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I have been expirementing with Technomancers lately and down below is a Technomancer who has no complex forms. Instead this Technomancer uses a commlink like the hacker does and equips a large collection of hacking utilities and common use programs to get the job done. This has the advantage of giving my character a large collection of programs to toy with while still having the ability to summon sprites. Not only that she gets a +2 dice pool to matrix perception tests and a biofeedback filter for free. Isn't this the better way to go?

Leonard Thomas
Female Human Technomancer

Bod 2 Cha 3
Agi 3 Int 3
Rea 3 Log 3
Str 2 Wil 3

Edg 4 Res 3 180bp

Qualities +15bp

First Impression
Combat Paralysis

Skills 212bp

Compiling 5
Registering 5
Electronics 3
Cracking 3
Influence 3
Stealth 3
Perception 3
First Aid 3
Climbing 3
Pistols 3

Contacts 7bp

Old Soldier
Male Ork Fixer
Connection 4
Loyalty 4

Resources 20bp
Nuyen spent : 99955

Low Lifestyle 3 Months

Computer Gear - 71400 Nuyen

Satellite Link
Micro-Transeiver 6
Commlink : Fairlight Caliban
/w Response Increase
OS : System 5 - Firewall 5
Agent\IC 4
Analyze 4
Browse 4
Command 4
Edit 4
Encrypt 4
Scan 4
Armor 4
Attack 4
Decrypt 4
Defuse 4
Exploit 4
Medic 4
Stealth 4
Spoof 4
Sniffer 4

Fake SIN 4
AR Gloves

B&E Gear - 15155 Nuyen

Hardware Toolkit
Key Card Copier 6
Maglock Passkey 4
Autopicker 5
Sequencer 4
Medkit 6
20 Stealth Tags
/w Cameras

Weapons Gear - 5000 Nuyen

Yamaha Sakura Fubuki
Smart Linked, Internal
Sound Suppessor
200 Gel Rounds
Concealable Holster

Climbing Gear 975 Nuyen

Climbing Gear
Grapple Gun
Catalyst Stick
Stealth Rope
Reppeling Gloves

Sensory Gear 1425

+ Vision Enhancement 3
+ Image Link
+ Smart Link
+ Low Light Vision
+ Audio Enhancement 3
+ Spatial Recognizer
It seems plausible. The sticking point that I see would be the interpretation of technical skills and cracking. Technomancers can in fact learn to do things both ways, and the spirit of the rules would tend to say that a TM must learn to do things the Technomancer way first.

Reading through the Technomancer Skills section on p. 233, there isn't anything that bars TMs from being hackers with the ability to summon sprites. Though I think that many TMs would find the process backwards and overly complex, an aspect that I hope would be played up in the RP of the character and perhaps explain why they chose to "Ignore their gift"
I tend to agree with McQuillan. Because of the amount of text on the incompatibility of TM and Hackers in regards to teaching, it seems like it would be some what similar with regards to program use. If a hacker can't use complex forms, why should a TM be able to use programs? Though, there are no rules specifically that state that TM's can't use hacker programs the "old fashioned way"
"Technomancers don’t use programs the way hackers do
(though nothing prevents them from picking up a commlink
and going to town if they want that “retro” experience—but few
do)." pg. 233

Up to you, but I think complex forms rock.
Complex forms cost too many BPs and Karma to be effective.

Also, if you're going commlink-hacking, though, don't forget to have a Machine Sprite using Diagnostics on the Commlink. A Rating 6 Sprite will get you an average of 3 extra dice on all your hacking tests.
emo samurai
Yeah, but if you level them up along with your submergence in the matrix, you could have complex forms that go way above the state of the art. And if your GM is having state of the art rules in which equipment degrades relative to what everyone else has, your technomancer stays ahead for free, since the otaku in earlier versions were never really affected by the state of the art either.
Thanks for the comments but I have a few questions for you guys then. I know Technomancers learn their skills differently from Hackers because they use a more "natural" approach but doesn't the technomancer's version of the Electronics and Cracking skill groups encompass the ability to use the programs hackers use? Not only that can't a Technomancer can also write programs on their commlink using their "gifts" so that they can use them for Hacking? After creating this character I'm wondering why anyone use complex forms when they can have a commlink, equip with loads of programs and still retain the ability to summon sprites. Not only that, the Technomancer still gets +2 to Matrix perception tests and a free biofeedback filter. Does anyone besides me see how much this character breaks the original rules for Technomancers?
the catch with a commlink is that you can only use those said programs if you are simming through that commlink. If you are not using your natural persona, you use the programs. If you're using your natural persona, you have no means of using those programs like you would otherwise. Essentially, you are slave to your own natural commlink (natural persona) and you can only use what it allows.

Mind, you could use the programs through the other commlink (or so I guess) if you link through it and give the commands, but that's bound to have some limitation.

as for other programs, the situation still applies. If you want to use an attack program made by someone else, hacker or technomancer, you need to be in the compatible mode to use it. Since there's no sharing with natural persona's I'm aware of, only if you are simming 'old fashion' can you use the program. a program is a program however, so one made by a techno is just as good and reliable as one made by the hacker/whatever.

the difference between the skills of a techno and a mundane are that the techno simply 'makes it', this is Neo shoving his hand in your chest and making your heart beat again. the mundane has to devise the code to work in that area, pump this, stimulate that, etc, etc. It's a different language. the end product is useable, but it's greek if you try to modify something being built.

or something like that, heh. nyahnyah.gif two technomancers can double up devising a program, but a hacker and a techno can't, more or less.

yes, a technomancer can devise programs for a commlink, as I sorta said above.

your last part also relates to what I said earlier. the Natural Persona and the commlink persona don't interact together. they're on separate languages. You don't get your techno perks with a regular commlink, but you can use the programs you have installed. that doesn't include your natural biofeedback filter, nor your +2. Likewise, if you use the Natural Persona, you can't really use the programs because they don't interact on the natural level the NP does, but the complex form you have is a part of you, and always available.

That's the benefit of a Complex form - it will NEVER change. you can't hack it, steal it, copy it, etc. it is yours and yours alone. You don't even have to put a lot of points into it, just thread it to satisfactory levels later.

Sprites, I'm not so sure of. in AR and using the Natural Persona, I believe there's not a problem at all. In theory, you can use them even when you're going through your commlink. Read up on the process to find out I guess. ^-^;

I hope that made some sense. I'm kinda sick right now, bored, and trying to supply answers.
Doesn't being a Technomancer give an advantage while using a commlink? It seems to me that Technomancers would be able to use a commlink better than anyone because they are able to "read its mind" so to speak. And isn't the Technomancers Biofeedback filter built into their brain?
the biofeedback doesn't matter unless something fries you. If I recall, that requires simming. I don't think ICE can hit you that way when in AR...although if it can, I suppose you would have the filter then. the better filter that is actually involved would apply, not both. so you can't hope for a commlink filter and your natural one. Kinda like armor.

that +2 the sake of being so fluid in the world. If you were doing it personally, and not through the commlink, I'd give it to you, but when going through the commlink alone, you're relying on it to give you the information, and thus you are limited by its speed. Difference of using a real commlink versus your natural 'commlink'.
I guess this is the real issue:

What special Technomancer abilities are available when using a commlink?

I believe the answer is: None.

"Technomancers have a special attribute called Resonance
that indicates their capability to access and manipulate the
Matrix with their minds alone... The attributes
of this persona cannot exceed his Resonance rating..." pg. 232

When a Technomancer uses a commlink, choosing to use a persona instead of his living persona, he's not using Resonance or his special ability to manipulate the matrix. So, effectively, he has a Resonance of 0 when using an artificial persona.

With a Resonance of 0, none of his special abilities will work, to include using complex forms, and compiling sprites. The biofeedback filter is a complex form, so that's gone too. I believe the +2 bonus to matrix perception tests is lost as well, but it's debatable. However, it seems clear to me that the bonus is due to Resonance.
Even if you don't plan to hack the Technomancer way and instead choose to use a Commlink, there's still precious little reason to not have Complex Forms for passive programs like Stealth and Armor. By using them as Complex Forms, you can run them continuously without jacking up the Response delay.

What I would say is that the complex forms and bonuses are in full effect- where the living persona is. If you're hacking with a commlink, that would be the inside of said commlink.
Are you guys saying that complex forms work even while I'm using a commlink.
Whats the consensus on using complex forms in addition to programs?
Your complex forms work, but remember that the node your living persona is on is your commlink, so that's where all your compiled sprites appear. So, if someone hacks into your commlink, you can whack them with that Black Hammer complex form, but otherwise, you couldn't.
QUOTE (skyekicker)
doesn't the technomancer's version of the Electronics and Cracking skill groups encompass the ability to use the programs hackers use?  Not only that can't a Technomancer can also write programs on their commlink using their "gifts" so that they can use them for Hacking?

Electronics group is, I believe, the same.

Cracking group is a little tougher. You might post that question in the hacking sticky.

No, a techno cannot use their gifts to write programs on their commlink. If the techno has the correct skills, they can write new programs using the same rules as your general hacker. If you want to use their gifts, you will be using complex forms...or threading, which I personally think is one of the true strengths of the technomancer.
First off, I feel the book is pretty clear that hacker's version of hacking is completely different than Technomancer hacking. It would be like knowing English and then trying to write in Chinese, no connections at all.
Second, I would say no complex forms work on a commlink at all. Even passive ones. Your icon is something provided by the commlink, any protection you may have through complex forms and such is for your mind, not the commlink.
For things like black IC and such, they do state that Technomancer 'code' is completely different than regular. If it was going through the commlink I would rule this is a form of attack your complex forms are not ready for at all. Although, I will admit, after typing that it doesn't seem like quite as good of an arguement as when I started typing considering that if a Technomancer was in VR and attacked by black IC they can still damage him. Note my hesitation is only about black IC, anything attacking your icon is not effected by your complex form.
As far as registering sprites while using a commlink I would say no way. Commlink wouldn't know what to do with your commands and, if I remember right, the sprite is connected through your resonance (when it dies your notice) hence going through a commlink wouldn't work for registering sprites.
As a house rule I would also not allow a Technomancer to have a higher hacker version of a skill than his resonance version of the skill. This is simply in the spirit of Technomancers see the world in a different light. You can't force someone who see's in color to see in black and white or something like that. Hence, if they don't have the Technomancer version of the skill they can't have the hacker version.
For people who were normal hackers and 'awakened' to the new matrix I would rule that is a fundamental shift in their perception so they follow the same rules stated above.
As a personal note, a Technomancer, atleast in my game, would need a damn good reason to prefer a commlink over their normal form of surfing. Like, a better reason than a street sammy starting out with delta wired reflexes or such. I have personally decided most Technomancers have commlinks, to broadcast their SINs and to blend in, but most of them never use it at all, they simply turn it on so they don't get harrassed and then swear when it starts beeping at them and such. Sometime I make them roll as if they have incompetence just for kicks.
As a second personal note, Technomancer's complex forms, while expensive can be damn valuable. I don't have the copy of the book in front of my but I recall realizing that a Technomancer could get some complex form, thread it, and be untracable to any non-Technomancers online. I forget what it is, but you can effectively eliminate their dice pool or something like that. It's pretty useful.
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