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> The 300 BP Technomancer, Building for the Street Level
Eyeless Blond
post Mar 9 2008, 06:59 AM
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The following is an attempt to build a street-level urchin technomancer, for eventual inclusion in the sample character thread. He was built using some of the tightest restrictions I've ever seen on chargen:
  • 300 Build Points
  • No Edge/Resonance/Magic higher than 3
  • No skill higher than 4, or skill group higher than 3
  • No Availability higher than 6
  • No more than 10BP spent on resources

The trick is to build something out of that that is actually effective as a technomancer. Even under normal 400BP rules this is a tough order, as technos are bigger BP hogs than mages, and is further complicated by the restrictions imposed by a ganger-level campaign. So, I came up with:

The Background:
[ Spoiler ]



The Numbers:
[ Spoiler ]


The Details:
[ Spoiler ]


As far as I can tell, this little guy would kick butt at breaking into vending machines, being a little mini-rigger for various gang activities, and in general being a kooky little crazy kid who talks to toasters and convinces other people's drones to follow him home. Any suggestions on how I can improve him?
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Eyeless Blond
post Mar 9 2008, 07:46 AM
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Unfortunately I'm not all that familiar with the TM rules, or SR4 rules in general, so I don't know how this will play out in an actual game.

How could I better build this character (within the specified limits)? What would be the best strategies to go with? Is Threading of any use whatsoever for this character?
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Crusher Bob
post Mar 9 2008, 12:39 PM
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Hmm, technical flaws first:

You spend 150 points of your basic stats not 140.
You can only know resonance x2 complex forms; thus, you can only know 6, you'll have to drop one of them.

I'd suggest dropping codeslinger, it costs 10 points, when you could just buy two skill levels for 8 points.

Assuming you can have a full 35 points of flaws, get the full 35 points of flaws.

Mechanically, you are probably much better off dropping your complex forms and using that money to buy a commlink and programs. Use your technomancer abilities to summon and bind sprites. This also lets you drop your resonance to 2 (and buy it up with karma later), since you won't be using resonance to hack, just call up sprites.

you can put another 5 points into gear (for what you have) which gets you another 25K Y.
Getting programs to replicate all 7 of your complex forms and a 3 across the board commlink (novatech airware + iris orb) for only 8700Y, leaving you plenty 16300 to upgrade your commlink, or get more programs, or more drones, or whatever.

Orks are the master race, especially for low point games.

Assuming you have a skill cap of 4, even if you aren't mentioning it.

So:

295 Points (5 points left over, you can get human looking (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif) )

Flaws
(35 points of choice)

Edges
Technomancer

Resources 50,000 Y (10)

Contacts (6)

Ork (20)
Regular Stats (150)
B 4
A 2
R 3
S 3
C 4
I 4
L 3
W 5

Special Stats (20)
E 2
R 2

Skills
Electronics (Group) 2 (20)
Hacking 4 (16)
Compiling 4 (Machine Sprites) (18)
Registering 4 (Machine Sprites) (18)

Automotive Mechanic 1 (4)
Industrial Mechanic 1 (4)
Armorer 1 (4)
Etiquette 1 (4)
Perception 1 (4)
Dodge 1 (Ranged) (6)
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ArkonC
post Mar 9 2008, 12:45 PM
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QUOTE ('BBB p. 86')
The maximum number of complex forms your character can learn during character creation, regardless of rating, is equal to your character’s Logic x 2.
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Cthulhudreams
post Mar 9 2008, 12:47 PM
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As the game in question is going to award karma weekly, despite whatever training provisions, its almost certainly better to buy the skill specializations in the game. Otherwise, Crusher has hilariously proposed a good character that the DM will inevitably shoot down.
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Prime Mover
post Mar 9 2008, 02:14 PM
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Just a thought but seems like just dropping availability or build pnts at creation makes things pretty street. Dropping Avail and build pnts seems pretty painful.
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Crusher Bob
post Mar 9 2008, 02:40 PM
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Assuming you are willing to be an ork, you can still come up with some decent characters:

Sample adept Gunner:

14 points left to split between gear and Contacts

Ork (20)

Flaws (35 points, your choice)

Edges
Adept (5)

Regular Stats (150)
B 5
A 5
R 5 (7)
S 3
C 2
I 3
L 2
W 3

Special Stats (40)
E 3
M 3

Skills (106)
Athletics Group 2
Automatics 4
Pistols 4
Thrown Weapons 1
Unarmed Combat 4

Perception 4
Infiltration 3
Etiquette 1 (street)

Adept Powers
Increased Reflexes - 2
Or maybe
Increased Reflexes -1, Combat Sense -2

Gear you can get:
Hold out + Stick n Shock
Heavy Pistol of Choice
AK 97 + Gas Vent 3 and shock pad
Flashbang Grenades
Smoke Grenades
Camo Suit + Helmet
Armored Jacket

So you have 2 or 3 Init passes, ok passive defense (7 or 8 dice) and 5 body. Of course, if you weren't a member of the master race, it would go much harder for you...
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Cthulhudreams
post Mar 9 2008, 02:47 PM
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Nah, your boned still, the GMs for the game caps magic to 3 and costs 25 BP per point of magic. (25 bp per point of magic!). I was thumping through some character concepts as an exercise with excel and its really though to come up with something seriously meaty. I honestly suspect the best character is going to be something with wired reflexes II and latent awakening (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

I looked at a guy with second hard wired II and a monowhip, but that bites the dust with the availbility AND essence rules which makes me sad.

Wired I doesn't help either, availability 8, 7 with second hand (IMG:style_emoticons/default/frown.gif)

Here are the character generation rules in full

http://thegutter.wikispaces.com/Mech+-+House+Rules+-+Chargen

The relevant bits

QUOTE
Attributes

* Physical/Mental are limited to 200 bp
* Magic is limited to 3
* Magic costs 25 build points per point
* Awakened characters must have an essence of 5 or greater


Skills

* PCs may buy only one skill at 4 (and none higher). Skill groups and all other skills are capped at 3.

* Ratings are limited to 4 and availability is limited to 6.
* Each mundane character may have one item of up to rating 6 and avail 12.
* Each build point spent on resources provides 2,500 nuyen instead of the standard 5,000. Players are limited to spending 20 BP on resources. (50,000 nuyen)
* Cyberware and bioware may not reduce the character's essence below 3.


Which gets you coming and going, magically is intensely expensive, and wired II either chews all your money, or chews more than your essence cap if you go second hand.
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Crusher Bob
post Mar 9 2008, 03:06 PM
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Heh.

He doesn't limit edge. So the gamiest thing I see off hand is a 1 magic ork adept with edge 5. Your karma pours into raising your magic (which is cheap).

[edit]

The main problem I have with such limited character generation schemes is that I tend to power game more to get a character that isn't horribly gimped. Lower point total games are really be done with BECKs, so that having a bunch of skills at 2 dosen't totally cripple your character.

Ork
Adept
Flaws (35 points, your choice)
B 5
A 5
R 5
S 3
C 2
I 3
L 2
W 3

M 1
E 5

Athletics Group 2
Automatics 3
Pistols 3
Unarmed 4
Thrown Weapons 1
Intimidation 3
Etiquette 1 (street)
Infiltration 3
Perception 3

8 points of resources (20K Y)
6 points of contacts

1 Point of Adept Powers,
Maybe Combat sense 1, sustenance, Iron gut so that all my meagre pay-outs can be spent on buying bigger guns, instead of that useless food stuff (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rotfl.gif)
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Cthulhudreams
post Mar 9 2008, 03:14 PM
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I had this:

Race: Ork

Stats:

Body 4
Agility 5 (6)
Reaction 5 (6)
Strength 3
Charisma 1
Intuition 5
Logic 2
Willpower 5
Edge 4

Skills

Athletics (Group) 3
Automatics 4
Unarmed Combat 3
Perception 1
FirstAid 1
Influence (Group) 1
Pilot Ground Craft 1
Stealth (Group) 1

<<Positive Qualities>>
Latent Awakeningž
Biocompatability (cyberware)۩

<<Negative Qualities>>
Mystery Mod Noise۩
Scorched
Implant-Induced Immune Deficiency۩
Sensitive Neural Structure
SINner (Criminal) --> potentially swap this out for augmentation addict (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)


Lone Star SWAT Suite 2nd Hand

Synthacardium 1 2nd Hand
Muscle Toner 1
Tailored Pheromones 1 2nd Hand

21063 yens left over, with which you are going to buy some wheels, the most cheapass commlink going which you will just treat as a mobile phone (get a handsfree kit), some shockgloves for busting out some moves, an Ingram Smartgun X and an AK-97 (there is potentially some world in which you'd go longarms instead of automatics, and get a sports rifle and the 3R SA shotgun from arsenal, as hey, its the barrens and shotguns are awesome).

Armourwise, armoured vest + FFBA shirt + helmet + PPP helmet (or forearm and shin guards) giving you 11/8 for some pretty nice bullet proofing

Until you awaken you focus on getting your limbs replaced with whatever chromed out limbs you can afford (so you can retrofit them later with gear), and when (if) you awaken you dump all your skill points into magic and either go pure adept only (if you are an adept, and potentially a mystic adept) or ignore spellcasting (asking nicely if you can be an aspected conjuring mage and save some karma) and just focusing on summoning (summoning gives sweet bling the fastest)
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Tiger Eyes
post Mar 9 2008, 04:39 PM
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QUOTE (Crusher Bob @ Mar 9 2008, 08:39 AM) *
Mechanically, you are probably much better off dropping your complex forms and using that money to buy a commlink and programs. Use your technomancer abilities to summon and bind sprites. This also lets you drop your resonance to 2 (and buy it up with karma later), since you won't be using resonance to hack, just call up sprites.

you can put another 5 points into gear (for what you have) which gets you another 25K Y.
Getting programs to replicate all 7 of your complex forms and a 3 across the board commlink (novatech airware + iris orb) for only 8700Y, leaving you plenty 16300 to upgrade your commlink, or get more programs, or more drones, or whatever.


Just to point out, a technomancer can't use normal programs unless they buy the (non-technomancer) version of the hacking and electronics skills. (see pg 233 SR4 - "technomancers may learn the normal versions of these skills separately")

So the idea of dumping the complex forms actually costs more karma.

Keep the higher resonance, use threading (it really does help - just limit it to only 1 or 2 hits above your resonance level, since you'll take physical damage from the drain... and with the low body, that can hurt), and REGISTER SPRITES ASAP. Seriously. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Crusher Bob
post Mar 9 2008, 05:18 PM
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Why would you learn the technomancer versions of hacking, etc at all? If you are only really going to use your 1337 technomancer abilities to bind sprites (compiling & registering), you can learn regular hacking and use a commlink.
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Eyeless Blond
post Mar 9 2008, 07:46 PM
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QUOTE (Crusher Bob @ Mar 9 2008, 09:18 AM) *
Why would you learn the technomancer versions of hacking, etc at all? If you are only really going to use your 1337 technomancer abilities to bind sprites (compiling & registering), you can learn regular hacking and use a commlink.

Because:

1) The non-technomancer can't use threading. Your Stealth is stuck wherever you bought it.
2) Non-technomancer hacking programs are availability 12R, out of reach of this character. Therefore no Stealth, Attack, Spoof, etc.
3) It would be highly suspect having a sprite be able to assist you with hacking while you were using a commlink. I doubt many GMs would allow it, or if they did, it would be a remote service and you'd only get one use out of them.
4) Commlinks don't actually have a listed Availability, but under "Upgrades" even a rating of 3 is availability 8, so one would think that makes any commlink with an attribute over 2 unavailable to the little guy too.

In other words, non-technomancers are entirely screwed hacking with commlinks

You're right about the skill limit of 4; forgot that one. And yeah, I am basing this on the DitG chargen, but the campaign has already said no to technomancers, so now I'm just building the character on a lark, and an experiment to see how to build a usable techno under these constraints. My experience with technos is limited, though I love the concept, so I figure building one would help emphasize their abilities and limitations.
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Eyeless Blond
post Mar 9 2008, 07:59 PM
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QUOTE (Tiger Eyes @ Mar 9 2008, 08:39 AM) *
Keep the higher resonance, use threading (it really does help - just limit it to only 1 or 2 hits above your resonance level, since you'll take physical damage from the drain... and with the low body, that can hurt), and REGISTER SPRITES ASAP. Seriously. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

I've been wondering about that. See, the problem with Threading is that at the low end it is entirely useless, even counterproductive. Remember that sustaining penalties chop 2 dice right off the top, so unless you made an increase of more than 2 there's no point. Even 3-4 successes in Threading might not be a good idea for this character, because he's only rolling 8 dice for Fading (maybe 7; I still have to resolve that extra attribute point) and will likely take a physical hit or two with 4P Fading.

The only thing I can see this being useful for is Stealth. The question then becomes if Drip has enough dice to actually score any successes against anything, because he's taking the -2 dice to Exploit. Sustaining penalties really suck in SR4.
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Jaid
post Mar 9 2008, 08:20 PM
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QUOTE (Eyeless Blond @ Mar 9 2008, 02:59 PM) *
I've been wondering about that. See, the problem with Threading is that at the low end it is entirely useless, even counterproductive. Remember that sustaining penalties chop 2 dice right off the top, so unless you made an increase of more than 2 there's no point. Even 3-4 successes in Threading might not be a good idea for this character, because he's only rolling 8 dice for Fading (maybe 7; I still have to resolve that extra attribute point) and will likely take a physical hit or two with 4P Fading.

The only thing I can see this being useful for is Stealth. The question then becomes if Drip has enough dice to actually score any successes against anything, because he's taking the -2 dice to Exploit. Sustaining penalties really suck in SR4.

and that's why you *need* registered sprites.

not only can they sustain for you in the short term, but they can also boost the actual rating of a CF as well.
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Eyeless Blond
post Mar 9 2008, 09:22 PM
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QUOTE (Jaid @ Mar 9 2008, 12:20 PM) *
and that's why you *need* registered sprites.

not only can they sustain for you in the short term, but they can also boost the actual rating of a CF as well.

Heh, true, but is 6 hours (the amount of time needed to rebind two rating 3 sprites) of prep time appropriate for raiding a vending machine? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

On another note, anyone have a good idea for other flaws to take to get to that magic +35BP? I'm a little annoyed by the Allergy to Sunlight thing, and don't particularly like munching out on Bioincompatability and such for a non-cybered character; any other ideas?
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ludomastro
post Mar 9 2008, 09:24 PM
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My only thought when I read the title was, "I feel sorry for the poor slot who has to do that." Now that I read your concept, I must say, "Good work!"
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Eyeless Blond
post Mar 9 2008, 10:13 PM
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Heh, well I'm still not sure he's all that great. Anyone who's actually played technomancers in an actual game care to critique the build? What I'm especially looking for are optimal strategies for how to use him in an actual game. For example, how would this technomancer hack a vending machine? How could he make himself useful to your typical third-tier gang? Could he ever successfully boost a car, even using Edge?

What I'm really missing here are the finer points of creating this character, and the practical aspects of building such a character to be useful. Anyone out there with insight into this?
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Malicant
post Mar 9 2008, 11:12 PM
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QUOTE (Eyeless Blond @ Mar 9 2008, 08:59 PM) *
I've been wondering about that. See, the problem with Threading is that at the low end it is entirely useless, even counterproductive. Remember that sustaining penalties chop 2 dice right off the top, so unless you made an increase of more than 2 there's no point.

Unless of course the sustaining penalty would not apply to the threaded Complex Form. Which it doesn't. Hurray! The errata once again saved the day. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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Tiger Eyes
post Mar 9 2008, 11:29 PM
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As Malicent said, there are no penalties while using the threaded complex form. So, for example, you're hungry and want that gooey bar from the vending machine. Let's say for fun the vending machine is "simple" - as SR4 would label a "public terminal", so it has a device rating of 2. Gives it a system of 2 and a firewall of 2.

Drip, being a clever sort, is well prepared to get that gooey bar. He plans to hack on the fly. He is going to use his exploit of 3, and thread it up +2, for a total of five (giving him 2 physical to drain with his willpower 5 + res 3 = 8 dice).

Drip rolls 5 + 3 (hacking) = 8 dice. He can get 2 more if he wants to slip into VR, for a total of 10 dice, vs the firewall of 2.

The vending machine counters with 4 dice, against Drip's stealth of 3.

Chances are, Drip will get that gooey bar.

Now, he could have asked a registered machine sprite (rating 3) to add its rating to his stealth during the attempt, which would give the vending machine a target of 6.

Against a vehicle... say, "Average" with a device rating of 3. Drip wants to hack into the vehicle's system, own it, and tell it to follow him home.

Vehicle has system 3 + firewall 3.

Again, Drip rolls 10 dice vs. the firewall 3.

Vehicle rolls 6 dice against Drip's stealth of 3.

A bit tighter contest, I'd suggest using that registered sprite -- or 2 of them -- to bump up his Stealth rating so the vehicle's firewall doesn't notice him.

See, Drip's not doing too badly...

As a note, I'd recommend dropping Drip's Codeslinger (registering) for the more useful HomeGround (pick a data haven or local network). He'll get +2 to all tests in that data haven, including compiling and registering sprites, and resisting the fading...
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Eyeless Blond
post Mar 9 2008, 11:41 PM
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QUOTE (Malicant @ Mar 9 2008, 03:12 PM) *
Unless of course the sustaining penalty would not apply to the threaded Complex Form. Which it doesn't. Hurray! The errata once again saved the day. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)

Er, where do you see that? All I see is page 234:
"Threaded complex forms must be sustained (similar to
how magicians sustain spells). Sustaining requires effort on
the technomancer’s part and so he suffers a –2 dice pool
modifier to all tests for each sustained complex form."

And I don't see any errata on p. 234. Or is this in the "FAQ", otherwise known as unintentional errata?
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Crusher Bob
post Mar 10 2008, 12:55 AM
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QUOTE (Eyeless Blond @ Mar 10 2008, 03:46 AM) *
2) Non-technomancer hacking programs are availability 12R, out of reach of this character. Therefore no Stealth, Attack, Spoof, etc.


Hacking programs are avail: (rating x2), so you can get lvl 3 hacking programs (for 1500Y a piece).
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Malicant
post Mar 10 2008, 12:56 AM
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Tomato, tomatoh. I guess it was in the FAQ then. I would link it, but the site hates me right now.

There is nothing to prevent you from sticking to the "makes no sense at all" interpretation and making threading pointless, of course.
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Eyeless Blond
post Mar 10 2008, 01:25 AM
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QUOTE (Malicant @ Mar 9 2008, 04:56 PM) *
Tomato, tomatoh. I guess it was in the FAQ then. I would link it, but the site hates me right now.

There is nothing to prevent you from sticking to the "makes no sense at all" interpretation and making threading pointless, of course.
Well, what jumps immediately to mind with me is how that should apply to mages as well. For example, do mages get the -2 sustaining penalty to use the device they just cast Analyze Device on? Or to a skill they're using via Magic Fingers? To a skill they're using both Magic Fingers and Clairvoyance to get a close-up view from far away? ow about a technomancer who is using both his Exploit and Stealth utilities, can he thread both at the same time and not receive any modifiers?

If this is an FAQ entry, it's following the very bad example set down by SR3, where the devs would use the "FAQ" to issue errata. That's not how it's supposed to work; FAQ entries are supposed to clarify existing rules, not make up new ones. Why the heck did I drop $35 on a book when the rules are somewhere else?


And yes, I just noticed the errata on the hacking programs too. Good call; I'm still concerned at the lack of Threading, and how all sprites you compile will have to be sent on remote service while you're commlink-hacking.
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Crusher Bob
post Mar 10 2008, 01:34 AM
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QUOTE (Eyeless Blond @ Mar 10 2008, 09:25 AM) *
I'm still concerned at the lack of Threading, and how all sprites you compile will have to be sent on remote service while you're commlink-hacking.


Buh?


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