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> Arrrggg, Technomancers
Pelaka
post Sep 13 2005, 04:11 PM
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Is anyone else really disappointed with Technomancers. I really think they have gone WAY too far making Technomancers mage rip-offs, especially the translation of essence, summoning and meta plane rules into the matrix. In the past it was always up in the air if oakatu were magical or not. If they aren't magical, then FanPro just pissed all over them by killing much of what was distinctive about them to force them into the same game mechanics as mages.

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JesterX
post Sep 13 2005, 04:17 PM
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Nahh I think they are just fine. In fact, I really think that they are now much more interessant to play (and to have in a Shadowrunner's group) than the previous Otakus.
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mfb
post Sep 13 2005, 04:18 PM
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technomancers are one of the big reasons i dislike SR4. one of the biggest problems, second only to the technomancers-are-magical aspect (it's not said, but it's hard to draw any other conclusion), is that there's no flavor to technomancers. there's no real indicator of what it's like to be a technomancer, or how they're percieved by society, or even how common they are. they're just a collection of mechanics. this is exceptionally disappointing to me because SR3 otaku were so very interesting and well-described.

i agree that technomances are easier to include in a runner group, and that's definitely a good thing. however, they sacrificed a lot of flavor--all the flavor, really, especially for new SR players.
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mmu1
post Sep 13 2005, 04:26 PM
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I don't like them either - they're just a different kind of magician with the serial numbers scratched off, which leads to nonsensical rules like these technomancers not being able to implant cyber without losing their powers. Basically, they're the biggest example in SR4 of something dumbed down for the sake of keeping the rules as simple as possible.

They're also a manifestation of something else I hate - letting magicians and adepts do more and more things that used to be the province of the cybered. It takes the feel of the game in directions I dislike (since I feel it makes about as much sense as letting mundanes implant cyber that'll replicate the effects of magical spells) and it's mechanically unsound since, unlilke Essence, Magic and Resonance still remain uncapped.

All we need now is a "nanomancer" who'll have an implanted hive containing a nanobot swarm he can release to attack other people, camouflage things, create a shield around himself, repair tissue damage, and temporarily use machines or parts therof to create "servitors", and we'll have succeeded in creating a generic system where magic and cyber use the same bland flavorless rules...
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Fortune
post Sep 13 2005, 04:31 PM
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I could do without them, and probably will in games I run. Of course, the same was true for Otaku in previous editions.
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blakkie
post Sep 13 2005, 04:33 PM
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QUOTE (mfb @ Sep 13 2005, 10:18 AM)
technomancers are one of the big reasons i dislike SR4. one of the biggest problems, second only to the technomancers-are-magical aspect (it's not said, but it's hard to draw any other conclusion),

*wacks mfb with a dead fish* They don't appear to be awakened(magical). At least don't show up as such Assensing, they have a very different catagory there.

QUOTE
is that there's no flavor to technomancers. there's no real indicator of what it's like to be a technomancer, or how they're percieved by society, or even how common they are. they're just a collection of mechanics. this is exceptionally disappointing to me because SR3 otaku were so very interesting and well-described.
i agree that technomances are easier to include in a runner group, and that's definitely a good thing. however, they sacrificed a lot of flavor--all the flavor, really, especially  for new SR players.


Yes, Otaku got a whole chunk of an adventure book to themselves where they were pretty damn central to it. Plus they were more defined over time because the tribes and Dues' chosen were directly smack in the middle of the metaplot path.

On the other hand Technos are new, and besides the BBB only SF had a chance at the end to give more of an immediate rundown on them, and it is my impression from others that SF was tight on word count for post-crash as it was.

You can't expect too much fluff in the BBB. It has to introduce ALL archtypes. There is an interesting chapter heading that mentions some curious info about technos. At the start of the chargen a MCT employee lost his coworker wife when the corp tried surgery to bring out her latent techno qualities. That she apparently picked up from working in Boston at the time of the Crash? At least that is what it seems like from the characters POV. Very bizzare.

EDIT: ...and i must say very unmage like to have surgery at least believed to be a possible means for activation of latent abilities. It could end up being little more than superstition or at least a research error, but still it suggests something very different is going on.
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mfb
post Sep 13 2005, 04:39 PM
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QUOTE (blakkie)
*wacks mfb with a dead fish* They don't appear to be awakened(magical). At least don't show up as such Assensing, they have a very different catagory there.

i have yet to see a remotely believable explanation for radio brains that doesn't involve magic. you can say it's not magic all you like, but since a) there isn't even a plausible theory that doesn't involve magic, and b) they use, with next to 0 variance, the same rules magicians use, i'm going to disagree and say it looks a hell of a lot like magic.

QUOTE (blakkie)
You can't expect too much fluff in the BBB.

i'm asking for some fluff--a basic picture of who these freaks are. i don't think that's asking for too much.
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BitBasher
post Sep 13 2005, 04:41 PM
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QUOTE
there's no real indicator of what it's like to be a technomancer, or how they're percieved by society, or even how common they are.
Considering their point cost is what, 5 out of 400, They should be as common as dirt.
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blakkie
post Sep 13 2005, 04:48 PM
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QUOTE (mfb @ Sep 13 2005, 10:39 AM)
QUOTE (blakkie)
*wacks mfb with a dead fish* They don't appear to be awakened(magical). At least don't show up as such Assensing, they have a very different catagory there.

i have yet to see a remotely believable explanation for radio brains that doesn't involve magic. you can say it's not magic all you like, but since a) there isn't even a plausible theory that doesn't involve magic, and b) they use, with next to 0 variance, the same rules magicians use, i'm going to disagree and say it looks a hell of a lot like magic.

We went over this already, thus the dead fish. :D Molecular level engineering (from whatever source) that sits on the blury line between biological and nanomachine. Highly probable IRL? Nah, but neither is the Magnus Factor (and NO that isn't saying technos are SR Magic).

QUOTE
QUOTE (blakkie)
You can't expect too much fluff in the BBB.

i'm asking for some fluff--a basic picture of who these freaks are. i don't think that's asking for too much.


Well i quoted one bit of fluff that gives you an idea that:
1) they are believed to exist in a latent state, a state were they are more technically inclined even without being able to explicitly hook up to the Matrix
2) at least one corp believes you can uncover the ability through [dangerous] surgery
3) they can be average wage slave, and corps also seek to employ them, suggesting they aren't nearly as locked into social tribes like Otaku were
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blakkie
post Sep 13 2005, 04:53 PM
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QUOTE (BitBasher @ Sep 13 2005, 10:41 AM)
QUOTE
there's no real indicator of what it's like to be a technomancer, or how they're percieved by society, or even how common they are.
Considering their point cost is what, 5 out of 400, They should be as common as dirt.

Adepts are 5. Are they common as dirt? Mages are 15, are they a lot less common than Adepts, or even Mystic Adepts?

Come on Bit, you know damn well that game costs don't translate directly to rarity in the population. At least they shouldn't. :P

P.S. Those 5 BP are a very small part of the Technos cost.
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Earthwalker
post Sep 13 2005, 05:01 PM
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I like them but I would like to see alot more information about tem other then just rules for there creation.

I liked the Otaku but never really saw any in my games and they were quickly dismissed, or it appears so by my players.
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Superbum
post Sep 13 2005, 05:33 PM
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They remind me off an otaku variant some folks and I on the old dumpshock forums messed around with. These guys could see wavelengths on top of their normal vision and could interact with them. This was how they could remote with the matrix and/or vehicles.

However, I don't get the whole "cyber/bio" is bad for them when they are a "technological" archetype. It was purely placed there for game balance.
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Xenith
post Sep 13 2005, 05:40 PM
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I enjoy the concept of technomancers... although I would find it more interesting if they were able to implant cyber. In all honesty I like them better than a bunch of ubber teens running around decking like (or better than) pros.

As for them being magical... I damn well hope not. An alternate theory... since apparently they had to be in the matrix when they were "reborn"... is that the nanites working with their datajacks were reprogrammed to create a biological wireless device in their heads... and it apparently ate the datajack in the process.

I do, however, agree that more flavor/fluff is needed. They need to be fleshed out, if only for our own entertainment. :)
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hahnsoo
post Sep 13 2005, 06:40 PM
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We've house-ruled that Resonance losses only occur for every FULL point of Essence that you lose (essentially, you round your Essence Loss down instead of up when determining Resonance loss). That way, Technomancers can load up some 'ware, including the ever-present datajack. Also, they require a Commlink or something similar to transmit, but not receive, Wireless Matrix feeds (and they still use their living persona... they just need a "signal repeater" to channel through), and a Sim Module to go full VR (just like Otaku, who required an ASIST converter to do their mojo). Really, while all of those mechanics are a bit cumbersome, the Technomancers pretty much turn out to be the same as their non-House Rule counterparts, just a bit more complicated (and plausible).

I like Sprites. I'm not too fond of the fact that Technomancers are a bit gimped compared to out-of-the-box Hackers, but Sprites are the ultimate equalizer. If you don't have a Complex Form for a mundane operation, then just summon up a Sprite and have it do the job for you. You can have registered sprites sustain Threading, even, or have a Sprite add its rating to a Complex Form. Sprites just plain kick the snot out of anything else on the Matrix, and are a very potent edge for a budding Technomancer.
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Pelaka
post Sep 13 2005, 07:04 PM
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I actually like the back-story and flavor of technomancers... what I hate is that they use the same mechanics as mages, and that much of their abilities they seem to get not because they make sense, but because... well, mages can summon/banish/bind so lets have technomancers be able to do that too.

I would have much prefered that their interaction wtih sprites be very different then mages with spirts... perhaps more along the lines of familiars rather then summoning. Or the ability to interact/control sprites that already exist in the wilds of the matrix, rather then summoning them out of the astral plane... opps, resonance. The whole essense thing also really annoys me... especially since you have to really twist your background to create a character that somehow magically got made into a technomancer that didn't already have cyber implanted.

Pel.
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Pelaka
post Sep 13 2005, 07:12 PM
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On the other hand, I really like threading. Its a great example of how the magic-science confusion of technomancers should be handled. Its a different game mechanic then any in magic... but it fits well with the overall system (I would just get rid of sustaining threading and say that threads degrade one rank per full turn unless maintained by a sprite). However, it also hints strongly that their "might" be a magical connection. Plus, I would love to see some shadow play on the reaction of the IE's and dragons to learning about technomancers developing the technique of "threading within the matrix to boost the power of their complex forms" ;-)

Pel
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Shadow_Prophet
post Sep 13 2005, 07:14 PM
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Ok actualy looking at the technomancer stuff today I have a few opinions on this.

Technomancers only seem magical when you compare the rule sets. Theoreticaly wise one might say the brain waves of the technomancer are altered in such a way that they closely mimic wireless signals. Also that their brain is more attuned to the wireless transmissions as well. Due to the appearance of the otaku, and the crash one might theorize that there was a suddent evolutionary mutation that effected the change in such a way that they are able to percieve and manipulate the matrix this way, sort of like SURGE, and Goblinization, but in a less radical manner.

Anyways onto other things. The fluff for technomancers is there if you look for it. There's not alot mind you. But there's about the same amount of fluff as there is for anything else, and certainly plenty of plot hooks discovering more about them.

Reading the rules I actualy have a couple of questions concerning them, and actualy hackers. Wired matrixs. Maybe I'm missing a few things here (which is why i'm here) but unless technomancers get a datajack they can't access a wired network with their living persona? Or atleast thats the way it seems. I'm assuming with a comlink and trodes they could access a wired one...but not with their living persona? Its very confusing i think in that regard since the book itself does make reference to the fact that wired networks exist still and that they're there for security purposes (harder to get to) and or they're obsolete systems that haven't been updated.

Another question I had was concerning SIN information and technomancers. SIN's bank acounts all that good stuff in 2070 is stored on your comlink at rating 5 encryption. But Technomancers have no inherent organic memory so how does this work with them? Especialy since it's elluded to in AAA sec zones they would get scaned and their sin checked.

Anyways If anyone can answer those questions or point me to where I might find the answers I'd be much obliged :)
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Bandwidthoracle
post Sep 13 2005, 07:19 PM
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QUOTE (Pelaka)
I actually like the back-story and flavor of technomancers... what I hate is that they use the same mechanics as mages, and that much of their abilities they seem to get not because they make sense, but because... well, mages can summon/banish/bind so lets have technomancers be able to do that too.

I would have much prefered that their interaction wtih sprites be very different then mages with spirts... perhaps more along the lines of familiars rather then summoning. Or the ability to interact/control sprites that already exist in the wilds of the matrix, rather then summoning them out of the astral plane... opps, resonance. The whole essense thing also really annoys me... especially since you have to really twist your background to create a character that somehow magically got made into a technomancer that didn't already have cyber implanted.

Pel.

I kinda think they lost something from otaku to technomancer, but then I really loved otaku.
Technomancers are not bad, they just don't seem fleshed out as Otaku.
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blakkie
post Sep 13 2005, 07:22 PM
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They should be able to hook up wirelessly with a commlink and have it jack into a hardwired system. They need a commlink anyway, don't they? Or can they broadcast their ID and other socially required info? Or is someone without an [obvious] commlink or means to do so exempt from broadcasting their ID in the required areas?

Note, i don't know if the commlink would present a pontential choke point on their complex forms, etc? If it did i don't see why you couldn't build a dumb repeater that just pasted data straight through.
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Cynic project
post Sep 13 2005, 07:26 PM
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What about Hermetics? Do they get the shaft again?
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Shadow_Prophet
post Sep 13 2005, 07:32 PM
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QUOTE (blakkie)
They should be able to hook up wirelessly with a commlink and have it jack into a hardwired system. They need a commlink anyway, don't they? Or can they broadcast their ID and other socially required info? Or is someone without an [obvious] commlink or means to do so exempt from broadcasting their ID in the required areas?

Note, i don't know if the commlink would present a pontential choke point on their complex forms, etc? If it did i don't see why you couldn't build a dumb repeater that just pasted data straight through.

I don't know Blakie hence my questions :-/

Thats the major issues that I don't think they discuss in the book concerning them which, well, as a GM and player I need to know.

As for them not being as fleshed out. Well thats true. They don't have a entire section in a suplemental book, or pages after pages of background and story in dozens of different source and adventure books. But then again they're also new to the scene.
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blakkie
post Sep 13 2005, 07:43 PM
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If i was GM i'd say one of those ways or the other they can get in. :) Definately the later, though they'll have to either build it themselves or drop cash on a contact to have one custom made (until the appropriate core supp. book comes out, where i assume there will be lots of gadgets like that).

Are you following the few commlink related threads here, which are postulating on how you can relay signals with commlinks and stuff? That should give better insight into how you or your GM might rule on things.
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Shadow_Prophet
post Sep 13 2005, 07:55 PM
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I've glanced over them. Laughed at a great deal of them, especialy the ones with the idea of using multiple comlinks to spread out a hackers workload.

The idea of repeating the signal is iffy to me. But I haven't overly looked into it.

As for the technomancer thing, the comlink idea is semi plausible, just treat it like another system, but one they have all the access codes too. That I suppose solves one issue.

The other is the ID info. Since techno's are essentialy living comlinks with no storage memory I would imagine they'd be treated just like any normal comlink in that regard. They are always broadcasting and recieveing information. So they'd have the different modes...just not sure how the broadcasting of the ID would work...though i suppose you could store it in your jacket ;) like they talk about with storing your mp3's there. I don't know thoughts suggestions?
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SL James
post Sep 13 2005, 08:48 PM
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QUOTE (blakkie @ Sep 13 2005, 10:48 AM)
QUOTE (mfb @ Sep 13 2005, 10:39 AM)
QUOTE (blakkie)
*wacks mfb with a dead fish* They don't appear to be awakened(magical). At least don't show up as such Assensing, they have a very different catagory there.

i have yet to see a remotely believable explanation for radio brains that doesn't involve magic. you can say it's not magic all you like, but since a) there isn't even a plausible theory that doesn't involve magic, and b) they use, with next to 0 variance, the same rules magicians use, i'm going to disagree and say it looks a hell of a lot like magic.

We went over this already, thus the dead fish. :D Molecular level engineering (from whatever source) that sits on the blury line between biological and nanomachine. Highly probable IRL? Nah, but neither is the Magnus Factor (and NO that isn't saying technos are SR Magic).

So simsense can create nanites out of thin air now?

Wow. That's just fucking stupid.

QUOTE (Xenith)
As for them being magical... I damn well hope not. An alternate theory... since apparently they had to be in the matrix when they were "reborn"... is that the nanites working with their datajacks were reprogrammed to create a  biological wireless device in their heads... and it apparently ate the datajack in the process.

And their Math SPUs, headware memory, encephaelons, cerebral boosters, and any other bioware and cyberware they had implanted.

And then after pulling off that miracle, they did one better by restoring said Otaku to Essence 6.

What a bunch of horse shit.
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Synner
post Sep 13 2005, 08:54 PM
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QUOTE (SL James)
And their Math SPUs, headware memory, encephaelons, cerebral boosters, and any other bioware and cyberware they had implanted.

And then after pulling off that miracle, they did one better by restoring said Otaku to Essence 6.

Wow! Here I was thinking I'd read the relevant sections throughly but I missed that bit. Mind providing a page reference?
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