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> Technomancer Rework, a few rough ideas (untested)
JBlades
post Nov 5 2007, 07:15 AM
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Hey, I know a lot of people are underwhelmed by technomancers as written, and I was throwing around some ideas for making them a little better last night. thought I'd throw them up here and see what people thought or if there's something I'm totally missing. This is just an idea for a simple fix that would make them worth playing in comparison to a hacker.

Basically, let technomancers buy complex forms like spells for 3 BP. They are then usable at a rating up to your resonance without any additional actions or cost. Threading can boost them up to resonance x2, but if you have bought it, you don't need to sustain the threading. Instead, threading a form you know to a higher level lasts for a duration of resonance combat turns. Also, make fading from threading a form have a DV = new Complex Form rating/2.

This lets them buy a few programs at a level a hacker can't touch out of the gate, but unless they drop over 50 BP on forms, they can't have them all. It also keeps them from losing too much of their dice pools to forms they don't have, crippling them.

This would work especially well if you're using the logic+skill rolls for hacking rather than the RAW skill+program/form, since technos would be able to do the amazing that a hacker can't touch, but a hacker can go for the cyber to boost logic and dice pools that would set a techno back.

Edited for spelling.
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NightRain
post Nov 5 2007, 07:43 AM
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I don't think technos need to be able to outgun hackers out of the gates, because they have greater potential than hackers in the long run. Giving them more starting power /and/ more potential power just makes the hackers irrelevant.

As it is, a starting techno can get his stealth up to 9 or 10 with a good threading roll when hacking a system, giving him a damned good chance of getting admin access on even rating 5 systems and far outperforming anything a hacker can do
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FrankTrollman
post Nov 5 2007, 08:01 AM
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The as writen matrix rules make me sad. As it is a Hacker will beat a technomancer every time because a Technomancer cannot stand up to a hacker in Matrix Combat. They just get the crap kicked out of them straight away. Stealth in the Matrix has a bad mechanic, where finding hidden icons is an extended test. The system gets a limited number of chances to find an intruder as he is getting in, meaning that having a high Stealth is a requirement to sneak in to higher end nodes. But a user has an unlimited nmber of chances and will thus eventually find any opponent - higher stealth simply buys extra time and not very much time at that.

So if there's a security hacker on the other side, he will find a technomancer and he will defeat him in cybercombat. The technomancer can really only accomplish anything by sending Sprites or attacking unoccupied networks. Meanwhile the sprites are a fucking joke. The Fault Sprite can't fight at all, because it only rolls negative one die for Matrix Perception and doesn't have Edge - so it will literally never find any opponent and cannot make attacks.

But that's all just numbers. The real problem is that the technomancer doesn't do anything special. Sprite powers aren't well defined enough or interesting enough to actually constitute a real difference you'd care about. Especially with Agents coming in practically limitless amounts, the advantages of sprites just aren't that interesting. A technomancer really is just a hacker with slightly different numbers. And instead of spending thousands of :nuyen: to get there (upwards of 20 BP!) they spend hundreds or thousands of BP and Karma. It's just sad. It's not a good exchange rate.

And honestly, it can't be. The ability to spend massive amounts, or even reasonable amounts of Karma to get something that anyone can purchase over the counter for laundry money is just never ever going to be impressive. We aren't impressed with Mages because they can shoot fire bolts, we're impressed because they can astrally project and levitate heavy objects silently.

-Frank
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Malicant
post Nov 5 2007, 08:56 AM
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I really do not think Technomancers should be good in Cybercombat. They suck hard, but that's not they field of play anyway. Given, the Perception thingy sucks bigtime, still haven't found a good solution for this one.

What makes them good is their flexibility. They can do shit, but a rating 5 Sprite can can do whatever they suck at. Well, not in combat, but... well... you get it ;)

Oh my good... I posted after Frank... don't troll me... please... I have family :spin:
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Blade
post Nov 5 2007, 09:07 AM
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Personally I think that Technomancer shouldn't be something in between hackers and Matrix-mages. They shouldn't be threading hacker's programs but technomancer's complex forms (which should be distinct from hacker's programs, like the sprites' powers), just like a mage doesn't magically build an Ares Predator but casts a Manabolt spell.
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Nightwalker450
post Nov 5 2007, 03:01 PM
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Here's a complaint about hackers, with the addition of augmentation. Hackers/Riggers can get 4 passes out the gate with another 13 BP worth of gear, and its only a rating 8 availability. NOBODY else gets 4 init passes out the gate in any plane of existance, and anybody else to get there needs to spend large amounts of karma or massive amounts of nuyen. 13 karma for the Technomancer to submerse and overclock. So now drones can have 4 passes out the gate, and hackers can have 4 passes out the gate. [/RANT]

Just looked like something that wasn't well planned.
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Buster
post Nov 5 2007, 03:16 PM
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QUOTE (Nightwalker450 @ Nov 5 2007, 10:01 AM)
NOBODY else gets 4 init passes out the gate in any plane of existance

Mages do. At chargen, a force 4 Increased Reflexes spell gets you 4IP (and +3Reaction too). However, you need to burn a spirit or suffer -2 dice to sustain it.

I like the idea of giving TMs a break with charging only 3 BP per complex form, just like mage spells. I'd like to hear people's experiences with play testing that. Do you have a build that takes advantage of that houserule?
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Malicant
post Nov 5 2007, 04:51 PM
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I can't recommend that. Makes threading something in between pointless and weird to handle (Drain). Also, the focus of TMs should be Sprites, not Complex Forms. IMO.
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Seven-7
post Nov 5 2007, 05:57 PM
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QUOTE (Buster)
QUOTE (Nightwalker450 @ Nov 5 2007, 10:01 AM)
NOBODY else gets 4 init passes out the gate in any plane of existance

Mages do. At chargen, a force 4 Increased Reflexes spell gets you 4IP (and +3Reaction too). However, you need to burn a spirit or suffer -2 dice to sustain it.

I like the idea of giving TMs a break with charging only 3 BP per complex form, just like mage spells. I'd like to hear people's experiences with play testing that. Do you have a build that takes advantage of that houserule?

And so do Hackers, VR:3+1(Simsense Enhancer)
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FrankTrollman
post Nov 5 2007, 08:18 PM
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QUOTE (Blade @ Nov 5 2007, 04:07 AM)
Personally I think that Technomancer shouldn't be something in between hackers and Matrix-mages. They shouldn't be threading hacker's programs but technomancer's complex forms (which should be distinct from hacker's programs, like the sprites' powers), just like a mage doesn't magically build an Ares Predator but casts a Manabolt spell.

I agree entirely.

Shameless Plug.

-Frank
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Fortune
post Nov 5 2007, 08:42 PM
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QUOTE (Buster)
QUOTE (Nightwalker450 @ Nov 5 2007, 10:01 AM)
NOBODY else gets 4 init passes out the gate in any plane of existance

Mages do.

And Adepts.
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Kyoto Kid
post Nov 5 2007, 09:11 PM
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QUOTE (Fortune @ Nov 5 2007, 03:42 PM)
QUOTE (Buster @ Nov 6 2007, 01:16 AM)
QUOTE (Nightwalker450 @ Nov 5 2007, 10:01 AM)
NOBODY else gets 4 init passes out the gate in any plane of existance

Mages do.

And Adepts.

...well, if you don't want any other powers.

had a fellow in a campaign a while back max out his adept's initiative. About the only thing his character was good for was getting all the oppo's to shoot at him first. Then the rest of us came in to mop up and the mage would heal his butt when the combat was over.
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JBlades
post Nov 6 2007, 03:37 AM
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Wow, lots of replies, I picked a bad day to have a lot of homework. :D

@NightRain: I see hackers as being able to go multipurpose more than technos, so don't really have a problem with the idea of them being better than hackers at their one thing, but you raise a good point. Hackers have access to a lot of cyberware, however, which raises their dice pools rather quickly to levels technos would have a hard time reaching in a decent length campaign, so I think it balances to an extent.

@Frank: Actually, it was your house rules thread that got me thinking about this. I took your idea that hacking should work more like magic, and literally this is an attempt to better technos by making them "matrix mages". I was specifically thinking of these changes in the setting of matrix actions being attribute+skill limited by program/form. This would make technos able to apply more successes than hackers (whose program are limited in rating compared to threading) while making hackers king of the dice pool but limited in successes.

I'm not seeing why a techno loses in cybercombat to hacker mechanically, help me out here? (No one has played a techno in my group.) Doesn't a Fault sprite default to pilot rating (which equals rating, -1 for defaulting maybe) for matrix perception using the agent rules? And I don't know that I would make a sprite roll to perceive the IC construct that's pummeling them. Faults also seem to be designed to assist a techno in cybercombat, not necessarily to be sent on remote to attack something (though maybe they were designed the other way and just fail).

@Malicant: I agree they suck right now, and they're mostly good for sprites, but that's the whole reason to rework them...

@Blade: That would be better, but takes a lot more time to write than I have right now. ;)

I'll work on a build of a techno using these rules, but I haven't had a chance to playtest them yet.

Anyone have thoughts on a different way to rewrite them? I know Frank is working on a complete matrix section rewrite, and I'm looking forward to seeing it.
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FrankTrollman
post Nov 6 2007, 08:08 AM
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QUOTE
I'm not seeing why a techno loses in cybercombat to hacker mechanically, help me out here?


A Technomancer's attributes are based on their Mental attributes. And they are actually forbidden by law from having all the CFs. Simply put, a starting Hacker has a Firewall of 5, a Response of 5, and a System of 5. A Technomancer does not. A Hacker has all the combat programs, a Technomancer does not. A Hacker can start with a bigger dicepool doing more direct combat actions tthan a technomancer can.

And a Hacker is functionally immune to damge because they can simply choose to not take Stun or Physical from attacks and they can swap commlinks out every round if they feel like it, with each new comm getting a brand new condition monitor. In the as-written world a Hacker can only be defeated by an unending horde of Agents, which is coincidentally also launched by Hackers.

QUOTE
Doesn't a Fault sprite default to pilot rating (which equals rating, -1 for defaulting maybe) for matrix perception using the agent rules?


In the Rules as written, Sprites roll Computer (which Fault Sprites don't have) + Analysis (which Fault Sprites don't have) for Matrix Perception. If they don't have the program or the skill, they take a -1 defaulting penalty (possibly each time depending upon how you read it) but are arguably allowed to throw in their Logic - which Fault Sprites also don't have. So Fault Sprites roll something between -1 and -2 dice with no Edge to spend on Matrix Perception tests.

So since it takes a minimum of 1 hit to engage in combat, a Fault Sprite can't attack any other icon under any circumstances.

QUOTE
Anyone have thoughts on a different way to rewrite them? I know Frank is working on a complete matrix section rewrite, and I'm looking forward to seeing it.


The first draft is up by the way. It's... long. Still, I suspect people will want about twice as many Programs and CFs as there are now. And I'm virtually positive that someone will want some extra Sprite types for their particular songs.

-Frank
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JBlades
post Nov 6 2007, 08:56 AM
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QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
The first draft is up by the way. It's... long. Still, I suspect people will want about twice as many Programs and CFs as there are now. And I'm virtually positive that someone will want some extra Sprite types for their particular songs.

-Frank

Found it, thanks. This is gonna take me a day or two to read. :) BTW, the description of Desu in it... well all it says is "Desu" many times. (Noticed while copying to word so I could print it and bring it along tomorrow to read.)
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Malicant
post Nov 6 2007, 12:25 PM
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QUOTE
So since it takes a minimum of 1 hit to engage in combat, a Fault Sprite can't attack any other icon under any circumstances.


In my games I allow sprites to perceive whatever the Technomancer perceives since I see them as extensions of his own mind in a weird way.

But yes, RAW are pretty sad at this part.
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Blog
post Nov 6 2007, 03:19 PM
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QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
The as writen matrix rules make me sad. As it is a Hacker will beat a technomancer every time because a Technomancer cannot stand up to a hacker in Matrix Combat. They just get the crap kicked out of them straight away. Stealth in the Matrix has a bad mechanic, where finding hidden icons is an extended test. The system gets a limited number of chances to find an intruder as he is getting in, meaning that having a high Stealth is a requirement to sneak in to higher end nodes. But a user has an unlimited nmber of chances and will thus eventually find any opponent - higher stealth simply buys extra time and not very much time at that.

The technomancer should never fight in cybercombat. A good technomancer will have a few registered sprites at resonance-2 to resonance level at any given time.

I dont have my book in front of me but I think 3 of the sprites have native cybercombat.... some with nastier toys. If i remember correctly friends in melee bonuses apply in the matrix and all your sprites wont suffer system response degredation. If the hacker tried to call for backup they would have a harder time to muster that firepower without gimping themselves.

I know i wouldnt want to face off against a rating 6+ fault sprite
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Cthulhudreams
post Nov 7 2007, 01:28 AM
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QUOTE (Blog)

I know i wouldnt want to face off against a rating 6+ fault sprite

Just curious, but did you read the bit where frank then went on to point out that fault sprites are completely ineffectual because they are blind?
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Whipstitch
post Nov 7 2007, 05:19 AM
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QUOTE (Kyoto Kid @ Nov 5 2007, 04:11 PM)
QUOTE (Fortune @ Nov 5 2007, 03:42 PM)
QUOTE (Buster @ Nov 6 2007, 01:16 AM)
QUOTE (Nightwalker450 @ Nov 5 2007, 10:01 AM)
NOBODY else gets 4 init passes out the gate in any plane of existance

Mages do.

And Adepts.

...well, if you don't want any other powers.

had a fellow in a campaign a while back max out his adept's initiative. About the only thing his character was good for was getting all the oppo's to shoot at him first. Then the rest of us came in to mop up and the mage would heal his butt when the combat was over.

If you take magic at 6 you can have other powers (like 2 levels points of Combat Sense or Astral Perception) or take an essence worth of cyber. That's pretty powerful in the short term, really.

Anyway, back to the main topic... I totally agree that doing something about complex form costs is absolutely vital. The game has far too harsh a penalty in store for those characters who fail to plow a large chunk of their bps into complex forms.
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Blog
post Nov 9 2007, 06:31 PM
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QUOTE (Cthulhudreams @ Nov 7 2007, 01:28 AM)
QUOTE (Blog @ Nov 6 2007, 10:19 AM)

I know i wouldnt want to face off against a rating 6+ fault sprite

Just curious, but did you read the bit where frank then went on to point out that fault sprites are completely ineffectual because they are blind?

I just ignore that literal sence of the rules and just use rating as it makes no sence for a semi-intelligent matrix entity to be 'blind'.

So does that mean agents are just as bad?
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FrankTrollman
post Nov 9 2007, 10:19 PM
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QUOTE (Blog)
QUOTE (Cthulhudreams @ Nov 7 2007, 01:28 AM)
QUOTE (Blog @ Nov 6 2007, 10:19 AM)

I know i wouldnt want to face off against a rating 6+ fault sprite

Just curious, but did you read the bit where frank then went on to point out that fault sprites are completely ineffectual because they are blind?

I just ignore that literal sence of the rules and just use rating as it makes no sence for a semi-intelligent matrix entity to be 'blind'.

So does that mean agents are just as bad?

No. Agents can load Analyze and they use their rating for any skill they would be called upon to make. So a rating X Agent almost always rolls X or 2X on Matrix Perception tests by RAW.

Fault Sprites very specifically and uniquely are not allowed to roll any dice on that test and thus canot interact with other icons.

-Frank
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