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> Technomancer Detectability, Is it a TM and where'd it go?
Nightwalker450
post Oct 30 2007, 02:25 PM
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I've been researching and it appears that the technomancer is by far the easiest member of any group to get anywhere. Here are some of the facts as I've read them, feel free to correct me or put your input into how your group interprets.

1. The only way to tell if a Technomancer is even a Technomancer is with an Assenssing Test (5). And as I've read in other forums, mages would only probably read this as an anomoly unless they've had experience with Technomancer auras.

2. No data trail, hackers leave a data trail which can be traced back to them unless they take the time to erase or mislead the trail. Technomancers leave a Resonance trail which will only be picked up by other Technomancers or Sprites. Only the largest of companys will employ a technomancer, others would have to contract out if they wanted to track a technomancer (and I doubt its cheap).

3. Severing mental wireless signal, by doing this they have no chance of being picked up with scan or sniffer programs, that might be looking for communications. But with this being resonance based, I'm not sure if they'd even be picked up? Since they can be jammed though they should be detected.

4. No commlink ID or SIN associated with a Technomancer. If the technomancer wanted they could probably spoof one, but otherwise you have no storage, so you can't keep a SIN in your head to broadcast. So with that a Technomancer always operates in "hidden" mode.

So basically carry a vanilla commlink on you, that you can load your fake SIN's into and travel around seen only as Joe Average by everybody. Also invest in your Face skills, because you're likely to end up in that position quite often. No one is going to suspect unawakened guy, with no cyberware, carrying nothing but a commlink with system rating 2 to be any threat.
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Cheops
post Oct 30 2007, 02:41 PM
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1) Other technomancers can detect TM's Resonance Sig with a regular Matrix Perception test. They do also have AID and can be detected by regular matrix users but they won't know that they are TMs. Hence the paranoia in Emergence.

2) They do so leave a datatrail! I used to make this mistake too. They have an AID just like anyone else and can be tracked/logged just like any other matrix user. The Resonance trail only relates to activities specifically with Threading and Sprites like an Astral Signature left by a mage. All their activities are still logged but only another TM will be able to tell that it was a TM that hacked their system.

3) They can be scanned and sniffed just like anyone else. It is still a wireless sig and abides by the SR rules for such.

4) They have an AID but not necessarily a SIN. If they were a SINner they still have a SIN when they become TMs. You are correct that they have no way of storing the SIN/Licenses in their brain so they must store it in their clothes or on a commlink so that society can access it.
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Tarantula
post Oct 30 2007, 04:37 PM
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Cheops: AID = access ID?
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Cheops
post Oct 30 2007, 04:46 PM
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yes, sorry, I'm lazy
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Nightwalker450
post Oct 30 2007, 08:14 PM
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1 - Misunderstanding was my fault, but I was referring to the technomancer's meat body. Online their persona acts just as any other hacker.

3 - Even scan and sniffer pick up nothing if there's no wireless signel. And technomancer's can sever their wireless through their own will. Don't have a book on hand, but its somewhere in the section about getting away from Black IC.

2/4 - They would produce traffic on wireless but they wouldn't actually have an AID would they? I'm thinking of AID's (heh technomancers are the only ones without AIDs..) as logins, such as logging into Dumpshock when I get here I'm Nightwalker450, but elsewhere on the net I'd be whatever my login was there..

Or are AID's more like IP address, in which case you'd have to spoof it, or run yourself through an annonymizer so that it can't be trace. But would a technomancer have an IP address? I guess if you ran an appropriate track you could trace them back to where they connected. But a technomancer would probably be tagged differently everytime they connect since they are more or less using public airwaves. A commlink is like a cell phone in that it has a number that you have to pay to get changed. Organic connection is living so I see it constantly changing so whenever they connect they aren't going to appear the same except by their Resonance signatures.
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GryMor
post Oct 30 2007, 08:26 PM
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AIDs are closer to (or at least encompass the function of) MAC (Media Access Control) addresses. AIDs make up the difference between incoherent (and easily filtered) background noise and coherent connections that nodes actually care about.
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FriendoftheDork
post Oct 30 2007, 10:43 PM
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Seems to me there is little mechanical difference between TMs and normal hackers when it comes to detection. Not detecting that someone IS a TM, but detecting the TM doing stuff. I don't really see what's more scary about TMs than just good hackers. AFAIK the only difference that matters i sprites, which is just free spontaneous (and therefore expendable) agents.

Am I right?
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Buster
post Oct 30 2007, 10:56 PM
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I've never played a technomancer before, but I'm told that the munchkiny thing to do is to max out threading on your stealth, sustain the thread with a sprite, then sleaze your way into systems with a double-fistful of dice on your stealth roll. So in that sense, they have an edge over other hacker builds.
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Ravor
post Oct 30 2007, 11:53 PM
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Of course that little tactic falls apart if the DM enforces the rule about imposing a negative modifier when "trying again" like they are supposed to. :cyber:
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Buster
post Oct 31 2007, 12:04 AM
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QUOTE (Ravor)
Of course that little tactic falls apart if the DM enforces the rule about imposing a negative modifier when "trying again" like they are supposed to. :cyber:

How so?
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Ravor
post Oct 31 2007, 12:31 AM
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A techomancer is unlikely to get enough sucesses to really be that scary unless you allow the player to roll countless times, and with the "Trying Again" rule in play the 5-10 minute cool down period between tries in order to avoid your dicepool from slowly eroding starts to become somewhat self enforcing.
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NightRain
post Oct 31 2007, 12:32 AM
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QUOTE (Ravor)
A techomancer is unlikely to get enough sucesses to really be that scary unless you allow the player to roll countless times, and with the "Trying Again" rule in play the 5-10 minute cool down period between tries in order to avoid your dicepool from slowly eroding starts to become somewhat self enforcing.

Really scary at what? What roll are you talking about specifically here?
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Ravor
post Oct 31 2007, 12:52 AM
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It's been agrued that since threading isn't actually listed as a Free/Simple/Complex Action anywhere and that a Technomancer only takes Fading based off the number of sucesses he applies to the threaded program then there is nothing stopping a Technomancer from simply trying to thread a program over and over again until he gets the max Rating program possible. Stealth is usually the Complex Form used in these examples, but really the idea is valid with whatever program you want to pick.

But whatever program is being threaded, I call bullshit.
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FriendoftheDork
post Oct 31 2007, 03:26 AM
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QUOTE (Buster)
I've never played a technomancer before, but I'm told that the munchkiny thing to do is to max out threading on your stealth, sustain the thread with a sprite, then sleaze your way into systems with a double-fistful of dice on your stealth roll. So in that sense, they have an edge over other hacker builds.

Interesting, I've never really read up on threading. Hmm, I can see how having good stealth could make you an unbeatable hacker in itself.
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Hank Chinanski
post Oct 31 2007, 07:36 AM
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QUOTE
QUOTE

I've never played a technomancer before, but I'm told that the munchkiny thing to do is to max out threading on your stealth, sustain the thread with a sprite, then sleaze your way into systems with a double-fistful of dice on your stealth roll. So in that sense, they have an edge over other hacker builds. 



Interesting, I've never really read up on threading. Hmm, I can see how having good stealth could make you an unbeatable hacker in itself.


Even better, TMs can combine threading with the assist operation service from a sprite. That way they can push their stealth CF (close) to maximum. Of course the effect won't hold on for a long time, but the nasty thing about it is that the CF's rating itself is increased.
That's a big advantage to any other hacker, who can crank up his dice pool but whose program ratings are limited to 6. Especially when the CF/program rating is used as threshold (e.g. stealth) increasing this rating is very effective.
And I don't agree with Buster about this being munchkiny. Threading and Sprites are the advantages of a TM that come with severe disadvantages. I don't think it's munchkiny to make use of them.
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Cheops
post Oct 31 2007, 04:45 PM
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I have no problem with letting the TM try again at Threading without taking the trying again penalty. That being said...I do start to apply the penalty once the TM starts bogging down gameplay with rerolling.

As far as the OP goes, it is VERY difficult currently to detect a TM as such from their meatbody. It is also fairly hard to differentiate TM activity from hacker activity on the Matrix. AFAIK TMs cannot turn off their wireless ability and so cannot avoid being scanned then sniffed. See Emergence if you need fluff reinforcement of this.

@FriendoftheDork: Sprites are essentially spontaneous Agents but far superior at their particular task than an Agent. Sprites are not limited by program load and node response like an Agent is. So you can tell your Rating 6 Sprite to take a jaunt on that Response 3 host and it still operates at Rating 6! Not to mention that while it is with your persona and helping you directly it doesn't increase program load and slow you down. They're wonderful!

Threading is another spectacular ability. Being decent at threading can really cut down on a TM's BP cost at character creation. It lets you increase weak CFs and use completely unknown CFs on the fly. Plus when you combo with Registered Sprites it just gets even worse (as already mentioned). Some GMs (like me) only allow Sprites to assist and increase CFs which they have so check with your group before trying.
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Nightwalker450
post Nov 1 2007, 11:42 PM
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Are technomancers always broadcasting? If you have the info from Emergence (even just fluff) I'd like to see it just so I can better understand this. I haven't got the book yet and nuyen is short :(

I was thinking they could based on pg 220 of SR4, under Jacking Out.

QUOTE
This won't necessarily disrupt the Matrix connection (though connections may time out and end after long periods of inactivity), but it will disconnect you from your persona (which is just a sitting duck in the meantime).  Jacking out is a Free Action.
[...]
Note that technommancers can jack out, but it is a matter of mentally severing their wireless link rather than pulling wires.


So basically leave your persona in a public node or just thread your stealth as high as you can before jacking out. You're able to walk around without a signal, and you're not rebooting just seperated from your persona. Most technomancers would probably suffer from this disconnection by being real irritable (ie technomancer in dead zone) But doing such for a few minutes while passing through checkpoints or scans might be worth it. Note this isn't rebooting so there wouldn't be the hour wait its just tuning your senses out.
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NightRain
post Nov 2 2007, 12:49 AM
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QUOTE (Nightwalker450)

So basically leave your persona in a public node or just thread your stealth as high as you can before jacking out.

That won't make any difference. Techno or hacker, the stealth CF/program is running on the technos head/commlink, the thing sitting in the node is just a visual representation of a still live connection. It isn't running programs/complex forms, so it is literally a sitting duck. No armour, no stealth, nothing.

Of course, it does lead to the problem of technomancers taking damage (they have no matrix condition monitor) when they're jacked out but their persona hasn't yet timed out. How does that work? :)
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Nightwalker450
post Nov 2 2007, 01:29 PM
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Being in a very public node would be the most protection for your persona then. Somewhere where someone throwing hacking programs around will draw alot of unwanted attention.


QUOTE
Of course, it does lead to the problem of technomancers taking damage (they have no matrix condition monitor) when they're jacked out but their persona hasn't yet timed out. How does that work?


Ouch, good point. So would the technomancer still be taking damage, or would the damage build up until he finally reconnected, then kill him? I think if he jacked out while in combat or someother critical situation, dumpshock him and reboot his persona. Willpower + Resolve (10, 1 hour) extended test to reconnect as per SR4. This would allow him to "rescue" his persona, but take him out of the hacking game for a while. Anytime else he would just be going offline, no persona that could be assaulted, reconnect with no problems. Otherwise technomancers would always have to be on the lookout for Black IC, even when not doing anything.

On the topic of damage, does anyone else think that Technomancers shouldn't need the Armor program? My thoughts for this is to a Technomancer Attack = Blackout, so shouldn't a Technomancer's natural Biofeedback filter handle this damage as well? It seems like a redundant program for them is all, wasted CF, wasted threading.
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Cheops
post Nov 2 2007, 03:12 PM
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Jacking out but still Accessing multiple nodes during combat is Very Stupid. In fact it is Stupid to access multiple nodes while hacking (unless absolutely necessary). Take the complex actions to log off then pull the plug. Or else just let yourself get dumped if it isn't Black programs.

I think it is more than fair for TMs to need Armor. They have a persona just like anyone else and their persona is just as susceptible to damage. Unfortunately for them their persona happens to be in their brain pan not their commlink. Besides Threading is a non-action so theoretically you could just thread it everytime you get attacked and drop it right after. Chalk it up as just another price that TMs have to pay to be the ultimate hackers EVER.
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