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Sonic Grenades
PLEASE NO MECHANICS SPOILERS

Currently, sonics are an either/or situation. There is some variability in how they work on a given target, but anyone who's used one probably knows what that is and there's no need to discuss that part.

I'm here to suggest that they're a little boring as-is. You either have countermeasures that work one hundred percent of the time, or you don't. And getting those countermeasures requires some doing and often a puppet, which for players expecting to deal with them often means just not going outside and getting into trouble until you can get a staffer to help you out.

It'd be neat if there were ways to mitigate (but never totally ignore) the effects without those countermeasures. Things like high endurance, drugs, or cyberware could allow you to eat one and not take the full effect, but still be deafened and hit with worse debuffs than that adds now. I'm talking big stamina hits, bleeding ears, drunk-walking, that kinda stuff. So that they're still a threat without the main countermeasure but it's not such a binary situation.

This'd make them more generally useful (as of now I can guess pretty accurately whether it's worth popping one or not, and if I guess correctly I will always always win) and allow people to make a decision about whether to spring for countermeasures or try to skip them and mitigate the potential damage otherwise. Anyway there's my idea.

I'd compare their use to a coin-flip, but it's not even that, when any veteran knows to include the preventatives to a potential one-shot kill.

At the current build, it's a simple gear check and waste of [REDACTED] when it could do other things like lower certain stats to the point of KO.

I'd definitely like to see them be something more too. +1

I'd compare their use to a coin-flip, but it's not even that, when any veteran knows to include the preventatives to a potential one-shot kill.

At the current build, it's a simple gear check and waste of [REDACTED] when it could do other things like lower certain stats to the point of KO.

I'd definitely like to see them be something more too. +1

I don't mind this and I would like to see even more tactical grenades added to the game.

Like flashbang (blind), smoke (obscures the room, can't target people), gas (poison or even nerve gas), riot control (sonics kind of serve this purpose I guess, but I am talking about the ones that make rubber pellets fly everywhere), etc.

Maybe being able to make home-brewed versions of these too.

With more tactical granades its tougher for people to have countermeasures against every single one of them.

Drunk walk would be interesting. You flee and think you're fleeing the direction you want? NOPE! You're too dazed and confused!

cs gas when
Sonics already take into account your endurance when it comes to how long you are KO'd for, so your endurance is already a mitigating factor and drugs can play into your endurance.

Getting sonic'd does make it so you are deafened for a period of time after.

I do agree they are kinda boring though, but it's super hard to balance something that KO's a person.

Maybe we could make them add temporary stat penalties to perception even if you have a cyberware that mitigates the effects?

I'm open to ideas on what we could do to improve them that wouldn't fuck up the balance.

My suggestion was to remove the KO effect at a certain level of endurance, or to make it so that if you're at that level of endurance, something like Endo or a Pain Editor might keep you vertical but leave you messed up enough to be at a real disadvantage. I was being intentionally vague about how they work so as not to do mechanics chat, but since we're on the subject you can necksnap a person who's down for one second as easily as you can necksnap someone who's down for five.

The deafening effect is not super powerful, statwise.

"Maybe we could make them add temporary stat penalties to perception even if you have a cyberware that mitigates the effects?"

I think the aggressors would be less likely to use them then as well.

Maybe something like cumulative PCP damage each round with each round also rolling against an increasingly difficult END roll to keep from passing out or something like puking from nausea and losing a round?

This way a sonic isn't an instakill, but it isn't something you want to stick around for either.

I am all for people no-selling them with the proper cyberware and half-shrugging them off with awesome stats and/or a jury-rigged solution, and for instantly getting KO'd if they're weak enough. Deafness is also hilarious when it happens.
Vera: "My suggestion was to remove the KO effect at a certain level of endurance"

Thinking on it, one foreseeable problem with that would be ht'ing someone and "wagering a guess" they wouldn't be affected by a sonic.

If we're suggesting secondary effects for the sonics, I'm gonna throw in with them making it specifically easier to flee from someone hit by one. There are currently dozens of ways to kill a guy but not so many ways to run away from a guy.
@holychrome to an extent that's already a thing because if a person has gear and looks tough you can probably assume they know how to avoid a no-skill-involved one hit kill.
I don't think I am really understanding what is being proposed here but so far it sounds to me like:

I want to make Sonics more powerful by having them affect even people that have taken IC steps to mitigate them at a lesser degree.

If this is the case, I'm not sure. I honestly find that using a sonic as is has two potential outcomes. Either KO happens for a variable length of time (stat dependent) and someone gets killed (which I honestly think can be a little boring/frustrating) or you don't KO them and a fun battle occurs - possibly with the attacker at a disadvantage depending on the gear situation.

With this change you would simply be making it so that option two (you don't get KOed) favor the attacker still just in a different way and to a lesser extend. Not really sure I like that. I kind of feel that, in a lot of cases, the characters who have ready and steady access to this gear don't really need more of an advantage than they already have.

Beyond that, considering how much of an advantage one gains if they do manage to KO the target, I would rather see that failure to do so put the attacker at a greater disadvantage. Make it yet more of a gamble. Increase the risk/reward factor.

Again, maybe I am misunderstanding what is being suggested here.

@Vera

There's at least still that gamble for a period after anyone dies though.

@grey0 Right now a sonic will effectively flat-out kill a character, or it won't if they got the one and only thing you can get that cancels them out. The thing is not hard to get, so it becomes a matter of 'you had better have this or I can one hit kill you with no skill'.

The suggestion is to leave the existing countermeasures in, but make it so that characters without those countermeasures can do other things to partially protect themselves (possibly cheaper or easier things, or things based on UE). The idea is to shift some of the overwhelming advantage away from the guys who can afford the gear and make stopgap solutions for other characters instead.

This would also help keep the grenades as a viable disabler/debuff item for situations other than straight assassination.

The cost of the counter measure is roughly the cost of the grenade. I don't see the problem.
I think the main gripe is that it's boring and perceived as unbalanced.

It's insta-win in a can if you're 1v1.

I just think from a gameplay perspective a 'have this and live, or don't have it and die instantly' isn't as fun of a choice as it could be.
Its really pretty obvious that a character with even remotely high endurance shouldn't be put in an instant death position by any consumable item in the game, regardless of cost. Any piece of cyberware shouldn't be absolutely necessary for any expectation of survival against any sort of weapon. I can't even really believe this is being debated. Maybe my character doesn't want cyber. Am I condemned to instant death against anyone who has the 'kill any normal human' consumable?' Why is that even a thing that exists?
Well, first off @Ash, it's not a guarantee. As many people who have used these items can attest:

1 you can fuck up and sonic yourself if you throw it wrong.

2. stats do play a part in how long someone is out for.

3. you can potentially escape before it goes off

4. they aren't free

And I don't agree that we should not have items like this in game. They are equalizers. They keep people on their toes. They keep people honest. Just because I'm Seven Ecks doesn't mean I can walk around like 'haha no one can kill me no matter what cause i'm tooooooo goood'.

They make you -make- a choice when you get cyberware, of if you want this thing that will protect you IN CASE you are put in the situation where someone uses one, or some other offensive cyberware that you can use more often.

Yeah, this is a game, but just because your character is super bad ass doesn't mean that there aren't things that can threaten them or require that they be paying attention or examining situations before they enter them.

It's hardly boring if it keeps you on your toes. I mean, if you're worked up enough about them being unbalanced, clearly that's not a boring feature. :P
I'm pretty sure that if your stats are good enough you can get up and make an escape before the other person even has the chance to type "snap your neck". Also Sonic grenades are not flawless, they have a hefty cost which is more or less the same cost as the counter measure and they are also loud and single-use only.
High endurance weathering a sonic. Yes please. Still lose hearing though for 15 to 30 minutes or so. I'm pretty 100% sure I saw a character do this somehow because when I looked at them after the encounter, again, as I was going 'WTF that's so cool, how did they do that', it became apparent they didn't have the appropriate chrome. You can bet they were defeaned though for a while.