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silva
We are starting a 5th edition game and my friend wants to make a Sam Fisher/Solid Snake -like covert ops specialist. But then we dont know if we should get a cyberdeck or not. Even a low-end model seems helpful for this sort of specialist, but we noticed the official archetype doesnt have one.

So what do you guys think ? Is the "Nightbird pack" enough (from Run Faster, basically: Chameleon suit, Sequencer, Autopicker and Maglock passkey) or a cyberdeck makes sense for this role too ?


P.S: by the way, shouldnt the Chameleon suit have a steeper avaiability ? My group finds it a little overpowered and we are sonsidering make it unavaiable at the beginning (availability > 12).

Thanks.
SpellBinder
If you want to make the most out of a Chameleon Suit (more than just +2 to your Limit when making Sneaking tests), then a cyberdeck isn't going to be just a good idea, but one of those absolute must-haves that you'd be foolish to ignore. You're going to want to have a good cyberdeck to have a good Sleaze attribute and running a Stealth program or you're worth your weight in excrement in the way of covert ops. That's assuming you don't trust your team hacker to cover your digital backside in the opposed Intuition + Computer [Data Processing] vs. Logic + Sleaze test to hide the icons of all of your wireless equipment while you're trying to be sneaky.

Otherwise, if you're trying to be sneaky and you've got your chameleon suit's wireless on to get that extra +2 dice to your pool, your suit's icon is as good as as a lighthouse at night in telling everyone within 100m where you are.

And overpowered? Honestly I feel the Chameleon Suit got hit with the nerf bat compared to what it did in SR4 (no wireless necessary, and opposed Perception tests to spot you are at -4 dice).
silva
Thanks. Do you think a low-end deck configured with its best asdf number to Sleaze is enough ? Say, a cheap Summit 4331 with its 4 on Sleaze plus a Stealth program for a +1 on sleaze (or an Exploit for +2 on hack on the fly). Remember the focus is on quick-hacking cameras and other security devices wirelessly on-site, and not fully hacking hosts in VR. *EDIT* Oh, and we are facing only small opposition for now, like low-end companies, local mafia establiishments, etc. I think this is an important thing to consider.

About the chameleon suit, it does impose a penalty on detection tests, right ? At least its how my group plays. Sounds fair, as the user stays effectively invisible, right ?
SpellBinder
If the opponents have commlinks with a really low Data Processing attribute (derived from their Device Rating) then I guess a low-end cyberdeck might work; might consider the next step up so you can actually run two programs at once without the vulnerability that Virtual Machine gives you. However, a Transys Avalon commlink has a Data Processing of 6, is Availability 12, and runs a rather cheap 5,000 compared to all of the cyberdecks.

And no, a Chameleon Suit doesn't impose a penalty on Perception like it used to. Now it adds 2 to your Limit for Sneaking tests. If you also have it wirelessly enabled (hence requiring a cyberdeck so you can slave your Chameleon Suit to it and actually hide) then you get a less powerful +2 bonus to your Sneaking tests while the opposition suffers no penalty to Perception tests to spot you.

After checking around a little, what you'll really want is whatever armor your Covert Ops guy is going to wear with a Ruthenium Polymer Coating. If I'm understanding the full rules on it, Rating 4 runs at 20,000, Availability 16F (so not available to starting characters without the Restricted Gear quality), takes up 4 from your armor's capacity, and if your armor is a full suit the other guys get a walloping -6 to their Perception tests to spot you. On top of that it doesn't have any kind of silly wireless requirements to actually work. See Run & Gun, page 84 for the details, page 86 for the rules.

Now I suppose you could put this on a Chameleon Suit and stack the benefits, but with the wireless vulnerability that suit imposes against its benefits (not worth it, IMO) why? You can go with an Urban Explorer Jumpsuit for full body coverage with the same protective value for less than half the cost, add the Ruthenium Polymer Coating, and when the Ruthenium is switched off you'll look like any other Jon Q. Public.
hermit
QUOTE
But then we dont know if we should get a cyberdeck or not.

Do it. Without, you're basically calling Security on your own ass every time you break into anywhere. Buy a cheap(er) model and maimize sleaze, then you have a chance of B&E-ing undetected.
silva
Ok, thanks for the help. I will suggest him going with a low-end deck at first, while the opposition is more manageable, and then upgrading later if necessary.

QUOTE (SpellBinder)
And no, a Chameleon Suit doesn't impose a penalty on Perception like it used to. Now it adds 2 to your Limit for Sneaking tests. If you also have it wirelessly enabled (hence requiring a cyberdeck so you can slave your Chameleon Suit to it and actually hide) then you get a less powerful +2 bonus to your Sneaking tests while the opposition suffers no penalty to Perception tests to spot you.

After checking around a little, what you'll really want is whatever armor your Covert Ops guy is going to wear with a Ruthenium Polymer Coating. If I'm understanding the full rules on it, Rating 4 runs at 20,000, Availability 16F (so not available to starting characters without the Restricted Gear quality), takes up 4 from your armor's capacity, and if your armor is a full suit the other guys get a walloping -6 to their Perception tests to spot you. On top of that it doesn't have any kind of silly wireless requirements to actually work. See Run & Gun, page 84 for the details, page 86 for the rules.

This doesnt make sense. The description on the Chameleon indicates its a dedicated, ruthenium coated, sneak suit. Making it less effective than some bum-rags painted in Ruthenium is nuts.

At least thats how my group interpreted it.
SpellBinder
Welcome to the inconsistency of SR5. At least the Chameleon Suit and Ruthenium Polymer Coating modification in SR4 did exactly the same thing (-4 dice penalty to opposed Perception tests). But apparently hackers were lacking in things to do in a regular game so bricking was invented to give them something to do in the middle of a fight (apparently shooting back at the opposition was too much to expect).

Now to the chrome tax of it all, if in your game your group wants to pitch the unnecessarily grotesque wireless vulnerability of the Chameleon Suit and run it as a whatever rated Ruthenium Polymer Coating instead, then don't let anything stop you. I'm just quoting RAW, but this game already has more documentation of alterations and house rules, and the point is that your group has fun.
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