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Full Version: [SR4 (and maybe 5)] Sprites and Drones, a retrospective
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I've seen a ton of 'but how do sprites drone?' questions over the years, and pretty much none of them ever have an answer.

So for the sake of future generations, here is what I believe the answer is:

Sprites sit in a drone's node and enhance it with their powers, and can use Command to override the pilot for situations where the drone needs to perform an action outside its normal programming. They don't jump in, and they don't routinely use Command to manually control it. They aren't replacing the pilot, they're enhancing it. They're also likely smarter than the pilot, so the technomancer can give vaguer directives and leave it up to the sprite to work out the details with less worry of a mistake.

My reasonings
Sprites have no applicable skills for directly controlling a vehicle or drone. No pilot skills, no gunnery skills, they're awful at it. A high-rating sprite can sorta wing it by defaulting with a high score in Command, but that's not gonna get impressive results. I think it's clear that they aren't intended to be handling drones like that. So instead let's look at what a machine sprite brings to the table without trying to manually control the drone.

1. Diagnostics. By inhabiting the drone's node, the sprite can be rolling rating*2 dice to add extra dice for basically any action the drone is doing.
2. Stability. Again with a prerequisite of being in the drone's node, the sprite also makes it harder for it to glitch and impossible to crit glitch.
3. Autosofts. The sprite can add free autosofts for the drone, chosen on the fly at the time of compiling by the technomancer. Too broke to spring for that targeting autosoft? Suddenly need your drone to double duty as an electronic warfare platform? Your machine sprite buddy has you covered.

All three of those buffs are applied without the sprite ever having to bother trying to take over the drone, it just has to be in the drone's node. In fact, since diagnostics hinges on having someone to assist, it specifically wouldn't work if the sprite was pushing the pilot out of the driver's seat. The drone's pilot is still making all of the relevant rolls for the drone's actions, it's just doing so with potentially a bunch of extra dice than it ordinarily would. With a good enough diagnostics roll and a high rating autosoft, a machine sprite boosted drone could be doing as well or better than a drone with a rigger jumped in. Probably not as good as a rigger who's specialized in jumping in to their drone, but that's fair. After all, the rigger's actions are tied up by piloting the drone, while the technomancer is free to be wandering around doing whatever while the sprite babysits the drone for them; it'd be fairly unfair if the sprite was outperforming a specialist at their own job.

Also of note, two of the three benefits (diagnostics and stability) still apply if the technomancer is manually controlling the drone and the sprite is assisting them. Technomancers aren't great for rigging since they rarely have the free karma laying around to buy a bunch of piloting and gunnery skills, but with a machine sprite on board a technomancer using the Command CF or directly jumped in will be having a much easier time. The probably still won't be throwing as many dice as a specialized drone rigger, but they should be coming close.

One final, sneakier benefit: A technomancer wirelessly telling their sprite what to do with a drone is unspoofable by non-technomancers, while other peoples' connections to their drone can be traced, their ID snagged, and the drone spoofed.
QUOTE (Valatar @ Jul 4 2018, 10:15 AM) *
3. Autosofts. The sprite can add free autosofts for the drone, chosen on the fly at the time of compiling by the technomancer.

Problem is, those autosofts are CFs. CFs cannot be used without a Resonance score.

Not that I don't like your concept, but if you were looking for a RAW way to make sprites run drones you still didn't find the holy grail wink.gif
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