Soul Taps

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Evangelos
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Soul Taps

#1 Postby Evangelos » Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:08 pm

So, a soul tap basically works by siphoning away a portion of the user's life force, and turning it into g-rays that can power junker tech. Would there be any long term effects for this (years of life lost, premature aging, etc), or is the soul tap essentially just using "excess" life force?

This is really more of a setting question than a rules question. Iron Oasis (and presumably Cyborgs) doesn't say anything about any harmful effects, but I was curious as to what other people thought (I'm in the latter camp -- it's using "excess" life energy unless it gets overloaded).

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#2 Postby Fuzyfeet » Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:13 am

Interesting question, in the book is says "it can have dangerous consequences for the character" but other than if you used Overload it doesn't really spell give a reason. I wouldn't think it would age someone faster or shortenin' their life span (but what scrapper really makes it to an old wrinkly age anyways right). Ya I figure it only uses what can be siphoned, so it could be considered "excess".

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#3 Postby Snap_Dragon » Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:03 am

The overload table can suck your soul out of your body, as can instability rolls I think if the device drains too much power. You can also permanently lower your spirit die type IIRC. To make matters even worse it costs you spirit for a lot of cybernetic bits limiting the use of a soul tap.
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#4 Postby Evangelos » Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:12 am

Snap_Dragon wrote:The overload table can suck your soul out of your body, as can instability rolls I think if the device drains too much power. You can also permanently lower your spirit die type IIRC. To make matters even worse it costs you spirit for a lot of cybernetic bits limiting the use of a soul tap.


Yes, those are the mechanical consequences, but that isn't really what I was getting at.

In your opinion, assuming that no overloads, instability, or whatnot occur...do you think using a soul tap should have consequences? Does a person have "extra" life force that the soul tap is harnessing or is every bit important, with the soul tap slowly eating away at your soul until you die?

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#5 Postby Edivdrone » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:14 am

IMO, I would say that is a flavor call that the Marshall would have to set up on his own. There is no rules for that sort of thing in the description, and they normally include that sort of thing if it exists. On the other hand, soultaps are pretty new(less than 13 years, probably more like 8 years), so who really knows what the long term affects could be? Another consideration is how long do most people live in the Wasted West, anyway? Violent death is oh so much more common than age related complications these days.
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#6 Postby Lord Skudley » Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:10 pm

In Shadowrun loss of "Soul" causes "Cyber Madness"... as Edivdron says it's a Marshal Call.

For what it's worth I would permantly reduce the Spirit die type every other time the soull trap is used. The character can, through force of will, increase their Spirit die, but probably not fast enough to make any difference. Once the die gets to d4 they can not raise it and can nolonger use the soul trap...
Alternatly the character can gain the "Elderly" hinderance without the extra 5 skill points...
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#7 Postby Evangelos » Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:33 pm

Lord Skudley wrote:In Shadowrun loss of "Soul" causes "Cyber Madness"... as Edivdron says it's a Marshal Call.

For what it's worth I would permantly reduce the Spirit die type every other time the soull trap is used. The character can, through force of will, increase their Spirit die, but probably not fast enough to make any difference. Once the die gets to d4 they can not raise it and can nolonger use the soul trap...
Alternatly the character can gain the "Elderly" hinderance without the extra 5 skill points...


Every other time?! :eek:

That means...like every other round, combat or not, your spirit die type would go down. It's meant for continual power for things like cyber limbs, which need lots of power constantly (but not power in bursts, which is what spirit batteries are for). Check out Iron Oasis and Cyborgs for more information.

Anyway, I know all that about it being the marshal's call and everything. I'm more interested in opinions, not hard rulings. :)

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#8 Postby Lord Skudley » Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:39 pm

Evangelos wrote: Every other time?! :eek:

That means...like every other round, combat or not, your spirit die type would go down.


Ya caught me, I din't really think that one through... Plus I've never played HoE...

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#9 Postby Snap_Dragon » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:02 pm

cybernetics in general cause spirit loss, thus you have to walk a fine line between powering and having cybernetics.
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#10 Postby Edivdrone » Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:57 am

My general opinion on flavor rulings is that you should go with what fits your campaign the best. Since HoE is al about survival, horror, and desperation, anything which enhances that is a plus. On the other hand, it is possible to have that tinged with hope; a world filled with people who steadfastly refuse to cave to the encroaching darkness. A west with a population that is convinced that while things are bad, and likely to get worse before they get better, they will get better, because they determined to make it so.

With respect to this particular question, how does your campaign run? If the creepiness factor is ratcheted up as high as it can go, aging faster or something similar is ideal. This could exhibit itself through wrinkles, liver spots and hair going white at first, working up to the character becoming more frail if around long enough (ARGH!!! MY BRITTLE OLD MAN HIP!!!). If hope is more prominent, perhaps it should be discarded. The Marshal could still decide to keep it if he wants to use it as a goad to push the heros to move faster before time runs out, but it wouldn't fit as well in a campaign where hope is more prominent.
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#11 Postby Lord Lance » Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:27 am

Sorry for this noob line, but what HoE stays for? :mrgreen:

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#12 Postby Ray » Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:28 am

Lord Lance wrote:Sorry for this noob line, but what HoE stays for? :mrgreen:


Hell On Earth. The sequal for "Deadlands: The Weird West". It's "The Wasted West", 13-years after the Atomic Bombs were launched, with Radioactive Ghost Rocky Goodness added to them!

Not only are the Monsters more ambitious, but ammo is not cheap, and often saving the last for yourself is not really an option. :twisted:

Mutations caused by the Radioactive Ghost Rock has twisted a good portion of the population, and everyone is just trying to get by, which is difficult with irradiated soil, supernatural weather, Road Warrior-Esque Road Gangs, and all the other claptraps of your favourite Post Apoc movies!

But that's a discussion for another thread.
"Grab a wackin' stick, boy! Time to learn these here undead some manners!" - Percy Spencer, to his Son, Kevin.

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#13 Postby ScooterinAB » Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:23 pm

I would probably just play up the effect via roleplaying. Things like saying that you occassionally wake up a little tired, no matter how much you slept, or feeling not quite all there. Maybe feeling a little detached and apathetic after powering a device. Like a side note every few sessions about how you are losing a part of your own soul to power your bling. Just enough to remind the player exactly what they've done and the long term cost it can have on them, and enough to just keep them down a little. No game effect; purely psychological.

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Re: Soul Taps

#14 Postby Wendigo1870 » Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:03 pm

Evangelos wrote:So, a soul tap basically works by siphoning away a portion of the user's life force, and turning it into g-rays that can power junker tech. Would there be any long term effects for this (years of life lost, premature aging, etc), or is the soul tap essentially just using "excess" life force?

This is really more of a setting question than a rules question. Iron Oasis (and presumably Cyborgs) doesn't say anything about any harmful effects, but I was curious as to what other people thought (I'm in the latter camp -- it's using "excess" life energy unless it gets overloaded).
Thinking about this;
My Junker player just came back from the dead with an evil colleague to share his brain with. This is, he's technically dead; so does he still generate life-force? Or is his lifetap just so much dead weight now? (Excuse the pun!)
He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
— Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

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#15 Postby Fuzyfeet » Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:42 pm

I personally think your Harrowed Junker is SOL! He needs to hook up with a good Cyber-doc he trusts and get a Spirit Fetter.

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#16 Postby ScooterinAB » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:06 am

My personal take on the matter. If the chap has come back Harrowed, he still has a soul. Thus the Soul Tap should still work. IIRC, the Soul Tap and a Spirit Fetter are essentially the same thing. On a game mechanics level, I would personally rule that they are similar enough to still be usable. To make you go and get a Spirit Fetter to replace an otherwise similar device is kind of moot in my eyes.

That said, the Soul Tap is not fully the same as a Spirit Fetter. The manitou is still free floating (so to speak), and the Tap doesn't give you any kind of Dominion bonus or anything like that. Nor does it impede on Harrowed powers. As a safety though, I'd rule that one could only have a Soul Tap or a Fetter, but not both.

Another thought occurs to me. If the Marshal is a real meanie though, they could rule that the Tap gives a small penalty to Spirit rolls vs the Manitou. The infernal device is eroding your soul after all.
28/12/09 Scooter just bought a Deadlands book... In a Japanese Gaming store... And the clerk knew what it was. Awesome.

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#17 Postby Fuzyfeet » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:13 pm

My problem with the argument that the Soul Tap works in a Harrowed characters is that the first line says it siphons life force. Add to that that it is not an option in cyborgs.

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#18 Postby Poor Wandering One » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:01 pm

Hmmmm nasty idea.

Say the manitou convinces the poor sucker <cough> junker that the tap still works, that it is actually draining the demon inside. The junker thinks she's found a fountain of free juice but what she is really doing is willingly going to the Manitou for power.

Bye bye dominion.

Unless you clue in before it's too late.

~will

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#19 Postby Wendigo1870 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:00 pm

Poor Wandering One wrote:Hmmmm nasty idea.

Say the manitou convinces the poor sucker <cough> junker that the tap still works, that it is actually draining the demon inside. The junker thinks she's found a fountain of free juice but what she is really doing is willingly going to the Manitou for power.

Bye bye dominion.

Unless you clue in before it's too late.

~will
Nasty indeed! The manitou wouldn't have to roll for dominion to shut out power when needed - he just stops the flow.
He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


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