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Zen Shooter01
post Nov 14 2008, 07:00 AM
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This little item is killing my fun - I'm one centimeter from banning it. It's totally remodeled my games.

First, I apply negative modifiers to Perception for each wall you look through with it, figuring the layered images are confusing. Even so, at least one character in my PC group has it at all times. One of the most basic run formats is for the PCs to go in somewhere and retrieve or destroy something or someone. Now, with the damned radar sensor, they can see where the guards are, where the drones are, where the bombs are, where the doors are, who's got a backup gun in an ankle holster, who's got a synthetic cyberlimb, etc. and so on. It wipes out 75% of my tricks.

Then the Street Samurai with radar sensor starts firing APDS through the walls, and it's all over.

Yes, I can just layer in more guards, more guns, more drones, but a lot of organizations don't have that kind of financing, and from a practical play point of view, it just makes things bigger and more complicated. More guards means the gunfight takes more real time.

It's the rare building indeed with lead-lined walls.
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DocTaotsu
post Nov 14 2008, 07:03 AM
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Wow... it takes lead to stop radar? Won't something a little more low key than that stop a person mounted radar?

It might not be RAW but if radar is as awesome as you make it sound (I don't have my books on me) I refuse to believe there are no counter measures for it. A radar jammer? That's entirely possible right? Scrambles radar or feeds it false info (by info I mean. BRIGHT SPOTS BRIGHT SPOT!). Fuck i don't know, have the guards carry around grenades full of chaff.
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Glyph
post Nov 14 2008, 07:20 AM
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Remember that radar is susceptible to jamming (its main weakness), something that will be far more commonly encountered in corporate territory than lead-lined walls. And while a 100 meter range may seem like quite a bit, it can leave a character disadvantaged compared to normal line-of-sight sometimes. Also, they are seeing a simplified representation overlaying their normal vision. Sure, they can see through walls, or tell that someone has a gun in a shoulder rig, or tell that someone has a cyberarm. But can they tell the scientist they are supposed to extract from all of the other people milling around the area, using only radar? No.
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TheOOB
post Nov 14 2008, 07:22 AM
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Many security set-ups would use radar themselves(radar tends to be good at picking up other radars if set in passive mode), which would make using a radar pretty dangerous. I would also rule that Wi-Fi inhibiting paint(which is incredibly common) also blocks radar waves.

Besides, in a busy cluttered corp enviroment radar wouldn't be all that useful for picking out the guards from the non guards. Aside from that, any of my players who shot through walls at any moving targets are either a)going to hit a non-combatant and get huge notoriety boosts, or b)get a huge corp sec team on their collective asses.
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DocTaotsu
post Nov 14 2008, 07:30 AM
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I think counter-radar is an excellent idea. If the players are using radar for real time data (as would be helpful for shooting people through walls) they're going to be staking huge signs on their backs that read "Unauthorized radiation emission." which will warrant a team of jammer wielding corps sec to investigate.

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TheOOB
post Nov 14 2008, 07:39 AM
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There are very few tools a runner can get that a corp cannot. Radars are best for wide open areas or to find large vehicles. That secure corporate facility you are breaking into will at least have one radar detector in the builder, and if they don't they will once they find out a plucky team of runners is breaking into nearby corp facilities and shooting guards through walls via radar.

Once again though, the penalties for using radar to shoot a single target in a cluttered environment would make you so likely to miss in addition to the penalties to shooting through the wall that all you are likely to accomplish is letting everyone know exact ally where you are.
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knasser
post Nov 14 2008, 07:46 AM
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QUOTE (DocTaotsu @ Nov 14 2008, 07:03 AM) *
Wow... it takes lead to stop radar? Won't something a little more low key than that stop a person mounted radar?

It might not be RAW but if radar is as awesome as you make it sound (I don't have my books on me) I refuse to believe there are no counter measures for it. A radar jammer? That's entirely possible right? Scrambles radar or feeds it false info (by info I mean. BRIGHT SPOTS BRIGHT SPOT!). Fuck i don't know, have the guards carry around grenades full of chaff.


I'm afraid that the radar sensor is exactly as awesome as Zen Shooter01 makes it sound. It has a range of 100m and penetrates Rating x 5 points of structural material. It uses the same Visibility Modifiers as Ultrasound in the BBB. it ranges from Rating 1-4. A plasterboard internal wall or an internal door is structural rating 3. It's not unreasonable to have brick or plascrete walls however, and these have a structural rating of 11. That takes some of the fun away for Rating 2 or lower but that's doesn't entirely restore game balance and if a PC has a rating 3 or 4 device, then they can look right through reinforced concrete.

A PC in my group has it. Had I had oversight over character design, I would have banned it. (Along with a number of other features of the "I Win" - lives in a squat, has ¥1m worth of cyberware installed, Logic 1" troll). However, I inherited the group and I have a mix of interesting characters and unrealistic psychopaths.

The best you can hope to do with Radar Sensor is to try and work jammers and underground facilities into the game where there is thick earth between passages. But it's a pain in the arse and there's no mistake about that. I'd seriously suggest to ZenShooter01 to just talk to the player and retconn it out. Yes - there are countermeasures to it that a GM can use, but when suddenly security forces all start prepping for the occasional runner with a Radar Sensor and walking round with Jammers constantly on (and presumably communicating by waving at each other across the compound), you both throw out realism and any sense of impartiality with the players.

I'm open to other suggestions from people as to ways to deal with it in-game, though.
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knasser
post Nov 14 2008, 07:54 AM
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QUOTE (TheOOB @ Nov 14 2008, 07:22 AM) *
Many security set-ups would use radar themselves(radar tends to be good at picking up other radars if set in passive mode)


Like many great ideas, it's obvious once someone else has pointed it out! Anyone using radar is a glowing beacon for any other character or device that uses radar. I like it and will be using it at the first opportunity.

THANK YOU! This is going to change the way the players use radar very much.

Khadim.
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The Jopp
post Nov 14 2008, 08:17 AM
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A few additions that are both for and against the radar sensor that is both fun and can cripple a good game.

1. Multiple radars on drones can give a good 3D map and give additional targetting data.
2. Walls stop bullets. Not all interior walls are plaster and wood but light concrete or other futuresque material like plascrete or soemthing.

I would say that Interior walls are "Heavy Material" on the barriers table and should give the recipient a +8 Armour - And yes that would be a +4 after APDS bonus have been applied.

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Ryu
post Nov 14 2008, 09:55 AM
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QUOTE (knasser @ Nov 14 2008, 08:54 AM) *
Like many great ideas, it's obvious once someone else has pointed it out! Anyone using radar is a glowing beacon for any other character or device that uses radar. I like it and will be using it at the first opportunity.

THANK YOU! This is going to change the way the players use radar very much.

Khadim.

Don´t forget to consider the suspicion Mr. Security Commander will have about the source of radar... due to the Arsenal errata on sensors, only specialised medium drones and up will carry it (4 or more sensors, one of those radar = large drone capacity = medium drones with imp. sensor suite only). So don´t use a small weapon when you fire through that wall.

Else: Build European-style. Brick interior walls, concrete carrying structure. Make the image behind solid walls fuzzy - as in threshold 3 for hidden objects. Perception + Radar Rating are not going to be that many dice, so accumulating net hits beyond that will be hard.
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Muspellsheimr
post Nov 14 2008, 11:25 AM
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I would also like to point out that while the radar will pick up everything, that does not mean the character using it does. Characters must still make Perception Tests while using radar. While this will usually be able to pick up individuals, drones, etc. through walls easily, it does not necessarily confer details, such as what weapons they possess, if they are security or civilian, etc.

Further, Infiltration works normally.
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crizh
post Nov 14 2008, 11:54 AM
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QUOTE (TheOOB @ Nov 14 2008, 07:22 AM) *
radar tends to be good at picking up other radars if set in passive mode


Assuming the device has a passive mode, which RAW it doesn't, and assuming that the two devices operate on identical or resonant frequencies.

I imagine pin-pointing the location of a low-power spread frequency pulsed dopler radar requires an enormous amount of processing grunt and an extremely accurate map.

Detecting it's use, easy-peasy with the right sensor. Shame there isn't one in any of the source-books.

Actually, in retrospect, if UWB Radar operates in the same frequency band as the Rating 6 Radar in every vehicle on the planet then detecting it's use in all that noise becomes nearly impossible and trying to pin-point it's location futile.
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Drogos
post Nov 14 2008, 12:30 PM
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Isn't there a selective band jammer? I could reasonably see a secure facility springing for one of those. That and a sensor to detect radar waves makes perfect sense in my view, and it isn't that expensive.
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crizh
post Nov 14 2008, 12:59 PM
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QUOTE (Drogos @ Nov 14 2008, 12:30 PM) *
Isn't there a selective band jammer? I could reasonably see a secure facility springing for one of those. That and a sensor to detect radar waves makes perfect sense in my view, and it isn't that expensive.



And if UWB uses the same frequencies as vehicle radar?

You get thousands of false-positives on your detector and regularly cause pile-ups on the freeway.
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Drogos
post Nov 14 2008, 01:01 PM
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I would rule that they don't because normal cars should not be seeing through walls. They are just able to bounce their signal off everything and thus are the vanila radar.
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Fuchs
post Nov 14 2008, 01:09 PM
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If something is that good, then it stands to reason that it will be commonly used - and commonly defended against. Unless all NPCs, runner and corps alike, are morons.
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crizh
post Nov 14 2008, 01:12 PM
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QUOTE (Drogos @ Nov 14 2008, 01:01 PM) *
I would rule that they don't because normal cars should not be seeing through walls. They are just able to bounce their signal off everything and thus are the vanila radar.


I'm not so sure that they shouldn't or can't. I'd ask WMS if he were around but will have to make do with Wikipedia for the interim.

Before I go and check consider that vehicle Radar is designed to detect vehicles that almost certainly have a structure rating well in excess of 20 and that is designed to do so through intervening 'soft' obstacles like trees, fences, walls and small buildings.
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crizh
post Nov 14 2008, 01:14 PM
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QUOTE (Fuchs @ Nov 14 2008, 01:09 PM) *
If something is that good, then it stands to reason that it will be commonly used - and commonly defended against. Unless all NPCs, runner and corps alike, are morons.


I concur.

I don't agree that jammers are the best option however. WiFi inhibiting paint and Faraday Cages are the way to go here.

edit - Faraday Cages would be best because you could start using Radar detectors and they would stop people looking through the walls.

Followed by EMP's to burn out the antenna....
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The Jopp
post Nov 14 2008, 01:53 PM
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QUOTE (crizh @ Nov 14 2008, 02:12 PM) *
Before I go and check consider that vehicle Radar is designed to detect vehicles that almost certainly have a structure rating well in excess of 20 and that is designed to do so through intervening 'soft' obstacles like trees, fences, walls and small buildings.


I actually don't think they are since they use their sensors to detect pedestrians as well. This could be in addition to the radar a combination of cameras, rangefinders and recognition software and motion detectors though.
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ravensoracle
post Nov 14 2008, 02:13 PM
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I doubt it is RAW but my job in the Air Force was Electronic Warfare. I don't have my books with me but I would say that from my experience a facility could just as easily use a Jammer of the right frequency range or another radar unit hooked to a ECCM program (Which is esentially a jammer in the right frequency range).

The comm Jammer is performing a similar function so just use it as a basis and say you need to have a jammer that is designed for Radar frequencies instead of communication frequencies.
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Zen Shooter01
post Nov 14 2008, 02:36 PM
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Thanks to everyone for the input, but I'm afraid the problem remains.

Many of your answers are, "A well-funded corporate facility will..." The problem is, what do street gangs do? Cults? Urban tribes? A lot of them aren't that well funded. I don't want my campaign to be forced into becoming a series of penetrations on corporate research labs because no other target stands a chance against the runners.

The answer that, "In real life, radar can be neutralized with..." is problematic, because that just opens the door to endless arguments with the PCs about real life radar. And it sets the precedent for the PCs to bring real life into every argument. "In real life, automobile tires would..." "In real life, skyscraper HVAC systems are..." I prefer to stay with canon rules whenever I can.

Yes, I do apply Perception modifiers for looking through walls. And certainly, walls provide additional armor. But when someone is blasting 8P -5AP or so at a target that doesn't even know it's in trouble, and so doesn't get the Reaction test to avoid fire and, presuming that the target survives to return fire, take the Blind Fire penalty shooting back, the advantage is decidedly with the combatant with the radar sensor.

Jammers are difficult, because few 6th World outfits are going to want to communicate by waving at each other after having cancelled all their wireless with the jammer they're using against radar. The ray of hope is the smart jammer, ARS 58. But still, the battlefield forever pivots around radar. Who has it, who has the countermeasure.
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crizh
post Nov 14 2008, 02:52 PM
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QUOTE (Zen Shooter01 @ Nov 14 2008, 02:36 PM) *
The problem is, what do street gangs do? Cults? Urban tribes?



Um, nothing? What the heck are street gangs doing putting in counter-measures to well funded Shadowrunners?

Street gangs are characterised by being able and willing to use large numbers and lethal force at the drop of a hat not for being para-military organizations capable of fending of Delta-Force.
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ravensoracle
post Nov 14 2008, 03:14 PM
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Well I would be labeling that character a distinctive style because of his actions and he may also gain some Noteriety if he is just shooting at bodies thru the walls without knowing exactly what he is shooting at. Yeah he may wipe the floor with a gang or two but he will then have the entire neighbohood of that gang after him because of the collateral damage he caused when he fired at the Average Joe who happpened to be walking nearby carrying a Pred for personal protection. There goes a lot of community support for the group as well as maybe getting them blacklisted by some fixers and Johnsons. Corps are going to be interested in hunting down the group since they are coming into facilities guns blazing without checking targets. That is going to end getting costly to corps soon because of the loss of trained non-combatant manpower.

Yeah the radar can be a great thing but the way they are using it can have some detrimental effects to their reps.
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Drogos
post Nov 14 2008, 03:14 PM
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Quick question. How many APDS rds does he have? I mean sure, he one shots a bunch of guys, but APDS rds are what 15 (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif) a piece? For gangers, use overwhelming numbers and a little strategy. And when he just figures he'd go to his friendly neighborhood arms dealer, say "Hey man I could only get 15 rds right now. They don't grow on trees you know." I mean, it's not like just because it's in a book they have to have unlimited access to it.
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knasser
post Nov 14 2008, 03:33 PM
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QUOTE (crizh @ Nov 14 2008, 02:52 PM) *
Um, nothing? What the heck are street gangs doing putting in counter-measures to well funded Shadowrunners?

Street gangs are characterised by being able and willing to use large numbers and lethal force at the drop of a hat not for being para-military organizations capable of fending of Delta-Force.


That's his point. He doesn't want to have to throw out a large range of scenarios and opponents because of one cheap bit of cyberware. And I agree with him, having a similar issue in my game. Radar Sense grants a very powerful tactical advantage and a lot of the techniques low-power opponents use to even things up with the Shadowrunners, such as hiding in ambush, get severely hampered by one samurai with a sensor and a decent Perception roll.

Having a character that can see through every door and wall changes the game drastically, regardless of whether or not they can shoot through said doors and walls, or not.

Khadim.
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