Author Topic: Technomancers....what do you think?  (Read 2765 times)

abyrn

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Re: Technomancers....what do you think?
« Reply #15 on: (13:26:28/04-19-16) »
I'm firmly in the technomancer camp, the concept is amazing and there are tons of cool roleplaying options in the lore for them, but mechanically there are tons of issues. Besides the ones already mentioned the fact that the living persona cannot be part of a PAN is just perplexing.

It also sucks that mages in general get better spells to interact with technology than technomancer complex forms. Mages get noise manipulation spells that are better than even what a decker can do, not to mention a technomancer. Mage invisibility makes hacking cameras redundant. And analyze device basically replaces diagnostics since any spirit can sustain it for the mage. I have nothing against mages, but they should have left the technology manipulation to technomancers

Coyote

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Re: Technomancers....what do you think?
« Reply #16 on: (14:06:12/04-19-16) »
...
TL;DR: Technomancers should be the Masters of the Matrix, in exchange for suffering in meatspace.  Instead, they suck all-around.

Everything is there.

Not at all. Technomancers run as it appears that they are intended and written in stories, do suffer badly.
Technomancers who give in to the dark side, use electronics to hack (a cyberdeck) and electronics to fight (smartgun, monofilament whip) are comparable to Deckers or Decker/Samurais. Machine Sprites with Diagnostics basically double the skills while also greatly increasing limits really make a huge difference.
It's not only fighting/decking... Hardware toolkits for taking ownership of stolen devices, Medkits, Autopickers, Maglock passkeys, etc.
Yes, you do lose stats and/or skills in order to start with a basic cyberdeck... but having +6 dice/+3 limits on your Hacking and Computer checks seems like enough advantage to make up for the lost stats/skills.

A 'naked' Technomancer, which seems to be how they are intended in the fluff to operate, is at a clear disadvantage all around. But a TM who uses electronics instead of their Resonance persona, and Machine Sprites to boost their abilities, is quite competitive. I don't see it as a worse design choice (in a vacuum) as having Adepts who wear armor and use weapons being at an advantage compared to Adepts who fight in a martial arts gi and without weapons.

The real issue is whether electro-TMs function differently enough from Deckers to make them worth placing in the game as a separate "class", and also why TMs are clearly better played with electronic devices, but usually written-about as if they don't use much electronics. Why are fluffy-TMs gimped compared to electro-TMs and Deckers. Not whether you can make strong TM-based characters, because you can. It just doesn't fit the common perception of a technomancer when the character puts away the cyberdeck and uses his cyberarm to shoot a smartgun or swing a monowhip.

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Re: Technomancers....what do you think?
« Reply #17 on: (14:26:00/04-19-16) »
If you're gonna make a TM who uses a cyberdeck and has cybernetics...  Play a mundane decker.  You can't do anything a decker can't until you submerge, and that just allows you use shitty Complex Forms.  If you want to compile a sprite or call a registered sprite into being you have to switch off of the deck and use your normal persona...

And the answer to "how to play a hacker technomancer" should NOT be 'use Diagnostics on a cyberdeck!"  That fucking pisses me off to no end.

That is like being a 1 MAG Adept with 5 Essence taken from cyberware and never initiating or ever doing anything magic-related.  Which is something the game has specifically said "Don't let players do this." in previous editions.  It's completely missing the point of what a character who has those abilities experiences and feels.

I'm tired of Diagnostics being the only thing the TM-aspect contributes to a character when people mention playing one.  You're supposed to be this matrix semi-native, who feels the matrix in a new way and experiences everything differently.  It's supposed to be a major aspect of the character's life and outlook, the same way being a magician, and being aware of the astral, magic, the spiritual, and so on changes someone.  All the fluff supports this, and the mechanics of 4th, where TMs first appeared, reflected it.  There, a technomancer couldn't use a commlink to hack, because the skills involved were so radically different despite having the same name.
« Last Edit: (14:34:28/04-19-16) by firebug »
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Coyote

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Re: Technomancers....what do you think?
« Reply #18 on: (18:12:20/04-19-16) »
I see it as a warrior who uses weapons, and is also good without them. Using a cyberdeck and electronic devices is the way to be as good as a Decker, or better. Alternately, you CAN go without a deck, and be worse than a Decker... but a Decker is nothing without their deck.

I see it as the same argument for why a martial arts master picks up a weapon and fights in an armored jacket. Sure, it's against the fluff of what a martial arts master is, but you have the option of playing fluffy and being useful but not as good as the competition, or being as good as the competition but not fluffy. However, you (and the martial arts master) still have the option of going without equipment, while the samurai needs his weapons, and the decker needs his deck.

In other words, if a TM can be as good as a Decker WITH A DECK, but unlike a Decker still has the option of hacking without a deck, that is a good argument that TMs are in no way too weak.

The argument I would agree with is that how TMs play best is NOT fitting with the fluff, and is NOT as unique an archetype as they could have been.

MijRai

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Re: Technomancers....what do you think?
« Reply #19 on: (18:41:26/04-19-16) »
But that's the thing.  Give anyone a deck (and the skills), and they can be as good as a Decker.  I mean, that's what makes a decker.  The deck.  Why bother being a technomancer from a mechanical standpoint if you were going to take the hardware anyways?  I mean, a newly Emerged technomancer who was a decker previously, that makes some sense.  But just being a technomancer who uses hardware instead of their technomancer stuff is sort of...  Besides the point? 
Would you want to go into a place where the resident had a drum-fed shotgun and can see in the dark?

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Re: Technomancers....what do you think?
« Reply #20 on: (19:20:19/04-19-16) »
Seriously.  If you're gonna be using a deck, you will be a shit TM, because of the money required.  Lemme rephrase...

You'll have to make a sacrifice somewhere.  Buying a deck is a huge investment, and TMs are already tight on Priorities.  So let's say you go with MAG/RES.  You drop 2 points down in it to get 2 more in Resources.  Well, add in some cyberware like you suggested, and your RES is so low, you'd be better off just being mundane and using the extra money to buy a better deck and some combat augments.

If you drop Attributes, you'll have a terrible ASDF array and real crappy dice pool.  Putting A in Attributes is 24 points--  That's a 4 across the board, or more likely, 3 in Physicals and 5 in Mentals.  Bring your LOG to 6, down your STR to 2.  If you lower that by enough points to buy a deck, that's 4 less points per priority drop.  So that'd be a 2 in all your physicals and a 1 STR at B, unless you start lowering your mentals.  Take your pick.  LOG is Data Processing, which is lame, but it's your main dice pool stat, so no go there.  INT is Sleaze and Initiative and your secondary dice pool stat...  WIL is your Firewall, resisting most attacks, your Drain Resist, and your Stun track (which is also your matrix track).  So that leaves CHA, which is the super important Attack stat.  Yeah.  I'm sure you want to have an Attack of 3 when you've just had your real deck bricked in cybercombat.

If it's Skills, you either will lack some key skills, or else be rolling 9's in everything and be utter shit.  A hacker uses about 5 skills (they can get away with minimal investment in Hardware, like 1 point).  A TM uses 7.  That shit ain't gonna happen at below C.

A decker with a backup commlink (which all should have, even normal TMs) and a couple dongles for Attack or Sleaze for if you lose your deck is going to be more worthwhile than trying to "also be a TM if you get bricked".  Plus that way you can also have good combat ability since a decker can more easily have physical attributes, and defensive 'ware.
« Last Edit: (19:32:09/04-19-16) by firebug »
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Mirikon

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Re: Technomancers....what do you think?
« Reply #21 on: (00:08:34/04-20-16) »
Yeah, TMs got thrown in the cell with Bubba the Love Troll and sandpaper for lube. Whoever wrote the TM chapter of the core book decided to take everything good about TMs, and then take a Chipotle-fueled explosive diarrhea dump on it.

See, back when they were first introduced, Technomancers were the swiss army knives of the matrix. To put it bluntly, they were glass cannons that could adapt to any situation on the fly, but being glass cannons and less capable in the meat meant that they were balanced against the less adaptable but more reliable hackers or riggers. Yes, either one. Because back then, the difference between hackers and riggers was their skills, and one could double as another one in a pinch (though they weren't as good, natch). When the Nostalgia For The Sake Of Nostalgia train hit the Matrix rules like One Punch Troll, hackers and riggers got forced into separate classes, and ne'er the two shall meet. The same... special minds who thought up that change then put the TMs in a gimp mask  and ball gag and forgot to give them a safe word.

And I'll just stop now, because this angries up my blood too much, and I'll stop being polite if I go further.
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firebug

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Re: Technomancers....what do you think?
« Reply #22 on: (00:24:53/04-20-16) »
I'll admit TMs were in several ways overpowered and broken in 4e.  One major way was that, the way that Slaving Devices worked, a TM could slave a large number of devices to their "bionode" and those devices couldn't be touched on the Matrix except by other technomancers, making the effectively unhackable through normal play.

For some reason, they didn't realize when making 5e that devices no longer went "inside" the Master device anymore, so that wouldn't be an issue.  Instead they decided that TMs shouldn't be able to slave any devices to their Persona now, for no reason.

Rigger Technomancers were established to be a thing in-game; people would call themselves "vehicle empaths" and such, because rather than hacking, they just interfaced with machines.  Something all TMs could do from the start due to how the matrix worked (a Control Rig wasn't needed, just acted as a boost).  Now in 5th, those make less sense, because only an initiated TM can actually jump into a vehicle...  Which, considering rigging is "being the machine", and where the majority of intimacy a technorigger would identify with...  I dunno, it just didn't need to all be undone.
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FST_Gemstar

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Re: Technomancers....what do you think?
« Reply #23 on: (01:45:55/04-20-16) »
I still fall in the Technomancers as we know them mechanically do not make great matrix specialists (or have to) camp... There are definitely lots of issues and they have been delineated. 

But, if folks mostly want brain-decks... just play that datajacks can direct connect living personas. If you don't want to rely on sprites and recognize that most Complex Forms require a heavy investment in starting resources to make them worthwhile and without that investment they lose helpfulness (even can be detrimental), Technomancers have no need to invest in or try to maintain a high Resonance rating. Most technomancer matrix specialists end up taking all of the decker skillset anyway, so just don't invest in sprites or Software/CFs and play like a more typical decker. You'd get the ability to direct connect at character generation, but trade off a more versatile/expensive deck for a more static/free one. Technomancers could take more advantage of 'ware this way too in ways I think are better than deckers (mental stat boosts increase matrix limits and matrix dice). I think this unbalances a bit in favor of technomancers in the long game and think technomancers get by without this change,  but it is a simple and quick fix (many don't even believe it is a fix, as it is not explicitly denied and would be more akin mage powers-ware parity).

To me, technomancers are designed as a pet-class, and sprites are the primary mechanic in which technomancers use connection to the Resonance to be Matrix wizards and meta-data fueled pseudo-adepts in the meat. If anything, a smoother way to play with sprites (that isn't as time-consuming/clunky) I think would make the play of a technomancer seem more fun, interesting, and on par.  They can be an exciting concept, but the actual play of them can be tedious for the player, GM, and table.

That mages get some better tech/matrix interaction capabilities is beyond me...

As someone who never played previous editions, I didn't know not mixing magic/tech was such a taboo. My favorite character designs try to do a lot of mixing because that is how interpret the Shadowrun universe.
« Last Edit: (02:05:43/04-20-16) by FST_Gemstar »

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Re: Technomancers....what do you think?
« Reply #24 on: (01:54:23/04-20-16) »
Yeah, TMs got thrown in the cell with Bubba the Love Troll and sandpaper for lube.

Can I sig that? ;D
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Medicineman

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Re: Technomancers....what do you think?
« Reply #25 on: (02:46:45/04-20-16) »
I can sum my answer up quite simply: love the concept, hate the execution.

Go read Emergence. Then the SR4 technomancer rules, especially Unwired.

Then read SR5s implementation. Ugh...
Same here
I had 2 TMs( a Dronomancer and a Reporter) that I really liked to play in 4A but now...I wouldn't touch a TM with a 10' Pole !

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dragrubis

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Re: Technomancers....what do you think?
« Reply #26 on: (06:08:16/04-20-16) »
Being a TM with a deck has an other problem, you cannot protect yourself with your own deck because you can't put your fucking living persona in the PAN so a spider seeing you two personnas the decker with all the squad protected with the big shield and in the other hand the little poney TM  shoot the poney, then can destroy all the squad because the TM was the decker (then no more Will to firewall assist...).

End the run and give the spider a slap on shoulder...

firebug

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Re: Technomancers....what do you think?
« Reply #27 on: (09:48:31/04-20-16) »
Your living persona can't be online while your deck's is.  You can (and have to) log out of your natural one, and use only the deck's persona.  Which should by all logic be a mildly irritating experience for technomancers.  I imagine it'd be like...  If you had to walk around everywhere with a plexiglass orb around your head; an odd layer between your natural senses and what you get to experience.
« Last Edit: (09:53:04/04-20-16) by firebug »
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dragrubis

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Re: Technomancers....what do you think?
« Reply #28 on: (10:05:27/04-20-16) »
I think it need to be online if you want to have your machine sprite... BUT you need to use only one at a time

Hobbes

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Re: Technomancers....what do you think?
« Reply #29 on: (10:19:21/04-20-16) »
Yeah, Technomancer with a Deck has mechanical issues.  Trying to pick up 100k or so as a TM using the regular priority system shorts you somewhere.  And you gain very, very little from picking up a Deck.  Seriously, just play a Decker if you want to use a Deck.  If you want large hacking pools as a TM you use a horde of small to medium Sprites, or compile one Monster Crack Sprite and send it on its way.  Either way works.

A Technomancer has enough dice pool to hack on the fly most devices without an issue, the problem is Hosts and the larger dice pools needed.  The only method TMs have to get larger dice pools is with Sprites.  That isn't an issue mechanically, but its not a play style everyone is interested in.  Pet classes can be a PITA at any table in any game.