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Hi, I just started SR3 with my gaming group, and the mantle of rigging fell upon me. I've never played Shadowrun before, let alone a rigger, and while I feel i am getting the hang of the rules, I don't want to hold my team back by forgetting some important item.

The situation:
Our team (Dog Shaman, Combat Sorceror, Samurai, Covert Ops Expert, Decker, and myself the Rigger), working as Renraku security are going to be assisting three other similar units in taking back our Seattle arcology from some terrorists who are seeking to close it down during the profitable holiday season.

Team One will be heading into the "FunZone" area and through there down into the basements (likely to go after the power plants i think they said)

Team Two and Three will be dropped in from the roof helipads to extract some important VIPs to safety. We had reason to believe the VIPs have escaped notice so far.

Team Four (us) will be using the monorail system to get into the mall area in an attempt to open the arcology, allowing further access to and from the building.

Any suggestions on what equipment or drone options I could use to help cover my team long range while they perform their tasks?

so far i've got a pair of combat drones (doberman knock-offs), and a Vector thrust drone for recon.

250,100 nuyen to work with.
Welcome to Dumpshock. I don't have any advice for you, but I want to address everyone else that responds.

It would be really good if everybody thinks before posting, and gives no Arcology spoilers (not even in spoiler tags) that might otherwise ruin a newcomer's experience.
I second that motion.
Well, being able to know what's going on always helps, so I like mini blimp drones to act as scouts... you can usually get one pretty cheap that's got a very high signature rating. If you like, you can make one a little bigger and give it a sniper rifle for fire support. Giving them re-trans units helps out with range, too.

I'm not sure which team you're on though, so that's really all I can say.

I third.

I'm also going to suggest that you consider the mobility advantage of small rotodrones, as well as considering the tactical advantage of a transducer. What level of VCR are you packing?

Motion thirded, though the only thing I will say is this: The Arcology sourcebook is meant as one (Canonical, of course) possibility. As with ANYTHING in SR, the GM could be completely making it up. I would have, had I not read the book itself. So really, be prepared for anything (Boy scout motto)

As for your character, the rigger in my current group looks like this:

Maxed attributes except a 5 in charisma, 400,000 total worth of nuyen:

Obvious Cyber-arm (right) (1 essence) (Unarmed attack: +1 power, 5 ECU)
- Cyber-Shotgun: Con 6, Ammo 10(m), SA, 8S, 3.5 ECU
synthetic cyber-leg (1 essence) (10 ECU)
synthetic cyber-leg (1 essence) (10 ECU)
Alphaware Vehicle Control Rig 1 (1.6 essence)
Alphaware Datajack: (.16)

I advised against cyberlegs, and he might be getting them replaced with cloned ones soon (Character background was that he was in a huge accident). He is also a hybrid light-combat sammie.

So going through the list, the big issue is if you are going full-rigger (vehicles and/or drones) or if you intend to be gunbattling. Poor Gabe (our group's rigger) realized he's more a shooter than driver, but has no wired/boosted.

So the solution for your own ware is twofold.

1: You anticipate taking an active role in firepower, in which case you might get a VCR and Wired Reflexes system.

2: You absolutely, positively HATE combat, which leads you to te land of "Hi, I have no guns, no skill with them, and don't hurt me!" and a VCR max rating.

This is your first big hurdle, besides deciding what gear you have smile.gif
right now i have a VCR rating 2. other cyberware of note is a rating 10 remote deck, and the highest rank commlink (phone/radio). That lets me monitor my team's comm's, as well as the other riggers in the other squads. the rest of the team have cyberware commlinks with enough channels to monitor each other + myself.
If you had the cred I'd suggest going for the VCR-3, as it's more than worth it, but A) it doesn't look like you have aforementioned cred and B) it does pretty much mean you won't be doing anything other than rigging and coordination as far as combat goes.

I wanted to be basically long range control, recon, and fire support. I have good ranks in gunnery and my driving skills, as well as Build/repair for them and electronics, but i am not built to have my "meat bod" in combat by any means. If that happens I imagine i'm toast. (My character thinks he is god in the captain's chair, but if left out in the clear and cold with his meat bod, he'd be under Combat Paralysis, as the flaw)
That's another thing: you are almost always orders of magnitude more powerful directly jumped into a drone than you are in Captain's Chair mode. I'd suggest using it as little as possible.

Edit: as little as possible in combat, at least, or when quality of a single result is necessary (surveillance, etc.). If used properly, Captain's Chair is quite versatile, but as I mention it's usually outclassed by being jumped in.

I'm sorry, I accidentally used the game term in describing my mindset while rigging. I meant that i don't suffer combat paralysis unless physically in combat. In a drone I have the mindset i'm invincible, its the possibility of them finding my real body that terrifies me.
If I recall correctly the contents of this spoiler tag are assessable before entering the arcology.

[ Spoiler ]

the arcology is a maze of corridors and rooms, only as few sections have roves high enough to make flying drones useful, I would focus on highly armoured combat drones that meat fighters can take cover behind and small scout drones that can negotiate tight quarters and will be hard to detect (ether by sensors or metahuman sight)

Long range doesnít work very well indoors. Your drones will be running close support and you may have to crouch behind them

A good generic drone loadout is mini-blimps for recon, spider drones for stationary espionage, and the Ares Guardian for fire support. You can also have your teammates carry spider-drones as backup communication devices, plus givng you real-time info on their situation.

I'd also suggest loading your v-t drone and one doberman with LMGs if you can, assault rifles if you can't. Save the third doberman and load it with a Great Dragon ATGM for serious firepower.
I disagree with Edward's assessment of flying drones. Their additional mobility in stairwells, elevator shafts, large rooms, and potentially the outdoors can be invaluable. I don't think it's clear-cut, but in my opinion flyers still have the edge.

Wanna thank everyone for helping so far. Asked my GM and he said jamming would be a factor, so gonna try to figure out how to solve that, maybe with signal boosters and ECCM enhancements.

Game time coming up soon, so i'll let ya know how things go.

Thanks again
I've personally always found the MCT-Nissan rotordrone to be pretty good bang for the buck. 6,600 for the drone, slap a LMG on the side of it - maneuverable, floating gun platform that's another set of eyes and can do saturation and suppression fire as well as more calculated bursts.

They don't stand up to abuse well but that's where a rigger with a VCR and a Control pool can and should make sure to eke out it's survival.

Given their ability to fly, you can drop the Vector Thrust - or turn it into your tank drone that carries THE big gun - and you always need at least one kitchen sink to throw at them. Have it hang back, let the other drones 'spot' for it - then launch the nuke.

For indoors operations, arachnid drones are ideal - give one to a team member and have him drop it and you scuttle it ahead for a look around the corner if needed. Outdoors - any rigger without at least one and preferably two good spotter drones deserves to be shot - I like the Condors myself.

ECM and ECCM are your friends. Love them - as much as you can afford to anyway.

You'll have to check with your Gm as I'm a little fuzzy and don't have the rulebooks but it worked with my character so I'm assuming based on that, this is canon. Smart weapons on the drones and a smartlink in your ware list = smartgun fun. Your job is fire support in at least part (what drone riggers isn't) - must have item. External smartgun links are not that expensive.

End Rant Tone (sorry, I feel strongly on that point and it's probably already in his list but he does admit to being a total newb - if he missed it...*shrug*)

As a corporate rigger - often the corps want people alive. Don't forget non lethal options - most corporations like a mix - MCT is the inventors of the kill zone no questions, Shiawase much prefers live ones - I'm unsure of Renraku policy. Tasers and spray weapons - tasers being the cheaper and simpler option IIRC.

Given the nature of your job, I don't think the crawler style drones would be of use to you apart from the arachnid. I can't recall any mobile style drone that packs an articulated arm but they're useful toys at times. Non essential though. Remember to hide your physical self behind everyone else.

Hope this was of help. Good luck and have fun - remember to keep your head down and conserve ammo.

QUOTE (Newbie_Rigger)
Wanna thank everyone for helping so far. Asked my GM and he said jamming would be a factor, so gonna try to figure out how to solve that, maybe with signal boosters and ECCM enhancements.

Equip a high-pilot drone with a scanner, an autosoft interpetation program, and an electronic warfare autosoft. It'll handle some of that for you.
Go for quality instead of quantity, 1 good drone that can have good mobility and firepower. You'd want to have as good a good RCD and as high a Electronics(Electronic Warfare) as possible, seizing control of the enemy drones is better than just blowing them away.
Well, we had to end early tonight but wow we were in over our heads. We lost contact with team one and based on what transmissions we got it sounded like teams 2 and 3 got shot down. We ended up having to duke it out with a team of Renraku traitors with major rigging support. Things didn't go very smoothly, our Mage lost an arm to one of the security doors, and our decker was taken by the traitors (sorry chummer!). We ended off heading for the loading docks, I figure if we blow our way out of there we'll be outta this hellhole and (technically) give our theoretical backup a way in.

Ended up going with my (with GM help) custom Vector-Thrust drone equipped with a grenade launcher (AP) and smoke generator, a pair of Rotodrones (Renraku knockoffs, corp loyalty and all) with LMGs (Gel/AP ammo), and a trio of Mini-arachnoids (two broken). sarcastic.gif Man, those little spiders did a workload and prolly saved our collective hoops a couple times.
Well, welcome to the world of SR first off, and here is my two cents...

To do inside recon, I would think a mini-blimp is that great, i would either go with a crawler like suggested earlier, or if you have the book, go with the SynthCat. It looks like a real cat, and can walk around and move around like a real cat, but you can still do all the fun rigging stuff with it. And if your covert ops expert or decker does not have much electronics (for breaking into maglock and what not) you could put small arms on the thing to do electronics work with it. I don't have the book so I don not remember how much CF the cat has, IIRC it has only 1 or 2 CF, and I am not sure if this would do the trick.

Also trip out your deck with all of the goodies, at least get a rigger protocol-emulation model, signal amplifier, (i have some storage memory in mine for recording events), rigger decryption module, some encryption for your network to keep it safe, if you have the cash add on a Remote-control biofeedback filter (may not be usefull in the current run (the building is your companies) but it may be usefull later. and If you can get the battletac IVIS system, this can really be helpful in controlling a large network and integrating yourself with the rest of the team. (all of this is on page 96 Rigger 3 revised, if you have the book)

Also, has a suggestion to your GM and you, if you have the R3R book, look at page 80 for the alternate vehicle combat rules, it makes using a Drone in combat a lot simpler by treating them like a standard character.

as for drones, I like the SynthCat, and mini-blimp for recon, many of the suggestions already posted sound great to me, (some new ones to me, I bow to the older dumpshockers wisdom notworthy.gif )

as for other drones I like the steel lynx, with either miniguns or a panther cannon (can take out the bigger stuff) for indoors ground work, the Ares Guardian is best tough thing, but I have never used a RotoDrone.

other equipment that is important is a good dataline tap, just in case you need to get into a CCSS network...

I would also agree with toturi, a couple good quality drone can be really usefull.

and for not being in combat, I can't imagine a remote network working well indoors, so two options, lots of ECCM, signal amps, and electronic warfare, or, if your GM would allow this, (I am not sure this would work) but see if you can get your GM to allow you to make a small box, big enough for your character to curl up in, and armor it up the yinyang, and then put wheels and some lift tethers on it. That way, a ground based drone (Steel lynx) could push it around (obviously not during combat) or the Guardian could lift it up stairs. If your GM can allow this, maybe he will allow it to have it's own motor so you can drive it like a little car....

I know it sounds silly, and is kinda munchkiny, but hey, you just want your rigger to be safe right? spin.gif

If your GM won't allow that (and I am not sure i would as a GM... need to think on this one) then your pretty much stuck with going in with your meat body, lots and lots of armor, yea you may take a hit to combat pool and quickness related tests, but it won't hurt your rigging that much.

As for myself, my rigger, up till recently, only had a skimmer with an AK duct-taped on to it. Thus, I wore good armor and went around a lot in captain's chair mode, because you can still move around and shot and do everything normal in that mode without penalties. (IIRC)

just my two nuyen.gif

Good luck, and have fun man

shit, obvisouly I was a little late, hopefully my post still helps you tho...


I do like flying drones and they do have a slight edge indoors but they have a tendency to run out of fuel on long missions. That is why I hesitate to use them. Your mission plan probably includes several days without reliable resupply, you want to allow for more than that although you may be able to pull electrical power from the arcology grid jet fuel will be hard to come buy.

Also I think a palm sized crawler with gecko glove style feet would make a better indoor scout that a mini blimp, it loses a little mobility but is les likely to be spotted while scouting.

For aerial scout world I prefer a loan star strato 6 with no viable modifications (I add encryption, auto soft interpretation and long range sensors if I can), it is not hard to see and it has no armour but it seas all has a big gun (the only MMG available at char gen) and can fly threw the most secure suburbs without anybody getting to suspicious, just remember to keep the paintwork trim.

If you want an LS strato 9 in game you donít even have to pay for it. Just drive around town until you see one and MIJI it until it follows you home. They re not equipped slandered with encryption so it its stupidly easy to take them away from there masters, just watch out, they probably have trackers on them

Heh, actually it was pretty cool the way it ended up Amadeus, I had to stay close to the team, so it was a matter of sneaking around and staying hidden far enough away from the traitors to not be noticed, but close enough to the team that they could help me if i got in over my head. The main use of my spider bots was in scouting out places to hide, while the team moved into position.

Edward: Yeah, it seems if left to my own devices my drones would run out of energy in their battery cells, but luckily I put the SunCell mod on the 3 combat drones. I figure if i start getting low on fuel I might be able to get into one of the gardens and recharge.
cool, that is pretty much what I would do, a human can go a lot of places other things can not, and without any extra money.

Sounds like a really fun run...

Those of us that know the dentales love to hear about others that go into the arcology.

If you are wiling a full description of your run would be a welcome read.

.... and if it hasn't been mentioned already, always have some anti-vehilce ammuntion ready. normal ammo sucks against hardened armour, but AV just disposes of it. Of course, as you have already experienced this, you should know this yourself. Being a Red Samurai, you should have access to this without paying street index and doing availability rolls - get a belt for your heaviest gun. It really pays off. smile.gif

And tell your mage not to sulk about losing his arm; in a similar mission, my riger lost her left and our physad lost both legs. We managed to get out just barely
After the mission the players complained about the rules for cyberlegs and -arms? biggrin.gif
Nope, we're all getting cloned stuff. Yes, we're snobs. biggrin.gif

I thought about getting a cybernetic replacement, but that'd plunge my char too much down the essence sink. I like to have about 1.5 points in reserve for SR4. Just in case.
My two cents: Don't overlook the drones in the sprawl survival guide.

Everything in there is pretty sweet, but the drones are nice because they are relativly inexpencive, perfectly legal, and very inconspicious.

My personal favorite is the GM Mr. Fix-it. The price of the drone is less than the value of its autosoft interpretation system and its two arms. However, its almost worthless on a run, even if you slap 5 poitns of armor on it (making it immune to most small arms fire) and install a drive-by-wire system (absolutely necessary if you ever intend to use its arms for anything).

My current character has 6 of these robots, each sporting some sort of (heavy or cumbersome) equipment, and a build/repair kit for whatever situation might come up. They've been pretty useful, but we've recently encoutnered a good number of NPCs equiped with AV ammo, who can pretty much destroy my bots at will (since they can't doge while in secondary mode, and only have 1 body).

Oh yeah, that brings up another good hting about htem. They only weigh like 25 Kg a piece, and according ot the FAQ, can fit in about 1 CF of space (give or take). So I can fit them all in my electric car or a whole army in an electric van.

Another favorite is the HomePet series. What better drone to do some urban scouting than an alley cat. They are also very cheap, so who cares if it gets taken out at some point.

Oh yeah, another great thing about the SSG, is that they tell you that deckers and riggers can almost effortlessly take over home telecom radio networks, so the dornes in that book are pretty easy to come by should you need a disposable one in a hurry. wink.gif
Don't know if this will help you now, but an extra datajack, and chipjack, or headware memory and knowsoftlink. You should be able to get mapsofts of the ARC if you are working for Renraku, as well as imagelink eyeware, can be immensely useful. Get Those and radio transponders or GPS units for everyone, instant map overlay of all positions.
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