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Limited Infinity
I've never been that clear on Rigger rules. Rigger 3 seemed so incomplete but yet unnecessarily complicated that I swore off making another rigger. Now that I have a better grasp on SR4 I thought I'd give it a try.

I'm looking at the Drone Rigger as a leaping point and trying to figure out how they made the comlink:

Transys Avalon Commlink (w/Response 5, Signal 5, Firewall 5, System 5, hot sim modification)

What I come up is this:

Transys Avalon Comlink ¥5,000
Response 4 Signal 4
(upgrade Response 4 to 5 [¥4,000] Signal 4 to 5 [¥1,000])
so far so good

Sock OS only goes up to Novatech Navi ¥1,500:
Firewall 3 System 4
So off to Program Costs and Availability Table (p. 228) to code my own OS as stated on pg. 240:
Firewall 5 (rating * ¥500 = ¥2,500) System 5 (rating * ¥500 = ¥2,500)
Total: ¥5,000
I think that's right

Sim Module 100¥+
Modified for BTL/hot sim 250¥+

Total cost for Comlink: ¥15,350

Is this correct?

Sorry if this is a bit n00b.


Karaden
Basicly yes, but the thing is, you may as well get the really cheap 100:nuyen: modle and upgrade it, because it has the exact same final stats and will be cheaper, since a responce and signal of 5 cost set amounts independent of what you had beforehand.
Ryu
You don´t need to buy an expensive comlink for modding:

5000 Response, Signal 5
3000 System 6 (running at 5 for the time being)
3000 Firewall 6

250 Sim Module modified for hot sim 250¥
50 Skinlink

+500 Datajack

11.800 Overall

Limited Infinity
Thanks for the quick reply.

So I wouldn't have to buy a Response upgrade 1 to 2 to 3 etc.?

I can just upgrade Response 1 - 5 for a flat 4,000?
Ryu
Yes.
Karaden
Correct, it even spesificly states that the current equipment you have is irrelevent. I think most GMs don't even make you buy the 100 nuyen.gif thing since your basicly building your own commlink anyway.
Limited Infinity
Awesome. Thanks guys.
Kyoto Kid
QUOTE (Ryu)
You don´t need to buy an expensive comlink for modding:

5000 Response, Signal 5
3000 System 6 (running at 5 for the time being)
3000 Firewall 6

250 Sim Module modified for hot sim 250¥
50 Skinlink

+500 Datajack

11.800 Overall

...that's pretty much how I designed the MetaTech MT-5X prototype which is in my Matrix Specialist, Violet's (#86) head.
deek
If Moon-Hawk is lurking around here, I have a question. Using your alternate matrix rules (where comm costs are multiplied by Response, all programs are free, etc), how do you handle upgrades?

Take the Fairlight Caliban (Response 4, Signal 5) at 8,000 nuyen. So, I factor in the response and get a 32,000 nuyen commlink...which under your rules is reasonable. About half the cost as RAW, but still out of reach for the common street runner, which I like.

But then you decide to build your own, using the RAW and your mods, I can build the same thing for 11,000 nuyen...and still get all my common use and hacking programs. That seems awfully cheap...

I attempt to use your rules at our table last night, but the costs just didn't add up (when compared to existing characters that had to spend 75,000 for all rating 5 hacking programs, not to mention the hardware...).
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (deek)
If Moon-Hawk is lurking around here, I have a question. Using your alternate matrix rules (where comm costs are multiplied by Response, all programs are free, etc), how do you handle upgrades?

Take the Fairlight Caliban (Response 4, Signal 5) at 8,000 nuyen. So, I factor in the response and get a 32,000 nuyen commlink...which under your rules is reasonable. About half the cost as RAW, but still out of reach for the common street runner, which I like.

But then you decide to build your own, using the RAW and your mods, I can build the same thing for 11,000 nuyen...and still get all my common use and hacking programs. That seems awfully cheap...

I attempt to use your rules at our table last night, but the costs just didn't add up (when compared to existing characters that had to spend 75,000 for all rating 5 hacking programs, not to mention the hardware...).

I'm here.
Let's see if I can keep up with your math:
I'm with you on the calculation of the Caliban.
Okaaaaay. I'm not getting 11k. Now see, first off, I probably have you multiplying the base signal 5 price (1,000) by 4(the response), but it makes little sense for your signal to be dependent on the response, so it should probably be multiplied by 5 (it's own rating), which would bring the total to 13,000 nuyen.gif , but that really doesn't change the issue at hand. That's still much cheaper than buying a Caliban.
Of course, using the standard upgrade rules you can get a Caliban for 3,000Y instead of 8,000Y, so I'm not creating a new problem, so much as I am making an existing problem worse. smile.gif
Off the top of my head, maybe customization costs should be doubled again, on top of what I've already suggested. It'll still be cheaper than buying hardware off-the-shelf, but then again, do-it-yourself should be.

I added these rules into an already-running campaign the first time I used them, so this didn't really come up. I suspect the problem could be fixed with some constant multipliers. I could've put everything into a massive spreadsheet and tried to rebalanced the costs, but I didn't. Partly because I wanted them to be cheaper anyway. I was just trying to get someone other than the "hacker" to a point where they could feel technically savvy, like someone who lives in a computerized world, without them having to go to extra effort, 'cause my players won't. I posted my rules a couple times in relevant discussions, but I'll freely admit they haven't had as much playtesting as they should, and they could be better.

To be perfectly honest, I'm having a bad week. Bear with me if I'm a pain in the ass, and not exactly 100% mentally/gramatically. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to here them. I know my rules have room for improvement. Maybe I'll play with that spreadsheet.
deek
Hehe...no pain in the ass and I follow you perfectly. I agree, not creating a new problem at all, just making it worse:)

Yeah, my math on the build your own was off. I assume you'd take the rating 4 response (base cost 4K) and multiple it by itself, or 16K. Plus the signal 5, add-on, or 17K total. But you got the picture:)

The issue I am having right now is that I've got 3 players that have already bought their gear (like over a year ago) and wanting to implement your house-rules for a new player.

The argument that came up, was how I was saying how much cheaper everything was, but that was assuming everyone paid for all common-use and hacking programs. I neglected to realize that two of my players only bought a couple and they would technically have had to pay a lot more.

So the comment came up, "Well, its only cheaper for hackers, then," which I didn't really have a response...

I don't want to cause you anymore work, I was just curious if you already had a solution. I can make something work and I'd likely rule that all common-use come with the OS and run at the system rating, and use that as a multiple of 5. Then to add a hacking package, it might be an additional cost...not exactly sure, but thanks for your feedback!
Ryu
You can of course do that, but is the unmodified rule really so hard for non-hackers? I think most hacking programs are needed by any runner. If they bought so few programs, maybe that list was lacking?
deek
In our group, I have one hacker with all programs. A mage has all common use, but no hacking, and he has done a total of maybe 5 Browse tests in 30 playing sessions. The other character, rarely uses his commlink at all, just for buying stuff, licenses and communications...I don't think he's ever attempted a test that needed a program.

I don't think its hard to use the unmodified rules. Its just Moon-Hawk's alternate appeals to me because then you don't need program ratings, just default to the system.

Our hacker has everything at rating 5, so it just seems like a lot of useless bookkeeping. So, since I like the idea of programs running based on system rating, then you have to have some way to purchase programs...you don't want an Armor program to cost the same for a cheap commlink as you do for the SOTA...which is my dilemma.

That's why making the commlinks (at the higher end) more expensive is attractive...
Ryu
I meant you could use Moonhawks rule as-is.

If you have rating-based program costs, you get inconsistencies if a program is rated lower than response.

So you would need to keep the response price-multiplier, but un-bundle software and response ratings.

Keeping it simple, you have only two groups of programs: common and hacking. Now you base the cost on rating^2, *100 for common use programs and *250 for hacking programs.


Effect: Noone saves money, most spend even more.
deek
Ahhh, I get ya now.

Yeah, I will have to work that in. Thanks for the suggestion, Ryu.
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (deek)
So the comment came up, "Well, its only cheaper for hackers, then," which I didn't really have a response...

This is somewhat true. But that was part of my inspiration for the rules. What I was seeing at my table was the hacker buying every program, cracking them all sooner or later, and eventually giving them to every member of the team. Now everyone on the team has the same programs, and only one character invested BP into them. I saw that as a bit of a problem. By putting all the costs into the hardware, you actually get what you pay for.

On the one hand, you're noticing that commlinks have gotten cheaper overall, in a lot of cases. On the other hand, people are complaining that they've gotten too expensive. It's a compromise. I tried to keep my house-rules as low-impact as possible, but some things have to change a teensy bit.

Overall, it makes being a hacker cheaper in terms of equipment, but you're not actually saving on BP as much as it seems, because now you're forced to buy a higher Logic than you would under core rules, so the total BP cost doesn't change as drastically as it looks from looking at the equipment, because of the new implicit need for high logic.
And if the character has a genius IQ to begin with, then yeah, I don't really have a problem with them being able to branch into hacking cheaply/easily.

If the issue is that people want to play "non-hackers" with no skills, no brains, no programs, but a SOTA super commlink to give them uber-worry-free information security with no investment on their part, well, I'm a tad unsympathetic. smile.gif

You get what you pay for. If you don't want to be a hacker, get a cheapo commlink and don't put anything important on it. I assume that a commlink can be subscribed to another commlink to let the team's dedicated hacker watch over everyone's commlink anyway, so it's not that big of a problem. (sure, I let them put all their eggs in one basket like that, if they want to.)

One thing I will say that is nice about my system: I wrote this before Augmentation came out. When it did, every single bit of hacking-related gear fit into the new system without any modifications of the new gear or of the house-rules. I certainly don't expect 100% success with Unwired, but I expect to have to alter very little.

Okay, that's enough defending my system, let me switch sides:
The costs of things are all messed up.
I've never been 100% happy with what you do when a program rating is called for. Initially, the rule was "use Response or System, as appropriate". As appropriate? What the hell is that supposed to mean? You're replacing real rules with house-rules-of-thumb!? Of course, System is limited by Response, and software is free, so System will always be equal to Response, so why is it even there?

Okay, so what was I thinking there?: I was thinking that the OS's in the book are free, but they're all low-mid range, there's nothing super high-end, so people are still going to be paying for those high-end custom System and Firewall. Which means that Response and System may not be even. Also bear in mind, just because Runners habitually play the numbers game and choose optimal solutions, the real world frequently doesn't. Finally, I decided to leave it alone in the interest of forward-compatibility. If I start doing things like removing System I stand very little chance of working with any new material. Since Response is the #1 limiting factor on everything I left it alone and made required program ratings always go to System, to keep things simple and to help restore the importance of System.

But that's probably the #1 iffy thing about my system, the way I see it.

Ryu: Interesting solution. Personally, I don't desire the effect of no one saves money, some spend more, but if I did I think that's a good fix.

Dang, that post got long and ranty. Am I making any sense?
deek
Makes sense to me, and that's all I care about:)

Yeah, my only issue has been costs. Even in the core rules, it just doesn't make sense to do anything other than buy a cheap comm and upgrade it.

And I am still trying to sell myself on the idea that you can have all the software in a Response 1 commlink, but then once you pay to upgrade, all that software is not a ton better...two heads of the same problem I suppose.

In my situation, it all boils down to timing. I'm introducing (or trying) a new rule for one character mid-campaign. Seeing I already use the skill+attribute mechanic, logic is already high for the hacker...so all they see is that all the BPs they spend on chargen is lost...

Who knows...I may just kill him off and let him make a new character:)
Moon-Hawk
Of course, the DIY method realistically should be cheaper. (although perhaps not that much)
You could think of the discount as compensation for taking the right skills and/or contacts. You could think of it as a discount for reading and understanding the rules. Or you could house-rule the costs of premade decks to match up with the costs of building them from scratch. (taking into account the standard parts cost 50%, I would think.)
Ryu
Yes, you make sense. The unfairly high software-costs in combination with rather free copies lead to one player paying 50k+ on software, and the other just say "wanna have".

Software should always run at the same rating as response, doing otherwise saves litte money and loses much usablity. So both should have been either un-bundled or consolidated from the get-go. That is one aim for my own houserule.

Then there is the thing about book-keeping. Everyone tends to use every program at max. rating. So indeed, I follow your logic that software ratings don´t really matter either. Despite the SOTA rules I created, I´m still considering using your system of rating=response.

So why have active programs at all? How about a set of ratings defining the comlink, with a max. of ratings = response*multiplier? I´d say Offensive (offensive utilities), Defensive (armor, biofeedback-filter), Sneak, System, IC, FIrewall. Max combined rating 5*response, determined when response is bought, everything else uses Response as rating?
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (Ryu)
Then there is the thing about book-keeping. Everyone tends to use every program at max. rating. So indeed, I follow your logic that software ratings don´t really matter either. Despite the SOTA rules I created, I´m still considering using your system of rating=response.

So why have active programs at all? How about a set of ratings defining the comlink, with a max. of ratings = response*multiplier? I´d say Offensive (offensive utilities), Defensive (armor, biofeedback-filter), Sneak, System, IC, FIrewall. Max combined rating 5*response, determined when response is bought, everything else uses Response as rating?

One possible way of implementing SOTA rules that would be consistent with both methods would be to periodically require some kind of test. This test would represent the time and knowledge the character puts into keeping their things up to date. I'm thinking datasearch would be appropriate.
If they roll well, they don't owe any "SOTA fees". If they roll poorly, they have to contribute a little money into keeping themselves up to date. (Perhaps higher lifestyles should give one or two free hits on this roll) Finally, anyone who doesn't pay whatever they're left owing has a non-SOTA penalty of -1 (or more, if you like) applied to all matrix actions until they get their stuff updated.
Just a suggestion, I'm not going to work out the details 'cause I don't want SOTA rules, so this is probably as far as I'm going to go with the idea. smile.gif

As for your second idea, I think it's a fine idea. As for why I didn't do something like that in my rules: in an effort to keep changes minimal I wanted to keep the number of programs running vs. response degradation mechanic in place and unchanged. (more of my forward-compatibility policy)
If you're doing a new system from scratch, I think what you're suggesting (if I'm understanding it, which I'm not sure of) would be a really interesting way to do it. I think something like that would result in non-hackers having either a fairly balanced 'link, or perhaps one with a heavy bias towards defense, with hackers tending towards having multiple links for multiple types of jobs. It's a neat idea.
Ryu
Yeah, don´t provide details, it´s still good enough for me. Good idea. Each month you have to avoid a SOTA penalty, if you fail it reduces your DPs, you can buy it off. I will make that work. Absolute advantage: The rule is purely optional and does not change the balance of the rest of the rules.

And a set of comlink stats will be rather short, and can be intuitive. They provide a rating for things we do not want to represent with a generic rating. In addition to those mentioned, I´ll have Rigging for starters.

Forward compatibility is less of an issue for me, because I think the current wireless rules are "beyond salvage". And I´m sure the background will be usable.
deek
I'm a proponent of active program load balancing as well. Its not a big deal until the hacker gets under pressure and has to decide to spend a complex action to load a new program, either dropping an active one or take that dreaded response hit. I like the mechanic and it really gives the hacker more to focus on, which in my book is a good thing.

I'm not big into degradation...oddly enough, that's some extra bookkeeping that I'd rather just do without.

I'm currently thinking about running a hybrid house rule...taking some parts from Moon-Hawk (free software, system = rating), Frank (hacking on the fly one-shot programs) and the optional attribute + skill with skill caps from Serbitar.

Unfortunately, I still have to figure out filling the money gap that's created by getting a new charcter in the group, but maybe if I just by the group dinner one night, everyone will be happy:)
Ryu
I´m back to logic+skill, too. Software will be free (with prices based on the moonhawk system), agents limited by the brain.

If you are set on the load-balancing rules, I have an idea that can make it work with differentiated comlinks:

Comlinks get ratings based of response. This represents hardware build for special tasks, and software making the most of it.
:
Matrix Combat (rating used for all offensive and defensive programs)
Hacking (the obvious)
Rigging (used as attribute for all rigging actions while jumped in)
Privacy (System, Encryption, Sneak)
--
IC

You get Response*3 rating points to distribute fixed, plus Response*1 points to distribute as you see fit in a given moment (reallocation takes a complex action). The minimum fixed allocation to a given category is (response-2, minimum 1for all except IC), the maximum combined rating is response+2, maximum 6). Every program is assigned to one category, or like most common use programs, assigned to Response.

So a rating 3 comlink could look like:
For the not-matrix savy:
Response 3
Matrix Combat 1
Hacking 1
Rigging 1
Privacy 3(+2)
--
IC 3(+1)

or, for the low-level Rigger (should have a better `link)
Response 3
Matrix Combat 2
Hacking 1
Rigging 4
Privacy 2(+3)
--
IC 0


Good to go?
deek
Interesting...

I'll have to look that over in more detail.
Moon-Hawk
Okay, so I was understanding what you were describing. I think that's a really neat system. At this point it comes down to details such as "this category is overpowered and should be split", "that category is weak", "you need more", "you need less", blah blah.
Overall, I think it's a really promising system. Good work.
Ryu
Thanks! I very much see it as extension to your system, so I´m glad you like it. That other approach I took is much worse IMO.

The one detail I see is that hackers better learn to cope with privacy 6... NOT nice if you use target ratings as thresholds for success tests, but should be doable. I prefer to keep the number of categories low, but splitting matrix combat into offensive and defensive is a strong option. Another is actually having a "Common" category to un-bind it from response.

But I guess I found the basics of what I want now. I´m here if anyone wants to discuss the details.



Some additional ideas, independent of the categories:
- SPUs giving bonus dice for specific matrix actions, max. number = limited (response?)
- SPU(s) as additional requirement for running agents
- response-based limit on the number and rating of running knowsofts
Earlydawn
QUOTE (deek)
If Moon-Hawk is lurking around here, I have a question. Using your alternate matrix rules (where comm costs are multiplied by Response, all programs are free, etc),

Link? I tried a search, couldn't find it.
Ryu
From another thread Link

QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)

Moon-Hawk's Alternate Matrix System:

Using the standard rules, Hackers tend to have all the programs at roughly the maximum level that they can. This is a highly redundant complexity which contributes very little fun. Non-Hackers simply don’t hack, because the entire system is intimidating. The goal of this section is to streamline and simplify the hacking rules further and to make them more accessible to non-hackers, but without removing the Hackers’ fun, either. Another goal was to keep changes relatively minimal and to keep a very high probability of future Matrix rules being instantly compatible with these house rules. Using these rules, if a non-hacker wants to attempt a simple task in a normal situation, we can simply assume that he has and loads the necessary program, without even necessarily knowing what it is (since he has pirated copies of everything from the Hacker anyway) and he rolls Logic + Hacking (or Datasearch, or whatever, but the choice of skill is generally much more obvious than the choice of program) without the non-Hacker player having to go through the tedium of figuring out exactly what the task or program is. The non-hacker is able to do their own datasearches or spoof a low-rated camera without having to spend unreasonable effort getting into the hacking rules, thus the non-hackers become competent and no longer run to the Hacker just to accomplish simple tasks. Meanwhile, the Hacker character still needs to juggle program load since his hacking tasks will generally be under time constraints and we don’t just hand-wave memory swaps. In play, these rules have had precisely the desired effect. Warning: The technomancer rules are untested.
1) All hacking tests are done using Attribute + Skill: This is consistent with the core mechanic. Ex: Logic + Hacking
2) All Common Use and Hacking programs are effectively free. Common Use programs probably come with most OS. For Hacking programs, in SR4 software piracy is the rule, not the exception. Legality is still a factor. Attempting a task without the correct program loaded in memory is a -4 penalty, as per the normal penalty for attempting a task without appropriate tools.
3) Program ratings for Common Use and Hacking programs are irrelevant and gone. Note that it is still important to track which programs are in active memory, since this can still cause Response degradation. Whenever a task calls for a program rating, use System instead.
4) Pirated OS are also available basically for free. These options are restricted to the options listed in the book, however. Non-standard OS must be obtained normally, i.e. through availability and at normal cost.
5) To compensate for lower costs of not buying programs, all commlinks have their cost multiplied by their Response rating. Cheap commlinks are still cheap, but a deluxe model still costs a significant number of BP, although still not as much as before.
6) Technomancers – Use Resonance + Skill.
7) Technomancers – CF cost the same as spells. 3BP or 5 karma.
8.) Technomancers – Threading still adds dice to the use of any CF. If the Technomancer has that CF, it adds dice to the test. If the Technomancer does not have the CF, extra dice will help to offset/overcome the standard -4 penalty. (see rule 2)
9) Technomancers – Threading drain is physical if the number of dice added exceeds Resonance / 2 (rounded down). (Resonance/2 was used instead of Resonance because Program/Complex Form rating is no longer part of the pool, thus the technomancer is starting with a “full? pool of Resonance + Skill, so the effect had to be scaled down) The technomancer can forego rolled successes when threading for lesser effect but lesser drain, if desired.
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