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> Tips for making a good hacker?, Hi.
Edwarded
post Oct 27 2009, 11:12 PM
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I looked about five pages back, and couldn't find a similar topic...

But I'm mostly new to the hacking thing (never bothered with the headache that was 3e). 4e makes it look simpler, but there's still a lot to digest. So do any of you have any advice for making sure you're good at it? Not an entire character build, just stuff that's useful to keep in mind.

Thank you, in advance.
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Orcus Blackweath...
post Oct 28 2009, 12:41 AM
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Decide how you want to go about hacking.

Technomancer, Cyber, or mostly human.

With Techno you then decide whether you will use some cyber to augment him.

Then you decide how specialized you want to be. The more specialized, the better you will be as a hacker, but the poorer you will be at everything else.

You can be a decent hacker with minimal investment, in fact your character can fill another role fairly well if you are unspecialized.
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Saint Sithney
post Oct 28 2009, 07:43 AM
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Do you have the Unwired sourcebook?

If yes, then there's more choices to make.
If no, then your path basically consists of 1) buying upgrades for multiple comlinks, and 2) buying all your programs at the highest level your comlink/system can run.
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Ustio
post Oct 28 2009, 09:34 AM
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Remember cyberware comes in two groups for hackers/techies:

Cyber to make you better at Hacking/Tech work:
  • Straight up bonuses - Go for things which give a bonus to "Logic Linked Skills" - PuSHeD, Neo Cortical nano. or direct functionality like simsense boosters for the speed.
  • Extra options - Scanners, skillwires, snakehands, simrigs all sorts of loverly toys, that dont necessarily give a DP bonus but allow you to use that DP when you normally wouldn't.

Cyber to keep you alive until you get to where you need to be to hack:
  • Meat based IP - Synaptic booster or MBW (coz of the bigger reaction boost and skillwires) are my preferred options.
  • Combat boosts - Smartlink and cybereyes are always popular, reflex recorders, Skill wires (if you didnt take MBW)
  • Extra armour/soak - Bone density or lacing, Skill mods

You wont always need to worry about the second group if you can rely on yuour teammates to keep you alive, but since you'll generally have spare essence it can always be handy to pick some bits and pieces of the second type as you go along.
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DWC
post Oct 28 2009, 09:49 AM
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Check out the clustering rules from Unwired. Buying 3 R5 commlinks, slamming them into a cyberlimb, then clustering them will neatly allow you to run pretty much every program you need while keeping all your useful subscriptions active. Unless your Response is critical (cybercombat or decryption), grab yourself a nexus, stash it someplace secure, and use that to run your persona, since its' system isn't capped by the Response rating, which allows you to use a pretty mediocre piece of hardware to run top of the line programs. Get a satellite uplink amd carry it everywhere so you can make all your calls through a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. Load up on program Optimization, and be sure to Optimize your commlink for Exploit.

And check out the adept hacker. Being able to use Improved Ability for things like Hacking, Cybercombat, and Electronic Warfare is sweet. Mix it with a small amount of utility cyberware and you're golden.
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The Jake
post Oct 28 2009, 09:53 AM
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Don't forget you can go the adept path and make a very formidable hacker as well.

Analytics is useful for programming and Improved Ability can go towards any skill in the Cracking or Electronics skill groups.

As a secondary ability, you can put the points towards Improved Reflexes and Combat Sense if you like, or alternatively Kinetics if you prefer to create a Face. I am a big fan of a hacker/face or combat hacker builds using adepts.

- J.
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Blade
post Oct 28 2009, 10:11 AM
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Good facing skills can help in a lot of situations: why bother hack an account when you can get a legitimate one in one phone call?
Social Engineering is a very powerful tool in the hand of a skilled hacker.
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darune
post Oct 28 2009, 11:27 AM
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A) Get rating 6 for most/all programs (stealth important) even if you only have rating 5 response.
B) Get hot sim
C) Go for another specialty, combat has some overlaps with hacking ability because of extra passes (remember AR uses meat body speed)

I wouldn't consider using unwired rules/optionals if you new to the system (apart from all the good flavor text in first chapters).

A note on the nexi: you cannot bring it with you inside a wireless sealed facility. So i would consider the nexi as a thing you sometimes can use.

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Saint Sithney
post Oct 28 2009, 04:37 PM
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If you're using Unwired rules, you might also want to get some rating 5 programs at the start with Optimize and Ergonomic options, that is if you want to set up Agents and Botnets. And it's really no great task to use the Replicate Autosoft to create a good Botnet agent that'll infect every computer in a network. Or just make one to release in a poor part of town where no one is likely to have decent defenses. And with Optimized programs, even a Response 2 comlink can run lvl 4 programs. Once you've got enough of those lined up, you can swarm any spider on the block.
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Faradon
post Oct 28 2009, 06:51 PM
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Of course if you do have a lot of rating 6 programs be on the constant lookout for paydata to support your habits...

It can be quite expensive to maintain a lot of programs at rating 6 (due to the monthly decay of 1 rating)
This is especially true if you end up wanting some programs standard and then other copies with options (like AOE attacks and armor pen.)
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The Jake
post Oct 28 2009, 11:49 PM
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I'd just build a Nexus at home, create an agent to Auto-update and patch my programs. That way during your downtime you just re-connect your commlink to the Nexus and your programs are automatically updated.

- J.
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The Jake
post Oct 28 2009, 11:58 PM
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QUOTE (DWC @ Oct 28 2009, 09:49 AM) *
Check out the clustering rules from Unwired. Buying 3 R5 commlinks, slamming them into a cyberlimb, then clustering them will neatly allow you to run pretty much every program you need while keeping all your useful subscriptions active. Unless your Response is critical (cybercombat or decryption), grab yourself a nexus, stash it someplace secure, and use that to run your persona, since its' system isn't capped by the Response rating, which allows you to use a pretty mediocre piece of hardware to run top of the line programs. Get a satellite uplink amd carry it everywhere so you can make all your calls through a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. Load up on program Optimization, and be sure to Optimize your commlink for Exploit.

And check out the adept hacker. Being able to use Improved Ability for things like Hacking, Cybercombat, and Electronic Warfare is sweet. Mix it with a small amount of utility cyberware and you're golden.



Seconded. What cyberware do you prefer? I'm a fan of Encephalons and Math SPUs personally.

- J.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 29 2009, 12:48 AM
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QUOTE (The Jake @ Oct 28 2009, 04:49 PM) *
I'd just build a Nexus at home, create an agent to Auto-update and patch my programs. That way during your downtime you just re-connect your commlink to the Nexus and your programs are automatically updated.

- J.



Heck, Just write your own programs, they never degrade (Unwired Erratta)...

Keep the Faith
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Faradon
post Oct 29 2009, 01:14 AM
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QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Oct 28 2009, 08:48 PM) *
Heck, Just write your own programs, they never degrade (Unwired Erratta)...

Keep the Faith


How much in-game time between adventures is the norm for your group?
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The Jake
post Oct 29 2009, 01:50 AM
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If you max out Logic, specialise Computer (Programming), Improved Ability (Computer), Analytics and a Nexus, you could cut down the time to write very very quickly...

- J.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 29 2009, 01:56 AM
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QUOTE (Faradon @ Oct 28 2009, 06:14 PM) *
How much in-game time between adventures is the norm for your group?


Not a lot, couple of weeks at most, on most occasions...
DOesnt; stop you from doing it though... it just takes some time is all... Depending upon what you are trying to program, you can get a roll in half the time (Programming Environment, so for Common/Hacking Programs you get a roll every 2 weeks) and if you are using Programming Suite, you can get additional Dice... not too hard to program custom programs that way... you will not get a lot all at once, but eventually you will get some programs...

In the course fo almost 1 FUll Year of game time for my last character, I was able to get 5 or 6 fairly high level programs programmed... worked out pretty well I thought...

And yes, A specialized programmer would be very brutal in this regard...
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Marwynn
post Oct 29 2009, 02:43 AM
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Don't commlinks degrade as well? System, response, and firewall do at least right? So wouldn't it be too costly to implant them only to have to pop them out once a month or so to keep them updated?

Isn't it easier overall to just carry a few more? Just not seeing the upside of having a cyberlimb full of the stuff. Though 3 R5 Commlinks, a Datajack, and a Nanohive takes care of a lot of things and is only 1 Essence.

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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 29 2009, 03:03 AM
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QUOTE (Marwynn @ Oct 28 2009, 07:43 PM) *
Don't commlinks degrade as well? System, response, and firewall do at least right? So wouldn't it be too costly to implant them only to have to pop them out once a month or so to keep them updated?

Isn't it easier overall to just carry a few more? Just not seeing the upside of having a cyberlimb full of the stuff. Though 3 R5 Commlinks, a Datajack, and a Nanohive takes care of a lot of things and is only 1 Essence.



Comlinks DO NOT DEGRADE...
They are not Software like programs are... (Yes, Firewall and System are Software, But not Programs... System and Firewall do not degrade... Response is Hardware)...

Keep the Faith
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Marwynn
post Oct 29 2009, 03:42 AM
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I could've sworn there was an optional rule about that somewhere, something to keep the 'links constantly updated to represent the ever-improving models coming out.

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The Jake
post Oct 29 2009, 06:28 AM
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Optional means OPTIONAL. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

- J.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 29 2009, 11:46 PM
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QUOTE (The Jake @ Oct 29 2009, 12:28 AM) *
Optional means OPTIONAL. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

- J.



Indeed...
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Ascalaphus
post Oct 30 2009, 03:21 AM
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So I'm finally gonna make a hacker too. After several short-lived campaigns, I've capitulated and promised to GM a campaign every other mission. Me and the other GM then decided to make relatively similar characters so the group wouldn't suddenly lack something important when the other guy is playing.

What I wonder though: can't you get something with a little more oomph (response-wise) than a commlink? Like say, a laptop (how quaint)? Because I'd think the limited capacity of a basic commlink (although sufficient for non-hackers) would probably result from some size constraints on the device.

I can't seem to find anything else you could carry though. Have I overlooked something?
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 30 2009, 03:30 AM
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QUOTE (Ascalaphus @ Oct 29 2009, 09:21 PM) *
So I'm finally gonna make a hacker too. After several short-lived campaigns, I've capitulated and promised to GM a campaign every other mission. Me and the other GM then decided to make relatively similar characters so the group wouldn't suddenly lack something important when the other guy is playing.

What I wonder though: can't you get something with a little more oomph (response-wise) than a commlink? Like say, a laptop (how quaint)? Because I'd think the limited capacity of a basic commlink (although sufficient for non-hackers) would probably result from some size constraints on the device.

I can't seem to find anything else you could carry though. Have I overlooked something?



A Response 6 Comlink is State of the Art... there are systems that have higher ratings, but not that you can buy, you would have to build one or steal one to obtain it...3

Nexi are not really portable, which is the next stage...

You could also construct a custom "Cyberdeck" (there is a really good topic about a reconstructed Fairlight Excaliber Deck using Comlinks and other gear found in the main book and unwired... it cost a fair chunk of change, even if you built it yourself) which could aslo serve you quite nicely...

Keep the Faith

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The Jake
post Oct 30 2009, 03:33 AM
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I'm envisioning a series of clustered commlinks and/or Nexus built into a Fairlight Excalibur case.... gold...

- J.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Oct 30 2009, 03:36 AM
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QUOTE (The Jake @ Oct 29 2009, 09:33 PM) *
I'm envisioning a series of clustered commlinks and/or Nexus built into a Fairlight Excalibur case.... gold...

- J.



It was a pretty awesom writeup... 25 Comlinks Clustered, Maximum Program Load 75, State of the Art all the Way...

Keep the Faith
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