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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:23 am
  

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Comment: Mondos non cogitarus, Consilium!
Last night, while waiting for DCUO to finish update-loading (17+ hours, due to a malfunctioning update & 3 hours time difference), I was musing over the possible many uses of Biotics in a House. Most are cannon-fodder, infantry, some are House guards, fewer still are day-laborer like servants. But what about other types?
Can a Biotic be 'sculpted to look more aesthetically pleasing & still retain the enhancements?
While the illustration in the main book is that of a male, what about *female* Biotics?
I have to do a little more research, so I'll let this thread simmer a bit. Back later.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:56 pm
  

Palladin

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i'm sure female biotics are a thing. if you're implying what i think you're implying, though, i'm inclined to think that there are definite reasons to not use them for those purposes. like the fact that the process gives them insanities, and those insanities increase over time.

the tendency towards not just insanity, but specifically insanities that cause violence, leads me to feel that by far the least unsafe place to have these unstable individuals is in a place where they at least have a chance of going ballistic on someone you want them to go ballistic on anyways.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:26 pm
  

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Comment: Mondos non cogitarus, Consilium!
Thanks :)

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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:18 pm
  

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My brother in law and I have a book on the many uses of biotics planned for sometime in early 2015. Some of outline answers a few of your questions, but I can say comfortably, yes, these are all practical applications of biotics.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:33 pm
  

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Comment: Mondos non cogitarus, Consilium!
I wondered, because as I see it, the Resistance recycles & reuses it's resources to a nigh-extreme, even recovered 'bio-matter', if you get my inference. While producing more & more soldiers for the War Effort is a priority, a large number of Biotics in a single House during a 'lull' in the fight would produce problems. What does a Biotic do during 'down-time'?

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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:36 pm
  

Palladin

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honestly, i would guess they would perform simple tasks. a major area that they could be useful in would be heavy labour, simply because they pack a lot of strength into a convenient mostly human-shaped space. which means that they're already designed to handle the terrain of the area they'd be traveling across; a horse and cart is great, but not so wonderful at, say, carrying boxes up and down a flight of stairs.

along those lines, i could also see them being used for digging and tunneling, as well as building (under close supervision of skilled workers, of course). particularly if they have bio-modifications that would be useful (for example, if they can produce resin). finally, one more area i could see them being used for would be farming labour. teach them how to identify common weeds, and have them pull those out.

the main considerations i would expect are:

- primarily unskilled labour
- tasks which benefit greatly from enhanced strength
- work at remote locations (ie if you need workers for two jobs, and one is rebuilding a damaged structure in the middle of a residential area and the other is the same for a guard tower at the edge of a community, you send biotics to work on the one that's on the outskirts)
- work that doesn't require a lot of interaction with random people (having someone who understands the complications of working with biotics would be important; not everyone is going to understand the difference between a phobia and a simple dislike or even regular fear)
- dangerous jobs where their increased toughness is a major advantage.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:47 pm
  

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BookWyrm wrote:
I wondered, because as I see it, the Resistance recycles & reuses it's resources to a nigh-extreme, even recovered 'bio-matter', if you get my inference. While producing more & more soldiers for the War Effort is a priority, a large number of Biotics in a single House during a 'lull' in the fight would produce problems. What does a Biotic do during 'down-time'?


There might be lulls in conflict between houses, but I would think that the Machine presence would be a constant. I don't see any reason why a Biotic would have enough down-time to become bored.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:01 pm
  

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Comment: Mondos non cogitarus, Consilium!
True, flatline.

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Unread postPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 1:10 am
  

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on the flipside, every single biotic in existence has at least 4 domestic skills.

i'm inclined to believe that while they may not have a ton of downtime, they aren't in constant combat either. even if there are always targets available, that doesn't mean you're going to throw away perfectly good resources on a suicide mission; you're going to need to have a plan and a solid reason to commit any resources, even resources that you're probably not entirely thrilled about. the setting really isn't one where the resistance can hope to commit hundreds of troops to a battle unless it's an ambush, so i very much doubt they're kept constantly in combat.

not many people will mourn the loss of a biotic, but if those resources weren't important, nobody would be making biotics in the first place. the machine has literally millions of robots just sitting in storage; the resistance can't afford to throw away anything needlessly at this point. so you gotta find the right time to commit those resources... which, frankly, is probably a large part of *why* every biotic has 4 domestic skills; so they can be put to work during downtime.


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Unread postPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 1:34 am
  

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BookWyrm wrote:
Last night, while waiting for DCUO to finish update-loading (17+ hours, due to a malfunctioning update & 3 hours time difference), I was musing over the possible many uses of Biotics in a House. Most are cannon-fodder, infantry, some are House guards, fewer still are day-laborer like servants. But what about other types?
Can a Biotic be 'sculpted to look more aesthetically pleasing & still retain the enhancements?
While the illustration in the main book is that of a male, what about *female* Biotics?
I have to do a little more research, so I'll let this thread simmer a bit. Back later.


Hey BookWyrm great question!
IMHO, Sharkforce is dead on with what I think are some of the many features that Biotics would be doing or designed for besides the obvious direct warfare efforts.

Without giving away too much with what Slappy & I have devised, we have considered an array of Splicer society structures & activities that certainly would answer some of this subject matter. Entertainment can go far beyond the prostitution arena and directly into various sports and even the brutal gladiatorial blood-sports arena.

Aesthetics is certainly something that a Librarian can dabble with and provide for Engineers to apply as they see fit or require. As stated however, the insanities that lie within however will still be the unpredictable serpent waiting to rear its head, in the end of things.

Other Biotic employment and design activities might include:

1. Alien-predator wrangling – Getting samples is one thing, but some librarians request live captures and relocating these deadly wildlife can be very challenging. Having Biotics to assist in the securing and transporting of such captives.

2. Heavy Construction Assistance – working in conjunction with Haven Construction teams, War Mounts and “builders” to develop, excavate and reinforce channel ways, caverns, tunnels, cave ins, haul or mine for resources, etc.

3. Haven & Prison Riot Enforcement assistance – With some Great Houses having limited resources, laws and dire conditions, having to rule with an iron fist while most of your infantry is in the field may require some form of back up support to watch the haven. Having loyal yet powerful Biotics to support the law enforcement may come in handy.

4. Explorer Biotics – Some Biotics may be devised ot explore harsh conditions that are too dangerous for normal men to endure. Customizing Biotics to explore harsh and rigid climates (i.e.: wastelands, arctic regions, deep fathoms, subterranean environments, etc.) may require specialized Biotics to serve as initial scouts. Upon their return and being “stabbed” by the Librarians, they can serve as exploration “Probes” to further the cause of the Great House’s expansion and developments.

5. Prototype Test Biotics – Instead of testing new biotech devices and enhancements on to a War Mount which takes so long to gestate and develop and is not worth the risk, it might prove easier and quicker to test new ideas and capabilities onto new Biotic soldiers. If the Biotic proves its worth, more importantly the new enhancements, then it may be worth implementing onto War Mounts and Host armors afterwards.

Just some food for thought

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Unread postPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 9:29 am
  

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I realize this is a bit off topic but it keeps coming up so... with regards to the insanities is it the forced alteration of the body or the method/process of alteration that is causing them? While I accept that some people might go nuts from being turned into monsters. I can't wrap my mind around the idea of all volunteers going nuts.... yet we expected to assume that.

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Unread postPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 9:41 am
  

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Slight001 wrote:
I realize this is a bit off topic but it keeps coming up so... with regards to the insanities is it the forced alteration of the body or the method/process of alteration that is causing them? While I accept that some people might go nuts from being turned into monsters. I can't wrap my mind around the idea of all volunteers going nuts.... yet we expected to assume that.

It would depend on the reason the person is turned into a biotic. Most of the time, it's because they're criminals, but we have some pretty legit material in Rifter #51 that details another strain of biotic (The Metamorph) that doesn't go insane. That is evidence that not all biotics must go crazy.

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Unread postPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 4:22 pm
  

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yeah, part of the process of making a biotic is basically mindwiping them and then basically programming them into loyal soldiers. but there is no specific mention made of that process being strictly a *requirement* of the process of creating a biotic... it is entirely possible, and i would even go so far as to say probable, that bio-modifications can be made to a person without having to mindwipe or reprogram them (although i also suspect that to some extent you do need to do *some* rewiring of the brain just to let you use certain new senses and such, if they are granted).

bear in mind, however, that the resistance as a whole is very worried about ceasing to be humans in order to fight the machine... every single modified human with anything beyond, say, bio-comms, are either considered to be making a major sacrifice, or are being punished.

so a regular biotic probably could be made without reprogramming it. but the whole reason they're being made into a (standard) biotic is that the person they were before was undesirable, and a waste of resources, in the eyes of the resistance. the reprogramming is probably optional from the perspective of being able to skip it, but there has to be a pretty compelling reason to not just make a host armour, war mount, or external biotechnology creation to do a job.

metamorphs, for example, are probably mostly used for infiltration purposes. the fact that they look like a completely ordinary human means they can walk around in a retro-village, or potentially even one of the cities full of nex-androids, while carrying all their weapons and equipment with them (though it takes some time to get it all out again). try doing *that* with an outrider or scarecrow ;)

that said, you may be interested in the advanced biotic OCC that slappy created (at least, i think it was slappy). look in the slappy's creations thread for a link if it was made by him... if not, try a forum search. they are basically biotics that look mostly like a normal human, and would likely be used for much the same sort of things as a metamorph.


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Unread postPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 10:28 pm
  

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Ectoplasmic Bidet's Advanced Biotic is an interesting concept. However, the designer decided that it was the appearance of the subjects that mattered and essentially created hidden supermen. While interesting and I could have some fun making a hidden monster... I'd never be able to play one as even if I could get one of the local GM's to start up a Splicers game none of them are interested in fan made materials... I blame path finder and it's fan made craziness that makes Rifts look sane.

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Unread postPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 11:10 pm
  

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supermen is pretty relative, i guess. they're weaker than standard biotics (less MDC, their armour has no enhancements, and many mods are either disallowed entirely or cost extra), who themselves are not exactly on the high end of the power scale. a dreadguard or especially an outrider will massively outclass them in combat, and i have my doubts they'd equal even a packmaster or an archangel. even a technojacker might be able to fight better.

they're great if you need to look like a normal human while retaining your biotechnology. they're otherwise pretty unimpressive, at least as splicers characters go (bearing in mind that a typical splicer character puts the typical character from assorted other palladium settings to shame, mind you; if you took an advanced biotic into, say, heroes unlimited, they'd be pretty danged scary).


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Unread postPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 9:10 am
  

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By supermen I simply meant that they are beyond human.

Yeah I agree the power level of Splicers is crazy compared to most. My Mystic Coalition players had a hell of a time dealing with House Hel'Brek... even before the house started fielding their unique biotechnology such as their induced mystic and psionic biotics.

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Unread postPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 4:30 pm
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
i'm sure female biotics are a thing. if you're implying what i think you're implying, though, i'm inclined to think that there are definite reasons to not use them for those purposes. like the fact that the process gives them insanities, and those insanities increase over time.

the tendency towards not just insanity, but specifically insanities that cause violence, leads me to feel that by far the least unsafe place to have these unstable individuals is in a place where they at least have a chance of going ballistic on someone you want them to go ballistic on anyways.


I am pretty sure if they were going to do biotics of the type your are implying they would not be the standard ones as you really would not want them supernaturally strong, supernaturally durable deranged "housekeepers".

That said I would fully expect some highly modified non super powered variants would not be an unreasonable usage of 'indentured servants' given such activities have shown up in every era humanity has existed in some form or another.


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Unread postPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 4:59 pm
  

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normal strength, normal toughness people that are guaranteed to be insane in some form or other, with further guarantees of developing that insanity further as long as they live, are still undesirable for those uses.

most likely there are indentured servants. but they probably aren't people that have gone through the biotic process.

the biotic process in the core book is generally a punishment for criminals, so you don't want the people who would otherwise be made into biotics to not get the mindwiping either.

which is not to say that there are no indentured servants or equivalent in the setting (although i would argue that the role could be filled just fine with biotechnology creations). just that they probably aren't biotics.

or rather, they aren't human biotics, anyways. the resistance does make extensive use of the mega-horse, and i would be quite surprised if that was the only creature they'd modified to provide useful services. cleaning could be handled by modified snails, for example. biotech food plants could produce food that doesn't need to be prepared. and so forth.


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Unread postPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:55 pm
  

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Well some level of insanity could be offset by a mindwipe and increasing the docility of the biotically modified person. Normal biotics are designed to be disposable front line troopers making some combat use of people you otherwise could not use. For them some level of gradual insanity is probably fine because given how they are used they are unlikely to survive long enough to acquire that many insanities and what insanities they have generally do not detract from their typical use in battle aka shake the bottle of crazy and toss it at the robots.

I could see at least some higher ups like warlords having some biotically altered "housekeepers" with mental wipes and personality modifications to make them very docile and obedient to the warlord and even potentially mute so that they cannot pass on any information they overhear or betray their owner.

Also if somebody is using people in that fashion one would also assume they are more than willing to perform culls as necessary if the servants get dangerously unstable.


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Unread postPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 5:20 pm
  

Palladin

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why wouldn't you just use regular people as servants?

the only reason to use a person instead of a biotech creation (bearing in mind that they're perfectly capable of making intelligent constructs from scratch, as far as we can tell) is because you want a fully functioning human being in charge of their full faculties doing something. for stuff like cleaning the floors, I would imagine they just use the biotech version of a Roomba, for example. give it the ability to climb on walls and now it cleans them, too, and it can probably be easily trained/programmed to stay within the house (for example, by marking the area it should operate in with a specific scent). it could probably even be made to do the dishes, if you can get over the fact that your dishes are being licked clean :P

even tasks that require a bit more intelligence, you can still just get something with the intelligence level of, say, a gorehound. with the added advantage that gorehounds (and other biotech creations that are not biotics) are not guaranteed to be insane.

so, yeah, the only reason I would see needing an actual human being as a servant is if they're basically running the household (ie administrative type stuff), not just doing menial tasks. someone who can manage your schedule, plan out dinners, etc. and for that sort of thing, you're going to want a person with their full mental capacities unclouded by insanity. and also, probably not someone that everyone in the resistance considers to be the lowest of the low on the social ladder.

I would expect that a powerful person's servants are far more likely to be a retired old roughneck who used to be in your unit, than a biotic that could at any time decide that the houseplants are actually agents of the machine and must be flung into the depths of mount doom whilst dancing a jig.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:04 am
  

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Comment: Mondos non cogitarus, Consilium!
While I agree that one could use 'regular' people as servants....the rank & file, non-combatant 'civilians' as servants, the concept was that while a House's population could be called into service at a moment's notice, there are sometimes periods of no-conflict that see the soldiery & infantry types --- especially the Biotics --- re-purposed to other functions. Especially with smaller Houses with limited personnel resources (let's face it, one cannot just pop down to the nearest cryo-zoo or retro-village for a dozen or so ready-to-go cannon fodder ("Hi there. No, you're not having a mental breakdown. Everything you know here is a lie, there's a war going on between a psychotic computer system and the last renaming human resistance forces and we're here to drum up new recruits. If you survive, glory & honor will be yours....unless the robots of The Machine or an assassin from a rival House kills you. Most likely you'll be killed by the former, if you're really that lucky. Interested?")

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Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:40 am
  

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then you would use the non-insane people as servants, and send the biotics to do physical labour in some place where having an episode is not likely to kill dozens of non-combatants. preferably some place where everyone else is wearing body armour and won't be instantly vaporized when the biotic launches a rocket, or fires off a bio-e vent.

it doesn't have to happen often to become something that nobody will risk. really, it only has to happen once, with any biotic, and people will realize that while unlikely, it is entirely *possible* for any given biotic to slip that extra little bit further into insanity and mistakenly identify a child crawling around playing as a rat bomb or something like that. most of their insanities are non-threatening, but you don't know when they might develop a new one, because the process used for creating biotics creates mentally unstable people. if humanity weren't so desperate, they most likely wouldn't even be letting such mentally unstable people anywhere remotely *near* MD weaponry.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:41 am
  

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Comment: Mondos non cogitarus, Consilium!
Good point.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:57 pm
  

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Biotics seem long a good long-term investment if you can make them immortal and they don't get killed off since the Host Armor all have limited lifespans.

Not sure about the Living Armor though, that might be an even better investment, unless I missed them having a lifespan. Don't have to feed those, and they heal faster than Host Armor, it's all good.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:24 pm
  

Palladin

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biotics do eventually die off, and in fact generally speaking die off (violently) in rather short order. they're enhanced humans, but nothing suggests their lifespan is enhanced in any way by default (though you can buy it if you choose). generally speaking, it's likely to be a waste to do so, though, at least for a regular biotic (if you use advanced biotics or something similar, it may be more worthwhile).

living armour does need to be fed (a nutrient bath which generally isn't available in the field, even). which is really the main limitation on it; apart from that, it is overall a superior base to host armour in my opinion (it can still take basically all of the modifications, with the arguable exceptions of splicer or supernatural PS, but then those are relatively minor imo). the incredible regeneration rate makes it really amazing for some uses, but only being able to go into the field for a week or so before needing to return really limits it.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:38 pm
  

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Palladin

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I just mean hypothetically if you find an immortalization process, possibly via another dimension, like if it were possible to give them:
*the Major Super Power from HU
*that Shadow spell from Bletherad
*probably something in Rifts can give immortality though I don't recall an example
**Angel of Death's brain implant comes close but I'm not sure if people from Splicers (besides Technojackers) could get cybernetics in other dimensions without them being infected by the Nanite Plaque... although MOM implants seem to be immune so I'm not sure.

then so long as they didn't get killed, it would be a long-term investment. Easier to immortalize a modified human than it is to immortalize a Host Armor.

Page 86 only lets you buy years for Host Armor or War Mounts, I don't think things like Biotics and Gorehounds could buy it, which is why extended lifespan would have to come from somewhere else.

Biotics have a lot of strange inconsistencies in the book.
*page 84 under Regeneration: Basic says that Biotics and Gorehounds can buy it...but that hourly healing rate (and even the minutely healing rate of Regeneration: Enhanced) is inferior to the per-melee-round rate which Biotics (page 147) already have... so do these stack or something?
** If they don't stack then the only potential use of these abilities would be to fulfill the prerequisites for Regeneration: Super.
**I think that if these do not stack then Biotics should just be able to buy Regeneration: Super without the prerequisites since their natural healing is already better than Enhanced.
**If the Biotics do have to buy all of them, then they should stack, and if they do build up to RegenSuper then it should stack with their natural rate and give them 3d6+3 per round. I think this is also the most rules-supported because while Bio-E upgrades do replace their prereqs, the Biotic healing rate is not a Bio-E thing so it would not be replaced.


*page 86 under Enhanced Physical Strength caps them at 40 and makes you pay huge to upgrade to Splicer/Robotic PS (doesn't seem worth it in most cases, cheaper to just buy a melee enhancement) possibly meaning that they initially intended Biotics/Hounds to be weaker but then gave them a last-minute upgrade and forgot to remove this
**Rifter 50 page 84 says to disregard it and that Biotics get Splicer/Robotic (which was mentioned on 147 of main book) while Gorehounds get Supernatural (which is mentioned on 117 of main book) automatically, which is pretty cool.
***Using the Bio-EperPointConverted cost-basis, it's now cheaper for a Biotic with a PS under 25 to upgrade from Splicer>Supernatural than it was to convert a Biotic from normal to Splicer in the main book

*page 147 says Biotics can choose from all of the categories, but since some traits require a certain metabolism (and metabolism is unique to host armors) this means Biotics are limited from selecting certain kinds of abilities, like Increased Metabolic Rate (page 87). Although... since humans are omnivores, IMO a Biotic should be able to select anything open to 'Omnivore' armor, same with Gorehounds.

Odd how page 86 (under Enhanced Speed) says you can build Flight into Gorehounds... scary to picture. In terms of attaining speed, the Gorehound cap is faster than Wings or Organic Thrusters (page 93) though, so in terms of keeping distance between Hounds and opponents (perhaps if you equip them with a long-range weapon like an Omega-blaster) relying on maxed-out running would usually be better.

Although... if you take terrain into account, per page 117 the 30% reduction in forest/rocky would lower the 450mph to 315mph (still better than wing max) so maxed Organic Thrusters would be faster, plus obvious stuff like fleeing over water. Thrusters' superior altitude are also perfect for high-altitude bombing/blasting (HAB was great in Tribes2 w/ bombers) ground-bound targets or any fliers, and you can get max altitude with basic flight without even upgrading the speed. Even buying a cheap pair of wings for hounds would allow you to make great use of this tactic, and a Packmaster could ride on the back of one and fire the gun from high altitudes and avoid land-bound pursuit this way.

The only thing is while Winged-Gorehounds is simple enough, I'm not sure how to work Thruster-Gorehounds because if it is on their back then they might be limited to a bipedal position (on hind legs) unless Host Armor and Biotics with this can assume a prone 'Superman Pose' (feet behind, hands in front) in which case the Gorehounds could use that and be fine.

Since the average Gorehound that a Packmaster starts off with will have 57 Bio-E, they could start off with flight (and even upgrade it) but could not get any top-tier weapons. Even a maxed-out starting Gorehound (72 Bio-E) could not start with an Omega, but they could buy the prereqs for 25 and save the remaining 47, because once the Packmaster levels up 2 more times (and if they spend the Bio-E pool exclusively on that single Gorehound instead of spreading it around) they would have the required 80.

I'm wondering though... if you did buy an Omega for 1 hound... and flight for hound number 2... couldn't you just have Omega-Hound ride on the back of Thruster-Hound and have HAB that way? The amount that Gorehounds can carry on their back exceeds the maximum weight of a Gorehound, in fact a Gorehound could in theory carry 2 lighter gorehounds on their back, based on weight. I think a flying gorehound could actually hold a 2nd gorehound (with a ranged weapon) AND the Packmaster. Or alternatively, the Packmaster could get wings built into their armor (or use a wing attachment)

I'm not sure if there are any weight limits for the wing/thruster flight, I don't see any, so I figure you would go by PS or (in case of Gorehound) any other guidelines which are given.

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