IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

2 Pages V   1 2 >  
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Creating Decker Characters, Where do your Priorities Lay
satcong
post Aug 27 2003, 08:09 PM
Post #1


Target
*

Group: Members
Posts: 41
Joined: 18-August 03
From: Manchester, UK
Member No.: 5,515



Following on from the excellent Idiots Guide to the Matrix thread, I was wondering how other people went about creating their own Decker characters and the rational behind their decisions. For instance,

1. Using the Priority System, how would you prioritise? What benefits are there for non-human characters? Skills or Attributes, which should have the higher Priority?

2. How do you distribute Attribute points? Is Charisma important? Are Physical Attributes important?

3. What Skills would you take and why and at what Rating? What about non-computer based skills?

4. How about Cyberware and Gear? Is that Encephalon really necessary?

Any thoughts on this and/or reasons why you make one choice over another would be greatly appreciated.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Sphynx
post Aug 27 2003, 08:37 PM
Post #2


Neophyte Runner
*****

Group: Members
Posts: 2,222
Joined: 11-October 02
From: Netherlands and Belgium
Member No.: 3,437



Resources First, Attributes 2nd, Skills 3rd, Dwarf 4th

Int and Quickness first at least a 6 each. 5's in Willpower and Body (Spell Resistance) unless he's gonna try CSS-Rigging as well, then we 6W/4B and sacrifice Str/Cha at 3/3 each. Even as a Combat Decker cause we'll go Guns insted of Melee.

Computers, Computers B/R, Electronics, Electronics B/R (all at 6)
Stealth, Etiquette and Athletics at 4, 4, 2 respectively.

Cyberware: Cyberleg, All the Rigger stuff including VCR-2 (I really dig CSS), stuffed in the leg with 2 Datajacks. MathSPU-3, No Encephalon, just to expensive for what little it does, Smartlink and Cybereyes.

Whyfors? CyberLeg cause it's so much more nuyen and essence friendly than going for Cranial Deck and Head Mem. Even for Rigger stuff, so much more friendly to both Nuyen and Essence. High Int/Qui for the Reaction bonus. If the game lets.... Mnemonic Enhancer-3 is KEY for a char like this because the Rigger half will want to learn alot of vehicle skills, both active and B/R.

Unlike most other characters, I'd never start with a CyberDeck. You can't start with a good one (You need at LEAST an MPCP of 8 to be effective) and it gives a good reason for your first run or so. To steal one. :P

That's just me though, half the people that will respond will want the background history FIRST and then help. :P They do things backwards.

Sphynx
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Gorath
post Aug 27 2003, 08:45 PM
Post #3


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 128
Joined: 19-March 03
Member No.: 4,292



Just a short remark, QUI is just a point if you want to fire a gun, in pure DNI Mode your Reaction is given by your INT...
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
satcong
post Aug 27 2003, 08:57 PM
Post #4


Target
*

Group: Members
Posts: 41
Joined: 18-August 03
From: Manchester, UK
Member No.: 5,515



Interesting that you mention starting the character without a Deck. Given that the Kraftwerk-8 is a cool 400,000 :nuyen: how do you earn this much cash?

I like the idea of stealing one :D although I anticipate a certain amount of backlash from the irate owner!!

On another note, you appear to suggest a Decker/Rigger hybrid which is something I had not thought about but will do so now... thanks.

I am not sure about Etiquette (Matrix) as a skill. How does this actually help you and how is it used?

Why the cybereyes? Can these help with B/R skills?

Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ancient History
post Aug 27 2003, 10:30 PM
Post #5


Great Dragon
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 6,748
Joined: 5-July 02
Member No.: 2,935



Deckers (as opposed to Otaku) should take Resources first priority to get a deck and some decnt cyberware-Math SPU, Encephalon, Cerebral Booster, Mneumonic Enhancer, whatnot.

I'd take skills second rather than attributes, to max out Computer, Electronics and their associated (B/R) skills. All good deckers usually ahve Biotech too. If you do take Attributes second, it's because you want to max out Intelligence for lotsa knowledge skills and languages; and don't want to be weak in your physical states; or you're a troll and don't want to take too bad of a hit in Intelligence.

CHoose a metahuman race for third, you might as well. Magic'll be last most likely anyway.

Etiquette (MAtrix) is useful for pumping your matrix contacts, dealing in the matrix (which all good GMs should force their Deckers to do) "Please Mr. Deus don't kill me! I can speak 133+!"<roll, roll>

There's a lot of different bits of cyber the enterprising decker can take, though I always advise on high-quality as a priority, makes more room for bioware to save your weak decker arse.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Fortune
post Aug 28 2003, 12:07 AM
Post #6


Immoral Elf
**********

Group: Members
Posts: 15,247
Joined: 29-March 02
From: Grimy Pete's Bar & Laundromat
Member No.: 2,486



QUOTE (satcong)
I like the idea of stealing one :D although I anticipate a certain amount of backlash from the irate owner!!

Not if he's dead! ;)
QUOTE
Why the cybereyes? Can these help with B/R skills?

They can if you implant Microscopic Vision! :)
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
TinkerGnome
post Aug 28 2003, 12:58 AM
Post #7


Dragon
********

Group: Members
Posts: 4,138
Joined: 10-June 03
From: Tennessee
Member No.: 4,706



Enhanced articulation is also good for deckers since it boosts so many of their skills (though it does that for everyone). Technically, it adds a die to your computer tests, as well, but I'd check with your GM before trying that one (you can probably get the die for programming, just not actual decking).

As for decks... well, it all depends on the GM. If the best you can do is a MPCP-7 deck (availability 6, the Kraftwerks is avail 10, usually making it out of your league) then you might want to look at building one custom. Most GMs won't let you have one for cost (they take forever to build up from scratch), but the custom design rules make an MPCP-8 deck cost a bit more than stock, but not too bad.

In fact, the example custom deck on pages 66 and 67 of Matrix is fairly good at only a little better than the Kraftwerks (better I/O, worse storage memory, but you get ICCM in there, too). Look at the prices and you'll see where all of the money goes (software). Of course, that's only if your GM lets you get a custom deck with a rating > 6.

It's worth noting that in the example, the decker never bothered to ask for a power cord, making their new purchase the world's fanciest paperweight till she gets one ;)

As far as priorities... well, cash is critical, so Resources A. From there, you're 100% free to pick what you want to taste. You need exactly one skill to be a decker (Computer), and six points is all you can spend on that. Your Int should probably be a 6, as well, since knowledge skills are helpful to you, but besides that it's all up to you. For gear, you definitely want the Math SPU and a datajack. Beyond that, again, you're wide open.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
FlakJacket
post Aug 28 2003, 01:32 AM
Post #8


King of the Hobos
*****

Group: Dumpshocked
Posts: 2,117
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 127



Depends what type of decker you're going for. More often than not I'd say you needed to takes resources as A since they hoover up nuyen for decks, peripherals and programmes. Last decker I played too every programme at rating three for around a hundred and eighty grand, but with the key ones as high as possible.

If you're going for a combat decker then it's usually attributes that come next since you're going to have to be actually breaking into places and getting shot at. If you're just jacking in from a remote location then I'd say swap skills for B and take attributes at C. All this is of course assuming that you don't want to be a troll or elf of course. :)

If you can, try and barter the GM into letting you take a slightly better deck like the Krawtwerk. Yeah it breaks availability, but a lot of GM's allow it and it means you're not hobbled to begin with. Although as already noted - this provides a nice lead-in to a run boosting some corp decks for you and fencing the rest.

A quick note on weaponry though. I've found that deckers seem to do really well with shotguns as a main firearm- practically the same damage, if not slightly better, as a burst from a SMG but without the massive recoil mods.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
motorfirebox
post Aug 28 2003, 01:47 AM
Post #9


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 174
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 1,478



it's worth noting that you can use Centering on your computer skill. whether you can do this while surfing the Matrix is up to your GM's interpretation of the rules--personally, given the massive cost of trying to be both a physad and a decker, i'd allow it. in the end, the character will be less effective than a "pure" decker or "pure" physad.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ancient History
post Aug 28 2003, 02:31 AM
Post #10


Great Dragon
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 6,748
Joined: 5-July 02
Member No.: 2,935



As a comparison, your average Otaku will have the equivalent of an MPCP-9 or so deck. The advantage that the Decker has over the Otaku, of course, is that the Decker can focus his karma on improving his skill and his cash on improving his tech.

The Decker's programs can exceed the flexibility of the Otaku's Channels, in that a single program can be used for multiple different functions. An otaku would have to raise several Channels to rating 10 with karma to equal a Decker with a Rating 10 Decrypt program.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
motorfirebox
post Aug 28 2003, 02:42 AM
Post #11


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 174
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 1,478



indeed. a starting decker who puts his money in the right place will beat out a starting otaku every time. otaku just don't have the channels to be as effective. on the other hand, once an otaku gets some karma under his belt, he can be really scary.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ancient History
post Aug 28 2003, 02:48 AM
Post #12


Great Dragon
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 6,748
Joined: 5-July 02
Member No.: 2,935



I should note that the highest rated MPCP had been 14, and the highest level Computer skill 15. Fastjack is almost certainly higher than both.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
cleggster
post Aug 28 2003, 03:46 AM
Post #13


Target
*

Group: Members
Posts: 91
Joined: 19-January 03
From: Near Boston Mass.
Member No.: 3,927




I have a ? Has anybody tried using the deck creation rules for starting characters?

I gave a player 1 year of game time to design and build his deck. Using his starting money. He came back with a good deck with a rating 8 MPCP. He didn't have time to add reality filter though. I then gave him 6 months to design his programs.

I liked that way of doing it. Everything was customized, an he didn't start off with a weak deck. Problem was that if he ever lost the thing, he would be back with a Radio Shack. It was a hard temptation with me not to screw with the one player who had his entire career wrapped up in a single, portable, item.

Anyway, I was just wondering if anybody else used the custom build rules at char gen?

Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Sphynx
post Aug 28 2003, 05:18 AM
Post #14


Neophyte Runner
*****

Group: Members
Posts: 2,222
Joined: 11-October 02
From: Netherlands and Belgium
Member No.: 3,437



QUOTE (satcong @ Aug 27 2003, 10:57 PM)
I am not sure about Etiquette (Matrix) as a skill. How does this actually help you and how is it used?

Well, good for buying programs and such, if you go into a computer store looking like you know your shizzt, easier to get a discount, so you use "Etiquette" to get ot her stuff and "Etiquette(Matrix)" to get hardware and software. In addition to that, its good for getting info. Can't find it with a search? Head to a Decker haven and ask. On a successful role you might get the correct Node to hit for the info. I personally never specialize with Etiquette though, there's no need in 3rd Ed.
QUOTE
Why the cybereyes? Can these help with B/R skills?

Yes it can w/ Microscopic vision. -2 to TN to both Computers B/R and Electronics B/R tests. Also, anyone w/ a Datajack (and you should have one of those as a Decker... :P) should have an Image Link so his jack is more useful than for just Matrix work. And an Image Link reduces the Essence of a SmartLink by 0.10. And of course, everyone needs LowLight.

Sphynx
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
satcong
post Aug 28 2003, 08:53 AM
Post #15


Target
*

Group: Members
Posts: 41
Joined: 18-August 03
From: Manchester, UK
Member No.: 5,515



My 'shopping list' is growing by the day! I definitley think Resources is Priority A.

I particularly like the idea of letting decker characters have the opportunity to design their own decks/programs. Of course, this does depend on the player's familiarity with the rules.

Nobody has yet addressed the problem of raising 400,000 :nuyen: to purchase a deck. I know there are a lot of variables but how much would be a reasonable payment for a matrix run to, say, steal a datafile?

Also, given that there is plenty of PayData out there (and bearing in mind the consequences outlined in SR3 of attempting to steal it all) how often do your deckers go on a 'treasure hunt' to bolster their income?

What about Karma awards for a run?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Abstruse
post Aug 28 2003, 03:12 PM
Post #16


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,451
Joined: 21-April 03
From: Austin, TX
Member No.: 4,488



According to the Shadowrun Companion, a datasteal is worth 20% of the value of the data. In reality, a datasteal (just like any other broad category of Shadowrun) can vary depending on several factors. 1) How much the data is worth 2) What security you'll have to face 3) Other requirements for the run (like say the system is off the Matrix and you have to physically penetrate the site in order to get the data).

Plus you also need to remember a decker theoretically could be doing more than just one run a month like his counterparts on the team. A decker can do a simple datasteal over the Matrix in an hour or two at most. This of course isn't fair to the other players, but it would be a fact of the reality of the world. These wouldn't pay much, maybe a grand or so each, but it's still a way to help pay the bills.

The Abstruse One
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Sphynx
post Aug 28 2003, 03:43 PM
Post #17


Neophyte Runner
*****

Group: Members
Posts: 2,222
Joined: 11-October 02
From: Netherlands and Belgium
Member No.: 3,437



Well, if you insist on buying in-game instead of stealing a Deck somewhere, don't even think of paying 400k. Buy the Matrix book if you don't have it and make a nice MPCP-8 Deck (buy any part rating 6 or under at char gen even) Then build it. Here are some invaluable tool tips for building your own Deck:

Microscopic Vision
Math-SPU 3
Edge: Aptitude, Computers B/R
Knowledge: CyberDeck Construction - 6

Now you've got -3TN to most of your tests, and to top it off, a Complementary Dice Pool of 12 Dice (Math SPU can add twice it's rating to the CyberDeck Construction). The hardest thing to build is the MPCP-8 which has the base TN's of 8, 8, 4, 8. You can reduce that to as low as 5, 5, 2, 5 while rolling as many as 18 dice averaging 4 total successes against a TN 5 (every 2 successes on a Comp Skill is actually only 1 success).

Sphynx
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ancient History
post Aug 28 2003, 04:07 PM
Post #18


Great Dragon
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 6,748
Joined: 5-July 02
Member No.: 2,935



A note: for those with money/Essence to burn an don't care to have cybereyes ruin their natural vision, you can install a single cybereye with microscopic vision and a tool laser on the palm of your hand.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
TinkerGnome
post Aug 28 2003, 06:31 PM
Post #19


Dragon
********

Group: Members
Posts: 4,138
Joined: 10-June 03
From: Tennessee
Member No.: 4,706



QUOTE (Ancient History)
A note: for those with money/Essence to burn an don't care to have cybereyes ruin their natural vision, you can install a single cybereye with microscopic vision and a tool laser on the palm of your hand.

Why not just have the microscopic vision done as a retinal mod?

As far as making your own decks goes... keep in mind that the hardware is easy. It's the software that's a pain. Be sure to purchase a decent computer with a boat load of active and storage memory as well as the best programming assistant (preferably with the self coder option) you can manage. IIRC, it takes less than a month to build a good deck from scratch if you don't have to make your own programs. A good rating chip burner also helps.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kurukami
post Aug 28 2003, 07:12 PM
Post #20


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 488
Joined: 4-August 03
From: Amidst the ruins of Silicon Valley.
Member No.: 5,242



QUOTE (Sphynx)
Microscopic Vision
Math-SPU 3
Edge: Aptitude, Computers B/R
Knowledge: CyberDeck Construction - 6

Now you've got -3TN to most of your tests, and to top it off, a Complementary Dice Pool of 12 Dice (Math SPU can add twice it's rating to the CyberDeck Construction). The hardest thing to build is the MPCP-8 which has the base TN's of 8, 8, 4, 8. You can reduce that to as low as 5, 5, 2, 5 while rolling as many as 18 dice averaging 4 total successes against a TN 5 (every 2 successes on a Comp Skill is actually only 1 success).

Sphynx

Personally, I wouldn't waste 4 edge-points on something which comes into play as rarely as Computer B/R, but that's just me.

Also, precisely where are you getting the notion that a Math SPU will add to a skill like Cyberdeck Construction? It specifically says (on p. 21, M&M) "adds twice its rating as a Complementary Math skill to any math-related skill tests."

Building a computer is definitely NOT math-related. Calculus, sure. Computing the trajectory of a falling object, fine. Knowing how best to solder and construct the motherboard on yer spankin' new deck, no way.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Sphynx
post Aug 28 2003, 07:14 PM
Post #21


Neophyte Runner
*****

Group: Members
Posts: 2,222
Joined: 11-October 02
From: Netherlands and Belgium
Member No.: 3,437



Yeah, buy your Mult 1's and 2's at Rating 6 and buy your Mult 3's at Rating 4. Then 'upgrade' them with programming skills is the best I think. That keeps each program at about 15,000 each. If you go Resources A though (recommended) any extra cash you have, put it into programs. For 6,050 :nuyen: you can buy yourself 1,200 offline storage MPs which enough for ALL the SR3 (not counting what's in the Matrix book cause I've not made a Decker with those utilities yet) programs at Rating 6 *except* Offensive and Medic. Save those programs until you've built a Deck.

Sphynx
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Sphynx
post Aug 28 2003, 07:20 PM
Post #22


Neophyte Runner
*****

Group: Members
Posts: 2,222
Joined: 11-October 02
From: Netherlands and Belgium
Member No.: 3,437



QUOTE (Kurukami @ Aug 28 2003, 09:12 PM)
QUOTE (Sphynx @ Aug 28 2003, 03:43 PM)
Microscopic Vision
Math-SPU 3
Edge: Aptitude, Computers B/R
Knowledge: CyberDeck Construction - 6

Now you've got -3TN to most of your tests, and to top it off, a Complementary Dice Pool of 12 Dice (Math SPU can add twice it's rating to the CyberDeck Construction).  The hardest thing to build is the MPCP-8 which has the base TN's of 8, 8, 4, 8.  You can reduce that to as low as 5, 5, 2, 5 while rolling as many as 18 dice averaging 4 total successes against a TN 5 (every 2 successes on a Comp Skill is actually only 1 success).

Sphynx

Personally, I wouldn't waste 4 edge-points on something which comes into play as rarely as Computer B/R, but that's just me.

Also, precisely where are you getting the notion that a Math SPU will add to a skill like Cyberdeck Construction? It specifically says (on p. 21, M&M) "adds twice its rating as a Complementary Math skill to any math-related skill tests."

Building a computer is definitely NOT math-related. Calculus, sure. Computing the trajectory of a falling object, fine. Knowing how best to solder and construct the motherboard on yer spankin' new deck, no way.

Ah, you're referring to 1 of the 4 tests I see. Assembly (the last and final part). Design and Software are quite conceivably math-related, and if you get some success on Design, Assembly has a lower TN, so it won't even matter just as Cook doesn't really matter.

Our groups interpretation is that the Math SPU can give bonuses, I admit it's an interpretation, but hey, he can at least try. :P Even if for no reason other than the Software test, it's still worth trying.

Sphynx

[Edit]FYI: For a TN 5 to build these bad boys, the Edge is well worth it. For the time and money he puts into building a Deck, he can sell it to make it worth having built 2 and paid for programs. :P[/Edit]
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kurukami
post Aug 28 2003, 08:05 PM
Post #23


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 488
Joined: 4-August 03
From: Amidst the ruins of Silicon Valley.
Member No.: 5,242



But suggesting that ALL Software tests get 6 complementary dice for tests because of something that costs less than 12,000 :nuyen: strikes me as a bit whacked. Following that logic, getting a rating 3 math SPU means you always get 6 complementary dice whenever you're creating your own programs... :eek:

Um, no. You want complementary dice for software tests? Buy a programming suite.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ancient History
post Aug 28 2003, 08:48 PM
Post #24


Great Dragon
*********

Group: Members
Posts: 6,748
Joined: 5-July 02
Member No.: 2,935



QUOTE (TinkerGnome)

QUOTE (Ancient History @ Aug 28 2003, 12:07 PM)
A note: for those with money/Essence to burn an don't care to have cybereyes ruin their natural vision, you can install a single cybereye with microscopic vision and a tool laser on the palm of your hand.

Why not just have the microscopic vision done as a retinal mod?


Consider: you're a a troll with thermographic vision, or an elf with low-light, or an adept with funky adept eye-powers.

You don't want to have to replace your eyes, with their natural inherent advantages. So yo install a cybereye in the palm of your left hand, and inside the cybereye you install microscopic vision and a tool laser, maybe even an eye datajack. When you want to do some work, you close one eye, open the one on your hand and hop to it. Tool laser makes up for any loss in manual dexterity.

Plus, it's handy as a surprise tactic in some situations, like looking around a corner, or saying "Talk to the hand" before zapping somebody.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Sphynx
post Aug 28 2003, 09:15 PM
Post #25


Neophyte Runner
*****

Group: Members
Posts: 2,222
Joined: 11-October 02
From: Netherlands and Belgium
Member No.: 3,437



QUOTE (Kurukami)
But suggesting that ALL Software tests get 6 complementary dice for tests because of something that costs less than 12,000 :nuyen: strikes me as a bit whacked. Following that logic, getting a rating 3 math SPU means you always get 6 complementary dice whenever you're creating your own programs... :eek:

Um, no. You want complementary dice for software tests? Buy a programming suite.

First off all, the extra dice only reduce time (you need a success before Comp Dice give bonus successes). So it's not like it is 6 extra Active Skill die.

Secondly, it's not more out of whack than a -2 TN Smartlink. :P

Lastly, yes, you always DO (by our interpretation) get 6 extra Comp Dice when writing programs. Nothing out of balance about that at all. If I didn't spend so much time calculating while programming, I could program ALOT faster. And that's all it means... faster programming, assuming you get a success on the Active skill test.

So, Uhm yes. :P

Sphynx
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

2 Pages V   1 2 >
Reply to this topicStart new topic

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 24th May 2024 - 07:55 PM

Topps, Inc has sole ownership of the names, logo, artwork, marks, photographs, sounds, audio, video and/or any proprietary material used in connection with the game Shadowrun. Topps, Inc has granted permission to the Dumpshock Forums to use such names, logos, artwork, marks and/or any proprietary materials for promotional and informational purposes on its website but does not endorse, and is not affiliated with the Dumpshock Forums in any official capacity whatsoever.