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Full Version: Hacker & technomancer - why compromise?
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I've been brought into an SR4 game and I have a character concept, but I realized it was umm... 'interesting'. I was hoping to make a character who got heavily into hardware, became a technomancer, but decided decking without the hardware isn't as much fun, so basically 'went back'. He doesn't have to be a whiz-hot decker (or technomancer), since he's a hardware guy at heart, but I was wondering, what would happen if I made an unwilling technomancer?

Going through, obviously I'd spend the 5 points to be a technomancer, giving me resonance of 1. I notice though that, unlike the magic rules of SR3, there's nothing that would indicate reducing resonance to 0 would make the character no longer a technomancer, so should he decide to get a datajack, he simply rolls solely his skill in any technomancer tests, and can boost resonance later through karma expenditure. So, can I have a resonance of 0 and still be a technomancer? Obviously, if I get 5 points of cyber, I need to "buy" 6 points of resonance to get an effective resonance of 1.

Regardless, continuing on... He has a deck and a datajack (and he likes wires more than radio signals, thank you). He plugs into the 'trix. He can obviously use programs. Can he also use Complex Forms? I would assume his persona is made up of the deck, not from his mental powers in that case (or can he choose?) He has the option of hot or cold sim, since the information is being translated. He can compile sprites and work with agents. He can use Matrix Perception to read signatures, and can undergo submersion once his Resonance rating is up, correct?

What are thoughts and comments on this? Am I missing something, or does this character concept sound tenable?
I expect that resonance 0 effectivly destroys your ability to do anything technomancer wise. Any GM would simply stat you were no longer a TM... just as if you'd been a mage.

That said, assuming you kept your resonance at least at 1, you could do this (cool concept btw)...

but... you would still have your living persona, in effect you'd have TWO persona's doing this. I believe there is a comment that suggests you need to buy TM and Non-TM versions of the hacking skills, but that's open to interpretation. You would run your Complex forms and sprites off your living persona and your programs off of you commlink's persona. You might even need to duplicate effort hacking wise, once for each persona. You gain flexibility and really lose nothing, but it could be a pain to run.
It's an interesting idea.
There's definitely a comment about needing to buy different hacking skills.
I agree that there would be two personas. I'm not sure how much work would really have to be duplicated. Once you've hacked your way in and found an exploit wouldn't it be trivial to send that exploit to the other persona? I don't know, that's probably going to be up to your GM.
I can't see any reason why you couldn't do this, I'm just not sure there'd be much to gain from it. Well, sprites, I guess, would be the big thing.
Definitely an intriguing possibility.
The flavor on the character is interesting. If you were willing to put in the effort to play it and work out with your GM a few of the particulars (most/all of which are covered in the above posts), I can't see what would prevent you. I would even say you were technically a technomancer even with 0 res, just like you can be a burned out mage who cybered up. I see pretty much no difference there.
This reminds me of the techno-wiz I made in SR3 who goblinized into a troll later in life. Suddenly couldn't remember certain words and was really frustrated because he remembered being smart but wasn't anymore. Called him Phoenix Reborn.

As a GM I'd have no problem with this in priniciple. I'd say that you can't have Resonance 0. You can't have your cake (Resonance) and eat it too (cyberware). However, you can remedy by taking Resoncance 2 and losing one point to 'ware. I'd also only allow you to have 1 persona active at a time meaning that you'd have to log on separately, can only act in one at a time, and if you want communications between the two you'd have to have them actively subscribed to each other.

Pretty cool 'though.
ALso talk to your GM:

By RAW: Compter and Hacking skills are 'different' for Technomancers and Hackers.

So you would need Computer-TM and Computer-normal and Hacking-TM and Hacking-normal (or the individual skills under each group).

Note: As TMs are weaker then their coutnerpart and already the biggest Karma hog in game, my GM is allowing TM to use the same skills. Treating it for a poor example like the difference between C and C++. Normals program in C, while the TM is learning C++.

THe TM, CAN do anything the normal can do (and then if on the right system) more.

It is a slight change but makes TM more doable in my opinion (especially as starting characters) allowing them to 'hack' starting out and get the advantage of good programs and commlink, but still if stripped / high secuirty / etc have the 'innate' abilities to help out.
Catharz Godfoot
My suggestion is ignore all the 'forms' (everbody hates filling out forms), and just grab Compiling. Use your technomancer side to make sprites, and your hacker side to do the hacking.

Now you can be an 'unwilling' technomancer. You can ignore the constant 'buzz' of info in the back of your brain, you can use a real comlink and coded programs, but these damn' sprites just won't leave you alone!

Treating it for a poor example like the difference between C and C++.  Normals program in C, while the TM is learning C++.

Nah, technomancers think in
Nostalgic Jester
eek.gif I am running a very similar concept! Mine is an old matrix hacker who has just recently became a technomancer and has chosen to keep on running (in biggrin.gif ) the matrix like most folks out there do. All and all, very nice flavorwise and not complicated ruleswise.

Just remember that all but one of the abilities technomancers have are heavily restricted by their resonance rating, that ability being their +2 bonus to all matrix perception tests. So, even deciding that a technomancer does not burnout by reaching resonance 0 and that the skills he uses are somewhat different than the regular ones but still being the same ones (we agree on both rulings), do not forget that with resonance 0 your living persona attribute ratings equal 0 as do the ones of your complex forms and sprites...

As for running two personas at the same time and them both being active, I do not think that would be possible. You would have to focus on one or the other, just as when any persona is active in more than one node. Basically, for us would be like having two different bodies and using them both at the same time (which could bring a whole new meaning to err... "playing by one´s self" biggrin.gif ).
I thought that it was silly to have two different versions of programming so I got rid of it. Technomancers can and do use normal programming. They can augment their programs with complex forms. They don't have to.

This way they are not another way to do hackers. They ARE hackers with special powers.
TM is hacker+ not a new creature: (in my games).

Commlink Persona + Living Persona is completely legal.

Heck I can see nothing in the rules that prohibit:

Commlink Persona A + Commlink Persona B
(Since the persona is running on a commlink if you have a DNI to 2 commlinks no reason you cant have two persona's).

Now multiple persona's have the same dis-advantage as multiple connections with a single persona.

In any given phase you may only act in a single persona.

I allow damage resitance rolls, but no defense rolls, not even perception rolls. If you act with Persona A, and Persona B is attacked in the same phase, you will now you were attacked but that is it, nothing about the attacker, etc.

Commlink Persona's have no access to reasonnance.

While it is possible to 'loan' out sprites the same way you can loan an spirit to muindances, they can only function a glorified agents.

A sprite could be told (by the living persona) to go to the Commlink Persona and obey it. (would require a 'phase' to be spent as the living persona to issue the orders, though Sprite presumably has access through the TM to the commlink persona).

The sprite could obey orders to 'attack', Defend / Protect, Decrypt, disarm, etc as appropriate, but it couldnt not 'aid' in tasks, (well if team work rolls allowed for things like probing, then it could 'aid' as in a team work roll)., Sustain threading (no threads to sustain) etc.

The +2 matrix perception only applies to things viewed through the 'living persona' as it can see the underlying realities / code. A commlink persona makes a normal perception roll.

Excellent concept.

I played a game of SR2 with a dude who made a Mage, but whose only dream was to be a pilot. He had the magic mojo, but went and got himself cybered up to control vehicles, thereby destroying his magic rating.

Just because you're born with a gift doesn't mean you want it. For instance, I know a lot of really talented musicians who work in other fields, (an electrician, a military guy, and a cubicle wageslave), having given up on their music long ago...

Myself, I disappointed my dear old mum because I studied History instead of science or engineering in university. I have a natural aptitude for mathematics, but was never interested to pursue it.
Big D
I agree with the owl.

As long as it's not clearly against the intention of the devs to do this, I don't see any unsurmountable balance issues. You're paying BP/karma through the nose for the option to connect and do things both ways, especially if you pay twice for each skill.

The big balancer is the fact that each persona would be counted as a different session, meaning that the rules for multiple sessions (only acting in one at a time, able to be attacked in all at the same time) apply. Also, I believe that there's a -2 involved in there somewhere.

Plus, just because your commlink sleazed through a node doesn't mean that your TM persona can follow. You'll either have to waste time creating a new account for the second user (that won't trip alarms), or face a second set of rolls to get in.

The one advantage from a powergaming perspective is the ability to use programs that are cheaper than forms and not limited by resonance, together with sprites, and in the (very) long run, you can minmax your forms more by focusing on a specific skillset (sprites, infiltration) and allowing the commlink to pick up the slack on the generalist stuff.

But dang, that's a lotta karma.
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