Animal Morphs - Mental Effects

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Scottbert Scottbert's picture
Animal Morphs - Mental Effects

Nine Lives puts stolen (or obtained from shady backup companies) backups into all sorts of bodies for the evulz, including animals.

How does that work? I presume that given the usual rules for morphs, animals have low mental aptitude caps, so the poor sod stuck in one is as dumb as an animal for the duration... But that makes me wonder: Wouldn't being stuck in a brain stupider than you're used to have lasting negative effects on your ego (if you ever get rescued and backed up out of it, anyway)? I mean with something like an animal is their brain really able to even _hold_ your ego at full complexity, so if you get backed up out of it you're back to normal (except for some traumatic memories, anyway) or is the result like a partial fork? Does this apply to a lesser degree when you sleeve into a morph that's not quite as smart as you're used to (say your personal morph is mentally enhanced, or you're a super-smart infomorph, and you egocast into a standard splicer)?

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Animal Morphs - Mental Effects

Scottbert wrote:
Nine Lives puts stolen (or obtained from shady backup companies) backups into all sorts of bodies for the evulz, including animals.

How does that work? I presume that given the usual rules for morphs, animals have low mental aptitude caps, so the poor sod stuck in one is as dumb as an animal for the duration... But that makes me wonder: Wouldn't being stuck in a brain stupider than you're used to have lasting negative effects on your ego (if you ever get rescued and backed up out of it, anyway)? I mean with something like an animal is their brain really able to even _hold_ your ego at full complexity, so if you get backed up out of it you're back to normal (except for some traumatic memories, anyway) or is the result like a partial fork? Does this apply to a lesser degree when you sleeve into a morph that's not quite as smart as you're used to (say your personal morph is mentally enhanced, or you're a super-smart infomorph, and you egocast into a standard splicer)?

It's likely that the end result is either a vapor, or a person with heavily-reduced aptitude maximums (well, maybe not SOM). But yeah, you're not looking at a good result.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

killj0y killj0y's picture
Re: Animal Morphs - Mental Effects

Similar question but with some of the Menton morphs or even with just a splicer.

If the morph is limited in capacity how can it take the entireity of your ego?

Does craming a math genius into a worker pod mean that when you take him back out he's going to be missing a chunk of his brain and will have to revert to a stored backup to regain his faculties?

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Animal Morphs - Mental Effects

killj0y wrote:
Similar question but with some of the Menton morphs or even with just a splicer.

If the morph is limited in capacity how can it take the entireity of your ego?

Does craming a math genius into a worker pod mean that when you take him back out he's going to be missing a chunk of his brain and will have to revert to a stored backup to regain his faculties?

Basically, the remainder of your ego is inert within the brain. Think of it like running software on a computer with lower specs... in some cases, the software will run, but it will run poorly and will not be as effective (my dad's computer at his house is like that... it doesn't meet the system requirements for his antivirus, so it moves as fast as molasses). This is what happens to your ego in an inferior morph brain.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

Scottbert Scottbert's picture
Re: Animal Morphs - Mental Effects

Hmm, I kind of like Decivre's second interpretation since it offers the possibility of rescuing someone from being stuck in an animal... Or the potential plot of someone who needs to hide hiding in a pet with plans for later retrieval... Of course, there'd probably be some mental stress from being less intelligent than a flat for so long, but at least there's hope of recovery.

On the other hand, his first interpretation is good if you want to play up the horror angle ('Nothing left of him, the poor bastard...')... I guess it's up to the GM and the needs of the plot.

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Animal Morphs - Mental Effects

Scottbert wrote:
Hmm, I kind of like Decivre's second interpretation since it offers the possibility of rescuing someone from being stuck in an animal... Or the potential plot of someone who needs to hide hiding in a pet with plans for later retrieval... Of course, there'd probably be some mental stress from being less intelligent than a flat for so long, but at least there's hope of recovery.

On the other hand, his first interpretation is good if you want to play up the horror angle ('Nothing left of him, the poor bastard...')... I guess it's up to the GM and the needs of the plot.

Well, I gave two different interpretations for a reason: the former is a sicko who plugs minds into animals for funsies, while the latter is someone safely transferring an ego from one body to another body, both of which are designed to house full egos. I doubt that Nine Lives goes through the steps to make sure that the animal mind is prepared, or that safe retrieval and transfer is possible. As a friend once put it about something totally different (but equally apt), "this guy's mind has hopped into the ROFLcopter, and he's dragging you around in a pair of LOLlerskates whether you want him to or not". Permanent ego damage (if not straight vapor production) is all but guaranteed.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: Animal Morphs - Mental Effects

Scottbert wrote:
Hmm, I kind of like Decivre's second interpretation since it offers the possibility of rescuing someone from being stuck in an animal... Or the potential plot of someone who needs to hide hiding in a pet with plans for later retrieval...

..or wreaking havoc. Take, for example, the Brown Jenkin.



Chrontius Chrontius's picture
Another potential use for

Another potential use for this sort of thing would be producing profoundly well-trained police dogs. You could probably sleeve in and out of one safely, though it'd require going through neural pruning, storing the idle parts of the ego offline in the stack, and grafting on a set of canine instincts, skills, and memories, the sort that the operating ego hasn't ever had a chance to develop the natural way - what chemical explosives smell like with a completely different olfactory apparatus, for example, and the same sort of skillsofts necessary for quick adaptation to a vastly different body plan without years of physical therapy and neuroplasticity drugs.

I can see, for example, the right kind of detective forking into a smart dog, so he can be his own best friend. On the other hand, I can see someone contacting a former cop, and when he egocasts out to take the job, his black-market fork is pared down, partially overwritten by an ego obtained from a smart dog's cortical stack, and subjected to extensive psychosurgery.

I'd probably start calling them werewolves, given the human cunning and - if made as attack dogs - that special kind of disregard for the life of their targets that only sociopaths (who are notoriously difficult to control) are normally capable of.

Scottbert Scottbert's picture
Super-belatedly, it suddenly

Super-belatedly, it suddenly occurs to me that this could be done by putting a cyberbrain/ghostrider module and puppet sock in a conventional or smart animal and either doing away with what passes for higher brain functions in the animal completely, or having the ego jam it like a biodrone for the duration if its stay (stressing out the poor animal, but if Nine Lives doesn't care about transhumans they sure won't care about animals).

It depends on what variety of atrocity they feel like committing that day: Turning someone into a vaporous shell that barely remembers but a shred of their former selves, or making a transhuman ego tortured by remembering the experience, like a more gladitorial "aquarium pet".

This could be used for legit causes as well, of course -- spies sleeving innocuous smart animals and sneaking into areas radio transmissions can't reach, bodyguards hiding in plain sight, or, sure, an eccentric pair where a detective and his animal buddy are more than they seem. He's a detective who went too far and now works as a private eye. She's an eccentric with a nose for clues who always wanted to be a dog. They Fight Crime!

DocRodgers DocRodgers's picture
The easy answer.

Assuming you're doing this deliberately, wouldn't it just be easier to use the Critter morph as a base? It's mentioned some model lines are basically smart animals anyway, so you could just describe one as, say, a smart police dog and go from there.

Of course, that is based on the ego wanting it. It wouldn't cover sadistic crime lords quite as well...