Author Topic: General suggestions for making a playable AI character?  (Read 724 times)

firebug

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I'm going to be joining a game soon, and I'm working on the assumption that I'll be the one to make a matrix specialist, as the others are a bit less experienced and don't know the matrix rules as well.

So, to change things up, I'm gonna make an AI.  I have a lot of questions...

I want them to be able to fulfill the main role of matrix support on the team; hacking, general overwatch, etc.  They don't have to be absolutely optimized or anything, but if there's dangers I should be aware of when making an AI, I'd appreciate some tips.

As well, I want them to have an Anthrodrone to use for physical encounters...  I know I need Pilot Origins.  Would it be a mistake to spend 24 Karma and have that at rating 3?

Would it be possible to use the drone as the Home Device and still hack primarily using Emulate?

How important would you say Depth is?  Should I start with it max, or can it take a back seat to other priorities like nuyen or attributes?

Also, it seems like cybercombat is even more of a losing proposition for an AI than it is for a technomancer, which is impressive...  Am I missing something, or am I as screwed as I think I am if I enter cybercombat?

If I am a drone's pilot and enter a Host, I'm not longer in the drone, and cannot control it, correct?

I'm really confused about the rules on the difference between your core condition monitor and the device's condition monitor.  It mentions that you use the device's condition monitor when you're in one, but then it says things like "if the AI is disrupted while running on a device that's not bricked"... which sounds like it'd be impossible since nothing should touch your core CM, at least not without also filling your device's CM...  But then it says "bricking an AI's device causes it to be disrupted" and "in this case, the AI doesn't get to use Firewall to resist Overflow"...  But if they're separate, why would Overflow matter, and why does it go right to my Essence and not my Core CM?

What drone attribute would be best to Optimize most of the time?

Are advanced programs worth using despite the massive amount of extra OS you generate?

Can I to buy autosofts, or do I have to program them myself and pay for them with karma?

WTLM says it can boost your Pilot for Acting and Influence rolls...  But what would that affect?  You don't use your Pilot for social rolls, you have a Charisma score.
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Glonthein

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Re: General suggestions for making a playable AI character?
« Reply #1 on: (04:45:12/04-08-17) »
Since I've got someone at my table currently building an AI, I've checked on the rule to help him, and there are a few things that I can say :
-If you want to use the Anthrodrone as a home device, you indeed should get the pilot origins quality. If you are going to remote control it from your classic home device (be it a deck or a rcc), then you do not need it. Considering that you are probably starting as a "normal runner" (so 25 + negative qualities karma), I'd say you should take it only as rank 1 for now if you want it, and upgrade it later at double the cost.
-Depth is kinda tricky. I know people who say it is worthless, but after checking into it, i don't really agree. Depth plays in way too many things for it to be forgotten : it plays for your Core monitor condition, the number of programs you can learn, and the maximum attribute you can emulate is equal to your depth. And it's also your edge. If you are going to hack using emulate, you definitely need a decent Depth.
-Cybercombat really sucks for AI as far as I can see, although some of their advanced programs can probably give them a good edge if well used - I haven't check into those a lot. Either way, unless you are confident in your defensive capabilities, stealth is your way to go in the Matrix.
-If you were on the grid or an other device, you could still remote control the drone. But from a host, I don't think it would work, since you can't interact with devices on the grid from there.
-There is apparently a program called Deicide, mentionned only once in the Data Trails, that allows one to deal Core Damage to an AI loaded on a device the same way the Biofeedback program would on a physical user. You will usually take less damages than the device, but sometimes you aren't lucky with rolls, so there is the possibility that you get disrupted in this way while your device is still running.
As for Overflow, one interpretation is that when a device gets bricked, all the programs running on it get shutdown/deleted, and that's what is happening to the AI : the way the overflow works is a way to interpret how the AI must struggle to avoid deletion when its home device no longer works.
-It seems that you have to pay autosofts with karma

I haven't answered everything, but hopefully that will help you a little bit.

Jack_Spade

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Re: General suggestions for making a playable AI character?
« Reply #2 on: (05:49:21/04-08-17) »
A few general tips:
If you can build with Karma Gen as that's the only way you won't gimp your character.
Play an E-Ghost. That way you are justified not to spend butt loads of karma for 250 Nuyen programs (Seriously, whoever came up with that rules hated PC AIs)
Emulated hacking is nothing I'd recommend. Beside the noise and overwatch you need an obscenely high dept rating which in turn creates an obscenely expensive lifestyle.
Pilot Origins I is enough for the start. Get the Designer Quality for an easy +1 to pilot and 2 noise reduction.
Get a cyberdeck in addition to your drone.
Optimizing Pilot is the better option since you increase both Data Processing and Firewall this way.

Advanced programs are usually overpriced. I made an analysis of them a while ago on this forum, I'll try to find it again.

WTLM gives you a dp bonus. Doing it in any other way leads to madness...
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Csjarrat

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Re: General suggestions for making a playable AI character?
« Reply #3 on: (13:20:02/04-08-17) »
You can safely dump skills at lowest priority if you go pilot origins. You can use autosofts as a pilot origin ai so mobility is covered by maneuver, gunnery by targetting etc. You're really karma heavy as an ai so I'd just take pilot origins at 1 because you'll need to buy off real world naivety (seems ridiculous for something that was programmed to work in the real world but hey) and stuff like designer is a must-take
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firebug

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Re: General suggestions for making a playable AI character?
« Reply #4 on: (16:48:21/04-08-17) »
Is boosting the Pilot worth it?  It gets overridden by your Depth.  Or, do things that modify it go on top of that?  If I had 6 Depth, Designer, and Optimized Pilot, could I have 8 Pilot for the purpose of rolls?  I'm not sure how useful that'd be...  I'm not sure what situations there'd be where I'd be rolling with Pilot instead of one of my own attributes.  I don't think there is one.
« Last Edit: (16:54:03/04-08-17) by firebug »
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Csjarrat

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Re: General suggestions for making a playable AI character?
« Reply #5 on: (05:51:01/04-09-17) »
Pilot is device rating for drones so its a big benefit
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Re: General suggestions for making a playable AI character?
« Reply #6 on: (12:38:15/04-09-17) »
I don't suppose anyone knows who wrote the AI section of DT? Perhaps they could lend some insight on the issue.
Yeah, TMs got thrown in the cell with Bubba the Love Troll and sandpaper for lube.
there is autosofts for everything  8)

Jack_Spade

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Re: General suggestions for making a playable AI character?
« Reply #7 on: (14:50:10/04-09-17) »
Yeah, because this rule sentence should very much contain a "may" as in:
"Only AIs with the Pilot Origins quality may use autosofts in place of active skills, they also [may] use their Depth in place of the Pilot rating of vehicles/drones they are running on."

Or even better, the last half sentence should be deleted.

Pilot rating not only defines Firewall and Data Processing, it also defines how many programs you can have running on your home device and is also relevant when you set your drone body on autopilot (like combat) while you are concentrating on hacking
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firebug

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Re: General suggestions for making a playable AI character?
« Reply #8 on: (18:39:16/04-09-17) »
Boosting Firewall and DP is quite useful, definitely.  Especially if it's modified after being set to my Depth, so I can have it be quite high.  Logically the lifestyle costs would be based on the drone without the AI's influence, since the cost is about keeping the device itself in top-condition.

Still a bit of a stretch that keeping a Transys Avalon fully up to date and running smoothly somehow costs significantly more than what a character owning one would likely pay to survive...  But, there's no point in arguing it.
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fseperent

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Re: General suggestions for making a playable AI character?
« Reply #9 on: (21:18:37/04-09-17) »
Suggested this in another post about AI lifestyle:
Lifestyle cost = Device Rating (before AI improvements)  X 3% of listed price and mods installed.

firebug

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Re: General suggestions for making a playable AI character?
« Reply #10 on: (22:17:14/04-09-17) »
You guys have all been super helpful, by the way.  Thanks a ton.  It turns out the game will be taking place in Chicago, with less of a focus on matrix due to the fact that its use is still less common than it would be in other places.  Designer is even more needed.

One more question.  Has there been anything about picking Codeslinger (Control Device) and just getting a +2 to like...  Every action taken in a drone?  Nothing in SR5 separates actions taken while Jumped In from using Remote Control in terms of "is it no longer the Control Device action"?  Obviously this wouldn't assist hacking or anything, but things like physical combat would still be Control Device for a jumped in persona.  That's why they get the VR hotsim bonus to those things.
« Last Edit: (22:38:50/04-09-17) by firebug »
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Csjarrat

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Re: General suggestions for making a playable AI character?
« Reply #11 on: (01:48:22/04-10-17) »
Riggers don't use control device if you're "jumped in" but would work if you were just VR piloting it.
I like having a stealth rating mod on the drone and then using software to boost the rating up to something useable so you can hack from it. Need to emulate and attack rating for file decryption though
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Jack_Spade

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Re: General suggestions for making a playable AI character?
« Reply #12 on: (15:01:21/04-10-17) »
Psst. If you are looking for a totally rad quality for an AI rigger take a look at Rigger 5:
SUBTLE [VEHICLE] PILOT gives a permanent -2 for any observer trying to detect you stealthing.
Speed Demon also applies for an easy +1 bonus to all piloting tests

Edit:
Also it looks like Codeslinger does work: p. 266 core:
"The control rig allows you to treat Vehicle actions the same way you treat Matrix actions, so any bonus you get to Matrix actions also apply to Vehicle actions when you’re jumped in; this includes Vehicle Control Tests, Gunnery Tests, and Sensor Tests. "
« Last Edit: (15:22:35/04-10-17) by Jack_Spade »
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firebug

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Re: General suggestions for making a playable AI character?
« Reply #13 on: (01:58:33/04-11-17) »
Those are good qualities, but unfortunate I had to spend so much on buying autosofts that I don't have the Karma to get any qualities beyond Designer and Pilot Origins.

Ironically, this character will probably be far better at physical combat than they are hacking, just by virtue of being able to make use of rigger bonuses and boosting cyberlimbs.  With an initiative of 12+4d6, limbs with 8 AGI and STR, immunity to Stun damage, and at least 14 armor, and the ability to use autosofts in place of certain skills, I should be pretty threatening...
« Last Edit: (02:03:56/04-11-17) by firebug »
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firebug

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Re: General suggestions for making a playable AI character?
« Reply #14 on: (07:22:31/04-11-17) »
-If you were on the grid or an other device, you could still remote control the drone. But from a host, I don't think it would work, since you can't interact with devices on the grid from there.

Wait a sec, I just realized...  While that makes total sense, if I'm entering a host from my home device, the drone (which I've done by modding the drone to have a Sleaze rating), then I must still be able to use the drone.  If I was totally disconnected from it, I wouldn't be able to use its stats.

I guess it makes sense to be able to use it...  I mean, when you enter a host through your deck, you don't suddenly lose access to your deck, you still have access to all the files on it and its memory.  If you didn't, you wouldn't be able to actually steal data from a host (you wouldn't be able to load it on to your deck's memory!).

What rating are the autosoft I learn?  Is it static, or can it change?  As far as I can tell it says nowhere...  I would assume it'd be "equal to my Depth", and if I were GM I'd say they change alongside my Depth.
« Last Edit: (07:30:19/04-11-17) by firebug »
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