Cybernetics Supplement Thoughts

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JRoss
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Cybernetics Supplement Thoughts

Postby JRoss » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:48 pm

First off, in the words of Christopher Eccleston, fantastic!

The Cybernetics book includes new careers for cyborgs, and it supports the other career books. For instance, cybernetic Agents can gain Trust and Networks, just as in the Agents Book. This is great because it makes things uniform. I haven't finished it yet, but I'll post more thoughts later.

To conclude for now I'll quote David Tennant, brilliant!
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Postby WussyDan » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:44 pm

I had posted about this more at length the other thread and didn't get any response, so let me try again.

I like the supplement a lot, but I have a few issues with it. First and foremost, pricing. An advanced leg costs 800,000cr. For that, I could buy a gravcopter and have change left over. What gives? The book is rife with stuff like that. One of the hands costs as much as the Advanced Combat Arm (75k cr), for instance.

Second, I'm fine with Traveller getting a coherent system for cybernetics, but since it clearly isn't compatible with the core/CSC cybernetics in terms of price and occasionally TL and other effects (e.g. how many slots does a combat arm have, if any?), why isn't there a guide to making the two systems work together, and are there any plans to publish or simply post one? At present, it looks like GMs and players will have to eyeball anything that crosses between the core game and the supplement.

Thoughts?
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Postby dmccoy1693 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:50 pm

WussyDan wrote:I like the supplement a lot, but I have a few issues with it. First and foremost, pricing. An advanced leg costs 800,000cr. For that, I could buy a gravcopter and have change left over. What gives?
Major replacement surgery today costs as much as a car before insurance. I had a kidney stone taken out once and that would have set me back quite a bit had it not been for the insurance so I am totally fine with futuristic leg replacements costing as much as if not more than vehicles.
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Postby WussyDan » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:01 pm

Major replacement surgery today costs as much as a car before insurance. I had a kidney stone taken out once and that would have set me back quite a bit had it not been for the insurance so I am totally fine with futuristic leg replacements costing as much as if not more than vehicles.
That's well and good, but my issue with the pricing isn't that it's high, it's that it in no way matches with pricing from other books, and no guide was given. An Advanced Combat Arm from CSC costs 75k, yet a no frills Advanced Arm from Cybernetics costs half a million credits. Those prices aren't even in the same universe, and from a gameplay perspective, it's frustrating and makes no sense. If the prices are high, I would like them consistently high, if they're low, I want that consistent too. The point was that in order to mesh this book with the game, a lot of work needs to be done to pricing one way or the other, and that's really something Mongoose should have done, rather than letting GMs and players shoulder it.

In addition, I was looking for player made remedies or possibly feedback from some of the Mongoose people as to fixes or why they didn't do this in the first place.
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Postby atpollard » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:15 pm

WussyDan wrote:I had posted about this more at length the other thread and didn't get any response, so let me try again.

Thoughts?
(I read the other post, too.) The whole thing leaves me tired and annoyed - and hardly worth the effort of reconciliation. Might as well just buy GURPS cybertech and translate it into Traveller units.

I bet the same arm for a Robot will cost yet a third price. After all, why have one price for an item when you can have three. No wonder there is so much profit in Trade. Imagine buying CSC Arms in bulk and reselling them as Cybernetics Arms!
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Postby simonh » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:24 pm

I think the underlying issue is that Traveller is intended to support multiple settings and sub-genres that require different technological and pricing assumptions. What's right for the OTU isn't going to necessarily work for Judge Dredd or Hammer's Slammers. The way this manifests is that one author in one product makes one set of assumptions, but another author in another supplement sees things a bit differently.

Ideally I think this could have been thought through a bit better in the early days of the Traveller line's development. It's a 20/20 hindsight thing. Some guidelines on how different sub-genres would be handled in the core rules and upcoming supplements might have avoided these issues or at least clarified them. However I think it's fairly straightforward to "fix it in post" as they say in the film industry.

For cybernetics, I'd say that supplement trumps CSC. There are only a handfull of cyber items in CSC, probably not even a page full, so if you have both my suggestion would be to just use Cyber. If you think the prices in Cyber are too high, just apply a correction factor. Divide by 10 say. I have CSC but don't plan on getting Cyber so I'm happy with it as-is, but might consider multiplying up the CSC cyber costs.

Prices in roleplaying games are always just guidelines. I ran Traveller game once, set in the OTU, where I divided the costs of all starship components by 10. It balanced things out better for the purposes of that game. No biggie. It is however useful and important to be aware of the issue.

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Postby Dark Lord Skippy » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:12 pm

dmccoy1693 wrote: Major replacement surgery today costs as much as a car before insurance. I had a kidney stone taken out once and that would have set me back quite a bit had it not been for the insurance so I am totally fine with futuristic leg replacements costing as much as if not more than vehicles.
And obviously getting cybernetic limbs would cost you an arm and a leg. Ba dump dump.
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Postby District268 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:28 pm

Dark Lord Skippy wrote:
dmccoy1693 wrote: Major replacement surgery today costs as much as a car before insurance. I had a kidney stone taken out once and that would have set me back quite a bit had it not been for the insurance so I am totally fine with futuristic leg replacements costing as much as if not more than vehicles.
And obviously getting cybernetic limbs would cost you an arm and a leg. Ba dump dump.
Humm, how very droll. :D
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Postby DFW » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:16 am

Vehicles had the same types of problems. Another supp panned a few weeks ago also had incompatibilities with core.

I think at this point you just have to scrap pricing from supplements and rebuild using core rules as the guide.
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Postby JRoss » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:21 am

I honestly think pricing is the least-important stat of items in RPG material. Any GM is going to have a unique financial system and should be free to simply make up what he feels like.
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Postby DFW » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:25 am

JRoss wrote:I honestly think pricing is the least-important stat of items in RPG material. Any GM is going to have a unique financial system and should be free to simply make up what he feels like.
It has nothing to do with the specific pricing. It has to do with relative pricing. It is part of a system. Different matter to what you are talking about.
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Postby apoc527 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:39 am

I think that's his point. Relative pricing is a GM's purview. If I think something is too cheap, I make it illegal or more expensive or both. The pricing isn't really that important, especially since accounting is one of the most obnoxious/least fun aspects of any Traveller game (to my group, anyway).
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Postby DFW » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:14 pm

apoc527 wrote: The pricing isn't really that important, especially since accounting is one of the most obnoxious/least fun aspects of any Traveller game (to my group, anyway).
Actually, it is in a game like traveller. The whole starship, trading thing is built around it. However shaky the numbers are. A GM can certainly throw it out and rebuild it. But, it has to be there. I won't pay retail for incomplete game systems as I have to do the designers job to have a completed game.

Kinda like buying a new car and the wiring is done wrong and the buyer has to rewire...
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Postby far-trader » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:52 pm

DFW wrote:...Kinda like buying a new car and the wiring is done wrong and the buyer has to rewire...
If I may, maybe more like...

...buying a hot new media player (core rules) with a sampler pack of included tracks (generic game). Your friends (players) love it when you show them. Then you add some new cool tracks (supplements).

You pop the cool new tracks into the media player to wow your friends and find it has overwritten sections of the included tracks making them gibberish and if you restore the included tracks the new cool tracks come out gibberish instead. The only way to be able to play both the included tracks and new cool tracks on your media player is by laboriously and manually reformatting bits of one or both.

You and your friends go back to the original included tracks and the cool new tracks collect dust on the shelf and you all lament how cool they could have been if only they were compatible as advertised with your media player.

Yeah, it's long bugged me, but it's nothing new to MgT, or even Traveller itself. Almost every RPG I've played has had to put up with it to some degree. Maybe it is true that we get what we deserve, and as long as we snap up everything produced for our favorite game (whatever it may be) we'll keep getting stuff that just misses along with the occasional gem of completeness :?
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Postby BP » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:11 pm

Excellent analogies DFW and far-trader :lol: ... :cry:

As to previous points about Referee's purview -> when the Referee is the only one who buys and uses the books that works well, though with extra work and subject to being overlooked and causing consistency issues in their game.

However, when players have the books it just makes for confusion at the very least when the Referee has to overrule their designs, stats, and often plans. Worse when some players feel a need for an explanation or slighted by the Referee.
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Postby DFW » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:16 pm

far-trader wrote: If I may, maybe more like...

...buying a hot new media player (core rules)...
That's a better take on it.

I no longer buy sight unseen. Vehicles was my last mistake. Now, I'll only buy after either seeing it 1st or hearing from a person I know understands the game.
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Postby DFW » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:19 pm

BP wrote: However, when players have the books it just makes for confusion at the very least when the Referee has to overrule their designs, stats, and often plans. Worse when some players feel a need for an explanation or slighted by the Referee.
Correct! Also the next supplement to come out that has overlap, you have to rewrite also.

Well, offers have been made to Mongoose from VERY experienced Trav GMs to go through the materials for free before finalization but, no reply.

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