So, a while back, the Cutter in my group overindulged their Vice and was cut off. After the game, the player and I discussed the replacement Vice, to which the player quipped, “have you ever watched Tetsuo: The Iron Man?”
And here we are, about to wrap Season 1, and we still don’t have a system that the player and I can agree upon. Has anyone tackled cybernetics appropriate to the genre? (My touchstones are Thief 2 and Death of the Outsider.)
I haven’t watched Tetsuo, no
Are you combining Vice with… abilities? Something?
The way I’ve drafted is the following, in short:
- to replicate the idea of it being powered by a soul vessel, my recommendation is a one-time inflicting of a Trauma.
- the other side of the equation is using Stress to pay for the use of augmentations. These would serve as a non-zero floor to their Stress track until the augment was removed. For example, the augment “mechadendrite” is a tier III asset. While the augment is installed, the character spends 3 Stress, and that Stress bumps the thread hold for overindulging Vice up to 3.
- there are new tags that might apply to the augments, like “Grotesque” which signifies that it might make normal social interactions difficult if not impossible (but intimidation efforts are a different story).
The player has put forth a different approach. Basically, everything would be “paid for” as Harm, and acquiring the assets would be expensive to obtain. I’m fine with the latter, but the former is… I’m having a hard time working with that. Harm, after all, can cascade upwards if a certain row is full, and I have to always consider if that harm would come into play. It seems counterintuitive to have a tool that allows for special abilities but also might make you lose dice or need assistance to do other jobs. And you’d still need to see a physicker afterwards? Huh?
The lightest approach is just to crib the Xeno powers from S&V, but the player didn’t like that idea.
Maybe they need adjusting by a physicker after they’ve been heavily used?.. idk.
I think you’re overcomplicating things
IMO just make them as Veteran abilities, have them pay for them with XP as usual. Maybe let them change the abilities by doing a Surgery project either with a physicker or the group Leech or something.
If you want to make it more advanced, have them “eat” a Spirit Bottle or Electroplasm Vial when they use the power (or pull it from other sources, with added risk!). Done!
You could engage the crafting rules and go through the questions there when you design the power.
I really like this idea! I’ve passed it onto the player to see if they are ok with it. Thanks!
You can use the fiction to inform consequences and positions later as usual. Like, if they have a huge camera eye-piece that lets them see in the dark, maybe that will make it more difficult to get a good price for a hamburger? Or walk the streets at all?
Maybe the consequence for the Prowl roll is that a hydraulic oil cable in their arm comes loose and now they drip all over?
That’s stuff that doesn’t need rules though, and that’s a good thing