D-ROC'S MASTER RULES LIST
VOLUME 1: GENERAL RULES
Roles and Special Abilities
S.A., BOD, COOL, EMP, INT, REF, TECH,
Misc. Char Gen Rules
2. ON WITH THE GAME
Paying the bills
Miniaturization of technology
Disease and Infection
Stress and Fatigue
Weather and Exposure
Cybernetics and Humanity Loss
1) CHARACTER GENERATION:
There are those out there who believe generating a background and history for your character is a waste of time. I tend to disagree with this, I believe a characters past is what has caused them to be the person they are today. So in my opinion a characters background is very important, and writing it down is the best way to flesh it out, and make it that tiny bit more real. It also gives GM's a hell of a plot tool. My advice is to always make sure the player has written down at least some kind of background, and when creating this characters background, be sure to include names of the important people and events that shaped his life.
A. The only differences I make to the rules presented in the book, are small additions I make to the character sheet. I add a place for the characters parents names, any mental or physical problems/defiscencies, SIN number, Height, Weight, Birth date, and Marital Status (or current lovers).STATS
B. When generating a character, use the choices given in the lifepath sections merely as examples. GM's should be just as much a part of Character Creation as the player, and should be inventive when it comes to detailing life events. The GM must also ensure that the characters lifepath does not directly challenge the group, and world of the GM's game. While conflict is a good thing, and an excellent role playing tool, especially inter-party discrepancies, if it is too over the top, the group won't be able to accomplish anything. Just make sure that the character will be able to fit into the party somehow.
C. While going through the character creation process, the GM should already be planning a way to introduce this character to the game, in a realistic, and imaginative way. (God, I am so sick of the magical tavern concept in games, where all of a sudden you just bump into a new PC, and your characters are supposed to just blindly accept that this guy is a new member of the group.) The easiest way to do this is to ask yourself, and answer the following:
How does he meet up with the group?
Why would they pay any undue attention to him?
Why would he pay any attention to them?
What can the group offer him?
What can he offer the group?
How will all their personalities mesh?
A. Roll 6 strings of 10 sided dice, re-rolling anything 3 (Rolling a 3 is a bit low, in game terms the character is way below average, but not quite disables, Think Forrest Gump, his INT was about a 3. Although the player can choose to keep any roll he desires.) or below, and choose the string that best suits you.AGE
B. Over time, some Stats (BOD, MA, REF, and TECH) may be increased (but only to ten). not by cybernetics, but by exercising them. For example, you can increase your BOD Stat my working out and building more muscle, or your MA Stat by running every morning. There are lots of ways to improve your REF ( I personally raised my reflexes and coordination by playing hackey sack). Your TECH Stat merely represents your ability to manipulate things, by using finger exercises and other such things, you can increase your TECH. (You can also decrease these Stats by not exercising them.) Increasing Stats requires you have Physical Fitness as a skill.
C. The BOD Stat does not represent how big your characters are, merely how well developed their muscles are. I think we can all agree that Arnold Shwarzenegger represents a 10. And when we think of a 10 BOD, its usually that build we associate with it. But Sumo wrestlers are just as strong, and they are great big fat guys. Bruce Lee could lift as much as Arnie, but he was a little bitty skinny guy. So how do you resolve this? Its simple, just allow your players to decide the body style of their characters for themselves.
A. For every 2 years before the age of 16, subtract 1 point from the following Stats: BOD, REF, MA, TECH, and COOL (for characters older than 4 years old, these can not drop below a 3). Further more, characters under the age of 16 can add +1 to their EMP (no higher than ten), (to be dropped again when the character reaches 16). Also, characters under the age of 16 will earn double the IP for their skills, but will have -3 points for their starting skills for every year under the age of 16.ROLES AND SPECIAL ABILITIES
B. For every 10 years over the age of 40, a character will lose one point off their BOD, REF, MA, and ATTR skills. However, as a character becomes older he learns more, and becomes wiser. Starting characters at the age of 20, and every ten years above that receive an extra 10 IP to their startup skills.(Admittedly this is pretty similar to Ocelots method, I assure you it is merely coincidental.)
Special abilities can not be taught or learned from a book, the only way to learn a special ability is through trial and error, and experience. Special abilities aren't unrealistic at all. Consider a drug dealer, no one taught him how to read people, know one taught him how to gain buyers and sellers, and he certainly didn't learn how to spot undercover cops from any book. The same goes for combat sense and solos. A combat veteran didn't learn to stay calm at the sound of gunshots from any college course, he learned it from being shot at. To repeat: Special abilities are just that,.... special. They are skills that can't be taught or learned from a class.
Under my system, multiple Roles are available
and someone can have as many roles as they wish, and the
that go with them. My rules for Multiple Roles are as
A. Characters may have only one primary Role (Solo, Cop, etc...)SKILLS
B. No special ability can rise higher or equal to that of the characters primary Role/special ability. (A Solo can never have a streetdeal higher than his combat sense.)
C. Characters can only start out with one special ability (their primary) no higher than 5. Or two (their primary and a second) at no higher than 3 and 2. They can gain more special abilities down the road, but none must ever advance higher than their primary.
D. AND THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE YET. ONLY, I repeat ONLY, the GM can raise special abilities.
A. Completely throw out the idea of a set career skills package, and let the players decide for themselves where they want to spend their points. First time players may still want to use the career skills package as a reference, but in no way should they be forced where to allocate their points.MISCELLANEOUS CHARACTER CREATION RULES
B. If a skill is not applied at least once every year of game time, it will begin to drop in levels by one point for every 6 months of game time. (While I understand that this seems irrelevant to many of you, I have been running the same game in a tight continuity for almost ten years, I know there are others out there like me, so this rule is for them.)NEW SKILLS
(I am sure some of these can be found elsewhere, some can probably even be found in supplements, but I am just writing these down off the list my group has come up with over the years.)Special AbilitiesCharismatic Leadership- (This is now an EMP based skill. A little more believable that way.)
BODYFitness/Body Building - with this skill a character can increase one aspect of their BOD, REF, TECH, or MA skill by 1 point (max of 10) for every 2 points of this skill earned. (Only one Stat may be raised at a time, if the skill diminishes, the Stat will be reduced to fit, although it will not drop below the original rolled Stat.)COOL WILL
Sports - whereas athletics merely covers general athletic ability, this skill covers a specific sport, or athletic ability such as football, basketball, etc. (choose a sport). This skill is not only a measure of how well the character can play the particular sport, but also of how well he understands the rules involved.
Vertical Climbing/Rappelling - this skill covers the ability to ascend and descend vertical structures, such as mountains and walls. It also covers the use of the necessary equipment needed for the task.Haggle - self explanatory.EMPATHY
Meditation - the ability to empty your mind, and mentally isolate yourself from your surroundings. This skill will not replace sleep, but it will allow a character to go longer periods without it.
Skydiving - the skill of remaining calm enough to pull your ripcord, while plummeting towards the earth at maximum velocity.
Sleeping - (ok ok I admit, its a weird one) The ability to will yourself to sleep. Someone with a 10 is able to fall asleep, and get a full nights sleep, while remaining standing.Design - the ability to visualize the proper placement of things for maximum aesthetic and function.INTELLIGENCE
Hypnotism/Brainwashing - the ability to put another person into a trance, and cause them to be under your control.
Massage - The ability through physical manipulation, to relax another. (While some would place this skill under TECH, I feel that more than anything else it has to do with the level of trust, and comfort between 2 people. Someone who is not comfortable around people, will not be able to perform a very good massage. The art of massage is all about radiating trust and comfort, and therefore is an EMP based skill in my eyes.)
Parenting - the ability to successfully raise and nurture.
Storytelling - the skill of telling a compelling story.
Voodoo - the ability to make another person feel as though you have direct control of their life through mystical unseen forces.Appraisal - the skill of determining the worth of an item.REFLEXES
Archeology - study of ancient civilizations.
Astronomy - Study of the stars and other celestiel bodies.
Culture - knowledge of the correct customs and beliefs of a group of people. (with a three you can manage not to offend to many people, with a 10 you will have become so in tune with the people that you are viewed as a native.)
Forensic science - the ability of forensic scientists to determine cause, time and other details of death in a body.
Gardening/Farming - the ability to successfully grow plants and crops.
Holistic Medicine - The knowledge of natural pharmaceuticals and medical techniques. Homeopathic physicians fall under this category, as do most shamans, witch doctors, and medicine men.
Hunting - the ability to find, and track an animal.
Navigation - the ability to determine your location, and course of travel.
Production - the skill involved in the backstage/off camera production of a play, movie, television show, or concert.
Psychology - the study of the mind and its health.
Religion - the skill of interpreting, and understanding theological beliefs.
S.C.U.B.A. - the skill of using and maintaining SCUBA gear. (It is not necessary to have swimming to use this skill, but it is highly recommended.)
Sign Language 1 - the ability to understand sign language. (This is a tricky skill as it involves both manipulation of the fingers, and visual recognition, therefore I have broken it up in two sections.)
Urban Survival - the ability to survive on the streets, knowing where to find food and shelter, and the areas to avoid.
Veterinary Medicine - the medical knowledge of animals health, medicine, and anatomy. (In a pinch, a veterinarian can treat humans, at half their skill.)Acrobatics - this skill is a bit more specialized than athletics, and provides knowledge of how to best use your own bodies momentum and power to perform visually impressive feats, as well as how to fall gracefully and with the minimum amount of damage.TECHNICAL ABILITY
Animal riding/Handling - the ability to control and ride animals.
Blind Fighting - the ability to defend and attack without the use of your eyes.
Hang gliding - the ability to pilot a hang glider.
Juggle - the ability to toss multiple objects into the air and prevent them from hitting the ground by catching and re-tossing them in succession.
Quick draw (+3 IP MOD) - ok, this is a skill that's going to cause a lot of complaints, but listen up. Quick draw artists practice day and night to be able to clear their weapon of its holster, and hit the target in as fast a time as possible. This skill will increase your Initiative roll by one point for every two levels of skill.
Carpentry - self explanatory.
Cooking - self explanatory.
Escape Artist - the ability to free yourself from captivity.
Fishing - the skill of catching and preparing fish.
Glass blowing - the ability to sculpt with glass as your medium.
Jeweler - the ability to create jewelry from precious metals and stones.
Makeup/Special effects - the art of creating a desired effect through the use of make-up, people with this skill can add it to their disguise.
Origami - the art of folding paper.
Rope use - the ability to use a rope effectively as a lasso, to tie knots, etc.....
Sign language 2 - the ability to converse without speaking by using your hands to form words and sentences. (This is a tricky skill as it involves both manipulation of the fingers, and visual recognition, therefore I have broken it up in two sections.)
Sewing - self explanatory
Stage magic/Sleight of hand - the art of misdirection.
Traps and snares - the ability to create a hidden trap using what is available to you.
TV/Video - the skill of using video and audio equipment professionally.
Typing - self explanatory
Ambidexterity: to determine whether a character is ambidextrous or not, roll above an 80% on a percentage roll.
Eidetic Memory: to determine if a character has a photographic memory roll above a 90% on a percentage roll.
Eidetic Reflexes: (the ability to copy any physical act once it has been observed) roll above a 99% on a percentage roll.
Double Jointed: roll above 80% (plus 4% for every point of BOD over 5) on a percentage roll.
CHARACTER HABITS2) ON WITH THE GAMEAll of us have our little habits, those quirks in our personality that we feed unconsciously. Habits can be a small as biting your nails, or a severe as spending all your money on a collection at every opportunity. Giving a character a habit is a good way to help round them out, make them that much more believable. Habits can also include the schedule of your day, when you eat, sleep, shit, check your e-mail, whatever. Establish a characters habits early on, and as the game continues, use that habit as a tool for creativity. In some cases you will drop some of your habits, in others you might simply pick up new ones. Habits are part of our personalities, part of who we are. Giving a character a habit, gives him that much more personality, and that's always a good thing in any game.
D-ROC'S SUPERFRESH RULES FOR GIVING IPLIVING
I have a system for doling out the IP and it comes in three parts:
1. At the end of a session, one by one I have the players give a play by play of their characters actions and contributions to the game and give IP where it is due. For example: Bob has a character named Joe, at the end of the night we review what happened to him. Bob says," Okay first I negotiated my way out of that mess with the Voodoo Boyz, then I jumped out the window from the second floor onto the roof of the bus to escape the cops." Then I say, " 5 points to persuasion fast talk, and 5 points to athletics, what else did you do?" Get the idea?D-ROC'S IP SCALE
I do this for two reasons;A. It helps players to develop their characters by making them remember what happened, it also makes sure they pay attention.2. I have the players rate each other on the basis of their role-playing abilities one at a time on a scale of one to ten. Giving general IP individually on the basis of their scores. Scale: 1 is worst, 10 is best. Judged on personality and contribution. IP is awarded by difficulty of adventure and score. For regular adventures I usually multiply score by 5. FOR EXAMPLE: The party consists of 4 players- Jim, Bob, Ray and Meg. The players as a group rate each other's performances. First up is Bob, Bob came up with some good ideas but really didn't give his character any personality so the group gave him a 4, he received 20 IP. Jim did much better, his character had a distinct personality and his ideas got the players out of a tough spot, the group gave him an 8, he received 40 IP. Ray fell asleep during an important part of the game and was watching TV so he got a 2, that's 10 IP. Meg outdid herself, she stayed in character the whole time and was constantly coming up with contributions and role-playing to a fault, the group gave her a 10 so she got 50 IP. WOW. The reasons for this are simple it gives incentive for role-playing.
B. It also is a way to realistically increase their skills and lets the GM keep track of them easier, instead of just throwing out a lump sum and watching them dump it all into their special ability you make sure the points get distributed where they are deserved.
3. Give a small amount of general IP simply for surviving. General IP can be used for anything except special abilities.
Hate doing the math to raise a level when spending your IP? Here's a chart that will make it much easier.
Skill Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 IP Cost 10 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Total IP Cost 10 20 40 70 110 160 220 290 370 460
PAYING THE BILLS3) MEDICALThis was perhaps the single most repeatedly overlooked responsibility among the characters. They would keep track of their money well enough well it came to buying items, dinner, getting a hotel room, etc...... But when it came time to pay their bills they all seemed a bit confused. To remedy this, I suggest having them keep track of their monthly expenses...... rent, water, gas, electricity, trash, and so on and so forth. Have them right it all down on a separate piece of paper, then be sure to tell them every time a month has passed, (hint, just trying to get the bills paid can be a hell of an adventure if run correctly). Also, don't be afraid to change the rates at any given time, increase the cost of living, make rent hikes, all those little expenses that make you madder than a post office employee after a tetanus shot.SEXAs much as I would like to, I can't begin to come close to the eloquent and tasteful manner in which Kristian de Valle handled this, so I am just going to refer you to him.NETRUNNING
You can find his essay at MOCKERY'S, under the rules section. Or if you are as lazy as I am and want to just go straight there, here you go.NETRUNNER THE CARD GAMEMINIATURIZATION OF TECHNOLOGY
Ok, I am going to publicly admit, I am an idiot when it comes to figuring out the rules for netrunning presented in the main rule book. And what I do understand compels me to believe that netrunners hold an unfair advantage of game time, as even a simple run can take forever, all the while your regular pc's will be sitting their chain smoking and slowly getting bored while waiting for you to finish. To make netrunning a bit more tolerable to the players, and still manage to keep it exciting for the "runner" I use the Netrunner CCG as my netrunning rules. For the official rules on using the Netrunner CCG as your "running" system, pick up a copy of "Rache Batmoss's Brainware Blowout". Or if you really want, you don't actually need the official rules, just play the game regularly, and add a few things with your imagination. You can order the game direct by going to Wizards of The Coast, or you can pick up single cards and sets here.We all know that with enough money virtually any technology can be made smaller while retaining its full effectiveness, look at computers. There are now computers that will fit in your back pocket that are just as powerful as any laptop, sure the only people who can afford them can also buy and sell small countries but the technology is out there. Body armor has also come a long way in recent years, there is a vest out there now that is lighter then the average policeman's kevlar vest but stops kinetic impact and protects the wearer up to a 5.56mm rifle round. (Meaning you could get hit in chest from an assault rifle without breaking your ribs) In the virtually ever-increasing realm of technology in the year 2020 anything can be made smaller or larger for a cost.
The cost for reducing the size and/or weight of an object is x3 the cost of the object per every 15% reduction. This cost is multiplied consecutively, and takes a tech skill of at least 8 or above to accomplish. And after the item has been reduced by 30% it loses 20 percent of its effectiveness for every additional 15% reduction. (For cybernetics and vehicles this rule is used to reduce the space an object takes up) On the other hand the bigger you make something the more objects you can cram into it. The cost remains the same but instead of losing, you gain 20% effectiveness for every 15% increase.
(Obviously this rule won't work for everything, like weapons or vehicles, GM's should use their discretion.)
GMs may fear this rule will unbalance their game but only the most wealthy and powerful people can afford these technological wonders. In fact the only people who will usually be able to afford these things would be the people hunting down the PCs.
Because of the smaller size of the miniaturized item many things can be disguised much more easily. A cellular communicator can be disguised as the smallest of earrings, armor can be almost as light and flexible as spandex, smart goggles can be made that look exactly like sunglasses, the potential is unlimited. Use your imagination.
DISEASE AND INFECTIONThese can be the most dangerous things to combat in the world of 2020. I'm not talking about bioweapons, or man made plagues, just simple old fashioned disease. Disease can spread rapidly, and if unchecked even simple diseases can be fatal. Small pox has killed more people than any war ever fought, so has malaria. Lets not forget the bubonic plague. Pneumonia still kills, and so do some sever cases of the flu. Even if they don't kill you, disease can have severely dehabilitating effects. The common cold can knock a person off their feet and out of action for days at a time. No matter how many guns, and how much armor that munchkin in your party has, it won't do diddly to keep him from getting strep throat.
THE EFFECTS OF STRESS & FATIGUE
The combat zones and slums are ripe with disease, and medical care is expensive. Night City has a lot of rain, and the air is nasty to begin with, fertile ground for catching pneumonia. Your characters spend a lot of time in clubs, have a flu bug infect them all. If they have to head to Brazil for a week in the jungle on a recon op, let malaria set in. Rabies is a really good one, have a dog or cat bite em.
Infection is another serious risk. How many times have your characters been shot, and couldn't get to hospital immediately. Or worse, been wounded in a filthy place, like the sewer. In some cases infection can set in quick, and if unchecked an infection can become gangrene, resulting in amputation. What about tetanus, lots of rusted nails and metal in the city. How many of your characters have ever had a tetanus shot. Don't be afraid to give them lockjaw if the circumstances warrant it.The world of 2020 is an incredibly stressful place on all levels. And the majority of PC's are going to be under extreme stress 24 hours a day. Stress can cause you to make mistakes, to lose sleep, and to become irritable. It can also have severe medical effects, such as high blood pressure, migraine headaches, lowered immunity, increased risk of heart failure, and mental breakdown. Most pc's have lived with stress all their lives, even having become used to it. But there are still going to be times, when the stress builds up to enormous levels, that's when the character will start feeling the effects.SLEEP DEPRIVATIONSleep, or more importantly the lack of, is another well abused aspect of CP2020. Lack of sleep is even more dangerous than stress, it can lead to slow wits, falling asleep on the job, lethargy, and in some severe cases, hallucinations. To better utilize the effects of sleep deprivation I have come up with the following chart:BLESSED RELIEF
For every 6 hours after two days without sleep roll once:
1 = the character is fine
2-6 = the character is groggy and sluggish, prone to making mistakes. INT, REF, TECH, COOL, MA, and BOD, all drop by one point (this can be consecutively rolled, with the minuses becoming cumulative.)
6-8 = the character is having a hard time staying awake, and is falling asleep on the job. (dangerous if he is on watch, deadly if he is driving)
9-10 = the character begins having vivid hallucinations.Ok, I admit, maybe I am taking realism a bit too far this time. Nevertheless here we go. Using the bathroom is something we ALL have to do, and quite often it happens at the worst possible moment. This section isn't intended to suggest that you force your characters to use the restrooms on a frequent basis, instead, every time a Player gets up to use the bathroom, simply have him state that that is what his character is doing as well. This can create some interesting situations. If he gets up to go to the bathroom in the middle of a fight, well the rest of the characters are going to be looking at him kinda funny as he scurries into a corner to relieve himself. On a long road trip, the characters have to find a place to stop, or pull over on the side of the road and wait for him to finish. Moments like these can be good personality builders for the characters, and add that extra sense of conversation that often lacks in game sessions. After all, what's more normal than talking shit about the guy who everyone keeps having to pull into gas stations for. Sitting outside the car bullshitting, while waiting for the guy to get done shitting himself. Ok I'm done with this now, you can relax.WEATHER AND EXPOSURE
Weather effects us all, especially when the weather turns harsh.COLD - cold weather is the most dangerous, and requires the most preparation. Extra clothes are the most obvious. And for excursions of more than a day in this weather, tents and sleeping bags are a must. For game purposes the following applies:SMOKING
In temperatures below freezing, any tissue directly exposed to the elements, will develop frostbite within 5 hours. The chances of this are doubled if the skin is in direct contact with snow or water.
In temperatures of -0 degrees Fahrenheit, exposed tissue will develop frostbite within 2 hours. The chances of this are doubled if the skin is in direct contact with snow or water.
If a character is immersed in snow or water at these temperatures Hypothermia will set in immediately. The character must be dried off, and his body heat must be raised or he will freeze to death in minutes.
Sleeping in these temperatures is risky, but in some cases necessary. To safely do so, it is advised that you get into you sleeping bag in the nude, or at least in just your underwear, this helps to most evenly distribute your body heat. If it is extremely cold, sharing your sleeping bag to conserve body heat is recommended. Sleeping should be done in shifts, so that one character can monitor the others while they sleep to ensure they don't freeze to death as they sleep.
The effects of frostbite can be severe. Initially frostbite feels like an intense burning, and a severe itching at the same time. The best way to treat frostbite is to run cold water over it, increasing the temperature gradually. In severe cases of frostbite, the affected limd must be amputated, so act quickly. Hypothermia is a straight killer. Its effects are categorized by involuntary shaking, the lips will turn blue, and the skin will become very pale. What is basically happening, is that the body has gone into shock. At the same time, the circulatory system is kicked into overdrive to bring the bodies temperature up.
Oh yeah, and no matter what anyone tells you, don't lick anything metal in freezing weather, your tongue will stick to it. This is a popular joke to play on newcomers in Alaska, so don't get fooled.
In snow bound areas caution must be taken to avoid snow blindness. Snow blindness is caused by the glare of the sun off the snow (20 percent chance of getting snow-blind for every day the character spends in bright sunlight and snow without eye protection). To prevent this, wear sunglasses or tinted ski goggles (anti-dazzle works also). Snow blindness lasts 4-5 days, and in some extreme cases is permanent.
HEAT- while not as dangerous as extreme cold, extreme heat is also a killer. In temperatures of 95% or above, heat stroke can occur. As well as severe dehydration. To combat this keep sodium tablets handy, and drink lots of water. Do not substitute soda pop, alcoholic beverages, or sport drinks for. Sunburn is also a hazard, so keep exposed skin covered with sunblock.Yeah, smoking is hazardous to your health, we all know that. But at the same time, it is also a point of style and personality to certain individuals. In the year 2020, medical advances have almost eliminated the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes, with anti-cancer treatments and nano-technology. Smoking has once again become popular. However, cigarettes are still extremely addictive, and if a smoking character is denied his habit for to long he will go into withdrawal.DRUGS IN 2020Drugs in CP 2020 are entirely too expensive to be any where near realistic. I mean the average cost of a dose is over 500 eb. What the hell, can you imagine a crackhead having to pay 500 eb per rock. Never bloody happen, no one could afford it, and no one would make any money selling it. To compensate, and to make things just a tad more realistic I suggest simply dividing the cost by 100eb and rounding up to the nearest eb. This makes the new cost per dose an average of 5 to 10 dollars.INSANITYThe best rules on insanity come from Palladium games, they have a very large and detailed table dealing with the subject itself, the symptoms, and causes. It is available in virtually every Palladium book on the market (although I don't think that the Compendiums of either Weapons and castles, nor Firearms contain it).
I'm not going to mince words here, I think the rules for humanity loss due to cybernetics are ridiculous. According to the rules every implant you receive detracts from your empathy... this is a farce at best. Why would someone lose humanity from an implant that they don't see, don't think about and don't directly control. To my knowledge no one ever went insane because of his or her artificial heart or pacemaker, my uncle's hearing aid never caused him to go on a murderous rampage. (Although he did occasionally boast of being able to pick up radio transmissions.)
CYBERNERNETICS AND THEIR RELATION TO HUMANITY LOSS
I understand the game designers didn't want to unbalance the game so they made all cybernetics dangerous but it can't always work that way. If cybernetics were driving people insane then they wouldn't be so readily available to the public. The Department of Health would set such strict regulations that only those with serious medical insurance or employed by major corporations or military would ever have implants at all. Ripperdocs would be more sought after by law enforcement than crack houses. (If cybernetics are a rarity in your game you probably implement the aforementioned regulations on cybernetics, but in most games cybernetics are commonplace)
People seem to forget that the primary reason for cybernetics is medical, not fashion or weaponry. The most common reason to have major cybernetics implanted is to replace a non-functioning, or missing limb or organ. Take for example the man who loses his legs in an automobile accident. When he gets them replaced with cybernetic legs, he most likely isn't going to feel more (or less) than human and suddenly go on a mad killing spree. More likely he will be extremely grateful that he can walk again, and function as a normal human being. Most cybernetics are meant as prosthesis, replacement for damaged or otherwise not fully functional biological counterparts. And cyber installed in this context costs the least amount of humanity. Especially if it is not something seen or directly controlled such as internal organs, or Realskin covered limbs. People who voluntarily choose to have fully functional meat parts replaced with cyber recieve tend to pay full HL cost. Of course then you start getting into the options for the limbs, or advanced organ replacement, and things begin to get a bit dicier in terms of humanity loss. Then at the end stage you have the cyber which is completely alien, or drastically changes the form and function of the human body. At this point you actually begin to take MORE than the listed humanity loss do to the higher stresses placed on both the brain, and the users relation to his body. You don't add an extra arm, or a tail, or cyber tentacles that erupt from your testicles without taking a serious hit to your perceived relationship with the human race. Of course if you are doing this kind of thing, you are probably a little past sane to begin with, so its only adding fuel to the fire.....
In an ideal world all necessary medical care would be free, but we cannot even accomplish this today, the world of 2020 is much worse. The FDA no longer cares about nutritional value of food, they are busier trying to battle food contamination epidemics.
The following is my system for a more realistic view on cybernetics and their corresponding humanity loss:1) If the enhancement is not seen or directly controlled by the implantee then there is no humanity loss whatsoever. (this includes, *LIGHT* skinweave and subdermal armor, artificial organs and the like)
2) Cybernetics which replace normal body parts such as, basic cyberlimbs, basic cyber optics, and basic cyberaudio are reduced by 50% HL. (NEW EXCEPTION: if the implantee voluntarily chooses to have a perfectly functional limb or organ replaced he/she pays full HL as listed. Real or Trueskin covered limbs reduce HL by another 50%, the same principle applies to basic Gemini type Full Conversions.)
3) Cybernetics which enhance the bodies normal functions such as muscle bone lace, grafted muscle, reflex boosters etc. are also at one half the listed humanity loss. (NEW EXCEPTION: this only applies to cyber which does not drastically change the bodies appearance)
4) Anything which drastically changes the appearance of the implantee add 25% to listed HL.5) Enhancements which are completely foreign to the body and/or are directly controlled by the implantee like cyber weapons, (not including scratchers and vampires) radar, sonar, gills, cyber links, audio visual options and virtually all other cybernetics will cost full humanity loss as listed.
*Authors note: these rules are meant to be fully compatible with all or most of the pre-existing rules associated with cybernetics. You may want to use some or all of these rules, but nothing here should drastically change your game. If you are worried about this happening simply raise the prices for cybernetics.
Created and written by Deric "D" Bernier, if you have comments, questions or complaints, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org