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> Drones for non-riggers
Tyro
post Sep 24 2009, 06:27 AM
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Let's say my gunbunny adept wants to bring some drones with him on a run. He has the Computer skill at 2, the Command program at 3, and a system/response 3 cyberdeck. Should he bring a ferret to scout ahead? An iBall for "smart" offense? Dobermans for fire support? What modifications would you suggest?
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Jaid
post Sep 24 2009, 06:35 AM
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well, i'd stick with the scouting/recon drones. you can almost always make effective use of a small, stealthy drone.

or, to put it another way: you can carry a ferret or an iball on your person when you climb a fence, and possibly conceal it from a security guard if you're socially infiltrating. good luck doing that with a doberman or a steel lynx...

(which is not to say it's a bad idea to have combat drones, but rather if you're only going to have 1 or 2, you want the ones you'll be able to use most often)
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Marwynn
post Sep 24 2009, 06:43 AM
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I prefer the Doberman with an Ares Alpha for support. Mod the gun with an Airburst Link, some internal sound suppressors and external thermal suppressors, and perhaps a drum for extra ammo.

You'll probably need different targeting software for the grenade launcher, but you have a multi-purpose support platform. You don't even have to control it directly, or command it. Give it orders and free yourself up.

A few flying recon drones and the like are always useful, if you have the money to spare.
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Udoshi
post Sep 24 2009, 10:01 AM
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I'm a fan of the micro-tapper bugs found in unwired. Goes great with gecko tips, as does the doberman, actaully.

One not-mmediately apparent benefit of drones is how they work with tacnets - they contribute a number of sensor channels equal to their sensor rating.(if you have custom sensor loads, you may need the arsenal errata). With a bit of cash, you and your drone buddies can pretty easily fit meet the 3-person minimum for a tactical network.
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StealthSigma
post Sep 24 2009, 11:41 AM
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QUOTE (Marwynn @ Sep 24 2009, 02:43 AM) *
I prefer the Doberman with an Ares Alpha for support. Mod the gun with an Airburst Link, some internal sound suppressors and external thermal suppressors, and perhaps a drum for extra ammo.

You'll probably need different targeting software for the grenade launcher, but you have a multi-purpose support platform. You don't even have to control it directly, or command it. Give it orders and free yourself up.

A few flying recon drones and the like are always useful, if you have the money to spare.


Do any drones have a default ability to perform melee combat? Heck, do dobermans even look like dogs? I remember an episode of Ghost in the Shell where Batou was chased by some robotic dogs that looked a bit like dobermans and had what amounted to chainsaws for teeth. That's kind of what I imagined the SR Doberman drone to be, but I think it's probably a lot more bland than that.
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DWC
post Sep 24 2009, 01:56 PM
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QUOTE (Udoshi @ Sep 24 2009, 06:01 AM) *
I'm a fan of the micro-tapper bugs found in unwired. Goes great with gecko tips, as does the doberman, actaully.

One not-mmediately apparent benefit of drones is how they work with tacnets - they contribute a number of sensor channels equal to their sensor rating.(if you have custom sensor loads, you may need the arsenal errata). With a bit of cash, you and your drone buddies can pretty easily fit meet the 3-person minimum for a tactical network.


Actually, drones are terrible for TacNet integration. To bring them into a network, they need a sensor rating of double the network rating, capping you at a TacNet of 3, after spending a pile on upgrading drone sensors.
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StealthSigma
post Sep 24 2009, 02:25 PM
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QUOTE (DWC @ Sep 24 2009, 09:56 AM) *
Actually, drones are terrible for TacNet integration. To bring them into a network, they need a sensor rating of double the network rating, capping you at a TacNet of 3, after spending a pile on upgrading drone sensors.


A Rating 6 TacNet would require 8 people with 12 sensory input each to obtain the full benefit. If you have 8 people and 3 have 12 input and 5 have 10, you're stuck with a +1 bonus for only the 12 sensory input individuals. If you had a Rating 5 TacNet, you would get a +5 for everyone. IMO a TacNet should function at the most efficient level. If a Rating 6 TacNet doesn't have the input to support it at +6, then it should run like a Rating 5.

I also think people should be able to gain partial benefit from a TacNet as long as they're contributing. Let's say you're running a Rating 3 TacNet and you have 5 team members plus 4 drones with Rating 3 sensors.. The 5 team members would get the full +3 benefit from the TacNet, while the drones would only be able to get a +1 bonus. I would calculate partial benefit at [ROUNDDOWN(Inputs / 2)] max TacNet Bonus - 1.
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Silverback
post Sep 24 2009, 02:30 PM
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QUOTE (StealthSigma @ Sep 24 2009, 01:41 PM) *
Heck, do dobermans even look like dogs?


As far as I know is the Doberman a wheeled drone (with 4 wheels) and should be about a metre tall (it is pictured in the Rigger Black Book). Quite similar to the Steel Lynx.
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ZeroPoint
post Sep 24 2009, 02:41 PM
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Actually, its a crawler drone so I don't think it has wheels. And check out the top left of page 342 of the original SR4 book to see a picture of one (at least thats what i think it is)
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Silverback
post Sep 24 2009, 03:05 PM
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Maybe it has changed during the years...in SR4 it is really a crawler.

QUOTE ( SR4 @ p.341)
The Doberman is a perimeterpatrol
crawler drone equally effective during daytime or nighttime
conditions.

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DamienKnight
post Sep 24 2009, 04:05 PM
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QUOTE (ZeroPoint @ Sep 24 2009, 09:41 AM) *
Actually, its a crawler drone so I don't think it has wheels. And check out the top left of page 342 of the original SR4 book to see a picture of one (at least thats what i think it is)


Yes its a crawler drone. In our games we make them roughly dog shaped, but I do not believe it actually specifies it anywhere.

On page 342 of the original SR4 book, look at the size of the harness clip next to the drone in the top left image. Clearly that is a micro drone, and looks like a bug.

Personally, I imagine something similar to the transformers 2 drone, albeit much smaller and probably without dual chainguns (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Night Jackal
post Sep 24 2009, 04:33 PM
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Unwired p125
QUOTE
Cybernetic Senses: Any visual, audio, olfactory, or other sense acquired via cybereyes, cyberears, olfactory
booster, orientation system, etc. Sensory enhancements such as low-light, thermorgraphic, smartlink, ultrasound,
radar, spatial recognizers, and so on each count as a separate sensor channel.

Sensor Systems: Data acquired from worn, carried, or mounted sensor systems of various types (cameras, microphones, range finders, motion sensors, etc.) may also be contributed to the network as a sensor channel. Drones sensor systems also count; each drone can supply a number of sensor channels equal to its Sensor rating.


Tacnets are limited to Rating for 4 and reading the sensors and enhancement section. I think Drones are well suited for tacnets. Sensor rating + some enhancements should be used for drones was well. The sensor systems seems to be referring more to the types then the addition enhancements which is mention twice as being separate channels above.
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Marwynn
post Sep 24 2009, 04:39 PM
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QUOTE (StealthSigma @ Sep 24 2009, 07:41 AM) *
Do any drones have a default ability to perform melee combat? Heck, do dobermans even look like dogs? I remember an episode of Ghost in the Shell where Batou was chased by some robotic dogs that looked a bit like dobermans and had what amounted to chainsaws for teeth. That's kind of what I imagined the SR Doberman drone to be, but I think it's probably a lot more bland than that.


Well according to Arsenal, Dobermans are "Walkers" so they have at least four legs. They do, however, have gun turrets for bodies.

I'm not sure about melee attacks by default. Gotta get an arm in there or something, and program melee skill. Perhaps the humanoid drones.

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otakusensei
post Sep 24 2009, 05:28 PM
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QUOTE (Night Jackal @ Sep 24 2009, 11:33 AM) *
Unwired p125


Tacnets are limited to Rating for 4 and reading the sensors and enhancement section. I think Drones are well suited for tacnets. Sensor rating + some enhancements should be used for drones was well. The sensor systems seems to be referring more to the types then the addition enhancements which is mention twice as being separate channels above.


The way I do it, go with the Sensor rating for unmodified sensor systems. For custom sensors systems count the number of effective senor devices. Balances nicely in that you know at a glance how much a standard drone contributes, but you can still have your custom spy drone add something to the tacnet.
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Udoshi
post Sep 25 2009, 12:04 AM
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Actually, the Arsenal errata has this to say about custom sensor packages.

QUOTE (Arsenal errata 1.3.2: p. 105 Individual Sensors and Sensor Tests)
If a character improves the ratings of all of the individual
components in a sensor package, the overall Sensor rating of
the vehicle should also be improved accordingly. For the pur-
pose of improvement, sensors that do not have a rating are
considered to be automatically upgraded, when all the remain-
ing sensors in a package are improved to a higher rating.


Basically, if you improve the sensor package, you recalculate the new sensor rating. Which makes it rather easy to get a decent sensor rating. Between a decently rated camera, a microphone, a few cheap enhancements, and a motion sensor its pretty easy to hit a sensor rating of 5 or six to feed your tacnet. Even better, you know how drones get three passes? And a recon drone probably isn't going to be using all of them since its not armed? Wtih tacsoft, it can still contribute to a fight, by making use of a tacsofts Indirect Fire capabilities. It can spot for other weapons, OR make Sensor Lock-On tests for your -other- drones.

So if you pair, say, a dragonfly or an optic-x with your doberman, that doberman now has an entire extra pass to shoot people - because its not wasting simple actions with Use Sensor tests. If it happens to be carrying an Ares Alpha, it can also bounce grenades around corners that much better. Even a rating 1 tacsoft is very useful for your drones, for that reason alone.

Another thing people often overlook is how great drones are at jamming. Vehicle ECM works like area jamming, except it can go up to rating ten. Its really expensive, but an iball in your pocket can shut down anyone nearby that doesn't have top of the line ECCM.
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ZeroPoint
post Sep 25 2009, 01:45 AM
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QUOTE (DamienKnight @ Sep 24 2009, 11:05 AM) *
On page 342 of the original SR4 book, look at the size of the harness clip next to the drone in the top left image. Clearly that is a micro drone, and looks like a bug.



Foreshortening.

I believe the cable and clip is supposed to be a play on the drone's name, Doberman....like a chained up guard dog.

It could be the Aztechnology Crawler, which is small, but the only crawler microdrone has 4 legs. The one in the picture has 6.
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Jaid
post Sep 25 2009, 03:37 AM
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QUOTE (ZeroPoint @ Sep 24 2009, 08:45 PM) *
Foreshortening.

I believe the cable and clip is supposed to be a play on the drone's name, Doberman....like a chained up guard dog.

It could be the Aztechnology Crawler, which is small, but the only crawler microdrone has 4 legs. The one in the picture has 6.

it looks more like 4 legs and 2 manipulating limbs to me.

regardless, the string looped around the clip makes it evident that it is not foreshortening, because it also goes back to the drone and is about the same size as it is when it's on the clip.
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Night Jackal
post Sep 25 2009, 12:54 PM
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Its a Shiawase Kanmushi Mircodrone....clips can come in small sizes.
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3278
post Sep 25 2009, 02:25 PM
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At the least, an aerial or ground recon drone gives anyone with some kind of AR another point of view, whether that's from a meter ahead or four kilometers above. At their worst, combat drones are capable of behaving like a well-trained attack dog, and anyone can communicate vocally or via commlink basic commands like, "Go here," and, "Attack this." At their very best, drones can be an entire web of senses and lethality that anyone willing to invest some money into can control and direct. The mage can do all of this, but, yes, some basic 'ware can make it much more effective, and a lot of that 'ware is as helpful for the combat character as for the dedicated rigger.
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Tyro
post Sep 25 2009, 05:16 PM
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QUOTE (3278 @ Sep 25 2009, 07:25 AM) *
At the least, an aerial or ground recon drone gives anyone with some kind of AR another point of view, whether that's from a meter ahead or four kilometers above. At their worst, combat drones are capable of behaving like a well-trained attack dog, and anyone can communicate vocally or via commlink basic commands like, "Go here," and, "Attack this." At their very best, drones can be an entire web of senses and lethality that anyone willing to invest some money into can control and direct. The mage can do all of this, but, yes, some basic 'ware can make it much more effective, and a lot of that 'ware is as helpful for the combat character as for the dedicated rigger.

Set up your combat drones with voice recognition and code phrases. Simple action to command your pack of Dobermans to all "bite" the same target. Hilarity ensues.
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