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Old 08-20-2014, 02:59 AM   #11
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Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Bioengineering and Biology

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
It's the enchantment issue in high tech format. To use it as it's intended requires lots of resources spent over very long periods of time while everyone else adventures.
Two things. First, you could create some mechanic allowing for rapid genetic engineering. I believe Biotech has spells that allows you to quickly alter people. Some of the nanotech can do this sort of thing quite quickly too, and if you add in Quick Gadgeteer, you can have someone redesigning characters on-the-fly. Video games have done it, I don't see why you couldn't do it in an RPG.

Secondly, "everyone out adventuring" doesn't have to be a thing. You assume that all RPGs need to be about getting into fights and exploring distant realms. A game could easily be a medical drama where characters are trying to uncover what's behind the alien virus sweeping through the world, with some trying to purge it, some trying to use it, some trying to gain super-powers from it, some trying to turn it against the wicked alien invaders, whatever.
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:27 AM   #12
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Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Bioengineering and Biology

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It's the enchantment issue in high tech format. To use it as it's intended requires lots of resources spent over very long periods of time while everyone else adventures.
Nothing wrong with alternating adventuring and downtime.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:24 AM   #13
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Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Bioengineering and Biology

Well, if you don't see month/year long enchantments as a problem, then bioengineering won't be one either.
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:01 PM   #14
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Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Bioengineering and Biology

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Well, if you don't see month/year long enchantments as a problem, then bioengineering won't be one either.
As I posted elsewhere, I find it nice when the campaign alternates between adventuring and downtime. A year is long-ish, but unlike enchanging, you can make a a break in your engineering work without losing 3 the time spent adventuring.

The payoffs are different too. Spent a year enchanting, and you have one cool item, which is kinda so okay it's average. Maybe you can sell it. Spent a year bioengineering, and you've got a new model of a bioroid, biogardget, symbiote or whatever, whose blueprint will be licensed all over the world (I'm assuming a PC worth its salt will try to engineer something that is actually in good demand in the world, preferably filling a big niche) for massive profits and respect.
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:18 PM   #15
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Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Bioengineering and Biology

Spend money to make money.
Enchant items that produce products like magic refrigerators or clean water sources. Then rent them out... cash money.

But complex life forms could only be fully vetted after a few complete generations and lifespans. Even longer if they're food items of truly novel variety.
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:56 AM   #16
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Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Bioengineering and Biology

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But complex life forms could only be fully vetted after a few complete generations and lifespans. Even longer if they're food items of truly novel variety.
That makes them useless. There's no point in ever developing a new model of a bioroid if you need to wait 100+ years before starting to mass-produce it. Ditto for foods: you alibananas will be out of fashion long before they're vetted if your vetting process is so slow and inefficient.
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:21 AM   #17
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Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Bioengineering and Biology

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That makes them useless. There's no point in ever developing a new model of a bioroid if you need to wait 100+ years before starting to mass-produce it. Ditto for foods: you alibananas will be out of fashion long before they're vetted if your vetting process is so slow and inefficient.
There seems to be a pretty common attitude that (non-traditional) biotechnology needs to be scrutinized on a level comparable to what we do to medicines, regardless of it's function.

In fiction it's more likely to get, at best, the kind of safety assessment that consumer goods in general do.
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:40 AM   #18
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Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Bioengineering and Biology

I never said that it wouldn't be mass produced, just that it would only be fully vetted after at least one full life span.

Medications often have long term side effects not known until long after full release.
No one could have known that many years of S.S.R.I. use would increase life time risk of diabetes.

And for biologicals like farm animals and crops, who cares if they are more prone to disease X, Y, and Z, and have 10% shorter life expectencies as long as they do what they were designed for?

The more complex the machine, the more things that can go wrong.
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:47 AM   #19
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Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Bioengineering and Biology

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The more complex the machine, the more things that can go wrong.
There is a story, I think by Greg Bear, about a high school student nearly all of whose classmates have a particular genetic upgrade. Then the long-term side effects hit them all. . . .

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Old 08-21-2014, 11:51 AM   #20
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Default Re: [Basic] Skills of the week: Bioengineering and Biology

That's the great thing about evolution. It sucks at R&D output, but goes the extra mile for product testing. [winking face]
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