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Message no. 1
From: wafflemiester <evamarie@**********.NET>
Subject: Bioware Idea (longish)
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 1998 10:04:06 -0500
Basically, this is aimed at limiting bioware use, but it goes a
bit farther in adding some larger ideas.

I developed it a while ago, partly with some list advice, and many
recent discussions make it seems worth bouncing of the list. I've
tossed this idea (In fact, more or less this exact text) at Mike and
FASA staff, but obviously won't be getting any feedback for quite a
while. Casual feedback is "eh, its an idea", which never means much.

Background: I have seen several valid (medical) sources claim
recipients of trasplant organs often pick up traits from the organ's
donor- personality traits, quirks, maybe just tastes in food, music,
sometimes habits. This could be due to many things, but in SR, the
"Chi" interaction would be the most likely cause.

Given its source, what is the "personality" of a transimplant
part? Normal organs are from normal people, or fairly normal clones.
Bioware, genetically altered, non-viable, horidly deformed clone hosts
are grown, and the bioware "harvested".

What if, somehow, the sickening nature of this process was
integrated into the users personality and habits? What if the "host's"
past existance was manifest in the Bioware user? Even worse, what if
the gene-altered hosts were "subconciosly" malicious, and waiting for a
to express it- say, through integeration with a concious being?
To be yet more sinister, what if bioware developement had been /
is guided by certain forces to CAUSE these effects, in a fasion not
the development of HMHVV or blood magic?

The point is that bad things could "happen" to the bioware
user. They could be brought about by the users own (subconcious)
actions, or by the activity of "bio-ghosts" within him, but, as part of
him, would be impossible to prevent. These would be manifestations of a
"blight on the soul". However, unlike that caused by cyber and the
changing of nature by the adition of non-living parts to the
body/spirit, this would be caused more by mating something already alive
with the body/spirit, almost like an infection as opposed to a
In a way, this would resemble "karma hazing" caused by
cybermancy, but on a much smaller scale, and from internal causes- an
"auric disonance", if you will. The users aura is not damaged, but it
is "dirty".
It also makes sense as "poetic justice"- the user is punished
for his greed in having living parts breed for the sole purpose of
adding to his
power. Gaia or whoever can't like that...

Rules wise, for each point of BI (rounded up), the user would
pick up a point worth of "magical flaw" (examples included below), but
no coresponding edges (except the bioware itself). I would suggest no
than 2 flaws be allowed, since most of the below flaws are much nastier
if taken at 3 or more points.. All old bioware rules would also still
aply. BI, it might be noted, can be reduced by surgical removal, but
not completely to zero..
This would tend to dicourage massive bioware use, and could be
tied to a surge in mana, or the entry of some power into the world that
manipulates flesh and genetics for evil purposes (ED has just such a
horror...), or just a "hundred monkeys" tipping point, where the number
of "bio-ghosts" in existance is finally high enough for them to manifest
as a aspect of the "gentic pool" we all share and adversley affect those
implaned with them. This could be a manifestation of a new "threat", or
tied to an old one, or simplely just a fact of life.
"Bio-ghost" effects could be detected and maybe diagnosed, using
an Astral perception test with a TN of 6. More succeses would grant
informatiuon- 1 just that something is funny, 5 a full undestanding of
the implants and effect of the "curse" (but not of any cure- there is

One more thought- just WHAT IS "Project Infinity"? ShaodowTech
hints it has to do with the engenering of metagenes for magic effects.
idea makes even more sense if bioware is a "spin-off" from Project
Infinity, and not Vice-Versa.

Sample Magical Flaws;

variable point flaw; HAUNTED- once per lunar cycle, a normal spirit or
a ghost (always the same one) will do its best to kill you (usually at
a bad time, but never when you are not awake). This spirt or ghost can
NEVER be permanantly destroyed, and its force / essence is equal to the
flaws value. The sprit can use its powers from astral space as if the
victim had summoned it (IE, non-physical-attack powers), and remains
for only 1 combat round per level of the flaw. It may not directly
interact with others (such as telling them your location), but can
attack spells cast on or by you, aid others spells, etc. It is "your
own personal demon."

variable point flaw; KARMA DRAIN- this slows your karma pool growth.
Add twice the flaws value to the amount of karma that you must earn
before you add a point to your karma pool. (bad karma is the 5 point
version of this)

Variable point flaw; BAD LUCK- another form of haunting, you more
often have disastrously "bad luck". Each flaw point turns a single
normal failure dice rolled into a 1, making the "rule of one" come into
play more often- very often for high point versions!

Variable point Flaw; GOD HATES YOU- once per game session, the GM may
add the value of this flaw to opponents threat / pool for one direct use
against you. This amount may not exceed the opponentís profesional
rating (1-4), but may can be split between various opponents during the

Variable point flaw; CREEPY- When you engage in any social
interaction, roll dice equal to the flaws value with a TN equal to your
Charisma. Each success adds one to any social test TN's, for you or
anybody with you- the person being dealt with "gets the creeps" or
otherwise dismisses you.

Variable point flaw; POSSESION- The GM may take contol of your character
once per lunar cycle, by making a test against your willpower using the
value. The "possesion" lasts one turn per net succes. This is exactly
like a "contol actions" spell, allowing resistance against you harming
yourself and similar actions, and is usually used to hurt or alienate
those around you, but not to harm you dirrectly.

Variable Point flaw; UPHILL BATTLE- due to a magical curse, life is an
uphill battle for you. Each gaming session, the GM may increase TNís
for success (not resistance) tests you make by a total amount equal to
the flaws value. For example, a 6 point flaw would let theGM add 1 to
the Tn of one test, 2 to another, and 3 to a third, once each game. Or
the GM could add 1 to 6 tests, or 3 to two tests....

1 point flaw- lone wolf- you can never join a team karma pool.


1 Point flaw: Magical Loner: A spell using character can not participate
in any ritual magic with others, due to interference and magical
incompatablitiy problems.

2 point flaw: Initiate Outcast: a magically active character can not
join any magical group, even one S/he attempts to form by making an
"astral contact". S/he can still initiate alone and associate with
groups socially, professionally, or ritually, however.

Variable point flaw: Stressed Magic: a magically active character has a
weakened connection to magic, and could even burn out from natural
causes. S/he subtracts this flaw's level from the 2 dice rolled when
checking to see if magic is lost.

The method of "Bio-ghost" flaw choice would probaly best be random:

Roll a d8 for your first flaw- add 1 point to that flaw. If you are a
mage, there is a 2/6 chance of getting a Mage flaw (1 or 2 on d6)-
pick one at random with a value equal to or less than any BI not yet
"payed for" with other flaws.

1: Haunted
2: Karma Drain
3: Bad Luck
4: God Hates You
5: Creepy
6: Possesion
7: uphill battle
8: lone wolf (or re-roll)

After getting your first (or more) flaw, there is a 2/6 chance, in order
per flaw you have, that your next flaw will add to a previous flaw, if
possible. (so you can have, at most, 3 diffrent bio-ghost flaws).
If this does not occur, roll a new flaw, until you have
"payed" for your BI. A roll of an "old" flaw as a "new
flaw" alos adds
that old flaw.

Example: Mongose has a BI of 4.9. This means he will have 5
points of
these flaws. Not being a mage, he does not ever roll to pick up a
mage-specific flaw.
He first rolls a 5, and picks up 1 point of "creepy".
He then rolls to see if the next point aplies to an old flaw, or
a new
one- 4, new flaw. He rolls a 1, Haunted.
He then rolls to see if the next point applies to either of the
previous flaws (1-2, creepy, 4-5, haunted). 2- another point of
Doing this agin, he rolls a 5, giving a new flaw, then rolls a
adding a point to haunted.
He then rolls again to see if he gets a new or old flaw, rolling
a 3,
giving him one more point in haunted.
Mongoose now has the flaws "creepy" at 2, and "haunted" at 3,
manifestation of his bioware use. That could be a problem... (I would
NOT, under these rules, be likely to get him any more bioware...)
Any reduction in BI would reduce one of those 2 flaws, at
random. Any
increase would be rolled for as above.

Hi-Ram, OTOH, is an air adept with 1.8 points of bi. He rolls a
2 on
his "mage flaw" roll, and will pick up a 1 or 2 point mage flaw (1-3,
3-6) rolling a 6, he pays off his BI by becoming an Initiate Outcast.
If his BI were reduced to 1, his flaw would change completely. If it
were increased, a new flaw would be chosen at random, but "intiate
outcast" would remain- it would not "increase" to "stressed magic
3" or
some other flaw.

m m ooooo n n ggggg ooooo ooooo sssss eeeee
===== mm mm o o nn n g o o o o s e
===== m m m o o n n n g gg o o o o sssss eeee
===== m m m o o n nn g g o o o o s e
m m m ooooo n n ggggg ooooo ooooo sssss eeeee

Further Reading

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