Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

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Bulletsponge
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Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby Bulletsponge » Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:33 pm

Does anyone know of a world that uses a lot of cybernetics as part of it's culture? As in, someone not cybernetically enhanced is the weird one or even ostracized.
I am working on an adventure and want to add a little flavor. I was wondering if a place like this already existed or if I need to create it.
My players are in the Trojan Reach, but the world doesn't have to be there, but probably not too far from it.
Thanks in advance!
RogerMc
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby RogerMc » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:45 pm

Canonically the only race that is seriously prejudiced against cybernetic augments are the Sword Worlders.

But what I can't understand is why everyone in TL10+ societies is not wandering around with neural comms and wafer jacks in their heads.

And given how insanely expensive anagathics are (and how broken Traveller's Ageing rules based on early 1970s demographics are - but that is another post) surely you'd expect to see the elderly with augments like Autonomous Location Rigs and Enhanced Mobility as well as physical and cognitive augments to compensate for some of the ravages of age.

And if you accept that T5 is a source for additions to your game you can grow a clone to 18 and then transfer your consciousness with all its skills to it or have a literal life insurance policy where if you die your recorded personality will be imprinted into a clone and replace you.

Yes some of these augments are expensive but we are talking post-scarcity societies where even the middle classes should be exponentially wealthier than they are today and should be increasingly cyberneticised the older and wealthier they get.

I also don't understand why there should be prejudice against cyborgs -in a hi-tech post-scarcity society most people would have access to at least the cheaper less radical augments so there'd be no issue about feeling unfairly competed against (and in an y case most routine work would be done by robots and AIs).

However as cyborgs don't seem to be hugely prevalent in the Imperium you have to assume there are some legal and social issues they face.

Outside of the Imperium however any non-aligned hi-tech world may be inclined to radical transhumanism.

So what about Drinax? King Oleb may be kept alive and in rude health by anagathics but I can easily see those nobles of the Floating Palace who can't afford anagathics or to have their entire body painstakingly rebuilt from cloned tissue like poor Prince Harrick sporting baroque cybernetic augments.

Or alternatively the Vespexers down below in the Wasteland may well have cybernetics looted from ruined cities and crudely implanted by tribal shaman-surgeons - another reason they rarely are seen without their protective suits even off the surface.
MonkeyX
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby MonkeyX » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:11 pm

I thought I read somewhere that cyborgs are judged to be “robots” at a certain point and robotshave no rights in the imperium. Maybe this keeps people from using augmentation, especially if each world has a different limit. Travellers may find they have no rights on certain planets and therefore can’t own property, money etc
paltrysum
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby paltrysum » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:14 pm

In the Trojan Reach, Tech World and Neumann seem to be places that think highly of cybernetics. Also, Strend, the TL-14 capital of the Strend Cluster pocket empire.
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."
Condottiere
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby Condottiere » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:47 am

How much does regeneration cost?

I think it was in the Forever War that the protagonist goes Wolverine on amputated limbs, but with titanium.
Bulletsponge
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby Bulletsponge » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:59 am

paltrysum wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:14 pm
In the Trojan Reach, Tech World and Neumann seem to be places that think highly of cybernetics. Also, Strend, the TL-14 capital of the Strend Cluster pocket empire.
Thanks paltrysum, Strend Cluster is perfect for what I was going for. Plus I already used a French accent (or as good of one as I could muster, lol) for my npc.
paltrysum
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby paltrysum » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:17 pm

Great! Let us know how it goes. I think it's a very interesting pocket empire. Have fun with those French accents. From a referee's perspective, that has to be one of the most entertaining aspects of running an adventure there. :D
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby PsiTraveller » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:02 pm

One of my players in my Drinax campaign took a look at the rules and when the group split a bunch of money they had earned he went off to a high tech medical facility and had augmentation installed. He spent a small fortune buying all the skills for his wafer jack and is now pretty much able to do most anything with a reasonable chance of success.
Other players are talking about it, but have not taken the plunge yet. As a GM it makes things easier because no matter the situation there is a person who has the skill needed to tackle the problem.

The Merchant Prince character spent the 3.5 million for the fabulous augmentation to get a +1 bonus to any social situation.

If the players look into it closely you will get some who take the plunge.
paltrysum
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby paltrysum » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:28 pm

Our group has a player who's big on wafer jacks and expert programs and he has begun to influence the others. There are few drawbacks unless you insert some as a referee. There is some mention in Marc Miller's novel, "Agent of the Imperium," that you start losing your mind if you have them on all the time, but that's outside the rules of course.

It only makes sense that such tech would exist. I like that it has its limitations so that good ol' know-how is still valued, but I think wafer jacks and expert programs are reasonable to expect from a starfaring technological civilization.
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."
Reynard
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby Reynard » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:10 am

You realize this is how you get Cybermen, upgraded humans 2.0.
RogerMc
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby RogerMc » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:15 pm

One problem is that if your cyborg character survives into around 1130 then according to Traveller canon he will end up with not just any computer virus but VIRUS taking over all his augments and become a literal meat puppet.

And even before then attack by computer viruses or just a 100 credit EMP grenade tossed into the room should be a constant worry...
wmarshal
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby wmarshal » Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:01 pm

It seems that many settings that have cybernetics do a shallow job of integrating that technology into the inhabitants of the setting. It seems to usually get treated as a bag of tricks for PCs or major en more only. Given the effectiveness of some of the cheaper augmentations it seems to me that almost every NCO and commissioned officer in Imperial Service would at least be running some expert systems on wafer jacks, but I hardly ever see such included in NPC stats. I'd also think most professionals and middle-class workers would also use such systems if their planet was of a sufficient tech level. Why wouldn't almost every doctor be running expert systems? I understand some of the planetary cultures may not approve, but that seems the exception rather than the rule.
RogerMc
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby RogerMc » Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:28 pm

Having said this if you look at Mongoose adventures NPCs almost always have way more skills than they can get through regular chargen.

In the Amuar adventure for instance you have a Marine lance-corporal who is 30 - that is 3 terms - but has 10 skill points and a Vargr pilot who at 23 is barely into his second term but has 5 skill points.

Obvious answer is that they have wafer jacks and expert progs running.

As for PCs most of them muster out with enough money to get wafer jacks and several expert-2 progs which would be the first thing I'd expect most of them to do.
Reynard
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby Reynard » Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:39 pm

Not sure how often societies eagerly accept invasive augmentation (or drug enhancement) just because it will make people faster, stronger, better and that's especially true for removing healthy limbs and tissue. You'll see extreme celebrities, mercs looking for an edge no matter the cost, trendy jet setters or those bizarre 'adventurers' doing this but most average citizens will only do it as a medical necessity. Notice people can now be chipped with the equivalent of a wifi ID card that can do many of the functions many smartphone do yet no one seems anxious to use it. If a large portion of any population decides to radically upgrade artificially, there's a serious problem as in Borg/cyberman problem.
RogerMc
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby RogerMc » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:43 pm

This is partly down to our living in a profoundly unequal, unjust and unsafe society riven with crime and exploitation.

If we all lived in a benign hi-tech utopia and didn't fear augments could be used against us we'd be rushing to get them.

Yes some people would resist them for religious reasons - see Altered Carbon for this - but who wouldn't want to control a computer in their head by thought alone or to walk again if crippled or just to remain healthy and effective longer.
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby paltrysum » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:23 pm

For a fascinating take on the whole concept of cybernetics, AI, and sentience, read Iain Banks' "The Culture" series of books.
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."
Reynard
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby Reynard » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:45 am

Personally I see wanton augmentation as a slippery slope in the realms of Gattaca and Brue Willis' Surrogate. When is enough enough? Does society decide they must improve the species by means of the machine from birth? If replacing a crippled limb make one better, what about the other arm and the legs and so forth? At what point will these Augmenteds assume they are, in fact, better maybe even superior by their superior parts. At what point will augmentation begin to remove the human? If you can access all information or perform any action by thinking, does the body become a hindrance or a shell with no useful function other than house the brain until that can be replaced?

Imagine a planet that did embrace augmentation. The place is seemingly barren except everything operates remotely by people secured in chambers keeping their atrophied bodies very safe and in a semblance of alive.
RogerMc
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby RogerMc » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:53 pm

And yet a huge amount of excellent SF has been written about civilisations that have AI's and nanobots and augmentation and where humans still live recognisably human lives...
Condottiere
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby Condottiere » Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:44 am

Genetic augmentation, permanent, prior and post.

Mechanical augmentation.

Image

Biological augmentation

Image
RogerMc
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Re: Is there a place that is culturally cybernetic?

Postby RogerMc » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:26 am

Exactly!

What I'd love to see is a big campaign pack set on a Pop 10, TL 15 world with literally gravity-defying spires, teeming crime-ridden undercities and which focuses on the everyday impact of high technology and clones and chimerae and uplifts and augmentation and the role played by androids and robots and AIs and virtual realities in its life.

Basically everything we've never seen properly depicted in Traveller over all its many incarnations.

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