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> My first decker..., born yesterday, up all night reading...
kevyn668
post Feb 4 2004, 08:50 PM
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Like it says, I never made a decker and never played one. I got in on Dashifen's "We're Green" run and am looking forward to it but I could use some help. Thats where all you DSer's come in.

My character is gonna use the Combat Decker Archetype as a template. Major differences: he's human and no cyberarm, traded Implant Weapons for Athletics. I'm leaning towards a corp background but not sure yet. In case anyone's interested, I made him a ComDeck b/c our group doesn't have a Sam/Adept/Gunbunny (last time I checked....) and because I already know the combat rules :)

I have SR3 and Matrix but no T:M. I have a pretty basic understanding of the Matrix rules (you guys were right, pretty much everything is just a computer test). I haven't plowed through Matrix yet but plan to tonight--the 4 hour director's cut of Dune was on last night.... ;)

Here goes: Is there anything I should definitely get progamwise? I have a few ideas, but would like some input. Also, WTF is with all the knowledge skills in Matrix?! I cracked it open to that section and it blew my mind. Do I need all those? I like KS's like "Matrix Gangs" and "Famous Deckers" and "Matrix Topography". Y'konw?

I get the idea that the majority of those skills are for doing your own programs, but since this is an online game and unlikely to progress to the point where I might use them would it be "min/maxy" of me to skip most of the programing codes??

One last thing: for any suggestions (especially program wise) please include a "why" section or a "...and this is what makes this cool.."

Thanks!
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Orient
post Feb 4 2004, 09:12 PM
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Rule number one: Always go for the highest rated Sleaze program you can. Kind of an obvious one, but it bears mentioning.

Aside from choices in combat programs, which will really vary depending on your style of decking, I'm pretty fond of the program "Validate". If you can use the Validate Account operation (after which your GM may require you to jack out and log back in again) you can poke around the system for basics without having to make thousands of rolls. Look up the Validate Account operation in Matrix p.102. It should refer you to p.38 for a list of specific operations that you can do for "free".
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kevyn668
post Feb 4 2004, 09:15 PM
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Cool. keep 'em coming!!
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Teulisch
post Feb 4 2004, 10:51 PM
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as well as sleaze, you want a high masking. with MPCP 6, you can have masking 6. in masking mode that raises to 9 (which also lowers something else). With a sleazze 6 that gives DF 8. With the optional rules for hacking dice increasing DF, you could get a DF of 11.

Definetly get a Math SPU 3. you will need the extra hacking pool dice.

dont forget Camo. Logon to ltg, use camo (redirect data trail?), logon to RTG and do it again, then head for your target. It gives you more time to deal with those pesky trace programs- and a trace program that completes means people with guns looking for your meat body. Never deck from your house- go somewhere else and use a dataline tap (you need a rating 6 tap for a MPCP 6 deck).

You may also want microscopic vision (-2 TN to computer and electronics B/R), and Enhanced Articulation bioware (+1 dice to all physical skills including B/R, but dosent help while decking. Downside is bioware increase TN of healing).

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Accel
post Feb 4 2004, 11:50 PM
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Also, use masking mode often and plentiful (Matrix, p. 123= +50% masking value, -50% all others, but who cares about these) and boost your Detection Factor with Hacking Pool dice (Matrix, p.26.) They are much better used this way than to fight ICE you could have avoided!

Saves a lot of money and icon bandwidth you otherwise spent on combat utilities, too. Use it for said vital Sleaze program! And if they find you nonetheless, better gracefully log off ASAP, because probes and scouts that powerful always have even bigger BLACK cousins!

Oh, not fast enough. Enhanced art is not as effective as it is expensive. Better get yourself level 2 cerebral boosting and/or high-rating encephalon. Like Teulisch said, you'll need that hacking pool dice.

Before you go decking, don't forget to first lay a false trail by hopping the grids (and a sat constellation or two.)

This post has been edited by Accel: Feb 4 2004, 11:59 PM
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gknoy
post Feb 5 2004, 12:27 AM
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You may also want to read the "Idiot's Guide to the Matrix" thread, run mainlyt by Synner -- it has two sample runs (one ongoing) that will teach you a LOT about the sorts of things you can expect. Synner is doing a great job as mock-GM, and Kurukami's been doing a great job teaching us strategy and stuff. If you haven't read it, go do it. :)

(BTW, apologies for not having the thread name linkified - not even sure I have it exactly correct. ;))
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FlakJacket
post Feb 5 2004, 02:42 AM
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As gknoy said, the Matrix Walkthrough and Idiot's Guide to the Matrix threads are good places to look for information to get up to speed on decking.

As for recommendations, the last decker PC I ran ages ago took every single programme at rating three for a grand total of 132,300 nuyen. Then just swapped out/dropped the important ones like sleaze and took them at rating six. It's not a bad idea since it gives you a wide spread although it does assume that you took the million nuyen, or similarly high figure, resources choice at creation.
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Lilt
post Feb 5 2004, 02:47 AM
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You may want to consider a good rating of validate utility if you plan on running overwatch much and have a chance to access the host beforehand.
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FlakJacket
post Feb 5 2004, 03:17 AM
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Oh yeah. Validate is gooood. I remember the time I pulled of an incredibly lucky roll and managed to use it to get a super-user account on Lone Star's Seattle grid. The GM wasn't quite as happy though. :D
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Teulisch
post Feb 5 2004, 03:39 AM
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you cant start with the cerebral booster (its cultured bioware, and therefore needs a beta clinic), and teh enchephalon is quite expensive (but good as well)

On the knowledge skills thing: Knowsofts. Go ahead and get either a chipjack or a knowsoft link for your headware memory. Get some knowsofts for the various programming and hardware design knowledge skills. This lets you have the skills you need, and still be able to get the knowledge skills you want. Personaly, id say 'matrix security' is an important knowledge skill, as is data brokerage (so you know what the paydata is worth).

One good idea, is to get yourself a computer Shop and a permenant squatter lifestyle (a place to keep the shop). add in a chip burner and a programming suite, and your all set to make your own upgrades. add in a cybercam and a decent maglock for security.

You may want to look at the rules for custom decks- a bit more expensive, and you can still only start with rating 6 or less, but that allows for better hardening and I/O, and as much active/storage memory as you want, and active memory is the biggest limit to how many programs of what size you can run. I think a good custom deck comes to around 175,000, versus the 125,000 for the off-the-shelf mpcp 6 deck.

Spoof is a VERY important program if you want to do overwatch. Its what you use to control any slave device (elevator, security cameras, alarms, ect).

Agree with the validate thing- possibly make several valid IDs beforehand, so if one gets hosed (or just too high a security tally) and you have to bail, you already have another ready to go.

Also, with a few extra things from rigger 3, you could deck a rigged security system.
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Fortune
post Feb 5 2004, 03:42 AM
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QUOTE (Teulisch)
you cant start with the cerebral booster (its cultured bioware, and therefore needs a beta clinic)

As has been stated time and time again, that is only a suggestion, not a hard-and-fast rule. :)
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toturi
post Feb 5 2004, 03:49 AM
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QUOTE (Fortune)
QUOTE (Teulisch @ Feb 5 2004, 02:39 PM)
you cant start with the cerebral booster (its cultured bioware, and therefore needs a beta clinic)

As has been stated time and time again, that is only a suggestion, not a hard-and-fast rule. :)

But an official one. Kinda like a Fanpro/Wizkid houserule, feel free to ignore along with the Canon rules(which are basically officially Official houserules) if you feel like it.
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FlakJacket
post Feb 5 2004, 03:52 AM
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Well if it's their first decker, better to give them all the help possible and just ignore the suggestion IMO.
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Fortune
post Feb 5 2004, 04:14 AM
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QUOTE (toturi)
But an official one. Kinda like a Fanpro/Wizkid houserule, feel free to ignore along with the Canon rules(which are basically officially Official houserules) if you feel like it.

There is a difference between a suggestion (which this definitely is, even in the FAQ) and a canon rule. Choosing either option is, in effect a house rule, as there is no specific ruling in canon on the subject. :)
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Kagetenshi
post Feb 5 2004, 04:14 AM
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You won't have to log out and log in again if you use Validate and a real account, but it's a good idea unless you want to be editing the logs afterwards.

~J
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Herald of Verjig...
post Feb 5 2004, 04:17 AM
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You need to add a negative term in there Kag.
[edit]unless the valid account logs aren't worth/don't need editing, or I've misread the intent the last four times I read that post[/edit]
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toturi
post Feb 5 2004, 05:14 AM
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QUOTE (Fortune)
QUOTE (toturi @ Feb 5 2004, 02:49 PM)
But an official one. Kinda like a Fanpro/Wizkid houserule, feel free to ignore along with the Canon rules(which are basically officially Official houserules) if you feel like it.

There is a difference between a suggestion (which this definitely is, even in the FAQ) and a canon rule. Choosing either option is, in effect a house rule, as there is no specific ruling in canon on the subject. :)

Didn't you read the BBB? All the rules there are "suggestions". :) You are welcome to ignore all of them.
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mfb
post Feb 5 2004, 05:27 AM
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i think he meant the fact that the beta clinic thing is specifically worded as a suggestion.

you might swap out some of those random knowledge skills for a higher-rated System Familiarity kno skill. extra hacking pool is a good thing.
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Kagetenshi
post Feb 5 2004, 05:46 AM
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QUOTE (Herald of Verjigorm)
You need to add a negative term in there Kag.

Where? Maybe I'm just too tired, but I'm not seeing anything I missed.

~J
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Glav
post Feb 5 2004, 07:13 AM
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I don't have anything to offer really as far as your character, but I highly highly reccomend getting Target: Matrix. I don't know about everyone else, but I loved this sourcebook. It made the matrix come alive to me way more than anything else ever has. It's a real enough place in Shadowrun, and the book showed exactly how interesting everything really can be :)
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DigitalMage
post Feb 5 2004, 10:38 AM
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Don't forget the basic stuff - Read/Write to look at and edit files, Spoof for tackling Slaved devices, Decryption to defeat Scramble IC, Commlink to tap commcalls.

And get Browse at a high rating - it is quite a small program (Rating^2 Mp) but is used to find anything on a host. The higher the better as you often need a cumulative total of 5 successes to find a file successfully (3 successes to find a Slave). The fewer tests you can accumulate those successes in the better, as it means fewer chances for the Host to increase your Security Tally.
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DigitalMage
post Feb 5 2004, 10:40 AM
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QUOTE (Accel)
Also, use masking mode often and plentiful (Matrix, p. 123= +50% masking value, -50% all others, but who cares about these) Oh, not fast enough. Enhanced art is not as effective as it is

I believe that is how it used to work in 2nd Ed, but now you only need to reduce one other Persona Prog by 50% to increase Masking by 50%. So effectively you could reduce Bod to increase Masking, and reduce Evasion to increase Sensor.

Correct me if I am wrong though.
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Crisp
post Feb 5 2004, 11:10 AM
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I don't have much to add (I've only recently started playing my first decker character so I'm still learning) but I want to stress what Glav said: get Target : Matrix! It's one of my favorite books and I've only ever played one decker! (And this book was one of the reasons I decided to give deckers a try) It really made the Matrix come alive for me, before it was just this "place" that deckers went and did their stuff but after reading it I realized that anyone could--and should--go.

What little advice I've got to give, most of this has already been mentioned but here goes anyway...

Hacking Pool: get as much as possible, if nothing else you can use it to prevent your security tally from going up when you crash some Ice (Unless your Gm forbids this use of HP don't even think of sacrificing your Detection Factor). A Math SPU is cheap (both in nuyen and Essence) and gives you up to three points of hacking pool, other stuff like the Encephalon and the Cerebral Booster also help but are more expensive.

Everybody has said it already but it IS fundamental: get as high a Sleaze utility as you can, ditto for Masking, anything and everything you can do to get your DF higher is a good investment.

Get Validate. I didn't get this at CharGen (hadn't read Matrix carefully enough) and I found it missing a LOT of times.

Never ever deck from home and Relocate often, you DON'T want big guys with big guns that have Ares stamped on the side knocking at your door...

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