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> SR5 Technomancer feedback thread, For an upcoming book! Wow!
Ren
post May 28 2015, 02:11 AM
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Hi!

So my next project with Catalyst, don't expect to see it anytime soon, but it's going to be an oversized PDF supplement entirely for Technomancers. I'm doing it with Dylan Stangel, the guy that wrote the TM rules in Data Trails, so don't worry, it's not "Oh god, they're letting the new girl go nuts, we're doomed." As an additional measure, this thread exists. I don't want it to just be my and his perspective. Expect to see one like it on the official forums too.

What I'm looking for is all the feedback and suggestions you have on Technomancers. Positive, negative, neutral, personal attacks on devs and their writing, whatever you want. Maybe not that last one, but you get the idea. Tell me what works, what doesn't, what you miss, what you want gone, and I'll go through all of this and keep it in mind as I'm developing this book.

I'm not gonna make any promises that every single idea will be incorporated, but I'll read this regularly and keep as much in mind as possible. It would help if you explained why you want this or that, so that I get where you're coming from.
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Shemhazai
post May 28 2015, 02:21 AM
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It wouldn't bother me if technomancers weren't a thing anymore.

And you should feel free to go nuts.
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SpellBinder
post May 28 2015, 02:46 AM
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In all honesty, Paragons, Streams, and some of the old echos (like Mesh Reality) I'd like to see official for SR5. There's more that I'd like, but I think that ship sailed, wrecked, burned, and sank during alpha testing of SR5's core.

Something I don't miss, and I feel should be left dead, extinct, and retconned into never having existed: technocritters.
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Jaid
post May 28 2015, 02:49 AM
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general consensus from what i've seen: technomancers are a more expensive method of accomplishing the same goal less effectively than can be accomplished with a decker.

there is opportunity cost in that you pay extra for resonance, and require more skills to be a technomancer. but you can't reconfigure your deck, and can't run programs (which are awesome), and your living person stats are generally not as good in the first place as can be gained from decking even if you couldn't swap them out. damage taken to your living person applies a penalty to your dice pools immediately (as well as to your physical actions, since you've taken real damage), while damage to your deck can be repaired cheaply with a few minutes downtime and does not harm your physical actions in any way. plus, you can upgrade through two different resources (nuyen for better deck, programs, and 'ware, karma for skills) as a decker, while technomancers can only do anything remotely similar if they lose resonance.


there is a cost in that you almost never can get enough resources to cover for your generally poor attributes in the physical world with 'ware, even if you ignore the fact that resonance is tied to essence. fading values are generally high enough that your one special thing can't be used often, and are generally seen as less impactful than spells which have less drain, don't leave you screwed over in the meat world, and cost fewer chargen resources (you can get a bunch of spells in chargen, but not nearly as many complex forms). also, while not being matrix actions is good in some ways (don't generate OS), it is bad in that things which benefit matrix actions do nothing for complex forms.

next you add in that their best abilities generally don't even help themselves, but are actually more about supporting others you could use them to support yourself, but even with your best buffs you won't be as good as the other members of the team are without buffs.

the only build that is accepted as somewhat competitive is calling "pets" (sprites) to do your bidding, and even that costs so much that you're going to be incredibly weak outside of the matrix, plus it basically takes away all your downtime because you're going to spend hours per sprite registering, and hours per sprite resting (days if you take any physical damage).

a lot of the problems could be solved with some fairly simple errata (lower most CF fading codes, reduce priority level required to be a TM wouldn't do anything to make them better at decking, but it would at least mean they don't have to pay so much to be bad at decking). but that's probably beyond the scope of the e-book (and lies firmly in the hands of the senior management, and i fully expect it to not happen, so don't worry... it's not your fault, and i don't blame you for it). it could also be fixed with some not-very-simple errata (rebuilding them from the ground up to be more effective at what they do). that's probably beyond the scope of this edition.

technomancers got double nerfed relative to 4e (they used to cost a ton to build, but were really good at what they do... now they aren't very good at what they do, and they cost even more). remove one or the other (so that they are either really good at what they do, or not cripplingly expensive for what they do) and they'll become much more reasonable.

as to what we want from the e-book... probably a few updates of SR4 material, mostly. i wouldn't worry about fixing technomancers, though. that simply isn't something you're going to accomplish with an e-book unless you basically invalidate most of what is written about technomancers in the core book, and i doubt that's something they're looking for you to do. so update what you can without breaking anything, look for new and interesting things you can add to the game, and be happy with what you can do.
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Jack VII
post May 28 2015, 03:02 AM
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This is way beyond what you would be able to do in an e-book, but I'm dropping a link to Abschalten's Technomancer Redux v1.0 (PDF File) where the technomancer is completely redone, with build mechanics vaguely resembling an Adept/Mystic Adept. I thought it was one of the best takes I had seen on it. Just to help you situate yourself outside of the box. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

LINK
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Abschalten
post May 28 2015, 07:44 AM
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Oh wow, I didn't think that document had made any traction at all. And I had become so disillusioned with 5e shortly thereafter that I never bothered to update it.

But yeah, feel free to pillage ideas from that document. I had half-meant it to be ideas for future developers anyway.
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Medicineman
post May 28 2015, 08:33 AM
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At First I want to thank You for giving aus a Chance to participate in this Brainstorming (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
(not every Freelancer does that.It takes some Chuzpe because some People will be Haters no matter what you do )
So KUDOs from Me (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
I would like you to get a good Grip on what a Technomancer is and what he can do, and what not !
I would like You to read the Emergence Book from 4th Edition
( lots of Mistakes happen because the Authors don't have the needed Background)
Oh, and to get in contact with the German Freelancers .
If You want to I can ask them to start a similar Thread in Germany and filter the Ideas from these Threads for You

Hough!
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Sendaz
post May 28 2015, 10:13 AM
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Sometimes "Oh god, they're letting the new girl go nuts, we're doomed." can be a good thing if it can shake something from the tree that works.

And we definitely appreciate your reaching out to pick the collective brains here, so thank you for this opportunity.

Sadly TM is not really my area of expertise, so can not give much in way of ideas/advice relevant to TMs, but there are plenty here who are.

One thing I might suggest when fine tuning your rules is create your own additional pool of playtesters with a mix of pros and novices, or folks who play different styles. While the main pool of playtesters have their place, sometimes they get into a rut of how they play or they may blast through a section because they 'know' how things are meant to work where a novice might ask is this really how things are supposed to work and a player who does things maybe more Mohawk than Trenchcoat might run into different applications of those rules.

Grenades are a good example of this. While it was said to have been heavily playtested and approved in the new no dodge form with no real problems seen with it as written, when it hit tables at the cons several GMs had to houserule in some kind of a dodge so as to avoid TPK because the grenades were readily available and maybe someone did not take this into account, assuming that grenades would only be used rarely because that just was how their particular groups played.

And don't get me wrong, they should be nasty- that is what they are designed to be and only moving away from one or otherwise taking cover should be your only options, but grenades are such a staple item at times that as they are written why would you use anything else if you got the space to avoid your own blastzone? Sure there is social stigma attached to being a mad dog bomber and how you go to the top of the most wanted lists, but that loses a bit of its punch when you remember we as shadowrunners are largely already a criminal/terrorist by definition.

But if this issue had been better addressed during playtesting we would still have the no normal dodge as that certaionly fits, but then they would have rolled out the 'Run for your Life' Interrupt action and it's cousins right from the start.
Although I might have adjusted the whole 'can use any amount of available Movement to move away from the incoming attack' down just a little bit as it basically just feeds the whole teleport move feel otherwise, but that is another issue for playtesting to discuss. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)

In any case we wish you well in this venture and look forward to it's release.
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hermit
post May 28 2015, 10:31 AM
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Well. What I'd like to see is a definite call on the origins of technomancy. As is, there are two mutually exclusive concepts - "Matrix Magic" as per early SR4, which basically concludes technomancy is a form of magic, and AI genesis, as per the Otaku and late SR3 (which already had adult otaku, such as Ronin, Grid Reaper, Hitomi Shiawase). I'd like to see someone unify them (something along the lines of the Deep Matrix maybe? Which could be tied to what 'mancers experience as Deep Resonance?).

Also, please try and find a way to make the background of AI work - to me it looks like SR4's initial idea was a story very much like Sprawl Trilogy's backstory (Neuromancer, Biochips, Mona Lisa Overdrive) - AI merge, generate a singularity and then shatter into bazillions of smaller AI because reasons. Then the idea of Matrix Magic was introduced, and Paragons were written up who were both "hacker guides" like Biochips' Loa, and at the same time Magix Patrons, and whether or not AI are beings of resonance, Unwired and Runners' Companion were totally at odds. It's quite the gordian knot, so ... try and have fun with that, maybe?
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binarywraith
post May 28 2015, 11:27 AM
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Also, if you could sneak something in to let Technomancers offset Resonance loss due to Essence loss, similar to the way Mages used to be able to offset Magic loss via Geasa, it'd be awesome.

It's a crap mechanic anyway, there's no reason in the world that someone who can manipulate technology with their brain should react badly to being more attached to it.
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hermit
post May 28 2015, 11:42 AM
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It's an attempt to balance the mage-like mechanics of 'mancers, to avoid them becoming "mages without the flaws". I do agree it's not exactly covered by in-game logic, unless you subscribe to technomancy as a type of magic, as SR4 did for some time.
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SpellBinder
post May 28 2015, 02:43 PM
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In SR4 I never had the feel of technomancers being "matrix magicians" but more like someone whose brain doubled as a commlink.

Come SR5, they feel like they really are "matrix magicians" with their own special brand of magic that only works in the matrix (as opposed to true magicians who can work magic in meatspace, astral space, and beyond).
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binarywraith
post May 28 2015, 03:36 PM
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QUOTE (hermit @ May 28 2015, 05:42 AM) *
It's an attempt to balance the mage-like mechanics of 'mancers, to avoid them becoming "mages without the flaws". I do agree it's not exactly covered by in-game logic, unless you subscribe to technomancy as a type of magic, as SR4 did for some time.


Which I'd be okay with if it didn't violate the basic setting premise that technology is inherently incompatible with magic.

Having Technomancy be something else doesn't bother me nearly as much because it doesn't violate basic premises of how magic works in the setting, and I personally don't think that letting technos cyber up is a problem, given the paucity of tech that makes them better at what they do best as compared to fitting them to take on secondary roles in the 95% of all shadowrunning that isn't occurring in the Matrix.
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hermit
post May 28 2015, 04:32 PM
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QUOTE
Which I'd be okay with if it didn't violate the basic setting premise that technology is inherently incompatible with magic.

Yes, that is my main problem with that premise, too.
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Medicineman
post May 28 2015, 04:51 PM
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QUOTE
violate the basic setting premise that technology is inherently incompatible with magic.

is it really incompatible ?
Not in My Oppinion.
The two don't like each other very much yes, but They're not inherently incompatible !

with a compatible Dance
Medicineman
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Sendaz
post May 28 2015, 05:06 PM
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Hey we are a lot more compatable then say Dresden style magicking that frags up local electronics. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post May 28 2015, 06:07 PM
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QUOTE (Sendaz @ May 28 2015, 11:06 AM) *
Hey we are a lot more compatable then say Dresden style magicking that frags up local electronics. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)


Yes... See... THAT is Incompatible. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Justin
post May 28 2015, 07:23 PM
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My biggest problem (besides what has already been mentioned) is that you are so helpless in meat space. Technomancers need pretty much every mental attribute to be high, and even with attributes priority A or B, they are pretty physically crippled.

Even worse, technomancers are the ONLY archetype without any way to increase their initiative. Mages can cast a spell. Adepts have a power for it. Everyone else can get cyberware and bioware without crippling their primary function. Technomancers are stuck with one initiative pass and going last, always.

As far as things that would help bring technomancers to a more playable state:

-Introduce some method of obtaining reasonable initiative compared to the rest of the group and the enemies trying to kill you.

-Mesh Reality echo, at the very least allowing you to have your one initiative pass, and then spend a couple more hacking and supporting with matrix actions in a firefight.

-Introduce some ways to lower fading. Right now complex forms are something you can do once and then have to go sleep it off. I feel like a bumblebee. Adding an echo to resist fading, or widgets, or traits... all of this would help! Something like a mage's fetish, that could lower the fade code of a complex form would also help.

-Technomancer-friendly custom cyberware would be really neat! Having a cyberlimb that I could put a machine sprite in and run diagnostics would be great if it didn't cripple me as a technomancer.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post May 28 2015, 07:34 PM
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QUOTE (Justin @ May 28 2015, 01:23 PM) *
My biggest problem (besides what has already been mentioned) is that you are so helpless in meat space. Technomancers need pretty much every mental attribute to be high, and even with attributes priority A or B, they are pretty physically crippled.

Even worse, technomancers are the ONLY archetype without any way to increase their initiative. Mages can cast a spell. Adepts have a power for it. Everyone else can get cyberware and bioware without crippling their primary function. Technomancers are stuck with one initiative pass and going last, always.

As far as things that would help bring technomancers to a more playable state:

-Introduce some method of obtaining reasonable initiative compared to the rest of the group and the enemies trying to kill you.

-Mesh Reality echo, at the very least allowing you to have your one initiative pass, and then spend a couple more hacking and supporting with matrix actions in a firefight.

-Introduce some ways to lower fading. Right now complex forms are something you can do once and then have to go sleep it off. I feel like a bumblebee. Adding an echo to resist fading, or widgets, or traits... all of this would help! Something like a mage's fetish, that could lower the fade code of a complex form would also help.

-Technomancer-friendly custom cyberware would be really neat! Having a cyberlimb that I could put a machine sprite in and run diagnostics would be great if it didn't cripple me as a technomancer.


For Initiative I give you: Lightning Reflexes... +1 Initiative and +1d6. Positive Quality. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Sendaz
post May 28 2015, 07:43 PM
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As a Techno, or mage for that matter, wanting a few extra passes you should look into getting a rating 2 Synaptic Booster for the +2 Reaction/ +2d6 Init all for the Essence friendly price of 1, which still knocks your MAG/RES but is a pretty good trade off.
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Jaid
post May 28 2015, 08:55 PM
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QUOTE (Sendaz @ May 28 2015, 03:43 PM) *
As a Techno, or mage for that matter, wanting a few extra passes you should look into getting a rating 2 Synaptic Booster for the +2 Reaction/ +2d6 Init all for the Essence friendly price of 1, which still knocks your MAG/RES but is a pretty good trade off.


of course, you'll need to put priority B or higher into resources to pull that off.

so, what, are we supposed to go attributes A resonance C skills D race E, and have neither the skills nor the resonance to be a technomancer (compounded by your essence loss), or resonance A attributes C skills D race E, and not have the skills or mental attributes to be a technomancer?

it just doesn't work. technomancers cost too much, and block off too many options.

though again, this is not something i expect can be fixed with a new book. the first thing that needs to happen is that someone at the top has to acknowledge that they screwed up, and change stuff that's in the core book; lower the cost of CFs, lower the priority cost of being a technomancer, and take some of those absurdly stupid echoes that should have been CFs, and make them CFs (and change some of the CFs, like the infusion of [attribute] line so that they're more like an adept's attribute boost).
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Sengir
post May 28 2015, 10:06 PM
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Let's start with the positive for a change: 5th Edition is the first time technos are capable of doing truly unique things by default. It always rubbed me the wrong way that all the mysterious children of the matrix effectively did was emulating mundane users, until they went through a couple of submersions. The problem is that 5th edition ended up at the opposite extreme: All the bread and butter stuff they used to be able to do without effort (emulating programs) is missing entirely.
So where previously we had mages who could only cast spells acting like firearms in every way until the initiated, now we have D&D mages who can't use ordinary weapons. Except that D&D mages don't kill themselves if they let off one or two spells, whereas for TMs the ridiculous fading DVs turn the thing they can do into an elaborate kind of suicide.

TL;DR
- Fix the fading
- Let them use/emulate programs
- Bring back Dronomancers

For things which go above fixing TMs, I'd like to see some kind of adult otaku, who can accept cyberware but in return get more restricted abilities -- or maybe a different set altogether, like adepts vs. mages. It might even save some old otaku from the treatment Puck and now Pax got, i.e. reintroduced as TMs but magically missing all their cyber and with a full Essence refill.

Oh, and while we are talking about otaku: Bring back Daemons, pretty please? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Smash
post May 29 2015, 01:15 AM
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Honestly, you have your work cut out for you. The technomancer fanbois won't accept anything that doesn't make the hacker totally redundant and it's not far off that now anyway.

Just make them go away. Crash 7.0 killed them all. yeah, that'll work!

No? Well I guess the only other option is to continue making them some kind of specialised entity. I'd keep the restrictions from other sources of magic or cyber but perhaps beef up the living persona.

Maybe they could manipulate non-wireless devices? That would be cool and would make wireless on/off less of an issue. Might as well have it on when half the threats out there can hack it anyway, and it would actually be explainable with 'Magic' which seems to be a major blocker for the simulationists accepting Deckers atm.
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Jaid
post May 29 2015, 02:45 AM
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QUOTE (Smash @ May 28 2015, 08:15 PM) *
Honestly, you have your work cut out for you. The technomancer fanbois won't accept anything that doesn't make the hacker totally redundant and it's not far off that now anyway.

Just make them go away. Crash 7.0 killed them all. yeah, that'll work!

No? Well I guess the only other option is to continue making them some kind of specialised entity. I'd keep the restrictions from other sources of magic or cyber but perhaps beef up the living persona.

Maybe they could manipulate non-wireless devices? That would be cool and would make wireless on/off less of an issue. Might as well have it on when half the threats out there can hack it anyway, and it would actually be explainable with 'Magic' which seems to be a major blocker for the simulationists accepting Deckers atm.


you clearly haven't looked at the TM rules lately.

technomancers are extremely far off of replacing *anything* in 5th edition. hell, the only build that is regarded as being reasonably playable basically has the technomancer replaced by a collection of sprites. you could literally have the TM sit at home and hand out sprite services to the team before the run, and not see much of a difference so long as you have a sufficiently large collection of registered sprites with lots of services. that's how relevant TMs are right now.
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hermit
post May 29 2015, 11:51 AM
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QUOTE
Oh, and while we are talking about otaku: Bring back Daemons, pretty please?

But don't try and make them more useful than agents (that is, useful at all), or you get another shitstorm about how op technos have become.
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