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Eyeless Blond
The following is an attempt to build a street-level urchin technomancer, for eventual inclusion in the sample character thread. He was built using some of the tightest restrictions I've ever seen on chargen:
  • 300 Build Points
  • No Edge/Resonance/Magic higher than 3
  • No skill higher than 4, or skill group higher than 3
  • No Availability higher than 6
  • No more than 10BP spent on resources

The trick is to build something out of that that is actually effective as a technomancer. Even under normal 400BP rules this is a tough order, as technos are bigger BP hogs than mages, and is further complicated by the restrictions imposed by a ganger-level campaign. So, I came up with:

The Background:
[ Spoiler ]



The Numbers:
[ Spoiler ]


The Details:
[ Spoiler ]


As far as I can tell, this little guy would kick butt at breaking into vending machines, being a little mini-rigger for various gang activities, and in general being a kooky little crazy kid who talks to toasters and convinces other people's drones to follow him home. Any suggestions on how I can improve him?
Eyeless Blond
Unfortunately I'm not all that familiar with the TM rules, or SR4 rules in general, so I don't know how this will play out in an actual game.

How could I better build this character (within the specified limits)? What would be the best strategies to go with? Is Threading of any use whatsoever for this character?
Crusher Bob
Hmm, technical flaws first:

You spend 150 points of your basic stats not 140.
You can only know resonance x2 complex forms; thus, you can only know 6, you'll have to drop one of them.

I'd suggest dropping codeslinger, it costs 10 points, when you could just buy two skill levels for 8 points.

Assuming you can have a full 35 points of flaws, get the full 35 points of flaws.

Mechanically, you are probably much better off dropping your complex forms and using that money to buy a commlink and programs. Use your technomancer abilities to summon and bind sprites. This also lets you drop your resonance to 2 (and buy it up with karma later), since you won't be using resonance to hack, just call up sprites.

you can put another 5 points into gear (for what you have) which gets you another 25K Y.
Getting programs to replicate all 7 of your complex forms and a 3 across the board commlink (novatech airware + iris orb) for only 8700Y, leaving you plenty 16300 to upgrade your commlink, or get more programs, or more drones, or whatever.

Orks are the master race, especially for low point games.

Assuming you have a skill cap of 4, even if you aren't mentioning it.

So:

295 Points (5 points left over, you can get human looking grinbig.gif )

Flaws
(35 points of choice)

Edges
Technomancer

Resources 50,000 Y (10)

Contacts (6)

Ork (20)
Regular Stats (150)
B 4
A 2
R 3
S 3
C 4
I 4
L 3
W 5

Special Stats (20)
E 2
R 2

Skills
Electronics (Group) 2 (20)
Hacking 4 (16)
Compiling 4 (Machine Sprites) (18)
Registering 4 (Machine Sprites) (18)

Automotive Mechanic 1 (4)
Industrial Mechanic 1 (4)
Armorer 1 (4)
Etiquette 1 (4)
Perception 1 (4)
Dodge 1 (Ranged) (6)
ArkonC
QUOTE ('BBB p. 86')
The maximum number of complex forms your character can learn during character creation, regardless of rating, is equal to your character’s Logic x 2.
Cthulhudreams
As the game in question is going to award karma weekly, despite whatever training provisions, its almost certainly better to buy the skill specializations in the game. Otherwise, Crusher has hilariously proposed a good character that the DM will inevitably shoot down.
Prime Mover
Just a thought but seems like just dropping availability or build pnts at creation makes things pretty street. Dropping Avail and build pnts seems pretty painful.
Crusher Bob
Assuming you are willing to be an ork, you can still come up with some decent characters:

Sample adept Gunner:

14 points left to split between gear and Contacts

Ork (20)

Flaws (35 points, your choice)

Edges
Adept (5)

Regular Stats (150)
B 5
A 5
R 5 (7)
S 3
C 2
I 3
L 2
W 3

Special Stats (40)
E 3
M 3

Skills (106)
Athletics Group 2
Automatics 4
Pistols 4
Thrown Weapons 1
Unarmed Combat 4

Perception 4
Infiltration 3
Etiquette 1 (street)

Adept Powers
Increased Reflexes - 2
Or maybe
Increased Reflexes -1, Combat Sense -2

Gear you can get:
Hold out + Stick n Shock
Heavy Pistol of Choice
AK 97 + Gas Vent 3 and shock pad
Flashbang Grenades
Smoke Grenades
Camo Suit + Helmet
Armored Jacket

So you have 2 or 3 Init passes, ok passive defense (7 or 8 dice) and 5 body. Of course, if you weren't a member of the master race, it would go much harder for you...
Cthulhudreams
Nah, your boned still, the GMs for the game caps magic to 3 and costs 25 BP per point of magic. (25 bp per point of magic!). I was thumping through some character concepts as an exercise with excel and its really though to come up with something seriously meaty. I honestly suspect the best character is going to be something with wired reflexes II and latent awakening wink.gif

I looked at a guy with second hard wired II and a monowhip, but that bites the dust with the availbility AND essence rules which makes me sad.

Wired I doesn't help either, availability 8, 7 with second hand frown.gif

Here are the character generation rules in full

http://thegutter.wikispaces.com/Mech+-+House+Rules+-+Chargen

The relevant bits

QUOTE
Attributes

* Physical/Mental are limited to 200 bp
* Magic is limited to 3
* Magic costs 25 build points per point
* Awakened characters must have an essence of 5 or greater


Skills

* PCs may buy only one skill at 4 (and none higher). Skill groups and all other skills are capped at 3.

* Ratings are limited to 4 and availability is limited to 6.
* Each mundane character may have one item of up to rating 6 and avail 12.
* Each build point spent on resources provides 2,500 nuyen instead of the standard 5,000. Players are limited to spending 20 BP on resources. (50,000 nuyen)
* Cyberware and bioware may not reduce the character's essence below 3.


Which gets you coming and going, magically is intensely expensive, and wired II either chews all your money, or chews more than your essence cap if you go second hand.
Crusher Bob
Heh.

He doesn't limit edge. So the gamiest thing I see off hand is a 1 magic ork adept with edge 5. Your karma pours into raising your magic (which is cheap).

[edit]

The main problem I have with such limited character generation schemes is that I tend to power game more to get a character that isn't horribly gimped. Lower point total games are really be done with BECKs, so that having a bunch of skills at 2 dosen't totally cripple your character.

Ork
Adept
Flaws (35 points, your choice)
B 5
A 5
R 5
S 3
C 2
I 3
L 2
W 3

M 1
E 5

Athletics Group 2
Automatics 3
Pistols 3
Unarmed 4
Thrown Weapons 1
Intimidation 3
Etiquette 1 (street)
Infiltration 3
Perception 3

8 points of resources (20K Y)
6 points of contacts

1 Point of Adept Powers,
Maybe Combat sense 1, sustenance, Iron gut so that all my meagre pay-outs can be spent on buying bigger guns, instead of that useless food stuff rotfl.gif
Cthulhudreams
I had this:

Race: Ork

Stats:

Body 4
Agility 5 (6)
Reaction 5 (6)
Strength 3
Charisma 1
Intuition 5
Logic 2
Willpower 5
Edge 4

Skills

Athletics (Group) 3
Automatics 4
Unarmed Combat 3
Perception 1
FirstAid 1
Influence (Group) 1
Pilot Ground Craft 1
Stealth (Group) 1

<<Positive Qualities>>
Latent Awakeningž
Biocompatability (cyberware)۩

<<Negative Qualities>>
Mystery Mod Noise۩
Scorched
Implant-Induced Immune Deficiency۩
Sensitive Neural Structure
SINner (Criminal) --> potentially swap this out for augmentation addict smile.gif


Lone Star SWAT Suite 2nd Hand

Synthacardium 1 2nd Hand
Muscle Toner 1
Tailored Pheromones 1 2nd Hand

21063 yens left over, with which you are going to buy some wheels, the most cheapass commlink going which you will just treat as a mobile phone (get a handsfree kit), some shockgloves for busting out some moves, an Ingram Smartgun X and an AK-97 (there is potentially some world in which you'd go longarms instead of automatics, and get a sports rifle and the 3R SA shotgun from arsenal, as hey, its the barrens and shotguns are awesome).

Armourwise, armoured vest + FFBA shirt + helmet + PPP helmet (or forearm and shin guards) giving you 11/8 for some pretty nice bullet proofing

Until you awaken you focus on getting your limbs replaced with whatever chromed out limbs you can afford (so you can retrofit them later with gear), and when (if) you awaken you dump all your skill points into magic and either go pure adept only (if you are an adept, and potentially a mystic adept) or ignore spellcasting (asking nicely if you can be an aspected conjuring mage and save some karma) and just focusing on summoning (summoning gives sweet bling the fastest)
Tiger Eyes
QUOTE (Crusher Bob @ Mar 9 2008, 08:39 AM) *
Mechanically, you are probably much better off dropping your complex forms and using that money to buy a commlink and programs. Use your technomancer abilities to summon and bind sprites. This also lets you drop your resonance to 2 (and buy it up with karma later), since you won't be using resonance to hack, just call up sprites.

you can put another 5 points into gear (for what you have) which gets you another 25K Y.
Getting programs to replicate all 7 of your complex forms and a 3 across the board commlink (novatech airware + iris orb) for only 8700Y, leaving you plenty 16300 to upgrade your commlink, or get more programs, or more drones, or whatever.


Just to point out, a technomancer can't use normal programs unless they buy the (non-technomancer) version of the hacking and electronics skills. (see pg 233 SR4 - "technomancers may learn the normal versions of these skills separately")

So the idea of dumping the complex forms actually costs more karma.

Keep the higher resonance, use threading (it really does help - just limit it to only 1 or 2 hits above your resonance level, since you'll take physical damage from the drain... and with the low body, that can hurt), and REGISTER SPRITES ASAP. Seriously. wink.gif
Crusher Bob
Why would you learn the technomancer versions of hacking, etc at all? If you are only really going to use your 1337 technomancer abilities to bind sprites (compiling & registering), you can learn regular hacking and use a commlink.
Eyeless Blond
QUOTE (Crusher Bob @ Mar 9 2008, 09:18 AM) *
Why would you learn the technomancer versions of hacking, etc at all? If you are only really going to use your 1337 technomancer abilities to bind sprites (compiling & registering), you can learn regular hacking and use a commlink.

Because:

1) The non-technomancer can't use threading. Your Stealth is stuck wherever you bought it.
2) Non-technomancer hacking programs are availability 12R, out of reach of this character. Therefore no Stealth, Attack, Spoof, etc.
3) It would be highly suspect having a sprite be able to assist you with hacking while you were using a commlink. I doubt many GMs would allow it, or if they did, it would be a remote service and you'd only get one use out of them.
4) Commlinks don't actually have a listed Availability, but under "Upgrades" even a rating of 3 is availability 8, so one would think that makes any commlink with an attribute over 2 unavailable to the little guy too.

In other words, non-technomancers are entirely screwed hacking with commlinks

You're right about the skill limit of 4; forgot that one. And yeah, I am basing this on the DitG chargen, but the campaign has already said no to technomancers, so now I'm just building the character on a lark, and an experiment to see how to build a usable techno under these constraints. My experience with technos is limited, though I love the concept, so I figure building one would help emphasize their abilities and limitations.
Eyeless Blond
QUOTE (Tiger Eyes @ Mar 9 2008, 08:39 AM) *
Keep the higher resonance, use threading (it really does help - just limit it to only 1 or 2 hits above your resonance level, since you'll take physical damage from the drain... and with the low body, that can hurt), and REGISTER SPRITES ASAP. Seriously. wink.gif

I've been wondering about that. See, the problem with Threading is that at the low end it is entirely useless, even counterproductive. Remember that sustaining penalties chop 2 dice right off the top, so unless you made an increase of more than 2 there's no point. Even 3-4 successes in Threading might not be a good idea for this character, because he's only rolling 8 dice for Fading (maybe 7; I still have to resolve that extra attribute point) and will likely take a physical hit or two with 4P Fading.

The only thing I can see this being useful for is Stealth. The question then becomes if Drip has enough dice to actually score any successes against anything, because he's taking the -2 dice to Exploit. Sustaining penalties really suck in SR4.
Jaid
QUOTE (Eyeless Blond @ Mar 9 2008, 02:59 PM) *
I've been wondering about that. See, the problem with Threading is that at the low end it is entirely useless, even counterproductive. Remember that sustaining penalties chop 2 dice right off the top, so unless you made an increase of more than 2 there's no point. Even 3-4 successes in Threading might not be a good idea for this character, because he's only rolling 8 dice for Fading (maybe 7; I still have to resolve that extra attribute point) and will likely take a physical hit or two with 4P Fading.

The only thing I can see this being useful for is Stealth. The question then becomes if Drip has enough dice to actually score any successes against anything, because he's taking the -2 dice to Exploit. Sustaining penalties really suck in SR4.

and that's why you *need* registered sprites.

not only can they sustain for you in the short term, but they can also boost the actual rating of a CF as well.
Eyeless Blond
QUOTE (Jaid @ Mar 9 2008, 12:20 PM) *
and that's why you *need* registered sprites.

not only can they sustain for you in the short term, but they can also boost the actual rating of a CF as well.

Heh, true, but is 6 hours (the amount of time needed to rebind two rating 3 sprites) of prep time appropriate for raiding a vending machine? smile.gif

On another note, anyone have a good idea for other flaws to take to get to that magic +35BP? I'm a little annoyed by the Allergy to Sunlight thing, and don't particularly like munching out on Bioincompatability and such for a non-cybered character; any other ideas?
ludomastro
My only thought when I read the title was, "I feel sorry for the poor slot who has to do that." Now that I read your concept, I must say, "Good work!"
Eyeless Blond
Heh, well I'm still not sure he's all that great. Anyone who's actually played technomancers in an actual game care to critique the build? What I'm especially looking for are optimal strategies for how to use him in an actual game. For example, how would this technomancer hack a vending machine? How could he make himself useful to your typical third-tier gang? Could he ever successfully boost a car, even using Edge?

What I'm really missing here are the finer points of creating this character, and the practical aspects of building such a character to be useful. Anyone out there with insight into this?
Malicant
QUOTE (Eyeless Blond @ Mar 9 2008, 08:59 PM) *
I've been wondering about that. See, the problem with Threading is that at the low end it is entirely useless, even counterproductive. Remember that sustaining penalties chop 2 dice right off the top, so unless you made an increase of more than 2 there's no point.

Unless of course the sustaining penalty would not apply to the threaded Complex Form. Which it doesn't. Hurray! The errata once again saved the day. biggrin.gif
Tiger Eyes
As Malicent said, there are no penalties while using the threaded complex form. So, for example, you're hungry and want that gooey bar from the vending machine. Let's say for fun the vending machine is "simple" - as SR4 would label a "public terminal", so it has a device rating of 2. Gives it a system of 2 and a firewall of 2.

Drip, being a clever sort, is well prepared to get that gooey bar. He plans to hack on the fly. He is going to use his exploit of 3, and thread it up +2, for a total of five (giving him 2 physical to drain with his willpower 5 + res 3 = 8 dice).

Drip rolls 5 + 3 (hacking) = 8 dice. He can get 2 more if he wants to slip into VR, for a total of 10 dice, vs the firewall of 2.

The vending machine counters with 4 dice, against Drip's stealth of 3.

Chances are, Drip will get that gooey bar.

Now, he could have asked a registered machine sprite (rating 3) to add its rating to his stealth during the attempt, which would give the vending machine a target of 6.

Against a vehicle... say, "Average" with a device rating of 3. Drip wants to hack into the vehicle's system, own it, and tell it to follow him home.

Vehicle has system 3 + firewall 3.

Again, Drip rolls 10 dice vs. the firewall 3.

Vehicle rolls 6 dice against Drip's stealth of 3.

A bit tighter contest, I'd suggest using that registered sprite -- or 2 of them -- to bump up his Stealth rating so the vehicle's firewall doesn't notice him.

See, Drip's not doing too badly...

As a note, I'd recommend dropping Drip's Codeslinger (registering) for the more useful HomeGround (pick a data haven or local network). He'll get +2 to all tests in that data haven, including compiling and registering sprites, and resisting the fading...
Eyeless Blond
QUOTE (Malicant @ Mar 9 2008, 03:12 PM) *
Unless of course the sustaining penalty would not apply to the threaded Complex Form. Which it doesn't. Hurray! The errata once again saved the day. biggrin.gif

Er, where do you see that? All I see is page 234:
"Threaded complex forms must be sustained (similar to
how magicians sustain spells). Sustaining requires effort on
the technomancer’s part and so he suffers a –2 dice pool
modifier to all tests for each sustained complex form."

And I don't see any errata on p. 234. Or is this in the "FAQ", otherwise known as unintentional errata?
Crusher Bob
QUOTE (Eyeless Blond @ Mar 10 2008, 03:46 AM) *
2) Non-technomancer hacking programs are availability 12R, out of reach of this character. Therefore no Stealth, Attack, Spoof, etc.


Hacking programs are avail: (rating x2), so you can get lvl 3 hacking programs (for 1500Y a piece).
Malicant
Tomato, tomatoh. I guess it was in the FAQ then. I would link it, but the site hates me right now.

There is nothing to prevent you from sticking to the "makes no sense at all" interpretation and making threading pointless, of course.
Eyeless Blond
QUOTE (Malicant @ Mar 9 2008, 04:56 PM) *
Tomato, tomatoh. I guess it was in the FAQ then. I would link it, but the site hates me right now.

There is nothing to prevent you from sticking to the "makes no sense at all" interpretation and making threading pointless, of course.
Well, what jumps immediately to mind with me is how that should apply to mages as well. For example, do mages get the -2 sustaining penalty to use the device they just cast Analyze Device on? Or to a skill they're using via Magic Fingers? To a skill they're using both Magic Fingers and Clairvoyance to get a close-up view from far away? ow about a technomancer who is using both his Exploit and Stealth utilities, can he thread both at the same time and not receive any modifiers?

If this is an FAQ entry, it's following the very bad example set down by SR3, where the devs would use the "FAQ" to issue errata. That's not how it's supposed to work; FAQ entries are supposed to clarify existing rules, not make up new ones. Why the heck did I drop $35 on a book when the rules are somewhere else?


And yes, I just noticed the errata on the hacking programs too. Good call; I'm still concerned at the lack of Threading, and how all sprites you compile will have to be sent on remote service while you're commlink-hacking.
Crusher Bob
QUOTE (Eyeless Blond @ Mar 10 2008, 09:25 AM) *
I'm still concerned at the lack of Threading, and how all sprites you compile will have to be sent on remote service while you're commlink-hacking.


Buh?


Eyeless Blond
QUOTE (Crusher Bob @ Mar 9 2008, 05:34 PM) *
Buh?

When you're using a Commlink to hack another node, the technoancer "isn't there". The commlink's Matrix Persona is there, sure, but that's not the technomancer, any more than a mage's commlink's Matrix Persona counts as the mage for spirit task purposes. Or are you suggesting that a mage can hack into a corp's Matrix node, and use that as a base to summon a spirit? It's the same deal; a Commlink that just happens to be in the technomancer's possession isn't the technomancer, no more than a mage is a commlink that a mage happens to own.

Thus, any sprite the technomancer summons (which has to be done through his Living Persona, which is in a different node since you're hacking with the Commlink rather than the Living Persona, incurring all the penalties that entails) would have to travel from wherever the Living Persona is to the node where the hacking is taking place. Better hope that sprite has Exploit and Stealth, or else it can't even get there. And, once it does, it's not near the technomancer's Living Persona anymore, just the commlink-based Matrix persona that the technomancer happens to be using, which puts the sprite on remote service.

As to threading, well threading can only be done on Complex Forms. A hacking program? not a Complex Form, though it does the same things (mostly; only Complex Forms can Spoof commands to sprites, for example, and only an Analyze complex form can detect various sprite activities.)
Malicant
QUOTE (Eyeless Blond @ Mar 10 2008, 02:25 AM) *
Well, what jumps immediately to mind with me is how that should apply to mages as well. For example, do mages get the -2 sustaining penalty to use the device they just cast Analyze Device on? Or to a skill they're using via Magic Fingers? To a skill they're using both Magic Fingers and Clairvoyance to get a close-up view from far away? ow about a technomancer who is using both his Exploit and Stealth utilities, can he thread both at the same time and not receive any modifiers?

If this is an FAQ entry, it's following the very bad example set down by SR3, where the devs would use the "FAQ" to issue errata. That's not how it's supposed to work; FAQ entries are supposed to clarify existing rules, not make up new ones. Why the heck did I drop $35 on a book when the rules are somewhere else?

Another player that got beat up by a gang of FAQs in a dark alley, I reckon. nyahnyah.gif

And to adress your complaints:
No, a mage should not have the same loophole in sutaining, since they have more options to circumvent sustaining penalties. I can list three without hitting the books.
As far as I remember a TM can only thread one CF at a time, so your idea about threading everything simultaniously is a rather weak attempt at defending a pointless interpretation of rules that you don't even seem to like.

And how exactly is the FAQ making a new rule by clarifying the weak wording on Threading?
Eyeless Blond
QUOTE (Malicant @ Mar 10 2008, 01:55 AM) *
And to adress your complaints:
No, a mage should not have the same loophole in sutaining, since they have more options to circumvent sustaining penalties. I can list three without hitting the books.
Huh, that's odd. Here's what the book has to say about sustaining threading (p. 234):

"Threaded complex forms must be sustained (similar to
how magicians sustain spells). Sustaining requires effort on
the technomancer's part and so he suffers a -2 dice pool
modifier to all tests for each sustained complex form."

That's it. No exception for the action that you're focusing on, etc; all we see is that it's "similar to how magicians sustain spells" and the modifier is for "all tests for each sustained complex form." So, wherever this rule is, it's nowhere in the actual books.

*Edit* Oh, wait, maybe it's on page 174, dealing with mages and how they sustain spells:

"Many spells can be sustained for as long as the magician
is willing to concentrate on the spell, as noted in the spell’s
Duration. While sustained spells do offer the opportunity to
have an ongoing magical effect, they are also draining on the
magician’s magical abilities. For each sustained spell the magician
maintains, she suffers a –2 dice penalty on all other tests."

Huh, nope, guess not; the texts sound almost exactly alike. In fact one could actually make the argument that "draining on the magician's magical abilities" means that -2 here is only meant to apply to other magical tests, where there is no such stipulation on the technomancer side, making sustaining penalties *more* restrictive for technos than mages, were it not for the fact that "-2 dice penalty to all other tests" was pretty clear on what it encompassed.

QUOTE
As far as I remember a TM can only thread one CF at a time, so your idea about threading everything simultaniously is a rather weak attempt at defending a pointless interpretation of rules that you don't even seem to like.
Care to point to a rule supporting this? It's not on page 234, nor in the errata. Is this in the FAQ again?

In fact, look at that quote above again. Note specifically the last part: "a €“2 dice pool modifier to all tests for each sustained complex form." "Each" implies you can have more than one, which would fly in the face of only being able to have one at a time.

QUOTE
And how exactly is the FAQ making a new rule by clarifying the weak wording on Threading?

You've just demonstrated two rules that exist nowhere in any of the books or errata, yet are mentioned in the FAQ, unless that second rule isn't actually in the FAQ either. I admit I don't keep up with the FAQ; they came up with some crazy stuff in the SR3 version, and I've been a bit prejudiced against it ever since. And, given what you've told me here, it sounds like the SR4 version has yet more legislating from the bench to me; I guess I'll be continuing to ignore it.
Eyeless Blond
Just noticed the suggestion of trading codeslinger to Home Ground. Would that one really work for registering, though, since a technomancer would have to "disconnect from all peripherals" to do Registering?
Tiger Eyes
Yes, Home Ground would really work. You enter VR and go to the specific node (my TM has chosen ShadowSea, the post Crash2.0 Seattle shadow data haven - bonus there also on data searches...). That means you are IN the node, 100%. You aren't attached to any peripherals, your full conciousness is in the node. Peripherals would be things like your subscribed drones.
Eyeless Blond
Oooh, so that's what that means. Cool, thanks; definately changed then!

Btw, any good ideas for a non-'ware flaw to take, to get me up to that magic -35?
Malicant
QUOTE (Eyeless Blond @ Mar 10 2008, 12:55 PM) *
You've just demonstrated two rules that exist nowhere in any of the books or errata, yet are mentioned in the FAQ, unless that second rule isn't actually in the FAQ either. I admit I don't keep up with the FAQ; they came up with some crazy stuff in the SR3 version, and I've been a bit prejudiced against it ever since. And, given what you've told me here, it sounds like the SR4 version has yet more legislating from the bench to me; I guess I'll be continuing to ignore it.

No I didn't. I pointed to a clarification in the FAQ and wrongly recalled something from my memory. Happens to the best of us. I don't make up rules and sell them as Teh Truth.

Doesn't really matter if you can thread more than one CF. Threading several CFs at a time will force you to long shot everything and is very counterproductive anyways. Threading two would give you a -4 to everything but the threaded CFs, which would run at -2 penalty. Three would be -6/-4 and so on. If you are in such a hurry you can't thread one and than another after you're done with the first, your operation is going south anyway. biggrin.gif
Eyeless Blond
QUOTE (Malicant @ Mar 10 2008, 03:13 PM) *
No I didn't. I pointed to a clarification in the FAQ and wrongly recalled something from my memory. Happens to the best of us. I don't make up rules and sell them as Teh Truth.
Nor do I, but I still don't see how that FAQ ruling is a clarification, and not just yet another attempt to write entirely new rules because whoever is answering the "FAQ" doesn't like the ones in the book.

There is nothing ambiguous about the rules as written; "-2 to all tests" is very clear about its scope, and doesn't contain any ambiguous language that would need to be clarified by an FAQ entry. If this new rule had appeared in the Errata, and had therefore actually changed the rules, there wouldn't be a problem. But they didn't change the rules; they made an FAQ entry. FAQ entries exist to clarify ambiguous or unclear rules; you refer to them when you have questions about ambiguous rules, questions that are, in fact, frequently asked. This is neither, and so an FAQ entry wouldn't apply.

QUOTE
Doesn't really matter if you can thread more than one CF. Threading several CFs at a time will force you to long shot everything and is very counterproductive anyways. Threading two would give you a -4 to everything but the threaded CFs, which would run at -2 penalty. Three would be -6/-4 and so on. If you are in such a hurry you can't thread one and than another after you're done with the first, your operation is going south anyway. biggrin.gif

Hacking into a system requires both Exploit and Stealth: Exploit for the technomancer's hacking test, Stealth as the Threshold for the resisting node. Threading either one, or, possibly even both, would be advantageous for that task.

Now, according to the rules as written, you'd receive a -4 dice pool modifier for sustaining a Thread on both programs while hacking. Clear, and unambiguous, thanks to the "-2 dice to all tests". But, under this new "FAQ" rule, the situation changes. You are no doubt "using" Exploit, so that -2 doesn't count. But, are you "using" Stealth? I mean, it's running in the background, and is not being directly added to the technomancer's task. But, it is directly involved in the task, as it's the opposing node's Threshold for detecting the technomancer, so you could say it is being "used" during this task.

So, -2 dice or -0 dice? Looks like the "FAQ" needs an FAQ. smile.gif
Tiger Eyes
Stealth is a "passive" item during the exploit test, being simply the threshold which the other computer needs to reach. You aren't rolling it, therefore, I would call it a passive item (after all, if the -2 dice is in the test, you aren't actually making a test, are you? What roll would you subtract 2 dice from?) So, you could thread your exploit without penalty to your stealth during the Hacking-on-the-fly test.

As for good negative qualities to take, Sensitive System always is a great cheapie for a technomancer (yes, yes, I've heard the arguments). I like to take a fun Incompetent [skill] - my techno has Incompetent Navigation, which has caused our group many instances of mirth (helps that her sister took Incompent Pilot Ground Craft - the two of them driving a car together is... well... you get the picture). I think your Delusion negative quality isn't really that plausible, personally, because, for Drip, machines really do talk to him, and follow him home. He's not delusional, it really does happen (those friendly free sprites at work, eh?).
Kyoto Kid
...for my Matrix Specialist Violet, I took Delusions that MetaTech (now part of the mega NeoNet) is out to get her and take her back since she had been groomed (and genetically engineered) by them to become a unique breed of "spider". Hence she is very wary of any "suspicious" looking corp types, & takes extreme precautions to remain anonymous.

Another NQ Vi has is Technomania. She sees a shiny new toy or plans to a new device that piques her interest and she just has to have it. Her Doss (an old small machine shop) is littered with all sorts of odd gadgets and equipment that she tinkers with in her spare time.

Finally she also has the Compulsive NQ which causes her to become absorbed in the task at hand. Nearly has got her into trouble a couple of times.
Eyeless Blond
QUOTE (Tiger Eyes @ Mar 10 2008, 05:05 PM) *
Stealth is a "passive" item during the exploit test, being simply the threshold which the other computer needs to reach. You aren't rolling it, therefore, I would call it a passive item (after all, if the -2 dice is in the test, you aren't actually making a test, are you? What roll would you subtract 2 dice from?) So, you could thread your exploit without penalty to your stealth during the Hacking-on-the-fly test.
"Passive," huh? Re-read that "FAQ" entry; does it mention the form being "Passive"? No, all it says is "use of that threaded complex form" does not suffer the -2 modifier. Stealth is being "used;" it's certainly being employed during the Exploit test, even if the technomancer is not actually rolling the CF as part of a dice pool. So you can make an argument that a threaded Stealth does not give you a dice penalty for the Exploit test, or indeed any other test where the system is opposing you by rolling against your Stealth.

The thing is, it doesn't even matter if I'm right or wrong; only that the argument exists. That's what makes this "FAQ" entry so flawed; it takes a passage where there is no ambiguity, where the rules can only have one good and sensible explanation, and creates ambiguity, creates confusion. It doesn't even matter if the introduced ambiguity and confusion could make things more balanced; the fact that the FAQ, the place where confusion and ambiguity is supposed to be addressed and resolved, actually left things worse off than when it had started, is proof enough that something is wrong.

QUOTE
As for good negative qualities to take, Sensitive System always is a great cheapie for a technomancer (yes, yes, I've heard the arguments). I like to take a fun Incompetent [skill] - my techno has Incompetent Navigation, which has caused our group many instances of mirth (helps that her sister took Incompent Pilot Ground Craft - the two of them driving a car together is... well... you get the picture). I think your Delusion negative quality isn't really that plausible, personally, because, for Drip, machines really do talk to him, and follow him home. He's not delusional, it really does happen (those friendly free sprites at work, eh?).

Oh, right, that's a good point on the Delusion. Might be a good idea to change that huh? rotfl.gif
Malicant
QUOTE (Eyeless Blond @ Mar 11 2008, 08:13 PM) *
"Passive," huh? Re-read that "FAQ" entry; does it mention the form being "Passive"? No, all it says is "use of that threaded complex form" does not suffer the -2 modifier. Stealth is being "used;" it's certainly being employed during the Exploit test, even if the technomancer is not actually rolling the CF as part of a dice pool. So you can make an argument that a threaded Stealth does not give you a dice penalty for the Exploit test, or indeed any other test where the system is opposing you by rolling against your Stealth.

The thing is, it doesn't even matter if I'm right or wrong; only that the argument exists. That's what makes this "FAQ" entry so flawed; it takes a passage where there is no ambiguity, where the rules can only have one good and sensible explanation, and creates ambiguity, creates confusion. It doesn't even matter if the introduced ambiguity and confusion could make things more balanced; the fact that the FAQ, the place where confusion and ambiguity is supposed to be addressed and resolved, actually left things worse off than when it had started, is proof enough that something is wrong.


The FAQ clarified it for everyone but you, so I guess the problem is not on that end of Teh Internets. Right now I don't even know what your problem/question/whatever is. Other than "FAQs suck" of course. That one even I understood. biggrin.gif
Eyeless Blond
QUOTE (Malicant @ Mar 11 2008, 12:36 PM) *
The FAQ clarified it for everyone but you, so I guess the problem is not on that end of Teh Internets.

I suppose. It's been my experience that most people outright ignore the Shadowrun "FAQs". Many of the people who have been around a few years remember older rulings made by the "FAQs," rulings that, for example, would allow a hold-out pistol to destroy a main battle tank, or allow spells to enhance Line of Sight despite the spell design rules in Magic in the Shadows explicitly stating that spells can never extend LOS, and so on.

QUOTE
Right now I don't even know what your problem/question/whatever is.

The questions are these:

I'm looking at the FAQ question "Does the -2 modifier from sustaining a threading affect all actions, including use of that complex form?" In the answer, it's stated that "The -2 modifier for sustaining does not apply to use of that threaded complex form, but it does apply to all other actions the technomancer makes." I can't find that anywhere in the books themselves, so I expect it's an error. The only text I can find regarding sustained threading is on page 234:

"Threaded complex forms must be sustained (similar to
how magicians sustain spells). Sustaining requires effort on
the technomancer's part and so he suffers a -2 dice pool
modifier to all tests for each sustained complex form."

"All tests," with no provision made anywhere for using the threaded complex form. So, which is correct, the FAQ answer, or the rules written in the book? And, if the rules written in the book are wrong, why isn't there any errata?

The FAQ entry, though kinder to low-powered technomancers (and somewhat overpowering for high-powered ones), opens up a few tough issues, that didn't exist in the original rules:

1) What about Complex Forms that are directly relevant to the task at
hand, and are thus being "used," but aren't actually factored into the
technomancer's dice pool? For example, look at Stealth. Stealth is
being "used" to hide the technomancer while he is hacking into a node;
in fact it is the Threshold for the node to detect him. Does the
technomancer suffer the -2 dice sustaining penalty when sustaining a
Stealth Thread, even though his actual skill test is rolled using
Exploit? What is his dice pool modifier if he is Threading both at
once?

2) What about magic, since it's so similar to how a technomancer
sustains threading? Does a mage suffer a -2 dice pool modifier for
using the device he cast Analyze Device on? How about when using a
skill through his Magic Fingers spell? Does he suffer a -2 to
Perception Tests when viewing an area through Clairvoyance?

It seems to me that this FAQ ruling needs and FAQ all of its own.

As for the "problem," well read on.

QUOTE
Other than "FAQs suck" of course. That one even I understood. biggrin.gif

Then you understood less than you thought. FAQs are fine, great in fact; they're usually the first place I go when I have questions. Errata are fine; I love when companies make continuing efforts to improve their product, especially in cases like errata where they really are not obligated to. A site that does both is to be commended for its dedication to their customers.

But errata that masquerades as an "FAQ"? Especially when the "FAQ" leaves things more ambiguous than before? Not fine. What you end up with are two competing rulesets: the rules that are in the books (and errata), and the rules that are in the FAQ, which unfortunately are different from the books. That crack of difference is enough to confuse people unfamiliar with the rules (as I am), and open the door to potential abuses by people seeking to powergame the system (as I illustrate with question 1) above, in which a player could potentially Thread 2 Complex forms without having to deal with a single sustaining penalty.)

All this is the result of a line developer deciding to unilaterally change the rules, basically without consulting anyone, as Rob is doing in the FAQ entries. He's a judge legislating from the bench, and the result is quirky, unenforceable rules as we see here.

Anyway that's the last I have to say about this. If I'm unable to explain my position by now, I might never be able to, so I'll leave it at what you see here.
Malicant
Are you intetionally ignoring what I am trying to say? The FAQ says the penalty does not apply to the threaded complex form. That is it. Everything is clear. Now you are just throwing around smoke granades, because you assume that either the book or the FAQ must be wrong.

The BBB does not clearly state that the penalty does not apply to the CF responsible for it, so the FAQ explains it. That is just really bad wording in the BBB. Maybe it will even find a way into the errata at some point, maybe it will be adressed in Unwired, who knows.

And could you please stop breaking sentences in the middle of the line? It's really a pain to read, especially if you have the attention span of a insomniac goldfish (like I do).

Also, stop comparing mage and TM sustaining. It confuses more than anything.
TMs recieve the sustaining penalty with threading and the sole purpose of threading is to increase dicepools. It would be really, really stupid if you always had to thread at least 3 ratings to achieve anything.
Mages recieve sustaining penalties through spells, which are most of the day not really affected by said penalty, with few exceptions.
Eyeless Blond
QUOTE (Malicant @ Mar 11 2008, 03:50 PM) *
Are you intetionally ignoring what I am trying to say? The FAQ says the penalty does not apply to the threaded complex form. That is it. Everything is clear. Now you are just throwing around smoke granades, because you assume that either the book or the FAQ must be wrong.

The BBB does not clearly state that the penalty does not apply to the CF responsible for it, so the FAQ explains it. That is just really bad wording in the BBB. Maybe it will even find a way into the errata at some point, maybe it will be adressed in Unwired, who knows.
But that's the thing, it does clearly state whether or not the penalty applies to the CF responsible for it. I've quoted the section twice so far. "[A] -2 dice pool modifier to all tests," is not ambiguous; it is not unclear. It uses the word "all," which is one of the few words that has a common definition everywhere. All tests. Not "all tests except one or two;" not "all tests for which the CF is not involved; not "all tests made in the continental United States." All tests. All tests. All tests. All. Tests. All tests.

How is that ambiguous? How is that unclear?

Now, it is possible that it's wrong; in fact I believe, as you do, that it is wrong. The book has been wrong before; that is in fact what an errata is for, to correct errors made in the book. There have in fact been a few big errors corrected in the book; the change of * to + with spirit attributes is a perfect example of this, and a very good one, because otherwise a Force 4 Spirit of Air would be the undisputed master of combat, taking out even hardened sammies with ease. This sustaining penalty applying even to tasks where the Threaded CF is part of the dice pool (note no ambiguous language about "using") is a similar error, that should go where all corrected errors go: in the errata.

An FAQ entry is not an errata. It doesn't change what's written in the book. It just creates two, self-contradictory sets of rules: the rules in the book, and the rules in the FAQ. Most people--myself included--would never even bother looking in an FAQ for a rules change, first because that's not what an FAQ is for, and second because the original rules, as defined in the book and the errata, are in no way unclear. They might be annoying, even wrong, but they were very clear.

And that is about 75% of the problem here, that something that properly belonged in an Errata somehow ended up in an FAQ entry instead. It may seem a minor quibble at the moment, but you just wait until the FAQs come out for Street Magic, Arsenal, Augmentation, and Unwired. I guarantee you that if the FAQ guy keeps treating the FAQ like his own little official house-rule maker he will screw something else up, just like he has in years past, without fail. That's how we ended up with so many crazy rules in SR3, and why so many veterans treat the FAQ with such open disgust.


This is not to mention how the FAQ managed to exchange the completely unambiguous "all tests" to "does not apply to use of that threaded complex form." But what does it mean to use that threaded complex form? I'm using my Stealth CF when making my Exploit test; it's being used as the Threshold for the system to detect me. Does that mean I can thread it up to 9, but still not take a -2 dice pool modifier to my Exploit test?

Now, is that a stupid interpretation? Not really. I think it's wrong, just as you seem to, but I can see people making the argument, and the only reason the argument can be made is because "use" is such a vague term. The FAQ should have said something like the sustaining penalty, "does not apply to tasks where the Threaded CF is part of the Technomancer's dice pool," or something similar. But it didn't, so now we have an ambiguity, introduced by an FAQ entry that pretended to be an errata and so shouldn't have been written in the first place.

QUOTE
Also, stop comparing mage and TM sustaining. It confuses more than anything.
TMs recieve the sustaining penalty with threading and the sole purpose of threading is to increase dicepools. It would be really, really stupid if you always had to thread at least 3 ratings to achieve anything.
Mages recieve sustaining penalties through spells, which are most of the day not really affected by said penalty, with few exceptions.
All Detection/Health/Manipulation buffing spells, and nearly all indirect Illusion spells (combined with Con or Infiltration) is hardly what I'd call "few" exceptions. And, in many ways mages have it worse than technomancers. In order to sustain a spell a mage either has to hand it off to a spirit, which costs money, an ally spirit, which costs lots of Karma, or a sustaining focus, which costs money and Karma to bond, as well as having disadvantages of its own. Technomancers can hand Threaded CFs off to sprites, which they register for free.

The main reason I'm raising a stink about it, however, is because the FAQ somehow redefined, "-2 dice pool modifier to all tests," to not actually be for all tests, so then why shouldn't the mage's "-2 dice pool modifier to all tests," also not apply to all tests? It's the exact same words; the book even goes out of its way to mention how similar they are.

How can the same words be interpreted one way in one section, and a completely different way in another?
Malicant
Stop refusing my Word. My Word is law. Obey. vegm.gif

I see your problem now. The only solution is to let go and accept the FAQ, mentally adding it's information to the threading section. No one is wrong, the BBB is just missing few words, hence it's unclear. The holy FAQ descended from ... somewhere ... to bring some kind of sense into threading. I am greatful.

You are free to bust you skull though.
Eyeless Blond
I'd rather add my Word; the FAQ version would just invite munchkins to interrupt the game demanding a -0 DP mod for threading both Exploit and Stealth at the same time. smile.gif
Malicant
QUOTE (Eyeless Blond @ Mar 12 2008, 12:57 PM) *
I'd rather add my Word; the FAQ version would just invite munchkins to interrupt the game demanding a -0 DP mod for threading both Exploit and Stealth at the same time. smile.gif

Question: What kind of munchkin is running around with a -4 penalty to anything but those two CFs, which would run at -2 (not really affecting Stealth)?

Answer: No munchkin at all.
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