Body Tech

Cybernetics Cybernetic Limbs & Organs Device Design Costs & Maintenance Cybered Existance
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Some Cybernetic devices are simply installed into a person's body and that's the end of it; but others are actual replacements of existing body parts that compensate for a physical loss. This document discusses the means used to model this in the MetaCyber setting.
The lack of basic assumed physical abilities, such as the ability to walk, see, hear, manipulate objects, and so forth is handled by the Physical Limitation Disadvantage in the HERO System. Cybernetics can be used to offset the penalties and lack of ability inherent to such Physical Limitations.
If a character has a Physical Limitation representing a missing or non-functional body part due to external actions taken against them or as part of their starting concept such as a character that was born deaf or blind, then they must take a Physical Limitation Disadvantage representing this state.
If a character elects to gain Cybernetics that represent a limb or organ that a normal person has, the character must take a Physical Limitation representing that they now lack that limb or organ normally.
Whether the character has an accidental or elective loss of limbs or organs, when they add a Cybernetic replacement for that limb or organ the character must include a special kind of Power among any other abilities granted by the Cybernetic device called a Partially Limited Buyoff, which is represented as a Custom Power with a number of Base points equal to the Limitation value being bought off, and with one or more Limitations applied to it, particularly one of the options for Cybernetic Limitation.
EXAMPLE: For instance if a character gets Cybernetic eyes (CyberEyes) implanted their normal eyes must first be removed. Thus the character must take the Physical Limitation "Blind" (All the Time Fully Impairing) for -25 points.
However, their new Cybereyes allow them to see. One of the Powers in their Cybereyes must be "Offset for Blindness; 25 base", limited in a fashion appropriate to the kind of Cybernetic device the character wants (Restrainable, Focus, or Non-Limited).
So effectively while the character's CyberEyes are functioning they can see normally as their Physical Limitation is being Offset by the points allocated in the Custom Power, but if the CyberEyes are destroyed the character suffers the normal effect of their Physical Limitation.
NOTE: Partially Limited Buyoffs are referred to as "Offsets" for short because a) Partially Limited Buyoff is a bit of a mouthful, and b) ultimately they exist purely to offset a Disadvantage.
A character with only one eye would take the following Physical Limitation:
ONE EYED: Physical Limitation: Missing One Eye: 1/2 OCV w/ Range (Infrequently, Greatly Impairing); -10 points
That same character could have a "Cybernetic Eye" device installed that would include, among any other abilities it granted, the following Power construct to offset the Physical Limitation Disadvantage:
CYBEREYE: One Eye Offset (10 Active Points); OIF (Cyber-Eye; -1/2); Real Cost: 7 points, ~140,000 credits
The Disadvantage gives the character back 10 character points, thus to offset the Disadvantage costs the same number of points. The Offset Power has the Obvious Inaccessible Focus Limitation, so the 10 points is modified by a -1/2 Limitation. 10 / 1.5 = 6.66, which rounds to 7 Real Cost.
Physical Limitations taken in this fashion can take a character over their Disadvantage Maximum, and the character gets the points from the Disadvantage. Any points not spent on the Offset (due to Limitations placed upon it), the character can do with as they please. For instance, in the Missing One Eye + Cybereye example the character effectively netted 3 character points as the PhysLim granted 10 points and the cost to offset the PhysLim with a single Cybereye had a Real Cost of 7 points, leaving 3 points unspent.
Thus a character with several Cybernetic replacement parts has some number of shaved points (the difference between the PhysLims they got for lacking body parts and the cost of the offsets for those PhysLims granted by their various Cybernetic devices) and gains a cumulative point advantage over non Cybernetic characters.
Of course if offsetting PhysLims and pocketing the point differences were all that Cybernetics had to offer, it would be a pretty weak and unexciting option. But usually a Cybernetic replacement part isn't just equivalent to whatever body part they replaced, they are usually better thanks to one or more other abilities taken within the same device. This might be a mild enhancement, such as a CyberEye that both restores vision and also has a built in Range Penalty Level and / or a small Perception bonus. Or it might be a significant enhancement, such as a CyberEye that restores vision and also grants N-Ray vision or a laser emitter, or some other exotic capability.
If a character is hit in a location that contains a Cybernetic device it is up to the GM to determine if the character's flesh was hit or if their Cybernetic device was. If a device provides Armor or other defense to a given Hit Location then it is typically automatically hit by attacks against that location; however some Cybernetic items that offer such defenses take an Activation Roll to indicate otherwise.
If a location is hit that is completely Cybernetic, such as a Cybernetic arm, then the device is always hit rather than the character.
The Hit Location Body Multiple is ignored when a Cybernetic device is hit. This is true even in the case of Cybernetic Armor, which makes Cybernetic Skulls and Dermal Plating to the Stomach and Vitals somewhat advantaging, but conversely it means that Cybernetic limbs do not benefit from the 1/2 BODY multiple for the arm and leg locations (not that it really matters).
EXAMPLE 1: A character with Dermal Armor that provides 10 PD / 10 ED to their entire torso (front and back), is shot in the "vitals" for 12 BODY, which normally has a x 2 BODY Multiple. If the character was wearing normal armor that provided equivalent protection they would take 4 BODY, but since the Body Multiple is ignored they only take 2 BODY.
EXAMPLE 2: A character with Cybernetic arms is shot in the arm for 8 BODY. Normally any damage that got past defenses would be halved, but since it hit a Cybernetic device the full damage is applied normally. If any BODY exceeds the DEF of the device it loses a Power.
If a Cybernetic device is designed as a Focus it can be targeted by others. If an opponent wants to specifically target a Focus that represents a replacement body part (such as a Cybernetic arm), then the normal penalty for that Hit Location is used.
If the Focus is not a replacement body part then the Hit Location of the area that the device is installed in is used as a base and an additional -2 OCV penalty is applied.
When a character is hit in one of their Cybernetic devices rather than at a fleshy location, while there is a chance for damage done to a device to have some effect on the flesh around it, in general it is safe to assume that damage inflicted to a Cybernetic device does not cause STUN or BODY damage to the host character. The character still suffers any knockback / knockdown or other ancillary effect of being attacked however.
NOTE: Due to the STUN ignoring benefit from heavy Cybernetics, as a character becomes increasingly Cybernetic they also become increasingly Automaton-like. This is by design.
Cybernetic devices that are hit directly take all of the BODY damage from the attacks that hit them and they might be damaged or destroyed.
Cybernetic devices not bought with the Foci rules cannot be directly targeted, but in any unusual circumstances whereby non-Foci Cybernetics take direct damage threat them as Foci for purposes of damaging and destroying them.
Thus all Cybernetic devices have a DEF equal to the (Active Points / 5) of the largest Power in the device, with a minimum DEF of 3. If a device provides a defense, that device may use the defense instead of it's own DEF if it is higher.
Each time a device takes one (1) or more points of BODY beyond it's DEF, it loses a Power. When a device has lost all of the Powers in it, it is considered destroyed.
For purposes of MetaCyber campaigns, a GM should allow all CyberLimbs and Cybernetic Armor to be considered Durable, which means that they are considered to have double their normal DEF for purposes of losing Powers. Otherwise such devices are simply too fragile.
For instance, if allowed to be Durable then most CyberLimbs will have 12 DEF which is a reasonably resilient number; otherwise they have 6 DEF and are very easily broken.
NOTE: If a Cybernetic device that has an Offset Power takes damage, the Offset is always the last Power lost.
A pair of CyberLimbs are typically written up together and treated as a single entity on a character sheet, with a single Offset for the associated Physical Limitation that they compensate for. However for logical / conceptual purposes, each limb should be broken independently of the other under most circumstances.
If a character has a matching pair of CyberLimbs and one of them is damaged to the point that the Offset it contains would be lost, instead the character only suffers from having one limb of that type until such a time as the destroyed limb is repaired or the remaing limb is also destroyed.
Thus if a character had a pair of CyberLegs and one leg was shot and damaged, losing Powers until finally only the Offset Power remains, rather than being rendered completely legless with the final shot the character instead would suffer all of the penalties of having one leg until the good leg was also destroyed or the destroyed leg was repaired / replaced.
There are Cybernetic devices whose entire purpose is to provide Armor to a character, with Dermal Armor being the primary example. Generally speaking, this sort of device should simply be treated as if it were normal Armor to the Hit Locations they protect under most circumstances, ignoring the rules given above for Hit Location Multiples, Damage to Character vs Damage to Cybernetics, and so on.