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Cosemtic Cyberware
The Rule of Cool - Metal Edition

I would like to propose a system for cosmetic cyberware that would allow cyberneticists and players more freedom while using existing game systems to (maybe) make implementation easier.

The idea is to parallel the bio-mod system. The machines used to create biomods could be reskinned as a cybernetics fabricator where cyberneticists can design cosmetic cyberware. The resulting design is then fabricated on the machine into an installable object (named by the cyberneticist making it - similar to bio-mods).

Either a special tool can be created or this installable object can be linked to an existing install tool. Install then works like any chrome and the cosmetic cyberware would carry a PDS load just like a bio-mod does.

Once installed it works largely like a bio-mod. Nakeds are replaced as designed. The main difference is that this chrome, unlike bio-mods, is flagged so it is not retained after death. Pricing can be adjusted to account for all these factors.

This would allow all kinds of creative, cool and themely cybernetics to be designed and used but they would all be purely cosmetic. Those cool cyberlegs that look and work like ostrich legs don't make you faster or a better jumper but they do look cool. That windowed chrome dome that shows off your brain with black lights doesn't make you smarter but it looks cool.

I think that something like this would allow PCs to finally rock chrome on par with some well known bar tenders and owners and could (I hope) use a lot of existing code to make implementation a little easier maybe.

I could see fabricators either being available at various clinics or them being usable only at SK for a fee. I would also expect that, as with bio-mods, there would be some quality control steps and theme enforcement steps along the way - most of which could largely mirror what is already in place for bio-mods as a starting point.

I like this idea, since it removes the debate over stats/PDS/etc from the equation and focused on the style side and giving cyberdocs more to do overall.
And yes... I can not type and can barely spell. Sorry. :P
I like this idea a lot. It also gives Mixers another avenue to customise their appearances in ways you can imagine Mixers doing so- chromed everything, junkyard jaws, and so on.
I like this idea.

Edit by Slither: This is akin to +1ing this topic. Do not do this.

(Edited by Slither at 7:20 am on 11/18/2020)

I like the idea a lot,

Only concern I have is how it would be regulated in lore. Biomods have a history to keep everything in check with regulations and so on stemming back through the timeline (openly available on the timeline)

It could also undervalue biomods in general people opting for cyberware over mods, potentially killing off that RP.

Interestingly though, it could bring about some big anti transhuman movements specifically around cyberware.

Biomods have the 20% UN rule, Chrome has PDS. Those have always been our lore restrictions to keep stuff that is judged as too extreme from going out into game, if that helps with your lore side worry Fopsy.
Without going into details, there is more to it than that, Blinder.

I am just saying that if it does happen, it would need to be equally as regulated or it has the potential to kill off biomods as a cosmetic option, simply because chrome could likely do it it better.

I think that there is precisely no chance that cosmetic cybernetics would entirely overtake biomodification. Have it be frowned upon by corporates, considering it's cheaper and available to everyone; on top of that, it's not able to handle more elegant and beautiful stuff, considering it's... lumps of shaped metal and plastic. As opposed to genetic modifications.
It would have to be watched for sure, I agree. But I think some points are overlooked.

As I presented it, you lose this cyberware when you die - unlike bio-mods. I also suggested that the path of fabrication have a checkpoint for themelyness, quality control, and all that - just as Bio-mods do. I also imagine that, like bio-mods, the cooler more expansive the product the more it will cost.

There is certainly more that could be tweaked to balance things though I am 100% sure that there will be a surge in use shortly after introduction - if it's introduced. But that's pretty normal.

Lastly, I would say that players will tend to use what players are excited about. I DO want staff to limit options to support theme. But if all options support theme, let the players do what they feel is cool.

Only if things like skinwatch tech is not extrapolated to more exoctic things. And the OP's examples did not seem like it was lumps of shaped metal and plastic.

I was just voicing the opinion of limitations to designs, or alternatively more freedom to biomods.

But we will see where this goes, I for one would be happy to see Lizzy Wizzy style celebs, shiny and chrome.

I should have been more clear. As the Builder who works on things like this, I can promise we would hold people to sane standards when it comes to what -is- and what -isn't- possible.
Ah, apologies, I was not aware, Blinder.

I am really glad to here that, cosmetic cyberware was a personal draw to sindome, so seeing this get some love would be awesome. I was just playing a bit of devils advacote and adressing an angle that was not yet raised.

I am excited to see where this goese, and if it does, what the impact might be on the game world with potential anti cyberware activists groups appearing or being more active in the wake of these implimentations.

I would love to see this. The lack of cosmetic cybernetics is a missed opportunity.

Cybernetics and nanogenics and biomodification all competing for the same limited resource, some of which give performance benefits and others which don't, somewhat undercuts it. Hopefully entirely cosmetic pieces could have a low PDS cost so that characters could add some cosmetics without having to do without a highly valuable nano or piece of chrome.

I missed the biomod-esque PDS note there. Biomods seem to have a flat, permanent penalty to PDS load, though I'm a bit vague on how that works with multiple mods.

I would certainly be up to pay for the customization, but I don't know if I would be willing to do with one less nano or piece of functional chrome to have it.

If being biomodded means you already 'paid' for the PDS hit and cosmetic chrome had no further penalty? That would mean for a lot of characters the cost was only up-front chyen and would definitely be far more viable to use.

Yes! Gimme the shiny cyber!
A debut of the SK Chromewriter? Yes please!
You know I remember the exact moment I got taken in by Sindome's atmosphere.

It was outside the Black Drome looking at the broken sign (this was before the blinking text on signs, instead different letters would be illuminated each time you re-entered a room, like a broken neon sign, still miss that effect) and going inside and seeing Rychek with his imperfect cybernetic arm and it was like Neuromancer come to life:

Ratz was tending bar, his prosthetic arm jerking monotonously as he filled a tray of glasses with draft Kirin. He saw Case and smiled, his teeth a webwork of East European steel and brown decay.

The antique arm whined as he reached for another mug. It was a Russian military prosthesis, a seven-function force-feedback manipulator, cased in grubby pink plastic.

I still remember being disappointed to find my character couldn't get an arm just like that, or any number of other classic cyberpunk cosmetics. I really think this would be something that appealed to a lot of players who are into the cyberpunk aesthetic.

would saw off my own leg for something like this. with all the cyberpunk 2077 promotional material circulating around recently - where literally *everyone* has some sort of cyber, from metal arms to chrome skin to skin wiring, the eternally boring cyberware situation in SD only continues to get more disappointing.
I have been playing for a day and you can count that for what it's worth, but upon reading the cybernetics menu advertising what was for sale I get the vibe that cybernetics are hugely combat focused. While I can understand that, I feel like The cosmetic ones I did see leave a lot to be desired.
Of the 36 things on the "menu", I count 10 that are primarily for combat, 4 more that are potentially but not primarily useful for combat, and 3 more that can conceivably have a role in combat.

That makes 26 that are not primarily for combat, and 19 which aren't useful for combat in any way.

They're useful for other things besides combat, but you're right that there are only a very small handful which people might get just for the looks.

The way I'd categorize SD cyberware on the whole is hugely tactical focused. Operational tactics, not necessarily or primarily combat tactics.

I also want to address the idea that cosmetic cyberware would just compete for limited resources among a limited audience.

I mostly don't think it's true. Sure, there could be some individual who has to struggle with all the trade-offs, but, individuals who are into cosmetic mods and individuals who are into tactical applications, especially combat, tend on the whole to not intersect very much, in my impression. Similarly, I'm aware of a distinct disjunct between people interested in biomods versus people interested in cosmetic chrome. In this case there's not really a downside to combining them, so, there's plenty of room for people to get whatever they can afford without trading anything off.

i mean, even if cyberware isn't primarily combat focused @beandip, i feel that its generally combat characters who use it because for people who cant defend themselves, it just makes them a target (ive witnessed this numerous times and its sucky) - in fact iirc there is slang for this which in of itself feels pretty meta-y and works against theme

hopefully cosmetic cyberware could be alot cheaper than biomods, or maybe scale in price depending on how shitty the cyber is in quality/look

There's plenty of chrome and nanos that social-focused roleplayers will still have lots of incentive to want and plan for even if they have no combatative aspirations.

In my own case I'm not an extreme optimizer or anything, I would be willing to take a small hit to overall potential for cosmetics (and I have), but not to the point of being at a noticable constant gameplay disadvantage versus just skipping them.