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Krrayn
I've done some forum searching, and maybe I'm just not finding the right stuff, but here's the deal. I'm starting a new (400 BP) character and I want to play a Rigger. I'm stumped on what drones, mods, and equipment make a "good" rigger. I know that Shadowrun rules and excessive equipment and modification options makes for an uncountable number of potential specializations, but I'd like to get dumpshock's consensus on what makes a good "starting" generic adaptable rigger.

In other words, what sorts of vehicles, drones, mods for both, autosofts, etc., do you think "every rigger should have"?

My searches have turned up interesting means of tweaking the hell out of the rules and maximizing opportunities based on rules combinations or inconsistencies that eventually end up being "if your GM is insane enough to allow it." I'm not looking for that. I've also found some endless arguments over the merits and flaws of software pirating and degradation that degenerate into hacker debates. Not looking for that either.

What I need is advice from experienced players on a flexible load out for a guy who:

(a) can drive
(b) can repair
© can rig/control/command

and what drones to use for different situations.

How would you spend your starting 250,000 nuyen?

Thanks in advance.
Makki
i think one must-have is a Dragonfly with improved sensor array and ultra wideband radar.
I actually built a Rigger yesterday, although he's more of the "bring-in-and-pick-up"-guy with his used (=40% discount but has Gremlins II) Hughes Stallion. try saving money by getting used vehicles, you will still be able to operate them as riggers get high dicepools very easy, so it's a GM call
Karoline
Well, fly-spy drones are great for scouting, and are a fairly standard staple I think. Getting cover ops to help them be unnoticed is a good idea since it can reasonably be shared. If you have the extra cash, chameleon coating helps even more, and is only 1k per drone.

LBED (or whatever the letters are, the police drone) is great for a combat drone, because they can go down the street without drawing attention from most people. The modified sandel is also good for keeping a low profile.

A van of some sort is likely best for your standard vehicle. Lots of room for teammates and drones.

A stormcloud or krull make for great 'eye in the sky' drones, and the krull has the added advantage of being able to do supply drops should you need them for some reason. Or it could drop bombs I guess, that could be fun.

I would say those are the more core things: Something to scout/spy, something that flies, something that's good for transport, and something that can fight.
sabs
for cyber:
bare minimum:
Control Rig
DataJack
Nice to get:
nanohive, control rig boosters
skillwires 5 <- investment in future, dont' worry about the skillsofts
Muscle toners

skills:
You need to decide if you're a stud driver, or a drone handler
pilot(vehicle of choice) 3-5 depending
Pilot(drones you want to jump into) 3-5 depending
Mechanic (pick your primary, you're going to skillsoft the others
Hardware
Electronic Warfare
dodge
stealth(group) <- your jumped in drones use YOUR skill

vehicles:
a cheap car with basically no mods
drones:
steel lynx, fly spy, docbot(or) orderly.
Pick 1 drone you're going to jump into and give it a response upgrade and sensor upgrades.

software:
the DocWagon Medical Suite skillsoft
command, scan, all the common software, attack, armor.

2 agents: both rating 5, both hanging out in your commlink. 1 runs analyze on your commlink constantly.
Both running homeground(3), expert offense(3).

Eventually you want to upgrade your attack programs(you will need 2) with these options:
Armor Piering R3, Targeting, Area 6, Ergonomic, potentially optimized (so you can run it at R6)
Eventually you'll want a couple of these guys, so any hacker trying to hit your commlink will get the snot beat out of him. if you're feeling illegal, replace attack with BlackIC

suoq
When building a rigger make sure you talk with your GM and look over a few things first.

1) Get an understanding of how availability works. I'm firmly in the "fly-spy/dragonfly with improved sensor array, ultrawideband radar, camera improvements, etc." camp but if you can get it AFTER char-gen, then figure out when you'll be able to afford it and consider putting it off. Same with the stormcloud.

2) If you can get pirated software after chargen but not before, get only what you absolutely need right now and get pirated software when you need it.

3) Are you going in person or being a drone all the time? If you're needed in-person to bypass maglocks and conventional locks, help unplug and steal the nexus, etc, you may want to build for meat combat.

4) Rigger vs Hacker combat is expensive and requires toys that a rigger might otherwise not care about (but are useful). If you're expected to fill this role as well as being the in-person meat rigger, then don't be expecting high dice pools because you will be really spread out.

5) There are things you need that don't have an availability rating. Make a shopping list for post-chargen.

6) Some of your gear (shops I believe, facilties also possibly) needs a better lifestyle than other people. Make sure you understand how that's going to work in your campaign.

7) So much stuff that's useful is restricted/forbidden and it's not like you can hide it. It's one thing to leave the bad weapon at home. It's another when the van everyone is riding in is illegally modified from top to bottom.
KarmaInferno
My favorite single favorite drone is the Ford LEBD.

It has a turret, a mechanical arm, and has enough space for a few mods. And it flies, meaning it can get into a lot of places where a ground-bound drone will have problems.

I put chameleon cloak and a retrans unit in them, upgrade the software, mount a LMG w/underbarrel grenade launcher in the turret, and they're mostly good to go.

When I'm in situations where I can't bring gear into, like high society parties, when the cap hits the fan I have a couple crash through the nearest skylight, one carrying a duffelbag with my personal gear and an assault rifle gecko-gripped to it's butt.



-karma
KarmaInferno
One big thing for riggers - much of the time, when operating vehicles, your meat attributes don't matter. The vehicle' Response rating and your commlink's Command software will be replacing your personal stats for many actions. So you can get away with spending less points on attributes.

Your important attributes will likely be Reaction, Intuition, and Logic. All the others, unless you plan on doing a lot of actions with your meat body, are less critical.



-karma
Summerstorm
Hm, Sabs had it pretty much right, i guess.

Having a few LEBD-1 (which seem to be really one of the favourites here) with anhance sensor packages and stuff. Have the circeling the battle-zone. All loaded intigrated in your Tacnet. They are big enough for a better sensor package and good armor. But fast and mobile enough to have great insight. (Also you could let them carry the grenade-pistol thingy on their mount)

I wouldn't get "rigger"-only though. Some midlevel-tech (MBW 1 or Wired reflexes 1). The implantet radar always is nice. Maybe some perception enhancers. Maybe going hacker-route too.

Also... get armorer skill and some of the mechanics. Get at least an armorer, automobile and electronic shop. Building/modifying your own crap is better. (If words get out that you loaded up a crapload of grenade/rocketlaunchers and other illigal shit into a Evo Oderly ... well, not good) And having someone trustworthy do it costs.
TommyTwoToes
If you are going to issue commands via the command program rather than being "jumped in" you can stay out of VR completely, use AR and meatspace actions. This would let you get conventional meatspace IPs (which are always good) and use them in the Net. This path makes a rigger who can operate in a wider range of situations, but is less spectaular in the rigger only role.

Remember AR = no dumpshock + no black IC
KarmaInferno
QUOTE (TommyTwoToes @ Sep 21 2010, 11:25 AM) *
If you are going to issue commands via the command program rather than being "jumped in" you can stay out of VR completely, use AR and meatspace actions. This would let you get conventional meatspace IPs (which are always good) and use them in the Net. This path makes a rigger who can operate in a wider range of situations, but is less spectaular in the rigger only role.

Remember AR = no dumpshock + no black IC


Also, it's easier to get Command to a very high rating on your commlink than it is to upgrade all your vehicle Response ratings to the same level.

Many magic buff spells also work in AR mode that do not work in VR mode.

Additional Rigger optimization: Remember that Restricted Gear is for a single item or object. Including all that item's components. A vehicle is an item.

smile.gif


-karma
TommyTwoToes
I almost forgot, the Constanoga Vista is the best buy for a vehicle to transport the whole team, and it has a huge body. Of course it is a mass transit bus, but that just makes it fit in. Throw the programmable skin on it, and just by adding billboard type adds to the outside, you can radically change its appearance to help blend in to the environment.
sabs
I love the Vista
and at a base of 25K it's CHEAP
Course, you're not outrunning anybody with it wink.gif
KarmaInferno
Add Lighter Than Air modification.

Now it's a Magic Bus!




-karma
TommyTwoToes
QUOTE (sabs @ Sep 21 2010, 12:49 PM) *
I love the Vista
and at a base of 25K it's CHEAP
Course, you're not outrunning anybody with it wink.gif

My goal in every game is to get one that is modded for lighter than air - zepplins make the Run go.

Yerameyahu
The Hotspur is a great and fast robust truck, especially if your game takes place in less urban areas. smile.gif If you prefer to outrun the enemy (or just run circles around them), compared to the Vista. It's also much more expensive. :/
Ghremdal
I prefer the Doc Wagon HTR ambulance. Its expensive as heck though. Bonus points if you fake DocWagon uniforms and AR displays/liscence to go with it...it makes a pretty smooth extraction unit.

If you plan to rig, go with VR. While it is more expensive, you can control a vehicles and drones at much better DP (and much faster also) then using command actions.
KarmaInferno
The big vehicle I see most used by riggers is the GMC Bulldog Step-van.

I suspect the 20 modification slots has something to do with it.




-karma
KarmaInferno
QUOTE (Ghremdal @ Sep 21 2010, 12:06 PM) *
If you plan to rig, go with VR. While it is more expensive, you can control a vehicles and drones at much better DP (and much faster also) then using command actions.


I dunno. I have maxed out VR mods on my rigger, and all her AR dice pools are pretty similar.

Of course, my rigger is also a mystic adept, so many of her magic boosts add to her AR rigging.

Even without them, though, it should be possible to get similar AR boosts with some non-magical options, as my rigger does not have one major source of stat boosts - she can't use any cyberware or bioware.


-karma
cndblank
Another thing to talk over with your GM is extra transportation.

Any team with a good hacker and a good rigger worth their salt should be able to steal a few run of the mill vehicles for routine use.



Add a morph plate and spoof chip and maybe a rigger adaption and you are ready to go.

A make and model of van commonly used commercially by plumbing or exterminator business would use if perfect.

Use them for routine observation and where you might need to abandon the vehicles (say one to stage an accident to cut off a target vehicle and another one to pull in behind and pin it in place.)

Save the tricked out van for when you know you might have a hot exit.



After a couple of months, strip out the morph plate and spoof chip. Wipe them down thoroughly and leave them where they will be found and taken to a chop shop.

Nothing to trace them back to you. Repeat.



Keeps your working and personal vehicles off the radar and they are disposable which keeps your costs down.
Neurosis
I personally strongly prefer AR spec'd Riggers to VR spec'd riggers. I think your Reaction is easier (and certainly simpler) to increase than your response, and it also helps you with lots of other things, like going first in combat and dodging bullets in the meat. I have little use for VR. I vastly prefer a combination of AR and commanding autonomous drones.

As for vehicles, I am very partial to the Rover 2066 as a ground vehicle (if you want something tough that can carry the team and still move reasonably fast) and for personal transport the Shin-Hyung gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

QUOTE
I actually built a Rigger yesterday, although he's more of the "bring-in-and-pick-up"-guy with his used (=40% discount but has Gremlins II) Hughes Stallion.


Where are the rules for used vehicles in the rules? Assuming this isn't just a deal you worked out with your GM? I've often tried to build a viable helicopter-owning character and this is clearly an important component I've overlooked.
Makki
QUOTE (Neurosis @ Sep 21 2010, 07:53 PM) *
Where are the rules for used vehicles in the rules? Assuming this isn't just a deal you worked out with your GM? I've often tried to build a viable helicopter-owning character and this is clearly an important component I've overlooked.


Arsenal "Used Vehicles"
Neurosis
Oh right. p. 104.

I remember why I overlooked this with my 'guy with a helicopter' build. It was because I had not seen Runner's Companion and was not aware of the 'Restricted Gear' quality, so I did not think I could take the +4 hit to availability at creation.
Yerameyahu
Try to be balanced about it. Saving 2000 on a motocycle isn't the save as saving 200,000 on a helicopter. smile.gif
sabs
Vehicle Response is capped at 5, except for a few milspec vehicles.

Still with vr and control rig giving you +4 combined.
You have to have a 9 reaction to /tie/ the dicepools you can get for being vr.
Add in the 5 IP's you can potentially get for being in VR, and it's actually tough to beat that combo.

Gunnery on the other hand is trickier.
Getting a Sensors of 6 can be problematic depending on your GM.
You only get the +2 for being in VR, as the control rig does not help you with Gunnery.
So, you need an Agility of 8 to match your top of the line sensor package, oh and an intuition of 8 too.

Wait..

Maybe being in the Meat isn't better.



Neurosis
Well, you're welcome to your preference.
sabs
Used Vehicle is still basically "between 20% to 50% off up to the GM, oh and the vehicle has weird flaws and damage up to the GM"

You can also buy vehicles that don't work at all, if you're willing to put the post-creation work into it.

It could be worth it to buy a broken Helicopter that your player is doing runs to 'refurbish'
Neurosis
I tried to buy a broken tank in Africa. It was still too expensive.
TommyTwoToes
QUOTE (Neurosis @ Sep 21 2010, 01:15 PM) *
I tried to buy a broken tank in Africa. It was still too expensive.

You should try to buy a working one in Russia, I hear that Larry Bond and Tom Clancey bought Migs for cheap over there.

Hell T-55's got to be cheap.
Neurosis
I was referring to my PC (sorry if I am missing a joke). IRL, I have never attempted to purchase a tank in any nation. I do not ever foresee it being within my price range.

Anyway, I think in SR and IRL everything is cheaper in Africa. Isn't an AK-47 like cheaper than a sandwich in Africa right now?
Yerameyahu
Depends on the sandwich.
Fix-it
and the AK.
lowendz113
The biggest thing with a Rigger is making sure your fancy expensive drones don't get jacked. That means making sure they are slaved to your comm, and then making sure you can defend your comm. Basically what I end up doing is making a Hacker that uses a bunch of drones. It works out pretty well as long as you build your drones properly.

And just for the record, I personally feel the meat world Rigger is a better way to go. You can also do fun things with the Daihatsu-Caterpillar Horseman (PMV).

As far as repairing/building drones, for the most part you only really need armorer, Automotive Mechanic, and Industrial Mechanic. If your flying drones are getting damaged you are doing something wrong.
DireRadiant
QUOTE (Krrayn @ Sep 21 2010, 09:37 AM) *
(a) can drive
(b) can repair
can rig/control/command

and what drones to use for different situations.

How would you spend your starting 250,000 nuyen?

Thanks in advance.


Pick your primary control mode and make sure you have what you need for that. Anything left over put into your secondary control mode.

You can buy and upgrade drones with your starting money, or buy skills that allow you to steal and takeover any device, up to your style.

Look at the pools for Meat, remote control, and Jumped In, and Autonomous, and work out what gears helps with each one. There are a lot of choices, and will not be able to do them all.

Skills work for all control modes, except for autonomous drones, which need autosofts and pilots.
sabs
Look at my post, specifically the agent setup on it.

You're talking agents with 15 dice going against your stealth rating, every IP.
After they find you, you're in cybercombat with 2 agents with something like 15 attack dice each.

It's not uncrackable of course. But it's a good start and should buy you enough time to get the hacker on the team to help clear out your commlink.
suoq
QUOTE (lowendz113 @ Sep 21 2010, 02:55 PM) *
The biggest thing with a Rigger is making sure your fancy expensive drones don't get jacked. That means making sure they are slaved to your comm, and then making sure you can defend your comm.

AFAIK, Slaving does nothing about Jamming or Spoofing. Once that drone is disconnected from your commlink, AFAIK, it's an open target. (As usual, I may have missed a rule.)
Ascalaphus
I don't think a drone stops being slaved just because it's being jammed. But spoofing is a real danger, that's why you use encrypted connections (R6). That at least delays the sudden yet inevitable betrayal.

Hmm. What about a build focused on stealing the enemy's drones? Or at least until the GM wisens up, but by then you have a stable..

Important: make sure you understand what kind of Software Degradation/Copy Protection rules your GM uses. If you can crack the Copy Protection without getting hassled about Degradation, you might want to get good software to install on lots of cheap drones. If copy protection is a real problem, then having a few high-quality drones is more interesting.
suoq
QUOTE (sabs @ Sep 21 2010, 03:07 PM) *
Look at my post, specifically the agent setup on it.

Is your commlink running 2 agents, analyze (ergonomic?), and 4 autosofts? I take it you're running a rating 6 system 6 commlink with every common use and hacking program you have having the ergonomic option. I don't think that's a reasonable place for a starting character to begin at.
Yerameyahu
QUOTE
If you can crack the Copy Protection without getting hassled about Degradation,
then your GM is an idiot. biggrin.gif
sabs
QUOTE (suoq @ Sep 21 2010, 10:52 PM) *
Is your commlink running 2 agents, analyze (ergonomic?), and 4 autosofts? I take it you're running a rating 6 system 6 commlink with every common use and hacking program you have having the ergonomic option. I don't think that's a reasonable place for a starting character to begin at.


Not all of them have to be ergonomic

2 agents, analyse, 4 autosofts, 2 attack, 2 armor, 1 command

that's 12 softs.

If you start with a Response 5/System 5 Commlink
Firstly, you don't give homeground to your Brute Agent, and yoi don't give expert offense to your Sleuth Agent.
So now you're running 10 softs.
You get analyze and command ergonomic
It's only an extra 1 avail and 500 nuyen because they're both general programs.
It costs you 1000 each to have analyze and command ergonomic at the start of the game.

Now you've only got 8 programs against your system.
That means that your response is now down to a 4. You're mostly doing command rigging, not a huge deal, and you only lost 1 die if you HotVR in. Not really a giant loss. Eventually as you get money, you'll ergonomic your attack and armor programs. Remember they can be registered because you'll never do anything illegal with them. They're both there as defense for your home node.

When you upgrade your home system to response 6, system 6 it becomes much easier.
Yerameyahu
It certainly is a massive investment of computing resources, though. That's not a criticism.
sabs
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Sep 22 2010, 12:10 AM) *
It certainly is a massive investment of computing resources, though. That's not a criticism.


Your a rigger smile.gif either you invest in computing resources, or in computing skills.

Honestly I consider that to be the standard commlink setup most experienced shadowrunners should be running.
Saint Sithney
Just wanted to point out that the LEBD has been changed by the weapon mount errata and no longer has a gun, only shock cuffs.

Also, Data Bombs. If you think hackers are going to be a problem, mine your nodes. Try things like "writing to the access log" and then keep your agent analyzing that log. If it notices a strange action, it goes on alert and you can decide what to do from there.
Karoline
Wow, that really sucks. I suppose it was perhaps a bit too awesome with the weapon mount, but still... The police drone doesn't exactly inspire the same level of deterrence without a weapon.
KarmaInferno
QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Sep 21 2010, 07:59 PM) *
Just wanted to point out that the LEBD has been changed by the weapon mount errata and no longer has a gun, only shock cuffs.


Er, looking at the Arsenal 1.3.2 errata now.

The only real change is fluff text from the second paragraph. The first paragraph is where the weapon mount is mentioned, and I cannot believe the "similar models" and "standard upgrades" section were supposed to be affected.

I'm pretty sure the only effect that was intended was fluff text being altered:

Original text:

"Equipped with two handcuffs, it can also serve to escort prisoners, capable of conduct a stunning electrical discharge through the cuffs if the prisoner decides to be a problem. It also helps the LEOs fill out the routine paperwork so that they can spend more time on the streets being a presence to deter crime and respond to calls. When the assistance of a crime scene specialist is required, he can jump into the drone to gives an on the spot appraisal of the situation, along with evidence recovery."

Errata:

p. 120 Ford LEBD-1 (second paragraph)
Starting with the third sentence replace the text with the following:

“Equipped with two handcuffs, it can also serve to escort prisoners, and is capable of sending a stunning electrical discharge through the cuffs if the prisoner decides to be a problem. It also helps the LEOs file routine reports by providing trideo footage and sound recordings, so that they can spend more time on the streets being a presence to deter crime and respond to calls. When the assistance of a crime scene specialist is required, he can jump into the drone to provide remote appraisal of the situation and on-the-spot evidence recovery.”


Changed portions of the text emphasized.

I see nothing about the weapon mount being removed. Is there some other "weapon mount errata" out there?



-karma
Karoline
Whew, was afraid I'd have to find a new favorite combat drone.
Ascalaphus
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Sep 21 2010, 11:56 PM) *
then your GM is an idiot. biggrin.gif


It's not like Software Degradation is a piece of game design to be proud about..
Yerameyahu
Sure, but allowing free copying without restriction? smile.gif
Karoline
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Sep 22 2010, 11:34 AM) *
Sure, but allowing free copying without restriction? smile.gif

The cracking test to break the copy protection?

And of course there is the fact that it is entirely possible to break copy protection on 99% of programs and still receive full upgrades for them without issue.
Yerameyahu
I don't understand. Are you saying the cracking test represents some kind of restriction or sacrifice? nyahnyah.gif

I assume your second comment is about realism, but I'm just talking about balance. smile.gif
Ascalaphus
Sure, there needs to be some sort of balance to the system. But the way it's done in Unwired is very ugly, and I woudn be surprised if a lot of GMs houserule it differently. That's why I advised to check with the GM what kind of rules he uses before you start selecting drone styles.
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