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So I have been working on a smuggler type character. Part Rigger, part Face, and a bit of hacker just to keep his stuff safe. Now so far the biggest thing that has been stumping me is the dice pool for his social skills. Social Group 4 + Charisma 4(6) = only 10 dice, 8 if my pheromones don't effect them. With some emotive software that could be boosted to 16 but I bet anything my GM will have the opposition pull that out the moment I do. I haven't been able to think of many ways to boost the dice pool outside of buying a spec in everything once I put the group at 6. Are there any modifiers I overlooked? I've been thinking of asking him about that little sidebar in augmentation that talks about sugery used to make people more attractive giving bonus dice but I won't hold my breath for that.
First Impression (SR4A) Gives you a +2 to anyone you meet for the first time.
Fame (Runner's Companion) Can boost you up to +6, but that would get you *very* widely noticed.
Inspired (Also RC) Can give you a +2 through Street Cred 2.
Trustworthy (RC) Gets you a +1 to one skill, or +1 to all skills for 20 BP

You could take Surge II and get Glamour (+3 to all social tests except intimidation)

There's other options, but that's a quick rundown of the stuff I know.
Ol' Scratch
If the game you're in is sticking with reasonable stats like that, a dice pool of 16 is pretty damn impressive. Other than manipulating the social modifiers to your advantage, and getting other little perks you can find (such as a weapon with Custom Look 2 to boost your Intimidation and any social rolls affected by your reputation [Street Cred, etc.] stats), or relying on more quasi-magical qualities, there's not a whole lot you can do to raise it. Especially if this is post-creation. But like I said, a pool of 16 is very not-bad even in more min/maxed games, so you shouldn't be too terribly worried regardless.

There's also no reason not to use Empathy. Even if the opposition pulls it out, you're in exactly the same position you were to begin with; their +6 cancels out your +6. I'm not sure why they introduced this software at all to the game. It reeks of a +6 magic item that's literally a liability not to have in the case the opposition ever does. If you feel that using it is cheesy, talk to your GM and see if he'll just outright ban it from the game so you don't have to worry about it. Otherwise, not having your own copy is like walking into a DMZ without any armor or weapons while waving a credstick around.
I totally forgot to look through the new qualities in RC. My bad haha, now I see what I can do. As a sort of Robin Hood smuggler I may have my character take local fame as he is known to drop extra supplies where they are needed and for that extra dice I will probably take First Impression rather then the 20 bp Trustworthy because I need the PQs for Restricted Gear and maybe Gear Head. Thanks for the help, I think I am set on the Face side of things. Any qualities a rigger should use? This is the first time I've made one since I tend to stay away from more technical characters. I thought Juryrigger may come in handy and Gear Head like I mentioned earlier. Maybe erased just because that would be good for a smuggler in general.

On the subject of Empathy Doc that's actually how I talked to other players I know about it. From fluff I like it, I could see it as an advanced form of software used by interrogators of all stripes and in recognizing certain quirks individuals have to make sure their the real deal and not a disguise. It's the cost/benefit ratio and the idea of loading it into a furby that bugs me. The fact that it's must have gear doesn't bug me so much because there is already gear like that. Examples being FFBA, high firewall on your commlink, and IP boosters for basically everyone.
Don't forget that while using Empathy software to inflate dice pools in Opposed tests does more or less cancel itself out, jacking up the size of your dice pools does reduce the chance of a glitch.

Oh, and First Impression rules.
Empathy softwares and emotitoys are good for those with smaller dice pools. It is insurance not to lose every social interaction you get into. Once you factor in these for both sides, the Faces start to see an erosion of the abilities.

Afterall, if the other guy previously had 4 dice and you had 16, the best he could do is match your 4:1 trade in. But if you start adding equal dice on both sides, the odds start to shift.
I always take juryrigger with any techie character. It has saved our bacon on several occasions.
QUOTE (kanislatrans @ Apr 20 2010, 09:14 PM) *
I always take juryrigger with any techie character. It has saved our bacon on several occasions.

My first sr4 character was a rigger, and I didn't see that quality until it was too late... I almost cried
If the GM allows it, there's also Cosmetic Surgery (for up to +3 Charisma, in Augmentation). Not sure what the costs for it are, though.

Don't forget that in order to use Empathy 6 software, you need a commlink (or whatever device) with Response 6/System 6. So yes, everyone *could* have it, but likely most will only have 3-4 rating Empathy.

It's a haves vs. have nots bonus.
What race are you? Human, I presume?

I'm continually amazed that people tend to ignore the racial angle to playing a Face. Sure, elves get +2 Charisma, but they're more noticeable and more subject to racial prejudice. As a Face it can be priceless to be more ordinary-seeming.
he could be a human-looking elf. but really, its more worthwhile to spend 10 BP to start with genetics for a +1 maximum to charisma.

a datajack and knowsofts/lingasofts are really one of the higher priorities for a face. being able to have a serious conversation about whatever the other guy likes can go a long way. and long-run, your going to have quite a library of softs to rely on. because sometimes you have to talk nascar with a redneck over beers to get the intel.
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