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Orcus Blackweather
Ok, I am about to attempt my first drone creation in SR4.

I have been quite content to steal other peoples drones (or cars, or suborbitals) to use as needed.

Recently I have come upon a snag, and need to design and build my own.

I am the group's hacker (actually Technomancer, but they don't know that). We were trying to infiltrate a secure building. Everything was non-wifi, so physical access was needed. I own several micro-tap drones. My thought was to simply have a micro-tap connect to one of the cameras, and run fiber to a repeater drone. Stealthy, unobtrusive, and completely ineffective. My first issue was that the camera was protected, and the GM ruled that the micro-tap is not equipped to cut its way past the shielding. Here is the answer I have come up with.


Stormcloud drone 2600 nuyen.gif (so I can float it to where I need it, and it won't set off pressure sensors)
Full articulated Arm 2500 nuyen.gif (So I can manipulate tools)
Chameleon Coating (body 3) 3000 nuyen.gif (bonus to stealth)
Signature Masking R2 4000 nuyen.gif (bonus to stealth versus radar, thermo, or ultrasound)

When I want to use the drone to perform a task, I go full VR and use Response 3 + skill, Sensor Rating + Skill, or I give the drone an appropriate autosoft, and it will be pilot + autosoft.

So
Question 1: Did I figure that right? Did I miss anything?
Question 2: The Stormcloud is a medium drone, and per the book (sorry forgot the page), has 6 points of sensor mods. How do I make it sensor 6?
Question 3: How do I figure out how to improve the response? Can I make it a response 6 by adding a response chip like in a comm link, or do drones use something else?
Question 4: I would prefer that the drone have no commlink, and receive all of its communications through a laser comm or sat link. Are communications detectable through either of these means? Do I need to use modification slots to replace the normal wireless with one of these?
Question 5: Anyone have a better idea to accomplish the same thing?
Heath Robinson
  1. Sounds about right
  2. Buy Rating 6 sensors for everything that has Rating.
  3. Response chip as per normal rules. Which, after the Anniversary Errata means that you need a Security version or the Modular Electronics mod to hit Response 6.
  4. You mean no Wireless Aerial. You should be able to just switch off your Aerial, but the rules don't say anything about that. There's no Hardware roll to remove that afaik, so it should be automatic imo. Then you just attach a Laser Comms unit. A Sat Unit requires a mod, which, I think, requires a reasonably large vehicle.
  5. I have an Anti-Vehicle C-D Dragonfly equipped with an Optical Tap for this kind of work. I also gave it Gecko Tips for a firm footing to do the cutting - I doubt they're going to coat their security cameras in pressure sensors. But since you've already got a tapper-beetle, I'd suggest just slapping some Gecko Tips on an AV C-D Dragonfly and calling it a day.
Orcus Blackweather
QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Sep 25 2009, 01:00 PM) *
  1. Sounds about right
  2. Buy Rating 6 sensors for everything that has Rating.
  3. Response chip as per normal rules. Which, after the Anniversary Errata means that you need a Security version or the Modular Electronics mod to hit Response 6.
  4. You mean no Wireless Aerial. You should be able to just switch off your Aerial, but the rules don't say anything about that. There's no Hardware roll to remove that afaik, so it should be automatic imo. Then you just attach a Laser Comms unit. A Sat Unit requires a mod, which, I think, requires a reasonably large vehicle.
  5. I have an Anti-Vehicle C-D Dragonfly equipped with an Optical Tap for this kind of work. I also gave it Gecko Tips for a firm footing to do the cutting - I doubt they're going to coat their security cameras in pressure sensors. But since you've already got a tapper-beetle, I'd suggest just slapping some Gecko Tips on an AV C-D Dragonfly and calling it a day.

I did not see a place to purchase a rating 6 sensor. I saw that I can have a camera, or a radar, but noting that said pay x nuyen.gif and you have rating 6 sensors. Also did not see a cost for a laser comm. As for the dragonfly, I need to cut a hole in a building using a drill or something such in order to get the tap to work. I was thinking that I needed a larger drone for this.
McCummhail
QUOTE (Orcus Blackweather @ Sep 25 2009, 03:12 PM) *
I did not see a place to purchase a rating 6 sensor. I saw that I can have a camera, or a radar, but noting that said pay x nuyen.gif and you have rating 6 sensors. Also did not see a cost for a laser comm. As for the dragonfly, I need to cut a hole in a building using a drill or something such in order to get the tap to work. I was thinking that I needed a larger drone for this.
Your sensor rating is an average of the ratings of the installed sensor devices that have a rating...
so the easy way is to strip off the existing sensors and install a rating 6 camera.
The laser link in question is in Arsenal, p.58.
Hope that helps.

Sensor errata for factual precision!
QUOTE (Arsenal Errata)
p. 105 Individual Sensors and Sensor Tests
Replace the current text with the following text:
“Each vehicle and drone has a Sensor rating that acts as an abstract
composite of all of the sensors in the vehicle combined.
This rating represents the fact that only a combined array of 4
or more sensors can provide effective multidirectional maneuvering,
tactical solutions, and spatial awareness to a vehicle.
Individual sensors in an off-the-lot vehicle’s sensor package
have a default rating equal to the vehicle’s base Sensor
rating. This Sensor rating should be used for most situations
and is equal to the average rating of all the sensors in a package
(rounded up.) Sensors that do not possess ratings are treated as
if they had a rating equal to the vehicle’s default Sensor rating.
Under certain circumstances, a gamemaster may decide
that certain vehicle sensors may not apply, or that only one spe-
cific type of sensor is relevant to the situation at hand. Some
sensors might just not be suitable for the given task, may be
pointing into the wrong direction, and so on. Alternately, the
character may elect to use only one sensor for a particular job
(such as taping a nearby conversation with a camera or audio
mike). In these cases consider the applicable sensor to have the
same rating as the vehicle’s Sensor rating, though if the character
has previously modified the sensor package, the individual
sensor may use its own rating (if higher.)
If a character improves the ratings of all of the individual
components in a sensor package, the overall Sensor rating of
the vehicle should also be improved accordingly. For the purpose
of improvement, sensors that do not have a rating are
considered to be automatically upgraded, when all the remaining
sensors in a package are improved to a higher rating.?
Orcus Blackweather
So if I just want to have rating 6 visual sensors on my medium-sized stormcloud, what do I have to pay?

The book lists a stormcloud as having body 3 and sensor rating 3.
But elsewhere it says that medium drones have a capacity of 6.

So if I am able to use all of my sensors, I would be considered to have rating 6 or rating 3? I saw specific devices (radar rating 1-6 as an example), but nowhere does it say you can have rating 6 audio or optical sensors for x cost. Since I want my drone to be stealthy I do not want him broadcasting radar or ultrasonic (is there a passive version of these somewhere?). I want him to have thermo, lowlight, and normal vision only, and be rating 6. I saw a table allowing me to buy extra sensors (Pg 59 arsenal), but nowhere do I see enhancing the sensor rating of my drones visual sensors.
McCummhail
QUOTE (Orcus Blackweather @ Sep 25 2009, 03:45 PM) *
So if I just want to have rating 6 visual sensors on my medium-sized stormcloud, what do I have to pay?

The book lists a stormcloud as having body 3 and sensor rating 3.
But elsewhere it says that medium drones have a capacity of 6.

So if I am able to use all of my sensors, I would be considered to have rating 6 or rating 3? I saw specific devices (radar rating 1-6 as an example), but nowhere does it say you can have rating 6 audio or optical sensors for x cost. Since I want my drone to be stealthy I do not want him broadcasting radar or ultrasonic (is there a passive version of these somewhere?). I want him to have thermo, lowlight, and normal vision only, and be rating 6. I saw a table allowing me to buy extra sensors (Pg 59 arsenal), but nowhere do I see enhancing the sensor rating of my drones visual sensors.
The capacity is in reference to to how many modifications it can hold.
A sensor rating of 3 is a sensor rating of 3.
Sensors are described on p.333-335 of SR4A.
To upgrade I would remove the existing rating 3 sensors array, take out all the sensory devices, and install it with a rating 6 camera (uses 1 capacity) for 600 nuyen.gif and a rating 6 microphone (uses 1 capacity) for 300 nuyen.gif and a motion sensor (uses 1 capacity) for 50 nuyen.gif.

6 (camera rating) + 6 (microphone rating)/ (2) = Rating 6 sensor
NOTE: motion sensor has no rating so N/A to this calculation.

takes a bit to wrap your mind around. I am still flexing it.
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (Orcus Blackweather @ Sep 25 2009, 08:12 PM) *
I did not see a place to purchase a rating 6 sensor. I saw that I can have a camera, or a radar, but noting that said pay x nuyen.gif and you have rating 6 sensors. Also did not see a cost for a laser comm. As for the dragonfly, I need to cut a hole in a building using a drill or something such in order to get the tap to work. I was thinking that I needed a larger drone for this.

The Laser Comm stuff is in Unwired. Matrix Gear, Electronics section, named "Laser Link" though you can also find one on P58 of Arsenal according to the text. Costs 25 * Rating Nuyen with no Availability Rating, has a Signal equal to Rating, I suspect. You can also get Microwave Links and Directional Aerials.

All wired networks need access points for new additions to the network. Find one of those and expose the fibre using the Dragonfly, then tap that.
Orcus Blackweather
QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Sep 25 2009, 03:00 PM) *
All wired networks need access points for new additions to the network. Find one of those and expose the fibre using the Dragonfly, then tap that.


And if the fiber is behind a rating 6 barrier, is a dragonfly capable of exposing it?

I assumed that I need to use a tool of some sort to cut through the barrier. That is the reasoning behind adding the arm. I figured that I would use industrial mechanic skill with a tool kit to cut a hole large enough for the smaller drone to enter. Am I missing something?
DireRadiant
Dragonfly drones chew through things, including barriers. Somewhere there is a part of the network you can connect to with the micro tap.

If I was a TM I'd just whistle up a sprite and tell it to Hack the Camera. Go Resonance!
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (Orcus Blackweather @ Sep 25 2009, 10:09 PM) *
And if the fiber is behind a rating 6 barrier, is a dragonfly capable of exposing it?

I assumed that I need to use a tool of some sort to cut through the barrier. That is the reasoning behind adding the arm. I figured that I would use industrial mechanic skill with a tool kit to cut a hole large enough for the smaller drone to enter. Am I missing something?


Anti-Vehicle Dragonflies come with a weapon attached, a 3P/-1 weapon I assume, because that part of the rules is crap. It lists a DV, but doesn't list a damage type, and the damage is magically less when you target is not a Vehicle. Now, it would be fine if they'd done an organic/inorganic divide there, but I have no clue why a decent attack suddenly becomes crap (1P/+1) when you use it to cut through a box made out of pieces you cut from cars. So, basically you reasonably argue with your GM that the Anti-Vehicle version of the C-D Dragonfly does 3P/-1 against anything that isn't organic, and 1P/+1 against things that are.

An Armour Rating 6 Barrier is meant to be a 10cm thick slab of Mahogony or Oak. Right, that is a totally inappropriate challenge since I have an Oak front door which was barely marked (I don't have a camera to show you the mark that was left, but it's about as impressive as a shaving nick) by a massive chunk of stone that was sent flying by a car crash a mere 5m away. That door is about 10cm think (with thinner pannels). Oak is freaking awesome as a building material, which is why it was the shit for wooden ships. For some reason, the rules claim that a Dataterm is coated in this kind of stuff. I say "feck off" to that shit. Dataterms are phoneboxes.

So if we're going to look at more practical challenges, l'd say you'd more likely face Armour Rating 2-3 if anything. Given that you get to add the Hits from your Attack Roll (not Net Hits, the actual Hits) to your damage and the Dragonfly comes with an R4 Autosoft for its weapon, you're doing 5P/-1 on average. Armour Rating 3 mean 6 dice on Damage Resistance, so you do an average of 3P to the Barrier. Assuming Structure Rating 3 as well, that's 1m x 1m x 10cm of progress every Complex Action.

Against Armour Rating 6, though, it takes 6 Complex Actions with Structure Rating 6 since the Damage Resistance Test takes the damage to 1P.
Orcus Blackweather
Dragonfly drones can eat through stuff?

I looked at the drone, and saw the vibro blades, never thought of using it to eat through a wall. Are there rules for how much barrier it can breach in a given time?

I guess the new drone combo will be:

Dragonfly Drone 2500 (8500 nuyen.gif total)
Chameleon Armor (2000)
Signature Masking r2 (4000)

Repeater Drone 3000 (9000 nuyen.gif total)
Chameleon Armor (2000)
Signature Masking r2 (4000)

Microtap Drone 1000 (7000 nuyen.gif total)
Chameleon Armor (2000)
Signature Masking r2 (4000)

So the 3 drone are all set to only communicate through directed laser or fiber optic cable. Repeater sits and hides on the roof of the building. Microtap drags a cable behind it from the repeater (not sure how to hide that other than to have the repeater cover the hole that was created by the dragonfly, and the fiber is then internal to the walls. Microtap drone then camoflages itself once it finds a cable to tap, and the dragonfly returns to base. Now all I need is a roto-drone to deliver the team to the target.

Roto-Drone 2000 (8500 nuyen.gif total)
Chameleon Armor (2000)
Signature Masking r2 (4000)
Mini Drone Rack (500)

The Roto-Drone Delives the repeater, then delivers the tap, the dragonfly delivers itself. Starting to get expensive, but looks reasonably capable of attaching a tap to just about anything anywhere.

rob
Numerous ways to do this:
1. Special Equipment (micro-tap) on the dragon fly, so you don't need 2 drones.
2. Put a rating 6 Nonlinear Junction Detector on the dragonfly, so you actually can find where the wiring conduits in the ceiling/floor/etc are
3. Look for things like computer terminals, etc. They will have a datajack port.

My character does this stuff with 30m of myomeric rope with a datajack plug on the end. Signifcantly cheaper, but not as powerful, as what you're describing.

There's no such thing as passive radar, or ultrasound, for game purposes, and RL it's a nifty engineering problem.. If your GM is creative, you might be able to turn off the ultrasound speaker on your ultrasound unit and use the broadcasts of motion sensors in the building to do that, but they would need to have motion sensors or other radars, and you'd have to know where they are.

Re: sensors: You can buy the improved sensor array on the vehicle to make the sensor rating higher and buy extra capacity.
Orcus Blackweather
Ok, just discussed the idea of a dragonfly with the rest of our group. I also read the rules on the Dragonfly Drone. It really won't work against a structure. The drone does a DV 1 (ap+1) versus structures. If you have a very nice GM, he may rule that it is considered to be a vehicle equivalent and give you DV 3. Against a barrier of 12 such as ferrocrete walls it will take forever to breach, and there is a greater likelihood of glitching on the attacks than that any damage will occur. I think I may be back to my original plan of putting a cutting laser on a larger drone, or a toolkit and manipulator arm.
Karoline
QUOTE (Orcus Blackweather @ Sep 26 2009, 01:40 AM) *
Ok, just discussed the idea of a dragonfly with the rest of our group. I also read the rules on the Dragonfly Drone. It really won't work against a structure. The drone does a DV 1 (ap+1) versus structures. If you have a very nice GM, he may rule that it is considered to be a vehicle equivalent and give you DV 3. Against a barrier of 12 such as ferrocrete walls it will take forever to breach, and there is a greater likelihood of glitching on the attacks than that any damage will occur. I think I may be back to my original plan of putting a cutting laser on a larger drone, or a toolkit and manipulator arm.


You need to get the AV attachment for the drone, which gives it 5P/-1 damage against vehicles (And supposedly other things that aren't alive). We aren't talking about having it bore its way through walls here, we're talking about having it get at the wire for the camera. Usually the wire for the camera is exposed, because otherwise the camera can't move (Because it needs to lengthen and shorten for the camera to move side to side). So usually it would be a simple matter of just getting to the wire. You said however that it had some kind of rating 6 barrier in the way. You do 5P damage, with 7 DP to attack, and an AP of -1. So, 5P, minimum one net hit is 6P. Rating 6 barrier gets to resist with 12 dice, dropped to 11 (I think) via the -1 AP, so somewhere in the 2-3 hits range. You do an average of at least 3P, which means it takes two attacks to make a nice sized hole in it (I think the number is 1m x 1m x 10cm) But your drone doesn't need that much, so I'm sure you could manage a 10cmx10cmx10cm hole to fit your done through in a single round.
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