I have a problem if a specific combination of Bioware and Merit is legit or not:

The Merit Double JointedSR4 p90 lists a "+2 on escape artist tests". The very same benefit is bestowed by the Bioware Elastic JointsAugmentation p.64, which specifically excludes to combine this implant with Smart Articulation or Rotational Joints.

So far, this combination would seem legit, but - there is always a but - There is a little paragraph in the beginning of the "Metagenetic Merits & Flaws" abstract in the Runner's Compendium:

"Boni from metagenetic merits, which are equivalent to Cyber- or Bioware implants, are never cummulative to them or vice versa"Backtranslated from German

What makes this abstract relevant? Well, Double Jointed is listed as one of the possible Metagenetic Merits that can be chosen in addition to the new ones listed in the RC.

So: Is it legal to combine Double Jointed with Elastic Joints when Double Jointed is not taken as a Metagenetic Merit but a normal Merit?


By RAW it is undefined, but...

As a SR GM, i'd totally disallow this. If you get the merit, it means your natural, flesh, cartilage, and bone joints and tendons are flexible.

The bioware will replace those during the implant surgery. You can't (and shouldn't) keep both sets of tendons and joints.

Contrast this with the adept power of flexibility (not in the 4th, but...): the adept is using magic to make their body more flexible, not replacing flesh. Therefore, would this power be available in 4e (not sure) it would stack.


This is the text you quoted, but from the english version of the book:

Bonuses from metagenetic qualities that mimic certain cyber or bio-implants or vice versa are never cumulative.

This is talking about those specific qualities that mention that act like a cyber/bio-ware or mention that they do not stack. Otherwise, no metagenetic quality could be taken with enhancements to that same ability. Some examples include: 360-degree Eyesight, Animal Pelage, Bicardiac, Biosonar, Camouflage, Dermal Alteration, and many others.

A more specific example of this kind of quality that will not stack with enhancements that provide a similar bonus:

Marsupial Pouch

The character develops a pocket-like pouch on her chest or abdomen, just like the pouch a kangaroo uses to carry its young. This pouch is equivalent to a Skin Pocket (p. 339, SR4).

Double Jointed is a positive quality, not an enhancement. It also does not mention that works like any cyberware or bioware, or that it is incompatible with them. As such, it should stack with any enhancements you got.

Double Jointed

Cost: 5 BP

A Double Jointed character has unusually flexible joints and can bend and contort his body into extreme positions. The character receives a +2 dice pool modifier for Escape Artist Tests (p. 133). At the gamemaster’s discretion, the character may be able to squeeze into small, cramped spaces where less limber characters couldn’t fit.

Otherwise, it would simply state that you cannot benefit from wares, like High Pain Tolerance:

High Pain Tolerance

Cost: 5 BP per rating (max rating 3)

High Pain Tolerance enables a character to better shrug off the distraction of pain from his concentration. A character who possesses this quality can ignore one box of damage per rating point when calculating wound modifiers (see Wound Modifiers, p. 163). So a character with this quality at Rating 2 can take 4 boxes of damage without suffering a wound modifier. This quality may not be used with the Pain Resistance adept power, pain editor bioware, or damage compensator bioware.

  • \$\begingroup\$ HPT does reference other mods that come from the sane book. DJ and EJ are in different books, and EJ just references cyber on the same book again. \$\endgroup\$ – Trish Oct 15 '17 at 9:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Trish I tried to clarify it further. Part of the meaning was probably lost on the translation of the book. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Oct 15 '17 at 13:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ You say, DJ doesn't mention the cyber or bioware, but it is in the core book. The EJ mod came later in the Augmentation - it can't mention stuff that wasn't in the rules when it was made... \$\endgroup\$ – Trish Oct 15 '17 at 15:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the rule came after, then it should mention something published previously. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Oct 15 '17 at 18:47

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