Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Build/Repair
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
noneuklid
Anyone see any particular reason for keeping Electronics, Electronics B/R, and Computer B/R as seperate skills?
Fortune
I combine the two Electronics skills into one, but keep the Computer B/R as seperate.
Spook
I always figured Elecronics and B/R as the same, good to see that i'm not alone there. Computer and computer B/R though, are very different. A high computer skill lets you hack systems, write programs, do searches better, etc, where comp B/R would (in modern-day terms) be the ability to put components in properly, know what cables go where, what screws fit what and so on.

Granted, many people with computer skills also have high B/R skills, but they're not the same.
Kagetenshi
While I might like them to be the same as far as skill point costs go, I see Electronics and Electronics B/R as separate skills. The ability to design and build a circuit and the ability to use said circuit to greatest effectiveness are not, in my mind, facets of the same skill.

~J
Fortune
Most of the listed uses for Electronics really qualify as B/R type applications. I really don't see the need for a 'Program the VCR' skill, but when it comes to messing with circuitry, that is pretty much what Electronics covers. It's a minor change in my opinion, and maybe not for everyone. Works for me in my games though.
noneuklid
QUOTE
Computer and computer B/R though, are very different.


I agree completely. Computer B/R and Electronics B/R, however, are not- that's why I propose combining the three skills into one.
Kagetenshi
Computer B/R and Electronics B/R are quite different as well, IMO. Then again, in a system where first aid and brain surgery can be practiced by the same base skill the distinction may not be terribly important.

~J
Crusher Bob
I think dentistry ad vetrinary medicine fit under the biotech skill too
noneuklid
Yes, Shadowrun. Where using a nine-inch blade attached to the forearm and using a knife represent incompatable skills, proficiency in the English roman alphabet does not confer proficiency in the Spanish roman alphabet, and swimming above and below water require different skills- but medicine is furnished by the complex process of, "Hey you, fix me!"
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (noneuklid @ Jan 3 2005, 09:03 AM)
Yes, Shadowrun.  Where using a nine-inch blade attached to the forearm and using a knife represent incompatable skills, proficiency in the English roman alphabet does not confer proficiency in the Spanish roman alphabet, and swimming above and below water require different skills- but medicine is furnished by the complex process of, "Hey you, fix me!"

Some of your points are valid, but I can read and write English and can do neither in Spanish. For that matter, diving is a lot more complex than just swimming; actual motion makes up a fairly small part of the skill.

~J
noneuklid
If you can write English and you can speak Spanish, you can write Spanish IRL. Mastery of the romanic alphabet means phonetic competence. Admittedly, you'll probably mispell a bit- but what you write will be comprehensible to others, and you'll be able to read what they write. On the other hand, a shadowrunner who grows up illiterate in Atlzan and moves to Seattle and learns to speak and write English gets a Spanish Read/Write skill of nada.

And Athletics covers swimming, escape artist-ry, and lifting weights. Would we say that swimming has more or less in common with 'escape artist' than diving?
Kagetenshi
Would you say that, oh, maybe a +2 TN penalty might be appropriate for trying to write Spanish with knowledge of English R/W and spoken Spanish?

And yes, I would say that swimming has more in common with escape artistry than with diving. Both of those are physically demanding pursuits. With diving, if it's physically demanding you're clearly not prepared to be diving in those particular conditions. Fundamentally the harder you work the shorter the time you can stay down.

~J
noneuklid
Since the language groupings are linked, not the alphabets (p91 SR3), it's a default to Intelligence (+4). +2 is potentially appropriate (+1 would probably be better), but cannonically wrong.

Diving is a BOD-linked skill, as is Athletics. While I agree there is a lot of technical knowledge involved in diving that is not required in surface swimming, and likewise agree that breathing underwater the same way one does while doing the breast-stroke is foolish at best and suicidal at worst, the same 'body knowledge' applies to both sets of activities- comfortable movement in a liquid.
Kagetenshi
I think it's appropriate that it's BOD-linked, as if you're in better shape you can do more without exerting yourself. I still hold that it's unlike what Athletics covers.

I'm at work, so I can't check the language thing.

~J
Solstice
I have two people in my group who are electrical engineering students. I will see what they say about combining these skills, if they think it's justifiable. I'd like to see it in my game too.
Moon-Hawk
Admittedly, operating an electronic device and building/cracking/etc an electronic device are very different skills. However: I wouldn't use Electronics to operate an electronic rock analyzer, I'd use Geology. I wouldn't use Electronics to use a MRI machine, I'd use Biotech. I wouldn't use Electronics to use a Battletac unit, I'd use Small Unit Tactics. Pretty much any use of an electronic device will not use the Electronics skill, it will use the skill related to whatever field the electronic device was designed for. What very few uses of the Electronics skill wouldn't apply to any other skill are very closely related to Electronics B/R. I think that it would be fine to combine Electronics and Electronics B/R.
As for folding Computer B/R into that, you're streching a bit. Some aspects of the skills are admittedly similar. They should be in the same group and be able to default at +2 (as I believe they are, IIRC), but they're still fairly different. (At least as different as rifles vs. assault rifles) So Computer B/R should probably be kept separate.
In summary: I feel that combining Electronics and Electronics B/R is just fine, but Computer and Computer B/R are both separate, but all three would be in the same related group.
If anyone cares, I have a degrees in Electrical Engineering and Bioelectronics.
Gyro the Greek Sandwich Pirate
I have a question...

Does anyone have a terribly good reason to keep Electronics and Electronics B/R seperate? Or is there consensus on the it doesn't matter issue?
Solstice
QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
Admittedly, operating an electronic device and building/cracking/etc an electronic device are very different skills. However: I wouldn't use Electronics to operate an electronic rock analyzer, I'd use Geology. I wouldn't use Electronics to use a MRI machine, I'd use Biotech. I wouldn't use Electronics to use a Battletac unit, I'd use Small Unit Tactics. Pretty much any use of an electronic device will not use the Electronics skill, it will use the skill related to whatever field the electronic device was designed for. What very few uses of the Electronics skill wouldn't apply to any other skill are very closely related to Electronics B/R. I think that it would be fine to combine Electronics and Electronics B/R.
As for folding Computer B/R into that, you're streching a bit. Some aspects of the skills are admittedly similar. They should be in the same group and be able to default at +2 (as I believe they are, IIRC), but they're still fairly different. (At least as different as rifles vs. assault rifles) So Computer B/R should probably be kept separate.
In summary: I feel that combining Electronics and Electronics B/R is just fine, but Computer and Computer B/R are both separate, but all three would be in the same related group.
If anyone cares, I have a degrees in Electrical Engineering and Bioelectronics.

I disagree, I use some specialized devices in my field and I don't know the first thing about electronics, which causes me much difficulty in figuring out some of my field specific eletronic devices. I don't even know what gain is or how frequencies work etc.... and that lack of knowledge related specifically to electronics, not related to my field keeps me from using said device efficiently and properly. So I'd have to say your incorrect.
Cakeman
The reason i keep them separate is that I consider Electronics be the skill you use mostly for electronic warfare, i.e. finding the enemy and concealing yourself, and the B/R skill is just that - B/R.
Moon-Hawk
Interesting point. But at the same time, I know all about gain & frequencies, and (although I don't know your field) I'm betting that I couldn't get the device to do anything meaningful at all, since I have no idea what type of input I'm supposed to give it, what the output means, or how to interpret any of it.
One might be a complimentary skill for the other, it's just a question of which one. I'm suggesting that Electronics could be the complimentary skill to your unnamed field, and would help you to use your device, but not the other way around since all the electronics knowledge in the world won't help you operate the device if you have no understanding of what it is to be used for.
So your specialized skill is still the primary skill, some electronics knowledge might just help a little bit.

Also, having knowledge about what gain means and how frequencies work is much more a thing learned by Electronics B/R, in my opinion, than Electronics. Sure, knowledge of electronics tells you what these basic terms mean, but it is in learning to design electronics that you understand these terms fully and learn how to manipulate them and what effect they have on device operation. While they are facets of both "skills", I suggest that even this knowledge should belong more to Electronics B/R.

So what I'm saying is, Electronics B/R (still not Electronics) might be a useful complimentary skill for you to use with your device in your field, some other skill more directly related to your field would still be the primary skill. But not knowing your field I realize that that's a pretty weak claim.
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (Cakeman @ Jan 3 2005, 06:37 PM)
The reason i keep them separate is that I consider Electronics be the skill you use mostly for electronic warfare, i.e. finding the enemy and concealing yourself, and the B/R skill is just that - B/R.

So far this is the only use of Electronics that I've seen listed that I don't think is really part of Electronics B/R. (but should still default at +2)
But then again, I don't see how Electronic Warfare has much to do with general knowledge of operating electronic devices, either. So is Electronic Warfare the only redeeming use of the Electronics skill? Maybe we should just rename it. smile.gif
Cakeman
I think there's a specialization to electronics called electronic warfare if I'm not mistaken...

but then again, this all boils down to how narrow a skill is allowed to be. As stated before, biotech is a very broad skill in Shadowrun but maybe, just maybe that's becase this is a part of the game that the runner tends not to focus on. Had the game been called "general hospital" there'd been a totally different set of skills, and one of them would have been "firearms"...

So if electronics is way to narrow, it ought to be gone. It stays in my games, and if someone comes up with more instances were it would be useful, it'll gain importance. But yes, I think it's kinda narrow right now... just buy the specialization wink.gif
iPad
QUOTE (Cakeman @ Jan 3 2005, 05:58 PM)


but then again, this all boils down to how narrow a skill is allowed to be. As stated before, biotech is a very broad skill in Shadowrun but maybe, just maybe that's becase this is a part of the game that the runner tends not to focus on. Had the game been called "general hospital" there'd been a totally different set of skills, and one of them would have been "firearms"...

So if electronics is way to narrow, it ought to be gone. It stays in my games, and if someone comes up with more instances were it would be useful, it'll gain importance. But yes, I think it's kinda narrow right now... just buy the specialization wink.gif

We have a winner!

That said the campaign Im in had a similer phase where we treated Electronics + B/R as one skill until we got to the bare bones of what both do. Just look in books like rigger 3 and you have some excellent examples of the differences.
noneuklid
It seems to me that the theoretical knowledge required to operate ECM/ECCM and other broadcast or surveilance gear would be possessed by someone who is familiar with the electromagnetic fields that affect or power the devices she builds; basically, electronic warfare would be a macroscopic use of B/R, with the communication network in question being a wireless metadevice.

Likewise, Hardware is a specialization of Computer (not Computer B/R). It stands to reason that an Electronics-proficient character can put together and take apart computer components using that knowledge, but full understanding or designing new ones from scratch requires the 'theoretical knowledge' mentioned on SR3 p85- which in this case would be the Computer active skill or related background skills.
iPad
QUOTE (noneuklid)
Likewise, Hardware is a specialization of Computer (not Computer B/R). It stands to reason that an Electronics-proficient character can put together and take apart computer components using that knowledge, but full understanding or designing new ones from scratch requires the 'theoretical knowledge' mentioned on SR3 p85- which in this case would be the Computer active skill or related background skills.

Hardware to me sounds more like popping the parts in and out and maybe changing chips at a push.

Computer B/R is a broad subject covering what all the components do from the big picture (cpu/memory etc.) to the logic gates and machine code, it sort of a mix of electronics b/r and computer programing but from my knowledge of the subject it is different enough to be its own skill.

Computer B/R is like knowing the rules of chess, as opposed to how to make a chess board (electronics b/r) or how to play the game (computing).
hyzmarca
Am I the only one that thinks the firearms B/R skills should be consolidated under one Firearms B/R skill?
iPad
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
Am I the only one that thinks the firearms B/R skills should be consolidated under one Firearms B/R skill?

Your not alone.

Probably more open catagories like 'Small Arms' 'Launchers' 'Lasers' 'Vehicle' etc.
noneuklid
QUOTE
Computer B/R is like knowing the rules of chess, as opposed to... how to play the game (computing).


Er... can I have that again?

QUOTE
Computer B/R is a broad subject covering what all the components do from the big picture (cpu/memory etc.) to the logic gates and machine code, it sort of a mix of electronics b/r and computer programing but from my knowledge of the subject it is different enough to be its own skill.


"If the character is trying to build something new, he or she also needs theoretical knowledge to design the item, unless someone else provides a detailed blueprint for its construction." - p85 SR3

To me, the Hardware specialization of Computer is memory locations/addresses, processor cycles, logic gates, and the like.
JaronK
As a Computer Science major, here's how I'd do it.

Remove Computer B/R completely, and make it a specialization of Electronics B/R. Honestly, that's what it is. My current work is mainly with sound electronics, including wireless systems, using what I learned in Computer Engineering classes (which are really just specialized electronics classes... heck, some of the base classes were offered by the electrical engineering department). It's all essencially the same stuff, an a trained electronics engineer knows everything they need to know to assemble a computer (and even fix broken bits, given appropriate tools. After all, most electronic devices have computers in them anyway.

Certainly, if Biotec covers first aid, brain surgery, and plastic surgery, electronics B/R should cover the repair of computers, wireless systems, and electrical appliances.

Electronics could be seperate from that, covering more theory and such, but it doesn't really need to be either.

JaronK
RedmondLarry
We play that Electronics and Electronics B/R are very different skills. The B/R lets you build devices or modify how they work. The Electronics Skill is used when operating a device, such as a Mag Lock Passkey, a Sequencer, or a Bug Scanner.

We play that Computer B/R and Electronics B/R are very different. The Electronics B/R guy is worried about frequencies, voltage, current, grounding, harmonics, quarter-wave antenna lengths, capacitance, wattage, shielding, Ohm's law, etc.

The Computer B/R guy worries about megabytes, megapulses, protocols, resolutions, refresh rates, overclocking, protocol interfaces, byte-order, interrupt vectors, I/O bus, caching, old-code interpretation, protocol emulation, display-order, clipping and rasterization.

How many kids do you know today that can build a personal computer, reformat a hard drive, install an operating system, and configure a network? They know Computer B/R at some level. How many of them can wire up a room light so it can be switched from two light switches at opposite sides of the room? How about three switches? That comes from a low level of Electronics B/R.
Kagetenshi
Mmm, OR gates.

Though they're actually NANDs, now that I think about itů no wait, they're XORs. What am I talking about.

Right, sleeptime.

~J
noneuklid
Maglock passkeys and sequencers are specialized modification tools that affect the functioning of the device in question. Bug scanners rely on the aforementioned Electronics Warfare spec; either part of a seperate Communications skill (as in Mechwarrior 3, another FASA/Fanpro game), or justifiably part of Electronics.

Some of what you're talking about in Computer B/R is a specialization of the Electronics B/R terms you use (frequency and wattage relating to refresh rates, for instance- and do you mean the frequency of the voltage or radio frequency?- if it's radio frequency, in what way is that not Electronic Warfare?); most of them, however, are ones I would associate with Computer. Any time you start talking about protocol, cache, etc, you're in Hacker-land.
JaronK
The thing is, Protocools would be the computer skill. So would byte order (I know I studied that). Megabytes (or megapulses) is just a measurement of how good the computer is... it's more computers than B/R anyway. Resolution isn't something you need to know a lot about to fix a computer. Refresh rates is a programming thing, not a B/R thing. Overclocking is computer B/R, but it's really an electronics thing, where you're essencially optimizing the frequency of the chip, which doesn't really require any special computer knowledge.

I know computer related electronics is covered in the electrical engineering major, and really, I don't see how you could possible get a degree in electrical engineering without at least going over most of what you said (at least, the parts that were actually hardware). So I think it should be Electronics, with specializtions available in Build/Repair Electronics, Electronic Warfare, Computer Systems, Security Systems, etc.

JaronK
Birdy
Hmm, SR skills:


+ I am good at Computer/Programming (hey, it's my job wink.gif ) but rather second rate at Computer/B&R (that's either the electrician ® or the guy specialising in chip design (B)) Totally different part of Computer Science. B/R is low level stuff (Build your deck from chips, find the cracked capacitor) Sure I learned basic chip design and electronic - in theorie!

+ Computer/Hardware should be the stuff you use for assembling a common PC box from high-level components or building a network.

+ I can operate a radio including encryption and cypher-tables. I can do basic maintenance (put system in Iltis, remove system from Iltis). Same for some other electronic systems like gas-analysers. That's Electronic. If the stuff breaks - Tough luck, call in the specialists.

+ First Aid should be an independent skill. I am quite well trained at first aid (Hey, I was bored!) but even a lowly M.D here in germany can do basic surgery - I can not! Totally different skill set.

And don't get me started on the weapons skills. Never found the difference between Rifle and Assault rifle. Same with the B/R skills in that department.

But the system has the classical problem (as have most old timers in the RPG market): It has grown from humble roots and than had to add additional fields. Could be worse. Look at GURPS (All IIRC - And I love GURPS):

Electronic Operations/<System> for using
Electronics/<System> for designing
Technical Skill for repairing

Same for other tools. Sure, you can detail it finely but you have a loooot of skills in the end.


Birdy
Jrayjoker
I am a bigger fan of keeping the system simple and letting the roleplay and backgrounds work out the details. A lot of the guys I play with love them dice and want to have 500 skills, but sometimes breaking things down too far is just a game killer...
iPad
QUOTE (noneuklid)
QUOTE
Computer B/R is like knowing the rules of chess, as opposed to... how to play the game (computing).


Er... can I have that again?


OK but it is a simple analogy honest.

Computer B/R is like knowing the rules of chess, ie. the mechanical way the game works, nothing about tactics and apllication.

Computing is like playing the game, the application of the above for a variety of purposes.

Electronics B/R to the above is like making the chess board, a foundation which the others extensive use and depend on but how you make it is not important to the game, with the exception of the fact you have different styles of pieces and a particular design of the squares.
Birdy
One way to "streamline" the Skills:

Electronic => Electronic Operations (Usage of devices), drops spezializations like Cybertechnology and changes others like Maglock=>Maglock breakers

Computer => Computer Operations, drops the hardware and cybernetic specialization

Electronic B/R gains Hardware and Cybernetics

Computer B/R gains Network Design, Cyberdeck Design and drops Cybernetics.

The weapons B/R get regroup to Smallarms B/R (Pistols, Rifles, Maschineguns), Launcher B/R (Grenade Launcher, RPG, Mortar), Hv. Weapons B/R (Autocanon, Tankcanon), Advanced Weapons B/R (Laser, Andrews, maybe Railguns) and Missile B/R (All guided missiles)

The Weapon Skill gets regroup into Pistols, Rifles[includes MPI and Assault Rifle], Maschineguns, Launch Weapons [RPG&Grenade Launcher], Heavy Weapons[Artillery, Mortar, Tank Weapons, Mounted Systems], Guided Weapons[ATGM etc] and Beam Weapons[Man portable]

Bike B/R, Car B/R become one skill with old skills as specialization, Maybe add Hovercraft B/R

Ship B/R, Sailboat B/R, Motorboat B/R become one skill with old skills as specialization

Fixed Wing B/R and Rotor B/R become one skill

The Melee Weapon B/R get assembled into Close Combat B/R (Maces, Axes, Swords) and Ranged Weapon B/R (Bows and Crossbows)

Drop Cyber Implant Weapons B/R, it's a combination of Electronic B/R and Biotech

Make First Aid a skill of it's own


Birdy

This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012