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BobChuck
I've been going over the matrix stuff; it's the last part of the book I need to sort out, then I can start trying to pull everything together into really big chunks.

I'm looking for I think six different gear setup selections for the commlink/matrix/etc setup. I have a rough idea of what they should be or contain, and I could try putting them together on my own, but I know the people on this forum could do a better job, so I'm asking for help.

1) basic, bare-bones, just enough to get by in the wireless AR-filled world of 2072. Commlink, cheap fake SIN, maybe licences; No cyber/bio ware.
2) above, with cyber/bio ware allowed.
3) solid, complete, robust tech setup. Enough for a hacker/rigger to run with, though not top of the line; more than enough for other characters to conduct themselves with reasonable assumptions of safety. Good commlink, maybe with a slave or backup as a shield, good user interface and protection programs, SIM mod, smartlink, SIN and licenses, maybe a spare set, etc; No cyber/bio ware.
4) above, with cyber/bio ware allowed.
5) best of the best (that's portable). Upgraded or self-built hardware. Multiple backups, blocks, and decoys. As good as it can get; No cyber/bio ware.
6) above, with cyber/bio ware allowed.

Please include estimated cost in nuyen and essence. Game type should be "black trenchcoat" (I think that's the right term; not pink mohawk, not mirrored sunglasses) - the default, middle of the road playstyle, where characters can get hacked/scanned/traced, but it only happens when they go into places where it obviously would happen.

I realize this is a tall order, but I also realize that many of you have one or more of these set up for all of your characters as a ready-to-buy package, which is precisely what I am looking for.
Johnny B. Good
So are you looking for a shadowrunner setup, spider setup, shadowrun rigger setup, or security rigger setup? Some combination of the above? I can think of lots of ways to do this depending on your scope. Even then, lots of hackers are good at different things. My old TM was lousy at cybercombat, but was still fairly decent thanks to a good stealth program and spoofing.

Are you using the rules for Warez? Are you using the unwired sourcebook?

Also remember that hacking isn't all about your gear, there are lots of little tricks that hackers use to get what they want.
BobChuck
I...do not know enough to answer those questions.
Doc Chase
Assume a shadowrunner setup with no Unwired book, or a shadowrunner/rigger setup with same. Good all-around functionality while hacking with no incredible specialty. I'd say go with the Warez rules since hey, he's a hacker, amirite?
Johnny B. Good
Well, I'm assuming core rulebook, mainly a hacker with minor rigging capabilities. I won't use unwiredn rules (including warez) or anything non-core 4E rulebook. I highly suggest you get Unwired, it introduces some nifty things like illegally gotten programs, new programs, program options, some cyber and trojans, viruses and worms.

I've done a loooooot of reading on matrix rules, gear and setups, so send me a PM or AIM or somesuch fiddlefaddle if you need any quick advice.

One more question: are you doing this as a GM or a player?
Minchandre
QUOTE (Johnny B. Good @ Jul 15 2010, 08:33 AM) *
Well, I'm assuming core rulebook, mainly a hacker with minor rigging capabilities. I won't use unwiredn rules (including warez) or anything non-core 4E rulebook. I highly suggest you get Unwired, it introduces some nifty things like illegally gotten programs, new programs, program options, some cyber and trojans, viruses and worms.


Do note that the balance, utility, and annoyance of some of the rules in Unwired are disputed by some of the community (primarily warez and patching).
Johnny B. Good
QUOTE (Minchandre @ Jul 15 2010, 03:40 PM) *
Do note that the balance, utility, and annoyance of some of the rules in Unwired are disputed by some of the community (primarily warez and patching).


That's true. I'll probably make a thread about this later.

I'll get on that gear thing once I get home from work. I don't have any books on me right now.
BobChuck
Okay, yes.

Corebook only; I have the 20th anniversary version if that matters.

I'm looking for something that is for player use. Particualrly aimed at getting new players up to speed quickly. Something that will let them dabble and experience the matrix and AR stuff right away, without having to spend weeks reading rules and browsing forums in an effort to figure things out.

Something that says
"this will let you interact with AR and the matrix, but is pretty basic and would be common - the equivalent of a cheap cell phone and basic home PC today"
or
"this will let you interact with AR and the matrix, be protected from hacking, and hack effectively if you want to make that kind of character - the equivalent of a smart phone and gaming/graphics PC"
or
"this is a dream rig that a dedicated hacker would be shooting for - top of the line, drool-worthy stuff"

I don't really know enough to be able to ask the question better than this.
Doc Chase
So you want an everyday schlub, SR4A hacker out the gate, and a prime SR4A hacker.
Johnny B. Good
Check out AH's PACKS system. He has some things similar to what you're looking for under his Kits.

http://www.box.net/shared/6auo6qljd3

It's not all-inclusive, but it's very useful for chargen.
AStarshipforAnts
Second on the packs.

I take it you're going by the standard hacking roll being hacking skill + programing rating?
BobChuck
QUOTE (Johnny B. Good @ Jul 15 2010, 12:43 PM) *
Check out AH's PACKS system. He has some things similar to what you're looking for under his Kits.

http://www.box.net/shared/6auo6qljd3

It's not all-inclusive, but it's very useful for chargen.



...holy crap.

Where did you find that? It's amazing. I didn't understand a third of the stuff in it, but still, it's clearly going to be very useful.

I really would like to know where you found that; I've been trying to find a list/index of a whole bunch of awesome different online resources.
Biffles
I'm not sure about the whole backstory, but it's originally written by Ancient History and was planned to go into the Runner's Toolkit (before the CGL money fiasco). Ancient History cancelled his contracts, and released his work to the community. Lots of forum members helped proof it, and it was awesome-ized and re-released.

http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=31442

http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=31745

EDIT: You can see it in his signature, but here's a link to (I believe) Ancient History's site: http://ancientfiles.dumpshock.com/
Draco18s
Gear for the matrix:
If you're looking at a hacker, you want a rating 6 system (should cost slightly over 1 BP) followed up by R6 of the following programs:

Exploit
Stealth
Analyze
Armor
[Every "common" program such as Edit]

And you're done. Though you could pick up Decrypt, Encrypt, and a few other utils.

If you want to be unhackable, then:

R6 comlink
R6 Blackhammer
R6 Analyze
And the highest rating agent you feel like buying.

The agent does all the work: if it sees a hacker, it hits them (and the hacker probably dies).
Johnny B. Good
AH (Ancient History, awesome dude), made that for an official book. Then he resigned after the catalyst shenanigans, and now it's up for all to see. He has some other interesting magical fluff things on The Ancient Files.

There used to be a good resource for vehicles/drones Here but I think the link's broken now.
Falanin
BobC, are you including a van-based Nexus as a possibility for your high-end portables, or would those fall under the mythical option 7?

7-8 ) The most pimpin' stuff you can get, generally restricted to those who hack from home. Bio/cyber, etc.
BobChuck
Actually, the PACKS stuff is pretty much perfect, combined with the suggestions here.

Half of what I needed was a template to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything; the PACKS does the very well. A typical commlink needs System and Firewall installed, plus user Programs; to interface directly, the use needs a SIM mod and either Trodes (hat or paste) or Data-Jack.

The other half was a set of basic tricks to keep oneself safe while still being online. Tricks like running with a fake commlink in front to prevent hacking when not in another node, plus an "attack dog" agent that just sits and waits, and maybe toss in a minor "user-friendly" agent that takes the commands of the computer-illiterate owner and turns them into meaningful queries.

Still, I'd love to see what some of you can come up with. The PACKS is very nice for a gear framework, but doesn't have quite enough to pull everything together. Admittedly, doing so is what gives the rig a personal touch, but if the player doesn't know what he's doing, he'll miss important things.
Johnny B. Good
QUOTE (BobChuck @ Jul 15 2010, 08:45 PM) *
Actually, the PACKS stuff is pretty much perfect, combined with the suggestions here.

Half of what I needed was a template to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything; the PACKS does the very well. A typical commlink needs System and Firewall installed, plus user Programs; to interface directly, the use needs a SIM mod and either Trodes (hat or paste) or Data-Jack.

The other half was a set of basic tricks to keep oneself safe while still being online. Tricks like running with a fake commlink in front to prevent hacking when not in another node, plus an "attack dog" agent that just sits and waits, and maybe toss in a minor "user-friendly" agent that takes the commands of the computer-illiterate owner and turns them into meaningful queries.

Still, I'd love to see what some of you can come up with. The PACKS is very nice for a gear framework, but doesn't have quite enough to pull everything together. Admittedly, doing so is what gives the rig a personal touch, but if the player doesn't know what he's doing, he'll miss important things.


Pssh, I farkin' love putting matrix systems together. I'm definitely game for this.
Emy
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Jul 15 2010, 10:39 AM) *
Gear for the matrix:
If you're looking at a hacker, you want a rating 6 system (should cost slightly over 1 BP) followed up by R6 of the following programs:

Exploit
Stealth
Analyze
Armor
[Every "common" program such as Edit]

And you're done. Though you could pick up Decrypt, Encrypt, and a few other utils.

If you want to be unhackable, then:

R6 comlink
R6 Blackhammer
R6 Analyze
And the highest rating agent you feel like buying.

The agent does all the work: if it sees a hacker, it hits them (and the hacker probably dies).


You probably want another attack program in addition to Black Hammer, since AR hackers, agents, and AI can--if I remember correctly--ignore Blackout and Black Hammer.
MortVent
just a standard attack program is all you really need, blackhammer is just nasty but will work iirc on anything as a standard attack program too.

Simon Kerimov
FLASH-LINK (300 nY)
Cheap, throwaway trash:

Hardware: Meta Link Hardware [Response(1), Signal(2)] 100 nY
OS: Vector Xim OS [Firewall(1), System(1)] 200 nY

"Get your 2-year Horizon Wireless contract for only 350 nY, and you'll only pay 50 nY for the amazing technology phone!"

OMICRONPHONE (2,350 nY)
A Normal low-end factory-stock commlink:

Hardware: Novatech Airware [Response(3), Signal(3)] 1,250 nY
OS: Iris Orb [Firewall(3), System(3)] 1,000 nY

Trodes [Device Rating(3)] : 50 nY
Subvocal Microphone [Device Rating(3)] : 50 nY

"You're an on-the-go, up-and-coming corporate management. You need a commlink that fits your fast-pased life-style: sleek, efficient, and stylish.
"OmicronPhone™: for Professionals™."


ALI3NZ BURNING MACHINE (9,900 nY)
High-end factory-stock commlink:

Hardware: Fairlight Caliban [Response(4), Signal(5)] : 8,000 nY
OS: Novatech Navi [Firewall(3), System(4)] : 1,500 nY

AR Gloves [Device Rating(3)] : 250 nY
Skinlink [Device Rating(3)] : 50 nY
Subvocal Microphone [Device Rating(3)] : 50 nY
Trodes [Device Rating(3)] : 50 nY

"Use the same top-notch equipment the operators of GOD use! Amaze your friends at your BLAZING HOT RESPONSE! With our SUPER-GAME™ SIGNAL-AND-RESPONSE™ BURNING MACHINE™ you'll never be beat at Miracle Shooter™ again!"
Squiddy Attack
As a newbie, this is what I'm using (before having a chance to upgrade/replace anything). Here's one for somewhere in the 'less crappy' category:


  • Fairlight Caliban comm (8,000)
  • Novatech Navi system (1,500)
  • Subvocal Microphone (50)
  • The following programs, all at rating 6: Analyze, Armor, Attack, Biofeedback Filter, Black Hammer, Browse, Command, Databomb, Decrypt, Defuse, Edit, Encrypt, Exploit, Medic, Scan, Spoof, Stealth, Track (total 70,000)
  • Firewall (rating 6; 3,000)
  • Standard AR stuff: Virtual Surround Music, Weather, Pet, Person (total of 400)


And the following alphaware:

  • Cerebral Booster (rating 2; 40,000 and worth every penny)
  • Commlink implanted (4,000)
  • Control Rig (20,000. We do not have a rigger.)
  • Cybereyes (rating 3; my mistake, as this was one of the first things I bought, and am going to upgrade. You should use rating 4, at 1,500 nuyen)
  • Datajack (1,000)
  • Datalock (2,000)
  • Ear Recording Unit (1,000)
  • Sim Module (4,000)
  • Sound Link (500)
MortVent
better to get the cyberears at rating 4 for the ear recorder and and sound link. Can add what you want later on to them too (damper is nice, as is the enchancements)
Squiddy Attack
QUOTE (MortVent @ Jul 15 2010, 05:19 PM) *
better to get the cyberears at rating 4 for the ear recorder and and sound link. Can add what you want later on to them too (damper is nice, as is the enchancements)


This is also true.


I, however, realized my mistakes long after character creation... ;P
Yerameyahu
Better still to just get earbuds. smile.gif
Squiddy Attack
My bad. I have no idea why, but I forgot to list that the commlink was implanted. Fixed now.

Though, there are probably wireless earbuds that work with implanted 'links...?
Yerameyahu
Naturally. smile.gif The only drawback is that, if you were helpless, someone could remove them. It's not much of a drawback, but there it is.
Emy
QUOTE (Squiddy Attack @ Jul 15 2010, 06:49 PM) *
My bad. I have no idea why, but I forgot to list that the commlink was implanted. Fixed now.

Though, there are probably wireless earbuds that work with implanted 'links...?


Skinlink everything. The implanted commlink can talk to your skinlinked earbuds through your skinlinked datajack or something.
Yerameyahu
Or your skinlinked SKIN, it's implanted. Whatever. smile.gif
Draco18s
QUOTE (Emy @ Jul 15 2010, 06:22 PM) *
You probably want another attack program in addition to Black Hammer, since AR hackers, agents, and AI can--if I remember correctly--ignore Blackout and Black Hammer.


You are correct. Drop in Attack then, also, for the defensive agent.
(Blackhammer has no effect against programs, agents, sprites, or AR users)

Note how the defensive node has Attack, but not Armor, while the offensive hacker has Armor, but no Attack. This is because Matrix Combat is basically "just deadly" to hackers; if you've gotten into combat, something has already gone terribly, terribly wrong and you should be logging out. Armor/Shield exists only to give you more time to sever your connection before the real shit hits the fan (e.g. they find out where your meat is).

Where as on the defense, you want to hit those hackers with something beefy and keep them logged in as long as possible so you can teach them a lesson. If they get away, that's fine, they still don't have your data, and if they want it bad enough, they'll come back.
Yerameyahu
Isn't it also super-illegal? biggrin.gif
Draco18s
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 15 2010, 11:36 PM) *
Isn't it also super-illegal? biggrin.gif


How will anyone know? If you only hit the guys in hotsim with it (who die) there aren't any witnesses.

Besides, is it any less legal than your HMG?
Wasabi
I made the setup below for a friend interested in protecting himself and he isnt a hacker. Its a deadly agent in a harder-than-average to attack Commlink. The best defense is still a low signal or turning the fool thing off entirely. Note that this is NOT starting-legal due to availability. -Wasabi
=====


GEAR
Skinweb Array (200 Avail 10) [Unw, p200] {+1 to ECCM Strength, Static Zone penalty lessened by one}


NASTIEST COMMLINK (Itself)
Transys Avalon (5000, Avail ?) [SR4A, p328]
Modified for BTL/hot sim (250, Avail 4F) [SR4A, p328]
Response Chip Increase (8000, Avail 16) [SR4A, p222] {NOTE: Half of this cost to make using a Hardware (12, 1 day) extended test}
Firewall 6 (3000, Avail -) [SR4A, p330]
System 6 (3000, Avail -) [SR4A, p330]


NASTIEST COMMLINK MODULES
Cryptosense Module, Ultrawideband Radar (1000, Avail cool.gif [Unw, p196] {Intruders must have similar system}
Nonstandard Wireless Link 6 (3000, Avail 6R) [Unw, p196] {Threshold to Scan for this node raised by one}
Environmental Resistance {heat, cold, underwater, high pressure, intense radiation, vacuum} (600, Avail cool.gif [Ars, p58] {Operate indefinitely in matching hostile environ}
Hardening 6 (150, Avail 4) [Ars, p58] {+6 Dice to defend against EMP or HERF}
Inertial Trigger (25, Avail cool.gif [Ars, p58] {automatically does something you specify if commlink is moved. In this case, turn off if moved while in VR.}


NASTIEST COMMLINK MODIFICATIONS
Optimization, Firewall (500, Avail 6) [Unw, p199] {+1 to Firewall Tests}
[If a hacker get the one that adds a 4th pass and the Simsense Booster Cyberware for a 5th pass]

NASTIEST COMMLINK PROGRAMS
Encrypt 6 (with Ergonomic, Optimization-3 and Crashguard) [6500]
Tacsoft 4 {But have the rating 1-3 versions available so you can switch out if you lack people or tacsoft sensor channels} [12000, Avail 20]
NOTE: If you get jammed switch the Tacsoft out for: ECCM-6 (with Ergonomic, Optimization-3 and Crashguard). That costs 1100.

Unregistered Agent 6 [18000]
Agent Autosoft: Cascading-3 (with Optimization-3, Crashguard) [1800]
Agent Autosoft: Expert Offense (with Optimization-3) [600]
Agent Autosoft: Homeground 4 (with Optimization-3, Crashguard) [4400]
Armor-6 (with Ergonomic, Optimization-3 and Crashguard) [6500]
Analyze-6 (with Ergonomic, Optimization-3 and Crashguard) [1100]
Attack-6 (with Area-6, Optimization-3 and Targeting) [11500]
Blackhammer-6 (with Area-6, Targeting, Psychtropic-6 [Moderate Phobia of Cybercombat(Common/Moderate)]) [18000]
Stealth-6 (with Ergonomic, Optimization-3 and Crashguard) [6500]
Draco18s
Oh, found the "vehicle" equipment I mentioned somewhere recently.

The Spoof Chip. Arsenal p105.
"Changes the access ID for a vehicle node (or any device) on a regular basis, or as instructed."
"Integrating a spoof chip into a device requires a Logic + Hardware (2) test."
500 nuyen.gif availability 8F
Sengir
N.B.: Using simsense requires a sim module, trodes and datajacks are merely the connector plug between the brain and an external (ie not implanted) sim module.


Just because I frequently see people who get their matrix gear wrong...including several of the sample chars wink.gif
BobChuck
QUOTE (Sengir @ Jul 16 2010, 07:30 AM) *
N.B.: Using simsense requires a sim module, trodes and datajacks are merely the connector plug between the brain and an external (ie not implanted) sim module.


Just because I frequently see people who get their matrix gear wrong...including several of the sample chars wink.gif

Yes, this much I have figured out. You need any one of three setups:
1) Commlink (implanted) + Sim Module (Implanted)
2) Commlink + Sim Module + Data Jack (Implanted)
3) Commlink + Sim Module + Trodes

For options 2 and 3, either the link or the mod can be either external or implanted; option 1 only works if both are implanted.
For 3), the trodes can either be nanopaste (which are short term but difficult to remove) or a net (meaning something worn around the head: net, hat, etc).

I've got a couple more questions, though, on the basic setup. I imagine these are addressed in Unwired (or possibly Arsenal), but I don't have those. When running external gear that is touching skin, there needs to be either a wireless connection (which other can grab) or a skin link.

How do skin links work, exactly? How many do you need to buy, one, or one per device? What are the restrictions? What does it feel like to have an active skin link running all over your body?

Also, how do trodes work? what are the limitations? How much contact do they need to work? What are the disadvantages to using a trodenet versus nanopaste?
Sengir
QUOTE (BobChuck @ Jul 16 2010, 04:19 PM) *
Yes, this much I have figured out. You need any one of three setups:
1) Commlink (implanted) + Sim Module (Implanted)
2) Commlink + Sim Module + Data Jack (Implanted)
3) Commlink + Sim Module + Trodes

For options 2 and 3, either the link or the mod can be either external or implanted; option 1 only works if both are implanted.

I'd phrase it a bit (IMO) more simple:
The sim module needs a DNI, which can be archieved in three ways:
1) Implant the sim module
2) Datajack
3) Trodes


Where you keep the commlink does not really matter, an implanted commlink + external sim module with trodes if perfectly fine.
BobChuck
But the SIM Module also needs access to the commlink; It's SIM mod (to process AR/VR) + commlink (access matrix and run programs). I'm not sure what running with just a SIM mod (no commlink) gets you. Both are needed to access matrix data through anything other than a keyboard and tiny screen, both are needed to go AR/VR, unless you are just talking peripherals. You also need some way to connect them to each other and to your brain.

Oh, and random off-topic thought: voicechat.
If you have a commlink, you can talk to people (I'm assuming that commlinks still work as phones).
If you have a subvocal microphone and earbuds, you can talk hands-free.
So far so good.

So... if you are running a commlink + SIM Module + <brain interface>, do you need to 'talk' at all, or can you just think at the person and have the message go? Will it come out as audio, or does the person need to also be running a comm+sim+brain setup?
Draco18s
Being stupid, ignore me.
Sengir
QUOTE (BobChuck @ Jul 16 2010, 05:54 PM) *
I'm not sure what running with just a SIM mod (no commlink) gets you.

Sure you need a commlink, but where you have that commlink does not matter. You can have it in your skull, in your pocket, or on your wrist, as long as you have a sim mod + DNI all configurations are just fine.


QUOTE
You also need some way to connect them to each other and to your brain.

Welcome to the wireless world wink.gif
Sim module in your left pocket, commlink in your right pocket, trodes on your head, all three have wireless and can talk to each other.


Regarding "thought messages", typing does not sound different from activating an ARO, and IMO each commlink should be capable of transforming text to speech and vice versa.
Yerameyahu
Indeed. 2.0 means never worrying about any of 'what's hooked up to what', full-on psychic communication at all times, etc.
sabs
I usually let all my players who have:

ear buds, subvocal mics, and contacts/glasses/cybereyes with Imagelink basically have conversations, share info, etc.

I usually have the Hacker make a electronicwarfare+encrypt test, number of successes sets the threshhold for hacking into the conversation from the outside.

People running Tacsofts, Specialized Agents can add the rating to the encryption successes.
So, A hacker who setup a Rating 3 TacNet, along with Encrypted, Secured Communications to all members of the 'party'. Would create a scan/decrypt/capture threshhold of: 3+net hits.
If you're running all your communications through a Nexus, that has a dedicated Data Encryption Agent R6:
Then the Threshhold would be 6 + net hits.

Of course, the bad guys have access to the same technology. Well certainly those that would use it. Running against AAA's in my world requires seriously well rounded out, experienced runners with good backup.

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