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RHat
This has been spinning around in my head since someone in one thread said something about "any teenager with a deck". Basically, the question of the day is how common deckers would actually be. A few assumptions and givens:

Assumption: The majority of the criminal element would fall under the street level runner rules if you had to build them with PC rules, notably outstripping the regular and prime runner class characters by a long shot.
Assumption: It is possible to get a pretty decent defense together with just a commlink, as defending yourself likely requires neither Sleaze nor Attack.
Assumption: It takes more than just a decent deck to actually be a decker worth worrying about.

Given: The cheapest deck is about 50k, and its highest attribute is 4.
Given: At the street level, even using bonus chargen Karma, only Resources Priorities of A or B can be used to buy a deck (C is only 25k, and you're only permitted 10k from chargen Karma). This means that a street decker would spend all of their priority B cash, or 66% of their priority A cash, on the WORST deck.
Given: Being a decker requires both attributes and skills focused around decking, suggesting the Assumption: A Street Decker is unlikely to be able to afford to be much else other than a decker.

Doesn't it seem that the number of people who could actually be a credible Matrix threat would be a good deal lower in the new wireless Matrix than the old wireless Matrix? Isn't the barrier of entry quite a lot higher? Wouldn't this impact any security analysis and prep? In the final analysis, even though the odd individual might be able to do more, isn't the overall threat LOWER?
apple
CorpSec would not be afraid about the teenager decker - after all they are slaughtered by GOD and as you have correctly written down, a teenager decker is no real threat. The threat are CorpSec / intelligence service / blackops espionage deckers with enough money or sponsored computer power to have the x hundred thousend nuyen for a professional cyberdeck (that and TMs of course).

Of course you can debate if incredible expensive cyberdecks is a good thing for the setting. It was the same dilemma in SR3, where you had to be a very rich man before you could become a street punk hacking his school records.
SYL
RHat
Resources is accumulated whatever, though, not "I've had this much cash to spend" - bit of a difference.

But my point is more that the guys who would be a threat would be rare as hell.
Moirdryd
Let's face it, the Old Deckers were not all That numerous in the 50's and 60's. But there were a lot of wannabes.
Shinxy
Not only that, but cyberdecks are explicitly illegal devices. There's no legitimate purpose for them (unless you work for GOD). Joe script kiddie can't just pick up an off-the-shelf commlink and load a stealth and exploit program anymore. I assume most shadowrunners would have to build theirs themselves. Should greatly cut down on the number of people who can cut the mustard.
apple
QUOTE (RHat @ Jun 30 2013, 08:02 PM) *
Resources is accumulated whatever, though, not "I've had this much cash to spend" - bit of a difference.


The source does not really matter. A *starter/beginner* noob-decker needs hardware and software power with an equivalent of a six figure nuyen amount. He may have received, stolen, bargained, found, scammed, extorted, stole whatever the money, but the fact remains that you need to be a rich man first before you can even hack something.

First the Rolls Royce, then the street kid can hack the toy shop. To be honest, its quite anti-cyberpunk and not really a good game design to make such basic starting tools so expensive.

Whats the maximum deck rating / software a starting character can have with the priority system? 5? 6?

How much is software btw? Can it be cracked and copied as in SR4?
Moirdryd
A good analogy would be Street Racers/Boy Racers or even modern computer game dedicated enthusiasts. There's lots of money dedicated by those individuals into their chosen "field" and many of them have fairly regular incomes. It's only as likely as all the other Cyberware and kit out there, but then that used to be in the 20 questions.
apple
Yes, but usually you can start way below 50-100k .

I suppose to discuss further we need to know the software prices (and if they can be cracaked/copied). If they really went back to SR3, then you have to pay the same amount of money for the software as you had to pay for your deck (if not more).

SYL
LurkerOutThere
Software is actually pretty cheap now, but it has no rating and a fixed function, hope that helps.
RHat
QUOTE (apple @ Jun 30 2013, 06:21 PM) *
The source does not really matter. A *starter/beginner* noob-decker needs hardware and software power with an equivalent of a six figure nuyen amount. He may have received, stolen, bargained, found, scammed, extorted, stole whatever the money, but the fact remains that you need to be a rich man first before you can even hack something


Or you take hardware/software skills and use the explanation that you built it, which really seems like the most likely thing anyways.
DWC
QUOTE (RHat @ Jun 30 2013, 08:49 PM) *
Or you take hardware/software skills and use the explanation that you built it, which really seems like the most likely thing anyways.


Reminds me of th good old days of VR2.0, and the rules for making your own software and building your own deck that meant it was cheaper to buy a chunk of pre-paid lifestyle to build it yourself rather than buy your deck and programs with character creation resources.
apple
QUOTE (RHat @ Jun 30 2013, 08:49 PM) *
Or you take hardware/software skills and use the explanation that you built it, which really seems like the most likely thing anyways.


That is as viable as "I build my own Rolls Royce". You still need the raw materials, tools etc.

And no, I really dont want to have VR 2.0 come back with "Well, the game starts and the decker is off for one year to code his own programms and to cook up his own deck". Horrible times.

SYL
RHat
QUOTE (apple @ Jun 30 2013, 07:13 PM) *
That is as viable as "I build my own Rolls Royce". You still need the raw materials, tools etc.


I believe one of the fictions seen in the previews has a character whose deck is put together from something like 5 commlinks? Not quite like getting all the parts for a Rolls, nor is a Facility gonna be needed for putting it together (and this could easily be the sort of thing where the "insufficient tools" penalty is an option).
Tzeentch
Given the way SR tech works, I imagine that it's not outside the realm of reason that you could somehow frankenstein multiple cheap commlinks together to create a workable cyberdeck. Perhaps using some open-source/shadow-source "glue" to operate them as a cluster. The way it worked in SR1-3 was a bit counter-intuitive as, as has been noted, you had to already be a rich mofo to even get the basics - and you often had to pay a LOT for maintenance because of the SOTA rules.
apple
Honestly, if you can take 5 cheap commlinks for some hundred bucks and make a 50 000+ commlink, then something is wrong. Either in the world or in the rule system. It would be like turning shit into gold.

...

I mean it would be wonderful. The first thing my SR5 mage gets is a high loyalty decker who just builds cyberdecks from commlinks and sell them and give the money to the mage. Bam, instant Fortune 500, and some years later my mage will buy the matrix. It would be the physical Orichalkium trick. wink.gif

SYL
Critias
QUOTE (RHat @ Jun 30 2013, 08:17 PM) *
I believe one of the fictions seen in the previews has a character whose deck is put together from something like 5 commlinks? Not quite like getting all the parts for a Rolls, nor is a Facility gonna be needed for putting it together (and this could easily be the sort of thing where the "insufficient tools" penalty is an option).

FWIW, that was an aesthetic call made to match some artwork, to allude to Gentry's skills at tinkering with stuff, to encourage folks to think outside the box in describing their hardware (in addition to Gentry's messenger bag model, there's a beltpack/fannypack type, mentioned in the Matrix chapter), and to show that the New Matrix is new, so lots of folks are running with cobbled-together stuff built around a legit base model, pirating hardware to try and stay a step ahead of GOD, and that sort of thing (and to give us room to grow in later pieces, once more customization rules and stuff like that come out). It's all off-screen stuff, though. You can't actually just buy five commlinks and tell your GM to stat it up like the $200k+ rig Gentry's using.
apple
So why back to the "I need to be a rich man first before I can become a schoolpunk later who is hacking into the school system to manipulate his grades"?

SYL
RHat
I believe the whole point there was "high Resources does not mean you ever had a bunch of money".
Critias
QUOTE (apple @ Jul 1 2013, 02:20 AM) *
So why back to the "I need to be a rich man first before I can become a schoolpunk later who is hacking into the school system to manipulate his grades"?

SYL

The design principle, as laid out in arguments (and I try to be good and not say which side of most of these arguments I was, personally, on), was that it was important to make deckers deckers again, as a core character type that required a meaningful investment of attributes, skills, and money in order to contribute meaningfully to the team as a whole. If it took X nuyen and Y skill points to be a valid Street Samurai, and if it took Z priority and Y skill points to be a good Magician, or what-have-you, the idea was to have it require a similarly ballpark/meaningful investment to be good at hacking.

No more Mungo just tossing down a couple thousand nuyen, buying a skill to about 3, taking on a specialization (and then doing all of a team's Matrix lifting and rigging all at once, from a cool phone). The idea was to make meaningful character design decisions that had meaningful outcomes, and required meaningful choices.
apple
That is what I cannot quite understand.

A Hacker in SR4 was (at most) a good drone commander - for jumping in into the drones he would still need all the other piloting skills, gunnery etc. For Hacking he needs the electronics group and the cracking group (starting at 4, thats 80 BP, raising both to 6 is 110 Karma). If you add normal ware (not even alpha or beta etc) and use all, you would loose a lot of essence and nuyen for all the cyberware, genetweaks, nanosystems and bioware to boost your hacking abilities, in the region of a higher 6 figure number (as base price, considering alpha/beta ware it would perhaps go into the millions.

Why is that not considered and investment deep enough?

I mean yes, you could find a middle ground (as in previous editions) between, for example, combat skills and decking. But if you really wanted to push the limit for being a hacker I always had the feeling that this was a big investment, both in BP, Karma and nuyen. Why does that differ so much from the authors opinion?

I mean, just a quick look at the possible ware in SR4:

Cerebral Booster 30k
Simsense Booster 65k
Nano hive 10k
Nano neo cortical nanites 15
Encephalon 2 75k
Trauma damper 40k
Sleep regulator / mnemonic enhancer 23k (not specialised ware for the hacker, but still helping with side areas of being a computer wizard)
Pushed 15k
Synch 30k
Math SPU 4k
Reception enhancer 60k
--------------------------------------
367k basic mods (and from there you could go much higher, depending on your essence, grades etc)

You can add another 6 figure for tricked out link rating 6 with rating 6 software (common, hacking, sensor, know/datasofts, agents). And if you want to start rigging, you have to invest Karma in piloting skills and nuyen in drones and additional cyberware (like the control rig or the rig booster)

QUOTE
Mungo just tossing down a couple thousand nuyen, buying a skill to about 3, taking on a specialization


With that kind of investment, someone who gets pistol 3, a Pred and a smartlink is considered a hardcore streetsam too? I mean yes, you could invest 1000 and get a link rating 2 with rating 2 software, invest 20 Karma and get 1-2 basic skills. But that would barely enable you to hack the door in a low level appartment, and it would kill you if you try to sneak into any system considered of interest for a run (corp facilities, R/D buildings, secured networks etc).?

What is considered "an investment"?

80 BP out of 400BP? Half a million basic cyberware/bioware (with grades it would be somewhere near a seven number figure)? The investment of 15-20 runs or more for the increase of central skills? That is not considered an investment, because on the other side of the extreme someone could buy a link for a thousand and get killed while he tries to hack a maglock rating 1?

SYL
Moirdryd
For everyone going down the "rich kid costs" route. Pause for a moment...

As has been said "Resources" doesn't always (or even often) mean you've gone out and spent that cash, that's why starting Money used to be 10% of what was leftover from chargen (don't know if it still is).

In the old Twenty Questions you used to have to put some thought into Where and How your character got kit that is "worth" hundreds of thousands of nuyen if you went out and bought it. You also have to give reason Why they are a Shadowrunner instead of working for a Corp wage slave style etc.

Now to bring that point into further relief look at the numbers for Shadowrunners and Shadow community in the Shadow Population thread. The consensus from multiple approache puts the number if Active "full time" Runners in Seattle at probabley less than 500. How that breaks down is up to you but assuming teams of 5 (standard game size it seems, or there abouts) with a basic spread of archetypes that's 100 Shadowrunner Deckers in Seattle Metrople and some of them will really be Technomancers. Shadow Community wide? You're probabley double that number and adding in so that's an extra 200 Deckers in the shadows of Seattle. So even at 300 Deckers in Seattle (using the 2060 figures) that's 0.01% of the population of the Sprawl are decking in the shadows without being Megacorp payrolled.

A lot of the names for kit in Shadowrun are functionally nice ways of saying (Gear) Type 1, (Gear) Type 2 and so forth and continue the setting concept of Corporate Branding as (as once mentioned in Cannon Companion fir the guns) there will be dozens of variations that are functionally the same model. So just because you paid for a MCT-Avatar on your character sheet it could be an Aztech Red Couatl or your custom home & hand made 'Trix Raider (just like your Ares Predator doesn't actually have to be an Ares Predator). We do often stick with the names because it makes it easy to find in the books and keeps things identified between game and fluff.
Critias
Apple, please be aware that you're not actually arguing with anyone right now (or, at the very least, certainly not with me).
apple
QUOTE (Moirdryd @ Jul 1 2013, 04:03 AM) *
For everyone going down the "rich kid costs" route. Pause for a moment...


As it was said before: it does not matter if you have received the money, spend it, stole it, build it, received it from your grandfather etc: you still have at a bare minimum the equivalent of an upper class car in your hands, not considering the software costs. You, regardless on how you get the deck, are a rich man.

SYL
RHat
Which is different than a street sam having the same resources tied up in augmentation... How?
apple
You can start killing people with the next holdout for 200. You would simply suck at it.

You cannot even start to deck into the most basic security system without the cheapest deck, or?

SYL
Moirdryd
Oh, indeed apple. But so is the Street Samurai and the Mage (heck most mages can still sign their own pay check if they go corp because of their rarity). Most Shadowrunners out the bag are "rich" men, which to me has always been the reason the Twenty Questions are important, because otherwise why not spring for max resources and start with a Real SIN and a permanent lifestyle?

Well there's obviously no game if you do.

I actually had a player (he's still one if my best friends) do this in one of his first SR outings. He bought a bar and a really good fake SIN and set out to play a "retired" weapons specialist (he was being a bit of a difficult ass). So to keep him in the game the bar was a regular meet for the Team's fixer etc. A "meet" went south three sessions in (we played 6-10 hr sessions then). The bar got shot to hell plus crime scene etc. My friend wasn't fussed, he understood the style of setting and these things happen. He put in fir his insurance to rebuild. His Fake SIN bounced and also flagged his Real SIN. He was running the shadows pretty quick after that.

There has to be the lie for a suspension of disbelief even in the chargen for the game to happen because I certainly don't want to above to happen again. (I was lucky on that SIN roll).
Moirdryd
QUOTE (apple @ Jul 1 2013, 10:20 AM) *
You can start killing people with the next holdout for 200. You would simply suck at it.

You cannot even start to deck into the most basic security system without the cheapest deck, or?

SYL


"Lives are cheap only Battlemechs Cyberdecks are expensive" spin.gif
RHat
QUOTE (apple @ Jul 1 2013, 02:20 AM) *
You can start killing people with the next holdout for 200. You would simply suck at it.

You cannot even start to deck into the most basic security system without the cheapest deck, or?

SYL


Clearly the first thing you have to do in learning to deck is to learn to put a deck together. If the skills needed to do that are considered to be part of the whole set...
cndblank
I guess you can go with the old tech smart street kid finds a decker who has managed to get's his brain melted.
Kid grabs the deck, cleans of the cooked brain, and starts out using scripts.
He pulls nickle and dime jobs until he can really learn how to hack.

Add in the obsolete decks that you know are going to be out there soon...
cndblank
QUOTE (Critias @ Jul 1 2013, 02:28 AM) *
The design principle, as laid out in arguments (and I try to be good and not say which side of most of these arguments I was, personally, on), was that it was important to make deckers deckers again, as a core character type that required a meaningful investment of attributes, skills, and money in order to contribute meaningfully to the team as a whole. If it took X nuyen and Y skill points to be a valid Street Samurai, and if it took Z priority and Y skill points to be a good Magician, or what-have-you, the idea was to have it require a similarly ballpark/meaningful investment to be good at hacking.

No more Mungo just tossing down a couple thousand nuyen, buying a skill to about 3, taking on a specialization (and then doing all of a team's Matrix lifting and rigging all at once, from a cool phone). The idea was to make meaningful character design decisions that had meaningful outcomes, and required meaningful choices.



That makes sense.

Seems a little high of an investment for my tastes, but we are talking the Pros here
I'd guess you wouldn't need near that investment if you were building it yourself and all you want to do is hack a soda machine or turn a traffic light green.
apple
QUOTE (RHat @ Jul 1 2013, 05:36 AM) *
Clearly the first thing you have to do in learning to deck is to learn to put a deck together. If the skills needed to do that are considered to be part of the whole set...


It will still require the investment of something 50-800k in value (regardless what it is, you cannot simply build a cyberdeck from 5 cheap commlinks, as it was already explained by Critias).

Even if you could build it from scratch: raw materials, tools etc.

SYL
Sendaz
QUOTE (apple @ Jul 1 2013, 06:18 AM) *
(regardless what it is, you cannot simply build a cyberdeck from 5 cheap commlinks, as it was already explained by Critias).

SYL

And that pretty much sinks my idea of a 5 man shadowrunner team whose special commlinks combine to form Captain HackDaPlanet. frown.gif
Serbitar
QUOTE (RHat @ Jul 1 2013, 03:49 AM) *
Or you take hardware/software skills and use the explanation that you built it, which really seems like the most likely thing anyways.


If thats the case, then the decker should stop decking and start selling his cyberdecks and become rich.
DWC
QUOTE (Serbitar @ Jul 1 2013, 08:10 AM) *
If thats the case, then the decker should stop decking and start selling his cyberdecks and become rich.


If he does that, he becomes a Contact. Editions before 4th even had the Deckmeister sample contact, who was quite literally a guy who built, repaired, and modified cyberdecks.
Sendaz
QUOTE (DWC @ Jul 1 2013, 08:13 AM) *
If he does that, he becomes a Contact. Editions before 4th even had the Deckmeister sample contact, who was quite literally a guy who built, repaired, and modified cyberdecks.

Whether they start with the skills to make their own deck or not, eventually a decker will pick up some skills over time as he will not settle for off the rack models for long and will want to customize/tweak the unit to best suit their needs as well as designing own programs even if they might not be the all might can opener of programs.
Serbitar
QUOTE (Moirdryd @ Jul 1 2013, 11:28 AM) *
Oh, indeed apple. But so is the Street Samurai and the Mage (heck most mages can still sign their own pay check if they go corp because of their rarity). Most Shadowrunners out the bag are "rich" men, which to me has always been the reason the Twenty Questions are important, because otherwise why not spring for max resources and start with a Real SIN and a permanent lifestyle?


Thats why SR4 brought down the cost of everything.

Its called realism, or immersion, or simulationism.

If the standard runner could retire when selling everything he had, running becomes implausible.
Keep in mind that the "re-sell" value of implanted ware is dreastically lower than the re-sell value of everything else. Thats why Sams can have a little more worth of ware implaneted and still be believable.

Mages on the other hand need a reason why they do not just live an easy life as a well paid employee, because of their very usefull and rare skillset.
Serbitar
QUOTE (DWC @ Jul 1 2013, 02:13 PM) *
If he does that, he becomes a Contact. Editions before 4th even had the Deckmeister sample contact, who was quite literally a guy who built, repaired, and modified cyberdecks.


Dont answer with game mechanics. Answer with real life answers. My argument is no GAMIST argument but a SIMULATIONSISTS argument.

Nobody in the real world says: Well I cant do that, because I would become a Contact if I did, but I want to stay a PC, so I dont.

FACT is: If Runners need ware that its worth so much money, that they could retire with it, they need a very good reason not to sell their gear and retire.
Annd this reason can not be some obscure thing for the average runner (these obscure reasons only work for a fraction of runners). For the others the simple answer is: If you want a consistent universe with Shadowrunning, dont make prequisites for shadowrunning too expensive or it is getting unrealistic.
DWC
There's a limited market? Selling highly illegal prototype technology is going to bring heat down on him even faster than being a decker if one of his customers gets bagged and flips? The people who got into the market first will kill him to keep him out of it? There's more potential reward in being a decker than in building decks? There's more excitement in being a decker than in building decks? He lacks the patience to be a craftsman? He lacks the business sense to properly commcialize his manufacturing process?

Serbitar
First 2-3 reasons are OK and work till a certain point.
The others dont.

Remember: We are talking about somebody who has the alternative: Sell decks and become rich, facing some moderate charges/threats, or run in the shadows and dont become rich and face severe charges and threat levels.

You can handwave a litte, but not everything.
DWC
You build a name for yourself building cyberdecks and GOD will eventually either send people to kill you, or drag you off somewhere to interrogate you as part of their hunt for an infamous decker. It might take longer to get on their RADAR since you're not out making noise yourself, but as your customers get caught, the trail will lead back to you.

And who says you're going to get rich? We don't know what it costs to build a cyberdeck, or how long it takes. I tend to think that the ones building them don't have the mix of ego and recklessness that it takes to go be deckers.
Nath
I sometimes think Shadowrun should abandon its long struggle to use price for game balance. If I was to design the game system from scratch without having to deal with legacy and players' expectations, I would probably have hacker/decker invest karma to "synchronize their brain" with a new cyberdeck, and street sam to "adjust" to their new body augmentation performances, just like awakened characters pay karma to bound focus. Price could thus be set at whatever makes sense fluff-wise, without having to try to keep PC power level under control at the same time.

Not that it helps in the current discussion, I know.
Moirdryd
The question being raised sounds all kinds of sensible and valid until you look at real life models too.
Why would anyone want to join the military for example? A PBI's pay isn't great and you get shot at.
Why do organised crime bosses keep going instead of retiring since they are often very wealthy people and staying in their line if work can be hazardous?
There are other professional criminal types out there who just keep doing it too, look at some of the numbers of money they've manage to steal away.
Why would anyone want to work for the CIA, MI6, Mossad? Risk vs reward in all those cases seems low and look at the undercover gang and drugs work the police forces do?

There are always reasons that Shadowrunners are Shadowrunners and there are reasons that the number of Runners in a given location are very small. Again I point out the Seattle example. Less than 500 runners in a sprawl where it's estimated Ghouls, Vampires, other Hmhvv victims, naga, Sasquatch and so forth number 30,000. Yes perhaps it's more than a little gamist vs simulationist (and I like my game worlds to lean towards simulation) but at some point every RPG does that because it is a game. Without that initial shared conceit the game will never work (unless it's phoenix command).

If you don't like a "cost" system there are plenty of games out there that doesn't use them. Things like Scion, Agone, multiple Super Hero genre games, Black Crusade, Feng Shui. The reason for this is because the style of game they are written to represent doesn't typically having the characters wanting to Buy anything. Ever. Its about expanding personable abilities, finding things, using your fame and influence to acquire certain items. It's also a style of game where you're not typically paid for your services in a conventional sense either.

Now to broaden some horizons within the Sixth World. It's entirely possible to acquire such gear from within a Corp or from one in payment for a run (the assumption being that SR starting characters are competent enough to run the shadows and will have some experience in their chosen "profession". That's how SR5 reads as presented in chargen preview and SR3 was much the same). In one of the books (MJLBB I think, but could be Corp Shadowfiles or Security) it discuses the Gear instead on Nuyen payment scale. It advises the Johnson that you can offer up to 20%-50%more on Gear Value (assuming the department has access) than the offered Nuyen sum. Why? Because it only costs the Corp something like 20% of the Listed Price (again this is SR2-3) to make that gear, that's a net saving of 60%-30% on the transaction value to the Corp. (Street index was used for illegal/black market baselines).

A lot of Shadow-names out there (non magic) used to have a tendency to have been in bed with a Corp at one point or another. Or even run that paid 50k a head to a four man team goes south, job gets done, only one survivor. Well that's 200,000 nuyen or a renegotiated payment on one 350k Cyberdeck. There are many ways it can make sense, but push it too hard and then it breaks down. At that point why are you playing?
Mx
My biggest problem with introduction of super expensive decks is that ware got all of a sudden much more expensive(from the few example i have seen* it got infact so much more expensive that priority A recources is actually worth less then the chargen max in SR4) when up until now ware prices have been steadily going down as time moves on(well atleast the grade modifiers when down quite nicely)

*for example muscle toner quadrupled in price and most likely so did the augmentation.
Moirdryd
Well, there's the beauty for those of us coming from SR3. Everything just got cheaper wink.gif
apple
QUOTE (Moirdryd @ Jul 1 2013, 05:28 AM) *
Oh, indeed apple. But so is the Street Samurai and the Mage


I am not quite sure if you understand what I mean.

You can indeed use the argument (worked his way up, stole it piece by piece etc) for the mage or der samurai, because there is (at least in SR4, but that seems to have changed, because ware was to cheap for Bull ("idiotic prices") cheap cyberware and you can cast spell or use a 200 holdout pistol, smartlink, combat drucks and an amored jacked even if you are broke and start with 5000 Nuyen. But you cannot start on "street level" as a decker in SR5. You could be a street level hacker in SR4 (with a rating 1-3 link and 1-3 software) and you probably could hack rating 1-2 systems. But in SR5? Your minimum invest ist 50k .

Given the nature of the shift (2074 matrix vs 2075 matrix, Stormfront, new gear etc) almost all are prototypes, miniseries etc. High level military grade items, usually used by GOD or black ops intelligence service decker spying on other corps. Below that level there is NO street level decker. Its like using a tricked out Ares Alpha with APDS ammunition and a tricked out heavy military armor to set the bar for the street samurai (cheapest weapon 20k, cheapest armor 25k, cheapest ammunition 5k. Even the lowest of the lowest deckers/hackers will be using prototype status, highly restricted hardware (after all there is no legal reason for anyone to possess a cyberdeck, only if you want to break into GOD-secured Securitysystems, right?).

You can of course use the usual high powered explanation as in SR3 with the 1mio ressources. Ex-Black Ops, fleed from the old unit etc. It would be a normal / good background story and believable, no problems with that. You just cant have the background story "I was a punk kid and used my first Hidatchi to hack my school grades so that I would get the 1st price and some money to buy me an upgrade".

SYL
Tzeentch
QUOTE (Critias @ Jul 1 2013, 09:10 AM) *
It's all off-screen stuff, though. You can't actually just buy five commlinks and tell your GM to stat it up like the $200k+ rig Gentry's using.

Huh. Well, you know they tried this schema for three editions of the game, and using cost for the deckers niche protection was pretty much an overcomplicated mess every time. Even Unwired is hardly a model of simplicity, so I hope it works out this time.
cndblank
QUOTE (DWC @ Jul 1 2013, 07:08 AM) *
You build a name for yourself building cyberdecks and GOD will eventually either send people to kill you, or drag you off somewhere to interrogate you as part of their hunt for an infamous decker. It might take longer to get on their RADAR since you're not out making noise yourself, but as your customers get caught, the trail will lead back to you.

And who says you're going to get rich? We don't know what it costs to build a cyberdeck, or how long it takes. I tend to think that the ones building them don't have the mix of ego and recklessness that it takes to go be deckers.


I can really agree about limiting your couple of thousand nuyen script kiddies, but I'm not sure that making the decks so expensive is the way to go.

I mean in Shadowrun it is having the latest technology that is expensive not the manufacturing process. Especially with 3d printers and nanoforges.
If anyone with the cred and the knowledge can make a deck, then decks should eventually be mass producible which would drop the price.
Either there are expensive off the shelf components that have to be used to create the deck (which means the corps could shutdown deck production by limiting access to these components) or some one is able to produce these components in a backroom some where. Which means eventually they will be able to mass produce them.

You could image what would happen when some Epic class Deck designer gets a hold of a nanoforge and mass produces them.
Ship them all over the world in lots of twenty.
Send a free sample deck to a local fixer in each area. Just give him a blind account to send the money and let him handle the arrangements.
Have the fixer sell the decks that he can. Have him lease the rest out for a share of the profits.
If they don't pay then send a self destruct code.

Before GOD knows what is happening there are a thousand decks hitting the market.
Yeah their effective rating will drop like a stone and they might be limited in other ways, but boy think of the cred (and the havoc) they would create while they lasted.
And GOD can track down all the decker they want. They don't know where the decks are coming from.
By the time GOD figure it out, our designer has laundered his cred and is on to the next project.

I guess you could say that the decks are actually make up of a huge board of fifty plus processing chips using parallel processing to get mainframe grade processing power.
The processing chips are used in every thing but run about 1 to 2K each (Car autopilots, Matrix fiberoptic controls, TVID screens, cleaning drones, and so on).

It will be interesting to see how they spin this in the SR5 version of Wireless.
Smirnov
QUOTE (Critias @ Jul 1 2013, 12:28 PM) *
No more Mungo just tossing down a couple thousand nuyen, buying a skill to about 3, taking on a specialization (and then doing all of a team's Matrix lifting and rigging all at once, from a cool phone). The idea was to make meaningful character design decisions that had meaningful outcomes, and required meaningful choices.

May i ask why? If that's not top secret, of course.
The idea that any character could take up hacking as a side job played to the situation that dedicated hacker wasn't needed in combat - so group's street sam was also part-time hacker. Or groups infiltrator was hacking all those locks and alarms himself. Making deckers a separate archetype required providing a decker solution to more situations, namely combat, which led to creation of additional rules (like wireless bonuses). There's a guy with a blade standing right by me, he says he's name is Okkam and he needs a few words with those who thought this up...
I know that that's how it is and going to be, but I'm dying to know why it is so
GiraffeShaman
Forgive the me if this is a stupid question, as I don't have the SR5 rules yet. But isn't it possible that there are cheap decks with terrible stats that exist, they just aren't on that list? Kind of like the free cyberdeck you get on the Genesis SR video game.

There's also the possibility of a shared cyberdeck situation in your background. Your old cyberdeck was owned by some organization, such as a corp or a mafia. Or say you were part of the Reality Hackers gang and ten of you used the same deck to perform data thefts.

I'm just reading the old Gibson Sprawl Trilogy for the first time, and in it the veteran deckers often set up promising newbie deckers with hardware. The reason they do this is for a big cut of their theft profits. This way the veteran decker doesn't have to risk his brain and flatlining from black ICE.
BunnyColvin
Not sure why St Sams are so upset about the new Deckers. I mean they are potential goldmines. They are carrying an item worth 300-500k and have no combat skills.

I'll take some temporarily bricked cyber for a payday like that.

(As a GM, this more than anything will keep the enemy deckers to a minimum)
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