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> 5 Ways to Pilot a Vehicle in Shadowrun 4th Edition
DigitalMage
post Jan 26 2006, 06:24 PM
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I was trying to determine whether the average vehicle could be hacked into and remotely controlled or not (I believe it can). In doing so I put together a list of all the ways in which a vehicle can be piloted according to Shadowrun 4th Edition rules.

The one thing I did notice is that VR control of a vehicle and jumping into a drone can only be performed if the character has a Control Rig, a Simsense Module (cyberware or on a commlink) and the vehicle is rigger adapted.

I also noticed that it isn't clear whether all the vehicle listed in SR4 are already rigger adapted or not (see below).

5 Ways to Pilot a Vehicle in Shadowrun 4th Edition

1. Physically
The driver physically sits in the vehicle and uses the manual controls of the vehicle to pilot it.
Roll: Reaction + Vehicle Skill
Threshold: As normal
Initiative: As normal (Reaction + Intuition for un-augmented characters)
Passes: As normal (1 pass for un-augmented characters)

2. Physically + AR
The driver physically sits in the vehicle and uses the manual controls, augmented with the virtual controls of the vehicle to pilot it. This requires a commlink and associated peripherals.
Roll: Reaction + Vehicle Skill +1
Threshold: As normal
Initiative: As normal (Reaction + Intuition for un-augmented characters)
Passes: As normal (1 pass for un-augmented characters)

SR4 p159:
Characters who are physically driving/piloting with the aid of augmented reality (they have subscribed to the vehicle as a service) receive a +1 dice pool modifier on all Vehicle Tests.


3. Remotely
The driver is not sitting at the manual controls of the vehicle but instead controls it remotely with a commlink over a wireless link.
Roll: Command program + Vehicle Skill
Threshold: As normal
Initiative: As normal (Reaction + Intuition for un-augmented characters)
Passes: As normal (1 pass for un-augmented characters)

SR4 p220:
Remotely controlling a drone would take a Command + vehicle skill Test, and so on.
Note that remotely controlling a drone in this matter is different from rigging a drone (requiring you to “jump into” the drone with full VR and “become” the drone) or issuing commands to a drone (in which case it acts on its own accord).
SR4 p159:
If they are remotely controlling the vehicle, they receive no bonus.


4. Rigging
The act of using Control Rig cyberware and a simsense module (either cyberware or in a commlink) to be able to “jump into” a vehicle and control it using full VR immersion. The rigger may be physically located in the vehicle and accessing it via a fibre optic link, or he can be controlling it remotely via a wireless connection (a commlink). This requires the vehicle to be rigger adapted, though it is unclear whether all the vehicles in the SR4 core book are rigger adapted or not (see below).
Roll: Reaction + Vehicle Skill +2
Threshold: -1
Initiative: Commlink’s Response + Intuition (+1 if Hot Sim)
Passes: 2 passes (3 passes if Hot Sim)

SR4 p158:
If the controlling character is using full-immersion virtual reality to control the vehicle (this is called “rigging” the vehicle), the vehicle operates on his Matrix Initiative (see p. 230).
SR4 p159:
Characters who are driving a vehicle through virtual reality (whether they are directly jacked in to the vehicle or piloting it remotely), receive a –1 threshold modifier to all Vehicle Tests.
SR4 p228:
A simsense module is required to access full VR. The sim module is a commlink accessory that you access with a datajack or trode net.
SR4 p230:
If you’re operating in cold sim virtual reality, your Matrix Initiative equals your commlink’s Response + your own Intuition attribute. You also get an extra Initiative Pass (two total).
If you’re running with hot sim in virtual reality mode, your Matrix Initiative equals your commlink’s Response + your own Intuition attribute + 1. You get two extra Initiative Passes (three total).
SR4 p331:
Control Rig: This implant harnesses the raw data-coordinating and synchronization power of the middle brain for the express purpose of directly manipulating rigged vehicles / drones. The control rig provides a +2 dice pool bonus on all Vehicle skill tests while the rigger is “jumped into” a vehicle/drone via full virtual reality. This bonus does not apply to other drone manipulation through the Matrix.
SR4 p341:
Rigger Adaptation: When added to a vehicle, this “black box” allows a character with a control rig (see p. 331) to rig the vehicle (see Rigging and Drones, p. 238), either through a direct fiberoptic cable or wireless link.


5. Issuing Commands
This involves the character issuing a command to a drone (a vehicle that has been adapted for rigger control, and therefore has a Pilot rating). The drone performs the task on its own.
Roll: Pilot + Maneuver autosoft
Threshold: As normal
Initiative: Pilot + response
Passes: 3

SR4 p221:
While online, you can issue commands to an agent (p. 227), drone (p. 238), sprite (p. 234), or other device under your control with a Simple Action.
SR4 p238:
Drones acting on their own use their own Pilot and autosoft (see p. 239) ratings for all necessary tests, and act on their own Initiative (see p. 239).
SR4 p239:
Drone Initiative equals Pilot rating + Response, and they receive two extra Initiative Passes (three total).
SR4 p240:
Maneuver autosofts are the equivalent of vehicle skills - they assist a Pilot to maneuver itself better. […] A drone with this autosoft rolls Pilot + Maneuver for Vehicle Tests (see p. 159).



Are the SR4 vehicles by default adapted for rigger control?
Page 238 states that it is Rigger Adaptation that provides a vehicle with a Pilot Rating, it also states that only drones usually come pre-adapted for rigger control.

SR4 p238:
The key difference that sets drones apart from ordinary vehicles is the rigger adaptation that provides drones with a Pilot program, which enables the drone to act independently of its controller to a limited degree.
All drones that are incapable of carrying passengers are usually automatically pre-adapted for rigger control. Passenger vehicles or larger passenger drones are not usually pre-adapted, but can be adapted quickly by the manufacturer, a mechanic, or even a rigger character (see Rigger Adaptation, p. 341).


So, if the above is true, you would expect the vehicle listing on page 342 to show a rating of zero for Pilot for at least most of the non-drone vehicles. Instead every vehicle has a Pilot rating of 1 or more!

So, are all the non-drone vehicles listed in SR4 adapted for rigger control?
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Abschalten
post Jan 26 2006, 06:30 PM
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Wow, nice summary of how to operate drones and vehicles. I think I'll save it to a text file for my own purposes. Thanks a bunch.
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BlackHat
post Jan 26 2006, 06:43 PM
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QUOTE (DigitalMage)
Are the SR4 vehicles by default adapted for rigger control?
Page 238 states that it is Rigger Adaptation that provides a vehicle with a Pilot Rating, it also states that only drones usually come pre-adapted for rigger control.

SR4 p238:
The key difference that sets drones apart from ordinary vehicles is the rigger adaptation that provides drones with a Pilot program, which enables the drone to act independently of its controller to a limited degree.
All drones that are incapable of carrying passengers are usually automatically pre-adapted for rigger control. Passenger vehicles or larger passenger drones are not usually pre-adapted, but can be adapted quickly by the manufacturer, a mechanic, or even a rigger character (see Rigger Adaptation, p. 341).


So, if the above is true, you would expect the vehicle listing on page 342 to show a rating of zero for Pilot for at least most of the non-drone vehicles. Instead every vehicle has a Pilot rating of 1 or more!

So, are all the non-drone vehicles listed in SR4 adapted for rigger control?

You did leave out one method... letting the vehicle drive itself (autonav)

But, yeah, I had the same question. I cannot tell if they meant that all vehicles have autonav, and that you only need rigger adaptation to "jump into" the vehicle in VR (basically, it would translate various vehicle things into simsense). IF that is the case, cars could be told to drive themselves (seems reasonable) or be commanded by a user without the need for rigger adaptation - so I am not sure that was what was meant.

Likely, they just wanted to put what the pilot ratings BECOME if you rigger adapt it - which is a little silly, since I believe all of the non-drone vehicles have the same pilot rating anyways.. .but i could be wrong. I don't have my book with me to double-check.
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hobgoblin
post Jan 26 2006, 06:47 PM
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i would guess that autonav equals pilot under SR4, the seperation between them have allways been a bit silly in my view anyways...
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BlackHat
post Jan 26 2006, 06:55 PM
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QUOTE (hobgoblin)
i would guess that autonav equals pilot under SR4, the seperation between them have allways been a bit silly in my view anyways...

Yeah, except that in SR3 you could have autonave without rigger-adapting a vehicle. I think it was a lot cheaper and easier to get autonav than pilot, too.
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hobgoblin
post Jan 26 2006, 07:09 PM
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ugh, i see where your going with this. i dont understand why they linked a drones pilot with the rigger adaption. as pilot is just a comlink system with "smarts" its basicly silly.

i fear that both the rigger and matrix sections of the book was more clear early in the editing prosess. but in order to fit them into the book, the sections got screwed up as important bits of text and examples got cut out...

hell, in the older versions, drone and rigging was not one and the same. you could have a drone without direct rigger control. i dont see why it should suddenly change. maybe outside of simplifying. but then the way the text is written works against that as currently it confuses rather then enlighten...
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milspec
post Jan 26 2006, 07:49 PM
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I disagree on one small point: where does it say a Control Rig is required for VR control? We had been playing it that a commlink w/ simsense was good enough for VR control of a vehicle. And that the Control Rig just gave a nice bonus to dedicated riggers.

milspec
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DireRadiant
post Jan 26 2006, 08:09 PM
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Rigger Adaption = Simsense feedback?
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DigitalMage
post Jan 26 2006, 08:21 PM
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QUOTE (milspec)
I disagree on one small point: where does it say a Control Rig is required for VR control? We had been playing it that a commlink w/ simsense was good enough for VR control of a vehicle. And that the Control Rig just gave a nice bonus to dedicated riggers.

I pieced it together from the following:

SR4 p158:
If the controlling character is using full-immersion virtual reality to control the vehicle (this is called “rigging” the vehicle), the vehicle operates on his Matrix Initiative (see p. 230).


This defines rigging as full-immersion VR to control the vehicle.

SR4 p341:
Rigger Adaptation: When added to a vehicle, this “black box” allows a character with a control rig (see p. 331) to rig the vehicle (see Rigging and Drones, p. 238), either through a direct fiberoptic cable or wireless link.


Emphasis is mine. This implies that a character requires a Control Rig to rig a vehicle (alng with the vehicle being rigger adapted) - and as above we have defined rigging as full VR immersion.
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DigitalMage
post Jan 26 2006, 08:23 PM
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QUOTE (BlackHat)
You did leave out one method... letting the vehicle drive itself (autonav)

That would be covered under 5. Issuing a Command - i.e. you tell a vehicle to go to a certain place and it drives itself there.
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BlackHat
post Jan 26 2006, 08:23 PM
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QUOTE (DigitalMage)
QUOTE (milspec @ Jan 26 2006, 07:49 PM)
I disagree on one small point: where does it say a Control Rig is required for VR control?  We had been playing it that a commlink w/ simsense was good enough for VR control of a vehicle.  And that the Control Rig just gave a nice bonus to dedicated riggers.

I pieced it together from the following:

SR4 p158:
If the controlling character is using full-immersion virtual reality to control the vehicle (this is called “rigging” the vehicle), the vehicle operates on his Matrix Initiative (see p. 230).


This defines rigging as full-immersion VR to control the vehicle.

SR4 p341:
Rigger Adaptation: When added to a vehicle, this “black box” allows a character with a control rig (see p. 331) to rig the vehicle (see Rigging and Drones, p. 238), either through a direct fiberoptic cable or wireless link.


Emphasis is mine. This implies that a character requires a Control Rig to rig a vehicle (alng with the vehicle being rigger adapted) - and as above we have defined rigging as full VR immersion.

:eek: That is pretty convincing to me, although previously I would have agreed with the above that you didn't NEED a control-rig to rig. That line says you do though.
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kigmatzomat
post Jan 26 2006, 09:21 PM
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Of course, he's quoting the Combat section of the rules and not the Matrix/rigging section of the rules. I'm fairly certain that "rigging" in these instances is given a brief definition for convenience rather than as a definitive statement.

QUOTE (page 238)

RIGGING AND DRONES
Hackers (and technomancers) who focus on rigging drones and vehicles tend to favor diff erent gear and programs than regular system hackers. Riggers don’t usually focus on tweaking their commlink to be a hacking machine par excellence, though a high Firewall is essential for keeping hostile hackers out and preventing other riggers from hijacking their drones. Riggers also don’t usually spend the time or money to buy up or program their own top-notch hacking utilities, preferring instead to focus on a good Signal strength, good Scan, Command, Encrypt, and Sniff er programs, and of course, plenty of drones with amped Pilot, Response, and Firewall attributes of their own. Finally, riggers tend to focus less on Hacking and Software skills, relying heavily on Electronic Warfare and Hardware instead.


You'd think this paragraph would mention the necessity of a Control Rig, wouldn't you? Of corse, then it must be with the Control Rig.

QUOTE ( p.331)

Control Rig: This implant harnesses the raw data-coordinating and synchronization power of the middle brain for the express purpose of directly manipulating rigged vehicles/ drones. The control rig provides a +2 dice pool bonus on all Vehicle skill tests while the rigger is “jumped into” a vehicle/drone via full virtual reality. This bonus does not apply to other drone manipulation through the Matrix.


Oddly the Matrix Jargon block on p217 & 218 says:
QUOTE

Control Rig—An implant that enhances a rigger’s abilities when “jumped into” a vehicle (see p. 332).

Rigger—A user who “jumps into” a properly-adapted device (usually a drone, vehicle, or security system) in order to directly control it as if he was that device. Often equipped with a control rig (see p. 332).


Hmmm. Only "often" equipped with a control rig. Odd if it it is required to "rig."

If it requires circumlocution to come to a conclusion, Occam's Razor would say it is the wrong conclusion.
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Brahm
post Jan 26 2006, 09:41 PM
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It looks like a contradiction between sections of that book that got past the editor.
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BlackHat
post Jan 26 2006, 09:50 PM
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QUOTE (kigmatzomat)
If it requires circumlocution to come to a conclusion, Occam's Razor would say it is the wrong conclusion.

I thought that the term "Occam's Razor" meant that if there are multiple answers or theories to a dilemma, the simplest one is usually the best. In this case, both are equally simple.

Either A) you do have to have a control rig, as per BBB (p341)
or B) you do not, as per the BBB (p332)

=D
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Jan 26 2006, 10:04 PM
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Not the simplest one, but the one that requires the least assumptions.

In SR4, you can go VR in a vehicle without a blackbox or a control rig - if those are present though, you get a two dice bonus.
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Lagomorph
post Jan 26 2006, 10:12 PM
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QUOTE (DigitalMage)
SR4 p341:
Rigger Adaptation: When added to a vehicle, this “black box” allows a character with a control rig (see p. 331) to rig the vehicle (see Rigging and Drones, p. 238), either through a direct fiberoptic cable or wireless link.


Emphasis is mine. This implies that a character requires a Control Rig to rig a vehicle (alng with the vehicle being rigger adapted) - and as above we have defined rigging as full VR immersion.

I believe that is copy pasted from SR3 into SR4, I don't have my books here at work so I can't be certain, but that sounds exactly to be what I remember from the Rigger Adaptation gear from SR3 Main book.
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hobgoblin
post Jan 26 2006, 11:16 PM
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well, i dont think the SR3 had a option for a wireless link (unless you count the drone option), and i realy hope the page refrences are diffrent, but it could be the same. cant be botherd to check...
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hyzmarca
post Jan 26 2006, 11:32 PM
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QUOTE (BlackHat)
QUOTE (kigmatzomat @ Jan 26 2006, 04:21 PM)
If it requires circumlocution to come to a conclusion, Occam's Razor would say it is the wrong conclusion.

I thought that the term "Occam's Razor" meant that if there are multiple answers or theories to a dilemma, the simplest one is usually the best. In this case, both are equally simple.

Either A) you do have to have a control rig, as per BBB (p341)
or B) you do not, as per the BBB (p332)

=D

Actually, Occam's Razor states that one should not multily entities beyond necessity. In other words, one shouldn't make drek up unless it is absolutly necessary. If the observed data can be used to make a inferance then the observed data should be used alone. This doesn't mean that the simpliest answer is the best. It just means that the answer that most closely fits the data is best.

In the event that the data is too imcomplete that one has to make assumptions, then one should make as few assumptions as are necessary for incorrect assumptions can greatly skew the results.
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DigitalMage
post Jan 27 2006, 11:06 AM
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I agree that there is not a clear cut answer to this, and my interpretation was based upon the quotes that I could find. However the "often" does hint that maybe a Control Rig is not required.

My doubts over whether it was the intention of the writers to require a Control Rig to go full VR immersion in a vehicle was the fact that the -1 Threshold is in the combat chapter and applies only to VR. If a Control Rig is the only way to go full VR immersion in a vehicle then I would have expected that -1 Threshold would be mentioned alongside the +2 Dice bonus in the description of the Control Rig.

I think it is also worth noting that VR immersion (jumping into a drone, or rigging it) is probably not the same thing as controlling a vehicle via a wireless link while the character is in VR.

VR immersion is being one with the vehicle, while controlling a vehicle remotely via a wireless link only (i.e. method 3 above) is likely like controlling a car in a video game.

Maybe this is a question to put to the developers?
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DigitalMage
post Jan 27 2006, 11:19 AM
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So in order to make the Control Rig an optional item when rigging (i.e. full immersion VR) what parts of the text would need to change?

Would it simply be to remove "with a control rig (see p. 331)" from SR4 p341?

I.e. change:
"Rigger Adaptation: When added to a vehicle, this “black box” allows a character with a control rig (see p. 331) to rig the vehicle (see Rigging and Drones, p. 238), either through a direct fiberoptic cable or wireless link."
...to...
"Rigger Adaptation: When added to a vehicle, this “black box” allows a character to rig the vehicle (see Rigging and Drones, p. 238), either through a direct fiberoptic cable or wireless link."

EDIT
So if a Control Rig is optional, then it implies that you can Remotely Pilot a vehicle via VR (and get a -1 Threshold) and also Remotely Pilot a vehicle without VR (I guess using your commlink as a physical remote control like Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies).

In this case method 3 should be amended to:
3. Remotely
The driver is not sitting at the manual controls of the vehicle but instead controls it remotely with a commlink over a wireless link. The commlink control may either be via Virtual Reality (though not full VR immersion, see 4. Rigging, below) or through simply pressing buttons, using AR Gloves etc.
Roll: Command program + Vehicle Skill
Threshold: As normal (-1 if controlling via VR)
Initiative: As normal (Reaction + Intuition for un-augmented characters)
Passes: As normal (1 pass for un-augmented characters)
NOTE: A character using VR (but not full VR immersion) does not use his Matrix Initiative, this only applies if using full VR immersion (see 4. Rigging, below).

Also method 4 would change to:
4. Rigging
The act of using a simsense module (either cyberware or in a commlink) to be able to “jump into” a vehicle and control it using full VR immersion. The rigger may be physically located in the vehicle and accessing it via a fibre optic link, or he can be controlling it remotely via a wireless connection (a commlink). This requires the vehicle to be rigger adapted, though it is unclear whether all the vehicles in the SR4 core book are rigger adapted or not (see below).
Roll: Reaction + Vehicle Skill (+2 if the character has a Control Rig)
Threshold: -1
Initiative: Commlink’s Response + Intuition (+1 if Hot Sim)
Passes: 2 passes (3 passes if Hot Sim)

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mintcar
post Jan 27 2006, 02:12 PM
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It quiet clearly states that most passenger vehicles are not pre-adapted for rigger control. However, it is possible that a regular vehicle (perhaps stolen) could now be adapted on the fly by just installing a black box. Previously, rigger adaption ment fitting a vehicle with a complex network of sensors in addition to the rigger interface. Now the sensors are already there (there should be a page reference here, but I'm not up for it), so the process of adapting a vehicle should be rather simple.
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DigitalMage
post Jan 27 2006, 04:58 PM
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QUOTE (mintcar)
It quiet clearly states that most passenger vehicles are not pre-adapted for rigger control.

Unfortunately is also "clearly" states that:

SR4 p238: "The key difference that sets drones apart from ordinary vehicles is the rigger adaptation that provides drones with a Pilot program

SR4 p342
Honda Spirit (Subcompact) Pilot: 1
Mercury Comet (Sedan) Pilot: 2
Mitsubishi Nightsky (Limousine) Pilot: 3
Eurocar Westwind 3K (Sports Car) Pilot: 3
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hobgoblin
post Jan 27 2006, 06:48 PM
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maybe its a case of the vehicle list writer and the rigging rules writer not fully talking together?
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El Comandante
post Aug 19 2007, 01:38 PM
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Did anyone have a confirmation from the SR4 developpers that a control rig isn't indispensable to rig a device equipped with a rigger adaptation?

We had the same discussion in the Shadowforums (the biggest french Shadowrun community), and the same doubts, so I think this is a very important point that must be answered in the FAQ soon.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Aug 19 2007, 02:24 PM
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QUOTE (DigitalMage @ Jan 26 2006, 10:21 PM)
QUOTE (milspec @ Jan 26 2006, 07:49 PM)
I disagree on one small point: where does it say a Control Rig is required for VR control?  We had been playing it that a commlink w/ simsense was good enough for VR control of a vehicle.  And that the Control Rig just gave a nice bonus to dedicated riggers.

I pieced it together from the following:

SR4 p158:
If the controlling character is using full-immersion virtual reality to control the vehicle (this is called �rigging� the vehicle), the vehicle operates on his Matrix Initiative (see p. 230).


This defines rigging as full-immersion VR to control the vehicle.

SR4 p341:
Rigger Adaptation: When added to a vehicle, this �black box� allows a character with a control rig (see p. 331) to rig the vehicle (see Rigging and Drones, p. 238), either through a direct fiberoptic cable or wireless link.


Emphasis is mine. This implies that a character requires a Control Rig to rig a vehicle (alng with the vehicle being rigger adapted) - and as above we have defined rigging as full VR immersion.

Actually, that implies that to get any benefits from a VCR, the vehicle needs to have a Rigger Adaption.

Per RAW, you can control any device in full VR, and any vehicle comes with Pilot anyway:
Pilot is a Software, not Hardware in SR4...
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