alright, Mythras cybernetics

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Raleel

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So I have more notes, but these notes are succinct enough to put on here for some discussion. I'd put it on the TDM boards, but... well... they aren't ready, and I'd like a little more freeform discussion.

Basic idea - treat cybernetics like they are Sorcery effects, only all Enchanted.

The equivalent to Invocation is the Quality of the component (name undermined) - this determines the strength of effects. Many effects are probably going to be at the base level because they need to be a certain SIZ - Intensity X 3 is needed to meet a particular SIZ. Some of them (like Enhance) are 2 points of enhancement per Intensity.

The equivalent of Shaping is the Capacity of the mount (name undetermined). This one determines the POW used, as you have to Shape the Enchant. Since all of the effects are going to be single target (the implantee) and the duration will largely be permanent (Enchant). The "base cost" will be based on the number of effects (minimum 2 - Enchant and the actual cyber effect), outside of the chance for Resistance (aka Magnitude). So, minimum cyberwear is going to be 2, but might include more if they are logically similar (pretty soft here).

Cyberlimbs are special. I'm not actually thinking of charging any POW for base cyber limbs. They effectively make you immune to Serious Wound penalties, and probably some special effects on those limbs (Bleed, Stun Location, Drop Foe) due to lack of pain receptors and the like. They also don't provoke an endurance roll when you get a Major Wound there. They have some armor. HOWEVER, they don't heal. Sorry, you have to repair. Currently, there is no magical way to repair. Thus, it takes downtime. This is pretty close to making a limb have the Undead characteristic. This feels like a roughly equivalent value, so right now I'm treating a cyber limb at base stat as no POW lost.

I'd welcome some commentary and feedback. i'm sure I'm missing stuff, but need to get some focus :smile:

Cybernetics have
  • Magnitude (resistance)
  • Slots (combine)

Each cybernernetic has to have
  • Enchant (to make permanent)
  • Combine (to make something a part of it)

So minimum cost is 2 (1 for Enchant. 1 for the spell)
POW cost comes from the recipient
Quality of the Component is similar to Invocation
  • This determines the effect of the item
  • 3x SIZ is common, which means that Intensity 5 is about what you need for most humans
  • Enhance characteristic is 2 per intensity, 2x characteristic max, meaning that 10 STR is 50% skill, which is more than enough for most folks.
Capacity of the mount/body part is similar to shaping
  • Capacity determines POW loss
  • We should leave out the abjure for basics (eyes, limbs, etc)
    • No healing for limbs
    • Immune to serious wound effects
    • major wounds do not incapacitate
    • Breathing and actual life required functions you gotta pay

Cyberlimbs - How much POW?
  • Well, how much do you want to add to it?
  • Armor of CON/3 Natural
  • Capacity up to SIZ/3 in ENC (as POW?)

Options
  • Abjure, Intensity x 3 = SIZ
    • Breathing
    • Poisons
  • Damage Resistance - armor, up to intensity
    • Limb armor should be different, this is dermal plating
  • Enhance (Characteristic)
    • 2 per intensity up to double
  • Haste - Intensity x 3 = SIZ, + Intensity in movement
  • Perceive - cyber senses here
    • Most are going to be Intensity 5 (handles up to SIZ 15)
  • Treat smartlinks as a sense here
 

soltakss

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Sounds good to me.
Revolution d100 does cybernetics in a very similar way, in that each cybernetic device has Powers hanging off it. Powers in Revolution d100 are indepenent of the magic systems, so Cybernetics just uses the Powers. A cybernetic eye might have the Darkvision Power, or might give a Bonus (+30%) to Perception rolls, or might allow for X-Ray vision. Very simple, very easy to use.
 

Raleel

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Thanks, I’ve been looking for a good reason to go make myself read Rev d100 and pull something in. Might be a great reason
 

Raleel

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rethinking this a bit. realizing that I should probably stop thinking about it in terms of POW, because it might not cost that (depends on the setting). Might be something else (Tenacity, for example).

One thing I am thinking is though that the capacity of the cyberlimb (i.e. the number of things you can put into it, the volume of the secret storage compartments, etc) is going to be based on SIZ of the character. It bugs me that we have SIZ and that a troll cyberarm might not hold more than a human cyberarm, even if his strength is quite a lot larger (volume of pistons, etc probably would not double with double strength).

Also thinking in the case of cyberlimbs (and probably pretty specifically cyberarms in most cases) that the maximum weapon SIZ and Reach will be Medium/Short for Humans (mace being the only Medium/Short weapon), but also think that they are going to get their own table so that I can make exceptions for monowire whips, flails, etc. I can really see someone with a cyberarm make a fist, have it lock into place via small crossbars, protrude spikes across the surface, then have the whole hand drop off the wrist as a chain attached to the base of the hand-now-spike-ball comes out of the forearm.

It just occurred to me these might be natural weapons. Then it occurred to me they probably aren't, but there is no reason that someone can't get a cyber-tentacle and it actually be a natural weapon.

also, I see now how Shadowrun got the way it is :smile:
 

Mankcam

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I'm not sure if this is too broad for your tastes, however you could always just keep it simple by allowing cyberware to have one of three functions:

1. Cyberware either allows you to do something you normally couldn't do (ie: you can breath underwater with cyber-lungs; or mentally communicate to another person who has the same internal cyberware receiver implanted to their brain lobe, etc)
2. Cyberware allows you to perform actions at easier difficulty levels
3. Cyberware allows you to inflict damage at higher dice levels.

You can pretty much cover everything with this. Just re-trap any cyberware you may have read about in fiction or other rpgs. You can be pulpy here with loose broad descriptions, or you can go in deep and get quite technical, depending on which system you are porting the cyberware from.

I would think there needs to be some cost to using them, so PP could represent 'internal bioenergy' used to power the cyberware, plus you could always have additional battery packs etc containing PP.

I agree that implementing some risk for Tenacity loss may be a good thing for flavour; with this the more PP spent needs to increase the risk of Tenacity loss.

The other way is do something like you initially suggested. Just use the Mythras Sorcery spells for effects, except replace the Invocation skill with Activation, or something like that (Quality and Capacity worked fine). Then you just re-trap those Sorcery spells as Cyber Abilities. You did a good job of this in the initial post, that looks like a clean port.

So you could go either way I suppose.

Also the OpenQuest game River of Heaven has simple cyber/bioware rules which could be directly plugged into Mythras pretty much RAW.
 
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Raleel

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Yea, since I wrote that I went back and redid some stuff so that it was simpler. Much of the cyberware is as you describe actually
 

Raleel

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More updates. Apparently after the Vampire wars author John Snead is going to release some cybernetics stuff around the same time. Also, i spent some time looking over GURPS cybernetics and am pretty sure that it’s closer to my mental model than Shadowrun itself as far as cybernetics goes. I’ve got most of my bases covered on the actual cybernetics.
 

Ronnie Sanford

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More updates. Apparently after the Vampire wars author John Snead is going to release some cybernetics stuff around the same time. Also, i spent some time looking over GURPS cybernetics and am pretty sure that it’s closer to my mental model than Shadowrun itself as far as cybernetics goes. I’ve got most of my bases covered on the actual cybernetics.

Cybernetics from John Snead? Do tell!
 

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This thread reminds me of the extremely-delayed Punktown Kickstarter which would have probably been a good sourcebook to use with Mythras. 4 years late; I'm glad I didn't pledge much on that one. Still, it looks like it might be coming out at some point.
 

Raleel

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alright. I believe it was either The Butcher The Butcher or maybe CRKrueger CRKrueger that was looking for this. Alpha version attached. Comments and constructive criticisms welcome.
 

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Raleel

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K_Peterson

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Hmm.. I might be tempted to buy it.

I'm surprised (and pleased) that it was released for 6th edition CoC. I would have figured that Chaosium would have forced Chronicle City to re-license and reproduce it for 7E.
 

Mankcam

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Wow, that was on my to-get list years ago, I forgot that it was still in production. A bit hard to still be excited for it after so long, but I may grab the pdf.

Looks good for those who want to run BRP in a Cyberfuture setting.
 

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Are there any general rules for powers in Mythras? That would be a good fit for cybernetics, and it seems like the sort of thing you'd expect someone to define for a generic system.
 

Raleel

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Are there any general rules for powers in Mythras? That would be a good fit for cybernetics, and it seems like the sort of thing you'd expect someone to define for a generic system.

Yes-ish. Luther Arkwright has some. They tend to have one or two powers. After they vampire wars as more, and makes half-fae Powers. Up there a bit is a thread where the author of After the vampire wars has some cybernetics. Essentially, put them on a point system. I’ve modified his a bit, since I think it’s a touch fiddly. There is the forthcoming worlds United, which is supposed to make superpowers, shooting for the Luke Cage/Jessica Jones range.

Right now, I’m going with a cybernetic arm or leg is 1 point, and most of the senses are half a point. Implanted body armor around half a point as well. Individual powers like immunity to toxins or small boosts to initiative also shoot into this lower range.

Cyber limbs end up being pretty strong for me since they effectively make your limb undead (no endurance checks, no pain, etc) and armored and boost skills in limited ways. They can’t be healed with medicine, of course, and this leaves out magic. Repairing takes quite. A bit of time.
 

Raleel

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There's a superhero scenario with some kind of character build system about to be released, it might (?) have some connection to cybernetics.

Thereis the forthcoming worlds United, which is supposed to make superpowers, shooting for the Luke Cage/Jessica Jones range.
 

Raleel

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you're right, I keep getting them confused. thanks!
 

Raleel

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https://sites.google.com/site/raleel/mythras-cyberpunk/basics put in some work on this today. everything in it, I think, is freely downloadable or publicly accessible. essentially a framework for a modern game and you can put your cybernetics into it. I've not gotten super detailed in some areas, but on the other hand, it should work with a relatively experienced GM.
 

Raleel

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In case you hadn't figured it out, this is my thinking out loud thread ;)

I'm thinking that Smartlinks (I've called them Augmented Reality Firearm Enhancements or ARFE for short) do the following
  • make switching modes a free action
  • reduces the reload time by one action on magazine equipped weapons. My argument here is that you can mentally tell the gun to drop the magazine while you are pulling a new one. It leaves the magazine on the ground, of course.
  • Reduces the Aim action from 1 round to 1 cycle. This emulates Classic Fantasy's ranger ability. For those of you with cybersense augments, it works with those as well.
I personally consider the ARFE to be the first "big upgrade". It's going to make you a lot more deadly. As such, I'll be pricing it just outside of starting money range for most folks.

I've also started thinking "correctly" I suppose - a lot of game designers have said that feats/magic items/etc are there to let you break small aspects of the rules. I think I've turned my brain that way a bit. So, for example

Autoinjector
This device injects drugs into you and is tied to your personal health monitor. It can hold 3 doses of whatever you decide to put in it. It makes ingesting those three particular drugs a free action, and does not require the user to be able to take actions.

So this device is specifically designed to bypass taking drugs and the like. normally those are 1 AP to use. It has an extra special effect when combined with pain killers - it will allow you to make a new Endurance check, probably with a bonus, to overcome the pain from the Drop Foe special effect, or from serious wounds and major wounds. This sort of device would appear mostly on former and paramilitary, I think, though I can see people who are Very Serious using it.

I don't think either of these ideas is new at all, but mostly me framing how I approach it.
 

Raleel

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Decided to make datajacks ubiquitous.
  • People with datajacks probably hack a lock with Computer skill. People without use Electronics. One is hacking, other is hotwiring.
  • People who access the Net/Matrix use a datajack. To put it in core Mythras terms, it's a magic item that allows access to the "spirit world", which is the Net. If you read over the Animism rules carefully, there are several references to using a skill (if you have access via a magic item) or Trance - use the former. Insight, Perception, Computer, etc.
  • The Net is the spirit world, essentially. Hacking is animism. Accessing the net is like walking the spirit world. There is no hacking equivalent to the Trance skill because datajacks eliminated the need.
  • Decks allow you to bypass your natural INT/POW/CHA to operate on the Net. they have their own. Cost should be these values multiplied together, then multiplied by a factor for your game.
    • They use Computer skill for most of their work, or utilize a program to do work for them
    • INT becomes INTerrupt speed or BUS speed if you want something not as similar
    • POW becomes cpu POWer
    • CHA becomes CAChe, which I couldn't figure out a cool name for that matched the initialization.
    • Compute your net stats on these - Initiative is based on INT + CAC, etc.
    • Your deck has Tenacity. It's based on CPU POWer. Essentially, how much can it handle. attacking it involves trying to spinlock or otherwise reduce it.
    • Your Deck rating determines the number of programs you can hold, essentially translate identically to the Shaman rank, only you are basing number of programs/spirits you can have on the CAC.
    • Programs act as spirits. the Ancestor spirit is good for an expert system, for example, because sagacity is there. You could use a program with Sagacity (Electronics) to unlock physical locks, for example.
 

Nobby-W

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So I have more notes, but these notes are succinct enough to put on here for some discussion. I'd put it on the TDM boards, but... well... they aren't ready, and I'd like a little more freeform discussion.
Cyberpunk 2020 and its supplements have a large and elaborate section on cybernetic enhancements, including rules on their effects on the user's humanity. Have you read that?
 

Raleel

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I have. Cyberpunk (the original) was one of the first games I owned beyond D&D. Purchased it for a gaming store in Portland, Oregon in 1988 if I remember correctly. I also own all the editions of Shadowrun and GURPS cybernetics. I have interface zero for all the systems I think. Apparently, I like the genre :smile: I don’t think I really thought about that until just now, actually...

For cosmetic stuff, I’m not going to spend a lot of cycles on it. Almost none of it has any essence cost, and no game effect either. It’s flavor, and while fun, I figure my group and anyone using these house rules probably can figure that out.

I actually like GURPS model a lot, but I’m not putting in power cells for cybernetics. But there are a lot of ideas in it I like. Structure is good too.
 

soltakss

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It's funny, but what was made-up cyberware in the 70s is now commonplace. Sure, a datajack into the brain isn't, but pretty much everything else it would do is available on a mobile phone nowadays.

Personally, I wouldn't make it so that everyone has a datajack, but would make them commonplace, so anyone could have one if they wanted to. Having one means that someone could hack into you datajack and mess with your brain, or they could be attacked with a directed EMp or fried, causing damage to the brain, which doesn't sound very nice to me at all.
 

Raleel

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I actually do make them optional, but ubiquitous. I compare them to cell phones now specifically. The quote from my main doc is “Characters are assumed to start with a datajack unless they specifically do not one. If they choose to do without, then they are denied access to some useful tools without specific augmentations to help.”

I call out some differences that might come up, like hacking a lock vs hot wiring a lock might end up with different skills (computer vs electronics). It’s also currently required for a deck and access to the net, but that’s a whole other thing.

And yea, a lot of it today is available on a cell phone. We just don’t implant it.
 

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Do you use a wireless datajack? Nowadays, everything is wireless, so it makes sense. Give it roaming and connecting capabilities and you can do loads of things without any associated hardware.
 

Raleel

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Do you use a wireless datajack? Nowadays, everything is wireless, so it makes sense. Give it roaming and connecting capabilities and you can do loads of things without any associated hardware.
i keep debating it. on one hand, as you say, everything is wireless. on the other hand, i come out of the wired era, and there are some wonderful reasons to have physical access only.

i honestly thought maybe wireless + wired, and most people don't use the wired, but some places do to require the physical access.
 

Edgewise

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I know it's de rigueur for cyberpunk, but as a software engineer, the last thing I need is to have my code represented as colorful 3D solids. I really can't conceive of a world where that would be the ideal interface for creating software. Actual text is a much denser and easier way of comprehending meaningful information and instructions.

As for cybernetic eyes...it's a lot less invasive to put on a pair of infrared goggles, or pick up a pair of binoculars.

Essentially, we are already living in a "cyberpunk" world without all the colorful and impractical interfaces of the literature.

By the way, I'm great at parties...just a ton of laffs!
 

soltakss

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I know it's de rigueur for cyberpunk, but as a software engineer, the last thing I need is to have my code represented as colorful 3D solids. I really can't conceive of a world where that would be the ideal interface for creating software. Actual text is a much denser and easier way of comprehending meaningful information and instructions.

Yes, I agree. However, I have seen some programming languages where code is designed using diagrams, either software flows or screen design, everything is pictures, links and properties. Put that on a 3-d virtual interface and you have something similar to the way it is portrayed in books/TV/Films.

As for cybernetic eyes...it's a lot less invasive to put on a pair of infrared goggles, or pick up a pair of binoculars.

But, cyber implants are cool!

Essentially, we are already living in a "cyberpunk" world without all the colorful and impractical interfaces of the literature.

Agreed. Many things I read about in SciFi books as a kid are old hat now.

It's the Star Trek Effect, people become engineers because they saw something cool on Star trek, then invented something similar and now it's commonplace.

By the way, I'm great at parties...just a ton of laffs!

I'd be with you in the kitchen talking about cyberware, don't you worry.
 

Edgewise

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However, I have seen some programming languages where code is designed using diagrams, either software flows or screen design, everything is pictures, links and properties. Put that on a 3-d virtual interface and you have something similar to the way it is portrayed in books/TV/Films.
Sure, it's absolutely doable. But (a) that shouldn't require brain surgery, just a screen, and (b) if I was forced to program like that, I would quit tomorrow.

I can just imagine the conversations:

Programmer A: I don't know what's wrong with the service. It keeps dumping core when any of the input items is null!
Programmer B: Did you use a red triangle? That would explain it...what you really need is an orange octagon.
I'd be with you in the kitchen talking about cyberware, don't you worry.
Now that's a party! Seriously, it sounds fun to me.
 

soltakss

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Sure, it's absolutely doable. But (a) that shouldn't require brain surgery, just a screen

As a programmer myself, brain surgery would definitely improve things.

Not needing a screen or keyboard would actually be very useful, as I wouldn't need to go into the office, except for meetings.

and (b) if I was forced to program like that, I would quit tomorrow.

I like the crunchy getting down with code programming myself, but a couple of people who are now using said language (Pega by the way, also have done some things in SQL and using Talend) do say it is really good. They still miss "proper" programming, but using flowcharts, links and so on works really well.

But, in a Cyberworld game, all you need is a Computers skill, perhaps with some Programming sub-skills, and to hell with anything else. Just give the tasks a difficulty rating and you have the whole of Programming sorted. Cyberpunks don't do Documentation, either.
 

Raleel

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But, in a Cyberworld game, all you need is a Computers skill, perhaps with some Programming sub-skills, and to hell with anything else. Just give the tasks a difficulty rating and you have the whole of Programming sorted. Cyberpunks don't do Documentation, either.

this is largely the approach I'm taking. the actual details of how it is presented to the hacker/netrunner is probably up to the players. if they are into APIs, then APIs are what they can imagine, with a full set of programming assistants with function completion and all that. I probably won't get into the mindset differences between programmers and hackers and how being good at one doesn't necessarily mean being good at the other, or dive into networking knowledge or disk subsystem knowledge or optimization or any of that. It's just too fine a detail for what I'm after.

As for cybernetic eyes...it's a lot less invasive to put on a pair of infrared goggles, or pick up a pair of binoculars.

I actually deal with this a bit via concealment. Items like this do have some modifier, because you probably are trying to do a heist. They also have ENC of course. Now, for items like this, it's going to be a very minor thing (like ENC of 1, Easy roll on Conceal). But I figure if you are spending points on vision magnification in your cybereyes (cybereyes don't really cost a lot by themselves because they don't give much benefit - only really immunity to toxins in the eyes, say), there should be a cost for not doing that.

Now that's a party! Seriously, it sounds fun to me.

and no doubt I would be as well :smile:
 

Raleel

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One thing I've decided on here, I think. The more I think about it, it's about sticking it to the Man.
  • One of the cultures is Ex-Corp - was Corp - now. Ex-Corp left. They were a part of the system. they attended meetings, they did stuff for a wage. But now they've decided to go out on their own. Maybe modern analog of a start up, but probably more shady. Freelancer.
  • One culture is Street. These guys have always been on the Street. They understand the shadows. They are among the gangers and the low lifes and the freaks. These guys maybe envy the Corp, but they have a hard time breaking free of the Street.
  • Then there are the Rurals (name pending). These guys haven't been in the Street or the Corp. They are moths to the flame of the city. But there is safety and simplicity in the country. In the woods. where ever it is. They choose their place in the city.
thinking about this now, this drives the drama forward a lot. It supports a range of characters too.
 

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I know it's de rigueur for cyberpunk, but as a software engineer, the last thing I need is to have my code represented as colorful 3D solids. I really can't conceive of a world where that would be the ideal interface for creating software. Actual text is a much denser and easier way of comprehending meaningful information and instructions.

As for cybernetic eyes...it's a lot less invasive to put on a pair of infrared goggles, or pick up a pair of binoculars.

Essentially, we are already living in a "cyberpunk" world without all the colorful and impractical interfaces of the literature.

By the way, I'm great at parties...just a ton of laffs!

The way people are glued to their phones in public with earphones in all the time I now very much believe we will one day have out iPhones installed in our heads.
 

Raleel

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I would not be surprised at all. There are some real barriers here though. energy for processors isn't free, and doesn't just go to processing. we don't have any way to shed that.

For me, the culture and the themes were driving me crazy. I feel like I have a much better handle on it now.
 

Raleel

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for those of you who want shadowrun, here's a solid set of maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of the 5e sorcery spells. The granularity is quite a bit finer in shadowrun, so it requires breaking a bunch out that i'm not sure I would do. but the combat spells, the detection spells, and the health spells are most all there (some exceptions I'm thinking about).

Illusion is going to have a lot of Phantom (Sense) and will be very much the same across the board. Manipulation I have some notes on and a lot of them are pretty straight forward, but there are some odd balls in there.
 

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I know it's de rigueur for cyberpunk, but as a software engineer, the last thing I need is to have my code represented as colorful 3D solids. I really can't conceive of a world where that would be the ideal interface for creating software. Actual text is a much denser and easier way of comprehending meaningful information and instructions.
I've had to explain the Deutsch Limit in interviews on more than one occasion, usually in the context of explaining when one might want to use stored procedures in preference to data flows built using ETL tools.
 

Raleel

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Getting to playtest this Friday. I have someone else running and I’m going to monitor and take Notes. I’ve coopted an adventure, pre-made quite a few characters.

things I’ve learned
  • Trying to match mechanics is a pain in the ass. Sometimes they just don’t translate well, even if they are somewhat similar. This really started cropping up in character generation when I tried to map the sample characters in SR3 directly and things just didn’t work right. Going with a general concept (heavily cybered street samurai, human mage) and then building it according to the system works much better.

  • cosmology Has been important and has been tied with the mechanics. There are a lot of nuances with the magic in here. Sometimes it feels like SR3 put in something just to put in something. It’s not like it is interacted with.

  • sometimes options are put in just to have options. If you simplify them, you may not lose any functionality, but you may leave with fewer options, which in turn makes things feel the same. Cyberwear has a big portion of this, though I don’t feel the same about sorcery. conjuring In SR3 has this in spades, though, where spirits have very little distinction other than the environment they are in.
  • I picked SR3 as a baseline for a number of reasons. 20A would have been alright too, but essentially everything before and after these was poorly edited and/or overwrought. this taught me a lot about reining the product and thinking about what you were doing.

  • I like the career and culture part of Mythras a lot, but I don’t think it fits well for this genre. You CAN do it, but I don't think It is an integral part of the character in the same sense. Thus, I opted for the Skill pyramid method after a lot of thought and going back and forth
  • sometimes access to a power is the distinction, even though the power is not really all that on its face . There are lots of little nuances like this, and Mythras sort of has this paradigm. For example, I made datajacks as the ability to access a large number of things via a computer skill directly. Lock picking, sensors, machines. All of these things can be accessed/bypassed in other ways, but being able to use a computer skill - a single skill - on all of them seemed like a much stronger ability.
 
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