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> [SR3]Help with a new decker, Need help making a decker
swe_wolfis
post Dec 4 2006, 11:39 PM
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Hi,

I'm making my first decker and I'm having real problems making this character, the biggest problem is that I'm only allowed to take 400000 in money, and after I have bought some really important cyber/bioware I have about 230000 left for deck and programs, and I'm not allowed to make my own deck or program :(

So a Novatech Hyperdeck-6 is a no-brainer or?

What programs?

/Peter
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Kagetenshi
post Dec 5 2006, 12:02 AM
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Well, you're in a bit of a rough spot. Are you using the Matrix rules, or straight SR3 core book?

Considering your cash squeeze, my first advice is to ignore that attack programs exist. Later, when you have a bottle cyberdeck, you can start getting into cybercombat.

Go with the Hyperdeck-6, put your Masking and Sensor at 6, divide up Evade and Body however you want.

The next step is to buy Sleaze. This is your single most important program, get it at the highest rating you can run. Always keep this at the highest rating you can run. Never consider doing anything without the highest rating of this you can get.

The following programs are the ones I consider critical, and should be kept at the level of your MPCP when possible:

Deception
Browse
Read/Write
If you're using the Matrix rules, Validate
Spoof
Decrypt

If you've got cash left over after taking the above at the absolute highest level you can, consider some of the following at whatever level you can get:

Analyze
Camo
Commlink
Crash
Purge
Scanner
Sniffer
Snooper
Swerve

Then we get our fourth-tier programs. Get these when you can, possibly later in the game.

Any operational utility not covered above
Track
Offensive and defensive utilities of your choice

Obviously, if you intend to use an unusual method of access that requires a program (satellite, cellular, laser, MASER, whatever), put that in tier three or two. Having Sleaze is more important than being able to access the Matrix. Just follow this advice and you should be robin.

~J
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swe_wolfis
post Dec 5 2006, 12:09 AM
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using SR3 and Matrix rules.

don't know what way I will access the Matrix, some kind of illegal jackpoint I think.

Do I need anything more then Electronics B/R to do that? Does a decker normally need Electronics?
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Kagetenshi
post Dec 5 2006, 12:18 AM
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Installing a dataline tap is an Eb/r task. The only things I remember Electronics being used for are setting up laser and microwave links.

~J
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Dog
post Dec 5 2006, 04:42 AM
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Why the 400K limit? Does your GM know how much this'll limit your deck? Does he have advice?
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Sphynx
post Dec 5 2006, 10:46 AM
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I do, and always will, recommend starting your Decker without a Deck. You're much better off being ready to deck, than have a deck. Instead, make a Decker that can survive, some speed, some survival cyber (smartlink), etc. You'll maybe go a few games without a deck, but keep your eye open for oppurtunity.

I would however, recommend that you get your programs at character creation. Store them on optical chips until you get a deck you can install them on. You'll be much happier in the long run.
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swe_wolfis
post Dec 5 2006, 01:49 PM
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QUOTE (Sphynx)
I do, and always will, recommend starting your Decker without a Deck. You're much better off being ready to deck, than have a deck. Instead, make a Decker that can survive, some speed, some survival cyber (smartlink), etc. You'll maybe go a few games without a deck, but keep your eye open for oppurtunity.

I would however, recommend that you get your programs at character creation. Store them on optical chips until you get a deck you can install them on. You'll be much happier in the long run.

Well, this is the first time I will be playing with this GM, but he has said that he played deckers before. Noone exept the rigger is limited to 400,000. I really dont know why he set the money limit so low, he has rised the avallability limit to 10.
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Kagetenshi
post Dec 5 2006, 01:57 PM
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You might want to ask him. It'd be useful to know.

I disagree with Sphynx's recommendation, but there are situations in which it is worthwhile—particularly if you expect high pay or chances to scavenge or barter for a better deck than at chargen. Still, I don't think it's good advice in general.

~J
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Sphynx
post Dec 5 2006, 02:18 PM
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It's kinda required actually, to wait that is. Considering the availability factor, the most powerful deck a character can start with ( even at a million :nuyen: ) won't get past the weakest systems if he's playing by decking rules. I've showed that in practice on the forum a couple of years ago. If he plays the 'make a computer roll' to get data, it works, but not with the decking rules. I'm also guessing that he's thinking the same thing if he gave only the decker those rules (I'd only do that if I intended to provide a deck in-game within the first couple of games). Regardless, I learned years ago, never start with a deck, the decker is as useless with, as without a deck at all.

PS. Another good idea is to make your decker a security rigger as well. All they need is a datajack after all. ;)
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Kagetenshi
post Dec 5 2006, 02:27 PM
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QUOTE (Sphynx)
It's kinda required actually, to wait that is. Considering the availability factor, the most powerful deck a character can start with ( even at a million :nuyen: ) won't get past the weakest systems if he's playing by decking rules. I've showed that in practice on the forum a couple of years ago.

You may want to dig that example up, because I've got significant experience to the contrary. If you don't, I'll make an example after class.

~J
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Butterblume
post Dec 5 2006, 02:46 PM
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I actually did that years back. Creating a decker under the priority rules, with 400k ressources, meaning no deck. A on skills, C Attributes and D equals free dwarf :P.

The char was heavily augmented, and had quite a few useful skills on a high rating. I even choose to make her look harmless, so no cyberware like smart link (actually, she had a smartlink processer and what else you need hidden between the headware memory and what else was implanted in her brain, but no obvious induction pads. Relied on a stylish wire for that).

I never got my really exceptional deck. Would have made no difference if I started with one though.

My most fun char and the longest played.
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Kagetenshi
post Dec 5 2006, 02:54 PM
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No dwarf is ever free (running multiplier, anyone?).

~J
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Sphynx
post Dec 5 2006, 03:19 PM
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-1 Running Mult for +4 Attributes and bonus Body dice for pathogens and improved vision.... -1 for running sure doesn't seem like much of a cost. :P

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Kagetenshi
post Dec 5 2006, 03:25 PM
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I'm not saying it's terribly expensive, either, but it's certainly enough to make me think twice about doing it in any given case. That seems fairly not-free.

Especially since Quickness typically floats around 6-7, we're talking the loss of 6-7 meters of movement. That's big. Again, whether or not it's bigger than attributes, vision, and body dice is a matter of taste (though you also have to subtract out gear issues, reduced vertical mobility, so on and soforth), but there are plenty of valid reasons not to do it even when it doesn't cost anything extrinsic to dwarfness.

~J
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jrpigman
post Dec 5 2006, 04:13 PM
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QUOTE (swe_wolfis @ Dec 5 2006, 08:49 AM)
Well, this is the first time I will be playing with this GM, but he has said that he played deckers before. Noone exept the rigger is limited to 400,000. I really dont know why he set the money limit so low, he has rised the avallability limit to 10.


I'm going to assume you ARE starting with 400k, but this paragraph is confusing.

Anyway, I don't know if you're playing with edges and flaws, but taking State of the art could neatly dodge the whole availability problem.

Even still I can't imagine starting a decker with 400k, and actually expect to be able to deck. What cyber/bio is so important for you?
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Kagetenshi
post Dec 5 2006, 04:15 PM
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What edge is this? I've clearly missed it.

~J
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Kyoto Kid
post Dec 5 2006, 04:15 PM
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QUOTE (Sphynx)
It's kinda required actually, to wait that is.  Considering the availability factor, the most powerful deck a character can start with ( even at a million :nuyen: ) won't get past the weakest systems if he's playing by decking rules.  I've showed that in practice on the forum a couple of years ago.  If he plays the 'make a computer roll' to get data, it works, but not with the decking rules.  I'm also guessing that he's thinking the same thing if he gave only the decker those rules (I'd only do that if I intended to provide a deck in-game within the first couple of games).  Regardless, I learned years ago, never start with a deck, the decker is as useless with, as without a deck at all.

PS.  Another good idea is to make your decker a security rigger as well.  All they need is a datajack after all.  ;)

...this was why in our group we created framework where a decker could come in with custom built system of their own. To get a good deck after chargen means one of three things, you have to steal it (risking using someone else's Icon & Persona chips as well as any hidden "timebombs" they may have installed), Buy it off the shelf (requiring a Nuyen rich campaign), or Build it yourself (requiring a very long running campaign).

How we handled this was to have the character go through the deck design/construction process as outlined in Matrix as part of the chargen process. Make the appropriate rolls and add up the total time for planning, programming and construction. We then apply a lifestyle modifier (minimum of Middle since you also need a shop and all the appropriate tools/components). While this make the starting character a bit older and more matrix dedicated, it follows the decker's tenet of "not trusting someone elses hardware/software" and allows the character to come in with a more appropriate tool for doing their job. On the average, the final cost comes out to about 2/3 the price of off the shelf hardware/software.

True, it adds to the complexity of generating the character, which is why I engineered a Deck Design Spreadsheet where you simply plug in the target numbers and successes rolled and it crunches all the numbers down into final task completion times.

We have run some fairly matrix heavy campaigns in the past (including Brainscan) where the team wouldn't have survived if the Decker didn't already come in appropriately equipped.
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Sphynx
post Dec 5 2006, 04:21 PM
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Same here Kyoto, we almost always pre-build our own deck with Matrix rules, but without any rolling, if we start with a deck. Decks are just too expensive otherwise. More likely than not though, since every corp you hit will have deckers protecting the place, we plan our runs in a 'grab a deck' level of planning (especially if the decker security is maintained off-site)
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jrpigman
post Dec 5 2006, 04:35 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
What edge is this? I've clearly missed it.

~J

I'll look up the specifics when I get home and edit this post, but it increases availability limits at character creation.
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Kagetenshi
post Dec 5 2006, 04:36 PM
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And, unless I misremember, has been absent from the game since 3nd edition came out.

~J
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jrpigman
post Dec 5 2006, 05:23 PM
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That would explain why - I haven't ponied up for 4th ed. yet.

</derail>
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mfb
post Dec 5 2006, 05:32 PM
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i don't think it's around in 3rd ed, either.

okay, here's what you need for your deck. get the best deck you can afford; i don't feel like looking up what that is at the moment. the programs you'll need are: Deception-6, Validate-6, Sleaze-6, and Cloak-6.

pretty much everything else can wait. set your deck into Masking mode and go. Deception-6 should get you onto the system; Sleaze-6 should keep you undiscovered until you can use Validate-6 to make yourself an account. if you do get discovered, use Cloak-6 to duck out of combat. if you've got enough cash left over, it might be good to grab Armor-6 or something, in case something gets the drop on you.
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Kagetenshi
post Dec 5 2006, 05:38 PM
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QUOTE (mfb)
i don't think it's around in 3rd ed, either.

It isn't. I originally had "2nd" there, but I thought that made it sound like it had been dropped before 2nd edition. I guess I was wrong :)

~J
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lorechaser
post Dec 5 2006, 08:19 PM
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QUOTE (Sphynx)
I do, and always will, recommend starting your Decker without a Deck. You're much better off being ready to deck, than have a deck. Instead, make a Decker that can survive, some speed, some survival cyber (smartlink), etc. You'll maybe go a few games without a deck, but keep your eye open for oppurtunity.

I would however, recommend that you get your programs at character creation. Store them on optical chips until you get a deck you can install them on. You'll be much happier in the long run.

I guess my question would be "What sane team would accept a 'decker' that has no deck?"

"Hi I'm Jase. I'm a decker."

"Great, Jase. So, can you access the local 'Raku node and track down some info on this wageslave?"

"Um, well, no."

"No?"

"I, uh, I don't have a deck. I was kinda hoping you guys would go out and get me one."

"...."

"I'm pretty good at surviving on my own, though, without one."

"Yeah, that's good for you. But, see, we really wanted a DECKER here. That's why we posted the advert for a DECKER, because we needed someone to do some DECKING for us with their CYBERDECK. Not just a guy that can some day do some stuff."

"Um."

"Bye, Jase."

"Bye."

"NEXT!"

"Hi, I'm Snake. I'm a Street Sam. But, um, I don't have any guns."

"FRAGGIT!"
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Pendaric
post Dec 6 2006, 01:00 AM
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I've ran a character through from no deck to cyber terminal to CMT Avatar to a good running deck. So I hope this is useful:
As already stated
Sleaze: Keeps you hidden and your security tally down* Important*
Deception: Gets you onto a node
Browse: Lets you find things
These three are the backbone of a deck

Read/write and Spoof cover the usal things a decker does on a run.
Validate is exspensive but if the account making works opens up the system, on the other hand, if the system has a high control your out of luck.
Decryption often used on low end runs to stop scramble IC being a show stopper.
Armour is a must for cyber combat, so if you want to mix it up buy it.

Now decide on what kind of decker you want to be while you roleplay. Buy programs around that style.

Take a grade three math spu. This is a must buy, its cheap, low essence and gives you three bonus hacking pool, take this in favour of a cerbral booster.
Active and storage memory are cheap to increase on your deck, as is IO speed. You can therefore cheaply upgrade to the next deck (bar persona incease) till you can afford the next deck. More importantly with a little time you can take this increase with you to the next deck.

Hope this is useful :)
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