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> A Newb with questions, I am a newb. I have questions. Do you have answers?
Nimblegrund
post Oct 19 2009, 06:59 AM
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I have long been a fan of the setting for Shadowrun. I have had a number of SR sourcebooks over the years, but I have only actually played shadowrun a couple times. Now that I have the new 4th edition book, I think sometime in the future I would like to run a SR game, but there are a few things I am not clear on. I might come up with more questions later, and if I do I will put them here.

1. I understand that the megacorps are kind of like countries in their own right... and a person can be a citizen of a megacorp. But how does someone actually become a citizen of a megacorp? Where do you have to be born? It's not like Ares Technology is a place on the map. What if you get fired? Do you lose your citizenship?

2. Why would anyone ever want their cyberlimbs to be wirelessly active? or their cybereyes? I kind of understand that it would be fun for the player to hack into some big bruiser's cyberarm and have him shoot himself. But wouldn't it be profoundly stupid to have your ARM be connected to the matrix? The explaination in the book doesn't sit right with me.

3. My brother would like to play a Technomancer rigger. How would this work? Are technomancer riggers at a disadvantage over the usual type of rigger?

4. Suppose I am setting up a run for my players. It is your typical get in/get out mission. What sort of challenges would I need to prepare for a hacker? I understand the goals: turn off the cameras, open the doors, turn off the sentries, get the data, etc. How do I know what sort of security measures to throw at the hacker?

5. This sort of figures into #4, but I recall previous editions descriptions of decking and I remember seeng maps of squares, diamonds and circles connected by lines serving as maps for decking and showing where nodes go and what they do etc. but this time around their description of nodes is very broad and the maps are gone. I feel like there was something I could have taken away from that.

6. This one I suspect I may get lambasted for, but... I don't like the idea of one player getting multiple turns while another doesn't. I remember from previous editions that all one would have to do to get a second turn would be to roll above 10 on initiative. I don't think that is true anymore, but I see that there are spells and cyberware that can give people more actions. Suppose I reduced any and all additional turns to a single (and I don't have my SR book with me right now, so I will borrow a term from D&D) "standard" action. would this break the system?

7. How do you interface with your commlink? One page describes a character who controls his commlink with a scroll wheel. I cannot possibly imagine surfing the internet with only a scroll wheel. How do they see the information they recieve? I noticed it mentions that commlinks can make holograms. So if someone is walking down the street surfing the matrix, is a glowing window floating in front of him? Is he wearing special shades? moving his commlink around like a mouse? How does he type? This is all presuming that he has nothing implanted in his head.
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MikeKozar
post Oct 19 2009, 07:13 AM
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Golly, you don't ask small favors, do ya? Let me tackle a few of these.

#2: The Cyberlimb has a wireless interface to send data back to your commlink and for maintenance. The firmware may need updates, and it may need security patches, etc. The book says (IIRC) that it's a signal 0 device - you need to be within a few centimeters to communicate with it, so it's not usually a security risk. As someone's forum signature points out, if they're in a position to hack your cyberware, they can mess up your meat just as bad. The book mentions it can be turned off if it worries you.

#6: The way it works is that combat is broken up into turns, and faster characters get to take multiple Initiative Passes in a single turn. Drones, Spirits, and characters with magical or technological enhancements all get multiple IPs, and it is one of the biggest force multipliers in the game. You probably can't get around this mechanic, it's fundamental to the way combat is designed to work.

#7: Most people need an Image Link of some sort to perceive AR; this is built into inexpensive glasses or contacts for people who don't want cyberware. Input could be one of several methods, and it's not explicitly defined. I usually assume that a character with a datajack or simsense gear can control any function at the speed of thought via a direct connection. A trode net can give you a simsense neural interface, so that's the non-cyber version of that. I'd also accept other input methods - subvocal commands and eye tracking can be pretty flexible with the right software, and I don't see any reason it couldn't be used here - look at an icon for a second and the system focuses on it, blink twice and execute, etc.
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remmus
post Oct 19 2009, 07:13 AM
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QUOTE (Nimblegrund @ Oct 19 2009, 08:59 AM) *
1. I understand that the megacorps are kind of like countries in their own right... and a person can be a citizen of a megacorp. But how does someone actually become a citizen of a megacorp? Where do you have to be born? It's not like Ares Technology is a place on the map. What if you get fired? Do you lose your citizenship?


Corps holds land and works just like micro countries, if your born inside corp owned land your that corps citizen, so far as I know working for the corp or not doesnīt affect your citizenship (however obviously citizens of a corp has a easier time working for that corp)

QUOTE (Nimblegrund @ Oct 19 2009, 08:59 AM) *
7. How do you interface with your commlink? One page describes a character who controls his commlink with a scroll wheel. I cannot possibly imagine surfing the internet with only a scroll wheel. How do they see the information they recieve? I noticed it mentions that commlinks can make holograms. So if someone is walking down the street surfing the matrix, is a glowing window floating in front of him? Is he wearing special shades? moving his commlink around like a mouse? How does he type? This is all presuming that he has nothing implanted in his head.


most commlinks comes with special shades you wear that connected by wire or wireless, also commlinks can connect to your cyber eyes allowing you to see thing like the HUD of your typical FPS game. plus one must remember the matrix looks nothing like todays internet where you see windows of text and type things with a keyboard.
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Glyph
post Oct 19 2009, 07:20 AM
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QUOTE (Nimblegrund @ Oct 18 2009, 11:59 PM) *
I have long been a fan of the setting for Shadowrun. I have had a number of SR sourcebooks over the years, but I have only actually played shadowrun a couple times. Now that I have the new 4th edition book, I think sometime in the future I would like to run a SR game, but there are a few things I am not clear on. I might come up with more questions later, and if I do I will put them here.

1. I understand that the megacorps are kind of like countries in their own right... and a person can be a citizen of a megacorp. But how does someone actually become a citizen of a megacorp? Where do you have to be born? It's not like Ares Technology is a place on the map. What if you get fired? Do you lose your citizenship?

Generally, you are either born to corporate parents, or get hired by the corporation. If you get fired, you lose your citizenship, and possibly your SIN.

QUOTE
2. Why would anyone ever want their cyberlimbs to be wirelessly active? or their cybereyes? I kind of understand that it would be fun for the player to hack into some big bruiser's cyberarm and have him shoot himself. But wouldn't it be profoundly stupid to have your ARM be connected to the matrix? The explaination in the book doesn't sit right with me.

Supposedly the wireless makes things like diagnosis easier, but you are correct, it is still a stupid thing to do, and most PCs will turn the wireless off on their cyberware. Corporate security types might have it enabled, because it lets the company control them and keep tabs on them better.

QUOTE
3. My brother would like to play a Technomancer rigger. How would this work? Are technomancer riggers at a disadvantage over the usual type of rigger?

I am not familiar with the technomancer rules, but I get the impression, from skimming some discussions, that rigging is actually one of a technomancer's strong areas.

QUOTE
4. Suppose I am setting up a run for my players. It is your typical get in/get out mission. What sort of challenges would I need to prepare for a hacker? I understand the goals: turn off the cameras, open the doors, turn off the sentries, get the data, etc. How do I know what sort of security measures to throw at the hacker?

Others will be able to be more specific, but generally, the hacker either needs to fool the system into thinking he is a legitimate user, or hack through the IC and other defenses.

QUOTE
5. This sort of figures into #4, but I recall previous editions descriptions of decking and I remember seeng maps of squares, diamonds and circles connected by lines serving as maps for decking and showing where nodes go and what they do etc. but this time around their description of nodes is very broad and the maps are gone. I feel like there was something I could have taken away from that.

I agree. Think of it less as nodes, and more as tasks that the hacker needs to complete.

QUOTE
6. This one I suspect I may get lambasted for, but... I don't like the idea of one player getting multiple turns while another doesn't. I remember from previous editions that all one would have to do to get a second turn would be to roll above 10 on initiative. I don't think that is true anymore, but I see that there are spells and cyberware that can give people more actions. Suppose I reduced any and all additional turns to a single (and I don't have my SR book with me right now, so I will borrow a term from D&D) "standard" action. would this break the system?

Yes, it will break the system. Multiple actions are what let street samurai win firefights against security mooks who outnumber them, and is a big part of their schtick. Are you going to give every other player hacking skills and a commlink, because you don't like one player hacking, while another doesn't? Initiative boosters are fairly cheap and easy to get in SR4, so players who do so shouldn't be penalized because another player didn't bother with it. My advice for most house rules is: try the rules as they are first, before you fix things that might not be broken.

QUOTE
7. How do you interface with your commlink? One page describes a character who controls his commlink with a scroll wheel. I cannot possibly imagine surfing the internet with only a scroll wheel. How do they see the information they recieve? I noticed it mentions that commlinks can make holograms. So if someone is walking down the street surfing the matrix, is a glowing window floating in front of him? Is he wearing special shades? moving his commlink around like a mouse? How does he type? This is all presuming that he has nothing implanted in his head.

There are VR gloves, and archaic devices such as scroll wheels and pointers, but most people use trodes.
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MikeKozar
post Oct 19 2009, 07:23 AM
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#1: I'm not sure if corps offer citizenship. What you're thinking of is the law of extraterritoriality, which means that the Corps get to make and enforce the law on their property. However, citizenship has been kind of superseded by the SIN - your universal identity. If you have a valid SIN, you can go into the public areas of most Corp buildings and conduct business, shop, et cetra but you wouldn't necessarily have access to the private living quarters or the laboratory - that would be a personal authority thing as opposed to a corp-wide citizen thing.

What you really want to know is how you get access to 'the good stuff'. Your best bet is to either build a good fake identity for general access, or to find somebody who has the access you need and steal theirs. Some narcojet rounds, grab the commlink, and have your Face break out the whole disguise kit - voice modulator, retinal mimic technology, smart handprint nanopaste, and the old-fashioned disguise kit. The guards will wave him right in, and then he just has to find a way to get the rest of the team past the perimeter.
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Nimblegrund
post Oct 19 2009, 07:59 AM
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QUOTE (MikeKozar @ Oct 19 2009, 08:13 AM) *
Golly, you don't ask small favors, do ya? Let me tackle a few of these.

#2: The Cyberlimb has a wireless interface to send data back to your commlink and for maintenance. The firmware may need updates, and it may need security patches, etc. The book says (IIRC) that it's a signal 0 device - you need to be within a few centimeters to communicate with it, so it's not usually a security risk. As someone's forum signature points out, if they're in a position to hack your cyberware, they can mess up your meat just as bad. The book mentions it can be turned off if it worries you.

#6: The way it works is that combat is broken up into turns, and faster characters get to take multiple Initiative Passes in a single turn. Drones, Spirits, and characters with magical or technological enhancements all get multiple IPs, and it is one of the biggest force multipliers in the game. You probably can't get around this mechanic, it's fundamental to the way combat is designed to work.

#7: Most people need an Image Link of some sort to perceive AR; this is built into inexpensive glasses or contacts for people who don't want cyberware. Input could be one of several methods, and it's not explicitly defined. I usually assume that a character with a datajack or simsense gear can control any function at the speed of thought via a direct connection. A trode net can give you a simsense neural interface, so that's the non-cyber version of that. I'd also accept other input methods - subvocal commands and eye tracking can be pretty flexible with the right software, and I don't see any reason it couldn't be used here - look at an icon for a second and the system focuses on it, blink twice and execute, etc.


#0: Oh, and I forgot to mention, thanks in advance. I know I am brand new to the forum and everything so thanks for answering all of my pesky questions. =]

#2: Ok, that makes a ton of difference. So suppose a hacker instead hacks into a street sammy's commlink, which I presume has a stronger signal strength, thus giving the hacker access to Sammy's PAN. The cyberlimb would undoubtedly be on that PAN, so... this is why Sammies buy IC for their their Commlink?

#7: Subvocal commands don't require cyberware I take it?
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remmus
post Oct 19 2009, 08:12 AM
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QUOTE (Nimblegrund @ Oct 19 2009, 09:59 AM) *
#7: Subvocal commands don't require cyberware I take it?


correct a sensor is clued onto your throat and sense the vibartions however if itīs a really cheap commlink it might not be wireless and thus not so subtle.
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MikeKozar
post Oct 19 2009, 08:21 AM
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QUOTE (Nimblegrund @ Oct 18 2009, 11:59 PM) *
#0: Oh, and I forgot to mention, thanks in advance. I know I am brand new to the forum and everything so thanks for answering all of my pesky questions. =]

#2: Ok, that makes a ton of difference. So suppose a hacker instead hacks into a street sammy's commlink, which I presume has a stronger signal strength, thus giving the hacker access to Sammy's PAN. The cyberlimb would undoubtedly be on that PAN, so... this is why Sammies buy IC for their their Commlink?

#7: Subvocal commands don't require cyberware I take it?


#2 If you can suborn the enemy's PAN, you've got all kinds of options. Me, I'd skip the cyberarm and just have the Smartgun eject its clip, flood his Image Link with spam, change his passwords and place a call to his Mom for him. That should keep him busy for a minute.

#7 If you're going to use it as a silent communicator, I think there is a specific throat mic that you buy. On the other hand, if you just want to give verbal commands to your commlink, I'd consider hearing spoken commands a standard feature for something that works as a cellphone. It's a little vague in the rule book.
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Nimblegrund
post Oct 19 2009, 11:59 AM
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Wow. I really didn't expect this many replies this late at night. Thanks everyone.


QUOTE (Glyph @ Oct 19 2009, 08:20 AM) *
Generally, you are either born to corporate parents, or get hired by the corporation. If you get fired, you lose your citizenship, and possibly your SIN.


Supposedly the wireless makes things like diagnosis easier, but you are correct, it is still a stupid thing to do, and most PCs will turn the wireless off on their cyberware. Corporate security types might have it enabled, because it lets the company control them and keep tabs on them better.


I am not familiar with the technomancer rules, but I get the impression, from skimming some discussions, that rigging is actually one of a technomancer's strong areas.


Others will be able to be more specific, but generally, the hacker either needs to fool the system into thinking he is a legitimate user, or hack through the IC and other defenses.


I agree. Think of it less as nodes, and more as tasks that the hacker needs to complete.


Yes, it will break the system. Multiple actions are what let street samurai win firefights against security mooks who outnumber them, and is a big part of their schtick. Are you going to give every other player hacking skills and a commlink, because you don't like one player hacking, while another doesn't? Initiative boosters are fairly cheap and easy to get in SR4, so players who do so shouldn't be penalized because another player didn't bother with it. My advice for most house rules is: try the rules as they are first, before you fix things that might not be broken.


There are VR gloves, and archaic devices such as scroll wheels and pointers, but most people use trodes.


#1: Ok. Wow. Brutal.

#6: You make a valid point. But to be fair, just so you understand where I am coming from: The "more turns for me, none for you" is just one reason I don't like the sound of that rule. It has been my experience from other RPGs that actions are king. A character that gets more actions than another character is almost always better, regardless of what abilities the slower character has. Show me one character with 4 actions a round, and another character with two actions, and the one with four actions wins, hands down. The rest is just details. BUT. Like I said, this has been my experience from other RPGs, and you are right, I should see SR in action a little more as written before I go changing the rules.


QUOTE (MikeKozar @ Oct 19 2009, 08:23 AM) *
#1: I'm not sure if corps offer citizenship. What you're thinking of is the law of extraterritoriality, which means that the Corps get to make and enforce the law on their property. However, citizenship has been kind of superseded by the SIN - your universal identity. If you have a valid SIN, you can go into the public areas of most Corp buildings and conduct business, shop, et cetra but you wouldn't necessarily have access to the private living quarters or the laboratory - that would be a personal authority thing as opposed to a corp-wide citizen thing.

What you really want to know is how you get access to 'the good stuff'. Your best bet is to either build a good fake identity for general access, or to find somebody who has the access you need and steal theirs. Some narcojet rounds, grab the commlink, and have your Face break out the whole disguise kit - voice modulator, retinal mimic technology, smart handprint nanopaste, and the old-fashioned disguise kit. The guards will wave him right in, and then he just has to find a way to get the rest of the team past the perimeter.


#1: Allright. Good to know.


QUOTE (remmus @ Oct 19 2009, 09:12 AM) *
correct a sensor is clued onto your throat and sense the vibartions however if itīs a really cheap commlink it might not be wireless and thus not so subtle.


Good to know.

QUOTE (MikeKozar @ Oct 19 2009, 09:21 AM) *
#2 If you can suborn the enemy's PAN, you've got all kinds of options. Me, I'd skip the cyberarm and just have the Smartgun eject its clip, flood his Image Link with spam, change his passwords and place a call to his Mom for him. That should keep him busy for a minute.

#7 If you're going to use it as a silent communicator, I think there is a specific throat mic that you buy. On the other hand, if you just want to give verbal commands to your commlink, I'd consider hearing spoken commands a standard feature for something that works as a cellphone. It's a liottle vague in the rule book.


#2 (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rotfl.gif) I never thought of forcing someone to shoot themselves in the head as a kindness until I read that. Calling his mom? That's just low.
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MK Ultra
post Oct 19 2009, 12:01 PM
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Many good comments already, though Iīd have a different interpretation on some. Anyway, hereīs my view of your queries:

QUOTE (Nimblegrund @ Oct 19 2009, 08:59 AM) *
I have long been a fan of the setting for Shadowrun. I have had a number of SR sourcebooks over the years, but I have only actually played shadowrun a couple times. Now that I have the new 4th edition book, I think sometime in the future I would like to run a SR game, but there are a few things I am not clear on. I might come up with more questions later, and if I do I will put them here.

1. I understand that the megacorps are kind of like countries in their own right... and a person can be a citizen of a megacorp. But how does someone actually become a citizen of a megacorp? Where do you have to be born? It's not like Ares Technology is a place on the map. What if you get fired? Do you lose your citizenship?

Extraterritorial Enteties like the bigger megacorps have the right to give out SINs of their own, just like countries and itīs thair decision on what basis the give them out and retract them again. How they deal with it, however, depends on the corps philosophy and the employee in question. MCT i.e. is known for a very elaborate corp-culture and many of their employees are probably MCT citizens, as would their kids, which are educated in MCT Schools, live in MCT enclaves and will become MCT employees in most cases, anyway. Other corps might not give citizenship at all, or only to a select few. Ares as 'the american megacorp' i.e., might make a point out of employing UCAS citizens, and thus not give a corp-SIN to everyone. Most corps will probably retract citizenship upon contract-termination, which could leave a fired wageslave not only unemployed, but also SINless (unless they can get a SIN from someone else) - all the more incentive to work hard and play nice with mother corp, especially, when all your savings are in corp-script!

QUOTE
2. Why would anyone ever want their cyberlimbs to be wirelessly active? or their cybereyes? I kind of understand that it would be fun for the player to hack into some big bruiser's cyberarm and have him shoot himself. But wouldn't it be profoundly stupid to have your ARM be connected to the matrix? The explaination in the book doesn't sit right with me.

Because people ARE stupid. most runners will either slave their implants to some very secure core node (usually the com) or have it offline, alltogether (you can still move your cyberlimb with the integrated direct neural interface, you canīt just use all the convenient wifi features). corp sec will probably asked, to follow certain security protocols, but itīs like people in the real world, connecting their work-pcs tot he internet (or certain sides), even when itīs not permitted, or like people leaving valuables liing arround at their desk. Some do, some donīt. Professionals are less likely to be lax about it, though.

QUOTE
3. My brother would like to play a Technomancer rigger. How would this work? Are technomancer riggers at a disadvantage over the usual type of rigger?

Unwirred has a few new tricks for rigging TMs, otherwise I donīt know whatīs really better.

QUOTE
4. Suppose I am setting up a run for my players. It is your typical get in/get out mission. What sort of challenges would I need to prepare for a hacker? I understand the goals: turn off the cameras, open the doors, turn off the sentries, get the data, etc. How do I know what sort of security measures to throw at the hacker?

Breaking it down into small tasks and short subsystem hacks is probably a good idea. but oldschool remote hacker backup still works in some places. depends on how interconnected the facilities systems are.

QUOTE
5. This sort of figures into #4, but I recall previous editions descriptions of decking and I remember seeng maps of squares, diamonds and circles connected by lines serving as maps for decking and showing where nodes go and what they do etc. but this time around their description of nodes is very broad and the maps are gone. I feel like there was something I could have taken away from that.

Thing of the past. If you have complex webs of nodes and devices, however, it might be a good idea to do some kind of map, instead of just writing down the subscription lists.

QUOTE
6. This one I suspect I may get lambasted for, but... I don't like the idea of one player getting multiple turns while another doesn't. I remember from previous editions that all one would have to do to get a second turn would be to roll above 10 on initiative. I don't think that is true anymore, but I see that there are spells and cyberware that can give people more actions. Suppose I reduced any and all additional turns to a single (and I don't have my SR book with me right now, so I will borrow a term from D&D) "standard" action. would this break the system?

difficult, as others noted. In any case youīd either have to houserule all reflexincreasing stuff to i.e. give a bigger bonus to reaction and/or initiative, to make it worthwhile, or leave it out of the game all together. just considdering this for balance reasons, Iīd not change it. the ware is comparatively cheap for the lower levels and thereīs also a lot of drugs, that can be used in an emergancy. But I agree that it is a key-mechanism for many fighting-types, flavour and usefullness wise.

QUOTE
7. How do you interface with your commlink? One page describes a character who controls his commlink with a scroll wheel. I cannot possibly imagine surfing the internet with only a scroll wheel. How do they see the information they recieve? I noticed it mentions that commlinks can make holograms. So if someone is walking down the street surfing the matrix, is a glowing window floating in front of him? Is he wearing special shades? moving his commlink around like a mouse? How does he type? This is all presuming that he has nothing implanted in his head.


You can just use it like a cellphone nowerdays, with a bunch of kays and a tiny display screen. a fullsize, felexible, rollout keyboard can be used for regular typing. I think the mousewheel example is probably not meant to be a single wheel controll, but part of an ensamble, however, a wheel and a few keys can go a long way (think i-pod). others may have built in holoproyectors however, but the most common is probably some imagelink (in glasses, contacts, monocle, goggles or implanted, making all these cool 3d AR elements visible) headphones (or implanted audiolink) and AR gloves (allowing you to use AR controlls, by 'touching' the icons) unless you go trodes/sim or full cyber dni. The general idea is that there is no real default, however and everyone just uses, what he likes best, from the tiny joystick at the belt, to the datajack thought controll.
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MK Ultra
post Oct 19 2009, 12:13 PM
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oh, regarding that subvocal stuff - the subvocal micro in the book (s.th. between 50-150 nY IIRC) is the wifi thing, you just stick to your throat, all the other periferals are alyo wifi enabled (sometimes itīs a good idea not to use that feature and raly on cable or skinlink instead). all the standard comms come with simple wired earplugs and freespeaker, just like the ones for cell phones today.

EDIT:
And by the way itīs just mid-day on this side of the planet (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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Saint Sithney
post Oct 19 2009, 01:06 PM
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QUOTE (Nimblegrund @ Oct 19 2009, 04:59 AM) *
Show me one character with 4 actions a round, and another character with two actions, and the one with four actions wins, hands down.


A mage with one initiative pass is facing down a security goon with massively wired reflexes.
They both roll their first pass and the goon comes out on top. He shoots the mage. BLAMMO. Mage is either a) dead or b) looking shaky and coughing up blood, but now it's his turn for this pass. He casts Control Thoughts. Finito. Guard is a zombie. 2nd initiative pass. Guard stares blankly into space. 3rd, same. 4th, drools a little maybe.
2nd combat turn: Guard... sees a mental image of putting his gun in his mouth and pulling the trigger. Splat. Mage slaps on a stim patch and wonders why the hell he would ever get into a toe to toe fight with someone.

Moral of the story is, It's not really the number of actions that matters, it's the order of actions. Life and death happen in a single pass and there's plenty of ways to make sure someone doesn't get a 2nd one. And, like always, if you ever find yourself in a fair fight, you have messed up horribly.

QUOTE (Nimblegrund @ Oct 18 2009, 11:59 PM) *
I cannot possibly imagine surfing the internet with only a scroll wheel.


Not a big Macintosh fan, eh? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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CanadianWolverin...
post Oct 19 2009, 03:15 PM
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QUOTE (Nimblegrund @ Oct 18 2009, 11:59 PM) *
6. This one I suspect I may get lambasted for, but... I don't like the idea of one player getting multiple turns while another doesn't. I remember from previous editions that all one would have to do to get a second turn would be to roll above 10 on initiative. I don't think that is true anymore, but I see that there are spells and cyberware that can give people more actions. Suppose I reduced any and all additional turns to a single (and I don't have my SR book with me right now, so I will borrow a term from D&D) "standard" action. would this break the system?

QUOTE
#6: You make a valid point. But to be fair, just so you understand where I am coming from: The "more turns for me, none for you" is just one reason I don't like the sound of that rule. It has been my experience from other RPGs that actions are king. A character that gets more actions than another character is almost always better, regardless of what abilities the slower character has. Show me one character with 4 actions a round, and another character with two actions, and the one with four actions wins, hands down. The rest is just details. BUT. Like I said, this has been my experience from other RPGs, and you are right, I should see SR in action a little more as written before I go changing the rules.


Re #6: Interestingly enough, this really reminds me of my first couple of sessions of SR4 with a bunch of others new to it as well, GM included. I had a Gunslinger Adept and it really seemed to cheese everyone else off that I was doing so much in combat. Keep in mind we were playing D&D on regular basis as well, they were far more comfortable in that system.

And I couldn't help but wonder to myself then: Then why are they so focused on combat? We don't really have to be slaughtering these guards as the default solution to doing a job for Mr. J, do we?

Sure, combat is a pretty big part of SR if you think about all the descriptions of weapons and stuff, but I get the impression that SR really shines when your characters are so in the deep, dark shadows they don't even get into a fight unless it is on their terms, in which case it will probably be over really quick. Check out Surprise Tests, Called Shots, Infiltration, Disguises, Cons, Explosives, Non-lethal (stun) solutions, etc. If a large amount of combat turns and all the initiative passes and actions in that are still important to your planned jobs, maybe the players of the game should know that in advance of character creation so that they are all sporting a bit of magic, cyber, or drugs to get that extra edge in combat and not feel like they are on the side lines. Also, please note automatic weapons and Suppressive Fire, because even if you don't have a lot of IPs, if your character is good at that, it can factor in over multiple IPs even when the character does not have multiple IPs because it counts for the whole combat turn.
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crash2029
post Oct 19 2009, 10:22 PM
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Welcome to the Dumpshock Forums Nimblegrund!
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Dakka Dakka
post Oct 19 2009, 10:49 PM
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0. No problem. Welcome to Dumpshock. But don't be surprised though if you get three contradicting answers to each of your questions (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

6. As someone already wrote, try the RAW first and only if you really think something doesn't work, change it. Furthermore, you are right that extra actions are very powerful, but everyone can get them, at least in their niche. The Samurai gets Wired Reflexes or a Move-by-Wire System (which btw is just as good as in SR3 and no longer deadly to the user), the adept has his powers or buys Synaptic Boosters, the mages takes the spell Increase Reflexes, or Invests money and Magic into Synaptic Boosters, the hacker pimps his commlink and can resort to the options of mage and samurai for his meat-speed. Everyone can get 3 IP out of CharGen, even if the gimped archetypes in the book don't, and with the Runner's Companion and Unwired there are even ways to get 4. the mage even gets 4 without problems but the spell is not as good as the other options. The players have to decide if it is worth it or if they want to invest their resources into something else.
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Nimblegrund
post Oct 20 2009, 08:01 AM
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QUOTE (crash2029 @ Oct 19 2009, 11:22 PM) *
Welcome to the Dumpshock Forums Nimblegrund!


(IMG:style_emoticons/default/wavey.gif)
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Oct 19 2009, 11:49 PM) *
0. No problem. Welcome to Dumpshock. But don't be surprised though if you get three contradicting answers to each of your questions (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

6. As someone already wrote, try the RAW first and only if you really think something doesn't work, change it. Furthermore, you are right that extra actions are very powerful, but everyone can get them, at least in their niche. The Samurai gets Wired Reflexes or a Move-by-Wire System (which btw is just as good as in SR3 and no longer deadly to the user), the adept has his powers or buys Synaptic Boosters, the mages takes the spell Increase Reflexes, or Invests money and Magic into Synaptic Boosters, the hacker pimps his commlink and can resort to the options of mage and samurai for his meat-speed. Everyone can get 3 IP out of CharGen, even if the gimped archetypes in the book don't, and with the Runner's Companion and Unwired there are even ways to get 4. the mage even gets 4 without problems but the spell is not as good as the other options. The players have to decide if it is worth it or if they want to invest their resources into something else.


Ah, Very good.
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Degausser
post Oct 20 2009, 08:14 AM
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QUOTE (Nimblegrund @ Oct 19 2009, 02:59 AM) *
7. How do you interface with your commlink? One page describes a character who controls his commlink with a scroll wheel. I cannot possibly imagine surfing the internet with only a scroll wheel. How do they see the information they recieve? I noticed it mentions that commlinks can make holograms. So if someone is walking down the street surfing the matrix, is a glowing window floating in front of him? Is he wearing special shades? moving his commlink around like a mouse? How does he type? This is all presuming that he has nothing implanted in his head.


I think the above people answered most of your questions well, but let me add some about the commlink.

There are a bajillion ways to interface with your commlink.

The easiest, quickest, and one that gives you the most control, is a DNI (Direct Neural Interface). This means either 'trodes or a datajack. Now, (and this is important) this lets you SEND commands to your commlink while not in VR, but you cannot recieve them. To see what you are doing, you need something with Imagelink (Either contacts, classes, Cybereyes, Retenal mods, or just look at the screen.)

Now, other methods include AR gloves, a fold-out keyboard (it says most commlinks come with one) a touch interface (like an iPod), or electronic Paper (like a Amazon Kindle with a touch interface.)

As for AR . . . you can think of it as two types of AR . . . personal stuff and broadcast stuff. Personal stuff is seen only by you. It is your User Interface. It shows all the windows you've pulled up, all your gun's ammo count, your contact list, whatever you are looking at. Then there is the broadcast stuff, stuff that is chosen to be broadcast, so anyone within the area can see it, like storefronts or advertisments or sale signs. Your comlink can choose to broadcast stuff to other comlinks in the area if you want to (by turning your comlink to active mode) to say stuff like "Ladies . . . I'm Available!" or whatever. But everything you are broadcasting that people can see is chosen BY YOU. So, you are not, like, showing your gun's ammo count to everyone . . . unless you are retarded.
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MikeKozar
post Oct 20 2009, 08:33 AM
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QUOTE (Degausser @ Oct 20 2009, 01:14 AM) *
Then there is the broadcast stuff, stuff that is chosen to be broadcast, so anyone within the area can see it, like storefronts or advertisments or sale signs.


This is where RFID tags come in - it doesn't take much to pop up an ARO, or Augmented Reality Object - any RFID tag can do it. That means that simply glueing an RFID tag on a wall is enough to graffiti it. When in doubt, assume everything on the street is constantly screaming information to your commlink, and your poor little 'link is working its chips off just trying to find the data in the noise.
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Degausser
post Oct 20 2009, 09:30 PM
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QUOTE (Nimblegrund @ Oct 19 2009, 02:59 AM) *
2. Why would anyone ever want their cyberlimbs to be wirelessly active? or their cybereyes? I kind of understand that it would be fun for the player to hack into some big bruiser's cyberarm and have him shoot himself. But wouldn't it be profoundly stupid to have your ARM be connected to the matrix? The explaination in the book doesn't sit right with me.


Forgot to mention some other stuff.

Okay, so Smartlinks don't work like they did in 3rd ed, and neither do datajacks. Now, instead of plugging stuff in, it's all wireless. So, your Cybereyes wirelessly connect to you comlink, as does your gun, (so you can use your smartlink.) So now your cybereyes are online. Also, unless you have a cranial comlink (or one implanted in your cyberarm or whatever) then your Datajack is online because it is how you talk to your commlink. So that is a reason for your comm and your Datajack, and cybereyes to be online. (Also, cyberears if you want to record audio to your commlink.)

These apply to Datajacks, Chipjacks, Cybereyes, Cyberears, and anything else that you have running though you commlink. So, while your Wired Reflexes may not be online, these things almost have to be. The only way to circumvent this is to have a skinlink, and even then your comlink and datajack will be talking to each other.
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Neowulf
post Oct 23 2009, 11:07 PM
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Just thought I'd chime in about #3.

Technomancers can be great riggers, even without Unwired.

Machine sprites rating 3+ can be compiled with a targeting autosoft and set to man your turrets for you.
Quickly compile a rating 1 machine sprite and you've got 8 hours of Stability in whatever you're driving, which can save your rear bumper. (for fun, give it a Buddy Christ look and tell everyone Jesus is your co-pilot)
Diagnostics helps alleviate any deficiencies in your build/repair skills.
Crack sprites can get you into enemy drones while you deal with other things.

If you do have unwired, it just gets better.
Tutor sprites can be compiled with any technical, vehicle, or knowledge skill. So compile a rating 3+ with Gunnery and Pilot <whatever>, and you've got a really nice wingman. They can also help with build/repair, and even armorer for tricking out your vehicle weapons.
A couple new echos in unwired are geared specifically for rigging technos.
A tacsoft complex form means you can always get a network going with your drones, even if you just stole your drones from the enemy after being captured and stripped of your gear.
And dronomancers are specifically tailored for doing the rigging thing.
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