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You know, I think there is some merit to all of this discussion on sr4 technomancers merging riggers and deckers. Of course I do think that the "deck is" a very important piece of hardware, but I think that the datajacks should cost more essence, but you can also use it to control vehicles. I think that part of the bonuses that one receives in the matrix should come from a jack and part from the cyberdeck. The cyberdeck keeps the hardware manufacture's revenue stream, but in reality not all data jacks / vcr's are created equal.

So here is what I propose. Merge the VCR and jacks into 3 levels of datajacks, that actually control the amount of data that can flow to the brain. This makes sense since both overlay a reality over your neural system.

level 1 .5 ess - 10K
level 2 1 ess - 25K
level 3 2 ess - 50K

Now before I get flamed, please remember how much neural integration this has.
They should be relatively cheap since many professionals will be getting them.

Both vehicles and decks have the interpretive hardware that also have levels assigned.

Solomon the Jackhead is a wheelman and also has some computer skills. He decides to run out and get hardwired, and buys a level 2 jack.

he has an old scoot that him mommy bought him and installs a level 1 vcr.
His dad works for the man, and gets a new deck at work and gives him his old one. A cyber 6 (which is a level 2 deck)

in the matrix JackHead gets 2d6+4 bonus and with his scoot he gets 1d6+2

Now you can customize the char's gear in whatever direction you please.

Thinking about it more ... it would be nice to see more levels of datajacks in there.
maybe 5.

level 1 .25 ess - 5K + 1d6
level 2 5 ess - 10K + 1d6 +2
level 3 1 ess - 20K + 2d6 +2
level 4 2 ess - 50K + 2d6 +4
level 5 (4 or 5 ess) - 250K + 3d6+6

Still gives you room to take the char in multiple directions, or be elite.
Also makes the truly dedicated more lethal.

I would also recommend lowering the cost of a deck and programs.
Cheaper decks usually mean a little more proliferation.
i REALLY despise the things that cost 3.5 + essence a pop. 5 flat not worth it in my opinion.
i REALLY despise the things that cost 3.5 + essence a pop. 5 flat not worth it in my opinion.

I understand what you are saying ... and I would agree... but think datajacks are one heck of a neutral interface....

I never understood whe full neutral interfaces were less than a cyberlimb.

Doesn't a high price for your craft make sense? Level 4 of the above would be good for most people ... the higher the level the deeper into the brain and more wiring in there you would require.

It was just an idea on the table to see if people agree with the premise.

you could stick with

level 1 .5 ess - 10K + 1d6 +2
level 2 1 ess - 20K + 2d6 +4
level 3 2 ess - 50K + 3d6 +6
Remember, the datajack is somewhat unique in that it's the only piece of cyber that had been implanted in such a wide range of users that it had become the one implant that's 100% socially acceptable.

That implies that it's a very widely implanted piece of cyber, more so than any other cyber by at least an order of magnitude or two. Being widespread means that doctors have had a lot more practice implanting the thing, and manufacturers have gone through several more generations of R&D giving them ample opportunity to make the thing essence-friendly.

Or at least that's the GM handwaving I came up with when I started wondering why datajacks didn't cost more essence than they do.
Or maybe it's more than that. Maybe the existence of technomancers means that metahumanity is meant to be able to interface with machines using their minds. As such, a data jack has a surprisingly low Essence cost.

Instead of treating it as a fudge for game balance, you could treat it as a metaphysical puzzle.
most of the population would have a very basic interface, I would imagine. something that reads brainwaves and is used for i/o. I do not think that most people drive by datajack.... what if there was a level 0, at .1 that didn't give you any bonuses?

level 0 .1 ess - 2K

That would do the average joe. being a programmer type, i know that I would quickly invest more of myself for a boost.

QUOTE (Nyxll @ Sep 14 2005, 06:31 PM)
what if there was a level 0, at .1 that didn't give you any bonuses?

level 0 .1 ess - 2K

That would do the average joe.  being a programmer type, i know that I would quickly invest more of myself for a boost.

Actually, back in the Shadowtech era, it was possible to get a "Level 1" datajack for 0.1 essence and 500 nuyen.gif . Shadowtech's leveled datajacks had different data transfer bandwidths (important back then, because that was one of the big limiting factors on cranial cyberdecks, which made their first appearance in that same book), however the Level 1 datajack had the same Data Flow Rate as the datajack from the core rules.

The catch was, the leveled datajacks were lacking a piece of hardware that was assumed to come bundled with with the core rule datajack, namely the I/O SPU headware, which was a forerunner to Man & Machine's headware routers. Without an I/O SPU, the Shadowtech Level 1 Datajack couldn't connect to any other headware. Essentially, to put it in terms of the Man & Machine description, it didn't have 3 extra ports a standard datajack has.

I once had a sim-addicted razorguy character who didn't really have essence to spare, and didn't really need to use his jack for anything other than hooking the BTL player to, so the Level 1 Datajack was an optimal choice.
Also, I believe RIgger 3 had rules for driving vehicles using DNI and a datajack.
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