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iategod
I got a few questions for the use of skillwires. The first i'm having trouble understanding is; While sustaining a spell (-2 penalty) and say, piloting a chopper using a activesoft rating 4, would my piloting suffer the penalty? The way i see it, i'm not concentrating on the piloting since it's just software. Or is it? I figure since i can not spend edge on skillwire skills they are like autopilot instinctual software packages.

Whats your opinion on this? Any GMs come across this problem?
Lanlaorn
Of course the penalty applies, it even applies when you actually just use software (e.g. Analyze or Browse, whatever). The sustaining spells penalty represents the concentration required to maintain the spell, and so it applies to anything more complicated than breathing.
Yerameyahu
Skillwires are not (any more?) independent overrides of your body. They're a system that interacts with your brain, and you have to intentially *use* it; no autopilot. That's the tradeoff: you can get skillsofts for any nonmagical skill, even creative ones, and you can use them even in full VR (no muscles involved), but it's not a Pilot rating.
iategod
ah, ok. I'm thinking cyberpunk.

Still seems a bit over powered. One min i can be an ok hacker. The next i can be driving anything. With enough memory and wireless capabilities i could have potential access to everything, aside from spellcasting.

I suppose this brings me to the next question, upon investment, do i just buy activesoft at chargen or pay the fee after chargen? I guess i'm wondering if there's a torrent based site in 2072 where i can get activesofts and the like at anytime?
DrZaius
I'm pretty opposed to the concept of "pirated" activesofts and matrix programs in the Shadowrun setting.
1, it sidesteps a game balance issue (you're getting more BP than your teammates through chicanery)
2, I think of programs in 2070 as so complex that re-producing or 'hacking' their software would be extremely difficult.

My 2 nuyen.gif, YMMV
Squiddy Attack
QUOTE (iategod @ Jul 21 2010, 10:56 AM) *
With enough memory and wireless capabilities i could have potential access to everything, aside from spellcasting.


Skillsofts are expensive, and even the best skillwires can only have so many ranks worth of activesofts running at once.
Yerameyahu
Well, skillwires are never as good as real skills can be. They *are* costly, they take essence, and you do have to buy the softs (even pirated, not cheap to maintain).

Right, like Squiddy said. smile.gif

No way, there's really nothing commercial that can't be pirated, DrZaius. Perhaps the rules could be tweaked (faster degen, etc.), but it's very much setting-apropriate.
Squiddy Attack
And one activesoft is going to cost more than a skillwire system of the same rating -- 2,000 x rating for the wires, 10,000 x rating for one skillsoft.

Seems a little silly to me, considering one is a program and one is a cybernetic system installed via presumably invasive surgical procedures, but maybe that's just me. nyahnyah.gif



Edit: Actually, discovered something bizarre. My 20th-anniversary copy of the core rulebook says skillsofts cost 10,000 x rating, but a PDF of the non-anniversary edition says it's 3,000 x rating.
DrZaius
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 21 2010, 03:09 PM) *
Well, skillwires are never as good as real skills can be. They *are* costly, they take essence, and you do have to buy the softs (even pirated, not cheap to maintain).

Right, like Squiddy said. smile.gif

No way, there's really nothing commercial that can't be pirated, DrZaius. Perhaps the rules could be tweaked (faster degen, etc.), but it's very much setting-apropriate.


I'm not saying it isn't possible, I just think it's unbalancing. Why should a hacker get their stuff for free when everyone else has to pay for theirs? There was a lengthy article on how it wouldn't work a while back, but I'm far too lazy to look it up, or argue the point with much enthusiasm.
Belvidere
QUOTE (Squiddy Attack @ Jul 21 2010, 03:15 PM) *
And one activesoft is going to cost more than a skillwire system of the same rating -- 2,000 x rating for the wires, 10,000 x rating for one skillsoft.

Seems a little silly to me, considering one is a program and one is a cybernetic system installed via presumably invasive surgical procedures, but maybe that's just me. nyahnyah.gif



Edit: Actually, discovered something bizarre. My 20th-anniversary copy of the core rulebook says skillsofts cost 10,000 x rating, but a PDF of the non-anniversary edition says it's 3,000 x rating.


Yeah, they changed it in anniversary edition. With original 4e ruling, you were getting an effective rank in a skill with a few drawbacks, such as not being able to run too many at once, ect for less that 1bp at chargen. They raised the price to 10k. (/sarcasm...So now it's 2BP!)
Yerameyahu
It's not free, it's 10% retail every 1-2 months. Retail lasts infinite months. smile.gif

I fully agree that *free* would be bad, which is why I argue against people who (erroneously) claim that the Errata says 'self-coded programs never degrade' and are 100% free.

Squiddy Attack: SPSS costs thousands, Photoshop costs over a thousand (?), you don't even want to know what corporate 'software solutions' costů you're totally right that implanted 'ware should be expensive, but there's no reason really advanced software can't be expensive, too. Hard to get more advanced than magi-tech 'it just works, okay!?' skillsofts. smile.gif
Belvidere
QUOTE (DrZaius @ Jul 21 2010, 03:27 PM) *
I'm not saying it isn't possible, I just think it's unbalancing. Why should a hacker get their stuff for free when everyone else has to pay for theirs? There was a lengthy article on how it wouldn't work a while back, but I'm far too lazy to look it up, or argue the point with much enthusiasm.


I wouldn't entirely say that Hacker's can get their stuff free while everyone else is stuck paying for theirs. I actually found it annoying that other people could steal their gear when my hacker was left sitting in the dust with his programs because he couldn't pirate them until unwired launched.

Absolutely nothing is stoppin' the meat heads from endangering their lives by breaking into weapon shops and clinics to get their gear and 'are. grinbig.gif Meanwhile, I'll sit nice and safe in my apartment with my commlink and AR decorations. Hey! It's kind of like the rest of shadowrun.
Belvidere
And don't forget that getting pirated software runs the risk of getting bugs in the program. Which is a big deal if you're an elitist hacker. I, as a GM would roll off for every pirated program one of my PCs picked up. I couldn't even tell you how many people I know who've picked up programs laden with bugs, viruses and worms. It's nasty
Squiddy Attack
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 21 2010, 11:31 AM) *
Squiddy Attack: SPSS costs thousands, Photoshop costs over a thousand (?), you don't even want to know what corporate 'software solutions' costů you're totally right that implanted 'ware should be expensive, but there's no reason really advanced software can't be expensive, too. Hard to get more advanced than magi-tech 'it just works, okay!?' skillsofts. smile.gif


Point taken. biggrin.gif
Doc Chase
Or just plain wrong. Nothing like having a hacker roll up with a pirated 6.0, load it up, turn it on, and it's Hello Kitty Arcology Adventure.
Yerameyahu
Right: if piracy is a problem in your game, bugs are another good way to help with that. It means that the hacker has to invest time to find and clean them.

Haha, I'd play that game.
Squiddy Attack
"Hello Kitty Arcology Adventure"?

Wonder what the interval would be for writing/coding that...
Jhaiisiin
Turns out it has two "modes." The first is when you simply go through, pleasing corp brats, collecting power ups and gems and such from the shops, and generally having a merry time.

If you survive that boring shite, then you unlock Arcology 2059 mode, where you have to fight through to destroy Deus.

Needless to say, mode 2 is not being advertised.
KCKitsune
I read a crack fanfic where Hello Kitty had to deal with Sanrio execs (maybe they lived in the Arcology?). Here is the good part:

QUOTE
Badzt Maru's eyes bugged out of their sockets. "Oh no, not *that* one!"

"Oh, but why not?" Hello Kitty begged. She walked over to the crate and opened the lid. Her eyes glazed over with big pink hearts. "Ooooooo!" she squealed in delight.

"Oh fer chrissakes, not that thing!" Badzt Maru pleaded.

Hello Kitty would have none of that. She reached into the box and removed the manufacturer's technical manual. "The General Electric M-261E1 5.56mm six-barreled electric minigun..." she read aloud.

"Absolutely not!" Badzt Maru cried.

"Why not?" Hello Kitty protested.

"You couldn't even *lift* the thing!"

Hello Kitty looked down into the crate. "Yes I could," she replied.

"What are you smoking?! That thing has to be three times bigger than you!"

"Oh, but I *could* lift it," she said. "For I--" She reached into the crate. With a grunt of exertion, she withdrew the heavy gatling gun and brandished it at port arms. Badzt Maru was correct; the weapon was easily three times bigger than Hello Kitty. "--have the strength of madness!!!" she declared proudly.
Fanatic
Isn't "Hello Kitty" one of the new metavariants in RC?
There are so many of those in there, that i wouldn't be surprised if you could at least build one.
Perhaps a surged gnome with fur and a devilish smile?
KCKitsune
QUOTE (Fanatic @ Jul 22 2010, 04:51 AM) *
Isn't "Hello Kitty" one of the new metavariants in RC?
There are so many of those in there, that i wouldn't be surprised if you could at least build one.
Perhaps a surged gnome with fur and a devilish smile?

Easy to do:
Gnome Meta-variant with SURGE level 2
  • Positive: Glamour
  • Positive: Balance Tail
  • Negative: Unusual Hair
  • Negative: [Insert 5 pt Negative Quality Here]


Smokeskin
Skillwires aren't so bad. The 0.8 Essence is by far the worst cost - and at 16 availability you need a Quality to get them at chargen. And they don't really offer that much. Instead of spending that Essence on boosting your primary and secondary roles, you're getting a few more dice on skills some of your teammates are probably much better at anyway.

For a jack-of-all-trades type character, they're awesome, but a minmaxed char wouldn't be caught dead with them.
KarmaInferno
QUOTE (Smokeskin @ Jul 22 2010, 12:15 PM) *
Skillwires aren't so bad. The 0.8 Essence is by far the worst cost - and at 16 availability you need a Quality to get them at chargen. And they don't really offer that much. Instead of spending that Essence on boosting your primary and secondary roles, you're getting a few more dice on skills some of your teammates are probably much better at anyway.

For a jack-of-all-trades type character, they're awesome, but a minmaxed char wouldn't be caught dead with them.


My 4ed character only has them cos he has Move By Wire.



-karma
Yerameyahu
Indeed. Generalist-ization shouldn't be discouraged, because it's non-powergaming. And you're definitely *paying* for it. Even if you get it 'free' with MBW, *those* are expensive too. smile.gif
Lanlaorn
Skillwires seem pretty slick on a Mage IMO, if you're going to use up 1 point of essence anyway on something to help drain (cerebral boosters, PuSheD, Trauma Damper, Pain Editor, Platelet Factories, whatever) then getting some cyberware is also smart since the 50% essence costs are a really efficient use of that 1.0 essence. Anyway Skillwires in particular are nice because they let you use nuyen to advance various side skills while you can spend Karma on your spells, foci, magic and initiation. Skillwires 3 with the personalized option is 4 skill and that's plenty for Dodge, Perception, Automatics, First Aid, Hardware, etc.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Smokeskin @ Jul 22 2010, 10:15 AM) *
Skillwires aren't so bad. The 0.8 Essence is by far the worst cost - and at 16 availability you need a Quality to get them at chargen. And they don't really offer that much. Instead of spending that Essence on boosting your primary and secondary roles, you're getting a few more dice on skills some of your teammates are probably much better at anyway.

For a jack-of-all-trades type character, they're awesome, but a minmaxed char wouldn't be caught dead with them.


Actually... they would cost 1 Essence Point, Availability 20 (Rating 5 don't you know)...
Don't forget the Skillwire Expert System for an additional 0.1 Essence, Availability 8 and 3,000 Nuyen... wobble.gif

The rest is pretty accurate, if you have a fairly large team... but if not, then those actual skill points you are using from the skillsofts (rather than losing the -1 Dice from attribute, or not rolling at all because it is a non-defaulting Skill) could indeed save your life...
Smokeskin
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Jul 23 2010, 02:43 AM) *
Actually... they would cost 1 Essence Point, Availability 20 (Rating 5 don't you know)...
Don't forget the Skillwire Expert System for an additional 0.1 Essence, Availability 8 and 3,000 Nuyen... wobble.gif

The rest is pretty accurate, if you have a fairly large team... but if not, then those actual skill points you are using from the skillsofts (rather than losing the -1 Dice from attribute, or not rolling at all because it is a non-defaulting Skill) could indeed save your life...


With activesoft only going to 4, I don't see much point in skillwires 5, so I was talking about that wink.gif

I agree that having access to some good off-role dice pools can come in very handy - but those .8 points of essence could have been used for something that gave you dice for your main role, which makes it a decent trade off.
Smokeskin
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 22 2010, 09:55 PM) *
Indeed. Generalist-ization shouldn't be discouraged, because it's non-powergaming. And you're definitely *paying* for it. Even if you get it 'free' with MBW, *those* are expensive too. smile.gif


I do think that MBW coming with skillwires is somewhat stupid, but the MBW muscle tremors that not just look silly but give you away as a topnotch cybered combat machine is a really, really big downside.
Yerameyahu
I liked the old MBW, with the big bonuses. smile.gif
Manunancy
Did you like the old 'really high) odds of frying your nerve system too ? I grant you that shadowrunning isn't exactly good for your health, but the 2050 vintage move-by-wire was bound to wreck whoever had it implanted, the only question being 'when'.
Yerameyahu
Yeah, the game doesn't *last* that long. smile.gif
Dakka Dakka
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Jul 23 2010, 02:43 AM) *
Don't forget the Skillwire Expert System for an additional 0.1 Essence, Availability 8 and 3,000 Nuyen... wobble.gif
I'd never bother to take that. All it does is allow you to spend Edge to reroll a failed test, which isn't even one of the normal (better) uses of Edge, as such you don't even get extra dice only another chance.
Jaid
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jul 23 2010, 03:12 AM) *
I'd never bother to take that. All it does is allow you to spend Edge to reroll a failed test, which isn't even one of the normal (better) uses of Edge, as such you don't even get extra dice only another chance.

actually, it's an excellent use of edge... *if* you have a large dice pool to begin with, in most cases. on the other hand, if you're dealing with a small dicepool (which is quite possibly the case if you are relying on skillwires), rerolling failures is not always the best option.
Dakka Dakka
I think you misunderstand me. Here's what I understood from the skillwires expert system's (SES) description.
Normally there are several ways to use edge:
  • declare use beforehand, add edge dice to test, rule of six applies to all dice
  • declare use after roll, roll Edge dice, rule of six only applies to Edge dice
  • re-roll all dice that did not score a hit.
  • several other uses that do not directly influence dice rolls and do not interest us at the moment

Now the description of the SES says "This implant allows a character with a skillwire system (p. 335, SR4) to use Edge to re-roll a failed test when using skillsofts."
This is different from all the general uses above. As such it allows only that which is in the description, meaning all you get is another roll with Attribute+Activesoft and no extra dice for spending a point of Edge. If the roll was very difficult it probably won't work with another try. All it does is give you the possibility to eliminate extremely bad rolls.
Jaid
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jul 23 2010, 04:20 AM) *
I think you misunderstand me. Here's what I understood from the skillwires expert system's (SES) description.
Normally there are several ways to use edge:
  • declare use beforehand, add edge dice to test, rule of six applies to all dice
  • declare use after roll, roll Edge dice, rule of six only applies to Edge dice
  • re-roll all dice that did not score a hit.
  • several other uses that do not directly influence dice rolls and do not interest us at the moment

Now the description of the SES says "This implant allows a character with a skillwire system (p. 335, SR4) to use Edge to re-roll a failed test when using skillsofts."
This is different from all the general uses above. As such it allows only that which is in the description, meaning all you get is another roll with Attribute+Activesoft and no extra dice for spending a point of Edge. If the roll was very difficult it probably won't work with another try. All it does is give you the possibility to eliminate extremely bad rolls.

that's a different interpretation from what i would use, but even so, is still worthwhile if you have a respectable dicepool when using skillwires in many cases.

if you have a 50% chance of success, rolling twice increases that (in theory) to 75% chance of success... and you don't have to spend anything until you know for sure that the 50% chance failed.
KarmaInferno
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jul 23 2010, 05:20 AM) *
I think you misunderstand me. Here's what I understood from the skillwires expert system's (SES) description.
Normally there are several ways to use edge:
  • declare use beforehand, add edge dice to test, rule of six applies to all dice
  • declare use after roll, roll Edge dice, rule of six only applies to Edge dice
  • re-roll all dice that did not score a hit.
  • several other uses that do not directly influence dice rolls and do not interest us at the moment

Now the description of the SES says "This implant allows a character with a skillwire system (p. 335, SR4) to use Edge to re-roll a failed test when using skillsofts."
This is different from all the general uses above. As such it allows only that which is in the description, meaning all you get is another roll with Attribute+Activesoft and no extra dice for spending a point of Edge. If the roll was very difficult it probably won't work with another try. All it does is give you the possibility to eliminate extremely bad rolls.


Well, as was pointed out in another thread, the base SR4A Edge rules for re-rolling failures is also written poorly:

"You may re-roll all of the dice on a single test that did not score a hit."

It can be interpreted as most folks seem to, that "did not score a hit" is talking about the dice, not the entire test, and as such you re-roll only the failed dice.

However, by standard English word usage, it can ALSO be interpreted as talking about the test itself, which would mean it only applies when you fail an entire test. Same as the SES.



-karma
iategod
Can activesofts be of skill groups?

I know they can be pistols, or longarms. But can they be of the firearms skill group to cover all? I can seem to find anything in core nor aug that says they can't be.
Udoshi
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jul 23 2010, 03:20 AM) *
This is different from all the general uses above. As such it allows only that which is in the description, meaning all you get is another roll with Attribute+Activesoft and no extra dice for spending a point of Edge. If the roll was very difficult it probably won't work with another try. All it does is give you the possibility to eliminate extremely bad rolls.


Additionally, per 4A 300, 'Tests made using a skillsoft cannot be boosted using edge'. Active/know/lingua all fall under skillsofts, sadly. The Expert System just gives you a limited ability to use Edge back.
Yerameyahu
The SES is very clearly a "failed *test*".
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Smokeskin @ Jul 22 2010, 09:54 PM) *
With activesoft only going to 4, I don't see much point in skillwires 5, so I was talking about that wink.gif

I agree that having access to some good off-role dice pools can come in very handy - but those .8 points of essence could have been used for something that gave you dice for your main role, which makes it a decent trade off.


Skillwires 5 gives you additional program space for a pittance of a cost... why would you NOT take it to a rating 5, if you are already thinking about 4?

Just Sayin'
Dakka Dakka
It's not very expensive, but it also only gives you 2 more points. Unless you go low for your first two activesofts, that's only one more rating 2 program or two rating one program. Not that much of a bonus, considering using activesofts instead of defaulting removes the ability to use Edge.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jul 24 2010, 08:34 AM) *
It's not very expensive, but it also only gives you 2 more points. Unless you go low for your first two activesofts, that's only one more rating 2 program or two rating one program. Not that much of a bonus, considering using activesofts instead of defaulting removes the ability to use Edge.


But if you apply Pluscoding (Rating 3) and Personalization (+1 Dice) to each of your Skillsofts rated 4 (2 options at that level) you now have 10 Rating 4 programs (that are adding 5 dice to your Stat) running in that program space rather than 8 (or 2 Rating 4 at the base level of Soft)... not a bad trade in my book...

and the SES allows rerolls of failed tests (Dimap would allow the same thing at the cost of a slot on your softs)... not a bad combination, even if the softs are a bit expensive (which is why you pirate them, in my opinion, for the ones that you will not use continuously)... wobble.gif
Dakka Dakka
I don't look into Unwired much, so I forgot about those optgions. Are you sure they also apply to Activesofts and not only General Use and Hacking Programs? what about Autosofts?
Lanlaorn
The only apply to activesofts, they're explicitly in the activesofts section.

QUOTE
But if you apply Pluscoding (Rating 3) and Personalization (+1 Dice) to each of your Skillsofts rated 4 (2 options at that level) you now have 10 Rating 4 programs (that are adding 5 dice to your Stat) running in that program space rather than 8 (or 2 Rating 4 at the base level of Soft)... not a bad trade in my book...


Yea but who has even 8 rating 4 activesofts? With Personalized and Pluscode 3 that's 46,000 nuyen each, and there just aren't THAT many skills worth it, heh. Even pirating them (and arguing for pirated personalized software is a bit of a stretch =P) that would be 36,800 up front + 8,000 every other month as they degrade.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jul 24 2010, 09:54 AM) *
I don't look into Unwired much, so I forgot about those optgions. Are you sure they also apply to Activesofts and not only General Use and Hacking Programs? what about Autosofts?


No Problems... Simsense Options are for Simsense Programs only... stated as such in the book... Skillsofts are a subcategory of Simsense Programs (with Activessofts as a further subcategory), that are used to directly interface with people.

Autosofts are for use by Pilots/Agents in general. They are not classified as a Simsense Program by the system.
Jaid
QUOTE (iategod @ Jul 23 2010, 07:49 PM) *
Can activesofts be of skill groups?

I know they can be pistols, or longarms. But can they be of the firearms skill group to cover all? I can seem to find anything in core nor aug that says they can't be.

no skill groups. you can have activesofts for a skill. there is nowhere that says you can have an activesoft for a skill group, so you can't.
Yerameyahu
For good reason. smile.gif If anything, they're already too broad.
Voran
If I recall, old Skillwires were brutal to try to load all at once, so you had to pick/choose. Heh, if memory serves, a shadowtalk comment about "make sure you label your chips, so you don't slot pastry chef 5.0 when you're looking for your LMG gunner one." Nowadays, I suppose its easier, since they're all sorta loaded in your PAN anyway and you just load as needed.
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