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<     Episode 453: Do Unto Others     >

Episode 453: Do Unto Others

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This is the problem with bionics, at least the fantastic supertech sort you tend to get in games. If a bionic hand is stronger and more dextrous than a regular flesh and blood hand... why would any adventurer want to keep their own hands? A quick trip to your local street doc and you now have an instant stat boost!

So such things need to come with some sort of game balancing mechanic, to prevent people going off and having limbs replaced at the drop of a hat. You could make bionic parts no better, overall, than the fleshy part they replace. Perhaps improved dexterity comes at the cost of reduced strength, like in Anakin's case in this comic.

Or you could make bionic parts incredibly expensive. Although frankly a little thing like lack of cash is never going to stop a determined group of PCs. It may take a suicide raid on the heavily fortified and guarded headquarters of a multinational tech company to uncover proof of their grey ops activity in cyberspace in order to set up a blackmail opportunity that leads to being tailed, spied on, and eventually kidnapped and set loose on the CEO's private tropical island crawling with genetically engineered venomous tigers and man-eating plants in order for the CEO and his cronies to engage in the greatest sport of all-time - a human hunt - and then escaping by building a trebuchet out of coconut palms and flinging themselves onto the CEO's luxury yacht, then evading an all-out chase across beach-spangled lagoons to arrive in a port and sell the yacht and their story for millions... but they will get the money.

Or you can do as some games do and make the acquisition of bionic parts cost "humanity" in some abstract accounting system that keeps track of how emotionless and mechanically detached the character is becoming from their fellow human beings.

Some players will barely need encouragement. After all, what better excuse can there be for not caring about anyone but yourself?

Transcript

Anakin: End of the road, Sith Lord. You can't win.
Count Dookû: On mah honour, Ah am not ze Sith Lord!
Anakin: Aha! So you admit the Sith exist!
[SFX]: Whooom!
[SFX]: Kzzrzkk!
Count Dookû: You are twisting mah words! Whah does nobody ever believe what Ah say?
Anakin: You admitted yourself, you've sacrificed your honour for your schemes.
Count Dookû: For ze truth!!
Anakin: The truth? The truth is what's left once you cut away the darkness.
Count Dookû: You see darkness everywhere! What 'as 'appened to you? When last we fought, zere was still love in your 'eart.
[SFX]: Whooom!
Anakin: Which led to my defeat. When you cut my hand off, I cursed you.
[SFX]: Kzzrzkk!
Anakin: But I later realised it was a gift. My new hand is much more dextrous.
Anakin: Meaning I can do...
Anakin: This!
[SFX]: Slice! {cuts Dookû's hands off}
Anakin: And now I return this gift twofold.
Count Dookû: You are mad!
R2-D2: I'll just call Jim and tell him not to come back next week.


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Last updated: Sunday, 02 January, 2011; 14:36:51 PST.
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