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Summerstorm
Hacker:
Pros: Start out strong, easy to get 5 IP's; lots of extra dice with geneware and headware for all actions imaginable
Cons: Pretty much capped at Lvl 12 programs; Updating and maintaining your programs is very expensive.

Technomancer:
Pros: Peak performance is extremely high. open ended powergain; cheap and good "agents"; many tricks to improve performance shortterm (later even longterm)
Cons: Start out slightly less powerful than hacker; don't like essenceloss, so weaker in meatworld; very karmaintensive

AI:
Pros: Very good qualities; able to use cheap autosofts (with quality); very strong homenode resulting in very high loadable programs; imune to black IC and black hammer
Cons: No Cyberware; only 3 (with a lenient GM 4) IP's; low Cap on attributes; Karmaintensive and moneyintensive (inherent programs and bought ones); only in droneform in the meatspace. No inherent +2 bonus for hot Sim.

-----

So i looked a bit at AI character creation. And thought they are a bit ... weak in comparison with other characters which prominently use the matrix. Not that you misunderstand me i don't want them all to be the same, hell i don't even want them on the same powerlevel. But from my viewpoint the AI got a bit underpowered. They are creatures of light and electrons, yet are slower than all creatures in the matrix. Even if their mind is not limited by size or biological processes he has the lowest attribute caps (like a human, but not able to expand beyond)

Even in comparison to AI NPC's our player AI's get shafted. There are some AI qualities (in unwired) not deemed suitable for players, also NPC-AI can have +/- on their attributes. A NPC Metasapient has R+1 Cha and R+1 Will and no points lost at Int or Log. Other types have normaly 2 net points added to their attributes.

Of course i see the advantages of such a character: Imunity to all black stuff is great, and the homenode modifiers can net maybe 6 dice more if completely tricked out incomparison to a highend nexus/comlink of a Hacker. (But they get these dice from cyberware and hot sim bonus and earlier too)

So i ask you for some opinions. Should AI be allowed to take qualities to enhance their speed(IP)/attributes? Should they have a attribute 6 max at start but could freely raise that ingame, as long as they are on a node which lets them run uninhibited? I would like to see them in a high-end race with technomancers. Both character archetypes(if kept pure) are nearly 100% hacking and a bit rigging. So it would be fair if they could be compared. I would like to give the technomancer the skill/style and tricks and AI raw brainpower and a tough hide (especialy in their homenode).

How many of you are giving the fourth IP to the AI's? (With the simsense accelerator matrix gear) I reason it with: AI can clearly simulate a biofeedback control (They can learn to rig) So they have an interface which can use a persona and emulate having a brain. I assume behind that they are pretty fast. The Simsense accelerator is completely hardware enabling broader and faster signal between hardware and "emulated simsense".

Also anyone giving them the +2 hotsim bonus? The AI would be always in hot sim, but has no negative aspects of it. He can't have his heart stopped or mind reprogramed and scarred. But also he is as near at the impulses at it gets. Denying him the bonus takes a LOT of power (especially at the start, when it is young) But then of course: WHY do not agents and IC's get it? Can we explain it? (Yes i know the hotsim was only a mechanic for rewarding risk.) Are AI's sufficient different from normal programs? Well they have to sleep, learn and have edge.

Also i have some questions more: Clearly AI can (or at least SHOULD) use personas and access multiple nodes (they can "jump into" drones, which means they have a persona which is not in their node). But it isn't stated as such. If they can only operate like an agent that would mean they couldn't transport highlevel programs or execute them from their homenode. That would make them completely worthless. Right? But if they can... they should be able to BE in their homenode and use a persona to "go out" And that persona would of course have matrix attributes based on the homenodes values (insane high firewall, response). I take that as natural and right... but i can see why people would hate it (and hunt me down for). Any comments, or proof that i am wrong?

Great wall of text... but i am done, i think. DISCUSS, i command you *g*.
Dragnar
The problem with AIs isn't that they're strictly underpowered, but that they have a really wierd power curve. Basically, an AI is considerably worse than a regular hacker in a good 85% of all matrix actions, but on the other 15% he utterly breaks the game (That is: Even more than a hacker that has read unwired, although still slightly less than a sprite abusing technomancer).
Case in point:
- AIs have Admin Access on every system ever on the fly (high exploit and they only need, what, 1 more success over basic access for admin?).
- AIs are immune to cybercombat in general, because they are basically impossible to spot (and thus impossible to attack).
- AIs are monstrous drone riggers thanks to high command program ratings and the ability to take autosofts instead of real skills (which saves wads of BPs).

So they completely eliminate three of the more common matrix subsystems from the game, while they considerably underperform in all other areas. To make them even remotely balanced, you're better off completely rewriting them.
Aaron
Not to mention that AIs can do stupid risky things in the Matrix, since they're nigh-immortal.
Jaid
quick question: where are you getting these rating 12 programs for your hacker again?
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Jaid @ Aug 2 2009, 05:30 PM) *
quick question: where are you getting these rating 12 programs for your hacker again?



AS far as I know, there are no top end program limits... only what the GM will allow you to get away with...
What is known is that programs can go above 6... and you can program your own custom programs...
hobgoblin
tho a hacker doing runs for a living will never have the time to code such a program...

and they are described as top secret military or corp R&D projects...

and i would say the AI, as much else found in runner companion, is there for roleplaying possibilities, not just for rollplaying giggles...
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Aug 2 2009, 05:45 PM) *
tho a hacker doing runs for a living will never have the time to code such a program...

and they are described as top secret military or corp R&D projects...

and i would say the AI, as much else found in runner companion, is there for roleplaying possibilities, not just for rollplaying giggles...



An above average Hacker can program a Rating 10 Common Program in one Month... A Hacking Program in 2 Months... Assuming decent results on the roll (and access to a programming Environment)...

Yes, the fluff indicates High end (Above Rating 6) programs are rare and hard to get... but then again, top end Hackers are Rare and hard to contact... make of that what you will...
hobgoblin
time to code up that rating 12 firewall then...
Dragnar
And if you actually allow that, the matrix game breaks down even more. Even if it's fully RAW. That's what I hinted at with the hacker, thats overpowered by virtue of having read Unwired. Don't do that. That way lies madness.
Keep rating 6 as really good and everything above that as rare RnD-specials used to protect AAA-mainframes. Otherwise, yeah, you can pretty much scratch the AI as a character completely. Well, more than you can do so even now, anyway.
hobgoblin
rule zero, people. rule zero...
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Dragnar @ Aug 2 2009, 05:59 PM) *
And if you actually allow that, the matrix game breaks down even more. Even if it's fully RAW. That's what I hinted at with the hacker, thats overpowered by virtue of having read Unwired. Don't do that. That way lies madness.
Keep rating 6 as really good and everything above that as rare RnD-specials used to protect AAA-mainframes. Otherwise, yeah, you can pretty much scratch the AI as a character completely. Well, more than you can do so even now, anyway.



All depends upon your style of play, I guess...
Jaid
1 program at 10 or 12 isn't going to do anything horrible to your game. if the hacker player announces he's taking the next 3 years off to hack himself up a rating 12 suite of programs, well, good for him. then, he can write up another character that can actually be played now, rather than some day in the distant future. by the time the hacker is done coding all his programs, the character has probably been brutally murdered by corporate assets who will be more than happy to take a bunch of software off his corpse (well... his commlink, i suppose) that is substantially better than the best commercially available software. assuming the character doesn't one day wake up in a secure facility with orders to write more programs or they'll send in thugs to commit unspeakable acts on his person daily. and the probable psychotropic conditioning. after all, you don't want to risk him trying to get away or anything like that.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Jaid @ Aug 2 2009, 06:11 PM) *
1 program at 10 or 12 isn't going to do anything horrible to your game. if the hacker player announces he's taking the next 3 years off to hack himself up a rating 12 suite of programs, well, good for him. then, he can write up another character that can actually be played now, rather than some day in the distant future. by the time the hacker is done coding all his programs, the character has probably been brutally murdered by corporate assets who will be more than happy to take a bunch of software off his corpse (well... his commlink, i suppose) that is substantially better than the best commercially available software. assuming the character doesn't one day wake up in a secure facility with orders to write more programs or they'll send in thugs to commit unspeakable acts on his person daily. and the probable psychotropic conditioning. after all, you don't want to risk him trying to get away or anything like that.



There is always that, of course...
BlackJaw
AI qualities like Authority and Root kit make them very good at exploiting and stealth... the true hallmarks of a Ice Cold Pro hacker. There are a few more that improve their ability to Spoof and the like. Mostly this is done by inflicting penalties on others or lowering the thresholds. That said, the emergent AI is terrible at Cyber-combat compaired to hackers and technomancers. I think this is reflected very well in the Fluff text too. The AI seen in the fluff is great at getting into places it shouldn't and being hard to locate, but non-elite hackers don't have much trouble taking it down or capturing it when they can find one.

The odd one for me is that the E-Ghost and Piloting Orgin qualities are not explicity exclusive of each other. I guess you could argue that an E-ghost use to be the Pilot/Agent program of a human being... but it's a bit of a stretch. OR you could argue that the persona that use to be the person is able to handle Sim input because it use to be a brain, and thus rigging is fine for it. Either way, the E-ghost concept is one I keep playing with because my current Hacker character is a Transhumanist, and if he ever gets killed while online, I'd burn a point of Edge to have him "saved by the hand of god" (page 74 SR4A) by becoming an e-ghost, if the GM lets me. Of course converting an existing living character into an AI is a little odd... I'd likely just rebuild him from scratch with similar style and focus.
hobgoblin
or one could simply say that the e-ghost is a former rigger that somehow got uploaded while jumped in...
Ravor
Or just thinks that it used to be said Rigger.
The Jopp
The most scary thing i find about the AI is their flexibility at above average skill by giving them the ability to use Autosofts.

Think of it as giving them the equivalent of skills pure and simple.

ALL hacking skills at rating 4
ALL computer skills at rating 4
Demolitions - check
Stealth skills - check

You even have software that emulate etiquette skills and even more programs that give them bonuses for those skills, or remove penalties.

Give them a few good drones and a main body.

Take a drone with mechanical arms (EVO Orderly) and give it a smuggling compartment. Put the "brain" commlink of the AI in there and modify the commlink with some addons like +2 to spoof tests.

Max the drones response attributes.

Now you have a character that have 10-16 dice for almost every test AND can have a firewall of 8+ AND have an extra Agent with homeground autosoft for extra defense of the commlink.

All the AI need is base attributes and resources. This works especially well with a newborn AI as they hardly have any base "skills" but rely on autosofts and programs.

For a role playing perspective it is a long term investment on a fun character.

"Hal, open the bay door"

"I'm afraid I cannot do that dave..."

"Why not?"

"I seem to have forgotten the 'Mechanical Door' Autosoft..."

Not to mention that the AI gives half it's rating to any device as an improvement. With a Response of 8 it can run 34 rating 4 autosoft/programs at once.

Read that again - 34 programs.

Sure, it will impact the response, no biggie actually. THEN you also have the added bonus that your drone that you are "rigging" as an AI have it's own response of say 5. It can run the neccessary 4 Autosofts to function without a hitch, after all, you have your own defensive programs loaded in case someone tries something.

Or you can just live in a drone and have 34 rating 4 programs running.
The Jopp
On another note:

Characters who are jumped into a vehicle cannot be hacked - but what about an AI.

Sure they're metasapient and all that but in the end they are code. They are a pilot with feelings and opinion but in the end a HIGHLY advanced pilot with chaotic programming?

Can it be fooled by spoofing? Can it be hacked so that someone gains Admin Access to it's brain?

Would it be considered slavery to control one?
Neraph
QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Aug 2 2009, 07:02 PM) *
rule zero, people. rule zero...

Rule zero is the defense of the defeated GM.

On another note, this is what I was thinking of (I compiled this a couple months ago):

[ Spoiler ]


Has anyone else thought of doing software suites with autosofts? Are they not software, and by definition capable of becoming suites?

EDIT: For the AI player, remove the cost for R3 Adaptability and the Pilot program.

EDIT2: Also, add in another 2 autosofts: R4 Chemistry, R4 Arcana. So, if you remove the Pilot/Adaptability and buy those, it costs a grand total of 2,600 less.
Summerstorm
Well... Assuming a Hacker and an AI. Both have the same level of ressources and same level of BP/Karma. The AI's machine will have about 2-3 on all hard values due to having likely mental stats of 3 and above in all stats. I assume 3 to all. This enables to have programs be much higher, and the firewall is very secure. Like many of you said: high level programs are possible.. but it is expected to not have so much of them. So is the +3 Response/ +3 System doing anything for the AI?

If we say: To hell with it. A Rating 15 Program with 6 Levels of optimisation (the max) runs on a System 9 nexus. That is the maximum an AI will EVER realisticly get, i think. So that is software/hacking.. say 6 +15 dice program and in spoof or exploit a +2 from a quality. NEVER will it get ANY more. (optimisations and comlink bonus dice are available to hackers too)

A Hacker with a similar machine has System 6, runs a program 12 (with 6 levels optimisation). He gets +2 for Hotsim +1 for PuSHed, +2 for a Encephalon (did i forget anything?)

So even when both are doing an operation which they both specialize in and have maxed everything they have the same dicepool. But the hacker still is faster, 33% or 25%, and in all other operations the AI has 1-3 dice less. Also it doesn't get any extra dice to ANYTHING else. No B/R skills, not perception. Not unarmed, no weapons... nothing. It is always maximum 6.

So i would think about letting them code "Cyberware" for themselves. Just like letting technomancer getting better thorugh immersion, the AI should be able to pour karma into changing their code to aquire something. To not let them be "just bodyless technomancers" i would like to let that translate into raw dice and stats and not into tricks of "buffmagic". Giving them inherent +1 dice of a operation, +1 dice cumulative armor, +1 stat or skill or a even better homenode. Something like that. (With different sosts of course.)

EDIT: Oh and P.S. they get -2 threshold for creating accounts (when they have authority) so +1 for security, +4 for Admin. And Rootkit makes it -6 to see them.. very good, but for a trained spider not really that horrible.
The Jake
I've house ruled that if an AI could make a UV Host a home node, they'd get a Hot Sim bonus and extra IP, but that IS a house rule. Its largely academic at this point however.

- J.
hobgoblin
QUOTE (Neraph @ Aug 3 2009, 06:11 PM) *
Rule zero is the defense of the defeated GM.

only when unilaterally deployed without warning or explanation...
Neraph
QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Aug 3 2009, 05:39 PM) *
only when unilaterally deployed without warning or explanation...

Touche.

But, to that end, you gave no explanation of why rule 0 needed to be invoked.
voldi
I would like to create an IA, ( I have just finish ghost in the shell ^^)
But with runner's rules it is not an IA it's a full Borg !

Not really good in matrix, but in real..............

Give the negative qualities "real world naivete" automatic ? The IA had to "learn" what real world is ?
The IA is born in the matrix, it have only data on real world.

And some positive qualities like emulate.
And a parangon ??? A mentor i, the matrix ?
GreyBrother
Once more in english, please...
CodeBreaker
"I would like to create a AI (I just finished GotS)
But with the Runners Companion rules it seems that they are better at Rigging than Hacking.

Not really all that good in the Matrix, but much better when in a Drone.

Should the "Real World Naivete" negative quality be automatic? After all the AI had to "learn" what the Real World is.
The AI was born in the Matrix, it only has base data on the real world, no actual experience.

And some positive qualities, like emulate? And a Paragon, so I can have a "Mentor" in the Matrix?"

That was my take on it. And now:
Yes, it is true that Hackers/Technomancers can in general be better within the Matrix than an AI, and that AI can be awesome Riggers. But dont count them out of the count straight away. They have some awesome qualities (Rootkit!) that can make them just about as sneaky as a Technomancer. -6 Dice to all Matrix Perception tests against it? Yes Please!

I would not say "Real World Naivete" is a given. If it fits for your background, go ahead, but the DI's we have now have been around for a few years. The book says that the PC DI's are new, maybe a few months old, but in those few months they could of easily ventured out into the Meat with a Drone or two. I imagine that some DI's (Protosapients) are just as curious as Metahumanity, so they are almost certainly curious about this "other world".

On the positive qualities you use as examples. As far as I am aware PC AI cannot get Emulate, or Paragon. Runner Companion has a full list of all Qualities they can get, and your GM might be lenient and allow others, but Emulate (Basically Threading) is really quite powerful, and should be very, very expensive. After all you basically get all the power of a Technomancer minus the Sprites without having to pay for Resonance. EDIT: I reread the Emulate quality. Yeah, a PC probably should not have that. It is way, waaay too powerful for one. AI Rating + Software, no Fading? Meep.
otakusensei
QUOTE (CodeBreaker @ Aug 18 2009, 08:35 AM) *
EDIT: I reread the Emulate quality. Yeah, a PC probably should not have that. It is way, waaay too powerful for one. AI Rating + Software, no Fading? Meep.


If the GM gives the AI a quality they aren't normally allowed, can I call hacks?
CodeBreaker
How do you mean? As in giving an NPC it? Or a PC? Because if a GM allowed that for a PC then yes, I would question it. For one it has no published cost, and I am fairly sure it is meant purely for NPC AI (It is given in Unwired, not RC)
otakusensei
QUOTE (CodeBreaker @ Aug 18 2009, 10:14 AM) *
How do you mean? As in giving an NPC it? Or a PC? Because if a GM allowed that for a PC then yes, I would question it. For one it has no published cost, and I am fairly sure it is meant purely for NPC AI (It is given in Unwired, not RC)


Was going for the joke mostly, but it is important to point out that there are differing qualities lists for PC and NPC AIs.
Neraph
The same thing happened with spirits and PCspirits. PC version sucks, comparatively. Dramatically reduced Powers, almost non-existant skills, and their only consolation is the ability to cast spells like a magician, the problem being they lack the BP needed to learn those skills and get a good number of spells if they want any skill with anything else.

EDIT: And don't forget, once you get your AI's stats to 6's (and one 7 if you Exceptional Attribute), you're done. They also cannot be buffed at all; no way to get Cerebral Enhancers or have a mage cast Improved Attribute (Logic) on them. Once they raise their mental stats to cap, you're complete.
Mx
QUOTE (Neraph @ Aug 18 2009, 10:52 PM) *
have a mage cast Improved Attribute (Logic) on them.

What rule actually revents that. cool.gif
Neraph
QUOTE (Mäx @ Aug 18 2009, 03:21 PM) *
What rule actually revents that. cool.gif

How can you target a program with a spell? I mean, you could theoretically cast it on their home node, but there you run into a problem: the home node does not have a Logic attribute, and there's no Improved Attribute (Response) spell. Also, although I can't find the rule at the moment, you cannot cast spells at all while jacked in to VR, so you can't enter the node with the AI and cast a spell on him.

EDIT: You know that whole "magic cannot affect the Matrix" thing.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Neraph @ Aug 19 2009, 08:11 AM) *
How can you target a program with a spell? I mean, you could theoretically cast it on their home node, but there you run into a problem: the home node does not have a Logic attribute, and there's no Improved Attribute (Response) spell. Also, although I can't find the rule at the moment, you cannot cast spells at all while jacked in to VR, so you can't enter the node with the AI and cast a spell on him.

EDIT: You know that whole "magic cannot affect the Matrix" thing.



Max was asking about Spirits in the above Quote, not AI's (at least that was how I read it from the context of the above statements)
Mx
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Aug 20 2009, 05:01 AM) *
Max was asking about Spirits in the above Quote, not AI's (at least that was how I read it from the context of the above statements)

No, i was asking about AI's and as thought it's a spell targeting issue.
BlackJaw
AI characters are software running on a commlink and thus are kind of hard to cast magic on. No line of sight on software, nor can it be touched, and it doesn't count as a creature or as living. Beyond this subtle issue of "character vs object vs software" rules, you would still have to contend with their RAW lack of Essence, making a nice happy chunk of helpful magic even less useful on them as when cast on my .3 essence hacker, even if they could have it target them.
Aaron
Not to mention that Health spells only work on living things.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Mäx @ Aug 20 2009, 02:23 AM) *
No, i was asking about AI's and as thought it's a spell targeting issue.



Ahhh... Well, My Mistake... it sounded as if the topic had somewhat drifted to Spirits...
Went back a few posts... not sure how I evolved Magical Buffing of AI's to Magical Buffing of Spirits... Must have been more tired than I thought...
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