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> is encephalon really worthwhile?
makari
post Mar 10 2010, 03:14 AM
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I've seen many people posting on this forum about it being a must have for matrix chars...

but 1.5 ess cost and 75000 for a simple +2 skill pool, compared to most every other skill enhancer, it seems like the absolute least bang for your buck...



am I missing something? is my book a typo and it's suppose to be .15 instead of 1.5 ess? I've thought this a couple times, but I'm not sure...

help me out.
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pbangarth
post Mar 10 2010, 03:31 AM
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Well, the 1.5 Essence cost version applies the +2 modifier to basically all Matrix tests and all Logic-linked tests outside the Matrix, and one more +1 to the Cracking and Electronics Groups when using AR or VR. So for a whole lot of useful Skills you get either +2 or +3 to your dice pool.

That's a lot.
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LurkerOutThere
post Mar 10 2010, 03:32 AM
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I'm not sure your recollection/math is right on the +3 portion, but i'm AFB myself right now.
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Draco18s
post Mar 10 2010, 03:43 AM
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It is +3, if you get the R2.

QUOTE
A
Rating 2 encephalon provides the same bonus and provides an
additional +1 dice pool modifier to skill tests using skills from the
Cracking and Electronics skill groups when using augmented or
virtual reality.
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LurkerOutThere
post Mar 10 2010, 04:04 AM
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But doesn't rating 1 only give one die? I may have been shorting myself a die.
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pbangarth
post Mar 10 2010, 04:14 AM
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QUOTE (LurkerOutThere @ Mar 9 2010, 09:04 PM) *
But doesn't rating 1 only give one die? I may have been shorting myself a die.

Yes, but I was talking about the Rating 2 version that costs 1.5 essence, as the OP was using that in his example.
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Heath Robinson
post Mar 10 2010, 04:26 AM
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QUOTE (pbangarth @ Mar 10 2010, 04:14 AM) *
Yes, but I was talking about the Rating 2 version that costs 1.5 essence, as the OP was using that in his example.


QUOTE (Page 63 @ Augmentation)
A Rating 1 encephalon applies a +1 dice pool bonus to all Active Skill Tests using skills linked to Logic (the bonus does not apply to Logic-linked Knowledge skills). This bonus applies to Matrix tests when using these skills as well. A Rating 2 encephalon provides the same bonus and provides an additional +1 dice pool modifier to skill tests using skills from the Cracking and Electronics skill groups when using augmented or virtual reality.
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Draco18s
post Mar 10 2010, 04:29 AM
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QUOTE
A Rating 1 encephalon applies a +1 dice pool bonus to all Active Skill Tests using skills linked to Logic (the bonus does not apply to Logic-linked Knowledge skills). This bonus applies to Matrix tests when using these skills as well. A Rating 2 encephalon provides the same bonus and provides an additional +1 dice pool modifier to skill tests using skills from the Cracking and Electronics skill groups when using augmented or virtual reality.


Fixed the emphasis for you.

QUOTE (makari @ Mar 9 2010, 10:14 PM) *
but 1.5 ess cost and 75000 for a simple +2 skill pool, compared to most every other skill enhancer, it seems like the absolute least bang for your buck

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Heath Robinson
post Mar 10 2010, 04:30 AM
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QUOTE (Draco18s @ Mar 10 2010, 04:29 AM) *
QUOTE (Page 63 @ Augmentation)
A Rating 1 encephalon applies a +1 dice pool bonus to all Active Skill Tests using skills linked to Logic (the bonus does not apply to Logic-linked Knowledge skills). This bonus applies to Matrix tests when using these skills as well. A Rating 2 encephalon provides the same bonus and provides an additional +1 dice pool modifier to skill tests using skills from the Cracking and Electronics skill groups when using augmented or virtual reality.


Fixed the emphasis for you.

QUOTE (pbangarth @ Mar 10 2010, 03:31 AM) *
Well, the 1.5 Essence cost version applies the +2 modifier to basically all Matrix tests and all Logic-linked tests outside the Matrix, and one more +1 to the Cracking and Electronics Groups when using AR or VR. So for a whole lot of useful Skills you get either +2 or +3 to your dice pool.


Fixed your emphasis fixing, and your second quote.

Edit: Actually fixed your emphasis fixing.
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pbangarth
post Mar 10 2010, 04:33 AM
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Ah... I missed the "same bonus" part, and just read into the text my own imagination that Rating 2 gave +2 as well as the +1. OK, so a whole bunch of useful skills get +2 and some more get +1. If you are going the hacker/rigger route, this still seems valuable to me.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Mar 10 2010, 04:34 AM
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QUOTE (pbangarth @ Mar 9 2010, 09:33 PM) *
Ah... I missed the "same bonus" part, and just read into the text my own imagination that Rating 2 gave +2 as well as the +1. OK, so a whole bunch of useful skills get +2 and some more get +1. If you are going the hacker/rigger route, this still seems valuable to me.



But not as valuable as some other things could be... Especially at its price in Nuyen and Essence Cost...

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LurkerOutThere
post Mar 10 2010, 04:35 AM
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So am I blind, i'm just not seeing the +3 dice. +2 sure, but 1 plus 1 is 2.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Mar 10 2010, 04:38 AM
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QUOTE (LurkerOutThere @ Mar 9 2010, 09:35 PM) *
So am I blind, i'm just not seeing the +3 dice. +2 sure, but 1 plus 1 is 2.



It is indeed +2 (for some of the Skills... Hacking and Electronics)

Keep the Faith
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LurkerOutThere
post Mar 10 2010, 04:41 AM
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Ok now that I'm sure i havn't gone math incompetent or senile I will point out that runing the standard hacking rules every +2 bonus helps, especially when your in a pinch. It's not as good as other cyber or bio, especially for the price and nuyen involved but it is one of the few ways to boost these tests.
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Saint Sithney
post Mar 10 2010, 04:50 AM
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Encephalon is just the old classic hacker upgrade. Or, old and busted really. Bioware, nanoware and genetic treatments all outperform the clunky old head-puter.
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LurkerOutThere
post Mar 10 2010, 04:58 AM
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How you figure, what bioware actually gives bonuses to hacking? I'll admit from an essence and cost standpoint encephlon is expensive trash but it's the only game in town.
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KCKitsune
post Mar 10 2010, 05:11 AM
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I would just go with the Simsense Booster. I know it doesn't give you extra dice, but an extra IP is ALWAYS nice.
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Karoline
post Mar 10 2010, 05:24 AM
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QUOTE (LurkerOutThere @ Mar 9 2010, 11:58 PM) *
How you figure, what bioware actually gives bonuses to hacking? I'll admit from an essence and cost standpoint encephlon is expensive trash but it's the only game in town.


Well, if you're going with the optional rule that nearly everyone goes with, cerebral boosters increase logic which increases your hacking pool. (And if you don't know, I mean the optional rule to use Logic + Skill with hits maxed by program rating instead of the fairly stupid Skill + Program in which Logic is a dump stat for hackers)

Neocortical Nanites are huge at a +3 bonus for 25k (15 for the nanites, 10k for the hive) and 2 capacity.

Still, I have to agree. 75k and 1.5 essence sucks alot, but there aren't a ton of options out there.
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Saint Sithney
post Mar 10 2010, 05:31 AM
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QUOTE (LurkerOutThere @ Mar 9 2010, 08:58 PM) *
How you figure, what bioware actually gives bonuses to hacking? I'll admit from an essence and cost standpoint encephlon is expensive trash but it's the only game in town.



Cerebral Booster? +3 to Logic and therefore all logic linked skills. Far less essence and far less cost. PuSHeD costs less (not by much,) but is null essence for another +1. Neocortical Neural Amplifiers will give you another +3 dice to all logic linked skills for 15,000 and the cost of your nanohive. Sure it won't help with the high-security hacks, but for your everyday sniff and spoof drone capture hijinks it's three dice for peanuts.
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Karoline
post Mar 10 2010, 05:33 AM
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QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Mar 10 2010, 12:31 AM) *
PuSHeD costs less (not by much,) but is null essence for another +1.


That's actually .1 essence.
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Draco18s
post Mar 10 2010, 05:34 AM
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QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Mar 10 2010, 12:31 AM) *
Cerebral Booster? +3 to Logic and therefore all logic linked skills.


+3 Logic != +3 Logic Linked Skills, especially when the logic skill in question is Hacking.

Hacking + [Program Rating] doesn't include "dice from Logic"
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Karoline
post Mar 10 2010, 05:35 AM
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QUOTE (Draco18s @ Mar 10 2010, 12:34 AM) *
+3 Logic != +3 Logic Linked Skills, especially when the logic skill in question is Hacking.

Hacking + [Program Rating] doesn't include "dice from Logic"


Was going to mention that. Check my post up just a bit. While it is true that the base rules are Skill + Program, nearly everyone seems to go with the Stat + Skill with hits maxed by program to at least bring it vaguely in line with how the rest of the entire game operates and to make Logic worthwhile for hackers.
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Saint Sithney
post Mar 10 2010, 05:36 AM
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Heh, forgot that RAW is skiddie rules where the program does all the work.
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Draco18s
post Mar 10 2010, 05:44 AM
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QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Mar 10 2010, 12:36 AM) *
Heh, forgot that RAW is skiddie rules where the program does all the work.


My current character--a chaos mage (yay logic!) is a hacker.

A hardware hacker.

I get Logic to all my hack attempts (because I'm not in AR/VR using programs, I'm directly interfacing with a control panel, see SR4 p223).

And I still ended up needing to spend 2 Edge (of 4) avoiding an alert using a maglock passkey--I had to scan it 5 times? Either 5 or 6. Once I got no hits, once I didn't get enough (hey, a R3 passkey isn't that good).
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Aerospider
post Mar 10 2010, 11:29 AM
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QUOTE (Karoline @ Mar 10 2010, 05:35 AM) *
Was going to mention that. Check my post up just a bit. While it is true that the base rules are Skill + Program, nearly everyone seems to go with the Stat + Skill with hits maxed by program to at least bring it vaguely in line with how the rest of the entire game operates and to make Logic worthwhile for hackers.

I for one prefer the reverse: skill + program limited by logic.

Logic has many other uses but program ratings do not. When capping by rating many users aren't going to see any benefit in using a rating 6 program over a rating 4 program and I think that detracts a lot from the importance of good gear as well as not representing how massive the difference should be. On top of that, programs rated 1 or 2 are next to useless for anything beyond finding a good restaurant. Essentially my problem is that if the program rating is the cap it will matter almost never, but using Logic as the cap still leaves a lot of reasons to have a high Logic rating.

Also, it's very thematic that decades into the future the symbiotic relationship between society's dependence on technology and technology's increasing capabaility has spiralled to the heights of highly autonomous programs designed to minimise human error/incompetence. I really would expect the Logic requirement on software use to drop massively in times to come I think we've been seeing such a progression over the last few decades in RL.

In the end both the rating used for the DP and the rating used for the hits cap are 'limits', but IMO it works much better if it is the program rating that determines how effective program use can be whilst the Logic rating determines how much of the programs effectiveness can be harnessed by the user in question.

EDIT: Also, with program rating being the cap threading becomes next to pointless most of the time. Who's going to thread a few extra rating points on a CF (incurring fading damage and a -2 sustaining modifier) for hits they probably won't get and might not even need? TMs would be much, much less exciting.
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