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Old 03-23-2023, 09:40 AM   #1
Solomon Draak
Join Date: Jan 2023
Default Major and minor bugs for prototype anagathic treatment

According to Basic Manual 2.

The majority of prototypes have
shortcomings, or “bugs.” Critical success on the Prototype roll means there
are no bugs; success by three or more
gives 1d/2 minor bugs; and any other
success gives 1d/2 major bugs and 1d
minor bugs. Minor bugs are annoying,
but not critical. Major bugs are catastrophic to the function of the device –
and sometimes to the user as well!

So. The earliest anagathic treatments ( working, and bug free ) are classified as TL 9 tech. If a TL8 researcher manages to create a working anagatic treatment - but the prototype incurs in bugs - what could be appropriate minor and major bugs for this tech?

- - -

Some ideas of mine:

Major bugs:

- Absolutely prohibitive cost of treatment ( 100 times the normal cost or more )
- treatment must be followed for an unreasonable length of time before working ( 40 years or more )
- treatment requires the character to be hospitalized for most or all his time
- treatment stops aging but increases chances of other illnesses ( cancer, dementia ecc. )
- treatment don't stop ageing but only slows it down
- treatment has crippling side effects

Minor bugs:

- very costly treatment ( 10 to 20 times the normal cost )
- treatment must be followed for a very long time before working (10 to 20 years )
- treatment requires to spend lots of time in hospital ( like medical dialysis )
- treatment must be matched by special diet and / or exercise regimen
- treatment has unpleasant side effects

Last edited by Solomon Draak; 03-23-2023 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 03-23-2023, 09:54 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Major and minor bugs for prototype anagathic treatment

For mental side-effects, a minor bug might be a bit of memory regression - essentially, if you get your body back to a physical age of 25, your memories after the age of 25 become a bit fuzzier (this may also mean someone undergoing such anagathics to stay at a certain physical age has similar issues with new memories). A major mental bug could be as severe as a total psychotic break once you get too old - you basically have dwindling memory storage, so you wind up with fractured memories overlapping similar memories. Or just a 50 First Dates type of scenario, where you literally cannot remember things beyond a certain point.

Physically, a minor bug might be an increased incidence of cancer (having immortalized your cells, you're basically halfway there already) or the body developing tolerance for the treatment (that is, the more you use it, the less effective it is). A major bug could be the risk of severe mutations (maybe the treatment involves reverting your cells back to being pluripotent, and sometimes you wind up growing a nonfunctional eyeball on your neck or something - or fingers in your throat that block your airway).
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Old 03-23-2023, 10:55 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: Major and minor bugs for prototype anagathic treatment

Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
For mental side-effects, a minor bug might be a bit of memory regression.
Regression sounds odd - neither your memories or your body have saved past states to be reloaded. You don't physically "regress" either, you change to something more like a younger state, but it could be very different from how you actually were when you were young.

Which come to think of it could be spun as a drawback - the treatment heals you toward a youthful body, but it isn't *your* youthful body - producing all kinds of potentially undesirable changes in attributes, fitness levels, appearance etc.

Sure I personally am not going to turn down the fountain of youth because it makes me look a little funny, but I can definitely see some people being pretty upset by, and major social protest over, a treatment that permanently changes skin color, and I might have to think a bit about one that causes me to grow 10 feet tall, or undoes puberty.

A treatment that makes you resistant to undesirable change with time also seems very likely to mess with desirable changes with time too. So forming new memories is harder seems reasonable. Can't remember anything new is definitely in the very major category, but a major multiple to point cost to learn or improve anything maybe. Disadvantages about reacting slowly to, or being resistant to change include Cannot Learn (though IMO that trait is broken), Combat Paralysis, Confused, Decreased Time Rate, Hidebound, Incurious, Slow Healing, Stubborn, and Unhealing

Problems of needing additional or strange resources - Dependency, Increased Consumption, Maintenance, Restricted Diet, Sleepy, Unusual Biochemistry - are fair drawbacks of pretty much anything that gives you new biological abilities, so those work here too.

Edit: the traditional non-personal drawback of an immortality treatment is that is doesn't work for everyone. It has to be administered to children, gives you a coin flip between becoming immortal and dying instantly, or some substantial fraction of the population is immune (or worse only works on a minority that is already socially differentiated - "if you are a black woman with over 70% Bantu ancestry I can make you immortal, otherwise....")
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Last edited by malloyd; 03-23-2023 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 03-23-2023, 01:59 PM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Major and minor bugs for prototype anagathic treatment

Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Regression sounds odd - neither your memories or your body have saved past states to be reloaded.
Being very aggressive about pruning of old memories (sure, you live forever, but you only actually remember the last twenty years) seems somewhat more plausible. Game mechanics wise, something like "every time you reset age, you lose X% of your experience", where X is the number of years you lost, is a mechanic I've considered for races that are supposed to be immortal but still playable as PCs.
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Old 03-23-2023, 03:02 PM   #5
Night Watchman
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Major and minor bugs for prototype anagathic treatment

Well, this is likely to involve modifying the functions of the telomere system. See "The Genetics of Aging", on p. 183 of Bio-Tech. The really drastic things that could go wrong with that, such as developing whole-body cancer, or cell division slowing down dramatically, would be failed inventions, rather than bugs.

Possible major bugs:
  • Triggers autoimmune diseases in people with particular unusual combinations of genes. Comprehensive ones, like Lupus, Multiple sclerosis, or Pernicious anemia.
  • Sometimes causes cancers, for reasons nobody understands.
Possible minor bugs:
  • Hair. nails, teeth, and so on keep growing, faster than before.
  • Skin cells live longer, so your skin becomes thicker and looks weird.
  • The cells that make up the lining of your gut live longer, and blockages happen.
A problem with testing anagathic treatment is that it takes a long time to be sure it's working.
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Old 03-23-2023, 03:22 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Default Re: Major and minor bugs for prototype anagathic treatment

As above, you have to go through puberty again. Or menopause.

A part of your body starts growing, giving complications like with acromegaly.

Your hair turns white despite looking otherwise young.


Odd coloration in skin or hair.

Change in the sense of taste, smell, hearing, touch. Things you used to enjoy are now awful. Mundane sounds may now seem like chalk on a blackboard.

Duration is unpredictable. You may be good for 50 years, or maybe only 10, no telling.

What bio-age you can get to may vary and not be predictable or controllable.
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Old 03-24-2023, 10:06 AM   #7
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean
Default Re: Major and minor bugs for prototype anagathic treatment

Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Those are heavy hitters, but autoimmune crap in general is a good candidate. This manifests as allergies. Food allergies. Pollen Allergies. Drug Allergies. Allergies to Latex, or to your own scar tissue.
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