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PirateChef
I have recently started building a Technomancer character based on an idea I had, and needed a few points of clarification. I tried searching for it, but my search-fu is failing me, so I though I might ask the DS crew and see if they could help out.

The character I am building has a commlink, fully loaded, that he pretty much lives in. I plan to take the Home ground quality for it, and use this as the place where he threads things up and registers sprites and such. Are there any other qualities I might want to take to represent this?

Also, is it worth having actual programs on the commlink? Can Technomancers make any use of the standard hacker software (Agents, Data Bombs, things of that nature)? I know they have to take a second computer skill to do hacking like a normal hacker. Is it worth it to put a few points in Computer(Regular) as well as Computer(Technomancer)?

Also, am I correct in thinking that the only real use Technomancers have for stats is for resisting Fading? (I know they need more stats for real world things, but as far as hacking goes...)

I am planning to get an essence point of cyberware (possibly implanting the commlink, it fits with the background) Is there any highly reccomended cyberware for a technomancer, or even any that would be useful? Also, is it okay to start with a 5 resonance and lose the point to go down to 4 or should I go for a 6 to end up with 5? Is it just better to skip the cyber completely and start with a 6 resonance?

I was considering the idea of taking no complex forms, specializing in threading, and just threading together any program I need on an as needed basis. Would this work at all, or would the cost / risk outweigh the saved BP at character gen?
BlueMax
This is a scattered response to your post

Commlink: "Commlink? WTF, I *AM* the commlink!" The three TMs in my campaign carry decoy commlinks but their home? Their home is the digital wireless world around us. That firehydrants pressure meter, the street signs wireless light switch, the traffic cameras and so on, those are the wallpaper of my home.
As for a Home home... your looking for a Feng Shui-ed Resonnance well. And so are my players (GLWT)

Stats: Mental Stats are important for your TM's matrix stats. Some players also take a high body so the can survive a Compiling or Binding roll gone bad. Even if survive means 10 minutes in the infirmary while the Doc works on bleeding from the eyes and ears....

Programs:"Ugh, you mean that stuff you unaware write? Frag that Chummer, let me show you how to weave the threads of reality". Spend a good chunk of points on Complex Forms. Complex Forms are you friend. *Paging CaptainSegfault*

Cyber: There are some stat boosters you could take and some analyzer type stuff. *paging Default*


Sprites: Where a TM compiles sprites is a good question. We have been playing they can summon them in their own Bio Node, which may be dead wrong.
toolbox
The formatting on this post got borked somehow - let me try again.
PirateChef
QUOTE (BlueMax @ Jun 25 2009, 12:21 PM) *
This is a scattered response to your post

Commlink: "Commlink? WTF, I *AM* the commlink!" The three TMs in my campaign carry decoy commlinks but their home? Their home is the digital wireless world around us. That firehydrants pressure meter, the street signs wireless light switch, the traffic cameras and so on, those are the wallpaper of my home.
As for a Home home... your looking for a Feng Shui-ed Resonnance well. And so are my players (GLWT)


Programs:"Ugh, you mean that stuff you unaware write? Frag that Chummer, let me show you how to weave the threads of reality". Spend a good chunk of points on Complex Forms. Complex Forms are you friend. *Paging CaptainSegfault*

While I appreciate your outlook on Technomancers, I am aiming for a technomancer who sees things a bit differently than many do.

My technomancer sees each indiviual node much the same way normal people see buildings. Some he can go into and out of freely, some he has to sneak his way in. He just wants one that is familiar, always available, and that he has complete control over the decor (Do reality filters work for TMs? Do they even need one?) If another TM were to express the idea that the whole world was their home and all of the nodes around their wallpaper, he would consider it much the same as most people would if a bum on the street were to tell them that by not having a home he can live anywhere he wants.

As far as programs go... the character in question was a computer user long before he became a technomancer. He has used programs before, and will continue to do so if they are useful. Just b/c you know kung fu doesn't mean you can't use a gun too.
toolbox
QUOTE (PirateChef @ Jun 25 2009, 10:04 AM) *
The character I am building has a commlink, fully loaded, that he pretty much lives in. I plan to take the Home ground quality for it, and use this as the place where he threads things up and registers sprites and such. Are there any other qualities I might want to take to represent this?

This won't work, unfortunately - you can't use a commlink as your home ground.
QUOTE (SR4A p.91)
All home grounds must be fixed locations - characters cannot
move them around.


QUOTE
Also, is it worth having actual programs on the commlink? Can Technomancers make any use of the standard hacker software (Agents, Data Bombs, things of that nature)? I know they have to take a second computer skill to do hacking like a normal hacker. Is it worth it to put a few points in Computer(Regular) as well as Computer(Technomancer)?

TMs can and occasionally do use standard software - botnets are great. Note that a lot of it (such as data bombs) can be learned/threaded as complex forms instead if you want. I don't think there's much benefit to learning how to hack normally, unless you're incredibly paranoid about being discovered as a TM. Even then, you wouldn't strictly need to learn the standard versions of the skills - the way TMs use the skills is unusual, but at the end of the day they still produce the same end result.

QUOTE
Also, am I correct in thinking that the only real use Technomancers have for stats is for resisting Fading? (I know they need more stats for real world things, but as far as hacking goes...)

Nope. All your bio-node's stats (what a normal hacker gets from his commlink and OS stats) are derived from your attributes, and your maximum number of complex forms and registered sprites come from your attributes as well.

QUOTE
I am planning to get an essence point of cyberware (possibly implanting the commlink, it fits with the background) Is there any highly reccomended cyberware for a technomancer, or even any that would be useful? Also, is it okay to start with a 5 resonance and lose the point to go down to 4 or should I go for a 6 to end up with 5? Is it just better to skip the cyber completely and start with a 6 resonance?

An implanted commlink sounds like a really bad bet for a TM, especially in light of not being able to use it as a home ground. The main use technos have for physical commlinks is as a decoy to cover for their innate abilities. You'd be giving that up, taking a Resonance hit and also making yourself vulnerable to detection by cyberware scanners for no real benefit. You can start with a Resonance of 5 or 6 and be fine (with no cyber). I'm not entirely sure which mods are useful enough for a TM to eat the Resonance loss to take them, but someone else will probably know.

QUOTE
I was considering the idea of taking no complex forms, specializing in threading, and just threading together any program I need on an as needed basis. Would this work at all, or would the cost / risk outweigh the saved BP at character gen?

Complex Forms are the single most efficient way to spend your BP in chargen, especially buying the fifth and sixth ranks. If you're looking to maximize build efficiency, take as many CFs as you can (Logic x2), rated as high as you can (equal to Resonance). You can still thread on top of the purchased ratings (allowing them to get much higher than CFs you thread from nothing), you can use a handful of abilities without having to worry about Fading or sustaining penalties, etc. If you plan to use CFs at all in play, max them at chargen.
PirateChef
QUOTE (toolbox @ Jun 25 2009, 12:32 PM) *
This won't work, unfortunately - you can't use a commlink as your home ground.

Actually, now that I think on it, I knew that...

QUOTE (toolbox @ Jun 25 2009, 12:32 PM) *
An implanted commlink sounds like a really bad bet for a TM, especially in light of not being able to use it as a home ground. The main use technos have for physical commlinks is as a decoy to cover for their innate abilities. You'd be giving that up, taking a Resonance hit and also making yourself vulnerable to detection by cyberware scanners for no real benefit. You can start with a Resonance of 5 or 6 and be fine (with no cyber). I'm not entirely sure which mods are useful enough for a TM to eat the Resonance loss to take them, but someone else will probably know.


Having the implanted comm was based on using it as his Home Ground, so that's out. However it does fit his backstory to have some cyber, b/c he was a decker in training before the Crash, so he had at least a datajack.

BlueMax
QUOTE (PirateChef @ Jun 25 2009, 09:36 AM) *
As far as programs go... the character in question was a computer user long before he became a technomancer. He has used programs before, and will continue to do so if they are useful. Just b/c you know kung fu doesn't mean you can't use a gun too.

Too expensive. Why? Because all of the computer skills will need to be taken twice. The TM versions of Hardware, Computer and so on are entirely different skills. If you want to use Hacker type tools and a commlink, you will be paying for the same skills twice.

BlueMax
Jaid
basically, what toolbox said. if you want you can take some 'ware for flavour reasons, but from the perspective of effectiveness, i don't think any 'ware is really worth it. if you absolutely must, then forget about the datajack and implanted commlink... go with stuff like sleep regulator, or the 'ware that gives you a bonus to logic-linked skill tests (such as hacking and computer). i still don't think those would be worth it (your resonance is really that important), but if you absolutely felt it was needed to grab some cyber, that's the closest thing to being worthwhile i can come up with. though again, i would even only do that because the background required it, not because it's effective.

as far as keeping programs handy, i would say yes, provided you have an agent. which you should. they may not be as good as sprites, but they can be used at the same time as sprites, and can be used for botnets, which sprites cannot. as far as picking up appropriate hacking skills, well... same basic answer as the 'ware question. no, it isn't worth it from a game balance perspective, but if the flavour calls for it, then go for it. that being said, you may find it better to give hacking background skill or something like that, and explain that he hasn't used regular computer/hacking skills in so long that they've basically atrophied into mere background knowledge skills. this means that you still can show your hacker background without spending nearly as much of your precious, precious BPs on it, and believe me... you don't have a single BP to spare from a pure optimisation viewpoint. (now, that being said, the only characters that should be designed from a pure optimisation viewpoint are characters that are being made to basically show what the absolute limits of the system are. i don't recommend designing a character to play in a game from that viewpoint, of course, but i can't very well tell you what the most effective way to roleplay your character is, and i'm not about to try)
PirateChef
QUOTE (BlueMax @ Jun 25 2009, 12:50 PM) *
Too expensive. Why? Because all of the computer skills will need to be taken twice. The TM versions of Hardware, Computer and so on are entirely different skills. If you want to use Hacker type tools and a commlink, you will be paying for the same skills twice.

BlueMax

Oh, I know that. And I don't intend to max them out, just put a point or two in the standard version of computer. I guess my question comes down to is there anything you can do with one version of the computer skill that you can't do with another? Can technomancers use their version to do things like use agents, set Data bombs?

Edit: Jaid covered part of what I posted
BlueMax
QUOTE (PirateChef @ Jun 25 2009, 09:56 AM) *
Oh, I know that. And I don't intend to max them out, just put a point or two in the standard version of computer. I guess my question comes down to is there anything you can do with one version of the computer skill that you can't do with another? Can technomancers use their version to do things like use agents, set Data bombs?

Edit: Jaid covered part of what I posted

Agents are easy to use, since they roll Pilot where your skill would come in. So grab a few.

I started responding pre edit and I have to agree with your desire to have your background represented with skills. Jaid's Knowledge skills is a good resolution.

BluemAx
Tiger Eyes
My TM has Seattle's ShadowSea as a Home Ground. The Denver Nexus would also make a particularly good Home Node for a previous hacker-now-TM character. Plus it helps with data searches! smile.gif

TMs can use their computer active skill to deploy agents and set data bombs. Of course, the TM version of a data bomb works the same once it's set, and it's free. wink.gif I wouldn't put active skills into a mundane Computer skill and a TM computer skill unless you really like it for flavor and roleplaying. Then again, I totally support the idea of putting BP into active/knowledge skills for the great reason of roleplaying & character flavor. With that in mind, you might ask your GM if you could have the mundane Computer skills as Knowledge skills while having 1 active Computer skill that's your TM version.

And I'm in the camp that says skip the cyberware and get the resonance as high as you can. Not all hackers have datajacks; remember trodes and commlinks have been around for 5+ years now. Depending on how old your character is, he/she might not have invested in a datajack yet. Maybe something inside them made them shy away from the surgury. You know how some people hate needles... wink.gif TMs take a much greater hit from losing resonance than mages/adepts do from losing magic. That's just my opinion, though.
PirateChef
QUOTE (Tiger Eyes @ Jun 25 2009, 01:08 PM) *
My TM has Seattle's ShadowSea as a Home Ground. The Denver Nexus would also make a particularly good Home Node for a previous hacker-now-TM character. Plus it helps with data searches! smile.gif


I was thinking about that. It seems weird for any node to function, since they are all technically movable... Could you set up a cyberterminal, or server or whatever in your hideout and use it as the node for your homeground? It would basically be the same thing as having one of the data havens. Is it important that the Home Ground not be movable, or that the player not move it?
Tiger Eyes
QUOTE (PirateChef @ Jun 25 2009, 02:13 PM) *
I was thinking about that. It seems weird for any node to function, since they are all technically movable... Could you set up a cyberterminal, or server or whatever in your hideout and use it as the node for your homeground? It would basically be the same thing as having one of the data havens. Is it important that the Home Ground not be movable, or that the player not move it?


The basic idea is that Home Ground gives you a bonus only in limited circumstances. Having it be in, say, your commlink means you could benefit from it at almost all times (your commlink is also a single node, rather than a network). With a major system (say, Lone Star's Seattle network or ShadowSea), the idea is that you have no control over it. Just like having the Mojave desert be your home ground (in a Seattle campaign). It's also something that can't be "moved." Technically, while the Shadowsea hardware could be physically moved, the virtual "space" remains fixed. But the idea is you can't move it, can't change it. You can't keep it with you at all times. Makes it less abusable as a quality. I think the Quality is worded just fine (p. 91, SR4A):

QUOTE
For hackers and technomancers, a home ground might be a particular
computer network the character knows extremely well. In this case,
the character receives a +2 dice pool modifier for all tests made while
accessing that network. Favorite data havens like the Denver Nexus
make suitable home grounds for hacker characters. Many corporate
hackers have the Home Ground quality for their corporate systems.

All home grounds must be fixed locations—characters cannot
move them around. If a character’s home ground is destroyed, the
quality is lost.
crizh
Homeground is still a pretty good idea. As a TM you kinda are carrying your home node around with you, have it somewhere nice and safe and flip in and out of it as needed.

One good thing about Matrix 2.0 is that you can be in several nodes at once and flip your perception between them at will.

At will.

Another interesting thing about the wording of Homeground is that a physical Homeground only applies to Active Skill Tests or Knowledge Skill Tests. A Virtual Homeground applies it's bonus to all Tests.

Homeground is expensive unfortunately. If you can afford it Analytical Mind is pretty good bang per buck.

If you are considering Cyber might I recommend Neocortical Neuro-amplifier Nanites. They don't apply if you are in a 'stressful' situation however if you happen to be slotting a Focus Reality Amplifier you won't be in a 'stressful' situation. Ever.

That's a bonus to every Test made using a Logic Linked Skill. Regardless of whether or not the stat you actually use for the test is Logic or not. So long as the Skill is 'linked' to Logic you're golden.

Agents are great because they use normal programs and you can boss them about with your Command CF.

Did i mention Nexuses? System not limited by Response!

A Response 3, Signal 0, Program Limit 15 Nexus costs 2250 nuyen.gif and will support two Rating 6 Agents with a full load-out.
BlueMax
Crizh,
Several of my players have Analytical mind and I am not making it worthwhile. Could you give some examples? We just use it on puzzles.

BlueMax
crizh
The last line of the quality explicitly gives a +2 to all Data Search and Software Tests.

That would be all Threading Tests if you are a TM...
Jaid
QUOTE (crizh @ Jun 25 2009, 02:25 PM) *
Agents are great because they use normal programs and you can boss them about with your Command CF no programs or CFs of any sort required.

you only need the command CF/program to remote control something. think more like having a universal remote that can allow you to directly control everything from a VCR to a remote controlled airplane to a security camera. it doesn't allow you to give orders; giving orders does not require any program.

mind you, encrypt is useful, and probably a good idea.
BlueMax
QUOTE (crizh @ Jun 25 2009, 11:44 AM) *
The last line of the quality explicitly gives a +2 to all Data Search and Software Tests.

That would be all Threading Tests if you are a TM...

I just got schooled over IM. They knew that even if I forgot.
And they watch DS, I need a new ID.
Thanks,

BlueMax
crizh
QUOTE (BlueMax @ Jun 25 2009, 07:56 PM) *
And they watch DS, I need a new ID.


lol

grinbig.gif
crizh
QUOTE (Jaid @ Jun 25 2009, 07:56 PM) *
you only need the command CF/program to remote control something.


Right you are.

I just assumed the 'Issue Command' action required Command. On re-reading I appear to be full of drek..
Ard3
QUOTE (BlueMax @ Jun 25 2009, 08:50 PM) *
Too expensive. Why? Because all of the computer skills will need to be taken twice. The TM versions of Hardware, Computer and so on are entirely different skills. If you want to use Hacker type tools and a commlink, you will be paying for the same skills twice.


From Errata1.8:

p. 233 Technomancer Skills
The first line should read:
Aside from the Resonance skills that technomancers use
to handle sprites (see p. 119), technomancers use the same
skills common to hackers
—Computer, Cybercombat, Data
Search, Electronic Warfare, Hacking, Hardware, and Software.

Emphasis mine.
Wiseman
I honestly feel most everyone focuses too much on the fluff part of that section rather than the actual and ONLY game effect. Though i'm splitting hairs here.

QUOTE
In game terms, technomancers
may never teach these skills to non-technomancers, nor are
the technomancer skill versions available as skillsofts. Technomancers
may learn the “normal? versions of these skills separately (or use
normal skillsofts), but they often find the normal way of doing things
to be hopelessly clumsy and backward.


Technomancer Skills do all the same things the normal skills do (they don't have their own skill descriptions), the only mechanical effect on actual play is specifically outlined. You cannot teach them to non-technomancers, and you cannot buy them as skillsofts.

If you wanted to teach Matrix 101 as a technomancer, then you'd need the "normal" skills to perform an instruction test. Otherwise they function and are used (mechanics wise) exactly the same. Roleplaying wise they should be described differently.

PirateChef
QUOTE (Wiseman @ Jun 25 2009, 06:00 PM) *
I honestly feel most everyone focuses too much on the fluff part of that section rather than the actual and ONLY game effect. Though i'm splitting hairs here.



Technomancer Skills do all the same things the normal skills do (they don't have their own skill descriptions), the only mechanical effect on actual play is specifically outlined. You cannot teach them to non-technomancers, and you cannot buy them as skillsofts.

If you wanted to teach Matrix 101 as a technomancer, then you'd need the "normal" skills to perform an instruction test. Otherwise they function and are used (mechanics wise) exactly the same. Roleplaying wise they should be described differently.

SR4A pg 239
QUOTE
For each program there is an equivalent complex
form, with the exception of Biofeedback Filter, which is part of the
living persona. Some programs have different effects when used as a
complex form, which are noted in the program’s description. Agents,
IC, and autosofts may not be learned or used by technomancers.


This is why I've been asking if I need to take a point or two in the normal version of these skills. According to this, TMs cannot use Agents.
toolbox
QUOTE (PirateChef @ Jun 25 2009, 10:10 PM) *
SR4A pg 239


This is why I've been asking if I need to take a point or two in the normal version of these skills. According to this, TMs cannot use Agents.


That's worded incredibly badly. I'm pretty sure it means you can't learn agents, etc. as complex forms, not that you can't use them at all.
PirateChef
I'd agree, except it says cannot learn or use . So it seems like they intentionally added it.
toolbox
I'm pretty sure that sentence is intended to read like so - "Agents, IC, and autosofts may not be learned or used as complex forms by technomancers." Maybe a dev will respond and clear this up.
Jaid
it's right in the section about complex forms. what else would it apply to?

particularly since no skill is actually required to use an agent. well, ok, you probably need a language skill of some kind. but other than that, no skill is actually required to use an agent. there is no plausible reason why technomancers would be unable to use a regular agent, it just wouldn't make sense.
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