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One of the PCs in my group is an AI. So far, he's been absolutely fine. The only thing is that he wants to claim the bonus for being in hot sim VR, as follows:

QUOTE (BBB, pg229)
You also receive an exceptional +2 dice pool bonus to all Matrix tests while in hot sim mode, due to your hypersensitized state.

My feeling is that, as he's never not in hot VR, he shouldn't get the bonus (he already has +3 to Matrix Perception as an AI). I'd love to know if there's some RAW somewhere about this. Do agents count as being in hot VR, for example?
Captain K
QUOTE (Runner's Companion @ very top of p.89)
An AI's Initiative is equal to its Intuition rating plus its Response rating; they get three Initiative Passes per Combat Turn.

So there you go. nyahnyah.gif
That doesn't really answer the question about the +2 dice pool bonus to all Matrix tests though...
Captain K
Oh, hmm. I wasn't answering your question at all.

I don't see anything in the RAW about this question either, but I'm inclined to agree with you. His AI character is probably already rolling a huge number of dice for all its Matrix actions anyway, right?
I really don't see how he would roll a huge number of dice. As far as i've been able to determine, hackers will near-always roll more dice than AI's, due to stuff like encephalons and hotsim. Also, hackers will usually go to 4-5 actions per turn, while AI's are currently stuck with 3. The only way in the rules for AI's to keep up with hackers are the few AI-specific Qualities (Authority, especially), and increasing inherent programs with karma. All in all, it would seem fair enough to use the hotsim bonus for AI's, but a better solution would be to make an expanded set of character options for AI's.
AI's and TM's are similar to magic users when it comes to out of the gate performance vs long term potential.

both can be gods of the matrix if they can hang around long enough, but the hacker can do more from the word go.

same goes for magic users vs sammies. the magic user can go to infinity with enough karma, the sammie will have more bang right at the start.

or i guess we can sum it up as stats vs gear wink.gif

hell, what was the saying about the d&d1 wizard? dweeb at 1st, god at 9th, dead at 2nd?
Let me offer as a response to the original question a question of my own.

Do you get a +2 bonus because you're operating in the world you were born in (the physical one)?
bonuses that hackers can get that AI's can't: +2 encephalon, +2 hotsim, +2 IP (simsense accelerator, simsense booster). Other cyberware (Math SPU). Not sure about whether Neocortical neural amplifiers add to skill+program check.

bonuses that AI's can get that hackers can't: inherent program ratings max out at 12 instead of 6 (+6). +3 matrix perception from being an AI., bonuses to matrix combat from agent autosofts. Access to AI-specific qualities (lowered thresholds for exploit to get accounts from Authority, matrix invisibility from Rootkit)

All in all, i doesn't seem to me that AI's can become significantly stronger than hackers except in a few key areas. (raw stealth program score, ferinstance, which is rather important). Hackers, meanwhile, will have more bonuses than AI's most of the time, and if using logic+skill for hacking, all the time, since Ai's dont have access to cerebral boosters.

So i'd disagree with AI's having the ability to become virtual gods compared to hackers, even with unlimited karma. did i miss anything?

Still, again, in response to the OP. giving AI's hotsim bonus doesn't seem right, but hackers would seem to be slightly stronger most of the time without it. AI's hard cap on IP's is probably more important tho.
Eryk the Red
Personally, I don't see a problem with giving them the hot-sim bonus. It seems very appropriate. I don't think of the bonus as a function of existing in a state significantly different from your normal state (honestly, if that were the idea, I'd think it should be a penalty). It's a function of existing in a state where you have access to an incredible array of incredibly vivid virtual "senses", providing you a huge amount of data with which to inform all your actions. Hot sim status grants speed and precision in the virtual world. Being born into that state shouldn't mean you gain less from it than someone who just pops in once in a while.

It's a big deal to have a permanent +2 bonus to all your actions, but that doesn't seem so bad to me when the character in question is limited to matrix actions anyway.

All that said, I'm not super super familiar with the AI rules (I've read through them a couple times, but I don't intend to have any AI PCs in my campaign, so I didn't look too close). I don't know if this bonus would be overpowering. But it doesn't seem unreasonable to me.
A technomancer gets those bonuses and are often 'more at home' on the matrix. Of course this opens the question of "well then does that Agent get the hotsim bonus?"

Tough call
QUOTE (SR4 page 229 @ "Hot Sim")
A hot sim interface has been modifi ed to bypass the simsense peak levels that protect your nervous system from damaging biofeedback.

can purely software entities use simsense? nope. and what does the sim in hot sim mean? oh, that's right, *simsense*. so does the hot sim bonus apply to entities that can't even use hot sim? i would say no, personally.
AIs can also ignore Black IC.
as can a AR-adept frown.gif
Which is easily fixed by only allowing one action per Combat Turn to be spent on AR Hacking.
Read up on agent programs, because all AI's are are agents or other semi-autonomous progs that became self aware. Do agent programs and pilot programs get +2 dice for being hot-sim?

Also, don't forget to customize you're AI's home node's interface for +1 Init. Pass.
QUOTE (Neraph @ Oct 1 2008, 06:09 AM) *
Also, don't forget to customize you're AI's home node's interface for +1 Init. Pass.

Could you provide the reference for this rule please? I'm not seeing it in the "node sweet node" section of Runner's Companion.

That's because it's in the Unwired book. Customizing a commlink's interface gives you a +1 dicepool or... Actually I think I'm thinking of an implant. But you can still get a +1 DP for all matrix things by customizing your interface. Just say you're High Lifestyle is a r4 or r5 commlink at you're 6/6 contact's house.
The optimization upgrade (Unwired p198) would seem to work for giving +1 die to everything. I've been ignoring it because it seemed abusive, but not so sure now. I'm pretty sure there's no way in the rules for AI's to gain IP's.
Anyway, my argument is more about AI's being weak than AI's using cold or hot sim (neither, in my opinion)
The problem if there is one, is partly one of lack of equipment or advancement rules for AI's. Something akin to Submersion/Initiation (perhaps call it Evolution) might work, but you'd have to be careful.
To the last two posters... customized interface is a +1 bonus to matrix initiative only.

Optomization again, is a +1 bonus to running a single program. Most matrix tests are Program + skill, (AI's included). I'd say, sure you can optomize for running your AI program, but tell me what tests are run using your AI Rating + skill that you'd want/need +1 on. Because the mod is clear it only works for one program, not one program using another program. So it's not going to be a global +1.

That's differentiated from program optomization. Which only allows a program to run in a substandard system at it's full rating. I'd guess AI's have optomization(AI Rating) or optomization (6) because it doesn't say. In any case, unless you're in a really limited node... programs are going to be capped at twice the nodes system rating. (who cares that you have a rating 12 program, even w/ optomization it can only be a rating 6 program in the System3 node, so I don't see that as being a huge advantage to AI's short of a home field advantage or when in tricked out systems).

As far as the OP... I'd be inclined to say yes the AI is always in hot sim. Simply because simsense arguments are a diversion... the AI has to percieve the world somehow. For the types of AI's allowed to be PC's, they probably exihibit the same senses as a normal hacker. In any case, what's the big difference between hot and cold sim, whether the character can take physical or only stun damage. AI's can't take stun damage if I'm reading the book correctly, only what amounts to physical damage for them (and they don't even have overflow like a normal decker). Their risk is as high or higher than a hotsimmed decker, so I'd be inclined to give it to them.

That much said, reading everything on AI's... I'm not sure how well they play, I'd love to get a chance to try it out a little, as the bonus might be too much, but I'm unsure on that. Similarly, I might be inclined to argue the AI could get it's home node equipped with a simsense accelerator to pick up a 4th pass.

I think we all need to see AI's played to tell if they're good bad or ugly right now.
I think we all need to see AI's played to tell if they're good bad or ugly right now.

While good or bad is still undecided, it's pretty obvious from this and other threads that the AI PC rules are really damn ugly.
Platinum Dragon
Actually, the AI PC rules are fairly elegant - it's just the matrix rules are so confusing and slapdash that even the relatively simple AI rules raise tons of questions. =/
I wasn't talking about the optomize program option, I was talking about the customize user interface commlink upgrade.
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