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MaxHunter
Hi there! One of my players wants to buy one or two "attack dogs" to pet and sometimes bring along as increased power.

His group has recently been owned by a parasecurity expert and a couple barghests, so I think it's kinda logical his recent interest in pets and all. Besides, his character is a social adept, so he has little use for his money; I would like to welcome his new interest and give him something to spend more money on. (plus, dogs are so killable, it could become a recurrent expense vegm.gif smile.gif

I am looking forward to giving his character a good deal and a couple options. I also would like to make his investment a roleplaying experience as well. I believe he does not have "Kennel Chrome Club" in his list of contacts, so...

Who would come up with info when he starts looking? What kind of "offers" do you think would be fun? Any idea on mechanics and expected behaviour. I believe I could come up with three or four options depending on money and availability, from the cheapest, less predictable and less durable (juicer cyberdog) to a more expensive, more resilient, more dependable one (corporate biodrone)

Ideas, comments and price ranges welcome.

Cheers!

Max
VagabondStar
Fenris Wolf Whisperer?
masterofm
You could give him a pink elephant type of animal. Like a devil dog or something... It rocks, but at the same time consumes magical items to survive? I don't know.... something like that might work. I got a really cool dog that is actually quite intelligent, too bad it eats binding materials to stay on the physical plane.... *sigh*
Memeurgy
Well, augmented animals are canon (BB p. 253) and have a full 6 points of essence, so you can add a lot to them. Bioware seems more suitable for animals than cyberware, if you think about the animal adjusting, but there's probably something to be said for having your dog's wired reflexes on a remote control.

For roleplaying investment, I see corporations with cyberdogs but I don't see street prices for that cyber. I guess he'll just have to steal/salvage the tech somewhere and then dump cash to have it implanted in the pets.

For high-end examples, Snow Crash has the full cyborg dogs with some excellent speed boosters.
Isath
Well trained dogs still are quite effective in many situations... although I wouldn't take pets with me on most runs. Cybered animals are still a bit unstable i think but an option - also there is still the occaisonal rigger with a drone or two. wink.gif

Awakened animals are rather dangerous to keep as pets, I'd mostly abstain from keeping those even as a mage. If he wants some of those anyways, Barghest and Hellhounds are somewhat favored as watchdogs by some corps. Still, for a "private" person that might easily backfire.
CanRay
If you get them early enough, Wolf Shapechangers can be quite affectionate towards their "Pack". nyahnyah.gif

Of course, the other Wolf Shapechangers do NOT like their cousins kept as "Pets". vegm.gif
Siege
Devil Rat with time delay Kamikaze capsules injected.

For some reason, I love this idea but no GM has ever let me put it into play before. grinbig.gif

-Siege
Isath
Pet Shifters, might not be the best plan there is...

After all when they grow up they'll probably challenge you for leadership...they might win... so you could end up the pet instead. Hm...funny thought though.
CanRay
Yeah, and you know your "Friends" are just going to stand by and "Help" by shouting "Establish Dominance! Establish Dominance!" nyahnyah.gif
ShadeRavnos
QUOTE (CanRay @ Jul 23 2008, 08:08 PM) *
Yeah, and you know your "Friends" are just going to stand by and "Help" by shouting "Establish Dominance! Establish Dominance!" nyahnyah.gif


Images of Harvey Birdman "I'm the alpha male"here
Sir_Psycho
Parashield is a corporate subsidiary that deals in training and augmenting animals. I'm sure there's a fair few A's and AA/AAA subsidiary corporations that sell and trade animals. And where there's corps, there's shadow-runoff (ex parasecurity experts). So any of those options could provide you with an animal and probably the cyberware to go with it.

Most cyberware can be adapted for animal use, althoug it's pretty specialised, the effects are the same. Cyber-implant weapons? Synthetic muscles/toner/augmentation? You've got a dog with powerful cyber-jaws. Orthoskin would be a cool dog-mod. Or perhaps bone lacing, or some other subdermal armour. A dog with ruthenium treated synth-skin. If you give it an implanted commlink/simrig, or a micro-tranceiver, you could give it orders electronically and even see what it's doing (so you could send it to do things, and have it listening to your commands in it's head.

Obedience and training are the main problems. Training a dog would probably be an Instruction (Specialisation: Animals) test (probably best handled by a contact). Or you could go a cyber route. I imagine you could instill obedience and command recognition using simsense. Maybe there's even Personafix sims/activesofts for dogs.

You'd need some sort of houserule system for giving commands though. Perhaps the dog would roll logic or intuition to comprehend orders? And then willpower to follow them? Or perhaps you'd have the character roll a willpower + (skill? maybe leadership?) in an opposed test against the dog, or against a threshold based on the complexity/situation, and if he fails the dog just wags it's tail, and if he glitches, the dog does something completely wrong, and on a critical glitch it attacks it's owner. You mentioned he's a social adept, right? I think commanding voice should have a strong effect on dogs. Voice tone is very important in instilling obedience in dogs.

Also, by canon (from SR2/SR3) cybered animals can go a bit nuts - and the chance of attacking their handlers increases. Perhaps you could reduce the 1's needed for a glitch by essence lost?

Also, there's the biodrone rules in the back of augmentation. They have things like the orientation goad, which would probably be something you'd want.
De Badd Ass
QUOTE (MaxHunter @ Jul 23 2008, 02:53 PM) *
Hi there! One of my players wants to buy one or two "attack dogs" to pet and sometimes bring along as increased power.

His group has recently been owned by a parasecurity expert and a couple barghests, so I think it's kinda logical his recent interest in pets and all.

Some of the responses have been very interesting, but the thread seems to be drifting off track.

"His group has recently been owned by a parasecurity expert and a couple barghests"

Deal with that!

What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of "attack dogs",enhanced or otherwise, compared to drones and weapons?

Dog
Still regarded as man's best friend, domesticated canines fulfill a regular role in society, particularly in security situations, where their enhanced smell and natural predatory instincts can serve them well. The statistics listed below represent an above-average to large dog typically encountered by runners as opposition (for example, German shepherds, rottweilers, and Doberman pinschers).
B A R S C I L W EDG ESS Init IP
2 3 3 2 3 3 1 3 3 6 6 1
Movement: 10/45
Skills: Intimidation 2, Perception 2, Tracking 2, Unarmed Combat 3
Powers: Enhanced Senses (Smell), Natural Weapon (Claws/Bite: DV 2P, AP 0)

Barghest
The barghest resembles an oversized mastiff , either pure white or pure black. Its short fur lies flat on its body, creating the impression that its hide is naked, and spines protrude the length of its back. Its eyes shine red, and its teeth glow slightly in the dark because of luminescent bacteria in its saliva. It hunts alone or in pairs during breeding season; at other times it hunts in packs of twelve or more. Various corps have attempted to domesticate the barghest as a guard animal, but results so far have been hit-or-miss.
Natural Habitat: North America and northern Europe, with particular concentration in the northern British Isles. Barghests have also been spotted in urbanized areas that were formerly part of the British Empire, such as Australia, Hong Kong, and Nairobi.
B A R S C I L W EDG ESS M Init IP
7 5 6 5 3 3 1 3 4 6 4 9 2
Movement: 15/50
Skills: Intimidation 4, Perception 3, Tracking 3, Unarmed Combat 3
Powers: Dual Natured, Enhanced Senses (Sonar), Fear, Natural Weapon (Bite: DV 5P, AP 0), Paralyzing Howl

GM-Nissan Doberman: The Doberman is a perimeter patrol crawler drone equally effective during daytime or nighttime
conditions. Comes equipped with one weapon (LMG or smaller) and Clearsight 3 and Targeting 3 autosofts.
Handling Accel Speed Pilot Body Armor Sensor Avail Cost
0 10/25 100 3 3 2 3 6 2,000

Choose your dog! spin.gif
VagabondStar
The Denver Source Book made reference to "Silent Killers" which were basically genetically engineered German Shepherds that had their larynx surgically removed at birth. They're bigger, stronger, faster, and they don't bark. They do hiss. I think the UCAS sector used them... but it's been a very long time.
Crusher Bob
The real advantage to getting a hellhound or similar awakened critter is that they have astral perception. If you don't need the additional astral security, you are probably better off with a drone.

If the character is going to be dealing with dogs much, especially security style dogs, you should probably consider making him pick up a knowledge skill to reflect his ability to keep them in line. Next, invest in doggie armor, no matter how tough a dog is, the anti-borg guns that everyone and his brother packs will blow an unarmored target into chunks. Protect your investment with some armor.

I'm not too big a fan of Barghests since that damn things are almost pony sized, its hard to take them anywhere. Hell hounds, while still pretty big, aren't too much bigger that big regular dogs.

Don't forget that you have to feed and exercise the dogs; they'll probably run through plenty of food (cost them like low lifestyle guests? does SR4 have the guest lifestyle rules?)
WearzManySkins
Remember SURGE did not only affect Meta humanity. Think of a dog with venom glands, etc.

WMS
Sir_Psycho
QUOTE (Crusher Bob @ Jul 24 2008, 12:41 AM) *
The real advantage to getting a hellhound or similar awakened critter is that they have astral perception. If you don't need the additional astral security, you are probably better off with a drone.

If the character is going to be dealing with dogs much, especially security style dogs, you should probably consider making him pick up a knowledge skill to reflect his ability to keep them in line. Next, invest in doggie armor, no matter how tough a dog is, the anti-borg guns that everyone and his brother packs will blow an unarmored target into chunks. Protect your investment with some armor.

I'm not too big a fan of Barghests since that damn things are almost pony sized, its hard to take them anywhere. Hell hounds, while still pretty big, aren't too much bigger that big regular dogs.

Don't forget that you have to feed and exercise the dogs; they'll probably run through plenty of food (cost them like low lifestyle guests? does SR4 have the guest lifestyle rules?)

Armour? Hell no. Orthoskin. Dermal plating. Try and scratch that itch.

Yeah, 10% of lifestyle for guest living (per guest).

QUOTE (WearzManySkins @ Jul 24 2008, 01:02 AM) *
Remember SURGE did not only affect Meta humanity. Think of a dog with venom glands, etc.

WMS

That's awesome and I'm totally going to run a "go fetch the special mutant doggy for R&D."
Ed_209a
I am SO glad someone gave honorable mention to Snow Crash's "Semi-Autonomous Guard Units". Shame they don't work in Shadowrun's worldview.

Animals probably can't be mages, due to intelligence, but couldn't they be physical adepts? Recovering 2-3 power point hamster specced out as a hand-to-hand adept would be _hilarious_!
paws2sky
QUOTE (Ed_209a @ Jul 24 2008, 08:18 AM) *
Animals probably can't be mages, due to intelligence, but couldn't they be physical adepts? Recovering 2-3 power point hamster specced out as a hand-to-hand adept would be _hilarious_!


Heh.

I was thinking monkey throwing adept...
MaxHunter
fun ideas, y'all! I am planning on giving the character some options after he does some legwork to find them.

One would probably be a Parashield dropout who takes custom orders. Some money for a "template" plus the implant costs, plus his money for the job (1-2k plus a 10-25% percent of total cost + ....would 1-2k for the dog be too much?)

Another one could be a smuggler who has access to some "silent killers" (I loved that one) Cheaper than the custom job but maybe a litter could be available. Training costs not included.

Maybe another one could be a gang boss or crime boss who keeps some doberman with autoinjectors, kamikaze and/or datajacks with p-fixes. Cheaper, expendable nasty and unreliable.

And there is still the "rare" option... (I hated SURGE so it won't fly in my game), barghests and hellhounds would be too expensive... would a ghoul dog be too much?

Cheers,

Max

ps. please review my numbers, they totally come from out of my nose.
paws2sky
Another option...

I seem to recall a Shadowrun web comic (can't remember the name) that featured Cerberus Hounds - large mastiff looking things with three heads, corrosive saliva, and enough sprint speed to keep up with the getaway car...

Not exactly ideal thanks to their saliva, but could be fun to throw at the team some time.

-paws
Mr. Unpronounceable
QUOTE (paws2sky @ Jul 24 2008, 03:35 PM) *
Heh.

I was thinking monkey throwing adept...


Yuck grinbig.gif

GM: *splat* Take 14 physical damage...and you might want to shut off your olfactory booster.
Player: What!?
GM: well, he has strength boost and throw anything...
Rasumichin
QUOTE (paws2sky @ Jul 24 2008, 03:11 PM) *
Another option...

I seem to recall a Shadowrun web comic (can't remember the name) that featured Cerberus Hounds - large mastiff looking things with three heads, corrosive saliva, and enough sprint speed to keep up with the getaway car...

Not exactly ideal thanks to their saliva, but could be fun to throw at the team some time.

-paws


Ah, cerberus hounds.
Another fun critter from Paranormal Animals of Europe.
Less subtle than the blackberry cat, but sometimes, you have to roll out the nasty stuff.
Though i must admit that i liked the gorgon better, every GM just has to be fond of the idea of a toxic leviatan with weather control, petrifying gaze, about a dozen other powers and the adorable dietary requirement for heavy petroleum oil.
I'm digressing here, but that book was just plain awesome.

There might be a stat conversion for SR3 somewhere on the internets, though i can't exactly recall where.
Probably in the dumpshock archives.

One would still have to convert the stats to SR4, but it would be worth it.
MaxHunter
or we can wait for "running wild" can we? I dunno. I liked the cover, though.

Cheers!

Max
hyzmarca
I recomend a toy hellpoodle, simple because they're so damned surprising. Nobody expectes your little ole' pocketpoodle to be a firebreathing killing machine.

Being a face, you can also reasonably use your hellpoodle to pull a Dog in a Bar if you're even in need of quick cash.
JudgementLoaf
If the character has crime contacts, taking a dogfighting dog off the hands of one of his trainers might work. Otherwise, cyber some poor mutt into a rat thing from snow crash. If they cant see him, they cant shoot him.
CanRay
Magicians get pets.

I mean Ally Spirits. nyahnyah.gif
Siege
Or Samurai.

-Siege
Zen Shooter01
Dogs are an interesting issue in Shadowrun that has never really been addressed.

Dogs aren't going away. There are an estimated 60 million in the US alone today, so there ought to be truckloads of them in the Sixth World.

The canon says a dog has a Perception dice pool of 5, which I think fails to reflect the reality of dogs' senses. They get the Enhanced Smell power, but there aren't any game mechanics to go with that because it lacks a rating. I think a dog should have a Perception dp of at least 8, if the average human has 6.

In law enforcement I think dogs will have been replaced by tech, but in a domestic environment - kidnapping someone out of their apartment, for example - a loyal dog can be a very big pain in a runner's ass. And I think they'd be very common in gangland, because they're relatively cheap, and they're macho.
HeavyMetalYeti
Don't forget about Paris Hilton's awakened pooch. That is not a normal fart coming from that animal's backside. Luckily her heiress had that sinus implant years ago and doesn't feel the effects.
Magus
Could you not cyber up a <insert dog cat whatever> put cyber in it, stuff like muscle replacement, bone density bio, wired reflexes, all stuff that does not require an action to use. Mostly bone and body enhancement.
Then have your possesion initiate prepare the whatever it is as a vessel, summon your force 5 or 6 ally spirit of doom and have it possess the animal. Now you have a loyal guard whatever. One who can understand you and do exactly what you want. Who has the spell casting ability and a mental link.
Better than a rigged whatever!
The Jopp
QUOTE (Ed_209a @ Jul 24 2008, 02:18 PM) *
Animals probably can't be mages, due to intelligence,


Dog Shaman Dog with high charisma...and bound beast spirits

...Time to summon the pack...

Magus
I can see it now: He-Man lvl 4 Initiate in a Possesion path mage; Battlecat just got ugly.
The Jopp
Hmm...

Tame Blackberry cat?

In Russia Blackberry cat tames YOU!
hyzmarca
In everywhere, blackberry cat tames you. They have mind control powers and manipulating people for their own amusement is their M.O.
The Jopp
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Jul 25 2008, 03:55 PM) *
In everywhere, blackberry cat tames you. They have mind control powers and manipulating people for their own amusement is their M.O.


I know, but would the owner know?

Hmm....Talis Cat...can be transported in cat carrier
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