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Mix Mod Shop
Welcome to the new you!

This has been on my mind a bit in light of recent plot and I wanted to put some of my thoughts forward.

As it stands, biomodding is offered exclusively to corprorate citizens, with some limited exceptions. I think this is pretty appropriate. High-end cosmetic mods are pretty sophisticated work and they're a luxury that fits more into corporate society than they do the Mix. They also take a lot of time and effort to generate to it makes sense that they're offered selectively.

However, their selective availability has kind of drifted into some uncomfortable RL analogs to issues like gender expression that I think are mostly a byproduct and not intended through theme, but nevertheless, it makes things a little uncomfortable to negate.

The current implementation also leaves out what I feel is one of the cooler avenues for modding: less sophisticated, dirtier and more primitive flavors of body mod like the tooth bud implants the LoTeks use in Johnny Mnemonic and other black market, bootleg biotech.

I'd like to suggest adding a Mix bodymod clinic formally, bu onet that offers a different style and flavor to what they provide that will be more at home in the Mix. The process is more traditionally surgical than what's offered Topside, success rates aren't stellar and generally things are grittier. Swap your eyes out, get some cheap cosmetic chrome. Get some dog or cat fangs or rudimentary full conversions. I think it's a thematic avenue to give people more options to modify themselves in the Mix while respecting the boundaries of what's available to the slum and keeps things cpaf.

I've always found biomods to be a weird status symbol to be corporate-locked, when most biomods outlive one's corporate employment.

Convert the ground floor of the Red Canary into a clinic staffed entirely by sexy doctors and have this kind of surgery be their specialty, a la Repo!

This all feels like something there's IC RP going on about right now. If something is going to happen, it should probably happen ICly.
+1 Kiwi
I'd love to see Mix-mods become more available ICly, and there are a number of possible avenues for making them happen (with and without help from staff).

It'd be themely for mixers to have access to biomods, as long as they're crafty about obtaining them - just like how other regulated items are available if you know where to look and who to ask.

@Something_Wicked: Pretty close, that'd still come off a little bit too glossy for what I'm picturing. I'm expecting something a little more like some shady guy with eyes growing in a vat in his backroom and a grimy operating theater.

@Pavane: It's a topic that's been retread a lot over the years.

@Rhicora: This would paring down a lot from what's possible through expensive gene therapy (perhaps with some slightly cruder variations of nanogenic still on offer) in favor of more Mix-flavorful surgical implantations.

I would like to see a lot more "low-tech" solutions developed too!

But I follow along with Pavane's line of thinking. It's something that characters can pursue in game and through staff support. There's already a certain hospital, and probably even more places, in the existing game world that might be interested in these sort of plotlines. If staff dropped it in and said look, here you go, it'd steal away some of the story that other players have already potential built up.

If you're a rich mixer, why don't you get a team of mix doctors and rippers to built your own mods?[/b[ It'd give a lot of story for some people to work with and against.

All that said, I concur that the allegory of someone is oppressing other less fortunate people's ability to express themselves is startlingly close to real life and disturbing. A lot of elements in Sindome are disturbing, and it's part of what makes it a good place for story, too. You come in thinking, 'Maybe I can change this world, just a little, for the better.'

Alright, I have no excuse for all these typos. But my big point is:

if you want to see the change to the world, don't feel powerless. Push for it in character and see what happens.

'Push for it IC and see what happens' is, generally, a fantastic philosophy.

However.

Threads and topics that recur, often over years, sometimes do so because people have pushed for things ICly with zero support or progress and for meaningful changes yes, you need staff along for the ride.

Thematically there's zero reason for this to exist, along with other lower-tech (or just less safe, less glossy) solutions to things like chrome. It feels distinctly anti-CP body modding in all kinds of ways isn't more common Mixside.

If anything you'd think it'd be exactly opposite to current IC reality, on one hand we have this sort of classic, contemporary 'oh, you want to fit in up here in corpie land, even to interview? smell like pine trees and get a pantsuit and shit, oh but it's also the land of bunny ears and whatever, filthy Mixers WISH they could be PR Reps for billion-dollar conglomerates with squirrel tails, guffaw' ....meanwhile even the richest Mixer crimelords are like, I want a fluffy tail too, but there's no black alley clinic doing that? It's silly.

Ahem, zero reason for this NOT to exist **

an important correction.

My opinion is, the Mix could have sketchy low-rent clinics or garages for this, where you get results like physical implants and MAYBE 20-year-old "stock" gene mods. Virtually nothing custom but all kinds of edgy-ass mods like the Lo-Teks in Johnny Mnemonic (the story, not the movie) with the dog-tooth implants.

Mixers who want top-shelf custom work with good results, good meaning either non-obvious for those who just want to change their identity, complexion or bone-structure or else obvious but clearly custom and high-quality shiny premium work without visible scars, can get this today with the right RP.

I think of it like plastic-surgery today. Some of it's bad, some of it's good. All it takes is money and connections to get the good stuff if you're not already a member of privileged classes.

Without staff and the coded support, it'll never come into being, so I see your point Jameson. But theme-wise, I could see the world existing without them. It making sense for low-end options not existing if corporations have strangle-holds on patenting and viciously murder anyone who gets close to their streams of revenues.

Even then, I want the low end options. During the staff-player meeting, someone mentioned an item that'd operate like a tattoo gun except for modifications. And I practically hopped out of my chair and pointed, screaming, "YES! Please yes!" Low end, and new tech, this's something I'd like to see taken up as a staff story line ideally, or even just a new item too.

Speaking of plastic surgery, has anyone ever gotten a clear answer of whether or not it exists as something ICly available? I've seen people just have RP with doctors and do it, and it definitely exists in NPC descriptions, but I've heard conversely that biomods mean that plastic surgery isn't a thing anymore.
Building off the idea NoNova brought up: Surgical Navigator, it functions very similar to a SkinWriter, but it's reskinned as a handheld computer for surgical planning. You need to be holding it and a scalpel to work, and it only works on people on a table in a clinic. It uses "operate" trusts and some decently high level of medical skill.

The result changes the mod slot of nakeds instead of the tattoo one. The catch is that it's limited in what it can do: you can only use it to write body modification descriptions that could be performed with surgery. Anything that would require bioengineering (the kind of flora and fauna splicing we typically associate with biomods) needs to be done using the existing equipment.

Biomods are intentionally bad and difficult to get. I don't like it, but it's deliberate.

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.

Game Complaints: Biomod Controllers

Personally I think the biomodding-as-social-issue plot well was completely poisoned when it turned into a transphobia and Mein Kampf quoting disaster two years ago, but if it ends up with cosmetic biomods and chrome being an actual practical thing then by all means run it back.

Another previous thread:

Ideas: Biomod Issues and Fixes

Slither wrote:

At this point I want to weigh in and say that Johnny is going to have to address any points raised in this thread. Myself and the GM's who have weighed in so far are just reiterating what we have been told by him. Until he has time to review and address the suggestions made here there it's not much more the staff can say on this.

@beandip: Yeah, that's exactly what I have in mind.

To clarify a little more to the discussion on biomods as they exist now:

My suggestion here is to cleave modification into two separate genres. This isn't a conversation about making biomods available to Mixers, the idea is to provide a thematic Mix alternative to expensive, high-tech gene therapy. Some nanogenics may be available, but 'the good shit' is left largely in corporate clinics. Grimier, lower-tech bodymod is more appropriate to Mix theme and by splitting modification, the question of who has the right to modify themselves is separated away from problematic RL analogs. It instead just becomes a division of class and who has what quality of cosmetic enhancement. Themely Mixers will pride themselves on mods that are more primitive and favor intimidation factor over looks.

Yeeeeah, keeping boot-to-heel on a central CP theme because 'some furries ruined it a while back' has always felt like rotten reasoning. There are a million things that can (and do!) go on if they aren't policed, via staff or culture of a mesh of both. We threw in the towel on disguise meta, we don't have to throw it on on everything that's difficult.

I'm not going to touch on IC happenings as it relates to this topic and how weird or unthemely they might be, but wedging plots into it as a sort of awkward way of giving the status quo a kind of plot armor doesn't justify anything, it's throwing bad money after bad.

I'm of the mindset that this is a contentious issue that affects a lot of players and it gives them all a sci-fi backdrop to confront real-life allegories.

Play it out ICly, grow stronger as individuals for confronting it, and score an avalanche of small wins through whatever means necessary.

An IC storyline of this nature sounds a whole lot more meaningful and fulfilling than sidestepping it OOCly and making everything magically better. We as a community thrive off of collaborative storytelling.