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> Playable Free Sprites, how would this work?
dataweaver
post Nov 28 2009, 09:48 AM
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The Runner's Companion gives guidelines for AIs and Free Spirits as player characters, but not for Free Sprites. Would this be a viable player concept? And if so, how would it work?
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Nov 28 2009, 10:21 AM
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A copy of the Free Spirit rules, mostly.
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dataweaver
post Nov 28 2009, 10:29 AM
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Well, yes - except that Sprites aren't Spirits; and the complications lie in the differences between them.
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Neraph
post Nov 28 2009, 06:12 PM
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Not particularly. If you really felt like it, copy the rules for Spirits almost exactly, substituting Rating for Force and using the Powers guidelines for the Sprite powers, and use the Codebase mechanic from AI for your Complex Forms.

In my opinion it is simply easier to work with what we have though. Maybe convince your GM to allow your AI to get the Emulate power, page 169, Unwired.
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Jaid
post Nov 28 2009, 08:54 PM
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the main problem as i see it is that free sprites don't advance using karma, they advance using registered sprites. and with the kind of stuff you can offer a technomancer, obtaining said registered sprites should be simplicity in itself.

also, the other part of the problem of not advancing by karma is that it means your character has no need to do any of the stuff that earns karma...

(edit: if you just like the idea of a free sprite, then i agree with the above: play an AI, and call it a free sprite)

This post has been edited by Jaid: Nov 28 2009, 08:54 PM
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WyldKnight
post Nov 28 2009, 10:37 PM
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Or your GM could hand wave it saying that the Karma you get is the power you gained from offing registered sprites in your free time. Its merely a refluffing job to avoid extra problems. If you want to go it the actually way well then thats something to work out with your GM.
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SleepIncarnate
post Feb 27 2010, 12:06 AM
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Bringing this thread back from the dead, I started another one asking bout creation rules and was linked here. First off, I would say they accumulate karma, but they can only spend it when they off a registered sprite, in the methods discussed there. As for creation, I'd go with about 200 BP for them, more than an AI since they can thread, have powers, and can go into the Resonance realms, but less than a free spirit which has access to actual magic and a physical form (or the ability to possess someone for one). I'd also allow them access to all, or at least most, of the AI qualities, though with some changes. For example, all sprites should be able to jump in as a rigger, and so for 5 points it'd be from a machine sprite that this sprite was made and they can use autosofts already in the drone or vehicle if it's better than their own.
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dataweaver
post Feb 27 2010, 01:37 AM
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Why "less than spirits"? Is Resonance somehow inferior to Magic, or is it merely different in its focus? I always took it to be the latter. As for the lack of a physical body: I was under the impression that most spirits have to take some sort of power in order to be able to manifest physically or to possess a host; and the latter strikes me as being analogous to rigging.
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Daylen
post Feb 27 2010, 02:14 AM
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of course its inferior. the matrix could be destroyed by an army of spirits destroying all nodes. difficult but possible. I know of no way for a sprite or a bunch of them to destroy the astral. also technomancers and sprites cant throw mana bolt or similar.
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Teryn180
post Feb 27 2010, 03:25 AM
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Maybe they can't throw magic, but Black Hammer is a SOB. Superior/inferior would really depend on weather the game was going to be heavy on Matrix or not.
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SleepIncarnate
post Feb 27 2010, 03:33 AM
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QUOTE (dataweaver @ Feb 26 2010, 07:37 PM) *
Why "less than spirits"? Is Resonance somehow inferior to Magic, or is it merely different in its focus? I always took it to be the latter. As for the lack of a physical body: I was under the impression that most spirits have to take some sort of power in order to be able to manifest physically or to possess a host; and the latter strikes me as being analogous to rigging.


The quick explanation is that the magician quality costs 20 BP and the technomancer quality only costs 5. But let's look at it this way. Magicians can do stuff no one else can do, and while TMs are amazing and special in their own right, systems wise, they're only slightly different from any other hacker or rigger. Another difference is that free spirits start automatically with 6 free powers (Sapience, Astral Form, Spirit Pact, Immunity to Normal Weapons, Banishment Resistance, and either Materialization or Possession based on their tradition), plus have power points equal to their edge attribute to buy additional powers, plus have spell casting.

Sprites on the other hand only start with one free power (Denial) and must buy the rest with edge. They also cannot truly have karma, only increasing their skills, powers, edge, ratings, etc via reassembling the registered sprite of a technomancer that's willing to give them such, though I recommended using a "mock karma" system to help stabilize the system. Like AIs (which only cost 110 BP instead of the whopping 250 for free spirits) they cannot interact with the real world without rigging into a drone, and most would not even consider it. Likewise, like TMs, I imagine that sprites would have problems with dissonance realms and other "resonance dead nodes" that you don't see something comparable to for spirits. Unless you use the optional TM and sprite rules on p. 137-138 of Unwired, a sprite is as vulnerable to everything in the Matrix as any other Matrix user, unlike spirits which are very distinctly separate from even magicians in that department, let alone mundanes.

Despite all the similarities between spirits and sprites (just the like similarities between magicians and TMs), they are still worlds apart in their differences.
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dataweaver
post Feb 27 2010, 04:16 AM
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QUOTE (SleepIncarnate @ Feb 26 2010, 07:33 PM) *
The quick explanation is that the magician quality costs 20 BP and the technomancer quality only costs 5.

Say no more.

QUOTE (SleepIncarnate @ Feb 26 2010, 07:33 PM) *
Despite all the similarities between spirits and sprites (just the like similarities between magicians and TMs), they are still worlds apart in their differences.

Yep. That's why I started the thread: Free Sprites are more like AIs than like spirits; but even there, there are differences. So none of the existing character creation options quite cover them.

Actually though, that suggests another possible solution: design a free sprite as an AI that has the Technomancer quality (or perhaps a 5 BP "Free Sprite" quality), representing the capabilities and weaknesses that free sprites and technomancers share. Is this reasonable, or are there differences between AIs and free sprites that this wouldn't cover?
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SleepIncarnate
post Feb 27 2010, 04:47 AM
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Free sprites can be decompiled (and thus re-registered), unlike an AI. They have access to sprite specific powers, they don't gain the inherent programs, don't spend money to buy programs (instead buying complex forms with BP at creation then gaining them later via reassembling. AIs would have no problems in resonance dead nodes but sprites would (kinda like the TM and the unemerged hacker that Mika talks about on p. 162 of Unwired), and sprites have access to the resonance realms while AIs don't (kinda like the difference between a mystic adept and a magician, the mystic adept can at best see into the umbra with a special ability and the magician can actually go there). Free sprites wouldn't have a home node, and more likely are like spirits in having a home resonance realm, or perhaps nothing of the sort at all. Sprites don't need to "realign" (the AI equivalent to sleep), and I don't think they can be trapped in a node (they would return to the threshold or their home realm).

There's enough differences that there should be a separate set of rules for making a free sprite.
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Daylen
post Feb 27 2010, 10:26 PM
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if someone is not hooked into the matrix black hammer and red sickle can't do shit. if someone has no essence or is a machine they still can be destroyed by magic. there might be similarities between magic and matrix or resonance but they are not equal.
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SleepIncarnate
post Feb 28 2010, 05:09 AM
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QUOTE (Daylen @ Feb 27 2010, 04:26 PM) *
if someone is not hooked into the matrix black hammer and red sickle can't do shit. if someone has no essence or is a machine they still can be destroyed by magic. there might be similarities between magic and matrix or resonance but they are not equal.


Your way of describing it is basically the same as saying men and women are similar but not equal. A lot of people would disagree with it. A good hacker or rigger could cause the security systems in a building to all fire on a mage, or cause the sprinkler systems to disrupt a fire spirit. Quit going the route of "the magical can destroy the digital but the digital can't do crap to the magical" and instead do a simple facts basis comparison. We're discussing what the rules would be to create a free sprite, not discussing if the magical is somehow greater or lesser than the digital or if they're equal. An elf is not lesser than a troll despite the lower BP cost to play one, and in fact, in many instances, the troll would have a harder time than the elf.
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Daylen
post Feb 28 2010, 02:43 PM
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well, in both cases not equal. I can't get pregnant and magic cant really do jack shit in space. What you are saying is the same as saying a sine wave and sawtooth wave are equal.
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SleepIncarnate
post Feb 28 2010, 04:40 PM
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QUOTE (Daylen @ Feb 28 2010, 08:43 AM) *
well, in both cases not equal. I can't get pregnant and magic cant really do jack shit in space. What you are saying is the same as saying a sine wave and sawtooth wave are equal.


No, the difference is, you're saying magic is better and the digital is inferior, I'm saying they're not the same. And again, that's not the point of this thread. If you want to debate that, start another thread. This thread is specifically for discussing free sprites as player characters.
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SleepIncarnate
post Mar 1 2010, 03:39 PM
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OK, lemme try and put one down here and see what people think.

Cost: 200 BP

Starting Attributes: A free sprite starts with a Rating of 2 which determines its minimum and maximum attributes. Rating can be increased at character creation just like any other attribute, to a maximum of 6. The rating is the natural maximum for all mental attributes as well as Edge. Free sprites share all the same mental attributes as other metatypes, but lack physical attributes. Their mental attributes and Edge start at 2 (their Rating) and must be bought up either with BP or through reassembling. Additionally, they possess the Matrix attributes of Firewall, System, and Response, which are determined in the same way as a Technomancer. They also possess the Signal attribute, but it is the Signal of the node they are currently in. Living in the Matrix full time, they always get the +1 to Response of being hot sim, but this cannot push their Response higher than their Rating. They determine initiative as Intuition+Response, same as any Matrix user, and have 3 initiative passes. Since the Matrix is the sprite's native environment, they receive a +3 dice pool modifier to all Matrix Perception tests.

Sprite Powers: Gain Denial for free, can also pick a number of sprite or free sprite powers or echoes equal to its Edge. New powers may only be gained when raising Edge through reassembling. If a sprite loses Edge, it does not lose powers, but it cannot gain new powers until its Edge once again is higher than it was. Additionally, sprites with the Software skill can thread complex forms much like a Technomancer, using their Rating in place of Resonance. Finally, the sprite is capable of passing through the Threshold into the Resonance Realms. If a free sprite is decompiled, it finds itself trapped in one of the Resonance Realms (players should work with the GM to decide on what the sprite's "home realm" is like) until such time as it regains Edge and can reenter the rest of the Matrix.

Complex Forms: A free sprite may start with a number of complex forms equal to 2x its Charisma, no matter the rating of the CF's, but no CF may be of a higher rating than the sprite's own Rating.

Advancement: A free sprite does not gain karma as do normal characters (though the GM may wish to award phantom karma as a way of keeping the sprite roughly on par with the other runners in the group), instead advancing its skills, powers, and the like via a process known as reassembling, described on pp. 158-159 of Unwired.

Qualities: Free Sprites may take any quality that is acceptable for an AI to take (listed on p. 89 of the Runner's Companion), with a few exceptions. All sprites are able to jump in like a rigger, so do not need the Piloting Origin quality, which instead can be replaced with Machine Sprite Origin, a 5 BP quality that allows the sprite to use autosofts already loaded into whatever they jump into in place of their own skills. Likewise, a free sprite cannot take Ghost in the Machine, as they know full well what they are. Additionally, here are some new qualities just for free sprites.

Cracked (15 BP Negative Quality):
A submerged technomancer has managed to come across the sprite's source code, and as such holds much power over the sprite. The circumstances of this situation are up to the gamemaster but are never simple or pleasant.

Defragged (5 BP Negative Quality):
For reasons that may be unknown to it, the sprite is locked into its original form, and may only purchase powers accessible to a single type of sprite, chosen at character creation. The sprite does not gain any other traits of the sprite type in question, including increased or decreased attributes.
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Sengir
post Mar 3 2010, 01:16 PM
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This Edge-based system for powers does not sound like a good idea for PCs. I know that it comes straight from the horse's unwired mouth, but it would make sprite chars the definition of a luckbunny
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SleepIncarnate
post Mar 3 2010, 01:25 PM
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Free Spirits work the same way, gaining a number of power points equal to their Edge. But since Edge is limited by Rating/Force, it does help prevent being the "luckbunnies" as you put it.
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