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Kludgejob
Hi there!

I'm brand new to both Dumpshock and Shadowrun - I hope to avoid making any gamespeak or forum-etiquette errors, but if I do, please forgive me.
It looks like I'll be playing in my first Shadowrun game, (4th Edition,) in about a short while, and I've been trying to come up with a decent character build.
My past gaming groups have been pretty strictly Fantasy-only, and I'm quite excited about trying SR4, but the character generation process seems a good deal more complicated than, say, D'n'd. The gamemaster who'll be running has a reputation for playing hardball a bit, so, if you'd care to look over my build and give tips or pointers, or even just bluntly point out absurdities or misunderstandings of the rules, I'd be more than grateful.

Character name: Francis Osgood, goes by Oz.
Concept: Sort of a Stealth / Rigger hybrid, I guess?
The idea is that ol' Frank was a corporate type, working in structural engineering, and he happened to contract a nasty flesh eating virus when the plane transporting it crashed near his worksite in a small Australian town, leading to the viral deaths of 40-odd other people and the loss of Frank's right arm, eyes, and some toes. Frank's corporate health insurance covered the basic hospital bills, but he was fired, ( at age 47), as his usefulness to the company didn't justify paying for actual repairs. So Frank bought some cheap cyber replacements for his missing bits and took to the shadows, starting off with high-risk structure hits, ( using his structural engineering know-how,) and somehow not dying in the process. Now, he's toned it down a lot, with much better gear and less of a death wish, and makes most of his dosh smuggling various things across national or corporate borders.
( Nothing too heavily guarded, tho.) His end goal is to make enough money to pay for leonization and revitalization treatments, so he can 'start life over.'
Frank is a little cranky, reserved, and a bit calculating. He hates being uninformed and 'winging it,' and prefers to have the maximum amount of knowledge relevant to any task before starting it, although he's not averse to well-rewarded risk.

Stats
Body 2
Agility 4
Reaction 3
Strength 2
Charisma 3
Intuition 4
Logic 4
Willpower 3
Edge 2
(Should be 170 BP.)

Qualities, Positive: Guts
Qualities, Negative: Sinner.
Contacts: Yehusha Brubaker, Fixer, Loyalty 1, Connections 3.

Skills
Automatics 3 (Spec: SMGs)
Climbing 3 (Spec: Urban)
Hardware 2 (Spec: Sensors)
Pistols 2 (Spec: Heavy Pistols)
Throwing Weapons 1 (Spec: Grenades)
Pilot Ground Craft 1 (Spec: Trucks)
Shadowing 3 (Spec: Tail Evasion)
Infiltration 4 (Spec: Borders)
Demolitions 3 (Spec: Cutting charges)
Perception 3 (Spec: (Spec:Visual)
ElectronicWarfare 3 (Spec: Communications)
Navigation 2 (Spec: Urban)
DataSearch 2
Industrial Mechanic 2 (Spec: Drones)
Dodge 1
Computer 2 (Spec: Commlink)
(Should be 176 BP )

I haven't worked out all his knowledge skills yet, but there will definitely be knowledge of structural engineering in there, (backstory,) lots of stuff on security of various types, especially border security, and probably some stuff about drones.

The remaining 50 BP is spent on 250,00 worth of gear, which I won't post in it's entirety here because it would be a bit wall-of-text.
Basic rundown, he has:

Cybereyes with enhancement 3, magnification, smartlink, etc,

Cyber arm with radar 3, a grapple, climbing claws, a biomonitor, commlink, datajack, and an autoinjector.
Wired reflexes 1.

Commlink and software upgrades: 5 response / 5 signal, firewall five, etc.

An agent, rating three, and a bunch of rating three software to kit him out.

Armament is a Executive Protector SMG, in a case that looks like an old toolbox, with extra clip, gas vent 3 and chameleon coating.
Also has a ceramic, shortened Ruger Super Warhawk, also with chameleon coating.
Lots of various kinds of ammo for both. A bunch of thermal grenades for getaways and firefights, (Since I figure he can see with his radar.)

Some explosives, (10 kg TNT, 40M Detcord, a bunch of detonators.)

Chameleon suit, with thermal 4, for sneaking across poorly defended borders.

A large truck, based off the Conestoga Vista from Arsenal, with two drone racks, some concealed armor, antitheft, a shielded smuggling compartment, and a manacoffin.

A blimp-drone based off the GTS tower in Arsenal, except it's got exterior airdrop cargo, and signature masking one instead of the multi-launch drone rack.
It's also got chameleon coating, ( yes, I think that stuff is really cool,) ECM 3, a response upgrade, firewall five, and lots of nice sensors.
It's armed with a Ingram White Knight LMG, smartgun, with internal suppressor, SA firing mode added, and an underbarrel adjusting weight for recoil comp.

2nd drone is a Ford LEBD-1, armed with a grenade launcher + ammo bins, some decent sensors and firewall, good targeting autosofts, etc.

The vehicles and drones all have spoof chips and morphing license plates.

( Idea was he could use either himself, the truck, or the blimp's small cargo area for smuggling, or use the blimp as overwatch / air support on his runs, calling in the grenade launcher drone only if things got really sticky.)

The rest of the cash is dispersed among various sort of generically useful items, I guess.

So! If you've actually read all of this, thank you for your time and patience! Any advice appreciated, even if it's "Tear it down and start over!"

P.S: Please do let me know if I've violated any of the posting standards here - I'd like to stick around, and don't want to tick anyone off. nuyen.gif
Metapunk
I am pretty new to shadowrun myself, and I would really love to get some answers to this post:) mostly because he deserves it cuz that sounds like such a cool character:) and it would be a great help for me as a GM since it will give me a really big help for my players.
I have only read through the rules of the basic rulebook, and I did not see anything wrong with it, but as said, I am still new and you would need answers from others then me cyber.gif
Fortune
Welcome to Dumpshock. This is the right forum for your post, but don't worry too much about 'ticking anyone off' here. We're usually a pretty easy-going bunch.

As for the character in question, it looks pretty good at first glance. Of course, there is quite a bit of room for optimization, but that isn't necessary, and doesn't appear to be your main objective.
toturi
Is this a low level game? Are there any house rules we need to know about?
Kludgejob
It's my first game, so I'm not aware of any house rules. I think the GM is pretty much by-the-book, but I've only gamed with him once or twice, in other game systems.
As far as I know we're all starting off with 400 BP - I guess that counts as low level?
(Oh! Secondary question - do I need a separate copy of Firewall for each of my nodes if I want them protected? Or does one cover the whole network?)
Medicineman
Cybereyes with enhancement 3, magnification, smartlink, etc,

Cyber arm with radar 3, a grapple, climbing claws, a biomonitor, commlink, datajack, and an autoinjector.
Wired reflexes 1

Should'nt Radar,Commlink and Datajack be Headware ?

Concept: Sort of a Stealth / Rigger hybrid, I guess?

What about the Riggeradapter ?
Pilot Ground Craft 1 (Spec: Trucks)
Not enough for a Rigger Char (ImO)

Hough!
Medicineman
Fortune
Headware can be installed in cyberlimbs.
Ryu
Welcome on DS! Don´t worry about posting etiquette, you are pretty unlikely to hurt our feelings by accident.

Some comments on your list of skills, which is laudably very long:

Skills
Automatics 3 (Spec: SMGs)
Pistols 2 (Spec: Heavy Pistols)
-> I would suggest to take Firearms 2 instead. The ability to fire rifles is more interesting than one die for Automatics. Dissolving a group at chargen time is legal, but you should ask your GM about that if you want to have those specialisations now.

Throwing Weapons 1 (Spec: Grenades)
-> Good, and often forgotten.

Climbing 3 (Spec: Urban)
-> I´m a big fan of the Athletics Group, so would suggest to take it instead. That level of climbing would at least justify a higher Body rating, which you´ll want for wearing good armor.

ElectronicWarfare 3 (Spec: Communications)
-> This won´t do much without Hacking. Agents may be able to cover Matrix Combat, but Hacking is a do-it-yourself task. IMO.

Hardware 2 (Spec: Sensors)
Computer 2 (Spec: Commlink)
DataSearch 2
-> Electronics Group 2 would be better. Sensor tests use Perception, Hardware (Sensors) is for repair tasks. What do you expect from the Computer specialisation?

Pilot Ground Craft 1 (Spec: Trucks)
Dodge 1
-> The essentials. Don´t bother with Dodge 1, you loose an IP for full defense, and one die ain´t worth it.

Shadowing 3 (Spec: Tail Evasion)
Infiltration 4 (Spec: Borders)
-> You can guess the suggestion by now? You want Disguise for camouflage, and Palming for sneaking things past checkpoints.

Demolitions 3 (Spec: Cutting charges)

Perception 3 (Spec: Visual)

Navigation 2 (Spec: Urban)

Industrial Mechanic 2 (Spec: Drones)
-> Drones require the Automotive/Aerospace/Nautical Mechanic skills.
Kludgejob
Thank you to Fortune, Medicine Man, Ryu, and the others who replied -
Especially, thank you for reminding me of skill groups, and for correcting me on some skills I had misunderstood. One more question about skill groups, tho...
If I, for instance, buy a skill group, say Stealth at 3, can I then pay another 4 pts to bump Infiltration, by itself, to rating four, and another two points to specialize in it?
( I realize that would 'break' the group, but is it technically a RAW-legal way to focus on part of a broad skill-set?)

Thank you for also for pointing out that hacking is it's own whole thing. I've been reading up in Unwired, and since our group is going to contain an AI, I think I'll just keep good firewalls and encryption and leave the rest to him.
Spoonfunk
I would suggest bumping your body at least one point if your GM is a "hard hitter" it will keep stray grenades at bay and allow for better armor
I would also think about raising your reaction also while your at it just because most of your piloting skills are reaction linked, it gives you better defense, and it improves your ability to act in combat when you are doing anything in AR or in Meat speeds.

Definitly a higher piloting skill if you are playing a rigger concept and think about switching some of the odds and ends skills like dodge and some of the specs to even out your skills needed for you base premise like Computer,hacking, electronic warfare, and piloting.

WIth your Comm link there are several essential programs that you may or may not have like exploit,stealth, spoof and for riggers command. Autosofts are a must and consider buying a second weaker comm link and that transmits your Fake ID's on active status becuase Fake ID is a must even though your a sinner.

Get a control rig and smartgun link
Medicineman
If I, for instance, buy a skill group, say Stealth at 3, can I then pay another 4 pts to bump Infiltration, by itself, to rating four, and another two points to specialize in it?
You Could,if you insist. Its not Illegal ,but (according to FAQ) its not advisible(but don't ask my why,maybe because you rupture the Group ??)
I Myself do so for some of my Chars if its ok with their Characterkoncept.

JahtaHey
Medicineman
Crusher Bob
First impression is that your character is spread out too much. Can you talk your way past a checkpoint? Nope, you don't actually have any social skills. Can you use your mad driving skills to just out run the fuzz? Nope, you only have around 6 dice for driving a truck. Can you use your awesome army of combat drones to blast through a checkpoint? nope.

If you are a smuggler, how do you see yourself actually smuggling goods?
Are you piloting a helicopter or aircraft down canyons to avoid a borders radar coverage? Are you leading a string of burros across a heavily forested border region? Are you hacking yourself up some good fake IDs and just driving across the border checkpoint? or are you more of a hands off type of smuggler, who mainly hooks up people who want goods smuggled with drivers who do the actual smuggling?

Since you don't seem to have mad aircraft skills, it looks like you don't plan to be the canyon style smuggler. I'd guess you don't want to be the burro string smuggler instead, since you don't have a bunch of outdoor skills. So it looks like you want to be the 'brazen' type of smuggler whose paperwork all looks good and who just drives across the border checkpoint.

But for that sort of work, you'd need some more social skills and some more hacking skills; and your wired reflexes-1 would be right out (too easy to find with a cyberware scanner).

Next up, why does a team of highly skilled criminals want you? You need a bit of a better answer than, "I drive kinda good." And even if your answer is "I drive really good" remember that it is rarely very fun to be the guy that drives around the guys who actually do stuff.

So, let's say you want to be the 'brazen' type of smuggler? How do you get past check points? Hacked shipping manifests, fake IDs, smooth talking, appearing perfectly normal.

Now lets say you don't want to deal with the hacking part so much (since most parts of hacking are sadly unfun). You either get a lvl 4 agent + hacking programs who does this sort of stuff (use the search function to look for agent hacker builds) or you get a hacker contact who does this sort of stuff for you.

Now you have to look into the fake IDs, smooth talking, and looking normal.

Physical fake IDs are made with the forgery skill (fake Id specialty), the smooth talking is handled by the influence group, and the looking normal part restricts what cyberware (but generally not bioware) you can get away with having.

So you want something like:

Influence group 3 or 4, Forgery 1 (Fake IDs), and bumping your CHA to 4 or 5.
Consider the tailored pheremones bioware to up you social skills.

Now, what do you need to drive the truck around since you don't plan to get into car chases as this sort of smuggler, you don't really need to drive that well.
Pilot ground craft 1 (Trucks)
Automotive Mechanic 1 (Wheeled)
Navigation 1

Next, you need the ability to actually notice stuff and survive
Perception 3
Dodge 1 (Ranged)

Other skills that would be useful to know
Palming 4
Disguise 4
but since you are paying for 2 skills, might as well go for the whole stealth group...
So: stealth group 4, to get shadowing and infiltration as well.

Next, you need the ability to do stuff when it actually hits the fan.
Your best bet here is with drones, since having a low body is part of your character concept.
If you plan to just command the drones to shoot people right in the face, you don't need the gunnery skill. Otherwise, your do.
Gunnery 4

So our skill list would look like:
Influence group 4
Stealth Group 4
Forgery (Fake IDs) 1
Pilot ground craft (Trucks) 1
Automotive Mechanic (Wheeled) 1
Navigation 1
Perception 3
Dodge 1 (Ranged)
Gunnery 4

For a total of 136 BP,
Then increase your charisma by 2 points and your Reaction by two points (dropping agility by one to stay under the 200 BP cap on attributes).
This would leave 10 BP (of your original 176 BP spent on skills). This gets you a 5/5 hacking contact who handles all the cross border paperwork, fakes shipping manifests, bills of lading, and whatever else you need so that all is in ordung. If you need more points, drop the skill specializations and buy them with karma instead. Skill specializations are a highly inefficient use of BP. If your group has a hacker, you can probably get away with saying that the groups hacker is your hacking contact, and save the 10 points there.

For a smuggler with more emphasis on the mad driving skills, and less emphasis on the social ones, you can look here


Kludgejob
.....well dernit.
Thanks for the advice. I must admit to being a little crestfallen, since I hadn't expected there to be this many holes in the character, but that's why I came here.
I guess a few clarification questions: This is the cyber gear my guy has installed.

Wired Reflexes 1

Rating 3 Cybereyes
- Visual Enhancement 3
- Magnification
-Thermographic Capability
- Flare Compensation
Eye Covers

Full Cyber Arm ( Obvious )
- Radar Rating 3
- Climbing Claws, Retractable
- Commlink Install
- Grapple Gun
- Orientation System
- Smartlink
- Bioomonitor
- Auto Injector, Re-usable, 5 shot.
- Datajack

I don't really know what's likely to raise eyebrows and cause suspicion out of that...I mean, I guess I got the impression from the BBB that quite a few people are running around with cyberware, IE, that it's sorta like having a tattoo or a piercing today, not necessarily likely to cause suspicion. I guess if the only thing that would arouse the suspicions of people with scanners is the wired reflexes, I could just take that out and put some Jazz or Cram in my autoinjector for emergencies. As several of you suggested, I adjusted his stats to have one higher body and strength, and if I'm getting rid of wired reflexes I guess I could afford to raise his agility by two with bioware.
As to what kind of smuggler I was planning for him to be....well, the plan had been to put the illicit stuff in the truck truck for low security checkpoints, or put lightweight stuff in the 'stealth' blimp and have the pilot program fly it over a quiet spot of the border, but I get the impression that's not really feasible? ( As I said, I haven't played yet, so it's hard for me to anticipate what's reasonable and what's laughably naive. spin.gif ) - I appreciate crusher bob's comments, because I hadn't really thought about having to lie to border guards or do evasive stuff. (To be honest, I hadn't thought it through much beyond "Hey! Shielded compartment, I can sneak stuff around! Yahoo!") I don't want to bump my charisma by that much because I want to be able to sneak around and be ninja-ish, but I guess I could buy some empathy software and put some skill points into con? I DO have some fake SINs and fake licenses for the trucks, and there WILL be a very good hacker in our group, so I guess he can handle the paperwork angle. I dunno. I take your point about being too spread out though, and I'll definitely have to consider orienting towards one of the three aspects of what I was going for. Thanks again to those who are giving advice. (Edit: I forgot to mention, a bit of semantics. When I said smuggler, I guess what I was thinking was more along the lines of ....covert courier? More like a pair of 5 kilo briefcases than 500 kg of illicit...stuff. I draw a fair bit and when I start a game character, it usually begins with an image. My idea-picture for this guy was someone walking around to the back of a beat-up looking delivery truck, checking the area for surveillance with his high-powered cyber-eyes, pulling a small metal case out of a smuggling compartment and then walking around the corner as his thermo/opto cam activates. I don't know if that clarifies what I was shooting for, or if that even makes sense in the shadowrun world, but there it is.)
Wasabi
400pts is not low level at all. With 400pts you can make a superheroic runner for his niche. The question being "is it appropriate to do so".

I'd suggest asking the GM if your character-in-progress fits his power level. While not all games are min-maxed its not uncommon for the game to be kinda difficult and you'll want to make sure you can affect the world around you. If the GM says you'll be able to hang and affect his gameworld with your dicepools posted above then you're golden. If not, you may need a level of optimization but not necessarily as much optimization as other players need for their GM's.

For example, in my current SR game the GM threatens us with pistols and knives. In some past campaigns he's used heavy rotary autocannons on a half dozen dune buggies. Thats a pretty wide power level change but since the characters were built for their campaign's power level it all worked out a-ok. Ask YOUR gm what HIS power level is like compared to your character-in-progress and then we'll be able to help you get to that goal a lot easier whether it be downgrading so you have more room for fluff or upgrading so you can throw bigger dicepools.

My 2 nuyen worth...

toturi
QUOTE (Kludgejob @ Nov 27 2008, 06:26 PM) *
Wired Reflexes 1

Rating 3 Cybereyes
- Visual Enhancement 3
- Magnification
-Thermographic Capability
- Flare Compensation
Eye Covers

Full Cyber Arm ( Obvious )
- Radar Rating 3
- Climbing Claws, Retractable
- Commlink Install
- Grapple Gun
- Orientation System
- Smartlink
- Bioomonitor
- Auto Injector, Re-usable, 5 shot.
- Datajack

I don't really know what's likely to raise eyebrows and cause suspicion out of that...I mean, I guess I got the impression from the BBB that quite a few people are running around with cyberware, IE, that it's sorta like having a tattoo or a piercing today, not necessarily likely to cause suspicion. I guess if the only thing that would arouse the suspicions of people with scanners is the wired reflexes, I could just take that out and put some Jazz or Cram in my autoinjector for emergencies.
The smartlink also has an R Availability.
ornot
R means you cna get a license. Aren't Wired Reflexes F? I thought that was the reason a runner frequently crossing borders might not like them.
BIG BAD BEESTE
Wotcha there Kludgejob and welcome to the Sixth World!

Hmm, as some others have already stated, talk over your character concept with the GM and see what sort of game he runs. Personally, I love your character concept -its "real" and not uber-customised. Just the sort of character I like players to use for my games.

My best advice on tweaking your charcter however, would be to look at the background and how he came to be instead of what stats and stuff are the best to have. Think about where your character would have learnt his skills and then look at ways of combining your knowledge skills with your active skills to achieve what you want to do as a character.

One of the most important skills for game play however (more in a roleplaying resource sense) is the Etiquette skill. Essential for contacting your contacts.
Crusher Bob
In general, the only stuff you'll have to really worry about cyberawre wise is stuff marked as F (wired reflexes, cyberguns, I forget what else). Also note that you can basically get away with whatever bioware you want , since it takes a pretty complete medical exam to find most bioware. So you can get synaptic boosters and not have to worry about being stopped at the border for having them.

Smart links are still sorta suspicious too; of course, they've taken all the cyberware specific to smartlinks out, so how you tell someone has a smartlink and not just some random headware and eyeware, I don't really know. You can also get a license for smartlinks, and in a world where large gangs effectively rule sections of the interstate, I doubt and customs official would actually raise an eyebrow at (a properly licensed) one.

Also its very handy to have a discussion about dice pools with everyone else before they build their characters. Optimized starting characters tend to roll 16-20 dice in the things they do, and 6-10 dice in most of the important other stuff. On the other hand, if everyone has a die pools of around 12 in the things they do, and die pools of 4-8 in all the other stuff, that works just fine too.
toturi
QUOTE (ornot @ Nov 27 2008, 09:17 PM) *
R means you cna get a license. Aren't Wired Reflexes F? I thought that was the reason a runner frequently crossing borders might not like them.

I means that a border guard will look for your license each time you cross the border. Eventually your fake permit will fail.
ornot
Arguably the utility of the smartlink vs the likelyhood of your license being questioned is greater than the utility of wired reflexes vs the likelyhood of them being discovered and you being arrested. One could potentially drop the guard who spots the fake smartlink license a bribe, wheras the guad has a lot more to lose if he lets someone with F-ware come through the border. At the very least he's going to demand a bigger bribe.

Anyway, I'd better stop drawing this thread OT.

I really like the OPs background, and the stats are refreshingly unmaxed. As I recall, consensus is that the BP system tends to reward specialism over generalism, while karmagen is a bit kinder, but I've not tried to make anyone with the karmagen rules - mid campaign, and no new characters since I got Runner's Companion - and your GM will likely want everyone built using the same system.

Social engineering is a very potent source of power, so I'd definately stick some more points into social skills. You don't need a secret compartment if the guards never search your van! You'll get more use out of your BPs if you start with fewer specialisations, and where you've gotten several skills from a group at the same level think about just buying the group. That way you can buy a level of the influence group, and so boost your effective social pools to 4 dice. This doesn't sound like much, but with convincing forgeries or other evidence you can add on some nice modifiers.
BIG BAD BEESTE
QUOTE (ornot @ Nov 27 2008, 02:33 PM) *
Social engineering is a very potent source of power, so I'd definately stick some more points into social skills. You don't need a secret compartment if the guards never search your van! You'll get more use out of your BPs if you start with fewer specialisations, and where you've gotten several skills from a group at the same level think about just buying the group. That way you can buy a level of the influence group, and so boost your effective social pools to 4 dice. This doesn't sound like much, but with convincing forgeries or other evidence you can add on some nice modifiers.


Echo the advice on taking group and not specialising too much - you can always specialise later in the gameand then you might have abetter idea on what you should specialise in. You also can't specialise in a skill aquired as a group according to the BBB creation rules, but your GM may give you a break if he's one for characterisation and you're background supports it. Oh, and although thee border guards may not search your vehicle, having the illegal stash of small high-impact/value contraband goods stored in a secret and safe hidden compartment can't be a bad thing.

BTW if this is to be your speciality: compact high-value contraband smuggler/courier you might want to think about a hidden storage compartment for your cyber arm. The odd removable tooth or fingertip compartment are other low-essence cost options that would be useful to such a character. I also echo the advise on acquiring a Vehicle Control Rig instead of Wired Reflexes - especially if you plan to be a "rigger" rather than an mild-mannered ex-company man archetype. If you're after a limited personal combat relexes boost for basic survivability then go for bioware or the good old Boosted Reflexes (do they still exist in 4th ED?) although they are (were) a permanent upgrade and can't (couldn't) be combined with VCRs or Wired.

Oh yeah, and before I forget make sure you buy a good selection of vital contacts - at least three is my recommendation. They're hard to acquire in game whereas tech and gear isn't (if you have the cash, but then you need the contacts to find it for you). Coming from Down-Under your character could have connections with several smuggler rings/pirate groups or corporate connections given his background. Buy at least one friendly contact too - eveyone needs a buddy.
Cain
Even though you're not going for ultimate optimization, you should definitely look into upgraded Pilot programs for your drones, and a variety of autosofts for them. You can start with Rating 4 Pilots, which means you can run rating 4 'softs. Don't cheap out here-- you look like you're trying to field an army of drones, so you'll depend heavily on their Pilot scores.

Since you can only jump into one drone at a time, your individual piloting skill isn't as big of a deal, since the drone will be running by itself most of the time. You only need a high vehicle skill if you intend on being a wheelman, which I don't think you're trying for.

Additionally, with your high budget, you can afford a Control Rig (good for when you do jack in) and Tailored Pheremones, good for any face-to-face social interaction. Emotitoys are also a quick and cheap way to boost your social dice pools. Between the last two, that's an easy +9 dice to your social skills, more than enough to handle any normal social situation.

[Edit]After examining your initial build a bit more closely, I also suggest that you look seriously at the Hermes delivery van, which comes with drone racks pre-installed. You also don't need to specialize in "trucks", you can specialize in "wheeled" instead, and cover all normal cars, trucks, vans, etc.
Kludgejob
Thanks again to the people who are answering - it's greatly appreciated.

I've dropped the demo skill to add 1 die each in con and etiquette, (I don't think the character would be naturally very good at either,) and bought him rating five empathy software, so hopefully that'll help with the lying and such to border guards and nosy types.

Many people have suggested raising the drone's pilot programs - I'm a little confused, tho. If I understand correctly, to do that I'd have to raise the drone's response rating to 4, (2,000 nuyen,) and then buy the new pilot program for 10,000 nuyen - 12,000 nuyen for a +1 bump in pilot rating! Not to sound like a cheapo, but I could get a whole other drone for that, couldn't I? I'm willing to take a more experienced player's word on it, but it just seems so....pricey.

[Edit: Oh, and Cain - I was VERY excited about the Hermes Van, because it seemed perfect, but the drone landing racks it comes with are Small, Mini, and Micro drones only, and I'm going with mostly medium drones. frown.gif It was a good deal too, otherwise. So close, so far.]
Ryu
You don´t have to upgrade all of your drones to pilot 6, but doing something for those drone dicepools is very important. Two drones that accomplish nothing are not worth as much as one that meets mission requirements.

The second function of pilot is limiting the number of programs you can run at once. If/once your group uses the full matrix rules, running Analyse, Armor, Attack, Maneuver, Defense, Clearsight and Targeting is somehow the short list for a combat drone software setup. Security drones come with a device rating of 4, but even that will not be sufficient.
Glyph
As far as wired reflexes go, I'll point out that they are R (meaning that you can get a fake license for them), not F.
Cain
QUOTE (Kludgejob @ Nov 29 2008, 12:49 AM) *
Many people have suggested raising the drone's pilot programs - I'm a little confused, tho. If I understand correctly, to do that I'd have to raise the drone's response rating to 4, (2,000 nuyen,) and then buy the new pilot program for 10,000 nuyen - 12,000 nuyen for a +1 bump in pilot rating! Not to sound like a cheapo, but I could get a whole other drone for that, couldn't I? I'm willing to take a more experienced player's word on it, but it just seems so....pricey.

Drones don't come with a Response rating, they come with a Device rating. There's no rules for improving a Device rating, so you can discuss with your GM on how to get that Response up-- he might just give it to you. Even so, that +1 in Pilot means a +1 in autosofts. So look at it this way: you're not gaining one die, you're gaining two. Remember, you can crack the copy protection on autosofts as well, so you can give all your drones Clearsight 4 for cheap.
Kludgejob
Sorry - one more question! smile.gif I'm a bit confused by the interaction between skills, character attributes, implants and drone attributes
If I wanted to execute a maneuver while 'jumped into' one of my drones, I would roll Reaction + Piloting +/- the drone's Handling...and I think I would add 2 to the dice pool for control rig, right?
Where it gets a bit confusing is with other actions. For instance, firing a drone weapon while 'jumped in' is using a Vehicle Skill, ( and would seem to be a Vehicle Skill Test, but perhaps not a Vehicle Test,) so would that get the +2 from control rig? Also, while 'jumped - in' is it correct that I would get an extra initiative pass while using the drone?
Thanks again! I think I just about have the makings of a functional character, 90% due to the people who've been so kind in this thread. It's much appreciated. smile.gif
Ryu
QUOTE (Kludgejob @ Nov 30 2008, 12:26 PM) *
Sorry - one more question! smile.gif I'm a bit confused by the interaction between skills, character attributes, implants and drone attributes
If I wanted to execute a maneuver while 'jumped into' one of my drones, I would roll Reaction + Piloting +/- the drone's Handling...and I think I would add 2 to the dice pool for control rig, right?
Where it gets a bit confusing is with other actions. For instance, firing a drone weapon while 'jumped in' is using a Vehicle Skill, ( and would seem to be a Vehicle Skill Test, but perhaps not a Vehicle Test,) so would that get the +2 from control rig? Also, while 'jumped - in' is it correct that I would get an extra initiative pass while using the drone?
Thanks again! I think I just about have the makings of a functional character, 90% due to the people who've been so kind in this thread. It's much appreciated. smile.gif

When you are jumped-in, you get +2 from the control rig for all vehicle skill tests.

Gunnery is a vehicle skill, and therefore profits from the VCR.
masterofm
My suggestions on the character.

If you are playing a mundane I would get more cyber/bioware. I would also recommend against the cyberarm that you are going to use. The problem being is that most of what you have gotten you can buy something that doesn't take up essence for 1/10th of the price. The problem with this is that if you are captured the only thing that will happen is people will rip off your cyberarm for all that nuyen located therein.

I would suggest cerebral enhancers r3 so your character can have a really good dice pool on any logic linked skill test (important for building/maintaining/modifying drones.) I would also suggest possibly a strength modifier as well as a strength of 2 makes it hard to carry tons of gear around unless your GM just doesn't care to pay attention to that. I see that the character has quite a bit of potential, but I would suggest looking over augmentation and the BBB for some nice stat boosting bio/cyber. Cerebral r2-r3 is a must though for the character you want. It makes it even better since using both cyber and bio you take the lowest essence modifier and half it. So if you have 2 points of essence in cyber and 1.5 in bio you actually only have lost 2.75 essence total (not 3.5) - 2 points essence loss in cyber and the 1.5 essence loss in the bioware is halved so it becomes becomes .75 in bio. 2 + .75 = 2.75
Kludgejob
- Ryu and Masterofm: Thanks!

Ryu - appreciate the clarification.
Masterofm - Actually, I'm a big fan of bioware, it seems a lot more sleek and stylish. Unfortunately for style, the character idea I had in mind is someone who bought most of his stuff on the cheap and while desperate - so he couldn't afford to get bioware, and has since tried to make the best of it. The cerebral boosters seem really cool, but I can't afford them! smile.gif
masterofm
Talk to your GM about emotosofts. Most GMs ban them from their table as it is an needless dice creep in most situations. Also jaz up his arm a bit. It doesn't need the grapple hook, and the radar you might want to consider putting in your cyber eyes. I would also take out the bio monitor and auto injector. You can do the same thing for less as well and wear it under your suit (I would suggest a stim patch and a trauma patch hooked up to a bio monitor.) Beyond that why not just look up some of the nice things you can stuff in that arm, or maybe leave some space for a nano hive, or maybe some strength or agility enhancement.

I also thought having a smartlink in your cybereyes is practically useless as you can put an external smartlink on any gun for next to nothing. It also means your cybereyes don't have to broadcast and get hacked.
Mx
QUOTE (masterofm @ Nov 30 2008, 05:46 PM) *
I also thought having a smartlink in your cybereyes is practically useless as you can put an external smartlink on any gun for next to nothing. It also means your cybereyes don't have to broadcast and get hacked.


You still need cybereyes or glasses/gogles/scope to get the benefit from the smartlink in the gun, the smartink module alone isn't enough. cyber.gif
Glyph
Also, a simple skinlink modification to your smartweapon gets rid of the hacking vulnerability (and if you don't use a skinlink, the goggles/contacts/etc. will have that same vulnerability). Granted, you lose the ability to fire your gun remotely, but overall it's worth it to not worry about either your eyes or your gun being hacked by the opposition.
Cain
QUOTE (masterofm @ Nov 30 2008, 07:46 AM) *
I also thought having a smartlink in your cybereyes is practically useless as you can put an external smartlink on any gun for next to nothing. It also means your cybereyes don't have to broadcast and get hacked.

As Glyph and Max pointed out, you don't need to be openly broadcasting in order to use a smartlink. You can disable the wireless and use a skinlink instead. You're effectively unhackable.
masterofm
Yes, but you don't need a smartlink in your cyber eyes as pay through the nose.
Glyph
1,000 nuyen.gif , as opposed to 500 nuyen.gif for the non-cyber version, is hardly "paying through the nose". If you have cybereyes anyways, it makes sense to get the smartlink mod, rather than being dependent on glasses or contacts to use your smartlink. I could see contacts for, say, an awakened character who didn't want to lose the Essense.
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