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> Technomancer Houserules, Harder, Faster, Better, Cheaper, Nerfed
Udoshi
post Jan 7 2012, 04:59 AM
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Once upon a time, Caadium expressed some interest in my group's technomancer houserules. Due to a recent discussion, I realized I forgot to share them with dumpshock as a whole.

Basically, they limits high-rating complex form abuse, gives complex forms a flat cost(like spells), bionode stats partially based on resonance and most importantly: considerations to keep the proportionate cost the same between BP and Karma, as well as making them about twice as expensive as hackers in both systems. There is a cost analysis, as well.

These MAY be a bit oddly formatted, so I'm apologizing in advance.

--- (paste begins)
Goals:
To bring technomancers back in line with hackers, eliminate or reduce high-end powergaming, and bring the costs down a reasonable level balanced against hackers and mages.(due to similiar mechancis)


Effects:
Living Persona And Bionode Changes:
Signal is based now based Two-Thirds Resonance, Round up, instead of half. (resonance 6 used to be signal 3, now its 4.Helps with jamming problems, but still makes hackers better at start.)

The strength of a living persona is now partially based on Resonance, instead of fully based on mental attributes, except for Signal. All persona stats start at Half Resonance, round down, plus Half the relevant Attribute, rounded up. No persona stat may be greater than resonance.
Why: Its unfair to ask a technomancer to pay 10 BP per point of stat, over 4 attributes. A rating 5 bionode costs 200bp. A rating 5 commlink costs 2bp. It is literally 1/100 the cost. (system+firewall 6 3000Y, signal 5 1000Y, response 5 4000)
Firewall=Willpower, response=Intuition, System = logic.

Curbing Threading and Sprite Assist Operation to sane levels:
Complex Forms can only go as high as 1.5xresonance, round down, instead of 2x. (not sure if this should be round up or down)
Sprite Assistance now adds half the sprites rating, round up to a complex form, instead of its full rating.
Why: Allowing level 12 or 18 programs absolutely breaks the matrix system even worse than it already is. And bad rules are no excuse to justify the current badness and overcostedness than TMs.

This should bring technos more in line with hackers in a whole Speed vs Power debate. Both archetypes can start with rating 6 programs - technos can temporarily bring them up to 9, at the cost if -2 to everything else. A hacker can certainly program, steal, or buy rating 7+(up to 10 as of war!) programs in play, but he can also start with two extra initiative passes over the techno(this is a big deal), while the techno has to wait to acquire them in place. If a techno wants to take a point of essence loss for ware, in order to pick up some of the cyberhacker's tricks, it will lower the ceiling on their resonance abilities and cost them dice. A cyberhacker is also capable of incredible short term boosts, which may even exceed a techno's abilities. by not having to dump points into a Resonance attribute, a hacker can afford to spend lots of points on Edge.

Complex Form Changes:
in order to have a more fair cap on complex forms, and be more like the other archetype which also uses a similiar, more balanced mechanic, the limit on complex forms at character creation is now based on a Skill instead of an Attribute.
The starting limit on complex forms is now 3x Software, instead of Logic x 2.
Why: Its unfair to make a techno pay 10BP to raise the limit on complex forms, when its so expensive, and mages use a cheaper, better mechanic anyway. 3x software preserves the former range of complex forms that technomancers had - a logic of 1-6, or 9 with ware generates a range of 2-18. Technos aren't able to raise their Skill rating like adepts can, so a skill range of 1-6 keeps the range of forms we want in the 3-18 range.

Balance Consideration: There are over 22 complex forms in the core book+unwired alone, and you need 10-12 of them to be effective on the matrix. this would let a skill 4 techno start with the basics down.
(For the record, bearing in mind that you CANNOT take an action without the right program, and that you default to program -1 on the matrix, not skill or attriubte: necessary programs are Analyze, Browse, Edit, Scan, Encrypt, ECCM to prevent random attacks of lethal dumpshock. For less than legal activities, Decrypt, Exploit, Spoof, Stealth, an attack program of some sort. Defuse to not get instakilled by databombs, as they are a real life threat to tms, and Shield, for the same reasons. thats 10-12 programs, leaving out necessary things for wifi games, like track and sniffer. or cybercombat, like armor.)

Fixing the Biofeedback Filter issue: (low priority)
Why: techno's live on the matrix, and SHOULD adapt to life on the matrix.
Changes: Instead of having an inherent Biofeedback filter complex form equal to charisma(forcing them to pay massively if they every want to raise it), technomancers now have a build in Biofeedback Filter equal to their Resonance, and it does not count against the limit on complex forms. Additionally, once play begins it is treated like any other complex form
(we actually had two versions of this rule. One kept the biofeedback filter based on Charisma, but turned it into a real CF that you could buy up during creation or later - charisma only set its starting value, after that it was treated as a regular complex form.)

Complex forms now have a flat Cost at character generation, and by karma, as well as for options. The cost depends on character creation method:
in BP gen:
Why: A hacker pays 1000 nuyen per level for high end programs, which is 6k for a rating 6, or 1bp, or a rating 5 program and some Options for about the same price. The average cost would be about a build point and a half. (ergonomic/optimized 3 being the most common, and adding 900 each). Its unfair to ask a Technomancer to pay 30000 nuyen for the same program, while also restricting them to buying a very small amount of them, and ALSO charging 10 BP per two programs you are ALLOWED to buy.
Instead, each complex form has a flat cost of 3BP(like mage, and about double what a hacker pays for a tricked out program) per form, and the form starts with a rating equal to your Resonance.

Comparison: Formerly, 10 complex forms at rating 6 costs: 6bp per form (60bp), logic 5 at 10bp per(50bp) AND resonance 6(65bp, due to the stupid 'last point is more' rule). 175 Bp is an UNREASONABLE price for some 'mental hacking' programs.

Under the revised system, 10 complex forms at rating 6 cost: 3bp per form(30), Software 5(20), resonance 6 (65). A total of 95 points. With 10 forms, a techno can do basic/intermediate tasks on the matrix well, while still having room to grow.
Comparison to a cyberhacker: A hacker thrives on money for their programs, commlinks and augmentations. They spend 50 BP on cash, 10BP on Born Rich to raise the cash limit, 10 bp MORE on cash - and still only come out to 70 bp, and has enough money to buy all the programs they need at 6, a high rating link, and 5 passes.

Under karma and karmagen, complex forms now ALSO have a flat cost.
Formerly, in karmagen, complex forms were fairly expensive: a rating 6 complex form cost 21 points(0.028 of the total allotment per form, which adds up. in bp gen, its 6bp of 400, which is 0.015 of total, so the karmagen proportionally costs double).
the Revised Karma value for complex forms is 2 karma per level, with no adjustments based on the rating. This means a rating 6 complex form costs 12 karma(0.016 of total karma), which is about half of what it was before, and is still very expensive compared to hackers program(12 karma is 30000 nuyen, while a rating 6 program is 6000).
Clarification: This means rating 1 is 2 karma. Rating 2 is two more karma, or 4. Rating 3 is two more karma, 6 total, etcetera etcetera.

For balance considerations, a hacking program at 6 is 6000y, and a program at 5 with a bunch of options is about 6200. In BPgen, this is about 1.0 to 1.25 bp per program(0.0031 of total bp), or about 2.48 karma(0.0033 of total karma). in BP, a cf would be 3bp(.0075 of total) and in karma a cf at 6 would be 12 (0.016)


Sprite Have Standardized Skills

Sprites now have a list of common skills and complex forms every sprite has, similiar to how every spirit has Perception, Dodge, unarmed combat, etc. This is similiar to standardized spirit powers, as well as standardized Agent skill cabilities(4a 234).

Why: Sprites live on the matrix, and literally don't have basic skills to look around and affect their environment, and often don't have the skills they need to use their complex forms. This is due in part to the devs not understanding the system they made, and further compounded by changes in 4th anniversary edition: For example, sprites with Decryption don't have Electronic Warfare because it used to be based on Hacking and nobody changed it.

Every sprite now has the following skills equal to their rating: Electronic Warfare, hacking, Computer, Data Search. For complex forms, they have Analyze and Browse. The programs that use these skills are still dependent on sprite type. (note that they do not have Software. Or, if they did, they would have a specific restriction against using threading)

Additionally, they have Cybercombat and an Attack program at half their rating, round down, unless they are a sprite type that already has better. All sprites can fight, but some are really BAD at it. They also have Edit, at half rating, round down. All sprites have a basic ability to change their virtual environment, but some are just flat out better at it.
---(paste ends)

Unrelated, but potentially still useful Houserules:
A technomancer can give a sprite one of his complex forms as an optional power when they compile it. The form isn't as good as it would normally be, so its rating is equal to half the sprites rating, round up. Threaded forms may not be granted to sprites. This allows a bit of customization of sprites to any given task.
Unrated Complex Forms don't cost against the starting complex form limit.
Control Rig is available as an unrated complex form
Expert System is also available as an unrated complex form, mostly for TMs that have Biowires.
Anything a hacker can run, a technomancer can learn as a CF. (borrowed slightly from the FAQ)


The Short Version: Techno's cant go above rating 9 at start, but also aren't fucking expensive, and sprites are fixed so they can actually do the things they are supposed to do(they are also a bit more like spirits, in that they automatically have some skills at Force)
On a whole, for our group, its been largely a positive change, and people who wouldn't have played technomancers before are giving it a shot.

Lets hear some critique. The people I've showed this too have largely had positive reactions, but I'm expecting dumpshock to have some dissenting opinions.
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Udoshi
post Jan 7 2012, 05:04 AM
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Also I just realized this is my first ever topic created on dumpshock. how did THAT happen?
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bibliophile20
post Jan 7 2012, 05:55 AM
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Looks good, but it's almost 1 in the morning by me. I'll give it another look after 8 hours of shuteye and a cup of tea strong enough to corrode the spoon.
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NiL_FisK_Urd
post Jan 7 2012, 01:25 PM
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Would the Control Rig CF stack with an implanted Control Rig?
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Udoshi
post Jan 7 2012, 02:40 PM
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I would say no. Its an alternative to losing essence for Dronomancers. Basically either or.

It would, however, stack with the Immersion echo, just like control rig usually does.
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NiL_FisK_Urd
post Jan 7 2012, 04:32 PM
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Well, i really like this house rule (i even integrated it into my version of DKs excel file) - it nerfs technos on the high end, but now they are not absolutely outclassed by hackers out of chargen.

The only thing that bothers me is the Control Rig CF - it is too cheap as a rating 1 CF. I would place it as an unrated CF that costs as much as an rtg 4 CF (combined costs)
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bibliophile20
post Jan 7 2012, 06:30 PM
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Looks good to me. Just one question: what determines the rating of a complex form? Is it "CF bought at a given rating" like RAW, or is it "CF rating is treated like a spell's Force, i.e. equal to their Resonance, and can be Threaded to higher ratings"?

Also, NiL_FisK, could you share that excel file?
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NiL_FisK_Urd
post Jan 7 2012, 06:54 PM
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I think it is bought at a rating equal to Resonance.

Here is the file: SR4CG_DK_1v_jmod_1.12
I added a few custom items/item customizations and a custom quality. Also, Armor now displays Encunumbrance Reduction for YNT soft-weave.

EDIT: changed the filehost, should now work
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bibliophile20
post Jan 7 2012, 07:09 PM
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Tried to download, got an .htm file. Trying again.

EDIT: Yeah, it's not letting me download the file. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/sleepy.gif)
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Yerameyahu
post Jan 7 2012, 07:17 PM
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There's no good way to ask, but did you do it right? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) It's a freemium service, so you have to initiate the 'free' timer at the bottom, wait for it, then hit the new download button (also at the bottom). At no point can you right/opt-click and Save As anything. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/frown.gif)
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bibliophile20
post Jan 7 2012, 07:19 PM
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Yup. Did all that. Ah, well, what's one more try?

EDIT: Nope. Even had NoScript temporarily allow all scripts on page and still didn't work. Let me try one more thing... Blah. Okay, why does attempting to "download" never work, but if you tell it to "open file" then it works?
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Yerameyahu
post Jan 7 2012, 07:22 PM
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:/ Could that be a proxy or blocking issue? Some people have similar problems with zoink.it in combination with specific ISPs.
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NiL_FisK_Urd
post Jan 7 2012, 07:22 PM
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damn. uploaded it on another server, http://www.imagenetz.de/f22c614d3/SR4CG_DK...d_1.12.zip.html
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bibliophile20
post Jan 7 2012, 07:32 PM
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Yay! It works! ... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/frown.gif) And it's an .xlsm file. I still use MS Office 2003. *sigh* I hate to be a problem about this, so I'm gonna ask the following: only if you can save it in .xls format and upload that without it being a bother, could you? If not, I'll muddle through. (And, to those that'll gleefully shout "Just use Open Office!" I know about Open Office already, but I've found that, for a file of this complexity, something gets lost in transition and I get a bad case of malformed display and GIGO)

and NiL? Thank you for putting the effort in to begin with, much less your patience.
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NiL_FisK_Urd
post Jan 7 2012, 07:42 PM
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Excel says the file will lose functionality if i save it in the older format. Maybe i used an odd function that is new in excel 2007/10 -> no .xls for you, sorry.
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bibliophile20
post Jan 7 2012, 07:46 PM
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No worries. ... Heh. A thought: could you point me to a tutorial so I can make those modifications to the excel sheets myself?
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Udoshi
post Jan 7 2012, 08:00 PM
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QUOTE (NiL_FisK_Urd @ Jan 7 2012, 09:32 AM) *
The only thing that bothers me is the Control Rig CF - it is too cheap as a rating 1 CF. I would place it as an unrated CF that costs as much as an rtg 4 CF (combined costs)


We had played around with making it a rated CF that only has a maximum of two levels to maintain the cost/balance ratio properly, or even kind of like the milware in War that does X, but has to be at a minimum rating..... but that was kind of too fiddly/annoying/edge case. Consider it a side benefit for having a more expensive 'commlink'.

Also forgot one: Expert System is also available as an unrated CF, right along smartlink and simrig.

QUOTE (bibliophile20 @ Jan 7 2012, 11:30 AM) *
Looks good to me. Just one question: what determines the rating of a complex form? Is it "CF bought at a given rating" like RAW, or is it "CF rating is treated like a spell's Force, i.e. equal to their Resonance, and can be Threaded to higher ratings"?


QUOTE (NiL_FisK_Urd @ Jan 7 2012, 11:54 AM) *
I think it is bought at a rating equal to Resonance.

NiL_FisK_Urd has the right of it. The INTENT is to mimic the flat cost for spells, but individual CF's need to have independent ratings for Threading. Basically you pay the flat cost and get it at max rating. From there, the usual rules take over.

At extremely low Resonance ratings, this does mean that you may want to use the original 1bp/level price, but most player technos are going to have a resonance of at LEAST 4, so it doesn't really matter as much.
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NiL_FisK_Urd
post Jan 7 2012, 08:00 PM
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@bibliophile20
Searching a tutorial would cost me an ungodly amount of time - i learned my "excel skills" through a combination of technical school education and a few years of trial an error (and boredom in the army ^^)
I just checked the file, and besides bloating the filesize to 4M (uncompressed), the .xls file seems to work fine - here it is

it may behave somewhat funny ^^
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Hamsnibit
post Jan 7 2012, 08:01 PM
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@bibliophile20
i converted it and it worked with my excel (2007 office) try to give it a shot.
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=KO96UBI4

@NiL_FisK_Urd
really nice sheets you made there. Its well arranged so that you see anything at the first glance, maybe i can finally bring some order in my more broader developed chars.
Thank you

Edit: Oh and the houserules seem interesting, i will surely discuss them with my group.
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NiL_FisK_Urd
post Jan 7 2012, 08:03 PM
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Oh, i didn't make the sheets, i added just a few things (mostly things you dont see, like calculations)
The original sheet is located here: Upgraded Character Generator
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Hamsnibit
post Jan 7 2012, 08:05 PM
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ah well, thanks for showing them to me then.
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bibliophile20
post Jan 7 2012, 08:42 PM
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Thanks! Playing with them now... hehehe...
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bibliophile20
post Jan 7 2012, 09:12 PM
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Okay, I just rebuilt one of my NPCs, Wiley "Harisha" Styles, using the new sheet (I just copied and pasted stuff from the old sheet and it went over clean, so that's a very good sign as to compatibility). For the same number of BP, I was able drop his Resonance by 1 to 4 and still maintain the same stat levels, as well as add another 4 complex forms, and buy up a few other stats that I had to compromise on when originally building the NPC, and now he looks like he'll actually be able to fulfill his intended function (physical and Matrix infiltration) without having massive Threading penalties.

Cool. I think this'll work out well. Now, to rebuilt his girlfriend... (yes, I have a pair of teenaged technomancers in a relationship; 'twas much fun when my PCs realized that they both had the Skinlink echo... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/embarrassed.gif) (IMG:style_emoticons/default/eek.gif) )
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CanRay
post Jan 7 2012, 09:17 PM
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Remember Technomancers, practice safe Cybersex, and keep those virus scanners up-to-date! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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bibliophile20
post Jan 7 2012, 09:27 PM
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QUOTE (CanRay @ Jan 7 2012, 04:17 PM) *
Remember Technomancers, practice safe Cybersex, and keep those virus scanners up-to-date! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)


Too late in Gabby's case. Since the two NPC TMs are the PC TM's roommates (and being a pair of hormonal teenagers--adding their ages together isn't enough to equal his), I decided to make life... interesting for the poor SOBs. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/vegm.gif) It's currently mid-February 2071, and she's due in September. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)

(yes, having three TMs staying in the same physical place is a bit of a risk, but the defenses are pretty spiffy, and will hopefully buy them enough time to get out through the Escape Tunnel into the Ork Underground)
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