CBM "Capacity" Category Suggestion

So, while idly filling my meatsuit with every type of available cyberware and seeing how the numbers added up, it occurred to me that it didn’t make much sense for a character with, say, Head Alloy Plating to be unable to install an Alarm system in their brain. Many of the implants have their own specific region which wouldn’t necessarily interfere with anything else happening, even if they all took place in the torso - Heart, Intestines, Stomach, Lungs and armour plating on the exterior. At the same time, when you’re outright replacing skin with solid metal, it doesn’t make much sense for Head Plating and Facial Mods to coexist.

As such, rather than “Head, Torso, Legs” and so on, instead I would suggest the categories be revised into discreet “types” rather than “locations”:

Power System: 2 slots. - Largescale effects that involve direct, specialised connections to the player’s power supply.

Battery System CBM
Internal Furnace CBM
Internal Microreactor CBM/Advanced Microreactor CBM/Microreactor Upgrade CBM/Plutonium Filter CBM
Chain Lightning CBM
Artificial Night Generator CBM
Probability Travel CBM
Power Armor Interface CBM / Power Armor Mk. II Interface CBM
Sonic Resonator CBM
Shockwave Generator CBM
Teleportation Unit CBM

Optical: 2 slots. - Eyes. There’s a strict limit to how much visual processing gear you can fit in there before you seriously start distorting vision.

Diamond Cornea CBM
Protective Lenses CBM
Infrared Vision CBM
Nictating Membrane CBM
Implanted Night Vision CBM
Scent Vision CBM
Anti-Glare Compensators CBM
Telescopic Eyes CBM

Neural: 2 slots. - Dealing with nerves or brain tissue. Neurologically, the groundwork for something like bypassing reflexes or changing how your hand-eye coordination works without making you go into an epileptic fit every time you sneeze is pretty extensive, so even though your nerves occupy a large space in the body you wouldn’t be able to overlap them easily.

Wired Reflexes CBM
Synaptic Accelerator CBM
Cerebral Booster CBM
Close Quarters Battle CBM
Sensory Dulling CBM
Enhanced Memory Banks CBM
Targeting System CBM
Time Dilation CBM
Uncanny Dodge CBM

Aural: 1 slot. - Related to hearing. Only so much you can fit in there.

Enhanced Hearing CBM
Terranian Sonar CBM
Alarm System CBM

Skin: 4 slots. - Dealing with the largest organ in the body.

Arms Alloy Plating CBM
Head Alloy Plating CBM
Legs Alloy Plating CBM
Torso Alloy Plating CBM
Subdermal Carbon Filament CBM
Cloaking System CBM
Active Defense System CBM
Unified Power System CBM
Facial Distortion CBM
Flashbang Generator CBM
Cranial Flashlight CBM
Thermal Dissipation CBM
Dielectric Capacitance System CBM
Offensive Defense System CBM
Olfactory Mask CBM
Solar Panels CBM

Circulatory: 3 slots. - Dealing with the pulmonary and cardiovascular systems. Too much going on here could interfere with oxygenation of the blood, hence the interrelationship.

Internal Climate Control CBM
Blood Analysis CBM
Blood Filter CBM
Integrated Dosimeter CBM
Adrenaline Pump CBM
Repair Nanobots CBM
Recycler Unit CBM
Radiation Scrubber System CBM
Leukocyte Breeder System CBM
Membrane Oxygenator CBM
Metabolic Interchange CBM
Air Filtration System CBM

Manual Utility: 3 slots - Manual - Of the hands. This might be 4 slots, but generally your hands are finely tuned precision instruments that don’t enjoy the competition.

Fusion Blaster Arm CBM
Bionic Claws CBM
Monomolecular Blade CBM
Fingerhack CBM
Aero-Evaporator CBM
Heat Drain CBM
Finger-Mounted Laser CBM
Mini-Flamethrower CBM
Fingerpick CBM
Electromagnetic Unit CBM
Railgun CBM
Fingertip Razors CBM
Directional EMP CBM
Electroshock Unit CBM
Integrated Toolset CBM
Water Extraction Unit CBM

Digestive: 1 slot. - Dealing with the intestinal tract.

Expanded Digestive System CBM
Ethanol Burner CBM
Internal Storage CBM

Musculature: 1 slot. - Dealing with muscles and the skeleton, because the two are intrinsically linked. Hydraulic muscles would snap your limbs in two without significant skeletal reinforcement to permit it to function. Any theoretical bone reinforcement CBM protecting against destroyed limbs would be here.

Hydraulic Muscles CBM
Joint Torsion Ratchet CBM
Muscle Augmentation CBM

Incidental - These either do not overlap with anything else, or require trivial amounts of space.

Power Storage CBM - Presumably the first of these spreads throughout your body, producing a distribution web of circuitry into which every future implant taps into, and individual cells just add miniature storage nodes that build up around the network.
Power Storage CBM Mk. II
Internal Chronometer CBM
Weather Reader CBM
Remote Controller CBM

Trait: Extropian: Your willingness to sacrifice unnecessary meat means you have twice as many slots available for bionic modules in each category, but makes removal of unwanted bionics twice as difficult. -2 points. Also a Medical Threshold mutation.
Flaw: Rejective Tissue: You are mildly allergic to the materials used in CBMs. Your space in each category is halved, rounding up. +2 points.
Flaw: Atypical Physiology: Your body is just slightly different to an average person. While this doesn’t really affect your day to day life, it does prevent you from installing all but the most basic of bionic components due to complications. +3 points.

Categorisation is, of course, open to discussion.

This hopefully would:
Simplify the existing system immensely - 1 CBM, 1 slot - Intuitive, easy to remember, easy to plan around, no maths.
Improve verisimilitude - There is a reason you cannot have augmented muscles and hydraulic muscles, not so much that you cannot have an expanded digestive tract and hydraulic muscles.
Continue to enforce the choice and variety of loadout that is promised by limited space bionics in a sensible manner.
Slot in quite easily without much change to the existing code - The system already accounts for various different “types”, and capacities thereof, so this would be largely be a renaming of existing assets and reassignment of slots for CBMs.

To expand beyond this, potentially some CBMs might be interrelated and enhanced versions (with upgrades to said versions) being available for higher skill levels, such as an integrated Blood Analysis/Filtration system that only takes up a single space, or Dosimeter/Scrubber, to change the dynamics of the system as the player grows and develops their skills.


I like your groupings much better than the ones we have today. It’s much easier to pick as many items as will fit from a group than figure out the optimal arrangement when bionics map to multiple body parts. I feel like there’s still a gap between this system and something I would be excited to use. If we were actually engineering bionics, we would make modular parts with the goal of making as many of them compatible as possible. If I have diamond Corneas, these would be removed when I installed telescopic eyes. However, Telescopic eyes could incorporate diamond corneas as a replacement’s replacement part. Changing a optical nerve for a more sensitive night vision one should be exclusive with using an optical sensor that can see infrared light (assuming you can only have one sensor and ignoring that infrared vision would help you see at night). However these mentioned above might be independent of changes to your eyelids. Absent of a system that is easy to understand (unlike the current system) and provides a high enough degree of realism to be worth it (I don’t think we are quite there yet), I would personally rather there be no restrictions.

Without getting into particulars about things like the structure of the eye (though Diamond Telescope Eyes sounds like a good example of “upgraded cyberware” that makes a lot of sense), there’s already a system in place for what you’re talking about; traits and mutations. If CBM installation was treated as a controlled “bionic” mutation then it would naturally replace conflicting systems. I’m not sure how easily the current CBM system could be tied into that to force the removal of bionics themselves, though, or if there could be a straight check for cyberware traits, but it could use the exact same things that mutations already check for:

of Mutations in category. - If you have more than 4 Bionic Arm threshold “mutations” you cannot fit anything else, regardless if it directly conflicts.

Presence of conflicting traits and requiring they be removed first, or making them be removed automatically. - Some actual mutations could also interfere with bionics, like tentacles interfering with bionic hand implants and forcing their removal.

This might actually be a better long term goal, since this would let bionics and mutations interact a lot more than they do now (as far as I recall the only mutations affected by bionics are far and near sighted). Albino would be removed (suppressed) by alloy plating on all four slots, bionics might either be rejected by, or incorporated into, mutation trees - Fusion arm has been fused into your body via mutation, now you have radioactive gojira breath! But I couldn’t say how feasible that was from a code perspective.

Mixed feelings.

It prevents balancing by bionic size (ie. slot cost). And the bionics certainly aren’t balanced against each other, meaning that each slot would have great no-brainers and useless crap that no one uses. So someone would need to balance the bionics against each other first.
Unbalanced slot costs is the only real reason for why are CBM limits not enabled yet.
It also doesn’t do a good job at placing power storage. The body part slot system could allow trading some utility bionics for power storage, while this one would require strict limits (no internal storage vs. batteries tradeoff) or dumping low quality slots (sensory, third manual, fourth skin, etc.). Skin, eyes and ears sound like bad places to store power in.

Though Kevin said he doesn’t want balancing by slot costs. And balancing by slot costs is the only good argument for having complex slot costs.
Simplification could be useful. No fussing around things like “where does x go?”, no backpack problem or mutations affecting slot counts in unexpected ways.

In the end this one looks slightly better than the current one, but only assuming that someone would make enough bad bionics less useless to prevent categories having only bionics that are either “must have” or “totally useless”.

Not much I can do about that, sorry. If “size” is not something to balance around then the only balancing factors are Availability and Quality, so that’s a problem that exists with any “space limited” CBM system.

We might be able to get somewhere by making the less useful bionics be the ones that upgrade together most easily and with the greatest benefit (technically this is sort of a subset of balancing by size, but with a different spin on it). So useless Fingertip Razors could combine with Useless “Electroshock Unit” to make Electric Razors - The full advantages of both, but a single slot.

Meanwhile Useful Monomolecular Blade could combine with Useful Flamethrower to make “pretty uninspired 90s superhero”. Nice, but not significantly better or more useful than the already great monomolecular blade, and loses much of the flamethrower’s normal potential for firestarting.

Generally that falls outside of the scope of this suggestion and as part of a larger expansion to CBMs, but I’d be happy to put some deeper thought into CBM relationships if you agree that it could be viable.

the razors could also be added to the integrated toolset’s, well, toolset. this also replaces the toolset’s default low butchering with a bit better one due to having actual living flesh cutting blades attached instead of trying to use a metal or wood saw.
BUT i think that the combing needs to happen at the work bench not in your guts. so you need a toolset and a finger razors and maybe a burnt out bionic and some other bits to attach them, and you can make the combined bionic. you also need to remove matching component bionics to install it. so if you have the toolset and you want to install the razor toolset you need to take the regular toolset out first, which adds tradeoff “do i need this bionic NOW or can i wait to find the other half of the combo?”

You’re talking about implementation rather than the idea itself, so I’ll assume that you like the idea of refining CBMs as a whole? This is 100% fine by me, I also like the idea of encouraging more choices in the CBM system by adding short/long term choices, and maybe give some reason to collect more than the first of any CBM you stumble across.

I think the biggest problem would be making exclusions - Cannot install Fingertip Razors AND Improved Integrated Toolset together, for example. Is there a framework already in place for mutually exclusive CBM installations, or could one be reasonably introduced?

the advanced reactor prevents installing the normal reactor on top of it. so there is probably a check, like “if X is installed, disallow installing” so advanced versions of items can have lesser versions blacklisted.