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Full Version: Hellgate London: Engineer possible Rigger/Weapon Specialist?
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Hi, new here and sort of new to Shadowrun (Played a short time back in 2nd edition). I want to play a character like the Engineer from Hellgate London. A Rigger seems likely, but so does a Weapon Specialist. Can i cherry pick from both archetypes to pull it off? If so what steps would I need to take?

Thanks for any help.
Firstly, Welcome to DS!

Secondly, I've never played Hellgate London, but you don't have to play one of the pregenerated characters out of the book. Shadowrun is a "classless" system. Just go through the "creating a shadowrunner" chapter and it lays out how to generate characters similar to the ones in the book. You do not have to create something that resembles any of the existing characters out of the core book...thats kind of the point. Take your 400 BPs, and make a character all your own, this ain't D&D.
Thanks. I understand the that its a classless system, in fact that's what I like about it. An Engineer is a sort of cross between a Rigger and Weapons Specialist, using little drones to supplement in combat actions. Not as powerful as a straight gun bunny, but makes up for it with pets. I want to make that effective so I guess what I'm asking is what is essential to making a Rigger, but not dedicated to it, to be able to get the idea across effectively and not suck at it. Advice and pointers maybe. Unless I'm making a total mistake, and a Rigger is that exactly.
No, I think you're spot on, and could do what you want. Since you'll be fighting along-side your drones, you probably don't need a Control Rig (cyberware) since that is focused on "jumped in" rigging. Instead, you would want to beef up your drone's response and pilot ratings (their autonomy). I *did* play hellgate london, and I think the main difference you'll encounter is that your drones are nowhere near as disposable. You can't just "resummon" them, and there are no good rules for repairing damage to a drone. If you take them into heavy combat, expect that they'll get dinged up, and that you'll have to replace your "pets" eventually.

That, or talk to your DM about repair rules. There is a skill for it, but no costs associated with healing/repairing damage (at least, IIRC).
When you mix roles, you need to cut the fat if you want to be decent in each one-- it's alright to have some "flavor" skills when you're already dedicated enough to a role to be an effective teammate, but spreading yourself too thin between a couple of disciplines can be deadly. Luckily, the build you want is pretty doable, and as BlackHat pointed out, you don't actually need much in the way of skills or cyberware just to have automated drones follow you around, which is damn fortunate since the drones, Firewalls, and autosofts will cost you an arm and a leg even before looking into Rigging skill. Personally, I'd give Gunnery, multiple Pilot skills and the VCR a pass and would just accept that jumping in isn't a great idea. You're not really a Rigger, you're a warrior who appreciates the power of tech.

I'd also say that you should probably think like you're building a narrowly focused samurai rather than a weapon specialist. Learning a variety of combat skills is kinda redundant, when it comes right down to it, since the guns in shadowrun are similar enough that you can often just get away with knowing Automatics and owning a machine pistol and an assault rifle. I'd say stick with Automatics, grab Dodge and give the other combat skills a pass. Likewise, you should stick to bread and butter combat cyberware that gives a big boost and give the more gimmicky stuff a pass. For example: Wired Reflexes 2 and Muscle Toners? Yes, please! But Enhanced Articulation? Good stuff, but too spendy for what it does when you're also looking to kit out some drones.

Also, do you have a good hacker in your team and do you play in a game in which the PCs can reasonably trust eachother? Because if the team's Hacker is good enough you can probably get away with spending a bit less on Agents and other tricks to defend your gear from enemy corp hackers.
Shinobi Killfist
I was thinking, a weird way to do it might be through magic. A summoner/conjurer focused mage with limited spells or a physical mage or whatever they are calling them in 4e(never used them before). But with a made up tradition I could see spirits manifesting as something that looks like a drone. Heck or a possessing tradition and have them possess toasters or whatever. The spirit powers can simulate guns to some degree,for this tradition I'd allow elemental strike to include lasers and metal. Add in a spell lock or two or if a physical mage increased reflexes, decent physical stats, and automatics at 5, I think you could then effectively have disposable drones. I might try to make this, the idea seems cool to me.
While GMing I once ran a mystic adept-rigger that nearly TPK'd the runner team once, actually. He wasn't much of a magician, but he was the one who set up the wards on the facility, so when breached he responded with both drones AND low end spirits. Surprisingly effective, really, and I guess I shouldn't have sprang him on such a relatively new group, but that's the sort of mistake you make when you're a GM with more chargen savvy than experience.
Shinobi Killfist
Quick build for a mage version. Far from min maxed.
Body 4
Strength 4
Agility 4
Reaction 4
Charisma 4
Intuition 3
Logic 4
Willpower 4
Essence 6
Edge 3
Magic 4


Spellcasting 3
Ritual Casting 1
Counterspell 4
Summoning 4
Binding 5
Automatics 5
Pistols 4
Ettiquete 3
Infiltration 3
Gymnastics 3

Contact 3,3
Contact 2,4

Increase reflexes
Increase Agility
combat Sense

Sustaining Focus 3
Sustaining Focus 3
Sustaining Focus 3
gear 5,000

Mr. X follows the way of the machine. The universe is just a vast machine and we are all cogs in it the giant wheel. He sees all things as parts to the great machine that runs the universe. The great machine gives him power, all things break malfunctions occur it is his duty to repair the breaks in the machine. (again quick example) Drain Stat, Logic+Willpower. Summons(heck pick your fav 5) Given the tradition you could legitimately go for task and maybe even guidance and guardian. I might stick with the classic hermetic though and say its the fundamentals of what the universe is made up of or something.

Technically if you want all 3 sustaining focuses going you would dip into addiction if the rules are used,a magic 5 would solve that. Drop edge to 2 and bump magic to 5 and you'd be good as a quick fix.

The big benefit of the mage version of a real rigger is the spirits are more disposable. Yeah you should not treat them as disposable, but if they get blowed up you can just summon another one. Though binding them is still costly to replace, so if you want a group of them to attack it will be expensive. It would be hard but you could probably squeeze in a couple driving skills and a drone or two and be on the way to being a real rigger on top of this. This sin't awesome or anything but I like it and would play it in a second.
The penchant to build everything as mages and mystic adepts is depressing, but i guess it's a problem with the system.
Thanks for the insight folks. Exactly what I was looking for. The Mage version sounds cool, and I would but the other two players went that route. Plus i'm in love with all the tech in SR and looking to build stuff. I was picturing a B.A. Barrackus type. Not good for subtleties but a master of the overt, heavy firepower scenarios. When that's not called for doing some light Rigger work so i can still be useful to the other players who truly are more low key.

Thanks again though. I got a few things to mull over now.
If you got the cyberware route I recomend an internal comlink especially if you will be investing a lot of cash in it, cna't be lost, can't be taken (well if it is you'll be in no shape to do anything about it. Cybearms with internal gyromounts make good options for heavy weapons folks. Makes you tougher and lets you go full auto with major issues. I also recommend skillwires as a path to versatility.
Shinobi Killfist
QUOTE (LurkerOutThere @ Feb 17 2010, 01:26 AM) *
The penchant to build everything as mages and mystic adepts is depressing, but i guess it's a problem with the system.

It is the only way I can think of to get disposable drones. You can call it a problem with the system if you want. Pretty much any video game that has a pet class has the ability to poof it into existence and once it is gone just poof another one into existence. You just can't do that with a normal rigger. There are plenty of benefits to go mundane, poofing something into existence isn't one of them.
Shinobi Killfist
QUOTE (LurkerOutThere @ Feb 17 2010, 02:04 AM) *
If you got the cyberware route I recomend an internal comlink especially if you will be investing a lot of cash in it, cna't be lost, can't be taken (well if it is you'll be in no shape to do anything about it. Cybearms with internal gyromounts make good options for heavy weapons folks. Makes you tougher and lets you go full auto with major issues. I also recommend skillwires as a path to versatility.

Crap i should have read this so id multiqoute. I second the gyroarm idea. 3 points of built in recoil comp is awesome. Also if its a custom job you can get a nice agility out of it, I'm not sure how good at character creation though I got mine in game.
QUOTE (BlackHat @ Feb 16 2010, 07:45 PM) *
/ and there are no good rules for repairing damage to a drone./

QUOTE (Arsenal p.104)
Inevitably, a shadowrunner’s ride or drones with get knocked
up, shot up, dented, and scratched. To repair damage infl icted on a
vehicle, a Build/Repair Extended Test is called for, using Logic +
the appropriate vehicle mechanic skill (Aeronautics Mechanic for
aircraft , Automative Mechanic for groundcraft , Nautical Mechanic
watercraft, or even Industrial Mechanic for certain industrial
drones/vehicles). Th e threshold is equal to the number of damage
boxes the vehicle has taken, and the interval is 6 hours. Vehicle
repairs typically require replacement parts that cost an amount
equal to 1% of the vehicle’s base cost per box of damage, with the
same Availability as the vehicle. Minor repairs (1–3 boxes) can be
handled with a vehicle kit, otherwise a vehicle shop is necessary.


I take back what I said. I didn't think the repair rules attached a cost to the job - but I guess I was just wrong. wink.gif 9-10% of the total cost to repair a busted up robot isn't that bad, either.
Shinobi Killfist
With those rules a good mechanic could repair a totaled drone even with the degrading dice extended test rules. Now a large vehicle with 16-18 boxes in damage might be another story. As long as your GM isn't stingy on free time and you have a workshop you should be fine. Still not disposable, but at least the repairs aren't too costly. Now if we ever play my Sam who spread his talents into being a rigger when I had way too much karma to burn again, I wont be so worried about my drones. But alas I think that campaign is over.
Shinobi Killfist
Just read 4A on customized cyberlimbs. If I am reading this right you can start with a Cyberarm with 6 Agility, 5 Str, 6 body for 12 Avail and 27,000. You can then add cyberlimb enhancements up to your max capacity and avail 12 for each enhancement. So Gyromount avail 12 4 Capacity, 6,000. Up to rating 4 Agility for 12 Avail, 4 capacity and 1,000. That still leaves 7 Capacity an implanted device like a comlink or 2, and 2 armor 4 capcity, 1- avail, 600.

Ignoring the cost for the implanted device, total cost 34,600 or 7 BP. If you were an Elfie and had gene mod for an enhanced agility that would be a 12 Agility arm. Other races or a normal elf, reduce the agility boost to 3 because that is the best you can get. But 9 agility arm is nothing to sneeze at. Ffor your pistols and SMGs, that is 9 dice to roll just form the arm and you soak 3 points of recoil. That puts you in the competent to bad ass range for 7BP 1 essence and maybe 30BP in skills. Two handed guns like a Assault rifle would get less agility since it is an average between the two arms. You could also spend another 7BP and 1 more essence if you wanted. It would have the small side benefit of you could put less into the Agility stat since you could focus on arm based agility skills, you'd just suck at infiltration.

Also I am fairly sure the armor from a cyberlimb stacks with other armor so a +2 armor is a nice benefit. Seriously the cyberlimb a decent pistols and automatics skill, infiltration at 3-4, gymnastics 3-4, 200 points in stats and the rest can go towards rigging. So gunnery,pilot ground and aircraft, a good comlink a decent programs for it, And then your drones. Round yourself out with Armorer and some mechanic skills and basic computer skills. It will be tight, but I think it is doable.
I would go for Technomancer and Karmagen for a rigger-type build like this. Been thinking of making a TM that treats a pack of doberman drones like real dogs or mean wolves.(and, with Linked sprites inside, they actually have disturbingly realistic personalities) Takes care of them, unleashes them on the hunt to punk people who deserve it, and follows them into combat.

The method it uses to accomplish this, though, is with the use of echoes that allow simultaneous VRing and meatspace perception. Mesh reality, multiprocessing, maybe macro. Some other way of getting meatspace passes, maybe an autoinjector with jazz or cram for combat until you can get biowire/acceleration.(Mainly so you have the real-world initiative passes to not die)

The point being to Rig/Remote Control the drones in VR while fighting alongside them. Even with lowered dice pools from being active in multiple nodes, you can still crank your Command complex form up high enough to be effective.
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