Looking for Infomorph advice

26 posts / 0 new
Last post
Nike Nike's picture
Looking for Infomorph advice

So I've been working on a character for a local game that'd be starting up. Got the concept all mapped out, happy with the story... and now I'm having trouble with actual game mechanics. The concept for the character was a person who operates nearly solely via the mesh, and mostly runs as the overwatch for the party.

The big problem I'm running into is that it seems, and I'm not sure if this because of intent or interpretation, that playing an infomorph is really shooting yourself in the foot. Intelligence boosting, skill software, and even tricks for using forks in unison, all seem to require a physical body to use. Operating in the digital realm doesn't actually seem to help at all.

Are there any resources that I'm overlooking that I should consider? I'm not sure how to approach making her the smart, wise, and quick thinking one, when those are more traits of your body than mind.


Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Personally I think most of

Personally I think most of the cognitive implants work just as well in software versions. I always assume they exist as equally priced software.

Extropian

Decivre Decivre's picture
I agree with Arenamontanus.

I agree with Arenamontanus. With the exception of multiple personalities, I allow every mental augmentation bioware in the core book as software. I would also allow dead switch, skillware, oracles, emotional dampers, endocrine control, memory lock, neural enhancers, hypermesh link and parallel processor all as software as well. As a general rule, if it affects the mind, then it's probably allowable as software.

Neurochem, reflex boosters and mental speed also affect the mind, so I would allow them to work as software. However, since they all effectively require a faster brain emulation, I think they should have the caveat that they require hardware more powerful than the standard mesh inserts or ectos to utilize. Do note that since infomorphs run at speed 3 already, you probably don't need both neurochem and reflex boosters.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Arenamontanus wrote

Arenamontanus wrote:
Personally I think most of the cognitive implants work just as well in software versions. I always assume they exist as equally priced software.

I'd say those would be only hardware-related, thus requiring processing power. Infomorphs are not desinged to be "main bodies" but transitional ones, the best option for what you want is to get a vody with a cyberbrain and "release" yourself into an infomorph state when needed, and go back to the body when convenient (please do note that you can get a biomorph and implant it a cyberbrain). If you want my suggestion, I'd go for Steel morph (mesked variant) from Panopticon if you don't care about the cost, or you can go for the case morph buying the blueprints directly for cheap bodies when needed.

Edit: neurachme, reflex booster and the like are definitely out of the turf of software. I think we need some sort of explanation from PHS about the use of accelerated simulspaces and hakcing, specially in combat... After all, if you can run up to 150 faster than normal time inside a simulspace, why not hack from that? Of course, the defender would do that too (unless it is in the real world...), placing things in a 1:1 equality.

As for the Reflex booster, doesnt it use an improvement on neural transmitters to work? The neurachem does the same, to an extent: the mind is already faster than the body, and the Speed enhancements close the gap between the two, after all, improving the hardware.

Jaberwo Jaberwo's picture
I would be careful to allow

I would be careful to allow eveything as software, because then you could use that on cyberbrains as well, which seems not to be the case in the canon universe.

In my game you can just upgrade the computer your ego and infomorph is running on with the same hardware as in normal morphs. I would only allow pure software augmentations if they improved the simulated body of the infomorph (which is something different than a VR Avatar in my game).

Decivre Decivre's picture
Jaberwo wrote:I would be

Jaberwo wrote:
I would be careful to allow eveything as software, because then you could use that on cyberbrains as well, which seems not to be the case in the canon universe.

It depends. A cyberbrain is a limited processing system designed to emulate brain function at a real-time pace. It does nothing more than that, and still must be linked to mesh inserts in order to get software-running functions. As such, the cyberbrain itself probably does not have the means, hardware-wise, to run further software beyond the emulation. Thus, it isn't possible with a standard cyberbrain to run software augmentations.

However, I would allow a player to purchase an advanced cyberbrain that can do these things, or even act as mesh inserts all on their own. I would even rule that the character gets the advantage of having a speed of 3 if their speed is any lower (but any speed beyond what is already allowed by their body is purely mental or mesh actions). But the disadvantage is that since your brain counts as mesh inserts, your brain can be hacked directly rather than having to hack your inserts first, or utilize access jacks.

Jaberwo wrote:
In my game you can just upgrade the computer your ego and infomorph is running on with the same hardware as in normal morphs. I would only allow pure software augmentations if they improved the simulated body of the infomorph (which is something different than a VR Avatar in my game).

What do you mean by a simulated body? Infomorphs are pure brain emulations with no body or metaphorical representation whatsoever. Simulmorphs have bodies, but only exist in the context of a simulspace.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Lorsa Lorsa's picture
As all mental augmentations

As all mental augmentations can be bought as cyberware as well, I just assumed you could buy them as hardware upgrade for an infomorph. I guess the real question is whether or not you want the upgrades to be software or hardware based, because there's no real reason they shouldn't be allowed.

Lorsa is a Forum moderator

Red text is for moderator stuff

Jaberwo Jaberwo's picture
So it seems we think about

So it seems we think about this the same way, we just approach it from different directions.

I say you need specialized hardware in adddition to the normal computer that runs your mind (be it a meat brain, a cyberbrain or the thing an infomorph runs on) to have the advantages of the various augmentations. Of course software is needed too, but that is included when you get the hardware.

You say you can get the software, but you need to get extra hardware to run it, so no major difference there I think. :)

As for the simulated body: My interpretation of these things diverges a bit from the descriptions in the book, because I felt there were some problems.

Simulated Reality takes these forms in my game:

Augmented Reality is just like it is described, it adds virtual data to the sensory channels, but because your actions are real, it can not simulate real weight or inertia of objects, besides a slight feeling of pressure on the skin.

Virtual Reality is more or less AR but it uses all sensory channels at once and suppresses the real sensor information. Also it intercepts the signals you send to your body and uses them to manipulate a virtual one.
This virtual body also sends back positional information etc. just like a real body would, while you morphs signals are blocked.
This blocking works 100% with cyberbrains but not perfectly with biological ones, so you can try to concentrate on your real body and then get the -60 modifier mentioned in the books.

VR is low fi compared to being sleeved into a real morph and therefore you don't need to make alienation or integration tests, and you can always tell whether yor body is VR or real. VR works increasingly worse with bodies that are not similar to the one you are sleeved in. VR is what you do when you jam a shell (I give -10 for jamming and -20 for teleoperating).

An Infomorph is the same thing as a Simulmorph (Infomorph is usually used to refer to the whole person, while simulmorph refers to the simulated body they are using.)
You are completely integrated in this simulated body and it is difficult to decide whether it is real or not. This is hi fi sensory information.

(Most people need a few hours to notice the differences and if your morph resembles a synthmorph you can only find out that you are in a virtual world by looking at your simulated sourroundings,which can be almost indistinguisable from reality with enough (or a lot of) effort)

You make integration and alienation tests modified by the form of your simulmorph (exotic or humanoid etc.) and then interact with the simulated and real world normaly (e.g. write programs with AR like windows projected over your simulated environment).

Infomorphs don't have Speed 3 if they don't get the same augmentations real morphs need to be this fast. There is no simulspace acceleration beyond these augmentations.
(for most people. dedicated hardware can bring you over 4 but that is top of the line research and is plot material rather than anything else)

But I make a distinction between physical and mental Speed. Neurachem, reflex booster and the combat drugs give you physical as well as mental speed. You can think fast and your motor control stuff in your brain is also fast, so you can shoot jump and run as fast as you physical hardware (guns, legs) allow.

If you also get mental speed, that has no effect, because this acceleration is already included, but you can get it alone if you only want to think fast but don't need to move fast. So hackers or just normal infomorphs can have speed 3 with mental speed.
On a side note: if you buy mental speed three times and get multitasking you and your two short time semi-forks all have mental speed 3. (but I don't think I would allow them to jam drones with that speed or teleoperate them, but certainly command a lot of them, fast. Every forkmodule in your head would need neurachem or rebos for that)

Finally you can upgrade your simulmorph with simulated implants like enhanced phereomones, but depending on the simulation and the simulmorph of your target it might have no effect. If they have only a rudimentary simulation of smell or hormones in their simulmorph it just doesn't work.
On the other hand, if you want to move fast in your simulated body and get into virtual shootouts you need a real neurachem module rigth next to the hardware your mind is running on.
(It might be cheaper though because some parts don't have to be real and can be simulated, like extra nervetracts.)

The reasons for why I do it like this are the much discussed consequences of x60 simulspace acceleration and a few others.

For example: There is no difference between glueing a infomorph running computer inside a reaper and then have that infomorph jam it and actually sleeving into it. You can even sell the reflex booster because you already have speed 3.

And I really don't like how simulated worlds are supposed to feel hyper realistic if you can just go in and out of there without any complicated integration of your mind with the simulation, while it is oh so problematic to change your real body.

An infomorph without a simulated body is close to torture by sensory deprivation. Humans aren't build for that, at the very least it would feel like being quadriplegic. AGI are another matter though.

Well that post got a bit out of hand. :)
How do you deal with these problems, if you consider them problems at all?

TadanoriOyama TadanoriOyama's picture
It never occurred to me you

It never occurred to me you could just build modifications into the server (or other data storage device) an Infomorph is operating on because alot of them wouldn't have much function without something to alter. For example, Enhanced vision doesn't do you any good if you don't have eyes (or optical devices of your own in some fashion). But mental modifications as software... yeah, seems obvious now. I have an infomorph player who's going to be excited.


Nike Nike's picture
I suppose it'll be a lot of

I suppose it'll be a lot of negotiating with the person running the game. Well, I can deal with that. Always leaves a nagging sensation in my mind though, when I make a character that requires... alternate interpretations of the rules.


Decivre Decivre's picture
Jaberwo wrote:So it seems we

Jaberwo wrote:
So it seems we think about this the same way, we just approach it from different directions.

I say you need specialized hardware in adddition to the normal computer that runs your mind (be it a meat brain, a cyberbrain or the thing an infomorph runs on) to have the advantages of the various augmentations. Of course software is needed too, but that is included when you get the hardware.

You say you can get the software, but you need to get extra hardware to run it, so no major difference there I think. :)

I only think an upgrade in hardware is necessary for cyberbrains. Mesh inserts are explicitly stated to be capable of running an ego alongside more software, like hacking programs and the like. That tells me they have more processing capability than cyberbrains for running utilities, whether it be because cyberbrains have weaker processors or because it consumes too much processor capability to interact the brain emulation with the body. So I feel that mesh inserts have the means of running most augmentation software without the need for upgrades, while cyberbrains do not.

I make an exception for augmentations that increase speed or actions. They should require hardware upgrades (or perhaps a complete consumption of processor resources, in the case of mesh inserts), because they are explicitly making the emulation run faster and therefore take up more processor time.

Jaberwo wrote:
As for the simulated body: My interpretation of these things diverges a bit from the descriptions in the book, because I felt there were some problems.

Simulated Reality takes these forms in my game:

Ah, okay. I thought we were going by the standard mesh structure. Not a bad concept.

Jaberwo wrote:
The reasons for why I do it like this are the much discussed consequences of x60 simulspace acceleration and a few others.

For example: There is no difference between glueing a infomorph running computer inside a reaper and then have that infomorph jam it and actually sleeving into it. You can even sell the reflex booster because you already have speed 3.

Not really. When jamming a morph, you are limited to the speed of the morph you are in. So when you take over a morph with a speed of 1, you may only use one of your action phases controlling the body. A slow body hobbles you even while jamming. Also, I tend to interpret the book as saying that jammers don't get aptitude bonuses from the morph they are jamming (because it says that you treat it like remote controlling the body and use your own skills).

Jaberwo wrote:
And I really don't like how simulated worlds are supposed to feel hyper realistic if you can just go in and out of there without any complicated integration of your mind with the simulation, while it is oh so problematic to change your real body.

I can see that. Honestly, I find the integration/alienation rolls to be a bit badly handled. I houseruled in a number of my games that alienation rolls are only required if you have a homebrew negative trait, and integration rolls are required whenever you jam, sleeve, or enter a simulation; but I also reduced the length of time you have a hard time using your new body.

Jaberwo wrote:
An infomorph without a simulated body is close to torture by sensory deprivation. Humans aren't build for that, at the very least it would feel like being quadriplegic. AGI are another matter though.

It's not total sensory deprivation. Infomorphs detect the mesh, through a manner similar to how most people detect the mesh. The difference being that rather than being an overlay with your normal senses, an infomorphs mesh senses are the only senses they receive. I picture it like wearing VR goggles and noise-cancelling headphones attached to a computer with the web browser up; that only thing you see, hear, or sense at all is the internet and whatever that provides you.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Nike wrote:I suppose it'll be

Nike wrote:
I suppose it'll be a lot of negotiating with the person running the game. Well, I can deal with that. Always leaves a nagging sensation in my mind though, when I make a character that requires... alternate interpretations of the rules.

The game is still fairly new, and not all bases have been covered. The mesh as a whole, not just infomorphs, have gotten little love. Wait for them to release info on the mesh, and I'm sure we'll get official info on how to augment infomorphs.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
I'd say a Cyberbrain has more

I'd say a Cyberbrain has more processing power than the mesh inserts or the ectos, remember the description of both little gizmos: they use a sum of processing power from a lot of sources. You could understand that they house the software, but the processing power to run it comes form the surrounding mesh (when there is one). Of course that opens the question of what runs it when you are in a non-mesh zone, on foot.

About the integration/alienation rolls, I do not see them bad, specially since there are lots of advantages that allow for easier resleeving (and while you are limited at character creation to the amount of CPs you can spend on advantages, nothing prevents you from accumulating more later), and because you can expect "gear bonuses" for those rolls in a lot of situations (for example, relseeving in a well-equipped bodyshoppe instead of a hidden hellhole of a darkcast net), and finally because people, and I mean regular people, won't sleeve more than once or twice a year (if they do it at all), or will get the advantages really fast. Or become the reason mentioned in Sunward for using a shuttle instead of relseeving twice a week for spacedock workers in Mars.

As for the emulated body, well, the Mi'Go agree with you. Sadly, human nature does not: even in a sensory deprivation tank you can still feel, hear and taste without much effort: spit, skin, heartbeats... So having nothing at all can be very jarring, I believe.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Xagroth wrote:I'd say a

Xagroth wrote:
I'd say a Cyberbrain has more processing power than the mesh inserts or the ectos, remember the description of both little gizmos: they use a sum of processing power from a lot of sources. You could understand that they house the software, but the processing power to run it comes form the surrounding mesh (when there is one). Of course that opens the question of what runs it when you are in a non-mesh zone, on foot.

I disagree. A number of useful tools exist that would work for mesh inserts that don't have access to a mesh, the least of which is the ability to run a mind emulation. Of all the core book software I see, only facial/image recognition, tracking and tactical software make sense requiring cloud computing. The rest would be relatively worthless if they required the cloud to function (especially a firewall).

That said, a cyberbrain probably has comparable computing power, perhaps even more computing power. But the cyberbrain has to do things that mesh inserts simply don't have to do. The most obvious thing is that they have to interface with a body; an emulated brain has no need for a direct interface, and only need reproduce sensations and reaction through simulation. A process that can potentially require far less work to pull off. So it's likely that a cyberbrain has far more of its resources taxed than mesh inserts do with the emulation. In fact, cyberbrains are likely tailored to the body they are put in, having just enough resources to handle the brain emulation and mind-body interfacing. Likely the reason they come with mesh inserts as a separate component.

Xagroth wrote:
About the integration/alienation rolls, I do not see them bad, specially since there are lots of advantages that allow for easier resleeving (and while you are limited at character creation to the amount of CPs you can spend on advantages, nothing prevents you from accumulating more later), and because you can expect "gear bonuses" for those rolls in a lot of situations (for example, relseeving in a well-equipped bodyshoppe instead of a hidden hellhole of a darkcast net), and finally because people, and I mean regular people, won't sleeve more than once or twice a year (if they do it at all), or will get the advantages really fast. Or become the reason mentioned in Sunward for using a shuttle instead of relseeving twice a week for spacedock workers in Mars.

Alienation rolls don't really make sense to me… there is this innate presumption that people will have a hard time grasping the idea of being in a new body. I just have a hard time buying it. I'm not saying that it might not be difficult to get accustomed to a new body, but I think it ridiculous that most people will be pushed further and further towards insanity because of it. Minds are more adaptable than one might think.

To be honest, I'm not too fond of continuity rolls either. I can understand a roll when you come to the shocking realization that another copy of you that you had no knowledge of is floating about, or that you lost portions of your life somewhere out there… but I think it odd that being restored from cold storage would cause you serious mental problems. I don't think it should be any more shocking than your character entering a hibernation pod for a long while.

I think that alienation rolls (and continuity rolls, for that matter) are intended to be part and parcel to the horror feel of the setting. But I don't really like how they feel.

Xagroth wrote:
As for the emulated body, well, the Mi'Go agree with you. Sadly, human nature does not: even in a sensory deprivation tank you can still feel, hear and taste without much effort: spit, skin, heartbeats... So having nothing at all can be very jarring, I believe.

Except you don't have "nothing", you have all the sensory load that the mesh can provide. The only way you can have no sensations whatsoever is if you idle. I don't see many infomorphs doing that when they have open access to an unmitigated mesh.

And even if you can't surf the mesh, there are other potential things to do. Using the local network's spimes to get sensory data from the area, or if you are in a ghostrider module, getting XP data from the person you are riding. Hell, even surfing your drivespace full of videos, music and porn will provide you plenty of sensory data.

There's never a reason that an infomorph should be "senseless", despite having no physical or even metaphorical body. There's just too much for them to experience on the open mesh.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
I think that the mesh

I think that the mesh translates all the datafeed into something the mind is used to, instead of raw data, even for AGIs (since they are created to mimic human egos). All the depictions in the books, also, give an avatar to a character, and it has a sense of sorts to think of the ego requiring some sort of "body" all the time.

I'd say that Insanity in EP is both the "humanity loss" from cyberpunk and the "sanity loss" from Call of Cthulhu, so in that way the alienation test wouldn't be much of a shock for being into another body, but the realization that you are less human and the body is just a piece of gear that can be discarded without problem. Not to mention that it is one thing to sleeve into a human body, but to get your ego inside a Whiplash pod or a synthmorph can be quite jarring.
If you think it is a bother, of course, remove it altogether, but it can give a wide advantage to certain playstiles like the infomorph sleeving into synths (or cyberbrain-implanted biomorphs) and back to infomorph state as he deems advantageous.

The continuty tests, personally, I do them only when resleeving from death (even if it's a backup), not only for balance uses of sorts, or for the same reasons I was defending the alienation tests, but because one has to come to terms with having died or that you are a copy of somebody who died in a not so peaceful way.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Xagroth wrote:I think that

Xagroth wrote:
I think that the mesh translates all the datafeed into something the mind is used to, instead of raw data, even for AGIs (since they are created to mimic human egos). All the depictions in the books, also, give an avatar to a character, and it has a sense of sorts to think of the ego requiring some sort of "body" all the time.

Of course it translates it to sensory data, but not in the same sense as we see it today. When an infomorph surfs the mesh visually, the mesh makes up his entire vision; it's not like an overlay or a monitor, but your everything. In that same vein, sound from the mesh makes up your only audible sensory feed… it's not like surfing the web at home where you have the ambient sounds of the real world around you, but a complete immersion into the mesh network.

But this is not like having a virtual body. No body, virtual or otherwise, exists. Just sensation, fed to the infomorph from the mesh. Furthermore, all interaction with the mesh is direct, just like using mesh inserts; but those interactions are the only interaction they have, unlike a person with mesh inserts. There are no limbs to move, no lungs to breathe… nothing but the sensory input and output between the brain emulation and the mesh interface.

Xagroth wrote:
I'd say that Insanity in EP is both the "humanity loss" from cyberpunk and the "sanity loss" from Call of Cthulhu, so in that way the alienation test wouldn't be much of a shock for being into another body, but the realization that you are less human and the body is just a piece of gear that can be discarded without problem. Not to mention that it is one thing to sleeve into a human body, but to get your ego inside a Whiplash pod or a synthmorph can be quite jarring.

I'm torn on that. Implants do not shake your sense of humanity, so I find it odd that resleeving does. Plus, you still suffer alienation when sleeving into your original body or a similar one. It's more akin to just a generic strangeness about the concept of jumping from body to body.

I find it unbelievable because I don't think the average transhuman by 10 AF is going to be that offput by the idea of resleeving. Especially if they were the sort that were reinstantiated from the Fall; resleeving is the only technology that gives them newfound life. That isn't to say that I don't think alienation tests should exist at all, as there are plenty of scenarios where I think it makes sense. A person with a strong sense of gender identity might make an alienation test if they wake up in a body that's the wrong gender. A biochauvinist might make an alienation test if they wake up in a synthmorph. Plus the oddball ones as you mention.

I just don't think it feels right as an "every resleeve" side effect.

Xagroth wrote:
If you think it is a bother, of course, remove it altogether, but it can give a wide advantage to certain playstiles like the infomorph sleeving into synths (or cyberbrain-implanted biomorphs) and back to infomorph state as he deems advantageous.

I kept alienation rolls for certain cases (I highlighted above), or for people who take a certain custom disadvantage in a couple of my games. For one of my campaigns, I kept them in as written in the core book.

Xagroth wrote:
The continuty tests, personally, I do them only when resleeving from death (even if it's a backup), not only for balance uses of sorts, or for the same reasons I was defending the alienation tests, but because one has to come to terms with having died or that you are a copy of somebody who died in a not so peaceful way.

Yeah, I tend to do that as well. The primary time I never use them is when farcasting. No matter the distance, I assume that continuity is maintained. The user never even notices a pause in time, despite the shutdown of the emulation. I also don't do it when a person is restored from backup, unless they are faced with the reality that they were restored from backup. If you can keep that from them, then no continuity check is necessary. The same is true for forking… problems only arise when they realize they are a fork, or that forks of them exist. And even then, only if they have a problem with that in character concept.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Azathoth Azathoth's picture
Nike wrote:I suppose it'll be

Nike wrote:
I suppose it'll be a lot of negotiating with the person running the game. Well, I can deal with that. Always leaves a nagging sensation in my mind though, when I make a character that requires... alternate interpretations of the rules.

Where do you plan on having your infomorph "live"? If you're just running around free in the local mesh server, you may have to have a talk with the GM about how to upgrade. If you're running on a cyberbrain or ghostrider module (with mesh inserts for mesh access etc) you should be able to buy a lot of upgrades without stretching the rules. I mean, I always assumed most mental augs were installed into the brain (cyber or meat), and in these cases you're practically a brain in a jar.

Of course then you sort of have a "body" and that might go against your concept.

Nike Nike's picture
Azathoth wrote:

Azathoth wrote:

Where do you plan on having your infomorph "live"? If you're just running around free in the local mesh server, you may have to have a talk with the GM about how to upgrade. If you're running on a cyberbrain or ghostrider module (with mesh inserts for mesh access etc) you should be able to buy a lot of upgrades without stretching the rules. I mean, I always assumed most mental augs were installed into the brain (cyber or meat), and in these cases you're practically a brain in a jar.

Of course then you sort of have a "body" and that might go against your concept.

Well, with the looks of things, she's going to be popping between mesh servers, while she's working in the system. Although, when it comes to gatecrashing (which seems it'll be a focus for part of the campaign), she'll likely be ghost riding. Or stuck in a box at base camp and teleoperating the robots.


Azathoth Azathoth's picture
Just curious, is your

Just curious, is your character based on Fuyu Kanoe? ;)

Nike Nike's picture
Azathoth wrote:Just curious,

Azathoth wrote:
Just curious, is your character based on Fuyu Kanoe? ;)

*laughs* Not at all, but I'm a big fan of hers. =3

EDIT: The character's background, for the record, is more inspired by Marathon and Halo. The original idea was something of, what if Cortana was made by Durandel... and the name Nike was chosen for the historical (well, mythological) parallel.


Xagroth Xagroth's picture
You might want to invest into

You might want to invest into some robots to carry around a modified computer/cyberbrain to host your informorph, then. There wawsa thread about somebody having a shell carry a swarmaroid hive assembler so he could replace lost minibots. The concept could be almost the same.

I'd suggest something more hard to find and mobile, though. Maybe a robot dog or something. But not being able to interact with the physical world could be a little... incovenient in more than one situation.

nerdnumber1 nerdnumber1's picture
I agree with xagroth. One

I agree with xagroth. One nice thing about not sleeving into a physical body is how easy it is to jam or teleoperate other vehicles, robots, or morphs. At the very least you'll want a cheap helper robot to pick things up, but you can end up with multiple fire support drones if you feel like going nuts, or for special occasions. The downside of focusing on teleoperation, is the you can't just dump all your physical skills, but even with no real physical skills, an extra pair of hands can be useful. Also remember that, if things are looking bad for your brain, you can escape to the mesh in an instant or fork yourself in a pinch.

An AI driven bot, pod, or synthmorph with a ghostrider module, or even a smart animal with a ghostrider module and puppet sock, can give you a great deal of independence and flexibility without the tedious requirements of sleeving.

Gerzel Gerzel's picture
Lets see. COG, INT, and SAV

Lets see. COG, INT, and SAV are the three most 'mental' stats that your average infomorph has to worry about. This might be changed once further details about the mesh arise, and I suspect they will, but for now these three are it with COG generally being king.

Up to a 30 these seem to be well within the realm of an off-the-shelf cyberbrain. With the exception of a case all cyberbrain bearing morphs seem to be able to handle 30 attributes. I would price a case cyberbrain with attribute limits of 20 as Low cost, to match the ghost-rider module. A high-end version that supports attributes up to 40 I'd cost at Expensive.

Ghostrider modules would be limited according to the cyberbrain/brain they are linked off of. They don't seem to be fully-fledged cyberbrains able to handle an active ego on their own. Perhaps I'd allow them to but I'd at least limit the ego in a GR module to the limits of the cyber/bio brain it is attached to. GR modules seem to assume some processing power from the host brain.

The other places an Ego could reside are ectos, again I'd limit to 20's for basic book ectos. And larger station computers which I'd put at 40. Higher might be possible but it would use up undue resources on the host system and the character would be easily traceable by their resource usage.

Thampsan Thampsan's picture
Gerzel is right, the more

Gerzel is right, the more 'developed' you are ego-wise as an infomorph, the 'chunkier' your data-presence is, and the more things you store...

I guess it's more plot device than anything but I had a PC who rescued the data-files of two tortured allies, their personalities. He didn't instance them immediately and even after he did he kept copies of their ego attached to his own infomorph space.

That's not a problem but it means that when eventually people get pissed off and send out data-spiders to find you and drag you back, you're easier to detect because you're a bigger program than most other egos on the mesh out there. Not to mention the issue of tunneling into or out of a secure (hard-line only connected) facility without tripping any alarms.

It isn't a problem mostly because you can offload those things to server space elsewhere, but if your infomorph character is going to routine horde ridiculous amounts of data I suggest giving your antagonists a better chance of detecting them when the eventual hunter-killer programs are released to delete their ego.

BOMherren BOMherren's picture
By RAW, you can only apply

By RAW, you can only apply augmentations to Morphs. I think this has something to do with how abstractly EP handles hardware in general. An Infomorph in a supercomputer has no advantage over one in a smartphone, and the advantage of an average wrestler in a Remade over an average wrestler in a Neotenic is a measly +10.

I think it kind of balances out, from a game perspective. You get free Speed 3 and Mnemonic Augmentation and no Aptitude maxima, you can easily mass-fork to aid your hacking and jamming, you can get dirt cheap Ectos and Ghostrider Modules for your compatriots to compensate for the loss of mobility, and you can kit out and jam cheap and disposable robots, without Integration rolls, whenever you require telepresence. And the first time your group farcasts, you'll really start to come out ahead.

If you were going to houserule something anyway...

Making the augmentations into software starts you on a slippery slope. Why would anyone ever apply them to their Morphs, if they can instead do it directly to their Egos? You might want to make these Ego Augs involve psychosurgery to integrate, and make their Cost one level higher.

If you're going the hardware route... Maybe you could just apply the modifications to an Ecto or a Ghostrider Module?



Gerzel Gerzel's picture
Things that modify the ego

Things that modify the ego directly are handled by the game mechanics as ego traits. Even if it was done with psycho-surgery it is still an ego trait in the end. You could use advanced programming to justify or explain the traits, but if it changes the ego in some manner and is not a part of the "hardware" bio or cyber that the ego is running on or sleeved in then it is an ego trait. That means they are priced and balanced as traits.

You could experiment with traits that are only allowed to be taken by infomorphs, or traits that only work while a character is an infomorph in a large computer system (such as a habitat mesh).

Adding major permanent advantages to an ego isn't as simple as loading a program and letting it run. Egos are just too different from each other and require more work to alter, at least in a good way.