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Old 09-12-2017, 11:49 AM   #3
Kelly Pedersen
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Default Re: 4e Cybernetic/Implant Question

Originally Posted by Eddie T View Post
I want to give a character a BOS Implant from UT (p. 217).

What is the correct way to annotate on a character sheet?
The "correct" way is whatever makes the most sense to you and your players, I'd say, and minimizes confusion. Personally, I'd write the implant under the character's advantages, in a similar way to how you'd write a racial template. Something like:
"BOS Implant [8]
(Includes Alcohol Tolerance, Deep Sleeper, Metabolism Control 1, and No Hangover)".

I probably wouldn't list it under equipment because, in my experience, people are very rarely going to be selling their cybernetics, so the money value doesn't usually matter, and most treatments of implants don't treat them as encumbrance either, so the weight is irrelevant.

Originally Posted by Eddie T
I starting to wrap my head around the "If you can buy a gadget with $, it's point cost is 0" statement and this is the first practical exercise I've had with it.
Note that whether cybernetics cost points for the traits they provide is actually an option, set by the GM. See "Body Modification", pp. B294-295, for some discussion of this, but basically, there's three things you can do:
  • Charge points for modifications. Probably the simplest approach - if the character has the points, they spend them, and don't worry too much about the cost or recovery time. You can even let players go into point-debt if they don't have the points to spare, meaning they then have to spend some or all the points they earn on paying off the debt.
  • Charge money for modifications. If the character has the cash, they can buy the gear. To avoid rich characters getting too overpowered this way, it's best to enforce surgery recovery times (and the chances of botched surgeries) much more rigorously, along with other means of equipment control.
  • If modifications are imposed rather than chosen by the character, they cost neither points nor money. If you have a plot where a character gets kidnapped by a crazed cyberneticist and given a horrible (but useful!) robotic tentacle-arm, don't make them pay points for it. It's just like any other trait that you decide a character gets. Just like losing an arm in play doesn't give a character 20 points for One Arm, gaining an advantage doesn't cost points.

Now, there are some ways to combine or tweak these approaches. Personally, when I ran a game with cybernetics as an option, what I did was charge points for cybernetics and required characters to pay the money for the implants and the surgery to install them. However, money spent that way wasn't treated as money spent on equipment - I didn't consider it part of their assets when determining what Wealth level they had, for instance. And I didn't worry too much about other equipment-based concerns, like replacements for worn-out parts, or issues like random equipment failures.
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