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I started playing a close-combat specialisit adept (unarmed) and am beginning to see an issue in the group. We have 3 pre-gen characters in the group (Smuggler, Covert Ops Specialist, and Weapons Specialist) and one other mage that's completely oblivious (physically and astrally) and is Uncouth (with no social skills at the time of char gen) but is extremely competent at sorcery-based nuking/support. Note the lack of hacker as this is a matrix-lite game.

What I'm trying to do with my stock unarmed combat specialist is to do some minor hole-filling with our abject lack of a real investigative specialist. I'm trying to get some suggestions from the dumpshock folks to see what direction I should go as I don't think the other characters are either suited or their players aren't of that persuasion (covert ops specialist likes the BREAKING part of B&E). The character has the skills to get by currently (etiquette, stealth, gymnastics) but not currently in the position to get at being a decent investigator-type but has some groundwork in areas that might mesh well with the skill-set required.

The big issue is, by character RP, is that he's not big on non-mystical augmentation and really doesn't like simsense. I don't expect this character to be optimized up and down to Sunday but gear suggestions and development direction would be appreciated.
If you are not the face of your group, get at least the data search skill and that 5-10 point advantage in Runner's Companion that gives +2 dice to Data Search (AFB). Change you commlink to Hot Sim and you get extra +2 dice when using VR, this alone gives you a fine bonus to do some Matrix legwork.

Edit: just read the simsense thing. Well, then you don't need to use your commlink hot anyway.
In addition to what Brazilian_Shinobi said, try to boost your perception dicepool.

If you don't already have them, get some glasses or contacts with vision enhancement and earbuds with audio enhacenment and selective sound filters. The adept powers eidetic sense memory, 3D-memory, enhanced perception and things like enhanced sense: smell are also quite useful, although this is more of a long-term goal.

Another option could be to invest in some micro-drones and use these as spies. A Fly-Spy with chameleon coating only costs 3.000 nuyen.gif.

If you want to become the group's face in more than name, I'm afraid you have to go the cyber route (e.g. Enhanced pheromones bioware) or invest heavily in skills (most notably con and negotiation) and adept powers (kinesics, maybe control voice or commanding voice) which will hinder your progress as unarmed combat specialist.

If the other players are using pre-gen characters you should be competitive with a dicepool of about 10-12, so at least the fruits aren't hanging too high smile.gif

Hmm, all good points.

What about the sensor software packages in Arsenal? Would those be worth going after a pimped-out attributes for a commlink?
For a pimped out commlink, the most important part is a good Firewall program. Buy a rating 6 Firewall program (the main book). What page in Arsenal are you looking at?
QUOTE (CeeJay @ May 3 2010, 08:32 AM) *
Another option could be to invest in some micro-drones and use these as spies. A Fly-Spy with chameleon coating only costs 3.000 nuyen.gif.

Microtapper drones out of Unwired, are also rather cheap to outfit with chameleon coating and gecko tipping, and they're almost as good - and they can also steal from hardwired data lines.

Pimped out commlinks are rather cheap/affordable to acquire - especially if you look at the building your own rules. A response six chip is only 8000, 4000 if you can install it yourself, once you can deal with the availability. And you want a high Response, so you can have a high System. Firewall should be as high as you can afford, always.
System limits the rating at which programs function, so if you want top-end rating 6 software, or the Optimization program option(unwired.) It all depends on what you want to do. If you're just interested in helping with some legwork, grab all the Common Use programs at 6, with the ergonomic and Optimized 3 program options, and......don't worry about it. They work on a high rating, even on a low grade commlink. No need to worry about program load or your dice pool. Throw on any agent you can afford, and have it help with your matrix data searches.
In addition to that, you want Stealth at least, to help with poking around being traced back to you.

Sensor softs are great, especially when you can hook them up to a tacnet to get all the angles. Empathy software is a good, but kind of broken, but at least its not as stupidly cheap as emotitoys. If you have goggles/glasses/contacts with Thermo vision, lie detection has nice synergy. Ditto for earbuds/spatial recognizer/noise analysis.

Skill-wise, you're going to want to pick up Negotiation, Con, and Etiquette. Specialize if you can. Also check out the social modifiers table in the main book, and consider Disguise. You can claim bonus dice by dressing the part - or at least save yourself from a negative dice pool. Language is something else to consider. If you're going to deal with hard-bitten criminal types, you might want to speak their language - money, favors, and the gang/mafia dialect of the day. Since you don't have a Datajack, thats slightly more of an issue than slapping some linguasofts in your head - since you mentioned non-mystical augmentation, is your unarmed specialist an adept or awakened of some sort?
Why yes, I have mentioned he's an adept. I was thinking also going intimidation instead of con (was gonna leave con to maybe somebody else, like the CO-spec or weapons spec. Mainly doing that as he's already specialized etiquette so he can't roll the 3 skills into Influence so he might as well get something outside that group as a third that actually doubles as some kind of social defense.

That's a good point on languages. I'll probably have to get a smattering of Italian, Japanese, Russian, Korean, and maybe a little Sperethiel.
Saint Sithney
Don't forget that you can hack in AR at your regular meat speeds. That's one of the Kung-Fu-t'AR Hacker's biggest advantages. Hacking from AR means you can never take damage.

If data search is your main concern though, just buy a Bust-a-Move doll, spec it out to throw a bunch of matrix dice and use it as an independent snoop. Standard practice is to buy one for next to nothing, then rip its guts out (a.k.a. limited maneuverability) and you've got 8 modification slots to shove in all the gizmos to make that little furry crapball into a super spy. Fuzzy Logic, Chameleon Coating, 2xIncreased Sensor upgrades, then jam it full of sensors, a high Response chip, Autosofts out the yang, upgrade the Pilot and you've got a little piece of magic.
QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ May 4 2010, 05:55 PM) *
Don't forget that you can hack in AR at your regular meat speeds. That's one of the Kung-Fu-ter Hacker's biggest advantages. Hacking from AR means you can never take damage.

Unless a sprite uses its power to keep you entranced, to not let you look away at something else, then melts your brain through the ordinary AR interface... just like
The virus downloads itself to a computer through the internet. Targets can be selected by the creator of the virus as well. The virus first manifests itself in the form of a pop-up window, with the question "What's that noise?" prompting the user to click a link. Clicking the link executes the virus, which is simply a video of strange, seemingly unrelated and distorted clips of many things, including a hand, a lighthouse, and the side of a building. Viewers are often entranced by the images and are unable to look away; some even experience the hallucination of their computer screen stretching into a hand and grabbing their head. These images, mixed with high-frequency audio, cause the viewer's brain to liquefy and exit through any available orifices, most commonly the mouth, nose, and ears. The virus also irreparably damages the computer's hard drive, fusing it together.
QUOTE (DigitalSoul @ May 4 2010, 05:01 AM) *
Why yes, I have mentioned he's an adept.

That's a good point on languages. I'll probably have to get a smattering of Italian, Japanese, Russian, Korean, and maybe a little Sperethiel.

Oh, good. That's really good. I'd like to know what powers/metamagics you have already/if you have any points free, and how close you are to buying the next point to make some suggestions. Details help me help you!

Adept Linguistics and Learning Stimulus nanites can net you your languages on the cheap.

This is where I point out that when Adepts initiate, they may trade a metamagic for a power point(Street Magic errata), and that a street magic optional rule lets you buy a power point for fifteen karma, but no side-benefits of initiation like raising your grade - so its an option for working your way into a social adept build, which should help immensely with your Face problem.

Other useful Powers
Cool Resolve: Bonus dice on social -defense-. for when people are trying to read you.
Enthralling Performance: because you can apply it to Con.
Commanding Voice: Barking orders at people - and having them Obey.
Kinesics!: Its great! you can't go wrong with it.
Improved Ability(Social and Technical): Because its really cheap for what you get. at .25 a level for non-combat skills, an adept can rather get decent dice pools for hacking, fast talking, or other important rolls with a little specialization - with even a few levels in hacking and computer, even a kung-fu AR hacker adept basically has the hot-sim bonus(+2) without the downsides of sim.

facial sculpt/melanin control/voice control are worth considering, because they help you fit in, and anything that helps you fit in a social situation is possibly worth it, even if it doesn't give direct dice bonuses.

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