Author Topic: More fun with "brain-deckers"...  (Read 225 times)

FST_Gemstar

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More fun with "brain-deckers"...
« on: (15:37:31/06-19-17) »
Just a quick thought piece to link to after a discussion on the reddit forums. 

A not strictly optimized technomancer that  is a technomancer primarily for the living persona, and uses 'ware/drugs to boost mental stats to get dicepools matrix limits that are comparable to starting deckers.

Karma Expense: 8 Positive Qualities, -23 Negative Qualities, 25 on Reaction, 10 on Strength = 5 remaining.

[spoiler]
== Personal Data ==
Movement: 8/16 (2m/hit)     Swim: 5 (1m/hit)     
Human
Composure: 6
Judge Intentions: 9
Lift/Carry: 5 (30 kg/20 kg)
Memory: 10
Nuyen: 80

== Priorities ==
Metatype: E(0) - Human
Attributes: D(1) - 14 Attributes
Special: C(2) - Adept, Magician, or Technomancer
Skills: A(4) - 46 Skills/10 Skill Groups
Resources: B(3) - 275,000

== Attributes ==
BOD: 3
AGI: 1 (4)
REA: 3
STR: 2
CHA: 3
INT: 5 (6)
LOG: 5 (7)
WIL: 3
EDG: 3
RES: 1

== Derived Attributes ==
Essence:                   4.01
Initiative:                9 +1d6
Rigger Initiative:         9 +1d6
Astral Initiative:         
Matrix AR:                 9 +1d6
Matrix Cold:               6 + DP +3d6
Matrix Hot:                6 + DP +4d6
Physical Damage Track:     10
Stun Damage Track:         10

== Limits ==
Physical:                  4
Mental:                    8
Social:                    5
Astral:                    8

== Active Skills ==
Automatics (Submachine Guns) Base:  6          Pool: 10 (12)
Compiling (Crack)        Base:  4          Pool:  5 (7)
Computer                 Base:  6          Pool: 13
Con (Fast Talk)          Base:  1          Pool:  4 (6)
Disguise                 Base:  4          Pool: 10
Electronic Warfare       Base:  4          Pool: 11
Etiquette (Street)       Base:  1          Pool:  4 (6)
First Aid                Base:  6          Pool: 13
Hacking (Hosts)          Base:  6          Pool: 13 (15)
Hardware                 Base:  6          Pool: 13
Palming                  Base:  4          Pool:  8
Perception (Visual)      Base:  5          Pool: 11 (13)
Registering (Machine)    Base:  6          Pool:  7 (9)
Sneaking                 Base:  4          Pool:  8
Software                 Base:  6          Pool: 13

== Knowledge Skills ==
English                  Native
Area Knowledge: Seattle  Base:  2          Pool:  8
Art (Multimedia)         Base:  1          Pool:  8 (10)
Chemistry (Pharmaceuticals) Base:  1          Pool:  8 (10)
EMT/Ambulance Response   Base:  3          Pool: 10
Literature (Science Fiction) Base:  1          Pool:  8 (10)
News (Technology)        Base:  2          Pool:  8 (10)
Sprawl Life (Scavenging) Base:  1          Pool:  7 (9)
Street Drugs (Novacoke)  Base:  1          Pool:  7 (9)
Underworld (Matrix Crime) Base:  1          Pool:  7 (9)

== Contacts ==
; Fixer/Drug Dealer(4, 2)
; Trid Pirate (1, 2)

== Qualities ==
Addiction (Mild) (Psyche)
Addiction (Mild) (Novacoke)
Drug Tolerant
Jack of All Trades Master of None
Prejudiced (Common, Biased) (Awakened)
Technomancer
Weak Immune System

== Complex Forms ==
(Tradition: Default, Resist Fading with WIL + RES (4))
Static Veil

== Lifestyle ==
Low  1 Months

== Cyberware/Bioware ==
Cerebellum BoosterRating 1
Cerebral BoosterRating 2
CyberearsRating 1 (alpha)
   + Sound Link
   + Antennae
   + Antennae
   + Antennae
Datajack (alpha)
Muscle TonerRating 3 (used)
Narco
Nephritic screenRating 2
Sleep Regulator

== Weapons ==
Ingram Smartgun X
   + Personalized Grip
   + Sling
   + Smartgun System, Internal
   + Sound Suppressor
   Pool: 10 (12)   Accuracy: 7   DV: 8P   AP: -   RC: 4
Remington Suppressor
   + Concealed Quick-Draw Holster
   + Personalized Grip
   + Smartgun System, Internal
   + Sound Suppressor
   Pool: 10   Accuracy: 9   DV: 7P   AP: -1   RC: 2
Survival Knife
   + Concealable Holster
   Pool: 3   Accuracy: 5   DV: 4P   AP: -1   RC: 2
Unarmed Attack
   Pool: 3   Accuracy: 4   DV: 2S   AP: -   RC: 2

== Commlink ==
Living Persona (ATT: 3, SLZ: 6, DP: 7, FWL: 3)
Meta Link (ATT: 0, SLZ: 0, DP: 1, FWL: 1)
Transys Avalon (ATT: 0, SLZ: 0, DP: 6, FWL: 6)
   + Micro-Transceiver
   + Sim Module
   + Subvocal Mic

== Gear ==
Ammo: Regular Ammo (Machine Pistols) x20
Ammo: Regular Ammo (Submachine Guns) x40
Ammo: Stick-n-Shock (Machine Pistols) x60
Ammo: Stick-n-Shock (Submachine Guns) x80
Backpack (Good)
Biomonitor
Bug Scanner Rating 6
Certified Credstick, Silver
Contacts Rating 2
   + Smartlink
   + Vision Enhancement Rating 1
Cram x5
Data Tap
Fake SIN Rating 4
   + Fake License (Concealed Carry Permit) Rating 4
   + Fake License (Weapon License) Rating 4
   + Fake License (Augmentation License) Rating 4
   + Fake License (Medical License) Rating 4
Medkit Rating 3
Medkit Rating 6
Novacoke x10
Psyche x8
Red Mescaline x4
Slap Patch, Stim Patch Rating 3 x2
Slap Patch, Trauma Patch
Sober Time
Survival Kit
Tag Eraser
Tool Kit (Hardware)
Tool Kit (Disguise)
White Noise Generator Rating 6
Zen x5

== Vehicles ==
Chrysler-Nissan Jackrabbit (Subcompact)
   + Morphing License Plate
   + Sensor Array Rating 2
[/spoiler]

Notes:
I don't let my players use a datajack to direct connect a living persona to a device, but many GMs do and this character can take advantage of that. Otherwise, the datajack is good cover and adds some needed Noise Reduction, and the character can direct connect more technostyle with Skinlink after their first submersion.

Character has enough CF dice to get the hit or two needed to thread Static Veil. Combined with Sleep Regulator/Long Haul, this can allow the decker to pre-mark targets without OS increasing over time/convergence.

Character doesn't really need sprites (but they are still a technomancer so why not). L2 crack sprites can be threaded at character creation to teamwork tests that require increased Attack limits (like crack file). Just buying a hit for convenience gets a +1 die and +1 limit from the crack sprite. L4 sprites can be compiled when character raises Resonance to 2 for +2 dice/limits. Machine Sprites can be similarly used for devices (gun, contacts, scanners, first aid kit, took kit, etc.).

Character can use low level bound sprites primarily to boost CF dice, "long lasting" diagnostics, or when needing more than one sprite at a time (distractions).

While having a Resonance 1 gives this character's living person a DR rating of 1, character has a datajack/antannae to help with noise reduction so that their "braindeck" can still function as such wirelessly. Most deckers get by with a DR 2 deck, and the character can upgrade Resonance pretty early in their career to match. 

Character uses Psyche to increase cracking/electronics dice pools and keep Sleaze/Data Processing limits high. Can rely on Novacoke, Red Mesc if Attack needs to be increased (and crack sprite teamworking isn't enough), Zen/Red Mesc for increased Firewall, and Cram if working in the meat. 

Growth (50ish karma): 
Submerging for skinlink
Raising Resonance to 2
Submerging for FFF
Round out skills if desired
Learn another CF or two


Just more of a quick thought piece to show the current state of techno rules, and how unfortunately, playing like a decker with a 'ware/drug boosted living persona is how a starting techno can start more on par with a starting decker. 
« Last Edit: (16:19:03/06-19-17) by FST_Gemstar »

Jack_Spade

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Re: More fun with "brain-deckers"...
« Reply #1 on: (03:34:29/06-20-17) »
Hm, quite a lot of ware and resources for a techno and very low attributes. Not particularly attractive for my taste.

I wonder if you could build one who concentrates solely on compiling and registering instead of hacking himself. Just call up a high level sprite to do the hacking for you and have it supported by a bunch of lower level registered sprites.
It's great for the action economy and avoids the pizza problem.

talk think matrix

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FST_Gemstar

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Re: More fun with "brain-deckers"...
« Reply #2 on: (08:47:36/06-20-17) »
the "braindecker" style is intended to hack directly more like a typical decker. The difference being that their deck, while have the great drawback of not being reconfigurable, is adaptable with 'ware/drugs which for technomancers has the bonus of increasing both dicepools and limits. The character is basically always on Psyche (+2 Log/Int) while on a run, and may add a Cha/Wil boosting drug when needed. 

I am not a big fan of matrix teamwork tests. I think it can create more of a pizza problem. And there are no clear rules for handling special consequences of matrix actions like how teamworking affects OS (I think it should work more like ritual spellcasting with every participant in a teamwork test that leads to OS gets OSx2), who gets marks for tests for marks (I would say just the leader, but others would say everyone), can you teamwork between host walls (you can still communicate between them, but I would vote not for balance issues). So while petnomancing is quite viable, I just find it so clunky in play. 

And the problem with going full big sprite route, you are probably spending an edge to get enough of a win on a compiling test to get enough tasks needed for a single sprite to do a meaningful matrix job, and spending edge to reduce a lot of potential fade coming your way. It's playable, but very specific, and then your technomancer tends not to be able to do much else than be sprite focused (lots of tables don't like that). Again, petnomancing is doable for a matrix specialist technomancer, but I find it more clunky than just direct hacking.

Honestly I prefer non-matrix specialist technomancers who specialize in something else (combat, social, rigging, etc.) but still have some facility with complex forms/sprites to assist a more dedicated decker with difficult situations. 
« Last Edit: (09:00:42/06-20-17) by FST_Gemstar »

Jack_Spade

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Re: More fun with "brain-deckers"...
« Reply #3 on: (09:11:55/06-20-17) »
That's just the point: If you have to spend so many resources you have to ask yourself if you wouldn't benefit more from just buying a good deck.

Ritual Decking sounds like a good idea. Personally, I solve this situation by just buying hits for the support sprites, adding them directly to the main operator. Overwatch is only generated by the resistance test but applies to all participants equally.
Registering a small army of L2 sprites is no big deal - especially if you use the workshop rules for a higher limit as well as the Practice, Practice quality.  Build up the sprites available number of tasks over time.
When it's go time you just compile a powerful sprite and have it do the heavy lifting with the help of the small ones, effectively doubling it's skill rating.

That said: Single Drone/Rigger Technos are very fun to play. Only the fact that you can't slave with your Living Persona does put them at a severe disadvantage. 
talk think matrix

To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield
Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

FST_Gemstar

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Re: More fun with "brain-deckers"...
« Reply #4 on: (09:59:27/06-20-17) »
Buying hits is a fair way to make the process work better and I prefer to resolve non PC matrix support with hit buying as well. Not everyone does though, and it makes the multisprite support slow down play a lot.

Tym Jalynsfein

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Re: More fun with "brain-deckers"...
« Reply #5 on: (10:12:29/06-20-17) »
Sprites are overrated...

In the entire span of SR5 (Since it came out), My Technoimancer has only ever compiled about 3 sprites. One at Level 4 and two at Level 3.
Some characters just do not fit well with the Petnomancer philosophy. :)

Solid Skills, Solid Stats and the occasional dose of Psyche have taken the character far further than Sprites (Sprites are great for remote monitoring, but that is about it, as far as the character is concerned). Spying is a Subtle art form. :) 8)
The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary. - James. D. Nicoll

Marcus

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Re: More fun with "brain-deckers"...
« Reply #6 on: (11:10:19/06-20-17) »
For as long as I can recall FST has worked hard to keeping viable TM builds alive. No small thing in an edition that has really completely abandoned the Archetype, lets face it the second magic book came about before the TM book did. It's pretty clear where the edition priorities are right now. Regardless having seen FST's builds develop over awhile, I'd certainly pay close attention to it, if I was going to try make a TM in 5th.

Though why you went with muscle toner over a cyberarm alludes me completely FST.



Tym Jalynsfein

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Re: More fun with "brain-deckers"...
« Reply #7 on: (11:39:25/06-20-17) »
FST_Gemstar has some great ideas, to be sure... But my idea of Viable is far wider than most, so...
The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary. - James. D. Nicoll

FST_Gemstar

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Re: More fun with "brain-deckers"...
« Reply #8 on: (12:34:13/06-20-17) »


Though why you went with muscle toner over a cyberarm alludes me completely FST.


Hehe.  This build is was just to show how you can get hacking dicepools/playstyle together to be closer on par with starting deckers without having to uber-optimize. Squeezing a cyberarm would take more finesse with cash/essence that I didn't want to think about. The toner also helps with just general sneaking and lets the character to default agility tests if it comes to it. A cyberarm would work a lot better for palming/shooting.

Kuirem

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Re: More fun with "brain-deckers"...
« Reply #9 on: (04:50:33/06-27-17) »
Isn't it risky to have only 3 WIL when you are relying a lot of drugs AND try to walk around the matrix like a Decker. That's only 6 dice to resist Data Spikes right?

Myriad

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Re: More fun with "brain-deckers"...
« Reply #10 on: (19:11:24/07-15-17) »
Yeah it is, you can lower LOG if you really need to, and take something like "So jacked up" for more LOG.  Or squeeze in Daredrenaline.

The other nicety is if people are using the errata (for 2 more complex forms per priority) you can use "Infusion of Firewall"  as I learned recently that "device target" also means "persona target."  This means you can bump that up, and unlike real attribute spells, this can be much higher by hits.  Unfortunately, your fade/casting might be a bit off, so be careful on the drain code.

I also recommend this build for a technorigger because you can use more machine sprites at low level for more limits.  Unlike say a typical swarm RCC rigger, you'd actually want one nice drone that has a multiple sprites on it for team work tests.

FST_Gemstar

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Re: More fun with "brain-deckers"...
« Reply #11 on: (20:38:04/07-15-17) »
Isn't it risky to have only 3 WIL when you are relying a lot of drugs AND try to walk around the matrix like a Decker. That's only 6 dice to resist Data Spikes right?

Data spikes are resisted with Intuition and Firewall, so it's a natural 9 for this character. 11 on psyche, 13 of adding a zen or red mesc. 

Brute Forces are Willpower and Firewall, so defense isn't great unless Willpower drugged, but at least a successful action is alerting.