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Boss Gitsmasha

Adeptus Mechanicus and obtaining augmentations

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The Guard Warrior in my party has only one eye, and wants to ask the Techpriest in our party to hook her up with a cybereye to replace the one she lost. Does the +20 to obtain cybernetics still count for the techpriest, even if the augmentation isn't for her?

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Well, in the book it says:

 

 

Adeptus Mechanicus characters count the availability of all cybernetics as 20 higher.

 

Which sounds like it is meant to be for personal implants (especially because their own connections). But what makes it trickier is this:

 

 

Adeptus Administratum characters count the availability of all items as 10 higher.

 

Which is worded the same, but so far everyone sees it as the Adept having the know-how to game the system of forms, who to bribe, what to file in triplicate, etc.

 

Honestly, the system would work better if Acolytes just got living/food expenses, pocket change and a credit line for emergencies. With Influence changed to in between missions as well as pulling Inquisitorial Rank in a mission.

 

Edit: One final thought, while an Adept character can say "Yeah, this is for me" and walk away, while augments need to be installed first...

Edited by Cymbel

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I interpreted that the Availability for cybernetics reflects the difficulty of aquiring the item and that installation is included separately. To get your new bionic installed, you need to make a separate Acquisition test or do the operation yourself (Chirurgeon characters are very helpful for this). If my interpretation is correct, the Mechanicus character would make an Aquisition check (with bonus) on behalf of the Guard character, but then they'd have to make a separate check to find a chirurgeon who can perform the operation.

There should be a note in the rules about what exactly a successful Aquisition check for cybernetics entails -- does it include installation of the cybernetic, or does it only cover the cost of the bionic part?

Elior likes this

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There's something deeply disturbing about someone shopping around, going from Chirurgeon to Chirurgeon with a bionic part in their hand - and possibly missing limbs - and asking if they'd be willing to install it.  Even more disturbing is the thought of botching an Influence check and having them slam their door in your face. "Welp. I guess I'll limp my one-legged carcass down the street and see if this Obscura-addled street-doc can graft this sacred relic of the Mechanicum to my stump."

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I generally don't allow characters to acquire items for other characters.  If I did; then everyone would constantly be leaning on the person with the highest Influence, and everyone else's Influence would rarely be relevant. 

 

The exception, however, is when everyone in the group needs the exact same thing (food, lodging, transport, or situations like everyone needing a gas mask because they need to go outside on a super-toxic hive world).  In those cases, I let the person with the highest influence make a single check for everyone.

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I generally don't allow characters to acquire items for other characters.  If I did; then everyone would constantly be leaning on the person with the highest Influence, and everyone else's Influence would rarely be relevant. 

 

The exception, however, is when everyone in the group needs the exact same thing (food, lodging, transport, or situations like everyone needing a gas mask because they need to go outside on a super-toxic hive world).  In those cases, I let the person with the highest influence make a single check for everyone.

I know what you're talking about.  I generally try to sidestep this by giving my PCs situational modifiers based on their backgrounds and in-game contacts.  I have an Outcast Desperado for instance, who sank a lot of XP into Commerce so that he could be the fixer for the group. He's really good at acquiring blackmarket items and various contraband.  Our Highborn Arbitrator on the other hand, is more respected within the =][= and so he is better at obtained official assistance and gear. 

I think a lot of problems with the Influence system, bionics issues included, could be fixed with a more codified and detailed description of how it works.  I'd suggest, for instance, a limit on how many Requisition tests a PC can make within a given game session and another specific limit on acquisitions made during Narrative time. 

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There's something deeply disturbing about someone shopping around, going from Chirurgeon to Chirurgeon with a bionic part in their hand - and possibly missing limbs - and asking if they'd be willing to install it. Even more disturbing is the thought of botching an Influence check and having them slam their door in your face. "Welp. I guess I'll limp my one-legged carcass down the street and see if this Obscura-addled street-doc can graft this sacred relic of the Mechanicum to my stump."

That is certainly odd, but IMO, Influence tests represent more than simply walking into a shop and trying to buy things. Perhaps the bionic leg was so expensive that your character's credit is exhausted and you have to wait for your next paycheck. Maybe the most qualified doctor is away at a medicae conference and the rest aren't confident enough to perform the surgery or don't have the right tools for the job. The highly advanced surgical ward could be booked with wealthy uphive clients and your character isn't important enough to skip the waiting list, or maybe he simply can't afford their fees. The Mechanicus character might be able to buy a bionic for a very low price from a Tech-priest colleague, but the amputee probably won't have such connections.

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There's something deeply disturbing about someone shopping around, going from Chirurgeon to Chirurgeon with a bionic part in their hand - and possibly missing limbs - and asking if they'd be willing to install it. Even more disturbing is the thought of botching an Influence check and having them slam their door in your face. "Welp. I guess I'll limp my one-legged carcass down the street and see if this Obscura-addled street-doc can graft this sacred relic of the Mechanicum to my stump."

That is certainly odd, but IMO, Influence tests represent more than simply walking into a shop and trying to buy things. Perhaps the bionic leg was so expensive that your character's credit is exhausted and you have to wait for your next paycheck. Maybe the most qualified doctor is away at a medicae conference and the rest aren't confident enough to perform the surgery or don't have the right tools for the job. The highly advanced surgical ward could be booked with wealthy uphive clients and your character isn't important enough to skip the waiting list, or maybe he simply can't afford their fees. The Mechanicus character might be able to buy a bionic for a very low price from a Tech-priest colleague, but the amputee probably won't have such connections.

 

I totally agree with you, the rationale of Influence failure and success is entirely dependent upon proper narration.  My discomfort was more empathetic than rules related. From an aesthetic standpoint, I think it was a perfectly reasonable picture to paint in the 40K setting and your descriptions are equally valid.

 

Edit: Also, I work at a hospital, I see crap like this happen all the time. Okay, not exactly like this, but close enough.

Edited by khimaera
Covered in Weasels likes this

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It could be nicer if there was a shared group pool, then let individual modifiers apply....

 

Right now the noble adept chirugeon has over 40 influence and his talent, but if we limit what he can get for folks, then well, it isn't much use for the group, while a noble before could throw around their superior cash for the group.

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Cymbel, that makes techpriests and administratum characters almost a must have in every group if you want any sort of mechanicus gear. Or heck, just gear in general as far as the loss of 10 influence for the entire group is no small thing. When the tech priest in my group dies I don't want him feeling obligated to make another because the arbite who lost his leg REALLY needs an augmetic and the extra 20 goes a long way in getting it.

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If GMs want to discourage one player from making all Influence rolls for the party, they could adapt the Black Crusade rules for receiving gifts from other Heretics. Basically, a player must Test Infamy (Influence) every time he allows someone else to acquire items for him. If he fails, he reduces his Infamy by one. The Heretic looks weak if he accepts the charity of others, though if the character is famous enough a certain amount of "gifts" are to be expected. This will encourage players to rely on their own resources but allows the Mechanicus character to use his purchasing power when cybernetics are absolutely necessary.

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I'd think that limiting the number of requisitions per session - maybe based on item rarity - would have much the same effect.

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Yeah, sadly there is no easy answer or fix. And if you let the better skilled PCs do most of the rolls, it causes new problems.

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Bring thrones back, leave influence as a way to requisition special gear/pull rank in field. An acolyte with 30 influence might be able to secure some PDF or a vehicle, maybe "borrow" some riot gear from a local enforcer precinct at best in the field, with maybe some specialist gear back at base. While an Inquisitor with 75+ can call on much greater support in the field and get rarer equipment.

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The Black Crusade rulebook has a sidebar on page 189 entitled "Attaching Bionics and Implants":

"Simply acquiring implants or bionics is but the first step, as a Heretic will also require both the resources and skilled labor to have them installed. Usually operations of this kind are only available at significant medicae facilities and in societies with ready access to higher technologies, though there are underground resources that can be called upon when necessary.

"Once a chirurgeon is located who is willing to perform the work, the operation takes 2d10 days, minus one day for each point of the patient's Toughness bonus to a minimum of one day (however, the GM might decide certain operations take longer)."

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With the current influence system, it seems like, for a group-acquisition scenario, it makes sense to allow one person to be the primary roller and the other people to roll to assist, rather than just move down the line from character to character. So, in khimera's example, a close failure for the fixer may mean he can locate the goods but doesn't have the resources to acquire them, where the high born has massive wealth on their side, but may not know where to find the good in the first place.

Anyhow, even though this is a little off topic from the augment question, I'd say the biggest issue I've seen regarding influence is the required narrative shift. Before you could narrate out up to the point of purchase, and then it's a question of haggling and credits, but now you have to remember to do your influence from the moment they say the want to start looking for something, or else you might end up with highly social wealthy characters with their goal in hand, except they fail their influence checks and can somehow no longer find it, haggle, or afford it, even for something as simple as say, a dose of pan-immune.

Cymbel and Elior like this

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I'd think that limiting the number of requisitions per session - maybe based on item rarity - would have much the same effect.

 

Rogue Trader had a nice mechanic suggested that every influence test after the first imposed a cumulative -10 to the test. It also made it important to figure out what order you wanted stuff in!

Elior likes this

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