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carnifex

Tekili-li syndrome

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In my futur Cthulhupunk campaign, a corporation from the APC (Atlantic Province Confederation) Bio-Quebec a retro-engineer the Elder Thing shoggoth to create their famous bioware. In my story if the pc or npc  has too much bioware he develop the Tekili-li syndrome. its a thing like cyberpsychosis but with a Cthulhu flavor.   The goal of the campaign is to discover-it and puplish-it in the media.

 

My problem I dont know how to create-it in the bioware power.  Have you a suggestion to my problem.

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In my futur Cthulhupunk campaign, a corporation from the APC (Atlantic Province Confederation) Bio-Quebec a retro-engineer the Elder Thing shoggoth to create their famous bioware. In my story if the pc or npc has too much bioware he develop the Tekili-li syndrome. its a thing like cyberpsychosis but with a Cthulhu flavor. The goal of the campaign is to discover-it and puplish-it in the media.

 

My problem I dont know how to create-it in the bioware power. Have you a suggestion to my problem.

All bio-tech equipment has Side Effects (Transformation into Alien thinking meatbag slave to the Elder Gods - in other words insanity). It should be a small Transformation, but it activates each time it is used/activated, it is cummitave, and never wears out. Psychotherapy can release the systems once it starts, but can never cure them.

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I haven't played, or thought about, this sort of genre. And the difficulty (for commenting) is not only how to build the power, but some extended subtle questions, like how to build it with cosmetics right so it's not obvious what's happened, and thus that the intended mystery to be solved & published in the campaign isn't blown quickly.

 

(Though not in this genre, I've had some adverse experiences with "mystery" campaigns that were too obvious.)

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Why am I the only person to comment on this thread?

 

Because it's in "other genres" and it's only been there 2 days?

 

--

 

To answer the OP's question, decide in your head how you want it to work.  Personally, I wouldn't build it with a Power.  Doing that would lead players to doing point calculations in their head, trying to figure out exactly how many things they can take before the syndrome becomes a problem.  "Let's see, I can still take a forehead tentacle and a stomach mouth before I have any chance of harm..."  That doesn't feel very Lovecraftian to me.  It should be something so that players are cautious of taking even one bioware enhancement.

 

Last time I ran a Cthulhu game, people who messed around with spell books and items of power just started getting different descriptions of the places they visited.  Everyone else walks into the room and they see a desk, two chairs, a computer, etc.  The guy who messed with the book sees a window.  He looks out the window and he sees the street outside, and their car parked there.  When the other members of the group look at him, they see that he's just staring at a painting of a fishing boat on the wall.  And it's an interior wall at that.  I never did tell them whether he was actually seeing their car outside or just hallucinating.

 

Stuff like that really messes with players.  Part of doing Cthulhu right is building mystery and raising tension.

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What Massey said is true. This is why you give the players one write-up of the power, and you keep a second one, with the true Limitations of the power (the information about side effects of the powers). Of course, your free to tell the players that the powers comes with -0 Limitations which are secret and will mess up your characters lives. But don't tell them exactly what those Limitations are. That is the price for having super powers in this world.

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You are right writing-it in the power give the plot away.  I will think of another method.  Perhaps using the Underground roleplaying games has a inspiration,  Genetically enhanced ex-mercenaries who were given superpowers by reverse engineered genetic technology recovered from the Elder Thing come to mind.  A Player Character begins as he's discharged from service as a genetically-enhanced warrior who had been conditioned to think of himself as an ultraviolent superhero with a bizarre origin story and a dramatic past. They tend to see the world in the uncompromising black-and-white ethos of superhero comics filtered through the mental illnesses and phobias triggered by the process that grants them their powers. They are dumped in the decaying ruins of an American culture with civilians who fear and hate them and a corrupt and totalitarian government that ignores them (an intentional reference to the state of Vietnam veterans coming home after the Vietnam War). The fact that they were brainwashed by the corporations that employed them and were betrayed by the governments that hired them often makes them distrustful of authority. It is presumed that the player characters join and form various "Underground" movements to oppose the government, giant corporations, or other tyrannical forces in the world.

 

Thank you for your suggestion!

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Take a look at the game CthulhuTech for inspiration.  I have no idea how the rules work, but I looked over the background.  It's like a combination of Japanese giant robot anime and Lovecraft.  The idea is that Earth scientists eventually figured out "things man was not meant to know".  By having large teams of scientists analyze the physics and math that make you crazy (and then go in for years of counseling and therapy afterwards -- you never let any one guy do too much research), Earth tech has advanced and they can start building sci-fi stuff, like giant robots and transforming power suits and the like.  Infinite power source?  No problem if you've got these eldricht symbols engraved on the inside of your power source (the engraving of these symbols is all done by computer, of course, because you can't actually look at it without going mad).  Anyway, this development does not make the Elder Things happy, because humans are supposed to be a servitor race, and servitor races aren't supposed to have the magic.  So they invade and we have to fight them off with our big robots.

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Hmm.... I did some overdose rules for my in-progress Kazei 5 supplement. Not sure if they'd apply. One thing to consider is some sort of Side Effect (or a blanket "Causes Tekili-li Syndrome") Limitation for all bioware and decide from there. Basically state that overuse causes the Syndrome. Since it's a plot device power don't define it. Put it on the PC's bioware and let them get worried. Periodically give PCs with bioware strange dreams, weird messages, and have them wake up in odd places. Keep it up until their good and paranoid. Then have an NPC with bioware monster out.

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If i use a bioware like this:

 

Muscle Augmentation

Aid STR 4d6 (24 active points); (extra time full phase -1/2), (only aid self -1),(bioware side effects -2). Real cost 5.

 

Bioware; Go berserk 14- recover 14-  and shout tekili-li constantly.

 

Perhaps you has a better way to simulate-it.  I am very open to suggestion.

 

Carnifex

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-2 is way too much for the Side Effects. Let me see what I have for bioware.

 

Okay, here is a Kazei 5 bioware implant.

 

COMBAT PUMP

Effect:  Aid STR, DEX, END, STUN 1d6, Self Only

Target:  Self

Duration:  Instant

Range:  Self

Charges:  4

 

Description:  This implant is designed to pump concentrated adrenaline and noradrenalin into the character’s bloodstream, increasing his physical capabilities for a short period of time. When the effects of the Combat Pump wear off, the inrush of accumulated fatigue poisons can cause temporary unconsciousness. Extended use of a Combat Pump may have other, even more harmful, effects on the character’s system. 

Due to the nature of bioware, characters may not buy the Poor Quality Limitation for the Combat Pump, or any other bioware implant. Bioware can be damaged, however, and a damaged Combat Pump may operate at reduced efficiency (i.e. it loses a Damage Class or two), may suffers a lost of chemical reserves (i.e. lose Charges), or may operate erratically (i.e. suffers from the Requires A Roll Limitation).

 

Game Information:  Aid STR, DEX, END, STUN 1d6, all four characteristics simultaneously (+1 1/2), Invisible Power Effects (Fully Invisible; +1) (21 Active Points); 4 Charges (-1), Side Effects, Side Effect occurs automatically whenever Power is used (2d6 STUN Drain when Aid effects wear off; -1), Only Aid Self (-1), Cybersystem (-1/4). Total cost:  10 points.

 

Options:

1) Level Two Combat Pump:  Increase to Aid STR, DEX, END, STUN 2d6. 42 Active Points; total cost  8 points.

 

Cyberssytem is my blanket Limitation for all bioware and cyberware. Now, in your case, a -2 Limitation would need to be Extreme (60 Active Points for -1) and whenever the power is used (x2 Limitation). A 14- Berserk is at least 25 points... 35 if it's Very Common. So, IF the Side Effect occurs every time you use your 24 Active Points bioware, we're talking a -1 Limitation (Major Side Effect for -1/2 x2 for always occurs).  But, if the Side Effect builds up over time, then we're talking a far less value or I'd not call it a Side Effect and consider a blanket Limitation (like Cybersystem) that defines what happens as you use the bioware over time.

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In my futur Cthulhupunk campaign, a corporation from the APC (Atlantic Province Confederation) Bio-Quebec a retro-engineer the Elder Thing shoggoth to create their famous bioware. In my story if the pc or npc  has too much bioware he develop the Tekili-li syndrome. its a thing like cyberpsychosis but with a Cthulhu flavor.   The goal of the campaign is to discover-it and puplish-it in the media.

 

My problem I dont know how to create-it in the bioware power.  Have you a suggestion to my problem.

 

I would just create a "budget" based on the character's Ego and if you exceed that budget you start to develop symptoms.  If you want to make it a real risk for players, don't tell them what the budget is...or don't tell them how much experience they are earning.  

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I like the idea of a blanket limitation at -1 and the buget based on character Ego with a unknow numbers.  I think I will use these two idea for my campaign.

 

I thank you! For your`s suggestion.

 

Carnifex

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