural; the replacement of bone and muscle with alloy, polymers and plastics, “smart” materials, batteries, nanotech interfaces, and electro- contractile fibers. While expensive and traumatic, the benefits of such surgery can be quite dramatic. There are engineering restrictions – but in practical terms the effective Strength and Quickness of cyberlimbs is limited only by the strain exerted on the rest of the body. The cybersurgeon just keeps turning up the limb settings until signs of strain appear, usually during the recovery period after surgery. For game purposes, the base Strength and Quickness of a cyberlimb is equal to it’s user’s natural values.

Statistical Data :

Part Replaced

Ess Cost

Cyber-Accepts

Bonus Body

Base Cost

EQ Ob/Sy

%

Hand/Foot

.35

.60

45K

2/1

5

Forearm

.65

1.20

+.25

70K

4/2

10

Lower Leg

.65

1.20

+.25

70K

8/4

10

Arm

1.00

2.00

+.50

100K

10/5

15

Leg

1.00

2.00

+1.00

100K

20/10

15

Torso

1.50

3.00

+2.50

120K

7/3

30

Skull

.75

1.50

+.50

75K

2/1

10

Eye

.20

.50

5K

1/1

Ear

.30

.50

4K

1/2

Nose

.20

.50

2K

-/-

Vital Organ

.25

.15

15K

2/2

10

.

   The vital organs include the heart, liver, lungs, stomach, intestines, kidneys, and various other bits. The brain is specifically excluded from the catagory, and is discussed elsewhere. If you’re not familiar with the notions, “Cyber-Accepts” is the essence cost of additional cyberware which can be installed in a particular system without further impact on the user’s system. “EQ” is Equipment Capacity – how much extra room is available for installing non-cyber gadgets. The two listings are for obviously artificial limbs and for synthetic limbs which look natural.

   “Package Deals” are simple enough in concept; they reduce the total trauma, expense, and time, involved by having everything done at once. There are five basic package deals available;

Package Deal;

Ess Cost

Cyber-Accepts

Bonus Body

Base Cost

EQ Ob/Sy

%

Cyberframe

5.00

12.00

+6.00

400K

80/40

90

NeuroBorg

7.20

15.00

+8.00

6M

100/60

100

ShellBorg

4.00

Special

3M

N/A

Sp.

Transfer

12.00

Special

+9.00

Unknown

Special

100

Vitals

1.50

1.00

+2.00

75K

 

50

   CyberFrames include Cyber -limbs, -torso, -skull, and a direct neural interface. As side effects, they provide +6 Str and -3 Chr, and can be equipped with a great deal of additional equipment. In essence, the user’s brain and vital organs are simply installed in a more (or less) humanoid robotic body. While rather drastic, this can be quite effective.

   NeuroBorgs get Cyber -limbs, -eyes, -nose, -ears, -torso, -skull, and -vitals, along with a direct neural interface. Side effects include +6 Str, +3 Qui, and a -6 on Chr. Neuroborgs are classic “brains-in-boxes”, and are often designed to permit the easy removal – and transfer – of the brain and it’s life-support system. Obviously enough, they generally have to be repaired, not healed. Most neuroborgs are experiments – and have various monitoring, control, shutdown, and even self- destruct, features included, whether or not they know it. The GM should drastically reduce the price for characters who accept such limitations.

   Shellborgs are something of a special case. They retain most, or all, of their original body, but have it encased in a total life support system – while all applicable sensory and spinal nerves are hooked up to external equipment, in a symbiosis more complete then that of any rigger. They often think of themselves as pure mentalities, inhabiting mechanisms. They rarely think of their physical bodies at all. Shellborgs are very rare; adults and older children almost always go mad (hence lengthy training is necessary), the system is immobile (Short of a moving van), and the benefits aren’t all that overwhelming. They usually originate among the extremely rich and powerful, who can afford to let emotion override practicality.

   While immobile and physically helpless, shellborgs have a small mainframe as a part of their minds.. In practice this can be treated as an Encephalon-6, Math SPU-6, Chipjack Expert Driver-12, Fairlight Excalibur Cyberdeck, Vehicle Control Rig III, a Knowsoft Link and six Datajacks. They also gain a bonus of (+4/+2D6) to their initiative, are effectively immune to feedback- based damage other then stun thanks to being on total life support, and can multitask by simply dividing up their available actions. A shellborg working thru the matrix will probably have an initiative of (at least) 6D6, and could probably carry on a conversation, “run the matrix”, and read a book, all at the same time. On the physical side, shellborgs usually have some basic sensors and telecommunications in case whatever they’re linked too goes down. Their attribute limits are Bod 2, Str 0, Qui 10, Int 10, Cha 6, and Will 8. Reaction of (Qui+Int)/2+10+6D6, initial skill limit of 8.

   Shellborgs generally come with massive obligations to whoever is supporting and maintaining them (No, they don’t get points for this). As a rule, any quasilegal activities are being hidden from his or her sponsors, thus they must work with limited resources and may be unavailable – or have to devote many of their actions to other things – at unpredictable intervals.

   -As a gamemaster note, Shellborgs can also be used to represent AI’s. If someone’s playing a shellborg, it’s also a good idea to remember transmission delays and the fact that many areas are both off the net and out of range for teleoperations. They’re really very limited – if formidable in their speciality.

   Transfer may be entirely mythical. It involves somehow transferring a human (or metahuman) mind into a computer, creating a sentient – “living” – machine. Obviously, only the most advanced, unscrupulous – and perhaps truly unholy – “delta clinics” could possibly accomplish such a feat. As a base, Body +9, Str +9, Qui +6, Chr automatically reduced to (-6) (Don’t even bother trying), maximum essence of 0, no limit on the amount of cyberware or augmentation possible.

   “Vitals” are just that; the contents of the chest and abdominal cavities. The liver, spleen, and heart, lungs, kidneys, stomach, intestines, etcetra. This sort of operation is pretty rare; while it does grant the user near-immunity to certain toxins, diseases, and disorders (For example, liver-destroying compounds do not affect cyber-livers, cyberlungs aren’t vulnerable to TB or pneumonia, and cyberhearts don’t have “heart attacks”), current medical techniques are normally up to handling those problems in less drastic ways. The brain is specifically excluded from the catagory, and is discussed elsewhere.

.

   Cyberforms use many of the technologies cyberlimbs do. Unlike cyberlimbs, however, they use conventional (Fuel cell electric) batteries, do not require neural interconnections, surgery, anti-rejection treatments, attachment to living tissue, or careful adjustments and customization – which is why they’re so much cheaper.

   A Cyberform is essentially a robotic creature that can be remotely operated by a rigger. They come with basic senses (Cyber-eyes, ears, and smell/taste), head, limbs, and ornamental tail (If desired), vocalizer, and a remote-operations hookup. More devices may be added at the usual cyberware prices. Obviously artificial looking cyberforms can mount more gadgetry – but have higher signatures, and are much harder to get people to accept.

Cyberform

Bod

Str

Qui

Sig (1)

Chr (2)

E.C. (3)

Cost

Small: Bobcat to Dog Sized (4)

4

5

5

5/7

-3/-2

45/25

60K

Medium: Human Sized

6

7

4

4/6

-4/-1

85/50

75K

Large: Troll-Sized

8

9

3

3/5

-5/-2

125/75

120K

Huge: Elephant-Sized (5)

10

12

2

2/3

-6/-4

200/125

Unk.

Absurd: Behemoth or Dragon-Sized (6)

12

15

1

2/2

-8/-6

350/250

Unk.

.

Additional

+1

+2

+3

+4

+5

+6

Strength

20K

40K

60K

90K

120K

150K

Quickness

10K

20K

30K

50K

75K

N/A

Body

15K

30K

50K

75K

N/A

N/A

Signature

25K

50K

100K

N/A

N/A

N/A

Pilot

Free (7)

10K

25K

100K

500K

N/A

  • 1) Signature rating, for obviously robotic/natural-appearance cyberforms.
  • 2) Charisma penalty when trying to deal with other people via an obvious/natural-appearance cyberform. Penalties may not apply if you happen to be operating a giant teddy bear or something (GM’s discretion).
  • 3) Equipment Capacity of obvious/natural appearing cyberforms.
  • 4) It may be possible to make a flying cyberform of this size, but it would at least double the cost.
  • 5) Usually limited to Hollywood, and very definitely a special-order item even there.
  • 6) More of a theoretical possibility then a reality in most games.
  • 7) All cyberforms have a base pilot rating of one, a base flux rating of 2, and use “normal” cybersenses rather then vehicle sensors. If you want to equip one with ECM/ECCM, ED/ECD, or some such, use the relevant cyberware.

   Enhancements to cyberlimbs can be purchased like enhancements to any other cyberform. Unfortunately, unbalanced enhancements tend to cause penalties and enhancements far above natural ratings (+4 or more) require bone reinforcement, a cybertorso, or some similar system to provide proper anchoring. Things are much simpler for characters with complete packages – exoborgs, neuroborgs, and transfer cases. They can simply buy such upgrades on a bodywide basis.

   Unfortunately, Bone Lacing, Dermal Armor, Dermal Sheaths, Muscle Augmentation, Muscle Replacement, and Orthoskin (among other systems) are not compatible with cyber-replacement.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: