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Sternenwind
I just had the opportunity to use drones in SR5 and it was .... interesting.
Has anybody already reworked drone combat and drone stats for SR5?
Smash
Do you believe they need to be?
Jaid
honestly, since 5e was released, there was a period of really loud complaining and then the general forum here just kinda... stopped. there's a brief flurry every now and then, but from what i can tell either the majority have gone elsewhere, or nobody has anything much new to say.

which is a very roundabout to say, i'm pretty sure nobody has done any work on drones and posted it here, nor has there been much work done on anything 5e other than getting rid of wireless bonuses and pointing out things in obvious need of errata. you may have better luck on the official forums, i don't know how lively they are, but they can't be much deader than these ones have been lately.
Fabe
QUOTE (Smash @ Mar 17 2015, 08:30 PM) *
Do you believe they need to be?

I second that. I'm currently playing a rigger right now and I can't really see anything wrong with how they work. Drone combat is simple, They go on their own initiative when operating on autopilot or on the riggers initiative if directly remote controlled or when the rigger is jumped in.When drones attack they roll pilot+targeting autosoft rating.
Sternenwind
There are some changes in the skill mechanics that most likely killed some rigger, but my problems are the stats of drones. In SR5 their survivability got reduced. A result of reduced hitboxes, increased base damage, new armor and body rating that does not compensate the new damage codes and not having hardened armor. But the thing that really break it all are the new prices.

Without modding medium combat drones cost in SR4 ~3k, including weapons. In SR5 you double the cost. A Steel Lynix costs ~8k in SR4 and ~30k in SR5. Losing drones now really hurts the rigger(•-rip-•). The cost efficiency for rigger is totally out of the window. For medium sizes combat drone you can hire some ganger for a Seel Nyxe alone you can hire a complete runner Team.

As a decker you can hide and hope that your greedy Sam will not kill you for the half a million you are carrying aroung, because he needs you, hopefully. But as a rigger try to explain that you don’t wanna risk your drones.
Smash
QUOTE (Sternenwind @ Mar 18 2015, 05:05 PM) *
There are some changes in the skill mechanics that most likely killed some rigger, but my problems are the stats of drones. In SR5 their survivability got reduced. A result of reduced hitboxes, increased base damage, new armor and body rating that does not compensate the new damage codes and not having hardened armor. But the thing that really break it all are the new prices.

Without modding medium combat drones cost in SR4 ~3k, including weapons. In SR5 you double the cost. A Steel Lynix costs ~8k in SR4 and ~30k in SR5. Losing drones now really hurts the rigger(•-rip-•). The cost efficiency for rigger is totally out of the window. For medium sizes combat drone you can hire some ganger for a Seel Nyxe alone you can hire a complete runner Team.

As a decker you can hide and hope that your greedy Sam will not kill you for the half a million you are carrying aroung, because he needs you, hopefully. But as a rigger try to explain that you donít wanna risk your drones.


That seems more in line with the defined rewards being to low in SR5. Although I wouldn't think $2-3K is a particularly bad price for a proxy you rotor drone or tracked drone that can die so you don't have to. Yes Steel Lynx are expensive but perhaps that makes them more niche. I hated in SR4 how every Rigger always had 5 combat drones running, honestly I'm more comfortable with how it is now.

That being said, probably the easiest option is to just lower the prices of stuff or up the rewards. I've noticed that in SR5 rewards are often in the vacinity of 4-5 times what the book suggests in the game I play right now and it hardly results in runaway progression.

Remember you can improve the survivability of your drones marketably by remoting them and having high reaction (der) and intuition on your rigger. Autonomous drone operation should really be relegated to your throw away scout drones only.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Smash @ Mar 18 2015, 03:32 PM) *
That seems more in line with the defined rewards being to low in SR5. Although I wouldn't think $2-3K is a particularly bad price for a proxy you rotor drone or tracked drone that can die so you don't have to. Yes Steel Lynx are expensive but perhaps that makes them more niche. I hated in SR4 how every Rigger always had 5 combat drones running, honestly I'm more comfortable with how it is now.


Not "Every" Rigger. smile.gif
silva
I also prefer more expensive drones (and decks, and implants, and everything else) because it helps to keep niches separated. I totally disliked the direction 4e went with "hacker-riggers".
Jack VII
The only change I've really toyed with was making their condition monitor equal to BODx4. Since microdrones have BOD 0, they get destroyed on even a glancing hit. It does make drones a little tougher but most aren't going to do much dodging and their armor is pretty low in any event.
Blade
No matter what the edition, I've always had a few problems with drones:
- Too many drones slow the game down to a crawl (3 drones each with multiple IP doing their stuff)
- If a rigger loses a drone (because it's destroyed/hacked/damaged too badly and has to be left there) the character suddenly becomes far less efficient compared to the rest of the team.
- Drones can easily mow down opposition in combat

This makes the drone rigger a complicated archetype/role.

In my ruleset, the first problem and third problems are fixed thanks to the way the whole base mechanics was changed, but I can't really port that to SR5.
However, the solution to the second problem can be ported if you're interested: a PC can invest karma points into equipment. This cost 1 karma point per 5000 nuyens. When karma has been invested into an equipment, the player can repair and replace the equipment by paying only 1/5th of the price. This way, riggers will still have to be cautious with their drones, and drones are still an investment, but the PC won't be set back too much if his drones get lost, destroyed or stolen.
Jaid
yeah, make sure your GM isn't using the run payout guidelines in the core book. those things are crazy stupid. you'd have to be an idiot to accept a job for such low pay.

or, alternately, if your GM is using those rules... you might want to sit down with all the players in the group and discuss how it's time for everyone to go with a character that doesn't rely on money to advance (but don't do anything crazy like make a technomancer... that's just silly. just make a decker and accept that your deck is never going to be upgraded unless you kill someone who is carrying a better one).
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Jaid @ Mar 20 2015, 01:18 AM) *
yeah, make sure your GM isn't using the run payout guidelines in the core book. those things are crazy stupid. you'd have to be an idiot to accept a job for such low pay.

or, alternately, if your GM is using those rules... you might want to sit down with all the players in the group and discuss how it's time for everyone to go with a character that doesn't rely on money to advance (but don't do anything crazy like make a technomancer... that's just silly. just make a decker and accept that your deck is never going to be upgraded unless you kill someone who is carrying a better one).


Technomancers are not all bad... smile.gif
Jaid
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Mar 20 2015, 09:09 AM) *
Technomancers are not all bad... smile.gif


no, but they are *mostly* bad.

they're not very good at what they do, and are crazy expensive to boot. if they were shifted down one priority, i'd say it would be at least workable... but every time i think "i'm going to try and make a technomancer work in at least some way", i go to try and put it together and it just boils down to them costing too much to make them work as well as i could make pretty much anything else work. they cost as much as a full magician or mystic adept, and they just shouldn't. not after the severe nerfing they took (4e technomancers being expensive is perfectly reasonable, those guys were nuts).
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Jaid @ Mar 20 2015, 08:29 AM) *
no, but they are *mostly* bad.

they're not very good at what they do, and are crazy expensive to boot. if they were shifted down one priority, i'd say it would be at least workable... but every time i think "i'm going to try and make a technomancer work in at least some way", i go to try and put it together and it just boils down to them costing too much to make them work as well as i could make pretty much anything else work. they cost as much as a full magician or mystic adept, and they just shouldn't. not after the severe nerfing they took (4e technomancers being expensive is perfectly reasonable, those guys were nuts).


I agree that they were nerfed unnecessarily, and WAY to heavily.

As to making one work, It does take a bit of finesse, but I have been playing once since we shifted to 5th Edition (Just after its introduction), and it has worked out pretty well. The character has better DP's than the Hacker does, and better Living Persona Stats (3/8/6/6) than the Hacker's Deck (for the most part), though she cannot shift attributes on the fly. This is sad, but mostly livable, since I tend to avoid Attack actions unless I have absolutely no choice (I plan to fix that with my next 16 Karma or so, which should reliably boost the Attack Attribute to a 6 when Needed). The lack of Programs sans Submersions does suck a bit, though. We are 112 Karma into the campaign, currently. I admit it took a while, and a little bit of settling for certain things, but overall the character is very viable as a Spy (which was her background) and Covert Matrix Operations specialist.
Jaid
yes, but we've already established that you tend to get very different results from what most people would expect in your group. your hacker, for example, probably has a lot of skills that you wouldn't see in most other games (also, i very much doubt that your hacker is an adept, which can just bust the whole thing even more wide open).
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Jaid @ Mar 20 2015, 12:30 PM) *
yes, but we've already established that you tend to get very different results from what most people would expect in your group. your hacker, for example, probably has a lot of skills that you wouldn't see in most other games (also, i very much doubt that your hacker is an adept, which can just bust the whole thing even more wide open).


The Hacker has a few skills that are probably non-standard (but then so does my Technomancer), and he dabbles in Rigging as well (hell, he may even be a better Rigger than Hacker, but if so, it is not by much), so his skills took a hit there too. He is an ex-company man (highly sociopathic) that was burned and turned to the Shadows for his livelihood. He is currently working on raising his Hacking Skills and improving his Deck. He is also working on obtaining some drones (with Combat Option Upgrades for even more sociopathic goodness). And no, sadly he is not an Adept. smile.gif

I always thought an Adept would make an amazing Hacker. May have to try that someday. But for now, the Technomancer works pretty well. Like you would expect, there are a few rough edges due to the Nerfage applied to Technomancers in SR5, but the character works pretty well (and I STILL despise Limits)... Now I am just waiting on obtaining the cash for the Muscle Toner Upgrades I am looking forward to getting. smile.gif
Sternenwind
Players with too many units in the game mage&spirits, rigger&drones or face&henchmen are problematic, yes. And a higher price for drones is a good way to minimize this kind of disturbance. But on the other hand, for drones that is not necessary at the moment. With the low dice pool for drone, their low damage resistance and hitboxes even a sec guard with an AK can one shoot medium combat drones. And combat character can just split their pool for attacking multiple targets and still have a good chance to one shoot drones.
Smash
QUOTE (Sternenwind @ Mar 22 2015, 08:29 PM) *
Players with too many units in the game mage&spirits, rigger&drones or face&henchmen are problematic, yes. And a higher price for drones is a good way to minimize this kind of disturbance. But on the other hand, for drones that is not necessary at the moment. With the low dice pool for drone, their low damage resistance and hitboxes even a sec guard with an AK can one shoot medium combat drones. And combat character can just split their pool for attacking multiple targets and still have a good chance to one shoot drones.


If you let the dog brain drive it with no autosofts then yeah, but why should it be particularly hard to take down in that case?
Sternenwind
Is there a way to jump into multiple drones at the same time? Or whatever, chances are good that the sec guard attack pool is greater as the riggers defense pool anyway.

And why would you want to jump into a drone that is only one hit away from dumpshock?
Smash
QUOTE (Sternenwind @ Mar 22 2015, 11:42 PM) *
Is there a way to jump into multiple drones at the same time? Or whatever, chances are good that the sec guard attack pool is greater as the riggers defense pool anyway.

And why would you want to jump into a drone that is only one hit away from dumpshock?


No but you can remote control them all which uses the riggers defence pool. Given that the only stat worth having as a rigger is reaction then you're likely to have a pretty decent pool. You can also have software on your RCC that reduces the effect of dumpshock which is a lot more desirable that bulletshock.
Shemhazai
Maybe drones could have overflow boxes. That way filling their normal track can make them inoperable, yet salvageable. Continuing to damage them can fill their overflow track and render them permanently useless.
Blade
QUOTE (Sternenwind @ Mar 22 2015, 10:29 AM) *
Players with too many units in the game mage&spirits, rigger&drones or face&henchmen are problematic, yes. And a higher price for drones is a good way to minimize this kind of disturbance.

Good rules for groups or simple handling of "extra" characters would be a better solution.
Smash
QUOTE (Blade @ Mar 24 2015, 09:58 PM) *
Good rules for groups or simple handling of "extra" characters would be a better solution.


That's actually not possible as far as I can tell, not just for Shadowrun, but all P&P RPGs. The rules are simply to complex and designed for small group of 1-6. This is why when you play games workshop games that deal with squads and armies you get simplified rulesets that wouldn't be that desirable for single characters.

Given that you can control all your drones with a single command in this ruleset (assuming you want them all to do the same thing) I don't think it needs to get much better than that.
Blade
You can have rules that take a step back for group actions. You'd lose granularity, but that's still better than making 15 rolls when 5 drones are shooting at the same time. Combine this with rules like buying successes, and you'd be able to handle 20 drones shooting at the same time without having to roll for them.

Theoretically, you can do it in SR4A: each drone but one rolls (let's say they've got 6 dice, which means they can buy 1.5 hits) and adds their hits as additional dice for the "main shooter". If you've got 20 drones, that makes 19*1.5=29 dice (let's round up) + 6= 35 dice, you can then roll them or just buy 8 hits.

But the problem is that it ignores stuff such as the fact that 20 drones shooting at the same time would quickly reduce the dodge pool of the target, so there'll be a huge difference between doing this and rolling for each drone.
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