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Ka_ge2020
Hi all.

I'm starting up a Shadowrun game with some old players that I gamed with back in the Crustacean period (yes, I know...). We played SRII back in those days, so I'm back to it and fighting the urge to pull out some of the retrotech, especially since these are the same players that, last time they played and there was a decker on the team, they said, "Can't we just use a search engine?" They're also the ones that baulked at recovering their starship in a published adventure because "Surely we would have had insurance on that thing?"

eek.gif

Anyway, looking through the rules all these years gone and I'm looking at Vehicle Control Rigs and kind scratching my head. Now, be gentle with me, but: What's the point of them?
Lionesque
The VCR allows you to jack in, i.e. you replace your natural human senses with the sensors of the vehicle. You 'become' the vehicle, and can control evey bit of the vehicle at the speed of thought. This gives you superior control compared to the old wheel and stick gear - mode of driving, but obviously dulls your perception of what goes on with your meat body while you are jacked in.
Mantis
More importantly, each level gives you an initiative boost while jacked in equal to what wired reflexes gives a samurai in the meat world. At least that's what they do in 1st, 2nd and 3rd ed.
Iduno
QUOTE (Mantis @ Jan 19 2021, 12:09 PM) *
More importantly, each level gives you an initiative boost while jacked in equal to what wired reflexes gives a samurai in the meat world. At least that's what they do in 1st, 2nd and 3rd ed.


In 4th they lower the threshold (hits needed for success) by one as well, which is better than just a +1. I don't remember what all else they do, but I remember the essence cost was a bit high for what they did.
Ka_ge2020
Firstly, apologies for the sucky title that failed to even mention "Rigging." Womp.

So with that fail, thanks for actually taking the time to reply.

I do need to refine my question. I can read what it does and comprehend the mechanics, but I'm just trying to figure out "what it does" in the context of the stupendous Essence cost. Clearly, as mentioned by Mantis, it is meant to parallel the function/cost of Wired Reflexes (especially in SRII).

The thing is... I cannot actually internally justify it. What actually goes in the body that would justify that level of damage to the aura/soul/pattern (or whatever the sexy term for it is now)? Everything that turns the wheel/stick or operates the pedals is in the vehicle (or drone), surely?

You jack in through a datajack, so there's obviously some headware involved. If anything, it seems more like an implanted cyberdeck at best (covered in Shadowtech)? You need something to be able to potentially hack a vehicle, possibly run subsystems (like guns) and, of course, if you're going in hot sim something to run the VR? Perhaps something to control the body so that you don't break your body in heavy manoeuvres?

Or am I completely off? Again, I just don't see why this is as invasive as, say, the venerable Wired Reflex or the "upgraded" Skillsoft Plus (Shadowtech). It just seems that the VCR is one the only (one of the few?) pieces of cyberware that I've come across that doesn't seem to make a great deal of sense (to me).

What say you?
bannockburn
QUOTE (Ka_ge2020 @ Jan 19 2021, 11:24 PM) *
You jack in through a datajack, so there's obviously some headware involved. If anything, it seems more like an implanted cyberdeck at best (covered in Shadowtech)? You need something to be able to potentially hack a vehicle, possibly run subsystems (like guns) and, of course, if you're going in hot sim something to run the VR? Perhaps something to control the body so that you don't break your body in heavy manoeuvres?

I always imagined it as more than just a datajack (until SR4, that is, where it's also significantly cheaper for +2 dice for vehicle tests and -1 threshold).
Instead, for me it's the modifications to the central nervous system that allow you to act as quickly in a vehicle (or piloting a drone) as if it was your own body with wired reflexes (which indeed have very similar bonuses and essence costs).
That said, with the severely lacking vehicle rules in all editions, the VCR is significantly less useful than wired reflexes, so it could be a good candidate to look at when reducing cost(s).
Sendaz
QUOTE (Ka_ge2020 @ Jan 19 2021, 05:24 PM) *
I do need to refine my question. I can read what it does and comprehend the mechanics, but I'm just trying to figure out "what it does" in the context of the stupendous Essence cost. Clearly, as mentioned by Mantis, it is meant to parallel the function/cost of Wired Reflexes (especially in SRII).

The thing is... I cannot actually internally justify it. What actually goes in the body that would justify that level of damage to the aura/soul/pattern (or whatever the sexy term for it is now)? Everything that turns the wheel/stick or operates the pedals is in the vehicle (or drone), surely?


Two points:

First is the concept they didnt want EVERYONE to be a Rigger. So the high ess cost was basically a tax to limit who would take it.
So while Shadowrun doesn't have classes in the traditional senses, they still kind of set things up to create specialists in their area of expertise.

From a in-game view a high essence cost isn't so odd. The whole nervous system is sort of like your antenna to the realms and anything messing with that has always had a higher cost than simple reshaping flesh, so mere cosmetic changes will have a much lower, if any, impact on Essence.
bannockburn
QUOTE (Sendaz @ Jan 20 2021, 10:41 AM) *
So while Shadowrun doesn't have classes in the traditional senses, they still kind of set things up to create specialists in their area of expertise.

That's a really good addition. I haven't thought about it like this so far, but it's pretty obvious now that you mention it.
Ka_ge2020
QUOTE (bannockburn @ Jan 20 2021, 03:02 AM) *
Instead, for me it's the modifications to the central nervous system that allow you to act as quickly in a vehicle (or piloting a drone) as if it was your own body with wired reflexes (which indeed have very similar bonuses and essence costs).

In SRII they're identical at 2, 3, and 5 for Level 1, 2, and 3, respectively. I truly understand what is meant to do, and reacting at the speed of thought without having to involve your meat sack makes a whole bunch of sense. It's that I'm not seeing--other than the mechanics, which is fair enough--a reason who you need to do the same to the body.

Put another way, if a VCR replicates Wired Reflexes, then the Rigger should also get the benefit of Wired Reflexes. This then implies that additional headware would be required to add the VCR component and... Well, my logic is kinda circular, I guess, but on the face of it you either have a "decker-rigger" or a "sam-rigger."

QUOTE (bannockburn @ Jan 20 2021, 03:02 AM) *
That said, with the severely lacking vehicle rules in all editions, the VCR is significantly less useful than wired reflexes, so it could be a good candidate to look at when reducing cost(s).

I'm trying not to be overly influenced by SRIV because we're running in the 2050s to start with, but seeing the rigging rules in the same section as the decking rules is remarkably inspirational.

QUOTE (Sendaz @ Jan 20 2021, 04:41 AM) *
First is the concept they didnt want EVERYONE to be a Rigger. So the high ess cost was basically a tax to limit who would take it.

I hadn't thought about niche protection, so good point. I don't think that I'm as concerned by this than the original designers.
Cochise
QUOTE ('Ka_ge2020')
The thing is... I cannot actually internally justify it. What actually goes in the body that would justify that level of damage to the aura/soul/pattern (or whatever the sexy term for it is now)?


One of the problem here seems to be that you seem to think that there should be some degree of proportionality between the raw volume / mass that goes into a character and the associated impact on the character's "life force" (a.k.a Essence). The bad news there is: Essence is mainly a deliberaetly limited resource that is used to ...
  • ... create an upper limit for enhancements in an attempt to balance power levels. How successful that attempt truly is? Highly debatable ...
  • ... somewhat lock characters into their chosen archetype and thus better contrasting them against other archetypes with a similarly high degree of cyber depedency. This mainly tries to separate the Rigger archetype from the Cyber-Samurai archetype.



QUOTE (Sendaz)
From a in-game view a high essence cost isn't so odd. The whole nervous system is sort of like your antenna to the realms and anything messing with that has always typically had a higher cost than simple reshaping flesh, so mere cosmetic changes will have a much lower, if any, impact on Essence.


Well ... datajacks, chipjacks, cyber replacement eyes / ears and quite a view others do interface with the nervous system to a high degree and have comparatively low Essence impacts. From an ingame perspective none of the explainations that were given (holistic wholesomeness [mainly 1st and 2nd Ed.] and the degree of neural interfacing [mainly 3rd Ed]) truly justified those arbitrary Essence cost values.



Ka_ge2020
Hey, Cochise. Thanks for the response.

QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 20 2021, 05:48 PM) *
One of the problem here seems to be that you seem to think that there should be some degree of proportionality between the raw volume / mass that goes into a character and the associated impact on the character's "life force" (a.k.a Essence).

That's a good point, too. Is see what you're saying, but I don't think that I entirely agree except insofar as it comes down to niche protection and the notion of abstraction when it comes down to Essence loss. If anything, I'm viewing it in such a way that the designers were also trying to encapsulate the idea of what makes someone less... human? (Obviously a terrible notion, but understandable with their design goals.)

With that said, please understand that I'm not complaining--just trying to understand for my own purposes. The VCR is a huge red flag for me because it doesn't make in-game sense, only meta sense (as it were).

The more that I'm reading through these comments, it seems that even in SR2 taking the SR4 perspective when it comes to rigging if, for no other reason, than making sure that my Rigger player isn't always sitting on the sidelines.
Ka_ge2020
As Wired Reflexes and the VCR are "on the line" as it were, what do they actually do?

I'm not talking exclusively in terms of mechanics but how one might "fluffily" talk about them.

For example, Wired Reflexes buffs your body to react faster, but how does that impact the mental characteristics of the character? Is it just about getting the body to diminish the reaction time, or does the implant allow the character to process information faster?

So, to put this into practice, I imagine that there is a "headware" component of "Wired Reflexes" that speeds up the 'ole noggin' in the same way that, say, a Cerebral Booster (SR2, Shadowtech) does? Something that breaks down the barriers between observation and nerve reaction?

As someone that is trying to approach SR holistically, getting the nuances down is really important to me. Put another way, thanks for your patience.
Sendaz
QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 20 2021, 05:48 PM) *
Well ... datajacks, chipjacks, cyber replacement eyes / ears and quite a view others do interface with the nervous system to a high degree and have comparatively low Essence impacts. From an ingame perspective none of the explainations that were given (holistic wholesomeness [mainly 1st and 2nd Ed.] and the degree of neural interfacing [mainly 3rd Ed]) truly justified those arbitrary Essence cost values.


Very true.

Items like Wired Reflexes and VCRs were heavily taxed to protect niches within archetype, while things the dev probably wanted everyone to have, because Cyberpunk, seem to have been given low ess costs to ensure they could be widely used by all.

I mean almost every mage I have played have used a data jack and cyber eyes despite the small hit to Essence which affects one's Magic as the cost-benefits analysis showed it was worthwhile, especially with the Cybereyes as those extra features like low light/thermo/telescopic means better spell casting in a wide range of circumstances.
Lionesque
QUOTE (Ka_ge2020 @ Jan 21 2021, 02:52 AM) *
As Wired Reflexes and the VCR are "on the line" as it were, what do they actually do?

...

As someone that is trying to approach SR holistically, getting the nuances down is really important to me. Put another way, thanks for your patience.

I completely understand your line of thinking here, and have been (stuck) down that road. I do think, and this is very much based on experience, that your enjoyment of the game may suffer if you insist on things 'making sense'. Keep in mind that Shadowrun was ALSO a game that professed to value style over substance. So it can be a good idea to sometimes take a step back from the rules crunch and the comprehensive examination and validation of each decision made by the game designers and just go with the 'rule of cool'. If it's colorful, dramatic and fun for you and your group, who cares what the actual neurological and electronic components of a VCR unit are?
Cochise
QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
Hey, Cochise. Thanks for the response.

You're welcome


QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
Is see what you're saying, but I don't think that I entirely agree except insofar as it comes down to niche protection and the notion of abstraction when it comes down to Essence loss. If anything, I'm viewing it in such a way that the designers were also trying to encapsulate the idea of what makes someone less... human? (Obviously a terrible notion, but understandable with their design goals.)


Oh, there's no disagreement from my end where it comes to the idea that the designers also tried to encapsulate the Cyberpunk trop of losing one's humanity with the Essence attribute. However, in the final product that idea doesn't seem to play a major factor when looking at the different Essence costs of implants. That's why I wrote that Essence mainly serves for the two points I listed.

QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
With that said, please understand that I'm not complaining--just trying to understand for my own purposes.


It certainly didn't look like a complaint to me but my answer to your desire of trying to get a deeper understanding there is pretty much still the same: For me there simply is little to be understood outside those two major points where Essence serves as a meta mechnism and has little to offer from the ingame perspective.

QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
The VCR is a huge red flag for me because it doesn't make in-game sense, only meta sense (as it were).


Well, I had far more problems with Essence costs of certain structural enhancements rather than the VCR. The VCR requires wiring of pretty much the entire central nervous system in order to work: motor cortex, sensory cortex, crebellum, limbic system, occipital cortex, parts of the frontal cortex, parts of the spine. Generally speaking the VCR overall looks more invasive than the equally priced Wired Reflexes.

QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
The more that I'm reading through these comments, it seems that even in SR2 taking the SR4 perspective when it comes to rigging if, for no other reason, than making sure that my Rigger player isn't always sitting on the sidelines.


Beats me, I never had situations where Riggers were sidelined. That "priviledge" usually exclusively went to deckers. Riggers could shine as remote controlling drone operators, on-site security "hackers" whenever closed circuit security systems were involved. They also have electronic warefare ... and last but not least: They typically are the "getaway driver". The only thing that always struck me as too prohibitive in terms of Essence cost with regards to the overall ressource pool is the VCR-III. VCR-I and II usually fit easily without making the focus of the character too narrow.

QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
As Wired Reflexes and the VCR are "on the line" as it were, what do they actually do?

I'm not talking exclusively in terms of mechanics but how one might "fluffily" talk about them.


Well, they both make serious changes to the central nervous system including the limbic system.

QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
For example, Wired Reflexes buffs your body to react faster, but how does that impact the mental characteristics of the character? Is it just about getting the body to diminish the reaction time, or does the implant allow the character to process information faster?


Actually it's both ... unfortunately the latter part tends to evoke the idea that as a concequence the character would perceive the world moving in slow motion. I'm not certain if that truly would be the case.

QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
So, to put this into practice, I imagine that there is a "headware" component of "Wired Reflexes" that speeds up the 'ole noggin' in the same way that, say, a Cerebral Booster (SR2, Shadowtech) does?


Yes and no. The Cerebral Booster seems to mainly aim at the frontal and temporal cortex while Wired Reflexes seem to target motor cortex, sensory cortex, parts of the occipital cortex, the cerebellum, parts of the limbic system and parts of the spine.

QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
Something that breaks down the barriers between observation and nerve reaction?


In addition to directly causing the effects that Adrenaline has when it comes to reaction speeds it's more like bypassing or speeding up certain signal pathways than actually breaking down barries completely - be it by signal transfer via superconductive material instead of the normal axon of a neuron or directly increasing the axon propagation speed while also shortening the neuron refactory period.

QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
As someone that is trying to approach SR holistically, getting the nuances down is really important to me. Put another way, thanks for your patience.


While you certainly can try to rationalize many things - I just did it to a certain degree - I have to agree with Lionesque there: Don't overthink the issue because the designers themselves certainly didn't do that either. Heck, I'm pretty sure that many of the explainations that they gave (or I for that matter) ultimately wouldn't hold up to scientific scrutiny more than a few seconds. Try to focus on the entertainment itself ... SR by virtue of "Where man meets machine and magic" is not suited for the "hard science" treatment.

Ka_ge2020
QUOTE (Lionesque @ Jan 21 2021, 06:12 AM) *
I do think, and this is very much based on experience, that your enjoyment of the game may suffer if you insist on things 'making sense'.

I'll be honest. One of the reasons that I'm asking these questions is that I'm not using the SR2 system (I'm dropping the Roman numeral thing for clarity). I hope that you don't find this in anyway disingenuous and, if so, my sincere apologies.

What I was trying to get at is how the tech operates rather than just accepting what is in this case extreme values (despite the niche protection argument, which was on point and awesome).

QUOTE (Lionesque @ Jan 21 2021, 06:12 AM) *
If it's colorful, dramatic and fun for you and your group, who cares what the actual neurological and electronic components of a VCR unit are?

In this case, the players are very likely--and very reasonably!--going to ask why they're paying for wired reflexes and only getting it in a vehicle. On my own behalf, I would rather disassociate the idea of "niche" and just get to the technology. If someone wants to be a mage-Rigger? I'm comfortable with that as long as they're willing to take the Essence dump.

A Sam-Mage? Yeah, not so much.

QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 21 2021, 02:38 PM) *
That's why I wrote that Essence mainly serves for the two points I listed.

And I am in no way disagreeing with you in terms of the original rules as written.

QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 21 2021, 02:38 PM) *
Well, I had far more problems with Essence costs of certain structural enhancements rather than the VCR. The VCR requires wiring of pretty much the entire central nervous system in order to work: motor cortex, sensory cortex, crebellum, limbic system, occipital cortex, parts of the frontal cortex, parts of the spine. Generally speaking the VCR overall looks more invasive than the equally priced Wired Reflexes.

I disagree with your assessment of the VCR insofar as I'm not agreeing that the niche protection is a valid thing. For example, being able to move your arms faster in no way means that the vehicle is going to have a better turn radius. The only thing that makes the vehicle have a better turn radius is for there to be work done on the vehicle to make sure that it has a better turn radius.

As I'm looking at it, Rigging is about skill foremost. Just jacking in doesn't make you a better driver even if it mitigates the brain-central nervous system issue. Tweaking the actual CNS isn't doing bupkis.

There are, however, questions on how a VCR might operate. When you plug-in to a vehicle, for example, do you have to override a firewall? Have software available to handle that vehicle?

I guess I'm arguing that the SR4 option makes more sense than SR2.

QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 21 2021, 02:38 PM) *
Riggers could shine as remote controlling drone operators, on-site security "hackers" whenever closed circuit security systems were involved.

A very reasonable point. Indeed, that's exactly what my current Rigger character is wanting to do!

On the other hand, SR2 doesn't allow for Riggers doing hacking unless they're willing to split their skill base and having to invest in another technology.

Are we talking about this purely from the SR4 perspective? I don't have a problem with that. If nothing else I'm arguing that the SR4 perspective makes more sense in SR2 even if you're not fully enabling wireless modems/commlinks.

QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 21 2021, 02:38 PM) *
The only thing that always struck me as too prohibitive in terms of Essence cost with regards to the overall ressource pool is the VCR-III. VCR-I and II usually fit easily without making the focus of the character too narrow.

And all I'm saying is that I would rather go down the route of SR4 and ignoring niche protection to make this a more sensible decision. You're not going to get Sam-Rigger-Deckers, but you're always going to get Rigger-Deckers. Which, well, kinda makes sense even in the real world.

QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 21 2021, 02:38 PM) *
Well, they both make serious changes to the central nervous system including the limbic system.

From the pure assessment of the tech, rather than the mechanics (and inferred designer intent), I once again disagree with you. I'm seriously seeing no reason that the rigger needs to interface with their vehicle except insofar as the conceit is that you improve the body and you improve the mind.

I find it far more likely that the VCR actually improves the brain than the body.

QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 21 2021, 02:38 PM) *
Actually it's both ... unfortunately the latter part tends to evoke the idea that as a concequence the character would perceive the world moving in slow motion. I'm not certain if that truly would be the case.

If the results means that you must process information faster, then surely that's a pro? It identifies a secondary effect that needs to be taken into account?

QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 21 2021, 02:38 PM) *
While you certainly can try to rationalize many things - I just did it to a certain degree - I have to agree with Lionesque there: Don't overthink the issue because the designers themselves certainly didn't do that either. Heck, I'm pretty sure that many of the explainations that they gave (or I for that matter) ultimately wouldn't hold up to scientific scrutiny more than a few seconds. Try to focus on the entertainment itself ... SR by virtue of "Where man meets machine and magic" is not suited for the "hard science" treatment.

And I guess what I'm saying is that, despite the above, the VCR doesn't hold water beyond the niche protection thing, was is a null thing as far as I can tell.
Ka_ge2020
I'll tell you what. One of the things that I frequently do when something in a system doesn't work is to try and see if it can be made into another system. If it makes more sense there, bring back the concepts; if it makes no sense, then toss it.

So what I'll try and do is look into another system for inspiration on Wired Reflexes (not a problem), and how a VCR might be re-twigged. To be honest, though, I suspect that I'll be drawing more inspiration from SR4 than SR2 for the latter.

More soon. As soon as life doesn't keep on giving me those 'ole lemons. O_o
Cochise
QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
I disagree with your assessment of the VCR insofar as I'm not agreeing that the niche protection is a valid thing.


My actual assessment of the VCR wasn't about the validity of niche protection. I only said that this is how - in part - the Essence costs of the VCR in SR 1 to 3 apprear to have come into existance.

QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
For example, being able to move your arms faster in no way means that the vehicle is going to have a better turn radius. The only thing that makes the vehicle have a better turn radius is for there to be work done on the vehicle to make sure that it has a better turn radius.


~hmm~ I don't recall having made any reference to increased physical movement speed affecting vehicular performance.

QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
As I'm looking at it, Rigging is about skill foremost. Just jacking in doesn't make you a better driver even if it mitigates the brain-central nervous system issue. Tweaking the actual CNS isn't doing bupkis.


Just for the record: The brain is part of the central nervous system and if I where to break down the various connections that I referenced with regards of the VCR and the "assuming the body" concept then they'd roughly look like this:

  • frontal lobe connectivity for access to skill
  • motor cortex and cerebellum to access / coordinate all the various control functions of the vehicle while applying those skills that come from the frontal lobe
  • sensory cortex and occipital cortex to receive the sensor information provided by the vehicle
  • limbic system as a (small) part of the "reaction enhancement" in that connection.
  • spine just because the ASIST technology needs a way for filtering / shutting down the rigger's physical body sensations and reactions while the rigger is using those connected brain sections for the desired rigging purposes.



QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
I guess I'm arguing that the SR4 option makes more sense than SR2.


Yes and no. The main conflict stems from something that so far was only slightly touched upon and has nothing to do with the contrast between Wired Reflexes vs. VCR but instead is all about Essence costs for Decking vs. Rigging. SR4+ equalized the interface tech wheras SR1 to 3 saw the involved technology as similar in part but distinctively different in execution:

The stipulation for Decking seems to be that a mainly frontal lobe connected datajack is enough to connect to a cyberdeck and then operate on full VR immersion within the Matrix with the cyberdeck providing all necessariy functions to control the virtual avatar. There it seems to be enough to "think" of any action rather than involving and activating all the other brain regions.

Rigging on the other hand involved pretty much the entire brain being connected to the interface and the interface itself also included parts of the tech that for deckers is part of their cyberdeck.

The whole premise there is that two distinct interface technologies with similar purposes do exist in parallel there. The only present day analogy I can come up with there now is the comparison between hardware based multi-boxing and software based multi-boxing in computer games. Both deliver the same result of a player being able to simultaneously steer several characters in a multiplayer game environment while using the same base technology (personal computers) but vastly different implementations and associated costs. Hardware based multiboxing has become somewhat obsolete because of the cost differences but it still exists. About 5 to 10 years ago both implementations were on a more equal footing ... and that's where I see the main distinction when looking at SR1-3 vs. SR4+: SR4+ stipulates that the technology for Decking and Rigging has converged to a point where the "software-based" technology for Decking has fully replaced the "hardware-based" implementation for Rigging whereas SR1-3 stipulated that the two different implementations existed side by side with limited overlap from one to the other.

QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
On the other hand, SR2 doesn't allow for Riggers doing hacking unless they're willing to split their skill base and having to invest in another technology.


I put "hacking" in quotation marks for a good reason. Closed circuit security systems (CCSS) and their interface technology in SR2 and SR3 are described as the technological equivalent of a vehicle just on building level. This brings us back to the implementation differences between Rigging and Decking. A SR2/3 Rigger who adds CCSS hacking to his repertoire doesn't have to split his skill base beyond the scope of things he'd have to invest for remote drone operation and he still isn't a Decker and will be of little use in the Decking circus (just like the Decker will not be good as CCSS hacking or vehicle operation).

QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
Are we talking about this purely from the SR4 perspective?

Prior to this posting I was looking at this mainly from the SR1 to 3 perspective because that's where my personal preference lies.

QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
I don't have a problem with that. If nothing else I'm arguing that the SR4 perspective makes more sense in SR2 even if you're not fully enabling wireless modems/commlinks.


From an engineering standpoint either perspective makes sense to me. For me it boils down to how far evolved one's SR universe is supposed to be. The original premise for SR1-3 is deeply rooted in 1970ies and 1980ies technological concepts where a plethora of different implementations for the same purpose co-existed and none had (yet) become so dominant that it directly caused the others to go extinct. SR4+ is more of a re-write with the 1900ies and 2000s in mind where certain implementations have either truly gone exctinct or were pressured into very tiny niches.

Personally I prefer the original SR vibe and still see the SR universe as a truly alternative reality where neither certain real world technological consolidations ever occured (along with ignoring retro actively introduced real world events and trends) nor the in-fiction technolgies for Rigging and Decking have converged to the point where they are "the same".

QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
And all I'm saying is that I would rather go down the route of SR4 and ignoring niche protection to make this a more sensible decision.


I have no objection about you doing that ... but I'm inclined to say that chosing the SR4 route is not necessarily the "more sensible" decision but rather a distinct world building decision on how and how far the in-fiction technologies in general and for human / machine interfaces in particular have evolved.

QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
From the pure assessment of the tech, rather than the mechanics (and inferred designer intent), I once again disagree with you.


And I'd say that you're disagreeing to something that I didn't even say.
See, I referenced that both VCR and Wired Reflexes are modifications to pretty much the same parts of the CNS but under different goals (and the VCR possibly being more invasive overall). The difference I see between them is as follows:

On the VCR side you have predominantly modifications to all neurons in the associated brain regions in a way that overall muxes and demuxes the input and output from either region towards and from the VCR <-> datajack <-> vehicle interface as well as retaining the normal signal pathways between those regions (and subsequently the physical body as well) in parallel => No "speed gains" when dealing with strictly physical actions but enhanced transmission speeds on the VCR pathway due to the various brain signals being directly fed into superconductive materials and / or are translated onto optical fibres at the respective source region.

On the Wired Reflexes side there's no need for that kind of mux/demux connectivity but instead those regions now are fitted with modifications that improve the interconnectivity between them thus indeed speeding up the brain processes permanently (or at least when the system is enabled). Unlike the VCR the Wired Reflexes would also include a larger modification to the spine and possibly the entire rest of the nervous system because you'd want those signal pathways also to be much faster.

QUOTE (Ka_ge2020)
And I guess what I'm saying is that, despite the above, the VCR doesn't hold water beyond the niche protection thing, was is a null thing as far as I can tell.


And I would still disagree.
Ka_ge2020
QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 24 2021, 07:40 AM) *
My actual assessment of the VCR wasn't about the validity of niche protection. I only said that this is how - in part - the Essence costs of the VCR in SR 1 to 3 apprear to have come into existance.

Apologies for my misunderstanding.

QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 24 2021, 07:40 AM) *
~hmm~ I don't recall having made any reference to increased physical movement speed affecting vehicular performance.

You didn't. I guess I was riffing off the notion that it was "Wired Reflexes for cars/etc." to explain the large Essence hole.

QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 24 2021, 07:40 AM) *
  • frontal lobe connectivity for access to skill
  • motor cortex and cerebellum to access / coordinate all the various control functions of the vehicle while applying those skills that come from the frontal lobe
  • sensory cortex and occipital cortex to receive the sensor information provided by the vehicle
  • limbic system as a (small) part of the "reaction enhancement" in that connection.
  • spine just because the ASIST technology needs a way for filtering / shutting down the rigger's physical body sensations and reactions while the rigger is using those connected brain sections for the desired rigging purposes.

Great response! And, FWIW, I agree with most of this.

QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 24 2021, 07:40 AM) *
Rigging on the other hand involved pretty much the entire brain being connected to the interface and the interface itself also included parts of the tech that for deckers is part of their cyberdeck.

Yet both cases you're essentially talking about a complex, implanted computer--much like a cyberdeck. And cyberdecks can also be installed.

While I get the gist of what you were talking about with "multiboxing" I have no idea what it is (and a quick Google just refers to playing multiple characters in MMORPGs). Again, though, I get what you're saying, and it's a reasonable argument.

QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 24 2021, 07:40 AM) *
I put "hacking" in quotation marks for a good reason. Closed circuit security systems (CCSS) and their interface technology in SR2 and SR3 are described as the technological equivalent of a vehicle just on building level. This brings us back to the implementation differences between Rigging and Decking. A SR2/3 Rigger who adds CCSS hacking to his repertoire doesn't have to split his skill base beyond the scope of things he'd have to invest for remote drone operation and he still isn't a Decker and will be of little use in the Decking circus (just like the Decker will not be good as CCSS hacking or vehicle operation).

This has a little bit more oomph to it, and certainly something that I need to bring into the mix. I do see there being differences in skill bases between the two. And there are definitely areas where you can see this happening, i.e. they're not necessarily coders.

I also apologise for not being as sensitive to the edition of Shadowrun as you are doing. I'm fighting the urge to keep the retrotech elements even though it has the back of my eyes itching. Perhaps the Rigging/Decking dichotomy is one step too far.

QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 24 2021, 07:40 AM) *
And I would still disagree.

Where would the fun be if everyone agreed on the same things?
Tiralee
My 2 cents in a topic filled with gold:

Yes, VCR is Wired for vehicles (and building, but we'll get to that) in that it juices up the init AND (in the case for SR3) gave you a yummy control pool for your drones and smart turrets to roll some extra dice and strawberry jam the nasties.

Huh, I also thought that having a VCR rig also reduced TN's for certain actions, based on the rating of the VCR. Specifically handling, maybe perception through the sensors...But I just did a quick dig through Rigger 3 and SR3 and found nothing mentioning that, so I might be mis-remembering this.

Regarding TN's, hmm, anyone got some input on this as it's going to bug the hell out of me now.

Regards,
-Tir
KCKitsune
QUOTE (Iduno @ Jan 19 2021, 01:41 PM) *
In 4th they lower the threshold (hits needed for success) by one as well, which is better than just a +1. I don't remember what all else they do, but I remember the essence cost was a bit high for what they did.


I never played 2nd edition, but in 4th edition, a Control Rig no longer had a rating was just a flat 0.5 Essence & 10,000 nuyen.gif price tag. It gave you a +2 dice pool modifier to any vehicle test while "jumped in"
Ka_ge2020
And I also note that SR4's 2050 supplement also returns to the large Essence cost.

*shrugs*

Thanks for the healthy debate. I'll try and post an alternate system gander to see how it pans out. This way I'll be able to test it in the forthcoming game. At first glance, I'm going to be taking some of the excellent suggestions made in this thread. I suspect that I'll go with it being far less invasive, though not quite as cutting-edge as a cyberdeck. Probably focussing on how many "things" you can control at once.

After that, just what can be done will depend on the drone/vehicle in questions and its hardware (sensors, armaments) and software (control, AI etc.) capabilities are.
bannockburn
QUOTE (Ka_ge2020 @ Jan 27 2021, 05:22 AM) *
And I also note that SR4's 2050 supplement also returns to the large Essence cost.

I wouldn't say so much that it 'returns' to that. 2050 is, after all, not a continuation of the timeline but rather a throwback to the classics.
Ka_ge2020
QUOTE (bannockburn @ Jan 27 2021, 02:53 AM) *
I wouldn't say so much that it 'returns' to that. 2050 is, after all, not a continuation of the timeline but rather a throwback to the classics.

Point. I was merely suggesting that it argued the case for those that are pro-high Essence cost.

I think that I'm sold on the idea that this should just be ignored. biggrin.gif
Ka_ge2020
So, trying to get back into what a VCR actually does, it seems that it allows you to focus on the activities of 1-3 vehicles/drones, right? That's the major feature?

It can give you a combat buff while in the vehicle, right?

You might be able to process information faster?

What else does it actually do?
Lionesque
You can use the VCR kind of like a control panel for controlling a number of semi-autonomous vehicles at once. Like those people who fly model airplanes with a huge box hanging around their neck. Only this is the 2050s, so itÝs all digital, and you can control several at one, either as a group or by switching from one to the other. However, you can also 'jump in', and that's when the real fun begins.

When you 'jump in', the VCR translates input from the vehicles' sensors, motors etc. into something your brain can interpret, and then transmits those signals to your brain and (at least partially) overwrites the sensory input from your meat body. You 'become' the vehicle.

It seems to me that you sort of insist on the VCR being a kind of inefficient wired reflexes, but that is not at all how we have used the VCR at our table. Apples and oranges, really. So no, the VCR doesn't give you a combat buff, if by combat buff you mean the ability to use your meat hand to shoot your pistol faster or better. Rather, the VCR allows you to 'become' (e.g.) a sherman tank and navigate, dodge and shoot at enemies as if you were the tank. How's that for a combat buff?
bannockburn
Don't forget that you can record video with it. Super useful! wink.gif
Ka_ge2020
The more that I'm seeing arguments about the VCR, the more that I'm becoming convinced that a part of the "thing" about VCR's--like cyberdecking--is that it's very much style over substance. Put another way, it sounds cool, but when it comes down to it you can get information quicker and more easily with Google. wink.gif

I don't see this in anyway to diminish the arguments and ideas that are being presented. Indeed, thank you for making them!

QUOTE (Lionesque @ Feb 1 2021, 05:24 AM) *
You can use the VCR kind of like a control panel for controlling a number of semi-autonomous vehicles at once. Like those people who fly model airplanes with a huge box hanging around their neck. Only this is the 2050s, so itÝs all digital, and you can control several at one, either as a group or by switching from one to the other. However, you can also 'jump in', and that's when the real fun begins.

Yep, of course. Anyone that has flown a drone by eye, screen, or FPV can get the gist of this. One imagines that the drones of the 2050s have far more onboard computational power than those on the current market, with the software capable of following specific instructions akin to, say, those that have GPS-programmable routes. Depending on that onboard hardware and software, "control[ling] several at on[c]e" can mean very different things.

For example, if they're "smart" drones (as it were) then that's not much of a stretch. Anyone can do that with a reasonable wi-fi/radio controller. On the other hand, if you can directly control multiple drones without relying upon smart drone software, then that is going to require being able to multi-task/thread in the 'ole noggin'. Hence the VCR. Being able to control multiple vehicles as if you were piloting them directly is a big deal. Not Essence 5 BD, but still it's going to require either the external deck or an internal VCR.

There are, of course, other ways for controlling larger number of drones, e.g. creating a mesh with a lead drone etc. And, yes, there's the hot sim.

QUOTE (Lionesque @ Feb 1 2021, 05:24 AM) *
When you 'jump in', the VCR translates input from the vehicles' sensors, motors etc. into something your brain can interpret, and then transmits those signals to your brain and (at least partially) overwrites the sensory input from your meat body. You 'become' the vehicle.

This sounds really neat and cool, but... Practically?

First, if you're getting data from the drone/vehicle, then it has to have the capability of providing that data. If it doesn't, then you're really trying to convert data into a sensation (or whatever) so that your brain can interpret it. Altitude converts to, say, a sense of vertigo.

Second, it's all good to say that you "become the vehicle" (or whatever) but how do you translate, say, rotor information in a quadcopter drone to bodily sensation and for it to be actually meaningful and actionable? Indeed, about the only way that the VCR makes sense as described is for controlling anthropomorphic drones/robots where the human brain can make up for all those complex algorithms like balance and "falling forward" is actually walking.

Also, why would you want to override the signals from your body? "Ouch! Ouch! I'm burning!" would be something that you might reasonably want to know.

So, I ask again, what would a VCR actually do?

From what I can tell, it allows the operator to directly control multiple vehicles or multiple actions within a vehicle without recourse to controlling software. That's a huge (BD!) deal. Being able to do that would make a huge mount of sense from the Rigger and the Spyder angle.

Your brain is also going to need to process a whole bunch of information faster than it would otherwise normally be able to do. Also a big deal. That lends credence to the previous argument about brain connectivity etc. so chalk that up for an argument for increased Essence cost over my previous argument about "It's just a computer, Jack."

Everything else, though? That really does seem like it's a vehicle/drone thing, right?

QUOTE (Lionesque @ Feb 1 2021, 05:24 AM) *
It seems to me that you sort of insist on the VCR being a kind of inefficient wired reflexes, but that is not at all how we have used the VCR at our table.

I cannot speak for your table, but I can say that this intimation comes directly from SR2 where the Essence costs and effects basically mirror Wired Reflexes--just for vehicles and a lot cheaper. That in and of itself would count for the "inefficient wired reflexes" thing.

What I am saying is that, based upon what people have been saying, the impact of the VCR is in a completely different area. That and, perhaps, that hot sim's are going to be completely over-rated (as they likely are with cyberdecks).

QUOTE (Lionesque @ Feb 1 2021, 05:24 AM) *
So no, the VCR doesn't give you a combat buff, if by combat buff you mean the ability to use your meat hand to shoot your pistol faster or better. Rather, the VCR allows you to 'become' (e.g.) a sherman tank and navigate, dodge and shoot at enemies as if you were the tank. How's that for a combat buff?

I misspoke/typed, likely because of the Essence Cost and rules that are focused on "reaction times."

What I'm really talking about is what the VCR does in real/game life. Already, the notion that you can multi-task to extreme to control multiple drones directly or, alternately, take up multiple crew requirements in a vehicle? That's a BD!

So how is being a tank a combat buff? For me the real question is not how it feels to be a tank, but how you can control a tank on your own without all the additional crew.

QUOTE (bannockburn @ Feb 1 2021, 07:38 AM) *
Don't forget that you can record video with it. Super useful! wink.gif

Ha. Too true. biggrin.gif
Lionesque
QUOTE (Ka_ge2020 @ Feb 2 2021, 05:12 AM) *
For me the real question is not how it feels to be a tank, but how you can control a tank on your own without all the additional crew.

I guess you would need some sort of bridge between the sensors and controld of the vehicle and your meat brain to control the vehicle with your mind rather than with your meat body. Hey, here's an idea! Why not call it a 'Vehicle control rig'? nyahnyah.gif
Ka_ge2020
QUOTE (Lionesque @ Feb 2 2021, 06:15 AM) *
I guess you would need some sort of bridge between the sensors and controld of the vehicle and your meat brain to control the vehicle with your mind rather than with your meat body. Hey, here's an idea! Why not call it a 'Vehicle control rig'? nyahnyah.gif

Ha ha. Very funny.

Methinks that you're deliberately misinterpreting for the comedy factor. Suffice to say that I think everyone can acknowledge that the VCR is a thing. The justification for that "thing" is, however, almost entirely meta--to make drivers "cool" and "distinct."

And that's fair enough, but for my purposes methinks that it just means that the VCR needs to be "reinvented" so that it makes a little bit more sense and doesn't get in the way of Jason Statham Transporter-esque character because he needed to load up Essence 5 VCR just to be able to drive hands-off while firing the turret and controlling a monitor drone. Or something like that.

So, as I'm seeing it now, for it to "make sense" and scale appropriately it would:

  • Allow control of 1-3 direct vehicles/drones, though that's going to still come with some negative modifiers past the first.
  • Give you some extra processing power to handle all the information that is coming in.
  • Allow a certain amount of "hacking" so that the Rigger can "hotwire" the car of the future--break through its firewall etc.
  • Chip jacks so that you can load up translation modules/protocols/etc. (or pre-coded hacks?).


All of this would be headware; a dedicated "cyberdeck" (or whatever you want to call it). Maybe maxing out at Essence 1.5.

Could you have a Rigger-"something" combination character? You could, I suppose, but it would be a "noob" character, where you're basically buying everything rather than doing it yourself. A "weekend warrior" of the Rigger world. A rigger character is going to be invested in driving and piloting skills, build/repair skills, probably some armory skills down the line. Indeed, that seems a far more relevant limiter for combo characters than forcing them to buy a traditional VCR for 5 Essence.
KCKitsune
QUOTE (Ka_ge2020 @ Feb 2 2021, 06:21 PM) *
Ha ha. Very funny.

Methinks that you're deliberately misinterpreting for the comedy factor. Suffice to say that I think everyone can acknowledge that the VCR is a thing. The justification for that "thing" is, however, almost entirely meta--to make drivers "cool" and "distinct."

And that's fair enough, but for my purposes methinks that it just means that the VCR needs to be "reinvented" so that it makes a little bit more sense and doesn't get in the way of Jason Statham Transporter-esque character because he needed to load up Essence 5 VCR just to be able to drive hands-off while firing the turret and controlling a monitor drone. Or something like that.

So, as I'm seeing it now, for it to "make sense" and scale appropriately it would:

  • Allow control of 1-3 direct vehicles/drones, though that's going to still come with some negative modifiers past the first.
  • Give you some extra processing power to handle all the information that is coming in.
  • Allow a certain amount of "hacking" so that the Rigger can "hotwire" the car of the future--break through its firewall etc.
  • Chip jacks so that you can load up translation modules/protocols/etc. (or pre-coded hacks?).


All of this would be headware; a dedicated "cyberdeck" (or whatever you want to call it). Maybe maxing out at Essence 1.5.

Could you have a Rigger-"something" combination character? You could, I suppose, but it would be a "noob" character, where you're basically buying everything rather than doing it yourself. A "weekend warrior" of the Rigger world. A rigger character is going to be invested in driving and piloting skills, build/repair skills, probably some armory skills down the line. Indeed, that seems a far more relevant limiter for combo characters than forcing them to buy a traditional VCR for 5 Essence.


I think that you can backport the VCR from SR 4 into SR 2. The advantage is that if you have the new VCR you just get a bonus of 2 extra dice, but you have to have a separate form of reflex augmentation to get extra actions either in meat space or hot sim rigging of the vehicle.


This would allow a bad ass driver who can do more than drive. If your driver has the NEW VCRô, a cranial cyberdeck, and a high grade Synaptic Accelerator (SR II version) then he can have the Essence left over to get cool toys.
Ka_ge2020
QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Feb 2 2021, 11:35 PM) *
I think that you can backport the VCR from SR 4 into SR 2. The advantage is that if you have the new VCR you just get a bonus of 2 extra dice, but you have to have a separate form of reflex augmentation to get extra actions either in meat space or hot sim rigging of the vehicle.


This would allow a bad ass driver who can do more than drive. If your driver has the NEW VCRô, a cranial cyberdeck, and a high grade Synaptic Accelerator (SR II version) then he can have the Essence left over to get cool toys.

This is in essence (no pun) what this discussion has led me too. Again, I wanted to thank people for their contributions. Even if we didn't agree, I got a lot out of this.

Even with a reduced Essence cost, I think that Riggers are going to be as distinct as other niches because of the sheer amount of skills that anyone but a poseur and, well, that kind of 'runner is not going to last too long even with mommy/daddy's money. wink.gif
Lionesque
QUOTE (Ka_ge2020 @ Feb 3 2021, 12:21 AM) *
Methinks that you're deliberately misinterpreting for the comedy factor.


Methinks not. Methinks you have decided to disagree with the cost of the VCR while you ignore and/or downplay what it allows a character to do. One simple solution would be to just reduce the cost at your table and call it a day.

Jason Statham's Transporter is not a rigger. He cannot do what a rigger can do, and a rigger (probably) couldn't do what the Transporter can do in terms of combat, social skills, etc. If you want a character like the Transporter, build a street sam and give him a boatload of points in Driving.
Cochise
QUOTE (Lionesque)
If you want a character like the Transporter, build a street sam and give him a boatload of points in Driving.

Or go the Adept route for both the melee prowess and some points of increased ability levels on driving cars.
Ka_ge2020
Is it just me, or has this thread run its course?

QUOTE (Lionesque @ Feb 3 2021, 06:30 AM) *
Methinks not. Methinks you have decided to disagree with the cost of the VCR while you ignore and/or downplay what it allows a character to do.

My bad. I was just hoping that it was done for comedic reasons.

With that said, however, I think that you're barking up the wrong tree. While I do think that the VCR is waaaaayyy over-priced in terms of Essence for what it does, this doesn't actually translate to downplaying or ignoring what it does in the world of Shadowrun. Or, at least I believe so. Consider that I have been talking about:

  • Being able to control one or more vehicles/drones. Check.
  • Giving you the bonus of being able to process the huge amount of information that would be coming from the aforesaid.
  • Being an advanced enough computer implant that it can actually run VR/hot sim (this might be dedicated).
  • Introduced the notion that different vehicles might need "translator modules" to interface with different vehicles, and also that illegal versions of these might be required to "hack" vehicles to steal them. (Need to figure out how this interfaces with SR4-style hacking and rigging where there isn't some artificial barrier between them.)


Not quite sure how that is nerfing Riggers. Again, quite the opposite as it seems to give them a bit more agency in the world rather than just being the meat-sack that drives the vehicles and drones.

I'm sorry that you have such a problem with me feeling that the Essence price is not warranted and, further, that the explanations for it being bodyware are insufficient. As with any interpretation of a gaming universe, I'm talking about "my table"--clearly--as I have no skin in the writing or publication of Shadowrun.

If there is indeed one place that I have a problem with when it comes to SR2 is its overreliance on the VR to such an extent that it is a practical McGuffin. While this is present in the original rules with Decking, it is more so with Rigging where just throwing VR/hot sim is seemingly a panacea for "future magic." After all, hot sim into a plane and you're suddenly flying like a bird...

... Except if you really think about it there are some many problems with that. That is, however, a conversation that I'm seeing as clearly not for this board.

QUOTE (Lionesque @ Feb 3 2021, 06:30 AM) *
Jason Statham's Transporter is not a rigger. He cannot do what a rigger can do, and a rigger (probably) couldn't do what the Transporter can do in terms of combat, social skills, etc. If you want a character like the Transporter, build a street sam and give him a boatload of points in Driving.

If you're coming from purely RAW then you might be right. And, yet, I kinda doubt it. VCR 1 (he only seems to drive one vehicle), some Wired, driving, and martial arts. Good enough approximation in SR terms.

Another system that is a little bit more nuanced might make it difficult. Or RAW SR if you demand that to be "The Transporter" he need to have awesomez VCR 3 just for the reflex buff.
Ka_ge2020
One of the reasons that I'm trying to get my head around all of this to make sure that everything works for the setting...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSJE3r5aEtw

Furthermore, the AR/VR thread has been (eventually) a conceptual game changer for me. Less with Rigging but certainly with Decking. Thanks for those that engaged positively and in good faith.
Bodak
QUOTE (Ka_ge2020 @ Jan 20 2021, 10:33 PM) *
In SRII they're identical at 2, 3, and 5 for Level 1, 2, and 3, respectively. I truly understand what is meant to do, and reacting at the speed of thought without having to involve your meat sack makes a whole bunch of sense. It's that I'm not seeing--other than the mechanics, which is fair enough--a reason who you need to do the same to the body.

Put another way, if a VCR replicates Wired Reflexes, then the Rigger should also get the benefit of Wired Reflexes.
What if they act as Wired Reflexes in disposable bodies (easier and cheaper to replace most demolished drones than to reconstruct a demolished cybersam) but not in meatspace... and they act as Skillwires in disposable bodies but not in meatspace? Just like meatspace Skillwires need a Chipjack, remote control Skillwires (a VCR) require an Encephalon. Rigger 2 (SR2) p17 shows that an encephalon allows a remote controlling rigger to make use of Activesofts in their vehicle/drone body. If the rigger's body is strapped into the getaway van and their drone(s) are with the team, jacked with wired reflexes and skillware, that could be potent.

But the VCR/Encephalon aren't acting like Wired Reflexes/Skillwires/Chipjack in meatspace because they aren't superconductive expressways from the spinal column to muscles in meatspace. They're superconductive expressways from brain centres to the datajack and thence to the Remote Control Deck. So it would make sense that they can convey Skillsoft signals remotely just as superfast as rigger skills learnt with Karma. In which case, why isn't there a cyberware suite giving massive discount to customers installing Wired Reflexes alongside Skillwires? It's not as if you're going to lay down two separate signal pathways right beside each other in that cybersurgery.

This was deprecated in SR3. Rigger 3 brought us Autosofts (R3.44, R3.99, R3.142) cheap skills that augment the very expensive Pilot that you're referring to when describing "smart drones" that can handle themselves. Meanwhile the Encephalon's 3rd edition firmware update removed the skillsoft functionality (Man & Machine p20 / Rigger 3 p27).

QUOTE (Ka_ge2020 @ Jan 22 2021, 01:56 AM) *
On the other hand, SR2 doesn't allow for Riggers doing hacking unless they're willing to split their skill base and having to invest in another technology.
Matrix (SR3) p28 also raises all TNs by 1 when a decker with a VCR uses a cyberdeck.

I would agree with Cochise that the VCR is intercepting all the traffic in the central nervous system bar breathing. It's installing relays in all the major neural pathways saying if the VCR is engaged, traffic goes over the wireless and if it isn't, traffic goes down the meat tubes. That's pretty invasive:
QUOTE (Cochise @ Jan 24 2021, 12:40 PM) *
Just for the record: The brain is part of the central nervous system and if I where to break down the various connections that I referenced with regards of the VCR and the "assuming the body" concept then they'd roughly look like this:

  • frontal lobe connectivity for access to skill
  • motor cortex and cerebellum to access / coordinate all the various control functions of the vehicle while applying those skills that come from the frontal lobe
  • sensory cortex and occipital cortex to receive the sensor information provided by the vehicle
  • limbic system as a (small) part of the "reaction enhancement" in that connection.
  • spine just because the ASIST technology needs a way for filtering / shutting down the rigger's physical body sensations and reactions while the rigger is using those connected brain sections for the desired rigging purposes.

If VCRs improve Reaction for the purposes of vehicles and drones, and vehicle/drone skills are Reaction-linked, a better VCR raises the ceiling for how high a rigger can raise skills with Good Karma before hitting diminishing returns.

I wish Kagetenshi were still here to defend the VCR3 (despite its Essence cost)!
Kagetenshi
Iím sad that no one remembers On Cyberware.

QUOTE (Ka_ge2020 @ Jan 21 2021, 09:56 PM) *
For example, being able to move your arms faster in no way means that the vehicle is going to have a better turn radius.

Control Pool is based on Reaction which uses Quickness. Combat Pool is usable for attacks while jumped in and is still calculated with Quickness contributing a third of the value. Mechanically this keeps Riggers from becoming a 1.5 Attribute character (INT critical, WIL desirable, CHR handy, everything else at 1), but for in-universe justification see below. Itís why the paraplegic Rigger isnít actually practical mechanically.

QUOTE
On the other hand, SR2 doesn't allow for Riggers doing hacking unless they're willing to split their skill base and having to invest in another technology.

You need to buy a deck and programs, so itís very difficult to have a Riggerdecker out of chargen given how expensive vehicles and drones are, but Riggers are already incentivized to have Computer skill by pre-programmed drone commands and several other more niche uses. The only barriers are nuyen (admittedly a high barrier) and the Rigger tendency to stay holed up in the van away from airgapped systemsóI routinely had a satellite uplink in my Riggermobiles and I donít think I had to work that hard to fit it in. Even airgaps can be managed by drones jacking in and retransmitting.

If you can find the cash (or the gear outright), itís a very natural second role in SR3. Hacking requires Strength and a Combat Axe, pretty far from the Riggerís wheelhouse (though at least itís cheap).

QUOTE
From the pure assessment of the tech, rather than the mechanics (and inferred designer intent), I once again disagree with you. I'm seriously seeing no reason that the rigger needs to interface with their vehicle except insofar as the conceit is that you improve the body and you improve the mind.

I find it far more likely that the VCR actually improves the brain than the body.

My view of the description of the VCR and jumping in is that itís structurally comparable to Wired Reflexes. The fluff (and the massive mechanical benefits) suggest a jumped-in Rigger operating a vehicle/drone as naturally as their own body, which to me suggests integration not just into the CNS but also into the peripheral nervous system to the point of harvesting entirely-peripheral reflexes for vehicle control. I also interpret the VCR as having some ability to control the body, since otherwise it would be impossible to Rig a motorcycle, but while Iím pretty sure nothing has suggested it isnít possible Iíll grant that Iím not sure anything has said that it is, so I lose that angle if you reject it. Anyway, this also gives some justification to Quickness remaining relevantóperipheral nervous system performance is often highly connected to physical performance. Itís why people tend to experience large performance gains when they first start exercisingóthe signal conduction of related nerves can be a major limiting factor in untrained individuals and improves more quickly than (and simultaneously with) the muscles signaled by the nerves.

Someone said something about not finding the TN mods; SR3 p134 has Driving Test modifiers with -VCR level listed if jumped in, and several other tests have -2xVCR level listed.

~J
Tiralee
Dinosaur noises from the past here:

VCR was a way to really squeeze all the performance from a vehicle, drone, chopper, whatever. It made the meat talk properly to the metal, without that pesky intellect being in the way and used a big fat trunk line into the lizard part of the brain to do so. Decking is an interface, Rigging is posessing the machine until you are the machine.

It was expensive (Essence and Nuyen) and niche, but you had a rigger and a decker giving overwatch, a Rigger and a sammy when making a hole in the wall for the troll to fit through, a rigger and the corpo spy when infiltrating and a rigger when you really needed somewhere to go, fast, and safe.

I remember the VCR rig reducing the TN's as well (which got pretty damn high when in a running firefight with a stolen Siver Brumby vs a Nightsky (the Brumby won) ) but it was really geared at player who liked their toys and who could tinker and make them sit up and beg. Who cares if you're 200lb, 5'2, have asthma and allergies for days when your Steel Lynx (ie: Jazzed-up-Troll-with-an-assualt-cannon-inna-box!) can roll down stairs (alone or in pairs) and melts through your neighbor's dog?
That and the obscenity that the Stratos-9 roto-drone (Comes free with ECM 2, External Fixed Hardpoint w/MMG(w/GasVent-III and 500 rds. ammo), Remote-Control Interface and Rigger Adaptation!).

As with all implants, upgrades and shiny things you can buy, yes, there are other options, but this is flavour with a pointed direction for character. Anyone could buy enhanced articulation, Riggers bought VCR.

If you can fork out that VCR3 with the trimmings, that means you CAN afford to lose a 40K drone on a mission because your cut's going to buy it back ten-fold, all from the safety and comfort of your armoured personnel carrier disguised as a garbage truck. All this while the sammpy's picking narcoject darts out of his ass and the deckers' not feeling so good after sparky gave his lobes a tickle, and medicine man Running-with-Scissors-YOLO ain't coming back after that guardian element went all ground zero on his astral...

It's not just the numbers, it's the nuances.
Sure, you can trick out an adept that looks like elven Cary Grant and drives like One-Punch Man late for a shopping Sale, but that's huunting numbers, rather than playing as a character,

-Tir!
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Tiralee @ Jun 15 2021, 08:05 AM) *
I remember the VCR rig reducing the TN's as well

You remember correctly, more or less. In what is best considered a case of ďShadowrun being ShadowrunĒ, the only TN reduction in the gear description is defaulting Vehicle skills to Reaction at +2 instead of +4, but the modifiers for the Driving test give -VCR rating and Accelerating/Braking/Positioning/Ramming/Hiding all give -2xVCR.

QUOTE
(which got pretty damn high when in a running firefight with a stolen Siver Brumby vs a Nightsky (the Brumby won) )

I was going to say it isnít a fair fight, but itís actually an interesting matchupó4/3 vs 4/8, but the Nightsky has the edge in top speed and acceleration (and armor), so if the Brumby is pursuing the Nightsky you really need to do something fast to keep the Nightsky from just outrunning the Brumby. The other way around, Brumby just needs a way to take the fight offroad and itíll just eat the Nightsky.


QUOTE
If you can fork out that VCR3 with the trimmings, that means you CAN afford to lose a 40K drone on a mission because your cut's going to buy it back ten-fold, all from the safety and comfort of your armoured personnel carrier disguised as a garbage truck.

If you can fork out (and get the skill), you can often avoid losing it (though keep in mind that youíre looking at another ~25k for Encryption unless you cheese the Vehicle Design rules to take advantage of low chassis multipliers). I suppose R3 is enough to be pretty safe at 15k, but R5 is where you really collapse the MIJI rules into the J rules.

(Much like how in Star Trek the Cardassians were the only ones who took computer security seriously, in Shadowrun the Riggers are the only ones who take Encryption seriously.)

~J
Tiralee
->(which got pretty damn high when in a running firefight with a stolen Siver Brumby vs a Nightsky (the Brumby won) )

-->I was going to say it isnít a fair fight, but itís actually an interesting matchupó4/3 vs 4/8, but the Nightsky has the edge in top speed and acceleration (and armor), so if the Brumby is pursuing the Nightsky you really need to do something fast to keep the Nightsky from just outrunning the Brumby. The other way around, Brumby just needs a way to take the fight offroad and itíll just eat the Nightsky.

Heh, heh, heh, fine then. Here goes...


"Settle down folks, and I shall recount to thee the tale of Sparky and the ride of the Silver Brumby...come around, come around, for I am old now, and this is a tale from the past..."

"Legends have it Sparky was a Loa-possesed corpse hungering for vengeance and cheap thrills, others claim that he was an exiled elven prince, booted from the Tir after a rite of Succession went sideways and killed off a few potential nobles, some would even whisper he was really a bioform suit, driven remotely by a disembodied brain in a vat. I can say all of these wild guesses are wrong - he was simply an elven street sam with a mouth and an ego that made things worse."

"Sparky liked to push limits, and he found himself in a pickle of his own brewing, mouthing off to not one, not three, but a DOZEN go-gangs, claiming he was the fastest thing that rolled through Seattle, and put down money, big money, to prove it. Drek got real when the first panzer-jockeys swapped their stubby wings for 4, 6 and 10 wheels. A truce was called and driver tryouts began...yes, THOSE ones. You see them re-enacted on the trid now, but I breathed in those fumes, tasted the burnt rubber and wiped the blood off my face when they failed. After the combat biker league got wind of things, we had a few lower corps sniff around, all the while Sparky, oblivious to the volcano of hurt he'd triggered pulled a few runs and lay low, honing his skills on the sims and tweaking a custom ride, a 2nd-hand BMW."

"Raceday...children, raceday is a misnomer. Forget the trids, it was at 2am on a Tuesday night, not some high-noon bulldrek. It was Seattle at it's finest, misty, windy and with a hint of acid fog rolling in from Renton."
"Sparky rolled up and, to what I imagine was his horror, found himself on the starting line with a matchup of the most terrifying street monsters that had ever cruised the I90. There was even a fully-armed and freshly-stolen APC, lifted from the National Guard, rumbling on the blocks while the mad bastards who stole it worked frantically to install a beer-keg of nitro to the half-tank."

"That wasn't the worst of it - there were Nightskies, nameless sand buggies, two heavy Trailblazers and, I swear I'm not making this up, a flying VW Electro. I have no idea who or what that was, or if a free-spirit saw the commotion and wanted to join in on the fun, but there it was, bobbing about on the starting line."

"Anyway, the old Sparkster ran with a crew of, what would now be called, "Freelance, Fast-Response Security Specialists". And they were equally nonplussed to find that what they thought was going to be a soy-beer and pretzel tailgate party had turned into, uh, I don't know...Australia? So there was a quick huddle and vote to see if they would quickly disappear and leave Sparky to his fate."

"As he'd saved at least one of them a few times, it was a narrow "Frag around and find out" vote to stay, with some of the more squishy team members hanging out in the armored Assault Hovercraft that they'd liberated from some very surprised Azzies a couple of months back, from over the border way. While they were there, they figured the best entertainment they could have would be to ensure that Sparky made it to the Finish Line."

"While THIS little talk was happening, Sparky's ride was boosted by some spirited onlookers and was subsequently blown to pieces when one of the Locals with a Grand Dragon thought he was welshing on his bet."

"Yep, his pride and joy, and the only chance he had of making it out of there alive, turned into a spatter of metal confetti bouncing from the armored windshield of the Hovercraft..."

"You could see the desperation in his eyes - He needed a set of wheels, or his attempt would be void."
"And there was no way, no how, a contestant would trade their ride 10 minutes to start."
"So he did whatever a smart Shadowrunner would do - he boosted a ride and called in his markers."

"The ride was a Nissan Brumby, a regular workhorse, in good condition and secured behind a set of maglocks what would make a bank blush."
"Didn't mean a lick of difference to their walking riot squad Kronk, who cut through the brick wall with a Dikoted Axe and then troll-handled that thing out."
"Don't ask me how they knew it was there, but they had the skills of some pretty scary people and Kronk was the nice one."

"So, the ride. Standard. Nothing fancy. Nothing special. Nothing in that thing after a quick clean up but fuel and the driver's seat."
"No seatbelt, no airbags, no handbrake, nil sweat. Only one seat and a set of fuzzy dice that Sparky swore were calling to him."

"Must have been, considering that drive..."



Want me to continue..? smile.gif
-Tir
Lionesque
Moar, Grampa! What happn'd next? Tell us! Tell us pleeeeeeeease!
Sendaz
more please
nezumi
oops -- realized I responded to a february post.
Bigity
QUOTE (Ka_ge2020 @ Jan 20 2021, 07:52 PM) *
As Wired Reflexes and the VCR are "on the line" as it were, what do they actually do?

I'm not talking exclusively in terms of mechanics but how one might "fluffily" talk about them.

For example, Wired Reflexes buffs your body to react faster, but how does that impact the mental characteristics of the character? Is it just about getting the body to diminish the reaction time, or does the implant allow the character to process information faster?

So, to put this into practice, I imagine that there is a "headware" component of "Wired Reflexes" that speeds up the 'ole noggin' in the same way that, say, a Cerebral Booster (SR2, Shadowtech) does? Something that breaks down the barriers between observation and nerve reaction?

As someone that is trying to approach SR holistically, getting the nuances down is really important to me. Put another way, thanks for your patience.


VCRs take feedback from rigged drones/vehicles and convert it to something your brain understands. Nothing particularly special there, deckers get this with datajacks (and a deck or program carrier).

What VCRs also do is take those impulses and translate them to your meat body. Revving the engine - gets your heart pumping. Think of it like replacing the instinct of the rigger's body with a vehicle analog. Ducking a punch becomes swerving to avoid flying debris.

Where decking is all mental (except for black ice I guess), you think about opening the file and your icon does it. Revving your engine for a rigger is literally that.

At least, that's the way I always thought about it.
pbangarth
Both Matrix and Astral actions are much faster than physical, often being described as "at the speed of tbought". So I don't think the wired reflexes do much to the brain itself.

The cerebral booster you mention is, I think, less a speeding up of serial thought processes than an increasing of parallel processing.
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