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Cybernetic Phones
CyberEar thinger

So it appears that phone theft is a huge part of Sindome. I've heard many people, myself included icly bitch about their phone just being snatched.

Why isn't there a cyberware to combat that?

Seems like there is a whole economy among buying stolen phones and reselling them.

To which I have a sideline question, why don't folks just stop buying them? Take the demand away and then hopefully it stops?

But in a world of shots that can make you the incredible hulk, I think having a cybernetci unstealable phone would be totally possible.

It's not impossible to make it harder to be dipped, but you'd have to ask around IC to find out how to properly protect yourself. That said, cyberphones do seem like the natural progression from where tech is now and I don't think they're a bad idea.
This would defo be expensive, and people might still kill you to rip your Warez. Either way, I think this would work. Natural progression, as was said.
Sindome caters to thievery to an extent. There's been discussions on things getting dipped that don't quite make sense, but it generally gets hand-waved as inventory being abstracted.

As for phones, they're relatively cheap, and the often-stolen nature of them is part of the reason they stay so consistently far under retail value. There's IC solutions to preventing some important things from being stolen from your character, but for the most part, getting dipped or mugged is a pretty common occurrence.

I will say this: That recently, as in, the past 3-6 months, thievery has been on the rise rather significantly. This is usually an organic problem that will solve itself, usually in the form of extreme violence. :)

Implanted phones do seem like a pretty cool idea, though. In terms of cyber to implement this is a neat one, especially since I think there is a lack of good ear chips. (As a general design philosophy, I think there should be more "gotta have it" ear and eye chips than a single cyber ear or cyber eye can slot, forcing people to either install two or choose between which "must have" upgrades they install. That way every cyberear and cybereye doesn't have the same chips in it.)

Maybe with an ear alone it acts somewhere between a 7 and a 9 (redial but no caller ID) and with the addition of a HUD it acts somewhere between a 9 and an 11, with contacts but no texting. That might also drive an uptick in HUDs which I think would be good.

It would need to be expensive, though. Maybe around the price of an 11? Then you're choosing between more features and no PDS load vs PDS load and less features.

Why does everything have to be expensive?
If there was an implantable Prog-9, that'd be amazing.

I'd also have to imagine that it'd be pretty damn expensive to balance out the reduction in risk.

Would the phone use something like a think emote to talk into? Or would you just be mumbling to yourself in the corner like some crazy person? Also, there should totally be a light or something on your ear showing when you're on a call.

The bluetooth headsets don't generally get your voice from the outside of your mouth, it's the vibration through your cheek.

So a cybernetic phone could be the same. A receiver that picks up from your cheekbone/ear area. And plays directly into your rear.

Possible use the mumble command to talk on the phone.

@TalonCzar

Cybernetic phones/radios could use the Shadowrun model and have an option for a subvocal mic, otherwise it'd be full audible to reply.

Also, there should totally be a light or something on your ear showing when you're on a call.

Yes.

I don't know if the PDS load would make an unstealable phone worthwhile, but cosmetic cyborg drek when you're on a call? Hell yeah.

True silent calls would probably make it worthwhile tech even with PDS load. Gives something more for the psychics to do as well.

The Watering Hole [CROWDED]

People congregate here around the bar, sipping from canning jars and chattering away.

Janedoe and Jackdoe are standing here. JoeBaka is slaingin' booze behind the counter. Jacob Blueshroud, John Bauer Jack Wick are seated at the bar.

A flashing blue red light strobes from Jack Wick's earlobe.

A flashing blue red light strobes from Jack Wick's earlobe.

A flashing blue red light strobes from Jack Wick's earlobe.

Jack Wick clenches his jaw.

l wick

Jack Wick is a tall, dark and handsome man, with a rugged face, inky black and slightly greasy hair, and a scrubby beard on his face and neck. He looks like he's seen some shit. Behind Jack's ear, you can see a red light blinking once every few seconds.

He's holding a whisky.

He is in mindblowing condition. He looks haggard, like he could use a fix. His outfit is impeccable, he's dressed to kill.

The problem I have with this is someone never being without their phone. It is particularly hard to disable someones cybernetics, and more so if you want to do so for a long period of time.

Phones don't have a conception of 'signal' like the SIC does.

Having a cybernetic phone means that unless someone has a ripper doc and a clinic, you always have the ability to make a phone call, be it from a solitary confinement cell, a sewer, while grappled, during combat, while pretending to be asleep.

I just think it makes things like crime, kidnapping, and other things that require planning not only that much harder, but effectively impossible in some situations.

@Slither, that's a great point you bring up. The only thing I could think of to try and balance that out would to be to make it so you hard disconnect and couldn't redial it for a set number of minutes after losing consciousness, and also have it disconnect when taking head trauma, kind of like how some of the other cyberware is coded to get messed up when taking blows to the head? Lore-wise, it could be somewhat finnicky tech since it's so miniaturized compared with even cutting-edge prog-11's.

Potential gameplay balance issues aside, rule of cool would get so many people using this. Hell, I could easily see this as potentially people's first cyberware they'd install after coming into the city. Who doesn't

Whoops. Meant to say: Who doesn't want to waste a fistful of flash for their very first ''dip proof'' phone?
I can understand it would make it negative for criminals to do horrible things without getting caught, but then it comes into question.

Do you not add things that would codedly make sense, just because they could make something harder for someone who could just type grapple homeboy and drag him into the sewers?

Again, I haven't touched combat much, but it appears you make it super easy for someone to fuck up another character, but want to make it super hard for a character to have foresight and plan for ways around it. (Bags, Phone Holsters etc to combat theft) (No cyberphone because it -could- in the instance someone grabs you make it harder to escape unnoticed)

So I'm totally not trying to argue but put forth what I feel is counterpoint and something that was mentioned to me various times. I've been told, that you guys are totally fine with non-combat characters and that many have existed/do exist and thrive. But I would counter that to say that literally everything is against them. You got dip characters stealing their phones, wallets and everything constantly and making a little black market on sell phone, buy stolen phone, resell phone.

So I guess the question is, if I could buy an item that makes it harder for dips to steal from me, phone case, bag, etc and it costs me money to do so from a fixer/building a relationship, why is that a bad thing? It seems like it would be the smart play to attempt to protect your property more than just walking around with things in your hands constantly and pumping PCP till you get to the point you can't get stolen from as much?

So I see that it increases the difficulty on the "bad guy" side, but I guess the comment to that is, "So?"

just glue a Progia-7 to the side of your head
"So I guess the question is, if I could buy an item that makes it harder for dips to steal from me, phone case, bag, etc and it costs me money to do so from a fixer/building a relationship, why is that a bad thing? It seems like it would be the smart play to attempt to protect your property more than just walking around with things in your hands constantly and pumping PCP till you get to the point you can't get stolen from as much?"

It's not a bad thing in real life, but it is a bad thing for game balance. What comes next? Cyber cred chips? Or maybe cred chips that use the SIC? These things make sense for sure. Cybernetic radios. Cybernetic wallets that keep your money inside you. All reasonable things.

The problem is, what is the point of 'thievery' at that point? If no one has anything to steal.

Sindome is a game, and as such, we don't just balance things or make things because they make sense in real life... in real life, a clone would cost a 100,000 chyen. But that kind of realism isn't fun. No one would take risks if they had to pay 100k for a clone.

The same goes for a lot of things we do not add to the game. Why not a chain wallet for example? Because again, in part, thievery would serve no purpose.

We add things to the game because they increase roleplay. Does having a cyber phone increase roleplay?

Does having a cybernetic wallet?

Does having a 100,000 chyen clone?

Those are the questions we gotta ask ourselves when we propose things. And how will this affect the balance, playability, fun, of other classes or skills in the game?

@Slither

I'm not going to comment on game balance, 'cause I have no idea on that. On the subject of counteracting cyber headware and such, some of the cyberpunk ttrpgs I've played had other devices that would interfere with cyberware, or even stun the person for trying to use it.

Yep, we do have things like that. But they tend toward the expensive side, and some require specific skills to use. Further adding to the already complicated nature of various forms of crime.

I'm not completely against this idea, however, what I am proposing is that throwing something like this into the game without considering the game breaking implications for certain archetypes or generalized plots is a non-starter for me. There would need to be work put into making cyber easier to disable, making phones have 'signal' that can be disrupted similar to sic, and things of that nature, before I would consider something like this.

@Slither I've always thought it odd that progias work without SIC, considering they're (I think) basically wireless IP phones in canon.

That said, if they were limited to being used in places with SIC, I could see the entire progia market pretty much crashing instantly. There'd have to be some kind of throwback on them to make them worth the investment if they lose signal constantly.

On the other hand, maybe we can finally get people to respect bars being crowded if everyone is in them jabbering away on progias! :)

I can totally understand that point of view with the signal.

It does seem odd that the SIC can fall out like crazy all over red but the phones work anywhere. Someone joked on SIC once that they even work in space.

My take of progia phones, is that they aren't like modern phones. They are more old tech satellite phones and transmit on a different wavelength than SIC.

Also in theory SIC is only native to Withmore and its a very delicate system, burnouts are due to SIC nodes malfunctioning as a result of lack of maintenance fueled by the class divide and the massive scale of Red Sector.

I don't think its crazy at all that phones would work in space though.

I like this idea, but it would need to be balanced somehow so that its not OP like Slither suggested.

All the telecom tech IC is unique and specific to Withmore, it's just a convenient practical conceit to why there isn't comms to the outside world.