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The Jake
If data storage is considered no longer an issue by 2070, whats to stop someone downloading every conceivable skillsoft possible onto an internal commlink (linked via DNI) or other random data repository? You could effectively have someone with almost infinite skills without ever paying karma for it? Even with the restrictions on the use of Edge, that's not a huge restriction....

- J.
HentaiZonga
QUOTE (The Jake @ Jan 6 2009, 05:21 PM) *
If data storage is considered no longer an issue by 2070, whats to stop someone downloading every conceivable skillsoft possible onto an internal commlink (linked via DNI) or other random data repository? You could effectively have someone with almost infinite skills without ever paying karma for it? Even with the restrictions on the use of Edge, that's not a huge restriction....

- J.


It takes a Complex Action to "spool up" or "spool down" a given Skillsoft. So as long as you intend to only be doing two things the whole combat, sure. Go for it. Otherwise, you'll be missing out a lot.
pbangarth
You got it. The only limits are cost and availability. These of course are in the GMs purvue.

Peter
The Jake
QUOTE (HentaiZonga @ Jan 7 2009, 01:23 AM) *
It takes a Complex Action to "spool up" or "spool down" a given Skillsoft. So as long as you intend to only be doing two things the whole combat, sure. Go for it. Otherwise, you'll be missing out a lot.


Ok so it takes time to spool up a given skillsoft but there's no limit on memory anymore. So one could infer data transfer rates are unlimited.

Whats to stop someone processing an unlimited number of skillsofts simultaneously? Is there a hard cap on the maximum number permitted? If so, how is that even remotely logical in a world where data storage and transfer rates are deemed unlimited?

- J.
HentaiZonga
QUOTE (The Jake @ Jan 6 2009, 05:29 PM) *
Ok so it takes time to spool up a given skillsoft but there's no limit on memory anymore. So one could infer data transfer rates are unlimited.

Whats to stop someone processing an unlimited number of skillsofts simultaneously? Is there a hard cap on the maximum number permitted? If so, how is that even remotely logical in a world where data storage and transfer rates are deemed unlimited?

- J.


You can only have a number of 'rating points' of Skillsofts active equal to your Skillwires rating x 2. So a Skillwire 5 could have 10 rating points' worth of Skillsofts - say, two Rating 4's and one Rating 2, or three Rating 3's and one Rating 1.
The Jake
QUOTE (HentaiZonga @ Jan 7 2009, 01:31 AM) *
You can only have a number of 'rating points' of Skillsofts active equal to your Skillwires rating x 2. So a Skillwire 5 could have 10 rating points' worth of Skillsofts - say, two Rating 4's and one Rating 2, or three Rating 3's and one Rating 1.


Ok, that's the cap - albeit not much of one.

So there's nothing stopping me having every conceivable skillsoft stored within my skillwires and just switching them in and out as required, using skillwires plus to use Edge?

- J.
BishopMcQ
Skillwires can handle a number of skillsofts with a total rating equal to (Skillwire Rating x 2). So a Rating 4 Skillwire system can have up to 8 points of active Skillsofts.

While the system may be able to hold more than that in memory, that is the maximum that it can hold in active memory. This would be similar to the limitations on Commlinks and the number of active programs.
BishopMcQ
Also, tests made with basic skillsofts can not use Edge. (SR4, 320)
HentaiZonga
QUOTE (BishopMcQ @ Jan 6 2009, 05:36 PM) *
Also, tests made with basic skillsofts can not use Edge. (SR4, 320)


And an Expert System just lets you use Edge to re-roll failures.
BishopMcQ
Yep, that's why I specified "basic" skillsofts.
pbangarth
QUOTE (BishopMcQ @ Jan 6 2009, 05:36 PM) *
Also, tests made with basic skillsofts can not use Edge. (SR4, 320)


Unless the character has the Skillwire Expert System from Augmentation.

Peter

Edit: Man, a guy's gotta be quick around here!
Werewindlefr
QUOTE (HentaiZonga @ Jan 6 2009, 07:23 PM) *
It takes a Complex Action to "spool up" or "spool down" a given Skillsoft. So as long as you intend to only be doing two things the whole combat, sure. Go for it. Otherwise, you'll be missing out a lot.
What about only taking combat skills with BP/karma and loading all the other skills in a commlink?
What's the point of getting a rating 1 or 2 skill when you can get skillwires? Edge? In the end, aside from very special, situational circumstances, skillwires are way better.

My houserule against this: Skillwires 3 and above are hi-tech, high-availability-rating stuff (Corps don't need workers with more than 2 in the relevant skills anyway), and 2s count toward glitches when using skillwires. That way, getting the real skills at rating 1 or 2 still matter.
The Jake
QUOTE (BishopMcQ @ Jan 7 2009, 01:34 AM) *
Skillwires can handle a number of skillsofts with a total rating equal to (Skillwire Rating x 2). So a Rating 4 Skillwire system can have up to 8 points of active Skillsofts.

While the system may be able to hold more than that in memory, that is the maximum that it can hold in active memory. This would be similar to the limitations on Commlinks and the number of active programs.


Ok, but skillwire monkeys are entirely viable?

Oh well, I guess there are more sensible boundaries in place than past editions.

- J.
Muspellsheimr
I have said it multiple times before, & will say it again. Skillwires are fucking retarded, overpowering, & hurt gameplay.

With the exception of Awakened or Emergent skills, a single person with skillwires can do everything the entire team can do. They will not be as good, but close enough that it doesn't make much difference.
The Jake
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 7 2009, 01:44 AM) *
I have said it multiple times before, & will say it again. Skillwires are fucking retarded, overpowering, & hurt gameplay.

With the exception of Awakened or Emergent skills, a single person with skillwires can do everything the entire team can do. They will not be as good, but close enough that it doesn't make much difference.


That was my thought too. Glad I'm not alone. biggrin.gif

- J.
WeaverMount
It get's worse with the nanites that give you +3 to logic and intuition linked skills. Having a 4+3 on basically any down time skill is pretty over the top especially for a mage with a high logic score. If your GM lets you use all the extra brokeness unwired allows for skill softs ... yeah
pbangarth
Let's step back and have a look. At chargen, a PC can have skillwires up to level 3. So out of the box, the PC can have a set of skills, far fewer than all because of the BP limit, that are all at best level 3.

To get that horrendously scary skillwire (5), sometime later the PC has to deal with an availability of 20. And the paltry availability 8 skillsofts add up to about 50 of them (Assuming you took a few real skills). 50 rating 1 skillsofts cost 150,000 nuyen. Rating 5s ring in at 750,000 nuyen.

There won't be too many of those PCs floating around Seattle.

Peter
Malachi
I have created a few additional House Rules regarding skill softs, the limit of Skillwire Rating x 2 remains.

Skillsofts are Commlink programs and subject to all of the same rules as any of the Common or Hacking programs. You must have a System rating equal to or exceeding the rating of the Skillsoft you are running. Skillsofts that are running count as a running program on your Commlink and are subject to Response degradation rules. Shutting down a single skillsoft takes a Free action. Activating a single Skillsoft takes a Complex Action. The information from the Skillsoft is transmitted wirelessly to the Skillwire receiver unless the user has a Skinlink or specifically tells me they are running a fiberoptic cable to their datajack from their Commlink. As programs, Skillsofts are subject to all the vulnerabilities of other Commlink programs: they can be Crashed, Spoofed, or Corrupted ("For some reason, I can't fire a pistol anymore!")
toturi
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 7 2009, 08:44 AM) *
I have said it multiple times before, & will say it again. Skillwires are fucking retarded, overpowering, & hurt gameplay.

With the exception of Awakened or Emergent skills, a single person with skillwires can do everything the entire team can do. They will not be as good, but close enough that it doesn't make much difference.

I think that was the point. The classic street sam's role in a team has always been overshadowed by the massive damage outputs a rigger or a mage are capable of. If you consider that technomancers make some of the best riggers and having skillwires is not conducive to being a mage, then pretty much what's left is for the mundane to play the skill-monkey.
ElFenrir
It's pretty funny-we usually played in a bit more ramped-up games(750 Karma, or 400 BP with less limitations.) We tend to knock out other limitations at the start, like Availability limits. Gods know I've played a hell of a heavy-hitting(13+ damage) dude with tons of dice in that and other skills. But something just...keeps me away from Skillwires. As powerful as they are, and under our no-Availability and much more lax rules I could make an even worse monster...but...gah. I dunno what it is, but they aren't my cup of tea.

I mean, they're good. If not too good, great, awesome, broken, whatever you want to call them. And I can see the point of them. But...hmm. I dunno what it is. I can't put my finger on it. I know that I could get those rating 6 skillwires and a boatload of those rating 2-3 skillsofts that I spent Karma on, but something feels wrong about it. I like knowing my own skills. And again, this comes from someone who's played some pretty insane martial-arts twinks(and the like) in their time.
TeOdio
If I remember correctly, you can only buy an active soft at no more than a rating 4. Granted, being able to have a rating 4 in ANY skill is pretty bad ass, but as a previous poster commented, it can be very pricey. As far as character creation goes, a person that dumps a ton of BP's into Gear money for Skill softs (and @ 9K a pop for a rating 3 it ain't cheap) and a person that just dumps a ton of BP's into skills isn't very different in the end. Essentially it's trying to be a Jack of all Trades but going about it in different ways. For personal perspective, I've been running the game in all of it's incarnations since 1991, and to be honest, I've never thought Skill Wires over powered. The 4th Ed. rule set especially seems pretty balanced to me. Can someone "break" them? Sure. I've got players that find a way to "break" stuff in my game all of the time. That's a player issue, and not a system issue as far as I'm concerned. And quite honestly, I don't punish a player for wanting 20 dice for perception if that's what he wants for his or her character (although the other players are free to dig in cyber.gif ). People enjoy the game for a variety of reasons, and ridiculous dice pools have always been an appeal for some players. As far as setting goes, I have always LOVED the idea of skill wires. A corp that makes them can easily load em into their workers @ cost, and since the Active Softs are just software, that's a negligible cost to them as well. Having a Spider be able to load up whatever skills an on site sec. team needs is a pretty awesome way to throw the players a curve ball every once in a while as well.
nuyen.gif nuyen.gif nuyen.gif

Malachi
QUOTE (TeOdio @ Jan 6 2009, 10:34 PM) *
I've got players that find a way to "break" stuff in my game all of the time. That's a player issue, and not a system issue as far as I'm concerned.

QFT
The Jake
QUOTE (TeOdio @ Jan 7 2009, 02:34 AM) *
If I remember correctly, you can only buy an active soft at no more than a rating 4. Granted, being able to have a rating 4 in ANY skill is pretty bad ass, but as a previous poster commented, it can be very pricey. As far as character creation goes, a person that dumps a ton of BP's into Gear money for Skill softs (and @ 9K a pop for a rating 3 it ain't cheap) and a person that just dumps a ton of BP's into skills isn't very different in the end. Essentially it's trying to be a Jack of all Trades but going about it in different ways. For personal perspective, I've been running the game in all of it's incarnations since 1991, and to be honest, I've never thought Skill Wires over powered. The 4th Ed. rule set especially seems pretty balanced to me. Can someone "break" them? Sure. I've got players that find a way to "break" stuff in my game all of the time. That's a player issue, and not a system issue as far as I'm concerned. And quite honestly, I don't punish a player for wanting 20 dice for perception if that's what he wants for his or her character (although the other players are free to dig in cyber.gif ). People enjoy the game for a variety of reasons, and ridiculous dice pools have always been an appeal for some players. As far as setting goes, I have always LOVED the idea of skill wires. A corp that makes them can easily load em into their workers @ cost, and since the Active Softs are just software, that's a negligible cost to them as well. Having a Spider be able to load up whatever skills an on site sec. team needs is a pretty awesome way to throw the players a curve ball every once in a while as well.
nuyen.gif nuyen.gif nuyen.gif


Rating 4 + n number of dice to the Logic dice still strikes me as pretty broken. I hadn't even thought of nanotech entering into the equation.

FWIW, conceptually I like skillwires. I'm just wondering if people have abused it and if/how GMs have dealt with this. Malachi's suggestions were quite good.

- J.
Crusher Bob
From what I remember of CP2020, it dealt with chipped skills by limiting them to skill level 3 (out of a possible 10). So chipping things basically got your foot in the door of the skill, but no further than that. Limiting chipped skills to level 2 might work, since skill level 2 is supposed to be reasonably knowledgeable about the skill in SR4.
KCKitsune
QUOTE (pbangarth @ Jan 6 2009, 07:57 PM) *
Let's step back and have a look. At chargen, a PC can have skillwires up to level 3. So out of the box, the PC can have a set of skills, far fewer than all because of the BP limit, that are all at best level 3.

To get that horrendously scary skillwire (5), sometime later the PC has to deal with an availability of 20. And the paltry availability 8 skillsofts add up to about 50 of them (Assuming you took a few real skills). 50 rating 1 skillsofts cost 150,000 nuyen. Rating 5s ring in at 750,000 nuyen.

There won't be too many of those PCs floating around Seattle.

Peter


Actually with the restricted gear quality you can get MBW level 2 and that gives you Rating 4 Skillwires , a dodge boost, an insane reaction boost, 2 more IP, and is only as Expensive Essence wise as Rating 2 Wired Reflexes. Sure it costs 85K nuyen.gif , but hey, it saves you about 1.2 points of Essence (as compared to Wired 2 plus Skillwire 4)

====================================

Quick question for everyone... would you recommend getting a skillwire rating 1 rig for a cybered mage? It would allow him to bypass the "defaulting" skill tests.
WeaverMount
QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Jan 7 2009, 01:21 AM) *
Quick question for everyone... would you recommend getting a skillwire rating 1 rig for a cybered mage? It would allow him to bypass the "defaulting" skill tests.


IMO a rating 4 beta ware skill wire is one of the best first major purchases for a mage. (32k .56 essence availability 16) That leaves enough room a couple other choice high grade ware like a hand with the nanite hive and auto injector, cerebral boosters , trauma dampeners, platelet factory etc (btw with delta ware aspine and the cyber/bio discount that all fits into 1 essence)
pbangarth
QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Jan 6 2009, 10:21 PM) *
Actually with the restricted gear quality you can get MBW level 2 and that gives you Rating 4 Skillwires , a dodge boost, an insane reaction boost, 2 more IP, and is only as Expensive Essence wise as Rating 2 Wired Reflexes. Sure it costs 85K nuyen.gif , but hey, it saves you about 1.2 points of Essence (as compared to Wired 2 plus Skillwire 4)


Yes, I'll agree that the Restricted Gear Quality (at a mere 5 BP) allows you to circumvent the availability issue, but the PC is still left with having to come up with hundreds of thousands of nuyen to become the skill monkey decried in the OP.

There is no doubt that having a whole mess of skills makes a character a very useful addition to the team. I think that making this particular archetype of character horrendous is at least as costly as doing so with some other archetype.

Peter
Dr Funfrock
I have to agree with Peter on this one. Skillsofts are not horrendously broken, they're just extremely useful. A lot of things in Shadowrun are extremely useful. Get over it. In the end, the setting being described is a work of science fiction; we should expect to encounter ideas that seem kind of crazy to us. There's actually a bunch of stuff in Unwired going into how Skillwires have affected the workforce, the sense of dissaffection that comes from working on autopilot, the horrible problems with holding down a permanent job because they just hire another guy and slot the same soft in him, all this sort of stuff. It's a cool part of the setting, and it's very cyberpunk.

The fact is, yes, a PC who makes clever use of skillsofts can be an invaluable addition to the team; so write one up, give it a whirl. Try playing a Street Sam who isn't just a kill monster, but can actually be useful outside the fights. I mean how often do you suddenly find that the team is missing a vital skill for the plan they want to pull off? Now you have the guy who can do that job, in a pinch.
Just like you have the Mage who can probably get a spirit to do it, even if they don't have the spell they need. Or the Technomancer who can thread whatever softs they need on the fly. Or the Drone Rigger who can get his little toys to run infiltration, transport, fire support, close combat, cable taps and demolitions, field surgery, emergency repairs, and more besides. Or the Hacker who can throw together a few scripts for his agent to overcome that particularly tricky security setup. Or the Face who might not have the equipment that you need right now, but he sure as hell knows someone who does.
Being adaptable is a huge part of how Shadowrun works. An adaptable runner is a good runner. The guy who says "Oh, I only kill people. With shotguns. Can't use automatics or any of that shit."; he ain't gonna get hired much.
WeaverMount
QUOTE (Dr Funfrock @ Jan 7 2009, 01:38 PM) *
The guy who says "Oh, I only kill people. With shotguns. Can't use automatics or any of that shit."; he ain't gonna get hired much.

That's golden
Malachi
QUOTE (Dr Funfrock @ Jan 7 2009, 01:38 PM) *
The guy who says "Oh, I only kill people. With shotguns. Can't use automatics or any of that shit."; he ain't gonna get hired much.

We may laugh at this now (and it is funny), and it sounds ridiculous to say, but how many PC's do you know have built a character that should be saying exactly this?
Muspellsheimr
Skillwires are overpowered because they are far to much of a "must-have", and they destroy gameplay for those who do not want to take them. If the samurai can hack nearly as well as your hacker, or talk nearly as well as your face, why did you make a hacker or face to begin with?

I have had this problem before, & will now ban skillwires in any game I run, and strongly suggest banning them in any game I play in.

Every Active skill in the game, excluding Exotic Weapon/Vehicle, Emergent, & Awakened, can be obtained at character generation, at rating 4, for 84,000 Nuyen, & can run eight at any single time (assuming you obtained a Move-By-Wire 2 or Skillwires 4; easy to do). You can maintain this with almost 2,000 Nuyen each month to prevent degradation.

For 39 Build Points (5 Quality, 34 Resources), you can have a beginning character with Rating 4 in every skill. This same starting character can (through additional augmentation), have a minimum of 4 in each attribute.

How is having a starting 400 BP character with a specialty of 12-16 dice, & 8+ dice in every other skill not overpowering? For 39 Build Points?
HentaiZonga
One thing I've always wondered is, why don't Smartlinked guns come with an integral Skillsoft package built into the gun's firmware? It seems like it'd be incredibly convenient and cost-effective (and hence a wonderful marketing angle) to pick up my gun, and have a Skillsoft custom-tailored to the use of that weapon upload itself into my Skillwires the moment I connect to the Smartlink.
WeaverMount
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 7 2009, 02:33 PM) *
Skillwires are overpowered because they are far to much of a "must-have", and they destroy gameplay for those who do not want to take them. If the samurai can hack nearly as well as your hacker, or talk nearly as well as your face, why did you make a hacker or face to begin with?

I have had this problem before, & will now ban skillwires in any game I run, and strongly suggest banning them in any game I play in.

Every Active skill in the game, excluding Exotic Weapon/Vehicle, Emergent, & Awakened, can be obtained at character generation, at rating 4, for 84,000 Nuyen, & can run eight at any single time (assuming you obtained a Move-By-Wire 2 or Skillwires 4; easy to do). You can maintain this with almost 2,000 Nuyen each month to prevent depredation.

For 39 Build Points (5 Quality, 34 Resources), you can have a beginning character with Rating 4 in every skill. This same starting character can (through additional augmentation), have a minimum of 4 in each attribute.

How is having a starting 400 BP character with a specialty of 12-16 dice, & 8+ dice in every other skill not overpowering? For 39 Build Points?


Except you can't get emergent or awakened skillsofts. 84k buys you only 7 rating 4 skillsofts. Which isn't even the 8 you mentioned, which you can't anyway ... unless you want a skill of 1.
WeaverMount
QUOTE (HentaiZonga @ Jan 7 2009, 02:36 PM) *
One thing I've always wondered is, why don't Smartlinked guns come with an integral Skillsoft package built into the gun's firmware? It seems like it'd be incredibly convenient and cost-effective (and hence a wonderful marketing angle) to pick up my gun, and have a Skillsoft custom-tailored to the use of that weapon upload itself into my Skillwires the moment I connect to the Smartlink.


They may well do that, but there is noway a runner would slot that shit. Would you your skinlink talk to your skill wires?
BRodda
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 7 2009, 01:33 PM) *
Every Active skill in the game, excluding Exotic Weapon/Vehicle, Emergent, & Awakened, can be obtained at character generation, at rating 4, for 84,000 Nuyen, & can run eight at any single time (assuming you obtained a Move-By-Wire 2 or Skillwires 4; easy to do). You can maintain this with almost 2,000 Nuyen each month to prevent depredation.


Uhmm... No wonder you think they are broken, your reading the rules wrong.

Pg 335 BBB
QUOTE
A skillwire system can handle a number of skillsofts with a total rating equal to its own ratingx 2.


Ok that Skillwires4/ MbW2 can have 8 POINTS of skills, not 8 skills. That means you can have two level 4 skills, eight level 1 skills, four level 2 skills or some combination that is less then or equal to 8 points.

$DIETY, I would ban them too if it meant that a player could run around with 32 points of skills. But its 8 points and that is not even close to game breaking.

*EDIT*
And as a side note I hope that you aren't letting people use skillGROUPS as an active skill. You have to load and use them as indivdually (Pistols/Auto/Long/Ect.)
HentaiZonga
Here's a fun house rule to try; we've used it to differentiate between skillwires and "real skill", and it works extraordinarily well:

With a Skillsoft, you always buy hits. You must spend a point of Edge to actually roll your normal dice, rather than buying hits. This means that a Skillsoft with a rating of 1 will be useless to anyone with an Attribute + dice pool bonus of less than 3, for example. It also means that Skillsofts will always produce consistent but mediocre results.

The Skillwire Expert System and the Personalized and DIMAP Skillsoft options remove this penalty, allowing Skillsofts to be "rolled" as normal (and also allowing Edge to be spent in specific circumstances, in the case of Expert Systems and DIMAP).
Mšx
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 7 2009, 08:33 PM) *
Every Active skill in the game, excluding Exotic Weapon/Vehicle, Emergent, & Awakened, can be obtained at character generation, at rating 4, for 84,000 Nuyen,

More like 672000 nuyen.gif (135BP) and you can only run to of them at the same time cyber.gif
Starmage21
QUOTE (HentaiZonga @ Jan 7 2009, 02:55 PM) *
Here's a fun house rule to try; we've used it to differentiate between skillwires and "real skill", and it works extraordinarily well:

With a Skillsoft, you always buy hits. You must spend a point of Edge to actually roll your normal dice, rather than buying hits. This means that a Skillsoft with a rating of 1 will be useless to anyone with an Attribute + dice pool bonus of less than 3, for example. It also means that Skillsofts will always produce consistent but mediocre results.

The Skillwire Expert System and the Personalized and DIMAP Skillsoft options remove this penalty, allowing Skillsofts to be "rolled" as normal (and also allowing Edge to be spent in specific circumstances, in the case of Expert Systems and DIMAP).


I LIKE this houserule. Doesnt nerf the shiat out of something RAW, but at the same time, allowing a little fine-tuning.
Muspellsheimr
QUOTE (Unwired p.118)
Pluscode (Rating)
Program Types: Simsense (Activesoft)
A Pluscode activesoft reduces the demands on skillwire
systems through sophisticated cache and routing algorithms,
enhanced mnemonic correlation, and redundancy-integration
schemes. In effect, reduce the skillsoft‚€™s rating by the Pluscode rating
when applying the skillsoft towards the skillwire‚€™s maximum
rating limits (see p. 335, SR4). The skillsoft is still limited to a base
rating equal to or less the than the skillwire‚€™s rating. The skillsoft
option cannot reduce the skillsoft‚€™s impact on the rating limits to
less than 1.

QUOTE (Unwired p.94)
Downloading the program to your commlink or
terminal costs 10 percent of the street price of the program
(see Program Costs and Availability, p. 228, SR4).


Using only the BBB, they are still ridiculously retarded, & hurt gameplay in the same manner, but are not exactly overpowering.
Still more than enough reason to disallow them entirely.
Mšx
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 7 2009, 10:18 PM) *
Using only the BBB, they are still ridiculously retarded, & hurt gameplay in the same manner, but are not exactly overpowering.
Still more than enough reason to disallow them entirely.

That only helps if your gm lets you have pirated activesofts in chargen.
Muspellsheimr
Which most do, because not pirating them is fucking retarded, as you can/will have everything you do traced.

Even if it's not allowed, that saves ~15 Build Points, & you can still obtain 8-10 within the first 5-10 minutes out of character generation with ease.
BRodda
QUOTE (Muspellsheimr @ Jan 7 2009, 03:18 PM) *
Using only the BBB, they are still ridiculously retarded, & hurt gameplay in the same manner, but are not exactly overpowering.
Still more than enough reason to disallow them entirely.


At the cost of being nuyen.gif 15,000 per program. Thats the cost of 2 Steel Lynx's with Ingram White Knight LMGs loaded with Ex-EX rounds. I think the drones are more dangerous becasue for the same cost as have 8 level 4 activesofts I could have 16 of those Lynx's for the nuyen.gif 120,000.

And the download service only carries standard software and you have to have the proper liceneceing to get the dangerous stuff. And you better not be trying to download it during a run.

Yes this stuff can be broken, but its no worse than just about anything else in this game.
Muspellsheimr
1,500 Nuyen & a Threshold 14 Extended Test to obtain it after character generation. During generation, I pick up Rating 4 Browse program, & a Rating 4 Data Search Active Soft. I begin play with a minimum of 8,000 cash, and an average of 13,000. I buy hits, & succeed in the test in under 30 seconds per soft.

Yes, you can effectively begin the game with 8+ Rating 4 Activesofts, even if your GM disallows you from purchasing them during character generation.
Rasumichin
QUOTE (Dr Funfrock @ Jan 7 2009, 06:38 PM) *
I have to agree with Peter on this one. Skillsofts are not horrendously broken, they're just extremely useful. A lot of things in Shadowrun are extremely useful. Get over it. In the end, the setting being described is a work of science fiction; we should expect to encounter ideas that seem kind of crazy to us. There's actually a bunch of stuff in Unwired going into how Skillwires have affected the workforce, the sense of dissaffection that comes from working on autopilot, the horrible problems with holding down a permanent job because they just hire another guy and slot the same soft in him, all this sort of stuff. It's a cool part of the setting, and it's very cyberpunk.

The fact is, yes, a PC who makes clever use of skillsofts can be an invaluable addition to the team; so write one up, give it a whirl. Try playing a Street Sam who isn't just a kill monster, but can actually be useful outside the fights. I mean how often do you suddenly find that the team is missing a vital skill for the plan they want to pull off? Now you have the guy who can do that job, in a pinch.
Just like you have the Mage who can probably get a spirit to do it, even if they don't have the spell they need. Or the Technomancer who can thread whatever softs they need on the fly. Or the Drone Rigger who can get his little toys to run infiltration, transport, fire support, close combat, cable taps and demolitions, field surgery, emergency repairs, and more besides. Or the Hacker who can throw together a few scripts for his agent to overcome that particularly tricky security setup. Or the Face who might not have the equipment that you need right now, but he sure as hell knows someone who does.
Being adaptable is a huge part of how Shadowrun works. An adaptable runner is a good runner. The guy who says "Oh, I only kill people. With shotguns. Can't use automatics or any of that shit."; he ain't gonna get hired much.


Signed.

Even though i recently tried to build a character who was a skillwire monkey owning every single INT- and LOG-based skill in the game (complete with neural stimulus nanites, cerebral booster, PusHeD, and so on), along with either commanding a sprite army or being a hacker adept (couldn't quite make my mind up on this).
The build somehow fell by the wayside (mostly because squeezing TM or adept in would have limited available ware too much to make it really work out), but it surely would have been possible to make a mundane who is a jack of all trades by using skillwires.

As well, i have pondered similar attempts with houngans (face, combat monster, skill monkey, summoner) and TMs (Mr. Knowitall tutor sprite telephone joker).

People always complain how SR4 rewards overspecialization and punishes the generalist, as well as some may have noticed that it is nigh impossible to take care of the not-always-essential skills in what is considered a viable build on this boards.
The fact that Street Magic and Unwired have made working jack-of-all-trade characters possible doesn't change this fundamental problem, but it does offer a limited fix.
I am aware that this is not the most positive thing one can say about a game system, but it's what the whole skill system boils down to.
In SR4, you can't be good at a lot of -mostly unspectacular- things without tons of karma that would make a karma sink like a mystic adept or TM happy.
With the abovementioned means, you can make a character who rocks in his core field and is also good at a lot of mostly unspectacular things.
These means offer a kind of instant branching-out plugin for almost every character concept.

We may add it to the list of either high power or broken character concepts, depending on your reading, also depending on wether you think that a system should be completely balanced no matter how hard you try to push it.
Personally, i take a middle ground here, as a hypothetical completely balanced system has nothing to offer to me.
Rock/paper/scissors is a perfectly balanced game- would you want to play an entire campaign with that? When you play an RPG that is ruleswise all about character customization?
As well, i don't believe in systems that are supposed only when you, as a player, constantly restrict yourself on the options you may choose when building your character.
I want a system that i can actually use.
And that i can use roughly, without being afraid of breaking it.

But of course, i will build characters with the overall powerlevel of the group in mind, will try to complement the capabilities of the other characters instead of making them unnecassary and expect the GM to play rough enough that the challenge lies in acting cleverly, not having the highest DP so that an optimized character is a useful tool to apply one's ideas instead of a constant get out of jail free card.
Sir_Psycho
I've never seen skillwires as a problem. I think it's because a jack of all trades wiremonkey is dull. I don't think I could engage in the character.
Stahlseele
skillwires and skillsoft simply became too cheap and easy in SR4 i guess . . in SR3, they were fucking expansive both essence and money wise, and later on the skillsoft got frigging more expansive with higher levels . . and you did not have endless ammounts of storage to pack all of that into your own body. so you were at most times only carrying some chosen skills with you . . and if you lost those, you became useless and lost a big chunk of ressources . .
pbangarth
Muspelheimer argues that the crushingly prohibitive cost of a whole mess of skillsofts, while applicable in the basic rules, is negated by the piracy optional rule and the attendant reduction in costs. He suggests that immediately out of chargen a character can spend a few minutes on the Matrix and find whatever he wants, at a skill level that makes him equal to the specialists in most if not all fields. Therefore the skillsoft monkey is broken.

Often, arguments for rules being broken flourish because only some of the rules are seen to be applied to the situation, those rules that favour the argument and not those that disfavour it. I believe the 'broken skillmonkey' argument fall into this trap. Let's look at the piracy issue.

1)
One must find a pirate network, with a minimum of 1 day active search on the Matrix. (Unwired, p. 94)

2)
One must search for each program separately, with a threshold of 12 or more.

3)
Points 1) and 2) are subject to glitches, and more importantly, the countermeasures of software manufacturers. Surely we don't think there won't be agents and sprites out there looking for just such activity? And doing it for a day straight, or longer? Come on. Welcome to cybercombat 2 minutes into the character's game-life.

A glitch on a software search means the character has to find another pirate network for that software, with another day-long search.

4)
Pirated software ratings degrade, monthly. (Unwired p. 109)

5)
Pirated software you have paid for may turn out to be something else, or infected. (Unwired, p. 109)

6)
Even Pluscode software cannot exceed the rating of the skillwire. (Unwired, p. 94) So the Pluscode (3) activesoft (4) takes up one slot, but still requires a skillwire (4) to run it.


It doesn't look all that broken when you take all of these into account, and I dug these up in about 5 minutes search through the books.

Peter
JFixer
You can only run Skillsofts up to the level of the Skillwire system you have installed. You can only have a number of Skillsoft Ranking running equal to the Skillwire Rating x2.

Can you install more than one Skillwire system?
Rasumichin
QUOTE (JFixer @ Jan 8 2009, 12:19 AM) *
You can only run Skillsofts up to the level of the Skillwire system you have installed. You can only have a number of Skillsoft Ranking running equal to the Skillwire Rating x2.

Can you install more than one Skillwire system?


With the exception of cybereyes, the rules don't say anything about implanting a cyberware system multiple times, so it's up to common sense and GM discretion, i'd say.

I've been thinking about this, but i think that it would not really be worth the effort.
You can already have 10 skills running at the same time and with the Pluscode option, they won't be bad.
Of course, if you want to apply other options to the same skills...hm.
Abschalten
I'm certain that it's possible to implant more than one skillwires system in one body. However, you could more than likely only use one of them at a time without really screwing yourself up. Skillwires are sorta woven into the neuromuscular pathways, using activesofts in order to trigger the "muscle memory" to override the body's natural motions, as well as the "know-how" to put said motions in use. You can run two skillsofts in the same system because they are PART of the same system and get integrated together. But I can only see two competing sets of skillwires AT THE SAME TIME causing stress and damage (stun, but possibly physical as well.) Maybe there are other rationales at work to justify attempting two sets in the same body, but as a player and a GM, I wouldn't try or advise it. Sounds like a bad idea all around.
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