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Biomod appearance bonuses
A rolex makes me look better but mods don't?

I'll try to explain this as best I can without revealing certain IC fixtures. Please be patient with me if I cross the line, it's very hard to discuss what I'm suggesting without hinting at things.

Certain items sometimes give bonuses to appearance when worn. This is a nice feature and I wish more clothing items did this, especially tailored ones, but that's a thing for another thread.

Then you have biomods, which consist of a very expensive installation, and depending on the mods you get, a second very expensive installation in order to make them move. Biomods generally make your character very identifiable at a glance and they are often factored in to your appearance via puppets and world interactions at large, but strangely enough, they have no actual influence on your coded appearance score.

These installations also do a thing that interacts with other chrome and can sometimes make getting more chrome even harder to get. Don't want to give out IC information here, but this is also an important point.

Seems a little odd, doesn't it? An expensive item worn openly may give you a bump to your coded appearance but physically altering your appearance with expensive, custom-made mods that slow down/inhibit your ability to acquire future chrome doesn't.

I understand that part of this is because biomods are retained after death unlike every other piece of chrome. Giving biomods an appearance bonus would essentially be a flat buff that pretty much never expires - except this buff is not without this caveats. Splicers are treated differently in many contexts despite their lore and IC prevalence, especially as they're often associated with corporate privilege. Having them makes you a target, and they're definitely not risk free.

What do people think of the following ideas:

* Biomods are given a flat appearance bonus similar to other appearance-enhancing items. It won't be a very big one, but it'll still be there. This bonus is lost if the altered nakeds are covered over.

* Biomod controllers are given a much larger appearance bonus. Controllers can be lost and animated appendages are a hallmark of splicer 'difference', they're eye-catching, often a liability to your enemies and rivals, and also have to endure the limp walk of shame out of Genetek. This bonus is also lost if the altered nakeds are covered over.

* Mods marked as 'animated' (aka needing a controller) cause a significant appearance deficit when a controller is not installed. Nobody likes a floppy splicer!

@Eph,

I get what you are saying about the sunk cost of biomods compared to other less expensive items that do give a minor stat buff.

On the other hand, biomods are socially divisive. Where as one person might think a biomod is cool, another person might actively hate the biomodded person.

My opinion on this, and it's just my opinion, is that if we codify a stat buff for biomods then we are effectively implying that biomods are the pinnacle of attractiveness. In other words, EVERYONE is going to find biomods attractive.

I think you can counter argue that the other stat buffing items in game might not have a universal appeal. For the one item that I am aware of, it is thematically appropriate due to plenty of 'cyberpunk' lore that precedes Sindome.

As I said above, I (my opinion) don't think that biomods fall under that category of 'universally appealing' due to how socially divisive they are.

I agree with Hek on this one. Bio-mods are a personal choice and I think trying to make them have a charisma bonus removes that subjectivity. I might not find bio-mods attractive, and therefore I shouldn't have to view a person who has them as such simply because the person with the bio-mods thinks they are ace nifty.

There are in game components that allow for bumps in this stat and each of those is explained through a chemical alteration, fashionable accessory or some other way that is more appealing across the board to a sense of realism and 'playability' that doesn't force me to change a core opinion or view that my character may have, whether for or against mods.

I agree with Ephemeralis to a degree, it would be nice but below I offer some reasoning on why this might be a little difficult to add in.

Hek, I can understand your point, but at the same time that's more of a personal preference thing. Some of the items that give bonuses to these stats you wouldn't be wearing in some places of the game.

Just because a biomod makes you more physically appealing doesn't mean that everyone is going to find you attractive, but it may very well make you more attractive on a fundamental basis. As a society as a whole, there are some characteristics that everyone tends to agree is attractive (for the most part).

In my opinion though, some biomods are more attractive than others. While some can be outright ugly. It really depends on the biomod that you're trying to get, and as such I would say that it really depends. Not all biomods are going to be attractive, but some might be. So I think leaving it where it is, is fine. Otherwise you'd have to tailor these stat increases to the mod, with possible penalties for skills (disguise, for instance) depending on the mod.

Because conferring stat bonuses to biomods would be a much more nuanced process and therefore time consuming for admin, I think that it should currently be left alone in favor of more important things.

A fair point, but you could argue the same thing for any sort of Charisma investment that you might not find attractive to your particular character.
I think what @Ephemeralis means is that biomods is a clear indicator of corporate privilege and wealth, so topside it would be seen as attractive, even if it could technically be something like having frog legs or whatnot (bad example, but w/e). What if it gave a stat bonus topside, but instead a penalty or just no buff at all in Red? Kind of like how your clothing is rated differently from sector to sector.

Example comparison. Your clothing might look 'fancy' in Red sector, but on Green it will just look 'bespoke'.

I think Trakel makes a good point as well. There would be nuances that would have to be added. And, IMHO one of them then should be the ability of removing or permanently being able to alter or disfigure bio-mods in some way. Because, effectively, if they were allowed to have a stat-bonus, you're asking for an in-game facilitator to have a permanent, unalterable stat-bonus for basically a nominal fee for the life of their character. And, that seems slightly unbalanced. Unless there were functions added in game to affect that unfair advantage.
I don't think we need to complicate things too much. I think assuming that 'extraordinary' appearance alone quantifies for an elevation in the substat. Because really, established IC norms or none, people are going to have their eye caught more by modded people than by natural ones. It's kind of the point of them.
I disagree because this would be

a) subjective

b) against the point of biomods

We already have stuff you can get to get a charisma boost in game. Biomods don't have that because they're a character choice -- they exist to let you distinct your character and roleplay being a cat or wolf or whatnot or whatever your imagination can come up with (within IC boundaries).

I don't think it constitutes looking more appealing.

@Evie - that is true, they are a sign of prestige...but, many of those that get them end up in the Mix, or are 'Mixers' - or have a chance of that happening. And, they would still have that sign of prestige. Bio-mods do not disappear if your social status changes, so if a bonus were applied to them, that bonus would stay in affect no matter where the PC resides socially or economically.
One of the reasons why CHA enhancing chrome was introduced was because cosmetic surgery/mods are hard to quantify, so it put it all into one neat package.

@Eph - I don't know if that's true. Bio-mods are a cosmetic alteration for personal preference. I think it's slightly small world to assume there aren't a lot of bio-modded people that they wouldn't be that normal to see walking around and not as eye-catching as you imply. I am not being argumentative or attacking your point, just offering a different perspective on it.
I see the points laid out, but I'd be concerned about paying chyen for permanent stat gains that persist through death.

And for that reason, I'm out.

@Jade1202 What if it's just an indicator, instead of a bonus, then? Something that changes depending on the sector, maybe in the bottom of your description, just like clothing quality will look different from sector to sector, by looking at someone or just glancing at them.
I don't like the idea of permanent stat gain through death either, to be honest. Attaching it to the controller seems the most logical approach, but then you have mods that don't require controllers, and they can be just as eyecatching as ones with them.

Bit of a tricky situation.

@Evie - my opinion on that would still be that's its all subjective and person-to-person based and bio-mod to bio-mod based. In the Mix, a Vampire or some super-goth bio-mods might be seen as ace-kool while something more 'sophisticated and alluring' might be viewed more 'attractive' Topside. Or, vice versa. Or not at all. So, it still falls back on it should not be stat-induced but RP induced pleasure, attractiveness, etc. I think it would require a lot of code to 'force' a certain appeal when that time could be better invested in other things by GMs and have it all just fall back on the RP of the bio-modded PC or have to use the already established ways to make people view them as more attractive.
maybe I hate fox splicers but love cow splicers IC how can you know?

or maybe I hate splicers entirely

Again though, APR really doesn't account for your character's personal tastes in things. Someone with high APR IS eyecatching, that's objective fact. You might not like what you see if/when they grab your attention, but the fact remains that for whatever reason, they're remarkable enough to warrant grabbing it in the first place.

At least that's what I take shortdesc modifiers to entail. I could be completely wrong in this analysis, mind.

If mods are going to interact with shortdesc, I would actually suggest "modded" be added if the biomods are exposed.

eg "Well-dressed modded attractive girl wearing a diamondweave blouse"

I don't like the idea of a charisma buff coming with mods because it's a permanent stat increase. There are a few in game items which improve appearance but TBH I more question why those items have that effect as opposed to wanting to see more of it.
@Trickyhottrev That is an interesting idea honestly, but we also need to balance it out and make sure it doesn't become a super long shortdesc either. With the clothing-quality adding onto the shortdesc, my short desc has become rather long.

At the same time, I feel forced to put either something in a @title or my @look_place so that people actually notice I have mods to begin with. Especially since some mods are very easy to notice, they should stand out from most people. Sure, mods are ICly not that uncommon, at least not topside, but I still believe that the general majority don't have mods. So those that do are sort of out there. I feel forced to waste a title or look_place to make sure people actually notice me as a splicer if they for some reason wanted to (whether because they hate splicers or like them, I don't really care which).

What I meant with the long shortdescs was that if you are very focused on your APR in Sindome, you'll end up getting something like 'well-dressed gorgeous mona wearing a (long-custom-tailored-clothing-name here) with blue eyes'. As an example, not based on mine or anyone else's character.
You could add splicer and splicette to the shortdesc noun choices.
I like the idea of adding 'modded' to the shortdesc because it's a very distinguishing feature that would get picked up by code like chatter and whatever that thing is that yells when people kill other people in the street.
I do like splicer based shortdescs as an idea... maybe even add some common ones in there. Catgirl, cat boy. Dog-girl, dog-boy, animal-esque thingies.
Splicette is legendary. Why has nobody suggested that before now?
Not all mods are pretty.
JoeBaka becomes JoeSplice. Splicette sounds way cooler than 'splicer', and 'splicer' could be unisex. What about uhh.. spliceguy? There's just no good male alternative..
Shortdescs need to be gendered, so splicer would be male and splicette would be female.
Exactly, but splicer could also be used for females, it's not as identifying as splicette. Of course it would be if it was made into a shortdesc, but still.
It's a video game you have to draw lines somewhere. For the purposes of a shortdesc as proposed, splicer would be the male one and splicette female.
Spliceunzel, Spliceunzel, let down your.. tail?
Oh god, those aren't tails, they're JELLYFISH STINGERS
Not tentacles?
Biomod's more than just slapping animal parts on, it's just that many people decide to get animal parts. It also can be used to switch your gender and change your appearance to avoid detection, or it can be used to copy a person's appearance, making you look like a clone. (Even though many people would unconsciously metagame names.)
@Beepboop, actually, my understanding of bio-mods is that it does not change gender. That is a different mechanism. Also, these are (for game mechanics) purely cosmetic in that they won't make a person 'unrecognizable' generally. Similar to the 'UN rules' for too much chrome, there are also rules that won't allow for too much modification of a person's DNA. I could be wrong though. So, I would just add a *warning* that anyone reading these posts for understanding of bio-mods seek that out IC just in case any of what we're saying here 'definitively' isn't really definitive.
I know someone did get their sex changed through biomods once, but that may have been an exception. Not sure how often staff will agree to it.
Through my lifetime of being on Sindome, I've seen like eleven people who underwent gender change operation.
Biomods can encompass 20% of your appearance, or 4 @nakeds. IC there are notional limits based on gene modding but they're basically hand-waved reasoning for the coded limitations since a 0.01% modification to your genetic structure can make you genetically identical to any other living human and a 20% modification to your genetic structure can make you genetically identical to any mammal.
Yes, gender change exists - different procedure. It's not bio-mods though (again, from my understanding). And, @Evie, sexual organs can be changed in bio-mods, but the gender (I.E, being seen as he/she by game mechanics) doesn't change was more what I meant. Bio-mods change @nakeds, basically. Not the gender mechanics in game.
@Jade1202 What I meant was, someone DID have their gender/pronouns and all changed by changing their sexual organ through biomods once. I believe it was an exception due to there not being an alternative around the time. I think staff will make it more possible in the future, if they haven't already since then. This was maybe a year ago, or less. I won't say more than that.

@0x1mm

I think the limit is also there as to prevent people from going full furries, it wouldn't really be on-theme then. :^P

Depending on the setting influence, full furries are CP. I think CP2020 has a whole class of people that go full anthro- and it's a corporate privilege thing, as much as having chrome skin.

Not that that's cannon in Withmore, but just agreeing to 0x1mm's point that there's really very little differentiating a rat, a cat and a person.

More on topic- I think that having biomod controllers give a CHA bonus makes sense and would be pretty balanced. Do your own hand-waving as to why it makes sense for your character in the event you don't have a tail or ears or something. It's not hard.

The controller is pretty expensive, and the only real benefit is you are allowed to pose and emote moving your non-human bodyparts. Technically, some might think it's more of a waste of money than biomods in that sense, since they don't really do anything mechanically. Hence; I think a CHA bonus would be acceptable, but I also see how it's not necessary. I'm okay with either.
Radical and novel biological and technological transhumanist modification is a tragically untapped cyberpunk concept in Sindome, and some encouragement for players to explore one of the few coded avenues for it, in new and interesting ways, might be something to consider.
@0x1mm You know what.. that is a good point.
My understanding of biomods is "I'm so effing rich that I can afford this thing that doesn't improve my life at all but simply shoves in your face how humongous my class standing is" *skates off on bio-heelys*