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The release of Emergence leaves TM's with more need than ever to stay under the radar. I imagine some will hack the retro way for a while to stay hidden, whereas others may already have done so, mixing retro with their own abilities. Or they may have a link that's actually better than their own natural abilities, at least in some areas, such as higher signal, or has programs you don't have a CF for (my own TM is this way, her link is currently System 3 Response 2 Firewall 6 Signal 4 and still working to upgrade it in down time, living persona is Signal 3, Firewall 4, Response 5(6), System 5, once my link has a better system and response it will beat my living persona. It also has ECCM 5, I don't have it as a CF, so if I get jammed, it's unlikely it will be too.)

So it makes me pause and wonder what happens when they do mix them? Like, do they combine the biofeedback filter of their link with their own natural one (since it's not a CF)? I imagine they can still use CF's and sprites, in addition to programs on the link, but can they combine them at all? Like can a sprite enhance a program like they can a CF? If your CF is higher than your program, can you use it instead? I doubt you could combine them like threading, but I wonder if it also depends on the program. Like how you would use Stealth or Armor CF's for the link persona. What about echoes? I know eventually a TM will far outdo any link a hacker or rigger could make, and can have CF's far above and beyond anything a hacker could make, and aside from branching out to become a face as well, they're really stuck in that niche unlike the other two (though an elven TM being the face/hacker/rigger already has enough niche's filled), so again, I pose the question, what happens when for whatever reason they combine their abilities with the actual tech instead of just goin on their abilities alone?
resonance abilities are not compatible with non-resonance abilities. that is, a sprite cannot boost a program's rating, only complex forms. a technomancer's living persona can not run off of a commlink, nor can you run an agent on a TM's living persona (though a TM could subscribe to an agent running on an actual commlink). you cannot stack your CFs with a program.

either you are using your living persona and are limited to your complex forms only, or you are using your normal persona and are limited to programs and hardware only. i personally would allow you to use both at the same time, in the same way that you could have one specific persona in multiple matrix locations at the same time (ie you can't operate both simultaneously, you could switch between the two however)
I would handle this in, I think, the same way as Jaid.
You could have both personas running, but only controlling one at a time.
Things I would allow:
You could use exploit with one persona and then use the other or possibly both (might require some extra hits) to actually use the exploit. For example, I'd allow you to probe the target using your commlink to accumulate the successes, but then actually log on with your living persona, or vice versa.
I would allow you to easily transfer hacked/downloaded files so you could grab a file with your living persona and send it to your commlink, which would then decrypt, which you could then edit with your living persona.
But you definitely can't thread a program, etc.
So I would let you alternate between which one you were using pretty freely and let both personas help each other a lot, but nothing would stack.
If you have both personas in a node, then you have two personas in a node, with only one being actively controlled at a time. So there's no stacking of defensive abilities either.

There are advantages, since both personas could help each other out by focusing on only things that they're good at, but having an uncontrolled persona in a node is also a big liability, so it's fairly self-balancing.
Honestly, I tossed out the rule that said that computer skills were "different" for technomancers, because it made no fucking sense to me. Code is Code.

Also, it leads to people making technies with no skill other than their techno-skills, which in unrealistic from an SR standpoint.

When running from a commlink instead of their brain, I figure they still have their natural bio-feedback rating. But that's all. If they want to use resonance abilities, they have to log out.

Here's the final question though. If you use your resonance abilities to log into a commlink you carry, and route all your traffic through that, wouldn't that be enough to fool the casual observer?
So would your biofeedback rating and the commlink's stack, working in unison, or would you only use the higher of the two?

And no, it wouldn't work to cover you up, there'd be two wireless signals on you (your own and the commlink's), as opposed to just the one. Sure, the casual observer in day to day life might fall for it, but in the events of Emergence, even normal hackers and riggers suffer from suspicion and attacks. Such a great book *sniff*
Code isn't code. The easiest way I can think of to how technos would code differently than regular guys, is technos would operate on a level of machine code, instead of higher level programming languages.
you mean technomancers speak binary? That's great, except they have to be able to comprehend the other levels of interface as well, or else they'd be unable to interact with other users. Sorry, I don't buy that a technomancer has to buy 2 seperate computer skills.

What if the technomancer has a hard-wired neural connection? Could a technomancer use their abilities through something they accessed through a datajack? How about Trodes? How about Skinlink?

How about the technomancer is in hidden mode, but the commlink is not?

(I could never buy the whole human radio thing, it hit my suspension of disbeleif too hard. So in my campaign, technomancers have a natural skinlink instead. When they need wi-fi they just touch a wifi card to their skin. Actually, that's prove more useful than the radio thing, in a lot of cases.)
Human radio

"heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible" Ah Lord Kelvin you rebel you!
Yes Pimp, they understand computing completely different than a regular person. Whether thats because they understand binary, or can see the data flowing and tell it how to behave. They can interact with other users, because the OS/programs take care of that, they just make their program send what they want by utilizing a very different method. If you watched one working on a computer, things they were doing would not make any sense to you. But when he was done, it'd do what he had set out to accomplish.

Technos can utilize other devices as connection points like anyone else. You can use your datajack to bounce your signal to a commlink thats plugged into it with wireless off. Trodes & skinlink the same way, trodes would be pointless however, as their signal is likely 0, much less than a technomancers. Skinlink would be good, as you could then connect to skinlink only devices.

As far as technos in hidden mode, they don't have one. They don't have an access ID either, so how can they hide it, or broadcast it?
Technomancers don't need two sets of skills, they can use a comm link just fine with their own. Let me give an analogy.

You have two athletes, let's say football(soccer) players: one who just has a natural talent for the game, intuitively knows how to handle the ball, run with it, etc. Then you have another player who has no real natural talent for it, but loves the game still and spends time putting effort into training to play the game. The first player can't teach his natural talent for the game to the second, but the second could sit down and explain all the strategies and tricks he used to learn to play the game. The first player will think of it in a way akin to "that's so awkward, why would anyone do it that way?" but it still works fine for the second player.

The first player is the technomancer, the second your standard hacker/rigger. The technomancer codes, hacks, rigs, even builds hardware based on a purely intuitive understanding of how machines and the Matrix work, whereas the standard hacker/rigger has to study in order to do so. Yes, TM's can learn and study how other hackers/riggers do the same thing, but it seems awkward and backwards to them, just as the TM's intuitive way of doing things is something they can't explain to another person who doesn't have the same intuitive feel. A TM can make a drone from scratch, and an experienced rigger would be able to look inside, and he'd kind of understand how it works, but he'd have never thought to wire a drone in that way, and would probably have problems repairing it when needed, but he could operate it just fine. Likewise, a hacker could use a program coded by a TM, and looking at the code, he'd have a very basic understanding of how it worked, but would probably be unable to fix it if the code became corrupted due to a virus.

As for having a hidden mode, it's covered a bit in Emergence, technomancers when they sleep give off the same levels of electro emissions as a commlink in hidden mode, so they do have one. They can logout, and jack out too, so why shouldn't they have a hidden mode?
Agreed. Exactly correct Sleep!
I see it now. Everything with a wireless signal disabled, the team is now sneaking into the high-sec facility, TM beaten unconscious, stim patch readied.

Hidden mode for TMs, granted.
The Diagnosis power of a Machine Sprite can help a TM hack with a regular commlink. Skillwires make a world of difference as well when added to the Diagnosis scenario.
Sleep, I'm confused. Are you saying that Technomancers do or do not need to learn a special, "mundane" computer skill separate from their own in order to hack retro?

I was right with you until Tarantula agreed, then I got confused.

Especially in a world with so many different operating systems and interfaces, computer skill would be less about how you give commands to your computer and more about understanding how they function. Technomancers and hackers are still dealing with the same matrix, and the understanding of how the machine works would be shared, since the machine itself is shared.
They do not need to learn a special skill. Going back to my analogy, the hacker is the guy with no natural talent for it, who has to study and practice and work to become good at it. The TM picks up a computer, or drone, or whatever, and intuitively understands its workings. She, through her connection to the matrix, just knows, somehow, how to code and work a commlink the retro way. She can't teach that understanding to others that don't have the same kind of intuitive feel as she does (i.e. only other TM's), but it doesn't mean she's any more or less proficient at it than the hacker. They just came to it in different ways.
But Sleep, your analogy does not support that statement, in fact it supports the other way. TM and Hackers need two their separate skills because they came upon them in different ways and they cannot be taught to each other. A hacker could no easier understand how a TM compiles sprites with his mind and 'thinks' himself invisible (Stealth) in the matrix than a TM could understand that this computer language that a hacker writes in is what makes him invisible. If a TM wants to work in the Matrix like a hacker does he has to learn the skills the same way that a hacker does. Your analogy works if they are fundamentally doing the same thing (soccer) but TMs and hackers do their work in very different ways and, more importantly, in fundamentally different ways. A Hacker and a TM both creating a Spoof are not doing the same thing, one is writing a code to trick the other system into thinking something else, the other is explaining to that system that what it thinks is wrong and that it must be confused. They aren't the same thing, hence why they are called different things (ie. Complex Forms and Programs).
I think that's the difference of opinion here. A technomancer and a hacker are, IMO, NOT doing different things. They are both spoofing the computer, and being able to spoof the computer requires that both know the same things about how that computer works.

They aren't doing it the same way, but that doesn't change the knowledge base. A writer's skill is the same whether they write with pen and ink or type to electronic file. They only interface differently.
QUOTE (PlatonicPimp)
I think that's the difference of opinion here. A technomancer and a hacker are, IMO, NOT doing different things. They are both spoofing the computer, and being able to spoof the computer requires that both know the same things about how that computer works.

They aren't doing it the same way, but that doesn't change the knowledge base. A writer's skill is the same whether they write with pen and ink or type to electronic file. They only interface differently.

Yep, that's the way I see it as well. I fail to see the need for duplicate skills.
Actually, IMO, it doesn't require them to know the same thing about computers. They go about doing what they do to computers in very different manners, TMs working in a deeply intuitive manner and hackers working from a point of strict logic, they don't mesh well at all. TMs don't use a commlink or a programs or have to conciously think about the computer language when they work, so how does that grant them the ability to simply pick up a commlink and do it the same way as a hacker?
Technomancer skills aren't limited to only while hacking with their living persona. A technomancer computer skill of 6 still allows the technomancer to use a commlink just as good as a hacker with a computer skill of 6. However, if the hacker was watching what the technomancer was doing, he would understand very little of how the techno's goal was actually getting accomplished. Likewise, if the TM watched the hacker doing something, he'd see it as a very backwards way of getting about doing it. Its different perspectives, but allow the same end result.

Both TMs and hackers can code with a software skill, but TM code can't be understood by hackers, and hacker code can't be understood by TMs (unless they learn a seperate retro software skill).
Thats exactly my POV, including the incompatibility of program codes that are not RAW.
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