Little help with tech burning

I am a new player to BE, and I am just trying to make sure I have everything right before our group starts week after next.

I talked to my group about (and had them agree) to my character having a computer implanted.

Before we start, it should be noted we are playing on a high index world, and my character was a little while ago the first speaker of the commune and thus effectively president of the world. This put him in a lovely position to abuse his authority and get someting like this:

Specifically, this computer has a link to the government database of all the citizens of the commune on the world we are playing on. That and a very powerful facial recognition software. The idea is that my character gets given some information on everyone who is a citizen of the commune he looks at. So I was going to burn it up like this:

8 points: gives a roll where one is not normally possible

-Can use citizen wise on any member of the commune

1 point: More powerful:

  • Our group decided that implants cost one more point since they are harder to take away

7 points: Gives a two dice advantage to circles rolls

  • Having the name, occupation and contact numbers of everyone on planet in a list in your head makes finding the right man for the job a lot easier


  • (not sure how much) ob to observation rolls. Having everyone have a pop up of information on your head has to make it harder to concentrate on the rest of the world

  • 3 trait limitation: Must be able to link to the database of citizens for it to work

What do people think? Is it cheesy? Am I doing this right?

-1pt catagorical limitation: does not work on anyone from off planet, or who is not a citizen of the commune

Looks good so far, if I was GMing I’d add +1 PITAP due to the fact that all of these additional rolls will mess up the flow of interstatials. I may even make it +2 if I thought you were going to use it to make up too many details on my NPC’s.

Another way to look at it instead would be to give advantage dice for intimidation or extortion, tasks. Or just give it the thechnological skill citizen wise and use it as to help your own skill rolls.

Even more fun would be justifying advantage skill die to security rigging due to knowing all those simple passwords everyone uses, their mothers maiden name, the name of their pet dog when they were six etc…

I think the 3 pt limitation here is a bit much - which of your traits gives you access to the database? Probably a cat limitation - not when out of contact with planetary data web - that covers you been physically out of range (on a hammer ship in the middle of space) or if you are been directly interfered with.

As to the ob penalty - does your character have observation? if not I might not allow that as a limitation.

as to the three points being to much… I thought it was analagous to needing “ammunition, a power supply, a special key” (pg 392) but if it is only a one point I have no problem with that, I will take it as such. I am mostly buying limitations for interest, not cost.

As to all of the other things that the tech could add, my plan is to add them in play. The reasoning for this is that my character is only just getting used to the tech and can and will have other bits added later when he understands it enough (his citizen wise raises a bit) to start pulling in secondary data.

I will also have a word with the gm about if he wants to charge me for beng a pain in the arse.

Looks good to me, so long as the limitations are relevant – i.e., there are off-worlders in your game (who are not just Vaylen).

This is the base I’d use:

Technology Traits:
Enhancement (8 pts)
Powerful (1 pt): implants are more powerful
Obstacle (-3pts): +1 Ob to perception and observation
Trait limitation (-3 pts): must be able to synchronize with the citizen database.
Categorical Limitation (-1pt): does not work on off-worlders
Categorical Limitation (-1pt): does not work on unregistered citizens (criminals, outcasts, etc)

As I understand circles do not provide you with the information, they just provide you with access to the contact you were looking for (p 345). Instead a Citizen-wise type skill can be used to get information as per the brick. (p 309)

So if what you want is to be able to circle up people this is what I’d add:

Advantage: +2D Circles, 7pts

Otherwise, if what you want is to be able to get information on a citizen that’s in your presence, I’d go with a citizen-wise skill:

Technological Skill: Automation: Citizen-wise 6, 7pts

If you want both then add both of them. :slight_smile:

Thanks. I might go with the write up you gave for the implant and add the two dice of circles advantage. A tasty bit of kit that weighs in at… 8 points. Huh, less than I would have thought. I think it might get hit for some PITAP or possibly some mor powerful though.

Are you sure that both of the catagorical limitations should count?

Din’t really know why I don’t just automate citizens wise (cheaper and more powerful). I just want the roll to be my character I suppose… helped by tech, sure, but doiing it himself I guess.

Well, the advantage I see with having the gadget do the citizen-wise vs the circles is that you get hit with Ob penalties for characters outside of your lifepaths. Or be denied the roll altogether (Reaching, p. 347).

I assume the intention is to be able to get information from any citizen in your country, but the mechanics of it are such that if you try to circle up someone that’s outside your circle the GM might disallow it, in fact he should.

Unless there’s some trait or other addition that could be made to the gadget to have it include all affiliations/factions in the game. Which I assume would increase the cost.

Whereas citizen-wise applies to all citizens, if your group allows you to define it that way.

I’m not sure if both categorical limitations would fly, but that’s up to the GM/Group. After all, I’m not aware of your world’s level of quarantine for example, if its high, most every off-worlder would be registered. Think of the USA: in order to enter it you have to have your fingerprints and photograph taken (in addition to having a Visa, which already includes bank statements and other information). There’s quite a bit of info on legit “off-worlders” in that case.

Esteban’s got a good point. You could use an Enhancement to grant you additional Circles – not bonus dice, but actual Circles.

Cool! That’s just what I was trying to do with the citizen-wise deal. So would that be an enhancement per each circle or one enhancement to cover all circles in the world?

Okay, I am being dense and I think I might be getting a bit confused.

Right the intention:

The citizens wise, as default, I pretty much assumed would not allow me to know intimate detail about each of my citizens, but rather a more sweeping knowledge of them as a whole.

Since I wanted to break this I added an enhancement; so that the tech would also allow me to know details about each of the citizens.

Hence I added the enhancement.

Also the intention is not to be able to get information from any citizen in my country, it is to be able to get information about any citizen in my country when I am looking at them, or if I know their name.

I thought this would be useful to circles and provide advantage dice since it would allow me to look up the people in the desired profession in my head and on the fly, and hence make it easier to get in contact with the people I want.

By adding actual circles, do you mean increasing the stat? I didn’t know you could do that, I thought you just inrceased the dice rolled. Sorry, still figuring my way around this…

…and the penny drops seconds afer hitting post.

Do you mena an enhancement would allow me to circle up poeple I would not normally be eligible for if they were still citizens of the commune?

Sorry Stephen, I think I managed to get everything all garbled up by getting too specific. I didn’t mean to complicate things, just trying to understand things myself.

Circles: limited to your lifepaths, allow you to obtain contacts/NPC’s. p. 347
Wises: give information, details, establish game facts. p 309

Circles describes two things: the character’s stat, and how many spheres of influence the character is part of. For example, each lifepath and affiliation is in essence a circle. So characters usually have many circles even if they only have 1D for Circles.

There’s also a rule that says a character can only circle up people within his circles. That is people he might have come into contact through his lifepaths or affiliations. So this would hinder his ability to get information on people outside of his lifepaths.

Luke says an enhancement can buy you additional circles. That is access to lifepaths/affiliations that your character doesn’t have. Which is great, I wasn’t aware or hadn’t thought of that as an enhancement, yet it makes perfect sense given how Stephen has described the tech.

As far as wises go, the character can get real detailed information (bottom of p. 309).
For example: Details are Ob 3. Meanwhile, bizarre or obscure facts is an Ob 7 test on your citizen-wise. And finally freaky details or specifics are Ob 8.

One could also add the inhuman trait to the gadget and have 6’s be open ended for the citizen-wise, this would be an additional 7pts, but I believe that would be quite powerful.

I think one enhancement per setting is reasonable. it’s a very powerful thing!

Right! So… if I use up 8 resourse points… (so 1.3 levels of resource, we are a high index world or I would not be making this unpleasant bit of kit) it would:

Have a skill of citizen wise at 6, which I could assist (presumably in refining questions) or that could assit me (7pts)

Allow me to access one other setting with circles (enhancement :8pts)

Not work on pepole not registered -1pt (feels less cheeky rolling these into one)
Not work when I am out of contact with the database (-3pts trait limitation)
Give me +1ob to observe rolls (-3pts from ob)

And just checking… It can have things added at a later date can’t it?

(I have this horrible urge to get an AI plugged into my character at some point. Probably not worth the points, but hilariously worth it)

I don’t see why not! I think the book actually encourages you to split up big tech into bite-sized morsels!

You could work in each 8pt circle enhancement as the game progresses for example. That way you can go with the +2D circle roll, if that’s what feels better. You could even base a belief around your bit of tech.

“Information is power. I must know everything about my citizens.” And you could start calling yourself Big Brother! :wink:

I have an instinct about it scan everyone I meet) and am hoping to pick up some traits in play as I get this crazed “I know everyone’s secrets, and they don’t know mine! Mwah ha ha ha ha!” You know character traits like… big brother or voyeur.

At the start of the game this is meant to be a new implant, as a part of my plans to get re elected. Imagine the advantages in a pressing the flesh hearts and mind political campaign of knowing a little thing to talk to each person about, and what topice they concider important.

Thanks guys! It probably will get a circles up at some point. I also like the idea of getting new “modules” as new enhancements for other settings, by stealing all of their precious data. It is absolutely certain to end badly. Which is the best way it could possibly end.

This character is already Head of the Commune, right? Thus he should already have access to all Commune setting with his innate Circles, and not have to expand it via an Enhancement Tech Trait. This makes sense to me, since the Commune would be setting up and maintaining this ‘Big Brother’ database in the first place, but it only applies to people who are part of the Commune. At first I’d buy it as Device:Advantage for Circles.

I like using an Enhancement Trait to represent tapping into another social groups’ Circles. Depending on the how the world was burned, different Settings may be completely separate from each other. On a given world the Anvil Settings may be a different caste or sept, and thus characters’ Born on the Anvil aren’t in the Commune’s database, and so on.

Heh. I have a player who’d love the idea of working to gain access to all Setting’s infonets. I can see him drooling already.

Mecha man, he’s the leader of the oppostion, after losing an election, but yeah, commune is a setting I get anyway. I was thinking of using the enhancement to cover the anvil lifepath, since all of those soldiers have to come from somewhere, right?

I’m glad I gave an evil idea to one of your players, tell us how that works out in play, will you? ( I will be too)

… as to the circles advantage, my character is a many life path monstocity (hey, the gm and players kept telling me to take just one more…) that were all either in the commune or the merchant lifepaths. I am full of cash and can affort to spend some resources points to buy some tech before the game starts (us being a high index world doesn’t hurt either) so i might well be taking both.

If you bought an enhancement for the Commune, could it, say, remove any penalty for distant circles when searching specifically for a character with one of the Commune lifepaths? Or is this merely preventing a GM veto?

What distant circles penalty? I’m looking at p. 348 and I don’t see any penalties for distance. :confused:

Buying the enhancement for a particular setting adds it to your circles, as if you had a lifepath in that setting, as I understood it. So I would say it removes the GM veto. But now that I look at the Station obstacles it does make me wonder at what level you buy that affiliation. In regular circles, your lifepaths define your station.

  1. How does that work when you buy the affiliation through an enhancement though?
  2. Does one assume a middle of the road station, or the lowest/highest station available in that setting? I’m tempted to stick to a fixed +1 or +2 Ob for the enhancement.