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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:59 pm
  

D-Bee

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
Posts: 5
Changes to The Augmented and how they are handled in Rifts.

As part of my ongoing re-write work, i was examining the various Augmented characters for revisions. One of the things that has always bothered me (and makes little to no sense) is Kev’s insistence on said Augmentation forcing a class change or even having any affect on OCC at all.

Its never made a ton of sense to me.

If im playing a Grunt, and i get blown the crap up, and lose my limbs and have severe torso damage, getting cybernetically augmented should not cause me to change classes. Or, maybe, after 10 years of being a Grunt (free agent style, not a CS trooper, obviously) i just decide im tired of being squishy and decide to get Juiced, submit to MoM augmentation, or get converted into a Borg.

If i have the money, i should be able to do that.

Now… i mostly understand the basic idea Kevin was going for - you dont want people to just get augmented later on a whim, because then (in his mind, i guess) it makes the actual OCCs (like Juicer) pointless, does it not?

I dont think it has to.

As part of re-examining OCCs, i wanted to vastly reduce the number of basic OCCs anyway, and make sure that each one actually provides something unique-ish/brings something to the table other than “its another guy who shoots guns and gets more/less OCC skills than this other class but is otherwise identical”.

The idea here is for each class to have a special ability, even if it is very basic, that makes it somewhat unique, or if not unique, at least provides a real difference other than “its basically just Basic Class Y, but with more skills so its better and you should never take Basic Class Y”.

Applying this to Augmented characters….


(Note: as an aside, you should record your pre-Augmentation stat rolls for any Augmented character, just in case; you never know when something weird might happen).

What if a decent portion of the bonuses (say ⅓ to ½ ) - actual numbers TBD - are povided by the Augmented OCCs and cannot ever be gained by someone who gets augmented after the fact.

After all, what makes a Juicer is not JUST the fact that he got Juiced… he also trained before and after to use his Augmentation to the fullest, preparing himself for the transition, et al. Thats what the Juicer OCC represents - not just someone who ‘Got Juiced’, but someone who trained to be a Juicer.

Same with Combat Cyborgs - its not just some random guy who got converted, its someone who trained to be a Combat Cyborg and take the most advantage of his new body (and to compensate for its deficiencies - for instance, i can see the dedicated Cyborg OCCs having far lower penalties to touch/etc, because they train around it).

So, for instance, instead of a Juicer getting 2 extra attacks from being Juiced… one of them comes from the Juicer procedure, and the second comes from being a trained Juicer. Anyone who gets Juiced later doesn’t get that second attack.

Well use the basic Juicer as an example.

Currently, it looks like this:

1D4x100 SDC
1D4x10 HP
2D6 PE
2D6 PS (minimum 22)
2d4x10 SPD
(maybe) 2D4 PP (minimum 20) - seems to be missing from RUE but is present in RMB and Juicer Uprising
+2 attacks per round
+4 initiative
+2 Perception
+2 Disarm
+2 to Pull Punch
+3 to roll w/Impact
+1 Auto Dodge @ levels 1,2,6,9,12

So what if we split it up:

“Getting Juiced” gets you:


1D6+2 PE
1D6+2 PS (no minimum, see below)
1D4x10+10 SPD (jumping distances are ⅔ of those listed)
1d4+1 PP (no minimum, see below)
+1 attack per round
+2 Initiative
+2 Perception
+2 Pull Punch
+2 to roll w/Impact
Auto Dodge (“Advanced Dodge” in my rework, but the same thing, basically - but no inherent bonuses).
The Juicer OCC Grants you the following additional bonuses; mostly because you’ve trained to use the Augmentation better, trained with it afterwards (as you trained for your Juicer OCC), etc.

+4 PE
+4 PS (minimum 22)
+2 PP (minimum 20)
+1 attack per round
+ 2 to Initiative
+2 Pull Punch (yes, this means its higher than it currently is)
+2 to roll w/Impact (yes, this means its higher than it currently is)
+2 to Auto Dodge @ Level 1, +1 additional at levels 3, 6, 9, and 12 (yes, 1 higher than now).

So, a Grunt/Merc who gets Juiced later in his career is not as potent as a “Real” Juicer.

Similarly, for Cyborgs, i’d have actual Cyborg OCC training instill various bonuses, such as a bonus to dodge, parry, etc, perhaps an additional attack with Cyborg weapon systems (or perhaps a free defensive action, as im planning on splitting actions into offensive/general/defensive pools to help reduce some inflation), reduced or no penalties for touch based skills (since you’ve extensively trained around this handicap), and the ability to prowl even as a heavy FCB (likely with penalties depending on your chassis and/or additional armor)

Non-Cyborg OCCs who get converted never get these bonuses.

I’d do the same for Crazies, as well (similar breakdown to the Juicer, above).

Additionally, beyond this, i’d outright kill the “Juicers cant become Cyborgs to avoid Last Call” crap. PCs with a finite shelf-life (particularly in a game where a party may want/need to make weeks or months of travel and/or downtime for crafting, etc) just dont make sense.

I’ll be going with two avenues out of inevitable Juicer death:

Full Bionic Conversion accomplished via a chemically-induced coma and total reconstruction while in said coma. For PCs, this is (unless the GM wants to ratchet up the tension, and/or, as a story point/for RP reasons, the character put off the conversion process until much later than recommended) automatic. No rolling, unless the GM/Players want to do that. As an “in-setting” option, it has good (70%) chances of working pre-Last Call, and much lower chances after year 6 (40%) and virtually no chance during Last Call (15%).

Further, a lot of Juicers dont save the money (because they live wild lifestyles anyway) or decide they dont want to be a borg, so as a part of the “culture”, ‘surviving’ being Juiced by Bionic conversion is still rare. Its just a reliable option for PCs, if they choose to use it.

I’d definitely have some chance at insanities involved with no longer being a Juicer (as a Borg you’re still definitely faster than human (though without the Cyborg OCC inehrent bonuses!) and better than human… and your remaining tissues are no longer addicted to the chemicals (what little of them are left, anyway), but your brain might still be addicted to that feeling of godhood.

The second way out is…. Being turned into a Cold Blooded. This WILL land you some insanities (more than a standard Cold Blooded, i’d rule), but it WILL work on you, 100%, even right up to the very end. Because… it kills you. No detox required (its irrelevant, really) as you literally die during the process and when you get back up as a Cold Blooded, you’re now partially undead and regenerate, so any damage the drugs may have done is reversed/healed. But youll be even more wacko than a ‘regular’ Cold Blooded.

Rebirth as one of the Cold-Blooded has one additional bonus (going from Juicer > Cold Blooded) - you keep whichever attributes are the higher of the two (roll the Cold Blooded stat bonuses and add them to your pre-Juiced stats, which you should have recorded; keep whichever is higher, the new Cold Blooded stat or the previou stat from being Juiced).

You also keep your class-based bonuses (not the bonuses from being Juiced, but rather the ones from being a Juicer OCC, and not the stat bonuses as those were already applied), with a -1 penalty (yes, this means you lose the extra attack). This represents that your training as a Juicer is similar to training as a Cold Blooded.

However, you would NOT gain the bonuses from being a Cold Blooded OCC (which, similar to Juicer/Crazy, will be separated out as those inherent to the Cold Blooded Augmentation process and those granted by training as a Cold Blooded) - use your old Juicer bonuses with the penalty instead.

As this was also brought up in a recent thread: Yes, it should be possible for Cyborgs (even Full-Conversion ones, except the “brain in a box is all that is left” types) to get Bio-systems and transition back to being “human” if they want to. (Or possibly get new bodies in highly advanced places).

Im not going to go over a full breakdown of all the stat/bonus splits for each Juicer Variant, each Cyborg OCC, (though i’d cut the number of Cyborg OCCs significantly, with regional variants being just that - variants with slightly different skill selections, unless they are truly significantly different like the Sovietski or Warlord OCCs; you’d probably just have Combat Cyborg (Full or Partial Conversion), Slave Borg (of various types), Cyber Humanoid (Borg-in-disguise), and Headhunter (Partial Borg with a unique set of bonuses distinct from those of the Combat Cyborg), with the Cyber-Slinger and Russian OCCs being the only major outliers. (The NGR and CS and Merc/non-CS/NGR/FQ Combat Cyborg OCC basically being the same in terms of the bonuses the OCC provides, and only the skill selections being different), etc.. - just trying to get the basic idea out there and the Juicer seemed like the best one to detail to get the gist... which is that there would rules laid out for converting from one type of Augmentation to another, when it is feasible, in which direction it can go, and what bonuses and penalties to use in each situation. (Though the complex rules would likely not be in a Core Rulebook, but rather a supplement specifically dealing with Augmented characters).

Thoughts?

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:52 am
  

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Adventurer

Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:00 pm
Posts: 445
Location: a west coast
switching to the borg or juicer class represents both the process of enhancement and the coming to terms with what's happened to your body (in the borg's case , coming to terms with losing the whole thing) not just "getting an upgrade" which seems to be how you see it. you still have to relearn how your body works and dedicate yourself to that, much like how amputees have to relearn a whole new way to use their new fake legs. so you have to take the juicer or borg OCCs.

if you have the money, you're able to do that. but you're also living with the consequences and you're kind of just glossing over that to argue your point.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:55 pm
  

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Knight

Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 2:01 am
Posts: 3734
Location: Nashville.....ish....
We have always tended to kinda ignore the upgrading issues. The OCCs for Juicers, Borgs etc as is are the norm for a starting character, but if you have a 3rd level CS Grunt who gets chewed up and becomes a Borg it might take a period to transition to the new body, but he is going to be moving on from a 3rd lvl Grunt, unless he goes back to training and "starts over".

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:00 pm
  

D-Bee

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
Posts: 5
Well part of this stems from me wanting to make sure that the OCCs themselves all have something unique to the OCC.

Thus, Borg and Juicer OCCs getting slightly better bonuses no matter what, the kind of thing. Thats at least part of the intent at least.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:42 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 8:11 pm
Posts: 1826
Location: Bloomington, IL
A lot of the more recent OCCs have those types of effects...Gladiator is one...

I think that your idea has merit, but you might be able to work around the challenges with unique house rules.

For example, a “slow” transition to borg fits with your concept better than something that occurs all at once...

For a juicer or crazy, perhaps their is something more resilient about a younger character or a character that has not fully expended their PPE

Or maybe there are multiple types, like a maximan vs a a tattooed slave


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:43 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 8:11 pm
Posts: 1826
Location: Bloomington, IL
The other alternative is to give the grunt a JAEP


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:51 am
  

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Champion

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 2695
Location: Dino Swamp (well...should be "underseas")
I concur in spirit. A juiced grunt is still a grunt who now has superhuman powers due to drugs. He doesnt plug in a bio comp and all of a sudden learn more languages...

However, there is some time needed to learn how to USE the bio comp and to adjust. I do use the 2000 XP till level 1 time period as the adjustment phase. But I also grant the bonuses as given.

Skills and knowledge remain the same though, frozen at the level the character was as a Grunt until he reaches the same level as a juicer. Then they start to advance again. If he wants to learn one of those two additional languages...he has to wait until the character would learn them as he advances through as a Juicer, specifically at levels 2, 5, 7, 9 and 12...but only when he finally surpasses the level he was as a grunt.

Example: Level 4 grunt gets juiced. He becomes a level 0 Juicer (With grunt skills). At level 1, he gets all the Juicer OCC bonuses (and loses the Grunt OCC bonuses). He earns enough xp to become a level 4 Juicer and his OCC level has met his skill level and existing skills now continue to grow (effectivally being a low level juicer, but enjoying higher skill % for a while). At level 5 he gets one of the Juicer OCC Related Skills (as opposed to a Grunt OCC skill). Same thing for Secondary Skills...now use the Juicer chart, not the Grunt Chart.

Magic works the same way. If the grunt learns to be a LLW and becomes a level 0 LLW. 2000 xp later he earns level 1 and he gets the level 1 bonuses, to include a new base PPE and base spells, but does not earn any new skills, PPE, or spells until he meets the level he was as a grunt and the character advances as normal.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:27 am
  

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Knight

Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2001 1:01 am
Posts: 5908
Location: Clone Lab 27
I would point out the O in OCC is occupational occupations can class.
Would the CS use a heavily augmented grunt the same as a normal grunt, or would he start getting used as a combat borg.
Changing a OCC is typically the result of a major life event but you do not loose the bonuses of the first class they just no longer advance in that occupation.
If significant augmentation is not an example of a major life event I do not know what is.

So lets use your grunt to partial conversion borg the would still have the skills and bones of a level 3 grunt. But is no longer advancing the same line. So they are frozen at that level.
He then spends time learning to use his new body. (0 level)
Learning to advance from level 0 to 1 can be used to justify picking up skills of the occ.
Any skill choices available should be made to match skills he already has.

A GM is free to say the charter Occupation does not have to change or such.
However the closest we have to balance is the rate classes advance at, so many GMS fill that a change in OCC maintains the balance.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:23 pm
  

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Knight

Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 2:01 am
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Location: Nashville.....ish....
It is all a balance of how you want to play your game. An interesting thing to look at is in WB 11 under some of the CS classes. It mentions briefly in the Psi-Net/Nt-Set OCCs about some soldiers switching to these jobs while keeping old skills, such as HTH Commando. Not a rule setter or anything, but a little in book example of changing jobs.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:14 am
  

D-Bee

Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:49 am
Posts: 1
Borg and Juicer OCCs getting slightly better bonuses no matter what, the kind of thing. Thats at least part of the intent at least.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:39 pm
  

Hero

Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:36 am
Posts: 1189
I take switching OCCs as a huge life-changing event. You can't just "choose" to be a Borg. There is a serious reason for it.

All of a sudden you wake up, your strength is off the charts, and you can't feel anything.

Suddenly your prowl is shot because you no longer can feel things like you used to. Your piloting is hampered because you don't have the fine strength control that you once did. Etc etc.

So - Here is some real life examples of this.

In 2016 I was involved in a pretty bad accident. I was a passenger in an SUV and was struck by a semi.

Prior to this I was a college professor, a professional gamer, and a game designer.

In the aftermath I lost some ability to walk (left leg doesn't work right) and some sensitivity in my right hand. I suffered a minor brain injury as well.

Now - My cognitive ability is completely intact, as are all of my mental faculties (thank God) but my brain chemistry is all out of whack. This caused me to develop bipolar disorder (and some PTSD).

But here are things I can't do so well:

A minor loss of sensitivity in my right hand *murdered* my professional gaming tag. I struggle now with combos in fighting games that I used to do without a thought. This is from an estimated 3-5% loss. I can't even imagine a 100% loss of sensitivity.

My concentration and focus are severely impacted by the medications to manage my bipolar. I'm slowly getting back to the point where I can teach again, but it has taken over 3 years to get this far.

Those are the examples of what getting juiced or borged would do. Which is why changing OCCs is so hard.


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