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> [SR3] Otaku Rigger, making it simple for the GM
Mach_Ten
post Jan 2 2015, 12:36 PM
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I have a player that wants to be a Rigger / Decker

to fill the niche role that every team needs regularly but not consistently.

So, I read the books again and while going through MATRIX .. I found Otaku for the first time.

The Idea I wish to present to the player is an Otaku Rigger who uses complex forms (?) for hacking into systems and inhabits his drones with Pilot programs he has created
(dog brains, or very very simple AI)

this means two things

1) HE gets some goodies to play with and can still walk and talk with the team on the run, with some combat drones & his own skills

2) I get to simplify the whole matrix thing for myself ... just cut it back to the access, analyse, spoof basics etc.

I will have IC out there in the wild .. but I don't want the session focus to descend into a 1-2-1 with him while the rest twiddle thumbs

Has anyone any experience or ideas to add into this mix.

any major pitfalls I should avoid ?

and lastly ... any ideas to help me help this player make it work brilliantly and be FUN for us all.

one note, I'll be making drones a bit more SR4 ... stealthier and smaller .. but not macroscopic!

Thanks
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Cain
post Jan 2 2015, 01:23 PM
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I'm not sure this is really possible in SR3.

The problem is that otaku don't have sprites, they have daemons, and daemons are very limited in what they can do. They eat the hell out of smart frames and DINAB, but they're not that special. And because the otaku computer skill is different from the baseline, I'm not sure they can use it to create Pilot programs.

That said, I had a rigger/decker combo in SR3 that was very effective. Tank was basically an information specialist, he ran communications and drones, and did some nifty remote decking. I added a datajack port to the dragonfly drones-- they could fly in (or be carried in) and then jack into a port, connecting me to the inside. He could use the same trick to hook into a team member's datajack, and send information directly to their head.

On top of that, SR3 riggers are the 800-lb gorillas of the game. You're required to carry heavy weapons, and those are scary. I preferred Great Dragon ATGM's, but there's a lot of good choices.

Finally, because the drone rules said they used triple full simsense channels, we realized it was the easiest way to bypass bandwidth requirements. If I needed to, I could send large data files in very short order. Originally, he was meant to be partnered with Dozer, a skillwire samurai. If he ever needed a particular skillsoft, I could find it and broadcast it to him. So, he really could say: "Tank, I need the pilot program for a B212 Huey". (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Mach_Ten
post Jan 2 2015, 01:40 PM
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that is exactly what he wanted to be and I am gearing the missions towards providing the opportunity for him to excel. cheers

(Must note that we're going to go a bit more trenchcoat, but my guys have their Pink-Mo's hidden under fedoras ... ready at a moments notice)

The main reason I went Otaku and not Decker was getting VCR to play with Deck, other than implanted Reflex trigger. (unless that is an optional rule)

and because having played a Rigger in previous sessions, I was kinda lost in combat a bunch of the time
"What's the rigger doin?"
"Jacking in this pass, taking control next pass, issuing a command the next pass.... gimme 10 minutes and I'll bring this minigun around ..."
"OK ... everythings dead by pass two... whats the rigger doing ?"
".....ummmm.... is there some soup I can cry into ?..."

I want him to have options to wield smaller more agile drones ... stuff with lighter weaponry with the Doberman / steel Lynx as the cavalry should the Drek hit the fan... and getting Dobermans into an infil mission is not going to be an option if AAA sec Seattle.

[EDIT] to add : this obviously means there will be minimal house ruling of simple actions etc. for drone based gunnery to allow anything other than burst fire with Simple actions.
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Mach_Ten
post Jan 2 2015, 01:50 PM
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QUOTE (Cain @ Jan 2 2015, 01:23 PM) *
I'm not sure this is really possible in SR3.

The problem is that otaku don't have sprites, they have daemons, and daemons are very limited in what they can do.

And because the otaku computer skill is different from the baseline, I'm not sure they can use it to create Pilot programs.

okay just so I get this right before fudging it up...

Daemons can't exist in a hosted environ (Drones CPU) even with a built in comm unit for the giving of orders?
just spit-balling here

and how is Otaku Computer Active skill different ? once they hit 21 years of age they become apparently the most formidable programmers.

Active skill is active skill ... maybe a different specialisation I haven't seen ?
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Cain
post Jan 2 2015, 02:16 PM
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QUOTE
The main reason I went Otaku and not Decker was getting VCR to play with Deck, other than implanted Reflex trigger. (unless that is an optional rule)

Unless I'm misremembering, it's really hard for an otaku to get enough Resources to afford a good VCR and RCD. They only start with 5000 nuyen, regardless of Priority, so they can't really start with any good cyber or gear.

In an ordinary rigger/decker, there was also a rule that said you could have a second datajack installed to bypass the VCR problem, and I remember using it. Basically, you have one jack dedicated to your VCR, and the other for decking.

QUOTE
Daemons can't exist in a hosted environ (Drones CPU) even with a built in comm unit for the giving of orders?

They probably can, but without looking at the books, I can't remember exactly what the problem was. I *think* it was that in SR3, pilot programs, robot programs (the advanced Pilots), and smart frames were completely different things. A daemon is basically an advanced smart frame, so it can't pilot a drone any more than a frame could.

QUOTE
and how is Otaku Computer Active skill different ?

Might be wrong on that one, it might be a 4.5 rule.
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Cochise
post Jan 2 2015, 02:20 PM
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Rule wise there are some serious problems with Otaku, particularly once you really want them to excert drone control / rigging.

  1. The Fading mechanism in general is bad due to the fact that long term any Otaku will lose his special powers that he heavily invested into both during character generation as well as karmic development
  2. While drone operation can be strictly done with just "Captain's Chair" mode with a remote control deck, a data jack plus suitable drone programs you usually want direct control over a drone as well. That however requires one of two solutions: You either have a VCR and thus are able to "assume the body" of the drone via your remote control deck or you have a cyberdeck running a rigger protocol emulation program through the remote control deck (and that usually is vastly inferior to a VCR connection due to TN modifiers and respective dice pool availability). An Otaku would have to replicate such a program through his powers (IIRC that would fall under his complex forms ... will have to look that up).
  3. Being Otaku usually also means being a minor and additionally involves his Otaku tribe. This could cause serious problems with a more typical runner crew.
  4. A starting character Otaku is simply unable to buy any form of decent remote control deck (implanted or otherwise) or a reasonable set of drones along with autosofts that would allow him to utilize captains chair with any significant impact even if he had the remote control deck in th first place.


The real problem there however lies with your wish for making things easy for you as GM: Neither the rigging nor the Otaku rules are "easy" or comfortable in SR3. Combining them is bound to be very complicated and rewriting them into something more convenient is a rather tedious task.
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Mach_Ten
post Jan 2 2015, 02:25 PM
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QUOTE (Cain @ Jan 2 2015, 02:16 PM) *
Unless I'm misremembering, it's really hard for an otaku to get enough Resources to afford a good VCR and RCD. They only start with 5000 nuyen, regardless of Priority, so they can't really start with any good cyber or gear.

Ahh I see, not an issue though, going to be 50-100 Karma runners at the start so can have acquired some toys in that time
QUOTE (Cain @ Jan 2 2015, 02:16 PM) *
In an ordinary rigger/decker, there was also a rule that said you could have a second datajack installed to bypass the VCR problem, and I remember using it.
Basically, you have one jack dedicated to your VCR, and the other for decking.

now that's a good idea !
QUOTE (Cain @ Jan 2 2015, 02:16 PM) *
They probably can, but without looking at the books, I can't remember exactly what the problem was.
I *think* it was that in SR3, pilot programs, robot programs (the advanced Pilots), and smart frames were completely different things.
A daemon is basically an advanced smart frame, so it can't pilot a drone any more than a frame could.

That makes sense, seeing as the best rating (4?) pilot programs are Mil-spec and terribad hard to come by (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
I'll look into some GM handwavery I reckon,
I'm kinda thinking of a JF Sebastien character with guns and 'tude ... or Michael Knight with more cooler toys / cars
QUOTE (Cain @ Jan 2 2015, 02:16 PM) *
Might be wrong on that one, it might be a 4.5 rule.

no worries, I looked again and they are FORCED to take computer at 6 ! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) Wheeeee

cheers again Cain, giving me some awesome inspiration here ... even if it's not entirely RAW .. or even RAI ... it kinda works

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Mach_Ten
post Jan 2 2015, 02:37 PM
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QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 2 2015, 02:20 PM) *
The real problem there however lies with your wish for making things easy for you as GM: Neither the rigging nor the Otaku rules are "easy" or comfortable in SR3.
Combining them is bound to be very complicated and rewriting them into something more convenient is a rather tedious task.

Yeah, I never really actually make things easier for myself (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) but I'm having fun right now deep diving on the basics.

And actually each new "block" that falls into my way actually gives me ideas for the campaign of missions
(I'd love to go into details but my guys frequent DS so I'm not telling them nuffink ! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 2 2015, 02:20 PM) *
Rule wise there are some serious problems with Otaku, particularly once you really want them to exert drone control / rigging.

  1. The Fading mechanism in general is bad due to the fact that long term
    any Otaku will lose his special powers that he heavily invested into both during character generation as well as karmic development

I'll ask him to start at 19 ish for the purposes of this campaign ... or .. maybe invent an Edge ... Slow Fade.
with an accompanying Flaw (Scientific anomaly) where if anyone gets a sniff he is still Otaku at a later date he is going to be zip-lok bagged faster than he can blink.
QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 2 2015, 02:20 PM) *
  1. While drone operation can be strictly done with just "Captain's Chair" mode with a remote control deck, a data jack plus suitable drone programs
    you usually want direct control over a drone as well. That however requires one of two solutions:
    You either have a VCR and thus are able to "assume the body" of the drone via your remote control deck
    or
    you have a cyberdeck running a rigger protocol emulation program through the remote control deck
    (and that usually is vastly inferior to a VCR connection due to TN modifiers and respective dice pool availability).
    An Otaku would have to replicate such a program through his powers (IIRC that would fall under his complex forms ... will have to look that up).

I'd be interested in some ways to either crow bar it in, or Houserule it properly, or something ... I guess you can see .. I'm not easily dissuaded from this self destructive course ? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 2 2015, 02:20 PM) *
  1. Being Otaku usually also means being a minor and additionally involves his Otaku tribe. This could cause serious problems with a more typical runner crew.
  2. A starting character Otaku is simply unable to buy any form of decent remote control deck (implanted or otherwise)
    or a reasonable set of drones along with autosofts that would allow him to utilize captains chair with any significant impact
    even if he had the remote control deck in the first place.

there is Campaign specific reasons for him possibly being displaced from his tribe,
ALL of which I will work with the player on to get his approval prior to game session, don't want to Rail road him here.

and as for cash, they will be mid level runners at Campaign start ... I intend to gear them all up a little to make them .. appropro.

Thanks for all these Cochise, still just an idea in my head but it's solidifying ... Game probably won't start for months yet anyways. but work is slow .. none of my clients have come back yet so I'm sat here day dreaming of SR3 stuff (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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Cain
post Jan 2 2015, 03:31 PM
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QUOTE
I'm kinda thinking of a JF Sebastien character with guns and 'tude ... or Michael Knight with more cooler toys / cars.

Heh, back in SR2, I spent some time breaking the vehicle construction rules. My rigger had an 18-wheeler as a command base, but he also used to to store his sports car: a car that could shrug off missile fire, could pilot itself better than most riggers, had a sensor suite to die for, and could go slightly faster than Mach 1. I called it the "Knight Industries Ten Thousand". (IMG:style_emoticons/default/cool.gif)

The best part was that I got all that, plus more, as a legal starting character. So all those toys came in at less than a million, total. It was crazy, but it also shows you how powerful a Resources A rigger/decker can be.

QUOTE
I'd be interested in some ways to either crow bar it in, or Houserule it properly, or something ... I guess you can see .. I'm not easily dissuaded from this self destructive course ?

Fading is another thing to consider, though. As you can see, there's an awful lot of issues to deal with. And because I had so much fun with Tank, the decker/rigger, I don't think it's worth it to deal with all the issues-- you can have a really fun character without going otaku.

QUOTE
and as for cash, they will be mid level runners at Campaign start ... I intend to gear them all up a little to make them .. appropro.


You'd actually have to give him quite a lot. Remember, starting otaku can only have 5000-- basically only enough for armor and a weapon, plus a few other trinkets and essentials. You'd need to give him a VCR and RCD, any other cyber that might help, a second datajack (I believe all otaku start with one for free, but you need a second one to bypass the VCR problem), every single drone (pricey!) and weapons, ammo, and mods for each of them. That is a *lot* of resources to just give away. A million nuyen character can afford all that, but they pay for it by buying Resources A. As bonus stuff? That's pretty substantial.
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Mach_Ten
post Jan 2 2015, 03:56 PM
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QUOTE (Cain @ Jan 2 2015, 03:31 PM) *
You'd actually have to give him quite a lot.
Remember, starting otaku can only have 5000-- basically only enough for armor and a weapon, plus a few other trinkets and essentials.
You'd need to give him a VCR and RCD, any other cyber that might help, a second datajack
(I believe all otaku start with one for free, but you need a second one to bypass the VCR problem),
every single drone (pricey!) and weapons, ammo, and mods for each of them.

That is a *lot* of resources to just give away.
A million nuyen character can afford all that, but they pay for it by buying Resources A. As bonus stuff? That's pretty substantial.

yeah you're right, that is a heckuvva lot ..

Here is the idea I am mulling ... the opposite of the spectrum is the decker/rigger who takes direct control of the drones .. that I will also position to the player.

so,

Otaku aged 20-ish doesn't know he is a slow burner (This adventure is going to be based around the time of SURGE, Haleys comet etc.)

he is a prime decker with a team of runners, specialising in bypassing AA Corp security, he is the techno infil/exfil agent and Paydata ferret.

outside of this, his small army of drones provide overwatch,
each one is hosting either a programmed agent OR a sprite that as far as I can read in Matrix is as good as an agent (except no pool).
maybe he has Submerged and has a Daemon in his horde.

he has ZERO need for a VCR/RCD as commands are given by a short range radio network he is jacked into or is 'ware.

I suppose he could have saved up for OR is saving for the VCR/RCD or it's built into the team van... not the end of the world.

PRO's :
he is on the team with the guys and doesn't do the rigger slump or need to stay in the van
no one knows what he is, seeing as he has the jack, he's just a damn good decker.
the drones are well piloted and semi-autonomous.

CON's
no wired reflexes so meat body actions will rely on the team
unable to control drones directly
Drones (apart from the Daemons) don't have any pool

as a concept I can see what I want it to do, just making it fit the rules ... I need a coffee (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

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Cain
post Jan 2 2015, 04:47 PM
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QUOTE
he has ZERO need for a VCR/RCD as commands are given by a short range radio network he is jacked into or is 'ware.

Ooh, that might be a problem. I don't think you can control a drone remotely without a RCD. Fortunately, they're not hideously expensive; but if he has drones, he needs one.

On the plus side, I recall that somewhere there's a rule that allows you to control one through a datajack directly, so he's hands free. They're also light enough that he can carry it with him, and he'll always have access to his drones. You can skip the VCR, if he's mostly a drone rigger-- it only really helps when you're jumped into a drone, not in Captain's Chair mode.

QUOTE
he is on the team with the guys and doesn't do the rigger slump or need to stay in the van

This is really a problem if you go otaku. Otaku have notably worse physical stats than others of their metatype, and if they go total couch potato, they get even more powerful. If you want a techie who can go in physically, you're better off with a mundane.

QUOTE
the drones are well piloted and semi-autonomous.

You're actually better off with good Pilot programs. They can get pricey, but they're more reliable.

I seem to recall that you can use the Computer skill to improve drone Comprehension tests, so an otaku with Computer 8 would be a big help here. However, that's one of those either-or things.

QUOTE
no wired reflexes so meat body actions will rely on the team.

You could justify giving him Boosted. It's cheap and easier on the Essence than Wired.
QUOTE
Drones (apart from the Daemons) don't have any pool

Actually, there is a way around that. BattleTac IVIS is in R3, and it can give all your drones dice. I don't think it'll work for Daemons-- it might, but it's not meant for them-- but it's not so spendy that he can't justify having it.
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Cochise
post Jan 2 2015, 05:12 PM
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QUOTE (Mach_Ten)
he has ZERO need for a VCR/RCD as commands are given by a short range radio network he is jacked into or is 'ware.


Won't work - at least not by RAW. In order to control drones in "Captain's Chair" he'll need

  1. A complex form that replicates the "remote control" utility. Should be easy with just standard rules on complex form creation rules.
  2. A direct neural connection like being jacked into the drone via CCSS, remote control deck or via wireless drone-to-MATRIX connection in order to use said complex form. The Otaku himself can be connected to the MATRIX with a stationary jack or via wireless as well. RCD is the least troublesome variant however and most likely the most cost effective one as well. In the long run a wireless drone-to-MATRIX conenction will however be very good as well.
  3. The necessity of having the Rigger Protocol Emulation Module in his RCD or an complex form equivalent is arguable as long as he doesn't plan on doing MIJI attacks or CCSS intrusions as well.


Longterm he certainly could expand that by creating sprites with the "remote control utility" loaded and having them control his drones over the wireless MATRIX connection after having them uploaded to the MATRIX and having disconnected himself. This way he could order his sprites to take over Captain's Chair instead of having to do it himself and not having to connect to the MATRIX wirelessly himself.
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Mach_Ten
post Jan 2 2015, 05:16 PM
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QUOTE (Cain @ Jan 2 2015, 04:47 PM) *
You're actually better off with good Pilot programs. They can get pricey, but they're more reliable.

I seem to recall that you can use the Computer skill to improve drone Comprehension tests, so an otaku with Computer 8 would be a big help here. However, that's one of those either-or things.


Okay, I need to do some reading later, the difference between Pilot Programs for Agents etal, and Autosofts for vehicles.

I was hoping there was crossover, ... but a good Decker can buy an original autosoft, spend some time upgrading it and copying it, then load it into the sprite/ Daemon and then load the construct into the drone.

I'm obviously making this WAY more complex than it needs to be aren't I ? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)

but the more I do now, the simpler it is for me to explain to the player, and thus the simpler the game sessions will flow.

rather than say "yes, you go and build it" because then I have to revise every damn thing he might do on the fly, in game session and that will be painful. for all involved.

so, Otaku + Daemons / sprites + complex forms loaded into them + drones + RCD

doesn't need a DECK or VCR

Can save up and buy IVIS master unit + write the slave unit programs?

can get Boosted reflexes + math SPU & Encephalon etc at some point.

then, he can act in real time, is not going to be horribly weak ... will be able to access drones via the RCD and dish out mental commands from Captains chair

(The one HACK I am going to use, maybe rather than let him get boosted, is let him have his Otaku Reaction & initiative,
thus getting actions only when commanding drones or hacking ... he CANNOT personally make multiple shots etc. himself.

it's hacky .. but I like it thus far
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Mach_Ten
post Jan 2 2015, 05:22 PM
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are there such things as prehensile datajacks ?

I'm having a mental image .... both for the drones and for the character

and it's creeping me out
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Cain
post Jan 2 2015, 05:29 PM
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QUOTE
I'm obviously making this WAY more complex than it needs to be aren't I ? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)

Yup. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)

QUOTE
doesn't need a DECK or VCR

This is true. As a drone rigger, you can skip the VCR, it's more for a wheelman type. Still really good, but a bonus.

QUOTE
Can save up and buy IVIS master unit + write the slave unit programs?

You actually need a couple things.

The IVIS master unit is costly, but it's not so bad he can't justify having one. Each drone needs an IVIS receiver module, which also costs, and is hardware-- you can't just copy the program.

In order to use IVIS, you need the Small Unit Tactics skill. Mind you, this skill has a lot of uses for an info specialist-- if you get a hold of BattleTac, you can give your team the advantage in spades. But among other things, it can give you the IVIS pool, which makes a huge difference.
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Cain
post Jan 2 2015, 05:32 PM
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QUOTE (Mach_Ten @ Jan 2 2015, 09:22 AM) *
are there such things as prehensile datajacks ?

I'm having a mental image .... both for the drones and for the character

and it's creeping me out

Technically, you can stick a datajack anywhere. There's no reason why it can't be, say, on the tip of your finger. Or the back of your head.

I actually had a player who wanted one at the end of his cyberspur. He was a Robocop fan, and his image of a datajack was the fist spike. I let him have it, it made sense and didn't bother anyone. If someone wants one at the end of a balance tail, I could see letting that slide.

But if someone wanted one so he had really involved ways to interface with internet porn.... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/eek.gif)
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Mach_Ten
post Jan 2 2015, 05:33 PM
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QUOTE (Cain @ Jan 2 2015, 05:29 PM) *
In order to use IVIS, you need the Small Unit Tactics skill. Mind you, this skill has a lot of uses for an info specialist-- if you get a hold of BattleTac, you can give your team the advantage in spades. But among other things, it can give you the IVIS pool, which makes a huge difference.

Dammit I closed the pdf and it'd take me a year to open it again on works connection,

but I'm Sure Matrix had a Small unit Tactics Utility ... more reading !

but this is getting close to cohesive, Thanks to Cochise as well, I haven't replied to him above, but I'll look into those points over the weekend.

.... oh, and that Orky Adept we looked at a while back, is playing out quite nicely thanks.

he's coming out to play on Sunday hopefully, he's bloody lethal when he gets up close and personal.
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Shaidar
post Jan 5 2015, 05:45 AM
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QUOTE (Mach_Ten @ Jan 2 2015, 06:37 AM) *
I'll ask him to start at 19 ish for the purposes of this campaign ... or .. maybe invent an Edge ... Slow Fade.
with an accompanying Flaw (Scientific anomaly) where if anyone gets a sniff he is still Otaku at a later date he is going to be zip-lok bagged faster than he can blink.


Depending on your campaign timeframe/date there is fluff support, from one of the novels Psychotrope which occurred March 19th, 2060.
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Mach_Ten
post Jan 5 2015, 10:11 AM
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QUOTE (Shaidar @ Jan 5 2015, 05:45 AM) *
Depending on your campaign timeframe/date there is fluff support, from one of the novels Psychotrope which occurred March 19th, 2060.

Thanks, I'll look into it,

I'm going for the Year of the Comet, 2061 and the Orichalcum rush.

SURGE time, and late enough in the timeline that we might be seeing a 'Fade' in the number of Otaku and beginning to see a few Technomancers arising (Pre SR4).

the way I see it, and I doubt this is cannon, that at some point one breed either evolves into the next or one goes extinct making way for the next ...
this person is going to be the missing link (possibly with some story hooks, but I've got a campaign full of stuff already).

Reasoning is simple, I like most of the Otaku stuff, but I preferred the way that TM's operate.

so I'm making this one guy work ... using the rules as best I can but with some subtle changes :

1) what happens when your entire tribe "fades" but you do not ? Paranoia, fear and loathing leading to banishment.

2) You receive aid from a mysterious benefactor (I'm thinking Dunkelzahn Institute of Magical Research (DIMR)) and thus have access to some new shiny toys

3) not sure if I should release restrictions on physical stats, probably won't.

4) I'm considering making him AI created Otaku ... but not sure if the campaign will support an AI antagonist... maybe.



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