Cyberware - Complications

“And it will fall out as in a complication of diseases, that by applying a remedy to one sore, you will provoke another; and that which removes the one ill symptom produces others.”

Thomas More

Social Complications

The social consequences of cyberware can be heavy, from chop shops looking for spare parts to discrimination against elective surgery or highly augged people.

Cyberware isn’t all being as strong as a bulldozer, running at highway speeds, and super-human eyesight. While in many cases, being stocked to the gills in cyberware will only help an Edgerunner, there are still those who discriminate against, or outright fear, those who are cybered up – and not without good reason. You may have heard of ‘Cyberpsychos’, those cybers who are so auged up that they completely lose touch with their humanity and finally going out on mass killing sprees. A large subset of those who refuse to get augmented for one reason or another – perhaps personal beliefs, or simply an inability to afford it – are likewise reasonably afraid of humanity being split into two classes – those who can afford to be super-human, and those who can not. If you have excessive obvious Cyberware (G.M.’s decision), prepare to be discriminated against and treated with fear. In game mechanics terms, this is a 0-point lens combining both Social Regard (Feared) +1 5 and Social Stigma (Second Class Citizen) [-5].

For these reasons – and simple reasons of fashion – it is now considered uncouth for the high-ranking Corporate to have any obvious Cyberware aside from his Personal Secretary and a neural jack; almost any Corp worth his salt will have hidden cyberware with the Low or No Signature options, mind you, but it’s appearances that matter – and Corps can afford it. Of course, this just reinforces some counter-culture gangs and other social groups who require obvious cyberware as a pre-requisite for entry – again, largely as a matter of style.

Another, more seedy, complication of Cyberware is the Black Market – and where they source their goods. ‘Chop Shop’ is still in the vernacular, even now when it’s only the rich who can afford a personal vehicle – but its meaning is suddenly a lot more literal. Chop Shops are illegal or semi-legal purveyors of second-hand Cyberware – and they don’t always wait for the cyber to die before coming around to collect. Some entire gangs revolve around the acquisition and sale of cyberware, and it’s dangerous to walk some streets if you have obvious augmentations, even if you’d normally think you’ve got the skill to protect yourself.

Detecting and Removing Cyberware

A diagnostic bed, medscanner, X-ray scanner, or T-ray scanner can detect concealed implants on a successful Electronics Operation (Medical), Electronics Operation (Security), or Diagnosis roll, at -4 for Low Signature cyberware, and -8 for No Signature cyberware. After detecting the cyberware, roll against Engineer (Cyberware) or Expert Skill (Cyberware) to determine its function, and whether it operates at greater-than-human capacity.

All types of cyberware can be safely removed in the same fashion they are installed, but the operation is easier: add +1 to Surgery rolls and it takes 1/3 of the time to install the cyberware. If the parts don’t need to be removed intact, add +2 and further halve the time required. Some cyberware is specifically designed to be easily removable – most Cyber Limbs are detachable, for example; in this case, it takes one minute and no surgery or roll is required.

Cyberware may be rigged to cause unpleasant effects (e.g., see Bomb Implant) if removal is attempted. A successful Traps-4 roll is required to notice a cyber-trap before it goes off; roll at no penalty if specifically looking for it. Disarming a booby trap requires an appropriate Traps roll prior to the surgery.

Almost all super-human augmentations can be set to operate at human capacity, or even be deactivated entirely, should the cyber choose; this is usually accompanied by an RFID chip signaling the change. This procedure is sometimes required in certain high-class bars and clubs, or in other high-security areas such as public air transport. Usually, the augmenation is designed so that only the cyber can choose whether to activate or de-activate its super-human capabilities; once inside one of these high-security zones, a cyber can re-activate his augs, but this will typically be noticed and sound the alarms. Certain augmentations are designed to register as ‘deactivated’ even if they are actually active – this is a standard feature on augs with the Low or No Signature options, and requires a Computer Hacking roll on other cyberware.

Police units are generally equipped with ‘Mag Cuffs’, inch-thick metal bands that can warp around Cyber Limbs, completely disabling their link to the nervous system unless they are specially Shielded. There are several other items that are specifically designed to interfere with Cyberware operation, from viruses to EMP grenades.

Repairing and Maintaining Cyberware

Use Mechanic (Robotics) skill to repair physical damage or malfunctioning cybernetics, or to diagnose second-hand parts to see if they have any hidden flaws. Minor damage to Cyber Limbs can be repaired from the outside, without surgery. For implants and major damage, the part must be completely removed before any repairs can take place.

One hour of maintenance is required per piece of cyberware per week. If maintenance is not performed on schedule, the ‘Ware begins to lose HT, and it may begin to malfunction. Some cyberware is designed so that it needs to be serviced for four hours once per month (a 0% modifier), and especially expensive cyberware might even require no maintenance at all (the No Maintenance (5%) modifier). Recharging a cyberware’s power cell is subsumed into this routine maintenance period.

Cyberware - Complications

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