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Blitz66
I'm learning a lot about Shadowrun from these forums, but there's a lot more to learn. Since the Search function isn't much help when the subject is very common, I've decided that the best way to gather the information I need is to make a series of threads focused on specific topics.

First up: drones. Seems to me that drones are the biggest force multiplier in the game. While some characters are content to fire one gun personally, putting themselves at risk, a rigger can have several drones firing at the target at the same time, while putting the entire planet between himself and the danger if he feels like it. That sounds like something I want to know about.

So, drones. What kind of drones do you want to start off with, as a rookie on a budget? What do you want to get next, once you've got some resources? What are your long-term goals in acquiring and equipping your remote controlled murder team? What do you arm them with? What are the highest priority modifications, programs, etc? What modifications, programs, or tactics are complete traps to be avoided? Which choices do you make differently when you're a technomancer instead of a mundane rigger? In addition to murder, how do you set up your vehicles, your spy drones, etc, and how do you prefer to prioritize?
Udoshi
QUOTE (Blitz66 @ Aug 3 2011, 03:33 PM) *
So, drones. What kind of drones do you want to start off with, as a rookie on a budget? What do you want to get next, once you've got some resources? What are your long-term goals in acquiring and equipping your remote controlled murder team? What do you arm them with? What are the highest priority modifications, programs, etc? What modifications, programs, or tactics are complete traps to be avoided? Which choices do you make differently when you're a technomancer instead of a mundane rigger? In addition to murder, how do you set up your vehicles, your spy drones, etc, and how do you prefer to prioritize?



Hmn. I'll cover this one.

Dobermen are fantastic bang for the buck.
So are White Knights.
As is a Camera 6 with Vision Enhancement 3, thermal, flare comp.
Thats your basic Murderbot right there.

Combat Drones:

The big kitty is a Steel Lynx. As a body 4 drone, it has two weapon mounts, which means it can take a Reinforced Mount. (Arsenal, if your Gm allows upgrading like that), and up to armor 12. A nasty trick is to take a reinforced mount with a missile launcher, and mod that with an Underbarrel Weapon Mount for a large medium/heavy machine gun, which takes its ammo from the Weapon Mounts 250 round bin. (though note that uncompensated medium/heavy Mg recoil is doubled, so )

The Crimson Samurai(arsenal) works similiarly, and also is notable because it has a stock body/speed/armor ratio that lets it take a Ram Plate and never self damage when running into things.

Flying Drones:
I'm a fan of the Aztech Mixcoatl from Milspec Tech. Its like a Large rotodrone with goodies you were going to get anyway. Expensive, but worth it. You want something that can fly, and get places. I'm a fan of Dragonflies - their built in weapons may seem worthless, but its actually not too bad when you claim the +3 'friends in melee' bonus for swarming someone with them(the reason they are so expensive is the description says they come with an ultrasound sensor, and I believe its factored into the cost, but its not listed in the standard mods section, because the only way a drone can have that is as a camera accessory, and vehicle sensors are never statted out). The GTS tower is also fantastic, and is rather fast for a friggin blimp - and its also armed. The Ford Lebd-1 gets a special mention here, because it comes with a lot of goodies for its price - flight, VTOL 2(its a helichopter) a mechanical arm, and a gun all for cheap.

Infiltration drones:
Disposable drones with decent sensors that you can send to places in your stead. Unarmed, prefferably ones you don't mind losing, or that aren't a priority target because they're unarmed. Kanmushis(core book), dragonflies(arsenal), and microtapper drones(unwired). Good upgrades includes Gecko Tips, for getting odd places and sticking there, and Enhanced Sensors. These are the kind of drones you use to sneak unobtrusively into parties when you don't want to risk sending a more expensive drone, a teammate, or causing a fuss when an armed drone is discovered.

The Metahuman Bot: Having a humanoid robot to perform every day tasks for a lazy rigger is a common thing I see a lot. Most people gravitate to the Manvervant for this - but the Mister Fixit(runner's Companion) is far superior, and doesn't have the arbitrary 'can't fight' limitation. the Evo Orderly also is an amazing emergency medic in a pinch - and combo's nicely with a valkyrie module to keep people alive. Good upgrades include a Savior Medkit, and a Profession Medicine autosoft.


Goals for all drones:
1) Sensor 6.
2) Smartlinked weapons, whether its an accessory(400y and a top mount is pro) or a mod. 9 RC, including the very reasonable Body = RC(instead of ignoring RC completely) rule.
3) A Radar or Ultrasound. (non-visual means of detection for sneaky arseholes)
4) Tacnet 1, at least. A good goal is to have enough drones with enough sensors to support a rating 4 tacnet.
5) Optional: Some autosofts for autonomous operation(Targeting autosoft: Gunnery, Maneuver, Clearsight, Defense). Reality Filter is surprisingly good in Agent/Pilot payloads: +1 Response is a big deal in combat situations.
6) the More than Metahuman quality: Free Action jumping in and out is amazing, and due to how delated actions work, having the ability to interrupt other actions, and also be delayed, it can make you basically immune to dumpshock as long as you have a Free Action in reserve.
7) A protip for sensors rating and rounding: Read the arsenal Errata, or grab yourself a second printing(has it included). It massively clears up the annoying issue of recalculating the confusing process of changing a vehicles sensor loadout. Also, for sensors that have a rating of less than 6(like ultrawideband radar), sensor rating is round up, not round half up(which everyone knows, and assumes is the default. An average sensor rating of 5.33 will still be rounded up to 6.
8: Drones with Guns: Per the faq, Security vehicles are mostly those with guns or offensive capabilities, and thus have a Device Rating of 4 base. Cherrypicking(dragonflies, iballs, dobermen, steel lynxes to name a few) these drones can save you lots of money in standalone upgrades to Response and System, and can also run rating 4 autosofts out of the box.


Subtle Tricks: Electronics/Commlink mods in Unwired: the User
Commlink modding the drone's electronics for more Response for the pilot(or the rigger, if you plan on jumping in). Response Enhancers can boost initiiave further.
Non-standard wireless links, the accessory(unwired), can make your drones massively hard to hack: 5 hit threshold on an Electronic Warfare+scan test can be a bitch to hit. Stealth can also help, as nodes may hide from perception with Firewall+ Stealth. (what can't be seen, can't be hacked)
Directional Antennae (Unwired, i think. Arsenal if not.) are amazing bang for buck. Use them. Highlights: Signal 8 for less than a thousand nuyen.
the Underbarrel Weapon mod is a fantastic way to add cheap grenade launcher capabilities to your armed drones.


And lastly: The Party Van. no rigger is complete without a mobile base of operations that he can stash all his stuff in, drive around, and park anywhere to turn into a workshop. GM Bulldog step-vans are fantastic for this. The rover 2068 is an excellent, if pricey and not-quite-as-many-modifications allowed as the other options. the GM hermes is an EXCELLENT choice for a party van, due to having two drone bays and such a high body total, and thus modification slots. The thundercloud morgan can a make a decent battlebuggy on the cheap: all it needs is its turret to be modified to a Remote Control(its Manual standard), and uparmored.(Rating x 200 is really cheap when you do it yourself), and it suddenly becomes a really good gunbuggy for its price. An Armored Manual Control also gives the person riding in the backseat full benefit of the vehicle's armor, but its fairly costly in the mod slots.
a Protip for the Party Van: Vehicle Nanoforges are so much cheaper than stationary ones, and let you do Facility grade work(which also means Overmodding access for modifications that only need Shop level facilities to perform). At 50k nuyen, its almost worth investing for the future - the availability 20 for the non-tagged feedstock is kind of brutal, though.

Character Capabilities:
Control Rig is pretty much a must. Hotsim is excellent because the free +2 applies to rigging. Reception Enhancers(augmentation) are surprisingly good, if expensive, because they add to Sensor rolls as well as Analyze rolls for detecting intruders on your network. And good sensor rolls mean better shooting dice due to Active Targeting, Sensor Lock-on, and Information Guided Targeting/spotting(unwired). Trauma Dampers and a good biofeedback filter make you pretty much immune to hotsim rigging biofeedback - incoming damage gets reduced by armor, then by biofeedback filter, and then -1 from the damper.
the Hidden Benefit of Free Action Perception checks(adept Multitasting, technomancer Multiprocessing Echo) means Free Action perception checks, which means free action Matrix Perception checks(remember, per the Jumping In section of the core book, all rigging checks are matrix actions) means Free Action Sensor checks(sensor+perception), which means extra dice to shoot things. As free actions, so it happens in the same pass as the shot, giving you the option to boost your damage output on the cheap. (at the cost of saving your Free action to jump out of a drone via more than metahuman if its going to get destroyed)
the Gunnery skill, with the Ballistics specialization is pretty much amazing because it applies to almost everything.

Now open for specific rquestions involving rigging, vehicles, and other shite.
Blitz66
That is one damn heroic post, and I'm grateful for it. I'll ask more questions if/when they come to me. Meanwhile, are there any special considerations depending on if you're a dronomancer or a mundane rigger?
PoliteMan
Well, I don't think I can add anything to that Udoshi.

I would like to second the Ford LEBD-1 for it's sheer versatility. It can fight, it can scout, it can do overwatch, and if you give it the right autosofts it can fix up your car and patch your wounds. A lot of drones are very specialized for specific roles but the LEBD-1 can do everything except sneak inside a corp base. I almost always recommend getting one, just because if there's something you need to get done and you don't have the right drone, the LEBD-1 can do it.
Cain
The only thing I have to add is autosofts, particularly Clearsight. Bonus dice to all Sensor tests is a huge help.
Udoshi
QUOTE (Blitz66 @ Aug 3 2011, 09:16 PM) *
That is one damn heroic post, and I'm grateful for it. I'll ask more questions if/when they come to me. Meanwhile, are there any special considerations depending on if you're a dronomancer or a mundane rigger?


Yes. Your GM needs to decide if your sprites Pilot rating is compatable for replacing a drone's Pilot rating - so you can put a sprite inside a drone and have it work, and also decide if the sprite can use autosofts the drone already possesses.
Machine sprites get Any Autosofts as an optional power, and can thus be incredibly awesome pilots inside a drone at high force. The resonance isn't constrained by the 'autosoft caps at 4' limit, so a machine sprite can easily get rating 7+ clearsight, targeting, etc. While running Diagnostics and Stability(note that this power can be used on things besides nodes, and is a great teamsupport/buff power to use on matrix allies).

Techno's are also expensive, and pay out out the nose for the ability to do most of the tricks a mundane rigger can. This is mostly because such tricks are echoes in unwired, and thus expensive to acquire.
Techno's also have the distinction of being the only class with the potential to have 8-to-10-pass(depending on your interpretation and math) multi rigger/sammy capabilities. This is due to using Macro(which lets you offhand a second matrix complex action at -2, and Mesh reality, which lets it work for cybercombat when it normally doesn't, and also become dual natured for real life/the matrix, and lets you fight in both at a penalty) Using drugs or echoes to get 3-4 passes on the matrix/physical with 2 actions per pass lets a techno pull off moves that nobody else can, like attacking and being on full defense at the same time. If you're going to go the stealth sammy route, Biowires and Tutor sprites are like peanut butter and vanilla: tutor sprites get limited category skillsofts as complex forms, so if you learn them from a sprite its more expensive, but you can sidestep the usual limitations of Emulation.
techno's also take all matrix damage as real damage. Even an attack program can knock you out - which can be bad if your drones get under attack. I believe you still crash and fall unconscious when your stun track is filled.(a pain editor is hilarious for a technomancer, however), while a hacker just has to restart their commlink. However, the hacker has potentially more dice pool penalties (condition monitors for matrix, stun, physical, while the techno has only stun and physical). In practice, it doesn't matter too much.

Mundane riggers are awesome because they are so cheap, and share many gear, skills and equipment with Hackers. When you think about it, 50bp on gear + skills is all you need to fill your role on the team, and its easy to multitask, take on a different role, or have a massive Edge score to cover the gaps. A mundane rigger's usefulness comes in their cost, and ability to take all the implants they want. they can also start with 5 passes, by using restricted gear, which is something other archetypes cannot.

hacker adepts get special mention, because the adept powers that can influence the matrix and rigging (improved technical skill,, multitasting, enhanced perception to name a few) are so cheap that they can get boosts from adepthood and stilll enough room to cherrypick the perks a hacker enjoys, like +1 to logic linked skills(such as hacking)from PuSHeD.
Brainpiercing7.62mm
Since this seems like the fitting topic to ask this question in:

How many dice should a drone roll to attack when it's running on pilot? It seems to me drone DPs are rather low, and hardly effective in combat against anything but mooks. Sure you can make enough noise to scare an army, but actually all those bullets will mostly do very little. Should I be spamming grenades with drones rather than bullets?

How many dice should a reasonably well-built rigger roll when attackin with gunnery while jumped in?

And how exactly are these DPs made up?
Mardrax
QUOTE (Udoshi @ Aug 4 2011, 04:49 AM) *
Stealth can also help, as nodes may hide from perception with Firewall+ Stealth. (what can't be seen, can't be hacked)

I've seen this pop up a few times. Can anyone actually give a rules quotation for this?

Also:
QUOTE (Brainpiercing7.62mm @ Aug 4 2011, 04:03 PM) *
It seems to me drone DPs are rather low, and hardly effective in combat against anything but mooks.

Wide Bursts are your friend.
Miri
QUOTE (Mardrax @ Aug 4 2011, 08:25 AM) *
I've seen this pop up a few times. Can anyone actually give a rules quotation for this?


Page 228 4A bottom of the first column running into the next.
Udoshi
QUOTE (Miri @ Aug 4 2011, 07:36 AM) *
Page 228 4A bottom of the first column running into the next.


yeah, its an incredibly easy passage of text to miss. But oh so useful, and just reinforces one of the matrix basics for all runners: Run stealth always!

Also the next sentence is rather important. Automatic, no-action Analyzing capabilities really do change the nature of decking, when even a lowly IC has a chance to bust you just for being there. The dice gods are fickle in opposed tests, sometimes
UmaroVI
A few nitpicks:

Drones contribute sensor channels to a TacNet equal to their sensor rating, not equal to the number of sensors they have. This is deeply and irredeemably stupid, but also clearly stated in the rules. So a drone can never join a Rating 4 Tacnet. Now, oddly enough, upgrading sensors improved effective sensor rating, not sensor rating, which may mean that you can't even upgrade to this, but that one is both stupid and questionable, and you can probably get your GM to agree that a drone with Effective Sensor Rating 6 can join a Rating 3 Tacnet.

Jumping In is useful only as an anti-hacking measure; you'll do much better with VR Remote Control. Neither affects your ability to command autonomous drones.

For the Party Van, my recommendations are the Conestoga Vista for a not-very-subtle tank; sure, it's not super fast, but with 20 body it has a ton of mod slots so you can mod in fun like concealed turrets and armor. You're better off turning a bus into a tank than getting a meh off-the-rack tank and having to mod it anyways. Another good one is the Ares Roadmaster, because it has 16 armor but is NOT restricted. So if you get a Roadmaster, slap on a Concealed Turret, and you have a vehicle that looks like an ordinary no-license-required civilian-legal vehicle but is actually quite tough and well armed.

To keep drones legal, use the Ares Super Squirt or Ares Screech Sonic Rifle or Tasers; all of them are legal, so if you find a legal drone with a built-in weapon mount, you can slap one of those weapons on and it's still legal.
UmaroVI
Also, weapons.

Aside from the legal weapon lolz mentioned above:

Cheap and crappy: AK-97
Less cheap, less crappy: White Knight
Average cheap, pretty good: GE Vigililant Light Autocannon
Average cheap, not that great, but nonlethal and only Restricted: Lone Star FlashFlood Water Cannon.
Expensive, requires a fixed mount or turret, but will kill people like whoa: GE whateveritscalled Heavy Autocannon.
Udoshi
QUOTE (UmaroVI @ Aug 4 2011, 09:00 AM) *
A few nitpicks:

Drones contribute sensor channels to a TacNet equal to their sensor rating, not equal to the number of sensors they have. This is deeply and irredeemably stupid, but also clearly stated in the rules. So a drone can never join a Rating 4 Tacnet.


Uhm. Read them again. Channels aren't mutually exclusive, and nothing prevents a drone from adding extra channels with vision enhancements. You can quite easily have channels from multiple sources.


Camera 6(assuming the camera is the only sensor on a small drone for ease of math), Lowlight, Thermo, Smartlink. (these are all spelled out explicitly) = 9 channels. Done.

When you know how the rules work, drones are actually the EASIEST to get on a high rating tacnet. The problem is maintaining the minimum number of members on the network - you need 6 members to sustain a rating 4 tacnet, and will lose the benefit if too many of your drones get shot down.
KCKitsune
One thing that should always be added to drones: Adaptability (pg 114 Unwired). It only adds +1 to the Availability & only 300 nuyen.gif to the price, but gives 3 more dice for determining if the drone does what you want it to, or it screws up.

Also another program that everyone might want to look at is the Covert Ops autosoft. At rating 4 it gives you 8 dice to sneak past guards. Not great, but better than nothing.
UmaroVI
QUOTE (Udoshi @ Aug 4 2011, 11:11 AM) *
Uhm. Read them again. Channels aren't mutually exclusive, and nothing prevents a drone from adding extra channels with vision enhancements. You can quite easily have channels from multiple sources.


Camera 6(assuming the camera is the only sensor on a small drone for ease of math), Lowlight, Thermo, Smartlink. (these are all spelled out explicitly) = 9 channels. Done.

When you know how the rules work, drones are actually the EASIEST to get on a high rating tacnet. The problem is maintaining the minimum number of members on the network - you need 6 members to sustain a rating 4 tacnet, and will lose the benefit if too many of your drones get shot down.


Oh, I follow. So you're interpreting it as drones contribute Sensor Rating plus the number of extra sensors they have? I can see that one, actually, and it makes more sense than drones having TacNets they can't run.
Udoshi
QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Aug 4 2011, 09:41 AM) *
One thing that should always be added to drones: Adaptability (pg 114 Unwired). It only adds +1 to the Availability & only 300 nuyen.gif to the price, but gives 3 more dice for determining if the drone does what you want it to, or it screws up.


What? No it doesn't. Adaptability is not an Program Option. Its a full blown autosoft.

1500 nuyen and a slot on the Processor Limit, chummer.
squee_nabob
Quick Comments:

Full Defense is bad so being able to full defense and attack is not worth all the submersions, instead attack twice.

Tutor sprites only contain one useful skillsoft (gunnery), and none of the top 3 steams have them (Cybershammans, Sourcerors, and Info Savants)

It is unclear if Tutor Sprites count as ďstorage accessale to the technomancerĒ so it is unclear if you can emulate skillsofts on a tutor sprite.

Pain Editor is terrible on TM, it is not worth the loss of resonance.

RC is the way to win at rigging, TMs can get the highest Command rating, thus TMs win at Rigging best.

Kickass Killing Drones: Wuxing Hussar from WAR!, 18 armor is too good to pass up for only 7,500.

The Lockheed Arachne is cheaper and better than a Doberman in all ways except for the 26F availability.
Udoshi
QUOTE (squee_nabob @ Aug 4 2011, 01:24 PM) *
Tutor sprites only contain one useful skillsoft (gunnery), and none of the top 3 steams have them (Cybershammans, Sourcerors, and Info Savants)

It is unclear if Tutor Sprites count as “storage accessale to the technomancer” so it is unclear if you can emulate skillsofts on a tutor sprite.


I think you entirely misread what I said about tutor sprites, and the more subtle implications of what I said. I am not talking about using a tutor sprite as storage space. I'm talking about Aid Study. You should look it up. Because you can learn things from sprites. Like complex forms of various programs. Its more expensive than the emulation process, but doesn't share its drawbacks.


Gunnery is not the one true skill for riggers. Its good, but Pilot is important. So are the various mechanic and armorer skills for keeping your drones in top shape. The knowledge skills it can take are used in designing mod plans, which can quite easily double your money when modding drones. (building with hardware is half off). Tutors are excellent because they get all of those categories as optional choices.

Pain editors are excellent, because they keep you from crashing when your stun track is filled, and also let you ignore dice pool penalties for stun - like if you're casually threading options for your complex forms, or creating ones you don't have from scratch. I'm not sure you've realized that condition monitor penalties apply on the matrix, including ones as your drones get injured - and it also eliminates dice pool penalties from built up hotsim rigging biofeedback, which tm's suffer from, because they don't tend to have a great charisma/biofeedback filter rating.

If you think that Command is the best, because you roll the most dice, you're not quite right - your table isn't enforcing the limitations of Control Device properly. Namely, action inefficiency: It doesn't matter if what you want to do is a free action, or a simple action, or a complex action - the action is upgraded in size to a complex action no matter what you were trying to do before. If you want to change ammo and shoot someone with command.... you have to wait for next turn.

Nice spot on the Hussar, though. That is fantastic bang for buck in terms of the stuff it comes with. Being milgrade equipment, starting with response 5 is nice too. If you can make the negotiation check for 32 availablity.
I'm sad that the people who wrote War clearly didn't bother to read Arsenal's modification section - it has more armor than allowed for its body, and no sign of the speed penalty.

The arachne is terrible. Terrible! It has a speed of Five. Dwarves can outrun it! Walking.
squee_nabob
I did misunderstand you. Aid study can be performed by any sprite equally well because it is only based on registered sprite rating. So really you should just have whatever your best sprite is aid you. And that is important because increasing CF is super hard. So I agree Aid Study is good, I just donít see why Tutor Sprites are better at than other sprites (or do you mean having them use instruction, where for every 6 dice they roll they add 1 die to your test on average).

Or are you talking about Proficiency and Iím not understanding you?

Pilot is average, because 12 Command +Handling is already enough dice to make most maneuvers. Gunnery is an opposed test, so you should try to be better at that (although my TM started with neither and got them through biowires).Repairs are important but so is the Fix spell and NPC mechanics.

I have realized condition modifier penalties apply on the matrix. I just donít jump in (so I donít take damage while hot-sim rigging), I donít let people cybercombat me (so I take Black IC once and then leave), and I tend to thread my CFís for hacking on an operating table with a mage nearby (also I try to take P damage when threading so I can get the heal spell used on me).

I play a Charisma Techno (since I wanted to be a hacker first and rigger second), but Iíve only got hit with black IC once, and that was because I wanted to see how bad the cybercombat rules were. I saw, then I left.

We do enforce the limits of control device, I take one action: Full Burst. Paste one person, then paste the next. Itís not about winning at combat, Itís about contributing while the Mages and Street Sams win at combat (at least in my group, there is no way Iím more effective than my mages or street sams and Iím a decent rigger).

tl;dr
I think we disagree that Cybercombat is dangerous, that Jumping in is good, and on adding Ware to TMs. We agree that Biowires and Tutor Sprites are not very good, and we agree Aid Study is important.
Crazy Ivan
Ok, this is going to come off as a noob question--

I like drones, but since so much is based off the sensor rating, and the sensor rating for most drones is at 3, we ideally want to boost said rating. But I can't actually understand HOW. Most vision enhancements only go to three, and the concept of Sensor 6 seems far away. How specifically do we raise it?
KCKitsune
QUOTE (Udoshi @ Aug 4 2011, 03:31 PM) *
What? No it doesn't. Adaptability is not an Program Option. Its a full blown autosoft.

1500 nuyen and a slot on the Processor Limit, chummer.

OK, I made a mistake, and I apologize for it.
Udoshi
Excellent. Your original post came off as really ignorant of the nuances of the system - but i can see that's not quite true.

Yeah, you are misunderstanding me. Biowires lets you learn Skillwares as complex forms, and lets you translate existing Active/Skillsofts, and then learn them through Emulation. Emulation has been heavily nerfed in that you cannot increase the rating of an Emulated CF at all - including threading. In return, its hella cheap on the karma.
Tutor sprites comes with Skillsofts. Which you can run on your biowires. The sprite teaches you its Skillsoft at the usual karma cost. Lets say: Activesoft for Gunnery. The key distinction is that machine sprite have AUTOsofts, and that tutor sprites have ACTIVEsofts, which is why you may be confused.
The major implication here is that you can thread up your Gunnery soft now. Because you didn't learn it through emulation, it doesn't have any of the associated penalties or advantages. It opens up the door to truly ridiculous shenanigans, in which a techno can roll program+program for tasks on the matrix, threading both halves of his dice pool up.


You're wrong about ware on a techno, though - you can get more bonus dice than penalties from 1 point of essence loss. Losing 1 point of resonance is only 1 dice off your complex forms. You can easily get back the dice you lost with ware. The problem is basically breaks the BP bank to do so, when you have to build a techno and pay for a bunch of ware. Its more something to work towards


What you're doing with your charisma-stream techno( i was WONDERING why info savants were on the top of your list) is more about extremely breaking the system than decent tricks or an explanation of mechanics. The only downside to healing and first aiding up threading damage is that it doesn't happen instantly
Fortunately, i can help with that too.
I would suggest taking some Tailored Pheromones to increase your charisma and help with soaking fading damage. They don't help with Magical abilities and tests - good thing the Resonance isn't!
If you haven't already learned a Software Creation Suite as a complex form, I suggest you do so. Recursive threading dice pools are an amazing thing.
Modular Man
QUOTE (Crazy Ivan @ Aug 4 2011, 11:14 PM) *
I like drones, but since so much is based off the sensor rating, and the sensor rating for most drones is at 3, we ideally want to boost said rating. But I can't actually understand HOW. Most vision enhancements only go to three, and the concept of Sensor 6 seems far away. How specifically do we raise it?

(Most) Sensors have a rating on their own, regardless of vision enhancements (in fact, those do nothing about the drones overall sensor rating at all).
Udoshi
QUOTE (Crazy Ivan @ Aug 4 2011, 03:14 PM) *
Ok, this is going to come off as a noob question--

I like drones, but since so much is based off the sensor rating, and the sensor rating for most drones is at 3, we ideally want to boost said rating. But I can't actually understand HOW. Most vision enhancements only go to three, and the concept of Sensor 6 seems far away. How specifically do we raise it?


QUOTE (Udoshi @ Aug 3 2011, 08:49 PM) *
7) A protip for sensors rating and rounding: Read the arsenal Errata, or grab yourself a second printing(has it included). It massively clears up the annoying issue of recalculating the confusing process of changing a vehicles sensor loadout. Also, for sensors that have a rating of less than 6(like ultrawideband radar), sensor rating is round up, not round half up(which everyone knows, and assumes is the default. An average sensor rating of 5.33 will still be rounded up to 6.


More specifically.
Look up vehicle size
Write down sensor package size.
Consult the arsenal table of standardized sensors to figure out what it already has. (105 or s0).
An easy rule of thumb is that the standardized sensors are at the Sensor rating of the vehicle, but isn't supported by the rules becuase the devs don't stat up sensor packages as part of the write up. Also known as the 'if I remove this stock sensor from the car, what rating is it if i want to put it in something else?'
Remove the sensor from the package. Test details are in arsenal, but its something measured in hours.
Buy a new sensor.
Install that sensor with the same test.
Do math on all sensors in the sensor package. MAKE SURE to use the anniversary edition details, as some things have changed between 4th and 4a, like Cameras now having a rating. (yes, the arsenal master tables lie to you, but some sensors were better off before. There's literally no reason an atmospheric sensor needs a rating, especially one capped at 3).
Take the average all Rated sensors.(only the Rating of the sensor matters, not any presence or lack of accessories and enhancements) Round up(not half up). Ignore all sensors without ratings for this purpose. Hit the equals sign on your calculator. Bada bing, bada boom, you have your new sensor rating. Unrated sensors also explicitly recieve an 'upgrade' of sorts if you improve the sensors in a package, for what its worth.

Example: Camera 6 + microphone 5 + Ultrawideband radar 4 = 18 / 3 sensors present = 5 = new sensor rating of 5.
Space consumed in package: 1 camera, 1 microphone, 2 ultrawideband radar. In a small drone sensor package, we would have 1 capacity left. And if we installed a rating 1 radio signal scanner in there, the new sensor value would be 4. (do the math!)

Does that help?
UmaroVI
QUOTE (Udoshi @ Aug 4 2011, 04:31 PM) *
The major implication here is that you can thread up your Gunnery soft now. Because you didn't learn it through emulation, it doesn't have any of the associated penalties or advantages. It opens up the door to truly ridiculous shenanigans, in which a techno can roll program+program for tasks on the matrix, threading both halves of his dice pool up.
[...]
What you're doing with your charisma-stream techno( i was WONDERING why info savants were on the top of your list) is more about extremely breaking the system than decent tricks or an explanation of mechanics. The only downside to healing and first aiding up threading damage is that it doesn't happen instantly

Nice cognitive dissonance you've got going there.

Yeah, it is very questionable that you can learn Activesofts from a tutor sprite like that, and then thread them up. Good luck getting that interpretation past a GM. If you allow it then yes Tutor Sprites are super awesome and technos win at pretty much everything forever.

Losing Resonance is almost always a bad idea for a technomancer. -1 resonance costs you -1 to your complex forms AND -2 to the maximum you can get them to - and it's not that hard to get them there, by using Assist Operation. It also costs you a die to resist fade, which is one of the major limiters on Technomancers.

Now we get into dice pool caps. If you don't use dice pool caps, a Logic stream techno can indeed get back more than they give up, but not by taking silly crap like Pain Editors (WTF?) or Tailored Pheremones*; they get it by taking Encephalon, PuSHeD, and Cerebral Boosters. If you use dice caps and cap it based on Logic+Skill, then Logic technos win at life and all other types of technos cry in a corner eating soy ice cream because they suck. If you do the more common thing of capping it at (unThreaded) Complex Form / Program + Skill then the hit to your resonance drops your dice pool cap by 2, which is not good, and it means that the logic stream techno cannot really get back more than they gave up.

*No, those don't add to fading. Software is not a social skill. TP adds to tests that use Charisma AND a Social skill, which Software is not.
Udoshi
QUOTE (UmaroVI @ Aug 4 2011, 02:42 PM) *
*No, those don't add to fading. Software is not a social skill. TP adds to tests that use Charisma AND a Social skill, which Software is not.


I was suggesting it for Squee's charisma stream techno, which DOES use Charisma for Fading. Cognitive dissonance insults, meet context insults.
Yes. Tailored pheromones add to Charisma and Social Skill tests. (the implication is that it helps attribute only tests as well as skill tests)
He soaks fading with Resonance + Charisma, making it a Charisma Test.
Because the resonance is not magic, the non-applying clause doesn't make it not work.
In this specific incidence (rules as written, charisma stream), it works. Its horribly abusive and begging for a gm to shoot it down, but it would fly in missions. Otherwise, you are completely correct, and I agree with you.

As for a technomancer and ware, it all depends on the stream. Control rigs are a +2 for vehicles. Cerebral boosters add 3 to drain. Pushed and a cyberhand with a nanohive can add 4 to all your hacking and computer related complex forms. I would say its easy to gain more than you lose, but it all depends on how the technomancer is set up. Even the good old cybereye is worthwhile. Trauma dampers help a lot with casual/option threading. Platelets give you some measure of safety when using Overthreading, and they combo nicely. When you look at it mechanically, its actually not that bad. all you have to think of is 'how do I get more than one dice back out of this?'. The problem is you have to cherrypick, because 2 points of loss really isn't worth it, and even with alpha, you can't fit everything.
UmaroVI
QUOTE (Udoshi @ Aug 4 2011, 06:21 PM) *
I was suggesting it for Squee's charisma stream techno, which DOES use Charisma for Fading. Cognitive dissonance insults, meet context insults.
Yes. Tailored pheromones add to Charisma and Social Skill tests. (the implication is that it helps attribute only tests as well as skill tests)
He soaks fading with Resonance + Charisma, making it a Charisma Test.
Because the resonance is not magic, the non-applying clause doesn't make it not work.
In this specific incidence (rules as written, charisma stream), it works. Its horribly abusive and begging for a gm to shoot it down, but it would fly in missions. Otherwise, you are completely correct, and I agree with you.

The way most people read TP is that it adds to tests that use Charisma and a social skill, not Charisma or a social skill.

If you think that shit will fly in missions, you must be off your rocker. I have never met a Missions GM who would let that fly and frankly I'd be embarrassed to try it.


QUOTE (Udoshi @ Aug 4 2011, 06:21 PM) *
As for a technomancer and ware, it all depends on the stream. Control rigs are a +2 for vehicles. Cerebral boosters add 3 to drain. Pushed and a cyberhand with a nanohive can add 4 to all your hacking and computer related complex forms. I would say its easy to gain more than you lose, but it all depends on how the technomancer is set up. Even the good old cybereye is worthwhile. Trauma dampers help a lot with casual/option threading. Platelets give you some measure of safety when using Overthreading, and they combo nicely. When you look at it mechanically, its actually not that bad. all you have to think of is 'how do I get more than one dice back out of this?'. The problem is you have to cherrypick, because 2 points of loss really isn't worth it, and even with alpha, you can't fit everything.


Control Rigs are, again, only while Jumped In which is really shaky. Nanohives are only while you aren't stressed, and you are probably stressed while doing a lot of this stuff. Cybereyes, what? Why would you take those as a Technomancer? PuSHed and Encephalon are 2 dice, but you're losing 2 dice and a fade resist, so you need PuSHeD+Encephalon+ something worth losing a Fade dice. For Log Technos, that's Cerebral Boosters, but for any other type of techno I don't see it. And things start getting iffy if this lowers your dice pool cap, too.
Mardrax
QUOTE (UmaroVI @ Aug 5 2011, 12:33 AM) *
Nanohives are only while you aren't stressed, and you are probably stressed while doing a lot of this stuff.

Charisma stream technos shouldn't be bothered by this too much, what with Composure being half Cha, and dumpstatting Willpower is just asking for it.
Running 3 Composure hits past a GM as an "I have no problem whatsoever channeling this stress into performing optimaly" shouldn't be too much of an issue.
UmaroVI
If it was supposed to be a Composure test, it would probably mention that somewhere in the description. If there's 2 ways to interpret something, and one of them is laughably broken, most GMs will go with the other one.
Mardrax
QUOTE (UmaroVI @ Aug 5 2011, 03:15 AM) *
If it was supposed to be a Composure test, it would probably mention that somewhere in the description. If there's 2 ways to interpret something, and one of them is laughably broken, most GMs will go with the other one.

*shrug* It gives Cha stream technos a bit of a boost, that Log based technos already have, since Log is easily able to be wared up. Where is this breakage you speak of? (Disregarding the question of any technomancer needing a boost at all) Plus, but that's an IMHO, anything to make Cha less of a relative dumpstat for non-faces.
And really, Composure is about composing yourself, keeping cool, and staying normally functioning under duress. It makes nothing but sense to me.

I'll admit though, firmly houseruling.
But tossing Composure at things to mitigate penalties due to stressfull situations is a houserule I use often. To satisfaction.
HunterHerne
QUOTE (Mardrax @ Aug 4 2011, 10:33 PM) *
*shrug* It gives Cha stream technos a bit of a boost, that Log based technos already have, since Log is easily able to be wared up. Where is this breakage you speak of? (Disregarding the question of any technomancer needing a boost at all) Plus, but that's an IMHO, anything to make Cha less of a relative dumpstat for non-faces.
And really, Composure is about composing yourself, keeping cool, and staying normally functioning under duress. It makes nothing but sense to me.


I might disagree with the Tailored Pheromones (but I do agree the other mental stats should have boosters like logic has), as it should only affect meat world rolls, however, I agree with the Composure test argument. But, then, I ask for a lot of composure rolls from players, when ettiquette doesn't quite fit.
UmaroVI
Stupid as much of the matrix is, balance between characters is actually better than any other part of SR4A

Charisma technos are already great, because elves get +2 charisma and nobody gets +logic. Fade resistance is the big power limiter for drain.

Intuition technos for rigging over hacking, Charisma for the opposite, Logic for hacking over rigging but with more flexibility (they'll be less good at the things a cha techno has forms for, but better at everything else).

Of course, this is with CF+skill setting caps. No caps means logic is better at hacking than Charisma by a bit, but at least Charisma gives you facing skills. Logic+skill setting caps makes Logic far, far better than anything else and makes everyone else suck.

Willpower technos unfortunately just blow no matter what. They are the ones who could really use a bone.

Technos vs. Hackers is actually pretty balanced too. Hackers can do stuff besides the matrix; technos are better at the matrix.
Cain
Going back to the original topic (mainly because I have little to add on otaku) people have glossed over autosofts but not really hit on them. Autosofts are incredibly powerful and relatively cheap, they're practically free dice. Clearsight in particular is just insane, a huge benefit for any drone. I don't recall if this is a house invention or a canon one, but I have the equivalent of a Stealth autosoft available to drones, so they can hide from normal detection methods.

And never underestimate what a drone can do. I've seen a mini-blimp stealth drone spend a few actions aiming with a sniper rifle, the end result was messy.
KarmaInferno
Plus Profession autosofts are a LOT cheaper than skillwires even if they only go up to 4.

Even in autonomous mode, a drone with upgraded Pilot and perhaps Fuzzy Logic and Adaptability can be throwing a lot of dice at Technical and Knowledge skills.

Means less BP and karma the rigger needs to spend on skills. smile.gif





-k
squee_nabob
This is long and directed towards Udoshi, so I figured I would spoiler it to not take up page space
[ Spoiler ]

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