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> Rigger Help and Assistance, Please?
Maelwys
post Sep 1 2011, 03:23 AM
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Alright, so I have the chance to get back into Shadowrun after a very long hiatus, after dealing mostly with Dark Heresy in recent months. So I figure I need a bit of help with character creation, maybe a few tweaks and what not, or where I've completely stuffed up.

Biggest thing to keep in mind about this character is that its a Rigger that's going to be dealing mostly with drones, and I can only use the SR4 Anniversary book. No other books are allowed at this time.

Body 3
Agility 4
Reaction 5(7)
Strength 3
Charisma 4
Intuition 4
Logic 5
Willpower 3
Edge 2

Positive Qualities
Erased
Natural Hardening

Negative Qualities
Bad Luck
Addiction (Mild)
Allergy (Mild, Uncommon)
SINer (Standard)

Active Skills
Mechanic (Group) 2
Cracking (Group) 2
Electronics (Group) 2
Armorer 2
Dodge 2
Gunnery 3
Navigation 1
Perception 2
Pistols 2
Pilot Ground Craft 3
Pilot Aircraft 3
Pilot Anthroform 1

Knowledge Skills
Hangouts (Junkyards) 4
Criminal (Seattle Gangs) 2
Design (Vehicles) 2
Street Drugs 1
Matrix Games 2
Matrix Theory 1
Auto Mechanics 2
Music Groups 1
Politics (Underworld) 2
Engineering 1

English N
Sperethiel 4
Japanese 4
Or'zet 1

Contacts
Fixer (1/4)
Junkyard Owner (1/2)

Commlink
Transys Avalon w/Novatech Navi (All stats upgraded to 5)
All hacking programs at 2, except for Biofeedback Filter (4), Sniffer (3), Spoof (3), ECCM (3)
Analyze (2), Browse (2), Command (5), Edit (2), Encrypt (3), Purge (2), Scan (3)

Cyber/Bioware (4.1 Essence)
Control Rig
Simrig
Hot Sim Module (this I wasn't sure about, but I assume I still have to do it)
Reaction Enhancer (2)
Smartlink

Gear
Urban Explorer Jumpsuit (5 points Non-Conductivity)
Armored Clothing
Armored Vest
Electronic Paper
Holo Projector
Tag Eraser
Micro Transceiver (6)
White Noise Generator (6)
3xFake Sin (4)
Glasses (4)
Endoscope
Maglock Passkey (4)
Gas Mask
Respirator (6)
5xLight Stick
4xNanopaste Disguise (Small)
1000 Rounds Regular ammo

Weaponry
Yamaha Pulsar
Ares Predator IV
3xIngram White Knight with Smartlink

Vehicles
GMC Bulldog Step-Van (Rigger Adapted)
Kanmushi
S-B Microskimmer
2xGM-Nissan Doberman
2xMCT-Nissan Roto-drone
Steel Lynx
Fly Spy
iBall (Offensive)

So that's about it. There are a few things about SR that still confuse me, but presumably with the Simrig implanted, I'll be able to utilize AR and VR without any problem, or hassle of having to do things manually. I've got 3355 nuyen, to pick up some more gear (like I realized I forgot weapon accessories). I'll also have to pick up some Lifestyle, which I forgot, which might entail modifying something...somewhere.

Are Datajacks really necessary for chips and whatnot? Can't I just load the data onto my commlink and pipe it through the Simrig?
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Sengir
post Sep 1 2011, 04:32 PM
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  • Reaction only matters for meatspace Initiative, as a rigger you should rather have a good Intuition score
  • Drones acting autonomously and jumped-in riggers use the matrix attributes of the drone is question, so you should upgrade at least those drones which will see combat
  • I'd cut down on the list of drones a bit -- Doberman for combat- Roto-Drone as air support and Fly-Spy for scouting should be enough
  • Allergies and addictions...depending on your GM, be prepared to meet the consequences (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)



Regarding the matrix gear, a Simrig is only needed to record stuff. Using the matrix via hot or cold sim requires three things:
1. commlink
2. sim module as "modem" between your commlink and brain
3. DNI as a psysical connection to your brain
You have a commlink, a sim module, and since the module is implanted it has DNI per default, that's all you need.
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Maelwys
post Sep 1 2011, 08:35 PM
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QUOTE (Sengir @ Sep 1 2011, 10:32 AM) *
  • Reaction only matters for meatspace Initiative, as a rigger you should rather have a good Intuition score
  • Drones acting autonomously and jumped-in riggers use the matrix attributes of the drone is question, so you should upgrade at least those drones which will see combat
  • I'd cut down on the list of drones a bit -- Doberman for combat- Roto-Drone as air support and Fly-Spy for scouting should be enough
  • Allergies and addictions...depending on your GM, be prepared to meet the consequences (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)



Regarding the matrix gear, a Simrig is only needed to record stuff. Using the matrix via hot or cold sim requires three things:
1. commlink
2. sim module as "modem" between your commlink and brain
3. DNI as a psysical connection to your brain
You have a commlink, a sim module, and since the module is implanted it has DNI per default, that's all you need.


Hmm, I was thinking that reaction would be better for driving around, but since I switched to a more "rigged" approach I can probably atleast drop the Reaction enhancers to save a bit of cash. Intuition is mostly for Matrix initiative and a few skills right?

Drone stats are...sort of confusing (plus I had run out of money). The chart of page 222 of SR4A states that drones have a Device rating of 3, meaning their matrix stats are 3 as well. But the Signal rating chart on the same page suggests values of 4 or 5, depending on the drone. So is there anything that spells that out, or do I have to piece it together? "Okay, this is a drone, so everything is rating 3, but since its a Crawler drone, the Signal is 4..." And do all drones count as 3, or should I be considering them as security or military vehicles?

Fewer drones might be good. I kind of like the amount I have now just incase something happens, but I can see cutting down on the doubled up ones atleast. As for Allergies and addictions...well, I needed the points, and when you're limited to the main book, you don't have alot of options. Of course, as soon as I posted this, the GM made a caveat that if there was something from the other books such as edges and flaws (but not gear) that we thought would work, we could try to convince him...

And I'm glad to see I got the Simsense stuff right. I went with the Simrig because of the recording abilities. Who knows, it might come in handy at some point. Maybe I can sell the recording of some of the jumped in drone fights to someone (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) I did find it kind of odd that there's no mention of making the sim module "hot" in the Simrig entry, that I had to go all the way back to the sim module to find that. I also found it odd that to make the sim module "hot" requires a hefty essence cost. But maybe that's just me (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Thanks for the help. If you have any other suggestions (or anyone else for that matter) feel free to chime in.
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Dakka Dakka
post Sep 1 2011, 09:21 PM
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You might want to think about the Cyberspace Designs Dalmatian, possibly outfitted with an LMG. Three-dimensional movement and attack is nothing to scoff at. Unfortunately only Arsenal would give you access to better/more weaponry and armor on the Dalmatian.
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Maelwys
post Sep 1 2011, 10:39 PM
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QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Sep 1 2011, 04:21 PM) *
You might want to think about the Cyberspace Designs Dalmatian, possibly outfitted with an LMG. Three-dimensional movement and attack is nothing to scoff at. Unfortunately only Arsenal would give you access to better/more weaponry and armor on the Dalmatian.


Hmm, that might be worth replacing the two Rotodrones with. Slightly better body. And yeah. The lack of access to additional books has really kept my options limited. Oh well, the GM is relatively new, so I'm willing to cut him slack as long as I get to play (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) Not to mention it gives me time to absorb the various rules, instead of trying to jump into 5 books at once (Not to mention I'm not sure where I'd find all the money for those little tidbits).
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Maelwys
post Sep 2 2011, 05:56 AM
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So I've modified a few things...

Stats are now

Body 3
Agility 4
Reaction 4
Strength 3
Charisma 4
Intuition 5
Logic 5
Willpower 3
Edge 2

Skills, qualities and contacts are the same. Added some missing gear, 3 months of middle Lifestyle (GM's decision based on what kind of place I wanted, since we're not using the advanced rules from RC yet).

Dropped the Reaction Enhancers for now.

Drones
Bulldog Step-Van (Signal boosted to 5)
Kanmushi (signal boosted to 5)
1 Doberman (Response and Signal boosted to 5)
1 Dalmation (Weapons mount, Response and Signal boosted to 5)
Steel Lynx (Signal boosted to 5)
Fly-Spy (Signal boosted to 5)
iBall (offensive)
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Neurosis
post Sep 2 2011, 06:50 AM
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It seems to me that most of your key skills are significantly lacking. Namely your pilot skills and gunnery. You may have to sacrifice breadth for depth to fix this.

If you're worried about meatspace initiative/combat (which some of your augs indicate to me you are), Wired Reflexes or Move By Wire might be a better investment than Reaction Enhancers, if you can squeeze out the Nuyen.
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Maelwys
post Sep 2 2011, 07:03 AM
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Well, I ditched the reaction enhancers in the second build. MBW is out right now due to being limited to the main book, and wired reflexes probably aren't worth it at this point.

I do seem a bit spread out, but I'm not really sure what I can legitimately ditch to improve anything.
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Falanin
post Sep 4 2011, 08:51 AM
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Please explain how your Erased works with Sinner. Not that they're incompatible by RAW, but it takes some real mental gymnastics for "my personal data gets erased from secure systems on a regular basis" to work at all well with "accurate personal data about me is available to anyone."

Also, why is anyone hiring you instead of using a wageslave with skillwires? You have no skills above 3, much less above the skillsoft cap of 4. I too recommend specializing a bit more early on. It's far easier to broaden your specialist with in-game karma than it is to improve many mediocre skills up to a specialist level.

In terms of skills to ditch:
You are not going to need Armorer right away. Drop it, or drop it to 1.
You are going to be spending your actions commanding drones, not firing your pistol. Drop it to 1 (defaulting to 3 dice is painful, 5 is survivable)
You do not need EVERY mechanic skill. Pick the one or two you'll use most often. Alternatively, you can drop the group to 1.
Likewise, being mediocre at all forms of piloting isn't terribly useful. Pick one, and bring it up to AT LEAST 4, preferably 5 or better. Drop the other ones down to two or one. Get more drones of the type you're good at, and fewer of the type you are not amazing at. (Or, more metagame-y, pick the skill to match the type of drone you want to make the most pilot tests with... your primary combat drones, for example.)

For more savings on skills, you may be able to save a few points by installing skillwires and using activesofts for your Navigation/secondary piloting skills/secondary mechanic skills/pistol. However, this does cut into your drone budget.

Speaking of your drone budget, check with your GM to see if you can buy used. If you can, it's a substantial cost savings (actually makes riggers less than screamingly painful to budget, that is.)

Finally, I have a severe personal dislike for Bad Luck. Especially with a low edge attribute. Edge is really important for saving your ass, even more so if you don't have amazing dice pools (and without pimping your skills and your drones, you don't.) So the whole "having your edge backfire on you" is, in my opinion, worth waaaaaaay more than they give you for the disadvantage. For similar reasons, I like to have at least edge 3. You might be able to take a point out of strength for it... what are you using strength for anyway?

Hope this helps.
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Maelwys
post Sep 4 2011, 10:35 AM
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QUOTE (Falanin @ Sep 4 2011, 02:51 AM) *
Please explain how your Erased works with Sinner. Not that they're incompatible by RAW, but it takes some real mental gymnastics for "my personal data gets erased from secure systems on a regular basis" to work at all well with "accurate personal data about me is available to anyone."


Well, Erased states that "For 5 BP, criminal SINs and unwanted data disappear within a week." The 10 BP version states "...or personal information on the Matrix that she wishes is burnt..." Which seems like there's atleast some sort of control as to what's erased and what's not. So I was envisioning it as rather selective. Its not going to delete my SIN, its just going to delete links that are detrimental to the character. Personal shopping habits? Nope, not something necessarily needs to be deleted. On the other hand, a speeding ticket from a Knight Errant drone as the character gets away from a building that subsequently blows up, that would get deleted.

QUOTE
Also, why is anyone hiring you instead of using a wageslave with skillwires? You have no skills above 3, much less above the skillsoft cap of 4. I too recommend specializing a bit more early on. It's far easier to broaden your specialist with in-game karma than it is to improve many mediocre skills up to a specialist level.


Presumably my character would do more than the wageslave, though I can see your point. Part of my lack of SR4 experience I suppose. Unable to tweak the character enough.

QUOTE
In terms of skills to ditch:
You are not going to need Armorer right away. Drop it, or drop it to 1.
You are going to be spending your actions commanding drones, not firing your pistol. Drop it to 1 (defaulting to 3 dice is painful, 5 is survivable)
You do not need EVERY mechanic skill. Pick the one or two you'll use most often. Alternatively, you can drop the group to 1.
Likewise, being mediocre at all forms of piloting isn't terribly useful. Pick one, and bring it up to AT LEAST 4, preferably 5 or better. Drop the other ones down to two or one. Get more drones of the type you're good at, and fewer of the type you are not amazing at. (Or, more metagame-y, pick the skill to match the type of drone you want to make the most pilot tests with... your primary combat drones, for example.)

For more savings on skills, you may be able to save a few points by installing skillwires and using activesofts for your Navigation/secondary piloting skills/secondary mechanic skills/pistol. However, this does cut into your drone budget.

Speaking of your drone budget, check with your GM to see if you can buy used. If you can, it's a substantial cost savings (actually makes riggers less than screamingly painful to budget, that is.)

Finally, I have a severe personal dislike for Bad Luck. Especially with a low edge attribute. Edge is really important for saving your ass, even more so if you don't have amazing dice pools (and without pimping your skills and your drones, you don't.) So the whole "having your edge backfire on you" is, in my opinion, worth waaaaaaay more than they give you for the disadvantage. For similar reasons, I like to have at least edge 3. You might be able to take a point out of strength for it... what are you using strength for anyway?

Hope this helps.



Interesting ideas, I might have to keep them in mind. Maybe its just an inability to condense everything down to one point. The skillwires are an idea, and might mesh with a bit of background I had in mind. I'll have to play around with the numbers and see how it works out, or what the GM thinks. Used gear might be a possibility, but I see the problem of maybe needing those mechanic skills sooner rather than later. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Dakka Dakka
post Sep 4 2011, 10:49 AM
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QUOTE (Maelwys @ Sep 4 2011, 12:35 PM) *
The skillwires are an idea, and might mesh with a bit of background I had in mind. I'll have to play around with the numbers and see how it works out, or what the GM thinks.
Skillwires are great, unfortunately in SR4A Activesofts are prohibitively expensive (10KĄ*rating). Unwired could make it much more interesting (1K*rating as pirated software or for free as open source), or you could use the cost of SR4 (3K*rating)
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Maelwys
post Sep 4 2011, 11:57 AM
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QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Sep 4 2011, 05:49 AM) *
Skillwires are great, unfortunately in SR4A Activesofts are prohibitively expensive (10KĄ*rating). Unwired could make it much more interesting (1K*rating as pirated software or for free as open source), or you could use the cost of SR4 (3K*rating)


Perhaps to counteract the cheapness of the skillwires. They're going to have to be limited somehow, especially at only 2000xrating a pop.

Though that might put skillwires out complete at chargen for me.

I'll ponder the skill values sometime today I guess, see if I can catch a hold of the GM.
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Dakka Dakka
post Sep 4 2011, 12:37 PM
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QUOTE (Maelwys @ Sep 4 2011, 01:57 PM) *
Perhaps to counteract the cheapness of the skillwires. They're going to have to be limited somehow, especially at only 2000xrating a pop.
They are limited in quite a lot of ways:
-You can never increase the skill above 4
-You have to pay full price if you want to "improve" a skill
-You cannot use any Edge with skillwires unless you buy an Expert System
-Even with the Expert System you are only allowed to use Edge for a single purpose: to roll again if you failed the test. That is significantly weaker than any standard use of Edge.
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Jhaiisiin
post Sep 4 2011, 01:50 PM
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Before I offer my advice, I've got to address this:
QUOTE (Falanin @ Sep 4 2011, 02:51 AM) *
Also, why is anyone hiring you instead of using a wageslave with skillwires?

Presumably because a wageslave isn't going to break the law to do what the Johnson wants. I'm not sure how this wasn't beyond common sense.

Despite what's being said, Maelwys, skill rating 3 is listed as Professional. Is it better to have higher skills? Certainly. However, if you're a starting runner, it's kind of silly (fluff wise) to be the best in the shadows at what you do. You may want to consult with the GM and get an idea of the dice pools the other players are bringing to the table. If they're bringing 15-20+ dice in their primary role to the job, then you need to do the same. If they are more in the 10-15ish range, then being a more broad character and improving through gameplay is a better way to go. Chargen with your fellow players rather than independently will allow you all to work to cover any gaps in capabilities, and make sure that no one character is crazy overpowered compared to the rest.

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Kirk
post Sep 4 2011, 02:06 PM
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QUOTE (Falanin @ Sep 4 2011, 04:51 AM) *
Also, why is anyone hiring you instead of using a wageslave with skillwires? You have no skills above 3, much less above the skillsoft cap of 4. I too recommend specializing a bit more early on. It's far easier to broaden your specialist with in-game karma than it is to improve many mediocre skills up to a specialist level.


I always assume there are two other reasons for corps to hire runners instead of in-house (and more controllable if not loyal) subordinates: Plausible deniability, and risk mitigation. Peculiar skills is, well, given some of the people you'll go up against in various corps I figure if it was just a matter of the skill the corp has what's needed.

And if you're not a corp and don't have access to those wageslaves, then mediocre and willing to do the job beats nothing.
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Maelwys
post Sep 5 2011, 08:39 AM
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I talked to the player going for the Face, and they're looking at around 14 dice for first time meet and greets, so I may play around with the numbers a bit more. I've got some time before this character has to be done, so its not like I'm in any rush.

One question though...do smartlink bonuses apply via rigging? And if so, how so?
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Dakka Dakka
post Sep 5 2011, 01:48 PM
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QUOTE (Maelwys @ Sep 5 2011, 10:39 AM) *
One question though...do smartlink bonuses apply via rigging? And if so, how so?
Yes. They do it in the same way as they do it in the meat. They project the calculated trajectory of the bullet into your field of view.
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Aerospider
post Sep 5 2011, 02:44 PM
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QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Sep 5 2011, 02:48 PM) *
Yes. They do it in the same way as they do it in the meat. They project the calculated trajectory of the bullet into your field of view.

Don't forget that if you want to use it whilst jumped in, or if you want the pilot to have use of it, you'll need a smartlink actually in the drone - the one in your own eyes is only for you.
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Dakka Dakka
post Sep 5 2011, 03:11 PM
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QUOTE (Aerospider @ Sep 5 2011, 04:44 PM) *
Don't forget that if you want to use it whilst jumped in, or if you want the pilot to have use of it, you'll need a smartlink actually in the drone - the one in your own eyes is only for you.
For the pilot program, you are correct, but where does it say that the smartlink on the rigger does not work while jumped in?

In both cases you need a smartgun on the weapon mount though.
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Maelwys
post Sep 6 2011, 09:14 AM
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Glad to see I'm not the only one a little conflicted (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Hmm. Would I just count the smartlink as a sensor or something for the drone?
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Dakka Dakka
post Sep 6 2011, 01:14 PM
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QUOTE (Maelwys @ Sep 6 2011, 11:14 AM) *
Hmm. Would I just count the smartlink as a sensor or something for the drone?
Yes, if you put it in the drone's cameras.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Sep 6 2011, 03:31 PM
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QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Sep 5 2011, 09:11 AM) *
For the pilot program, you are correct, but where does it say that the smartlink on the rigger does not work while jumped in?

In both cases you need a smartgun on the weapon mount though.


Well, since the Smartlink in the Meat Body only cares where the Meat Body is, and is not connected to the Drone in any way, shape or form, it will only help the Meat Body's Weapons. The Drone needs a Smartlink system, and the Drone's weapon's need a smartlink as well. Assuming that is the case, then the Jumped in Rigger can benefit from the Smartlinked Drone.
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Jazz
post Sep 7 2011, 11:21 AM
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QUOTE (Maelwys @ Sep 1 2011, 03:23 AM) *
All hacking programs at 2, except for Biofeedback Filter (4), Sniffer (3), Spoof (3), ECCM (3)
Analyze (2), Browse (2), Command (5), Edit (2), Encrypt (3), Purge (2), Scan (3)

AutoSoft ?

QUOTE (Maelwys @ Sep 1 2011, 03:23 AM) *
3xFake Sin (4)

No fake licences ?
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Aerospider
post Sep 7 2011, 02:46 PM
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QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Sep 6 2011, 04:31 PM) *
Well, since the Smartlink in the Meat Body only cares where the Meat Body is, and is not connected to the Drone in any way, shape or form, it will only help the Meat Body's Weapons. The Drone needs a Smartlink system, and the Drone's weapon's need a smartlink as well. Assuming that is the case, then the Jumped in Rigger can benefit from the Smartlinked Drone.

This.

Smartlink is a vision mod and when jumped in you aren't using the same 'eyes'.
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Maelwys
post Sep 7 2011, 10:54 PM
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QUOTE (Jazz @ Sep 7 2011, 06:21 AM) *
AutoSoft ?

No fake licences ?


Casualties of the lack of cash so far (though I recently found some more, so one or two might get purchased). On the plus side, I believe the Doberman and the Lynx come with their own, so they won't be totally helpless.

If the Drone is on its own, does it benefit from both a targeting autosoft and smartlink? It seems like it might be a bit redundant, but I haven't stumbled across anything that says one way or another. The same with using the drone via remote control.
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