[SF] Race creation - cyber-plagued

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Myrmicus
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[SF] Race creation - cyber-plagued

#1 Postby Myrmicus » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:05 am

Hello. I'm building a race list for a Sci-Fi campaign (since my current NE will reach a conclusion soon).
The first step is the creation of the universe and its population.

The base synthetics are good, I'll keep 'em, but I have a Cyborg race in mind and I'm not sure about its racial traits cost.
The Idea :

Cyber-Plagued :
The Cyber-Plague is a disease that affect cyberwares. Those who get transplanted with those cyberwares suffer the aftereffect : their body slowly turn into bio-metallic robots. But before the disease eats up their whole body and mind, cyber-plagued are a perfect combination of living tissues and mechanical parts, giving them an unique insight into the robotic world.
(2) Half-Machine : The Cyber-Plague can spread to any living being. A Cyber-Plagued chooses another race, get all their traits and have the Cyborg edge.
(-2) Plagued : The disease slowly spread, giving the Terminally ill hindrance. At the start of each session, a cyber-plagued draw a card. If they get a face, the diseases worsen and they suffer -2 to all trait rolls. A joker means that the cyber-plague grants the synthetic racial trait, but destroys the brain in the process, effectively killing them. In addition, the Cyber-Plague is universally feared through the galaxy. People tend to chase them away and suffer -2 charisma when dealing with people who know about their condition.
(?) Machine-Men : Being half organic, half mecanic, a cyber-plagued can get both cyberwares and robot mods. Mod cost is converted into strain. A cyber-plagued can only have half of its strains used to get cyberwares, the other half being used to get robot modifications.

My problem is with the "Machine-Men" cost.

ValhallaGH
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Re: [SF] Race creation - cyber-plagued

#2 Postby ValhallaGH » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:58 am

Since the Half-Machine ability is undervalued, you've got bigger problems than costing the ability to have both robot mods and cyberware simultaneously.

Half-Machine provides a normal race (net +2) with an Edge (+2) that's so powerful it requires the character to have another Major Hindrance (the opposite of Blind, a Major Hindrance so bad that it gives a free Edge as recompense). Assuming you're including the extra Hindrance part of Cyborg, that's a +4 racial ability; if you're ignoring that bit of game balance then it's a +6 racial ability.

Having a standard 5 mod slots is a +1 racial ability (see Construct). Having up to 12 is something that actual robots can't do, so pricing it will be tricky. My instinct is to make it a +3 racial ability, but I am sometimes too harsh in my off-the-cuff judgements, so it may only be a +2 ability.

I'd suggest throwing in the same Weakness (Electricity) that the Construct has. Since you should already be scrambling for drawbacks to balance them out, that should be fine.


Setting consideration: If the cyber-plague was a real thing, the governments would band together to wipe out this disease; even the governments that kept covert teams of cyber-plagued around for various black ops would officially participate in the pogrom to wipe this nightmare from the galaxy. Also, popular opinion would generate a backlash that would effectively wipe out the cybernetics industry.
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Myrmicus
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Re: [SF] Race creation - cyber-plagued

#3 Postby Myrmicus » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:28 am

For the balance part :
Half-Machine : Didn't think about the +2 part of every race creation in that. Will take care of it. The extra hindrance from cyborg is included within Plagued.
Plagued : As said, Plagued is -2, but have two major hindrances : the Terminally Ill and the major Paria (chased by almost anyone who knows about their condition, plus -2 charisma)
Machine-Men is +2 then.
Adding in the Weakness (Major, Electricity) to balance out seems like a good idea.

I'm still thinking about the social implication of this.
The "Cyber-Plague" is the Big Bad of the setting (if a setting can have one real big bad). Thing is, robots created by the plague possess a hive-mind that whish to take over the galaxy (by consuming organic life). The plague isn't mindless and, as such, can use deception to blend in, only known by few greedy governments who fight the threat from the shadows, to avoid a major collapse of their industry. In this version, treatment against the plague exist.
Or...
The Cyber-Plague effectively killed off the cyberware industry and cyberware become rare.

Freemage
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Re: [SF] Race creation - cyber-plagued

#4 Postby Freemage » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:04 pm

Myrmicus wrote:For the balance part :
Half-Machine : Didn't think about the +2 part of every race creation in that. Will take care of it. The extra hindrance from cyborg is included within Plagued.
Plagued : As said, Plagued is -2, but have two major hindrances : the Terminally Ill and the major Paria (chased by almost anyone who knows about their condition, plus -2 charisma)
Machine-Men is +2 then.
Adding in the Weakness (Major, Electricity) to balance out seems like a good idea.

I'm still thinking about the social implication of this.
The "Cyber-Plague" is the Big Bad of the setting (if a setting can have one real big bad). Thing is, robots created by the plague possess a hive-mind that whish to take over the galaxy (by consuming organic life). The plague isn't mindless and, as such, can use deception to blend in, only known by few greedy governments who fight the threat from the shadows, to avoid a major collapse of their industry. In this version, treatment against the plague exist.
Or...
The Cyber-Plague effectively killed off the cyberware industry and cyberware become rare.


Alright, some proposals:

1: Go with cybernetics (in general) being illegal in the setting. As noted, some governments might have black ops teams that have cybernetics (plague-born or otherwise), but they all officially deny the existence of such programs. Due to this, the Cyborg Edge is unavailable in the campaign, EXCEPT as noted below.

2: Cyber-plagued is not a race-as-such. It's not even an Edge. It's a Major Hindrance, with a kicker:

A: First off, you have the Major Wanted Hindrance across any system that knows about the Cyber-plague. If you are found, you will be killed, most likely in a fashion that can vaporize you.
B: Second, you have Terminally Ill, as per the original description; however, if you 'die' from brain-eating, you actually become a Drone, a part of the hive-mind (and thus, a GMC). Drone stats are something you can come up with, that's when they start getting robot parts as well as cybernetics.
C: Third, you gain the Cyber-Tolerant Edge for free. You may, as an Advance, take Cyborg to replace Cyber-Tolerant, in which case, you get the associated Hindrance as well. You also gain one piece of cyberware for free (see the next point about getting more).
D: Fourth, you may now freely take the Upgrade Edge from Savage Rifts, acquiring cybernetics 'organically' (each time the Edge is taken, you get a piece of cyberware). These cybernetics are explicitly created by the nano-virus responsible for the plague to be 'discrete'--they can only be discerned with a Notice check at -4 by someone who is actively looking for signs of the plague, unless the character is subjected to an in-depth medical scan (in which case, the examiner uses the higher of Knowledge [Medicine] or Knowledge [Cybernetics], at a straight roll).
E: You can spread the plague via bodily fluids; anyone deemed exposed must roll Vigor or be infected. Characters infected in this way gain the Cyber-Plagued Hindrance, with the new cybernetic part manifesting over the course of a week. If you are not actually trying to spread the plague, this will cause you to have the Quirk Hindrance, with the resulting -1 Charisma penalty, because you do not shake hands, insist on using your own private utensils, etc. If you are trying to spread the plague, please give your villain character to the GM. :wink:


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