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> clarification of Tacsofts
makari
post Mar 18 2010, 02:48 PM
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so I'm running into a lot of questions about tacsofts and how they work

1. it states that in order to be a member and receive bonus's you must contribute a number of sensor channels = rating x2, which in general I'm fine with, except when I run into situations like this: I have a group of 5 runners, plus 4 drones I'm going to run the software on, 4 of the runners and the 4 drones are capable of giving the full sensor channels... however the last runner (mage) is currently only able to put in 6 sensor channels... my problem is that according to these rules the mage gets no bonus and is not able to participate as a member... that just seems wrong, he's able to contribute 6 channels, and he's able to take advantage of all of the input from the other 8 fully capable members... it seems he should atleast be able to get +3 (where his 6 channels would allow him to participate) without hindering the rest of the group since whether he's in or not wouldn't affect them at all, and since he's able to take advantage of all input, and his lacking input doesn't affect the rest of the group, it only helps, I really dont see why he wouldn't get the full +4.

2. it states that "Drones sensor systems also count; each drone can supply a number of sensor channels equal to its Sensor rating." but this doesn't really make sense to me since in the line before it states that a person with cybereyes can count each upgrades as a single channel, so why wouldnt the same rule apply to drones? is a drones thermal and low-light upgraded camera somehow less effective than equivalent cybereyes? why would the drones only count as 1, where the eyes would count as 3? just seems horribly inconsistant to me if I'm understanding it correctly.

I'm fine with possibly having to houserule these things, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something, anyone have a better understanding of tacsofts have some comments?
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DireRadiant
post Mar 18 2010, 03:00 PM
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Mage can't participate because of "if the ratings are unequal, the network
functions according to the lowest rating software"
And
"You may only
be part of one tactical network at a time."

If you want to houserule, then you can choose to go about it how you want, in which case give the Mage the +3 bonus and the rest of the team the +4 since that is the outcome you want. You don't need an explanation other then relaxing the part of one tactical network at one time rule.

As for 2. the "line before" you reference is actually in the previous paragraph which is about cybernetic senses.

For the drones, I would either count them as Sensor, or as the specific enhancements. So for a drone with sensor 3, count it as 3 channels, or, if you have customized it with specific enhancements, count each enhancement as a channel. So either apply the Cybernetic Senses or the Sensor Systems paragraph, but not both for the drone.

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Draco18s
post Mar 18 2010, 03:23 PM
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QUOTE (DireRadiant @ Mar 18 2010, 11:00 AM) *
Mage can't participate because of "if the ratings are unequal, the network
functions according to the lowest rating software"


Everyone has R4 software, but the mage can only supply 6 channels of input, not the requisite 8. By adding him to the tacnet, the rest of the tacnet somehow gets worse?
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Mar 18 2010, 03:23 PM
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TacSofts are described as SimSense, too, so they could use the Adaptive Scale option.
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makari
post Mar 18 2010, 03:34 PM
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QUOTE (Draco18s @ Mar 18 2010, 10:23 AM) *
Everyone has R4 software, but the mage can only supply 6 channels of input, not the requisite 8. By adding him to the tacnet, the rest of the tacnet somehow gets worse?



that was my point, it just doesnt make sense, the tacnet is designed to improve based on amount of input, but somehow by added this character the entire network looses a rating?

I guess for both of these things we'll just have to houserule them, I was hoping I was wrong or misunderstanding and maybe in an errata or some other section it gave an example that clarified
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Mar 18 2010, 03:41 PM
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Actually, it's even worse:
Without reducing the rating through the Adaptive Scale option, the mage can't even be part of the network, since the rating 4 TacSoft needs 8 inputs. If it only has 6, it won't be able to help at all.

So, basically, if the software is better, it can't compute help from the same information as a lesser grade software.
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DireRadiant
post Mar 18 2010, 04:00 PM
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QUOTE (makari @ Mar 18 2010, 09:34 AM) *
that was my point, it just doesnt make sense, the tacnet is designed to improve based on amount of input, but somehow by added this character the entire network looses a rating?


I'd feel entirely free for the mage to count as an input for everyone else, but not able to enjoy the benefits of the tacnet for mage themself. There's no requirement for each source of sensory input also receive benefit as a tacnet member.

Also, consider slaving a couple of the drones (some combination that provides sensor 2) to the mage, that way they count as two more sensor channels for the mage, and then they can participate and receive benefits.

Take a look at the command option where the mage can slave their commlink to the node with tacnet 4 and use Rating 4 as well.


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cndblank
post Mar 18 2010, 07:50 PM
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I'll agree that a house rule would be good here.


Or, here is where it would pay to tape a drone to the mage so that together they would contribute the necessary channels.


Just have the mage carry a sensor package of some sort (say on a shoulder pad, hat, or helmet).
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Udoshi
post Mar 18 2010, 08:26 PM
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QUOTE (DireRadiant @ Mar 18 2010, 10:00 AM) *
I'd feel entirely free for the mage to count as an input for everyone else, but not able to enjoy the benefits of the tacnet for mage themself. There's no requirement for each source of sensory input also receive benefit as a tacnet member.


This. tacnets -are- useful, even if you don't get the huge bonus. First off: In order to be counted as a member of the tactical network(and recieves bonuses from it), each member must contribute a number of sensor channels equal to the tacsoft rating times 2.
On top of that, each member of the tacnet must be running an equivalent rating tacnet. If ratings are unequal, it IS gimped down to the lowest.

So having shitty software brings your teammates down, but not having enough channels means you can connect, but don't get extra dice.

Tacnets have -far- more use than simply dice pool modifiers. See page 126 on unwired. They can analyze floorplans, tell you what weapons people are carrying, the armor they're wearing, and take guesses what other kind of loadout they have from that data - and it does this without any actions spent. You can sensor target for your allies with it, using indirect/information guided targeting. It tells you where they are, what they have, who's doing what, and facilitates easy communication, and shows you a mosiac map of the area. Even if you do -not- get a dice pool bonus, being connected to the tacnet IS useful.

Fortunately for your mage, getting him full tacnet love is as simple as getting him some high rating goggles and headphones, maybe a biomonitor.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Mar 18 2010, 08:39 PM
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That's nice and sweet, but it stills boils down to: If you install a better version of the software, it doesn't provide any boni at all anymore, even though the sensor input remained unchanged.
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MikeKozar
post Mar 18 2010, 11:18 PM
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The easy fix for that is to buy him a spare commlink to run tacnet, and add sensors to the commlink. Pick nice non-directional ones, like a good microphone and an RF scanner. Let him hang it off his belt and subscribe it to his PAN...bingo, +2 sensors for a few hundred in parts.

The high-end version of this would be something like goggles with 4 vision modes, audio, rf, motion sensor and a MAD sensor. Rating 6 goggles have a capacity of 6 - given that all four vision modes fit in one camera, you can easily get all 8 sensors in one package. Quick estimates put the cost for those goggles at under 2000. If he doesn't need all 8 because he already has a sensor elsewhere, swap one for the Mage Sight Goggles upgrade with the fiberoptic spell targeting cable - he'll love it.

Yes, I agree, the 'contributing member' rules are weird. Rather then try to make them make sense, I say just buy an extra sensor and get back to killing people for money. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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Falconer
post Mar 19 2010, 12:59 AM
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Mage can still get in on the action....

There's other things you can do to add sensors.
Example: put on a bio-monitor and slave it to your commlink. Same goes for a smartgun (w/ it's included camera and sensors).

Now your teammates know how badly the mage has boned himself w/ self-inflicted drain ;P.


Mage adds sensors to his helmet making up a helmetcam... if the imagelink is a holographic overlay on the field of vision it doesn't block his normal vision... so get say a military or motorcycle helmet.



That said... rating 3 is probably good enough.... especially if you have a rigger. As his drones are hard pressed to get better than sensor rating 6.
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Fatum
post Mar 19 2010, 01:09 AM
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Actually, I remember putting together a calc sheet for the team when we went for a tacnet. There are extremely cheap ways to get more sensor channels, like slaving a survival knife (that you should have on you most of the time anyway) or a bunch of RFID sensor tags to your PAN.
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MikeKozar
post Mar 19 2010, 06:03 PM
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QUOTE (Falconer @ Mar 18 2010, 04:59 PM) *
That said... rating 3 is probably good enough.... especially if you have a rigger. As his drones are hard pressed to get better than sensor rating 6.


I didn't think it was possible, save by houseruling. Anybody know a way to get a Drone up to 8?
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DireRadiant
post Mar 19 2010, 06:17 PM
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QUOTE (MikeKozar @ Mar 19 2010, 12:03 PM) *
I didn't think it was possible, save by houseruling. Anybody know a way to get a Drone up to 8?


As an alternative you can get 8 different enhancements onto a drone using the improved sensor array, and that way it can provide 8 channels.
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Sengir
post Mar 19 2010, 06:51 PM
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Just give the mage the Urban Explorer helmet, fit it with a camera (+thermo and lowlight), microphone (+audio enhancement), GPS, radio scanner and olfactory sensor. 8 channels, no problem.
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KCKitsune
post Mar 19 2010, 09:10 PM
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OK, does an Orientation System count as a sensor channel? Also do cybereyes & ears count as two channels (visual spectrum and normal human hearing spectrum in addition to any other enhancement in said 'ware)?

Finally does a Olfactory Booster count? I know it seems obvious, but I still wanted to make sure.
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rumanchu
post Mar 19 2010, 09:25 PM
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QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Mar 19 2010, 02:10 PM) *
OK, does an Orientation System count as a sensor channel? Also do cybereyes & ears count as two channels (visual spectrum and normal human hearing spectrum in addition to any other enhancement in said 'ware)?

Finally does a Olfactory Booster count? I know it seems obvious, but I still wanted to make sure.


Orientation System: yes (specifically listed as an example on p.125 of Unwired)
Olfactory Booster: yes (specifically listed on p.125 of Unwired)
Cybereyes: yes (specifically listed on p.125); regular vision is 1 channel, any additional enhancements count as additional channels
Cyberears: yes (p.125); regular hearing is 1 channel, any additional enhancements count as additional channels.

EDIT: my tone might not come across correctly here...I was just trying to give you page references in case your GM was wondering if it was interpretation or RAW. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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KCKitsune
post Mar 20 2010, 12:44 AM
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rumanchu: Thank you. I have now calculated how many channels my cybered up Chaos Mage can bring to a TacNet... 10 separate channels.

I guess I'm ready when they bring out Rating 5 TacNet software... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Falconer
post Mar 20 2010, 02:38 AM
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One point to keep track of. Which can be especially problematic w/ all those linked sensors.

Slaving them to your commlink eats up a LOT of subscriptions. You will probably need a rating 5 or 6 commlink to get 10 or 12 subscriptions (subscriptions over this limit count as programs degrading response).

That said, a single handheld/worn 'sensor package' can potentially have multiple sensors eating up only a single subscription on the commlink. (remember you have 1 encryption program and subscription just to connect w/ your decker or street sam running the tacnet... oftentimes the sammy will run it in his program space since the decker is probably loaded up w/ other programs). And in my experience most teams, slave their commlinks to the decker/riggers or leave them individual w/ a subscription to an encrypted private mesh network (VPN).


And really, given the nature of riggers... sorry but rating 8 sensor suite... no way... excepting maybe for large military vehicles or very specialized expensive recon drones. A rating 3 tacnet is plenty of good for a drone army type rigger... (really rating 3 or 4 is only 1 dice, and not worth running roughshod over the newly massively improved sensor rules in SR4a).
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KCKitsune
post Mar 20 2010, 03:19 AM
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QUOTE (Falconer @ Mar 19 2010, 10:38 PM) *
One point to keep track of. Which can be especially problematic w/ all those linked sensors.

Slaving them to your commlink eats up a LOT of subscriptions. You will probably need a rating 5 or 6 commlink to get 10 or 12 subscriptions (subscriptions over this limit count as programs degrading response).

Unless you cluster the sensors together and then slave the cluster to the commlink. This will only take up one subscription on the 'Link, and therefore leave plenty of program space for Mooks (Agent + Attack & Armor) that the hacker can use to attack that nasty IC.

The sensor information is then fed into the commlink and then shared with the rest of the team.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Mar 20 2010, 10:16 AM
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QUOTE (Falconer @ Mar 20 2010, 03:38 AM) *
(subscriptions over this limit count as programs degrading response)

Where do you get that from?
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Sengir
post Mar 20 2010, 12:06 PM
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Unwired p55. Just guessing, because that is the page where all the important stuff about PAN topology is located.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Mar 20 2010, 12:11 PM
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Ah, there.

Of course, using Subscriptions too much useless hassle anyway, so I've seen no-one ever even using the Subscription rules, let alone seperate them from Data Requests. Especially encrypted communication is never even considered as a Subscription, though by RAW, it is.
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Sengir
post Mar 20 2010, 12:57 PM
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QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Mar 20 2010, 01:11 PM) *
Of course, using Subscriptions too much useless hassle anyway, so I've seen no-one ever even using the Subscription rules

I can think of exactly two uses:
- Nuke someones System down to zero (idea taken from here)
- prevent some rules exploit which would involve 34875394583*10^50 subscriptions

But in normal gameplay? Too much bookkeeping for no gain, no thanks
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