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  • Electrokinesis and biocomps

    Why is Orgotek so focused on biotech, when their Aptitude gives them so much more facility with hardtech? The average low-level EK can't do anything to use or affect biotech that any Joe on the street can't do. Is there something I'm missing?

    An EK can use Tap (Techno 1) to read a hardtech computer, or Access/Control (Techno 2/3) to totally control any hardtech electronic system, from computers to guns to vehicles. However, they require at least Anima (Electromanipulation 4) to have any control over biotech, but that only lasts for a few rounds and doesn't even let them read any data stored on biocomp systems (for that, they need the highest-level power, Ghost.) Tap does say that "the psion can use it on any device... that is connected to a wireless network the psion is on," but Technokinesis also explicitly states that it only affects non-living machinery, so I don't know whether that means I can access a biocomp via my cell phone or not.

    Also, despite being described as affecting bioware as easily as humans, the rules for Electromanipulation powers focus on characters and ignore biotech entirely. Can you disrupt a psi gauntlet with Bioelectrical Awareness, since it doesn't have Survival or Stamina? Can you control an Orgotek Hummingbird hovercycle with Anima, since it doesn't have Integrity or Stamina? What happens if I use Enhancement on my biocomp or my biotech laser pistol?

    This was less of a problem in 1E, mostly since biocomps didn't really exist back then. 2E seems to be pushing for biocomps and all types of biotech to be much more common, though (especially in certain places, like Sudamerica,) which feels like it might complicate things when the Storyguide needs to decide whether an EK can affect a random system or not. And yeah, you can always just mundanely hack any given system, but in that case what's the point of having psychic powers?

  • #2
    Technokinesis works on Biotech as well as Hard tech, that’s my approach. At least WAS, but as I read the text again I can be wrong.

    Well, you can have the same results from Tap, Access and Control with Biotech by using Precision Understanding and Anima. Yes, it’s on higher dots, but still possible.

    Also, Biotech has a few advantages: it’s harder to hack, it’s impossible to be hacked by Aberrants (by their powers, by regular methods it’s just harder), it interact better with the psion body (as if it was part of it, almost) and it can do a few things that are not possible with hard tech (for example enhance Psi powers and have Psi powers themselves).

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    • #3
      I mean, it would certainly be easier if Technokinesis worked on biotech, but it explicitly doesn't as written ("Technokinesis controls the flow of electricity and data through non-living machinery.") And I would probably houserule that Precision Understanding and Access work like Tap/Access/Control for biotech, but again, as written, they explicitly do not allow that, and Anima is dramatically less useful than Access/Control anyway (with regards to tech--it's obviously got a ton of non-tech applications, so I'm not actually mad at it.)

      And yes, I know about all the ways biotech is great, it's one of my favorite parts of the Aeon setting! I just wish there was more Electrokinetic rules support for it; 1E at least had "this is how this power affects humans/aliens, and this is how it affects bioware." I think the Aeon Aexpansion is supposed to deal with noetic Super Science and probably more BioVARGs and stuff, so hopefully we'll get a lot more info to work with there.

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      • #4
        The technokinesis would be useful only on non-attuned biotech, as the ones attuned to the Psion, interact direct with the mind with no need of display. Basically, any character attuned to a biocomp can tap, access and control it anyway, and Precision Understanding and Anima are designed to work on biotech without need to attuned to it and even if it’s attuned to other character.

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        • #5
          Wynterknight - you’re quite right. Electrokinetics are meant to be generally as capable with biotech as they are with hardtech, but we wrote the Electromanipulation rules with creatures in mind rather than bioapps. I wish you (or someone) had have noticed earlier in the process.

          Never mind. I’ve put together the below additions to the electromanipulation powers to try out. They’re untested at this stage, appreciate player feedback.

          Electromanipulation and bioapps.

          Through electromanipulation, EKs are generally as skilled at manipulating biomachines as they are hardtech electronics. Bioapps have an inherent resistance to such manipulation due to their psionic nature. Each bioapp imposes Difficulty equal to its Formatting Tolerance rating. If the electrokinetic fails to buy off this Difficulty her power has no effect on the bioapp. The Difficulty even applies to beneficial effects, though the formatted user of a formatted bioapp may choose to remove the penalty if he chooses and is touching the bioapp. Alternatively, a psion may substitute her Psi Trait as Difficulty for electrokinetics to affect any of her formatted bioapps that are in physical contact with her. In addition, bioapps created and used by non-human species incur an additional +1 Difficulty for the electrokinetic. This penalty also applies to non-humans attempting to manipulate human bioware.

          Bioelectrical Awareness
          The psion can disrupt the bioelectric flows within bioapps, hampering their performance. The psion may impose +1 Difficulty per success spent for anyone to use the technology. This endures for a number of rounds equal to the psion’s Mode dots.

          Precision Understanding
          The psion can read any unencrypted data contained within a bioapp as per the one-dot Technokinesis ability Tap. Bioapps with an attitude (p. 195) add this to the Difficulty the psion must overcome. By spending one success the electrokinetic also gains insight into the function and purpose of the bioapp.

          Enhancement
          The psion can improve the performance of bioapps, granting a device +1 Enhancement per success spent up to a maximum of Mode Dots/2. This power lasts for the psion’s Duration.

          Anima
          Success allows the psion to control any unformatted bioapp with her Range as if it were formatted to her. This does not count towards her Tolerance rating but the electrokinetic may only control a maximum number of bioapps this way equal to her Mode Dots. Each additional controlled device is a separate use of this power.

          Ghost
          The psion may use her bioelectrical mastery to ‘spoof’ the specific psionic signature of a bioapp’s formatted owner. Doing so gives the electrokinetic control of the bioware as if it were formatted to her but doesn’t count against her tolerance rating. Using Ghost in this manner doesn’t remove the original owner’s control but can make unhindered use of the device problematic for him. The electrokinetic may spoof control of additional pieces of formatted bioware by paying successes equal to the Formatted Tolerance rating. Psions aren’t limited to spoofing a single bioelectric signature through this power, but each individual copied is a separate use of the power.
          Last edited by Bunyip; 08-24-2019, 08:16 AM. Reason: Refining the effects.


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          • #6
            Bunyip, I think we could manage to create a Errata/FAQ, on the same style as the Scion one. Maybe we can help to flesh it out and you try bring it to OPP to prepare it.

            There are too many things we don’t have access yet, like the Aexpansion, but we can probably bring a list of missing things in Aeon.

            Anyway, I like the way electromanipulation is described to Bioapps. Looks much like the way it works on creatures, but on the proper limitations of a bio app.

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            • #7
              Okay, I’ve tweaked a couple but I think they work out okay now. Electrokinetics can now make bioapps harder to use; understand their general purpose and read any data; make them work better; control unformatted as if they were formatted; and control formatted as if it were her own. Hopefully it’s thematically similar but separate enough from Technokinesis.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
                Bunyip, I think we could manage to create a Errata/FAQ, on the same style as the Scion one. Maybe we can help to flesh it out and you try bring it to OPP to prepare it.
                I don’t think that’s the way to go. Maybe some of these will appear in subsequent books, or via the Storypath Nexus once it’s opened to Trinity, but I don’t think sending out a couple of pages of ‘errata’ is the right choice here.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bunyip View Post

                  I don’t think that’s the way to go. Maybe some of these will appear in subsequent books, or via the Storypath Nexus once it’s opened to Trinity, but I don’t think sending out a couple of pages of ‘errata’ is the right choice here.
                  Just to note, the core explains Narrative Scale as applying the Scale difference as a straight multiplier to successes rather than Scale Difference PLUS ONE (so RAW, a Scale difference of 1 does nothing in terms of Narrative Scale). So some degree of official errata is called for if some other less imperative stuff is worth putting in too.
                  Last edited by glamourweaver; 08-24-2019, 10:34 AM.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post

                    Just to note, the core explains Narrative Scale as applying the Scale difference as a straight multiplier to successes rather than Scale Difference PLUS ONE (so RAW, a Scale difference of 1 does nothing in terms of Narrative Scale). So some degree of official errata is called for if some other less imperative stuff is worth putting in too.
                    This scale multiplier is just wrong all the way, not the multiplier per se, but the way it is not defined and used in several situations, for example the number of followers in Aberrant. If it’s going to be used as a number you have to tel us the number, if not don’t use it as a number at all.
                    My reference of what is a scale change is the times 5 that you get on the 6th dot in Psi powers, but it’s not exactly clear.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bunyip View Post
                      Wynterknight - you’re quite right. Electrokinetics are meant to be generally as capable with biotech as they are with hardtech, but we wrote the Electromanipulation rules with creatures in mind rather than bioapps. I wish you (or someone) had have noticed earlier in the process.
                      Oh wow, I was not expecting such a big response. Sorry, I was late to the game and missed both the Aeon and Aberrant kickstarters, so I'm playing catch up (honestly, I only got copies of the various manuscripts via various filesharing sites. I'm super excited for the actual books and pdfs to be available for purchase!)

                      Originally posted by Bunyip View Post
                      Electromanipulation and bioapps.

                      Through electromanipulation, EKs are generally as skilled at manipulating biomachines as they are hardtech electronics. Bioapps have an inherent resistance to such manipulation due to their psionic nature. Each bioapp imposes Difficulty equal to its Formatting Tolerance rating. If the electrokinetic fails to buy off this Difficulty her power has no effect on the bioapp. The Difficulty even applies to beneficial effects, though the formatted user of a formatted bioapp may choose to remove the penalty if he chooses and is touching the bioapp. Alternatively, a psion may substitute her Psi Trait as Difficulty for electrokinetics to affect any of her formatted bioapps that are in physical contact with her. In addition, bioapps created and used by non-human species incur an additional +1 Difficulty for the electrokinetic. This penalty also applies to non-humans attempting to manipulate human bioware.

                      Bioelectrical Awareness
                      The psion can disrupt the bioelectric flows within bioapps, hampering their performance. The psion may impose +1 Difficulty per success spent for anyone to use the technology. This endures for a number of rounds equal to the psion’s Mode dots.

                      Precision Understanding
                      The psion can read any unencrypted data contained within a bioapp as per the one-dot Technokinesis ability Tap. Bioapps with an attitude (p. 195) add this to the Difficulty the psion must overcome. By spending one success the electrokinetic also gains insight into the function and purpose of the bioapp.

                      Enhancement
                      The psion can improve the performance of bioapps, granting a device +1 Enhancement per success spent up to a maximum of Mode Dots/2. This power lasts for the psion’s Duration.
                      Haven't tested it out yet, obviously, but this all looks solid to me.

                      Originally posted by Bunyip View Post
                      Anima
                      Success allows the psion to control any unformatted bioapp with her Range as if it were formatted to her. This does not count towards her Tolerance rating but the electrokinetic may only control a maximum number of bioapps this way equal to her Mode Dots. Each additional controlled device is a separate use of this power.
                      I think this could use some tightening up.
                      1) When you say "unformatted bioapp," do you just mean that it isn't formatted to the EK, or that it isn't formatted to anyone?
                      2) When you say "control... as if it were formatted to her," does that simply allow her to treat an unformatted item as if it was formatted to her (so she could slip into somebody else's Locust Hybrid Fighter or gain the formatting enhancement of a biolaser pistol), or can she actually control it (so she could make an unoccupied Locust Hybrid Fighter take off and fly around, or make an unattended biolaser pistol start firing)?
                      3) What's the duration?

                      Originally posted by Bunyip View Post
                      Ghost
                      The psion may use her bioelectrical mastery to ‘spoof’ the specific psionic signature of a bioapp’s formatted owner. Doing so gives the electrokinetic control of the bioware as if it were formatted to her but doesn’t count against her tolerance rating. Using Ghost in this manner doesn’t remove the original owner’s control but can make unhindered use of the device problematic for him. The electrokinetic may spoof control of additional pieces of formatted bioware by paying successes equal to the Formatted Tolerance rating. Psions aren’t limited to spoofing a single bioelectric signature through this power, but each individual copied is a separate use of the power.
                      I'm not sure how this is functionally different from Anima, unless I'm misunderstanding one or the other.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Wynterknight View Post
                        1) When you say "unformatted bioapp," do you just mean that it isn't formatted to the EK, or that it isn't formatted to anyone?
                        I think it’s pretty clear that ‘unformatted bioapp’ means an app that isn’t formatted to anyone. Particularly when read in context of the Ghost power. Formatting requires an hour, special equipment, and contributes to a psion’s Tolerance. This is a cheat that electrokinetics can use to overcome these limitations, albeit on a more temporary basis.

                        Originally posted by Wynterknight View Post
                        2) When you say "control... as if it were formatted to her," does that simply allow her to treat an unformatted item as if it was formatted to her (so she could slip into somebody else's Locust Hybrid Fighter or gain the formatting enhancement of a biolaser pistol), or can she actually control it (so she could make an unoccupied Locust Hybrid Fighter take off and fly around, or make an unattended biolaser pistol start firing)?
                        If it’s unformatted, the latter.

                        Edit: to be clearer, both effects are intended.

                        Originally posted by Wynterknight View Post
                        3) What's the duration?
                        Mode dots times Duration.

                        Originally posted by Wynterknight View Post
                        I'm not sure how this is functionally different from Anima, unless I'm misunderstanding one or the other.
                        Anima doesn’t work on taking control of formatted bioapps. If someone else has formatted it, you can’t use it. That’s true of most biotech anyway - usually only the formatted user can operate the machinery at all, occasionally others can use the device as if it were unformatted. This allows the electrokinetic to pick up someone’s formatted pistol and shoot it to full effect. It also allows the psion to try and cancel the owner’s control - ordering the gun to discharge all its shots before the owner shoots the electrokinetic, for example. May require some challenge mechanics, I’ll think on those later.

                        Ghost also allows the electrokinetic to take charge in emergencies, for example, to take full control of a Scarab in the middle of a pitched battle where the pilot or gunner (or both) have been knocked unconscious.
                        Last edited by Bunyip; 08-25-2019, 12:38 AM.


                        Writer. Developer. World of Darkness | Chronicles of Darkness | The Trinity Continuum

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bunyip View Post

                          I think it’s pretty clear that ‘unformatted bioapp’ means an app that isn’t formatted to anyone. Particularly when read in context of the Ghost power. Formatting requires an hour, special equipment, and contributes to a psion’s Tolerance. This is a cheat that electrokinetics can use to overcome these limitations, albeit on a more temporary basis.
                          Okay, yeah, that makes sense and solves all of my other problems, then. I keep forgetting about the changes to Tolerance between 1E and 2E; neutrals couldn't format or even use much biotech in 1E, so it was mostly psion-only, and there was usually little reason not to format it. All of the 2E changes should make unformatted bioware much more common.

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                          • #14
                            Yes, in 2e neutral humans can use a lot of biotech, and even format a few pieces. It would be hard to introduce and dominate the new market if the majority of your customers couldn’t use what you were selling, after all. Plus, as biotech sweeps the market, those people who don’t use it start to stand out. And when we know Aberrants specifically *can’t* use biotech...


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                            • #15
                              I’m assuming as lower tier quantum users Superiors won’t be able to either - but we’ll see.


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