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Biomod Controllers
An unnecessary cost when style is everything

As it stands, when wanting biomods with any parts that move, you need to pay an addition cost of chy + PDS threshold in the form of a biomod controller. People are already paying/waiting for biomods with them also behind a gate of needing to be corporate, and each and every time someone clones out they're needing to get a new one.

With nanos already, they self integrate into the person's physiology. I personally see no reason why (when things like blood vessels, nerves, skin tissue, cartilage, etc are already align and integrated) that you would further need a mod to control the muscles of your mod. With this logic, you'd need the biomod controller for Muscle Grafts as well.

I think it is also a major contributing factor to biomods not seemingly desirable, as few people want to pay more and take an additional hit to their PDS. I remember when they were created and why, and after all this time I think I can safely say that they've not added to the game in any considerable way besides creating an unnecessary hurdle, when biomods all already not easily removed and other policies like corporate only were put into place (which is another discussion I ask people to save for another thread).

I agree with this and I remember when it was put into place and subsequent discussion around certain types of body modifications/body changes which made it feel, honestly, like a bit of a burden added to discourage some things.

I don't see how it adds to the game either. Biomods are generally cosmetic fluff with a lot of drawback we've seen discussed elsewhere. It discourages people who need to limit their PDS load from embracing corporate extravagant style if they want.

I think a counterargument may be that you can't technically cause someone to suffer the loss of biomodifications where you can in other cases, whether cybernetics or clothes. My counterpoint to that would be true, you can't - but also like Holychrome pointed out there are issues and risks with getting biomods removed.

These are purely subtractive and just take away from the coolness of biomods without adding anything. Nobody uses them and they seem to have come about because a player wanted to make their animal ears twitch (something my 100% natural human ears can do) and this sparked an argument that led to the motor-controller being implemented out of what felt like spite.

There have also been some really weird restrictions re:biomods and gender and the kindest way I can put it is that they're ignorant. IRL we have technology today that can, without the help of nanomachines, retroviruses, or any sci fi tech achieve healthy and functional results all along the gender spectrum. However in Withmore for some reason you have to be a cisgender boy (penis) or girl (vagina) and you can't even get a 20th century-ass phalloplasty without completely overhauling your entire body. Not to get too crude, but this is an adult game set in a sleazy cyberpunk future, we should let people have dicks or whatever! Keep SK out of our bedrooms!!

There was also a push to take biomods away from ViriiSoma and make them something totally NPC-controlled. IMO that's a bummer. Each corp has a thing you usually have to go to them for. You can't make TV shows without NLM, you can't get to space without NeoTrans, and until a year or two ago, if you wanted to remake your body you probably had to go talk to VS about it. There was fun RP handling the consults and dealing with various clients, especially the Mixers. I get why you'd want NPCs to have final say but a properly trained PC or PCs could do most of the footwork before handing the finished product off to the NPCs to install. That's more or less the protocol with TV production, right?

As for Crashdown's counterargument: If you want to take someone's biomods away, all you have to do is tie them to a chair and cut their cat ears off.

Given that we ICly have factions/groups now that can and will maim or kill you for simply existing as a splicer, I don't think we need the limitations of the biomod controller to enforce theme any longer.

If someone really does want to biomod themselves into a SparkleKittenz™ character, then the only thing I see that doing is causing a whole lot of RP for that person, and for others who may rally or recoil.

@TalonCzar

"I don't think we need the limitations of the biomod controller to enforce theme any longer."

Do you see it as enforcing theme in any way currently? Actually curious if you think it contributes or has contributed somehow. Searching for Devil's advocate here.

@HolyChrome

IIRC, from reading old BGBB posts, it was originally created because the players/staff at the time feared SD turning into some kind of furry convention. That was more or less my point- now that we have a large playerbase, and an ICly established anti-splice movement, I don't see it serving any purpose at all.

Really, even with the restrictions that we have in place such as the 20% rule, I fail to see how it's an issue. I don't understand how in-canon one of the premier luxury services that VS makes, personalized, custom genetic engineering to specification would have EVER been reliant on a rival hypercorp's hardware for basic functionality. Now if SK wanted to make CyberKitten™ ears with laser aiming modules to compete, that'd be a totally different story.

TLDR: Biomod controllers are dumb and should go the way of the dodo. More biomods (that function) means more diversity, which brings more opportunity for RP and conflict.

On one hand, I'm like, 'Just spend some UE.' On the other, I'm like, 'Actually we're really low on splicers.'
There's a serious lack of splicers in the game, I agree.

And generally, I don't think that it'd be such a big deal, but I don't know what characters that are supposed to be part of that workflow of character customization are really supposed to be doing with their time if not making biomodifications. -Staying deliberately vague on details here.

In any event, I just see the biomod controller as just another level of drek that you have to go through to try and differentiate your character from the masses. I see them as being good, if you're a 'fuck you money' rich mixer, someone who's built a plot around the concept of getting biomodded, or a corpie with too much flash and not enough spark in their life.

I'd also point out that biomods are another prime avenue for mix/corp divide politics and intrigue, and while the controller doesn't *directly* affect you getting biomods, it certainly discourages some from getting mods that would otherwise be limp tubesocks.

You need a controller because being able to move your tail is considered an in game advantage in case you'd try to choke someone with it. Pay up with your PDS.

Jokes aside getting rid of it won't hurt anyone, and will encourage more people to use the existing feature.

The PDS load is probably one of the biggest negatives of the controller and it makes very little sense, imho. It's a cosmetic thing and it could completely break a PC in terms of PDS, (depending on what you have, not gonna be super specific) which means that unless you're completely dedicated to being a splicer it probably isn't for you.

Its total removal might not even be necessary, but the PDS load should be near non-existent since it confers no actual advantage other than being able to RP moving a biomodded bit. If there's an actual reason for needing it to rival other chrome in terms of load then I have no idea what that reason is.

Also gonna make a quick note here about how biomods are already very expensive, which should be enough of a downside on its own. Not even gonna mention the trouble to actually get them.

Gasp, idea!

What if there were two tiers of biomod controllers? A mix one and a corpie one.

The mix one gives PDS load, and the corporate one doesn't (or very, very little).

This could create conflict with corpie splicers being hunted for their coveted controllers to liberate mix splicers from oppression. 😁

Mix controllers, with mixers unable to get biomods in first place?
Biomod controllers were a bad idea, from them not being needed at all to being a necessity overnight to complete your splicer look makes no sense. Folks reminding others over SIC (in some of the most uncomfortable ways I should mention) they need them sort of explains it all-- it's just plain redundant. At best folks will not RP a certain way without them, and at worst they'll just say, 'you know what? Biomod controllers are stupid, I'm going to RP these ears as moving anyways because I spent big $$$ on them.'

Please consider removing.

I would just echo that I think the concept can be discarded whole cloth.

It doesn't make sense in the context of what bio-modification is described as doing.

It is completely inconsistent: There to prevent someone with animal ears from emoting with him, but not to prevent biomodded eyes from working, or biomodded skin from acting like actual skin.

It has no IC justification whatsoever and (like some other chrome) exists only because of obsolete OOC discomfort over non-issues.

So, I''m gonna provide an argument here that hasn't been brought up in the sea of support this idea has gotten.

There's two core conceits here that I'm going to be working through on this.

First: Right now, without the controller, Biomodding is a one and done thing. There is no maintenance, and there is no way to lose them permanently.

Second Sindome is ultimately a game about choices and consequences. And dealing with the consequences of choices in a rational manner.

So, onto my argument.

The biomod controllers make gameplay as a biomodded individual more interesting, and more realistic within the grounds of the games central theme of consequences, by providing something to target. As well as by providing limits to RP and thus consequences for losing that portion of yourself.

You got biomodded. Yes it's already an expensive process, but it's a one time fee. Your clones don't suddenly get more expensive. The repo men don't suddenly come collect your mods if you don't pay a monthly payment to your lord and savior VSP. Those mods will always be with you, and that to me is ultimately -BORING-. There's no exchange, there' no interplay, there's no way to target it after the fact except by killing the character, which does what? Nothing, it gives them a clone fee.

Add in the controller, or some other method to target the mods, and the game gets a lot more interesting and dynamic for having it.

Sindome is a game about fighting Judge Dredd with futuristic katanas in a cyberpunk dystopia, not Sad Transsexual Simator 2105. There's no more reason to penalize trans characters for existing than any other real world minority, and modern-day forms of gendered oppression aren't particularly cyberpunk.
any other real world minority

I can think of all kinds of demographics in SD who are penalized for existing - the very notion is part of the theme.

But I get it.

"Gee, we don't have a problem with splicers because we don't have many and theres an IC anti-splicers movement." - do you think the present reality is disconnected from the choices we made years ago? We have discouraged furry play with these choices and it keeps them away to a large degree.

Don't you see that the previous model (where biomods were not allowed to be functional, period.) kept them away, and the cost of the controller (in PDS primarily) to get that functionality today limits what you'll get out of doing it? This policy is why you don't have the game overrun with furry splicers twitching their ears and tapping you on the wrong shoulder with their tail.

Minority groups cluster, furrys would be on us again like flies on shit.

I can think of all kinds of demographics in SD who are penalized for existing - the very notion is part of the theme.

But I get it.

Let's make it so that black characters get paid 20% less than white characters because it simulates the struggle then *eyeroll*. We have better stories to tell than this.

And Johnny, the game has never been overrun by furries. We get the occasional horny cat person who amounts to nothing because their RP isn't very engaging and they don't seem to care about motor function anyway.

Vera, the authority on what our 22 year old game has or has not been. Don't make factually BS statements please. It has not been overrun in your play lifetime because we remain so adamant about it even while providing a controller to support valid RP needs.
All other mods require you to replace them when you die.

Biomods in the Sindome universe are also a form of self enhancement just like nanos or Chrome.

So to me it makes sense that you have to get that shit again every time you die. Because dying in Sindome means the plot to getting your shit back.

Just because in real life these methods are more or less permanent, it doesn't mean they would persist clone to clone in Sindome, just like you can choose your scars and induced changes to go away.

While the tissue introduced with a biomod injection can be permanent I'm sure there needs to be another layer of complexity for it to become functional not only a hanging sack of flesh.

Meanwhile players are posing PDS as a gameplay liability instead of accepting it as a valid IC consequence for their decision to transition. (?) if you don't want PDS so badly then just don't get the biomods?

The controller wasn't rolled in until long after I started.
@Rhea

How about the magic 2105 ink and piercings that stay on the characters from clone to clone in the same 'boring' manner?

It's cosmetics without mechanical advantage for a reason, but suddenly not for this one.

@Johnny

My point was now that we have a IC faction that hates on the furry issue/community, that players could take agency here over simply having coded mechanisms in place to discourage people from playing those kinds of characters.

If fur splicers become the hot issue, we can simply pop our tags out declaring us as one side of a coin and murder them for funsies and have the IC mechanisms in place to not simply look like crazy mindless serial killers.

The final thing I'd mention and/or am curious about is: isn't staff directly involved in the workflow process for crafting these? Wouldn't there be a hand-wave solution to say 'sorry chum, VS is out of doggie genes' once they get the fifth fur splicer in a row application? This could absolutely be handled in-character: "Sorry, we're backlogged on dog splicer applications. Current estimated wait time is seven years."

Just an idea.

If the purpose of the controller is to 'tax' animal biomods to discourage them, it would seem to make more sense to just prohibit them outright rather than beating around the bush about it.

Today breaking news from the U.N. which has announced binding resolutions prohibiting human/animal bio-modification after months of lobbying and outcry from human purity groups...

How about the magic 2105 ink and piercings that stay on the characters from clone to clone in the same 'boring' manner?

As a point of fact.

You can "target" someones tattoo's, and they will have to pay an artist to repaint them. This is not something you can really do for Biomods... There is no regrowing after shredding someones ears. In fact you can't even do that really without staff intervention from what I know.

Anyway, as far as I know, you can tattoo on sleeping people, personally I'd like to see that extended to helpless/grappled people just have the check be more difficult if they are resisting.. But if they are RPing correctly, they should be willing to allow you with @trust to tattoo.

The piercings are incidental to description because the devs I don't think want to have to program the ability to have corsetry piercings and the like, as some people do do in this game.

So yes, it's incidental cosmetics until it's not.

Biomods are an ICly contentious status symbol well above tattoo's as well, and as contentious status symbols should have an appropriate and generally speaking fierce level of targettability. There has to be some way to go down from the status symbol. Or to put pressure on it.

You actually can do that for biomods. Peoples' glowing dicks and cat ears and bunny tails can be cut off with big sharp knives and there's nothing they can do to fix it unless they clone.
Vera did you read my post?

Like actually comprehend it?

Anyway, I'll restate in very explicit terms.

Without staff intervention, you cannot put pressure on someone's biomods.

Without staff intervention, you can target someones tattoo's and fuck them up.

The biomod controller acts as a permanent consequence to dying with your status symbols.

Why remove something that makes a system less flat and one note?

Biomods just need an admin to toggle them because they're coded in kind of an obtuse way. You absolutely can fuck with them at any time without xhelping first, you just submit a service request after the fact. I've been party to this multiple times in the past.
My perspective is that the biomod controller fits in well with the way other augmentations are handled in the game.

Compared to other game system with cyberware (CP2020 and Shadowrun as two examples), augmentations in Sindome seem extremely limited. In other systems, it is not uncommon for characters to have a dozen modifications if they live long enough.

As a player, I had to recalibrate my expectations of what "being augmented" means for my character. They will never have ALL of the augmentations. They will never even have half of the available augmentations. More than likely a character will end up with a small handful of thoughtfully selected augmentations that suit a specific play style.

The way I have reconciled that and made sense of it in an IC way is that augmentations are invasive. They are major changes to a character's physical body. They might come in the form of nanos that are rewiring the body on a deeply cellular level. Or they might be eyes, or ears that are augmenting existing senses or adding entirely new senses. Or maybe they are something like a flash boost that is putting the central nervous system into overdrive. Or they are biomods that are literally redefining the body to less human and more animal.

A body can only handle so many changes. If a character wants ears and a tail that move around, they are giving up the option of having other types of augmentations. If a character wants a bunch of nanos, they are giving up on having a bunch of cyber. The reverse is also true.

If there is one thing I have learned about Sindome it is that no one character will ever be able to excel at everything. It is not that kind of game. There is a max UE cap. There is PDS that limits augmentations. There is a fatigue system that limits how active a character can be. Navigating around the limits and striking the balance is both art and science. To me, the limits on any one character becoming great at everything is one of the biggest selling points of this game because it forces characters to collaborate and team up with people who capable of doing other things.

I have not seen a single authoritative voice mention that players cannot create biomodded characters. All I have seen is staff saying that there are costs and trade offs to being biomodded. A player is not going to be able to create a flash boosted, cyber eared and eyed, quadruple nano'd cat samurai with moving ears and a tail.

If you want to play a fully functional furry, that's fine. Just accept that there are tradeoffs. Just like anyone else accepts that if they want augmentations A, B & C that they are going to have to give up augmentations Y & Z. It's not that they cannot have Y & Z. They just can't have EVERYTHING.

You could have either good and bad arguments for both.

I don't feel the controller is adding up that much, maybe if it had actual functionality.

Might have been thought out to separate splicers in classes too? Got flash, got a controller, got none, your ears flop down hun. Something like that.

Hek, chummer, nobody but staff (who has to) is going to read an eight paragraph reply.
Vera, mona…

Thanks for the snark.

I'm going to take a pass on dumbing myself down for people with short attention spans though.

If you want to talk about any of the points I brought up that would be great.

Otherwise please avoid these sorts of borderline personal attacks that have nothing to do with the topic, and everything about personalizing your vitriol. We'll all be better off as a community for it.

I don't want to talk about any of the points you brought up, which may or may not be valid, because you've written a doctoral thesis. I have no idea what's in your post.

Brevity isn't dumbing anything down, it's a courtesy for the sake of conversation.

I don't read eight paragraph replies, I skim at best unless you reallly hook me.
Hek I've read your post because I like to read and this is a text game, so me being a lazy reader would be bad, that being said a good writer has to know their audience and also "Brevity is the soul of wit".

I've posted long rant style posts like yours and I also try be conscious that people might not read it thoughtfully, so I add a TLDR section at the end with a few bullet-points or a more generalized idea.

So lets try to keep it civil and classy peeps.

tl;dr

Sindome is a game of trade offs. Nobody gets to be good at everything and do everything.

Biomodding and controllers fits in with that.

Nobody is saying you can't be biomodded.

+1 for anything that keeps Sindome from becoming "FurryMUCK 2.0, Now wit cyberz!"

I really don't mind longer posts (as evidenced by my writing them a fair amount!), to me it most likely means someone is invested in the topic enough to have taken the time to think and write and length about it, which I try to respect even if I don't agree -- this doesn't mean anyone is obligated or should feel obligated to take those posts more seriously or even read them, but I don't think they deserve to be treated negatively. The forums are sort of the place for longform discussions to take place, if anywhere, so. I do think a tl;dr at the end is appreciated and try to remember to tack them on to my longer posts.

As far as bio-mod controllers, I see both sides, but empathize more strongly with the long-held staff vision of the game which is that they'd much rather see biomods being used more creatively than they are 90% of the time, and this is an IC mechanism to try to 'tax' that.

Animal splicing could be just be ICly banned and shove the whole thing off, agreed, and that might be the 'neatest' way to handle it, but I think this is a compromise that errs toward themely ideals of freedom and transhumanism and customization without opening the door entirely to the problems Johnny has mentioned, and it'd also create a host of IC problems for 'grandfathered' splicers which might be very interesting RP but would probably just be upsetting for players.

but the way it is now, nobody gets them except for the furries, because they don't actually care if their ears can twitch
I think a splash of interest in biomods would go a long way to making them more appealing and more common simply by acting as a showcase for what is possible. As it is none of the players I've known who were creative enough to do really interesting things with them, ever really wanted to, because they were such a pain in the ass to get and have.

If I could just snap my fingers and make changes I would get rid of the controller, make generic cheapo biomods available to mixers (Earz-2-Morrow pills now from VS) , and slash the cost of bespoke biomods for like...six months or something, then go back to baseline costs and availability and if there's no continuing interest after that just leave them for the cat girls to pick up when they flee from the mix.

Biodmods are IC supposed to be a status symbol, but OOC no one cares about them because they're so rare, and rarely interesting on top of that. Get them out there more and let people demo what can be done and I think that OOC interest might start to match the IC theme a bit more.