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Narse
To preface I have the corrected 3rd printing of SR4 and no SR gaming experience. However I have noticed some stuff in SR4 that doesn't quite make sense by itself.

First: What the heck do riggers roll for Vehicle tests while 'Jumped into' drones? The description of the vehicle skills and vehicle tests only mention Response + Appropreate Vehicle Skill +/- Handeling. However last time I checked Response is a physical attribute and it doesn't make any sense to me to have someone in Full VR to be using a physical attribute to interact with a matrix entity (the drone). In some circumstances it would make sense for characters who are NOT 'jumped into' a drone or vehicle but are controlling it through the matrix to use Command Program + Skill. But under the rigging section it does say that the the rigger operates a drone "as if it were his own body." and that "Any tests are made using the rigger's own skill and attributes". This makes sense as far as mental skills and atributes are conserned, but not for physical skills/atributes, where the rigger is supposed to be using one body (the drone) but would be rolling the atributes of his other body (meat bod). Besides vehicle skills Gunnery is linked to agility which makes even less sense to be using in VR. Does this mean that riggers are forced to use sensor aided gunnery (where sensor replaces the attribute used)?

Second: Despite the fact that all drones and vehicles seem to be matrix nodes none of their matrix stats are given except pilot (which functions as system). Am I to assume that they use device ratings unless upgraded?

Third: What exactly does the command program do? / How exactly does it work in game terms? on p.226 under the program description it says it lets you controll a device through the matrix e.g. a drone(see p.238) or an agent. On p. 238 under Controlling Drones there is no mention of the command program. But it does say "See Issuing Commands, p.221 for details on instructing drones." On p. 221 under Issuing Commands it says "you can issue commands to an agent, drone (p.238) or sprite with a Simple action. Note that you can issue the same command to multiple agents, drones or sprites with the same acion..." Once again no mention of the command Program. However, right before that on p.220 under Controlling Devices it does say that "Remotely controlling a drone would take a Command + vehicle skill test..." But this seams to be more physical controll rather than issuing a command. Anyways I'm really confused about how this is supposed to work.

Fourth: Are vehicle weapon mounts concealable/hidden or can anyone tell that your van has an Ingram White Knight mounted in a turret on top. (Could be interesting trying to drive that into a high security district.)

Fifth: How big are drones? How big are Large drones? Medium drones? small drones? Specifically, can I fit a Steel Lynx into my van? I think size is somehow related to body but I'm not sure.

Also on an unrelated note: if, as it says under THE DATATRAIL and under Spoofing the Datatrail, every wireless/wired device has an access ID assigned by the manufacturer and most nodes refuse acces to unidentified devices, then how do technomancers acces any nodes? They don't have a serial # do they? So won't they be denied access to almost every node?
Fortune
QUOTE (Narse @ Nov 2 2006, 07:52 PM)
What exactly does the command program do? / How exactly does it work in game terms?

It's a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

Others can and will undoubtedly help you out on the Rigging questions much better than I. smile.gif

Oh, and welcome to Dumpshock.
Blade
1. When the rigger jumps into the drone/vehicle in Full-VR he becomes the drone/vehicle. It's as if he was driving it but without bothering with a steering wheel and pedals. But it's still the rigger who drives. So that's his own reaction that will be used to react to dangers, his own abillity that'll be used when he tries to handle something, his own skill that will be involved when trying to do something.
I admit that using strength is a bit weird. On one hand, Strength consider the ability to control one's strength as well as the physical raw strength. But on the other hand a weak rigger using a 50 tons drone won't try to kick a door open with a rating 1 strength... I guess that's why there's a GM on a gaming table and not just a rulebook.

There are also some exception like perception (through sensors), damage resistance...

2. Response and Signal are based on the hardware (as written on the Sample Devices table p 214 and the Signal Rating table p212). Pilot is used for System and Firewall.

3. The Command program is just used to remotely control something, as if you were controlling it through a remote controller. Basically, there are three ways of controlling something :
a) Asking the pilot program to do something. The pilot will interpret the command and act on its own. You ask a turret to shoot anyone without a specific ID
b) Remotely controlling through the command program. You press left, and the device goes/turns left, you press right and the device goes/turns right. You control the turret with a pad
c) Jumping into the device. You're the turret

4. I'd say GM call on this one. It depends on the vehicle and on the weapon and on where you want it to be. Better to let the GM judge than using cumbersome rules.

5. You can get some examples in the drone section of the gear listing and in the sensor section (I know sensors aren't drones, but I think it's the same scale):
Micro : The size of a coin and smaller. The microskimmer (microdrone) is smaller than a can lid.
Mini : carried in the palm of the hand. The MCT Fly-Spy (mini drone) is the size of a big insect.
Small : Lunchbox-sized
Medium : The size of a guard dog
Large : Bigger than a guard dog

I'd say that you can fit several Medium sized-drone in a van, but only one steel lynx (except if the steel lynx has a "folding option")
Dentris
2. In fact, pilot replaces the system rating, you have to buy separatly your response, firewall and signal.
Jaid
2) yes, they use device ratings. most drones have a device rating of 3. in theory, security and military drones would be higher, but neither the doberman or the steel lynx reflect that in their pilot ratings... (see the device rating table for details)
Eben McKay
1. I am of the opinion that Reaction is more and more a mental attribute than a physical attribute. It seems to cross a lot of lines in terms of when it is applicable.

As for Strength, I'd love to have a table of Strength scores (and weights) for drones. How strong is a Steel Lynx, anyway? How many Dobermans does it take to beat one in tug-of-war? If a rotodrone steals a soda can from my Strength 1 character's grip, how hard do I have to wrestle it back? If my anorexic dwarf jumps off a building and grabs onto a handle on the underside of a rotodrone, how hard will we crash?

I know that many of those situations are ridiculous, but dammit, they come up.

3. The Command program allows the use of remote commands, but more importantly, it is what determines how strong the commands can be. This is most important when wrestling for control of a drone with another hacker.
Serbitar
I recommend to use intuition instead of reaction.

The control software is ONLY applicable when you are not giving orders but want to control for example a drone directly, without jumping in.
Ryu
Military and security drones have higher device ratings but not the best possible pilot. Not in the basic version. Upgrades are a possibility and easy do to the hardware being already present.
Aaron
QUOTE (Narse)
However last time I checked Response is a physical attribute and it doesn't make any sense to me to have someone in Full VR to be using a physical attribute to interact with a matrix entity (the drone).

It still uses Reaction because of the fact that the Control Rig is hooked into the motor cortex in the middle part of the brain. It uses the wetware that the body uses to move itself to instead move the drone (or whatever), as opposed to operating an icon in the Matrix, which is about feeding commands to the processor, rather than kinetics.
Cognitive Resonance
QUOTE (Serbitar)
I recommend to use intuition instead of reaction.

The control software is ONLY applicable when you are not giving orders but want to control for example a drone directly, without jumping in.

Cannon Reference?
lorechaser
QUOTE (Cognitive Resonance)
QUOTE (Serbitar @ Nov 2 2006, 09:13 AM)
I recommend to use intuition instead of reaction.

The control software is ONLY applicable when you are not giving orders but want to control for example a drone directly, without jumping in.

Cannon Reference?

That would be gunnery.
Narse
QUOTE (Blade)
4. I'd say GM call on this one. It depends on the vehicle and on the weapon and on where you want it to be. Better to let the GM judge than using cumbersome rules.

Unfortunately, I will probabyl end up being the GM if I can ever get a group together to play. So... how do you think it should called? pehaps I should look into the SR3 weapon mount rules. I seem to remember that they have entirely too many types of mounts. Unfortunatly I don't have SR3 or Rigger 3 so if anyone would post those rules I would be much obliged.

QUOTE
When the rigger jumps into the drone/vehicle in Full-VR he becomes the drone/vehicle. It's as if he was driving it but without bothering with a steering wheel and pedals. But it's still the rigger who drives. So that's his own reaction that will be used to react to dangers, his own abillity that'll be used when he tries to handle something, his own skill that will be involved when trying to do something.


To those who responded to my question on Reaction (or any questions for that matter) thanks. But like I mentioned, what about Gunnery? How can a character's agility which represents their "fine motor control--manual dexterity, flexibility balance and coordination." be used for remotely controling a vehicle through a device which "harnesses the raw data-coordinating and synchronization power of the middle brain"? If I have an inproved agility cyber-arm would I use that agility? Or is the only option to make riggers use sensor aided gunnery? How about reaction enhancers for Reaction, or adept powers, or magic? Would these enhance a character's ability to make vehicle tests while 'jumped in'? How about Wired reflexes? would its bonus to reaction apply even though its bonus initiative passes wouldn't? And if reaction is indeed used, why do drones the rigger is jumped into go on his Matrix Initiave instead of his meatbod initiative?

QUOTE
On one hand, Strength consider the ability to control one's strength as well as the physical raw strength. But on the other hand a weak rigger using a 50 tons drone won't try to kick a door open with a rating 1 strength...


I've always though agility was more like the ability to control one's strength, thats why you roll agility in meele combat even tho your damage is based off of your strenght. Wouldn't the vehicle equivalent of kicking in a door be raming it? For which there is a set of rules and a damage table. smile.gif

Other things that I forgot to ask:
1. Do smart-links work with vehicle weapons assuming that the gunner is subscribed or otherwise linked to the weapon and has the required gear?
2.Does it say anywhere that you have to have a control rig to 'jump into a drone'?
3.Can you 'jump into' a drone while using cold sim?
4.The advantage of rigging ('jumped in') is that the rigger gets to use his attributes and skills, a +2 dice pool for vehicle tests (from the control rig), and a -1 vehicle test threshold modifer from driving in full VR. The drone also acts on the riggers matrix initiative. Is this correct?
5.The advantages to contoling a drone remotely via the command program is that the pilot can roll Command Program instead of all atributes for physical tests (e.g. not perception) which is very benificial if he has, say a rating 7 command program. The pilot also may recieve the -1 threshold modifer (vehicle tests only) for piloting through VR and the drone acts on the Pilot's matrix initiative. The pilot also doesn't have to wory about resisting any damage the drone takes or about dumpshock, even if in hot sim VR. (Not quite sure about Dumpshock as I'd guess you would probably be dumped if the node you were accessing was destroyed). Is this correct?
6. Their is nothing preventing any character with the gear from using the command program as described in point 5 and there is nothing preventing a rigger from using both the metods described in points 4 and 5 except taking the action to jump into or out of each drone. Is this correct?
7. Is the sensor test mentioned under Active Targeting on p.162, where it references the non-existant Use Sensors on p.239, the same test described under the SENSOR TESTS heading on the same page? That is to say is the test to lock on to a target the same as the test to detect that target? or is it somthing more like a sensor +/- signature test w/ a threshold of 1? This isn't in the rules but it makes sense to me that only sensors and not perception would be required to lock on, howerver this does have the unintended consequence of making it almost impossible to lock on to anything with a lower than average signature, including drones. If any one can find the official rules (it references a section that I can't find) that would be wonderful but if not, comments on this proposed rule would be greatly appreciated.
8. Active and passive targeting can both be used on the same gunnery test, right?
9. Gunnery is the skill used for fireing a wepon from a 'jumped in' drone right?
10. If you posses a drone as per Street Magic rules (technically possible) then what does the new entity use for its physical attributes? is the spirit's force added to body? what the heck do you use for strength? does strength even mean anything for a possed drone? same questions for other physical stats. Does the drone remain accessible from the matrix? can it interact with the matrix as it normaly would? Could you look at this as replacing the pilot of the drone with a spirit? since pilot is rolled inplace of physical attributes and the spirit while not a pilot gives the drone physical attributes.
11. on p.238 of SR3 it says that riggers usually get good scan, command, encypt and sniffer programs. I understand why the command and encrypt, but what the hell do they use scan and sniffer for? They don't need to find their own drones with these programs do they? If the point was to take over other drones wouldn't they need some combination of exploit, spoof and decrypt?
12. It'd be fragin' awesome to upgrade sensors. Is this possible in the core rules?(I can't find any rules on it) if not any suggested house rules would be appreciated.
13. is the Electronic warfare autosoft necisary for a drone to decrypt commands/info sent to it by its controlling persona? It would suck if drones had to be running this 'soft so you could encrypt your communications with them (but it would kind of make sense).
14. Pilot, and firewall (and system too I guess) are all software that can be bought once and then pirated and put on multiple drones right? but if you want to be legal then one should buy a different copy for each drone? Is this the same for autosofts? I would assume it is but the archeatype characters have their autosofts listed in one place as if they were the same for all thier drones. Hardware on the other hand has to be bought (or stolen, or made) separately for each drone, right?
13. Can drones benifit from having smart-linked weapons? essentially do the same ranged combat rules apply to drones?
Serbitar
Note: All my answers are provided "as is" and most of them will not be canon. All answers are out my brainbox without looking things up.

QUOTE ("Narse")

To those who responded to my question on Reaction (or any questions for that matter) thanks. But  like I mentioned, what about Gunnery? How can a character's agility which represents their "fine motor control--manual dexterity, flexibility balance and coordination." be used for remotely controling a vehicle through a device which "harnesses the raw data-coordinating and synchronization power of the middle brain"? If I have an inproved agility cyber-arm would I use that agility? Or is the only option to make riggers use sensor aided gunnery? How about reaction enhancers for Reaction, or adept powers, or magic? Would these enhance a character's ability to make vehicle tests while 'jumped in'? How about Wired reflexes? would its bonus to reaction apply even though its bonus initiative passes wouldn't? And if reaction is indeed used, why do drones the rigger is jumped into go on his Matrix Initiave instead of his meatbod initiative?

Use Intuition.



QUOTE

Other things that I forgot to ask:
1. Do smart-links work with vehicle weapons assuming that the gunner is subscribed or otherwise linked to the weapon and has the required gear?

Yes, as they did in SR3.
QUOTE

2.Does it say anywhere that you have to have a control rig to 'jump into a drone'?

No, you need not have one.
QUOTE

3.Can you 'jump into' a drone while using cold sim?

Yes, just as you can hack with a cold sim.
QUOTE

4.The advantage of rigging ('jumped in') is that the rigger gets to use his attributes and skills, a +2 dice pool for vehicle tests (from the control rig), and a -1 vehicle test threshold modifer from driving in full VR. The drone also acts on the riggers matrix initiative. Is this correct?

Yes.
QUOTE

5.The advantages to contoling a drone remotely via the command program is that the pilot can roll Command Program instead of all atributes for physical tests (e.g. not perception) which is very benificial if he has, say a rating 7 command program. The pilot also may recieve the -1 threshold modifer (vehicle tests only) for piloting through VR and the drone acts on the Pilot's matrix initiative. The pilot also doesn't have to wory about resisting any damage the drone takes or about dumpshock, even if in hot sim VR. (Not quite sure about Dumpshock as I'd guess you would probably be dumped if the node you were accessing was destroyed). Is this correct?

No to the rating part. The avantage of using a control program is, that you do not have to be fully immersed in VR and can do it via AR. Yes to the rest.
QUOTE

6. Their is nothing preventing any character with the gear from using the command program as described in point 5 and there is nothing preventing a rigger from using both the metods described in  points 4 and 5 except taking the action to jump into or out of each drone. Is this correct?

yes.
QUOTE

7. Is the sensor test mentioned under Active Targeting on p.162, where it references the non-existant Use Sensors on p.239, the same test described under the SENSOR TESTS heading on the same page? That is to say is the test to lock on to a target the same as the test to detect that target? or is it somthing more like a sensor +/- signature test w/ a threshold of 1? This isn't in the rules but it makes sense to me that only sensors and not perception would be required to lock on, howerver this does have the unintended consequence of making it almost impossible to lock on to anything with a lower than average signature, including drones. If any one can find the official rules (it references a section that I can't find) that would be wonderful but if not, comments on this proposed rule would be greatly appreciated.

As Rob Boyle would say: The test to detect a target depends totally on the GM. Use Sensor + Clearsight for this (if the drone is doing it), or Sensor + Perception (if the Rigger is doing it).
QUOTE

8. Active and passive targeting can both be used on the same gunnery test, right?

Unsure have to look this up.
QUOTE

9. Gunnery is the skill used for fireing a wepon from a 'jumped in' drone right?

yes.
QUOTE

10. If you posses a drone as per Street Magic rules (technically possible) then what does the new entity use for its physical attributes? is the spirit's force added to body?  what the heck do you use for strength? does strength even mean anything for a possed drone? same questions for other physical stats. Does the drone remain accessible from the matrix? can it interact with the matrix as it normaly would? Could you look at this as replacing the pilot of the drone with a spirit? since pilot is rolled inplace of physical attributes and the spirit while not a pilot gives the drone physical attributes.

Drone+Force for everything.
Yes.
Whatever you think the drone has + force.
Of course.
Same answer.
Yes, but the Spirit wil controll all the mechanical parts.
yes, but keep the answer above in mind,
yes, but the spirit cant "speak" to the matrix
pilot is not rolled for physical atributes, only for "mental attributes" of the drone.
QUOTE

11. on p.238 of SR3 it says that riggers usually get good scan, command, encypt and sniffer programs. I understand why the command and encrypt, but what the hell do they use scan and sniffer for? They don't need to find their own drones with these programs do they? If the point was to take over other drones wouldn't they need some combination of exploit, spoof and decrypt?

They need scan and sniffer to find other drones easily (instead of finding them via sensors). And maybe combat them . . .
QUOTE

12. It'd be fragin' awesome to upgrade sensors. Is this possible in the core rules?(I can't find any rules on it) if not any suggested house rules would be appreciated.

No.
Wait for Arsenal. Will be out soonish. To sad that the sensor rules for cyberware, normal ware and drones are not very unified. That is sthe cas with most parts of SR4. No unification.
QUOTE

13. is the Electronic warfare autosoft necisary for a drone to decrypt commands/info sent to it by its controlling persona? It would suck if drones had to be running this 'soft so you could encrypt your communications with them (but it would kind of make sense).

No. The drone needs to be running encryption, too (as in every two way communication), but does not need any skills.
QUOTE

14. Pilot, and firewall (and system too I guess) are all software that can be bought once and then pirated and put on multiple drones right? but if you want to be legal then one should buy a different copy for each drone? Is this the same for autosofts? I would assume it is but the archeatype characters have their autosofts listed in one place as if they were the same for all thier drones. Hardware on the other hand has to be bought (or stolen, or made) separately for each drone, right?

Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
QUOTE

13. Can drones benifit from having smart-linked weapons? essentially do the same ranged combat rules apply to drones?

15?
Yes.
Blade
I'll try to give canon answers nyahnyah.gif :

About using agility for gunnery, it's because the rigger is the drone. Moving a turret is just like moving a hand. So, the best he can move his hand, the best he'll be able to move the turret.
It may not make much sense, but that's part of the cyberpunk fantasy : the ability to totally merge with the machine (take a look at Walter Jon Williams' Hardwired for a nice example).

1. I don't see any reason why smartlink and vehicle weapon wouldn't be compatible.

2. You can "jump in" without a control rig, but you don't get the +2 dice pool modifier.

3. You just need to be in Full-VR to jump into a drone. Hot sim isn't compulsory, but in cold sim you won't use Matrix Initiative. (I don't think it's written anywhere if rigging benefits from the +2 dice pool bonus of Hot Sim, so GM call on this one (or ask the question to the faq))

4. Yes

5. If you're in AR mode, you don't get any bonus. In VR mode, you get the -1 treshold modifier. Yes, the rigger suffers the dumpshock if the node is destroyed. You can get the +2 dice pool bonus for Hot sim but you don't get the +2 dice pool modifier for the control rig. The rigger is also less aware of what happens : he's alerted by flashing lights or sounds but doesn't "feel" everything that's happening. Also, issuing a command is always a simple action. And beware of this : if you command the drone to shoot something, the drone won't shoot with command+gunnery but with pilot+autosoft. To shoot with command+gunnery, you'll need to directly command the turret and not the drone. (I hope this is clear enough)

6. I guess so

7. What Serbitar said. (I won't contradict someone who cites Rob Boyle)

8. I don't really understand the question. Active targeting is a simple action made prior to shooting (like taking aim) while passive targeting is just another way of shooting (making the gunnery test). You can take aim with active targeting then shoot with passive targeting.

9. Gunnery is used to shoot a vehicle mounted weapon be it manually or through sensors.

10. Whoa, that's magic, I don't deal in this.

11. Scan can be used to discover other's drones. This can complete your sensory input (especially for micro drones). Sniffer can be used to spy on the other drones... Of course spoof can be useful as well, but it needs the hacking skill and rigger can do without it (if they just focus on driving) while scan and sniffer need Electronic Warfare, which is common for riggers.

12. Wait for Arsenal

13. With the proper key decrypting doesn't need a decrypt program. Encrypting doesn't need electronic warfare skill : it just needs the program (the rating of the encryption is twice the rating of the program, no need to roll anything).

14. Hardware has to be made for each drone. As for software, some licenses may allow you to use the same program on several drones at once (or you may buy group-licenses). But if you hack the copy-protection you can easily create false registration key so that each copy will look different. The only trouble with using the same software for all your drones is that once a hacker found how to exploit one, he can exploit each other with the same method.

Return of the 13th question : I'd say yes : the smartlink module on the weapon gives some data that can then be used by the turret as they'd be used by someone.
Jaid
QUOTE (Blade)
5. If you're in AR mode, you don't get any bonus. In VR mode, you get the -1 treshold modifier. Yes, the rigger suffers the dumpshock if the node is destroyed. You can get the +2 dice pool bonus for Hot sim but you don't get the +2 dice pool modifier for the control rig. The rigger is also less aware of what happens : he's alerted by flashing lights or sounds but doesn't "feel" everything that's happening. Also, issuing a command is always a simple action. And beware of this : if you command the drone to shoot something, the drone won't shoot with command+gunnery but with pilot+autosoft. To shoot with command+gunnery, you'll need to directly command the turret and not the drone. (I hope this is clear enough)

he's not talking about commanding the drone to shoot, he's talking about remote controlling the drone. in which case you use command + gunnery, as he said.

and why would you suffer dumpshock for a node you not in being crashed? you were never in the drone's node in the first place (most likely) but rather inside your own home node, and when the drone is destroyed, it is only that node which crashes. i see no reason for a rigger to suffer dumpshock when remotely controlling the vehicle.
Blade
I think that you have to be in the node you try to command to use the command program :
QUOTE ("SR4 p220")
Note that you must first gain access to the device before you can control it.


and its consistent with the rest of the Matrix rules (you can't use an attack program on a node if your persona's not inside)
amra28
QUOTE
First: What the heck do riggers roll for Vehicle tests while 'Jumped into' drones? The description of the vehicle skills and vehicle tests only mention Response + Appropreate Vehicle Skill +/- Handeling. However last time I checked Response is a physical attribute and it doesn't make any sense to me to have someone in Full VR to be using a physical attribute to interact with a matrix entity (the drone). In some circumstances it would make sense for characters who are NOT 'jumped into' a drone or vehicle but are controlling it through the matrix to use Command Program + Skill. But under the rigging section it does say that the the rigger operates a drone "as if it were his own body." and that "Any tests are made using the rigger's own skill and attributes". This makes sense as far as mental skills and atributes are conserned, but not for physical skills/atributes, where the rigger is supposed to be using one body (the drone) but would be rolling the atributes of his other body (meat bod). Besides vehicle skills Gunnery is linked to agility which makes even less sense to be using in VR. Does this mean that riggers are forced to use sensor aided gunnery (where sensor replaces the attribute used)?


Wouldn't the response being referenced in this vehicle test be the response of the commlink used to interface with the drone?
Serbitar
I think he has misspelled reaction for response.
MYST1C
QUOTE (Blade)
Micro : The size of a coin and smaller. The microskimmer (microdrone) is smaller than a can lid.

Interesting - I only noticed this now.
In earlier editions of SR the Sikorsky Microskimmer was about the size of a trashcan lid...

(I remember various people on various occasions contemplating the idea to use a Microskimmer as a "HoverBoard" la Back to the Future 2.)
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