How are implants used?

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norathem norathem's picture
How are implants used?

So basically I've come up with two ideas of how you are connected to the implants in your morph:

1. They are connected to your nerve system, you use them the same way you use your limbs, fingers etc. now.

2. They are wireless connected to your Basic Mesh Insert.

To clarify about the origin of the questions: It's not about how you actually use them but more about the fact, that in the second case Implants could be hacked, deactivated or even used against it's owner.

Also is the method used the same for every implant? If you ask me about some "Enhanced Vision" Implant I'd go for the first answer but how about a wrist mounted tool?

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
I think it would depend on

I think it would depend on several factors. First is what is the implant's purpose, since the management of almost all implants can either be biological, autonomous, or electronic.

For example, a wrist-mounted blade or some "taser punches" can be tied to biomechanical triggers or to mesh-controlled commands. The first version would prevent not only hacking, but also would make it difficult for another ego to know and activate them (and a puppet sock can make it impossible).

As a GM I would use some discretion, limiting the "non-hackable" implants to simple ones, or those implanted on people belonging to really security-conscious groups, like the Ultimates (this guys would go for a "if it can be hacked, I want none of it"), while on the other hand the rabble would go for the "chrome" (like most thugs you can find in the "The Devotees" adventure).

Players would need to indicate if their implants do not follow the trend, regardless of the implant being electronic or biological in its nature, but assuming most bio-based implants lack milimetrical control but are not directly hackable, at least in the "forced activation" part (for example, seizing a morph with bio-feedback controlled claws won't allow for easy deployment of the claws, but can prevent the precise movements that deploy said claws).

I'd go with the "try not to frustrate your players" approach, however, and reserve that stuff against them for really important enemies that you need to get out, or to force a resleeve of the players.

As a player, remember you can increase one category of cost any given implant to change its nature between biological and electronic.

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
I think it varies from person

I think it varies from person to person, hypercorp to hypercorp, or even faction to faction.

Some people might be fine with total integration. Others might have a hard time and might need an off switch. Some businesses cater to one type of crowd while another business caters to another. Some factions encourage pushing the limits of the mods their morphs have while other factions try to 'protect' humanity by keeping everyone 'normal'.

My point is, I think the setting allows for there to be multiple ways to control your implants. Any given morph could have several installed (likely if you had it modded in many different places).

By the way, why would your implants be wireless? If its part of your morph, shouldn't you make it a wired connection to your mesh inserts? I think going wireless is going out of your way to make your implants vulnerable to hacking. It also creates 'noise' on the mesh while you operate the implants, which can be a bad thing when you should be radio silent.

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
DivineWrath wrote:

DivineWrath wrote:

By the way, why would your implants be wireless? If its part of your morph, shouldn't you make it a wired connection to your mesh inserts? I think going wireless is going out of your way to make your implants vulnerable to hacking. It also creates 'noise' on the mesh while you operate the implants, which can be a bad thing when you should be radio silent.

Because of PAN philosophy, it can be argued that implants that are either off or not using 100% of their processing power work together with the distributed processing outside of the body.

Or in some situations, either the implant is deemed to need a wireless I/O with the exterior, either the cabling is difficult, impractical or straightly impossible.

norathem norathem's picture
DivineWrath wrote:

DivineWrath wrote:

By the way, why would your implants be wireless? If its part of your morph, shouldn't you make it a wired connection to your mesh inserts? I think going wireless is going out of your way to make your implants vulnerable to hacking. It also creates 'noise' on the mesh while you operate the implants, which can be a bad thing when you should be radio silent.

I don't think that your points apply to most users. We are not talking about some specialist Infiltrator in a Ghost-Morph here. For "normal" people being radio silent isn't that much of a concern and accessing your implants wirelessly seems like a much easier approach than constructing an extra cable through your body into your brain.

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
I'm under the impression that

I'm under the impression that making a cable to your brain, or some other wired connection, was the norm.

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
DivineWrath wrote:I'm under

DivineWrath wrote:
I'm under the impression that making a cable to your brain, or some other wired connection, was the norm.

Sometimes there is no need (stuff tied to biofeedback. For example, claws that only extend when flexing certain muscles in a certain way, or combat drugs that get secreted when the stress levels reach certain threshold).

Sometimes, it is quick graft controlled with something like NFC.

And of course, sometimes it is not wired to the brain, but to a secondary "control station" that is wired to the brain and your PAN, so when you get hacked only those implants are, but your biological parts or the like are safe(ish).

After thinking a bit about his, I would add that all the "default" implants of a body should be wired (or equivalent), since those are "grown" with the body, unless explicitly listed as having I/O tunnels with the exterior (wireless, or interface ports, or...). Then, as I said before, it would depend on the morph's history, since a body you got by Firewall that was in the local body shoppe that was repo'ed from the Guanxi will have little extra implants, or those will be crude jobs, or it will be an interesting piece belonging to a wealthy boss who wants it back...

Tallcastle Tallcastle's picture
DivineWrath wrote:I think it

DivineWrath wrote:
I think it varies from person to person, hypercorp to hypercorp, or even faction to faction.

Some people might be fine with total integration. Others might have a hard time and might need an off switch.

DivineWrath basically struck the nail on the head. It depends on where you are and who your dealing with. Read the “Panopticon” sourcebook again when you get a chance, or the sections “Exoplanet Mesh Networks” and “Getting Used To Isolation” on pages 51 and 52 of “Gatecrashing”. 99% of transhumanity have completely adopted an “always online” lifestyle, the vast majority of them having never experienced a circumstance where they did not have direct and unrestricted access to the mesh.

  • A hypercorp employee fully expects that every product they interact with would have mesh access. The shoes on their feet record their number of steps, count burnt calories, track every movement via GPS, and faithfully post this data on their profiles and lifelogs. The average carton of juice or box of cereal would have micro sensors embedded recording how often the container is tipped to the side, reliably recording portion size and meal frequency, this meta data finding its way into the vast array of customer information hypercorps use to guess after the desires of their consumers.
  • In contrast, a citizen of an autonomous community that prescribing to the “Sousveillance” meme, will also be used to every item they interact with connecting with the mesh in some way. These individuals firmly believe that the safety and freedom of their community and everyone in it depend utterly on everyone knowing everything about everyone else. Any product acquired from a community of this kind would certainly contain any number of recording devices, each one accessible to anyone who so much as thinks to look. In this environment, it is at the very least rude and in some cases even illegal to hide information from the collective.
  • In both of these examples mesh access, even when not explicitly necessary, would be the norm. An agent would have to go out of his way to find or design an implant that did NOT include a deliberate mesh vulnerability. For most people, there would never be a NEED to avoid such a thing. They are not that important, or (as with the case of most PC's) they never find themselves where such a precaution is necessary.

  • On the reverse end of this, a typical gatecrasher would likely have little use for mesh access. Most of the environments they interact with are unlikely to even HAVE a mesh network. Those that do may be alien in nature (and dangerous to connect with) or could even be placed there by a residual TITAN presence (even MORE dangerous to connect with.)
  • Morphs provided by hypercorp organizations such as Oversight and clandestine agencies such as Firewall are also likely to provide morphs and equipment lacking traditional mesh connectivity. Certainly for the same reasons the average PC should be concerned about it … they can be hacked.
  • On the Extreme end of this spectrum are the Ultimate TITAN-killer group known as Rajput. This group enters battle explicitly severed from the mesh. Analog war gear and equipment, exclusively mechanical vehicles and artillery, and morphs that (while still quite advanced) have the mesh access of a standard Flat. They are after all fighting TITAN's, and have learned their lesson from past experience.
  • If you want to know if mesh access is likely for a particular component, just consider where the implant comes from, and who provides it.

    We tinker with metal, to give it life, and suffer those who scoff at our efforts. But who's to say that, if intelligence evolved in other forms, the ancestors of these beings would not scoff at the idea of intelligence residing within meat?