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> Am I broken or is the technomancer?
Sharkman
post May 18 2010, 05:21 AM
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Long time fan and collector of Shadowrun, not so long time GM.

I have an Elf Technomancer with 7 Charisma, positive qualities to boost, max stats, right out of character creation....

Spends almost 3 days compiling and registering sprites...gets six sprites or seven sprites of differing types...rating 6.

Goes to probe and then hack into DocWagon facility and is rolling a dice pool of around 31 or 33.

He has sprites aiding his rolls, threading, etc...

The rest of my players are rolling average dice pools around 12 to 16.

What am I doing wrong? Are they really that broken?

Have I missed a rule that limits how they can use sprites to augment their rolls?

Please help.
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Da9iel
post May 18 2010, 05:46 AM
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Normally, GMs only allow 1 sprite at a time to boost a Complex Form. Just put your foot down. Technos can be gods in the matrix, but that kind of dickery is unnecessary. A good complex form + a decent skill + specialization + threading + sprite assist gets plenty of dice--easily to twentysomething. That's enough.
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Ryu
post May 18 2010, 06:12 AM
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At that dicepool, you are likely missing that threaded complex forms are limited to 2*Resonance, as per pg. 240 of The Precious.

Then you have Assist Operation Services. Those can be used by multiple sprites on the same CF - no rule against that - yet I would advise to use the 2*Resonance limit for those, too.
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Mantis
post May 18 2010, 08:30 AM
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In my experience, yea they are that broken. Personally, we tried them out once, ran into exactly what the OP described and I've never allowed them back in again. It was getting silly waiting for the TM to roll all those dice for every damn action, even when hacking a rating 3 system. I haven't seen much since to make me think they are any more fixed with added rules. Even Resonance*2 for a CF rating isn't much of a limit with a TM with Resonance 5-6.
I leave them as NPCs where their techno dickery can be a plot device rather than something to start arguments about.
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Aerospider
post May 18 2010, 09:11 AM
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QUOTE (Mantis @ May 18 2010, 09:30 AM) *
It was getting silly waiting for the TM to roll all those dice for every damn action, even when hacking a rating 3 system.

Precisely what the buying succeses option was created for. 6+ hits per 'roll' should be enough to walk all over an only-moderately secure system, at which point you may as well just focus on the story-telling. The player might think it takes some of the fun out, but then pausing every two sentences to painstakingly count dice isn't much fun in my book.

TMs are potentially terrifically overpowered, but they are meant to be something very special in the virtual world – after all, it's their home where all around them consider it an alien and artificial environment – and it's not like Unwired is without ways to challenge them. For balance, I consider the best approach to be turning it on its head and make life difficult for them outside the virtual world through racism, social ineptitude ("ANOTHER etiquette check??"), the effect of heavy/light Matrix traffic zones and other factors. Slipping through a high-end firewall might be child's play to the TM PC, but stick him in a face-to-face negotiation down a back-alley at gun point and he should be well out of his depth.

The real trick to this is finding the right balance between hindrances that should be represented by a negative quality and those that should be represented by "because you're a technomancer, that's why".
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hermit
post May 18 2010, 09:32 AM
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QUOTE
TMs are potentially terrifically overpowered, but they are meant to be something very special in the virtual world – after all, it's their home where all around them consider it an alien and artificial environment – and it's not like Unwired is without ways to challenge them.

Yeah. Other Technomancers. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/ohplease.gif)

Ryu's house rules make sense, though, even though 4 times Resonance still can easily inflate into the higher 20s. Or do as I do and ban them entirely. They were a concept that could have worked, but turned out to be Neo clones rather than anything remotely balanced. Either have Technos or Hackers; both are only possible if you use house rules and the TM player purposely constrains their character.

QUOTE
Slipping through a high-end firewall might be child's play to the TM PC, but stick him in a face-to-face negotiation down a back-alley at gun point and he should be well out of his depth.

One word: Emotitoy. Of course, noone in their right mind actually allows these things. Just, be prepared for a ty with them, maybe.
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Jaid
post May 18 2010, 09:37 AM
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hmmm... i'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the basic problem you have is that you have one PC who very carefully designs his/her characters for maximum effectiveness, whereas everyone else appears to be quite happy with just being reasonably effective. because really, it's completely possible to have a face with social dicepools into the 30s, even easy. especially if you make an adept. even street sams can get their combat dicepools up around 20 if they min/max it, and magicians can get some pretty impressive drain dice pools to soak even heavily overcasted drain if need be.

now, this isn't to say that your technomancer wouldn't pwn the face off of everything in the matrix anyways (though if you are allowing him to stack assist operation services, i wouldn't, by the way, but that's up to you). but if the technomancer was built to the same level as the rest of the party, you would likely not see quite that large of a disparity. sure, the technomancer might be throwing dicepools of around 20-25, but that's burning services, and threading, to do that. and after all, they do pay for their superiority in the matrix by being almost completely useless everywhere else, typically (it's a very expensive archetype, which means it usually doesn't leave much for making them strong elsewhere)
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Aerospider
post May 18 2010, 09:50 AM
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QUOTE (hermit @ May 18 2010, 10:32 AM) *
One word: Emotitoy.

Don't get me started on those! In my game anyone who walks into a high-tension negotiation with armed, no-nonsense professionals on their own turf and tries to use a bloody mood-tamagochi to make proceedings run smoothly is in for some unamused reactions and boosted social-resistance pools. They might (just might) make you look flash and tech-savvy in the boardroom, but the shadows aren't so cheaply impressed (and much more easily offended).
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Ryu
post May 18 2010, 09:56 AM
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We handle it as 2*Resonance total, no matter how. It is still enough to dominate all non-TM-stuff. (@Hermit: I get why you understood R*4. I could have been clearer.)
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Sengir
post May 18 2010, 09:57 AM
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QUOTE (Sharkman @ May 18 2010, 05:21 AM) *
I have an Elf Technomancer with 7 Charisma, positive qualities to boost, max stats, right out of character creation....

Spends almost 3 days compiling and registering sprites...gets six sprites or seven sprites of differing types...rating 6.

First of all, the registering sessions with R6 sprites already take 36 hours. Considering that even with Registering 6, Resonance 6 and the VR bonus the TM just gets 14 dice vs. the sprite's 12 (16 for one type of sprite if he specialises Registering) that sounds like an awfully short time - let's say half of the registering attempts fail, that would be 54 hours, plus some meditation or whatever to make up for the failed attempts. And sleep, Long Haul only works so long.

Secondly there's fading damage, which is twice the hits (not net hits) each sprite scored on the test to compile or register it. R6 sprites will on average get 4 hits, that's 8 stun damage to soak with 13 dice (I guess he took a Charisma-linked stream). Ouch

If that still is not enough, there is the optional rule that each registered sprite causes a -2 modifier, analogous to the optional rule for bound spirits. These options were made precisely for this kind of characters.



And as a final thought, running around with a rating 50+ Stealth CF and a small army of sprites can attract far more attention than a cracked, outdated stealth program running on a juryrigged commlink. If a player is on a constant "unlimited powaaaaa!!!!!" trip, some people will get curious...
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Aerospider
post May 18 2010, 10:03 AM
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QUOTE (Sharkman @ May 18 2010, 06:21 AM) *
He has sprites aiding his rolls, threading, etc...

I recommend playing up the sprites as sapient beings (with reference to the type of relationship the TM has with his sprites). If he relies on more than one at once it could be fun to play them off against each other. Do they always agree with the best way to help the TM? Do they all approve of the same sort of actions? Do they all get along ok? Perhaps Crack is jealous of Paladin's pride of place, Paladin is condescending towards the barbarianesque Tank and Tank gets easily riled by Crack's cloak-and-dagger attitude.

Mechanically, perhaps multiple sprites assisting should be a teamwork test, but unless you want to multiply your dice rolls by 5 or 6 I'd use the Perception version (highest DP, +1 per extra sprite up to +5).

Fluff-wise, five or six sprites of (presumably) different types all chipping in on the same task should be a diplomatic and logistical nightmare. Imagine having two dogs, a cat, a snake, a budgie and a horse and they can all speak. Now ask them to help you tidy your flat – that's how I picture it.
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Johnny Hammersti...
post May 18 2010, 11:20 AM
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If this character is right out of chargen with a CHA and 7 and probably a resonance of 5, He's probably a physical weakling with few skills besides matrixy ones.

Who cares what a character can do online when a R3 security guard with an SMG can turn him into hamburger right quick.

We have a technomancer in our game and as the GM I don't find him overpowered at all.

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graywulfe
post May 18 2010, 11:24 AM
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It's amazing to me how much any "Broken" thing in ANY gaming system is "Fixed" by not having a dickwad play them. Seriously I allow almost anything in my games so long as it fits the theme of the game we are going for. There is a Techno in my game right now, and she has not become a problem at all.
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hermit
post May 18 2010, 12:24 PM
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QUOTE
Who cares what a character can do online when a R3 security guard with an SMG can turn him into hamburger right quick.

Assuming the mancer goes into the target area where the infiltration/hit will happen, which he has no reason to.
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Harbin
post May 18 2010, 12:57 PM
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QUOTE (Aerospider @ May 17 2010, 11:50 PM) *
Don't get me started on those! In my game anyone who walks into a high-tension negotiation with armed, no-nonsense professionals on their own turf and tries to use a bloody mood-tamagochi to make proceedings run smoothly is in for some unamused reactions and boosted social-resistance pools. They might (just might) make you look flash and tech-savvy in the boardroom, but the shadows aren't so cheaply impressed (and much more easily offended).


Why would an emotitoy be bad? Honestly?

I don't understand, it would be like bringing a voice-stress analyzer and a monitor for various vitals to check for any sign of lying. In a deal like that you'd want to *know* that they're telling the truth. You'd be using everything you had, astral sight to check for anxiety, the emotitoy to see what they're panicked about. Everything.
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hermit
post May 18 2010, 01:26 PM
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QUOTE
Why would an emotitoy be bad? Honestly?

Would you take someone serious who has Hello Kitty whisper into his ear constantly? Would you be enticed by someone flirting you up because they have a Picachu sitting on their shoulder? Would you believe someone more because colour-changing baby dragons hop around on him? This is just ... stupid. There is no other remotely printable word for it.

Face it, the whole thing is just irreparably broken rules-wise and a shit concept fluffwise.
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Rasumichin
post May 18 2010, 01:35 PM
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QUOTE (hermit @ May 18 2010, 09:32 AM) *
One word: Emotitoy. Of course, noone in their right mind actually allows these things.


Not as written. I think they'd work out ok if you use the rating to make a teamwork test instead of adding it to the pool.

I've never tried this out, though.
The cheese stigma attached to these things is so strong that i've never seen them in actual play.
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TommyTwoToes
post May 18 2010, 01:40 PM
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QUOTE (hermit @ May 18 2010, 08:26 AM) *
Would you take someone serious who has Hello Kitty whisper into his ear constantly? Would you be enticed by someone flirting you up because they have a Picachu sitting on their shoulder? Would you believe someone more because colour-changing baby dragons hop around on him? This is just ... stupid. There is no other remotely printable word for it.

Face it, the whole thing is just irreparably broken rules-wise and a shit concept fluffwise.

True enough, we had a guy haning around our local gaming shop with a stuffed dragon on his shoulder and everyone thought he was a complete tool.
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Harbin
post May 18 2010, 01:42 PM
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And what if it looks like an metal cat earring? Or a nice draconic necklet? Maybe a funky-looking old-time watch they keep holding up to their ear? Or something sensible, like a number of readouts on a small block he just puts on the table projected into his AR?

What if it looks completely reasonable and they take it out for a serious negotiation because they're actually trying to find out what the other party is getting at?
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Karoline
post May 18 2010, 02:01 PM
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QUOTE (Harbin @ May 18 2010, 09:42 AM) *
And what if it looks like an metal cat earring? Or a nice draconic necklet? Maybe a funky-looking old-time watch they keep holding up to their ear? Or something sensible, like a number of readouts on a small block he just puts on the table projected into his AR?

What if it looks completely reasonable and they take it out for a serious negotiation because they're actually trying to find out what the other party is getting at?


Or more importantly: what if they run it on their commlink, fed through their contacts/cybereyes?

In that case it is alot more reasonable. You need a commlink with response and system of 6, and the software is way more expensive (for some reason) when not packaged with the emoti-toy itself. It is still an exceptionally cheap +6, but it is much more reasonable, and can no longer have the 'small toy in negotiations' stigma attached to it.
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Yerameyahu
post May 18 2010, 02:16 PM
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Emotitoys are fine for fluff. It's The Future™ and it's cyberpunk. The problem is that you get Rating 6 Emotion software for free. Just fix that.
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Ascalaphus
post May 18 2010, 02:27 PM
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QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ May 18 2010, 03:16 PM) *
Emotitoys are fine for fluff. It's The Future™ and it's cyberpunk. The problem is that you get Rating 6 Emotion software for free. Just fix that.


The whole sensor software concept is just poorly integrated into the rules, I think.
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hermit
post May 18 2010, 02:28 PM
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QUOTE
The cheese stigma attached to these things is so strong that i've never seen them in actual play.

Me neither, admittedly.

QUOTE
And what if it looks like an metal cat earring? Or a nice draconic necklet? Maybe a funky-looking old-time watch they keep holding up to their ear? Or something sensible, like a number of readouts on a small block he just puts on the table projected into his AR?

Then it's not an emotitoy but a far more expensive Sensor. Besides, someone who talks to his watch is making a fool of himself, too.

And as for AR diagrams: I don't see where a flurry of several diagrams will be helpful, realy. Unless you have a positive quality like multitadking, that's only bound to make you even more nervous, I think. Not with the emote, not with the program running on the 'link. I'd limit that software to 3, tops.
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Mäx
post May 18 2010, 02:35 PM
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QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ May 18 2010, 04:16 PM) *
Emotitoys are fine for fluff. It's The Future™ and it's cyberpunk. The problem is that you get Rating 6 Emotion software for free. Just fix that.

Actually you get a toy that has an rating 6 empathy software on it, dont do jack shit for you as your not the one using the software the toy is.
Noone has still not in 5 topics pointed to me where in the book it says that an emotitoy gives you bonus dices to your socialdicepools, becouse i cant find that in the rules or the fluff.
Everyone allways speaks like they do, but i cant for the life of me figure out where they got that idea.
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Prime Mover
post May 18 2010, 02:36 PM
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I've always ruled emotitoy software can be run on a commlink if connected to visual/audio sensors. I've toyed with different versions of it teamwork test, flat bonus, own roll, etc. Not seeing a huge difference either way honestly. And I have to agree if the 6 million nuyen sami shows up with strawberry shortcake pinned to his armor jack the Johnson should just excuse himself and slip out the back.
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