Bioware and Magically Active Archetypes
After years of following the rules provided in Shadowtech (pg 5), which state that points added to the body index affect the character's magic rating the same as if it were cyberware, we decided that it was time to change the playing field a little bit. Magic is already a powerful enough aspect of the game, but the available augmentation is minimal when compared to those available to other archetypes. We found that the same people were playing magically active characters over and over, with very few exceptions, mainly because of this limiting factor on character improvement. We felt that just throwing out the "bioware hurts magic" rule was a little too drastic and not subtle enough, so here is what we've come up with.
Bioware implanted into the body can, after time, become a "natural" part of the body instead of just an implant or replacement that the body has to cope with. How does this happen? Well, just like any other part of the body, the implanted bioware relies on cell replacement to repair itself and to keep healthy and operational (Shadowtech, pg 6). After time the entire piece of bioware will have been replaced with tissue generated by the host body, thereby becoming a "natural" part of the body. This doesn't happen over a short period of time, however. It can take years to completely replace the tissue involved. But, this all happens over time anyway. The place where this rule is needed is where the magic ability in a character and the physical body meets.
When a magically active character has a piece of bioware implanted into their body, the negative effect towards the magic rating takes place immediatley. The player creates a second body index to track the total points counted against the magic rating. The character can then, after all damage is healed, make a "healing" test to try to decrease the points counting against their magic rating. Only .2 points of body index counting against the magic rating can be healed at a time. Make a willpower roll using only the dice provided from the natural attribute itself with a target number equal to (2 x magic). The base time is 30 days. Divide the base time in half for every two successes. One success means that it will take the full base time. If no successes are made then the character cannot try again for twice the base time. Karma cannot be used for this roll, or for re-rolls. Only cultured bioware (Shadowtech, pg 6) can be used. Remember that neural bioware is always cultured. Normal rules apply if the bioware is not cultured.
This works the same for Physical Adepts. Non-magically active characters cannot use this rule, as they have no magic attribute, and would gain no benefit from it even if they could. The mage is still limited by the standard body index rules. Magically active characters who start with bioware implanted have had the bad luck of being unable to heal any of their body index. They can make their first roll during the first playing session. This helps keep down starting monsters. If the character receives a serious or deadly wound during this "healing" period they must start the "healing" time over for those .2 points after all damage has been healed.
As you can see, the the target number increases with every level of initiation beyond grade 0 by two, making it harder and harder for a mage to benefit from this rule if they don't try to increase their willpower attribute. Most mages do so this isn't that big of a deal. This allows the character to take advantage of bioware and, at the same time, shifts the power balance with regards to intiation enough to add a little more spice and fun to the game.