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Delarn
Hi all, I'm building a Dwarven Dronomancer specialised in swarm rigging. I got 420bp +30 Karma to build the character. (On going campaign and I fear for my other character he's a combat monster so he may be dead soon. )

So far I'm taking the Paragon Quality (Daedalus) (+1 to machine sprites)

Jaid
if you want your swarm to actually be a swarm, invest in regular agents, IC, pilots, a few relevant programs (for the agents/IC to use in cybercombat etc), and autosofts. you won't get much of a swarm with machine sprites. for that matter, you're likely to want pilot programs to control the drones to begin with, since machine sprites will only get even 2 autosofts if they're rating 6, and you're likely to want more than 2 autosofts for your drones to run at full strength.
Delarn
So It would be a better guess to make a plain rigger and have a swarm of agents that controls the swarm for me ? I'll think about it but it cut the concept.
Delarn
Question about the Mostran KVP is it a ground or a water craft ?
Fatum
QUOTE (Delarn @ Mar 30 2010, 07:26 PM) *
Question about the Mostran KVP is it a ground or a water craft ?


Ground. It's in ground craft section, and Pilot Ground Craft has a Hovercraft spec listed.
Delarn
QUOTE (Fatum @ Mar 30 2010, 12:38 PM) *
Ground. It's in ground craft section, and Pilot Ground Craft has a Hovercraft spec listed.


Thanks.

Flying swarms are aircraft or exotic vehicules ?
Jaid
QUOTE (Delarn @ Mar 30 2010, 11:23 AM) *
So It would be a better guess to make a plain rigger and have a swarm of agents that controls the swarm for me ? I'll think about it but it cut the concept.

no, i'm saying it would be better to use all the same tools a regular rigger uses, and then add onto that a pile of technomancer abilities than it would be to not use those tools and rely only on technomancer abilities.

having a sprite to negate glitches is no joke, nor is having a surveillance drone with a perception DP as good or better than most street samurai. but if you want a *swarm* of drones, as in more than about 8-10, you're going to need some regular pilot programs, because i can't offhand think of a way to hit higher than 10 actual (long-term) charisma without relying on magic, and for the most part anything higher than 7 is gonna cost you a fair bit.

now, you may have been thinking 7 drones is enough to make your swarm, and if it is, well you're in luck; that's just an elven technomancer with softmaxed charisma. but if you're looking at eventually having a dozen or more drones active at any given time, you're going to want the resources to make the ones you can't put sprites into effective. especially if you want to have anything defending your network of drones from matrix attacks.
Delarn
Nice, Can I use my machines sprites to command Agents ? if I have 5 machines sprites I command them to command 5 agents each to do what I want them to do ? I equip my drones with Black IC to ward off hackers ?
Jaid
QUOTE (Delarn @ Mar 30 2010, 11:52 AM) *
Nice, Can I use my machines sprites to command Agents ? if I have 5 machines sprites I command them to command 5 agents each to do what I want them to do ? I equip my drones with Black IC to ward off hackers ?

yes, your machine sprites can command agents. this isn't likely to directly gain you much, other than the fact that a rigger might be fooled into thinking your AID is the one he needs to spoof the drones when he actually needs to spoof your sprite's AID (and your sprite will ignore a non-TM spoofing it).

yes, your 5 machine sprites can each command 5 agents, if you want. they would be limited in the same way you yourself would be (so if you don't group them, it takes a separate command to make each one do something, and if you do group them they all have to do the same task). no actions would be gained from doing this, it would only be the inclusion of an intermediate entity that cannot be spoofed to turn on you (which will only help if people think they have to spoof your personal AID instead of realising they need to spoof your Sprite's AID).

and yes, i would definitely recommend you include at least some IC on your drones. depending on whether or not the drone is overtly illegal, you may or may not want to make it black IC (that is, if your drone is a steel lynx with an LMG mounted to it, having black IC is not likely to give away the fact the drone is something more than just a courier drone. if your drone is a stormcloud giving a bird's-eye view of pursuing enemies, black IC will make it obvious if anyone attacks it that it is an illegal drone)
Delarn
That helps smile.gif

Now let's enter the biodrone world wink.gif Yeah that would be something nice to have. Wasp warform drones that inject toxine to someone by dozen of dozes.
Jaid
QUOTE (Delarn @ Mar 30 2010, 12:19 PM) *
That helps smile.gif

Now let's enter the biodrone world wink.gif Yeah that would be something nice to have. Wasp warform drones that inject toxine to someone by dozen of dozes.

nice, but painfully expensive. i recommend you wait for your chance to steal them rather than buying.
Delarn
QUOTE (Jaid @ Mar 30 2010, 12:44 PM) *
nice, but painfully expensive. i recommend you wait for your chance to steal them rather than buying.


Yeah it would be better. I'm going to have the van added with a luxurious squat and then have drones rack on it to have my drones out on the street and the players will usually never be in contact with my Dronomancer.
Saint Sithney
The idea of a TM Dronomancer doesn't really work according to RAW, but there are some TM houserules which fit the build into a decent place in the pantheon if you really like the idea of a TM who has happy robot friends.

First off, this thread has some decent discussions on house rules and interpretations which would allow the concept to work, at least for a big basher robot-squad donomancer with regular spirit-type trimmings.

Secondly, if you wanted to apply those general ideas to a swarm, you might want to talk about one of the optional rules for TMs from pg 39 Unwired, specifically the part under Fading from Tasking Skills.

So, basically, if you use the decreased Fading rules via the UW tweak, you can summon up swarms of low level machine sprites to inhabit your many drones, and if you allow Resonance beings to interface regularly with traditional digital programs (i.e. Reso can understand mundane math/code, but mundane can't understand intuitive-wacky Reso math/code) then you can have a mass of drones with middling traditional autosofts and maybe two threaded UBERsofts. Then you've got your Toyman archetype set for action.

Of course you need to clear all this with your GM, but I imagine it could be fun as long as you don't get too cheesy with the drones.
Delarn
QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Mar 30 2010, 07:37 PM) *
The idea of a TM Dronomancer doesn't really work according to RAW, but there are some TM houserules which fit the build into a decent place in the pantheon if you really like the idea of a TM who has happy robot friends.

First off, this thread has some decent discussions on house rules and interpretations which would allow the concept to work, at least for a big basher robot-squad donomancer with regular spirit-type trimmings.

Secondly, if you wanted to apply those general ideas to a swarm, you might want to talk about one of the optional rules for TMs from pg 39 Unwired, specifically the part under Fading from Tasking Skills.

So, basically, if you use the decreased Fading rules via the UW tweak, you can summon up swarms of low level machine sprites to inhabit your many drones, and if you allow Resonance beings to interface regularly with traditional digital programs (i.e. Reso can understand mundane math/code, but mundane can't understand intuitive-wacky Reso math/code) then you can have a mass of drones with middling traditional autosofts and maybe two threaded UBERsofts. Then you've got your Toyman archetype set for action.

Of course you need to clear all this with your GM, but I imagine it could be fun as long as you don't get too cheesy with the drones.


Minion master type ?
Delarn
So I can put a Sprite to replace my pilote. Can I use a machine sprite to control many agents ? Using a Threaded Tacnet ?
Saint Sithney
Well, the Sprite has the Command program loaded, so it should be able to use that to operate any drone to which it has a subscription. The Command setup works in such a way that you can tell one drone to do one thing, or you can tell all subscribed drones to do one thing. So, if you had a swarm of Uzi-birds flying around, you could tell them all to shoot an identified target, and suddenly that guy is Swiss cheese.

A Sprite, even one which is acting as a Pilot in one drone, can still be subscribed to multiple other drones and use the Command program to direct them. So, if you didn't want to try and compile 20 lvl 3 Sprites to command 20 birds, you could instead compile 4 lvl 6 sprites, then have those 4 each piloting 1 drone and Commanding 4 others. This actually sounds like a very effective setup...
Delarn
Sprite A is subscribed to Drone 1-2-3-4-5 and issue command to them.
While Sprite B is Subscriber to Drone 6-7-8-9-10 to do the same thing. And so on.
I have 5 of Charisma so I can have 5 Sprite doing that ? Can I have a Code or anyother sprite to issue the command to the other sprites ?
That way I could in one Action Rig 25 Drones ?
Jaid
QUOTE (Delarn @ Mar 31 2010, 07:58 PM) *
Sprite A is subscribed to Drone 1-2-3-4-5 and issue command to them.
While Sprite B is Subscriber to Drone 6-7-8-9-10 to do the same thing. And so on.
I have 5 of Charisma so I can have 5 Sprite doing that ? Can I have a Code or anyother sprite to issue the command to the other sprites ?
That way I could in one Action Rig 25 Drones ?

you can subscribe each sprite to 5 drones (if those drones are acting as one, they even count as 1 subscription)
your sprites can issue the same command to their set of 5 drones as one action.
the command program is not used to issue commands, it is used to directly take control of the drone. this is one of the most common misconceptions about the command program, so you're going to hear from a lot of people that it is used to issue commands. it is *not* used to issue commands, it's more like a really fancy remote controller with lots of options. issuing commands is not any sort of test, and requires no special software; you just do it. as such, any sprite can issue commands to drones, and if those drones are linked as one, they can be commanded as one, but must always be given the same command (ie you can order a group of 5 drones that are linked to shoot one person, or to shoot a group of people, but you can't give one orders to shoot a group of people, the second one orders to disarm a bomb, the third orders to go get you a drink from your mini fridge, and the fourth and fifth to sit and wait... all the commanded drones must be given the same order)
you can have 5 sprites doing that.
but you can't give different commands to 5 different sprites in one action. in fact, i'm not sure if you can technically give orders to 5 different sprites in one action at all, but i would probably allow it since not allowing it makes no sense. but i would only allow it if you were giving them all the same commands.

note that you could also give 25 drones an order with one action anyways, as long as you have 25 drones, you have them subscribed as one, and you're giving them all the same order.
Saint Sithney
QUOTE (Jaid @ Apr 1 2010, 04:19 PM) *
if those drones are acting as one, they even count as 1 subscription


This sounds familiar, but I can't source it. Where should I look for confirmation?
Delarn
So The Fly-Spy drones with a Ares Crusader Shooting in BF on one target (5 times that), Swiss cheese ?
Saint Sithney
Eeek! I wouldn't allow a weapon mount on a Body 1 mini drone. It's only about 4 inches long!

Try out the Ford LEBD-1 (Aerial Law Enforcement Backup Drone) from Arsenal for 4500. It's already got an external weapon mount as standard equipment and it's got 3 body dead slow fly-spy. Harder to store your swarm, but that's why Ghost graced us with the Zugmachine. Besides, it's a really useful drone. It has a mechanical arm which can be used with your Machine Sprite's Autosofts to do all those odd jobs, like demolitions or first aid.
Delarn
QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Apr 2 2010, 03:09 AM) *
Eeek! I wouldn't allow a weapon mount on a Body 1 mini drone. It's only about 4 inches long!

Try out the Ford LEBD-1 (Aerial Law Enforcement Backup Drone) from Arsenal for 4500. It's already got an external weapon mount as standard equipment and it's got 3 body dead slow fly-spy. Harder to store your swarm, but that's why Ghost graced us with the Zugmachine. Besides, it's a really useful drone. It has a mechanical arm which can be used with your Machine Sprite's Autosofts to do all those odd jobs, like demolitions or first aid.


if we use RAW all drones have 4 slots ... so they can all have mounts. Are Crusader is a Machine pistol. I could take the light pistol that does BF also.

Edit : I could also modify the guns with the drone mod and then mod those guns with VTOL, Sensors, Pilot and so on. They would be less expensive. And I could equip them with 6 slot of gun mods also.
Dumori
Only medium drone can take weapon mounts. I forget the page that it's stated on though. On a side note a swam or dragon flys twinkled out to rip X to shreds will always rip X to shreds. Plus its possible to give them an auto injector in place of the cutting gear or the HE bomb but would require GM permission makes a nasty drone for assassinations. While on their own Dragonflys dont to that much damage but together I'm pretty sure they are nasty. Your only problem here is cost. On a side note you can use your horde of drones to upgrade and maintain there software in down time as well.
Delarn
QUOTE (Dumori @ Apr 2 2010, 08:38 AM) *
Only medium drone can take weapon mounts. I forget the page that it's stated on though. On a side note a swam or dragon flys twinkled out to rip X to shreds will always rip X to shreds. Plus its possible to give them an auto injector in place of the cutting gear or the HE bomb but would require GM permission makes a nasty drone for assassinations. While on their own Dragonflys dont to that much damage but together I'm pretty sure they are nasty. Your only problem here is cost. On a side note you can use your horde of drones to upgrade and maintain there software in down time as well.


That's why I'm going for the weapon mod : Drone. It make the flying Ares Crusader awfully useful wink.gif I may also make a narcojet swarm.
Dumori
You really want to look at the cost effectiveness of your options. Gun drones are limited in alot of ways but having one or two and a Tm can save your life. Though a gecko griped gun with limping makes a nasty surprise and the flying gas nade is a keeper too.
Ryu
May I inquire what visual you are going for with your drone swarms?

You might go for damage potential by having a ton of attacks per round. In this case your power would depend on your equipment, not your personal capabilities. Tech skills will save tons of money for this strategy if you go for quality attacks, the numbers strategy profits from cheap resupply channels, as in having good contacts and social skills. Go for multiples of one drone type to save on software cost and simplify bookkeeping.

Or you might go for fewer drones, where each is used for specific tasks, and have identical groups cover different locations. It is generally a good idea to have your character specialise in sensor tests. Combined with the "More than Metahuman" quality, you can act on the first IP at your groups safehouse, your main target, and several strategic locations. Notice the performance of upgraded drones compared to samurai.
Delarn
The thing is it's still a concept that may replace my present character. So I don't really know what it will do so far. I was going fo a swarm to act has a relay and also a massive attack crew. Killing white knights can be hard !
Jaid
QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Apr 1 2010, 07:38 PM) *
This sounds familiar, but I can't source it. Where should I look for confirmation?


hmmm... doesn't seem to be in SR4A anywhere that i can find (not sure if that's deliberate)

QUOTE (SR4 (v1.3) p 212 @ "Issuing Commands")
Note that you can issue the same command
to multiple agents, drones, or sprites at once with the same
action; diff erent commands, however, require separate actions.


not sure where i got the 1 subscription, but i really did think it was in there somewhere. perhaps i was thinking of using botnets to handle things. that said, according to SR4A,
QUOTE (SR4A p 245 @ "Issuing Commands")
You need to be
able to communicate with the drone, via the Matrix for example, but
do not need to be subscribed to the drone.
which would mean you don't even need to spend 1 subscription slot.

unwired does reference the 1 command for multiple drones deal in the botnet section (possibly elsewhere also), but if you want to use the botnet rules (and if your GM won't let you use the old rules from the non-anniversary edition of the core book) you'll have to use a botnet, which is technically a bit of a stretch (strictly speaking, the botnet is for agents, not pilot programs, but they're very closely related anyways)
Saint Sithney
Ah, so it goes back to the difference between issuing commands and using the Command program. No scrips needed to issue commands, and no upper limit to how many drones can receive the same command, but to use the program, it's only for one drone for a single action/test and it request a subscription.

BTW Delarn, what kind of armor would the Drone Smartguns have? Remember the problem with suppressive fire. Your drones can not pull an interrupt action to drop prone, so if they're just floating along down a hallway and someone pops out with a FA weapon, they're all going to get shot down fast. Optimally, you'd want a min of 7 armor to be able to shrug off suppressive fire from an AR.
Delarn
Espionage and drone destruction : 5 Dragonfly

I would like to know if that drone can be modified to get VTOL and Wireless : Ares Sentinel R series (I know it's strange) But this drone has the weapon mount I need for my swiss cheese swarm.
Ryu
QUOTE (Jaid @ Apr 2 2010, 10:05 PM) *
hmmm... doesn't seem to be in SR4A anywhere that i can find (not sure if that's deliberate)

The Precious, pg. 229, Issue Command (System). The same command may go to multiple recipients.
Ricomoh
Hey,
Regarding the limitations on weapon mounts, it is on page 147 of Arsenal, Vehicle Mods, weapon mount:

"As a general rule, one weapon mount can be added to a vehicle for every 3 points of body it has, rounded up. One reinforced weapon mount counts as 2 normal weapon mounts"

So it does take only one slot, but you can't have 4 weapon mount on your mini drone. Makes sense, somehow.

Keep your head low,
Ricomoh
Ryu
Weapon Mounts are a "Standard" type upgrade, which neither micro- nor minidrones can take. Arsenal pg. 131, Terminology, Size and Type. Shenanigans are the domain of armed small drones wink.gif.
Delarn
QUOTE (Ryu @ Apr 3 2010, 08:50 AM) *
Weapon Mounts are a "Standard" type upgrade, which neither micro- nor minidrones can take. Arsenal pg. 131, Terminology, Size and Type. Shenanigans are the domain of armed small drones wink.gif.


But it doesn't answer to the question. Modifying the rail drone to be flying like the Dragonfly one ? Can it be useful or not ?
Ryu
VTOL is for aircraft and improves on the take-off and landing capabilities. It does not provide the ability to fly.

Armed small flying drone cheese can be digested better if you serve it with small weapons like tasers. Still, the numerical advantage will not be strong enough to have you beat medium combat drone cheese. There is something to be said for hardened armor 9 as opposed to 6.

Delarn
I wish for a drone building rule !
Ryu
What for? You just have to coop with your GM to create a statline. If your GM is opposed to your swarm, things will get ugly.

Interesting choices for a swarm are Dragonfly (unmodded, multilaunch platform), MCT Rotordrone (modded cheese), Bust-a-Move (PPP terror), and Doberman.

If you want a RAW small flying drone, the Lockheed Optic-X is your choice. Note that area-effect weapons will cost you dearly even if you max out the armor.
Dumori
Why not just use the law enforcement drone but mod it up. Or nimrods vetol them and such and you have 2 weapon mounts or one renforced mount.
Delarn
Will have to think about that smile.gif
Saint Sithney
QUOTE (Dumori @ Apr 4 2010, 10:31 AM) *
Why not just use the law enforcement drone but mod it up. Or nimrods vetol them and such and you have 2 weapon mounts or one renforced mount.



Nimrods luckily come VTOL standard and with two internal fixed mounts as well as Imp. Takeoff and Landing 2. It even goes as far in the fluff to recommend a missile system and an LMG pairing as a standard loadout. Using a ballista, multi-launch guided missile system with a Vindicator minigun packed with AV ammo will clear out whole city blocks (and your pocketbook) in no time flat. The Nimrod is 18F and 75,000 for a good reason. It is a military drone gunship.
Dumori
And in packs they destroy every thing more so if you give them one reinforced mount and mouth of heavy veichal weapons...
Delarn
QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Apr 5 2010, 07:24 AM) *
Nimrods luckily come VTOL standard and with two internal fixed mounts as well as Imp. Takeoff and Landing 2. It even goes as far in the fluff to recommend a missile system and an LMG pairing as a standard loadout. Using a ballista, multi-launch guided missile system with a Vindicator minigun packed with AV ammo will clear out whole city blocks (and your pocketbook) in no time flat. The Nimrod is 18F and 75,000 for a good reason. It is a military drone gunship.


So I can't start with one. I did not take black market pipeline or restricted gear quality.

So a machine sprite that control a swarm, and me controlling an other one. wink.gif
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