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> [SR4] Top 10 Complex Forms?, Also, rank those sprites, streams, and paragons!
SleepIncarnate
post Aug 20 2019, 10:25 AM
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So as I mentioned in another thread, I'm working on one of those character concepts that I have to flesh out before I can stop thinking about it, and it's a TM. One of the biggest issues I always have when making a TM is to pick just which CFs to get. Since you're limited to Logic x 2 total CFs (regardless of rating) at creation, that means your average TM is going to cap out at 10 they can have known, with having to thread any others or rely on sprites for them. So that raises the question, which 10 are too important to leave to threading/sprites?

So, I thought I'd try to get the chatter going and see what everyone else considered their big 10.

For me, I think every technomancer needs shield, stealth, and armor, simply because they are more dependent than mundane hackers and riggers at avoiding and minimizing matrix damage as it always affects their meat. Analyze as well to make use of their benefits to matrix perception.

Beyond that? Browse is probably the second most used one, after Analyze, but every stream also gets data sprites (as well as at least one of courier, code, or sleuth), so it could easily be foisted on them. Encrypt, Edit, and Exploit are all great, but those can usually be foisted onto a sprite as well. And what about CFs that no sprite gets, like simrig, smartlink, tacsoft, and ECCM?

Speaking of sprites, we have exactly 10 of them, so I'm curious to see your top 10 lists for ranking them. Sleuth, Machine, Data, and Code are probably my top 4, personally.

I know knowing what to take and skip for each TM is going to be partly based on what sprites they have access to. Info Savants, for example, lack access to the main three sprites that have both Exploit and Stealth (Crack, Fault, and Sleuth), having to rely on Courier sprites if they want the sprite to hack for them. As such, they're more likely to take Exploit than say, Networkers, who have access to three of the four sprites with the combo. Since streams play such a big role in this, how would you rate them?

Finally, since we're rating everything technomantic, why not rate the various paragons as well? I know a lot of people love World Tree and Daedalus, but I don't see as much love for Idoru or Flow. And then there's 01, which according to Unwired is the traditional representation of the Deep Resonance, buuuuuttttt....

What are all your thoughts on my favorite character type? How do their various bits rank up? I know TMs are typically weaker point for point compared to a mundane decker, but they do have their advantages. Let's talk about those!
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Jaid
post Aug 20 2019, 09:14 PM
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fair warning: it's been a while since i've had a chance to play SR4, and my books are in storage, so this is from memory.

one thing i will mention: the cost of buying complex forms up to 6 with build points is so much more efficient than karma that if you're using build points you are actually gaining net karma if you buy them. this does not apply if you are using a different form of chargen.

now then, some things to consider: while it somewhat depends on what you want to do, certain complex forms can scale much harder than others. command is one in particular that can do some crazy things. when you take a pilot skill, specialize in remote operation (which is distinct from rigging as i recall, meaning it is what you do when you use the command program - or in this case, CF). and the higher your command CF, the higher your dice pool for controlling things will be. so, for example, if you have your command at 6, thread it up another 6, and use a rating 6 sprite to support it, you can have 18 command, plus your pilot skill to operate vehicles. oh, +2 if you're in hot sim, of course. and it replaces every attribute check, including those used for dodging. so, if that's something you'd like to do... well, get as many starting points into it as you can, i'd say. the more, the merrier.

another example of a complex form that does better at high ratings (unless i'm remembering wrong) is the attack forms. damaging CFs deal damage based on their rating, so if you're going to use them for damage, you want them at high rating. having said that, the ones with biofeedback can allow you to do some absolutely TERRIFYING things if you keep them at lower rating and thread them to have the ability to implant stuff into people's minds. normally, those program options aren't exactly wonderful, because to get the most out of them you tend to need pretty specific options depending on the scenario, and even if your GM agrees that such a specific program exists you probably didn't think ahead to buy a program that causes a severe phobia of telling your superiors about a break-in on august 20th by an elf, an ork, and a human shadowrunner team (the more specific the phobia, the more severe it can be, thanks to how the program works). or that you might want to give someone a mania for unlocking the door to the advanced robotics labs at midnight during the night of a full moon. this is, of course, not a concern when you're just threading a complex form on the spot. you don't need to know what you need in advance, and it doesn't matter if it's available to buy because you're not buying it. for this purpose, you will probably want to already have the complex form, with a biofeedback option on it, and just thread the mind control stuff as needed. and, uhh... carry an actual sim module with you for brainwashing other people, not everyone will be in the matrix when you want them to be.

fair warning: it is entirely probable that your GM will consider these uses to be pretty cheesy, so... talk it over, first.
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SpellBinder
post Sep 1 2019, 06:16 AM
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Analyze, Armor, Decrypt, Edit, Exploit, Scan, Spoof, & Stealth (yeah, I know that's eight) tend to be the ones I've chosen for every single technomancer I've made. The majority of them have also been the basic Cyberadept stream, and pretty much none of them have ever had a paragon. My choices of complex forms are more for the practicality of just being able to do their job without having to blow their own brains out threading something they need on the fly, and while paragons have some nice benefits it feels their drawbacks are a little more encompassing.

In my own writings, while the main character was a technomancer he made extensive use of a registered data and sleuth sprite, though he had all five available types registered. At the current point he's no longer a technomancer and there are two supporting technos, one Sourceror and one Technoshaman (both without paragons), their streams chosen more for their personality types over any kind of mechanical game advantage their Fading attribute or sprites might give (this also holds true for any magicians or mystics I've create, rather than trying for a particular set of spirits for the best advantage possible).

I know in some places this would likely warrant flak like "you're not doing it right" but honestly I don't care. Not everyone in the real world is ideally optimized to the 9's or makes all the right choices out of the gate (this isn't the Justice League of the 1970's), so not everything any of my characters chooses or does is going to be perfect.

BTW, while that main character was a technomancer he did pull some similar shenanigans to what Jaid pointed out. And yes, the dice rolls were disgusting.
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