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> Necessities For A Frontline Hacker?, What is good for a hacker that DOES'NT stay home?
Socinus
post Jun 18 2009, 06:47 PM
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I did a search for this but I didn't find hardly anything.

What would be good to include or a necessity for a character that was a hacker who operated close to a team? Sometimes actually IN the firefight itself, sometimes back a little ways, but still close.

I'm talking gear, skills, programs, etc etc.
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DWC
post Jun 18 2009, 07:17 PM
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The program load is pretty straightforward. In terms of skills, Automatics, Perception, and Dodge should cover youl. Pick up a level or two of muscle toner, level 1 wired reflexes, cybereyes, and a submachinegun with a sound supressor in addition to the normal hacker stuff, along with a rank or 2 in the Athletics group, and shank your logic since you don't need it and if you were that smart, you'd have stayed in the van. Spend the points you save on logic by investing in a little more body and strength so you don't collapse in a gasping heap when things go sideways and your team has to run 5 miles from Puyallup back into civilisation.
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Socinus
post Jun 18 2009, 07:22 PM
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For a weapon I have a pistol crossbow with injection bolts, 10 loaded with Cyanide, 5 loaded with a solution of lye and oil, 5 filled with air.
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DWC
post Jun 18 2009, 07:36 PM
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Interesting as an assassination weapon, but in the hands of a secondary combatant, it's going to be an exercise in frustration. Anyone you can manage to hit with it wasn't worth killing, and anyone who you really want to put down isn't going to be hit by a weapon that can't fire wide bursts. Drones and spirits will be immune to it, and when things get really ugly, you'll never be able to cannibalize for ammunition for it.
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deek
post Jun 18 2009, 07:57 PM
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I'd say your best bet is as follows:

1) Get some IP enhancements so you can get 2 or 3 "meat" passes. That way you could use AR Matrix or Physical actions each pass.
2) Get a decent body for good armor to wear.
3) Get a decent agility so you can shoot well.
4) Get a weapon skill, pistols or automatics usually does the job.
5) Get a decent perception skill (which you should have anyways).

Now, you could try to get increased reaction and a dodge skill, but I don't think that's necessary as a secondary frontline guy. Just make sure you find cover and always attack from it. With your armor and a decent weapon die pool, you should be pretty deadly, but if you don't have a good shot, you can just work on AR hacking.
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DuctShuiTengu
post Jun 18 2009, 08:17 PM
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Grab an appropriate-sized vehicle or drone and put a rigger coccoon on/in it. My personal vote is for the Evo Orderly, as walker mode allows it to handle difficult terrain, such as stairs - though others have much better handling. Strap yourself in on the way to the run, use your command program to pilot it around with the rest of the team while sitting in full VR.

More generally speaking however:
  • Physical Concerns:
    • Defense: Being able to survive getting hit is probably more important than your ability to avoid getting hit, since you're not going to be dodging while in full VR (except when strapped into a drone/vehicle, which can dodge for you). That said, a good init score is helpful for getting behind cover before corp-sec opens fire.
    • Offense: If you're not planning on investing on the stats to be good in a firefight, grab weapons that don't require you to be. Suppressive Fire is generally a good option for characters with 1 IP and not that much accuracy. Flashpaks, smoke grenades, and gas grenades all have the benefit that you can drop them at your feet or stick them ontop of the crate you're hiding behind and still have it be effective (assuming that you and your team are protected against such things).

    Matrix Concerns:
    • If you're going with using a drone (or vehicle) to get around, make sure you have a high-rating command program, and gab at least maneuver and defense autosofts (plus any others that are appropriate for things you're using drones to do).
    • For hacking into stuff, you'll want exploit (preferably with mute) and stealth. Spoof is a good program for when you just need one command sent to or from a certain device. Decrypt lets you manage files, nodes, or transmissions that have been encrypted
    • Scan is needed to actually find nodes operating in hidden mode.
    • On the defensive end, Analyze and a good Firewall are your best bet for slowing enemy hackers and noticing them before they get in. Encrypt also causes that much more of a delay for them. Consider throwing in a Databomb as well, for extra headaches for anyone trying to get in without authorization.
    • Once you run into opponents on the matrix, Armor and Biofeedback Filters along with Attack, Blackout, Black Hammer, or Nuke are your best bets for surviving enemy attacks, as well as eliminating them.


For actual hacking during combat, there's some back and forth on what the best approach is. On the one hand, hacking yourself an admin account on a street-samurai's cyberware (or their commlink if they've slaved their ware to it) allows you to screw them royally by telling everything to shut down (leaving them with non-functional cyberware until it finishes rebooting). On the other hand, they've probably taken pains to stop you from doing something like that to them (or at least to make it difficult and time-consuming), and will likely have been gunned down by your teammates before you can finish getting in. Using the environment provides you with a lot of easy targets to get into (lights, loudspeakers, doors, AR beacons, nearby vehicles, etc.) but will frequently not have as much effect from an individual hack.

And I've probably missed quite a few things.
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Malachi
post Jun 18 2009, 08:29 PM
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If it fits your concept, pick Ork or Dwarf as your metatype. You'll gain some much needed "free points" in Body and Strength.
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DWC
post Jun 18 2009, 09:44 PM
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QUOTE (Malachi @ Jun 18 2009, 03:29 PM) *
If it fits your concept, pick Ork or Dwarf as your metatype. You'll gain some much needed "free points" in Body and Strength.


Dwarf also helps in that the boost to willpower helps you with resisting black IC, mana spells, and (on the very rare occaision that it comes up) with resisting collapse due to extreme fatigue.
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Kerenshara
post Jun 18 2009, 09:49 PM
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Want an off-the-wall suggestion for a front-line decker?

Physical Adept.

No, I didn't stutter.

Improved Ability: Cybercombat
Improved Ability: [everything in the cracking group]
Improved Ability: [everything in the computer group]
Improved Physical Statistic: Reaction - not getting hit and moving faster is wiz.
Combat Sense: as much as you can get - the best armor is never getting HIT in the first place.
Mystic Armor: I know people poo-poo this, but since there's no encumbrance penalty and it stacks with everything, if you DO get hit, every three levels is an average point of reduction, which isn't bad.
Susteanance: Reduce lifestyle costs and reduce the need for sleep.
Multitasking: It's an attention coprocessor without the essence loss or cost.

Spend one point of essence for an implanted comlink, data jack, Simsense booster 'ware, and maybe a sim rig. Later, when you're upgrading to higher grades of 'ware, pick up an encephalon and a Math SPU. Skillwires help you out with the things that aren't your core responsibility but need done anyway in the front line.

If you have the money and are willing to sacrifice another point of essence, hit the bioware, but that's diminishing returns unless a single extra pass is sufficient for you. Definitely consider the LOG boost strongly regardless.

Essentially, I am suggesting eventually taking about three points of high end 'ware and initiating a couple times to get the points you need. You have a VERY capable decker who is solid in the front lines, even if they aren't what you'd call a samurai.
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BlackJaw
post Jun 18 2009, 11:20 PM
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QUOTE (Kerenshara @ Jun 18 2009, 02:49 PM) *
Want an off-the-wall suggestion for a front-line decker?

Physical Adept.

No, I didn't stutter.
< snip >
Spend one point of essence for an implanted comlink, data jack, Simsense booster 'ware, and maybe a sim rig. Later, when you're upgrading to higher grades of 'ware, pick up an encephalon and a Math SPU. Skillwires help you out with the things that aren't your core responsibility but need done anyway in the front line.

If you're going to go with a magic using hacker, then don't bother with implanting most of that. Use a Trode net and keep the keep most of your gear physical. Sim Modules, Commlink, & Sim Accelerator are all viable in the physical, and the Adept powers given by Kerenshara replaces the implant only stuff like Sim Boosters, Encephalon (SP?) and the like.

The odd idea I've thought about making is the AR hacker. A Hacker that doesn't even bother with full VR and hacks in Meat Space. Use Wired Reflexes to get extra IP, and implant an Encephalon II to get a +2 bonus to hacking that works even in just AR. Go ahead and get a Datajack or implanted Commlink but don't bother implanting a Sim module (bring one allong for when you make probe attempts because it's way faster in at least cold VR). Also get the Math SPU and a NanoHive with the Neuro nanites that boost logic tied skills when you can concentrate.
Now when you need to hack on the front line, you can do so with a +2 bonus, but you do so in real time time while still fully awake and able to dodge or shoot because you're hacking in AR not VR. Tie this in with the other recomendations for Muscle Toner, and skills with Automatics and the like.

The other idea is to get a character similar to the one I run. He's not great at physicla world stuff, but he has replaced just about every last one of his limbs with an alphaware cyberlimb. He has a massive number of physical injury boxes, making him durable. He's also skilled in infiltration which means he can hide a bit in combat, especialy before dropping into VR. It's not a great front line option though.

I would also like to second the Rigger pod on an Evo Orderly option. Attach an LMG to it and trick it out with a good pilot and targeting autosoft. Mini-mech hacker suit is a great thing when you know you'll be hacking in the front lines.
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Kerenshara
post Jun 19 2009, 12:04 AM
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QUOTE (BlackJaw @ Jun 18 2009, 07:20 PM) *
If you're going to go with a magic using hacker, then don't bother with implanting most of that. Use a Trode net and keep the keep most of your gear physical. Sim Modules, Commlink, & Sim Accelerator are all viable in the physical, and the Adept powers given by Kerenshara replaces the implant only stuff like Sim Boosters, Encephalon (SP?) and the like.

The odd idea I've thought about making is the AR hacker. A Hacker that doesn't even bother with full VR and hacks in Meat Space. Use Wired Reflexes to get extra IP, and implant an Encephalon II to get a +2 bonus to hacking that works even in just AR. Go ahead and get a Datajack or implanted Commlink but don't bother implanting a Sim module (bring one allong for when you make probe attempts because it's way faster in at least cold VR). Also get the Math SPU and a NanoHive with the Neuro nanites that boost logic tied skills when you can concentrate.
Now when you need to hack on the front line, you can do so with a +2 bonus, but you do so in real time time while still fully awake and able to dodge or shoot because you're hacking in AR not VR. Tie this in with the other recomendations for Muscle Toner, and skills with Automatics and the like.

The other idea is to get a character similar to the one I run. He's not great at physicla world stuff, but he has replaced just about every last one of his limbs with an alphaware cyberlimb. He has a massive number of physical injury boxes, making him durable. He's also skilled in infiltration which means he can hide a bit in combat, especialy before dropping into VR. It's not a great front line option though.

I would also like to second the Rigger pod on an Evo Orderly option. Attach an LMG to it and trick it out with a good pilot and targeting autosoft. Mini-mech hacker suit is a great thing when you know you'll be hacking in the front lines.

Lots of optional rules limiting AR hacking. I'm sorry, there is no way you can keep up with a VR hacker, no matter how much you try in the meat world. That's my opinion, but when the Dev's include a half dozen optional "Nerfs" that suggests where they're thingking lies.
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The Jake
post Jun 19 2009, 01:33 AM
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QUOTE (Kerenshara @ Jun 18 2009, 10:49 PM) *
Want an off-the-wall suggestion for a front-line decker?

Physical Adept.

No, I didn't stutter.

Improved Ability: Cybercombat
Improved Ability: [everything in the cracking group]
Improved Ability: [everything in the computer group]
Improved Physical Statistic: Reaction - not getting hit and moving faster is wiz.
Combat Sense: as much as you can get - the best armor is never getting HIT in the first place.
Mystic Armor: I know people poo-poo this, but since there's no encumbrance penalty and it stacks with everything, if you DO get hit, every three levels is an average point of reduction, which isn't bad.
Susteanance: Reduce lifestyle costs and reduce the need for sleep.
Multitasking: It's an attention coprocessor without the essence loss or cost.

Spend one point of essence for an implanted comlink, data jack, Simsense booster 'ware, and maybe a sim rig. Later, when you're upgrading to higher grades of 'ware, pick up an encephalon and a Math SPU. Skillwires help you out with the things that aren't your core responsibility but need done anyway in the front line.

If you have the money and are willing to sacrifice another point of essence, hit the bioware, but that's diminishing returns unless a single extra pass is sufficient for you. Definitely consider the LOG boost strongly regardless.

Essentially, I am suggesting eventually taking about three points of high end 'ware and initiating a couple times to get the points you need. You have a VERY capable decker who is solid in the front lines, even if they aren't what you'd call a samurai.


QFT. Nix Mystic Armor - take Combat Sense. Pretty sure Combat Sense works in the Matrix too.

- J.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Jun 19 2009, 02:41 AM
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QUOTE (BlackJaw @ Jun 18 2009, 04:20 PM) *
If you're going to go with a magic using hacker, then don't bother with implanting most of that. Use a Trode net and keep the keep most of your gear physical. Sim Modules, Commlink, & Sim Accelerator are all viable in the physical, and the Adept powers given by Kerenshara replaces the implant only stuff like Sim Boosters, Encephalon (SP?) and the like.

The odd idea I've thought about making is the AR hacker. A Hacker that doesn't even bother with full VR and hacks in Meat Space. Use Wired Reflexes to get extra IP, and implant an Encephalon II to get a +2 bonus to hacking that works even in just AR. Go ahead and get a Datajack or implanted Commlink but don't bother implanting a Sim module (bring one allong for when you make probe attempts because it's way faster in at least cold VR). Also get the Math SPU and a NanoHive with the Neuro nanites that boost logic tied skills when you can concentrate.
Now when you need to hack on the front line, you can do so with a +2 bonus, but you do so in real time time while still fully awake and able to dodge or shoot because you're hacking in AR not VR. Tie this in with the other recomendations for Muscle Toner, and skills with Automatics and the like.

The other idea is to get a character similar to the one I run. He's not great at physicla world stuff, but he has replaced just about every last one of his limbs with an alphaware cyberlimb. He has a massive number of physical injury boxes, making him durable. He's also skilled in infiltration which means he can hide a bit in combat, especialy before dropping into VR. It's not a great front line option though.

I would also like to second the Rigger pod on an Evo Orderly option. Attach an LMG to it and trick it out with a good pilot and targeting autosoft. Mini-mech hacker suit is a great thing when you know you'll be hacking in the front lines.



The Hacker that I play is an AR HAcker primarily (3 IP)... Works Great, most of the time... there are definitely times that you will need VR, but not many...
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Malachi
post Jun 19 2009, 03:44 AM
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QUOTE (The Jake @ Jun 18 2009, 07:33 PM) *
QFT. Nix Mystic Armor - take Combat Sense. Pretty sure Combat Sense works in the Matrix too.

- J.

Combat Sense only works against "ranged and melee attacks." I would categorize a Matrix attack as neither.
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Socinus
post Jun 19 2009, 04:04 AM
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QUOTE (BlackJaw @ Jun 19 2009, 12:20 AM) *
The odd idea I've thought about making is the AR hacker. A Hacker that doesn't even bother with full VR and hacks in Meat Space. Use Wired Reflexes to get extra IP, and implant an Encephalon II to get a +2 bonus to hacking that works even in just AR. Go ahead and get a Datajack or implanted Commlink but don't bother implanting a Sim module (bring one allong for when you make probe attempts because it's way faster in at least cold VR). Also get the Math SPU and a NanoHive with the Neuro nanites that boost logic tied skills when you can concentrate.
Now when you need to hack on the front line, you can do so with a +2 bonus, but you do so in real time time while still fully awake and able to dodge or shoot because you're hacking in AR not VR. Tie this in with the other recomendations for Muscle Toner, and skills with Automatics and the like.

I've started moving in that direction.

To keep him out of the main fight, I've selected a sniper rifle so he'll be able to fight, but not necessarily put himself at risk.
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The Jake
post Jun 19 2009, 04:18 AM
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QUOTE (Malachi @ Jun 19 2009, 04:44 AM) *
Combat Sense only works against "ranged and melee attacks." I would categorize a Matrix attack as neither.


I thought this was errata'ed in SR4A?

In any case - it is still better than Mystic Armor.

- J.
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Kerenshara
post Jun 19 2009, 04:52 AM
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QUOTE (The Jake @ Jun 18 2009, 11:18 PM) *
I thought this was errata'ed in SR4A?

In any case - it is still better than Mystic Armor.

- J.

Remember that your maximum rating in any single ability with a rating is equal to your magic rating. That would limit you to a maximum amount of Combat Sense. Mystic Armor then begins working on the back end, if you are actually hit. The Combat Sense probably already knocked a hit or two off, so you don't have to face as much staged-up damage, and the infini-stack ability of Mystic Armor can make the diference between a flesh wound and a sucking chest wound - life's little way of telling you to "slow down!"
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The Jake
post Jun 19 2009, 05:08 AM
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QUOTE (Kerenshara @ Jun 19 2009, 05:52 AM) *
Remember that your maximum rating in any single ability with a rating is equal to your magic rating. That would limit you to a maximum amount of Combat Sense. Mystic Armor then begins working on the back end, if you are actually hit. The Combat Sense probably already knocked a hit or two off, so you don't have to face as much staged-up damage, and the infini-stack ability of Mystic Armor can make the diference between a flesh wound and a sucking chest wound - life's little way of telling you to "slow down!"


I'm not sure I read you correctly, but there are ways for raising an attribute above the racial maximum. Mechanically, I'm not sure using magic to do it is very cost effective, but I'm digressing.

Secondly, the mechanics of avoiding being hit have been well established as being far, far superior than soaking the hits. There are other threads on this if you decide to search on it. But the short answer: if you already have a boosted IP (by whatever means) you are better sinking points into a high AGI, REA and Dodge skill. If you're an adept, Combat Sense is too damn useful.

I don't disagree Mystic Armor is useful. Mechanically however, in this build it isn't an efficient use of points and pales into insignificance when you compare it to how else those points could be spent.

- J.
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Kerenshara
post Jun 19 2009, 05:24 AM
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QUOTE (The Jake @ Jun 19 2009, 01:08 AM) *
I'm not sure I read you correctly, but there are ways for raising an attribute above the racial maximum. Mechanically, I'm not sure using magic to do it is very cost effective, but I'm digressing.

Secondly, the mechanics of avoiding being hit have been well established as being far, far superior than soaking the hits. There are other threads on this if you decide to search on it. But the short answer: if you already have a boosted IP (by whatever means) you are better sinking points into a high AGI, REA and Dodge skill. If you're an adept, Combat Sense is too damn useful.

I don't disagree Mystic Armor is useful. Mechanically however, in this build it isn't an efficient use of points and pales into insignificance when you compare it to how else those points could be spent.

- J.

It's not that you don't read me correctly, you just missed what I said: If your MAG is 4, then the most you can take in any power that had levels is 4. So that's 2 of your points. You could take a point or two of Mystic Armor to help out once you ARE eventually hit. That's all. And if you're using the "Points for metamagic" option, it gets even more important. And they are die pool modifiers, which means eventually you'll get to the "20 dice or" cap proposed in SR4A. I was suggesting other things to do after. Of course, you could always spend essence on Orthoskin. And here's a little math for you: Even with the reduction in price on the Improved Initiative power, it costs 4 points. Synaptic Accelerators are 1.5 points of lost magic, rounded up to 2 in normal form (less in Alpha Beta and Delta versions). They're only money. So it's effective to snag those and Cerebral Boosters for example, especially if you're using a variant where LOG is back in hacking.

Make more sense now?
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The Jake
post Jun 19 2009, 06:54 AM
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QUOTE (Kerenshara @ Jun 19 2009, 05:24 AM) *
It's not that you don't read me correctly, you just missed what I said: If your MAG is 4, then the most you can take in any power that had levels is 4. So that's 2 of your points. You could take a point or two of Mystic Armor to help out once you ARE eventually hit. That's all. And if you're using the "Points for metamagic" option, it gets even more important. And they are die pool modifiers, which means eventually you'll get to the "20 dice or" cap proposed in SR4A. I was suggesting other things to do after. Of course, you could always spend essence on Orthoskin. And here's a little math for you: Even with the reduction in price on the Improved Initiative power, it costs 4 points. Synaptic Accelerators are 1.5 points of lost magic, rounded up to 2 in normal form (less in Alpha Beta and Delta versions). They're only money. So it's effective to snag those and Cerebral Boosters for example, especially if you're using a variant where LOG is back in hacking.

Make more sense now?


Not really. Magic does not limit the rating. It limits your Magic Points you can spend. The arbitrary limit was NOT one imposed in SR4A and to the best of my knowledge, not based on your Magic Rating. At best, it is limited to SOME powers. E.g. Kinesics is limited to 3.

Check the errata here. If you can find the quote however, I'll happily eat my hat.

Combat Sense (2) increase your reaction effectively for situations of surprise and costs 1 Magic Point. That means times when your combat hacker would be caught with his/her pants down. This is 2 extra dice which can be applied to Dodge tests or Surprise tests. If you're willing to invest in Gymnastics Dodge, you could make the argument that it is cheaper to invest points in Improved Skill for a non-combat skill is only .25 vs .5 for a combat skill (or Combat Sense). But overall, the usefulness of Combat Sense cannot be denied.

Furthermore it is mechanically far superior to Dodge an attack and soak what is left than it is to soak. If you have an enhanced initiative, even if it is only a lowly Wired Reflexes or Synaptic Booster (1), you are better off spending that first action to Dodge.

Re: the costs of Improved Reflexes, you're not looking at the numbers accurately. For starters, that 1.5 is for Synaptic Boosters (2) going from memory, not rating (3). Secondly you excluded Wired Reflexes and MBW - which must be considered for comparitive purposes. Sure, at the top end Improved Initiative costs 4 Magic Points. But Wired Reflexes (3) and MBW (3) costs 5 Essence.

Even under SR4A, Improved Reflexes (2) only costs 2.5 Magic Points. That's better than Wired Reflexes (2) which takes up 3 Essence. Synaptic Boosters taking 1.5. Ok, sure, Synaptic Boosters are far better for your Magic rating. However you pay out the wazoo to get them. Straight out of chargen, it is not really feasible.

Now bear in mind, the changes in cost to these powers in SR4A is a vast improvement on SR4 and past editions. Under every other edition, there was no reason not to pick cyber over magic. Now, Magic is still preferrable, unless you're loaded with cash AND getting access to betaware or better gear + adapsin + biocompatiblity. This is a much needed and much more balanced answer.

I see what you mean for your build, and yes, if money were no object it is more efficient. But when you have to buy up your Magic rating AND then buy programs, drones, gear AND by cyberware, the costs can very easily blow out.

Out the gate, you have to be cost effective. Which is why I recommend Improved Reflexes (2) and I wouldn't go any higher obviously. Buy the Synaptic Booster (2) later on.

- J.
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Ustio
post Jun 19 2009, 08:57 AM
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QUOTE (The Jake @ Jun 19 2009, 02:54 AM) *
Not really. Magic does not limit the rating. It limits your Magic Points you can spend. The arbitrary limit was NOT one imposed in SR4A and to the best of my knowledge, not based on your Magic Rating. At best, it is limited to SOME powers. E.g. Kinesics is limited to 3.

Check the errata here. If you can find the quote however, I'll happily eat my hat.


lets see:

QUOTE (SR4A p.195)
Many adept powers may be purchased at a variable rating. The maximum level an adept may have in any power is equal to the adept’s Magic attribute


May I sugest mustard as a sauce for your hat (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Byron
post Jun 19 2009, 01:28 PM
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If you're heading out in the meat then I suggest getting some drones, good for any hacker, a rotodrone or doberman is cheap and you throw an lmg or smg on them and you've got good fire support. Try to get some armor, a lined coat is always nice, not too showy but good protection. It wouldn't hurt to get an ares predator with a smartlink so you can at least try and pick off weak people, but if you want to boost your meat body, wired reflexes are expensive and invasive, try what my hacker does...drugs! Cram can be really useful since it gives you an extra initiative pass, which should help you keep up in AR, not as good as VR but lying on the floor immobile is not always an option. In addition if you do insist on going VR in the middle of a firefight do so in one of two ways. One is to get a GMC stepvan like I have, stay inside and it's 8 armor will help out a lot, or if you're in VR you can use a drone found in armor, I forget what it's called but it's an automated wheelchair that can fery you around. That's what I can think of off the top of my head.
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Byron
post Jun 19 2009, 01:31 PM
Post #23


Target
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PS If you can, get an enhanced rigger cacoon in whatever vehicle you have, it adds 20 points of armor and you don't need to move around since you'll probably be in AR anyway.
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Cthulhudreams
post Jun 19 2009, 02:43 PM
Post #24


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any hacker can own in combat with gunnery 6 +2 ballistics + R6 command. Throwing down 14 dice on the LMG or grenade launcher mounted on your company steel lynx is more than the street sammie can realistically contribute.
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DireRadiant
post Jun 19 2009, 03:11 PM
Post #25


The Dragon Never Sleeps
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Tacsofts for your team. Sensory channels for your team. Armor. Agents. And a team who will take care of you.

Fun thing to have a medical clone to treat you and your team in combat.
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