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> [Shadowrun 4 Core]Riggers
Paul
post Sep 14 2009, 02:55 PM
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So as I understand it there's really no reason a person in the sixth world couldn't simply run drones utilizing their AR through their commlink. Sure it's not as instantaneous as cyberlinked commlink, or a rigger-but you don't necessarily need it to, right?

So tell me what I'm missing here. What makes an SR4 Rigger worth playing? (I have some ideas, but I want to hear it from someone else.) Also I apologize if this has been covered, but the search function, even supplemented by google has left me with a lot of reading, and sorting it all out will take me sometime. Feel free to post links to pertinent topics, here or elsewhere.
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DWC
post Sep 14 2009, 03:07 PM
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Correct. You don't need a control rig to run some drones or drive a car, just like you don't need a smartlink to fire a gun, or a hot-sim enabled sim module to use the matrix.

However, if you want to excel, your options are either get a control rig (and the boosting nanites), or be a technomancer and thread the shit out of your Command CF.
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3278
post Sep 14 2009, 08:52 PM
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What's troubling me most deeply is that there's little benefit to being a dedicated rigger in SR4, as if riggers are just a subtle offshoot of hacker. Most of the benefits of being a rigger can be obtained by any character willing to give up a tiny bit of essence and nuyen to pick up a bit of cyber or two.

But. While I've been playing Shadowrun since 1989, it's only in the last couple of weeks that I've found it necessary to start reading SR4, so my familiarity with it could best be classified as "low." So, those of you who made the shift earlier than I, am I missing something, or did riggers really get utterly marginalized in SR4?

And while you're at it, please, let me know if I'm just missing it, or if vehicle creation rules are just - poof! - gone?
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eidolon
post Sep 14 2009, 09:44 PM
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I'm currently playing a dedicted rigger, and have played him for one session. So far, I've come up against one thing.

I didn't spend points on hacking skills so that I wasn't stepping on our hacker player's toes (we like a little niche protection) and so I find myself unable to do some of the things I thought I would be doing: namely, I am completely unable to "steal" a drone from the opposing rigger. I can try to spoof a command to it, since I have the Spoof program, but I can't fight the other decker and take the drone away from him.

Specifically, we had overwatch (drone and spirit) that alerted us to four (high-drag, low speed) ganger types pulling their bikes off the side of the road that our target was going to be coming down, and try to hide in ambush. They laid their bikes down and covered them. I wanted to grab control of one (preferably with a gyroscopic mod) and do stuff with it, really go to town, right? Couldn't do it. Didn't have the skills or a hacker-in-a-box.

Now sure, I could have worked with the hacker, have her create a back door for me to log in through...but I couldn't do something that I had been assuming was part of my repertoire.

So yeah, it seems that a full rigger is pretty much "Hacker + Control Rig." That's not totally badwrong I suppose, but if I make the rigger that I wanted to play, then the only thing keeping me from doing the hacker's job is "I just don't do that sort of thing..um...regardless of the fact that I have the skills, hardware, and software to do it.

So far I'm a bit non-plussed with the lumping-in, even after reading everything Arsenal and Unwired bring to the game.

You're either a "hacker that doesn't hack" or you're strictly a "remote control my own toys" guy. At least that's how it seems to me so far. I'm a ranged cyber-sam. Kinda having to redefine my outlook for the character. Still playable and enjoyable, but I can't steal yer drones.

(Never mind how easy it is to prevent someone from stealing your drone: jump into it. Bam, theft prevented.)
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Chrome Tiger
post Sep 15 2009, 12:27 AM
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While all of the above are true, pretty much anybody can just hop in and control or command a drone, a 'Rigger' with a control rig is more adept at doing it. Yes, again, anyone can get a control rig. However, a 'Rigger' is the guy that is going to build his commlink/control rig for better signal and geared more toward piloting and taking over vehicles.

He is also the guy that is going to be spending his BP on skills that are going to better his odds in vehicles that he is unable to jack into. These extra vehicle skills that a 'Rigger' would be more likely to pick over a typical 'Decker' character also come into play when going in full VR. Any tests made in full VR are made using the Rigger’s skills and the drone’s attributes. Yes, again, any character can have these skills, but if you wanted to make an actual 'Rigger' character, these skills are more likely to make it to the character sheet and typically at a higher level than someone that is designed to punch deck or shoot bullets for a living.

So, ultimately, any character can do it but a character designed to be a 'Rigger' will be specialized in it giving that character better odds. If you want a Rigger, make a Rigger and don't worry about whether anyone else can send generic commands to their drones because chances are, if you load out your skills right, you can hijack their drones and use them against their owner and probably at a higher level of aptitude. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Chrome Tiger
post Sep 15 2009, 12:31 AM
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And really, that is no different than any other version of the rules. There has never been anything from SR1 to SR4 to say a Street Sam could not get a control rig and pop out some drones for support. The connectivity portion of it is just a little easier and more streamlined in 2070.
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Jaid
post Sep 15 2009, 12:38 AM
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try it some time. a hacker and a rigger will have much of the same resources, and even to some extent similar skills;

however, the dedicated rigger will look quite different in the end. you'll need to put in a bunch of vehicle skills. their specialisations are likely to be quite different as well. a good rigger probably doesn't need browse, hardware, or software, and could likely get away with just having computer, hacking, and electronic warfare as far as the hacking skills.

additionally, a rigger is much more likely to have skills such as the engineering group, the various vehicle skills, vehicle related skills (shadowing(tailing - let's face it, physically following people usually winds up the rigger's job), and navigation) and skill specialisations relating to vehicles; for example, (vehicle), or hacking (vehicle) and computer (vehicle) or infiltration(vehicle).

i mean, for a rigger's purposes, there isn't much of a difference between hacking 2 (vehicles +2) and hacking 4... except that the former is far cheaper and doesn't step on the hacker's toes.

so no, i don't really see them as looking more or less like hackers plus a bit of gear. the skill set should look very different.
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eidolon
post Sep 15 2009, 02:40 AM
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Chrome, I think you might have missed part of what I was saying. Apologies if I'm misreading you here, but
QUOTE (Chrome Tiger)
If you want a Rigger, make a Rigger and don't worry about whether anyone else can send generic commands to their drones because chances are, if you load out your skills right, you can hijack their drones and use them against their owner and probably at a higher level of aptitude.
emphasis mine

That's exactly part of my problem with it in actual play. "If you load out your skills right" so that you can hijack [the other rigger's] drones, you're a hacker. So if you have a skillset that allows you to hijack [Hacking skill] drones, you can hack the Matrix. Maybe you're a hacker that knows how to change the belt on his Ford Americar, but you're still a hacker. That is, unless you're talking about "hijacking" their drones by spoofing them, but that's not the same at all (again, what I was getting at before).

I'm not saying it's totally unworkable, I'm just saying that in order to do it you end up with a lot of overlap that I personally didn't find to be true in previous editions. (I.e., deckers and riggers typically weren't synonomous, didn't have the same gear or role, and weren't just a skill or two away from being identical.) I imagine I'll still have fun with it, it's just taking some getting used to and requires, IMO, a bit more just "saying that they're different" than it used to.
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Chrome Tiger
post Sep 15 2009, 02:46 AM
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You can loadout your skills with just the basics for hopping into someone else's drone and not have the skills needed to scan and search for paydata. Yes, true, those skills make you a hacker. It is the piloting and b/r skills that make you the rigger. All this is an example of is the blurring of lines of archetypes. Yes, they share a lot of the same technologies now, but they can both be built drastically different enough where one would not be able to do as good a job as the other in their respective field.

And actually, I cannot say that I surprised at the blending in a gameworld standpoint. Heck, a good friend of mine is an Audi mechanic and has had to take networking technology classes because of the multi-computer networking that occurs in the newer Audis.

I still contest that if a person wants a Rigger, there is enough that can be done to give them an edge over a Hacker and likewise for a Hacker over Rigger. Same technologies, differing skill specialization. Spend more points toward vehicle skills and a control deck, you are a Rigger. Spend more points toward software, you are a Hacker. Spend a little on both and you are average at both but not as good as a character that drastically swings one way or another.
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3278
post Sep 15 2009, 04:44 AM
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QUOTE (Chrome Tiger @ Sep 15 2009, 12:27 AM) *
While all of the above are true, pretty much anybody can just hop in and control or command a drone, a 'Rigger' with a control rig is more adept at doing it.

Well, not much more adept, right? Two dice? That feels - to me! - like weak tea.

QUOTE (Chrome Tiger @ Sep 15 2009, 12:31 AM) *
And really, that is no different than any other version of the rules. There has never been anything from SR1 to SR4 to say a Street Sam could not get a control rig and pop out some drones for support.

Except the meaningful limitations of essence, of course. A sam who tried to be a rigger as well would find he wasn't particularly good at either one.

QUOTE (Chrome Tiger @ Sep 15 2009, 12:31 AM) *
The connectivity portion of it is just a little easier and more streamlined in 2070.

Maybe it's the couple decades I had to read the SR1-SR3 rules versus the couple weeks I've been reading SR4, but I'm not seeing all the "easier and more streamlined" I keep hearing about. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Falconer
post Sep 15 2009, 06:21 AM
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Important point, if you're actually rigging the drone. It can't be spoofed, it can't be stolen.

They need to stop you from rigging the drone before they can take it. (dumpshock, jamming, decker busting in and cybercombatting you...).


Anyone using the 'command' remote control method can be spoofed with good ewar skills. (remember they need to get your accessID, and bust your on the fly encryption, etc.)


Also, I'd say riggers and deckers have some slightly different cyber. Encephalon vs. Control Rig.

I'm with Jaid... there's nothing about stepping on toes here. After specializations and ware they come out a lot different. The biggest difference is going to be in software suites and tools. I also don't see any reason, someone couldn't build a street sam and give them some lightweight decking skills (for both self-defense of his ware, and offensively... cybercommlink 2cap in a limb).
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Telion
post Sep 15 2009, 06:28 AM
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I'm well versed in SR3 rigging.

Some streamlining is removing the 3 condition monitors for your signal. Making gear more affordable and less of a choice between drones and vehicles and related upgrades.

Since the 3 condition monitors for command channel, simsense channel, and system channel are now gone, so are all the different types of attacks and rules for jamming them. Meaconing, miji, etc...

No more calculating flux / signal range. Also no more boosting flux.

Vehicle creation and modification has been dumbed down or removed. No more choosing power plants, chasis and calculating design points.

Alot of the bonus's were removed or changed, so reduction of TN's using VCR has become a flat +2 bonus die. Chase combat is easier no more calculating speed, vehicle type, terrain and rolling maneuvering to see what advantages and disadvantages are involved. But I'd probably ignore the rules in both systems.

No longer do riggers get control pool and combat pool to toss around.

Ah and riggers now use matrix rules instead of rigger force of will to fight other riggers or having hackers use a PEM to get access to the network.

Overall a lot of the gritty details are gone and your left with some tidbits, I'd say its been streamlined.
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Wasabi
post Sep 15 2009, 11:09 AM
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Remember that everything done through a Command program/CF is a complex action, even dodging incoming fire so the biggest benefit of a rigger is the fact they can do free and simple actions AS free and simple actions. The fact huge dicepools are possible doesn't hurt either: huge dicepools mean drones using autosofts cant really threaten a skilled rigger. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Chrome Tiger
post Sep 15 2009, 11:52 AM
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3278: Yeah, +2 from the control rig. What about the extra dice used to control that aircraft in adverse conditions using your pilot aircraft skill that the Hacker is unlikely to have at all? That is my entire point... Yes, the technology is the same, but the skillset of whatever character you create is what is going to make your character the Rigger.

The game itself is drifting away from canned archetypes and it is up to the imagination and creativity of the players to shape their character. Tell you what, you build a Hacker that will excel at Hacking the Matrix. Load him out for all out cyberwar, spend those points on nothing but the skills and programs that any teenage Hacker would have sitting in his mom's basement doing nothing but hacking. I will take that character and put him on a plane that is in the middle of a hurricane in the Carib, spiraling out of control, with a 'Rigger' character built up with the same points that has spent his time growing up working with vehicles, has a control rig, and was flying his daddy's cropduster and has a high piloting skill and knows how planes work. Who is more likely to pull you out of it?

What makes a Street Samurai a Street Samurai? Seriously? I can build a Hacker that has spurs, muscle augmentations, and collects guns and the same thing applies: If he is a Hacker worth anything on the Matrix, his BP for skills is going to be put into his hacking skills and he will not be as proficient in all of those weapons and not really be all that great and using his cyberware for combat. He will be a Hacker that has extra lifting capacity for new hardware that shows up in the mail and nifty spurs to cut the boxes open with.

And regarding vehicle creation and modification? SR3 was not a cornucopia of rules for that, either. It was not until Rigger 3 that SR3 got a majority of its Vehicle creation and modification material and its more advanced rigging rules. True, SR3 Core had a lot more on vehicle use and combat than SR4 does, so I agree they dumbed that down significantly in the core. Arsenal does, however, expand upon all of that and gives some pretty decent content for vehicle and drone modification. Still not as expanded as Rigger 3, but far from all of the gritty details being gone.
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Prime Mover
post Sep 15 2009, 01:31 PM
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We've had two Rigger only types in recent games and we've had hacker who's dabbled in rigging.
Things I've noticed the hacker seemed almost bothered to interrupt his other "work" to deal with drones.
Dedicated Rigger who takes the time to get the right implants/programs/drones can seriously turn the tide of a fight due to superior perception and firepower.
Being a dedicated rigger is also a serious change in resource allocation as opposed to another team member that dabbles.
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DireRadiant
post Sep 15 2009, 01:51 PM
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Was a time only the Rigger would rig. Now anyone can rig. Riggers, pure hard core dedicated riggers just do it better.
Was a time only Hackers would Hack. Now anyone can hack. Hackers, pure hardcore dedicated hackers just do it better.

Was a time there was only one way to rig. Now you can rig in a bunch of different ways. VR, AR, physical, jumped in, remote control, independent operation, many choices.

Was a time there was only one way to steal a drone. Now you can do it lots of different ways. Many choices.

Times change.
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eidolon
post Sep 15 2009, 04:06 PM
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QUOTE (Telion @ Sep 15 2009, 12:28 AM) *
Overall a lot of the gritty details are gone and your left with some tidbits, I'd say its been streamlined.


That's pretty much all I was getting at. I don't disagree at all that how you RP the character ultimately makes that character what they are. I guess I just miss some of the systematic details in retrospect. Again, I've played the character once. Tonight will be the second session. I'm not claiming to have deep and vast experience with SR4 rigging (nobody in games I have run thus far have played a rigger type, so no need), it's just what I've thought so far.
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3278
post Sep 15 2009, 04:59 PM
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QUOTE (Chrome Tiger @ Sep 15 2009, 11:52 AM) *
3278: Yeah, +2 from the control rig. What about the extra dice used to control that aircraft in adverse conditions using your pilot aircraft skill that the Hacker is unlikely to have at all?

Absolutely. But let's say that hacker does have the skill; the only difference between him and the rigger, then, is two dice? I think that's lame. Yes, those two dice are cheap in essence and nuyen, but that's all you get. There are only a couple of other bits of cyberware to boost your ability; where's the gonzo option to spend almost all my essence on a control rig and end up with a handful of dice?

Maybe that's a constructive avenue of discussion: what pieces of cyber do improve the rigger? Control rig, obviously, as well as the control rig booster. Can we produce a list of all the cyberware that's helpful for a rigger, in one way or another?

QUOTE (Chrome Tiger @ Sep 15 2009, 11:52 AM) *
The game itself is drifting away from canned archetypes...

Wow. Really? I always thought the best part of SR was its utter lack of classes; you could play a guy who could rig and cast spells, for crying out loud! [SR4 allows that, as well, of course.] But I don't see any tendency to widen that gap in SR4 over SR3 [or 2 or 1].

QUOTE (Chrome Tiger @ Sep 15 2009, 11:52 AM) *
Tell you what, you build a Hacker that will excel at Hacking the Matrix. Load him out for all out cyberwar, spend those points on nothing but the skills and programs that any teenage Hacker would have sitting in his mom's basement doing nothing but hacking. I will take that character and put him on a plane that is in the middle of a hurricane in the Carib, spiraling out of control, with a 'Rigger' character built up with the same points that has spent his time growing up working with vehicles, has a control rig, and was flying his daddy's cropduster and has a high piloting skill and knows how planes work. Who is more likely to pull you out of it?

I certainly take your point, but that's not really the issue at all. I understand that skills differentiate abilities, in rigging as in all else, but it used to be there was more cyberware [and more rules] to differentiate riggers from anyone else, as well. Skills have always been a differentiator; your scenario played out in SR3 would be no different: decker without vehicle skills versus rigger with vehicle skills, no contest. But - and again, this could be my ignorance of SR4! - an SR3 rigger with vehicle skills could, as far as I can tell, whip the hell out of an SR4 rigger with vehicle skills, simply because there's more non-skill benefits to be had for him.

QUOTE (Chrome Tiger @ Sep 15 2009, 11:52 AM) *
And regarding vehicle creation and modification? SR3 was not a cornucopia of rules for that, either. It was not until Rigger 3 that SR3 got a majority of its Vehicle creation and modification material and its more advanced rigging rules.

Yes, it wasn't until the Rigger book that most of the rigger rules were printed, in SR1, SR2, and SR3. So where's my Rigger book for SR4? If there's going to be one, I have no complaint; I just have to wait. But Arsenal, Augmentation, and Unwired all have some rigger content, and you still can't make a vehicle from scratch. No bueno.

QUOTE (Chrome Tiger @ Sep 15 2009, 11:52 AM) *
True, SR3 Core had a lot more on vehicle use and combat than SR4 does, so I agree they dumbed that down significantly in the core. Arsenal does, however, expand upon all of that and gives some pretty decent content for vehicle and drone modification. Still not as expanded as Rigger 3, but far from all of the gritty details being gone.

That's really all I'm lamenting. I'm not saying SR4 prevents riggers from being playable, or eliminates them as an option, I'm saying they're dumbed-down, simplified, less expanded, and lacking much of the gritty detail that I, personally, enjoyed in SR1-3. [Okay, mostly 2 and 3; RBB1 was...sad.]
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Chrome Tiger
post Sep 15 2009, 05:44 PM
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The only thing a Rigger in SR3 technically had over other characters was a control pool and that was not really limited to just riggers. Any character with a control rig was able to have a control pool as set by their reaction plus VCR modifiers. I do not see anything indicating that a Decker could not also have a VCR and be able to do the same thing. Therefore, this cross-archetype skillset thing is not limited to just SR4. It is all in how you build the character. Again, that is all I am saying. Build the character to suit what you need.

And YES!!!! Give me Rigger 4!!!!!! Hear that Mr. New Line Developer!?!? The masses are speaking out for more riggery things!
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3278
post Sep 15 2009, 06:22 PM
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QUOTE (Chrome Tiger @ Sep 15 2009, 05:44 PM) *
The only thing a Rigger in SR3 technically had over other characters was a control pool and that was not really limited to just riggers. Any character with a control rig was able to have a control pool as set by their reaction plus VCR modifiers.

From one perspective, the control pool was limited to riggers, because the presence of a control rig made the character a rigger, by definition. Set aside the archetype idea, and a decker could absolutely be a rigger, although he'd pay through the nose if he wanted to try to be great at both. But yeah, you get a control rig, you get a control pool, and some sort of initiative bonus, dependent on the rating of the control rig.

So what does it take to get the equivalent of that rigger in SR4? A specialist could end up with a control pool of 11 or so without much difficulty [although giving up a lot of nuyen and essence!], and an initiative of 11+4d6. A signal amplifier, say, Rating 6 [1500 nuyen, availability 6/3 days], gives him a 12km range. This is all stuff that a starting character can have, and still have nuyen left to buy toys toys toys. Now, obviously, a direct die-to-die comparison is meaningless, but what would it take to get the equivalent of this character in SR4?

Now, a prime rigger can manage more, a lot more. Ranges out to 30+ km, other bits of cyber and bio to back up the Control Rig itself. On the high end, can an SR4 prime rigger reach these kinds of abilities? If so, how?

Obviously, you start with a control rig [+2 dice], and then choose either a simsense booster or control rig booster. [Either +1 initiative pass or +(rating) extra pool dice.] A better commlink gets you more range, but am I wrong in thinking it's unlikely you'd get 12km with a starting character, much less 30+ for a prime rigger? Now, beyond that, what are my options? Is my only option really to keep raising my skills? Don't they max out at some point?

QUOTE (Chrome Tiger @ Sep 15 2009, 05:44 PM) *
And YES!!!! Give me Rigger 4!!!!!! Hear that Mr. New Line Developer!?!? The masses are speaking out for more riggery things!

More vehicles, in particular, would suit this grumbly old man. SR4 core includes an anemic 34 vehicles; even SR1 core had 30! [This is at least better than the non-paranormal critters, of which SR4 has 5, compared to the 20 in SR1! This wouldn't be so bad, except you really need these for Shapechange!]

There's no doubt that many of my objections are just the petulant whinings of an old man who thought the previous version was fine, thankyouverymuch, but it's equally undoubted that riggers and rigging and vehicles and rigger-oriented gear has gotten more marginalized, and this old man, for one, wouldn't mind seeing more rigger-oriented content for this new version.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Sep 15 2009, 07:00 PM
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Some equipment you might want for an Exceptional, Dedicated Rigger...

High Rating Comlink (6+ in all categories)
Approrpiate Software (Command, Sniffer, Scan, ECCM, as Primary with Backup hacking programs to actually take over Drones)
Simsense Booster (Increase IP's)
Simsense Accelerator (with Simsense Booster allows 5 IP)
Non-Standard Wireless Link (Harder to Detect)
Directional Antenna (adds +2 to Signal Rating)
Skinweb Array (Harder to Jam at Origin)
Customized Comlink Interface (Bonus to Initiative)
Optimization for Command Program
Response Enhancer at highest rating available (Improves Command Channels)
Control Rig (+2 Dice)
Control Rig Boosters (Increase Native Skill in Vehicle while Jumped In)
Reakt Transgenic Modification (For Defensive Reaction Rolls, will not help in all circumstances)
Reception Enhancer (For processing Sensory Data - Perception Tests)
Attention Co-Processor (Same as Reception Enhancers)
Math SPU (for EW Assistance)
Satellite Link (Extended Communication)

I may have forgotten something, but I am not sure what right this second......

With all of the above systems (assuming adequate Essence) you will be a very Prime Rigger, and combined with top of the line piloting skills in a variety of vehicles, and maybe some physical speed augments you will very hard to beat... Your biggest challenge will be maintaining signal range in an area that is devoid of actual signals... Drones can only communicate at the limits of THEIR signal range, so you must be within this range for two-way communication, which is not hard to do in an urban environment due to the way the Matrix (and Mesh Networks) works, but in the middle of the Gobi Desert it will be a challenge unless all vehicles and yourself are equipped with a Sattelite Link.

Keep the Faith
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3278
post Sep 15 2009, 07:03 PM
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That's fantastic! Just what the grumpy old man ordered. Thanks!
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Chrome Tiger
post Sep 15 2009, 07:08 PM
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Yes, a very VERY good example indeed.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Sep 15 2009, 07:10 PM
Post #24


Prime Runner Ascendant
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QUOTE (3278 @ Sep 15 2009, 12:03 PM) *
That's fantastic! Just what the grumpy old man ordered. Thanks!



Glad you liked it... now I gotta go make me a Rigger Myself...
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Chrome Tiger
post Sep 15 2009, 07:11 PM
Post #25


Shiny Metal Kitty Head
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QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Sep 15 2009, 03:10 PM) *
Glad you liked it... now I gotta go make me a Rigger Myself...


Yeah, I am suddenly inspired to go make a Rigger as well. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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