IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

10 Pages V   1 2 3 > »   
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Optimization Advice for a Combat Hacker, Help me build a Hacker and the Greatest Swordsman in the World
WhiskeyJohnny
post Nov 7 2010, 02:11 AM
Post #1


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 471
Joined: 7-November 10
Member No.: 19,155



I'm rolling my first runner for an upcoming game, and, being new to the system, I was looking for some optimization advice. I want to build a combat hacker, someone who can make an effective Hacker/Street Samurai (and/or gunbunny, if that's possible). I'd like to play a human with a high edge, but I'm willing to entertain other possibilities. As far as hacking goes, I envision him doing most of his hacking before the run, probing a system to find weaknesses, creating a backdoor account that he can exploit during the run if need be, and obtaining building plans, video feed, and other tactically useful information. Perhaps he'll have a couple of drones for reconnaissance/fire support. That said, I'd like him to be able to go toe-to-toe with spiders/IC if need be, but I don't want him to be in full VR all the time (at least not during the run).

As far as how to get my skills, I was thinking about using Active Skillsofts to shore up what I can't get a chargen. That brought me to cyber- and bioware, as I understand I need Skillwires or Move-by-Wire in order to run Skillsofts. This of course brought me to the question of essence cost reduction, as I suspect I'm going to be running a heavily cyber- and biowared character. What can I do to reduce the essence cost of my wares, especially at chargen? Can I run cyberware and bioware at the same time, or is it of greater benefit to focus on one or the other?

The other things about this character that are necessary would be: enough social skills to not make a fool of himself, maybe to act as an off-face, because the campaign is supposed to have a strong social element and enough artistic ability to make him a talented painter, for fluff reasons. Additionally, I only have access to the core rulebook, Runner's Companion, and possibly Augmentation.

I also would love a rundown of the basics of Shadowrun 4e optimization. I understand that it is more efficient to buy your stats at chargen and diversify skills as you improve, is this accurate? How many dice should I have in my dice pools? How many initiative passes should I have?

Thanks!

This post has been edited by WhiskeyJohnny: Nov 7 2010, 02:12 AM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Yerameyahu
post Nov 7 2010, 03:02 AM
Post #2


Advocatus Diaboli
**********

Group: Members
Posts: 13,994
Joined: 20-November 07
From: USA
Member No.: 14,282



Hackers only need a commlink and programs. Tiny bit of skill, no logic. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) Enjoy. Without Arsenal and Unwired, though, you're not going to be using a lot of the toys (on the other hand, simpler and cheaper to play that way).
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
WhiskeyJohnny
post Nov 7 2010, 03:08 AM
Post #3


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 471
Joined: 7-November 10
Member No.: 19,155



QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Nov 6 2010, 09:02 PM) *
Hackers only need a commlink and programs. Tiny bit of skill, no logic. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) Enjoy. Without Arsenal and Unwired, though, you're not going to be using a lot of the toys (on the other hand, simpler and cheaper to play that way).


Why do they only need a tiny bit of skill and no logic? Do you mean that the program will do the job well enough?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Aku
post Nov 7 2010, 03:10 AM
Post #4


Running, running, running
*****

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 2,220
Joined: 18-October 04
From: North Carolina
Member No.: 6,769



its all skill + program for hacking
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
WhiskeyJohnny
post Nov 7 2010, 03:18 AM
Post #5


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 471
Joined: 7-November 10
Member No.: 19,155



Yes, but that would suggest (to me at least) that I need at least average skill (and a really good program) in order to be an effective hacker. Is that not the case?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Yerameyahu
post Nov 7 2010, 03:27 AM
Post #6


Advocatus Diaboli
**********

Group: Members
Posts: 13,994
Joined: 20-November 07
From: USA
Member No.: 14,282



It depends on how effective, really. You can be pretty great with 2+spec or so, and rating 5-6 programs. Yes, you can squeeze some more dice out, but pretty effective even to start. Call it 70k? It's really just an add-on to whatever else you're doing.

Augmentation:
PuSHeD helps, grab that. If you have a cyberlimb at all, there's also a nanite that acts like PuSHeD.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Fix-it
post Nov 7 2010, 03:44 AM
Post #7


Creating a god with his own hands
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,405
Joined: 30-September 02
From: 0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1
Member No.: 3,364



resisting having your brains come out of your ears against a Black Hammer attack is Willpower, so don't use it as a dump stat.

writing your own software is dependant on logic. writing malware is hacking+logic.

so if you just wanna script-kiddie, you just need lots of cash.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
WhiskeyJohnny
post Nov 7 2010, 05:01 AM
Post #8


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 471
Joined: 7-November 10
Member No.: 19,155



What is the benefit to writing your own code? I'd like for my character to be able to do that from a flavor point of view, but is it necessary mechanically to make a good hacker?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Yerameyahu
post Nov 7 2010, 05:08 AM
Post #9


Advocatus Diaboli
**********

Group: Members
Posts: 13,994
Joined: 20-November 07
From: USA
Member No.: 14,282



Depending on what rules you use, you can save some money by spending a *lot* of time. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
PresentPresence
post Nov 7 2010, 05:08 AM
Post #10


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 181
Joined: 9-October 10
Member No.: 19,106



Or a good Agent. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

Even with just SR4a:

Transys Avalon Commlink - Response 4, Signal 4; 5,000
Novatech Navi OS - Firewall 3, System 4; 1,500
R4 Upgraded Firewall; 2,000
7 R4 Common Programs (All of 'em ); 2,800
13 R3 Hacking Programs (All of 'em but ECCM); 19,500
R4 Agent; 10,000
Total Cost: 40,800

That's just 9 BP and no Restricted Gear! It's true that Unwired has options that can make Agents even more powerful, but they seem pretty useful even without it. A metahuman takes 64 BP for the skills (80 for the groups) an Agent has for 2 BP. Yeah, they don't have the bonuses a hacker can get through wares and whatnot, but I believe it's difficult to find a balance between two roles who are often minmaxed in a totally opposite manner. Does this go against the idea of a "combat hacker" character? Maybe, but at least this way your teammates won't have to buy the gear. Take the Electronics skill group if you must, but you probably won't even need it.

And if you did decide to get some extra dice:

Novatech Airware Commlink - Response 3, Signal 3; 1,250
R5 Upgraded Response 4,000
Iris Orb OS - Firewall 3, System 3; 1,000
R5 Upgraded Firewall; 2,500
R5 Upgaded System; 2,500
7 R5 Common Programs (All of 'em); 3,500
13 R3 Hacking Programs (All of 'em but ECCM); 65,000
R5 Agent; 12,500
Total Cost: 89,720

That's 18 BP in gear plus 5 BP for the Restricted Gear quality for the Agent, for a whopping grand total of 23 BP, and metahumans can't even take more than 2 skills at R5 like an Agent can, and if they took the two R5 skills at chargen and raised the other two with karma, it would cost them 72 BP and 20 Karma. As compared to the Agent, who takes 8 BP including the RG quality. Sure, this sucks up 35.88% of your starting gear pool, but I'm sure a sammy can make do with 160,280 new ones.
You should also ask your GM about the Agent Adaptability Autosoft for just 1,500 - it basically adds three dice to that nasty ol' secret Agent Rating + Response test that your GM can roll on you practically whenever they feel like it. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) Unfortunately, it is listed in Unwired, so maybe he won't allow it.

Amirite?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Yerameyahu
post Nov 7 2010, 05:25 AM
Post #11


Advocatus Diaboli
**********

Group: Members
Posts: 13,994
Joined: 20-November 07
From: USA
Member No.: 14,282



Well, there's a lot that Agents (as non-sapient) can't do, but yes. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Makki
post Nov 7 2010, 10:13 AM
Post #12


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,373
Joined: 14-January 10
From: Stuttgart, Germany
Member No.: 18,036



agents don't get +2 dice for VR, that's a drawback

QUOTE (WhiskeyJohnny @ Nov 7 2010, 05:11 AM) *
I'd like to play a human with a high edge, but I'm willing to entertain other possibilities.
I have one, and he's at first the face, but he's trying to become a hacker, although he's somewhat afraid of cybercombat.

What can I do to reduce the essence cost of my wares, especially at chargen?
augmentation has some qualities for this

Can I run cyberware and bioware at the same time, or is it of greater benefit to focus on one or the other?
you should do so, as it's more essence effective, reread the passage in the core book

How many dice should I have in my dice pools?
for average campaigns: 15 in your spec, 10-12 in some other stuff and no less than 5 in anything else. But with high edge you can do everything in the game anyway, so just don't care and get every skill at 1 for not defaulting ^^

How many initiative passes should I have?
1 is enough for non-combat chars. don't get skill-wires, as you can't use edge on skillsofts
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
PoliteMan
post Nov 7 2010, 01:17 PM
Post #13


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 400
Joined: 4-August 10
Member No.: 18,889



I would recommend Move-by- Wire II, which gives you enough IP to hack in AR and fight, as well as the Init boost that most Sams need (+ free skillwires). PuSHeD is also great. Get a cyber-limb and stick a nanohive into it, you may not want to start out with this as it's expensive but Nanoware is the best way to get big boosts, especially mental ones, without using a lot of essence. In Augmentation, get biocompatability for cyberware, it'll save you about 0.4 essence.

Go ahead and put a bit into Logic (don't dump) but remember that you should be aiming to add a lot of stuff that aims to boost your logic linked skill rolls, so it isn't critical even if you want to do Logic-y stuff.

The big problem I've run into so far with my combat hacker is that Hacking costs money and you need (or really want) to save space for Encephelon. Encephelon and a decent IP booster together are 4.5 essence, ignoring anything other cyberware you want, which means most of combat ware needs to be bioware. Once you've bought your expensive deck and expensive IP booster (usually 90-100,000 nuyen) you're stuck buying a bunch of expensive bioware without a ton of money. Offense isn't usually a problem, Muscle Toner is way too cheap in my book, but don't expect to be able to soak damage the way a pure Sam can.

A note on why you want Encephelon. There's 4 ways to get bonuses to Matrix actions beyond skills and programs that I know of: PuSHeD, Encephelon, Nanoware, and Reflex Recorder. PuSHeD is great, as is Reflex Recorder (they're cheap bioware, which means that you usually get them for half essence) but together they're only +2 together. Nanoware is a great +3 except for that annoying bit where they stop working in stressful situation, meaning either they'll crap out when you really need them or you're going to develop a drug addiction. The last one, Encephelon, is a +3, no hidden problems, but it's 1.5 essence. Ignore it at character creation if you want but don't pretend you can go back and pick it up, saving up 1.5 essence through alpha/betaware just isn't happening.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Zyerne
post Nov 7 2010, 02:40 PM
Post #14


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 894
Joined: 5-May 10
Member No.: 18,556



For a combat hacker, being an off-face as well is gonna be tricky as charisma is a likely dump stat.

However...

How about an adept? Get magic 5, spend 4 points on Increased reflexes 1, Improved Ability Blades, Cybercombat and Hacking, all at +2 and Boost Strength 1, with 0.25 points to spend and 1 getting lost to cyber/bio

Get a partial cyberlimb, throw in a implanted commlink and sim module. Maybe get muscle toner. With the limb already in place you can add a nano-hive when funds allow without worrying about the essence hit.

It'll be an extremely focussed build, especially if you go for high edge as well, but you can grow into the off-face role by picking up kinesics later on.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
klinktastic
post Nov 7 2010, 04:30 PM
Post #15


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,244
Joined: 2-August 07
Member No.: 12,442



You can do a hacker + face or combat hacker, but its really hard to do combat + hacker + face. I'd second the adept route. Its only .25 power points per bonus to all skills except combat ones.

If you wanna go to 'wares route, I'd find out how your GM treats cyberlimbs. If you don't care of extranous skills besides combat and hacking, you can go for a very crappy meat body and put on 4 customized limbs and get your 2 attributes up to 8s pretty easily. Then you can add fun stuff your limbs like retractable spurs for melee, gyro mount for recoil comp, nanohive for nano boosting, armor in each limb (which stacks giving you 8/8 inherent armor) and anything else. It eats up a lot of cash and essense, but can be very worth it.

I reason I say ask you GM is that some will like you use the attribute of the arm for whatever it is you're trying to do. So you customize your limbs to flavor based on his opinion. Remember to leave a little capacity to add more armor later.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Zyerne
post Nov 7 2010, 06:17 PM
Post #16


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 894
Joined: 5-May 10
Member No.: 18,556



Also, regarding race, Ork might be a better option. You could dumpstat str and body, take human looking and pretend it's human. The character could even think it's human.

For more funsies, you could take prejudice against Orks. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
WhiskeyJohnny
post Nov 7 2010, 06:43 PM
Post #17


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 471
Joined: 7-November 10
Member No.: 19,155



It's more important for me to be good at Combat + Hacking rather than the face role, and if doing all three would stretch me too thin, then I'll drop the face aspect and grow into it when karma permits.

I'm not sure about going the Adept route, it's enough work just learning the system and the rules for hacking (it's simple in concept but there's a lot to remember) without learning the rules for magic as well, but I'll look into it. I didn't think that route would work because I planned to have a lot of 'wares, and I know that any hits to your essence reduce your magic by a similar amount. Do Adept abilities make up for the lack of 'ware? I understand they can get more IPs and such, but I didn't think they made for good hackers (of course, that's just a first-blush assessment).

From an aesthetic perspective, I'd rather not have cyberlimbs, but that could be changed if they become necessary to fill the roles of street sam and hacker. I'd like for this guy to be mostly intact, and augmented, rather than having wholesale replacement of various body parts.

Concerning going Ork: I'd thought about it, or possibly Elf (for the bonuses to Agility and Charisma), but if I can pull it off as human, that's the way I'd want to go.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Zyerne
post Nov 7 2010, 07:02 PM
Post #18


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 894
Joined: 5-May 10
Member No.: 18,556



You don't need to know the magic rules to play an adept, about the only power I listed that has a rule other than "add dice to this" is Attribute Boost.

As to making good hackers, they are the only people I know that can get extra dice directly to hacking or cybercombat and yes, their powers can make up for a lack of 'ware.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
klinktastic
post Nov 7 2010, 07:04 PM
Post #19


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,244
Joined: 2-August 07
Member No.: 12,442



If you are not going to take cyberlimbs, then going adept is probably your best bet.

So 90% of hacking is your hacking skill + program rating. Most of the time, your attributes don't have shit to do with it. With adepts, you use powerpoints to pump your technical skills (hacking, cyber combat, etc) which can give you a very nice boost. Adepts make you very solid in the hacking game because its cheaper & easier to pump non-combat skills than combat skills or attributes.

If you wanted, you could get a synapse booster for +1 IP, taking your magic from 5 to 4 (add other wares to taste), then use your 4 power point to pump up your skills.

Honestly the adept side of magic is really easy to learn...I mean really easy.

If you need help making characters, use the spreadsheet found HERE

EDIT - Cyber limbs will make you 1000% better in combat, adept will make you much better hacker. Remember, its easier to become a rigger as you already are good on the hacking/matrix skills. You could, do hacker, rigger, and face.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Whipstitch
post Nov 7 2010, 07:11 PM
Post #20


Runner
******

Group: Members
Posts: 2,883
Joined: 16-December 06
Member No.: 10,386



QUOTE (WhiskeyJohnny @ Nov 6 2010, 10:11 PM) *
I'd like to play a human with a high edge, but I'm willing to entertain other possibilities.



Edge is a great attribute for Hackers and I virtually always soft cap it when building one. For one thing, it's flexible aside from the limited number of uses, and in the case of a Hacker, being able to just straight up toss 6 more dice into the pool and watch them explode is one of the single greatest advantages a human being can have over a high rating Agent. I sorta like it from a fluff perspective as well. Technology has come a long way, but apparently code still can't keep up with a human brain that cranks itself into overdrive or even just a hacker who has a special trick for a certain "brand" of IC.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Karoline
post Nov 7 2010, 07:14 PM
Post #21


Great Dragon
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 5,679
Joined: 19-September 09
Member No.: 17,652



Quick question. Do you only have access to those mentioned books because those are the only ones allowed, or because you don't have others? Important to know because we might be able to throw some choice bits from the other books at you (like the cheap thing that gives you an extra IP in the matrix from Unwired)
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
WhiskeyJohnny
post Nov 7 2010, 07:17 PM
Post #22


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 471
Joined: 7-November 10
Member No.: 19,155



QUOTE (Karoline @ Nov 7 2010, 01:14 PM) *
Quick question. Do you only have access to those mentioned books because those are the only ones allowed, or because you don't have others? Important to know because we might be able to throw some choice bits from the other books at you (like the cheap thing that gives you an extra IP in the matrix from Unwired)


Those are the only books we have, but if there are really choice pieces I may be able to get the .pdfs allowed.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Zyerne
post Nov 7 2010, 07:19 PM
Post #23


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 894
Joined: 5-May 10
Member No.: 18,556



It's also, unfortunately, 5 BP for Restricted Gear in a build that seems like it's going to be incredibly points tight however it's done.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
klinktastic
post Nov 7 2010, 07:31 PM
Post #24


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,244
Joined: 2-August 07
Member No.: 12,442



I guess, I'd like to know how good at combat do you want to be? Do you want to be good offensively? If so, one firearm skill is all you need (probably longarms or autos). Melee might be too hard to do, because you're not going to have BPs for strength and agility. That means you can probably go adept with choice 'wares. If you want durability as well, then you gotta cyber up the limbs. With 4 customized limbs, you can get 8s in Body, STR, and AGI without it costing too much. Then you could go melee and some firearms as well. So define how competent you want to be in combat.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Karoline
post Nov 7 2010, 07:33 PM
Post #25


Great Dragon
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 5,679
Joined: 19-September 09
Member No.: 17,652



Oh, one more question. SR4 or SR4A? That's important, because if you didn't know, the cost of activesofts went waaaay up in SR4A, which causes real problems for your concept because you'll run into the cash cap really quickly trying to do hacking (cash intensive) and SS (also cash intensive).

Let me look around and play with a few things, see if I can come up with some suggestions for you.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

10 Pages V   1 2 3 > » 
Reply to this topicStart new topic

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 7th June 2023 - 08:21 PM

Topps, Inc has sole ownership of the names, logo, artwork, marks, photographs, sounds, audio, video and/or any proprietary material used in connection with the game Shadowrun. Topps, Inc has granted permission to the Dumpshock Forums to use such names, logos, artwork, marks and/or any proprietary materials for promotional and informational purposes on its website but does not endorse, and is not affiliated with the Dumpshock Forums in any official capacity whatsoever.