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OK, so we convinced out GM to use SR3 (since we could find more of the books). That being said, he wants someone to play a Decker, and I volunteered.

Can anyone give me a few tips or tricks on making a top-notch decker (Race, Cyber, Bio, Edges, Gear etc...)

As an FYI, we get to use 200 build points (GM's Fiat).
Buy the best Deception you can. I normally don't keep Attack loaded so I keep it to a size that I can load in a single turn. I don't really min/max so that is all I can help you with.
200? That's going to be a pretty burly starting character. Are there limitations on item availability? 60 points into Resources, Fairlight Excalibur... profit. wink.gif
The only limit it Rating 10 availability, although the GM said I could create my own custom deck if I wanted.
Use the archetype combat decker as a basis and work from thereon. Good luck!
200 points? Really? This had better be Becks....

If not, well, let's have a play....dear gods, you can make some horrible stuff.

I assume the GM is experienced? Because if not and someone told him (with a straight face) that 200 points was adequate, well, that's mean.

I'd also assume availability/rating 8, as per the usual builds. Anything else and suddenly the Street Sam's got a Grand Dragon and the ammo to use it. Not even touching the advantages of cultured bioware at character creation...

Mmm, why not make an Okatau instead? Just be a face on the screen, using your computer (cool.gif and forgery (6) to design and create your own "real Life" ™ shadowrunner decker. Feed your tribe, ride on the shoulders of the stupid meat getting shot at, scream "Penis" over their comlink to get their attention... (whoever said that in the greatest "pink mohawk moments", my players curse you.)

From what I see, 200 points is going to make you a VERY good combat monster/decker, supurb beginning rigger/Decker or a very skilled Medic/Mr Fixit/Decker. Even min-maxing like a munchkin, decks and programs cost a bundle (in money and/or time) but 200 skill points means you can decide to "go max" with your attributes and let the pieces fall where they may.

Also, it means background skill/associated skill dice farms.

Although if you wanted to be a real bastard, you could toss together a socio-decker, and blow all the build karma on contacts (3)
"Hey, we need a..."
"I'm on it, got it. Now, pay me"

-Tir (Tried with 200 points, got frightened.)
Actually, 200 points is just weird—you end up with a strong character, of course, but unless you want to toss in magic just 'cause you run up against limits in everything that matters, so eventually you just get every skill in the book.

That's assuming the limits on max skill level/attribute level/resources/etc. are still there, of course—if not, please tell us!

So then the question becomes: do you want a Decker/Foo (Combat Decker, Decker/Face, Decker/Rigger, etc.), or do you want to be the best decker there is? If the answer is the latter, you'll want to make an Otaku; if the former, you'll probably be better off with a straight-up Decker (though it depends on the details). Under normal circumstances you'd probably want to be Human, and if it's going to be a long campaign you probably still want that, but since you have build points coming out your ears an Elf or Dwarf might actually be worthwhile, especially if you go Otaku.

Anyway, give us some more details and we can probably help you out more.

(Really, this is an example of why high-powered games should probably be done with post-chargen karma. This issue might yet drive me into the arms of a BeCKS-alike.)

As an exercise, I made an Elf Okatau and after playing around with it for a while, I walked away, shuddering.
Beginning character:

Elf, Okatau
35 points (!) into physical attributes.
0 points into lifestyle (so far)
[Min-maxing now, optional. Aptitude computers, Homeground Martix, Exceptional Attribute Int, Bonus Attribute Int, Matrix addiction light, Bad Karma, Cursed Karma, Phobia common and mild - Agorophobia, the fear of crowds)
That block above can shave 2 of your matrix TN's, means your character is a geeky loner that hates getting out of the basement. Note: I would allow the Okatau the Homeground feat Matrix simply because of what they are but with that came the Matrix addiction.

So....95 ish points for skills? If you wanted to go sick, toss the tribe's lifestyle (GM's fiat only) into a much higher one and then you can use some points to make your little feral matrix master a lot more chromed. Eyes, math spu, encephelon, the usual loadout. (all alpha, of course.)

So, only with 5k to start? Simple, buy some basic survival gear, some clean clothes and then ask the GM to let you try and obtain a vehicle in which you're skilled in driving

Those 35 attribute points can make:
Stength: 3
Quickness: 5 (elf, remember?)
Body: 3
Charisma: 10
Intelligence: 10
Will: 8

Combat Pool: 11
Initiative: 7 + 1d6

Okatau Living Persona stuff -
Cybershaman, = -1 TN using channels. (so if you were being naughty with the block above, that's a -3 TN for pretty much everything matrix-related)
"Bad Touch" ahead

Body: 8
Matrix Reaction:10
Matrix Initiative:10+4D6
Hardening:4 (You could also toss in "natural Hardening" if you needed to)
I/O speed1000 MP

Channel Points: 10
Hacking Pool: 7
Pool Mods: -

Then invest in sleeze Rating 9 (availability 1)
And a BIG attack D rating (5)
And a Remote Control 3 for giggles.

<choke point ahead!> Due to the rules of okatau creations, can only have a limited "load out" of initial channels. so:
Computer: 8
(O)Access: 5
(O)Control: 6
(O)Index: 4
(O)Files: 3
(O)Slave: 3
And anywhere between 70-40 more skill points to burn, burn, burn.

So, Computer 8 for matrix operations with a -2, -3 TN's for ACIFS commands, detection rating of TN 10 (9+ okatau weirdness of 1) and able to crash the hell out of anything that comes your way. If i was very very evil, I'd suggest a low Sleeze and grab some Black Hammer and have the Okatau as a decker assassin.

Still, that's rather overpowered, considering the 50 or so "free" knowledge skills which could act as complimentary dice pools for related skills.

Example ok? I'm pretty sure there are some disallowables in there, but we've never made an uber okatau before and were working off old posts/bad ideas.

if you don't want an otaku, cyberwear you will be wanting include a decent rating encephalon and math SPU. Both grant you a task pool and buff your hacking pool by their ratings. Task pool gives you bonus dice to long term programming task like writing programs, agents, and frames. Your intelligence is also a big factor in the matrix as it often is your effective reaction attribute. You might get some cerebral boosters (bioware) and pump that intelligence up.

You want a good computer skill, but also consider taking some specialties. Computer (programming) helps you build your own utilities and whatnot. Obviously Computer (decking) helps you in-the-field. Computer B/R helps you build cyberdeck components. Electronics B/R helps you create illegal jackpoints. Etiquette (matrix) helps you doing research or looking for information online.

For knowledges you might want Computer Background, Data Havens, Seattle Corporate Hosts (or similar regional matrix knowledges), Matrix Lore ... Small Unit Tactics (matrix) helps you coordinate with battletac systems, and can give you an initiative boost, I believe. You may want to include shadowland as a contact if you fancy yourself as connected ...

Building your own deck is pretty grueling, so you may want to pick up an "off the shelf" deck. However if you have a copy off the 3E matrix book and a punishing need to crunch numbers (getting into character maybe...) I'd say go to town. Its alway nice to be able to say "I made it myself!".

Get a drek-hot sleaze and crank your masking persona program to up your detection factor. Every time a system rolls to detect you is another success towards you getting caught which means less time you can spend committing crime. It a ticking clock as soon as you jack in, so a high detection factor keeps you in the game longer.
This is some great advice, I appreciate it.

We used to play with this DM for several years, so he is experienced (although he has been on sabbatical from RPGs for awhile).

He did say that we couldn't go above availability 10, and the 200 points is accurate, although he came up with a caveat about going above racial maximums for attributes (you have to pay for them like karma with build points).

I hadn't really thought about Otaku, just because I am not too keen on playing a younger character, but it does sounds like that could be a stellar choice.

I had been thinking about a Decker/Electronics expert with some pistols or SMG attributes to allow him to go on the runs with the rest of his team (all of whom are awakened PCs).

Let's make it easy on the poor guy. Here is McMackie's 3rd ed character generator. It's absolutely amazing, although it may take a bit of work to make it get along with Vista/7.
QUOTE (Tiralee @ Aug 27 2010, 05:01 AM) *
[]Bad Karma, Cursed Karma[]

Careful, this is very dangerous. I get the impression that most games end with no more than two dozen karma awarded, but if you bet wrong and end up on a long-term game, especially stacking it on top of metahuman-ness, you can really screw yourself over. Eleven points of karma pool is much more powerful than six, and six is much more powerful than six with a one-in-six chance of not only not working but actually making you worse off than before.

QUOTE (McSass)
He did say that we couldn't go above availability 10, and the 200 points is accurate, although he came up with a caveat about going above racial maximums for attributes (you have to pay for them like karma with build points).

If by "like karma with build points" you mean "on a one-build-point-per-karma-point basis", it's not even vaguely worth doing.

Meaningful combat skill is hard to swing with an Otaku because of how valuable the all-physical-stats-at-1 deal is, but with the number of BPs you have three points to get yourself into "with a little combat pool I remember where the trigger is" shape easily, and then the attribute is cheap so you can buy it up with the skill post-chargen. Electronics skill is easy, though.

If you go for a traditional decker, the math SPU as mentioned is absolutely critical (it is for Otaku as well, but you need to get it post-chargen due to resource limits). Encephalon is nice, but is very expensive for what it gives, so unless there's some way to spend those BPs on more than a million nuyen I think it's probably best left out.

Ah, Kage, why didn't you stick your oar in earlier? smile.gif

Yes, bad karms delays the accumulation of karma pool, but frankly, in the 5 or so years of playing, I've only seen it used 4 times. (I never let the players know when it refreshes, until post-run) In those 4 times, it was burnt 3 times.

Cursed karma is how it is. If you don't want those points, don't take them. I'm of the view they're role-play fodder, something to try and remove through time, effort and sacrifice.

Frankly, the okatau would be evil. (I showed it to my players and they were distrubed.) Remember, it's ~ age 8 + 2d6 for one of the little buggers (well, that's the house rule) so you can have a sociopathic 11 year old holding the johnson's credit rating hostage because he dissed the Trid series "MegaZordGodWinBlade - the Reckoning". Also, they're of an alien mindset. Seriously odd. (Ed from CowBoy BeeBop is a good example, if a lot more perky than expected)

The million in cash bumps the tribe's starting resources, which in turn boosts the okatau stuff (character gen)
All little @lphalf@ will be able to afford is some clothes, some squats, a few knocked-off toolkits and a contact or two. Nothing else. Why not? Because the matrix is all. It's the important world...

Note: I'm stealing AlphaFalfa as a contact or character name. Dirty Lucerne or Filthy Green as streetnames....

QUOTE (Tiralee @ Sep 2 2010, 12:04 AM) *
Note: I'm stealing AlphaFalfa as a contact or character name. Dirty Lucerne or Filthy Green as streetnames....
Alphafalfa. That's pretty funny.
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