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Cybernetic Impants questions


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#1 LukeZZ

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 02:44 AM

I'm human with a cybernetic arm and a cybernetic leg. I'm hit by a Ion weapon for 2 points of damage (after Armor and Soak).

Since I'm not a droid, I don't take those 2 ponts of Strain damage?

Both my cybernetic arm and cybernetic leg are rendered inert for half an hour (like a ionized droid with 0 strain would be)?



#2 LethalDose

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 12:46 PM

 See the top of the second column on page 115.  Characters with cybernetics who are hit with weapons designed to disable technology should have the implant cease to function until the end of the scene, But the GM is free to discribe the exact effect.

 

-WJL



#3 LukeZZ

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:13 AM

Ok, but what happens to a Droid with Cybernatic Arms VI hit by a Ion weapon for 1 Strain damage?
Will he instantly lose the use of both arms?
And if he had standard droid arms?



#4 LethalDose

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 04:45 AM

 I think droids just take strain damage (""Stun damage, Droid only") from ionization blasters as described in the weapon description, which doesn't seem to be very clear as to WHEN it knocks out droids (One hit, or Strain > ST, I assume the latter). I would assume that cybernetic limb enhancements on a droid are just as susceptible, but not more susceptible, to ionization damage compared to normal droid limbs.  This is totally up to GM adjudication though.  As GM I would foremost make adjudication appropriate for the situation, but generically would use something like: 

  • Droids take normal stun (Strain subject to soak reduction) when they are hit by ionization blasters regardless of limb enhancements/implants
  • Biologics lose the use of one implant/enhancement whenever they would take strain damage from an ionization blaster, but don't take actual strain damage (or limit the strain damage they can take to no more than the number of implants/enhacements they have).  Malfunctioning implants/limbs can be repaired with an easy mechanics check action.

This is a pretty unequal treatment of droids v cyborgs (Vader could have gotten seriously ****** up by an ion grenade), but I'd cover it with some "cyborgs don't have redundant droid systems to prevent implant failure" hand-waving. If anyone has better ideas on how to handle it, I'd be eager to hear it

 

-WJL



#5 LethalDose

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 06:34 AM

 Actually, I had a better idea for dealing with this (or at least one I liked better), and suspect this is what I'll use in my game.

On a successful hit with an ionization blaster, the attacker can spend advantages equal to the weapon's CR, or a triumph, to disable one of the target's cybernetic limbs or implants until the end of the scene. This effect is not considered a critical injury, and does not count towards the total number of critical injuries when determining modifiers for critical injury rolls. Repairing the ionization during the encounter requires a mechanics roll with difficulty determined by strain and Table 3-2 (pg 77, replace instances of "wound" on this table with "strain" for this purpose).

I think I would also allow the ionization to deal strain damage to the cyborg, but strain damage from each shot would be capped by the number of implants/enhancements the character has.
No change to the droid rules.

 

-WJL



#6 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 08:44 AM

LukeZZ said:

Ok, but what happens to a Droid with Cybernatic Arms VI hit by a Ion weapon for 1 Strain damage?
Will he instantly lose the use of both arms?
And if he had standard droid arms?

I'd say that since the arms are pretty much integrated into the Droid, whose already a mechanical being and thus vulnerable to ion weapons, there's no additional effect beyond the droid taking damage from the attack.  First, it's a lot simpler to track (always a plus).

Secondly, meatbags with cybernetics upgrades are vulnerable and run the risk of having their cybernetics shut down due not so much to the cybernetic augment being disabled, but more of the interface point between the cybernetic and the organic being it's attached to being affected, and as an organic typically feels little to no effect from ion attacks, that interface point winds up getting disabled from the sudden surge of feedback.  Possibly similar to getting stung with a massive jolt of static electricity, like the ones that people several feet away can see and hear.  The cybernetic part stops working because the interface point is scrambled from the mix of signals, and that's the main thing that needs to be repaired rather than the cybernetic part itself.

It does give Droid PCs a bit of a leg up on meatbags in that regard, but since they already have a pretty hefty in-universe downside (basically, a Droid is considered property, with now rights of its own) on top of being less than spectacular in terms of starting characters (and no Force-Sensitivity either), I don't think it breaks the balance between Droid PCs and their meatbag counterparts.


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#7 LukeZZ

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 12:07 PM

Donovan Morningfire said:

 

I'd say that since the arms are pretty much integrated into the Droid, whose already a mechanical being and thus vulnerable to ion weapons, there's no additional effect beyond the droid taking damage from the attack.  First, it's a lot simpler to track (always a plus).

Secondly, meatbags with cybernetics upgrades are vulnerable and run the risk of having their cybernetics shut down due not so much to the cybernetic augment being disabled, but more of the interface point between the cybernetic and the organic being it's attached to being affected, and as an organic typically feels little to no effect from ion attacks, that interface point winds up getting disabled from the sudden surge of feedback.  Possibly similar to getting stung with a massive jolt of static electricity, like the ones that people several feet away can see and hear.  The cybernetic part stops working because the interface point is scrambled from the mix of signals, and that's the main thing that needs to be repaired rather than the cybernetic part itself.

It does give Droid PCs a bit of a leg up on meatbags in that regard, but since they already have a pretty hefty in-universe downside (basically, a Droid is considered property, with now rights of its own) on top of being less than spectacular in terms of starting characters (and no Force-Sensitivity either), I don't think it breaks the balance between Droid PCs and their meatbag counterparts.

 

 

So droids cybernetic upgrades are shut down only when the droid is shut down (from too much Strain, probably caused by ion weapons), while meatbag cybernetic upgrades are shut down when first hit by a ion weapon.
If this is correct, I think it should be specified under the Droids "racial ability": this one could be a major "power compensation" for their low stats.



#8 LethalDose

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 02:19 PM

LukeZZ said:

So droids cybernetic upgrades are shut down only when the droid is shut down (from too much Strain, probably caused by ion weapons), while meatbag cybernetic upgrades are shut down when first hit by a ion weapon.
If this is correct, I think it should be specified under the Droids "racial ability": this one could be a major "power compensation" for their low stats.

Yeah, this was the exact reason I didn't like the original interpretation.  Its really too harsh on cyborgs; if someone could have hit Vader with an ion weapon, he'd have been totally ******.  That's why I offered the alternate idea that a pseudo-crit could disable the limb or implant.

But as the book says, final adjudication rests on the GM.  Thats probably the most important part of the description.

Again, its interpretation, but IMO the explanation of ion damage above is just ******* nonsense.  Ion weapons are described to short circuits and even fuse joints. So they damage they do, while largely transient, should  the entire device, not just the interface.  But further justifcation of that point isn't worth more words.

 

-WJL



#9 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 07:15 PM

LukeZZ said:

So droids cybernetic upgrades are shut down only when the droid is shut down (from too much Strain, probably caused by ion weapons), while meatbag cybernetic upgrades are shut down when first hit by a ion weapon.
If this is correct, I think it should be specified under the Droids "racial ability": this one could be a major "power compensation" for their low stats.

Yeah, I'm not exactly crazy about that bit either, though the fact the ionization blaster doesn't actually have the Ion trait (instead it has a Stun Damage entry that only applies to Droids, and by extension cyborgs), though Ion is noted as being having those weapon "fitted to ships to knock out opponent's shields, sesnors, and engines." (pg106)

As for Vader, who's to say that his cybernetics weren't specifically upgraded to be immune to the effects of ion damage?  It was an upgrade option presented for cybernetics in Galaxy at War, and it'd make a certain kind of sense to have the Imperial Badass-in-Chief protected from something as piddly as ioniization effects.  After all, he'd seen first hand what sort of thing could do to a battle droid, so he'd at least be aware of the risk.

I also re-read the drawback paragraph regarding cybernetics, and it says that "if hit by weapons that normally would affect only droids, the cybernetic enhancement temporarily stops working for the remainder of the scene or until repaired."  The next sentence says that "the consequences of this depend on the enhancement in question, and the exact details can be left up to the GM."  So going by a strict reading of what's printed, just getting hit with an ionization blaster disables the enhancement, with the full extent of what the consequences of having that enhancement disabled means being in the hands of the GM.

Personally, I'm thinking that "enhancement disabled" should simply mean that if you're receiving a bonus from your cybernetics, such as a +1 Brawn from a Mod V cyberarm, and take damage from getting shot by an ionization blaster, you lose that bonus, but the limb itself would still be operable.  Alternatively, the bonus is lost and the cyborg suffers a setback die to all actions involving that cybernetic upgrade until repaired or scene ends.  Either one is much less punitive than "cybernetic is shut-off, sucks to be you."  If the only cybernetics you have are prothestic replacements (like Luke's hand in ESB), then you might get the setback die, but that's it.

Ion Weapons, being Vehicle/Starship scale for the most part, would probably drop most characters anyway, so that's a bit of a moot point as the only Ion Weapons currently listed would deal 80 points of character-scale damage, so cyborg or droid, you're going nighty-night if you get hit with one of those.

I do agree the cybernetic upgrades could use a second look by FFG, both in terms of how they interact with droids (perhaps making it clear that droids don't have them disabled if struck by ion-type weapons) and meatbags (does the upgrade really become totally useless, or is just the bonus lost, or some middle ground between the two?).  Also, modification option (even if it's just as simple as doubling the cost) to make one's cybernetics immune to being disabled by ion-type weapons.


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#10 LukeZZ

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 08:18 PM

LethalDose said:

 

 Actually, I had a better idea for dealing with this (or at least one I liked better), and suspect this is what I'll use in my game.

On a successful hit with an ionization blaster, the attacker can spend advantages equal to the weapon's CR, or a triumph, to disable one of the target's cybernetic limbs or implants until the end of the scene. This effect is not considered a critical injury, and does not count towards the total number of critical injuries when determining modifiers for critical injury rolls. Repairing the ionization during the encounter requires a mechanics roll with difficulty determined by strain and Table 3-2 (pg 77, replace instances of "wound" on this table with "strain" for this purpose).

I think I would also allow the ionization to deal strain damage to the cyborg, but strain damage from each shot would be capped by the number of implants/enhancements the character has.
No change to the droid rules.

 

-WJL

 

 

 

Ionization Blasters already do strain damage to full cyborgs.
Yes, it's not defined anywhere what's the difference between a meatbag with cybernetic enhancements and a cyborg.
(I think you are a full cyborg when only your original brain remains.)
Maybe "cyborg" will be a new race.

Beside this, I don't understand what's the difference between a Ionization Blaster and a weapon with the Ion quality…

 



#11 LukeZZ

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 12:41 AM

Donovan Morningfire said:

Also, modification option (even if it's just as simple as doubling the cost) to make one's cybernetics immune to being disabled by ion-type weapons.

Immunity to disabling (from ion damage) seems a bit too much to me.
If a cybernetic limb is immune to ion damage, then a full droid too should have the same immunity, and ships too.
Still some type of ion resistance (ion shielding?) would surely be very appropriate.



#12 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 04:38 AM

LukeZZ said:

Donovan Morningfire said:

 

Also, modification option (even if it's just as simple as doubling the cost) to make one's cybernetics immune to being disabled by ion-type weapons.

 

 

Immunity to disabling (from ion damage) seems a bit too much to me.
If a cybernetic limb is immune to ion damage, then a full droid too should have the same immunity, and ships too.
Still some type of ion resistance (ion shielding?) would surely be very appropriate.

I think you misunderstood me on this one.  I'm not suggesting at all that cyborgs (pretty much any organic character with a cybernetic attachment; even Luke counts due to his replacement hand) be unaffected by ion-type weapons with such an enhancement.  They'd still take damage (Strain in the case of the ionization blaster, and unconsciousness if getting pelted with a starship-mounted ion weapon), it's just the ion shielding would prevent the cybernetic attachment from suddenly becoming useless the way it does under the current rules if the character takes so much as a single point of damage from an ion-based weapon.

As for the difference between the Ion quality and the ionization blaster, I agree that's a bit clunky, and frankly would have been a lot simpler to just give the ion blaster the Ion quality and drop the "Stun Damage (Droids Only)" element.  They both do the same thing (turn the weapon's damage into Strain Damage against specific targets), so not sure why the clunky approach was taken, other than maybe the writers didn't want PCs with ionization blasters trying to disable vehicles and starships (not that such a thing is likely anyway, provided the vehicle has at least one point of armor).


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#13 LukeZZ

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 05:16 AM

Donovan Morningfire said:

 

 

 

 

 

I think you misunderstood me on this one.  I'm not suggesting at all that cyborgs (pretty much any organic character with a cybernetic attachment; even Luke counts due to his replacement hand) be unaffected by ion-type weapons with such an enhancement.  They'd still take damage (Strain in the case of the ionization blaster, and unconsciousness if getting pelted with a starship-mounted ion weapon), it's just the ion shielding would prevent the cybernetic attachment from suddenly becoming useless the way it does under the current rules if the character takes so much as a single point of damage from an ion-based weapon.

 

 

Mmm… I had the impression that Luke (a human beign with a cybernetic hand) wouldn't count as a cyborg: he wouldn't have taken any strain damage from a Ion weapon (only the deactivation of his hand).
While Grievous (full cybernetic "conversion" beside his brain) would have taken Strain damage, but no deactivation (until enough Strain was taken).

Anyway a clarification would be of great help.



#14 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 12:45 PM

LukeZZ said:

Mmm… I had the impression that Luke (a human beign with a cybernetic hand) wouldn't count as a cyborg: he wouldn't have taken any strain damage from a Ion weapon (only the deactivation of his hand).

While Grievous (full cybernetic "conversion" beside his brain) would have taken Strain damage, but no deactivation (until enough Strain was taken).

Anyway a clarification would be of great help.

Well, I'm going off the previous Star Wars games for determining what counts as a cyborg, and all of them pretty much define a cyborg as "someone that has replaced one or more parts of their body with mechanical devices."  Grievous and Vader would be cases of "full conversion cyborgs," while Luke and Lobot are a bit less drastic (though I dunno if having your brain altered to so that it can sublet to a computer falls into the "less drastic" category) but still count as "cyborgs."

So if you've replaced any organic part with a machine replacement, you're a cyborg.


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#15 LukeZZ

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 05:46 AM

So Luke Skywalker would take Strain damage both from Stun weapons and Ion weapons (since a Ionization Blaster does Strain damage to cyborg and droids), and his cybernetic hand would be put KO at the first hit from a Ion weapon?



#16 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:36 AM

LukeZZ said:

So Luke Skywalker would take Strain damage both from Stun weapons and Ion weapons (since a Ionization Blaster does Strain damage to cyborg and droids), and his cybernetic hand would be put KO at the first hit from a Ion weapon?

The way the rules are currently written, that'd be correct.

Of course, half the trick would be hitting Luke Skywalker, and the attacker knowing that he has a cybernetic hand.  I would imagine it's not very common knowledge, given it's not an obvious prothesis like his dad was sporting for much of the Clone Wars.


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