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 Chargen: Cyberware Accessories and Matrix Programs

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PostSubject: Chargen: Cyberware Accessories and Matrix Programs   Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:28 pm

Ok, coming from a tabletop wargaming background where game terms were very well defined, this has been bugging me...

What exactly counts as an "Accessory" for a piece of cyberware? As in, what absolutely must be the same Grade as the implant it's installed in? I can't find it actually defined anywhere in the rules. The closest is the section listing "Cyberlimb Accessories", implying that only those items are considered Accessories for Cyberlimbs.

So, is it only an Accessory if it calls itself that? Like the Cyber holster listed under Cyberlimb Accessories.

Or is it anything that takes up Capacity instead of Essence? Like an implanted commlink (and in that case, does the cost of the commlink itself get added before or after the grade multiplier?)

I've been erring on the side of caution and using the later weaker option, but I'm not entirely sure if that's correct. And the question isn't answered in the FAQ or Errata, nor clarified in the 20th anniversary edition or Augmentation that I can find.

----

Another quirky thing I'm not sure how to handle is the price at chargen for Matrix Programs. The prices are listed in 2 columns: "Cost (up to Rating 3)" and "Cost (up to Rating 6)". Does this mean if I get a program at Rating 5 I use the second column exclusively? Or do I take the price from the first column, then use the more expensive 2nd column only for rating points 4-6?

Example:
Armor Program at Rating 5
Is it 5,000 nuyen (rating x 1000 per 2nd column exclusively)
Or 3,500 nuyen (Rating up to 3 x 500 (1,500) + rating from there up to 5 x 1,000 (2,000))

Again, I've been erring on the side of caution and building using the most expensive / weakest character option. But since nowhere that I've found in the rules does it ever explain how to use that table, I'm left just kind of guessing.

So I suppose the question I should be asking is less "what do the somewhat ambigous rules say" and more "how do you play it on these boards"?
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PostSubject: Re: Chargen: Cyberware Accessories and Matrix Programs   Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:18 pm

Accessory vs Capacity

GMs please feel free to correct me, but the general rule of thumb on Cyber Accessories seems to be more limited to fees-ability than to the specific cyber implant you are trying accessorize. Yes you can put a commlink in your cyberlimb, no you can't put a smuggler's compartment in your cyberear. If an accessory specifically says it is for a specific cyber replacement, i.e. Cranial Bomb, then it can only be used for that part.


Programs

Use the equation as it is written. If it says Rating * 1,000 for programs rated 4-5, then it's Rating * 1,000. For RP purposes I look at it like this, the price jump between R3 and R4 is like the difference between Linux's GIMP and Adobe's Lightroom. Trust me, I feel the frustration on this one. I love hackers in 4th...

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PostSubject: Re: Chargen: Cyberware Accessories and Matrix Programs   Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:36 pm

I think the source of confusion for me on the software stems from it not making sense or following the general rules practices for the biggest price jump to be in the middle instead of at the max. Hence why I was thinking you might just follow the chart left to right, calculating as you went.

As for the cyber, I'm actually asking what counts as an Accessory in order to determine what items must match Grades (basic, alpha, beta, etc). For instance, does a commlink installed in a cyberlimb count as a cyberware accessory? To me, it seems like a totally seperate system that's just using the limb as a case (represented by the Capacity required). And in 3rd, that's actually how it worked, too. But 4th doesn't seem clear on the subject.
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PostSubject: Re: Chargen: Cyberware Accessories and Matrix Programs   Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:41 pm

I would make the call that any implants that are additions to a larger implant would have to be the same grade. It would be like trying to slot 64bit chip into a 32bit Mo/B.

Although I can see an argument for allowing gear of one grade difference still being compatible, but that would be a GM call.

For the GM's out there. Augmentation, pg 33 Cybergland

The text clearly states:

Quote :
Cyberglands are embedded within other cyber implants such as cyberlimbs, dermal sheathing, dermal plating, or sexual implants to release fluids and/or scents.

However, the table says cyberglands have no [capacity].

The Capacity rule on pg 310 of SR4a says:

Quote :
The Capacity costs of subsystems/accessories are listed in brackets.

The lack of a [capacity] entry has usually meant the augmentation is standalone only. So would you allow that a cybergland can be incorporated into a cyberlimb for no capacity cost? Or has this been addressed in the errata?

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Last edited by Wreck on Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Chargen: Cyberware Accessories and Matrix Programs   Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:28 pm

ahHA! thanks Wreck Smile I missed that little catch in the Capacity sidebar. Granted, it's on Pg 300 in SR4, pg310 in SR4A. But I found it! That clears it up well enough. I'd say a subsytem by definition must be the same grade since a subsytem is an integral component of the device's core functionality. And Accessories is already covered.

On the bright side, cost-saving options do still include Second-Hand if the parent implant is Basic or Alpha grade. Being a higher grade doesn't decrease the Capacity cost any, so I don't think it's far fetched that the increased essence cost of used sub-sytems / accessories is also ignored when installed using Capacity. It's like getting replacement parts from a junkyard... just y'know, for yourself.

And on pg 35 of Augmentation, the Cybergland has a Capacity rating of [1].
However, I have the Second Printing. Must be an errata.
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PostSubject: Re: Chargen: Cyberware Accessories and Matrix Programs   Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:38 pm

I really should get the errata for Augmentation. Sorry, I don't really pay attention to which version (SR4A, SR4) I pick up.

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PostSubject: Re: Chargen: Cyberware Accessories and Matrix Programs   Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:41 pm

For programs,,,check out "Unwired", and "Runner's Companion", the sections on the Cracker Underground, and Warezhouse 24.

For the Cracker Underground, with a decent to high level of skills in Datasearch you can get a complete set of level 6 ratings Software in about 5 minutes of In Game time.

WarezHouse 24 is even more interesting.
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PostSubject: Re: Chargen: Cyberware Accessories and Matrix Programs   Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:49 pm

WearzManySkins wrote:
For programs,,,check out "Unwired", and "Runner's Companion", the sections on the Cracker Underground, and Warezhouse 24.

For the Cracker Underground, with a decent to high level of skills in Datasearch you can get a complete set of level 6 ratings Software in about 5 minutes of In Game time.

WarezHouse 24 is even more interesting.

Well, Cracker Underground first requires finding the network, which will likely take a few days. but I can totally see an upgrading spree after the first successful run's payday.

WarezHouse is great, but requires you do a Hacking job beforehand, meaning you need the software before you even get membership. Still nice, though I'm leaning more towards JackPoint membership myself Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Chargen: Cyberware Accessories and Matrix Programs   Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:36 am

In Runners Companion, under the rules for Group and Virtual Connections:

Synner:
Warezhouse 24 would be Connection: 3(13) (Base 3 + Membership 2 + Area 1 + Matrix 2)

If you pay for a Group/Virtual Connection in BP's at Character Gen, you do not have to spend time finding them etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Chargen: Cyberware Accessories and Matrix Programs   Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:54 am

For Warezhouse 24, I'm talking about more from a fluff perspective. The description says a member must invite you, and a random member gives you a hack to pull off before they let you in to the club. So barring some creative writing (not always a bad thing) I'd typically say you still need to buy the programs at chargen normally or you couldn't have pulled off the hack to get in.

And there's no actual contact for a Cracker Underground ring from Unwired, plus they can get shut down at random so they don't always make good Contact material.

Besides, the best program rating possible to use at Chargen is 5 anyway. Program effective rating is limited by System, System effective rating is limited by Response, and Response 6 is Availability 16. Of course, if you've got the 5 BP to spare in Qualities for Restricted gear, you can start with it, but it's only 4,000 to build your own after the fact and takes 2 or 3 days. Perfect for after that first successful run Smile So having Rating 6 at chargen isn't entirely a bad thing.
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PostSubject: Re: Chargen: Cyberware Accessories and Matrix Programs   Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:41 am

For a Matrix or Rigger a Response of 6 at chargen is a major good thing.

Warezhouse 24, well most of the usage of BP covers the various background information for such fluff. Yes a good story/background can ease the implementation of such a contact.

But again most characters with massive amounts of cyberware/bioware/geneware, seldom give much information on how such was acquired, usually a single line in the back-story/details. Myself as a GM would allow the usage of Virtual Group Contacts, but would much prefer some detail in the background for such.

Issue is Unwired and Runner's Companion were basically written by different groups of free lance writers. From the differences written for each, it is confusing at times.

Unwired was written before Runner's Companion. Does that mean the rules for Groups.Virtual groups in Runners Companion apply the groups in Unwired? That is a much debated issue with many GM and players.
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PostSubject: Re: Chargen: Cyberware Accessories and Matrix Programs   Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:52 am

I see the Cracker Underground groups from Unwired as less of a Contact and more like a virtual Crime Mall. find the place, and buy what you want. Though some of the contributers to such undergrounds could be great contacts, be they individuals or groups themselves.

And I'm a background junkie, so I'd have to include it in the write-up somehow. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Chargen: Cyberware Accessories and Matrix Programs   Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:20 am

You and me both about background/details.

Cracker Underground is basically like modern day Torrent Sites, once you get into a good private Torrent Server/Site using searches you can find many interesting things.

Cracker Underground is much like Black Market Contacts, for a set amount of BP's you basically have a discount on those items. But screams for some background details IMHO. I have seen some "house rules" regarding Black Market Contacts where the avail limit is increase by 2-6 for items that Black Market Contact provides.

Virtual Groups/Contacts are something that has always been there in the background of the Shadowrun but only recently have some defined "rules" for such been available.
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