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I'm trying to plan for runners encountering a guard dog and killing it in melee without gunfire but seem to be missing something somehow.

QUOTE (Critters p5)
Whether critters are trained to attack or are simply defending their young or their territory, critters that attack a runner team use the standard combat rules presented on pp. 100-129 of SR3, except as noted here.
The Combat Pool is calculated the same as for a character: Quickness + Intelligence + Willpower, divided by 2 (round down).
Critters can use a number of Combat Pool dice equal to their Reaction for attacks.

QUOTE (Critters p19)
Dog, large: B:3 Q:4(x5) S:3 [...] R:4 Attacks:6M

I checked SR3 p122 and just as I expected, the attacker's or defender's success test is to roll Skill+Combat pool against TN4, count the successes. What's the guard dog's Skill rating? Equal to strength? Intelligence? Essence? Or does it have no Skill, only a Combat pool (and it can't even use its whole Q+I+W/2 if that's higher than its Reaction score)?

Once the dog and the runner have rolled their melee test I guess the dog's net successes stage 6M up or the runner's net successes stage it down. I am only stuck on what the dog rolls against TN4.
Equal to Reaction. Staging occurs as normal for melee.

Kanada Ten
Yeah, Reaction, as Kage noted (it sort of implies it even in your quote). A neat trick is to strap a biomonitor/transceiver/camera to the dog with an added autoinjector loading a doggie version of Jazz. The transceiver signals security if the biomonitor shows abnormality (along with location), and the autoinjector is trigger by the release of adrenaline or such (maybe even a signal).
Oh good smile.gif I was hoping I didn't have to give it critter cyberware and skillsoft: kung-fu for it to be even remotely challenging. Reaction fits well, and yes that explains why combat pool dice allocated cannot exceed reaction dice. Thanks guys. Is there a reference somewhere that clearly states Reaction should be used and I just missed it?
Kanada Ten
Yep. It's described in the "Statistics Key" on SR3.265.
Unlike D&D, SR isnot really designed for fighting monsters. They have 'em, as shown here, but the usual competition are other people with guns, not neo-otyghs and bug bears.
Sez you!

James McMurray
QUOTE (Snow_Fox)
other people with guns, not neo-otyghs and bug bears.

Bugbears are people too! Friggin' racists!
Kanada Ten
Not to go completely off-topic, but remember that corps are going to be breeding and training these animals as killers. That means increased Strength, Quickness and maybe even Intelligence from the averages listed. In addition to pumping the animals with drugs on demand, they will train with strong boundary limits and other commands - through runners can use that to their advantage. Additionally, spells like invisibility and silence work just as well with animal subjects compared to humans.

When we start talking 2070, things get even more interesting. One could wire the dogs with simsense that blocks proper RFID targets from the animal's senses. Meaning that even if the animals are a bit unstable, they won't attack what doesn't exist to their minds. And while that gives the runners a way in, it also means they have to broadcast in areas best suited to RF silence.
James McMurray
Invisibility and silence aren't quite as useful against something with a dog's sense of smell, especially if that dog is trained to go wild if it smells something it can't see.
Kanada Ten
Um, I mean using them as subjects, not targets - ie, make the dog invisible.
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